Alberta tourism bouncing back ... Mexico aims for more visits ... Deal of the day
You can't keep a good province down.
A report in the Calgary Herald quotes Travel Alberta CEO Bruce Okabe as saying there's no question that revenues will be down. But it may not end up being as bad as officials thought when they first saw the effects of the monstrous floods.
Tourism is worth $7.8 billion to the Alberta economy, making it an enormously important business. Golf courses in Banff and Kananaskis were affected, and of course we all know about the damage to the Calgary Saddledome and the grounds of the Calgary Stampede. But the Stampede went off nicely and the famous Banff Springs golf course is back and in fine shape, as you'll note in a story in Saturday's Toronto Star Travel section (it's also posted on our site right now).
Okabe said about one-third of Alberta's tourism revenue comes in July, August and September.
"These three months are absolutely critical months for us," he said.
In the Herald story, Okabe said it's too soon to put a dollar value on the losses. But he said when the numbers are tallied at the end of the year, the results may be better than anyone who spent the last week of June watching flood images on the news could have anticipated.
"I've been very happily surprised at how quickly this industry has bounced back here in Alberta," he said. "We are open for business - that's the message we're sending."
MEXICO TOURISM PUSH
Mexico's secretary of tourism, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, wants to see tourism make an even bigger impact.
There's a plan to build a train that will link pulsing Cancun to the ruins of Chichen Itza (see photo at left) and Merida. The government also has set up a "tourism cabinet" to push the industry, and they're combining forces on the Pacific side by creating a new group that will market Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit together in something called "Vallarta Nayarit," which is something of a mouthful in my opinion.
Ruiz Massieu said the southernmost five states of Mexico hold a lot of promise due to the Mayan ruins, those being Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Campeche, Chiapas and Tabasco.
I stayed on the Mayan Riviera last year, south of Cancun, and quite enjoyed it. The beach was outstanding and the resort, the Barcelo, was very nice. We had short rides to the ruins and the fabulous beach at Tulum, swam in freshwater caves called cenotes for just a couple bucks and spent a day shopping and eating in Playa del Carmen.
Staff on one of the world's most luxurious cruise lines hid more than 15 trolleys of food in cabins to try to avoid it being seen by health protection officers, according to a report into a sudden inspection carried out on board Silversea's Silver Shadow in June, according to travelmole.com.
"The damning report claimed staff had tried to hide cooked and raw food, including raw meat, cheeses and vegetables as well as kitchen equipment in over 10 cabins shared by two or three galley crew members," travelmole reported. Officers also found a variety of both raw and uncooked food and ready-to-eat food on decks and on and under beds in a number of cabins used by crew.
The ship failed the inspection, scoring 82 points, just three points below the required 85 for a 'satisfactory' rating. Silversea said it had taken immediate measures to ensure Silver Shadow "retains the highest standards in all areas of its operations," including additional staff training and monitoring. A sister ship, the Silver Spirit, received a top score of 100 during an inspection in April.
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- Sailing from Venice to Rome. Ports of call include: Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; Sicily, Italy; Catania, Italy; Naples, Italy and Rome, Italy
- Accommodations in a Deluxe Stateroom (Category C), featuring a large picture window and 1 queen or 2 twin beds
- Optional air add-ons available from various departure cities, with round-trip airport/port transfers. See pricing below
- Meal plan includes fine dining, open bar, 24-hour room service and gratuities throughout the ship
Why We Love It:
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- Valid Passport required for travel from Canada
- Pricing (per person based on double occupancy, includes gratuities):
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Tax: $305 per person
Cruise including Air from Toronto or Montreal:
Double: $4999 + $875 tax
Cruise including Air from Winnipeg or Calgary:
Double: $5099 + $875 tax
Cruise including Air from Vancouver:
Double: $5199 + $875 tax
- This offer is 100% non-refundable