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US cuts military aid to Rwanda over Congo concerns

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family The leaders of Congo and Rwanda earlier this month agreed in principle to back a neutral international armed force to combat Congo’s newest rebellion and other fighters terrorizing civilians in the country’s mineral-rich east, and the African Union said it could help by sending soldiers. Details, however, have remained sketchy.Congo already has the world’s largest peacekeeping force of nearly 20,000 U.N. soldiers and police that cost nearly $1.5 billion in 2011. Congo’s army _ ill-equipped, ill-paid and demoralized _ is accused of pillaging and rape of civilians as often as are the rebels and militias, putting U.N. peacekeepers in an invidious position.East Congo’s conflict is a hangover from Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Hundreds who participated in the killings of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus escaped into Congo and still fight there today. The M23 rebels are the latest incarnation of a group of Congolese Tutsi rebels set up to fight Rwandan Hutu rebels in Congo.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates JOHANNESBURG (AP) – The U.S. government said Saturday it has cut this year’s planned military assistance to Rwanda amid concerns that the government in Kigali is supporting rebel movements in neighboring Congo.“The United States has been actively engaged at the highest levels to urge Rwanda to halt and prevent the provision of such support, which threatens to undermine stability in the region,” State Department spokesman Darby Holladay said in an emailed statement. ErrorOK.. ErrorOK Top Stories center_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Rwanda has denied reports by the United Nations and rights groups that it is supporting the so-called M23 rebel movement in East Congo, which has sparked new fighting in the area that has forced more than 200,000 civilians from their homes since April.“The United States government is deeply concerned about the evidence that Rwanda is implicated in the provision of support to Congolese rebel groups, including M23,” the statement said.The U.S. _ usually a staunch Rwandan ally _ therefore cuts $200,000 of initially pledged military aid for a training academy, reallocating the funds to another country instead, the State Department said.While the actual the amount of money being withheld is small, the move appears to be a clear snub at the government in Kigali, reflecting Washington’s concerns over the recent instability in eastern Congo.“Restraint, dialogue, and respect for each other’s sovereignty offer the best opportunity” for Rwanda and Congo “to resume the difficult work of bringing peace and security to the broader region,” it said.Washington’s move follows last week’s statement by the U.N. Security Council, condemning all outside support to armed groups in Congo and demanding that such backing “cease immediately.” 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

The great chestnut trees of Europe are dying

first_imgThe rusting robs the tree of vital sunlight for key months and, weakened, some fall prey to other diseases such as fungi.The moth was soon joined by a bacterium that came from the Himalayas and causes chestnut bark to bleed an oozing sticky liquid, sapping the tree and in many cases causing death.`’The worst case scenario is that we lose most of our horse chestnut trees to this bleeding canker,” Evans said.In Britain, which has up to 2 million chestnut trees, a 2007 survey showed that up to half could be infected with the disease. In countries like Belgium, France and the Netherlands, the alarm has also been raised.There is historical precedent for the fears: At the turn of the 20th century a fungus caused a mass extinction of the American chestnut tree in the eastern United States.Europe’s chestnuts came first from the Balkans and were introduced in western Europe about 500 years ago. It is a hallmark of cities rather than forests and, especially during the Victorian era, became a favorite for stately lanes, parks and squares.In Ghent, Belgium, last month, a huge chestnut suddenly collapsed along the upper Scheldt river, smashing a car along a road usually busy with cycling students. As in many places, city councils have been increasingly checking the health of chestnuts and, if there’s any doubt, cut them down as a safety precaution. The chestnuts are all gone this summer from the city’s Groentenmarkt medieval center, depriving weary tourists of reprieve from the sun.The chestnuts, or marroniers, in Paris are also part of the attraction at Pere Lachaise. But last year, visitors could walk ankle deep through rusty leaves in the middle of July.`’It’s a problem all over Paris,” said cemetery conservator Martine Lecuyer, although she said heavy rainfall made this year a little better.In Amsterdam, officials are scrambling to try to save chestnuts within the famed canal belt. For Anne Frank’s tree, help came too late. The 150-year-old tree, affected by the moth and fungi, weakened progressively and crashed to the ground two years ago.If the darkest predictions prove true, many Britons will mourn chestnut trees as the passing of part of their youth: The game of “conkers,” in which children take turns trying to smash chestnuts, was once a popular pastime on playgrounds across the country.Just as bad for chestnuts is the way people deal with the problem: On Ghent’s Groentenmarkt, the new trees are now linden, and the example is followed in many parts of Europe.`’Many local authorities are then no longer planting horse chestnut trees because they fear _ what is the point in planting something that is going to be susceptible to attack,” Evans said. Associated PressGHENT, Belgium (AP) – Visit the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris and chestnut trees greet you as you wander among graves of luminaries such as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.When Anne Frank was in hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, the view of a monumental chestnut tree was one thing that cheered her up.In Cambridge, England, the two-century-old chestnut standing outside King’s College chapel has become a beloved icon. `’Essentially, we could lose an entire new generation of horse chestnut trees.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up Sponsored Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day In all those places _ and over much of Europe _ the horse chestnut tree is under threat.Sometimes they crash across boulevards and smash cars, unable to bear the weight of their own foliage. At other times, city officials move in and cut them down before they collapse.In high summer, their leaves can become so rusty it feels like October. As autumn approaches, many stand naked while other trees still wear their crowns of green.The culprits: a moth that produces leaf-eating larvae and a bacterium that makes trunks bleed and die.`’In a sense it is almost like a lethal cocktail,” said Dr. Darren Evans of the University of Hull. “If it is under attack by moths, it is probably going to be more susceptible to this bleeding canker _ which will kill it.”A cure? Not immediately in sight.“It is spread throughout most of northern Europe,” Evans said of the leaf miner moth in a telephone interview. `’We still don’t really know whether there is any effective way of controlling it.” The same goes for the bacteria.Without any clear reason, the moth became rampant and spread through much of Europe about a decade ago. In Britain, it first surfaced in Wimbledon in 2002 and soon spread across England and Wales. It has flourished across the continent. The moth lays eggs in leaves and the larvae start devouring them, causing foliage to turn color as soon as July. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img

Russias singing granny finds her fathers grave

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 MOSCOW (AP) – To find her father’s World War II grave, Natalya Pugachyova had to become a celebrity.She is one of the Buranovskiye Babushki, a group of singing grandmothers who ended up second at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with their catchy tune sung in the Udmurt language, a distant relative of Finnish. As the oldest and smallest member of the group, the 76-year-old Pugachyova became a star of the pan-European contest, whose millions of devoted fans love its kitschy fun. “Even I sobbed,” Pugachyova said. “So many years, so many winters, I didn’t know.”Pugachyova brought a handful of soil from her mother’s grave to mix with that of her father’s, and took a handful back to do the same at her mother’s grave.That way, her parents could be together.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Her newfound fame helped her find the grave of her father, who disappeared while fighting the Nazis in 1942.At a press conference she mentioned her father, Yakov Begeshev, who disappeared when she was 6 years old. The last letter they received from him came during a battle in the Voronezh region south of Moscow, which he described as being so fierce that he was unlikely to survive.Nearly 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians died in World War II, and tens of thousands are still listed as missing. War enthusiasts roam the forests and swamps of western Russia in search of the remains of soldiers and their aluminum dog tags that identify them.Nina Geryusheva of the Bailiffs Service in the musical group’s native Russian region of Udmurtia said its volunteers set out to find Pugachyova’s missing father. After a lot of phone calls and official requests, they were able to identify the mass grave where he was buried.“To say she was surprised is to say the least,” Geryusheva said by telephone.Russian state television showed Pugachyova’s visit over the weekend to the village of Malaya Vereika in the Voronezh region, where she saw her father’s name among those engraved on memorial walls at the mass grave. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Egypt president toughens rhetoric on Israel

first_imgAssociated PressCAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s Islamist president delivered his fiercest condemnation yet of Israel’s offensive in Gaza on Friday, warning that the blood Israel sheds will be a “curse upon it” and presenting post-revolution Egypt as the new Arab champion for the Palestinians.Mohammed Morsi spoke in a speech at a mosque after weekly Friday prayers, dramatically stepping up his rhetoric against Israel hours after his prime minister visited Gaza in a show of support for its Hamas rulers. After Friday prayers, thousands marched in Cairo in support of Palestinians. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “I say to the aggressor to take a lesson from history and stop this farce and bloodshed or else you will face the wrath of the people and their leadership,” he said. “Egypt today is different than Egypt yesterday and that the Arabs today are different than the Arabs of yesterday.”Morsi has pulled Egypt’s ambassador from Tel Aviv to protest Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which Israel says was launched in retaliation for Islamic militant rocket attacks. At least 22 Palestinians, including 12 militants and six children, as well as three Israelis have been killed in three days of fierce exchanges between the Israeli military and Gaza militants. Seven Palestinians were killed earlier in the week from another series of airstrikes.The dispatching of his prime minister, Hesham Kandil, was a dramatic if largely symbolic show of support for Hamas, which is effectively the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Kandil is the highest level Egyptian official to visit Gaza since Hamas took over the territory in 2007 after winning elections two years earlier.Despite the strong rhetoric, Morsi’s government continues to work closely with Israel on security issues pertaining to the Sinai Peninsula, where militants have launched attacks on Egyptian forces and Israel. Since his election, Morsi has promised to abide by Egypt’s 1979 peace deal with Israel. Morsi, a veteran of the Muslim Brotherhood group that opposes Israel, has been trying to walk a middle path amid the first major crisis with Israel since he took office in late June. Many in Egypt demand that the country’s first elected president take a tougher line with Israel than ousted leader Hosni Mubarak did. At the same time, Morsi feels pressure not to go too far and risk straining ties with Israel’s ally, the United States.At the same time, Morsi appears to be trying to turn the crisis to his advantage, by depicting Egypt as the Arab world’s main protector of the Palestinians, after years under Mubarak, who was closely tied to Israel and opposed to the Hamas militant group.“Egyptians love peace … but they have always been able to fend off aggressors and protect the land, the nation and the Muslim world,” he said in his address at a mosque near his home in a Cairo suburb. “We are even more insistent on remaining a protective shield to the Arab and Muslim world.”“We say to the aggressor, peace will never be achieved through aggression … because war does not build stability or peace,” Morsi said. “This blood will be a curse on you,” he said as the crowd in the mosque chanted, “God is great” and “With our blood and souls, we sacrifice for Palestine.” Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories The president’s speech Friday was a strong contrast to low-key comments he made a day earlier. Speaking during a Cabinet meeting, he denounced the campaign as “unacceptable” but avoided sharp condemnations of Israel.The switch also reflected the change in venue, as Morsi moved from talking as head of state in the corridors of government to speaking in a mosque to conservative religious supporters. In Thursday’s comments, he referred directly to “Israelis” _ a reference he rarely makes _ whereas in Friday’s speech he avoided using the word “Israel,” referring repeatedly to “the aggressor” instead.In Friday’s marches around Cairo, many waved the Palestinian flags and the Syrian flags in support of rebels seeking to oust the regime there. In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, a few hundred protesters burned an Israeli flag. Prominent Brotherhood figures took part, many brandishing the checkered Palestinian scarf, or keffiyeh, during the marches.The Palestinian cause unites Egypt’s feuding political factions, from secular leftists to conservative Islamists, and all are putting pressure on Morsi to be tough on Israel. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories center_img Mubarak, who built close ties with Israel, was frequently criticized by Egyptians for failing to help the Palestinians and for joining Israel in blockading the Gaza Strip after Hamas’ 2007 takeover. Mubarak outraged many by keeping Egypt’s crossing into Gaza closed for part of the three-week Israeli offensive in the territory in the winter of 2008-2009.One protester, Hesham Khalil, said Morsi’s response so far was “unexpected,” suggesting it was an improvement over Mubarak.“We are not used to such reactions but that still does not please the ambitions of Egypt’s revolutionaries. We want a reaction that stops the bloodshed in Gaza.”One of the Arab world’s most well-known television clerics, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, gave a prayer sermon Friday at Cairo’s foremost mosque, Al-Azhar, vowing the Islamic world would not be silent in the face of Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The Egyptian-born al-Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar, was largely exiled from Egypt under Mubarak’s rule for his closeness to the Brotherhood.“Our (Muslim) community is the strongest community,” al-Qaradawi said, addressing thousands of worshippers packed tightly in the mosque. “Israel, the arrogant supremacist on the ground, cannot break this community with its missiles, weapons from the air, ground and sea, or with its nuclear bombs.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Quick workouts for menlast_img read more

THAI Tiger Airways to claw at Asias low fare market with new

first_imgMr. Piyasvasti Amranand (left), THAI President and Mr. Tony Davis (right), Tiger Airways Group President and CEO. Mr. Raymond Kwan (second from left), Tiger Airways Holdings Limited, Head of Planning & Investor Relations, Mr. Chin Sak Hin (third from left), Tiger Airways Holdings Limited, Chief Finance Office, Mr. Piyasvasti Amranand (fourth from left), THAI President, Mr. Tony Davis (fourth from right), Tiger Airways Group President and CEO, Mr. Chokchai Panyayong (third from right), THAI Executive Vice President, Strategy & Business Development Department, Mr. Teerapol Chotichanapibal (second from right), THAI acting Executive Vice President, Commercial Department. THAI and Tiger Airways have announced ‘Thai Tiger’; a joint venture set to capture the low fare travel market in Asia.Thai Airways International (THAI) and Tiger Airways recently announced the signing of a deal to form a new low fare airline called Thai Tiger Airways Private Limited (Thai Tiger). The new airline will operate the same low fare, low cost model as the other airlines in the Thai Airways Group, and is set to commence operations in the first quarter of 2011. THAI Tiger will be based out of Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok and will offer short-haul, point-to-point services within a five-hour flying radius. “We are pleased to partner with Tiger Airways in establishing Thailand’s newest airline, Thai Tiger,” THAI President, Piyasvasti Amranand said. “With its disciplined approach to the low-cost model, Tiger Airways has proven that it has the right approach to competing effectively in the growing low fare travel market in Asia.” The joint venture will be 51 percent owned by THAI and a THAI entity and 49 percent owned by Tiger Airways, Reuters reported. “The Thai Tiger Board will consist of three nominees from THAI and two nominees from Tiger Airways, with the Chairmanship being held by THAI,” Mr Amranand said. Tiger Airways have nominated Tony Davis and Ryanasia principal Declan Ryan, one of the founding shareholders of both Tiger Airways and Ryanair, to sit on the Board. Mr Amranand also noted the differentiation that the joint venture will provide THAI, “Thai Tiger will offer an entirely different line of products to that offered by THAI.” Tiger Airways Group President and CEO, Mr Tony Davis, reflected on the economic benefits that the venture offered: “Thai Tiger will be well positioned to offer low fares to even more parts of the Asia Pacific region from its base in [Thailand] … Spreading our paw print means greater economies of scale for Tiger Airways, which in turn enables us to lower costs and fares even further”.Thai Tiger will operate a fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft, consistent with other airlines in the Tiger Airways Group.center_img Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Clast_img read more

Copilots are show pilots says Ryanair CEO

first_imgThe controversial airline chief of Ryanair has labelled co-pilots unnecessary and easily replaceable by flight attendants.The outlandish statements of Michael O’Leary have been rebuked by pilots and passengers alike, who accused the budget airline’s CEO of endangering passengers’ safety.Mr O’Leary said that a flight attendant could be trained to land the plane if the pilot ran into problems, news.com.au reported.”Really, you only need one pilot. Let’s take out the second pilot. Let the bl**dy computer fly it,” he said.”If the pilot has an emergency, he rings the bell, he calls her in, she could take over.”The suggestions have angered pilots, who maintain that such drastic measures would inevitably endanger the lives of all those onboard.“His suggestion is unwise, unsafe and the public will be horrified,” a spokesman for the British Airline Pilots’ Association said.This isn’t the first time that the Ryanair CEO has sparked debate over his efforts to cut costs. He has previously proposed a reduction in the number of toilets onboard and to make them coin operated.Mr O’Leary has also recently announced plans for ‘vertical seating’ on his aircraft, which will see passengers standing in designated zones for the duration of short-haul flights. Ryanair’s CEO has claimed flight attendants could fulfil the role of co-pilot in emergencies. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C. Clast_img read more

Cape Town looks to cruise tourism

first_imgCape Town is looking to cash in on the increasing popularity of cruising, as it considers upgrading facilities at its harbour to better accommodate cruise liners in the near future. “Most of the cruise ships that come into Cape Town dock in the Victoria and Alfred waterfront, so the accessibility into one of the best waterfronts in the world is right there,” Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU) marketing executive manager David Frandsen told e-Travel Blackboard in an interview at INDABA. “But when the big ships come in they have to dock in the main harbour, so we are looking at what we can do to create a cruise terminal there.” Describing the Western Cape as “absolutely perfect” for cruising, Mr Frandsen said the cruise market was “very important” for Cape Town. “Many of the big cruise line operators are saying that the South Indian ocean is probably the last destination as such that remains undeveloped from a cruising perspective, so there’s definitely a great deal of interest there.” Calvyn Gilfellan, chief executive of CTRU, the official destination marketing organisation for Cape Town and the Western Cape, agreed, saying the cruise market would open up “a whole new market” for Cape Town and the Western Cape. “In terms of marketing, the city is perfectly positioned to serve as a sea & safari destination,” CTRU chief executive aid. “Cape Town is widely considered as a gateway to Africa, so it would make sense that cruises originate from here and go up either the West or East Coast of the continent.” In related news, CTRU has announced its esCape to the Cape campaign, an initiative promoting the city and the Western Cape as a winter-time hot-spot. “This campaign positions Cape Town and the Western Cape as year-round destination, exposing travellers to experiences, attractions and activities that will enthral and captivate holidaymakers through the winter months,” Mr Gilfellan said. A temperature gauge on the campaign website showing visitors the activities that are available in different parts of the province during different climates will be one of the key features of the initiative. esCape to the Cape will run from mid-May to September 2011, with the campaign microsite to go live on 19 May. The Victoria and Albert Waterfront Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Apples legacy to the travel industry

first_imgWe look back at Steve Jobs’ impact on the travel business as reported in e-Travel Blackboard over the yearsApple isn’t a travel company, or a specialist travel tech company either, but Apple (under Job’s leadership) drove forward the way travellers interact with brands, experience travel and communicate while away.Without a doubt Apple have left an indelible mark on the travel Industry and we look back at Apple’s impact on travel businesses as reported in e-Travel Blackboard over the years.Travel companies have always been early adopters of technology, especially embracing the internet, though today many lead the way in mobile technology and below are some the key innovations since 2006.Apple featured early on when we reported in 2006 that Emirates were to offer iPod integration with their ICE in-seat entertainment system. By 2007 IATA had unveiled standardised mobile check-in technology. In 2008 British Airways claimed to be the first UK airline to introduce an iPhone app to book flights and Air Canada claim they were the first in North America a year later. Airlines have been among the most innovative, and green, providing iPads to pilots replacing all paper manuals. British Airways crew claim to offer a more personalised onboard service by using iPads in-flight to easily identify passenger’s special requests by name, seat number and club status.e-Travel Blackboard got on the mobile bandwagon early with the launch of mobile versions, in plain text with no advertising, for their Australia, Asia & USA editions.Disney Cruise Line inconjunction with Pixar offered the first ever 3D experience at sea but it wasn’t until 2011 that P&O Cruises Australia rolled out an iPad app making selling cruises easier. Aussie agents got a crash course in P&O’s app’s many features.Langham hotels launched the first voice enabled hotel app with directions to the hotel from virtually anywhere with simple phrases in local languages helping guests find their way home.Travelex introduced an app featuring a unique holiday budget calculator, then came language guides including speak like a local – how about Korean! Information has never been so accessible and you’ll never get lost again, even in Outback Australia  with destination guides in every language or you can  try before you fly with virtual tours.Mobiles are now key to people’s safety when abroad and communicating home via devices has never been easier with vast array of apps for travellers including Sabre’s TripCase, Kayak, Yelp, XE Currency converter, Airbnb, Trip Journal, Twitter and Facebook. Thanks to Apple you can get a job via iPhone, book LCC flights, keep well with the travel health app but by far the most embraced idea by travel companies were competitions. Everyone loved giving away technology. Agent Incentives have never been so good win an iPod, win an iPad, Win Win Win! Even DriveAway Holidays asked their highest selling agents to get their “Rock On” to win a NanoIf nothing more Apple’s devices have given us hours of relaxation listening to music, watching videos and keeping in touch via social media, phone or email while travelling. Today you wouldn’t want to leave home without an Apple’s device or two but be warned the luxury of world roaming charges can cost you and your business more than you bargained for. Thank you Steve Jobs it’s been a trip! Source = e-Travel Blackboard: R.Mlast_img read more

REVEALED Passengers opting for healthier midair meals

first_imgEating better at 35,000 feet. Passengers are increasingly demanding healthier meals on flights, new research has found.In the past five years orders for low-calorie meals has increased 300 percent and orders for low cholesterol meals rose by 181 percent, according to new data released by Cathay Pacific.Between 2008 and 2012 the demand for vegetarian meals rose by almost 14 percent.Fruit platter orders increased 216 percent, low-salt meals by over 200 percent and gluten-free meals by 114 percent over the same five-year period.Last year Cathay Pacific served over 1.7 million special meals, requested 48 hours prior to departure, to passengers flying to more than 170 destinations around the world. “Hong Kong is one of the world’s culinary capitals and at Cathay Pacific we are continually evaluating food trends around the world and looking for new ideas to keep in step with passengers’ changing tastes,” Cathay Pacific regional catering manager Eric Cheng said.“Often a vegetarian or pescatarian travelling in first, business or premium economy will be able to find something suitable without needing to pre-order a special meal, and in the long haul economy cabin, there is always a starter, a choice of main course and dessert.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.last_img read more

Worldhotels adds 6000 rooms

first_imgWorldhotels says the first of 2013 has been a “success”, with the addition of 31 new hotels to the group and a total of 6,000 rooms.Within the first six months of 2013, nearly 186 hotels applied to join Worldhotels, however, only 17 hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, three in North and South America and 11 in the Asia Pacific region joined the group.According to the company’s executive vice president Asia Pacific, Ronald Jegge, a number of the new properties are located in the People’s Republic of China to strengthen the group’s brand in the competitive market.“We have been strongly expanding in emerging markets – particularly in China – and are glad to see our efforts are paying off,” he explained.The group currently has up to 500 hotels in 250 destinations worldwide.Source = ETB News: N.J. Pool View – The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa, Seminyaklast_img read more

G20 to bring best out of Queensland

first_imgWith the nation’s fastest growth, Queensland is set to be the key contributor to the G20 growth target agreed by world leaders in Brisbane at the 2014 G20 Leaders’ Summit in November.More than 4,000 international delegates and 3,000 media will attend the G20 summit in Brisbane. World leaders will set global strategies to achieve job creation and boost investment and sustainable development to deliver stable economic growth. The strategy aims to lift collective GDP by two per cent above trend over five years – a plan that could add AUD $2 trillion to world growth. With the focus point of the G20 around world growth, it is suitable that Queensland, a state with renowned growth levels, to host the summit. With a population of 4.6 million, Queensland has been leading Australia’s economic growth for more than 20 years and is strategically growing its economy through the four pillars of agriculture, resources, construction and tourism. On average, annual growth in Queensland’s economy has outperformed some of the world’s most advanced economies over the last 20 years, including the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and France. A new report by Deloitte Access Economics released in August notes that “Queensland has a proud history of its economic growth outpacing that of Australia as a whole.” Renowned as an international supplier of energy resources – primarily coal – Queensland is about to launch a new industry in the export of liquefied natural gas, they are predicted to lift the resources contribution to the state’s economy to about AUD $41 billion. G20 Leaders’ Summit visitors will be able to explore Brisbane’s wide-ranging cultural program and celebrations involving Queensland’s indigenous and immigrant groups, spotlighting the city’s innovation and skills.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Middle Easts first B787 Ccheck completed for LATAM Aviation

first_imgMiddle East’s first B787 C-check completed for LATAM AviationEtihad Airways Engineering, the Middle East’s leading aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider, successfully completed the region’s first heavy maintenance C-check on a Boeing 787 aircraft for LATAM, one of the world’s largest airline groups with a global network of more than 140 destinations.LATAM was the launch customer for the B787 Dreamliner in the Americas and selected Etihad Airways Engineering to carry out the first scheduled C-check on its B787 aircraft.Jeff Wilkinson, Senior Vice President Technical, Etihad Airways, said: “We value the trust that the LATAM Airlines Group has placed in us by selecting Etihad Airways Engineering to perform the C-check on its first B787 aircraft.“This was also the first C-check carried out in the Middle East region, and provides a strong endorsement of the inherent quality and skill sets of the team involved, and of our dedicated MRO facilities. We remain fully committed to strengthening our relationship with LATAM by meeting and exceeding their expectations.”Roberto Bonsangue, Operational Control Manager, LATAM, said: “We appreciate the expertise, experience and professionalism of the Etihad Airways Engineering team. Due to their ‘can-do’ attitude, adherence to high quality standards and diverse capability in maintenance, repair and overhaul, we look forward to a long-term partnership in supporting and maintaining our growing fleet.”The LATAM Aviation Group has a total fleet of more than 300 aircraft with more than 230 aircraft on order. Source = Etihad Airwayslast_img read more

In the Footsteps of Presidents and Stars

first_imgSource = Collette Omni ShorehamIn the Footsteps of Presidents and StarsIn the Footsteps of Presidents and StarsCollette has just announced a brand new tour offering travellers a chance to stay in some of America’s most elegant and sought-after hotels. America’s Historic Hotels is on sale now for departures from May 2017 and will feature the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, the Omni Shoreham Hotel, the Tarrytown Hotel Estate, Omni Homestead Resort, Omni Bedford Springs Resort and the Equinox Resort.“We are excited to be able to offer a tour with fantastic accommodation that is so rich in American history and culture. These hotels have played host to some of the great figures of American history, so our clients are in good company!’ said Alison Mead, Collette’s Australian Business Manager.For travellers who dream of walking in the footsteps of celebrities, world-leaders, political dignitaries and sporting legends, Collette’s America’s Historic Hotels tour is not to be missed. Guests staying at the Omni Shoreham Hotel will be in the company of true Hollywood glamour and glitterati with past-notable guests including Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles and New York Yankees star and ex-lover of Marilyn Monroe, Joe Di Maggio. A true Washington landmark, the Shoreham has accommodated countless US Presidents and politicians, including Barack Obama. It was also the venue for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural ball.With exquisitely decorated suites, including the decadent Presidential Suite, complete with its own library, crackling fireplace, lavishly-appointed drawing room with tasselled drapes, grand master bathroom and luxurious bedding, travellers on this tour will feel like royalty.On day two of the itinerary travellers will discover Washington D.C. with a guided tour offering magnificent views of the White House and a visit to the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. After a day of exploring the city’s decision-making capital, guests can relax and unwind at the 250-year-old Omni Homestead Resort in Virginia, famous for its mineral springs.The Omni Homestead was visited by renowned US President Thomas Jefferson in 1818. Suffering from rheumatism, Jefferson found great relief in the healing properties of the natural springs, which is why they are now known as the Jefferson Pools. While staying at the Omni Homestead, guests can use their day of leisure to visit the Springs or indulge in some rejuvenation and pampering at the spa. For the more adventurous traveller, other highlights include mountain biking and hiking around the hotel’s picturesque trails.Journeying on to Pennsylvania, travellers will stop at Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous creation that is now a National Historic Landmark and an international architectural marvel, before settling into the Omni Bedford Springs Resort. The Bedford Springs property boasts eight mineral springs and has been a popular retreat for the wealthy upper echelon for many years. Built in Colonial style, this stately hotel has hosted 13 US Presidents including George W. Bush, James K. Polk and Ronald Reagan, and served as the ‘Summer White House’ for President James Buchanan during his time in office.Tarrytown House Estate is where old worlds and new worlds crossover. With a brick facade, complete with turrets, majestic archways and chimney stacks, together with its expansive lush green lawns, the estate is reminiscent of a fairy-tale. The juxtaposition of this charming exterior and contemporary amenities like the fitness centre and outdoor tree-lined swimming pool, make the hotel serve as a virtual time machine for travellers on this tour.During their stay at Tarrytown, guests can explore New York’s splendid Hudson River Valley, or spend their free time wandering the gardens, stopping to meet the Lady of the Estate – a friendly black Labrador brought on staff to chase the geese on the lawns.Nestled amongst the panoramic Green Mountains of Vermont, the Equinox Resort is another highlight of the tour. Through its fusion of country charm and New England flair, the property tells the story of the changing times in American history.For political-history buffs, a stay at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel is ideal. The décor and architecture of the hotel has been reflected in its clientele over the years, hosting all but two US Presidents since its opening in 1927. During their stay, travellers can check out the extravagant Presidential suite, decorated in New England flair and fitted out with custom millwork cabinetry. Go Collettediscover more hereAbout ColletteEstablished in 1918, Collette is a third-generation, family-owned worldwide tour operator. With headquarters in Rhode Island, Collette’s recently- opened Sydney office adds to the company’s global presence which includes offices in Vancouver, Toronto and London. On offer is an extensive collection of four-star escorted tours, river and ocean cruises, rail journeys, small group tours, family tours and garden holidays. Renowned for connecting guests with cultural experiences which go far beyond those of an ordinary holiday, Collette prides itself on providing real value to its guests and agent partners. Knowledgeable tour managers, an industry leading travel protection plan and inclusive touring are just part of the top-quality Collette experience. Just sit back, relax and be guided on your Collette adventure!last_img read more

Top rates in Mexicos Cancun Playa Del Carmen and Los Cabos wit

first_img roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsXML Top rates in Mexico’s Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Los Cabos with roomsXML roomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide . If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents.center_img As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Mexico has a lot to live up to, but it delivers plus more. With its extensive coastlines of more than 10,000km include the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Mexico has amazing warm weather, unique food, art, archaeology, and superb architecture !roomsXML has recently negotiated special rates with our suppliers to provide amazing value in the following areas:Playa del Carmen / Riviera Maya – Playa del Carmen is a coastal resort town in Mexico, along the Yucatán Peninsula’s Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shorelineroomsXML has 236 properties in Playa Del Carmen/Riviera Maya regionCancun – The perpetual party town known for its beaches, numerous resorts and nightlife. roomsXML has 138 properties in the Cancun areaLos Cabos – A mecca for sport fishing, resorts and golf holidays.roomsXML has 75 properties in Los Caboslast_img read more

Collette Celebrates St Patricks Day with Special Offer

first_imgFrom $2,079pp* Exploring Scotland and Ireland Collette Celebrates St Patrick’s Day with Special OfferCollette Celebrates St Patrick’s Day with Special OfferTo celebrate St Patricks Day, Collette is offering savings of up to $250 per person on selected tours to the Emerald Isle.Travellers have until the 30th of April inclusive to receive this fantastic discount on the following tours: Irish Splendour Best of Britain and Ireland Countryside of the Emerald Isle *Rate is per person, land only, double occupancy for all tours. The sale is available for all available departure dates and tours are guaranteed where indicated.An example of the tours includes the Shades of Ireland tour, which offers stunning Irish landscape views, historic castles and city experiences. Travellers will spend a night on castle grounds, experience Dublin through a panoramic city tour and marvel at the picturesque landscape across the Ring of Kerry on this nine-day tour.Another tour example is the Exploring Britain and Ireland tour, featuring the best historical locations in the British Isles. Highlights include the very spot St Patrick preached at the Rock of Cashel, the birthplace of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon and the mysterious Stonehenge.The Collette chauffeur is included for those within 40km of their international gateway giving a truly luxurious start and end to your journey. To save on your next adventure with Collette, visit gocollette.com and enter the code EURSAVE17.Terms and conditions apply and offers are subject to availability.For more details on your tour or these fantastic offers:Contact your local travel agent or call Collette on 1300 792 195For full terms and conditions, visit gocollette.comSource = Collette Shades of Ireland Exploring Britain and Ireland featuring The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Elegant Ireland From $2,969pp* Exploring Britain and Ireland From $3,379pp*center_img From $1,489pp* From $3,079pp* Irish Adventure Exploring Scotland and Ireland featuring The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Shades of Ireland featuring Northern Ireland From $1769pp* From $6749pp* From $4,529pp* From $2,939pp* From $3,979pp* From $5,079pp*last_img read more

Investment in tourism is an investment in Tasmanias future

first_imgInvestment in tourism is an investment in Tasmania’s futureThe Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, has welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s continued commitment to growing the State’s booming visitor economy in its 2017-18 Budget.TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, congratulated the Hodgman Government on delivering the funding needed to further develop tourism as a key long-term driver of economic and jobs growth across the State.“The economic turnaround that has seen the Tasmanian Government post a $54 million surplus in this Budget is in no small part due to the tourism boom that last year saw more than 1.2 million domestic and international tourists visit Tassie,” Ms Osmond said.“There is no doubt that tourism is growing into one of the key pillars of the Tasmanian economy, and this Budget recognises that for the true economic potential of tourism to be realised then there needed to be significant and ongoing investment in the sector.“TTF has been a vocal advocate of greater investment in destination marketing and it is pleasing to see the Tasmanian Government has embraced this message by providing $11 million to draw more tourists from around Australia and the world to Tasmania.“The $3.2 million to transform TasTAFE’s Drysdale campus into a Centre of Excellence for hospitality and help produce a new generation of tourism and hospitality workers is great news for the sector and for young Tasmanians looking to capitalise on the tourism boom.“The additional $100 million for the replacement of the Bass Strait passenger ferries is also great news for the State and for the record number of tourists choosing to travel Tasmania by ferry each year.“Through this Budget the Tasmanian Government has embraced the potential of tourism to create jobs and grow the visitor economy.” Tourism & Transport ForumSource = Tourism & Transport Forumlast_img read more