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January | February 2015
contentsJanuary | February 2015 -
Inside TMAC Travels
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bod2014-15 Board of Directors


Jo Matyas (media)

Kingston, ON 

Phone: 613-546-6266


Mark Stevens (media)

Caledon, ON 

Phone: 905-583-0059



Jerry Grymek (industry)

Account Director, LMA Communications Inc.

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416-440-2500



Elizabeth Kerr (media)

Kerrwil Publications Limited

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416-258-9948



Grant Fraser (media)

Tee to Green Magazine

Burlington, ON

Phone: 905-844-7666



Dan Young (industry)

Public Relations Manager - Canada, Starwood Hotels &

Resorts Worldwide Inc. 

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416-947-4955 ext. 4458



Joanne Blain (media)

Joanne Blain Creative Services Ltd

Vancouver, BC 

Phone: 604-734-0584


Glenn Cameron (industry)

PR Consultant, Clear Communications

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416 920-5817 


Holly Lenk (industry)

Manager, Travel Media Relations, Tourism Victoria

Victoria, BC

Phone: 250-414-6974

New Members



Judy Ahola

Nest and Nosh Public Relations

Toronto, Ontario



Rob Burbank

Appalachian Mountain Club

Gorham, New Hampshire



Paulette Peirol

Owen Sound Tourism

Owen Sound, Ontario



Stephanie Reid

Thunder Bay Tourism

Thunder Bay, Ontario






Grant D. Black

Wakaw, Saskatchewan



Lisa Jackson

Toronto, Ontario



Leigh McAdam

Calgary, Alberta



Muna Salloum

Toronto, ON



Catherine Tse

Vancouver, BC


Contributors to This Issue

Thanks to:

  • Josephine Matyas
  • Mark Stevens
  • Grant Fraser
  • Catherine Roscoe Barr
  • Anne Marshall
  • Sandra Phinney
  • Jan Feduck
  • Candice Walsh
  • Kat Tancock
  • Gary Crallé
Dear  :

It's a brand-new year and despite getting to many new destinations in 2014,

I feel like I've hardly made a dent in my mental list of places I want to see. If you're like me, you probably never really unpack your suitcase - a Swiss army knife, a spare pair of reading glasses and noise-cancelling headphones live permanently in mine, ready for the next adventure.


One destination is definitely on my list: Peterborough for the 2015 TMAC conference from June 10 to 13. That might sound far off, but the early bird registration deadline is right around the corner on Jan. 30. You know you'll want to be there, so register now to get the best deal. That's one easy resolution to keep!


- Joanne Blain, TMAC Travels editor  
President_ReportPresidents' Report

Before we approach any of the other issues, challenges, rewards or successes of the past seven months, it's incumbent on us to wish all of you and yours the best of the holiday season and nothing but success for the coming year. So consider that done!


The board has been dealing with many unexpected issues and challenges since we took over in June, almost all of which have been solved. The good news is we ended 2014 with a balanced budget, in spite of a couple of major financial surprises as a result of agreements made with the Wyndham hotel at the Pittsburgh conference.


We have learned several lessons from this particular challenge - most important, that we need to ensure fiduciary responsibility on the part of the board as representatives of the membership as a whole. We are confident that we have acted in the best interests of TMAC and together we have done everything possible to mitigate costs to the organization.

Co-presidents Mark Stevens and Jo Matyas chillin' in the U.S. Virgin Islands last September


Our responsibility also mandates that the 2015 budget is both realistic and responsible. With the recent approval of that budget and with a new agreement with our management company TO Corp, we are confident this has been accomplished.


So much of this behind-the-scenes work is never seen by TMAC's membership, but it takes a great deal of discussion, a lot of soul-searching and sometimes some tough negotiating. Most important, it is a result of incredible cooperation on the part of the entire national board, chapter chairs and committee chairs and members. This particular group is enthusiastic, committed, thoughtful and unselfish. As co-presidents, it has been a great pleasure having such an able and supportive team. Our sincere thanks go out to every one of those people.


Other challenges - ones that will certainly not be resolved during our tenure - face TMAC as a whole. We have opened the door to bloggers during this term, yet some members still feel we are not sufficiently welcoming and adaptable to their needs and wishes. On one side, we have lost a few people because we are not jumping on that bandwagon with enough enthusiasm; on the other side, we are losing people because we are considered to be too inclusive of this very same group.


In light of the almost certain and imminent demise of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), we need to all work together to ensure that TMAC moves forward with the times and that we maintain our ethical and professional standards. The answers will not be easy to find, but answers must be found.


What should TMAC look like in future? What are our values? How do we balance the needs of print and digital writers and photographers, all the while ensuring that industry members continue to feel that their membership in TMAC is worthwhile? Most important, we need to ask ourselves a key question: if every single member in TMAC were just like you, what kind of organization would TMAC be?


We want to move forward together. It is our hope that this will be accomplished with kindness, with thoughtfulness, with goodwill and with a truly collegial spirit.


Happy New Year. 

- Josephine Matyas, Mark Stevens


finance_reportFinance Report

Dec. 31 marked the end of our 2014 fiscal year. Year-end statements are in the process of being prepared by T.O Corporate Services. I will provide a more detailed financial report of our 2014 results in our next newsletter. 

Based on recent discussions with T.O Corp., it appears that we are on track to meet our 2014 budget, which projected TMAC would be very close to breaking even this past year. This is a significant improvement from the financial situation we were in at the end of 2013.


I am also pleased to report that a budget for 2015 has been prepared and approved by the board. This is the financial road map we will adhere to in 2015 to ensure TMAC remains in a sound financial position.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank our presidents, Jo Matyas and Mark Stevens, and Elizabeth Kerr for all their help addressing the financial issues TMAC had to deal with in the past year. This year should be a great one for TMAC!


- Grant Fraser, TMAC national treasurer 

sustainability_surveySustainability Survey

By Kat Tancock


Late in 2013, a group of TMAC members got together to create a sustainability committee. The original aim was to discuss environmental and community sustainability issues as they relate to the travel industry, and to facilitate communication among members on these topics.


Our first task was to survey members on the topic of sustainability. We ran an online survey in summer 2014 to consult with both industry and media members. Thanks to Joanne Papineau of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts for offering a sampler of Fairmont rooftop honey as an incentive, and congratulations to Gillian Chester of Tourism Winnipeg for winning the random draw!


In total, we received 52 responses from industry and 56 from media. Naturally, since this is not a full sample of members, the data is not completely scientific, but we believe that it offers some key insights into trends.


What follows are some highlights from the survey. Feel free to get in touch with me at if you'd like to see the full results or have any other questions or feedback.


Our next goal as a committee is to create a series of articles on sustainability-related topics to share with all members. If you'd like to volunteer to share your expertise, or even just have ideas of topics we could cover, please get in touch.


Please click here to read the entire article.

 Back to Table of Contents

instagramInstagram - A Photographer's Perspective

This article by media member Gary Crallé is in response to a feature about Instagram in the November/December issue of TMAC Travels.


First they came for your pictures. Now they want your money and identity.


These days, it seems that almost everyone is on board the social media bandwagon. But most people who are along for the ride don't realize what they may be giving away. There are some serious caveats.


On Aug. 22, 2013, the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) issued a press release titled "Photographic Community Deems Instagram Terms Too Far-Reaching."


Several photographic organizations also put their name to that release:

National Press Photographers Association, The Digital Media Licensing Association, American Photographic Artists, This Week in Photography, Professional Photographers of America, Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage, Graphic Artists Guild, American Society of Picture Professionals and Asociación de Fotógrafos Profesionales de España.


Their concern? Specifically, Instagram's terms of use, which:

  • Give Instagram perpetual use of photos and video, including the nearly unlimited right to license the images to third parties.
  • Relinquish a user's right to terminate the agreement or remove their work and their identity from Instagram.
  • Make the account holder responsible for all legal fees due to any litigation regarding a photo or video.
  • Allow Instagram to sublicense images without compensation to creators.


The ASMP release continues: "The photographic community believes strongly that fair compensation for the creators of work is a vital component of a fair agreement."


According to ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik: "While clearly benefiting Instagram, the rights of imaging professionals and general users stand to be infringed upon in an unprecedented way. We are concerned that not only have Instagram's Terms of Use gone beyond acceptable standards, but also that other social media providers may use these onerous terms as a template for their own agreements." 


Facebook owns Instagram, and it's no coincidence that the terms of service of both organizations make the same demands as of Jan. 1, 2014.


Social media platforms can be enormously beneficial, but like a good knife, can cut both ways by also doing grievous damage to your income, reputation and career.


I hesitate to give my personal opinion about social media because I don't understand it all, but it seems to me that the key to deriving benefit from social media sites like Instagram is knowing what service or product you are "selling," and what you are willing to give away, or "share."


If you are selling photographs, it behooves you to manoeuvre more carefully than those who are using photos as a loss leader (a means to an end) to promote another product or service, which is what PR and marketing firms are in the business of doing.


It may seem obvious, but creators of any work posted to the Internet (writers, photographers, musicians, etc.) shouldn't make available everything they are trying to sell. If it's on the web, it can be swiped - er, "shared."


There are innumerable suggestions on the web about how to utilize social media, so I'll mention just one. Photoshelter, a website host for photographers and therefore a business that has photographers' interests in mind, offers free advice in its blog article titled "The Photographer's Guide to Instagram." (


With social media (as iClaudius may well have said in an earlier digital dictum), Cavendum set user! - Let the user beware!

chapter_newsChapter News

bc_chapterBRITISH COLUMBIA - The TMAC BC board is busy planning our spring 2015 PD day, scheduled for Saturday, March 7 in Vancouver. Our theme, Show Me The Money!, will highlight myriad ways for both media and industry members to boost their financial health. The event will feature a dynamic keynote speaker, an expert panel and a series of roundtable talks. This is an event not to be missed! Stay tuned for more details. 


- Catherine Roscoe Barr, B.C. chapter co-chair


atlantic_chapterATLANTICNo report for this issue.


- Pamela Wamback, Atlantic chapter chair

on_chapterONTARIO December was celebrated with a wonderful Munch & Mingle social event at the new Delta Toronto Hotel. Our holiday social has become very popular with members, and was well attended with much networking and cheer. Thank you to the amazing staff at the Delta - the building is very cosmopolitan, the staff uber-friendly and well-trained, and the food stations were over the top, especially the ice-cream sundaes. Thank you also to our sponsors, the effervescent Grey/Bruce Tourism Team (their summer day trip was such fun).   


Our USB stick project continues to grow, with contributions from members recycling promotional USB sticks for school children in the Northwest Territories.  

Don't forget to register for the conference in Peterborough in June.  

Lisa Greig of Bruce County Tourism, Ontario chapter co-chair Anne Marshall and Amanda Pausner of Grey County Tourism get into the Christmas spirit at the December Munch & Mingle


- Anne Marshall, Ontario chapter co-chair

Back to Table of Contents 

member_newsMember News
Gary Crallé's short-listed photo at the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence

Media member Gary Crallé was one of three finalists in the travel photography category of the annual Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence, presented Nov. 13 at a gala dinner held at Blue Mountains Resort in Georgian Bay. His entry was a photo of a man dressed in a War of 1812 officer's uniform while pointing at the camera in an "I Want You" pose at the National War Museum in Ottawa.


The B.C. chapter of the American Marketing Association has named Tourism Victoria the winner of the BCAMA Marketer of the Year Award. This is the first time a business on Vancouver Island has won the award, which celebrates innovative marketing across all industries. Tourism Victoria was nominated by others in the marketing field.


Destination St. John's won the Business Excellence Award form the St. John's Board of Trade for marketing and promotion creativity. The award was presented at the board's Business Excellence Awards on Dec. 2.


Tourism Victoria's media relations team has received a gold HSMAI (Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International) award for the 2013 Find Christmas Here storybooks. The books pitched innovative Christmas experiences in the destination while inviting journalists to Victoria to experience Christmas first-hand. Check out the digital version of the book here:


Destination Halifax has won the Meetings & Conventions Gold Service Award. The award honours convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) that have shown exceptional professionalism and dedication in their service to meeting professionals. U.S.-based meeting planners voted for the top CVBs throughout the world and awarded the Gold Service distinction to 82 domestic and 17 international CVBs and tourism boards.


Zach Churchill, the MLA for Yarmouth, recently put forward a resolution in the House of Assembly to honour media member Sandra Phinney for her work as a professional writer/photographer, author and volunteer.


Air Canada Rouge will begin new non-stop service from Halifax to Calgary on May 1, 2015. The service will run six times weekly for the summer season and increase up to 10 flights weekly during peak summer periods.

pd_spotlightPD Spotlight: Staying Healthy When You Travel

By Kat Tancock


There's no getting around it: travel is hard on your health. Jet lag, climate changes and sleep disruption make you more susceptible to getting sick, and exposure to shared surfaces - airplane tray tables, airport elevator buttons, those handheld audio guides at museums - means getting up close and personal with more germs than you'd probably like.


Add to that the likely trifecta of too much alcohol, rich restaurant meals and schedules too packed to exercise or even relax, and it's a wonder professional travellers aren't constantly sick. (That's not even considering common chronic diseases, for which risk increases as sleep, nutrition and activity decrease.)


But don't despair! With a little planning, self-care and learned germaphobia, you can lower your risk of catching colds and flu while boosting your health in the long-term, too. Here are a few ideas to get started.


1. Eat better


101: Always travel with a few nutritious snack bars, especially on overnight flights when you'll be rushing when you hit the ground and you know the airplane breakfast barely counts as food (if it exists at all). At buffets, load up on vegetables for your first round before going back to browse what else is on offer. At all meals, try to follow the colour rule: at the very least, eat something green and something orange every day, and if you can, throw in the rest of the spectrum, too.


Please click here to read the entire article. 

unsung_heroesUnsung Heroes: Jo Matyas

By Sandra Phinney

National co-president Jo Matyas has been involved with TMAC for more than a dozen years


Meet Josephine (Jo) Matyas. Jo works full-time as a freelance writer (mainly focused on travel) and derives all of her income from writing. This means that she brings a very serious and targeted business perspective to her 

writing life.  She also devotes hours of volunteer time to TMAC.


Jo first heard about TMAC around 14 years ago. At the time, she was writing a bi-weekly travel column for The Kingston Whig-Standard and was invited on a media trip by Deneen Perrin at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. Jo recalls people asking each other if they would be "going to TMAC" that spring. As she had no idea what TMAC stood for and was too shy to ask, Jo wrote the acronym on a piece of paper and Googled it later.


It didn't take long for the intrepid traveller to join TMAC and to jump into the realm of volunteering. Jo's done everything from copy-editing the annual report for the AGM, to editing the newsletter and chairing the media membership committee (which included revamping and shepherding in the changes to the structure of media membership back in 2008.) Currently, Jo is TMAC's co-president, with colleague Mark Stevens. This is her third term on the national board.   


Please click here to read the entire article. 


inquisitiveInquisitive Minds Want to Know

By Jan Feduck


Come on. We know you've got one. Send us a burning question to do with the business of travel journalism and we'll source out perspectives from a few experts who've "been there." Each issue of TMAC Travels will feature a question with witty, brilliant, interesting and insightful answers from our members.

Send your questions to Q and A editor, media member Jan Feduck, at


QUESTION:  Share one important lesson you learned in 2014 in your travel industry or media job.


Tracy Ford, director of public relations, Eaton Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, replied:


Over the course of 2014, it was a priority for me to work with bloggers specifically focused on family travel.  Through referrals and word of mouth, I was able to connect with a few excellent bloggers. 

The most important factor that influenced my decision when selecting bloggers to work with was engagement level and conversations with their followers and fans. I needed to know that their followers or fans would be truly interested in our hotel for families and visiting our city. 


Please click here to read the entire article.

 Back to Table of Contents

TMAC Travels - Newsletter Submission Guidelines
TMAC Travels is published bi-monthly. Submissions should fit into one of the following categories:

Professional news about you: books published, awards won, new markets obtained, positions attained, requests for travel-related information (story-specific requests ONLY), contact/profile information updates/changes. 
Social notices about you: weddings, babies, non-industry awards and so on (at the editor's discretion and with a 50-word limit; these must be things directly connected to the member). 
NOT allowed: requests for comps (airfare, accommodation, tickets, etc.), assignment requests, promotion of stories already written.

Professional news about you/your company: announcement ONLY of new products, new clients, travel-related info requests, contact/profile updates/changes. 
Social notices: as per media, above. 
NOT allowed: press releases, promotion of anything beyond new products, new clients or awards. (For information on distributing electronic press releases to all media members for a fee of $100, please contact T.O Corporate Services at
The newsletter also seeks chapter news and info on press trips (short descriptions with dates, rough itineraries, requirements - e.g. assignment letter) as well as tips, news and updates submitted by members.  

Items must be sent, with "TMAC TRAVELS" in the subject line, to Joanne Blain at
. Items may be edited for length, grammar or clarity. The newsletter will be delivered to members by email by the middle of every month. Material should be sent by the 1st of each month unless the editor gives prior approval.