Emirates Awards Top NSW Cargo Agents

first_imgSource = Emirates Emirates SkyCargo’s top cargo agents in NSW have been recognised in style at the carrier’s annual awards luncheon in Sydney.This year’s event was hosted at Sofitel Wentworth Hotel in Central Sydney in an intimate private dining setting, with guests enjoying a tailored French Contemporary menu.Those agents recognised for their substantial contribution to Emirates SkyCargo’s business in 2010 were John Contos, DHL Global Forwarding; Brad Bouch and Lee Martin, DHL Express; Wade Bollard C.T. Freight; Mark Gonsalves, Airmark Air & Sea Logistics; Scott O’Keeffe, Panalpina; Justin Campbell and Mike Pattinson, Air Menzies International; and Goran Panovski, Fedex.“We are grateful for the continued support of all our cargo agents nationwide, and congratulate those who have received awards this year,” said Greg Johnson, Emirates’ National Cargo Manager.“It has been a milestone year for Emirates SkyCargo with exciting growth in the pharmaceutical, fresh produce and special freight areas of our business. We also operated specialist cargo charter flights to/from Australia, transporting the V8 Supercars into Victoria and Queensland and the export of the World Superbikes from Australia to Italy.Mr Johnson added: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to officially recognise and thank our cargo partners for their invaluable contribution.” SkyCargo2 NSWCargo Agent Awardslast_img read more

Scotland welcomes ancestors home

first_imgLonely Planet recently named Scotland as one of the top three hottest travel spots to visit in 2014. Source = ETB News: P.T. Earlier this year a public forum was opened to the world asking ‘What makes Glasgow?’ and the resounding response was that ‘People make Glasgow’; the basis for the current marketing campaign. VisitScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau gathered Australian media and industry partners in Sydney this week to celebrate the upcoming 2014 Homecoming and Commonwealth Games. Homecoming – last celebrated five years ago in 2009 – invites travellers with Scottish ancestry or those that are Scottish at heart, to return to the country and re-discover their roots. The Ryder Cup will also be held in Scotland next year at the Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire between 23-28 September.center_img The Commonwealth Games will be held in Glasgow between 23 July and 3 August 2014. Homecoming 2014 will encompass a year-long programme of events and activities, showcasing Scotland to the world; including festivals and arts, cultural and ancestral heritage to explore. “It’s about feeling the pull towards a certain country or place… in this instance, Scotland,” VisitScotland consumer public relations manager Clair Coer said. 50 million people around the world claim Scottish ancestry, which is 10 times the population of Scotland, while 1.5 million of these descendants reside in Australia.last_img read more

Indonesian protests Aussies cautioned

first_imgSource = ETB News: P.T. Local police in Indonesia have warned of civil unrest and rising political tensions, with a planned demonstration to take place outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta today. The Australian government’s Smart Traveller website has urged travellers to exercise a high degree of caution if visiting Indonesia, including the island of Bali. Australian’s have been advised to monitor local media reports, avoid protests and maintain high levels of vigilance and security awareness. A demonstration is scheduled to occur outside the Australian Embassy on 21 November 2013.last_img

Princess Cruises announces biggest European season

first_imgPrincess Cruises’ Enchanted PrincessPrincess Cruises announces biggest European season with newest ship Enchanted PrincessPrincess Cruises has announced 2020 will be its biggest European season ever[2], and is set to see its fifth Royal-class ship Enchanted Princess debut in June 2020 with a series of Mediterranean voyages.As part of its maiden season, Enchanted Princess will sail from Barcelona, Athens and Rome, offering a variety of cruises from seven to 12-nights.“Europe is our top long-haul fly-cruise destination for Australian guests – and, in 2020 we’re pleased to announce we have three of Princes Cruises’ newest ships Enchanted, Sky and Regal based in the region,” says Senior Vice President Princess Cruises Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison.“Australians love discovering Europe by sea, with the continent offering a rich mix of history and culture that appeals to our guests.”In addition, the 2,200-guest Island Princess will spend August to October sailing around Northern Europe while the 3,080 Crown Princess will cruise both Northern and Southern Europe.Both ships including a series of new voyages:An eight-day Norwegian Fjords voyage on Crown Princess to Bergen, Aalesund, Olden/Nordfjord, Hellesylt Geiranger and StavangerA 13-day summer holiday cruise in August on Crown Princess to Barcelona, Marseille, Florence/Pisa, Rome, Sardinia and Ceuta in Spanish MoroccoA 17-day Mediterranean voyage on Crown Princess to Lisbon, Santorini (Greece), Mykonos (Greece), Kusadasi (Turkey), Katakolon (Turkey) and Cartagena (Spain)A 12-day Northern Capitals cruise on Island Princess to cities including Hamburg (for Berlin), Copenhagen, Oslo, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris (via Le Havre)A 14-day Scandinavia & Russia Collection cruise on Island Princess to Bornholm (Denmark), Stockholm, Helsinki (Finland), St. Petersburg, Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia), Visby (Sweden), Helsingborg (Sweden) and Copenhagen. The calls to Stockholm and St Petersburg are both overnight visitsTwo 12-day Northern Lights cruises on Island Princess via the Norwegian destinations of Aalesund, Tromso, Alta (overnight) and StavangerMeanwhile the 3,660-guest Sky Princess, which launches in 2019, will spend its first European spring and summer season sailing Scandinavia and Russia roundtrip from Copenhagen. From April to September Sky Princess will take in the likes of Stockholm, Oslo, Tallinn, Helsinki, Berlin and an overnight stay in St Petersburg.Closer to home, the cruise line announced 2020 will be its longest Japan season yet – with Diamond Princess set to offer 44 itineraries, travelling to 41 destinations across Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Russia.The sailings will explore Japan’s natural beauty and rich culture, featuring 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, seven local festivals and five spring flower voyages among the highlights.“Our 2020 Japan journeys give Australian travellers more choice than ever before. And, with ten of our ports offering More Ashore, we’re confident our guests will have the opportunity to experience all that Japan has to offer – from the shining lights of Shinjuku to the charm of cherry blossom season,” says Allison.The announcements form part of Princess Cruises’ 2020 programme, which includes sailings across Europe as well as Asia, the Caribbean, Alaska and Canada & New England.Further afield, highlights include:65 Japan voyages setting sail from either Tokyo or Kobe on the 2,670-guest Diamond Princess28 summer Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale with seven, 14 and 21-night optionsOver 130 Alaska sailings across eight ships, with departures from Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Whittier and Vancouver16 Canada & New England sailings on Sky Princess or Caribbean Princess, which depart from Fort Lauderdale, New York or QuebecFares for 14-night cruise onboard Enchanted Princess’ Western Mediterranean & Aegean Medley cruise from Barcelona to Athens departing 25 July 2020 start from $4,219 per person twin share.**Subject to availability, conditions apply.Source = Princess Cruiseslast_img read more

The United Polaris Lounge Opens at Los Angeles International Airport

first_imgSource = United Airlines The United Polaris Lounge Opens at Los Angeles International AirportThe United Polaris Lounge Opens at Los Angeles International AirportBeginning January 12, United customers traveling in United Polaris® business class, the airline’s international premium cabin travel experience, will now be able to relax and dine before their travels in the new United Polaris lounge at Los Angeles International Airport.The award-winning Polaris lounge experience builds on the airline’s concept to be uniquely United while embracing the energy and distinct culture of Southern California and the exciting destinations United serves from here. This Polaris lounge features Southern California-style throughout, including works by local, Los Angeles-based artists, Rema Ghuloum, Chris Trueman and Ruth Pastine, and a food and beverage program inspired by the City of Angels. It is conveniently located in Terminal 7 between Gates 73 and 75A and faces west to capture the city’s vibrant sunset skies.The United Polaris lounge is the most recent investment United has made at LAX, where the airline recently completed a $573 million renovation of Terminal 7. Customers also can now take advantage of the recently completed cut-through, a new road that provides a shortcut to avoid the LAX “horseshoe” road around the terminals to help ease their travels. In addition to the Polaris lounge, United recently opened a new United Club in Terminal 7, and offers customers who want a more upscale experience access to The Private Terminal. These latest improvements and amenities help give United customers the best possible airport experience at LAX.The airline is also committed to the greater Los Angeles community, having announced last year a $1 million grant to Southern California-based First Place for Youth. “Los Angeles is one of United’s most important gateways, particularly to Asia and Australia, and this lounge provides our customers with a best-in-class experience before they board their flights, especially for those customers with late-night departures and early-morning arrivals,” said Janet Lamkin, United’s California President. “We continue to expand our presence in Los Angeles, connecting customers from all over California and the U.S. to our global network. The addition of the United Polaris lounge is yet another way we provide customers with the best possible travel experience at LAX.”United Polaris Lounge at LAX Facts & HighlightsMore than 12,000 square feet140 seats, with a variety of seating areas for productivity, privacy and dining272 power outlets and 120 USB portsLuxurious shower suites, featuring rainfall showerheads and Soho House & Co’s Cowshed Spa productsPrivate daybeds outfitted with Saks Fifth Avenue beddingCustomers are invited to enjoy a full restaurant-quality experience in The Dining Room before their flights. With a menu that blends international comfort foods developed by Los Angeles native Chef Tritia Gestuvo, highlights include: almond-crusted fish and chips, chilaquiles, Korean bulgogi arancini, fresh crafted sandwiches on La Brea Bakery® bread, flavorful street tacos and house-made cinnamon churros.In a nod to the innovative cocktail culture of Los Angeles, the lounge features signature cocktails inspired by the City of Stars, including the Let’s Rumble, made from Cruso Spiced Rum, fresh lemon, prickly pear puree and house-made simple syrup and the On Sunset, a playful take on the tequila sunrise, made from Casa Noble Tequila, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal and agave nectar.The United Polaris lounge at Los Angeles International Airport is the fifth Polaris lounge to open. Other United Polaris lounge locations include: Chicago O’Hare International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston, Newark Liberty International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.The focus behind the United Polaris experience has always been to provide long-haul travelers with what they’ve asked for: the best sleep in the sky. On average, United continues to add one aircraft with the new United Polaris business class seat every 10 days from now through 2020. On Monday, the airline’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, officially entered service, featuring the Polaris business class seat as well as the airline’s new United Premium Plus seat. United in the first North American carrier to operate the 787-10 and the only airline in the world to operate all three models of the Dreamliner.last_img read more

Obama Road to Recovery Is Paved with Refis

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Obama: Road to Recovery Is Paved with Refis August 21, 2012 491 Views Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Barack Obama HARP Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Refinance Service Providers 2012-08-21 Krista Franks Brock As the housing market and the overall economy crawl languidly toward an elusive recovery many believe will still take years to achieve, President “”Barack Obama””:http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-obama suggests the key to progress is a broad housing refinance plan. [IMAGE]””[T]he housing market is beginning to tick back up but it’s still not at all where it needs to be,”” the president said during a “”press conference””:http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/20/remarks-president-white-house-press-corps Monday. Obama endorses a bill that would allow underwater homeowners to refinance at current interest rates, which continue to wallow near historic lows. [COLUMN_BREAK]””We’re going to be pushing Congress to see if they can pass a refinancing bill that puts $3,000 into the pockets of the average family who hasn’t yet refinanced their mortgage,”” Obama stated Monday. About 11.4 million homes are currently underwater, according to recent data from “”CoreLogic.””:http://www.corelogic.com/””A mass refinancing program would work like a potent tax cut,”” according to a recent op-ed column by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, published in the “”_New York Times._””:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/opinion/the-one-housing-solution-left-mass-mortgage-refinancing.htmlStiglitz and Zandi suggest allowing underwater homeowners to refinance would prevent some foreclosures, which in turn would permit lenders to focus on making new loans, so that ultimately “”communities plagued by mass foreclosures might see relief from blight.”” A few senators have “”proposed bills””:https://themreport.com/articles/obama-administration-pushes-for-new-refinance-expansions-2012-05-11 recently to allow more homeowners to refinance their mortgages. Meanwhile, the government’s revamped Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has helped more than 422,000 homeowners refinance in the first half of this year. In total, 1.4 million loans have been refinanced through the program since its introduction in 2009.last_img read more

CFPB Finalizes Changes to Mortgage Rules

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Compliance Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investors Lenders & Servicers Loan Officers Regulation Service Providers 2013-09-13 Tory Barringer Share With months to go before the implementation of the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) qualified mortgage (QM) rules, the agency released Friday several finalized amendments and clarifications created to ease the process.[IMAGE]First handed down in January 2013, the QM guidelines include an “”Ability-to-Repay”” rule designed to ensure lenders “”make a reasonable, good-faith determination that prospective borrowers have the ability to repay their loans.”” The bureau also introduced this year new loan officer compensation rules to remove incentivized “”steering”” toward certain products, servicing rules to establish protections for borrowers facing foreclosure, and strengthened consumer protections for high-cost mortgages.The amendments and clarifications being adopted in September were first proposed in June.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Our mortgage rules were designed to eliminate irresponsible practices and foster a thriving, more sustainable marketplace,”” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “”Today’s rule amends and clarifies parts of our mortgage rules to ensure a smoother implementation process, which is helpful to both businesses and consumers.””Among the points addressed: The definition of “”loan originator”” has been tightened due to concerns about the original rule’s language inadvertently applying to bank tellers or other administrative staff who engage in routine customer service activities. The agency also revised the effective dates of many of the loan originator compensation rule’s provisions to January 1, 2014, in order to simplify compliance “”since compensation plans, training, and licensing and registration are often structured on an annual basis.””In addition, CFPB made revisions to exclude employee compensation from points and fees for retailers of manufactured homes, reasoning “”including such compensation in points and fees does not provide a meaningful benefit to consumers.””For servicers, CFPB amended its rule that prohibits servicers from making the “”first notice or filing”” for the foreclosure process until the borrower is at least 120 days delinquent. The new rule specifically excludes certain notices (required under state law) sent to borrowers that may provide information about legal aid, counseling, or other resources. in Government, Origination, Servicingcenter_img September 13, 2013 398 Views CFPB,CFPB Finalizes Changes to Mortgage Ruleslast_img read more

Credit Availability Up in February

first_img Mortgage credit availability opened up for the third straight month in February, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported in its monthly index.MBA’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a measure of borrower eligibility and underwriting criteria from more than 85 lenders, moved up half a percentage point to 113.5 last month, building on an increase of two points recorded in January.Once again, the expansion in credit offerings in February was the result of offsetting factors, including changes in lending brought on by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), said MBA chief economist Mike Fratantoni.“Specifically, the recently implemented QM/ATR [qualified mortgage/ability-to-repay] sections of the new CFPB regulations stipulate that ARM [adjustable-rate mortgage] loans must qualify at the highest allowable rate for the first five years of the loan. As a result, many investors have discontinued loans whose interest rate adjusts after only 3 year[s] (also known as 3/1 ARMS),” Fratantoni explained.On the other hand, “[w]hile there was significant pull-back on these 3/1 programs, lenders and investors added several new 5+ year ARM programs, including those for Jumbo loans, to their repertoire resulting in a net increase to the MCAI.”The base level for the index is 100, a benchmark set in March 2012. Had the index existed in 2007, it would have sat at a level of roughly 800. Credit Availability Up in February March 11, 2014 471 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, News, Originationcenter_img Share Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Credit Availability Jumbo Loans Mortgage Bank 2014-03-11 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Mortgage Banker Alliance Reports Record Loan Volume for 2013

first_img Share Member companies of Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative achieved a new record in loan volume throughout 2013, the group reported this week.According to a release, the cooperative—a national alliance of community mortgage bankers, correspondent lenders, and suppliers of mortgage products and services—collectively originated $224 billion in volume last year, a 22 percent increase over 2012.The total represents nearly 14 percent of the country’s overall origination volume in 2013.“Despite the market correction that began last summer, our members continue to see market share increases,” said Jeff McGuiness, CEO of Lenders One, which operates out of St. Louis. “The lenders that planned for change are successfully navigating the purchase market and adapting to the new regulations, while protecting their margins.”Lenders One also attributes part of last year’s success to members’ access to multiple preferred investor relationships, which added six more companies over the year.Whatever the cause, McGuiness affirmed that going forward, Lenders One will remain committed “to using the collective negotiating power of the cooperative to deliver the resources and benefits that help our members continue to succeed, regardless of market cycle.” April 10, 2014 473 Views in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Originationcenter_img Mortgage Banker Alliance Reports Record Loan Volume for 2013 Lenders One Origination Volume 2014-04-10 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Builder Confidence Soars to Highest Level Since 2005

first_img July 16, 2015 549 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Builder Confidence National Association of Home Builders Wells Fargo Housing Market Index 2015-07-16 Staff Writer Builder Confidence Soars to Highest Level Since 2005center_img Share Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in July reached new heights not seen since November 2005. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released Thursday, builder confidence hit a level of 60 in July, while the June reading was upwardly revised one point to 60.“The fact that builder confidence has returned to levels not seen since 2005 shows that housing continues to improve at a steady pace,” said Tom Woods NAHB chairman and a home builder from Blue Springs, Missouri. “As we head into the second half of 2015, we should expect a continued recovery of the housing market.”The index determines builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair,” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average,” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.According to the NAHB, two of the three HMI components posted gains in July. The index that determines current sales conditions rose one point to 66 and the index charting sales expectations in the next six months increased two points to 71. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic dropped a single point to 43. The West and Northeast each rose three points to 60 and 47, respectively when  looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores. The South and Midwest posted one-point gains to 61 and 55, respectively.”Builders report more serious buyers are visiting models and discussing prices and features,” said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist. “While buyers are taking more time to decide to buy, more of them are finally making those decisions. However, builders remain concerned about their access to lots and labor. Ready-to-build lot supply continues to be the biggest concern among builders as the cheaper lot supply left from the bust is about exhausted, the pipeline of new developments was interrupted by very limited access to capital from regional and community banks and competition for the available lots has intensified.”last_img read more

Consumer Confidence Fades Among Economic Uncertainties

first_img Consumer Confidence Economy Home Purchase Sentiment Index 2016-04-07 Staff Writer Consumer Confidence Fades Among Economic Uncertainties April 7, 2016 555 Views Pessimistic views on the direction of the economy appears to be affecting consumer sentiment about the housing market.Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) showed that consumers have a more negative view on the economy as a whole, with the outlook on the selling a home declining and job confidence weakening. The index decreased 2.5 points to 80.2 in March 2016, the lowest reading in 18 months, Fannie Mae reported.”Growing pessimism over the last three months about the direction of the economy seems to be spilling over into home purchase sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae.According to Fannie Mae, for the first time in over a year, more consumers believe now is a bad time to sell a home than a good time to sell. the net share of respondents who say that it is a good time to buy a house fell 2 percentage points to 33 percent as more Americans say it is a bad time to buy. Meanwhile, those that feel now is a good time to sell a home decreased 8 percentage points to negative one percent.Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March employment report showing strong job creation and continued expansion of the labor force, survey respondents noted that their confidence about not losing their job declined in March.The much-anticipated February 2016 Employment Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed a mixed bag in the U.S. labor market. While February’s job gains were solid at 242,000 and the labor force participation rate shot up to a 15-month high, a noticeable weakness in the labor market is wage growth.Amid all the positives in the February employment summary, however, the average hourly earnings for all employees declined by 3 cents down to $25.35 after an increase of 12 cents in January. The average workweek also declined in February by 0.2 hours down to approximately 34.4 hours. The lack of wage growth combined with house price appreciation has caused some concerns as far as affordability in the housing market, according to Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan.“On the housing front, builders continue to hire more workers, but at a steadily slowing pace since last November, suggesting little relief to one factor underlying extremely tight inventories,” Duncan said. “Our forecast of a more modest gain in home sales this year reflects our concern of declining housing affordability from income growth that is trailing home price appreciation. Today’s jobs report is consistent with our view of an affordability-constrained housing expansion.”Fannie Mae found that of those consumers surveyed, those that say they are not concerned about losing their job decreased 7 percent to 68 percent. Meanwhile, the net share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago fell 4 percentage points to 11 percent.The net share of respondents who say that home prices will go up rose 1 percentage point to 34 percent, breaking the downward trend from the last few months, the report said. In addition, those that believe mortgage rates will go down rose 5 percentage points to negative 45 percent this month.“The gap between the share of consumers who think the economy is on the wrong track and the share who think it is on the right track has widened, nearly matching its reading last August, when concerns regarding China and oil prices led to the biggest stock market plunge in years,” Duncan said. “In turn, we saw dips this month in income growth perceptions, attitudes about the home selling climate, and job confidence, all of which contributed to the lowest HPSI reading in the last year and a half. These declines seem to be at odds with recent news of solid overall job creation, but may reflect weakening economic performance in certain industries.”Click here to view the full report.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

Zillow Chief Economist Stop Sugarcoating Housing Data

first_img National home sales are falling, and according to Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell, the housing industry needs to stop sugarcoating the truth behind the data: the U.S. is severely under producing housing.According to Gudell’s reaction to August new home sales, which fell 560,000 (SAAR), down 3.4 percent from July and 1.2 percent from 2016, housing inventory is stuck at roughly mid-1990s levels despite the fact that the country has grown by more than 60 million people since that decade.Though buying conditions are great in theory, considering jobs and incomes are increasing, and interest rates are keeping financing costs low, Gudell said a lack of homes available to buy at a reasonable price point is missing from the equation.According to Zillow, the median, seasonally adjusted new home price is $302,100, down 7.5 percent from July and up 0.5 percent from 2016.“We’ve been hovering roughly at or below the 600,000 annual sales level for more than a year now, when the market could seemingly easily accommodate sales levels of 750,000 or even much more,” Gudell said. “While Hurricane Harvey likely held down sales in Texas, its adverse effect on August sales was probably pretty modest at around 6,000 units.”Given the South’s recent pattern of contributing to much of the new construction market, Gudell said it will be interesting to watch how new home construction fairs in the upcoming months after the hurricanes.“A surge in activity could set the tone for the rest of the country to follow; a lull will only mean the prolonged new home sales slump we’ve been enduring will continue,” Gudell said. Share September 27, 2017 592 Views Housing Data 2017-09-27 Brianna Gilpincenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Zillow Chief Economist: Stop Sugarcoating Housing Datalast_img read more

Showing another face of Hong Kong the Hong Kong T

first_imgShowing another face of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched its latest campaign – Hong Kong’s Great Outdoors – aimed at encouraging Aussies to don their active gear and set out to explore a more organic side of the city, one that is far removed from its buzzing urban centre.HKTB regional director Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Andrew Clark said Aussies have always held a strong affection for Hong Kong but they often get caught up in the buzz and don’t explore beyond the central areas. “We really wanted to show how much more there is on offer in Hong Kong and also how easy it is to reach. Just a taxi or MTR ride away, the green rolling hills, quaint beaches and scenic villages quickly replace the bustling urban areas. It’s a great day out for couples, friends or families.”To show visitors just what they are missing out on, the HKTB has recruited a handful of local photographers, including: Landscape photographer and a Hong Kong National Geographic 2013 photography winner, Will ChoVeteran outdoor sports photographer, Elvis MoNature Conservancy 2017 photography winner, Jessica LiRenowned photographer, Romain Jacquet Lagreze, best-known for his “Vertical Horizon” photo series, showcasing the geometric lines of Hong Kong… to capture Hong Kong’s off-the-radar landscapes through the lens. The results are featured in HKTB’s newly published guidebook “Your Guide to Hiking & Cycling in Hong Kong”. The guidebook is available from visitor centres around the city, or as an e-version, and is divided into three different themes: Hiking in Heritage; Picture-Perfect Vistas; and Geological Wonders, with each section detailing suggested trails, along with the estimated time required and difficulty levels. Visitors are free to escape the hustle and bustle of the city at their own leisure and discover the surrounding beauty whether it be spectacular cityscapes; remote beaches; rustic villages; serene islands; or historical and cultural landmarks. The guidebook also features cycling trails for those who are keen to explore at a slightly faster speed. cyclinghikingHong Kongoutdoorphotographylast_img read more

airportsAllianzBrisbane Airporttravel insurance

first_imgairportsAllianzBrisbane Airporttravel insurance Allianz Worldwide Partners (AWP) has signed a new three-year partnership with Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC), to offer Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) travel insurance directly through the Brisbane Airport website, commencing early May 2018.From early May, the first-of its-kind partnership will provide customers the option to purchase AGA travel insurance to protect their journey, alongside services such as checking flight schedules and pre-booking discounted parking, all from the one online destination. Commenting on the new partnership, Brad Smith, Chief Sales Officer, Allianz Worldwide Partners says, “The BAC website caters to travellers transiting through Brisbane Airport, providing an easy one-stop-shop for all their pre-departure needs. Our data shows that travel insurance is often purchased as an afterthought, so we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with BAC and add travel insurance to the platform, ensuring it’s on that pre-departure checklist.“This is just the start of what we hope will be a long-term partnership to offer a range of insurance and assistance products tailored to suit Brisbane Airport Corporation’s customer base.”Floor Felten, General Manager Strategic Planning and Development, Brisbane Airport Corporation, said the airport was committed to providing a personalised and seamless experience for passengers. “We have conducted extensive research in an effort to understand the needs of passengers and it is clear travellers are relying on digital services more and are seeking ways to simplify their whole travel journey through the airport and beyond.“The convenience of purchasing Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance via the BNE website, alongside online services we already offer like parking, car hire, and currency exchange, gives travellers one less thing to think about,” Ms Felten said.Travellers departing from Brisbane Airport can purchase Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance HERE last_img read more

Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute ri

first_img Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Top Stories Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals continued their youth movement by signing linebacker Daryl Washington to a six-year deal Thursday. Washington still had two years remaining on his existing contract but the Cardinals felt it was important to keep the young star around. “It’s great when you have a young guy that’s made the strides the way Daryl has. We thought highly of him before we ever even drafted him and he certainly hasn’t let us down,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “So to know that he’s going to be here a number of years, it’s a great thing.” Washington has recorded 185 tackles, three interceptions and six sacks in his two-year career. Whisenhunt knows what makes him such a special player. “For the fit and what we’re trying to get done defensively, he has all the things that you like to see. He’s smart, fast and he thumps a lot more than what you think he would based on his size. All those things to play to that linebacker position, make him very valuable.”Washington was no slouch in 2011. He set a new career high with 111 total tackles, two interceptions and five sacks. A lot has been made about the physical attributes that make him such a stud but there’s more to Washington, according to Whisenhunt. “His work ethic, you know that’s one of the things that you look for in some of these young players. If they’re going to be a leader, if they’re going to be one of the guys that you count on defensively. They gotta be the right kind of guy and Daryl is that.” Washington has appeared in 31 games for the Cardinals, including 25 starts, during his first two seasons. He’ll be on the field Sunday against the Seahawks for his 26th start and Arizona is counting on him to make an impact.center_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkelast_img read more


first_img 0 Comments   Share   Whisenhunt himself said the QB looks like he’s getting close. “He practiced in team at the end of the week last week,” he said. “Until I see him really have to step and drive and throw it — and do that in practice with guys around him — you’re not going to feel comfortable with him being ready to go.”Whisenhunt will have a decision to make when Skelton is healthy enough to play, but if Kolb keeps up his current pace it won’t be a difficult one for the coach to make.Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to this report What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke That may indeed be the case, but we won’t know for certain yet.“I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but until John’s ready to play again there’s nothing really new there, nothing to talk about,” Whisenhunt said when asked about making a decision Monday.That time may be nearing, though, as Skelton himself tweeted confidence in his health Monday afternoon. Ankle feels a whole lot better. Two weeks out now. Ready to get back out there and join in on this fun. #birdgang— John Skelton (@johnskelton19) September 24, 2012 The Arizona Cardinals are rolling with Kevin Kolb under center. The quarterback, who entered the season as the backup, has completed 38-of-59 passes for 428 yards and four touchdowns since replacing an injured John Skelton in the fourth quarter of a Week 1 win over Seattle. Most figure it would be tough for Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt to give the starting job back to a healthy Skelton, at least with Kolb playing as well as he is. Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals may not have as vast a collection of great games as some other NFL teams.However, when they have played in a great game, it has been really great.In the spirit of March Madness, NFL.com created its own bracket in an effort to find the greatest game of all time.There are four regions in the tournament: Dynasty Makers, Individual Heroics, Crazy Endings and Great from the Get-Go. And wouldn’t you know it, two Cardinals efforts are in the dance, with both being in the “Individual Heroics” category. 0 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact In that group, you have fourth-seeded Super Bowl XLIII, which pitted the Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and seventh-seeded 2009 NFC Wild Card game, which saw Arizona face off against Green Bay.For the Super Bowl, NFL.com writes:Wide receiver Santonio Holmes made one of the greatest Super Bowl winning catches of all time to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.Yeah, Cardinals fans remember.The other game, though, was a lot more enjoyable for Arizona fans as the Cards won 51-45 in overtime.The 2009 NFC Wild Card Game between the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals had no shortage of offensive firepower, but it was a defensive touchdown in overtime that ultimately decided the instant classic.Notable in that game was how Cardinals QB Kurt Warner threw five touchdown passes — and only four incompletions. Steve Breaston led the team with 125 yards on seven receptions, though Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet each scored a pair of touchdowns.Both games are certainly memorable for Cardinals fans, albeit for different reasons. center_img Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

Its not that Carolinas defense is unbeatable th

first_imgIt’s not that Carolina’s defense is unbeatable; the 2000 Baltimore Ravens they are not. They finished the regular season sixth in yards allowed, at 5,176, and fifth in points per game allowed, at 19.3. In comparison, the Cardinals were fifth in yards allowed, at 5,147, and sixth in points allowed, at 19.6.“They’re fast and physical,” Cardinals running back David Johnson said. “We’re going to have to come out and be more physical than them. Their linebackers, Davis, Kuechly, they’re really good linebackers and we’re going to have to come out and play our game.”Being able to run the ball effectively, or at least more effectively than they did last Saturday against Green Bay, would be the best way to keep Palmer protected. It would also aid the Cardinals’ play-action game, which is a staple of the offense — especially when it comes to taking shots deep down the field.Arizona offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said he has been telling his team all week the big thing is to prevent the Panthers’ interior defensive linemen from impacting the game the way they did against Seattle last week, when Short and Dwan Edwards each collected a sack. Comments   Share   TEMPE, Ariz. — Football can be a simple game, and in a lot of ways the Arizona Cardinals’ matchup with the Carolina Panthers is not a difficult one to figure out.If the Cardinals can block the Panthers’ defensive front, they should have success and will have a good chance at winning the game. If they cannot, Sunday’s affair will likely be a struggle.It’s that simple. Yet, the task of blocking against one of the NFL’s best defensive fronts is both unenviable and difficult. Sixteen Panthers notched 44 sacks this past season, with defensive tackle Kawann Short’s 11 leading the way. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “We’ve got to kind of negate what they do, because they are pivotal to what they’re doing defensively,” he said.As a whole, the Panthers limited Seahawks running backs to just 29 yards on eight carries, while also harassing Wilson to the point where he was picked off twice — with one being returned for a touchdown by Kuechly.Cardinals center Lyle Sendlein said the Panthers are “better than good,” adding they are “excellent up front.” He said the team will have to play its best game thus far in order to give them a chance.If it happens, watch out. Because if the Panthers defense has one weakness it is the secondary, which has dealt with injury and inconsistent play. If the offensive line can do its job well enough, Palmer should have no trouble finding receivers open down the field. And that, really, is nothing new for the Cardinals.“Yeah, I think that’s every week — it starts with protection,” Arians said. “That’s guys getting open, but also the blocking unit, backs, tight ends.” Carolina Panthers Kawann Short (99) runs a drill during the NFL football team’s practice in advance of the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “They’re one of the best in the league, no question,” Cardinals left tackle Jared Veldheer said. “They’re real disruptive. They’re making a lot of plays on tape and it’s going to be a great challenge.”Veldheer pointed to the Panthers’ players being both talented and disciplined for why they are so effective.How talented are they?On the line there is Short, who posted four games with two or more sacks this season and was the NFC Player of the Month in October and December. At linebacker, there is veteran Thomas Davis, who is heading to his first Pro Bowl after racking up 123 tackles, 5.5 sacks and three interceptions, and Luke Kuechly, a three-time Pro Bowler who has been a first-team All-Pro three times and was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.The Cardinals have faced off with some talented defensive fronts this season, most notably the St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks, but head coach Bruce Arians said the Panthers are different because they feature the best pair of three-technique linemen in the league.“The interior two tackles are the best pair,” he said. “The linebackers are great, but they help make them great. Luke is probably the best linebacker in the league.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Cardinals’ visit Wednesday meant a lot to many of the veterans.“I have never met a professional football player at all,” Abdul-Kareem said. “To be able to get a chance to come and do it, I like it. I enjoyed it, being able to get my autograph signed by the players and the cheerleaders, of course.”The Cardinals signed everything from pennants to flags to shirts. They bonded with the veterans over discussions about the season or how ecstatic they were to be there.“I think it’s great to always support our troops,” Johnson said. “We play a sport that America loves, but those troops are really who we should be praising.”USAA, a financial service group that is dedicated to serving military members and their families, believes events like these are essential for U.S. veterans after coming home from serving.“A huge impact on them,” Wicks said. “Sometimes military servicemen and women wonder if folks actually know and understand what they do.”The NFL, which has had a long relationship with the armed forces, found itself embroiled in controversy when senators Jeff Flake and John McCain disclosed in 2014 that the U.S. Department of Defense had spent $5.4 million in contracts from 14 teams from 2011. 1 Comments   Share   PHOENIX — For a group of players accustomed to the spotlight, it was time to recognize a community that rarely experiences it.“One of the things I notice since I’ve been out of the Marine Corps as a veteran is we hardly ever get any recognition,” veteran Naeem Abdul-Kareem said. “Because (others) don’t often hear what military people do.”That’s one of the reasons the Arizona Cardinals and USAA teamed up for a “Salute to Service” visit to the Phoenix VA Hospital Wednesday. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Arizona Cardinals guard Kaleb Johnson signs a flag for military veteran at the “Salute to Service” visit. (Photo by Jose Esparza/Cronkite News) The NFL later gave back $723,734 to the U.S. government.“The military and NFL relationship is very strong,” Gunter said. “Once a month we have cleats, clothing that says ‘support the military.’ We have events. From my understanding, the military and NFL have a great relationship.”Several of the Cardinals players said they have family ties with the military.Gunter’s uncle and cousin served in the military, and the woman he called his future fiancee is serving in the Navy at Norfolk, Virginia.On top of Williams’ father serving, one of his aunts, uncles and grandfathers served as well.Johnson said his father and grandfather served in the military and he has a brother in the Navy who is stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Cardinals visited veterans, signed autographs, took pictures and shared laughs. Four members of the Cardinals — defensive tackle Xavier Williams, defensive tackle Rodney Gunter, guard Kaleb Johnson and tackle Givens Price — were accompanied by mascot Big Red and the team’s cheerleaders.“It’s always a good time to come out and give back to the community,” Williams said. “When you do it with veterans it always makes it a little more special. They gave us so much for this country. Anyway you can help those guys out, it always means a lot.”A long line on the second floor consisted of eager veterans and fans wanting to meet members of the Cardinals for autographs and photos.For many, it was an emotional event. The acknowledgment was important.“It really really moves them to the point of tears, because, again, this is very important that someone actually recognizes their service,” said Rory Wicks, a USAA military affairs representative.According to a study by the Pew Research Center in 2011, 27 percent of veterans said returning to the United States after serving overseas was difficult. The percentage climbed to 44 percent for veterans who served after Sept. 11, 2001. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Silversea Cruises ha

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Silversea Cruises has announced that guests will be able to book from Monday, 2 November 2015, for its new flagship, Silver Muse, which begins sailing in April 2017.The new ultra-luxury, boutique ship, with just 286 suites, will make its maiden voyage from Monte Carlo to Nice at the start of the 2017 season.  The 13-day sailing will depart on 20 April 2017 and arrive in Nice on 3 May 2017, stopping at ports including Barcelona, Valletta, Amalfi and Sorrento.Before the maiden voyage, there will also be an Easter voyage, departing Monte Carlo on 10 April 2017 for an 8-day début sailing, taking in destinations including Porto Mahon, Livorno and Portofino, arriving in Monte Carlo on 18 April 2017.During 2017, Silver Muse will sail throughout Europe, Canada, North and South America as well as the Caribbean, taking in over 130 destinations in 34 countries.Silver Muse can accommodate up to 596 guests, who will experience fine dining at sea, with eight restaurants amongst which include Atlantide, La Terrazza, Hot Rocks, Kabuki and Regina Margherita.“We are creating the ultimate boutique ship at sea. Silver Muse isn’t trying to be the biggest, far from it, but we are aiming to deliver the finest tailor-made service on every continent,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chairman of Silversea. “I can assure guests that they will be missing out if they don’t book a voyage on Silver Muse for 2017.”Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more