Virgin Australia Tourism Australia increase partnership to 16 millio

first_imgOver the past two years, Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia have worked closely to launch a number of progressive and innovative marketing campaigns in key international markets. Under the new agreement, the annual partnership will increase funding to AUD $8 million for the financial year 2014 – 2015, and take the total value of the three year alliance to up to AUD $16 million, with the additional funds supporting the overall focus on key inbound tourism to Australia. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich Furthermore, Tourism Australia say the extension of its marketing agreement with Virgin Australia meant significant extra dollars would be put towards promoting Australian tourism within some of its traditional overseas markets. “Through our expansive network, we have been proud to support a range of tourism events within Australia, including Dreamtime last year and the Australian Tourism Exchange, which saw us welcome hundreds of international delegates on board our domestic flights this week,” Virgin Australia chief customer officer Mark Hassell said. Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia have announced a major expansion to their marketing partnership that will see the two partners double their funding agreement in an effort to further strengthen inbound tourism to Australia. “This increase in funding for the partnership recognises the opportunity for further growth from some of our highest volume and most valuable markets and it remains a great deal for Australian tourism,” Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said.last_img read more

Collette growing fast in Australia

first_imgSource = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman Collette growing fast in AustraliaThe international travel company Collette, opened its doors in Australia earlier this year and already it has seen dramatic growth.Collette chief executive officer Dan Sullivan, said Australians have truly embraced Collette.“In the time we have been in operation in Australia we have doubled in size, forcing us to move to a bigger office and hire more staff, Australians have embraced Collette, and it’s great,” Mr Sullivan said.This growth seems to be the same for Collette in all four of its countries of operation, as Mr Sullivan says across the board there has been 12 per cent growth year on year.“Collette has been in operation for 97 years now, and for as long as I can remember, there has been constant growth, recently it’s been around 12 per cent year on year.”Collette is always trying to release new products and offerings, just last week the tour company released its chauffeur service in Australia, which is already a success in the UK and America.“Our chauffeur service is a fantastic, unique product. Currently we service 96 airports with our chauffeurs and it has been a big success. We are excited to see where it can take us in Australia,” Mr Sullivan said.Along with the new chauffeur service, Collette currently have approximately 170 tours available for guests in all of its countries of operation.Collette has a philosophy to offer more than just a tour to a destination, they really want to immerse their customers into each destination and provide high quality four star trips.“It’s more than just organizing tours at Collette, we want our customers to experience all there is to experience in each of our destinations, we aim to sell the whole experience rather than just a tour.”As President and CEO, Dan Sullivan has developed Collette from just a regional tour operator to one of the most respected tour companies worldwide. Collettelast_img read more

Ajman Tourism discusses ways to boost green initiatives with EGBC

first_imgAjman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) discussed with Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) ways to enhance green practices in tourism establishments in Ajman.During a meeting at EGBC’s headquarters in Dubai, attended by senior ATDD and EGBC officials, both parties dwelt on opportunities and potentials for continued cooperation with regard to increasing “go-green” awareness level, exchanging ideas that would help preserve environment and enhance sustainability efforts.To this end, ATDD employees and Ajman hotel staffers would be trained and develop ‘green’ initiatives, to be implemented within their working environments.A joint seminar will be also be held to address Ajman hoteliers about possible initiatives and future projects on including green practices within hotel classification criteria and standards.EGBC was formed in 2006, with the goal of advancing green building principles for protecting the environment and ensuring sustainability in the United Arab Emirates.last_img read more

International Convention on Tourism Ethics proposed by WCTE

first_imgThe transformation of the Global Code of Ethics into a full international convention as a means to boost the responsibility of governments in this field and advance the impact of the Code was the main topic discussed at the 15th meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE).Alongside this issue, the WCTE looked into the level of implementation of the Code by public and private sectors as well as at the advances on its priority areas: the fight against child exploitation, accessibility, all inclusive holidays and its impact on local communities, and the issue of unfunded ratings in web portals.Pascal Lamy, WCTE Chairman and former Director General of the World Trade Organisation, highlighted “the importance of the implementation of the principles of the Code of Ethics by both UNWTO Member States and the Private Sector in order to promote an ethical and responsible tourism development.”“The World Committee on Tourism Ethics has done invaluable work in raising awareness and promoting responsible policies and practices in the tourism sector for over 10 years,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, opening the meeting. “Tourism has immense potential to be a force for good, but it requires concrete action from all stakeholders. I therefore fully support the Committee’s proposal to bring the Code further into an international convention,” he added.In the area of children’s rights, Carol Bellamy, chair of the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection and former Director of UNICEF, presented a report on child protection in tourism and supported the transformation of the Code of Ethics into a convention in order to help enforce the principles of child protection worldwide.The Committee approved a set of specific recommendations on accessible tourist information which will be presented to the 21st session of the UNWTO General Assembly (Medellin, Colombia, September 12-17, 2015) for adoption. In addition, it noted the wide interest of Governments and national tourism administrations in the Code and the growing number of companies and associations that have adhered to the Private Sector Commitment to the Code.The WCTE is the independent body responsible for promoting and overseeing the implementation of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET), a set of principles designed to guide tourism development in a way that maximises the socio-economic benefits of the sector, while minimising any negative impacts.The 16th meeting of the Committee will take place in November 2015.last_img read more

Malpe beach to provide free WiFi facility from January 15

first_imgDistrict tourism department would be providing free WiFi facility at Malpe beach commencing from January 15 this year. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is making arrangements to facilitate this initiative, under which one number would be eligible to get an hour of WiFi, free of cost.“For the benefit of tourists, development works have been undertaken, priority is being given at the beach to cleanliness and safety, and maintenance of the district tourism website has been entrusted to Omega Solutions through e-tender process,” explained Deputy Commissioner of the district, Dr Vishal R. Even Reliance has come forward to provide WiFi facility for tourists.D Manjunathayya, Commissioner of Udupi City Municipal Council, has been directed to issue notices to illegal mobile carts selling snacks on Malpe beach and also to those carts which were not maintaining cleanliness. The police should hold talks with the Coastal Security Police on enhancing security on St. Mary’s Island, he said.He directed the Nirmiti Kendra to use Rs 33 lakh, which was remaining with it after the construction of a tourist jetty at Malpe, for installation of high-mast lamps, laying of inter-lock tiles, construction of gazeboes and a ticket issuing room there. These facilities would help the tourists at the jetty.The construction of basic infrastructure and roads to connect other beaches in the district such as those at Padubidri, Trasi, Maravanthe, Kaup and Othinene had been entrusted to the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Ltd.last_img read more

Costa Cruises launches two new flagships Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana powered

first_imgCosta Cruises, the world’s largest leisure travel company and cruise operator, unveiled the launch of two new flagships powered by LNG – liquefied natural gas, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel – both in port and at sea, exemplifying Costa’s firm commitment to pursuing cutting-edge technology at the service of responsible innovation.The Costa Smeralda is nearing completion with the finishing touches being put to the interior fit-out at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland before her entry into service in October this year.The Costa Toscana is the second of the two new sister ships ordered by Costa Cruises and powered both in port and at sea by LNG. The Costa Toscana is expected to be delivered on October 2021.The introduction of LNG fuelling is a ground-breaking innovation that will minimise environmental impact. It will mean improved air quality with the virtual total elimination of sulphur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95-100% reduction). The use of LNG will also greatly lessen emissions of nitrogen oxides (85% direct reduction) and CO2 (reduction of up to 20%). The gas will be stored in special tanks on board and will be used to generate the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines.Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are an integral part of the strategic plan for carbon footprint reduction, defined by Carnival Corporation and fully implemented by Costa Cruises. The measures adopted by a dedicated investment plan enabled Carnival Corporation to meet its 25% carbon reduction goal for 2020 some three years ahead of schedule, with a 27.6% decrease in emissions from operations already achieved by 2018.With gross tonnage of over 180,000 and more than 2,600 staterooms on each, Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are part of the Costa Group’s (which includes the company’s Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands) fleet expansion plan, with seven new ships scheduled to enter service by 2023 and an overall investment worth over €6 billion.Costa Cruises President Neil Palomba said, “The steel-cutting ceremony for Costa Toscana is another step forward in our sustainable development plan. LNG propulsion for cruise ships is a major innovation, pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment without compromising on safety, in line with our top priorities. Once again, Costa Cruises is paving the way for the industry as a whole: in accordance with our global vision aimed at sustainable development, we were the first to invest in this technology, which is now really starting to take hold. However, a lot remains to be done in terms of the ready availability of gas bunkering infrastructure to ensure the seamless transition to LNG. Costa Toscana and her sister ship Costa Smeralda may be highly innovative products, but they will retain that inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises’ hallmark since the brand’s inception, conveying the exhilaration of ocean travel and providing enhanced guest experiences for repeat and first-time cruisers alike.”“Modern shipyard for modern ships. With the first Costa Cruises’ ship, Costa Smeralda, being delivered in October, both of these ships will have lots of beautiful design and interesting features – and, of course, very high-quality work and best-in-industry engineering. We are very proud to build these ships for Costa,” stated CEO of Meyer Turku Jan Meyer.last_img read more

CFPB Announces Good Faith Grace Period For TRID Rule Compliance

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Origination, Servicing The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced on Wednesday morning that a grace period will be in effect for those servicers attempting to comply in good faith with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements that are scheduled to go into effect August 1.Both mortgage industry stakeholders (servicers in particular) and lawmakers have been asking the CFPB to delay the implementation of TRID. In a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray dated May 20, a bipartisan coalition in Congress asked for a grace period, expressing concerns that “this complicated and extensive rule is likely to cause challenges during implementation” that could “negatively impact consumers.”While the CFPB did not push back the August 1 implementation date of the rule, it attempted to ease some of those concerns on Wednesday by saying it would take into account a company’s good faith effort to comply with the rule after it goes into effect.”We also delivered a letter to Members of Congress stating that our oversight of the implementation of the Know Before You Owe mortgage rule (also known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule) will be sensitive to the progress made by those entities that have been squarely focused on making good-faith efforts to come into compliance with the rule on time,” the CFPB wrote on its blog on Wednesday. “We have spoken with our fellow regulators to clarify this approach. This is consistent with our approach in the implementation of the Title XIV mortgage rules.”Cordray responded to the lawmakers’ letter on June 3, stating the Bureau’s desire for a smooth transition and that since the rule was published in November 2013, the CFPB has made it a point to “engage directly and intensively with financial institutions and vendors through a formal regulatory implementation project.” That project includes inter-agency coordination, the publishing of a “readiness guide” and other resources, publishing amendments and updates to the rule in response to industry requests, providing unofficial staff guidance, conducting webinars, and clarifying misunderstandings.The CFPB Director also pointed out in his response that the Bureau will continue to work with industry, consumer, and other stakeholders to support implementation of TRID after August 1. Click here to see the full text of Cordray’s letter.Some mortgage industry leaders praised Cordray’s response to the concerns expressed by lawmakers and those within the industry.”I thank CFPB Director Cordray for listening to the requests of CUNA, Congress, and others in our call for a safe harbor period through the end of the year for the enforcement of the TRID rule,” said Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), released the following statement. “CUNA supports the CFPB’s goal for transparency with the new disclosures helping consumers better understand mortgage terms, and now credit unions will be allowed the time they need to figure out the day-to-day aspects of complying with the rule without worrying about enforcement.”National Association of Federal Credit Unions president and CEO Dan Berger, who along with his staff lobbied Congress and met with Cordray several times to discuss the impact of the TRID rule and their concerns about compliance,  released the following statement: “We appreciate Director Cordray’s consideration and leadership in recognizing the value of ‘good faith efforts’ by credit unions on this complex new rule. We also appreciate the bipartisan support of all the members of Congress who wrote Director Cordray and met with him to urge a restrained examination period. A grace period will not only ensure a smoother implementation of the new TILA/RESPA mortgage disclosure forms, but it will also allow those who make a good faith effort to comply with the regulation to do so without the fear of potential regulatory enforcement actions.”At least one industry leader acknowledged the CFPB’s effort and said Wednesday’s announcement was a “welcome step,” but also said there was still room for the Bureau to do more.“Almost 300 U.S. Senators and Representatives asked the CFPB to further develop market certainty through a clarification of the TRID regulation. NAR has long advocated a period of restrained enforcement and liability for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule,” said National Association of Realtors President Chris Polychron, an executive broker in Arkansas. “While NAR appreciates the CFPB’s understanding of the difficulties involved in making a change of this magnitude, we hope that continued dialog with U.S. Senate and House leaders will result in a solution that allows the lending industry and CFPB to address any implementation issues and minimize costly closing delays for home buyers and sellers.”There were some lawmakers in Congress that were not satisfied. Representatives Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) and Blaine Lutkemeyer (R-Missouri), respectively the Chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee and Chairman of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, released a statement saying that while they appreciated Cordray’s taking a “first step” in showing “regulatory sensitivity” toward those showing good faith efforts to comply with the TRID rule, they believe that anything short of a formalized “hold harmless” period is “unacceptable.””Today’s announcement falls far short of our expectations and runs contrary to the impression with which Members were left yesterday,” Neugebauer and Lutkemeyer said in a joint announcement. “We hope the Bureau and all banking regulators will stand by their commitment to work with consumers and market participants to ensure a seamless implementation of the rules. The Bureau should expect vigorous oversight and attention from members of Congress in how its supervision efforts play out after August 1st’s effective date. To that end, we will be sending letters to all major financial trade associations asking that they keep Congress informed of any and all disciplinary actions taken by the CFPB and other financial regulators on TRID implementation.”Representative Steve Pearce (R-New Mexico) released the following statement: “Since the finalization of the rule, businesses have been working to meet the August 1, 2015 deadline. Despite a concerted effort to meet the demands of the August implementation date, a billion dollars spent by industry to train staff, procure needed new technology and hire additional employees, will not be enough to meet CFPB’s unobtainable requirements. If not changed, the uncertainty would cause fewer homes to be sold during the peak sales season – the end of summer before school starts. Today’s lackluster response from Director Cordray, despite national calls, and repeated bipartisan letters from Congress urging a defined hold harmless period, clearly shows the agency’s disconnect from the American people and the state of our economy. The nondescript and weak announcement from CFPB creates even greater uncertainty in the housing market, at the worst possible time of the year.” Share June 3, 2015 828 Views center_img Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Grace Period TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure 2015-06-03 Seth Welborn CFPB Announces ‘Good Faith’ Grace Period For TRID Rule Compliancelast_img read more

Mortgage Debt Still Weighing Heavy on Consumers

first_img November 17, 2015 604 Views Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Market Studies, News Many Americans are still struggling with mortgage debt, which is the third most-popular form of debt in the nation. Much of this debt stems from borrowing at the wrong time and for the wrong purpose, preventing consumers from achieving financial stability.An Urban Institute report titled, “Americans’ Debt Styles by Age andover Time” released recently found that 54.5 percent of those ages 18-22 are debt free, while 39.2 percent of those ages 23-27 are debt free. However, as borrowers age, that number drops drastically to 18.1 percent for the 63-67 age group, but rises for those over 77 at 36.1 percent.”Consumers tend to borrow and consume less than predicted early in their lifetimes. Second, they also tend to consume more and save less than predicted in middle age, when they have their highest earnings; consequently they do not have enough savings to maintain their consumption levels in retirement,” the report explained.In 2014, mortgage debt was the third-highest form of debt among consumers, with 28 percent holding some form of housing-related debt, the report showed. The highest percentage of consumers have mortgage debt in their late 30s through their early 60s. For borrowers with mortgages, debt balances averaged $160,000 in 2014, up from $150,000 in 2010.”These debt patterns reflect lifestyle changes as consumers get older: they finish their higher education and largely pay off the associated debt in their 20s and 30s, finance and become auto and homeowners in their 30s through their 60s, and accumulate enough equity on their homes to finance other spending against that equity in their late 40s through late 60s,” the report said.The Urban Institute research showed that those without debt tend to have lower Vantage scores within each age group.  The 39.2 percent of 23–27-year-olds with no debt have a median Vantage score of 524, compared to 669 for those who have debt. For older consumers age 77 and over, the median Vantage score is 675, compared to 805 for consumers with debt. The median Vantage score for consumers 30 or younger is no more than 650; but it is more than 780 for consumers 68 or older.”This suggests that those who have no debt have not built the credit history necessary to obtain debt, rather than the alternative, that they have no need for debt,” the report stated. “Across age groups, younger consumers tend to have much lower credit scores than older consumers.”Click here to view the full report.center_img Mortgage Debt Still Weighing Heavy on Consumers Consumers Mortgage Debt Urban Institute 2015-11-17 Staff Writerlast_img read more

Construction One Step Closer to Resolving Supply Issues

first_imgConstruction One Step Closer to Resolving Supply Issues Construction Spending U.S. Census Bureau 2016-05-02 Staff Writer Share After experiencing the largest decline in three months and raising unexpected concerns among market watchers in the industry, U.S. construction spending bounced back in March, the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced Monday.According to the data, construction spending for March was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,137.5 billion, 0.3 percent higher than February’s estimate of $1,133.6 billion. Year-over-year, construction spending was up 8.0 percent from the March 2015 estimate of $1,052.9 billion.Construction spending totaled $240.4 billion for the first 3 months of this year, up 9.1 percent from the $220.3 billion reported for the same period in 2015.In February, construction spending was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,144.0 billion for February 2016, down 0.5 percent from January. Spending in January rose 2.1 percent to a revised estimate of $1,150.1 billion. However, on the positive side, February’s estimated figure is 10.3 percent above last February’s estimate of $1,037.5 billion. During the first 2 months of this year, the Bureau reported that construction spending amounted to $157.1 billion, 11.2 percent above the $141.3 billion for the same period in 2015.In terms of private construction, the Bureau reported spending rose 1.1 percent month-over-month from $832.8 billion in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $842.3 billion in March.Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $435.5 billion in March, 1.6 percent above the revised February estimate of $428.8 billion. Meanwhile, nonresidential construction rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $406.8 billion in March.The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported Monday that it “anticipates accelerating growth for single-family spending in 2016.”According to the Census Bureau, public construction spending was at an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of $295.2 billion, 1.9 percent below the revised February estimate of $300.8 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $69.6 billion, 0.4 percent above the revised February estimate of $69.4 billion. In addition, highway construction rose 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $97.3 billion in March.Click here to view the full report.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News May 2, 2016 527 Views last_img read more

DIMONT Poised for Growth in Mortgagerelated Insurance Services

first_img January 22, 2018 607 Views in News, Servicing DIMONT Poised for Growth in Mortgage-related Insurance Services The hurricane season of 2017 saw unprecedented destruction of home and property, with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma claiming numerous homes in their wake. For households whose mortgage included insurance against floods or natural disasters, the claims are being settled at a hectic pace by government agencies and private insurers.Playing its part in this process is DIMONT, one of the country’s leading insurance claims adjusting and collateral loss mitigation services providers for residential mortgage and auto loans, as evidenced by the recovery of more than $2 billion in hazard claims proceeds for its clients since 2010. In October, as part of its commitment to recovering insurance claims easily for its clients, the company launched an online loss drafts portal that enables all parties—including borrowers, servicers, and DIMONT’s claims personnel—to upload claims-related documentation and share case status information electronically. The portal also allows servicers to maintain direct borrower contact through existing call centers.In its quest to deliver quality, drive productivity and create growth for this sector, the Dallas-headquartered company has added several industry experts to its team in recent months, including the most recent addition of Laura MacIntyre as Chief Revenue Officer.In her new role, MacIntyre, a 25-year industry veteran, will oversee key growth areas, including sales and marketing, for DIMONT. As a leader, MacIntyre has led the financial growth and expansion of multiple companies during her illustrious career.“Laura’s track record is exemplary,” said DIMONT President and CEO Denis Brosnan. “She is an innovative and accomplished executive with demonstrated ability to deliver mission critical results. Her contributions will position DIMONT for great success in serving our mortgage and auto clientele.”Most recently, she served as Director of Sales and Operations at DocMagic, where she grew the revenue and market share of the company while successfully deploying their digital strategy to the marketplace. MacIntyre also led significant growth revenue at Fidelity National Financial and Lender Processing Services where she served as COO for both companies.”DIMONT is uniquely positioned to bring disruptive technology to the industry that can help our customers achieve optimization, digitization, efficiency, and increased output at a lower cost. I look forward to showcasing these offerings and demonstrating the great value they bring to the table for our customers,” MacIntyre told MReport. “The culture at DIMONT is absolutely fantastic and I’m excited to work with a group of professionals who are really focused on the customer and on delivering the best service to the industry.”Apart from MacIntyre, DIMONT has expanded its expert team in recent months to include: Lynette Richter, Director, Investor Claims; Suzi Straffon, Director, Engagement Marketing; Steve Garcia, Director, Auto Claims; Holly Baya, Anthony DiStaulo, and Taylor Thurman, Client Development Director(s); and auto industry executive Mark Floyd as a DIMONT board member.“The DIMONT team has never been so well positioned to effectively and efficiently serve our auto and mortgage customers,” said Brosnan. “We look forward to providing professional and innovative solutions to address the collateral protection needs of our clients.”center_img DIMONT Growth Insurance mortgage team 2018-01-22 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

Australian supermarket chains have been unable to

first_img Australian supermarket chains have been unable to keep up with the demand of residents of the state of Queensland stocking up on food as authorities warned thousands heavy rain and the risk of flooding could last for more than a week.Almost a fortnight of flooding made it difficult for supermarkets to keep shelves full and it’s left Queenslanders frantically looking for food.Panicked locals in the north of the state have bought out entire supermarkets over the past few days, with photos (below) showing the true extent of the problem.“The shops in Townsville are insane, literally can’t get so many things from any stores, insane,” a local wrote.As a result, Chains like Woolworths and Coles have been working around the clock to secure supplies for the flooded regions, local media News reported.A plane filled with Coles’ groceries was due to touch down in Cairns on Tuesday with some of the supplies being driven down to Townsville.The Bruce Highway between Cairns and Townsville was recently reopened, however locals are being warned there is still water over the road.“Yesterday Coles chartered a plane to deliver fresh produce, groceries and bakery flour to flood-affected Townsville and Cairns stores,” a Coles spokeswoman was quoted as saying.“We are also investigating alternative delivery routes with trucks from Adelaide and Darwin on the roads to deliver to other flood-impacted areas of Far North Queensland.Woolworths is also working hard to get food into the region, securing a barge and filling it with 300 metric tons (MT) of groceries while also chartering two planes. Australia: Massive hail storm rips through NSW avo … “While the road access up north has been challenging, we’ve secured a barge to deliver 300 tonnes of fresh food, nappies, baby formula and other essential items,” Woolworths Northern Queensland operations manager Tina Anandji was quoted as saying.The barge is expected to arrive in Townsville tomorrow filled with an extra 30 contingency containers carrying essential lines such as water, long life milk, baby formula, beans, noodles and toilet paper.Two charter planes with 40 tonnes of fresh food and essentials were also due to land in Cairns on Tuesday. You might also be interested in Australia scores improved citrus, carrot access to … February 05 , 2019 center_img Australia expects bumper avocado crop, plans expor … Aussie produce industry sets ambitious goals for s … Barely any fruit or vege left at Coles in Cannonvale. Produce is expected to be trucked to the Whitsundays from Mackay or Brisbane @9NewsMackay @9NewsQueensland— Olivia Grace-Curran (@livgracecurran) February 4, 2019 Floods hit. Cairns people: LETS BUY ALL THE FRUIT, VEG AND BREAD except that one lonely red apple and the bananas— jess the mess (@insearchofshoe) February 4, 2019last_img read more

NZ Seekas profits soar in 2018 as kiwifruit volu

first_img NZ: Seeka’s profits soar in 2018 as kiwifruit volu … New Zealand authorities have suspended imports of U.S. citrus following the detection of a fruit fly species on an orange consignment.Biosecurity New Zealand officers detected spotted wing drosophila larvae in a single fruit from a consignment of oranges from the U.S. on April 8 during a routine inspection. The fly is a serious pest that could harm a range of fruit crops in New Zealand, the organization said. “The interception shows our biosecurity controls are working well,” says Roger Smith, head of Biosecurity New Zealand. “There is no suggestion the fly is in New Zealand.”Smith says the ministry’s technical experts are assessing the find and any measures that might need to be taken as the fly is not normally associated with citrus.“As a precautionary measure, we have put a temporary hold on citrus consignments from the USA. This will allow us to investigate further,” he said.“We are working with authorities in the United States to identify the source of the contamination and possible treatment options for consignments on their way to New Zealand.”He says the move is unlikely to have an impact on the supply of citrus to New Zealand consumers. NZKGI hails success of labor shortage declaration … NZ horticultural export value grows to NZ$5.5B … center_img April 11 , 2019 You might also be interested in Egypt gains access to New Zealand orange market …last_img read more

With the most recent meteoric rise of Bitcoin Ecl

first_imgWith the most recent meteoric rise of Bitcoin, Eclipse Travel yesterday announced the addition of the cryptocurrency as a payment method for all services.Customers will now be able to request a quote in Bitcoin for flights, accommodation, cruises and tours to a range of destinations including South America, Africa, Antarctica and the Arctic.“We have been watching the development of Bitcoin within the Australian market over the past few years with great interest. We want to provide Bitcoin users with another tangible outlet for their currency – of which there are currently very few. We are strong believers in innovation and new technology and are excited to play our own small part in a more mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin within Australia.”Terms and conditions apply. BitcoinEclipse Travellast_img read more

agentsHong Kong Tourism Boardincentivestraining

first_imgagentsHong Kong Tourism Boardincentivestraining The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched an updated version of its Hong Kong Specialist Club (HKSC) travel agent training programme, and is offering consultants the chance to take part in an upcoming famil by registering and completing the educational module.HKTB Manager, trade marketing and business tourism Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Lisa Lee said the HKSC is a great way to encourage and motivate Aussie agents to learn more about Hong Kong and become more proactive in selling the destination. “The HKSC also provides incentives to encourage enrolment and completion of HKTB’s online training course, Hong Kong Specialist. Overall increasing the number of destination ambassadors we have on the frontline and spreading the Hong Kong message further.” HKTB is also providing even more benefits to HKSC members, including a welcome pack and special trade offers. The welcome pack will be exclusive to Hong Kong Specialist Club members visiting Hong Kong and can be applied for via HKS Club website prior to arrival. The packs include:· Big Bus Tours (single route 1-day ticket)· Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM card (five day pass)· Dukling Harbour Cruise (single session)· Hong Kong TramOramic Tour (golden ticket)· MTR Tourist Day Pass· Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck (standard ticket)· Special trade offers for the traveller and their companion across hotels, attractions and toursAgents are encouraged to complete the modules by July 2018 for the chance to win a place on the incentive trip in October 2018, with highlights to include Hong Kong’s Great Outdoor and the city’s cycling event, Cyclothon.last_img read more

What an MLB source said about the Dbacks trade h

first_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke With the selection of Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals immediately improved their defense with potentially the best player on the board. However, many pundits are scratching their heads with how a cornerback will improve the most important position and biggest question mark for the Cardinals in 2010, quarterback. ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd didn’t have those questions and said on his show Friday he believes the Cardinals could win the NFC West with Peterson and current Ravens backup passer Marc Bulger. 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocationcenter_img “When you look at [Cardinals coach Ken] Whisenhunt and what he has done, that Matt Leinart thing burned him,” Cowherd said. “He’s gun-shy.”Cowherd continued.“So instead they go out and get the best player in the entire draft in my opinion, Patrick Peterson, to upgrade their defense and their special teams. Now he goes and gets Marc Bulger, don’t be shocked if they win the division.”Bulger has been linked with a move to Arizona and reports surfaced Thursday he already has an “understanding” with the Cardinals. However, even with the addition of a presumed shutdown corner, there is a clear understanding in the NFL today that you can only go so far without a quarterback, like maybe five wins.Regardless, the addition of Peterson and Bulger could be a great tandem to carry the Cardinals to a better record in 2011. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’last_img read more

Dbacks president Derrick Hall Franchise still f

first_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ The Cardinals aren’t exactly panicking, though. JohnSkelton has been more than adequate as Kolb’s understudy,going 4-1 as a starter, and 1-0 as a reliever. Skeltonplayed all but three snaps in the game after Kolb’sinjury.“We were about even on reps,” Skelton said. “Whoever isgoing to play is going to need to get more reps. “Really what it comes down to is whoever’s out there,whether it’s me or Kevin, being able to see everything andthen if you’re not in, you’re really the one getting themental reps.”What does Kolb think about the growing sentiment thatSkelton should start against the Bengals?“Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion,” Kolb said.“All I can do is come to work every day and work and do mybest to prove I need to be out there. I like being a partof this team, and I like the direction we’re going.”The Cardinals play the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium inCincinnati on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed tothis report Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Comments   Share   What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkecenter_img Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb, who suffered aconcussion two weeks ago against San Francisco, was on thepractice field Wednesday in Tempe. But by his ownadmission, he’s not close to one-hundred percent.“I feel alright, I wouldn’t say normal, but I got a fewmore reps today and felt pretty good throughout practice,”Kolb said. “I felt better today on the field than I feltall of last week.” Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact A defensive back from LSU, Mathieu enters the league as one of the more talented and intriguing rookies. In two seasons with the Tigers, he had eight fumble recoveries, 11 forced fumbles, four interceptions, 133 tackles, 16 passes defensed and six sacks. He also returned 27 punts for 421 yards and two touchdowns. However, Mathieu was dismissed from the team before the 2012 season due to drug-related issues, and he has not played a down of football since.Mathieu is the sixth member of the Cardinals’ 2013 draft class to sign, leaving them with three to go, as first-round pick Jonathan Cooper along with fourth-round selections Alex Okafor and Earl Watford have yet to sign. So grateful & blessed to be apart of #ArizonaCardinalsFamily ! This was a child good dream & now I can…— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) May 23, 2013 – / 33 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Arizona Cardinals came to an agreement with another one of their draft picks, inking third-round pick Tyrann Mathieu to a four-year deal.Details of the contract were not released, though there was early speculation that it might include no guaranteed money. However, Mathieu’s agent said that would not be the case, and according to’s Ian Rapoport the player will get his full slotted signing bonus, with some of it will be paid up front and the rest coming as roster bonuses. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

Against San Francisco Johnson suffered a left leg

first_imgAgainst San Francisco, Johnson suffered a left leg injury and was placed on the injured reserve-designated to return list on Dec. 1.His return would have been Super Bowl 50.But with the Cardinals losing the NFC Championship Game, 49-15, to Carolina, there is no trip planned to Santa Clara for Johnson, or any of his teammates.There remains, though, the possibility of a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, which would be his fourth career appearance in the all-star exhibition.“It’s not the Super Bowl, but it’s another game to play,” Johnson said. “Coming from not thinking I was going to be able to play to being able to be on this team with all this success, make it to the playoffs and to get a Pro Bowl on top of that would be good, too.”At the moment, only two of the Cardinals’ seven Pro Bowlers will play in the game. Justin Bethel and Calais Campbell are in Hawaii, while Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Iupati and Patrick Peterson have all bowed out.Tyrann Mathieu was selected but was never going to play after suffering a season-ending knee injury two days before the Pro Bowl announcement.Barring a last-minute withdrawal, Johnson will instead place his focus on 2016. TEMPE, Ariz. – The call has yet to come.Should it, Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson is ready to answer.“It’s a possibility. I was voted as an alternate (to the 2016 Pro Bowl) so just sitting around waiting on that and see what happens,” he said this week.The Pro Bowl is Sunday at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.Johnson led the Cardinals in rushing with 814 yards despite missing the last five games plus the entire postseason run. Top Stories Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson talks to reporters while he cleans out his locker, Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. The Cardinals lost to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship football game to end their season. (AP Photo/Matt York) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact He was well on his way to a 1,000-yard season when he got hurt in the third quarter in San Francisco.Johnson will be 31 next season, which is old by NFL standards, especially at his position.Johnson, though, hardly sounded like a player ready to call it a career as he cleaned out his locker on Monday. Rather, he was already looking ahead to the possibility of an all-Johnson backfield.“Me and David, we’re two different types of players,” he said, speaking of the rookie who replaced him in the lineup. “He can go out into the five-receiver sets and do a lot of those plays that B.A. (head coach Bruce Arians) likes to run. Even like before I got hurt the kind of situation that me and David had, I was doing a lot of the running. He was still coming in doing a lot of the running and doing a lot of the pass plays and stuff like that, so I think it’s something that could work.” – / 15 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 33 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Johnson is set to become an unrestricted free agent, one of 17 on the Cardinals’ roster.“Just praying that the right situation happens for me. Would love to be back here,” he said. “I’m going to take a couple of weeks off and just see where I go from there.”Johnson joined the Cardinals two weeks into training camp after injuries to Andre Ellington and David Johnson left a void at the running back position.Chris Johnson, who became the sixth player in NFL history to break 2,000 rushing yards with 2,006 yards in 2009, had been waiting for a chance to resume his pro career. Teams, though, appeared to shy away from the eight-year veteran following an offseason incident in which he was shot in the shoulder during a drive-by in Orlando.“I didn’t think I would be playing football this year, so being able to make it to the playoffs and then the Championship Game, it was just a blessing,” Johnson said, referring to his season in Arizona.Johnson began the season as a backup but then assumed the starter’s role when Ellington got hurt Week 1.Johnson ran with the opportunity, literally.Four times he topped 100 rushing yards, tying the single-season franchise mark set by Stump Mitchell, currently the team’s running backs coach, in 1985. Among Johnson’s efforts was a season-best 122 yards against Baltimore on Monday Night Football.last_img read more

It was a frustrating game Keim said Im disap

first_img“It was a frustrating game,” Keim said. “I’m disappointed, and the fact that we were eliminated from playoff contention is a disappointment. I apologize to our fans and everybody in our organization. Moving forward, we have a lot of work to do. It’s going to be a busy offseason. We’ll continue to evaluate this team the last two games and I promise the product on the field in 2018 will finish much stronger.”But how exactly will that happen? The Cardinals, after a disappointing 2016 season, kept their veteran core together, hoping that the season was an anomaly. Injuries and ineffectiveness for a second straight campaign have indicated it wasn’t.Keim promised sweeping roster changes heading into a new campaign.“I would say that’s an understatement,” he said when asked if he was willing to make big changes.There is also a large element of unknown when it comes to the Cardinals’ future. There has been speculation on the future of head coach Bruce Arians. The 65-year-old has had health issues during his five-year run as head coach, and could choose to retire. Quarterback Carson Palmer, who has been on injured reserve since October, is under contract for 2018, but also could ride off into the sunset. And veteran receiver and face of the franchise Larry Fitzgerald signed an extension for next year, but hasn’t made official whether or not he will actually come back. Frustration can be a great motivator for change — especially in the National Football League.Two years ago, the Arizona Cardinals were one of the top teams in the league and advanced to the NFC Championship Game. Expectations were heaped on the organization to continue that level of play, but it hasn’t happened.Since then, the Cardinals are 13-16-1. They’ll finish with a non-winning record for the second straight year and will be spectators when the playoffs begin in January. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Your browser does not support the audio element. 86 Comments   Share   The architect of not only the NFC Championship participant in 2015, but this year’s team, general manager Steve Keim, is understandably frustrated after a second straight touchdown-less game in a 20-15 loss to the Washington Redskins.“This is the game that I think I’ll look back and point to as one of the more frustrating games, not only this season, but of my tenure as a general manager,” Keim told Doug & Wolf Monday morning on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “It’s really difficult to process the lack of execution. I didn’t see a lack of effort, which has been a recurring theme. Our team continues to fight and play hard.“But so many times when there were situations where it was an overthrown ball or a dropped pass or a missed block and again, the red-zone woes were concerning. There were many, many plays to be made and that’s not only Blaine’s (Gabbert) fault, but there were many others to be blamed in the process, that guys just weren’t getting it done.”The Cardinals entered the red zone six times in the loss to Washington, but came away with only four field goals, and turned the ball over once. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals GM Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, right, talks with general manager Steve Keim during practice at the NFL football team’s training camp Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “As soon as the season is over, we’ll have conversations and a lot of that stuff will play itself out,” Keim said. “Regardless of the circumstance, we will be prepared for anything that may happen. It’s no different from 2013 when I took over and Michael (Bidwill) and I hired Bruce Arians and we rolled up our sleeves and got to work and produced three seasons of double-digit wins and teams we were extremely proud of.“To me, it’s always fun and exciting to get back to the grind and get back to building a football team. Again, I’m just disappointed that we fell short in 2017.” – / 13last_img read more

Welcome to the most ridiculous ritual in sports W

first_img Welcome to the most ridiculous ritual in sports:When the NFL released its official schedule on Thursday, the sequencing of games sent fans into a frenzy. It became a headline story across the country, even though teams like the Cardinals have known the identity of their 13 opponents since late December. Conclusions were drawn and predictions will soon follow, even though the folly of this exercise should be obvious to all. Week 7: This is already a loss for the Valley. The Cardinals play a home game against Denver on Thursday Night Football, making their only primetime appearance of the season following a short week of practice. If that wasn’t bad enough, ASU hosts Stanford on the same night, splitting the audience and local allegiances.Week 8: Home game against San Francisco, the perfect launching pad into the second half of the season. Win here, against a team that always causes problems in Glendale, and the Cardinals will enjoy their bye week.Week 9: OFFWeek 10: Road game in Kansas City, at a time when Patrick Mahomes might be an overwhelmed rookie hitting the wall, or a breakout star in the NFL. I’m betting on the former, but it’s still not enough to win this game.Week 11: Home against the Raiders. Jon Gruden is back on the sidelines after a lengthy stint in television, just like ASU head coach Herm Edwards. Except one guy is still considered an impact coach while the other is a dinosaur targeted for ridicule. Maybe the Cardinals will do the Sun Devils a favor, changing that narrative when this game is over.Week 12: Road game in Los Angeles. Former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy (now the Cardinals offensive coordinator) against former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt (now the Chargers offensive coordinator). I like their chances, especially in a small stadium, where attendance will resemble the dark days at Sun Devil Stadium. Smart football fans and scarred bettors realize that every week is its own season, impossible to forecast and subject to injuries, matchup problems, time zones, weather patterns and bad bounces.This is also one of the treasured mileposts of the offseason, and not the time for cold-hearted reason. This is the emotional equivalent of Opening Day in Major League Baseball, when optimism trumps logic and defies hard lessons learned in the past.Related LinksArizona Cardinals 2018 schedule: By the numbersArizona Cardinals 2018 schedule features TNF vs. Denver, home openerOn the surface, the talking points are compelling. In 2018, the Patriots will open at home against the Texans, allowing Tyrann Mathieu to make an immediate splash with his new team. The Giants host the Jaguars in Week 1, marking the first time that Jacksonville executive Tom Coughlin will face the team he led to a pair of memorable Super Bowl victories.Coughlin’s last public appearance at MetLife Stadium occurred when he was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor. Like a defiant actor at the Academy Awards, he refused to leave the stage when his time had expired, even though players had already returned to the field. And when Coughlin showed up in Arizona last season, monitoring his Jaguars from the press box at University of Phoenix Stadium, his volatile temperament and table-banging antics astounded those who are duty-bound to mute their rooting interests and keep their mouths shut. 80 Comments   Share   Meanwhile, the Patriots host the Colts in Week 5, where contentious embers of Deflate-Gate have been reignited, courtesy of Josh McDaniels’ withdrawing from his verbal commitment to take over as head coach in Indianapolis.The NFL clearly understands the confluence of conflict and drama. They appreciate good television and the power of cliffhangers, scheduling nothing but division games in the final week of the season. And in Arizona, where the team hasn’t posted a winning record in two seasons, the road map is complicated and hard to decipher.The Cardinals have road games in Minnesota, Green Bay and Atlanta, where they haven’t posted a win in 135 years combined. They travel to Kansas City, where the weather and crowd noise are always more formidable than expected. Arizona hasn’t posted a victory here in four previous visits, playing so poorly that the post-game barbecue is little consolation.They also are gifted with three home games in the opening month of the season. Their one primetime appearance should benefit a team that flourishes when flying below the radar. The bye week comes in Week 9, landing at the midpoint of the season. Only one road game is slated for a breakfast start in Arizona (10 a.m.), where body clocks and disrupted routines have frequently led to erratic performances. There are no games on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, when the collective mindset can be scattered and full of distractions. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Week 13: Road game in Green Bay, where the average temperature bottoms out at 19 degrees and where half the city’s population has a Brett Favre jersey hanging in the closet. Enough said.Week 14: Home against Detroit, where familiarity breeds apathy. This is the fifth consecutive season the Cardinals will play the Lions, and the 14th time since the 2000 season. Neither team has won a Super Bowl, and their dueling histories make their battles feel small.Week 15: Road game in Atlanta, where the Cardinals have a history of showing up in a sleepy funk, leading to lopsided losses. Somehow, the worst professional sports town in America has served as kryptonite to our NFL franchise.Week 16: Home game against Los Angeles. If the Cardinals exceed expectations, this could be the most important game of the season.Week 17: Road game against Seattle. After Bruce Arians arrived in Arizona in 2013, the NFL learned that the Cardinals and Seahawks always save the best for the last. The Cardinals have won four of their last five games in Seattle, a road trip that has come to symbolize the ultimate consolation prize.In other words, W-L-W-W-L-L-L-W-L-L-L-L-W-L-W-LRecord: 6-10.But history proves that playoff projections based on a team’s schedule are beyond futile. They’re absurd. And with all these moving pieces in the Valley, from Bradford’s health to the impact of a new regime, that’s good news for football fans in Arizona. Arizona Cardinals NFL football team president Michael Bidwill, left, and head coach Steve Wilks watch their team run drills during a voluntary team activity Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at the Cardinals’ training facility in Tempe, Ariz.(AP Photo/Matt York) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Here are the easy takeaways that seem important at the moment, and will mean very little once kickoffs commence in September:Week 1: Home game against Washington, pitting the quarterback the Cardinals wanted (Alex Smith) against their third option (Sam Bradford).Week 2: Road game against Los Angeles, an early opportunity for the Cardinals to make an impact statement, atoning for two losses to the Rams in 2017. Including an embarrassing 33-0 defeat in London that marked the end of Carson Palmer’s career.Week 3: Home against the Bears. Good break for the Cardinals and a bad deal for Chicago writers, who will lament a trip to the Valley that arrives in September, before ice scrapers are part of their morning commute.Week 4: Home game against Seattle, and a wonderful opportunity for new head coach Steve Wilks to emerge from the shadow and legacy of Bruce Arians, who was 0-4-1 against the Seahawks in Glendale.Week 5: Road game in San Francisco, where the Cardinals will experience a vested fan base and not relish in the sound of crickets.Week 6: Road game in Minnesota, where Kirk Cousins is the new quarterback, where the Cardinals haven’t won since 1977 and where the decibel level can cause thunderclap headaches. If he’s still standing, it’s the perfect platform for Bradford to show Vikings fans what could’ve been had he not succumbed to another injury in 2017.last_img read more