Interesting that Expedia is trying to change the landscape when it comes to hotel reviews.
I use Trip Advisor as a general guide to properties and sometimes restaurants, but I've never completely trusted the source of the reviews. Now, Expedia has revamped its "Expedia Verified Reviews" program, which will allow travelers to do all kinds of cool searches to find hotels near a particular site, such as a hockey arena. Officials say all reviews - both good and bad - will be written by Expedia customers who actually booked AND STAYED at the hotel.
Certainly, more information in the hands of us consumers is a good thing, so I look forward to checking it out.
Trip Advisor recently was spun off from Expedia, so it's not like these are two enemies going at it.
As for Trip Advisor, they're departing 2011 with a wee mistake. I noticed they sent out an item this week listing 15 Destinations on the Rise for 2012.
Sadly, they're all American, although perhaps they have a more worldly offering elsewhere on their site or in the works. Not that it's a cardinal sin, as all those long coastlines do tend to look a bit alike, but I notice that their section on Santa Cruz, California shows a photo of Highway 1 down in Big Sur. It's a good 80 or 100 miles from Santa Cruz, guys. Your photo shows the famous bridge that spans one of the canyons on Highway 1 well south of Carmel, whereas Santa Cruz is way north, up at the far end of Monterey Bay.
Anyway, here are the Trip Advisor 15 Destinations on the Rise in the U.S.: Nashville; Austin, Texas; Fort Myers; Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Pensacola; Louisville; Branson, Missouri; Scottsdale; St. Augustine, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Asheville, North Carolina; Wildwood, New Jersey; Park City, Utah and Santa Cruz. Once again, North Dakota gets shut out.
ISLAND AIRPORT ON THE RISE
This was a HUGE growth year for the Toronto Island Airport, which means it was a good year for the folks at Porter Airlines.
The number of passengers at the airport, formally known as Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, rose from 1.13 million in 2010 to 1.55 million this year. That's according to the Toronto Port Authority, which manages the airport.
Officials say they're climbing toward 2 million folks a year.
Air Canada now offers daily flights from the island airport to Montreal, but they don't have as many slots as they'd like.
Work is expected to begin in the spring on a new pedestrian tunnel from the mainland over to the island. I'm sure it's more convenient, but I'd miss the one-minute ferry ride.