August 2019

Hot topics covered at World Travel Market London 2016

first_imgTags: Trend Watch, WTM LONDON — World Travel Market London 2016, which had been revamped this year as a three-day event from Nov. 7-9, has ended on a high note with an estimated 50,000 in attendance. Over the course of three days, attendees facilitated travel industry contracts that were estimated to exceed US$4 billion, and learned about and discussed current hot topics in the travel industry. Here’s a roundup:SecurityThe UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit is one of the highest-profile sessions of the entire event. Now in its tenth year, this year’s Summit called on the industry and governments to work together to help destinations cope with the threat of terrorist, which UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai described as “forces of darkness.”Mohamed Yehia Rashed Tourism Minister Egypt assured delegates that his country has the technology and security measures in place to protect tourists and urged for standard security measures to be introduced globally. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary of Tourism in the government of India – WTM London’s Official Premier Partner – said countries needed to be more responsible when issuing travel advisories as perception of safety in destinations is a key factor.Zutshi’s call was echoed by Fritz Joussen, Chief Executive TUI Group, who noted people’s perceptions often compound the problems of terrorism. “The probability of being killed by a terrorist is lower than having car accident on the way to the airport,” he said.BrexitBrexit remained a common theme across the seminar program, as the UK and global travel industry await the actual terms of the country’s withdrawal from the European Union. Aviation expert John Strickland told the Forecast Forum about a possible issue arising over flying rights if the UK is not part of the EU Open Skies agreement.In a separate session, two senior airline bosses – Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, and Emirates president Tim Clark – suggested that airline alliances could become a thing of the past.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps up“I would question if [alliances] are around 10 years from now,” said Walsh, while Clark described the oneworld, Star Alliance and Skyteam concepts as “anachronistic”.Social Media & TechnologyOn Day Two of WTM London, a compelling presentation from Facebook executive Neasa Costin outlined consumer behavior and brand differentiation. “Travel has very positive headspace for the end user so markets don’t have to try very hard. An image of a beautiful beach will do the job for you but if you take away the logo, you would not be able to distinguish one brand from another,” she said.Costin highlighted Creative Shop, a part of Facebook that is trying to help companies change this through emotional resonance. She noted that from January to June, there had been 63 million hashtags about holidays with “real excitement and high emotion” around travel, but that markets are not trying to be distinctive or original.“It’s very transactional in approach. At WTM London, you can see companies investing massively in promotion but when you translate that to digital, there is zero investment,” she added. Costin pointed to companies like Airbnb, which are doing the right things in terms of brand building and changing consumer behaviour.Facebook is also investing in new technologies such as augmented reality, voice recognition and immersive video to stay on top of trends. Established companies shared how they are embracing digital technologies such as chatbots and virtual reality.The impact of these emerging channels to market is being increasingly felt by the hotel industry, which is having to adopt digital practices across the stages of booking and staying in a hotel. Daniel Wishnia, digital marketing consult, GCH Hotels, said that hotels have an opportunity to capture guests on their websites through better pricing, video and images.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from Ottawa“Customers expect you to be everywhere, on multi-devices,” he said. “They won’t wait for more than three seconds, they want you to be there to assist them.”Wellness TravelThe robust US$3.7 trillion global wellness economy was in the spotlight during the WTM London Wellness Travel Symposium. The wellness tourism sector accounts for $563 billion of that, and is growing nearly twice as fast as overall tourism.Delegates heard from several destinations about the importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors when developing wellness tourism. Case studies included India, ‘the land of yoga’, and Iceland’s Blue Lagoon.In the UK, spa towns such as Bath and Buxton are seeing a revival, while Wales is planning a £ 200 million lakeside development called the Llanelli Wellness and Life Science Village.Women in TravelThe Women in Travel Meetup urged travel firms to consider the needs of women aged over 50 in their marketing and recruitment strategies.“Over-50s are very different to what they were a few decades ago. They’re very cool people and we need to think about them differently,” said Rachel O’Reilly, Kuoni UK head of communications.The speakers also noted a rise in older women forging new careers, and debate chair Sylvia Weiler, Sojern’s Vice President of Audience, Strategy & Development, said: “I have many friends in their 40s who have started new careers. People are taking risks and I think that comes with maturity and confidence.”For more trends revealed at WTM London 2016, look for the Nov. 17 issue of Travelweek. To subscribe, click here. Travelweek Group Posted by Hot topics covered at World Travel Market London 2016 Thursday, November 10, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Rail Europe partners with Switzerland Tourism to launch Swiss Travel Pass

first_imgTags: Promotions, Rail Europe, Switzerland Travelweek Group Share Posted by Monday, May 15, 2017 center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Rail Europe partners with Switzerland Tourism to launch Swiss Travel Pass WHITE PLAINS, NY — Rail Europe has announced a special offer for Swiss travel in partnership with Switzerland Tourism and Swiss Travel System.Now through May 23, 2017, travellers booking a four-day consecutive Swiss Travel Pass, receive one day free, and those booking an eight-day consecutive pass, receive two days free. Complimentary travel days are available for first and second class, for Adult and Youth passes. Must be validated by Oct. 26, 2017.With the Swiss Travel Pass, clients can journey between destinations in the Swiss Alps, such as St. Moritz or Lucerne by trains, boats and buses. It is part of the Swiss Travel System and includes travel on scenic trains such as the Glacier Express, GoldenPass Line and Bernina Express, free admission to over 500 Swiss museums, public transportation in over 90 Swiss cities, a 50% reduction off most mountain railways and cable cars, and free access to Mt Pilatus and Mt Rigi. E-passes are available.More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesFamilies can enjoy more savings, as children under 16 years travel free with a parent or legal guardian with a free Swiss Family Card. Children under six do not require a rail pass or family card.last_img read more

Sirev is a great choice for agents and costeffective Softvoyage marks 20

first_img Friday, May 24, 2019 Sirev “is a great choice for agents, and cost-effective”: Softvoyage marks 20 years << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Posted by Share Tags: SIREV, Softvoyage The origins of Softvoyage date back to 1987 but it was a fortuitous merger in 1999 that really propelled the company forward. These days Softvoyage’s technology solutions for the travel industry, including Sirev, are tools that keep travel agencies competitive with major players spending millions of dollars on tech product development.The company also works with tour operators, consolidators and suppliers throughout North America and Europe as well.In April 2019 Softvoyage announced it had acquired a majority stake in Pythagoras, a Buenos Aires-based travel technology company, with an eye to expanding in Argentina.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Through Softvoyage’s booking tools agents can book everything from packages to air only to cruises for their clients.Sirev “is a great choice for agents, and a very cost-effective choice,” said Softvoyage co-founder and President Moise Levy at last night’s event.Together with co-founder and CEO Steve Ringuet and VP Sales & Marketing Dan Langevin, Levy toasted the company’s success and its long-standing relationships in the industry. “We have a great management system for tour operators and a great distribution system … and a great team,” said Levy. TORONTO — For two decades Softvoyage has taken B2B travel technology to new heights, making the CN Tower’s 346-metre high LookOut Level the perfect spot to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary.Last night’s event drew a who’s who of the travel industry, from tour operators who partner with Softvoyage for the technology behind their booking platforms, to GDS partners like Travelport and Amadeus, to retail agency partners.last_img read more

Costa Rican Hotels Chamber demands government action on AviancaTaca flight cancellations

first_imgRelated posts:Delta to add new Minneapolis-San José flight New Costa Rican airline offers to operate routes eliminated by TACA New Costa Rican airline, Ticos Air, now hiring Avianca-Taca drops five nonstop flights to Costa Rica, lays off 261 employees The Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) called a decision announced last Friday by Avianca-TACA airline to eliminate five nonstop flights to Costa Rica “despicable.”The chamber criticized the airline for announcing the move only 18 hours in advance.In a statement on its website on Monday, the CCH demanded the government “take immediate action,” adding that although the chamber recognizes “it is a private company’s decision, … flight rights granted by the Costa Rican Civil Aviation Administration also involve duties.”“This is not a matter of national pride, it is clearly an economic issue. The cancellation of these flights endangers some 20,000 monthly airline travelers that we will lose from nonstop flights,” the chamber stated.The CCH demanded the Civil Aviation Administration, the Costa Rican Tourism Board and President Laura Chinchilla take “the necessary steps to correct this situation, whatever the end result.”The Colombia-based airline announced Friday it is eliminating five nonstop flights to Costa Rica, which also means the dismissal of 261 employees in the country. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Tourism seen jumping to Mexicos 3rd biggest cash source by 2018

first_imgNo related posts. NEW YORK — Mexico’s tourism industry, already the nation’s fifth-biggest source of revenue, is seen taking on more economic importance by the end of 2018 as international visits rise and new infrastructure is built, according to a Cabinet official.Tourism’s participation in Mexican gross domestic product will climb 100 basis points to 9.4 percent by the end President’s Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, Tourism Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said recently in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York offices. The “upward trend” for the industry, which employs about 7 million people, will be driven by more visitors from countries outside of North America and better tourism facilities, she said.“Tourism is already one of the most important economic sectors for Mexico,” Ruiz Massieu said. “We are confident that it can represent at least one point more of GDP at the end of the administration and that we can become the third source of revenue at least.”Last year, tourism generated $12.7 billion in foreign exchange inflows, according to a report by JPMorgan Chase, a 10.5 percent increased versus 2011. Tourism trails manufacturing, oil, remittances and foreign direct investment as the nation’s biggest source of revenue, according to Citigroup Inc.’s Banamex unit.Ruiz Massieu said Latin America’s second-biggest economy received a record 24 million international visitors last year, or 2.6 percent more than the 23.4 million tourists it received in 2011, according to World Bank figures. Global international arrivals grew by 4 percent in 2012, according to a report from a World Tourism Organization report, and reached 1 billion tourists worldwide for the first time.International visits abroad to the so-called emerging economies rose 4.1 percent, while arrivals to advanced economies climbed 3.6 percent, the WTO report shows.“We want to keep growing the market share in our traditional markets,” such as the United States and Canada, the biggest source of international travelers to Mexico, Ruiz Massieu said. At the same time, Ruiz Massieu is focusing on emerging markets such as Brazil, Argentina, Russia and China. She declined to offer a projection for the total international visitors expected for this year.The increase of international travelers to Mexico comes even as more than 6,200 people have been killed in drug-related violence since Peña Nieto took office Dec. 1, according to Milenio, a Mexico City-based newspaper.Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., said that the government’s efforts to fight organized crime “are going to take more time and be long-term driven, because they’re based on institutional buildup,” and that the number of casualties is already dropping.Peña Nieto has said that legal changes he’s pushing for by year-end to open up the state-controlled energy industry and to increase tax collection may boost growth to as much 6 percent a year, versus 3.9 percent in 2012. Ruiz Massieu said Mexico seeks to increase private investment in the tourism industry.The Mexican government is finishing its infrastructure strategy which will be unveiled in the coming weeks and the plan will for the first time include tourism development, Ruiz Massieu said.Mexico wants to build new airports, cargo and commercial ports, railways and highways to link well-known transportation hubs with lesser-known tourism destinations, she said without specifying how much investment will go into the projects.This year Mexico is investing 310 billion pesos ($23.3 billion) in infrastructure, Peña Nieto said June 20. Speaking at a construction industry event in Merida, Mexico, the president said that about 187 billion pesos will be invested in the second half of the year.Ruiz Massieu said the Communications and Transportation Ministry will announce “in a couple of weeks” a final decision regarding potential measures to alleviate congestion at the Mexico City airport, the busiest hub in Latin America. “What I favor is getting more planes to an area where I can distribute more tourists to different destinations,” she said.With assistance from Karen Toulon, Katia Porzecanski and Newley Purnell in New York.© 2013, Bloomberg News Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Oliver Stone to make Snowden film

first_imgRelated posts:Obama to propose ending NSA bulk data collection Costa Rica surpasses Canada, US in recent press freedom rankings US Senate panel approves Venezuela sanctions Inaction presses on: The US immigration crisis Harding, who writes for British newspaper The Guardian, said Stone would write and direct the film with his long-term producing partner Moritz Borman.“I’m thrilled and delighted,” the journalist said.Stone, an Oscar-winning director whose films include “Wall Street,” “JFK,” and “Nixon” said he was looking forward to making the film.“This is one of the greatest stories of our time. A real challenge,” he said.The Guardian said Stone had begun writing the screenplay, while Borman was “fast-tracking it as a major European co-production” to start filming before the end of the year.Harding and other Guardian journalists are due to act as production and story consultants.“The story of Edward Snowden is truly extraordinary, and the unprecedented revelations he brought to light have forever transformed our understanding of — and relationship with — government and technology,” said Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian’s editor-in-chief. “We’re delighted to be working with Oliver Stone and Moritz Borman on the film.”Snowden is wanted by U.S. authorities for leaking series of U.S. intelligence secrets, and is currently living in Russia. His U.S. passport has been revoked.Snowden has said he is open to the possibility of clemency or amnesty and would like to return home one day. But he maintains he carried out a patriotic act by exposing huge surveillance dragnets he said infringed the U.S. Constitution.Washington says Snowden is welcome to return home but only to face trial for exposing sensitive top secret information it says aided U.S. enemies.The Stone film is not the only one being made about Snowden, based on a Guardian writer’s book. Sony Pictures Entertainment said last month it has acquired the rights to the new book by Glenn Greenwald, who led the Pulitzer Prize-winning team at The Guardian that covered the story.James Bond franchise producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will make the movie version of “No Place to Hide,” described as “a political film that will resonate with today’s moviegoers.”In related news, The Sunday Times reported on May 18 that Greenwald is working on his biggest piece yet about the U.S. intelligence revelations, and is about to publish a list of names of U.S. citizens on which the U.S. government spied. Should be interesting. Facebook Comments LONDON – Oliver Stone is to make a film about fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, based on a book by a British journalist, it was announced Monday.Luke Harding, the author of “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story Of The World’s Most Wanted Man,” said on Twitter that the U.S. filmmaker has bought the movie rights to the book.center_img I’m thrilled and delighted. Look forward to working with @TheOliverStone on terrific project. Film to be major European co-production— Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968) June 2, 2014last_img read more

Costa Rica lets win slip away draws 11 with El Salvador

first_imgRelated posts:CONCACAF Gold Cup preview: Ticos look to re-establish themselves as region’s top team Injury may keep Costa Rica’s star goalkeeper Keylor Navas out of the Gold Cup Costa Rica loses to Mexico on heartbreaking penalty call in Gold Cup quarterfinals Costa Rica’s La Sele throttles Jamaica 3-0 A maligned Costa Rican defense stuck tight for 90 minutes only to crack open in the final seconds of its 1-1 draw with El Salvador in Saturday’s Gold Cup game. Despite holding another seemingly comfortable lead for 30 minutes, the Costa Rica men’s national team now faces potential elimination in the tournament’s group stage.In the 61st minute, team captain Bryan Ruiz netted what looked to be Costa Rica’s game-clinching goal before El Salvador’s Dustin Corea tied the match in stoppage time. After the draw, a clearly frustrated Ruiz told a television reporter that the defensive error that led to El Salvador’s late goal was unacceptable.“They attacked us and we gave them the draw they were looking for,” Ruiz said. “We have to do better.”This marks the third consecutive match with a regional rival where Costa Rica has let a clear lead slip away into a tie. Just as the defense collapsed in second half of games against Mexico and Jamaica, it did so in the most untimely of ways against heavy underdog El Salvador, which is ranked 88th in the world.CONCACAF Gold Cup preview: Ticos look to re-establish themselves as region’s top teamWanchope is still looking for his first win as the head coach of the men’s national team, as his record drops to 0-3-4. The young coach looked content to protect the one-goal lead when he substituted veteran defender Michael Umaña for striker Álvario Saborío, who had been effective and set up Ruiz’s goal in the 61st minute.When questioned about his tactical moves and substitutions after the game, Wanchope said it’s always easy to criticize a coach’s decision after the match has been decided.“When you make substitutions and you win, it was a good decision, but when you make substitutions and you lose, you were wrong,” Wanchope said.The former national team star turned coach said his team played much better in the second half after a scoreless first period. However, a draw leaves Costa Rica with just two points in Group B play, leaving it tied with El Salvador behind first-place Jamaica, who the Ticos tied on Wednesday.Aside from Ruiz and Saborío, both Celso Borges and Esteban Alvarado continued their stellar play from the opener.Midway through the first half, a brilliant effort from El Salvador’s captain Arturo Álvarez nearly led to a goal for La Selecta, but Esteban Alvarado used all of his 6-foot-4 frame to deflect the high-arching shot. El Salvador had several breakaway opportunities where a forward was left one-on-one with a Costa Rican defender, but Alvarado stood tall to shut the Central American rivals out for the first 90 minutes.Without Cristian Gamboa, who was ruled out earlier in the week with a right knee injury, the midfield struggled to choke control of the ball. Borges was the singular bright spot in the middle while Gamboa’s replacement, Francisco Calvo, slid to the back line.Borges nearly scored La Sele’s second goal when his free kick in the 64th minute ended up just left of goal after ricocheting off a defender’s knee.Costa Rica’s closest chance to score in the first half came when Saborío lofted a pass into a crowd that took El Salvador goalie Derby Carillo far out of net. The ball dropped to captain Bryan Ruiz, who missed a contested shot that left the Ticos scoreless.It was almost a black cat sign for the defense when a fan ran onto the field to take a selfie with Alvarado in goal. Just minutes later Alvarado stood stunned as Corea’s goal slipped the rug on Costa Rica’s lead. Now, instead of being tied atop Group B with four points, Costa Rica will look to claw its way into the Gold Cup’s knockout stage with a win Tuesday over Canada, who will have the privilege of hosting the game in Toronto.“It’s an error that can’t happen but it happened and now we have to look forward to winning this last game,” Ruiz said. Mariana Loaiza/The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Suspected Costa Rican hit man violently murdered near San José

first_imgRelated posts:Organized crime prosecutor named new director of Costa Rica’s investigative police US tourist denounces rape in Puerto Viejo Four U.S. men charged in connection with billion-dollar Costa Rica sportsbook operation Two Costa Ricans investigated for role in international child porn ring Authorities said around 100 shell casings where found at the scene of the crime. Some 800 meters from there, investigators found the abandoned black SUV partially burned in a presumed attempt to hide evidence.The woman, only identified by the last name Sawyers, was shot in the back and the 43-year-old taxi driver came away with bullet wounds in his face, chest, and right elbow, according to police.This marks the 147th drug-related murder in the country in the past nine months, according to OIJ. Most of the murders have occurred in Limón province and in the San José suburb of Desamparados, according to police statistics. The district of San Francisco de Dos Ríos is located on the northern border of the Desamparados canton.Authorities said they believed Taylor was a hit man from Limón who went by the nickname “Tupac.” Facebook Comments suspected hit man was killed Friday morning after being picked up by a taxi at a relative’s house in San Francisco de Dos Ríos, southeast of San José. Four men armed with AK-47s blocked the cab with their black SUV and fired up to 100 rounds at the car.The man was identified by a spokesperson from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) as Dennis Omier Taylor of Limón. Police said that a 30-year-old woman thought to be the man’s wife and the taxi driver were seriously injured in the attack.The video below, which has been circulating on social media networks and since been legitimated by authorities, apparently shows security footage of masked men getting out of a vehicle before firing several rounds into the red taxi. According to the video’s timestamp, the shootings occurred at 8:36 a.m. Friday.last_img read more

Pic of the Day Costa Ricas underwater wildlife

first_imgRelated posts:Pic of the Day: Costa Rica from the air Pic of the Day: Hanging out at Rainmaker Conservation Project Froggy Friday: Red-eyed tree frog in Sarapiquí Pic of the Day: Skateboarding in San José Much of Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity lives underwater.That biodiversity includes the hammerhead shark, an important member of aquatic ecosystems in Costa Rica’s oceans.This picture is part of “Costa Rica Blue: The Underwater Guide,” a book that calls itself “the definitive travel guide to Costa Rica’s underwater world.” Click on the above photo for a higher-resolution version.For more information on the book, to preview its stunning photography and to buy a copy for your own coffee table, visit story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Israel to build 850 homes in West Bank

first_imgSettlers, meanwhile, vowed to resist the impending evacuation, though they stopped short of threatening violence.Ulpana resident Reut Lehrer told Army Radio on Thursday that “there was a lot of anger” there at the government following the parliament vote.“People feel we have been abandoned,” she said.Ulpana settlers met after the parliament vote to discuss how to respond, but no decisions have been taken, she said. But Army Radio said fliers distributed at the outpost called for a “vigorous fight” and urged settlers and their supporters to turn out in large numbers to resist the “injustice.”Settler leaders have promised to resist the evacuation order, though they say their opposition will be peaceful.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Check your body, save your life How do cataracts affect your vision? With 500,000 Israelis now living on land claimed by the Palestinians, they say their dream of gaining independence is growing ever more distant. Israel says negotiations must be conducted without preconditions.In a sharply worded statement, the U.S. accused Israel of hindering peace efforts with the newly announced settlement construction _ and appeared to question both sides’ declared commitments to peacemaking.“We’re very clear that continued Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank undermines peace efforts,” U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. … It impedes progress on any kind of comprehensive settlement, and that’s ultimately what everyone here, most importantly both sides, both parties, want to see happen. Or at least that’s what they claim to want to see happen.”Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down three years ago, and the Palestinians refuse to restart negotiations until Israel freezes settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The Palestinians claim both areas, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, for a future state, along with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories center_img Associated PressJERUSALEM (AP) – JERUSALEM – Israel’s plans to build hundreds of new homes in Jewish West Bank settlements have put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again at odds with Washington and the Palestinians without appeasing settlers who are furious over the government’s plan to dismantle an illegally built settler enclave.On Wednesday, officials announced the government would build 850 apartments after parliament, at Netanyahu’s urging, voted down a bill that would have legalized the Ulpana enclave and other settler outposts built illegally on privately held Palestinian land. The international community condemns settlement construction, and the Palestinians have refused to talk peace while Israel builds on land they claim for a future state. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Netanyahu, long a settlement champion, found himself in the politically difficult position of having to carry out a Supreme Court ruling ordering the 30 apartments in Ulpana destroyed by July 1. Knowing it would not stand up to the court’s scrutiny, he pressured coalition lawmakers on Wednesday to vote down a proposal by hardline legislators to legalize outposts built on privately held Palestinian land.To blunt the blow to settlers, he vowed to build 300 more homes in the authorized settlement of Beit El, on whose outskirts Ulpana lies.“Israel is a democracy that observes the law, and as prime minister I am obligated to preserve the law and preserve the settlements. And I say here that there is no contradiction between the two,” he said Wednesday after the vote.Later, Construction Minister Ariel Attias announced that an additional 551 apartments would be built elsewhere in the West Bank.“Thirty apartments will be evacuated, but 850 will be built instead,” Attias said in a statement. “Under the circumstances, this is a worthy solution.”The Palestinians and Washington disagreed.Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat denounced the new construction as a measure “that undermines all efforts to revive the peacemaking between the two sides.”last_img read more

Mexico announces big Gulf deep water oil find

first_img Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix How men can have a healthy 2019 How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s state-owned oil company reports it has found possible reserves of as much as 125 million barrels of oil at a deep-water well in the Gulf of Mexico.Petroleos Mexicanos says the Supremus 1 well is located about 24 miles (39 kilometers) south of U.S. territorial waters, and is more than 4,000 yards (meters) deep.The company says the area known as the Perdido belt contains prospective reserves that could amount to as much as 13 billion barrels of crude equivalent.center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement It notes that if proven, that would double Mexico’s current proven reserves.President Felipe Calderon announced the discovery Friday. If brought into production, the well could account for about 10 percent of the company’s current daily output, which is about 2.6 million barrels per day.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

China submits oceanic claims to United Nations

first_img Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona A statement posted to the Foreign Ministry’s website gave no specifics, but China had pledged to make such a submission shortly after its dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea flared again in September. Japan angered China by buying the islands from their private Japanese owners to block a rival bid by Tokyo’s nationalist mayor, a move Japan had hoped would prevent a bigger crisis.Violent anti-Japanese protests then broke out across China to assert what many Chinese believe is their country’s ages-old claim on the rocky outcrops, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Taiwan also claims them.China’s move is a way for it to underscore its claim, but will have little real impact. The U.N. commission to which it submitted its claim, which comprises geological experts, evaluates the markers on technical grounds but has no authority to resolve overlapping claims.The U.N. submission represents one aspect of China’s approach to the dispute. Another involves dispatching vessels to patrol in the area and confront Japanese Coast Guard ships.On Thursday, China for the first time dispatched a plane over the islands, prompting Tokyo to accuse it of violating Japanese air space. Japan’s Defense Agency said four Japanese F-15 jets headed to the area in response, but the nonmilitary Chinese plane was nowhere to be seen by the time they got there. The Foreign Ministry said a formal protest was sent to the Chinese government through its embassy in Japan. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressBEIJING (AP) – China provided the United Nations with detailed claims to waters in the East China Sea on Friday, apparently padding out its legal argument in an ongoing territorial dispute with Japan.The Foreign Ministry said it submitted documents claiming waters extending beyond its 200-nautical-mile (370-kilometer) exclusive economic zone. It said geological features dictated that China’s claim extended to the edge of the continental shelf off the Chinese coast, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Japan’s Okinawa island. How do cataracts affect your vision? How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation The islands lie in a strategic location between Japan and Taiwan, and the surrounding waters hold rich fish stocks and a potential wealth of oil, gas and other minerals.The area China claims overlaps with Japan’s exclusive economic zone and includes undersea natural gas deposits that China at one time had pledged to tap jointly with Japan. Such joint measures have since been shelved by Beijing.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Typhoon hits eastern China with strong winds rain

first_img 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches BEIJING (AP) – A typhoon slammed into southeastern China on Monday with powerful winds and heavy rains that killed at least five people, cut power, canceled flights and suspended train services.Typhoon Fitow struck Fuding city in Fujian province with winds of up to 151 kilometers (94 miles) an hour in the early morning, then slowed before weakening to a tropical storm, the National Meteorological Center said.More than half a million people had been evacuated and fishing boats were called back to port while authorities issued a red alert _ the highest warning _ on Sunday as the typhoon approached. Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist How men can have a healthy 2019 Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The provincial flood relief agency in Zhejiang, which neighbors Fujian, said 574,000 people had been evacuated by Sunday evening and 35,800 vessels returned to shore. Fujian’s government said 177,000 people had been moved to safety and nearly 30,000 fishing boats called back.The typhoon cut power in towns and counties in Zhejiang while high-speed rail services in the region were suspended. At least 27 flights out of Wenzhou airport in Zhejiang were canceled on Sunday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.Xinhua said two people were killed in Wenzhou, including a 55-year-old man who was blown off a hill while heading out to help rescue a stranded fisherman. It said another three people were electrocuted in the Zhejiang city of Rui’an.Four other people were reported missing in the province, Xinhua said. Calls to the city’s flood relief agency and other government and Communist Party offices rang unanswered Monday.Economic losses in the two provinces were estimated at about 12 billion yuan ($2 billion), Xinhua said.Before striking China, Fitow skirted the northern coast of Taiwan, causing many flight disruptions and dumping large quantities of rain on the island, but resulting in only minimal damage and no casualties. Officials said more than 200 domestic and international flights were delayed or canceled, and several hundred people were evacuated from northern Taiwanese communities considered vulnerable to rain-induced mudslides.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Guatemala Supreme Court president impeachment possible

first_img How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala’s Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Wednesday for congress to decide whether to remove President Otto Perez Molina’s immunity from prosecution in a corruption scandal.The move could end in a process similar to impeachment, if a congressional commission recommends trying Perez Molina.The court ruled Wednesday on a complaint filed by a legislator, who claimed the president is linked to scandals involving kickbacks and bribes. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies One scandal involves an alleged scheme in which businesses paid millions of dollars in bribes to avoid import duties. The other case involves allegations of kickbacks for overpriced contracts for the Social Security Institute.The president has denied any involvement. He hasn’t been charged with any crimes, but many Guatemalans blame him for the corruption since it involves his administration.In recent weeks, Guatemalan prosecutors and a U.N. commission formed to investigate corruption in the country have filed charges against dozens of people in the cases.The process now moves on to Guatemala’s unicameral legislature, which will elect a five-member commission to investigate the complaint.The commission will come back with a recommendation on whether to remove Perez Molina’s immunity or not. The legislature will then vote on whether to accept that recommendation.Perez Molina’s allies do not hold a majority in congress.In May, a court froze bank accounts linked to former Vice President Roxana Baldetti, who resigned this month after a corruption scandal reached into her office. Her former private secretary has been named as the purported mastermind of the import duties scheme. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice In this April 23, 2015 photo, Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina gives a press conference at the National Palace in Guatemala City. Guatemala’s Supreme Court has given the go-ahead for congress to decide whether to remove President Otto Perez Molina’s immunity from prosecution in a corruption scandal. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)last_img read more

Applications for US jobless aid remain low at 279000

first_imgA help wanted sign is posted at a tractor dealership in Ashland, Va., Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The U.S. Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits during the week ending June 6 on Thursday, June 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, yet remained at a historically low level that points to a healthy job market.The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for jobless aid increased 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 279,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 3,750 to 278,750.Even with the increases, both figures remain at very low levels. The average fell to a 15-year low last month. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the figures suggest that few Americans are losing their jobs. Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019center_img “The pace of layoffs is now close to all-time lows as a share of payrolls,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a note to clients.In addition to holding onto workers, businesses are also stepping up hiring. Employers added 280,000 jobs last month, the government said last week, a strong showing that suggests businesses are staffing up in anticipation of robust consumer demand.That was more than last year’s monthly average of 263,667, which was the most in 15 years.The unemployment rate rose to 5.5 percent from 5.4 percent, but even that contained some good news: more Americans, encouraged by their prospects, started looking for work last month. Not all immediately found jobs, lifting the unemployment rate.The number of people receiving benefits rose 61,000 to 2.27 million, the government said. That is just a fraction of the 8.6 million the government counts as unemployed. Some of those out of work have used up all their benefits, while many others aren’t eligible, such as recent graduates searching for their first jobs.Average hourly wages, which have grown at a tepid pace since the Great Recession ended six years ago, ticked up in May and have risen 2.3 percent in the past year. That is the fastest annual pace in nearly two years, though it remains far below the 3.5 percent to 4 percent rate typical in a healthy economy. Top Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day There are other signs that the economy is doing better after faltering at the start of the year.On Thursday, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 1.2 percent in May, as Americans bought more cars, building materials, and clothes. Excluding volatile categories such as gas, autos, restaurants and building materials, sales rose a healthy 0.7 percent.Separately, a survey last week of purchasing executives found that manufacturing expanded at a faster pace in May as U.S. factories received more new orders.The economy contracted 0.7 percent in the first three months of the year, a sharp slowdown from growth of 3.6 percent in the second half. Yet most economists expect growth will recover to a 2 percent to 2.5 percent pace in the second quarter.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

Bombings kill 19 people in and around Baghdad

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories BAGHDAD (AP) — A series of attacks, mainly car bombs, in Iraq killed at least 19 people and wounded dozens on Saturday, authorities said.Police officials said the deadliest attack occurred Saturday night when a car bomb exploded on a commercial street in Baghdad’s western neighborhood of Amil, killing nine people and wounding 24 others. Several shops and cars were damaged.Earlier, police said a car bomb blast near a bus stop killed three people and wounded 15 in southern Baghdad. A bomb explosion near an outdoor market killed three people in Mhamoudiya town, just south of Baghdad. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Comments   Share   center_img Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men Another car bomb went off near a row of restaurants in the Shiite town of Balad Ruz, killing four and wounding 14. Balad Ruz is 70 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Baghdad.Hospital officials confirmed the casualties from all the attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to reporters.Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks. Iraq sees near-daily bombings that are often claimed by the Islamic State group which seized a large swath of the country during an offensive last year. The Iraqi army, backed by Shiite and Sunni militia fighters, has been gradually retaking territory.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

Obama Africa must create jobs for its next generation

first_imgPresident Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Monday, July 27, 2015, at the National Palace in Addis Ababa. Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)n Top Stories Top holiday drink recipes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Kenyans had waited years to welcome him back as president and many lined the streets in Kenya, as well as in Ethiopia, hoping for a glimpse of him as his motorcade drove by.Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to visit both countries, arrives back in Washington early Wednesday.___AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace contributed to this report.___Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Closing a historic visit to Africa, President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged the continent’s leaders to prioritize creating jobs and opportunity for the next generation of young people or risk sacrificing future economic potential to further instability and disorder.He said the “urgent task” of generating jobs for a population that is expected to double to around 2 billion people in the coming decades will be “an enormous undertaking.” But he said it can be achieved with U.S. help. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall “There’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving, but the law is the law, and no one person is above the law, not even the president,” Obama said, adding that he thinks he could win if he were able to run again.But he said he looks forward to a less restricted life when he leaves office.“The point is, I don’t understand why people want to stay so long — especially when they’ve got a lot of money,” Obama said, an apparent reference to some previous African leaders who held tight to power while enriching themselves on government money.He called on the AU to use its authority to help make sure African leaders stick to their term limits and follow their constitutions. “Nobody should be president for life,” said Obama, who leaves office in January 2017.Africa’s progress will also depend on security and peace, since businesses and wealthy people won’t want to invest in unsafe places, the president said.He pledged continued U.S. training assistance and other support in the fight against terrorism carried out across the continent by groups like al-Qaida, the Islamic State, al-Shabab and Boko Haram. He said the world must do more to help, too, and announced that he will host a summit at the United Nations in September to secure additional support for international peacekeeping, including in Africa. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homecenter_img “Africa will need to generate millions more jobs than it is doing now,” Obama said in a speech to the entire continent delivered from the headquarters of the African Union, a member organization of African nations. “And time is of the essence.”“The choices made today will shape the trajectory of Africa — and therefore the world — for decades to come,” said Obama, who is seen by the people of Africa as one of their own. It was the first speech to the AU by a sitting American president.The speech marked the end of a five-day visit to Africa that included an earlier stop in Kenya, homeland of Obama’s late father.Obama also called on Africa’s leaders to make their countries more attractive to foreign investment by cleaning up corruption, upholding democratic freedoms, supporting human rights, and willingly and peacefully leaving office when their terms expire.Obama, who is more than halfway through his second and final four-year term, said “I don’t understand this” phenomenon of leaders who refuse to step aside when their terms end. He referred to Burundi’s leader, who was just elected to a controversial third term although he is constitutionally limited to two. The announcement that President Pierre Nkurunziza was seeking a third term sparked days of unrest across the country. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   Obama said Africa’s impending population boom could bring tremendous opportunities for the continent on the one hand.“On the other hand,” he said, “we need only look to the Middle East and North Africa to see that large numbers of young people with no jobs and stifled voices can fuel instability and disorder.”Before addressing the AU, Obama highlighted his administration’s efforts to combat hunger by touring a Faffa Foods factory that participates in the U.S. Feed the Future program. The initiative focuses on helping smaller farmers in 19 countries, including Ethiopia and 11 other African nations, expand their businesses.He also met with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission, who introduced him at AU headquarters.“Although we welcome you as the president of the United States of America, we also claim you as our own,” she said.Obama’s speech closed a homecoming of sorts to Africa.The president first flew to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi to attend a U.S.-sponsored business development summit, but he also spent time reconnecting with relatives on his father’s side of the family, including his sister, Auma Obama, and a grandmother. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Quick workouts for men Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Operators protest Greece tourism issues

first_imgGreece based industry operators expect recent protests to have minimal damage to the country’s travel industry and are prepared to see a ten percent increase in arrivals over summer.Despite recent rallies deterring tourism into the country, travel business owners told media that they do not see events having major impacts on the country’s tourism sector, Reuters reported.Protests commenced in the country earlier this year against the Government’s implemented economical changes and escalated into violent rallies over June.”It hurts our image abroad, but considering the flow of bookings since the beginning of the year, this should have an impact but a rather minimal one,” Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) general manager George Drakopoulos told media. Arethusa Hotel desk manager Vassilis Pararais agreed with the statement, explaining that recent cancellations are likely to only last temporarily.”A lot of clients are worried, a lot are asking questions and have moved out of the center of Athens, but I think it’s over now,” Mr Pararais explained.He added that of 150 guests only 40 felt the need to move out of the area and is expecting to see cancellations sitting at up to ten percent over the next few weeks. Australian Smart Traveller has also retained faith in the country’s safety, maintaining its travel advice at ‘Exercise Caution’ levels.According to media, tourism makes up one in five jobs in Greece and contributes 16 percent to its gross domestic product. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Nepal issues health warning

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Nepal has warned foreign travellers against cholera infections following an outbreak in a remote western area of the country where thirteen deaths have occurred. Nepal Epidemiology and Disease Control Department director G.D. Thakur director has urged visitors to drink boiled or mineral water and “pay attention to their personal care and hygiene.” “There have been 13 deaths in two months in Doti district in western Nepal but now the situation is under control,” Mr Thakur said.“For the last 15 years there have always been a few cases of cholera in Nepal in the rainy season. Since mid-April we have detected 15 cholera cases in Kathmandu but there have been no deaths.” During monsoon season, diarrhoea-related illnesses in the Himalayan region are quite high due to the increased numbers of contaminated water sources. Although healthcare services in Nepal are very basic, “foreign visitors planning to visit Nepal should not worry because the situation is completely under control,” Mr Thakur said.last_img read more

TTM TAT supporting sustainability

first_imgThe Thailand Tourism Authority (TAT) continues its push to promote niche market offerings such as eco-tourism and voluntourism to international visitors, now more than ever, given its current stance on sustainability.TAT will place greater effort on increasing first-time visitors and high spenders through four niche products; golf, health & wellness, wedding & honeymoon, and green tourism, as outlined in TAT’s 2013 Action Plan.These matters and more were discussed during a media briefing on 6 June at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+ 2013).Voluntourism is one of the key developmental areas of eco-tourism in Thailand and is becoming more equitable as time goes on.International travellers are becoming increasingly aware of the damage that unplanned mass tourism can cause and its detrimental effects on not only the environment, but the local people.“This is the first year we’ve ever had to discuss how to alleviate issues of over-saturation when it comes to traveller’s possibly causing ecological and cultural damage in certain regions of Thailand,” TAT deputy governor marketing communication Suraphon Svetasreni said.TAT has set up the Little Big Project, a voluntourism competition aimed at boosting awareness and the responsibility of travellers through a meaningful and insightful volunteering vacation.“Sustainability is a huge responsibility for government, tourism bureaus and also visitors,” TAT deputy governor Juthaporn Rerngronasa said.“We want agents to customise and specifically tailor their client’s trips in an effort to encourage niche market travellers, providing not just an experience but an education to travellers.”ETB News is in Bangkok for TTM+ 2013 between 4-7 June, hosted by TAT. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. “Sustainability is a huge responsibility forgovernment, tourism bureaus and also visitors,”TAT deputy general Juthaporn Rerngronasa.last_img read more