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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

SUN DESTINATIONS AT INCENTIVEWORKS
26 AUG 2015: Think sun destinations, you picture the three Ss (sun, sand, sea) and happy leisure clients getting their dose of Vitamin D come winter. But at the recent IncentiveWorks 2015, pegged as Canada’s largest tradeshow for meetings and incentive travel professionals, long aisles of booths from those popular sun destinations were busy talking business travel, incentive travel, and meetings and conventions. MORE

A TALE OF TWO PROVINCES
15 JUN 2015: This year at FITCuba, now in its 35th edition, the annual tourism trade show was themed around the sea. Cuba’s ministry of tourism (MINTUR) alongside the major national travel companies showcased its latest catch, a full net of new nautical tourism products that were appropriately staged in what insiders declare as the country’s best dive site: Jardines del Rey. MORE

FITCuba 2015
05 JUN 2015: Rumblings were definitely going on at FITCuba this year. The elephant in the room a.k.a. the turista Americano was finally exposed by none other than Cuban Minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero Cruz. MORE

THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN
29 MAY 2015: The next Calgary Stampede, the legendary 10-day cowboy bonanza better known as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” is just over a month away. MORE

CAPITAL PLANS
A night out with Austin
04 MAY 20115:  A friendly Austin invasion sidled up to the Pravda Vodka Bar in Toronto's east end the other night. Unusual, perhaps, but then again if you’re a Texan city that’s adding vodka making to your repertory, hosting an industry reception at a vodka bar makes sense. MORE

THE PARISIAN WAY
Rendezvous en France celebrates its tenth year
30 APR 2015: It was a night out at the Lido in Paris.  What better display of joie de vivre and je ne regrette rien than having a bevy of bare breasted beauties in nothing but plumes, stilettos and skinny thongs strut like peacocks in the heart of the Champs-Elysées. MORE

SPRING IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
27 APR 2015:  Off the Place Bellecour in Lyon, footsteps from the Father of French Nouvelle Cuisine Paul Bocuse’s casual brasserie Le Sud, I’m at another foodie bastion – Le Grand Cafe Lyonnais carving into a succulent organic chicken leg bathed in a heavenly butter cream sauce. MORE

NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
20 APR 2015: Think of New York and a dynamo of cosmopolitanism, comes to mind for many with towering skyscrapers, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. On the other hand a group of New York tourism representatives arrived in Toronto to share a list of the state’s happenings that could fuel many ideas for your clients who want an add-on to their New York City vacation or for those who just feel like embarking on an easy drive destination. MORE

GERMANY REUNIFIED
25 years on
15 APR 2015: Milestone anniversaries, grand festivals, and innovative developments were some of the themes discussed at a recent German National Tourist Office event. Antje Splettstoesser, director of marketing and sales in Canada for the German National Tourist Office hosted a media luncheon to showcase some of upcoming highlights from the various regions. In addition to the representatives who flew in from Germany, special guest German Consul General Walter Stechel was also in attendance.   MORE

PORTUGAL
Big things come in small sizes
07 APR 2015: Portugal it seems has big tourism perks for a compact country the size of Indiana. As William Delgado, country manager of the Portuguese National Tourism Office, Turismo de Portugal, explained at a trade event which included travel agents, media and tourism partners, big things come in small packages. MORE

CELINE COUSTEAU
Walking with TreadRight
31 MAR 2015: Celine Cousteau, the granddaughter of legendary marine conservationist, Jacques Cousteau, has made it her lifelong mission to document environmental projects and to shed light on causes she believes in.  MORE

A MEXICAN VACATION
Velas Style
16 MAR 2015:  There are many alluring choices around the sun kissed Banderas Bay along Mexico’s legendary Pacific Coast. For instance, should I take the Carolina Herrera glitzy gold or the fancy butterfly motif from Mexican designer Pineda Covalin as my evening purse at this ritzy resort? Guests staying at the Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta have these kinds of tough dilemmas that I discovered on a recent tri-resort visit of the Mexican all-inclusive brand, Velas Resorts. MORE

BE OUR GUEST
France welcomes visitors
06 MAR 2015:  The theme of Atout France’s annual Destination France expo which occurred recently was “Be our guest.” Atout France held its four city whistle stop travel trade show tour in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver in which over 20 partner exhibitors met with local agents and tour operators. MORE

Keeping up with Vacation.com
17 FEB 2014:  Vacation.com is on the fast track to showcase travel agents in a new way and is banking on online enhancements in what company insiders describe as more options to help them. MORE

SPURS UP IN SAN ANTONIO
13 FEB 2015: What happens when fans from the mighty Toronto Raptors and the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs meet up? It’s a lovefest with trip giveaways and cheering fans. As two of the best basketball teams competed at the Air Canada Centre the other night, reps from the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Texas Tourism Office mingled with local media in a corporate box to watch the exciting game (the Raptors won) and to share some of the latest tourism developments. MORE

ROBBIE BURNS AND ALL THINGS SCOTTISH
26 JAN 2015: On a typical wintery night in Toronto I traipsed into a wee pub in the city’s west end to observe a now atypical Toronto event. At this pre-Burnsian gathering - which means pre celebratory birthday toasts to Scotland’s national poet whose fete was on January 25 - the wall-to-wall punters were there to discuss peaty whiskies and the aging of a good malt. MORE

DIRECT TO THE SUN
Sunwing starts service from Buffalo
19 JAN 2015: Buffalo’s infamous winters have met their match with a Canadian sun seeking air carrier that hopes to thaw the freeze. Ironically the blast of sun emanates from the Great White North as Sunwing, famous for its high frills champagne service launched its first ever weekly direct flight this past weekend from Buffalo International Airport to sunny Cancun Mexico. MORE

2015 WORLD ANNIVERSARIES
Where and when to celebrate
07 JAN 2015:  As we celebrate the arrival of the New Year, destinations are eagerly prepping for some blockbuster events and milestone anniversaries.  The general themes in 2015 - war, freedom and cuisine. Now, here’s a handy list for travellers who happen to be in the vicinity and want to check in on some festivals at home and around the globe. MORE

A RIU GOOD TIME
25 NOV 2014: If the Farmer’s Almanac is correct then we’re in for another winter blast. But that’s not discouraging one senior executive from the popular all-inclusive RIU Hotels and Resorts which is sold exclusively to Canadians through Signature Vacations. MORE

FESTIVAL CITY
Edinburgh knows how to celebrate
24 NOV 2014: Revellers around Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, sure know a thing or two on how to party. Come every New Year’s Eve there’s a three-day Hogmanay celebration. The streets by fabled Edinburgh Castle are ablaze in a star-studded pyrotechnic parade heralded by blaring bagpipes toted by kilted performers and choruses of “Auld Lang Syne,” the New Year’s Eve anthem penned by Scotland’s own Robert Burns. MORE

A TASTE OF PHILADELPHIA
17 NOV 2014So you thought you knew the famous Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Philadelphia Zoo, the spot of love where Rocky proposed to Adrian. Ever since the movie Rocky entered our pop culture psyche as Sly Stallone jogged past now familiar landmarks in Philadelphia and yelled “Adrian,” folks have got a taste for Philly. MORE

Local Favourites with Globus and Cosmos
10 OCT 2014: So your client asks about experiencing something local but doesn’t want to be burdened in finding that “local favourite” and thinks motor coach tours are only for old people.Well, it’s time for a rethink. MORE

CHILE IS GETTING HOT
03 NOV 2014: What destination is at the doorstep of Antarctica, has wines that rival Napa and Bordeaux, and has been showing huge promise to the Canadian travel market? Chile. MORE

DINNER WITH PATRICIA SCHULTZ AND TRAFALGAR CANADA
27 OCT 2014: “You know dear your knees have expiration dates,” the NY Times bestselling author of “1000 Places to See Before You Die” Patricia Schultz was once told by a 90-year-old trekker in Peru. That advice has stayed with her but another travel tip she likes to offer goes like this, “Travel as much as you can. There are no guarantees in life.” MORE

THE SUSTAINABLE WORLD OF KENYA
22 OCT 2014: “We don’t want to change their culture,” says one of Kenya’s top hoteliers over breakfast as we sit outside the Hemingways Nairobi boutique hotel with the backdrop of the famous Ngong Hills that Karen Blixen made legend in her novel “Out of Africa.” MORE
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