FCm Travel Solutions’ general manager Middle East Andrew Boxall (far left) and director of FCm’s partner network in Europe, Middle East and Africa Brian Donnelly (far right) with World Travel Awards representatives, in Doha to collect the award for the World’s Leading Travel Management Company. Source = FCm Travel Solutions FCm Travel Solutions is celebrating a stellar performance in the World Travel Awards’ program after being named the World’s Leading Travel Management Company.FCm accepted the World Travel Awards’ global accolade for corporate travel management, at the Grand Final Gala Ceremony in Doha, Qatar, January 11. The announcement caps off a massive year of achievements for FCm, which in 2011 was also voted Europe’s Leading Travel Management Company, Asia’s Leading Travel Management Company, Australasia’s Leading Business Travel Agent and North America’s Leading Travel Management Company.FCm Travel Solutions’ global leader Gregory Lording said FCm was delighted to claim this new title after enjoying a solid winning streak in the World Travel Awards’ regional travel, tourism and hospitality award program in 2011.“The year has been a record year for FCm in terms of our performance on the world awards’ stage as well in other areas of our business,” Gregory said. “We’re thrilled to add this new global award to our collection of regional accolades and have been actively celebrating the win around our global network.“The award for the World’s Leading Travel Management Company recognises the professionalism of our travel teams throughout our global network and reinforces FCm’s growing brand and business presence in the global corporate travel arena. Since being launched to market in 2004, FCm has continued to strategically grow the network and now employs over six thousand people world-wide. FCm offers customers a truly global network spanning more than 75 countries.“Our broad geographical footprint, local knowledge and ability to tailor services to suit the needs of each customer have the company well placed for further growth and success in the future.”
Tourism Tasmania re-develops int’l marketing scheme. Image: ozehols Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Tourism Tasmania plans to develop a stronger relationship with Tourism Australia, in an effort to harvest the pulling power of Australia’s current international marketing campaign.Tourism Tasmania’s new chief executive John Fitzgerald said he has reviewed and examined the body’s current international marketing efforts and tactics and decided on some changes.“These changes will allow us to focus our effort and resources on the markets and areas where we have the best chance of influencing potential visitors to experience this fantastic island state,” Mr Fitzgerald said.“While this new approach will be embodied in Tourism Tasmania’s five-year tourism marketing strategy, we will also closely monitor our international markets in case further adjustments are required in response to changing market conditions,” Mr Fitzgerald said.Aside from building “a much stronger partnership” with Tourism Australia, the state body will also see changes to its own in-market representation.The recent Tasmanian bushfires have been a priority for Mr Fitzgerald, but the new changes will begin to take place during the first half of 2013.
Source = Wicked Wednesdays It was a night of winners last night, as Wicked Wednesdays launched its inaugural Cairns event.Held at the Pullman rooftop terrace, the evening saw one lucky winner walk away with a nine-day ‘King Tutankhamen’ tour of Egypt courtesy of On the Go Tours.Other prizes for the night include a Laneway tour of Melbourne courtesy of MELTours, a $50 dinner voucher courtesy of Pullman Reef Hotel Cairns as well as a four Cairns Zoom passes courtesy of the Capta Group and a day trip for two on Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruise.Other sponsors for the evening include roomsXML, Hahn Air, Virgin Australia, Breakaway Travel Club, GTI Tourism and e-Travel Blackboard. Click here to check out the full photogallery.
Australian developer Crown Group has revealed the details of its luxury penthouse apartments in Sydney’s CBD, North Sydney and Parramatta.Last year the Group sold all four level-27 penthouse apartments in its $250-million Sydney by Crown, which include access to an open-air landscaped rooftop area.The newest luxury penthouses will lead the way with technology inclusions geared for entertainment such as multimedia touch-controlled home automation systems.A 150sqm master penthouse, the only apartment on the building’s top level, is set be retained as a serviced-apartment suite and will be bounded by a tranquil water feature.Crown Group director of project and commercial sales Roy Marcellus said the Sydney by Crown penthouses allowed buyers to own a prestigious home in the city’s next architectural centerpiece.“The success of Sydney by Crown’s penthouses is proof the luxury market is alive and well. The penthouses at Sydney by Crown represented a chance for buyers to secure a top-tier, luxury retreat with unrivalled views of Sydney’s CBD and surrounds,” Mr Marcellus said.All of Crown Group’s penthouse apartments across its locations include car spaces and storage, and the Sydney by Crown is expected to complete construction in 2017.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
Fight Back Video 2 – An Online Travel Agent RobotroomsXML have released their second chapter in the “Fightback against the big OTA’s” video series.The “Dick and Tom” Pro travel agent video had a big “pro human” impact across social media. Mark contributes part of that success to it being unbranded, cheeky and a bit of fun. Due to the overwhelming response from Travel Agents, roomsXML.com have now released part two ahead of schedule.“These video’s are about using travel agents, about promoting the people in our industry. We work in a world of preferred agreements, alliances and partnerships. The “white label” ensures agents could share the video. In the first week of the campaign there were over 7,500 unique page views, article views, shares and youtube hits, all about promoting the industry.“roomsXML is helping travel agents help themselves. Like any media this is subjective, some love it, others don’t. But put it on your website, start a conversation, engage with people and the video has done its job. No agent loses in sharing this video. Everything to gain.Timing was everything as Webjet released their figures discussing their B2B growth the next day. Whilst happy to attack travel agents in Australia and New Zealand they value them in other countries.“The message we captured in the second video is that an online travel agent is a robot. How can a robot book a holiday as well as a human? The jingle is a bit of fun. You will see and hear more from this singer in the video’s to come”“This one can also be customised ; agents just need to supply us with a receipt for a $25 donation at www.projectkarma.org.au and send a high resolution logo.Seems like the cheeky video’s are reclaiming some ground for agents“There’s still people out there, who can hook you up” Book a holiday worth remembering. Book with a travel agent.For a customised video, email firstname.lastname@example.org learn more about roomsXML.com here roomsXML connect today here www.roomsxml.comSource = roomsXML.com
Source = Raffles Hotels & Resorts – Raffles Singapore About Raffles Singapore Opened in 1887, Raffles Singapore is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world. Till today, its architecture is perfectly preserved both inside and out, giving it an intoxicating blend of luxury, history and classic colonial design. Within its walls are 103 expansive suites, framed by polished teak verandas and white marble colonnades, clustered around lush tropical gardens. Each is serviced by the legendary Raffles butlers and offers every modern convenience necessary.Distinctive restaurants and bars dot the Raffles, recalling the atmosphere of an elegant age. Among the most well-loved include the elegant Raffles Grill; Long Bar, where the famous Singapore Sling was created; and Writers Bar, a tribute to the novelists and travel writers, the likes of Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling and James Michener just to name a few, who have become part of the hotel’s legend.Adjoining the hotel is the Raffles Hotel Arcade, which offers a broad range of facilities for visitors to enjoy. These include 40 specialty boutiques, indoor and outdoor private event spaces – The Ballroom and The Lawn – and 388-seat theatre venue Jubilee Hall. For more information or reservations, please visit raffles.com/singapore. Raffles Hotel SingaporeIconic Raffles Singapore to embark on restoration programmeRaffles Singapore, the iconic luxury property managed under the award-winning international hospitality group, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, has announced that it will embark on a careful and sensitive restoration programme. The restoration of this acclaimed heritage hotel, owned by Katara Hospitality, a globally recognised hospitality owner, developer and operator, will be conducted over three phases to ensure every detail of the programme is approached with careful consideration.Phase One of the programme will begin in January 2017 and see the Raffles Hotel Arcade undergo restoration works while other areas of the property operate as normal. The Raffles Hotel Arcade is an integral part of this landmark building, offering a broad range of facilities for visitors to enjoy. It houses 40 regional and specialty shops, indoor and outdoor function areas including The Ballroom and The Lawn and a variety of restaurants and bars including well-known Long Bar, home of the iconic Singapore Sling. The Singapore Sling will continue to be served at the hotel’s Bar & Billiard Room during the first and second phases of restoration.Phase Two will begin in mid 2017 when restoration efforts will commence on the main hotel building and Lobby as well as a portion of the hotel suites. Following that, Raffles Singapore will close for the final phase near the end of 2017 before a grand reopening in the second quarter of 2018.“Raffles Singapore has always evolved to stay distinctive and relevant, moving with the times and adapting to the changing needs of today’s traveller. We have a rich and colourful history and are about to begin a new chapter in our ongoing story – a sensitive restoration that will enable us to continue to offer what our guests expect and value,” said Ms. Diana Banks, Vice President, Raffles Brand, Raffles Hotels and Resorts.Raffles Hotel SingaporeThe restoration project will be led by Aedas Singapore, a leading global architecture and design firm who was behind restoration projects including the London Coliseum and the revitalised Mallory Street/Burrows Street in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The interiors of the project will be handled by award-winning designer Alexandra Champalimaud who has worked with many high profile luxury hotels around the world including New York’s The Plaza, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, The Dorchester in London and the Waldorf Astoria in New York.“This restoration is designed to ensure that we retain what is so special about Raffles Singapore – the ambiance, the service, the charm and the heritage of the hotel. We have always changed and evolved to keep in step with the needs and expectations of our guests – this has been one of the secrets of our success for more than a century. This extraordinary undertaking will also reimagine the facilities, spaces and experiences within the hotel to delight the well-travelled and the community. By introducing new experiences for our guests while respecting the history and heritage of the hotel, we want to ensure that this hotel continues to be at the epicenter of Singapore’s social and cultural scene,” added Mr. Simon Hirst, General Manager, Raffles Hotel Singapore.Declared a National Monument by the Singapore Government in 1987, Raffles Singapore has through the years, gained both local and international recognition as an oasis for the well-travelled with its unique blend of classical architecture and tropical garden setting. Raffles Singapore is considered a national treasure among Singaporeans who deeply value its historical significance and unique heritage.The last restoration was conducted from 1989 to 1991 where the hotel closed for two and a half years. The luxury hotel has 103 individually designed suites – 84 Courtyard and Palm Court Suites, 12 Personality Suites, 5 Grand Hotel Suites and 2 Presidential Suites.“We are pleased to embark on the meticulous restoration of Raffles Singapore, a distinctive hotel that is emblematic of Katara Hospitality’s commitment to creating extraordinary experiences on the backdrop of iconic heritage hotels and unsurpassed service to our esteemed guests,” said Mr. Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, Chief Executive Officer of Katara Hospitality.“Since opening its doors in 1887, Raffles Singapore has maintained a lasting legacy as a landmark hotel, hosting some of the world’s most famous and elite personalities. As a National Monument of Singapore and one of the few remaining 19th century hotels in the world, the hotel’s restoration is a testament to our continued pursuit in preserving portraits of historic charm, while growing Katara Hospitality’s portfolio of iconic properties in key travel destinations. Raffles Singapore is no exception, with its carefully implemented restoration programme that is poised to unveil contemporary charm and elegance; reminiscent of the luxurious splendour of Katara Hospitality hotels,” added Mr. Al-Mulla. Raffles Hotel Singaporebook your experience here
Scenic celebrates 30th birthday with Today Show promotionScenic celebrates 30th birthday with Today Show promotionAs part of Scenic’s 30th birthday celebrations, the luxury cruise operator is running a consumer promotion on Channel 9’s Today Show and Weekend Today for viewers to win one of 30 luxury river cruises for two.The promotion, being hailed as the biggest network prize giveaway ever, will see two Gems of the Seine cruises won per day over 15 days, and will run from Monday 21 November to Monday 5 December. The special Today Show cruise departs on 27 September 2017 and the prize also includes Economy Class return flights to Paris from Australian capital cities.Michelle Black, GM Sales & Marketing, commented: “We are excited to partner with Channel 9 on such a big consumer promotion for their viewers. We will only celebrate our 30th birthday once and we wanted to do something extra special. It is the biggest network prize giveaway ever, worth over $700,000. Everyone loves a holiday and what better way to end the year than by winning a luxury cruise!” For more information on this promotion visit http://today.scenic.com.au/Source = Scenic
Source = Avista Hideaway Phuket Avista Hideaway Phuket PatongAccorHotels hillside resort debuts in PhuketSet on a verdant hillside overlooking some of Thailand’s most celebrated beaches, Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong MGallery by Sofitel’s prime location is the perfect setting for a private hideaway for families and couples seeking tranquil island adventure. While drawing its inspiration from the traditional culture, arts and way of life of the local villages, guests will find all of the luxurious comforts and amenities they have come to expect from MGallery by Sofitel.“MGallery by Sofitel are AccorHotels’ collection of inimitably enchanting, unique boutique hotels offering havens for those who relish off-the-beaten-track experiences,” says Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels, Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia, “Our vision is to seek out singular destinations that offer a memorable experience and the natural beauty of Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong MGallery by Sofitel’s surroundings, contemporary Thai design and warm hospitality defines the ‘hideaway boutique hotel’ concept.”Hotel Manager Alberto J. Lugo-Vina added, “Avista Hideaway Phuket is a tranquil and serene sanctuary that encapsulates the essence of Thailand’s rich heritage amidst awe-inspiring natural surroundings.”The hideaway Thai village theme is featured prominently in the hotel’s 150 rooms and suites, each infused with classic motifs and Thai-inspired interior décor of rich local woods and natural stones. The family-friendly hotel also features three themed swimming pools with saltwater filtration system, a kid’s club, games room, mini putting green and virtual golf game, spa, fitness centre, library, and business centre.The aptly named Vista all-day-dining restaurant serves contemporary Thai and international cuisine, while Sizzle, the resort’s rooftop steakhouse serves a variety of seafood dishes and the Rendez-Vue Rooftop bar offers an array of tapas and cocktails.For meetings and events, the resort offers two state-of-the-art meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 180 guests.Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong MGallery by Sofitel is located at 39/9 Muen Ngern Road, Tri Trang Beach, Patong. The resort is 45km from Phuket International Airport and a five-minute stroll from Jungceylon Shopping Complex, numerous fine seafood restaurants and popular nightspots.Enjoy the Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong MGallery by Sofitel Junior Suite or Executive Suite stay with a complimentary 30 minute Thai Massage for two at THB 4,500++.For reservations, please email email@example.com or contact +66 (0) 266 181 414. Avista Hideaway Phuketfor more information, visit
Destination NSWNSW dominates international visitor marketNSW continues to dominate the visitor economy attracting more than 50 per cent of all international visitors to Australia last year, contributing a record $9.5 billion to the State’s economy according to the International Visitor Survey results released today.Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said Tourism Research Australia’s independent figures reconfirmed tourism as one of the State’s strongest growth sectors.“We’ve seen record levels of tourism dollars fly into Sydney and rural and regional NSW, turbocharging local economies, generating jobs and investment,” Mr Marshall said.“Last year NSW attracted 3.9 million visitors, a growth of 13 per cent on the previous year, smashing the growth rate of other states and increasing visitor spend by $1.1 billion.“Visitors have voted with their passports, NSW is the place to visit and enjoy.“Expenditure growth in NSW of 13 per cent was more than double that of Victoria and more than triple that of Queensland meaning NSW continues to stand supreme as the number one state for tourism – and our lead is growing.”Mr Marshall said while Sydney remained the number one destination for overseas visitors, with record growth figures, visitation to rural and regional NSW had also seen a significant increase.“Sydney continues to lead all Australian capital cities achieving its highest volumes of international visitors and expenditure on record while rural and regional NSW has also increased its number of international visitors, by an impressive 11.5 per cent,” Mr Marshall said.“These results demonstrate the State is reaping the benefits of the NSW Government’s significant ongoing investment in tourism and major events, with the goal of doubling tourism expenditure by 2020.“We are entering an exciting time for tourism in both Sydney and rural and regional NSW, seeing the sector reenergised through innovative reforms and record investment to attract more visitors to experience destinations right across NSW.” Source = Destination NSW
Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat (3rd from right), Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, and the Muay Thai boxers TATs Open to the New Shades features cultural extravaganzaTATs Open to the New Shades features cultural extravaganzaThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is showcasing a cultural extravaganza of Amazing Thailand’s ‘Open to the New Shades’ products and services, featuring an exciting and eclectic mix of original offerings at its ITB 2018 Thailand Pavilion stand from 7 to 11 March.During the five-day ITB 2018 event in Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade show, TAT will host Thai local arts and crafts demonstrations plus cultural performances at the pavilion that include, but are not limited to, the following:*Astrology Meets Tourism: Prospective travellers are invited to input their zodiac birth sign into a computerised system using a touch screen presentation. Based on the individual’s astrological sign, the computer selects one of 12 possible astrological tour routings on offer. The matches are based on the suitability of the tour content to each astrological sign; are existing routes that can be promoted, booked and conducted by Thai DMCs, or are routes supported by TAT’s promotions or ones that have received past Thailand Tourism Awards. (For more information about this astrological tour opportunity, click here.)*Workshops on how to make auspicious flags indigenous to Nan province’s Ban Phra Kerd Community based on the Chinese animal zodiac, or ‘Shengxiao’, locally known in Thai as ‘Tung Ka King’ and ‘Tung Sai Mu’. This time-honoured art, passed down from generation to generation’, is why the community was selected as a pilot destination in Thailand’s Creative Tourism District programme. Visitors to the ITB Berlin 2018 are invited try their hand at this unique art form and take their masterpieces home with them.*Thai boxing demonstrations ranging from traditional to ‘Mixed Martial Arts’ influenced Muay Thai by both male and female boxers. Visitors interested in participating can step into the ring to received basic training or learn self-defence moves.*Contemporary musical performances, that combine the creative integration of everyday Thai kitchen tools with traditional musical instruments, performed by a group of artists from the Asia’s Got Talent stage.*Demonstrations on how to make ‘Pang Puang’, or scented Thai powder garlands, indigenous to Bangkok’s Ko San Chao riverside community.In addition, there will be an information counter providing brochures branded under the Amazing Thailand’s ‘Open to the New Shades’ concept along with information on community-based tourism offerings as per the current government policy. Over 50 titles on key and secondary cities, natural attractions and cultural venues are highlighted in the numerous handouts.H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat (3rd from right), Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, and Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn (2nd from right), TAT Governor, in a group photo with the Thai delegates and the Muay Thai boxers
CheapAir is the first online travel agency which is offering direct flights from the U.S. to Cuba, where authorised travellers can fly directly from New York City (JFK) and Tampa to Havana, and Miami to six Cuban destinations – Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Santa Clara, Camaguey, Cienfuegos and Holguin. Travellers departing Miami will arrive in Havana in one hour.In partnership with Cuba Travel Services, a premier charter company licensed to fly from the United States to Cuba, CheapAir.com is first to search and book direct licensed charter flights to Havana and other cities in Cuba.“For the first time in history, Americans can book direct flights to Cuba online,” said Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir. “Our goal is to make booking flights and travelling to Cuba easier for authorised travellers, including those visiting family on the island. We are excited to partner with Cuba Travel Services in this effort.”“Cuba Travel Services is proud to partner with CheapAir.com in efforts to provide an efficient low cost travel solution to OFAC authorized travellers visiting Cuba,” said Michael Zuccato, General Manager of Cuba Travel Services. “We have successfully designed and implemented an innovative solution for travellers seeking the convenience of making online reservations when travelling to Cuba.”
The AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) government announced its plans to launch a ‘Brand Delhi’ campaign to reposition the capital into a world-class tourist destination and a hub of art and culture. The campaign will re-develop online presence of Delhi through websites, mobile apps, maps, social media and micro-sites.In its recent Budget, the AAP government has allocated Rs 30 crore for the campaign and a world-class festival titled ‘Delhi Festival’ slated to be held in the capital later this year. The government had also allocated about Rs 54 crore for promotion of art, culture and languages whereas Rs 10 crore has been allocated for development of tourism infrastructure in the city.Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia informed that ‘Delhi Festival’ will celebrate the spirit of Delhi and promote shopping, culture, food, music, languages, theatre and films, among other things.Delhi Tourism will revamp the borders and beautify entry points to the city like Ghazipur and Dhaula Kuan. Another highlight of the Budget was a skywalk from Qutub Minar metro station to the Qutub Minar. The skywalk will then go over till the Mehrauli Archaeological Complex.Sisodia further said, “Delhi’s culture has been largely ignored with a complete lack of focus on tourism. Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) had become an organisation that only builds, bridges and sells liquor. Delhi Tourism is on a mission to change the status quo and ensure that Delhi becomes a world-class tourist destination.”Sisodia also said a ‘single-window’ online clearance system for organising events in Delhi has simplified the process so that there is no scope for red-tape or corruption.Delhi Tourism in association with INTACH, India City Walks & Delhi I Love You recently celebrated the World Heritage Day at Jama Masjid, on April 17, 2016. The occasion presented an opportunity to showcase the world a truer perspective of Delhi’s remarkable heritage and to sensitise residents and visitors about the monuments that are an integral part of the capital city.Kapil Mishra, Minister of Tourism, Government of Delhi, said, “The initiative is to spread awareness about the rich heritage of the capital. We will continue similar events and we’re soon going to start heritage walks in entire Delhi.”
A Sustainable and Responsible Tourism approach of United Nations #IY 2017Responsibly Yours: Guest ColumnA Lajwanti NaiduThe United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public, while mobilising all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change. In this context, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).The #IY2017 will promote tourism’s role in the following five key areas:(1) Inclusive and sustainable economic growth(2) Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction(3) Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change(4) Cultural values, diversity and heritage(5) Mutual understanding, peace and securityThe World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialised Agency for Tourism, has been mandated to facilitate the organisation and implementation of the International Year, in collaboration with governments, relevant organisations of the United Nations system, international and regional organisations and other relevant stakeholders.The Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 25-27 September 2015 as the Organisation celebrates its 70th anniversary, have decided today on new global Sustainable Development Goals. This has been a historic decision on a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centered set of universal and transformative goals and targets. Globally we citizens commit ourselves to working tirelessly for the full implementation of this Agenda by 2030. It is therefore recognised that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.Therefore a commitment to achieve sustainable development is in its three dimensions – Economic, Social and Environmental in a balanced and integrated manner. In between now and 2030, several globally faced challenges are addressed to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.The governments are here to resolve and to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities.The Agenda 2030 is of unprecedented scope and significance. It is accepted by all countries and is applicable to all, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. These are universal goals and targets which involve the entire world, developed and developing countries alike. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development.Globally it has been envisaged a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive. Also, a world free of fear and violence and world with universal literacy. A world with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels has been visualised to health care and social protection, where physical, mental and social well-being are assured. A world where the citizens reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation and where there is improved hygiene; and where food is sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious. A world where human habitats are safe, resilient and sustainable and where there is universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.Several countries in the world look up for universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination; of respect for race, ethnicity and cultural diversity; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realisation of human potential and contributing to shared prosperity.United Nations envisages a world which invests in its children and in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation. A world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been remove. Also a world in which every country enjoys sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all. A world in which consumption and production patterns and use of all natural resources – from air to land, from rivers, lakes and aquifers to oceans and seas- are sustainable. One in which democracy, good governance and the rule of law as well as an enabling environment at national and international levels, are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger. One in which development and the application of technology are climate-sensitive, respect biodiversity and are resilient. One in which humanity lives in harmony with nature and in which wildlife and other living species are protected.Is this progress really possible in the present context where there is global pandemonium? With a positive affirmation truly it is possible with a 5 P agenda.PeopleThe vast ocean of humanity is determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions. This is made possible with the integration from local to global. This in turn will ensure that all human beings can live in dignity and equality and that too in a healthy environment.PlanetVarious policies are framed to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations. Campaigns all over the world are promoted to sensitise the public to practice eco-friendly measures.ProsperityProsperity is determined in various parameters. This is basically to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.PeaceThe United Nations is determined to foster peace and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development. This is a time tested and a globally accepted fact.PartnershipGovernments are determined to mobilise the means required to implement Agenda 2030 through a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.Thus in conclusion the goals and targets will stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet. (Source UNWTO.org)
Seychelles Tourism Board recently organised an all-women familiarisation trip for travel agents from Mumbai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad. The objective of this trip was to enable understanding about the destination and establish relations for the Indian trade with the private sector in Seychelles.The trip was aimed at showcasing some of the best hotels and resorts in Seychelles to the agents educating them about the various offerings Seychelles has in the luxury living space.Speaking about this initiative, Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, said, “We are seeing increased interest for Seychelles from the Indian market. A major part of the credit can be attributed to our Indian travel trade partners for understanding the uniqueness of Seychelles islands. We will continue to educate and support them through initiatives like FAM trips, training and roadshow.”During the trip, the agents explored the two main islands of Seychelles – Mahé and Praslin. The group visited Four Seasons resort, Enchanted Island resort, Coral Strand, Eden Island, Coco de Mer & Black Parrot Suites, Kempinski Resort and Eden Bleu hotelLubaina Sheerazi, COO-Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist Office- India, said, “The travel agents group who participated in the FAM trip were impressed by the gorgeous islands, their flora and fauna, thrilling activities and delicious cuisines. It has the potential to become a sought-after destination in the luxury travel space.”
Atout France organised its first-ever offsite B2B showcase “Experience France” in Goa this year at the Grand Hyatt from October 29 to November 2. This year, the agency also heralded another milestone: a decade of its independent office in India.The 2017 edition had a strong presence of 24 representatives of French entities buoyed to showcase the limitless possibilities that France has to offer the Indian globetrotter. The delegation included key representatives of regional tourism boards, local tourist offices, hospitality partners, versatile attractions and DMCs from across France. The delegation also included eight representatives from the Auvergne Rhone Alpes region keenly positioning France as a winter destination.The workshop format consisted of pre scheduled appointments over 3 days allowing for qualitative exchanges between French professionals and travel companies from key metro cities across India who were present for the event.The Consul General of France to Bombay, M Yves Perrin and his spouse graced the 10 year celebration at the W Goa. Several networking soirees were organised to facilitate interaction and exchange between the suppliers and hosted buyers.Sheetal Munshaw, Director, Atout France in India shared, “In keeping with the market trends of France being a favoured destination with travel professionals pan India, we thought it opportune to create a common platform to facilitate synergies with travel agents from all over the country opening up and further expanding opportunities to promote France to a more versatile audience. Our delegation also comprised an eclectic mix of tourism offerings from all over France enabling us to showcase France for all its diversity”.
The Eastern European destination of Belarus has appointed Delhi-based Salvia Promoters, a Destination Marketing Company (DMC), as its India Representative. Belarus currently witnesses about 2000 Indian arrivals every year, with an estimated 75% of these visits comprising business travellers. The move is aimed at growing Belarus’ share of India’s burgeoning outbound travel market.In this regard, a MoU was signed in the presence of Vladimir Semashko, Deputy Prime Minister, the Republic of Belarus in New Delhi on the sidelines of the state visit of the Alexander Lukashenku, President, Belarus to India in September, marking 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries this year. The agreement was signed by Filipp Guly, Chairman, the Belarusian Touristic Union and Prashant Chaudhary, Managing Director, Salvia Promoters, representing Belarus Tourism and Salvia respectively.Commenting on the appointment, Guly said, “With close to 23 million annual overseas visits, India as an inbound source market is already huge and is recording strong growth year-on-year. Besides Indian travellers are big spenders and a major contributor to the tourism economy of the host destination. As the two countries are celebrating 25th Anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, the time is ripe. Going forward, we are looking at considerably increasing our promotional activities in India in order to create greater awareness about Belarus.”Chaudhary, added, “Our expertise in Russia and former Soviet Union countries like Belarus is unparalleled. We opened Russian market to Indian travellers 15 years ago and today there are about 100,000 Indian travelling to Russia every year. As Belarus Tourism India office, our primary objective would be to grow Indian arrivals to the country. Going forward, both trade and consumers would see a lot more of Belarus through participation in travel exhibitions and marts and roadshows in not just the bigger cities like Delhi and Mumbai but also the Tier-II and III cities. Besides, our outreach programme will also include aggressive media and PR activities, digital promotion, familiarisation tour of trade and media, amongst others.”
Greece is aiming to attract more audiovisual productions from abroad after having introduced cash rebates for foreign productions shot in the country, said Panos Kouanis, Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Center for Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME). In an interview with Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s radio station, Kouanis noted that it is important that all parts of Greece are promoted via productions drawn to the country and not just some landmarks that are already well known abroad. According to Kouanis, there is significant interest for foreign productions in Greece from countries and companies with some set to start this summer.
South Africa attracts an A-lister line up for Mandela Centenary celebrations July 18 (also known globally as Mandela Day) 2018 marks the passage of a century since the birth of the great South African revolutionary, Nelson Mandela. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is marking this year by investing their efforts in building a values-based society by a host of programs and initiatives. The South African government also launched a set of limited edition bank notes and gold coins to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late President Nelson Mandela. The launch forms part of events across the world, culminating locally in an annual Mandela Day lecture by former U.S. President Barack Obama.With Barack Obama setting the tone for this year’s celebration, 2018 will also be iconic in its bringing together of the crème da le crème of the world to celebrate the legacy of Madiba. Among the many ways in which the learnings and memories of Madiba are being brought alive, the most anticipated is the Global Citizen Festival which will be headlined by celebrity couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Scheduled to take place in Johannesburg in December, Global Citizen Festival will see popular celebrities play their part in paying homage to Nelson Mandela and alleviate extreme poverty. In what would be “the greatest that Global Citizen had ever put together” as described by the Global Citizen CEO, Hugh Evans – the festival will see performances by artists like CassperNyovest, D’banj, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Femi Kuti, Pharrell Williams, Chris Martin, ShoMadjozi, Tiwa Savage, Usher and Wizkid.The festival’s hosts include Naomi Campbell, Sir Bob Geldof, Gayle King, Bonang Matheba, Tyler Perry, and Forest Whitaker.Many places in the Rainbow Nation commemorate the birth of the revolutionary. From the rolling hills and scattered villages of Qunu in the Eastern Cape to reverent reflections in the prison cells of Robben Island to the sacred sidewalk on Vilakazi Street in Soweto – South Africa offers a chance to follow in the footsteps to freedom of the nation’s most iconic hero – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Ben S. Bernanke Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Treasury Department 2011-09-30 Abby Gregory September 30, 2011 441 Views The “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ has gone on record again regarding the current state of the U.S. economy. Chairman of the Fed, Ben Bernanke, spoke out recently confirming the organization’s commitment to take whatever steps necessary should the nation’s economic standing continue its slide.[IMAGE]Noting the Fed’s willingness to make non-traditional decisions and policy changes in light of the country’s challenging economy, Bernanke emphasized efforts to fiercely monitor price trends during Wednesday’s speech in Cleveland, Ohio. “”If inflation itself falls too low or inflation expectations fall too low, that would be something we’d have to respond to because we don’t want deflation,”” Bernanke said.Elaborating on his initial statements, Bernanke went on to say that he did not feel a critical decline in pricing was imminent at this time, and he also cited the rise of prices to above the 2.0 percent mark, which represents the Fed’s established “”comfort zone”” in terms of inflation projections.Bernanke’s key concern throughout his speaking engagement was the high unemployment rate in the U.S. “”We’ve had close to[COLUMN_BREAK]10 percent unemployment now for a number of years, and of the people who are unemployed, about 45 percent have been unemployed for six months or more. This is unheard of,”” he commented.The Fed has endured criticism lately related to its bond purchases, with detractors expressing concern about future instability and inflation on the heels of unconventional moves. Last week’s policy meeting brought forward more unorthodox plans from the Fed, with its announcement that $400 billion in “”U.S. Treasury””:http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx securities set to mature within three years will be sold and then replaced with more long-term bonds that carry six to 30 year maturation schedules.Based on the need to keep interest rates low, which the Fed recently announced it would do until at least 2013, the Fed will also stop the attrition of mortgage-securities from within its portfolio. Bernanke’s appraisal of the American economy bordered on controversial at times, with his positive commentary on the behavior of lawmakers in emerging-market countries such as China and India.Bernanke was explicit with his statements, saying, “”Advanced economies like the United States would do well to relearn some of the lessons from the experiences of the emerging-market economies.”” Bernanke’s complimentary words toward China were somewhat surprising, given his prior critiques of the nation’s tactics; he has previously come down hard on China’s efforts to keep its currency at an artificially low value.Bernanke’s speech was delivered as part of the “”Cleveland Clinic’s””:http://www.clevelandclinic.org/ideas/ “”Ideas for Tomorrow”” series, but audiences from Capitol Hill to Wall Street took note of his statements. The Fed’s chairman also gave specific nods to technological developments and educational initiatives that he feels would benefit the U.S. Bernanke On the Fed’s Future Economic Initiatives Share
Share Michigan Bank Goes Under, Raising 2012 Tally to 16 Another bank fell quiet in Michigan Friday, lifting the national tally to 16 this year but falling short of the pace set by bank failures over the last several years.[IMAGE]State regulators shuttered Dearborn-based Fidelity Bank, citing “”unsafe and unsound”” conditions in an order that made the “”FDIC””:http://www.fdic.gov/ receiver for $818.2 million in total assets and $747.6 million in total deposits. The cost to the FDIC’s insurance fund: $92.8 million.””Under this agreement, Fidelity’s customers will have uninterrupted access to their accounts and experience a [COLUMN_BREAK]seamless transition to Huntington Bank,”” “”Kevin Clinton””:http://www.naic.org/members_bios/michigan.htm, commissioner for Michigan’s “”Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation””:http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,1607,7-154-10555—,00.html, said in a statement.””The Huntington National Bank””:https://www.huntington.com/ stepped up to assume nearly all of Fidelity’s assets, along with 15 branches that it rebranded and reopened Saturday.””Stephen Steinour””:https://www.huntington.com/us/HNB3130.htm, chairman, president, and CEO of Huntington, welcomed “”more than 18,000 customers of Fidelity Bank”” in a separate statement.””Our new customers will now have access to a broader range of products and some of the highest rated customer service in the industry,”” he added.The acquisition of Fidelity marks the second for Huntington, which moved on failing Warren Bank at the height of the financial crisis in 2009.Although Fidelity’s failure again raises the national tally this year, it does so at a clip well below the rate of failure for other community banks over the past several years.FDIC spokespeople have said in past interviews with _MReport_ that 2010 likely set the “”high-water mark”” for bank failures, attributing the slowing pace to better practices and fiscal management as the recovery gains traction. March 30, 2012 405 Views in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Bank Failure FDIC Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Regulation Service Providers 2012-03-30 Ryan Schuette