Sunwing launches not one but two sales to keep the Monday blues

Sunwing launches not one, but two sales to keep the Monday blues away Tags: Promotions, Sunwing Monday, January 15, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Travelweek Group TORONTO — The third Monday of January has been dubbed ‘Blue Monday’, thanks to a combination of post-holiday credit card bills, winter weather and dashed New Year’s resolutions. Sunwing wants to bust those blues with its ‘Blue Monday Buster Sale’, on now through Jan. 19 with savings of up to 60% off all-inclusive vacation packages.The sale applies to top-rated resorts across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. Examples include Memories Splash Punta Cana, home to the Caribbean’s largest on-site water park, El Dorado Sensimar Seaside Suites, a top-rated adults-only property in Riviera Maya, and Royalton Cayo Santa maria in Cuba, also adults only and rated at TripAdvisor’s #1 All Inclusive resort in Cayo Santa Maria.In a recent survey commissioned by Sunwing, it was discovered that 95% of Canadians agree that knowing that a vacation is upcoming brings them joy, and 70% of vacationers said they feel more motivated at work if they know they have a vacation to look forward to.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTTo keep the momentum going for an exceptional New Year, Sunwing has also launched a ‘Buy One Get One at Half Price’ seat sale. Clients who book their flight by Jan. 19 for departures between Feb. 1 and April 30 will receive a second seat at 50% off the normal selling price.Sunwing offers flights to over 50 destinations from 35 departure airports. New travel options for this season include Mont Joli, Quebec and Abbotsford, British Columbia. Travellers can also take advantage of the same savings if they buy flights from Buffalo, NY.Daily service is available to the most popular vacation hotspots like Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic from many major airports. Service onboard Sunwing Airlines includes a welcome sparkling wine toast, complimentary non-alcoholic beverage service, and buy onboard selection of light meals and snacks, including menu choices inspired by Food Network Canada celebrity chef Lynn Crawford. Share read more

Cardona guilty of operating without registration again

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by Share Thursday, February 1, 2018 Tags: TICOcenter_img Cardona guilty of operating without registration, again Francisco (Frank) CardonaTORONTO — Francisco (Frank) Cardona is making headlines again, pleading guilty to and convicted of one count of operating as a travel agent without registration, contrary to section 4(1)(a) of the Travel Industry Act, 2002.Cardona’s sentence includes a fine of $10,000, to be paid within two years, and restitution totalling $4,060.Cardona was also sentenced to year of probation requiring him to report to a probation officer. And before he accepts a job in the travel industry he must inform his prospective employer, in writing, of his conviction under the Travel Industry Act, 2002, plus he has to inform the Registrar, in writing, of the position being offered, the name of the travel agent and the term of employment and provide proof that he has informed his prospective employer of his conviction.Cardona paid $1,500 in restitution payments prior to being sentenced by the court.Cardona was also convicted criminally on Jan.10, 2018 of one count of fraud over $5,000. Sentencing in the criminal matter will be conducted at a later date.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureCardona operated in Toronto. He was previously an outside sales representative for Tri World Travel. Tri World Travel was convicted in September 2017 in relation to actions when Cardona was its outside sales representative.Tri World Travel really hit the consumer headlines after police arrested Cardona in 2016 and charged him with fraud. The travel agency in Toronto’s Bathurst and Eglinton area went belly up right at March Break, leaving more than 80 would-be travellers in the lurch to the tune of more than $100,000.At the time TICO put out a Consumer Alert on Cardona after receiving a number of complaints from consumers who received unauthorized charges on their credit cards after booking travel services with him.In June 2016 TICO charged 1054304 Ontario Limited o/a Tri World Travel (‘Tri World’), a registered travel agent operating in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario and Gary Cristello, Officer/Director of Tri World, under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 (the Act) and Ontario Regulation 26/05 (the Regulation) with several offences including furnishing false information relating to the provision of travel services and failing to hold in trust and deposit customer funds in trust accounts. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Turkey gets a boost from Intrepid with three brand new trips

first_imgTags: Intrepid Travel Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group center_img Turkey gets a boost from Intrepid with three brand new trips TORONTO — Turkey is Intrepid Travel’s fastest-growing destination to date in 2018, with 214% growth in global bookings this year compared to 2017.Intrepid says it’s making the most of Turkey’s travel boom with the launch of three new trips, “promoting travel as a beneficial wealth generator to aid the wounded Turkish economy”. The country is in the midst of a currency crisis.Tourism’s direct GDP contribution in Turkey is predicted to more than double by 8.4% in 2018, ranking Turkey in the top 15 countries dependent on travel and tourism’s absolute contribution to GDP, according to stats from the World Travel and Tourism Council.“Instead of shying away from the country based on current economic relations, Intrepid Travel is increasing operations in Turkey to encourage travellers to visit the beautiful country, year-round,” says Megan Bailey, Director of Sales and Customer Experience for Intrepid Travel in North America.“A record number of travellers are immersing in Turkey’s culture to foster a better understanding of the destination apart from the media headlines. These new trips are a celebration of our travelers’ genuine acceptance of the world we all share, and are, more importantly, helping a country find hope through tourism.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upDeparting in 2019, Intrepid Travel’s new trips to Turkey include the 10-day Turkey Winter Discovery, the eight-day Turkey Highlights and the three-day Taste of Istanbul.Intrepid Travel began operations in Turkey 15 years ago and now offers close to 20 different itineraries to the country, with the addition of these new trips.After doubling its itineraries in 2018, Intrepid now directly employs nearly 30 locals, and indirectly employs hundreds. At present, one-fifth of employment in Turkey is directly or indirectly from the travel and tourism industry, says Intrepid. Tuesday, August 21, 2018 last_img read more

Uniworld U by Uniworld bring back years biggest savings

first_img Thursday, November 1, 2018 TORONTO — Back by popular demand, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and U by Uniworld are once again offering the ‘Our Best Offer’ promotion, which includes the biggest savings of the year on 2019 voyages.Applicable to new bookings made from Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2018, the offer extends to over 40 unique itineraries throughout Europe and Asia, including all five of Uniworld’s brand new itineraries and its exclusive cruise for River Heritage Club members aboard the new S.S. Bon Voyage.“We are gearing up for an exciting year ahead in 2019 with new and enhanced itineraries for both Uniworld and U, our newest Super Ship set to launch in April, and a River Heritage Club reunion cruise planned for June,” says CEO Ellen Bettridge. “We’re thrilled to offer our guests these incredible savings to join in on all of the great updates and classic favourites for 2019.”Guests will receive up to 30% off on over 200 voyages, including select departures on Uniworld’s new and enhanced itineraries for 2019. These include:The new ‘Magnificent Moselle and Rhine’, a 10-day voyage from Frankfurt to Cologne (savings of $1,410 to $1,710 per person)The new ‘Authentic Danube & Prague’, a 10-day voyage from Prague to Vienna aboard the River Princess (savings of $1,500 to $1,860 per person)The new ‘Alluring Amsterdam and Vienna’, a 15-day voyage on the Rhine, Maine and Danube rivers (savings of $2,250 to $2,700 per person)The newly enhanced ‘India’s Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges’, a 13-day land and river journey from New Delhi to Kolkata (savings of $2,700 to $3,900 per person)More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesThe offer also applies to U by Uniworld itineraries, including select departures on its brand new ‘Northern France at a Glance’ itinerary featuring stops in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, Rouen and more (savings of $720 to $1,460 per person).With ‘Our Best Offer’, guests can also save on the new ‘Brilliant Bordeaux’ itinerary and be among the first to sail on Uniworld’s newest Super Ship, the S.S. Bon Voyage, launching in April 2019. Among its many all-inclusive amenities are farm-to-table meals at onboard restaurants, and hosted excursions such as a Saint-Émilion walking discover tour with wine tasting. Guests will also enjoy a reimagined top deck with a new outdoor swimming pool, an outdoor lounge, additional suites and upgraded staterooms, marble bathrooms throughout the ship, and a renovated gym and spa facilities.To celebrate the launch of the S.S. Bon Voyage, Bettridge will host an exclusive reunion cruise for River Heritage Club members on June 30, 2019 onboard the ship. During this eight-day sailing, guests will sail from Bordeaux throughout Southwest France, participate in Q&A sessions with Bettridge, and take part in wine tastings, local village tours, famers’ market visits and biking excursions.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesFor more information go to uniworld.com and ubyuniworld.com. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Tags: Promotions, Uniworld Uniworld & U by Uniworld bring back year’s biggest savingslast_img read more

US Womens Soccer to play Ticas

first_imgFrom the print editionThe world’s top women’s soccer team has selected its first opponent following the Olympics – and it’s Costa Rica. The top-ranked U.S. women’s soccer squad will play Costa Rica in Rochester, New York, on Sept. 1 in a friendly. The U.S. squad plays its quarterfinals match Friday in London. Costa Rica’s women’s soccer team did not qualify for the Olympics. The U.S. lost in the World Cup final last year to Japan. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img

Results in for the National Sailfish Tournament

first_img 600 12000 800 REEL KNOGHTY 100 100 TOTAL Durman Arhtur 600 Perez Juan Ignacio 1200 200 100 300 200 700 1200 Laurencich Alberto Carvajal Manfred 500 100 300 500 DAY 2 200 300 6300 SIRENA 400 100 500 MARTINI Saenz Mario  GurDAYn Ricardo 400 Pinchanski Johnny 400 400 Montealegre Sergio 700 700 Perez Juan Ignacio 400 DAY  1 Gomez Mario 200 800 400 300 300 Molina Jaime 100 100 1200 Guzman Adrian DAY  1 200 100 Dominguez Domingo 100 400 1000 300 200 Saborio Manolo 300 200 300 100 300 300 Liberman Luis 200 TOTAL 200 400 200 Pinto Fernando 300 200 Garro Mauricio 400 Chacon Luis Ml. 100 TOTAL 100 200 Paez Soto Carlos R. 100 200 100 100 Estrada Gustavo 100 200 FIRST ROUND  300 700 NATIONAL MARLIN TOURNAMENT TOTAL 5700 400 Durman George 200 Durman Francis 100 100 FISHING BOATSNATIONAL SAILFISH TOURNAMENT 2013 FIRST ROUND 200 700 Facebook Comments 100 BOAT 100 600 100 Carvajal Rodolfo Montealegre Javier 400 100 Beeche O. Luciano Sesin Orlando 200 Ortiz Henri Paul 300 400 200 100 CERO S TRES 200 400 200 BOREAS 100 Schifter Addy 600 Matera Rafael 600 900 TOTAL Schifter Jose 100 800 5700 6300 200 Gutiérrez Jorge N. 200 1200 GALLO PINTO 300 100 DAY 2 TROCADERO 200 SAMBA 200 Alonso Guillermo 200 500 Club Amateur de Pesca held the first leg of the National Sailfish tournament last weekend and 38 anglers landed and released 120 sailfish. Only one marlin was caught in that division. Results are published below.Most of the Pacific reported excellent sailfish numbers especially out of Los Sueños. But there haven’t been many marlin around.Down south, the sail numbers were smaller but a few marlin between 200 and 400 pounds were taken.Up north it is windy, but boats going out are seeing a few sails and good numbers of dorado.Tarpon have been hitting on the Caribbean with an average of 10 bites a day, and the snook have been taking jigs at Samay Lagoon. Eddie Brown reports snapper have been taking lures at the Tortuguero river mouth. 900 1800 400 0 100 1600 0 400 500 1200 100 Laurencich Federico 100 800 100 100 Gonzalez Enrique 1000 TRITON 100 200 1100 200 Estrada Arnold 100 100 100 900 Seevers Ricardo 300 Gutiérrez Carlos Edo. 800 400 PARTICIPANT 600 300 EL DORADO Fernandez C. Manuel XIPHIAS 100 NATIONAL SAILFISH TOURNAMENT 2013 100 200 Gutiérrez Nils 300 No related posts.last_img read more

US VP Biden vows to tackle unacceptable child migrant surge

first_imgRelated posts:‘Writing was on the wall’ for child immigrant crisis, says new study US to grant refugee status to Central American child migrants Central American foreign ministers meet in Washington to lobby Obama on immigration crisis Central American leaders offer plan to slow child migrant surge GUATEMALA CITY – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned Friday that Central American nations had a “responsibility” to work with Washington to stem a surge of thousands of illegal child migrants into the United States.Biden issued his blunt call to action in Guatemala as the White House announced new measures to speed up deportations of the illegal child migrants, amid a row with Republicans that has further dashed dimming hopes of passing a new immigration reform law.“We’re approaching this issue with a shared recognition that the current situation is not sustainable,” Biden told Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina at a joint press appearance. “It is unacceptable. And we have a shared responsibility to take significant steps to address this issue.”Biden argued the tide of thousands of child migrants from countries including Guatemala and Honduras, through Mexico and then across the southern U.S. border, was prompted by poverty, insecurity and the lack of the rule of law in their home countries.Such comments were sure to have irked the likes of Pérez Molina, who has put the problem down to Washington’s failure for years to pass immigration reform, to update entry procedures and to provide a path to citizenship for 12 million illegal immigrants.Biden leavened his remarks by saying he understood the “burdens” the flow of immigrants had placed on Guatemala.But he was forceful in arguing that the root cause of the problem lay in Central American nations.“This is a serious humanitarian issue standing alone all by itself, and … it is a fundamentally shared problem for the United States, Mexico, and this entire region,” Biden said.In Washington, a group of lawmakers simultaneously proposed a program to boost Central American security that would cost between $130 million and $230 million to stem the tide of undocumented migrants.US boosts immigration resourcesThe White House said the U.S. government would step up enforcement resources to hold and process children and adults who bring them into the country illegally.Hearings will be held “as quickly and efficiently as possible while also protecting those who are seeking asylum” to allow U.S. Customs and Immigration officers to return unlawful migrants to their own countries as soon as possible, it added.Between October 2013 and the end of May 2014, U.S. border officials intercepted more than 47,000 unaccompanied minors trying to illegally enter the United States, almost twice the number registered between October 2012 and the end of September 2013.Guatemala says around 1,550 of its emigrant children are currently in shelters in Texas and Arizona.The White House also said that it would provide $9.6 million to help Central American governments reintegrate repatriated citizens.In a call with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández on Friday, Biden stressed that migrants who arrive to the United States without the proper paperwork will not qualify for a reprieve or for legalization under immigration reform measures currently before Congress.Honduras said Wednesday it was preparing to receive around 13 undocumented migrant children detained in the United States and Mexico.Biden was also meeting Salvador President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, Mexican Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong and a senior representative from Honduras’ government to develop proposals to stem the flow of unlawful migration, the White House said.U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday spoke with his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto on the eve of the talks to discuss a “regional strategy” to tackle the mass migrations of minors.The flow of child migrants has injected fresh toxin into the debate over immigration reform, which has passed the U.S. Senate but is stuck in the Republican-run House of Representatives.Conservatives, many of whom see the plan as tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants, see the latest crisis as proof that the Obama administration is not committed to properly enforcing laws already on the books.House Speaker John Boehner wrote to Obama on Friday and demanded that National Guard reserve troops be placed on the southern border to halt the migrant flow.“The policies of your administration have directly resulted in the belief by these immigrants that once they reach U.S. soil, they will be able to stay here indefinitely,” Boehner wrote. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Joint Costa RicaUS patrols yield more than 2000 kilos of drugs

first_imgJoint patrols between the Public Security Ministry’s (MSP) Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard confiscated a total of 1,815 kilos of compressed marijuana, 538 kilos of cocaine and 37 fuel barrels, in three separate operations carried out over the past week in Costa Rica’s Pacific and Caribbean waters. Authorities suspect that the fuel was used to power smuggling boats.The most recent operation took place in the early hours of Tuesday when MSP Coast Guard officials found the marijuana cargo hidden on the fishing boat Purple Ice, near Cieneguita beach in the Caribbean province of Limón.Last Friday U.S. Coast Guard officials nabbed fishing boat Capitán Byron off Cape Matapalo in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific. The vessel was carrying 538 kilos of cocaine. All three crew members were detained.Last Saturday a joint patrol in the Pacific detained the fishing boat La Pipilacha, also near Cape Mata Palo. The boat’s only cargo was  37 fuel barrels, 25 of them empty. All crew members were arrested and taken to the public prosecutor’s office under suspicion of providing fuel for drug boats.All detainees in these operations are currently in custody and could face penalties of up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata Vega highlighted on Tuesday morning the importance of joint Costa Rica – U.S. patrols that led to the arrests and seizures. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican cops report seven tons of marijuana, 21 tons of cocaine confiscated in 2014 Narco-plane crashes in northern Costa Rica; cops find 500 kilos of cocaine nearby Lawmakers extend permission for 44 US Coast Guard ships to patrol, dock in Costa Rica Costa Rica makes first large marijuana seizure of 2015last_img read more

Increased rainfall expected over Costa Rica this week

first_imgRelated posts:More heavy rains over Costa Rica expected starting Thursday night More rains expected over Costa Rica starting Tuesday evening Emergency officials downgrade weather alert for Costa Rica’s Caribbean, northern regions Landslides block roads, cause losses at farms in Tilarán Costa Rica’s National Meteorological Institute (IMN) reported Monday that tropical wave number 15 arrived in the country during the evening and will increase rains overnight.The wave’s effects were recorded first in the Central Valley and the Caribbean region with heavy showers and electrical storms. Several Caribbean communities on Monday afternoon recorded rainfall levels up to 55 millimeters, according to meteorologists.Accumulated rainfall in San José and Heredia provinces surpassed 30 millimeters and an IMN station at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela reported 33 millimeters during the evening.The tropical wave also is expected to cause cloudy conditions and intermittent showers throughout most the country in coming days, but mainly it will increase rains over the Central and southern Pacific regions.According to IMN forecasts, these regions will register rainfall accumulations up to 40 millimeters, “and even larger amounts in some communities.”Heavy rains also are expected in the mountainous areas of the Caribbean region and in the northern zone, with rainfall levels ranging between 20 and 40 millimeters.High temperatures will be recorded along the Pacific coastline during the mornings throughout the week, while cloudy skies will be constant at the Caribbean and Northern zone most of the days.Trade winds are expected to increase this coming weekend throughout the country and this situation likely will increase rains over most of the Caribbean region.IMN recommended caution in areas prone to flooding, and warned drivers to exercise safe driving as foggy conditions in mountainous areas will reduce visibility on roads in Limón and in cantons in the northern region. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Cuba Dave set to finish year in preventive prison on allegations of

first_imgRelated posts:On eve of historic sex tourism trial, Cuba Dave is optimistic he’ll be acquitted Locals in Manuel Antonio prevent robbery of U.S. tourist with citizen’s arrest Michigan fugitive John Saatio to be extradited Saturday Former U.S. convict Dan Fowlie speaks out against being barred entry to Costa Rica again David “Cuba Dave” Strecker is set to finish out a full year in preventive prison for allegations ofpromoting sex tourism in Costa Rica. The 65-year-old U.S. citizen was captured at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in September on suspicion of violating the country’s Sex Tourism Law with a website and other social media outlets that provide information about prostitution in various Latin American countries, including Costa Rica.Following a preliminary hearing in a San José court Thursday morning, Strecker told The Tico Times that his preventive prison sentence had been extended yet again, this time to Sept. 4, marking one full year that he’ll spend behind bars.Strecker said he was formally presented with charges Thursday for the first time. He said a judge told him that if his case were brought to trial, he could be sentenced up to 12 years in prison.Strecker spoke to The Tico Times by phone from La Reforma jail. His public defense lawyer for the hearing, Mauricio Antillán, was not available for comment Thursday.Costa Rica’s Sex Tourism Law, which Strecker is accused of violating, calls for a maximum of eight years, but the Key West, Florida native said prosecutors are looking to try him for three different charges relating to the same crime.“That’d be like giving the guy the death penalty for jaywalking,” Strecker said. He was unclear exactly what the charges were when he spoke with The Tico Times Thursday.In November, a spokeswoman from the prosecutor’s office told The Tico Times that charges are based on provisions of the 2013 Human Trafficking Law that prohibit promoting sex tourism.“The criminal case began after various publications were found on the Internet made by the suspect in which he was apparently inviting other North Americans to visit Costa Rica, indicating that prostitution services in the country were easy to find,” she said.Prostitution among consenting adults is legal in Costa Rica.Strecker, who will turn 66 in a few weeks, was transferred to the senior wing of La Reforma jail in February after five months in the overcrowded San Sebastián prison.In Costa Rica, preventive prison sentences generally cannot exceed 12 months. However, in exceptional cases, such as individuals accused of being involved in organized crime, a judge can order preventive prison for up to 18 months. To extend Stecker’s time in pretrial detention even longer, the prosecution would have to prove to a judge that Strecker is part of a criminal network that operates in prostitution or trafficking.After cycling through several private lawyers, Strecker has turned to public defense. He said multiple lawyers and advisors have told him that the prosecution doesn’t have much evidence against him except for Facebook and blog posts taken from pages sporting his “Cuba Dave” brand name.“I know I didn’t break a law, but I’m trapped here,” Strecker said when The Tico Times visited him at La Reforma prison in June. “There’s a big difference between promoting and informing. What I ran was a travel website.”Strecker said during that visit that he would be willing to take a plea deal that includes a lifetime ban from Costa Rica and that takes into account his time served in preventive prison.“You get your hopes up sometimes but I’ve been through this for so long that I really don’t get my hopes up anymore,” he said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

GI seeks dismissal of 10 counts in WikiLeaks case

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments   Share   Manning faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy. He is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.He allegedly sent WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables and war logs downloaded from government computers,(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to paincenter_img Top holiday drink recipes Quick workouts for men Associated PressHAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) – An Army private charged in a massive leak of U.S. government secrets to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks is seeking dismissal of 10 of the 22 counts he faces.Pfc. Bradley Manning’s civilian defense lawyer posted the motions on his website Wednesday night. A military judge will hear oral arguments at a pretrial hearing starting June 6 at Fort Meade, Md.Manning contends eight of the counts are unconstitutionally vague. He claims two other charges fail to state a prosecutable offense. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementslast_img read more

Quakehit NZ city aims to rebuild with campus feel

first_imgAssociated PressWELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – A convention center, sports stadium and performing arts complex are among the big projects planned for a new-look downtown Christchurch after the New Zealand city was reduced to rubble by an earthquake last year.Essentially given a blank slate, government planners on Monday unveiled a blueprint for the city that replaces office towers with green spaces, urban apartments and innovation “hubs” they say will give the city the feel of a college campus. Under the plan, the city will be smaller, the buildings lower in height and constructed to higher earthquake standards. Comments   Share   Quick workouts for men (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories Under the plan, the city would be bordered with green spaces and the overall design would give more emphasis to the winding Avon River. An earthquake memorial would be given prominence, as would a Maori cultural center. The central city square would be divided into a number of smaller public gathering spots.The city would be broken into a series of hubs featuring related activities. For instance, there would be a health precinct anchored by a hospital, a justice precinct with courts and a police station, and a retail precinct with stores.The plan identifies sites for big infrastructure projects including a prominent library and a convention center with the capacity to hold 2,000 people that would overlook the river. There would also be a covered sports stadium seating up to 35,000 people built in the city’s southeast and an indoor aquatic and recreation center built in the southwest.In a release, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who grew up in Christchurch, said it was important to identify sites for the major new projects so that private developers could begin planning hotels, restaurants and stores to complement them.“I am delighted to see this plan for new development and to know that construction will soon be underway to rebuild my old hometown,” he said. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates ___Follow Nick Perry on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nickgbperry The plan has been eagerly awaited. It has been nearly 18 months since the magnitude-6.1 quake struck, killing 185 people and irreparably damaging 1,400 downtown buildings including the century-old Anglican cathedral in the city center.“It will be safe, modern, green and will leave a legacy that makes Christchurch one of the best places in the world to live and work for many generations to come,” Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said in a statement.Many residents have become frustrated at the slow pace of recovery in Christchurch. Hundreds of substantial aftershocks have hampered progress and made insurers skittish, while government and city officials, including Mayor Parker, have been accused of dithering and bickering. Even before the plan was released, some wondered if they would end up footing a chunk of the bill through rate hikes.Yet for many, the plan is a welcome step forward. Some see it as a unique chance to correct problems in the city, such as an excess of older-style office space that was evident even before the earthquake. The plan also comes as the aftershocks appear to be finally abating.Government officials have not yet identified an overall cost for the rebuild or specific funding sources for all the new projects. Nick Bryant, a spokesman for earthquake recovery minister Gerry Brownlee, said Monday that the funding will come from a variety of sources, including local councils, private investors, insurance payouts and from the central government, which has so far set aside 5.5 billion New Zealand dollars ($4.4 billion) for the recovery efforts. Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Japanese Caterpillar director Wakamatsu dies

first_img“The Millennial Rapture,” shown at this year’s Venice Film Festival, also starring Terajima, was based on a novel by Kenji Nakagami, a Japanese writer of “buraku” ancestry, an underclass from feudal times that remains unfairly discriminated today. In the film, dapper but unruly men seduce one woman after the other.Terajima said she felt a deep loss.“Always so kind, always siding with the victims, always lashing out at the powerful, my director,” Terajima said on her blog. “You always loved good sake and good food. And what you loved most passionately was making movies.”Wakamatsu was honored as Asian Filmmaker of the Year at this year’s Busan Film Festival.He had just returned from South Korea, when he was hit by a cab and seriously injured in Tokyo last week, according to the Yomiuri newspaper.Wakamatsu acknowledged recently his vision had changed with age.“Once I got to 50, I decided I wanted to make films that people can look back at in 50 or 100 years and think, `That’s what it was like in those times,’ ” he told the Hollywood Reporter in Busan. “That’s the kind of films I’m trying to make.” Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Associated PressTOKYO (AP) – Japanese director Koji Wakamatsu, who ruthlessly challenged authority with the grotesque and sexual, has died after a traffic accident this month. He was 76.His production company said on its official Twitter site Thursday that Wakamatsu died late Wednesday after being hospitalized unconscious from being hit by a car. “We thank you all for your kindness over his life,” it said, adding other details will be announced later. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Parents, stop beating yourself up Wakamatsu’s “Caterpillar” depicts a soldier during imperialist Japan’s pillaging of neighboring China, who returns scarred, and with no arms and legs but with an ample sexual appetite. Shinobu Terajima, who played the soldier’s enduring wife, won the Silver Bear award for Best Actress at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival.Wakamatsu ventured into pornography, especially early in his career, but his artistry managed to turn such works into a pensive critique of society. While he was never afraid to offend the faint-hearted, his in-your-face realism won fans among the more adventurous.His works tended to pick stories from real life. His film about the United Red Army, a Japanese left-wing terrorist group of the 1970s, that tortured its own members, won the Art Cinéma Award at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival.He turned his attention to right-wing extremism with his latest film, “The Day Mishima Chose His Own Fate,” premiering at Cannes earlier this year. The work focuses on writer Yukio Mishima, who took over the Japanese defense offices, making speeches bemoaning a weakened subservient Japan, and then disemboweled himself in ritualistic “hara-kiri” in 1970. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories ___Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter: www.twitter.com/yurikageyama The vital role family plays in society Comments   Share   last_img

Etihad wins Middle Easts leading airline award

first_imgJames Hogan, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer (right) with Hareb Al Muhairy, Etihad Airways’ Vice President Corporate Communications (left), celebrate winning six titles at the World Travel Awards for the Middle East region. Etihad Airways has won six titles at the annual World Travel Awards ceremony for the Middle East, held at The Address Dubai Marina, including the coveted title as the region’s Leading Airline.During a hugely successful evening for Etihad, the Abu Dhabi-based airline also received the Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class award, Middle East’s Leading Airline Economy Class award, Middle East’s Leading Cabin Staff award, Middle East‘s Leading International Marketing Campaign award, and Middle East’s Leading Airline In-flight Entertainment award.Votes for the World Travel Awards were cast by 180,000 travel industry professionals from more than 175 countries. This latest success follows Etihad’s triumph in November 2009 when the airline won the global title of the World’s Leading Airline.James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is a tremendous achievement to win six titles at the World Travel Awards for the Middle East region, which is voted for by members of the travel industry across the world. “We have invested significantly in our cabin product and service and these awards illustrate that the airline industry and our passengers like what we have delivered.”Etihad has now won 25 World Travel Awards since it took to the skies in November 2003 and will represent the Middle East region in these categories at the global World Travel Awards held in London later in the year.Graham Cooke, President and founder of the World Travel Awards, said: “At the World Travel Awards, our goal is to seek out those players who are doing more than anyone else to transform our industry – those players who make tourism a force for good, and a force for change. One of the classic examples is Etihad, an airline that has grown into a global super-brand in just over six years through its vision, courage and dedication. “We congratulate Etihad Airways on the fantastic achievement at the World Travel Awards Middle East Ceremony. By winning six awards, including Middle East’s Leading Airline, Etihad has demonstrated that it continues to excel across all aspects of its business.”The award for Middle East’s Leading First Class Airline follows the significant revamp of Etihad’s First class cabin, including longer and wider beds, housed in their own private suites, and a large new changing room.In the Economy cabin, Etihad has made major modifications notably with the introduction of its ‘Inspired Service‘ which has now been rolled out in more than two-thirds of Etihad’s global routes and follows the full roll-out in its premium cabins.The ‘Inspired Service‘ was also one of the key reasons behind Etihad winning the title of Middle East’s Leading Cabin Staff. The concept is to ensure that each passenger receives a personalised service, tailored to individual requirements, during the flight.Upon winning the award for Middle East’s Leading In-flight Entertainment, Etihad was credited for its state-of-the art e-box on-demand system. The E-BOX allows customers to enjoy the latest movies, TV shows, music and interactive games as well as recharge laptop computers and mobile devices.In winning the title of Middle East’s Leading International Marketing Campaign award, Etihad received praise for its latest television commercial which was centred around the ‘Inspired Service‘ concept, as well as taking its home base of Abu Dhabi “to the World”.Etihad also triumphed at the Business Travel Awards on Monday night where it won the title of Best First Class. Etihad Airways celebrate winning six awards at the World Travel Awards in Dubai. (Left to right, all Etihad Airways) Carmen Delcarme, Cabin Crew member; Taryam Al Subaihi, Corporate Communications Advisor; Suhair Alqadasy, Regional Marketing Manager; Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer; Eva Nikerlova, Cabin Crew member.center_img Source = Etihad Airwayslast_img read more

Webjet to Europe and beyond

first_imgOnline travel agency Webjet have today announced plans which will see the company expand into the European market in 2011. A 50 per cent venture with World Aviation Services Limited Malta will help facilitate Webjet’s “global flight plan”, which will also include the launch of Webjet in Singapore and Hong Kong. The company have also announced the introduction of its Canadian operations following the launch of a Spanish language site in the United States. “The combination of these significant partnerships will significantly propel our development over the next several years,” Webjet managing director David Clarke said. “As part of these plans we are also substantially strengthening our management resources to ensure that the full focus is maintained on our core Australian business, simultaneously with the necessary resources to rapidly develop out international operations.” Additionally, Webjet have confirmed a major hotel supply arrangement with Hotel Club, which will effectively provide it with over 100,000 hotels worldwide. “Art of Online Marketing consultancy (aoom) is very excited to be able to support Webjet in its marketing efforts and its expanded hotel operations,” managing director Chloe Lim told e-Travel Blackboard. “We’re looking forward to being an integral part of Webjet’s growth strategy.” In planning for the last six months, today’s announcements signify the “largest strategic development” in Webjet’s history. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

2012 Inland Tourism Awards Winners Announced

first_imgNew South Wales best inland regional tourism operators and attractions were named last Saturday night at the 2012 CountryLink Inland Tourism Awards in Mudgee. Attendees from across the state gathered together at the Parklands Resort in Mudgee on Saturday the 28th July to find out which of the finalists would take home a coveted 2012 CountryLink Inland NSW Tourism Award. The annual award ceremony is hailed as the ‘night of nights’ for the Inland NSW regional Tourism Industry. The theme for this year’s awards was country glamour and the night was a celebration of not only the NSW regional tourism industry but it was also a night to experience the best of what Mudgee has to offer.  The 18 winners are now able to compete for finalist positions at the NSW Tourism Awards, which will be held in Sydney, later this year. Chair of the Awards, Tracey Valenzisi said the awards showcased some of the best tourism attractions and products in NSW.  Tracey also stated that it is important that all entrants try to make it to workshops held by INTA. “All entrants were of a high calibre, in some categories the marks between finalists were so close that a silver award was given. There was a clear distinction between those applicants who have attended the INTA workshops, run by TIC NSW, throughout the year and those who did not have the chance to attend. The workshops give valuable information on submission writing and provide first hand experience and knowledge on how to best develop an entrants business.” The INTA Board would like to congratulate all winners and finalists for their contribution to regional NSW tourism. Regional tourism supports almost half of the state’s 162,500 direct tourism jobs and injects more than $11.5 billion into the state’s economy each year. Click here to view entire photo gallery2012 CountryLink Inland NSW Tourism Awards Winners Tri State Safaris WinnerTour and/or Transport OperatorsBroken HillInland Green Gully Track WinnerNew Tourism DevelopmentWalchaInland Eldee Station WinnerHosted AccommodationBroken HillInland Gol Gol Hotel WinnerTourist PubsGol GolMurray Visiting Friends & Relatives Publicity Program WinnerTourism Marketing Tri State Safaris/Mutawintji Eco Tours WinnerIndigenous TourismBroken HillInland two eight two eight WinnerSpecialised Tourism ServicesGulargamboneInland NameAwardCategoryTown Regional Tourism Organisation Taronga Western Plains Zoo WinnerTourist AttractionsDubbo Flint in the Vines WinnerTourism Restaurants and Catering ServicesMurrambatemanInland Inland Moree Visitor Information Centre – (Trading as Tourism Moree) WinnerVisitor Information and ServicesMoreeInland Narrabri Shire WinnerLocal Government Award for TourismNarrabriInlandcenter_img Mudgee Brewing Company WinnerTourism Wineries, Distilleries and BreweriesMudgeeCentral Trelawney Farm Guesthouse Mudgee WinnerDeluxe AccommodationMudgeeCentral BIG4 Deniliquin Holiday ParkInducteeHall of FameDeniliquinRiverina 2012 Tamworth Country Music Festival SilverFestivals and EventsTamworthInland The Lodge Outback Motel WinnerStandard AccommodationBroken HillInland Riverina BIG4 Forbes Holiday Park WinnerTourist and Caravan ParksForbesCentral Source = CountryLink Inland NSW Tourism Awards Junee Shire Council SilverLocal Government Award for TourismJuneeRiverina Roger Collins WinnerThe Ted Wilson AwardLightning RidgeInland DAG Sheep Station – Nundle WinnerUnique AccommodationNundleInland Deni Ute Muster WinnerFestivals and EventsDeniliquinRiverinalast_img read more

PNG dancers headline at Wicked Wednesdays Brisbane

first_imgIndustry friends gathered at Cloudland in Brisbane last night, to enjoy drinks and food at this month’s Wicked Wednesdays.A group of traditional Papua New Guinea dancers kept guests entertained, while Papua New Guinea Tourism and Air Niugini presented their second travel agent training module on yourworkshops.Winners for the evening included Travel Counsellor Vicki Blanco with a 7-night Trip to PNG for two including international and domestic airfares by Air Niugini, Just Cruises Antonios Kalsaris walked away with a 10-day trip to Vietnam by On the Go Tours and Travel Managers Anita Noon won the Laneways tour in Melbourne for 2 by Meltours.Other sponsors for the evening include TravelManagers, C&M Recruitment, Virgin Australia and Fairchild as well as ETB News, Breakaway International Travel Industry Club and GTI Tourism.Check out photos from the event below, or click here to tag you and your friends on Facebook. Source = Wicked Wednesdayslast_img read more

Steve Ciobo to replace Andrew Robb as Trade Minister

first_imgSteve Ciobo to replace Andrew Robb as Trade MinisterAustralia’s peak accommodation body, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), praised the Federal Government’s choice of Steve Ciobo to replace retiring Trade Minister, Andrew Robb.Mr Ciobo was elevated to the Trade & Investment Ministry from his current role as Minister for International Development and the Pacific. Prior to that, he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Investment. Mr Robb will continue his involvement in the trade portfolio till the election as ‘Special Envoy for Trade’.TAA CEO, Carol Giuseppi, said that Mr Ciobo had shown throughout his time in Parliament that he understood the potential of the tourism sector and its value to the economy.“Mr Ciobo is an excellent successor to Andrew Robb, and with tourism now considered one of the country’s ‘first-tier’ industries, we are confident he will work closely with Tourism Minister, Senator Richard Colbeck, to provide positive advocacy for the industry,” said Ms Giuseppi.“Andrew Robb proved himself to be one of Australia’s most respected and successful Trade Ministers, and we were extremely impressed with his grasp of the tourism industry and his desire to further its potential. He contributed significantly to the industry through his work in securing free trade agreements, bilateral airline agreements, and the promotion of development and investment in Australia, particularly in Northern Australia.“Tourism and trade go hand in hand, as has been reflected by Australia’s outstanding inbound visitor figures over the past two years. We now attract over one million Chinese, and further reforms to visa processing and investment in tourism promotion can accelerate this growth.“To have a successor with similar interests and experience of our sector will be welcomed by the whole tourism and hospitality industry.“Mr Ciobo has seen first-hand the importance of the tourism sector with his parents being involved in the industry in Cairns as he was growing up. He now represents the electorate of Moncrieff on the Gold Coast, which has Surfers Paradise at its heart, so few people in Parliament are better placed to understand the economic value that the tourism industry can deliver.“The emphasis will need to be on driving demand through partnerships and facilitating greater flexibility in attracting labour and skills to meet the needs of a growing industry – and we are confident that the new Minister will provide support for the industry at the Cabinet table.” Tourism Accommodation AustraliaSource = Tourism Accommodation Australialast_img read more

UK tourism hoping for international boost during Queens birthda

first_imgUK tourism hoping for international boost during Queen’s birthdayBritain as a tourist destination will be in the global media spotlight in the coming days with Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, the arrival of US President Barack Obama, and the 400thanniversary of Shakespeare’s death and VisitBritain is hoping for a boost in visitor numbers with these milestone events and their chance to showcase the best of ‘destination’ Britain to the world. VisitBritain Marketing Director Joss Croft said: “As the world’s media turns its attention to these significant events and to some of our most iconic sites including Windsor Castle, where President Obama will dine with Her Majesty The Queen and Stratford-upon-Avon as we mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard,  we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to showcase Britain as truly the ‘home of amazing moments’ with experiences that visitors – including the President –can only get here.”VisitBritain is putting a call out for President Obama to tweet during his visit using #OMGB (Oh My Great Britain) – the hashtag at the heart of the organisation’s marketing campaign for 2016 to promote Britain as the ‘Home of Amazing Moments’. President Obama has the highest number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans of any world leader with more than 73 million followers and 48 million fans respectively.Inbound tourism could also expect a boost in visitor numbers as the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare, hailed as the UK’s greatest cultural export, is used to promote the best of UK culture globally with concerts, plays, exhibitions and other celebrations underway throughout the year, making it a great time for visitors to come and explore the home of one of the world’s greatest playwrights.Latest figures from VisitBritain show that inbound visits to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, are growing with overnight visitor numbers more than doubling in the four years from 2010 to 2014 from 70,000 to 144,000 visits respectively.Overall 2015 set a new record for inbound tourism to the UK with 35.8 million visits, four per cent up on 2014 and the fifth consecutive year of growth. Visit BritainSource = Visit Britainlast_img read more

QT Adelaide Set for 2021 Opening

first_imgQT Adelaide Set for 2021 OpeningQT Adelaide Set for 2021 OpeningEvent Hospitality & Entertainment Limited (EVENT) today announced it has entered into a management agreement for its newest QT Hotels & Resorts property opening in Adelaide at 62 Currie St in the heart of the city. This will be the 11th QT hotel and its first introduction to South Australia, joining the growing portfolio of QT properties across Australia and New Zealand.QT Adelaide will be the city’s first lifestyle hotel, complete with a bold new QT signature dining concept and a sweeping rooftop. The hotel is located in Adelaide’s premier entertainment precinct, known for its hip small bars and exceptional restaurants. The $180 million development will feature 200 guest rooms and extensive conferencing and events facilities, unlike anything seen before in Adelaide.EVENT CEO Jane Hastings said: “We are excited to bring South Australia its very first QT Hotel, a key Australian market that has been a missing piece of our portfolio. Our new partnership with Auspac Networks Pty Ltd and Axiom Properties Limited will ensure a QT experience that will be a transformative project for the city of Adelaide.”At the creative helm of QT Adelaide is longstanding QT collaborator, interior designer Nic Graham. Graham will create the interiors for a myriad of public spaces and food and beverage outlets within the hotel, offering thoughtfully designed areas for locals and visitors to come together.The QT group of hotels is burgeoning, with QT Queenstown having opened in December 2017 and QT Perth in July 2018. QT Auckland is scheduled to open in 2020, followed by QT Parramatta and QT Adelaide in 2021. QT Hotels recently celebrated a triple-win in the annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, with three QT properties ranking in the top 15 hotels in Australia and New Zealand.Further details regarding QT Adelaide will be announced soon.About QT Hotels & ResortsQT Hotels & Resorts first put its stamp on the Australian tourism sector with the launch of QT Gold Coast in 2011. The unique and exciting property delivered the first injection of QT’s signature spaces with bold entertainment and intriguing, yet relaxing, guest experience. Now one of Australia and New Zealand’s most loved and dynamic hotel brands, the family of properties includes: the flagships of QT Melbourne and QT Sydney, in addition to QT Gold Coast, QT Falls Creek, QT Canberra, QT Bondi, QT Perth, QT Wellington and QT Queenstown. QT is set for further expansion with QT Auckland and QT Parramatta set to open in 2020.Source = QT Hotels & Resortslast_img read more