Cyclone slams Samoa

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgCyclone Evan has ravaged Samoa and its capital, Apia, on Thursday and now the island nation is bracing for a second bout of turmoil as the storm looks set to return.The Samoan government has declared a state of disaster, issuing gale force wind warnings, the ABC reported.Airports and sea ports across the country have been shut down and home evacuations undertaken.Cyclonic conditions caused power to the island to be cut off, infrastructure damage, trees torn down and flash flooding throughout Apia.Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Taulealea Usunai said weather conditions were expected to intensify once again as the cyclone moves back towards Samoa.“There is a possibility that it may turn around,” Mr Usunai said.“At the moment we are coping, but in calling for international assistance during the cyclone it will be difficult to get help into the country because airports are closed and so are the ports.”Two children are believed to have drowned near Apia Park after flash floods devastated the area.The Disaster Management Office has not confirmed the deaths, but as is traditional in Samoa, families have posted announcements on state radio, advising of the tragedy.The US territory of American Samoa was preparing to be hit but has so far only experienced high winds.Cyclone Evan is thought to be one of the most powerful to hit the Pacific nation in 20 years. Cyclone Evan is set to return to further wreak havoc on Samoa. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more


Travelport signs 100 airlines to its new merchandising solution

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgTravelport today announced at CAPA’s annual Airline in Transition Aviation event that 100 airlines have already committed to the Travelport Rich Content and Branding merchandising solution.The recently launched merchandising technology is integrated into Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform and enables airlines to effectively retail their products to the global trade.It allows airlines to control how their products are presented to agents in order to help drive ticket sales and boost optional extras such as baggage and lounge passes.Travelport managing director air commerce Derek Sharp said the company is aiming to redefine travel commerce and provide its customers with improved air merchandising solutions.“As a result of our heightened focus in this area, we have been able to transform the traditional air distribution model to offer a suite of unique merchandising solutions, including Rich Content and Branding, which significantly benefit our airline customers as well as our travel agency and TMC partners,” Mr Sharp said.Benefits to travel agencies using the technology include potential increase in sales and up selling opportunities, while still allowing them to continue booking through their preferred processes rather than visiting several airline websites.Airlines that have signed up to Rich Content and Branding include TAP Air Portugal, LATAM Airlines Group and China Eastern.At present, almost 60 of the 100 signed up airlines are already available for booking through Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform.After winning technology awards last year, Travelport plans to continue focusing on developing and introducing new merchandising solutions to the industry.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more


Global study reveals travellers would spend 100 on airline ancillarie

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgSource = Sabre Global study reveals travellers would spend $100 on airline ancillariesGlobal study reveals travellers would spend $100 on airline ancillaries to personalise travel experienceHow much are travellers willing to pay for airline ancillary services such as seats, bags and food when travelling?  New research from global travel technology company, Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), has found that travellers would drop a hundred dollar bill to make their travel a little more “about me”.Sabre surveyed travellers from 20 countries about what they would spend and why. The results show that 80 percent of travellers purchased air extras on their last trip, spending an average of $62.  When asked if they would spend more to personalise their trip, the answer was “yes” – up to $99 if it improved their travel experience.The research was announced at the IATA World Passenger Symposium in Dubai, as part of a Sabre-hosted industry roundtable on how airlines and hotels can deliver more tailored offers and services to customers.Regional differences in ancillary purchases The survey also found differences between what people from different regions would spend on extras, with Africans willing to spend the most and Asia Pacific travellers the least.Africans willing to spend twice as much on airline extras than travellers from Asia PacificWhen asked what they would be most likely to spend money on, the most desired ancillaries were cabin class upgrades, on-board food and beverage and preferred seating and extra leg room – all at 11 percent.  This was followed by inflight Wi-Fi (nine percent) and extra checked baggage (nine percent).  The popularity of each ancillary varied between travellers from each region, with North Americans and Europeans choosing preferred seating and extra leg room; Latin Americans opting for on-board Wi-Fi, and Asia Pacific travellers selecting extra checked luggage.  For travellers from Africa and the Middle East, on-board food and beverage, and fast track security respectively topped their pick.“It’s clear that while there are regional differences  in ancillary preferences, 80 percent of all travellers spend on air extras, representing a significant revenue opportunity for airlines,” said Dino Gelmetti, vice president EMEA, Airline Solutions, Sabre. “Airlines know what their travellers want based on the data they have of past purchases. Yet so much of this data remains unused today.  However, by leveraging the latest technology, airlines can unlock this data and show they know their travellers by offering the right products at the right time and tailoring a personalised experience that will improve customer loyalty and generate much needed revenue.”Personalisation While technology is preferred by most travellers to plan and book travel, human interaction still plays a significant role in some countries. In Latin America, almost half (48 percent) prefer the help of a consultant to plan and book travel, compared to around a third of travellers from other regions – 37 percent in the Middle East, 36 percent in Asia, 35 percent in Africa and North America, and 33 percent in Europe.The study also revealed differences in the time it takes travellers around the world to book trips.  African travellers were the fastest planners, with 33 percent saying they spent less than a day planning their last trip, compared to just 12 percent of travellers from Asia Pacific.  At the other end of the scale, American travellers were the most likely to plan in advance with nine percent taking longer than a month, compared to just three percent of travellers from Africa and the Middle East.“Both airlines and travel agencies have a role to play in providing travellers with a complete booking service that combines the convenience of technology with the power of human interaction,” said Shelly Terry, vice president, product marketing, Travel Network, Sabre.  “Airlines can maximise revenue by leveraging the expertise of travel agencies and ensuring their inventories are conveniently available to passengers through both direct and indirect channels, giving people the choice and freedom to book travel the way it suits them.”The full report can be read and downloaded HERE Sabrelast_img read more


Pullman Luang Prabang partners with local sustainable tourism trailbla

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgPullman Luang Prabang partners with local sustainable tourism trailblazersPullman Luang Prabang partners with local sustainable tourism trailblazersSustainability may have been a burning issue — some would even say a buzzword — in the hospitality and tourism sectors in recent years, but for Luang Prabang it is simply part of the ancient city’s fabric.From traditional locally-sourced menus that burst with freshness and flavour to responsible tourism activities that would make the most cynical traveller smile, Laos’ former royal capital prides itself on its mix of rich heritage, local culture and close-knit community that is increasingly hard to find on the 21st-century tourist map. And while many destinations are now attempting to quickly carve out a sustainable reputation Luang Prabang has already chalked up a series of respectable awards for its far-reaching efforts in the last decade.“There are few examples of destinations in which so many positive experiences, such as responsible tourism, sustainable farming and corporate social responsibility initiatives, have grown so organically and are so accessible,” said Denis Dupart, acting general manager of Pullman Luang Prabang.As the most highly-anticipated recent addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s hospitality scene it is only natural then that Pullman Luang Prabang has embraced a raft of sustainable practices — both internally and through a collection of carefully selected local partners.“Alongside the Planet 21 programme, which promotes similar practices throughout the AccorHotels global portfolio, and plans to introduce our own sustainable initiatives at the 16-hectare resort, Luang Prabang offers guests unique, immersive and unforgettable experiences”, added Dupart.One such initiative to be rolled out at Pullman Luang Prabang in 2019 is the introduction of an expansive onsite garden that will supply Executive Chef Marc Comparot with an abundance of fruit and vegetables for his diverse menus. For the time being he makes the almost-daily sunrise pilgrimage to the city’s much-loved morning market to procure most of his ingredients, with the exception of some highly unique — to Laos at least — dairy products. For his mozzarella, ricotta, feta, blue cheese and yoghurt needs, Chef Marc calls on the services of Susie Martin and Rachel O’Shea — or more specifically their 150-plus buffalos.Not content with being the first dairy farm in the country and introducing a brand-new industry, Laos Buffalo Dairy is transforming the way local communities make a living from what were once seen exclusively as beasts of burden. The socially-responsible enterprise also focuses on training farmers how to better care for other animals including pigs, chickens and rabbits and welcomes individuals and groups to experience the interactive farm, dairy facilities and of course the delicious products firsthand.“We love to source locally. It is organic and extremely fresh,” said Chef Marc.The staple food for almost every meal in Laos is, however, found much closer to home. Embedded into the heart of the landscaping, a series of stunning rice terraces take centre stage at the resort. In addition to growing it for use in the dishes at the 123-room hotel’s all-day dining restaurant L’Atelier, Pullman also organises seasonal rice cultivation classes for families and corporate groups. With the harvest recently complete, the rice husks, a byproduct of the cultivation process, were donated to MandaLao Elephant Conservation camp.Another admirable programme that combines responsible tourism, animal conservation and local community involvement, the camp provides small groups intimate interactions with rescued elephants that range from full-day treks through tranquil teak jungles to cooking and feeding them handmade snacks along the banks of the river. Much of the elephant feed is in fact sourced from nearby communities, which provides an often vital source of income for local villagers.If there is a symbol as synonymous with Laos as the elephant (the country after all was once called ‘Lane Xang’, which translates as Land of Million Elephants), it is surely the colourful and often highly intricate traditional fabrics worn throughout the nation. In recent years, these handwoven garments have garnered a great deal of international attention, putting traditional Lao weaving and handicrafts firmly on the map. Much of that fame can be attributed to Ock Pop Tok.Launched in 2000 by local Laos weaver Veo Douangdala and British photographer Jo Smith, what initially began as a small-scale venture selling a handful of designs has evolved into one of the most successful, socially-responsible and sustainable startups in Laos. At the heart of the company is a strong commitment to female empowerment, evident at the Living Crafts Centre, an educational and interactive haven on the banks of the Nam Khan river. The Centre runs a series of immersive individual and group weaving classes, but for those who don’t have time to make the short trip there is an exclusive Ock Pop Tok on-site boutique at Pullman Luang Prabang.“From straightforward, effective measures such as the introduction of locally-made bamboo straws and refillable water bottles to supporting strong, responsible initiatives and local communities, Pullman Luang Prabang is committed to promoting sustainable practices throughout the resort and with our partners through the city,” said Dupart.“An exclusive 2-day itinerary including visits to Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm, MandaLao Elephant Camp and Ock Pop Tock can be booked through the hotel’s Tour Desk managed by Trails of Indochina. The rate starts at USD141 per person.”AccorHotels currently has five hotels in Laos including three properties in Luang Prabang and two in Vientiane. Usual rate at Pullman Luang Prabang starts at USD135++ per night for the Deluxe Room.For more information, please visit www.pullman-luangprabang.com, email H9112@accor.com, or contact +856 71 211 112 for general enquiries or reservations.Pullman Luang Prabang Sustainability Partners: https://ockpoptok.com/ https://mandalaotours.com/ http://www.laosbuffalodairy.com/About PullmanPullman Hotels & Resorts delivers an experience that is upscale, upbeat and perfectly in tempo with the global zeitgeist. Against the backdrop of today’s fast paced life, Pullman helps guests be at their best, in business and at leisure, enabling them to seamlessly conduct business, explore the locale, workout and make connections – to the neighborhood and people around them. Retaining the values of exploration, comfort and dependability that drove it to become a pioneering travel brand over 150 years ago, Pullman today features more than 120 worldwide properties including Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, Pullman Park Lane Hong Kong, Pullman Shanghai South, Pullman London St Pancras and Pullman Sao Paulo Vila Olimpia. Pullman is part of AccorHotels, a world-leading travel and lifestyle group which invites travelers 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.pullmanhotels.com | accorhotels.com Source = Pullman Luang Prabanglast_img read more


IRCTC launches Bharat Darshan Tourist packages this summer

Posted On Aug 16 2019 by

first_imgThe Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) have launched Bharat Darshan Tourist Trains, a budget-friendly package with all-inclusive services on a dedicated tourist train, for popular religious destinations.Families can now opt for trips to selected destinations at Rs 830 per person per day. The train has 10 coaches serviced by trained tour managers, on-board hospitality staff and security staff. The package includes train transportation, road transportation, accommodation, sightseeing at tourist locations and onboard and off-board meals.Four fixed itineraries are available over the coming months for boarding from Delhi and Agra. These include ‘East Darshan’, the ‘7 Jyotirlinga’ package from Chandigarh, another ‘7 Jyotirlinga’ tour from Delhi Safdarjung and the ‘Dakshin Darshan’.last_img read more


NCUA Sues JPMorgan over 22B in WaMu Securities

Posted On Aug 15 2019 by

first_img Share in Origination, Secondary Market NCUA Sues JPMorgan over $2.2B in WaMu Securities The “”National Credit Union Administration””:http://www.ncua.gov/Pages/default.aspx (NCUA) filed its 10th action against a major Wall Street investment firm–this time, the defendant is “”JPMorgan Securities””:http://www.jpmorgansecurities.com/pages/am/securities/home.[IMAGE]NCUA’s suit revolves around mortgage-backed securities (MBS) underwritten and sold by Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu), which was acquired by JPMorgan in 2008 following its collapse.According to NCUA’s “”complaint””:http://www.ncua.gov/News/Press/NW20130104MorganComplaint.pdf, WaMu misrepresented the underwriting quality of $2.2 billion in MBS sold to U.S. Central, Western Corporate, and Southwest Corporate federal credit unions. All three corporate credit unions became insolvent and were placed into NCUA conservatorship and liquidated.The complaint alleges that underwriting guidelines described in the offering documents for the MBS sales were “”systematically abandoned”” and led the credit unions to believe the risk involved was minimal. [COLUMN_BREAK]The complaint goes on to allege that WaMu inflated the salaries of loan applicants and accepted unofficial documents as verification of employment, citing a 2008 report from the _New York Times_ that described in detail “”the relentless pressure to churn out loans … while disregarding borrowers’ incomes and assets.””Other defendants named in the complaint include WaMu Capital Corp., Long Beach Securities Corp., and WaMu Asset Acceptance Corp.””The damage caused by the actions of firms like Washington Mutual has been extremely expensive to contain and repair, and that job isn’t finished, yet,”” said NCUA board chairman Debbie Matz. “”All the credit unions we supervise and insure have had to share this burden, so it’s only right that the people who caused the damage be required to pick up that burden, as well.””The lawsuit is not NCUA’s first action against JPMorgan Securities. The agency filed suit against the bank in June 2011 for damages related to its own securities and “”again””:https://themreport.com/articles/ncua-files-largest-suit-yet-against-jpmorgan-bear-stearns-2012-12-18 in December 2012 for losses related to Bear Stearns. A representative for JPMorgan Chase did not immediately return a request for comment.NCUA has similar actions pending against Barclays Capital, “”Credit Suisse””:https://themreport.com/articles/ncua-targets-credit-suisse-over-faulty-mortgage-backed-securities-2012-10-05, Goldman Sachs, and UBS, to name a few. To date, the agency has settled claims worth more than $170 million with Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities, and HSBC.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Mortgage-Backed Securities National Credit Union Administration RMBS Service Providers 2013-01-07 Tory Barringer January 7, 2013 508 Views last_img read more


Rising Rates Inventory Drive Down Buyer Competition

Posted On Aug 15 2019 by

first_img July 11, 2013 418 Views Share While summer temperatures are now consistently rising into the triple digits in many parts of the country, bidding wars for homes continue to cool, “”Redfin””:http://www.redfin.com/ said in its Real-Time Bidding Wars report for June.[IMAGE]Nationally, the percentage of offers written by Redfin agents that faced multiple bids fell for the third straight month to 68.6 percent, down from 69.5 percent in May and 75.7 percent in March. Redfin analyst Ellen Haberle attributed the continued decline to rising mortgage interest rates and the ongoing easing in the inventory crunch.””You can thank rising inventory and, gulp, higher interest rates for the ease in competition,”” Haberle said. “”Homeowners who have been waiting to sell are entering the market in greater numbers as prices–which were up [COLUMN_BREAK]17 percent in May from the year before–continue to recover. Moreover, home builders are ramping up construction of new homes to seize on buyer demand and rising prices.””Haberle also noted many agents have reported a drop in competing offers since interest rates spiked. She offered as evidence a report from John Venti, an agent in the Los Angeles market.””Each of the last three offers I wrote was accepted without a counter-offer, which has been unheard-of in Los Angeles, where a home in a popular neighborhood has typically attracted 30 or 40 offers over the last several months,”” Venti said.The reduced competition also helped buyers by bringing offers closer to list prices. Nationally, the average difference between winning offers and list prices fell from 1.4 percent above the list price to 0.9 percent in June.””In welcome news for buyers, these developments suggest that the real estate market is embarking on a new, more balanced chapter,”” Haberle said. “”Furthermore, as the market rebalances, homebuyers are likely to be less inclined to use risky strategies like waiving an inspection or financing contingency in order to secure a deal.””Reports were mixed across the country, however. While markets like Baltimore and Washington, D.C., saw bidding wars drop off by as much as 10 percentage points from May to June, areas like San Diego, Orange County, and Boston reported a ramp-up in competitive buying. Rising Rates, Inventory Drive Down Buyer Competitioncenter_img in Data, Origination Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Demand For-Sale Homes Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Redfin Service Providers 2013-07-11 Tory Barringerlast_img read more


USMI Urges Lawmakers to Extend Tax Credit

Posted On Aug 15 2019 by

first_img Share in Daily Dose, News, Origination USMI Urges Lawmakers to Extend Tax Credit With the tax deduction for mortgage insurance premiums paid on qualified residential interest about to expire on December 31, 2016, U.S. Mortgage Insurance (USMI) President Lindsey Johnson petitioned leaders in both the House and the Senate as well as the Treasury Secretary designee, asking them to extend the tax credit for the primary purpose of assisting low- and moderate-income borrowers.Johnson wrote three separate letters, pointing out to the lawmakers that private mortgage insurance covered more than $50 billion in claims to the GSEs during the crisis which would have otherwise been borne by taxpayers and that MI helped almost 828,000 individuals purchase or refinance a mortgage during the 12-month period ending with Q3 2016—and half of those were first-time buyers.The deduction for mortgage insurance premiums paid on qualified residential interest is aimed at helping to make homeownership possible for low- and moderate-income borrowers who may have the sufficient credit rating but lack the resources necessary for a large downpayment.“The deduction for mortgage insurance premiums has proven to be an important tool in lowering the cost of homeownership for the low- and moderate-income homebuyers to whom the deduction was limited,” Johnson wrote. “The provision has resulted in significant savings for families striving to afford a home.”Johnson noted that 4.2 million tax returns filed in 2014 (he most recent year the IRS data was available) claiming the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums, and all of them were filed by low- and moderate-income taxpayers. More than 80 percent of them had incomes between $30,000 and $100,000, Johnson said.She further noted that mortgage insurance premiums should receive equitable treatment because they are economically equivalent to mortgage interest.“The Internal Revenue Code should retain the deduction for qualified mortgage insurance premiums, and the provision should be extended or made permanent for amounts paid or accrued beyond December 31, 2016,” Johnson wrote. “As has been noted above, in the years that the deduction has been in effect, the deduction has proven to be an important tool for making homeownership more affordable for the low- and moderate-income homebuyers to whom it was limited.  Furthermore, extension of the mortgage insurance premium deduction also is supported by tax policy considerations.”Click here to view USMI’s letter to the House and Senate Committee leadership.Click here to view USMI’s letter to Treasury Secretary Designee Steven Mnuchin.Click here to view USMI’s letter to Congressional leadership.center_img Mortgage Insurance Tax Deduction USMI 2016-12-20 Seth Welborn December 20, 2016 499 Views last_img read more


Mortgage Rates Steady Amidst FOMC Meeting

Posted On Aug 15 2019 by

first_imgMortgage Rates Steady Amidst FOMC Meeting Share Mortgage rates remained fairly steady this week, even as the Financial Open Market Committee met to discuss potential hikes in the federal funds rate. According to a Bankrate survey, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.18 percent for the week—equating to a monthly payment of about $975 on a $200,000 loan. Last week, 30-year fixed rates sat at 4.19 percent.Jumbo 30-year fixed rates were slightly lower at 4.14 percent, while 15-year fixed rate mortgages fell to 3.39 percent, down from 3.43 percent last week. Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages decreased to 3.46 percent from last week’s 4.38 percent, and seven-year ARMs also dropped, hitting 3.62 percent.Freddie Mac also found mortgage rates were stable over the week, with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropping from 4.03 percent to 4.02.“The 10-year Treasury yield remained relatively flat this week, as did the 30-year mortgage rate which fell 1 basis point to 4.02 percent,” Freddie Mac reported. “Markets have been erring on the side of caution following a weak advance estimate for first-quarter GDP and the FOMC’s broadly expected decision to leave rates unchanged.”In all, Bankrate found that mortgage rates were 0.25 percent lower than in March when the FOMC raised the federal funds rate from 0.75 to 1 percent. According to Bankrate, the drop can largely be attributed to sluggish economic growth and pending international issues.“Weakness in first quarter economic growth and geopolitical concerns surrounding North Korea, Syria, and an election in France all contributed to bringing mortgage rates lower,” Bankrate reported. “But with the Fed’s glass-half-full economic outlook, dismissing the economic sluggishness at the beginning of the year as temporary, it is evident that the Fed remains inclined to continue raising interest rates.”This means the low rates won’t last long, according to Bankrate.“Mortgage rates are likely to trend higher through the balance of 2017 as interest rates rise, but as we’ve seen recently, there are likely to be plenty of ups and downs as economic sentiment swings back and forth.,” Bankrate reported.Read Bankrate’s data or Freddie Mac’s to learn more. May 4, 2017 567 Views center_img Bankrate Fannie Mae FOMC Mortgage Rates 2017-05-04 Aly J. Yale in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newslast_img read more


Other producers including Turkey and Syria have

Posted On Aug 13 2019 by

first_imgOther producers, including Turkey and Syria, have no direct access to the China market.As for almonds, although China’s imports, of shelled products in particular, have been on the rise over the past few years, import volume is projected to “fall sharply” 2018-19.”Currently, more than 95 percent of China’s almond imports come from the United States. Although Australia also exports almonds to China, its exportable supplies are far from enough to satisfy the China market,” it said.China and Hong Kong together consumed around 7% of the world’s almonds in 2017.The country’s walnut imports are also expected to further decline in 2018-19 from the previous year. The U.S. has in the past been China’s single largest walnut supplier. “Although Chinese importers are searching for substitute products from Chile and Australia, their available supplies can hardly fill the gap,” the USDA said.”On the other hand, China’s overall imports of walnuts, especially in-shell products, have been falling from its peak in 2012, mainly because of rapid increases in domestic production.” September 27 , 2018 NZ: Zespri sends first kiwifruit charter of the ca … Turkish cherry industry eyes strong future in Chin … Trump proposes buying over $15B of U.S. produce fo … center_img Tariff increase on Chinese imports to raise input … The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that China will not be able to fill the nut supply gap there will likely be in 2018-19 as a result of tariffs in U.S. imports.The USDA expects China’s imports of U.S. walnuts, almonds and pistachios to decline across the board due to the tariff increases earlier this year.Tariffs for the three nuts (both shelled and in-shell) as of July 6 are between 45% and 65%. By comparison, Australia has no more than 5% on those three nuts and Chile is tariff-free.In addition to the expected drop in U.S. volumes in China, Chinese walnut production is expected to fall by 15% to 850,000 metric tons (MT) in 2018-19 due to frost damage earlier this year. Meanwhile, Almond production is forecast flat at 43,000MT, and pistachio production is extremely low in China, with only 300MT due to be produced.”Because China has enacted a number of additional tariffs on U.S. products, Chinese importers will be less likely to purchase certain tree nuts from the United States,” the USDA said.”The market share once occupied by the United States will be difficult to fill by other competitors due to limited substitutable suppliers. Further exacerbating the problem, China recently tightened control over imports transshipped through border programs.”As a result, Chinese buyers are looking for other import sources and will probably increase purchases of alternative nuts, such as cashews and Brazil nuts.”For pistachios, which were China’s number-one imported tree nut in 2017 – the USDA said Chinese importers were seeking substitute supplies from other producers such as Iran, the second largest pistachio supplier to China. But a “sharp production decrease” in Iran will likely limit its capabilities to fill the gap. You might also be interested inlast_img read more


Captain Cook CruisesMurray PrincessMurray RiverSea

Posted On Aug 12 2019 by

first_imgCaptain Cook CruisesMurray PrincessMurray RiverSeaLink The iconic paddlewheeler, PS Murray Princess will journey on two seven night Renmark cruises on the Murray River departing from Mannum in South Australia on Friday 1 December 2017 and from Renmark on Friday 22 December 2017.Both Renmark cruises follow in the wake of the great 19th century pioneers, passing through five locks between Mannum and Renmark near the Victorian border.According to SeaLink general manager Donna Gauci, “This is the first time we have operated this amazing cruise since 2012 and we are thrilled to be able to offer this popular cruise once again.”Prices for the seven night Mannum to Renmark cruise start from AUD$2238 per person twin share and prices for the Renmark to Mannum Christmas cruise start from AUD$2448 per person twin share.Fares include accommodation, all meals, guided nature walks, eco-excursions, onboard presentations, the Captain’s Dinner and Dance, live entertainment, use of the sauna, spa, sun deck, bar, two lounges, restaurant and mini gymnasium, return coach transfers to and from selected Adelaide CBD hotels to Mannum and Renmark or return to the Adelaide Airport and secure car parking in Mannum.last_img read more


New Caledonia Tourism NCTPS a preferred partner

Posted On Aug 12 2019 by

first_imgNew Caledonia Tourism (NCTPS), a preferred partner of the Helloworld Frontliners Forum, hosted an experiential booth at the event held in Hobart 23-26 November, providing Helloworld consultants with key destination news and developments for 2018. NCTPS also partnered with Aircalin to provide a prize for one lucky agent to experience the destination firsthand: two return flights with Aircalin and two nights’ accommodation at Hotel Le Lagon in Nouméa. Kym Stracey from Northshore Travel in Gordon, NSW was the recipient of the prize.NCTPS took agents on a distinctive VR experience through the destination’s different regions, and the natural beauty, lagoon and diverse range of outdoor and cultural activities on offer. The NCTPS team also shared news highlights for 2018 including the 10-year anniversary of the naming of New Caledonia’s lagoon as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. eventsFrontliners ForumHWTNew Caledonialast_img read more


Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold are excited to a

Posted On Aug 12 2019 by

first_imgInsight Vacations and Luxury Gold are excited to announce they have received the highest accolade offered by Feefo – Gold Status for the second year in a row.To celebrate and share the excitement with Travel Agent partners and guests, the brands are offering up to 10%* off select journeys and departures to North and South America. Available for 6 days only, from 26 March 2019 until 31 March 2019.Guided by a highly-skilled Travel Director, guests travelling with Insight Vacations can expect a stylish travel experience, getting up close and personal with the destination, savouring authentic dining and enjoying a range of immersive Insight Experiences, while Luxury Gold guests will enjoy elevated elegance and VIP experiences.Travellers can choose from a range of itineraries; including the 16-day Best of Eastern Canada and USA, 9-day Best of California or Luxury Gold’s enchanting 9-day Southern Grace itinerary.For full terms and conditions, please visit insightvacations.com/au/agent-area or luxurygold.com/au/agent-areaIMAGE: Monument Valley Utah, Insight Vacations Insight Vacationslast_img read more


Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

Posted On Aug 11 2019 by

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories – / 18 The Arizona Cardinals’ defensive struggles with tight ends have been well-documented, and it seemed the Cardinals were likely on their way to another long Sunday against future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and the Atlanta Falcons. But the Cardinals held Gonzalez to just 26 yards and three catches on eight targets — something that went a long way toward limiting the Falcons to 55 percent passing and holding them without a touchdown until the late stages of the fourth quarter in Arizona’s 27-13 win Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   Opposing tight ends had torched the Cardinals to the tune of six catches and 88 yards per game, and had accounted for eight touchdowns in eight games. The Cardinals used a mix of cornerback Jerraud Powers, linebackers Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby and safeties Tyrann Mathieu, Yeremiah Bell and Rashad Johnson to slow down the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Gonzalez. In fact, the biggest contribution a Falcons TE made was from Levine Toilolo, who drew a questionable pass interference call in the end zone to wipe out a fourth-and-goal incompletion in the fourth quarter. Mathieu said the Cardinals were aided by the fact that the Falcons were without their top two receivers in Roddy White and Julio jones. “Obviously, we knew Matt Ryan was going to target Tony more than he had in their previous games,” Mathieu said. “We just took it as a challenge. Everybody stepped up.”Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said the defense tried to switch up coverage looks in an attempt to pressure Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and keep Gonzalez in check. Both worked, as Ryan was sacked four times and threw four interceptions. “It was a team effort … playing with great technique, the line getting pressure,” Dansby said. “We did it together. That’s the only way we can stop or slow down these tight ends.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more


Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

Posted On Aug 11 2019 by

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Jags’ injury list is a long one and features some of the team’s most prominent players. Jones-Drew has a knee issue, leading receiver Cecil Shorts is slowed by a groin and linebacker Paul Posluszny, the reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Week, suffered a concussion against Tennessee.Arizona’s list of walking wounded is much shorter, but also features some pivotal players. Linebacker John Abraham (hamstring) is coming off a three-sack game in a win over Houston last Sunday and the veteran has six sacks in his last three games. Below is the official injury report for the Week 11 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Arizona Cardinals (5-4) head to Jacksonville Sunday looking to extend their winning streak to three straight against the Jaguars (1-8).Jacksonville tasted victory for the first time in 2013 by earning a 29-27 road win over the Tennessee Titans last Sunday. Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman had rushing touchdowns and the Jags’ defense forced four turnovers and scored fourth-quarter touchdown to salt away the first win for the franchise since Week 12 of last season (also against the Titans.) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   center_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories last_img read more


Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

Posted On Aug 11 2019 by

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling FILE – In this Sept. 3, 1977, file photo, Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson (32), strides over teammates as he latches on to Joe DeLamielleurs (68) during a football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Buffalo, N.Y. Long before quarterbacks took center stage, the NFL was a running backs league. From Red Grange to Jim Brown to O.J. Simpson to Walter Payton to Emmitt Smith, the workhorse back has been a symbol of toughness and perseverance. (AP Photo/File) On that Halloween, the Cardinals were able to hold Bills running back O.J. Simpson to just 42 rushing yards on 16 carries. That 1971 season was the year just before Simpson went on a five-year tear, rushing for over 1,000 yards and being named to the Pro Bowl the next five seasons after that. Simpson was named the NFL MVP just two years later in 1973.Quarterback Jim Hart led the victory for the Cardinals, completing 15-of-27 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns. MacArthur Lane and Cid Edwards ran for a combined 106 yards and two touchdowns to aid the Cardinals in their 28-23 victory, moving them to 3-4 on the season. Miller Farr and Larry Wilson each had an interception, as the team won the turnover battle 3-0 to keep the Bills winless at 0-7.Since, the Cardinals have played in Buffalo three times, with the Bills winning 17-10 in 1986, 45-14 in 1990 and 38-14 in 2004.As you might expect, this is one of the longest road victory droughts for the Cardinals.There are only five cities that play host to an NFL team where the Cardinals either haven’t won a regular season game in the last 45 years, or haven’t won a regular season game there at all.A drought lasting longer than the one in Buffalo in which the Cardinals own a road win to their name is in Pittsburgh, as they haven’t stopped those Terrible Towel wavers since Oct. 5, 1969. The longest drought in a city where the Cardinals have a victory belongs to Green Bay, as they haven’t beaten the Packers on the road since getting a 39-17 win on Oct. 16, 1949. Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Cardinals have never won a road game against three franchises; the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs.The Cardinals’ first ever game in Kansas City ended up being a 6-6 tie in 1970, but they have lost there four times since. They have lost all five road games in Denver since 1977, and have just played at the Texans once, with it being a loss in 2005.Looking purely at winning spans at home, there are seven teams with more than three consecutive regular season wins at home against the Cardinals, which is how many home games the Bills have won in a row against them.The Packers have the longest regular season home winning streak against the Cardinals, having won eight games in a row. The Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins all have active seven game regular season home winning streaks against the Cardinals. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Buffalo has never been confused as a big-time tourist spot. It’s an industrial city known for its hard workers but lacks the vacation weather, the eye-popping buildings and all-around riveting things to do.For fans of the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo also lacks something big; a Cardinals victory in the last 45 years.The Cardinals haven’t won in Buffalo since Oct. 31, 1971, when their franchise belonged in St. Louis.last_img read more


AZCardinals RB snaps vs ATLJ Summers 24 Elling

Posted On Aug 11 2019 by

first_img#AZCardinals RB snaps vs ATL:J. Summers 24, Ellington 19, Penny 16, C. Johnson 11, D. Johnson 2, K. Williams 0.— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) August 27, 2017Arians made it sound like the game in Denver will carry weight in final decision-making. Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) runs as Oakland Raiders’ Cory James (57) make the tackle during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The penultimate preseason game for the Arizona Cardinals acted as the final prep for their starters, and to that end, Saturday’s 24-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons went positively as Arizona’s first and second teams opened up a 17-0 lead on the reigning NFC champions midway through the second quarter.Now it’s on to the preseason finale Thursday against the Denver Broncos, where several battles for roster spots could be decided. 1 Comments   Share   To set up the final week of the preseason, here are a few notes and tidbits from the Cardinals’ win in Atlanta.Chris Johnson still on the bubble?Head coach Bruce Arians isn’t known to mince words, so consider his comments real when examining running back Chris Johnson’s 31 rushing yards on six carries that were marred by two fumbles.“I mean, it was bad, especially down there at the 5-yard line. The other one, he got hit pretty quick. Then we had another fumble on a zone play; our guards were just not doing very good,” Arians said.Kerwynn Williams appears like a lock to make the roster considering his new role as a return man but after that, what the running backs room will look like behind starter David Johnson, who took just two snaps Saturday, remains wide open. Andre Ellington took four carries for three yards (including a seven-yard run) and caught a seven-yard pass. Undrafted free agent James Summers took the most carries (10) for the most yards (40) of the backs. And Elijhaa Penny, last season’s preseason darling at running back, took six carries for nine yards. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “Oh, yeah, every position is still in play,” Arians said when asked about Johnson’s status. “We have another game and we’ll see what happens next week.”Who played well? #AZvsATL Top 5 grades: via @pff Cap Capi, 88.3Xavier Williams, 82.4Harlan Miller, 81.6 Tyvon Branch, 81.1Justin Bethel, 80.6— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) August 27, 2017Pro Football Focus’ grades trended toward defensive success.Starting defensive backs Justin Bethel and Tyvon Branch rounded out the list, but backup defensive lineman Xavier Williams and defensive back Harlan Miller also graded well. Atop the list, however, was outside linebacker Cap Capi.Capi could have cemented himself on the 53-man roster with seven tackles, two QB hurries and 1.5 sacks against Atlanta.“You know, hopefully he can do that against the 1s,” Arians told Paul Calvisi after the game on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station. “That’s the big difference. He was wearing out those 2s and 3s, for sure. Cap’s got a good rush. He’s a heck of a player — he’s been on our practice squad for a year and it’s not like he just does it for one time. He’s got a great chance (to make the team).” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling If he makes the roster, Capi would fall on the depth chart behind Chandler Jones, Markus Golden and Kareem Martin.Jarvis Jones, the 17th overall pick by the Steelers in 2013, was expected to be in the competition but has been injured most of training camp.Pro Football Focus notes that Capi has been the Cardinals’ best pass rusher in the preseason with a game left.Wile or Leone?Asked by Calvisi how the punting competition between Richie Leone and Matt Wile has gone, Arians offered this: “It’s still uncertain. I think Matt’s had a little more consistency the last two weeks, and we’ll go into next week — that’s the nice thing about being able to take all 89 guys into Denver and let them try one more time.”Wile booted 49- and 36-yarders, pinning one inside the 20-yard line. Leone also dropped one inside the 20 while punting for 55 and 47 yards.No major injuriesArguably the best news from the Falcons game is the Cardinals made it another outing without major injury.Backup offensive lineup Ulrick John “got kicked in the ankle,” Arians said, while defensive tackle Olsen Pierre was put on concussion protocol.last_img read more


60 Comments  

Posted On Aug 11 2019 by

first_img 60 Comments   Share   GLENDALE, Ariz. — It wasn’t exactly déjà vu, but man, did what we saw Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium feel familiar.The Arizona Cardinals started quickly, sputtered in the middle and folded late in a 28-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in front of 65,102 fans and an audience of millions on Monday Night Football.Carson Palmer led the Cardinals (1-2) to a score on their first drive — an efficient eight-play, 82-yard jaunt that ended in a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown. In a half they thoroughly dominated, the Cardinals went to the locker room at halftime tied 7-7.Missed opportunity.The teams traded scores in the third quarter. Prescott hit Dez Bryant on a 15-yard touchdown on which the receiver dragged a gaggle of Arizona defenders over the goal line to give the Cowboys their first lead. Five minutes and 18 seconds later, Palmer delivered his second picturesque touchdown pass of the game, this one to Larry Fitzgerald from 15 yards out to tie the game at 14-14.Then the familiar theme of allowing touchdowns in the fourth quarter — as happened in the Cardinals’ season-opening loss to Detroit — popped up again. Prescott hit Brice Butler, who beat cornerback Justin Bethel, on a 37-yard strike with 11:52 to play.Dawson connected on a 37-yard field goal to pull the Cardinals to within four at 21-17, but the Prescott-to-Butler connection struck again on a 53-yard pass that set up Elliott’s 8-yard touchdown to ice the game for Dallas with just under five minutes to play.Another familiar issue was present all night — Arizona’s inability to protect Palmer or open up holes for backs in the running game. Palmer was sacked six times — three alone by DeMarcus Lawrence, who feasted on the right side of the Cardinals’ offensive line manned by guard Evan Boehm and Veldheer. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Palmer, who posted impressive statistics nonetheless (29-of-48 for 322 yards and two TDs), pinned much of the blame on himself.“A couple of times, I didn’t get the ball out early or get the ball out fast,” he said. “That is a front you want to get the ball out fast on. You don’t want to be in situations where you are just holding it and holding it.“There was a number of times where I got to the third and fourth read and they did a great job. There were also times that I just held on to it too long.”Yes, there were a couple of times Palmer was culpable, but he can’t continue to a) take the physical punishment he endured Monday and b) cover for a patchwork, ineffective line.“Block better,” a direct Bruce Arians said after the game when asked what the line needs to do to improve. When asked if that was possible, he was direct again.“There ain’t nobody else in there, we’ve only got seven guys that are healthy so they’re the only ones who could play.”The Cardinals played without guard Mike Iupati and tackle D.J. Humphries and lost guard Alex Boone late in the contest with an injury. Daniel Munyer finished up at left guard for Boone. If Iupati, Humphries and Boone are unable to go Sunday against San Francisco, Munyer would likely become the Cardinals’ eighth different starting lineman in four games. Arizona’s defense forced a Dallas three-and-out and then methodically moved down the field again. On 3rd-and-5 from the Dallas 10-yard line, Palmer hooked up with Brown again, except this one wouldn’t count. A holding penalty on right tackle Jared Veldheer wiped out the play, and the Cardinals had to settle for a field goal attempt from Phil Dawson.What should have been a 36-yard consolation prize turned into a big pile of nothing as Dawson missed wide right — his third miss in as many weeks and a match of his total of misses from last season.Missed opportunity.The Cowboys (2-1) went three-and-out again and Dallas punter Chris Jones uncorked a 29-yard punt that gave the Cardinals possession at their own 44. They didn’t do anything with it.In fact, Arizona would manage only 19 yards in its next four possessions. You couldn’t expect Dallas to dilly-dally all night long offensively, and it didn’t.On a 3rd-and-1 from the Cowboys’ own 15-yard line, a blitzing Tyrann Mathieu missed a tackle on Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who escaped and uncorked a 30-yard run. The drive ultimately led to nothing on the scoreboard but woke the dormant Dallas offense up. They’d get on the scoreboard with 1:16 to go in the first half on an acrobatic running touchdown from quarterback Dak Prescott. That’s not exactly a recipe for success. – / 32center_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) looks at Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence after being sacked during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more


Go back to the enewsletter World Journeys has a

Posted On Aug 11 2019 by

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >World Journeys has announced the following packages:Gulet Deal for AgentsWorld Journeys has a late availability Agent + Partner special on its 2-week Traditional Gulet Cruising package in Turkey and Greece departing Bodrum 6 Sept 2015. Now priced at AU$1750pp share twin, this represents a saving of $2645 per person. Entirely subject to availability, the price includes the services of a Captain, Chef and Steward, 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 10 dinners, harbour fees, 4 hours’ motoring daily, gratuities and use of the gulet’s tender boat.Solo Travel with World JourneysWorld Journeys has a special offer for solo travellers on 3 of their popular small-group hosted journeys in 2016. Clients who book and pay their deposit at least 6 months prior to departure can be matched up with another (same gender) solo traveller to share twin and avoid the single supplement.If a share isn’t found, accommodation is still provided on a single basis at no additional cost. This offer applies to the 15-day Castro’s Cuba departures 8 May, 10 July and 11 Sept 2016;  the 22-day Best of the Med departures (Outside Cabin category only) 16 June and 27 Aug 2016; and the 21-day Voyage of the Vikings (Outside Cabin category only) departing 4 Sept 2016.  The offer represents savings of up to $4550 per person, and may be combined with the Early Booking saving of $200 per person if booked by 30 Oct 2015. Morocco’s High UNESCO TallyWorld Journeys is offering an 8-day In Moroccan Style itinerary visiting the majority of the nation’s UNESCO sites, priced from $4370pp share twin including 4-star boutique hotels and riads, touring by air-conditioned vehicle, sightseeing with English speaking guides, entrance fees and 7 breakfasts.Free Nights in East AfricaWorld Journeys has Stay/Pay deals on the Elewana Collection of luxury safari lodges and camps in Kenya and Tanzania.  The Stay 4/Pay 3, Stay 6/Pay 4 or Stay 10/Pay 7 deals are valid on new bookings only for minimum 7-night stays until the end of May 2016, when booked and deposited by 30 Sept 2015 (Park fees are still payable).Choose from top safari camps including Elsa’s Kopje, Joy’s Camp and Elephant Pepper Camp in Kenya, which are featured in World Journeys’ 11-day Adamson’s Footsteps itinerary.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more


Go back to the enewsletter Bali and Beyond Travel

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first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterBali and Beyond Travel Fair, which was opened by the Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, on 23 June 2016, once again promoted tourism in Bali as well as other regions in Indonesia. BBTF 2016 successfully brought 168 sellers from Bali and other areas emerging destinations such as Toraja, Flores, Wakatobi, Central Java, East Kalimantan and others together with 222 buyers from 30 different countries.Mutually beneficial meetings took place between sellers and buyers during the first two days of the event. However, on the third day, 25 June, the expo was open to the general public. This gave consumers the opportunity to meet directly with sellers and gather information about unique destinations that are scattered across the archipelago.BBTF 2016 was not only beneficial for sellers but also the buyers. “It created a unique platform for us to meet old friends as well as forge new partnerships and take a look at some exciting products. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for everyone to network. The timing of BBTF has been absolutely perfect as it’s the right contracting time for our market,” said Ian Gerrit, Director of Venture Holidays Australia.For the exhibitors and sellers, BBTF 2016 has shown great improvement in terms of providing quality buyers as well as the overall organisation of the event.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more