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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 INSIDE STORY
Oliver Kluth on RIU

13 SEP 2013: Customer satisfaction is number one. So, judging by RIU Hotels and Resorts current track record, it looks like this sun-drenched luxury all-inclusive family-owned enterprise is living up to expectations.


DARE TO DREAM
Discovering Transat Discoveries

06 SEP 2013: Only moments earlier Dan Prior, Ontario sales director of Transat Discoveries, was hanging off the CN Tower’s adrenaline-soaked Edgewalk. But when I spot him afterwards in the bowels of a CN Tower meeting room, a huge grin covering his face - I knew - from one acrophobe to the other - he has conquered a biggie.


SANTIAGO DE CUBA – Treasures Galore

09 JUL 2013: Cuba is packed with talent. Even hotel reps from this favourite sun spot have surprises. Neorvis Garcia is one example. The sales manager from the Hotel Club Amigo Carisol–Los Corales, a three-star all-inclusive, is like a pitcher of a national baseball team concentrating on his pitch. He never strayed from a presentation he gave to agents and media last week.


DOING IT DIFFERENTLY
Not your usual sun spots

05 JUL 2013: When it comes to the Caribbean there are so many choices. So many island countries each offering its own unique blend of culture, cuisine and customs. Here are five fabulous sunspots that you and your clients will definitely enjoy.


HOT STUFF
Big Ideas in the Caribbean

03 JUL 2013: It was hot, hot hot last week. And it wasn't just the weather. The chatter was all about the Caribbean. The annual Caribbean Week (June 23-28) had plenty of events including a media marketplace at the Boulevard Club that proved to be an invaluable treasure trove of great finds.


ROUGE KICKS OFF
Now comes the test

27 JUN 2013: It all looked so Sound of Music meets Disney Mousketeers except the backdrop at Air Canada Hangar 8 was no dreamy Austrian hillside nor was it a mega theme park. Everyone (i.e. invited media and industry guests) was in the aircraft parking garage by Pearson airport to view two aircraft by Air Canada’s new leisure airline - rouge.


MAKING A MARK
Kentucky comes to town

12 JUN 2013: Spirits were high at the Hilton in downtown Toronto last week. It helped that bourbon was on the menu, but so was a Kentucky entourage ready to dish on why Kentucky matters to Canadians.


CHILDHOOD DREAMS
An Encounter with Dr. Hawass

11 JUN 2013: Always a showman Dr. Zahi Hawass the renowned Egyptian archaeologist who brought the discoveries of King Tut into our living rooms through his perceptive documentaries and breathed new life on the antiquities of the underworld was centre stage in a hotel ballroom declaring his love of Egypt when I finally met him in Toronto.


CALIFORNIA DREAMING
What a State

21 MAY 2013: Things I can’t live without – Hollywood movies, sun, sand and more Hollywood movies. California’s proven itself in the past on all three but can it pass the smell test these days? Is it still all that dreamy?


HIGH NOTES
Portugal kicks it up a notch

22 APR 2013: If the king of “Bam!” and “Kick it up a notch” Emeril Lagasse, the celebrity chef whose Mom is Portuguese, is any indication of the firecracker nature of the Portuguese, well I figured that’s as good an intro to Portugal as I needed.


IN THE MOOD
Lights on with Transat Canada

16 APR 2013: Jet lag sufferers listen up. The next time your client frowns at a European long haul because they can’t take the associated post-grogginess with all its prerequisite symptoms like super sleepiness for starters, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.


CELEBRATIONS 2013
Everything is happening in Britain

18 MAR 2013: This is a busy year in the UK . There's lots to do and lot's to plan for - in fact just a perfect year to scoot across the pond. We first ran this in January this year - but It's well worth a reminder.


GRAND ON THE GRAND STRAND
Sand, sea and greens at Myrtle Beach

05 MAR 2013: With March break just around the corner it definitely means one thing: last minute bookings to those sun swept shores. Over the weekend as thousands poured into the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to get the low down on golf favourites at the Toronto Golf and Travel Show, the folks from Myrtle Beach went one better than everyone else.


NONE OF IT IN NUNAVUT
One of a kind

27 FEB 2013: You won’t find reindeer and you can’t hunt narwhal for sport - there’s none of it in Nunavut as a CTC advertising campaign once conveyed. Though you will find three regions and as Colleen Dupuis, CEO of Nunavut Tourism quips, “We’re one of a kind.”


MASSACHUSETTS SMARTS
No time for boredom in the Bay State

24 FEB 2013: Boston has produced more Nobel Prize winners than any place else on the planet. It helps that “America’s Walking City” is home turf to Ivy League campuses like MIT and Harvard. Even pop culture has representation, Hollywood star Tommy Lee Jones (Oscar nominated for Lincoln), and screenwriter Chris Terrio (best writer Oscar nominee for Argo) hail from Harvard.


PUNTA CANA SPLASH
Riu and more Riu

06 FEB 2013: “Fly me to the moon,” crooned Colin Hunter via a CD playing inside this Sunwing aircraft. The founding president, CEO and owner of Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations helps you take off in style as the cabin crew offers glasses of bubbly and makes everyone feel like a star.


ANIMAL KINGDOM
A SeaWorld Happy Dance

01 FEB 2013: Ricky Martin was not in the house but the hyper hippy action of one fuzzy, bouncy slinky ferret-looking animal aptly dubbed “Ricky Marten” sure was. Boy was this one a hit.


REAL RIU
Living it up in Costa Rica

31 JAN 2013: Moonlight over Matapalo Beach, the night frogs were hitting a high-octane alongside Howler Monkeys droning in the distance. But snug as a bug in a rug tucked inside our spacious suite we were dreaming of our next day’s thrills in Costa Rica.


SAILING THE SILVERSEA
The best wave season on record

28 JAN 2013: A seasoned travel veteran, Kristian Anderson is Silversea Cruise’s new vice-president of sales for North America and boy is he ready to talk about luxe cruising. And, why not?


SIGNATURE SPOT
A relationship that works

24 JAN 2013: Source markets – you might not be familiar with the term but RIU Hotels and Resorts is into them. The luxe hotel brand headquartered in sunny Mallorca, Spain, has been expanding in the most surprising spots as of late, and that’s partially thanks to source markets and working with partners like Signature Vacations and Sunwing.


CELEBRATE 2013
International events

04 JAN 2013: We finish our series of events and celebrations to watch for in 2013. It's a handy reference guide for travellers, and today's feature covers Europe, Asia, South East Asia, Australia and Africa.


CELEBRATIONS 2013
The US and the UK

03 JAN 2013: We continue our series of events and celebrations to watch for in 2013. It's a handy reference guide for travellers, and today's feature covers the US and the UK.


CANADA 2013
Plan to celebrate

02 JAN 2013: The world didn’t end in 2012, so here’s a look at what will be making headlines around Canada in 2013. Grab a glass of your favourite libation, kick up your heels, and check out some of these milestone events and why they’re a big deal:


WHAT A COLLECTION
Europe a la Transat

04 DEC 2012: Skyfall James Bond’s latest film has taken movie-goers around the world by storm. But there are other super agent secrets brewing closer to home. Last week Transat Holidays launched its new 2013-2014 Europe Collection to a packed house of industry partners and trade media.


SUN VACATIONS
Where else but the Caribbean

30 OCT 2012: I still remember my last sun vacation. Travel-size bottle of suntan lotion, white sand, and okay, I admit a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. But like many of your clients who might have been calling lately, I’m game for a new sand-between-the-toes vacation. “So what’s out there?”

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