Virgin Blue and Cathay Pacific near miss over Darwin

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/234dd/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> A Virgin Blue Boeing and a Cathay Pacific came a little too close for comfort on Tuesday evening, when the two aircraft came within minutes of each other in the airspace near Darwin.Flight DJ1457 from Melbourne to Darwin heading northbound, and Flight CX135 from Hong Kong to Melbourne heading southbound, found themselves on the same reciprocal track heading towards each other.“When the crew of the A330 [Cathay Pacific flight] questioned the controller, the controller instructed the A330 crew to climb to FL380 and cleared the aircraft to divert right of track,” said the Australian Transportation Safety Board.The Virgin Blue flight crew then advised the air traffic controllers that they would divert right, and both planes passed each other safely.Australian aviation investigators are treating the incident as a “serious incident” and are investigating the occurrence.e-Travel Blackboard sought comment from both Cathay Pacific and Virgin Blue, but both were unable to comment as of publication. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more

WorldVentures debuts novel DreamTrips travel app

first_imgWorldVentures, the leading international direct seller of vacation club memberships, has launched its highly anticipated DreamTrips app for members and Independent Representatives. DreamTrips are exclusively priced, curate group vacations to some of the most coveted destinations in the world. They are the signature product of WorldVentures which, in its 10th year, is emerging as a technology trendsetter in the direct-selling sector. From trip planning to social media sharing, the DreamTrips app is designed for greater ease, functionality and efficiency.“The DreamTrips app is among ongoing efforts to enhance customer experiences and, coupled with our March acquisition of a world-class software platform allowing for centralised reservation management, is tangible evidence of our strides toward tailored technology,” said WorldVentures Holdings President Eddie Head. “We hope members and Representatives find that travelling with and sharing their adventures within the DreamTrips app elevates their travel experiences to new heights.”Currently available for download through the App Store or Google Play, the DreamTrips app is compatible with the later versions of iPhone and iPad as well as Android. Users can log on with their DreamTrips Membership credentials then browse and book vacation packages. For Independent Representatives, the app has utility as a business tool for enrolling new members, exchanging success stories and viewing training videos allowing them to conduct business from anywhere in the world.last_img read more

Syed Shafat Uddin Ahmed Tomal

first_imgThis is the first time that OTM has organised a speed networking and so far I have found this B2B session to be excellent because there are so many buyers who are actually eagerly looking forward to meet with suppliers like us. So congratulations to the organisers for pulling it off so successfully.last_img

Senate Passes Bill to Raise Conforming Loan Limits

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae Federal Reserve FHA First-Time Homebuyers Freddie Mac Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association National Association of Home Builders Processing Service Providers Top Stories of 2011 2011-10-21 Ryan Schuette Share A bill squeaked by the Senate Thursday that would reverse lower limits for conforming loans backed by the federal government and reinstate the $729,750 threshold until 2013.[IMAGE]Lawmakers adopted the amendment to a federal spending measure by a count of 60 to 38, giving backers of the bill the supermajority needed to avoid wrangling over the issue.””Sen. Johnny Isakson””:http://isakson.senate.gov/ (R-Georgia) and “”Sen. Robert Menendez””:http://menendez.senate.gov/ (D-New Jersey) introduced the amendment to restore federal limits for conforming loans, which fell to $625,500 for homeowners with mortgages backed by “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html, “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/, and the “”Federal Housing Administration””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory in early October.Congress had fixed the limits at the higher threshold in 2008 as a way to curtail the worst effects of the financial crisis for the housing industry and economy at large.A spokesperson for the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm said the trade group had no comment for the story.Bob Nielsen, chairman of the “”National Association of””:http://www.nahb.org/default.aspx[COLUMN_BREAK]””Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.org/default.aspx (NAHB), commended lawmakers for passing the bill in a “”statement””:http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=13746, calling the decision to raise conforming loan limits one that will “”help mend the struggling housing market, provide affordable mortgages for creditworthy home buyers, and move the economy forward.””He added that restoring the loan limits “”will provide home owners and home buyers with safe and affordable financing while providing a much-needed boost to housing markets all around the country.””Multiple news outlets reported that Congress had allowed the higher limits for conforming loans to ease in October despite a massive lobbying effort by companies and trade groups in the housing industry. A flurry of statements and reports from trade groups lent credibility to the news, with the NAHB and “”California Association of Realtors””:http://www.car.org/ “”predicting peril for the housing industry””:https://themreport.com/articles/what-lower-conforming-loan-limits-mean-for-housing-2011-10-03 and economy as a result of any expiration in limits earlier this year.Despite forbidding forecasts, the “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ released a report this fall tallying up figures from federal agencies that found homeowners in only 250 to 669 counties would see fallout from the lower limits.””Congress must act soon to ensure that this measure is enacted into law,”” Nielsen added in the statement. “”Otherwise, the current drop in mortgage loan limits will reduce housing demand, and place downward pressure on home prices in major markets. This will exacerbate the current housing downturn, trigger more foreclosures, impede job growth and endanger the fragile economic recovery.””The House must vote for a similar bill in order for the Senate legislation to become law. Senate Passes Bill to Raise Conforming Loan Limitscenter_img October 21, 2011 431 Views in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Mortgage Applications Experience Slight Decline

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2013-11-27 Tory Barringer in Origination Mortgage Applications Experience Slight Decline Last week saw another drop in mortgage application volume, the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://mba.org/default.htm (MBA) reported in its Weekly Applications Survey.[IMAGE]MBA’s Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent the week ending November 22, the group [COLUMN_BREAK]reported. It was the fourth straight week of decreases in loan application activity.On an unadjusted basis, the index declined 9 percent week-over-week.Refinance applications increased 0.1 percent from the previous week, with refinances making up 66 percent of total application volume (up from 64 percent).That gain was offset by a slight drop in the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, which was down 0.2 percent compared to the previous week. (The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 6 percent week-over-week, ending the week 35 percent higher than the same time last year.)The slight falloff in application volume accompanied a similarly small increase in mortgage rates. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage last week was 4.48 percent, up from 4.46 percent. However, with points falling to 0.31 (including the origination fee), MBA noted the effective rate was actually down from the prior week.center_img November 27, 2013 426 Views Sharelast_img read more

NonDistressed Sales Prices Up 03 in December

first_imgNon-Distressed Sales Prices Up 0.3% in December Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Home prices nationally rose at a seasonally unadjusted rate of 0.3 percent in December, continuing the pace slow, steady monthly gains that started in September, FNC reported in its latest Residential Price Index (RPI).While slightly down from November’s 0.4 percent rate of growth, December’s price gains reflect greater stability in the non-distressed market, FNC says—especially when measured next to the larger price movement in the single-family housing market.“Unlike overall price measures that include distressed sales (which recently have shown signs of weakening), home prices of normal sales have been rising at steady and sustainable levels—about 0.3-0.5 percent per month,” FNC said.The narrower 30- and 10-city composites exhibited similar monthly changes at +0.4 percent and +0.5 percent, respectively.While monthly increases were moderate, yearly gains were more dramatic. As of December, the RPI was up 8.7 percent over the year prior, indicating the fastest yearly growth since the recovery began in 2012, FNC says.Breaking down the index of the nation’s top 30 markets, FNC recorded declines from November to December in more than a third, with Cincinnati leading the way at -1.5 percent. Topping the list in gains was Miami at +1.7 percent, followed by the usual high-ranking cities of Riverside and Phoenix at +1.6 percent and +1.5 percent, respectively.On a yearly basis, only one city—St. Louis—posted depreciation. Positive growth was led by Sacramento, where prices surged 30.4 percent compared to December 2012. California’s capital was just one of several cities to see home prices end the year with the largest growth since the recovery’s beginning, according to the company.center_img February 18, 2014 448 Views FNC Inc. Home Prices 2014-02-18 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Congress Grills Wells Fargo CEO Over Controversy

first_img Share Congress Grills Wells Fargo CEO Over Controversy September 20, 2016 721 Views CFPB John Stumpf OCC Senate Banking Committee Wells Fargo 2016-09-20 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Share Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf sat before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday and profusely apologized for the controversy that has rocked all sectors of the financial industry in the last two weeks.On September 8, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office fined Wells Fargo a combined total of $185 million for opening approximately two million unauthorized credit card accounts without consumers’ knowledge in order to meet sales quotas. The bank has fired 5,300 employees over the last five years over the controversy.Despite Stumpf’s apologies, the members of the Senate Banking Committee were less than kind during their statements and questioning at Tuesday’s hearing.“While much has been written about these events, I believe there are several questions that warrant answers,” Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said in his opening statement. “First, when did this conduct start at Wells Fargo and why were the regulators unaware of this growing problem? Second, when did Mr. Stumpf and his senior management become aware of these activities and how did they respond? Third, have all of the appropriate Wells Fargo employees been held accountable and to what extent? Finally, where were the federal regulators while certain Wells Fargo employees were taking advantage of unsuspecting customers over a period of many years? Here is what we do know—Wells Fargo’s internal review only covers unauthorized accounts dating back to 2011. News reports and court documents suggest these problems might have existed long before then.”Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said in his testimony that “I want to make clear that the unsafe and unsound sales practices at the Bank, including the opening and manipulation of fee generating customer accounts without the customer’s authorization, are completely unacceptable and have no place in the federal banking system. They reflect a lack of effective risk management, a breakdown in controls, and an inappropriate incentive structure. The actions announced on September 8, 2016, are intended to remediate and deter such practices and underscore the importance of robust risk management throughout the federal banking system.”According to CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s testimony at the hearing, “The gravity and breadth of the fraud that occurred at Wells Fargo cannot be pushed aside as the stray misconduct of just a few bad apples. As one former federal prosecutor has aptly noted, the stunning nature and scale of these practices reflects instead the consequences of a diseased orchard.”In his testimony before the Committee on Tuesday, Stumpf—who has worked for Wells Fargo for 35 years—did not attempt to pass the blame.John Stumpf“I am deeply sorry that we failed to fulfill our responsibility to our customers, to our team members, and to the American public,” Stumpf said in a prepared statement. “I want to apologize for violating the trust our customers have invested in Wells Fargo. And I want to apologize for not doing more sooner to address the causes of this unacceptable activity.”Stumpf continued, “I accept full responsibility for all unethical sales practices in our retail banking business, and I am fully committed to fixing this issue, strengthening our culture, and taking the necessary actions to restore our customers’ trust. I want to make it very clear that we never directed nor wanted our team members to provide products and services to customers that they did not need or want. That is not good for our customers, and it is not good for our business. It is against everything we stand for as a company.”In his testimony, Stumpf outlined a number of key actions the bank has taken to ensure that its goals are aligned with customers’ best interests. Those actions include eliminating product sales goals for Wells Fargo’s retail banking business; and sending a confirmation email to customers within an hour of opening a new account and sending a letter of acknowledgement to customers after they submit a credit card application.Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) was critical of the bank’s reaction to the controversy, however, stating that while Stumpf claimed accountability, the bank’s actions did not indicate such.“Wells Fargo claims to have made things right with its customers,” Brown said in his opening statement. “But its efforts have been incomplete—for example, it’s not clear that PwC calculated the cost of a lower credit score, which might be paid every month for 30 years. And at times, the bank has been downright hostile to aggrieved customers.”Brown also claimed that the 5,300 deposed employees were held accountable for the bank’s actions while at the same time he believes the bank’s executives were not.“Ms. Carrie Tolstedt, the Senior Executive Vice President for Community Banking, has done quite well,” Brown said. “She knew of this problem at least five years ago, and is retiring with a package that may be worth more than the CFPB’s record fine of $100 million dollars. So 5,300 team members, earning perhaps $30,000 a year, have lost their jobs, while Ms. Tolstedt walks away with $100 million, give or take.”Perhaps the least kind of all the Senate Banking Committee members was prominent Wall Street foe Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), who one week after the Wells Fargo controversy broke petitioned the Department of Justice Inspector General to conduct an investigation of the DOJ for the Department’s lack of prosecutions of individuals over potential law-breaking related to the financial crisis in 2008.“This is about accountability,” Warren said in grilling Stumpf on Tuesday. “You should resign, you should give back the money you took while this scam was going on and you should be criminally investigated by both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The only way that Wall Street will change is if executives face jail time when they preside over massive frauds. Until then it will be business as usual, and at giant banks like Wells Fargo, that seems to mean cheating as many customers, investors and employees as they possibly can.”When reached by email, a Wells Fargo spokesperson told MReport that the bank had no comment on Warren’s questioning, but did note that Stumpf “apologized to and took accountability for letting down our customers, our team members and the public. He also laid out a proactive plan for strengthening the culture of Wells Fargo’s retail bank and for regaining the trust of our customers, our shareholders and the American people.”last_img read more

The Challenge Facing FirstTime Buyers

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News The Challenge Facing First-Time Buyers First-Time Homebuyers 2016-11-21 MirashaBrown The current supply of affordable housing inventory is not meeting the demand of first-time buyers. First American’s Potential Home Sales Model for October 2016 revealed that a lack of available housing for first-time homebuyers is preventing the market from reaching its true potential.First American’s potential homes sales model measures a healthy market of home sales based on economic, demographic and housing market environments. The model reported that there was a 4.5-month supply decrease in September, down from 4.6 in August. The shortage has caused prices to spike at 5.3 percent since last year, according to First American.The model reported a drop in home sales due to the decline in supply and increase in demand from homebuyers. Potential existing-home sales have increased to a 5.9 million seasonally adjusted annualized rate, which is a 97.4 percent growth from the market potential low in December 2008. The market potential for existing-home sales in October grew by 6.7 percent compared to 2015.Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American, mentioned the decline of starter home sales, which are homes listed for under $100,000. Starter home sales dropped 10.2 percent year-over-year in October.The unemployment rate has remained stable at 4.9 percent from September to October, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, hourly wages have increased by 2.8 percent since 2015 up to a post-crisis high point and continuing an upward trend for incomes.“When considering the right time to buy or sell a home, an important factor should be the market’s overall health, which is largely a function of supply and demand,” said Fleming. “Knowing how close the market is to a healthy level of activity can help consumers determine if it is a good time to buy or sell, and what might happen to the market in the future.”Potential home sales measures existing-homes sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate based on the historical relationship between existing-home sales and U.S. population demographic data, income and labor market conditions in the U.S. economy, price trends in the U.S. housing market, and conditions in the financial marketcenter_img Share November 21, 2016 470 Views last_img read more

Will FHA Further Cut MI Premiums

first_img Share It has been two years since the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lowered its mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points down to 0.85 percent.The move two years ago was designed to make homeownership more affordable for first-time homebuyers trying to enter the market. The FHA estimated at the time of the move that it would save homeowners approximately $900 annually.Reducing the MI premium two years ago drew praise from some, but at the same time was a highly controversial move—at the time, the Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) fund’s capital ratio was at 0.41 percent, less than a quarter of the 2 percent threshold required by Congress. Critics of the move accused the FHA of cutting off a potential revenue stream when the capital ratio was so far below the Congressionally-mandated level.Since then, the MMI fund’s capital ratio has increased up to 2.32 percent to a value of $27.8 billion as of the end of FY2016. In fact, it was above 2 percent at the end of FY2015, which fueled speculation of future mortgage insurance premium cuts by the FHA. Some in the industry openly called for further reduction to the MI premium, such as the National Association of Realtors last April.Critics of the reduction say a further reduction would exposed taxpayers to more risk. FHA was forced to take a $1.7 billion taxpayer-funded bailout in 2013 to cover the losses it suffered in the aftermath of the financial crisis.Rumors of another reduction to the FHA’s MI premium have been further driven by the fact that the Obama Administration is nearing its conclusion. Would Obama make a move with only two weeks left in office?Tobias Peter and Stephen Oliner of the American Enterprise Institute for International Housing Risk recently said a further MI premium cut by the FHA would be a “serious mistake,” particularly with the substantial increase to mortgage interest rates over the last two months. Peter and Oliner maintain that a further reduction to the MI premium would not help affordability, but would have the opposite effect.“The higher mortgage rate, combined with house prices that have continued to rise briskly in many markets, will crimp affordability for first-time buyers,” Peter and Oliner wrote. “In addition, FHA announced in November that the capital position of its insurance fund stood above the congressionally mandated minimum level for the second year in a row, allowing the administration to argue that it has ample financial room to address a worsening affordability problem.”FHA estimated two years ago at the time of the MI premium reduction that the move would allow approximately 250,000 new homebuyers to enter the market over the next three years. AEI estimates that only approximately 35,000 first-time homebuyers entered the market in 2015 after the premium reduction who could not have afforded to buy a house without the MI premium cut, which is less than half of the 83,000 per year (one-third of 250,000) FHA predicted. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums 2017-01-05 Seth Welborncenter_img January 5, 2017 631 Views Will FHA Further Cut MI Premiums?last_img read more

Home Prices in Some ZIP Codes Average Seven Figures

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Using data from Zillow, GoBankingRates.com narrowed down which ZIP codes in all 50 states were the most expensive. The median home price in each ZIP determines each area’s ranking on the list.Notoriously expensive New York state ranks high on the list, but surprisingly, New York’s most expensive ZIP code is not in Manhattan. Manhattan’s cost of living may be double the national average, but ZIP code 11976 in Water Mill, New York is the most expensive ZIP code in the state. The median home price in this area is $3,798,500.Another surprising find is in California. The famous 90210 ZIP code is not the most expensive ZIP code in the state, that title belongs to 94027 in Atherton, California. Not only the most expensive ZIP in California, Atherton is the most expensive ZIP in the U.S. According to a study by Forbes and Altos Research from 2016, New York and California held some of the top positions in the country in terms of high home prices. MReport had previously reported on the pricing-out of some people in these areas. Most major cities in California are too expensive for the average single person, and unaffordability is the norm. In Manhattan monthly payments on a one-bedroom home can exceed 30 percent of the average income. Florida is another notoriously expensive state. The Forbes report from last year ranked ZIP code 33462 in Manalaplan, Florida as the No. 1 most expensive ZIP code in the country. The recent report from GoBankingRates.com notes the current most expensive ZIP in Florida, 33921 in Boca Grande, has a median home price of $1,313,600. Median home prices are in the millions in Hawaii, as well. Home prices in ZIP code 96821 in Honolulu have a median value of $1,295,400.The least expensive ZIP code on the list is in the town of Oxford, Maine. Oxford’s 04270 ZIP code is the most expensive ZIP in the state, but the median home price for this ZIP is only $127,400. An important note, however, is that the report from GoBankingRates.com only covered two zip codes in the state. According to Zillow, this zip code didn’t bottom out until 2014, unlike the rest of the country which bottomed out in 2012. Home Prices in Some ZIP Codes Average Seven Figures Home Prices National rates Zillow 2017-03-13 Staff Writercenter_img March 13, 2017 668 Views Sharelast_img read more

Auctioncom Appoints Chief Product and Technology Officer

first_img Share Auction.com Appoints Chief Product and Technology Officer February 25, 2019 759 Views in Headlines, News, REO, Technologycenter_img appointment Auction.com Foreclosure HOUSING jason Allnut property Ravi Singh REO technology 2019-02-25 Radhika Ojha California-headquartered Auction.com, a real estate marketplace for distressed asset disposition, has announced the appointment of technology innovator Ravi Singh as Chief Product and Technology Officer. In this role, Singh will oversee Auction.com’s combined product, technology, and engineering functions, while expanding the company’s suite of technology products. He will report to Jason Allnut, CEO, Auction.com.“Ravi’s proven leadership aligns perfectly with Auction.com’s focus on growth and innovation,” Allnutt said. “I look forward to supporting Ravi as he continues advancing Auction’s technological capabilities and evolving our next generation of disruptive technologies such as Auction Interact™. This suite of interactive products– including Portfolio Interact™ for sellers and Foreclosure Interact™ mobile app for buyers–will fully digitize the REO and courthouse experiences, enabling a seamless, transparent and real-time transaction.”Most recently, as Executive Director of Demco, Singh led the software division where he structured a merger of two companies and created a new platform that has become the foundation for its product infrastructure. Prior to that as SVP of Technology at Tillster, Singh was instrumental in building and executing the vision of an omnichannel e-commerce solution for clients like Burger King, Yum Brands, and Baskin Robbins among others in multiple countries. As VP, Engineering and Product Development at MediaShift, Singh drove product development and strategy.“Auction.com’s technology – complemented by its world-class marketing, precise operational execution, and a relentless focus on clients and growth – is how it has grown to be the real estate disposition leader,” Singh said. “My focus will be to partner with our internal teams and continue strengthening our technology infrastructure and delivering cutting-edge solutions for our clients and customers.”In 2005, Singh founded NaviVision and built a semantic search and product matching engine that analyzed products across multiple channels and aggregated like products for analytics and business intelligence. NaviVision had a successful exit in 2010.last_img read more

A recent study looking at 40 years of data claim

first_img A recent study, looking at 40 years of data, claims that Western appetites for foods like avocados, coffee and citrus fruit are threatening global food security, The Independent reports.Global diversity has declined as monocultures of crops including soybean, canola and palm take up more land than ever. July 12 , 2019 Q&A: Westfalia Fruit on EU avocado market’s i … You might also be interested in These crops only provide nutrition for pollinators during a very limited window when they are in bloom. This makes them an unstable source of food for insects, whose global numbers are already rapidly in decline. Heavy use of fertilisers has exacerbated this trend.“Farmers are growing more crops that require pollination, such as fruits, nuts and oil seeds, because there’s an increasing demand for them and they have a higher market value,” said David Inouye at the University of Maryland and a co-author of the research paper.“This study points out that these current trends are not great for pollinators, and countries that diversify their agricultural crops are going to benefit more than those that expand with only a limited subset of crops.”Read the full article here.center_img U.S.: Border closure threat sends Mexican Hass avo … Mexico forecasts record-breaking avocado exports t … U.S.: California’s avocado supply remains tight bu … last_img read more

In 2016 more than 93000 Australian passport hold

first_imgIn 2016, more than 93,000 Australian passport holders visited Macao, an increase on the previous year’s figure. A majority arrived from Hong Kong via the high-speed ferry transfer.Now Macao and Xiamen Airlines have come together to launch a new campaign aimed at Aussie travellers, that offers an alternative route to the traditional Hong Kong flight path, with travellers having the chance to visit and explore the beautiful Chinese coastal city of Xiamen en route to Macao.It’s the first time the Chinese airline has teamed with the Macao Government Tourism Office (Australia) to offer a dedicated fare, with the offer including a complimentary night’s stay in Xiamen (6-24hrs) along with a free coach tour of the city, popular for its beaches and colonial past.In another plus for travellers, a China visa is not required if spending up to 72 hours in Xiamen, and Macao is visa-free for Australian passport holders staying no more than 30 days.One Fare-Two Cities return air fares to Macao are priced from $768* per person from Sydney or Melbourne.“This is a very exciting venture between airline and destination which should build on our numbers of Australian holidaymakers to Macao,” said Helen Wong, general manager of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Australia. “Merge the low air fare with some attractive accommodation offers and we have the makings of an affordable Macao experience.”Mr Yang Hua Chen, general manager of Xiamen Airlines (Australia), also welcomed the new link with Xiamen and Macao and said it was yet another example of Mainland China’s “One Belt, One Road” economic and strategic initiative. In further emphasising the importance of the Australian route to Xiamen Airlines, Mr Chen said his airline was the only Chinese-based carrier to service Australia with the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.Both MGTO and Xiamen Airlines will host a series of travel industry workshops in Sydney over the next two months to coincide with giant shopping centre exhibitions for consumers. Those expos will be highlighted by the exclusive 360-degree (virtual reality) showings of Macao and the airline, beginning with a four-day event at Parramatta Westfield on July 6-9, 2017.Further shopping centre events will be staged at Castle Towers, Castle Hill from July 20-23, Chatswood Chase from August 3-6 and Eastgardens Westfield from August 17-20. Travel industry workshops will also take place in Melbourne.*The Xiamen Airlines $768 fare to Macao applies to tickets booked before October 30, 2017IMAGE: Sydney lunch on 3 July 2017 L-R – Jason Jiang, sales executive Xiamen Airlines, Mike Smith, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Helen Wong, general manager MGTO Australia, Yang Hua Chen, general manager Xiamen Airlines Australia, and Alex Ding, sales manager Xiamen Airlines. China Xiamen AirlinesMacaoMacao Government Tourism OfficeXiamenlast_img read more

luxury traveltravel trendsVirtuoso

first_imgluxury traveltravel trendsVirtuoso There are currently 120 Australian-based luxury travel advisors in Las Vegas, attending the 29th annual Virtuoso Travel Week event, taking place from 12-18 August. The opportunity to join over 5,500 travel professionals from across the world has led to a fair amount of networking and brainstorming with Virtuoso travel advisors putting forward their collective vibe on the latest trends for high-end Australian travellers. With its agency members representing the strongest sales force in luxury travel, Virtuoso is uniquely qualified to anticipate coming trends and is recognised as an authoritative voice within the industry. A new survey of the network’s professional travel advisors in Australia has revealed where upscale travellers will be heading this summer – and top of the list, not surprisingly, is cruise!“The growth in momentum for cruising shows no sign of slowing as the cruise sector again tops the survey results,” Virtuoso Asia Pacific Managing Director, Michael Londregan said from Las Vegas today. “The cruise sector has comprehensively diversified to ensure they have product for every segment of the market with smaller ship luxury, expedition, river and sailing vessels, and Australians are in love with cruising boasting the strongest per capita cruise markets in the world.“In the past 12 months alone, we have been privileged to experience the arrival of the most luxurious cruise vessels ever built and many of our travel agency members, and their clients, have already seen the new level of luxury on offer. “The cabins are better described as elegant suites, the dining is delivered in boutique world-class restaurants and the spa facilities are complete on-board retreats.“This new class of upscale cruising continues to provide the ideal platform to explore unique corners of the world with touring that delivers expert insights and authentic experiences for the entire family.”Virtuoso’s survey of Australian based luxury travel advisors also revealed:• Cruising is king: Luxury cruising is the number one travel trend and, when combined with adventure, ocean and river, there is no holding back Australia’s love of cruising holidays. Multigenerational travel follows, with beach resort stays taking third place.• We like our icons: The Great Barrier Reef is the number one domestic destination for luxury travellers, followed by The Kimberleys and Australian coastal cruising, and Uluru takes third place.• We love Europe: If your social media feed left you thinking all your friends are holidaying in Europe, Virtuoso’s research backs this up. Italy is the leading destination for Australians, followed by Spain (tied with the United States) and Croatia. Australians also love Japan, which took third place with Croatia.• Experience is luxury: The chance to explore new destinations is the number one motivator for Australian luxury travellers and these travellers are also looking to have authentic experiences, while relaxation and rest was the third most popular reason Virtuoso clients are travelling right now.The survey also shows Australian luxury travel advisors are enjoying strong sales growth, with 75% reporting an increase in sales on the previous year.IMAGE: Cruising is King – The Colonnade onboard the luxury Seabourn Encorelast_img read more

While it looks likely the Tennessee Titans will ta

first_imgWhile it looks likely the Tennessee Titans will take a page from The Godfather and make Hasselbeck “an offer he can’t refuse,” it’s good to know that Ken Whisenhunt’s team isn’t putting all their eggs in the Kevin Kolb basket. They are being aggressive and kicking the tires on many options at the quarterback position and that should help assure they land the right one in the end.Will Hasselbeck likely wind up as that option? Doubtful, but as long as he doesn’t wind up back with the division rival Seahawks, it’s a win for the Cardinals. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation 0 Comments   Share   D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories center_img Kevin Kolb might not be the only quarterback the Arizona Cardinals are checking in on now that the lockout has been lifted. In fact, they may have their eyes on a veteran Cardinals fans are familiar with.Reports from the Seattle Times have the Cards placing a call to Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.One thing that is becoming clear: Matt Hasselbeck’s options.He is an unrestricted free agent, the top quarterback in the class, and while it’s early — just the first hour when teams can contact players — the list of teams in play are Seattle, Arizona, San Francisco, Tennessee and Miami. Those are listed in no particular order.Hasselbeck may not be the first quarterback on the Cardinals wish list but as backup plans go, there are a lot worse options (see: Anderson, Derek). What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

The production didnt wane much from his final yea

first_img The production didn’t wane much from his final year in New England to his first in Arizona, but Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones fell 37 spots over the past two offseasons in NFL Network’s list of the top 100 players for 2017.Jones was voted by his peers as the 85th-best player in this offseason’s list after being ranked as the 48th-best player heading into his debut season with Arizona. Jones backed up the NFL-wide respect by recording 49 tackles, including 11 sacks, to go with four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 2016. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones, left, hits Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford as he tries to pass during the second half of an NFL football game, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) 0 Comments   Share   “What? Chandler Jones had a good year? Shocking,” Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels told NFL Network with a hint of sarcasm. “He’s like that guy who as a kid, everyone wants him on your team because he can just play ball. He clearly is having fun out there. He enjoys what he’s doing — it’s obvious. That’s why he makes the plays he makes.”.@ChanJones55 has the third-most sacks in the @NFL over the past two seasons. #NFLTop100 pic.twitter.com/jkai0jdUEL— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) May 2, 2017The 2016 season for Jones was on-par with his numbers posted in 2015 for the Patriots: 44 tackles, 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception.Jones was a Pro Bowl alternate last season, and his production was strong enough to earn him a hefty five-year extension with Arizona that could reach $83 million in earnings.As for the Cardinals, Jones is the team’s first representative to make NFL Network’s list, which will be released in groups of 10 over the course of the next few weeks.Former Cardinals teammate Calais Campbell appeared just ahead of Jones at 83rd on the list. With Arizona last season, the 30-year-old Campbell registered 53 tackles, eight sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception.center_img Campbell credited some of his own success with playing next to the 27-year-old pass-rusher.“Chandler is as good as they come,” Campbell told NFL Network. “He loves playing the game of football and rushing the passer, man. You need guys around you to be exceptional. I’ll miss playing with him.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona could be the beneficiary of the potential turnover in New England when it comes to the next coach.After interviewing with the team last Saturday, there was little information on Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores regarding the meeting, but a recent report may indicate the coach is still very much in the running for the job. Top Stories New England Patriots safeties coach Brian Flores, right, walks on the sideline during practice Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, in Tempe, Ariz. The Patriots play the Seattle Seahawks in NFL football Super Bowl XLIX Sunday, Feb. 1. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) 15 Comments   Share   center_img According to reports, Flores was the fifth coach the Cardinals met with following the departure of Bruce Arians. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Good chance the Patriots lose both coordinators to HC jobs, but LB coach Brian Flores is very much in play in Arizona, per league sources, meaning New England could potentially lose three assistants to HC jobs.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2018Flores has been with the Patriots since 2004, working all the way up from a scouting assistant at the age of 23 to the safeties coach in 2012. He spent four seasons with the safeties before turning his focus to the linebackers. The Cardinals are reportedly the only team that requested an interview with the Patriots linebackers coach the past two seasons.last_img read more

Chatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok Thailand has a

first_imgChatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok, Thailand, has announced the launch of the Flow Oasis Pool lounge, located on the 4th floor.It features a brand new, furnished sitting area and offers light snacks,cocktails and a Mediterranean menu.“The Flow Oasis Pool Lounge is Chatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok’s signature pool bar concept with a twist. Combining the modern ‘crafted by nature’ castaway island design theme with a transformational personality, it changes from a ‘Slow Days’ lounger into the ‘Happening Nights’ hang out hotspot. We would like our guests to be able to explore the flavours of our delicious Sip & Dip creations, hang out with friends, share moments with family and enjoy the oasis lifestyle around the iconic long wood table. Our culinary team creates casual dining from tapas to a full meal throughout the day. Flow Oasis Pool Lounge is your new secret spot to escape the everyday” said Mr. Magne Hansen, General Manager of Chatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok.The Flow Oasis Pool Lounge can host up to 40 people.Chatrium Residence Sathorn, Bangkoklast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Qantas the Museum o

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Qantas, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Tate have today announced an International Joint Acquisition Program for contemporary Australian art. Made possible through a $2.75 million corporate gift from the Qantas Foundation, this collaboration will increase the international profile of contemporary Australian art as part of the national carrier’s role of championing Australia.The gift will enable an ambitious five-year joint program through which a range of major works by contemporary Australian artists will be acquired for the collections of MCA and Tate, owned and displayed by both institutions.The artworks acquired will range across media and expected to date from the late 1960s through to the present. This will significantly enhance both organisation’s holdings of Australian art, while transforming the opportunities for international audiences to connect with contemporary Australian art and artists.Following the Qantas Foundation’s gift, the MCA and Tate will coordinate the research and acquisition of selected artists’ works. A selection of the first artworks acquired will be presented at the MCA in 2016, before heading to Tate.Qantas Group Executive of Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth, said: “As Australia’s national carrier we’re all about taking the best of Australia to the world.  We are excited to be working with two leading institutions in the MCA, and the Tate, to provide opportunities for global audiences connect with Australian art and artists.“Qantas has a long history of supporting the arts including the Flying Art series and Qantas Foundation Encouragement of Australian Contemporary Art Awards, and we are thrilled to be extending our contribution with this program.“We look forward to celebrating Australian artists and their work on the world stage.”Museum of Contemporary Art Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said: “One of our core missions is to present Australia’s contemporary artists in an international context, stimulate dialogue and raise their profile on the global art scene. So we are very excited about what this collaboration means for Australian artists.”“We are extremely grateful to Qantas – one of the MCA’s long-standing Major Partners – for their incredibly generous gift and visionary support of Australian artists. We are thrilled to be working with Tate – a world leader in collecting and presenting contemporary art from around the world.”Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “In recent years Tate has made great progress in presenting a more international view of art, but this is only possible with the expertise and support of other organisations. Thanks to the generosity of the Qantas Foundation, this new collaboration with the MCA will ensure both collections can represent Australian art at its best and its connections with the wider Asia-Pacific context.”The MCA and Tate will now begin their research with the aim of acquiring a number of major pieces over the next five years.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter After a 12month soft o

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAfter a 12-month soft opening period, Bawah Reserve, a luxury private island eco-retreat in the heart of the Indonesian Anambas Archipelago, has officially opened. Situated 258 kilometres northeast of Singapore, Barwah Reserve transcends a traditional holiday experience, where barefoot luxury meets environmental conservation.With an unrivalled dedication to marine conservation, Bawah Reserve is a haven for the endlessly passionate and curious adventurer and discerning eco-traveller, allowing guests to foster their creativity and unplug from their hyper-connected lives.Founded in 2017 by Tim Hartnoll and designed by esteemed Sim Boon Yang, Bawah Reserve is an ecologically sound destination with the preservation of the island’s natural beauty of paramount importance. An untouched paradise comprising six islands, three azure-blue lagoons and encased by 13 pristine beaches, Bawah is a project of love designed to integrate guests with nature. Retaining Bawah’s mission of providing a luxurious, authentic travel experience in a sustainable and community-enriching manner, all 35 eco-designed tented suites boast either crystal lagoon or romantic sunset views or gardens cocooned in natural foliage and flora, each of which are handmade with materials such as bamboo and recycled teak.There are four suites from which to choose, the 70-square-metre Garden Suite and Beach Suite, the 105-square-metre Overwater Bungalow and the 150-square-metre Deluxe Beach Suite.Immersing in experiences harmonious with nature, guests are offered a plethora of dream land- and water-based itinerary activities including hiking through untouched rainforests; swimming at secluded Coconut Beach; windsurfing, kayaking or paddle boarding between the five islands; or snorkelling among parrotfish, clownfish and turtles. The resort also offers inclusive treatments from Bawah’s holistic wellness centre Aura Spa including yoga, Pilates, meditation, facials and massage. Visit www.bawahreserve.com for more information.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more