Did you know: Victoria, BC is ranked the 5th most romantic city in Canada (via amazon.ca).

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Season's greetings from The Travel Group!

In lieu of Christmas treats, we're created a travel-themed recipe book for you !

For every view, The Travel Group will donate $1* to the Saint James Music Academy on your behalf. 

    View the recipe book.

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Posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

 Trouble viewing this video click here

 

  Printing and postage...

Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ever get to the airport only to learn that your flight has been delayed 12 hours?  And you ask yourself, why couldn't the airline have phoned me?

In fact, there was an era, not that long ago - okay, it was VERY long ago! - when airlines dutifully recorded phone numbers and actually had their employees contact passengers when a flight was delayed or cancelled.  Those were the days!  (They also served free food and gave allowed  you to check two free bags up to 70 lbs each!)

The downside of the Internet where everyone can comparison-shop in seconds is that...

Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2018

Fairmont President's Club and Accor's Le Club officially merge into Le Club on July 2, 2018.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards will merge sometime in August, 2018.  And even though the program will be unified (presumably under the less desirable Marriott Rewards structure), the individual names of the programs will stay in place until sometime in 2019.  [Note: the same thing is true for Ritz Carlton Rewards, which has been part of the Marriott family for quite some time.]

In both cases, the consensus is these mergers will be a downgrade for the...

Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2018

 With one exception, all airline points programs have a nasty policy which could be summed up as "use 'em or lose 'em!"  Delta Skymiles is the one exception: in theory Delta points never expire.

Perhaps the most draconian program of all is Aeroplan, which only gives you 12 months to show "activity" or your points will be allowed to expire.  To give them credit, they normally will send you a warning email before this happens. 

"Activity" is defined in our industry as "earning or burning."  I think that's self-...

Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2018
AC is rewarding Altitude members, 50K+ for exceeding their target threshold levels. So, for example, if you reach 50K status in 2018, but actually earned 60,000 AQM or 60 AQS, you’ll be rewarded with a starting bonus of 2500 AQM for the following year’s program. (This bonus AQM will also be matched as Aeroplan points.) Super Elites who far exceed their 100K target will be given automatic “banked” Super Elite status for the following year, regardless of whether they re-achieve it or not.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

10 or so years ago, airlines discovered "ancillaries."  This is the innocuous name they give to the practice of charging for extras, mostly things we all took for granted as part of the package in the old days.  Ancillaries include advance seat selection, preferred seat selection, checked baggage fees (even, in extreme cases, carry-on baggage fees!), special meals, and just about everything else that isn't something an airline is legally required to provide.  (So, no, you'll never be expected to pay for oxygen.  Bathroom privileges, maybe, but not the air you...

Posted on Friday, October 13, 2017

Now that we've explored several themes, let's do a case study.

Recently we interviewed Jenna Ratcliffe, Project Coordinator with Nurse Next Door Home Care Services. Here, we explore this company’s unique approach to management and growth based on creating a caring, nurturing environment for its employees.

 
Here’s David Elmy’s (DE) interview with Jenna...
Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Corporate Culture 2: The Power of Culture
 
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” Peter Drucker famously said. What he means is: if you get your employees’ attitudes and motivation aligned with your company’s values, everything else falls into place.
 
In this series, we are looking at different corporate cultures and different approaches to deliberately shape companies’ culture in ways...
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2017

The latest hotel trend is not a good one.  Major chains such as Marriott (who now own Starwood) and Hilton are imposing 48-hour cancellation policies on customers.

It wasn't that long ago that 6pm day of arrival cancellation policies were the norm.  Then, about 3 or 4 years ago, all the major hotel chains started imposing 24-hour cancel policies. Travellers accepted that change in stride, as it didn't seem too unreasonable.  Roughly the same time, hotels also started putting similar restrictions on cancelling nights during your stay: eg. insisting you must give them 1...

Posted on Friday, July 21, 2017

This is the first of an ongoing series of stories where we will explore corporate culture, particularly as it relates to travel.  We'll look at how various companies we support look after their employees and their unique policies and philosophies.  We are particularly interested, of course, in how they deal with their employees' needs when they travel.

 
One of the most memorable compliments I’ve ever received from a client about our travel agency was this: “The single...
Posted on Friday, July 7, 2017
Touring “The County” in Southern Ontario
 
When I was growing up in Southern Ontario, Prince Edward County (PEC) was a sleepy farming community with a few small villages and towns that no one had any particular reason to visit. In the past decade, however, Prince Edward County, located about 200 km east of Toronto and 200 km west of Montreal, has become a first class tourist destination, as well as a home of some very promising new wineries.
 
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Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2017

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Posted on Friday, January 6, 2017

As most frequent-flyers in Canada know, Air Canada operates a loyalty program within a loyalty program, which is known a "Altitude."  Based on actual mileage flown during the calendar year (or, alternatively, number of flights), you may be awarded Prestige 25K, Elite 35K, Elite 50K, Elite 75K, or Super Elite 100K status for the following year.  With each higher status level comes additional benefits.  For example, 35K members get access to Air Canada's Maple Leaf lounges, while members with 50K status or better are given "Gold Status" with all...

Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2016