Virgin provides full content to Sabre agents

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Sabre connected-agents will now be able to book Virgin Australia domestic in addition to international through the GDS after the Australian carrier signed a full content distribution agreement with Sabre Travel Network.Effective immediately, the deal allows Sabre-connected agencies and corporations to have access to real-time Virgin and Virgin Australia International content without surcharges.Announced this morning, the agreement will also include fare families and ancillary sales fulfilment with Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD).Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific vice president Hans Belle said signing onto the GDS company will allow Virgin to reach a large number of customers.“Virgin Australia is a terrific partner that truly understands and appreciates the value of the Sabre GDS and we look forward to doing all we can to help the airline flourish,” Mr Belle explained.last_img read more

House of Travel Scoops Top Industry Award

first_imgHouse of Travel Scoops Top Industry AwardOne of New Zealand’s best known travel brands has taken out the top industry award for the third year in a row.House of Travel won Best Retail Brand at the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards, which acknowledges excellence in the sector across brand, location, individuals and brokers.The Kiwi owned and operated company won five awards and was a finalist in all of the nine categories entered, taking home awards for retail outlets and consultants from all over the country.Clare Jackson of House of Travel Newmarket won the award for Best Agency Manager Retail, while Judy Harkness of Calder & Lawson House of Travel was named Best Travel Consultant Retail. Orbit Wellington and House of Travel Northlands took home awards for Best Brand Corporate Single Location and Best Brand Retail Single Location respectively.House of Travel CEO Mark O’Donnell says he is delighted House of Travel has continued to maintain relevance and provide a benchmark in service standards for the rest of the industry.“In the travel industry we are experiencing a period of rapid change and growth. As a business, it is crucial to constantly re-evaluate our position in the industry and stay at the forefront of change. It’s really gratifying to see our work in this field recognised at the highest level,” he says.“At House of Travel we are passionate about designing life-changing travel experiences for Kiwis, leveraging decades of knowledge built up by hundreds of dedicated travel consultants. Combined with strong relationships with our customers and a collaborative approach to planning travel, we provide a travel experience that is so much more than a simple transaction.”House of Travel was also a finalist in Best Brand Retail Multi-Location (Kate Smyth), Best Travel Agency Manager Corporate (Megan Sewell), Best Travel Consultant (Paul Johnson) and Best Brand Corporate Multi-Location (Orbit Corporate Travel).Source = House of Travellast_img read more

Cheapest times for Aussies to book overseas hotels revealed

first_imgMarrakech, Morocco. Image credit: TripAdvisorTripAdvisor®, the travel planning and booking site, today announced its “Best Time to Book” report, revealing the least expensive times to book hotels for overseas travel between June to August in popular destinations around the globe, based on TripAdvisor hotel booking and meta click data.Aussie travellers can discover significant savings and enjoy a holiday abroad in warmer climates during winter at a fraction of the price.The research showed that the best time periods to book can vary depending on the region or city where the traveller is looking to visit during summer and that for most destinations, the hotel rates change gradually over time, without dramatic increases or decreases in price.For example, the least expensive time to book U.S. hotels is within 2 months of the mid-year trip but hotel prices remain fairly consistent throughout the year, with a relatively modest potential savings of 7% when booking during the least expensive time period.For European hotels, the best time to book for the northern hemisphere summer is between 3 – 5 months ahead when travellers can save 23% compared to the most expensive booking period. In Asia, the least expensive time to book hotels is within 3 months, when travellers can save 23% compared to the peak travel period.“The cost of taking a holiday quickly adds up and many Australians opt for destinations where their dollar goes further or they can swap the winter chill for a second summer,” said Joanne Kershaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.“Our report shows there are can be significant savings to be gained if you know when to book. Travellers can use TripAdvisor’s insights to cost-effectively book their next interstate or international holiday.”TripAdvisor analysed hotel booking and interest in nine popular regions around the world for the months of June, July and August. Below is the breakdown of potential savings for nine world regions when comparing the least expensive to most expensive times to book hotels.Cancun, Mexico. Image credit: TripAdvisor.Best Time to Book Hotels in World RegionsU.S. hotel rates consistent but travellers can save by booking within 2 months – U.S. hotel pricing remains fairly steady throughout the year, but those booking within 2 months of their trip can save 7% on their hotel.Plan for longer lead times when booking hotels in Europe – Travellers looking to visit Europe should plan to book their hotel rooms 3-5 months ahead to save 23% versus the peak booking period for the region.Best value for Asia hotels when booked within 3 months – Travellers can save 23% versus peak pricing by booking a hotel within three months of the trip. Asia prices rise slightly 3-5 weeks ahead, before seeing the lowest prices within the final two weeks before the travel date.South Pacific savings unlocked when booked within 5 months – For Aussies looking to travel close to home, they can save 19% or more per night by booking within 5 months of their travel date.Within 4 months is best for the Caribbean – Booking within 4 months is the sweet spot for Caribbean hotels when travellers can save 7% compared to the peak pricing periods.Modest savings in Central America within 3 months – Booking a hotel within three months of the trip is the most cost-effective approach for Central America, when travellers can save 7% compared to peak periods.Within 4 months is ideal for South America – Travellers heading to South America can find 20% savings by booking within 4 months of the trip. For those willing to wait, they can save an additional 2-4% by booking within the last few weeks before the travel date.Within 4 months is best for Middle East – For those planning a Middle East trip, the optimal booking period is within 4 months when travellers can get 24% savings. Prices increase slightly during weeks 3-4 before dropping again for last minute deals within a couple weeks of the travel date.Wide booking window for African hotels – Travellers booking a hotel in Africa can save 21% when booking within 5 months of the trip. Hotel rates rise slightly between 3-5 weeks ahead, before dropping during the last two weeks before the travel date. TripAdvisorSource = TripAdvisorlast_img read more

Sabre hackathon to champion Asia Pacific developer community

first_imgSabre hackathon to champion Asia Pacific developer communitySabre hackathon to champion Asia Pacific developer communitySabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading technology provider to the global travel industry and one of the world’s largest software companies, has opened entries to its inaugural Asia Pacific hackathon, which will take place in Singapore from 14 to 16 October 2016 at The Hub, Singapore’s largest co-working community of techies, entrepreneurs and creatives.Destination Hack will bring together global developers, entrepreneurs and members of the Asia Pacific startup and incubator community to code against-the-clock for a chance to win the Grand Prize of $10,000 for ‘Best New Technology Application’. Applications will be judged on their potential to ‘Reinvent Travel’, the theme of the hack.Sabre’s hackathon is being held in partnership with WIT and in conjunction with the WIT Conference taking place Oct 17-19, where the winner will have the chance to present their Application.“We are pleased that Sabre is bringing its annual Destination Hack to Singapore and holding it in conjunction with our main conference. Singapore is fast becoming a hub for innovation and startups, and WIT is a timely platform for developers to come create and then network with leaders and influencers in the travel and technology sector,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder, WIT.“This year’s WIT Conference theme is “Reimagine” so it will be interesting to see how the participating developers reimagine the world of travel technology.”Developers will have access to Sabre’s API portfolio and software development kits via Sabre Dev Studio, Sabre’s open developer platform. Using these tools in conjunction with third party technologies they will conceptualise and code new Applications designed to enhance anything to do with travel – from shopping and selling to the travel experience.“By bringing Sabre Dev Studio’s annual hackathon to Asia Pacific for the first time we hope to tap into, and support, the vast potential for technology innovation and entrepreneurship that we’re seeing from within this region. We also want to support Singapore’s tech scene as the country continues to grow as a hub for Asia’s thriving developer community,” commented Anupam Bokil, Vice President of Technology for Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific.“By constantly opening new channels for innovation, like this one, we can keep pushing the boundaries further on the way technology is adopted to support, drive and shape global travel.”In addition to the grand prize competition, developers – who can compete individually or in teams – will be entered into a series of sponsored challenges including ‘Best Use of Virtual Reality’ and other categories like chatbot and augmented reality usage. The RulesAbout Sabre CorporationSabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of global travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.About The Hub SingaporeThe Hub Singapore is Singapore’s largest coworking community of techies, entrepreneurs and creatives. Members get access to funding, capacity building, community connections, and international networks – making Hub Singapore a coworking space that grows entrepreneurs not just houses them. Through its multi-stakeholder ecosystem consisting of corporates, the government and the startup community, Hub Singapore has establishing itself as the go-to place for entrepreneurs and their collaborators who seek a platform for innovation, partnerships and solutions.Source = Sabrelast_img read more

DNCE to star in total eclipse concert on Royal Caribbeans Oasis

first_imgDNCE to star in total eclipse concert on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the SeasThe stars have aligned with the return of multi-platinum selling band DNCE aboard Royal Caribbean International for a live musical performance to celebrate the Great Solar Eclipse, a phenomenon 99 years in the making. On Aug. 21, DNCE will headline Royal Caribbean’s bucket-list-worthy solar eclipse viewing party with a surprise guest for an out-of-this-world performance aboard the exclusive 7-night Total Eclipse Cruise on board Oasis of the Seas, one of the world’s largest and most adventure-packed cruise ships.Adventure-seekers will have the vantage point of the century when Oasis of the Seas positions itself along the eclipse’s path of totality where the moon completely masks the sun for a few minutes of total darkness. Building up to the unprecedented moment at sea, DNCE frontman Joe Jonas and all-star bandmates, including bassist and keyboardist Cole Whittle, guitarist JinJoo and drummer Jack Lawless, will perform the band’s heart-pumping hits like “Kissing Strangers,” “Body Moves” and, of course, “Cake by the Ocean.” Guests booked on the Total Eclipse Cruise can visit Royal Caribbean’s website and reserve their complimentary seats for the concert by logging on to their reservation.“When we were invited to headline this once-in-a-lifetime event, we didn’t think twice. What could be more out of this world than witnessing a full solar eclipse at sea? ” said Joe Jonas. “We’re stoked about coming back on board with Royal Caribbean to put on a lights-out performance with a very special guest. It’s beyond exciting to be able to celebrate this crazy moment in history out in the middle of the ocean.”The viewing party will last far into the night, long after the moon eclipses the sun, creating social media-worthy moments for what is predicted to be one of the most trending topics of 2017.In addition to the viewing party, guests on Oasis of the Seas will be treated to other eclipse-themed activities, including dance parties, trivia, interactive science fun for kids and their families, and tasty cocktails and dishes.Travellers sailing on board Oasis of the Seas will also enjoy the ship’s bold and unexpected line-up of experiences and amenities. From two FlowRider surf simulators and a zip line nine decks high – speeding riders 25 metres across an open-air atrium, to unparallelled entertainment, including Broadway-style shows and high-diving, acrobatic performances in the iconic AquaTheater; and world-class dining at 150 Central Park by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, there is an adventure for travellers of all ages aboard Oasis.The 7-night Total Eclipse Cruise on board Oasis of the Seas will set sail on Aug. 20, 2017 from Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida, and visit Caribbean destinations in the Eastern Caribbean, including Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Nassau, The Bahamas. Adventurers can book now to witness this historic event at sea by visiting, calling 1800 754 500 or contacting their travel agent.Royal Caribbean’s seven other ships sailing to the Caribbean during the total solar eclipse will provide guests with extraordinary partial views of the phenomenon and special celebrations featuring the cruise line’s onboard entertainment offerings. The seven ships are Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Empress of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas,Grandeur of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 48-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous travellers alike. On board, guests are catered to with the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service by every staff and crew member. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 14 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.Source = Royal Caribbeanlast_img read more

The worlds first Hotel Indigo in a resort location opens on Balis

first_imgThe world’s first Hotel Indigo in a resort location opens on Bali’s Seminyak BeachBali’s most lively and storied village is welcoming the world’s most neighbourhood-centric brand in July 2017, with the opening of Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach. In a village that captures the ancient and modern zeitgeist of Bali in all its colour, energy and lively tradition, curious travellers are the new savvy individualists.As a destination, Bali has always delighted guests with its ability to embrace the modern and traditional with a stylish and youthful zest — and nowhere is this more apparent than in Seminyak, a neighbourhood where the ocean breeze blends a fusion of village gamelan and modern house music. And indeed where in every direction, the visitor can trace the neighbourhood’s story of a Cultural Journey — exploring its local communities and temples, where ceremonies and craft work retain the same daily rituals that connect you back to the heritage of the 15th century.The new 289-room hotel gracing Seminyak’s Mesari Beach draws inspiration from the flavours, culture and character of its surrounding local neighbourhood, the vibrant and lively Seminyak district — and Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach promises an authentic fusion of enchanting Balinese culture and contemporary creativity. Extending across 4.7 hectares of lush, landscaped grounds, including exotic plantings and beautiful vertical gardens, the resort fronts the southern stretch of Seminyak. Here, the best of modern and traditional Balinese design are seamlessly integrated, reflecting the surrounding Seminyak neighbourhood, from its fashion boutiques and world-famous restaurants to its artisanal craftsmanship and architecture.The 270 spacious rooms and suites are stylishly appointed with a striking mix of locally influenced design touches. Every guestroom is fitted with daybeds, plush bedding, spa-inspired bathrooms and state-of-the-art features. In addition, there are 19 villas with private outdoor swimming pools, whirlpools and marble bathrooms – all inspired by the Tri Hita Karana philosophy (one’s relationship with Gods, living beings and the earth), and showcasing a clever juxtaposition of contemporary design and ancient tradition. Each villa is planned like a Balinese house, consisting of three main areas: Nista Mandala, a space for residents to embrace the Gods; Madya Mandala, a space to be at one with nature; and Utama Mandala a space for interpersonal relations.Guillaume Epinette, General Manager of Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach, says: “Seminyak is a melting pot, enriched with a diverse culture and lifestyle that merges all the wonderful things Bali is known for. Our inspiration has been to weave the flavours of Seminyak into our resort, not only with our design but throughout the whole experience. The result is a design-led property that reflects the changing tastes of today’s affluent travellers — who not only aspire to enjoy a relaxing escape, but also crave new inspiration. We’re certain that every fascinating detail on their journey of discovery through fashionable Seminyak neighbourhood will deliver that.”Welcoming guests at Hotel Indigo is the expansive lobby space, dubbed the Neighbourhood Gallery. A Balinese Subak-inspired wall structure, accents of verdant foliage, unique outdoor artworks by local artists and water fountains symbolise the tranquillity of Seminyak and impart a soothing arrival experience. Signature geometric lines that decorate the resort at entrances and on canopies and walls are the creative interpretation of the traditional Balinese weaving textile, Tenun Songket.Leisure facilities for guests range from local cultural explorations to body and mind wellness. The resort’s Sava Spa offers treatments and traditional Balinese massages using Sava Spa’s locally-sourced natural spa products with active ingredients. The Spa also features 10 treatment rooms, a Relaxation Lounge, a Reflexology Lounge, a Nail Beauty Lounge and a 24-hour Health Club with wellness programs and state of the art fitness equipment such as yoga space, power stretching, weight-lifting, martial arts and TRX.Source = Hotel Indigolast_img read more

Brides stay free

first_imgSource = Pan Pacific Perth Brides stay freeBrides stay freeBook by the end of May and brides stay at Pan Pacific Perth completely free.Your wedding is one of the most memorable moments in you and your loved one’s life and now thanks to Pan Pacific Perth, you can celebrate in style. Book a stay in one of the hotel’s luxurious rooms or suites by 31 May 2018 and brides can stay free of charge.Consider your stay the ‘cherry on top’ of your special day. Enjoy 50 percent savings on the hotel’s Best Available Rate. These savings are included on all Suites and Club Rooms, which provide the perfect place for you two to relax in each other’s company.Be sure to indulge in delicious food and beverage with 50 percent savings at all restaurants and bars. Spoil yourselves with complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails and canapés at the Pacific Club Lounge.If early mornings aren’t your thing this is not a problem; a 3.00pm late check-out is available with this package. Complimentary self-parking also means you can come and go as you please.This offer is valid for bookings made by 31 May 2018, for stays until 28 February 2019. This reservation is fully flexible and can be cancelled up until 4:00pm on day of arrival, no prepayment required.For bookings, please visit: or contact (08) 9224 7777For more information on Pan Pacific Perth, please visit: read more

PTMs Private Lunch with Red Balloon Founder Naomi Simson

first_imgSydney turned on a beautiful day for TravelManagers’ Tasmania-based Kirsty Whittaker (centre), who had won a private lunch in Sydney with Red Balloon’s Naomi Simson (left) that was hosted by Crooked Compass’ Lisa Pagotto (right)PTM’s Private Lunch with Red Balloon Founder Naomi SimsonAlthough Sydney’s George Street has plenty of fabulous restaurants to choose from, it’s fairly uncommon for a Tasmania-based personal travel manager (PTM) to pop over for lunch – but that’s exactly what Kirsty Whittaker, TravelManagers’ representative for Margate, TAS, did recently.It may seem an extravagant indulgence at first glance, but the lunch was Whittaker’s reward for winning a Crooked Compass incentive that was announced at TravelManagers’ annual National Conference in Darwin last year: a private lunch date at Indu Restaurant with Red Balloon founder, Naomi Simson, and hosted by Crooked Compass founder, Lisa Pagotto.“The opportunity to pick their brains was amazing,” says Whittaker. “Both Lisa and Naomi started their own successful businesses from home, so they were able to offer some valuable insights into keeping focus, outsourcing, making the right choices that work for you and your business, and the challenges of time management from a home-based business/family perspective.”TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the lunch was one of many events held each year as part of a business philosophy that places priority on seeking and providing new and innovative opportunities for PTMs’ self-development.“Our annual National Conference is an integral part of a broader annual programme of activities and events that are designed to support PTMs in their businesses,” he explains.Whittaker says one of the most important messages she took away from the lunch was the importance of being present in everything she does: being dedicated to each task at hand rather than juggling.“Over the two hours we spent together, Lisa and Naomi graciously answered all my questions, and we even managed to squeeze in a little Shark Tank gossip – it was a surreal experience!” ENDSAbout TravelManagersTravel Managers 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 $1.6 billion for 2018. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than530 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 secure and only used for client purchases.Source = TravelManagerslast_img read more

MSC Cruises names First Seaside EVO Ship

first_imgAbout MSC CruisesMSC Cruises is the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and the number one cruise line in Europe and South America, South Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. A game-changer in the world of cruises, the Company has achieved 800% growth in its first ten years, building a global reputation in the industry and one of the youngest cruise fleets at sea. MSC Cruises is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.The MSC Cruises fleet comprises 18 highly innovative and elegantly designed ships, offering an unparalleled holiday experience with authentic food, award-winning entertainment, plenty of relaxation, comfortable accommodation, as well as impeccable service and expertise.Under its ambitious industry-unprecedented €10.5 billion investment plan, the fleet is set to expand to 24 mega-cruise ships by 2026. To date, MSC Cruises has designed six new ship classes, all prototypes that push the boundaries of marine architecture and design.MSC Cruises feels a deep responsibility towards the physical and human environments in which it operates. The Company operates with the greatest respect for the world’s oceans and is on an ongoing journey to further develop innovative ways of lowering the environmental impact of its cruise passages.MSC Cruises’ holiday experiences are sold across the globe through a distribution network in 67 countries. The Company employs over 17,000 people worldwide, both ashore and on board its ships. MSC Cruises is part of MSC Group which is comprised of leading transport and logistics companies.Source = MSC Cruises MSC Cruises names First Seaside EVO ShipMSC Cruises names First Seaside EVO ShipMSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and leading cruise brand in Europe, South America, South Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Fincantieri, one of the largest shipbuilding groups in the world, today cut the first steel of MSC Seashore, the first of two MSC Cruises Seaside EVO ships currently on order at Fincantieri. At a ceremony held at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Bono launched the cutting of the first steel of this new ship.Coming into service in Spring 2021, the 169,400 GT MSC Seashore will be the first in its kind, further enriching MSC Cruises’ Seaside Class of ships with new cutting edge features including: an additional lounge at the aft; a further enhanced MSC Yacht Club covering three forward decks; specialty restaurants at the level of the promenade at deck 8 for dining al fresco whilst being close to the sea; a larger number of whirlpools across the ship; and 200 additional cabins as well as even more generous public spaces. Moreover, the Seaside EVO ships will be equipped with the latest advanced environmental technology, including a selective catalytic reduction system; exhaust gas cleaning technology; state-of-the-art waste management and recycling systems; advanced water treatment systems; and an advanced energy and heat recovery system, as well as other technology and measures to further increase energy efficiency.MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “With the Seaside Class, we introduced to the market one of the more innovative cruise ship prototypes all-around – our fifth out of six to-date – thus setting a new industry standard for others to follow. Today, only one year after MSC Seaside entered into service, we are taking this award-winning concept to the next level by starting the construction of a further evolved and even richer ship. MSC Seashore is an example of our commitment to bringing the most innovative and technologically-advanced tonnage to the sea, and will be bestowed with the latest and best maritime and environmental technology available.”The CEO of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono, stated: “The design of this ship is the perfect symbol of what Fincantieri has become and of what the Group today represents on the international market scene and at an overall industrial level. MSC Seashore is designed to impress: first of all due to her size, she will be by far the largest ship ever built in Italy, allowing us to further increase our management standards, but even for her top-class technological level. She is a prototype that we developed based on a one-of-a-kind and hugely successful platform as Seaside is demonstrating to be”. Bono then concluded: “Over and above that, we are very proud to contribute to the growth of MSC Cruises, a company which is emerging as one of the major market players”.Today’s event marked another milestone in MSC Cruises’ industry-unprecedented 10-year development plan for 17 additional new ships, with four new ships currently under construction at the same time. MSC Seashore is the seventh ship to be built under this plan and will become the 19th ship MSC Cruises has built since its inception in 2003. Additionally, the coming into service of the first Seaside EVO ship will take innovation in cruise ship building to yet another level of excellence, much like the introduction of the original Seaside prototype has set a new standard for the industry to follow.MSC Seashore is inspired by MSC Cruises’ vision for cruising in warm waters and balmy weather, in a unique setting. She will follow the bold and innovative design of the Seaside Class, with a wrap-around promenade on Deck 8, offering guests a myriad of choices for outside dining and relaxing. Her name, much like for her predecessors MSC Seaside andMSC Seaview, is meant to reflect this new way of enjoying the cruising experience – first introduced on MSC Cruises’ Seaside Class – by bringing guests closer to the sea.In addition to offering even more space and an even richer experience, Seaside EVO ships will have greater dimensions, even more generous public spaces, more cabins, a larger MC Yacht Club, and will be hosting a total of up to 5,632 guests.MSC Seashore will be joined merely 18 months later by a second Seaside EVO ship in autumn 2022.Technical ship specsLength/beam/height: 339m/41m/74mGross tonnage: 169,400 GTGuests: 5,632Crew: 1,648Guest cabins: 2,270Maximum speed: 21.8 knotsDelivery date: spring 202119th cruise ship to join MSC Cruises’ fleet since its inception in 2003First extended version of the Seaside ClassMan hours required to construct the ship: over 10 millionNumber of Fincantieri employees involved at the yard – during construction: up to 4,000Sister ship: a second Seaside EVO sister ship is scheduled for autumn 2022last_img read more

JNTOs biggest ever Japan Roadshow held in Sydney and Brisbane

first_imgJNTOs biggest ever Japan Roadshow held in Sydney and BrisbaneJNTOs biggest ever Japan Roadshow held in Sydney and BrisbaneJapan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) hosted educational seminars in Brisbane and Sydney for the travel trade last week. The biggest ever delegation of more than 40 representatives from the Japanese tourism industry visited Australia to support JNTO’s ‘become an expert’ roadshow initiative.The Japanese Consulate-Generals of Brisbane and Sydney and JNTO Sydney Executive Director, Kana Wakabayashi, welcomed the agents. Trade updates, new developments, plans for 2019 to engage the industry further and updates on Rugby World Cup were shared by JNTO’s Thomas Hiraoka.Australia continues to be a key market for Japan with the most recent figures from October 2018 showing that there were 47,400 Australian visitors that month, another 20 percent increase on the same month in 2017. Of the 448,900 Australian visitors between January and October 2018 (12.6% Growth), the vast majority (91 percent) visited Japan as tourists.Special guest speaker Craig Wing (former dual-international for Australian Rugby League and Japan Rugby Union) shared his experiences of life in Japan whilst playing rugby union for the Japan national team.More agents than ever participated in this year’s roadshow hosted by JNTO. The 277 Australian agents were invited to ‘become experts’ and enjoyed the opportunity to meet 45 suppliers including from local governments, DMCs, accommodation, attractions and transportation.About Japan National Tourism Organization:Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), an independent agency of the Japanese government, promotes Japan as a leisure and business destination to connect Japan to the world. Through its 20 offices worldwide, JNTO disseminates information, conducts publicity and exhibitions, supports tour development, carries out research and much more.Source = Japan National Tourism Organizationlast_img read more

Syed Muazzem Ali

first_imgOTM is a very useful fair because it creates goodwill and bridges the gap between people from different countries, and different tourist destinations.  Bangladesh shares with India common literature, culture as well as tradition.  In future too Bangladesh will participate in OTM which plays a very important role.last_img

Vellar craft village transforming into international tourist spot

first_imgThe Vellar craft village at Kovalam, a joint venture by Kerala Tourism and Kudumbasree units is set to get a makeover as an international tourist destination that offers visitors a unique glimpse into ethnic crafts.The Rs 10-crore project, divided into marketing and entertainment zones, is an attempt to provide international exposure to Kerala’s handicraft and other ethnic craft products.Spread along a 10 acre stretch, the craft village, modelled on the lines of Dilli Haat in New Delhi is built without disturbing the natural terrain of the region. “Minor alterations in landscaping and rock cutting methods are used to build the craft village, which is in complete harmony with nature,” said Kerala Tourism Minister, AP Anil Kumar.“The marketing zone will have a total of 27 shops, with five shops constructed in hexagonal structures, for the exhibition, sale and promotion of traditional craft items and handicrafts from various artists, organisations and craftsmen,” added the Minister.Sellers and craftsmen will be aided with subsidy grants to provide financial security.  New amenities being set up include signage, parking facility, landscaping, lawn beautification and a bio gas plant.“Our aim is to give a fillip to traditional crafts and artisans through this initiative,” said the Tourism Director, PI Sheik Pareeth. We are also planning to give artists a space to show the making of craft products for tourists who are curious to know about the technical side of craft practice he added.The entertainment zone is bound to be a favourite weekend haunt with cafeterias, a park with a water feature and sightseeing spots. Four cafeterias, including two traditional ‘thattukada’ serving authentic Kerala delicacies, are also nearing completion.“Cultural programmes will be here held during weekends,” said Sheik Pareeth.He also noted that the government is aiming to establish Vellar as one of the main avenues for cultural programmes like the Nishagandhi auditorium and Kanakakkunnu palace.“We will also lend out this place for wedding and film shooting,” he added.An open auditorium, connected to the restaurants where performance arts can be held, adds to the facilities. Also, a conference hall with a capacity to accommodate 1,500 people is being built where international conferences can be conducted.Sargaalaya in Kozhikode is yet another craft village project set up by Kerala Tourism in the state.last_img read more

India continues as Sri Lankas top source market

first_imgSri Lanka has recorded 29,329 Indian tourist arrivals in November, accounting for 48.4% increase, making India its top source market, followed by China up 54.4% to 16,830. As per the data from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion office, the country’s tourist arrivals rose 20.4% to 144,147 in November 2015 from a year earlier, driven by China, India, United Kingdom and Germany.In the last 11 months, arrivals were up 18.1% to 1,592,266. South Asian visitors were up 32.7% to 41,318 compared to the same month in 2014, supported by arrivals from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Visitors from Maldives were down 1.7% to 8,190 and Pakistan was up 11.6% to 2,030. East Asian visitors were up 30.9% to 28,017.Malaysian visitors were up 13.2% to 2,285, Japanese were down 0.2% to 2,514 and Indonesia was also down 8.9% to 522 compared to the same month of 2014. Visitors from Western Europe were up 11.4% 40,006 in the month with UK up 0.9% to 10,822 and Germany up 11.6% to 10,103.Eastern European arrivals were up 8.5% to 17,199 with Russia up 1.1% to 7,360. Ukraine also was up 8.4% to 2,876. Middle Eastern visitors were up 11.1% to 4,807 and UAE up 90% to 682.last_img read more

Travelling guide to Dallas Texas

first_imgDallas is a major city in the state of Texas and is the largest urban centre of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States. The city rose to prominence for its historical importance as a centre of the oil and cotton industries, and its position along numerous railroad lines.Source: Expedialast_img

Monthly Gains Just a Silver Lining for Home Prices RadarLogic

first_img While other experts and analysts have concluded home prices are on the rise and the recovery is under way, “”Radar Logic””: released a report challenging the upbeat viewpoint. [IMAGE]””We believe that the oversupply of homes relative to demand will prevent sustained home price gains for some time,”” the analytics firm stated. The argument made by Radar Logic is that as buyers absorb the supply of homes for sale in certain markets and prices start to stabilize as a result, home owners who have been waiting on the sidelines to sell will do so once prices start to improve. This will increase supply once again, and home prices will stop appreciating as supply exceeds demand. According to the RPX Composite price index, which tracks prices in 25 metropolitan areas, home values decreased by 0.8 percent year-over-year in April 2012 and increased by 2.7 percent from the month before in March 2012. [COLUMN_BREAK]From April 2010 to April 2011, home prices made an even steeper drop at 5.2 percent, which shows prices have improved year-over-year despite the yearly decline in April 2012.The report also noted that spring price appreciation has been strong in the West over the years, especially in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, and San Francisco. Quinn Eddins, director of research at Radar Logic and author of the report, warns other temporary factors are helping with the gains. “”Housing bulls point to recent strength in home price indices and say that housing has bottomed and a recovery is either underway or on the horizon. But much of the recent strength in housing prices is the result of investor demand and mild winter weather, and the effects of both are likely to be temporary.The report explained that investor demand will eventually wane as returns for rent decreases. Also, warm weather this winter allowed for a head start into the buying season, so the early increase in demand will come at the expense of a slower buying season later unless new demand is created.In addition to home prices, Eddins also takes a skeptical view of claims that low prices and low interest rates are making way for recovery. Instead, he agrees with a recent article by Andrew Davidson and Alex Levin titled “”Measuring Housing Affordability and Home Price equililbrium; Revisiting the Housing Bubble & Bust and HPI Modeling,”” which expresses the view that when down payments and the availability of affordable mortgage products are taken into account, housing is not nearly as affordable as affordability indices suggest. June 20, 2012 425 Views Monthly Gains Just a Silver Lining for Home Prices: RadarLogic Agents & Brokers Home Prices Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-06-20 Esther Chocenter_img in Data, Origination, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

Redfin Sellers Gaining Confidence as Market Shifts

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Confidence Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-11-07 Tory Barringer November 7, 2012 393 Views Home sellers are already showing optimism for the 2013 selling season, according to a survey from “”Redfin””:[IMAGE]The company’s Real-Time Seller Survey for Q4 showed increased confidence about the housing market’s future, with 83 percent of sellers saying they believe they would get a higher price for their home by waiting one to two years. That number is up from 80 percent in the previous survey.Nearly three-quarters–74.6 percent–of sellers believe prices will rise in their neighborhood over the next 12 months, a slight increase from last quarter. Meanwhile, the number of those who expect prices will stay the same or drop backed off a percentage point in each category.In addition, 15 percent believe it is a good time to sell (up from 13 in the last quarter), and 58 percent believe it is a good time to buy (down from 61 percent before). According to Redfin, “”[t]aken together, these indicate that sellers sense a slight market shift in their favor.””The majority of sellers intend to list their homes sometime in the next months–an expected result, as that period includes the heavier spring selling season. Surprising, [COLUMN_BREAK]though, was the fact that the number of sellers whose homes are currently listed increased six percentage points from the last survey to 31 percent. The fourth quarter is typically the slowest season for new listings, according to Redfin.Another indicator of increased confidence among sellers is the fact that selling has gained popularity against renting. The number of respondents who are considering renting out their home was 43 percent in the most recent survey, down from 46 percent in the last quarter.””The changes were slight, but they all pointed in the same direction: Sellers are becoming a little more confident about their chances on the market, a little less interested in alternatives to selling (such as renting out the home), and a little less concerned about the economy,”” Redfin analyst Tim Ellis said in a “”blog post””: these trends continue, Ellis added, 2013 will likely begin to see “”an easing of the big inventory squeeze that has made headlines throughout 2012″” as sellers are drawn back to the market.That’s definitely good news, says Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, as the housing market hasn’t been able to get very far this year without a strong seller presence.””At this point in the housing market, the only opinion that matters is that of the would-be sellers trying to decide whether to put their home on the market,”” Kelman said. “”Economists agree that the market hit bottom some time earlier this year and low interest rates have brought out more buyers than we’ve seen in years, but most sellers decided to wait for better prices. “”These attitudes aren’t changing dramatically from one quarter to the next, but the direction has been remarkably consistent among both buyers and sellers: the market is slowly tilting in sellers’ favor.””center_img Redfin: Sellers Gaining Confidence as Market Shifts Sharelast_img read more

Report Examines Effect of Consumer Expectations on Price Recovery

first_imgReport Examines Effect of Consumer Expectations on Price Recovery in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share December 11, 2012 379 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Confidence Home Prices Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Pro Teck Valuation Services Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2012-12-11 Esther Cho The recovery in home sales and prices is taking shape, but will it further solidify, even in the hardest hit markets?[IMAGE] A Home Value Forecast report from “”Pro Teck Valuation Services””: and “”Collateral Analytics””: expressed the idea that the recovery will continue in hard-hit markets such as Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Riverside-San Bernardino “”because prices are still lower than fundamental market drivers”” such as employment. “”Home Value Forecast has been pointing out for the past year that most of the fundamental factors for a recovery in home sales activity and prices are falling in place,”” said Tom O’Grady, CEO of Pro Teck. “”However, the residential real estate market has always had a strong psychological component driven by consumer confidence.””The report discussed the role of consumer sentiment in the residential market and explained how “”swings”” in sentiment can influence home prices. For example, O’Grady says that in periods of “”great exuberance,”” swings can raise prices above sustainable values as seen during the recent bubble, or during times of extreme pessimism, swings can move prices below intrinsic values. [COLUMN_BREAK] “”When home prices are rising, home buyers assume that they will keep rising, and when prices are declining, buyers assume that they will continue declining,”” O├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬óGrady explained. He further added rising prices “”also increase homeowner net worth and encourage those buyers who have been sitting on the fence to purchase. These new buyers lead to higher turnover rates, reinforcing the existing trend.””The December report included a ranking of the top 10 best and worst performing metros based on real estate market indicators, such as sales and listing activity and prices, inventory, days on market, and foreclosure and REO activity. Michael Sklarz of Principal of Collateral Analytics, noted three of the top ten metros are in Texas and another three in California. As for the bottom-ranked metros, Sklarz observed most have double-digit months of remaining housing inventory. *Top 10 markets*1. Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine2. Dallas-Plano-Irving3. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Maryland4. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos5. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett6. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California7. Salt Lake City8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale10. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown*Bottom 10 markets*1. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway2. Virginia-Norfolk-Newport News3. Newark-Union4. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio5. Edison, New Jersey6. Knoxville7. New York-White Plains-Wayne8. New Haven-Milford, Connecticut9. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner10. Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, South Carolinalast_img read more

MCS Announces Finance Controller Promotions

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing New,MCS Announces Finance, Controller Promotions Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-06-10 Tory Barringercenter_img June 10, 2013 435 Views “”Mortgage Contracting Services””: (MCS) announced the promotion of Wade Petty and Marie Walters to VP of finance and controller/assistant VP, respectively.[IMAGE]Petty has been with MCS since 2009 and manages the company’s revenue cycle and accounts receivable, among other duties. He joined MCS after serving as regional controller and assistant treasurer at Stewart Title Guaranty Company.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Wade has proven to be exceptionally valuable at using technology to efficiently manage, analyze, and report on our company’s revenues,”” said MCS CEO Caroline Reaves. “”Executives and managers across the company appreciate and rely on Wade’s responsiveness, accuracy, and innovation.””Walters joined MCS as an accounting manager in 2007 and now leads the company’s general accounting and financial control functions, including financial statement reporting, maintenance of the accounting system, coordinating and managing annual financial audits, and oversight of the accounts payable and payroll functions. “”Marie has shown the capacity to handle complex financial projects while keeping our accounting books and records in impeccable condition,”” Reaves said. “”I am so pleased that we will continue to benefit from her expertise and wisdom in an even greater capacity than before.””Petty and Walters will both work in MCS’ Tampa, Florida, office.last_img read more

Avocados in Charts Market jumps US5 in one week

first_img Avocados in Charts: Market jumps US$5 in one week … The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has completed a purchase of more than 450,000 boxes of California table grapes with a value in excess of US$10 million as part of its tariff mitigation program.California table grapes were included in the USDA Food Purchasing Program for the first time as part of the mitigation program because of the 53% tariff imposed on U.S. grapes by China, the California Table Grape Commission said in a release.Shipments of California grapes to China are down 42% in volume and 41% in value in 2018 compared to 2017, USDA data shows.“The 2018 season has been a tough one for table grape growers,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission.“The tariffs on table grapes have been painful but the real harm has been caused by the fact that tariffs on multiple competing commodities, such as cherries, stone fruits, and apples, caused more fruit of all kinds to be sold in the domestic market.”The USDA purchasing program comes at a good time for table grape growers and is appreciated.”The California Table Grape Commission said that suppliers interested in participating in the food purchasing program had to go through a rigorous process to become a USDA vendor and then if approved, submit bids in a competitive process. Multiple valley companies were awarded the opportunity to supply California grapes to customers across the country, it said.The grapes will be distributed to food banks and other food programs around the country, starting in December. December 03 , 2018 California citrus: “A lot of unusual dynamics” in … U.S.: First storm hits California, more heavy rain … California Navel season ‘one of worst in history o … You might also be interested inlast_img read more

TIN has two new trainings available to help agents

first_imgTIN has two new trainings available to help agents learn more about Sri Lanka and Contours Travel’s ‘Colonial Circle’ – an extended tour through Mexico’s colonial history.See also the latest brochures from Collette, Natural Focus (India, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka) and Contours Travel’s Latin America & Antarctica.Agents can register here to become a free member with access to regularly updated trainings and brochures. resourcesTINtrainingTravel Industry Networklast_img