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Agents come first Bahia Principe thanks partners for their strong sales


first_img Friday, November 16, 2018 Tags: Agent Incentives, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts TORONTO — Bahia Principe’s first-ever travel agent appreciation event took place in Toronto last night, with close to 100 of its most loyal agents in attendance despite the city’s first major snowfall.But the snow simply added to the night’s festivities, which also included a glamourous photo wall, photo props, prizes and hors d’oeuvres at Labora restaurant. Bahia Principe’s top supplier partners, including Transat, were also in attendance to thank travel agents for their continued support, particularly during a year marred by hurricanes and tropical storms.“This night isn’t about us, it’s about you,” said Dennis Vondenhoff, Regional Sales Director, Caribbean & Mexico at Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts. “We want to thank you for your support this year, which may not have been an easy year.”Helen Montijano, VP Sales & Marketing, USA & Canada, also told Travelweek that nearly 90% of Bahia Principe’s bookings are done through travel agents.“Travel agents are so important to us as that is where we get the majority of our bookings. The support we receive from agents in Canada is tremendous, and to thank them we have launched a rewards program. We want to thank agents as well as want them to come and stay with us,” she said.L-R: Susan Nunez, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts; Brad Dean, Quadra Innovations Group, Erin Oddleifson, Transat; Michael Price, Quadra Innovations Group; Dennis Vondenhoff, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts; Paula DeCampos, Transat; and Vera Pinto, Transat.Through the BP Rewards program, Bahia Principe offers incentives via its proprietary points system, with awards based on bookings. For example, 100-125 points are given for each room booked, and can be used towards free stays, spa discounts and other perks.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesTo entice agents to join the program, Bahia Principe is offering 1,000 welcome points simply for signing up.“The rewards program offers partners the information and tools necessary to be provide their clients with exceptionally planned vacations, and the opportunity to ‘experience happiness’,” said Montijano. “It is the best tool we offer to keep the travel agent community informed, and to show them our appreciation for their continued loyalty.”Bahia Principe also offers a brand centre that holds brochures, fact sheets, presentations, logos and more, which agents can download directly from its site. “Additionally, we are constantly coordinating and hosting interactive webinars to discuss brand updates,” Montijano added.For winter 2018/2019, the resort company is reminding agents of its four newly launched hotel categories and experiences aimed at differentiating properties to cater to differing client needs. These include: Luxury Bahia Principe, the brand’s most luxurious properties; Grand Bahia Principe, which features five-star hotels; Sunlight Bahia Principe, featuring all of the brand’s Spain-based properties; and Fantasia Bahia Principe, family-friendly themed hotels.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA Sales“The goal of the reorganization was also to simplify the selection for guests,” said Montijano. “We urge agents to take advantage of this new breakdown when advising clients and to familiarize themselves with it.”In addition to categorizing resorts by their individual personalities, Bahia Principe further defined its offering by ‘experience’, emphasizing the specific characteristics that make them unique:Treasure experience focuses on hotels in unique and off-the-beaten path locations that are ideal for clients seeking remote tranquilityEscape experience is for properties where amenities and experiences are curated specifically for adultsFamily & Friends offers a wholesome experience featuring family-driven programing for varying age groupsDuring a short presentation, the Bahia Principe team also encouraged agents to keep its various properties top of mind during the winter booking season. These include Fantasia Bahia Principe Punta Cana, a family-friendly themed resort, and Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar, a fully renovated resort for adults only in Punta Cana that features modern rooms, newly added swim-up suites, refurbished restaurants, and a new coffee shop, sports bar and gym. The newly rebranded Grand Bahia Principe Aquamarine in Punta, an adults-only property, also offers updated amenities and revitalized entertainment options.Bahia Principe also offers four additional properties in Samana: Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, Luxury Bahia Principe Samana, Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, and Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.For more information go to bahia-principe.com. Posted by Sharecenter_img Agents come first: Bahia Principe thanks partners for their strong sales Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


Costa Rica makes large drug seizure near beach where conservationist was slain


first_imgNo related posts. Costa Rican police seized 1,200 kilograms of marijuana from two drug boats on a Caribbean beach on Saturday, near the area where turtle conservationistJairo Mora was slain on May 31, the Public Security Ministry reported on Sunday.“The seizure of drug fast boats and 44 packages of ‘High Red’ marijuana (on Saturday) followed a chase and exchange of gunfire at Moín, until the boats were beached at Cieneguita Beach,” the ministry said in a press release.The suspected traffickers remain at large, although police recovered an I.D. with the last name Sevilla, a man who has a criminal record in Costa Rica.The ministry said both boats, which were confiscated by the Coast Guard, had the Costa Rican flag painted on their sides.The police operation took place close to Moín Beach, 170 kilometers east of the capital, where Mora was found beaten to death and stuffed in a turtle nest by suspected drug traffickers or turtle poachers operating in the area.Mora, 26, had reported receiving death threats before he was slain, and conservationists in Costa Rica have criticized the government for failing to respond to reports that drug traffickers and organized crime syndicates are preventing environmental workers from carrying out their jobs. Several environmental groups are offering a total of $40,000 in rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mora’s killers. Police have made no arrests in the case.The Public Security Ministry said that four police airplanes were needed to transport the seized drugs to the capital.Earlier this year, police confiscated more than 1,700 kg of cocaine from an abandoned drug boat in the same area. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Nicaragua marks Sandinista anniversary with regional leaders


first_imgMANAGUA — Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution late Saturday with a giant rally accompanied by regional leftist leaders.Thousands of supporters gathered at the Plaza La Fé, north of Managua, to celebrate the Sandinista rebel victory in 1979 over the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza, whose family had run Nicaragua like their own estate since 1936.The most prominent guest was Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose oil-rich nation provides millions of dollars in aid to impoverished Nicaragua.Maduro said the Sandinista revolution “scored a great triumph over the strategy of imperial domination in the continent” and paved the way for other revolutionary movements.Guests of honor at the event included the president of El Salvador, former leftist guerrilla Salvador Sánchez Cerén; Honduran President Juan Hernández; Cuban vice president Ramiro Valdés, and former presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and Panama.Ortega, now 68, was one of the rebel Sandinista leaders that toppled Somoza. He was Nicaragua’s leader 1979-1990, and returned to power in 2007.Maduro also expressed support for Nicaragua’s plans to build an interoceanic canal to rival the Panama Canal.In early July, Ortega endorsed a route chosen by a Chinese firm commissioned to dig a $40 billion canal linking the Caribbean and the Pacific.The canal is expected to create thousands of jobs, a vital boost for this country of six million — the second poorest in the Americas after Haiti — where half of the population lives in poverty. Facebook Comments Related posts:Southern Nicaragua communities protest Ortega’s canal plans Nicaraguan opposition has little chance of defeating Ortega Nicaragua can’t stop dreaming of a canal Nicaragua official goes to Washington to justify massive canal projectlast_img read more


Costa Ricas lovehate relationship with Jurassic Park


first_imgThe sudden relocation of the capital to the Pacific coast as a dusty beach town complete with crowing chickens raised eyebrows and the temperature of a few moviegoers.“It made me laugh. It showed how little the filmmakers really knew about Costa Rica, but some people were really offended,” said Jessica Carcheri, manager of Cine Magaly in San José.The erroneous subtitle was scrubbed from the film by the local distributor, Carcheri said.The movie grossed $1 billion globally but they couldn’t afford a fact checker.“Don’t get cheap on me, Dodgson.” Facebook Comments “Jurassic World,” the fourth installment of Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg’s movie franchise about dinosaurs and hubris, opened in Costa Rica Thursday, but the film’s dinosaurs never got the chance to stalk the country’s jungles.The movie might have been set in Costa Rica, but the only dinosaurs here are those at the Monteverde restaurant. The 1993 movie made Costa Rica a household name for many viewers but also stumbled in its representation of Ticolandia. John Hammond’s dream of a dinosaur safari park, “Jurassic World,” has come true 22 years after the events of the first film. No expense was spared. Were those bull sharks from the Bat Islands that were served up to the giant Mosasaurs like sardines to sea lions in the trailer?The film’s promotional website advises guests fly to Costa Rica before they take the ferry to the fictional island of Isla Nublar, 120 miles off the Pacific coast. It puts Paquera’s Tambor II to shame. See the Costa Rican tricolor? (Screenshot from www.JurassicWorld.com)Despite the fact that Michael Crichton set his story in Costa Rica, the Central American country was never used as a shooting location. It consistently lost out to Hawaii when it came to filming the movies.Dean Cundy, the director of photography for “Jurassic Park,” said they had considered filming in Costa Rica originally because the story “takes place on an island,” but Spielberg was concerned about road infrastructure and accessibility, according to an interview for “Return to Jurassic Park.”Costa Rica and Puerto Rico (tomato, toe-mah-toe, right?) were both reportedly up for consideration for filming “Jurassic World,” but the movie’s director, Colin Trevorrow, decided to follow Spielberg’s lead and took production back to Hawaii. Additional shots were filmed at an abandoned Six Flags amusement park in New Orleans (which sounds way scarier than a dinosaur safari park).Had the filmmakers decided to shoot in Costa Rica they would have learned that the country is not an island and avoided an error that movie-goers here have never forgiven – or at least not forgotten.An early scene in the movie has the scheming scientist Nedry and rival BioSyn operative Dodgson meeting to discuss their plan to steal the dino embryos in a can of Barbasol shaving cream. In San José. At the beach.center_img Related posts:Costa Rican prison drama ‘Presos’ to hit cinemas May 14 ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’: Baby, it was born to run Love takes Costa Rica, Costa Rica takes Hollywood Star Wars: ‘The Force Awakens’ in Costa Rica on Thursdaylast_img read more


Higher gas prices taxi fares in Costa Rica start Friday


first_imgA decree setting higher taxi fares and gas prices appeared Thursday in the official newspaperLa Gaceta, meaning the hikes will take effect starting Friday.The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) approved a ₡15 hike in taxi fares that will apply both to the first kilometer and to each additional one. The basic fare will rise from ₡630 to ₡645 ($1.17 to $1.19), while all kilometers beyond the first will go from ₡610 to ₡625 ($1.13 to $1.16).The agency also authorized a ₡20 increase in fares for special taxi service to and from Juan Santamaría International Airport.The approved increase resulted from an evaluation ARESEP conducts every six months which takes into consideration variations in fuel prices, exchange rate, driver’s salaries and taxes.Fuel hikesThe approved increase in fuel prices means a liter of Super gasoline will rise from ₡676 to ₡679 ($1.25 to $1.26), Plus gasoline from ₡639 to ₡642 ($1.18 to $1.19) and Diesel from ₡477 to ₡479 ($0.88 to $0.89).The National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) had requested a higher increase but ARESEP rejected several of the expenses cited to justify the increase, saying they were not related to fuel costs. These included some ₡20,000 million ($37 million) for RECOPE employee benefits, scholarships for children of employees, and food services, among others.Nevertheless, the new, higher prices could be short lived. On Thursday ARESEP reported that it is currently evaluating a decrease in fuel prices that, if approved, would lower per-liter prices by ₡43 for Super gasoline, ₡39 for Plus gasoline and ₡28 for Diesel. Facebook Comments Related posts:Gasoline prices may drop again in October Regulatory authority approves drop in fuel prices Gas prices to go up this week Costa Rica’s oil refinery wants to increase fuel prices – againlast_img read more


Costa Ricas agricultural sector opposes joining the Pacific Alliance


first_imgCosta Rica’s decision to join the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc formed by Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia, this week prompted discussions that show private-sector groups are still divided on its potential benefits.The National Agricultural Alliance (ANA) in a public statement earlier this week voiced opposition to Costa Rica’s entry in the Pacific Alliance, which seeks to boost business development through the elimination of protectionist trade policies, export quotas and tariffs.The ANA includes members of the National Chamber of Agriculture and Agribusiness (CNAA), the National Union of Small and Medium-Size Agricultural Producers, the National Council of Cooperatives and the Union of Independent Producers, all of whom claim the agreement represents a threat to most jobs in their sector.CNAA President Juan Rafael Lizano said joining the alliance would destroy local farmers and lead to more unemployment and poverty in the sector.“Adherence to that trade bloc will change the rules for many agricultural products, and that would put in danger some 500,000 jobs in the agricultural sector,” the ANA stated in a news release.The group noted that President Luis Guillermo Solís promised during his presidential campaign not to sign new trade agreements and to review those currently in force.Lizano noted that Costa Rica’s agricultural sector would face disadvantages when compared to the other alliance countries.“Rather than representing a bussiness opportunity, these markets will become a threat to us, as they are all strongly competitive economies,” he said.Costa Rica submitted a request to join the Pacific Alliance in 2013 during the administration of former President Laura Chinchilla.President Solís has said he supports the enrollment process, but last June, he requested several agencies to evaluate the positive and negative aspects for the country in becoming a full member of the trade bloc.Others in favorFollowing the agribusiness sector’s warnings, other business chambers issued statements supporting the process.The Costa Rican Chamber of Industries (CICR), the Costa Rica’s Chamber of Commerce (CCCR) and the Chamber of Exporters (CADEXCO) all support the government’s efforts to join.The Chamber of Commerce announced its support for joining “with all of the requirements,” the group’s president, Francisco Llobet, said in a news release.In separate statements both the CICR and CADEXCO noted their support for the Pacific Alliance, but requested the government address complaints by some sectors that could be affected by the country’s entry.CICR President Enrique Egloff sent President Solís a letter asking him to resume negotiations as soon as possible in order to take advantage of the group’s benefits, which “would translate into cheaper raw materials and a boost in the country’s business climate.”Egloff also said that better access to raw materials among alliance countries would benefit Costa Rica’s competitiveness.Foreign Trade (COMEX) Minister Alexander Mora on Thursday said President Solís would make a decision soon, and that it would be based on information from four separate studies conducted by COMEX and the Foreign, Finance and Economy ministries.Countries of the Pacific Alliance represent a market of 216 million people with an average per capita GDP of up to $10,000 per year, COMEX reported. Facebook Comments Related posts:Chilean entrepreneurs looking for business partners in Costa Rica Bernie Sanders’ CAFTA reversal pledge worries Costa Rica businesses Chinchilla defends road map to join Pacific Alliance as candidates reserve judgment Police seize 20,000 contraband avocados at Panama borderlast_img read more


Canadas top court to hear brothel law appeal


first_img Top Stories The Supreme Court says a stay on legalizing brothels will remain in place until the case is decided.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) TORONTO (AP) – The Supreme Court of Canada says it will hear a government appeal of a ruling striking down a ban on brothels.Ontario’s top court said in March that a ban on brothels increased the dangers prostitutes face because it forces them to work outside, and it ruled that sex workers should be allowed to work safely indoors.But the Supreme Court said Thursday that it will look at the country’s main prostitution laws. The top court says it also will hear an appeal by sex workers over a ban on soliciting, which the Ontario court had upheld. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to paincenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more


Turnout down sharply in Sicily vote


first_imgOnly 47 percent of eligible voters cast ballots Sunday, down from 67 percent in the 2008 regional election.The election was called following the resignation of Gov. Raffaele Lombardo amid concerns that the region risked insolvency and following his indictment on charges of Mafia association. He has denied the charges.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) ROME (AP) – A protest party candidate made a strong showing in Sicilian elections seen as a test before Italy-wide elections in the spring to replace the technical government of Premier Mario Monti. The vote was also marked by sharply lower turnout.With some 25 percent of the vote counted Monday, a center-left candidate led with 31 percent of the vote. The big surprise was the 17 percent garnered so far by the populist Five Star Movement launched by comic Beppe Grillo. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Quick workouts for men Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories center_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too 0 Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img read more


Panetta orders ethics training review for officers


first_imgPanetta told Dempsey to work with the chiefs of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to review ethics training for officers to determine whether they are adequate, and to provide views on “how to better foster a culture of value-based decision-making and stewardship” among senior officers and their staffs. That is another way of saying Panetta wants a game plan for ending the string of bad behavior.He said the initial results of the chiefs’ review, along with their recommendations, should be ready in time for Panetta to report to President Barack Obama by Dec. 1. The text of the Panetta memo, which he signed on Wednesday, was provided Thursday to reporters traveling with the Pentagon chief, who was in Bangkok for talks with senior Thai government officials in advance of Obama’s visit here this weekend.“Beyond mere compliance with the rules, I also expect senior officers and civilian executives to exercise sound judgment in their stewardship of government resources and in their personal conduct,” Panetta said. “An action may be legally permissible but neither advisable nor wise.”Panetta said he intends to raise these issues in a meeting next month with all of the military service chiefs, the services’ civilian leaders and the generals and admirals who lead major commands like U.S. Central Command. “I am not aware of any others that could be involved in this issue at the present time,” he said, adding that he wanted the American public to understand that the vast majority of military officers serve ethically.“One thing I do demand,” he said, “is that those who seek to protect this country operate by the highest ethical standards.”Panetta declined to describe the nature of the emails and other correspondence between Allen and Florida socialite Jill Kelley, which others have called flirtatious and potentially problematic for the Marine four-star general.Asked whether any of those emails are sexually explicit, Panetta said, “What I don’t want to do is to try to characterize those communications because I don’t want to do anything” to limit the ability of the Pentagon inspector general to conduct an objective review of the Allen matter.Panetta ordered the investigation Monday after the FBI referred the matter to the Pentagon’s top lawyer. Allen issued a statement through his lawyer saying he is committed to cooperating fully with the investigation.Panetta also told reporters he could not rule out the possibility that the Taliban in Afghanistan would try to use Petraeus’ admission of an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, for propaganda purposes. Petraeus, who resigned Friday from his post as CIA director, was Allen’s predecessor as top commander in Afghanistan, leaving in summer 2011. Panetta is the first U.S. defense secretary to visit Thailand since 2008. The U.S. has no troops permanently stationed in Thailand but it conducts regular exercises with the Thai military and has numerous other forms of cooperation..(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 0 Comments   Share   How men can have a healthy 2019 Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories AP National Security WriterBANGKOK (AP) – Citing a string of ethical lapses by senior military officers, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review ethics training and to brainstorm on ways to steer officers away from trouble.The move is a reflection of the depth of concern triggered by a series of misconduct cases in a military that prides itself on integrity and honor but has suffered an unusual number of stumbles after a decade of war. Dempsey said Thursday that he has been concerned for many months about an apparent slip in ethical standards within the military _ both in the officer corps and in the enlisted ranks. In an interview with the Pentagon’s internal news service, American Forces Press Service, Dempsey said he noticed disturbing trends last spring.“In response to these issues I have communicated through a memorandum to every four-star in every service,” Dempsey said. “I expressed my concern and encouraged their interest and their active involvement in helping us to understand what really is going on and what’s not.”Ethics issues associated with the Petraeus and Allen matters were raised during Panetta’s joint news conference Thursday with his Thai counterpart, Sukampol Suwannathat. The two spoke to reporters after signing an update to a 1962 U.S.-Thai statement framing the security relationship. The United States and Thailand are treaty allies _ a relationship that Washington sees as a cornerstone of its security interests in Asia.Panetta said he knows of no other senior U.S. military officers being linked to the Petraeus investigation, and he said he retains “tremendous confidence” in Allen. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help In a memo to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Panetta made no explicit reference to the David Petraeus sex scandal, which also has ensnared the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen. Panetta’s press secretary, George Little, said the memo was the product of internal Pentagon discussions that began before Petraeus announced he was resigning as CIA director because of an extramarital affair.“I will emphasize very strongly that the secretary was going to embark on this course long before the matters that have come to light over the past week,” Little said. He added that Panetta believes the vast majority of senior military officers serve with distinction and in accordance with ethical standards.Panetta mentioned no specific cases of officer misconduct but noted in his memo to Dempsey that, “as has happened recently, when lapses occur, they have the potential to erode public confidence in our leadership and in our system for the enforcement of our high ethical standards. Worse, they can be detrimental to the execution of our mission to defend the American people.”A number of senior officers have faced disciplinary action this year for misconduct, including Gen. William “Kip” Ward, who was reduced in rank from four stars to three this week after investigators determined that he had misused government funds for lavish spending while commanding U.S. Africa Command.last_img read more


Winners and losers from Gaza fighting


first_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments   Share   Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img HAMASThe Islamic militant group that rules Gaza gained significant international credibility, with Arab and Turkish diplomats pouring into the Palestinian territory to show support. Though it has been branded a terror group by Israel and the United States, it was treated as an equal partner with Israel during indirect cease-fire talks in Egypt. In those talks, it secured a commitment for the freer movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza. Hamas also proved its ability to fire rockets as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem despite being battered with airstrikes. As the Arab Spring brings Islamists to power across the region, Hamas’ influence is on the rise.PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS AND FATAHAbbas, who lost control of Gaza to Hamas five years ago, might be the biggest loser. He had no seat in the cease-fire negotiations and was largely sidelined during the crisis. Hamas’ ability to stand up to Israel and survive could also diminish Palestinians’ patience with their president’s so far fruitless efforts to push for a negotiated solution to the conflict with Israel. Abbas’ Western-backed government only rules in the West Bank, and his dreams of reconciling the rival Palestinian territories seems more elusive than ever. Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day JERUSALEM (AP) – After eight days of the fiercest fighting in years, a cease-fire agreement between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers could usher in a new era of relations between the bitter foes. The renewed quiet on both home fronts raises questions about what those involved gained, and lost, from the fighting and its aftermath.ISRAEL AND PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHUIsrael secured an agreement to stop the persistent rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel without launching a ground invasion into Gaza or losing the support of its international allies. Netanyahu’s bid for re-election in January could be vastly strengthened by the operation and by the killing of Hamas militant leader Ahmed Jabari on the first day of fighting. Netanyahu got the backing of President Barack Obama during the fighting, a significant achievement after their already shaky relationship grew colder when Netanyahu was perceived to favor Republican nominee Mitt Romney during the recent U.S. election. Israel also secured a commitment from the U.S. to help stop weapons smuggling into Gaza. EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT MOHAMMED MORSIThe former Muslim Brotherhood leading figure emerged from his first major international crisis with enhanced prestige and proved his government can mediate between the two sworn enemies, something the United States cannot do because it considers Hamas a terrorist organization and doesn’t allow contacts between its members and American officials. Egypt’s sponsorship of the cease-fire ensures Morsi a central role in the future of the region.THE UNITED STATESWhile the Obama administration has sought to refocus its foreign policy on Asia, the Gaza fighting forced it to turn back to a conflict it has sought to move past. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s last-minute shuttle diplomacy might have strengthened a U.S.-Egyptian partnership that has been strained in the 21 months since Egyptians toppled autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak. After a first term characterized by repeated failures in forging Israeli-Palestinian peace, the U.S. role in supporting the cease-fire could signal renewed American engagement in the region. A U.S. commitment to help stop arms smuggling to Gaza may also help repair Obama’s strained relationship with Netanyahu.last_img read more


Russia marks 60th anniversary of Stalins death


first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “Stalin has given a new impulse to the development of mankind,” said 58-year old history teacher Aliko Lursmanashvili who heads the Gori branch of Georgia’s Stalin Society uniting the dictator’s admirers.Mixing communist symbols with religious rites, communist participants in the rally went to a local church to light candles to remember Stalin after they had rolled up their red flags.____Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili contributed to this report from Gori, Georgia.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Roman Fomin, who organized a group laying carnations at the grave, said a leader like Stalin “would definitely be for the good of the country and the country would be developing much better than it is now.”Putin, whose professed ideology draws heavily from Soviet statism, has made efforts to give Stalin a more positive historical evaluation. School history textbooks have been released stressing Stalin’s role as an “effective manager” of the 1930s Soviet industrialization campaign, though historians express far greater skepticism about his supposed economic achievements.Liberal newspaper Vedomosti dismissed “the crazy dichotomy of achievements and losses” in an editorial Tuesday. “You can’t put economic achievements and human losses side by side, but even if you try, you won’t find any justification for the Stalin myth,” it said.Pro-Kremlin lawmakers campaigned this year to rename the city of Volgograd to Stalingrad _ its name from 1925 to 1961 _ in commemoration of the battle against Nazi Germany there, widely considered both World War II’s bloodiest and its turning point. Most Russians, however, oppose the move and see Stalin’s death primarily as the end of an era of political repression, according to a poll by the independent Levada Center published Monday. Stalin led the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953. Communists and other hardliners credit him with leading the country to victory in World War II and turning it into a nuclear superpower, while critics condemn his repressions. Historians estimate that more than 800,000 people were executed during the purges that peaked during the Great Terror in the late 1930s, and millions more died of harsh labor and cruel treatment in the giant Gulag prison camp system, mass starvation in Ukraine and southern Russia and deportations of ethnic minorities.“Those repressions touched every city, town, and village,” Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the presidential human rights council, said on Tuesday. “We can never forget this.”The liberal Moskovskie Novosti’s cover Tuesday read “Stalin. Farewell” with the dictator’s face scribbled over with childish graffiti, while staunch Communist daily Sovetskaya Rossiya ran a cover story on Stalin headlined “His time will come.”An opinion survey commissioned by the Carnegie Endowment found Stalin has remained widely admired in Russia and other ex-Soviet nations despite his repressions. Its authors noted that public attitudes to the dictator have improved during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 13-year rule, as the Kremlin has found Stalin’s image useful in its efforts to tighten control. “Russian society is living through a period of crisis of historical consciousness and, in my view, the only remedy for this ailment is creating an archive describing” the Stalin era, said Andrei Sorokin, Director of the Russian Archive of Socio-Political History.In 1989, at the peak of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to liberalize the country and expose Stalinist crimes, only 12 percent of Russians polled described Stalin as one of the most prominent historical figures, while in the Carnegie poll last year, 42 percent of Russian respondents did so.The poll revealed that the dictator also has continued to enjoy wide popularity in his native Georgia, where 45 percent of respondents expressed a positive view of him. Efforts to shed the nation’s Soviet legacy by Georgia’s pro-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili have failed to change public perceptions of Stalin.Georgian communists, who flocked to Stalin’s hometown of Gori for the anniversary on Tuesday, hope that the government of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose bloc defeated Saakashvili’s party in parliamentary elections last fall, will restore the Stalin monument torn down on Saakashvili’s orders. Top Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishescenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Opposition politicians have criticized the government for failing to clearly condemn Stalin’s repressions. Grigory Yavlinsky, a liberal former presidential candidate, demanded Tuesday that the government “recognize what happened as a crime” and compensate Gulag prisoners who built some of Russia’s biggest industrial enterprises, including metals giant Norilsk Nickel.Much of the resurgence in Stalin’s popularity owes itself to nostalgic perceptions of him as a strong leader in line with Russian traditions, rather than a longing to reinstate Communist dictatorship. One old woman made the sign of the cross after laying flowers at his grave; another carried a drawing of him in the style of Russian Orthodox Christian icons.A surprisingly large number of Russians even believe that Stalin had mystical powers. As recently as 2003, about 750,000 people voted for a party that aimed to continue what it said was Stalin’s attempt to battle the ancient Egyptian priesthood of Ra, which supposedly runs the world from its base in Switzerland. Zavtra, a newspaper run by a popular novelist and columnist, frequently runs pieces like one from about the same time predicting that Stalin would return from the dead and saying that “if you put your ear to the Volga steppe outside Stalingrad you can hear his footsteps.” MOSCOW (AP) – Devotees of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, whose brutal purges killed millions of innocent citizens and made his name a byword for totalitarian terror, flocked to the Kremlin to praise him for making his country a world power Tuesday, while experts and politicians puzzled and despaired over his enduring popularity.Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov led some 1,000 zealots who laid carnations at Stalin’s grave by the Kremlin wall in Moscow, praising him as a symbol of the nation’s “great victories” and saying that Russia needs to rely on this “unique experience” to overcome its problems. Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more


Greek police Golden Dawn slaying was pointblank


first_img Comments   Share   The shooting came amid a government crackdown on the party following the fatal stabbing in September of an anti-fascist musician in Athens. A Golden Dawn supporter has been arrested and charged with murder in that case, though the party has denied any wrongdoing.A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because officers were not authorized to comment on the investigation, described to The Associate Press a video from a nearby security camera that confirmed accounts from Golden Dawn lawmakers that the assailant started firing from 15 meters (yards) away and finished off his victims at close range.The gunman fired at a fourth, person, who managed to enter the building housing Golden Dawn’s local offices in the suburb of Neo Iraklio, north of Athens, escaping unharmed.The video shows the assailant wearing a jockey cap, while the motorcycle driver was wearing a helmet, the official said.A second official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said police found an abandoned motorcycle north of the site of the attack, which “almost certainly” was the one used by the assailants. The motorcycle had been declared stolen two weeks before and is being examined by forensic experts. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The names of the two dead have not yet been officially released, but they were named at a memorial service held Saturday evening outside the Golden Dawn offices where the attack took place.They are 27-year-old Giorgos Fountoulis and 22-year-old Manolis Kapelonis. Golden Dawn has said that both were party members, but has called the wounded 29-year-old man “a fellow citizen.”Golden Dawn spokesman and lawmaker Ilias Kassidiaris said “the souls of Giorgos and Manolis are guiding lights” for the whole country.“The Greek people will remain united, and together will keep on moving forward during this difficult and critical period our homeland is going through,” he said.The police’s counterterrorism squad is investigating the case. Suspicion has fallen on one of several far-left and anarchist extremist groups that have claimed to be behind violence that has killed two policemen and a journalist. No group has yet claimed responsibility.Golden Dawn lawmakers blame the murder on authorities’ prosecution of party members, including the jailing of the party’s leader and deputy leader following last month’s killing of a left-wing rapper. The outcry following the murder has prompted authorities to investigate the party’s involvement in violent attacks and criminal activities. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Eleni Zaroulia, a lawmaker and wife of jailed Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, accused Public Order and Citizen Protection minister Nikos Dendias of being “the moral instigator” of the two Friday murders. “Golden Dawn demands his resignation,” she told reporters on her way to a police precinct near her home, where she surrendered her gun.Formerly a marginal organization with neo-Nazi roots and a reputation for violence, Golden Dawn had polled just 0.29 percent in a national election in 2009. It rode a wave of public anger over Greece’s financial crisis, rising crime rate and unchecked immigration to become the country’s fifth largest party.It has steadily grown to third place in recent polls, although support has slipped since the prosecution of its leaders.____Srdjan Nedeljkovic and Raphael Kominis contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Police investigating the slaying of two members of the far-right Golden Dawn party and the serious wounding of a third person said Saturday the assailant finished off his victims at point-blank range before escaping on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice.The shooter fired 12 rounds from a Zastava Tokarev semi-automatic pistol in the Friday evening attack outside a suburban Athens office of the Nazi-inspired party. The bullet casings came from the same weapon, which has not been used in any previous case, police said in a statement. The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more


Entries Open for Australian Event Awards 2012


first_imgEntries are now open for the 2012 Australian Event Awards. Enter now to join the ranks of the best events and the brightest achievements at the industry Night of Nights in September.The eleven Best Event Categories for the 4th Australian Event Awards hold something for every event from Best Sporting Event to Best Community Event, Best Regional Event and Best Corporate Event. Past finalists include the 2011 Australian Tennis Open, the Ford Ranger Global Launch Event by Imagination, the 2011 Santos Tour Downunder and Tropfest 2011. Event professionals are not left out with nine Achievement Awards including Best Technical Achievement or Innovation, Best Achievement in Design, Best Catering, Best Export and Best Venue. If you’re a great operator who has done amazing work in the past year, you could join the ranks of 2011 finalists Adelaide Festival Centre, Blanco Food and Events or 2Fish Brand Experience Creators. The five headline awards celebrate the year’s highest achievements as we crown the Event Manager of the Year, the Young Achiever of the Year, the Entertainer of the Year, present the Lifetime Achievement Award, and finally announce the Australian Event of the Year 2012. Join with us as we watch the likes of 2011 finalists Darren Percival, Soul Mystique, The Leading Men and Brad Blaze battle it out live and this year even have your say with an audience-vote for the winner. Entries close on July 23rd 2012. Finalists will be announced on August 20th. It’s free to log-in and start an entry so why not give it a go today?The 2012 Australian Event Awards is the national awards program to reward innovation, recognise excellence and unite the Australian Events Industry. Entries are open to any event staged between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. Join the Ranks of the Best – Santos Tour Down Under 2011 Australian Event of the Year Source = Australian Event Awardslast_img read more


Abu Dhabi sets its sights on the Australian trade


first_imgSource = Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority Abu Dhabi sets its sights on the Australian tradeAbu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), in partnership with Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia is set to run the first of its annual trade familiarisation events this year, with plans for 50 Australian travel agents to visit Abu Dhabi this September and a further 50 early next year.The first group of agents, the highest achievers from an Australia-wide incentive programme by Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia will be invited to experience Abu Dhabi from 15-20 September 2015. The agents will journey through the emirate on one of three familiarisation itineraries before converging on Yas Island for a spectacular Arabian farewell.Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority Country Manager Michael Woods says travel agents remain vital to the Abu Dhabi tourism industry as it’s one of the most effective channels to engage with those considering a visit or extended stopover in the Arabian Peninsula.“Providing these agents with the opportunity to experience captivating culture, breath-taking luxury and the warmth of Arabian hospitality will allow them to more confidently sell Abu Dhabi to their clients.  By partnering with Etihad and Virgin Australia, we’re certain these agents will be provided the trip of a lifetime and be even more inspired to promote our Emirate,” said Woods.The familiarisation trip comes as TCA Abu Dhabi figures reveal a 20% growth in visitor arrivals for the first four months of this year, resulting in more than one million visitors staying in the emirate’s 161 hotels and hotel apartments. The increase in visitor arrivals has prompted the Authority to increase the 2015 guest arrivals target from 3.5 million to 3.9 million.“With arrivals on the rise and an increase in air capacity by Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia who now fly between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth direct to Abu Dhabi daily there is no better time for TCA Abu Dhabi to increase its presence in Australia,” added WoodsTCA Abu Dhabi has also announced the appointment of Kris Taute to lead Trade & MICE promotions within its Australia office.Kris joins the organisation from Tourism New Zealand based in Sydney where he led a number of trade initiatives including the rollout of the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme, extensive partnership marketing activities and some of the largest Mega Famil programmes seen in Australia. Kris has also held sales, marketing and operations roles at Destination NSW, Qantas and Air New Zealand.The arrival of the Aussie agents will be one of many major Australian travel trade initiatives to be staged by TCA Abu Dhabi this year, that includes its four city pan-Australia roadshow set to visit Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney in early August, continuing with ‘Discover Abu Dhabi’, the emirate’s brand new online training programme which is due to launch in Australia next month.For more information on the agent incentive and your chance to win a spot on the Abu Dhabi Agent Mega Famil visit the Etihad Agent Website. Visit Abu Dhabi Etihad Agents Websitelast_img read more


Captivating the new Chinese traveller


first_imgThere’s a distinct climate of change in the burgeoning Chinese tourism market, and Gold Coast based company Global Tour Specialists is set to meet the challenge head on with new and unique inbound tourism opportunities, specifically designed for the new wave of discerning high end Chinese travellers.Latest statistics show that in the year to August a record 953,200 Chinese tourists visited Australia. If that trend continues, within the next 12-months, people from China will become this country’s top tourist group.Global Tour Specialists (GTS) co-owner and CEO Tyler Wood says his company’s research shows there is a growing sophistication in the Chinese travel market.“They’re looking for more from their Australian experience,” Mr Wood said.“We want to provide the Chinese traveller with something that hasn’t been done before and won’t necessarily be a rush between typical tourist attractions.“We understand that Chinese people want to pack a lot into their Australian visit, which is what we do, but with added panache and luxury – it’s an opportunity for them to comfortably enjoy a unique slice of Australia.”GTS has sought advice and guidance from Rees International. China expert Janene Rees has independently built strong Chinese relationships that have been crucial in increasing the Australian inbound tourism sector.Tyler Wood says sister companies Bob Wood Cruise Group and Guides Australia have also been brought in as partners in the new Chinese focused project.The involvement of Guides Australia is an exciting innovation when developing new products, according to Tyler Wood.“Guides Australia was established several years ago to ensure inbound clients received the most memorable travel experience possible. It gives us direct control over the quality of guides we provide,” Mr Wood said.“We do this with an extensive training programme guaranteeing our guides are the best in the industry.“By using the Guides Australia training programme we are intent on having the first western trained Chinese tour guide service in Australia.”Drawing on the resources and experience of Bob Wood Cruise Group was also a natural progression in creating these ‘first of their kind’ inbound Chinese tour products.For more than a decade Bob Wood Cruise Group has been a leading provider of creative and innovative services to the international cruise industry, working with leading Australian tourism providers to create unforgettable shore based excursions and experiences.Itineraries for these unique bespoke travel experiences have been constructed focusing on three main themes which are Premium, Premium Women’s and Luxury.There are three Chinese New Year Spring Festival departure dates for GTS’s Premium Women’s only packaged tours, plus two others at different times – each is named after famous female movies:Scent of the Gold Coast & Byron Bay (2 x February departure dates)There’s Something About Queensland ( 1 x February departure date)Sisters in the CityQueen of the DesertAlong with standard industry marketing, the company has also adopted social media to reach the Chinese market.Wood says around half of China’s population has now embraced platforms like WeChat and Weibo, which will be the ideal vehicles for delivering the new products to an increasingly forward thinking and rapidly developing marketplace.He says identifying the changing demands of Chinese tourism consumers and being able to meet them head on is an exciting opportunity for Global Tour Specialists.“The potential is huge and we now have a firm foundation establish to build upon further!” Global Tour SpecialistsSource = Global Tour Specialistslast_img read more


Royal Caribbean to invest in Silversea Cruises


first_imgRoyal Caribbean to invest in Silversea CruisesRoyal Caribbean to invest in Silversea CruisesPurchase of 67 percent stake will propel the growth of the leading luxury and expedition cruise brand “Crown Jewel” partnership strengthens Silversea future and RCL brand lineupSilversea leaders stay on to guide strategy; significant synergies expectedRoyal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE: RCL) and Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio today announced an agreement for RCL to acquire a stake in privately-owned Silversea Cruises, bringing together two companies with bold, long-term visions for the cruise industry.Under the agreement, Royal Caribbean will acquire a 66.7 percent equity stake in Silversea Cruises based on an enterprise value of approximately $2 billion. The purchase price of the equity being acquired is approximately $1 billion. RCL plans to finance the purchase through debt. In addition, Lefebvre will qualify for an estimated contingent consideration of approximately 472,000 RCL shares, payable upon achievement of certain 2019-2020 performance metrics.“Silversea is a crown jewel, and the acknowledged leader in luxury and expedition cruising, two key markets that are poised for growth,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Uniting our two companies presents an extraordinary opportunity to expand vacation options for guests and create revenue in strategic growth areas.”Fain added: “We are proud to welcome aboard Manfredi Lefebvre, a visionary leader whose high standards and history of innovation we deeply respect. Manfredi will remain Executive Chairman of Silversea, continuing to lead its strategy long term.”“This partnership will bolster the growth of this exceptional brand founded by my father,” said Lefebvre. “I have always been kindred spirits with Richard and we share a vision of offering excellence and leadership to our guests. This new partnership gives Silversea the opportunity to accelerate the growth of the most successful luxury and expedition cruising brand in the world.” The strategic rationale for the partnership includes:Driving long-term capacity growth in the burgeoning luxury and expedition segments at a much larger scale than what Silversea would achieve independently;Diversifying Royal Caribbean’s portfolio and increasing its expedition offerings by adding a premiere ultra-luxury brand;Leveraging the global footprint of the combined companies to generate demand and increase vacation and destination options for the guests of both companies;Realizing significant synergies related to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and other economies of scale.Lefebvre said he is confident that the significant investment stake he is retaining will sizably increase its value through the growth this long-term partnership will enable.Lefebvre and Fain also confirmed that Silversea’s CEO Roberto Martinoli will continue in his role, working with the existing Silversea management team.Silversea, with its intimate, all-suite ships, full spectrum of global cruise offerings sailing to more than 1000 global destinations, and unique luxury expedition vessels, adds a pioneering ultra-luxury brand to RCL’s industry-leading brand lineup. RCL’s largest brand, Royal Caribbean International, is a contemporary brand focused on adventure-seeking families, Celebrity Cruises is a premium brand providing a modern luxury experience to discerning global travelers, and Azamara Club Cruises is a destination immersive brand offering luxury voyages to unique ports. The company also operates the regional TUI Cruises and Pullmantur brands as part of long-term joint ventures.The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.Regarding 2018, Royal Caribbean reconfirmed its latest adjusted EPS guidance of $8.70 to $8.90 per share. This updated guidance does not include any potential impact from the transaction, although RCL does not expect the transaction to materially impact near-term adjusted earnings per share.Operationally, the company’s forecast for the third and fourth quarters has remained unchanged, but increases in the market price of fuel and the strength of the dollar are expected to cost the company roughly 25 cents per share. Fortunately, strong close-in demand for core products and better than expected performance below the line is expected to drive improved results for the second quarter. These improved results are expected to completely offset the impact of the FX and fuel headwinds in the second half of the year, which allows the company to maintain its guidance for 2018.Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as financial advisor to RCL and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP provided legal counsel. Barclays [Bank Plc] served as financial advisor to Manfredi Lefebvre and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP provided legal counsel.Conference CallRoyal Caribbean will host a conference call today, June 14, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. EDT to discuss the transaction. A link to the live webcast can be found on Royal Caribbean Investor Relations website at www.rclcorporate.com/investors. A replay of the conference call will also be available on the website for 30 days after the call.About Royal CaribbeanRoyal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that owns and operates three global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises. We are a 50 percent joint venture owner of the German brand TUI Cruises, a 49 percent shareholder in the Spanish brand Pullmantur and a 36 percent shareholder in the Chinese brand SkySea Cruises. Together, these brands operate a combined total of 50 ships with an additional twelve on order as of March 31, 2018. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 540 destinations on all seven continents.Additional information can be found on www.royalcaribbean.com, www.celebritycruises.com, www.azamaraclubcruises.com, www.tuicruises.com, www.pullmantur.es, or www.rclinvestor.com.About Silversea CruisesSilversea Cruises, which is chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, is recognized as an innovator in the ultra-luxury cruise line industry, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit and Silver Muse – all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the inclusion of the expedition ships Silver Explorer, Silver Galapagos, Silver Discoverer, and with Silver Cloud recently joining the Expedition fleet, Silversea’s itineraries encompass all seven continents and feature worldwide luxury cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, both polar regions and hundreds of fascinating destinations in between.Selected Operational and Financial MetricsAdjusted Earnings per Share (“Adjusted EPS”)Represents Adjusted Net Income divided by the weighted average or by the diluted weighted average of shares outstanding, as applicable, at the end of the reporting period. We believe this measure is meaningful when assessing our performance on a comparative basis.For additional information see “Adjusted Measures of Financial Performance” below.Forward-looking StatementsCertain statements in this release relating to, among other things, our future performance constitutes forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to: statements regarding revenues, costs and financial results for 2018 and beyond. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “driving,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions are intended to help identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations, are based on judgments, are inherently uncertain and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in those forward-looking statements. Examples of these risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to the following: the impact of the economic and geopolitical environment on key aspects of our business, such as the demand for cruises, passenger spending, and operating costs; our ability to obtain new borrowings or capital in amounts sufficient to satisfy our capital expenditures, debt repayments and other financing needs; incidents or adverse publicity concerning the travel industry generally or the cruise industry specifically; concerns over safety, health and security aspects of traveling; unavailability of ports of call; the uncertainties of conducting business internationally and expanding into new markets and new ventures; changes in operating and financing costs; the impact of foreign exchange rates, interest rate and fuel price fluctuations; vacation industry competition and changes in industry capacity and overcapacity; the impact of new or changing legislation and regulations on our business; emergency ship repairs, including the related lost revenue; the impact of issues at shipyards, including ship delivery delays, ship cancellations or ship construction cost increases; shipyard unavailability; and the unavailability or cost of air service.More information about factors that could affect our operating results is included under the captions “Risk Factors” in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as our other filings with the SEC, and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and our recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by visiting our Investor Relations website at www.rclinvestor.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this release, which are based on information available to us on the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.Adjusted Measures of Financial PerformanceThis press release includes certain adjusted financial measures defined as non-GAAP financial measures under Securities and Exchange Commission rules, which we believe provide useful information to investors as a supplement to our consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or US GAAP.Source = Silversea Cruiseslast_img read more


Grand Resort Bad Ragaz celebrates 175 years of thermal water


first_imgEurope’s leading well-being and medical health resort, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, is proud to celebrate this year the 175th Anniversary of piping the natural healing waters from Switzerland’s famous Tamina Gorge directly to the resort. To celebrate this milestone occasion, Bad Ragaz has created a bespoke Blue Gold package which includes a new, invigorating Thermal Water Massage based around the excellent healing powers of this warm water. The award-winning resort is also offering a fantastic discount to all guests in light of the 175 year Anniversary: 175 rooms priced at 175 Swiss Francs per room, which was available online from February 2, 2015.First discovered by Benedictine monks in 1242, people in the mountain town of Bad Ragaz and further afield have harnessed the naturally warm water of the Tamina Gorge for centuries. The first pipeline of clean fresh spring water, directly running from the Tamina Gorge to Grand Resort Bad Ragaz originated on the 31st May 1840, and 175 years later still provides guests and locals alike with unrivalled access to pure, fresh mountain spring water.Recognising how the healing waters of the Tamina Gorge play a crucial role in the everyday functioning of both the resort and the surrounding town of Bad Ragaz, the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is delighted to launch a new pampering Blue Gold package. Designed to honour the resort’s unique relationship to the Tamina Gorge, guests can experience a radical new Thermal Water Massage treatment as part of this new package, which has been carefully created by the forward thinking spa therapists at Bad Ragaz.The Thermal Water Massage treatment begins with massaging and washing of guests’ feet, where they are encouraged to leave behind everyday worries and soothe themselves with the sounds of trickling water, before enjoying a full 50 minute body massage using replenishing, warm herbal oils. Guests are encouraged to use this time to reflect and let their bodies fully rejuvenate.The Tamina Gorge fresh water can be enjoyed in the resort’s luxurious 36.5° Wellbeing & Thermal Spa area, as well the much-loved publicly accessible thermal spa, the Tamina Therme. Guests staying in the exclusive Spa Suites can even benefit from having thermal water pumped directly through every tap in their bathroom, sauna and steam room.Grand Resort Bad Ragaz prides itself on its long-standing connection to the natural phenomena that is the Tamina Gorge and is delighted to mark this by launching both the new Blue Gold package and the 175 Years – 175 Rooms – 175 Swiss Francs special. Enjoyed by guests and locals alike, the high quality spring water can be used for drinking and bathing purposes, as well as for relaxation, therapeutic and health reasons, and as a result this award-winning resort continues to draw in guests from all over the world.last_img read more


Cox Kings reports rise in Babymoon vacations in India


first_imgTo understand the demands and choices of the upcoming traveller’s segment of ‘Babymooners’, Cox & Kings, recently released its survey titled ‘Decoding the Babymoon Trend which revealed that 82% of pregnant women wish to go on Babymoon and the most preferred time is the second trimester. Babymoon is a term that refers to a brief vacation taken by would-be parents to relax/travel before the baby is born. Cox & Kings spoke with close to 1000 women comprising both pregnant women and new mothers from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata. About 72% of the new mothers had opted for a Babymoon during their pregnancy and ‘relaxation’ was the primary reason as they said that it offers a great window to have a child-free getaway.Given a choice, 65% of women wish to take an international babymoon trip. 77% of them wish to go with their husbands only and not the entire family.It also highlighted that ‘Beach Destinations’ are the most preferred for 88% of the women as it offers leisure beach walks and scenic views. The topmost priorities for the couple while planning the babymoon trip is safety, duration of travel and medical help.Goa, Jodhpur, Maharashtra and Kerala have topped the list of most preferred domestic babymoon destinations, whereas Seychelles, Thailand, Dubai and Sri Lanka top the list of most preferred international destinations.Cuisine remains one of the most important aspects of the vacation with 65% of the babymoon takers wanting to taste local food over carrying packaged food/taking a chef along.Breaking the babymoon myth, 97% of the respondents disapproved of adventure trip. A majority of the pregnant travellers choose custom-made tours over group tours.All-inclusive resorts are the favourite with 75% of the participants, feeling it is best to relax in one place. Hence multi-destination holidays are a strict no-no for the majority.Close to 82% of the respondents say they would opt for vacation spanning from 5 to 7 days with the rest choosing less than 5 days. Irrespective of the location, 85% would consider opting for a Travel Insurance.last_img read more


Malibu Colony Celebrity Home Hits Market for 1395M


first_img Celebrity enclave, Malibu, California is losing a famous resident. Jim Carrey has listed his 2,866-square-foot estate in the star-studded Malibu Colony neighborhood for $13.95 million. The ocean front home features amazing seaside views, suites for staffers, and a glass-fronted rooftop terrace, in addition to its five bedrooms and bathrooms. According to “”Realestalker””:http://realestalker.blogspot.com/, Carrey is currently shopping for luxury properties in Manhattan, and he’s rumored to be eyeing a $19 million penthouse in Brooklyn and a $13.65 million pad in Chelsea.[COLUMN_BREAK][IMAGE] June 18, 2012 401 Views Share Malibu Colony Celebrity Home Hits Market for $13.95Mcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-06-18 Abby Gregory in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologylast_img read more