August 18

India urges Sri Lanka to resume autonomy talks

first_imgHowever, the government recently backtracked, saying it will take back the land and police powers given to the provincial councils. Indian leaders have expressed dismay at the move.Khurshid also said he negotiated the release of Indian fishermen who had been detained by Sri Lanka for alleged poaching. He said livelihood issues should be treated humanely.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The difference between men and women when it comes to pain The rebels had sought an independent nation for Tamils, claiming widespread discrimination by the government.India has a major interest in the issue because southern India is home to 60 million Tamils, but New Delhi has been reluctant to become directly involved in Sri Lankan politics since a disastrous military intervention during the civil war left more than 1,000 Indian troops dead.Khurshid said he hopes the Sri Lankan leadership that ended the war and held the recent election will now “work for genuine reconciliation.”The talks stalled in 2011 when the government said it wanted issues of greater local autonomy to be discussed by a parliamentary committee, instead of in talks with the Tamil alliance. However, the party now has greater clout after winning 30 out of 38 seats in the provincial election.The Indian military intervention followed an agreement between India and Sri Lanka that led to an amendment of Sri Lanka’s constitution and established provincial councils in an effort to end Tamil militancy.The Sri Lankan government also promised to allow a greater degree of autonomy in Tamil-majority regions in the north when the three-decade civil war ended. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) – India urged Sri Lanka’s government on Monday to resume negotiations with an ethnic Tamil party on increased local autonomy for Tamils.Visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said India looked forward to an early resumption of the dialogue “to address this issue in a timely manner.”Khurshid made the comments after meeting Monday with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Gamini Peiris. The Tamil National Alliance party, which recently swept a provincial election, is seeking wider regional autonomy in areas ravaged by Sri Lanka’s civil war, which ended in 2009 with the Sinhalese-dominated government’s defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Quick workouts for menlast_img read more

August 18

1st batch of Clinton emails to be released around 1230 pm

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Sponsored Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The documents cover emails between 2011 and 2012 related to the Benghazi facility and its security, and to the broader issue of a U.S. diplomatic presence in Libya.Harf says the emails don’t provide new facts about how four Americans were killed on Sept. 11, 2012.The State Department is still reviewing 55,000 further pages of emails from Clinton’s private email account. They’ll be published on a rolling basis.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img Top Stories Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department will release the first batch of emails from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state around 12:30 p.m. EDT Friday.Spokeswoman Marie Harf says publication includes 296 emails given to a House committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.She says redactions were made according to Freedom of Information Act standards.last_img read more

August 18

Israelis go on offensive ahead of UN report

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Officials with Hamas, a militant group sworn to Israel’s destruction, rejected the Israeli report. Izzat Risheq, a senior Hamas official, called it a “lie promoted by the occupation to cover up its crimes.” He said “the hand of justice will reach the perpetrators.”The new Israeli report is part of a broader campaign aimed at blunting the coming report by the U.N. Human Rights Commission.Over the weekend, Israel released a report compiled by a group of retired Western military officers who found that Israel met or “significantly exceeded” the international laws of war. The report was sponsored by the “Friends of Israel Initiative,” a pro-Israel group of retired politicians and diplomats from around the world.“Those who want to know the truth should read this report and read the report of the top generals,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet. “Whoever wants a baseless automatic accusation against Israel can waste their time reading the U.N. report.”Israel has had a contentious relationship with the U.N. Human Rights Council for years, saying it is stacked with countries that themselves have poor human rights records and has focused disproportionate attention on Israel. Top Stories The Palestinians also claim that the Israeli military is incapable of investigating itself — a concern that was underscored last week when an army investigation cleared troops of any wrongdoing in an airstrike that killed four Palestinian children on a beach last summer.___Online: http://mfa.gov.il/ProtectiveEdge/Pages/default.aspxCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   5 ways to recognize low testosterone Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, called the latest Israeli reports “sickening and outrageous” and said they strengthened the need for the Palestinians to seek international justice.Israel has argued that it took unprecedented measures to avoid civilian casualties, ordering residents to evacuate through leaflets, phone calls, radio broadcasts and warning strikes with unarmed shells ahead of live airstrikes.Shamir-Borer showed reporters what he said was a declassified “target card” that laid out the calculations Israel took before striking a suspected arms cache hidden in the home of an Islamic Jihad leader in southern Gaza.The “operational directives” listed on the card call for destroying the arms while avoiding civilian casualties. It calls for a single airstrike on the home, at night and only after warning people to leave, and “real-time surveillance” to be on the lookout for civilians.Shamir-Borer said the home was hit, and there was a “secondary blast,” indicating weapons were stored there. The report said the army was unaware of any casualties from the strike. Shamir-Borer said the army went through a similar process in all 5,000 preplanned airstrikes carried out during the fighting, though there were hundreds of reactive strikes as well. According to the latest Israeli figures, some 44 percent of the dead in Gaza were militants, far higher than Palestinian and U.N. numbers. JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Sunday launched a pre-emptive assault on an upcoming U.N. report into last year’s war in the Gaza Strip, saying the report is unfairly biased and issuing its own report that blames Gaza’s Hamas militant rulers for the heavy civilian casualties.The diplomatic offensive set the stage for what is expected to be a contentious showdown with U.N. officials over allegations that Israel committed war crimes during the 50-day war. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywallcenter_img Patients with chronic pain give advice Palestinians have said that the Israeli army violated the rules of war, which include giving adequate warning to civilians, using proportionate force and distinguishing between civilians and combatants. They have pointed to the high civilian casualty count as evidence.In Sunday’s report, Israel defended itself with the same arguments it has been making since the fighting ended, albeit with a level of detail never shown before.Israel’s core claim is that Hamas is responsible for the civilian casualties because it used Gaza’s residents as “human shields” by firing rockets from residential areas and operating in schools, hospitals and mosques. It also notes that Hamas’ rockets and mortar shells were aimed at Israeli population centers.The report includes what Israel says are seized Hamas documents encouraging its fighters to move in civilian areas, knowing that it would constrain Israel’s ability to act.“We were a bit struck and surprised with the amount of documentation that we managed to recover during the operation actually indicating that this is a strategy of Hamas,” said Eran Shamir-Borer, a lawyer in the Israeli military’s international law department. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Israel has long had a contentious relationship with the United Nations, saying the world body is biased. A similar report conducted by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council following a 2008-2009 war against in Gaza was harshly critical of both Israel and Hamas.But this time around, the stakes are higher. The Palestinians have joined the International Criminal Court and are pursuing war crimes charges against Israel. The council’s new report, expected as soon as this week, could play a key role in the case against Israel.“Having on the record our view of this war is extremely important, and we have nothing to hide,” Dore Gold, the new director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters at a special briefing held to unveil Israel’s own 242-page investigation into the war.Gold was accompanied by the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, and governmental and military legal experts who worked on the report.Israel launched its offensive in Gaza last July 8 in response to heavy rocket fire from Hamas and other militant groups in the territory. More than 2,200 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were killed during the fighting, according to U.N. and Palestinian officials, while 73 people died on the Israeli side. Sponsored Stories Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Sunday, June 14, 2015. (Gali Tibbon/Pool Photo via AP) A report by the council into the 2008-2009 war conducted by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, found evidence that Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes, though Goldstone later backed off his key allegations against Israel.Israel has attacked the council’s latest investigation since it was ordered last July. The investigation’s mandate focuses on Israel’s activities in Gaza, but makes no mention of Hamas attacks on Israel.Israeli claims of bias forced the head of the investigation, Canadian law professor William Schabas, to resign early this year after it was discovered he had provided legal advice to the Palestine Liberation Organization.But these complaints may go only so far. The upcoming report is all but certain to come down hard on Israel, giving the Palestinians a potent weapon in their case against Israel at the International Criminal Court.Although Israel refuses to recognize the court’s jurisdiction, a case against its citizens would be embarrassing and could potentially hinder Israeli officials from traveling abroad.The case against Israel is likely to include charges that the military used excessive force in several instances of fighting, causing heavy casualties by firing artillery into crowded areas. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

August 18

IOUs for RIPs Greeces cash crisis hurts funeral industry

first_img ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s cash crisis has disrupted all aspects of daily life — death included.Greek funeral homes are struggling to cope with banking restrictions that limit customers to taking out only 60 euros ($65) a day in cash. Even a modest funeral service in Greece costs more than 15 times that, in a country that traditionally carries out funerals shortly after death and pays for them almost entirely in cash. Greece’s banks have been closed since June 29 after the country flirted with bankruptcy, defaulting on debts to the International Monetary Fund as its second bailout deal expired. The banks are scheduled to reopen Monday but still have a daily cash withdrawal limit of 60 euros and a weekly cash limit of 420 euros ($455). No one knows when those restrictions on cash withdrawals will be lifted.Cash controls have choked the country’s economy as Greece sinks back in recession, according to most major forecasts. Private services considered essential are surviving on an informal credit system.Petros Kampitsis, a mason who makes marble headstones near an Athens cemetery, says Greeks are now opting for the most basic burial services — a move that is killing his business.“We have a big problem, a very big problem. … People don’t have money and they’re trying to organize funerals at the lowest possible cost,” he said. “Once a funeral has taken place, what remains is to decorate the tomb. But what happens if you have no money? That doesn’t happen.”“The lack of cash means the industry is frozen,” he added.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Top Stories A woman lights a candle on a grave at a cemetery in Athens, Friday, July 17, 2015. Funeral homes here are struggling to cope with banking restrictions _ with a modest funeral costing more the 15 times the daily ATM withdrawal limit _ in a country that traditionally carries out funerals shortly after death and almost everything is paid for in cash. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) Sponsored Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Mesa family survives lightning strike to home “With the capital controls at the banks, no matter who we asked money from, we couldn’t even recover our costs,” said Eustratios Voulamandis, who runs a funeral home in a blue-collar neighborhood west of Athens.In a back room of the funeral home, work has carried on in the last few weeks. Employees removed shrink wrap from coffins and used a staple gun to fasten ornamental fabric around the caskets. But Voulamandis’ business relies on lump sum payments made by survivors that start at 800 euros ($866) and are currently impossible to collect.“To get started on a funeral service, we need 800-1,000 euros but people are giving us 50, 70, even 20 euros and telling us it’s all they have,” he said.Funeral homes demand that much money upfront because of fears they won’t get paid by cash-strapped Greeks after the ceremony. And it’s almost always cash. Credit cards and especially checks are rarely used for such transactions in Greece, which remains a cash-based economy.The difficulties in raising cash have produced some macabre consequences, Voulamandis and other funeral home operators said. Some bodies have had to spend more time than usual at the morgue, and some people have had to declare legal insolvency to be eligible for state-funded funerals for their relatives.last_img read more

August 17

South Africa to investigate allegations of accommodation pricefixing

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X South Africa will be investigating claims that hotels have been artificially inflating prices during the World Cup, as allegations of price-fixing begin to pile up.This latest news couldn’t come at a worse time, as airlines are already facing charges of collusion during the FIFA 2010 World Cup, but the tourism minister has urged travellers not to jump to conclusions.Urging travellers to realise that prices will naturally lift in peak periods, and that June and July are South Africa’s high season, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, South African Minister of Tourism says that the price increases could be natural.“In recent weeks we have noted allegations that accommodation establishments in the tourism industry are not responsible, and are inflating prices excessively,” said Minister Van Schalkwyk. “Until now our impression has been that this is not the case, but we believe it should be investigated and the results of the investigation made public. “I therefore believe that as a responsible government we should conduct an independent and scientifically sound survey to avoid a case where perceptions are created based on anecdotes.”He admits that there will “always be establishments” that will take chances with higher prices. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2082b/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=132&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a238f441″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

August 17

Webjet quarter sales takeoff

first_imgThe rising number of travellers booking vacations online has pushed Webjet’s third quarter total transaction value (TTV) up by 25 percent compared to the corresponding period last year.The online company saw its TTV rise from $149 million between July and September last year to $188 million during the three months this year.Webjet managing director John Guscic explained the increase came despite losing cheap airfares after the grounding of Tiger down under.“Most of this strong TTV growth has been produced by increasing transaction numbers as distinct from unit values, and has been achieved despite the non operation of Tiger for part of this period,” Mr Guscic said.“We believe the general travel market growth has been less than ten percent and consequently Webjet has substantially outperformed.”For more on Webjet and its strategic development plans click back onto e-Travel Blackboard next week. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

August 17

France hops off Eurail Select Pass

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Travellers will need to purchase separate rail passes into France from next year after it was announced the country would no longer be included in the Eurail Select Pass.In 2013, the company said France would no longer be included in its pass that provides unlimited travel through three, four or five adjoining European countries, however, will still be covered on the Eurail Global Pass, Eurail two-country Passes and the France Rail Pass.Rail Plus national sales and marketing manager Greg McCallum said the decision by French rail operator SNCF was likely to create a number of scenarios for travellers with itineraries that include France.“If for instance passengers want to travel to France and they hold a Eurail Select Pass covering bordering countries, they can purchase a France Rail Pass or point-to-point tickets,” Mr McCallum said. “Ultimately every itinerary is different, however, travel agents can rest assured that Rail Plus, given its specialist, dedicated structure, has a team of highly-skilled consultants who will use their expertise and knowledge to help tailor the most appropriate and cost-effective solution for your clients.”Travel agents are still able to book France on the Eurail Select Pass until midnight 27 December 2012.Select Passes must also be validated within six months of purchase, which means a pass sold on 27 December 2012 could be validated on 26 June 2013, with the pass then expiring on 25 August 2013.last_img read more

August 17

Woman accuses airline of killing her cat

first_img“The airline that killed my pet.” An Indian woman has labelled Jet Airways “the airline that killed my pet” after her cat escaped its holding cage and was run over by a vehicle at Delhi Airport.Ms Preeti Varma was booked on a Delhi-Singapore Jet Airways flight and handed her cat, who was agitated, to airline officials for boarding, the Wall Street Journal reported.Prior to departure Ms. Varma said she was approached by a Jet Airways official who informed her that her cat was “no more” and allegedly encouraged her to hurry up, so as not to miss her flight.Before the cat was loaded on to the plane, her cage opened – it is unclear how – and she leapt onto the tarmac, where she was run over by a vehicle, according to CCTV footage witnessed by Ms Varma.“I want them to apologise… if they are going to have live animals on board, they need people who know how to take care of animals… it’s not baggage,” Ms Varma said.Jet Airways spokesperson A.K. Sivanandan said owners are responsible for the safety of their pets, and that they board them at their own risk.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.last_img read more

August 17

Smartraveller maintains US advisory

first_imgThe Department of Foreign Affairs of Trade (DFAT) has not upped its advisory to the US, despite two bomb explosions in Boston, Massachusetts.On 15 April two explosions near the finishing line of the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts left three people dead and injured dozens of others.Although occurring near popular tourist shopping district, Back Bay, DFAT’s Smartraveller has maintained its ‘exercise normal safety precautions’ for travellers visiting the region, but has urged Australians in the region to monitor the media for updates as well as follow instructions from local authorities.Meanwhile suspicious packages found at the Mandarin, Marriott and Lenox hotels forced the properties to evacuate.In an online statement, the Mandarin said it will reopen its doors on 17 April with limited operational services, while the Lenox said it is unable to welcome arrivals on 16 and 17 April and will keep travellers updated.Other hotel chains including; the Sheraton, Westin, Marriot, IHG and Fairmont said they will waive fees for cancellation or changes to trips to Boston, News.com.au reported.United Airlines also announced that although flights to and from Boston would continue to run as per usual, it would waive fees for travellers no longer wanting to visit the city.Keep your browser clicked to e-Travel Blackboard for more updates. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJ Aussie travellers advised to ‘exercise normal safety precautions’ despite Boston bombings.last_img read more

August 17

ATE South East QLD operators unite for tourism

first_imgWhales Hervey Bay. Image:  Fraser Coast Tourism A collection of South East Queensland’s leading tourism bodies has announced their joining forces to promote what they described at a launch this week at Australian Tourism Exchange, as a world class eco-destination to be called Australia’s Nature CoastSunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL) is working in partnership with Tourism Fraser Coast Tourism Noosa, Gympie Cooloola Tourism, the Great Sandy Biosphere and the Noosa Biosphere to create a strategy aimed at breaking down barriers and increasing visitor numbers across all partnering destinations.Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy launching Australia’s Nature Coast said the innovative partnership approach was something for which the region’s tourism leaders deserved credit, adding, “From our own recent research, we know that Australia’s biggest strength is its world class nature, well regarded from all markets and core to our global tourism offering”.Chair of Australia’s Nature Coast and the Great Sandy Biosphere Dr Evelyne Meier said that it makes sense to combine resources to create a world-class eco-destination that showcases our region’s natural beauty and impresses upon visitors the need to live more sustainably, with sustainable economic development also a function of a Biosphere and ecotourism having the potential to add significantly to the region’s economy.Australia’s Nature Coast brings together the only two adjoining biospheres in the world, the Noosa Biosphere and the Great Sandy Biosphere, joining the coastal and hinterland lifestyles of the Fraser, Cooloola, Noosa and Sunshine Coasts, World Heritage Listed Fraser Island, Noosa’s National Park and café culture, with  the “Home of the Humpbacks” Hervey Bay plus world class dining, accommodation, adventure experiences and more.e-Travel Blackboard was on location to report from Australian Tourism Exchange 2013, brought to you by Hilton Sydney.Source = e-Travel Blackboardlast_img read more

August 17

Flight Centre raises profit expectations

First half growth encourages increased profits. Flight Centre Limited has raised its underlying profit before tax (PBT) expectations after achieving strong growth during the first half of the FY2012-13.Expectations were raised from the initial US$305 million-US$315 million target to US$325 million-US$340 million, in lieu of 8 percent PBT growth in the first half of the financial year.If achieved the upgraded guidance will represent a 12-17 percent increase on the US$290.4 million achieved during FY2011-12.“Year-to-date, our 10 countries are profitable and several are on track to record full year EBIT contributions,” Flight Centre Limited managing director Graham Turner said.“This includes Australia and the United Kingdom, which are typically our largest profit generators.”Australia’s leisure market has made a turn-around in the second half of FY2012-13 to more than offset the soft domestic corporate travel market.“Similarly the UK leisure business has performed well at a time when corporate clients have been down-trading,” Mr Turner said.In the United States Flight Centre’s corporate business is flourishing, now the largest individual operation in the U.S., consistently outperforming leisure and wholesale business.New Zealand is on track to record its best full year result since 2008, South African corporate is blossoming, India is suffering from local trading conditions and Canada reports soft leisure results.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. read more

August 17

Sydney Hotel rates jump as occupancy squeeze hits

first_imgSydney Hotel rates jump as occupancy squeeze hitsTravellers will face stiffer hotel bills in Sydney this year with rates surging by 8.7% in the first quarter of 2017.Analysis from 4th Dimension, Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) business travel consulting division, showed average nightly rates had risen to AUD$270 with occupancy levels topping out at more than 90%. The figures represented the highest increase in the Sydney accommodation market since 1996.Corporate Traveller General Manager Jess Anscombe said business travellers were especially vulnerable to the fluctuations with the uptick having strong implications for companies that regularly need accommodation in Sydney.
“Sydney is now one of the highest occupied accommodation markets in the world. It even outranks New York, London and Hong Kong,” she said.“As the number one business hub in Australia, travellers need to start booking accommodation as early as they possibly can to avoid being caught in the highest rate buckets.“Companies with high volume requirements should look to consolidate with a small number of preferred hotels and lock in negotiated rates.“For those with lower booking frequency, moving to a best rate of the day purchasing strategy will be a great help. While you may not always be kicking back in luxury, it’s a great insulator against higher rates.”The analysis cited increases in domestic and international business travellers, a boom in tourism and leisure travel activity, higher demand for Sydney’s 5-star hotels due to the weaker Australian dollar and flat supply as the key factors for the surge in demand.Ms Anscombe said selecting properties outside the CBD, like in the Sydney Airport precinct, was also a good tactic for maintaining convenience and accessing affordable rates.“Airport hotels can often be up to 35 per cent lower, and 50 per cent lower in some cases, than CBD properties,” she said.“Linking your accommodation spending to frequent flyer points earning is also a great way to help alleviate the burden of a Sydney business trip.”About Corporate TravellerCorporate Traveller has been a leading supplier of business travel solutions for more than 20 years and services more than 6,500 clients throughout Australia. As part of the Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), Corporate Traveller is backed by the global network of one of the world’s largest travel agencies.Source = Corporate Travellerlast_img read more

August 17

Club Med announces opening of 201819 sun and ski holiday sales

first_imgClub Med announces opening of 2018/19 sun and ski holiday salesClub Med announces opening of 2018/19 sun and ski holiday salesThe day is here!After a record number of clients who pre-registered interest for 2018/19 holidays, Club Med officially opened sales today, giving travellers a chance to score amazing deals with the Early Bird Offer, and experience Club Med’s brand new, and newly renovated, resorts in prime beachfront or beautiful mountaintop locations around the world.The opening of sales marks the beginning of Club Med’s infamous Early Bird Offer – up to 30 percent off and the best offer on a Club Med holiday guaranteed!There really is no better time to book than now. For 3 days only (now until 2nd February), the Early Bird Offer is guaranteed on all resorts, dates, rooms, and services such as Kids Club, which book out early due to demand. After the first three days, the offer price may increase with demand so get in quick!Club Med saw a 251 percent increase in travellers year on year who pre-registered their interest via a travel agent to be the first to receive Club Med’s Early Bird Offer, where clients were encouraged to pick a dream holiday destination, and Club Med will take care of the rest through the premium all inclusive offer.As part of the Early Bird Offer, travellers can experience Club Med’s 70+ sun and ski resorts worldwide at a staggering 30 percent off, including brand new, and newly renovated resorts, catering to all ages and interests. The package includes non-stop activities, entertainment, services for the little ones, gourmet restaurant dining and open bar, plus ski lift passes and ski lessons in snow resorts, all part of the one package price.Travellers are treated to a brand new forest retreat at the foot of an amazing ski domain at the brand new resort, Club Med Les Arcs Panorama in the French Alps, the chance to discover a modern take on Japanese refinement in the new, contemporary resort Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, Japan or ski from the roof before plunging in the pool with 360 views of the Alps at the freshly openedClub Med Grand Massif Samoens Morillon in France.Those who prefer something warmer can discover the unique creole culture and outstanding hospitality of Mauritius at the fully renovated resort of Club Med La Pointe Aux Cannoniers, or dive straight from their room to the turquoise waters of the Maldives in vibrant Club Med Kani or the exceptional Finolhu Villas – all part of the Early Bird Offer.With the addition of new resorts, exciting renovations and an already significant increase in clients who pre-registered their interest, Club Med is anticipating that the 2019 opening will be the most popular season opening to-date.Those who pre-registered will receive the advantage of sales being sent directly to their inbox, allowing them to take full advantage of these amazing deals and ensure a speedy and seamless booking process from enquiry to confirmation.Travel Agents can find offer terms and conditions, sales resources and more information on the Club Med Travel Agent Portal: https://www.clubmedta.com.au/special-offer/offers-for-clients-enau/sales-now-open-30-off-november-2018-april-2019-departures/To book your clients next Club Med holiday, please call 1800 258 263.Source = Club Medlast_img read more

August 17

Thailand wins six PATA Grand and Gold Awards 2018

first_imgThe TAT’s ‘Cruising through the Cave’ picture of Tham Lot in Mae Hong Son province wins a Gold Award in the Travel Journalism – Travel Photograph categoryThailand wins six PATA Grand and Gold Awards 2018The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and two Thai tourism operators among the 27 organisations and individuals to receive the prestigious 2018 PATA Grand and Gold Awards.TAT will receive a Grand Award for Education and Training for its ‘King’s Wisdom for Sustainable Tourism’ project, a collaboration between TAT and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thailand, according PATA’s announcement.Another Grand Award for Thailand goes to the Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camps, Thailand, in the Environmental category. The Award recognises the Camps’ various activities including its Elephant Conservation Project, Children’s Project, and Wildlife Monitoring Project. They also organise a smaller project called CO2 offset, which allows them to seek ways of reducing their carbon footprint. Last year, the Camps won the 2017 PATA Gold Award in the Environmental – Ecotourism Project category.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)last_img read more

August 17

The Ritz Carlton awarded Balis Leading Resort 2018

first_imgThe Ritz-Carlton awarded Bali’s Leading Resort 2018The Ritz Carlton awarded Bali’s Leading Resort 2018The accolades continue for The Ritz-Carlton Bali, with the luxury Bali beachfront resort named as Bali’s Leading Resort at the highly-esteemed World Travel Awards on September 3rd 2018. “The Ritz-Carlton Bali is committed to creating the experience of a lifetime, through stunning accommodation, world class cuisine and superlative service from our team of Ladies and Gentlemen. It is both a thrill and a deep honor that our commitment to excellence has been recognized with this prestigious award”, says General Manager Karim Tayach.The announcement came at the star-studded World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2018 in Hong Kong. Known as the travel industry’s equivalent to the Oscars, the illustrious awards are voted for by travel and tourism professionals, as well as business and leisure travel consumers worldwide. The Hong Kong event was one of six on the World Travel 25th anniversary “Grand Tour’ which celebrates the world’s outstanding travel brands, with over 9000 nominees across six continents.The highly acclaimed Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort which incorporates the magnificent cliffs and private white sandy beach of Nusa Dua has already been the recipient of several prestigious awards this year. At the World Luxury Awards in July it won Luxury Beach Resort Spa, Luxurious Scenic Setting, for its signature fine dining restaurant, Bejana, and best Luxury Beachside Restaurant for The Beach Grill.About The Ritz-Carlton, BaliLocated on a stunning beachfront combining with a dramatic clifftop setting, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali is a luxurious resort offering an elegant tropical ambience. Featuring tranquil views over the azure waters of the Indian Ocean the resort has 279 spacious suites and 34 expansive villas, providing the sheerest of contemporary Balinese luxury. Along the foreshore are The Ritz-Carlton Club®, six stylish dining venues, an indulgent and exotic marine-inspired Spa, and fun, recreational activities for children of all ages at Ritz Kids.  A glamorous beachfront wedding chapel, makes an idyllic setting for destination weddings, while a range of outdoor event venue and extravagant spaces provide the perfect scene for celebratory events and wedding reception in Bali. Well-appointed conference venues, luxurious meeting spaces, customizable residential packages and experienced organizers also entice those looking to create inspired MICE Tourism events in Bali. Whether work, pleasure or romance is on the agenda, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali is the place to make memories that last a lifetime. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn. Source = The Ritz-Carlton, Balilast_img read more

August 17

Do You Know Your Travelling Pax

first_imgDo You Know Your Travelling Pax?Its not so hard to get in their head!Hint: probably notKnowing your client’s needs and what they require is super important for not only them but because  it makes it easier  to engage and close the sale. Understanding your clients is key to providing good customer service, which builds a stronger client relationship and increase sales through positive word of mouth.The difficult part is identifying your client’s preferences and patterns so that you can get ahead and exceed expectations –  the below suggestions are a great start in knowing your clients better  Identify them – categorise your clients into groups so that you can provide effective marketing campaigns. It could be the type of product, how frequent they buy, where they are located or the type of person (family, couple, business).Effective social media – customers are spending on average 6 hours a day on social media, which is why it’s such an inexpensive and effective tool that can drive sales and influence opinion. Target specific clients based on specials, trends or destinations, which will potentially yield new and existing clients and get people talking. Social media stalking? they put it out there, read it!Tracking client trends – not everyone has software to track client information; however this can be as simple as noting down how frequent a client travels, destinations, who they travel with and their spending patterns. Setting up alerts and reminders to follow up will ensure you’re kept up to date.Client loyalty – not easy to come by and built over time, however it can also be lost within the blink of an eye if not maintained. The key to obtaining customer loyalty is asking questions, as this identifies what the client wants. Also how often are you true to your promises? How often are they broken?www.stuba.com Source = STUBA.comcenter_img learn more about stuba.com herelast_img read more

August 16

Czech Republic launches its first visa application centre in India

first_imgThe Czech Republic has officially opened its first Visa Application Centre (VAC) in India, in Mumbai with VFS Global. H E Milan Hovorka, Ambassador Designate for the Czech Republic in India and Bhutan, inaugurated the centre, along with Rashmi Jolly, Honorary Consul for the Czech Republic in Maharashtra & Goa and Roman Masarik, Charge d’affaires a.i., Embassy of the Czech Republic in New Delhi. The second VAC of the European country has also been officially unveiled in New Delhi.Hovorka, who is presently on a visit to India after taking over as Ambassador Designate recently, said, “I am extremely honoured and privileged to represent the Czech Republic in India, and I would be more than keen to take bilateral relations between our two countries to the next level. I will be coming to Mumbai on a regular basis. India is an important country, and Mumbai is an important part of this nation. We are interested in strengthening ties with other parts of India as well, and definitely we would like to promote people-to-people contact.”About the new VACs, he said, “The new visa facilities demonstrate a continuous commitment of the Czech authorities to improve quality of service for visa applicants. Their opening provides the right answer to the substantially increased interest in visiting the Czech Republic. I invite all to benefit fully from this new service.”Vinay Malhotra, COO – South Asia and DVPC, VFS Global said, “We are honoured to partner with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in India in providing services to facilitate the visa process to this beautiful European country that is fast emerging as a popular destination for business and tourist travellers alike. We are committed to provide professional and convenient services to applicants and are confident of delivering an efficient, world-class service that is safe and secure.”Hovorka, while talking about the segments that Czech Republic wishes to tap, he mentioned Wellness (spas), Golf, Group Tours, Destination Weddings, and Bollywood. He believes that Bollywood can facilitate people-to-people contact, which is why it is an important segment. He also stated that the Czech Republic government provides incentives to the Bollywood industry to shoot films in the country.last_img read more

August 16

Tourism in Myanmar

first_imgMyanmar, or Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia, which lies on the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea coast with Bangladesh and India to the west, China to the north, and Laos and Thailand to the east.Source: World Travel Guideslast_img

August 15

Stocks Soar on Feds Move to Save Global Financial System

first_img Share in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing A bold move to shore up global financial liquidity by the “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ and central banks from five other countries inspired shares to soar for the nation’s four biggest U.S. lenders as stocks ended the day on the highest note since early 2009.[IMAGE]The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 500 points to crest at 12,045.68 by end of day, the largest single gain since March 2009, with “”Citigroup””:http://www.citigroup.com/citi/homepage/ leading the way in a 8.87-percent climb that inspired shares to hit $27.48.””JPMorgan Chase””:https://www.chase.com/ followed close behind on a 8.44-percent path upward that saw shares for the mortgage lender hit $30.97 each.””Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ and “”Bank of America””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/ rounded out the steep climb in shares by hitting strides of 7.39 percent and 7.30 percent, respectively, with shares rising to $25.86 and $5.44.The rally on Wall Street follows a rescue plan for the global financial system orchestrated by the Federal Reserve, the [COLUMN_BREAK]””European Central Bank””:http://www.ecb.int/home/html/index.en.html, and central banks from economic heavyweights Canada, England, Japan, and Switzerland.The central banks released a joint statement in which each agreed to lower prices for U.S. dollar liquidity swaps by 50 basis points, starting Monday and ending February 2013.Swaps describe currency exchanges between countries. Fixing dollar swaps at lower rates will make it less expensive for central banks to borrow on the dollar and ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the hope goes ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô encourage lenders to push loans at a time when the euro zone continues to flinch from debt crises.The European Central Bank ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the financial institution scrambling to buttress debt-ridden euro zone countries like Italy and Spain in recent weeks ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô said in a statement that the action “”will enable the Eurosystem to provide euro to those central banks when required… and [enable] the Eurosystem to provide liquidity operations, should they be needed,”” in dollars, francs, yen, and sterling.Market watchers remain worried that toxic assets and tight credit could result if euro zone nations default on debt obligations, further crimping lending behavior across the Atlantic and hurting the exports industry.The Fed said in the same statement that U.S. financial institutions “”currently do not face difficulty obtaining liquidity in short-term funding markets,”” adding that it could use “”a range of tools available to provide an effective liquidity backstop for such institutions”” in the event that a liquidity crisis spreads.Asked whether the Fed’s move will bolster U.S. housing markets, Walter Molony, a spokesperson with the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/, demurs by chalking up concerns to “”jobs, consumer confidence, and issues beyond lending and appraisals.”” Agents & Brokers Appraisals Bank Failure Bank of America Citigroup Confidence Debt Crisis Dow Jones Industrial Average Euro European Union Federal Reserve Housing Affordability Inflation Investment Investors JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates National Association of Realtors Processing Service Providers Shares Stocks Underwriting Standards Wells Fargo 2011-11-30 Ryan Schuettecenter_img Fed,Stocks Soar on Fed’s Move to Save Global Financial System November 30, 2011 484 Views last_img read more