Macao and Xiamen Airlines unveil One Fare Two Cities campaign

first_imgMacao and Xiamen Airlines unveil “One Fare, Two Cities” campaignMacao has linked with Xiamen Airlines to launch a new “One Fare – Two Cities” product aimed at further boosting numbers of Australians travelling to the former Portuguese enclave.With return air fares to Macao beginning from as little as $768 per person from Sydney or Melbourne, the campaign offers an alternative route to the traditional Hong Kong flight path with travellers having the chance to visit and explore the beautiful Chinese coastal city of Xiamen en route to Macao.It’s the first time the Chinese airline has teamed with the Macao Government Tourism Office (Australia) to offer a dedicated fare, the offer including a complimentary night’s stay in Xiamen (6-24hrs) along with free coach tour (4 -24hrs) of a city popular for its beaches and colonial past.In addition, passengers would not require a China visa if spending up to 72 hours in Xiamen.Macao is visa free for Australian passport holders staying no more than 30 days.Helen Wong, general manager of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Australia, welcomed the new multi-destination route and the dedicated fare and accompanying bonuses.“This is a very exciting venture between airline and destination which should build on our numbers of Australian holidaymakers to Macao,” she said. “Merge the low air fare with some attractive accommodation offers and we have the makings of an affordable Macao experience.”In 2016, more than 93,000 Australian passport holders visited Macao, an increase on the previous year’s figure. A majority arrived from Hong Kong via the high-speed ferry transfer.The new Xiamen Airlines product will allow Australians to fly from Sydney and Melbourne to Xiamen for a night’s stopover before boarding the connecting short-haul flight to Macao International Airport.Mr Yang Hua Chen, general manager of Xiamen Airlines (Australia), also welcomed the new link with Xiamen and Macao and said it was yet another example of Mainland China’s “One Belt, One Road” economic and strategic initiative. In further emphasising the importance of the Australian route to Xiamen Airlines, Mr Chen said his airline was the only Chinese-based carrier to service Australia with the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.Both MGTO and Xiamen Airlines will host a series of travel industry workshops in Sydney over the next two months to coincide with giant shopping centre exhibitions for consumers. Those expos will be highlighted by the exclusive 360-degree (virtual reality) showings of Macao and the airline, beginning with a four-day event at Parramatta Westfield on July 6-9, 2017.Further shopping centre events will be staged at Castle Towers, Castle Hill from July 20-23, Chatswood Chase from August 3-6 and Eastgardens Westfield from August 17-20. Travel industry workshops will also take place in Melbourne.Source = Macao Government Tourism Officelast_img read more

Australias best kept travel secret announces rebrand

first_imgSource = Flinders Island Australia’s best kept travel secret announces rebrandAustralia’s best kept travel secret announces rebrand and tourism pushFlinders Island unveils a full rebrand—with a new logo, website and campaign video—designed to develop its potential as an unmissable part of local and international itineraries. Flinders Island—a tiny gem in a cluster of islands dotted across Bass Strait, northeast of mainland Tasmania—is as close as any destination gets to an untouched natural paradise. It’s close, because, well … dotted between those crystalline waters and clean sands and rugged wetlands is a buzzing world of regionally gathered-and-grown food, wine and coffee, and a warm community of locals eager to welcome new faces. But travellers, unaware of the island’s postcard-worthy scenery and foodie reputation, have long overlooked it. (Each year, there are some 6,000 visitors.)The new, nimble branding gets straight to the heart of Flinders Island; it feels laidback, salt-of-the-earth and refreshingly direct. None of this is an accident, of course—Sydney advertising agency JimJam plucked its references straight from Flinders’ bountiful sources: those 900 cheerful locals and their daily backdrop, which spans remarkable mountainous terrains and pretty, wildflower-filled bushland. JimJam’s reimagining of the logo is rendered in deep grey and burnt orange, reflecting a craggy, unpredictable landscape and the speckled lichen of rocks. The two-toned palette conveys a double message—spelling out FIND in treasure map-like capitals—a nod to the destination’s many crevasses and hidden secrets, waiting to be explored by those who take the time.It’s the campaign video that shows Flinders in its full glory though. In under 1.5 minutes it delivers a cheeky, heartfelt guide to local ‘waves’, those hard-to-pin-down hand gestures that signify a bond between strangers, that are free to give and receive. There’s the long time no see wave, the never seen you before wave, the check out these waves wave and the gee, you should really taste this! wave. Every wave carries a simple message. This is a place where you’ll feel immediately at home.A newly designed is easier to navigate, rendered in a bucolic, earthy palette. It spans the entire spectrum of island life: what’s on, events, where to eat, and how to book wherever you choose to spend your slumber, be it a self-contained cottage or a tent pitched under pink evening skies. High-impact photography is everywhere, offering a hyper-real glimpse of Flinders’ quintessentially Australian splendour. Think grinning local fishermen, clutching succulent crayfish. Or kids giggling up close with furry marsupials. Or steep and achingly beautiful granite cliffs, and tall grasses plucked straight from a Bronte novel.To bolster tourism efforts, the Tasmanian Liberal Government has partnered with the community to identify key infrastructure projects and strategies, investing up to $50,000 into the island’s visitor economy. They’re focused on signage that encourages curious visitors to tiptoe that little bit further, and a research initiative examining island accommodation.Tasmainia’s Premier, the Hon Will Hodgman MP commented ‘Flinders Island is one of our iconic nature based destinations and I am excited by the new marketing work generated by the Flinders Island community.  The website looks fantastic and the video embraces what we stand for in Tasmania – friendly, natural experiences.’“It’s a tricky thing to do, but the new brand identity and campaign video get to the core of what Flinders has to offer,” says Michael Grimshaw of Flinders Island Tourism & Business Inc. “There’s an openness here you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else—it’s why we wake up every day feeling lucky. I’m looking forward to welcoming new faces, and giving them one of our trademark waves.”Flinders Island, Tasmania: untapped paradise in waitinglast_img read more

Commonwealth Games influx keep Sunshine Coasts record international a

first_imgNovotel Twin Waters ResortCommonwealth Games influx keep Sunshine Coast’s record international arrivals strongThe latest International Visitor Survey released today shows a record 301,000 people visited the Sunshine Coast in the 12 months to December 2017, up 3.4 per cent on the previous year.Released by Tourism Research Australia, the survey also shows total international nights in the region during the past year increased to 3.1 million up 7.2 per cent, with an average stay of 10.2 nights.Fittingly, the Sunshine Coast’s record figures were supported from the key nations of New Zealand (65,000), UK (60,000) and Canada (14,000); as the region looks to welcome nine international teams and over 500 visiting athletes and officials in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.Teams using the Sunshine Coast as their pre-Games training base include Scotland, England, Wales, New Zealand, Isle of Man, Singapore, Niue and St Helena along with a number of athletes from domestic sporting teams, including Australia’s Olympic champion women’s sevens rugby squad.Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Simon Latchford was delighted to crack 300,000 international arrivals for the first time.“It is very pleasing to see our campaigns and work with key partners in primary markets paying off. From the traditional areas of Europe including the UK, the Sunshine Coast attracted 162,000 visitors with an increase of 6.8 per cent through to work in newer markets such as Asia recording 25,000 arrivals up 4 per cent.“Although this is a record result for the Sunshine Coast’s tourism industry, there is still work to be done to increase length of stay and yield. As we move closer to the completion of the new airport redevelopment, support for more appropriate tourism developments and accommodation stock will assist to increase international incentive travel and special interest, high end travel (based on our nature and food).“The Commonwealth Games presents another great international marketing opportunity for the region and Sunshine Coast Council must be commended on their work in attracting over 500 athletes from nine countries to prepare for the event.“Not only will it be the millions of dollars injected into the economy during the visit, but if the teams feel welcome and have a great experience; it will be the word of mouth, media spotlight and return visitation that can expect to deliver longer term benefits.“Working with partners, we have been able to leverage this initiative with promotions in the UK including two Scottish competition winners to arrive next week and enjoy a 12-day ultimate Sunshine Coast trip and opportunity to meet the Scottish team,” added Mr Latchford.The Sunshine Coast’s Novotel Twin Waters Resort has been particularly successful in attracting international and domestic sporting teams to the resort, with its extensive grounds including a full-sized football pitch, running circuits, a large lagoon and adjacent beach which make the resort the ideal venue for a wide range of sporting and conference groups.General Manager of Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Warwick Kahl said the past year was exciting for conferencing at the resort with increases seen in all financial quarters, well above previous delegate numbers and with a continued uplift of international delegates.“In addition to conferencing, we continued to focus on hosting national and international sporting teams as they were able to take advantage of the resort’s Sunshine Coast location and onsite training field and gym facilities.“This month, the resort will welcome Scotland and the Isle of Man for pre-Commonwealth Games camps. This presents the perfect platform to market the resort as the preferred Sunshine Coast accommodation provider for future national and international teams and events,” said Mr Kahl.For more information and to access the International Visitor Survey go to: = Visit Sunshine Coastlast_img read more

Fraud Task Force Calls on Whistleblowers to Come Forward

first_img in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology May 25, 2012 501 Views Share A task force created by the Obama administration to crack down on residential mortgage-backed securities misconduct recently went live with a “”new website””: for whistleblowers.[IMAGE]The “”Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group””: established the online portal for those willing to air grievances about misconduct in the packaging and sale of mortgages into securities at financial institutions.””The RMBS website is a new call to those insiders who know about fraud that occurred in the RMBS market, who know it’s time to expose that fraud, and who want to help us hold accountable those individuals and institutions who broke the law in pursuit of bigger paydays,”” Acting Associate Attorney General “”Tony West””: said in a statement.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Although the working group and its members have done a tremendous amount of investigative work already ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô including having issued more than 25 civil subpoenas ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô we know that hearing from insiders is particularly valuable,”” he added.””There are scores of people who worked in the RMBS market who acted responsibly but who also may have witnessed greed and misconduct that crossed the legal line and created havoc for investors, homeowners and our economy. We want to hear from them.””The Justice Department launched the RMBS Working Group earlier this year with the aim to look into allegations of widespread misconduct in the lead-up to the financial crisis. This includes finding evidentiary connections between existing cases across the United States.””The working group’s approach to RMBS investigations is systematic and smart ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô cross-agency teams comprised of experienced prosecutors and investigators utilizing market experts and risk-based criteria to triage transactions for review, and bringing to bear the entire palette range of state and federal legal theories and remedies,”” co-chair and “”Securities and Exchange Commission””: (SEC) enforcement director Robert Khuzami said in the statement. Other participating agencies include the “”FBI””:, “”HUD””:, SEC, office of the New York state attorney general, and the office of inspector general at the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””: Fraud Task Force Calls on Whistleblowers to Come Forward Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FBI FHFA HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Fraud Mortgage-Backed Securities Processing RMBS RMBS Working Group Service Providers 2012-05-25 Ryan Schuettelast_img read more

Virginia Bank Chooses Fiserv Platform for Lending Needs

first_img “”Fiserv, Inc.””:, a provider of financial services technology, announced its Common Origination Platform has been selected as the platform of choice for Virginia’s “”Old Point National Bank””: (OPNB).[IMAGE]A Fiserv client since 1996, OPNB possesses $845.3 million assets and offers banking services to both retail and commercial customers. In selecting Common Origination Platform, the bank cited the solution’s “”robust and [COLUMN_BREAK]customizable document generation”” and its ability to be integrated into other Fiserv solutions–such as Signature, one of the other platforms used by OPNB.””Fiserv has been a partner of ours for a number of years and we trust their expertise in the financial services industry,”” said Tyler White, SVP of information technology for OPNB. “”Lending is important to our customers and, as such, it is important to our institution. With Common Origination Platform and its integration with other Fiserv solutions, we will be able to deliver efficiencies and provide even better service to our customers.””””As an enterprise lending solution, Common Origination Platform is designed to enable lenders to establish their own process rules to automate virtually every origination transaction based on their institution’s specific needs,”” said Kevin Collins, president of lending solutions for Fiserv. “”Defining these operating procedures, conditions and limits, will help OPNB build customer loyalty and provide products and services that keep pace with the rapidly evolving industry.”” Virginia Bank Chooses Fiserv Platform for Lending Needs October 14, 2013 479 Views Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Fiserv Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-10-14 Tory Barringer in Origination, Technologylast_img read more

What Issues Will Carson Face

first_imgWhat Issues Will Carson Face? MReport recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Richard Green, Director and Chair of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. Dr. Green noted several issues that Dr. Carson will face as he enters his term as Secretary of HUD. The first issue, Dr. Green, states, is the power vacuum in Ginnie Mae.“There’s no president of Ginnie Mae,” said Dr. Green. “The problem Ginnie Mae has is that now issuers have about $1.7 trillion of avoid securities. It has only about 130 employees to monitor these issuers. While the housing finance is scalable, it’s not that scalable. They just are really under-resourced for the job they’re being asked to do right now. You have the average employee at Ginnie Mae is responsible for about $11 to $12 billion of mortgage backed securities.”“Sometimes they have to make a decision the way FDIC will make a decision to shut down a bank. Ginnie Mae has to make a decision to shut down an issuer.” Dr. Green continues. “There’s no political leadership in place right now to do that. That’s one of the most important jobs the Ginnie Mae president has.”In addition to the leadership problems facing Ginnie Mae, the FHA is experiencing a gap of modernization in the face of similar leadership problems. “The FHA program is a program whose technology is vastly out of date. It means that it’s not operated as well as it could be,” said Dr. Green.This is a problem that Dr. Carson will need to deal with as he enters the office of HUD Secretary, so the question right now is, is Dr. Carson fit to assume these responsibilities? “You need the technical expertise in order to interpret the financial reporting that comes out of FHA on an annual basis. For all of his skills, Dr. Carson doesn’t have training or expertise in how do you evaluate the financials of a government insurance program,” Dr. Green continues. “He doesn’t really need to, but he needs to have somebody strong in place to do that for him, and that somebody doesn’t exist right now.”Last, Dr. Green discusses the issue of keeping track of public housing. Again, Dr. Green notes a gap in leadership in this area. “There will be problems with local public housing authorities, and there needs to be leadership to make determinations about what to do about that,” said Dr. Green. “The federal government sends money to Public Housing Authority in exchange for certain minimum levels of management. Overseeing this is a problem, again this is bipartisan, in the case of all administration. But in particular now, again, you don’t have the staffing in place to try to oversee what the local Housing Authorities are doing, and if there is a problem, there isn’t a decision maker to try to figure out how to deal with the problem.”The lack of leadership in these areas and the problems they cause mentioned by Dr. Green are “something that would face anyone coming in. The absence of a built-up leadership team, I think, is a real challenge for him.”“He has to get the right people in these jobs.” Ben Carson FHA Ginnie Mae HUD 2017-03-03 Staff Writer March 3, 2017 614 Views center_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

Mortgage Applications Rise

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News, Origination, Servicing Mortgage Applications Rise MBA mortgage applications survey Mortgage Application 2018-12-12 Donna Joseph Mortgage applications increased by 1.6 percent this week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Market Composite Index—a measure of loan application volume—decreased by 1 percent compared to the previous week. Refinance Index reflected an increase of 2 percent from the past week and seasonally adjusted Purchase Index recorded an upward trend this week at 3 percent. Unadjusted Purchase Index, on the other hand, decreased by 2 percent. The volume of refinance loan applications recorded the highest level since March 2018 at 41.5 percent of total applications. The refinance share of mortgage was at 40.4 percent the previous week. An increase in adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) activities reflected at 7.6 percent of total applications.In government loan applications, the FHA share went up to 10.8 percent from 10.2 percent in the past week. The survey revealed an increase in VA share of total applications at 10.2 percent this week compared to 10.0 the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent the week prior. Here’s how the average contract interest rates performed for various loans:For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 4.96 percent, the lowest level since September 2018. The rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances decreased to 4.80 percent, the lowest level since September 2018.FHA-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.97 percent, the lowest level since September 2018, from 5.05 percent.The 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.41 percent, the lowest level since September 2018, from 4.50 percent.The rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 4.24 percent from 4.33 percent. The effective rate for all the above loan types recorded a decrease from last week.center_img December 12, 2018 579 Views Sharelast_img read more

Top 10 Cities For FirstTime Buyers

first_imgTop 10 Cities For First-Time Buyers According to a report entitled,  “The Top 10 U.S. Cities to Buy Your Starter Home—or Your Forever Home.” by, America’s largest-ever generations, millennials and baby boomers, are entering their prime home-buying years at the same time. Choosing a U.S. city can be daunting with the number of hot metros on the map. The report indicated that while most millennials are prowling the market for affordable starter homes that will enable them to move out of their parents’ basement or finally trade in their apartment keys for deeds, older Americans are often seeking “forever homes” with amenities and flexible, universal designs that will enable them to seamlessly transition into their twilight years.  There’s a reason why the ranks of both forever homes and starter homes have recorded an upward spike, according to It noted that millennials have waited longer than previous generations to settle down and buy homes, not always by choice—student debt and high home prices delayed pulling the trigger. Recent data suggests that millennials of today are settling into their first homes, making them the nation’s largest group of buyers—the biggest chunk of them are just now hitting their 30s.To find the top places for buying a starter home by the report factored in the percentage of home buyers aged 35 and younger and the percentage of typically more affordable homes under 2,000 square feet. It also looked into median down payment, median mortgage borrower’s FICO score as well as the percentage of income of those aged 35 and younger, going toward median monthly housing costs. For buying a forever home, the percentage of residents aged 60 and older, median list price, the number of homes adapted for seniors, and the number of folks aged 55 and older moving in were the key factors taken into account.Lake Charles, Louisiana topped the list of best cities to buy starter homes, followed by Provo, Utah; Appleton, Wisconsin; Bloomington, Illinois; and Amarillo, Texas. Read the full report here: February 19, 2019 893 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, Newscenter_img Share First-Time Homebuyers Millennials Starter Homes The Top 10 U.S. Cities 2019-02-19 Donna Josephlast_img read more

Crapos Plan A Permanent Sustainable Housing Finance System

first_imgCrapo’s Plan: A “Permanent, Sustainable Housing Finance System” Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News March 26, 2019 1,428 Views center_img Georgetown University HOUSING Housing Finance Reform Housing Policy Council Mike Crapo Moody’s Analytics NAACP National Association of Home Builders Senate Banking Committee Sherrod Brown 2019-03-26 Radhika Ojha The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the committee’s Chairman Sen. Mike Crapo’s housing finance reform outline. The first part of this two-part hearing saw testimonies from experts giving their insights on the housing finance reform outline and how best to proceed. During his opening statement, Crapo said that his outline set out a “blueprint for a permanent, sustainable new housing finance system.” Under the outline, he said that the proposed housing finance reforms would protect taxpayers by reducing the systemic, too-big-to-fail risk posed by the current duopoly of mortgage guarantors; preserve existing infrastructure in the housing finance system that works well, while significantly increasing the role of private risk-bearing capital; establish several new layers of protection between mortgage credit risk and taxpayers; ensure a level playing field for originators of all sizes and types, while also locking in uniform, responsible underwriting standards; and promote broad accessibility to mortgage credit, including in underserved markets. “As we begin these discussions we must ask what housing options do families have today and what housing opportunities will we make available for families,” ranking member Sen. Sherrod Brown said. “Failure to put working families first in the process will make it harder to for families to afford rent, but above all put the viability of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at risk and hit communities with lower income, communities of color and rural America.”During his testimony, Edward DeMarco, President of the Housing Policy Council (HPC), said that the need for housing finance reform remained as critical as ever. “Only Congress can replace the GSE duopoly with a more competitive market that reduces risk to taxpayers while ensuring a steady flow of mortgage finance for homebuyers,” DeMarco said. “We seek a more competitive market that puts private capital in front of a government guarantee.”Additionally, DeMarco said that HPC members recognized that government reform would not happen absent meaningful progress on questions of affordability and availability of credit. “Here too there has been progress, though some work remains.”Speaking specifically about the outline, DeMarco said that it reflected the “progression in our collective thinking” and that it was a practical, workable proposal that built on all previous proposals.DeMarco addressed the components of the outline, the elements that HPC supports, the open-ended questions that the outline identifies, and some areas where additional specificity is needed. Additionally, he highlighted actions that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the administration could take to ensure a smooth transition for new guarantors to enter the housing finance system with no competitive disadvantage relative to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. During his testimony, Greg Ugalde, Chairman of the Board, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called on Congress to make housing affordability a national priority through housing finance reform. “Advancing comprehensive housing finance reform will ensure the capital and liquidity necessary for consumers and home builders to access stable financing,” Ugalde said. “We believe that an accessible housing finance system must address liquidity as well as affordability regardless of domestic and economic financial conditions.”Giving NAHB’s views on Crapo’s housing finance reform outline, Ugalde said that the NAHB appreciated and supported the Committee Chair’s effort to put forth a “thoughtful outline for housing finance reform,” that included what NAHB believed were key elements for a comprehensive reform bill along with a bipartisan agreement.Ugalde particularly expressed appreciation of Crapo’s support of the explicit government backstop for a key portion of the conventional mortgage market that was critical to the ongoing availability of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and financing of affordable multifamily properties. Additionally, he said that the outline allowed the mortgage market to benefit from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s well-tested infrastructure. “The outline will designate Ginnie Mae as an operator of the securitization platform and provide the explicit government guarantee for mortgage-backed securities,” Ugalde said. “Employing a known and successful government entity provides an advantage but substantial operates will be needed for Ginnie Mae to perform this expanded role.”Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics said that while the outline left much to be resolved, it offered a promising framework to begin this work. “I would implore policymakers to use your outline to finish this job of housing finance reform,” Zandi said.However, he told Crapo that the framework still had critical design issues that needed to be resolved for the reform to be a success. According to Zandi, the first structural issue was to ensure how enough guarantors enter the system that there are “none that are too big to be allowed to fail.” “Fannie and Freddie’s complete domination of the current market will frankly make it impossible for new entrants absent significant steps to reduce barriers to entry,” Zandi said. “A more fulsome securitization platform, increased transparency, and multi-issuer single security will at very least be required to support sufficient entry.”The second key issue, Zandi said was to ensure that lender-issuers were not on the hook for the failure of the guarantors from which they purchase insurance. “If they are, then they won’t get true sail accounting for the loans that they make which will make this channel entirely unworkable,” he said.The final issue was to ensure broad, consistent access to affordable mortgage credit particularly in areas where the market could be less inclined to serve as well when left on its own. “Your outline states that the current affordability goals and duty to serve will be replaced by 10-basis point market access to lower housing costs for low- and moderate-income borrowers,” Zandi told the committee. “While this fee will generate much more funds than the current system to promote access, more needs to be done. Critically it’s important that all guarantors have a national footprint so that they don’t only serve the markets that happen to be most profitable.”According to Hilary O. Shelton, Director, NAACP Washington Bureau and SVP for Policy and Advocacy at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), today the homeownership rates between African-Americans was where it was “when discrimination was legal, prior to the enactment of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.”“Any changes to the current system must continue to protect and incorporate the important market segments, namely people of color and low- to moderate-income families on which a well functioning future system depends and a just society demands,” Shelton said.Moreover, he said that any housing finance reform must remedy “the discriminatory practices within the mortgage market, the societal constraints, and too many cases to federal policies.”Specifically, Shelton called on Congress to retain and strengthen “any or all duty to serve provisions by GSEs or any governmental program. “Without an enforceable, robust history to serve any program the market has proven that communities of color will find it extremely difficult to access the mortgage market.”“Congress must preserve FHA-insured lending to ensure low down payment mortgage loans and access to low down payment assistance programs as well as promote low and cost-effective loan modifications for existing homeowners,” Shelton said. He reiterated that any housing finance reform must provide broad access to capital for all borrowers as well as institutions of every size.Giving a directly opposite view, Adam Levitin, Professor of Law at the Georgetown University said that today’s housing market was functioning well and did not need a complete overhaul as outlined in Crapo’s housing finance reform proposal. “Most creditworthy Americans are today able to obtain mortgage financing, no matter where they live—metropolitan areas or rural communities. They can readily obtain a long-term fixed rate mortgage, the product that has built the American middle class,” Levitin said. “The multi-guarantor system proposed in the Chairman’s outline would place all of this in jeopardy.”He said that the system should make one essential change to make lending more secure and accessible, which was to ensure that guarantors took on market-wide credit risk, rather than the credit risk on a segment of the market. “If guarantors assume market-wide credit risk, the market will not segment and guarantors will not price pro-cyclically,” he said.  The second part of this discussion will be held on Wednesday, March 27 at 10 a.m. EST.Click here to view the testimonies and discussion of the first part of this hearing.last_img read more

What an MLB source said about the Dbacks trade h

first_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Now that the dust has settled and the Arizona Cardinals have made all their selections in the 2011 NFL draft, it’s time to grade just how well they did. We here at have assembled the usual suspects from our staff and Sports 620 KTAR’s to breakdown the good, the bad, and the interesting from the Cards eight selections. Mark AsherAfter this weekend’s NFL Draft I feel the Arizona Cardinals made themselves a better football team. I do have a few questions about a few of the picks and mainly because I thought they could have addressed a few important areas of need. I don’t like that they didn’t get a single offensive lineman in this draft. I am however pumped that they took Patrick Peterson. I guarantee that he is a pro bowler within two years. RB Ryan Williams shocked me mainly because there were so many good LB’s still on the board. My second favorite pick this weekend was the 4th round pick of Sam Acho from Texas. I think he will turn out to be a good one. Overall I give the draft a B plus. It would have been an A if they took at least one O-Lineman. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Final Grade: B+ Top Stories Final Grade: B+Tyler BassettThis draft by the Cardinals seemed different from the past because they went after the top players on their board rather than their biggest needs. With no free agency yet, I liked the strategy. They can work backwards and use free agency to fill their needs after now getting who they thought were the best players available to them regardless of position. If you get five of the top 60 players on your board and 136 players have been taken, it’s a great draft. Final Grade: For that, I give them an A-. Dave BurnsAm I grading the Cardinals on how they filled their needs? Because they didn’t. The Cardinals needed pass rushers, linebackers, offensive lineman, a tight end and a quarterback. They got a pass rusher and a linebacker later in the draft. A tight end I’ve never heard of. No offensive lineman, no quarterback. Or, am I grading the Cardinals on the talent they acquired, regardless of position (lookin’ at you Patrick Peterson)? That’s a different story and one that requires time. I liked the Sam Acho and the Quan Sturdivant picks but I hope they don’t live to regret not taking Brooks Reed in the second round instead of the curious case of Ryan Williams.center_img Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away 0 Comments   Share   Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Final Grade: I (Incomplete)Greg EspositoThe Arizona Cardinals treated the NFL draft with the same mentality a person treats a garage sale, searching for the best hidden value. Although they didn’t address the glaring need at quarterback and took a guy in Ryan Williams that will gain rushing yards in the second round instead of addressing their pass rushing needs, they got great talent that should help them moving forward. They claim in the first five rounds they got five guys in their top 60. That’s some impressive shopping. The most intriguing player of the group was Texas defensive end Sam Acho. He has a unique combination of athleticism and smarts as he graduated from Texas with 20 career sacks and a double major. The Cardinals draft, like Acho, wasn’t what you’d expect but should turn out to be pretty smart in the end.Final Grade: P+ for excellent potentialJohn GambadoroRead his full analysis here. Adam GreenAt first I was nervous the Cardinals would trade down from number five or use the pick to reach for positions of need. That they went with a best player available approach, need be damned, was as surprising as it was refreshing. Five win teams need to add plenty of talent, so I’m not worried about where they added it at. last_img read more

What an MLB source said about the Dbacks trade h

first_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away “We’ll see Beanie in the preseason,” Whisenhunt said. “Ithink he’ll probably start doing some work next week.”Whisenhunt said the preference is to get Wells somepreseason action — probably later contests — butcautionsthat it all depends on how his player’s rehab goes.And while Wells may be making progress, an issue couldsoon arrive due to a lack of depth at the running backposition. With second-year pro Ryan Williams still working his wayback from a serious injury and Javarris James out with anabductor ailment, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Alfonso Smithand William Powell are the only backs who can practicewith no limitations as of right now.“What you worry about is if we get one more, then we’repretty thin,” Whisenhunt said. Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to thisreport Comments   Share   center_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Beanie Wells was placed on the Physically Unable toPerformlist at the beginning of training camp, a move that hasledmany to worry about the running back’s status coming intothe season.And why shouldn’t they?Wells, who ran for a career-best 1,047 yards and 10touchdowns last season, had knee surgery in the offseasonand has yet to get back on the practice field.Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, though, said Monday thatWells is progressing nicely and should return to the fieldsoon. Top Stories last_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Even with the possible extended loss of Andre Ellington, the Arizona Cardinals are still capable of making the playoffs, according to ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth.Ellington was limited in practice on Thursday and did not participate in practice on Friday.“Andre Ellington is one of those guys who’s just got great quickness,” Schlereth told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “He’s just one of those guys that is going to be difficult to deal with, and they’re going to definitely miss that.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Your browser does not support the audio element. However, Schlereth said the Cardinals have enough talent to overcome the loss of their top running back.“I think they’ve really just helped themselves become a little bit more balanced and a little bit tougher football team on the offense,” Schlereth said, citing specifically the addition of left tackle Jared Veldheer, as well as Carson Palmer’s performance at the end of last season.Schlereth’s apprehension about the team lies with its losses on the defensive side, especially Darnell Dockett — whom he calls a “difference maker” — and Daryl Washington, who was suspended for the 2014 season for violating the NFL’s substance policy.He also brings up Tyrann Mathieu’s return from the ACL and LCL injuries he sustained last season, and what level he will be able to play at in extended time.“All three levels of that defense have been fractured a little bit, and that’s the thing that concerns me,” Schlereth said. “The number one run defense in the National Football League was the Arizona Cardinals…. To end up the number one defense in football as far as defending the run, when you’re talking about that division, that’s quite an accomplishment. Top Stories “That scares me a little bit about all three levels, like I said, of that defense taking a hit. That’s never a good thing.” Comments   Share   LISTEN: Mark Schlereth – ESPN NFL Analyst Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Here are the eight biggest attentiongrabbing aspe

first_imgHere are the eight biggest attention-grabbing aspects of the Arizona Cardinals’ schedule as I see it: 8) GO DEVILS!I know I’m alone in this, but the first thing I do when the Cardinals schedule is released is cross-reference it with ASU. Each weekend, I watch every top 25 college football game and almost every NFL game (I usually skip games involving NFL teams from Florida because the teams are so bad). Weekend time is of the essence. If ASU is on the road and the Cardinals are at home, it’s brutal. This year’s schedule is a dream come true for me because only once does my weekend hardship occur: ASU at UCLA on Oct. 3 and Arizona vs. St. Louis the next day. 7) TURKEY BY THE BAYGoing through the same exercise of comparing schedules with ASU, we have a wonderful coincidence for any fan who likes to travel. Take your Thanksgiving and invite friends and family over a special meal and watch football. Take a Friday flight to San Francisco and enjoy a special evening at Fisherman’s Wharf. Saturday, watch your Devils finish off the season and hopefully, close out the the South division championship at Cal. Head to Santa Clara the next morning for the Cardinals’ game with your luggage in the rental car for a 1:00 game and you should be able to be home Sunday night.6) CARDINALS WEATHERWith four Eastern time zone road trips and one upper-Midwest trip, Arizona could have been looking at a brutal weather schedule. Instead, the Cards were gift-wrapped a weather treat. Chicago is in September. Pittsburgh presents no issues in mid-October. Cleveland will be sunny, but chilly, on the first of November, so Arizona shouldn’t be troubled. The only game that could be dicey is Philly when it’s already begun to look like Christmas on December 20.5) THE DOUBLE-EASTERThis trip isn’t Holy by any stretch. Back-to-back EDT games create travel nightmares. Arizona could fly to Detroit for their Oct. 11 game which is a 4:00 p.m. start in Michigan, arrive home around two in the morning on Monday, practice on a short week and fly back East on Friday the 16th to Pittsburgh for a 10:00 a.m. “body clock” game on Sunday. The other option is equally as difficult. The Cardinals could stay in the Michigan/Ohio/Western Pennsylvania area for the entire week after their game in Detroit to have more time to prepare for the Steelers. Neither is ideal, making 1-1 the goal for the seven-day stretch.4) BOOKENDSThree of the first four Cardinals’ games are at home.Three of the last four Cardinals’ games are at home.After you read point 2, you’ll see it’s very important for Arizona to start fast because of what’s coming.3) THE PETERSON BOWLLook at all the great possibilities and personalities for a Thursday Night opponent for Arizona: a divisional game in the brutal NFC West, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, Ben Roethlisberger, Johnny Manziel, Chip Kelly (or Tim Tebow) and Aaron Rodgers. Why did the NFL ignore all those possibilities for the Arizona Cardinals to host a Thursday Night game against…wait for it…the Minnesota Vikings?Is the NFL preparing for a Peterson revenge game or rubbing it in to Arizona for the player they couldn’t trade for?2) THE TROUBLESOME MID-SECTIONArizona hosts the Rams on Oct. 4 before embarking on the “Bookend Tour”. Baltimore comes to town for a Monday night game and it’s back on the road for games in Cleveland and Seattle which are sandwiched around the bye week. This means the Cardinals will have one home game in a 47-day stretch. To continue to rub it in, when the Cards return home to face Cincinnati, they leave again for back-to-back divisional road games. So the grand total there is two home games in a 64-day stretch. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The visual is from Oct. 5 through Dec. 9, Arizona plays at University of Phoenix Stadium only twice.1) A 10-3 CARDINALS TEAM MIGHT MISS THE PLAYOFFSHey, I agree with thinking positive but let’s be realists, too. Do not use the phrase, “it’s early.” Hit the panic button in September if things aren’t going well for Arizona because the end of the year is not the time to make up ground.The last three games: at Philadelphia, and home against Green Bay and Seattle. Last year, the number-one seed was in the Cardinals’ grasp before losing at home to Seattle. How did that turn out? The silver lining is the game preceding this brutal stretch is the Thursday Night game against Minnesota so Arizona will have a mini-bye.In 2013, the Cards were 10-6, sitting at home watching the NFL playoffs. With a brutal finish to the 2015 Cardinals schedule, a 10-3 record guarantees Arizona absolutely nothing. September is imperative because the end could be an implosion. – / center_img Top Stories Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The Arizona Cardinals reportedly signed a safety in free agency already, agreeing to terms with Tyvon Branch, but Pro Football Focus was not quick to forget a Cardinals restricted free agent from the secondary.PFF named Tony Jefferson one of their five restricted free agents worthy of consideration. Jefferson received the “low tender” from the Cardinals, which surprised PFF’s John Breitenbach.The decision to tender only a low-level offer to Arizona safety Tony Jefferson was a surprise. Jefferson played over 900 snaps, including the playoffs, in 2015, helping the Cardinals to the NFC Championship game.Breitenbach notes that Jefferson was PFF’s 18th-overall ranked safety, calling him a “reliable safety with lots of upside.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   That upside comes with his tackling, where Jefferson thrived last season.Jefferson missed just 7-of-90 tackles last season, showing a propensity to prevent big plays rather than make them. For a safety, who represents the last line of defense, the ability to bring runners down in the open field is crucial. Jefferson’s low-level tender offers the remaining 31 teams a chance to snatch a talented starter away from the Cardinals.The 24-year-old undrafted safety out of Oklahoma played some of his best football in the playoffs. Jefferson had 13 tackles and two pass deflections in the 2015-16 postseason.Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson is also a free agent. He is reportedly being pursued by the Oakland Raiders.Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson, Atlanta Falcons right tackle Ryan Schraeder, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken and Houston Texans outside linebacker John Simon were the other four players on the list. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Arizona Cardinals’ Tony Jefferson works out during NFL football training camp, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)last_img read more

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson 3 sc

first_imgSeattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles as Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) and outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) pursue during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Leading 15-10 and facing a 2nd-and-22 from his own 44-yard line early in the fourth quarter, Seattle dialed up a pass play where the quarterback would take a designed roll out to his left. As Wilson looked downfield, Arizona defenders Chandler Jones and Tyrann Mathieu pursued.Wilson spun not once, but twice away from pressure, retreated back to the 27-yard line (17 yards behind the line of scrimmage) and threw a pass near the sideline that looked like it may have been an attempt to throw the ball away. Instead, Doug Baldwin made a leaping catch over Antoine Bethea, who fell down on the play. Undaunted, the wide receiver took off down the sideline before being pushed out of bounds at the Cardinals’ 2-yard line by Budda Baker..@DangeRussWilson..UNBELIEVABLE!! #GoHawks— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) November 10, 2017The Seahawks scored on the next play when Wilson hit tight end Jimmy Graham on a 2-yard touchdown pass to make it a 12-point lead, which may as well have been 100 points for the offensively-challenged Cardinals to come back from.“Obviously, Russell Wilson made a great play when he was trying to throw it out of bounds, and that was probably the deciding factor in the game,” Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling At one point during the play, on which Wilson scrambled for over nine seconds, NBC play-by-play broadcaster Mike Tirico said “cue the circus music.”While the Cardinals were obviously frustrated by the play that went a long way toward beating them, it was hard not to be impressed.“We put him right in the position we wanted him and he just made a great play,” linebacker Karlos Dansby said. “You can’t draw that one up. That, right there, was just a great play.“You can’t do nothing else — nothing. You just have to get him on the ground — that’s it. And we weren’t able to get him on the ground in that moment, and he made a play that will probably go down in history.”It was just the latest in an ever-growing highlight reel for the former third-round pick.“That’s what makes him special,” defensive lineman Frostee Rucker said. “You can’t take anything away from him on that play and what he did. That’s what Russell does and that’s why he’s one of the best in the game and we’ve got to make a play on him. We tried our best and that was the result.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact – / 32 GLENDALE, Ariz. — Has anyone checked to see if Russell Wilson is actually human?Really.Every team facing the Seattle Seahawks knows of Wilson’s propensity to extend plays with his legs, and either running for big chunks of yardage or buying enough time to find an open receiver who has slithered away from his defender while he’s dodging pressure.While the Cardinals did a pretty good job of keeping Wilson in check for most of the game, the sixth-year veteran pulled out a play for the ages in a 22-16 win Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium. 5 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

AP Photo

first_imgAP Photo 20%A year ago, Arizona was toward the back end of the NFL in terms of third down conversions at 35.2 percent. So far this year, the Cardinals are dead last in the NFL at 20 percent on third down.26No, that is not where the Cardinals are ranked for a certain statistical category. It’s how many more yards Saints receiver Michael Thomas has than the entire Cardinals roster.430.5After two games, the Cardinals are third to last in the NFL in total yards allowed per game. The only teams who have allowed more than Arizona, Tampa Bay and Kansas City, are both 2-0.19A reflection of how poorly the offense has played, the Cardinals are also dead last in the NFL in terms of first downs with 19. That is eight behind the 31st-ranked Buffalo Bills.3.27With only 243 total receiving yards this season, the Cardinals are not only last in the league in receiving yards, but they are also last in yards after the catch. Arizona’s 3.27 is the fewest in the league, 0.11 behind Houston at No. 31.2.57Arizona’s running game hasn’t been up to par with its preseason expectations, averaging only 61 rushing yards per game. Before contact, Arizona running backs are averaging just 2.57 yards, which is 29th in the NFL. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires It hasn’t been the start that Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks was hoping for.After two games, the Cardinals are 0-2, and the record doesn’t quite put how bad the team has looked into perspective. Arizona is toward the bottom of the league in almost every major statistical category on both sides of the ball.In the losses to Washington and Los Angeles, the passing game has been almost nonexistent, and on defense, the Cardinals have struggled both tackling and in coverage. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories center_img 22 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Last year’s team, which finished 8-8, had an above average defense and a slightly below average offense statistically. The Cardinals would kill to have a slightly below average offense right now.Not even David Johnson has played well to start the season, for he as rushed for only 85 yards this season.Here is a look at just how bad the Cardinals have been in the first two weeks of their season, by the numbers.6That is the number of points the Cardinals have scored this year. The lone score came on a garbage-time David Johnson touchdown against the Redskins. The Cardinals have snapped the ball 94 times this year but still have only scored once.114.0After averaging 227.5 yards in the air last year with Carson Palmer, Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton, the Cardinals thought they bolstered their offense in the offseason, signing Sam Bradford. The Arizona-Bradford experiment hasn’t exactly gone as planned thus far, with the Cardinals averaging 114.0 passing yards after two games. Josh Rosen may see action earlier than he expected.4.0Building off the previous stat, the Cardinals and Bradford are also last in the NFL in yards per passing attempt at 4.0. In comparison, the Buccaneers, who lead the league in yards per passing attempt, are averaging 13.4. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter The Lufthansa Group

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >The Lufthansa Group Airlines – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Eurowings, Lufthansa and SWISS – have announced the new winter schedule. This winter, via their hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, as well as via many point-to-point routes, the Lufthansa Group Airlines will serve 261 destinations in 101 countries. In cooperation with 30 partner airlines, more than 18,000 codeshare flights will round off the respective flight offering, giving passengers access to an almost global network. The winter schedules of the individual Group airlines will apply from Sunday 25 October 2015 until Saturday 27 March 2016.From today, the new price concept on domestic German and European routes will also apply to Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa. In Economy Class, travellers can individually choose between the three graded fare options “Light”, “Classic” and “Flex”. These options vary mainly with regard to the possibility of making advance seat reservations, re-booking or cancelling flights and permitted free luggage allowances. For all options, the Lufthansa Group Airlines still permits one free item of hand baggage. Passengers are also offered free snacks and drinks on board, fixed seat allocation at the check-in counter as well as bonuses for “award miles”, “status miles” and “select miles”.The most important news from the Lufthansa Group Airlines:LufthansaThis winter, Lufthansa will serve 197 destinations and operate a total of 9,900 flights per week. With the introduction of the winter schedule, Lufthansa is expanding its new intercontinental flight offering. Tampa, Florida, a new destination since 25 September, is the first of several new holiday destinations due to be added to the Lufthansa route network from Frankfurt in the coming months.From the end of October, Nairobi, Kenya, will be included in the Lufthansa flight schedule, and at the beginning of December, Cancun, Mexico, served mainly by charter flights, Malé, Maldives, and Mauritius will follow, with Panama City rounding off the new timetable in March 2016.This winter, for the first time, Lufthansa will operate its flagship on the Frankfurt-Hong Kong route. Services from Luxembourg will also be expanded, and with 28 weekly flights from Frankfurt and 24 flights from Munich, the Benelux countries will be served much more frequently than before.The new winter timetable will offer passengers an hourly connection from Munich to Dusseldorf and Berlin-Tegel. The easy-to-remember flight times, which already apply to connections from Munich to Frankfurt and Hamburg, will now be extended to Dusseldorf and Berlin. Lufthansa flights from Munich to Berlin will take off on the hour, and to Dusseldorf at half past the hour.This winter, Cape Town will once again be connected with the Munich hub. From 25 October, the Airbus A340-600 in a four-class configuration will take off daily for South Africa. On 25 October, the new connection between Munich and Fuerteventura will be launched; on 31 October Tenerife will follow. From 19 December 2015, Lufthansa will take off every Saturday to Kittilä, 170km north of the Arctic Circle. The nearby skiing resort of Levi is the largest winter sports centre in Lapland.Germanwings and EurowingsIn the 2015/2016 winter timetable, Germanwings flights to Berlin-Schönefeld will complement the carrier’s existing services to Berlin. A total of 35 flights per week will take off from Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart to Berlin-Schönefeld Airport. Germanwings will thus be the only airline flying from Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart to Berlin’s Tegel and Schönefeld airports.The new Eurowings will take off from its new Austrian base in Vienna, from where it will operate nonstop services to Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and London. In November 2015, the airline will launch long-haul flights from Cologne/Bonn Airport with the Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The first of 6 intercontinental destinations will be Varaderoin Cuba. Further destinations will be Phuket and Bangkok in Thailand, Dubai as well as Puerto Plata and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.SWISSThis winter, the new SWISS flagship, the Boeing 777-300ER, will enter scheduled service on routes from Zurich. From January 2016, the new long-haul aircraft will be deployed on the Zurich-New York route. With the introduction of the winter timetable, SWISS will boost frequencies on its routes to Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Miami (Florida), and will also expand its services from Geneva to destinations in Russia and Portugal in order to meet seasonal demand. In total, SWISS will thus fly to 105 destinations in 49 countries this winter.Austrian AirlinesIn the 2015/2016 winter season, Austrian Airlines will offer its passengers a wide range of flights to as many as 130 destinations in 59 countries. The airline will focus on tourist destinations such as Miami, Florida, which will be served 5 times a week. From October, it will also offer flights to Mauritius and Colombo (Sri Lanka), and from November, to Marrakesh, Morocco.Brussels AirlinesFrom 26 October, the Ghanaian capital Accra will be served 4 times a week by Brussels Airlines. The flight schedule offers ideal connections to Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and the USA.This winter, Brussels Airlines is also expanding its European flight schedule. The airline will fly to Bremen 5 times a week, while Zagreb (6 flights/week) and Billund (12 flights/week) will be served for the first time. The Canary Islands Tenerife and Gran Canaria will be connected twice a week with Brussels Airport. As well as introducing new destinations, Brussels Airlines will increase frequencies on existing routes. During the winter months, more flights will therefore be available to Monrovia, Liberia, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Lomé, Togo, Cotonou, Beni, and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

All photos by SDP Media

first_imgAll photos by SDP Media Go back to the e-newsletter2015 was a record-breaking year for the Australian tourism industry and a perfect backdrop to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, held on Friday 5 February 2016. More than 850 industry leaders and operators converged on the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for a gala ceremony held in honour of excellence among the nation’s tourism providers. TV personality, Natarsha Belling, reprised her role as the evening’s host, joined by Australian actor and musician, Hugh Sheridan. Entertainment featured throughout the evening, with a final performance by Kate Ceberano. Other notable guests included the Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, and Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, the Hon John Eren. Signature Media and LATTE were also present at the celebrations as sponsor for the ‘Unique Accommodation’ award, taken out this year by Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo for its new and luxurious Zoofari Lodge. Victoria took home 10 of the 26 awards (including Major Tourist Attraction for Sovereign Hill in Ballarat), while Geoff McGeary OAM, founder of APT, was honoured as the 2015 Australian Tourism Legend for his extraordinary personal contribution to the industry.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Emirates specially e

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterEmirates’ specially emblazoned football club aircraft recently took to the skies in seven carefully coordinated take-offs over the course of a few hours in one day, showing the airline’s unwavering support for its football club partners with the season drawing to a close. The club-themed aircraft celebrated Emirates’ football partnerships that touch over 1.5 billion people around the world, the combined fan base of all six iconic clubs.The bespoke decals were installed on both A380s and Boeing 777s, and include club crests and first team players from Arsenal, Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain, HSV, Benfica and AC Milan in action. Since the decals were first placed on the seven Emirates aircraft in 2015, over 1800 flights, clocking in almost 12,000 hours have been made.  The different aircraft offered the opportunity for football fans in more than 150 Emirates destinations to see and travel aboard aircraft adorned with their favourite clubs.Emirates has been a steadfast supporter of globally recognised football clubs for more than a decade. This year marks a number of partnership highlights, including the airline’s 10-year milestone sponsorship of Arsenal, AC Milan, HSV and Paris Saint Germain.Emirates has been a staunch partner of Real Madrid since 2012, and since its landmark jersey sponsorship in 2013, the global football powerhouse has clinched the UEFA Champion’s League title twice. Benfica, Portugal’s most successful football club recently celebrated their 35th Portuguese League title, their third consecutive winning of the championship and first since their jersey partnership with Emirates. Paris Saint Germain recently won the Ligue 1 title for a fourth successive season and also secured their 10th Coupe de France, Trophee des Champions and Coupe de la Ligue.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Located in the colourfu

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterLocated in the colourful Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan famous for its Gross National Happiness (GNH) philosophy, Six Senses Bhutan celebrates its highly anticipated arrival with the opening of its first three lodges in Thimphu, Punakha and Paro. The lodges seamlessly combine the brand’s commitment to wellness, sustainability and out-of-the-ordinary experiences with the country’s rich culture, warm hospitality and omnipresent spirituality.Comprising five lodges spread over the west and central valleys of this remote Himalayan kingdom, Six Senses Bhutan offers guests a unique adventure with uplifting experiences at every turn. From sunrise meditations and holistic spa treatments to private astrology readings, and butter lamp lighting ceremonies to incredible hikes and treks through pristine forests, the aim is to leave enriched and reconnected.Six Senses Bhutan – Paro | Lodge roomEach location has been thoughtfully designed to fully immerse travellers into the local culture. The lodges, which vary in style, showcase the diversity and special character of each valley. With sweeping views, the spacious interiors are framed by subtle references to Bhutanese architecture, seen in the simple lines of the natural timber furniture and the presence of locally inspired touches such as bukharis (traditional wood-burning stoves) and vegetable-dyed, antique-washed Himalayan rugs.Six Senses Bhutan – Punakha | Lodge SuiteSustainability lies at the foundation of Six Senses Bhutan and is reflected through active management of energy, water, waste, purchasing and chemical usage. The Kingdom of Bhutan keeps 60% of its land under forest cover, as mandated by its constitution. The four pillars of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) philosophy are Sustainable Development, Environmental Protection, Cultural Preservation and Good Governance, all of which are carefully woven into the design, operations and identity of Six Senses Bhutan.Reservations are being accepted now for the lodges in Thimphu, Paro and Punakha with introductory rates available through 31 March. Full rates will be applied for stays from 1 April onwards. The lodges in Gangtey and Bumthang are targeted to open in the summer of 2019.Six Senses Bhutan – Thimphu | Lodge Suite bedroomWith the opening of the five lodges, Six Senses Bhutan is spreading some happiness with extra-special offers and tempting bonuses.Opening OfferAvailable immediately is a Special Opening Offer available online via and via select travel partners. Guests enjoy a complimentary upgrade from half board to full board each day of their stay. In addition, Six Senses Bhutan is rewarding guests who book five consecutive nights or more with a private vehicle, with driver, and a licensed English-speaking Bhutanese guide at their disposal for their entire journey to explore the Kingdom.Punakha Valley, Bhutan Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more