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Ilona Kauremszky

As a frequent traveller, Ilona has filed numerous articles on the travel industry for leading consumer and trade publications and rubbed shoulders with the famous and not so famous, pulled G-forces in race cars and tested her acrophobia in more ways than she cares to remember. A former editor of a meetings magazine, you'll often spot her covering one of your events.

As a weekly Q+A travel columnist of a major newspaper, Ilona provides readers with travel tips and advice. Ilona also co-produces mycompass.ca and its digital TV channel, mycompasstv.

RECENT ARTICLES


THE KENYA BUCKET LIST
Why I love Kenya

29 AUG 2014: Bucket lists, those once in a lifetime moments you always wanted to do in your life. The sad reality: hit the back of the line with everyone else. Others have similar bucket list ideas so chances are you only get a nanosecond to experience that dream - alone. Not so in Kenya.



BATS AND BUCKETS
Goway Travel vs Air New Zealand

28 AUG 2014: There’s something appealing about summer whites. And, when you throw in a cricket match between Goway Travel and Air New Zealand in what’s become their annual end of summer tradition you know there’s bound to be some surprises.


A NEW ST. KITTS

25 AUG 2014: Sun and sand can be had in many Caribbean hot spots but there’s one island that’s in the midst of separating itself from the pack. St. Kitts, the sister half of Nevis (that’s St. Kitts and Nevis) has been busy collaborating on new developments with luxe hoteliers and is in the process revamping a harbour in the southern peninsula that I hear is already drop dead gorgeous.


HORNBLOWER MAKES A SPLASH

17 JUN 2014: Hornblower Niagara Cruises has made a big splash with the ultimate threesome in the company’s latest and most daring feat to date. Is it any wonder Niagara Falls’ newest addition to hit this side of the border is pegged “Niagara Wonder?” And to boot there’s a Niagara Thunder and a smaller Niagara Guardian, the names of the three new vessels from Hornblower Cruises now plying the Niagara Gorge.


SOMETHING NEW
Lufthansa opens new Munich Toronto route

09 JUN 2014: Last week at Pearson International Airport a water cannon salute officially welcomed Lufthansa’s sleek new Airbus A330-300. The arrival of flight LH 495 was big on a couple of levels. It was a historic route between Munich and Toronto never flown before by the German national airline. The other - the fancy new interiors.


DREAM BIG
California has it all

06 JUN 2014: Dream Big is California. You don’t have to think hard. Silicon Valley, Tinseltown and the magical setting of San Simeon aka the Hearst Castle all demonstrate big dreams. The Golden state’s Dreamers’ campaign raps itself nicely around the idea too.


RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE
RIU shakes it up in Panama

It’s shortly after 1:30 am. In a deep sleep cocooned inside cool crisp cotton sheets of RIU’s newest hotel in Panama’s Playa Blanca I thought I was dreaming when the bed swayed like an inflatable pool float then the emergency alarm blared. I shook my eyes open. Panama’s coast had just encountered a 6.8 magnitude earthquake.


HAVANA STILL ENTHRALLS
More than sunshine and beaches

29 MAY 2014: Sunset on the Malecon in Havana is a fabled place. I watch a wave of vintage convertibles drive by me. The bright jellybean colours are a stark contrast to the dishwater grey new vehicles at home. This is where families escape the steamy city heat and head for the wild sea breezes. Where friends meet, children play and lovers linger.


CHINA SURPRISES

09 MAY 2014: Scan the label on your household products, footwear and the unmentionable undergarments that hug your birthday suit and chances are the label blares Made in China. The Chinese are proud people. They shout from the mountain tops and now atop their skyscrapers declaring the dragon has awoken.


Test Column
a column with a carousel

This is a column, so the columnist's name displays by default.  And on the article page, at the bottom you'll see a carousel.  This article also demonstrates single-return paragraph spacing.


FLORIDA SMILES
Sunsets and Surprises

What happens when a huge contingent of destination partners from Florida visits us in the Great White North? They talk about the sun and hot weather. In a smart TV show format dubbed Interview Bites and Surprises an event host interviewed the partners who called out the hot temps. It got the majority of us thinking maybe we should all be there. NOW.


FLORIDA SMILES
Sunsets and Surprises

07 MAR 2014: What happens when a huge contingent of destination partners from Florida visits us in the Great White North? They talk about the sun and hot weather. In a smart TV show format dubbed “Interview Bites and Surprises” an event host interviewed the partners who called out the hot temps. It got the majority of us thinking maybe we should all be there. NOW.


MAKING MEMORIES IN MASSACHUSETTS
A one stop shop destination

03 MAR 2014: Massachusetts recently hosted a media luncheon with various partners from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel, in Toronto. Prior to lunch there was a mini marketplace that showcased some of the Commonwealth's famous areas and attractions - places where your clients could make some priceless memories.


SHREVEPORT
The World of Elvis Presley and other American hits

24 FEB 2014: It’s sooo hot outside the cicadas are screaming but I don’t care. I made it to Elvis Presley’s hub and it ain’t Tennessee. It’s Shreveport Louisiana.


QUEBEC ORIGINAL
Something for everyone

21 FEB 2014: Anyone who’s visited our neighbouring eastern province knows Québec is an original. Tourisme Québec reps and partners alongside Destination Québec’s Susan Prophet, director of meetings and conventions and incentive travel with her fabulous team convened at the Fairmont Royal York’s illustrious Canadian Room to celebrate Québec Day, a highly anticipated annual marketplace for the meetings and incentive travel crowd that showcases some of the province’s finest originals.


MEXICO CITY
Live it to Believe It

14 FEB 2014: What happens when a destination wants to change its image? Well you have to “Live it to believe it.” That’s Mexico’s clever new North American marketing campaign launched last fall so I decided to put it to the test.


RESTAURANT AUSTRALIA
Everyone falls in love

27 JAN 2014: In the thick of a polar vortex it was sure nice to feel some Australian heat served up by a team of Australian tourism reps who hosted a heart warming wine and culinary event in Toronto last week.


WHAT'S UP IN 2014
Here we come

30 DEC 2013: War and peace is a big theme this year. Tour operators around the world will no doubt be busy especially companies specializing in memorials and pilgrimages. We mark the historic dates of several wars and meanwhile Christians think back to some pretty hefty sites of worship. Modes of public transportation will take a ceremonial bow. And let’s not forget there are acclaimed artists like painters, composers and authors who are getting feted. Welcome to 2014.


ALL SEASONS
Big things in The Bahamas

02 DEC 2013: It’s almost like meeting the prime minister except some might argue even better, since the portfolio covers tourism. For a Caribbean destination like The Bahamas in which tourism is the number one GDP (try 60 percent) meeting the tourism minister is right up there.


A CRAZY YEAR
Sandals surprises

29 NOV 2013: “To say it’s been a crazy year is an understatement,” says Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International, who has been described by the local media back home in Jamaica, as a ‘maverick on a mission.’


LIVING THE LIFE II
Royal Bahamas

06 NOV 2013: I boarded an easy direct flight to Bahamas from YYZ (no checked baggage only carry-on) with Air Canada for a couple of reasons. It was high time to imbibe on the revered royal treatment of Sandals Resorts International and I was ready to dive for nautical treasures at a well-known fantasy resort. After all it’s better in the Bahamas right?


LIVING THE LIFE
It really is better in the Bahamas

06 NOV 2013: If ultra cool secret service agent James Bond can get in on the Bahamian magic then there’s got to be something worth sussing out. One Bond, Sir Sean Connery, fled his native Scotland eons ago, and as a long time Bahamian resident feels so strongly about its pristine beauty that he is a spokesman for Save The Bays, a national movement to protect and preserve marine resources and quash any unregulated development that may threaten the waters and marine life of the country.


ARIZONA ALTERNATIVES
Canadians have staying power

30 OCT 2013: For years Canadian snowbirds have been smitten with Arizona – something about the favourable winter temperatures, golf, spas, cuisine and stunning scenery. But at a recent media function organized by Arizona’s Canadian PR agency, Connect Worldwide Canada at Toronto's Gardiner Museum, a group of Arizona reps had lots more to offer.


THE VERMONT BRAND
That extra ingredient

23 OCT 2013: It was mix and mingle last week at the Ski Vermont Toronto media event held at the chi-chi Thompson Hotel rooftop lounge. From that fine perch with city lights a-blazing and air traffic bustling from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport our hosts relayed this winter’s exciting developments.


PASSION AND PURPOSE
A different approach

30 SEP 2013: Bruce Poon Tip, the founder of G Adventures, knows how to stage a tourism event. His third Annual Future of Tourism Summit at the Winter Garden Theatre was a sold-out albeit free ticketed event. The room was packed. The lights dimmed. The anticipation was there and the night’s agenda was a tall order.

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