In the April 2013 Issue
Move Over Paris
A Quick Jaunt from Washington, Montreal Has Francophone Flair
by David Tobenkin
Montreal is a bit of France without crossing the Atlantic. The commercial and cultural capital of the Canadian province of Quebec, bounded by the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, the city lies just 40 miles north of the U.S.-Canadian border and a one-hour flight from Washington, D.C.
Average temperatures in the winter dip down to 22 degrees Fahrenheit, but in the spring and summertime, they range from a pleasant 65 degrees to 79 degrees, offering a temperate escape from Washington's unpredictable spring and typically sweltering summer.
What awaits visitors is remarkable cuisine and couture, style, history and a francophone city where nearly everyone still speaks English — and, unlike Paris, doesn't resent speaking it to help tourists.
If not a world capital in the league of Paris, Montreal has its own distinct advantages. Perhaps, most important, one won't feel daunted by seeing all of the city's A-list sights, a real dilemma for those visiting the City of Lights for brief jaunts. Everyone agrees on the top 10 to 15 tourist sights in Montreal and there is no Louvre-like blockbuster among them.
In the January 2013 Issue
Visiting Cradle of Mankind Gives Birth to Newfound Respect
by Kathy Kemper
Last summer, my lifelong pursuit of responsible world citizenship continued with a family trip to one of the cradles of mankind: Southern Africa.
Gaining a better understanding of the world and an appreciation for different cultures starts with leaving your comfort zone — which is why, every two years, we head overseas for six weeks of adventure travel, alternating between camps and castles, between roughing it and luxuriating in five-star hotels.
We started nearly 10 years ago in 2002 when our daughters Kelsey and Christina were 10 and 12 with a trip to England, Ireland and Belgium. In 2004, we trekked to South America; in 2006, India; in 2008, China and Southeast Asia; and in 2010, Egypt and the Middle East. This year, we decided to go to Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.
In the October 2012 Issue
Four Seasons Leads Renaissance of Baltimore's Harbor East District
by Larry Luxner
BALTIMORE — A Japanese restaurant that has the East Coast's largest selection of sake. A 10,200-square-foot spa featuring 11 treatment rooms offering everything from salt scrubs to aromatherapy massage. And a commanding view of the Inner Harbor from Baltimore's most spectacular infinity pool.
It's almost enough to convince visitors they're not really in Charm City at all.
But then again, Baltimore — Maryland's largest city — has changed dramatically in the last few decades, evolving from a gritty, blue-collar manufacturing hub into a revitalized waterfront destination, anchored by the bustling Harborplace retail complex that opened in 1980.
But Baltimore is taking that transformation up another notch, adding a level of luxury and sophistication not often associated with a city that's still proudly rough around the edges — and the gleaming new Four Seasons Hotel is a cornerstone of those high-end ambitions.
In the July 2012 Issue
Campaigns Highlight Economic Importance of Tourism to U.S.
by Stephanie Kanowitz
The word "travel" conjures up different meanings for different people. For some, it's associated with luxurious escapes to exotic new locales. For others, it's a part of everyday business operations. But for a huge percentage of U.S. workers — and the cities in which they live — the travel industry is a source of income.
"For every 33 visitors we welcome to the United States, that creates one American job," said Blain Rethmeier, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations at the U.S. Travel Association, a national nonprofit with 1,200-plus members that works to increase travel to and within the country. "It's really taking it from that fun and frivolous notion and putting some solid research and some economic relevance behind what the travel industry actually provides everyday Americans."
EU Carbon Tax Scheme Riles Up U.S. Airlines
by Suzanne Kurtz
Tensions are continuing to escalate between the European Union and countries around the globe as the EU maintains its implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which went into effect for airlines on January 1 of this year.
The ETS is the EU's attempt to combat climate change through the regulation of aviation greenhouse gases, assigning a carbon emissions tax on non-EU airlines flying into and out of its member states. The EU has said that its goal is for airlines to cut their emissions from their 2006 levels by 3 percent by 2013 and 5 percent by 2020. Two percent of all global man-made carbon emissions are attributed to aviation.
In the January 2012 Issue
Escape the Cold With D.C.'s Season-Round Oases
by David Tobenkin
Ah, the depths of a Washington winter. The skies are blue and one could almost, almost forget the icy hand of Old Man Winter. That is until one steps outside, inhales a frosty breath, and looks around to see nary a leaf on the forlorn trees.
Of course, not everyone can escape the nation's capital for warmer climes. So wouldn't it be nice to stay in Washington in a place where one could be outside, not cooped up, yet not subjected to the rigors of the season? A sort of in-city vacation from winter. Is such a combination possible?
Fortunately, there are two Washington locations that combine outdoor-indoor beauty, are jam-packed with other sensory and intellectual payoffs, are located near other tourism icons, and, better yet, are absolutely free.
In the October 2011 Issue
Convention Business Mixed, But Overall Tourism Outlook for D.C. Looks Bright
by Martin Austermuhle
As the seat of the U.S. government and heart of American democracy, Washington, D.C., is a city that relies heavily on the tourism industry — so much so that visitors regularly generate more than half of the city's annual sales taxes.
So it should come as something of a relief to city officials, especially after a year in which they were forced to close a $322 million budget gap, that the $5 billion tourism industry grew strongly in 2010 and is expected to close out 2011 on a high note. Regardless, a weaker forecast for conventions means the city will have to continue drawing in leisure travelers, with more and more of them coming from abroad, while picking up the convention pace in the coming years.
"In 2012 we won't realize as many citywide [conventions] as we did in 2011, however we're optimistic as we're going to focus our efforts and initiatives on going after the domestic market and the international visitors market," said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC, the city's tourism marketing agency.
Ridership Rises at Area Airports, But Turbulence May Lie Ahead
by Lois Kapila
Photo: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
For the first time since 2007, all Washington area airports saw a growth in ridership in 2010, a reflection of the area's general economic health and of specific gains at its three major airports. But this year, rising oil prices may make for a bumpier ride.
Reagan National in D.C. served 18.1 million passengers in 2010, a 3.1 percent increase over 2009, while Washington Dulles International in Virginia served 23.7 million passengers in 2010, a 2.3 percent increase on 2009 figures.
But the biggest jump was at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport (BWI) in Maryland, one of only two major U.S. airports to show growth in 2009. In 2010, BWI set an annual passenger record, with 21.9 millions riders — a 4.7 percent increase on the previous year.
Driving the growth, according to BWI spokesman Jonathan Dean, is "the strength of the region. The Washington-Baltimore region remains attractive to airlines due to the strength and growth in this market."