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MEETINGS 2013 reflects New Zealands diversity

first_imgGreat Gatsby Parties at the Blue Baths Rotorua,set the scene and the Museum of Transport andTechnology. Image Credit: ETBNews Source = e-Travel Blackboard: JAJ When MEETINGS 2013 kicked off with a Great Gatsby and 20’s theme at Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology on Tuesday night and the trade show opening  Wednesday in Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre, around 180 exhibitors from throughout New Zealand were poised ready to meet with 185 hosted buyers and 400 day buyers at New Zealand’s premier MICE event.Calm and collected MEETINGS’ event manager Jeanette Stanton said she was thrilled to be welcoming a sizeable number of new exhibitors to MEETINGS, with the exhibition about showcasing the diversity of New Zealand as a destination adding that it was always great to see new companies and regions coming on board.She said, “Buyers are going to get a really good feel of just how much New Zealand has to offer both in terms of destinations and products and services,” with four Queenstown-based companies among those making their debut at MEETINGS, Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, which flies guests from all over the world around the iconic landscapes of Queenstown, Milford Sound, Mt Aspiring and Fiordland national parks, also Pacific Jemm which is the only luxury boat available for lake charter in Queenstown.Art Adventures is a new and unique tourism business, which takes guests into the landscapes of Central Otago to sketch and paint, with owner Alice Blakely saying she was  looking forward to showing buyers at MEETINGS that there is more to Queenstown than adrenalin pumping adventure, adding, “We specialise in partner programmes.”“There are a lot of partners who would like to do something different from the action-packed adventure on offer and our art experiences leave them entertained, stimulated, educated and immersed in the landscape.’’Skippers Canyon Jet is another Queenstown first timer at MEETINGS, operating a unique lodge, with spectacular views over historic Skippers canyon and the picturesque Shotover River, with marketing manager Mathew Rhodes saying, “We will be offering conference and incentive groups something different, a unique chance to get right into the heart of New Zealand and relive our pioneering days,.”Dunedin’s The Edgar Centre is also a MEETINGS first timer, home to the Lion Foundation Arena, Dunedin’s premier events centre and a multi-functional facility, which is regularly used for sporting events, trade shows, exhibitions, and gala dinners.MEETINGS’ first timer Alexandra Park Function Centre in Auckland is a multi purpose venue is home to the Auckland Trotting Club and at the heart of harness racing in Auckland, just 10 minutes from Auckland’s CBD and Auckland International Airport, featuring eight function rooms across four floors with capacities for up to ,1000 guests.Other newcomers to MEETINGS are KiwiRail Scenic Journeys and Hamilton Gardens, which includes the Lakeside venue and function centre.last_img read more

Ensemble Travel Group opens for business in Australia and NZ

first_imgEnsemble Travel® Group, the international travel consortium, announced today that it is ready to start signing new members to its Australia and New Zealand travel network as of 31 March 2016.The global expansion comes after the organisation has invested time and resources adapting products and services that meet the unique needs of the Australia and New Zealand markets.The Ensemble launch event, held at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday night, was a chance to bring their top industry partners together to kick off their campaign to sign new members to their travel network.“We have an exceptional roster of preferred suppliers under contract and are ready to welcome members,” said Trish Shepherd, senior vice president and general manager of Ensemble in Australia and New Zealand.“We are thrilled to have the support of so many premium suppliers to launch in this region – airlines, hotels, cruise, tour and land operators all delivering extraordinary benefits to our members,” she added.Ensemble has the backing of their extensive presence in North America, which Shepherd said helped to make direct inroads here.“I think it speaks volumes about the quality of the Ensemble offering that so many regional suppliers are willing to work with us in these early days,” she said.Travel agencies that join the Ensemble travel network will have access to a broad range of preferred supplier partnerships from around the globe.“The breadth and depth of our supplier program is extensive,” said Lindsay Pearlman, co-president of Ensemble Travel Group.“Couple that with our strong relationships locally and globally, and we can deliver incredible value and real alternatives that drive sales and profits for our members.”A refreshing alternative“Suppliers are liking the refreshing approach that our model provides for travel agents and suppliers alike,” according to Shepherd.Ensemble said that they place an emphasis on providing marketing support, business tools, reporting analytics and transparency in their supplier deals, which appeals to a broad mix of travel agencies.“We definitely believe that our members’ success is our only business – it’s the reason that Ensemble exists. We are looking for members who are seeking a broader value proposition to achieve a higher level of success in their business,“ said Shepherd.Ensemble’s plan is to assemble top agency groups and independent owners in Australia and New Zealand that are forward thinkers.For travel agency owners, that means transparency, business development consultancy and marketing know-how and support, with a focus on the individual agency’s brand.“Luxury agents, in particular, find our exclusive offerings and key supplier partnerships to be a good fit,” according to Pearlman.“Our members trust us to deliver value to their business overall, as well as their bottom line.” Join Ensemble Travel GroupSource = Ensemble Travel® Grouplast_img read more

Love it Film it Snap it Share it

first_imgSource = Destination NSW Food and wine_South Coast_Cupitt’s Winery_Credit Dee Kramer Destination NSW.jpgLove it, Film it, Snap it, Share itHolidaymakers and locals alike are being invited to upload videos and photos of their most memorable Regional NSW experiences to www.visitnsw.com/ilovensw using #ILoveNSW. These first-hand tips and recommendations will promote Regional NSW as an outstanding short break and holiday destination through the eyes of the people who love it most.The best video and photo submissions, showcasing the unique regions and experiences in NSW, will be heroed in a series of eight curated short films that demonstrate how rich and diverse the State is, ripe with endless holiday opportunities.Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said: “Holidaying locally remains a popular choice for Australians, with regional NSW receiving more than 20.6 million domestic overnight visitors in the year ending 2016, up by 6.8%.”“Regional NSW offers great diversity of experience including awe-inspiring national parks, pristine beaches and coastline, historic homesteads and farmstays, enlightening Indigenous experiences, immersive art trails, delicious food and wine, and an exciting calendar of Regional events.”Locals and visitors are encouraged to upload their inspirational holiday videos at visitnsw.com/ilovensw. Holiday snaps can also be shared on Instagram and Twitter using #ILoveNSW.#ILoveNSW runs for eight weeks, beginning on 28 March, with the eight finalists announced on 05 June 2017. The best video contributions will win a Canon prize pack, which includes a Canon EOS M3 Single Lens Kit and a photography tutorial.For more information and to view a series of ‘What I Love About Holidays in NSW’ videos produced by Destination NSW visit: www.visitnsw.com/ilovenswlast_img read more

THAI announces results for the Second Quarter of 2017

first_imgTHAI announces results for the Second Quarter of 2017THAI announces results for the Second Quarter of 2017THAI and its subsidiaries announces its second quarter of 2017 with operating loss at the amount of THB 1,542 million (13.5% less than the same period last year), resulting from the escalating jet fuel prices by 20.1% and passenger yield decreased by 10.9% compare to the previous year due to the intense competition and reduction of fuel surcharge, despite cabin factor was the highest in the 10 years. After deducting one-time expenses, a loss from changes in ownership interest in Nok Air, impairment loss of assets and aircraft and loss on foreign currency exchange, THAI and its subsidiaries reported the net loss of THB 5,208 million.Mrs. Usanee Sangsingkeo, Executive Vice President of Commercial and Acting President of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), stated that in the second quarter, THAI continued the third phase of its transformation plan “Sustainable Growth” from the previous quarter. In the second quarter, which is normally a low-season period, passenger traffic (RPK) in actuality increased by 21.9% from the same quarter of last year, with an increase in production traffic (ASK) of 7.1%. Cabin Factor averaged at 78.5%, up from 69.0% in the previous year, the highest in 10 years, with 97 aircraft in operation, whereby two more aircraft than at the end of 2016 from the delivery of the Airbus A350-900XWB. Aircraft Utilization increased by 4.5% with 5.87 million passengers carried representing a 14.9% increase from last year.THAI and its subsidiaries’ operating loss was down 13.5% from the previous year. Total revenue was THB 45,182 million, an increase of 9.6% from the same quarter of last year due to an increase of passenger and excess baggage revenue which resulted from the increase in passenger traffic by 21.9%, despite a drop in average passenger yield due to intense price competition. Freight and mail revenues increased from the recovery in the export sector. Revenues from other activities increased arising from the higher aircraft maintenance service. While total expenses amounted to THB 46,724 million, an increase of 8.6% due to an increase in fuel expenses of THB 527 million (4.5%) resulting from an increase of 20.1% in average jet fuel price. Non-fuel operating expense increased by THB 3,390 million (11.3%) from last year mainly from the increase in production and traffic as well as the increase in maintenance and overhaul expense.In this quarter, THAI and its subsidiaries had one-time expenses at the amount of THB 575 million, a loss from changes in ownership interest, at the amount of THB 428 million resulting from the dilution of THAI’s shareholding in Nok Air and impairment loss of assets and aircraft, at the amount of THB 390 million. In addition, there was a loss on foreign currency exchange at the amount of THB 2,431 million. Consequently, THAI and its subsidiaries reported the net loss ofTHB 5,208 million. Loss attributable to parent amounted to THB 5,211 million. Loss per share was THB 2.39 per share, THB 1.05 or 78.4% higher loss than last year.As of June 30, 2017, total assets were THB 291,800 million, an increase of THB 8,676 million (3.1%) from December 31, 2016. Total liabilities totalled THB 260,239 million, which was an increase of THB 10,703 million (4.3%) from December 31, 2016. Shareholders’ equity totalled THB 31,561 million, a decrease of THB 2,027 million (6.0%) from December 31, 2016 due to loss from operations for the first six months of 2017. THAIbook flights hereSource = THAIlast_img read more

TravelManagers assure and protect client funds

first_imgChairman – Barry Mayo TravelManagersTravelManagers assure and protect client fundsWith various claims and assurances from travel companies of how client funds are protected, it is of little wonder consumers are confused as to exactly what extent they are covered.TravelManagers has taken the opportunity to highlight through complete transparency to clearly articulate to its clients the extent it has taken to protect client funds to limit ambiguity and provide ultimate peace of mind.TravelManagers is proud to have collaborated with insurance broker Gow-Gates in the development of Travel Agent Client Trust Account Fidelity Insurance (TACTAFI), an innovative business insurance product specifically designed to protect client funds while in the hands of TravelManagers or other TACTAFI insured travel intermediaries.“This insurance protects our client funds in the unlikely event that they are missing from, or not paid into the Insured Client Trust Account because of fraudulent or dishonest activity. To our knowledge, we are the only travel intermediary in the world to publish details of our Client Trust Account audit reports on its consumer website, that’s the value we place on providing assurances and transparency for our clients regarding the safety of their funds,” says TravelManagers’ Chairman, Barry Mayo.Mayo is quick to point out that transparency for clients is key.“Should there be a travel agency or tour wholesaler collapse resulting in media coverage, there is the risk that consumer confidence in working through travel intermediaries such as our personal travel managers (PTMs) could diminish. The benefit to offering a clear solution for clients makes it easy for our PTMs to clearly articulate for clients the process around how their funds are protected whilst in TravelManagers’ hands. It’s a clear and consistent message and PTMs love how we have made it so easy for them to provide a practical solution for clients that works.”PTMs are able to clearly demonstrate to their clients that TravelManagers has taken three complimentary actions to ensure the PTMs’ client funds are secure as summarized below:1. Client funds collected by PTMs are secure and separate from general trading accounts and TACTAFI protects the PTM’s client funds while in the care of TravelManagers and prior to payment to the relevant travel service providers“TravelManagers views each of our personal travel managers as a business partner and whilst our personal travel managers each have their own individual clients, all client payments are directly deposited into a central audited client trust account with ANZ Banking Corporation and are held in trust until payment is made directly to each travel service provider. The operations of a central client account ensure that client funds are only used for payment of each client’s travel service provider.”2. By taking out TACTAFI insurance TravelManagers’ guarantees the PTMs good name and individual client relationships in the unlikely event monies are missing from, or not paid into the Insured Trust Account because of fraudulent or dishonest activity.“TravelManagers TACTAFI insurance is underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company who is AA- rated and the largest in their field with $121.7 billion in consolidated assets.”3. To minimise the possibility of fraudulent or dishonest activity TravelManagers has engaged an accredited chartered accounting firm CIB Accountants to independently audit and review TravelManagers Client Trust account.“TravelManagers publish copies of these ‘Independent Audit Reports’ every three months on our website and to further provide transparency we also include the telephone number of our insurance broker Gow-Gates so that a client can contact them to ensure the company’s TACTAFI policy is in place, being maintained and current on the TravelManagers website.”The impetus for TravelManagers to initiate collaboration with one of Australia’s largest privately-owned insurance broking companies, Gow-Gates to create the TACTAFI product offering in 2014 was in response to the removal of client fund protection with the dismantling of the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF). In the last few years Mayo is “heartened to see that a limited number of other travel agencies has also adopted TACTAFI appreciating the benefits it offers consumers.”Mayo does caution however, “it is important to truly understand and question what fund protection insurance is being offered to clients and how it all works, as not all insurance products or claims by travel companies are necessarily equal.”Full information on TravelManagers consumer protection policies can be viewed here: https://www.travelmanagers.com.au/peace-of-mind/For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.Source = TravelManagerslast_img read more

Seabreeze Resort wins Best Deluxe Accommodation

first_imgSource = Seabreeze Resort Samoa Seabreeze Resort win’s “Best Deluxe Accommodation”Seabreeze Resort win’s “Best Deluxe Accommodation”The luxurious Seabreeze Resort, Samoa has won “Best Deluxe Accommodation” for the second year at the recent 2018 Samoan Tourism Excellence Awards.The awards, which begin in 2017, are voted on by visitors through guest surveys distributed at Faleolo Airport, Apia and in Apia town by the Samoa Tourism Authority.According to Wendy Booth, Owner of Seabreeze Resort, Samoa “We are extremely proud to have won this award for the second time and feel honoured that our guests have voted for us.”“We strive for our resort to be a total oasis for guests, offering not only first-class accommodation but a first-class experience. With our army of hand trained staff and a determination to exceed our guest’s expectations we will continue to create a utopia for couples in our untouched Island paradise.” Continues Wendy.The award winning Seabreeze Resort is gently nestled into a private secluded bay on Samoa’s famous south-east coast of Upolu.The first “Exclusively for Adults” resort in Samoa for guests 18 years and over, Seabreeze provides the ideal romantic getaway for honeymooners and couples or those seeking luxury and intimacy.Since its re-opening in 2011 Seabreeze has won accolades around the world. For the past five years Seabreeze has won Leading Hotel in Samoa at the World Travel Awards and in 2017 Seabreeze also won the” National Tourism Excellence Award’ at the Samoan Tourism Excellence Awards. In 2016 Seabreeze was recognised as the number one hotel in Upolo and ranked 11 out of 25 for the Top 25 small hotels in the South Pacific in the 2016 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice™ awards and was voted 9th in the Top 25 resorts in the South Pacific for Romance in the Travellers’ Choice Awards (2016 and 2014).Seabreeze has 12 air-conditioned villas all with ocean, lagoon or reef views, including the ultimate Honeymoon Point House with its private plunge pool and uninterrupted, 180-degree views of the resort, bay and coastline. All villas receive a nightly turndown service and feature a complimentary ‘A la Carte’ mini bar that is re-stocked daily featuring the best of white & red New Zealand wines and a selection of white or red wines, beer, soft drink and nibbles.With quality, innovative cuisine and outstanding customer service paramount, Seabreeze Resort offers three dining options including the a la carte Waterfront Bar & Restaurant situated right on the water with unsurpassed lagoon and reef views, Cbreeza Pizzeria and Paulini’s Pool Bar.From the time guests wake there is always something to experience at Seabreeze Resort. Relax by the infinity pool while enjoying cocktails, laze on the beach or take a dip within the protection of the pristine lagoon. Enjoy the use of complimentary glass bottom Kayaks and snorkelling equipment to view the beautiful coral and marine life or venture outside the resort for surfing, charter fishing, trekking, golf or visit a nearby beach, blow hole or cave pool.Seabreeze Resort has a recipe for relaxation, “when hungry you eat, when thirsty you drink, when tired you sleep and be pampered at every opportunity”.  With this motto in mind, guests can be treated to a range of totally indulgent and nurturing massages unique to Seabreeze.Romance is intrinsic to the spirit of the resort, so there is no better place to celebrate a wedding, honeymoon or special anniversary than at Seabreeze.  Seabreeze also offer intimate honeymoon, birthday and anniversary bonuses that not only meets individual needs but surpasses their expectations.For further information, visit www.seabreezeresortsamoa.comlast_img read more

Thailand scores top marks

first_imgThailand scores top marks in ‘Best Business Country Rankings’ reportThailand scores top marks in ‘Best Business Country Rankings’ reportThe Kingdom also receives high rankings for Adventure Tourism and Best Countries to Travel AloneThailand came in first in the recent ‘Best Countries to Start a Business Rankings’ of the ‘2018 Best Countries Rankings Report’, marking the second consecutive year it took home top honours. (click to see the report)The Report also recognises Thailand as the 27th ranked country overall in regards for doing business.Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn thanked all involved for publishing the Report and for all the constructive feedback from respondents.“Thailand has made immense progress in doing business reforms over the past few years, due to strong government leadership at the highest levels,” Mr Yuthasak, said. “With its 27th place ranking overall, Thailand continues to rise against other countries globally in the ease of doing business. It is a great achievement, and we look forward to continuing improvement as it helps create more jobs in the travel and tourism sectors.”Thailand ranked fourth overall in the Adventure Rankings with the study claiming each visitor spends US$ 1,530 on tourism during a trip to Thailand. Other top ten accolade including placing sixth in the Movers Ranking, eight in the Heritage Rankings while coming in ninth in the Best Countries to Travel Alone ranking.In the top twenty, the Kingdom placed 15th in the report’s Open for Business rankings, 19th in the Cultural Influence rankings, and 20th for the Best Countries for a Comfortable Retirement ranking.Rounding out the most important rankings, Thailand also came in 30th in the Quality of Life rankings.The 2018 Best Countries Rankings, formed in partnership with global marketing communications company Y&R’s brand strategy firm, BAV Group, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, are based on a survey that asked more than 21,000 people from four regions to associate 80 countries with specific characteristics.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)last_img read more

Six Senses Kitzbuehel Alps offers Electrifying Ride

first_imgSix Senses Kitzbuehel Alps offers Electrifying RideSix Senses Kitzbuehel Alps offers Electrifying RideThere’s a whole new meaning to freeriding at Six Senses Kitzbuehel Alps. Residential owners who purchase a chalet at the sustainable resort development, which is set to open in summer 2021, will be among the first to own and drive the latest all-electric Porsche Taycan. The all new zero-emissions supercar which will take Porsche into a new era is the perfect accessory for a chalet that not only aims to set new standards in Alpine aesthetics but also defines the very essence of sustainable living.Supporting the Six Senses commitment to look after the environment and communities where it operates, the Taycan (which translates as lively young horse) marks Porsche’s entry into the electric market. The Taycan’s revolutionary technology can charge 63 miles (100 kilometers) range in just 4 minutes.“Sustainability is not just about what we do, but who we do it with,” said Bernhard Bohnenberger, president of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. “Our relationship with Porsche and its zero-emission model underlines our position to build and operate in ways that minimizes our ecological impact.”The Taycan is expected to have a minimum range of 311 miles (500 kilometers) and its top model can sprint from 0 to 62 miles (0 to 100 kilometers) in under 3 seconds. It presents itself as both, a pure breed sports car and a comfortable ride, engineered for every terrain. The Taycan truly is a silent force of nature.Its four-wheel drive capability ensures that owners will be able to carve with confidence both on the piste and on the road.“It’s not only about the excitement the car exudes, and the added value for the chalet buyer – this strategic alliance has deeper roots. With what we do, we want to ensure that our planet remains a safe and stable environment, full of natural wonders, for generations to come. We must take responsibility. Six Senses aims to be plastic free by 2022, Porsche are now diesel free. This is a clear signal that both brands are thinking in the same direction. All we do is plant the seed,” said Michael Staininger, co-developer of Six Senses Kitzbuehel Alps.“This is the perfect synergy. The evolution of alpine real estate, paired with the evolution of the Porsche sports car. We not only want to embrace the future, we want to shape it.” said Klaus Maerzendorfer, head of sales at Porsche Austria.Six Senses Kitzbuehel Alps lies just 20 minutes from the eponymous town center, high above the village of Jochberg in the Austrian Tyrol. The resort faces the majestic peaks of the Hohe Tauern – the largest nature reserve in the Alps – and borders a protected moss land where wild orchids bloom in the summer months. It features 80 guest accommodations and a small village of 50 private residences available for sale, 15 of which are freestanding top of the line chalets.Future owners can select from four- to five-bedroom chalets and also one- to four-bedroom apartments. All privately-owned units can be placed into the resort’s rental pool. As with all Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas projects, architecture and design blend into their surroundings. Architecture by IAW fuses with the artistic craftsmanship of master designer Martin Brudnizki to create a modern interpretation of classic Alpine style. Natural light and materials such as stone and wood create a warm and stylishly comfortable atmosphere, while energy efficiency and home technology are both put to good use.Additional highlights include the resort’s private access to the ski slopes and the availability of all Six Senses services to private property owners including a Six Senses spa and pioneering wellness concept.The Kitzbuehel region is a year-round alpine destination, featuring world-class ski slopes, outdoor activities plus excellent entertainment, dining and shopping. Hosting the greatest and most spectacular downhill race in the world, the charming little town with centuries of history and traditions has become an incomparable sports and jet set hub. Six Senses Kitzbuehel Alps is located 120 minutes by car from Munich, and 90 minutes from Salzburg and Innsbruck airports.For more information regarding chalet ownership at Six Senses Residences Kitzbuehel Alps, please contact Michael Staininger by phone +43 (676) 931 0039 or +1 (917) 963 4335 for the US or email sales@kitzbuehelalps.com Source = Six Senses Kitzbuehel Alpslast_img read more

Korean Air Presents its Signature Inflight Meal

first_imgKorean Air Presents its Signature Inflight MealKorean Air Presents its Signature Inflight Meal “Bibimbap” At AspenKorean Air, South Korea’s flagship carrier, has once again showcased its signature in-flight meal “Bibimbap” at the 37th annual Food & Wine Classic from June 14 to 16 in Aspen, Colorado.The Food & Wine Classic is America’s premier culinary event and is celebrating its 37th year. It is presented every June by Food & Wine Magazine in scenic Aspen. It features wine tasting, cooking demonstrations and panel discussions by the world’s most celebrated chefs and wine experts such as Martha Stewart, JJ Johnson and Gail Simmons. The event alone attracts over 5,000 people to Aspen every year.Participating in the event for the 10th year, Korean Air showcased its signature in-flight meal Bibimbap. One of the most popular dishes of Korean food, Bibimbap is made of white rice topped with vegetables, beef and Gochujang (chili pepper paste). Korean Air chefs explained Bibimbap’s unique cooking method, its origin and recipe details. Korean Air also introduced the Jedong Ranch, operated by the Hanjin Group, the parent company of Korean Air. At the ranch, cattle and chickens are raised to be used as ingredients for in-flight meals served in Korean Air’s first- and prestige-class cabins. Korean Air’s flight attendants served Bibimbap to the audience, and over 5,000 dishes of Bibimbap ran out quickly.As the first airline to serve Bibimbap inflight in 1997, Korean Air pioneered the sharing of Korean cuisine internationally and received the prestigious Mercury Award from IFCA (International Flight Catering Association) in doing so.As the Korean cultural ambassador, Korean Air has been actively participating in renowned world travel fairs held in cities such as Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Auckland, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Korean Air remains committed to using fresh ingredients and maintaining the food quality in order to provide various, healthy inflight meals to passengers.Source = Korean Airlast_img read more

India plans to drive Ganges tourism through SMART goals

first_imgGovernment of India has developed an action plan for the promotion of tourism at Varanasi, on the river Ganges. Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Tourism and Culture and for Civil Aviation, said that the government will create a coordination committee for the promotion of tourism and culture in Varanasi. The pledge came after a seminar on pilgrimage and spiritual tourism, which was held in Varanasi recently, entitled ‘Opportunity abounds along the Ganges’.Dr Sharma said that the committee would include the secretaries of the ministries of tourism, culture and civil aviation, plus local representatives and experts in the relevant fields. The committee will submit an action plan by 15 April 2015, which is then expected to be implemented within three months.The minister added that aspects of visitor safety and hygiene would be included in the action plan. He has proposed that the country should go in for SMART goals, rather than plan big projects, which may not be implemented in a designated time frame. The minister elaborated what he meant by SMART goals – Small, Manageable, Accessible, Realistic, and Tangible.While addressing local hoteliers and tour operators at the seminar, Dr Sharma urged them to utilise the opportunity of spiritual and religious tourism along the Ganges. He also urged the hoteliers to take care of the city’s ghats – the stone steps that lead into the river.last_img read more

BBC World and NTV to promote Keralas tourism potential

first_imgKerala’s tourism department will now receive a boost with the arrival of the crews of BBC World from the UK and NTV Broadcasting Company of Russia. The shows will be beamed around the world, informing the international audience about the abundant nature of the state as well as its culture and culinary delights.Both the shows, `The Travel Show’ on the BBC World and `Let’s go, let’s eat’ on NTV, will be shot in different parts of Kerala as part of the familiarisation (FAM) trips organised by the Kerala Tourism.“Kerala Tourism regularly organises FAM trips for renowned travel writers, journalists, TV crew and tour operators…We are privileged to host shows in two of the most popular channels abroad,” said Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar.The television shows will showcase the state’s backwaters, home stays, village life experience, and culture, to be captured in Alappuzha and Kochi. They will also highlight responsible tourism (RT), capturing the details on shellfish gathering in Alappuzha, besides studying the nuances of Kathakali make-up in Kochi. They will also film a coconut climbing competition, to be held in two parts – between traditional climbers and between men and machines.last_img

Chaîne des Puys – Limagne fault Tectonic Arena now on the UNESCO

first_imgOn July 2, 2018, during the 42nd session, the 21 States composing the World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the Chaîne des Puys – Limagne fault Tectonic Arena on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This unique landscape now joins sites such as the Grand Canyon, the Okavango Delta, Kilimanjaro and the Great Barrier Reef on this prestigious list. It is the first French natural site to be inscribed in Mainland France and is one of the rare tectonic World Heritage sites. The emblematic image of the Auvergne and the Puy-de-Dôme department, the Chaîne des Puys – Limagne fault Tectonic Arena has been recognised by UNESCO as an exceptional geological site. The alignment of the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes and the Limagne fault provides evidence for a large-scale process which has fashioned the Earth’s surface – the continental break-up. A natural showcase, the site demonstrates how the Earth’s crust was faulted and underwent collapse, allowing magma to rise up and the surface to be significantly uplifted. This geological history is superbly reflected in the landscape and stimulates the visitors’ imagination as they gaze across the lush green volcanoes at what could have been a new ocean. Backed by the government, this inscription is the culmination of a long process initiated 11 years ago by the president of the Puy-de-Dôme department, Jean-Yves GOUTTEBEL. The nomination is deeply rooted in the local territory, drawing on local authorities, businesses, associations and inhabitants to further the recognition and preservation of this exceptional natural heritage. The dossier was compiled by the Departmental Council of the Puy-de-Dôme, in close collaboration with local universities for the scientific component, and the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park for that of the management.last_img read more

Lufthansa uses telemedicine on board its longhaul fleet

first_imgAs the first airline in the world to do so, Lufthansa has equipped all long-haul aircraft with the mobile ECG (Electrocardiogram) system CardioSecur. In case of on-board medical emergencies, the compact, intuitive system will allow flight attendants without cardiological expertise to record an ECG for passengers and send the test results directly to a medical hotline on the ground. The system has initially been tested in 2018 on the A380 fleet and now, it will be available for medical emergencies on all long-haul aircraft within the Lufthansa fleet. “The health of our passengers is very close to our hearts. Especially when they are feeling unwell on board, they should know that they are in good hands with Lufthansa. The results of the resting ECG conducted directly onboard the aircraft provide a better basis for deciding whether it is necessary to divert a plane in order to provide medical care on the ground in case of medical emergencies,” said Dr Sven-Karsten Peters, a cardiologist with the Lufthansa Medical Service, as he explains the advantages of the system.Cardiovascular complaints are the most common cause of medical incidents on board. If there are any doctors on the flight, they have been able to use the defi-brillator so far as a workaround to better assess the situation. However, the results from that machine cannot replace an ECG.Lufthansa now offers a medical travel assistance service in cooperation with the service provider Medical Travel Companion. Passengers can choose to book a nurse, a paramedic or a doctor to take care of them during their entire flight. Lufthansa is the first European airline to offer this service. The medical companion programme has different packages that passengers can choose from. Depending on their needs, customers can for example book medical supervision or wound management.For more than 20 years now, Lufthansa has been the only commercial airline company that offers intercontinental intensive care transport: the Lufthansa Patient Transport Compartment (PTC) is available for the repatriation of people who are taken ill abroad or for the transportation of patients who require intensive medical care. The high-tech product is a kind of ‘flying ICU’ that unites state-of-the-art technology, competent specialists and efficient processes with the comfort and safety of an isolated ICU.last_img read more

Mortgage Rates Lift Above 4 for First Time Since October

first_img Mortgage rates climbed above 4 percent this week, marking a departure from persistently low interest rates for the first time in five months as economic distress lifts stateside and Greece clears hurdles.[IMAGE]Mortgage giant “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 4.08 percent, up from 3.92 percent last week but far below last year’s 4.81 percent.Freddie also saw the 15-year loan averaging 3.30 percent, reflecting a climb from 3.16 percent last week, with rates for [COLUMN_BREAK]5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) ticking up from 2.83 percent and 2.79 percent to 2.96 percent and 2.84 percent, respectively.””Frank Nothaft””:http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, VP and chief economist with Freddie Mac, said in a statement that the lift in rates marks the first time it has occurred since October last year.””Bond yields rose over the past two weeks in part due to an improving assessment of the state of the economy by the “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/, better than expected results of commercial bank stress tests and the likelihood of a second bailout for Greece,”” he said.Finance Web site “”Bankrate.com””:http://www.bankrate.com/ largely agreed in a separate statement, chalking up increases to “”[m]ore good news on the U.S. economy and a decreasing likelihood of further Fed bond-buying stimulus”” that drove “”bond investors├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª for the exits over the past week.””The Web site posted similar results for 30-year and 15-year loans, which rose from 4.15 percent and 3.38 percent last week to 4.29 percent and 3.48 percent this week, respectively, it said.For Bankrate.com, the 5-year and 1-year ARMs ascended to 3.24 percent this week from 3.14 percent last week. Share March 22, 2012 388 Views in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Bankrate Freddie Mac Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers 2012-03-22 Ryan Schuette Mortgage Rates Lift Above 4% for First Time Since Octoberlast_img read more

November Pending Home Sales Index Reaches 31Month High

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau For-Sale Homes Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Processing Service Providers 2012-12-28 Mark Lieberman in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Share December 28, 2012 412 Views center_img The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) increased for the third straight month in November, improving 1.7 percent to 106.4, the “”National Association of Realtors (NAR)””:http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/10/november-pending-home-sales-rise-again reported Friday. Economists had expected a slightly fast, 1.8 percent increase to 106.7. [IMAGE]The index, the NAR said, is at its highest level since April 2010.The index for October was revised down to 104.6 from the originally reported 104.8, making the November growth even larger.””The upward momentum [in the PHSI] means existing-home sales should rise 8 to 9 percent in 2013 to approximately 5.1 million, following a 10 percent gain expected for all of 2012,”” the NAR said. “”The median existing-home price is projected to rise just over 4 percent in 2013, after rising more than 7 percent in 2012.”” For November, NAR reported sales of existing single homes rose to 5.04 million, the highest level in three years.On Thursday, the Census Bureau and HUD reported jointly new home sales ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the equivalent of the PHSI ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô had increased 4.4 percent in November, also to its highest level since April 2010 Sales for both new and existing homes in 2010 were stimulated by the federal homebuyer tax credit program which required a closing by June of that year. The PHSI and new home sales reports measure contracts for the purchase of a home. The PHSI and new home sales report usually move in the same direction ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô each has increased in all but three months this year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô but the magnitude and timing of the changes can vary. That new home sales grew in November at a faster pace than the PHSI suggests the available homes for sale include a large number of distressed properties, discouraging buyers. The PHSI does not distinguish distressed or short sale from other home sale transactions in the report.[COLUMN_BREAK]Indeed, distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts – accounted for 22 percent of November sales (12 percent were foreclosures and 10 percent were short sales), down from 24 percent in October and 29 percent in November 2011. Those discount categories have represented almost 30 percent of existing home sales this year.With the November increase, the PHSI is up 9.8 percent year-over-year, the 19th straight month of year- year increases, but the weakest year-over-year improvement since June.PHSI data are generally reflected in the report on existing home sales one or two months out, that is the November PHSI points to stronger growth in completed homes sale transactions reported for December or January. The 5.9 percent increase in existing home sales in November followed a 5.0 percent increase in the PHSI in October.The PHSI in the Northeast rose 5.2 percent to 83.3 in November and is 15.2 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index edged up 0.1 percent to 103.8 in November and is 15.2 percent above November 2011. Pending home sales in the South were unchanged at an index of 117.2 in November and are 13.9 percent higher than a year ago. In the West the index rose 4.2 percent in November to 110.1, but is 3.2 percent below November 2011 with inventory constraints limiting sales. November marked the first time since May the index improved in all four census regions.The index is based on a large national sample, representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales; it coincides with a level that is historically healthy._Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:40 am and again at 9:40 am eastern time._ November Pending Home Sales Index Reaches 31-Month Highlast_img read more

Feds No 2 Housing a Factor in Disappointing Recovery

first_img More than five years after the “official” end of the Great Recession in the United States, the Federal Reserve’s vice chair says there are still too many hurdles blocking the country from getting back on its feet.Speaking at a conference in Sweden Monday morning, Stanley Fischer, vice chairman of the Fed and former governor of the Bank of Israel, admitted that the global recovery from the recession has been disappointing at best, noting that economic growth among the world’s most advanced economies has underperformed compared to previous post-recessionary periods.”Year after year we have had to explain from mid-year on why the global growth rate has been lower than predicted as little as two quarters back,” Fischer said.Indeed, a recent survey of economists conducted by the Wall Street Journal showed significantly less optimistic forecasts for the United States compared to predictions made earlier in the year. The panel’s lower expectations were brought on by a subdued housing sector, which has seen sluggish construction and sales activity so far this year.Like the economists in the Wall Street Journal survey, Fischer said the housing market has been a sore spot for the country.”The housing sector was at the epicenter of the U.S. financial crisis and recession and it continues to weigh on the recovery,” Fischer told the audience.While economic recoveries have historically been marked by rebounds in housing activity, construction in the last few years has been held back by a large inventory of foreclosed and distressed properties and by tight credit conditions, both for construction and mortgage loans, Fischer said.On top of that, the decline in home equity and the inability of underwater borrowers to refinance their mortgages into historically low rates has reduced household demand for other goods and services.What’s more, the United States isn’t alone in its housing struggles, Fischer said: “Growth in other countries that experienced financial crises, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain, has been weighed down by struggling residential sectors.”Adding to the problem are fiscal policies that the Fed vice chair says have actually hampered any progress made rather than helping it.In the United States alone, the economy has taken hits from the end of the payroll tax cut, the start of sequestration, budget caps limiting discretionary spending, and last year’s government shutdown, all of which have contributed to a slowdown of about 1.5 percentage points in economic growth. in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News Fed’s No. 2: Housing a Factor in ‘Disappointing’ Recovery August 11, 2014 488 Views center_img Share Federal Reserve Housing Starts New Home Sales Recovery Stanley Fischer 2014-08-11 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Mortgage Costs vs Credit Scores

first_img 30-year fixed mortgage APR Borrowers Borrowing Credit Scores Lenders Lending LendingTree mortgage Purchase Loans Refinance Loans 2018-05-10 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination May 10, 2018 552 Views Mortgage Costs vs. Credit Scorescenter_img Borrower credit profiles continued to define their cost of getting a mortgage loan in April according to the LendingTree Monthly Mortgage Report released on Thursday. The report, which contains data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers by lenders includes average quoted Annual Percentage Rate (APR) by credit scores, together with average down payment and other metrics.According to the report, the APR for average borrowers saw an uptick in April, rising seven basis points to 4.92 percent for conforming 30-year fixed-rate loans. The month’s best offers for borrowers with excellent profiles had an average APR of 4.26 percent, a slight rise from 4.25 percent in March. However, refinance loan offers were down one basis point to 4.23 percent.For the average borrower, the report indicated, the loan note rate of 4.81 percent hit the highest mark since March 2016 and increased six basis points on a month-over-month basis.However, credit scores determined the extent of additional costs paid by borrowers while getting a mortgage.“Mortgage rates vary depending upon parameters including a borrower’s credit score, loan-to-value ratio, income, and property type,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist, LendingTree. “We prefer to emphasize the APR as lenders often make changes to other fees in response to changing interest rates.”The report found that consumers with the highest credit scores (760 and more) saw offered APRs of 4.78 percent in April, versus 5.07 percent for consumers with scores of 680-719. “The APR spread of 29 basis points between these score ranges was up 2 basis points from March and the widest since this data series began in March 2016,” Kapfidze said. The spread represents almost $15,000 in additional costs for borrowers with lower credit scores over 30 years for the average purchase loan amount of $234,437 the report found, due to higher interest rates, larger fees, or a combination of both. For refinance loans also, the credit score bracket spread remained at 24 basis points amounting to nearly $13,000 in extra costs over the life of the loan for lower credit score borrowers with an average refinance loan of $239,199. Sharelast_img read more

April 02 2019

first_imgApril 02 , 2019 Australia: Costa Group upbeat for 2019 despite pro … Monsanto dealt first Australian lawsuit over cance … Chile opens for Australian almonds … South Africa: Maluma Symposium to draw larger inte … center_img “The efforts of industry, government, community, and researchers in minimising the spread of this potentially devastating disease have been world class … But the reality is that Panama TR4 is here to stay and it will eventually spread. Therefore planning for the future is critical,” said ABGC chair Stephen Lowe. “ABGC believes that the TR4 Program is well worth investing in into the future.”To ensure it will be, ABGC and BQ have formed a group with the aim of developing a formal partnership agreement regarding the TR4 Program.The agreement will concern how the program would be designed, delivered, funded, and managed over the next four years.ABGC has also begun consulting with international banana growers on the new partnership agreement, specifically how the industry could fund its share.Lowe emphasized that while the disease was contained to a relatively small area in Far North Queensland for now, slowing the inevitable spread is beneficial for the banana industry as a whole. You might also be interested in In an attempt to restrict the spread of the destructive Panama disease TR4 in Australia, the Queensland government recently granted the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) AUD$12.1 million (over US$8 million) in funding.However, starting this July it has asked that a cost-sharing arrangement be made between itself and the industry to continue efforts against the disease.Its funding currently aids the TR4 Management and Containment Program, run by Biosecurity Queensland (BQ), which has been key in restricting the pathogen’s spread.While TR4 usually spreads rapidly, since its original discovery in Tully Valley in March 2015, it has only been detected on two other farms, thanks to the joined efforts of ABGC, BQ, individual growers, researchers, and the wider community.During the crisis, a national levy and ABGC funds covered costs when the first infected farm, in addition to all of its operations, was shutdown to ensure containment.last_img read more

NFL starters dont usually play much in the first

first_imgNFL starters don’t usually play much in the first preseason game of the year, but then again, this is not your usual preseason.The Arizona Cardinals will take the field in Oakland Thursday, just one week after the entire team — including new QB Kevin Kolb — began practicing in Flagstaff.That’s why the signal caller, and some other starters, will likely see extended playing time in the game. “I think it’s going to be, obviously, individualized by position,” Cardinals analyst Ron Wolfley said on Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf show Thursday. “I think we’re going to see a lot more of Kevin Kolb — that’s not a big secret.“Coach Whisenhunt has already intimated that he’s going to pay more than the typical starter would in the first preseason game.” Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’center_img Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Top Stories Comments   Share   last_img read more

What an MLB source said about the Dbacks trade h

first_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke “The respect you see from other guys seeing you out there,that was great,” Rhodes said. “Once the game started I wason the sidelines and I just couldn’t take it. So I endedup leaving and watching the game on TV.”Rhodes left, he said, because watching from the sidelineleft him upset.“It gives you a whole different perspective of why peopleget upset watching the games,” Rhodes said of watching.“When you’re in the middle of it you’re trying your bestso you really don’t see it, but when you’re on the outsidelooking in and you’re not playing, you have a totallydifferent perspective.”Rhodes said it’s frustrating seeing someone not be in theright spot, something that has been an issue for theCardinals defense this season. A football player wants to be on the field. Not being out there, especially when the team isstruggling, is tough to deal with.Thus is the plight of Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes, whowatched a game from the sidelines for the first timeSunday.“It was very, very weird,” Rhodes told Arizona Sports620’s Doug and Wolf. “It was pretty difficult on Sunday.”Rhodes said he arrived at the stadium early and watchedwarmups, and players from both teams approached him andtold him to hurry up and get back on the field becausehe’s one of the best players in the league. Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’center_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Comments   Share   last_img read more