Julia Dywelski, the GNTO’s director of marketing and sales/Canada with Christine Wendland of LH
Guests Chantal Podgorski of AC with TPI’s Colton Chia and Stéphanie Bishop of the Globus family of brands
The impressive atrium of Ricarda’s Restaurant in Toronto
Germany is home to some of the nicest numbers in the world.
That was the message at an evening of German wines, tasty treats and that uniquely German combo of warmth, cozy friendliness and good cheer called gemütlichkeit earlier this week in Toronto.
Hosting what has become an annual event for some 75 tour operators, key travel agents, media and members of the German diplomatic community in Toronto, Julia Dywelski of the Germany National Tourist Office promised an evening of German flavours and pre-Christmassy spirit – and she and her colleagues delivered!
During her presentation, Dywelski outlined some mouth-watering food facts about Germany. Did you know there are some 1,500 kinds of sausages to be found there? 5,000 different beers from 1,300 breweries? 13 wine regions and 80,000 producers? And move over Starbucks: German coffee shops have been caffeinating the population for over 400 years.
A reception hosted by Germany at this time of year would not be complete without mention of the legendary charm of the Christmas markets. There are hundreds of these outdoor street markets held across the country, each featuring Christmas trees, music and decorated stalls selling small gifts, nibblies and mulled wine – the perfect accompaniment for strolling from stall to stall on a frosty winter’s eve.
“Our Christmas markets are a lovely, traditional way to meet up with family and friends and start the holiday season,” Dywelski told me.
The evening also featured a presentation by LH’s Christine Wendland. All at LH are thrilled that next summer they are bringing the brand-new A-350 900 aircraft to the YYZ-MCH route. “It’s the world’s most environmentally-friendly aircraft, using 25% less fuel and generating 50% less noise,” she told the group. There are even 24 lighting settings to match the time of day or night and passengers’ bio-rhythms. Another innovation? Clients can choose their inflight entertainment as much as six weeks in advance. Those Germans sure come by their reputation for organization honestly!
Martha Chapman Columnist
An OJ columnist since 2006, Martha is responsible for the Biting Questions features as well as special seasonal series. A travel industry lifer known to all in the biz, she frequently covers industry events for Open Jaw.