UN nuclear agency says NKorea mission on hold

first_img Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements VIENNA (AP) – The head of the U.N. nuclear agency says his organization does not plan to send a mission to North Korea any time soon, despite an invitation from Pyongyang.International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano is invoking the North’s mid- April launch of a satellite as negating any “immediate prospect of an agency mission taking place.”Because of similar technologies, the statellite launch was widely interpreted internationally as a test of North Korean missile capabilities. Pyongyang is prohibited from missile tests by the U.N. Security Council. Sponsored Stories center_img The North issued the invitation to the IAEA on March 13. Amano said it became obvious that it could not send a mission to Pyongyang in the near future after recent contacts with North Korean officials.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 treatments for adult scoliosis How men can have a healthy 2019 Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img read more

Analysis Assads grip on Syria has become tenuous

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories The idea of Iraqis fleeing Syria would have been unthinkable in recent years _ thousands of them fled to Syria to escape widespread sectarian fighting during the worst of violence in their homeland between 2005 and 2007.Now, the traffic is going the other way, with Iraqis and Syrian refugees heading east.Despite the rebel gains, the battle for Syria is not over yet. Although the rebels appear more powerful than at any stage of the uprising, their small-caliber weapons and rampant disorganization will make it all but impossible to defeat the regime in direct battle.The rebels also have failed to hold territory for any significant amount of time, which prevents them from carving out a zone akin to Libya’s Benghazi, where opponents of Moammar Gadhafi launched their successful uprising last year.Already, Syrian government forces are starting to drive the rebels out of pockets of Damascus. On Friday, government forces showed off a battle-scarred neighborhood of the capital that they say has been “cleansed” of fighters, but rebels say it was a tactical retreat that will allow them to expand their guerrilla war in the coming days and weeks.The regime has tried to portray a sense of calm control _ but the country is in a state of profound unease. Assad has not spoken to the public and he was a no-show Friday at the funerals for the security officials killed by the Wednesday bombing. The only sign of Assad since the attack was a brief, soundless video clip on state TV.The dire situation for the Assad government is unprecedented. The president took power upon his father’s death in 2000, inheriting a brutal legacy.Assad’s father, Hafez, crushed a Sunni uprising in 1982 by shelling the town of Hama. Amnesty International has claimed that 10,000-25,000 were killed, though conflicting figures exist and the Syrian government has made no official estimate.Hafez Assad ruled the country for the next two decades until his death, and the massacre was seared into the minds of Syrians. As the uprising began to take shape last year, Assad immediately fell back on the tactics that have kept his family in power.But the onslaught has failed to crush the rumblings of dissent, and now it seems everyone is preparing for the worst _ a future of revenge killings and chaos, more scenes of desperate violence and a spate of bloody anarchy akin to Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s fall in 2003.___Kennedy is The Associated Press chief of bureau for Syria and Lebanon.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Comments   Share   And now, more than ever before during the four-decade Assad dynasty, there are signs that the inner circle is unraveling. A stunning rebel bombing that killed four of Assad’s top lieutenants Wednesday was a strike that almost certainly involved the hand of a trusted insider.The coming days will be crucial to determining whether the regime can recover from blow after devastating blow, which have eviscerated any sense that the head of one of the Middle East’s most autocratic states can hold on indefinitely.Trying to retain their grip on power, regime forces are stretched to the limit. The government is pulling its most powerful troops from around the country to reinforce Damascus, which allows rebels to swoop in and take over key areas after the soldiers abandon their positions or leave them only lightly guarded.In the past two days, rebels seized border crossings in Iraq and Turkey, ushering in scenes of bloody chaos. Truck driver Ahmet Celik said Friday he was nearly killed near the Bab al-Hawa crossing in Turkey when rebels fought for control.“The gunfire lasted till the morning,” Celik said. “We barely survived.”A stream of high-level defections points to growing unease among the most privileged classes who count on the regime for their livelihoods and perks. Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, an Assad confidant and son of a former defense minister, defected to France earlier this month. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Associated PressBEIRUT (AP) – The Assad family’s grip on Syria has never looked so tenuous.After 17 months of violence and an estimated 17,000 people killed, a lightning-quick turnaround in the momentum of the civil war has put President Bashar Assad’s forces on the defensive, a sign that his once-impenetrable family dynasty is wobbling.For the first time, the rebels have brought a sustained fight to Damascus, the seat of Assad’s power, in a powerful signal that the regime cannot protect its own capital. On Friday, reports of intense fighting in Aleppo, Syria’s second city, suggest the rebels are making a run on another major government stronghold. Although the government still has the firepower to hang on _ possibly for months or more _ the future is bleak.The increasingly sectarian overtones to much of the violence suggest any power vacuum will usher in a bloodbath pitting Syria’s majority Sunni population against the Assad family’s minority Alawite sect, which is an offshoot of Shiite Islam.Sunnis make up most of Syria’s 22 million people, as well as the backbone of the opposition. But Assad is relying heavily on his Alawite power base to crush the uprising, prompting revenge attacks and fear among other minorities that they face retribution if the regime falls.The opposition, which is fractious and lacks any real central command, has no hope of pacifying the country. There is no clear candidate to step in and lead should Assad go. And the violence has become far more unstable than many had ever imagined, with al-Qaida and other extremists joining the ranks of those fighting to topple the regime.Thousands of Syrians are not waiting around to find out what comes next.Families are fleeing into Lebanon, arriving in packed buses, taxis and private cars. Iraq is sending planes to evacuate its residents, and Capt. Saad al-Khafaji of the state-owned Iraqi Airways promised to “continue the flights until there are no Iraqis left” in Syria. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

SAfricas finance minister decries inequality

first_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona To create jobs the government plans spending 40 billion rand ($5 billion) of the 969.4 billion rand ($121 billion) budget on infrastructure projects.Gordhan said South Africa’s budget deficit is projected to be 4.8 percent of GDP in 2012.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) JOHANNESBURG (AP) – South Africa’s finance minister says the government wants to improve the living conditions of every South African.In a budget speech that made several references to the end of apartheid in 1994, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said Thursday that reducing social inequality “has not been easy and our progress has been uneven.”Gordhan’s budget came amid labor unrest in South Africa’s mines that has exposed the gap between the rich and poor nearly two decades since the end of apartheid. He said the strikes are “a cause for urgent reflection.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Four benefits of having a wireless security system How do cataracts affect your vision?center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Fishing thwarts Antarctic marine sanctuary idea

first_img Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix At the Hobart meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, the 25 members also failed to agree on a second Antarctic reserve in the eastern part of the continent’s oceans.___Follow Nick Perry on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nickgbperry Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Patients with chronic pain give advicecenter_img The joint proposal would have banned fishing altogether in some areas and allowed modest fishing in others areas, reflecting an uneasy compromise between the groups.But at the Australian meeting, some nations, including Russia, the Ukraine and China, balked at the proposal. They feared it would have too much impact on their annual haul of toothfish, which are marketed as Chilean sea bass. The 24 nations and the European Union finished two weeks of meetings late on Thursday night without coming to any agreement on the sanctuary proposal. The countries will meet again next July to further consider the idea.“It’s disappointing but not entirely surprising,” said Murray McCully, New Zealand’s minister of foreign affairs.He said he plans to discuss the outcome soon with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has taken a close personal interest in the issue. McCully said that after the U.S. elections, he plans to devise a lobbying strategy with senior U.S. officials to try and get the proposal passed at the meeting next July.Earlier this week, New Zealand and the U.S. finally resolved two years of negotiations over sanctuary boundaries and rules. The two nations had both advocated for a sanctuary and needed each other to give any proposal credibility. That’s because New Zealand has fishing interests in the Ross Sea while the U.S. has scientific interests there. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – The countries that regulate fishing in the Antarctic were unable this week to agree on creating a giant marine sanctuary there.At a meeting in Australia, the United States and New Zealand were rebuffed after submitting a joint proposal to protect the Ross Sea, which is considered one of the most pristine oceans in the world.Scientists say an Alaska-sized sanctuary there would make an ideal place to monitor climate change away from the influence of man, while conservations say the thriving colonies of seals and penguins should be left alone. But fishing captains say their catch is relatively small and sustainable, and they want to keep the status quo. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Palace confirms Queen Elizabeth IIs medical appointment

first_img Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories FILE – In this Monday, June 23, 2014 file photo, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth smiles to the media as she arrives at Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland. Buckingham Palace has taken the unusual step of confirming that Queen Elizabeth II went to a hospital for her annual medical checkup after social media comments touched off speculation on her health. The palace said in a statement Wednesday, June 3, 2015 that the 89-year-old monarch attended her annual medical checkup at King Edward VII Hospital in London, and left after the routine exam. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File) Four benefits of having a wireless security system LONDON (AP) — Buckingham Palace took the unusual step Wednesday of confirming that Queen Elizabeth II went to a hospital for her annual medical checkup after social media comments touched off speculation on her health.The rare statement on a private matter for the queen came after a tweet posted on the account of a BBC journalist said the 89-year-old monarch was being treated in the hospital and that more details would follow. The tweet, which used a “breaking news” tag, was sent during a BBC rehearsal for the monarch’s obituary, suggesting that the sender mistook the exercise for the real thing. Screen grabs from social media suggest that a second tweet reported that the monarch had died. The journalist deleted the tweets.“I can confirm that the queen this morning attended her annual medical check-up at the King Edward VII’s Hospital in London,” the palace said. “This was a routine, pre-scheduled appointment. The queen has now left hospital.”The commotion served merely to underscore the esteem in which the country holds the queen, who was crowned 62 years ago. News about her health is followed closely.“During a technical rehearsal for an obituary, tweets were mistakenly sent from the account of a BBC journalist saying that a member of the royal family had been taken ill,” the BBC said in a statement. “The tweets were swiftly deleted and we apologize for any offense.”The journalist, Ahmen Khawaja, is facing disciplinary action. She apologized for what she described as a “false alarm.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

Job growth expands in professional services and health care

first_img Top Stories Overall, U.S. employers added 223,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest level since April 2008. But the rate declined because many people out of work gave up on their job searches and were no longer counted as unemployed, a trend that may reflect rising discouragement.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centercenter_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall WASHINGTON (AP) — Depending on the sector, June was either a great month for job growth or a lackluster one.Leading the way with 64,000 added jobs was professional services, which includes accountants, engineers and office temp workers. Also posting sizable gains were retail and health care.At the same time, momentum stalled in construction and manufacturing, two bedrock sectors of the American economy. Construction failed to add any jobs in June after gaining 15,000 in May and 30,000 in April. Manufacturing added just 4,000 last month. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Low turnout marks antigay demonstration in Kenya

first_imgNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A demonstration against homosexuality in Kenya fizzled Monday after attracting only a handful of protesters.The demonstration by about 35 people was called by the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya and timed to coincide with the visit later this month of U.S. President Barack Obama. The group is calling on Obama not to advocate for gay rights during his visit to Africa July 24-28.Obama is making his first trip as president to Kenya, the country of his father’s birth, to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, a meeting of business leaders, international organizations and governments. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Alliance leader Bishop Mark Kariuki said homosexuality goes against moral values and sends the wrong message to youth. “So when Obama comes we are asking him to respect morals of the Kenyans, respect the faith of Kenyans,” Kariuki said.The protest comes a day after Deputy President William Ruto said same-sex couples should leave the country. Gay sex is a crime in Kenya punishable by up to 14 years in prison, and same-sex partners are likely to receive extra attention from police. The Kenyan gay community also complains of sometimes violent harassment.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywallcenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Top Stories Parents, stop beating yourself uplast_img read more

EU checking if Disneyland Paris charges unfair prices

first_imgBRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is looking into complaints that Disneyland Paris is unfairly charging different prices for consumers depending on what nation the request comes from.Even if charging different prices in different member states for the same product is not necessarily illegal, the reasons for doing so must be clear and transparent, said EU spokeswoman Lucia Caudet on Wednesday.She said the EU Commission has “received complaints about Disneyland Paris that we are now checking.” Complaints addressed to the EU have come from consumers from Britain, Germany and Croatia, among others. Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona A request to Disneyland Paris for a reaction was not immediately answered.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Top Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Mesa family survives lightning strike to homelast_img read more

Sydney jet boat causes spinal injuries

first_imgNSW Maritime has decided to review jet boat operations on Sydney Harbour following an incident on the weekend which saw 32 passengers of a Jet Cruiser boat tossed into the air, leaving two with spinal injuries. The latest incident follows the revelation by a Sydney neurologist that 20 people had broken their backs on the joyrides in the past five years, the Daily Telegraph reported.”It hasn’t happened yet, but it certainly has the potential to happen,” St Vincent’s Hospital neurosurgeon Dr Timothy Steel said in reference to the possibility of someone being paralysed in an accident.”The people I see are the serious injuries that require surgery, so there may be many more that have broken their backs but haven’t required a neurosurgeon,” Dr Steel told the newspaper. According to the neurologist, the problem has remained hidden up to this point because of the high percentage of victims being tourists.”They have international travel insurance that covers the cost so they don’t speak up,” Dr Steel said, adding the latest victim had been 24-years old and “fit and healthy”. A spokesperson for NSW Maritime told the newspaper it would be “reviewing the code of practice [for jet boat operators] to see if anything needs altering or tightening up to ensure people remain safe”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Tourism NSW turns to India to Spice up winter

first_imgAs part of a new initiative to attract wealthy Indian travelers to Sydney, Tourism NSW will be investing AUD$85,000 in two new campaigns.According to Tourism NSW general manager Lyndel Gray India is one of the fastest growing tourism markets for Australia and is expecting visitor numbers to increase from 125,000 in 2009 to 318,000 by 2020 which represents an average of 8.9percent growth.“Sydney and regional NSW have significant appeal for Indian travelers, many of whom are here for study or to visit family and friends who are working or studying in the state”“In 2010 alone we saw an increase on the previous year of around 18.4percent in the number of overnight visitors from India to NSW, who injected more than AUD$185million into the NSW economy, an average spend of around AUD$2,825 per visitor,” Ms Lyndel Gray said.Tourism NSW is working with Tourism Australia, Qantas Airlines and India’s travel websites, Make My Trip on a print and online campaign.As well as a major print advertorial and magazine campaign in collaboration with Mercury travel will run in India including Mumbai and Delhi.The campaign is targeting Indian families, first-time experience seekers and the internet savvy to choose Sydney as their holiday destination during the winter months. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

Apollo Motorhome Holidays on Winning Streak

first_imgSource = Apollo Motorhome Holidays Apollo Motorhome Holidays has been awarded the 2012 Top Tourism & Hospitality Company in Queensland at the Queensland Business Review’s annual ‘Q400 Awards’.Apollo CEO Luke Trouchet said 2011 had been a challenging year for tourism businesses, citing the high Aussie dollar, floods, cyclones, earthquakes and the European financial crisis. “Winning this award points to the amazing efforts of our team,” Mr Trouchet said.The company was ranked 18th overall among 400 Queensland-owned companies in a masquerade-themed dinner at the Sofitel Brisbane on Friday night (November 25), featuring guest speaker Thérèse Rein.Rein also spoke of Queensland’s resilience to the spate of natural disasters experienced earlier this year, and congratulated all of this year’s Q400 companies on their successes.Trouchet cited recent research by the Caravan and Recreational Vehicles Association of Australia (CRVA) indicating the popularity of motorhome and campervan holidays is on the rise.“There’s been a nostalgic return to the simple family motorhome holiday,” he said.Mr Trouchet said the company would expand their fleet in 2012 with the launch of 3 new vehicles and an upgrade of the current range, including the company’s first rental slide-out model. Since its inception in 1985, Apollo has revolutionised the recreational vehicle rental industry. Known for customer friendly initiatives and great service, backed by competitive rental rates, the business has grown to become the largest privately owned RV rental operator in the world. Apollo also designs and builds its entire fleet through its sister‐company TALVOR Motorhomes, Australia’s largest privately owned manufacturer of campervans and motorhomes.Apollo has locations throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.last_img read more

Melb Airport introduces free waiting zone

first_imgOff the back of technological upgrades and new terminal announcements, Melbourne Airport has released plans to introduce a new free waiting zone for family and friends to pick up inbound travellers.Located in a designated area within the Long Term Car Park, the new Ring and Ride waiting zone allows drivers to park to up to 20 minutes for free and 20 to 40 minutes for just two dollars before collecting arrivals from the terminal forecourt area.In a statement, Melbourne Airport chief executive Chris Woodruff explained the system was designed as a response to customer feedback and would help settle concerns over drivers parking illegally on the Tullamarine Freeway. “This also led to congestion in our terminal forecourt as drivers did repeated laps while they waited o pick up their passengers,” Mr Woodruff said. “Now, drivers can use the ‘Ring& Ride’ waiting zone until their passenger calls to say they are ready to be picked up from the front of the terminal.” For passengers looking to stay parked longer than 40 minutes, the price jumps up to $4 for up to an hour and returns to normal Long Term Car Park rates after one hour.As well as free parking, the airport also said it will provide up to 10 additional pick-up bays as part of redevelopment to its terminal forecourt.Mr Woodruff concluded that the two new changes would also help relieve congestion at Tullamarine as well as create ease for incoming arrivals and their pick-ups.Earlier this month Melbourne Airport also released plans to build a $300 million passenger terminal.Expected completion by 2014 the new terminal would be located south of Terminal Three. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

SQ redesigning lounge experience

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Singapore Airlines (SQ) has announced plans to rejuvenate all its airports lounges over the next five years, beginning with Sydney Airport from mid-2013. Interior design firm ONG&ONG has been selected to complete the renovations, with SQ customers to be involved in the concept and evaluation processes.SQ senior vice president product & services Tan Pee Teck said that many of the airlines customers feel at home as soon as they board a Singapore Airlines flight.“We hope to replicate that ‘home away from home’ experience in our lounges, along with the warm Asian hospitality that Singapore Airlines is renowned for,” Mr Pee Teck said. “Apart from providing customers with an inviting and exclusive contemporary space, the next generation of SilverKris Lounges will meet the changing needs and expectations of both business and leisure travellers and better integrate the ground and air travel experience.”ONG&ONG’s Experience Design studio OX:D will carry out the project after conducting extensive research into the customer experience.“The heart of Experience Design (OX:D) at ONG&ONG is deeply rooted in creating a meaningful experience based on the needs of the user,” OX:D director Mr Ken Yuktasevi said.“Being selected as a local designer for this project is a privilege and honour, and we look forward to working with Singapore Airlines to create a memorable travel experience for their customers.”Singapore Airlines has 15 SilverKris Lounges in airports around the world and has invested more than $20 million into developing its lounge experience over the next five years. SilverKris Loungelast_img read more

Russias bad rep deters westerners

first_imgRussia is relying too heavily on tourism from neighbouring nations and is suffering from an inability to attract western travellers, according to new research.Euromonitor International deduced that Russia has developed a poor image overseas, especially in markets such as the United States and western Europe after revealing that the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan accounted for nearly half of all visitors in 2012.Issues surrounding security, infrastructure, bureaucracy and the quality of tourism products on offer were contributing factors to Russia’s poor international image.Positively, inbound tourism arrivals displayed solid growth last year, reaching 26 million.The new research also estimated that Russia will account for an additional eight million overseas trips by 2017.“The predicted growth in Russian outbound traffic is good news for the global industry, but the report shows greater support could be given to its inbound industry, especially to attract tourists form the large markets of the US and western Europe,” Reed Travel Exhibitions director World Travel Market Simon Press said.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Russia is too reliant upon neighbouring tourism.last_img read more

Tourism Australia to develop travel agent ATeam in China

first_imgTourism Australia (TA) will now train an elite group of travel agents to work in China to sell holiday packages to high-net worth Chinese tourists.The new tourist agent A-team will work with small niche agencies in Chinese cities with good air connections to Australia Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Chengdu and Chongqing, The Australian Financial Review reported.TA managing director John O’Sullivan said that the new strategy is more aligned with TA’s 2020 tourism strategy.Mr O’Sullivan also said that the strategy would work because most high net worth Chinese tourists still booked through travel agents.Through the scheme, the new focus for Tourism Australia will be on joint advertising and developing new products and itineraries which better suit the needs of independent travellers.Tourism Australia already has marketing partnerships with Air China, China Eastern and China Southern and China’s biggest credit card and debit card provider, ChinaUnion Pay.Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

CTM Upgrades FY15 Profit Guidance at AGM

first_imgCorporate Travel Management (CTM), this morning announced that full year underlying EBITDA guidance is expected to be above AU$41m for 2015.Previous guidance advised to the market was in the range of AU$38-$41m, therefore this represents a minimum 41.8 per cent growth on FY14 full year underlying EBITDA.EBUTDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.The announcement was made at the company’s Annual General Meeting held this morning in Brisbane and CTM’s managing director Jamie Pherous, said that the business is on track for 2015.“The business is successfully executing upon the FY15 business plan in all regions, specifically we are experiencing strong new client wins in nearly all of our jurisdictions and in the Australian market, we are experiencing a marginal rise in average ticket prices over the last four months,” Mr Pherous said.Mr Pherous stated that any future acquisitions will be in addition to this guidance, and the profit guidance range will be refined after the release of the 1HFY15 results in late February 2015.“The combination of these factors is having a positive effect on the company’s FY15 profit and resulting forecast” Pherous added.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Allison Langdon and Saroo Lion Brierley line up for MTA

first_imgAllison Langdon and Saroo ‘Lion’ Brierley line up for MTA 2018 National ConferenceMTA – Mobile Travel Agents has confirmed high profile TV presenter Allison Langdon and Saroo Brierley as presenters at the company’s 2018 ‘Experience Shines’ National Conference.Ms Langdon, a regular ’60 Minutes’ presenter, will MC the event which takes place from 02-04 March 2018 at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa.Mr Brierley, whose amazing personal journey searching for his mother in India formed the basis for the multi-Academy Award nominated movie ‘Lion’, will deliver the event’s keynote address.Announcing the news, MTA co-managing directors Roy and Karen Merricks said they were thrilled to have secured Ms Langdon and Mr Brierley for the conference.“Both Allison and Saroo have incredible stories to tell,” the Merricks said.“Allison is not only a wife and a mother, she has filed reports from war zones and braved active volcanos and faced leopard seals in the freezing waters of Antarctica to highlight the impact of climate change.“We know she will bring inspiration, enlightenment, and honesty to our conference as she facilitates discussions and MCs throughout the two-day event.“Saroo Brierley needs no introduction – he is a man of sheer determination, motivation and courage and his amazing journey, tracking down his mother in India armed with just a handful of memories and Google maps, was quite rightly made into the blockbuster movie ‘Lion’ and thoroughly deserved its six Academy Award nominations.“We can’t wait to meet Saroo and hear about his truly remarkable and highly motivational story.”Shedding light on the theme for the 2018 event, the Merricks said experience was the cornerstone for everything the company has achieved in the 20 years since being founded.“Our 2018 MTA National Conference is set to shine a very bright light on our combined strength, our imagination and our intelligence, and to share our vast wealth of experience.“We gather experience from so many who influence our lives; our parents, our siblings, our friends, the people we work with, events we participate in and the places we travel to. Experiences, both good and bad, form the foundations on which our lives and those around us are based.“That is why ‘Experience Shines’ has been chosen as the underlying theme for the 2018 MTA – Mobile Travel Agents’ National Conference.”Close on 400 MTA Members, suppliers and industry luminaries are expected to attend the event. Source = Mike Parker-Brown – MTA-Mobile Travel Agents PRlast_img read more

Mojo Nomad to open in the heart of Hong Kong

first_imgMojo Nomad to open in the heart of Hong KongMojo Nomad to open in the heart of Hong KongThis month, Mojo Nomad Central, a ground-breaking concept that turns the traditional hotel model completely on its head, will start taking shape in the heart of Hong Kong on Queens Road Central – think micro-hotel, shared accommodation and co-working all-in-one. This is the second evolution for the disruptive Mojo Nomad brand by the internationally acclaimed Ovolo Hotels Group. Already open and thriving in up-and-coming Aberdeen, Mojo Nomad’s newest location gives dynamic travellers unparalleled access to the city centre, and promises to electrify the iconic neighbourhood.The first of its kind in the region, combining contemporary design, co-working and luxuriously compact private and shared accommodation, Mojo Nomad paves the way for a new type of value-driven design hospitality. Mojo Nomad hotels offer imaginative environments that encourage guests to connect with new people, ideas and holistic experiences, uniting them within stylish communal spaces. Surrounded by gripping interiors and art, the senses are invigorated and an inimitable atmosphere of engaging like-mindedness is created.The inspirational new hotel collection is designed for those seeking a better way of living. At Mojo Nomad, guests are able to unite around common interests and enjoy a unique style of community living, which values openness and collaboration without compromise.Mojo Nomad taps into a thriving demographic of explorers with a true zest for life, addressing the changing demands and needs of the ever-evolving modern traveller. Mojo Nomad Central offers rooms ranging from size S to XL, with two eclectic sharing room options for those looking to be inspired by others on their travels.Keeping with the brand’s commitment to integrating the latest in technology, value-added services, functionality and design, guests of Mojo Nomad Central will never want for a place to plug in. Each room is equipped with multiple USB and traditional plug sockets, as well as handy international adaptors, whilst shared rooms are kitted out with individual televisions and blue tooth headphone capabilities.  A residential space on the property’s second floor is serviced by a dedicated refreshments bar, providing a stimulating flexible-use space in which to work, while working out takes place in the third-floor gym, complete with TRX, punching bags, yoga matts and more.“Following on from the unprecedented success of Mojo Nomad Aberdeen, we’re excited to unleash a second Mojo Nomad property in Hong Kong, this time in the city’s bustling Central District,” says Girish Jhunjhnuwala the visionary behind the Mojo Nomad concept, and Founder & CEO of Ovolo Hotels Group. The edgy, design-driven concept draws on the hotelier’s desire to make a difference, giving modern heroes access to a multi-use space where they can be productive, collaborate, seek adventure and experience new things. “Whether your stay be long or short, you’ll be a part of our community,”.A buzzing two-story Mexican eatery, Te Quiero Mucho, will serve up vibrant sharing-style plates and zingy margaritas alongside a broad selection of artisanal tequilas. The bar, which also serves at the hotel’s reception desk, is punctuated with eye-catching neon, a reflection of the high-octane experience that lies ahead at TQM.Mojo Nomad will open in the third quarter of 2018, with Grand Opening taking place this autumn. Source = Ovolo Hotels Grouplast_img read more

Egypt prioritises tourism sector

first_imgPromoting tourism is one of the main priorities of Egypt currently, said Rania Al-Mashat, Tourism Minister. 98% of the tourism sector in Egypt is owned by the private sector and the ministry is in talks with them to solve the issues they are currently facing.Al-Mashat said that tourism in Egypt is one of the largest contributing sectors to the country’s economy, during a session in ‘Africa 2018 Forum’. 20% of Egypt’s GDP was from tourism by the end of the first quarter of this fiscal year and the number of international visitors increased by 40% year-on-year.“We are working on many institutional reforms within the ministry, as well as offering training programmes abroad for the ministry’s staff, with the aim of developing local tourism to match global developments,” said Al-Mashat.Online marketing of the tourism of Egypt was developed by the Ministry. The Ministry is also working on reforming and updating current tourism-related legislation, added Al-Mashat.last_img read more

Gauging the Market 2008 to Today

first_img in Data, Government How much have housing sales recovered compared to 2008’s levels? According to the most “”recent measures””:http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/monitoring-the-economy/Documents/monthly%20ECONOMIC%20DATA%20TABLES.pdf released by the “”U.S. Treasury””:http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx, 2012’s sales fall somewhere in the middle between 2008’s highs and 2011’s lows.[IMAGE]The latest monthly data on U.S. economic statistics shows new home sales reached an annualized average of 368,000 in October. While that statistic comes in above 2010’s annualized monthly average of 321,000–and well above 2011’s average of 307,000–it still falls short of previous years.According to Treasury’s data, new home sales reached an annualized monthly average of 374,000 in 2009 and 482,000 in 2008. Averages have stayed firmly in the 360,000-370,000 range for the latter half of 2012.[COLUMN_BREAK]Meanwhile, housing starts have shown marked–albeit unstable–growth in the past few months alone. Starts were on track to total 894,000 for the year in October, towering over the 754,000 annualized monthly average recorded for June and approaching 2008’s monthly average of 900,000.Though starts took a dip from June to July (falling to an average 728,000), they have risen at an accelerated clip ever since.With mortgage rates nesting near all-time record lows–Treasury reported an average rate of 3.35 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage–demand is likely to remain elevated for some time, meaning sales and starts have the potential to stay healthy or improve further in the year ahead. However, that demand needs to actually translate into activity, says Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.org/.””Builders across the country are reporting some of the best sales conditions they’ve seen in more than five years, with more serious buyers coming forward and a shrinking number of vacant and foreclosed properties on the market,”” Rutenberg said in the group’s most recent “”Housing Market Index””:https://themreport.com/articles/builder-confidence-up-again-in-december-2012-12-18 update. “”However, one thing that is still holding back potential home sales is the difficulty that many families are encountering in getting qualified for a mortgage due to today’s overly stringent lending standards.”” Share December 21, 2012 371 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Sales Housing Starts Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Service Providers Treasury Department 2012-12-21 Tory Barringer Gauging the Market: 2008 to Todaylast_img read more