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Experiencing Grey County in winter

We’re all familiar with winter above ground but heading underground during the winter months is a truly unique experience. The experts at Free Spirit Tours will take you on a 3-hour caving expedition to Metcalfe Rock. You’ll snowshoe to the caves, where you’ll un-strap, don headlamps and head underground. Jennie and her crew know all the cracks and crevices at Metcalfe Rock inside and out and will support your every move. Take the plunge and book with them now!

Indulge in Moonlit Winter Fun

Night time excursions under the twinkling stars take Grey County’s winter activities to another level. Take a guided snowshoe through the silhouetted evergreens with Free Spirit Tours or Scenic Caves Nordic Adventures. Grab some sticks and a group of your best mates for a round of moonlit hockey on one of our outdoor rinks, then thaw and unwind in the Nordic bathes at Scandinave Spa. To find other night time options visit our website.
Photo Credit Blue Mountain

With record breaking lake effect snowfall and 3,500kms of groomed trails in Grey & Bruce, its little wonder our region is a snowmobile destination. All local trails are managed by OFSC District 9 and riders need a trail permit and insurance to ride. Don’t have your own sled but want to try the sport? Homestead Resort in Durham offers rentals with guides and Ride on Rentals near Collingwood also offers tours. To learn more about where to buy your permit and to check on trail conditions, www.ofscdistrict9.ca

Winter Warm-ups
Après Ski Food and Drink

All winter lovers know that half of the fun of going out is coming back in. There’s nothing better than taking off all those layers and sitting, rosy cheeked by the fire, enjoying a well-deserved treat. If you’re looking for a winter drink that will hit the taste buds, try the Mexican spice hot cocoa at Casero Kitchen Table, in Owen Sound. Warm up from the inside out with Meredith’s Ginger Elixir, which can be picked up at any bakery, local general store or farmers market within our region. For great après snacks, try the wood-fired pizza at the Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury or a meal overlooking one of our frozen cascades, Walter’s Falls – The Falls Inn, in Walters Falls. For a full list of eateries in Grey County go to visitgrey.ca

Looking for the best place to take the family tobogganing, Google maps recently pinpointed Canada’s best toboggan hills, and two of our regional hills made the cut. Harrison Park in Owen Sound and Indian Falls Conservation Area in Georgian Bluffs. Bring your family up this weekend to try the runs out for yourself! For other great hills to experience in Grey County, click here.

Visit Finland win a luxury holiday. February 14th Newsletter

SHARE YOUR MOST ABSURD HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE AND WIN A TRIP TO FINLAND
?I wish I was in Finland? is a campaign by the Finnish Tourist Board that questions tourist clichés and challenges travellers to share their most absurd holiday experiences for the chance to win a vacation in Finland. The campaign launches Finland ?s new tourism portal at www.visitfinland.com.
The Finnish Tourist Board launches a campaign which challenges tourist clichés and traditional mass tourism destinations. With the tag line ?I wish I was in Finland ?, the humorous campaign introduces Finland as an authentic and interesting destination for travellers looking for a fresh alternative to the conventional.

The campaign features a playful photo competition in which visitors are challenged to upload photos of their most absurd holiday experiences at the new portal. The ten top-rated photos will automatically qualify for a lottery to win a luxury holiday for two in Finland .
The photo competition runs from December 15to February 28, 2010 at www.visitfinland.com

New Visit Finland portal invites you to explore, search, book and participate
Visit Finland ?s new portal launched in autumn 2009 at www.visitfinland.comreveals Finland ?s many faces by allowing visitors to explore facts about Finland , search and book trips as well as share experiences with fellow travellers. The website serves travellers, trade and media in ten languages: Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.
The portal consists of three sections: Finland Guide allows you to virtually explore Finland by navigating through different topics of interest, viewing the destination location on the map and seeing ratings by other users. The Travel Planner is a one-stop-shop where you can build your entire itinerary, from transportation to Finland to accommodations and activities for your stay. Our Finland is a community section that welcomes you to share experiences by posting travel stories, photos and videos, as well as rate destinations and services.
A mobile version of the portal is also available at http://mobile.visitfinland.comallowing travellers to access their travel plans, find the nearest cash machine, get a weather forecast or add photos to their blogs on the site?s Our Finland section.
By subscribing to the Visit Finland trade newsletter you will be updated with the latest tips on travel to Finland . Sign in at www.visitfinland.com? Newsletter ? Subscribe to Newsletter
Finlandin Brief
Aside from ice hockey, F1 drivers and mobile phones, Finland is perhaps best known for its lakes, forests and archipelago. There are hundreds of thousands of islands and lakes, and the dream of every Finn is to have a little cottage on the shore of one of them, a place where he can kick off his shoes, go fishing, and indulge in the sheer luxury of a good sauna.
Did you know that Finland has?
5.3 million inhabitants (17 people per sq km)
1.8 million saunas (approx. 500 are traditional smoke saunas)
180,000 islands
188,000 lakes (which account for 10% of the total surface area)
465,000 holiday homes
230,000 reindeer (you can meet them face to face in Lapland )
1,000,000 salmon (maybe more)
35 national parks
5.2 million mobile phones (Nokia is a Finnish brand)
1 Santa Claus – the real one!

Visit Jordan! News May 2010

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Jordan Tourism Booms in the First Quarter

The first quarter of 2010 heralded good news for Jordan’s tourism sector in what could be another landmark year. Statistics by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the by the Central Bank of Jordan have shown across-the-board increases in both visitor numbers as well as tourism receipts.
The Ministry of Tourism has said overnight tourist numbers have jumped 33.4% during the first quarter to 883,450 people from a total of 662,075 in the same period of 2009. Same day visitors were up 17.6% to 651,325 people from 553,929 in 2009. The Ministry said overall numbers in the first quarter totaled 1,534,802 visitors compared to 1,216,004 in the same period of 2009, and representing a jump of 26.2%.
With the exception of African visitors whose numbers have declined by 5%, all other regions have witnessed increasing numbers particularly from Europe. American visitors increased by 8.7%, Asia-Pacific nationals by 27%, South Asians by 29.4%, Arabs by 20.8%, and Europeans by 35.5%.
Figures by the Central Bank of Jordan have shown that tourism receipts in the first quarter went up by 39.7% to 503 million Jordanian Dinar ($701 million) from 360 million ($501 million) in the same period of 2009 – a increase of $200 million.
Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) Managing Director Nayef H. al-Fayez expressed great pleasure at the figures and said “they have given Jordan’s tourism industry a very good reason to keep smiling.” 
Mr. al-Fayez said “while we look forward to a landmark season, we are confident that interest in Jordan as a unique and diversified international destination is increasing across the world.” He added that JTB’s participation in recent exhibitions and road shows “has given us a distinctive look at the increased confidence visitors have in Jordan both as a country and as destination for a trip of a life-time.”
Jordan’s numerous touristic sites have reported increased visitor activity during 2010’s first quarter compared with the same period of 2009. Petra, the Kingdom’s jewel in the crown, saw an almost 50% increase in visitors. However, the biggest attraction was Mount Nebo with an 88% increase, followed by Madaba’s map with a 72% increase. Visitor numbers went up 32.5% in Jerash, 47.4% in Kerak, 41.2% in Ajloun, 45.1% in Um-Qais, 40.3% in Wadi Rum, and 24.3% in the Baptism Site.
Baptism Site officials have said that this is the biggest single increase in visitor numbers since the site was officially opened in 2002. They said April 2010 alone has seen more than 20,100 visitors and pilgrims indicating a growing appetite for the location, as well as for religious tourism as a main component of Jordan’s diverse tourism product.
Tourism officials have said a very good season in 2010 will mean that Jordan’s tourism industry is on track and in the right direction, particularly after avoiding impact of the global economic crisis which started in 2008.
Jordan has faired quite well in 2009 despite the difficult times witnessed by the global tourism industry, which included both the global financial crisis as well as the H1N1 virus pandemic. Tourism revenues remained almost unchanged at JD2.064 billion (around $3 billion) compared with 2.089 in 2008, while overnight visitor numbers increased by 1.6% in 2008.
Al-Fayez said for a small country like Jordan, maintaining 2008 figures was a great achievement. “Now we can focus on making 2010 another exceptional year,” he concluded.

Petra visitor numbers up 50%

(Ameinfo.com)

Jordan’s Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) has said that the numbers of tourists visiting Petra had witnessed a “progressive increase” over the past three months, rising by 50% in the first quarter of 2010, Jordan Times has reported. The numbers of foreign tourists increased by 53%, while Jordanian visitors rose by 23%, PDTRA chief commissioner, Nasser Shraideh said. From January through March, around 210,000 local residents and foreigners visited the city, up from 140,000 during the same period in 2009, he said.

Queen Rania’s US Press Tour
rania 
On Friday, April 21 Her Majesty Queen Rania was the premiere guest on Oprah Winfrey’s OPRAH LIVE show. Her Majesty spoke on her life as Queen of Jordan, especially her love and appreciation of the vast diversity of beauty in her land. Touted by Oprah as a modern monarch, the Queen also talked about being in touch with the community via social media networks like Facebook & Twitter, where she has over 1 .5 million followers!
 
Queen Rania also shared images of a recent trip to Jordan made by such celebrities as Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban & Hugh Jackman where they are enjoying the wonders of Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum & Aqaba. To see the slide show please visit:
 
http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Queen-Ranias-Tour-of-Jordan
Queen Rania then spoke with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, followed by an appearance on The View to discuss her new children’s book, “The Sandwich Swap”. The Sandwich Swap is meant to teach children not fear diversity and to appreciate other cultures.

The Wild Side of Jordan guideFollow Peter Potterfield, aGreatOutdoors.com editor,

on his epic- 50 mile backcountry

 journey through the

mountains of Jordan!

“One of the most interesting routes in the Middle East, the hike starts from Jordan’s wild Dana Reserve and follows a rugged wilderness to the country’s crown jewel-Petra. This is a journey made entirely on foot, day by day, hour by hour, staying in traditional Bedouin camps, savoring the Jordan countryside at a walking pace, having the time to appreciate this unique landscape.”

Potterfield will make the trek with noted Jordanian backcountry traveler and guide Yamaan Safady, and the pair will be accompanied by Jordan Tourism Board videographer Catherine Porterfield. The expedition is sponsored jointly by ExOfficio,  the premiere clothing company for outdoor & travel enthusiasts & Wildland Adventures, a U.S. Tour Operator who creates authentic worldwide explorations for active and inquisitive travelers.

The hike is currently underway and the full story will appear in early summer.

To read Peter’s preview piece please visit:

http://www.greatoutdoors.com/published/coming-up-the-wild-side-of-jordan

Bethany Beyond the Jordan Reclaims Spot on Holy Land Pilgrim Map
Jordan attracts 24% more U.S. visitors to Baptism Site in First Quarter 2010; Tour Companies Say Numbers Mark Turning Point in Faith-Based Travel to Jordan
 

The rustic, eco-protected  settlement on the eastern banks of the Jordan River known as “Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan” – where the Bible says Jesus came to be baptized by his cousin John – is fast becoming a must-see destination for faith-based travelers and general tourists alike to the Holy Land. In 2010, 24% more American tourists visited the baptism site during January-March than during the same period last year, and travel suppliers are reporting increased interest and demand for the site from Christian travel planners and consumers.
 
“We have worked hand in hand with our suppliers to promote this unique location and educate religious travel planners about how to build it into all of their Holy Land travel programs,” said Malia Asfour, director of the Jordan Tourism Board North America. “Now that the site is fully open and travelers have easy access, it is only natural that this authentic location is once again returning to its place of prominence on the Holy Land map.”
 
Asfour views faith-based travel as one of the primary niches for Jordan tourism. She has been working since 1997 to promote the destination of Jordan to the North American travel market, and decided early on that Jordan needed a re-branding in the religious sector in order to educate and re-introduce the kingdom’s biblical sites and experiences to prospective travelers. With Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan at number one on the list of must-see biblical locations in Jordan, the rising tide of visitors to the site should lift faith-based travel to other parts of Jordan.
 
“It’s a case of what was old is new again,” said Christine Moore, founder of Epiphany Media, who has spent a decade representing the Jordan Tourism Board to the religious community in North America. “More Americans are simply returning to the original pilgrim route taken by the early Christians, who would visit the place of baptism between their journeys to Mount Nebo and Jerusalem.  Today, faith-based travelers can have the same authentic experience that the original pilgrims had, and also enjoy adventures and experiences at Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea and so many other locations in Jordan.”
 
The authenticity, simplicity and eco-protected nature of the site means it is here to stay on the pilgrim map. And more and more faith-based travel suppliers are recognizing that the practice of taking Christian groups to other locations on the Jordan River does not hold the same meaning for their clients as visiting the special area where John the Baptist lived, preached and baptized his cousin.
 
Nick Mancino, president of Group IST, who operates Regina Tours for the Catholic market and Journeys Unlimited for the Protestant market, said he has experienced increased demand across the board for the Baptism Site. And Rick Ricart, president of Imagine Tours & Travel, whose father promoted Jordan as a religious travel destination as far back as the 1970’s, said he has had one of his busiest seasons ever for travel to Jordan. Ricart said the baptism site is becoming more popular among his clients, as word has spread about its excavations and accessibility.
 
“I used to feel like a voice crying out in the wilderness myself when trying to promote the baptism site or other holy places in Jordan,” said Ricart. “But we have prepared the way, and now more travel leaders are aware of the opportunities in Jordan, and want to give their groups a chance to experience Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan and other special places, as well as sample some of that famous Jordanian hospitality.”
 
Additional Information:
 
Church/Visitor Facilities
An area of 350,000 square miles of land has been set aside for the pilgrim village just outside the baptism site reserve, which has strict environmental protection bylaws. 

Many Christian denominations have begun building new churches and facilities/guest houses nearby in a “pilgrim village” to facilitate modern pilgrims to what has been called the “Birthplace of Christianity.” Churches and facilities in existence or in the works include these traditions: Greek Orthodox; Anglican; Baptist; Catholic; Coptic and Russian Orthodox.

In March, 2009, Baptist World Alliance (BWA) officials, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammed of Jordan joined officials from around the world to dedicate a new Baptism Center. “I think believers from many parts of the world who want to make a pilgrimage to the area where Jesus was baptized will certainly want to make their own pilgrimage here,” said BWA President David Coffey.

In May, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI blessed the cornerstones of two new Catholic churches being built with these words: “Let us rejoice in the knowledge that the two buildings, one Latin, the other Greek Melkite, will serve to build up, each according to the traditions of its own community, the one family of God.”

Rupert Murdoch’s youngest daughters were baptized at Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan in March, 2010, but you don’t have to be famous to hold a ceremony at the baptism site – park officials welcome all church groups and other visitors interested in holding special ceremonies, such as baptisms or communion, and these are easily arranged through tour operators.

 
Park Oversight and Planning
The Baptism Site is a legally protected National Jordanian Park run by an independent board of trustees – the Baptism Site Commission – appointed personally by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan, who considers its maintenance an honor and a sacred trust for future generations of Jordanians and Christian pilgrims from all over the world. For more information, please visit www.baptismsite.com.

While several hundred thousand people visit the park each year, Baptism Site Commission officials expect to receive more than a million visitors a year once all churches and guest facilities are complete.

The baptism site is close to Amman and the Dead Sea resort and hotel area, which is served by several 4- and 5-star hotels. Planning is underway to build 3-star hotels on the northeastern shores of the Dead Sea.

 
Biblical Background:
Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan is part of the wilderness area associated with John the Baptist and also contains the traditional spot where the Bible says Elijah the prophet ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire.

While Jordan is home to hundreds of biblical locations, some of the most pivotal biblical events occurred at these sites:

Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the land he would never enter and, according to the Bible, is buried nearby in an unknown location; Mukawir, a mountaintop fortress not far from the Dead Sea where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded; Tel Mar Elias, the birthplace of the prophet Elijah (also known as Elijah the Tishbite), located among the ancient Hills of Gilead;Umm Qais, a Roman provincial town overlooking the Sea of Galilee where the miracle of the Gadarene swine took place; Jabbok River, where Jacob wrested with “the Angel,” and his name was changed to Israel, meaning “He who wrestles with God.”

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Grenada : New Website Launch April 2010

April 27, 2010 (Grenada, W.I.) –Things are heating up in Grenada starting with the launch of their new, custom designed website at www.grenadagrenadines.com

The multi-lingual website (available in English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese) is the culmination of a year’s work and emphasizes the country’s vibrant culture. The site has a number of new functions including a fully featured trip planner, tour operator locator, interactive map and blog, to name a few. Each aspect helps to create an enhanced experience when visiting Grenada’s website.

“We are excited to launch our new website www.grenadagrenadines.com,” said William Joseph, the director of tourism for the Grenada Board of Tourism. “The site highlights Grenada’s famous hospitality and captures the true spirit of the country. This is just a taste of what you’ll get when you come visit Grenada!”

Trip Planner/Events: This function allows visitors to plan a trip specifically tailored to their travel needs. Through an Expedia link on the site, visitors can book any hotel or resort. Visitors to the website can also create an online profile and save trip plans each step of the way. An interactive events calendar listing all events happening in Grenada (365 days per year!) helps to refine trips.

Tour Operator Locator: This unique function allows visitors to locate affiliated tour operators anywhere in the world, providing both location and contact information.

Interactive Map: The interactive maps provide views of dive sites, marinas, historical sites, hotels and resorts.

Media and Travel Professionals: The section contains news releases and features. Travel professionals can register and create an account, so that they can easily help their clients plan trips to Grenada.

Island Blog: Stay up-to-date on what’s going on in Grenada by reading the island blog.

Visitor Experiences: A visit to www.grenadagrenadines.com is an interactive experience. Share beautiful island images with other visitors by submitting photos online, or visit the multimedia gallery to watch videos of Grenada.

About Grenada Board of Tourism
– The Grenada Board of Tourism (GBT) objective is to market and promote Grenada as a preferred year round Caribbean tourist destination, while also providing technical and managerial support to the travel trade, industry partners and airlines. For more information on Grenada contact the Grenada Board of Tourism office in Toronto at  416-595-1339  416-595-1339 , email at tourism@grenadaconsulate.com or visit www.grenadagrenadines.com

How to Get to Grenada from Canada – Grenada can be reached via Air Canada Vacations that operates a seasonal direct flight from Toronto to Grenada (Sunday departure with easy connections from major Canadian gateways (www.aircanadavacations.com ). AC operates daily flights from Toronto to Barbados (Saturday & Sunday departure from Montreal) with connections on LIAT to Grenada. Caribbean Airlines operate regularly scheduled flights from Toronto to Barbados and Trinidad with connections on LIAT to Grenada. GG Tours and Titan Tours operate seasonal charter services (www.ggtours.ca and www.titantours.com). West Jet operates a flight from Toronto to Barbados with connections on LIAT to Grenada year round.

Finnish Cottage Holidays. Spring 2010

               Get cosy on a finnish COTTAGE holiday

 

Holiday cottage, sauna and rowing a boat form the Holy Trinity for Finns in the summertime. For some, a cottage offers a secluded wilderness retreat, while for others it’s a base for active outdoors pursuits. If you want a truly Finnish holiday experience, do away with your watch, let your hair down, and head for a cottage in the countryside!The half a million holiday cottages, or “mökki” in Finnish, are proof of Finland’s strong cottage culture. Throughout the year, cottages offer a weekend getaway from the busy city; but come June–July, Finns retreat to the countryside to bond with nature. Once there, you are free to unwind, and enjoy the slow life, be it by relaxing on the porch with a good book or by chopping firewood and hiking in the wilderness.In Finland, nature really is in reach. Thanks to a low population density of about 16 per square kilometre (16 per 1/3 square mile) and to the thousands of lakes and the long seashore, most cabins are located right on the waterfront and host a private beach and sauna. And as you step out of the sauna with the steam rising off your skin and look out on the calm water in the still of the evening, you are truly at the heart of Finnish holiday culture.Finns being such cottage enthusiasts, there is also a great selection of holiday cottages available for rent to share in the experience. Whether you wish to spend your holiday by a lake or at the seaside, rough it out in an ascetic cabin or enjoy all the modern amenities of a luxurious villa, there is an abundance of alternatives to choose from.We have chosen three distinct examples of how to spend an unforgettable cottage holiday in Finland in summer.Rent a private island, a wilderness dugout or an old Fire stationIf you are looking for a holiday in the lap of luxury, the secluded Villa Fregatti on Aateli Island is just for you. Villa Fregatti is nestled on a private island located in beautiful Lake Nauasjärvi with breathtaking views of Vuokatti, an outdoor sports resort 560 kilometres (350 miles) north east of Helsinki. The villa is equipped with three bedrooms, a fireplace, sauna, whirlpool, home entertainment centre and heated, glazed-in terrace.Vuokatin Aateli’s own ships Princess Vilma and General Jermu take residents to the island. General Jermu is also available for rent and can serve as extra accommodation, or it can take you out on the waves of Nauasjärvi for fishing, surfing and other water activities. A heliport on the island makes it possible for you to arrive in your own aircraft or helicopter. The price for a weekend at the villa varies between 1,295 (USD 1,722) and 1,475 Euros (USD 1,961), while the rent for the entire week is 8,950 Euros (USD 11,903). Catering and cleaning services are tailored to suit your individual needs.For more information, visit www.vuokatinaateli.fi. If you are searching for an authentic nature experience, Koron Korsu in the middle of Lapland’s wilderness is the option for you. Located in Posio, 130 kilometres (80 miles) southeast of Rovaniemi, Koron Korsu is a cabin hidden inside a sandy ridge on the shore of the clear-watered Korsulampi pond. This rustic dugout contains one room, three bunk beds and a sauna. The cabin is lit by candle light and equipped with only an outdoor toilet – making for a total nature adventure. Drinking water comes straight from the pond, or from the spring next to the cabin. The nearby Korouoma Canyon offers a perfect setting for hiking and fishing.The rent for Koron Korsu is 70 Euros (USD 93) per night. For further information, visit www.villipohjola.fi/item.asp?Section=987&Item=1044,Looking for an even more unconventional cottage? Try Wanha Paloasema, an old district fire station converted into a villa. “Wanha Paloasema”, Finnish for Old Fire Station, is located on the grounds of Hotel Patruunantalo, 110 kilometres (70 miles) east of Helsinki in the historic ironworks area. From the outside, Wanha Paloasema still resembles a fire station, but the interiors have been completely refurbished and only old photos remind residents of the cabin’s days as a fire station. The cottage sleeps 10 people, and has a living room, kitchen, and bathrooms. A lakeshore sauna and large bathtub are available for an extra charge. There are services conveniently nearby. The villa stands 50 meters (164 feet) from Hotel Patruunantalo with a restaurant and wine cellar, and the nearest village with more shops is only a kilometre ( a little more than ½ mile) away.    The weekly rate for this fully equipped villa is 1,106 Euros (USD 1,470), and the weekend rate is 422 Euros (USD 560). To find out more, visit www.lomarengas.fi/ServiceInfo.action?siteName=lomarengas&id=5608. Even if the above three cottage options aren’t exactly what you are looking for, Country Holidays is sure to meet your needs with over 4,000 inspected and classified holiday cottages all over the country. The choice of cottage ranges from modest cabins to villas with all the modern amenities you could wish for. Most of the locations are situated right on the lakeshore and all have a private sauna. The weekly rates range from 500 (USD 665) to 2,000 Euros (USD 2,660), depending on the season as well as on the size, location and standard of the cottage. The smallest cottages offer room for 2 people, while the largest villas can accommodate up to 20 people.When this press release was written the Euro exchange rate was 1 EURO = USD 1.33To find out more about the different options, visit www.lomarengas.fi. For more information about tourism in Finland, visit www.visitfinland.com and theVisit Finland image bank at www.imagebank.visitfinland.com. Contact:Helena NiskanenVisit Finland USATel. +1-917-863-5484   

Choose Corsica said Franceguide 2010

Bonjour

Go to Corsica once and you are sure to get addicted!  The proud and fiery character of its inhabitants, the charm of the villages, the natural beauty of preserved sites and its clear, emerald waters, not to mention the figatelli, the brocciu and the Patrimonio wine… Once you have discovered Corsica, you will love it for the rest of your life.
In collaboration with the Corsican tourist board, we present you today a sample of the best Corsica has to offer, with Napoleon’s festivities, Guitar Nights or the polyphonic singing festival in Calvi on the agenda, to name but a few of the many animations and fairs taking place throughout the year.

Marie Folacci, Promotion Director for the Corsican tourist board, also shares with us her favourite spots and activities. Whether they be the hiking trails criss-crossing the island or the sandy beaches of the Balagne area, all of which bypass cities exhibiting exceptional cultural heritage, you will be amazed by the diversity of the land.

Of course, your visit would not be complete without some gastronomic discoveries! Treat your taste buds to an extraordinary experience with the cheeses, cold cuts and local wines. In an excerpt from our new FranceGuide 2010 webzine, Alexandre Lobrano invites you on a tour of the island’s foodie delights.

So to each his own Corsica! Whether you are dreaming of a relaxed time, good food, natural beauties or thrills, our partners are available to help organize your own memorable traveling experience.

À prestu !

Caroline Putnoki
Director in Canada

On the agenda
 
 Les     
Napoleonic festival
Every year, the city of Ajaccio honours its most famous native, with parades, costume shows, commemorations and much more!
 Les      Guitar nights
This unique, world famous festival will take place from July 17th to 24th in the wine-producing village of Patrimonio, located 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from Bastia.
 Les rencontres polyphoniques de Calvi      Polyphonic singing festival in Calvi
Polyphonic singing is one of the most popular cultural traditions in Corsica. Created in 1989, this festival is today one of the island’s main events. Rendez-vous in Calvi from September 14th to 18th!

Marie Folacci’s favourites
 
 Reopening of museums     
Reopening of the Palais des Gouverneurs in Bastia and opening of the “Palais Fesch, Musée des Beaux-Arts” in Ajaccio
Corte- Ajaccio- Bastia- Sartène “Archaeological capital”. Each important for their historical, administrative and cultural contributions, the cities today still boast their importance in today’s modern society. It is easy to combine a visit to one of these towns together with a trip to the local countryside organised by one of the various Tourism Offices. Focus on two important openings.
 Le Mare a Mare Sud      Le Mare a Mare Sud
Following this hiking trail from one sea to the other, you will plunge into the heart of the scrubland, discover forests of centennial chestnut trees, cross rivers and pass by perched villages of the Alta Roca for unforgettable meetings with the locals.
 La Balagne      La Balagne
Pristine landscapes, fine sandy beaches, a ragged coastline of inlet coves, authentic villages and traditional craftsmanship… Should you wish to hike, get a suntan or explore charming towns and churches, this region of Corsica awaits you.

A gourmand’s Corsica
 
 Local products and specialties     
Local products and specialties
Rich in heritage, Corsica is equally rich in living traditions, in which gastronomy plays a central role. An authentic and generous mediterranean—inspired cuisine—to savour without moderation!
 The wines of Corsica      The wines of Corsica
Nine OAC all compete in aromas and taste. Don’t hesitate to go and visit the local wineries; Corsican wine-growers will be happy to share their production with you.
 
 Chasing the gourmand's delight     
Chasing the gourmand’s delight, by Alexandre Lobrano
Excerpts from our FranceGuide 2010 webzine
Though it’s known as « l’île de beauté » , for me Corsica will always be « l’île délicieuse ». From its superb charcuterie—I think it produces the best ham and sausage in the world—to its cheese— including its signature brocciu (a soft ewe’s or goat’s milk cheese often used in Corsican cooking)…

Book now
 
 Ulysse     
Ulysses, your travel bookstore, shows you the wonders of Corsica
Between the sea and the mountains, Corsica offers getaways amid wild, untamed nature whose beauty will seduce you at once. Hikers, foodies, and lovers of dolce farniente – Corsica awaits!
 Air France      This summer, 4 daily flights from Montréal to Paris… and Corsica
Buoyed by the success it enjoyed in 2009 operating up to 4 daily flights out of Montréal-Trudeau and one out of Toronto for Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Air France will be repeating the offering once again this summer.
 Agents specialised in France      Agents specialised in France
To organise your trip, choose one of our certified agents. They have received a complete training on all the practical and cultural aspects of France.

New”Eat & Drink” event comes to Simcoe

New “Eat & Drink Norfolk” event comes to Simcoe

Simcoe, Ontario – Norfolk County Agricultural Society, producers of the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show are excited to announce the launch of “Eat & Drink Norfolk”, a fantastic new event that will take place in the Aud at the Norfolk County Fairgrounds on Friday, April 23rd from 5pm-10pm and again on Saturday, April 24th from Noon to 10pm.

Eat & Drink Norfolk will provide an opportunity to “mix & mingle”, enjoy demonstrations and entertainment and sample many of the fine food products available right here in Norfolk County.

“As an agricultural society it was a natural for Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show to organize a show that promotes the many agricultural products and retailers from within Norfolk County”, says Dave Taylor, Event Manager for the Norfolk County Agricultural Society.

Many well known restaurants and food producers are excited to demonstrate their creations using local foods, including restaurants such as The Blue Elephant, The Causeway, The Belworth House and the Delhi Multicultural groups.  Specialty producers include The Cider Keg, Jensen Cheese, Kernal Peanuts, VG Meats, British Baked Goods and Purple Daze Lavendar.  Wineries such as Florence Estate Wines and Villa Nova will be on hand, as well as breweries from the region.  In total, it is expected that over 40 different exhibitors will be serving up their great tastes.  People can truly sample their way all around Norfolk County in one evening.

Admission tickets are $8, available at the door or in advance at the Fairgrounds office.  Food and beverage tasting tickets will be available at the show for just $1 each.  Each “taste” sample will cost between one and three tickets.

The new Eat & Drink Norfolk event is something quite different than anything in the past.  This event is a fundraising initiative for the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show in partnership with Scotlynn sweet pac, Scotiabank, CD98.9, Simcoe Reformer, Direct from Norfolk and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

If you would like to attend this event as one of our special guests, please confirm with me before Thursday, April 23rd and we’ll have tickets and a media kit set aside for you.

Thanks for your interest and bon appetit!

Cindy Vanderstar

Promotions Coordinator – Norfolk County Tourism

519-426-5870 x1301

OUT AND ABOUT IN MIAMI. Spring 2010

 

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April 2010                                                             Happy Easter and Passover!                          www.MiamiandBeaches.com


OUT AND ABOUT IN MIAMI

Thank you for your continued support of Miami! The April issue of the monthly Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau Media Relation’s e-newsletter is filled with story leads you can develop, including exciting news and events.  Enjoy!

POLO WORLD CUP IS BACK ON THE BEACH:   The AMG Miami Beach Polo World Cup presented by Nespresso, the world’s largest and most prestigious Polo Tournament on the beach, will be taking place for the sixth consecutive year on Miami Beach between 20th and 22nd streets, behind The Setai Hotel from April 22- April 25, 2010.  This year some of the world’s top polo players from the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, as well as 80 Argentine Polo ponies, will participate in the four-day world class sporting event. The event consists of two tournaments: the second annual ladies’ tournament, the AMG South Beach Women’s Polo Cup presented by Nespresso starting on Thursday April 22nd, followed by the main event, which is a three day tournament from Friday, April 23rd to Sunday, the 25th.  Avid polo fans and those who enjoy spending a seaside afternoon sipping cocktails and delectable bites can purchase tickets to the VIP tent. Spectators can also enjoy daily fashion shows by La Martina and Hublot, the AMG Miami Beach Polo World Cup official timepiece.  General admission to the tournament and adjoining retail Miami Beach Polo Village is free and a limited number of VIP tickets are available for purchase. For more information, visit www.MiamiPolo.com or call  1-800-278-7330  1-800-278-7330 .

SAWA OPENS AT VILLAGE OF MERRICK PARK: New to the upscale shopping venue, Village of Merrick Park, SAWA Restaurant & Lounge (which means “together”), arrives with much anticipation by patrons and foodies alike. In the heart of Coral Gables, SAWA is the suave and sexy Mediterranean restaurant, bar and lounge from charismatic restaurateur Ramzi Zahr. This reasonably priced eatery, which also offers an exciting list of cocktails, and a sidewalk cabana/hookah lounge, showcases executive chef Jouvens Jean, formerly of Atrio and Solea, who creates a melding of Mediterranean inspired spreads, kebabs, salads, entrees, and by popular demand, sushi. An intimate 2,500 square foot space that seats 60 indoors and up to 70 outdoors was designed with the harmonious balance of yin and yang in mind. The interior boasts dark wooden tables, bar and chairs with white leather upholstery and funky white chandeliers.  Crisp white walls are tastefully dressed in the vibrant art by Chady Elias who will change his “interactive art” exhibits every few months. For more information, visit www.SawaRestaurant.com or contact:  305-447-6555  305-447-6555 .

GAY PRIDE OVER MIAMI BEACH: For the second consecutive year, the Miami Beach Gay Pride parade returns on April 17, 2010. This celebration of the extraordinary strength, beauty and contributions of South Florida’s LGBT community, will feature an exciting all-day event including a parade, a festival with exciting celebrity presentations and musical performances, and an Expo with LGBT-friendly vendors and businesses, refreshments and food, and a family-friendly play zone. There will also be dozens of party oriented events to dance the night away to the hottest DJ’s and live performers on the Main Stage. For more information on the day’s schedule of events as well as pre and post-pride day activities, visit www.MiamiBeachGayPride.com.

TIS THE SEAS TO RELAX: The Newport Beachside Resort recently launched Seven Seas Salon, a new Aveda Concept beauty space with Dashing Diva Nail Bar.  For the style conscious who covet beauty on a budget, the full-service salon and nail bar features affordable services and treatments starting at only $10. Dashing Diva, New York’s favorite nail salon chain, provides a state-of-the-art experience with the most innovative nail care products and services designed for all looking to be pampered. Three modern and unisex styling stations are also available offering professional Aveda cuts and blowouts at reasonable prices.  For more information visit, www.NewportBeachsideResort.com or call  305-749-2100  305-749-2100 .

THE SPIRIT OF GREECE AT DOLPHIN MALL: Miami’s premiere outlet shopping and entertainment destination, Dolphin Mall, welcomes Taverna OPA to its array of restaurant line up. Taverna OPA, one of the fastest growing and highly successful restaurant concepts in South Florida, serves traditional Greek family style cuisine in a vibrant, lively setting that captures the flavor of the Greek islands. The 6,000 square foot venue located in the mall’s Ramblas Plaza offers both interior and patio dining with seating for 200 in each.  Guests are energized by the blend of house and traditional Greek music spun by the restaurant’s DJ, where guests are encouraged to dance on the tables during dinner and into the wee hours.  The servers dance in Greek “Zorba” style to a variety of Greek songs while belly dancers, dressed in traditional attire, entertain patrons every night beginning at 8 p.m.  For more information visit, www.ShopDolphinMall.com.
 
LATIN INFUSED DINING AT DORAL GOLF RESORT: Rounding out a $16 million resort-wide renewal, Doral Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort, has spiced up its dining options with the opening of Mesazul, a Latin-inspired steakhouse, and Bossa Nova, a lounge serving tapas and cocktails with live music.  Executive Chef Michael Lottermoser, creates innovative cuisine with a contemporary twist on classic dishes.  Mesazul offers a Latin-inspired spin on American steakhouse classics such as New Age lechon asado and slow roasted rotisserie mojo chicken. The 160-seat restaurant displays unobstructed panoramic views of the iconic TPC Blue Monster at Doral golf course.  A floor-to-ceiling, climate controlled glass wine vault, featuring 200 select offerings from South America, Spain and New World wines greets guests upon arrival and leads them to an active, stylish bar.  The sophisticated design is accented by warm wood tones and rich leathers which provide a comfortable, elegant ambiance. With gourmet food, exotic wines/rums set to the sounds of live Latin and Jazz music, these new outlets are entertaining guests and have the local community rediscovering the renowned golf resort. For more information visit, www.DoralMesazul.com or www.DoralBossanova.com

Calendar of Events:

Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition        Thru April 11                         www.fairexpo.com
Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival          April 23-May 2                     www.mglff.com

Discover Toronto for FREE with ROMwalks

Discover Toronto for free with ROMwalks
Enjoy guided walking tours of Toronto?s architecture and history
 
(Toronto, Ontario ? April 7, 20010) Lace up your walking shoes and discover the architecture, history and stories of Toronto through ROMwalks, a series of free guided walking tours of the city.  Every year, from May to October, tour leaders from the Royal Ontario Museum?s (ROM) Department of Museum Volunteers guide the public through some of the city?s most distinctive neighbourhoods, visiting Toronto landmarks and illuminating their architectural and historical significance. 
 
The 2010 ROMwalks series kicks off on Sunday, May 2 at 2 pm starting with Cabbagetown, which highlights Victorian houses, the former Trinity College Medical School, Riverdale Park, The Necropolis and the Wellesley Cottages. …

 

See the full media release attached or online at http://www.rom.on.ca/news/releases/index.php
A downloadable pdf ROMwalks brochure is available at  http://www.rom.on.ca/programs/rom_travel/pdf/romwalk_2010_map.pdf
See http://www.rom.on.ca/programs/rom_travel/index.php for more about ROM Travels, Trips and Walks.
 
 

BARBADOS Hosts Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism

BARBADOS HOSTS ANNUAL CARIBBEAN CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM  11th Annual Conference to Focus on Strategic Heritage Tourism Planning Toronto, CANADA (April 7, 2010) – This May marks the 11th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC-11). This year’s conference will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center (formally Sherbourne Conference Center) in Barbados from May 9-12, 2010. The theme for this year’s conference is Keeping the Right Balance: Creating Opportunities Through a World Class Sustainable Tourism Product, and is being organized by the CTO in collaboration with the Barbados Tourism Authority.  For registration and other information, visit www.OneCaribbean.org.  Strategic heritage tourism planning will be the focus of the opening general session, and a panel of experts will examine the subject and make recommendations to delegates attending. Among the panelists is Dr. Keith Nurse, the director of the Shridath Ramphal Center for International Trade Law, Policy and Services, of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. Dr. Nurse will present his findings of a study of the performance of selected heritage tourism products and sites in the region. He will also discuss the critical success factors, best practices and pitfalls involved in developing heritage tourism.  “The panel of highly qualified and experienced presenters will discuss how the Caribbean can differentiate and enhance its tourism product based on the region’s rich and diverse tangible and intangible heritage,” said Gail Henry, the sustainable tourism product specialist at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), organizers of the conference.  “They will share lessons learned from various projects in which they have been involved and make recommendations, based on their experiences, on how the Caribbean can maximize the potential of heritage tourism,” Ms. Henry added. “For many Caribbean countries the key challenge is how to reconcile the need for a diverse product portfolio of visitor attractions and ‘things to do’ that builds on the region’s unique image, brand and selling points,” said Dr. Nurse, “while at the same time taking into account the rights of citizens to gain access to their heritage, sustaining the local eco-systems and respecting the need for income generating activities.”  Delegates will also gain an understanding of the North American market for cultural and heritage tourism products in a presentation by Mary Mahon Jones, a Canadian-based tourism consultant specializing in cultural tourism. Ms. Mahon Jones is a former CEO of British Columbia’s tourism industry association. 

 The opening plenary will also hear from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which will highlight its Youth PATH project. This program aims to enhance the capacity of young people to manage natural and cultural heritage sites and create employment for out-of-school youth from marginalized communities.  Strategies to encourage community involvement in sustainable tourism will also be explored in a presentation by the Travel Foundation which has been implementing practical programs in the Caribbean and in other regions, focusing on the creation of linkages between tourism and other economic sectors.  About BarbadosThe island of Barbados offers the most authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes, including The Crane beach, St. Philips, voted one of the world’s sexiest beaches for 2008 by Concierge.com.  Barbados is the first and only Zagat-rated Caribbean island with numerous internationally renowned chefs who masterfully put signature spins on local delicacies and traditions. Barbados is also an ideal stage for world-class events and has hosted numerous athletic championships, including the ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2007 and the 2006 PGA World Golf Championship-The Barbados World Cup. Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas to quaint bed and breakfasts to award-winning five-star resorts. The newly renovated Grantley Adams International Airport offers non-stop and direct service from a Toronto daily on Air Canada and 9 times weekly in the winter and 2 flights weekly out of Montreal.  WestJet commenced service November 2, 2009 with 5 flights weekly via Toronto.  Barbados was voted #8 in the World by Trip Advisor’s ‘2008 Travelers Choice Destination Awards’ in its Top 100 Destinations category.  Follow the Barbados beat and catch up on the latest news via the Barbados Facebook page at www.tinyurl.com/barbadosbeat and Twitter at www.twitter.com/barbadostourism.  For more information on travel to Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org.