Category Archives: Travel writing

Article for PAXnewsWest.com: Transat launches largest sun brochure yet

The sun obliged yesterday, shining on guests as they arrived at the Transat Holidays 2015–2016 sun product launch in Vancouver, presented at an intimate lunch for 20 agents at Blue Water Café.

Transat’s new 2015–2016 sun brochure features 35 destinations. For the first time, all vacation destinations are offered as Transat Holidays packages, including those previously available only under the Nolitours banner…

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Article for PAXnewsWest.com: KVB reveals romantic side of Kauai

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“I could have lived anywhere, but I chose to live on Kauai.” It was a refrain heard over and over again on a recent PAXnewsWest.com visit to the destination.

“Kauai has a feeling, a spirit,” said Sabra Kauka, a Kauai cultural representative. “It has a way of embracing you and saying ‘Aloha.’”

Ninety-seven per cent of Kauai’s land is undeveloped, with many pristine areas accessible only by boat or foot, and some only by helicopter (a quirky piece of legislation prevents the construction of buildings that exceed the height of a mature coconut tree)…

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Article for PAXnewsWest.com: TTM+ 2015: Experiential travel & the essence of “Thainess”

img_2909The Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2015 wrapped up Friday after three days of connecting Thailand tourism operators and service providers with buyers and media.

The 2015 Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) campaign encourages visitors to “Discover Thainess,” a theme much discussed at the event. What exactly is “Thainess”? It’s that unique aspect of Thailand that keeps visitors returning to the country…

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Article for PAXnewsWest.com: Thailand Travel Mart Plus – A day in Bangkok

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PAXnewsWest.com is on location in Thailand this week for the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2015.

Before attending the TTM+ opening reception last night, media guests (including PAXnewsWest.com) spent the day exploring Bangkok with Tourism Authority of Thailand representatives. First was the Pak-Klong Market, the largest wholesale and retail flower market in Bangkok, which also does a brisk business in produce. After a quick peek at the rows of stalls selling garlands, roses, herbs, and fruits and vegetables, it was off to the Amita Thai Cooking School for a lesson in Thai cuisine…

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Article for PAXnewsWest.com: Visit West Hollywood showcases California living in Vancouver

Representatives from Visit West Hollywood are in Vancouver this week to highlight the best of the 4.9 square kilometre city which Communications Manager Chris Arboleda calls “geographically and culturally the centre of L.A.” PAXnewsWest.com sat down with Arboleda to learn more about this “hip, trendy and diverse” neighbourhood with “an authentic Hollywood feel.”

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Three simple tricks anyone can use to take share-worthy travel photos

David Smith of Interface Images is a Vancouver-based freelance photographer who also teaches the art of digital photography on some of the world’s top cruise lines. Recently, he spoke at the BC Association of Travel Writers annual symposium about how to take better pictures while travelling.

The key? Take pictures of people. Sure, landscape and architecture shots are great, but it’s pictures of people that will make your travel photography unique (and share-worthy) and help you build and capture lasting memories. “Explore what your camera means to you as you interact with cultures around the world,” he said. Here are his top three tips for getting great shots of local people as you travel around the world.

1. Ask permission

Taking someone’s photo without asking is at best rude, and at worst can get you in serious trouble. While people in North America may be hesitant to have their picture taken, people in other cultures may be flattered you asked. “Internationally, your camera can unlock doors to local culture,” Smith said. Improve your odds of success by asking to “create” someone’s picture rather than “take” it – it’s a simple shift of language that makes a big difference.

2. Work the easy connections

Simply put, be nice. Be nice to cab drivers and others in the service industry – Smith has been invited into local families’ homes more than once just by being polite and expressing an interest. When purchasing local goods in a market, be friendly and ask the vendors to pose with their products – they’ll be happy to show off what they sell.

3. Create rapport

Bring pens, stickers and other gifts from home (Canadian flag items are a big hit) to thank people for allowing you to photograph them. Be sure to show people the photos you take of them on the camera’s LCD screen. As strange as it may to sound in selfie-obsessed North America, some people may never have seen a photograph of themselves before, and it can bring them great joy.

Bonus tip: When taking pictures of people who know each other (friends or family members), ask them to “touch heads.” It brings their faces together (and gets them smiling) for a much more interesting photo than a line of people standing in a row.

Article for PAXnewsWest.com: Greater Portland highlights active travel, food and beverage tourism

travel_portland_mainRepresentatives from Greater Portland sat down for a conversation with PAXnewsWest.com yesterday about what’s new in the Rose City and the surrounding areas of Washington County and Mt. Hood Territory. They showcased Greater Portland as a choice destination for travellers looking for a healthy, active experience supplemented with plenty of great food, craft beer and local wine – in the city and the surrounding countryside. “We like to live well, eat well and be active,” said Alacia Lauer of Travel Portland. “You have to get outside of the city to see what makes Portland Portland…”

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Article for PAXnewsWest.com: Vancouver International Tequila Expo highlights Mexico’s best

UntitledAfter a morning deluge, the clouds broke in time for a sunny afternoon tequila tasting event at Joe Fortes in Vancouver yesterday. The event was a preview of the fourth annual Vancouver International Tequila Expo coming up Saturday, May 30 at the Hyatt Regency.

The Mexico Tourism Board, a sponsor, was represented at the event by Rodrigo Acosta Gomez, the board’s director for Western Canada. He told PAXnewsWest.com the tourism board chose to sponsor the event because tequila is an important part of the Mexican cultural and gastronomic traditions, which – along with adventure, sun and sand – are key aspects of Mexico’s tourism marketing campaign…

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Article for PAXnewsWest.com: Louisiana tourism delegation brings the Cajun spirit to Vancouver

UntitledTourism representatives from Louisiana are wrapping up their visit to Vancouver today with training sessions for sales and reservation staff at several major travel companies after hosting more than 100 travel agents and media at a series of events in the city over the last 36 hours.

PAXnewsWest.com attended the tourism delegation’s lunch yesterday at Brix restaurant, where five delegation members shared the latest information about tourism to the Bayou State…

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Article for PAXnewsWest.com: Utah Tourism delegation launches sales mission in Vancouver

The Utah Office of Tourism kicked off a Western Canada sales tour last night in Vancouver with a dinner presentation for travel advisors at Steamworks Brew Pub. The delegation includes representatives of four main tourism regions: Bryce Canyon, Southern Utah/Kane County, Cache Valley and Cedar City/Brian Head.

Darcie Guarderas of Canuckiwi (representing the Utah Office of Tourism in Canada) started the evening by telling guests about her first visit to Utah – a seven-day trip that included two days of skiing and visits to all five of the state’s “Mighty 5” national parks…

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