Koreas heritage offerings set for popularity

first_imgHistoric Yangdong Village A traditional dwelling Old Korea is on show in Gyeongju’s Yangdong Village and Andong’s Hahoe Village, stunning examples of preserved Joseon-era clan townships set in countryside that is simply beyond beautiful.Educated more on the Joseon Dynasty’s art rather than history, I was astonished at how each scene from both Hahoe and Yangdong still resembles the waterbrushed mountain crags, swirling ink rivers and neat little dwellings of a Joseon painting.The villages are composed, rather than built, my guide tells me, each dwelling and the village, as a whole, laid out according to the Confucian culture of the early Joseon Dynasty.According to UNESCO, who in August added the two villages to its world heritage list, both Yangdong and Hahoe are “an exceptional manifestation of the Joseon political and cultural regimes and the way they were shaped by Confucianism”.Houses of nobles are on higher ground and have tiled roofs (giwajip) while farmers’ houses are closer to the fields with thatched roofs (chogajip), my guide said and added that men always got the best views.Although as the villages are framed by forested mountains, scenes of flowing rivers and golden fields, I doubt there is a bad view from any aspect.In fact, visitors are encouraged to look out at the views from within the dwellings, the villages embodying a blend of manmade and natural, which, according to my guide is an important aspect of Korean architecture both past and present.Both villages are living, interactive museums, each housing a number of residents who not only tolerate the daily tourists to their homes, but welcome them with the traditional Korean greeting (phonetically: an-nyung-ha-se-yo).There’s a charm to blocked off entry ways and villagers picking up what visitors to the village have left behind and I hope that should the inevitable tourist numbers increase, this charm remains, that rather than dying with the current, admittedly older residents, these historical villages will continue to live via the travels of domestic and international visitors alike.For those wanting to extend their experience of the Joseon lifestyle, visitors can stay overnight in the villages, eating traditional Korean cuisine and participating in hundreds of years old activities.Both located in Korea’s south-east, Yangdong and Hahoe villages are easy to get to from both Seoul and Busan. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A A Hahoe village house caters for touristslast_img read more

Intrepid Connections new GM

first_imgJacquie Burnside – Intrepid Connections GM Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Jacquie Burnside is poised to become the new General Manager of Intrepid Connections, effective 31 December 2010.Intrepid Connections, a joint venture between Australian Pacific Touring (APT) and Intrepid Travel, eagerly welcome Ms Burnside to the team.“Jacquie comes to Intrepid Connections with a diverse set of skills in operations, product, sales, marketing and business development,” it read in a statement from Intrepid Connections.Outgoing GM, Fleur Ulbrick will return to her previous role as General Manager VIP Touring and the Inbound Division at APT.Intrepid Connections recently won three awards at the 2010 Brolga Northern Territory Awards in Darwin.last_img

The Gong Dominates the Nominations for South Coast Tourism Awards

first_imgSource = Tourism Wollongong Tourism Wollongong and its members have received an outstanding 15 nominations for the 2011 South Coast Tourism Awards.Tourism Wollongong Chairman Matt Davidson is thrilled with the long list of Wollongong products nominated, and is particularly proud of Tourism Wollongong’s two nominations in Tourism Marketing and Visitor Services categories. In fact, Tourism Wollongong is hoping to win the Tourism Marketing category for the eleventh year in a row! “The high standard of tourism product in Wollongong and surrounds is evident with the number of nominations,” Mr Davidson said. “Wollongong boasts a large range of accommodation options, exciting attractions and a tourism body that is constantly looking to evolve with the times to market great product- the successful We Love the Gong social media campaign is a prime example.“We’re hoping with the awards on home soil this year, that we can top the six Gold Awards the Gong won at the event last year,” Mr Davidson concluded.Winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner on August 17 at the Novotel Wollongong with winners automatically qualifying for the NSW Tourism Awards. Full list of Tourism Wollongong nominees:Above Wollongong at Pleasant Heights B&B Australian Motorlife Museum Eco Extreme Wilderness and Wildlife CruiseIbis WollongongiBistro Restaurant Illawarra Folk Festival Nan Tien Temple Novotel Wollongong NorthbeachScience Centre and PlanetariumSymbio Wildlife Park The Sebel Harbourside KiamaTourism WollongongTowradgi Beach Hotel Warilla Bowls and Recreation ClubWe Love the Gong – Tourism Wollongonglast_img read more

Business travellers seek responsive service survey

first_img“The fact that over a third of respondents thought ‘accessibility’ was important indicates that clients value local service from people they can reach easily either by phone, email or see face to face.”Mr Lording said it also demonstrates that clients value travel management companies that offer extended trading hours as it means the travel managers are more readily available. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P A recent survey of business travellers revealed that ‘responsive service’ that provides options and is easily accessible is what corporate travellers are seeking from their travel managers.The recent customer survey conducted by Flight Centre asked their clients what they felt were the most important service attributes, out of nine options.  From the received 3,645 responses from corporate travellers, the results found that 67 percent of respondents felt ‘responsiveness’ was one of the most important attributes, 62 percent voted ‘providing options’ was an important service attribute, while 35 percent of applicants said ‘accessibility’ was a vital service feature.FCm Travel Solutions global leader Gregory Lording said the fact that companies want responsive service makes sense as there is “no one size fits all” when it comes to corporate travel management.“Travel managers need to have a positive attitude and proactive approach to client servicing and solving travel challenges. “The dynamic nature of the travel industry means travel managers need to think on their feet, and react quickly and intuitively to ensure their client’s needs are met,”  Mr Gregory said.last_img read more

FCm named top TMC in Australasia and Asia

first_imgFCm Travel Solutions can add yet another accolade to its line-up of achievements in 2012 after being named Australasia’s Leading Travel Management Company (TMC) as part of the World Travel Awards. FCm accepted the prestigious accolade at a World Travel Awards Ceremony held 18 October at the InterContinental Singapore. During the awards ceremony, FCm was also named Asia’s Leading Travel Management Company. FCm currently holds the mantle of ‘World’s Leading Travel Management Company’ and earlier this year was also confirmed by the 2012 World Travel Awards program as the Leading Travel Management Company for Europe, the Middle East, North America, South America and Central America. This year FCm also took out the award for Africa’s Leading Corporate Travel Company. FCm Global Leader Gregory Lording congratulated FCm’s teams around the world for their efforts, which had been broadly recognised by the World Travel Awards during 2012. “These new titles for our operations in Asia and Australasia cap off an outstanding performance on the world awards stage for FCm,” Gregory said. “So far FCm has taken out eight awards for being a corporate travel market leader as part of the 2012 World Travel Awards program and I’d like to congratulate our travel and account management teams for their hard work and commitment.” FCm General Manager New Zealand Simon McKearney said the Australasia award was testament to FCm’s success in the Australian and New Zealand corporate market. “Our corporate business in New Zealand has gone from strength to strength in the past year, recording strong client growth and high retention rates,” he said. “Our ability to offer strategic account management that drives long-term value and service that generates efficiencies at every stage of the booking and buying process have been key to our success.” Source = FCm Travel Solutionslast_img read more

Jamaica on hurricane alert

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J This page will be updated as more news comes to hand. Travellers and locals have been advised that the hurricane warning issued by the Jamaican Government earlier this week remains in effect, as Tropical Storm Sandy moves closer towards the country’s southeast coast.According to a Jamaica Information Service update, the Category 1 hurricane is moving at 20 kilometres per hour and is expected to reach the southeast coast today, before making its way across the island from south to north.Travellers in the eastern parishes are warned to expect high-force winds later today as the centre of the hurricane moves over western St. Thomas and Portland. Meanwhile, locals in other regions are reportedly dealing with average winds of 64 knows or 118 kilometres per house and “dangerously” high water and “exceptionally high waves.“Residents should continue to expect extensive flooding and dangerous landslides, especially over central and eastern parishes,” the update read.last_img read more

A lucky PTM will win a car at TravelManagers National Conference

first_imgSource = TravelManagers Australia A lucky PTM will win a car at TravelManagers National Conference TravelManagers’ Chief Operating Office Grant Campbell and Vicki Spencer, Allianz Global Assistance’s General Manager – Business Partners with the brand new Mazda 2 Neo that one lucky personal travel manager will soon be calling their ownOne lucky PTM will win a car at TravelManagers National ConferenceTravelManagers’ personal travel managers have more than one reason to be excited about its national conference in Bangkok this August. Along with being inspired and motivated, outstanding personal travel manager performances recognized, the 2016 conference will also see one very lucky personal travel manager walk away with a brand new car.TravelManagers’ travel insurance partner Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) has been working closely with TravelManagers to develop an exclusive sales incentive where a personal travel manager has the opportunity to win a brand new Mazda 2 Neo including three years AGA Roadside Assistance.TravelManagers’ Chief Operating Office Grant Campbell views this significant sales incentive as testimony to how highly TravelManagers is regarded by its partner suppliers.Campbell is quick to point out that supporting supplier partners is absolutely key to the TravelManagers’ business model.“We couldn’t be more pleased that our personal travel managers are being recognized for their loyalty and sales focus. Whilst some may view the personal travel manager concept as a unique distribution channel, by providing clients with a convenient and compelling experience there is no doubting TravelManagers has proven its place and growing importance within the industry.”Allianz Global Assistance has been a partner supplier with TravelManagers for more than three years.AGA General Manager – Business Partners Vicki Spencer says it was an easy decision to work with TravelManagers on an exclusive incentive.“TravelManagers is a loyal partner that delivers outstanding sales performance. It will be our absolute pleasure to reward a very well deserving personal travel manager for achieving top sales with a brand new Mazda 2 Neo.”The sales incentive is open to all TravelManagers’ personal travel managers who sell the company’s travel insurance products between 01 May and 31 July.“It’s a really simple concept. Personal travel managers need to sell a minimum of ten policies to enter the draw, with each additional policy sold earning them an extra entry. The top ten finalists will be announced at the TravelManagers conference in August. Each of the ten finalists will receive a key, but only one key will unlock the car,” says Spencer.TravelManagers’ 2016 National Conference will be held at the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong in Bangkok from 19 to 21 August.For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagersTravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.About Allianz Global Assistance How can we help?The Allianz Global Assistance Group is an international leader in assistance, travel insurance and health, life and home care services. It has over 13,000 employees who speak 40 different languages and work throughout the world, as well as a network of 400,000 service providers and 180 correspondents. 250 million people, or 4% of the world’s total population, benefit from its services, which the Group provides on all five continents. TravelManagers Australiabecome a PTM herelast_img read more

AirAsia X increases flight frequencies between Malaysia and Gold Coast

first_imgAirAsia X increases flight frequencies between Malaysia and Gold CoastLeading low-cost airline AirAsia X will increase services on its Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Gold Coast route to 11 services per week from daily flights effective from 1 July 2016.AirAsia X Chief Executive Officer Benyamin Ismail said the increase reflects the success of the route and demand for affordable long haul travel between Asia and Australia.“We are pleased to increase these services and provide additional flight options and convenience for our guests,” Mr Ismail said.“These four additional weekly services strengthens our long standing relationship with Gold Coast Airport and also our successful strategy in developing under-served markets.”Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the additional flights were secured through the Palaszczuk Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.“These are two very important travel hubs for Queensland,” she said.“AirAsia X currently services 18 destinations in mainland China, Taipei and 12 cities in India. More direct flights out of Kuala Lumpur provide a direct connection for Greater China and Indian travellers to the Gold Coast.”Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the increases in services is a direct response to strong demand on the popular Gold Coast-Kuala Lumpur service.“AirAsia X has played a key role in delivering affordable air travel to and from South East Queensland since they commenced services to Gold Coast Airport in 2007,” Ms Charlton said.“The increase to 11 services per week will provide an additional 78,000 inbound seats per year which is great news for the local tourism industry.“The Gold Coast – Kuala Lumpur service is vital for the Gold Coast as it improves connectivity with major international markets including China and India via Kuala Lumpur as a hub.“We acknowledge and thank Tourism and Events Queensland for their support.”AirAsia X, together with AirAsia, provides Australians with low fares and connectivity to over 100 destinations across 26 countries.Source = AirAsia Xlast_img read more

Vietjet to launch Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City

first_imgVietjet to launch Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh CityVietjet to launch Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh CityVietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company (“Vietjet”) has announced the launch of its newest international route connecting Hong Kong with Ho Chi Minh City.The route will commence operations on a daily basis from 9 December 2016 and is Vietjet’s first frequent service to Hong Kong, which brings the total of Vietjet’s routes between Vietnam and China to nine.The flight will depart from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City at 2.35pm (local time) and arrive at Hong Kong at 6.20pm (local time). The return flight will take off from Hong Kong International Airport at 7.20pm (local time) and arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at 9.05pm (local time). The flight time per sector is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.“Asia is poised to be the biggest aviation market in the world and more than 50% of the world’s population lives within a radius of 2,500 miles from Vietjet’s current bases. Vietjet is well-positioned to serve quality and creative aviation services across our primary international network while also connecting key regional destinations with each other, including Hong Kong,” said Vietjet & CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. “At Vietjet, our mission is to make air travel accessible to everyone and a more popular means of transportation. We believe that our new Ho Chi Minh City – Hong Kong route will better connect these two dynamic financial hubs and tourism destinations. In doing so, Vietjet is proud to play its part in boosting integration, tourism and trade development across the globe and become one of the world’s favorite airlines.”The launch ceremony was attended by Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam’s Prime Minister and Mrs. Carrie Lam, Chief secretary for Administration of Hong Kong, as well as leaders from Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department. The event was held as part of the Prime Minister of Vietnam’s official itinerary during his visit to Hong Kong. Vietjetbook your flights hereAbout VietJetVietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate as a new-age airline with low-cost and diversified services to meet customers’ needs. Currently the airline boasts a fleet of 40 aircraft, including Airbus A320s and A321s, operating 300 flights per day over 53 routes. In Vietnam, Vietjet has successfully connected key regions operating routes in Vietnam and across the region to international destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Myanmar. Today, Vietjet is one of the fastest growing airlines in Asia, transporting over 25 million passengers, and is quickly expanding international routes throughout the Asia Pacific region and beyond.Source = Vietjetlast_img read more

Six Senses Laamu triumphs as ecohotel of the year

first_imgSource = Six Senses Laamu Six Senses Laamu triumphs as eco-hotel of the yearSix Senses Laamu triumphs as eco-hotel of the yearSix Senses Laamu has taken home the 2017 Eco-Hotel of the Year award by AsiaSpa, in the 13th annual ceremony held in Hong Kong recently.The AsiaSpa awards were created by AsiaSpa magazine in 2005 to recognise the leaders in Asia’s dynamic wellness industry. The prestigious accolade sets the benchmark for quality and innovation for spas in the region and celebrates properties and spas that constantly strive to evolve the wellness sector through innovation and excellence. Over the years, the AsiaSpa awards have established its uncompromised independence, transparency and objectivity, plus they are among the most accessible awards, as all spas and resorts in the region are eligible for nomination, regardless of size or ethos.In this ceremony, Six Senses Laamu won the Eco-Spa/Hotel of the Year award that celebrates its commitment to sustainability throughout its operations and development. With many conservation projects and initiatives in place, Six Senses Laamu and its Six Senses Spa have committed to being a leader among Maldives resorts and of the industry by demonstrating such responsible operations, while providing high quality services and experiences to its guests. In winning this award, the resort has been acknowledged for its pursuit of excellence and for striving to raise the bar in the region’s thriving wellness industry.Marteyne van Well, General Manager of Six Senses Laamu says, “”We are very excited to receive this award from AsiaSpa. As we stay true to our core values of being environmentally responsible and caring, having been recognised for our efforts as the Eco-Hotel of the Year by AsiaSpa is a great honor. The Six Senses Laamu team shows great initiative when it comes to marine conservation, responsible energy and water consumption and overall reducing the resort’s carbon footprint and we try to be better and more effective every day. I am very proud for the team and we will continue to work together towards an even more sustainable Six Senses Laamu.””last_img read more

2019 ANZAC DAY ON THE SOMME

first_img2019 ANZAC DAY ON THE SOMME2019 ANZAC DAY ON THE SOMMEAs the sun sets on 2018’s Anzac Day proceedings, FRENCH TRAVEL CONNECTION (FTC) is now accepting expressions of interest for those wishing to attend the dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux as part of a 2019 Anzac Day on The Somme tour.The Anzac Day tours are built for Australian travellers and primarily focused on attendance at the Dawn Service on Anzac Day at the Australian National Memorial. Tours include accommodation and visits to the Somme Battlefields and memorials, including Pozieres, Moquet Farm, and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.Interested parties can speak with a French travel specialist, or enquire online, to be notified when tours open for booking.For more information contact French Travel Connection on 1300 858 304, email info@frenchtravel.com.au or visit www.frenchtravel.com.aulast_img read more

AirAsia celebrates a decade of worlds best

first_imgAirAsia celebrates a decade of world’s bestAirAsia celebrates a decade of world’s bestAirAsia has been named the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for the tenth year in a row.AirAsia won the accolade at the 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards, held today at The Langham, London.Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the Aviation Industry’, the Skytrax Awards are the global benchmark of airline excellence with over 20.36 million customers surveyed worldwide by more than 105 nationalities, measuring standards across 49 key performance indicators of an airline’s frontline products and services.AirAsia co-founder, Executive Chairman of AirAsia Group Berhad and Group CEO of AirAsia X Datuk Kamarudin Meranun accepted the award in London together with AirAsia’s long-serving Allstars from across the region.The four selected Allstars were Acting Head of Ground Operations Ahmad Bin Ismail from Malaysia (17 years of service), Assistant Cabin Crew Manager Robert Anthony Gutierrez from the Philippines (7 years of service), Head of ICT Pipat Khunprakan from Thailand, AirAsia’s first staff in Thailand (15 years of service) and Assistant Flight Dispatch Manager Koji Kaneko who dispatched AirAsia Japan’s very first flight (4 years of service).Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said, “I’m honored to celebrate our record-breaking tenth win today with our Allstars who have been with us on this journey since the early days. This moment feels surreal. I remember the ecstatic feeling of being named the world’s best low-cost airline for the very first time ten years ago. I would have never imagined we would remain the world’s best for a decade. Thank you for your tremendous love and support. We will continue to champion low fares and hopefully transform many more lives in the process.”AirAsia X was also presented World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Premium Cabin for the sixth consecutive year. Chairman of AirAsia X Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz accepted the award for AirAsia X.Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said, “Any success and achievement by the AirAsia Group and Asia X Group is a direct contribution and value add of every Allstar. As such, it is important that levels of competency, efficiency, and performance be continuously enhanced and upgraded so that the companies will be able to maintain their world-class status in the highly competitive regional and global aviation industry. Everyone must strive to be an asset to the AirAsia Group and AirAsia X Group. Congratulations everyone!”AirAsia also took home Asia’s Best Low-Cost Airline, received by Deputy Group CEO (Airline Business) Bo Lingam who joined AirAsia in 2001 as a Ground Operations Manager.Bo Lingam said, “In my seventeen years at AirAsia, I have witnessed how AirAsia has realised the dreams of more than half a billion people, especially in Asean. We have connected people and places, we have created jobs across the region, we have enabled small businesses to grow, and we have contributed to tourism in Asean and beyond. Knowing we have made a difference makes all the battles worth fighting.”In true One AirAsia spirit, the win was celebrated across the group in AirAsia offices in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Bangalore and Nagoya, with a special live interactive show broadcasted on AirAsia’s Facebook page.AirAsia also brings the celebration to major hub airports, namely KL International Airport 2 (KLIA2), Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, and Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok from 17 – 22 July, with boarding pass-enabled photobooths and a chance of winning tickets to their dream AirAsia destination.As part of the celebration, AirAsia will be offering unbelievably low fares on 23 – 29 July on www.airasia.com and AirAsia mobile app. Guests also stand a chance to win one year of free flights* by participating in our #WeAreAllChampions social media contest. For more information, visit our Instagram (instagram.com/airasia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia).*Terms & conditions applySource = AirAsialast_img read more

Thai Airways International reinvents customer experience with Qualtric

first_imgThai Airways International reinvents customer experience with QualtricsThai Airways International reinvents customer experience with QualtricsQualtrics, the leader in experience management, today announced that it has been selected by Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Thailand, to amplify the airline’s unified customer experience management program. THAI will be using the Qualtrics Experience Management Platform™ to synchronise useful customer feedback and deliver personalised experiences to its customers in real-time.According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the air travel market has been growing steadily and Asia-Pacific airlines have been leading the growth with around 34% share of the global market. To capitalise on the immense potential of the market, THAI has identified drivers for sustainable growth, including identifying customer service excellence as a top priority.“The air travel market has been growing consistently and there are new customers joining every day. Amidst fierce competition and increasing operational cost, it is important to convert these first-time or one-time flyers to regular customers. Ensuring a hassle-free travel experience across touchpoints can be instrumental in bringing about this change,” said Ms. Priyasiri Juathes, THAI Vice President, Product and Guest Experience. We needed a partner to help us fulfill a long-standing objective of integrating our operational and experience customer data onto a single unified platform. This provides us with actionable insights in real-time, eliminating customer pain-points. With this platform, THAI will be able to streamline our customer experience strategy with enhanced efficacy, reducing processing time and manual intervention.”“THAI currently monitors customer experience, but going forward THAI wants to be more proactive. With Qualtrics we provide a platform that empowers them to take a step ahead by managing the full customer lifecycle to create incredible experiences and acting on feedback in real time,” said Foo Mao Gen, Head of Southeast Asia, Qualtrics.Equipped with over 70 languages, the Qualtrics Experience Management (XM) Platform™ will facilitate THAI’s efforts to analyse customer feedback from over 20 million passengers globally. THAI will employ Qualtrics iQ which is a set of advanced intelligent features built directly into the XM Platform. Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, iQ will allow THAI to easily conduct digital surveys, perform sophisticated text analysis, and determine statistically based drivers of behaviour.Since the launch of its Southeast Asia hub in September 2017, Qualtrics has partnered with over 110 customers across various sectors in the region. This includes financial services organisations such as OCBC Bank, Singtel, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific, Nestlé, Singapore Post, and educational establishments such as United World College Southeast Asia (UWCSEA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS).About QualtricsQualtrics is the technology platform that organisations use to collect, manage, and act on experience data, also called X-data™. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action, used by teams, departments, and entire organisations to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee and brand—on one platform. Over 9,000 enterprises worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 U.S. business schools, rely on Qualtrics to consistently build products that people love, create more loyal customers, develop a phenomenal employee culture, and build iconic brands. To learn more, and for a free account, please visit www.qualtrics.comSource = THAIlast_img read more

CU Trade Group Voices Opposition to Proposed FHLB Requirements

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Share Credit Unions Federal Home Loan Banks FHFA NAFCU 2015-01-13 Tory Barringer January 13, 2015 470 Views center_img A national trade group representing credit unions has come out against a recent proposal to revise requirements for Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) membership.In a comment letter addressed to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) general counsel, Alicia Nealon, director of regulatory affairs for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU), voiced the association’s opposition to the proposal, which she says would “disenfranchise over 1 million credit union member-owners.””Given the onerous nature of this proposal on credit unions, the lack of a Congressional mandate for ‘ongoing’ FHLB membership requirements and the current requirements that already exist for FHLB members to demonstrate a commitment to housing finance, NAFCU must oppose the proposed rule and urge its withdrawal,” Nealon wrote.NAFCU’s complaint stems from a provision of the proposed rule that would require FHLB members and applicants to keep 1 percent of assets in home mortgage loans. Current members would also be required to hold at least 10 percent of assets in residential mortgage loans on an ongoing basis as opposed to just at the time of application, as the current rule requires.In her comment letter, Nealon says the membership requirements fail to take into account a credit union’s asset size or experience level. She also says NAFCU is concerned that the standards (particularly the 1 percent requirement) don’t take into account the kinds of fluctuations that can happen in portfolios due to changes in economic conditions.As an alternative, the group suggests that the agency allow loans sold in the secondary market to count toward an institution’s 1 percent threshold.Also of concern to NAFCU is FHFA’s proposal to determine if FHLB members meet eligibility standards on a yearly basis and to terminate any members that fail to comply after a two-year grace period. The group instead suggests a five-year probationary period for lenders to get back up to standard. CU Trade Group Voices Opposition to Proposed FHLB Requirementslast_img read more

Scarce Inventory Weighs Heavy on the Mortgage Industry

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Inventory has been a ongoing issue in the housing market despite positive indicators from home sales and prices coming out of the crisis.The March 2016 RE/MAX National Housing Report of 53 metros found that the number of homes for sale in February was 1.3 percent lower than in January and 13.3 percent lower than in February 2015.According to the data, on a year-over-year basis in 2015, the average loss of inventory was 12.2 percent. The months supply of inventory was 4.0 in February, down from 4.6 percent in January and 4.7 supply in February 2015, where a six months supply indicates a balanced market between buyers and sellers.RE/MAX said that Burlington, Vermont had the highest inventory in February at 11.1. Meanwhile, seven metros had a supply less than 2 months: Denver, Colorado (1.1), San Francisco, California (1.2), Seattle, Washington (1.2), Portland, Oregon (1.4), Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas (1.8), San Diego, California (1.8), and Omaha, Nebraska (1.9).“So far in 2016, January and February have both seen home sales at a pace higher than one year ago, and last year was one of the best our industry has seen in quite some time,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder. Consumers are benefiting from price increases that have been moderating, but many will still be dealing with an inventory lower than we’d like to see. Serious homebuyers who choose to work with an experienced agent will have a much easier time navigating this market,”Bob Walters, Quicken Loans, Chief Economist added, “A lack of inventory continues to affect home values, as eager buyers compete for a small selection of homes. Home prices continue their long march back from the big price drops experienced in the financial crash. As more and more Americans gain equity, this increases the number of homeowners who are financially able to sell their home and buy another one. We’re seeing the benefits of this virtuous cycle in rising home prices, which are also being greatly aided by historically low mortgage rates.”The report showed that in the 53 metro areas surveyed in February, the average number of home sales was 4.8 percent higher year-over-year and was 5.8 percent higher than the previous month. The average home price for all homes sold in February was $198,000, down 1.0 percent from January. The median sales price has now risen for 49 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis. “Although price increases have been moderating over the last few months, low inventory supply continues to be the most significant factor pressuring prices,” RE/MAX said.Click here to view the full report. March 17, 2016 493 Views center_img Inventory Mortgage Industry RE/MAX 2016-03-17 Staff Writer Scarce Inventory Weighs Heavy on the Mortgage Industrylast_img read more

Seller ROI Hits Highest Point Since 2007

first_img in Daily Dose, Data attom Home Sales Home Sellers 2017-04-27 Aly J. Yale April 27, 2017 632 Views The typical U.S. home seller gets a 24 percent return on their investment, according to the Q1 2017 U.S. Home Sales Report released by ATTOM Data Solutions on Thursday. That amounts to about $44,000 per sale—the highest gain for home sellers since mid-2007.But while ROI is up, the average homeowner tenure is down slightly for the quarter. Sellers in Q1 of this year owned their properties for 7.97 years, a dip from the eight years of home sellers in Q4 2016—the record-high for home seller tenure. Still, despite the slight decrease, tenure is largely up according to historical standards. Between 2000 and 2007, homeownership tenure averaged just over four years.Though home seller gains are on the up and up, many homeowners simply aren’t ready to sell, and that’s causing the market’s ever-worsening inventory problem, according to Daren Blomquist, Senior Vice President for ATTOM Data Solutions.“The first quarter of 2017 was the most profitable time to be a home seller in nearly a decade, and yet homeowners are continuing to stay put in their homes longer before selling,” Blomquist said. “This counterintuitive combination is in part the result of the low inventory of move-up homes available for current homeowners, while also perpetuating the scarcity of starter homes available for first-time homebuyers.”All hope isn’t lost, though, according to Blomquist. At a metro level, there are some promising signs that inventory may be loosening up.“There are some early signs this inventory logjam may be loosening up in some markets,” Blomquist said, “with the average homeownership tenure down from a year ago in nine of the 66 markets we analyzed, including Memphis, Dallas, Boston, Portland, and Tampa. Sky-high potential price gains may be finally prompting more homeowners to sell.”The biggest markets for these “sky-high” ROIs? Those are along the Pacific coast. According to Q1 data, the top home seller gains occurred in San Jose, California ($365,500 per sale); San Francisco ($276,750); Los Angeles ($187,000); Honolulu ($161,110); and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Venture, California ($160,000).As a percent of the purchase price, the highest gains were in San Jose (71 percent ROI); San Francisco (65 percent); Seattle, Washington (56 percent); Portland, Oregon (52 percent); and Modesto, California (51 percent). In six markets, sellers saw a loss upon the sale of their home. These included Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Columbia, South Carolina; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and August, Georgia.The Q1 report also found that cash sales dropped over the year, as did overall foreclosure sales. Read the full report at RealtyTrac.com.center_img Seller ROI Hits Highest Point Since 2007 Sharelast_img read more

September 06 2018

first_imgSeptember 06 , 2018 Vikki enters Eco Farms with 7 years of experience in agriculture. She entered the industry through the PMA’s FIT program (Produce Marketing Association, Foundation for Industry Talent). She has worked at prominent companies including Four Seasons Produce, Inc. and Devine Organics. She holds a bachelor’s in Bachelors of Science in agriculture business, graduating cum laude from California State University, Fresno. Her concentration was in sales, marketing and international relations. As a sales and marketing associate as well, Vikki will be responsible for customer acquisition, account management, distribution, developing customer relationships.Andy Hamilton, the CEO of Eco Farms added: “We’re extremely excited to have Emily and Vikki join us at Eco Farms. Vikki brings a lot of energy and ag industry expertise in particular. Emily brings some tremendous potential and marketing prowess to our sales and marketing department. Adding their exceptional talent and enthusiasm will be instrumental in our latest strategic growth plans.”Eco Farms’ mission is to provide dependable, year-round avocados and organic citrus of the highest quality. Equally important, they aim to develop and grow their strong relationships with growers, partners, and customers. Find out more at http://www.ecofarmsusa.com/. PRESS RELEASEEco Farms, a California-based importer, shipper and grower of citrus and avocados welcomes Emily Noble and Vikki Almond to their Marketing team. Eco Farms is bringing them on board as part of their newest strategic growth plan. These new hires come a time of unprecedented expansion in the demand of avocados; in just the past 4 years, avocados have grown over 205% in retail sales[1]. Total sales for 2017 amounted to approximately $2.28 billion.Emily is a recent graduate of the UC Riverside School of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.  She has worked at a variety of well-known companies including Amazon, AmeriCorps and TechniCali. As a new sales and marketing associate, she will be responsible for developing new digital and social media campaigns; promotions; advertising; public relations; growing the Eco Farms brand; and developing sales accounts with the Eco Farms sales team.center_img You might also be interested inlast_img read more

Coffeecoffee guideguide bookLonely PlanetLonely Pl

first_imgCoffeecoffee guideguide bookLonely PlanetLonely Planet FoodLonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour International travel authority guide Lonely Planet Food, a division of Lonely Planet,  has released Lonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour. The publishers worked with a worldwide network of coffee-loving travel writers (and well-travelled coffee journalists) to select great cafes, roasteries and plantations that coffee lovers can visit in 37 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.Australia’s best coffee spots are also widely covered, and not just Sydney and Melbourne but the many experiences across the country are represented in the book — from sipping a cold-drip brew in the middle of a 19th-century gold rush town, taking part in a pour-over sampling at a vineyard or grabbing a take-away filter coffee from a capsule café made partly from the remnants of Perth’s first General Post Office.Within each of the countries in the book, Lonely Planet Food has organised the best coffee shops and roasteries to visit by city, or in the case of plantations, by region. In each entry authors have suggested the coffee you should taste or buy while there, and also recommend local sights and things to do so ‘coffee tourers’ can explore the local area, as well as the coffee.Lonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour retails for $29.99.last_img read more

World Expeditions believes key factors shaping adv

first_imgWorld Expeditions believes key factors shaping adventure travel in 2019 will be “slower, quieter, smarter and greener.” The adventure specialist says the need for downtime, concerns about over-tourism and the dual desires to travel sustainably and to have informative experiences will be the major influencers on adventure travel in 2019. Slow travel: A multi day trek or a cycling journey allows travellers to switch off and immerse themselves in the natural landscape and puts them in touch with their senses in a way that is becoming a luxury for many people. World Expeditions offers guided and self guided treks, challenging cycling trips at altitude and touring style trips on e-bikes (now available in Vietnam, China, New Zealand and most European destinations.)“It’s a case of travelling less and seeing more – rather than travelling more and seeing less – that is inspiring many people to undertake slow travel,” says World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari. “When your body is your vehicle and you are immersed in your surrounds, life slows down.”Quieter travel: Publicity about over-tourism is encouraging more confident travellers to look beyond replicating what they may see on social media of friends’ travel. World Expeditions reports a significant increase in enquiries for the company’s range of exploratory expeditions in remote regions and in alternative treks in better known destinations.“We’ve been long time advocates for the “off the beaten track’ style of travel and we’re well positioned to cater for this trend,” Ms Badyari said. “We’re finding that more confident travellers are less interested in replicating the travel experiences of others that they may see on social media and more interested in seeking out lesser visited destinations and trails.Smarter travel: Travelling with an expert – whether it be one of our world class guides or with someone widely recognized in their field adds a dimension to a trip that is not possible otherwise. Exploring Sri Lanka’s cuisine with Peter Kuruvita, delving into the history and culture of Israel, Jordan and the Middle East with George Negus or travelling to Antarctica with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki deliver unique life experiences and opportunities for seeing a destination that cannot be matched.“Long time friendships are a part of World Expeditions and we’ve worked with the likes of Tim Macartney-Snape, Jon Muir, Simon Yates, Mary Moody and Peter Kuruvita for years, “ Ms Badyari said. “We’re constantly crafting new itineraries to offer new and different experiences for our travellers.”Greener Travel: Being a Thoughtful Traveller and ensuring the places we visit are positively impacted by our visit is a priority for many travellers. Child safe tourism, animal welfare, conserving environments and cultures are will all remain important aspects of the travel experience. In 2019, many people will be focussed on reducing their use of plastic by taking refillable water bottles and avoiding buying single use plastic bottles.“Sustainability sits at the core of World Expeditions’ adventure itineraries,” Ms Badyari said. “In 2019, we’re rolling out an ambitious carbon-neutral project across all itineraries, which will be analysed for carbon outputs and the costs of mitigated and built into the trip cost.”IMAGE: Walls of Jerusalem/World Expeditions adventuregreenSustainabletravel trends 2019World Expeditionslast_img read more

earlybird specialsEvergreen Tours

first_imgearlybird specialsEvergreen Tours Evergreen’s latest Canada brochure – for 2019/20 – includes itineraries ranging from fourteen to twenty five days, with earlybird* deals ending 30 June 2019, or until sold out.“Now it is the time to secure the best prices for our remaining 2019 departures and our early release 2020 departures”, said Mr Angus Crichton, Director of Sales, Marketing and Product for Evergreen Cruises & Tours. “Evergreen continues to offer the best value Canada and Alaska product on the market and our 2020 pricing and deals in this brochure will be the best offered in the coming season – along with our unbeatable value for money and quality service commitment”.*Earlybird deals include:· 2 for 1 airfare including taxes on journeys of 18 days or longer;· Solo travellers get 50% off economy class airfares on journeys of 18 days or longer $950pp discount on journeys of 18 days or longer and $500pp on 14 day itineraries if the flight deal is not taken· Save up to $800 per couple with Evergreen’s Early Payment Discountslast_img read more