U.K. welcomed record 37.3m visitors in 2016, flight bookings already up 16% in 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Tags: London, Trend Watch, United Kingdom Travelweek Group Share Posted by LONDON — More overseas visitors travelled to the U.K. in 2016 than ever before, with strong growth coming from Canada and the U.S.According to new figures released by VisitBritain, there were a record 37.3 million inbound visits to the U.K. in 2016, up 3% on 2015, with visitors spending £22.2 billion, matching 2015’s record spend.Comparing growth during the last six years shows there were 7.5 million more visits in 2016 than in 2010, an increase of 25%.North America contributed 4.3 million visits, up 7% on 2015. And although specific overall visitor numbers for 2016 from Canada won’t be available until spring, from January to September 2016 Canadians spent a record £505 million, up 24% with visits up 12% to 643,000.“We are thrilled that so many Canadians and Americans are visiting the U.K. again and again, whether they’re visiting friends and relatives or exploring the culture, heritage, cities and countryside of Britain on their own,” said Paul Gauger, VisitBritain Interim Executive Vice President. “They are able to experience first-hand the warm welcome showcased through the global #OMGB ‘Home of Amazing Moments’ marketing campaign, as well as the benefits of the drop in the exchange rate and improved value for money.”More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerTracey Crouch, Tourism Minister, added: “As these record-breaking figures show, the U.K. is one of the world’s must-visit destinations. The industry makes a significant contribution to our economy, and we will continue to support tourism to grow the sector further and promote the U.K. across the world.”The figures show a boost in holiday visits to the U.K. towards the end of 2016, with a record 3.2 million visits from October to December, up 11% on the same period in 2015.The latest flight booking data shows that 2017 is off to a strong start, with flight bookings up to the U.K. up 16% for February to April compared to the same period last year. << Previous PostNext Post >>
Posted by Share Tags: Crystal Cruises LOS ANGELES — Crystal Cruises has unveiled plans for Crystal Symphony’s and Crystal Serenity’s multimillion dollar renovations including new suites, dining venues and guest services. The dry dock transformations will be the most comprehensive makeovers to date for the two vessels, says the cruise line.In what the company is calling the ‘Evolution of Crystal Luxury’, this year and next Crystal is investing millions of dollars into new spaces for the ships, and “new standards of innovative luxury”. The plans for Crystal’s two ocean ships are the latest in its brand expansion, which will also see new river yachts, new ocean-going vessels and a privately-owned B777 joining the fleet in the next three years.Crystal Symphony’s redesign is set for Sept. 19 – Oct. 21, 2017 and Crystal Serenity’s for Oct. 14 – Nov. 10, 2018.Crystal CEO and President Edie Rodriguez called Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity “the foundation” of the cruise line. “These ships have earned us not only acclaim from the world’s most eminent entities and publications for more than two decades, but more importantly, the loyalty of the world’s most discerning travellers and travel partners,” she said. “We are committed to continuing their reign as the most luxurious ships at sea by investing in changes and updates that will far exceed our guests’ wishes.”As part of the extensive redesign, several staterooms will be converted into brand new luxurious penthouse categories to take the place of smaller staterooms. There will also be new dining options, “high-tech perks” and what Rodriguez says will be modern, elegant décor updates in many public spaces.New Penthouses and Penthouse SuitesSeabreeze PenthouseSeabreeze PenthouseSeabreeze PenthouseSeabreeze PenthouseSeabreeze PenthouseSeabreeze Penthouse SuiteSeabreeze Penthouse SuiteSeabreeze Penthouse SuiteSeabreeze Penthouse SuiteSeabreeze Penthouse SuiteBoth ships will gain more of the spacious, butler-serviced Penthouses and Penthouse Suites. Crystal Symphony will see two new categories of accommodations altogether: Seabreeze Penthouse Suite with Verandah (12 new suites added) and Seabreeze Penthouse with Verandah (28 new suites added), both occupying Deck 9, Seabreeze. The new accommodations will boast the same square footage as existing Penthouses and Penthouse Suites (367 square feet and 491 square feet respectively), while Seabreeze Penthouses will be connected by a shared an entryway recessed from the hall.Aboard Crystal Serenity, the 36 additional Penthouses and two additional Penthouse Suites will occupy the current Penthouse Deck 10, and will also offer the same square footage as existing Penthouses and Penthouse Suites (403 square feet and 538 square feet respectively).More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Penthouse accommodations offer guests enhanced all-inclusive Crystal amenities, including butler service and in-room specialty dining. Penthouse guests will also now receive unlimited complimentary dining at the onboard specialty restaurants.The conversion of staterooms into the new penthouse accommodations effectively reduces the ships’ guest capacities – Crystal Symphony to 848 and Crystal Serenity to 980 – and increases the per-guest space ratio aboard the ships to 60.2 and 70.3 respectively. Rodriguez says abundant space throughout its luxury ships has long been a cornerstone of Crystal’s platform, and a key distinction between its ships and competitors.Refreshed Dining OptionsSilkThe Crystal Dining Room, the ships’ centrally located main dining venue, will become Waterside, reflecting the décor and ambiance of the main dining room aboard Crystal River Cruises’ Crystal Mozart. Additional tables for two and four guests will offer expanded options for intimate dining while a new open seating concept invites guests to dine at leisure between 6 and 9:30 p.m., eliminating Crystal’s previous format of assigned seating and reservations. Waterside will also continue to serve breakfast and lunch during current timeframes.The Lido Café on both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will take on new life as the Marketplace by day and Churrascaria by night. Both venues will feature an open kitchen concept with dishes made to order. The Marketplace will continue to serve casual buffet style breakfast and lunch options, and will transition to Churrascaria, a stylish casual dinner venue, from 6 to 9 p.m., creating an additional evening option for guests. Churrascaria will feature a Caipirinha as a welcome cocktail and serve a selection of Brazilian-inspired tapas, ceviche, salads and grilled seafood and meats presented by Crystal ‘gauchos’ on sword-like skewers.New to the Crystal menu of onboard restaurants on both ships will be Silk, located in the Trident area of their respective Lido Decks. The contemporary space will offer modern Chinese-inspired fare with family-style dinner plates ideal for sharing, and self-service options for breakfast and lunch that include dumplings, Chinois salad, a soup and noodle bar and other Asian favorites. For the dinner hours between 6 and 9 p.m., reservations will be recommended, although open seating will be accommodated. The Trident Bar & Grill will remain in the adjacent space, serving casual grilled options including burgers and sandwiches.More news: Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesSilk Road and The Sushi Bar, the specialty dining venues by famed Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, will be rebranded as Umi Uma – reflecting the Japanese word for Crystal’s seahorses, so prevalent in the cruise line’s branding. The venues will still serve the inspired cuisine of Nobu, prepared by his personally trained chefs, and will remain the only Nobu restaurants at sea.All specialty dining reservations for Umi Uma and Prego will be complimentary for Penthouse guests, while all other guests will enjoy one complimentary evening of specialty dining, with additional reservations available for a modest charge. Reservations are always required for specialty dining venues.Technological UpgradesUpon completion of Crystal Symphony’s dry dock in November 2017, guests will receive unlimited free WiFi throughout any Crystal voyage aboard all Crystal vessels. Crystal’s investment in technological amenities for guests will include hardware and software enhancements to enable expanded Internet connectivity and doubled satellite speed. A new guest portal – Crystal Connect – will be launched and featured on the landing page of onboard Internet connections. The portal enables guests to easily access the Internet, as well as shipboard information including daily menus from each restaurant, daily Reflections, day and evening activities, Crystal Adventures shore excursions and daily port maps. A number of international newspapers will also be available for digital viewing, as well as a library of box office hit movies and Crystal lectures on demand. Crystal Connect will also be available in a mobile application for use on guests’ personal devices.In all rooms throughout the ships – in each stateroom and in all public areas – ultra-thin 42” interactive flat-panel TVs will enable guests to conveniently access their onboard folios, view the Crystal Spa & Salon, Connoisseur Wine Selection, and dining menus, with the ability to make any onboard reservations, reserve shore excursions and order room service. These new interactive TVs will also showcase the latest Hollywood movies and hit TV series. Crystal’s acclaimed Computer University@Sea classrooms will also undergo updates and makeover, further enhancing the technological experience and enrichment for guests.Reimagined Public SpacesThe top-deck, forward Palm Court lounge aboard Crystal Serenity will be entirely redesigned to feature more intimate seating, while Crystal Symphony’s mid-ship Starlite Club, a hub for evening dancing and cocktails, will also be refitted, still with panoramic sea views. Crystal Symphony, Serenity are getting new Penthouse Suites – here’s a first look Friday, April 21, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group
<< Previous PostNext Post >> MONTREAL — Transat’s summer 2018 Tel Aviv flights are now on sale with a special promotion for groups: savings of $50 per person for bookings made by June 30, 2017, and the 21st passenger flies for free.To better serve its travellers, including those visiting friends and family in Israel, Air Transat is offering all Economy Class passengers an allowance of one piece of checked baggage of 30 kg. Passengers are also given the option of ordering glatt kosher meals onboard.“This promotion is the perfect opportunity to incite your clients to discover this destination of incredible riches, particularly thanks to Transat’s guided tours and packages,” says the airline.Guided tours for groups include: Wonders of Israel and Jordan (available in French only); Wonders of Israel (available in French only); Discover Tel Aviv & Jerusalem; and Bible Land (available in English only).Transat also offers several packages in Jerusalem and/or Tel Aviv, which include roundtrip flight in Economy Class, accommodation in 3-, 4-, 4.5- or 5-star hotels, transfers between the airport and hotel, and seven breakfasts. Two more packages visit Tel Aviv and Galilee, and Jerusalem and the Negev desert.More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerA la carte tour options include Masada and the Dead Sea, Biblical Highlights of the Galilee and Pearls of the Western Galilee.For more details visit transat.com or Get Connected. Travelweek Group Thursday, May 18, 2017 Share Group deals for Transat’s 2018 Tel Aviv flights Tags: Transat Posted by
Share Last chance to express interest in VISIT FLORIDA’s upcoming FAM Tags: VISIT FLORIDA By: VISIT FLORIDA During the week of May 13, VISIT FLORIDA will host a familiarization tour around Greater Ft. Lauderdale and Florida’s Treasure Coast. The FAM will start on May 13, with the group flying into the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. For the first half of the week, the group will travel through Greater Fort Lauderdale, experiencing much of what this iconic Florida destination has to offer. During the second half of the week, the group will visit Florida’s Treasure Coast, which is comprised of three counties: Martin County, St. Lucie County and Indian River County. The Treasure Coast offers “thousands of miles of untouched land, undeveloped coastlines you could walk for hours, locally owned shops and restaurants, historic farmers markets, charming art scenes, and countless water and sporting activities.”To qualify for this FAM, agents must complete VISIT FLORIDA’s new online learning program, Florida Travel Pro by 03/20/19. This e-learning platform is designed to help travel professionals nationwide discover the best the state has to offer and sell Florida like a pro. *NOTE: Once you complete the program, please email Summer Gonzalez (email@example.com) to express your interest in participating this FAM.Become a Certified Florida Travel Pro at www.VisitFloridaTravelPro.com. Tuesday, March 12, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >>
No related posts. TEGUCIGALPA – The United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of expression Frank La Rue made an official visit to Honduras Wednesday.On his trip, the expert will examine the efforts of Honduras to implement the right to freedom of expression and the obstacles encountered at both national and international levels. La Rue will also meet with government officials to identify ways to ensure that all individuals, including journalists, can exercise the right to expression without fearing for their safety.He also intends to hold meetings with representatives from international agencies, non-governmental organizations and media associations.The special rapporteur will release his recommendations in a final report, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in 2013.According to official sources, 21 journalists have been killed in the last three years in Honduras. Facebook Comments
Related posts:Intense rains in Costa Rica’s Caribbean, northern regions prompt evacuations Route 32 closed again; officials warn of more closures throughout rainy season Flooding in Costa Rica prompts evacuation of more than 450 people Residents OK to return home after flooding, officials say Vehicle passage on Route 32, the main highway connecting Costa Rica’s capital San José with the Caribbean province of Limón, was again blocked Monday after heavy rains caused two landslides, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) reported.At around 8:30 a.m. MOPT informed that it had closed the route as a preventive measure due to the large amount of water falling on various sections of the highway.The ministry planned to reopen the route as soon as rainfall started to decrease, however about an hour later Traffic Police officials reported that two landslides had blocked the road at kilometers 25 and 41. Access to Limón via Route 126 in Vara Blanca is also closed due to landslides from last week.MOPT and National Roadway Council staff are on site working to remove the debris. Currently the only alternate road available is Route 10 between Turrialba and Siquirres.This is the third closure of Route 32 since heavy rains began affecting the Caribbean region in mid-June.The National Meteorological Institute forecasts heavy rains will continue hitting the area throughout the day and likely into the night. Officials from the National Emergency Commission are calling on the populations of Limón, the eastern part of Cartago province and the northern part of Heredia province to remain alert. Facebook Comments
Nobody has ever bragged about Pentagon efficiency, but even so it’s been an embarrassing stretch for anyone trying to defend the U.S. Defense Department’s logistics lapses and profligate ways.Last month, the investigative news group ProPublica itemized $17 billion in U.S. projects in Afghanistan that the military’s special investigator general considers questionable or wasted. A Politico exposé revealed that, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, half of the Pentagon Defense Logistics Agency’s $14 billion inventory is obsolete or useless. In March, the Washington Post revealed that the military had lost track of $500 million in arms shipped to Yemen, some of which were apparently stolen by the son of the former president.And on a smaller but equally disturbing scale, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that an unarmed Hellfire missile used in a NATO training exercise in Spain last year was inadvertently shipped to Cuba. It’s unclear whether the cause was foul play or just incompetence on the part of the commercial freight shipper, but the fact that a piece of advanced military technology ended up in a nation under heavy U.S. sanctions is a clear warning that something is vastly awry.It’s almost understandable that, in the fog of war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen, we would see immense waste and confusion. But less forgivable lapses like the Hellfire are shockingly common. A U.S. State Department official told the Journal that, “Mis-shipments happen all the time because of the amount and volume of defense trade.”How often is “all the time”? Here are a few egregious recent cases that happen to have become public.FedEx’ed anthrax:Last year, a Pentagon lab in the state of Utah inadvertently shipped live anthrax spores via FedEx to government and commercial labs in at least 17 states and three foreign countries. The ensuing investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed a similar concern: A military base in Maryland may have mislabeled and shipped samples of the bacteria that cause bubonic plague.Very covert drones:In September 2013, either in Afghanistan or on the way back to the U.S., an Army contractor lost track of several RQ-20 surveillance drones, worth $500,000 each. They eventually turned up in Texas, after being lost for 249 days.Mail fail:Last year, a truckload of letters bound for U.S. service members in the U.K. and Eastern Europe was hijacked near a Chicago airport.Where’s my car?:In 2014, military families filed suit against a Pentagon contractor responsible for shipping 27,000 personal vehicles belonging to troops returning from foreign postings, claiming that 70 percent of their cars were either missing or returned late. The Army’s Transportation Command had to start looking after the private firm, which was paid $305 million, could not locate many of the vehicles in its tracking system.Noses for nukes:The Defense Logistics Agency in 2006 accidentally sent to Taiwan four nose cones containing electrical fuses for nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles.Warheads wing it:A B-52 crew in 2007 unknowingly flew for three hours over several states with six armed nuclear warheads mounted over the wings. An ensuing classified Pentagon report stated that the Air Force could not account for hundreds of components of its nuclear arsenal, according to the Financial Times.Billion-dollar boondoggle:Between 2005 and 2012, the U.S. Air Force attempted to build a new logistics management system called the Expeditionary Combat Support System, which was canceled in large part because of problems adapting commercial software to keep track of military parts and equipment.Nuclear wrench:In 2014 it was reported that because of a shortage of wrenches needed to install nuclear warheads on the nation’s Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles, technicians at three bases were using FedEx to ship them to each other. Fortunately, none of the shipments went astray.Such incidents, along with more traditional fraud and waste, have led Washington lawmakers to introduce several “audit the Pentagon” bills each year since 2012, although none has made it to the House or Senate floor. The Defense Department has invested billions in new accounting software in recent years to little avail.Given the Pentagon’s vast scale and almost incomprehensible logistics challenges, some of this is to be expected. And, as anybody who searched in vain under the Christmas tree for their remote-control Star Wars BB-8 droid knows, UPS and FedEx also have their foibles.Still, the House and Senate armed services committees are aiming to revise the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols military reforms this year to overhaul contracting, promotion policies and interservice cooperation. Lawmakers should add transportation and logistics to that list, before the Castros end up with more Hellfires.Tobin Harshaw writes editorials on national security, military affairs and education. For more columns from Bloomberg View, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/view© 2016, Bloomberg News Facebook Comments Related posts:Landmark Arms Trade Treaty spearheaded by Costa Rica’s ex-President Óscar Arias goes into effect Latin America, Israel trade after trading insults In the wake of attack on Paris newspaper, extremists take to Twitter to celebrate Obama, Castro hail ‘new day’ for US-Cuba relations
Related posts:Costa Rica says it will support new shark protections despite agreements with fishermen Fishing industry, conservationists both wary of Solís stance on shark protections Costa Rica’s shark conservation record is a ‘mixed bag,’ observers say Costa Rican government rejects Shark Enemy nomination Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments U.S. tourist killed in shark attack off Costa Rica’s Isla del Coco In November 2017, a tiger shark killed a tourist from the United States and injured a Costa Rican guide during a dive off Cocos Island.Now, scientists believe they have tagged the shark in question, implanting a transmitter below its dorsal fin to monitor its movements and habitat use around Cocos Island National Park, the Costa Rican territory in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean.According to a press release from the Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN), the scientist identified the shark through its unique scars and its aggressive behavior toward divers.“It was showing no fear of the divers and was slowly and continuously circling us, closing its eyes, which is often a sign of a possible imminent attack,” Alfred Barroso, an underwater cameraman who was part of the expedition, said in the press release.Todd Steiner, TIRN’s founder and executive director, charged the 14-foot female tiger shark and used a six-foot pole spear to place the transmitter. The device will allow scientists to monitor the shark for the next two years.“Todd charged the animal and tagged it from about a foot away, causing the shark to swim off and giving us time to get safely back on our skiff,” Barroso said.The deadly 2017 attack was the first of its kind at Cocos Island despite thousands of similar dives there over the past two decades, according to Costa Rica’s Environment Ministry.TIRN says it has conducted more than two dozen expeditions in a partnership with the Costa Rica-based Rescue Center for Endangered Marine Species “to set the basis for better protections at Cocos Island and for a protected swimway to save sharks, sea turtles, and other migratory animals as they swim throughout the region.”TIRN says its research also helps establish protections for marine wildlife impacted by fishing operations.“I love Cocos Island, and dive fees revenue from recreational divers is critically important to sustain the conservation activities at this National Park,” Steiner said. “We need to better understand this shark’s habitat use in order to keep divers and wildlife safe, and acoustic telemetry is one of the best and most reliable tools we can use.”Learn more about the Turtle Island Restoration Network at www.seaturtles.org and about the Rescue Center for Endangered Marine Species at www.cremacr.org.
New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top holiday drink recipes Comments Share Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates BEIJING (AP) – Cuban leader Raul Castro is in China for talks with President Hu Jintao and other leaders, his first visit to his country’s key trading partner since taking office as president.Castro arrived Wednesday for a four-day visit. Cuban state media said he was accompanied by senior Cabinet official Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. Neither side has said what issues are to be discussed. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Castro visited Vietnam and China while defense minister, a post he held from 1959 until he replaced his older brother Fidel as president in 2008. He is to visit Vietnam again after leaving China.While the three nations are among the last Communist-ruled countries in the world, China has opened broadly to private business and has thrived economically while Cuba remains largely poor. During a 1997 trip to China, Raul Castro spoke approvingly of its mixture of socialism and market liberalization.Cuba is China’s biggest commercial partner in the Caribbean. Beijing helped prop up the Cuban economy after the withdrawal of Russian aid in the 1990s. Bilateral trade totaled $1.8 billion in 2010, state-run website Cubadebate said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
LONDON (AP) – A conman who tweeted about serving as a senior police officer during last summer’s London riots and posed as a British army officer has been sentenced to five years in jail for fraud.Ellis Ward, 29, posted on Twitter about life as a Metropolitan Police inspector on the streets of London tackling rioters and looters, and duped one British newspaper into printing a column about his duties.He also pretended to be an army major wounded in Iraq, swindling three women out of more than 40,000 pounds ($64,100). Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Prosecutor Michael Williams told Winchester Crown Court that Ward was a “professional and accomplished fraudster” whose deception lasted for years.Ward admitted to 18 charges of fraud and was sentenced Friday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Comments Share 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day
Comments Share Combined, the aftermath of the territorial spat with China will shave 0.8 percentage point off Japan gross domestic product growth for the fourth quarter, sending Japan’s overall economy slightly downward, instead of the initial forecast for flat growth, according to J.P. Morgan.China, with its growing middle class, had been one of the emerging markets that Japanese automakers were counting on to boost sales amid a long stagnation in the domestic auto market.Toyota, Japan’s No. 1 auto company, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, had planned to sell 1 million vehicles in China this calendar year.“But that may be very difficult to achieve,” company spokesman Dion Corbett said.___Follow Yuri Kageyama: www.twitter.com/yurikageyama Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top Stories The stunning plunge in sales comes after Japan last month nationalized tiny islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, which had already been controlled by Tokyo but also claimed by Beijing.The move set off violent protests in China, and a widespread call to boycott Japanese goods. Toyota and Honda dealerships were burned down in one city, and crowds shouting anti-Japanese slogans have gathered and smashed Japanese cars.Although the flare-ups have calmed in recent weeks, it would still require courage to be seen in a Japanese car in some Chinese cities.Japanese automakers temporarily closed some of their China factories. Production is back up this week _ but reduced to lower levels as demand has collapsed.Last week, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. reported that China sales dived 63 percent to 2,340 vehicles in September. Mazda Motor Corp. said its sales in China sank 36 percent to 13,258 vehicles for the month.A study by J.P. Morgan, released Tuesday, projected Japanese auto exports to China to crash 70 percent during the October-December period. It said that the export of auto parts will slip by 40 percent _ about the same drop estimated for exports of other consumer products such as electronics. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day AP Business WriterTOKYO (AP) – Sales of Japanese vehicles nosedived in China during September as anti-Japanese sentiment flared over a territorial dispute that threatens to hobble what was a booming business relationship between Japan and its biggest export market.Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday that sales of new vehicles in China dropped 48.9 percent in September from a year earlier to 44,100 vehicles. Honda Motor Co. said September sales plunged 40.5 percent to 33,931 vehicles. China sales for Nissan Motor Co. slid 35.3 percent last month to 76,100 vehicles.
Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The vital role family plays in society How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Comments Share Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Initially the government had decided to restart the league on Feb. 1. But Azmy Megahed, spokesman for the federation said, it was pushed back one day to allow families of the victims to hold memorials.The deaths of many Al-Ahly supporters, mostly young men in their teens and 20s, continues to stoke fury, particularly because no one has yet been convicted in court.Attempts to restart the league since last year failed because Al-Ahly fans demanded that perpetrators first be held to account. A verdict is due Jan. 26 in the trial of 73 security officials and fans, some facing murder charges.The last time it was due to resume was during the same week President Mohammed Morsi set a referendum on the country’s new constitution, so the Football Association decided to delay it.The association said Sunday that the ministries in charge of security and sports felt restarting the tournament in February is “positive for the economy, the sport” and would signify stability.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s Premier League football will resume matches from February 2 after a yearlong suspension following deadly stadium riots, the Egyptian Football Association said Sunday.A match in the city of Port Said between Egypt’s most popular team, Al-Ahly, and local team Al-Masry turned deadly when home fans attacked visiting fans. The Feb. 1, 2011 riot killed 74.No spectators will be allowed into stadiums during the first season.
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility In this March 31, 2015 photo, Roy Livesey stacks a pallet of 2×4’s at the Allegheny Millwork and Lumberyard in Pittsburgh. The Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in April on Monday, June 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories The gain included a 0.6 percent rise in residential construction and a 3.1 percent jump in non-residential activity such as office buildings, hotels and shopping centers. Government projects increased 3.3 percent, reflecting the biggest jump in spending on state and local projects in three years.Economists are looking for construction to provide solid support to the economy this year.The April advance was the biggest one-month gain in three years and left construction activity more than 4 percent above where it was a year ago.The construction industry has struggled to come back from the Great Recession, which hit builders hard.The April expansion in home building followed two lackluster months. Both single-family homes and apartment building showed gains in April.The increase in spending on government projects reflected a strong 3.9 percent jump in state and local projects, the biggest monthly increase since April 2013. That strength offset a 3.6 percent decline in federal spending.The construction industry appears to be emerging from a soft patch in recent months when activity was curtailed by an unusually severe winter in many parts of the country.The government reported last week that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, shrank at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the January-March quarter. Economists are forecasting a rebound to growth of around 2.5 percent in the current April-June quarter. WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending climbed in April to the highest level in more than six years, fueled by healthy gains in housing, government spending and non-residential construction.Construction spending advanced 2.2 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1 trillion, the highest level since November 2008, the Commerce Department said Monday. Spending had risen a more modest 0.5 percent in March. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How do cataracts affect your vision? Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories
Lufthansa-owned airline, bmi British Midland has again aired doubts that it will be able to continue after its losses grew to just under GBP£200 million (USD$319 million).Previously unpublished accounts released Wednesday, 6 October, show a pre-tax loss of GBP£198 million in the year to December 2009 compared to a GBP£181 million loss in 2008, the Financial Times reported. The doubts come after a similar announcement was made following the losses of 2008. CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer has since launched a restructuring programme cutting costs and switching routes which he said was beginning to have “the desired effect”.Lufthansa has agreed to provide an additional GBP£60 million in operational funding to tide the airline over until the end of 2011 and is confident that future financial needs would be met, bmi British Midland directors said. bmi has recorded substantial losses two years running Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C
‘Good Tourism’ adopted by UNESCO planting of tree On the back of the inspiring ‘Rise of Good Tourism’ session during the PATA 60th Anniversary & Conference earlier this year, UNESCO has launched the project “Good Tourism” in China.The ‘Good Tourism’ project was launched at the beginning of this month in Yanoda, China to encourage beneficial and supportive interaction among travellers, tourism policy-makers, entrepreneurs, tourism operators, managers, scenic spots and local communities in the county. According to UNESCO Programme Specialist for Culture, Beatrice Kaldun, the purpose of the project is to pursue the sustainable development of tourism.The concept, first introduced at the PATA 60th Anniversary & Conference in Beijing, April 2011 consists of a new balancing concept following eco-tourism, green tourism, low-carbon tourism and responsible tourism. PATA Chief Executive Martin Craigs said they are thankful for UNESCO’s initiative to promote the PATA concept of ‘Good Tourism’ in China. “The days of labelling tourism based on its particular contribution for example, environment, community or local heritage are receding,” Mr Craigs said.“PATA believes that tomorrow’s industry should instead aspire to ‘Good Tourism’ that is tourism which is both balanced and sustainable and delivers a range of different benefits.”The implementation of the Good Tourism project will take around two years and will be supported by the Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission.Additionally, the Yanoda Rain Forest Cultural Tourism Zone will become the first research site for the project and will also offer funding and support for the projects implementation. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
Thailand has been ranked as the top place to tour in TourRadar’s inaugural Most Amazing Tour 2012 competition, ranking 8,748 tours from over 100 companies across 12 categories.The tour search, compare and review website on organised group tours ranked the winners based on social actions of Facebook users, including online reviews, liked tours, wish lists and other social messages to find the unbiased result.TourRadar chief executive officer Travis Pittman said the competition puts the best tours on the radar of travellers all around the world that are looking for extraordinary travel experiences.The Thailand ‘Experience the Land of Smiles’ tour by Free & Easy Traveler allows people to chat about the tour beforehand, meet each other online and get excited about travelling together.Travellers return from the tour talking about how much they saw on the trip, how great the guides were and how jam-packed the tour was with amazing activities and experiences, according to TourRadar.The tours competing for the top spot were an average length of 14 days, an average price of AUD$1,800 and the average group size of 22.The full list of the Most Amazing Tour 2012 winners are :World’s Most Amazing Tour Thailand: Experience the Land of Smiles – Free & Easy Traveler – 40 daysMost Amazing Africa Tour Serengeti Trail – Intrepid Travel – 8 daysMost Amazing Asia Tour A True Nomadic Adventure, Mongolia – Real Expeditions – 15 daysMost Amazing Oceania Tour OzIntro – OzIntro – 7 daysMost Amazing Europe Tour The Amalfi Coast – Bus2Alps – 3 daysMost Amazing North America Tour Southern Sun – Trek America – 21 daysMost Amazing South America Tour South American Explorer – Tucan Travel – 112 daysMost Amazing Adventure Tour Grand Adventurer Nairobi to Cape Town – Oasis Overland – 75 daysMost Amazing Cruising Tour Explore South Georgia – Quark Expeditions – 16 daysMost Amazing Day Tour Canyoning Chli Schliere – Outdoor Interlaken – 1 dayMost Amazing Luxury Tour Maldives Magic – Encounters Travel – 10 daysMost Amazing Nature Tour Everest Base Camp & Kala Pattar – World Expeditions – 18 daysMost Amazing Youth Tour European Getaway – Topdeck Travel – 20 days Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W
New study reveals carbon emissions comparisons. Source = ETB News: P.T. Australia and New Zealand’s most eco-friendly airlines have been revealed in a new study.Virgin Australia (VA) has taken out top honours as Australia and NZ’s cleanest carbon emitting airline, according to JetRadar.com’s new ECO Rank.Virgin Australia releases 58.68 g/km of carbon dioxide (CO2) per passenger.The top five airlines also included Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas and Tiger Airways.The website compared individual aviation emissions, traffic forecasts and the range of aircraft types.Emirates was revealed to be the world’s number one eco-friendly airline.Air New Zealand finished in 90th position on the world rankings, while Qantas placed 170th.Australia and New Zealand’s Cleanest Airlines: 1. Virgin Australia 58.68 CO2 g/km per passenger2. Air New Zealand 72.18 CO2 g/km per passenger3. Jetstar 80.03 CO2 g/km per passenger4. Qantas 82.43 CO2 g/km per passenger5. Tiger Airways 94.36 CO2 g/km per passenger6. Regional Express 139.21 CO2 g/km per passenger7. Airnorth 156.51 CO2 g/km per passenger8. Aeropelican Air Service 175.28 CO2 g/km per passenger9. Airlines of Tasmania 177.66 CO2 g/km per passenger
Sydney in top five best places in the world to visitSydney has once again been recognised as a top tourist destination with the world-class city ranked number five in the U.S News top 25 World’s Best Places to Visit list.U.S News compiled the list of destinations using opinions and recommendations from travel experts and users, with Sydney the only Australian city to make the final list.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the US is one of the international priority tourism markets for NSW.“This remarkable result solidifies our position as Australia’s number one visitor destination. We look forward to welcoming more and more visitors from the US to Sydney which is truly like no other city in the world,” Mr Ayres said.“Sydney never fails to impress with its iconic landmarks, beautiful beaches, vibrant food and wine scene and world-class events so it is no wonder people are choosing Sydney as one of their top travel destinations.”In the year ending September 2014, more than 323,000 visitors travelled to NSW from North America. These visitors stayed 4.3 million nights, providing a $535 million boost to the local economy.Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said the recent broadcast of NBC’s TODAY in Sydney, followed by the impressive ranking on the U.S News top 25 travel list, is a testament to the success of the targeted marketing, events and industry partnership campaigns secured by Destination NSW.“We are excited to be listed as one of the world’s top places to visit by the US and confident that this recognition will help drive visitation to Sydney and encourage visitors from around the world to experience Australia’s number one State,” Ms Chipchase said. Visit Sydney Visit NSW Source = Destination NSW
Source = Destination NSW Sydney voted number one againSydney has again been voted the number one city in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in the 20th annual Travel + Leisure 2015 World’s Best Awards in the USA.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said it is a fantastic achievement.“This once again shows what an amazing world city Sydney is, with its iconic landmarks, stunning beaches, vibrant food and wine scene, and world-class events that all continue to resonate with the readers of Travel + Leisure,” Mr Ayres said.In addition, Sydney properties dominated the Top Hotels category, taking out four of the top five positions, with the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney named the number one hotel in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.The Park Hyatt Sydney, Intercontinental Sydney and Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay also placed in the top five, reflecting the incredible standards in the State’s accommodation sector.“The USA is an important visitor market for NSW with the State welcoming more than 63 per cent of all visitors to Australia from the USA in the year ending December 2014. This acknowledgement from the readers of Travel + Leisure reinforces the enduring appeal of Sydney,” Mr Ayres added.Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase welcomed the accolade from the prestigious lifestyle magazine.“Once again Sydney continues to stand out against its international rivals with our city and our hotels a cut above the rest,” Ms Chipchase said.Travel + Leisure is a premier travel and lifestyle magazine based in New York.The prestigious 2015 World’s Best Awards are voted for by readers of Travel + Leisure and reflect the views of experienced world travellers. Visit Sydney
EVA Air becomes first airline in Asia to adopt AmadeusEVA Air, recently ranked one of the World’s Top 10 Airlines in 2015 (source: Skytrax), becomes the first Asian airline to adopt the Amadeus Altéa Revenue Management Suite. This move supports the airline’s international expansion, laying the foundation for EVA to accurately and intelligently price airline packages and offers.With EVA Air’s route network now covering more than 50 cities across Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania, the airline wanted a next generation, highly automated O&D revenue management system to maximise route yield and overall profitability.Amadeus’ unique revenue management solution draws on real time data from multiple sources, including the Amadeus Altéa Suite, to provide intuitive recommendations on the best pricing of airline offers. Unlike legacy revenue management systems, the Amadeus Altéa Revenue Management Suite is designed to help airlines gain competitive advantage from new merchandising practices such as dynamic pricing, fare families and ancillary service sales.Ken Chung, Junior Vice President, EVA Air, said, “Moving to Amadeus’ Altéa Revenue Management Suite is a big step for us as we continue to expand our network to North America and South East Asia markets. With a more accurate picture of future demand, we can make better pricing and availability decisions that are critical to improving our profitability.” Chungcontinued, “Moving from segment-based revenue management to O&D revenue management is a challenging process, but the EVA and Amadeus teams are working closely to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.”Equipped with the latest Revenue Management innovations to manage market changes and future growth, the highly automated system frees revenue management analysts to focus on activities that create further value for the airline and empowers them with user-friendly, real-time tools.The Amadeus O&D Business Transformation Programme is assisting EVA Air in its move from segment-based revenue management to O&D revenue management, helping EVA Air transform its revenue management organisation and work processes to help the airline get the richest benefits from the Altéa Revenue Management Suite.Hazem Hussein, Executive Vice President, Airline Commercial, Amadeus Asia Pacific, said, ”We are thrilled to work with EVA Air as our first O&D Revenue Management customer in Asia Pacific, helping them improve revenues in this highly competitive climate. EVA can now more accurately price relevant offers based on travellers’ price sensitivity and travel purpose, a big step towards creating a more traveller-centric ecosystem. In addition, the Altéa Revenue Management Suite is fully integrated with the Amadeus Altéa Suite, which EVA has used since 2013, and we expect them to enjoy greater automation and optimised revenues overall.”EVA Air’s migration to the Amadeus’ Altéa Revenue Management Suite is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2016.Source = Amadeus – EVA Air