Emirates named World’s Best Airline at Skytrax World Airline Awards 2016Emirates was today named the World’s Best Airline 2016 at the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards 2016, in addition to scooping up the awards for World’s Best Inflight Entertainment for a record 12th consecutive year, and Best Airline in the Middle East.Based on the results of the largest airline passenger satisfaction survey in the industry, the World’s Best Airline Awards are considered a global benchmark of airline excellence. This year’s Skytrax awards were based on a total of 19.2 million completed surveys covering 280 airlines, by customers hailing from more than 104 countries. The Skytrax survey measures quality standards across 41 key performance indicators of front-line products and services in the airline industry.This is the fourth time Emirates has won the top accolade since the airline awards were introduced 15 years ago; the airline won the first ever Skytrax World’s Best Airline in 2001, again in 2002 and in 2013. In total, Emirates has won a total of 20 Skytrax World Airline Awards since 2001.Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said: “We are honoured to be recognised by the prestigious Skytrax awards. Emirates has always put our customers at the heart of what we do, and we work hard to deliver the very best experience possible to our customers at every touchpoint, every day, all around the world. We constantly invest in our product and services, both on the ground and in the air. We listen carefully to our customers, and then relentlessly challenge ourselves to deliver and exceed expectations. The fact that these awards are based on the direct feedback from passengers is gratifying and wonderful recognition for all of the hard work that’s gone into creating the Emirates experience.”Commenting on the Award, Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax said: “This fourth World’s Best Airline title for Emirates is a fantastic achievement and true testament to the airline’s popularity. To satisfy customers from such a wide and diverse passenger base is not an easy task, but Emirates continues to gain superlative feedback from customers for its product and service offering from the front to the back of the aircraft. The IFE that Emirates provides is a continued focal point for passenger praise and it is important to note that customers were not only impressed with the programming but also the superior hardware standards, particularly for the A380 fleet.”Emirates is the world’s largest international airline, with an extensive network that has grown to offer its customers a choice of 154 destinations in 81 countries across six continents, with convenient connections through its hub in Dubai. The airline operates one of the world’s youngest modern wide-body fleets. These aircraft are not only more efficient to operate, but are also more comfortable for passengers to fly in – enabling Emirates to install and offer the latest onboard products.Over the past 12 months, Emirates has rolled out a number of new product and service investments, including the unveiling of a new 777-300ER Business Class seat; expanding its global Emirates Lounge network to 39 with the opening of new facilities in Cape Town; launching new children’s toys and activity kits both on board and in the lounges and new amenity kit bags for First and Business Class travellers, investing over US$140 million in its wine programme for all cabin classes in 2015 alone, and much more.On most of Emirates’ fleet, including all of its A380 aircraft, passengers in all classes can enjoy unprecedented Wi-Fi connectivity. On average, over a quarter of all passengers use the internet during their flight. This figure increases to half on flights over 12 hours. EmiratesSource = Emirates
Look To Book caps off 25th anniversary yearLook To Book, the global rewards program for travel agents from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has announced it will cap off its 25th anniversary year with the Thanks a Million promotion that gives bonus points for bookings and stays between August 24 and November 30, 2017, up to a million bonus points.“We want to acknowledge our many members who have supported the program and our hotels since 1992,” said Heidi Veire, director, Global Business to Business Loyalty for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “Celebrating the agents who have supported our brands this year has been great and we are pleased to be able to offer such an exciting incentive to finish off the year.”Bonus points earned through this promotion are in addition to the standard earning of 10 points per one dollar USD and are as follows:• Book 10 – 24 room nights, earn 10,000 bonus points • Book 25 – 49 room nights, earn 25,000 bonus points• Book 50 – 99 room nights, earn 50,000 bonus points• Book 100 – 499 room nights, earn 100,000 bonus points• Book 500 or more room nights and earn 1,000,000 bonus pointsThe promotion includes all Carlson Rezidor hotels globally and is open to all members who register for the promotion at looktobook.com/ThanksAMillion. Look To Book offers simple online enrollment, fast points and great rewards for travel agents. Points can be redeemed for an exciting selection of items like Retail Gift Cards from popular brands, Prepaid Cards, Free Award Night Stays, Airline Miles and more.In addition, as Look To Book wraps up this milestone year, it will give members even more opportunities to earn points with a special series of three educational quizzes. Quizzes focus on business and leisure travel and offer the chance to earn up to 1,500 points (500 for each quiz). The first quiz of the series will launch September 1, 2017.Visit www.looktobook.com to learn more.Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group also offers a global consumer loyalty program, Club Carlson. Club Carlson redefines hotel rewards with a collection of exceptional benefits, services, and privileges at more than 1,000 hotels worldwide, including: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson, and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. Free Award Nights starting at 9,000 points on standard rooms with no blackout dates and members save up to 10 percent more when booking direct on brand websites and mobile apps. Promotion is subject to terms and conditions available at looktobook.com/ThanksAMillion. Void where prohibited.About Look To BookLook To Book has been an industry-leading rewards program for travel agents for 25 years. Agents who join the program can earn Look To Book points for their reservations at Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide, with membership open to all professional travel agents in 32 eligible countries.For more information, visit looktobook.comAbout Carlson Rezidor Hotel GroupCarlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel companies and includes 1,440 locations in operation and under development with more than 230,000 rooms and a footprint spanning 115 countries and territories. The Carlson Rezidor portfolio includes a powerful set of global brands: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. Guests can benefit from Club CarlsonSM, a program that redefines hotel rewards with a collection of exceptional benefits, services, and privileges at more than 1,000 hotels worldwide. Over 95,000 people are employed in Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group hotel systems and the company is headquartered in Minneapolis, Singapore, and Brussels.For more information, visit www.carlsonrezidor.com and follow on Twitter @carlsonrezidor.Source = Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Swiss-Belhotel International launches Swiss-Belsuites Pounamu QueenstownSwiss-Belhotel International launches Swiss-Belsuites Pounamu QueenstownSwiss-Belhotel International, the leading global hotel chain and hospitality management group with 145 operating properties worldwide, has launched Swiss-Belsuites Pounamu Queenstown in one of the Southern Hemisphere’s premier year round lake and alpine resort destinations.The new property brings the brand’s Australasian portfolio to 5 hotels and boosts its presence in a region renowned for its adventure pursuits, lakeside beaches and a spectacular skiing.With 64 self-contained, serviced en-suite studios and apartments, the Qualmark-rated 5-star Swiss-Belsuites Pounamu Queenstown invites guests to enjoy a luxurious modern stay by the shores of majestic Lake Wakatipu. The world-class facilities include under-floor heating, a heated outdoor spa and stunning views of the lake and The Remarkables mountain range – all just a 10-minute stroll from the centre of Queenstown.The area around Queenstown is famed for its walking and cycle trails, wineries, skiing and adventure activities. Reflecting this sense of adventure, Swiss-Belsuites Pounamu Queenstown offers ski, bike and car rentals, with a complimentary concierge service to organize trips and activities. The hotel also features a children’s playground, BBQ facilities and gym access.Designed in a contemporary style, floor-to-ceiling windows take in the inspiring natural landscape while wooden floors, open-plan living spaces and fully equipped kitchens create a sophisticated homely feel. Studios boast a kitchenette, with all rooms and apartments fitted with a washing machine and dryer.From early June, guests can drive just 20 minutes to the snowy slopes, with four ski-resorts within easy reach of the hotel. The mild alpine climate also makes Queenstown perfect for hiking, watersports or a round of golf at one of the area’s world-class courses. Just an hour’s drive away is Lake Wanaka and the outstanding beauty of glacial Mount Aspiring National Park, which is part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site. Around the same distance, Glenorchy’s mesmerizing landscape has featured in several global movies, including unforgettable scenes from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Adding to the attraction, Queenstown less than an hour’s drive from around 200 vineyards, making it a wine-lovers dream destination.Swiss-Belsuites Pounamu Queenstown is the second Swiss-Belhotel International property to open in the South Island’s resort town of Queenstown, with Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak currently undergoing refurbishments and an upgrade. Along with Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, Auckland, which opened in October 2016, this latest launch is a sign of a growing confidence in Swiss-Belhotel International as a hotel management brand in Chairman and President, Mr. Gavin M. Faull’s native New Zealand.“The Swiss-Belsuites brand is all about modern design and quality facilities that create space, comfort and luxury to offer home-away-from-home relaxation for many different types of guests,” says Mr. Faull.“Queenstown is a stunning and unique location and every element of Swiss-Belsuites Pounamu Queenstown, from the décor to the facilities and services, is designed to complement and enhance the unbeatable experiences offered in this incredible part of the world,” he adds.Source = Swiss-Belhotel International
Qatar Airways announces its acquisition of 9.61 percent of Cathay PacificQatar Airways announces its acquisition of 9.61 percent of Cathay PacificQatar Airways Q.C.S.C. (“Qatar Airways”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to purchase an amount of 378,188,000 shares of Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (“Cathay Pacific”), being approximately 9.61 per cent of the total issued share capital. Completion of the transaction is expected to take place later today in Hong Kong.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker said, “Qatar Airways is very pleased to complete its financial investment in Cathay Pacific.” “Cathay Pacific is a fellow oneworld member and is one of the strongest airlines in the world, respected throughout the industry and with massive potential for the future.”This investment further supports Qatar Airways investment strategy which already includes 20 percent investment in International Airlines Group, 10 percent investment in LATAM Airlines Group and 49 percent investment in Meridiana.”Source = Qatar Airways
The Hong Kong government plans to set up an exhibition area in Golden Bauhinia Square to exhibit more than 20 cartoon and comic statues, said the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So. The move is to enhance people’s understanding of the culture of comics and animation, and to boost tourism.So believes that Hong Kong must create a multicultural and diversified tourism portfolio to attract visitors from around the world.“We need a good mix of tourists from different source markets to come to Hong Kong. We cannot simply rely on one single market and therefore we tailor make our product to meet the needs of the market,” he said.
Patong is a beach resort town on the west coast of Phuket Island, in the southwest of Thailand. It is the main tourist resort on the island and is the center of Phuket’s nightlife and shopping.Source: Expedia
Aitken Spence Hotels and Aitken Spence Travels Sri Lanka, which is represented by Nijhawan Group in India, in association with SriLankan Airlines, recently hosted prominent travel agents from India on a familiarisation tour.The four-day tour to Sri Lanka showcased some of the premium hotels from the collection of Aitken Spence Hotels. The delegation led by Priyanka Nijhawan, Director Representations, Nijhawan Group consisted of prominent Travel Agents, who experienced the products with a stay at Heritance Negombo, Heritance Kandalama, Earl’s Regency and Turyaa Kalutara enabling them to promote the properties better.Commenting further Suranga Ratnayake, Assistant Vice President of Aitken Spence Travels stated, “A tour of this nature gives our partners firsthand experience of Sri Lanka and its’ choice of offerings ranging from pristine beaches, nature, wildlife, culture, food, shopping and entertainment options Sri Lanka has to offer the Indian traveller.”SriLankan Airlines (UL) has big plans for the Indian Sub-continent region, with the airline taking over all routes which were operated by its sister airline Mihin Lanka, effective from November 1, 2016. With this UL would have over 100 flights from 11 destinations in India.The Indian market is very important to the airline and they aim to tap the same by working closely with the travel trade. UL would host regular meetings with stakeholders, travel agents and media in India and encourage them to come and experience Sri Lanka through SriLankan airlines, added Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager Northern India, Sri Lankan Airlines.Priyanka Nijhawan shared, “India is a growing source market for Sri Lanka and we hope to capitalise on this and increase tourist arrivals to our hotels.” This FAM was conducted to offer Indian travel trade a firsthand experience of hotels enabling them to promote them better and showcase the newly opened Heritance Negombo, which is one of the most sought after hotel in Negombo.
Consolidating its position in the Middle-East market, IndiGo has announced Sharjah as its 6th new international destination. Effective from March, the airline would operate its new daily non-stop flights between Sharjah-Kozhikode, with plans to operate one daily non-stop flight between Sharjah-Thiruvananthapuram from April 2017.The new flights have been designed to cater to the business and leisure travellers who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options.Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are extremely pleased to expand our international network with Sharjah. Middle-East has been an important market for IndiGo. With rising business and tourism stemming from the Gulf market, IndiGo is determined to provide the best travel experience to all those who wish to fly these destinations.”
Blue sea coasts and underlying history of man-kind, Jersey is definitely the place to unwind and glorify the great past of humankind. Situated 100 miles from the coast of Britain and just 14 off the coast of France is Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands. An easy to explore Island Jersey is a must visit for everyone.Source: Expedia
Agents & Brokers Home Prices Home Sales Housing Affordability Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-08-20 Ryan Schuette Hard-Hit California Sees Boost With July Sales, Prices Share August 20, 2012 461 Views in Data, Origination, Servicing Home sales and prices climbed in California in July, with median prices nearing a four-year high, according to the “”California Association of Realtors””:http://www.car.org/.[IMAGE]The trade group found closed escrow sales approaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,230 in July for single-family homes, up 2 percent from June.Sales ticked up to 15.3 percent in July year-over-year. That month marked the fifth straight time that California’s median[COLUMN_BREAK]home price went up month-over-month and year-over-year.Statewide median prices for existing, single-family homes increased 4.2 percent to $333,860 in July, up 12.7 percent from a revised $296,160 year-over-year.Median prices in July also soared highest since August 2008, when median prices went up to $352,730. July also posted median prices above $300,000 for the fourth consecutive month.””It’s hard to generalize the state of California’s housing market because the markets are so diverse and are performing so differently,”” CAR President “”LeFrancis Arnold””:http://www.car.org/aboutus/carleadership/lefrancisarnold/ said in a statement. “”REO-dominated areas such as those in the Inland Empire and Central Valley are experiencing sales constraints due to an extreme shortage of available homes. “”On the other hand, a robust economy in the San Francisco Bay area and a relatively larger inventory at higher price levels is helping to fuel sales and prices,”” he added.*What do you make of recent increases for home sales in hard-hit California?* Are we on our way out of a housing downturn? Sound off by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fannie Mae’s chief economist, Doug Duncan, weighed in on Friday’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, saying the GSE maintains its “forecast of solid economic growth” in response to the data released.”Today’s encouraging jobs report also is consistent with results from our September National Housing Survey, to be released next week, which is expected to show a rebound in consumer expectations regarding housing after a couple of months of eroding confidence,” Duncan said. “Overall, we maintain our forecast of solid economic growth—fueled by steady job gains—for the remainder of the year, which should help build momentum for consumer housing sentiment, setting up for a stronger housing recovery in 2015.”The data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the labor force added 248,000 jobs nationwide in September, topping expectations by about 33,000. The number of jobs added pushed the nation’s unemployment rate down to 5.9 percent, its lowest level since July 2008. The new report also revised August’s originally weak employment gains, which when first reported fell well below expectations.”Today’s report confirmed our expectation that much of the weakness in the August hiring number would be revised away,” Duncan said. “The improved job gains over the past six months, combined with other economic data, support our forecast for firming economic growth in the second half of 2014. The decline in the unemployment rate, though due partly to a shrinking labor force, will get the attention of Federal Reserve officials, but the muted wage gains may help soothe their concerns over brewing wage inflation.”The upward revisions of job gains in July and August totaled 69,000 more jobs added, which raised the average monthly job gain in the third quarter up to 224,000—a modest decline from the 267,000 monthly average job increase reported for the second quarter. Fannie: Jobs Data Supports Growth Forecast in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Fannie Mae Forecast Jobs Unemployment 2014-10-06 Seth Welborn Share October 6, 2014 530 Views
in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News Appraiser Homeowner Quicken Loans 2015-10-13 Staff Writer Share Homeowners continued to overvalue their homes for the eighth consecutive month in September, while appraiser opinions came in 2 percent lower than owner’s perceptions, according to Quicken Loans’ national Home Price Perception Index (HPPI).The HPPI, which compares the estimate that the homeowner supplies on a refinance mortgage application to the appraisal that is performed later in the mortgage process, found that that September was the first month that the gap between homeowners and appraisers actually narrowed since the trend began in February 2015.Last month, homeowner estimates were 2.65 percent higher than appraisers.Quicken Loans Home Value Index (HVI) showed that average home values were mostly flat, increasing only 0.05 percent in September and making up for the exact same loss experienced in August. However, annually, home values rose 3.11 percent compared to September 2014. In August, home values rose 3.24 percent annually.The Western region posted the largest gains, with 0.72 percent monthly and 6.03 percent annual increases. The South experienced a 0.29 percent monthly gain and a 3.33 percent annual gain. The Northeast and Midwest regions posted both monthly and annual home value losses. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence the West is showing the greatest home value increases with almost all of the western cities measured in the HPPI exhibiting appraiser opinions higher than homeowner estimates,” Walters explained.“Homeowners are hearing national reports of slower home value increases, or even drops in value, when that isn’t the case everywhere. Appraisals are telling a different story in many western cities but homeowners may not realize home values are still making such strides.”Walters also noted that homeowners remain underwater looking for large increases, but increases could push homebuyers out of the market.”Home affordability could become a worry if home values increases get too far ahead of the modest pace of wage increases, which are sitting at about 2 percent annually,” he said.Click here to view the complete report. Homeowners Continue to Overvalue Homes for Eighth Consecutive Month October 13, 2015 539 Views
Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News July 4, 2017 556 Views One area that is too often neglected when it comes to the vendor due diligence process is the prospective partner’s document signing protocols. There are a number of functions that require third party partners to produce signatures on behalf of their clients. When performing this type of work, accuracy and adherence to client requirements are essential. To deliver that, the firm must have a well-designed and compliant system.The first element of such a system is a well-trained staff. Everyone associated with the process must have very deep training on our industry, its practices, and compliance requirements. Compliance requires that every employee has full knowledge, familiarity, and integrity on each and every document the firm signs on behalf of a client. This knowledge should be imparted through detailed and monitored training, but that’s just the beginning.A well-trained staff will need the aid of efficient systems and technology in order to ensure that every document is signed correctly every time. Such a system of controls must include a signing authority database, frequent internal audits, and physical location controls that determine where employees are located throughout the facility.In regards to training, notaries should be required to attend document review training and document reviewer specialists should likewise be required to attend notary training as well. This cross-training will ensure that all employees, regardless of position, understand what has to happen to ensure compliance.Advanced database technology should be employed to hold detailed client records that will determine what documents company personnel can sign and under what circumstances. Power of attorney and corporate resolutions should also be held in this secure database.Physical location controls should be employed to determine where employees work, as well as their proximity to each other and to notaries. This will allow the company to orchestrate the workflow and ensures that no document that must be notarized can leave the area without being thoroughly completed.If it sounds like the vendor partner should build its company around signing controls instead of adding signing controls to an existing company, that’s correct. Any company who does not do this is not taking compliance seriously enough to mitigate the risks that face today’s financial servicing companies.An easy way to tell how well the company is doing is to ask about their compliance record with the nation’s County Recorder’s Offices. If more than a fraction of one percent of their documents are being returned for compliance errors, one can bet that firm is making other errors that will expose anyone who hires them to significant risk.Another excellent measure of the firm’s ability to meet the needs of its clients is to ask whether any of them are now adopting the partner’s document signing practices in their own companies. It happens. Document Service Compliance: The Importance of Being Vigilant 2017-07-04 Sean Hunt
Fintech Fast Tracks Mortgages November 13, 2017 748 Views Down Payments Finance FinTech Mortgages The Urban institute 2017-11-13 Staff Writer According to a report by Sarah Strochak of the Urban Institute, the outpouring of financial technology (fintech) in the mortgage space has brought with it all sorts of innovation, including new ways to capture data, reaching more people and expanding access to credit. The Urban institute also states that in having the ability to reach more people, fintech firms also have the potential to disrupt the inequality status quo in the economy.The Urban Institute report states while homeownership can help address wealth inequality, only 45 percent of families are able to claim financial security. Additionally, one out of three families do not having any savings, said the report. Strochak’s report goes on to state that over 45 million Americans, many of whom are black and Hispanic, are also credit invisible through traditional scoring mechanisms and are unable to take out mortgages. This is where fintech firms come in, according to the report. They provide opportunities for the industry to branch out of traditional data-collection methods.For example, the Urban Institute draws on the case of Down Payment Resource, a company that has created a database that matches customers with down payment assistance programs. Down Payment Resource’s CEO, Rob Chrane, stated in the report that millions of potential borrowers are actually eligible for down payment assistance but are unaware of programs that can help them, so he created his company to aggregate information, connecting borrowers with more helpful resources.Finally, fintech provides opportunities for financial education. According to the report, Todd Baker of the Harvard Kennedy School proposed setting up mobile structures that can help people automate their savings, leading to a branching out from traditional methods of financial education, which would then lead to a greater segment being financially literate.“We need to look for information beyond the consumer’s history. We cannot train our systems on bias,” said Marla Blow, CEO of FS Card Inc., a fintech firm.The Five Star Institute will be hosting the Five Star Fintech Summit at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. The summit is a two-day conference covering all aspects of Fintech and its future applications. Hear from speakers in the technology, operations and mortgage industry to learn about the latest approaches to bringing financial technology into the forefront of consumers’ experience.To register, click here. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, journal, News Share
artluxury travelstreet arttrain travel Luxury travel operator Belmond has launched a new concept in luxury rail travel with the unveiling of ‘Art in Motion’, a rolling canvas commissioned to adorn the carriages of the Eastern & Oriental Express. Singapore-based street artist Rajesh Kumar has been commissioned to create the art work, which will remain on the train until 28 April 2017.Giving new meaning to ‘Art in Motion’, Belmond has worked with creative experts to curate a fully sensory experience that includes collaborating with leading mixologists ‘Cocktail Professor’ on an innovative new cocktail menu, and world-class DJ & music producer, Mr Has, for a contemporary soundscape as well as introducing a relaxed dress code of ‘tropical elegance’.Arnaud Champenois, SVP brand & marketing said “Eastern & Oriental Express is an icon of luxury travel in Asia; the colonial carriages have always evoked the spirit of the golden age of travel and today, as we look to our future heritage, we are revealing a contemporary new look and feel in partnership with some of Asia’s leading creative talent.”Emerging artist Rajesh Kumar will create the one of a kind artwork – The Koi Pond, which depicts the joy of travel, movement and the coming together of friends and family.“The Koi Pond has always been something I have been fascinated about. Throughout my journey, it had made me feel like a koi fish in a pond. The colours and vibrancy of the fish and the water that displays emotions in many and felt it would beautifully represent Eastern & Oriental Express in aspects of luxurious travels.”The new cocktail menu takes guests on a sensory journey along the train’s route. Combining modern techniques with classic cocktail etiquette and imaginative presentation, new signature cocktails include ‘Mist of the rice paddies’ created to evoke the aroma of the mist at sunrise over the paddy fields during harvest, and ‘Malay Jungle’ using fresh natural botanicals for a green, fresh and full of life and healthy drink.Music is essential to creating the right atmosphere and so Belmond has collaborated with producer and DJ Mr Has to curate a soundscape that sets a timeless pace and tone for the train – combining live recordings of cool jazz with uplifting future classics and deep grooves. Singapore-based Mr Has is an award-winning music DJ and champion of electric sound – the creative brief for Eastern & Oriental Express is to bring this contemporary sound into a classical environment inspiring an atmosphere of modern nostalgia.Eastern & Oriental Express travels between Singapore and Bangkok on 2 and 3 night journeys from January to April and September to December carrying up to 82 passengers in all en-suite cabins.
asiaPlaza Premium Groupresponsible business practices Plaza Premium Group received the ‘Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award (AREA) 2017′ in Bangkok on 2 June 2017 for executing a sound and effective Corporate Social Responsibility initiative in selected developing countries in 2016/17.Often dubbed the Nobel Prize for Sustainability, AREA is an annual presentation organised by Enterprise Asia since 2008 with the aim of honouring Asian businesses for championing sustainable and responsible business practices, demonstrating companies’ leadership, sincerity and on-going commitment in incorporating responsible and ethical values, compliance, investment in stakeholders, involvement in communities and protection of the environment into the way they run their businesses.The Award to Plaza Premium Group was in the category of ‘Investment in People’, a testament to the Group’s commitment to responsible business practices, illustrated by its year-long CSR Education Programme, in association with The New York Times, through workshops that facilitate access to relevant online resources and English materials including articles, experimental educational features, debates and case studies across ten universities in Cambodia, India and Thailand. The program seeks to enhance the analytical skills of university students in these countries, promote their habit of reading, improve their English level, foster innovative ideas through learning, and enhance their understanding of global issues as our future leaders. Over 20,000 cumulative daily page-view for one institution in Thailand alone were established and about 27,000 sessions of visits across the participating institutions were achieved for the first nine months.IMAGE: Mr. Song Hoi-see, Founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Group (2nd from the left) received Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award in Bangkok from Tan Sri Dr. Fong Chan Onn, Chairman of Enterprise Asia (left) in recognition of the Group’s CSR initiative in Asia.
cruiseHalong Bayindustry discountsIndustry rates Halong Bay’s Paradise Cruises has just launched 2018 industry rates for three cruises, starting from USD$228 (around AUD$285) for a single cabin on a 2 day/1-night cruise on Paradise Elegance, which launched in March 2017.The sophisticated Paradise Luxury has industry rates from USD$286 (around AUD$355) for a single cabin, and boasts an expansive sundeck filled with sun beds and comfy lounge areas. Paradise Prestige, which will debut this October, is offering industry rates from USD$650 (around AUD$810)for a 3-day/2-night cruise. Prestige is a beautifully-appointed wooden junk with modern amenities and the cruise includes food and beverages and a daily 50-minute spa treatment.To book an industry rate on any of the Paradise Cruises send an email to Complete Travel Marketing, Paradise Cruises’ reps in Australia and New Zealand – email@example.comIMAGE: Paradise Luxury
Trafalgar has appointed Vera Straubinger to the position of Head of Marketing, effective 31 July 2019.Straubinger joins Trafalgar after seven years at Suncorp, most recently as its Group Brand Strategy Lead, and prior to that delivering the rebrand for Virgin Australia as Brand Specialist. She also has extensive experience consulting and working agency-side in the UK with clients including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Mobile and Bentley.“I am delighted to welcome Vera to the Trafalgar team,” said Managing Director Trafalgar, Jason Wolf. “Her significant experience working with high profile brands, to deliver large-scale projects and marketing platforms that achieve results are a real asset to our team. What really stood out is that she is a confident people leader and hands-on team player with a track record for innovative thinking and proven results, which is at the core of everything we do at Trafalgar. We are very much looking forward to having her on board and introducing her to our valued trade partners.” appointmentsTrafalgar
It was once thought that while the Denver Broncos were looking to trade Kyle Orton, if they couldn’t get a good deal they’d be happy to keep him around to backup Tim Tebow.Think again.According to Pro Football talk, Orton is due almost $9 million in 2011, meaning he could be just a bit expensive to keep around as a backup. So, a trade may not only be an idea, but a necessity.Enter the Cardinals. They are looking for a new quarterback, and Orton is generally thought to be option 1-B to Kevin Kolb’s 1-A. And, depending on what the Eagles’ asking price is, Orton could find himself in the top spot. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Comments Share Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’
After losing five straight games, the Arizona Cardinals had a much needed bye week. Now back in action, the Cardinals are looking to end that skid against the Atlanta Falcons on the road.The Cardinals’ last trip to Atlanta was a 41-7 blowout in 2010 and the team has not won in the Georgia dome since 1993.The Falcons are coming off a disappointing loss to a New Orleans Saints, but their 8-1 record is still best in the NFL. Tuesday, November 13‘Not worried’ about issues after loss (AJC.com)Surely, there are a few positives for the Falcons after their first defeat of the season.For starters, they finally are freed from having to talk about being undefeated, the possibility of finishing undefeated and the increasing public scrutiny that goes along with all of that.Report card: Falcons’ grades for loss to Saints (AJC.com)Here are the Falcons’ grades for the 31-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.Falcons tend to bounce back under Smith (AtlantaFalcons.com) Friday, November 16 Julio Jones, Sean Weatherspoon game-time decisions for Falcons (National Football Post) “These guys are so close and moving in the right direction that we’ll make a determination as late as we possibly can,” Mike Smith said. “We can do it as late as we possibly can. They are working to get back. We are hoping that they’ll continue to progress tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday morning.” Falcons aim to bounce back against slumping Cards (Chicago Tribune)Rather than a fattened and contented calf, the Arizona Cardinals may encounter slightly more resistance when they visit the Atlanta Falcons a week after the hosts suffered their initial loss of 2012. Gonzalez Expects Best Safeties Of The Year (AtlantaFalcons.com)Arizona’s impressive secondary goes beyond their cornerbacks. Tony Gonzalez thinks their safety duo of Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes is the best the Falcons faced all season Michael Turner plans to keep on grinding away (AJC.com)“Everybody’s going to nitpick,” Turner said on Thursday. “We’re a different team this year, obviously, with philosophies and things like that, but I mean we’re 8-1. That’s the bottom line. To get Ws. We’re not worried about it.” Led by quarterback Matt Ryan, their offense ranks sixth in the NFL with 385.2 yards per game. Thursday, November 15Odds of Falcons making Super Bowl (AJC.com)The Atlanta Falcons have the best record in the NFC and are tied with the Houston Texans for the best record in the NFL. Will both teams continue as the best in their conferences – and advance to the Super Bowl? Here’s what the oddsmakers think.Ghosts of past short-yardage failures still haunt (AJC.com)Three times the Falcons went for it on third-and-short, three times they failed, and the repercussions rang in their ears throughout last offseason.Those were the lasting images from their blowout playoffs defeat at the Giants in January. There were echoes when the Falcons flopped on short-yardage runs during their 28-27 loss at New Orleans on Sunday. Defensive end Ray Edwards released (AJC.com)John Skelton will have one less pass rusher to deal with Sunday, after defensive end Ray Edwards was released by Atlanta. Edwards signed a five-year deal with the Falcons back in 2011. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons must decide what first loss will mean (NFL.com)The Atlanta Falcons are tasting defeat for the first time this season, but are not sure how to respond to it yet. Saints defender: Several Falcons players acted ‘classless’ before Sunday’s game (Yahoo)According to Saints linebacker Jonathon Vilma, the Falcons like to talk a little smack to former before games. Cardinals defensive back James Sanders played for Atlanta last season and might be hearing some talk this week. Roddy White: Atlanta Falcons ‘gave’ Saints a win (NFL.com)Falcons wide receiver Roddy White feels his team had the “pedigree” to go undefeated this season and remains confident in his squad’s ability. Wednesday, November 14 Tomlinson, Faulk weigh-in on Michael Turner, run game (AJC.com)“He’s going to finish the season with fewer carries than he has ever had,” Tomlinson said. “Obviously, that means that they don’t run the ball as much as they used to.”Coaches film: Six key plays in the 31-27 loss to the Saints (AJC.com)A breakdown of the key plays from the Falcons-Saints game after reviewing the Coaches’ Film:Koetter on struggling run game: ‘Mike Turner…had no chance’ (AJC.com)Also, unsolicited, he noted that on a majority of Michael Turner’s 13 runs that he “had no chance” because “we had free runners at the point of attack.” Turner finished with 15 yards and was stuffed on key third-and-goal from the Saints’ 1-yard line.Sidbury headlines young ends ready to play (AtlantaFalcons.com)Lawrence Sidbury, a 2009 draft pick, hasn’t seen quite the opportunities he had last season when he finished second on the team in sacks with four. Last season, Sidbury didn’t begin to see double-digit snaps consistently on defense until Week 11. From that week to the end of the season, the fewest snaps he saw in a single game was 13 and his max was 28. Falcons’ flaws aren’t worse than any other NFL team (AJC.com)The Falcons have flaws, but so does every team, and they’re not going away. This is the NFL. Rosters don’t morph significantly during the season. The league has a salary cap. There is little roster flexibility. Unlike baseball, there aren’t pyrotechnics at the trade deadline. Once a season starts, the best a team can hope for is that a backup evolves and contributes more than expected, or a player released by another team can fill a void, or that drop-kicking a high-profile veteran like Edwards gets everybody’s attention.White, Jones expect Cardinals single coverage (AtlantaFalcons.com)The Falcons have an idea how Arizona will defend them and it’s shaping up to be a battle on the outside between Atlanta’s receivers and the Cardinals’ corners.How the Falcons will beat the Arizona Cardinals (TheFalcoholic.com)The Cardinals own one of the best defenses in the NFL. They’ve done yeoman’s work shutting down passing attacks all year, so much so that it’s masked their very real problems stopping the run. If that sounds like a less than ideal matchup for the Falcons…well, it is. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Falcons have shown an ability to bounce back quickly after losses since Smith arrived in 2008. They’ve consistently done this under their current head coach. Smith and his Falcons are 18-3 since ’08 after a loss.Transcript: Mike Smith Monday news conference (AtlantaFalcons.com)Head coach Mike Smith spoke to the media Monday during his weekly day-after press conference about what the Falcons will need to do this week to bounce back from their first loss of the season.Short-yardage is Kryponite for the Falcons (SB Nation Atlanta)It’s extremely frustrating to see third-and-short come up every drive, only to see the sticks remain firmly planted it the ground. Honestly, they look better off on third-and-8 throwing downfield than they do trying to pick up a couple yards. This growing trend became apparent throughout Week 10, if it wasn’t previously noticed. Falcons make moves, add Toone (AtlantaFalcons.com)The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they have signed wide receiver Tim Toone and tight end Chase Coffmanto the active roster, placed tight end Tommy Gallarda on injured reserve, and signed tight end Andrew Szczerba to the practice squad.Cardinals vs. Falcons: Mike Smith praises Atlanta’s ‘resolve’ (SB Nation Atlanta)All three of their back-to-back losses came in 2009, meaning that the Falcons have not lost two games in a row in almost three years. On Sunday they’ll face a Cardinals team that is still vying for a playoff spot. Julio Jones misses second day of practice; will be game time decision (AJC.com)Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who suffered an ankle injury against the New Orleans Saints, did not practice for the second consecutive day on Thursday. Look for Matthews, Massaquoi to pick up most of Edwards’ playing time (AJC.com)“They are all doing well,” defensive line coach Ray Hamilton said Thursday. “They have been practicing all year, but they haven’t been practicing on our side of the ball a whole lot because they’ve been doing mostly scout-team stuff.” Comments Share Top Stories Monday, November 12Todd McClure on struggling run game: ‘More to it than five guys up front’ (AJC.com)The Cardinals aren’t the only one with issues along the offensive line. Atlanta’s run game has struggled of late due to run blocking, but center Todd McClure doesn’t want to hear the criticism. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact