MSC Cruises partners with Etihad AirwaysMSC Cruises S.A., the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, announced today a new global partnership agreement that will benefit MSC Cruises’ guests travelling to Abu Dhabi and the UAE.The partnership with Etihad Airways reflects MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to its guests and is testament to the Company’s wish to always make its all-around offering a best-in-class experience, both at sea and in the air – with “Fly & Cruise” packages from destinations around the world – with Etihad Airways or partner airlines in its network.Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to partner with Etihad Airways. Both companies are uniquely young, ambitious and dynamic market leaders. With our “Fly & Cruise” packages, MSC Cruises guests will benefit from Etihad Airways’ and our Company’s impeccable service from the minute they leave their homes for a memorable cruise experience on MSC Musica. Through our partnership and also together with Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority we will work to develop Abu Dhabi as an ideal winter cruise destination to further strengthen our offer in the region.”James Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Etihad Airways, declared: “Abu Dhabi is being developed into a leading international cruise destination, with record passenger numbers and ship calls reported during the recent 2014/2015 season. Future projections are even stronger, as the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal opens at the end of this year, and world-class cultural attractions such as Abu Dhabi’s Louvre and Guggenheim museums enhance the local tourism offering.”“Our partnership with MSC Cruises, as well as Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, for ‘Fly & Cruise’ will expand source markets for cruises in the UAE and regionally, bringing in more travellers from destinations across Europe. It will also ensure a comfortable travel experience for guests at all stages of their vacation, including their time in the air and on the sea.”In its focus on developing the cruise market in the beautiful region of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman, MSC Cruises logically partnered with Etihad Airways. Under the terms of the agreement, MSC Cruises’ guests will be able to fly to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways to cruise in the region in the amazing Arabian winter. Guests will fly with the national airline of the UAE to their cruise during winter 2015-2016 on MSC Musica.Contributing nearly 20 percent, in terms of market share, to Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season, MSC Cruises has brought over 100,000 passengers from 115 nationalities to the Emirate between 2011 and 2015. Overall, Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season, that ran from October 2014 until May 2015, welcomed a record 200,407 passengers and 94 ship calls.Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO Abu Dhabi Ports, commented: “By providing state-of-the -art facilities to cruise lines and industry partners, we are boosting Abu Dhabi’s growth potential to be a regular port of call on the itineraries of leading tour operators from across the world. Our innovation in service and infrastructure has been delivering a lasting impression to visitors to Abu Dhabi, supporting our mission to increase our share of the UAE’s non-hydrocarbon based GDP and to contribute further to the tourism industry.”From December 13, 2015 to March 27, 2016, MSC Musica will sail 16 seven-night cruises in the region from Abu Dhabi, calling Khor al Fakkan, Muscat, Khasab and Dubai.MSC Cruises already partners with multiple global brands that are bywords for excellence in their fields. Partnerships with the Lego Group and Chicco are rooted in the Company’s commitment to creating unforgettable vacations for children and families. A partnership with restaurant brand Eataly adds high-end Italian cuisine based on exceptional ingredients to the fleet’s rich dining offering, while Samsung and Expo 2015 – of which MSC Cruises is the Official Cruise Carrier – echo the Company’s focus on technological innovation. MSC Cruises Etihad Airways Source = MSC Cruises
Source = Dream Cruises Dream Cruises launches bold new brand campaignDream Cruises launches bold new brand campaignBreaking free of your boundaries to reach for your dreams, is the bold and imaginative theme of ‘The Mermaid’s Dream’, a ground-breaking new campaign for the brand launch of Dream Cruises, the first-ever Asian luxury cruise line.In an unconventional approach to promoting the leisure-cruise proposition, to what is still a relatively nascent cruise market in China, Dream Cruises has taken the iconic mermaid of its logo and weaved around her a ‘fantastical’ storytelling creative conveying the ‘inspirational’ nature of its onboard experiences that promise to bring dream vacations to life for its guests.Inspired by the dramatic hull artwork of Chinese pop-artist Jacky Tsai which adorns the hull of Dream Cruises’ inaugural ship Genting Dream, the campaign features an emotive love-story between a mermaid and an astronaut. Physically bound by their respective elemental universes of outer space and water, they strive to overcome the boundaries that separate them, before finally breaking free to make their impossible dream a reality. The fantastical story and stylized nature of the campaign conveys the luxury, sophistication and elegance of the Dream Cruises brand and serves as a powerful metaphor for its brand purpose of bringing dreams to life.The campaign, developed by Leo Burnett China, features a visually striking brand advertisement and video commercial aimed at the ‘emerging generation’ of independently-minded affluent leisure travellers looking for sophisticated new luxury vacation experiences.An accomplished international film director brought the epic story to life in truly cinematic fashion, which involved space cinematography and computer generated 3D graphics as used in the award winning movie ‘Gravity’.Mr Eric Leong, Vice President, Brand Marketing & Communications of Dream Cruises said: “There seemed no better way to launch our brand than by bringing to life our brand icon, the mermaid, and the incredible story of our hull artwork. The seemingly impossible romance between a mermaid and an astronaut is imaginative, captivating and inspiring – and these are all elements that we believe represent the experience of a luxury cruise on board Dream Cruises. To differentiate our brand as unique in the market, we wanted to dream big so we adopted a bold and memorable storytelling approach that stands out from the competition, breaking away from traditional brand commercials in the sector that invariably present a cruise ship video tour”.The commercial will air as 30-second and 15-second spots on traditional and online broadcast channels, supported by an integrated print, outdoor, digital and social media campaign, with an extended minute-long ‘mini-film’ version of the epic being released at a later date.Consumers will also be encouraged to connect with the brand by envisaging and scripting their own personal interpretation of how the inspirational and romantic storyline should reach its final conclusion on social media.Dream Cruises is Genting Hong Kong’s new cruise line, catering to the large and rapidly growing high-end market in China and Asia. The cruise line offers inspirational luxury, which is Asian at heart and international in spirit, delivering the highest levels of onboard guest service and spacious comfort in the region. Genting Dream, currently undergoing fit-out at shipbuilders Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, will debut from her dual homeports of Guangzhou (Nansha) and Hong Kong in November this year. Dream Cruisesbook your cruise here
Hotel Vahine island arrival – Taha’a @Gregoire Le BaconTahiti Air Charter launchesGet ready to fly high in The Islands of Tahiti as a new private seaplane company launches this month. After years spent in maritime transportation in the region, the Degage family has launched the commercial Tahiti Air Charter – also becoming the first French seaplane airline in 50 years.Based in Raiatea, which is just 20 minutes from Bora Bora by plane, Tahiti Air Charter will offer flights and day tours over and around Bora Bora and the Society Islands. Plans for the Charter includes private inter-island charters, flights over Bora Bora and Tupai (the heart-shaped island), and full-day excursions to discover more hidden islands including Taha’a and Maupiti.With a capacity of 8 passengers and the ability to land on both land and water, the Cessna 208 caravan amphibian used by Tahiti Air Charter is known as one of the quietest in its class. The ideal transport for a perfect and exclusive getaway in The Islands of Tahiti, Tahiti Air Charter flights will provide security, comfort and modernity.With water landing areas mainly located in the Society Islands, the objective of Tahiti Air Charter is to expand this capacity and its air fleet in order to serve the sustainable development of tourism in French Polynesia.Flights commence from this week.Aircraft DetailsCessna 208 Caravan amphibianPassenger seats : 8Maximum range : 1 682 kmMax cruise speed : 294 km/hMax commercial load : 1 050 kg (2 314 lbs)Length : 11.61mHeight : 5.36mWingspan : 15.87m Turboprop engine : 1More information can be found at http://tahititourisme.com.au and www.tahiti-air-charter.comExplore Tahiti Tourisme: On Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tahititourismau/ On Facebook www.facebook.com/TahitiTourismAU Or on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/TahitiTourismAUSource = Tahiti Air Charter
Radisson Hotel Group raises USD 445,000 to provide a better futureRadisson Hotel Group raises USD 445,000 to provide a better futureDuring its annual Community Action Month in June 2018, Radisson Hotel Group activated its global partnership with SOS Children’s Villages – carrying out more than 900 activities worldwide to help support children and young people.Radisson Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups, is pleased to share the highlights from its 2018 Community Action Month activities around the world. For the last 15 years, Radisson Hotel Group’s hotels, as well as its corporate and area offices, globally have dedicated one full month to making a difference in the communities they operate in by organizing various activities around its industry-leading Responsible Business program. This year, between them, all business units of the newly rebranded Radisson Hotel Group organized more than 900 activities in their local communities, dedicated more than 32,000 volunteer hours, and raised a total of USD 445,000 in cash and in-kind for SOS Children’s Villages and other local charities.“One in 10 children worldwide has lost, or is at risk of losing, their parental care. At Radisson Hotel Group, we are lending a helping hand to give some of these children food, shelter and a better future. Every day, more than 95,000 team members strive to make Every Moment Matter for our guests, owners, talent and for our local communities around the world. This special month of June, our teams engaged in fundraising activities, donations and great volunteering opportunities for SOS Children’s Villages,” said Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President, Responsible Business and Safety & Security.“At SOS Children’s Villages, we greatly value the support of our partners in improving the lives of children, young people and families in countries all over the world,” said Patricia Molano, Head of International Corporate Partnerships and Philanthropy at SOS Children’s Villages International. “We are happy to see the engagement of volunteers, supporters and guests during the Community Action Month and we are looking forward to growing the partnership further in the coming years.”Some highlights of the 2018 Community Action Month included corporate employees of the group’s Americas HQ step-up/step-out to help the communities in the Midwest and beyond. They packed more than 8,500 meals for the local food banks and provided shelter by volunteering on the construction site, helping build homes for families in need and supporting the local shelter.During the group’s Asia Pacific Annual Business Conference in Batam, Indonesia, the company’s executive leaders visited the Virant Sejahtera Orphanage which Radisson Golf & Convention Center Batam has been working with for more than a year. Besides donating new mattresses, a computer and a guitar, the group invited the children back to the hotel to enjoy the facilities at the Kids’ Club. At the same time, a commitment was made to fund a scooter helmet swap shop for local children in Batam.The leadership team also took part in the Soap4Hope (S4H) initiative in Batam. In collaboration with global supplier Diversey, S4H sanitizes and reprocesses used soap bars from hotels, to be distributed to local people in need or sold to the hotel and other companies. This life-changing initiative not only helps reduce hotel waste; it improves hygiene levels and generates much-needed income for people in under-privileged communities.Some examples from our hotels around the globe include:Radisson Blu Chittagong in Bangladesh, who has recently received the 2017 Radisson Hotel Group Responsible Business Hotel of the Year Award, Asia Pacific, embarked on and completed 11 projects supporting the Bangladeshi community in 2017. Activities included cleaning local beaches, hosting events for a children’s orphanage and donating water purifying equipment to charitable organizations.The Radisson Blu Resort Fiji, through their ongoing ‘Adopt a School’ initiative, continued to provide Food.Shelter.Future to 30 local schools. This June, the team visited one of the schools and donated laptop computers and booksThe Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, Freetown in Sierra Leone is participating in a range of projects, including a youth employment program via the internationally accredited Youth Career Initiative – making the hotel the first ever nationwide to implement such a program.The group’s hotels in Tallinn, Estonia, sponsored and visited children of the local SOS Children’s Village, to offer in-kind donations of clothes and shoes.Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth Hotel in South Africa provided a ‘braai’ feast and a game of football. Throughout the year, Radisson Blu Hotel, Port Elizabeth has committed to support the SOS Children’s Village in maintenance work required on their property and their recycling program.The Radisson Blu Hotel, Hamburg Airport in Germany has provided SOS Children’s Villages Hamburg with help for a while. After a successful back-to-school support campaign, equipping the children for the new school year, the team provided food and catered for the local SOS Children’s Villages family day.The Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo in Norway ran a successful Responsible Business lottery. The goal was to make everyone a winner, set SOS Children’s Villages on the agenda and allow our guests to win some great prizes. The lottery raised more than EUR 2,200.Radisson Hotel Group is encouraging each of its 1,100 hotels to sponsor the upbringing and education of at least one child per hotel, and to establish meaningful relationships with the SOS Children’s Villages in their respective countries. The business leadership team of the group is contributing by privately sponsoring more than 50 children from SOS Children’s Villages.The Community Action Month is a core element of Radisson Hotel Group’s overarching Responsible Business program. For more details about the company’s Responsible Business strategy, please visit radissonhotels.com/responsible-business.Watch our video with the highlights of Radisson Hotel Group’s Community Action Month: https://youtu.be/0IOHFTOuTB8Source = Radisson Hotel Group
This video is the perfect example of a short 5-hour airport stopover tour in the magnificent city of Rome.
The Government of Macao will be implementing a new development strategy to promote ‘Cultural Macao’ to strengthen the city’s heritage. It will increase practical training for appropriate professions whilst increasing the protection of the city’s heritage.The government also aspires to increase the number of professional and international branding conventions by nurturing the fast-growing MICE industry through a flagship strategy – ‘Elevating Macao into a City of Events’.For Cultural Macao, a list of Macao’s intangible cultural heritage will be compiled, establishing a heritage monitoring mechanism, and commencing the formulation of the plan for protection and management of the historic centre of Macao by-law.Culture popularisation projects and art education projects will be implemented to encourage original creativity, enhanced cultural connections and the showcasing of the uniqueness of Macao’s diversified culture, enriching, in parallel, the cultural life of local residents.
According to the European Travel Commission’s (ETC) latest report, ‘European Tourism – Trends & Prospects 2018’, 32 out of 34 reporting destinations registered some form of growth over the summer period, with one in four enjoying double-digit expansion in arrivals. Europe saw a seven percent increase in international tourist arrivals in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 with growth led by Southern/Mediterranean destinationsEuropean destinations reported healthy growth this summer. Growth momentum was boosted by robust intra-European demand and improved air connectivity, notably from China. Turkey saw a growth of 23% while Greece, Serbia and Malta registered 19%, 15% and 16% increase in travellers respectively. Iceland saw a robust demand from the U.S. and Russia saw a growth of six percent. Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of ETC said, “To avoid further slowdown and capitalise on the potential of tourism to create jobs and to facilitate economic growth, the European Travel Commission calls for better coordination of the instruments steering the European tourism industry. Tourism stakeholders and decision-makers, at all levels, should coordinate to invest wisely in more sustainable and innovative tourism products and services to improve the European visitors’ experience.”
Share August 7, 2013 442 Views Following a speech Tuesday night in Phoenix, in which President Barack Obama discussed his ideas for housing finance reform, the president today took questions from American citizens during a “”live discussion””:http://www.zillow.com/whitehouse/ hosted by “”Zillow””:http://www.zillow.com/ CEO Spencer Rascoff. [IMAGE]During the question and answer session Wednesday, Obama reiterated his stated goals to bring a gradual end to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to bring private capital into the housing market, and to offer affordable housing options–both rental options and 30-year mortgages. Obama admitted that while it is the American dream to own a home, not all Americans are in a position to purchase a home. In particular, younger Americans with [COLUMN_BREAK]student debt may not be in a position to accrue more debt through a mortgage loan. In fact, Obama said one of the problems leading to the housing crisis was that many Americans who should have been renting were being offered mortgage loans. Obama plans to combat the housing dilemmas facing young Americans in two ways–by helping ensure affordable rental housing options and by reducing the cost of college. Money that for past generations would have gone toward a down payment on a house is now going to student debt, Obama said. Thus, helping reduce the cost of college will positively impact the housing market by allowing more young people to purchase homes instead of returning to their parents’ homes, he said. Obama also discussed plans for the future of housing finance, including scaling back Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s portfolios and encouraging private capital to enter the market. In most developed countries, the government does not have such a large role in the housing market, Obama said. “”We’re actually confident that the private market can step in, do a good job, and the government can be a backstop,”” Obama said, adding, “”In some ways it’s a return to earlier models.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Barack Obama Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers Zillow 2013-08-07 Krista Franks Brock Obama Fields Housing Questions in Web Chat in Government
DocMagic’s SmartCLOSE Technology to be Released August 15 DocMagic Release SmartCLOSE Testing 2015-08-14 Staff Writer Share DocMagic, Inc., will finally release their SmartCLOSE technology August 15, 2015, according to an announcement from the company.According to DocMagic, the launch of SmartCLOSE comes after extensive testing by lenders, settlement providers, and other relevant parties. The technology has been honed to perfection and moved to a secure cloud-based production environment.“The innovative enhancements that DocMagic has added to the portal makes SmartCLOSE the most feature rich and easy-to-use TRID solution in the industry,” said Kevin Marconi, COO of United Fidelity Funding. “Even though the TRID deadline was pushed to October 3, DocMagic’s early readiness today gives me the peace of mind I absolutely must have to know that I am TRID ready.”DocMagic selected over 250 lenders to participate in the testing of DocMagic’s new SmartCLOSE collaborative closing portal in June in order to provide key feedback to DocMagic for continued fine-tuning of the system.“DocMagic really hit a home run with this product. We are extremely impressed with Smart CLOSE; this system is very easy for us and our settlement agent partners to utilize,” said Jim Paolino, CEO of LodeStar Software Solutions, a leading technology provider for the title insurance industry. “The fashion in which the screens and workflow were developed is going to make adoption by our settlement agents quick and make their jobs easy in the new post-TRID world order.”DocMagic’s Audit Engine maintains electronic evidence to track and log all transactions and its Compliance Engine continuously compares the initial Loan Estimate against the final to ensure RESPA compliance throughout the process. DocMagic also reps and warrants all documents created and calculations provided by the system with a complete TRID compliance guarantee. This compliance “stamp of approval” allows SmartCLOSE users to rest assured that all TRID requirements have been met.SmartCLOSE integrates with DocMagic’s LOS partners to provide seamless, bi-directional exchange of information with the click of a mouse. SmartCLOSE is also being integrated with all leading settlement platforms and other third-party applications used in the loan closing process.“The DocMagic client base and strategic partners say that DocMagic has built the best TRID solution in the industry,” said Tim Anderson, director of eServices at DocMagic. “Our team has diligently worked to fine-tune SmartCLOSE largely based on user feedback which has helped us get to where we are today.” in Headlines, News, Technology August 14, 2015 580 Views
January 20, 2018 903 Views HOUSING mortgage Movers and Shakers 2018-01-20 Nicole Casperson Transformational Mortgage Solutions Announces New President & COO Austin, Texas-based mortgage industry management consulting firm Transformational Mortgage Solutions (TMS) announced that it has named Beth Ozenghar its new president and COO. Ozenghar, whose mortgage career spans three decades, had been in the role of Senior Executive Advisor with TMS since 2016. TMS Founder David Lykken will retain the title of Founder and Chief Transformation Officer.“Beth Ozenghar’s depth of mortgage expertise, as well as her consultative temperament, makes her ideal to serve as President and COO of TMS, both for operating our business and serving our treasured clients,” said Lykken. “In this era of unprecedented industry disruption and opportunity, mortgage lenders need experienced guidance from a trusted advisor like never before, and with Beth serving as president, TMS is ideally positioned to deliver on that need.”While consulting with TMS for the last two years, Ozenghar also operated an independent mortgage advisory firm. Previously, she served more than a decade as VP of Correspondent Lending for AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, where she was responsible for its correspondent division’s operations, secondary marketing, underwriting, and servicing. Prior to that, she was VP Secondary Marketing at Second National Bank of Warren, and Secondary Marketing Manager at Signal Bank N.A.“I am thrilled with the opportunity to make a lasting difference in our industry as president and COO of Transformational Mortgage Solutions,” said Ozenghar. “David Lykken has built TMS into an amazing organization that helps mortgage businesses reach their highest potential by focusing on process improvement, people, and profitability. Understandably, earning his trust and confidence has been no small accomplishment.” in Headlines, News, Servicing Share
ServiceMac focuses on providing technology, products, and services for the mortgage industry backed by personalized service and support. Through continuous innovation and acquisition, its offerings are comprised of personalized solutions that span the mortgage continuum and enhance security, customer satisfaction, and profitability.IndiSoft LLC is a software development and product company specializing in delivering collaborative technology solutions to a wide range of businesses in the financial services and health care industries. The company’s RX Office Management Solution is its patented technology offering and has been adapted for numerous stakeholders in mortgage banking, law, insurance, education, health care, consumer-facing applications, and the housing advocacy sector. “Working with a new sub-servicing enterprise, led by Bob and his team, is an exciting opportunity for us. ServiceMac is modernizing the mortgage sub-servicing model unburdened by the need to upgrade or convert from a multitude of legacy and end-user systems,” said Hans Rusli, CEO, IndiSoft LLC. AI Banks Indisoft laons mortgage ServiceMac Servicing technology 2019-02-25 Radhika Ojha ServiceMac, a mortgage sub-servicer for banks, investment firms, mortgage bankers, and credit unions has selected IndiSoft’s RX Office Compliance platform to support its enterprise-level quality assurance and quality control processes.“As we round out our technology partners to complete our vision of a unique mortgage sub-servicing solution designed for the digital age in mortgage banking, IndiSoft’s RX Compliance platform is critical in addressing the constantly changing regulatory landscape to ensure superior, cost-effective governance,” said Bob Caruso, CEO for ServiceMac.IndiSoft’s AI-enabled regulatory compliance technology will assist ServiceMac’s adherence to federal, state and investor guidelines, enforcement actions, administrative rulings, court decisions, and internal policies and procedures. in Headlines, News, Servicing ServiceMac Chooses IndiSoft Platform February 25, 2019 665 Views Share
Dark streaks on a banana leaf caused by toxins released from the fungus when they react with sunlight. Credit: Dan BebberThe study combined experimental data on Black Sigatoka infections with detailed climate information over the past 60 years.Black Sigatoka, which is virulent against a wide range of banana plants, was first reported in Honduras in 1972.It spread throughout the region to reach Brazil in 1998 and the Caribbean islands of Martinique, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines in the late 2000s.The disease now occurs as far north as Florida.”While fungus is likely to have been introduced to Honduras on plants imported from Asia for breeding research, our models indicate that climate change over the past 60 years has exacerbated its impact,” said Bebber.The Pseudocercospora fijiensis fungus spreads via aerial spores, infecting banana leaves and causing streaked lesions and cell death when fungal toxins are exposed to light.The study did not attempt to predict the potential effects of future climate on the spread and impact of Black Sigatoka. Other research suggests drying trends could reduce disease risk, but this would also reduce the availability of water for the banana plants themselves.The paper, published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, is entitled: “Climate change effects on black sigatoka disease of banana.” May 08 , 2019 You might also be interested in Climate change has raised the risk of a fungal disease that ravages banana crops, according to new research from the U.K.’s University of Exeter.Black Sigatoka disease emerged from Asia in the late 20th Century and has recently completed its invasion of banana-growing areas in Latin America and the Caribbean.The new study says changes to moisture and temperature conditions have increased the risk of Black Sigatoka by more than 44% in these areas since the 1960s.International trade and increased banana production have also aided the spread of Black Sigatoka, which can reduce the fruit produced by infected plants by up to 80%.”Black Sigatoka is caused by a fungus (Pseudocercospora fijiensis) whose lifecycle is strongly determined by weather and microclimate,” said Dr. Daniel Bebber, of the University of Exeter.”This research shows that climate change has made temperatures better for spore germination and growth, and made crop canopies wetter, raising the risk of Black Sigatoka infection in many banana-growing areas of Latin America.”Despite the overall rise in the risk of Black Sigatoka in the areas we examined, drier conditions in some parts of Mexico and Central America have reduced infection risk.” Pioneering Dutch substrate banana production proje … TR4 confirmed in Colombia as country declares “nat … U.S. judge denies Chiquita’s request to be let out … Australia: Queensland govt boosts TR4 funding, cal …
oyster.com Generally, when people book hotels they want certain things like well-appointed rooms, consistent service and a great location…But it seems that some people want to experience what it would be like to sleep in a covered wagon … or under an enormous image of David Beckham – and let’s face it, that could be better than a lot of wall art you see in hotels!oyster.com has compiled a list of ‘weird hotels’ that includes a cave, a cell and a paddle steamer.Click for more images
BrochurescruiseSeabourn Seabourn has released the latest edition of its annual cruise collection, inviting vacation seekers on a hard copy journey reflective of the beauty, engagement and discovery they’ll experience at sea.The 128-page “Extraordinary Worlds, 2019/2020 Cruise Collection” details more than 180 Seabourn cruises visiting more than 450 destinations in nearly 100 countries across all seven continents. It highlights onboard and on-shore experiences with features on everything from suite layouts to dining options and land-based excursions. Also included is a two-page, quick-reference Cruise Planning Calendar, listing the cruises scheduled on Seabourn’s five ultra-luxury ships through 2019 and Winter 2020. The “Extraordinary Worlds” catalogue further provides background on the Seabourn experience, such as partnerships with world-renowned Michelin three-star Chef Thomas Keller, visionary pioneer of integrative medicine Dr. Andrew Weil, and UNESCO. Each of these partners has transformed the line’s culinary and spa & wellness offerings, respectively, and they are highlighted on pages all their own. New this year is a page dedicated to the Mindful Living Excursions, optional tours created as part of the line’s partnership with Dr. Weil.
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced the complete expansion of its Cruise Norwegian app across its 16-ship fleet.Developed in-house and designed to enhance the guest experience, the app features a “pre-cruise” mode offering guests a comprehensive planning experience from pre-booking onboard activities, dining reservations, shore excursions and entertainment to accessing their holiday itinerary and leveraging mobile check-in and e-documents for paperless boarding.When used on board and connected to a ship’s Wi-Fi network, the app offers guests a best-in-class connected experience, allowing them to continue making reservations, book last-minute excursions, view ship activities, send messages and make unlimited onboard calls for a one-time fee of US$9.95 per person. Guests can also make outbound calls to nearly every country in the world starting at just USD$0.79 per minute.Before disembarkation, guests using the app can track and review their onboard purchases as well as view helpful disembarkation information including immigration and Easy Walk-off details. Those excited for their next cruise holiday can view information about Norwegian’s Cruise Next program, and guests can review their Latitudes Rewards points and learn about onboard tier benefits.The app is currently available in English with additional language roll-outs to follow.“We want to do everything we can to make our guests’ vacations as enjoyable and relaxing as possible,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our Cruise Norwegian App, which is now available fleetwide, provides them with the freedom and flexibility to do just that.”The Cruise Norwegian app is one component of Cruise Freedom, the company’s technology platform aimed at enhancing the guest experience from booking to disembarkation.Please find an image for the Cruise Norwegian app here NorwegianCruise Line
According to reports Thursday, the Arizona Cardinals had asked the Pittsburgh Steelers for permission to interview offensive coordinator Todd Haley for their head coaching vacancy. Haley was the offensive coordinator in Arizona for the 2007 and 2008 seasons before leaving to be the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, and he made some sense as a candidate. However, early Friday a report circulated that Haley had not yet agreed to speak with the Cardinals, perhaps in part because of his affinity for working for the Steelers. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires According to Arizona Sports 620’s Paul Calvisi, it looks like you can disregard that report. Per NFL source: “don’t believe” ESPN report on Todd Haley.I’m told he views AZ Cardinals head coaching spot as a “great opportunity..”— Paul Calvisi (@PaulCalvisi) January 4, 2013 Comments Share Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The Cardinals are currently scheduled to chat with Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy Saturday, and as of yet nothing is known to be on the docket with Haley. That may change shortly. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling
As the 2014 NFL Draft draws nearer and nearer, there are certain catchphrases that we’ll hear a lot.Upside.Potential.Closing burst.Pad level.Well, you can add “quarterback of the future” to the list. Quarterback is undoubtedly the most important position in football, yet there is a shortage of quality signal callers in the league. That leaves a lot of teams looking for their “quarterback of the future.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments Share Glennon, the 6-foot-7 signal caller from North Carolina State, started 13 games for Tampa Bay as a rookie, completing 59.4 percent of his passes for 2,608 yards and 19 touchdowns.Respectable numbers, indeed. But the coach and general manager who drafted Glennon (Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik) were both fired in the offseason. New head coach Lovie Smith announced last month that recently acquired quarterback Josh McCown would be his starter at the position, effectively placing Glennon on the trading block. The Arizona Cardinals could be in that category. Carson Palmer, acquired from Oakland in a trade prior to the 2013 season, performed admirably in his first year in the desert — especially the second half of the season. But he is 34 and most believe that his best years are behind him.Does that mean the Cardinals will try to find their “QBOTF” in the draft next month? Not necessarily.Reports are circulating that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are interested in trading quarterback Mike Glennon, their third-round pick from 2013.Chris Wesseling of NFL.com (with help from Mike Silver) says the Cardinals could be a potential trade partner with the Bucs for Glennon’s services, along with the Tennessee Titans, coached by former Cardinals head man Ken Whisenhunt. Similar to Whisenhunt, Arians has always preferred big, strong-armed quarterbacks for his vertical offense. Glennon conducted a private workout for the Cardinals last season, and NFL Media columnist Michael Silver confirmed the team’s interest in the former NC State star as Carson Palmer’s eventual successor. We’re not buying Arians’ contention that Palmer will be under center for the next three or four years.Wesseling also lists New England and Chicago as possibilities. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories
0 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires A rookie class may not always immediately impact an NFL team, but drafting well can often plug a few holes.In the case of the Arizona Cardinals, selecting defensive players with their first two picks will act as a patchwork for a defense that notably lost veterans Calais Campbell, Tony Jefferson, Marcus Cooper, D.J. Swearinger and Kevin Minter. While that’s a lot of production for two rookies — linebacker Haason Reddick and safety Budda Baker — to replace, their presence at least quells some concerns about the defense dropping off from 2016. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Where does Arizona stand in terms of its roster makeup heading into 2017?For ESPN, Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz released his post-draft projection for the upcoming season and predicts the Cardinals will finish 9-7, second in the NFC West and in the playoffs as the top NFC Wild Card squad.We’ve tempered our offensive projection for Arizona since our April forecast after comparing Carson Palmer’s recent history to other quarterbacks who had one big season in their 30s. Nevertheless, Arizona should have a top defense and the offense should rebound a little bit and be at least average.Schatz says history shows draft picks on the defensive side of the ball generally make a greater impact than offensive rookies. On that note, the Cardinals’ Reddick and Baker certainly played a positive part in Football Outsiders’ projections if they believe the Arizona defense can remain a team strength despite it losing the most defensive snaps in free agency of any NFL team.Elsewhere in the Cardinals’ division, the projections have the Seattle Seahawks running away with the NFC West with an 11-5 record and the Los Angeles Rams improving to close the year just behind Arizona at 8-8. Arizona Cardinals’ first-round draft pick Haason Reddick waits to speak while being introduced at the teams’ training facility, Friday, April 28, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. Reddick was the 13th overall pick in the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Matt York) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The San Francisco 49ers finish dead last in the NFC with a 5-11 record, the analysis predicts.
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Holcomb expects a transition period where the players adjust to the new approach, both mentally and in their split-second reactions.“It’s just understanding that primarily we’re a single-gap defense right now and every man is assigned for a gap and every man has to do their job,” Holcomb said. “Those guys have embraced the switch. They get to stop the run on the way to the quarterback.”That aggressive approach is one of the things new players profess to love about Holcomb’s approach – none more than pass rushing defensive end Chandler Jones — but there appears to be a personality fit as well.“He’s a straight-forward guy. He speaks direct, and he’s a big attention-to-detail guy,” Jones said. “He’s both fiery and cool, and that’s advantageous for a coach because sometimes you don’t want to be one way. You need to get your players’ attention or you need to calm them down. It’s good to have the fire aspect and also the cool in your bag.”The Cardinals are a long way from cementing their personnel packages or identifying their strengths just one week into training camp, but Holcomb says he is happy with what he has seen so far.“It’s gone well,” he said. “Obviously, there’s going to be a learning curve with it and we have a lot of moving parts right now. We have a large roster but the guys are picking it up. As we continue to conquer old problems then we’ll go back and fix new problems.” 0 Comments Share GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cardinals defensive coordinator Al Holcomb and his staff keep a chart of missed opportunities by their players every day in training camp. They’ve been doing it since OTAs.When the final tally is in, the staff presents the results to the players at team meetings. If a player makes a play, he earns the simplest of rewards.“Positive reinforcement,” Holcomb said, laughing.If he misses a play, on the other hand, “you get a minus for it,” linebacker Josh Bynes said. “You’re like, ‘dang,’ but he’s like, ‘you had your hands on the ball. It’s an opportunity for us. That could be turned into a touchdown.” Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling (Twitter screenshot/@AZCardinals) Related LinksCards camp notebook: Intensity rising with focus on physicalityDoug & Wolf’s bold Cardinals preseason predictionsArizona Cardinals sign Cap Capi to one-year dealThere are all sorts of plays that get charted from pass breakups and forced fumbles to tackles and interceptions.“He’s looking at everything,” Bynes said. “It’s pretty much just like a game.“At the end of the day, this game is about production so it’s a missed opportunity in the game. That could have been the play to seal the game. That could have been the play that stopped the touchdown the next play. That could have been the play that changed everything and gave us momentum. Those are things you have to capitalize on, on defense. If we can get turnovers on defense, we’re going to win games.”The Cardinals are hoping that their transition from a 3-4 alignment to a 4-3 alignment will produce those turnovers. With the new alignment, there is less guesswork and thinking involved on a given play.“Going from a 3-4 to a 4-3, we’re really going to be harping on gap integrity and everybody playing their assignment and being responsible, being accountable,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “It’s what we like, playing downhill. With a 3-4, a lot of times, it’s two-gapping. You’ve got to rock back whereas here, everybody has a gap. You hit your gap downhill, creating a new line of scrimmage. I think that’s what everybody is going to appreciate about this, being able to attack and put pressure on the opposing offense.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Go back to the enewsletterClick here to view the full infographicTo mark International Women’s Day 2019, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold have released a new infographic showcasing the State of Women in Travel.The graphic shows that 57% of travellers with the companies are women, and they are at the core of everything the company does. Aiming to break tradition and pave the way for female empowerment, 70% of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold’s overall workforce are female, and nearly two-thirds hold leadership positions.“Our global executive team consists of outstanding professionals, more than half of which are women. We will always hire for talent and the right cultural fit to ensure we have the best possible team and I love seeing how over the last few years, more women are putting themselves forward for senior leadership positions and excelling in their roles,” says Insight Vacations/Luxury Gold CEO Ulla Hefel Bohler.Women in leadership positions have jumped from 17% only five years ago to now account for 64%, an increase of nearly 75%.Insight Vacations’ Travel Director for Spain and Portugal, Sara Tuppen Veloso explains how she ended up in her position today.If you were to speak with other Travel Directors, it would quickly become obvious that there is no direct path to this career. I grew up enchanted by their travel stories. In my teens, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Germany. Upon completion of my university degree, I attempted to follow a ‘normal’ path by securing a job translating and editing for a large international accounting firm. Within one year there, however, it became apparent that working in an office was not for me. During the job search that followed this revelation, a European coach holiday company, Contiki Holidays, was brought to my attention. I secured a job with Contiki Europe, which I thought would be a short stint to fill the gap between so-called serious career decisions but, nearly ten years later, I am still in this industry (working for Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold now). That spontaneous step into a new career in a new country is one of the best choices I have made. I love the work that I do.Insight Vacations’ Sara Tuppen Veloso leads a journeyIn brief, describe a day in your life on the job.Usually, from 7am to 9pm every day, my day is packed with activity, communication, preparation and paperwork. I meet the group at breakfast and am available to our guests all day, whether it is to answer questions, provide commentary on history or culture, offer assistance or simply chat. At the same time, I am continually busy with the organisational side of the trip, communicating with hotels, restaurants, drivers and local experts, preparing information for guests and managing the trip accounts.How do think Insight Vacations (IV) and Luxury Gold (LG) support women and their growth in the company?Being a Travel Director necessitates extended periods away from home, and IV & LG work with their Travel Directors to ensure a work-life balance. When my daughter was still very young, the company recognised my need to have a certain number of days at home between trips to care for my family, which meant that I could maintain my career and ensure the health and security of my home life. Ulla is an exceptional example for us, too: a woman with a family and successful career who is clearly attuned to the needs of her team.What makes working for IV or LG special to you?The heart of everything I do is providing the best service to our guests, and I know that IV and LG share this mindset. I love a challenge and hold myself to a very high standard. Working for IV and LG means that I am continually pushed to perform at an elevated level of excellence. I wouldn’t want to work for any lower expectations.How do you feel you directly contribute to travellers’ lives and experiences while travelling?Our guests are always the number-one priority. From grand gestures of providing the group with a local flourish to the smaller details of remembering everyone’s name, everything I do is with the guest in mind. Travel is an experience with life-changing potential, the effects of which carry on long after a trip has ended. Travelling isn’t easy, which is why I place importance on my organisation to reassure guests that they are cared for, and on my cheer; a smile or a chuckle can be the difference between a good and a great day, and my interactions are aimed at producing exactly that.Can you describe a defining moment in your career with IV and LG?I had a couple travelling with their daughter and grandson on a Country Roads of Portugal trip in 2016. The gentleman was a first-generation American of a Portuguese family and, after being diagnosed with cancer, he and his family decided to visit Portugal for the first time; this was to be a special trip for all. They expressed interest in travelling to their ancestors’ hometown, which did not feature on the official trip itinerary. Calling local contacts, I was able to help them hire a private guide who would drive them to the town and guide them through. Privately, I contacted the Archives Office of the town and enquired after the family line. As all the family had emigrated from Portugal, no living members were present in the town, so I asked about the family plot in the town’s cemetery. I was able to give to the family the exact location of all their ancestors from this town in the municipal cemetery. During their visit, the local guide brought them there. The family was able to stand among their ancestors and learn about hundreds of years of family history through this. The gratitude that they expressed remains with me, years after.What has been your favourite day on the job or your most memorable moment?My favourite experiences with guests are the Celebration Dinners that occur on the last night of the trip. No matter where we are, having this opportunity to celebrate our new friends and experiences is, for me, always a highlight. We reflect on the great times we have shared over the preceding days, speeches and toasts are made, and the restaurants Insight Vacations chooses for these meals often represent the culinary climax of the trip. As a Travel Director (TD), the Celebration Dinner is an evening when I can look around at a room full of smiling, satisfied faces, and feel truly fulfilled in my work.Why do you think more solo female travellers are choosing IV and LG journeys and what advice would you give female travellers when they’re travelling on their own?The level of comfort and ease with which they can travel when booking with IV and LG plays a significant role in their choice. In my experience, solo travellers tend to be interested in the social aspect of group travel. Smaller groups mean guests have a better opportunity to connect with their fellow travellers, and the Travel Director has more time to provide personalised service. With a good balance of included events and time at leisure, solo female travellers can get to know a city through the local experts and included activities before further exploring on their own or with new friends. With all the services IV & LG provide, our guests can have a worry-free, dynamic and fun travel experience, whether travelling solo or otherwise. My advice to solo female travellers engaging in group travel is to not hold back in interacting with fellow travellers and the travel director.Go back to the enewsletter