World Travel Awards seeks to find the best in travel industry in

first_imgSource = World Travel Awards World Travel Awards is issuing a call to those organisations that aspire to be the best of the best in the business to participate in the 2011 World Travel Awards. The highest accolade in travel and tourism, the awards is hailed as ‘the Oscars of the travel industry’ by the media worldwide for identifying and rewarding excellence. Last year’s self nominations rose an outstanding 50 per cent compared to the previous year, and in 2011 the competition is set to be the fiercest yet as companies and destinations realise the commercial benefits and kudos that comes from winning a World Travel Award. Entry is now open for categories in Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Indian Ocean, Middle East, North America, South America and World. Nomination submission deadline will be Friday 4th February. The complete nomination’s list will be announced in time for ITB in March. Voting will then open and be carried out by an audience of 183,000 travel agents and tourism professionals from 164 countries, as well as visitors to World Travel Awards website who are encouraged to submit their votes via the online voting system. World Travel Awards has announced the locations of the 2011 events which include: Antalya, Bangkok, Dubai, London, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco and Sharm el Sheikh. The events are widely regarded as one of the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and trade leaders, CEO and director-above level professionals as well as international media. World Travel Awards, President and Founder, Graham E. Cooke said: “With 2010 proving to be one of the toughest on record for the travel and tourism industry, we saw the true leaders of travel turn adversity into opportunity and 2011 will be no different. We are looking for companies that go the extra mile to outperform their peers and truly offer an exceptional experience for their customer as well as exceeding business performance with innovative ideas.last_img read more

Prince Wills to attend Qld fundraiser

first_imgJust months before the royal wedding, Prince William has agreed to attend another cocktail function in Queensland to show his support for Premier Anna Bligh’s Disaster Relief Fund. The event has been added to the Prince’s itinerary while he is down under promoting tourism into Christchurch post-earthquake and Queensland after last month’s flooding, My Sunshine Coast reported. According to the source, the Prince will arrive in Australia on Saturday after spending two days in New Zealand and will attend the fundraising cocktail function on the last night of his visit, Sunday 20 March. Ms Bligh said the AU$500-a-head function would not only offer an opportunity to assist flood and cyclone victims but to also attend a function with a member of the Royal Family.”We were pleased when Buckingham Palace announced last week that Prince William would be coming to Australia and New Zealand to see first-hand the damage that we have suffered over summer,” Ms Bligh said.”We’re even more pleased now that he has agreed it is important that while he is in Queensland, he helps us to boost the money available in the Disaster Appeal.”It’s that money that is going to help a lot of Queenslanders affected by floods and cyclones on the road to recovery.” Ms Bligh added that the state is now 99 percent disaster cleared but despite the weather clearing up Queensland is left dealing with 72 council areas which experienced damage during this year’s cyclone and flooding.The Premier’s cocktail function is being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and according to Ms Bligh to date the Premier’s Disaster Fund has raised up to AU$237 million. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Domestic travel brakes with driving tourism

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Driving holidays are a dying fad, with Australia’s youth choosing to save money for holidays overseas over domestic weekend getaways, report findings read. According to a Tourism Trends – A Decade in Review report, domestic tourism is suffering as the number Aussies under 30 years old choosing to boycott the weekend road trip rose by 14 percent over the past ten years, News.com.au reported.Roy Morgan Research director of tourism Jane Ianniello told the source that destinations such as Hunter Valley and the Great Ocean Road are dropping in tourism numbers.While the Aussie dollar is driving Australian’s overseas, Ms Ianneillo added that it is not the reason behind youth moving towards overseas travel, but rather the “appeal of overseas holiday destinations”. “Under 30-year-olds are very cash strapped at the moment and their disposable income is declining because of things like high mortgage repayments, rental stress and students having to pay HECs and undertaking more tertiary education,” Mr Ianeillo told the source.”They’re taking less annual holidays but when they do take a holiday they’re choosing to save up and go overseas.”It’s really bad news for domestic tourism.”Destinations such as New Zealand, Bali and Thailand are increasing in popularity as six to 15 percent of respondents under 30 said they only feel like they are on a holiday when it is outside of Australia. The survey of up to 50,000 Australians also found of domestic tourism Melbourne performed well above other destinations, however, Canberra and Brisbane also topped the list in popularity. last_img read more

Travellers Love to Home Swap

first_imgAiming to offer travellers the opportunity to re-create a scene from Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet’s tinsel-town flick, ‘The Holiday’, a new home-swapping website has hit the accommodation sector.Launching earlier this week, Love Home Swap offers holiday-makers the opportunity to exchange homes, creating a cheaper and unique holiday experience.Love Home Swap founder Debbie Wosskow described the site as a “revolution in social travel” and said it could save Aussie travellers thousands during economic uncertainties.With the company’s research finding up to 53 percent of Australians unable afford a holiday over Christmas, Ms Wosskow explained home-swapping can save up to $2,000 per vacation and can see a holiday-maker travel like a local rather than a tourist.“It’s very common for swaps to include cars, kids’ toys, ski equipment etc so the savings can be much higher,” the company’s founder added.“You then get to holiday like an insider and swap as many times as you like – for less than the cost of a single night in a hotel or villa.  “The result is that 62 percent of our members are able to holiday more frequently, and for longer periods.”Love Home Swap said it has properties available on its site for up to 70 countries and ranges from cabins, lofts, beach houses and even castles.According to Love Home Swap’s research, one in two Aussies said they would take part in home swapping vacations over the next 12 months. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Bangkok prepares for further flooding

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Thailand government has declared a five day national holiday for Bangkok and 20 other provinces from the 27 – 31 October to help the country address the worst flooding in decades.The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) adjusted its advice for travellers visiting Thailand, warning that holiday-makers ‘do not travel’ to certain regions of the country that have experience flooding.Earlier this week flooding saw the country’s second largest airport, Don Muang close its runways and now DFAT has advised travellers do not travel to Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla while popular tourist area Bangkok has been issued a ‘reconsider your need to travel’.Areas surrounding Pra Viharn (also known as Preah Vihear), Ta Kwai and Ta Muen Thom temples on Thai-Cambodia border have also received a reconsider your travel needs while Thailand overall has been branded, ‘high degree of caution’.According to a statement from CBS Travel Asia, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra explained that several sections of Bangkok are now “submerged” and the Government is working to prevent water from flowing into the city center.She added that while they try to minimize the inundation, it is likely that the water will “overwhelm the existing capacity of floodgates and dykes and flow into the city center”, the statement from CBS Travel Asia read.With waters sitting ankle deep between 10 to 50 centimeters in some area, CBS Travel Asia stressed that while food and water supplies are short for Thai staff that have not prepared accordingly, tourist attractions will not be affected by the flooding. The company added that ATMs in central Bangkok are still operational for travellers looking to withdraw cash and roads between Bangkok and Pattaya, Hua Hin and Suvarnabhumi International Airport are running normal. CBS Travel has advised that it has adjusted its tours heading to North of Thailand and is ensuring “minimal inconvenience and ensuring maximum safety” of its guests.last_img read more

FLT plans vigorous defence against the ACCC

first_imgFlight Centre (FLT) has sworn to “vigorously defend” itself after Australian regulators launched proceedings against the company for allegedly entering into price fixing arrangements.Announced late last week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) case filed in Brisbane Federal Court covered six occasions between 2005 and 2009 where the agency Group had supposedly attempted to persuade Singapore Airlines (SIA), Malaysian Airlines and Emirates to stop offering international fares at prices lower than FLT.The ACCC explained the prices included the amount for the airfare as well as the commission, making the travel agency Group in competition with the airlines’ internal sales divisions and in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.However, Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner noted that the discussions referred to by the Commission were “legitimate” and said the company had outlined its position to the ACCC in information requested three years ago. Mr Turner said the negotiations aimed to maintain the company’s position at selling the lowest airfares.“As an agent, FLT asks for adequate commissions for airlines and other suppliers and also reasonable access to all fares that they release to the market,” Mr Turner said.“This is a logical and natural business request for an agent to make to ensure the customers it serves are not disadvantaged.“Given that travel agents book up to 80 percent of international flights in Australia, it also benefits consumers because it means special offers are not solely available from supplier websites.” Referring to discussions with SIA, Mr Turner explained after failing to reach an agreement with SIA in April 2009 it had temporarily treated the carrier as a non-preferred airline, a practise common amongst agencies where agents will not promote the carrier’s fares but will continue to book SIA fares if requested by customers. He continued by questioning the ACCC’s decision to launch the case three years after it had received the facts. “It its recent media commentary, the ACCC has indicated its enforcement area will be taking on more cases where the outcomes may be less certain,” Mr Turner said. “Presumably, this is the case in this instance.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Love Every Second in Sydney Destination NSW

first_imgAiming to build its winter numbers and reach 2020 overnight visitor targets, Destination NSW has launched a new ‘bold’ campaign telling Aussies and Kiwis they’ll ‘Love every second of Sydney’.Launched today, the campaign was designed to emit a romantic factor behind Sydney while showcasing the wide range of events running throughout the city during the colder season. Utilising ‘first time’ initiatives, the campaign will include digital and social media promotion including a first ever eight page fold out in the New Zealand Herald as well as tram wraps in Melbourne, bus sign in Auckland and light projections in Brisbane and Auckland.Describing promotional efforts as “captivating and compelling”, Destination NSW chief executive Sandra Chipchase said this year’s winter campaign will tell other cities, “look out NSW is fighting back”.“We have to be innovative and do things differently,” she said. “We need to restore NSW as a leading destination.“We want more visitors, more repeat visitors, new markets and new partnership.”She said the Group was also making an increased effort in combining its events with tourism – promoting upcoming shows including Vivid Sydney and the theatre production An Officer and a Gentleman with its tourism marketing.As part of the twenty-first century, social media will also play a key role in the campaign with travellers urged to share their favourite Sydney memories online as well as play a type of ‘pass the parcel’ game on Facebook that will see some lucky NSW fans win prizes every now and then.“Love Every Second in Sydney’ highlights our unique dining, nightclubs, bars, art exhibitions, fashion and shopping as well as the city’s signature events during the winter months,” Ms Chipchase added. According to the Group up to 70 accommodation, attraction and tourism businesses will be involved, producing special offers during the campaign. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Tunisia Egypt cruise itineraries cancelled

first_imgContinued anti-American protests in the Middle East have prompted cruise lines to cancel calls in Tunisia and Egypt in an exercise of caution. Silversea’s Silver Cloud has replaced a 30 September call into Tunis, Tunisia with a visit to Gozo Island in the Maltese archipelago, while Oceania Marina will now visit Antalya, Turkey and spend an additional day in Ashdod, Israel on 4 October instead of previously scheduled calls into Alexandria and Port Said, Egypt. Cruise Critic reports that Azamara Quest has cancelled their scheduled visit to La Goulette, Tunisia on 31 October with a full-day visit to Minorca, Balearic Islands on 1 November.Royal Caribbean and Cunard have also altered recent itineraries to avoid Alexandria while Holland America cancelled a call to La Goulette. Smart Traveller’s latest advice (6 September 2012) suggested that travellers to Egypt exercise a high degree of caution, while those heading to South Sinai (excluding Sharmh el Sheikh) reconsider their travel plans.A ‘do not travel’ warning is in place for the Governorate of North Sinai (including the Taba-Suez Road) however. The latest advice (17 September 2012) for Tunisia is to exercise a high degree of caution while those heading to the areas of the country bordering Libya and Algeria should reconsider their need to travel. Port of Alexandria. Picture: High Tours Egypt Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Alast_img read more

WAs baited breath over luring Chinese

first_imgThe tourism bureau’s strategy holds that Perth is an attractive destination because of its proximity to China, The West Australian reported.  “Over the next 20 years, economic studies show that tourism will replace the resources sector as the leading source of Australia’s future growth,” the report said. The strategy paper also said that it was important to continue direct flights between Perth and Asian destinations. Western Australia’s Tourism Council is betting on WA’s culinary and nature experiences to boost the numbers of people coming to Perth. The strategy plans for the arrival of 100,000 people to Perth annually by 2020, a 200 per cent increase on current visitor levels.  “The focus of these visitors will be on a quality urban setting that also allows access to the natural environment and outdoor experiences that are unique to Perth.” Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

Thailand announces martial law

first_imgIn a surprise announcement on military television this morning, the Thai army has declared it is enforcing martial law amid ongoing political unrest, in an effort “to preserve law and order”, but insists it is not staging a coup. The martial law declaration comes after six months of anti-government demonstrations and just one day after Thailand’s caretaker Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan refused to step down. Meanwhile, tourists are being warned to exercise a high level of caution following the martial law declaration.   Martial law has no impact on the caretaker government, which remains in office, and the Thai military has moved to take control of key areas in the country’s capital of Bangkok. Furthermore, soldiers encircled a pro-government “Red Shirts” protest in Bangkok today, with the military negotiating with the activists to end their protest. The Thai army has since suspended broadcasting from several television channels, including those associated with the opposing political sides, so that “people will get the correct information and not distort information to deepen the conflict,” The Australian reported. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

Qantas angers its own pilots hikes surcharges

first_imgMeanwhile, Qantas is facing more backlash over its decision to levy weekend customers travelling on Qantas- Emirates flights. AIPA president Nathan Safe said that the redundancy pool needed to be expanded to 2000 pilots in order to not create a morale problem at Qantas. Qantas Airways has angered many of its own pilots, to the point many are refusing the 100 voluntary redundancies on offer by the airline. The AIPA poll responded that they needed a base salary of 24 months if they were to leave. Qantas has been using surcharges to help shore up its loss making international division, Qantas International. Qantas will charge AUD $25 to people travelling on the Qantas-Emirates network to Singapore, Thailand and Kuala Lumpur. The AIPA, which is the pilots’ union, met yesterday with Qantas management to discuss the offer but it is understood that the offer does not affect pilots on leave without pay with Jetstar and Emirates. The redundancies offer 747 and 767 pilots a year’s salary but not enough pilots will make up the 100 person goal, according to an Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) poll.center_img There is currently confusion in bargaining negotiations over the redundancies, because the Qantas enterprise agreement for pilots does not prescribe a payout for pilots that leave. The surcharge will apply to flights to Thailand on Saturday and Sunday for Qantas flights and Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays for Emirates flights. Qantas will also levy a $200 ‘Q’ surcharge on economy tickets to the Middle East, North Africa, Britain and Europe from June 19 to June 28, August 21 to September 6 and December 12 to December 2. It is beneficial for Qantas to offer voluntary redundancies to compulsory redundancies because they allow younger pilots to come through and save on the cost of retraining pilots over 65 years of age. In addition, a $50 surcharge will also apply in the economy and ­business cabins on Sydney-Honolulu flights on both outbound and inbound flights on select dates as will a $25 surcharge on flights between Australia and Hong Kong, Sydney and Shanghai and Sydney and Manila. Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

Skytrans obstructs Rex services to Cape York

first_imgRegional Express (Rex) regrets to announce that it will not be in a position to commence scheduled air services to the remote Cape York communities before the end of January as foreshadowed in its media release of 2 January 2015.Rex’s general manager of network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge, said that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has an emergency mechanism known as a “Charter Substitution Arrangement” which would allow Rex to obtain regulatory approval to commence regular air services within a week.“The Charter Substitution Arrangement requires a sign-off by the Skytrans Administrator as a formality and it does not carry any liability, risks or responsibility for the defunct operator and its Administrator. Unfortunately the Administrator has refused to cooperate in signing-off on the Charter Substitution Arrangement, in spite of an offer of full indemnity by Rex and representations made by the Department of Transport and Main Roads,” Mr Lodge said.“It is disappointing that the Skytrans Administrator has chosen to leave the affected Cape communities high and dry at a time when these remote communities are being cut off by the wet-season.”Rex has no choice but to commence the regulatory approval process to operate Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) air services to the Cape on its 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft.Rex will therefore postpone its service commencement date until mid March 2015 with services to Kowanyama, Edward River, Aurukun and Bamaga.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

SIAH launches new partnership with Princess Cruises

first_imgSingapore Airlines Holidays (SIAH) and Princess Cruises have begun a new partnership that will offer customers competitive land, air, and cruise packages in 2015.As Wendy Wu Tours is a part of Singapore Airlines Holidays, its Asian tours will be included in the partnership.Princess Cruises head of sales Brett Wendorf, said that Princess Cruises is overjoyed with the new partnership with Singapore Airlines Holidays.“Cruising in Asia is about to witness substantial growth, and with our beautiful Sapphire Princess based out of Singapore, we see working with an Asian specialist operator and wholesaler as a way to provide the industry and travellers with innovative and dynamic product,” Mr Wendorf said.The partnership features Treasures of Asia on Dawn Princess, departing Fremantle on July 25 and making full day stops at popular beach resort towns in Bali, Phuket, the islands of Penang and Langkawi in Malaysia.Dawn Princess is renowned for having the ambience usually associated with smaller ships but with a large variety of activities and services including the Dine Anytime concept, 24-hour room service and dining in the Horizon Court. Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Emirates boosts US economy by US21 Billion

first_imgEmirates boosts U.S. economy by US$21 BillionEmirates supported more than 104,000 American jobs and contributed US$21.3 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy, including US$10.5 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and US$6.4 billion of labor income in 2015, according to a study conducted by Campbell-Hill Aviation Group, a well-established economic consulting firm to airlines, airports and the aviation industry, with clients including U.S. and foreign airlines, more than 30 airports, financial institutions and government agencies.Released on the 25th anniversary of the first Open Skies agreement signed by the U.S., the objective of the study was to quantify the annual economic impact Emirates has on the U.S. economy.Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates said: “Campbell-Hill’s data reaffirms the significant stimulative effect of Emirates’ operations on the U.S. economy. It shows we’ve brought hundreds of thousands of new travelers to the United States, helped increase competitive air transport options for over a million American and international travelers who flew with us, and contributed to increased demand for U.S. exports in aerospace and many other sectors. Over more than a decade, Emirates has progressively grown cargo and passenger operations in the U.S. on the back of customer demand, and we will continue working with our partners across the travel, tourism, aviation, aerospace and other industries, to expand and improve the products and services that we offer to our customers.”The catalytic impact of Emirates’ U.S. operations brought over 580,000 new travelers to the U.S. who otherwise would not have travelled there, and generated US$3.2 billion of new trade-based revenue. Indirect spending within the U.S. by newly stimulated passengers combined with new merchandise and service trade created approximately 30,000 jobs, and US$4.6 billion of new revenues for U.S. businesses, including US$1.7 billion of labor income and US$2.5 billion of GDP.“To produce this report we have spent many months analysing data and running it through an IMPLAN** analysis model which is specifically designed for economic impact analysis at the national level” said Dr. Brian Campbell, Principal at Campbell-Hill Aviation Group. “Our research shows how Emirates’ presence in the U.S. and the air connectivity it provides generates significant economic growth by increasing the free flow of international travel and trade. It is also important to note that the more than 100,000 jobs Emirates supports in the U.S. produce widespread benefits across diverse sectors of our economy from professional services, to manufacturing, to education, and to hospitality.”Emirates expands global connectivity to and from the U.S. Emirates’ U.S. economic impact has steadily and significantly increased in recent years. Since launching its initial service to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2004, the airline today provides over 350 connections between the U.S. and the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, Africa and Asia, and offers travelers from the U.S. more choices of global travel destinations. Emirates flies more than 135 weekly passenger and cargo flights serving 14 U.S. gateways, including recently launched services to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale in Florida, as well as to Newark via Athens.The world’s biggest supporter of U.S. commercial aerospaceEmirates purchases more Boeing 777 wide-body aircraft than any other company in the world. In 2015 alone, Emirates received delivery of 11 brand new Boeing 777-300ERs and one Boeing 777-200LRF. Based on U.S. export data for civil aviation aircraft and related commodities, these purchases in 2015 generated approximately US$1.5 billion of direct revenue to the U.S. aircraft manufacturing sector, supported approximately 1,700 direct jobs, US$230 million in labor income and contributed US$445 million to U.S. GDP.25th Anniversary of U.S. Open Skies The Campbell-Hill study results come on the 25th anniversary of the first Open Skies agreement signed by the U.S. According to the U.S. State Department, Open Skies agreements have vastly expanded international passenger and cargo flights to and from the U.S., promoting increased travel and trade, enhancing productivity, and spurring high-quality job opportunities and economic growth.Source = Emirates Airlinelast_img read more

HMD Asia to Open First Managed Property

first_imgENDS HMD Asia to Open First Managed PropertyHMD Asia to Open First Managed Property Treeline Urban Resort on 1 November 2018Owned by Managing Director Sokoun Chanpreda, HMD Asia is a globally recognized developer, known for their creative and successful operation of independent boutique hotels such as Shinta Mani Hotels, restaurants and bars in Southeast Asia. They offer a full range of services including concept development, technical design, financial assessment, training and management.Treeline Urban Resort is a newly built boutique design property, located on the banks of the bustling Siem Reap riverfront. The property will have 48 keys comprising 36 rooms and 12 suites, together with modern culinary outlets including a trendy rooftop pool and bar.Conceived, designed and owned by Hok Kang, a young pioneering Cambodian designer, the resort’s name is inspired by the majestic Angkorian trees that line pathways and are scattered across the last vestige of the Angkor Empire.Treeline Urban Resort will add an innovative urban style to the local hotel scene. Hok Kang’s clear vision for the property was to create a unique style of hotel in Siem Reap that both inspired and excited the modern millennial traveler. The resort will blend the traditional elements of design with contemporary sophistication which is intimate yet inviting and vibrant yet tranquil.With its location in the heart of Siem Reap’s historic quarter, the resort will be perfectly located to take full advantage of the city’s growing art, food and cultural scene. An arts lounge and bar, rooftop pool overlooking the river, restaurant and spa will set the scene for discovery. Guests will be able to take in the vibrancy of the river walk within the crafted food and beverage outlets and retire to a sanctuary of privacy, comfort and tranquility within the leafy courtyard and resort grounds.In keeping with their commitment to help and promote local artistic talent within the community, the resort will set up the Treeline Art Foundation. Showing further support to local artists, the Resort appointed a local Cambodian Designer, Sokna, to design and produce the uniforms for the staff.Bookings are open with introductory rates from USD180 net per night, inclusive of breakfast, service charge and government taxes.For more information and reservations, please contact Treeline Urban Resort Tel: +855 63 961 1234 Fax: +855 63 761 1233 Email: book@treelinehotels.com Website: www.treelinehotels.com Source = Treeline Urban Resortlast_img read more

Shaolin meets Kalaripayattu from Gods Own Country

first_imgKerala made a strong pitch to woo travellers from China with lucrative packages and their age-old spice, martial arts links besides natural beauty steeped in local culture.Shaolin Kung Fu has found a welcome partner in ‘Kalaripayattu’, the classical martial arts form from ‘God’s Own Country’. Six performers of ‘Kalaripayattu’ joined hands with Shaolin exponents at a rare fusion of the two traditional art forms in the Chinese capital. The occasion was a ‘Kerala Evening’ organised at the Indian Embassy in Beijing by Kerala Tourism, which is making its foray into China, a vast market with 107 million Chinese tourists travelling worldwide, according to figures available for 2014.“The breathtaking fusion of ‘Kalaripayattu’ and Shaolin showed that Kerala and China have a lot in common. Like Kerala, China has a rich tradition of classical art forms such as the famous Dragon dance, making it easy for us to understand the country and its culture and also for the people of China to understand our culture,” said Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar, who is leading a high-level state delegation to China.Kerala Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson, who is part of the state delegation said, “With an easy connectivity and ideal proximity, Kerala is a natural destination for visitors from China.”Senior Chinese journalists, corporate executives, airline industry officials and tour operators were part of a select audience at the ‘Kerala Evening’ hosted by Kerala Tourism and the Indian Embassy. Indian Ambassador to China, Ashok K Kantha, was present on the occasion along with the Kerala Chief Secretary and Kerala Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao. A highlight of the occasion was a presentation on Kerala’s destinations by Rao.China is a key market for Kerala Tourism as the Asian neighbour is credited with the highest number of outbound tourists in the world. Most of the tourists from China prefer Asian holiday destinations. There has been an increase of 33.44% of Chinese tourist inflow to Kerala in 2014 compared to the previous year.last_img read more

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority to tap into 7000 years old archaeological

first_imgIn the ‘land of superlatives’, the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is working on unlocking 7,000 years old archaeological sites.According to Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAK TDA), archaeological sites are going to be a “key differentiator and one of [the emirate’s] key offerings in the near future”.“What we’re doing now is working really closely with the archaeology team in Ras Al Khaimah to unlock the massive opportunity and potential that we have within Ras Al Khaimah, which is one of the richest, if not the richest emirate, in archaeology and historical sites. We have sites that date back 7,000 years, and we’re currently working on various restoration plans and bringing some of these sites that are low-hanging fruit to make them tourist-ready,” he said.last_img read more

Club Med takes over Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort and Spa

first_imgThe New Mauritius Hotels Ltd, which owns 100% of the shares of Ste Anne Resort Ltd, has signed an agreement with the French Group-Club Med, for the redevelopment and subsequent rental of Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort and Spa.In its official statement, New Mauritius Hotels Ltd has stated that the resort will be refurbished and extended as per Club Med’s five star standards and requirements and will reopen with 295 rooms, providing job opportunities for some 500 employees.It is estimated that the redevelopment will cost around 70 million Euros and once developed, the resort will be rented to Club Med for an initial term of 12 years. The project is expected to start in the second quarter of 2018, while the handover to Club Med is planned for the end of 2019.Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Seychelles, said “This is very good news for our tourism industry since this is not only a complete refurbishment of the Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort and Spa but also a substantial upgrade of the hotel to five-star category and an increase of 208 new rooms. In addition, it will provide additional employment to some 500 staff.”Jean-Louis Pismont, Operations Manager-International, New Mauritius Hotels said, “We want to bring the resort at Sainte Anne to the next level to upgrade the offer of the destination. We are proud to be linked with the arrival of the first major French hotel group to Seychelles.”The Beachcomber brand expanded beyond the shores of Mauritius to Seychelles in 2001, where New Mauritius Hotels operated the 87-room Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort and Spa. The resort was closed in September this year to make way for the redevelopment.last_img read more

Mortgage Industry Employment Grows in 2012

first_imgMortgage Industry Employment Grows in 2012 March 4, 2013 429 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Compliance Investors Jobs JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Nationstar Processing Refinance Service Providers 2013-03-04 Tory Barringer Sharecenter_img Employment in the mortgage industry reached a post-crisis high in 2012, according to data from “”_Mortgage Daily’s_””:http://www.mortgagedaily.com/ _Mortgage Employment Index_.[IMAGE]The index showed a gain of 2,571 jobs during last year’s fourth quarter, making it the sixth straight quarter to post an increase. However, job growth wasn’t as strong as the third quarter, which saw 2,926 mortgage jobs created.The fourth quarter’s figure was the sum of 2,404 layoffs and 4,975 hirings.According to _Mortgage Daily_, Illinois posted the largest employment expansion last quarter, adding 359 jobs. [COLUMN_BREAK]Texas was next (with 328), followed by California (226), Pennsylvania (199), and Ohio (140). Florida fared the worst, losing a net total of 469 jobs.””Guaranteed Rate””:https://www.guaranteedrate.com/ reported the greatest growth in staffing, gaining 652 jobs in Q4 2012. It was followed by “”Nationstar””:http://www.nationstarmtg.com/ (with an estimated 600 new jobs) and “”JPMorgan Chase””:http://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Home/home.htm (with 333 jobs). “”Bank of America””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/ lost the most jobs, cutting 1,098.For the entire year, the mortgage industry gained 8,978 new jobs, more than twice what was gained in 2011 (4,320). According to _Mortgage Daily_, the annual improvement was the largest reported since the index was launched in 2006.While last year was good for mortgage industry staffing, _Mortgage Daily_ founder Sam Garcia expressed doubt that the boom would last.””With home loan performance consistently exhibiting improvement, mortgage servicers are beginning to reduce default staffing levels,”” Garcia said. “”At the same time, as the Fed’s aggressive campaign to keep rates low draws to a close, the refinance wave which has bolstered mortgage employment over the past year will subside and reduce demand for production employees. Compliance staffing, however, will likely remain elevated.”” in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Monthly Price Gains Continue to Pump the Brakes

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Existing-Home Sales FNC Inc. Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-10-15 Krista Franks Brock Share October 15, 2013 429 Views Monthly Price Gains Continue to Pump the Brakescenter_img in Data August marks the 18th consecutive month of rising home prices, according to “”FNC’s Residential Price Index””:http://www.fncrpi.com/ViewFile.aspx?ref=pr_71 released Tuesday, indicating an indisputable recovery. However, “”FNC,””:http://www.fncinc.com/ a mortgage industry technology provider, is detecting some deceleration in the recovery and declares, “”It is clear that the recovery remains uneven across the nation.””[IMAGE]On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.6 percent in August, according to FNC’s composite of 100 large metropolitan areas. On a yearly basis, the increase is 5.3 percent. The monthly gain in August was smaller than the gains accrued over the two previous months. FNC’s 30-market composite also posted a 0.6 percent month-over-month increase in August. San Antonio, Texas, topped the 30-market list with a 2.1 percent gain, followed by Las Vegas with a 1.8 percent gain. Charlotte, North Carolina, and New York tied for third place with a 1.5 percent price gain over the month. [COLUMN_BREAK]In all, 26 of the 30 markets posted price increases in August. The four markets where prices declined were Phoenix, Arizona (-0.1 percent), Baltimore, Maryland (-0.2 percent), Los Angeles (-0.4 percent), and Denver, Colorado (-0.4 percent). “”This softening price trend in Phoenix and Los Angeles–two of the housing market’s most important barometers–emerged after a long streak of rapid price accelerations that averaged more than a 2.0% month-over-month increase,”” FNC stated. FNC also noted that while the Chicago market “”is on the mend,”” it is lagging all other markets in the index in terms of price appreciation. FNC’s index is built on a database that blends public records of residential sales prices with real-time appraisals of property and neighborhood attributes. FNC says it includes both non-distressed and distressed sales in its index but as a gauge of underlying home values, excludes sales of foreclosed homes, which frequently carry large price discounts.The company does note in its report, though, that foreclosure sales made up 12.4 percent of home sales in August, down from 12.7 percent in July and down more than 4.5 percentage points from August of last year.Declining foreclosure filings and decreasing foreclosure inventory are two contributing factors to the recent home price gains, according to FNC. FNC warns price gains may decelerate somewhat in coming months with seasonal trends. Already the sale-to-list price ratio is declining. In September, FNC reports, homes sold for 96.2 percent of their list price, down from 97.2 percent in August.last_img read more