Chellakudam Finton Travel Ltd charged

first_img TORONTO — Finton Travel Ltd. pled guilty and was convicted of one count of carrying on business with Carolyn Solomon, who was required to be registered as a travel agent but was not, contrary to section 20 of Ontario Regulation 26/05 (the Regulation) made under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 (the Act), says TICO.Finton Travel Ltd. is a registered travel agent under the Act. It operates in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario. Finton Travel Ltd. must now make restitution payable to two consumers and also pay a $1,000 fine.Thomas Chellakudam, an officer of Finton Travel Ltd., pled guilty and was convicted of one count of failing to take reasonable care to prevent Finton Travel Ltd. from committing the offence under section 20 of the Regulation, contrary to section 31(2) of the Act. Chellakudam must pay a $3,000 fine. He also has a probation order for one year, with the following conditions attached: Chellakudam must attend a Financial Compliance Seminar offered by TICO; and he must sign up and write the Supervisor/Manager exam and successfully pass it by Feb. 23, 2018. Share Travelweek Group Posted by Wednesday, March 8, 2017 center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Chellakudam, Finton Travel Ltd. charged Tags: TICOlast_img read more

Learn earn rewards with Hotel Xcaret Mexicos new agent platforms

first_imgLearn & earn rewards with Hotel Xcaret Mexico’s new agent platforms Tags: Agent Incentives, Mexico, Xcaret RIVIERA MAYA — Hotel Xcaret Mexico, an all-inclusive luxury resort situated by the Riviera Maya jungle, has launched two new agent platforms for both learning and rewards.The Xpert Course is an e-learning platform where agents will receive the content and tools needed to properly sell the hotel and grow their sales. It places special emphasis on the property’s ‘All-Fun Inclusive’ concept that includes complimentary access to Experiencias Xcaret’s eight nature parks and tours. Other topics covered in the course include the hotel’s unique design, its ‘all-view’ adult- or family-oriented suites, and its 19 restaurants and bars.The course is free and includes nine lessons detailing the hotel’s accommodations, restaurants and bars, MICE facilities, Corporate Social Responsibility program, weddings offering and more. Upon completion, participants can print their own certificate. Those eligible can also receive credits from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA).In addition to the new course, the hotel has also launched Xcaret Rewards, an incentives program that allows agents to earn cash and free stays at the property.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckStarting Nov. 1, the program will grant registered travel agents cash prices of US$50 for every 3-5 night bookings, and US$100 for stays of six nights or longer. Agents in Canada and the U.S. with an IATA or CLIA number are eligible to enroll, and stays may be booked directly, through GD or a tour operator.As for Experiencias Xcaret parks and tours reservations, the Xcaret Rewards team has created a three-tier system in which agents will be eligible to receive free nights for up to two guests, based on the amount of guests booked to visit any park and/or tour.To enroll in Xcaret Rewards, go to Share Alex Keerma Thursday, November 1, 2018 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> About Latest Posts Alex Keerma Latest posts by Alex Keerma (see all) WestJet adds to network, nonstop flights between Austin and Calgary – May 3, 2019 Senior Travel Advisor – Peterborough Office – April 12, 2019 “I didn’t know she was married”: Kimpton’s social experiment inspires new themed rooms – March 6, 2019last_img read more

Air Canada announces more capacity enhanced services for Atlantic Canada

first_img MONTREAL — Air Canada’s overall capacity in and out of Atlantic Canada will increase by 8% starting this winter, as some routes transfer to Air Canada Rouge while other Air Canada Rouge and mainline services extend to year-round.“Leisure travellers and business customers alike will benefit from these service enhancements which clearly demonstrate our commitment to these markets as we increase capacity on numerous routes in Atlantic Canada, which we have been serving year-round since 1942, longer than any other carrier,” says Mark Galardo, VPof Network Planning. Galardo adds: “With the introduction of Air Canada Rouge service to Saint John, NB, the extension of Rouge on Charlottetown-Toronto and the expansion of Halifax-Calgary flights to year-round service, Atlantic Canada will enjoy an improved product and convenient connections throughout Air Canada’s extensive North American and global network.”Starting Oct. 27, twice daily Saint John-Toronto flights will be operated year-round by Air Canada Rouge using an Airbus A319, replacing the Bombardier Q400s. This represents a 16% increase in available seats, while also offering an upgraded customer experience on the A319 which features Premium Rouge and Economy cabins, as well as streaming in-flight entertainment.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTAir Canada operates out of four airports in New Brunswick with roughly 1,600 daily seats available for travellers. Also continuing year-round will be Air Canada Rouge service from Toronto to Moncton (three times a day) and Fredericton (twice a day), also operated by an Airbus A319, representing a 16% capacity increase through the winter season.Charlottetown-Toronto flights operated by Air Canada Rouge in the summer will become year-round service as of Dec. 16, with two daily flights operated with an Airbus A319. Air Canada offers nonstop flights from Charlottetown to Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.Air Canada is also adding a second daily flight between Gander, NL and Halifax during the winter season. Flights between Halifax and Gander will be operated year-round on the Bombardier Q400.From Halifax, Air Canada mainline will operate year-round nonstop service to Calgary on an A319 beginning March 1, 2020.Air Canada also recently launched nonstop service between Montreal and Sydney, Nova Scotia, for the summer season. Share Tags: Air Canada Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Air Canada announces more capacity, enhanced services for Atlantic Canada Wednesday, July 3, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Reagan administration CIA complicit in DEA agents murder say former insiders

first_imgPlumlee said he worked undercover as a CIA contractor for the civilian aviation company SETCO, flying between points in Mexico, South and Central America and the United States, delivering arms for the Contras.Various investigations, including one by the CIA’s Inspector General, established that SETCO was an airline controlled by Honduran drug trafficker Juan Matta Ballesteros, and also was the principal company used to traffic arms to the Contra rebels.Matta Ballesteros is currently serving time in a U.S. federal prison.Plumlee said he flew a C-130 transport plane in and out of Caro Quintero’s ranch in Veracruz, Mexico, to Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia, to Ilopango Air Base in El Salvador, and to a secret airstrip on the Santa Elena Peninsula in Costa Rica, among other locations, carrying arms south from the U.S. to the Contras and cocaine north to U.S. military installations, including El Toro Marine Air Base in southern California and Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.Plumlee estimated that among them, the four pilots smuggled about 40 tons of cocaine in the operation.The pilot said he had no worry about being caught by civilian aviation or military authorities because he carried “coded transponders” that identified his plane as a “spooky” flight warning off any official scrutiny. The transponders permitting such flights could only have come from the White House, Plumlee said.The programs were code-named “Grasshopper,” for the El Toro route and “Roosterhop,” for the Homestead route, Plumlee added.Berrellez said he’s convinced the drugs were taken from the airbases by traffickers with connections to the Contras and sold on the streets.In fall 1984, Plumlee met at the Oaxaca Café in Phoenix, Arizona, with agents from the Phoenix Organized Crime Detail and the Arizona Tri-State Task Force, including Camarena, to discuss his SETCO flights.When Plumlee told the agents the flights were sanctioned by the U.S. government, “Kiki said, ‘That’s horseshit. You’re lining your pockets,’” Jordan recalled. “He could not believe that the U.S. government could be running drugs into the United States.”Alarmed by Camarena’s threats to bust the operation, Plumlee went to Bennettee and told him about Camarena’s warning, saying that he had no intention of going to jail and would blow the whistle if indicted.Bennettee told Plumlee not to worry. “Camarena isn’t going to do anything,” he reassured the pilot. About five months later, on Feb. 7, 1985, Camarena was kidnapped in Mexico by agents of the Federal Security Directorate (DFS by its Spanish acronym), which the former DEA agents say were both the eyes and ears of the CIA in Mexico and at the same time at the beck and call of Mexico’s powerful drug cartels.According to Plumlee, the DEA agent had written a series of memos complaining about official lethargy in bringing the gunrunning operation under control.“Kiki said, ‘What do we have to do, does someone have to get killed to do something about this?’” Plumlee said.Jordan added that the use of a drug dealer’s property by the CIA for the purpose of helping the Contras didn’t sit well with the DEA agents.“That’s the way we’re brought up, so to speak,” he said. “When we see someone running drugs, we want to bust them, not work with them.”Three weeks after he disappeared, Camarena’s decomposing body was found on a ranch. He had been tortured, it was later learned, in a brutal three-day ordeal that ended in his death. Officials blamed Caro Quintero, who, they said, had exacted revenge on Camarena for busting Caro Quintero’s multimillion-dollar marijuana plantation in Chihuahua, Mexico.But Berrellez charges the CIA with complicity in the murder, based on the cozy relationship between the CIA and DFS, and between the DFS and the Guadalajara drug cartel, the timing of Camarena’s threat to Plumlee, and the fact that the CIA was able to produce two or three of the tapes of Camarena’s interrogation, but failed to provide three or four other similar tapes.“Kiki was sacrificed because it was thought that he was on to them,” Berrellez said.Plumlee said the White House was concerned about a leak that might have incriminated officials in the illegal arming of the Contras. He said he knows this because he was given access to intelligence reports and briefing materials during his testimony in 1990 to the Senate committee chaired by then-Senator and now-Secretary of State John Kerry. Much of Plumlee’s testimony was given in closed session and remains sealed as a national security secret, the pilot said.“They wanted to talk to Kiki about the arms, not drugs,” Plumlee said.The alleged support for the Contras by Mexican drug kingpins, including Caro Quintero and Miguel Félix Gallardo, is not new. The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post reported on the relationship between the Reagan government and the drug lords in 1990, according to the book “Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America,” by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall.But the alleged connection between the Reagan Administration’s Contra policies and Camarena’s murder has only surfaced after the release in July of Caro Quintero from prison – where he served 28 years of a 40-year jail term – and has been widely reported in the Mexican and Central American press.Some in the Mexican press went so far as to say that the CIA, not Caro Quintero, killed Camarena. Mexican former drug cartel boss, Rafael Caro Quintero, was serving his conviction at Puente Grande prison in Guadalajara when he was released last July. The U.S. government is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture and prosecution in the United States.AFP Reporter Gary Webb wrote the “Dark Alliance” series linking Contra drug running to the proliferation of crack cocaine in Los Angeles. He committed suicide in 2004, although the cause of death has been highly disputed. Screenshot from interview by School of Authentic Journalism 2002 seminar in Merida, Mexico DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was tortured and murdered in 1985. Courtesy of U.S. Justice Department. The fact that witnesses have placed CIA operatives at the scene of Camarena’s kidnapping and interrogation tells Jordan that the CIA operatives should have told their handlers ahead of time and stopped it.“If it were the other way around and it were DEA operatives with knowledge of a possible kidnapping of a CIA agent, the DEA would never allow it to happen,” Jordan said.Plumlee said he is talking now because he wants to cover himself now that the issue has come into public view, and also to set the record straight, as some news sources, especially in Mexico, have blamed the CIA directly for murdering Camarena.Plumlee produced a letter dated Feb. 11, 1991, written by former Sen. Gary Hart to then-Sen. Kerry saying that Plumlee had been in contact with his office about the arms and drug trafficking between 1983 and 1985, and that Hart’s staff had informed the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees but “no action was initiated by either committee.”Bill Holden, Hart’s national security adviser and now a county commissioner in Arapaho County, Colorado, said he met with Plumlee several times.“I have no reason not to believe Plumlee,” Holden said. National Security Council adviser Lt. Col. Oliver North “was involved in a lot of nefarious activities that led the Reagan Administration into Iran-Contra.”Iran-Contra was the scandal that rocked the Reagan Administration when it was revealed that the government had sold arms to Iran and used the proceeds to finance the Contras.Berrellez said the 76-year-old pilot is risking a lot to speak out, as he could still be prosecuted for the drug trafficking and even as an accessory to murder for flying Caro Quintero from Veracruz across the border to Guatemala when the drug lord made his escape from Mexico en route to a short-lived stay in Costa Rica in March 1985.Even before the Iran-Contra scandal broke, two reporters from the Associated Press, Brian Barger and Robert Parry, had published a series of articles reporting on alleged drug trafficking by Contra rebels.The articles focused on companies that served as fronts for both aiding the Contras and running drugs, but did not hint at drug running on the scale alleged by Plumlee.In 1996, Gary Webb, reporting for the San Jose, California-based Mercury News, broke a story linking Contra drug running to the proliferation of crack cocaine in Los Angeles that had bred addiction and gang-related violence.Though the “Dark Alliance” series was based on a case that had already been aired, the series hit a nerve by implying that the a U.S. government-backed rebel group (the “CIA’s army” as the series repeatedly stated) was responsible for a crack epidemic that began in L.A. and spread to other communities, especially black communities, across the country.Soon thereafter, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times all published articles shooting down Webb’s reporting, saying that the amount of drugs run by the ring in Webb’s article could not by itself have sparked an epidemic on a scale experienced by U.S. cities.center_img First in an exclusive Tico Times series in two parts Two former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and a former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency contract pilot are claiming that the Reagan Administration was complicit in the 1985 murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena at the hands of Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero.The administration’s alleged effort to cover up a U.S. government relationship with the Mexican drug lord to provide for the arming and the training of Nicaraguan Contra rebels, at a time when official assistance to the Contras was banned by the congressional Boland Amendment, led to Camarena’s kidnap, torture and murder, according to Phil Jordon, former head of the DEA’s El Paso office, Hector Berrellez, the DEA’s lead investigator into Camarena’s kidnapping, torture and murder, and CIA contract pilot Robert “Tosh” Plumlee.“We’re not saying the CIA murdered Kiki Camarena,” Jordan said. But the “consensual relationship between the Godfathers of Mexico and the CIA that included drug trafficking” contributed to Camarena’s death, he added.“I don’t have a problem with the CIA conducting covert operations to protect the national security of our country or our allies, but not to engage in criminal activity that leads to the murder of one our agents,” Jordan said.Camarena had discovered the arms-for-drugs operation run on behalf of the Contras, aided by U.S. officials in the National Security Council and the CIA, and threatened to blow the whistle on the covert operation, Jordan alleged.Berrellez said two witnesses identified, from a photo lineup, two or three Cuban CIA operatives who participated in Camarena’s interrogation.Plumlee said he and three other pilots ran tons of cocaine into U.S. military bases on return trips from delivering weapons to Contra rebels in Central America, and was warned by Camarena that he would be busted. Plumlee has a long and colorful history of working for the CIA, beginning with flying arms to Cuba before Fidel Castro’s takeover in the 1950s.Jordan said the cover story Plumlee had been told by his CIA “handler” William Bennetee – that his cocaine flights into U.S. military bases were part of a drug interdiction program to penetrate and dismantle the cocaine routes of Colombian drug lords Pablo Escobar and Jorge Ochoa – was unimaginable, since the DEA, which would have had to approve the program, had no knowledge of it.“I don’t know of any DEA administrator that I worked for who would have sanctioned cocaine smuggling into the United States in the name of national security, when we are out there risking our lives,” Jordan told The Tico Times.The CIA reacted indignantly to the allegation of complicity in Camarena’s murder. “It’s ridiculous to suggest that the CIA had anything to do with the murder of a U.S. federal agent or the escape of his killer,” an agency spokesman told Fox News.The DEA said only that U.S. justice has gotten to the bottom of the Camarena case.“DEA believes that the individuals responsible for the torture and murder of Special Agent Kiki Camarena have been identified and indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. They include Rafael Caro-Quintero and 15 others,” said the agency in a statement.An agency spokeswoman declined to elaborate. The Contra’s Southern Front, April 22, 1983. Mario Castillo/La República/Tico Times The particular ring written about by Webb, headed by Nicaraguan drug traffickers Norwin Meneses and Danilo Blandon, was not big enough to have fueled the crack epidemic and provided relatively little money to the Contra cause, the news reports said.Berrellez admitted that he can’t make a firm connection between the Contra drug flights into southern California, but said he is convinced the Meneses-Blandon drug ring had access to cocaine flown into El Toro Marine Air Base, adding that the ultimate buyer of the drug for street sales in Los Angeles, “Freeway” Ricky Ross, dealt in tons of cocaine and had Meneses and Blandon as his suppliers.“I was working in Los Angeles at the time, and I can tell you we knew of no interdiction program at El Toro,” Berrellez said. “The Contras were running drugs from Central America and the Contras were providing drugs to street gangs in Los Angeles. That’s your connection.”Initially supportive, Webb’s editors, in the face of the criticism, backed off the story, saying the articles had overreached. Webb was demoted to a backwater suburban beat and eventually quit the newspaper. Unable to find work at another major daily, he committed suicide in December 2004.But outrage over Webb’s allegations prompted the CIA to assign the agency’s inspector general, Fredrick Hitz, to investigate the extent of the CIA’s knowledge of cocaine trafficking by the Contras.The Hitz report found no evidence the CIA was involved in the trafficking, but did ascertain that individuals and companies related to Contra operations were involved in the trafficking, and that the CIA did not act in an expeditious manner to stop it.As for Caro Quintero, since his release, the U.S. government has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture and prosecution in the United States.Said Jordan: “From my own opinion, he has to worry more about CIA operatives than he does the Mexican government or the CIA.”Coming up in part 2 of the series, the role of Costa Rica’s secret northwestern airstrip. Facebook Comments Related posts:27 years later, CIA pilot tells of using secret Costa Rican airstrip to traffic guns, cocaine Reports: CIA present during U.S. drug agent’s torture, murder Doctors complicit in torture at CIA, military prisons: study Torture report revives CIA’s rogue imagelast_img read more

Banana giant Chiquita rejects Brazilian takeover bid

first_imgRelated posts:Chiquita gets takeover proposal that would kill Fyffes deal UN warns of risk to banana supply after disease spreads Coffee futures rise to 25-month high on global deficit forecast Whole Foods’ responsibly grown rating system labels Costa Rican bananas grown at EARTH University as ‘Best’ NEW YORK – Banana giant Chiquita rejected Thursday thetakeover bid by Brazil’s Cutrale and Safra groups, calling their offer “inadequate” and sticking to its plan to merge with European fruit seller Fyffes.The board of Chiquita Brands International turned down the $13 a share, $611 million cash offer for all of its stock made Monday by Cutrale, a global power in orange juice and other fruit juices, and Safra, the wealthy Brazilian investment bank.The offer “is inadequate and not in the best interests of Chiquita shareholders,” the board said. “Having made such a determination, Chiquita has determined not to furnish information to, and have discussions and negotiations with, the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group at this time.”The board said it would continue to back the merger with Fyffes, which would create the world’s largest banana purveyor, with $4.6 billion in annual revenues.That all-stock deal, announced in March, would allow Chiquita to avoid higher U.S. taxes by relocating its statutory headquarters to Ireland, a so-called tax inversion.Chiquita shareholders are slated to meet and vote on the merger in a special meeting on Sept. 17.But the board’s rejection Thursday appeared to leave the door open for a better offer from the two Brazilian suitors.The two companies had argued that theirs was a better deal for shareholders, who have sold off Chiquita shares in the wake of strong comments by U.S. President Barack Obama and other top officials against tax inversions like that which Chiquita is planning.Down about 17 percent since the Fyffes merger was announced, Chiquita shares jumped more than 30 percent Monday on the Cutrale-Safra offer.Since then they have traded above $13, suggesting investors expect a better offer.In after-hours trade Thursday, following the board’s rejection, the shares were at $13.50, barely changed from the day’s official close. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

NASA New photos reveal Plutos stunning geological diversity

first_imgRelated posts:Crowdfunding campaign to orbit Costa Rica’s first satellite surpasses goal First bite of space-grown lettuce is ‘awesome’ Ex-NASA astronaut Franklin Chang talks about ‘The Martian,’ Hollywood’s take on his VASIMR engine Photo of Tico astronaut Franklin Chang with Barack Obama among best White House pics of 2015 New, high-resolution images of the surface of Pluto beamed from NASA’sNew Horizons spacecraft reveal unparalleled geographical variety – from soaring mountains to sand dunes to frozen ice floes, scientists said Saturday.“Pluto is showing us a diversity of landforms and complexity of processes that rival anything we’ve seen in the solar system,” said Alan Stern, principal investigator with the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, who is playing a key role analyzing data sent by the probe.“If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top – but that’s what is actually there,” he said. According to NASA, in the center of this 300-mile (470-kilometer) wide image of Pluto from NASA’’s New Horizons spacecraft is a large region of jumbled, broken terrain on the northwestern edge of the vast, icy plain informally called Sputnik Planum, to the right. The smallest visible features are 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) in size. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research InstituteLong considered the farthest planet from the Sun before it was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006, Pluto has never before been explored. In July, New Horizons – a nuclear powered spacecraft about the size of a baby grand piano – became the first spaceship to pass by Pluto.By doing so, the unmanned probe has for the first time given scientists the chance to obtain close-up images from the distant and complex dwarf planet. The stunning pictures, displaying chaotically jumbled mountains and other dramatic geographical features, is somewhat reminiscent of the helter-skelter terrain of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, NASA scientists said.New Horizon began a yearlong download of new images and other data several days ago. The pictures downloaded this past week have more than doubled the amount of Pluto’s surface seen, at resolutions of about 400 meters (440 yards) per pixel.NASA said New Horizons will continue to send data back to Earth until late next year. The space agency also said that next week, the probe will beam images of Pluto’s moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra.See also: Flowing nitrogen ice glaciers seen on Pluto Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Media campaign seeks to raise awareness about mental health care

first_imgRelated posts:Mandatory prices for medical procedures rankle public, politicians Costa Rica reports lower cancer mortality rates Number of obese Ticos has almost quadrupled in four decades Social Security System launches anti-influenza vaccination campaign Facebook Comments Costa Rica’s Social Security System last week launched a media campaign to promote awareness of mental health issues in response to what it deems a high cost of providing treatment, as well as lost productivity from missed days at work.The campaign, titled “No hay salud sin salud mental” (“There’s no health without mental health”), responds to reports showing that depression and anxiety are the two leading mental health issues affecting Ticos.Data from Caja’s health statistics department show that public hospitals in 2014 treated a total of 5,799 patients for mental and behavioral disorders. Of these, 2,800 were men and 2,999 were women. Last year, Caja doctors issued 17,650 sick-leave permits to 11,682 workers for depression.The Caja’s disability commission, which oversees sick and disability leave, reported that an additional 22,924 people applied for sick leave due to stress-related disorders.“These people accounted for a total of 365,712 days off of work, representing ₡5.6 billion [$10.3 million] in expenses for the Caja,” the commission reported.The most affected age group last year was 20- to 44-year-olds, followed by 45- to 64-year-olds.Carolina Montoya, head of the National Psychiatric Hospital’s rehabilitation department, said the campaign is based on messages to help viewers understand the benefits of maintaining good mental health.“Life consists of moments, so we are emphasizing activities shared with family and friends,” she said.Quality time with family and friends, along with individual and group recreational activities contribute to wellness and stress prevention, she added.The media campaign is being aired on television and radio, and published in newspapers and on social media. It includes public recreational activities across the country for the rest of the year.Montoya noted that the aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about mental health in the adult population, but that the messages also target children.Watch one of the campaign’s TV spots:last_img read more

Soldiers hit streets as US floods death toll mounts

first_imgCHICAGO — The Illinois National Guard was ordered into action Friday and hundreds of people urged to flee rising floodwaters, as the death toll from days of heavy rain in the U.S. Midwest mounted.Swathes of the United States have been buffeted in the last week by tornadoes, storms and torrential rain, while the U.S. East Coast has seen unseasonably warm weather over the holiday season.Missouri and Illinois have been particularly hard hit from the record-breaking and relentless deluge in the past week.The death toll from the flooding in the Midwest rose to 23, CNN said. Fifteen of the dead were in Missouri and eight in Illinois.But the toll could rise, with increasing concerns about the fate of two missing Illinois teenagers last seen several days ago.One of them, Delia Ann Stacey, 18, was last heard of on Monday, when she sent a text message to her family saying simply “Help,” the Herrin Police Department said in a statement on Facebook.“Further contact with Stacey via her phone has been unsuccessful, as has the use of all resources available in determining its location,” it said.There were growing fears, too, for residents in southern Illinois, where the rising Mississippi River reportedly topped a levee, putting several towns and rural communities at risk.Hundreds of people were urged to evacuate.Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, who toured some of the affected communities, tweeted: “I have ordered Illinois National Guard soldiers into active duty to aid local efforts to save lives and mitigate flood damage in Southern Illinois.”Forecasters warned that southern U.S. states were in increasing danger in the days to come.“Major flooding is occurring or forecast on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and tributaries in Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky, with record flooding at several locations,” the National Weather Service said.“Major flooding is also occurring on the Arkansas River and tributaries in Arkansas. Floodwaters will move downstream over the next couple of weeks, with significant river flooding expected for the lower Mississippi into mid-January.”There was some relief, however, in the St. Louis area of Missouri, where flooding was at last receding.For many, the big cleanup now begins. The more unfortunate saw their homes wiped out.“We’re just basically homeless. We have nowhere to go,” Damon Thorne, 44, told ABC News.He and his 60-year-old mother Linda were staying at a Red Cross shelter at a church after their mobile home park in Arnold, Missouri was washed away by the surging Meramec River. Facebook Comments Related posts:High tides expected along Pacific coast this week Heavy rains cause flooding in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific region Death toll at 43 as wild weather tears across parts of US After last year’s flooding, San José officials say city is prepared for the rainy seasonlast_img read more

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