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Uniworld River Tosca Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has announced they will resume sailing on Egypt’s great Nile River commencing 03OCT15. “Splendors of Egypt & the Nile” is a 12-day program starting and ending in Cairo. Guests will spend four nights at the luxurious Four Seasons Cairo at Nile Plaza and seven nights onboard the elegant 82-passenger, all-suite River Tosca. This majestic destination has entranced archaeologists and historians for generations, and the ancient Egyptians are revered for establishing one of the world’s most fascinating and evolved civilizations. Off the River Tosca, Egyptologists will lead small group excursions to such culturally significant sites as the Temples of Karnak and Luxor; various monuments around ancient Memphis, including the great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx; the Valley of the Kings; and the Temples of Horus, Hathor and Hatshepsut.

The cruise tour is the ultimate way to experience Egypt’s magnificent and enduring heritage. Uniworld encourages passengers to book early for the greatest savings. Couples who pay in full at the time of reservation, before 30MAR14, will save USD1,000 on Splendors of Egypt & the Nile.

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Anse Chastanet St. Lucia’s Jade Mountain and Anse Chastenet have earned the top two spots in Travel + Leisure’s Best Caribbean Resorts list. Views don’t get much more dramatic than the panoramic one at high-end Jade Mountain located near the west coast town of Soufrière. Each sanctuary room is unique, but all share impressive features: infinity pools or Jacuzzis, 15-foot ceilings and loft-like architecture. Walk into the living room and it seems as if you’ve walked into the Pitons. James Beard Award-winner Allen Susser helms the restaurant, which uses produce and fruit from the hotel’s on-site organic farm. When not lounging in their private hot tub or infinity pool, guests have access to all of the resort facilities of the sister hotel Anse Chastenet just down the hill, including two beaches, coral reefs for snorkeling and diving, tennis and boating.

Anse Chastenet, a more reasonable hotel choice, is located on a UNESCO World Heritage site fronting a marine reserve with miles of coral reefs. It is a dream like setting of whitewashed cottages and treehouse-like villas with flower-draped balconies and louvered windows opening onto spectacular views of the Pitons. Nature here takes centre stage: one room has a tree growing through it, and others have one or two walls open to the elements; none have TVs, phones or the need for air-conditioning. On site there is a spa, yoga hut, dive shop, watersports, two restaurants, an art gallery, and 12 miles of biking trails.

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As agency approaches its 40th anniversary, Trish McTavish says secret to success is providing excellent customer service - Terrilyn Kunopaski

The McTavish Travel team - Back row: Cathy Faleiro, Marian Strus, Jessica Scott, Allyson Pelisek, Marybeth Parrott, Diane Hink, Jody Grierson, Kathryn Butt, Christine Hillis, Kelly Howard, Carolyn Valenti, Ance Gheorghescu, Deanna Pesa, Sandra McGregor, Nadine Davies, Betty-Anne Ley, Lisa Spears, Dianne McHugh, Tina Leslie & Jo-Anne Wilbur. Front: Ross & Trish McTavish. McTavish Travel has earned the title of Travel Agency of the Year in the Awards of Excellence contest 2011.

No stranger to industry recognition, the agency was also recently awarded the title of North America’s Leading Travel Agency at the World Travel Awards and has an array of other trophies on display at their Oakville office.

Ross & Trish McTavish, owners, McTavish Travel with Terrilyn Kunopaski, editor-in-chief, “We’re honoured to have even been nominated. I think when you’re given an award by your peers, it’s probably the biggest honour you can be given, particularly by our industry in Canada,” said Trish McTavish about the Award of Excellence. “I have to say, I’m really proud of the travel industry in Canada - I think we have a really good industry here, a lot of integrity, so to win this in that circle is a great honour.”

The Award of Excellence comes at an appropriate time as McTavish Travel approaches a special milestone of 40 years in business. When the agency was first launched by Ross McTavish, it was Ross plus one teammate running the show. Trish started working with the business in the early 80s and now, the team has grown to 28 in total and continues to attract new business as well.

Originally, McTavish Travel focused mostly on leisure travel “because that’s what travel was all about,” Trish said.

But, after seeing a lot of corporations coming to them in the early 80s, the agency established a dedicated corporate department and now, that niche represents 50 per cent of the business. Twenty-five per cent is leisure, and another 25 per cent is made up by humanitarian/mission bookings as well as groups.

In fact, McTavish Travel is one of only two humanitarian/mission-accredited agencies in Canada, which means it holds contracts with most of the legacy and large international carriers to provide special fares to large charities, not-for-profits, humanitarian organizations and missionaries.

Whatever the reason for travel, McTavish’s clients come from across Canada, as well as some from the U.S. and other international markets.

So what’s the secret to the success of an agency that does very little marketing yet continues to grow year-after-year?

“Our success has definitely been on the foundation of providing exceptional customer service and referral,” Trish said.

“We have never strayed from our core value and that has been client-centric, client-focused; we always have felt that if we do right by the clients, everything else will fall into line. There are a lot of organizations that put call centres in place and that’s not about the client, that’s about profits. Anything we do, the first question is: how does that benefit the client? If there isn’t a benefit to the client, why are we doing it?

“We’ve never taken on an action because it’s better for us; some of the things we do are more difficult for us, but there’s a huge benefit for the client – it doesn’t matter how hard it’s going to make it for us to do this thing, if it’s good for the client, that’s what we do. And it’s worked for us – if you look after your clients and you look after your staff, your staff will look after your clients and it all works out in the end.”

Being in business for 40 years, McTavish Travel has had many clients with them for more than 30 and staff that has worked there just as long.

In the economic downturn of 2008, the agency was impacted just as everyone else in the industry but was still able to turn a profit without making any layoffs.

“We don’t have growth for the sake of growth,” Trish said. “The important key to growing is just growing enough that you don’t lose business because you’re not able to provide that same level of service.”

McTavish Travel is affiliated with the Ensemble and Uniglobe networks in Canada.


McTavish Travel wins big at World Travel Awards

travel McTavish Travel is very proud of two recent awards!

McTavish Travel was awarded "North America's Leading Travel Agency" in the 19th annual World Travel Awards. It's McTavish Travel's third World Travel Award in 5 years! In 2007 and 2008, we were named "North America's Leading Business Travel Agency". The much coveted World Travel Awards are considered to be "the Oscars of the travel industry".

Launched in 1993, the awards "acknowledge and recognise excellence in the global travel and tourism industry." A World Travel award is "regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel company could hope to receive. Separating the good from the outstanding. Identifying companies that consistently excel beyond expectation. Taking customer expectations to a new, unparalleled high." For more information on the awards, visit

On December 22, 2011 McTavish Travel was named "Canadian Travel Agency of the Year" in the Awards of Excellence.