Peter O’Donohue – 40-year Qantas veteran, Peter O’Donohue, will talk about the airline’s Project Sunrise at TravelManagers’ annual national conference in August.Anticipation builds for TravelManagers’ 2019 ConferenceWith less than two months to run before their 2019 National Conference gets underway, TravelManagers are applying the finishing touches to the event, which will take place in Perth from 9 to 11 August. Three keynote speakers have just been announced for the conference, for which this year’s theme is “Customer”.As TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal explains, the intention is for all attendees to leave the conference with one goal: to recognise each customer as an individual with their own reasons for travelling and their own expectations when it comes to their travel experiences.“This year’s conference is all about celebrating the customer,” he adds, “along with their hopes, dreams, needs, sense of place and most importantly, experiences. We’ll be looking at how TravelManagers as a group and personal travel managers (PTMs) as individuals connect with our customers, how we use technology to enable a richer sensory experience, and how we work together and within communities to create a sharing culture and better outcomes for all.”“We firmly believe that the future of travel is in sensory experiences, and customers are looking for stories as evidence and to inspire them. This conference is an opportunity for PTMs to share their stories and hear others that will inspire them.”Gazal says this year’s objective applies to everyone attending the conference: the personal travel managers (PTMs) and National Partnership Office (NPO) support team, and also the partner suppliers who are participating. From the pre- and post- famils to the evening events, and of course, the keynote speakers, there is a high level of expectation on the organising team to devise a programme that is both information and inspirational: a brief that Gazal is confident this year’s keynote speakers will surpass.The first of three speakers is Peter O’Donohue, who is currently the head of Qantas’ Boeing 787 programme.“Peter has recently overseen the entry into service programme of Qantas’ new Dreamliner fleet and is now focused on the Qantas’ next challenge, Project Sunrise: the airline’s plan to operate non-stop flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York,” Gazal explains. “During his 40 years with the airline, much of his work has been focused on ensuring the quality of the onboard experience for Qantas customers, so we look forward to hearing his thoughts on what the future of air travel holds for us and our clients.”O’Donohue will be joined at the conference by Amanda Stevens, a renowned thought leader on the customer experience. With her extensive experience in consumer psychology and marketing and her mesmerising story-telling style, she is a highly regarded and sought-after speaker.“Amanda’s presentation, entitled ‘Turning Customers into Advocates’, will cover the changing expectations of today’s consumer, the science of client loyalty and the power of customer centricity, which ties in neatly with TravelManagers’ focus on putting customers at the heart of everything,” says Gazal.The third and final speaker, whose keynote address will close the conference, is Samuel Johnson: an actor, big brother and accomplished unicyclist who created the ‘Love Your Sister’ charity with the support of his sister, Connie. By providing insights into his life and journey to creating this charity, which has raised more than $6 million to assist in cancer research, Sam will link the personalisation of everything the charity does with providing a great customer experience.“For the last three years, TravelManagers has partnered with ‘Love Your Sister’ for its annual charity golf day, so many of our PTMs, clients and suppliers have already been inspired by Sam’s energy and determination,” says Gazal. “It is an honour and privilege to have him join us at this year’s conference, where many more will be inspirited by his story.”As well as the keynote addresses, Gazal anticipates that a major highlight of the conference will be, as always, the team building activity. Details of this event are traditionally kept tightly under-wraps until the day, but Gazal hints that this year’s activity will not disappoint.“The team-building event is an important and much-anticipated element of a detailed conference programme,” he adds. “From the moment the conference gets under way with a welcome cocktail party on Friday evening to the final gala awards dinner on Sunday night, a lot of thought and effort goes into ensuring that the entire weekend is a memorable and uplifting opportunity for our people to come together, reconnect and talk about the future of the business.”Gazal notes that registration numbers are slightly ahead of the previous two years, with final numbers expected to be close to or exceed 350.“A contributing factor in the high attendance of our PTMs is that their partners, friends and family are also invited to attend the evening and social events throughout the weekend – something which sets us apart from many other travel brands,” he explains. “Last year’s conference in Hawaii was the first time this opportunity was offered, and with TravelManagers’ emphasis on building a strong ‘family’ culture means it’s a policy we intend to continue.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagersTravelManagers is Australia’s market leader and biggest home-based travel business operating in all States & Territories. A wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $2 billion for 2019, TravelManagers is a sisterSource = TravelManagers
Melia Hotels International, in association with the Tourism Office of Spain and Turkish Airlines, organised a Familiarisation (FAM) Trip to Spain for top MICE agents from Delhi and Mumbai.The objective of the FAM was to make the participants familiar with the Melia properties and enable them to promote the same to their customers.The FAM trip was conducted in November 2016 with participants such as BCD Travel India Pvt Ltd, Cox and Kings, Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd, Corporate Events (India) Pvt Ltd, FCM Travel Solutions India Pvt Ltd, Corporate Flyers and Trail Blazer Tours. The group got the opportunity to explore and stay at properties such as Melia Madrid Princesa Hotel, Melia Marbella Banus Hotel, Gran Melia Don Pepe and Melia Avenida De America. Tonia Sehan, Director of Sales India commented, “The FAM trip was a good opportunity for the MICE agents to know about the MICE possibilities and how Melia Hotels International is ready to handle any Incentive or Wedding Group from India. We plan to host more familiarisation trips in the future as this is a great way to promote the Hotels and receive more visitors from the region.”
In 2016, the Congress Citadel of Florence, Firenze Fiera, welcomed more than 77,000 congress delegates and over 44,000 conventions. Firenze Convention & Visitors Bureau (FCVB) presented 55 bids to host international congresses and 10 of these have been actually won.FCVB reports that in the next years, the 10 won bids will have an economic impact of 4,850,000,00 Euros in terms of services such as room nights booked, transports and facilities for all congresses participants. Although, the congresses acquired during past years that have been hosted in 2016 contributed for more than 16,000,000,00 Euros.Incentive events and conventions represent another success for FCVB. Out of the 340 requests received from corporate companies for conventions, product launches and meetings, over 200 have been confirmed. After the Destination Wedding Planner Congress hosted in Florence in April 2016, the new company division Tuscany for Weddings (opened in 2015) managed over 40 requests between international and Italian weddings.Overall these results generated an increase of two percent in respect to 2015. In 2016, FCVB acquired two congresses with a large number of participants with 5,000 delegates won in 2012 and Heart Failure, with more than 6,000 people, won in 2014.“Our new subvention plan, the strong synergy between the main MICE players of the territory and the partnership with the Municipality of Florence make our destination a strategic choice for congresses and events. We are now an important competitor for other European destinations,” affirmed Carlotta Ferrari, Director, FCVB.Florence introduces the new subvention plan for international conferences to be held in the city. The subvention plan will have a maximum value of 60,000,00 Euros. It is meant to support Florence bids for new International conferences that must be applied for during the bidding stage. This big result has been achieved due to the synergic work of FCVB and its main members.
Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) will host its 13th Annual Convention at Backwater Ripples Resort in Kumarakom, Kerala, from September 18-21, 2017. The theme of the convention is ‘Emerging Pathways’ and it will accentuate on turning India as the adventure capital of the world. The convention will have key stakeholders of the industry including representatives of the government, tourism boards and other players.
ISGN Launches New IT Services Division in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology February 20, 2012 410 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-02-20 Abby Gregory Rolling out a new information technology services division, “”ISGN Corporation””:www.isgn.com/ is expanding its services to companies in the mortgage industry. ISGN’s recently launched IT Services Group will assist mortgage companies across the entire spectrum of the marketplace, providing comprehensive support for participating institutions.[IMAGE]The IT Services Group will give mortgage companies assistance in visioning, implementing, operating, and outsourcing IT functions. Additionally, ISGN’s new division will offer a range of solutions for building an IT strategy, as well as project consultation, application development, and infrastructure management. ISGN will staff the IT Services Group with a team of network engineers, application developers, software architects, user interface designers, business analysts, and code testers. The company offers a global deliver model giving clients flexible [COLUMN_BREAK]engagement options and the ability to leverage a 24-hour clock, which shortens development cycle times and increases overall productivity.ISGN’s vice president of strategic markets, Bill Garland, said, “”ISGN can work through all the IT layers for our customers and provide technology augmentation and expertise. With our spectrum of IT services, we can provide companies with IT staff or act as an IT contractor and manage the work for them. For companies with small IT departments trying to get their arms around a big project, it can be difficult to recruit IT professionals. This is our business. We have the right people on staff and the right technology resources to handle any IT job.””Among the first companies to select ISGN’s IT Services Group was “”National Bankruptcy Services””:www.nbsdefaultservices.com/ (NBS). The IT and businesses resources segment of NBS worked jointly with ISGN to create a software application to track clients’ bankruptcy payments and remittances for every serviced account.””ISGN is developing a superior custom software application and technology support for NBS that will significantly enhance our ability to manage payment application challenges on bankruptcy loans,”” said Larry Buckley, chief executive officer of NBS. “”By leveraging ISGN’s deep pool of developers and infrastructure experts, NBS has been able to deploy its resources to our core business process outsourcing operations.””The new IT initiative from ISGN builds on the company’s top ranking among mortgage process outsourcing institutions. ISGN has been named among the top 50 service providers by Mortgage Technology magazine for the past four years. Share
The national housing market recovery is “”in full swing,”” according to the June edition of “”RE/MAX’s””:http://www.remax.com/ National Housing Report.[IMAGE]The report, released Monday, revealed that May saw increases in both home sales and house median home prices for 42 of the 53 surveyed metropolitan markets.For the fourth consecutive month, the RE/MAX report found an overall increase in median home price across the country. [COLUMN_BREAK]In May, the national median home price was $166,500, a 6.1 percent increase year-over-year and a 4.1 increase month-over-month. Of the 53 metros surveyed, a record 46 showed rises in median home price, with nine seeing double-digit increases. Closed transactions across the United States also rose in May, with markets showing an overall increase of 12.6 percent from April and 12.8 percent from May 2011. May 2012 marked the 11th straight month of year-over-year home sales gains. Forty-eight of the surveyed metros saw increases in home sales, and 38 of those saw double-digit increases.Days on Market (the number of days between the first listing of a home in an MLS and the day a sales contract is signed) fell in May to 92, a large drop from 96 in April and a smaller year-over-year decline from 94 in 2011. In the last year, the average Days on Market fell below 90 just twice, with July and September 2011 both seeing an average of 88. This level may be reached again in the summer as transactions rise and inventory falls. Housing Market Recovery ‘In Full Swing’: RE/MAX Agents & Brokers Home Prices Home Sales Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing RE/MAX Service Providers 2012-06-19 Tory Barringer in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share June 19, 2012 431 Views
May 12, 2015 615 Views HFPC Panel Addresses Servicing Hot-Topics Mortgage service regulations have not yet fully caught up with significant industry changes over the past five years, according to an Urban Wire blog post by the Urban Institute and author Karan Kaul.In her post, Kaul summarizes the key topics discussed during a recent Housing Finance Policy Center (HFPC) seminar centered around mortgage servicing trends and moderated by CoreLogic’s Faith Schwartz. The panel Schwartz moderated including Michael Drayne, SVP at Ginnie Mae, Stephen Fleming, SVP at Phoenix Capital, and Laurie Goodman, HFPC director, among others.According to Kaul, topics discussed by the panel included the rise of non-bank mortgage servicers; the difference between non-bank servicers and large bank servicers; and the hot-button topic of industry reaction to current regulations.Under the topic of regulation, Kaul notes that one of most important takeaways was that due to “regulatory uncertainty and a broken servicer and compensations model access to credit is tight.” Kaul cites statements made by Goodman during the seminar that the high cost of servicing non-performing mortgages and regulatory uncertainty regarding the treatment of delinquent borrowers have made lenders cautious of making loans, even if the risk of default is slim. Other factors such as long foreclosure delays in judicial states, onerous, and arcane foreclosure guidelines, and at times different servicing requirements from different regulators have only made it more difficult to obtain credit.Mortgage servicing regulation is a difficult regulation to control, Kaul notes. Improper foreclosures, the robo signing scandal and servicer settlements with government authorities are all real borrower concerns. Conversely, a regulations that are inconsistent, overly prescriptive, and poorly targeted also drives lenders away and creates uncertainty. This pushes lenders away from low-income and less creditworthy borrowers.To see the full blog post and seminar takeaways, visit: Edit.Urban.org Housing Finance Policy Center Mortgage Service Regulations Urban Institute 2015-05-12 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Servicing Share
Alternative Data Lenders TransUnion 2016-02-10 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Origination Share As new credit populations emerge in the housing market and competition among lenders heats up, other data avenues must be considered to accommodate new borrowers.A survey of 317 lenders from TransUnion showed that there is still a significant amount of unrealized opportunity for lenders to use alternative data, or any information that is not captured in a traditional credit score, or data points that are incremental to the credit bureau report, including property, tax and deed records, checking/debit account, and payday lending information, among other sources, to reach more creditworthy consumers.”Evolving consumer behaviors and the post-recession economy have created new markets and a necessity to reach consumers in new ways. Some borrowers are shut out of traditional credit offerings, and others are not scored using all available data,” the report stated. “To stay competitive, lenders are increasingly exploring new ways to fill the unmet needs of consumers who do not meet traditional standards of creditworthiness.”TransUnion’s survey concluded that by using alternative data, lenders can:Open opportunities in new marketsExtend reach to more creditworthy borrowersImprove the competitive position of a variety of lendersrises.The survey found that 75 percent of lenders said it is increasingly difficult to find and gain new customers, while nearly the same amount indicated that the challenges from the low interest rate environment is encouraging more competition for a pool of consumers who receive multiple credit offers.Of those surveyed, 87 percent noted that they decline at least some credit applicants because they cannot be scored and do not meet risk guidelines when assessed with strictly traditional credit bureau information. However, 83 percent of lenders that use alternative data to score credit applicants report seeing tangible benefits and 64 percent have already seen positive results in the first year of using the method.“Competition for new borrowers has not been this fierce in the lending space since prior to the recession. Our survey results and core performance data point to a new lending environment,” said Steve Chaouki, EVP and the Head of TransUnion’s Financial Services Business Unit. “Millions of previously unscorable consumers—now scorable by way of alternative data, which is not traditionally found on a credit file—could have access to new loans. Importantly, many of these borrowers are expected to be good risks and welcome additions into lender portfolios.”Click here to view the full report. February 10, 2016 707 Views 3 Ways Alternative Data Offers Mortgage Lenders a Competitive Edge
The non-qualified mortgage loan market has originators a bit wary toward borrowers and questioning if the risk is really worth it.Lenders are showing mixed feelings toward the non-qualified mortgage loan market, according to the Lenders One Mortgage Barometer, a new survey of 200 mortgage lenders conducted by Lenders One.The survey results found that although 64 percent of lenders stated that they originate non-qualifying mortgage loans, only 18 percent indicated that they do this often. Of the lenders that do no originate non-qualifying mortgage loans, 51 percent indicated that they are extremely or very likely to originate these types of loans in 2016.Lenders One also found that mortgage lenders are focused on gaining competitive edge through better customer service and faster origination and closing processes. Seventy-seven percent of mortgage lenders say better customer service will be the key to being competitive in 2016. Meanwhile, 71 percent of those surveyed indicated that improving the time from origination to closing will make them competitive.“Mortgage lenders are looking at 2016 as a year in which they will move toward a more growth-focused business strategy,” said Daniel T. Goldman, Interim CEO of Lenders One. “However, some external factors such as rising interest rates and a complex regulatory environment will continue to temper the pace at which mortgage lenders seek to expand.”Despite the upbeat consensus among lenders, they are still troubled by regulatory compliance and interest rates.A total of 73 percent of respondents said compliance with regulations and rising interest rates are extremely impactful to their business, while 68 percent said it was very impactful.Lenders One pointed out 3 compliance-related areas on which mortgage lenders are most focused:• TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) (41 percent)• The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) (24 percent)• Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) audits (14 percent) Mortgage Lenders Cautious of High-Risk Borrowers March 21, 2016 495 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination High-Risk Borrowers Lenders One Mortgage Lenders 2016-03-21 Staff Writer Share
October 2, 2017 1,021 Views MReport Online Editor Brianna Gilpin sits down with Dave Worrall, President of LoanCare to discuss the challenges servicers may face in the upcoming months at the 2017 Five Star Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas. Following the hurricanes that have devastated parts of the U.S. and eventual ending of moratoriums, Worrall explained the different aspects servicers should focus on as well as the possibility of regional microbubbles. in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, Media, News, Servicing Dave Worrall loanCare Servicing 2017-10-02 Brianna Gilpin MReport Exclusive: Dave Worrall, President of LoanCare Share
Brazil blocks market access for Argentine pome fru … U.S.: Amazon reportedly planning to launch new gro … You might also be interested in November 14 , 2018 Costa Rica expects lower pineapple, banana exports … From the pages of Produce Business UKCool Fresh’s Nic JoosteCool Fresh International (CFI), based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has launched its first pre-packed fresh produce convenience solution in the form of single cloves of fresh garlic in a resealable bag. Branded BonAjo (Good Garlic), the solution is designed to create a new segment in the garlic market that retailers worldwide can use to capture upper-end consumers.Taking high-quality Morado garlic produced and packed by professional growers in Spain, CFI collaborated with Dutch packaging manufacturer DaklaPack to create special packaging that specifically minimizes garlic odors and maximizes air flow, while providing optimal protection to preserve product quality.After six months of development, in addition to market research, CFI has unveiled the BonAjo ‘Cook with Me’ concept, that comprises approximately two garlic bulbs-worth of single cloves in an easy-to-use and resealable 100-gram (g) bag that can be kept outside of the fridge in a cool, dry place. To understand the product’s true positioning and to hear about the firm’s next garlic innovations, PBUK caught up with Nic Jooste, Director of Corporate Communications, Marketing, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Training at Cool Fresh International. Answering market needsApproaching its research in a broad-based manner, CFI employees first asked their own families and friends to reveal what frustrates them most about (using) garlic. The firm also spoke to a number of specialists involved in consumer packaging and the introduction of consumer concepts. Finally, a group of students was tasked with scanning the consumer landscape.On the back of that research, Jooste says BonAjo was created to cater for the “four most important needs” of the culinary consumer: convenience, hygiene, food safety and consistency of taste. Plus, it comes with a “very competitive” price point that preliminary trials indicate shoppers are willing to pay. “We believe that for consumers, the main added value is that they no longer have to search for the garlic bulb in the kitchen, or in the fridge; wherever they keep it,” Jooste tells PBUK.“Nor do they have to be irritated by loose garlic skin floating around. Plus, our old saying of ‘Less Waste, More Taste’ definitely applies here. We use only the best and most flavourful garlic from Spain, called Morado. “During our research (also with a local chef), we determined that Morado definitely ticks the taste box for the culinary-conscious consumer.”For buyers, meanwhile, BonAjo creates a new segment in the garlic market.“It is definitely a concept which retailers can use to capture upper-end consumers, and capitalize on this by linking BonAjo to other (possibly high-end) products,” Jooste claims.While CFI developed the concept with the European retail market in mind, the firm is now seeing an upsurge in enquiries from the foodservice sector, too.“Obviously, the bigger operators are asking for the product in a bulk pack,” he explains. “The consumer pack is also perfectly suited to restaurants which use a high volume of garlic per day.“The 100g pack protects the taste and smell of the product perfectly well, so a restaurant can easily use it on a ‘pack a day’ basis.” With more than 600 customers in 54 countries around the world, CFI is confident BonAjo will go global. “Cool Fresh has clients in 54 countries; with this in mind, we developed the concept for the international market, hence using English on the pack,” says Jooste.Standing out from the crowdAs for other convenience-targeted garlic solutions on the market, Jooste says BonAjo stands out for a number of reasons.Compared with the traditional single garlic clove offering — where garlic is peeled and packed in plastic tubs or glass jars — Jooste points out that by leaving the garlic unpeeled, BonAjo remains a fresh solution.“The product in glass jars is a processed item; it is not ‘fresh’,” Jooste states. “In our view, the modern-day consumer is all about fresh. And there is no doubt that the taste of fresh Morado garlic is far superior to a processed item. The difference in taste and smell says it all!“We specifically wanted a product which has a decent shelf-life, is fresh, retains its great flavor and which can be used as inspiration for the consumer to buy other products which should be prepared in combination with garlic.” According to in-house testing, if kept in a cool, dry place, the bagged cloves “stay perfect” for at least four to six weeks.“The packaging is designed with micro-breathing holes which minimize odors, whilst maximizing air flow,” notes Jooste. “In this way, the garlic does not accumulate any form of moisture. But it is not necessary to keep BonAjo in the fridge; in fact, the product benefits from being kept in a cool and dry place.”On the food safety front, Jooste adds that careful consideration was paid to the product’s development in order to deliver a higher standard of hygiene.“There are two levels to this,” he explains. “In the first instance, our garlic stays in hygienic conditions in our coldstores in Spain until the last possible moment. “There is no unnecessary handling by all and sundry in the supply chain. Exposure to human hands is kept to a minimum. “The other aspect refers to the consumer; there is no more loose garlic skin floating around, as everything stays sealed in the package. The consumer simply removes a clove as and when necessary.”In turn, this prudent production process positively reflects on the product’s quality, too.“Our garlic is prepared on order at source in Spain,” Jooste says. “We use a special roller machine which separates the cloves carefully without doing any damage to the internal structure [of the garlic bulb]. Keeping the cloves intact until the last possible moment is the ultimate way in safeguarding quality.”Added to that, Jooste attests that BonAjo is the first such garlic concept with “luxury styling.”“We have not seen anything like it in the markets in which we operate,” he claims. “Some open market operators separate the bulbs, and then pack them in generic plastic ‘sandwich bags’, but that is for a totally different target market.” Garnering the responseSince launching the concept undercover in March this year (2018), CFI has had a positive response to date.BonAjo even reached the finals of the Fruit Attraction Innovation Award 2018 at the recent Madrid trade fair on 23-25 October, which drew strong competition from companies such as Anecoop, Kissabel, Rijk Zwaan Ibérica, Endinava and Florette. The prize was won by Rijk Zwaan Ibérica for its ‘Snack Lettuce’ concept.“The response is positive, but as with all innovations of this kind (single product), it is a project which must be rolled out over an extended period of time,” accepts Jooste.“At our booth [during Fruit Attraction], we had a lot of interest and positive feedback.”Advancing the BonAjo innovation CFI has been a garlic specialist for many years, originally focusing on importing the product from China. In recent years, however, the company has begun building a presence in other countries where garlic is produced, according to high international agricultural standards, such as Spain. “We have almost always been involved in ‘moving bulk’,” explains Jooste. “Around a year ago, we decided to set up an innovation team and start focusing on concepts which could add value to our products at a consumer level.” Following a positive start with BonAjo, CFI has been working with students from the Fontys University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands to conduct further in-depth research into European garlic consumption. Based on this research, the firm expects to develop more garlic innovations in future. “We believe that this specific packaging lends itself to ‘add-on’ innovations,” reveals Jooste. “Such as maybe adding free spices from all over the world as ‘testers’. This we would do in partnership with a large spice company.”As for the consumption research, Jooste is unwilling to give away any “secrets” at this stage. “Suffice to say that the students focused specifically on the UK market, traditionally one of the most critical markets in Europe,” he notes. “We gleaned a lot of interesting information from the English!” Mexican mangoes: Slow start but volume and quality …
Some of Malaysia’s highlighted events currently being promoted to travel agents include-Visit Sarawak campaign – “More to discover”11th anniversary of the UNESCO listing of the township of Melaka (Former Dutch Colony)Hosting the 5th United Nations Tourism Convention (Date to be confirmed)Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week end of AugustPenanag International Food Festival – April 201925 partners were represented at the night’s roadshow from industry sectors including hotels, resorts, amusement parks (LEGOLAND), historic fishing villages, and the national carrier, Malaysian Airlines. The evening’s formalities concluded with a dinner, hosted by the Tourism Council of Malaysia and attended by the travel agents and travel media. The Roadshow continues on to Melbourne, Perth and Auckland in the coming days. Of last year’s international tourism figures of 25.8 million, 351,500 visitors were from Australia, an increase of 0.1 per cent on the previous year. Australians spend an average of 6.2 nights in Malaysia. While this was an achievement, the Director General acknowledged, “… the Australian market is now truly in our sights.”With 121 flights per week to Malaysia from Australian cities, across three major carriers, and availability of 32,565 airline seats per week, the Director General affirmed Tourism Malaysia’s objective to increase Australian visitor numbers to 1.5 million in the 2019-2020 period. On Tuesday night, at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in the heart of the financial district of Sydney’s CBD, Tourism Malaysia unveiled its latest campaign to trade media, partners and guests. The organisation’s new Director General, Datuk Musa HJ. Yusof, articulated the campaign strategy, aimed at attracting more Australian tourists to Malaysia in 2019-2020.Pledging a commitment to working more closely with Australian travel and tourism industry players, the Director General emphasised the country’s current political stability, Malaysia’s diverse culture, and vast improvements to its tourism infrastructure as key messages for attracting more Aussie visitors. Highlighting Malaysia’s commitment to eco-tourism and sustainability, coupled with its culinary delights (thanks to the country’s culturally diverse population of Chinese, Indians and Malays), the Director General said Malaysia should be on everyone’s bucket list, and offered much to re-capture the Australian tourism market, which in the last year has dropped to 13th spot on the international visitor arrivals by country list. australianscampaignMalaysiaTourism Malaysiavisitors
Comments Share Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Other finalists include Bill Parcells, wide receivers Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed, running backs Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin, former Kansas City Chiefs guard Will Shields, DEs/LBs Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley, DT Cortez Kennedy, C Dermontti Dawson, offensive tackle Willie Roaf and owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr.Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. Former Arizona Cardinals DB Aeneas Williams is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Williams played 10 seasons in Arizona, without missing a game, from 1991-2000 before finishing his career in St. Louis in 2004. He appeared in eight Pro Bowls, including six consecutive games between ’94 and ’99.At various times with the Cardinals, Williams led the NFL with non-offensive touchdowns, fumble return yards, fumble returns for a touchdown, interceptions and interceptions returned for a touchdown. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Top Stories
Comments Share Top Stories #FitzgeraldWPMOYChallenge https://t.co/j9ILeNFUUl— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 15, 2016 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald is already the winner of the Cardinals’ Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, but Fitzgerald is trying to win it for the league as a whole.In doing so, the #FitzgeraldWPMOYChallenge mouthful of a hashtag has brought a storm of tweets Friday in support of the all-time Cardinal great. #fitzgeraldwpmoychallenge is now trending in #Phoenixhttps://t.co/1YroAzFgGp pic.twitter.com/XieXxlZ4wq— Trendsmap Phoenix (@TrendsPhoenix) December 16, 2016The player with the most mentions of the hashtag between Dec. 12 and Jan. 8 wins an additional $25,000 donation to the charity of their choosing from Nationwide.The overall winner of the award will have a total of $1 million donated in their name with $500,000 going to the charity of their choice and another $500,000 going towards the expansion of Character Playbook across all NFL markets. Finalists also receive an identical donation split with $250,000.In 2012, Fitzgerald was one of three finalists for the award. Fitzgerald has made a tremendous impact through his two foundations — the Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund and Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund.You yourself can use the hashtag #FitzgeraldWPMOYChallenge to help Fitzgerald have a chance at donating more money. The winner will be announced on Feb. 4, the night before Super Bowl LI. FILe – In this Oct. 17, 2016, file photo, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) speaks after an NFL football game against the New York Jets, in Glendale, Ariz. Fitzgerald, Miami’s Mike Pouncey and the New York Jets’ Brandon Marshall are among the 32 players eligible for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. I like that plan! #FitzgeraldWPMOYChallenge https://t.co/nc1vJB0Ibu Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires — Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) December 16, 2016The campaign was off to a good start, trending in the Phoenix area.
Of course, the days leading up to the draft are filled with misinformation and smoke screens, so true evaluations of each player are nearly impossible to come by or trust.That said, with the Cardinals slated to pick 13th overall and many believing they will look to address the quarterback position in that spot, it makes sense to take a look at the viable prospects in a side-by-side comparison. 2016:3,748 yards, 30 TD, 6 INT2016:4,593 yards, 41 TD, 17 INT2016:2,925 yards, 26 TD, 9 INT2016:5,052 yards, 41 TD, 10 INT2016:4,295 yards, 27 TD, 12 INT While no one is quite sure of who the best quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft is, there does seem to be a consensus regarding which of the passers could be chosen in the first round.Most analysts and experts agree that if a passer is to be chosen among the first 32 selections, it will be one or more of Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, DeShone Kizer, Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb.In fact, a look at some mock drafts shows the Cardinals linked to Mahomes the most, with Watson a close second. Trubisky and Kizer are also mentioned, albeit not as often. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 6-foot-2, 222 lbs.6-foot-2, 221 lbs.6-foot-4, 233 lbs.6-foot-2, 225 lbs.6-foot-5, 229 lbs. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Cardinals interest? MaybeCardinals interest? YesCardinals interest? YesCardinals interest? YesCardinals interest? Unknown Comments Share Mitchell TrubiskyNorth CarolinaDeshaun WatsonClemsonDeShone KizerNotre DamePatrick MahomesTexas TechDavis WebbCalifornia Career:4,762 yards, 41 TD, 10 INTCareer:10,168 yards, 90 TD, 32 INTCareer:5,805 yards, 47 TD, 19 INTCareer:11,252 yards, 93 TD, 29 INTCareer:9,852 yards, 83 TD, 34 INT The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 4.67 40-yard dash4.66 40-yard dash4.83 40-yard dash4.80 40-yard dash4.79 40-yard dash NFL.com comparison:Matthew StaffordNFL.com comparison:Marcus MariotaNFL.com comparison:Steve McNairNFL.com comparison:Jay CutlerNFL.com comparison:Brock Osweiler
Our top travel tip: “We knew we wanted to go to South East Asia and the cheapest flights to the region from the UK were to the island of Bali, so that was that, we booked our flights to Bali and off we went! We spent the next four weeks there, exploring beautiful beaches in Uluwatu, climbing a volcano and watching our favourite sunrise to date, over the famous Mount Agung, as well as visiting wondrous waterfalls and lush green rice terraces in Ubud. RelatedWorld’s most travelled man: The Fred Finn interviewSo you thought you were well travelled?10 Questions with MyDestination.comCo-founder of MyDestination.com on Air Force One, how Sharm el Sheikh is overrated, and why Brazil is going to be the next big thingIs it safe to travel to Turkey in 2017?Bookings for holidays to Turkey, one of the long-time favourite destinations for British travellers, were reportedly down by at least one-third this summer*. Are concerns about the country justified? The Independent’s travel correspondent Simon Calder tackles the key questions for Skyscanner users and provides his tips on travel to Turkey… Photo credit: Marco Saracco Photo credit: benstevens “Visiting Turkey was one of the most memorable experiences of my life” There are lots of different ways to experience the Norway in a Nutshell cruise, but wherever you choose to start your journey from (Oslo, Bergen, Voss or Flåm), we recommend opting for the extended adventure and making stops en route. Stop off in Flåm and book a safari through the UNESCO protected fjords, in an open boat. A local guide will tell you all about the small surrounding villages and waterfalls. Download the Skyscanner app Jessica Rooks (@travelwithmeko) booked a bucket-list tour of Europe, combining days on the beach with city tours. She made her best travel memories ticking off the sights of Greece, Italy and Morocco… all while pregnant. Jack and Becky (@twotickets.toanywhere) have been travelling the world for more than 15 months and have visited 35 countries together. They picked a cheap long-haul flight and have made their best memories exploring and island hopping. “After an amazing time in Bali, we took the speedboat over to the neighbouring Gili Islands to see what else Indonesia had to offer. We took advantage of the beautiful white sandy beaches, went snorkelling with turtles in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoyed some of our most incredible sunsets with a cold cocktail in hand. Next on our agenda was the island of Lombok. We spent our last few days discovering its jungle and secluded beaches, taking surfing lessons and really experiencing the Indonesian way of life.” To help you plan your next adventure, we asked five travel gurus to share their very best travel stories. These are the trips and experiences that you need to book now and we’ve got the top tips to help you make them a reality… Fly to Mykonos from only £64 Fly to Istanbul from only £104Find hotels in Istanbul ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map “Everything I saw in that part of Norway during November was just amazing! I went on a Norway in a Nutshell cruise, and I felt like I experienced all four seasons in that one trip. I didn’t mind spending my birthday alone; that travel experience in Norway was enough to make my birthday a happy one. It was definitely one of the most amazing long weekend trips I’ve had.” Get your hot-air balloon fix from April to June or September to October for the calmest conditions. Book a sunrise flight to see the dramatic landscape at its best – this may come with a higher price tag but the experience will be greater than any amount of Turkish lira. Photo credit: Gyula Gyukli “We booked two tickets to Bali and never looked back” Fly to Norway from only £25Find hotels in Flåm Faye Douglas (@fayedougg) travelled to Turkey with friends and stumbled across an experience she’ll never forget. Find hotel dealsCheck-inCheck-outGuests12345678910Rooms12345Search hotels As Southeast Asia sits along the equator, whichever island you visit, you’re pretty much guaranteed warm weather, so plan your trip around the rainfall levels instead. January to March and June to September will give you drier days, so you can pack in all those activities and leave the umbrella at home. “My friends and I recently travelled to Turkey, stopping in Istanbul for a few days to visit the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar, then carrying on to Göreme via Kayseri Airport. Göreme is the most surreal place I have ever visited, with boutique cave hotels, beautiful Turkish lamp and tapestry shops, skies filled with hot-air balloons, and it’s very own fairy chimneys, all packed into one charming little village. From 6am you can hear the flames firing outside your room – the sky is full of these huge beautiful hot-air balloons floating above. My friends and I were booked in for a ride the following day and I can honestly say that floating through the sky watching the sun rise over this beautiful landscape will stay with me forever. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.” Find your hire car “I ended up touring Europe after searching for flights ‘everywhere’ on Skyscanner“ Find hotels in Mykonos Photo credit: Getty “Taking a boat tour to snorkel on the island of Mykonos was the best way to start exploring these crystal clear Mediterranean waters. Then, in Santorini, we witnessed some of the most amazing sunsets and blue churches on the side of the hill. Wanting to experience city life in Greece, too, we ended up in the historical city of Athens. We hiked all the way up to the top of the Parthenon in 30-degree heat with no shade. We took lots of breaks, but nothing could stop us from seeing that mythical structured building. “Then my pregnancy cravings were calling for something else – authentic Italian food! Italy is one of our favourite countries and it stole our hearts. It was such an exciting feeling to run through the city of Rome showing off the Roman ruins and Colosseum to our daughter. Then, in Marrakech, we quickly learnt a new meaning of “hustle and bustle” in the Jemaa el-Fnaa market. We witnessed snake and monkey performers, women giving henna tattoos, rug and clothes sellers, as well as Moroccan oils being sold. Each stall had its own unique way of inviting buyers in. Later, we even went on a wild adventure trotting through the desert on a 6-foot camel – while I was 26 weeks pregnant, and with a toddler! And we immersed ourselves in Moroccan culture, dressed like the locals and even sipped Moroccan tea with them.” Our top travel tip: Fly to Bali from only £296 Our top travel tip: Sim Cabasang (@psymerslacker) set off on a solo adventure to Norway and found the best way to discover the whole country in one trip. Ready to create your own travel stories? Search ‘everywhere’ below and get exploring. Find hotels in Bali “While travelling solo in Norway, I experienced all four seasons in one trip” “It was in November 2013 when I was trying to find a travel destination one week before my birthday. I went onto the Skyscanner website and probably unintentionally selected ‘everywhere’ as a destination. After doing a little research, the next thing I know, I was booking a flight to Bergen, Norway. And off I went! When you get to Mykonos, hire a moped to help you get around the winding roads and back streets. Then to get to those harder-to-reach secluded spots, catch a kaiki (a small boat), which will ferry you to Platis Yialos, a beach that remains relatively quiet in comparison to the other beaches, even in peak season. The clear calm waters there are great for water sports too. All flight and prices mentioned in this article are estimates of the cheapest prices based on Skyscanner’s flight search tools. These are subject to change and were correct at time of writing on 15 April 2019. Our top travel tip:
To commemorate his dear friend Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa, who miraculously survived a terrible car accident this year, Richard Mille creates a special 10 piece collection for Massa’s home country of Brazil.Richard Mille calls this latest invention timepiece his RM011 Felipe Massa Titanium Black DLC Grand Prix Brazil. With one look at the watch, one can clearly see why. The watch encapsulates the great Brazilian spirit with its palette of vibrant Brazilian yellow and green colors surrounding the watch. From the Brazilian yellow which is prominent both on its rubber crown, and its carbon fiber flange which around the dial is colored in yellow, as well as the application of a green superluminova to the second hands.But, what makes this watch even more unique is that the RM011 Felipe Massa Titanium Black DLC Grand Prix Brazil: was created with a black titanium DLC coating on its center titanium case which further lends a ‘night’ effect to the watch. There is also a keen touch of design detail with the image of Felipe Massa’s helmet at the 10 to reiterate the ten-piece collection. Some of its main features which are major technical innovations are its, skeletonized automatic, winding movement with adjustable rotor geometry with flyback chronograph in hours, minutes & seconds, 60 minute countdown timer, 12 hour totalizer, and oversize date, month, annual calendar.This special edition RM 011 truly embodies the history breaking moment & synergy that so closely bond timekeeping and motor sport and is an absolute must have Richard Mille Watch.Chronograph 12-Hour totalizer Oversize date, month Month Display Oversize Date Display Annual Calendar Semi-instantaneous indicate with Arabic numerals, placed between 4 & 5 o’clock Semi-instantaneous, placed in a horizontal aperture under 12 o’clock Automatic adjustment for months of 30 or 31 days Skeletonized automatic winding movement with adjustable rotor geometry offering hours, minutes, secondswww.richardmille.com
PASADENA, Calif. – CBS “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson is leaving Washington to take over as the third host of the “CBS This Morning,” pairing with Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell as the replacement for the fired Charlie Rose.It’s a return to the general news roots for Dickerson, a former Time magazine correspondent, but opens a new job on CBS’ Sunday lineup. Dickerson starts at “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday.“I feel like it’s the kind of program that fits in with the journalism I’ve been doing all my life,” Dickerson said on Tuesday.Unlike ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who continues to host ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday along with “Good Morning America” during the week, Dickerson said keeping both jobs wasn’t an option. The preparation for the morning show would take up too much time.“There’s just no way I’d be able to do both,” Dickerson said.The move illustrates the importance of morning programs to network news divisions, where they are the most reliable profit centres. CBS is third behind NBC’s “Today” and “Good Morning America” in viewership but has made steady progress in ratings and reputation since it was launched with Rose, O’Donnell and King six years ago.CBS News President David Rhodes said that he hoped Dickerson’s appointment “underscores to the audience that we’re the serious choice in the morning.”Rose was fired in late November following allegations of sexual misconduct. Dickerson is one of a handful of personalities that CBS has been trying out as substitute hosts since Rose’s exit.The appointment comes a week after NBC’s announcement that Hoda Kotb has replaced Matt Lauer on the competing “Today” show — another job that opened because of a firing due to sexual misconduct charges. That move has paid dividends for NBC, which has passed “Good Morning America” in the ratings since Kotb began filling in for Lauer the day his firing was announced.Similarly, Rhodes said CBS has been able to keep its morning momentum despite the sudden loss of Rose.He said that he’ll be in Washington later this week to begin the process of finding Dickerson’s replacement there. Dickerson is relocating to New York for his new job. by David Bauder, The Associated Press Posted Jan 9, 2018 8:32 am PDT Last Updated Jan 9, 2018 at 2:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Aug. 10, 2015 file photo, Political Director for CBS News, John Dickerson, participates in the CBS News panel at the CBS Summer TCA Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. CBS News has selected Dickerson as Charlie Rose’s replacement on the “CBS This Morning” program, pairing him with current anchors Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) CBS appoints John Dickerson as Rose’s replacement
RIO DE JANEIRO – Some of Brazil’s most popular musicians called for jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to be freed in a concert Saturday in Rio de Janeiro attended by tens of thousands of people.Da Silva, a leftist ex-president universally known as Lula, was convicted of corruption and money laundering, but his supporters say the sentence was politically motivated.Saturday’s festival in front of Rio’s iconic Lapa Arch featured household names in Brazil like Chico Buarque and other Latin American musicians.Da Silva’s image could be seen everywhere: On shirts, bandanas and masks, while his animated image danced on screens next to the stage. In between sets, supporters broke out into chants of “Free Lula!” as organizers urged them to scream loud enough for da Silva to hear them from the southern city of Curitiba.The former president was jailed there after his corruption conviction was upheld on appeal. He is one of many top politicians and business leaders to get brought down in the so-called “Car Wash” investigation. Launched in 2014, investigators uncovered a colossal corruption scheme in which construction companies used inflated state contracts to kick back millions of dollars to politicians and other officials.Da Silva’s 12-year sentence divided people in Latin America’s largest nation, with his critics celebrating a victory against endemic corruption while supporters argue it amounts to a witch hunt against left-leaning parties and politicians.Despite it all, da Silva remains one of Brazil’s most popular politicians. He is currently leading polls for October’s presidential race.“Lula is the voice of the people,” said Tayna Sena, a 22-year-old law-student who attended the concert. “The elites are scared because even when he’s in jail, he can get more support than any other politician.”It’s unlikely that he gets on the ballot, though that hasn’t stopped him and supporters from campaigning. Brazil’s Clean Slate law prohibits a convict whose appeal has been upheld from running for office.Earlier this month, it briefly looked like da Silva might be freed when a lower court judge repeatedly ordered his release – only to be overruled each time.“An election without Lula would be fraudulent,” said 56-year-old doorman Adelson Pereira.Da Silva’s supporters, including big names in the Brazilian art scene, remain determined to get his name on the ballot. Nostalgic for the social programs and booming economy of his presidency, they stage protests, sign petitions or organize concerts.“In Brazil, there is a tradition of many famous artists supporting left-leaning causes,” said Ricardo Cravo Albin, one of Brazil’s most important musicologists.The researcher believes Chico Buarque plays a crucial role in getting the support da Silva receives in the artistic community.“Chico Buarque’s leadership is undeniable. He’s one of the most respected artists in the country,” Cravo Albin explained. “So if he urges other musicians to show their support for Lula, they’re more likely to join in.” Brazilian celebrities hold ‘Free Lula’ concert in Rio A woman wears a crown with a message that reads in Portuguese: “Lula Free” during the Lula Free festival, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 28, 2018. Popular Brazilian musicians and social movements organized a concert to call for the release of Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been in prison since April, but continues to lead the preferences on the polls ahead of October’s election. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) by Beatrice Christofaro, The Associated Press Posted Jul 28, 2018 3:47 pm PDT Last Updated Jul 28, 2018 at 6:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Chris Pine on his ‘Outlaw King’ nude scene TORONTO – “Outlaw King” star Chris Pine says he doesn’t want his nude scene to overshadow the period epic.The actor expressed frustration during a press conference Friday at his body part becoming a “Google alert” the day his film opened the Toronto International Film Festival.Pine said that’s despite the fact there is so much bloodshed and violence in the movie, “it nearly makes your mind spin.”“That, somehow, to a human modern audience is not nearly as interesting, or revelatory or exclamatory (as) someone showing A) a sex scene, or B) their penis,” said the “Star Trek” star, whose latest feature kicked off the 11-day festival.“Is it out of my comfort zone? Of course. You know, I don’t want this film to be all about that moment.”Still, Pine said he and director David Mackenzie discussed the narrative value of nudity, and ultimately decided it was important to highlight his warrior character’s basic humanity.Pine stars as Scotland’s legendary Robert the Bruce, who is forced into exile after attempting to claim the Scottish throne from oppressive English rule.“Underneath the emperor’s clothes, human beings are mewling, puking children,” he explained, while speaking alongside cast members that included Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Tony Curran.“I thought it was really important to show that we are animals, ultimately. And there’s a final scene in the film where I say that we’re beasts. It’s not about God, and it’s not about words, it’s about nothing more than, like, we’re animals in the savannah and that tiger’s going to come over and one of these animals is going to win.”“Outlaw King” hits Netflix on Nov. 9, and Mackenzie expressed gratitude to the streaming giant for financing the medieval tale.Although he calls it “obviously a big-screen movie,” Mackenzie says there is a distinct advantage to working with a streaming company.“I’m also delighted by the reach that 191 territories released at the same time is going to give the film,” he says of the project, shot in the ultra high definition resolution of 8K.“It’s almost certainly going to have the widest audience of any film I’ve ever made.”The Toronto International Film Festival runs through Sept. 16. Actor Chris Pine attends a press conference to promote the movie “Outlaw King” during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Friday, September 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill by Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 7, 2018 12:59 pm PDT Last Updated Sep 7, 2018 at 1:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email