In Kiev a protest camp outside Euro 2012 fan zone

first_imgTwo top EU envoys were in Kiev this week on a mission to monitor the legal proceedings in the Tymoshenko case, hoping to pile pressure on Yanukovych ahead of an appeals hearing at the end of this month.But experts predict she will remain in jail _ despite opposition efforts to highlight the Tymoshenko case to the West and to visiting fans.“There will be T-shirts, there will be rallies in the fan zone, some statements from EU officials,” said Vadym Karasyov, a Kiev-based political analyst with ties to the government. “But nothing will change radically: Yanukovych will not let her out of prison before elections. You don’t have to be a political scientist to see that.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Yanukovych has defied Western pressure to release Tymoshenko and even linked her to a murder case 16 years ago in an interview this week, further diminishing her chances of getting out of jail any time soon. Yanukovych also insists that the boycott by European leaders will have no effect on the championship’s success.Parliament members from Tymoshenko’s party said they would be watching football matches from sport bars, rather than from gleaming new stadiums alongside top government officials, in protest of her jailing. And while they will be rooting for Ukraine, Tymoshenko’s supporters also plan to “enlighten” foreign fans on the true face of Ukraine’s leaders.The work is already under way at the protest camp set up nearly a year ago outside the central Kiev court house where Tymoshenko was tried and sentenced.On a hot afternoon this week, supporters wore white T-shirts reading “Free Yulia” on the front and “Football fest in prison” on the back. They handed out brochures and posters and gave foreign fans guided tours of the camp, where the mock human waste represents Yanukovych’s party and the hanging effigy the judge who sentenced Tymoshenko. The opposition leader herself was shown as a white dove locked in a cage. An English translator was on duty to assist the fans. “It seems very confusing: Why is she in jail? Nobody knows,” said Swedish fan Hakan Kronander, wearing his team’s bright yellow T-shirt, as he strolled through the tent camp. “They (EU) should put pressure on Ukraine to do something about this.”Dressed in the fake chain armor of a medieval knight despite 25 Celsius (77 Farenheit) heat, English fan Stan Stanfield climbed on top of the Yanukovych-faced pig and posed for a face-in-hole photograph, pretending to be a boxer punching the Ukrainian president in the face.“It’s disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful,” Stanfield said. “She’s been locked up, she’s a victim of a corrupt society.”Stanfield is captain of a team of English fans that will be playing against Ukrainian fans next week. His side will be wearing “Free Yulia” T-shirts.“We will help in any way we can by joining the cause and the fight for Yulia,” Stanfield said.But despite the giant Tymoshenko posters, catchy banners and scores of national yellow-and-blue flags, the tent camp seemed drowned out by the soccer fan zone and the general festive mood of the football championship. Some fans stopped at the camp, while many others went through it without paying much attention. Earlier this week, an attempt by Tymoshenko supporters to stage a rally outside the Olympic stadium where the England team was playing France, was blocked by riot police. Associated PressKIEV, Ukraine (AP) – If soccer fans aren’t seeing enough action on the field in the European Championships, they can get a dose of rough-and-tumble Ukrainian politics near the fan zone in Kiev.Supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko, the imprisoned former prime minister and the country’s top opposition figure, have gathered in a protest camp next to a special area where fans mingle, drinking beer and watching matches on giant screens. On display at the camp is an effigy of a judge, a pile of mock human waste and a plastic pig with the president’s face. Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments   Share   Top Stories ErrorOKFree Rate QuoteCall now 623-889-0130 ErrorOK The championships already are being boycotted by Western leaders to protest Tymoshenko’s imprisonment. And the protesters hope their eye-catching camp will further raise pressure on President Viktor Yanukovych to release her.“We are showing what our government is really like,” said Ivan Shibko, a top activist at the Tymoshenko camp. “They are doing this to keep opposition leaders in jail during elections.”Tymoshenko’s seven-year jail sentence in October over abuse of office charges drew a storm of anger and condemnation from the West. The United States and the European Union called the verdict politically motivated and several Western leaders canceled plans to attend Euro 2012 matches played in Ukraine. The EU also put on hold a key cooperation agreement with Kiev over Tymoshenko.The charismatic, blond-braided Tymoshenko says Yanukovych, who narrowly defeated her in the 2010 presidential election, threw her in jail to bar her from the October parliamentary vote. Tymoshenko, 51, spearheaded the 2004 Orange Revolution mass protests that annulled Yanukovych’s fraud-tainted presidential victory. But he returned to power, capitalizing on slow reforms and constant bickering in the Orange camp. 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Chinese media take swipe at Clinton over Africa

first_imgChina has poured billions into Africa in recent years, emerging as the continent’s main trading partner and a major source of investment for infrastructure. But its presence has also sparked concerns about labor abuses and corruption.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates BEIJING (AP) – Chinese state media are taking a swipe at U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying she is either ignorant of the facts in Africa or ignoring them.Clinton is on trip to Africa seen as boosting U.S. relations there and questioning China’s motives for its investments on the continent.The acerbic commentary Friday from Xinhua News Agency went on to say that Clinton’s “implication that China has been extracting Africa’s wealth for itself is utterly wide of the truth.” Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonacenter_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Collision between bus and truck kills 18 in India

first_imgNEW DELHI (AP) — A head-on collision between a bus and a truck killed at least 18 people and injured 13 others in western India on Thursday, police said.The accident occurred when the two vehicles swerved to avoid a motorcyclist, who was crushed to death, said police officer Nagar Goje.Most of victims were passengers on the bus. The accident occurred near Jalgaon, a town about 410 kilometers (255 miles) southwest of Mumbai, India’s financial hub. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 must play golf courses in Arizona India’s roads are among the world’s deadliest, with more than 110,000 people killed annually. Most accidents are blamed on reckless driving, poor road maintenance or aging vehicles.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Gary Oldman Pierce Brosnan sons model for Saint Laurent

first_imgIt was intentionally provocative — given the clothes’ exorbitant price-tag.The collection, which was also one of Saint Laurent’s most decorative, mixed high and low.Among all the shabby hippy wardrobe sprung out some real gems — like a fabulous patchwork leopard print tuxedo, or a richly embroidered jacket that was made from every color of the rainbow.Whether the fashion media were being duped or not, it was great fun to watch.___BROSNAN TALKS OF BEING MOBBED IN IRELANDBrosnan, 62, was pictured being mobbed by fans on Saturday while in Dublin filming for his latest movie, a revenge film called “I.T.”“You know, I’m Irish and it’s just so wonderful to be back home filming this film,” he said.“It’s really touching as well that there is clearly this excitement that I’m back there,” he added.___LANVIN CONTINUES ’80s-TINGED LOVE AFFAIRNBA star Amar’e Stoudemire continued his whistle stop tour of Paris Fashion Week, arriving at Lanvin with his wife for the Sunday morning show.In the collection, co-designers Lucas Ossendrijver and Alber Elbaz continued their recent flirtations with the ’80s, offering up a varied collection — dominated by neutral colors. PARIS (AP) — Pierce Brosnan and Gary Oldman attended the Saint Laurent Paris show — not as celebrity actors but as proud and genuinely nervous parents.Their sons, Dylan Brosnan and Charlie Oldman made their runway modeling debuts in the show after being discovered by designer Hedi Slimane.Here are the highlights of the last day of Paris Menswear Week, including Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Paul Smith and Agnes B. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The show’s opening statement — an oversize pale gray polo shirt with a model with slicked-back hair — set the clock firmly back to the era of exaggerated volume and form.More ’80s references abounded — like a huge, voluminous blue suit, with big round shoulders, turned up sleeves, and high-waisted pants — and white patent and punk-looking boots. Elsewhere, a turned-up collar on a stylish pea coat cut a graphic silhouette, especially with the floodlit lighting inside Paris’ storied Left Bank Ecole des Beaux Arts.In other looks, there were flashes of detail, embellishment and layering — tassels flapping down from long jerkins, necklaces, hoops on belts, and neck scarves.The collection packed no great surprises, but was consistently stylish.___AGNES B. MIXES SOBRIETY AND MADNESSIt was an eclectic mix of styles in Agnes B.’s creative pot Sunday.A sober start of black-and-white suit and shirt styles was followed by white jeans and a snug-looking denim jumpsuit that the Parisian designer, bien sur, twinned with a Left Bank-standard foulard.But there was a welcome flash of madness.Two psychedelic, multi-colored hoodies, burst onto the catwalk midway through, with one nicely evoking the decorative swirls of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. And the psychedelic was repeated in a pair of flower power shirts. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 The color chapter also produced the show’s most on-trend moments — with citrus yellow (one of the main colors of the season) appearing on turned up pants, and a shirt. But the extent of the creative madness ended here.___PAUL SMITH’S COLORFUL EIGHTIESPaul Smith is perhaps the menswear designer most closely associated with bold color.Sunday’s show proved why — with the British designer cleverly riffing off the trend for the 80s by reviving that decade’s often-overlooked penchant for vivid hues on exaggerated jackets and pants.The first clue to this mission was an oversize burnt orange jacket with angular shoulders — that hanged loosely down to the mid-thigh. It was masterfully contrasted with a subtle vermilion in the shirt and high Eighties pants.The most eye-catching of the colorful looks — were some on-trend citrus yellow pants — a hue that flashed back in boots, a shirt and a sweater later in the collection.There was also a hint of the dazzling era of Glam Rock — with one bold, shiny gray double breasted jacket and stylish skinny tie.___Thomas Adamson can be followed at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technologycenter_img ___PROUD PARENTSOldman said he was jittery for his 16-year-old son Charlie before his modeling debut in Paris — after he was discovered at a music concert wearing an YSL jacket by the fashion house.“I’m a little nervous for Charlie. The Yves Saint Laurent house is such a tradition … It’s great that he, in a small way, can be part of it,” he told The Associated Press.Meanwhile, former James Bond actor Brosnan was predictably cooler.“It is a proud moment. We’re here to see our son on the runway. To support him,” he said.“He’s not modeled before, and Hedi (Slimane) just discovered him at a juice bar coffee shop in Malibu,” he added, laughing.___SAINT LAURENT HEADS TO WOODSTOCKSlimane headed directly into counter-culture (and perhaps counter-fashion) for his glitzily shabby fash ode to the late Sixties hippy on Sunday.Torn denim jeans, knitted bobble hats, unkempt hair, boys that look like girls, (and vice versa), lumberjack shirts, army surplus coats, Peruvian ponchos and tie-dye tops were all thrown into the creative mix by the irreverent designer who seemed to channel the styles of the 1969 iconic Woodstock music festival. Models wear creations for Lanvin men’s Spring-Summer 2016 fashion collection presented, Sunday, June 28, 2015 in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Qantas and its engineers reach agreement

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Qantas and the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) have finally achieved a proposed agreement for around 1,600 of the airlines engineers.The proposal, which has been submitted to Fair Work Australia, forms part of a workplace determination that will remain in force until 31 December 2014. Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said he was satisfied an agreement had been reached and the airline had sustained the flexibility required to operate competitively in the international aviation industry. “After such a damaging industrial campaign, this is a positive outcome that will allow Qantas to move forward with certainty,” Mr Joyce said. The details of the proposed three-year determination includes a three percent pay increase per annum, new licensing arrangements, changes which ease restrictions on extended hours rosters and arrangements for the transition to retirement for licenced engineers.“Throughout the negotiation process, we have been willing to offer reasonable pay increases and conditions provided the union withdraw its attempts to influence how Qantas is run,” Mr Joyce added,” Mr Joyce said.“The proposal submitted to Fair Work Australia is a good deal for Qantas and its licenced engineers. However, it does not contain any of the restrictive demands that would have handed control of parts of the airline to the union.”Mr Joyce said customers can continue to fly with Qantas with “absolute confidence” and that irrespective of the Fair Work Australia process unions were unable to take industrial action for the period of the determination “which could be four years”. Qantas and its engineers finally reach agreementlast_img read more

ATAB agents confident in industry

first_imgFurther detailed analysis and a full report from the ATAB will be available later this month on the Australian Travel Agent Barometer website: The vast majority of consultants revealed they intend on being a part of the industry for at least the next five years and possibly beyond. 90 percent of consultants rated their confidence in Australia’s travel industry from okay to excellent, while 70 percent of retail travel agent owners shared the same view. Stay tuned to ETB News for more updates, news and highlights in the coming weeks. The continuous growth and extent of the internet is a major concern for agents and owners alike, with 50 percent of consultants stating that the internet has directly impacted their business. The Australian Travel Agent Barometer (ATAB) has revealed a high level of confidence for the future of the retail travel industry, while the internet has had the largest impact on business operations. The inaugural survey gathered responses from almost 200 Australian travel agents and owner managers, in an effort to understand their views and deliver feedback to industry leaders and suppliers. However, 70 percent of consultants believe that they are increasingly competitive when it comes to internet price comparisons and far superior in terms of customer service. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Amadeus unveils new multisource marketplace

first_imgFurthermore, the marketplace will be adaptable to individual customer’s needs and business models, allowing for flexibility. “This combination of broad, rich content, advanced technology and the ability to tailor the commercial model to the needs of individual customers is unique in the industry.” “Amadeus has responded to the clear industry need of providing all types of hotel content, suitable for both leisure and business travellers in a single marketplace and this hotel content can then be distributed, with integrated booking capabilities, through all online and offline channels,” Amadeus director, hotel distribution Peter Waters said. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichcenter_img The ‘multisource’ marketplace will now offer integrated content from all hotel sources into one format within the platform, allowing bookers to access their chosen providers through one simple interface, with search results appearing in a uniform format, making comparisons quick and easy. Amadeus has announced a new generation hotel distribution marketplace for the travel and tourism industry, which will bring buyers and sellers of hotels together more efficiently.last_img read more

Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand sign MoU

first_imgTourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand sign MoUAir New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand have today announced a marketing partnership worth more than $20 million over the coming financial year to promote New Zealand to new and existing international markets and collaboratively grow the value on in-bound tourism.The two organisations have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) investing more than $10 million each over 12 months in cooperative marketing activity in the key markets of Australia, China, North and South America, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and Europe.A MoU was initially signed in 2013 committing to a joint investment of more than $20 million in marketing activity for the 2014 financial year promoting travel to New Zealand in international markets. This partnership has since been re-signed in each of the subsequent four years, bringing the total value of the partnership to $80 million to date.This most recent commitment will build on the momentum of previous years with a particular focus on encouraging visitation to New Zealand during the off-peak periods.Today’s announcement will see marketing activity increased in the United States with the success of Air New Zealand’s direct services from Los Angeles and Houston and the soon to launch service from San Francisco with Star Alliance partner United Airlines, seen as critical for the long-term growth of the tourism sector.Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the move to commit to a further year of joint investments is testament to the value the two organisations have already seen through working together.“For the past three years it has made perfect sense for marketing investments to be combined because it extends the reach and effectiveness of all our activity.“Today we are enjoying significant growth in arrivals and in particular, a significant increase in value from our priority markets. Given these clear signs of success, we are even more committed to achieving the best possible outcome for our marketing dollars by working together.”Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the airline’s partnership with Tourism New Zealand signifies not only the importance of tourism to Air New Zealand’s business but also the airline’s commitment to supercharging New Zealand’s success through tourism growth including increased export earnings and employment.“The power of our partnership has already seen significant results, for example visitor arrivals from Argentina to New Zealand have more than doubled since we began operating direct flights to Buenos Aires, and we look forward to extending our joint activity to include the Philippines ahead of our direct flights commencing to Manila later this year.” Tourism New Zealandbook your ski holiday hereSource = Tourism New Zealandlast_img read more

Malaysia Airlines CEO statement

first_imgPeter BellewMalaysia Airlines CEO statementMalaysia Airlines CEO statementI wish to thank the Board of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) for trusting me to lead the Group and Malaysia Airlines Berhad as Chief Executive Officer. We will fix it. I am sure it will be a road with many interesting turns.Malaysia Airlines has seen great progress in the last 10 months with many turnaround initiatives working. Our first quarter showed performance indicators on track with yield up 23.4%, costs down by 32.9% and our bottom line ahead of budget.Our Going Forward plan will see Malaysia Airlines remain focused on the turnaround with key emphasis on these specific areas:Fly SmartThe goal will be to fly customers safely to places they want to go with great value fares and superior service on clean modern aircraft. We will stop doing things that lose money. We will rebuild our relationships with the travel trade globally. We will lead a worldwide marketing initiative promoting the wonders of Malaysia. We will start new routes from various Malaysian airports to new unserved Asean destinations.A new website, mobile app, trade reservations system and airport equipment will all be in place over the next twelve months. The digital experience when booking with Malaysian Airlines will see significant investment in 2016/17. From choice of seats to quality of the nasi lemak to time of travel, we need to ensure that the needs of each guest with different individual preferences are met.Funding Our costs are on track now however we cannot for one second take our eye off the ball. We have already seen fuel savings of 10,000 tonnes in the first quarter but more can be done. Saving money, does not mean compromising on safety or on our products and services. It simply means we need to increase productivity and efficiency, invest in modern technology, enter into mutually beneficial partnerships besides identifying and mitigating risks early.Airport costs will be an immediate focus and we are planning to operate some leisure flights from Kuala Lumpur KLIA2 in 2017 where costs are RM 33 (USD$8.25) per passenger lower or RM 5412 (USD$1350) per flight lower. On one daily flight this simple saving will be RM 1,975,380 or USD $500,000 per annum. We will pass on these savings to customers with lower fares. Each and every cost of everything we do will be minutely checked daily without changing any quality.Fix It We know the complexities of our business but our customers simply want great service. They expect us to be on time, serve great food, have generous baggage allowances and safely operate clean modern aircraft. And that’s just exactly what we will do.We need to raise the bar to ensure that our commitment towards meeting customers’ expectations is met by all staff across the Group.A lot has been done, the profit seen in the last quarter shows that the financial gap between revenue and cost has significantly closed, which tells us that we are on the right trajectory. We need to move quicker and more aggressively to keep the momentum for a strong, sustainable future.FamilyWe have 14,000 aviation professionals working for Malaysian Airlines, wonderful people who are incredible ambassadors for Malaysian hospitality. They have shown remarkable resilience and are the rock that we will build a successful airline on. I will work to ensure we have a large group of Malaysian nationals trained in the next three years who are capable of leading the airline through 2030.I am excited to get to work, leading this proud airline and ensuring the national carrier regains its rightful place as the pride of the nation.We will fix it. Malaysia Boleh! Malaysia Airlinesbook your MH flights hereAbout Malaysia Airlines Malaysia Airlines is the national carrier of Malaysia, offering the best way to fly to, from and around Malaysia. Among the few airlines to have won both a Skytrax five-star rating and World’s Best Cabin Crew award, Malaysia Airlines takes our 40,000 guests daily on memorable journeys inspired by Malaysia’s diverse richness. Malaysia Airlines embodies the incredible diversity of Malaysia, capturing its rich traditions, cultures, cuisines and warm hospitality on board, while opening up more of Malaysia’s destinations than any other airline.Since September 2015, the airline has been owned and operated by Malaysia Airlines Berhad. As a member of oneworld®, Malaysia Airlines and its partners in the global alliance offer a superior, seamless travel experience to more than 1,000 destinations in 150 plus countries, with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including access to more than 650 airport lounges worldwide. Up to 90 destinations will be serviced across Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East via a new codeshare partnership with Emirates, signed in early 2016. Source = Malaysia Airlineslast_img read more

Princess Cruises launches first New Zealand television commercial

first_imgSource = Princess Cruises Princess CruisesPrincess Cruises launches first New Zealand television commercialPrincess Cruises has released its first New Zealand television commercial, underscoring the cruise line’s commitment to growing the New Zealand cruise market.The TVC forms part of Princess’ new brand campaign ‘The Moment’, designed to showcase the transformative power of a shared holiday experience.Based around the story of a couple sharing a moment set against the historic ruins of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya in Thailand, the campaign draws on the themes of travel and reconnection to underline Princess’ destination expertise.Developed by MediaCom’s specialist division MediaCom Beyond Advertising (MBA), in association with production partners Now We Collide, the new campaign includes television commercials, print, digital, social media and an online content series.Launched yesterday, it will be distributed across broadcast, social and digital platforms throughout 2017.Princess Cruises Marketing Manager Nick Ferguson said the cruise line’s move into television reflected Princess’ position as the leading cruise line in New Zealand and its focus on expanding the local cruise market.“Princess made more visits to New Zealand ports than any other cruise line and carried two thirds of the 100,000 Australians who cruised New Zealand waters last year,” Mr Ferguson said.He said Princess prided itself on being destination experts, immersing guests in the many locations its ships visit.“The story of ‘The Moment’ was crafted so future guests had a sense of the positive and lasting impact that cruising with Princess offered, and were inspired to embark on their own transformative journey. We want our guests to return home with memories instead of souvenirs, and we think we’ve captured that sentiment with this campaign,” he said.Shelby Craig, Regional Group Creative Director at MBA said the agency wanted to bring the essence of Princess’ brand to life.“When people go on holidays and travel around the world, they go back home and talk about a memory, a singular experience, and whether it is an amazing meal on the balcony as the sun dives beneath the Indian Ocean or stumbling upon the ancient ruins of the Siamese Empire, for us, it is the emotion and passion in that moment that really captivated us,” Mr Craig said.Mr Ferguson said the campaign would also include emotive travel documentary style stories told from the hearts of Princess Cruises’ crew members, whose passion helps drive the cruise line’s high repeat guest rates.“The series showcases the best of what the ships have to offer and highlights that it is our people that go above and beyond to make the experience truly extraordinary for our guests. The transformative and rejuvenating power of moments between our guests and crew members is the human connection that sits at the heart of delivering the Princess promise time and time again; that it is not a cruise unless you ‘Come Back New.”last_img read more

Wyndham announces second Australia TRYP property

first_imgTRYP North LakesWyndham announces second Australia TRYP property in Booming North LakesWyndham Hotel Group today announced its second TRYP by Wyndham property in Australia – TRYP North Lakes – following the success of the iconic TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel in Brisbane, which opened in 2014.The 138-room TRYP North Lakes will be part of the AU$250 million, 1.7 hectare Laguna North Lakes development. Laguna North Lakes is set to become an iconic destination thanks to the combined expertise of The George Group, the team behind the highly successful James Street lifestyle precinct in Fortitude Valley, and local company Pointcorp, developers of a series of visionary premium apartment projects in inner-city Brisbane.“Located in Queensland’s Moreton Bay region, 25km north of Brisbane, Laguna North Lakes has been designed to be a vibrant and active destination offering its visitors access to cafes, restaurants, events spaces, retail offerings and family friendly pool throughout the day and into the night. It is an ideal new location for TRYP as we expand into destinations travellers want to discover,” said Matt Taplin, Senior Vice President Hotel and Resort Operations & Property Development, Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim.“TRYP Fortitude Valley, with its iconic street art murals and unique personality, has quickly become one of the most iconic places to stay in Brisbane. Likewise, TRYP North Lakes will have its own distinctive character and a vibrant, stylish allure that will attract guests from near and far to experience its contemporary take on hospitality,” he added.TRYP by Wyndham hotels are infused with local spirit, allowing guests to immerse themselves in each destination’s individual culture and TRYP North Lakes will be no exception. Hotel guests will be able to utilise the unique amenities the Laguna development will offer, including a huge resort-style swimming pool, bar, restaurant, gym and health facility, and 5,000 square metres of curated fashion and retail stores and eateries. The hotel will also cater to business travellers using the largest function and events centre in northern Brisbane or working within the 10,500 square metres of A-grade commercial office space within Laguna North Lakes.Site works on the hotel are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year and it is slated to open by mid to late 2021. It will be managed by Resort Management by Wyndham, which currently operates multiple properties in Australia, including TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel, Brisbane.One of the fastest growing areas in Queensland, North Lakes is within the Moreton Bay Regional Council, which will boast a population of over 500,000 within a decade. TRYP North Lakes will be a short distance from major retailers including the giant Westfield North Lakes Shopping Centre, CostCo and Ikea, as well as the 18-hole North Lakes Resort Golf Club. It will also be ideally placed for major infrastructure and commercial precincts, including the recently completed Redcliffe Peninsula rail link, the North Lakes Specialist Medical Centre and the new University of the Sunshine Coast Petrie campus, which is opening in 2020.“Our vision is for Laguna to be a must-visit destination for conferencing, events and leisure, which makes the TRYP by Wyndham brand a perfect fit,” said Patrick George, Director of The George Group.“We are determined to activate the best facilities, opportunities and operators in the community through this development and it is a privilege to partner with Wyndham Hotel Group on TRYP North Lakes, which will be one of the most important aspects of Laguna,” he added.“Our extensive experience delivering quality residential projects around South East Queensland has put us in excellent stead to create a unique and iconic vision for Australia’s second TRYP hotel,” said Chris Vitale, Director of Pointcorp.The new hotel will be the fourth property under the TRYP by Wyndham brand in the South East Asia and South Pacific region, joining TRYP Fortitude Valley, TRYP Yangon Hotel in Myanmar and TRYP by Wyndham Mall of Asia – Manila in the Philippines.All Wyndham Hotel Group properties in South East Asia participate in Wyndham Rewards®, the simple-to-use, revolutionary new loyalty program from Wyndham Hotel Group that offers members a generous points earning structure along with a flat, free-night redemption rate. To find out more about the Wyndham brand, visit and for more information about Wyndham Rewards, go to = Wyndham Hotel Grouplast_img read more

Great Agents Go Exploring

first_imgSource = Great Agents Go ExploringFollowing the industry night of nights, what makes a great travel agent in 2018?My first “what makes for a good agent story“  focused a lot more on agencies than agents. Since then have been hundreds more agent interactions and hundreds of thousands more bookings through roomsXML and now Stuba.With directors and management in the UK, India,  Australia and Dubai, Stuba has opened up a lot more conversations on what makes for a good agent, travel agency and travel agency group at a global level.Great agents are searchers, explorers, discoverers. Here are four examples;Been there, doing thatGeneric “out of office” email responses are annoying. Slightly less frustrating is the “I’m currently on a trip” auto responder. The best  is “I am currently in Botswana finding new ground operators for your next amazing adventure. Read about it here on my blog… Or I will be in touch when I’m next online!”.Actively taking part in product development is exciting for customers. It shows your passion and excitement.Locating new clients and winning the numbers gameOnline travel agencies have created more complex patterns of customer churn. Global patterns suggest that if customers leave their agent, they book their own holiday once or twice and often end up back with an agent, but often not their own. Can you go back to your old hairdresser? Same for people coming back to agents.Catch them on the rebound. An award-winning real estate agent told me once “It’s a numbers game Mark – I make hundreds of phone calls a week and hopefully you remember me when it comes to selling your house “. Be there, be available and be visible but also go searchingSourcing product knowledge and optionsPut it this way – good agents are not just booking Expedia because their customer requests an Expedia price match… They have multiple suppliers (for both price and product) and are not afraid to offer the “left of field” options which gives them a chance to show off their expertise and something that just a little exciting.Maybe it’s the trip they go on next time.Technology, reviews and building the narrativeIt’s one thing to have thousands of options, but you don’t want to drown in a sea of plenty. You’ve demonstrated you’re an active agent, you found your customer, you’ve got an idea of where they want to go and now the sorts of funky search tools that Stuba have built give agents access to narrative that builds a dream and finds the perfect match for each individual client.It’s not just about locking in this sale, but about exciting them for the next.  Get this one right and they will be back. learn more about herelast_img read more

Sameer Gupte

first_imgThis year’s edition of OTM has been huge compared to last year. It has been a great experience to be a part of this year’s exhibition. The quality of sellers this time has been really good and so have been the display of all the country pavilions.last_img

Peru exempts Indian Nationals from the requirement of temporary visa

first_imgPeru had announced that starting from March 27, 2017, holders of a valid ordinary passport from India are exempted from the requirement of temporary visa in business or tourist category, provided that they meet at least one of the following conditions:• At the time of entry into Peru, the Indian national holds a visa with a validity of minimum six months from any one or more of the following countries: United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia or any Schengen space country.• The Indian national holds permanent residence in any one of the following countries: United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia or any Schengen space country.The maximum period of stay will be up to 180 calendar days, whether continuous stay or various visits during the period of one year. The stay will be determined at the port of entry by the Immigration Officers. The exemption is not valid for the transit visa category.In the case that an Indian national does not meet the conditions specified above, he or she is required to apply for a visa at the Consular Section of the Embassy of Peru.last_img read more

Trulia More Renters Still Want to Own Homes

first_img First-Time Homebuyers Fixed-Rate Mortgage Housing Affordability Jobs Processing Unemployment 2011-09-26 Ryan Schuette Trulia: More Renters Still Want to Own Homes September 26, 2011 421 Views Even with new-home sales tanking and recession fears redoubling over August, more renters clung onto the hope of homeownership, with 59 percent still aspiring to pocket a pair of keys and ink their names to mortgages, according to “”Trulia””: The consensus: more than half of all homeowners believe in making the home their most important investment.[IMAGE]Recently releasing the biannual American Dream survey, the real estate Web site tracked feelings about homeownership across age demographics.According to Trulia, 70 percent of survey respondents held firmly to the idea that homeownership is central to the American Dream. The finding is unchanged since January this year.Fifty-seven percent of those who currently own homes agreed with the idea that their homes represent the most important investment in their lives, with the 401K and retirement accounts ranking second and third in importance, respectively.[COLUMN_BREAK]Of the survey respondents, including homeowners aged 55 years or older, 80 percent nodded their head to the sound of a future home purchase.The largest obstacles for renters who want to buy? Trulia found that 51 percent fault the pressure to save up for a down payment. Thirty-six percent of respondents cited qualifying for a mortgage as their second-biggest barrier, while 34 percent underscored the role played by a poor credit history.Thirty-one percent said that homeownership came with delays as a result of existing debt, while 29 percent highlighted unstable jobs and 13 percent chalked up their housing woes to depressed home values.””Despite the slow and weak economic recovery and stumbling housing market, the American Dream of homeownership is alive and well. Given the strong intent to buy a home among today’s renters and homeowners, I am optimistic that long-term housing demand will recover ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô even though today’s prices tell a different story,”” Jed Kolko, chief economist with Trulia, said in a statement.He described a number of obstacles that persist for renters, including concerns about “”saving enough for a down payment├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª qualifying for a mortgage├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª and having a bad credit history,”” adding that these barriers “”keep some would-be homeowners from taking advantage of low mortgage rates.””His prescription to relieve some of these pressures?””Government homeownership policies can target some of these obstacles to homeownership, but only stronger economic recovery will help households facing multiple obstacles become better able to buy homes,”” he said.center_img in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

Moodys Predicts Bright Days Ahead for Homebuilders

first_img in Data Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Sales Homebuilders Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Moody’s Analytics Mortgage Rates Service Providers 2012-10-01 Tory Barringer October 1, 2012 439 Views Despite some heavy risks hanging over the industry, “”Moody’s””: is projecting a positive future for the nation’s homebuilders, the agency revealed.[IMAGE]Moody’s has been optimistic about the homebuilding industry as of late, raising its outlook for homebuilders from “”stable”” to “”positive”” in September for the first time since 2006. In its most recent quarterly industry outlook, the agency predicted boosted home sales over the next 12 to 18 months, citing customer demand, strong affordability, and historically low mortgage rates. As inventory continues to fall, homebuilders are expected to see significant revenue growth ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô more than 10 percent in 2012 and 2013, with industry gross margins approaching 20 percent on average in 2013.””A number of factors within the industry have contributed to heightened demand for new homes,”” wrote Joseph Snider, lead analyst. “”For years, homebuilders have built too few homes to keep up with the pace of new household formation. As a result, today’s inventory levels of completed and unsold new homes have fallen to historic lows.””[COLUMN_BREAK]Meanwhile, slow but steady improvements in the economy have some customers concerned that waiting too much longer to buy a house may result in a missed opportunity to save money, Snider continued.Moody’s also pointed out that larger publicly rated homebuilders are already reaping the benefits of the housing upturn. Some firms have already reported gross margins in excess of 20 percent, including “”Toll Brothers””:, “”Lennar””:, and “”Standard Pacific””:, and their margins are only expected to improve.While current trends are strong, the homebuilding industry is still tied to risks outside its influence. Macroeconomic indicators are still mixed, and weak consumer confidence coupled with weak “”non-existent”” income growth may spell trouble. On a larger scale, Europe’s potential slide in recession, as well as the United States’ approaching fiscal cliff, could cause major setbacks in the market. Moody’s also pointed to the possibility of escalating conflicts in the Middle East or the Korean Peninsula that could have a “”far-reaching economic impact.””For now, though, Snider has reasons to be optimistic.””For all of these risks, 2012 will mark the first year since the downturn began that the homebuilding industry makes a net positive contribution to the still-struggling US economy,”” he said. “”Amid weak employment, stagnant incomes and fragile consumer confidence, the economy continues awaiting better macroeconomic drivers for a more robust recovery. The real vitality in the homebuilding sector through 2013 might come from potential homebuyers’ sentiment that new home prices, home affordability, and mortgage rates cannot improve much from here.””center_img Moody’s Predicts Bright Days Ahead for Homebuilders Sharelast_img read more

New Home Sales Sales Climb to SevenYear High in August

first_img September 24, 2015 484 Views Share Census Bureau HUD Inventory New Residential Sales 2015-09-24 Staff Writer HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced Thursday the new residential sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000 in August 2015, the highest level since February 2008.The report showed that sales increased 5.7 percent above the revised July rate of 522,000 and 21.6 percent above the August 2014 estimate of 454,000.”The steady, albeit modest, progression of new home sales reflects the steady increase in economic improvement, in job additions and consumer confidence,” said David Crowe, chief economist and SVP, NAHB. “Home buyers are taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates, and pent up demand from years of a slow housing recovery.”HUD and the Bureau found the median sales price of new houses sold in August 2015 was $292,700, while the average sales price was $353,400.The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August was 216,000, representing a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales rate.”A faster sales pace and difficulties acquiring buildable lots and labor have constrained builders’ ability to respond to growing demand,” Crowe said. “However, the single largest constraint has been the lack of demand and the slow resale market which is the source of most new home buyers.”On a regional level, sales increased 24.1 percent in the Northeast, 7.4 percent in the South, and 5.4 percent in the West from July to August. Meanwhile, sales declined 9.1 percent in the Midwest. Annual increases were all double-digit, ranging from 21.6 percent to 11.4 percent in the West.Click here to view the full report.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News New Home Sales Sales Climb to Seven-Year High in Augustlast_img read more

Buyers Remorse Breaking Down Homeowner Regrets

first_imgBuyers’ Remorse: Breaking Down Homeowner Regrets Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination Many young homebuyers, despite feeling happy overall happy with their home purchases, felt rushed and dissatisfied with the mortgage process. According to a study from Zillow, 81% of young homeowners (between 18-34 years old) had at least one regret about their home, compared with 65% of those 55 years and older, with the biggest disparity being regrets about their mortgages.”The American Dream of homeownership is still alive and well, and younger buyers who are building families and forging their careers must stretch their budgets to achieve it,” said Zillow Director of Economic Research Skylar Olsen. “They have long wish lists to fit their needs, and are often navigating the process of buying for the first time. While their inexperience may lead to wishing they’d done some things differently, few homeowners regret making the decision to buy instead of rent.”Zillow notes that the lower level of satisfaction among younger buyers could be due to their inexperience with the homebuying process. Additionally, many of these buyers are likely still living in their first home, and 29% of young homeowners regret rushing the process, compared with 12% of older buyers.Millennial homebuyers are also contact more lenders than other groups when planning to buy a home, but are still impacted by more debt affecting their credit scores, and therefore their interest rates.Many millennials are turning 34, the median age of first home purchases, and Zillow states that for these potential buyers, being educated and prepared can help avoid some of these common regrets.High mortgage rates make up the highest share of regrets for first time homebuyers, with 30% of homebuyers aged 18-34 reporting high mortgage payment as their biggest regret, compared to 12% of buyers aged 55 and up. Other regrets include feeling rushed during the mortgage process, high interest rates, type of mortgage, and simply deciding to buy a home instead of renting.center_img Homebuyers Millennials mortgage regret 2019-05-29 Seth Welborn May 29, 2019 505 Views last_img read more

Most people who travel internationally fall prey t

first_imgMost people who travel internationally fall prey to a scam to a greater or lesser degree at some point and some cities are worse than others…It may be the taxi driver who goes the long way around, ostensibly due to traffic or other issues, but who is really just looking to increase the fare.Or it could be the child pickpocket or the old ‘pigeon pooh on the shoulder’ trick … either way, read on for’s list of nine travel scams you – and your clients – need to know! scamslast_img read more