Lulu Group International, a UAE based retail brand, has established the INR 1,800 crore convention centre and hotel project in Kochi. Yusuff Ali MA, Chairman and Managing Director, Lulu Group International announced it is the largest convention centre in India with a total capacity of 10,000.“The project is part of INR 13,000 crore expansion plan of the group in India in the retail, hospitality, and food processing centres,’’ he said. The proposed projects include a shopping mall in Lucknow; hotel, convention centre, and mall in Visakhapatnam; shopping mall in Hyderabad, and food processing centres in Telangana. The hotel and convention centre at Bolgatty Island will be managed by Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.Ali added that with the launch, he aims at making Kochi and Kerala the hub of MICE in India. According to him the lower cost, good connectivity, and scope for leisure activities will lure more travellers to the centre at Kochi.Lulu Group’s other projects in Kerala that are under construction include a shopping mall in Thiruvananthapuram, a cyber tower at Infopark in Kochi, and expansion of its convention centre at Thrissur.
From its sun-kissed golden beaches, colourful cultural festivals to an abundance of natural and historical sites alongside an incredible offering of mouth-watering treats and delicacies, Sri Lanka has served as the ultimate tropical getaway for decades, offering travellers vibrancy, diversity and unwavering warmth and hospitality. Following recent events that have affected so many lives and threatened the tourism industry at large, many international celebrities who have been hosted by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts in the past, have shared their love and support for the island in a heart-warming video that calls out to travellers to continue visiting the island.Projecting a positive outlook and radiating feel-good vibes about the country, the video by Cinnamon in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism Board as part of the ‘Love Sri Lanka’ campaign has gone viral, generating a storm of views, being shared countless times reaching an eager audience around the world. The footage depicts how people and countries around the world showed their solidarity towards Sri Lanka. By lighting up prominent landmarks from the Sydney Opera House, to the Eiffel Tower in France, to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, to the GBK Footbridge in Jakarta, to the Central Station in the Netherlands, these countries sent a powerful show of support to the island. The video ends with messages from several high-profile celebrities who were hosted by Cinnamon, as they share what they love about Sri Lanka, and urge travellers, to keep discovering and exploring the island and all that it has to offer.In the video, celebrated English food writer and TV personality, Nigella Lawson says, “I can’t say how much my heart goes out to all. I think quite fondly of my time in Sri Lanka last year, the wildlife, the landscapes and the food. I can’t wait to go back.”“I have a special place in my heart for Sri Lanka. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth and what makes it beautiful is the incredible, amazing and wonderful people that live in Sri Lanka. I have many great memories at Cinnamon Grand and as a resilient team you will bounce back,” says George Calombaris, the famed Australian Chef and Restaurateur.Fashion photographer and TV personality Nigel Barker added, “It’s just not because I’m part Sri Lankan that I adore the country. I visited there recently with my family and we had the most incredible time because the people are so beautiful and charming and so hospitable. I know that the people of Sri Lanka are so resilient and if there is one thing I ask of everybody, it to truly love Sri Lanka.”World-famous musician, singer and DJ, Shaggy added, “Sri Lanka always had a good audience. Being a country with rich culture and heritage, it’s fantastic to have that kind of energy.”“I’m sending you love and vibes, I know you need it right now. You are not alone in this struggle, we are together. I was with you last August, had an amazing trip there staying at the Cinnamon Grand. You treated us so graciously. Chin up Sri Lanka,” said Joaquin Quino McWhinney of Big Mountain.Many who shared the video had positive thoughts and comments for those interested in visiting Sri Lanka. It is in moments like these that the hospitality nature of Sri Lankans comes out as they invited visitors with open arms. Locals and foreigners alike responded to the video, thanking all those who have faith in the country, simultaneously encouraging people to visit again.
New,Pacific Union Financial Welcomes New EVP and Chief Legal Officer Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-05-16 Tory Barringer In Texas, “”Pacific Union Financial, LLC””:http://www.pacuniondirect.com/ announced the hiring of Ron Fountain as EVP and chief legal officer.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Fountain joins the company from JPMorgan Chase, where he was SVP and managing director. During his time there, he directed all aspects of compliance relating to Chase Bank mortgage servicing operations, including regulatory and investor reviews and audits and the acquisition and disposition of mortgage assets. He brings 12 years of industry experience to Pacific Union Financial, having served in prior roles as SVP and association general counsel at Nationstar Mortgage and associate at national law firms Patton Boggs, LLP and Andrews Kurth, LLP.””I am thrilled to have Ron join our executive team,”” said Rick Skogg, president of Pacific Union Financial. “”He has an extensive legal background and successful track record in corporate transactions, risk management and fiscal governance. I look for Ron to be a major contributor to our continued growth as a national mortgage lender and servicer.”” Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing May 16, 2013 447 Views
Share in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Arbitration CFPB Coalition 2016-04-29 Seth Welborn Much of the criticism leveled against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the Bureau’s brief five-year history has been centered on claims that the CFPB is too tough on businesses it deems to have engaged in predatory financial activity.This week, however, a large number of prominent national organizations called for the CFPB to get even tougher.A coalition consisting of more than 160 labor unions, civil rights groups, and other advocates (including the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, and the NAACP) has written a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray calling for the Bureau to take its proposed rule to ban arbitration clauses that prevent consumers from bringing class-action lawsuits even further by prohibiting businesses from using forced arbitration in individual cases.“Few practices are as fundamentally contrary to the public interest as the increasingly widespread use of these ‘ripoff clauses’ that impose forced arbitration in most consumer financial contracts, including credit cards, student loans, debt settlement, credit repair, auto financing, and payday loans,” the coalition wrote. “These clauses force consumers into a secretive, unfair system set up by corporations to protect and hide harmful and unlawful corporate behavior. Not only does forced arbitration eliminate the right to jury trial in a civil action, limit discovery, restrict or prohibit publicity, and make meaningful appeal impossible; these clauses also often prohibit consumers from banding together in a class action to hold the company responsible.”Also in the letter, the coalition noted that “The CFPB’s rulemaking is in keeping with other recent federal government actions that curb the use of forced arbitration. The CFPB itself implemented a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that prohibits forced arbitration of disputes related to most mortgage and home equity loans.”“Few practices are as fundamentally contrary to the public interest as the increasingly widespread use of these ‘ripoff clauses’…”Coalition of 160 OrganizationsIn October 2015, the Bureau announced that it was considering a proposal that would prevent consumer financial companies from using “free pass” arbitration clauses that would prevent consumers from bringing class action lawsuits to obtain relief. The CFPB said these arbitration clauses are typically buried in contracts for consumer financial products and deny consumers the right to sue companies in groups. According to CFPB, companies can use the “free pass” to avoid class action lawsuits from consumers that would require them to hand out big refunds.In a speech at the American Constitution Society in Washington, D.C. in February 2016, Cordray doubled down on the CFPB’s move to ban arbitration clauses. Cordray said in that address that mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses are “deliberately designed to block Americans from effective means of vindicating their rights” and are “having profound effects on American life.”Click here to view the coalition’s letter, along with a list of the groups involved. April 29, 2016 542 Views Coalition to CFPB: Strengthen Arbitration Clause Ban
Share Fannie Mae Flood Insurance Freddie Mac House Financial Services Committee 2016-04-29 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News A House Win For State Insurers The House Financial Services Committee unanimously passed a bill this week that lifts certain restrictions placed on insurance companies by the federal government and gives states more flexibility to license and regulate private flood insurance.The H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, authorizes state insurance commissioners to approve flood insurance policies for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other federally-backed mortgages. In addition, the bipartisan bill encourages the development of a robust private flood insurance market that offers homeowners more pricing and coverage options.The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Dennis Ross (R-Florida) and Patrick Murphy (D-Florida) and passed on a 419-0 vote.Ross stated in his House floor speech that regulatory restrictions along with the bias of regulators favoring National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies have prevented the development of a private flood insurance marketplace, and this was “an unintended consequence.”“While the NFIP is limited in what its policies cover, the private sector is not. The private sector is also in a better position to provide stronger incentives for property owners to invest in mitigation and resiliency. Ultimately, this increased emphasis on mitigation will benefit homeowners and taxpayers alike,” he said.Although the bill is specifically for Florida homeowners, Ross stated that homeowners all over the U.S. could benefit from flood insurance reform.“Floridians and all Americans across the country would greatly benefit from more choices when it comes to flood insurance policies, and private competition in this market will lead to greater innovation and more affordable and comprehensive policies for consumers,” Ross stated.Murphy added, “This bill is a win-win for Florida families, giving them more options for flood insurance coverage and bringing down the cost of policies. It was great to see our legislation pass with unanimous support, and I urge the Senate to swiftly follow suit.” April 29, 2016 499 Views
While rents largely stabilized in November, the acceleration of housing prices moved at its fastest clip since August 2006, according to Zillow’s year-end look at the U.S. market.This acceleration, said Zillow’s chief economist Svenja Gudell, is not completely a good thing because it is due less to natural economic growth than to tight inventories that drive up prices through competition.As of November, there were 1,422,084 homes listed for sale nationwide, Gudell said. That’s a 6 percent drop-off from a year ago; and inventory fell year-over-year in November in 27 of the largest 35 metros.According to Zillow, home values rose 6.5 percent year-over-year in November, to a median $192,500. They rose half a percentage point from October for the 52nd consecutive month.At the same time, rents rose 1.5 percent over the past year, as the number of homes for sale nationwide fell 5.9 for the 22nd consecutive month. Eventually, Gudell said, the crush of renters looking to buy could create even bigger demand.Of course, not all markets in the country are shrinking. But even there, the future isn’t quite as clear as you might expect.“Even in those markets in which inventory rose,” Gudell said, “it’s likely more because it couldn’t realistically fall much lower. Inventory in Las Vegas, for example, rose 26 percent year-over-year in November, to 13,659 homes for sale,” she said. “That’s a big jump, but even after that bump, Las Vegas inventory remains more than 44 percent below recent peak levels reached in mid-2011.”In all 35 of the largest metros analyzed, she said, inventory in November was more than 25 percent below highs reached since January 2010.Apart from inventory shortfalls, a driver for accelerating home prices has been local dynamics in the market. Or, rather, markets.“The U.S. housing market is really just a collection of dozens of smaller local markets that are all moving up and down to varying degrees,” Gudell said. “[These markets are] driven by various local factors including the health of their local economy and local supply and demand dynamics.”An improving national jobs picture, particularly in most large metros, has driven prices up as well, she said. Markets in which the pace of appreciation has picked up include Seattle, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Orlando. Areas growing at a slower pace include the Bay Area, Miami, Texas (Austin, Houston, and Dallas) and Denver. December 22, 2016 518 Views in Daily Dose, Data, News Home Price Appreciation Housing Inventory Housing Supply 2016-12-22 Seth Welborn Here is What is Moving Home Prices Upward Share
in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Congress Disaster flood Natural Disasters NFIP 2019-05-30 Mike Albanese May 30, 2019 310 Views Post updated at 8:31 a.m. on Friday, May 31The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) received a last-minute extension Thursday evening, preventing the program from lapsing.The Advocate reports Congress is expected to pass yet another extension–the 12th in two years–on Monday when it returns from its recess. The anticipated extension set for Monday would extend the program to September as Congress discusses a long-term solution.The NFIP covers 5 million policyholders in flood-prone areas.The program was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 31, and two prior attempts to extend the program failed. The Senate had approved two bills to extend the program: the first is part of the disaster relief legislative package that would extend the NFIP through Sept. 30, and the second would provide a two-week extension.Two prior attempts to gain unanimous consent were block by representatives Chip Roy (R-Texas), Thomas MaThe National Association of Home Builders states that Congress requires all properties with the 100-year floodplain purchase with a federally-backed mortgage to carry flood insurance. A short-term shutdown means insurers and insurance agents cannot sell or renew flood insurance policies back by the program because of lack of government funding. The results could mean new or renewing federal flood insurance policies not be written during the lapse.The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2578 earlier in April, which would have extended the NFIP’s authorization to September 30.“The NFIP plays an important role in disaster preparedness and resiliency by providing flood maps, setting standards for floodplain management, and investing in mitigation for our homes, businesses, and infrastructure. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, everyone is at risk of flooding,” said Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee. “That means that this is not just a coastal issue—we all have an interest in ensuring a strong National Flood Insurance Program. Share National Flood Insurance Program Given Last-Minute Extension
U.S.: Fire at Washington warehouse causes US$8M in … You might also be interested in NZ: T&G Global’s profits drop despite revenue … From the pages of Produce Business UKWith the right support from government, retailers and continued investment in new technologies, English Apples & Pears (EAP) has an ambitious vision to make 60 percent of all apples on UK supermarket shelves British by 2030, up from 42 percent currently. Produce Business UK takes a closer look at what a greater volume of a wider variety of locally grown, affordable, healthy, snacking apples would mean for retailers and their shoppers, and how it can be achieved.More volume, wider varietyEAP’s strategy is designed to help British growers increase their market share by delivering the high quality and tasty apples and pears that British consumers want. Firstly, that means retailers and their shoppers would benefit from the introduction of a wider range of apples with preferred eating attributes – red or bi-colored, juicy, crunchy and sweet, EAP’s Operations Director Sarah Calcutttells PBUK. Added to that, these modern, multi-purpose dessert apples would grow well under the UK climate, have better disease-resistance and store well. This, Calcutt reveals, would take availability of British apples into a post-Easter sales window; extending the marketplace and giving the industry more scope to sell a greater volume. With 192,000 tonnes of British apples produced in 2018, a 20 percent increase over the next 10 years represents a strong commitment. “The UK has moved into growing Gala, Braeburn and lots of other interesting red dessert varieties, like Jazz,” Calcutt explains.“Now there are lots of varietal options for growers to produce more fruit per hectare. There are some really great varieties coming through.”Calcutt says such varieties include: Envy, Sweetie, Evelina, Red Prince and Magic Star, also known as Kentish Kiss, when retailed in Tesco.“Magic Star has a really good marketing plan,” points out Calcutt. “It’s a variety that’s grown Europe-wide and it’s going international, which means you can have a 12-month sales programme. It grows in great, high-quality volumes and it stores really well, so it’s delivering for both growers and consumers.“The hunt is on for that kind of variety – that grows well, in good volume, at a low rate of input, which stores well and has a long sales window.” Already, British apple sales have grown by 40 percent in volume since 2009 thanks to this varietal shift. With continued investment, Robert Rendall, EAP Promotional Committee Member and PeakeFruit Managing Director, believes the industry will go on delivering what consumers want. “We look at consumer trends, and we know that generally people want red, juicy, crunchy and sweet apples,” Rendall explains.“Growers are continuing to invest in new orchards and new varieties in order to deliver that uniquely delicious Great British apple. We need Government to deliver bespoke R&D funding in order to speed up that investment, helping us to grow more of the apples that people want.”Local production, better flavorA larger supply of British apples also would help address Brexit-related challenges with regards to food availability in the UK, where food comes from and what it will be worth.“There is a very big swell of support for British, and we really welcome it,” Calcutt states. “We’re going to need to feed our own population in next few years.“This is about providing healthy, locally grown food for our population. Retailers will have a supply base of growers with whom they have a good relationship on their doorstep.” Ali Capper, EAP’s Executive Chair, agrees: “More and more people love apples and want to buy British, and we’re determined to grow our industry to help as many people as possible enjoy the fruit they love.” Added to that, Calcutt says the British maritime climate impacts positively on the flavor of home-grown apples to create a point of difference.“We have a slightly longer, slower growing season than other countries, which imparts good flavor in the fruit,” she affirms.“This campaign will continue to deliver a consistent message that British apples are high quality. They’re affordable and, thanks to our maritime climate, taste better than apples from anywhere else.” Healthy, convenient snackAs well as planting varieties that appeal from a flavor perspective, EAP is closely following market trends to design its consumption promotions around key consumer demands.“There’s a huge interest in ‘Britishness,’ and health is high on the agenda,” notes Capper. “We know consumers are seeking out products that are good for the environment and easy to eat on the go. Great British Apples tick all the boxes.”The plan therefore is to promote British apples as the ideal healthy, convenient snack. To that end, EAP is continuing its work with marketing specialists Richmond & Towers, who will deliver strategic direction and day-to-day press office operations.“We’re looking at how apples address key trends,” Calcutt reveals. “The apple is the ultimate portable snack and under 100 calories. It’s quite a gift to the health conscious. “This campaign is very much about how convenient it is to take an apple with you … and how it’s good for you.”To back this up, Calcutt discloses that EAP is compiling a “big body” of research. “There are lots of questions our consumers are asking: How are apples good for you? Are they high in fibre? Are they good for your teeth? and so on. And we have the answers.”EAP is also working with social media influencers who are sampling British apples and sharing lifestyle shots of on-the-go snacking.“If you look at our Instagram account, you’ll see high traffic,” Calcutt says. “One of our supporters took British apples with him on a modeling shoot, which got great traction. For Generation Z, this is a lifestyle they aspire to.”And while recipes will not be the primary focus of the campaign, Calcutt notes that EAP already has many “very good recipes” in its marketing collateral. These suggest how consumers can use apples throughout three meals a day, and tap into healthy snacking (Jazz) and versatility (Bramley).Targeted promotions January 21 , 2019 To further drive shoppers to choose and support British apples, EAP will be rolling out promotions targeted to specific consumer groups and their interests.“We’re looking at a campaign which will face a range of consumers: Millennials, Gen X, Gen Z, and how we’re going to reach them on different platforms,” Calcutt explains. “For example, when it comes to healthy eating and healthy aging, we’ll be following different trends and using different wording.”To that end, EAP will commission surveys, talking to UK consumers about their purchasing drivers for British apples.EAP is also debating on how to engage with the environmentally conscious consumer.“We haven’t made a decision on how we’ll quantify that message beyond saying British apples are home-grown and have not traveled a great distance,” informs Calcutt. “It’s something we’re discussing in our board meetings.”Detailed purchase-point informationAt the point of purchase, EAP will continue to deliver meaningful information via its retail partners to help distinguish British apples and their added value.“We have been doing a huge amount of work with the retailers through EAP’s grower board and our promotional marketing committee,” Calcutt reports. “It has really yielded results, but we want to do more.”One output of the retail work has seen Marks & Spencer include the words ‘Best Cooking Apple’ on its PLU stickers for Bramley apples.Plus, Calcutt says Ocado has introduced “really brilliant” drop-down banner adverts about ‘Great British Apples’ that detail the health benefits of apples, and the distinct characteristics of different varieties.“EAP is also sharing [with retailers] our marketing collateral and recipes for Great British Apples,” Calcutt adds. Modern growing techniques, improved productivity At a grower level, new technologies, modern growing systems and new varieties are being researched and implemented to increase supply.Chris Baker, a director at grower Wye Fruit, explains: “We will continue to invest in new, advanced approaches to enable us to grow more of the best tasting apples in the world, and deliver significant environmental benefits at the same time.”Specifically speaking, Calcutt says the industry is investing in technology to store apples for longer, and looking at growing systems that don’t require ladders for harvesting. Many growers are investing in labor-saving devices such as small carriages that carry bins around the orchard, as well as trailers and platforms with conveyers to reduce worker stress and raise productivity. Additionally, the industry is searching for varieties that are cheaper to grow and more environmentally friendly because of better disease resistance, as well as varieties that present fruit better for faster picking and reduced labor costs.Calcutt says there is also a “huge amount” of research into synchronising the pollination of trees by having the correct number of insects in the orchards at the right time. This would save growers money by enabling fruit to mature at the same rate and to be picked together. Ultimately, it would ensure the apples delivered to the store are all at the same level of maturity. Limitations of funding, laborAll this requires investment, however, which is why EAP is lobbying for the continuation of both match funded investment schemes and Producer Organisation (PO) funding.“We have reassurance from Government that they will commit to POs until the end of 2022,” Calcuttnotes.“As for what comes next, there’s a lot of debate and discussion. We’ve had some fairly positive indications that strategic industry investment schemes will be possible. “Investment in collaborative R&D is the way forward. The PO scheme has absolutely transformed the fruit farms that have been involved, although it has had its challenges.”Indeed, Capper describes funding as “vital” for the longevity of the sector.“[Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] Michael Gove has promised to put POs at the top of his list,” she says. “It’s a very simple scheme that’s delivering great bang for buck.”But without access to labor, Calcutt warns that none of the above will matter.“This absolutely hinges on our access to people that can come and work,” she stresses. “Or we will not be able to pick the crop.” In an average year, EAP states the British horticultural industry employs 80,000 people in harvesting-related jobs. This year, there was a deficit of 10,000 workers. “We’re asking Government for an immigration strategy which allows us to access skilled, seasonal workers, and for an extension of the [new, pilot] Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme for non-EU workers.” Moreover, Calcutt stresses that the longer-term opportunity is being overlooked. “We are in danger of losing a generation of packhouse managers, line managers etc.,” she points out. “There is no college course in the UK that is matching what we need for the physical jobs on the ground.”To address the issue, EAP commissioned a labor survey, which it has sent to Defra, in addition to requesting a consultation on labor skills. Although there are constraints on what can be announced at this point, Calcutt believes the industry is “getting somewhere”.“Clearly, there is much still to do, but a lot is going on, and we already have a really good, ongoing dialogue with Defra,” she says. “We are definitely being listened to, and our data is being looked at in the right way.” Argentine apple campaign off to a positive start … NZ now forecasting smaller apple crop than 2018 du …
CanadaClub Medski Club Med will be bringing its all-inclusive mountain holiday offering to Eastern Canada, in the heart of the renowned Charlevoix ski region of Quebec, with a new resort due to open by the end of 2020.Together with Groupe Le Massif the resort will be situated at the highest point of the ski region, offering spectacular waterfront views overlooking the Saint Laurence River and, as the first Club Med mountain resort in North America, Club Med says Le Massif, Charlevoix promises to be awe-inspiring with a picturesque setting, an outstanding line-up of activities, excellent food and unsurpassed reputation for service.“Club Med is the world leader in all-inclusive mountain hotels and resorts. With more than 20 sites already established in France, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and China, we’re excited to add Quebec, Canada, to the list,” said Xavier Mufraggi, President and CEO, Club Med North America.“Each season will reveal the wonders of this natural site, offering our international clientele a place of beauty to discover. This project also serves as a strategic symbol of rapid growth around the world for Club Med, with fifteen openings taking place in 2019, representing one to two mountain resort openings per year.”The project represents a $120 million investment with the objective of developing 300 rooms including a combination of Club, Deluxe and Luxury spaces. The future resort promises to be a haven for families, couples and groups, with spaces provided to accommodate seminars and events.IMAGE: Le Massif, Charlevoix
Rocky Mountaineer is offering guests booking the 2019 Classic Journey savings of AUD$320 AUD per couple on a four-day/three-night trip on Rocky Mountaineer in GoldLeaf Service. Valid for new bookings only and now extended to 28 February 2019. Guests on First Passage to the Wet travel between Vancouver and Banff and are treated to two luxurious days onboard the train and 3 nights of accommodation in Vancouver, Kamloops and Banff, with highlights including the legendary Spiral Tunnels The Journey through the Clouds travels between Vancouver and Jasper, where guests enjoy two days onboard the train, staying overnight in Vancouver, Kamloops and Jasper and witness highlights including Pyramid Falls.Guests looking to add value to their booked trip on Rocky Mountaineer can earn $550 towards an extra experience, activity or over-night stay with the Stay and Play offer. The credit, worth up to $550 per couple, can be redeemed when a couple books a 2019 minimum four-night Rocky Mountaineer package before 31 March 2019. The credit can be put towards a variety of luxurious add-ons, including extra hotel nights in Seattle, Vancouver or Calgary, additional Rocky Mountaineer routes as well as once in a lifetime activities and tours.Rocky Mountaineer’s two special offers are available on selected 2019 packages, and departure dates and are not eligible to be combined into one booking. CanadadiscountsoffersrailRocky Mountaineer
2020 AsiaasiaTrafalgar Halong BayTrafalgar has released its 2020 Asia itineraries, with the addition of nine new trips, building on the customer demand for more itineraries that uncover the real Asia.New additions for 2020 include the Saigon and Bangkok Explorer, an exciting new trip in its City Explorer series, allowing guests to do a deep dive into the sights and cultures of these two epic Asian metropolises. Available as a 9-day stand-alone trip or with the 3-day Phuket extension, this trip allows guests to gain an intimate understanding of each city, exploring it at a more leisurely pace, cutting down on inter-destination travel. This City Explorer includes experiences such as Be My Guest dining featuring a farm-to-table lunch on an organic farm outside Ho Chi Minh and a trip to the former home of American businessman Jim Thompson who revitalised the Thai silk industry in the 50s and 60s, including a visit to the factory to understand the skill that goes into making these luxurious textiles.“We are so excited to be unlocking more of Asia in 2020, with our 9 new trips being a reflection of how much our guests love exploring Asia with Trafalgar” said Janice Farnum, the brand’s Director of Product for Asia and Africa. “With four nights in each destination, one of my personal favourites, which I know guests will love, is our new Saigon and Bangkok Explorer. They can settle into the rhythm of these iconic cities and really feel like a local – which is what we’re all about” she said.The brand also continues to stay true to its commitment to using travel as a force for good, by including at least one JoinTrafalagar experience on every Asia trip, where guests make a meaningful difference in the places they visit – such as enjoying a performance by a group of blind youth musicians that supports the work of the Ho Chi Minh Blind Centre to provide training and opportunities for the visually impaired and a moving visit to the Tibetan Refugee Center in Darjeeling. As part of the company’s core mission to incorporate sustainable practices into all facets of their business model, the brand is making travel matter on their trips and across their supply chain, including the goal to become plastic free by 2022 under the guidance of their parent company The Travel Corporation.Also new in 2020, Trafalgar guests will experience local life with a family during the internationally adored Holi festival on our Colourful India – Celebrate Holi trip. Trafalgar is also extending its Be My Guest series, featuring a brand new Japanese Kaiseki and Tea Experience, where guests take part in a Yamato tea drinking ceremony with a local family, before visiting their beautiful mountainside tea plantation.“With the colours of Holi, our incredible Be My Guests, our wonderful Travel Directors and experiences that ignite the senses, Trafalgar Asia 2020 offers more for guests than ever before. And with JoinTrafalgar initatives on all our Asia itineraries, I’m proud we can enable guests to make a positive impact in the places we visit. It’s a travel experience you cannot get elsewhere.” said Ms Farnham.
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Vereen is adequately built but with short arms, small hands and a smaller than desired frame, there are concerns about if he can play safety in the NFL because of his physique. He’s not quite long enough to cover NFL tight ends, meaning he may not be more than a nickel-type corner.Vereen is an outstanding special teams player who will make it to and succeed in the NFL because of it, but the question is if he can he be more than that.Day three prospect Comments Share The Arizona Cardinals’ scouting tour began in full force at the NFL Combine, but the whirlwind truly picked up Monday as the team was in attendance of their first team Pro Day of the scouting season at the University of Minnesota for a closer look and discussions with the Golden Gophers.While Minnesota isn’t a hot bed for college football prospects, they do have two names Cardinals fans need to know about. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Ra’Shede Hageman, DL 6-6 310lbsOne of the bigger physical freaks in this draft season, the question with Hageman is if his game will ever match up to his eye-popping physique and athletic prowess.Long limbed and broad chested, Hageman possess a rare combination of length and power in his upper body.At times he is dominatingly quick off the snap and can penetrate and disrupt with ease.Hageman lined up at every position in the Minnesota defensive front four and won. Whether it was rushing the passer as a defensive end lined up out wide or playing in a two-gapping run defense, stacking a shedding double teams of guards and centers, Hageman has experience and experienced success all over the line.The problem with Hageman is he doesn’t win consistently enough, but instead has flurries of dominance mixed with gaps of being invisible, being washed out and down, and just not being a factor enough.Day one prospectBrock Vereen, S 6-0 199lbsThe fluid Vereen is an interesting prospect because he offers the versatility that defensive coordinator Todd Bowles loves.Lining up at both safety and cornerback throughout his career, he has displayed good range and solid coverage ability in man and a good understanding of zone concepts. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo David Johnson gets 15 straight 100 plus yards from scrimmage and ties Barry Sanders record. #AZCardinals win over SEA #BirdGang #ARIvsSEA pic.twitter.com/k4iVDoT1tt— 🚨 Ronnie Laybold 🐾 (@YotesHereToStay) December 25, 2016When in doubt, Carson Palmer went with what he knew with the Cardinals trailing and only a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.After the Seattle Seahawks had tied the game with a touchdown and missed extra point Saturday at CenturyLink Field, the Arizona quarterback threw seven passes at five different receivers. The three he completed were to his two favorite targets — Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson. Seattle Seahawks’ Ahtyba Rubin, left, and Bobby Wagner tackle Arizona Cardinals’ David Johnson on a carry by Johnson in the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Comments Share Earlier in the fourth, Johnson ripped off a 33-yard jaunt that pushed him over the 2,000 yards from scrimmage barrier, a first for a Cardinal.And before that, Johnson’s first touchdown broke a team record for the most total for a season, and by the end of the night, his 20 for the season surpassed the previous record of 17 set by John David Crow. Johnson, the second-year pro out of Northern Iowa, has 33 touchdowns in his first 31 games with one game against the Rams remaining on the year.“It does really mean a lot, especially since all the success is due to the guys up front,” Johnson said of the broken franchise records. “You know Carson (Palmer) believing in me, throwing me the ball. BA (Bruce Arians) putting me in those situations where I could help out the team.” By that point, Johnson was at risk of ending his streak of 14 straight games of 100 or more yards from scrimmage. He had 98 total yards, 95 of which came on the ground, where he had already scored three touchdowns.But it was Johnson going into full wide receiver mode that helped Arizona win and led the running back to close with 136 total yards, tying Barry Sanders for the most consecutive 100-yard games in NFL history.On 2nd-and-10 with 55 seconds left, Palmer found Johnson for 13 yards to break the 100-yard mark.Later, with Arizona at its own 38-yard line, he caught a 29-yard reception with safety Kam Chancellor in coverage. Johnson looked more receiver than running back on the play.Johnson read the short throw and came back to make the grab.“I was going to throw it deep, but as soon as I saw Kam out there, you could tell right when Dave got off the ball, Kam just turned and sprinted for the goal,” Palmer said after the game. “Just give him a chance to make a back-shoulder throw [catch]. There’s not many running backs…it’s a tough ball for receivers to catch; there’s definitely not many running backs who can make that play.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact RB @DavidJohnson31 now w 33 TDs in 31 career games; Only Jim Brown, Gale Sayers & Edgerrin James with more thru 1st 31 games #AZvsSEA pic.twitter.com/ZMFlJYE5W2— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) December 25, 2016 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling #Cardinals David Johnson beating #Seahawks Kam Chancellor is pure life. pic.twitter.com/LIputmrDoK— Matt Johnson (@MattJ_Sports) December 25, 2016Four plays and one Fitzgerald catch later, kicker Chandler Catanzaro hastily got his unit on the field for a 43-yard, game-winning field goal with the clock expired. Top Stories
That’s not going to be the case in 2018.“I’m pretty excited about it. I remember how it well it worked when we went 13-3 when (center) A.Q. (Shipley) was back there running the fullback,” left tackle D.J. Humphries said. “So I’m pretty excited to see how it’s going to work for us as far as full-time.”Though Ramesh is an undrafted rookie out of out of Wisconsin, Coleman is entering his sixth season in the NFL. He joined the Cardinals after spending last season with the Falcons, which came on the heels of a four-year stint in Seattle.Last year, Atlanta had the No. 13 rushing attack in terms of total yards yet averaged 4.3 yards per carry, which tied for third-best in the league.By comparison, the Cardinals ranked 30th and 31st, respectively, in the same categories.Not to say Coleman is the answer to the Cardinals’ run game issues, but his addition certainly can’t hurt.Also, Johnson is healthy. He was not last season, a fact that can’t be ignored when looking at the rushing numbers from a year ago.Johnson’s ability to run with the football was one of the things Wilks singled out after Day 1 of OTAs.“Just his movement. His ability to be able to play with vision. Make the cut. Get vertical. Also, when you look to put him out in space, some of the things he does out there,” Wilks said. “Again, I think he is an every down back. That’s a major plus at this level. It’s great to see him out there working.” TEMPE, Ariz. – Standing at his locker following the first day of organized team activities, Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson was asked how he felt about the team’s newest feature, one not seen in the previous five seasons: The fullback.“It’s nice to always have more blockers in the run game,” he said, smiling. “I’m excited.”And why wouldn’t Johnson be. The idea of having another body move would-be tacklers out of the way and help open up running lanes should make any running back happy. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “I think it’s always a plus when you got somebody to be able to take the brunt of the punishment or the blow first,” head coach Steve Wilks said. “I think (Johnson) is going to benefit.”Wilks’ predecessor, Bruce Arians, did not believe in the fullback position.When Arians was hired in 2013 one of the first personnel moves the Cardinals made was trading the one fullback on the roster, Anthony Sherman, to Kansas City for cornerback Javier Arenas.The fullback wasn’t seen again in Tempe until the recent signings of Derrick Coleman and Austin Ramesh.“I think it makes my job a little bit easier,” Johnson said. “Having those guys being able to pick up linebackers or d-ends or anybody on the defensive side makes my read a little bit easier.”Related LinksCardinals’ Markus Golden on his ACL rehab: ‘I’ll be out there soon’Cardinals hit the field for OTAs; David Johnson, Josh Rosen impressThe adjustment with a fullback sharing the backfield will be minimal, according to Johnson, who did run behind a fullback in college.“Last year, we didn’t have a designated fullback but our tight ends did the job,” he said. “This time we’ll have someone actually in there to block. It’s not going to change much.”To be fair, the Cardinals did line up with a fullback a handful of times under Arians, typically in goal line or short yardage situations. But that fullback usually was an extra offensive lineman. Of course, what Wilks and everyone else are seeing right now is players practicing in helmets and shorts. The pads won’t come until training camp, when a better representation of the Cardinals offense will be on display.Still, what Johnson has seen on the field so far has him excited.“Very excited. It’s a good offense. All the new guys are doing really well,” he said. “I love Sam (Bradford) at quarterback. He’s being a great quarterback, great leader. Already telling guys, everyone what they’re doing. Already teaching and coaching everyone. I’m very excited about this offense, for sure.“It’s going to be a good year I feel like.” Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 7 Comments Share Arizona Cardinals’ David Johnson (31) runs during an organized team activity at the NFL football team’s training facility, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Gary Marshall experiences Sydney fine dining with an iconic view. Altitude is a lofty word, often used to convey both height and aspiration. Altitude Restaurant at Sydney’s Shangri-La Hotel has both in abundance; it presents diners with an awe-inspiring view from high above the skyline and some of most refined Australian cuisine.Through the restaurant’s full-height glass windows from 36 storeys up, Sydney Harbour acts as the perfect backdrop for Chef Nathan Giffin’s masterful creations. He and his team utilise local and organic ingredients to craft an ever-changing menu. The focus is on a European cooking style that provides inventive yet hearty dishes, combining contrasting and complementary tastes to stunning effect.With everything on the menu from freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters to a Glenloth duck with burnt apple purée, cider-braised endive, figs and pear, there is something for all tastes and moods. To finish, the desserts are traditional, yet explorative, and there is a selection of fine cheeses that is truly impressive.The combined immersive ambience, spectacular dishes and handpicked wine from local producers has paid off. Altitude Restaurant is not just the talk of the town in Sydney; it’s also the recipient of Three Chef Hats in 2013 and Tourism Australia’s Best Restaurant award, both of which recognise the restaurant’s experience and sense of culinary adventure. From a special occasion to a place to seal a deal, Altitude Restaurant is one of the world’s finest, truly worthy of its lofty title.
Go back to the e-newsletter >Michelin-starred chef, Pierre Gagnaire, has been appointed to lead La Maison 1888, the number one gourmet destination in Vietnam.La Maison 1888 is located on the grounds of InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. The restaurant focuses on French dining and was the first in Vietnam to feature a Michelin-starred chef.Chef Gagnaire said: “The InterContinental and I share a vision. It is not just mine. I bring my style of cooking but together we create the experience. The menu is a link between my philosophy, my style of cooking and this country. The culinary culture here in Vietnam is precise and elegant.”La Maison 1888 has been featured in Architectural Digest’s Top Ten list of most beautifully designed new restaurants. Guests can relax in the Buffalo Bar for a pre-dinner cocktail or glass of vintage champagne, before being escorted to their dining table. Afterwards, guests can select a post-dinner drink from the extensive menu of aged whiskies and infused vodkas on the terrace, with views over the resort and the East Sea. The exclusive wine cellar offers one of the best collections in the region, including rare vintages.Go back to the e-newsletter >
Go back to the e-newsletterCathay Pacific has unveiled a new lounge experience for passengers travelling from Vancouver International Airport from 4 May 2016. Located in the International Terminal, between departure gates D66 and D67, the new lounge adopts the airline’s contemporary and elegant design template, which has already been rolled out in Cathay Pacific lounges in Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Taipei and Haneda Airport.The new lounge measures 510 square metres, with a seating capacity of 108 people offering a supremely comfortable exclusive environment of understated luxury in which passengers can relax before their flight out of Vancouver.Designed by Studioilse, the London-based design firm led by Ilse Crawford, the new lounge features warm, natural materials like wood and stone, alongside softened acoustics and lighting, to create an environment that helps passengers feel relaxed by engaging the senses and focusing on wellbeing as a core principle.“We aim to offer the very best traveller experience when flying Cathay Pacific and we believe this spectacular new lounge is a reflection of how important this market is to the airline,” says Nick Hays, Cathay Pacific’s Vice President Canada. “We hope our guests will enjoy taking in the iconic views of Vancouver’s coastal mountains as they say farewell to the city and use this space as a tranquil haven that sets the mood for their outbound flights to New York, Hong Kong, China or beyond to our global network.”Cherry wood walls and a limestone floor are framed with details such as glazed screens and green ceramic tiles in The Noodle Bar, bronze and brass highlights in the main entrance and bar area. An abundance of plants adds colour to the space and specially sourced artwork reflects the local culture of BC – giving the feel of a comfortable domestic space rather than a standard airline lounge.Natural sunlight filters through the windows; bespoke chairs and side tables with in-built lamps and sockets are placed by the glass so passengers can enjoy views of the airport runway and mountains beyond. Business travellers can take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the lounge and three individual workstations with iMacs and printers in The Bureau.Dining is a focal part of the Cathay Pacific lounge experience and Vancouver’s lounge features the signature Noodle Bar, which offers a selection of soup including wonton noodle soup, dan dan noodle soup and authentic Hong Kong-style fish ball noodle soup. Another dining highlight is The Pantry, where passengers can enjoy cold cuts, a selection of cheese, salads, western hot food, fruits, desserts and tapas.The new lounge in Vancouver is designed to reflect the Cathay Pacific brand experience and to offer passengers both relaxation and enjoyment, whether they are returning home to Hong Kong or travelling beyond to China or Greater Asia.The lounge is open to First and Business Class passengers travelling on Cathay Pacific and members of the Marco Polo Club with Silver Card status or above and members of all tiers who earn lounge passes and/or their friends and family, including oneworld members with Sapphire status or above. The Cathay Pacific Lounge is open daily from 10.30am to 3.00pm and 8.00pm to 2.00am, but adjusted seasonally according to the Cathay Pacific flight schedule.With the opening of the new lounge, the previous Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge will close to passengers on 3 May, 2016.Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the enewsletterHolland America Line has taken delivery of its 15th vessel, Nieuw Statendam, at a hand-over ceremony at ship builder Fincantieri’s Marghera, Italy, shipyard. The Pinnacle Class Nieuw Statendam is setting sail for Venice, en route to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, for its Premiere Voyage with guests departing 5 December 2018.Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line PresidentThe delivery was attended by Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president; Carnival Corporation’s Micky Arison, Chairman of the Board, and Arnold Donald, President and CEO; and Stein Kruse, CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, and several other executives from both companies also attended.“Today the Holland America Line family celebrates the addition of Nieuw Statendam to our fleet, and it’s a proud moment for everyone involved,” said Ashford. “Nieuw Statendam represents our continued evolution of adding exciting new experiences while maintaining the hallmarks that have made Holland America Line a leader in premium cruising.”Following its transatlantic crossing from Civitavecchia, Nieuw Statendam will spend a full season in the Caribbean sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. Nieuw Statendam‘s official naming ceremony will take place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 2 February.The ship will head to its summer homeport of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in May and sail a series of northern Europe, Baltic and Iceland cruises before making its way to the Mediterranean in September for cruises out of Civitavecchia.The 99,902-tonne vessel accommodates 2,666 guests and is the ultimate expression of the Holland America Line brand. The ship features purpose-built staterooms for families and solo travellers among its 1,377 guest accommodations.Niuew Statendam during sea trials in August 2018While much of the ship’s design will be similar to Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship, Nieuw Statendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten. The ship will feature grand, light-filled spaces, visual drama and sumptuous interiors inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments.Onboard entertainment features the innovative Music Walk offering a variety of authentic live musical experiences and genres unlike any other at sea. These include the debut of the new Rolling Stone Rock Room with classic rock hits; Lincoln Center Stage, with chamber music; Billboard Onboard, with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage and expanded seating on Nieuw Statendam, even more guests will enjoy spectacular performances with panoramic visuals and sound effects.More at hollandamerica.com.Lead image: Nieuw Statendam in Fincantieri ShipyardGo back to the enewsletter
Hong Kong – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineToday, Firestone Management Group, a boutique private jet advisory practice focused on assisting multinational private jet organizations interested in penetrating the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific, releases a current report on the private jet landscape within the Republic of India. This is the inaugural issue of a bi-annual report on India from the Firestone Management Group.As of March 15, 2011 there are currently a combined total of 136 private jets registered in India made by the following private jet manufacturers:-Hawker Beechcraft leads the industry with 35 private jets registered representing 26 percent of the entire installed base.-Cessna Aircraft Company closely follows with 31 private jets currently registered in the country, representing 23 percent of the installed base.-Bombardier has 24 private jets representing 18 percent of the installed base.-Dassault Falcon Jet has 17 private jets representing 13 percent of the total installed base.-Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has 15 private jets equaling 11 percent of the total installed base.-Embraer, Boeing, and Airbus have yet to reach double digits with 9, 3 and 2 private jets respectively.Of the combined total of 136 private jets, 95 were manufactured less than 10 years ago, representing nearly 70 percent of the current installed base of aircraft currently registered in India. In the last 36 months alone, 43 jets have been added to the registry representing a 46 percent growth.“The growth opportunity for private jet manufacturers to deliver their products into India is tremendous,” says Justin Firestone, managing director of Firestone Management Group. “As the world’s largest democracy, the second most populous country and one of the fastest growing major economies, this quantitative data indicates India is clearly embracing the need for safe and efficient business jet travel.”Data used within this report was collected using AMSTAT, the leading source for worldwide corporate aircraft fleet operator and market information, and other primary and secondary research.www.FirestoneManagementGroup.com
Lupita Nyong’o cheers #Me Too and Time’s Up movements FILE – In this June 13, 2017 file photo, Lupita Nyong’o attends the Women In Film 2017 Crystal and Lucy Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. Nyong’o is hailing the “public, intimate conversation” about sexual misconduct in Hollywood and elsewhere. The 34-year-old actress who wrote an essay in October detailing her experiences with Harvey Weinstein says she’s been happy to see the growth since then of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Says Nyong’o: “I feel like the most important thing is the public, intimate conversation that is happening.” She called it “healthy” and hopes we can get to a place where such incidents “are no longer haunting.” (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Lupita Nyong’o is hailing the “public, intimate conversation” about sexual misconduct in Hollywood and elsewhere.The 34-year-old actress who wrote an essay in October detailing her experiences with Harvey Weinstein said she’s been happy to see the growth since then of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.“It feels like the public story right now is very, very intimate. So whether or not it’s a phone call that I’m receiving, I feel like the most important thing is the public, intimate conversation that is happening,” Nyong’o said Wednesday at the press junket for Marvel’s superhero movie “Black Panther.”“I am very encouraged by how we are all talking about sexual harassment, and just sexual conduct. You know — what are the lines? What are the lines, what are the signs?” Nyong’o said.“I think that’s a very, very healthy conversation for all of us to have — so we can get to a place where those kinds of things are no longer haunting — haunting us.” by Ryan Pearson, The Associated Press Posted Feb 2, 2018 12:43 pm PDT Last Updated Feb 2, 2018 at 1:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email