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January 2008 Travel Newsletter

For previous editions of this newsletter see below.

  • Canadian travel news
    Canada still on Chinese blacklist
    Travel between Canada and other countries October 2007
    A Niagara Vacation for the Holiday Break
  • Holiday travel news
    10 Tips for a Safe Holiday Vacation
  • International travel news
    Indonesia launches “grammatically correct” tourism year
    Green Travel' area of growth for 2008
    New York City Tourism - Fun and Frolic
  • Internet info
    Visitor traffic
  • Advice for the property owner
    Damage deposit 

Canadian travel news

Canada still on Chinese blacklist
The United States recently received Approved Destination Status (ADS) from the Chinese government, making Canada the only major country on the tourism blacklist.
As a result of the decision, the U.S. will be able to advertise its tourism areas in China in order to actively pursue what is considered the largest untapped market.

“You can’t remove the fact that ADS takes millions of people and puts them into a possible consumer mix for Canada. Right now Canada doesn’t have that consumer base,” said Julie Canning, president and CEO of Banff Lake Louise Tourism.

Until now, Chinese citizens were only allowed to travel to the U.S. with business visas or to visit family and friends. Weekends in Las Vegas, ski trips to Aspen and other vacation adventures were restricted.
Without approval, those restrictions remain in place for Canada, meaning Banff can’t advertise its market in China.

“It’s unfortunate that Canada has not yet been able to accomplish ADS. However, we continue to see growth out of that market,” Canning said.
Canada as a whole has seen double-digit growth out of China predominantly from the areas of educational tourism, youth tourism, meetings and conferences.

According to Canning, the number of Chinese visitors to Canada was up about 20 per cent in 2006, and is expected to grow another 20 per cent for 2007.
“Without a doubt ADS leads to increased visitation. Our performance is nowhere near to that of ADS approved countries,” Canning said.

As of now the main destinations for travel by the Chinese marketplace include Southeast Asia, Europe and Australia. There are currently 134 countries with Approved Destination Status.
Countries that were initially granted ADS saw exponential growth in Chinese visitors but with the significant business volumes came challenges.

It is important to note countries like Italy and Australia struggled with the influx of visitation, Canning said.
“As more and more countries become online there are more options so we are starting to see that initial influx bleed out between players,” Canning said.

Should Canada gain ADS from the Chinese government, it would make it much easier for ordinary Chinese citizens to visit Banff.
In the meantime, Canada’s tourism industry continues to prepare for when ADS might come, so that it will be in a better position to cash in on a surge in Chinese visitation.

That has meant familiarization tours and media relations work, Canning said.
“If we had ADS we would ramp up our activities but as of right now we are right sized for our current situation,” Canning said.

Currently, Canning sits on the board of the Asian Specific Committee with the Canadian Tourism Commission. Banff Lake Louise Tourism also works closely with the CTC on market initiatives in China.
A breakthrough with gaining ADS is not expected in the near future. Right now there are no discussions between the two countries relative to Canada receiving ADS.

There was an expression under the Paul Martin Liberal government to begin talks but nothing materialized.
According to Canning, there are a number of political situations causing a gap in relations between the two governments.

Most recently, the Canadian government’s stance of support for the Dalai Lama is seen as a deterrent. As well, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s criticism of China’s human rights record also adds to the rocky relationship.

The World Tourism Organization forecasts that China will have 100 million outbound travellers a year by 2020, making it the potential fourth largest source of outbound travel in the world.
A study commissioned for the Canadian Tourism Commission in 2006 identifies strong potential in China.

It states that Canada had only 0.3 per cent of the Chinese outbound market and a three per cent share of total long-haul tourism.
The potential market for Chinese pleasure travel outside Asia is estimated at 2.8 million in Canada’s four key markets -- Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, the study says.
Interest in visiting Canada is remarkably high. Sixty per cent are interested in visiting Canada in the next two years. Among those very interested, close to 30 per cent are actively considering a trip." 

Travel between Canada and other countries October 2007
In October, total international overnight travel to Canada increased by 1.6%, registering 1.3 million trips, compared to the same month of last year. Inbound travel from the US increased 1.8% as close to 940,700. Americans visited Canada (US overnight auto trips increased 0.8% and non-auto travel increased 3.2%. Year-to-date, US travel to Canada totaled 12.0 million trips, a decrease of 2.9% over 2006.
Travel from abroad registered an overall gain in October (+1.1%). Strong gains from Mexico (+11.8%), UK (+11.4%), and Australia (+10.8%) offset declines in Japan (-16.3%), France (-6.8%), Germany (-5.1%) and China (-1.0%). On a YTD (Jan-Oct) basis, overseas travel registered an overall gain of +3.1%.
The number of Canadians traveling out of the country continued its upward trend, with a new record level (up 16.0%) for travel to overseas countries, totaling 1.9 million trips.

A Niagara Vacation for the Holiday Break
Three million lights and fantastic fireworks displays are only the beginning of a winter Niagara vacation. The holiday break has come and along with it has arrived a wonderland of Niagara events to charm and cheer during this spectacular season. From the Winter Festival of Light to New Year's Eve Niagara Falls, there's truly no place like Niagara for the holidays.

Through January 7, 2008, the Winter Festival of Light celebrates its 25th anniversary with the most brilliant show ever at the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland. Perhaps an equally luminous tradition, Niagara Falls fireworks shows happen every Friday through December 21 and then every night from December 26, 2007-January 6, 2008. Many romantic getaway packages at Niagara Falls hotels give couples a room with a view--a warm, front row seat for the show.

A Niagara vacation at New Year's is a treasured memory and New Year's Eve Niagara Falls will only enhance the experience. For December 31, 2007, Queen Victoria Park is the setting for a free concert--featuring Dennis DeYoung (founding member of Styx), Loverboy and Honeymoon Suite--as well as two magnificent fireworks displays, and food and drink provided by Niagara Falls restaurants and vendors. New Year's Eve Niagara entertainment starts at 8 p.m. with fireworks at 9 p.m. and midnight.

Niagara getaway packages for a winter vacation abound. For ways to entertain children, Niagara Falls family resorts and water park hotels feature year-round water park access, plenty of resort activities and winter wonderland themes. A terrific family treat in addition to the Winter Festival of Lights is a production of Beauty & the Beast that runs at The Niagara Center for the Performing Arts Theater through January 1, 2008. For couples, New Year's packages and romantic retreats are popular at Niagara Falls hotels--many of which offer up entertainment at Niagara Fallsview Casino; rooms and suites with views of Fireworks Over the Falls; and dinner and dance packages to help ring in 2008 with style.

For those who aren't able to visit Niagara this holiday season, the Niagara Falls Photo Contest, in conjunction with the Winter Festival of Lights, offers a terrific way to reminisce about a Niagara winter vacation from the comfort of home. Photo contest information is available on the Niagara Falls Tourism website.

Short and long term holiday. Holidays Properties available for all your vacation needs! Visit UK


Holiday Travel news

10 Tips for a Safe Holiday Vacation

By: Bruce Mandelblit
Between now and the start of the New Year, millions of Americans will take holiday vacations and family trips. In fact, many of us look forward to our holiday vacation all year long. Unfortunately, thieves and thugs will use our hard-earned vacations as an opportunity for their nasty crimes. Here are some ideas, suggested by security and law enforcement professionals, to help make your vacation and travel more secure.

1. Before you leave on your holiday vacation, tell a trusted neighbor of your travel plans, and give them a telephone number where you can be reached in case of an emergency.
2. See if you can have this trusted neighbor pick-up your daily mail and newspaper deliveries, as well as any advertising flyers and circulars that you may receive while you are gone.
A Quick Security Tip: If possible, perhaps this trusted neighbor can also park their vehicle in your driveway.
3. In general, only reveal your vacation plans to those who really need to know and who you trust. Never leave your travel details on your answering machine’s message.
A Quick Security Tip: Always make sure you keep your garage door closed and locked. This is one of the most common ways bandit burglars make entry into your home.
4. It is also an excellent idea to use automatic timers to turn on and off your lights and radio (turn your radio to a talk show rather than a music station) at varying times while you are gone.
5. Carry traveler’s checks or credit cards -- not large amounts of cash. Also, leave all your jewelry, airline tickets and other valuables in a secure room safe or the hotel’s safety deposit box. Be sure to have a written record of your traveler’s checks and credit card numbers -- and keep them in a safe place -- in case the traveler’s checks or credit cards are lost or stolen.
6. When staying at a hotel or motel, if possible, never leave your luggage unattended.
A Quick Security Tip: It is a common tactic of thieves to use a ‘distraction’ to steal your valuables while you are at the airport or while you are checking in.
7. When you get to your hotel room, it may be a good idea to determine the best, most direct, routes to the stairs and fire escapes in case of an emergency. Also locate and use any locking device on your room’s door, windows and balcony.
8. Never automatically open your hotel room door. Always know the identity of the person on the other side of the door (most hotel room doors should have peepholes). If you have any doubt as to the identity of the person, contact the hotel’s front desk for verification. Also, be sure to report to the front desk, hotel security and police any suspicious persons or activities you may observe.
9. When you leave your room, even for a brief period of time, always be sure to properly lock the door. And, as you did with your house before you left for your vacation travel, leave a light and radio/TV on before you leave your hotel room for the evening.
A Quick Security Tip: Make sure you know the proper emergency number to call for a police, fire or medical emergency (in most areas within the United States this number is 9-1-1, however there still may be a few locations where they do not use 9-1-1, so be sure to check.)
10. While enjoying you vacation travel, you can never be too aware, too prepared or too careful.
These are just a few of the security and safety ideas you may use during your vacation. For more information, contact your local police department’s crime prevention officer.

My Final Thoughts: Never put your ‘common sense’ on vacation. Sound and prudent judgment is often your best tool in making your holiday vacation and travel as enjoyable and secure as possible. Have a fun and safe vacation!

International travel news

Indonesia launches “grammatically correct” tourism year
JAKARTA - The Indonesian government officially launched Visit Indonesia Year 2008 this week, with the aim of luring up to seven million foreign tourists and booking US$6.4 billion in foreign exchange income.
To help achieve the target, the government is setting aside $15 million for a domestic and international advertising attack.
"The budget will be used to finance the advertising campaign, especially abroad," Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik told a media conference.
Last week, the ministry had to revise its tourism motto when it was pointed out it was grammatically incorrect. "Celebrating 100 years of nation's awakening" was changed to "100 years of national awakening".
Garuda Indonesia was forced to repaint 10 planes servicing international routes that had already been daubed with the slogan.
The Jakarta Post said the government's first Visit Indonesia program in 1991, "was not particularly successful, increasing the number of foreign tourists by merely 400,000 from the year earlier".
Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data show that in 1991 around 2.5 million foreign tourists visited the country, from 2.1 million in the previous year.
This year, foreign tourist arrivals are expected to hit 5.5 million, well short of the six million targeted.
Jero said the ministry had so far bought advertising time on several international television channels.
However, the larger portion of the money will be used to finance international forums, where it can effectively introduce and promote the program.
Thamrin B.Bachri, the ministry's director general, added that such forums would be held mainly in countries which traditionally provided the most tourists for Indonesia, such as Australia, Singapore, Malaysia Korea and China. "These international promotion programs will take the biggest portion of the budget allocation."
Next year the ministry is set to manage more than 100 international events and cultural festivals across the nation.

Green Travel' area of growth for 2008
Size does matter - when it comes to carbon footprints, that is.
The buzz around the water cooler is all about how small yours is, and how you can shrink it. The latest tendency is for people to carry their passion for emissions into their travels.
Flight Centre has forecast green travel as one of its areas of growth for 2008 and the industry is responding to the demand.

Ecotourism Australia has been working the environmentally friendly circuit for 15 years.
Stephen Pahl, CEO of EcoTourism Australia, explains that a group of nature-based hotels joined forces to form the Ecotourism Australia website. The certification program encourages the travel industry to hop on the greenie bandwagon and reduce its carbon footprints.

"It's all well and good for us to go out and espouse sustainability and encourage the industry to be sustainable without offering them a framework to actually do it," Pahl says.
"So we developed this program that provides a very definitive framework for sustained tourism operations in Australia." Hotels can download a copy of guidelines that outline an eco-friendly establishment. The application process covers 10 modules in three key areas of sustainability: economically, environmentally and socially.

Pahl says they have never had to approach hotels to be part of the program, they have always been keen to get involved.
"We find that we have a continual stream of both new and existing ecotourism operators coming to us wanting to go through the program proactively because they simply want to be acting sustainable," he says.
"It would be concerning for us if we had to go out and commercially push the program."

The website covers eco tours, hotels and attractions and rates their sustainability as base entry level, ecotourism or advanced tourism.
"There is a very rigorous auditing program attached to our certification program ... we're really maintaining a high level of integrity for the program," Pahl says.
He said that the program, which lists over 1,000 products, has a global reach, in turn promoting tourism in Australia.
"The program itself is now becoming a very valuable tool in marketing Australia to the world markets."

And, the national program has sparked interest elsewhere.
"We now have, as we speak, around about eight countries worldwide who are wishing to also use our eco-certification globally."
One area that was colored green before it was hip is the Phillip Island Nature Park in Victoria. They have been involved in ecotourism since the 1920s and boast the highest rating under the certification program.

Sally O'Neill, the communications manager for the Phillip Island Nature Park, says they take ecotourism very seriously.
"It's basically our mission statement and it's really everything we do, that is we are a self-funding, not-for-profit association and all the money we make goes back into protecting the environment.
"All of those things that actually make ecotourism we're actually doing it everyday.
"In our actual operations on a day to day level we try to be a model of environmental sustainability ... we try to teach messages about conservation and sustainability."
O'Neill says more than 680,000 paying visitors head to Phillip Island each year.

And, while a majority of these guests aren't motivated for environmental reasons, O'Neill hopes that they learn something from their time at the penguin parade mecca.
Bargain booking website wotif has joined forces with Ecotourism Australia, making a point of acknowledging the sustainability of outlets.
When users conduct an advance search and punch in ecotourism certification they will find at least 20 hotels on offer.
The manager for the Australian markets at wotif, Saskia Moon, says they have responded to growing interest in reducing carbon emissions while traveling.
"It's very much a trend just in the market in general," Moon, a self-confessed greenie, says.

The initiative is keeping both green guests and hoteliers happy.
"We keep hearing from more and more hotels that customers are asking for them to be more environmentally friendly," Moon says.
"We keep being told by hotels what initiative they've taken, so we knew it was something that people were interested in," she adds.

She says experience tells her the wotif feature is growing in popularity amongst users.
"We're seeing that they're (users) moving their (green) habits to when they're traveling as well.
"So it's not necessarily that when you're at home you're all water conscious and then as soon as you go to a hotel you stay in the shower for an hour - you should be consistent."
The wotif team has come up with a bevy of other tips for a sustainable holiday:
- If you're staying in a fully serviced apartment opt against having your towels and sheets changed every day (and tell the staff that's what you want so it's clear).
- Stick to your four-minute shower routine.
- Where possible open windows rather than using the air-conditioning. Ceiling fans also use less energy than air-conditioning units so choose this option.
- In winter, put on a jumper before resorting to heating.
- Close curtains to stop the heat coming in, or the warmth escaping in winter.
- Off-set the carbon emissions of your travel or investigate public transport options.Sites such as can help you calculate the carbon emission total of your travel.
- Get the train from the airport instead of a taxi, or share a taxi.
- Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Turn electrical appliances off at the wall when you're not using them. Also, remember to flick the switches at home before you hit the road.

Meanwhile, the journey is just as important as the destination.
While plenty of people are switching to hybrid cars, 87% of travelers admit they will continue to fly despite the harm to the environment, a new survey has found.
The lastminute Australia study said that while people will still take flight, they are considering the consequences. Over half a million Australians have purchased carbon credits to help neutralize their greenhouse gas emissions.
The lastminute website features a ClimateWise carbon emissions calculator, making it easy for users to offset emissions.
So far the device has resulted in 193 tones of greenhouse gases being offset.

New York City Tourism - Fun and Frolic
New York City has been identical with the USA itself for all the immigrants who poured into this country over the past hundreds of years due to the Statue of Liberty. Visiting this historic yet ultra-modern city at least once should be a must-do for everyone. There is plenty to see and experience thanks to the continuous efforts to promote New York City tourism all over the world.

Why Is New York One of the Most Favorite Destinations on globe?

Forget about the New York City tourism promotions - even without any advertisements or selling this city is by far one of the most amazing destinations ever. This city has more amazing things to see on one block than many cities have in it altogether. Check out some of the sites that makes New York City tourism such a thriving industry:

The Empire State Building - you will find this on the 5th Avenue and as you admire its majestic structure, you would not be surprised to know that for a long time this building was the tallest construction in the world. You should also have a peek of the world famous New York Stock Exchange building located on Wall Street.

Your visit to New York would never be complete without a visit to the Central Park. This is one incredible place where you would find every type of recreational activity you can think of - baseball fields, a zoo, placid lakes for boating, ice skating rinks and huge open spaces where concerts are held all the time.

Would you not like to see the great Statue of Liberty? This is one great attraction that promotes New York City tourism perennially. You would need to go to the Battery Park from where ferry boats would take you the Ellis Island and the great and famous Statue of Liberty.

If you want to see a little piece of Europe in USA, visit the Greenwich Village where you will find everything done in European style - the food, the fashion, the shopping malls - everything would remind you of Europe as China Town would remind you of China. There is plenty to see and experience in China Town besides the shops and excellent cuisine.

As you are already enjoying the different cultures predominantly described in the New York City sightseeing brochures, you will definitely look forward to add the Little Italy on your itinerary. As with the European Village and China town, the Little Italy showcases for you the Italian culture, people and cuisine.

You are certain to fall in love with New York City, which is good news because you would never be able to see everything this city has to offer in one visit - and you would need to have a reason to return again and again and again.

Travel to Asia Great Travel Packages

Internet info

Visitor traffic to holiday ( & For Rent By Owner in Canada ( web sites for the month of December 2007:
Total 'hits' for the month = 707,037 hits (22,807 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 34,561 (1,115 per day)
Visitors came from 90+ countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of the site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors
click here

Advice for the property owner

Damage Deposit
Visitors expect to be charged a refundable here.