Speaking candidly on British television last week Akbar al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO, expressed his displeasure over the delays over at Boeing as well as the manufacturer’s treatment of clients.Currently Qatar Airways has firm orders for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and options for 30 more, and with a delay of two and a half years, the carrier won’t see its first Dreamliner until at least the end of 2011.“We gave them an ultimatum to accept our conditions because of the continuous delays that they’ve been having and I had to put them on notice,” said Mr Al Baker to the BBC’s HARDtalk program.“My ultimate to them was because I want my aeroplanes earlier than they were wanting to give. And we had prepared a termination notice to them if they wouldn’t have met our requirements.”He adds that Boeing did eventually meet the carrier’s new requirements and had agreed on a delivery schedule that was “convenient” for Qatar.But threatens, “If it slips… I’ll cancel the order.”“If this is the way they treat customers, as they tried to treat us but were not successful, they will not only lose me but they will lose others too.”One of the fastest growing carriers in the world at the moment, Qatar flies with a fleet of 72 aircraft and has orders for over 150 more. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1e0de/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Hawaiian Airlines have accelerated the delivery of an Airbus A330-200 by two years to assist with plans for new international routes to Asia.The airliner set to arrive in the second quarter 2013 was pushed forward to fourth quarter 2011, as Hawaiian Airlines prepare nonstop flights between Honolulu and Tokyo, Japan and South Korea. “Having recently announced new service to Asian and recognise that further opportunities for new flights may develop in the next year we have been fortunate to be able to accelerate the delivery of one of our A330’s on very short notice,” Hawaiian Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Mark Dunkerley said. The airline is due to receive ten new airlines over the next four years with two already in use since June for flights between Hawaii and Los Angeles.Hawaiian Airlines said the A330-200 was selected because the airliner carries 294 passengers and is equipped for “longer operating range allowing flights from Hawaii to Eastern Asian and North America”. Until 2011 Hawaiian Airlines will continue using the B767 aircraft seating 264 passengers.
Rail Plus on the right track Rail Plus will offer Australian travel agents booking The Ghan, Indian Pacific, The Overland and The Southern Spirit more base commission, the company has announced. A booking on one of the four Great Southern Rail journeys will now earn agents a ten per cent commission, an increase of three per cent on the previous rate. According to Rail Plus national sales and marketing manager Greg McCallum, the move reflects the growing importance the company places on domestic rail journeys. “Last year Rail Plus saw the number of Australian passengers experiencing a local rail adventure grow by 10 per cent,” Mr Callum said. “This year we expect that figure to increase even more dramatically.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre’s inspired high tea has won gold at the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge in Sydney.The Centre was one of only two venues to be given a gold award after brewing up a storm against some of the city’s best-known high tea establishments in last week’s New South Wales challenge.Centre Chief Executive Ton van Amerongen said the Centre prided itself on the high tea served in its waterfront Bayside Lounge, which was recently ranked one of Sydney’s top 10 high tea offerings by Time Out magazine.“It’s wonderful to see our culinary team’s creativity and flair earn them gold in this competition,” Mr van Amerongen said.Centre Executive Chef Uwe Habermehl and Sommelier William Wilson created a delicious high tea for the Challenge, consisting of four different Dilmah tea drinks and a range of sweet and savoury offerings, such as peach tea and pumpkin macaron with leatherwood honey filling, served with Dilmah Berry Sensation iced tea made with sparkling rain water. Source = Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre High Tea
New Zealand welcomed a 26 percent increase in International arrivals for the month of September year on year, resulting in a positive start to the spring tourism season.Recent statistics New Zealand figures found that 74,355 of September arrivals visited New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup 2011, more than a third of all arrivals for the month.The significant 26 percent increase for the month of September resulted from traditional rugby unions including France, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Argentina.Tourism New Zealand arrival forecast for the Rugby World Cup indicated a total of 95,000 visitors, despite the total number of visitors for the event standing at around 80,000 the final total won’t be known until data for October has been collected. The statistics also revealed in the year ending September 2011, 2,548,094 international visitors arrived in New Zealand, 1.2 per cent up from the same period last year.Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said that clearly the September growth is due to the rugby, however growth out of Singapore up 66 per cent), Malaysia up 36.7 per cent) and China up 7.6 per cent displays the importance of the long-term destination game.“This is a fantastic result for the Rugby World Cup 2011and is well worth celebrating,” Mr Bowler said.“Growth figures out of Asia this month demonstrate that Tourism New Zealand’s international partnerships and marketing campaigns, along with increases in airline capacity from Jetstar Asia and Air Asia X, are continuing to achieve success,”Mr Bowler said monthly increases from China have remained constant and expects to see this market increase in the months ahead with China Southern Airlines increasing flight frequency from three times per week to daily from next month. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Qantas announcing its plans to operate A380 services to and from Hong Kong acknowledges that Asian markets are vital to the Australian tourism industry, said Australian Tourism Export Council managing director Felicia Mariani.Recent data has indicated a 22 percent growth in the China market over the last 12 months and the decision to commence A380 services to and from Hong Kong next year is a “great investment” for tourism, Ms Mariani said.“The A380 service will not only provide a premium airline offering to a highly discerning market, but it will also add around 20,000 seats a year to this important route from Asia,” Ms Mariani said.Ms Mariani explains with the airline currently operating 12, A380’s in their fleet, Australia will from the 15th January next year be in a good position to embark on fierce global competition.“These new services will provide additional capacity on key growth routes for Australia in the all-important Eastern markets. In addition, this new capacity provides daily direct services from Melbourne to London (via Singapore) and Melbourne to Los Angeles.”Ms Mariani added these direct daily flights from Melbourne along with the increased capacity announced by Qantas for the Sydney/Dallas route shows there is demand from these markets.“The increased capacity will allow us to respond with competitive airfares and easy access to our destination.”Ms Mariani said despite the recent slowdown from markets like North America and the UK reported for the middle of this year, there was still over 450,000 visitors from the United States and 615,000 visitors from the UK arriving into Australia.The role for the Industry now is to leverage these new opportunities and turn the interest and awareness to travel to Australia into visitation, Ms Mariani added.
Japan travel specialist, JTB Corp. has announced the acquisition of Tour East Group from Holiday Tours and Travel, the group’s main shareholder.The move comes in an effort to enhance the development of Inbound Business within the Asia Pacific Region by acquiring the group in five different countries and will give Japan’s largest tour operator control over the entire Tour East operation in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Australia, where Qantas is a share holder.The Thailand arm of Tour East was not purchased due to the 51 percent rule on local ownership preventing the sale, although negotiations are underway.“The agreed acquisition with JTB will put Tour East on the path to further expansion and growth, as JTB’s brand and reputation will enable Tour East to enhance its business proposition to customers through enhanced global reach, technology, and more comprehensive products and service offerings,” Tour East said.JTB Corp. says it is driving the global strategy to strengthen the inbound business infrastructure by taking this opportunity, in order to obtain the expanding international tourist arrival numbers through promoting the global inbound business strategy for the Asia Pacific Region.According to JBT Corp., the details of the business development after completion of the acquisition are as follows:– JBT Corp., will enhance the Inbound Business Platform within the Asia Pacific Region with the Tour East brand– JTB Corp. will enhance the product development and distribution at each destination.– JTB Corp. will enhance the purchasing and procurement power by combining the quantity handled by JTB Group and Tour East Group.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich
The Mountain Collective announces Thredbo as first international partner resortThredbo, Australia’s premier snow resort, has today been announced as the first full international partner of the Mountain Collective, a collaboration of 16 of the best independent ski resorts in North America; including iconic destinations Whistler Blackcomb, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth Mountain, AltaSnowbird, Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine Village, Sun Valley, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, and now Thredbo.The news is perfect timing for Australian skiers and snowboarders looking forward to the upcoming Australian winter who also have an eye on skiing in North America during the 15/16 snow season. The Mountain Collective offers the ultimate flexibility for customers to take advantage of great local conditions and overseas trips.“We are thrilled to have been invited to join the Mountain Collective as the first international member of this collection of North America’s most impressive destination ski resorts. Among Mountain Collective’s criteria for membership, is to be the best in breed in our destination so to have the endorsement of some of the best global ski brands underpins Thredbo’s positioning in the Australian market. Thredbo’s membership delivers great value for our premium season pass holders, many of whom ski in the northern hemisphere in our summer and will hopefully introduce more skiers and snowboarders to Thredbo’s slopes by virtue of the complimentary days on offer to Mountain Collective pass holders” said Thredbo General Manager, Jordan Rodgers.“Thredbo is widely considered to be the finest mountain resort in Australia and their customer base aligns well with the other leading destinations in the Mountain Collective. Expanding our presence in key global markets, such as Sydney, with strong partners like Thredbo ultimately benefits skiers and riders in Australia,” said Christian Knapp, vice president of marketing, Aspen Skiing Company.For further information, visit www.thredbo.com.auSource = Thredbo
IHG Future Leaders intake for 2016It’s a corporate Australia-wide issue that representation of females in leadership is far exceeded by their male counterparts.Whilst the hospitality industry is not immune from the challenge, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) is investing in company culture to build a more sustainable model for gender diversity into the future.IHG COO Australasia & Japan, Karin Sheppard – the most senior authority in the region and a product of IHG’s global opportunities having held senior roles in the Middle East, Asia and Europe – acknowledges the gender gap in management level, particularly hotel general managers.Karin Sheppard, IHG COO Australasia & Japan“This is an industry-wide challenge; to create a more diverse workplace and encourage more females into general manager roles,” Ms Sheppard said.“It can be difficult to balance commercial realities with contemporary life – women often take time out from their career for family responsibilities, but it is the responsibility of employers to adapt and create an environment and culture that acknowledges these considerations.”IHG have implemented the most generous paid parental leave in the hospitality industry in Australia offering six weeks paid leave after two years employment which is increases to 12 weeks as tenure grows – valid across 80% of its hotels and at corporate office level. As a result around 95% of women return to IHG after parental leave.“There is an even gender representation on the AMEA Regional Operating Committee which Australia and New Zealand forms part of, with similar levels in my local leadership teams,” Ms Sheppard said.“This year we had a very encouraging 70% intake of women in our Future Leaders program which identifies high potential talent – all of which have expressed a desire to become General Managers in the future.”The 2015 Workplace Gender Equality report indicated that IHG’s gender pay gap is lower than both organisations of the same size and the accommodation/food service sector overall.Despite the progress Ms Sheppard believes there is more to be done.“As we mark International Women’s Day it is important to celebrate some of the significant progress made to date. Our aspiration is to create a culture that embraces diversity at all levels of the organisation and we remain committed to achieving this,” she said.IHG are set to open over ten hotels over the next three years in Australasia and in a competitive environment for sourcing talent, the company is focused on investment in its employees.“A strong diversity agenda is critical to the continued success of our business, as we seek to attract the strongest pool of talent to sustain the growth expected in this region,” she said. InterContinental Hotels GroupSource = InterContinental Hotels Group
Emirates goes all A380 to Manchester; adjusts A380 schedule to BirminghamEmirates goes all A380 to Manchester; adjusts A380 schedule to BirminghamEmirates announced an 11% capacity increase to Manchester with the deployment of a third daily A380 on the route. As of 1st January 2017, the replacement of the Boeing 777-300ER will mean that all Emirates flights to Manchester will be operated by the iconic double decker aircraft. The airline also unveiled plans to swap its current A380 service at Birmingham from the morning to the afternoon departure slot, in order to offer customers even more connections beyond Dubai to other Emirates A380 destinations – ensuring a seamless “A380 to A380” experience.Thanks to the new aircraft deployment, Emirates will offer 2,198 additional weekly seats on the route, enabling further business and leisure travel between Dubai and Manchester. The airline also expects to break the symbolic mark of one million passengers carried on the route for this financial year, attesting to the growing demand in the market. With a total of 517 seats in a three-class cabin configuration, the aircraft features 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 427 spacious seats in Economy Class.First and Business Class passengers on the Emirates A380 can spend time during their flight relaxing or networking in the renowned Onboard Lounge on the upper deck of the aircraft. Those in First Class can enjoy the exclusive use of the on-board shower spas to refresh during flights. Premium customers are offered complimentary chauffeur drive to and from Manchester Airport, lounge access and priority check-in. Passengers in all classes will enjoy access to free Wi-Fi and over 2,500 channels of films, TV shows, music and games, through Emirates’ ice Digital Widescreen, which was recently named the World’s Best Inflight Entertainment at the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards.Manchester has been an important destination for Emirates over the last 25 years and the second route launched into the UK after London Gatwick. With 21 weekly flights, Emirates enables convenient and seamless connections to popular destinations such as Bangkok, Perth, Singapore, Mumbai and across Emirates’ global network of over 150 destinations. Flight EK21 will depart from Dubai at 0300hrs and arrive in Manchester at 0700hrs. The return flight EK22 will depart from Manchester at 0845, with a 1945hrs arrival time in Dubai.Emirates is also adjusting its A380 schedule to Birmingham in order to enable even more convenient A380 to A380 connections via its hub in Dubai. As of 1st January 2017, the A380 will operate flights EK37/38 instead of flights EK39/40 as it currently does. Leaving Birmingham at 2045hrs, EK38 arrives in Dubai at 0740hrs; while EK37 departs from Dubai at 1450hrs to arrive in Birmingham at 1845hrs. The A380 service to Birmingham will continue to operate with a two-class configuration aircraft, offering 615 seats in total. Passengers travelling to other destinations across the UK can also take advantage of Emirates’ codeshare agreement with FlyBe. Emiratesbook your flights hereSource = Emirates
Beachfront best value hotel nearby: QT Bondi, from $317 per night on TripAdvisor6. Four Mile Beach – Port Douglas, QLDStretching over four miles of white sand and glistening water, reviewers say Four Mile Beach is “one of the most iconic beaches in tropical north Queensland”. Travellers can expect warm waters, tropical weather and a coastline fringed with palm trees at the main beach of Port Douglas. Swimmers are advised to stay within the netted area which keeps the section of the beach free of sharks, crocodiles and jellyfish. Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Quest Manly, from $261 per night on TripAdvisor2. Surfers Paradise Beach – Surfers Paradise, QLDSurfer’s Paradise Beach is one of Australia’s most iconic and visited tourist attraction, known for its “crystal clear waters” and “great sandy beach”. Reviewers recommend it as a picnic spot and taking a stroll down the esplanade for the magnificent city skylines. Vigilant lifeguards keep the beach safe and ensure that beach-goers swim within the safe zones. Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort, from $376 per night on TripAdvisor5. Seven Mile Beach – Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Firefly Beach Cottages, from $85 per night on TripAdvisor9. Bavaro Beach – Bavaro, Dominican Republic Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Compass Point Dive Resort, from $315 per night on TripAdvisor6. La Concha Beach – San Sebastian – Donostia, Spain Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Peppers Soul, from $326 per night on TripAdvisor3. Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Island, QLDStretching over seven kilometres, Whitehaven beach is the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. The beach gives a whole new meaning to soft, white sandy beach with 98 percent pure white silica sands, making it “one of the purest in the world”. Travellers highly recommend making a climb up to the Hill Inlet lookout for views of “swirls of pure white sand, crystal turquoise water and little islands of coral reefs around it”. Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Pier House 60 Marina Hotel, from $370 per night on TripAdvisor8. Seven Mile Beach – Negril, Jamaica Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa, from $175 per night on TripAdvisor8. Mooloolaba Beach – Mooloolaba, QLDMooloolaba Beach is the one of the safest of the Sunshine Coast beaches as its north-facing location ensures near-perfect and safe water conditions all year round. The gentle waves makes the “beautiful and clean” beach popular for swimming, boogie boards and body surfing. A favourite among families, the rock pools along the beach have “all sorts of interesting creatures for children to observe safely”. Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Beco de Noronha Pousada, from $375 per night on TripAdvisor3. Varadero Beach – Varadero, CubaTripAdvisor is unable to offer information about accommodations in Cuba at this time, due to restrictions on travel to Cuba.4. Eagle Beach – Palm – Eagle Beach, Aruba Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Burleigh Mediterranean Resort, from $352 per night on TripAdvisor10. Turquoise Bay – Exmouth, WAExperience “turquoise waters and white sand” at Turquoise Bay, one of Western Australia’s most beautiful beaches. The beach is within metres of the renowned Ningaloo Reef making it the perfect spot for snorkelling amongst a rich biodiversity of marine life including “colourful corals and fishes, octopuses and see turtles.” The bay is also popular for drift snorkelling, where beachgoers swim out to the reef on the southern end of the beach and let the current wash them north to the sand bar.Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort, from $163 per night on TripAdvisorTop 10 Travellers’ Choice Beaches in the World:1. Grace Bay – Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Peninsula Boutique Hotel, from $352 per night on TripAdvisor7. Cable Beach – Broome, WACable Beach is said to be “one of the most scenic beaches in the world”, with its rich red ochre dunes, white sand and clear turquoise waters. Named after the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in 1889, the beach remains relatively uncrowded even during the peak season between May and October. A “must-do on everyone’s bucket list”, travellers can relax over beers whilst watching the sun set into the Indian Ocean. Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Ports of Call Resort, from $341 per night on TripAdvisor2. Baia do Sancho – Fernando de Noronha, Brazil Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, from $217 per night on TripAdvisor7. Clearwater Beach – Clearwater, Florida Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Netanya Noosa, from $342 per night on TripAdvisor5. Bondi Beach – Sydney, NSWWorld-renowned Bondi Beach is one of Sydney’s most popular beaches, located just eight kilometres or a short bus ride away from the city centre. Visitors to Sydney’s famous eastern shoreline will be delighted with Bondi’s “lovely sweeping curve”, “mesmerising waves” and lively sun seekers. Travellers recommend going on a coastal walk from Bondi to Congee to be “rewarded with great scenery and a pleasant walk”. Manly Beach named Australia’s top beachManly Beach named Australia’s top beachTripAdvisor®, the travel planning and booking site, today announced the winners of its Travellers’ Choice® awards for Beaches in Australia and the world.For the first time, Sydneysiders’ favourite Manly Beach took the #1 spot in Australia whilst six beaches in Queensland made it into the Australia top 10 list. Globally, the gorgeous Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos was rated as the best beach in the world by TripAdvisor reviewers.“There are few things that Australians love more than a day out at the beach and for those planning a beachside getaway before summer officially comes to a close, TripAdvisor has identified the top award-winning beaches across Australia,” said Grant Colquhoun, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “We have also listed top-rated nearby great value hotels that will enable travellers to enjoy a fantastic beachfront holiday.”Member for Manly James Griffin said this accolade is well-deserved recognition for what is now officially Australia’s best beach. “Manly is loved by locals and visitors from across the globe so it’s no surprise to see our beach named the number one beach in the country, thanks to its stunning coastline, waterside bars and restaurants, picturesque walking tracks and direct access by ferry from Sydney’s CBD,” Mr Griffin said.“Manly attracts around 2.3 million visitors each year and with the inaugural Vissla Sydney Surf Pro kicking-off this weekend, now is the perfect time to visit our beautiful beachside suburbs.”Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Beaches in Australia:(Excerpts in quotes below from TripAdvisor reviewers)1. Manly Beach – Sydney, NSWComing in first is nothing new to Manly Beach – it was first beach in Australia to allow daylight swimming in 1903, hosted the world’s earliest surfing championship back in 1964 and now taking the number one spot. Reviewers say it’s a “must-see” when in Sydney and travellers can take the ferry service from Circular Quay and spend the afternoon taking in the “breath-taking” views or strolling along Corso, for plenty of shops, bars and restaurants. Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Mantra Mooloolaba Beach Resort, from $191 per night on TripAdvisor9. Burleigh Heads Beach – Burleigh Heads, QLDLocated on the Southern end of Gold Coast, Burleigh Heads is famous for its “perfect” surfing conditions and laid back Australian atmosphere. Loved by locals and tourists alike, the beach is a great spot for swimming in protected waters. It is also close to Burleigh Head National Park, where travellers can “spot some wildlife and capture great scenic shots of the coastline”. Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Whitsunday Apartments Hamilton Island, from $304 per night on TripAdvisor4. Noosa Main Beach – Noosa, QLDHome to one of Noosa’s best surf locations, Noosa Main Beach is “great for first time surfers” thanks to its “gentle waves and plenty of life savers”. As one of the very few beaches along Australia’s eastern coastline that faces north, the waters are warm and calm most of the year around. Travellers can head to the nearby Hasting Street, a vibrant area with cafes, bars and restaurants, after a day of relaxation under the sun. Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Ocean Blue & Sand, from $257 per night on TripAdvisor10. Playa Norte – Isla Mujeres, Mexico Beachfront best value hotel nearby: Hotel Bucaneros Hotel & Suites, from $114 per night on TripAdvisorTripAdvisor has awarded 355 beaches overall, including the top 25 in the world and local lists for Asia, Europe, Africa, South Pacific, South America, Middle East, Caribbean, Central America, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S. Award winners were determined based on the quantity and quality of traveller reviews and ratings for beaches on TripAdvisor, gathered over a 12-month period.For the complete list of Travellers’ Choice Beach award-winners for 2018, as well as the latest reviews and candid traveller photos, visit www.TripAdvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Beaches Travellers can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #TravellersChoice.Source = TripAdvisor
Cunard launches new holistic spa conceptCunard has announced the launch of its brand new holistic spa concept Mareel, inspired by the ocean and seamlessly blending natural beauty and timeless luxury.Co-created by Cunard and wellness trailblazer Canyon Ranch, Mareel Wellness & Beauty will launch exclusively onboard the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth this December, closely followed by Queen Victoria later in the month and onboard Queen Mary 2 from November 2020.Australian travellers will be among the first to experience the new Mareel spa, with Queen Elizabeth arriving Down Under in early February 2019 for a record 54-day season in local waters.The word ‘Mareel’ is from old Norse language meaning ‘phosphorescence of the ocean’. This description of glowing light from the sea perfectly reflects Cunard’s new ocean inspired wellness and beauty experiences that will leave guests feeling radiant, from the inside out.Mareel will offer a new luxury space decorated in hues of blue, green and pale coral, creating a sanctuary of calm where guests can soak up the transformational power of the oceans.New facilities offered by Mareel onboard Queen Elizabeth will include:A couples suite for seaweed bathing ritualsA meditation room with acoustic resonance loungersA reconfigured multifunctional fitness centre and studio spaceSound therapy facilities in every treatment roomWhile Cunard sets the standard in maritime luxury, the spa and wellness treatments and expertise will be offered in partnership with Canyon Ranch, with a new and extended spa treatment menu featuring mineral-rich seawater and marine based experiences to transform and heal.Luxury products used within the Mareel spa have all been selected to offer the very best and meet socially responsible production techniques, with organic treatments featuring ingredients that are sustainably harvested, wild-picked, biodynamic and toxin-free.The signature treatment of the Mareel spa is ‘Ocean Discovery’, offering the option to combine up to five treatments, or select individual 30 minute treatments if preferred. Using luxurious marine based products from VOYA which are sustainably harvested from Western Ireland, Ocean Discovery aims to leave guests feeling revitalised and illuminated from the glow of the ocean.Extending the offering of Mareel beyond the spa space, enhanced wellness experiences will also be offered across the ship’s daily activity program including stretch and meditation films on stateroom TVs every morning, wellness seminars, and activities on deck such as dance and open air yoga.The new Mareel Wellness & Beauty experience is just one offering following a refurbishment of Queen Elizabeth during a two-week period in dry dock in Brest, France. In addition to the new Mareel spa, many of the guest public areas have been updated and all Grill Suites and Britannia Staterooms have new carpets and soft furnishings. The Royal Court Theatre has had a complete technical overhaul and several public rooms, bars and lounges have also been refitted with new carpets. Outside on deck there is new furniture and the aft sun deck has a new layout. Finally a fresh shopping experience has been created in The Royal Arcade.Cunard Vice President Marketing Angus Struthers commented: “We are delighted to share news of Mareel Wellness & Beauty, Cunard’s first ever own spa concept. Wellbeing is key to life, and feeling relaxed in mind and body is an important part of any holiday, and we are thrilled to offer such a luxurious spa at sea for our guests.”2019 is an important year for Queen Elizabeth. January 3 will see her set sail from Southampton to Australia via Cape Town, South Africa. She will be based in Australia until March 30 2019, then depart for Tokyo, Japan for two voyages exploring the cultural delights of the islands. On May 5 she will start a transpacific voyage to relocate to Alaska for a maiden season until June 30, 2019. Queen Elizabeth will then head back to Southampton via the Panama Canal.For more information and to book, contact your travel consultant, call Cunard on 13 24 41 or visit www.cunard.comSource = Cunard
India has signed an agreement with Japan for the development of its high-speed rail network. The deal was formalised during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-day state visit to India which also yielded deeper defense ties and a plan for civil nuclear cooperation.Under the terms of the agreement, Japan will support the development of India’s first high-speed rail link, which will connect Mumbai with Ahmedabad. The deal formed part of a US$12 billion rail support package for India, which takes the form of a low-interest loan.“I cannot think of a strategic partnership that can exercise a more profound influence on shaping the course of Asia and our interlinked ocean regions more than ours. This enterprise will launch a revolution in Indian railways and speed up India’s journey into the future”, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The deployment of Japanese bullet train technology on the 505km Mumbai-Ahmedabad line is expected to slash the eight-hour rail journey down to just three hours.
Share in Data, Origination, Secondary Market November 7, 2012 427 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Freddie Mac HARP Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Debt Refinance Service Providers 2012-11-07 Tory Barringer The vast majority of homeowners who refinanced in Q3 2012 either maintained or slashed their loan debt, according to a release from “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/.[IMAGE]In the year’s third quarter, 83 percent of homeowners who refinanced their first-lien home mortgage either kept the same loan amount or lowered their principal balance by paying-in additional money at the closing table, the GSE revealed. That percentage fell just short of the record 85 percent recorded during Q4 2011.Of those borrowers, 54 percent maintained about the same loan amount, while 29 percent reduced their principal balance.[COLUMN_BREAK]””On average, borrowers who refinanced reduced their interest rate by about 1.7 percentage points,”” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac. “”On a $200,000 loan, that translates into saving about $3,500 in interest during the next 12 months.””Refinances done under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) had an average interest rate deduction of 2 percentage points.Interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages hit new lows during September, he added, with 30-year product averaging 3.5 percent and 15-year averaging 2.8 percent during the month. In addition, according to Freddie Mac’s “”Primary Mortgage Market Survey””:http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/, 82 percent of loan applications during the third quarter were for refinance, matching the record share of the fourth quarter of 2010. In response, Nothaft said Freddie Mac is boosting its origination projection for the second half of the year to account for additional refinance activity.Among the refinanced loans analyzed by the GSE, the median depreciation of the collateral property was 10 percent over the median prior-loan life of 4.8 years. For loans refinanced under HARP the median depreciation in property value was about 31 percent, and the prior loan had a median life of about 5.6 years. Approximately $7.7 billion in net home equity was cashed out during the refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages, up from $5.9 billion in the third quarter. However, cash-out volume remained low compared to the $84 billion beak in Q2 2006. Freddie Mac: 83% of Q3 Refinancers Maintain or Cut Debt
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology “”Lender Processing Services (LPS),””:http://www.lpsvcs.com/Pages/default.aspx a Jacksonville, Florida-based provider of data, analytics, and technology for the real estate industry, recently introduced reInsight MLS, and “”Georgia Multiple Listing Service (GAMLS)””:http://www.georgiamls.com/ became the first to launch the new offering. [IMAGE]””Extending the LPS-GAMLS partnership has created a new MLS system that is scalable and configurable to meet the needs of both casual and more sophisticated users,”” said Rich Lull, managing director for LPS MLS Solutions. [COLUMN_BREAK]reInsight integrates a map-centric interface that allows users to customize the system and a graphic interface that allows users to see more in one view into the existing MLS database. Also, a Comparative Market Analysis incorporates public records to provide further insight into local markets. “”On GAMLS’ 50th anniversary, we’re happy to be able to present our current and future members a significant improvement in the way they serve their clients using the MLS system,”” said Richard Boone, CEO of GAMLS.””We have been partners with LPS for more than 15 years, and we are excited to work with them to launch this unique, next-generation MLS system at a time when members and their clients can use an extra competitive advantage in the marketplace,”” Boone added. With more than 25,000 members, about 55,000 active listings, and more than 1 million inactive listings, GAMLS is the fifth-largest MLS database. “”We commend Georgia MLS for its vision, and we are pleased to deliver an MLS system that not only changes the way users do business, but provides a foundation for future innovation,”” Lull said. November 13, 2012 469 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lender Processing Services Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-11-13 Krista Franks Brock Share Georgia MLS First to Adopt LPS reInsight System