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18 sailors reach Norfolk Island after boat damaged

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center The crew includes New Zealanders, Australians, Chinese and one American, according to the center. The boat has anchored at a jetty because Norfolk Island, home to about 2,000 people, does not have a port or marina. The island is about 500 miles northwest of New Zealand.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security systemcenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – Eighteen sailors whose yacht was badly damaged during a race from New Zealand to New Caledonia have reached the safety of remote Norfolk Island.The crew on the 24-meter (79-foot) vessel Beau Geste contacted rescue teams Monday after the boat’s hull and deck were damaged during stormy weather about 100 nautical miles east of Norfolk Island. New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre arranged for a fishing boat to accompany the sailboat as it limped to the South Pacific island overnight. The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Mexico City to move Azerbaijan leaders statue

first_img Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera says that a life-size bronze statue of Azerbaijan’s former president will be removed from the capital’s main avenue.Mancera says the Stalinesque statue of the late Geidar Aliyev will be moved to different location that will be determined this week.He said Tuesday that the decision was made based on the recommendation by a commission of intellectuals. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The Azerbaijani Embassy paid for the renovation of part of the city park where the statue sits and other public works totaling about $5 million.Protesters have said they are offended by a monument to an authoritarian figure like Aliyev, who led Azerbaijan first as Communist Party boss during Soviet times and then as president from 1993 until his death in 2003.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Top holiday drink recipes Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project How men can have a healthy 2019 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories last_img read more

Harry Potters London station gets a makeover

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of The makeover is part of a wider redevelopment of King’s Cross and its surroundings. Once known as a seedy red-light district, the area around the station is being turned into upscale apartments and offices, including Google’s new London headquarters.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement LONDON (AP) – London’s mayor has officially opened a spacious new square in front of London’s King’s Cross station, known to Harry Potter fans across the world as the home of the fictional Platform 9 3/4.The tree-studded square, unveiled Thursday, replaces a green metal canopy which had long marred the view of the Victorian railway station.King’s Cross dates back to the 1850s and handles some 47 million passengers annually. In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, student wizards use a secret platform at the station to board the train for Hogwarts school. Comments   Share   last_img read more

Obamas trade agenda faces tough battle heading into House

first_img WASHINGTON (AP) — After several near-death experiences in the Senate, the trade agenda that President Barack Obama is pushing as a second term capstone faces its biggest hurdle yet in the more polarized House.Anti-trade forces have struggled to ignite public outrage over Obama’s bid to enact new free-trade agreements, but Democratic opposition in Congress remains widespread.The outcome may turn on Republicans’ willingness to hand the president a major win in his final years in office. Underscoring the difficulties, House leaders are looking at the second or third week of June to schedule a vote, even though House members return from recess on Monday. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “The business of bill-passing is a messy, sausage-making process. It was in the Senate, and it certainly will be in the House,” White House communications director Jen Psaki said in an interview. “There will be many moments where there will be difficult issues. We have our eyes wide open with that.”At issue is legislation that would give Obama parameters for the trade deals he negotiates but also speed up congressional review of the final agreements by giving lawmakers the right to approve or reject deals, but not change them.Obama is seeking this “fast track” authority to complete a 12-nation Trans-Pacific trade deal that spans the Pacific rim from Chile to Vietnam. He and trade backers say it will open huge markets to U.S. goods by lowering tariffs and other trade barriers. Critics, labor and environmental groups in particular, argue that new trade agreements will cost jobs and that past agreements have not lived up to labor and environmental standards.Supporters and opponents of fast track count about 20 House Democrats in favor with fewer than a dozen still on the fence. Proponents of the bill say they need at least 25 Democrats and preferably closer to 30 to counter the 40 to 50 Republicans who are expected to vote against it in the GOP-controlled House. FILE – In this May 26, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. For all the near-death moments his trade agenda overcame in the Senate, President Barack Obama’s effort to cap his presidency with a major international commerce deal faces its biggest hurdle – and perhaps its graveyard – in the more polarized House of Representatives. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) If the trade assistance measure survives, the fast-track measure would still be in jeopardy.“There’s overwhelming opposition in the Democratic caucus,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a leading opponent of Obama’s trade bill, said in an interview. GOP leaders “are in a bind,” she said. “If they had the votes, they’d be moving.”DeLauro said “dividing the question” is only one of several options House leaders are considering. “Every option leads to more problems,” she said, “because this is a bad bill.”At the White House, officials say Obama might rely less on the public speeches and high-profile interviews that characterized the drive toward the Senate vote and focus more on targeted lobbying to retain Democratic supporters and win over any remaining fence sitters.The White House has been especially impressed by the efforts of House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who has worked to persuade conservatives who are reluctant to give a Democratic president fast-track authority. Ryan has written opinion pieces with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a darling of the conservative movement, in support of trade and has courted other conservative leaders to back fast track. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help On the Democratic side, labor has made opposition to trade a priority, and the AFL-CIO has frozen its political action committee contributions to lawmakers until after the trade votes. During the Memorial Day congressional recess, a coalition of fast-track opponents aired ads in 17 Democratic congressional districts criticizing the legislation and calling for its defeat.But those efforts are running up against a more muddled public view of trade. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 58 percent of those surveyed, including a majority of Democrats, say free trade agreements have been good for the U.S. Moreover, when Pew asked Americans to list their top priorities for the president and Congress this year, global trade ranked 23rd.“The people who don’t normally pay attention to campaigns probably aren’t going to be showing up to vote on this,” Jason Stanford of the Coalition to Stop Fast Track conceded. “But what is important for these members to note is that the same people who were knocking on doors for them last time are opposing this now. They are turning that important base of support into a really dedicated opposition. And that’s not how anyone wants to run for re-election.” Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The fast-track legislation squeezed through the Senate, coupled with a package of federal assistance for workers displaced by free trade agreements that helped secure Democratic votes. That aid measure, called Trade Adjustment Assistance, has emerged as a particularly tricky component because it’s a priority for Democrats, but many Republicans oppose it and insist on publicly voting against it.One House leadership option is to “divide the question” on the Senate-passed bill. That would allow separate votes on fast-track and TAA.Presumably an overwhelming number of Republicans, and just enough Democrats, would vote for fast-track. And TAA would pass with heavy Democratic support and enough help from Republicans. That would ultimately leave the Senate bill intact and clear the way for Obama’s signature.Some Democrats, however, have raised the possibility of voting heavily against TAA to sabotage their main target, fast track. And many are unhappy that the assistance package would be partly funded by cuts in Medicare’s growth.“There’s a lot of unease in the Democratic caucus — and explicit opposition — to Congress paying for trade adjustment assistance with Medicare savings,” Bill Samuel, the legislative director for the AFL-CIO, said in an interview. “If Republicans are counting on Democrats to put it over the top, they may not be right about that.” 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

Indias opposition disrupts Parliament over cricket scandal

first_img Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi, center, accompanied by other ministers walks to address the media upon his arrival at the Indian Parliament house on the opening day of the monsoon session, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. (AP Photo/ Manish Swarup) He denied allegations of financial wrongdoing and moved to London in 2010 as Indian authorities launched an investigation against him.The current scandal began six weeks ago, when Britain’s Sunday Times reported that Indian-born British Labor lawmaker Keith Vaz had used Swaraj’s name to put pressure on the top British immigration official to grant British travel papers to Lalit Modi.Swaraj tweeted that she told Britain’s High Commissioner to India, James Bevan, and Vaz that granting Lalit Modi the documents would not harm the two nations’ relations.Lalit Modi and his attorney said that Scindia had given an affidavit to British authorities in 2011 supporting Modi’s immigration application seeking resident status in the United Kingdom.Scindia’s son, Dushyant Singh, a lawmaker, received 113.6 million rupees ($1.85 million) from Lalit Modi in 2008 as investment in his company.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian opposition parties disrupted Parliament on Tuesday to demand the resignation of two key ruling party leaders for allegedly helping a former Indian cricket official facing investigation for financial irregularities.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party denies any wrongdoing by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj or the top elected leader of Rajasthan state, Vasundhararaje Scindia. The scandal, which relates to the investigation into the founder of India’s Twenty20 cricket tournament, is the first to hit Modi’s government since it came to power last year. Top Stories center_img The upper house of Parliament was adjourned without conducting any business Tuesday, the opening day of its three-week monsoon session, with the government rejecting the resignation demand by the Congress party and others.“There can be no resignation. If you want discussion, we can have it,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.That remark infuriated Congress party lawmakers, who charged into the prohibited area around the chairman’s seat and shouted, “Corrupt officials resign, then we will debate.”The confrontation over the issue is expected to delay the passage of key legislative proposals crucial to Modi’s economic agenda, including a land acquisition bill and a new sales tax bill.The Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament was founded in 2008 by Lalit Modi, who is not related to the prime minister, but it was soon dogged by allegations of corporate corruption, money-laundering and tax evasion, as well as secret deals to hide the teams’ real owners.Lalit Modi was removed as IPL chairman in 2010 and later banned for life from holding any positions in the sport by the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Uluru Reef finalists in New7Wonders comp

first_imgAustralia’s most famous rock and reef could be crowned New7Wonders, pending votes Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C Australia’s Great Barrier Reef along with Uluru has been named a finalist in the New7Wonders competition.The two Australian natural icons now sit in the list of 28 finalists in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign, established by the international New7Wonders Foundation, Tourism Australia announced last Wednesday.The campaign is a global search to recognise the seven most wondrous natural sites in the world as voted by the general public.Tourism Australia is now calling upon all fans of Australia to vote for Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef to become official New7Wonders of Nature.”The campaign creates a platform to help conserve Australia’s natural wonders for years to come as well as encourage tourists from around the world to experience these incredible sites for themselves,” Tourism Australia managing director, Andrew McEvoy, said.”This is Australia’s opportunity to raise awareness globally of the variety and natural beauty of our unique environment.“It has been estimated that both Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef need to secure 100 million votes each to put them in the running for the title so I urge anyone who is passionate about Australia to vote now,” he said.Australia’s most famous rock and reef beat competition from 440 sites across the globe and now battle 28 finalists including Angel Falls in Venezuela, Milford Sound in New Zealand, Bay of Fundy in Canada, the Grand Canyon in the US, and the Amazon in South America.Sites are now vying for enough votes to make it into the official seven, to be announced on 11 November 2011.To vote, simply visit to show your support for the Great Barrier Reef and for Uluru.For telephone voting, call +44 87 218 400 and when directed, dial 7711 to vote for the Great Barrier Reef and 7726 for Uluru. last_img read more

Hoteliers say theres no time for a bath

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P The next time you check yourself into a hotel don’t be surprised if you can’t find the bathtub, as more and more bathtubs are disappearing from hotels across the united states and being replaced by larger more luxurious showers.The reason for getting rid of the bathtub is simply corporate travelers do not have time for a long soak in the tub, and many travelers choose to have showers.“Most business people are on the run and take a quick shower,” Marriott Hotel vice president of design and project management Bill Barrie said.The Marriott Hotels plans to have 75 percent of their rooms fitted with showers only, whilst the Holiday Inn Chain have gone from 90 percent of their hotel rooms having bathtubs to only 55 percent of new structures featuring them now. Hotel Indigo a six year old affluent hotel chain has never had tubs in their hotel except in their suites.“Certainly when you do a glass-enclosed shower compared to a traditional shower tub combination you’ll feel you’re in a more spacious environment,” Hotel Indigo director of brand management Mary Dogan said.Embassy Hotels conducted a survey in 2008 which also found travelers prefer to have a shower than a bath, but a bathtub or bath/shower combination is the first choice for leisure travel especially when travelling with young children.Have your say do you prefer a quick shower or a soak in the tub?last_img read more

Austin powers visits travel agents

first_imgAustin Powers will be paying a visit to travel agents across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to hand deliver their invitation to a Gold Coast Product Roadshow.Tourism Queensland and Gold Coast Tourism with the support of Virgin Australia will be oraganising the Roadshow which will be running from 19-22 March in the respective cities.Tourism Queensland Executive Director Destinations Leanne Coddington said Austin powers will be visiting agents over the next couple of days to encourage travel agents to attend the Roadshow.“Austin Powers is a regular quirky act at Village Roadshow Theme Parks’ Movie World on the Gold Coast and will draw southern agents’ attention towards the Gold Coast Product Roadshow Ms Coddington said. Ms Coddington said the purpose of the roadshow is to give local travel agents the chance to “test and refresh” their knowledge on the’ Famous for fun Gold Coast’ and everything it has to offer. “Participating travel agents will have the chance to expand their knowledge of what is new on the Gold Coast and interact and network with 15 Queensland tourism operators who will educate the agents about their tourism products,” she added.“Our aim is to help the agents to better sell the Gold Coast to Aussies looking to book their next holiday.”Ms Coddington said that in the year to September 2011 the Gold Coast had welcomed almost four million international and domestic visitors who spent AUD3.5billion.Travel agents can register for the Gold Coast Product Roadshow by visiting the following websites in their respective cities. Adelaide: Melbourne: Parramatta: Sydney: Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

Qantas offers new inflight experience

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Qantas upgrades Boeing 747-400 expereince In a move to enhance the in-flight experience for more Qantas passengers the airline will introduce its fourth newly-fitted Boeing 747-400 to its international network.Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience Alison Webster said international travellers flying on the newly fitted aircraft were pleased with the new services, which is in line with their flag ship A380 service.“In-flight entertainment is now available on larger personal screens with over 1,500 content Selections,” Ms Webster said. “Our   customers   in   Business   now   enjoy   new   cabin   mood   lighting   and   the   award-winning fully-flat Skybed designed by Marc Newson.“Economy customers also receive a new level of comfort with a custom designed seat featuring a unique footrest net and ergonomic cushioning and a self- service snack bar,”Ms Webster said the fourth newly-fitted B747 is scheduled to go into operation at the end of this month.The Reconfiguration Program comprises of a complete fit out of the aircrafts interior including new seats and new cabin configurations. The aircraft is fitted with 364 seats 58 Business, 36Premium Economy and 270 Economy.According to the airline by mid 2012, Qantas will have six newly-fitted B747 aircraft operating on long haul Pacific routes including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Santiago.last_img read more

Delta Air Lines makes a move on another Virgin

first_imgLess than a day after purchasing 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic airline, Delta has made a move on another Virgin.Virgin Australia has submitted an application to the International Air Services Commission (IASC) seeking a Delta code share on flights on the Indonesia route.As part of the alliance between the two carriers, the Australian carrier said Delta would place its airline code on Virgin’s flights to Indonesia.The IASC has requested notice of intention to make a submission before handed before COB 19 December 2012, with all submissions due COB 8 January 2013. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Elvis lives on in Hawaii

first_imgElvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden presents Governor Abercrombie with a commemorative plaque Hundreds of Elvis fans have gathered in Hawaii as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of The King’s “Aloha from Hawaii” concert that was simulcast to over one billion viewers worldwide on 14 January 1973. Guests have had the opportunity to attend exclusive events including Elvis-themed dance parties, performances and interviews with Elvis’ co-stars, friends and fellow musicians.The first-ever Hawaiian celebration will culminate in a one night only screening of the “Aloha from Hawaii” concert at Neal Blaisdell Arena on 14 January 2013. Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden attended an exclusive gathering at Washington Place this week to present a plaque to the Governor of Hawaii in commemoration of the historic event.“In Memphis, Tennessee we are very proud of our Southern hospitality,” Mr Soden said.“We believe that we are the most hospitable place on earth – well we did until a couple of days ago when we came to Hawaii and experienced Hawaiian hospitality and we couldn’t be more happy.” The plaque will be on display in the Governor’s office.“He felt the aloha spirit, he lived the aloha spirit. We are happy to claim Elvis Presley as one of our own,” Governor Abercrombie told e-Travel Blackboard. “A keiki o ka’aina – a child of the Islands.”The unveiling took place in front an audience including radio DJ and legendary concert promoter “Uncle” Tom Moffatt, actor Jim Nabors, performer Jimmy Borges, Elvis’ former co-stars and band members and representatives from Elvis Presley Enterprises. Governor Abercrombie also acknowledged the little-known fundraising efforts that Elvis undertook for the world-renowned Arizona Memorial located at the site of the Pearl Harbour bombings. “It was Elvis Presley who was the catalyst for allowing us today to recognise the singular importance of the memorial,” Governor Abercrombie said.“Elvis represents to us and to the rest of the world a humanity that connects us all.”“Elvis Presley was our shining national guitar.”Click here to view entire photo gallery. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Alast_img read more

New Zealand targets Australian Chinese tourists

first_imgThe New Zealand government is aiming to attract more Australian Chinese tourists to the country because it believes they are more likely to be able to spend more than the average Australian.The tourist agent China Travel Service has won a $NZ 50,000 tourism partnership grant to boost the visitor numbers, on top of NZ $50,000 in private funding, The Australian reported.The government estimates that the potential return on investment is NZ $6 million by 2017.In the year to February 2014, 448, 496 people visited New Zealand of whom 175,504 were of Chinese mainland background.New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has also announced a boost of NZ $60,000 for the Canterbury Tourism Partnership which will target Australian and Chinese agents to bring them onboard building visitor numbers to the city, following the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

China Eastern to fly Auckland to Shanghai service yearround

first_imgChina Eastern to fly Auckland to Shanghai service year-roundChina Eastern announced the launch of their year-round Auckland to Shanghai service at an event in Auckland today, commencing four-times weekly flights from 26 September 2015. The airline’s announcement will add an additional 100,000 seats per year on the Auckland/Shanghai/Auckland route, representing an important boost in seat capacity to accommodate growing numbers of Chinese tourists who wish to visit New Zealand. A significant presence in the aviation world, China Eastern boasts a fleet of 500 aircrafts and carries more than 80 million passengers a year over 350 destinations within China, as well as 40 international destinations.  Ms Kathy Zhang, General Manager Oceania for China Eastern Airlines, says the expansion from a seasonal service to a year-long round offer is due to the strong demand for its service since China Eastern entered the New Zealand market in 2014. “We have seen strong uptake of our fares to Auckland, as New Zealand continues to be a desirable destination for Chinese travellers. We’re excited to be able to extend our relationship with New Zealand by providing regular flights year-round and are celebrating with a limited number of special fares.”  Fly China EasternSource = China Easternlast_img read more

Delta Airbus fleet gets revamp

first_img Global Aviation Services Fly Delta Source = Delta Air Lines Delta will debut its latest single-aisle jet to receive a nose-to-tail interior modification this week—the first of 57 Airbus A319s to receive the state of the art upgrade.The 132-seat aircraft is the latest in a series of upgrades coming to Delta’s domestic narrowbody fleet and follows just a few short months after Ship 3235 rejoined the flight line.Panasonic in-flight entertainment at every seat, large pivoting overhead bins capable of accommodating 60 percent more carry-on bags, new galleys and an innovative, pod-like overhead passenger service unit highlight just a few of the new amenities designed by Zodiac Aerospace that Delta customers will enjoy.The 9 inch high definition seat-back entertainment screens offer more content than any other domestic carrier.Each seat also as 110v and USB power to plug in electronics in flight.The airline is the first in the world to receive the interior modifications on both Airbus fleets.All 126 A320 and A319 aircraft will be retrofitted with the new interior by summer 2017.The larger of the two jets, the A320, will also receive in-flight entertainment, though not initially, through 2018.Many of Delta’s Boeing 757 jets are receiving interior enhancements as part of the airline’s more than $770 million investment in the domestic fleet to provide a more consistent customer experience.last_img read more

Excite signs preferred partnership in the UK

first_imgExcite signs preferred partnership in the UKOnline travel wholesaler, Excite Holidays, has continued its rapid expansion in the UK by signing a preferred partnership agreement with The Travel Network Group.The Travel Network Group’s network of over 800 independent travel agents will be given access to Excite Holidays’ preferential rates at over 250,000 properties around the globe. Members of The Travel Network Group will also receive 24-hour customer service from the wholesaler’s global agency support team and be invited to take part in regular fam trips and exclusive incentives.Announcing the agreement, Adrian Marpole, head of sales UK, said, “This deal marks a huge step forward for Excite Holidays. The UK is an extremely competitive market, but since our launch here last year, we’ve seen great momentum and the feedback from agents has been excellent.“We’re extremely pleased to have signed this preferred agreement with The Travel Network Group, since both companies are committed to working in partnership to ensure agents and their clients receive the best possible booking experience.”Excite Holidays is an online travel wholesaler providing travel agencies with an exceptional range of products, outstanding customer service and market-leading technology. Their strategically placed offices around the globe allow the provision of personalised and multi-lingual support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Source = Excite Holidayslast_img read more

Travel demand for Asia Pacific to grow by 46 each year until

first_imgTravel demand for Asia Pacific to grow by 4.6% each year until 2020International visitor demand into the Asia Pacific region is forecast to grow at an average rate of 4.6 percent each year to reach in excess of 657 million by 2020. This is the top line prediction contained within the Executive Summary Report of the PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2016-2020 released today.Covering 38 key destinations within the Asia Pacific region, these annual PATA forecasts are well regarded for their overall accuracy and reliability in terms of highlighting shifts and trends in international visitor demand for travel in and across the region.According to Mr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), “Actual foreign arrival numbers into Asia Pacific at the aggregate level have been within two percent of predictions made in the last few PATA forecasts, so we know that the numbers are realistic, reliable and valid.“In addition, this last series of predictions again highlights the rapidly approaching need for aggressive and appropriate visitor management processes to be installed and operational before we literally destroy our destinations with our love and desire to interact with them.”Asia will continue to increase its relative dominance of foreign arrivals into the Asia Pacific region through to 2020, increasing its relative share of these arrivals from 72 percent in 2015 to better than 73 percent by 2020. This, at a time when the absolute volume of arrivals into Asia Pacific generally is predicted to rise from 528 million to 647 million over the same period.Southeast Asia will continue with its dramatic rise in foreign arrivals, improving its relative share from just under 20 percent in 2015 to around 22.5 percent by 2020, when it will rival the share of the Americas at that time (22.6%).Asia will also continue to generate more international arrivals into Asia Pacific, increasing its count from 355 million visitors in 2015 to around 448 million by the end of this decade. That will see the Asian component of arrivals into Asia Pacific – as defined in this summary report – increase from 66 percent (2015) to over 68 percent by 2020.However, it is Northeast Asia that remains the workhorse for Asia Pacific, generating an expected 333 million international arrivals into the region in 2020 – more than half of the total foreign inbound volume expected in that year.Intra-regional flows will continue to remain strong for most of the Asia Pacific regions, but across the region, the influence of the Asian source market is undeniable and will only grow stronger, at least in the majority of cases.The Americas and Europe will continue to play important roles in Asia Pacific travel and tourism, not just in the volume of arrivals they each generate but also in terms of additional metrics that they bring to the sector – more for some destinations than others, but still significant none the less.The Americas itself is expected to generate around 113 million arrivals into the Asia Pacific region in 2020 driven largely by North America which will contribute close to two-thirds of that volume in its own right.The 47 million arrivals from Europe expected in 2020 will come from firstly West Europe (19.5 million) but also by North Europe (14.7 million) – together, these two origin sub-regions will generate close to two-thirds of the total arrivals from Europe by the end of the forecast period (2020).Mario Hardy added, “The predictions are positive but there will be some substantive changes in origin market structure into a number of destinations. Forewarned is forearmed.” Pacific Asia Travel AssociationSource = Pacific Asia Travel Associationlast_img read more

Year of the Rooster to deliver 671 million dollars to Australia

first_imgSource = Tourism & Transport Forum Year of the Rooster to deliver 671 million dollars to Australia’s visitor economyYear of the Rooster to deliver 671 million dollars to Australia’s visitor economyAustralia’s visitor economy will have a lot to cheer about this month with an estimated 81,000 extra Chinese visitors expected to visit Australia as part of Chinese New Year celebrations to welcome the Year of the Rooster according to an analysis by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).TTF has estimated that January will see a record-breaking 195,000 Chinese travellers visiting Australia, of which 81,000 will be coming especially for Chinese New Year celebrations.This represents a total of $1.6 billion in Chinese visitor expenditure in January – $671 million of this the direct result of the Chinese New Year surge.The first day of Chinese New Year is Saturday, 28 January, which will be followed by a week-long celebration of the Year of the Rooster by Chinese travellers in destinations worldwide.“Chinese New Year is an absolute gold mine for Australia’s visitor economy with an extra 81,000 Chinese visitors anticipated to be heading ‘Down Under’ to celebrate their national holiday,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.“Thousands more visitors from China means more spending, and that will generate an additional $671 million in expenditure from just this one celebration event – representing 7 per cent of the $9.1 billion Chinese visitors spend over 12 months while visiting Australia.“By our estimate, Chinese New Year will help to deliver a record-breaking 195,000 monthly visitors from China – a great start for 2017, and keeping China on course to become our biggest international visitor market (overtaking New Zealand) by the middle of this year.“Chinese visitors spend on average $8,328 per trip, the highest spending of all nationalities visiting Australia.Ms Osmond said the recent aviation agreement between Australia and China removing caps on the number of flights between the two countries, would continue to drive demand well into the future but Australia also needs to invest in sufficient infrastructure to handle the boom.“Improving and expanding our visitor infrastructure is going to be the factor that determines whether Australia and our economy can take full advantage of the massive growth of tourism coming out of China and the broader Asia region.”last_img read more

Thailand Media Briefing speech by TAT Deputy Governor at ATF 2018

first_imgThailand Media Briefing speech by TAT Deputy Governor at ATF 2018Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, delivered the following speech at the Thailand Media Briefing, held on 24 January, 2018, as part of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2018, at Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC)Sawasdee khrap and good afternoon distinguished guests, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen.On behalf of Thai tourism industry, I would like to welcome you all here at the thirty-seventh ASEAN Tourism Forum, the sixth time it will be held in Thailand but the first time in Chiang Mai as part of the policy to promote secondary destinations, create more jobs in the rural areas, ensure a better distribution of tourism earnings and highlight Thailand’s linkages with the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries.With the theme “ASEAN-Sustainable Connectivity, Boundless Prosperity”, the event is designed to promote tourism to and within the ASEAN region.This year, we are proud to mark the first ATF after commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of ASEAN in 2017. We are delighted to have participated strongly in the “Visit ASEAN@50” campaign with a series of carefully selected Thai products, tour packages and offers to bring memorable travel experiences.The ATF is the only annual opportunity for both the public and private sectors of the ASEAN travel and tourism industry to get together and discuss issues and trends facing the region’s tourism.The event includes meetings of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers alongside with the travel trade show, known as Travex. A total of 275 organisations have registered at Travex.Thailand will also have the largest representation at Travex with 117 registered exhibitors. This is followed by Indonesia (50), the Philippines (30), Malaysia (24), Singapore (20), Vietnam (15), Cambodia (13), Lao PDR. (4), Brunei Darussalam (3) and Myanmar (3) with the buyers contingent totalling a record 240. Most of the hosted buyers are from Europe (113), ASEAN (62), the Americas (40), Asia (25).The ASEAN countries are collectively Thailand’s largest visitor source market in Asia. Thailand welcomed more than 9 million ASEAN visitors in 2017, with Malaysia being the largest market with total arrivals of 3.35 million arrivals (-4.01 percent), followed by Lao PDR. with 1.61 million (+16.18  percent) and Singapore with 1.02 million (+6.26 percent).Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city and the economic engine of the Northern region of the country. It is also one of the Kingdom’s must-visit destinations, and over the years has received various awards and accolades, including the third best city in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Top 15 Cities for 2017, and ranked twelfth in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards’ Top 25 Destinations in Asia.Blessed with a wonderful climate, rich local cultural and natural heritage, and numerous Royal Projects, Chiang Mai is a testament to TAT’s latest marketing concept of ‘Open to the New Shades’ where first-time and repeat visitors can discover new perspectives in existing Thai attractions.Chiang Mai continues to benefit from convenient air access. In 2017, a total of 18,101 international flights utilised Chiang Mai International Airport.Furthermore, in December 2017, Qatar Airways’ launched a direct non-stop service from Doha to Chiang Mai, bringing significant new sources of traffic by allowing visitors from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to connect to the Northern Thai city via the airline’s hub in Qatar.Chiang Mai also has approximately 38,000 (37,785) hotel rooms in 843 accommodation premises, and in October 2017, Chiang Mai was declared a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts.Thai Tourism SituationThailand crossed the 35 million visitor arrivals mark in 2017. This means that tourism arrivals exceeded the goal for the year, so we are anticipating tourism earnings from international tourists of 53 billion US dollars (1.81 trillion Baht). It is a truly remarkable achievement that all members of the Thai tourism industry can take pride in.The top five destinations for international visitors are: Bangkok, Phuket, Chon Buri, Krabi, and Surat Thani, respectively.And for 2018, TAT has set a growth target of eight percent in tourism revenue from the international market.2018 Focus for Thailand to be a Preferred DestinationTAT’s marketing plan 2018 has been designed to serve the purpose of generating revenue and increase visitor arrivals, promote new ideas and follow the development agenda of Thailand 4.0 using the ‘Sufficiency Economy Philosophy’, as well as ‘Inclusive Tourism’ that maintains a balance between the economy, society and the environment.As 2017 was considered as a challenging year, TAT put its best efforts on tourism marketing in order to stimulate the country’s economy. Many activities; such as, Village to the World, Creative Thailand and The Link were created to highlight the unique Thai local experience.TAT will use tourism to promote sustainable development with the community as the ultimate beneficiary. We believe this will pave the way for Thailand to be a preferred destination among international visitors.International Marketing DirectionFor the international marketing plan strategy in 2018, TAT has segmented target customers worldwide ranging from first-timers to repeaters, senior citizens to sports enthusiasts. TAT will also emphasise on niche markets including Weddings and Honeymoons, and Ladies, as well as continue to create a brand image as a high-end and Luxury Travel destination.Gastronomy Tourism will be focussed on more, as it is also one of the tools to boost the development of the country’s economy that is based on the unique Thai culture and ways of life. Some of the highlighted activities are the opening of the Michelin Guidebook Bangkok, and Thailand will host the fourth UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in May.Communication campaignThe communication strategies for the international market will continue to use “Amazing Thailand”, which has been a popular and well-recognised marketing slogan for 20 years.In 2018, TAT has added to the brand with a new communication campaign called “Open to the New Shades”.Ladies and Gentlemen,I have to say that the strength of Thailand is diversity, so this communication campaign will focus on the strengths of the country. “Open to the New Shades” uncovers a new perception of attractions in Thailand. The communication campaign will introduce brand-new products to visitors or reveal a new charming character of well-known destinations through creativity. This campaign is aimed at attracting more repeat visitors and also first-time visitors.From this concept we will look into the million shades of Thailand. We have potential tourism products reflecting this; such as, Gastronomy, Nature/Beach, Arts and Craft, Culture, and Way of Life.We believe this campaign will help initiate ideas for tourists to explore millions of shades of Thailand that fulfill their new pleasurable experiences even if it is a familiar destination and meanwhile enforce the strength of the locals.To make you better understand the mood and tone about the products under the “Open to the New Shades”, I would like to show you this VDO.————————-      Play Conceptual Video (60 seconds)     —————————– The future of tourism will lie in the ability of everyone to create their own happiness, especially the emerging generation of young millennials. What could be more fun than designing your own trip with a personalised selection of “Mix and Match options”. The “Amazing Thailand” brand gives you this opportunity all the time wherever you go in Thailand. As such, this new campaign will be customised to accommodate every single target segment and market.Go Local CampaignLadies and gentlemen,Recently, the Royal Thai Government approved a series of tax deduction measures to boost the local economy in 55 second-tier tourist provinces nationwide all through 2018.The measures will support TAT’s latest “Amazing Thailand Go Local”, an approach to promote grassroots economics through the tourism industry by driving traffic of international and domestic travel to local communities in these second-tier provinces. The strategy is creating demand and strengthening the supply side for local tourism. This campaign aims to increase the number of tourists in second-tier provinces to not less than 10 million visitors and create income of not less than 311.42 million US dollars (10 billion Baht).The implemented schemes include privileges, tax rebates for MICE in the targeted areas, interesting events, CSR activities, and of course training programmes, which will enhance competitiveness and strengthen the supply side.ASEAN ConnectivityDue to its unbeatable geographic location at the heart of ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region, Thailand has the best connections with the entire region, for example:Land borders: There are approximately 30 overland border checkpoints open for travel by international visitors with Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Malaysia. There are four Friendship Bridges with Lao PDR, and one with Myanmar with more being planned. The Asian Highway is growing rapidly, and will provide extensive road connectivity beyond the neighbouring countries to both China and India. Rail travel is going to be the next generation of land transport infrastructure to emerge, with high-speed links now in the design and planning stage.Air connectivity: According to the Airports of Thailand, its international airports serve 135 scheduled and chartered airlines. Low-cost airlines from Vietnam, China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong are boosting their frequencies to Bangkok as well as other popular tourism destinations; such as, Phuket and Chiang Mai.Marine connectivity – Phuket, Pattaya and Samui are now home to a number of cruise and yachting marinas. Ferry connectivity is growing with Malaysia and will grow in future with Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar.To build on this expansion, TAT has launched a new “Experience Thailand and More” pocketbook, focusing on four key experiences that enhance its ASEAN Connectivity initiative with new destination combinations. It is also in line with TAT’s latest marketing concept of ‘Open to the New Shades’, which highlights how visitors can discover new perspectives in existing Thai attractions, or indulge in experiences in new tourist attractions in the Kingdom and beyond.”These ‘Experience Thailand and More’ routes include:A Journey to ASEAN Ancient Kingdom’, to promote Northern Thailand as a linkage to the historic trails in the North of ASEAN.‘ASEAN Peranakan and Nature Trail, which links the Andaman coastal cities while highlighting Phuket’s distinctive Peranakan culture and distinctive gastronomic scene.‘Mekong Active Adventure Trail’ that combines the Northeast (Isan) with Cambodia. The trail showcases Buri Ram as the sports city and is ideal for travellers who love combining sports with adventure travel experiences.‘ASEAN World-Class Culinary and Heritage Cities’ highlights culinary travel experiences in major and unique cities of Central Region provinces in Thailand, along with those in Malaysia, and Singapore. The route focuses on food culture, local cuisine, world-class restaurants and top things to do in the featured cities with Bangkok as the world’s gastronomic hub.As the host of the ASEAN Tourism Forum, TAT has organised post-tours that also include a number of ASEAN Connectivity itineraries further strengthening TAT’s commitment to promote ASEAN as a single destination.ConclusionI would like to end by thanking all of you for joining us here today and for your ongoing support. I am sure this briefing has given you something to write about. We are looking forward to welcoming you all again in Amazing Thailand. Last but not least, for anyone who still has a question about our communication campaign “Open to the New Shades”, here is the answer.Thank you and sawasdee khrap.See more at TAT NewsroomSource = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

2018 TripAdvisor Awards recognise Spicers Vineyards Estate for excelle

first_img2018 TripAdvisor Awards recognise Spicers Vineyards Estate for excellenceSpicers Vineyards Estate has received national recognition for their exceptional service offering at the 2018 TripAdvisor Awards.Placing in the top-five in three categories, the property’s honours included:#2 in the Top Hotels for Romance in Australia#3 in the Top Luxury Hotels in Australia#4 in the Top 25 Small Hotels in AustraliaSpicers Vineyards Estate is located in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.Spicers Retreats have further cemented themselves in the upper echelon of Australian accommodation offerings, with the Group’s Vineyards Estate property – located in the New South Wales Hunter Valley – recognised in three highly competitive categories at the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice™ Awards.The luxurious estate, which is set amongst rolling vineyards and native bushland, placed second in the ‘Top Hotel for Romance in Australia’ category, third in the ‘Top Luxury Hotels in Australia’ and fourth in the ‘Top 25 Small Hotels in Australia’ – none of which came as a surprise to Spicers Vineyards Estate’s General Manager, Brendan Jones.“As the finest example of privacy and luxury in the Hunter Valley, Spicers Vineyards Estate offers guests the chance to disconnect from their everyday and reconnect with themselves or, in most cases, their loved ones,” Mr Jones said.“Every Spicers Retreats location specialises in providing guests with personalised, high end service, where equal emphasis is placed on every element of the stay – no matter how small it may seem to an outsider looking in.“Whilst we have established a distinctive reputation amongst previous guests of the Estate, this recognition from TripAdvisor really solidifies our credentials on a wider national, and international scale,” he said.The awards coincide with the launch of Spicers Vineyards Estate’s new private residence, Vineyard’s House; a further extension of the retreat’s lavish offering to guests.The four-bedroom, two-bathroom Vineyard’s House features a private kitchen, living, dining and bar area that comfortably accommodates up to eight people.For more information on Spicers Vineyards Estate, or to book, visit: Source = Spicers Retreats, Hotels and Lodgeslast_img read more

Tempo discount new Spain Mediterranean Coast and Italy package

first_imgTempo discount new Spain, Mediterranean Coast and Italy packageTempo discount new Spain, Mediterranean Coast and Italy packageTempo Holidays have introduced a new and exciting tour combining some of the Mediterranean’s most sought-after destinations; Spain, the Mediterranean Coast and Italy.As an introductory offer, Tempo Holidays are offering travellers 10 percent off on bookings made on the new package, Andalucía, Mediterranea Coast & Classic Italy, until 15 Apr 2018.On this 16 day tour, travellers will journey through Andalucía by coach, stopping at Spain’s most iconic cities, before boarding a ferry along the picturesque Mediterranean Coast. Last, but not least, experience one of the world’s most romantic destinations, Italy, ending in the capital Rome.Highlights of this comprehensive tour include a visit to the Alhambra Palace and Generalife gardens in Granada, marvel at the grandeur of St Mark’s Square and Basilica in Venice, and enjoy sailing the Mediterranean en route from Barcelona to Rome.Prices now start from A$3925//NZ$4475 per person, which includes 15 nights’ accommodation in 4 star hotels, 15 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 7 dinners, and the services of a tour escort throughout.Terms and conditions apply. Valid for travel 1 Apr – 31 Oct 2018. For more information call 1300 362 844 or email New Zealand call 0800 836 764 or email = Tempo Holidayslast_img read more