Source = Chern’ee Sutton Chern’ee gives Borobi a handChern’ee gives Borobi a handETB Travel News Ambassador and Contemporary Indigenous artist Chern’ee Sutton was recently commissioned to create the Aboriginal story and markings for Borobi the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Mascot.Each country of the Commonwealth is represented by the campsite or meeting place (feet) which has both a man and woman athlete symbol around them, athlete’s from each Commonwealth country then start their journey to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games followed by the spectators and supporters that also travel to the games. The athlete’s arrive at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games which is represented by the main campsite which also represents the ocean/water in Yugambeh symbols. This main campsite has men and woman athlete’s from each country of the Commonwealth sitting united.The athletes then continue their journey fighting for gold at the Commonwealth Games at several locations around the Gold Coast. The wavy lines in the fingertips represent the 11 days (2 hands) of the Commonwealth Games and the scattered dots represent the spectators from all over the world that come to support the Games.This painting design has been used for Borobi the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games mascot.www.cherneesutton.com.auRead more on Chern’ee next weekChern’ee gives Borobi a hand
In 2015, St. Lucia’s tourism sector took off very strong as per the government. Last year, St Lucia set a record for the island with a total of 338,158 visitors’ arrivals, up six percent over 2013.In January, St Lucia saw a 14% development in arrivals with a total of 31,541 visitors. That was the largest number of stay-over visitors in January in the island’s history, besting January 2005.St. Lucia Tourism Director Louis Lewis said the growth was part of a strategy to ramp up arrivals from the North American market.“We are reaching out to the north American market via our innovative summer campaign ‘Saint Lucia Rocks this summer,’ which offers exciting deals from scores of industry partners,” said Louis Lewis, Director, St. Lucia Tourism.
Greater Bogotá Convention Bureau (GBCB) was announced as the newest full alliance partner of BestCities Global Alliance during IMEX Frankfurt 2016. GBCB is the first bureau from Latin America to join the fold, a key step in the alliance’s expansion into new and emerging markets.BestCities new Board Chair, Jonas Wilstrup of Wonderful Copenhagen, made the announcement at IMEX Frankfurt which also saw him take the baton in his new role from former board chair Karen Bolinger of Melbourne Convention Bureau.Jonas commented, “This is an exciting time for BestCities and the announcement of Bogotá’s successful application is significant. In recent years the meetings industry has recognised the growth potential of Latin America and Bogotá in particular; it’s great to see BestCities at the forefront of that trend.“Bogotá is a great complement to the alliance with a commitment to excellence and client focus as well as drive to achieve our overarching ambition; to create long-term positive lasting impact from events in their host city and globally. This desired impact is not just financial, but much wider reaching and despite being a young bureau, Bogotá is leading the way in this area with a commitment to this goal.”Ranked sixth in the ICCA Latin American Rankings, Bogotá scooped the ICCA Gold PR Award last year for its campaign ‘People the Power of Hope’. With legacy at its heart, the campaign brought major city players together in a bid to make Bogotá the venue for the global gathering of youth leaders: One Young World in 2017. “People the Power of Hope is an excellent example of the strategic, bigger picture approach to meeting planning we value in our partners. We’re thrilled to have Bogotá on board,” Wilstrup continued.Following a comprehensive external audit to ensure Bogotá surpassed BestCities’ highest quality standards, Bogotá’s successful application is the culmination of many years of work for the GBCB to grow the international association market.During the last year, the city has won 50 major international events, with 12 more world class events in progress. The opening of a new International Conference Centre, the ‘Agora Bogotá’ in 2017, will further increase the city’s venue delegate capacity by almost 4,000 and El Dorado International Airport now has over 700 weekly international direct flights to 43 countries globally.Bogotá is responsible for 56% of the tourism that arrives in Colombia and is home to 1,423 multinational companies, public institutions, and the National Government. The city also has 17,000 three, four and five-star hotel rooms, with a plan to develop more hotels closer to the Convention Center.Sandra Garcia, Executive Director at GBCB said, “It’s a fantastic development in our journey to be accepted as a full BestCities partner and we look forward to working with the Alliance’s expert network of associations and clients to continue developing and growing the industry here in Latin America.“In Bogotá, we have shown that is the power of people who achieves real changes and the events industry can become an engine for this transformation. Public and private institutions working together, have shown a strong commitment to pursue more businesses for the city as well as a strong leadership in different sectors.”“As a non-profit organisation, the nation’s future development is at the heart of everything we do. We work closely with our partners in the city to promote this mission and ensure the meetings and bids we pursue have scope for creating a positive impact, leaving a legacy to future generations,” added Sandra.
CMBS Spreads Widen, Signaling Bearishness in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share Following on the heels of debt downgrades and a bipolar Dow Jones Industrial Average, the market for commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) sauntered back a few steps, showing declines in special servicing loans to 12.3 percent over the second quarter this year. Successive reports from analytics company “”Trepp””:http://www.trepp.com/main.cgi and the “”_Wall Street Journal_””:http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110809-714685.html spotted troubling trends for CMBS markets, with credit looking to further tighten and borrowers poised to shoulder the consequences.[IMAGE]CMBS spreads tumbled over Monday and Tuesday as investors boarded the selloff bus to avoid risk in the wake of renewed recession fears. In line with special servicing losses, performing loans also fell to 29.5 percent over June, dipping from 30.5 percent in March and 33.6 percent from 2010, according to the _Journal_. Trepp chalked up the trends to a bearish market that showed signs it would emerge from hibernation back in May.””Yesterday was just a downdraft for all the capital markets,”” says Manus Clancy, senior managing director for Trepp. “”U.S. equities got crushed and I think it was inevitable that you would see a big spread widening among credit assets and bond segments.””The analytics company revealed that spreads on “”super-duper”” legacy loans expanded by some 60 to 90 basis points on average, varying by age and collateral quality. Meanwhile, AM bonds pushed spreads by 125 to 175 basis points for loans backed with garden variety collateral. CMBS serviced by financial institutions with fewer assets and less name recognition traded at 900 swaps around midday.[COLUMN_BREAK]Junior bonds, also known as AJs, widened by 200 to 300 basis points on average among better-known institutions. Much as with CMBS from the AM field, AJ bonds made in 2005 and 2006 received quotes that leapt some thousand basis points above swaps, Trepp said.Among GSMS, GG10 A4 bonds closed at 305 basis points above swaps, with handling cresting at $105 from the past week. GG10 spreads broadened by 35 basis points before opening day for U.S. equity markets, and then closed at 400 over swaps, widening by only 95 basis points and trading at $102 on average.””We’re in a stretch right now and there’s more to it than just yesterday,”” says Clancy.Rather than heap more blame on “”Standard & Poor’s””:http://www.standardandpoors.com/SPComIPResolver downgrades, the managing director attributes the CMBS tumble to signs of a double-dip recession first reported by the ratings agency’s Case-Shiller home price index in May. He rests his conclusion on home prices that fell to 3.6 percent over the first-quarter and never fully recovered over a tepid summer.””It’s starting to become more difficult for borrowers to get money from the capital markets,”” he adds.Clancy describes trends in CMBS markets over the past several months as reversals for an otherwise promising period of recovery. He says lender confidence eroded in the fallout from continuing economic distress, and credits lender skittishness for spread volatility and basis-point hikes that slowed trends in commercial real estate to a crawl.The recent downgrades “”made all the CMBS lenders scale back and become much more risk-averse, leaving borrowers with much less capital to refinance their properties,”” he says. “”That all trickles down to the borrower by crimping credit just when it looked like we had turned a corner.””””[E]ven though the CMBS market has improved overall, until transaction volume rises, distressed properties are cleared out of the pipeline, and job creation rebounds, we won’t see a consistent upward trend,”” the _Journal_ quoted Michael Gerdes, a spokesperson for “”Moody’s””:http://www.moodys.com/ Investors Services, as saying. August 9, 2011 453 Views Agents & Brokers Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing S & P Index Service Providers 2011-08-09 Ryan Schuette
Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Realtors and financial professionals are gaining a high-end concierge through “”Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company Inc.’s””:http://www.ghmc.com/Default.aspx initiation of a new, customized service that seeks to give participants an edge in the competitive marketplace. Guaranteed’s new offering, dubbed Guaranteed Select, targets increased alliance between realtors and originators.[IMAGE]Guaranteed Select will provide training, marketing, educational, and referral support for both real estate pros and loan officers, and additionally, the program will lend enhanced tools and resources to prospective buyers and borrowers. [COLUMN_BREAK]Created by Robert M. Tuzzo and Eric Busuttil, Guaranteed’s latest platform will operate out of the company’s New York City-based location.As the entity builds its invitation-only Guaranteed Select program, packages and participation is available exclusively to “”key”” realtors in the New York City area, but plans for a broader, national launch are under consideration as Guaranteed tests its model.Tuzzo, director of Guaranteed Select said, “”Our program meets an unparalleled need between realtors and mortgage originators to collaborate at a top professional level on the entire home buying process. We’ve created a framework of mutual support and look forward to launching this unprecedented effort to meet realtor needs at the highest service levels.””Echoing his commentary, Eric Busuttil, co-founder of the project, added, “”Realtors today are missing key elements only available to mortgage professionals, and, as a result, they are unable to operate at peak efficiency. Guaranteed Select is designed to address this gap and help both professions serve the ultimate center of our attention, the homebuyer.””Guaranteed, founded in 1992, has been named among Inc. 500’s list of fastest growing companies in the country, and the progressive entity also hosts a weekly “”blog””:http://www.joinguaranteed.com/blog/ to generate advice for homebuyers and mortgage professionals. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Realtor Association Service Providers 2011-09-12 Abby Gregory September 12, 2011 472 Views Guaranteed Debuts Invite-Only Concierge Service
Two U.S. senators reintroduced legislation designed to open up competition and limit barriers to refinance for qualified homeowners who are otherwise left without options.[IMAGE]Senators “”Robert Menendez””:http://www.menendez.senate.gov/ (D-New Jersey) and “”Barbara Boxer””:http://boxer.senate.gov/ (D-California) reintroduced “”The Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2013 (S. 249)””:http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s249, a bill that would allow homeowners to take advantage of low interest rates by reducing or removing certain refinance requirements.””We need to bring much-needed relief now to hard working, responsible homeowners who are struggling to keep up with their high interest rate loans — including thousands in New Jersey whom I have heard from,”” Menendez said. “”We need to do this before interest rates go up again. It’s time that Congress finally put families first and give homeowners who have played by the rules a fair chance to refinance at today’s low rates.””Firstly, the bill would direct the GSEs to require the same streamlined underwriting and associated representations [COLUMN_BREAK]and warranties for new servicers as they do for current servicers, leveling the playing field for lenders and servicers.The bill would also expand access to low-cost refinances to borrowers with higher equity and would eliminate employment and income verification requirements for eligibility under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) based on the justification that HARP-eligible borrowers must already be current on their loans and must have demonstrated a commitment to paying on time.In addition, the act would require the GSEs to develop additional streamlined alternatives to manual appraisals, reducing cost and time for borrowers and lenders alike.Finally, S. 249 would also extend HARP by one year, pushing it through to the end of 2014.According to a release from Menendez’s office, the bill (which was originally introduced in the 112th Congress) enjoys support from a number of congressional consponsors and industry groups, including the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/, the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/, the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.org/Default.aspx, and the “”Center for Responsible Lending””:http://responsiblelending.org/, among others.””This bill is a win-win-win,”” Boxer said. “”Homeowners will have more money in their pockets, Fannie and Freddie will see fewer foreclosures, and the housing market and economy will continue building momentum. That’s why the Menendez-Boxer bill has such broad support from industry and consumer groups. We should take action on this common-sense plan immediately while interest rates remain low so American families can realize major savings.”” Senators Revive Refinance Bill February 11, 2013 436 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae Freddie Mac HARP Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association National Association of Home Builders National Association of Realtors Politics Processing Refinance Service Providers 2013-02-11 Tory Barringer Share in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing June 14, 2013 667 Views Aklero, NYLX Merge to Form LoanLogics Aklero Risk Analytics Inc. and NYLX have merged to form “”LoanLogics””:http://www.loanlogics.com/, according to a release from the new company.[IMAGE]LoanLogics combines Aklero’s expertise as a provider of loan quality management software and NYLX’s experience as a leading provider of mortgage loan pricing, performance analytics, and monitoring. The merged company has 450 clients and more than 20,000 users and offers proven technology, compliance and risk expertise, and strong industry leadership to improve the transparency and reliability of loan assets through the life of the loan.The LoanLogics management team is made up of senior managers from Aklero and NYLX as well as a few new industry recruits. Howard H. Conyack, founder and CEO of NYLX, serves as chairman and founder, while Aklero CEO Brian K. Fitzpatrick is president and CEO.””Both NYLX and Aklero have had a vision to truly address the need for better quality loan data and greater transparency and reliability of loan assets through the life of the loan,”” Conyack said. “”Independently we were making progress, but together we will have the talent and technology to achieve this goal more quickly and with greater impact.””As its first major announcement, LoanLogics has created the mortgage industry’s first enterprise loan quality and performance analytics platform that enables lenders, investors, servicers, and counterparties to improve loan quality, validate compliance, improve profitability, and manage risk during the origination, sale, and servicing of loan assets.””The merger of Aklero and NYLX enables clients to benefit and gain the advantages of a seamless solution that reduces risk and formally tracks and reports on loan quality and performance metrics at various stages of the life of the loan,”” Fitzpatrick said. “”LoanLogics’ mission is to bring our customers to greater stability and strength through advanced technology and services that support verification, audit and measurement of loan quality.””LoanLogics is headquartered in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-06-14 Tory Barringer Share
Homeownership Renting 2016-11-02 Jon Buerkert November 2, 2016 570 Views in Commentary, Daily Dose, News, Webcasts By Jon BuerkertOne seemingly insoluble problem in the housing market over the past several years is the inability of many middle-and lower-income Americans to buy homes. In many areas around the country, the price of renting has soared to the point where it makes much more financial sense to own than to rent, but a large number of people who want to make that leap have been kept out of the market, either due to insufficient income, poor credit, or both. In fact, the homeownership rate recently dropped below 63 percent, a nearly 48-year low, even as interest rates hover around historical lows.This state of affairs is especially frustrating for those people who lost their homes to foreclosure after the real estate market crash. Many of them have been able to rebuild their finances since then and are ready to get back into home ownership, yet the doors to residential real estate remain closed to them.And it’s a big potential market. A record 11.4 million renter households spent at least half of their income on rent in 2014. It could be a lot cheaper for them to own their homes, never mind get the opportunity to start building home equity wealth, if they could only get the chance.Leasing homes with an option to buy provides renters a second chance at homeownership. It gives them the time necessary to rebuild their credit and financial strength, and eventually regain future ownership of a home.Many lenders know all this, but most are leery of entering a market they see as extremely high-risk. And it certainly is—if the lease-to-own process is done improperly. There are enormous differences between the lease-to-own market and the conventional mortgage market. One of those very important differences is customer service.Indeed, in order to succeed in the lease-to-own market, lenders and servicers must have an extreme focus on building a one-on-one relationship with their customers. Once someone finds a home they’re interested in and submits an application, they should deal with one person—and one person only—whose job it is to make sure the house is going to be a good fit for them and that they can handle the associated responsibilities.After the lease agreement is signed, the individual is assigned an advocate in the customer service department, who is responsible for working with them to make sure their payments are submitted each month. In the event the customer runs into a problem and they can’t make their payment, they know who they can call.As we witnessed during the mortgage meltdown, homeowners who had trouble making their payments often refused to talk to their mortgage servicer, either out of embarrassment or fear, even when the servicer came to offer a helping hand or to simply find out what the matter was. How many people could have saved their homes from foreclosure if they had at least listened to what the servicer had to propose? Unfortunately, many didn’t consider negotiation as a plausible solution.We have found that eviction is never a good option for anyone, so our goal is to help our customers stay in their homes. We will bend over backwards to avoid eviction.It’s critical in this market that servicers build a supportive, communicative relationship with customers the minute they start the leasing process. That builds a bond of trust between the servicer and the customer so that if problems do arise, they can be resolved quickly to the satisfaction of both parties, most often with the clients remaining in the home and, eventually, purchasing it. That’s a successful resolution that benefits our entire industry and country.Millions of people have a real desire to become homeowners, despite whatever problems they may have had in the past. Thanks to innovative homeownership solutions and open minds, we as an industry can still provide that opportunity to them, whether it’s through lenders or lease-to-own specialists. Secrets to Success in the Lease-To-Own Space Share
A recent survey of realtors found that more than half of them expect to see an increase in home sales in 2017 and nearly three-quarters of them expect already-high demand for single-family homes to increase.TD Bank’s Triple Play Conference Survey of 135 realtors, conducted in Atlantic City in December, showed that while 55 percent of realtors polled said they expect home sales to increase this year and 70 percent said they single-family homes will be the category with the most demand in 2017, realtors still have their concerns in the housing market—namely inventory and mortgage qualification. Approximately 45 percent of realtors surveyed said their biggest concern in the homebuying market in 2017 was inventory, while 29 percent said getting buyers to qualify for a mortgage was their biggest worry. Adding to that, 26 percent of realtors said that affordability was the thing that worried them the most.“Inventory concerns revolve around price points and are market specific. From an industry perspective, inventory is continuing to hit the market, the economy is doing well, interest rates are still near historic lows, and lenders are offering more low down payment programs,” said Ray Rodriguez, Regional Mortgage Sales Manager at TD Bank. “For example, the Fannie Mae HomeReady product that hit the market late last year that offers up to 97 percent loan to value on single family and condo purchases, a credit score requirement as low as 620 with DU approval, and no income limits in low-to-moderate areas, among many other great features.”Nearly half (44 percent) of realtors surveyed said the technology that they believe will most influence homebuying in 2017 is online marketplaces such as Realtor.com, Zillow, or Trulia. About 37 percent said social media would be the technology that influenced homebuying the most this year, and 18 percent said they thought it would be mobile apps.The thing most realtors said keeps their buyers up at night during the homebuying process was confusion around the required paperwork (32 percent).Click here to view the entire survey. Realtors Show Bright Outlook for Sales and Demand Share Housing Demand Housing Inventory Realtors 2017-01-20 Seth Welborn January 20, 2017 622 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News
Home Sales Inventory 2017-03-21 Seth Welborn The outlook for the spring sellers’ market looks favorable despite rising interest rates and lack of inventory in some areas. According to Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American Financial Corporation, “Demand from Millennials and first-time homebuyers remains robust despite rising rates, resulting in a shrinking underperformance gap, as the market aligns with its potential.” Additionally, according to the most recent First American Real Estate Sentiment Index, there is increasing confidence among real estate professionals that buyer demand will remain strong, even if rates exceed 5 percent.Fleming said, “The housing market’s potential for existing-home sales grew 2.4 percent over the past 12 months, despite increasing interest rates. Strong building permit activity and an increasing number of people returning to the workforce helped to increase market potential.” Knowing the real estate market’s overall health, which is largely a function of supply and demand, is an important factor in deciding the right time to buy or sell a home, according to Fleming. “Knowing how close the market is to a healthy level of activity can help consumers determine if it is a good time to buy or sell, and what might happen to the market in the future,” he said. With this goal in mind, each month First Financial publishes a Potential Home Sales Model to understand the health of the market at a particular time. “Historical context is critically important,” said Fleming. “Our potential home sales model measures what we believe a healthy market level of home sales should be based on the economic, demographic, and housing market environments.”The February 2017 Potential Home Sales Model stated the following: In February, the market potential for existing-home sales fell by 0.5 percent compared with a month ago, a decline of 28,000 (SAAR) sales.Currently, potential existing-home sales is 658,000 (SAAR) or 11.5 percent below the pre-recession peak of market potential, which occurred in July 2005.The market for existing-home sales is underperforming its potential by 2.5 percent or an estimated 142,000 (SAAR) of sales.Last month’s revised underperformance gap was 4.5 percent or 260,000 (SAAR) sales.Fleming also said that limited supply, which remained steady at 3.6 months, continues to put upward pressure on prices, as current homeowners are caught in a “matching trap,” where they are reluctant to list their homes for sale out of concern they will not find a home to buy.Nevertheless, he said, the outlook for further increases in market potential remains bullish, as strong job and income growth, and increasing demand from Millennials and first-time home buyers in general, bode well for the housing market. in Daily Dose, News, Origination March 21, 2017 564 Views Share Spring Real Estate Market Booming Despite Lack of Supply
Originations purchases 2017-04-07 Seth Welborn Share Purchase originations totaled nearly $1 trillion last year, and they could exceed that number once 2017 comes to a close, according to new expert analysis the National Housing Market Index (NHMI), released recently by the American Enterprise Institute’s International Center on Housing Risk and First American.According to the Index originations over the four quarters of 2016 reached $987 million; there were 5.8 million sales transactions total over the year. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, weighed in on the NHMI today.“The total value of residential purchase transactions in the U.S. housing market approached $1 trillion in 2016,” Fleming said. “Entering the busy spring home buying season, I expect prices to continue to rise and transaction volumes to continue to grow, spurred on by the strong sellers’ market and increasing millennial, first-time homebuyer demand.”The NHMI showed that sales transactions were up 6.4 percent over Q4 2015, with 1.65 million—or 28 percent—of all transactions being cash sales. This was down slightly from 2015 and 2013, when cash sales hit 30 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Cash loans were highest in New York, Florida, and Illinois—particularly the Orlando, Tampa, and Miami markets.“Four out of every 10 sales in these states did not require a mortgage,” Fleming said. “The share of cash sales was the lowest in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Maine, where less than two in 10 sales did not require a mortgage.”Institutional-supported loans, like ones backed by GSEs, the FHA, or VA, accounted for 3.95 million sales transactions in 2016, or 68 percent.On a state level, the biggest chunk of originations came from Texas, California, and Florida. These states accounted for 31 percent of all sales, or $300 billion total. California sales accounted for $1 out of every $7 made in purchase originations for 2016.“Almost all states show increased home sales since the end of 2012, with a few notable exceptions, including Maine, Wyoming, and North Dakota,” Fleming sad. “The markets with the greatest increase in home sales include New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, and Oregon.”As for metro markets, the most improved ones were Portland, Oregon; Charlotte, North Carolina; Baltimore; Atlanta; and Tampa, Florida. Home sales have increased in these regions by more than 25 percent since 2012.Learn more about the report at HousingRisk.org. April 7, 2017 517 Views in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination Will Mortgage Originations Top $1T in 2017?
AUS: Proposed Great Barrier Reef regulations ‘igno … Australia: Hort Connections a “one-stop shop” for … December 06 , 2018 AUS: Govt to penalize welfare recipients who turn … Australia: Queensland govt boosts TR4 funding, cal … Australian avocado production increased 17% year-on-year to 77,000 metric tons (MT) during the 2017-18 season and is forecast to continue along a strong upward curve.The value of the last season’s crop was AUD$557 million (US$402 million), according to Avocados Australia.“One-third of Australia’s avocado trees have yet to reach their prime production years but enough of the new plantings have come online this year to boost the industry above last year’s 66,000t,” said John Tyas, chief executive of the industry association.Tyas noted that production has almost doubled in the past decade from around 40,000MT, and he forecast volumes would rise to around 115,000MT annually by 2025.The representative added that Australians’ ongoing love affair with smashed avocado was good news for the industry.“Australian domestic consumption held at 3.5kg per person per year for the second year in a row but we’re confident there’s room for growth there as well,” he said.Queensland is the leading avocado-growing region with a 62% share, followed Western Australia with 25%. Tyas said almost every growing region was experiencing a growth in plantings, primarily of the dominant Hass variety but also Shepard in Queensland.He added that as production climbed, Avocados Australia was working with Hort Innovation to expand domestic and existing international markets. Avocados Australia is also working actively with the Australian Government to open new export markets.“Australia will always be a supplier of top-quality Premium avocados, mainly Hass, in the international market, rather than a bulk supplier,” he said.“At the moment, we export less than 5% of our production annually but that will increase as our production increases. Gaining access to new markets ahead of that increased supply is a high priority for the Australian industry, as is boosting our current markets, Malaysia and Singapore in particular.” You might also be interested in
British Airways’ popular complimentary one-way upgrade to First is back for a limited time on return Club World business class flights to London booked until 12 April, 2018, valid for travel on flights departing Sydney from 1 May, 2018 until 31 July, 2018. Nicole Backo, British Airways’ regional general manager, South West Pacific, said “We are thrilled to welcome back this incredible promotion which has proved to be extremely popular with our Club World business class customers. Customers who book return business class tickets, can enjoy a one-way upgrade to First for free, allowing them to experience the luxury of First on either their outbound or their return flight to London.“This promotion is a ticket to the exceptional comfort and impeccable service of our First class cabin. It is simply the finest way to travel. Such offers are always extremely popular, so we encourage customers to book now to secure a seat.” · Return flights in Club World business class from Sydney to the UK and Europe – The complimentary upgrade on flights to London is valid on either the outbound or return journey. Return Club World fares start from AUD$7,717.**T&Cs apply – see ba.com/upgrade for full detailsIMAGE: First Class on BA’s A380 British AirwaysFirst Classupgrade
cruiseRiver CruisesU River Cruisesyouth travel U River Cruises will relaunch The B for 2020 with 8-day itineraries sailing from April 2020 throughout European destinations including Vienna, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Salzburg and Bratislava.“Eastern Europe is hot and we’re excited to offer three brand-new U itineraries in the region for 2020 as The B rejoins our fleet,” says Ellen Bettridge, President and CEO of U River Cruises. “U’s itineraries are created with active, social and culturally curious travellers in mind – free time to allow travellers to wander on their own, unique choice of active and immersive excursions with local hosts, and a vibrant onboard environment that encourages fun, social connections with like-minded guests. We’ve also added in extra overnight stays to allow for a more in-depth exploration of the cities beyond just the highlights.”The A, which was named “One of the World’s Greatest Places” by TIME magazine, will offer the new Vienna Vibe and Eastern Europe Escape itineraries, while The B will offer the Amsterdam & Brussels Bound sailing and an updated Rolling on the Rhine itinerary. In addition to U’s four seven-night itineraries, cruises can be combined to create a 14-night Super Cruise without repeating ports.U’s itineraries include three daily meals, select shore excursions, complimentary Wi-Fi, onboard local U hosts, complimentary happy hour every day, onboard gratuities and other popular activities such as mixology classes, silent discos, a local DJ, paint & wine classes, and rooftop yoga. Rates start at $3,799 per person.
The conversation reminds me of Dirty Harry, after the “do you feel lucky punk” speech by Clint, when the punk on the ground says he just has to know how many rounds he fired.So many Cardinals fans I know just got to know about Matt Leinart.Maybe you’re about to find out. He’s been signed by the Buffalo Bills after the injuries to E.J. Manuel and Kevin Kolb. Though it sounds like Jeff Tuel would be the starter in case Manuel isn’t ready, you can count Peter King (from his Monday Morning QB column) among those who got to know about Leinart:3. I think if E.J. Manuel can’t play in Week 1 against New England, I vote for Matt Leinart. Always thought he deserved one more shot. I didn’t. I felt like he got plenty of shots and failed almost every time. And I feel 99% certain that had Ken Whisenhunt given Matt Leinart that “one more shot,” nothing would have changed for the Cardinals. We’ll find out soon enough if Doug Marrone feels lucky. Me personally, I think that chamber is empty. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories My brother is a huge Cardinals fan. Tailgates. Goes to all the games. Has the shirts and the hats to prove it.So the next time I see him, chances are excellent we’re going to have the Matt Leinart conversation. It can last anywhere from two to 10 minutes, and usually ends with him saying something like, “I just wanted to know. It’s always bugged me and I just wanted to see what he would have done.”
Top Stories – / 23 “I think the biggest thing is you have to be prepared, because you never know when it’s going to happen,” said Stanton. “I think 2010 was the last time I’ve started a game or even touched the field. It was awhile for a meaningful game, but at the same time I think everything that you’re doing as back-up is trying to prepare as if that time is going to come. Because you don’t know when it’s going to come.“You’d hate to look back and say, ‘Gosh, I wish I would have prepared a little bit more. I wish I would have known exactly where I wanted to go with that read.’ But, I felt really good all week with everything. Felt good with the package, and we were able to come out here with a win.”Winning with Stanton behind center wasn’t a surprise at all to Arians, who insisted he had complete confidence in his backup’s ability to play a smart football game.“There was no question mark in my mind,” said Arians. “I’m sure all the fans went, ‘Oh my god.’ But, I’ve been around this kid for a long time. He reminds me a lot of Kelly Holcomb. He’s very accurate. He’s extremely smart. He’s tough. “He’s a starting quarterback in the National Football League. He just needs his opportunities, and when those guys get them they usually play really, really well because they’re extremely confident and smart in what they do.” For all intents and purposes, Stanton was a member of the Cardinals’ 10-6 squad a season ago — though he didn’t throw a pass let alone take a single snap in relief of Palmer. That all changed, however, Sunday, when the former Michigan State standout was tasked with starting in place of Palmer, after the starter was ruled out with a shoulder injury.He didn’t light up the scoreboard or even reach the end zone, but Stanton was more than admirable in Arizona’s 25-14 victory, going 14-of-29 for 169 yards.“The win,” Stanton replied when asked by Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Paul Calvisi as to what he enjoyed most about Sunday’s game. “That’s what I was most focused on all week, if I was going to get an opportunity to just go in there and move the offense.“Be efficient and try and get points.”Arizona’s other units certainly helped in the latter category, but the 30-year-old played the part of a capable passer with relative ease in his first NFL action since Dec. 19, 2010.In all, Stanton completed passes to six different receivers and delivered four balls for 19 yards or more.Most importantly, he didn’t register a single turnover — an essential for any back-up quarterback trying to run the show after an extended absence. 0 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Given their connection dating back to the 2012 season with the Indianapolis Colts, it made perfect sense for Drew Stanton to follow Bruce Arians to Arizona last March.But before the ink even had time to dry on Stanton’s three-year contract with the Cardinals, general manager Steve Keim had already orchestrated a deal with the Oakland Raiders to land former Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer.Just like that, Stanton was back to holding the clipboard — something he’d done with regularity since being drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arians notched his 50th win as the Cardinals head coach after defeating Seattle on Sunday, the most for any Cardinals head coach in franchise history.He informed Cardinals’ players of his decision following the win at Seattle, which was followed by a round of applause. After reports of Bruce Arians’ decision to step away from the game following the 2017 season, the Arizona Cardinals head coach made it official on Monday.He is retiring.In an emotional press conference at the Arizona Cardinals practice facility in Tempe, Arians informed the media of his decision to step away from the game after five seasons with the Cardinals and a near 40-year coaching career.“It’s been a great ride,” Arians said with tears in his eyes. “The tears you see are tears of joy and piece. I’ll miss the players.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “It’s been my pleasure to be your head coach.”@BruceArians shared this message with the team after the game last night. #BeRedSeeRed #ThanksBA pic.twitter.com/eGLT7E1vRW— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 1, 2018In an article Arians wrote to TheAthletic.com, he explained his decision and thought process behind it.Something just changed for me this year—it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what that was, hard to put into words—and I wasn’t enjoying the game as much as I had in the past. This wasn’t fair to my players, my coaches or the fans. So I informed Michael that this would be my final year of coaching. I wanted to immediately tell the media, but I needed to keep this information as quiet as possible. The last thing I wanted was for me to become a distraction for our players.I had a heart-to-heart with my family about my future. We discussed it from every angle—returning to the Cardinals in 2018, retiring at the end of ’17 season, even the possibility of my wife moving to our “Forever Home” in Georgia for the ’18 season while I still in Arizona—but in the end I decided it was time to walk away from coaching. I need to be a husband, a dad, and a grandfather.Arians admitted that his decision came down to his health and family. 5 Comments Share Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 27-24. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arians had a small section of his kidney removed in February after it was found to be cancerous. While cancer free now, Arians admitted that the stress of head coaching took a toll on his health and his family life.Now, he said he looks forward to being able to spend time with his grandchildren all while becoming a voice for cancer research at his “forever home” in Georgia.The Cardinals will now start their search for a new head coach, but despite his retirement, Arians said he will always remain involved in the community and with the fans that gave him support over the course of five seasons.“In the years ahead, I’ll be involved with the fans and the game I love so much,” he said. “As I have always said:“No risk it, no biscuit.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Go back to the e-newsletterEmirates has announced that it will start its first non-stop service from Dubai to Auckland on 1 March 2016, bringing many of its 38 European destinations and cities within just one-stop range of New Zealand.The new service will be in addition to the award-winning airline’s existing flights, meaning that Emirates will then have five services daily into New Zealand – three A380 double-decker services to Auckland via Australia, a daily Christchurch service with a Boeing 777-300ER, and the new non-stop service operated with a Boeing 777-200LR.The new service will bring New Zealand much closer than at present, with an estimated flight time of just under 16 hours from Dubai to New Zealand and 17 hours, 15 minutes in the other direction, cutting journey times by almost three hours each way.“Having just one stop on the long haul to New Zealand will make the journey quicker and more comfortable. This will be a boon to many business people, tourists, expatriate New Zealanders and other travellers in Europe, parts of Africa and the Middle East,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.His Highness Sheikh Ahmed said that an aggressive fleet growth and renewal programme which is rapidly expanding both its A380 and Boeing 777 numbers had meant that the right sort of aircraft for the ultra-longhaul non-stop flight from Dubai was now available.With the introduction of the non-stop service, Emirates will then be flying more than 2,000 seats a day in each direction on New Zealand services.The Boeing 777-200LR aircraft that will operate the new, non-stop route are purpose-built for ultra-longhaul flights, carrying up to 266 passengers. Like Emirates’ other New Zealand flights, the aircraft will offer three cabin classes: eight First Class suites, 42 lie-flat Business Class seats and 216 comfortable Economy Class seats.The flights will feature Emirates’ gourmet meals and fine wines, and more than 2,000 channels of entertainment and information will be available on large, individual screens. Passengers will have the airline’s usual free baggage allowances – 30kg for Economy Class, 40kg for Business Class, and 50kg for First Class.New Zealand exporters will also benefit from the new service, being able to access more capacity through Dubai, one of the world’s major cargo hubs, particularly of benefit with perishable goods for markets in the Middle East and Africa regions.Operating eastbound as flight EK 448, the service will depart Dubai at 10:05am and arrive in Auckland the following day at 11:00am (local summer time). Eastbound the new flight will offer short connections in Dubai from 24 of Emirates’ destinations in Europe. On arrival in Auckland, passengers will be able to connect to a number of other points on codeshare partner Jetstar’s domestic flights.Operating westbound as flight EK 449, the non-stop service will depart Auckland each night (local summer time) at 9:30pm, arriving in Dubai the following morning at 5:45 am (local time), connecting with Emirates’ flights to 38 Europe destinations, as well as other destinations in India, Africa and the Middle East.Travellers currently booked on existing services to Dubai and beyond will be able to switch to the new service without additional fees (subject to seat availability).Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the e-newsletterFrontiers International Travel is offering a 15-day train journey between Cape Town and Dar es Salaam (or vice versa), aboard The Pride of Africa, the most luxurious train in the world operated by Rovos Rail.Guests will recapture the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era as they step aboard the reconditioned wood-panelled coaches and enjoy fine cuisine in five-star luxury as they travel across five countries: South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania. The tour starts at $11,850 per person based on double occupancy. Dates include 2 July – 16 July 2016 for Cape Town to Dar es Salaam, and 19 July – 2 August 2016 for Dar es Salaam to Cape Town.The sojourn begins in Cape Town taking guests to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, the diamond town of Kimberley, and the capital city of Pretoria, followed by two nights in the Madikwe Game Reserve. Guests will continue through Botswana into Zimbabwe where they’ll overnight at the Victoria Falls Hotel. After crossing the mighty Zambezi River, the train joins the Tazara line in Zambia and continues to Chisimba Falls for a bush walk.Next, the train will climb to the Tanzanian border and descend into the Great Rift Valley negotiating the tunnels, switchbacks and viaducts of the spectacular escarpment. Climbing again, it will traverse the Selous Game Reserve – the largest reserve on the continent and a vision of timeless Africa – before the bustling arrival in Dar es Salaam the following day.Rovos Rail emphasises the journey over the destination, with an air of elegance and history aboard its meandering trains. A superb standard of service delivered by a highly motivated staff enhances the train’s ambience.Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the e-newsletterSince the partnership between Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) started back in 1995, $35 million has been raised and donated to help UNICEF improve the lives of more than 4.5 million children across the globe. This year, unlike previous years, Starwood Bali Complex: The St. Regis Bali Resort and The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali, are joining together to create a single event in support of UNICEF: An Extraordinary Moonlight Dinner.The charity dinner will commence on Saturday 15 October 2016 at The St. Regis Bali Resort’s beachfront Cloud Nine Terrace. The romantic oceanfront outdoor venue will provide guests with a glamorous, yet natural setting, enhanced with shimmering torches and illuminated by the bright moonlight and stars to create a memorable evening. Start the evening with complimentary aperitifs and canapés during twilight at the grass lawn by the beach from 6pm before dinner starts at 7pm. Featuring a six-course dinner (including amuse-bouche) complete with wine pairing, the menu will be crafted by five internationally renowned chefs: celebrity chefs Farah Quinn, Chef Mandif M. Warokka from Teatro Gastroteque, Chef Kevin Cherkas from Cuca Bali, Chef Agung Ardiawan from The St. Regis Bali Resort and Chef Made Putra from The Laguna.A live auction with various prizes from resort stays to exclusive goods, from both local and international venues and providers will be performed by an auctioneer in between main course and dessert. The resort’s resident pianist and vocalist, Grace Nathalie, will complement the dinner with their soulful jazzy tunes.Go back to the e-newsletter