Michael Baginski

Editor at Large, Mike Baginski is well known and well respected within the industry across Canada, the US, in the Caribbean, Mexico and numerous other destinations outside North America.

Mike is a veteran journalist and editor, and his incisive reports, interviews and his individual and distinct take on our industry, as often evinced in his ‘At Large’ columns make him a valued voice at Travel IndustryToday and an invaluable member of the team.


The ABCs of Britains theme park
16 JUL 2019: With more visitors annually than all of Disney’s global theme parks combined, Yorkshire has been called “Britain’s theme park.” Such is the bounty of the northern UK county that it is distinctly subdivided into north, south, east and west regions, with such diversity that visitors will find unspoiled countryside, vibrant urban environments, 160 km of coastline, as well as ample art, culture, heritage, and sport, plus food and drink ranging from simple pub grub to Michelin-starred cuisine, and local gin to traditional ale. MORE

ROUND-UP July 8-12, 2019
15 JUL 2019: In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news: MORE

Memory of popular PR man Fiorelli will live on
09 JUL 2019: Forgive me if the details are a little sketchy, time will do that. It’s been many years since I last saw or talked to Ron Fiorelli, who died on July 5 in Oakville, Ont. at age 78 after a battle with cancer. Some years ago, Ron was a prominent PR professional with links to the travel industry via his tenure at Continental PIR and was central to one of my epic travel tales, and in an epic way. MORE

Paris sizzles in more ways than one
09 JUL 2019: Paris is hot. Literally. But notwithstanding the torrid summer the city is experiencing along with much of Europe, the French capital, in touristic terms, welcomed nearly 50 million visitors in 2018 – a tally that helped support France’s record 90 million visitors last year, which qualified the country as the world’s top tourism destination, according to the World Tourism Organization. MORE

July 1-5, 2019
08 JUL 2019: In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news: MORE

The best taglines in tourism
04 JUL 2019: While we have no way of knowing how many lovers have actually visited the state of Virginia over the course of the iconic “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan’s now 50-year lifespan, there’s little doubt that the tagline is one of travel’s, if not marketing in general’s, best. Even Coca Cola didn’t warble “It’s the real thing” for half a century.   MORE

June 24-28, 2019
02 JUL 2019: In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news: MORE

Spreading the gospel of Florida
02 JUL 2019: Call them missionaries – a delegation of half a dozen disciples of Florida calling in Canada to spread the gospel, and latest news, from the Sunshine State. MORE

TICO Registrants ticked over Fund fees
27 JUN 2019: Rarely has the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) held an annual general meeting without complaint about the nature and/or amount of registrant fees. Predictably at this year’s 21st annual event, held in Mississauga on June 25, the issue reared its head again, though perhaps with a sense of simmering fury not seen since the days when the late president of the Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) Bruce Bishins steadfastly championed the cause.   MORE

U.S. Tourism plans third big screen spectacular
26 JUN 2019: From amazing national parks to the sublime sounds of America’s musical heritage, Brand USA has tapped into two of the country’s most notable assets to inspire international tourists to visit. Now, the destination marketing organization for the US has seized the great outdoors for a third IMAX big screen spectacular, on schedule to premier in Washington, DC, in February 2020. MORE

Arts fest helping bring Belfast together
25 JUN 2019: Canadians continue to discover Northern Ireland in droves, with the latest numbers revealing that 66,000 visitors from this country made the journey in 2018 – an 8 percent increase on the year before, according to Tourism Ireland. Moreover, one in four Canadians who travel to the Republic also make the journey north to take in cities like Belfast and (London) Derry, plus the Antrim Coast and Giant’s Causeway, making Canada the fourth largest overseas market for the region. MORE

JUNE 17-21, 2019
24 JUN 2019: In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news: MORE

Visit Florida is optimistic but is the future of Florida tourism in peril
19 JUN 2019: Despite record visitations for eight consecutive years, Florida tourism is on a slippery slope thanks to funding cuts and a threat of closure, says America’s top-ranking tourism official, Roger Dow. The state has slashed its marketing organization’s budget by 30 percent and has presently reauthorized it only until the end of June 2020 (the so-called “sunset clause”). MORE

US Travel walks promotional tightrope
18 JUN 2019:  Pity US tourism officials. They are truth-tellers to be sure, but always at risk of running afoul of the administration (and ultimate corporate masters) of the day, thus forced to walk a tightrope when it comes to articulating the hopes and dreams – and fears – of an often underappreciated and misunderstood, but vital, industry that generates US$2.4 trillion in economic output and supports 15.6 million related jobs in America. MORE

ROUND UP- June 10-14, 2019
17 JUN 2019: In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news: MORE

Touring routes a great way to wander in Wales
13 JUN 2019: Wales is a “huge nation with lots to offer,” says Visit Wales exec (and proud Welshman) Rob Jones. And there’s no better means of experiencing it, he adds, than via The Wales Way, a group of three national touring routes launched late last year that showcase the country’s most epic landscapes, fascinating history, coastlines and attractions. MORE

Reauthorized Brand USA critical to halt US travel slide
13 JUN 2019: US travel officials are hopeful that Brand USA, the industry’s destination marketing organization, will be reauthorized by the American government in 2019 – a year early – for another five-year term. Its current mandate expires in September 2020.   MORE

Growing entry delays to U.S. unacceptable
12 JUN 2019: The US Travel Association feels your pain, with the organization acknowledging that long wait times for visitors entering the US is annoying and disruptive and that a recent redeployment of customs and security officials to the Mexico border (including 731 from the northern Canadian border alone) further threatens to “result in turmoil for business and leisure travel” during the busy summer travel season. MORE

US national parks at risk
11 JUN 2019: From Old Faithful and Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, America’s “treasured” national parks require long-term funding to reverse a chronic state of “disrepair” and to ensure their future viability, says the new chair of the US Travel Association. MORE

ROUND UP – June 3-7, 2019
10 JUN 2019: In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news: MORE

May 27-31, 2019
03 JUN 2019: In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news: MORE

Faint of fork no longer fear British cuisine
03 JUN 2019: VisitBritain is in the mood for food. The tourist board is eager to tout its edible delicacies and drink, and at the same time, offer the travel trade tangible opportunities to help clients match their culinary interests with a visit to Britain. MORE

31 MAY 2019:Recently my daughter Meghan took part in a student volunteer trip to South Africa with the terrific VESA program. She helped build houses, taught English, looked after kids at an orphanage, and got to see some of the amazing country as well, including experiencing some of the colourful Zula culture. MORE

2020 tunes in on coast and waters
30 MAY 2019: With over 800 islands, it’s only natural that Scottish tourism would eventually cast a line to its coastal heritage. As such, VisitScotland has declared that 2020 will be the Year of Coast and Waters. “If you look a map, you can see how close you are to the sea at pretty much all times,” observes the tourist board’s Michael McCuish. MORE

U.K. city set to make most of Mayflower milestone
29 MAY 2019: It seems odd that a historic city like Plymouth is considered an “up and comer” on the UK tourism scene, but with the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to North America on the horizon next year, the southwestern city is readying for a moment in the spotlight that will give the world a chance to see a city that is clearly on the rise. MORE