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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

SUSAN WEBB
The president of VoX International provides answers
07 JUL 2010: In the second of our series of whimsical interviews, get to know Susan Webb, president of Vox International as she goes One on One with Ilona Kauremszky. MORE

AUTENTICA CUBA
Puttting yourself in the picture
05 JUL 2010: Cuba’s been all about the beach. We Canadians should know. It’s been our favourite sun destination as we continue to hold the No. 1 international visitors’ spot. So, when a Canadian ad agency was asked to take on the monumental task of rebranding the country, well they oughta know, right? MORE

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT OIL
Louisiana is open for business
21 JUN 2010: These days there’s no getting around talking about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Mention Louisiana and you’re most likely to envision oil and gooey black tar balls making their way up the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge. Well I can tell you it ain’t so. I just returned a few days ago from Shreveport, LA and St. Tammany Parish and the folks down there want your clients to visit. MORE

WINTER SUNSHINE
Nolitours and Transat Holidays think sun early
07 JUN 2010: As you’re booking those last minute trips to Europe right now Nolitours and Transat Holidays put out a big reminder that sun destination bookings are yes…ready to book now. And that’s not gossip. MORE

POW WOW NIGHTS
Americans do it right when it comes to parties
25 MAY 2010: While heavy duty speed dating among USA’s leading tourism reps and industry heavy-weights was taking place during last week’s POW WOW in Orlando, I was - shall I say -getting ready to frolic around this great nation’s theme parks. MORE

WHAT NEW POLICY
Happy and healthy at FITCuba
12 MAY 2010: FITCuba 2010, Cuba’s international travel fair, had some 2,000 reps from 30 countries descend on the biggest Caribbean island last week. Just in time to be a part of the country’s new entry policy requiring all foreign travellers to purchase travel medical insurance. MORE

SUN, FUN & SAVINGS
The Sunshine State comes to Toronto
04 MAY 2010: Partners from Visit Florida were in town last week, donning their sunniest smiles and why not? Canadian visitors are Florida’s number one international market. We love Florida. MORE

MICHELE McKENZIE
‘One on One’ with the president of the Canadian Tourism Commission
19 APR 2010: Michele McKenzie, Canadian Tourism Commission’s president and CEO, is the first subject of Ilona Kauremszky’s new column which light heartedly explores what makes individuals in the travel business tick, and gives you some insights into the individuals who impact our industry. MORE

CANADA ON CENTRE STAGE
Getting a big bang for our buck
13 APR 2010: While most viewers who sat transfixed in front of the TV last February watched the winter Olympic games, it turns out the Canadian Tourism Commission was watching them. “Our strategy was not to focus on spectators but the 3 billion viewers who watched The Games,” said Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission. MORE

8 THE WOW FACTOR
Sandals reiterates it will not work with discounters
01 MAR 2010: Sandals chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart and his CEO (and son) Adam, were in Toronto last week, along with Jamaican Minister of Investment, Industry and Commerce, the Honourable Karl Samuda. The Stewarts also brought the “wow factor” with them as they unveiled some pretty fancy plans for the future of their resorts. MORE

IT JUST GETS BETTER
Big Things For Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit Richard Zarkin, Monica Garcia, Alfonso Sumano 11 FEB 2010: If Frida Kahlo were with us today you might spot her with paintbrush in hand, hunched over a canvas overlooking the dramatic Pacific Ocean along the Riviera Nayarit sun all ablaze. In the distance there would be a pod of humpback whales bobbing their heads and turtle hatchlings would be rushing to the surf returning to their aquatic homes. MORE

AFFORDABLE SUN
Porter brings Myrtle Beach closer to home Adam Wilcox, Kimberly Miles, Elaine Michaud, Scott Schult, Danna Lilly, Kimberly Hartley, Steve Mays. 25 JAN 2010: Have your clients been asking about an affordable sun destination nearby? Well Myrtle Beach, South Carolina just got closer. Last week a Myrtle Beach contingent was in town and teamed with Porter Airlines, to share big announcements at an event held at the CN Tower. MORE

POP THE CORK
Here`s what happening in 2010 30 DEC 2009: You heard it here. 2010 is the year of big anniversaries, gonzo (re)openings, parties, special events, and massive developments. Here’s a sneak peek at some of what’s planned for the world stage. MORE

CANADA BITES OFF A BIG CHUNK OF THE CRUISING PIE
Cruising into 2010 with CLIA John Hansen, president of the Northwest Cruiseship Association; CLIA executive vice-president, marketing and distribution Bob Sharak; CLIA president and CEO, Terry Dale; and Cunard’s director of marketing & PR Brian O’Connor. 18 DEC 2009: Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA’s) president Terry Dale sailed into town (well actually flew) with fellow senior execs and CLIA member Cunard’s Brian O’Connor, to dish out the latest cruise stats that will surely look appealing to agents and make ports-of-call cities widen their eyes to the huge revenue streams that come with the tsunami of cruising passengers arriving to Canadian shores. MORE

THE EARLY BIRD?
Early launch for Transat’s Europe Transat's Denise Heffron, Nancy Jackson, Michelle Pinard, Richard Aoun, Diana Zincarelli DiNardo 30 NOV 2009: The Transat Holidays/Nolitours team unveiled their new all-in-one 2010-2011 Europe Guide last week to retail partners, tourism offices, and media at the funky Italian resto, Blu Ristorante & Lounge in Yorkville. Rolled out earlier than usual, Denise Heffron, vice-president for national sales at Nolitours, started the luncheon noting that it is to everyone’s advantage to have this new product in the market early this year. Of the new one stop shop brochure, she said, “It’s huge. It’s like a bible.” MORE

THE BUZZ ON STING
Every Breath You Take at Quebec Summer Festival 26 AUG 2009: Quebeckers don’t let the weather get in the way of a good time. Case in point: Last month’s Summer Festival. While rainstorms were hitting Ontario and Eastern Canada, almost every day, festival revellers put on their Wellies, grabbed their parapluies and marched on down to the Plains of Abraham for the 11-day summer event, rain or shine. They crowded in to watch Styx, Placido Domingo, and Kiss among many other musical talents using a $45 pass that was good for the entire festival. MORE

FUN UNDER ?THE BIG TOP? WITH THOMAS COOK
But CEO warns it will be a difficult winter Thomas Cook CEO, Michael Friisdahl 24 AUG 2009: Don’t expect to see any rabbits being pulled out of a magician’s hat anytime soon when it comes to this winter’s bookings, but agents and travel industry-types who made it up to the Paramount Conference and Event Venue in Woodbridge, Ontario, were in for a treat as Thomas Cook North America staged its annual trade show aptly titled “The Big Top.” MORE

IS IT RED OR WHITE WITH KANGAROO?
G’Day Toronto from the World of Oz 20 MAY 2009: While global tourism has its trials and tribulations in these turbulent times, a group of Aussie tourism-types arrived to show off some of their best culinary and vinifera products. And, to mix things up a bit, there was even an Emirates twist. MORE

GETTING READY FOR WINTER
Transat Holidays and Nolitours kick off the season Denise Heffron, vp commercial Nolitours, Daniel Cousineau, senior vp sales and marketing, Transat Tours Canada and Lyne Chayer, vp marketing, Transat Tours Canada. 02 SEP 2008: While it wasn’t the Caribbean, it sure felt like it. With sunshine overhead, shady umbrellas and sunglasses, execs from Transat Holidays and Nolitours staged the Drake Hotel’s Sky Yard Rooftop patio and swanky restaurant for some thank you cocktails to key retail partners and trade media. Amid avante-garde décor, Denise Heffron, vp commercial for Nolitours and Elaine Farley, director of sales for Ontario & Atlantic Canada paid tribute to staff and outlined some of the upcoming season’s products. MORE

ROCK YOUR WORLD!
Thomas Cook deals in superheroes 25 AUG 2008: Super travel group Thomas Cook unveiled its 2008/2009 winter product in Toronto last week using the Superheroes theme to capture the mood. The kick-off saw about 800 agents and over 170 vendors that included DMCs, resorts, car rental companies, airlines and plenty more. Jet-loads of superhero-types from Batman and Robin to Linda Carter’s sinfully vampish Wonder Woman, darted between the suppliers and agents who also had fun interacting in the multiple non-industry related booths. MORE
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