Agents play a vital role in cruise industry says CLIA report

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group Tags: CLIA Posted bycenter_img Agents play a “vital role” in cruise industry, says CLIA report WASHINGTON – Travel agents are playing an increasingly important role in booking cruises and identifying trends, says CLIA’s newly released Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016.The report, the third installment in an ongoing quarterly research study, is compiled based on online survey responses from the CLIA Travel Agent Research Panel, comprised of 700 travel agents from North America. In addition to the latest cruise industry trends and forecasts, the report reveals that as the demand for cruising continues to grow, so to does the need for travel agents.“The Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook enables us to identify key trends using the insights of travel agents,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “A key finding from the report is that, as people continue to travel the globe, travel agents are playing a vital role in matching travelers desires to the right cruise experience both near and far.”According to CLIA, travel agents are able to act as barometers for emerging trends since they have both expertise of the cruise industry and ongoing insights from their clients. The report indicates that agents are predicting sales growth for the remainder of 2016, with nearly 73% expecting to increase sales this year and another 15% expecting no change.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesThe outlook for 2016 is also looking good in terms of cruise spending, agents say. Among all travel agents, 18% are very optimistic and look forward to a growth rate of 10% or more in the coming months, and another 18% anticipate a growth rate of 6-10%.Due to recent attacks and other challenges around the world, cruisers appear to be travelling closer to home, says the report. Travel agents say that Alaska once again remains the destination with the greatest upside potential, with 62% anticipating cruising growth in the Last Frontier State. Also, California and the Pacific Coast entered the list of top five destinations, with 28% of agents anticipating increased bookings. Rounding out the list are Caribbean/Bermuda/Mexico (with 48% of agents expecting growth), Canada/New England (35%) and Hawaii (34%).River cruising continues to be a hit; among all types of cruising, it’s the segment that shows the most growth. This year, 64% of travel agents expect to sell more river cruise packages, while 21% expect to see significant growth in river cruise sales. In second place is Large Ocean Ships, which 54% of agents expect to see growth.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTWhat do cruisers love about river cruising? According to the report, the “intimacy of the experience” reigns supreme, with 83% of agents reporting this as important or very important. Following closely behind it “accessibility to the destination (73%).Two-thirds of agents (66%) said that all-inclusive options were very important for their clients booking luxury cruises, followed by 58% reporting that luxury cruise clients most valued a unique travel destination.Overall, all four cruise segments (Mass Market, Premium, Ultra-Luxury and Luxury) will be experiencing growth or stability for the rest of the year, with Mass Market showing the highest growth at 57%.As for who’s booking cruises, couples and families are almost equally popular, followed by multi-generational families. Travel agents are seeing the most growth in booking parties of one-to-four guests.To join the CLIA Travel Agent Research Panel, email cliaresearchpanel@cruising.org Thursday, August 4, 2016 last_img read more

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Carnival Corp thanks its travel agent partners for a record year in

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises Travelweek Group Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Posted bycenter_img Carnival Corp. thanks its travel agent partners for a record year in 2016 MIAMI — Carnival Corp. says its forward bookings for the first nine months of 2017 are “well ahead” of 2016, at considerably higher prices. Booking volumes and yields picked up in September 2016 and have been trending upward ever since, says the cruise company.“We enjoyed strong momentum in booking patterns throughout 2016 and therefore are in a stronger booked position entering the new year at higher prices as a result of our ongoing efforts to increase consideration and demand for our brands,” says Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald.Based on current booking trends, the company expects full year 2017 net revenue yields to be up 2.5% compared to the prior year.“We are anticipating another solid year of operational improvement in 2017,” added Donald, despite the “unusual and significant impact of fuel and currency working against us” simultaneously.Carnival Corp. had the most profitable year in its history as well as record fourth quarter earnings, according to the company’s Q4 and full-year results. Net income for the year was US$2.8 billion, compared to $1.8 billion in 2015. Revenues for the year were $16.4 billion, up $0.7 billion from 2015.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growth“This continued strong performance is a credit to the outstanding contributions of our 120,000 employees worldwide who work every day to exceed our guests’ expectations and our thousands of travel agent partners around the globe whose support is crucial to our success,” said Donald.Highlights during the fourth quarter included the debut of Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista. Holland America’s Koningsdam also made its North American debut in November while Seabourn took delivery of Seabourn Encore. Carnival Corporation also signed a memorandum of agreement with Meyer Werft for three new 180,000-ton cruise ships. Two of the ships are for Carnival Cruise Line and are scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2022. The third ship is designated for P&O Cruises (UK) and is scheduled for delivery in 2020. Sharelast_img read more

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Sandals new English Royalty wedding package is right on time

first_img Posted by TORONTO — With just 10 days to go before Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle, Sandals Resorts has introduced its own take on royal weddings with a new wedding inspiration, ‘English Royalty’, the first to debut since last year’s launch of Aisle to Isle.Available for purchase starting May 14 for weddings taking place as soon as September 2018, English Royalty “was designed for brides and grooms who seek to infuse classic and royal hues into their celebration, along with the modern elegance Meghan has displayed since entering the Royal circuit”, says Sandals Resorts.Décor and design elements include regal accents including purple, perennial emerald green, and the new classic, blush – a favorite of the bride-to-be based on her recent fashion choices.Floral options include a blush and purple rose centerpiece and filled baskets arranged on oversized gold shepherd hooks to frame the ceremony aisle pathway, or as a hanging centerpiece over reception tables. Other features include mason jars and cone bouquets, each featuring hydrangeas, roses, lavender.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureSandals Resorts Director of Romance Marsha-Ann Brown says Millennial brides and grooms seek inspiration and information above all else when planning their wedding celebration and no other happening this year is more stirring than the wedding of Harry to Meghan.“While no bride wants a replica of another couples’ wedding day festivities, the fairy tale of an ordinary girl becoming a princess is the stuff of dreams. We’re excited to play even a small role in helping the couples who choose Sandals to have their happily ever after too.”Sandals Resorts is also celebrating with a romantic package, ‘royal-themed’ spa services and watch party and a chance to win a 7-night vacation for two in a Love Nest Suite with butler service.There’s also the Royal Honeymoon upgrade, available now through May 31, 2018 for US$750 per couple, with a honeymoon mimosa breakfast-in-bed any morning of choice; 90-minute Night Blooming Jasmine Couples Massage; private candlelight dinner under the stars with a bottle of chilled Prosecco wine; Sandals’ signature ‘5 Senses of Love In-Room Experience’; framed 8×10 photo keepsake and late checkout.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthCouples can also ‘Vacation Like a Royal’ when they enter the brand’s sweepstakes May 14 – 31, 2018 at sandals.com/Royal. The prize includes a seven-night stay for two to any one of the brand’s ‘Royal’ resorts including Sandals Royal Caribbean or Sandals Royal Plantation in Jamaica, Sandals Royal Barbados or Sandals Royal Bahamian. << Previous PostNext Post >> Sandals’ new ‘English Royalty’ wedding package is right on time Travelweek Group center_img Wednesday, May 9, 2018 Share Tags: Sandals Resort, Weddinglast_img read more

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In this Quebec town youll need your passport just to cross the

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Quebec, Stanstead In this Quebec town, you’ll need your passport just to cross the street Sharecenter_img STANSTEAD, QUEBEC – In most neighbourhoods, a simple flowerbed or a lightweight fence is what separates two neighbouring properties. But in the small town of Stanstead, Quebec, an entire country stands in the way between neighbours.Situated on the border with Vermont, Stanstead is mostly known for a peculiar street called Rue Canusa, which travels right along the U.S.-Canada border. On one side of the street sits Canada, while on the other is America. And to cross from one side to the other to greet your neighbour, you’ll need to go through U.S. customs.According to NARCITY, when driving down the street it doesn’t matter which side you’re on. But it’s another matter entirely if you get out of your car and walk across the street. If you don’t have a valid passport, you’re out of luck and won’t be permitted to cross the street at all.Longtime mayor Philippe Dutil, in an interview with British Youtuber Tom Scott, said that due to new regulations it’s gotten a lot harder to cross the street. While in the past when customs agents often turned a blind eye, today’s stricter rules now mean residents and visitors must show their passport to agents who “look at whether you have a record or not”, said Dutil. He also added that agents will inspect the registration of your car.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedAll this just to cross the street.For Dutil, however, the process is slightly easier as he’s a dual citizen. But for everyone else? Word of advice: just don’t get out of the car. Monday, June 11, 2018 Posted bylast_img read more

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WTM London 2018 looks to surpass last years record £31b in business

first_img LONDON — Registration has opened for WTM London 2018 and the show is set “to be the most successful yet”, say WTM organizers.Around one million business meetings will take place at WTM London 2018, taking place Nov. 5 – 7.Organizers say WTM London will adopt a regional focus for 2018, with each geographical region of the event having its own ‘Inspiration Zone’. These Zones will be the focal point of each region hosting dedicated regional content and networking.Other new initiatives include the co-location of travel and hospitality tech event Travel Forward, also known as T>F. T>F will include a paid-for conference packed with technology business leaders and WTM London badges will gain entrance T>F, as T>F badges will be allowed in WTM London.The Tuesday evening of WTM London (Nov. 6) will also host the inaugural International Travel & Tourism Awards at the Tobacco Dock.This year’s WTM will also include a dedicated area for agencies in the marketing, representation, PR and social media space. The WTM Agency Pavilion will be located at the entrance to the WTM International Media Centre.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upWTM London and T>F will host more than 175 sessions across a record 11 stages with more than 500 senior industry leaders sharing their knowledge, wisdom and opinions.It is anticipated that WTM 2018’s 50,000 delegates from 182 countries and regions will conduct even more business than last year’s record £3.1 billion, say organizers.The first full day, Nov. 6, will remain an exhibitor invite-only day, allowing exhibitors to conduct business meetings with key suppliers. The event will kick off with the WTM Speed Networking at 9 a.m., before the exhibition floor opens at 10am. On Nov. 8 WTM will host the UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit with the day also starting with a Speed Networking session with buyers split by the sector they purchase.Also of interest, Nov. 9 will feature World Responsible Tourism Day, the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world. WTM London 2018 will start with the WTM Digital Influencers’ Speed Networking and conclude with the WTM Festivals, which will see a number of exhibitors hosting parties showcasing their culture, music and cuisine.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growth“WTM London continues to improve every year, with 2018 poised to be the most successful yet. There are so many new initiatives for the 2018 event, all designed to help facilitate ideas creation in the travel and tourism industry,” says WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press.“We anticipate more than £3 billion worth of business will be agreed due to this year’s event between more than 5,000 exhibitors and more than 10,000 senior industry buyers.”T>F, Event Manager, Richard Gayle, added: “Travel Forward will inspire the travel and hospitality industry with the next generation of technology. We are delighted with the response we have had from the industry to taking part in the inaugural event. The conference programme includes senior executives from leading technology companies including Travelport, Amadeus, Skyscanner and Expedia.”To register for WTM London visit: http://www.wtmlondon.com/register.To register for Travel Forward visit: http://travelforward.wtm.com/register. Posted by Share Tags: London, WTM Travelweek Group center_img Friday, August 10, 2018 WTM London 2018 looks to surpass last year’s record £3.1b in business << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Kids land bass in Tourney bites in Guanacaste

first_imgNo related posts. On July 15, More than 100 children put down their PlayStations, unplugged the computer, picked up some fishing gear and headed for Sabana Park for the Annual National Fishing Club kid’s Tournament. The club has been sponsoring this tournament for more than a decade, and according to club President Otto Dyes, the event is designed to promote sport fishing as a family activity.  Over the years, the club has been stocking the lake in the park with tilapia, largemouth bass, and some rainbow bass. Walking around the edge of the lake, I saw lots of small largemouth bass being landed, so my guess is there is a healthy population of larger fish. The top angler caught 16 in the four-hour tournament. Everyone fished from the shore, and the club has been active more than 50 years in promoting land-based fishing. From what I saw walking around the park that morning, everyone was a winner.Fishing reportNot a whole lot to toot the horn about this week, as fishing was slow in most parts of the country except Guanacaste. When the wind is not blowing, lots of marlin, sails and a few nice dorado are hitting along with the occasional tuna. Inside, wahoo, snapper and amberjack are still biting.Los Sueños has been really quiet, and further south down in Quepos, they are only managing to scrap up a couple of billfish per outing. A few tuna up to 50 pounds have hit the sushi bar, and the inshore reefs are saving the day with a good amberjack bite.Down south is seeing pretty much the same. Slow billfish action and a good inshore bite with roosterfish grabbing most of the attention. There was a good tuna bite until a purse seiner took the last one, after working the school of spinner dolphins many days in a row. We’ll talk about that next week.The Caribbean is lacking anglers, and the fish have only been active at the river mouth. A tarpon here and there and a few snook. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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National Emergency Commission lifts two road closures near Turrialba Volcano

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Ash from Turrialba Volcano keeps falling on the Central Valley Turrialba Volcano again spews ash and vapor Turrialba Volcano vapor plumes are normal, experts say Turrialba Volcano spews ash; Rincón de la Vieja heaves vapor The decreased activity registered at Turrialba Volcano throughout this week prompted emergency officials and experts on Thursday to lift two preventive closures on roads to the volcano located in Cartago, some 67 kilometers northeast of the capital San José.The National Emergency Commission (CNE) made the decision after analyzing information gathered during recent on-the-ground inspections conducted by experts from various agencies. Commision officials also recommended that the Education Ministry reopen four schools that were still closed as a precaution.Emergency officials will open passage on roads in the communities of La Silvia and La Pastora, however, the access route to the Turrialba Volcano National Park in La Central will remain closed.CNE president Iván Brenes Reyes said the volcano still registers seismic activity, therefore experts from Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica and the National Seismological Network are still monitoring and conducting periodic inspections.Brenes will visit the area on Friday to assess progress on different actions carried out since the March 9 eruptions, including road repairs, farm animals’ care and information distribution among the population.He also will meet with residents of La Central to explain CNE’s decision to maintain the road closure. Later that day he will inspect evacuation routes and hold a meeting with the mayors of all cantons in the surroundings of the volcano.CNE’s most recent report states Turrialba volcano maintains low activity, consisting mainly of small eruptions of gas, ash and vapor trails.The last strong eruption was recorded at 8:55 p.m. on March 13, when the crater spewed incandescent material, most of which fell back into the crater.See a video of a small gas and ash eruption recorded at 10:07 a.m. on Thursday by OVSICORI’s webcam.last_img read more

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UPDATE Evacuations ordered as tropical storm Otto becomes hurricane

first_imgUpdate: 12:37 p.m.President Luis Guillermo Solís adds communities in Alajuela and Heredia provinces to Red Alert. Evacuation operations will extend to: Bajos del Toro, San Carlos, Guatuso, Los Chiles, Upala and Río Cuarto de Grecia in Alajuela and at Sarapiquí in Heredia.Update 10:48 a.m. President Luis Guillermo Solís ordered the mandatory evacuation of 4,000 residents of Northern and Caribbean communities as recent forecasts state tropical storm Otto will become a hurricane in the next hours.Solís at a press conference on Tuesday morning issued a Red —Emergency— Alert prompted by the high possibilities that Otto hits mainland Costa Rica between Wednesday and Thursday.The president asked residents of the Caribbean communities of Boca Pacuare, Parismina, Tortuguero, Puerto Lindo, Delta Costa Rica, Isla Calero and Las Barras to immediately leave their homes.“We are on a Red Alert, we have to move fast today because tomorrow we might not be able to evacuate some areas. People in these areas will be relocated to secure zones as we need to preserve the lives of Costa Rican families,” Solís said.Original story continues here:President Luis Guillermo Solís called for a voluntary evacuation of residents of the Caribbean region who are currently facing heavy rains and flooding. The situation likely will worsen starting Wednesday when experts forecast tropical storm Otto will grow into a category 1 hurricane.The situation prompted the government to decree a Yellow — Preventive— Alert throughout the country. The alert means that emergency agencies expect effects of the tropical storm to reach most of Costa Rica.“We hope that those who are able to evacuate will do so as soon as possible,” Solís said and added that overflowing rivers, landslides on roads and harsh weather conditions are preventing authorities from reaching many of the affected locations. “Not even by helicopter, as current weather conditions prevent them from taking off,” he said.President Solís addressed his warning primarily to Caribbean residents in Limón, Moín, Playa Bonita, Doce Millas, Tortuguero and Parismina. The coastal communities are facing heavy rains and also waves up to 10 feet expected to last throughout the week.Solís said he will send National Police officers to prevent the evacuation from resulting in acts of vandalism or burglaries on empty properties.The government also confirmed that the Public Education Ministry ordered that classes be cancelled at 107 schools in Limón province, at Sarapiquí in Heredia and in various communities of Cartago.Damage reportIntense rains since the weekend caused flooding in 1,183 homes and forced the National Emergency Commision (CNE) to open five shelters to relocate 370 people in the southern Pacific region and one in the San José canton of Curridabat for 18 evacuees.On Monday evening, emergency agencies also evacuated 214 people in the Caribbean canton of Matina, prompted mostly by overflowing rivers. The CNE reported a total of 135 communities affected by rains, 99 of them in the southern Pacific, where 17 are isolated by floods and landslides.The agency also reported damage and blockades along several roads in the southern Pacific, including Route 2 between Buenos Aires and Palmar Sur, Route 245 at Puerto Jiménez, Route 238 from Golfito to Conte, and Route 608 between Laurel and Coto 47.There are also reports of damage on Route 218 between Llano Grande and Rancho Redondo in Cartago. In the province of Alajuela, the CNE reported damage on the road to Vara Blanca between Zarcero to Ciudad Quesada and in Bajos del Toro from Valverde Vega to Río Cuarto.Government officials and emergency agencies will resume meetings on Tuesday to assess the evolution of tropical storm Otto. Tropical Storm Otto is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday. (Via Weather Underground)Hurricane OttoThe U.S. National Hurricane Center on Monday reported that tropical storm Otto was located in the Caribbean some 440 kilometers northeast of Puerto Limón and will become a hurricane on Wednesday afternoon. National Metereological Institute (IMN) director Werner Stolz said Otto was moving slowly on Monday evening as a cold front influencing local weather was preventing it from moving into Costa Rican territory.IMN forecasts state that rainfall levels on Wednesday and Thursday will reach some 100 liters per square meter in the Caribbean and the northern regions. Cumulative rainfall in the southern Pacific region could range between 60 and 120 liters per square meter.Meteorologists also warned of strong winds of up to 80 kilometers per hour, mainly in the high areas of the Central Valley and the Northern Zone. The cold front will leave Costa Rica on Tuesday when Otto is expected to enter territories near Bluefields on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.The IMN forecasts Otto will then begin losing its strength and will most likely become a tropical depression on Friday.See what people are posting on social media about #Otto.[View the story “#Otto” on Storify] Facebook Comments Related posts:Storm Otto becomes hurricane off Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast Hurricane Otto expected to make landfall in Costa Rica tonight National Emergency Commission maintains hurricane warning for Otto National emergency declared; Costa Rican public agencies to close due to Hurricane Ottolast_img read more

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PHOTOS Thousands audition for Keylor Navas movie

first_imgMore than 2,000 people visited San José’s National Stadium this week to audition for an upcoming film about the life of beloved Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas, “Hombre de Fe” (“Man of Faith”). Many of those who lined up for a spot in the film rose before dawn and traveled to the capital from around the country – and, in the case of the kids auditioning to play the young Keylor, missed school for a chance to bring a national hero’s childhood to life onscreen.The film will be shot between May and July 2017 in Costa Rica and Spain, where Navas tends to the nets of Real Madrid.Here’s a look at some of the hopefuls from yesterday’s auditions. Pretty close! Ezequiel Becerra / AFP One of many would-be Keylors at the March 17 auditions. Ezequiel Becerra / AFP Ezequiel Becerra / AFP Ezequiel Becerra / AFP Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica returns with full-strength lineup in last step toward World Cup qualifying Costa Rica scores key victory over Trinidad & Tobago in World Cup Qualifying PHOTOS: Costa Rica comes up empty-handed in clash with Panama Costa Rica seeking revenge against the United Stateslast_img read more

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ACLU lawsuit targets new Puerto Rico penal code

first_img Check your body, save your life New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction to stop Justice Secretary Guillermo Somoza from enforcing the new law as it relates to protests and demonstrations. A portion of the new code states that those who disrupt, interrupt or prevent legislators from performing public duties or cause disorder while in the immediate view and presence of lawmakers will be charged.The American Civil Liberties Union says the new code uses vague language and does not offer police or potential offenders any guidance about what kind of conduct would be considered criminal.“It’s just plain old unconstitutional no matter how you look at it,” Ramirez said. “What would disturb one legislator may not disturb another legislator.”The spokespeople for the police chief and justice secretary did not immediately return messages for comment. Fortuno spokesman Edward Zayas said he would soon comment. Fortuno has previously denied that the code would infringe on the rights of protesters.Ramirez said he worries the statute, which goes into effect Sept. 1, would likely be applied unevenly and that police would target only certain kinds of protesters.In 2010, students at the University of Puerto Rico launched a 62-day strike to protest an $800 fee to offset budget cuts. Many were injured in clashes with police who used batons, tear gas and pepper spray. Later that year, there were similar clashes during a protest in front of the seaside Capitol building over a motion that closed legislative sessions to the press and public. 0 Comments   Share   New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Puerto Rico’s police chief and justice secretary, saying the island’s new penal code violates the constitutional right to freedom of expression.The lawsuit comes a week after Gov. Luis Fortuno approved the new code that restricts certain types of protests and establishes a three-year prison sentence for violators.“The statute is evidently intended to suppress speech, to stop people from protesting against government policies,” William Ramirez, local ACLU director, said Tuesday. Sponsored Stories As a result of those clashes, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in late June accusing police of using excessive force and violating civil rights. The new lawsuit was added to the previous one as an amended complaint to speed up the court process, Ramirez said.The lawsuit also demands that Police Chief Hector Pesquera create an official policy on how to handle public demonstrations and use of force. Pesquera has previously said that the department already has developed a use-of-force policy approved by federal justice officials.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

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Dominican inmates stripped of perks amid crackdown

first_img Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project It was the first time that Dominican authorities have put a stop to a longtime tradition of allowing inmates who could afford it to equip their cells with extras.Dominguez noted that most high-profile inmates have been convicted of crimes that “allowed them to amass great financial fortunes with which they bought not only impunity, but certain benefits as well.”The practice first became an issue with the May 2009 killing of inmate Rolando Floria, who was serving a drug trafficking and murder sentence. The public learned that Floria’s private cell had wood paneling, an LCD television set, Internet service, a small library and a private kitchen and he was allowed visits from prostitutes. Prison officials claimed not to know about Floria’s perks.None of the Dominican Republic’s 21 prisons have general air conditioning despite the country’s high temperatures, and the majority of the 22,000 inmates are barred from having laptops and other items.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Top Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) – Wealthy inmates in the Dominican Republic’s prisons were stripped of their perks Friday, including laptops, TV antennas, tubs and air conditioning units in their cells, the country’s chief prosecutor announced.General Prosecutor Francisco Dominguez said it was unacceptable that those prisoners received special treatment that regular inmates did not. High-profile inmates also are held apart from other prisoners, but Dominguez did not say if that practice would be ended, too.last_img read more

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House panel unveils 5786 billion for defense spending

first_imgOther highlights of the bill include:–EQUIPMENT: A total of $116.7 billion for equipment and upgrades, which is $12.5 billion above the fiscal 2015 enacted level and $3 billion above the president’s request, to maintain U.S. military readiness. For example, the bill includes: $16.9 billion to procure nine Navy ships, including two DDG-51 guided-missile destroyers and three Littoral Combat Ships. It includes $8.4 billion for various aircraft, helicopters and $55 million for the Israeli defense system known as “Iron Dome.”–A-10: The bill ensures the A-10 Warthog remains available for close air support to protect ground troops and that the Army National Guard’s force strength does not fall below fiscal 2015 levels. The bill also calls for banning AH-64 Apache helicopters from being transferred from the Army National Guard to the regular Army during fiscal 2016.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel that decides defense spending unveiled a $578.6 billion blueprint on Tuesday that fully funds a 2.3 percent pay raise for military men and women, prevents the retirement of the A-10 aircraft that protects ground troops and funds the U.S. fight against terrorism.The spending bill, which mirrors the broad defense policy bill the House passed last week, is to be considered Wednesday by the defense subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Top Stories The bill covers the core defense budget plus $88.4 billion for a war-fighting fund that finances military operations in Afghanistan, the Mideast and elsewhere.The proposed bill provides money for a 2.3 percent pay raise instead of 1.3 percent as requested by the White House. It also provides money to maintain 100 percent of troop housing costs through the Basic Allowance for Housing.“This bill makes the most of a very tight budget, utilizing all resources to ensure that our military remains the best in the world and that they are ready and able to protect all of us from those that wish to do harm,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky.Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., subcommittee chairman, said the legislation recognizes growing threats around the world and a need to guarantee that the U.S. military and intelligence communities have the strength and ability to meet the rise of Islamic extremists and other aggressors, including Iran, China, Russia and North Korea.The bill provides $578.6 billion in discretionary funding — an increase of $24.4 billion above fiscal 2015 enacted level — and $800 million above the president’s request. The $88.4 billion for fighting terrorism and related costs is within the level assumed in the House and Senate budget conference agreement. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 must play golf courses in Arizona 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

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Costly Spanish ghost airport gets 1 meager bid at auction

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Top Stories center_img Quick workouts for men Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Chinese group Tzaneen International tabled the single bid in Friday’s auction, Spanish news agency Europa Press said. The receiver had set a minimum price of 28 million euros. If no better bid is received by September, the sale will go through, the news agency said.Tzaneen International reportedly plans to invest up to 100 million euros in the airport and make it a cargo hub. The offer is for the airport infrastructure only, not adjacent land.Central has one of Europe’s longest runways and was designed to handle 2.5 million passengers a year.The construction was heavily funded by the Caja Castilla La Mancha savings bank — the first of Spain’s troubled savings banks to be bailed out, in 2010.Another largely unused airport and symbol of wasteful spending is Castellon, on Spain’s eastern coast. It cost around 150 million euros and opened in 2011.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MADRID (AP) — One of Spain’s “ghost airports” — expensive projects that were virtually unused — received just one bid in a bankruptcy auction after costing some 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build. The buyer’s offer: 10,000 euros.Ciudad Real’s Central airport, about 235 kilometers (150 miles) south of Madrid, became a symbol of the country’s wasteful spending during a construction boom that ended with the financial crisis of 2008, the year the airport opened. The operator of the airport went bankrupt in 2012 after it failed to draw enough traffic. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

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Queensland tourism in postflood planning

first_imgQueensland tourism hoping for better days Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Tourism operators in far north Queensland have met in Cairns this week to discuss ways to improve an industry still reeling from the effects of the state’s recent floods. According to Tourism Queensland (TQ) chief executive Anthony Hayes, operators are still suffering because of coverage of the state’s floods and cyclones, ABC News reported.”The feedback in the room is that people are really feeling it and doing it really tough, and I guess one of the messages that we’re trying to get across is ‘we get that’,” Mr  said. “We know that things are really horrible and we’re not just plodding along doing the same old stuff that we’ve always done.”We’ve dragged a lot of things forward, we’ve restructured budgets, we’ve restructured business plans.”In a concerted effort to revive the struggling industry, TQ has confirmed that it is currently planning “aggressive” international marketing campaigns, the ABC reported.last_img read more

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UAE gains Egypt Bahrain Tunisia loss

first_imgConflict in neighboring countries is ushering tourism into the UAE, with Abu Dhabi airports welcoming 9.4 percent more passengers in the first quarter compared to the corresponding period last year.International Air Transport Association figures showed that as Egypt and Tunisia arrivals fell by 6.2 over the same period, Dubai’s inbound tourism increased by up to seven percent compared to the first quarter in 2010, Gulf News reported.TRI Hospitality Consulting’s Middle Eastern branch found that the majority of tourism was redirected from Bahrain, with MICE travellers forced to host incentive trips outside the country.”Many are coming from Bahrain, this can be seen in hotels which have got an increase in requests from Bahraini companies to host conferences and meetings originally meant to be held in their own country,” the consulting Group’s managing director Peter Goddard said.Dubai’s accommodation sector saw an occupancy rise of 7.9 percent in January this year up to 76.6 percent while Abu Dhabi witnessed 60.9 percent of its hotels full compared to 50.2 percent in January last year, STR Global data found.”Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been affected positively from the unrest in the region; Dubai has seen a stronger impact on its tourism market than Abu Dhabi,” Mr Goddard added.The Bahrain government decision to axe its role in the Formula One scheduled to run from 13 March also played its part in diverting tourism into other regions in the Middle East, according to a research compiled by Dubai-based tourism agency, Utravel. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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Virgin Delta alliance imminent

first_imgThe US department of transportation (dot) has proposed the approval of an antitrust immunity alliance between Virgin Australia and Delta Airlines on flights between Australia and North America. The joint venture between the two carriers is expected to provide passengers with an expanded network of destinations, seamless connections, convenient flight schedules, opportunity to earn more frequent flyer points and access lounges, according to a statement released by Virgin. Welcoming DOT’s decision, Virgin Australia CEO, John Borghetti said if plans were approved it would deliver a “more attractive and competitive service for travellers in Australia and North America”.“The alliance will also be very positive for tourism in Australia, as there will be clear incentive for both Delta and Virgin Australia to promote their product to a range of additional cities in the US, Canada and Mexico,” Mr Borghetti said.Delta Airlines CEO Richard Anderson said the relationship between the two carriers will be enhanced should the approval be given, opening doors for an expanded network between the two countries.It is expected DOT will announce its ruling on the proposal following public in following weeks. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

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Malaysia Airlines farewells SA

first_imgimage source: malasyia.blogspot.com Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has decided to close its Adelaide call centre before the end of this month, leaving 32 staff members without jobs.Having opened its operations in August 2000, the call centre managed all Australian and New Zealand calls for the carrier.During the airlines peak the call centre employed over 60 staff, however according to an employee, staff numbers had dropped since the State Government subsidy ended two years ago.“Since then, every time someone has left, they have never been replaced,” the staff member said.“We have about 10 contractors but three months ago they were marched out the door.“We have been told the calls will be cut off (here) on July 27 and everything will be transferred to Malaysia.”A State Government spokesperson said there was no need for the government to reconsider its approach because the airline had fulfilled its part of the deal.“Malaysia Airlines did receive government assistance to help the company set up a call centre in South Australia and the terms of the initial agreement have been fulfilled and Malaysia Airlines has made its own business decision,” the spokesperson said.“At the same time Malaysia Airlines showed its faith in the South Australian tourism market in March 2011 by increasing the number of weekly direct flights to Adelaide from four to six” He added.last_img read more

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One hundred new Boeing jets on order for Delta

first_imgDelta will receive its first twelve new jets in 2013 Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Delta Air Lines has announced plans to purchase 100 new Boeing 737-900ER aircraft as it looks to upgrade its fleet and retire older mainline jets. The US carrier will take delivery of the “fuel-efficient, state-of-the-art 180-seat aircraft” between 2013 and 2018.    According to Delta, the planes will be able to operate on any domestic route offered by the airline, thereby improving “the company’s profitability while providing customers with an industry-leading on-board experience”. “A key component of Delta’s strategy is making prudent investments for the future while maintaining our financial and capacity discipline,” Delta chief executive officer Richard Anderson said, commending “the manufacturers who participated in this process”.”With this next-generation Boeing aircraft, we can give our customers a superior in-flight experience while at the same time improving our shareholder returns.”The new jets will be the first in Delta’s fleet to feature Boeing’s new “Sky Interior”, which offers “expanded carry-on baggage space, a roomier, more airy cabin and an LED lighting system”.The American carrier says the order will not impact the company’s US$1.2 billion of capital expenditure projected for 2011. “With significant savings from increased fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs, these aircraft will be cash flow positive and earnings accretive from the first year of operation,” Mr Anderson said. Delta is currently in the midst of a $2 billion, three year venture designed to enhance the overall customer experience, with investments comprising improvements to Delta’s “fleet, facilities and technology”.Additionally, the carrier is investing heavily in Terminal 4 at New York’s JFK airport and the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta.last_img read more

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Cook Islands chasing Aus MICE

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Kerryn – Cook Islands Tourism & Alana – Turama Pacific Travel Group The Cook Islands have increased their focus on MICE in Australia, in a bid to build its events profile down under.Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard at the region’s special MICE event last night, Cook Islands Tourism Australian general manager Kerryn Cook told e-Travel Blackboard the Islands are well equipped to cater to all types of events and the plan was to reveal that to Aussie event planners.She explained the renewed focus came with the exchange from having a part time rep in Australia to a full-time office, as it allowed her team to realise specific markets they wanted to target down under.“We’ve marketed in Australia before but since we’ve established a full-time office we really want to get the message out that we are serious, we have the experience, the suppliers and what it takes to host events,” Mr Cook said.“We’re also now proactively moving to reach our target markets because we figured out what our objectives were.”The Cooks’ head added that currently the region is hosting a number of MICE events and last night’s showcase was to build awareness that the Islands’ hosting style is flexible and tailor made not “cookie cutter”.“We are already selling MICE, we just have to build awareness,” she said.Earlier this year the tourism board unveiled new marketing strategies to build its leisure business.Ms Cook told e-Travel Blackboard since launching new social media and outdoor campaigns, the Islands’ website doubled its number of clicks.Check out photos from last night’s event by clicking here.last_img read more

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DMS build connections

first_img“After seven years of attending the DMS workshop, it never ceases to amaze me how productive the day is for my business,” Eventsource Dubai award winner, Kevin Buckley said. Destination Marketing Services (DMS) has connected up a record number of conference partners and destination management companies.  The DMS Annual Workshop, which was held 13 February at the Sydney Opera House, gathered planners and destination management companies to discuss current market trends and business climate.  “It’s a one-stop ‘world comes to us’ opportunity that allows me to make personal contacts, discover destinations, ignite ideas, and get the ball rolling on quotes and proposals for upcoming projects.” Source = ETB News, T.N.last_img read more

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