Montgomery resigns from Creative Holidays moves to Virgin Blue

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Justin Montgomery has announced his resignation as Creative Holidays Managing Director, effective from 19 July. Justin said, “With almost nine years at The Travel Corporation, over eight of which were with Creative Holidays, it is with great sadness that I resign as Managing Director.”Justin will be joining the Virgin Blue Airlines Group as General Manager, Sales (excluding Virgin Atlantic). John Weeks, CEO the Travel Corporation said, “Justin has made an enormous contribution to Creative Holidays which has experienced significant growth over the past few years to become the largest independent wholesale company in Australia. We wish Justin every success in his new role with Virgin Airlines.” The Travel Corporation said a successor to Justin would be announced shortly. e-Travel Blackboard will update this story as further information comes to light.   Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

The world is moving again IATA

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Despite the continuous flow of natural disasters and strikes, 2010 was the year the world started ‘moving again’. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures for 2010, the association found passenger fights increased by 8.2 percent throughout the year and planes were fuller by 2.7 percent compared to 2009, The Independent reported. “The world is moving again,” an IATA statement read. “After the biggest demand decline in the history of aviation in 2009, people started to travel and do business again in 2010.” Middle East led the recovery with airlines like Emirate flying 17.8 percent more passengers than the year before.The Africa region also saw a demand spike of 12.9 percent while air travel in South American increased by 8.2 percent last year and North America witnessed a rise of 7.4 percent. last_img read more

G Adventures embeds travellers into Local Living

first_imgIn the spirit of “freedom” and grand changes, G Adventures has introduced a new brand program, Local Living to offer travellers “authentic product and life-changing experiences”.As part of the Group’s new 2012 line-up unveiled this week, G Adventures New Zealand and Australia head honcho Pete Rawley explained the new tour style was designed based on feedback from the company’s travellers and meets growing demand from holiday-makers to blend into the visiting country.  With up to 120 new trips introduced to the tour company’s 2012 portfolio, Local Living is available on G Adventure’s Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Patagonia and Guatemala trips and builds on the idea of a homestay vacation which sees travellers embedded into the local life by staying in one place and actively exploring the region.“We’re very pleased to introduce a range of innovations into our tour programme for 2012, featuring industry-leading experiences which very few or no other tour operators offer,” Mr Rawley said. The tour operator has also stretched its arm into the accommodation sector, introducing G Lodge Amazon, an environmentally stay located in Tambopata National Reserve in Peru.Verified by the Rainforest Alliance, the lodge is equipped to use solar heat, rechargeable flashlights, meals prepared by local ingrediants while offering comfort through its bungalows, private terraces, en suite bathrooms and 24-hour hot water.“The lodge allows travellers to extend their experience by allowing them to eat, sleep and dream within the park itself,” the company said in a statement.Earlier this year G Adventures announced it would also be making its way into North America for the first time in its 21 year history.Tours through the US include overland road trips, standard hotel touring as well as active escapes. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Proposed bus tunnel threatens Hobbit tourism

first_imgWorld Heritage Fiordland national park – SOURCE: A proposed underground bus tunnel through the World Heritage Fiordland national park in New Zealand has angered tourism operators that demand the project be scrapped.The proposed tunnel in New Zealand’s Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks would be used exclusively by buses to take tourists from Queenstown to Milford Sound.Fears the great wilderness destination will be ruined by the construction of the 11 km underground bus tunnel has sparked more than 9,500 people to sign a petition which is sent to Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson, who has the final decision on the project.Local resident from Glenorchy Patricia Ko started the petition, and is joined by a growing online protest aimed at halting the development.Ms Ko said the Milford Dart tunnel project would put New Zealand’s ‘100% Pure’ brand at risk.“Putting a bus tunnel through this world heritage area is akin to building a chairlift to the top of Ayers Rock or putting a parking lot on top of the Great Barrier Reef,” said the Glenorchy resident.Known for its amazing backdrops used in the Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and Narnia films, the area is described by Ms Ko as New Zealand’s most valuable and precious natural tourist destination.Joining Ms Ko in condemning the project is a number of tourism operators, including Vladka Kennet, owner-operator of inbound travel company True Travel.Vladka Kennet said a majority of clients come to New Zealand to experience the pure environment, almost untouched by nature, and fears the tunnel would “immensely and irreversibly affect the whole purpose, idea and success of the tourism industry in the region”.Other local operators described the tunnel project as “so inappropriate on so many levels it is hard to believe it has received serious consideration” and the impact would be “hugely negative”.Although the New Zealand’s Department of Conservation has given notice of intention to grant permission for the tunnel, the final decision rests with Conservation Minister Wilkinson. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

Secret report finds major security flaws at Newark airport

first_imgSecurity at Newark Airport has been given the thumbs-down (Image: Egan-Chin/News) Security at Newark Liberty International Airport has come under close scrutiny following the release of a report detailing serious lapses in screening procedures at the New Jersey hub. The result of an undercover operation by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the report claims screeners at the airport are properly executing standard pat-downs of passengers just 16.7 per cent of the time it is required. In only a quarter of all cases, is appropriate action taken on prohibited items, the review added.      The ‘PACE (Presence, Advisements, Communication and Execution) Airport Evaluation’, obtained by The Star Ledger, was compiled by TSA employees from other airports who were asked to observe the behaviour of staff at Newark Liberty.According to the newspaper, TSA watchdogs are startled by the poor performance of screeners, which comes a decade after the formation of the TSA following 9/11.”There’s that often-repeated phrase, ‘We’ve got to get it right all the time,’ ” Pace Law School professor and author of ‘The United States, International Law and the Struggle against Terrorism’, Thomas McDonnell said, describing the findings as unacceptable. “When it’s under 50 percent, under 20 percent, that to me is very shocking.”Also of concern to Mr McDonnell and civil rights advocates was that in absolutely no cases did screeners properly inform passengers of their right to opt out of a full-body scan in favour of a pat down. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Next wave for Singapore Marina Bay Cruise Centre

first_imgThe MBCCS departures hall was transformed Pushing the throttle to open Marina Bay Cruise Centre Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and dignitaries celebrate the ‘next wave’ in cruising for Singapore The Marina Bay Cruise Centre (MBCCS) was officially opened overnight in a gala ceremony attended by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Mr Teo Chee Hean, cruise line executives, dignitaries and media.Doubling the city’s cruise ship capacity, the 28,000 square-foot terminal has the ability to berth the largest ships in the world in an aim to cement Singapore’s status as the cruise hub of Southeast Asia.A joint venture between SATS and Creuers del Port de Barcelona (Creuers), MBCCS offers passengers a more streamlined embarking and disembarking experience with benefits including ‘FlyCruise’ enabling seamless transition from the cruise ship terminal to Changi Airport.  “The official opening of MBCCS marks a significant development for both the cruise landscape in Singapore and the ASEAN region,” SATS-Creuers Cruise Services CEO Melvin Vu said.“Not only does it deliver an enhanced and seamless travel experience for cruise passengers, the terminal also serves to further anchor Singapore’s position as an attractive homeport for cruise lines with it state-of-the-art facilities and proximity to the new Marina Bay precinct and Singapore Changi Airport.”Mr Chee Hean and SATS chairman Edmund Cheng officially opened the terminal by activating a ‘throttle’ that transported guests on a visual journey through the “next wave” that MBCCS will create for the cruise industry in Southeast Asia.Guests were entertained by jazz singer Tay Ke Wei and acclaimed “Speedy Painter” Jean Francois who created one-off masterpieces in under six-minutes of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and the Mona Lisa that were sold via silent auction to raise funds for the ARC Children’s Centre. A fourth painting of MBCCS was donated to the terminal for display while guests were treated to an array of culinary delights from around the world.The ceremony closed with a vibrant fireworks display following the departure of Diamond Princess and Voyager of the Seas that were berthed at the terminal for most of the event. Singapore will welcome twice the number of maiden ship calls this year compared to 2011 and will be home to the newest corporate office for Carnival Corporation in their bid to grow its presence in Asia. Click here to view entire photo gallery. The food on offer challenged that aboard the best cruise ships to berth at MBCCS Even ‘The King’ made an appearance Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Alast_img read more

Flight Centre appeal court ruling

first_imgSource = ETB News: P.T. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) won its case in the Brisbane Federal Court against the Flight Centre Travel Group over claims of price fixing arrangements. “As we have maintained throughout this four and a half year saga, the company is not in the business of making airfares more expensive.” Flight Centre (FLT) believes the Federal Court ruling to uphold the ACCC’s competition law test case against the group “represents an inappropriate extension of the law”. Flight Centre will lodge an appeal against the ruling, citing “errors of law” in the judge’s findings. “[The] ruling is likely to have implications for the travel industry and for many retailers and agents in other sectors,” Flight Centre chief executive Graham Turner said. The Australian retail company does not expect the test case ruling to affect its operations or its business model, as the focus was on a narrow area of activity between 2005 and 2009.last_img read more

Australias first support network for Indigenous tourism staff l

first_imgAustralia’s first support network for Indigenous tourism staff launchedThe Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) and corporate partner Echo Entertainment Group celebrated the creation of Australia’s first support network for Indigenous employees in the tourism industry in Cairns on Tuesday 7 July.The launch of the ‘QTIC Indigenous Employee Network – North Queensland Chapter’ coincided with NAIDOC Week (5 – 12 July), a nationwide celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements.The new employee group is part of a $300,000 partnership between QTIC and Echo Entertainment Group to create and promote Indigenous job and career opportunities via peer mentoring and relationship building across the local community.The new network, for existing and potential Indigenous employees in Queensland’s tourism sector, is designed to support and retain staff in the industry and further strengthen the representation of Indigenous employees.Due to the strong concentration of tourism employers in Far North Queensland, the new state-wide network is commencing in Cairns with further chapters to be established across Queensland.Source = Queensland Tourism Industry Councillast_img read more

Be Embraced by Mana In New Tahiti Tourisme Campaign

first_imgBe Embraced by Mana In New Tahiti Tourisme CampaignTahiti Tourisme has launched its latest global campaign and it all comes down to one word – Mana.The emotive Embraced by Mana campaign hones in on Mana – the lifeforce and spirit of Polynesians – as a single word that evokes the people, culture and lifestyle of Tahiti.Highlighting the diversity of the destination, from its crystal-clear lagoons to its friendly people and vibrant culture, the new slogan builds on the destination’s brand that positions Tahiti as the world’s preeminent island destination while highlighting the attributes which distinguish it from other popular holiday locations.Tahiti Tourisme Director Australia New Zealand Robert Thompson said Mana was unique to the Polynesian way of life and a big part of what made Tahiti special.“Whether visitors want to connect or disconnect, relax or get active, hide or seek, explore underwater or on land, there are many sides to the Islands of Tahiti. But at the core of it all is Mana, which encapsulates all that is remarkable about the destination,” Mr Thompson said.“Mana is ever-present in Tahiti and whether they know it or not, everyone who visits Tahiti is touched by it. It’s the special aura, energy and power that embraces the Islands of Tahiti and leaves visitors feeling richer and more connected.”The Embraced by Mana campaign has started rolling out across Tahiti Tourisme websites and social media around the world. Source = Tahiti Tourismelast_img read more

Domestic visitors spend record 16 billion dollars in NSW

first_imgDomestic visitors spend record 16 billion dollars in NSWMinister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres has welcomed new figures showing NSW has streaked further ahead as the nation’s Number One tourism destination with domestic visitors spending a record $16 billion last year. According to Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey for 2015, NSW attracted 28.1 million visitors from across Australia during 2015, up 4.4 per cent on the previous year, who stayed 91.1 million nights (up 4.1%) and spent $16.1 billion (up 5.1%). “This is fantastic news, tourism creates jobs in hotels, restaurants and world class attractions and provides a huge boost to the state’s economy. For the first time our guests spent more than $16 billion in Sydney and across Regional NSW,” Mr Ayres said. “NSW received 8 million more domestic visitors than Queensland and 6.5 million more visitors than Victoria – clearly we are outshining the rest of Australia.” “Regional NSW also recorded an increase with 19.5 million visitors (a 2.3 per cent rise) who stayed 66.3 million nights and spent $9.3 billion for the year,” Mr Ayres said. Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said the agency’s ongoing partnership activities, marketing campaigns and securing of key events continues to drive increased domestic visitor numbers.“We are very pleased our recent destination campaigns focusing on the Hunter, South Coast and Central Coast Regions, as well as a NSW-wide caravan and camping campaign have helped to boost visitor numbers,” Ms Chipchase said.Some of the events held in NSW in recent months that have attracted visitors from across Australia include the V8 Supercars Sydney 500, Extreme Sailing Series on Sydney Harbour, Junior World Gliding Championships at Narromine, Aria Week and Aria Awards, the AACTA Awards, Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, Emirates Australian Golf Open, NRL Grand Final, Eden Whale Festival, Orange Wine Festival, Taste Riverina Festival, and Deni Ute Muster. Destination NSWSource = Destination NSWlast_img read more

StayWell announces second property in Bali

first_imgStayWell announces second property in BaliStayWell announces second property in BaliAustralia’s largest privately owned hotel management company StayWell Hospitality Group has announced the signing of a long-term management agreement to open and operate the company’s second Park Regis property in Indonesia.Construction of the upscale hotel nestled in the village of Kerobokan, Seminyak is currently in progress with the property expected to open in July 2017.Park Regis Seminyak is located near Seminyak’s popular upmarket shopping and entertainment district as well as the famous Petitenget Beach making it the ultimate base for leisure travellers visiting the tropical destination.The hotel will be the tallest building in the area, offering striking and unobstructed 360 degree views of the iconic green rice fields, magnificent Balinese villages as well as the Indian Ocean.Featuring 110 generously sized guest rooms and suites, as well as a roof top bar and restaurant, three swimming pools, a spa and gymnasium, Park Regis Seminyak will be sure to exceed all expectations.This Park Regis development will be one of the latest openings for the fast growing international brand, expanding its portfolio in Indonesia, as well as Australia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, India, United Kingdom and Indonesia.StayWell Hospitality Group CEO Mr Simon Wan said that a year of negotiations has paid off, marking a significant milestone in line with the target of reaching 100 hotels in our network by 2020.“Since the opening of StayWell Hospitality Group’s Indonesian office in Jakarta in 2015, we have gradually gained the reputation as one of the best international hotel groups to work with,” said Mr Wan.“We are very proud of our expansion in Bali – a strategic move to cater for the growing tourism market.“The Park Regis Seminyak is one of our Group’s most recent acquisitions, and we are very excited about the opportunity to partner together with an experienced entrepreneur Mr Arifin to build our international network.”The owner Mr Eddy Arifin of Jakarta-based EAR’s Corp said there were just over twelve months until the Park Regis property was due to open.“We are thrilled to be partnering with Staywell Hospitality Group as part of their international expansion plans and are eager to bring Park Regis to Seminyak,” said Mr Arifin.“By establishing a strong presence in key feeder markets, Park Regis Seminyak will be the desired choice for business and leisure travellers visiting Bali.”The opening of the Park Regis Seminyak will bring the StayWell Hospitality Group’s portfolio to over 35 hotels worldwide. StayWell Hospitality GroupSource = StayWell Hospitality Grouplast_img read more

Air Tahiti Nui unveils new logo and brand identity

first_imgAir Tahiti Nui unveils new logo and brand identityAir Tahiti Nui unveils new logo and brand identityIn celebration of its 20th anniversary, Air Tahiti Nui, the leading carrier to French Polynesia, has revealed its new logo and visual brand identity.Long synonymous with Air Tahiti Nui and The Islands of Tahiti, the ubiquitous Tiare flower takes a central position in the revamped logo, which has a sophisticated and modern new look. Carefully crafted by globally acclaimed Tahitian artist, Alex Lee, the updated Tiare flower embodies the pure, natural beauty and spirit of The Islands of Tahiti. The forward-facing flower conveys a subtle but powerful message about Air Tahiti Nui’s preparedness for the future and captures the very essence of taking flight and moving forward.The sensorial, free spirit of the Tiare flower logo is grounded by the refined strength within its new logotype. The thick and thin strokes provide a confident and established feel, and the letterforms are purposefully curved and rounded to mimic the shapes and joins of the Tiare petals, harmoniously tying together all of the elements, much like the majestic Islands of Tahiti themselves.The new logo and branding were designed by Future Brand, a brand agency specialising in brand creation and transformation. Future Brand’s past work includes the design of the new American Airlines brand as well as The Islands of Tahiti brand for the tourism board of French Polynesia.In addition to updating the airline’s visual identity and its most visible icon, the Tiare flower, Air Tahiti Nui is refreshing its positioning, values and personality around the experiential Polynesian nature of “Mana”.Air Tahiti Nui launched the new brand at a reception for clients and partners in the Air Tahiti Nui Business Lounge at Faa’a airport on Wednesday (April 25). At the event, Air Tahiti Nui CEO Michel Monvoisin unveiled the lounge’s welcome sign which features the new logo. Guests enjoyed pours from renowned French wine specialist Olivier Poussier, head sommelier of the French powerhouse Lenôtre, World’s Best Sommelier in 2000, and designer of Air Tahiti Nui’s new on-board wine selection.The rebrand is an important step in the overall transformation of Air Tahiti Nui as the premier international airline of French Polynesia. As part of its ongoing anniversary celebrations the airline will take delivery of its first Dreamliner B787-9 aircraft in October and will toast to 20 years in the sky on its official anniversary in November.For more information or to book visit Air Tahiti Nui:Air Tahiti Nui operates five A340-300 aircraft from its Tahiti base to Auckland, Tokyo, Paris and Los Angeles and code shares to 37 additional destinations with carriers including American Airlines, Air France, Air New Zealand, Qantas and the SNCF rail system in France. It’s the only airline that flies from New Zealand to Europe via Tahiti and Los Angeles and one of only two carriers with direct flights from Auckland to Papeete. The airline has headquarters in Papeete and operates from Faa’a International Airport on the island of Tahiti. Air Tahiti Nui was founded in 1996 and commenced flight operations in 1998. The airline is set to take delivery of four Boeing 787-9 aircraft which will commence service in late 2018, coinciding with Air Tahiti Nui’s 20th anniversary.Source = Air Tahiti Nuilast_img read more

The Sebel expands in Perth

first_imgThe Sebel West Perth Aire Apartments RoomThe Sebel expands in PerthAccorHotels is pleased to announce a further hotel will join its Sebel network in Australia from today, 9th July 2018, following the signing of an agreement with Singapore-based ZACD Group Ltd.The Sebel West Perth Aire Apartments adds 64 new studio apartment style rooms to Perth’s resurging accommodation market.The new hotel commands a prime position in West Perth, on the CBD fringe and is close to key tourist attractions including Perth Arena, Kings Park & Botanical Garden, and is accessible within 15 minutes by road from Perth International Airport. The Sebel occupies the first four levels of the 22-level Aire West Perth apartment tower.Resort-style amenities include a 22m heated swimming pool, pool deck, fitness centre, sauna, and outdoor dining area. The hotel has a fourth floor conference room and undercover car parking.Hotel interiors have been selected by ZACD’s in-house interior design team + Hotel Interiors, and feature modern, geometric lines set against a cool colour palate of blues, brown and grey.Chief Operating Officer, Pacific for AccorHotels, Simon McGrath, said “The addition of The Sebel to West Perth comes at an exciting time as the city is readjusting from the mining-related activity with major investment in new tourism infrastructure such as the Perth stadium.“The city is experiencing a resurgence in new hotel product and The Sebel West Perth Aire Apartments will embody the sophistication and inviting living spaces that our guests expect. The hotel will cleverly combine hotel style service and independent flexibility to provide an experience to meet the needs of guests whether travelling for business or leisure,” said Mr McGrath.ZACD’s Group Chairwoman Ms Kain Sim, said, “We are very pleased and honoured to be part of the AccorHotels brand with the opening of The Sebel West Perth as our first hospitality asset under the ZACD Group Income Trust Fund.”“The Sebel West Perth is poised to offer guests a contemporary-styled accommodation incorporating the best of amenities including free Wi-Fi and international calls in a city-fringe location. We believe The Sebel West Perth will be welcomed by corporate and international travellers who are seeking a well-designed, comfortable and spacious hotel apartment with ease of access to the city and event venues.”“We look forward to being a high value hospitality contributor to the renewed Perth city,” said Ms Sim.The Sebel West Perth Aire Apartments joins a network of over 27 hotels across Australia and New Zealand and complements existing Sebel branded hotels in Western Australia including The Sebel East Perth, The Sebel Busselton, The Sebel Swan Valley The Vines and The Sebel Mandurah.Guests of The Sebel West Perth Aire Apartments will be able to earn points and privileges via AccorHotels award-winning loyalty programme – Le Club AccorHotels.  The programme is free to join and can be used across 3,400 hotels, 14 brands in 93 countries.ABOUT ACCORHOTELSAccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,300 hotels, resorts and residences across 100 different countries.With an unrivaled portfolio of internationally renowned hotel brands encompassing the entire range from luxury to economy, from upscale to lifestyle and midscale brands, AccorHotels has been providing savoir-faire and expertise for more than 50 years.In addition to its core hospitality business, AccorHotels has successfully expanded its range of services, becoming the world leader in luxury private residence rental with more than 10,000 stunning properties around the world. The Group is also active in the fields of concierge services, co-working, dining, events management and digital solutions.Relying on its global team of more than 250,000 dedicated staff, AccorHotels is committed to fulfilling its primary mission: to make every guest Feel Welcome.  Guests have access to one of the world’s most attractive hotel loyalty programs – Le Club AccorHotels.AccorHotels plays an active role in its local communities and is committed to promoting sustainable development and solidarity through PLANET 21 Acting Here, a comprehensive program that brings together employees, guests and partners to drive sustainable growth.From 2008, the AccorHotels Solidarity Endowment Fund has acted as a natural extension of the Group’s activities and values, helping to combat the social and financial exclusion experienced by the most disadvantaged members of society.Accor SA is publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACRFY) in the United States.For more information or to make a reservation, please visit or Or join and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Source = AccorHotelslast_img read more

MoT constitutes Medical and Wellness Tourism Board

first_imgThe Union Ministry of Tourism launched several new initiatives on the occasion of World Tourism Day. The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma announced the constitution of the Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board at a function in New Delhi. The Board has been formed to tap the potential and advantages that India has in the field of medical and wellness tourism. The Centre of Excellence in Hospitality Education to operate from Hotel Samrat in New Delhi was also inaugurated at the same function.Release of Tourism Vision Document 2030, launch of the revamped website of Ministry of Tourism, ( which has now been made bilingual, release of Audio Visual Presentation ‘Introduction to India’ and a seminar on the theme of World Tourism Day 2015 “One Billion Tourist, One Billion Opportunities” were some of the other highlights of the function on the occasion of World Tourism Day.Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that low cost medical facilities are India’s strength and we must take advantage of the same for the purpose of promoting tourism. It is for this reason that the Government took the important decision of setting up the Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board. The Board will have a corpus fund of Rs 2 crore initially, the Minister disclosed. Dr Mahesh Sharma said that the AYUSH facilities will be promoted along with regular medical facilities.Dr Mahesh Sharma also announced Discover India fares of Air India. Under the scheme, a tourist can discover India in one or two weeks at a reasonable travel cost. A tourist can buy 5 coupons for Rs 32,500 (15 days validity) or 10 coupons for Rs 60,000 (30 days validity) for exciting Indian destinations, serviced by Air India & Alliance Air without worrying about ticket price fluctuation. In another initiative, Air India will introduce Incredible Air India holiday packages from December 01, 2015. Air India will also launch Delhi-San Francisco flight from December 02, 2015 onwards which will fly thrice a week, Dr Mahesh Sharma announced.Secretary, Tourism, Vinod Zutshi; CMD, ITDC Umang Kumar; CMD, Air India, Ashwani Lohani and other senior officials and members of the travel industry attended the function.Details of the new initiatives launched are as below:Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board: The Board will provide leadership of the Government within a framework of prudent and effective measures, thereby enabling promotion and positioning of India as a competent and credible medical and wellness tourism destination. The Board will be chaired by the Union Tourism Minister and consists of members representing the related government departments, tourism & hospitality sector and experts in the medical, wellness and yoga.Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management – Centre of Excellence: The Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management is part of the HRD division of India Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ITDC) a PSU under Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. As part of its contribution towards supplying trained manpower to the hospitality industry, ITDC has envisioned to set up a Centre of Excellence in Hospitality Education at Hotel Samrat, New Delhi. The courses offered by AIH&TM are a blend of the rich heritage and culture of India and hospitality management education system. It provides the students with a world class contemporary education to have an edge over others in the field.Tourism Vision Document 2030: The document goes into the challenges for the sector and details the way towards Vision 2030. ‘Tourism Vision 2030’ has been commissioned by the Experience India Society and prepared by KPMG.Launch of bi-lingual website of Ministry of Tourism: The official website of MoT ( has been revamped and translated in Hindi. This administrative website contains the activities and information of all the divisions of the Ministry including the web based E-Recognition system for recognition of travel trade service providers and approval and classification of hotels.Audio Visual Presentation ‘ Introduction to India’: The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the apex body of tourism industry promoting inbound tourism to our country has produced a 6 minutes AV presentation depicting all tourism products of India and a element of human engagement with the various tourism products . This video presentation is to be used by IATO in all its promotional activities including road shows, international travel marts and other industry interactions.last_img read more

IATA and African Union Commission sign MoU to improve air transport facility

first_imgThe African Union Commission (AU) has signed a MoU with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for strategic cooperation for safe, efficient and sustainable air transport to further the continent’s economic and social well-being.The memorandum was signed by Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO and AU’s Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim.“Africa is set to be one of the fastest-growing aviation regions with five percent annual growth forecast over the next 20 years. Achieving this potential will not happen by chance; strong partnerships are key. This MoU will help ensure that global standards and best practices form the backbone of Africa’s growth as well as position the continent’s 54 nations to promote economic and social development by unleashing the full power of aviation. I congratulate Dr Ibrahim for her leadership, vision and foresight in driving aviation development in Africa,” said Tyler.“IATA is a strategic partner in the growth of African aviation. This MoU will commit our two organisations to even closer cooperation on the priorities for African aviation. In particular, we count on IATA to partner with us by providing the requisite technical support in the establishment of the Single African Air Transport Market as part of our long-term vision in the context of the AU Agenda 2063. We are, indeed, dedicated to global best practice as a fundamental for sustained growth in aviation in Africa,” said Dr Ibrahim.last_img read more

Nature tourism integral to Indias Tiger conservation efforts TOFT report

first_imgA new study by tiger ecologists, funded by Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFT) highlights the significant role that wildlife tourism is playing in securing the long-term future of the tiger and its forest habitats in the wild. The report focuses on four Tiger Reserves in Madhya Pradesh, finding that entry fees alone from visitors contribute over £2.3 million per annum, over half the total funds now provided by central and state governments for their annual protection.Furthermore, villages with tourism infrastructure have revenues from small businesses eight times higher than those without and also benefit from higher levels of employment, greatly improved health and better educational levels. Critically these communities are now much less dependent on the forest for wood and livelihoods, and wildlife tourism has created a ‘tiger-friendly’ perception amongst such communities – a positive win-win for tiger conservation efforts.However, it is also outlined that the international tourism has dropped by almost 50% in the last five years in central India, despite India being home to some of the world’s most beloved cats, so immortalised in Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book.’“If nature tourism is seen as a conservation tool rather than a threat, it has the potential to bring sustainable and significant economic development to many remote areas. Many countries around the world have shown this and benefitted from increased biodiversity conservation,” said Raghu Chundawat, the scientist who led the research team.Julian Matthews, Founder, TOFTigers, which funded the report, points out, “The study has found that many of the criticisms levelled at the tourism community are not correct here when examined closely. For instance, 80% of jobs are held by locals, 45% of all the direct revenue goes to the local economy and the researchers found zero evidence of forest cover loss.”He goes on to add that there are certainly still key issues, including poor planning, lighting, noise and waste disposal that need to be improved to enjoy the full potential of this sector to support tiger protection and forest conservation. “However, with the average lodge occupancy at only around 31%, we need to see a revival of interest by the international travel community in India’s incredibly rich natural heritage and for them to follow our lead in responsible travel by choosing the PUG mark when they’re selecting places to stay,” he added.last_img read more

Tripoto Singapore Tourism Board come together with travel webseries Trails 2 Passion

first_imgTripoto, the global travel community, has partnered with the Singapore Tourism Board, to create an innovative, fun and exciting travel web series ‘Trails 2 Passion – Singapore Redefined’. The seven-episode, web-series which showcases the experiential exploration of Singapore by Naveen Kasturia and Veer Rajwant Singh, well-known faces of internet web series scenario was aired on April 1.‘Trails 2 Passion – Singapore Redefined’ takes you along the journey of these two actors in Singapore, where they plan their own trails in order to ensure the deep exploration of their true passions, fulfilled to their hearts content through this journey. Naveen Kasturia, a creative guy who is extremely busy in life and ruled by stress will indulge in well curated, local experiences, whereas Veer Rajwant Singh, a happy go lucky guy, will have ultra-luxe experiences.Speaking about the experiences Naveen Kasturia said, “When Tripoto approached me for this project, I didn’t give it a second thought. I said yes as I knew I had to do it. It is for the 1st time that I have done an experiential travel show and it has been quite an experience. As an actor, I had my moment of truth and got a chance to improvise and be spontaneous in front of the camera. Travel puts a lot of things into perspective and shooting for this show made me explore Singapore by breaking off the monotonous planned schedules I am used to following. Veer and I had a blast travelling through Singapore, revelling in the culture and the offbeat experiences this place had to offer. I am sure our audience too will be left awestruck following our travel trails through Singapore.”Adding to his experience Veer Rajwant Singh said, “I have been wanting to do a travel show for some time. It is because you are not merely acting, you are living your passion and enacting as is. I explored a whole new side of me in Singapore in an entirely different light. Most of my shots were the real-time reactions to the experiences curated. Not only did I try some cool adventure activities, but I also came in touch with local experiences, more of which you will see in Trails 2 Passion – Singapore Redefined.”The 6-7 minutes, 7-episode web-series will have upbeat and catchy content on Singapore, with extra worthy information and illustrated trail map of the theme at the end of each episode. Speaking on the association with Singapore Tourism Board and coming with such fun series, Michael Lyngdoh, Co-Founder, Tripoto said, “Tripoto and STB are collaborating to showcase a different side to Singapore. It is an amalgam of exciting culinary experiences, adrenaline pumping adventures and beautifully diverse cultures packed into one city. Singapore now appeals to the global experiential traveller. Our new web series ‘Trails 2 Passion’ is the story of two friends travelling through Singapore and discovering their passions along the way. It’s entertaining, fun and informative; just as great immersive travel content should be.”The series will be around themes such as food, exploration, adventure, culture etc., to showcase Singapore as not only a fun and adventurous destination but also high on art and culture. The episodes intend to spark the interest in the viewer to see Singapore in a new light and to introduce them to the 6 passion tribes under the Passion Made Possible brand i.e. Foodie, Explorer, Collector, Culture Shaper, Action Seeker or Socialiser.Speaking on their association with Tripoto, G B Srithar, Regional Director (South Asia Middle East and Africa), Singapore Tourism Board said, “With a high penetration of smartphones and a growing number of digital native young consuming content online, there are new, exciting opportunities to connect with them. Our partnership with Tripoto is a creative way of telling Singapore tourism stories. We are happy to have two cool millennials – Naveen and Veer showcase their recent trip. ‘Trails 2 Passion – Singapore Redefined’ tells their stories, in their own voices. Their escapades will entice Indian travellers to enjoy our diverse offerings and live up their own passions.”last_img read more

Freddie 81 of Q2 Refis Upheld or Slashed Debt

first_img August 1, 2012 392 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agency Debt Agents & Brokers Freddie Mac Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Debt Processing Refinance Service Providers 2012-08-01 Tory Barringer “”Freddie Mac””: released the results of its second quarter refinance analysis Wednesday, revealing that homeowners who refinance continue to strengthen their housing situations.[IMAGE]Freddie Mac’s report showed that 81 percent of homeowners who refinanced their first-lien home mortgage either maintained the same loan amount or lowered their principal balance in the year’s second quarter. Of these borrowers, 59 percent maintained about the same loan amount (the highest share ever recorded), while 23 percent reduced their principal balance by paying-in additional money at the closing table.The median interest rate reduction for a 30-year fixed-rate [COLUMN_BREAK]mortgage was about 1.5 percentage points, translating into interest rate savings of about 28 percent-the largest percent reduction recorded in the GSE’s 27 years of analysis.The net dollars of home equity converted to cash as part of a refinance (adjusted for consumer-price inflation) also fell, dropping to its lowest level in 17 years. In the second quarter, an estimated $5 billion in net home equity was cashed out during the refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages, a large decrease from the peak volume of $84 billion during Q2 2006.Freddie Mac VP and chief economist Frank Nothaft attributed the increased refinance volume to enhancements created in HARP 2.0.””The enhancements to HARP announced in October, such as removing the maximum loan-to-value limit, resulted in additional refinance volume during the second quarter,”” said Nothaft. “”HARP loans were about one-third of Freddie Mac’s refinance fundings during the second quarter, the highest share since HARP’s inception.””Property-value change and loan age varied between loans refinanced with HARP and other refinances. The median property value depreciation for HARP-refinanced loans during the second quarter was 34 percent, while the prior loan had a median age of about 5.5 years. Other loans refinanced during the same period had a median property-value decline of 2 percent over a median prior-loan age of about four years.center_img Share Freddie: 81% of Q2 Refis Upheld or Slashed Debtlast_img read more

Washington Bank First to Fail in 2013

first_img January 14, 2013 381 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share Washington’s Westside Community Bank has the dubious honor of being the first to fall in 2013.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]The “”FDIC””: announced that the “”Washington State Department of Financial Institutions””: shuttered Westside on Friday. The bank’s two branches are reopening as branches of Irvine, California’s “”Sunwest Bank””: to the FDIC, Sunwest Bank is assuming all of Westside’s estimated $96.5 million (as of September 30, 2012) in deposits. Sunwest also agreed to purchase essentially all of the closed bank’s $97.7 million in assets.The FDIC estimates Westside’s closure cost the Deposit Insurance Fund about $20.3 million.While Westside is the first bank to collapse in 2013, it is also Washington’s first failure in more than a year. The last FDIC-insured institution to close in the state was the Bank of Whitman in August 2011.center_img Washington Bank First to Fail in 2013 Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank Failure FDIC Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-01-14 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Homebuyers Prefer New Homes But Not New Prices

first_img Demand New Home Prices New Home Sales Trulia 2014-05-06 Tory Barringer If price were no object, approximately two in five Americans say they would choose a newly built home over an existing model, demonstrating there is still some interest in a challenged segment of the market.In a survey of more than 2,000 adults, Trulia found an estimated 41 percent “would strongly or somewhat prefer” to buy a new single-family home over an existing one, assuming the prices were equal. Just more than one in five respondents—21 percent—said they would prefer an existing home, while 38 percent expressed no preference.Of course, while the survey set prices on a level field to gauge interest, that’s very rarely the case, as Trulia points out. According to the company’s calculations, new homes built in 2013 or 2014 tend to be priced 20 percent higher than older homes of comparable size and location—a price fewer than half of the “new home” crowd say they’re willing to pay.“Most people who say they strongly prefer a new home aren’t willing to pay the premium,” said Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko, adding that many parts of the country are still dragging in single-family construction. “Still, as the housing market recovers, new homes will be a growing share of the national market.”Whether that forecast plays out remains to be seen, though the latest data from March—in which sales of new homes fell 14.5 percent month-over-month, partly from lack of inventory in some areas—is discouraging.For home shoppers willing to dish out for the added cost, Texas and the Carolinas are the best places are the top spots to search. Using Census permit data from 2013 and adjusting for market size, Raleigh, North Carolina, rules as the top housing market for single-family construction, with Houston, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina-South Carolina following.On the other hand, homebuilding remains weak in some of the country’s biggest cities, including New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, where the majority of new construction is on the multi-unit side.Asked about their reasons for preferring the new over the old, 59 percent of Americans said they want their home to come pre-equipped with modern features, including bigger closets, a kitchen island, and walls pre-wired for flat-screen televisions, among other amenities.The second most commonly cited reason for wanting a new home was the ability to customize it in the construction stage (56 percent), followed closely by respondents’ desire to avoid costs of maintenance and repairs.And those who would take an existing home over a new one? Said Kolko, “Fewer people prefer existing homes, but those who do point to traditional features and living in a more established neighborhood. For many people, the best of all worlds might be a newly built home in an older neighborhood.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Homebuyers Prefer New Homes (But Not New Prices)center_img May 6, 2014 492 Views Sharelast_img read more