The Celebrity Treatment: Six Seriously Chic Toronto Treats

Equal parts cultural center and natural paradise, this Ontario capital is as diverse as they come. If you’re looking for Toronto’s most cosmopolitan side, here are six experiences you can’t do without.

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1. A night (or three) at the Gladstone Hotel

This uber-artsy Queen West property wears several hats — hipster destination, Toronto landmark and unbeatable spot to see and be seen to name just a few — but the vibe here is simply irresistible. Indie musicians play in the ballroom, cabaret nights are regular events, and the on-site Melody and Art Bars host art classes and karaoke parties. Talk about chic. Continue Reading

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Overlook Niagara Falls while relaxing at Serenity Spa by the Falls

Let your worries and stress float away with the thundering waters of Niagara Falls at the Serenity Spa by the Falls.

The majestic falls will provide the backdrop as you slip into deep relaxation and romantic bliss at Serenity, located in the Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa. Unique and signature treatments at Serenity will ensure your body, mind and soul are refreshed and reenergized. It is the ultimate spa experience in the ultimate location.

Serenity Spa
Serenity Spa

“Niagara Falls and the Serenity Spa is a magical combination that quite literally takes you to another world,” says Anthony Annunziata, Vice-President of Marketing at the Marriott Fallsview, the closest hotel to the brink of the world-famous Niagara Falls. “Serenity Spa has the advantage of a natural setting beside the falls, creating an authentic environment where you can relax, refresh and revive. The spa’s range of services, that include water and mineral treatments, will make your vacation a truly memorable one.” Continue Reading

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Niagara Falls is primed to take on the business market

Canada’s Honeymoon City has long been known as a tourist destination. Anchored by the iconic Niagara Falls itself, a thriving hospitality and attractions sector has become the face of the city.

That isn’t going away, but Niagara Falls is taking big strides to go beyond the bright lights to position itself as one of Canada’s top destinations for conventions, conferences and trade shows.

“Tourism is very much driven by the seasons, but conventions and business travellers will make Niagara Falls a year-round destination,” says Anthony Annunziata, Vice-President of Marketing at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls. “Niagara Falls has a premier facility for large corporate gatherings, with all the amenities to keep your employees, delegates and clients happy when not on the convention floor.” Continue Reading

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Canada develops Federal Tourism Strategy

The Canadian government is developing a Federal Tourism Strategy comprised of four key pillars, Rob Moore, the Canadian Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism said here Monday at the Hotel Association of Canada’s 19th Annual Conference.

The four pillars are promoting Canada as a premier tourist destination, improving access to Canada while ensuring the safety of the country’s borders, encouraging product development, and ensuring the Canadian work force will be up to the task of providing quality service and hospitality.

“It is time for us to take full advantage of our country’s unique strengths,” said Moore. “By consulting industry associations, labor groups and other levels of government, we are working together to ensure the tourism industry remains a key component of our economic recovery.”

The Harper Government is focused on stimulating the growth of the tourism industry and helping to bring Canada to the forefront in the minds of travelers. Continue Reading

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Canadian Travel Spending falls for third consecutive quarter

Canada Tourism News – Total spending on tourism in Canada declined by 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009, constituting the third consecutive quarterly fall of this industry, government agency Statistics reported Monday.

Tourism spending measures the cumulative expenditures by both travelers from abroad and Canadians. Three consecutive quarterly drops last occurred in Canada in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, when the tourism industry experienced a major decline.

Tourism spending has declined a cumulative 2.4 percent so far in the current downturn, the report said.

niagara-falls-canada-tourismSpending by visitors from abroad fell by 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the sharpest decline since just after the SARS outbreak in the second quarter of 2003.

These travelers spent less on all tourism commodities, Statistics Canada reported.

Among this group, consumption of vehicle fuel was down 10.3 percent, and spending on food and beverages fell 8.0 percent.

These drops could be driven in part by declining numbers of U.S. visitors.

Meanwhile, tourism spending by Canadians fell slightly by 0.1 percent in the quarter. Canadians flew less, as spending on air transportation fell 2.3 percent. Continue Reading

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Air Canada to Allow Dogs and Cats in Cabin

Air Canada has confirmed that it will allow passengers to bring their cat or small dog in the cabin on flights operated by Air Canada and Jazz beginning in July.

“This is the latest of our customer-friendly initiatives that underscores our renewed commitment to listening to our customers and offering a competitive product that meets their needs,” said Ben Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada. “Other recent customer-focused measures we have taken include our Low Fare Guarantee, a second free checked bag and the elimination of call centre fees.”

Effective July 1, 2009, Air Canada will accept a limited number of small dogs and cats as a carry-on item that can be stowed under the seat.

To ensure availability customers are asked to register their pet by contacting Air Canada Reservations at 1-888-247-2262 within 24 hours of completing their booking.

A service fee of $50 for domestic and transborder and $100 for international flights each way will apply. Continue Reading

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Snow Much Family Fun In Canada – With Select Resorts

With Great Offers From Select Resorts To Humber Valley, Newfoundland

Western Newfoundland, Canada’s most easterly province, is a real haven for lovers of the great outdoors and, at only five and a half hours flight from the UK, it makes for an easily accessible and cost-effective family holiday destination. The luxurious Humber Valley Resort, nestled into the Appalachian Mountains, is perfect for families and friends wishing to enjoy a snow-based activity holiday and specialist travel company, Select Resorts has some excellent winter wonderland packages from under £640 per person per week.

Boasting an abundant natural snowfall and the best skiing in eastern Canada, Humber Valley Resort has direct access to over 745 miles of groomed snowmobile trails that stretch from ocean to mountainside. A spectacular terrain is waiting to be explored by the adventurous with a huge array of winter sports for adults and children alike including alpine skiing, snowboarding, cat skiing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, sledding and ice-skating to name just a few.

An on-snow programme for those aged three upwards means that children can quickly learn more about mobility on the snow and can take part in family exploits such as sleigh rides and snowshoe adventures in search of caribou, moose, silver fox, lynx, seal and artic hare. Continue Reading

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Reservations a Must for this Ultimate Dining Experience

American Express is hosting the ultimate dining experience in Toronto with the Canadian premiere of Dinner in the Sky(TM), the world famous extreme culinary adventure from Belgium. Taste buds will be tempted with gourmet meals served 35 meters above Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square and there will be special appearances by celebrity chefs Mark McEwan and Anthony Sedlak.

With panoramic views of the city skyline, fine dining will be brought to a higher level – a perfect ‘amuse-bouche’ to kick-off American Express’ sponsorship of Summerlicious 2008, the highly anticipated annual dining celebration produced by City of Toronto Special Events, which runs from July 4 to July 20. Dinner in the Sky features a 22-seat table suspended off the ground via a 120 ton crane, creating a meal guests will never forget.

What American Express hosts Dinner in the Sky(TM) Canadian   Premiere Continue Reading

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ACTA Agency of the Year awarded to Vision 2000 Travel Group

The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) held its annual ACTA Atlas Awards Gala at the Salon Ovale of the Ritz Carlton Hotel. This annual event recognizes the finest in the industry from Travel Professional and Travel Agency of the Year to Personality of the Year. In total, five Atlas Statuettes were awarded.

Vision 2000 Travel Group was awarded the highly coveted Canadian Travel Agency of the Year. The criteria as established by ACTA for this award, “recognizes a travel agency whose business development has been spectacular and innovative and whose outstanding influence and activity have advanced the status of the travel agency industry.”

“We are truly excited and honoured to be presented with this award,” said Joel Ostrov, President of Vision 2000. “It is recognition for all our hard work and our dedication to both our clients and our people. We are confident of our continued success moving forward with the finest team in the travel industry. We thank the ACTA committee for organizing the Atlas Awards Gala and all those who voted for Vision 2000 as Agency of the Year.” Continue Reading

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Canada glams up its tourism appeal with buzz marketing to a well-heeled crowd

Pedestrians in downtown New York City might be startled to hear Canadian northerners discussing an oncoming polar bear.

Once the bear has their attention, those within range of new “whispering window” ads that emit sound over the city’s sidewalks get a prompt on their cellphones to watch a free short video showing a mish-mash of Canadian scenes.

In Chicago recently, unwitting passersby who stumbled across what seemed to be a memory card containing a couple’s Canadian vacation photos were actually targets of another clever Canuck marketing ploy.

Once they plugged the USB card into their computer and clicked on the photos and MP3s from Canadian bands such as Malajube and Stars, they were redirected to a tourism website that promised adventure north of the border. Continue Reading

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Solid-State Lighting Provides a Warm and Inviting Atmosphere for Starlight Casino

starlight casino vancouver canadaThe solid-state lighting product from Act One provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for Starlight Casino in New Westminster near Vancouver, Canada. The alluring lighting effect is generated by dispersing the color light from 200 LED lighting tubes for a total length of 700 feet over the draped mesh-screen curtains.

The Starlight Casino located in the Greater Vancouver area is a brand new $110-million gaming and entertainment facility completed last December. The 100,000-square-foot facility has 850 slot machines and 45 gaming tables plus restaurants and bars, drawing as many as 15,000 customers a day. For the casino to provide a theme of warm and inviting atmosphere for its customers, the interior designer worked with the solid-state lighting manufacturer Act One to come up with a distinct lighting design that fulfilled the need of the casino.

The alluring lighting effect is created by using Act One’s LED lighting tubes mounted on the ceiling to disperse downward light evenly over the mesh screen curtains. With four lighted screens forming a fan-shape section and a total of 9 sections spread over the casino, this interior lighting design provides the kind of visual attraction the casino wanted. As said by the casino Marketing Director Maury Kask: “I kind of describe it as a very powerful, sexy interior design. … (The lighting) is a very distinct element. It’s a really unique design feature.” Continue Reading

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Choose a Carbon-Friendly Vacation in Ontario this summer

Todd Lucier, recently trained by Al Gore to teach people about Climate Change has an invitation to Ontario travelers planning a summer vacation, “Forget sitting in traffic on the 400 and plan a Carbon-friendly summer vacation.”

Lucier, and his team at Northern Edge Algonquin have been serving up climate-friendly holidays for over a decade and this year his team is helping people make different choices regarding their summer holiday. Northern Edge Algonquin’s Climate-Conscious Traveller package includes a two for one train ticket from Toronto to Algonquin Park on Ontario Northland, free shuttle to the solar powered eco-lodge and complimentary Climate-Conscious Traveller t-shirt.

In addition, the experiences offered by Lucier and his team are decidedly good for the planet. They serve up locally produced foods from market gardens and local organic meat producers, guided adventures in Algonquin Park by canoe and sea kayak and hosted yoga retreats. Continue Reading

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