Ann Wallace

Ann and Nigel spent last winter sailing the Caribbean and Florida before settling into a comfy stay on the Thames in central London for seven months. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better the intrepid pair are heading for Europe.  Stay tuned.


There is something about Chicago
09 DEC 2011: “Canadians are very important to Chicago - and The Peninsula Hotel.” It was Marc Anderson, director of marketing, speaking, as he addressed a group of industry representatives in Toronto recently. Accompanied by Susan Ellefson, director of public relations, they had come to Canada to promote the winter offerings and specials at their luxurious property. MORE

SKB AND ACV combine dreams and passion
01 NOV 2011: “I’ve dreamed of this moment for 22 years!” declared an obviously happy Carolyn James. The occasion was a luncheon at the Pantages Hotel in Toronto, but James’ excitement was not about lunch - delicious though it was. Tour operators, travel agents and members of the media had joined James, director of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Canada, along with dignitaries from the island and executives from Air Canada Vacations to celebrate the inclusion of St. Kitts and Nevis in ACV’s new winter offerings and everyone was excited. MORE

Transat Discoveries launched in Ontario
06 OCT 2011: It’s a gorgeous brochure with ‘welcome’ in a dozen or so languages printed over an image of a glistening river in an exotic location (China’s Guilin, I think) on the cover. Inside are more wonderful images of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos; of Ecuador, Peru and Brazil; of Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa; of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia and of Eastern Europe. MORE

Book them to the Arctic instead
03 OCT 2011: Reading earlier this summer that some major cruise lines were pulling out of the ‘far south’ got me thinking about a cruise I took to the ‘far north.’ It was different right from the start. I took my seat on my First Air flight out of Montreal headed for Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec. Beside me sat two ladies, I later learned, one a grandmother and one a great-grandmother. MORE

Watch those extras
29 SEP 2011: Granted this news is from a British survey (conducted by Post Office Travel Money earlier this year) but there’s no reason to think it can’t be applied across the board. And the news is that holidaymakers hoping to keep a lid on the cost of overseas trips by choosing an all-inclusive package “could end up paying hundreds of unbudgeted extra pounds/dollars.” MORE

Have you helped yourself
19 AUG 2011: I’ve enjoyed lunch or dinner with a number of hotel managers or owners in my time, but the conversation I remember most clearly was the one dealing with ‘things stolen’ by guests. MORE

It is all about travel treats
09 AUG 2011: For those travellers who believe that “getting there is half the fun”, awaiting the Eurostar train in the Champagne Bar at London’s St. Pancras Station is an experience that is hard to beat. Hailed as Europe’s longest champagne bar, it is both elegant and unique, offering not only champagne but appealing breakfasts, light meals and afternoon tea to passengers awaiting the Eurostar to Europe and anyone else who finds themselves in this fine station. MORE

Intrepid and Urban Adventures
13 JUL 2011: They offer over a hundred destinations, literally from A (Albania) to Z (Zimbabwe). Their name – Intrepid – fits their clientele, travellers with a yearning to get off the beaten track and discover a ‘whole new world of adventure travel’. As their literature states, “Intrepid travellers explore the world’s most amazing places – from the back streets of Asia, to the wilds of Africa, the colourful landscapes of Latin America, the picturesque National Parks of North America, the delicacies of Europe and the ancient cultures of Australasia.” MORE

You must obey the rules
07 JUL 2011: There was a good column in the travel section of The Globe and Mail not long ago. The piece, by Bruce Kirkby, was headed “Please, do NOT carry on with the bulging, heavy carry-ons”. Mr Kirkby told of a recent one-hour flight from Vancouver to Calgary whose departure was delayed by 45 minutes because passengers could not find room in the overhead bins for their carry-on luggage. MORE

On the Yangtze River
17 JUN 2011: There’s no doubt about it, the building of the massive Three Gorges Dam on China’s great Yangtze River has been a tourism cash cow. Travellers have been lured either to see the Gorges and river before they are forever changed and/or to see the massive construction site itself. MORE

Can anyone answer the question
31 MAY 2011: Who can answer that question when the industry is influenced by so many external forces over which we have no control? As we all know, threatened economies, gas prices, terrorism, social media, even volcanoes, can affect the travel industry in various ways. But the atmosphere at Best Western’s Annual Leisure Travel Summit, held in Toronto last week, was definitely up-beat and positive. MORE

IS IT SAFE? Use your own judgment and eyeballs
12 MAY 2011: A storm in a teacup? A can of worms? Or – more worrying – the tip of a dangerous iceberg? Those are a lot of sayings that came to my mind last week when I read about the State of Hawaii and its proposed new law that would hold guidebook writers personally liable for deaths or accidents at places they recommend. MORE

Travelling post bin Laden
09 MAY 2011: No sooner had the excitement of the Royal Wedding become history and, no doubt, journalists were taking a break, when - just a couple of days later – news reached the world of the killing of Osama bin Laden. I was in London when both events took place: one full of beauty, pomp, pride and pageantry; the other all about hate, cowardice and death in a dishevelled-looking compound. Could any two events illustrate the differences in mankind more vividly? MORE

Take the Kids to Hong Kong
14 APR 2011: For bragging rights in the school playground, it would be hard to beat “I’m going to Hong Kong.” And why not? When Disney or pirate games at all-inclusives in the Caribbean no longer impress the younger set, a trip to Hong Kong will light up their young lives. MORE

Transat Holidays has it covered
04 APR 2011: It weighs almost a kilogram and looks like a fine art book with its photograph of the Royal Palace in Paris reflected in the silver spheres of a fountain. It’s the impressive new brochure from Transat Holidays – 2011-2012 Europe Collection. MORE

So much to do, so little time
22 MAR 2011: ‘Stay an Extra Day’ was the slogan used by the Hong Kong Tourism Board a few years ago. And I’ll bet that every leisure traveller who arrives in Hong Kong today still wishes they had planned to spend more time there. That’s because once the Star Ferry has been ridden, the city skyline photographed, the tram trip to the Peak taken, the bus trip around the island enjoyed, the shopping completed and the delicious food eaten there’s still so much to see and do. MORE

When it feels like winter will never end
15 MAR 2011: “Oooh, ahhh,” everyone went. “Ahh, oooh oh just look at that!” A group of travel industry folk had braved the early March elements in Toronto to attend a reception hosted by Karina Fuentes, Regional Sales Manager of Prohotels International Inc. And she certainly knew how to push our buttons! Gorgeous beaches, tantalizing swimming pools, terraces with sea views, sun-flooded lounges and luxurious suites flashed onto the screen. MORE

Another really really big project
09 MARCH 2011: Hotelier Robert Bigelow is certainly aiming high with his plans for a hotel in space (see Lots of Space story from 08 March) but he isn’t the only one with ambitious dreams. Ever heard of The Seasteading Institute? Neither had I until recently, when news of a ‘new country’ briefly crossed my radar. MORE

Hong Kong Hotels
07 MAR 2011: In need of lively conversation, anyone? Try ‘the best movie’, ‘my favourite book’, ‘ the most exciting sport’ or ‘the world’s greatest city’. And if you choose to enliven your gatherings with the ‘city question’ you can be sure Hong Kong will be thrown into the mix. And so it should. MORE

Myrtle Beach has it all
25 JAN 2011: Sometimes it seems your clients want it all. A fine sunny climate, beautiful safe beaches, lots of activities for the kids, exciting attractions and entertainment, water sports, historic places to visit, shopping, good accommodation choices, delicious food and, perhaps, lots of golf! Oh and they don’t want to travel too far to find all this. MORE

No longer a hard sell
20 JAN 2011: Tourism officials in Israel have two goals: by 2015 they hope to welcome five million tourists in one year, and they aim to have one million of those travellers coming from North America, with the aim for Canada alone set at 100,000. That’s good news for travel agents. The average stay is ten days and there’s a high percentage of repeat visitors as, after an initial visit, most travellers realize how much there is to see and do in the country. MORE

Plan to linger awhile in Jerusalem
13 JAN 2011: Visitor arrivals in Israel rise every year last year they welcomed their three-millionth visitor with great fanfare. And, as populations age, this figure is sure to rise as people retire, have more time and contemplate their ‘bucket list’. MORE

EL AL is polite but thorough
10 JAN 2011: El-Al Israel Airlines is recognized for its high security standards. So what can your clients expect when you book them with this airline to Israel and, perhaps, beyond? MORE

And invites Canadians to come on down
16 NOV 2010: The weather in Toronto had taken a definite swing to “very chilly”, but it was all sunny smiles from the good folks from the Miami Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and their partners who had come to Toronto last week to share their latest news. MORE

Iconic hotel re-opens after major refurbishment
11 NOV 2010: So our esteemed editor is in London. I’m envious. She and I agree – and fellow Torontonians please don’t get your knickers in a twist when you read this sentence – it’s the greatest city in the world. Others come close, but none offers what London does: sheer size, over a thousand years of history, fascinating theatre and museums, beautiful parks and a wide meandering river, an efficient transportation system and but I could go on and on. MORE