Award-Winning Aberlour Scotch Whisky Returns to Porter Airlines

This fall, Porter Airlines is bringing back Aberlour's award-winning Single Malt Scotch Whisky, serving on all domestic flights within Canada from November 15th to December 15th.

Launched earlier this year exclusively to Porter Airlines, in-flight teams will once again offer the 12-year-old spirit, steeped in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, during its complimentary food and beverage service.

Aberlour 12, crafted using a unique, age-old process that sees the single malt matured in two separate types of casks before marrying together when bottled, has won more than two dozen awards.

"Aberlour is a craft single malt scotch that champions discovering new experiences and knowledge," said Bryan Lin, Brand Manager, Imported Whiskies, at Corby Spirit and Wine. "We're excited to continue our partnership with Porter Airlines to reward curious, culture-seeking travelers as they journey to their next destination."

"We are pleased to re-introduce Aberlour Scotch Whisky as a short-term addition to our range of complimentary in-flight beverages," said Kevin Jackson, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Porter Airlines. "This is just one of the ways we aim to surprise and delight our passengers, further enhancing their refined flying experience."

In addition to the in-flight service, Aberlour will be taking over the Mainland Terminal and Island Atrium at Billy Bishop Airport with digital displays, elevator wraps, and an on-site activation. Those who come across the sampling site will be able to enjoy a complimentary tasting of Aberlour 12 Years Old and Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Redbreast 12 Years Old.

All- New "Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™" Comes to Universal Studios Hollywood Bringing an Exciting Array of Keepsake Memorabilia and Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas as the Festive Holiday Celebration Continues at The Entertainment Capital of L.A. 

The arrival of Universal Studios Hollywood's first "Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™" also brings an exciting selection of all-new themed merchandise inviting guests to cherish and share their Harry Potter experience far beyond their visit to The Entertainment Capital of L.A.

From stockings to stuffers, the addition of these specialty keepsakes and gift-giving items complement the land's immersive holiday festivities as the theme park continues to envelope guests in the captivating world of Harry Potter.

Featured items include an array of all-new custom-made ornaments designed especially for "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter." A variety of decorative HogwartsTM castle snow globes, as well as Hogwarts crest and Hogwarts mascot tree ornaments are available in addition to a selection of Christmas stockings, stocking holders and a variety of unique Hogwarts-themed tree toppers and house pennant garland. Name ornaments will also be available or they can be customized. Items available for purchase are representative of each of the four Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry houses.

An original Hogwarts Express collection is also available featuring an array of holiday and everyday themed items. From Platform 9 ¾, Hogwarts Railways and Hogwarts Express train ornaments to stockings and holders, as well as themed scarves, hats and gloves to a selection of clothing and collector Hogwarts Express tickets.

For guests who prefer to channel their inner Slytherin, Professor Severus Snape's dramatic full length wizard's robe makes a grand debut, adding to the selection of existing house robes from the four Hogwarts' houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. For fans of the popular Quidditch sport, a keepsake Gryffindor Quidditch robe scores as a must have and can be paired with either the impressive full size Firebolt or Nimbus 2001 broomsticks as well as select Quidditch accessories, including the coveted Golden Snitch, Quaffle ball and Bludger.

Several new interactive namesake wands are added to the collection, including the Cho Chang, Cedric Diggory, Yaxley and a new Death Eater wand.

Beginning on November 24, 2017 and continuing through January 7, 2018, the all-new "Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" experience will resonate throughout the immersive land this yuletide season transforming the iconic HogwartsTM castle into a dazzling light projection spectacular, while the quaint town of Hogsmeade village shines brightly with décor uniquely themed to each of the individual storefronts.

As night falls on Hogsmeade village, "The Magic of Christmas at HogwartsTM Castle" will illuminate Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with colorful imagery and impressive dimensional animations that dance across Hogwarts castle in tandem to a musical arrangement from the Harry Potter movies.

The a cappella Frog Choir, comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant throaty frogs, will perform all-new seasonal songs. Newly introduced holiday-themed fare and the seasonal return of hot Butterbeer will further complement the overall experience.

A special time in the Harry Potter series, the all-new "Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" tradition invites guests to celebrate this part of J.K. Rowling's story for themselves.

Inspired by J.K. Rowling's compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Hollywood is a masterful recreation, faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including as its iconic focal point, Hogwarts castle.

From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" transports guests of all ages to the very places they watched on the silver screen.

The architecturally stunning land also includes the captivating and highly acclaimed "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" thrill ride, enhanced with 4K-HD and ride film projecting at an astounding rate of 120 frames-per-second for an even more immersive glimpse into Harry Potter's world, as well as "Flight of the Hippogriff™," Universal Studios Hollywood's first outdoor family coaster.

"The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" resonates with immense detail, inviting guests to enjoy authentic food and beverages at multiple locations, including Three Broomsticks™ and Hog's Head pub, as well as the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts.

A foray through the shops adds to the authenticity of the land with nine retail venues and locations, including Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko's™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges™, Gladrags Wizardwear, Filch's Emporium™ of Confiscated Goods and the Hogsmeade™ Station.

Additional information on Universal Studios Hollywood is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Join the conversation online using #UniversalHolidays and #WizardingWorldHollywood. Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.

Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ™" which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" and "Flight of the Hippogriff™," Universal Studios Hollywood's first outdoor rollercoaster. Other immersive lands include "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem" and "Super Silly Fun Land" as well as "Springfield," hometown of America's favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning "The Simpsons RideTM" and the "The Walking Dead" daytime attraction. The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood's signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world's biggest and busiest movie and television studio where they can also experience such authentic and immersive thrill rides as "Fast & Furious—Supercharged." The adjacent Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex also includes the all-new multi-million dollar, redesigned Universal CityWalk Cinema, featuring deluxe recliner seating in screening room quality theatres, and the "5 Towers" state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage.

About Warner Bros. Entertainment: Warner Bros. Entertainment is a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms. A Time Warner Company, the fully integrated, broad-based studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD, digital distribution, animation, comic books, video games, product, and brand licensing, international cinemas and broadcasting.

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING`S WIZARDING WORLD™ J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s17)

Holidays Are The Happiest When Celebrating Tico Style

This holiday season, globetrotting families should consider exploring the cultural wonders that are waiting to be discovered in sunny Costa Rica. Celebrating the season with an unforgettable immersive experience is one way to ensure lasting memories that will be treasured long after the tan lines are gone. Experiential travel, which continues to rise in popularity for its transformative results, is a great way to change up the holiday routine. Travelers return home informed and enlightened, motivated by the shift in perspective, genuine human connections made and deeper communion with nature and culture.

While Costa Rica's biodiverse terrain and year-round warm climate are key elements attracting visitors from around the world, it is also a rich cultural haven where visitors can find a myriad of unforgettable holiday celebrations taking place throughout December and January. During the most wonderful time of the year, Costa Rica comes to life with month-long celebrations.

December is for festivals. Festival de la Luz kicks off Christmas with lights, lights and even more lights. During the month of December, the entire city of San Jose lights up just in time for Christmas. Throughout the capital, all buildings can be found adorned with glorious lighting displays and fun holiday decorations. On the third Saturday of December (Dec 16), the main event takes place and includes concerts, dances, an evening parade of beautifully-lit floats, local marching bands and a fireworks show. For more information, visit http://www.festivaldelaluz.cr/.

For families interested in learning about traditional indigenous celebrations that honor Costa Rica's rich native history there is Fiesta de los Diablitos (Dec 30-Jan 2), which takes place on the Boruca Indian Reservation in Puntarenas. This four-day celebration honors Ticos' original roots with battle reenactments, a traditional dance and typical foods.

Traditionally, Costa Rican families attend a large Mass on Christmas Eve and open their gifts at midnight on December 24.

Ring in the New Year Like a Tico. Following Christmas Eve, public country-wide year-end celebrations take place all throughout the last week of December (Dec 25 – Jan 1). New Year's Eve is celebrated with family and New Year's Day is a national holiday where most Ticos observe the day resting at home.

Starting on Christmas Day, the Festejos de Fin Y Principio de Año kickoff, which is a week of celebrations throughout San Jose that lead up to the New Year. Visitors will be delighted to find fireworks lighting up the Costa Rican sky, while street parties everywhere celebrate with music, dancing and food. In San Jose, New Year's Eve festivities are centered around the downtown area and in the Zapote district.

Zapote Fiestas—on the Zapote fairgrounds, offer carnival rides, fair and street food, bullfighting and plenty of typical drinks from Dec 25- Jan 1. El Tope Nacional, on December 26, is an annual national horse parade where thousands of Ticos from all over the country proudly display their equine traditions by showing off their beautiful breeds, riding skills and fancy footwork, during a procession through downtown San Jose.

From January 18 – 22, the Palmares Fiestas take place—a week of concerts, bullfighting, folklore dancing and family-friendly fun. Another popular event is el Dia de Santo Cristo de Esquipulas (Jan 15), where visitors will get to see an oxcart procession to the iron cross, which is situated on the mountain above Alajuelita—where a blessing is given.

With plenty to do and see—in a wonderful tropical setting, nothing beats celebrating the holidays with the family in Costa Rica. Experiencing a rich and beautiful culture through different holiday traditions is a memorable experience the whole family can enjoy and creates cherished memories, as a result. The warm tempered climate is an added bonus.

For more information on Costa Rica, visit www.visitcostarica.com

About Costa Rica
Nestled between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica offers visitors an abundance of unique wildlife, landscapes and climates -- meaning a trip to this Central American country is anything but run-of-the-mill. The country proudly shelters approximately five percent of the known biodiversity in the world and has become a global leader in sustainable practices. Visitors to Costa Rica enjoy a highly organized tourism infrastructure offering a broad terrain of activities and accommodations.

About Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT)
Established in 1955, the Costa Rica Tourism Board (the ICT), alongside its partners in the private sector, spearheads the vital task of regulating and promoting Costa Rica's extensive tourism offerings.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

November 7, 2017
Tammy Yetman of Cambridge, Ontario can finally go on her dream honeymoon to Mexico after 18 years of marriage. Alonso Mendizabal of Oakville, Ontario has one less obstacle standing in the way of his dream European vacation.

What do these two have in common? They are two of six CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) members who were recently surprised with their next dream vacation. Tammy, Alonso and the four other winners thought they were participating in member research for CAA in Burlington, Ontario. Little did they know that a CAA travel expert was in the back room, customizing an itinerary for the vacations they were describing and preparing gift certificates to help make that dream a reality.

"People know us best for helping them on the roadside and making what could be a bad day better, yet positive CAA experiences don't stop there," said Rhonda English, chief marketing officer, CAA Club Group. "For over 50 years, our travel associates have been creating unique experiences for our members and customers, providing travel advice to make every moment count when planning their next vacation."

The unsuspecting members weren't the only ones surprised by what was in store for them. The CAA associates who had recruited the members were also unaware of the true reason they had been recruited, making the reveal even more exciting.

"My husband and I always planned to go to Mexico on our honeymoon," said Ms. Yetman, CAA Travel Surprise winner. "Unfortunately, he was laid off just before the wedding and then diagnosed with cancer shortly after, so we had to reprioritize to get through that difficult time. The fact that 18 years later we can celebrate our love as originally planned is a dream come true."

Alonso is an avid traveller but typically chose to vacation at all-inclusive resorts rather than venturing out to discover new destinations that required more planning and research.

"I've always wanted to experience the culture and energy of Europe or possibly Indonesia," said Mr. Mendizabal. "There are so many beautiful places to visit, cultures to see and things to experience. It was a bit daunting to even start planning but this experience has given me the motivation and resources to make it happen once and for all."

Tammy, Alonso and the other winners can now work with CAA's experienced travel consultants to plan these special vacations, customizing along the way to make each one truly a trip of a lifetime.

Flair Airlines Announces Expansion

November 2, 2017
 
Flair Airlines Ltd(Kelowna, BC)., Canada’s leader in low fare travel today announced that it will increase seat capacity in the ultra-low-cost-carrier market by an additional 40%.
 
Flair Airlines is finalizing a private financing arrangement that will result in the addition of two more B737-400 aircrafts into its fleet. The aircrafts will begin service in the spring of 2018.  “By April 2018, Flair Airlines will be servicing the Canadian ULCC market in earnest with a total of seven B737-400s throughout our existing and future route network, “ stated Chris Lapointe, Vice President, Commercial Operations for Flair Airlines. “Currently we operate between two and four aircrafts in the market, this addition will increase seat capacity significantly.”
 
Flair Airlines purchased the assets of NewLeaf Travel Company earlier this year, flying over 375,000 passengers since the beginning of 2017.  With Flair’s aggressive strategic plan in place, Flair anticipates flying over one million passengers in 2018.  “We are gearing up for a busy 2018 season by completing maintenance inspections and aircraft rebranding this winter,” says Jim Rogers, CEO of Flair Airlines.  “Flair offers passengers excellent value for their money and we are continually analyzing cost-saving measures to keep our prices low.”
 
In addition, Flair confirms today that it will emphasize an increased presence in servicing southwestern Ontario in 2018.  The focus will be to connect the region with the rest of Canada and key cities in the United States.  “This expansion of both capacity and our route structure, may require us to add larger aircrafts to our fleet, such as the B737-800s as they have 189 seats,” said Lapointe. “As we head into the Holiday Season, we are focused on customer service and lowering airfares for Canadians. However, we do expect to be making exciting announcements prior to year-end, regarding our  ongoing expansion into the ULCC market.”
 
About Flair Airlines 
Flair Airlines Ltd is a Canadian Airline based in Kelowna, BC. Flair operates a fleet of Boeing 737 -400 aircrafts and recently received delivery of additional aircrafts. 
For more information, see www.flairairlines.com.

Eight Travel Predictions for 2018, as Revealed by Booking.com

Looking for inspiration for your 2018 travel? Facilitating reservations for more than 1,500,000 room nights each day, the experts at Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, have combined customer insights from over 128 million real guest reviews with research from 19,000 travellers across 26 countries around the world to reveal the biggest travel predictions for 2018.

New tech frontiers
Immersive experiences will reach the next level in 2018, with travellers looking to technology to help better understand a destination or accommodation before they book. Artificial intelligence and digital technology are helping consumers turn the corner when it comes to smart destination intuition, reshaping the way we research, book and experience travel. Almost a third (29%) of global travellers say they are comfortable letting a computer plan an upcoming trip based on data from their previous travel history and half (50%) don't mind if they deal with a real person or computer, so long as any questions are answered. Over six in 10 (64%) of travellers say they would like to 'try before they buy' with a virtual reality preview, while 50% find that personalised suggestions for destinations and things to do encourages them to book a trip. Taking all the hard work and stress out of decision making, in 2018 technology will continue to guide us seamlessly to find the best stays and experiences for us.
From dream to reality
2018 is the year to dream big as 45% of travellers have a travel bucket list in mind and the majority of those (82%) will aim to tick one or more destinations off their list in the coming year. The yearning for experiences over material possessions continues and drives our desire for more incredible and memorable trips. With dwindling patience, instantaneous appetites and empowered by technology, travellers in 2018 will seize the moment like never before.
Most likely to feature on a bucket list is seeing one of the wonders of the world, as almost half of travellers (47%) will look to tick this off in 2018. Over a third (35%) yearn to tantalise their taste buds by trying a local delicacy, 34% want to head to an island paradise and 34% are thrill seekers wanting to visit a world famous theme park. Adrenalin junkies should consider Orlando, USA, The Gold Coast in Australia and Dubai, United Arab Emirates the top destinations endorsed by Booking.com travellers for theme parks[i]. The other top travel activities to complete in 2018 look set to be experiencing a unique cultural event (28%), learning a new skill (27%), going on an epic road or rail journey (25%) and visiting a remote or challenging location (25%).
Retro reboot
As well as new experiences, travellers will be revisiting their favourite childhood memories as part of their trips in 2018. Blending the future with the past, next year's travellers will be inspired to return to previously loved destinations and explore them in a whole new way. A third of travellers (34%) will consider a holiday they experienced as a child for 2018.
These popularity of these vintage vacations stems from the feelings of nostalgia and happiness the destinations evoke. Travellers say that former family holidays recall the fondest memories, even more so than childhood sweethearts or family pets. Millennials look set to be even more sentimental with 44% of 18 to 34 year olds keen to hark back to favourite family destinations. With 60% of travellers in 2018 intending to post on social media each day, we can expect to see these nostalgic places brought back to the future and captured for social posterity.
Pop culture pilgrimage
With the world at our finger tips, we rely on many sources to inspire us to travel to new destinations. Tapping into our passions is one way of helping to identify the locations most suited to us - from culture and entertainment, to food and history. In 2018, television shows, films, sport and social media in particular look set to have an increasingly significant sway over booking decisions, as travellers turn to pop culture for their travel inspiration. Reading blogs or watching YouTuber recommendations will spark ideas for four in ten (39%) travellers and on screen locations from television, film or music videos will win over 36% of travellers in the coming year. More than a fifth (22%) of travellers will be tempted by travelling for a major sporting event, with 43% of those considering a summer of football in Russia.
The top television programme locations travellers most want to visit in 2018 are Croatia, Spain and Iceland inspired by Game of Thrones (29%), London as seen in Sherlock and the Crown (21% and 13%), New York and Manhattan from Billions (13%) and Los Angeles viewed in Entourage (10%).
Walk your way to wellness
The trend for wellness getaways isn't slowing down for 2018, with almost double the amount of people planning to take health and wellbeing trips in 2018 compared to 2017 (from one in 10 in 2017 to nearly one in five in 2018). Trips enjoying particular prominence will be those that involve travelling on two feet. A brilliant way to take in the local landscape, walking will be the ultimate way to explore next year, with 56% of travellers saying they want to do walking or hiking trips in 2018. A new generation of walkers will lace up their boots.
Other health and wellness inspired activities high on the travel agenda in 2018 include visiting a spa or receiving beauty treatments (33%), cycling (24%), water sport activities (22%), taking a full body detox holiday (17%), going on a yoga retreat (16%), running (16%) and undertaking meditation/mindfulness (15%). Embracing such experiences is popular with travellers, with 59% saying they prioritise experiences over material items when on holiday. Partaking in a health and wellness trip may also be good for the mind, as over half (55%) say that going on holiday is a moment for them to reflect and make better lifestyle choices - something which can be easily facilitated through a health and wellness trip.

Economic intuition
Every year, travellers are becoming savvier, especially when it comes to getting the most for their money. With significant numbers basing their travelling decisions on finance-related matters, 2018 will see travellers looking to be even more economically intuitive. Nearly half (47%) will take currency exchange rates into consideration when planning their travels for the year, and almost the same amount (48%) will think about the economic climate of a destination before making the decision to travel. Good news for the retail industry, a third of travellers (30%) also plan to make more purchases from airport duty free shops in 2018 and one in four (26%) will even go on holiday specifically to buy goods such as fashion items because they are cheaper than in their home country.
More confident to follow their own intuition, travellers are less obliged to follow the herd, with over half (57%) wanting to do more independent travel in 2018, placing growing value on personalised endeavours, looking for the best deals and putting together their own packages - all with the help of apps and technology. Almost half of travellers (44%) will use travel apps more in 2018, with technology continuously developing to make travel stress free in 2018. This includes geo-location technology directing you to your accommodation, all within one click from your app, or planning activities while on holiday in just a few simple taps of your smart phone, as over two in five (41%) expect to do in 2018.

The great mate escape
2018 is gearing up to be all about the group get-away. When asked who their 2018 travelling companions were likely to be, the segment with the biggest increase when compared to 2017, were travelling with a group of friends, increasing from 21% to 25%.
With 2018 shaping up to be all about the experience, it's not just about the destination but also the people that matter to create memories. Mate's escapes are the ultimate social time away from our everyday pressures, reducing stress and building connections with your friends. With the world only a click away it's never been easier to find the perfect place to stay and explore with a large group of friends looking for adventure across every corner of the globe.
Friend based getaways also have financial advantages as four in ten (42%) said that joint holidays with friends will allow them to stay in accommodation they wouldn't be able to afford on their own.
Live like a local, not with one
In 2018, rental homes are going to be particularly popular - not just for travellers looking to stay in one, but also home owners who are thinking of inviting others to stay in their own abode. One in three travellers (33%) say they'd prefer to stay in a holiday rental (a holiday home or apartment) over a hotel and one in five (21%) would consider listing their home on a travel accommodation site.
When it comes to playing the role of a host, travellers reveal that it isn't about having them there all the time. Travellers are keen to have a local experience and will look to hosts for their expertise, as a quarter of travellers say it will be important that their host has strong local knowledge about local food and places to visit (25%), but travellers will want the flexibility to interact with hosts on their own terms. In 2018, it will be important for travellers that their host is available but not too over-bearing (30%) and one in 10 (12%) want a host who they don't have to speak to at all.
Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com commented: "As technology continues to advance, it's also advancing and enhancing the way we travel. It empowers us to plan the perfect holiday and makes it easier to explore further and with more confidence, flexibility and options than ever before.

At Booking.com, we build and design everything we do around our customers, responding to their wants and needs when it comes to researching, booking and enjoying travel. As expectations evolve and new trends rise to the fore, we're excited to see how emerging technology can continue to help and guide people to get the best experience for them in 2018."

Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 18,509 respondents were surveyed (1,000+ from the UK, US, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, India, Singapore and Russia and 500+ each from Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand and Taiwan). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2017

Minister Chagger celebrates another successful summer tourism season in Canada

With the release today of the latest tourism statistics by Statistics Canada, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, made the following statement:

"As Canadians, we are known the world over for our generosity, inclusiveness and warm hospitality. I am very proud of the fact that in the first eight months of this year—the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation—Canada welcomed more than 14.6 million visitors from around the world, an increase of more than 4 percent over the same period in 2016. Notably, we saw impressive growth in key markets, including almost 8 percent growth from visitors travelling from Asia. Chinese tourists now account for more than 10 percent of overseas visitors.

"Canada's tourism industry creates economic growth and good middle-class jobs right across our country. It comprises approximately 200,000 businesses, of which almost all are small businesses and which directly or indirectly support one in ten jobs across this country—in rural areas, small towns, Indigenous communities and big cities. These jobs are in a broad range of sectors and are a key part of Canada's middle class.

"Tourism is also Canada's largest service export. Last year, international tourism accounted for over $20 billion in revenue. As we continue to welcome more and more visitors to our beautiful country, I expect that this thriving sector will continue to see growth. That means increased demand for new products and services and new opportunities for tourism operators to grow, offer new experiences and create good middle-class jobs.

"As we look back on an amazing summer of celebration for Canada 150, I am proud to have worked with so many hard-working tourism entrepreneurs and small businesses, and we will continue to open our doors to the world and show off all that Canada has to offer.

"And as we prepare for the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism, we have another opportunity to capitalize on the successes of a vibrant tourism industry and continue to promote our country as a go-to destination. I look forward to many more great months and years ahead."

Tourism's Dirty Secret: Oxfam Canada highlights exploitation of women hotel housekeepers

 Profits in the global hotel industry are based on the systematic exploitation of housekeepers, the majority of whom are poor women living in fear of losing their jobs, says a new report by Oxfam Canada entitled Tourism's Dirty Secret: The Exploitation of Hotel Housekeepers.

In interviews with current and former hotel housekeepers in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Thailand, Oxfam heard hotels often don't pay housekeepers enough to survive, make them work long hours with no overtime pay, and turn a blind eye to high rates of injury and sexual harassment on the job.

"You cannot say anything because if you say something, you don't know if you're there tomorrow. If you report it, they don't even believe it," said Toronto housekeeper Luz Flores.

One housekeeper in Punta Cana was hospitalized with severe vomiting, despite repeatedly complaining to her supervisor about exposure to toxic chemicals. In Toronto, housekeeper Lei Eigo was asked to deliver a pillow to a guest, only to be greeted by a naked man at the door.

"With the busy holiday travel season approaching, Canadians need to understand the daily reality for the women who ensure their rooms are clean and comfortable. A housekeeper's job can be dangerous, dirty and demanding," said Diana Sarosi, Women's Rights Policy & Advocacy Specialist at Oxfam Canada. "The hotel industry is just one example of how our global economy relies on exploiting women's cheap labour to maximize profits. It illustrates the vast and growing inequality of today's world."

Oxfam has warned the gap between the super-rich and everyone else is increasing at an unprecedented rate, disproportionately affecting women who make up the majority of the world's poor. Consider it would take a housekeeper in Phuket, Thailand nearly 14 years to earn as much as the highest paid hotel CEOs make in a single day.

"The working lives of hotel housekeepers and those of hotel CEOs graphically depict the unacceptable inequality that plagues today's world. This growing wealth gap is bad for us all. It makes it harder to end poverty, and it has particularly adverse consequences for women," Sarosi said.

Such systematic exploitation is not inevitable. Oxfam's report found when women have the ability to unionize, they earn decent wages and benefits, have greater job security, and experience less stress and fewer injuries. However, employer resistance and a climate of fear created by management make organizing in the hotel sector extremely difficult, particularly in developing countries.

"Governments around the world must hold corporations accountable for violations of labour rights, and take action on pay equity," said Sarosi. "Politicians, companies and everyday people all have a role to play in putting an end to the exploitation of women at work. We need to build a movement where everyone does their part to ensure women's work is fairly paid and equally valued."

Insta-granma, Baddie Winkle, Announces Ultimate Bad Ass Bucket List Trip

Baddie Winkle and Hotels.com® announce that the Instagram superstar will be heading to Niagara Falls for the kick-off of her #BadAssBucketList tour of North America, Brazil and Europe. Baddie wrote on her Instagram page today; 'Guys!!!!! @hotelsdotcom is giving me my bad ass bucket list of a lifetime!! I'm international baby! See you soon #BadAssBucketList'.

The epic trip will see the 89-year-old star, whose celebrity fans include Miley Cyrus, Khloe Kardashian and Nicole Richie, tick off her ultimate bucket list, including VIP helicopter rides, samba dancing with Brazilian beauties and riding the legendary Niagara Falls boat tour experience in Canada.

Baddie's Top 10 Bucket List includes:

Chase waterfalls in Niagara Falls
Mix bad ass cocktails at a New York City rooftop bar
Score a touchdown with a Dallas Cowboy
Ride a helicopter across the Grand Canyon
Shake her ass at a Samba class with the locals in Rio de Janeiro
Watch hunky volley ball players on Ipanema beach
Bag herself a Prince at Buckingham Palace in London
Enjoy an eye-popping performance at the Moulin Rouge in Paris
Sing, dance and drink in a traditional Irish pub in Dublin
Spend the night reveling at G-A-Y London
Baddie's #BadAssBucketList trip celebrates the Hotels.com Rewards program*, which gives members one free hotel night for every ten stayed. Baddie will complete 10 bucket list activities and hotel stays, then give her free Hotels.com Rewards night to one lucky mega-fan. The last night of Baddie's bucket list bonanza will see her touchdown in London, where the super-fan will hook up with Baddie's squad and complete the last activity on her bucket list with her.

Details of this once-in-a-lifetime social media competition can be found on Hotels.com Instagram page. Wannabe squad members need to share a picture of themselves completing one of their bucket list goals to be in with a chance of heading to a surprise vacation to hang out with Baddie herself!

Talking about her upcoming trip, Baddie said; "I am so excited for my trip with Hotels.com! I have always wanted to party in London, go to the Moulin Rouge in Paris and watch cheeky volleyball players do their thing on a beach in Brazil. Life is only as rewarding as you make it, so make the most of it!"

Baddie's plus one for the tour will be her 21-year-old great granddaughter, Kennedy. New research** from Hotels.com reveals there's a new trend in groovy grandparents teaching young travellers a thing or two about making the most of life, as a fifth of under 30s across the world are inspired to travel based on the adventures of their grandparents and parents.

And it seems bad ass grandparents make the coolest travel companions, as 40% of millennials would prefer to complete their bucket lists with their parents or grandparents – that's more than celebs (11%), siblings (28%) or on their own (25%).

Baddie is the ultimate 'Glam Ma' but almost a fifth of millennials admit to having a glamourous gran and one in eight confessed that their gran (or nana) was cooler than them and travelled more than them!

Josh Belkin, VP and General Manager, North America for Hotels.com brand, said; "We are the biggest fans of Baddie Winkle here at Hotels.com. We love her immense passion for life and her outrageously stylish wardrobe. We're so excited to see what adventures she gets up to on her Bad Ass Bucket List tour.

"We know Baddie will have the most amazing trip, staying at some of the coolest hotels around the globe. We're all about giving travellers the most rewarding experiences, which is why we are very proud of Hotels.com Rewards, where members can collect 10 hotel nights and get one free. Baddie will spend her free Rewards night in London living it up with a super fan but don't miss a second of Baddie's experience, so check us out on social for details!"

Follow Baddies' #BadAssBucketList Tour across her Instagram account and Hotels.com social channels including Instagram and Facebook. Start your own adventure by downloading the Hotels.com mobile app to choose from hundreds of thousands of places to stay around the world.

Escape The Winter To Sunny Orlando Melbourne With New Nonstop Flights

 Winter is around the corner and now is the time to start planning your next getaway. Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) is welcoming thousands of Canadian visitors with new direct flights from Porter Airlines.

In addition to the seasonal nonstop flights from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), Porter is introducing nonstop flights from Canada's Ottawa (YOW) and Windsor (YQG) airports. The new flights commence December 16, 2017 and run through March 31, 2018. The Toronto flights continue through April 7, 2018. These are among Porter's first U.S. flights from an airport outside of its main base in Toronto. Complete schedule and booking options are now available at www.flyporter.com.

Porter introduced the Orlando Melbourne route in 2015 and has expanded annually to meet the increase in passenger demand. "Canada is a vital tourism market to us," said Greg Donovan, A.A.E., airport executive director. "Canadian travel to MLB is increasing as they fall in love with our destination and we are committed to provide them with the most technologically-advanced entry in the United States."

"Porter has seen tremendous interest in Orlando-Melbourne since service launched two years ago," said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. "The introduction of direct, non-stop flights from Windsor and Ottawa means more travellers will experience the best that Florida has to offer with Porter's affordable, award-winning service."

The Sunshine State is an ideal destination to escape from the cold and snow-filled winters that embrace Canada. Orlando Melbourne is home to beautiful sunny beaches, world-class theme parks and is in close proximity to Port Canaveral, one of the most popular cruise ports in the world.

Whether travellers are in need of a relaxing vacation or thrill-seeking adventures, Orlando Melbourne has something for everyone. Learn the exhilarating sport of surfing and ride the waves at the Ron Jon Surf Shop. Sit down to a chef-prepared buffet meal as an astronaut shares their tales of space bound voyages at the Kennedy Space Center. Experience the tropical breezes while spending a day in paradise on any of the picturesque beaches, then head over to watch the Disney fireworks over Cinderella's castle.

Travel to MLB in style as Porter provides a premium experience including complimentary wine and beer onboard, and airport lounge access in Toronto and Ottawa for all passengers. Its "flying refined" philosophy has helped the airline win numerous global awards.

ABOUT ORLAND MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (MLB)
Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) serves the Central Florida coast with three runways, a 200,000 sq. ft. terminal and 40,000 sq. ft. customs facility. It is served by Porter Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Elite Airways and American Airlines with nearly 500,000 passengers annually. For more information, visit: www.MLBair.com or follow @FlyMLB on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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Winter in Mont Tremblant arrives with Porter Airlines seasonal service

Porter Airlines welcomes ski season with winter service between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Mont Tremblant on December 8, 2017. Flights are available until April 2, 2018, with service up to five times weekly. Connecting flights to Mont Tremblant via Toronto are also available from a number of Porter destinations.

In 70 minutes, passengers can travel from downtown Toronto to the snow-covered hills of Mont Tremblant. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, winter in Tremblant offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as dog sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. For those seeking slower-paced activities, enjoy the serenity of a spa retreat, and dine or shop in the vibrant pedestrian village.

Porter Escapes offers flight and hotel packages from $600 per person for a three-night stay. Prices are based on double occupancy, including taxes, fees, and airport transfers.

Plan ahead and save on ski lift tickets, rental ski equipment or spa services by adding these to your Porter Escapes package prior to travel. For a full list of packages including hotels and activities, visit porterescapes.com.

The Mont Tremblant International Airport (MTIA) is offering passengers two special promotions this ski season. Passengers receive two free weekday ski lift tickets when they arrive on a Sunday or Monday and depart on a Thursday or Friday. Passengers travelling with children ages 2 to 12 years old are eligible for an airfare rebate courtesy of MTIA airport. For full details of both offers, visit www.mtia.ca.

About Porter

Porter Airlines has revolutionized short-haul flying with a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John's, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Stephenville, N.L., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Burlington, Vt., and Orlando-Melbourne, Fla.

Vacation packages are available from Porter Escapes at www.porterescapes.com or call (855) 372-1100 for more information.

Expedition will allow Canadians to explore never-before seen parts of Canada's oceans with innovative underwater robot and round-the-clock live streaming

Today, Oceana Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, along with Alexandra Cousteau, will set sail to explore never-before-seen areas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The week-long expedition is the most in-depth visual exploration of the area in Canada's history, and its findings will help understand and protect habitat essential to the health of our oceans.

Sailing from Québec City, the Canadian Coast Guard Science vessel Martha L. Black and its crew will explore important coastal and deep-water areas of the ocean floor using ROPOS, a state-of-the-art underwater robot that will collect samples and scientific data while capturing high-definition video. For the first time ever, Canadians and the world can participate in all aspects of ocean exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence through a round-the-clock, live broadcast -- from a first-hand view of the seafloor, to daily life on a research vessel and what it takes for scientists and technicians to work in the control room. Viewers will have opportunities to interact with the expedition team and learn about oceanographic research with real-time question and answer periods.

Throughout the expedition, the CCGS Martha L. Black will host scientists, technicians, videographers and Alexandra Cousteau, Senior Oceana Advisor and granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. In addition to collecting scientific information, the expedition will capture images and video that brings the richness of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to life. A second research vessel, the Leeway Marine Odyssey, will host a science team that will collect vital information about marine species visible from the surface of the sea, such as endangered Right whales as well as seabirds, turtles and sharks.

"For many, our oceans are out of sight, out of mind; but they are integral to the health of our planet and our ability to feed humanity's growing population in a sustainable way," said Alexandra Cousteau. "The Gulf of St. Lawrence expedition continues the legacy of my grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and I am honoured to be part of uncovering and sharing the research needed to conserve this vulnerable ecosystem."

The Gulf of St. Lawrence is one of the most productive marine areas in Canada. The nutrient-rich currents from the Atlantic and Arctic oceans combine with freshwater input from the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River system, making it an important and productive area for several coastal and marine species. The area is home to diverse marine life, including cold-water corals and sea pens, as well as Right whales, blue whales, sea turtles and basking sharks. In turn, the area supports many thriving commercial, recreational and Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries, including the lobster and snow crab fisheries. For thousands of years, Indigenous Peoples and coastal and inland communities have depended on this resource and it is a vital part of Canada's identity and heritage.

"Research carried out in collaboration with Oceana Canada, one of our highly respected partners, will further contribute to our understanding of the dynamic Gulf of St. Lawrence," said the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. "As we celebrate Canada's 150th year, I am so proud that our scientists are continuing in the proud DFO tradition of conducting important science work at sea."

"We're excited to partner with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to connect Canadians to the wonders of our oceans by using a world-class Remotely Operated Vehicle with high-definition, live-action video," said Josh Laughren, Oceana Canada Executive Director. "This technology creates a one-of-a-kind expedition experience allowing Canadians to discover the wonders of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in ways never before possible."

For more than a decade, Oceana has been conducting expeditions around the world, exploring and protecting habitats off the coasts of Europe, the Philippines, Chile and the United States. Oceana Canada is excited to bring this expertise and passion for ocean exploration to Canada in 2017. Through expeditions, we can better understand and protect our precious marine resource.
Join Oceana Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Alexandra Cousteau for a journey into the wonders of Canada's oceans. Learn more at www.oceana.ca/GulfofStLawrence.
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Take a tiger tour to India this winter with a Canadian travel writer

Canadian travel writer, digital storyteller, and India travel specialist Mariellen Ward is leading a tiger tour to India in March 2018. Mariellen publishes the popular and award-winning travel site Breathedreamgo.com. She will be leading a small group tour to some of India's top tiger reserves, including Kanha, Bandhavgarh, and Pench.

"Seeing a tiger in the wild is on many peoples' bucket lists. There are only about 3,000 wild tigers left in the world, and 70% of them are in India," says Ward. "March is the ideal time to see tigers in the wild in India as it's starting to get hot, and they come out of the jungle for the water holes."

The tiger tour is organized and sold by Pugdundee Safaris, India's leader in tiger safaris and luxury, sustainable lodges. Guests will stay in Pugdundee Safaris award-winning lodges, be guided by their talented naturalists, enjoy delicious local foods, and take part in some very special, customized experiences – such as walking safaris, a boat ride, village visits, hiking, and one overnight camp. At least 7 game drives, in Satpura, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, and Pench are guaranteed – which means the chances of seeing a tiger are excellent.

"To see a tiger, you need three things: a good naturalist, a good opportunity, and of course good luck. On this tour, you will get the two things that are within our control: good naturalists and a good opportunity," says Ward.

Mariellen Ward will accompany the trip, imparting her enthusiasm and knowledge of travel in India. She will also be available to teach travel writing and blogging.

For more information about the trip, and to book, please visit: https://breathedreamgo.com/tiger-tour-national-parks-in-india/

Breathedreamgo is an award-winning travel site dedicated to transformative travel – the kind of travel that changes you, and has a positive impact on local communities and environments. Breathedreamgo was founded in 2009 by Canadian travel writer and digital storyteller Mariellen Ward. Mariellen splits her time between Delhi and Toronto, and has spent about three years in India, in total, travelling the length and breadth of the country.