Highspeed rail between Portland Vancouver could become a reality

Highspeed rail between Portland Vancouver could become a reality

first_img Monday, July 24, 2017 Tags: America, Canada, Rail << Previous PostNext Post >> By: Andy BlatchfordSource: The Canadian Presscenter_img High-speed rail between Portland & Vancouver could become a reality OTTAWA — Washington state is exploring whether Canada’s new infrastructure bank could help finance a multibillion-dollar proposal for high-speed rail between Vancouver and the U.S. northwest.The Trudeau government’s soon-to-be-launched, $35-billion infrastructure bank will seek to use public funds as leverage to attract billions more in private investment for major infrastructure projects, such as bridges, transit systems and rail lines.The legislative blueprint for the infrastructure bank also allows for the use public money to help bankroll projects “in Canada or partly in Canada,” provided there’s a financial benefit and a physical connection to the country.The state of Washington has taken notice.It’s looking at the infrastructure bank as a potential financing option for a long-discussed high-speed rail connection between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, says one of the governor’s senior policy advisers.Charles Knutson, an adviser for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, said Ottawa’s infrastructure bank will be analyzed as a financing option in an ongoing feasibility study for the rail proposal.Earlier this year, Inslee committed US$1 million towards a cost-benefit analysis of the “ultra high-speed” rail line that would see trains run at speeds of at least 400 km/h. The final report is due in December.“We’ve heard from some of our Canadian counterparts that that’s a tool that we could explore and we’re open to looking into that further,” Knutson told The Canadian Press in an interview.“The fact that it is something that could support cross-border projects seems to be a good match, but we’d need to know more.”More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaHe added that the cost-benefit analysis will provide a better sense of the scope of the project and help determine what kinds of financing options would be available.The high-speed rail link has support from political leaders in the region and from the business community, including high-tech giant Microsoft. They see it as part of a broader plan to deepen regional economic ties and contribute to a Seattle-Vancouver technology network dubbed the Cascadia Innovation Corridor.Knutson, who attended a meeting between Inslee and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in May, said they discussed the potential benefits of the high-speed rail project, including construction jobs, better workforce mobility and reduced road traffic.“They both expressed their support for ultra high-speed rail that could improve connectivity, help grow business opportunities on both sides of the border,” he said.“They talked about how this is an idea that’s time has come.”Knutson said he doesn’t specifically recall hearing the infrastructure bank come up during the discussion, but noted other Canadian leaders have spoken about it with Inslee.A spokesman for Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s infrastructure minister, said the proposed Portland-Vancouver rail line would be legally eligible under the bank’s legislation.“But ultimately any decision to move forward with assessing the project for a potential investment will be the bank’s to make,” Brook Simpson wrote in an email.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsThe bank is central to the Trudeau government’s economic growth strategy. It’s committed more than $180 billion for new projects over the next 11 years and, as part of the effort, its hoping to further boost investments with a lift from private cash.But in order to attract private capital the projects will have to be designed to generate steady, reliable returns for investors through revenue streams such as user fees.Sohi has argued the bank will be a tool to fund infrastructure projects that may not otherwise be built, or projects that public or private bodies can’t afford on their own.The infrastructure bank has also been a source of controversy.The government has faced heavy criticism about the bank, including allegations that argue it will put the priorities of wealthy investors ahead of Canadian taxpayers, who will be stuck assuming too much of the risk.Political rivals have warned the Crown corporation will likely force Canadians to pay twice for their infrastructure _ first via the public treasury and then through user fees that will generate corporate profits.The Liberals also faced repeated calls to slow down its plan to create the bank amid concerns Ottawa was rushing through the legislation to create the bank without proper parliamentary scrutiny.last_img read more

Being part of the inner circle allows us to advocate for our

Being part of the inner circle allows us to advocate for our

first_img“Being part of the inner circle allows us to advocate for our clients”: S.T.A.R. winner Barbour << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Wednesday, February 21, 2018 Sharecenter_img In St. John’s, Newfoundland, Travel Time TPI’s Lois Barbour has grown a formidable travel agency that is competing with the best in the world.Barbour’s agency was among the honourees at the annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (S.T.A.R.) Awards, with the ‘Best of the Best’ award recognizing excellence in sales and marketing. A total of 300 travel agents and companions from Canada, the U.S. and Latin America attended the latest S.T.A.R. Awards event last month, with a getaway capped by a gala ceremony at the recently reopened Beaches Turks & Caicos.Barbour was also named once again to the exclusive Chairman’s Royal Club, an honour reserved for the world’s top performing agents and one that she has received each year since the program was implemented in 2011. She is the only agent in Newfoundland to ever receive this honour and one of only three in Canada for 2017.Sphere profiled Barbour as part of its Industry Experts series in 2016. “I purchased a franchise with Travel Professionals Intl (TPI) in 2005 and built my business over the first five years to the point that I decided to take an early retirement from my 25-year nursing career to focus on it full-time. In the first couple of years I had destination wedding inquiries from nursing colleagues, and did them successfully, and found that I quite liked it!”More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthMore than 75% of Barbour’s business is destination weddings and she gets inquiries from across Canada and even the U.S.Travel Time TPI now has eight outside agents and an office administrator.“We started to travel as a family when our daughter was two years old,” says Barbour. “She is 30 now and along with our two sons who are now in their 20s, we still look back at those travel memories as some of the best times our family spent together while they were growing up.”Barbour says she recommends Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts because the quality is top-level, every time. “What I love about the brand is that it offers consistency throughout, so you know that you will get high level of customer service in every resort. And the food is always amazing.”She adds: “There is a direct benefit to our customers when we receive awards such as these. Being part of the inner circle allows us to advocate for our clients with the very top people from the Sandals brand. We are asked for ideas to improve the brand and we’ve seen our input make a real difference.”More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthShe mentions free WiFi, now offered at Sandals Resorts, as one idea that she pushed based on feedback from her clients.“We are very proud of all of our agents who work hard to give their customers the very best service and travel experiences,” says TPI CEO Zeina Gedeon. “Lois is a wonderful example of the level of excellence our TPI agents provide to their clients all across Canada.” Travelweek Group Tags: Home Based Agents, Sphere, TPIlast_img read more

Costa Rican opposition presidential candidate Villalta moves into 1st place in latest

first_imgWith two months left in Costa Rica’s presidential campaign, opposition candidate José María Villalta, from the Broad Front Party, has placed at the top of polling for the first time since the campaign began,according to a poll published Sunday by the daily La Nación.Villalta, a 36-year-old lawmaker and relative newcomer to politics, captured between 17 and 22 percent of the intended vote in the most recent poll, while Otto Guevara, of the Libertarian Movement Party, and former San José Mayor Johnny Araya, of the ruling National Liberation Party, tied for second, with between 14 and 19 percent support of those polled.Only two months ago, Villalta had captured only 10 percent of the expected vote based on polling. Araya had dominated previous polls, topping off at 38 percent of intended voters.The poll also found that the number of undecided voters has increased in recent months, from 19 to 24 percent. If that trend continues, undecided voters could play the decisive role in determining Costa Rica’s next president on Feb. 2.The poll was conducted from Nov. 8-20 and surveyed 2,416 people. It had a margin of error of 2.4 percent.A series of recent events has significantly changed Costa Rica’s electoral landscape, as only three months ago, Araya seemed unbeatable. From September to October, Social Christian Unity Party candidate Rodolfo Hernández solidly held second place among intended voters. But Hernández unexpectedly quit the campaign, citing corruption among his party’s leaders.According to analysts, Hernández’s exit boosted Villalta’s support among those unhappy with the ruling party and the current administration of President Laura Chinchilla, who has the worst approval ratings in the Americas.A series of campaign blunders also has cost Araya the lead, analysts say, including an October interview with the daily La Teja, in which Araya had no idea how much a typical casado, or traditional Costa Rican meat and rice dish, costs. Araya said, “₡1,000,” or about $2 – less than half its actual cost. He also didn’t know the average cost of a liter of milk or a kilo of rice, leading many potential voters to believe the former mayor is out of touch with the high cost of living in the country.Araya’s campaign also has undertaken an effort to discredit Villalta, attempting to link him to left-wing strongmen in the region including the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Cuba’s Raúl Castro and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega.Asked about the attacks against him, Villalta told The Tico Times during a recent interview that he viewed them as a sign that the ruling party candidate was growing concerned about Villalta’s increasing popularity among poor and middle-class voters.In the upcoming elections, Costa Ricans will select a new president, two vice presidents and the entire Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 lawmakers.A presidential candidate must capture 40 percent of the vote, plus one vote, to be elected, or face a runoff election on the first Sunday in April. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Ricas national soccer team selected to grand marshal annual Christmas parade

first_imgNo related posts. Before Costa Ricareturns to the World Cup for the first time in eight years, the national soccer team, known as “La Sele,” will receive a stately send-off as grand marshals of Festival de la Luz 2013.The San José Municipality picked the national team as the centerpiece of the annual Christmas parade last week. Mayor Sandra García Pérez announced the decision during a press conference Thursday at the Plaza de la Cultura in downtown San José. The annual procession through San José will take place Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.National team members Celso Borges, Michael Barrantes and Jonathan McDonald attended the conference, along with assistant coaches Paulo César Wanchope, Luis Marín and Luis Gabelo Conejo. Costa Rica Football Federation president Eduardo Li also joined in the ceremony.This is the second time the national team has received the honor to marshal the Festival de la Luz. According to the daily La Nación, the squad led the parade in 2001 after it qualified for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.The 2014 World Cup in Brazil begins June 12.Matt Levin is a correspondent for The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Malaysia sentences 3 Mexicans to death over drugs

first_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamad Zawawi Salleh convicted the five men, ruling that the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt. The death sentence is the mandatory penalty for drug trafficking in Malaysia. The other defendants are a Singaporean and a Malaysian.“The court finds all five accused are aware and are involved in the activity of drug-making,” Mohamad Zawawi said, adding that the verdict should be a warning to potential drug offenders.“We are very sad. We thought we would be acquitted,” said the eldest brother, Luis Alfonso Gonzales.The court had previously rejected the defense’s contention that some evidence discrepancies amounted to tampering after a chemist testified that seven items he received for analysis looked different from what he had seen at the factory. The prosecution denied there was any manipulation that undermined the trial.At the factory where the men were arrested, police found more than 29 kilograms (63 pounds) of methamphetamine worth 44 million ringgit ($15 million).Judge Mohamed Zawawi said it was clear the men were arrested at an illegal drug laboratory. Traces of drug chemicals were on their clothes, and their claim to have been cleaning the place was not logical because stains were also found on their underwear, he said. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories Associated PressKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – A Malaysian court on Thursday sentenced to death three Mexican brothers and two other people for drug trafficking, rejecting the defense argument that evidence was tampered with.The Mexicans are from Sinaloa state, the cradle of their country’s drug trade, but have no criminal record at home. They were arrested at a secluded drug-making factory in 2008 and claimed they had been cleaning the place, not making drugs. 0 Comments   Share   Some of the brothers’ family, including two sisters and a wife, attended previous hearings but were not in court Thursday.The men are the first Mexicans arrested in Malaysia on drug trafficking charges. They worked making and selling bricks in Mexico, and their family said they left for a job opportunity abroad. Relatives and neighbors insist there was no sign they were involved in the drug trade.The men appeared calm as the judge read his verdict. They will appeal the decision, said their lawyer, Kitson Foong.The brothers _ Jose Regino Gonzales, 33, Simon, 37, and Luis Alfonso, 44 _ were on trial with Singaporean Lim Hung Wang and Malaysian Lee Boon Siah.Malaysia’s government said last year it had hanged more than 440 people in the past 50 years, many of them for drug crimes, while some 700 were on death row.The Mexican government has not sought to intervene in the case, Isidro Alejandro Ortiz Felix, consular head at the Mexican Embassy, said after attending Thursday’s hearing.Mexico does not have the death penalty and refuses to extradite its citizens in cases where they would face the death penalty.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Guantanamo judge No TV broadcast of Cole trial

first_imgSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – A military judge has rejected a request to allow media outlets to broadcast a war crimes tribunal at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying in a ruling released Wednesday that he lacks authority to grant such access.The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, said the rules for military commissions, a special tribunal for wartime offenses, forbid television or radio broadcasting of the proceedings. He noted that broadcast coverage is similarly prohibited in federal civilian courts in the United States. Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day The constitutional right to a public trial is satisfied by allowing members of the media and the public to travel to Guantanamo to watch the proceedings, he said.Lawyers for a Saudi prisoner, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, charged with war crimes for allegedly orchestrating the deadly attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, had asked the judge to provide live video feeds of the trial to media outlets so that a wider audience could see what they believe are legal flaws in the military commissions.Al-Nashiri faces charges that include murder in violation of the law of war for helping with the planning and execution of the attack on the Cole, which killed 17 crew members. He could get the death penalty if convicted.The ruling applies only to the Cole bombing case but Pohl is also the judge in the trial of five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attacks.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments   Share   center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

South Africa banknotes launched with Mandela image

first_img Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centercenter_img JOHANNESBURG (AP) – New South African banknotes featuring the image of former president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela are going into circulation.Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus made the first purchase using the new rand notes at a small shop in Pretoria on Tuesday. She says the country tries to upgrade its notes every seven years for security reasons as technologies change.The new 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 rand banknotes feature Mandela’s image on one side and the other side maintains the Big Five animals already on the bills. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Marcus said Mandela was shown the new banknotes and that he was delighted.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

Obama speaks to Egyptian president on Gaza crisis

first_img Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressYOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AP) – The White House says President Barack Obama has again spoken to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi as he seeks to end nearly a week of warfare between Israel and Hamas.Obama spoke to Morsi for the third time in 24 hours as he was returning home Tuesday from a diplomatic tour of Asia. Deputy National Security adviser Benjamin Rhodes said Obama wanted to talk to Morsi before Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s expected arrival in Israel to underscore the importance of working to halt the violence. Rhodes said Obama commended Morsi’s efforts to ease tensions and stressed the important role Egypt can play in regional security.Rhodes said Obama believes a diplomatic solution is urgently needed, but he emphasized that Hamas must stop firing rockets from Gaza into Israel.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The difference between men and women when it comes to paincenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Tunisia Cant confirm killing of journalists in Libya

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility A Tunisian investigative judge is in Libya to try to determine their fate but has run into difficulties because the area where the journalists disappeared is under the control of the Islamic State.“What is important for us is to discover the truth, whatever it may be,” Baccouche said. “We have to be very careful, we are walking on eggs and dealing with many different parties.”The case has been closely followed in Tunisia. Before Chourabi became a journalist, he was a prominent activist during the 2011 revolution that overthrew Tunisia’s dictator and kicked off the Arab Spring around the region.The case has underlined the growing chaos in Libya, where power is shared by rival governments on either end of the country and hundreds of militias, as well as a powerful presence from the radical Islamic State group.Despite the dangers, many Tunisians work in Libya and over the weekend, 172 were detained by authorities in Tripoli.The Foreign Ministry has said they were picked up in an immigration sweep and would soon be released.The Tunisian consul to Tripoli, Brahim Rezgui, however, said on Saturday that their arrest was in retaliation for the detention of a Libyan militia leader at the Tunis airport Thursday. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Two Tunisian journalists who disappeared in Libya could still be alive, Tunisia’s foreign minister said Tuesday, calling into question reports that they were killed by the Islamic State.Journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari disappeared in Libya eight months ago. Libyan officials recently said captured militants said they were executed.But speaking in front of Tunisia’s parliament, Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche said further proof is needed to confirm they are dead. Authorities on Monday charged Walid Klib of the Libyan Dawn militia under the anti-terrorist law, judicial spokesman Sofiane Selliti said, without giving details.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The vital role family plays in society Top Stories Quick workouts for men Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Windstar Cruises – Most Romantic Cruise Line

first_imgAs voted by Porthole Cruise MagazineWindstar Cruises has been named the “Most Romantic Cruise Line” for the fifth consecutive year by the readers of Porthole Cruise Magazine.Comprising of a fleet of three luxury motor sailing yachts, Windstar transports its passengers to some of the world’s most desired and sought after destinations, including the Greek Isles, the Caribbean and South America.  In addition to exotic locations, Windstar boasts luxurious facilities and an intimate feel with msy Wind Spirit and msy Wind Star accommodating 148 guests,and msy Wind Surf hosting 308 passengers.With a smorgasbord of activities tailored to couples, including picnics on the beach, rejuvenating spa treatments and private shore excursions for two, a holiday onboard Windstar is the ultimate in relaxation at sea.  The Porthole Cruise Magazine award follows a series of accolades received by the cruise line in 2009 which include: ‘Best Small-Ship/Mid-Ship Cruise Line’ in American Airlines’ Celebrated Living magazine, ‘Favourite Small-Ship Cruise Line’ award and ‘Top 100 of the Best the Travel World has to Offer’ in the UK’s Condé Nast Traveller’s 2009 Readers’ Travel Awards, and top honors in Travel + Leisure’s ‘World’s 2009 Best Awards’.Windstar’s Australian representative, Travel the World has released the cruise line’s 2010/2011 itineraries which include a 7-day cruise from Rome to Barcelona priced from AUD $2,457 per person and the popular Athens to Istanbul cruise through the Greek Islands from AUD $4,125. Travel the World can also assist you in combining two 7-day cruises in the Mediterranean, enabling you to visit more of your favourite cities.For those wanting pure sea indulgence, Windstar offers a number of 14-day cruises including Transatlantic voyages from Barbados and St Martin to Lisbon from AUD $1,993 per person and a Puerto Caldera to St Martin cruise through the Panama Canal from AUD $5,812 per person. These promotional fares are based on Category B cabin and are inclusive of taxes and port charges (subject to change due to currency fluctuations and capacity).Windstar’s positioning is ‘180 degrees from Ordinary’ and the cruise line fulfils that promise not only with its array of itineraries, but also thanks to its Degrees of Difference program which has seen all three ships receive the latest in luxurious amenities from L’Occitane bathroom amenities, Bose sound speakers, iPod Nanos and luxurious linens and mattresses. For further information or to make a booking with Windstar, contact Travel the World on 1300 766 566 or visit www.traveltheworld.com.au Source = Travel the World (TTW)last_img read more

Virgin announces frequent flyer partnership

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/29681/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> “The new agreement is another example of our Virgin airlines working closer together for the benefit of our Guests,” said Virgin Blue Airlines Co-founder and Chief Executive Brett Godfrey.“Our aim is to encourage more travellers from throughout the U.S. and from our part of the world to plan their trans-Pacific travel with our growing airline family.”For complete details on the new loyalty program arrangements visit any one of the airlines’ web sites. www.virginblue.com.au; www.vaustralia.com; www.virginamerica.com. Virgin Blue Airlines and international subsidiary V Australia have entered into a frequent flyer partnership with Virgin America.Effective from today, the new partnership enables Virgin Blue or V Australia’s Velocity members to earn Velocity points; and Virgin America’s Elevate members to earn Elevate points – when taking flights on the sister-branded airlines. center_img Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Big win for Wyndham estate at National Tourism Awards

first_imgSource = Wyndham Estate The Hunter Valley’s very own Wyndham Estate has been crowned as one of Australia’s best tourism attractions – winning best Tourism Winery at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Perth on Friday, 11th March.As a recipient in 2010 of a NSW Tourism Awards ‘Gold’ award in the category of Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Boutique Breweries, Wyndham Estate went on to win the national award.Wyndham Estate attracts more than 40,000 visitors annually. Established in 1828, it sits peacefully on the banks of the Hunter River surrounded by undulating vineyards and quiet countryside. Stephen Guilbaud-Oulton, Wyndham Estate Centre Manager, commented “the unique history of this site chronicles the very beginnings of the Australian wine industry. It’s this rich history, coupled with expansive vineyards, stunning landscape and a first class restaurant, which ensures that Wyndham Estate continues to be a destination of choice for Australians visiting the Hunter Valley”.A range of experiences are on offer for those visiting this award-winning destination, including: A Heritage Trail: a stroll through picturesque vineyards to Dalwood House, the majestic home built by George Wyndham in 1830.The Olive Tree Restaurant: A relaxed, al fresco Mediterranean food experience. Riverbank Park: One of the few remaining Hunter Valley wineries located directly on the Hunter River.  The site benefits from a riverside park where visitors can picnic or fish or make use of the free BBQs. The Wyndham Estate function centre caters for weddings, dinners and corporate functions in the gentle ambience of the century-old winery. Exclusive ‘Opera In The Vineyards’ which, this October, will feature Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards are held annually to celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses that have demonstrated outstanding achievement and success throughout the previous year.Presented by the National Tourism Alliance (NTA) and Tourism Council Western Australia (TCWA) and sponsored by Qantas Airways, Tourism Australia and Tourism Western Australia, the 26th Australian Tourism Awards are the industry’s biggest and most prestigious event of the year.last_img read more

US Airline stocks tumble

first_imgUS airline stocks have ended a challenging year in the red with 2012 expected to be just as difficult reported MarketWatch.Withering demand and concerns for economic growth because of the debt problems that have gripped Europe and the U.S has seen a tumble of more than 31 per cent in 2011 for the The NYSE Arca Airline Index.Shares of Delta, United Continental Holdings, US Airways Group all saw a loss.  Budget carriers such as JetBlue, Southwest and Hawaiian Holdings also saw a decline.  AMR Corp, the parent company for American Airlines, went bankrupt in November 2011 and will have its shares delisted in early January.Airline investors with Alaskan Air Group saw a brighter year, with shares gaining 32.5 per cent, a result partly due to the reduction in its non-fuel costs.Bond analyst with Gimme Credit Vicki Bryan stated it would be another tough year for airlines.  “We had a rebound in fare pricing earlier this year, but we started to lose that as demand faded. That’s going to continue next year, so even if fuel stays where it is, the weaker pricing will challenge margins and profits,” Ms Bryan said.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts a decline in global airline profits for 2012, with IATA Director General Tony Tyler saying although passenger markets have had some growth relative to the beginning of the year; the trend has been both soft and volatile with continuing economic uncertainty will likely mean market shortcomings deepening. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

Enhancements link travellers to the perfect hotel Sabre

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Sabre Pacific’s latest release for its online booking engine, Sabre Explore, has ‘substantially enhanced’ hotel search functionality for customers.The amendments were rolled out earlier in September, providing users with a greater extent of information.“Travellers can now search using city name, street name or even points of interest, to ensure they can find accommodation close to their required destination,” Sabre Pacific chief information officer and head of product Mark Mison said.  “Additionally, travellers can search for specific amenities, to ensure a given hotel answers their needs.” Sabre Explore’s new technology also enables travellers to book multiple hotel rooms, specify the number of guests and take advantage of a book now – pay after checkout process to avoid change or cancellation fees. “We’re always improving our locally developed products in conjunction with the evolving needs of our clients [so] travellers can now more easily find and book their perfect hotel,” Mr Mison said.last_img read more

The Farm at San Benito Wins the Worlds Best Medical Wellness Resort

first_imgPhilippines-based The Farm at San Benito was deemed “Best Medical Wellness Resort” worldwide for the second time running at Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB), one of the world’s largest tourism fairs in Berlin, Germany.Luckily The Farm’s trophy cabinet is large, as this award marks 26 international accolades in just a decade of operation.Influential members of international hotel, lifestyle and wellness industries gathered at the gala event to promote and support the premium lifestyle and wellness guide and global gauge for excellence published in English, German and Russian (www.senses.de).Judges reward outstanding resorts and spas that adhere to and embody the SENSES Wellness ethos – offering comprehensive, holistic service that includes exemplary wellness standards, medical treatments and therapies, expertly administered by highly-trained staff at unique, serene and tranquil locations. The Farm at San Benito team is proud to receive global recognition for continued commitment to empower every guest to reach and maintain optimum health and embrace conscious living.  Located in Batangas, Philippines, The Farm at San Benito team guide and support thousands of new and recurring guests to attain and sustain improved quality of life through preventive health strategies, integrative medical services and pure, nourishing food.  Combining detoxification/cleansing retreats with raw, livecuisine was considered revolutionary since it opened in 2002. Today, The Farm at San Benito remains the only Philippines resort to offer natural and holistic health programs that address cancer care, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Source = The Farm at San Benitolast_img read more

British Airways Blooms with Orlando

British Airways Blooms with Orlando

first_imgBA’s Captain Cook chatting to actor Orlando Bloom. Internationally-renowned actor, Orlando Bloom, is perfect for British Airways, according to the airline’s Middle East, Asia and the Pacific area general manager Jamie Cassidy.Recruited to be the face of the carrier’s first class products, Mr Cassidy told e-Travel Blackboard the actor’s cool and funky attitude is in line the carrier’s image, making him a “perfect fit”.Mr Bloom was flown into Sydney yesterday for an exclusive lunch to celebrate the carrier’s new service updates on the Sydney-London route.Showcasing a commitment to the Aussie market, British Airways commercial manager Australia Nicole Backo told guests the introduction of the 777-300ER to Sydney would give Australian travellers more options, whether it be in their choice of inflight entertainment or cabin selection.Among the upgrades include; 50 percent more television and music selections, a high resolution screen that is 60 percent larger than previous screens as well as a new partnership with Unity Cars, which will provide Jaguar or Landrover transfers for the airline’s first class customers on both departure and arrive at Sydney Airport.“These continued enhancements demonstrate our commitment and dedication to the Australian customers to provide a superior flying experience,” she said.Click here to check out more photos from the exclusive lunch.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJ BA AGM Asia, Middle East and the PacificJamie Cassidy with two BA crew members.last_img read more

New airline to fill Hungary aviation market

first_imgFilling the aviation gap left behind by the demise of Hungary flag carrier, Maley in 2012, three businessmen are planning to launch a new Budapest-based full service airline.Backed by Middle East investors, Solyom (Falcon) Hungarian Airways is expected commence operations with six planes by the end of September and grow its fleet to 25 by the end of 2014, Reuters reported.Keeping tight lipped about the airline’s network, Solyom chief executive Jozsef Vago did reveal expectations for expansion across the Middle East, North Africa and ex-Soviet states.Although Wizz Air and Ryanair have picked up a lot of Maley’s destinations since its demise, Mr Vago said Solyom would further fill the gap left behind by the former carrier.”Low cost airlines will never be able to do that,” the chief executive told Reuters.Source = ETB News: NJlast_img read more

Le Meridien Hotels Resorts debuts in South Korea

Le Meridien Hotels Resorts debuts in South Korea

first_imgSource = Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), today marked a milestone with the grand opening of Le Méridien Seoul, the brand’s first hotel in Korea. Following a meticulous, multimillion-dollar transformation, Le Méridien Seoul debuts at the centre of the Gangnam district with a stunning contemporary art collection, distinct approach to design and bold ‘Destination Unlocked’ positioning.“Seoul continuously charms global travelers with its sophisticated style, thriving culinary culture and dynamic design,” said George Fleck, Vice President, Brand Marketing & Management, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. “With a similar sensibility, we are delighted to debut Le Méridien in the heart of the city ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, inviting guests to savour the journey of discovering Seoul – whether visiting for business or leisure.”Le Méridien Seoul draws inspiration from both the brand – born in Paris during an era of glamorous travel – and the juxtaposition between the traditional and modern aesthetic of Korean design.Designed by award-winning architectural and interior design firm David Collins Studio, the hotel is at once grand and residential. With 336 thoughtfully-designed guestrooms and suites, the interiors layer natural materials, textiles and rich patterns. Its architecture boasts a reimagined colonnade that connects the public spaces of the hotel and anchors a bold atrium accentuated by a geometric grid pattern – connoting the iconic, mid-century French department store Le Bon Marché in Paris.From Sense of Arrival to the Signature Le Méridien HubLarge-scale local artwork created from traditional Korean Hanji paper creates a powerful sense of arrival for guests, which complements the contemporary design inspired by traditional Korean heritage throughout the public spaces. Decorative woven and knotted thread (an ancient technique known as maedeup) becomes woven metal; hammered metal tableware (Bangjja) becomes hammered metal door handles; and fine hand-stitched intricately patterned fabrics are reinterpreted for window treatments.Le Méridien Seoul has transformed the traditional lobby space into the brand’s signature Le Méridien Hub, which evolves from a bright and fresh coffee house by day, to a sophisticated cocktail bar by night.  At Latitude 37, guests can savour signature éclairs, light bites and illy coffee, expertly prepared by the hotel’s creative Master Barista, creating an experience that brings creative and curious-minded guests and locals together. Set amidst this design-forward space, guests enjoy music from French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague, who curated the soundtrack for the hotel and all Le Méridien hotels across the world.Inspired AccommodationsEach of the hotel’s guestrooms and suites features a sophisticated and subdued color palette, incorporating hues of green, blue and lavender to its finishes and furnishings, from the leather screens in a pojagi pattern that reference the hotel’s Korean heritage, to the textiles that give a cool and residential feel.  The open layout of each guestroom further reflects a refined ambiance through its finishes – dark eucalyptus timber, custom oak flooring, velvet upholstery, and rich fabrics, along with local artwork, books and low-level lighting.Each of the hotel’s 29 suites offers stunning views from bay window seating areas as well as a private terrace. The visual impact of the Presidential Suite is second-to-none. Designed as a duplex, the Presidential Suite features a high-level screen inspired by the work of French architect and mid-century designer Pierre Chareau, realized with eucalyptus and antique brass trims. The suite boats six rooms, including a show kitchen; living and dining spaces; and a stunning spiral staircase that leads to an upper terrace and outdoor dining area.Unlocking Art through the M Contemporary Art CentreInviting guests and locals to unlock the destination through the lens of Le Méridien, M Contemporary Art Centre at Le Méridien Seoul is the largest cultural and artistic space amongst hotels in Korea, with a total of 1,157 square meters throughout the first floor. M Contemporary is comprised of three exhibition venues, M Lounge, and Mid-Century Bistro & Café. Adding to the immersive offerings, a LED media facade, exhibition space and a private gallery house professional collections, focusing on local culture and art that is authentic and inspiring. Guests staying at Le Méridien Seoul have complimentary access to M Contemporary to enjoy a unique cultural experience.Seoul: Cuisine, Culture and HistoryLe Méridien Seoul offers innovative flavors and creative presentations through four culinary venues. Café Mid-Century and Chef’s Palette are all-day dining restaurants designed with Korean influences; while Elements & Lab24 – helmed by renowned Chef Edward Kwon – feature his diverse Asian cuisine and re-interpretation of Korean classics that are truly unexpected.“Le Méridien Seoul provides a creative platform for our travellers in a cosmopolitan setting that speaks to the culture seekers, art lovers and culinary enthusiasts,” said Martijn Sax, General Manager, Le Méridien Seoul. “Accentuated by unique features throughout the hotel and paired with our unrivaled service, we are confident that guests will revel in all that Seoul has to offer.”Other creative sites and an immersion into local culture are only a short distance from the hotel. Guests can explore the city’s nearby historical sites, including Seonjeongneung – UNESCO World Heritage Site and Bongeunsa Temple. Just a short walk away from main subway stations and 60 minutes by car from Incheon International Airport, Le Méridien Seoul is an ideal location for discovering Seoul’s rich culture and historic sites.For more information or to make a reservation, please visit http://www.lemeridien.com/seoul. Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts debuts in South KoreaLe Meridien Hotels & Resorts debuts in South Korealast_img read more

ADTOI appoints new team members for 201618

ADTOI appoints new team members for 201618

first_imgAssociation of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) recently conducted its elections to appoint new team members for the term 2016-2018. P P Khanna from ‘Dream Team ADTOI’ was elected as the President for the next two-year term defeating Subhash Verma of ‘Team Positive’.Rajat Sawhney defeated Sanjay Aggarwal for the post of Vice President, while Chetan Gupta got elected as the General Secretary defeating Anurag Aggarwal.Debashis Dey got elected as the Joint Secretary against Dalip Gupta. Kamal Gandhi defeated Rajesh Arya and got elected as the Treasurer.The newly elected Executive Committee (EC) members include Anil Rajput, Ankit Miglani, Arvind Khanna, Ashish Chander Sehgal, Jatinder Singh Bhatia, Manoj Varshney, Reena Chopra and Sanjay Saxena.last_img read more