Marriott International receives prestigious awards

first_imgMarriott International, Inc. has received a series of workplace awards in recognition of its achievements within the first four months of 2015 across the Asia Pacific region.The company received the 2015 China Top Employer award by Top Employers Institute, Best Workplaces in Asia award by Great Place to Work and two Best Employer Awards by Aon Hewitt for Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts, Asia Pacific.In addition to these four accolades, Marriott International was awarded 15 Aon Hewitt workplace excellence awards in nine Asia Pacific markets.Marriott International president and managing director for Asia Pacific, Simon Cooper said the company continues to implement their moto: “Take care of our associates and they’ll take care of our customers”.“The recognition we’ve received in the past four months across APAC shows that Marriott still takes this to heart,” Mr Cooper said.“It’s an impressive list that makes me immensely proud of our company.”Aon Hewitt regional leader for performance, rewards and talent in Asia Pacific, Anand Shankar said for Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts to receive Best Employer awards is no easy feat.“To sustain quality and high-standard practices of HR programs and initiatives, year after year, is a true reflection of the group’s commitment to long-term success and sustainability through its people,” Mr Shankar said.The company focusses heavily on hiring and developing local talent, which is reflected in the Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts 2014 employee satisfaction survey.The survey revealed a 93 and 95 per cent approval rating by employees in the Asia Pacific region.In 2014, each associate within the company took part in 34 hours of training and, for managers, 78 hours of professional development.Marriott International is committed to training and supporting its associates and helping to provide career paths for future Marriott leaders. Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

Emirates develop another world first in aviation

first_imgEmirates develop another world first in aviationEmirates has appointed Cubic Global Defense to develop a virtual, game-based training programme for its cabin crew. This will be the first time in the aviation industry a commercial airline will use in-depth game-based instruction with an integrated training approach.The programme, currently in development, will complement the airline’s existing world-class training facilities at the Emirates Aviation College – Crew Training in Dubai. Using a combination of virtual learning content and gamification both online and in classrooms, the new curriculum will allow Emirates’ cabin crew to learn and practise the skills required to ensure the highest levels of safety and service on board. It will facilitate a more immersive learning experience which has been proven to increase knowledge retention by 65%[i].The science-based learning approach can be customised to support several training modules, increasing operational efficiency at the training college. With the new system, Emirates can better cater to its expanding crew population while maintaining the quality and effectiveness of its training. Aircraft familiarisation is among the new content being developed, allowing cabin crew to fully immerse themselves in a virtual walk-through of both the interior and exterior of the aircraft.Catherine Baird, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Cabin Crew Training explains: “We constantly revise our training curriculum to use innovative and cutting-edge learning tools. This is our biggest investment in crew training since we introduced our full-motion, high-fidelity aircraft simulators. As the airline expands, our main goal is being able to cater to our growing crew numbers without compromising our world-class training programme. This new technology will engage our crew and complement their learning, giving them all the skills necessary to deliver our signature service and keeping safety at the heart of our operation.”The growth of Emirates’ cabin crew team has been steadily increasing in line with the arrival of new aircraft and new routes being added to the network. With 16 more aircraft deliveries expected by March 2016, Emirates is hiring over 5,000 new cabin crew this year alone. Today, Emirates has over 20,000 cabin crew from over 135 nationalities that speak more than 60 languages.“We’re proud to be working with Emirates in a commercial aviation industry first,” said Bill Toti, President of Cubic Global Defense. “We look forward to helping define a new industry standard in aviation training that focuses on safety and service while incorporating the best in learning science and emerging virtual technology.”Cubic Global Defense, a business unit of Cubic Corporation, has extensive experience in designing and operating training technology focused in the transportation and defense training markets. They are also developing similar game-based training solutions for the U.S. Navy. Fly EmiratesSource = Emirates Airlinelast_img read more

Win a Self Drive Canal Boat Experience in France

first_imgFor full details and bookings contact French Travel Connection on 1300 858 304, email info@frenchtravel.com.au or visit www.frenchtravel.com.au.“Self drive canal barge is such a great way to spend the best time in France and see some places that nobody else sees as well as tasting amazing traditional food and wines!” said Sophie Meunier, French Travel Connection Product manager Aquitane – French Travel ConnectionBE THE CAPTAIN OF YOUR BOAT. French Travel Connection, Australia’s leading holiday specialist to France, is 20% off in self-drive canal boat in Beautiful France. Self-drive canal boating is the way to discover the charm and mystery of hidden France. Cruise through the peaceful countryside, past tempting vineyards and historic villages where tiny medieval churches, ancient castles and small local restaurants will offer you an endless stream of new experiences and delights. No experience required. We have considerable expertise in this unique type of holiday and are happy to share our personal cruising experience with you. Read our blog article: The Top Spots for Self Drive Boat trips in France.French Travel ConnectionSpecial Offers:20% OFF on Self Drive Canal boat in France. Read moreFrench Travel Connection EXCLUSIVE BONUS:Book a 1-week cruise and a standard bike and receive a free second standard bike.Trade Incentive: Win a week Self Drive Canal Boat Experience in France For any booking made between today and 31st March; receive a chance to win a fabulous Self Drive canal boat experience in France. Read more French Travel Connectionlearn more hereSource = French Travel Connectionlast_img read more

IHG opens the fourth Holiday Inn Express Singapore

first_imgSource = InterContinental Hotels Group Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon Great Room 1IHG opens the fourth Holiday Inn Express SingaporeInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) has announced the latest addition in Singapore, the fourth Holiday Inn Express hotel in this country, Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon. Located within walking distance of Little India heritage area, this contemporary hotel offers comfort, convenience, and the best value for smart travellers for both leisure and business purposes.Within a 20-minute drive of Changi Airport, Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon offers convenient access to Farrer Park and Jalan Besar MRT stations where travellers can connect to Asia’s leading leisure destination including Sentosa, Botanic Garden, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Park and Orchard Road. The hotel is also only a few minutes’ walk from the famous 24-hour Mustafa Shopping Centre, and City Square Mall. With the hotel situated between two important MRT stations, business travelers can easily access Kallang, MacPherson, Bugis, and Central Business District.The hotel is surrounded by hip and innovative cafés, local and international restaurants, colourful shophouses, and a rich cultural heritage that offers unique sights and experiences only found in this part of Singapore. The area is famous for its Heritage Trails that explore Serangoon in the 1900s including the Indian Heritage Centre, the Former House of Tan Teng Niah, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Foochaw Methodist Church, Tekka Centre, and many more delights.Designed with the philosophy to provide everything guests need and nothing they don’t, the hotel offers simple yet smart features for a comfortable stay. Guests can enjoy amenities including:Free and fast Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel to stay connectedFree Express Start™ Breakfast at the brand’s signature Great Room or aGrab & Go option for a smart start.Comfortable and high-quality bedding with a choice of firm or soft pillows for a great night’s sleep.Refreshing power showers with a multifunctional showerhead and fluffy towels to stay revitalised.A 24-hour fitness room to stay energised and keep up the fitness routine away from home.A self-service business centre, internet stations and laundry stationsThe hotel architectural design is about bringing a carnival concept combined with a history of the iconic landmark into life by reflecting the old days through modern design of colourful geometric pattern which is inspired by carnival Ferris’s wheel. The design also pays homage to past landmarks such as the New World Amusement Park, one of Singapore’s earliest amusement parks. This latest Holiday Inn Express hotel features unique, funky, and lively elements to enhance your stay.Commenting on the opening, Ashleigh Garside, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon said: “We are excited to introduce our guests to the latest Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon. Both business and leisure travellers will experience a refreshingly smart stay that delivers more where it matters most, with our commitment to Simple Smart Travel. We look forward to welcoming you to this ideal destination to explore the rich heritage of Little India and Serangoon districts.”Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon joins other Holiday Inn Express hotels in Singapore, following the successful openings of Holiday Inn Express Singapore Orchard Road, Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke Quay, and Holiday Inn Express Singapore KatongThe hotel is offering a special opening promotion from SGD140++ per night, for bookings from now until 31 March 2019. For reservations and more information on Holiday Inn Express hotels around the world, please visit www.holidayinnexpress.com.last_img read more

Travel guide to Dublin Ireland

first_imgDespite a long history of invasion and resistance, Dublin is a thriving business capital, with poetry, music and literature etched in the cobblestones.Source: Expedialast_img

Initial Jobless Claims Drop to 5Year Low

first_img Share First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending April 27 dropped 18,000 to 324,000, the lowest level in more than five years, the “”Labor Department””:http://www.ows.doleta.gov/press/2013/050213.asp reported Thursday. Economists expected claims to increase to 354,000 initial claims. Initial jobless claims for the week ending April 20 were revised up to 344,000 from the originally reported 342,000.[IMAGE]The number of filings was the lowest since the week ending January 19, 2008.The number of persons continuing to collect unemployment insurance for the week ending April 20 (reported on a one week lag) rose 12,000 to 3,019,000. Continuing claims for the week ending April 13 were revised up to 3,007,000 from the originally reported 3,000,000.The four-week moving average of initial claims fell 16,000 to 342,250. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell 18,000 to 3,055,500.The report will have no impact on the employment situation report to be issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) detailing the number of payroll jobs and the unemployment rate for April. The BLS report will be based on data collected for the week including the 12th calendar day of the month.From mid-March to mid-April, the moving average of first-time unemployment claims increased 14,000, and the four-week moving average rose 21,000, suggesting layoffs will be a drag on net new payroll jobs for April. For March, BLS reported the economy added a disappointing 88,000 payroll jobs.Economists anticipate Friday’s report will show gains of about 160,000 jobs with the unemployment rate unchanged at 7.6 percent.The week-over-week decline in unemployment claims was the third in the last four weeks following three straight weekly increases. The Labor Department offered no explanation for the sharp decline in claims or the downward trend that coincided with favorable seasonal adjustment factors.The continuing claims data series is often the more significant series in forecasting the unemployment rate and payroll totals. Essentially, there are only three ways [COLUMN_BREAK]to stop collecting unemployment insurance: if the individual gets a job, if benefits expire, or if the individual is no longer available to collect. From mid-March to mid-April, the continuing claims four-week moving average fell 4,250, which could suggest a more robust payroll report.The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending April 13 was 4,963,449, a decrease of 108,631 from the previous week, the Labor Department said. There were 6,597,715 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012.The Labor Department said states reported 1,777,737 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending April 13, a decrease of 12,579 from the prior week. There were 2,724,432 persons claiming EUC in the comparable week in 2012. EUC benefits are threatened by the federal budget sequester. Mississippi announced a cutback last week with a notice to recipients telling them to expect a 12.8 percent reduction in their weekly benefits.Rich Hobbie, director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (state agencies which administer unemployment insurance programs) said in written testimony during a congressional hearing last month that 11 states might drop the EUC program entirely due to sequestration. According to the BLS, 11,742,000 persons were officially considered unemployed in March, which means that of those individuals counted as unemployed, 6.78 million were not receiving any form of government unemployment insurance for the week ending April 13, up from 6.59 million one week earlier.States continue to borrow from the federal government to cover shortfalls in those funds which will eventually have to be repaid–unless Congress intervenes–with higher assessments on employers. Since those assessments are a percentage of payrolls, they discourage employers from adding new workers. As of April 30, 24 states had borrowed a total of $28.6 billion. One week earlier, 23 states had an aggregate $29.9 billion in outstanding loans to cover shortfalls. Six states–California, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Ohio–each owe more than $1 billion, which may require higher unemployment premiums or special assessments on employers in those states.According to the Labor Department detail, also reported on a one-week lag, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 20 were in Michigan (+6,172), Massachusetts (+4,101), Connecticut (+2,452), Rhode Island (+1,427), and Nevada (+535), while the largest decreases were in California (-16,681), New York (-6,443), Pennsylvania (-3,646), Texas (-3,070), and Indiana (-1,637)._Hear Mark Lieberman Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 8:45 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. Eastern._ May 2, 2013 440 Views Unemployment,Initial Jobless Claims Drop to 5-Year Lowcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Labor Statistics Investors Jobs Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Payrolls Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2013-05-02 Mark Lieberman in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Median Home Prices Dip as Inventory Declines Level

first_img August 19, 2013 447 Views Median home prices dipped month-over-month in July, but still experienced a sharp rise from last year, according “”RE/MAX’s””:http://www.remax.com/ latest housing survey covering 52 metropolitan areas. At the same time, the inventory situation eased, while sales remained strong. [IMAGE]Homes in July sold for a median price of $189,950, down 2.1 percent from June, but up by 11.5 percent from July 2012. The annual increase marks 18 consecutive months of yearly gains, and 49 out of the 52 metro saw improvements over the last year. [COLUMN_BREAK]While inventory was down compared to last year and the prior month, the decreases were more conservative, which means home price gains should slow, according to RE/MAX. July inventory was 1.3 percent below the level in June and 20.7 percent lower compared to a year ago. However, inventory expanded month-over-month in 18 of the metros tracked. Currently, it would take four months to clear inventory available for sale, but in San Francisco, Denver, and Los Angeles, supply was under two months. Sales in July were positive all around, with closed transactions climbing 17 percent from last year and inching up by 1.5 percent from the prior month. The annual increase represents the 25th straight month sales were higher. Overall, 48 of the 52 metro areas saw higher sales over the last year. Thirty-nine of those metros saw double-digit increases, including Albuquerque (+43.8 percent); Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (+38.7 percent); Chicago (+38.3 percent); Boise, Idaho (+36.8 percent); Providence, Rhode Island (+35.5 percent); and Indianapolis (+30.5 percent). Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies For-Sale Homes Home Prices Home Sales Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing RE/MAX Service Providers 2013-08-19 Esther Cho in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img Median Home Prices Dip as Inventory Declines Level Sharelast_img read more

How Loan Limits Have Failed Todays Housing Market

first_img Conforming Loan Limits Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Home Prices Trulia 2014-04-29 Scott_Morgan April 29, 2014 441 Views Share How Loan Limits Have Failed Today’s Housing Marketcenter_img One of the limitations of a federally regulated housing finance system, according to Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, is that there is no one housing market. In some areas, home prices can be as much as 10 times higher than in others, and individual markets vary wildly due to local and state housing and building laws and job opportunities.One way the federal government has accounted for local market differences is through the conforming loan limit: the maximum amount of a home loan that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can guarantee. When the bottom fell out of the housing market that year, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act set higher conforming loan limits for higher-cost areas. This upper-end limit currently is $625,500—50 percent above the $417,000 limit that applies in most of the country.According to Kolko, this current system falls far short of reflecting the actual differences in local home prices and ends up favoring borrowers in lower-cost markets. Kolko’s argument is most vividly illustrated in California, where more than 30 percent of homes for sale are priced above the conforming loan limit. The most exaggerated example, according to Trulia, is in San Francisco, where 61 percent of homes for sale are above the conforming loan limit.In most of the rest of the country (excluding some markets in the Northeast, such as New York/New Jersey, where 30 percent of homes for sale are also above the higher conforming loan limit), Kolko says, only 10 percent of homes for sale are above the limit. “If loan limits fully reflected local housing market differences,” Kolko said, “then a similar share of homes in every metro would be above the local loan limit.”Indeed, in some metro areas—most notably El Paso, Little Rock, Memphis, Dayton, Toledo, Akron, Detroit, Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo—only 2 to 4 percent of homes for sale exceed the local loan limit of $417,000, according to Trulia.One advantage of conforming mortgages for borrowers, Kolko said, is that they typically have lower mortgage rates than jumbo loans, which has helped those buying more modestly priced homes. And while this might sound like a fair leg-up for the little guy, the problem, said Kolko, is in assuming that people buying homes in expensive markets are all rich.“In expensive markets, households spend more of their income on housing,” Kolko said. “The current system of conforming loan limits isn’t sufficiently aligned with local home price differences to give households at the same income level similar access to conforming loans.”Complicating things further is the looming Johnson-Crapo bill, a senate proposal that could pass committee by this time next week and which seeks to phase out Fannie and Freddie over five years. The bill would maintain a government backstop for mortgages through a newly created Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation and create a reinsurance fund designed to protect taxpayers from a repeat of the $188 billion Fannie/Freddie bailout in 2008.What’s complicating about the bill, Kolko said, is the fact that changing loan limits would mean hurting or helping some areas more than others, while leaving limits alone could render the whole system moot.“Lowering loan limits in specific local markets would push more borrowers into the jumbo category, which … means mortgages that are more expensive and more difficult to get,” Kolko said. “Raising the loan limit in high-cost areas would benefit borrowers in those areas but would increase the share of mortgages guaranteed or insured by the government.”This, he said, “runs counter to a central goal of national housing finance reform, which is to reduce the mortgage market’s dependence on government.”So what would happen if the conforming loan limits don’t change, even as the housing finance system gets overhauled? The short answer is: irony. “By removing the implicit subsidy and therefore reducing the cost advantage to borrowers of conforming loans, the Johnson-Crapo bill and other housing reform proposals might end up making conforming loan limits largely a moot point,” Kolko said.Still, even if Johnson-Crapo passes—which it might not, given the growing tide of opponents on all sides of the political fence who want to squash the measure as soon as possible—implementation would be years in the future. “Until then,” Kolko said, “the failure of conforming loan limits to reflect local housing differences is likely to get worse, not better.” in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Secondary Marketlast_img read more

Community Banks Continue to Feel Compliance Burden

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Technology Compliance Continuity Control Regulation 2014-10-16 Seth Welborn Community financial institutions are putting more of their resources toward compliance, according to the 2014 Third Quarter Banking Compliance Index (BCI) released on Tuesday by Connecticut-based compliance management systems provider Continuity Control.The latest BCI indicated that the number of hours and employees required of community financial institutions to meet regulatory compliance demands jumped by 26 percent in the third quarter. Research revealed that in order to comply with the 82 regulatory changes added in Q3, 653 additional hours were required of the average community bank. The number of hours equates to 1.86 full-time employees, requiring the institutions to spend $45,264 on average during Q3.”Anecdotally, most bankers say they felt like the third quarter was a light one in terms of compliance, but the data shows otherwise,” said Pam Perdue, executive vice president of regulatory insight at Continuity Control. “The number of regulatory changes last quarter reached the highest level we’ve seen since 1995. Even when the changes are minor in scope, they require time to identify, analyze, and implement. Upticks like these historically have forced banks to add headcount and divert time, money and staff from more profitable areas. Those traditional responses are unsustainable in 2014 and beyond.”Perdue said that a major factor in the compliance cost increase was the rising demand for compliance professionals brought on by increased scrutiny of compliance staffing from regulators, making it tougher and more expensive for banks to fill these positions.”We’re seeing competition for top talent increase,” Perdue said. “Knowledgeable compliance and risk officers are essential for most banks today, but they can be hard to come by. As a result, salaries keep rising, bumping already high compliance costs to even higher levels.”There are ways to help keep the cost of compliance from spinning out of control, according to Perdue.”Technology can help rein in compliance-related staffing costs,” Perdue said, “as well as demonstrate to regulators that a proper compliance management system is in place to keep up with the growing regulatory volume. Enforcement action levels remained high in the third quarter, with an average of seven items per action—up from just five items in the previous quarter.”center_img October 16, 2014 434 Views Community Banks Continue to Feel Compliance Burdenlast_img read more

Mortgage Lenders vs Growing Technology

first_imgMortgage Lenders vs. Growing Technology in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Technology 15 days ago 407 Views Fannie Mae Mortgage Lender technology 2019-07-18 Mike Albanesecenter_img The growing use of technology in the mortgage space is what most lenders call their biggest competitor, according to analysis from Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae’s VP of Single-Family Strategy and Insights Andrew Peters said lenders continue to cite “consumer-facing technology” as the most important business priority to maintain competitiveness. “The mortgage industry has faced a number of challenges in recent years. Technological advancements, demographic changes, increased competition, and lack of entry-level housing stock have applied pressure to growth and profitability. Over the past two years, lenders have continuously pointed to ‘competition from other lenders’ as the most significant drag on their profit margin outlook,” Peters said.Lenders have cited consumer-facing technology as the top business priority for the past two years years, with numbers growing each year. The amount of lenders who had technology as a top priority in Q2 2017 was 18%, which grew to 23% in Q2 2018 and to 25% in Q2 2019.“Lenders’ business priorities also appear to be in line with their assessment of market threats. A majority expect “online business-to-consumer lenders” to be their biggest competitor over the next five years, followed by traditional financial institutions with branches, online real estate service providers, and mortgage brokers,” Peters said. “Many pointed to B-to-C lenders’ advantages in technology, scalability, and advertising and technology budgets.”Peters said that lenders appear to be trending toward making investment to improve customer experience, while reducing the cost to manufacture mortgage loans, all in an effort to better deal with market changes. New entrants, though, are challenging existing market dynamics. Some of these competitors are digital banking startups focused on building a digital experience. Traditional lenders report that online lenders present the largest threat to their business going forward.“As a result, lenders believe that their biggest opportunity lies in re-engineering their processes to be competitive in similar ways,” Peters said. “The extent to which this type of simple digital banking model can be operationalized within a complex mortgage ecosystem remains to be seen, but investments to that end continue to be made.” Sharelast_img read more

Wyndham Hotel Group has launched a new independent

first_imgWyndham Hotel Group has launched a new independent concept for upper-midscale-and-above hoteliers: The Trademark Hotel Collection.Trademark is designed for independent entrepreneurs who have built an iconic hotel and are looking to boost its distinctive legacy with unmatched support. The brand is inviting hoteliers who operate landmark, 3 – 4 star hotels to maintain their individual spirit while taking advantage of Wyndham’s scale, distribution, services and loyalty program.“The Trademark Hotel Collection is the next step in our mission to flip the script on existing expectations and champion all hoteliers by offering them an independent choice outside of the current luxury and upscale options available,” said Lisa Checchio, Wyndham Hotel Group’s vice president of brand marketing and insights. The collection becomes Wyndham Hotel Group’s 19th hotel brand. Trademark Hotel CollectionWyndhamlast_img read more

Qatar Airways is bringing its Business Class exper

first_imgQatar Airways is bringing its Business Class experience – Qsuite – to flights to and from Canberra from 1 July 2018.“Since its launch, Qsuite has received tremendous attention globally, and we are delighted to introduce this revolutionary product on our Canberra and Sydney routes,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker.“With Qsuite, we have truly redefined business and luxury travel, and we are certain that the highly-adaptable and personalised product will be a much-welcome addition for Australian travellers.”The Doha to Canberra flight makes one stop in Sydney, bringing Sydney residents a second daily service to and from the Qatari hub. The route will initially be served by Qsuite up to four times a week, with daily Qsuite service to commence on 1 August 2018.Patented by Qatar Airways, Qsuite features the industry’s first-ever double bed available in Business Class, as well as private cabins for up to four people with privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room. Adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the centre four seats allow colleagues, friends or families travelling together to transform their space into a private suite, allowing them to work, dine and socialise together. These new features provide the ultimate customisable travel experience that enables passengers to create an environment that suits their own unique needs.Qsuite is currently available on select Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft. The expansion to Canberra follows the introduction of the product to various destinations around the globe, including London, Paris, New York, Chicago, Houston and Shanghai. airlinesBusiness ClassQatar AirwaysQsuitelast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   But while the short week forces teams to focus more on mental preparation with minimal physical reps — something NFL players aren’t always accustomed to — Cardinals’ center Lyle Sendlein said there’s also a few benefits to playing on Thursday. “It has some pluses to it as well … we get some more time to rest going into our next game,” Sendlein said. “You go into the season knowing you’re going to have one, and you hope it’s earlier rather than later.Sendlein added that the lure of playing a nationally televised game in primetime helps lighten the challenge of preparing for an NFL game in just three days. “All your friends and family in other states can watch … it’s the only game that’s on,” Sendlein said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s one of the reasons you play the game.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling As if playing the NFC West’s two best teams in consecutive weeks wasn’t enough of a challenge, NFL schedule-makers decided to throw another wrinkle the Arizona Cardinals’ way — facing the Seattle Seahawks just four days after taking on the San Francisco 49ers on the road.The Cardinals will take on Seattle at 5:25 p.m. Thursday at University of Phoenix stadium on the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football, Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires To combat the minimal practice time that comes with a shortened week, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told Arizona Sports 620’s Bickley and Marotta the team will practice almost entirely at walkthrough speed, hoping to get the players mental reps while they recover physically. “I’ve never been a fan of Thursday football,” Arians said. “It’s very hard on these guys’ bodies to recover. There’s no way you can practice on Monday after a Sunday game, and Tuesday is our normal day off. Those are two days we have to practice to get ready for Thursday. “It’s all walkthrough. It’s all mental. It’s a mental week. We’ll go out in shorts and make sure we’re physically ready to play … it’s up to the players to get mentally ready.”The Cardinals have lost each of their two Thursday Night Football appearances since the NFL started scheduling Thursday games in 2006, falling 48-20 in Philadelphia on Thanksgiving 2008 and 14-3 in St. Louis in week 5 last season.“You’ve got to study a lot more because the practices aren’t going to be as physical as they usually are,” Arizona safety Yeremiah Bell said. “We’re all professionals. At this point, you’ve definitely got to know how to take care of your body.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling There’s no inside information here. Just really good insight.The Arizona Cardinals face a franchise-altering choice with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. They can draft Kyler Murray, putting the offense in the hands of a non-traditional signal-caller led by a non-traditional head-coaching hire.Or they can stick to their guns and let head coach Kliff Kingsbury guide second-year quarterback Josh Rosen, last year’s No. 10 overall draft pick. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Former Cardinals quarterbacks Kurt Warner (Getty Images/Miikka Skaffari), left, and Carson Palmer, right (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack). 38:00 – Was it ever weird that Palmer went from the young guy on the bench learning from Jon Kitna, to then Kitna being on the bench watching Palmer start?39:00 – Did Warner feel bad that he wasn’t the first person to call Eli after finding out Kitna was the first to call Palmer?40:55 – What advice would they give Josh Rosen if he called Warner or Palmer?44:45 – How do you handle being the Heisman trophy winner and the No. 1 overall pick? What is something that Murray would have no idea to prepare for until he goes through it?50:00 – How would drafting back-to-back QBs impact the locker room?52:00 – How would Palmer have felt if the Bengals drafted a QB in the first round the year after drafting him?57:00 – Are sometimes the wrong guys asking the wrong questions of Murray or Rosen in the evaluation process?1:00:20 – What is the definition of a franchise QB in 2019?1:00:45 – Is the dropback QB dead or should it be?1:07:35 – If Warner and Palmer had the No. 1 overall pick, what would they do?1:11:25 – Do they buy the narrative that certain QBs fit a certain offense better than somebody else?1:15:30 – Palmer tells a story about Warner that Warner has never heard 2 Comments   Share   center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo We don’t know what they’ll do with this quarterback conundrum, but we know who to ask to make the best educated guess. Doug & Wolf from 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station went to decorated former Cardinals quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer for answers.Related LinksArizona Cardinals schedule offers early comfort zone for Kliff KingsburyThe 5: Most intriguing matchups on schedule for Cardinals in 2019Arizona Cardinals’ 2019 schedule includes Halloween TNF clashIn a special podcast, “Cardinals QB1: The Franchise Focus,” Warner and Palmer dish on what it’s like to be a franchise quarterback, the narrative surrounding Rosen’s uncertain future with Arizona as the draft nears, and what Murray could potentially bring to the desert.You can find a list of topics covered in the hour-plus interview with the two former franchise quarterbacks below.0:02 – What is it like to be a franchise QB?8:00 – How hard is it for guys with iffy character to handle the pressure of being a franchise QB?11:43 – Was it hard to walk away from the responsibility of being a franchise QB and become a civilian?21:57 – How do you know a QB loves the game?31:10 – What did you think when Rosen was the first guy in the building as offseason workouts began?33:45 – Should the Cardinals give Rosen an explanation of their non-commitment? How should they handle Rosen? Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Australias pioneeri

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Australia’s pioneering cruise line, Coral Expedition, has released its first cruise season exploring the Tasmanian coastline and to celebrate this they are offering travel agents an additional incentive of AU$200 cash per client booked on departures during the 2015/16 season.The seven-night expedition is suitable for all ages and offers a round-trip of Hobart, showcasing the natural and culinary wonders of Tasmania.Highlights include:Hiking the South Coast Track at Cockle BayAn early morning walk at Wineglass BayA two-day exploration of Port Davey and Bathurst HarbourLocal Tasmanian produce and local specialities such as freshly shucked Bruny Island oysters and cheese from Grandvewe CheesesDaily excursions on Explorer, zodiacs and a fleet of kayaksFull-boardCaptain’s welcome and farewell drinksBarista-style coffee, tea and selected soft drinksUse of all onboard facilitiesPort and park chargesAn experienced all-Australian expedition staff, guest lecturers and Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife RangerThe expedition will be held aboard their small ship Coral Expeditions I, which is well-equipped with comfortable accommodations for 46 guests, with a choice of Cabins, Staterooms, Upper Deck and Deluxe options. All rooms feature ensuites, iPod docks and are serviced daily.The ship also includes the excursion vessel Explorer which accommodates all 46 guests and the Expedition Team and is used to travel in shallow waters.The offer is valid for new bookings made between 27 August and 31 October 2015. Payment to agents is made 30 days post-cruise.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter This coming June The

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterThis coming June, The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali is presenting a month-long programme of healthy lifestyle activities in celebration of Global Wellness Day and International Yoga Day. These two occasions are significant events on the world calendar that both raise awareness about the importance of living well.To complement the resort’s rejuvenating menu of body and beauty rituals by Heavenly Spa, Resident Wellness Specialist, Jitendra Pokhriyal, will be conducting a series of daily talks. The schedule will cover meaningful topics such as Know Your Body, The Art of Breathing and others pertaining to physical and spiritual wellbeing. All participating guests will be entitled to an additional 30-minute session based on a different lifestyle theme each week.Hailing from the birthplace of yoga in India, Jitendra is trained in several holistic disciplines. He is also well-versed in meditation and pranic healing, which is a highly evolved form of touch-less healing. Having previously worked as a yoga teacher in northern India and the Himalayas, Jitendra joined The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali in 2014 to share his expertise with guests and associates.For Global Wellness Day on 11 June 2016, Jitendra will lead a special morning class in the resort’s beachfront Temple Garden from 8am to 11am. This will involve an energising session of stretching postures in the form of hatha yoga followed by a guided meditation. A healthy vegetarian food class will then introduce participants to the benefits of eating a balanced diet of organic produce. It is priced at just IDR 250,000 net per person.Similarly, the resort will honour International Yoga Day on 21 June 2016 with a sunset class conducted at the beach in front of the Temple Garden from 5pm onwards. It will be an opportunity to unwind at the end of the day in natural setting with a gentle session of synchronised breathing and stretching exercises. This activity is a complimentary session with limitation of space and advance reservation is required.To enhance this Wellness Celebration throughout the month of June, The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali also exclusively offers Awaken Your Senses room package with rate starts from IDR 2,400,000 per room per night for single occupancy and IDR 2,800,000 per room per night for double occupancy with minimum of three nights stay.This month-long programme at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali reinforces the brand’s commitment to preserving wellness in travel. The resort has a number of signature initiatives such as WestinWORKOUT, runWestin, SuperFoodsRx and Heavenly Spa by Westin to help guests feel their best.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Etihad Airways today announced all 14 weekly fligh

first_imgEtihad Airways today announced all 14 weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi – Sydney route will be operated with its flagship A380 aircraft, effective 29 October.The current daily A380 Sydney flights will be joined by a second daily superjumbo service, upgraded from a 328-seat Boeing 777-300ER. The announcement comes as Etihad Airways marks the 10th anniversary of flying to Sydney, its first Australian destination.Featuring the carrier’s revolutionary The Residence – the world’s first three-room suite on a commercial airliner – the additional deployment of the 496-seat double decker aircraft means one of Australia’s largest cities will join London and New York as an all-A380 operation.Business and leisure travellers to and from Abu Dhabi, the airline’s operational hub, will enjoy increased capacity. The carrier will meet growing demand from the UAE and connecting cities across the Gulf region, Middle East and Europe.The Sydney – London Heathrow route, via Abu Dhabi, will also offer guests the consistency, convenience and comfort of a seamless all-A380 service in both directions. Etihad Airways’ three daily London Heathrow flights are operated with an A380. Beginning 1 June, the second daily New York service will be upgraded to the superjumbo.Introduced on the Sydney route two years ago, the A380 accommodates up to two guests in The Residence, which features a living room, bedroom and shower, together with nine First Apartments, 70 Business Studios and 415 Economy Smart Seats.Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “Sydney is one of our busiest and best performing long-haul routes where we have experienced increased demand, particularly in our premium cabins, since the launch 10 years ago.“By introducing the A380 on the second daily flight, we are able to ensure our flagship product is on all of the Sydney services each week. The upgrade of this service will help fulfil growing demand, benefiting travellers to and from Abu Dhabi, and across Etihad Airways’ global network.”last_img read more

Cultural tour specialist Peter Sommer Travels is o

first_imgCultural tour specialist Peter Sommer Travels is offering a very special way to explore the stunning coastline of Croatia, with a new eight-day walking and cruising tour.A first for the company, the Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia Tour offers an enticing combination of a coastal cruise on a wooden gulet and escorted walks exploring ancient forts, beautiful towns and magnificent castles in the company of expert guide, archaeologist Dr Helen Tomas. Departing from Slano near Dubrovnik, guests will cruise through the Elaphite Isles before spending their first two days exploring one of Europe’s most unusual fortifications, the five-kilometre medieval Great Wall of Ston and the picturesque island of Mljet, known for its beautiful lakes and Roman palace.After cruising through the Korčula channel, the tour takes guests to Croatia’s most unusual UNESCO World Heritage site – the Stari Grad Plain, a field system laid out by the ancient Greek settlers of Pharos 24 centuries ago which is still in use today. Travellers will also visit the wonderful island of Brač for spectacular views of the Dalmatian coast and to hike through a magnificent gorge to the monastery of Blaca,before exploring Split and the stunning fortress of Klis.During their eight-day experience, guests will enjoy a delicious selection of local produce including fresh seafood, fine wines and superb meat and cheese dishes, served onboard and ashore. Catering to a small group, the Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia Tour departs on 30 September 2017 and is priced from £3395 per person twin share, including most meals, all accommodation, all activities and excursions with expert guides, ground transport and airport transfers.The tour can also be coordinated for private groups at other times. Specialising in small-group expeditions, Peter Sommer Travels offers more than 20 different expert-led tours and gulet cruises among the ancient sites of Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and the United Kingdom.last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter HapagLloyd Cruises 4

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterHapag-Lloyd Cruises [4 April 2019] released its 2020/21 program for EUROPA 2 overnight. The season will see the return of the ultra-luxury vessel to Australian waters in January 2021 – part of the vessel’s two-year rotation between Oceania and South America – with a cruise between Melbourne and Bali scheduled for departure on 6 January.According to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ local representative, Gerd Wilmer from Landmark Travel in Sydney, Australian travellers keen to secure a berth on the Berlitz-rated “highest rated cruise ship in the world” will need to act early.“We get booked out very, very early,” he warned recently.Last week, Wilmer escorted a small group of luxury travel advisors and media – including LATTE – aboard EUROPA 2 while it was docked at White Bay in Sydney.EUROPA 2 at White Bay, Sydney on Monday 25 March 2019EUROPA 2 is a six-year-old vessel. A sister-ship to EUROPA, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ designated German-speaking vessel. While EUROPA 2 caters for an international audience, the percentage of non-German speaking travellers tends to be relatively low, at around 8-10% of the 516-passenger ship.Wilmer, who has been working with Hapag-Lloyd Cruises for 13 years, says the EUROPA ship class bucks the trend in a sea of sameness in cruise ship design.“Where everything looks more and more the same, and everything is run according to templates, some cruise lines don’t fit that model. And Hapag-Lloyd doesn’t fit that.”Gerd Wilmer, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises“There are a lot of things that we don’t have. We don’t have any non-commissionable fare components, so agents get a cut of the whole lot.“We don’t have any discounts. We don’t have dynamic fares. The price in the brochure is the price you pay.”He continued: “Our fares are not inclusive. We don’t have big ships. We don’t have inside cabins, and a few other things which you may miss, compared to others. But we do have lots of space.”“There is peace, and quiet. There’s never any announcements apart from those that are operationally necessary. There’s no music.“It’s an all-European hotel crew, there’s fine dining, and drinks are priced at Australian bottle shop prices: cheap.”For international guests on cruises of 10 days or more, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises does offer a credit of €200 as onboard spending money for drink purchases only.Wilmer said EUROPA 2 wasn’t designed to compete with other cruise ships. It was built to compete with luxury resorts on the land.“What you have here on board is a luxury, floating hotel. All these lovely things that you may be familiar with on cruise ships just does not exist here on EUROPA 2.“No Captain’s Dinner, no formal nights, no daily announcements about what the weather is doing,” he said.As a result, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises entices a “much, much younger audience than other five-star ships.”On board EUROPA 2, the ship’s reception resembles a luxury hotel or resort.EUROPA 2 ReceptionThere are six restaurants to choose from (buffet, Italian, French, Asian, Sushi and Main), with no surcharges applied at any of them. All guests are guaranteed at least one dinner in the specialty restaurants during a cruise.The restaurants are open for lunch, taking it in turns between which is open one day to the next.EUROPA 2 – Weltmeere (Main)EUROPA 2 – Serenissima (Italian)EUROPA 2 – Tarragon (French)EUROPA 2 – Elements (Asian)Meals are open seating. “Everybody goes wherever they like to go,” Wilmer said.There are also five bars spread throughout the ship.Bar SansibarBar Club 2Bar CollinsBar BelvederePool BarThe Ocean and Veranda Suites are 35 square metres in size (including verandah), the primary difference being the configuration with the Ocean having a toilet separate from the bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe.Penthouse SuiteThe Grand Ocean Suites and Penthouse Suites are 52 square metres in size (including verandah) and feature jacuzzis.EUROPA 2 also caters for the family market with young kids, something Wilmer says is a rarity for luxury cruise lines once guests move beyond the Celebrity Cruises and Princess brands.The Family Apartments are interconnecting suites with toilets and basins that are set lower for youngsters. EUROPA 2 also has kids’ clubs on board, with a nanny to child ratio of 1:3. When there are four children, a second nanny is brought on board. Children up to 11 years of age travel free of charge.Learn more about EUROPA 2 at https://www.hl-cruises.com/ships/ms-europa-2Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Related Worlds first freetext flight search tool

first_img RelatedWorld’s first free-text flight search tool for Facebook launched by SkyscannerWorld’s first free-text flight search tool for Facebook launched by SkyscannerSkyscanner announces partnership with China’s number one search engineSkyscanner international flight search results now appear directly on Baidu search pagesNew search engine goes visualA new search engine has been launched in private beta form, offering up a ‘visual’ search. A new ‘search within a search’ tool has been launched by Google that could have a major impact on travel search patterns.The search engine has introduced a new search feature that detects user demand for further search once on a hosted site – and enables this search within the Google window.Travel search site Travolution claimed that the new tool could impact on flight search, detecting different responses from Google to perceived user demand for refined search results within requested travel sites.Claiming that none of the main UK meta search engines yielded the sub-box so far, the site identified Ryanair as one of the only airlines that Google provided the feature for.Some online travel agents such as Expedia and Opodo were found to contain the sub-box when accessed through Google, while others including Lastminute.com were not.A Google blog post explained its criteria, saying: “This feature will now occur when we detect a high probability that a user wants more refined search results within a specific site.”While for some sites the Google feature will doubtless be a positive, E-Consultancy highlighted the fact that others would prefer refined search to occur on site, where they can monitor customer behaviour more closely.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more