Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Tourism New Zealand is preparing to launch an international campaign to boost tourism into the country after last month’s Christchurch earthquake. Following the National Crisis Management Centre’s lift of its ‘essential Christchurch travel only’ ban, the bureau is said to be preparing a non-affected wider-Canterbury campaign, Car Rentals reported. Destinations such as Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs, and Mackenzie County will be highlight in the ad, targeted at New Zealand’s major tourism market, Australia. As part of the campaign, the bureau has invited travel bloggers to discuss New Zealand attractions and publicise them on Twitter between 21 and 23 March. Tourism New Zealand is hoping to rebuild its tourism numbers, as according to the source travel income is the country’s number one economy contributor.
Source = Little Polynesian For the 5th consecutive year Little Polynesian has been bestowed with the prestigious award of 2012 Cook Islands Leading Boutique Resort at the World Travel Awards ceremony over night. Sam Napa, General Manager of Little Polynesian was very happy when he was advised of the award “we work extremely hard to reach the level of service and standards that we extend to our guests at Little Polly”. “This award is a fabulous acknowledgment, our staff put in amazing efforts, I am very proud of every single one of them” Napa says. The multi award winning, Little Polynesian Resort is nestled on the southern tip of Rarotonga; it is a sophisticated playground for grown-ups. Here, serenity is certain, seclusion is guaranteed, and romance is everywhere. This is a Resort of unpretentious luxury where Idyllic beaches beckon.
La Plaine, Haiti subjected to flooding post Hurricane Sandy. Image: news.com.auMore cruises have been cancelled, itineraries diverted and ports closed in one of the worst storms the U.S. has ever seen. Expected to become an ‘extratropical storm’ the 8:00pm EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Centre indicated that life-threatening storm surge flooding will occur across the mid-Atlantic coast including Long Island Sound and New York Harbour with coastal hurricane winds and heavy Appalachian snows. “I have to say I can’t remember a storm that has affected so many ships and forced the cancellation of ports and in the case of Carnival Glory and Carnival Pride the cancellation of two cruises,” Carnival Cruise Lines senior cruise director John Heald wrote on his Facebook page today. New cruises affected include;Carnival DreamThe ship is currently scheduled to call into Port Canaveral on 28 October between 8:00am and 4:00pm before a day at sea on 29 October instead of visiting Cozumel. Carnival Dream will then call into Cozumel on 30 October instead of Belize between 10:00am and 6:00pm before heading to Belize on 31 October between 8:00am and 6:00pm instead of Roatan. Carnival EcstasyA call into Key West has been cancelled on 28 October with Carnival Ecstasy visiting Port Canaveral instead between 8:00am and 4:00pm.She will visit Nassau, The Bahamas on 29 October at 2:00pm.Carnival FascinationFreeport, The Bahamas will replace a previously scheduled call into Half Moon Cay on 29 October between 8:00am and 5:00pm.Carnival GloryThe ship returned to Norfolk, Williamsburg, Virginia to disembark guests due to the storm, high winds and tidal flooding expected in the region. Carnival Glory’s next cruise has been cancelled with all guests offered a refund in the original form of payment within the next two weeks. Carnival ImaginationAn unscheduled call into Nassau, The Bahamas will be made on 28 October between 8:00am and 5:00pm.Carnival LibertyThe ship will call into Nassau, The Bahamas instead of Half Moon Cay on 28 October between 7:00am and 2:00pm.Carnival MiracleDue to the closure of the port in New York, departure will now take place on 28 October. Check-in will take place between 2:00pm and 5:00pm with sailing slated for 6:00pm from Pier 90. “I will be performing in the ‘Welcome Aboard’ show tonight and am glad that we are avoiding the storm,” Carnival comedian Smiley Joe Wiley told e-Travel Blackboard. In order to make arrangements for supplies to be delivered onboard, the ship will now sail on a revised itinerary as follows:28 October – Depart New York29 October – Day-at-sea30 October – Day-at-sea31 October – Port Canaveral – 7:00am to 6:00pm1 November – Nassau, The Bahamas – 11:00am to 8:00pm2 November – Day-at-sea3 November – Grand Turk – 8:00am to 5:00pm4 November – Day-at-sea5 November – Day-at-sea6 November – Arrive New York 8:00amCarnival PrideThe cruise out of Baltimore has been cancelled due to inclement weather and restrictions imposed by the US Coast Guard on traffic in Chesapeake Bay. All passengers will be disembarked and the Carnival Pride will ride out the storm in a sheltered area. Passengers will be provided with a full refund in the original form of payment within the next two weeks and a 25 percent future cruise discount. Parking expenses will be refunded as guests leave the parking facility and the cruise line has called for all guests who require a hotel room for 28 October to contact a guest logistics team member in the terminal.USD$30 will also be offered per person for dinner on 28 October with all receipts submitted to email@example.com.Carnival SensationThe ship arrived late into Port Canaveral on 28 October and is sailing on a revised three-day itinerary with all guests asked to check in between 1:00pm and 2:00pm before sailaway at 3:00pm.She will call into Nassau, The Bahamas between 10:00am and 7:00pm on 30 October before heading to Freeport, The Bahamas between 8:00am and 7:00pm on 31 October. Carnival Sensation will return to Port Canaveral on 1 November and all guests will be offered a one-day pro-rated cruise fare refund in the original form of payment within two weeks.Gratuities will also be adjusted to reflect the shortened voyage, however, the cruise line will not be reimbursing passengers for expenses related to hotels, meals or incidentals unless they purchased Carnival’s Vacation Protection Plan. “The sea is rough…worst I have ever been on…good news is…most of the guests are having a blast! Carnival Sensation cruise director Jimmy reported to John Heald. “I just walked about and nothing but positive comments, although some look a little green. I have teams of entertainment walking around in all areas talking to guests.”Emerald PrincessA port call to Bar Harbor, Boston on 28 October has been replaced with a visit to Port Saguenay between 7:00am and 4:00pm and a call into Newport on 30 October has been replaced with a visit to Corner Brook between 8:00am and 5:00pm.Enchantment of the SeasThe ship will spend three days-at-sea on 28, 29 and 30 October instead of calling into Kings Wharf, Bermuda. Jewel of the SeasRemaining in dock in Boston, Massachusetts on 29 October, Jewel of the Seas will now depart on 30 October on a revised itinerary which will be provided to passengers upon boarding. Monarch of the SeasThe ship will spend the day-at-sea on 28 October instead of CocoCay.Norwegian GemDue to the closure of the Port of New York at 6:00pm 28 October, Norwegian Gem’s arrival will be delayed on 29 October. The US Coast Guard is unable to announce when the Port will re-open and all guests scheduled to sail on the 29 October sailing have been asked not to go to the terminal until requested. Norwegian’s website will be regularly updated.Norwegian DawnA call into Portland, Maine on 30 October has been cancelled with the ship visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia on 29 October from 10:00am to 8:00pm instead. Ruby PrincessThe ship will spend a day-at-sea instead of calling into Princess Cays as originally scheduled. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A
A number of restaurants in Sydney’s The Rocks precinct have been recognised for showcasing the excellence of Australian cuisine.The recognition is part of the Restaurant Australia campaign which will showcase Australian food and wine critics, writers, chefs, personalities and celebrities during a gala event in November.The Rocks Ananas Bar & Brasserie and The Argyle are being profiled on the Restaurant Australia campaign as the vanguard of an effort to increase food tourism to the country.Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority chief executive officer Catherine Gallagher said that it was no surprise these Rocks restaurants featured so highly.““The Rocks is brimming with extraordinary places presenting experiences to savour, with something exciting and unexpected to discover around every corner,” Ms Gallagher said.“Restaurants in The Rocks such as Ananas and The Argyle are certainly amongst the very best in dining experiences that Sydney has to offer both local and international visitors.”Tourism Australia has chosen NSW celebrity chefs Neil Perry and Peter Gilmore with the task of preparing the ‘best of Australia’ menu for 80 of the world’s top wine and food influencers. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
Low cost airline Scoot has announced it will begin operating Boeing 787 Dreamliners on all Australian routes from 1 May 2015.Tomorrow, the airline’s third 787 Dreamliner, named Inspiring Spirit, will begin flying on the Gold Coast route.Perth and Sydney are already utilising the aircraft and when the Melbourne service commences later this year it will also be operated by 787s.Scoot chief executive officer Campbell Wilson said introducing the 787 has “raised the bar” for Scoot’s low cost travel model.“Everyone’s loving the extra comfy seats, new cabin environment that’s literally more refreshing, features such as inflight Internet connectivity and in-seat power, along with all the other features people have come to expect from Scoot,” Mr Wilson said.“Add our unbeatable airfares and unique Scootitude, there’s no better way to get outta here than on Scoot’s 787.”The inclusion of more 787 aircraft will enable the airline to increase the frequency of its services to Australia.Sydney and Perth routes will soon be offered daily and the Gold Coast flights will operate five times per week.Melbourne’s service will also be offered five times per week when it commences on 1 November this year.All flights will be a non-stop service to and from Singapore.Founded in 2012, Scoot has carried more than 4.3 million passengers and first introduced the 787 aircraft to Australia in February this year.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson
New marketing campaign to sell WA to the worldTourism Western Australia has unveiled its latest tourism marketing campaign, Just Another Day in WA.The agency, which is the State Government department responsible for promoting WA as a holiday destination, launched the campaign last Friday.Tourism WA’s Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Buckland said Just Another Day in WA, was developed with advertising agency Cummins&Partners to show people around the world the extraordinary experiences that can be found in Western Australia.“Western Australia has so many extraordinary experiences that cannot be found elsewhere in Australia, or in some cases the world, but those of us who are lucky enough to live in the State tend to be blasé about its uniqueness and beauty,” Ms Buckland said.“The premise behind the campaign is to highlight all these experiences that West Australians take for granted but visitors find memorable and extraordinary.”The campaign will give Tourism WA a platform to promote all the changes that have happened in and around Perth over the past couple of years.“Our recent tourism marketing campaigns have focused almost exclusively on regional WA but greater Perth has gone through some dramatic changes and has a lot to offer as a destination in its own right,” she said.“As Perth continues to evolve, so will the campaign and we will be able to share more Perth stories with the world.”Some of the changes that are happening around Perth include:Opening up the Swan River through the development of Elizabeth Quay2,000 new hotels rooms to open by 2018$1 billion redevelopment of Perth AirportConstruction of a 60,000-seat stadiumRedevelopment of FremantleUpgrades at Scarborough Beach with $78 million for a beachside swimming pool, cafes, restaurants, kiosks and public artRottnest Island upgrades including include a luxury refurbishment of Hotel Rottnest as well as an upmarket “glamping” experience, which will open next year.Ms Buckland said the groundbreaking campaign marked a fundamental shift in the way Tourism WA promoted the State as a holiday destination.“Under the Just Another Day banner, Tourism WA and the tourism industry will create and distribute appealing content that will inspire people to travel to our State,” she said. “It will be distributed across the globe through our cooperative advertising campaigns with airlines, travel agents and tour operators.“We are calling on all visitors and West Australians to contribute to the campaign by sharing their own extraordinary WA moments using the hashtag #justanotherdayinWA.”In 2016, more than 18 films presenting personal experiences in WA will be created along with other supporting materials including photography and a microsite. Many more will be produced over the life of the campaign. Source = Tourism Western Australia
Etihad Aviation leadership transition update, interim CEO confirmedThe Etihad Aviation Group Board of Directors today appointed Ray Gammell as interim Group CEO, and confirmed that James Hogan, current President and Group CEO, will leave the company on 1 July 2017.Consistent with the company’s leadership transition plan, Gammell will assume full management responsibilities from today. Gammell is Etihad Aviation Group’s current Chief People & Performance Officer and has been a member of the Executive Leadership since joining the business in 2009, where he has led the creation of a performance culture across the group.A parallel handover will occur as Ricky Thirion assumes full responsibilities of the Group CFO, James Rigney, who will also leave the company on 1 July 2017. Thirion joined Etihad Airways in 2007 and is the current SVP Group Treasurer.H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of the Etihad Aviation Group, commented: “Ray and Ricky are experienced leaders and have the complete confidence of the Board. Ray will now take full management responsibility for the Etihad Aviation Group, ensure a coordinated group approach, and continue to advance the strategic review that was initiated by the Board in 2016 to reposition the business for continued development in what we anticipate being a prolonged period of challenges for global aviation.”“We have strengthened our group leadership with recent appointments and are now in the advanced stages of recruitment for a new Group CEO. The Board has been very pleased with the calibre of candidates, and we expect to make an announcement in the next few weeks.”Ray Gammell BiographyRay Gammell was appointed as Interim Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways Group in May 2017 from his position of Group Chief People and Performance Officer.He joined Etihad in 2009 as a member of the Executive Leadership Team, developing and leading the company’s people strategy to create a performance driven culture, enabling the growth of the business and positioning Etihad as one of the most attractive employers globally and in EMEA.Ray has been responsible for driving the award-winning Emiratisation strategy contributing to the total Emirati workforce of over 3,000 which is the largest nationality among the 154 nationalities at Etihad Aviation Group.Ray has 20 plus years’ leadership experience, gained internationally across the technology, financial and government sectors. He has held executive positions for the Intel Corporation in the US and Ireland, Royal Bank of Scotland, and was an officer in the Irish Armed Forces. He has been a Chief Officer at Etihad Airways for over 8 years.Ray is a chartered fellow at the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and holds a Masters Degree from University College Dublin. Etihad Aviation GroupSource = Etihad Aviation Group
Roman Muška is the Director of Prague Convention Bureau from January 1, 2016. He replaces Lenka Jarošová who decided to terminate her engagement in the organisation at the end of 2015. Roman Muška has been working in the MICE field since 1996, gaining extensive experience in tourism.During his engagement in AIMS International and AIM Group International he worked in finance, sales and project management (PCO / DMC). He was the Country Manager of Prague branch of the AIM Group International in recent years. From 2013, he was a member and from spring 2015 the first Vice President of the PCB Board of Directors.Roman Muška assumes the position of Managing Director with the objective of meeting the PCB long-term strategic plans, such as attracting a larger number of international meetings in Prague, building a positive image of Prague as an attractive convention destination abroad, and last but not least, raise the awareness about the congress industry and its economic and non-economic impact in the Czech Republic.
This is the first time we have participated in OTM Mumbai and we are very pleased because there are so many potential clients and we did a great business with the potential contacts that we have developed here. OTM is a great platform to network and also to learn great new things and the response we have received was great.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA), will be providing a platform for the region to address some of the most pressing issues facing Caribbean Tourism at the regions premier conference on sustainable tourism development in August.In what will be the first international tourism conference hosted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), the 2019 Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019) is slated for August 27-29 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent.Under the theme ‘Keeping the Right Balance: Tourism Development in an Era of Diversification’, industry experts will address the urgent need for a transformational, disruptive and regenerative tourism product to meet the ever-rising challenges.“Caribbean economies are facing tremendous pressure to respond to changes that are impacting the business of tourism and innovations are required to address urgent matters such as climate risk, waste reduction, community involvement and the so-called internet of things,” said Amanda Charles, the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Development Specialist. “STC 2019 will be pivotal in bringing to the fore such issues that impact on the future sustainability and growth of Caribbean tourism.”St. Vincent and the Grenadines will host STC amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate resilient country, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.CEO of the SVGTA, Glen Beache notes the importance of hosting the conference at a time when the United Nations is painting a grim picture of the earth’s natural life support systems, including its ocean life and natural ecosystems.“The need for Caribbean destinations to find development models that lean heavily towards destination sustainability is essential and so we must pay careful attention to the way we plan, manage and market our destinations’ tourism development,” Beache said. “St. Vincent and the Grenadines is pleased to be hosting STC 2019, at a time when we are seeking to maintain the balance and maintain SVG’s reputation as an unspoilt destination.”A primary concern and priority for the Caribbean is enforcing greater preparedness and resilience to climate change. Of equal importance are the changes in consumer consciousness which require the region’s tourism sector to be more astute as it relates to tourism planning and the management of resources.Regional benchmarks and best practices in community-based tourism, financial technologies for medium, small and micro enterprises, business innovation and destination competitiveness will be in focus during the two days of discussion. Participants will also experience a full day of study tours to immerse themselves in local communities.Speakers will address ways the region can respond to challenges and opportunities presented by increasing competition, shifts in consumer demands and purchasing preferences driven by social media and networking platforms, the sharing economy, and financial technologies.The experts will explore how this can be done in a way that enhances local livelihoods through the creation of new, varied, and innovative tourism experiences using the natural and man-made assets of Caribbean society.
November 1, 2012 531 Views Mortgage Marvel Stands Behind Fee Quotes with $2,500 Guarantee “”Mortgage Marvel,””:http://www.mortgagemarvel.com/ a mortgage-shopping website with headquarters in Mequon, Wisconsin, recently announced a new guarantee for borrowers seeking closing fee quotes. [IMAGE]If closing fees exceed Mortgage Marvel’s quote by more than $50, the company the difference plus $500, up to a maximum of $2,500.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Our fee accuracy guarantee shows our confidence in the fees that participating lenders are disclosing to consumers,”” said Rick Allen, COO of Mortgage Marvel. Mortgage Marvel receives real-time updates from participating lenders on MortgageMarvel.com. Borrowers may access fee information by registering on the website with their email address. No other personal information is required to access fee estimates. “”We believe it’s important for consumers to understand and know these costs as early as they can in the mortgage-application process,”” Allen said. “”We’ve worked hard to make sure the closing fees they see on our site are accurate, and we’re willing to stand behind them with our guarantee.”” Twenty-five percent of respondents to a recent survey commissioned by Mortgage Marvel said accurate statement of all mortgage-related fees is the most important aspect of a mortgage-shopping website. Borrowers must register on MortgageMarvel.com, apply for a loan through one of the available lenders, and close the loan within 90 days to be eligible for the new fee guarantee. Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-11-01 Krista Franks Brock in Origination
NAR Chief Economist Recounts a Year of Surprises Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies First-Time Homebuyers Home Prices Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates National Association of Realtors Service Providers 2013-12-20 Krista Franks Brock According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the “”National Association of Realtors (NAR),””:http://www.realtor.org/ there were a few surprises in the housing market this year. [IMAGE]Price appreciation was more accelerated than anticipated, and cash purchases continued to make up an uncharacteristically large portion of sales. “”[T]he recovery accelerated a lot faster than we anticipated, which was great for sellers and for the 75 million homeowners who saw their home values appreciate,”” Yun said in his “”7 Housing Trends for 2013.””:http://www.realtor.com/news/7-housing-trends-for-2013/#.UrEVSfRDuSpAfter a minimal rise from $179,000 to $180,000 over the year in 2012, the national median listing price shot up to $199,500 by September this year, according to “”Realtor.com.””:http://www.realtor.com/Another surprise for Yun was the large portion of cash purchases. Over the past three years, cash purchases have made up about one-third of home sales, according to Realtor.com. Both investors and overseas purchasers contribute to this trend, but Yun said, “”Even some owner-occupant buyers are cash buyers because of the excessively tight underwriting standards for loans.”” “”Some people are getting help from relatives to buy, and then they plan to take out a home equity loan later to repay them,”” he said. Other trends this year include rising mortgage rates, persistently high affordability, bidding wars, demand from first-time home buyers, and mounting popularity for real estate mobile apps. As Yun expected, mortgage rates increased this year, “”but they’re still very affordable when you look at rates on a historical basis,”” he said. [COLUMN_BREAK]Rising mortgage rates and rising prices contributed to a decline in affordability this year, but despite reaching a five-year low, Yun said, the affordability rate is “”still the fifth highest for the past 30 years.”” Price appreciation, low mortgage rates, and a third ingredient–scarce inventories–created a recipe for bidding wars this year. As of September, the housing market holds a five-month supply of homes, according to Realtor.com. The market is also beginning to see more demand from traditional buyers. While homeownership has declined over the past several years, there is now a “”replenishment of renters who want to buy homes,”” said Barry Habib, co-owner and chief market strategist for “”Residential Finance Corp.,””:http://www.residentialfinance.com/ according to Realtor.com. Yun also took note of a growing trend among real estate brokerages to produce mobile apps to help both buyers and sellers. “”Nearly every Realtor and brokerage in the country introduced a mobile app this year,”” according to Realtor.com, and consumers are relying on those apps. Sixty-eight percent of homebuyers used a mobile app while searching for a home, according to a study by Google and NAR. As a popular search tool, with millions of users each year, Realtor.com also released a list of the top “”five most-searched ZIP codes this year.””:http://www.realtor.com/news/the-years-most-searched-zip-codes/#.UrEVSfRDuSq At the top of the list is Old Town Chicago, a pedestrian-friendly, historic neighborhood with tree-lined streets and active nightlife, according to Realtor.com. Second on the list is McKinney, Texas, a suburb of Dallas and one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Wellington, Florida, ranked third with its unique characterization as a “”winter destination”” known for its equestrian community. “”We are home to world famous polo, jumper and dressage competitions during the winter months,”” said Matt Johnson of Illustrated Properties Real Estate, Inc., according to Realtor.com. “”These events attract participants from all over the world including the Royal Family members, A-list celebrities, top CEO’s, tech billionaires and members of the Forbes list.””Another Florida community, Pembroke Pines in Hollywood, Florida, ranked fourth, followed by the Ballantyne neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. in Data December 20, 2013 416 Views
Churchill Mortgage Movers & Shakers 2014-09-03 Tory Barringer Churchill Mortgage Recruits Chief Marketing Officer in Headlines, News, Uncategorized September 3, 2014 517 Views Advertising veteran Jay McCarthy has joined Churchill Mortgage as chief marketing officer, the company announced.An expert with more than 20 years of experience in specialized marketing, advertising, communication, and brand management, McCarthy will lead the development of Churchill’s messaging and communication strategies across traditional and digital channels.”The changing dynamic of communicative channels presents a great deal of potential to strengthen the mortgage industry, making this a very exciting time to be involved,” McCarthy said. “It is truly an honor to join a company as respected as Churchill Mortgage and I look forward to supporting their continued growth.”Prior to joining the company, McCarthy founded sagethree, an integrated brand marketing and development firm focused on music and media, artist development, management, and sponsorship activation. Working there, he helped consult with Pandora.com’s Playlist Development Algorithm Team as they re-engineered the formula that allows Pandora to target listeners with specific music based on their preferences.”New advertising and marketing mediums are transforming how our message is communicated and consumed. Borrowers’ preferences and behavior must be clearly understood in order to maximize our accessibility and transparency,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage.”We are excited to welcome Jay to the team and will leverage his more than two decades of experience in developing and delivering targeted messages. His knowledge, determination and proven skills will be instrumental to Churchill’s growth as the mortgage industry continues evolving,” he added. Share
July 26, 2017 575 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines What’s the Fed Up to This Time? The Federal Reserve opted to keep the current federal funds rate as-is today at its Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The vote was unanimous among the Fed’s Board of Governors and will keep the rate between 1 and 1.25 percent.The Committee cited potential labor and economic growth as the driving factors behind the decision.“In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1.25 percent,” the Committee’s statement read. “The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.”The FOMC voted to increase the rate twice earlier this year. The rate rose 25 basis points in March and another 25 basis points again in June. Most experts expected the Fed to stay the course at today’s meeting but believe it will raise rates a third time later this year.The Fed all but agreed in its statement today, saying that it “expects that economic conditions will evolve in a matter that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate.” Still, the statement read, “the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.”“In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation,” the statement read. “This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.”And although the Fed continues to stand behind the position it’s held since June, the big question after today’s nonaction is whether or not another rate hike will come before year’s end. Brett Ewing, Chief Market Strategist at First Franklin is skeptical.”The weak dollar continues to put the Fed in a goldilocks environment where the market isn’t concerning itself with rates,” he says. “And we don’t think there will be a rate hike until 2018; that’s the most likely scenario. Although December 2017 is in play, but still is less than 50 percent chance.”The FOMC will meet next on September 19; the meeting will be accompanied with a press conference. fed rates 2017-07-26 Aly J. Yale Share
Share Freddie Mac Home Prices HOUSING mortgage rates survey 2018-03-01 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination March 1, 2018 681 Views The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased again this week, marking the eighth consecutive week that these rates have seen a rise according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market survey by Freddie Mac. The survey indicated that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.43 percent for the week ending March 1 up from last week’s 4.40 percent. A year ago at this time, the rate averaged 4.10 percent, the survey said.The survey found that the 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.90 percent during the week, up 0.5 points from last week when it averaged 3.85 percent and the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.62 percent this week, down 0.4 points from its average of 3.65 percent last week.Attributing the rate climb to the Treasury-yields that have also seen a steady climb, Len Keifer, Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac said, “Optimistic testimony on Capitol Hill from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sent Treasury yields higher as Powell stated his outlook for the economy has strengthened since December. The 30-year rate has been on a tear in 2018, climbing 48 basis points since the start of the year and increasing for eight consecutive weeks.”Keifer was optimistic about the housing market though. “As we documented, historically when mortgage rates surge, housing swoons. But we think the strength in the economy and pent-up housing demand should allow U.S. housing markets to post modest growth this year even with higher mortgage rates. We really have to wait for housing markets to heat up in spring, but early indications are that housing demand remains robust to these rate increases.”Not everyone is very optimistic though. “This year’s overall trend of rising mortgage rates paired with escalating home prices is going to make affordability even tougher this spring,” said Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for Realtor.com. “First time buyers are going to have an especially hard time because they typically have less cash available for buying down interest rates or increasing a down payment.” 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Rise for Eighth Consecutive Week
Condominium Mortgage Lending, Reconsidered Share May 6, 2019 1,520 Views Condominiums Mortgages sales 2019-05-06 Seth Welborn Condominium sales may play a more significant role in the mortgage origination market in the next few years, according to CoreLogic. In the Video Spotlight below, CoreLogic’s Jacqueline Doty, VP of Industry Solutions, explores the state of condominium lending.According to Doty, condominium originations have held steady at around about 8% of total mortgage originations for the past few years, and hotspots with a particularly high share of condo sales include Washington, D.C. (37%) and Hawaii (42%).CoreLogic also notes that the condominium market has become tighter than ever, with the average condo staying on the market for only 60 days. The influx of millennial homebuyers is also set to increase the demand for condominiums.Doty notes that, moving forward, lenders need to keep a few facts in mind.“Lenders looking to take advantage of a potential condo rush may find that they’re being unnecessarily strict when approving condo loans,” Doty said. “With the delinquency rate of condo loans sitting about 2% lower than that of single-family homes, there could be room to loosen condo lending guidelines.”Doty notes that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae played a part in this “loosening.” In order to make it possible for more condo loans to be originated and sold to the GSEs going forward, Fannie and Freddie have increased commercial space allowances from 25% to 35%, relaxed the requirements for small 2-4 unit condo projects, streamlined underwriting for certain low loan-to-value and investor loans, and allowed certain types of minor litigation to be present in the project when the litigation won’t have a significant impact to the financial stability of the project. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination
Travellers ChoiceWendy Wu Tours Hosted by Wendy Wu Tours and Malaysia Airlines, eight Travellers Choice agents recently experienced many of the country’s highlights including walking the Juyongguan Great Wall – named ‘the most magnificent pass in the world’ in ancient times – taking a 340kph bullet train ride from Shanghai to Beijing, and learning about the age-old process of silk-making.Moss Vale Cruise & Travel’s Elise Fuller says the itinerary was “the perfect taste of an amazing destination”.“Flying through Kuala Lumpur was a seamless experience, and it was great to have a representative from Malaysia Airlines travelling with us to update us on fares, seating and the best of Malaysian hospitality.”Along with the must-do activities, agents were treated to unique experiences such as a home-cooked lunch with a real-life kung fu master who trained Hollywood stuntman Jackie Chan. They also witnessed a spectacular display of physical strength and agility with a kung fu show at the Red Theatre in the Chongwen District – a highlight for Burnie Travelcentre owner Kathy Granger.“It was an additional cost but I will definitely be recommending the show to my clients.”Lismore Cruise & Travel’s Amy Stuckey says it was local Wendy Wu Tours hosts Sam and Jade who really made the experience special.“They were so knowledgeable, nothing was too much trouble and they went above and beyond to ensure that everything was perfect.”
Australia Tourism is continuing to ride the wave of success, building on the vision to make Australia the most desired destination in the world.Opening the press conference at the Australia Tourism Exchange (ATE) in Perth yesterday, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon. Simon Birmingham, said “this year we celebrate 40 years that have seen a remarkable transformation not only in ATE the event, but in tourism in Australia as a whole.”Tourism Australia’s commitment to the partnership that is the tourism experience and the Government expanding on air access into the country were key factors that attributed to the success.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon. Simon Birmingham speaking at ATE19 in Perth.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon. Simon Birmingham speaking at ATE19 in Perth.Tourism Australia, Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, noted that in 2018, Australia welcomed record 9.2 million visitors to the country, spending some $44 billion.It was a big year for tourism in Australia. Most notably, the Dundee Campaign, which rolled out across the USA starting from the Superbowl Commercial. This was one of the most awarded creatives. The unDiscover Australia Campaign was launched across Asia to challenge perceptions and stereotypes, before being further extended into the UK, Germany and Japan. The best of Australia was showcased through the Signature Experiences of Australia program.Tourism Australia continue to work closely with key distribution partners, ambassadors, influencers and media. There was great support of new aviation access such as the direct Perth to London route with Qantas and business events remained an important and growing sector.Tourism Australia, Managing Director, John O’Sullivan talks about Tourism Australia’s success in 2018.The new focus for Tourism Australia will be on the current opportunities and challenges. Fashionability is a challenge which will be overcome by providing new news and stories to entice visitors. There will be focus on creating urgency for people to travel down under, make is a must visit destination and this can be easier to achieve with greater aviation access.There is the challenge that Australia is a complex destination, such a big country can be difficult to navigate and daunting for travellers. Therefore, there is a need to provide connectivity regionally, informative itineraries and easier processes.In particular there will be a focus on the youth market and working holiday visitors. The launch of Australia Inc showcases the country as ‘the best workplace in the world’. Research found less and less people are taking that GAP year holiday after finishing school as they are more focused to get ahead in life. Tourism Australia has turned a different angle on market focus and encouraging the working holiday as something that add to the resume.The Cultural Attractions of Australia (CAA), launched at ATE 2019, is an industry-led collective of iconic Aussie arts and cultural attractions which aims to present the best of Australia’s cultural offering to the world including the Australian War Memorial, Mona (Museum of Old and New Art), National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Opera Australia, Sydney Opera House and WA Maritime Museum among others.ATE19 Expo Floor at Perth Convention Centre.ATE brings Australian tourism businesses, and tourism wholesalers and retailers from around the world through a combination of scheduled business appointments and networking events. It also provides international travel buyers with the opportunity to experience Australia’s tourism offering first-hand through pre and post-event familiarisations.Around 1,500 Australian seller delegates from approximately 550 companies, 650 key buyer delegates from over 30 countries, and 70 international and Australian media attend this global event. ATE19australiaAustralia Tourism Exchange
0 Comments Share Before taking the field on defense, I can still vividly remember the Cards’ defense barking at each other: “Be fast, be physical. They can’t handle that.” Later, just for further ammunition, the leaders on defense reminded everyone the Patriots “disrespected” the Cardinals pre-game routine by walking through their stretching lineups. Speaking of “fast & physical,” the Cards’ D might want to trademark that moniker before Vin Diesel swipes it for the title of his next stunt-driving movie (“Fast & Physical”). I can still hear defensive players in the locker room telling me how playing fast AND physical is the Cards’ competitive advantage, since most NFL defenses are usually one OR the other. We can all picture the Quentin Groves punt block. Of course, a game-changing play by the special teams is quickly becoming the norm, right? Upon his return to the sideline, you also couldn’t help but hear Quentin Groves shouting “I TOLD you so…I TOLD you so!” Turns out, Groves had called his shot before that play a la Babe Ruth pointing to the bleachers. Ding. Now, what was unknown to almost everyone on the sideline was the play call on the final touchdown. As teammates discovered, Kevin Kolb and Lyle Sendlein had put the “sneak” into QB sneak indeed. As Sendlein explained repeatedly: “We talked about that all week. We were the only ones who knew.” And I can still hear Blues Brothers music blaring over the PA system and the lyrics yapping about a “Wish Sandwich” (a sandwich where you have two pieces of bread and wish you had some meat). Why? Well, the stadium cameras caught Dan Akroyd in a luxury suite. On cue, Akroyd obliged the crowd by busting a few moves — Blues Brothers style. So, with all apologies to the best booth in the NFL (Dave Pasch/Ron Wolfley), sometimes a sideline reporter has to turn the station, remove the headphones, and put his ear to the field turf. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ We keep seeing the highlights over and over. But after taking in the Arizona Cardinals big win (BIG, BIG win) as the sideline radio reporter who tries to stay out of the way, I keep hearing the XL victory over the Patriots. Over and over, it keeps playing in my head on a loop. Hmmm. What if we plugged headphones into my ears? For instance, I can picture the Cardinals first drive (13 plays) that ate up over six minutes on the clock. But what I keep hearing is the echo of Daryn Colledge and Adam Snyder reminding the offense (and maybe themselves) to “just play, no pressure. Let’s just play, take what they give us.” Soon after, the Cards did just that with an opening drive that featured a half-dozen run plays and a half-dozen pass plays. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling This will be a long week having to relive this nightmare over and over again until they play the Rams. At 1-2 we are disappointed with the Cardinals’ start, but certainly not giving up on the season. This is still a really good team and yes, they will go to the playoffs. But if they really want home field advantage in the playoffs they better start playing like it. Giving games away like this usually come back to haunt you when you have to go on the road for a playoff game. – / 22 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires So where do you start with this debacle? Losing to an 0-2 Bills team in turmoil after the firing of their offensive coordinator, playing without their star wide receiver Sammy Watkins and with a secondary that had just made Ryan Fitzpatrick (he of the six-interception game Sunday) look like Joe Montana the last time they had played.There are games where you can point to one or two reasons why a team lost. But not this one. Right from the get go it was mistake after mistake after mistake. Sloppy football. Embarrassing football. Football that made Cardinals fans want to throw up. 0 Comments Share Top Stories It started right from the first series when Michael “Pay me like Dez, Demaryius and Julio” Floyd dropped a ball in his bread basket. It continued with poor coaching when Bruce Arians and his staff failed to realize Robert Woods did not catch that ball for a 24-yard gain, and on the next play LeSean McCoy ran for a touchdown.Special teams was — I had to look up opposite of special for this one — undistinguished, improper, insignificant, uncertain, unimportant, unnoteworthy, least or worst. Or we could just say they sucked. Yeah let’s go with that one — special teams sucked.You can pick a play or several. How about Brandon’ Tate’s 31-yard punt return on a 40-yard punt that gave the Bills the ball at the Cardinals’ 39 yard line. Or Andre Ellington deciding that he figured it was better to start deeper in Cardinals territory than at the 25 yard line on every kickoff. That 19-yard punt by Drew Butler which gave the Bills the ball near midfield and led to a touchdown was a doozy. And the long snapper who shall remain nameless because they better have a new one by the time you read this column, snapping the ball over Butler’s head and having it returned for a Bills touchdown. Yeah special teams sucked. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is pressured by Buffalo Bills linebacker Lerentee McCray (56) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo How about that Cardinals defense that gave up big play after big play. Tyrod Taylor had runs of 29 and 20 yards, Woods had a 24-yard reception, McCoy had runs of 18 and 24 yards and Walter Powell had a 14-yard catch.My favorite was the sequence before the fumbled snap in which Arizona had the ball second-and-1 from the Bills 7-yard line. David Johnson ran for no gain after tripping over his own guy, Troy Niklas, who was getting pushed back like he was a dummy machine and not a person. On third-and-1 it got worse as Kyle Williams and Jerel Worthy were in the Cardinals’ backfield before the handoff even got DJ for a 1-yard loss. Cards OT Jared Veldheer may not want to look at the film of that play. Deciding to go for it on fourth-and-2, the Cardinals don’t get a play off and get hit with a delay of game, forcing the field goal attempt that will cost the player who shall rename nameless his job.Let’s not leave Tyrann Mathieu out of this. He must have thought we were playing European style football, not American football, after he poked the ball away from Taylor. And that is not a throw-in for the Bills at the spot you kicked it out.We can blame East Coast time, “No Risk It, No Biscuit” philosophy, abandoning the running game and even Carson Palmer’s four fourth-quarter interceptions. They were only down by 14 when he threw the first one to Stephon Gilmore. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact