SUNNY SPOTS AND "IDIOT" BLOGGERS
Damned statistics; a guy could get confused around here if he wasn't careful.
Mexico's tourism board sent out a press advisory saying they attracted 1.114 million Canadians to their part of the world last year - a 20 per cent increase. That's pretty good. I thought the release said more Canadians went to Mexico than any other destination, but, in fact, it said no such thing.
It simply didn't make sense that more Canucks would hit Mexico than Florida, so I checked with the Florida tourism people and they say there were 2,832,300 Canadian visitors to the Sunshine State last year; up from a little under 2.5 million in 2007.
So, Florida is still ahead of Mexico by a long shot. But there's no doubt Mexico has proven a much more popular destination for Canadians in the last little while, with lots of great resorts and golf courses and new beaches to discover.
Aeromexico next Tuesday (March 3) is slated to announce daily flights from the Big Smoke to Mexico City, so clearly something is afoot.
RYANAIR BLOG WAR
Here's a good one. Ryanair has launched a wonderful attack on a blogger who was telling folks how to, allegedly, get free trips on the European airline.
Apparently the guy thought he had found a way to book free travel and was telling folks about it. But it wasn't quite true. Ryanair could've left it alone but, unfortunately for them, an employee got into a web-based shouting match with the blogger - not a good idea.
"Ryanair can confirm that a Ryanair staff member did engage in a blog discussion," said spokesman Stephen McNamara. "It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won't be happening again. Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel."
Well, MOST of your people, Stephen. But not all.
I'm just glad they haven't phoned me. Mind you, I've been called worse than "idiot" and "lunatic" - often by my family.
USA TODAY BLOG
Good item from USA Today travel blogger Ben Mutzabaugh on airline safety; something we try not to think about too much around here.
Anyone see the "worst hotel" list that tripadvisor.com put out? We won't get into what hotel they're talking about in New York city, but consider this entry: "The windows towards the street was (sic) broken, the bath curtain was rotten ... (it) seemed like a bad movie where only the police marks on the floor was (sic) missing.
"(There) were four people in two rooms - most of us got bed bugs," the person wrote.
Here's my favourite part: "Service was not existing at all - but the location was fantastic."
Well, in THAT case ....
GOING DOWN, DOWN, DOWN
The Conference Board of Canada says the recession will ground profits in Canada's airline industry this year.
A Canadian Press report says the Ottawa-based think tank is calling for "lower demand for personal and business air travel will cut profits by almost 86 per cent, although the industry will remain profitable."
The Conference Board estimates Canada's airlines will eke out a profit of $106-million this year, the lowest level since 2004, CP says.