Robin Amster

Robin Amster

Story Editor

The Latest

One of the key elements making life easier for home-based agents is a proliferation of Web sites that help them build vacations at the click of a few buttons. Recently, as part of the launch of its new Web site, Creative Leisure International unveiled a new tool that lets agents create customized online brochures that match clients' vacation choices and unique requirements. The name? CreativeMatch. Catchy, no? And very much to the point.
California Wine Country, north of San Francisco, has become famous for its natural beauty, rich history, distinctive spas and, of course, incomparable collection of wineries. It consists of the Sonoma and Napa Valleys with their charming towns and villages including Sonoma, Napa, Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville and Glen Ellen.
Americans have sung the praises of Provence for years, dogging the footsteps of author Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence) and buying colorful linens and lavender sachets in Avignon and other gorgeous villages drenched in Mediterranean sun. This year, Provence honors native son Paul C?zanne, the impressionist painter, on the anniversary of his death in 1906.
After a period of disenchantment during which some American restaurants actually changed their menus to include the unique item "Freedom fries," the American traveler's love affair with France appears to be back on track. In 2005 alone, the country registered an impressive uptick in visitors from the U.S., with arrivals up 10 percent from 2004.