photo

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.

RECENT ARTICLES

BEAR WITNESS
New IMAX film inspires interest in wild BC
12 MAR 2019: The Great Bear Rainforest is one of Canada’s most exquisite and secluded wildernesses and home to the all-white “Spirit Bear.” Located on the north coast of British Columbia, the region - as big as Ireland - has been documented in a 40-minute film that is now playing at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, as well as IMAX venues in Vancouver, Victoria and Sudbury. We sat down with Destination BC’s Sabrina Robson for a behind-the-scenes look at the project and the rainforest. MORE

GALVESTON OH GALVESTON
Southern comfort for SOBs
07 MAR 2019: Late country crooner Glen Campbell remembered “sea winds blowing… sea waves crashing… [and] seabirds flying in the sun,” in his 1969 chart topper “Galveston,” which a Country Music Television poll rated the No. 8 best country song of all time and which to this day remains one of the city-island’s best advertisements.   MORE

THE NEED FOR WEED
Jamaica ponders pros and cons of cannabis tourism
05 MAR 2019: Got to legalize it… And don't criticize it… And I will advertise it. (Peter Tosh). With much of the Western world moving inexorably towards the full legalization (and sale) of marijuana and, indeed, many destinations now capitalizing on cannabis tourism, it is only natural that many eyes are looking at Jamaica – the country perhaps most synonymous with the plant. MORE

LWTM
Feb. 25-March 1
04 MAR 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

ISLES OF SMILES
Miami enclave has Sunny disposition
26 FEB 2019: Every year, members of the tourism delegation from Sunny Isles Beach (SIB) wonder why they visit Canada in the dead of winter. Then they remember: because it’s the best time of year to remind winter-weary Canadians why they should visit the Florida enclave, which is set within the city limits of Miami, but a world away. MORE

AFTER THE HURRICANES
Canada fuels Caribbean tourism recovery
25 FEB 2019: Caribbean tourism is on the upswing and Canada is currently leading the charge. This country outperformed all other Caribbean source markets in 2018 with 3.9 million visits, representing 5.7 percent growth – figures the Caribbean Tourism Organization attributes to a strong economic performance and increased seat capacity to the region. MORE

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUMS
News from Britains best galleries
25 FEB 2019: With thousands of museums across Britain there is certainly no shortage of cultural options for visitors. Landmark facilities like the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London are must-sees, while niche venues like the Sherlock Holmes Museum and (for Dr. Who fans) The Time Machine Museum of Science Fiction are examples of places that will primarily appeal to those with special interests, or, perhaps, simply just a taste for the unusual. MORE

LWTM
Feb. 18-22, 2019
25 FEB 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

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Saluting 50 years of Monty Python
22 FEB 2019: “I blow my nose at you [and] I fart in your general direction.” Classic. What could be funnier to my former 13-year-old self than the put-downs from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Python comedy troupe’s first full-length feature film in 1975. MORE

WHATS TRENDING IN CARNIVAL SEASON
20 FEB 2019: Mardi Gras marks the end of the festive Carnival season, a period of feasting and fun that begins on Jan. 6 in Christian culture. Mardi Gras, which literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French, is the final opportunity to indulge before the start of Lent. MORE

WELCOME TO WALTHAM
London’s first Borough of Culture
19 FEB 2019: London oozes culture. So much so that it’s easy for visitors (and, indeed, locals) to get caught up in all the great sport, theatre, food, nightlife, markets and other offerings. To that end, London mayor Sadiq Khan launched the London Borough of Culture (BOC) initiative in 2018, with the borough of Waltham Forest being the first to win the accolade for 2019 (to be followed in 2020 by Brent). MORE

LWTM
Feb. 11-15, 2019
18 FEB 2019: In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t - and just need a reminder, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news: MORE

THE SIMPLE LIFE
Where to go in the Grenadines
13 FEB 2019: From roadside mangos and bananas to secluded black and white sand beaches, and dips in local rivers and under waterfalls, St. Vincent and The Grenadines (SVG) is the epitome of simplicity. Coming relatively “late” to tourism compared to other countries in the region, SVG has avoided many of the pitfalls of some of its neighbours – such as over-tourism – says SVG tourism director Glen Beache. MORE

GOING CRAZY
Mexico tourist board gone, trade not amused
13 FEB 2019: Mexico’s decision to close its international tourism offices, including in Canada, is “crazy” and “a massive step backwards” says one of this country’s tour operators, while another is urging the country to reconsider its decision. MORE

WHAT’S TRENDING IN TORONTO
12 FEB 2019: With the Canadian dollar hovering around 75 cents US and many global destinations experiencing political and economic turmoil, the trend towards travelling in one’s own country continues to be popular. MORE

HOT HOTEL OPENINGS
Checking in with the UK
11 FEB 2019: From B&Bs to inns, country lodges and five-star properties in London and elsewhere, there’s no shortage of accommodation options in Great Britain. Here’s a quick look ahead at some of the new and noteworthy openings expected in the coming months. MORE

THAT’S A WRAP
Caribbean Tourism Marketplace
11 FEB 2019: Torrential rain for much of the week didn’t dampen the spirits of delegates at the recent 37th annual Caribbean Tourism Marketplace.  After all, there was awareness that much of Ontario was digging out from a foot of snow while the US mid-west was trapped in a polar vortex that made it colder even than Canada. These are both situations that unfailingly make tourism types smile as they imagine winter-weary consumers rushing to their travel agents to book a seat out. MORE

ROUND UP
Feb. 4-8, 2019
11 FEB 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

EASY AS 1-2-3
Jacksons to highlight island fest
08 FEB 2019:  As it emerges from the lingering effects of devastating hurricane Irma in 2017, St. Maarten has issued a bold coming out statement: the addition of The Jacksons as feature performers at this year’s St. Maarten Heineken Regatta MORE

CRISIS WHAT CRISIS
Caribbean tackles tourism resilience and crisis management
07 FEB 2019: Many destinations in the Caribbean by their very nature get lathered and rinsed repeatedly by seasonal storms and, in worst-case scenarios, hurricanes. And though islands sometimes ultimately come out of the process with a shiny new look after recovery and rebuilding, the legacies of death, destruction and cost are a far cry from simply getting a good shampoo.   MORE

WHAT'S COOKING
Jamaica turns up heat on culinary tourism
06 FEB 2019: Food tourism is estimated to be worth US$150 billion annually, so it’s no surprise that countries like Jamaica want to ensure that they’re getting an ample piece of the pie. To that end, the country’s tourism industry continues to develop its newish gastronomy network, which was designed to frame the country’s rich culinary offerings and help visitors both find and indulge in them. Travel Industry Today recently sat down with Jamaica Gastronomy Network (JGN) chair Nicola Madden-Grieg to find out exactly what’s cooking. MORE

NEW LOOK FOR OLD HOTEL
Historic Fife Arms gets royal treatment
04 FEB 2019: The Fife Arms, a landmark inn in the village of Braemar has re-opened after a much-anticipated renovation. Such was the profile of the event that the opening ceremony was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay (the Scottish titles of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall), who further toured the property. MORE

DOWNUNDER DAY
Australia celebrates in Toronto
As Australians celebrated Australia Day recently, friends and well-wishers got a head start a couple of days earlier at an event in Toronto at the Steam Whistle Brewery. Organized by the Australian Consulate and Tourism Australia, with sponsors including Air Canada and Goway, the event showed off to trade partners and tourism types just some of Australia’s merits, including tasty organic wine, tucker such as meat pies and roast suckling pig, and music, including (taped) tunes from the great Aussie singer-songwriter Paul Kelly. MORE

SCREEN TIME
Britain set to star on TV and films
01 FEB 2019: Britain is once again playing a starring role in several new major movie releases in 2019, as well as leading the way with some of television’s biggest hits. As in the past, with productions such as James Bond, Outlander and Downton Abbey, the film’s backdrops will surely inspire visitors to head to the U.K. to discover their favourite character’s haunts for themselves. MORE

CURTAIN TIME
Whats new in the West End
29 JAN 2019: A trip to London that doesn’t include a West End show is almost unthinkable. From the latest productions to long-running favourites, visitors have dozens of choices each and every night in the British capital – and the world’s co-capital of theatre (with New York). MORE
logologologologologologo