Construction and homes expo in Belén to focus on sustainability

Construction and homes expo in Belén to focus on sustainability

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first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s high-rise boom The Tico Times announces 1st English-language media alliance with Costa Rican Chamber of Realtors Heredia Hills Estate – Reduced to sell What $50 million gets you in Miami’s resurgent condo market More than 230 businesses will display their latest home and construction products at a fair focusing on developing eco-friendly and energy-saving homes.The ExpoConstrucción y Vivenda 2014 opened Wednesday afternoon and will continue through Sunday at the Pedregal Event Center in Belén, northwest of the capital.Randall Briceño, president of the event’s organizing committee, anticipated 40,000 total attendees to peruse products ranging from power tools, construction equipment, building materials, and even mortgage options.“Construction is a revitalizing part of the economy, creating residual and multiplying effects,” Briceño said in an interview.The year 2014 marked the 16th expo, and Briceño said the main innovation was providing attendees with a written guide that can take them through all the steps of building a home in Costa Rica. The guide will help attendees navigate the 600 stands at the expo through the stages of homeownership, such as acquiring permits, information for property developers, and technical details on building construction.Expo organizers invited the press to a preview on Wednesday morning, and construction teams filled Pedregal’s center, setting up the stands and model rooms. A group of students from Institute of Technology of Costa Rica and Trópika plan to unveil a prototype of an ecological sustainable home on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. The prototype is a preparation for the team’s entry in the June-July Solar Decathlon in France.Other companies were hawking similar eco-friendly home solutions, which have the added benefit of mitigating rising electricity costs in Costa Rica. Insulation manufacturer Prodex had a stand manned by technical adviser Manuel González, offering ceiling, wall and floor insulation to protect air-conditioned homes from the intense tropical sun.“This insulation can help deal with the thermal heat that comes in from the ceiling, which affects homes in all parts of Costa Rica,” González said in an interview.Prospective homeowners can peruse more than tangible products at the expo, as banks and credit unions are showcasing special mortgage rates for the expo attendees. Leticia Arguedas, a spokeswoman for Banco Davivienda, said her company was optimistic about a rebound in Costa Rica’s real estate market – a sentiment shared by several bank representatives at the expo.“We won’t be at the level we were at in 2007,” Arguedas said in an interview. “We are going to help our clients in a responsible and sustainable way.”Schedule:On Thursday at 10 a.m. the expo will showcase an eco-friendly home prototype. Doors open for the main expo from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m on Friday and Saturday.On Saturday and Sunday, attendees must pay a $4 entry fee, and doors are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Turrialba overlook

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first_imgA flycatcher bird sits on a powerline overlooking the city of Turrialba. Facebook Comments Related posts:Just hanging out for Semana Santa Flying over the Osa Peninsula Photos, video and more of Turrialba Volcano eruption and aftermath UPDATE: Costa Rica’s Turrialba Volcano erupts, forcing capital airport to temporarily closelast_img

Phife Dawg brought humor and humanity to A Tribe Called Quest

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first_imgDespite all of the chest-puffy braggadocio, the great American rap songbook still contains a surprising amount of bad-luck songs — and none more endearing than “8 Million Stories,” a 1993 gem from A Tribe Called Quest.Across two jouncing verses, Phife Dawg explains why his “blood pressure’s blowin’ up” in priceless detail. Smash-and-grabbers lift the stereo out of his car. A flakey girl stands him up for a date. His kid brother throws a hissy-fit in the aisles of a KB toy store. And then, adding insult to injury, some referee tosses his favorite shooting guard out of the Knicks game: “To top if off, Starks got ejected.”Amazing that all of this high-spirited self-deprecation could still spark smiles on Tuesday as news spread across the Internet that Phife — born Malik Taylor — had died earlier in the morning. He was 45 years old, and while the cause of death wasn’t immediately announced, it’s widely known that Phife underwent a kidney transplant in 2008 after being diagnosed with diabetes in 1990.The rapper’s health problems became a significant plot-point in “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,” a 2011 documentary about the pioneering New York hip-hop group that Phife formed alongside Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White. The film centered itself around whether or not the foursome might reunite, zooming in on the creative tensions between Phife and Q-Tip in a way that resembled unseemly reality television.And so much of Tribe’s story is etched into its music, anyway — something that feels most evident the verses Phife contributed to the group’s 1993 masterstroke, “Midnight Marauders,” an album where the syllables bounced out of his mouth to mesmerizing effect. Tempering his boasts with confessional minutiae, Phife rapped about his earliest influences (“My favorite jam back in the day was ‘Eric B. for President””), his secret infatuations (“Used to have a crush on Dawn from En Vogue”), and his physical insecurities (“Height of Muggsy Bogues, complexion of a hockey puck”), all with brio to spare.Over and over, he went for big laughs by spilling his guts at the top of his lungs. There was so much generosity in that. Hearing about his bad days made ours better. “To top it off, Starks got ejected.”Rough day. Not as rough as this one.© 2016, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg dies at 45 Mathematics tracks the hip-hop ‘revolution’ Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey dies at 67 Pop icon Prince dead at 57last_img read more

Choreographer and former Costa Rican resident MaryLu Tosi dies at 91

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first_img Facebook Comments Choreographer and performer MaryLu Tosi, who lived in Costa Rica with her family for many years, died on March 30 at the age of 91 in Ft. Myers, Florida.Longtime friend Margarita Downey told The Tico Times that Tosi was born and raised in Connecticut and studied to be a laboratory technician. After she met and married Joseph Tosi, a Yale graduate, the couple traveled together to Peru where Joe worked as an ecologist and geographer. There, they had three children, Alex, Lucinda and John.The family settled in Costa Rica in the early sixties, and Dr. Joseph Tosi founded the Tropical Science Center. Ih that role, he advised conservation projects all over Costa Rica including the Monteverde Reserve, La Selva and Braulio Carillo National Park. (Courtesy of Joseph Tosi) Related posts:Little Theatre Group unveils latest production Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Dean Hinton, former U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, dies at 94 Arts and culture at a glance: the week ahead in Costa Ricacenter_img “MaryLu Tosi thrived on choreography, performing on television, helping the Little Theatre Group of Costa Rica, staging shows at the National Theater, the Centro Cultural, the Hotel Costa Rica, and other important venues in Costa Rica with her dance troupe,” Downey wrote. “She was a teacher, a performer, a choreographer and also founded Staff of Life, the very first cottage industry in San Ramón de Tres Rios, which supplyied homemade bread and four flavors of granola in the 1970s for grocery stores. MaryLu was energy, spontaneity, creativity and a showgirl!”“She was one of those life-changing people to so many,” added Downey, who was Tosi’s neighbor in San Ramón de Tres Ríos. (Courtesy of Joseph Tosi) (Courtesy of Joseph Tosi)The Tico Times thanks Margarita Downey and MaryLu’s grandson, Joseph, for these photos and information.last_img read more

MISSING PERSON Carla Stefaniak

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first_imgRelated posts:Missing persons alert: Limón OIJ finds female body near where Carla Stefaniak went missing Carla Stefaniak, 36, a Tampa native who was visiting Costa Rica for her birthday, has been missing since Tuesday night.Stefaniak’s friend and sister-in-law, April Antonieta, reported on Facebook that the last time they heard from her was around 8 p.m. on Nov. 27.ABC News reported that Stefaniak was staying at an Airbnb in San Antonio de Escazú when she went missing. Antonieta said Stefaniak’s last messages said that it raining heavily and that the power went out.“It’s pretty sketchy here,” Stefaniak also messaged Antonieta.Stefaniak missed her flight out of the country the next day and no one has heard from her since. The U.S. Embassy and FBI have already been alerted and the OIJ is also searching for Stefaniak. Facebook Comments #DesaparecidosOIJ: La persona de la fotografía se encuentra desaparecida pic.twitter.com/xx4FaC2171— OIJ Organismo (@oij_Organismo) November 29, 2018If you have any information, contact the OIJ by phone at 800-800-0645 or on Whatsapp at 8800-0645.Updated Dec. 3, 3:50 p.m.: Costa Rica’s OIJ confirmed to The Tico Times it has found a female body in San Antonio of Escazú. The identity of that person has yet to be announced.Read more:last_img read more

Leaders face ambitious agenda at European summit

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first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories _The Spanish bank bailout has raised fears that Spain’s government couldn’t afford to repay its $125 billion eurozone loan. Some analysts say the solution is to rethink the bailout: Instead of lending money to Spain, pump it directly into Spanish banks and take an ownership stake in them. That’s how the U.S. Treasury fixed the U.S. banking system after Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. Congress approved the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and the money was used to strengthen bank capital. Most of the money has been repaid with interest, and the cost to U.S. taxpayers has been minimal._ EASING UP ON GREECEThe coalition government that emerged from Greece’s June 17 election has said it’s willing to make the painful budget cuts required under a bailout deal agreed to in March. Greek voters chose that approach over a government that would have rejected the bailout and likely led Greece out of the eurozone. But the new government wants more time. If Greece isn’t granted more time and fails to meet the targets, the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will have to decide whether to withhold further installments of bailout money. Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements A $125 billion plan to bail out Spanish banks has failed to calm financial markets. Even an election that brought a pro-euro-alliance Greek government to power failed to reassure investors that Greece would continue to pay its bills, keep using the euro and avoid a financial crackup that could set off a worldwide panic.The EU leaders will consider plans to:_Tackle Europe’s government debt problems._ Fix Europe’s banks._ Help Greece._ Stimulate Europe’s sluggish economy.Still, any proposals that might be approved at the summit may not be bold or fast enough to turn back the threats closing in on Europe. And Germany, wary of being stuck with the bill for a rescue plan, might veto the ideas first.“We’re seeing faster movement on the policy front,” says Barry Eichengreen, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “The problem is, the crisis doesn’t wait.”Here’s a look at the more ambitious ideas policymakers are considering:_ TACKLING DEBTThe worldwide financial crisis and the recession that followed ripped a hole in the budgets of many European governments, leaving them with huge debts. Greece’s government debt now equals 165 percent of annual output; in Italy, it’s 120 percent; in Ireland, 108 percent. Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Without the money, Greece would default on its debts and probably stop using the euro. But Germany is resisting efforts to go easy on the Greeks. Greece spent recklessly, delayed reforming its economy and for years misled the rest of the world about its precarious finances. It’s now struggling with 22 percent unemployment._ STIMULATING GROWTHEveryone agrees Europe needs growth, which would help troubled countries pay their bills. Leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Spain agreed last week to push for a growth package worth up to $163 billion. But the plan is relatively modest. The money is expected to consist mostly of European funds already earmarked for development.Analysts worry that most of the proposals to aid Europe would take too long to work. The European Commission’s banking plans wouldn’t take full effect until 2018 _ not soon enough to calm depositors in troubled Spanish banks or allay fears of a banking crisis. And there might not be enough bailout money to back more than $3.1 trillion in combined Italian and Spanish debt.Some analysts want to see the ECB act more aggressively. They want the central bank to pump money into the financial system by lowering short-term rates and buying bonds to push down long-term rates as the U.S. Federal Reserve has done. But Germany worries that aggressive action by the ECB would unleash inflation. Top holiday drink recipescenter_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths _Handing power to a centralized eurozone budget authority to demand changes in individual countries’ taxing and spending plans if they break budget rules. This idea goes beyond earlier calls for budget limits on eurozone countries. It was proposed on the eve of the summit by key European leaders._Tapping the $625 billion available from the eurozone’s two bailout funds to buy government bonds on the open market. These purchases would drive the prices of the bonds up and the interest rates, or yields, on them down. That would help countries like Italy and Spain when they have to sell bonds to finance their deficits or replace maturing bonds._ FIXING BANKSEurope doesn’t just have a government debt crisis. It has a banking crisis, too. A collapse in housing prices buried Spanish and Irish banks in bad real estate loans. To rescue its banks, Ireland’s government needed a $106 billion bailout. Now Spain needs a $125 billion loan from the rest of the eurozone to rebuild its banks’ capital _ their defense against losses. At the same time, banks across Europe have been the biggest buyers of their governments’ bonds. So as yields have surged and the bonds have declined in value, banks have suffered losses. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Economists say anything above 90 percent saps an economy’s health. Bond investors, worried about the debt, are demanding higher interest rates. The result is that many countries’ borrowing costs have reached unsustainable levels. Ireland, Portugal and Greece have already needed bailouts to pay their bills. Spain is receiving a loan to save its banks, and on Tuesday its borrowing costs soared in a pair of short-term auctions. Cyprus this week became the fifth European country to request a bailout.Bailout money could run short if big countries like Italy need rescues, too. European leaders are expected to consider several ideas in Brussels:_ Spreading some of the weak countries’ debt loads to stronger countries that also use the euro. Alexander Hamilton, America’s first Treasury secretary, did something similar in the 1790s. He had the U.S. government absorb the debts the 13 original states ran up fighting the American Revolution.The 17 countries that use the euro could issue jointly guaranteed “eurobonds,” sharing responsibility for the weakest countries’ debts. These bonds could carry low interest rates because they’d be backed by the collective power of all the eurozone countries, including Germany. Or excessive government debts _ anything beyond 60 percent of a country’s output _ could go into a “European debt redemption fund,” guaranteed collectively and paid down over 20 to 25 years. Because the redemption fund would be a one-time move, it might be more palatable to Germany than a long-term eurobond plan. AP Economics WriterBRUSSELS (AP) – When they meet Thursday and Friday in Brussels, leaders of the 27 countries in the European Union will face a daunting task: Find a solution to a debt crisis that’s spread misery across Europe, raised doubts about the euro currency, rattled investors and threatened global growth.Investors have driven up interest rates on Spanish and Italian debt to unsustainable levels, raising the risk those big countries will need a bailout the rest of Europe can’t afford. Unemployment in the 17 countries that use the euro is 11 percent, the highest since the euro was adopted in 1999. Finally, Europe faces the risk of banks runs: Greek depositors are withdrawing money from banks because they fear Greece will stop using the euro. If that happened, their savings would be devastated as their deposits were shifted from euros into Greek currency worth perhaps half as much. Bank runs could spread if depositors elsewhere worried that their countries might also abandon the euro.So the EU is considering a banking overhaul. Among the ideas:_The European Commission, which writes laws and regulations for the EU, has proposed a deposit insurance fund to protect savers across the EU the way the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. guarantees up to $250,000 per account in the United States. Individual European countries now insure bank deposits within their borders. But bank failures could overwhelm those national funds._The European Commission has suggested establishing a Europe-wide banking union, policed by a centralized regulator. Europe now lacks a single regulator with authority to force weak banks to build more capital or to break them apart. National regulators have been reluctant to shut down weak banks.“No national government wants to lose control over their banks,” says Jacob Kirkegaard, research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “But that is, of course, precisely what is required if you want to have a European banking union.” As the eurozone’s largest economy, accounting for more than a quarter of its output, Germany is strong enough to support its weaker neighbors. But German taxpayers fear being stuck with a disproportionate share of the bill for bailouts.To ease that concern, top European officials have urged eurozone countries to yield more control over their national budgets. The plan is meant as a grand vision to save the euro and set up negotiations at this week’s summit.Economist Jonathan Wright at Johns Hopkins University says he worries that leaders will take “at best half- or quarter-steps” this week. He favors aggressive action by the ECB and a TARP-style rescue of the banking system.“The measures that are needed are very radical,” Wright said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Israeli FM tries to smooth out rift with US

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first_img Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Israel’s coalition is split on the peace talks which Kerry is brokering. Some have been quoted recently as criticizing Kerry personally.The exchange raised tensions between the two close allies.National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote on Twitter recently that “personal attacks in Israel” directed at Kerry were “totally unfounded and unacceptable.”(Copyright 2014 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 facility Comments   Share   JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s foreign minister appears to be trying to smooth out a rift with the United States following recent comments by some ministers here about Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort to broker peace talks with the Palestinians.Avigdor Lieberman called Kerry a `’true friend” in a speech Friday. Lieberman questioned the logic of some Israeli ministers who spoke out against the country’s closest ally. He said Kerry is mediating the talks correctly. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019last_img

Popes stance leaks calls for urgent action on environment

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China economy Things to know about its latest growth report

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first_imgConstruction workers take a break outside of a construction site in Beijing, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. China’s economic growth in the latest quarter held steady at 7 percent, its weakest performance since the global crisis, but better retail sales and factory output in June suggested efforts to reverse the slump might be gaining traction. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) BEIJING (AP) — China’s economic growth held steady at 7 percent in the latest quarter, its weakest level since the global crisis, but better retail sales and factory output in June suggest government efforts to reverse the slump might be gaining traction.___THE DOWNTURN: China’s sizzling economic growth has cooled from its 2007 peak of 14.2 percent as the ruling Communist Party tries to steer it to a more sustainable rate based on domestic consumption instead of trade and investment. But an unexpectedly abrupt decline in the past two years raised fears of politically dangerous job losses. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 4 must play golf courses in Arizona ___BEIJING’S RESPONSE: The communist government has cut interest rates four times since November, allowed credit to grow and pumped money into the economy through mini-stimulus measures including higher spending on building public works.___POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENT: Retail sales growth accelerated in June to 10.6 percent, up 0.5 percentage points from May’s rate. Factory output rose 6.8 percent, an improvement of just under 1 percentage point from the previous month.___ANALYST’S TAKE: “There are good reasons to think that the latest figures are mirroring a genuine stabilization of conditions on the ground,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.___STOCK MARKET SLUMP: Growth probably was buoyed by a stock market boom that brought a flood of revenue to brokerages, analysts say. The market has fallen from its early June peak, which prompted concern consumers might tighten their belts. But analysts say the impact should be limited, because fewer than 10 percent of Chinese households own stocks, compared with up to one-third in the United States or Europe.___PUBLIC PESSIMISM: “I’m not optimistic about the economic outlook in the second half of the year,” said Wang Zhong, 30, who works in purchasing for a Shanghai restaurant chain. He said his company has reduced its workforce and gave no raises this year. Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Top Stories last_img read more

Express Ticketing update keeps agents ahead of the game

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first_imgAgents will be able to “stay ahead of the game” when it comes to booking airfares after Express Ticketing unveiled a new generation automated Fares and Ticketing system.Officially released to the industry today, the new system commenced roll-out to its partner agencies over the recent weeks.With up to 450 travel agencies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth under the company’s belt, parent company Orient Express Travel Group chief executive Tom Manwaring explained the new system offers consultant “more control over their business”.Providing agents with bookings links to up to 65,000 airfares daily across 106 international airlines, Mr Manwaring said the new program has receibed positive response from members who had begun using the new system over the past few months.“It is another development within our Smarter Faster Stronger business partnership platform,” Mr Manwaring said. “The great response to the new system from our members who have transitioned to the new system over the last three months has exceeded expectations, and we’re supporting the launch with new and enhanced incentive packages for our agency partners.”  Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

TTF Wealthy visitors should get to pay for quicker processing

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first_imgThe Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) has recommended that wealthy tourists coming to Australia be able to pay to avoid Australia’s customs and immigration lines. “This could include shorter turnaround for the approval process and a VIP experience on arrival in Australia, This is whilst in Dubai, tourists can pay AUD $95 to expedite the customs and border process. “Premium processing is a great opportunity to deliver a quicker process for visitors willing to pay more,” TTF chief executive Ken Morrison said. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale The plan follows on from similar schemes from around the world which allow preferential treatment for those who pay to be expedited through border points. Mr Morrison said that the government should build on the success of the three year, triple entry visas for Chinese businesspeople by extending the same right to Chinese leisure travellers.  Qantas also allows preferential treatment for diplomatic, first or business class passengers “This doesn’t reduce the level of scrutiny, just speeds up the process for application and once they get here.” For instance, the UK system allows visitors to pay a fee to skip the lines at the UK’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Under a proposal by the forum, wealthy tourists from Asia and other places around the word would be able to access user pays premium visitor model, the Herald Sun reported.last_img read more

Tourism industry welcomes and supports training

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first_imgTourism industry welcomes and supports trainingATAB continues to receive overwhelming response to its’  inaugural Australian Travel Agent Barometer (ATAB ) Business Builders conference 2015. The conference founder Simon Bernardi says “This is the best travel conference you will go to all year”. Simon went on to say,  when I speak with travel agents the major concerns many of them have are very simply twofold:How do I compete online?How do I get more customers?The Business Builders conference is designed to empower agents whether they be home based, mobile or traditional retail travel agents, to have practical strategies in both of these areas that you can implement affordably and practically in your business or office immediately.There is no reason why agents can’t have an affordable online competitive presence today with both IATA and low cost carriers able to be booked at competitive rates. Many agents have invested in online and have been disappointed in the results because of unrealistic expectations, the wrong product or because of the complexity of some products.The ATAB Business Builders conference will provide practical insights from experienced hands on and successful industry leaders.Being independent, the conference is designed for all agents whether they be part of a large brand, independent or home based. If you own your business and need help competing with online operators and getting more customers then you shouldn’t miss this conference, Bernardi said.Industry magnate, Mr Phil Hoffman is the keynote speaker as well as highly regarded industry leaders who have successfully built their businesses around capturing new markets and customers. The program has been expertly designed to provide independent advice on online solutions, marketing to customers, developing cruise products and developing niche markets to set your business apart from others.At the conclusion of the conference is the Trade Show which both allows and provides networking opportunities with major suppliers and industry leaders as well as an opportunity to win a holiday for two in Fiji.ATAB (Australian Travel Agent Barometer) Business Builders 2015 is focused on providing individual travel agents across Australia and New Zealand basic skills to grow and market their business online. The Idea came from the industry research that ATAB has conducted over the past several years. Most agents surveyed identified the growth of online consumer travel products and the lack of new customers as the two main business issues impacting their business and were not aware of ways to fight back for their business. Agents expressed frustration at not being able to develop a simple online strategy to enable customers to book competitive products online including low cost airlines whilst still being able to offer a traditional service.As consumers buying habits evolve the expectation is that agents demonstrate to customers online that they are competitively priced and are accessible for bookings 24/7. A properly developed online presence gives individual agents the tools to develop marketing strategies via social media and online advertising at relatively low cost hence, not only retaining customers but also in having the opportunity to develop new customers.Only recently is the technology readily available for agents to implement themselves at a low cost and compete competitively with online travel providers.Ø  The conference is being held at The Pullman Hyde Park Sydney on 09 July 2015.Ø  Early Bird Tickets are still available until 1700, 01 May 2015 at $198 Source = ATAB Sponsors Click Here  “WIN”  and you could be the lucky winner of a double pass, complimentary tickets for twowww.atab.net.aucenter_img Major Sponsors Trip to Fijilast_img read more

Tourico Holidays launches new push service for offline inventory cache

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first_imgTourico Holidays Tourico Holidays launches new push service for offline inventory cacheTourico Holidays launches new push service for offline inventory cacheTourico Holidays, the world’s fastest growing wholesale travel brokerage company, today launched a new push service allowing its distribution clients to build and refresh an up-to-date Availability and Rates cache.  Partners now have the option of importing and caching Tourico’s inventory – creating an offline, in-house database of available product and prices.Tourico’s new service now immediately pushes individual updates – or inventory changes – to clients, maintaining a fresh cache.  The instant updates reduce latency and allow clients to sell last minute inventory, while greatly reducing failed bookings.“Companies selling travel no longer have to pull data for current inventory,” said Lev Koutamonov, the Head of API Integration of Tourico Holidays.  “Our new push service allows distribution clients to integrate Tourico’s massive inventory of products and maintain up-to-date prices and availability.  The process is more efficient and will lead to more successful transactions and better profits for our clients.”The new push service also exposes the Tourico “business logic”, providing clients with precalculated total prices that reflect currency changes, promotion discounts, and other business factors.  Furthermore, if suppliers focus on certain regions, they can opt into only receiving updates to certain hotels and inventory.“Tourico is the only business-to-business travel company in the world that has developed a push service that immediately updates changes to the wholesaler’s inventory,” said Koutamonov.  “Travel suppliers can now maintain a current offline cache to better serve their customer.”About Tourico HolidaysTourico Holidays is a leading global travel distribution company that contracts directly with travel providers, such as hotels, flights, cruise lines, attractions, car rentals, vacation homes and more. Tourico Holidays works on a high-volume, wholesale model to broker this inventory to over 4,900 clients in 100 countries using proprietary technology.Source = Touraco Holidayslast_img read more

Emirates wins 13th consecutive Worlds Best Inflight Entertainment awa

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first_imgEmirates wins 13th consecutive World’s Best Inflight Entertainment awardEmirates has won World’s Best Inflight Entertainment award for a record 13th year at the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards 2017. The airline also picked up the award for Best First Class Comfort Amenities.The Skytrax World Airline Awards are considered a global benchmark of airline excellence. This year’s results were decided by 19.8 million customers across 105 countries. The survey reviewed over 320 airlines from August 2016 to May 2017.World’s Best Inflight Entertainment since launchEmirates’ inflight entertainment system, ice, was launched in 2003 and has continually led the industry since, winning best in class for 13 years running.Today, ice features over 2,500 channels of entertainment, including the latest blockbuster movies, award-winning television box sets, live TV, music and computer games. Emirates’ commitment to providing a superior inflight experience is anchored in continued product enhancement. In the last year, 28% more entertainment has been added including more varied content giving customers more choices than ever.New content on ice includes free expert-led LinkedIn Learning courses that cover topics such as Leadership, General Management, Marketing, and Creative Lifestyle. Emirates has also added uTalk language courses to its learning zone on ice. The series of videos offer beginner lessons for travellers to pick up Arabic, German, French, Spanish or Italian during their flight.Emirates has invested heavily in connectivity and Live TV on board – today 129 aircraft offer Live TV, including 16 A380s. Wi-Fi connectivity is available on 86% of the fleet with more being upgraded each month. Emirates offers customers across all classes 20MB of free Wi-Fi and each month about 800,000 passengers connect while inflight.Best First Class Comfort AmenitiesEmirates clinched the Best First Class Comfort Amenities at this year’s Skytrax awards following a recent product overhaul across all cabins aimed at enhancing comfort in the air. Among the new products introduced last year is a luxury spa range from award-winning Irish brand VOYA. The skincare line was created exclusively for Emirates and is available in the signature A380 shower spa on board and in the First and Business Class washrooms.Emirates has also partnered with luxury Italian brand Bulgari for its latest designs of the airline’s exclusive kit bags. The new set of amenity kits for both First and Business Class feature Bulgari’s woody floral fragrance – Eau Parfumée au thé noir – and contain skincare essentials to keep customers feeling fresh and pampered throughout the flight.In December, Emirates also introduced the world’s first moisturising lounge wear in its First Class cabins. The suits use Hydra Active Microcapsule Technology which is designed to keep skin hydrated during the flight. They are accompanied by a plush, faux sheep-skin blanket in First Class for a comfortable night’s sleep.Emirates is the world’s largest international airline, with an extensive network that has grown to offer its customers a choice of 156 destinations in 83 countries across six continents, with convenient connections through its hub in Dubai.Source = Emirateslast_img read more

IRCTC adds two new servers to ease Tatkal bookings

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first_imgThe Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) announced that it has upgraded its website by introducing two high capacity servers that have doubled peak time efficiency.According to the IRCTC, its portal installed two Linux-enabled servers raising the booking capacity to over 14,000 tickets per minute from the existing 7,200. The capacity augmentation has been done as an ‘immediate step’ to cater to the summer time demand for Tatkal tickets and a forenoon flurry in their online reservations, according to IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director, A K Manocha. “The measure is vital, considering that 54% train tickets in the country are booked through IRCTC website,” Manocha stated.On an average, the daily sale of train tickets through the portal, which is the world’s second busiest with three crore registered users, is around 5.5 to 6 lakh.“Even that was later found insufficient, given the summer time rush for Tatkal tickets – especially in premium trains plying between the most sought after destinations,” pointed out Manocha.The Tatkal reservations on all Indian Railways trains total roughly around 400,000 tickets. Of these, 50,000 tickets are slotted ‘critical’, given their high demand owing to various reasons during a given season.last_img read more

Odishas Kalinga Studio to resume shooting films by September

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first_imgThe newly-appointed Odisha Film Development Corporation (OFDC) Chairman Kuna Tripathy announced the shooting of films would resume in Kalinga Studio by September this year.Tripathy met Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, and discussed with him various developmental issues related to Odia film industry.Tripathy stated, “I want to make sure that the renovation work of the studio to be completed by September so that the film shooting can restart. The CM has agreed to this proposal and he also wanted that the shooting to regain momentum at the studio.”Kalinga Studio, the only movie-making facility in Bhubaneswar, has been lying defunct since it had suffered major damage during 1999 super cyclone. However, the state government did not make any effort to revive the studio.Tripathy said that the development and renovation work of the Kalinga Studio is ongoing. Along with that, the aspect of the development of tourism is also under process. “We are planning to renovate some of the old film halls along with many new Cineplex,” said Tripathy.Tripathy further cited that the Chief Minister will soon declare the development of film policy for the state.last_img read more

MT Bank Gains Outstanding CRA Evaluation

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first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-11-30 Abby Gregory in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology November 30, 2011 439 Views M&T Bank Gains ‘Outstanding’ CRA Evaluationcenter_img It’s not often that a financial institution is recognized as “”outstanding”” in the current economic climate, but “”M&T Bank””:www.mtb.com/ has worked against current trends to receive a high rating from the “”Federal Reserve Bank of New York””:www.newyorkfed.org/. The bank was recently given an “”outstanding”” rating by the New York Fed for its performance under the “”Community Reinvestment Act””:www.ffiec.gov/cra/. [IMAGE]M&T Bank’s standing represents the highest possible notation from the group, as it relates to how well the company facilitates the credit needs of the communities it serves. Since the CRA exams began in 1982, M&T Bank has enjoyed an “”outstanding”” rating from the Fed.When extending its elevated evaluation, the New York Fed noted M&T Bank’s leadership in community development loans and qualified investments, its accessible retail delivery systems, and its distribution of loans across diverse income levels and [COLUMN_BREAK]business compositions. The New York Fed also commented on the volume of the bank’s community lending, stating that it “”generally exceeded similarly-situated banks in the New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland full scope assessment area ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª M&T’s community development lending was responsive to community needs.””Specifically, the CRA examination featured 456 community development loans given during the two-year assessment period, which totaled more than $2.3 billion. The significant number shows a large increase over the $1.9 billion loaned by M&T Bank during its previous CRA rating period. Commenting on the company’s rating, M&T Bank’s corporate CRA officer noted, “”While we’ve increased lending for the construction of affordable housing, health care facilities, senior housing and other community development projects in cities and towns where our employees live and work, we’ve also maintained lower loan losses than almost all other U.S. regional banks. Our experience shows community development lending, when done effectively and responsibly, can benefit the neighbors and communities we serve.””Additional portions of the survey by the New York Fed mentioned M&T Bank’s efforts at providing community-based seminar sponsorships and presentations on affordable mortgages, as well as its small business assistance and general banking and financial literacy education initiatives. The recent CRA findings calculate all activity by M&T Bank through December 31, 2009. Sharelast_img read more

Sources Low Sales Reveal Recovery Lost a Little Momentum

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first_imgSources: Low Sales Reveal Recovery ‘Lost a Little Momentum’ July 25, 2012 454 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Sharecenter_img Compared to the two-year high for new home sales in May, June’s figures were met with disappointment. On Wednesday, the Census Bureau reported new home sales dropped 8.4 percent month-over-month to 350,000 in June compared to an upwardly revised 382,000 for May. [IMAGE]In an “”IHS Global Insight””:http://www.ihs.com/products/global-insight/index.aspx commentary, economists Patrick Newport and Michele Valverde pointed out that figures for March, April, and May were all revised up, and that sales were up in the Midwest and West, but down in the Northeast and South.Thus, IHS described the report as mixed. “”Still, one should never get too excited (or depressed) by the latest new home sales figures because they are not estimated very well,”” IHS noted, adding that it prefers moving averages or quarterly figures because such estimates “”iron out volatility and highlights trends.””[COLUMN_BREAK]IHS offered up examples and stated, “”A three-month moving average shows sales inching up nationally. Regionally, three-month sales have picked up smartly since the start of the year in the West and Northeast (despite June’s sales plunge), but are wavering in the Midwest and South. “”For the quarter,”” the firm added, “”national sales climbed to their highest level since the fourth quarter of 2009. Quarterly sales rose in the Northeast, Midwest and West, but fell in the South. Home prices were also up. “”The second quarter average and median prices were up 4.2% and 2.8% on a year-on-year basis,”” researchers said.In response to June’s new home sales report, Capital Economics said the drop acts as “”further evidence that the recovery in housing demand has lost a little momentum.””””Taken alongside the drop in existing home sales last month, housing demand appears to have hit a soft spot, coinciding with the slowdown in the wider economy,”” wrote economist Paul Diggle in the report. Still, the analytics company stated it does not expect this to change the outlook for homebuilder activity, considering the tight supply conditions in the market for new homes. Also, unless June ends up breaking the trend for upward revisions, Diggle said June’s sales would have actually been 383,000 if the adjustments seen in March, April, and May are added. Agents & Brokers Home Prices Home Sales Homebuilders Housing Affordability Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-07-25 Esther Cholast_img read more

Home Prices Climb Despite Volatile Financial Markets

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first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News Share Home Prices Climb Despite Volatile Financial Markets In the midst of tight supply, heightened competition for buyers, and unpredictable financial markets, U.S. home prices continued to rise in the fourth quarter.The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) shows that home prices rose 5.8 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2015. Prices increased 1.4 percent from the third quarter of 2015, marking the 18 consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. Home prices were up 0.4 percent month-over-month for December.“Instability in financial markets did not seem to put much of a drag on home prices in the fourth quarter,” said Andrew Leventis, FHFA Supervisory Economist. The 1.4 percent rise in home prices “was in line with the extremely steady—but historically elevated— appreciation rates we have been observing for several years now.”The FHFA reported that home prices rose in every state and in the District of Columbia between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2015.FHFA’s Top 5 states in Annual Home Price Appreciation:Nevada 12.7 percentColorado 10.9 percentIdaho 10.7 percentWashington 10.7 percentOregon 10.6 percent.Out of the 100 most populated metro areas in the U.S., four-quarter price increases were greatest in the San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California Metropolitan Statistical Areas District, where prices increased by 20.7 percent. On the other hand, home prices came in weak in New Haven-Milford, Connecticut, falling 1.5 percent.The Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the fourth quarter of the nine census divisions, with a 2.1 percent quarterly gain and an 8.0 percent year-over-year increase. Meanwhile, home price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose 0.6 percent from the last quarter.While home prices are still rising due to buyer demand and low inventories, supported by low mortgage rates, eased lending standards, and improving job markets, they are doing so at a much slower pace.The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index (HPI) released Tuesday found that home prices rose 5.4 percent year-over-year in December 2015, up slightly from a 5.2 percent rise in the previous month. Month-over-month, home prices rose 0.1 percent in December.Matthew Pointon, Property Economist at Capital Economics noted, “House price gains continue to be driven by a gradual rise in housing demand coming up against very low levels of homes for sale. Demand is being supported by falling mortgage interest rates, a steady easing in mortgage lending standards and an improving jobs markets. That helped mortgage applications for home purchase reach their highest level in almost six years in January.”Click here to view the full report.center_img Federal Housing Finance Agency Financial Markets Home Prices 2016-02-25 Staff Writer February 25, 2016 765 Views last_img read more

VRM Mortgage Services Receives 10Year VA Contract

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first_img June 21, 2017 577 Views Share in Data, Headlines, News VRM Mortgage Services Receives 10-Year VA Contractcenter_img Vendor Resource Management, Inc. announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded the company with a 10-year contract for program management, marketing, and other real estate services on the VA’s portfolio of single-family residential real estate.VRM is a real estate solution provider that focuses on helping government agencies and financial institutions adapt and excel in a changing marketplace. This is the first time the VA has awarded a 10-year contract for real estate asset services.“VRM is pleased to receive this award and looks forward to continuing to perform at the high level the VA has experienced to date,” VRM’s SVP Joe Morrow stated.Over the last five years VRM’s innovation in technology, focus on service, program management, training, and utilization of diverse local subcontractors positioned the mortgage services for the award.According to Cheryl Travis-Johnson, VRM’s COO, “VRM values the positive business relationship with the VA and acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the VA staff.”President and CEO of VRM Keith D. Murray said the company is honored to receive this contract award.“We look forward to working with our best in class vendor network to return funds to the VA that will ultimately increase home ownership for our nation’s Veterans,” Murray said. VRM 2017-06-21 Brianna Gilpinlast_img read more