Chad minister says justice served with exdictator trial

first_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Security personnel surround former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre inside the court, in Dakar, Senegal, Monday, July 20, 2015, The trial of former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre accused of overseeing the deaths of thousands had a chaotic beginning Monday as security forces ushered the ex-leader into and then out of the Senegal courtroom amid protests by his supporters. (AP Photo/Ibrahima Ndiaye) Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “This is a historic trial for Africa, and represents justice for Chad victims,” Minister of Justice and Human Rights Mahamat Issa Halikimi said Wednesday in Senegal. “This will permit Chad to find reconciliation, and that is what’s most important.”Habre’s government was responsible for an estimated 40,000 deaths, said Communications Minister Hassan Sylla Bakari, citing a report published in May 1992 by a 10-member truth commission formed by Chad’s current President Idriss Deby.On March 25, Chad’s Criminal Court convicted 20 top security agents during Habre’s rule to life sentences and ordered they pay reparations to over 7,000 victims, according to Human Rights Watch.Chad’s government has offered about $3 million to support the trial in Senegal against Habre, Bakari said.Habre’s trial was suspended on Tuesday until Sept. 7 to allow court-appointed lawyers to prepare his defense, after he refused representation.The former leader dismisses the tribunal as politically motivated.In 1990 Habre was overthrown and fled to Senegal, where he was eventually charged in 2013.Habre risks 30 years in jail if found guilty by the court, set up to try the ex-leader for the crimes during his rule from 1982-1990.center_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The trial for Chad’s ex-dictator Hissene Habre, accused in the deaths of thousands, represents justice for Chad victims and a path toward reconciliation, the country’s justice minister said Wednesday.The Extraordinary African Chambers, established by Senegal and the African Union, is trying Habre for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture, in an unprecedented case of one African country prosecuting the former ruler of another. Comments   Share   Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How men can have a healthy 2019 Sponsored Stories last_img read more

ecruisingtravel allows clients to book over the internet

first_imgCruise specialists is launching an Australian travel agency first, now allowing its clients to book their own itineraries onboard 38 ships in the Royal Caribbean family.Covering Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises is allowing its clients to book cruise holidays on any computer or smartphone.“It’s taken our IT team months to develop the facility here, and we beat strong competition to be the first not just in Australia to receive this accreditation, but other major countries as well,” said Brett Dudley Founder and Managing Director.“It opens a whole new world for clients to view and book cruise holidays unhurried in the comfort of home, office or wherever else they wish… and just as easily as they’ve been able to do for some time with airline flights and hotels.”Once a holiday is booked, clients will be able to view their itineraries, check out rooms or deckplans, and download any supporting documentation online. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Gillard least desired travel buddy survey

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J A recent survey revealed that Julia Gillard is the least person young people would choose as their travel companion when globe trotting.Youth travel company Topdeck surveyed over 13,000 aged between 18 and 39 to find out a little about their travel habits and discovered the Australian Prime Minister is the most unpopular person to travel with, attracting 37 percent of the vote.The Jersey Shore cast was voted second most unpopular travel companions with 27 percent of the vote, followed by Kim Kardashian with 17 percent of the vote.Topdeck sales manager Ben Ittensohn said choosing a fun travel companion is the most important factor for young people.“Young people travel in search of fun and adventure and our PM, who is also suffering a slump in the polls, doesn’t exactly fit that bill,” Mr Ittensohn said.“However the results show youth travel isn’t all about partying either, with the likes of Snooki and Kim Kardashian also a turn off,” they also reveal young travellers don’t mind traveling with a mother like figure like Oprah.”When participants were asked whom they would like as travel companions, 36 percent voted for comedian and TV host Wil Anderson followed by Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver, Miranda Kerr and adventurer Bear Grylls.“The best travel buddy is one with a good sense of humour, someone who knows their way around a plate of food like Jamie Oliver or who can get you out of a sticky situation like Bear Grylls also made a handy travel mate.”Survey revealed whom Aussies would least like to travel with?Julia Gillard 37 percentThe Jersey Shore cast 27 percentKim Kardashian 17 percentCharlie Sheen 10 percentShane Warne 6 percentOprah 3 percent Who would you consider a nightmare travelling buddy?last_img read more

Arrivals match departures in Australia

first_imgAustralians adjusting to the strength of the dollar. For the first time in over a decade, international tourist arrivals to Australia are growing at the same annual rate as the number of overseas trips being taken by Australians.The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced a 4.9 percent rise for both international arrivals and overseas Australian departures for the 12 months ending February 2013.“The moderation in growth of outbound travel by Australians is a further indication that Australians have adjusted to the strong Australian dollar as the new normal,” The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) acting chief executive Trent Zimmerman said.“We hope that this will translate into a continuation of the recovery in domestic tourism, which accounts for around 70 percent of expenditure in Australia’s visitor economy.”Australia’s relationship with Asia Pacific (APAC) countries continues to be strengthened, with ABS statistics revealing increased visitation from countries such as China and Singapore.Chinese visitors accounted for almost one in five of all international visitors to Australia in February 2013.“With the recently announced expansion of Qantas codeshare to provide increased weekly connections to China we can clearly see the strong demand is showing no signs of waning,” Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) chairman John King said.Australia will also run a G’Day China advertising campaign, similar to that run in the United States since 2004.“ATEC is strongly supporting the industry to successfully engage with the opportunities offered by China, providing the most comprehensive China Ready training program available to the industry,” Mr King said.Although arrivals from the United Kingdom remained soft, there were signs of improvements out of Europe. “We now have a significant opportunity to broaden our market base – securing and strengthening our traditional markets while building a vast market base out of China for years to come,” Mr King said.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.last_img read more

Personal Travel Manager achieves top sales and wins Etihad Airways fam

first_img TravelManagers Australiaclick here to become a Personal Travel Manager Source = TravelManagers Australia Sand, sand and more sand – a sumptuous dinner awaited the incentive famil participants at the end of their desert safariPersonal Travel Manager achieves Top Sales and wins Etihad Airways FamilBeing awarded one of Etihad Airways top three sales consultants for highest sales growth during an eight week period, earned personal travel manager John Lengacher representative for Windsor in Victoria, a place on the Etihad Airways and CT Partners’ famil to Abu Dhabi.“We were thrilled to have a TravelManagers’ personal travel manager win a place on the Abu Dhabi famil. With places awarded to top sales consultants it really shows the strength of TravelManagers’ sales volumes and the value personal travel managers have within the industry,” says TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal.The select group of incentive winners experienced the very best of Abu Dhabi, participating in a four night educational hosted by Etihad Airways.TravelManagers’ personal travel manager John Lengacher in traditional Bedouin dress enjoying a sumptuous dinner in the desert under the open skyRich in history, Islamic traditions and architecture, Abu Dhabi with its blend of international influences and commitment to local heritage makes for a fascinating city to visit.“We were fortunate enough to stay in the luxurious Jumeriah at Etihad Towers. One of the five monolithic towers of Etihad Towers, it provided a perfect base to explore all that Abu Dhabi has to offer. I can confidently say the views from Rays Bar on level 62 is a great place to enjoy a drink and watch the sun set over the Arabian Gulf.”As much as the desert tour and sunset BBQ was a highlight, for Lengacher it was the Seawings seaplane experience the proved most memorable.“I truly enjoyed the aerial Abu Dhabi experience. Flying over the city shows how truly vast and incredibly opulent this city really is. The views over the city, of the Royal Palace and of Ferrari World were truly spectacular. I will be recommending this to all of my clients now.”The famil group experienced the emerging entertainment destination of Yas Island, just a 30-minute drive from the city.Personal travel manager found the aerial view of Ferrari World from his Seawings adventure just as intriguing as his on the ground visit to this impressive theme park“Yas Island is a great destination for families thanks to Ferrari World, the world’s first Ferrari theme park and the largest attraction of its kind and Waterworld with its 43 rides, slides and attractions. The kids will also love the Yas Marina F1 Circuit – you can even ride a bike on the track when the cars are not racing! The proximity to the airport also makes Yas Island an ideal stopover destination and is home to Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi’s largest shopping centre.”Unique to Abu Dhabi, Lengacher enjoyed the visit to the Falcon Hospital, which opened its doors in 2007 to visitors.“The Falcon Hospital provides comprehensive veterinary health care exclusively for Falcons and has become the largest falcon hospital in the world having treated over 75,000 falcons over its 14 year existence. Having the opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent birds was truly awe inspiring.”The impressive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest MosquesA visit to Abu Dhabi wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques with a capacity for 40,000 worshippers.“It is simply gorgeous and you can appreciate the peace and tranquility. I recommend visiting late afternoon to also see it at dusk which gives a completely different perspective.”The group travelled with Etihad Airways, the National Airline to the United Arab Emirates. Referring to all passengers as ‘guests’, Lengacher discovers an airline with a real commitment to service as was experienced in flight and also on the ground in Abu Dhabi with a visit to the Etihad Airways’ Innovation Centre.“Travelling on Etihad was an absolute pleasure. The friendly crew providing unfaltering service combined with their ability to continue innovating like their modern entertainment systems will ensure I will now recommend Etihad to my clients without hesitation. Our visit to the Innovation Centre where the airlines’ crew training takes place along with Etihad’s ultra luxury residence was truly fascinating.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagersTravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.center_img Etihad Airwaysbook your flights herelast_img read more

ibis Styles continues growth in Thailand

first_imgibis Styles continues growth in ThailandAccorHotels announces the further expansion of its partnership with Destination Resorts Company, Limited to manage ibis Styles Samui Chaweng Beach, scheduled to open in early 2017.Located in the heart of Samui island’s entertainment and nightlife attractions, in the same development as Hard Rock Cafe Samui and adjacent to the lifestyle shopping complex Central Festival Samui, the trendy resort will be a focal point for stylish, young-at-heart travellers seeking fun and excitement.The resort will also be a two-minute walk to Chaweng’s white-sand beach and a 10 minute drive from Samui International Airport. Guests of the 129-room ibis Styles Chaweng Beach will enjoy the latest design and technology offerings, with an accessible room rate inclusive of breakfast and internet access.The resort’s ground-floor bar, lobby, and market-style restaurant will encourage social interactions, while the swimming pool and rooftop bar will offer iconic selfie moments.“The ibis Styles ‘all inclusive’ concept and promise of simplicity, generosity, quality and conviviality stand apart, particularly as an economy brand, and resonate with the increasing number of travellers in Thailand and on Samui, especially young domestic and intra-Asian guests,” said Mr. Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer for AccorHotels Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia.Within Thailand and Asia Pacific, ibis Styles is one of AccorHotels’ fasting growing brands. It is a non-standardised economy brand offering stylishly-designed hotels “where the little extras don’t cost extra.” Catering to business and leisure travellers and situated in city hubs and other major centres of activity, each establishment has its own distinct personality and reflects a colourful, bright and energetic brand spirit with a hint of humour.There are currently two ibis Styles operating in Thailand, and the new resort joins five others in the brand’s pipeline for the country, including ibis Styles Bangkok Sukhumvit 50, ibis styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai, ibis Styles Chiang Khong Teak Garden, ibis Styles Phuket Phokeethra and ibis Styles South Pattaya.Mr. Gary Murray, CEO of Destination Resorts, said, “We are thrilled to introduce ibis Styles into our portfolio with AccorHotels. The modern brand will complement our existing set of Novotel resorts located throughout Thailand, and appeal to the growing number of millennial travellers.”“ibis Styles Samui Chaweng Beach will be the fourth property managed by AccorHotels in partnership with Destination Resorts, along with Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort, Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa, and Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort, which was recently rebranded in early April 2016.”Ibis Styles Chaweng Beach will be located at 168/61 Moo 2, Tambon Borput, Ko Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand. ibis Styles hotels Source = AccorHotelslast_img read more

TAT joins hand with Baidu to attract quality tourists from China

first_img THAI Airways Internationalbook your flights to Thailand hereSource = Tourism Authority of Thailand TAT joins hand with Baidu to attract quality tourists from ChinaTAT joins hand with Baidu to attract quality tourists from ChinaMr. Yuthasak Supasorn, the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and Mr. Hu Yong, the General Manager of the Global Business Unit of Baidu, a leading search engine company headquartered in Beijing, China, mutually signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation between TAT and Baidu in TAT Head Office, to boost and elevate the number of quality tourists from China and improve tourism earnings in 2016 to 509,135 Million Baht, a 35.4 percent increase from the previous year.The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding paves the way for a closer mutual cooperation to develop strategies and enhance communication channels online to promote tourism to the people of China. TAT and Baidu will publish tourism products and services information for tourists to seamlessly plan their trips, encompassing both the popular tourism destinations and the newer unseen ones which help development in secondary cities and towns.Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “TAT aims to restructure the market by expanding to high-end tourists from various cities of China like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing and Chengdu. This cooperation will allow TAT to reach this target group directly and rapidly. Through this effort with Baidu, Chinese tourists will have a wealth of information even before their departure and can always find more information upon their arrival in Thailand.”Mr. Hu Yong, General Manager of the Global Business Unit of Baidu said that Baidu is honored that TAT recognises the importance of the Chinese tourist market and selects Baidu as a strategic partner. This signing aims to stimulate tourism in Thailand even further and also support systematic, accurate and quality information for the Chinese tourists and this elevates the relationship of our two countries to the next level.Baidu is ready to support and share relevant information which is beneficial to Thailand such as the trends of Chinese tourists. This will help the efforts to adapt and innovate tourism strategies in the future.Baidu is also unveiling their new Baidu Map, a modern mapping service technology that will assist Chinese tourists to experience travel abroad especially to Thailand. Location of tourist attractions, restaurants, products and services in Thailand are now easily accessible via Baidu Map. Currently, there are more than 500 million Baidu Map users. Baidu Map is another channel that Thai businesses can optimize to reach a wider Chinese audience.Baidu is a leading service provider of Chinese search engine as well as a developer of various applications aiming to provide the best channel to online searchers and also provides an array of platforms for businesses in various fields. From statistics, there are estimately ten billion searches per day. Baidu’s shares are listed in NASDAQ stock market in United States of America under the symbol “BIDU” since 2005. Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

Awardwinning hostel brand Generator opens in Stockholm

first_imgAward-winning hostel brand Generator opens in StockholmWith Stockholm one of the fastest growing cities in Northern Europe, embracing its bank of up and coming fashion, design, and musical talent, it wasn’t going to be long before Generator made its mark on the Swedish capital. Located close to the Stockholm city centre in the thriving technology hub at Torsgatan 10, the brand new property, adjacent to the Norra Bantorget Square, provides a new cultural hub with 796 beds in 233 rooms, a restaurant, bar and exciting social spaces.More than just a bed for the night, the 11-floor property brings travellers an experiential destination. In true Generator spirit, Stockholm offers lively communal areas integrating food, art, music, design and performances from local artists. Fun partnerships drawing on the culture of this timeless city, will bring the best of Stockholm together to provide a one of a kind experience for both guests and locals alike.The property’s café and bar, open daily for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, features a menu from local established talent David GardFirst Floor – a chilled out lounge and convertible communal working spaces, at Generator you’re always connected to city around you, and now you can make sure you’re up to date with the rest of the world, with work tables, power and data pointsStandalone restaurant, inspired by the culturally rich city and its people, will open later this year and offer contemporary global street food with a Scandinavian touch.Additional features include:The lobby with quirky pops of colour and oversized pendant lighting, is open day and night for guests to hang-out and interact, the perfect spot to make new friends and wind down after a busy day out in the cityA studio apartment with views of the Stockholm ridges, featuring a private kitchen and living room with a TVStockholm has served as a platform for a myriad of creative talent, and Generator has drawn on this to inspire the latest opening.  DesignAgency, the Toronto-based interior design firm behind the projects, has transformed the building with upscale micro-chic accommodations, local flare, and vibrant spaces that reflect the city’s aesthetics and culture.Accommodations include suites, premium private rooms, and shared hostel lodging, all with en-suite bathrooms and the hostel plays host to an events space to accommodate the neighbourhood’s bustling commercial activity as well as host Generator’s events, including the ‘GenTalks’ series.“I am delighted to bring Generator’s leading edge concept to my home country Sweden with an amazing location in Stockholm,” said Fredrik Korallus, Chief Executive Officer of Generator. “With this property we are introducing a unique shared accommodation lifestyle experience to the capital. We look forward to having Generator Stockholm come to life as a place where global and local connects “Generator Stockholm General Manager, Alexander Bhatt, says “The combination of affordable accommodation, innovative design and vibrant social spaces is something that there is just not enough of in Stockholm and it will be a pleasure to lead our talented team to further success Generator.”The Stockholm property brings the unique Generator offering and packed schedule of events to this thriving city, embracing its position as a world destination. Generator HostelsSource = Generator Hostelslast_img read more

On The Go Tours launch 20th Birthday agent prize draw

first_imgOn The Go Tours launch 20th Birthday agent prize drawOn The Go Tours, the award-winning tour operator specialising in locally-led group tours and tailor-made holidays, are celebrating their 20th Birthday with a massive prize draw for travel agents worth nearly $18,000.Between now and 7th December, agents are eligible to enter the competition by simply making a booking of any group tour or tailor-made holiday with On The Go Tours. Each booking made results in one entry.Prizes for the 20th Birthday agent prize draw include:Gold tier prize: Two spots on our Wild About Sri Lanka group tour with three nights in the Maldives plus international flightsSilver tier prizes: iPad, GoPro, Canon camera, Beats headphones and iPod touchBronze tier prizes: $50 – $100 restaurant or shopping vouchers, champagne, Kindle, FitBits and cabin luggageEvery fortnight, 5 winners will be drawn from the raffle until the final prize draw on the 8th December 2018.On The Go Tours want to thank and celebrate a fantastic two decades with their travel agents, whose hard work and support over the last 20 years have contributed significantly towards their success.Since the first trip to Egypt and the Pyramids of Giza in 1998, On The Go Tours have expanded to now offer group tours and tailor-made holidays in over 50 countries. The team have grown as much as the product offering with reservation teams in London, Brisbane and Johannesburg with representation in Canada, New Zealand and USA.For the full Terms and Conditions of the competition please visit the website.On The Go Tours| 1300 855 684 | www.onthegotours.comAbout On The Go ToursOn The Go Tours is an award-winning travel operator specialising in locally-led group tours and tailor-made holidays to over 60 countries. Established as a small global company with a purposeful local ethos, On The Go Tours operates expertly guided group tours, tailor-made getaways and fun family holidays. From mysterious Inca citadels in Peru to spectacular ancient ruins in Jordan and sacred mountain peaks in Japan, the team of travel experts connects travellers with the finest sights and experiences the world has to offer. Specialising in holidays for those who wish to combine authentic cultural experiences with comfortable hotels and transport, On The Go Tours enriches each journey by selecting specialist English-speaking local guides who are passionate about sharing their country with travellers. ABTA, ATOL & AITO bondedSource = On The Go Tourslast_img read more

ETB Brand Ambassador Chernee chats with Style Artist

first_imgETB Brand Ambassador Chern’ee chats with Style ArtistETB Brand Ambassador Chern’ee chats with Style ArtistETB Travel News Ambassador and Contemporary Indigenous artist Chern’ee Sutton recently had a chat with Style Artist about her career so far, her style and her participation in the Toowoomba Grammar School Art Show in march 2019.The pictured painting will be exhibited at the art show and it is named Kali’s Ritjinguthinha which means Butterfly Dreaming in the Kalkadoon language.Long, long ago there lived a caterpillar that was very plain and ordinary looking who had no purpose in life. All the other animals laughed at how ugly and insignificant Kali was as she went through life eating and sleeping and serving no purpose at all but to fill her belly.One night when Kali was trying to go to sleep she wished to have a purpose and meaning in life, she was tired of everyone laughing at her and wanted to be different. When she finally fell asleep the spirit of Mother Nature spoke to her in her dreams. Kali I have heard your cries for help but before I grant you your wish you must promise to do something for me that might put you in danger and cost you your life. Kali still asleep wanting so badly to serve some purpose in life agreed to Mother Nature that she would do anything that was asked of her. Kali said mother nature’s spirit, I want you to be the sign of life for all living creatures so I will grant you the power of change and when you awake in the morning you must start to build a new home for yourself then go to sleep and not awaken until I call you and then you will never be laughed at again.When Kali awoke in the morning she remembered the dream and began to make a new home out of silk and once finished she crawled inside and went to sleep again. Many months passed and in her dreams Kali was tired of waiting but remembered her promise to Mother Nature and so continued to wait. The months turned into years and finally Mother Nature’s spirit again spoke to Kali “awake Kali for now you are the sign of life”.Kali awoke and began to break free from her cocoon and once she had, she was shocked to see that her change was complete and she was now a beautiful butterfly. When all the other animals saw thisnew creature they asked “you are so beautiful with your bright colours but what purpose do you serve”. Kali told them that she was the sign of life for all living things and while they could see her they themselves would live.To this day Kali is the sign of life for all living creatures and if you can’t see her Mother Nature is Chern’ee Suttonclick hereRead more on Chern’ee next weekSource = Chern’ee Sutton ETB Brand Ambassadorlast_img read more

Queen Elizabeth Sails into Record Tasmanian Season

first_imgQueen Elizabeth Sails into Record Tasmanian SeasonQueen Elizabeth Sails into Record Tasmanian Season with Maiden Call to HobartOne of the world’s most famous ships, Queen Elizabeth is making her maiden call to Hobart today, marking the start of a record season of visits to Tasmania for luxury cruise line Cunard.Over the next five weeks, the 2081-guest ship will make an unprecedented seven calls to Tasmania, including Cunard’s inaugural visit to Burnie on Monday February 18 and Queen Elizabeth’s first call to Port Arthur on March 7.The visits form part of Queen Elizabeth’s 54-day season Down Under – the longest one of Cunard’s current fleet of Queens has spent in Australian waters.Speaking in Hobart today, Ann Sherry – Chairman of Carnival Australia which represents seven cruise lines in Australia including Cunard – said Cunard would build its presence in Tasmania even further over the coming summers, injecting valuable tourism dollars into the State’s economy.During the 2019-20 summer, Queen Elizabeth will make a total of eight calls to Hobart and Burnie (four calls each) as part of her 101-day season Down Under.That number will rise to a record 13 Tasmanian calls for Cunard over the 2020-21 summer season when Queen Elizabeth will be based in Australia for an unparalleled 118 days. The visits will include five calls to Hobart, four to Port Arthur and four to Burnie.Ms Sherry said Cunard’s upcoming visits were worth many millions of dollars to the State, with the ship’s guests and crew spending on shore tours, meals and shopping in each port, and the cruise line paying port fees and charges every visit.“Today alone, Queen Elizabeth’s 2000 guests are enjoying a raft of activities here in Hobart from sightseeing and shopping in the city to day trips to Port Arthur and Richmond – all of which are pumping dollars into the local economy,” Ms Sherry said.Ms Sherry said five of Carnival Australia’s seven cruise lines would collectively make more than 60 visits to Tasmanian ports this year.“The good news is that Tasmania benefits not only from guest and crew spending every time one of our ships visits the State, but also from the tonnes of Tasmanian produce we buy for our ships throughout the year.“This includes about 40 tonnes of salmon, more than 80 tonnes of vegetables and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of delicious Tasmanian cheeses and creams,” she said.To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s first season based in Australia, Cunard has launched a series of partnerships with four Australian companies: R.M. Williams, Akubra, the Australian Dance Theatre and STARWARD distillery.Bell boys on board the ship this morning were wearing their new R.M.Williams uniforms designed for the ship’s Australian season.  Celebrating Cunard’s trademark colours of red, black and gold, the stylish ensemble features a red tailored jacket with gold nautical buttons and black cuffs, 100 per cent cotton black twill pants, handmade leather belts and R.M.Williams’ most recognised boots, The Craftsman, in striking Cunard red, as well as an Akubra hat to protect against the summer sun.Meanwhile dancers from the Australian Dance Theatre will perform in two exclusive shows on board Queen Elizabeth next month during a round trip cruise to Tasmania from Melbourne.The ship’s guests will also enjoy a well-travelled whisky, with Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in Australia this month also seeing the return of a very special piece of cargo – The Seafarer, a 225-litre barrel of Australian STARWARD whisky.Aged for two years at STARWARD’s Port Melbourne distillery, the barrel was loaded onto Queen Elizabeth last February and has spent 12 months travelling 95,000 nautical miles around the globe on a unique ‘maturation journey’ to create a first-of-its-kind single malt whisky.At 90,900 tonnes, Queen Elizabeth is the second largest ship ever to sail in Cunard’s fleet. Launched in 2010, she is also the youngest in the luxury cruise line’s current trio of Queens with features including more than 10 restaurants and cafés, a Games Deck featuring paddle tennis, croquet and bowls, a two-storey library, a ballroom and the Royal Court Theatre.Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Hobart today is part of a seven-night round trip cruise from Melbourne.  She will depart Hobart around 9pm this evening bound for Melbourne, and will return to Tasmania on Monday (Feb 18) for Cunard’s maiden call to Burnie. About CunardCunard is a luxury British cruise line, renowned for creating unforgettable experiences around the world. Cunard has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic, since 1840, celebrating an incredible 175 years of operation in 2015. Pioneers in transatlantic journeys for generations, Cunard is world class. The Cunard experience is built on fine dining, hand-selected entertainment and outstanding service. From five-star restaurants and in-suite dining to inspiring guest speakers, the library and film screenings, every detail has been meticulously crafted to make the experience unforgettable. There are currently three Cunard ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria with destinations including Europe, the Caribbean, the Far East and Australia.  In 2017, Cunard announced plans to add a fourth ship to its fleet that will be launched in 2022.  This investment is part of the company’s ambitious plans for the future of Cunard globally and will be the first time since 1998 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service.Source = Cunardlast_img read more

Kerala aims to focus on conservation and heritage preservation with new budget

first_imgThe tourism arena in Kerala will receive added support from the government with the state budget 2018 proposing close to INR 381 crore towards the development and promotion of the sector. An amount of INR 4.95 crore has been earmarked towards Responsible Tourism initiatives, while development of eco-tourism products would get INR 4.24 crore.The budgetary provisioning is INR 36 crore more than INR 345 crore that was set aside last year. Presenting the budget in the Kerala Assembly recently, Dr. Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance, said the state government will focus more on conservation and preservation of heritage monuments in the coming financial year.  The Finance Minister set aside INR 82.50 crore towards marketing of the tourism sector. Lauding Kerala Tourism’s nine international awards last year, Dr Isaac said the government would accord priority to conservation of heritage monuments in the state as part of its plans towards tourism development. An amount to the tune of INR 40 crore has been set aside in this regard. The Muziris project, which has been progressing at a slow pace, shall be speeded up and will be completed in a period of two years. Plans are also afoot to include destinations such as Thalassery, Ponnani and Beypore in the tourism map.The government also proposes to bring boat races under the league competitions, and will be supported with an amount of INR 10 crore. As per Dr. Isaac’s proposals for the fiscal, the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC ) would get INR 7.92 crore, while the Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd will get INR 1.83 crore. The budget also earmarks an amount of INR 3.30 crore for the Bekal Resort Development Corporation Ltd.last_img read more

Customers Bancorp Acquires Acacia Federal

first_img June 22, 2012 460 Views Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-06-22 Tory Barringer “”Customers Bancorp, Inc.””:, announced Thursday the acquisition of “”Acacia Federal Savings Bank””: from Ameritas Mutual Holding Company.[IMAGE]Bancorp, the parent company of $2 billion asset Customers Bank, will acquire all of the stock of Acacia Federal from Ameritas for a consideration of $65 million. Bancorp will issue its voting and non-voting common stock for about $45 million at 115 percent of GAAP book value at time of closing. Approximately $20 million of Tier 1 qualifying non-cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock will be issued by Bancorp to Ameritas at a rate of 3.72 fixed for the first five years.As of closing, Ameritas will hold 9.9 percent of voting stock of Bancorp. It will also have a 19.9 percent economic ownership and will own all preferred stock issued by Bancorp.[COLUMN_BREAK]Bancorp will not acquire any non-performing loans or other assets it deems to be high risk. It will also not be responsible for severance obligations, charges associated with early termination of O.S.I. technology contract, or lease termination charges on Acacia Federal’s corporate headquarters building beyond one year.Acacia Federal had about $1 billion in assets as of March 31, 2012. It also possessed a deposit, lending, and mortgage operation covering the greater Washington, D.C., market area and about $125 million in tangible common equity.””We are excited about having Ameritas as a partner and look forward to providing the many individuals, families, and small and medium sized business customers of Acacia Federal Savings Bank with our ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├ï┼ôhigh touch, high tech’ bank services and products,”” said Jay S. Sidhu, chairman and CEO of Bancorp and Customers Bank.””From our perspective, Customers Bank is a great partner to insure that our customers continue to receive personalized service across all channels and have access to innovative bank products and technology,”” said James Barber, chairman and CEO of Acacia Federal. “”There will be new growth and expansion prospects for Customers Bank in the Washington, D.C. market.””Closing is expected to take place in Q4 2012. At closing, Bancorp expects to be about a $3 billion asset bank holding company. The acquisition will expand its number of offices to 15.At closing, which is expected to take place during the fourth quarter of 2012, Banc expects to be about a $3 billion asset bank holding company with 15 offices from Metro Washington, D.C., market to New York. Customers Bancorp Acquires Acacia Federalcenter_img in Data, Origination, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

CaseShiller Detects First DoubleDigit Price Gain in 7 Years

first_imgCase-Shiller Detects First Double-Digit Price Gain in 7 Years In its first-quarter report, the “”CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes””: experienced a double-digit national price gain for the first time since the housing bubble that took place seven years ago.[IMAGE]Prices increased an average of 10.2 percent from the first quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year across the 380 metro markets tracked. “”Record levels of affordability, a slow improving job market, and very small inventories of new and existing homes for sale will continue to drive U.S. home price appreciation during the summer,”” said David Stiff, chief economist for CoreLogic Case-Shiller. However, the economist does predict a slow-down in appreciation over the next year. From the first quarter of this year to the first quarter of next, the Case-Shiller Indexes predict a 6.5 percent price gain. [COLUMN_BREAK]Markets currently experiencing the greatest price appreciation are some of those that “”were at the center of the housing bubble,”” according to CoreLogic. Several California markets are among the top markets for price gains over the past year. San Jose, California, posted a 23.7 percent price gain; San Francisco posted a 21.1 percent price gain; and Sacramento, California, experienced a 21.0 percent price gain. Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas recorded price increases of 22.8 percent and 20.9 percent, respectively. However, of these notable markets, San Francisco is the only one where price gains are expected to continue in the double digits over the next year. Case-Shiller predicts a 10.5 percent gain in the metro. Additionally, Stiff staves off any concerns of growing bubbles, saying, “”there is less need for concern now since home prices remain 26 percent below their peak nationally and are even lower in many metro markets.”” The cause of many of the double-digit price increases across the country is low inventory. Phoenix, Sacramento, and Detroit all have just three months supply. At the other end of the spectrum, a few metros did experience price declines over the year ending in March 2013, but “”it is likely that home prices in these cities will turn positive by the end of the year,”” Stiff said. CoreLogice Case-Shiller Indexes rely on a combination of their own data along with information from the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Moody’s Analytics. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies CoreLogic Home Prices Home Values Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-08-01 Krista Franks Brock in Datacenter_img August 1, 2013 427 Views Sharelast_img read more

Regulators Shut Down Minnesota Bank 2014 Tally Hits 18

first_img The national tally of insured bank failures this year ticked up to 18 over the weekend following the closure of Minnesota’s Northern Star Bank.The bank, which is Minnesota’s first to close in 2014, was shuttered on Friday by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which appointed FDIC as receiver.In a statement, the agency cited lack of capital, continuing operating losses, and a large volume of problem assets as reasons for the forced closing.“The Department acted in the best interests of all by closing this bank and appointing the FDIC as receiver,” said department Commissioner Mike Rothman.Before Friday’s announcement, the bank had operated under regulatory scrutiny for some time, having received a consent order from FDIC in 2009 regarding its inadequate level of capital.To protect Northern Star’s depositors, FDIC announced a purchase and assumption agreement with BankVista, which will take over the failed bank’s charter location in Mankato and its branch in St. Cloud.In addition to assuming all of Northern Star’s deposits (totaling an estimated $18.2 million), BankVista will also purchase all assets, which came to an estimated $18.8 million as of the end of September.FDIC estimates the closing cost its Deposit Insurance Fund $5.9 million. December 22, 2014 429 Views Bank Failure FDIC 2014-12-22 Tory Barringer Sharecenter_img Regulators Shut Down Minnesota Bank; 2014 Tally Hits 18 in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, Newslast_img read more

Global DMS Integrates eTrac Platform

first_imgGlobal DMS Integrates eTrac Platform in News, Technology Global DMS 2016-11-04 Staff Writer November 4, 2016 549 Views center_img Global DMS, a provider of web-based compliant valuation management software, has integrated its eTrac platform with LoanSafe® Appraisal Manager™ from CoreLogic to provide lenders, investors and AMCs with detailed analysis that ensures appraisal quality and accurately assesses the potential risk for a repurchase, according to a recent announcement from the company.“The new integration with LoanSafe Appraisal Manager complements our eTrac platform by providing clients with the ability to take advantage of comprehensive appraisal risk analysis,” said Vladimir Bien-Aime, president and CEO of GlobalDMS. “Utilizing this scoring technology can make the difference between accepting appraisals of high quality and those that may have increased valuation and quality issues.”The announcement says that after LoanSafe Appraisal Manager scores the appraisal, users are provided with a report that gives reviewers and underwriters a detailed analysis of appraisal quality, valuation uncertainty, market volatility and more. This streamlines the appraisal review process and speeds up the underwriting turn times, saving time and money while enhancing accuracy and mitigating risk.LoanSafe Appraisal Manager leverages nationwide, up-to-date, market-specific CoreLogic data covering 99 percent of U.S. residential properties. Sharelast_img read more

Senior Home Equity Hits Record High

first_img American homeowners aged 62 and older gained more than 3 percent in home equity over the first quarter of 2017, according to the Reverse Mortgage Market Index released by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association and RiskSpan on Friday. The group now holds $6.3 trillion in equity—up from $6.1 trillion in the last quarter of 2016.So what’s driving senior equity upward? According to S&P and Experian, it’s rising home values.“The growth in housing wealth for retirement-aged homeowners was driven by an estimated 2.6 percent, or $199.3 billion, improvement in senior home values, and offset by a 0.6 percent increase of senior-held mortgage debt that equaled $9.2 billion,” the report stated.The Index, which hit 227.07 for Q1 2017, is now at its highest point since its launch 17 years ago. According to Peter Bell, President and CEO of NRMLA, this rising equity is allowing older Americans to stay put longer—choosing to leverage their equity to update or renovate their homes instead of moving on to new properties.“Older adults who want to stay in their own homes as they age, and we know a majority do, may find that the house that was perfect for raising a family lacks the features to support aging in place,” Bell said. “But, instead of moving out, various modifications, such as stairless entryways and wider bathroom doorframes, can be made to accommodate new mobility and accessibility needs.”Typically, homeowners have a few options when leveraging their home equity. They can secure a home equity loan, apply from a home equity line of credit (HELOC), refinance their mortgage for a cash-out payment, sell their home and buy a less expensive one, or sell their home and rent using the proceeds. Older Americans—those 62 or older—are eligible for a special type of home equity loan called a reverse mortgage.“The housing wealth our seniors have built up in their homes over the years, their home equity, can be used to update the family house into a space for living comfortably and independently for years to come,” Bell said.”According to the NRMLA, more than 1 million households have secured an FHA-insured reverse mortgage. Share Home Equity HOUSING mortgage Reverse Mortgage senior homeowners Seniors 2017-06-23 Aly J. Yale Senior Home Equity Hits Record Highcenter_img June 23, 2017 802 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studieslast_img read more

The Week Ahead Taking Stock of Housing Market Trends

first_imgHere’s what else is happening in The Week Ahead:FHFA House Price Index (June 25) Census Bureau New Residential Sales survey (June 25)NAR Pending Home Sales Index (June 27) Share CoreLogic will release its latest Case Shiller Home Price Index (HPI) on Tuesday, June 25, hoping to improve on March’s increase of 3.7%. March’s increase was a slight dip from February’s 3.9% growth. The HPI’s 20-City Composite posted a 2.7% year-over-year gain, down from 3.0% the previous month.Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona, and Tampa, Florida, had the highest year-over-year gains of the 20 cities. Las Vegas led the nation in May with an 8.2% increase from 2018.“Home price gains continue to slow,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The patterns seen in the last year or more continue: year over year price gains in most cities are consistently shrinking. Double-digit annual gains have vanished.”Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist and Executive of Research and Insights at CoreLogic, noted what the latest HPI’s data means for the housing market.“The U.S. housing market moderation has now lasted a year, driven by considerable slowing in the nation’s most expensive markets,” McLaughlin stated. “While the slowdown is most pronounced in these areas, all of the 20-city markets are slowing, suggesting the cooldown has broken from its confines in the West. However, with the 10-year treasury falling, we can expect mortgage rates to continue to decline this spring. This should help to take the cold edge off what has otherwise been a market slow to thaw from the winter months.”Redfin reported last week that home-sale price increased 3.6% from 2018 to an average price of $315,700—the largest annual price increase in seven months.Just six of the 85 largest metro’s tracked by Redfin saw year-over-year declines in their median sale price. San Jose, California’s 6% drop was the biggest in the nation, and was followed by New York, New York (-2.5%), and Honolulu, Hawaii (-2.2%). CoreLogic Home Price Index NAR 2019-06-21 Mike Albanese The Week Ahead: Taking Stock of Housing Market Trends in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News June 21, 2019 455 Views last_img read more

agent discountsAngsanaBanyan Tree

first_imgagent discountsAngsanaBanyan Tree Australian and New Zealand travel industry professionals can stay at 5-star resorts Banyan Tree and Angsana Lăng Cô at new industry rates, starting from only USD$152 per night in a Garden Balcony Grand at Angsana and from only USD$414 for a Lagoon Pool Villa at Banyan Tree.The rates include daily buffet breakfast, airport transfers, daily bus service to Hoi An & Hue and complimentary resort seasonal activities.The properties are next door to one another and have pristine beach on one side and tropical jungles and rugged mountains on the other and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hue, Hoi An and My Son are only a short distance away.Banyan Tree Lăng Cô is a five star all pool-villa resort with each villa offering magnificent views of the beach, ocean or distant mountains.There are three restaurants to choose from and an award-winning spa.Angsana Lăng CôAngsana Lăng Cô has some of the most spacious rooms in Asia, including one and two bedroom suites and many rooms having their own pool. The resort features a 300-metre river-like swimming pool that winds its way around the entire resort.There are seven dining venues to choose from and a multitude of activities such as snorkelling, sailing, kayaking and water-skiing.  The resort has a supervised kids club and nearby is Laguna Lăng Cô, 18-hole championship golf course designed by Nick Faldo.Email to book your industry rate.Image: Banyan Tree Lăng Côlast_img read more

australiaeventsThanksgivingtravel industryVisit US

first_imgaustraliaeventsThanksgivingtravel industryVisit USA Visit USA held its annual Thanksgiving Breakfast yesterday at Sydney’s Botanic Garden Restaurant – with pancakes, bacon and pumpkin pie dished up to over 60 guests, who were transported through the gardens to the restaurant on a mini train ride, co-sponsored by The Great American West.Lucy Rowe, President of Visit USA, and Monique Roos, Senior Commercial Service Specialist from the US Consulate, thanked industry members for their continued support in selling the USA to Australian travellers.“People travel far and wide to celebrate Thanksgiving and it isn’t always with family, it can be celebrated with friends and industry colleagues such as the guests who attended our event today,” said Rowe.“Thanksgiving was proclaimed a national day in 1789 by George Washington, and today the celebration continues on, evolving around companionship, thankfulness and cuisine. Visit USA holds this annual event as our way of giving back and giving thanks to the travel industry who support visitation to the USA.”The next major event series on the calendar for Visit USA will be the annual retail travel agent USA Expos, in February 2019. Registration is scheduled to open in December 2018.last_img read more