Couple ties the knot in Bahamas just hours before hurricane hits

first_img NASSAU – They say the stress of disaster can often bring couples closer together. If this is true then Matthew Lamberti Jr. and Natashja Udzella are pretty much guaranteed to live happily ever after.The couple, both from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, had scheduled their dream beach wedding for Oct. 5 at Breezes Resort & Spa – Bahamas in Nassau. They were adamant from the start that they tie the knot on the 5th: they met on the 5th, got engaged on the 5th, and Natashja’s birthday is on the 5th. So nothing could have stopped them from saying ‘I do’ on this significant date, not even a category 3 hurricane.Due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew, Breezes’ wedding coordinator suggested that the couple reschedule. But Matthew and Natashja were undeterred and the wedding proceeded as planned at 10 a.m. at Breezes Bahamas’ West Beach Arbor in front of 24 family and friends.Turns out, luck was on their side. “The weather was perfect, nice and breezy, very light rain and the seas were beautiful,” said Matthew. On the coincidental name of both her son and the hurricane, the mother of the groom said: “My Matthew is stronger than the Matthew that we are all waiting for.”More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyFollowing the ceremony, a reception was held in Yellow Elder Ballroom where the wedding party enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, open bar, cake and champagne.Breezes Bahamas organized special amenities for the couple, including petal turndown service, in-room champagne and fruit, breakfast and mimosas in bed, a private candlelit dinner on the beach, and complimentary treatments at the Blue Mahoe Spa.Hurricane Matthew, dubbed the most powerful Atlantic tropical storm in almost a decade, slammed in the Bahamas on Wednesday night, flooding streets and flattening homes. It continued to pound portions of the island early Thursday morning, and is expected to intensify on approach to Florida. Posted by Thursday, October 6, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Breezes Resort & Spa, Weddingscenter_img The Canadian Press Share Couple ties the knot in Bahamas just hours before hurricane hitslast_img read more

Snake on a plane again Emirates flight halted

first_imgTags: Emirates Snake on a plane (again!): Emirates flight halted The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, January 9, 2017 center_img DUBAI — Once Samuel L. Jackson appeared in the Mideast hotspot of Dubai, it really was only a matter of time before the snake on a plane would turn up too.Dubai-based airline Emirates said on Monday that one of its flights from Muscat, Oman, to Dubai was cancelled the previous day after a snake was spotted slithering in the cargo hold. Passengers hadn’t yet boarded the Boeing 777.The carrier says the serpent was eventually captured and the plane is back in service.Jackson, who starred in the 2006 thriller “Snakes on a Plane,” was in Dubai last month to accept a lifetime achievement award at the Dubai International Film Festival.In November, a snake slithered out from behind an overhead luggage compartment on an Aeromexico flight over Mexico. Share Posted bylast_img read more

Searching for Sun Transat has plenty of it at up to 40

first_imgSearching for Sun? Transat has plenty of it, at up to 40% off Tags: Transat Posted by Travelweek Group TORONTO — With the bomb cyclone in full effect, there’s no better time for Transat to launch a ‘Sun for Everyone’ sale.The tour operator is offering up to 40% when booking all-inclusive South and Florida sun packages by Jan. 23, 2018, valid for travel up to April 30, 2018.South package deals include seven days at Cofresi Palm Beach and Spa in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, priced from $899 departing Toronto on Jan. 19, and seven days at Grand Park Royal Cozumel from Toronto for $1,149, departing Jan. 26.Other hotels included in the sale are: Bravo Club Caracol in Santa Lucia, Cuba; Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba; Royal Decameron Complex in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico; Grand Paradise Samana in Samana, Dominican Republic; Melia Jardines del Rey in Cayo Coco, Cuba; Royal Decameron Golf, Beach in Playa Blanca, Panama; Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Sunscape Dominican Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and much more.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureIn addition to Toronto, available Canadian gateways include Calgary, Edmonton, Fredericton, Halifax, Hamilton, Kelowna, London, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Regina, Rouyn-Noranda, Saskatoon, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Vancouver, Victoria, Windsor, and Winnipeg.Flights are via Air Transat in economy class.For all details, visit or Get Connected.center_img Friday, January 5, 2018 Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Prime location and luxe amenities at Montreals Hôtel Le Crystal

first_img TORONTO — When the design team asked Hôtel Le Crystal’s VP and General Manager Eric Hamel what sort of vision he had for the Montreal property’s upcoming reno, he went into his office and came back with a blank sheet of white paper.“’What’s this?’ they asked. I told them we wanted a completely fresh start,” said Hamel. “From there we created the new Hôtel Le Crystal.”With a prime spot on Rue de la Montagne at Boulevard René-Lévesque, Hôtel Le Crystal had what every hotel needs – a great location, close to Rue Ste.-Catherine with its legendary boutiques and restaurants, and a block from the Centre Bell. Now, at 11 years old, it needed a makeover too.Hamel said the new look is bright, light and airy, a much-needed contrast from the dark aesthetic so often seen in high-end hotels these days. The renovation is just about complete. “We started work in November 2018 and on April 26, 2019 it will be complete,” he told media yesterday at an industry lunch at Toronto’s Sassafraz restaurant.The look is high-end, but approachable, says Valerie Marchand, Hôtel Le Crystal’s Sales & Marketing Director. “We are a five-star hotel but we want to be five-star in a casual, welcoming way,” says Marchand. “It’s very important to have guests feel very comfortable as soon as they walk in the lobby.”More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoThat attention to comfort extends to the suites, where all the beds are king beds, and every suite has a kitchenette. The hotel has 131 suites with a minimum size of 495 spacious square feet. For both corporate and leisure travellers – the hotel’s clientele is a mix – the renovations included the installation of seven USB ports in each suite.Junior suites come complete with a pullout sofa and even include bathrobes for children. There are new high-end Bose multi-function sound system and bathroom amenities provided by eco-friendly Quebec supplier Oneka, which the Hôtel Le Crystal were the first to feature. Room linens have also all been refreshed.“As an independent hotel, we can cater to both the business and leisure traveller with our own innovative ideas and thoughtful inclusions,” says Hamel. “Not only are its founders Montrealers, but we have a policy of hiring locally and supporting local producers.” The hotel also features 6,000 square feet of meeting space, making it as popular with corporate event planners as with wedding groups.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe new accommodation categories at Hôtel Le Crystal include:THE LOFT SUITE (56 in all): Airy and with a downtown vibe, ideal for business travellers or couplesLoft SuiteJUNIOR SUITE (14): An excellent choice for families, comprising a cozy bedroom for the parents with a sitting area featuring a large sofa-bed for the childrenTHE LOFT SUITE WITH 2 KING (14): Perfect for two colleagues or friends who desire the absolute in individual comfortSuite with two king bedsTHE CRYSTAL SUITE (7): The signature suite, sure to delight and surprise with its bold design, massive bay window and latest technologyCrystal SuiteTHE EXECUTIVE SUITE (7): Featuring a fireplace and a balcony, this suite is perfect for couples looking for a romantic, elegant escapeTHE PENTHOUSES (5): The Penthouses are ideal for guests who are looking for the ultimate in the Crystal Experience. Situated on the 11th floor, the Penthouses offer unequalled views of the city as well as lovely terraces, perfect for Montreal’s sultry summer nights.Along with the renovations Hôtel Le Crystal has also introduced new packages themed for Families, Romance and Long Weekends. See for more details. Wednesday, April 17, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Prime location and luxe amenities at Montreal’s Hôtel Le Crystal Tags: Hôtel Le Crystal, Montreal, Openings & Renovationslast_img read more

Three key executive promotions for The Travel Agent Next Door

first_img Share Posted by Travelweek Group Three key executive promotions for The Travel Agent Next Door Tags: Promotions, The Travel Agent Next Doorcenter_img TORONTO — The Travel Agent Next Door has announced the promotions of several members of its executive team in recognition of their contribution to the company.Shean Carmichael, previously Marketing Manager, is now Director of Marketing who, along with his team, will be responsible for all marketing initiatives including websites, email marketing, supplier marketing programs and social media.Nicola Gowe has been promoted from Manager of Finance to Director of Finance. In her new role, Gowe will be responsible for payroll, agent payments and commission posting.Lastly, Adina Finatan has been appointed VP, Finance after joining the company a few months ago. Since then, Finatan has become an “invaluable member of the executive team” and is making “great progress in overseeing the Finance area of the company,” said Flemming Friisdahl, Founder.Along with Flemming, these team members join Rhonda Friisdahl, VP, Talent Development, and Penny Martin, VP, Travel Agent Experience on the executive team.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoThe Travel Agent Next Door has grown rapidly to having close to 800 agents. According to the company, these latest promotions were made to meet the needs of its growing agent base. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, May 28, 2019 last_img read more

72 tons of food aid for quakestricken Guatemala WFP

first_imgNo related posts. GUATEMALA CITY – The World Food Program has begun distributing some 72 tons of emergency food aid to help victims of last week’s powerful earthquake, officials at the international agency said Saturday.“We are working diligently to continue giving an immediate response to the needs of people in need of shelter,” Anne Valand, an official with the United Nations-run group, said in a statement.The WFP said the food aimed to help the Central American country’s 13,000 quake victims, many of whose homes were damaged and lives disrupted by the Nov. 7 quake off the coast of western Guatemala.Forty-four people died in the magnitude-7.4 quake, making it the country’s most violent seismic event since 1976, when almost 23,000 people perished in an earthquake. The same area was hit by a magnitude-6.2 aftershock three days later.The food aid included corn, beans, cooking oil and enriched flour, said the WFP, which said the staples were meant to tide over needy families for about 10 days. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Turtles come to landlocked San Ramón

first_imgNo related posts. If you’re not able to get to the Pacific beaches to see the giant sea turtles climb up on the beach to dig nests and lay eggs, you can see it all in the land-locked city of San Ramón.Well, not really.But the exhibit in the regional museum of San Ramón mimicks the beach scene right down to trails in the sand and eggs in the nest. Hundreds of turtles appear to be swimming ashore, and others are already poised on land, seemingly dragging their bodies up on the beach, leaving imprints in the sand.  The turtles are lifesized and can be seen in the museum’s natural history salon all year, except Mondays when the museum is closed. (It’s an advantage over real beaches, where the turtles arrive only during the nesting months, September and October.) A smaller display contains a nest full of eggs deep in the sand.  The “beach” fills half of the room and the realistic textures, color and lighting make you feel like you are there at Playa Grande or Playa Ostional, watching a phenomenon of nature.It took two months to build this display, designed by biologists Liz Brenes and Roger Alberto Ruiz of the University of Costa Rica’s western campus. Sizes and colors had to match the living baula and lora turtles. Molds were made from clay, and then the turtles were cast in plaster, fiberglass and cement. Artists Susana Villalobos and Andres Badilla did the background and 10 turtles in the display. The dark sand came from the hardware store and resembles a real beach. “The turtles come ashore in the madrugada, the early morning hours, so we had to reproduce the colors exactly as they are at that time of day,” Badilla said.A wall-sized chart gives info on the six species of turtles that visit Costa Rica, from the huge, five-foot long baula turtles down to the smaller green turtles and lora turtles. According to information on the chart, between 50,000 and 150,000 turtles arrive in one year.San Ramón, noted as the City of Poets, is a pleasant community in the western coffee region, about 66 kilometers or 35 miles from San José along the General Cañas-Bernardo Soto highway.  San Ramón has an active cultural calendar spread between the museum and the José Figueres Ferrer Cultural Center. Both are located across the street from the central park and church and share the same hours, Tuesday-Saturday, 9 to 5 p.m. Both are free.The turtle exhibit will be on display until December, so take the opportunity to see them without ever getting your feet wet. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Boston bomb suspect charged could face death penalty

first_imgNo related posts. By Raphaelle Picard | AFP  BOSTON, Massachusetts – Boston bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Monday was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and could face the death penalty if convicted, the U.S. Department of Justice said.Tsarnaev, 19, also has been charged with one count of malicious destruction of property by means of deadly explosives, the DOJ said in a statement. He was arraigned in his hospital bed, where he remains in serious condition.If the teen, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Chechen descent, is convicted of the federal charges over last week’s twin marathon blasts, which left three dead and 200 wounded, he could be sentenced to jail time – or to death.“We’ve once again shown that those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorize our cities will not escape from justice,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said. A first court hearing was set for May 30.The unsealing of federal charges against Tsarnaev, who suffered a gunshot wound to the throat after being captured late Friday, came as White House spokesman Jay Carney said he would not be deemed an “enemy combatant.”“We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice,” Carney said, after some Republicans had said Tsarnaev should have the same status as the “war on terror” detainees held in Guantanamo Bay.“The system has repeatedly proven that it can successfully handle the threat we continue to face,” Carney said, adding that U.S. law forbids trying citizens in military courts.Tsarnaev was captured after a massive manhunt that virtually shut down Boston and its suburbs on Friday. His brother and alleged accomplice Tamerlan, 26, had been killed in a chaotic overnight shootout with police.It was still unclear if the younger Tsarnaev’s severe throat injury came at the hands of police or was self-inflicted in a suicide attempt. He is reportedly unable to speak but is communicating with authorities in writing.As counterterrorism agents trained in interrogating “high-value” detainees waited at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to learn more from the teen, Bostonians attempted to put the traumatic week behind them.The city honored the victims of the blasts with a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. that was also observed in other cities – in Washington, D.C., by President Barack Obama and lawmakers, and in New York, at the Stock Exchange.Hundreds gathered outside the security cordon set up near the blast sites at the marathon finish line on Boylston Street to honor the dead and wounded. Some prayed, others left flowers. Church bells rang out across the city.“I am here for a friend seriously injured and for all the victims,” teacher John Abbott, who was unable to finish last week’s race, told AFP.Businesses and restaurants are still shuttered inside the six-block area sealed off for the investigation, and residents living within the security cordon were forced to find temporary housing.“I feel that I’ve been living in a movie for a week,” sushi restaurant owner Chanjuda Bun told AFP. “We were closed three days last week and lost a lot of money, we need to catch up now.”An affidavit by an FBI agent released Monday describes Tsarnaev as chillingly calm after the first of two bomb blasts – part of why investigators believe he is to blame.They are still hoping to get answers from Tsarnaev about the brothers’ possible motive, and learn whether other attacks were in the works.Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Sunday that the brothers, who had been living legally in the United States for more than a decade, had more homemade explosive devices and appeared to have been planning more attacks.He said federal authorities were trying to track down how and where the two suspects obtained firearms and explosive devices. An M-4 assault rifle was recovered in the boat where Dzhokhar was captured, the New York Times reported.The brothers also apparently used two handguns and a BB gun in the shootout with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown. They are also believed to have shot dead a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.The motive for the attacks remains unclear, and investigators are now probing a six-month trip made by Tamerlan in 2012 to Russia’s troubled regions of Dagestan and Chechnya, and whether he was radicalized or trained there.Tamerlan had begun posting militant videos on social media sites in recent years. Both Russian regions are home to Islamist and separatist groups, but rebels in Dagestan have denied any link to the Boston bombings.The elder Tsarnaev was questioned by the FBI, at Moscow’s request, in 2011, but apparently was not seen as a threat.The Tsarnaev family came to the United States from the former Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan around 2002. Dzhokhar became a US citizen in 2012, while Tamerlan’s application was reportedly held up due to the FBI questioning. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Is tuna from Costa Rica dolphin fatal

first_img Shawn Larkin OPINIONEarth Island Institute (EII) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) have told the world that tuna from Costa Rica is eco-friendly to eat. But unfortunately, that’s not the case, and the two organizations seem to be the last to realize that Costa Rican canned tuna is not even close to dolphin-safe. In fact, it’s dolphin fatal.Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pointed out that Costa Rica participates in a cetacean bycatch that is “among the largest in the world.” A study from the Costa Rican Fisheries Federation (FECOP) showed that in recent years, tuna ships netted dolphin pods at least 14,000 times in Costa Rica. Still, EII certifies Costa Rican canned tuna as “dolphin safe,” and MSC certifies our sea tuna as “sustainable.”Does anybody really believe we can net dolphins 14,000 more times in the coming years and be safe and sustainable? Are EII and MSC incompetent, or are they just not paying attention?These organizations are required by law to provide documentation of how they arrive at their certifications. They don’t. EII’s marine mammal director recently told me that the organization had not documented any dolphin in nets. Meanwhile FECOP found 14,000 nets on dolphins. Tuna fishing operations known for intentionally casting those nets on dolphins also carry the MSC label for sustainable seafood.While these nonprofit certifying agencies collect money from people to help save dolphins and whales, instead the creatures are perishing. At the same time, Costa Ricans are sacrificing their morals and also the sizable income that could be generated long-term from a truly sustainable fishery.Why are these organizations allowed to certify our tuna as dolphin safe to the world? Their poor judgment has lead to the death of countless dolphins and whales in Costa Rica. They should be given the boot and we should have Costa Ricans making decisions about whether our tuna is dolphin safe and sustainable, or dolphin fatal. Related posts:What to do with dolphins What is killing hundreds of Central American sea turtles? 5 Costa Rican frogs that came back from suspected extinction and 1 that didn’t Lionfish Plague Caribbean Reefs Following is a response to Shawn Larkin’s column from Jim Humphreys, fisheries director for the Americas at MSC, posted Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.Dear Editor:In the column posted by Shawn Larkin on Oct. 23, titled “Is tuna from Costa Rica dolphin fatal?” he stated that tuna from Costa Rica have been certified under the MSC fisheries certification program. This is not true. At this time, there are no fisheries from Costa Rica that have been MSC certified, nor are any Costa Rican fisheries going through MSC’s fishery assessment process. The MSC maintains a global standard for fisheries that assesses performance against stock health, ecosystem impacts, and effective fishery management. The MSC emphasizes transparency in our program, and as such, we post all assessment reports and audits for every fishery in the program. Those reports are posted on the MSC website for all to read at MSC is a voluntary program and we currently have approximately 11 percent of the global capture fisheries engaged in the MSC program, and over 20,000 products carry the MSC label in more than 100 countries. Independent benchmarking studies confirm that the MSC is the world’s leading and most credible sustainability certification and traceability program.Sincerely,Jim HumphreysFisheries Director – AmericasSeattle, WA, USA Facebook Commentscenter_img A tuna ship steers through a dolphin “super pod” near Isla del Caño.   Shawn Larkinlast_img read more

JumpStarts holiday fundraiser in full swing

first_imgNo related posts. It’s a difficult truth: If you know English in Costa Rica, you get farther in life. In theory, the nation’s grade schools require students to study English, to help them become competitive in later years. But according to some estimates, as many as 45 percent of these schools have no English teachers at all, leaving behind a quarter of students. Not surprisingly, the school systems most lacking are based in rural and underserved communities.This holiday season, the JumpStart Costa Rica program is running an ambitious fundraising campaign. Created by the Costa Rica Multilinguë Foundation (CRML), JumpStart has proven true to its name: The program started in 2012 with only 23 students, yet after a successful pilot period, JumpStart now expects to serve 600 students from 30 communities. Their goal for 2014 is to provide additional training to 35 public school teachers, which should directly benefit up to 5,000 students.The month-long camps are designed to give seventh-grade students a crash-course in English grammar and vocabulary, as well as a broader academic curriculum, including math, science, technology and engineering. Four-hour sessions take place daily, and education is largely “project-based.” Most teachers are volunteers from the United States, many of them enrolled in the Peace Corps.At the moment, JumpStart is funded entirely by donors. Donation levels begin at $25 (equivalent to a textbook and writing materials), and continue to $200 (by “adopting a jumpstarter,” donors receive photos and updates) and even $4,000 (full tuition for 20 students for a four-week camp). For more information, visit: Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Venezuela charges opposition leader sparking protests

first_imgRelated posts:Showdown looms for Venezuela, as protest leader Leopoldo López vows new march Venezuelan opposition spurns government crisis talks Venezuela looks set to lock away prominent opposition leader Leopoldo López Fugitive Venezuelan opposition leader surrenders at rally CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela’s attorney general formally charged jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López on Friday over anti-government protests that have roiled the country for two months, triggering fresh demonstrations in Caracas.The Harvard-educated economist has been held in a military prison since his Feb. 18 arrest in the midst of an opposition protest rally against leftist President Nicolás Maduro, who has faced near-daily demonstrations since early February.Thirty-nine people have died in clashes between security forces and protesters angered by soaring crime, high inflation and shortages of essential goods.Attorney General Luis Ortega Díaz told a press conference that formal charges were brought against López, leader of the Popular Will party, accusing him of inciting violence, arson, damage to property and conspiracy.The government had until Saturday — 45 days from López’s arrest — to bring the charges or release him.The government action stems from López’s public support for the student-led street protests that have rocked the country since they began Feb. 4 in the western city of San Cristobal and spread to several other major cities, including the capital Caracas.López and some other opposition leaders are advocates of a strategy dubbed “the exit,” aimed at pressuring Maduro — the handpicked successor to late socialist icon Hugo Chávez — to resign.Hours after the attorney general’s announcement, about 3,000 demonstrators, most of them students, hit the streets in the east of Caracas demanding López be freed.Under the slogan “Free Leopoldo,” some were dressed in white, a symbol of peace, while others carried the flag of Venezuela.One young man, who wore a homemade gas mask in anticipation of security forces firing tear gas to disperse the rally, said: “We have no weapons, just stones.”Ernesto Palacios, a Popular Will activist, told AFP: “As a sign of respect, the government should release Leopoldo López and political prisoners.”Read more Venezuela stories by clicking on the hashtag #Bolivarian Revolution Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Headed your way a second Special Print Edition

first_imgRelated posts:Coming in December: a special Tico Times Print Edition Download our High Season Print Edition here National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula The Tico Times on Radio Dos: Summiting Chirripó Facebook Comments There’s a lot to talk about in Costa Rica these days, and we’re proud to announce that our second Tico Times Special Print Edition will be published next week – chock-full of election photos, arts and culture news, interviews, content from our columnists, and a special Community Focus section that this month will feature Tamarindo, Guanacaste.The free 16-page publication will be distributed nationwide from Feb. 16-April 16.Learn more about advertising in this special edition here; ad deadline is Feb. 12.To become a distributor of this free edition, please contact us ( or 4000-0838). Distributors will be listed on our website with links to their own sites or Facebook pages, as well as in stories on our site in your area of the country.last_img read more

Israeli family discovers ancient treasure under living room

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The couple say they found evidence of the mikveh, or Jewish ritual bath, while renovating the home three years ago. But they were unsure of the significance and continued with the construction. They ultimately decided to hide it under a trap door and carpet.This week, they could no longer contain their curiosity and alerted authorities to their secret.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli authorities say they have unearthed a rare, well-preserved 2,000-year-old-Jewish ritual bath hidden under the floorboard of a family home in Jerusalem.Archaeologists said Wednesday that the discovery shines new light on ancient Jewish and early Christian communities in the area. But the discovery might be most noteworthy because the couple who owns the home literally kept the treasure hidden under a rug for three years before choosing to come clean. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likecenter_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Check your body, save your life Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   last_img read more

Reform needed for travel industry MCCA

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H. The Ministerial Council of Consumer Affairs (MCCA), which met in Canberra on Friday, has acknowledged the need for reform of travel industry regulation in Australia in view of the “adoption of the National Tourism Accreditation Framework”. According to a MCCA communiqué, a new regulatory framework would need to “foster ongoing consumer confidence in the sector” as well as “enhance consumer protection, business compliance and financial capacity, and competition and innovation”.“While there are clearly some more discussions to take place to fully understand what will happen next, I think it is reasonable for members to take this as a very clear signal that the Ministers wish to move to reform the regulations of the travel industry,” AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury commented.Although the message from Canberra “is good news for AFTA and very good news for the travel industry”, Mr Westbury warned reform would not be swift.“Remember that all states and territories around Australia will have to repeal/amend legislation and this will take some time,” Mr Westbury said.The council also supported further development of the proposed Travel Industry Transition Plan as a “pathway to an industry-wide regulatory approach” complementing efforts to promote consumer confidence and quality.The MCCA comprises Commonwealth, State, Territory and New Zealand Ministers responsible for fair trading and consumer protection.last_img read more

Outbound grows as Schoolies go to Bali Fiji

first_imgThe right of passage, schoolies trip into Queensland has lost some of its popularity, with a ten percent jump in students booking celebrations overseas this year compared to last year. According to figures compiled by, up to 35 percent of total schoolies bookings on the site were made on overseas properties, a ten percent rise on 2010.Fiji and Bali were among the most popular international destinations this year, while few students opted for long distance travel to spots in Europe and general manager John Feenaghty said the spike in foreign trips could be a result of the strong Aussie dollar or parental preferences.“The strong Aussie dollar creates the perfect excuse to spend schoolies abroad and I think a lot of parents would rather their teenagers have an overseas trip somewhere where they can be culturally enriched,” Mr Feenaghty explained.“Obviously there tends to be negative press surrounding schoolies at this time of year, which may also be contributing to this spike in international bookings from November onwards.”Mr Feenaghty added that although there was a double-digit jump in overseas bookings amongst high school leavers, Queensland properties continue to experience high business from the young-eons. “Make no mistake; the majority of our Gold Coast properties on are still heavily booked for Schoolies 2011,” he said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Sea Princess cruise cancelled due to virus outbreak

first_imgAfter completing its 26 day Asian cruise, Sea Princess was forced to cancel her Fremantle to Brisbane cruise, with the ship docking in Fremantle Harbour on Sunday, due to a gastro-intestinal virus outbreak.Around 100 people were affected by the norovirus outbreak, on the Fremantle to Singapore cruise nicknamed “Pandemic Princess”, which carried around 1,900 people, Perth Now reported.Furthermore, the drama surrounding the ship continued when the next cruise to Brisbane, which was still scheduled to embark on Sunday evening, was also cancelled with Carnival Australia citing technical problems affecting the ship’s ability to sail at full speed as the reason.Passengers had complained during earlier cruises that the ship was experiencing difficulties in speed, which shortened times in ports of call and brought about itinerary changes in the weeks leading up to the cruise, with Bali and Broome taken off the schedule.Carnival Australia has confirmed all guests will received a full refund of their cruise fare plus a 100 percent future cruise credit.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

Air China launches direct service to Melbourne

first_imgSource = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman Air China has announced that a direct service between Melbourne and Beijing will commence 1 June, 2015.The service will operate four times per week with evening departures on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, it will then increase to a daily service from October 25th, 2015. Currently, Air China operates five times per week non-stop service from Melbourne to Shanghai then onwards to Beijing however this new direct service will offer passengers another easier option to get to the capital.Both routes will be operated by Airbus A330-200 aircraft offering 28 lie-flat bed business class seats and 199 economy class seats with a generous seat pitch of 32 inches.The decision to introduce a direct Melbourne to Beijing service reflects an increase in demand from both the business and leisure markets.Relations between China and Australia have been strengthened with the signing of a Free Trade Agreement in November last year, the agreement expects to aide a growth in cooperation and exchange between the two countries in government relations, trade, business and cultural activities.By the end of 2015, the Air China fleet will expand to 581 aircraft, an increase of 11 per cent over 2014. In 2014, Air China celebrated its 30th anniversary of flights to Australia, and the new direct service builds on the strong aviation traditions between the two countries.last_img read more

TravelManagers win Scenic Luxury Cruises Award third consecutive year

first_imgTravelManagers win Scenic Luxury Cruises Award third consecutive year It’s official – TravelManagers number one for National Home Based SalesTravelManagers win Scenic Luxury Cruises Award third consecutive yearTravelManagers further cements its position as Australia’s premium travel network with its latest award win. Scenic Luxury Cruises awarded the company the ‘Top National Sales’ for the highest value in a home-based agency network during 2016 for a third consecutive year. Other finalists were Travel Counsellors, Travel Partners and MTA Travel.TravelManagers Executive General Manager Michael Gazal attributes the key to TravelManagers’ success being the personal and consistent service delivery to clients from the 500 personal travel managers across all states.“It is certainly not luck that has TravelManagers winning this award three years in a row. We are thrilled to see our personal travel managers being recognized for their dedication and sales focus of the products and their commitment to customer service. There is little doubting TravelManagers significant contribution to the industry and receiving supplier sales awards further strengthens our position as Australia’s leading personal travel manager network,” says Gazal.Gazal advocates supporting partner supplier products being absolutely key to the company’s business model.“TravelManagers prides itself on having exceptional, strong and effective supplier relationships and we are delighted to be recognized for our consistent and significant contribution toward Scenic Luxury Cruises total sales.”National partnership office staff Tanyu Cilek Finance & commercial Manager, Jodie Banbury Marketing Director and Sandra Reucker Supplier Relations & BSP Administrator represented TravelManagers at the glamorous Night of Stars awards evening held at The Ivy ballroom on Saturday 22 January.About TravelManagersTravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 500 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases. Source = TravelManagerslast_img read more

Senisim Pasin and PNG Tribal Ventures Launch Evening

first_img roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsXML, in conjunction with the Papua New Guinea Tribal Foundation are holding an  information evening with a difference.Five reasons why you want to come to the Senisim Pasin Campaign and PNG Tribal Ventures Launch at roomsXML:1. It’s not about selling product but about hosting an open forum about emerging tourism opportunities in Papua New Guinea. Your host for the evening includes GT Bustin from Tribal Ventures, a Tribal Foundation initiative who has over a decade’s experience in creating unique adventures in PNG. His links run deep into  business, government and local ground suppliers. He is keen to connect everyone2. Like all roomsXML events, it is fully catered, a proper dinner with accompanying drinks brought to you at your seat. Your time is valuable and we know that.3. The evening is a screening of “Senisim Pasin – change your ways” a documentary specially designed to change thinking and cultural attitudes about how women are valued in Papua New Guinea. As well as giving of view into some of the challenges that PNG faces, it provides a deeper insight to the rugged beauty of Papua New Guinea that organisations like the Tribal Foundation, through such initiatives are desperate to expose to the world whilst preserving their beauty.4. roomsXML will donate $100 towards tribal ventures and Senisim Pasin for EVERY representative from the travel industry who attends. It’s an important message we want to get out there.5.  Not only will there be other travel agents present but a number of other tour companies.  It’s a great way to network and learn about other product offerings out there We are limiting attendance to this event for 40 people; 40 people who will walk away with full tummies, warmed hearts and are mind full of exciting opportunities.The event will be held at roomsXML Hawthorn on 30th August .  Arrive any time 5:30 pm onwards, formal presentation will be done by 730pm.To register your interest please email If your group or agency is looking to create unique product offerings, gain a first mover advantage on a destination on our doorstep, this is the night for you. A night to meet, greet ,mingle and share, make some links and grow some opportunities. Senisim Pasin and PNG Tribal Ventures Launch Evening with roomsXMLlast_img read more

Rohini Prasad Khanal

first_imgWe have been taking part in OTM for quite a long time and our participation in this fair was very much successful as all our 8 co-exhibitors are very happy with the response. We would also like to take this opportunity and tell everyone that we are already in a position to welcome the tourists and we hope our participation in OTM will help increase the number of Indians coming to Nepal.last_img