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Tunisia weighs new security approach as tourists flee


first_imgTourists stand near the scene of a shooting attack on Friday in Sousse, Tunisia, Saturday, June 27, 2015. The morning after a lone gunman killed dozens of people at a beach resort in Tunisia, busloads of tourists are heading to the nearby Enfidha-Hammamet airport hoping to return to their home countries. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Mesa family survives lightning strike to home ___This story has been corrected to show the surname of the British tourist is Preece, not Price. A previous version of this story was corrected to show that the gunman killed 38 people, not 39.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. North Africa analyst Geoff Porter noted that in the short term, these measures will only drive the extremists underground and create a militarized feel to the country that might well discourage tourism.“Tunisia’s in a difficult position, you can harden a tourist site and make it more difficult to attack but the same measures would deter tourists,” he said. “Tourists don’t want to come and lie on a beach with guys with AK-47s.”And Tunisia needs these tourists, especially in the coastal resort areas like Sousse where it is the dominant industry. Tourist made up nearly 15 percent of gross domestic product in 2014 and it has been struggling to recover after the shocks of the Arab Spring revolution.The attack was claimed by the radical Islamic State group, which thousands of Tunisians, disaffected with the lack of opportunity in the wake of the 2011 overthrow of secular President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, have joined.The attack came the same day that a suicide bomber killed 27 people in a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and a man in France ran his truck into a warehouse and hung his employer’s severed head on the gate.The attack in Kuwait was also claimed by the Islamic State and on Saturday thousands of people took part in a mass funeral procession. Police said they are interrogating a number of suspects with possible links to the bombing, which was claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State group. Extremists have increasingly attacked soldiers and politicians in Tunisia over the past few years, but it was only with the March museum attack that it began targeting the tourism life blood of the country that will only deepen its economic crisis.The presence of a few people still on the beaches a day after the attack does give some glimmers of hope, especially if world memory is short and people return attracted by the low prices and white sands of the beach.“We want to see our holiday out,” said Peter Phillips of Wales as he stood on the beach not far from where the attack happened.It all may hinge, however, on whether the government can put an end to these attacks, which senior security official Rafik Chelli called an “isolated incident” that is difficult to guard against and could happen anywhere.“If this attack doesn’t do it, any subsequent attack will,” Porter said. “It is hard to envision Tunisian tourism recovering from this attack and impossible to envision it recovering from a third one.”___Paul Schemm reported from Rabat. Associated Press reporters Elaine Ganley and Benjamin Wiacek in Sousse, Tunisia, and Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin contributed to this report. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist When a 24-year-old Master’s student at Kairouan University strolled on to the Sousse beach and pulled out a Kalashnikov assault rifle and grenades hidden inside his beach umbrella, he was sounding the death knell for Tunisia’s 2015 tourist season.Tunisian authorities identified the attacker as Seifeddine Rezgui, saying he killed 38 people, 15 of them British, as well as German, Irish, Belgian and Portuguese victims, and sent thousands of tourists fleeing to airports. The wounded included 24 Britons, seven Tunisians, three Belgians, and a German, Russian and Ukrainian.“It’s the first time I’ve ever been on holiday and feared for my life,” said British tourist Matthew Preece, adding it was his third time visiting Tunisia and likely his last. “So obviously you can’t come back somewhere it’s not safe.”Tourists and employees are returning home with tales of horror cowering in rooms or offices as the killer stalked through the hotel wearing shorts.European countries and tour operators sent planes to evacuate their citizens. By midday Saturday, nine flights had whisked away 1,400 people, according to Mohammed Walid Ben Ghachem, manager of the Enfidha-Hammamet Airport near Sousse. At the Imperial Marhaba Hotel itself, the guests had left, according to manager Mohammed Becheur.“We may have zero clients today, but we will keep our staff,” he said, lamenting the 75-percent occupancy rate the day before. “This summer will be hard, but we are very confident for the long term.”On the beach, there were still a few tourists from neighboring hotels. Some laid flowers at the site of the attack while police patrolling on horseback moved down the beach and security boats patrolled the waters.Armed men on the beach may well become a more common sight in Tunisia, as Prime Minister Habib Essid announced a raft of new security measures that many have questioned why they weren’t implemented after the last horrific attack against tourists in March at the National Bardo Museum that killed 22.“It’s clear that the government’s security policy requires a massive revision, in the sense that most of the tourist sites weren’t well-protected,” Tunisian security analyst Alaya Allani said. “If the measures announced are well implemented, we could reduce but not eradicate terrorism.”Essid called up the army reserves and said there would now be armed men in the hotels and at tourists sites and he also promised to crack down on unregulated mosques that preached extremist ideas and close down organizations with shadowy funding and extremist links. TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Thousands of tourists fled from Tunisia on Saturday after the country’s worst terrorist attack killed 38 people — including 15 Britons — as the government struggles to prevent future jihadi attacks against the all-important tourism sector.New measures to increase the numbers of troops on the streets and crack down on organizations with radical links, however, won’t bring the tourists back in the short-term, further threatening the fragile economy. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 0 Comments   Share   The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more


Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi won the PATA gold award 2010 in the


first_imgSource = Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Graham Greene suite The Sofitel Legend Metropole will glitter again at the PATA Gold Awards 2010 ceremony, taking place on 17 September in Macau, accepting the gold award in the Heritage category.The award lauds the hotel for its refurbishment of one of Southeast Asia’s most treasured properties. Sofitel relaunched the Metropole in 2009 as the hotel group’s first Legend property.“The challenge for any hotel in the Heritage category is achievement of a very delicate balance between celebration of historical charm, and satisfaction of tomorrow’s expectation,” said Kai Speth, General Manager of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. “Where so many hotels are only thinking about today and tomorrow, we have an obligation to think about today, tomorrow and yesterday. The PATA Award persuades us that we’re on the right track.”The refurbishment maintained the original architecture since 1901, enhanced with the development of new facilities, the creation of themed suites and a range of guest’s experience according to the way of living heritage within the spirit of centennial establishment. The restoration began in 2004 and was revealed as a “fait accompli” last year with the launch of Sofitel Legend. The new facilities include, Angelina, a chic Italian restaurant that raised the bar on sophisticated nightlife in Hanoi. The hotel also opened Le Spa du Metropole last year. Remarkably, this was the first spa to be opened in the hotel’s 108-year history.The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi’s themed suites indulge the property’s connections to legendary people like Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, each of whom stayed at the hotel. Located in the historic, 1901-built wing, each of these suites is imbued with colonial-era aesthetics.“When you’re in the Graham Greene suite, it’s not that difficult to imagine him sitting here, churning out the 500 words he was reputed to do every day like clockwork,” said Speth. “Being able to imagine that – to fall into that time warp, if you will – is exactly the kind of spell we’re trying to cast.” Le BeaulieuLe Spa du Metropole Angelina Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi – exterior Le Spa du Metropole – exteriorlast_img read more


Mandarin Oriental Tokyo attains 1 ranking in Institutional Investor


first_imgSource = Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group 11 properties from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group ranked in the Top 100 list. Tokyo awarded #1 ranking in the world; Mandarin Oriental, New York #3 in the worldMandarin Oriental Hotel Group achieved extraordinary high marks in the 30th annual “World’s Best Hotels” rankings in the November issue of Institutional Investor magazine. Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo took the coveted number one spot, as ‘Best Hotel in the World’. Mandarin Oriental, New York was voted third best hotel worldwide, and a further nine Mandarin Oriental properties were ranked in Top 100 list.  In addition, Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, Boston and Geneva were also voted as the ‘Best Hotels’ in their respective cities. Institutional Investor’s exclusive rankings of the Top 100 hotels are determined by scores from an elite group of voters – CEOs and other senior executives from the U.S., Asia and Europe. Respondents were asked to rate hotels on rooms, service, food/dining, location and overall design. The recognition awarded to Mandarin Oriental properties in this prestigious publication, is a testament to the Group’s continued commitment to excellence. The list of Mandarin Oriental hotels chosen for the esteemed publication’s awards were: Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo (#1 Overall; #1 in Tokyo); Mandarin Oriental, New York (#3; #1 in New York); Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong (#12); Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco (#13 Overall; #1 in San Francisco); Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. (#31); Mandarin Oriental, Boston (#37 Overall; #1 in Boston); Mandarin Oriental, Singapore (#47); Mandarin Oriental, Miami (#48); Mandarin Oriental, Geneva (#59 Overall; #1 in Geneva); Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London (#63); Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok (#93).last_img read more


HAPPY VALENTINES DAY Travel amps up your sex appeal


first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J. Keen and experienced travellers are sexier than the average Joe, according to a new study.An Intrepid Travel survey conducted on online dating site, My Single Friend, found eight in ten lonely hearts find a potential partner more attractive if their dating profile has an interest in travel.Nine in ten of those surveyed said travel peaked their interest because it made potential dates more adventurous, 84 percent said travellers come across as more curious about the world and 75 percent said it made them more open-minded.Only one in five admitted that they’re attracted to travelling singles because it could mean their potential partner has money to splurge.Despite the interest in travel, less than half of those surveyed use a travel picture for their dating profile, although most list it under interests.The study also found most singles will wait between two and six months before going away with a new partner, while 56 percent admitted to having a holiday romance.Agree or totally disagree? Does travelling make a potential partner sexier in your eyes? last_img read more


Breaking Bad boosts Albuquerque tourism


first_imgAlbuquerque tourism has been boosted, following the popularity of hit television show Breaking Bad.Albuquerque, New Mexico has witnessed an unexpected increase in visitors wishing to tour sites seen on the drama series, now in its fifth and final season, the Morning Sentinel reported.The Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau created a website detailing the location of popular sites to aid touristic fans, while some local businesses run tours relating to the show.Celebrated spots include the suburban home of fictional character Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston; a money-laundering car wash; a rundown motel; and a burrito store, which was transformed into a fast-food chicken restaurant for the series.“It’s raised the visibility of the city,” Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau vice president Tania Armenta said.“They [tourists] are intrigued by the scenic images that they see.”Tourism officials and business owners are quick to point out that they are walking a fine line by promoting tourism for a show that has violent, drug laden and criminally-charged themes. Albuquerque profiting off hit TV show. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.last_img read more


Aussies seeking exotic adventures


first_imgImage: Myanmar – wideeyedtours.com Short-term departures to destinations such as Nepal, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar and Borneo all registered spikes in bookings, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Nepal recorded a 44 percent year on year increase in Australian tourists for the first six month of the year, as did South Korea (+14.5 percent), Cambodia (+24 percent) and Sri Lanka (+5 percent). Excite Holidays has reported increased bookings to unexpected and exotic destinations by travellers in search of once-in-a-lifetime holidays. Australians are loving the appeal of exotic travel destinations, according to new research.center_img “Some travellers feel like they’ve been everywhere already and that’s why these exotic destinations are growing in popularity, as it’s a thrilling adventure that’s unique and memorable,” Excite Holidays chief executive George Papaioannou said. “A lot of people are looking at destinations which are just opening up to tourists… a lot of interest in these places comes from documentaries people see on TV.” Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more


Qantas decision to offshore 747 maintenance short sighted and lazy


first_imgMr Walton noted that the decision sits uneasily with Qantas management’s current campaign for government assistance. “Qantas is busy making the case to the Australian government and the Australian people that it deserves a hand because it contributes to the national interests. We fully agree with their case in principle, but they have to start showing the nation a bit of good faith here,” Mr Walton said. “Even given Qantas’ intention to move 747 maintenance out of Avalon, the company has a range of options to keep that work in Australia,” Mr Walton said. Qantas’ decision to cease maintenance of its Boeing 747 aircraft in Australia is short sighted, lazy and unnecessary, according to the Australian Workers’ Union. “Australian engineers have been performing maintenance on these aircraft since Qantas’ first 747 went into operation in 1971. We understand Qantas needs to compete in a tough environment, but this particular decision is completely unjustifiable, because so many options exist to avoid it. “Here they had a golden opportunity to show they were prepared to sit down and work through a solution that was good for business and good for Australian workers. Instead they have simply reached for the ‘offshore’ button. It’s sloppy and shows no regard for the 300 workers whose left on the scrap heap last year. “Maintenance facilities in both Sydney and Brisbane have the available slots to perform this work in Australia at a world class standard, as it has always been done. We have engineers in this country with the skills to keep doing this job and doing it well. “If Qantas management is trying to convince Australians they deserve a helping hand, they might want to try meeting Australians halfway when it comes to acting like a responsible corporate citizen.” “Today’s decision is simply a case of lazy management. Instead of working with Australian operations to slot 747 maintenance into existing facilities, they have simply pulled the offshoring ripcord.” Qantas intends to seek offshore maintenance of its 747s, after the 300 workers who performed the work at its Avalon facility were sacked last year. However AWU National Vice President Daniel Walton said numerous options exist for Qantas to keep the maintenance work in Australia. Source = Australian Workers’ Unionlast_img read more


Aussies aiming for an Auckland Easter


first_imgQueenstown YoY% Melbourne Gold Coast ► Brisbane 2016 top destinations Auckland 123% Melbourne 172% Bali (Denpasar) YoY% Auckland Brisbane Emily Callahan, Senior Marketing Manager at Skyscanner for Australia and New Zealand said: “It’s encouraging to see Aussies making the most of the long weekend and venturing further afield to explore neighbouring New Zealand this Easter break.“Aussie travellers heading for Kiwi soil can take a road trip and explore Waiheke Island where the International Jazz Festival is on. Families can also head to the ASB Showgrounds for the Auckland Royal Easter Show.Intrepid travellers looking for last minute inspiration can try the Skyscanner Map view, which allows users to filter by direct or multiple stops as well as price to quickly identify domestic and international destinations within budget.” Last minute Easter getawaysSource = Skyscanner 111% ► ► Queenstown Auckland City SkylineFor Aussies looking to make the most of the four-day weekend, New Zealand is becoming an increasingly attractive option.With the Easter holidays in arm’s reach, the world’s travel search engine, Skyscanner (skyscanner.com.au) releases new data showing Auckland has sneaked into the top five most searched destinations, displacing domestic destinations Perth and the Gold Coast and climbing two places (111% YoY increase).Kiwis looking for a slice of Easter escape are heading to Australia but this year Sydney has been toppled by rival city Melbourne, which claims the 2016 throne for most searched destination.The Gold Coast remains a stable choice for Kiwis seeking sunshine getaways over the long weekend, remaining in the top five for the second year running.Australia’s top travel destinations for Easter 2016 New Zealand’s top travel destinations for Easter 2016 Gold Coast 2015 top destinations Bali (Denpasar) 2016 top destinations 176% ► ▲1 Melbourne Melbourne Sydney ▲2 Sydney Gold Coast 147% 109% 247% ▲1 Brisbane Sydney 171% ▼1 2015 top destinations ▲1 Sydney ▲2 110% 123%last_img read more


Knock knock Deliveroom service


first_imgKnock knock, Deliveroom serviceQuest Apartment Hotels and Deliveroo create Australia’s first on-demand room serviceThe new service will be available to guests in 12 sites across Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Geelong and CanberraLong-term strategic partnership with plans to roll out service to all Quest Apartment Hotel properties where Deliveroo operates by end of 2018Quest Apartment Hotels and Deliveroo are joining forces to let guests across 12 sites nationwide enjoy a truly 21st century perk: on-demand room service. Hotel guests across the country will be able to take advantage of the exciting partnership, which will offer the very best of the local food scenes Australia’s cities have to offer.Quest has commenced a strategic partnership with Deliveroo as their in room dining experience provider, offering guests next level room service with a smorgasbord of dining options to choose from all over town. Deliveroo’s wide variety of partners means guests will be treated to some of their favourite venues, including Grease Monkeys (ACT), Bondi Pizza, Nandos, Zambrero, Boss Burger (Geelong), 8Bit (VIC), Ribs & Burgers (WA).12 Quest Apartment hotels are now stocked with in-room Deliveroo menus, and guests can simply call guest services to place an order. Quest will place the order and pay, with the cost then added to the guest’s final bill on checkout. Move over room service, Quest Room Service, powered by Deliveroo will have guests dining-in, in 30 minutes or less!Craig Ryan, Chief Commercial Officer at Quest Apartment Hotels says, “This is another innovation that keeps our well established brand up with the demands of the modern business traveller. As the fastest growing hotel brand in Australia, and the largest apartment hotel brand in the market, it made sense to partner with an equally fast growing brand  as Deliveroo”.Levi Aron, Country Manager of Deliveroo said, “For a hotel group without an in-house restaurant, making food delivery an easy option is a major value-add for a guest’s stay. We’re excited to become the strategic food delivery partner with such a well-established player in the hotel-apartment sector and introduce greater local restaurants to tourists and business travellers alike. Customers enjoy the convenience of at-home delivery, so it’s great to be able to broaden our on-demand offering and deliver amazing food straight to their hotel door.”This long-term strategic partnership aims to at least double, if not triple the number of sites currently being announced by the end of the year with plans to roll-out the service to 60 sites by the end of the year. With these first 12 setting the stride for an Australia-wide domination by Quest, powered by Deliveroo.*knock knock*“Deliveroom Service!”Quest Hotels currently partnered with Deliveroo:Sydney: Quest Macquarie ParkBrisbane: Quest Chermside on Playfield, Quest Eight Mile Plains, Quest Story BridgeMelbourne: Quest on Dorcas, Quest Carlton on Finlay, Quest Docklands, Quest St Kilda BaysideAdelaide: Quest on FranklinGeelong: Quest GeelongCanberra: Quest CanberraPerth: Quest East PerthSource = Quest Apartment Hotelslast_img read more


Swissôtel Hotels and Resorts debuts in Indonesia


first_imgSwissôtel Hotels and Resorts debuts in IndonesiaSwissôtel Hotels and Resorts debuts in IndonesiaSwissôtel Hotels and Resorts is set to make its first debut in Jakarta. Opening mid of 2019, Swissôtel Jakarta PIK Avenue is located in a mixed-used lifestyle mall complex. Designed by EDG Design, the hotel features 412 spacious guest rooms, six dining outlets, an executive lounge, the Pürovel Spa & Sport facility as well as the city’s largest event space of 3,044 square metres that can accommodate up to 3000 guests in its ballroom.“This is such an exciting time to introduce the Swissôtel brand into Indonesia and particularly Jakarta to complement the Group’s growing portfolio of city and resort destinations throughout the region,” said Garth Simmons, COO AccorHotels Indonesia – Malaysia – Singapore.Staying true to Swissôtel’s brand promise of promoting Swissness and vitality, the hotel will offer a very inspiring atmosphere which will be bolstered with the gracious Indonesian hospitality. Swissôtel is synonymous with Swiss hospitality and all there is to love about Switzerland – quality, efficiency and care. Giving guest the peace of mind they need to explore the world and discover life’s true rewards is at the essence of any Swissôtel stay.One of the world’s greatest megalopolises, Jakarta was named among the top ten fastest growing tourism cities in the world based on the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2017. Jakarta has a rich, varied history, and is a city of exciting metamorphosis – with its bustling traffic, its strong affiliations to its own historical roots, and a hub of development in Indonesia.“We are proud to partner with AccorHotels in bringing the premium hotel brand to Indonesia with the development of Swissotel Jakarta PIK Avenue. Pantai Indah Kapuk has evolved to become a trendy lifestyle destination and this partnership will enhance our mixed-use proposition that caters to niche travellers with its high-end residential and commercial development. ” Said Alex Kusuma, CEO ASRI, the lifestyle arm of property developer, Agung Sedayu Group, owning company.As the latest landmark in the city located within a high end commercial and residential hub, Swissôtel Jakarta PIK Avenue combines the renowned Swiss hospitality with contemporary design, personalised service and charm. Founded in 1980, the brand offers freshness and vitality rooted in the tradition of Swiss hospitality.Part of AccorHotels,  Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts has more than 30 hotels globally including flagship properties such as Swissôtel The Bosphorus in Istanbul, Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore and Swissôtel Krasnye Holmy in Moscow. The brand’s contemporary Swiss style combined with local flair, its focus on vitality, sustainability and a deeply-rooted commitment to quality infuse the Swissôtel experience, ensuring custom environments where guests can recharge and feel at ease.For more information, please visit www.swissotel.comAbout SwissôtelOne of the best-known Swiss brands in the world, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts offers contemporary hotels infused with the freshness and vitality of alpine energy, rooted in the tradition of Swiss hospitality. Respected for its intelligent design, quality craftsmanship and mindful approach to sustainability, Swissôtel gives its guests peace of mind to explore the world, discover life’s true rewards and embrace opportunities to ‘live it well’. The Swissôtel brand was founded in 1980 and today numbers more than 30 hotels globally including flagship properties such as Swissôtel The Bosphorus in Istanbul, Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore and Swissôtel Krasnye Holmy in Moscow. Swissôtel is part of AccorHotels, a world-leading travel and lifestyle group which invites travellers to feel welcome at more than 4,600 hotels, resorts and residences, along with some 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe.Source = Swissôtel Hotels and Resortslast_img read more


Indians are turning into impulsive pilgrims OYO survey


first_imgAccording to a survey conducted by OYO, a growing number of Indian travellers are seeking a holistic experience when they travel to destinations traditionally known for their religious symbolism. They now look for more experiences to club with their pilgrimage to optimise their travel.These insights have been published in the ‘Connected Pilgrims Survey’ which was conducted across 11 cities (Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Patna, Bengaluru, Chennai, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata) through detailed in-person interactions with 1700 respondents.Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO, said, “Travel to religious destinations is among the largest segment of the domestic travel business. Today, lakhs of travellers heading to diverse pilgrimage destinations like Shirdi, Tirupathi, Ujjain and Puri have an assured accommodation option through OYO. We conducted this survey so that travel service providers like us could better understand the expectations of these guests and how to serve them.”The conclusion revealed that Indian travellers are looking for a holistic experience when they travel, even to religious destinations. These ‘pragmatic pilgrims’, often travel as family-group spanning different age-groups and therefore, look for a variety of experiences. Those travelling with friends of the same age-group also often look for interest-based activities to make the holiday memorable.65% respondents suggested they would visit a site of religious prominence for reasons beyond spirituality or religion. With over 50% respondents stating that their ideal pilgrimage duration is for 1-2 days, the demand for leisure travel has seen a surge as short weekend breaks appear to be the growing norm.last_img read more


Tunisia records 283 rise in tourism in Q1 2018


first_imgTourism revenue in Tunisia rose by 28.3% between January and April over the same period in 2017, according to recently published government data.This year, so far, income from tourism has amounted to 530.8 million Tunisian dinars, compared to 413.6 million in the equivalent period last year. Likewise, the number of nights spent in hotels by non-residents rose by 36.9% in the first quarter over the first three months of 2017.Selma Elloumi Rekik, Tourism Minister, Ministry of Tourism, Tunisia stated that the nation targets on welcoming more than 8 million visitors this year. Tourism accounts for approximately 8% of Tunisian GDP. Tunisia saw the entry of 1.3 million foreign tourists during the first quarter of 2018, a figure that is 19% higher than in the first quarter of 2017.last_img


AxisRooms certified by Agoda as an innovative supplier partner 2019


first_imgGlobal hospitality technology solutions provider AxisRooms have been consistently delivering high quality solutions to hoteliers since 2011. Agoda, one of the world’s fastest growing digital online travel platforms, has certified AxisRooms as Innovative Supplier Partners in the year 2019 under their program for brilliance in online distribution.This recognition is given to high performing connectivity partners producing outstanding results and exceeding performance expectations. The certification of AxisRooms will improve its impact on the travel and hospitality sector, automating real-time availability and dynamic pricing for the hotel partners worldwide.Singapore headquartered Agoda, part of Booking Holdings, connects travellers worldwide with over two million accommodation choices from budget hostels to luxury resorts, homes and villas.The Agoda App and agoda.com are available in more than 38 different languages with 24/7 customer support and more than 200 supported connectivity partners globally.Excited about this partnership Anil Kumar Prasanna, CEO, AxisRooms said, “We are happy to be recognised as Innovation Supply Partner from Agoda – one of the fastest growing global online travel agencies – we look forward to increased synergies and innovation processes to assist our hotel partners to achieve maximum distribution and revenue.”Delighted about the partnership Lucas Johnson, Associate Director Connectivity & Partnerships, Agoda added, “We are thrilled to welcome AxisRooms to Agoda’s exclusive Innovative Supplier Program, which recognises best-in-class channel managers that provide flexible, reliable and user-friendly software to accommodation partners. Through this partnership, we will continue to focus on innovative approaches to help property managers maximise their opportunities and reach Agoda’s ever-increasing number of established users in markets around the world.”last_img read more


MountainView Offers 188M Ginnie Mae Servicing Portfolio


first_img in Secondary Market, Servicing MountainView Offers $188M Ginnie Mae Servicing Portfolio FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgage Ginnie Mae Investors Lenders & Servicers MountainView Service Providers 2011-06-14 Ryan Schuette June 14, 2011 534 Views center_img MountainView Servicing Group, a subsidiary of “”MountainView Capital Holdings””:http://www.mvch.com, announced Monday that it will serve as the exclusive advisor for a $188 million “”Ginnie Mae””:http://www.ginniemae.gov servicing portfolio.[IMAGE]The portfolio is comprised entirely of fixed-rate mortgage loans, 98.1 percent of which are Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, with 99.9 percent retail origination and a weighted average interest rate of 5.95 percent.By buying the servicing package, the buyer will obtain exclusive rights to service $188 million in mortgage loans for Ginnie Mae. [COLUMN_BREAK]””It is an attractive asset,”” according to Matt Maurer, VP of sales for MountainView. “”We’re a relationship-driven company. People look to us when they’re into buying and selling servicing rights.””Maurer said that the servicing group will accept bids until noon EST on Friday, June 17. The seller prefers a July 29 sale date and maintains a flexible transfer date.Most offerings that MountainView helps to facilitate fall into four categories, Maurer explained, including labels for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, and private buyers and sellers. MountainView Servicing Group has marketed and sold over $30 billion and $75 billion in mortgage servicing rights over the past 10 years. It supplies advisory services that value, sale, and help manage mortgage servicing rights. Clients include commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and thrifts.Based in Colorado, its parent company, MountainView Capital Holdings, makes services available that include asset management, valuation, and risk management for companies with a clientele in mortgage and fixed-income capital markets. Sharelast_img read more


MBA Opposes Mortgage Servicing Compensation Changes


first_img Share in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Processing Service Providers 2011-12-09 Ryan Schuette December 9, 2011 513 Views center_img The “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) made clear in letter Thursday that it opposes any proposed changes to the existing way mortgage servicers receive compensation.[IMAGE]The letter addresses recent moves by the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) to open up market share for servicers by reducing their risk, granting more flexibility to guarantors on non-performing loans, and shoring up liquidity in the to-be-announced market.””David Stevens””:http://www.mbaa.org/DavidStevens.htm, MBA’s president and CEO, said in a statement that the trade group “”appreciates the interest of FHFA in ensuring that we collectively work to improve service to borrowers, reduce financial risk to servicers, ensure flexibility for guarantors to better manage non-performing [COLUMN_BREAK]loans, promote market liquidity and enhance opportunities for competition in the origination as well as servicing markets.””He added that “”we believe that any change to the current servicing compensation model is unnecessary to accomplish these goals.””The MBA highlighted the in-progress state of a standardized servicer guide with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, suggesting that it could offer substantive reform without undermining the market.The trade group also nodded at liquidity in the current TBA market, calling it “”fragile”” and describing any changes to the major structure of it as some that could reduce overall liquidity.The letter underscored stress that could result from a mortgage servicing fee, with Stevens saying that any changes could “”have dramatic impacts not just on originators, servicers and investors, but also on borrowers in both the costs they pay to get a mortgage and the support they receive from their servicers.””The MBA recommended a cash reserve structure in place of the compensation changes pursued by the FHFA, urging it as a way to cover servicing costs in destructive economic circumstances. It billed the cash reserve structure as one that the MBA and members had developed over the past six months. MBA Opposes Mortgage Servicing Compensation Changeslast_img read more


A Cloud of Uncertainty Weighs Over Housing


first_imgEditor’s Note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of MReport and theMReport.com Debt FORCE Homeownership Rate Millennials 2017-02-09 Rawan Shishakly A Cloud of Uncertainty Weighs Over Housing in Data, Headlines, News The future of the housing market is uncertain, one reason being the unsteady financial footing of cash strapped, debt-loaded millennials, Five Star Institute President and CEO Ed Delgado noted in a Thursday webinar hosted by the FORCE, a Five Star membership group for agents and brokers. Delgado began by discussing the more stable cornerstones of the economy, namely the declining unemployment rate. During the election, President Trump made a promise to increases American jobs, but there’s little room to increase with an overall unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. However, not all sectors fair evenly. “Where there is an enormous opportunity is in correcting the underemployment of the labor sector in the U.S.,” Delgado said.Another major cornerstone of added stability to the current market are the declining rates of 60-day and 90-day delinquencies. “If we go back as near as three years ago, we had about 4.5 percent of loans 60-days past due. Today that number rests at a three-year low of 2.29 percent,” Delgado said.In discussing what we can expect from the market in 2017, Delgado noted the rising average debt per borrower. Financial stress is increasing in American households even though the delinquency rate is at a pre-crisis low. “There’s a growing burden of debt strain as it relates to student debt in this country,” Delgado noted. In fact, Delgado shared that millennials who graduated in 2016 are sitting on an average of $37,000 in student debt, according to a report by Mark Kontrowitz via the Wall Street Journal.Other unknowns in the mix are the uncertain futures for Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. How the market will react to all these factors remains unclear for now. However, Delgado is certain that within time, the unknowns will become knowns. February 9, 2017 532 Views Sharelast_img read more


Auctioncom Team Help Drive 39B in National Sales


first_img in Headlines, News, Servicing The Auction.com team with a buyerAuction.com has said that their team has driven $39 billion in national sales. Over the past 10 years, Auction.com’s brand has become synonymous with digital innovation and client service in the real estate industry, the company said in a statement. Auction.com connects buyers and sellers by making it possible to transact foreclosure, CWCOT and REO sales online. “Most observers attribute Auction.com’s success to industry-leading marketing and innovative technologies, but that’s only part of our story,” said Jason Allnutt, General Manager, Auction.com. “Auction.com created the foreclosure auction market in 2011. Since then we’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in technology and marketing support to grow the auction marketplace. But, we believe that our investment in human capital and commitment to an unmatched local footprint of highly skilled field teams is one of the reasons we are the only full-service auction provider.”Today, the company covers live auctions in more than 3,100 counties with the support of over 600 skilled and dedicated Auction.com employees. Auction.com said that it conducts foreclosure auctions at the courthouse, leveraging their proprietary technology, data science, marketing and their “sea of green shirts,” to drive toward higher sales rates. “Our local teams standardize the registration, bidding and closing process to promote transparency and competition, closing the feedback loop through rich data and analytics to our clients. All these efforts work in unison to maximize sales and improve outcomes for sellers and buyers,” Allnut said.Auction.com is the only national real estate auction marketplace with local operations throughout the country. “We build strong partnerships with local stakeholders, including investors, foreclosure attorneys, brokers and sheriff departments, by maintaining a highly visible and professional presence at every local auction event, regardless of climate, auction type, or location and by assisting each stakeholder to enable foreclosure sales,” Allnut said. “Our field team’s priorities are to meet our buyers’ questions and service needs and exceed our sellers’ expectations. This team is instrumental in breaking down the barriers of entry for new prospective buyers, reducing fear and complexity of the foreclosure auction process through education and customer support.” The company said that over 60 percent of its foreclosure auction buyers each month are first-time new customers of Auction.com. “Our 600+ field team is a powerful example of Auction.com’s commitment to go Beyond the Bid, which is to exceed the status quo in everything we do,” Allnut said.  August 14, 2018 568 Views Auction.com Team Help Drive $39B in National Salescenter_img Auction Auction.com Foreclosure homes HOUSING real estate 2018-08-14 Radhika Ojha Sharelast_img read more


NZ New method doubles Envy apple yields boosts S


first_img NZ: New method doubles Envy apple yields, boosts S … The Washington Apple Commission is launching a new marketing campaign for Gala apples in Monterrey, Mexico, called “It’s so you”.The organization said the bright colors and engaging messaging are a part of its education and awareness campaign for the variety in the northeastern region. The “creative and high-spirited energy” of the marketing materials will help educate consumers about Gala as a bi-colored apple that Washington excels at producing, it added.“It’s new, it’s fresh and we are excited to see consumers connect with the messaging,” says Toni Lynn Adams, communications outreachcoordinator of the Washington Apple Commission. You might also be interested in U.S.: Fire at Washington warehouse causes US$8M in … February 18 , 2019 center_img U.S.: Autumn Glory apples gain ground in February … The campaign will run from February-March 2019. Digital advertisements, social media and in-store POS materials will draw theattention of consumers to Washington Galas.“There is excellent potential in Monterrey. In this specific region it is perceived as an unripe or not fully colored red apple. Our objective is to educate consumers about the diverse coloration of the variety, it’s juicy, sweet taste and motivate them to try this variety,” says Rebecca Lyons, international marketing director.The organization added yellow blue, pink and purple color palette, imaginative font and interactive graphics combine to create a bold strategy that will provide Washington Galas a cheeky appeal to stand out from the competition.Video Playerhttp://www.freshfruitportal.com/assets/uploads/2019/02/WA-Apple-con-cancio╠ün.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Mexico lifts tariffs on U.S. apples …last_img read more


The Federal Court yesterday ordered Jetstar to pay


first_imgThe Federal Court yesterday ordered Jetstar to pay a $545,000 penalty and Virgin Australia to pay a $200,000 penalty for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law due to drip pricing, with the presiding justice noting that the penalties are designed to discourage similar behaviour by other others.In November 2015, Jetstar was found to have made false or misleading representations about specific advertised airfares on its website in 2013 and its mobile site in 2014. Virgin was found to have made false or misleading representations about specific advertised airfares on its mobile site in 2014.“The ACCC was concerned that Jetstar and Virgin’s ‘drip pricing’ conduct drew consumers into an online purchase process with a headline price, but failed to provide adequate disclosure of additional fees and charges that are likely to apply,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.“As a result of the ACCC’s enforcement and compliance actions, businesses across several industries, including ticketing and accommodation, have now improved their online booking practices to provide adequate disclosure of additional fees and charges that are likely to apply.” drip pricingJetstarVirgin Australialast_img read more


This is an image of Bunnik Tours Head Office in A


first_imgThis is an image of Bunnik Tours’ Head Office in Adelaide … BEFORE.Stroll past 45 Flinders Street Adelaide now and you would be hard pressed to miss the new-look building on the block!18-months in the making, the last pieces of scaffolding were finally removed last week from Bunnik Tours’ head office, which makes a bold statement among its neutral-toned neighbours. Bunnik Tours took inspiration from their travels around the world and added some much-needed colour into the CBD, treating the 1928 building to love, repair and a liberal flourish of red!“When we travel the world, we see the most amazingly colourful buildings of Scandinavia, Italy, South America and Jodhpur in India. We really wanted to bring that back to Adelaide and add some colour to our home town,” says founder Marion Bunnik.“In going with the bright red and cream colour scheme, we have brought the building’s original ornate features to life. I believe the original architect would be very happy with the result.” Bunnik Tours Prior to the external work, Bunnik Tours renovated the building’s entire interior including its imposing grand ballroom, which was fitted with a stage and is now home to various events, including fringe shows in previous years.“Since we have started painting we have noticed many people stopping to take photos, it has become quite the attraction. We proudly call Adelaide home, so are very happy to have played our part in adding a bit of colour to the city.”last_img read more