Vancouver trails website

I just stumbled across another hiking website, courtesy of my colleague William Bakker at Tourism BC. Vancouver Trails appears to have a reasonable number of hikes, and the maps are well done. Finally in-line maps that have a decent size (most of them are too small). But the banner images impressed me the most – they look gorgeous. I immediately increased the height of my blog banner…

The only disapointing aspect of yet another hiking website is that great content gets scattered among websites. None are truly complete, so one has to visit several sites to get a full picture of hiking trails in the Lower Mainland (Trailpeak is another website with trails in the area). If only one website integrated all the information…

Lobsterpalooza

Lobsterpalooza is a new festival in Cape Breton:

Cape Breton’s newest festival – Lobsterpalooza – offers 185 miles of seafood and seafaring traditions presented during 35 days of springtime feasts and fun. The Cabot Trail is launching this unique and memorable event which has something from the sea for visitors and residents alike!

The 2008 Lobster Palooza Festival  will  highlights activities based in our spectacular nature, our rich culture and our talented people. Looking for a true taste of Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail? Visit in the spring when our toe-tapping music combines with our range of culinary delights; the result is the vacation of a lifetime.

See their 101 things to do and feature articles.

Tips for better websites

Operators often ask me what they can do to improve their websites. While there are many books and course out there, a couple of my colleagues have recently posted some excellent tips. Cover these, and you’ve gone a long way towards improving your website significantly.

William Bakker from Tourism BC recently posted a series of tips:

And Alicia Whalen from Coupleofchicks Marketing posted a summary of tips from experts at online giants like Google, Yahoo and E-Bay.

If you are interested in getting deeper into online marketing, then be sure to follow my CTC colleague Daniel Vasquez’ blog with regular online marketing tips for the tourism industry.

If you have implemented these tips, you have gone a long way towards improving your website.

Canada’s next hot islands: Iles de la Madeleine

Newfoundland and Haida Gwaii are hot right now, but my prediction for the next hot destination? Iles de la Madeleine. Until now this small archipelago between PEI and Quebec, out in the middle of the St. Lawrence has made the news because of the annual seal hunt in the area, but it becoming a must-visit multisport destination. Try various wind sports with Aerosport, go cave kayaking, or try ice kayaking in winter. But there is more to do than just outdoor adventure: En Route magazine is raving about the cheese, the food, the artisans, the massages, the accommodation. Everything you need after a full day of being out on the land and water.

Fly in from Quebec, or in summer, take a ferry from PEI. Highly recommended.

Thompson Brigade 2008

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the return of David Thompson (the greatest HBC explorer of his time) to Ontario, a fleet of canoes – the Thompson Brigade – will make its way from Rocky Mountain House to old Fort William (Thunder Bay , Ontario) this summer. This would be an amazing experience, covering more than 3,600km! I wish I had the time to go. It’s only a two month paddle.