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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

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.’ MORE

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? MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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? MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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.” MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

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? MORE
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