Transat Holidays has a couple new, intriguing offerings for its customers. I chatted briefly with public relations spokeswoman Lynnette Visaya on Monday about their new Family Collection vacations and their Escapade Collection trips.
The Family Collection is a group of more than two dozen hotels/resorts that are geared to families. They all have kids’ clubs or something along those lines and many have adjoining rooms or programs such as “kids eat free.”
Folks who use the Family Collection on Transat get priority check-in and free seat-selection and in-flight treats for the kids.
The Escapade Collection (see photo at right) is more for folks who are looking for a cultural or nature trip versus hanging on the beach for a full week. There are nature hikes in Jamaica, a coffee/culture visit in Mexico and other programs, Visaya said.
For those who missed it, and I have to admit I’m one, Transat has begun
renovating it’s A-330 aircraft and expects to have them all redone by the end of
2013. Changes include cool, new mood lighting to ease travel stress, “state of
the art” touch screen consoles for passenger entertainment, full-length mirrors
in lavatories, wider and more comfortable seats finished in Italian leather and
slightly more leg room.
HONG KONG KUDOS
According to CNN Travel, a new report says Hong Kong was the most popular tourist destination overall among Asian tourists in 2011.
According to a study of more than 1,000 Asian consumers by brand research company Cimigo, 31 per cent of those surveyed said they visited Hong Kong last year. A full 40 per cent of respondents said it’s their favourite shopping destination.
I’ve been a few times and absolutely loved the diversity of the place. There are wild markets with cheap clothes and also expensive boutiques, fun kitchen shops and much more.
For sightseeing and relaxation, Asian tourists picked Australia and New Zealand as top destinations; also understandable given the wide variety of things to see.
The good news for tourism folks is that 61 per cent of those surveyed said they plan to increase their travel budgets and spending in 2013.
JAMIE OLIVER LOVES NOVA SCOTIA
Well, at least his new magazine loves it. I had a copy of Jamie, the magazine, sent to me this week, complete with a cover shot of the famous British cook and a main headline that says “North American Welcomes Jamie Magazine.”
There are lots of recipes in the magazine, now apparently sold in 45 countries, and who knew?
There’s a story on how to make the perfect hamburger (a tad late for the Canadian summer, guys) and also a fine feature with lovely photos of Nova Scotia, which I visited in the spring of this year. I was happy to see some attention given to the Annapolis Valley, particularly the Wolfville region.
Featured in the magazine was the magnificent Tempest restaurant in Wolfville, as well as the fine Blomidon Inn and nearby Luckett Vineyards (see photo), where they have a British phone booth in the middle of the vines and a fine tasting room with excellent views.
Also included was a nod to the Salt Shaker Deli in Lunenburg, which has the best clam chowder I’ve had anywhere in the world by a HUGE margin, as well as the fun and tasty Ironworks Distillery in Lunenburg, where they make artisan vodka, rum, local fruit eau de vie and other treats.