Industry friends, partners gather to celebrate an “amazing milestone”: Travelweek’s 50th anniversary 

TORONTO — Under beautiful sunny skies – with a bit of haze – Travelweek celebrated its 50th anniversary yesterday with a high-energy rooftop patio party for a great turnout of industry partners and colleagues.

The well-attended event, held atop 130 Queens Quay East in downtown Toronto, welcomed industry friends from all corners, including tour operators, travel agencies, tourism boards, airlines, cruise lines and more.

The mood was buoyant as friendships were renewed after so many years of the pandemic, and made Travelweek’s anniversary celebrations that much sweeter.

Travelweek’s publisher, Devin Kinasz, thanked everyone for taking part in Travelweek’s 50th birthday event, “an amazing milestone.”

“Thank you to all our clients and partners who’ve been along for the ride. We really appreciate your support. Some of you have been decades-long clients and friends who’ve been here since the beginning,” she said last night to applause.

Kinasz also thanked the Travelweek team. “Of course none of this would be possible without our amazing team. When trying to think of what to say about them today, ‘service with a smile’ kept popping up in my head. That’s exactly what they do – they’re so kind, they’re so competent and they’re really good at what they do. We have some new people on our team and we also have people who have been here for decades and they’re really the glue that holds all this together.”

Kinasz added: “Here at Travelweek we put a lot of effort into giving travel advisors the information they need, and that has led us to where we are today: a trusted voice, a leader in the industry. There have been a lot of ups and downs in the industry over the decades, but we always go back to our core strengths: innovation, excellence and serving our clients and also serving our travel agent readers.”

Kinasz added that the Travelweek Group continues to meet challenges head-on. “We continue to innovate. We innovated through the Internet, we innovated through social media and now we’re going to innovate through AI. We have virtual events now with our ‘Future of Travel’ conference series, we have a travel agent e-blast of 70,000 agents in the U.S., we’re doing new things with our Learning Centre as well. We can take pride in the fact that we’re always trying to do new things around here.”

It’s a long way from 1973 when Travelweek – first launched as CTM Weekly Bulletin – was a fledgling travel industry news source, often just a few pages in the early days. Those pages were blue, of course, leading to the nickname ‘The Blue Rag’.

In no time at all founder and publisher Wayne Lahtinen and his business partner, associate publisher and managing editor Paul Vickers, made Travelweek a must-read for everyone in the industry.

Jill Wykes served as Travelweek’s editor for several years in the mid-1980s. Patrick Dineen came onboard as editor in 1988 and served in that role for 27 years. Kathryn Folliott took over the reins in 2015, and together with deputy editor Cindy Sosroutomo, works hard to maintain Travelweek’s 50-year strong reputation for editorial excellence.

Travelweek’s 50th anniversary coverage kicked off in March 2023, with a series of interviews with industry executives, travel agent memories and a fun contest, ‘It Happened This Week’, running every Wednesday with the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. The interview series, agent memories and contest run all year long in Travelweek Daily.

There was also a special 50th anniversary commemorative issue of Travelweek in April 2023.

Folliott thanked last night’s party attendees for joining Travelweek in its 50th anniversary celebrations, and for their partnership. “You have worked with us for years, often decades,” she said. “Thank you for your partnership, and on the editorial side, thank you for trusting us with your stories. The news and insights and feedback that you share with us is invaluable. You love this industry, and we love it too. Thank you for joining us tonight, and here’s to another 50 years.”

More information about Travelweek’s 50th anniversary can be found here along with a link to the special April 13, 2023 commemorative issue

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