WEIRD TRAVEL AGENT REQUESTS
Fun item at travelandleisure.com on some weird requests to travel agents. My favourite was in my twitter feed earlier today; a guy who (BELIEVE IT OR NOT) asked an agent to set up a trip so he could take his chihuahua to Chihuahua, Mexico so the dog could "discover its roots."
Hard to believe, for sure.
Some of the others were suitably bizarre, including the guy who insisted on having an air conditioner installed in his tent for his visit to the Sahara Desert. And the chap (or woman) who wanted an ocean view for his or her room in Orlando.
The latter sounds pretty silly, but don't forget about the folks who come to Toronto every few years and ask about driving to Calgary or Vancouver for the day.
THE REAL MEXICO?
The Mexico Tourism Board and itravel2000 on Monday announced "an innovative program to address the confusion created by recent media reports about Mexico."
"In the past weeks, reports of problems in towns on the U.S. and Mexico board relating to drug cartel violence created a perception with consumers that all of Mexico, including favorite sun and beach destinations were all dangerous to travel to even though the destinations like Cancun and the Riviera Maya are over 3000 kilometres away from the affected border cities," they said in a press release. "To address the confusion, a project entitled 'What is REALLY Happening in MEXICO?' has been launched that features an independent regular traveller, Scott Sheehan, visiting popular destinations in Mexico and interviewing real consumers on their experiences. Interviews, pictures and stories are hosted on a web blog Whatisreallyhappeninginmexico.
You can't blame them, but you gotta wonder what would happen if the "independent, regular traveller" spotted a crime taking place or saw something else that put a particular region of Mexico in a bad light.
London Mayor Boris Johnson is putting on a big push for tourism, launching a $3.6 million (Cdn.) international marketing campaign on Monday.
Star Travel you may recall, visited London a month or so ago after we spotted some great deals and also realized how affordable England has become with the pound hovering around $1.80 Canadian - far below the $2.50 or so we witnessed a couple years back.
Expedia.ca on Monday was showing lots of properties at reasonable prices, including a couple four-star hotels at less than $200 Canadian for the weekend of April 11 and 12.
GRIZZLIES ON THE MOVE
Interesting item in British Columbia magazine for Spring 2009 - grizzlies apparently are showing up regularly on Vancouver Island. It's a rarity but apparently salmon stocks are way down on the mainland and some of the bears have started showing up on the island.
They're not entirely welcome as far as tourists are concerned, let alone the local black bears who may face some competition. For now, authorities seem willing to let nature take its course and are taking a wait-and-see approach.
Another interesting story in the BC mag was on Triangle Island, off the western shores of Vancouver Island. Blame eastern Canadian ignorance, but I had no idea there were puffins on the west coast of Canada.