I am frequently asked about what it is like being part of the travel industry. Most people want to know about the trips while confessing their secret desire to be travel writers. Oddly, when invited to send in a story, I never hear from them again. That is another story.
So here is a little scoop. CanaMedia was held least week. This is an event when some of Canada's most important tourism brass show up in Los Angeles (this kind of thing happens all over the U.S. in many major cities) to meet with invited journalists to talk about their specific Canadian location.
Imagine a big ballroom at a top business hotel filled with tables and place cards. Imagine a speed dating style meet-and-great where every fifteen minutes a gong sounds and a new meeting begins. It is a noisy buzz as both writers and tourism board folks, hoteliers, attractions, and tour operators learn about each other and plan future stories and make or renew contacts.
There are usually several snack breaks during the day, but the festivities never slow down. In the afternoon there was a mime, who talked a lot, from Edmonton, various jugglers, plate spinners, and a carnival-like atmosphere complete with popcorn. In the evening, British Columbia threw a private party for the launch of its Olympics in 2010 at Paramount Studios where no expense was spared "“ I loved the contortionists in brightly colored spandex. No, I am not kidding, and it was all a bit surreal in a full twelve-hour day.
I learned a lot about Canada, a place I considered moving to in my early twenties "“ until I realized I would have almost no chance at getting a job, but I can still visit. Some, but not all, of the travel highlights include.
Quebec City turns 400 all this year with major events continuing from Dec 31, 2007 to October 19, 2008 and 130 special events happening from June 3, to Sept 28.
British Columbia celebrates 150 years and launches the celebration of the coming winter Olympics in 2010.
The Northwest Territories suggest they have scientific evidence to prove they have the best viewing of the Aurora Borealis.
Once again, the Montreal Jazz Fest has 650 concerts and free admission to 370 of them making it one of the festivals in the world. June 26 to July 6, 2008.