2023 | The Great Canadian Travel Co.


March 14, 2023 | Pearl McCallum

We want to paint a picture for you.   Imagine you’re at a gathering with friends and acquaintances. It’s a fairly large group, let’s say around 15-20 people. Just as you begin to get hungry, someone brings out a large, layered cake. It’s smothered in rich, chocolate buttercream frosting – …

June 29, 2022 | Lois Farley

Way back in 2017 I wrote a blog in recognition of Canada Day; 50 Great Things Canada Contributed to the World. Since I wrote that blog I’ve been studying about the Indigenous peoples who have lived on this land we now call Canada for millennia – the First Nations and …

March 17, 2022 | Lois Farley

Saint Patrick’s Day brings Ireland and all things Irish to a lot of people’s minds. And, those of us lucky enough to be Irish or are of Irish descent, particularly so! My ancestors on both sides of my family emigrated to Canada from Ireland back in the mid to late …

March 1, 2022 | Allison Silvaggio

There are so many things that we miss when it comes to travel, such as exploring new places, trying new things and meeting new people.  What I miss the most, are those extremely peaceful moments where you can just take it all in.  Whether you are enjoying a beautiful hike, …


Canada’s East Coast: Full of Rich History

April 24, 2023 | GCTG Marketing


The history of Newfoundland and Canada’s East Coast is a fascinating and complex topic, with a rich and diverse cultural heritage that spans thousands of years.


The Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada, is the only confirmed Viking site in North America, discovered in 1960 by a Norwegian explorer named Helge Ingstad and his archaeologist wife, Anne Stine Ingstad. The site was occupied by Viking explorers for a short period around the year 1000 AD, and it is believed that they used the location as a base for exploring further into North America. The Vikings likely interacted with the Indigenous people of the region, as evidenced by the presence of butternuts, a native North American plant, at the site. The Vikings at L’Anse aux Meadows engaged in various activities such as boat repair, metalworking, and hunting, and evidence of these activities has been found at the site. The settlement was abandoned after only a few years, for reasons that are still unclear to historians and archaeologists.

It’s also very important to remember that the East Coast of Canada has been inhabited by Indigenous peoples for over 10,000 years. These include the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Innu, and Inuit peoples, among others, who play an important role in the cultural, social, and economic fabric of Canada’s East Coast. Many communities are actively working to reclaim their traditional languages, practices, and knowledge, and to promote greater awareness and understanding of their rich and diverse cultural heritage. The Town of Port au Choix is home to Port au Choix National Historic Site, where preserves and interprets four archaeological sites dating back over 3,500 years, including Maritime Archaic burial grounds (one of the largest hunter-gatherer burial sites in North America), Dorset Palaeoeskimo campsites, and Groswater Palaeoeskimo settlements.

The site also features a visitor center with exhibits and displays about the history and culture of the people who lived in the area over the centuries, as well as guided tours of the archaeological sites. Visitors can see artifacts such as tools, weapons, and pottery that were used by these early inhabitants, and learn about their daily lives and customs.


The arrival of European explorers and colonizers in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, most notably the Portuguese and later the French and British, forever altered the region’s history. The first recorded European contact with Newfoundland was by the Portuguese explorer João Fernandes Lavrador in 1498, while John Cabot famously claimed the land for England in 1497.

Throughout the following centuries, Newfoundland became an important hub for the fishing industry, with its cod stocks drawing fishermen from across Europe and beyond. The region was also at the center of many conflicts between the French and British, with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 finally ceding control of Newfoundland to the British.


In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the region experienced a significant economic boom thanks to the growth of industries such as mining, forestry, and shipbuilding. However, the collapse of the cod fishery in the late 20th century brought about a period of economic hardship and social upheaval, leading to significant changes in the region’s economy and culture.

Another important chapter in the history of Newfoundland and Canada’s East Coast is the role it played in both World Wars. During World War I, the region was an important base for the Canadian Expeditionary Force, with thousands of soldiers training in the harsh conditions of the Newfoundland wilderness before being sent overseas. In World War II, the East Coast of Canada became a crucial hub for the transportation of troops and supplies to Europe, with Halifax serving as a major naval base and convoy assembly point.


Today, Newfoundland and Canada’s East Coast continue to be known for their rugged natural beauty, unique cultural heritage, and incredibly rich history. From the vibrant cities of Halifax and St. John’s to the remote fishing communities that dot the coastline, this region offers visitors a glimpse into a world that is both ancient and modern, rugged and welcoming, and full of surprises at every turn. If you’re considering a visit to any of the amazing regions in this part of Canada, we would love to help you get there! We’re sure you won’t regret it.

Let’s Get Real!

March 14, 2023 | Pearl McCallum

We want to paint a picture for you.


Imagine you’re at a gathering with friends and acquaintances. It’s a fairly large group, let’s say around 15-20 people. Just as you begin to get hungry, someone brings out a large, layered cake. It’s smothered in rich, chocolate buttercream frosting – multiple ooh’s and ahh’s are uttered around the room! But, someone points out a big problem; the venue only has 2 forks, a few plates and no knife to cut the cake with. This cake is absolutely big enough to feed all of these hungry party-goers, but what good is that without the supplies needed to appropriately dispense this delicious dessert to everyone who wants it? 


If you haven’t already caught on, we’re not really talking about cake – although that does sound good right now, doesn’t it?


 It is widely known that the travel industry has been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, suffering more than most other sectors. The pandemic has forced airlines, hotels, and travel agencies to drastically reduce their services and lay off employees. As a result, the travel industry has suffered a significant financial and labour loss and is still dealing with significant hardships. Meanwhile, global tourism in 2023 is expected to reach approximately 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels, according to the tourism recovery outlook issued by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. While this is great news, it doesn’t mean it’s an easy journey getting there – and this is where our analogy with the large cake and finite number of utensils comes in. 


You have likely already experienced this yourself if you’ve travelled in the past year. “We’re seeing flights being cancelled because they’ve only filled about 50% of the seats onboard, and then merging those tickets with other flights with similar low occupancy” says Shauna Cook, one of our Travel Consultants, who specializes in travel to northern Canadian destinations, such as Churchill, MB and Scandinavian countries. “In some cases, my clients have been waiting over an hour to retrieve their baggage, which is understandable when airports and airlines are still dealing with staffing issues, but it can be incredibly frustrating for all travellers.” 


The aviation field is heavily regulated. Commercial planes must follow the guidelines of the Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) established by the Transport Canada Civil Aviation Directorate (TCCA). This program requires that aircrafts complete inspections, commonly referred to as “checks,” regularly to ensure compliance. Because of these regulations and a lack of people to oversee these jobs, there is a significant backlog of planes still needing to be certified before they hit the air. All of these components make for limited and often more expensive fares.


And it’s not just the airline industry reeling from the uptick in demand and low staffing levels. Many hotels have been forced to cut back on their housekeeping services, some hotel restaurants have shortened business hours and limited menus, and in many cases the quality of service may be compromised because employees are working longer hours or taking on additional responsibilities beyond what they would have done before the pandemic. Currently, there are roughly one-third less travel agents globally than there were in 2019.


As a business, we have always valued openness and honesty. We’re thankful and thrilled to be receiving so much business – but the reality is we’re struggling to keep up with the workload. You may have seen the disclaimer on the homepage of our website: 

”Due to overwhelming demand, our travel agency is unable to process requests as usual. We are doing our best to accommodate everyone, but the volume of requests is simply too high for us to keep up with.”  


Globally, the number of travel agents has decreased by approximately one-third compared to 2019, but the good news is that it’s all uphill from here. Using a travel agency in a post (are we saying that yet?) pandemic world can have several benefits, including access to up-to-date information on travel restrictions and safety protocols, assistance with rebooking or cancelling trips if necessary, personalized travel planning and recommendations, and potentially better deals and discounts. Travel agents can also provide peace of mind and save time by handling all the details and logistics of a trip, allowing travelers to focus on enjoying their vacation. Starting a career in the travel industry is a lucrative opportunity, and this is common knowledge. 


Please be patient with us as we put in extra effort to ensure our valued customers reach their desired destinations. Let’s work together and make this industry thrive again – so everyone who wants a piece of cake, gets one!