Britain Proves Top Spot For Business Events |

With London once again voted the best European city for business, and Birmingham and Leeds also getting nods in the survey, there has never been a better time to hold an event or incentive in Britain.

In the annual survey of business leaders conducted by Cushman Wakefield, London held on to the top spot for the best business city in Europe. Birmingham made the most progress this year, rising seven places in the overall rankings, and sharing the top spot with Leeds in the value for office space category.

In addition to its cities status as top business destinations, Britain boasts over 7,000 conference venues and 40,000 quality assured places to stay. There’s plenty of heritage and culture in Britain to enrich down time as well, with 14 National Parks, over 2,500 museums and galleries, and 27 World Heritage Sites. Varied landscapes boast the Cornish coast, the Scottish highlands, and everything in between.

If you prefer a more laid-back selection of activities between business commitments, Britain is home to over 14,000 pubs and 2,000 golf courses, all waiting to welcome business travellers in Britain. Britain has a long history of hosting world-class events, from international football and cricket to the famous tennis at Wimbledon. Britain welcomes over 30 million overseas visitors each year, all accommodated by the 35 international airports and numerous other transport links.

As hosts of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, London has already started building a new Olympic park and accompanying green space, and plans to release 9.2 million tickets in 2011. Whether you plan to come for one of the existing world-class events, or to hold a world-class event of your own, theres sure to be a perfect spot for it in Britain.

Canadian Travel and CAD |

There is bad news for Canadian travelers, as the Canadian Dollar (CAD) continues to weaken versus the U.S. Dollar (USD). As of February 16, 2015, the CAD/USD exchange rate was hovering around .80, but had fallen from a high of around .94 in July of 2014 to the recent rate. Some experts are forecasting that the loonie could fall even farther, with the dramatic drop in the price of oil and dimming prospects for the international economy. One major bank predicted a fall to .75 by the first quarter of 2016. The strength in USD is placing pressure on exchange rates for Canadians wishing to travel to warm beaches in Florida, and elsewhere in the U.S.

The fall of the CAD may be putting a crimp in the travel plans of many Canadians. A weak CAD/USD exchange rate makes destinations in the United States more expensive. The unfavorable exchange rate makes everything from hotels to car rentals more expensive in the United States. One option for Canadian travelers is to look for alternative destinations that cost less, and are not impacted as much by the slide in the loonie.

Alternative destinations could include Asia, where places such as Thailand and South Korea offer reasonably priced accommodations and inexpensive food. Although plane tickets may cost more, but the lower price of hotels and food can more than make up the difference. Another possible location is Eastern Europe. Places like Budapest and Prague offer fantastic European culture, but are more cost-effective than pricier destinations such as London and Paris. For those Canadian travelers looking for beaches and sun, Greece and Lisbon offer great travel destinations. Central and South America may offer some opportunity as well. Bolivia is a cheap destination, and offers a great deal of natural beauty. Certain cities in Colombia and Guatemala are other possible destinations. Mexico has both very touristy areas such as Cancun, but also offers smaller, less known destinations, such as the small surfing and fishing village of Sayulita.

One simple step that can help Canadians save money with traveling is to exchange foreign currency in advance of leaving the country for their destination. Not only does exchanging over the Internet make financial sense, but it can also save time for busy travelers. Waiting until arrival in the foreign country may be more costly, due to unfavorable exchange rates and lack of competition for exchange business.

Many banks and independent exchange providers now allow for the exchange of currency over the Internet. When searching for an exchange provider, make sure to look for transparency, the amount of wire fees to be charged, and the quote on the exchange rate itself. Make sure to choose a provider that will provide a smooth transaction, be responsive to your communications, and provide easy information as to the status of exchange transactions.