conTgo mobiles traveller security

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J In times of travel uncertainty or major disruptions conTgo’s mobile services system is a fast and efficient platform to contact travellers on a larger scale, co-founder Johnny Thorsen told e-Travel Blackboard. Designed for quick and effective delivery, the disruption management technology allows travel management companies (TMCs) to contact travellers in natural disaster, political disruption or airline strike zones with a few words and the push of a button. Mr Thorsen said the technology surpasses any other form communication because of its accessibility. Even the smallest of bandwidth can allow an SMS message to reach a mobile phone and a simple response from the tourist can notify TMCs of their wellbeing. “More or less know the technology will be much more efficient if a major disruption happens because if you have to run through a list of contactable people and run through them manually it takes time,” Mr Thorsen said. “Where as our programs allows you to reach out to everybody, it’s more efficient.” Mr Thorsen added that a message as small as ‘Are you ok?’ with the response ‘Yes’ or ‘Help’ could allow TMCs to divert their resources to the right people, “instead of guessing or trying to find out if a help message matches a wide group of people”. Recent political disruption allowed the Group to extend an alternative purpose to its technology, with two-way communication between TMCs and travellers providing information about the region that was not reaching the news. The company’s co-founder explained travellers in Egypt were sending SMS messages with information that the airport was not taking credit card but cash only, this information was then relayed onto travellers in the system as a ‘heads-up’ type of message. “It is two way communication and it’s a different way of getting the facts identified,” Mr Thorsen added. Expanding on its mobile services, conTgo is looking to launch its Travel Data Warehouse system, which allows chief financial officers save on spending by focusing on the future. While the reporting platform has been used by TMCs for some time, the company is developing intelligent reports, which, Mr Thorsen explained provide real time information to CFOs on the areas where spending can be reduced. “It has forward looking capabilities, so instead of looking at the past and how they lost those savings, look to the future and see what you can save next week or next month,” Mr Thorsen stated. “It’s very basic and very logical but its just funny that the whole industry has spent ten years looking backwards.” Mr Thorsen explained the system incorporates previous bookings and will then provide the procuring manager with information that determines future bookings based on patterns and comparisons. “It allows companies to immediately attack profit saving opportunities instead of counting tickets in the past,” he added. “Even at a very basic level it could be on how many people arriving at certain airport, if more than ten people arrive in one hour you might want to consider putting a mini bus in rather than use a range of cabs.”For more on our interview with Mr Thorsen see e-Travel Blackboard tomorrow. last_img read more

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Montenegro fastest growing in travel survey

first_imgMontenegro will be the fastest growing travel destination across the globe, with a survey predicting the region to experience double digit growth over the next ten years.A World Travel & Tourism Council and Oxford Economic produced report found that last year travel contributed 15.7 percent to the country’s economy and is expected to increase to 36 percent by 2021, The Independent reported.One in every three jobs in the country are also predicted to be travel related over the next ten years.Contributing to the expected travel growth, travel leaders in the destination have announced plans to build a range of luxury and high-end hotels including the Banyan Tree, Kempinski and Hilton International while negotiations are still in the works to introduce properties under the Marriott, W Hotels and the Four Seasons. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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Econo Lodge Sydney South Claims HM Budget Award

first_imgThe award-winning Econo Lodge Sydney South Hotel. A Choice hotel occupying one of Sydney’s oldest buildings was a major winner in the 2011 HM Awards at the weekend, taking out the best budget hotel category.Econo Lodge Sydney South, in the central city suburb of Surry Hills, beat a strong field of value-based hotels for the award, announced in front of 600 industry leaders at a dinner at Sydney Town Hall. The property offers 27 high-ceiling, bay-windowed rooms, a rooftop terrace, Micro Brewery and Thai restaurant.It is one of 16 hotels operating under Choice’s Econo Lodge brand, launched in 2008 to provide value-based accommodation around Australia and New Zealand. Source = Choice Hotels Australasialast_img read more

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Air NZ increases Virgin stake

first_imgAir New Zealand has ensured Virgin Australia’s head that it has no intention of attaining the company after increasing its stake in the company to the takeover threshold.Upping its shares in Virgin Australia to the maximum of 19.99 percent from 14.99 percent late yesterday, Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe said he had personally confirmed to Virgin’s chief executive John Borghetti that the purchase was strictly to boost Air NZ’s reach in the region.Purchasing the shares for 29.7 cents per share, the New Zealand based airline said the AU$32.8 million procurement does not breach the Australian Air Navigation Act specified foreign ownership cap of 49 percent and is an investment to boost the Virgin Australia and Air NZ alliance.“This increased investment demonstrates our continued belief in the strategy that Virgin Australia is pursuing and our confidence in the Virgin Australia management team to deliver this strategy,” Mr Fyfe said.“As we noted at the time of our original investment [in January this year], our stake in Virgin Australia also provides us with an interest in the number tow airline in Australia and, through this, access to opportunities in the growing Australian domestic market.“Air New Zealand has no intention to enter the Australian domestic market in its own right”.NZ’s national flag carrier’s added that approval was received by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board before purchase. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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Australia is high yield not mass volume ATE 2012

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Tourism Australia media conference Andrew McEvoy, Tourism Australiacenter_img Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy outlined Australia’s national strategy to grow competitiveness and build industry resilience at the Australian Tourism Exchange 2012. Tourism 2020 is a joint industry and government initiative being carried out by Tourism Australia and is a long-term plan to develop growth markets and increase yield. “We are not a mass volume destination… We’re a high yielding destination that must have an accent on quality of experiences. “We are number one for visitor spend worldwide,” Mr McEvoy said. In achieving this 2020 strategy, Tourism Australia has gone beyond marketing and advertising and are seeking out what the country needs to do in order to get ahead. “When my organisation was set up in 1967, I would argue that Australia was one of the pioneers of tourism marketing but those simpler times have become more complex. “The consumer now has more power in their hands and we have to be smarter, cleverer and more aggressive to do better in a much more competitive world,” Mr McEvoy said. Mr McEvoy said Tourism Australia was intent on delivering what is best for the country as a whole and the 2020 strategy aims to provide a dedicated industry uplift. “When we looked at our 2020 goals, we looked at which markets would deliver yield, dollars, growth and profitability for our industry, not volume alone. “We looked at the assets and what products Australia needs, both beautiful and natural but also man-made, to cater for the business we’re receiving now but more importantly into the future and how we can continue to create demand.” Growth markets for Australia now include India, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam and more. “We’re also seeing growth out of Latin America and we’re seeing a bounce-back in our great traditional markets such as the US, Japan and Korea,” Mr McEvoy said. In terms of access into Australia, air access is essential and Tourism Australia has conducted research into what is needed to support positive growth and competitiveness. “During our 2020 strategy we learnt that we need 54 percent more international aviation access into our country and we need 25 percent more domestic seats flying around our country,” Mr McEvoy said. In 2010 when TA launched the 2020 strategy, the organisation also launched their new campaign ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’. “The world travels to experience difference, so let’s for goodness sake highlight what’s different, what’s interesting, what’s fashionable, what’s new, what’s sexy and what’s amazing about our country in comparison to other places around the world,” Mr McEvoy said.You can view the visual campaign in the video below.last_img read more

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Hotel steers away from uncool early checkouts

first_imgThe Art Series hotel group has launched a new promotion, whereby guests who have paid for one night’s accommodation have the option to stay on and on, for free, until their room is needed.Launching ‘The Overstay Checkout’ offer from 16 December this year through to 13 January 2013, the group literally encourages guests to outstay their welcome at the group’s; The Olsen, The Cullen or The Blackman.Dubbing the 11.00am checkout as “uncool”, Art Series Hotels chief executive Will Deague said research found a traveller’s biggest pet peeve is the 11.00am checkout, an annoying requirement he hoped to rectify.“Our guests are always requesting a late checkout and we wanted to extend this offer over summer when Melbourne is at its best,” he explained. “The Overstay Checkout is a world first we are particularly proud of. “We know our guests will respond favaourably to this, if they do, we’ll roll it out again.” The promotion works on a ‘first in first served’ basis, the guest stays the paid night and requests a late checkout when they are due to leave.Then depending on the hotel capacity, they group will “endeavour” to accommodate the request and if guests do stay another night, they can try their luck again the next morning.  “There are no catches or restrictions, rooms are allocated on a first come first served basis,” Mr Deague added.  “They are potentially available regardless of whether you have booked directly with the hotel, though a third party website, or a travel agent.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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How to sell travel to seniors

first_imgIn our lifetime, we will never see another demographic that has as much disposable cash to spend or as much free time as our current seniors. At MyTravelResearch.com, we have interviewed, researched and ‘studied’ thousands of seniors and their travelling habits. Seniors come with a natural intrigue and a zest for life that we rarely see with any other segment of the market. Today’s seniors were a product of ‘the swinging sixties’ and the seventies. In Western societies, they were a generation that saw liberated sexual experiences, the pill, the rise in feminism, experimentation with substances and a new freedom never experienced before. Many of them were wild, adventurous and exploratory. Today they are looking to rekindle that fire through travel adventures now that the kids have left home. Yet, I still see the travel industry not really taking them seriously. They still perpetuate cringe-worthy stereotypes that most seniors cannot relate to. Let’s fix that. Here are MyTravelResearch.com’s five critical changes that you should make for effective marketing to seniors. 1. Use Ageless Marketing, Particularly ImageryEmbrace the paradox: seniors don’t think they are senior, therefore they do not readily relate to images of seniors or text that talks to seniors. Age-based marketing is counter productive. Age does not define values, attitudes or behaviour. Use ageless marketing that emphasises universal values such as love, friendship, loyalty, altruism and fitness. Insight to Action: Ensure your images and photos reflect self perception and appeal to attitude not age. Use a mix of ageless marketing with a perceived age of seniors, that is 10-15 years younger! Old age should not be implied, stated or said. Include single females. 2. Emphasis Value, Not Low CostContrary to popular myth, the senior traveller is not obsessed with cheap deals. They are very clear about this. When they do their research, they are simply looking for value for money – travelling in off-peak periods, bonus night offers, food and beverage deals, late check-outs, or tie-ins with local service providers. Insight to Action: Focus on value rather than price. Value is quality for money well spent. Price must stay within range of the competition. Value is more persuasive than cost. 3. Be Smart About Search Engine UseIt is not necessary to use the term ‘senior’ on your website, unless you are referring to a discount in your pricing (then they’ll happily become a ‘senior’). The secret is to talk to a mindset and attitude rather than an age group. If you are paying big bucks for the term “Senior Travel” through Adwords or any sort of pay per click campaign, think again. Seniors who do actually include the search term ‘senior’ tend to be penny pinching and will give you a very low conversion rate. Insight to Action: If you’re marketing to a wide demographic, too much use of the word ‘senior’ becomes off-putting to the broader market. Use ‘senior’ discreetly, when referring to pricing only. 4. Use Language That Hints at Life-Changing ExperiencesSeniors are not so interested in acquiring material assets. They’re interested in acquiring life-changing experiences – especially in travel. Insight to Action: use the right language, such as: “Get to know your husband again” (relationships); “You now have the time to learn” (enrichment and improving yourself); “This is your time” (health and wellness travel); “You have done the hard yards, the kids are gone – you owe it to yourself” (having fun). 5. Market to Single SeniorsWe have seen a rapid growth in senior singles wanting to travel. The majority are women. They may be newly divorced or newly widowed. Or we have often come across a married single senior whose husband or partner has no interest in travel. It is important to appeal to a sense of emotional security.  Insight to action. Address their pain points such as, “I have no one to sit with at the dinner table with”; “It will be full of happily married couples and I will be the only single one there”; “I am self conscious” (for this generation, it is hard to be single and proud);“Will I be safe travelling on my own?” Do justice to your audience, destination and business when marketing to seniors. It’s a fine line to walk. But it can be done. Read the full blog hereSource = MyTravelResearch.comlast_img read more

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MTAs Kyara Newport serves up the perfect thank you gift

first_imgMTA Kyara Newport Julie Goodwin DinnerMTA’s Kyara Newport serves up the perfect thank you giftA guaranteed recipe for success and a great way to say a big thank you to loyal clients, MTA – Mobile Travel Agents’ Kyara Newport recently cooked up a wonderful idea – dinner for eight prepared tableside by none other than Julie Goodwin, the first person to win Masterchef Australia, in Julie’s very own kitchen (www.juliesplace.com.au).On the menu, ravioli with burnt butter sauce, filled with bacon, Feta, pine nuts and lemon juice; sea food bisque with crispy skin salmon and prawns; pork belly; white chocolate and mango cakes served with vanilla ice-cream, mango sauce and peach slices and a cheese, olive and grape platter served with homemade lavoush – with everything washed down with a fine selection of wines.Kyara, pictured sitting on Julie Goodwin’s left side, described the dinner as “a wonderful night and atmosphere and something just a bit different for clients” which we suspect just might be a bit of an understatement.Source = Mike Parker-Brown, PR, MTA – Mobile Travel Agentslast_img read more

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Alitalia Board of Directors Meeting

first_imgAlitalia Board of Directors MeetingThe Board of Directors of Alitalia met today to hear an update about the airline’s proposed re-launch business plan following work made by independent advisor RolandBerger. The Board agreed that a final adjusted business plan will be approved by the end of this week.In the framework of a complex financial situation, the Board of Directors noted the good commercial performances recorded by Alitalia in January. Aircraft load factors in January reached 78 per cent, an increase of 4.4 percentage points compared to the same month in 2016. Ticket sales in January recorded a 7 per cent increase, again compared to the previous year. Preliminary data for February is also promising.The airline’s on-time performance index in February scored 88.9 per cent.The Board was also presented with Alitalia’s financial situation and progress made on the cost savings plan by CEO Cramer Ball. He explained that the airline is in line to achieve at least €160 million of cost savings in 2017, not including labour costs, as announced at the January meeting of the Board. Mr Ball has also shown that further savings, again not related to labour costs, have been identified and will be implemented in a planned timeframe.About AlitaliaAlitalia – Società Aerea Italiana (alitalia.com) is Italy’s largest airline and commenced operations on January 1, 2015 after acquiring the operational activities of Alitalia – Compagnia Aerea Italiana, now named CAI. CAI has a 51% controlling stake in Alitalia and the remaining 49% of shares are owned by Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (Airline of the Year 2016 by the prestigious US-based aviation industry publication Air Transport World). As part of its 2016/2017 winter schedule, Alitalia flies to 80 destinations, including 26 Italian and 54 international destinations, with 3,600 weekly flights and 106 routes. Alitalia boasts one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the world. It is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and is part of the Transatlantic Joint Venture alongside Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines. Alitalia also collaborates with the other Etihad Airways Partners – airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Etihad Airways, Etihad Regional operated by Darwin Airline, Jet Airways and NIKI – in order to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequentflyer benefits.Source = Alitalialast_img read more

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Mandarin Oriental Tokyo completes extensive renovation

first_imgSource = Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo completes extensive renovationMandarin Oriental, Tokyo completes extensive renovation Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo has completed a comprehensive renovation of its guestrooms and suites to create new levels of luxury, that confirm the five-star hotel’s status as one of the best in the world.The makeover of all 179 spacious guestrooms and suites draws on Japan’s rich culture, to provide guests with a strong “sense of place”. Japanese craftmanship has been combined with the latest technology to ensure a thoroughly contemporary Japanese experience.Renowned textile designer Reiko Sudo and art director Ryu Kosaka have transformed the guestrooms and suites, and built on the existing ‘Woods and Water’ interior design theme. Jeffrey A. Wilkes has acted as principal interior designer for the Presidential Suite, which is the largest and most luxurious suite in the hotel.Bespoke fabrics and furnishings representing the woodlands and the changing seasons, have been incorporated throughout, with autumn leaf colours of gold, orange and purple and blooming springtime wisteria and sakura patterns embroidered onto headboards.All accommodation has also been equipped with the latest Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), which allows for content to be viewed on both Apple and Android devices on 49-77 inch screens, offering high-quality picture and sound.“We are delighted with the completion of this significant rooms renovation, which reflects the beauty of Japanese design aesthetics and superb craftsmanship,” said Paul Jones, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. “We look forward to welcoming guests to this luxurious new experience,” he added.“Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, which opened its doors in 2005, is the only hotel in the world to feature textiles from various Japanese origins under the theme of ‘Woods and Water,’ said textile designer Reiko Sudo. “By expanding on this theme we have created a serene and tranquil environment that reflects Japan’s vast meadows, deep forests and exhilarating hills,” she added.To honour the hotel’s location in Nihonbashi, an area that is closely connected to the culture of the Kimono, Reiko Sudo has used locally produced fabrics in all suite and guestroom interiors.Mandarin Grand RoomContemporary Japanese style and materials abound, ranging from an embroidered headboard depicting weeping cherry blossoms to a light fixture made from bamboo strings. Curvaceous lines, such as the round table and curved back for the chaise longue, create a welcoming, approachable atmosphere.SuitesFeaturing the original Flower Shower textile pattern on furnishings, such as the sofa and chairs in the living room, the hotel’s restyled suites are designed to conjure up thoughts of blissful moments with flowers. A wisteria in full bloom is embroidered onto each headboard, while each bedside chest is crafted with wood from the Paulownia tree.A silver-leaf round table and gold-leaf embossed cabinet brighten the living room, while the carpet blends the look of Japanese ink and brush work with a motif of clouds and gentle breezes, a nod to the extensive views of Tokyo that can be enjoyed from the hotel’s suites. Another quintessentially Japanese highlight are lampshades inspired by the Andon, a traditional Japanese lamp. Made from washi paper, these have been placed in asymmetrical positions throughout each bedroom, a distinctive characteristic of Japanese design and another example of the attention to detail paid by the designers.Presidential SuiteInspired by gardens and bonsai, the Presidential Suite is a beautiful reference to nature, conjuring a feeling of walking in a park, including specially commissioned photographic wall artwork depicting inspirational treescapes from Tokyo’s parks.Featuring an abundance of natural daylight and several distinctive seating areas, the living room is the perfect spot for enjoying cocktails and there is a separate library.The nature-theme continues in the dining room, which is dressed with a photographic mural depicting sun shining through the tree branches from one of Tokyo’s stunning parks. The dining room’s ceiling light resembles the sun and its cabinets are decorated with motifs of birds, butterflies and plants.The bedroom ceiling is created to give the illusion of looking at the sky through trees, while its carpet design evokes the world of Origami. Offering sweeping views across Tokyo, the bathroom is equipped with a bathtub that has built-in fibre optic lighting that turns the bathwater into a brilliant, brimming bowl of colour.When visible, the splendour of Mount Fuji can be viewed from any part of the Presidential Suite.For a truly immersive cultural experience, guests can book Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo’s Nihonbashi Package which includes luxurious accommodation, breakfast for two and the choice of a cultural experience in the historic Nihonbashi district.About Mandarin Oriental, TokyoMandarin Oriental, Tokyo’s visionary design and award-winning service have been recognized as the epitome of sophisticated luxury in the city. Superbly located in the prestigious financial district within the historical and cultural centre of Tokyo, the first Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group property in Japan embodies the best contemporary and time-honoured architectural splendour. The hotel features 179 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites, ten restaurants and bars and an award-winning spa situated within the soaring, Cesar Pelli-designed Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower. The site offers spectacular views of the city skyline while providing access to stately banquet and conference facilities within the adjacent Mitsui Main Building, a Japanese cultural-heritage property.About Mandarin Oriental Hotel GroupMandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences. Having grown from its Asian roots into a global brand, the Group now operates 30 hotels and six residences in 21 countries and territories, with each property reflecting the Group’s oriental heritage and unique sense of place. Mandarin Oriental has a strong pipeline of hotels and residences under development, and is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group.last_img read more

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BOAC to the Future

first_imgBOAC to the FutureBOAC to the Future as British Airways 747 in Heritage Design lands at HeathrowLarge crowds gathered at Heathrow today to watch the much-anticipated arrival of a British Airways Boeing 747 painted in the iconic design of its predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).The aircraft entered the IAC paint bay at Dublin Airport on February 5 where it was stripped of its current British Airways Chatham Dockyard design before being repainted with the BOAC livery which adorned the BOAC fleet between 1964 and 1974.Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “The enormous interest we’ve had in this project demonstrates the attachment many people have to British Airways’ history. It’s something we are incredibly proud of, so in our centenary year it’s a pleasure to be celebrating our past while also looking to the future. We look forward to many more exciting moments like this as our other aircraft with heritage designs enter service.”From the paint bay at Dublin Airport, the BOAC Boeing 747 flew directly to Heathrow on the aptly named BA100 touching down this morning. Its next flight will be tomorrow, Tuesday February 19, when it departs for New York JFK operating as flight BA117. This flight is particularly significant as it was the first route the B747 flew in BOAC colours.After this, the aircraft will continue to fly British Airways’ 747-operated routes proudly showcasing the design as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations. The aircraft can be tracked using Flight Radar, which will feature a special image of the livery.The BOAC livery will remain on the Boeing 747 until it retires in 2023, to allow as many customers as possible to have the chance to see it. By this time, British Airways will have retired the majority of its 747 fleet, replacing them with new state-of-the-art long-haul aircraft. This includes taking delivery of 18 A350s and 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the next four years – which feature new cabins and are more environmentally efficient – as well as another 26 short-haul aircraft, all part of the airline’s £6.5bn investment for customers.Source = British Airwayslast_img read more

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TTF season starts with a good show

first_imgThe TTF (Travel & Tourism Fair) Season kicks off with Hyderabad (July 24, 25, 26) and Kolkata (July 31, August 1, 2).“Keeping with the positive sentiments in the tourism industry, both the shows are expected to grow by over 20%, compared to last year,” said Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media, the organiser of TTF.The TTF network, celebrated pioneering 25 years of success last year.Fairfest Media, organiser of the TTF & OTM shows have strengthened their unparalleled lead as India’s No. 1 travel trade show organiser, with about half the market share. It organises every year TTF branded shows in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Guwahati (July-November) followed by Chennai, Bengaluru and New Delhi (January-February), in addition to the grand finale OTM Mumbai in February.This weekend, Hyderabad’s HITEX Exhibition Centre will be the host to TTF.TTF Hyderabad 2015 is taking place at a strategic time when the newly born Telangana state has just completed its one year. In 2014, immediately after the formation, for the first time Telangana Tourism participated in TTF, first time also in any trade show. A beautiful pavilion with Telangana’s maiden campaign ‘It’s all in it’ was set up which attracted a lot of attention from the travel trade as well as media.  This year Telangana Tourism, the Host State of TTF Hyderabad will showcase its top destinations and further developed tourism products in a bigger way.With over 150 stalls from 8 countries and 18 Indian States & Union Territories, the 3-day travel trade show will bring together state tourism boards, national tourist offices, hoteliers, airlines, tour operators and travel agents, online travel companies, railways and cruise lines under one roof. Entry to the show is free and the visitors are also being offered complimentary souvenirs.There are colourful displays of various places one can visit, with a hint of their various attractions. Attractive pavilions have been put up by Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and of course Telangana to cater to the local tourists. Sri Lanka Tourism is participating in a big way as the Partner Country. Thailand and Jordan are present as Feature Countries. TTF Hyderabad also has participation from Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Among other countries UAE, Maldives, Germany and Malaysia are also represented.India Tourism is also participating with a large pavilion in TTF Hyderabad as always.Important exhibitors include MakeMytrip, Adlabs Imagica, Air Arabia, OYO Rooms, IRCTC, MakePlan, Lorient Travel and many more.TTF is supported by Incredible India, OTOAI, ATOAI, ADTOI, IATO and IAAI.TTF’s organiser Fairfest is a member of PATA, TAAI, IEIA and IAEE.Travel News Digest is the official trade publication of TTF.To enhance and showcase their respective offerings, aside from attractive and elegant stalls, participating states and countries at TTF Hyderabad will present daily cultural events and marketing presentations to trade visitors and the media.After Hyderabad, TTF will travel to Kolkata next weekend and then to West India starting from Ahmedabad in September.Taking further the objective of developing and growing new markets, TTF Goa has been launched in October 2015, with strong support from the Host State, Goa. The venue will be the plush Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium inside the campus of Goa University, Talegaon.Last year the TTF series saw the addition of Guwahati, the gateway to the tremendous potential of the exotic North Eastern region. TTF Goa has been added to the series this year.The TTF series has important value additions like pre-registration for trade visitors, more travel trade engagements, focus on B2B, etc. The specially branded section, Outbound Village @ TTF, helps expand the outbound presence.With consistent support from Ministry of Tourism, state tourism boards, national tourist offices and thousands of private exhibitors, TTF continues to be the undisputed leader in the tourism markets of India.last_img read more

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Bollywood film Befikre launches its trailer in Paris

first_imgBollywood Director Aditya Chopra is reinterpreting contemporary love with ‘Befikre,’ which recently had the first of its kind trailer launch in Paris, France.The event, which took place at the iconic Eiffel Tower, was attended by the stars of the film Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor, with the Honorable Mayor of Paris and Yash Raj Films officially launching the film’s trailer.‘Befikre,’ which is set entirely in France, is free spirited and embodies the French freedom of expression through a contemporary story of two young protagonists, who find love in an impulsive, engaging series of experiences. Full of Parisian spirit, the film celebrates love – sensual, carefree and focused on living life to the fullest celebrating the renowned French art de vivre or unique way of life. The cast of ‘Befikre’ touched down in France in early May and shot the entire film in 52 days.“This is the first ever Bollywood movie to have been truly ‘Made in France’ right from romancing at myriad locations in Paris, Picardy and Cannes, to personifying the quintessential French lifestyle. It has been a delightful experience for us to have been a part of this journey right from handpicking and showcasing locations in France with the Yash Raj team to now embarking on this path breaking launch pad of releasing the film’s trailer in Paris as hospitality partners alongside Accor group of Hotels. To showcase the film to a diverse audience, Atout France in association with Accor group of Hotels and Yashraj will organise a special screening for the travel trade fraternity and select media in December,” enthused Sheetal Wadhwa Munshaw, Director Atout France India – France Tourism Development Agency.The movie is slated to be released in India on December 9, 2016.last_img read more

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Nearly 600M in MSRs Presented for Bidding

first_img March 24, 2014 470 Views Nearly $600M in MSRs Presented for Bidding Share Out of Colorado, brokerage Interactive Mortgage Advisors announced two separate mortgage servicing rights (MSR) offerings totaling a combined $583.6 million.The first portfolio, valued at $89.7 million, is made up of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae loans that are five months seasoned. The loans included have a weighted average note rate of 3.81 percent, a weighted average FICO score of 722, and are concentrated in Utah and Colorado.Cenlar FSB is the subservicer for the portfolio.“This offering provides an excellent opportunity for smaller purchasers to participate in the MSR market,” said Thomas Piercy, managing member of Interactive Mortgage Advisors.“This is high quality, low interest rate MSRs from a highly reputable mortgage banking company,” he continued, adding, “The Seller is an independent mortgage company with strong financials and solid reputation.”Written bids for the portfolio are due April 2 by 2 p.m. Eastern.The other portfolio, a $493.9 million bulk Ginnie Mae offering, is made up entirely of recently originated Veterans Affairs loans with a 2.51 percent weighted average note rate and a wide geographic dispersion. Ocwen is the subservicer.“The Seller’s experience in this origination market has created historically well-performing servicing and provided good returns on investment to prior purchasers,” Piercy noted.Bids for that offering are due April 3 by 2 p.m. Eastern.center_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Servicing Cenlar Interactive Mortgage Advisors Mortgage Servicing Rights Ocwen 2014-03-24 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

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CFPB Deputy Director Announces Intention to Step Down

first_img July 16, 2015 726 Views Steven AntonakesSteven L. Antonakes, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s second-in-command official, announced Thursday in a memo to employees that he is stepping down from his position with the CFPB.Antonakes, who currently serves as Deputy Director at the Bureau to Director Richard Cordray, announced that he was leaving the CFPB to return to Massachusetts, where his family resides. He said in the email to employees that he has been commuting from Boston for five years and has “logged hundreds of thousands of miles and missed entirely too many class plays, teacher conference meetings, and little league games.””Accordingly, I have decided to return home to Massachusetts and pursue opportunities that will ensure that I am home for dinner with my wife and family and can assist my five children with their homework,” Antonakes said in the memo.Before being appointed as the CFPB’s Deputy Director, Antonakes served as the Bureau’s Assistant Director of Large Bank Supervision.”Steve has been an enormous asset to the Bureau, and a great friend and colleague to me since our time together in SEFL in the early days of the Bureau,” Cordray said in an email to employees. “His contributions to this agency have been extensive in his dual roles as Deputy Director and SEFL Associate Director, and I know many of you share my appreciation for all his work. I have great respect for Steve’s decision to move closer to his family given my own situation with a weekly interstate commute.  It is not easy to juggle work at the Bureau with family far away during the week, and Steve has done so incredibly well.”Antonakes began his professional career as an entry level bank examiner with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of banks in 1990 and later served in several managerial capacities. He served as Commissioner of Banks from 2003 to 2010, becoming only the second career bank examiner to serve in that position. Antonakes received the Government Service Award from NeighborWorks America in 2007 for his work in combating foreclosures. He has a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University, a master’s from Salem State University, and a Doctorate in Philosophy in Law and Public Policy from Northeastern University.”My time at the Bureau has been the apex of my 25 years in government and bank regulation.  I have been blessed to do worthwhile and interesting work alongside, smart, tenacious, and dedicated public servants,” Antonakes said. “It is in many ways a bittersweet decision.  However, I am confident that this team will continue to do great work for American consumers.  I wish you all the best.” CFPB Deputy Director Announces Intention to Step Down in Government, Headlines, Newscenter_img Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Deputy Director Steps Down 2015-07-16 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

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Housing Shows Signs of Cooling After a Hot Summer

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News It has been a record breaking summer for residential housing in the United States despite repeated reports of tight inventory and record-high home prices from around the industry, according to an analysis from realtor.com.Realtor.com reports that homes are selling 2 percent more quickly than last year; the median age of for-sale listings on the site in August is expected to by 72 days, which is two days faster than last month. The median listed home price for August was $250,000, which is 8 percent higher than this time last year and a new August peak.Lately, however, housing has shown signs of slowing down. The average 72 days on market for homes for August is four days slower than in July, and the median home price stayed flat from July to August.Housing usually experiences a seasonal slowdown in August in response to the school year starting, according to realtor.com. For-sale inventory experienced a monthly decline in August for the first time since January. Realtor.com estimates that even with an estimated 475,000 new homes for sale in August, overall inventory is still substantially lower than at this time last year.The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing-home sales declined in July after four consecutive months of gains that saw them hit post-recession highs. The NAR data addressed the ongoing inventory shortage; Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin called the inventory supply “anemic.”“Summer 2017 was one of most competitive buying seasons that we have ever witnessed, fueled by historically low mortgage rates and inventory shortages that resulted in record-high prices, said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com. “With the school year starting now in most of the country, we’re seeing some drop-off in demand, which may provide some relief for buyers weary from battling it out against other buyers all summer.”Smoke went on to say on the low supply, “We simply can’t see growth in sales without having enough homes to sell. This has been the case for 47 straight months, a situation that has bolstered home prices but made it tough for people to find a home for sale that meets their needs.”Smoke noted that a 12 percent increase in new home sales for July offset much of the month’s decline reported for new home sales, but. . .“However, adding up the limited supply of houses for sale, a potential for higher mortgage rates on the horizon, and dampened consumer confidence, we’re less optimistic about fall sales. But things look positive over the medium to longer-term, especially since the housing market is ultimately driven mainly by demographics and employment, both of which are decidedly in favor of strong sales.”When broken down by median age of inventory and median listing price, realtor.com reported that the five “hottest” housing markets in August were unchanged from July: Vallejo-Fairfield, California was first (37 days on the market, one day faster than July); Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas was second (41 days on the market, one day faster than July); Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado was third (36 days on the market, five days faster than July); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California (33 days on the market, two days faster than July); and Stockton-Lodi, California (38 days on the market, unchanged from July). Home Prices Home Sales Housing Inventory Housing Market 2016-08-25 Seth Welborn Sharecenter_img August 25, 2016 551 Views Housing Shows Signs of Cooling After a Hot Summerlast_img read more

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More Builders are Going Green

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News More Builders are Going Green Green Home Builders National Association of Home Builders NGBS 2017-03-13 Staff Writer Sharecenter_img March 13, 2017 758 Views Builders are going green, according to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/ Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Single-family builders often use 10 or more “green” products and practices, and, according to the survey, 22 percent almost always have their homes certified to one of several green standards, including National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Energy Star, LEED, and state and local programs. However, 48 percent have never or almost never had their homes certified.The survey asked 337 builders if they used any of 21 specific green products drawn from a NGBS list. It found that the majority of builders, 95 percent, use energy efficient windows, and 92 percent of builders use high efficiency HVAC systems.National Association of Home BuildersThe survey gave builders the option to write in other green practices or features that they may be using or specifically note if they use none of the products on the list. Every builder who responded reports using at least one of the items on the list.Where are these homes most popular? Last year, Redfin analyzed data to find which neighborhoods in the U.S. were the “greenest”. Looking at the number of homes listed in a specific neighborhood which included green features, Redfin ranked Villanova in Philadelphia’s Main Line as the “greenest” neighborhood, with 57 percent of homes classified as “green”. However, many of these homes are not new. Philadelphia’s Main Line area is a relatively old and historic area, and full of older homes that have been updated to be more efficient, Redfin reports. While older homes are being updated, new homes are still more than likely going to be green. Although 48 percent of builders never or almost never have their homes green certified, these builders still tend to use at least nine of the green products or practices listed by the NGBS. Builders who always or almost always use at 11.9 of the products listed, on average. Using this data, the NAHB notes that it would only take minor changes for more builders to qualify for green certification. last_img read more

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Liz Bryant Named to Lead Wells Fargos Retail Sales

first_imgLiz Bryant Named to Lead Wells Fargo’s Retail Sales in Featured, Headlines, News, Origination, Servicing Share Liz Bryant Wells Fargo 2017-06-02 Staff Writercenter_img June 2, 2017 771 Views Wells Fargo Home Lending announced that Liz Bryant will now lead the company’s retail sales organization reporting to Head of Mortgage Production, Michael DeVito. Bryant has 25 years’ experience in mortgage originations and operations, and has been with Wells Fargo since 2003 when she started as a regional sales manager from GMAC Mortgage. At the time she was responsible for retail loan production and operations in 17 western states, and most recently served as head of home lending retail fulfillment operations.“Liz’s broad experience in this business and her energetic leadership style make her an excellent choice to lead the nation’s largest mortgage origination sales force into the future,” DeVito said.With her new position as National Sales Manager, Bryant will be responsible for Wells Fargo Home Lending’s retail sales team, which originates residential mortgage loans in all 50 states while being powered by more than 7,900 home mortgage consultants. This group provides a full range of mortgage solutions, including relocation and employee mortgage programs for several Fortune 500 companies.Before becoming the lead to the Home Lending Retail Services, Bryant was the head of retail fulfillment since May 2014 where she was responsible for the overall direction, strategy, performance and leadership for more than 8,100 team members. Previous to that, Bryant served 10 years as Wells Fargo Home Lending senior vice president/division sales manager where she was responsible for 2,700 home mortgage consultants in 16 western states.“Changing customer expectations and technical innovation are creating exciting opportunities in the mortgage business, and we recognized that new sales leadership is required as we continue to evolve our culture and deliver for our customers in compelling new ways,” DeVito said.last_img read more

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Buying Like Its 1999

first_img First-Time Homebuyer Genworth Financial 2017-08-29 Brianna Gilpin First-time homebuyers are buying like it’s 1999, according to a recent Genworth Financial report, which said 570,000 single-family homes were purchased in the second quarter of 2017. This is compared to Q1 2017’s 426,000 homes and the highest number of first-time purchases in a second quarter since Q2 of 1999.Of all single-family homes sold during Q2 2017, 36 percent were first-time homebuyers, up from 34 percent in Q2 2016. In the mortgage market, 57 percent of all purchases originated came from the group, an increase from 56 percent a year ago. According to the report, historically, first-time homebuyers accounted for 35 percent of the single-family housing market and 45 percent of the purchase mortgage market.”The rapid growth in the first-time homebuyer market that began in 2015 continued into the second quarter. As the housing market matures, first-time homebuyers are becoming an even more important source of growth,” said Tian Liu, Chief Economist for Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “Whether one looks at the 3 million missing first-time homebuyers since 2007 or the historically low homeownership rate among young households, the potential growth opportunity remains large and will likely take years to play out. The current housing cycle will be defined by first-time homebuyers.”According to Liu, homebuilders have begun adjusting their products further down the pricing curve to cater to the fact that first-time homebuyers are outpacing the rest of the single-family housing market. Homebuilders are trying to build more single-family homes between $200,000 and $250,000, which is the most popular price range among first-time homebuyers. However, he said that the growth in supply still isn’t matching the demand, leaving many first timers frozen out of the market.New and affordable starter homes have led to a sharp decline in vacant homes for sale, according to the report. 1990’s numbers aren’t only reflected in first-time homebuyer purchases, but also homeowner vacancy rates, which are at the lowest levels since 1994. Genworth believes this will spur continued home price appreciation.”While many forecasters predict that increased supply will stem home price appreciation, we believe a slowdown in home price appreciation will be unlikely in 2017 and 2018,” said Liu. “We do not believe that the strong growth in home prices is leading to another housing bubble. A key feature of housing bubbles is speculative demand. Today, first-time homebuyers are out-bidding investors and cash-buyers.”To see the full report, click here. August 29, 2017 575 Views Buying Like It’s 1999center_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Sharelast_img read more

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Freddie Mac Partners With NextJob for Employment Initiative

first_img Freddie Mac announced a new partnership with re-employment solutions company NextJob to provide job search assistance to current and aspiring homeowners living in high-needs and other persistent poverty areas. The initiative, undertaken as part of Freddie Mac’s three-year Duty to Serve plan, serves as an expansion of the partnership between the two companies that will help financially distressed homeowners in these underserved markets.The effort will assist homeowners who have Freddie Mac Home Possible mortgages increase their re-employment prospects after circumstances such as job loss, reduced hours or other employment challenges that threaten their ability to make timely mortgage payments. The initiative will also provide assistance to aspiring homeowners in their job search with the hopes of increasing their income to a level that will help qualify them for Freddie Mac affordable loan offerings.“While some parts of the country are benefitting from low unemployment rates, many rural areas continue to see limited opportunities and flattening or declining wage growth,” said Mike Dawson, VP of Single-Family Affordable Lending Strategies and Initiatives at Freddie Mac. “Through our work with NextJob, and by partnering with leading local organizations on the front lines of this problem, we are capitalizing on the success of our past employment programs to help the next frontier of unmet workforce development needs. This partnership will provide meaningful opportunities to create and sustain homeownership for families across rural America.”“We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Freddie Mac. They are on the forefront of exploring ways to help aspiring and existing homeowners who need a job to achieve or maintain homeownership,” said John Courtney, CEO of NextJob. “Many rural job seekers have fewer job opportunities, so they must excel in finding jobs that translate their prior skills into new occupations and positioning themselves to grow within an organization.”Designated high-needs areas under the Duty to Serve regulation include middle Appalachia, the lower Mississippi Delta, Colonias, and other tracts located in persistent poverty counties. Initial partners include CDC of Brownsville Texas, D&E in Mississippi, FAHE in Kentucky’s Appalachia region, and HOPE Enterprise Corporation, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi.In some of these designated high-needs areas, the unemployment rate is much higher compared to the national average. For example, in the Mississippi Delta, the unemployment rate was 6.2 percent compared to the national average of 3.8 percent for April 2018. Issaquena county of the Mississippi Delta had an unemployment rate as high as 11.6 percent in 2017.“It can be difficult to have a direct plan of action to get you from where you are to where you want to be—this partnership will provide our members with that plan and get them to where they want to be faster,” said James Hunter, SVP of Mortgage Lending at HOPE Enterprise Corporation. “It’s not just about a job. It’s about building a career to sustain homeownership for the long run. This initiative is really groundbreaking in underserved markets and we expect it to be very successful,” added Hunter.To help struggling homeowners, Freddie Mac will alert its servicers who have Home Possible mortgages and determine if the borrowers are eligible to receive NextJob services. Once an approved borrower is engaged with NextJob, they will be eligible for one-on-one job coaching, access to “Job Talk” webinars and NextJob’s proprietary online job search training program. Additionally, partner organizations can refer prospective borrowers to receive employment or re-employment services under the initiative.Freddie Mac launched its first homeowner re-employment pilot in June 2015 with NextJob and other lenders to help borrowers secure employment and avoid foreclosure. Homeowners who took part in the pilot increased their job search skills by 32 percent and acquired jobs at nearly triple the normal rate of re-employment. Many borrowers were classified as long-term unemployed before the program and, on average, borrowers acquired new employment in just over four months.Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve plan focuses on supporting underserved markets by financing more rural and manufactured housing and preserving more affordable housing for homebuyers and renters nationwide. The plan aligns with our mission to stabilize communities, prevent foreclosures, responsibly expand credit, educate future borrowers, counsel current borrowers and build a better housing finance system. in Headlines, journal, News June 22, 2018 557 Views Company News Freddie Mac NextJob 2018-06-22 David Whartoncenter_img Freddie Mac Partners With NextJob for Employment Initiative Sharelast_img read more

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