Sunwing launches hotel division .. Tories neglecting tourism? .. Smiling Albino
Sunwing Travel Group has announced creation of "Blue Diamond Resorts," a new, wholly-owned subsidiary that will manage and develop its own destination resorts.
The resorts will provide "unique and differentiated products specifically tailored to the needs of discerning North American vacationers."
The emphasis will be on quality, not quantity, officials said, and there will be several brands. The first will be "Royalton Luxury Resorts," a five-star brand aimed at sophisticated travellers and their families, with personalized service and "an unparalleled attention to detail."
(Always smart to go after the high-end stuff and families I had a coffee Thursday with Daniel Fraser from Smiling Albino, a tour company that does both walking tours in Southeast Asia cities such as Bangkok and Hanoi but also will put together week-long trips for high-rollers who want to take motorcycle tours through remote Khmer ruins in north Thailand and Cambodia. He says they get a lot of business from Toronto, much of it family business from folks with lots of money. So Sunwing is seemingly on the right track here.)
The first Sunwing property is the Royalton Panama Luxury Resort, a "South Beach-style" hotel in the Playa Blanca area on Panama's Pacific Coast. There are 230 Deluxe rooms, one, two and three-bedrom suites, each with free WiFi, 32-inch flatscreen TV's with premium channels, iPod docks, a fully stocked minibar and more.
The Royalton Panama Luxury Resort is now open for guests and Sunwing vacation packages are available.
FEDERAL TORIES BLASTED
Joyce Murray, the Liberal MP who acts as critic for Small Business and Tourism, says the federal government needs to use the fall session of Parliament to boost small business and the tourism industry.
Murray says a good start would be exhibiting a pavilion at the upcoming Expo 2012 in South Korea.
Murray says she met with business owners during the summer and they are "absolutely shocked" that there are no plans for a pavilion, especially given Korea's trading status.
I'm more worried about tourism in general, myself. It's a critical industry in this day and age, and I see very little evidence that ANY level of government takes it as seriously as it should.
TORONTO A HIT ON HOTELS.COM
For international visitors as a whole, Vancouver was the Canadian city that website users looked at most, followed by Toronto, Montreal, Niagara Falls and Victoria.
Canadians "clicked" on Toronto the most, followed by Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Niagara Falls.
Canadians looking outside our fair borders looked at hotles in New York the most, followed by Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago and San Francisco. Then came Seattle, Los Angeles, London, Boston and Paris.