Expedia TAAP gets a great Wrap

first_imgSource = Expedia Expedia Asia Pacific held a 3 day conference last week with new Expedia World Wide President Scott Durchslag in Sydney.Expedia executives were in town from Hong Kong, Singapore, Seattle and Sydney and spent time with Durchslag and other senior management from Expedia Head Office discussing the state of the business, massive expansion plans and the great vision for Expedia in APAC. The business is great and the future is brighter was the underlying message with great new technical developments and fantastic new product innovations to be released throughout this year.Part of the program included some achievement recognition awards including a great “Wrap” for Expedia TAAP (Travel Agents Affiliate Program) in APAC. As Expedia TAAP celebrates 1 year since launch in the Asia Pacific market it was recognised for the great success it has proved to be for Expedia in the Australian and New Zealand markets. The TAAP program which has grown from strength to strength over the past 12 months, was recognised for the great contribution to the Expedia APAC business with a Gold Bar awarded for innovation and application aptly nicknamed the Alchemist Award.“We are absolutely delighted with the award,” said Stuart Udy Expedia Manager of Travel Distribution Asia Pacific. “It has been a fantastic year of growth and is a fabulous recognition for not just an unbeatable product but the great support structures and people we have in place. Programs like this don’t survive, let alone prosper, without great support and people on the ground. We have great partners and great support in AU and NZ so I’m very happy to accept the award on their behalf.”Expedia TAAP has experienced 6 record weeks in a row in terms of gross transactions this year in both New Zealand and Australia with no sign of the growth peaking any time soon. The USA and Europe are the main destination drivers at the moment accounting for around 60% of the transactions. With simply thousands of destinations on offer, the destinations keep growing every week.last_img read more

2011 Cruise Industry Awards – Nominations Now Open

first_imgSource = International Cruise Council Media Award – For recognition of cruise journalism excellence.The Cruise Agency of the Year, Cruise Consultant of the Year and the Rising Star Awards are not open to submissions as these are decided by the ICCA and member cruise lines.Mr Jardine said he was delighted to announce that television host Shelley Craft would return to host the gala event after proving a big hit at this year’s awards. He said he was also pleased to welcome back Cruise Passenger Magazine as the Gold Sponsor of the event for the fifth consecutive year. “ICCA’s awards night is a highly anticipated event on the cruise industry calendar and tickets to the past few years’ events have sold out very quickly. As we enter one of the biggest cruise seasons Down Under, we know the 2011 awards will be as popular as ever,” Mr Jardine said. The black tie event will be held at the Sydney Hilton on Saturday February 11, 2012.For more information on the awards and to purchase tickets, priced at AUD$180 per person including GST, visit www.cruising.org.au/awards-dinner  The International Cruise Council Australasia is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1996, committed to training travel consultants and raising consumer awareness of cruising.Arrangements for Shelley Craft’s appearance at the ICCA awards night were made through Celebrity Speakers – www.celebrityspeakers.com.au.  Nominations are now open for the International Cruise Council Australasia’s 2011 Cruise Industry Awards, which will see the return of popular television personality Shelley Craft as host.Council General Manager Brett Jardine said there were plenty of opportunities to recognise the contribution of travel agents across Australia and New Zealand with seven categories offering a total of 16 awards.Submissions can now be made for:Agency Promotion of the Year – For cruise promotions undertaken by an individual agency only (Australia and New Zealand) Neil Frazer Award – For outstanding contribution to the cruise industry by an individual Network Promotion of the Year – For cruise promotions undertaken by a Network or group of stores (more than one) last_img read more

Government funding to drive visitation TTF

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T The Australian Federal Government’s decision to commit one million dollars to the Experience Development Strategies for Australia’s National Landscapes is likely to bolster tourist numbers, according to industry leaders. The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chief executive John Lee said the industry has welcomed the government’s approach to destination development and expects the funding to improve “tourism offering and visitor experience… [in] priority destinations”. “… sticking to a strategic plan will deliver tourism infrastructure that will give a greater return on investment,” Mr Lee said. The National Landscapes strategy identifies priority destinations and has been constructed to improve tourism offers in key areas, with the aim to grow visitation. “That echoes the approach taken in our soon-to-be-released Tourism Infrastructure Priorities document, which identifies opportunities in the nation’s top 20 tourism regions,” Mr Lee added.TTF and the Federal Government plan to double overnight tourism expenditure to $140 billion by 2020.last_img read more

Thai train derails injuring foreign tourists

first_imgAustralians among those injured in accident.Image: AP A State Railways of Thailand (SRT) train has derailed in the northern Thai province of Denchai, injuring 23 passengers.Seven carriages derailed on the Bangkok to Chiang Mai service and the injured occupants were mostly foreign tourists, The Age reported.The injured passengers were taken to hospital, while the remaining passengers were left stranded, waiting for a train from Lampang to carry them to their destination, Chiang Mai.Australian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and American tourists were among those injured.“Derailments happen quite often,” SRT governor Prapat Chongsanguan said.“Initially we think that this time it’s due to old rail track.”While the Bangkok-Chiang Mai service was suspended, trains from Bangkok to Denchai continue to operate as normal.In March 2013, Thailand’s cabinet approved a plan to spend $US68 billion on a high-speed railway and other sizeable transportation projects to help drive the nation’s economic development.Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Glampers go on safari in South Australia

first_imgSource = ETB News, T.N. As for the food provided, guests can enjoy BBQ dinners or enjoy a meal at Wilpena Pound Resort.  Glamorous campers or ‘glampers’ can now experience a new tent adventure in South Australia.  The Ikara Safari Camp was completed this week after co-investments from the South Australian and Australian governments. center_img The Ikara Safari Camp has opened in South Australia’s Wilpena Pound Resort in South Australia.  The camp offers 15 tents of insulated canvas with reverse air conditioning, king size beds, luggage storage, a mini bar, in-room safe and tea and coffee making facilities. last_img read more

Golden Princess to have a royal time in Melbourne

first_imgIn addition, Golden Princess will make a maiden summer deployment in Melbourne, which will increase its Victorian capacity by 20 per cent. Princess Cruises’ flagship carrier, Golden Princess, will homeport in Melbourne for the first time, as the company expands its Australian presence to five ships. Mr Allison also said the Golden Princess had a lot to offer passengers. Princess Cruises vice president Australia and New Zealand said that the fleet increase would boost the company’s local capacity by 35 per cent compared in 2015 compared to 2014. In conjunction with the 116,000 tonne Diamond Princess, the 108,000 Golden Princess will traverse Australian waters for the 2015-16 summer, while the smaller Sun Princess will cruise in Australia for the 2015 winter.   Source = ETB News: Tom Neale “Golden Princess’ larger size means she has a host of wonderful features. More than half her staterooms have private balconies, while she also offers a beautiful spa, four swimming pools and 10 restaurants and cafes, so we think she’ll be very popular with Victorians,” Mr Allison said.last_img read more

NSWs top hotels honoured at industrys night of nights

first_imgNSW’s top accommodation hotels were honoured last night at a glittering ceremony in the new Grand Ballroom of the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney which saw the Park Hyatt Sydney and Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley recognised as the deluxe hotels of the year (Sydney and Regional).A crowd of more than 600 industry representatives gathered at the Four Points by Sheraton for the industry’s “night of nights”: the 2016 Tourism Accommodation Australia (NSW) Awards for Excellence.Park Hyatt SydneyThe TAA Awards marked the first tourism industry event attended by Keith Pitt MP in his newly appointed role as Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment in the Federal Government.A record 300 plus nominations were received this year from 71 hotels across 34 categories showcasing the best in the accommodation sector.The Park Hyatt Sydney won Sydney Deluxe Hotel of the Year whilst Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley took out the Regional Deluxe Hotel of the Year title.PARKROYAL Darling Harbour is Sydney Superior Hotel of the Year, while Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains won Regional Superior Hotel of the Year.The award for Mid-range Hotel of the Year went to Atura Blacktown which also won Brasserie/Café of the Year for its Roadhouse Bar and Grill.The State’s leading business events hotels were also recognised, with the award for Function Venue of the Year going to InterContinental Sydney Double Bay; Conference Hotel of the Year Metropolitan Hotels went to Sheraton on the Park; and Château Élan at The Vintage Hunter Valley was named Conference Hotel of the Year Regional Hotels.The award for Redeveloped Hotel of the Year went to The Old Clare Hotel while Apartment/Suite Hotel of the Year was won by Fraser Suites Sydney.The Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley were the most successful regional areas, with The Hydro Majestic Hotel taking the award for Hotel Chef of the Year (Mate Herceg) and Lilianfels’ Darley’s Restaurant named Regional Restaurant of the Year. Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley took out two awards for individual excellence.Staff from the Hilton Sydney had a good night with Morgan Meredith grabbing the gong for Hotel Industry Rising Star and Hayden Gibson winning the award for Employee Excellence in Service.Last night’s entries into the TAA NSW Hall of Fame, recognising 3 consecutive years of excellence in the category, were The Sydney Boulevard Hotel for Outstanding Community Service and Achievement and the InterContinental Sydney for Workplace Health and Safety Hotel of the Year.Chair of TAA NSW Peter Tudehope said the excellent quality of all nominees and winners showed the very high standards of the tourism accommodation industry in NSW.“NSW truly is setting a high benchmark for the rest of Australia, and indeed internationally, when it comes to accommodation hotels,” he said.“The quality of our venues really is on display here tonight . Our award winners represent the huge investment, hard work, dedication and drive of our industry right across NSW; from the regions to the heart of the Sydney CBD. I congratulate all winners.”2016 TAA (NSW) Award for Excellence winners also include:Health Club and Spa Facilities of the Year: Emirates One&Only Spa, Wolgan Valley (Regional winner) and The Darling Spa, The Star (Metropolitan winner)Metropolitan Restaurant of the Year (Deluxe): Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney andMomofuku Seiobo, The Star (joint winners)Metropolitan Restaurant of the Year (Mid-Range/Superior hotels): Steeds Club Grill & Bar, Rydges ParramattaWorkplace Health and Safety Hotel of the Year: Crowne Plaza, TerrigalOutstanding Achievement in Training: Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel SydneyOutstanding Community Service and Achievement: The Westin SydneyBest Environmental Practices (Metropolitan): InterContinental SydneyBest Environmental Practices (Regional): Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Source = Tourism Accommodation Australialast_img read more

Villa Brown Jerusalem to open in April 2017

first_imgVilla Brown Jerusalem, to open in April 2017The Villa Brown Jerusalem, the newest addition to the Brown Hotels group, is a 24-room boutique hotel property set to open in April 2017. The hotel is located five minutes’ walk from Jerusalem’s Old City sites and situated in the heart of the bustling city center with its trendy cafes, high-caliber museums and art galleries, restaurants, bars and the famed Mahane Yehuda food market. The hotel itself neighbors the city’s stunning Russian Compound and new Bezalel Academy of Design and Arts, while its rooftop offers a bird’s eye view of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.Even before its official opening, the Villa Brown Jerusalem has been listed by the New York Times as one of six noteworthy hotels accepting reservations as of this winter: “The Israeli boutique hotel brand Brown Hotels adds a zip of modernity to the ancient city of Jerusalem with this 23-room property set in a picturesque 19th-century villa in the heart of the city.. The Brown is a fresh addition to the city’s hotel scene …this one promises to be hip.”The Villa Brown Jerusalem is housed within a one-time private villa from the 19th-century belonging to a Jewish doctor and general manager of Jerusalem’s historic Rothschild Hospital. The original walls of exposed stone within the property date back to more than 100 years ago, and pay homage to the timeless signature architecture for which Jerusalem is known.The hotel’s distinct aesthetic is a multilayered interpretation of the East-Meets-West social and cultural pinnacle of Jerusalem during the British Mandate period, merging Neoclassical, Ottoman and Eclectic-design-styles with contemporary interior influences, exemplified through velvety pigments of red, emerald and mauve that adorn the public and private spaces throughout the property.The Villa Brown Jerusalem’s lobby, outdoor spaces, restaurant, underground bar, bedrooms and suites, and spa are furnished in deep and warm hues, soft textiles and fine, vintage accessories that portray the signature Brown Hotels aesthetic while reminiscent of the opulence of Jerusalem’s 19th-century zeitgeist. Following a complete restoration by Jerusalem based architects, Galit Shifman Bar-Natan and Michal Cohen Magen, and the addition of two extra floors, the exquisite residence has been reimagined as the Villa Brown Jerusalem.Amenities at the Villa Brown Jerusalem include:A Garden Bistro-Café serving an international interpretation of classic regional dishesDaily breakfast and brunch in a stunning open-air verandaTea sessions in the property’s verdant garden at five o’clock and each nightSubterranean “Cave Bar” located in the one-time cistern from the private residenceRooftop spa and open-air JacuzziRooftop Terrace and lounge overlooking the cityStylish and well-equipped meeting facilitiesThe Brown Hotels’ signature lobby library featuring a curated collection of design & lifestyle publications in multiple languagesThe Villa Brown Jerusalem is a member of Brown Hotels, an international hotel brand founded in Tel Aviv, with sister hotels located in the city of Tel Aviv (the world acclaimed Brown TLV, Brown Beach House, Poli House and new properties opening soon) and Trogir, Croatia (Brown Beach House Croatia). Founded in 2003 by Hotelier Leon Avigad, Brown Hotels evolved out of the desire to introduce a collection of truly boutique hotels to Israel. The Brown properties are all rooted in a devotion to service, design, innovation, style and authenticity. Brown Hotels are often recommended by the world’s leading international lifestyle, design and travel publications.For more information about the Villa Brown Jerusalem and Brown Hotels, visit www.brownhotels.com Source = The Villa Brown Jerusalemlast_img read more

New Year New Caledonia Deals

first_imgNew Caledonia Travel Connection, Australia’s leading travel specialist to New Caledonia, is offering excellent-value New Year special packages, starting from as little as $1,599 pp, inclusive of flights, accommodation, transfers and more. Visitors to New Caledonia will discover the French paradise’s dazzling lagoon, pristine beaches and breathtaking natural beauty, as well as plenty of opportunities to indulge in fine French-Melanesian cuisine.These deals are only available until 31/01/18 for travel before 31/03/18.Le Meridien Noumea & Isle Of Pines – Luxury Island Combo Escape7 nights from $2,999 pp (Save up to $1,500 per couple)Bask in New Caledonia’s charming mix of French and Polynesian cultures with this fantastic 7-night package. Open your eyes to the surreal beauty of the Isle of Pines and stay at two of Le Meridien’s most impressive resorts. At night, immerse yourself in a gastronomic experience at the famous Hippocampe restaurant in a complimentary dinner for two.Sheraton New Caledonia Deva – Blue Lagoon Paradise Package7 nights from $1,999 pp (Save up to $1,300 per couple)Explore New Caledonia’s diverse landscape while enjoying world-class comfort and service at the Sheraton, New Caledonia’s prime beach resort. This all-in package also grants access to the resort’s deep Nature Spa facilities including an outdoor Jacuzzi with deck and sauna, and includes a complimentary dinner for two, daily breakfasts, and FREE full-board meals.Sheraton New Caledonia Deva – Scenic Retreat Package5 nights from $1,699 pp (Save up to $1,000 per couple)The Sheraton New Caledonia Deva has just the right thing for golf lovers, and with this 5-night Scenic Retreat Package, guests can enjoy one round of golf per day! Take on adventures in the scenic Deva Domain, marvel at the stunning lagoon and end the day relaxing at the resort’s Deep Nature Spa or getting a much-deserved pamper with one of the many treatments.Le Meridien Noumea – Beachside Bliss Package5 nights from $1,599 pp (Save up to $1,000 per couple)Introduce yourself to the beauty of New Caledonia with this 5-night package at the luxurious Le Meridien Noumea. Located on the beachfront overlooking Anse Vata Bay, guests enjoy easy access to the beach and many local attractions. Spend a relaxing night at Le Meridien’s large swimming pool and have a taste of different flavours in the hotel’s tempting range of French and Japanese inspired dining options.Hilton & Escapade Island Overwater Bungalow Package7 nights from $2,399 pp (Save up to $500 per couple)Let this exciting 7-night package whisk you away to the ultimate island paradise dream! Experience the romantic beauty and South Pacific charm of New Caledonia while staying in an intimate overwater bungalow at Escapade Island Resort, or try your hand at the many water-based activities at Anse Vata Beach when you are at Hilton Noumea.Chateau Royal Beach Resort & Spa Noumea – Short Break Package5 nights from $1,699 pp (Save up to $350 per couple)If you’re looking for a quick getaway to Noumea, our Short Break Package for you. This 5-night package includes return flights, transfers and accommodation at Chateau Royal Beach Resort & Spa, a great base from which to explore the vibrant city. Retire in warm, pleasant rooms and relax by the beach or at the outdoor pool and spa.For full details and bookings contact New Caledonia Travel Connection on 1300 108 625, email us at info@newcaledoniatravel.com.au or visit www.newcaledoniatravel.com.auSource = New Caledonia Travel Connectionlast_img read more

Free Quito mini stay with Tempo Holidays

first_imgBasilica of National vote by Night Quito EcuadorFree Quito mini stay with Tempo HolidaysThe allure of the Galapagos Islands speaks for itself with its abundance of fauna and flora that is found nowhere else on Earth.Tempo Holidays is helping to make this incredible destination even more appealing for travellers by offering a free Quito mini stay pre cruise, valued at over A$900//NZ$1025.A UNESCO heritage listed city set 2859 metres above sea level, Quito is renowned for its stunning architecture. Experience rich Inca history through many museums, galleries, markets and marvel at the Colonial buildings throughout the vibrant capital.All travellers need to do is book any four or six night Santa Cruz, Isabela or La Pinta Tempo Holidays Galápagos Islands cruise by 30 May 2018 and they will receive a complimentary three day Quito mini-Stay.Prices start from A$4795//NZ$5465 for the 5 day MY Isabela II – Southern Galapagos cruise which will see travellers visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station, setting foot on Floreana, where you will find Lagoon birds including flamingos, and spot sea lions and more on San Cristobal.This price includes four nights accommodation, all meals, shore excursions with guide and transfer to/from Galapagos airport.To receive this discount simply book before 30 May 2018 and travel on selected departure dates in 2018. Quote FreeQuitostay to receive discount at time of booking.Terms and conditions apply. For more information call 1300 362 844 or email res@tempoholidays.com. New Zealand call 0800 836 764 or email res@tempoholidays.co.nz.Source = Tempo Holidayslast_img read more

Young Indians driving Indian travel landscape MakeMyTrip

first_imgMakeMyTrip released a report highlighting the travel behaviour seen among Indian travellers from January 2016 to June 2016. The finding of India Travel Report 2016 is based on the bookings seen on MakeMyTrip platform(s) during the said time period. The study provides consumer behaviour trends in the travel space and compares the same with last year.Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and CEO-India, MakeMyTrip, said, “With this travel report, we wanted to study the travel behaviour of our customers to gain insights about how India has been travelling and the factors that shape a significant trend. Given the phenomenal consumer traction we see on our platform(s), this report will be reflective of the trends being seen in the industry at large and the findings will help us tailor our offering in line with emergent travel needs in our endeavour to be the perfect travel companion for the new-age traveller.”According to the report, a major trend observed is that Indian travellers have now become increasingly younger. Smartphone penetration and adoption led by the young travellers is driving the shift from offline to online in the travel industry.The other top trends observed this year include higher spending on luxury travel experience within India and abroad by travellers, the rise in solo women travel amongst others. With higher disposable income, people have started spending more time on their holidays (12-14 nights) by clubbing multiple destinations in their itinerary. The average holiday frequency has also gone up due to extended weekends and average vacation time period is up by 10%.The mobile saw a high usage with more than 8 million out of the total 23 million downloads of the MakeMyTrip app (till June 30, 2016) happening between January 2016 and June 2016. Mobile transactions saw a growth of 313% and constitute for 54% of the total transactions, versus 25% last year. For MakeMyTrip, mobile now accounts for over 73% of the total transactions in the strategically important online Standalone Indian Hotels segment in Q1FY17.last_img read more

Dubai Business Events target MICE segment from India

first_imgDubai Business Events conducted a three-city roadshow in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru, majorly targeting the MICE segment from India. Dubai Business Events is a part of Dubai Tourism primarily focusing on the Business segment.Speaking exclusively to Travel News Digest, Karina Lance, Senior Manager – Sales and Convention Services, Dubai Business Events said, “80% of the Indian market is incentive travellers and so we have incentive programmes and added values to it like access to attractions, accommodation, visa facilities, etc. For MICE, we usually target a group of 500 people. If there are larger groups coming in then we have a customised approach to that particular event.”Talking about destination weddings, Lance averred, “Wedding is a new niche market, which is increasing on a large scale in Dubai. We organised a fam trip for Indian wedding planners in the month of March where we showcased venues apt for Indian weddings. The itinerary for the fam trip was such that we tailored it as per the Indian wedding customs and rituals like the Henna night, sangeet night, etc. We showed the wedding planners convenient venues that can accommodate large groups. We have a variety of venues out of which the World Trade Centre is the biggest.”India is the number one source market for Dubai. Out of the total two million Indian visitors to Dubai last year, 30-40% were business travellers, as per the number of nights spent, stated Lance.Dubai Business Events receives about 225 events per year and approximately 70 out of those are from India. On an average, Dubai Business Events sees a growth of 8-10% year-on-year and 10-15% growth for markets like India and China.The Dubai Business Events three-city roadshow in the country is also a part of promoting Expo 2020 which will start from October 2020 and end by April 2021. During the six months of expo, we guarantee 25 million visitors from across the world, concluded Lance.last_img read more

Brazil announces new policy to manage and promote UNESCO World Heritage Sites

first_imgThe Brazilian Government has established a new policy called the National Policy for Tourism Management of Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites. The law is one of the goals of the Ministry of Tourism for the first 100 days of the new government. The decree is part of a series of measures that ministry is adopting with the objective of improving the business environment for the tourism sector and increasing opportunities for investments in Brazil. The proposal is in line with the 2018-2022 National Tourism Plan, which defined as one of its strategies the goal “to promote the value of cultural and natural heritage for tourism”.The announcement is the result of a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministries of Citizenship, Environment and Regional Development, with the support of the Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur), the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) and the Institute of Historical Heritage and National Arts (IPHAN).The goal of the new law is to help maintain, develop new programmes, organise projects and promote the tourist segments related to the Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites in Brazil. Brazil has 21 recognised UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites are split between Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites.“This initiative represents a milestone in the valuation and preservation of our natural and cultural heritage. We rank eighth among countries with cultural attractions in the world and we need to know how to take better advantage of our potential to attract more and more foreign visitors and also encourage more Brazilians to know the beauty of our own country,” said Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio.The Ministry of Tourism, together with the other entities involved, is preparing a package of measures to implement the National Policy for Tourism Management of the World Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites. By late 2019 and 2020, through a partnership with SEBRAE, the tourist regions around the UNESCO World Heritage sites can count on a series of actions related to the development and promotion of tourism.last_img read more

Bipartisan Think Tank Launches Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative

first_img Share October 19, 2012 412 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Dodd-Frank Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Regulation Service Providers 2012-10-19 Tory Barringer At an event in Washington Thursday, the “”Bipartisan Policy Center””:http://bipartisanpolicy.org/ (BPC) announced the launch of its new “”Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative””:http://bipartisanpolicy.org/projects/financial-reform to evaluate the financial regulatory system after the Dodd-Frank Act.[IMAGE]Led by co-chairs Dr. Martin Baily (former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton) and Dr. Phillip Swagel (former assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury), the initiative is designed to assistant Congress, the executive branch, and regulators as they work to develop and modify financial supervision and regulation.””Through this new effort we will assess what aspects of Dodd-Frank are working well and what aspects need improvement, while preserving the intent of the law,”” Baily said at the launch. “”We will propose concrete and actionable recommendations for incremental changes to the legislation, as well as more substantive reforms to fill in the gaps left from Dodd-Frank.””The group consists of a number of former regulators, policy advocates, academics, and practitioners from all over the political spectrum. Its ranks include: Annette Nazareth, partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell and former SEC commissioner; Eric Rodriguez, VP of the National Council of La Raza; and John Coffee, professor at Columbia Law School, among others.””Our initiative members have a deep expertise in the issues we will be considering and members from both sides of the aisle will make specific proposals in each area,”” said Aaron Klein, former deputy assistant secretary for economic policy coordination at the Treasury and initiative director.The initiative will consider five aspects of financial reform: systemic risk; failure resolution; capital markets and the Volcker rule; consumer financial protection; and regulatory architecture. Within those areas, the program will consider domestic and international policy effects, the impact of regulatory policies on growth and job creation, the influence U.S. policy may have on other countries’ policies, and other issues.The initiative also plans to review the “”landscape of regulatory actions and inactions”” since the enactment of Dodd-Frank, with a series of white papers to come out starting in 2013. As part of the initiative’s launch, Klein and the co-chairs released their first “”white paper””:http://bipartisanpolicy.org/sites/default/files/FRRI%20White%20Paper.pdf with an overview of the issues they’re going to cover.””We understand that it is not possible to eliminate all future financial crises through rules and regulations,”” Swagel said. “”Still, we believe now, two years since the enactment of Dodd-Frank, is a key time to gauge the aspects of the legislation that have helped stabilize the financial system, and to consider possible changes to improve the regulatory system.””We must be sure that any new reforms also promote economic growth, as we continue to deal with the lingering effects of a deep and difficult recession,”” he continued.center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Bipartisan Think Tank Launches Financial Regulatory Reform Initiativelast_img read more

Radian Guaranty to Offer Insurance on Loans Within HarmonyLoan Platform

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Radian Guaranty Inc. Service Providers 2012-11-20 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Share Radian Guaranty to Offer Insurance on Loans Within HarmonyLoan Platformcenter_img “”Radian Guaranty Inc.””:http://www.radian.biz/page?name=HomePage, the mortgage insurance (MI) subsidiary of the Philadelphia-based Radian Group Inc., announced that it will now provide MI on loans within the HarmonyLoan platform.[IMAGE]HarmonyLoan, a mortgage feature designed by financial services tech company “”Mortgage Harmony Corp.””:http://mortgageharmony.com/, can be applied to fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages, conventional or jumbo loans, and on new and existing mortgages. The platform allows homebuyers to adjust [COLUMN_BREAK]the rate on their loans with just one click on a personalized, secure, web-based site without the need for a traditional refinance.””Over the last several years, the mortgage industry has been struggling to cure many of the problems affecting homebuyers unable to take advantage of lower interest rates and at the same time, reclaim the homebuyers’ confidence,”” said Keith Kelly, CEO of Mortgage Harmony. “”Mortgage Harmony is pleased to have a highly regarded mortgage insurer like Radian working with us to move this innovative feature into the mortgage market. It is a simple, easy and cost effective way for lenders to help homebuyers, while helping themselves.”” “”We are pleased to offer prospective homebuyers the opportunity to purchase their home with a mortgage feature that gives them greater flexibility,”” said Brien McMahon, Radian’s chief franchise officer. “”HarmonyLoan allows a homeowner to lower their interest rate and monthly mortgage payment without the closing costs and administrative burden of a traditional refinance. It ultimately improves their financial position, which is a win-win for everyone.”” November 20, 2012 407 Views last_img read more

As Home Prices Grow Wages Stagnate

first_imgAs Home Prices Grow, Wages Stagnate Home price increases have started to plateau, but with wages remaining stagnant, cash-strapped shoppers are still feeling put out.According to Trulia, asking prices on listed homes rose 1.2 percent month-to-month in June, the highest monthly increase in more than a year. The increase was the same both with and without foreclosures.Quarter-over-quarter, Q2 asking prices came up 2.6 percent, while annual gains came to 8.1 percent. Both increases paled in comparison to the respective 3.1 percent and 9.5 percent improvements recorded a year ago.Despite the national slowdown, “price increases continue to be widespread, with 97 of 100 metros posting year-over-year price gains—the most since the recovery began,” said Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko.Unfortunately, consumer incomes have failed to keep pace. Out of the top 10 markets for annual price gains in June—most of which were in the South or Midwest—Kolko found that wages per worker rose less than 1 percent last year in all but one.Nationally, asking prices rose faster year-over-year than wages per worker in 95 of the 100 largest metros.Home rental prices have also outpaced wage growth in all of the 25 largest markets, according to Trulia.Nationally, rents were up 5.5 percent year-on-year in June, with some of the country’s already more expensive markets—like Miami, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Diego—seeing gains of more than 10 percent.”The median rent for a 2-bedroom unit costs more than 40 percent of the average local wage in these markets,” Kolko said. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News July 10, 2014 510 Views center_img Asking Prices Rents Trulia Wages 2014-07-10 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

Flagstar Hires President of Mortgage

first_imgFlagstar Hires President of Mortgage July 24, 2015 479 Views Share in News, Originationcenter_img Flagstar Bancorp Mortgage Origination President of Mortgage 2015-07-24 Staff Writer Leonard IsraelFlagstar Bancorp, Inc., recently announced that Leonard Israel has joined Flagstar as president of mortgage, where he will be responsible for all aspects of Flagstar’s mortgage originations business. Israel will report to Flagstar President and CEO Alessandro DiNello.”We’re fortunate to have someone with Len’s extensive mortgage industry experience join Flagstar,” DiNello said. “His background and skills will be invaluable as we grow our correspondent, wholesale, and retail channels and become an even bigger player in the mortgage space.”According to Flagstar, Israel brings nearly 30 years’ experience in the mortgage industry. He has experience in correspondent, wholesale, and retail production; secondary marketing; and warehouse lending. He also has a varied background ranging from risk management and process improvement, to operations and compliance and has managed national sales forces, led business transformations, and achieved significant increases in market share.He has held leadership positions at a number of mortgage providers, including serving as EVP and regional CEO at IndyMac Bank, FSB. He also was SVP and national director of correspondent lending at CitiMortgage. He began his career at Mission Hills Mortgage Corporation and most recently served as director of CRE term lending at Sabal Financial Group, an international diversified financial services firm. He holds a B.A. degree in business administration from California State University, and an M.A. degree in psychology from Pepperdine University.last_img read more

Fed Chair Yellen Economic Risks May Deter Rate Hike Plans

first_img Economy Federal Reserve Janet Yellen Rate Hike 2016-02-10 Seth Welborn Fed Chair Yellen: Economic Risks May Deter Rate Hike Plans Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors Federal Reserve SystemWhile testifying before Congress on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted that persistent economic headwinds have kept the federal funds target rate at a historically low level—and that future rate hikes may occur even more gradually than originally anticipated.One Federal Open Market Committee meeting has already come and gone since December’s historic Fed liftoff without another rate hike. In her testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday when discussing monetary policy, Yellen pointed out factors that have weighed on aggregate demand, such as limited access to credit for some borrowers, weak growth abroad, and the dollar’s significant appreciation. Inflation also remains way below the Fed’s 2 percent objective.“The FOMC anticipates that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate,” Yellen said. “In addition, the Committee expects that the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below the levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. This expectation is consistent with the view that the neutral nominal federal funds rate—defined as the value of the federal funds rate that would be neither expansionary nor contractionary if the economy was operating near potential—is currently low by historical standards and is likely to rise only gradually over time.”“In addition, the Committee expects that the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below the levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run.”Janet Yellen, Fed ChairThe nation experienced paltry GDP growth (0.7 percent) in the first estimate for the fourth quarter and job gains of only 151,000 for January, slightly more than half of the monthly average for October through December. One notable aspect of the most recent employment summary is that in January, the unemployment rate dipped below 5 percent for the first time in eight years.Yellen stated that “financial conditions in the United States have recently become less supportive of growth, with declines in broad measures of equity prices, higher borrowing rates for riskier borrowers, and a further appreciation of the dollar,” and forecasted a moderate pace of economic growth for the coming years against a backdrop of gradual monetary policy adjustment, ongoing employment gains, and faster wage growth that support real income growth and consumer spending.“Of course, economic growth could also exceed our projections for a number of reasons, including the possibility that low oil prices will boost U.S. economic growth more than we expect,” Yellen said. “At present, the Committee is closely monitoring global economic and financial developments, as well as assessing their implications for the labor market and inflation and the balance of risks to the outlook.”Some economists were less optimistic in their assessment of Yellen’s remarks. According to Capital Economics, “Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony to Congress today revealed that, while the FOMC might not be ready to raise interest rates for a second time in March, she still anticipates a “gradual” series of rate hikes over the next couple of years. That view is clearly at odds with futures markets, which imply that any additional rate hikes are almost now off the table.”Curt Long, Chief Economist with the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, stated, “In her testimony, Chair Yellen noted the emergent risks posed by weak financial markets and the declining prospects for growth abroad. While she did not indicate how this would play into the FOMC’s outlook for future rate increases, it seems far more likely than not that the committee will revise down its expectation of four rate hikes in 2016 in their March release.”When Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) took the floor for his opening statement at Wednesday’s hearing, he was a little more blunt in his assessment of the recent economic headwinds.“The reality is since the president was elected and the Fed embarked upon its unprecedented quantitative easing and zero real interest rate policies, working families’ paychecks have declined, their net wealth has declined and the real unemployment rate continues to hover around 10 percent,” Hensarling said. “Approximately one in six is on food stamps and almost 15 percent live in poverty. There hasn’t been a single year when economic growth has reached 3 percent.”Hensarling continued, “Now I will not use this hearing to either praise or condemn the Fed’s decision to raise rates by 25 basis points interest rates in December. Nor do I think it appropriate to advise the FOMC on how to vote during its next meeting. But given that Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution gives Congress the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof, I do feel compelled to demand that the Fed adopt a monetary policy course that is predictable, transparent and sustainable and—barring terribly exigent circumstances—to stick with it. That is part of the rationale underlying the House-passed Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act—the FORM Act.” in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, Newscenter_img Share February 10, 2016 832 Views last_img read more

PRESS RELEASE IRVINE California – AGTools Inc

first_img PRESS RELEASEIRVINE, California. – AGTools, Inc. has combined its extensive agriculture industry experience and knowledge to create and launch a brand-new online tool enabling the agriculture industry to improve decision making, reduce waste, and increase revenue. The tool is the first of its kind in the agriculture industry designed to help farmers by providing hard data in real time to food supply chain stakeholders, helping to improve their bottom line.The agriculture industry is fast-paced and farmers work long days. Any one of a series of variables can cause drastic swings in farm profit.  This includes market crop pricing, energy pricing, climate changes, currency swings and much more.  AGTools brings change to this vital industry, with an objective of bringing the data in a practical, effective manner directly to the farmer and all members of the food supply chain to allow them to make better, more profitable decisions.Lack of real-time data impacts the agriculture industry and is part of the cause of over US$74 billion dollars of food waste per year in the USA and over US$350 billion worldwide from harvest to distribution centers. AGTools provides real-time algorithm data gathering and mining of over 513 commodities of fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, and ornamentals, to reduce waste and increase profitability.  The new, user friendly online tool helps those in the industry to better determine when to plant, harvest, ship, and buy, to increase their ROI.The AGTools team brings many years of first-hand industry experience to the creation of this new technology. The management team at AGTools consists of 12 highly-qualified individuals from different areas of the world.  Each team member has a unique agriculture background bringing diverse skills.  That input has helped to further develop and advance AGTools to be a well-rounded platform for anyone working in the industry starting with farmers and all supply chain stakeholders.AGTools offers over 40 million real-time and historical records. It is powered by weather.com, a division of IBM, and provides information from over 125,000 weather stations across the USA. Hamburg Süd strengthens its product portfolio … You might also be interested in October 30 , 2018 New Tray Tipper automates fruit delivery into KATO … Retailers encouraged to “get with the program” … 2018/2019 Category trends, demographics & mar … last_img read more

IMAGEBack row LR Kim Rayner Mudgee Travel

first_imgIMAGE:Back row (L-R): Kim Rayner (Mudgee Travel & Cruise), local guide, Kymberly Rohrsheim (Travel and Cruise Professionals), Tracey Hembling (Maria Slater Travel), Jess Falzon (Jetaway Travel), Belinda Di Guglielmo (St George Travel), Emma Sullivan (Weston Cruise & Travel) and Karen Nelson (Back-Roads Touring Co.).Front row (L-R): Michelle Everson (Jamison Travel) and Hughla McLaren (Thornleigh Cruise & Travel).Often described as the country’s best kept secret, the south east coast Puglia region of Italy is famed for its dedication to ‘slow food’ and a group of Travellers Choice agents recently explored the culinary traditions of Puglia on a even-night Back-Roads Touring educational.Savouring silky mozzarella and burrata cheeses, enjoying fresh pasta in a countryside masseria (estate), discovering the secret to making olive oil, and tasting some of Italy’s best wine and seafood, it was far from a hard task for the group!Travel and Cruise Professionals’ Kymberly Rohrsheim says what makes Puglia attractive is the fact that it’s so easy to explore and “every village is so different from the last one”.“One town might be whitewashed stone buildings, while the next will be a fishing port or feature traditional trulli [dry stone huts with conical roofs],” says Rohrsheim. “But they all know food really well, and each tiny sleepy town will have its own hidden treat, which means every day offers a different experience, and it’s all within a small compact region.”IMAGE:Back row (L-R): Jess Falzon (Jetaway Travel), Michelle Everson (Jamison Travel), Emma Sullivan (Weston Cruise & Travel), Hughla McLaren (Thornleigh Cruise & Travel) and Belinda Di Guglielmo (St George Travel). Front row (L-R): Kim Rayner (Mudgee Travel & Cruise), Kymberly Rohrsheim (Travel and Cruise Professionals), Karen Nelson (Back-Roads Touring Co.) and Tracey Hembling (Maria Slater Travel). As well as its quaint villages, Puglia is also known for the remarkable cave dwellings of Matera.Thornleigh Cruise & Travel’s Hughla McLaren says exploring the caves – where people are thought to have resided from as early as 7000 BC – was a highlight of the tour.“At one stage the Italian government cleared everyone out of the caves, but people have slowly come back and there are now businesses, hotels, pubs and apartments all carved into the rock,” says McLaren. “Some of the apartments are apparently more expensive now than those in Rome.”last_img read more