Ian Kalinowsky | The Great Canadian Travel Co.

STAFF PICKS

July 27, 2021 | Shauna Cook

Iceland COVID-19 Regulations – info accurate as of July 27th, 2021 As of July 27th Iceland have re-introduced domestic COVID-19 restrictions including masking and 1 metre social distancing requirements. For details check here.   Who can visit Iceland? Passengers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from a previous COVID-19 infection. …

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July 6, 2021 | Lois Farley

It might seem a bit odd for us to be talking to you about sun, sand and surf holidays when most of North America is suffering through extreme heatwaves. But, turn your mind back to those days in January and February, when the wind was howling, the air brisk and …

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June 25, 2021 | Lois Farley

We were just so excited about the Summer Solstice and Full Moon this week that we forgot to send out our newsletter on Wednesday, which is the usual day. (And by we, I mean me! My bad! 😉) All the celestial happenings this week got me to thinking about the …

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A Note from our President, 17 March 2021

March 17, 2021 | Ian Kalinowsky

A year into the Pandemic – the future of Travel in Canada

From the news over the past month, it would be reasonable to believe that the Canadian Government has decided to shut down Canada’s largest single industry (travel and tourism) completely.

  • Mandates a shut down of the Canadian Cruise industry till Spring 2022 – the most severe and punitive regulation of any jurisdiction on earth. In BC alone, the cruise industry generates $2.8 B per year and 18,000 jobs.
  • Shuts down all “sun travel” (Caribbean and Mexico) until the 30 April 2021.
  • Shuts down all but 4 Canadian airports and creates a very convoluted “3-day forced pay” hotel quarantine system – then gives all the business of booking these thousands of hotel nights to an American company, American Express (who then services the requests from their US call centers).
  • Canada – the second largest country on Earth – is the ONLY country on Earth NOT to have a support relief package for airlines. As a result, domestic travel has declined 90% from 2019. Compare this to only a 66% decline in domestic US air travel, where airlines received financial aid from the federal government.

Despite these governments actions and lack of support for the industry, we at Great Canadian Travel are still excited about our future in Travel and Tourism. We have not been idle and look forward to unveiling several new initiatives, new products, new services, and new developments which will increase our ability to serve you, our clients.

Till we can travel again,

 

 

Ian Kalinowsky President & Owner

How many ways can you visit a Polar Bear?

February 17, 2021 | Ian Kalinowsky

So you know you want visit a Polar Bear but you need to figure out the way to visit that works best for you? Well, there are actually several ways that you can have a polar bear experience and I will lay out them out here for you, defining the differences between each one. Read More >

Season’s Greetings from Ian and Margot

December 09, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

2020 is nearly done! Like us, we’re pretty sure you won’t be sorry to see this year go!

It’s been a tough year for a lot of people, for small businesses and entire industries. We would never have dreamed when we welcomed in 2020, that the year would so dramatically affect the entire world’s travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.

And though the year has been very tough on our staff and their families I am very grateful to have them by my side, assisting clients with past issues and helping fulfill their travel dreams for the future. Read More >

A Note from our President, 22 July 2020

July 23, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

KE = 1/2 MV²
Kinetic energy is equal to 1/2 of the mass of an object multiplied by its velocity squared.

Kinetic energy of an object is the energy it possesses once it is in motion. Until the object is in motion all of its energy is simply ”potential energy.” The key to the sentence Is ”motion”, for without motion there is nothing except potential.

What does a lesson in physics have to do with travel?

I think it is all about the potential to be in motion; to explore; to expand our horizons and our understanding of the people and the planet that we live on. Today, with the world gripped by a pandemic, it really is about potential. There is no “kinetic energy” in the world of travel.

Physics really does not expand on the notion of WHY, but I think it is important. Motion, for the sake of motion, is really meaningless. There needs to be a purpose. With the restrictions on travelling, even outside of one’s door at home, there has become a much greater emphasis on the purpose of our travels. Read More >

A Note from our President, 15 July 2020

July 15, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

Opening – Closing – Re-opening – Delayed – Cancelled – Extended…

Welcome to the ever-changing world of global travel. The only constant is that nothing is constant, certain or sometimes even known for sure.
There is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm in the travel headlines as countries, destinations and resorts announce that they are “Open for Business”. While we are encouraged by these announcements, as travel professionals interested in providing you with the best advice, we are concerned.
The term “Open” now comes with so many caveats, that it is necessary to read and interpret the fine print.  “Open” (if you come with Negative pre-test done within 10 days , which can be overturned if “you exhibit signs” as determined by health officials greeting the plane ) says the ad for Jamaica. “Open” says Iceland, and then, once you land, charges you about US$150 to take a test, quarantine for 12 hours and then be informed if you (and your plane) pass. What happens if you or the six rows around you do not pass? A mandatory 14-day quarantine – at your expense.   Read More >

A Note from our President, 08 July 2020

July 08, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

Travel is not just about people going somewhere. It is about inspiration, opportunity, dreams, ambitions and about building lifelong connections. COVID-19 has not made any of these things disappear.

In many ways the desire for real connectivity is being increased. Travel has changed forever. One major change may be seen in the reasons that we travel, with a greater sense of desire to be connected to people. Rather than just focusing on the cheapest trip to go somewhere for a couple of days, our travel will be about our families and friends – the desire to go and see loved ones that Zoom or FaceTime just doesn’t fulfill. A family trip away to “really” spend time together. Or, given the dramatically increased “travel hassle factor“, travelling with a purpose.

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A Note from our President, 01 July 2020

July 01, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Despite the pandemic and unusual times we are going through we are truly blessed to live and work in Canada. I am reminded of this every day, when I watch the news from around the world and see the struggles facing other countries. We have stable governments, federally and provincially; a diverse economy that is adapting to the present challenges and needs; a great health care system and wonderful opportunities as citizens and as a country.
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Drum Dance Ceremony in Naujaat (Nunavut)

June 12, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

Margot (my spouse and tour director for Great Canadian Travel) and I were escorting a group of clients to venture out to the Floe Edge in the community of Naujaat, Nunavut (formerly Repulse Bay and translated as “seagull nesting place”) and to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on the summer solstice – June 21, 2018. Naujaat is considered to be a “traditional” community in that they rely on hunting and fishing for their sustenance.

The Naujaat community has built a wonderful “elders’ retreat” outside of the community. It is away from the hustle and bustle of the community and allows for contemplation, quiet enjoyment of each other’s company and celebrations. Our group was invited into the retreat to experience and learn about drum dancing.

  A Qulliq – a traditional, soapstone oil-lamp filled with sealskin oil – was ceremonially lit and placed on a table by a window overlooking the rolling hills and Hudson Bay in the background. It was very calming.

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A Note from our President, 03 June 2020

June 03, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

Hello all,

Last week I wrote about airline schedules and reservations from our Canadian clients’ perspective, this week I’ll tackle it from the viewpoint of our American clients.

Skift is a travel industry investigative journalism online publication. On May 26th, they published a very interesting article that I want to bring to your attention, How Airlines are Generating Revenue on Flights That Will Never Take Off.
“US airlines are selling a lot of flights they have no intention of operating. Consumers should beware.- Brian Sumers, Skift – May 26 2020, 2:30am Read More >

A Note from our President, 27 May 2020

May 27, 2020 | Ian Kalinowsky

Greetings!
Here in Manitoba the sun is shining, the temperature is improving, and May flowers are popping out. Businesses in Manitoba can open again under the “new normal” rules of maintaining physical distancing, sanitization processes and so on. New cases of Covid-19 here are non-existent and there is a feeling of optimism in the air.
Having been cooped up in our many forms of self-isolation there is an understandable desire to get out, to return to the “old normal” and to travel again. We are seeing an increase in the number of inquiries as to where and how people can travel.
As much as I welcome this increased desire to travel, and I certainly look forward to the day our travel business is running full steam again, this letter is about caution. Today, I’ll focus on this from our Canadian clients’ perspective, next week from that of our American clients’ viewpoint, as regulations are quite different between the two countries. Read More >

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