Canada Marketplace // (c) 2010 Janeen Christoff
This year’s Canada Media Marketplace, held April 13-14 at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, served as a reminder that, post-Olympics, Canada should still be top of mind for travelers.
In a speed-dating setting, members of the media were invited to meet with more than 100 tourism representatives from throughout Canada to conduct short interviews and get the latest on a variety of destinations, hotels and tour operators.
Food and wine was, of course, a popular topic, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, located in Southern Ontario, was touting its beautiful wineries, high-end hotels and 180 bed and breakfasts, as well as its many well-known festivals including the Shaw Festival and its Icewine Festival. Although many of the town’s 2.5 million annual visitors arrive from the U.S. East Coast, more and more visitors are arriving from the West, particularly from Texas.
Toronto also has a lot to offer. For families, the city has the Ontario Science Centre, the Toronto Zoo and the Toronto Islands, a chain of islands in Lake Ontario where families will find beautiful picnic spots as well as the Centreville Amusement Park.
In the next three years, the city will open five new five-star hotels, including a Ritz-Carlton scheduled to open in September, a Shangri-La in 2011 and a new Four Seasons, which will replace its aging Toronto property in 2012.
In the West, Vancouver is riding high after the Olympics, but one of the hottest things to do in British Columbia is visit the Okanagen Valley, where a popular way to travel is by taking a driving tour.
The area offers a variety of wine festivals, and visitors can find accommodation in family hotels, high-end condo resorts as well as at one of the regions many wineries. Travelers can also take advantage of houseboating on the lake, and the area features more than 50 golf courses, of which more than 12 are championship courses.