16 Aug
2019

Bahamas approved its presence at Seychelles Carnival

first_imgIn a recent UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) & Kingdom of Morocco’s tourism meeting in Morocco where a large number of tourism ministers and by heads of tourism offices of many countries, Minister Alain St Ange of the Seychelles and Joy Jibrilu, the Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, made time to meet to discuss closer cooperation between the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands and also between the Seychelles itself and the Bahamas.“Participating in Carnival of Carnivals cultural event is a sure way to raise your country’s visibility. It is very much like a tourism trade fair, but at this event in Seychelles, one uses one’s culture and in so doing the people of one’s country instead of glossy brochures to promote one’s country. This event is promoting peace through culture, as it was launched believing that the future of humanity is through peace,” Minister St Ange of the Seychelles said.Minister St Ange of the Seychelles also guaranteed the Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism that a large contingent of world press would again be in Seychelles this year to cover the event, and it is the press themselves who have called the event the unique ‘Carnival of Carnivals’.last_img read more

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16 Aug
2019

Amitabh Bachchan visits Egypt to launch India by the Nile festival

first_imgIndian superstar Amitabh Bachchan was recently on a three-day visit to Egypt’s capital Cairo city. During his visit, he inaugurated the third edition of the ‘India by the Nile’ festival.“It is my fourth visit to this wonderful country. Every time I come to Egypt I feel as though I come home. There is a lot of similarity between India and Egypt in terms of culture, ancient history, tolerance, warmth and friendliness of the people,” said Bachchan during a press conference in Cairo.During his stay in Egypt, Bachchan also visited the Pyramids and Cairo Opera House. Talking about the safety concerns in Egypt, Bachchan said, “I am an example of how Egypt is save to travel and I am going to go back and say that in India too. I would also love to come back and shoot a film in Egypt.”Ramy Nicola, Chairman, Lady Egypt Tours, a leading travel agency in Egypt added, “The history and stunning monuments of ancient Egypt, the romantic cruise along the river Nile, the hospitality of the Egyptians and their love and respect for Indians will definitely leave an everlasting impression in the minds of Indian travellers.”The 18-day India by the Nile festival is considered to be the biggest foreign fair in Egypt. The festival is organised by The Embassy of India, Cairo (through the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture) in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Cairo Opera House and managed by Teamworks Arts. Egypt Tourism is hoping that Bachchan’s visit will boost Indian tourist arrivals to the country in the coming years.last_img read more

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16 Aug
2019

New initiatives taken by Indian Railways

first_imgIndian Railways are planning to roll out paperless mobile ticketing system in New Delhi and Mumbai corridors. Indian Railways has taken major initiatives to bring comfort to passengers, including mobile ticketing and e-catering.Source: DD Newslast_img

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16 Aug
2019

Tourism Minister inaugurates Bharat Parv to mark Republic Day celebrations

first_imgBharat Parv, a national festival showcasing the country’s diverse culture, cuisines, handicrafts and catch glimpses of a progressive India was inaugurated by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Tourism and Culture at Red Fort, Delhi.Bharat Parv event was organised by the Government of India at the Red Fort, Delhi from January 26-31, 2017, as part of the Republic Day 2017 celebrations. The primary reason behind organising the event is to generate patriotism, promote the rich cultural diversity of the country, to ensure wider participation of the general public and to popularise the idea of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.The Ministry of Tourism had been designated as the nodal Ministry for the event, the highlights of which included display of the Republic Day Parade Tableaux, Performances by the Armed Forces Bands (static and moving), a Multi-Cuisine Food Court, Crafts Mela, Cultural Performances from different regions of the country and a Photo Exhibition on the theme ‘Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai, Aage Badh Raha Hai’ by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.The participating States and Union Territories in the event were Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Dadra– Nagar Haveli, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.last_img read more

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16 Aug
2019

TripAdvisors TripIndex Cities Report reveals prices of a three day break in

first_imgTripAdvisor, announced the seventh edition of its annual TripIndex Cities which compares the cost of a three-day break for the month of December in the eight major cities across India – New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Jaipur. The data takes into account typical in-destination costs for two people and these include – a four-star hotel for three nights, a visit to five attractions, lunch each day, a taxi to and from dinner each day including the cost of dinner.The study found that among the Indian cities – the average price for a short break is INR 39,693 (excluding flights) with prices varying significantly from the least to the most expensive. Pune is the lowest cost destination at INR 34,704, while Jaipur costs the most at INR 45,351 for a three-day break in the city.“For price conscious Indians planning a December domestic break regardless of destination, using TripAdvisor will ensure you are getting the best value for your money. TripAdvisor’s Tripindex Cities report is a great indicator of the costs involved for a short stay during this period and helps travellers to assess the various aspects of their travel so they can feel confident of their choices and of making the absolute most of their trip” said Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India.last_img read more

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16 Aug
2019

Hoteliers urge travellers to visit Shimla

first_imgWeeks after the tourism industry in Himachal Pradesh was massively hit due to the acute water crisis, the hoteliers have appealed to tourists to visit Shimla without any apprehensions.The hoteliers have requested tourists to visit the capital as the water crisis is over now, and also enjoy the pleasant weather.Sanjay Sood, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) said, “Tourism which is the backbone of Shimla had taken a hit due to the water crisis over last month, but things have now become normal. Due to the water crisis, we lost 50 per cent business. Thanks to government’s intervention as the crisis are now resolved”.“We want tourists to be informed that there is no water crisis now and they can come here. Since bookings have dropped, at this time we are offering a discount,” Sood added.Sood further thanked Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol for ensuring proper water supply in establishments which cater to tourists.last_img read more

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15 Aug
2019

Citizens First Wholesale Mortgage Announces New President

first_imgCitizens First Wholesale Mortgage Announces New President “”Citizens First Wholesale Mortgage Company””:https://www.cfwmortgage.com/ has welcomed a new president. The Florida-based organization recently announced the springtime appointment of Jonathan L. Woods to the executive role.[IMAGE]Boasting more than two decades of industry experience, Woods will head up Citizens First’s mortgage and servicing operations. Prior to joining Citizens First, Woods has held diverse roles throughout the real estate financing industry, including working [COLUMN_BREAK]as a consultant for “”RP Funding’s””:www.rpfunding.com/ investor loan programs and investor relationships.As the company president, Woods will be responsible for all aspects of Citizens First’s retail mortgage originations operations. Additionally, he will oversee the adequacy and soundness of the company’s financial structure.The company has also deployed a new technology strategy to start the summer season, and Citizens First recently went public with its decision to select an enterprise loan origination system from “”Blueberry Systems, LLC””:http://www.blueberrysystems.com/. Citizens First chose Blueberry’s Relay platform to enhance and streamline its loan production and processing.Woods weighed in on Citizens First’s technology upgrade, stating, “”At Citizens First, we seek opportunities for growth, progress and efficiency while committing ourselves to excellence. As part of that commitment, we have selected Blueberry Systems to provide our institution with an end-to-end solution that takes us from application to post-closing. Their solution gives us the scale and leverage to confidently face the increasing burdens of government and investor demands without requiring additional resources. Our loan production process will be simplified and streamlined from start to finish.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-06-06 Abby Gregory Sharecenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology June 6, 2012 575 Views last_img read more

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15 Aug
2019

CaseShiller HPI Up 121 Annually in June

first_imgCase-Shiller HPI Up 12.1% Annually in June Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer spending Home Prices Home Values Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman National Association of Realtors Processing Realtor Association S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices Service Providers Valuation 2013-08-27 Mark Lieberman in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Home prices rose in June to their highest levels in nearly five years, increasing 2.2 percent, according to the “”Case-Shiller Home Price Indices””:http://us.spindices.com/documents/indexnews/announcements/20130827/35529_cshomeprice-release-0827.pdf?force_download=true released Tuesday. The 20-city index was up 12.1 percent from a year earlier, and the companion 10-city index was up 11.9 percent. [IMAGE] Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the 20-city index to increase 2.3 percent from May and 12.2 percent from a year ago. Case-Shiller’s national index, reported quarterly by Standard & Poor’s, was up 7.1 percent in the second quarter to 146.32, its highest level since third quarter 2008.All 20 cities included in the survey improved both month-to-month and year-to-year.The two surveys have improved monthly and yearly for 13 consecutive months.The national index has improved in four of the last five quarters, dropping only in the fourth quarter of 2012 in that stretch. The 7.1 percent quarter-over-quarter matched the increase in the second quarter of 2012 as the largest quarterly improvement since the national index began in 1987.The national index was up 10.1 percent year-over-year, matching the gain in the first quarter as the largest annual jump since the first quarter of 2006.The 10-city index rose to 173.37, up 3.73 from May, to the highest it has been since August 2008 when it was 173.35. The 20-city index rose 3.41 to 159.54, its highest since September 2008 when it was 161.64In the same month, according to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing single-family home rose 5.4 percent, up 13.3 percent from a year earlier.According to the NAR, homes prices were held back by sales of distressed homes. Foreclosures, eight percent of transactions, the NAR said, sold for an average discount of 16 percent below market value in June, while short sales, seven percent of transactions, were discounted 13 percent.[COLUMN_BREAK] Home values improved as well despite higher mortgage rates, which could have both a positive and negative impact: rising rates themselves might bring prices down as buyers look for affordable monthly payments, but also increase demand as buyers try to lock in rates before further increases. The increased demand against weak inventories would send prices up.While good news for home sellers, the continued sharp increases–the indices have shown double-digit year-year increases for four months in a row –are likely to revive concerns of a growing housing bubble as personal income growth continues to stagnate.Still the increase in home values, according to economic theory, should mean improved consumer spending. The “”wealth effect”” theory holds that consumers spend based on increase in net worth, not income. Home values accounted for about 25 percent of the increase in net worth in the first quarter, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve.The Case-Shiller Indices have gone up for seven straight months and 13 times in the last 15; each index dipped last October and November.The monthly increases were led by Atlanta, where prices rose 3.4 percent from May to June. The price index for Atlanta is at its highest level since July 2010. The price index rose 3.3 in June in Chicago, bringing prices there to their highest level since October 2010. Prices rose 2.8 percent each in San Diego and Las Vegas, while prices were up 2.7 percent in San Francisco. Prices have increase for 16 straight months in San Francisco to the highest level since February 2008. Prices in Las Vegas have increased for 15 straight months and are at their highest level since February 2009. Prices were up 1.8 percent in Phoenix, the 21st straight month-over-month gain, and 2.3 percent in Los Angeles, the 16th consecutive monthly improvement.Year-over-year the price gains were led by Las Vegas, where prices were up 24.9 percent since June 2012 and San Francisco, where prices rose 24.5 percent in the last 12 months. Those year-over-year price increases were followed by Los Angeles, up 19.9 percent, Phoenix, up 19.8 percent, and Atlanta, up 19.0 percent.Despite the June improvement, the 10-city index is down 234 percent from its June 2006 high of 226.29, and the 20-city index is off 22.7 percent from its July 2006 peak of 206.52._Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. Eastern._center_img Share August 27, 2013 483 Views last_img read more

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15 Aug
2019

Household Repair Spending Indicates Recovering Housing Market

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Market Studies, News Home Depot recently revealed its second quarter results revealing that it experienced a record number of transactions in the last three months. Multiple market watchers believe the health of home depot is a sign of the housing market recovery overall, CNNMoney said in a report.”All of that suggests Americans are ramping up spending on efforts to spruce up newly-purchased homes or ones they’d like to sell,” CNNMoney said. “While housing might not be back to pre-crisis levels, it’s certainly looking a lot healthier.”According to Home Depot’s announcement, sales reached $24.8 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2015, a 4.3 percent increase from the second quarter of fiscal 2014. Comparable store sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2015 were positive 4.2 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 5.7 percent.In addition, the retailer reported that net earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2015 were $2.2 billion, or $1.73 per diluted share, up from the $2.1 billion, or $1.52 per diluted share, reported in 2014 during the same period. For the second quarter of fiscal 2015, diluted earnings per share increased 13.8 percent from the same period in the prior year.”We were pleased with this quarter’s results. We saw balanced growth across our business resulting from strength in the core of the store as well as the continued recovery of the U.S. housing market,” said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president of Home Depot. “I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and dedication.”CNNMoney writer Matt Eganalso reported that Home Depot is not the only group reporting housing market improvements.On Monday, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index(HMI) found that builder sentiment in the market for newly built, single-family homes in August rose one point to a level of 61, the highest reading since November 2005.“The fact the builder confidence has been in the low 60s for three straight months shows that single-family housing is making slow but steady progress,” said Tom Woods, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Blue Springs, Missouri. “However, we continue to hear that builders face difficulties accessing land and labor.”Additionally, on Tuesday, single-family construction starts climbed higher for the month of July, while permits and completions dropped, according to residential construction statistics for July 2015 jointly released by the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD.According to the data, single-family housing starts were at a rate of 782,000 in July, 12.8 percent above the revised June figure of 693,000.Selma Hepp, Trulia’s chief economist weighed in on the new residential data, finding that although single-family starts were up in July, they are still running below historical levels.”Finally a little bit stronger than multi-family starts, the single-family starts are still below long-run average in most major metros across the county,” Hepp said. “In fact, Trulia’s latest study reveals that the single-family component is still well below historical norms even in metros seeing improvement in annualized permit activity. Only 13 out of the 100 largest U.S. metros saw increases in single-family construction over their historical norms, most notably in Austin, Houston, Charleston and Nashville.” Share Household Repair Spending Indicates Recovering Housing Marketcenter_img CNNMoney Home Depot Housing Market Recovery Second Quarter Results 2015-08-19 Staff Writer August 19, 2015 469 Views last_img read more

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15 Aug
2019

Home Equity Gains are Rising in the West

first_img CoreLogic Home Equity 2016-12-08 MirashaBrown The substantial and ongoing rise in aggregate home equity across the country over the last seven years is creating more wealth for homeowners—and the West Coast is leading the way in equity gains.Homeowners in the United States saw their equity increase by an aggregate total of $227 billion in Q3 2016, which is a 3.1 increase from Q2 2016, according to CoreLogic’s Q3 2016 Negative Equity Report. Home equity has grown by $726 billion since last year, which is a 10.8 percent increase in Q3 compared to Q3 2015.The number of underwater mortgaged homes, or those with with negative equity, was at 3.2 million (6.3 percent) in Q3 2016, which is a decrease of 10.7 percent quarter-over-quarter from 3.6 million homes (7.1 percent) in Q2 2016. The share of borrowers with negative equity is way down from its Q4 2009 peak of 26 percent, according to CoreLogic.Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, acknowledged a trend in West Coast states that obtaining positive equity. “Home equity rose by $12,500 for the average homeowner over the last four quarters,” he said. “There was wide geographic variation with homeowners in California, Oregon and Washington gaining an average of at least $25,000 in home equity wealth, while owners in Alaska, North Dakota and Connecticut had small declines, on average.”Texas had  the highest percentage of homes with positive equity (98.4 percent), followed by Alaska (98.1 percent), Colorado (97.9 percent), Utah (97.9 percent), and Washington (97.9 percent), according to CoreLogic. Nevada accounted for 14.2 percent of mortgaged properties in negative equity. Florida (12.5 percent), Illinois (10.6 percent), Arizona (10.6 percent), and Rhode Island (10 percent) rounded out the top five states that made up 30.6 percent of negative equity mortgages in the nation.Anand Nallathambi, President and CEO of CoreLogic, attributed the equity gains to the rise in home prices. “Price appreciation is the main ingredient for home equity wealth creation, and home prices rose 5.8 percent in the year ending September 2016 according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index,” he said. “Pay down of principal is the second key component of equity building. Many homeowners have refinanced into shorter-term loans, such as a 15-year loan, and by doing so, they have significantly fewer mortgage payments and are able to build equity wealth faster.”Three out of the five metros with the highest share of homes with positive equity were located in the West. San Francisco was first at 99.4 percent, followed by Houston (98.5 percent), Denver (98.4 percent), Los Angeles (96.9 percent), and Boston (95.3 percent).The metro area with the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity in Q3 was Miami at 17 percent, followed by Las Vegas (16.2 percent), Chicago (12.2 percent), Washington, D.C. (8.7 percent), and New York City (5.1 percent).Click here to view the complete report. December 8, 2016 484 Views Home Equity Gains are Rising in the Westcenter_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

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15 Aug
2019

Eye on the Industry Updates on Alogent Planet Home Lending and More

first_imgEye on the Industry: Updates on Alogent, Planet Home Lending, and More in Daily Dose, Featured, News Consolidated Analytics, a provider of mortgage services, announced the appointment of Josh Fuchs as SVP of product development and sales for its residential valuations division. In this role, Fuchs will drive the vision, innovation, execution and adoption of new real estate valuation products and will strengthen and modernize existing platforms.Fuchs joins the California-based Consolidated Analytics from Goldman Sachs, where he was Vice President, Head of Residential Valuation for its real estate management division. Fuchs has more than 15 years of leadership experience developing operational and technology infrastructure, policies, and capabilities that enhance valuation platform and service scalability, efficiency and quality. In earlier roles, Fuchs held leadership positions at JPMorgan Chase, ISGN and FNMA.”Josh’s talent and experience is known in the mortgage industry and he is particularly known for successfully using technology and analytics to innovate solutions within constraints,” said Consolidated Analytics CEO Arvin Wijay. “As Consolidated Analytics continues to augment our solutions with real estate analytics, leverage automation and embrace emerging technologies, Josh’s ‘in-compliance’ but ‘outside-the-box’ approach will be incredibly valuable.”______Alogent, a Georgia based global banking and financial software provider has expanded its product portfolio with the acquisition of the FinanceGenius suite of lending software from IntelliEngines, Inc.The cloud-based software suite, which will now be marketed under the new name Origins, part of the Alogent Lending family, automates consumer lending and streamlines the loan origination process for financial institutions and retail lending. With an end-to-end, fully scalable mobile, online and digital experience, consumers gain simplicity and speed, maximizing decisions and business opportunities for banks and credit unions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.“The addition of Origins to Alogent’s product portfolio naturally marries our digital banking and enterprise information management solutions,” said Jason Schwabline, Chief Strategy Officer at Alogent. “Cloud-based and mobile-ready, Origins is a turnkey and automated decisioning platform that embodies Alogent’s ‘user-first’ and channel-agnostic approach. Consumers choose how they want to engage—online, mobile, in-branch, or by phone—while financial institutions benefit from a streamlined and uniform workflow regardless of the channel of interaction.”_______Meriden, Connecticut-based national mortgage lender Planet Home Lending (PHL), has passed several milestones since the beginning of 2019, the company announced recently. They include opening a dozen branches, launching several new loan products, posting a net promoter score of 95.6%, and receiving an increase in its servicer rating from Fitch Ratings.During the year, the company said that it:Expanded its non-QM product line by adding additional bank statement, asset depletion, single-family investor, mixed-use, and post-bankruptcy/foreclosure programsNow offers purchase and refinance VA home renovation loansReceived an upgraded rating from Fitch Ratings for its servicing efforts and a Stable Outlook forecastAchieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 95.85. The score measures the willingness of a customer to recommend a product or service to others and ranges from -100 to 100 and the average NPS in banking is 441Opened a new Regional Operation Center for Planet Home Lending and a Western Regional Office for Planet Management Group, the company’s sub-servicer affiliate, in Texas “Expanding our footprint through our distributed retail offices demonstrates our commitment to ensure more consumers have access to quality home financing,” said Michael Dubeck, CEO and President of PHL’s parent Planet Financial Group. “We plan to continue our efforts to serve as many communities as we can.” June 6, 2019 327 Views acquistion Goldman Sachs 2019-06-06 Mike Albanese Sharelast_img read more

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13 Aug
2019

This story is exclusive to Fresh Fruit Portal If

first_img This story is exclusive to Fresh Fruit Portal. If you would like to reproduce any elements of it on other sites or publications, please make a request to our editorial team at news@freshfruitportal.com Peruvian transport sector strike ends after six da … October 05 , 2018 “I believe that at the beginning of 2020 we will be exporting – January or February,” he said.Peru will probably start off exporting to Brazil, Colombia and Central America. However, its sights are on the U.S. market, and authorities are working hard on phytosanitary export agreements.Velásquez said that the country has learnt a lot from growing and exporting blueberries and will apply much of that information to raspberries.”I think our niche, our opportunity is in the fresh market and this means taking advantage of the logistics that the blueberry has,” he said.”We are working on transportation methods, we are talking about bags in a controlled atmosphere, … all conditions are being provided to ensure that raspberries also have a great opportunity.”He explained Peru does not plan to compete with Chile. Peru’s South American neighbor has close to 9,000 hectares, a figure which is in decline, but exports mainly frozen raspberries.Opportunities for small-holder farmersADEX highlighted that one of its goals is for raspberries to be an economic opportunity not just for companies for also small-holder farmers.”Repeatedly, growing traditional crops we have had problems of overproduction. Traditional products in the Peruvian mountainous regions keep farmers poor and sometimes make them even poorer. We have to give them alternatives”, he said.”Here the message is to reconvert small Peruvian farms to raspberry.”He emphasized that, for now, the important thing is to generate interest.”In 2011 when we started promoting blueberries, we never expected that in six years we could exceed US$300 million,” he said.Photo: Shutterstock.com Peru is aiming to become a major player in the fresh raspberry export industry, with a large number of plantings going in the ground.The Peruvian Exporters’ Association (ADEX) says that raspberries will likely be the country’s next agricultural boom and could emulate the success enjoyed by blueberries, which have seen explosive growth since the fruit was introduced just a few years ago.Peru has a long harvesting period for the fruit, and believes it can fill a market niche, especially with a 10% expected decline in global raspberry production this year to 540,000 metric tons (MT).Alfonso Velásquez, spokesman and former president of the Association of Exporters (ADEX), explained that raspberries are a new crop in Peru.Growers are currently working with the Heritage variety, which was brought in from Chile and has shown good results in the Peruvian mountainous region.”It has adapted well, with the permanent support of Chilean technicians,” Velásquez told Fresh Fruit Portal.The first harvests were made eight months after planting, with yields of around 6,000-7,000 kilograms per hectare.Velásquez said the variety could be produced throughout most of the year, allowing the country to supply a variety of markets when there is high demand.Although there are only around 100 hectares planted at present, he expects that by the end of 2019 there will be more than 500 hectares in commercial production.Initially, growers will be focused on the domestic market and will then begin exporting. EU to tighten mango import regulations … Peruvian table grape exports set record and surpas … You might also be interested in Peru expects 20% uptick in produce exports this ye … last_img read more

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12 Aug
2019

Amadeus hosted its seventh annual Chinese New Year

first_imgAmadeus hosted its seventh annual Chinese New Year dinner in Sydney last week, with over 230 Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai travel agents and suppliers in attendance.The company has also held events in Melbourne and Perth.Sydney guests enjoyed a traditional Chinese New Year banquet at East Ocean restaurant, with some lucky agents taking home door prizes including a Microsoft Surface Pro and a PlayStation 4.Amadeus partners Nexus Holidays and Consolidated Travel also generously donated prizes.“We look forward to hosting our Chinese New Year events each year,” said managing director Tony Carter.“They are always lots of fun and we enjoy celebrating this vibrant festival with our valued Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai customer community. On behalf of all the Amadeus team we’d like to wish all our customers and partners good luck, good fortune and good health for the year ahead.” AmadeusYear of the Fire Roosterlast_img read more

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12 Aug
2019

Helloworld Travel Limited has today announced that

first_imgHelloworld Travel Limited has today announced that it has agreed to purchase a minority shareholding in Newcastle based Hunter Travel Group (HTG).HTG operates seven fully-branded Helloworld Travel stores in Newcastle and surrounding areas, together with two Cruise Travel Centres. HTG also operates eight Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania (RACT) travel outlets in Tasmania in partnership with the RACT and one Cruise Travel Centre in Hobart. The HTG business employs over 100 staff and has Total Transaction Values of over $120 million per annum.HLO also announced that it had agreed to sell a 75% stake in HLO’s seven wholly-owned retail outlets to HTG. These outlets, located in Maroochydore (QLD), Knox Westfield and Toorak (VIC), Eastgardens Westfield and Parramatta Westfield (NSW), Canberra City (ACT) and Bunbury (WA) are all fully branded Helloworld Travel outlets and the 31 staff located at these stores will transition from Helloworld Travel upon completion.This will take to fourteen the number of Helloworld Travel fully branded and to eleven the number of Helloworld Associate stores owned and operated by HTG around Australia.“We are delighted to partner with our largest multi-franchise operator and see them expand their retail footprint. HTG is a multi-award winning travel retailer and it is exciting to see a regionally based business expanding nationally,” said Helloworld Travel CEO Andrew Burnes.“This is a great outcome for Helloworld Travel Limited and one that builds on our current momentum and success, evidenced most recently by our multiple award wins at the 2017 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards event. Helloworld Travel was awarded the Best Travel Agency Group for the second year running while our wholesale brands, Sunlover Holidays, Qantas Holidays & Viva Holidays were recognised as the best Wholesaler in both the Domestic and International categories.”Brett Dann, CEO of HTG said “the partnership is a very important step in the development of HTG’s retail travel business and now gives the HTG business operations in most states.“We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Helloworld Travel Limited. The alliance will enable the expanded business to leverage the combined size and drive efficiencies in their respective operations through shared systems, accounting functions, sales support and marketing activities. We look forward to welcoming the new stores to the HTG family and working with them to create a bright and prosperous future.” Hunter Travel Group Helloworld Travel Limitedlast_img read more

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12 Aug
2019

adventure travelAgent GuideG AdventuresG Adventure

first_imgadventure travelAgent GuideG AdventuresG Adventures tour companyResponsible tourismTravel agents Pictured: John Digiorgio, Global Purpose Specialist and Ingrid Kocijan, Director of Sales for G Adventures Australia and New Zealand. The world’s largest, independently-owned small group adventure travel company G Adventures has launched a new Agent Guide into the Australian and New Zealand market.Travel Monitor attended the Sydney launch last night where about 60 agents gathered to hear about the new guide.The Agent Guide was designed to help agents learn more about G Adventures and make it easier for agents to help change lives through the power of travel.Ingrid Kocijan, Director of Sales for G Adventures Australia and New Zealand presented at the Sydney event.In a media pre-briefing, Kocijan explained that G Adventures felt there was a gap in the market to help agents understand adventure travel.“When we say adventure we don’t mean active adventure, we mean culturally immersive experiences,” said Kocijan.The guide starts at the beginning, with the story of the company’s founder Bruce Poon Tip maxing out two credit cards to fund his start up.Today G Adventures operate more than 700 tours in more than 100 countries. The company has 28 offices worldwide with 2,200 employees.With a desire to change the world through travel, G Adventures has integrated self-sustaining G Adventures for Good initiatives into more than 180 of their itineraries. The G Adventures for Good projects are implemented by their non-profit partner, the Planeterra Foundation. The company also offers an exclusive selection of 20 wildlife-focussed tours endorsed by highly-regarded primatologist Dr Jane Goodall.“This is a big thing for G Adventures. It’s not just about us, we want to educate and empower the entire industry. We love changing people’s lives through travel,” said Kocijan.The Guide took about one year to pull together and drew on feedback from all departments across the organisation to be as useful to agents as possible. It includes interesting facts and demographics about their travellers and their top five destinations which are Peru, Costa Rica, India, Ecuador and New Zealand.Their top five fastest growing destinations are Morocco, Iceland, Japan, Sri Lanka and South Africa.It outlines the different styles of travel available with G Adventures which includes Classic, National Geographic journeys, Rail, Marine and Family.The launch events will be running in capital cities throughout Australia and are open to all agents. The events include a short presentation by G Adventures, as well as an opportunity for any agent to win a free spot on one of G Adventures’ 2019 international famils.Agents wishing to attend the remaining events can register at the following links:Melbourne on 28 AugustAuckland on 28 AugustBrisbane on 29 August.The company’s Global Purpose Specialists will be distributing guides to travel professionals. A digital version will also be available on the G Adventures website.last_img read more

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11 Aug
2019

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Top Stories – / 10 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img

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11 Aug
2019

LISTEN Steve Keim AZ Cardinals GM

first_imgLISTEN: Steve Keim, AZ Cardinals GM Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Last season, the Arizona Cardinals addressed a need at the right tackle position very late in the game.The day before training camp opened in July, general manager Steve Keim signed veteran Eric Winston to a one-year deal to man the spot. Winston was adequate — he started all 16 games and helped the Cardinals to a 10-6 record, tying the best mark since the team moved to the Valley in 1988.But Winston wasn’t re-signed in the offseason, leaving a bit of a question mark at right tackle, especially since Arizona didn’t select any offensive lineman in the draft for the first time since 2011. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Your browser does not support the audio element. Top Stories center_img Despite the questions, Keim feels confident about the personnel currently on the roster, but didn’t rule out bringing in additional help as the season approaches.“It’s been a good battle so far with Bradley Sowell and Bobby Massie,” Keim told Doug and Wolf Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Those guys have done a nice job and we will continue to comb the free agents that are out on the market and any time that there are potentially June 1st cuts, we’ll look at those guys just like we did last year.”Sowell played 14 games on the Cardinals’ offensive line a year ago, primarily at left tackle after the team traded veteran Levi Brown to Pittsburgh early in the season. Sowell struggled at times and was actually ProFootballFocus.com’s lowest-rated tackle of the 76 they reviewed in 2013. Massie, a fourth-round pick in 2012, started all 16 games at right tackle as a rookie but played sparingly in 2013.Of course Winston is still available too, and Keim and his staff are aware of his presence on the market.“We’ve talked about Eric, but at this time right now, we want to see what Bradley and Bobby have to offer,” he said. “Both of those guys have a lot of upside and potential, and more than anything, they need reps. This is the time of year where we can get a good look at both of those players and see where they are in terms of their development progress.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

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11 Aug
2019

What would Bruce Arians be doing if he wasnt coac

first_imgWhat would Bruce Arians be doing if he wasn’t coaching the Arizona Cardinals?He’d still be teaching and coaching…albeit at a different level. The reigning NFL Coach of the Year who has guided the Cardinals to 21 wins in his first two seasons at the helm would be running P.E. and coaching football in high school.But that’s not all he’d be doing.Can’t picture it? No worries, the Arizona Cardinals are doing that for you in the first episode of Bruce’s Scoops. And suffice to say the Cardinals are pleased with Arians’ actual choice of careers. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories center_img 0 Comments   Share   What if @BruceArians never got into coaching?Find out in the first episode of Bruce Scoops.https://t.co/EFx0PlaJWl— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 8, 2015 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

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11 Aug
2019

Just threw that one week at the bye week when the

first_img“Just threw that one week at the bye week when the vets kind of took the week off,” he said, referring to how much of the Cardinals offense he ran. “We got one, I think, maybe two practices. Not a whole lot but this has been way better.”This, as in organized team activities and mini-camp.For the first time since his arrival, Barkley was able to concentrate solely on the Cardinals’ offense“It’s been fantastic just to get reps in this offense, to grow as a quarterback in this system and to understand where B.A.’s mind is at in his play-calling,” he said, referring to head coach Bruce Arians. “I feel way more comfortable than last year; just grasping what’s going on and the why behind everything; not just looking at one guy and trying to get him the ball, but seeing the whole picture.“This whole spring felt really comfortable. I thought I had a good OTAs. I heard a lot of good feedback, so I’m excited for camp and preseason.”Count offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin among those impressed by Barkley’s offseason progress.“You can tell from being out here from Phase I to Phase II to even now, you can see him starting to mature a little bit, too, in our system,” he said. “Because you remember he came from Coach (Chip) Kelly’s system in Philly and you know, there’s not a whole lot you need to know other than look at the card and throw the ball where he tells you to throw it. We’re a little bit more complicated — not a knock on that offense because it’s been great for Coach Kelly, but we’re a little bit more complex as far as terminology, formations and things of that nature.” 0 Comments   Share   TEMPE, Ariz. — It’s hard to quantify, but quarterback Matt Barkley may have had the best offseason of any Arizona Cardinals player.Of course his starting point was quite different from that of his teammates.Officially, Barkley has a year under his belt with the reigning NFC West champions, but it was a year spent on the outside, so to speak, as the scout team quarterback.In other words, Barkley played opposing team quarterback rather than Cardinals quarterback. The Cardinals acquired Barkley less than two weeks before the start of the 2015 season, surrendering only a seventh-round draft pick to Philadelphia.It was a low-cost, low-risk move for the Cardinals, who decided to take a flyer on a former four-year starter at USC.The Cardinals now have a pair of ex-USC signal callers on the roster.Barkley has learned quite a lot from Carson Palmer, as well as Drew Stanton.“Especially during the season just about their process, day-to-day how they prepare for games and for our opponents; just their mentality and their attitude in approaching game dates. It’s different than what I’ve been around,” said Barkley, a 2013 fourth-round pick. “I’ve never been around older guys like that and they’ve been through a lot; been through injuries both of them; been through good teams, bad teams. It’s fun to see them now that everything is clicking with this team, how they’re approaching it and how they want to keep it that way so we’re at a high level as a team.”It’s a big year for Barkley. It’s his contract year, the final season under his rookie deal.Barkley, however, doesn’t see it that way.“I think every year is big, I think every game is big, I think every practice is big,” he said. “If you’re Carson and you’ve been here for ‘X’ many years, I think you still got to be locked in and pretend that it’s big. You can say it is, and it’s no bigger than any other thing for me.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Matt Barkley (9) throws a pass during NFL football practice, Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at the team’s training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Come training camp, Barkley will be locked in a battle with undrafted rookie free agent Jake Coker to be the Cardinals’ No. 3 quarterback.In other words, a lot of eyes will be watching the two.“I’m not worried about who’s watching me,” said Barkley, who turns 26 in September. “I’ve had a lot of people watch me in the past, for good and bad reasons, so I don’t think you can worry about that. I know what I’m capable of and confident that this team can use me.”Barkley’s NFL experience is limited, to say the least.In three season, Barkley has appeared in just four games, completing 30-of-50 passes for 300 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions. He last played Nov. 10, 2014 against Carolina, when his one pass attempt fell incomplete.With both Palmer, 36, and Stanton, 32, signed through 2017, many have wondered — often out loud — about the Cardinals’ quarterback of the future.Might that be Barkley?“I think I’ve done a good job so far. I’ve shown the coaching staff what I can do,” he said. “Once we get to San Diego (in training camp) and play a different opponent that’ll be fun and the other preseason teams that we’ll have will be a good opportunity to show them that I can play.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

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11 Aug
2019

Tyrann Mathieu looks on at Arizona Cardinals camp

first_imgTyrann Mathieu looks on at Arizona Cardinals camp on Aug. 2, 2016. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) 0 Comments   Share   When the Arizona Cardinals signed Tyrann Mathieu to a five-year contract Tuesday that made him the highest-paid safety in the NFL, any quibbles about it would begin with mention of the defensive back’s two ACL injuries before his 25th birthday.Nonetheless, it appears that such a unique hybrid player signing such a unique contract could be worth the price tag.ESPN Insider’s Matt Bowen said the Honey Badger is “worth every penny” of his new contract that with bonuses could eclipse the $60 million mark. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires So why is Mathieu, with his injury history and his position, worth all that cash?Bowen lays out his unique abilities flatly.Sixty-two percent of his total snaps came in the slot, while he played 21 percent at linebacker, 12 percent at safety and 5 percent outside of the numbers at cornerback. You want true versatility? Yeah, this is what it looks like.…With Mathieu, the Cardinals can take away specific offensive targets (or schemes) based on down and distance, game situation or field position. Mathieu can be a run defender one play and then roll to the middle of the field on the next snap. He has a role in base, nickel and any other package you want to draw up.That also gives the Cardinals an enormous amount of flexibility in the game plan and with their own personnel.In short, the contract was the best of both worlds: It rewarded Mathieu’s unique abilities with a large signing bonus and backloaded the deal with large non-guaranteed salaries that won’t be on the Cardinals’ tab if the defensive back struggles with injuries. – / 23center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling We’ll get to the reasoning there in a bit. First, let’s turn to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, who divulged the details of Mathieu’s new contract.A large chunk of the contract comes up front: Without a physical, Mathieu will make $15.5 million thanks to a signing bonus.The 2016 and 2017 base salaries jump from $1 million to $4.75 million as the new deal begins, but the key for the Cardinals is that they protected themselves if Mathieu’s injuries pop up thereafter.Here are more details from Florio.4. Salary of $5.75 million in 2018, not guaranteed at signing for injury or otherwise. On the first day of the 2018 league year, it becomes fully guaranteed.5. Roster bonus of $5 million due on the third day of the 2018 league year.6. Salary of $10.75 million in 2019, $8 million of which becomes fully guaranteed on the first day of the 2018 league year.As you can see, Arizona has backloaded the contract in a major way.After 2019, Mathieu has another non-guaranteed $10.75 million in 2020 and a non-guaranteed $9.25 million in 2012. There are additional bonuses for winning Defensive Player of the Year honors from 2017-2021 and a separate bonus for winning the award in every one of those seasons, reports Florio. Top Stories last_img read more

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