TAT – Situation Update of the Explosion Incident in Bangkok

first_imgTAT – Situation Update of the Explosion Incident in BangkokThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to convey the deepest sympathy and condolences to all the victims of the blast and their families at this traumatic time. The thoughts and prayers of the Thai people are with you.Thai authorities have stepped up security at key locations in Bangkok following the explosion that took place on Monday (17 August 2015 around 19.00 hrs.) at the city’s Ratchaprasong Intersection. The explosion is currently under police investigation. The spokesman of the Royal Thai Police stated that there have been a total of 22 casualties and 123 injuries as of 18 August 2015 at 07.00 hrs. The concerned authorities are contacting the families of victims of the blast and helping the injured to get medical treatment in local hospitals. The Thai tourism industry has mobilised the support of its members to assist and facilitate tourists affected by the incident, such as providing interpreters and helping with immediate travel arrangements.The Royal Thai Police have requested that locals and tourists exercise caution when out and about in Bangkok. The Police have also increased their presence and put extra security in place at all of Bangkok’s key tourist areas in response to the incident. Citywide patrols are in place to ensure the safety of locals and visitors to the Thai capital.Meanwhile, overall life in the city is continuing as normal. All public services and banks are available to the public. As for tourist businesses, other tourist sites, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and shopping malls remain open, while transportation links, major roads and airports continue to operate. This includes Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain and MRT services and both Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi International Airports receive domestic and international flights.In addition, events that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is supporting remain as scheduled, such as the “Way of Silk, the Way of Thai: A Tribute to Her Majesty the Queen” silk exhibition in Bangkok during 17-30 August, TBEX Asia 2015 during 15-17 October and the nationwide Loi Krathong festivities in November, as well as all other domestic and overseas marketing activities.TAT is monitoring and assessing the situation in Bangkok and will be providing regular updates.Useful contact for tourists: TAT Call Centre 1672.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

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Ethiopian Special Fares from Sydney – Melbourne

first_imgFrom AUD 1,300 From AUD 1,000 From AUD 930 Addis Ababa Entebbe, Nairobi,JohannesburgFrom AUD 900 Bujumbura Ethiopian special fares from SYD/MEL to Source = Ethiopian Airlines – World Aviation Systems Juba, Accra For further information, refer to your GDS or call Ethiopian Airlines on 1300 600 001 *Gross Published Special Fares from SYD/MEL with interline partners CX/QF via HKG or SYD-BKK on QF & onwards on Ethiopian Airlines. For Sales Now to 31Oct2015 – Departures on/before 31Mar2016* 40 Kgs baggage allowance.*Taxes Additional – Limited Seats Available – Further Conditions Apply Khartoum, Dar-Es-Salaam, Harare, Lagos From AUD 1,055last_img

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Jessica Watson OAM cooking up a storm at MTA 2016 National Conference

first_imgJessica Watson OAMJessica Watson OAM cooking up a storm at MTA 2016 National ConferenceMTA – Mobile Travel Agents brand ambassador Jessica Watson OAM is no stranger to a challenge.It’s a well know fact she has single-handedly circumnavigated the world, danced with the stars on national television, captained Sydney-Hobart yacht races in atrocious conditions and volunteered to work with youngsters in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, one of her many charitable causes.But Jessica’s latest challenge at the MTA ‘Power of Community’ National Conference from 04-06 March has her taking on a completely new role.In addition to her ambassadorial activities and assisting helping MC Dan Gregory throughout the conference, Jessica will also be donning chefs’ whites to assist celebrity chef Lance Seeto cook at a ‘conference wind down’ family fun event MTA has planned on Sunday, 06 March at Broadwater Parklands.Chef Seeto, head chef at Fiji’s Mana Island Resort and a close friend of MTA co-managing directors, Roy and Karen Merricks, has planned a Fijian style BBQ on the day with Fiji’s national dish ‘Kokoda’ (pronounced Kokonda) top of the menu as a special treat for those MTA Members and their families attending the event. Australian-born Chef Seeto is high profile on the Pacific culinary scene.An award-winning international food and travel writer, author, television presenter and life foods chef, he is credited with single-handedly igniting a culinary revolution across Fiji and has been integral in getting its people, restaurants and tourism partners to think differently about Fiji’s tropical island cuisine.Chef Seeto is also the country’s first Culinary Ambassador to Fiji Airways with his signature business class dishes appearing across the airline’s international network.“While not known as a Gordon Ramsay type chef, none the less Lance is a perfectionist so we hope Jessica can rise to the challenge,” Karen Merricks said.“If she doesn’t, no matter – we know Lance will keep her pretty busy with all the washing up after the event.” MTA – Mobile Travel Agentsdiscover more hereSource = Mike Parker-Brown, PR Consultant, MTA – Mobile Travel Agentslast_img read more

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British Airways steels with deal with new route to Pittsburgh

first_imgBritish Airways steels with deal with new route to PittsburghBritish Airways steels with deal with new route to PittsburghBritish Airways will shortly become the only airline to offer a direct flight from the UK to Pittsburgh. From April 2, 2019, the airline will launch a year round four-per-week service to the Pennsylvanian city from Heathrow.The new route will take the number of US destinations the airline flies to from London up to 26, and the number of daily flights offered by British Airways and American Airlines as part of their transatlantic joint business up to 67 per day.The route will be operated by one of British Airways’ newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, with special return fares from £600 in World Traveller and £1068 in World Traveller Plus available to book now on ba.com.Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said: “We are extremely pleased to be adding Pittsburgh to our global network of over 250 destinations. With the roll-out of WiFi on our longhaul flights and the ongoing investment we’re making in the customer experience on the ground and in the air, we’re proud to be flying the flag for high quality transatlantic travel.”The new flights will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with the BA0171 departing from London Heathrow at 5.00pm and landing into Pittsburgh at 8.15pm, while the BA0170 will leave Pittsburgh at 9.50pm, arriving into London at 10.25am the following day.As well as the thriving arts, culture and food scene, a vast range of outdoor activities are also easily accessible, afforded by the great rivers, green valleys and majestic mountains. Pittsburgh has also been labelled ‘Robot City’ as Google and Uber have campuses in the region and numerous other tech start-ups have established headquarters in the river valley town.British Airways will launch 16 new routes across the globe this year including direct flights to Nashville that started in March. These new routes come as the airline rolls out a £4.5 billion, five-year customer investment plan, with a focus on excellence in the premium cabins and more choice and quality for all its customers.For more information on Pittsburgh visit www.visitpittsburgh.comSource = British Airwayslast_img read more

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Cleartrip proposes increase of listings and cities on Activities app

first_imgCleartrip aims to include 300-400 activities from 30 cities on its new Activities app vertical by March 2016. The Activities app, which is part of the main Cleartrip mobile app, offers a range of 150 themes like culinary classes, food walks, segway tours, luxury bike rentals, yachting, adventure, go karting, photography trails, hiking, kids’ trips, day outings, and night treks. Samyukth Sridharan, President and COO, Cleartrip, informed that following the expansion of activities listing, Cleartrip intends to expand by getting more cities onboard. The app is available on iOS, Android, and Windows, with the activities prices starting from Rs 200.Recently, Cleartrip joined hands with SBI Card, whereby customers can carry out transaction on their website using the SimplyCLICKSBI Card and earn 10 times the reward points on the purchases made. The Card comes at a fee of Rs 499 and could be used at all merchant outlets within India and abroad.last_img read more

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InterContinental Hotels Group to launch the first Crowne Plaza in Pune

first_imgInterContinental Hotels Group announced the opening of the first Crowne Plaza in Pune – Crowne Plaza, PuneCity Centre. The 173-room hotel will operate under a management agreement with The Advantage Raheja Group and has been rebranded from an existing property.Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre lies in the Koregaon Park district located right in the heart of Pune. Situated at only a 20 minute drive from the airport and nearby key local businesses, venues and attractions, this hotel is ideal for hosting business travellers who need convenient access to the city while utilizing ample space for large corporate meetings and events.Designed to truly make business travel work, the hotel will undergo an extensive refurbishment to upgrade guest rooms, public areas, restaurants and meeting space. Furniture and fittings and other interior elements will be enhanced to create more inviting dining options and engaging spaces for both business and social interactions. Commencing June 2016, the refurbishment is anticipated to be complete early 2017 and the hotel will remain fully operational during this time.Shantha de Silva, Head of South West Asia, InterContinental Hotels Group said, “Over the last few years, Pune has established itself as one of the key commercial hubs of the country and so is a great market for the hospitality industry. Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts has been recognised globally as a reputable meetings hotel brand for the last 30 years and is the perfect brand to meet the needs of corporate travellers and the growing MICE business in this city. We’re delighted to be partnering with the Advantage Raheja Group on this hotel and look forward to offering business ready services to our guests here.”Deepak Bhagwandas Raheja, Founder of The Advantage Raheja Group said, “Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre will be equipped with the latest technology, quality furnishings and modern meeting facilities and I have every confidence it will be the number one business travel hotel in the city. Pune is expanding along its eastern and western peripheries and gradually transforming into a major tech and biotech centre so it is the perfect destination to develop a quality hotel that caters to the needs of corporate travellers. We’re pleased to be developing a leading business branded hotel with a global player like IHG, the company’s global distribution networks, loyalty programme and portfolio of preferred brands makes them the perfect partner to take the hotel to the next level. We look forward to welcoming our guests with the service and unique amenities they have come to expect at a Crowne Plaza.”last_img read more

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Ras Al Khaimah expects 20 growth from India in 2017

first_imgRas Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has outlined its strategy for 2017 for the Indian market during a press conference in Delhi.Speaking during the occasion, Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, said, “India has become a prominent market for us on which we are highly depending upon. We have experienced 35% growth in the first quarter of 2017 along with 10.6% boost in the length of stay of Indian travellers. Our destination has also experienced an overall increase of 72% in family travel segment. Therefore, we are hopeful to receive a promising number by the end of this year from India.”“Tourism is a very big contributor to our GDP, 40% of our visitors are from the neighbouring emirates and 60% travellers are international visitors. Since we witnessed 35% increase from the Indian market in the first quarter of 2017, our prime focus would be to achieve about 15-20% rise in 2017,” added Shaji Thomas, Director, Destination Tourism Development, Government of Ras Al Khaimah.RAKTDA is working on introducing a range of activities for newlyweds, honeymooners and MICE and will be aggressively promoting it among the Indian market. The destination’s manmade island namely Marjan Island currently house four hotels and RAKTDA anticipates to house 20 hotels by 2025.To further enthral the adventure enthusiasts, RAKTDA targets to claim the world’s longest zip line title from Puerto by converting Jebel Jais Via Ferrata zip line into the world’s longest by the fourth quarter of 2017. For golfing options, the place has two renowned golf courses that include Tower Links and Al Hamara Golf Club, from which, Al Hamara has been a home for the European Challenge Tour in 2016 and will also be hosting the 2017 edition.last_img read more

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Court Ruling May Delay DoddFrank Regulations

first_img August 3, 2011 404 Views A recent ruling by U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., faulted the “”Securities and Exchange Commission””:http://www.sec.gov/ (SEC) for failing to perform a sufficiently thorough economic impact analysis before it moved forward with a new rule, according to “”_Bloomberg News_””:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-22/dodd-frank-act-s-rules-may-be-at-legal-risk-after-sec-appeals-court-defeat.html. The decision could roll over onto provisions established by the Dodd-Frank Act, delaying those provisions and preventing new rules from going into effect.[IMAGE]Proposed by the commission last year, the SEC reportedly intended the rule to give more heft to candidates in line for positions on company boards and help investors oust unwanted directors. According to _Bloomberg_, this makes yet another case the SEC lost in court as the commission works to put on paper and finalize some 100 rules that Dodd-Frank requires it to write.””The commission inconsistently and opportunistically framed the costs and benefits of the rule; failed adequately to quantify the certain costs or to explain why those costs could not be quantified; neglected to support its predictive judgments; contradicted itself; and failed to respond to substantial problems raised by commenters,”” the news service reported U.S. Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg as writing. “”The entire Dodd-Frank implementation is at heavy risk because if any of these rules are challenged by the courts, they won’t survive,”” _Bloomberg_ reported Hal Scott, “”Harvard Law School””:http://www.law.harvard.edu/index.html professor and director of the Program on International Financial Systems, as saying.[COLUMN_BREAK]Rule-writing is an extensive process for federal regulatory agencies, one that can take up to one or more years. Economic impact analyses figure into the marathon as one of the last steps before a rule is approved by an agency, with lengthy commentary periods, agency-to-agency consultations, legal reviews, and more serving as roadblocks in the approval process.””I don’t see notice and comment as a panacea for bad regulation,”” Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies at the “”Cato Institute””:http://www.cato.org/, said in a past interview with _MReport_.This rule got the green-light in May after SEC commissioners voted in approval by 3 to 2. Among the changes wrought by the rule: a $100,000 reward for whistleblowers who came forward to federal authorities about corporate rule-breaking that required fines and penalties of more than $1 million, according to the “”_Wall Street Journal_””:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904772304576470313933175814.html.The _Journal_ reported that a dissenting commissioner who cast a nay vote said that she felt concern over procedures by the SEC that neglected tallying the final costs to employers.Despite the ruling, there is still more rule-writing to be done, according to _Bloomberg_. Dodd-Frank charged the SEC with responsibility for some 70 proposed rules.””The court has sent a clear signal that the agency must continue to improve its efforts in that area,”” the news service reports Eugene Scalia, a lawyer at “”Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP””:http://www.gibsondunn.com/default.aspx, as saying. “”The decision is notable for the number of different errors it finds in the commission’s analysis and the degree for which those errors go to the very core of the commission’s argument.”” Richard Eckman, a managing partner at “”Pepper Hamilton LLP””:http://www.pepperlaw.com/ and chair of the law firm’s financial services practice group, went further for a past story by saying that agencies often use orders and guidance in addition to rule-writing authority. He also said that federal agencies are anything but foreign to suits and court decisions.A contentious suit brought against the “”Environmental Protection Agency””:http://www.epa.gov/ in 2000 successfully strong-armed the agency into overturning controversial guidance that the presiding court said “”should have been subject to the rulemaking procedures.”” Attorneys & Title Companies Dodd-Frank Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers The Cato Institute U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission 2011-08-03 Ryan Schuette in Governmentcenter_img Share Court Ruling May Delay Dodd-Frank Regulationslast_img read more

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HARP Volume Surpasses FHFA Expectations in 2012

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Refinance Service Providers 2013-03-13 Tory Barringer refinance,HARP Volume Surpasses FHFA Expectations in 2012 Share March 13, 2013 418 Views center_img in Data, Origination Refinance volume under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) pulled back slightly in Q4 2012, but data from the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) indicates interest in the program remains high.[IMAGE]FHFA’s “”December 2012 Refinance Report””:http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/25033/Dec12RefiReport.pdf shows HARP volume was 76,461 in the year’s final month. For the quarter, HARP volume was 297,461, representing 22 percent of total refinance volume reported by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.According to FHFA, nearly 1.1 million HARP refinances were completed in 2012, bringing total volume to 2.2 million since the program’s implementation in April 2009.The top five states for HARP refinances (since 2009) are California (which has reported 301,327 refinances under the program), Florida (175,686), Illinois (147,252), Michigan (144,709), and Arizona (106,387). In terms of HARP share, Nevada takes the No. 1 spot, with 46 percent of refinances since April 2009 falling under the program (compared to the national average of 15 percent). In December alone, HARP refinances represented 68 percent of total refinances in the state, triple the national average of 21 percent.FHFA also reported most HARP refinances since the program’s inception have been on primary residences (1,895,827 loans). Second homes comprised 69,522 HARP refinances, and 199,672 were for investment properties.In December, 18 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity faster than the traditional 30-year mortgage. The findings fit with Freddie Mac’s “”refinance data””:https://themreport.com/articles/freddie-mac-27-of-q4-refinancers-shortened-loan-terms-2013-02-12, which showed that 27 percent of borrowers who refinanced in Q4 opted for a shorter loan term.last_img read more

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Indecomm Honored Among Outsourcing Companies

first_img June 17, 2014 450 Views Indecomm Honored Among Outsourcing Companies in News, Uncategorized Company News Indecomm 2014-06-17 Tory Barringercenter_img Indecomm, a provider of consulting and outsourcing solutions for mortgage lending, retail banking, and other industries, has once again ranked among the top global outsourcing companies by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP).The company ranked 54th among the top global 100 companies in the Leaders category for the 2014 Global Outsourcing 100, according to a release. The honor marks the seventh straight year that Indecomm has been recognized by IAOP as a global corporate leader.”Each year the competition to be named to The Global Outsourcing 100 and The World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors lists continues to reach higher levels,” said Jagdish Dalal, chief advisor of thought leadership for IAOP and chairman of the judges’ panel. “Given the strong competition, getting named to these lists is a great recognition and these companies should be proud of achieving excellence in the field.”In addition, Indecomm was also honored among the Best 5 Leaders in Education, the Best 10 Leaders in Corporate Services, and the Best 10 Leaders in Southeast Asia. The firm also ranked among the Best 20 Leaders category in Transaction Processing Services and the Best 20 Companies in India.”The real winners of this award are our business partners. It is with them that we achieve excellence and we are rewarded by seeing our partners grow,” said Naresh Ponnapa, CEO of Indecomm. “Our partners and our professionals have teamed to win these awards.” Sharelast_img read more

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TenX Inventory Troubles Will Continue to Limit ExistingHome Sales

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination, Technology Supply and demand troubles have been constant burdens on the housing market’s recovery, and Ten-X.com (formerly Auction.com) predicts that existing-home sales will be affected by the lack of options in the market.Existing-home sales have been on a series of highs and lows since the implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule.After suffering a major drop in November 2015 and recovering with the largest monthly increase ever recorded in December, existing-home sales seem to have found their balance to start the new year.The existing-home sales report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) proves that lenders are well on the path to recovery from TRID delays.  The report found that existing-home sales increased 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million in January from a downwardly revised 5.45 million in December. Existing sales are now 11.0 percent higher than a year ago, the highest annual rate in six months and the largest year-over-year gain since 16.3 percent July 2013.Ten-X’s Residential Real Estate Nowcast shows that existing-home sales for February 2016 are expected to fall  between 5.23 and 5.58 million annual sales, with a targeted number of 5.4 million. This number is up 10.4 percent year-over-year, but down 1.3 percent month-over-month.”Following the temporary market setbacks brought on by the implementation of the CFPB’s ‘Know Before You Owe’ rules, the latest sales figures indicate that housing is starting off the year on solid ground,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “Several positive underlying fundamentals–particularly a stronger labor market and improved household spending power due to reduced energy expenses–should lead to a rise in home sales despite growing global economic concerns and relatively weak GDP growth.”According to the NAR, the median existing-home price in January was $213,800, up 8.2 percent from last January’s median price of $197,600. Housing inventory rose 3.4 percent to 1.82 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 2.2 percent lower than a year ago when inventory totaled 1.86 million. Inventory levels remain low at a 4.0-month supply, up slightly from 3.9 months in December 2015.Ten-X forecast that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $209,607 and $231,671 in the month of February with a targeted price of $220,639. This will mark a 9.3 percent year-over-year increase.“Constrained inventory will continue to limit the recovery of the housing market, and it doesn’t seem likely that we’re going to see a surge in the number of homes for sale as the spring home buying season approaches,” said Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “As demand appears to be growing–especially in certain geographies–prices are likely to rise, impacting affordability, and leaving homeownership just out of reach for many would-be buyers.” Share Ten-X: Inventory Troubles Will Continue to Limit Existing-Home Salescenter_img Auction.com Existing-Home Sales Residential Real Estate Nowcast Ten-X 2016-03-02 Staff Writer March 2, 2016 693 Views last_img read more

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This Demographic is Loving the American Dream

first_imgThis Demographic is Loving the American Dream The decline in the U.S. homeownership rate has been well-documented over the last couple of years; in the second quarter, the rate fell to a 51-year low of 62.9 percent.The homeownership rate is not declining for everyone, however. There is one group that is grabbing an increasingly higher share of the American Dream of homeownership.According to Trulia, the gap is closing between the homeownership rate for immigrants (U.S. residents born outside the country) and the rate for domestic-born residents. The disparity in homeownership rate between immigrants and domestic-born U.S. residents peaked in 2001 at 20.7 percentage points between the two rates but has narrowed considerably since then (15.7 percentage points in 2015).The homeownership rate of domestic-born U.S. residents has basically stayed flat over the last two decades while the rate for immigrants has increased during that same period, according to Trulia. In 1994, the homeownership rate for immigrants was 48.1 percent, compared with 66 percent for U.S.-born residents (a difference of about 17.9 percent). Both rates rose and then peaked during the bubble years, then started to fall; however, by 2015, the homeownership rate for U.S. residents in 2015 was basically the same as it had been in 1994, while the rate for foreign-born immigrants in 2015 (50.5 percent) was 2.3 percentage points higher than it was two decades earlier.Homeownership has long been viewed as a key to economic prosperity and building wealth. The closing disparity between the two and the fact that the homeownership rate is higher for immigrants than it was two decades ago indicates that immigrants are building more wealth and contributing more to the economy, according to Trulia.Immigrants are closing the gap because many of them are staying in the U.S. longer and building up a solid credit history and employment history, Trulia found.  For instance, the homeownership rate among immigrants who have lived in the country for five years or less was much lower than that of immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for 10 or more years in every state.“This is likely due to the fact that immigrants who lived in the U.S. less than five years do not have adequate credit history in the U.S. to obtain a mortgage, which forces them to rent rather than own,” said Mark Uh, data scientist with Trulia. “Thus, those states with a greater proportion of foreign-born having lived in the U.S. for longer durations saw higher rates of homeownership.” American Dream Homeownership 2016-10-13 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img October 13, 2016 566 Views Sharelast_img read more

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Sellers Biggest Hurdle Finding Another Home

first_img Homebuyers Inventory sales 2017-03-31 Seth Welborn March 31, 2017 556 Views The greatest challenge for home sellers this year appears to be finding another home to buy. That’s according to a new survey by Redfin, which found that for almost 66 percent of sellers, the biggest concern they have is finding a new property. “It’s a seller’s market, but the catch is, most sellers need to buy as well,” said Eileen Lorway, a Redfin real estate agent in the Boston area. “This is a conversation I have with many clients at our first meeting.”A frequent part of the conversation, Lorway said, were stipulations designed to keep sellers from ending up homeless, or at least unreasonably displaced, once they close the sale.“We discuss options like ‘seller to find suitable housing’ contingencies for the sale contract, ‘purchase contingent on sale of current home’ options for the buy offer, rental options, stay-with-family options and bridge loans,” she said. “Sellers who are buying need to think outside the box a little bit. It’s not easy, but we often do end up closing on sale and purchase on the same day.”Redfin’s poll of 800 agents found that more than half reported homes selling faster this year than last. Half also reported that competition for homes that do go on the market now is more fierce. About 57 percent of agents poled said they have been involved in at least one instance of a home receiving 10 or more offers this year; a mere 2 percent said they have yet to be involved in a bidding war at all.Not insignificantly, nearly a third of agents said that sellers are becoming more demanding. And almost half said though it’s very much a seller’s market, more sellers are making unrealistic demands and asking unrealistic prices for their properties.Lorway said she encourages sellers who are also buyers to think about selling first.“They should consider temporary rental options, or moving in with relatives after they sell,” she said.Half of agents reported that the typical down payment for successful buyers in their market was less than 20 percent. This, Redfin reported, means there are other ways to make an offer competitive‒‒working with a reputable local lender who can guarantee to the seller’s agent that the loan will be approved quickly, for instance, or building a rapport with the seller.“I recently had an FHA-backed offer with 3.5 percent down beat out four other offers, each of which had conventional 20-percent down loans,” said Tim Zielonka, a Redfin agent in Chicago. “The sellers were at the showing. I introduced them to the buyers and pointed out that both were huge enthusiasts of both vintage bicycles and classic cars, which put them at ease with one another and enabled them to form a natural connection. Had they not discovered this shared interest, my clients may not have gotten the property.” Sellers’ Biggest Hurdle? Finding Another Homecenter_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

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LPS 19 preview South Africa anticipates challeng

first_img LPS ’19 preview: South Africa anticipates challeng … South African avocado export forecast up, EU price … Meanwhile, the harvests in the Northern Cape’s Orange River region – one of the country’s two biggest production areas, along with the Hex River region – are running around 10 to 14 days late, which has put pressure on shipments to China where the Chinese New Year will be celebrated early this year, Bestbier said.Export growth to China yet to take offAlthough South Africa in late 2016 achieved what was described as a “breakthrough” in its export protocol with China, shipments to that market have not yet seen any substantial growth and the Far Eastern market only receives around 3% of exports.Bestbier said while he is grateful for the Chinese authorities for granting the protocol allowing the fruit to be shipped at a more favorable temperature, South Africa needed to boost its performance in the market.”We are formulating a strategy to raise awareness of South African table grapes in China,” he said. “Over the course of the next few months, running into our next season, we are very keen and committed to making much better inroads into the Chinese market.”He said South Africa has a good and rising supply of new grape varieties which are proving to be popular in China, but he emphasized that more work needed to be done to better understand the market.”As an industry, we are still sorting out the technicalities around the protocol. This season we are monitoring quite a few consignments of various varieties under various logistical configurations into China to see exactly what works and what doesn’t work,” he said.”We have to be sure that we have the capacity to land our product in good condition there to compete with any other product, so that’s all the preparatory work that we’re busy with now.” You might also be interested in South Africa: Port operator says NCT backlog will … center_img January 23 , 2019 The South African table grape industry has been enjoying better growing conditions this year with higher water availability and good crops expected in most regions, but an industry representative has said conditions so far have been “tough” in the country’s leading markets.The U.K. and European markets- which generally receive around three-quarters of South Africa’s table grape exports – have been challenging over the last couple of months due to greater volumes shipped from Peru, according to Willem Bestbier, CEO of industry association SATI.High stocks of local fruit in the U.S. last year combined with a marked recovery in Peru’s table grape production this season have led to much more fruit being shipped to South Africa’s key markets. Peru’s table grape exports to Europe by week 1 were 100% higher year-on-year, an industry representative recently said.”We’re finding the market quite tough. The main reason is because of the higher stocks in the U.S., which had the result of when Peru started to pick their grapes, and Chile a bit later, America was not as attractive as it normally is at this time of the year and therefore the other Southern Hemisphere countries also started to send more volumes into our main markets, Europe and the UK.”But he hoped that that now U.S. stocks have returned to normal levels, Chile and Peru might be able to send higher volumes to that market, providing some relief to South Africa.”We’re just not sure how that’s going to turn out, but we’re hoping for a better mid- and late-season,” he said.With the Hex River region now coming online, South Africa is entering its peak export period. The crop forecast is for 63 million to 70 million boxes, which is slightly higher than last year.Good rains last year and normal weather over recent months have created more favorable growing conditions than the previous season. However, Bestbier noted that although the Olifants River region did now have water in its dam, the area seemed to be recovering from its very severe drought slower than initially anticipated. South Africa: Jupiter Group upgrades practices, fa …last_img read more

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LISTEN John Clayton ESPN NFL insider

first_imgLISTEN: John Clayton, ESPN NFL insider Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Last November, Arizona Cardinals fans watched their starting quarterback, Carson Palmer, crumble to the ground after tearing his ACL. Backup Drew Stanton stepped up, and threw a touchdown pass on his first drive of the game. Stanton went on to help the Cardinals squeak out four wins in their following six games. He threw for 1,182 yards with five touchdown passes and five interceptions before he too went down with a knee injury a month after getting the starting nod. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Your browser does not support the audio element. Mike Glennon, who will back up Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston this season and was thought by ESPN’s Matt Williamson to be a good pickup option for the Cardinals, was listed at No. 6. This week, ESPN’s John Clayton released his list of the top-10 best backups in the league, fresh off the re-signing of some notable backups like Seattle’s Tavaris Jackson and Matt Flynn as the backup to New England’s Jimmy Garappolo while Tom Brady sits (and seethes) through his four-game suspension. Stanton was not on the list of these names, which included Ryan Fitzpatrick at No. 1 and Mark Sanchez at No. 2.Clayton wrote, “The league-wide thought on a quality backup is that they can win you three games once they get on the field, but if you play them six, they could lose you three.” That logic explains the choices of Fitzpatrick and Sanchez, the former of whom won six games in 12 starts and the latter of whom won four of his eight starts. The list names Christian Ponder at No. 8, who played two games last season and threw four passes.“Ponder makes the list because he’s averaged 23.5 points per game during his starts…he had the benefits of having Adrian Peterson in the Vikings backfield,” wrote Clayton.Miami’s Matt Moore was listed at No. 9. He threw two completions last season on four attempts. In fact, Moore hasn’t been fully tested as a backup since 2011 and has thrown just 29 passes in the last three years. last_img read more

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Jaron Brown is one of the leastknown members of t

first_imgJaron Brown is one of the least-known members of the Arizona Cardinals’ receiving group.Entering Sunday’s game in Seattle, he had caught just six passes for 51 yards and one touchdown, numbers that pale in comparison to the more heralded Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd.But in Arizona’s 39-32 win at Century LinkField, it was the less-known Brown who came up big late, catching three passes for 38 yards in place of the injured Floyd. All three receptions went for first downs, and all three were instrumental in the Cardinals’ final two touchdown drives. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   “I really can’t remember,” he said of what happened. “I just remember seeing it in the air. Any deflection you always want to go out there and get the ball. So, just trying to make a play for the team.”Make a play he did. Make the play he did.Given the precarious nature of Floyd’s hamstring injury, it’s very possible Brown will once again have a prominent role next Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. After his performance against the Seahawks, stepping up when the team needed him most, there is no lack of confidence that he’ll be able to get the job done.“I love Jaron,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said after the game. “I mean, the guy comes in (as an) unrestricted free agent, and every year (someone is) trying to replace him, and he just fights his ass off every single day, every single way, special teams, whatever it takes to help our team out.“Today that was the biggest play of the day, hands down. You’re going against arguably the best corner in the National Football League with the game in the balance and his desire and determination was able to help come down with that football and possess it and get a first down. That was a huge moment for us.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling What a play, @jaronbrown13.#AZvsSEA pic.twitter.com/Q4nKcHdLN6— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) November 16, 2015Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he thought there was some contact on that play that may have warranted a penalty flag, but noted that you cannot expect to get calls like that on the road in a hostile environment.“Jaron just came in and made plays,” he said. “He’s done that ever since he’s been here. It’s crucial to be deep, and we’re so deep, especially at the receiver position.”Brown, in his third season out of Clemson, said there wasn’t really all that much to the play. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “Nobody stepped up bigger than Jaron Brown,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “Mike pulled a hamstring in the fourth quarter. Smokey (John Brown) was still struggling with his. Jaron came in and made some huge plays.”Arguably the hugest of them all was his first, a 10-yard catch where he basically stole a tipped ball that seemed all but certain to be intercepted by Seattle’s Richard Sherman. Brown’s awareness on the play not only prevented disaster, but allowed Arizona to continue the drive in which it would ultimately score and regain the lead. – / 42 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter The Outrigger Laguna

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >The Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort has announced over 20 delectable foodie events for the festive period 24 December to 1 January.The mouth-watering creations by executive chefs Roberto Conrad, Mustapha Haj Omar and Aod Sittikraisit have been created to make Christmas and New Year a culinary sensation.Chef Roberto will showcase Locavore at its festive best with a Christmas Eve Buffet featuring slow-roasted grain-fed Australian sirloin, Christmas turkey with all the trimmings, roast leg of lamb and more (adults THB1,990++; kids THB950++) or savour grilled lobster, fin de Claire oysters and the outdoor beachfront barbecue at Edgewater (THB2990++/1200++).Christmas carols and cocktails take place at Icon with a local choir 6.30pm until midnight on the 24 December.On Christmas Day, Wagyu beef Tomahawk steak and Argentinian Malbec are the highlights at Locavore, 12 noon to 10pm (THB3990++), while Metzo’s offers a brunch feast of charcoal grill signature dishes, shawarma specialities, mezze and tapas, plus turkey with all the trimmings (extra charge THB300++), with two hours free-flow drinks (THB990++/THB2290++ with beverages), 11:30am to 3:30pm. There are rumours that Santa might make an appearance.After a day of festivities and gifts, chill to jazz and soul with an evening seafood barbecue by the beach at Edgewater (THB1600++/800++)For New Year the focus is on the Gala Dinner and Dance at Locavore with five-piece live band, magician, DJ, fireworks and a luxurious international buffet (THB7000++/3500++).Edgewater will bring in the New Year at the beachfront with a sumptuous five-course set menu for lobster lovers (THB5900++/2950++). Alternatively, guests can reserve a private room, terrace or bistro table for Mediterranean delights at Metzo’s 6-10.30pm (THB2500++/900++).On New Year’s Day, Locavore will restore equilibrium with a special full international brunch with optional spicy Thai Bloody Mary on arrival (THB1250++/625++).Other highlights include a Lebanese buffet in the evening of 27 December and Chef Aod’s authentic Thai-Thai experiences on the 27 and 29 December. There’s Singapore chilli crab or a meat-eaters’ special with Chef Mustapha on the evening of 28 December.“With our brand-new layout at Metzo’s and the combination of our Locavore, Edgewater and Icon venues, we have the perfect setting for a fabulous festive period,” said Tony Pedroni, General Manager.Kids’ Night OutThe ‘Kids Night Out’ initiative offers parents the option of placing their children in the kids’ club if they are dining in one of the hotel restaurants. Children eat at the club, watch movies and engage in fun activities from 6 to 9pm for THB 700++, kids’ meal and drinks included.Mr Pedroni recommends early bookings for each culinary event over the festive period to avoid disappointment.The Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort is located in Laguna Phuket on Bang Tao Beach, 20 minutes from the airport. The hotel can arrange roundtrip taxis for Phuket residents seeking to join festive season culinary events by Outrigger.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Emirates has announced

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterEmirates has announced that it will introduce a third daily service between Dubai and Cape Town from 4 July 2016.The new service will supplement the two current daily flights between the two cities to meet growing demand on the route, and offer outbound and inbound travellers even more convenience and choice.Operated by Emirates’ popular Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, flight EK 778 will depart Dubai at 1050 hours and arrive in Cape Town at 1830 hours. The return flight, EK 779 will depart Cape Town at 2005 hours and arrive in Dubai at 0730 hours the following morning. The timing of the flights will give Cape Town customers and those from across Emirates’ global network greater flexibility in their travel plans and offer convenient transit times to connecting flights through the airline’s modern hub, Dubai.Cape Town is one of the most popular destinations in the Emirates global network, and the additional flight will help meet the growing demand for seats into and out of the city, further supporting the local tourism and hospitality industry. The increased frequency underscores South Africa’s importance as a major business and tourism destination, and Emirates’ commitment to supporting growth in these sectors by enabling global connectivity through its extensive network of more than 150 destinations.The current codeshare cooperation between Emirates and South African Airways on flights between Dubai and South Africa will also be extended to include the additional Cape Town flight, giving greater access to SAA’s customers on Emirates’ global network.The Boeing 777-300ER, will be in a three class configuration with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class. As with all Emirates flights into South Africa, customers will experience the famous on board service from its multi-national cabin crew from 130 countries, including South Africans, and enjoy regionally and internationally inspired meals prepared by gourmet chefs.The aircraft also features Emirates’ award-winning ice entertainment system, offering up to 2500 channels of on demand movies, television programmes, music, audio books and music.In Cape Town, Emirates also offers First Class and Business Class customers a complimentary chauffeur drive service, as well as a dedicated and luxury lounge facility at the airport, which Platinum and Gold members of its Frequent Flyer Programme, Skywards, can also enjoy.Key outbound markets for Cape Town customers include various points in Europe, the United States, Middle East, West Asia and the Asia Pacific region, with the new flight (EK779) enabling convenient connections onto Emirates flights from Dubai, as well as for inbound customers from across the network transiting for the flight (EK778) to the city.The added frequency will also provide up to 23 tonnes of cargo capacity on the aircraft per flight, giving businesses and traders opportunities for increased imports and exports.Emirates first launched services to South Africa 20 years ago, and in addition to Cape Town, the airline also operates four daily flights between Dubai and Johannesburg, and a daily flight between Dubai and Durban.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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Helena Bay Lodge Northland New Zealands new luxu

first_imgHelena Bay Lodge, Northland New Zealand’s new luxury beachfront property, this week announced that it has joined international hospitality association Relais & Châteaux.Opened November 2016, Helena Bay Lodge is a beachfront retreat tucked along 3.2 kilometres of private Northland New Zealand coastline. The boutique property offers suites with balconies set right along the banks of the beach, delivering unobstructed views of Helena Bay cove and a natural soundtrack of gently crashing waves.Set on 323 hectares of greenery and peaceful shores, the lodge offers exclusivity paired with cuisine from the team of Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890 in Italy, at restaurant Don Alfonso at Helena Bay. The lodge’s kitchen serves nightly degustation menus blending classic Italian traditions of the Sorrento peninsula and Amalfi Coast with coastal New Zealand influences, made with ingredients sourced from on-property farms, gardens and orchards. When not enjoying fine dining, luxurious accommodations and views, guests can visit the European-style spa for a massage, or seek out adventure on stand-up paddle boards or electric bikes.“As a member of hospitality’s upper echelon, this is a badge of honour that we will wear proudly,” says GM Neil McFarlane. “In the culinary realm especially, we are delighted that our restaurant team at Don Alfonso at Helena Bay will join the ranks of Relais & Châteaux’s family of chefs, who are regarded as some of the best culinary artists of the hotel world.”Fellow New Zealand members of Relais & Châteaux include: The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Huka Lodge, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Wharekauhau Country Estate, Otahuna Lodge and Matakauri Lodge.last_img read more

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WiFi has finally been introduced at London Heathr

first_imgWi-Fi has finally been introduced at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5, which is the last terminal to receive broadband internet access at the flagship BAA airport.The new Wi-Fi hotspot will be the largest on offer from its provider, T-Mobile, in the UK offering passengers speeds of up to 8MB per second.Those using the service will be charged £10 to gain access to the service for 24-hours.Users will also be able to pay £5 for just one hour, while T-Mobile broadband customers will be able to gain access to the network for free.Ian Denchfield, head of commercial telecoms at airport operator BAA, said: “Seamless internet connectivity is an important part of our commitment to innovation and will form a key element in the future of travel.”The Wi-Fi system has a range equal to an area the size of 50 football pitches.Meanwhile, British Airways has recently opened a new dedicated check-in centre at Heathrow Terminal 5 exclusively for business class passengers.Related Reading: Getting Online, Onboard: Airborne WiFi Find Skyscanner on Facebook! ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedT5 welcomes first flights and soaring expectationsHeathrow’s long-anticipated Terminal 5 has opened to passengers today.T-Mobile chooses Terminal 5 for latest flashmob adT-Mobile chooses Terminal 5 for latest flashmob adHeathrow Airport Guide – app of the weekHeathrow Airport Guide – app of the weeklast_img read more

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