Thursday, December 22, 2016 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Share More engagement with trade will help boost Caribbean visits from Canada in 2017: CTO Hugh Riley — Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism OrganizationBRIDGETOWN — Calling 2016 “an impressive, yet challenging year” for Caribbean tourism, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Secretary General Hugh Riley says strong inbound visitor figures from Europe and the U.S. helped offset a tough year from the Canadian market.Riley said the Caribbean is poised to meet its 30 million arrivals target set two years ago at its State of the Tourism Industry Conference. “Yet, amidst the year’s impressive achievements, the Canadian market was a concern,” said Riley. Traditionally a robust achiever, even during the tough global economic meltdown, Canada delivered declining numbers this year, sparked by the weakening of the Canadian dollar.“We are moving to reverse that slide, combining our efforts with those of our CTO member-countries and our industry partners,” said Riley. The CTO is looking to hire a Business Development Representative in the first quarter of 2017 “to substantially enhance the Caribbean’s engagement in Canada’s most productive areas”, identify and develop business in non-traditional areas and work closely with our members’ representatives for maximum impact, he said.More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”New travel agent training and certification, increased use of targeted social media, enhanced deployment of the CTO’s data analysis tools, and more focused engagement with the Caribbean diaspora are all components of the 2017 strategy for Canada, Riley added.While air arrivals to the Caribbean were up, key performance metrics for the region’s hotel industry recorded declined through the first half of 2016, based on data compiled by Smith Travel Research Inc. The slumps were influenced by a rise in room stock and a fall in demand for traditional hotel rooms, attributed in part to ‘the sharing economy’, e.g. Airbnb.Mother Nature challenged the Caribbean as well, with some member countries affected in varying degrees by hurricanes. “Yet despite the adversities occasioned by these events, our resilience and fortitude as a region stood out and even the worst affected were back open for business in quick time, proving that tourism is an effective way to re-energize an economy following a natural or other disaster,” said Riley.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe onset of the Zika virus also presented a challenge and the CTO continues to work with its partners, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Public Health Agency to address concerns raised by our suppliers and potential visitors.The CTO also continues to monitor the possible impact of the Brexit vote as the UK moves to end and its membership in the European Union.The CTO’s declaration of 2016 as ‘The Year of Romance’ in the Caribbean was a success story, with member-countries and industry partners organizing events or participating in roadshows specializing in romance, said Riley. “Our 30 Days of Caribbean Romance social media marathon reached 10.5 million people in June, while millions more were reached through the innovative Periscope Marathon and Tweet Chat featuring romantic places of the Caribbean, and our Five Romantic Facts about each member-country during Caribbean Tourism Month in November.”What’s the theme for 2017? Riley announced that next year will be the ‘Year of Adventure’ in the Caribbean. Tags: Caribbean, Caribbean Tourism Organization
Friday, February 3, 2017 Tags: TICO Ontario Comp Fund contribution rates go up April 1 Share TORONTO — TICO is reminding registrants that the increase to the Compensation Fund contribution rate from $0.20 to $0.25 per thousand dollars of Ontario sales takes effect April 1.Last year TICO announced its Board of Directors had approved a phased-in increase over two years. The phased in approach was to provide some relief to registrants. Phase 1 allowed for an increase from $0.15 to $0.20 per thousand dollars of Ontario sales and became effective on July 1, 2016.The increase approved for Phase 2 of the Compensation Fund Contribution Rate provided for an increase from $0.20 to $0.25 per thousand dollars of Ontario sales effective April 1.“We understand that the industry is facing difficult challenges. TICO has maintained a strong control over its costs, and this focus will continue. TICO understands the concerns of industry members that the legislation and funding model is dated and needs to be reviewed. Both the Board and Senior Management are committed to continued collaboration with the Ministry to ensure these concerns are understood during the Ontario Government’s comprehensive review of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05,” said Richard Smart, TICO President & CEO.More news: War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps up“Our goal has been to keep fees to registrants as low as possible while ensuring that TICO has appropriate resources to execute its consumer protection mandate in an efficient and effective manner.” Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 Tags: Promotions, Travel Agent Day Share Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Tour operators including Transat, Air Canada Vacations, Goway and more are showing their appreciation for their retail partners with prizes and incentives in celebration of Travel Agent Day.With Transat, three travel agents will win a seven-night all inclusive vacation to one of these Karisma resorts: Azul Beach Resort The Fives Playa del Carmen, by Karisma; El Dorado Royale; and El Dorado Seaside Suites. In addition, agents will earn $30 Bonbon rewards on South, Europe and cruise packages. Three agents will earn $150 Bonbon rewards on all their bookings. For more information, consult Get Connected.Air Canada Vacations is giving away 10,000 ACV&ME points to three agents and five $250 gift cards. “Our trade partners are vital to our business, growth and success,” said George Platanitis, Vice President, Sales & Partnerships, Air Canada Vacations. “We value our partnerships and focus on celebrating and honouring agents throughout the year.”Agents can sign up for the ACV&ME loyalty program at aircanadavacations.com/agents to be automatically entered in the draw. The winners will be announced on May 31.Club Med has launched a special contest to thank its travel partners for their involvement, expertise and loyalty. From May 3 – 17 using the Club Med Check app agents are invited to test and improve their knowledge of the brand and face off against colleagues and fellow travel agents through mini-games for the chance to win a Club Med getaway. The agent who gets the highest aggregate score will win a seven-night stay for two at Club Med.“The launch of this application is a great opportunity to give life to our new signature ‘Club Med, Amazing You’, specifically to our travel partners” said Jacinda Lowry, National Sales Director, Club Med. “We want to thank them and reward their knowledge of Club Med with this contest, available through an innovative and intuitive program. We are going to amaze you!”Agents can download Club Med Check app available through the Apple Store and Google Play. Agents enter their email address and create a password, then enter the code: AGAN and start the game.Club Med also says agents can subscribe to its travel agent-dedicated website, clubmedagents.ca, as well as the Club Med Agents’ Facebook page: facebook/clubmed.english for contest details.Goway is sending coffee cards to all agents who book and deposit a Goway package May 3 -5. All agents who book in this period will also go into the draw to win a ‘Spa Day.’ One winner will be chosen.In a world of online this and “there’s an app for that”, today’s client is often lost in options, some of which are highly questionable, says Goway. That’s where the value of a travel agent lives. “Travel agents are integral to our business,” says company founder Bruce Hodge. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. At Goway, we work with agents from all over North America from small home-based agencies to large consortia. The most successful agents we have seen are those who take the time to learn what their clients are really looking for, never stop learning themselves, and are truly passionate about what they do but sometimes their efforts go unrecognized.”Porter Airlines has launched a month-long contest in honour of Travel Agent Day on May 3, to recognize travel agents for their commitment to passengers and to Porter. “Travel agents represent our brand and support our passengers throughout the travel experience. They are an essential part of our success,” says Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTTravel agents can register their Porter and Porter Escapes bookings on flyporter.com/agent from May 3 – 31 for the chance to win prizes including one of three weekly prizes of 25,000 VIPorter loyalty points, and one of two grand prizes of a weekend getaway for two to New York or Toronto (includes Porter flights for two, hotel stay and more). Weekly winners will be randomly selected on May 10, 17 and 24. Grand prize winners will be randomly selected on June 8. Travel agents must have a valid IATA or TICO number registered with Porter Airlines or Porter Escapes.In addition to the contest, Porter is providing travel agents, along with a companion, 30% off their next Porter flight. Book May 3 – 24 for travel completed by June 28.Totalstay has a two-fold incentive for agents. All agents who make a totalstay booking May 3 – 10 will have their names entered into a draw to win a 1-night hotel stay in the Canadian destination of their choice. Also during this time, agents who find one of 150 maple leaves hidden on the totalstay.com website have a chance to win a Canadian-themed gift basket in a prize draw. Totalstay has some 165,000 hotels and 10,000 destinations. Agents can log into their account at totalstay.com to check availability and to book online, or speak to email@example.com for more information.Now in its sixth year, Travel Agent Day has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Colleen Lorenzen’s office in Saskatoon. As the agent credited with coming up with the idea in the first place, Lorenzen, Operations Manager at Uniglobe Carefree Travel, says that Travel Agent Day was actually inspired by another group of professionals – secretaries.“One day our sales rep from Staples came in and was giving everyone a carnation for Secretary Day, and I thought if secretaries can have a day then so can we,” she says. “As a manager, we are always looking for ways to thank our staff for the great work that they do.”Before it was widely recognized as ‘Travel Agent Day’ in 2011, Lorenzen – who at the time sat on the board for the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors (CITC) – acknowledged the hard work of her agents each year on the first Wednesday in March by bringing in lunch, flowers and the like. Word of Lorenzen’s efforts spread to other CITC members, who all asked if they could do the same thing in their own offices. And the rest, as they say, is history.“Because I didn’t have a budget to get the word out, I started a Facebook page,” says Lorenzen, “and then at our Uniglobe Conference, I started to talk about it to suppliers and emailed them to let them know about TAD. Some of our suppliers took to the idea right away while others came onboard each year.”Today, Lorenzen’s Facebook page has close to 3,000 likes and features a steady stream of relevant industry tips and stories, exclusive agent offers, and humourous memes and videos. Open to anyone, facebook.com/TravelAgentDay is used to “promote the value of travel agents,” says Lorenzen, who also encourages agencies to post pictures of how their offices are celebrating TAD.“I think that some people don’t really know what it is that we do and it’s our job to let them know what we can do for them and why they should use us,” she adds. “Our suppliers are great and they continue to support us as they know that we’re on the frontlines selling their products.”More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”In fact, many of them take TAD beyond just one day, launching agent-exclusive offers throughout the month and, in some cases, throughout the year. TravelBrands has launched a nine-month campaign that includes a monthly draw for 100,000 Loyalty points and a grand prize of one million points. Air Canada Vacations is also celebrating agents with double the ACV&ME loyalty points on Canada and Europe bookings for the entire month of May, while The Travel Corporation will be treating some of its top agents to a celebration event on May 3.Anytime the travel industry takes notice of its frontline agents is a good thing, says Marco Pozzobon, Director, Marking, Communications and Partnerships at the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), especially since the Internet and OTAs are still taking a significant chunk of market share. But he says that consumers are now returning to agents, whose role in the industry remains as relevant as ever.“There may have been a brief period in recent history when most consumers believed travel agents were no longer needed. But we’ve seen that attitude starting to change,” he says. Even more, adds Pozzobon, the fact that we are living in the age of information makes travel agents more relevant than ever. “They’re able to cut through the clutter of the Internet, qualify the customer and propose customized itineraries while guaranteeing the best return on the investment.”The Internet will never go away, but there is a way for agents to co-exist with it and carve out their own niche, says Joe Gyuro of Kelowna, a former agent, general manager and co-owner of Mission Park Travel. He envisions a “new world order” where a compromise can be reached so that agents still have a role in the marketplace. “Maybe no longer doing simple transactions, point to point,” he notes, “but evolving into true professionals who can handle complex arrangements.”Gyuro says that as fewer agents will be needed, their expertise will have to be of a higher standard. This involves recognizing where they are the strongest and doing their best to gain that market share.“This could be complex international travel, adventure travel, special experiences travel, group travel or special needs travel. They must make contacts with similar parties around the world and use those contacts to make their travel arrangements unique and memorable. That will lead to repeat business and world of mouth acclaim,” he adds.The travel industry will continue to change, as Gyuro has seen throughout his illustrious 40-year career. “However, as the public sees how complex their arrangements can be, there will always be a segment who sees the value in guidance. There will always be a core group who would rather have an expert do what needs to be done than do it themselves.”And as long as there are travel agents there will always be Travel Agent Day, if Lorenzen has her way. She hopes to see TAD evolve to the point where it becomes part of the yearly calendar (“like Mother’s Day”), which would be the ultimate acknowledgement of a profession that many still believe is becoming obsolete.“The job is much harder than it used to be as we need to know more and stay on top of things that are happening around the world,” she says. “But travel agents will always adapt and continue to get better in this fast moving industry.” “Travel agents are integral to our business”: Deals and more to celebrate Travel Agent Day
Posted by Tags: Air Canada Vacations, FAMs Travelweek Group Share MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is bringing back its popular Mega Fams in Mexico & the Caribbean.The four fams range in price from $329 and $359, double occupancy, including taxes and other fees, and take place in the following destinations:Santa Clara or Cayo Coco from Montreal (three nights)Puerto Vallarta from Calgary (two nights)Saint Lucia from Toronto (two nights)Puerto Plata and Samana from Toronto (three nights)Connector flights will also be available.For agents who wish to add more luxury to the trip, upgrades to Premium Rouge will be available for $125 roundtrip, but spots are limited.During the Mega Fams, agents will enjoy special events on site, site inspections in various resorts including some that are exclusive to Air Canada Vacations, and a few local attractions.According to Dana Gain, Senior Director, Sales and Partnerships at Air Canada Vacations, “awareness and experience” are the main reasons why ACV brings travel agents to destinations.More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise Collection“There is nothing better than to experience a product firsthand in order to really understand it and present it effectively to customers,” she said. “The Mega Fams are an incredible way to achieve this, plus we guarantee you’ll have lots of fun!”To confirm their request, agents can register via the links below:YUL-SNU: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_snuYUL-CCC: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_cccYYC-PVR: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_pvrYYZ-UVF: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_uvfYYZ-AZS: https://aircanadavacations.formstack.com/forms/mega_fam_2018_registration_form_dr Tuesday, September 25, 2018 Register now for ACV’s Mega Fams in Cuba, Mexico, D.R. and Saint Lucia << Previous PostNext Post >>
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by This story originally ran in the Oct. 4, 2018 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here.TORONTO — Cruise companies have finally realized that it’s just as important, if not more so, to keep your travel agent partners onside as it is to build up and market your own call centre and direct booking channels.The relationship hasn’t been without its ups and downs but for the most part cruise lines have been a steadfast partner for the trade.It’s at the point where cruise bookings are such a core product for so many agencies that success (or lack of it) for the cruise industry can make or break travel agencies heavily invested in cruise sales.When cruise companies falter, travel agents feel it.While cruise fares have dipped slightly for the world’s biggest cruise company, Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald says there’s no cause for concern.Carnival Corp. recently posted its highest-ever quarterly performance, and that’s saying something, considering the cruise giant has been on a tear for the past few years with increasingly strong results.With 10 cruise line brands, and 11.5 million passengers a year – that’s half the entire global cruise market – Carnival Corp. and its ships cut a sizeable wake. Cruise lines including Carnival Corp., especially with its core brand Carnival Cruise Line, have been working hard in recent years to maintain price integrity and keep yields up, and to make bargain-basement cruise fares a thing of the past.Starting in June Carnival Corporation’s booking volumes for the first half of 2019 were running significantly higher than the prior year, at lower prices.But more recently, during the first half of September, booking volumes for the first half of next year were still running higher than last year and at higher prices too.Based on these booking trends, Carnival Corp. says it expects continued improvement when it comes to net revenue yields for the first half of 2019.More news: Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthGross revenue yields were up 4% in Q3. Net income for the company clocked in at US$1.7 billion, up from $1.3 billion. Revenues for the third quarter of 2018 were $5.8 billion, up from $5.5 billion.High fuel costs are an ongoing concern and Carnival, like every other company keeping an eye on fuel prices, has warned that climbing costs will put a dent in its Q4 results. Carnival Corp.’s Q3 2018 fuel bill was $434 million, up from $307 million in Q3 2017.For now at least, strong execution is overcoming fuel (and currency) headwinds, says Donald.Carnival and other cruise companies have been known to levy fuel surcharges, but so far haven’t resorted to this unpopular measure despite escalating fuel bills.Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain acknowledges that rising fuel costs are a concern for Royal Caribbean too – RCCL hedges about 50% of its fuel needs. While keeping an eye on fuel costs, RCCL, parent company of Royal Caribbean, is going full steam ahead with its $1 billion investment to upgrade RCI ships, transform private island CocoCay in the Bahamas and attract more Millennials.Just like Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is raking in the dollars, with revenues of US$2.3 billion for Q2.In an interview with CNBC, Fain said new ships like Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, heading into its first full year of sailing in 2019, and the much anticipated and soon to be launched Celebrity Edge with its cantilevered floating platform, have created a lot of good momentum “and that’s carrying us nicely into 2019.”“We’re constantly improving our ships. New features attract more customers, they pay more, and that gives us the money to build and enhance our ships,” says Fain.RCCL, already with several brands under its belt including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara, is now even bigger with its majority stake purchase of luxury line Silversea Cruises this summer, with three new ships on the way.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTMeanwhile Carnival Corp.’s capacity increases come with concerns about too many berths driving down prices and yields but Donald says there’s no cause for alarm.Carnival Corp. is spreading its capacity growth over a number of its brands and geographical regions “and we’re careful when and where we add capacity,” says Donald. Any over-concentration of capacity in individual markets will be temporary, he adds, and alleviated by new demand from the undersaturated cruise market.He adds: “We’re working aggressively to grow demand for our brands which will allow us to continue to fill our ships at increasingly attractive rates, while still providing a better value to the equivalent land-based alternative.”And while he first attributes Carnival Corp.’s performance to the Carnival Corp. team, he doesn’t forget the cruise company’s other, equally important team: travel agents. The record-breaking Q3 results, he says, “are a testament to the tens of thousands of travel professionals who so enthusiastically support our brand.” Overcapacity concerns, downward pressure on fares? No worries, say Carnival Corp., RCCL Kathryn Folliott Friday, October 12, 2018 Tags: Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Line Share About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019
No related posts. CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan authorities on Monday began a partial audit of the disputed election won by Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, as the opposition flatly rejected the move as insufficient.Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who says he was the real winner of the April 14 presidential vote, has accused election officials of rejecting his appeal for a full recount on the orders of the ruling Socialist Party.The National Electoral Board has ruled that President Nicolas Maduro – the leftist heir to the late Chávez – won by 1.49 percent of the vote, amending an earlier tally that had Maduro up by 1.8 percent.The board has insisted it is legally impossible to carry out a full recount, and that no audit can reverse Maduro’s win.The 40-year-old Capriles has said he will not accept anything short of a full recount, and in a Twitter posting on Monday he lashed out at Maduro, 50, calling him a “laggard who illegitimately has stolen the presidency.”Capriles has until May 6 to take his fight to the Supreme Court, and is widely expected to do so. On Sunday, Capriles said he would appeal to international organizations.Capriles – a businessman, lawyer and Miranda state governor – alleges that some voters cast multiple ballots or even used ballots belonging to people who had died.Both the government and Capriles have urged their supporters to turn out for massive street protests planned for May 1. Facebook Comments
Meet Speto. He’s an urban artist from Brazil, who draws his inspiration from hip-hop music and paints bombastic murals across São Paolo walls. He’s also one of many artists presenting this weeks’s International Design Festival (FID) in San José, which begins today.For this three-day event, diverse speakers hail from all over the world, and their presentations are multimedia feasts for the eyes. Founded in 2010, FID incorporates live music and an Art City Tour of San José, plus plenty of opportunities to sip cocktails and kibitz. The event is expected to draw about 2,000 attendees. Related posts:Tickets for Chicago’s iconic Lollapalooza music fest now on sale San José’s El Sótano catches a serious case of the blues Holocaust survivor honored for contributions to Inter-American Court of Human Rights Health Ministry shuts down Chocolate Festival Online ticket sales are no longer available, and latecomers must pay at the door. Owing to its popularity, the third edition of FID takes place at the massive Old Customs House (Aduana Antigua) in Barrio Escalante. The days are divided into themes: March 13 is the Day of Inspiration, Friday is the Day of Innovation and Saturday is the Day of Creativity. Each day is dedicated to different activities and events, exploring various aspects of design.Each day culminates in “FID Nights,” including discounted meals and libations at area restaurants and energetic after-parties. Will Club Vertigo be able to contain 2,000 bohemians for the final celebration on Saturday night? They may have to get creative.Festival Internacional de Diseño takes place March 13-14 at Aduana Antigua in Barrio Escalante, with associated events in other locations. $75-140. Info: Festival website. Facebook Comments
Related posts:Photo exhibit illustrates Brazil outside the World Cup ‘Cathedrals of Soccer’ worships the stadium 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Dino Real – ‘Everything can be art’ Art City Tour returns to San José for ‘Chepe in the Rain’ Facebook Comments Tonight’s Art City Tour, the periodic and popular event that bringsjosefinos out in droves for free visits to participating museums and galleries, will feature a brand-new stop: an art gallery in Barrio Escalante, in eastern San José, that will be inaugurated during the Tour.The gallery is the new venture of Costa Rican artist Brian Breness, whostudied design at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and works primarily with stop motion animation technique. He has taught various stop motion courses at the Central American Autonomous University (UACA) and the Costa Rican film center; he also works as a UCR researcher. His goal at the gallery is to provide people with accessible art, available at a wide range of prices.“I wanted to create a space that’s very inclusive and attractive for everyone,” Breness told The Tico Times. “The idea is to create art so anyone can have art.”One of the types of works the gallery offers are called camándulas, unique glass pieces with different materials inside.“These pieces are generic; they catalyzer the imagination. The material with which they’re made is a secret,” Breness said. Breness’ camándulas. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesThe gallery also has a series of prints known as dieciséisnueves, because of their measurements – 16 inches by 9 inches – and Tes, artistic T-shirts. The gallery will host acoustic music concerts on Saturdays. Each show will be recorded, and the gallery will then present those recordings through a peculiar format that scans the QR codes on a piece of cardboard.For tonight’s inauguration, Breness will feature an exhibit by renowned Costa Rican artist Rafael Ángel “Felo” García, also featuring the artist’s daughter Aby García, son Rafa García, and grandson Alberto Cruz García. The British Cultural Center, also located in Barrio Escalante, will hold a simultaneous García exhibit.The inauguration begins at 6:30 pm tonight, Nov. 20, as part of the Art City Tour. For more information, visit the gallery’s Facebook page or website. For Art City Tour details, visit the GAM Cultural website.
Related posts:Top US sponsors of FIFA urge football body to enact reforms Football: Day of FIFA reckoning for Blatter, Platini Platini deal was ‘gentleman’s agreement’ – FIFA’s Blatter Platini withdraws bid for FIFA presidency LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday backed a 90-day FIFA ban against Michel Platini, in a new blow to the Frenchman’s hopes of entering the FIFA’s presidential race.The decision means Platini will not be allowed to attend Saturday’s draw for the 2016 European Championship in his native France which he helped to organize as UEFA president.Platini, also a FIFA vice president, had been the favorite to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president until he was named in a Swiss criminal investigation in September.FIFA suspended Platini and Blatter in October while an investigation was held into a two million Swiss franc ($2 million) payment from FIFA.In its appeal to CAS, Platini’s lawyers insisted the football legend had done nothing wrong and was being unfairly blocked from campaigning for FIFA’s presidency. But the three CAS judges unanimously decided that no irreparable damage had been caused.The judges urged FIFA to quickly reach a final decision and also said there should be no extension to the suspension.Blatter and Platini now face hearings before FIFA’s ethics watchdog court on December 17 and 18 to answer for the payment made for work as an advisor. According to Platini’s lawyers, FIFA’s ethics investigators recommended Platini should be banned for life. Blatter also faces further punishment.FIFA’s verdict could be given as early as December 21.The provisional suspension of Blatter and Platini ends on January 5.SidelinedThe UEFA executive committee, which met in Paris on Friday, said it “took note of the CAS decision relating to the provisional suspension of its president Michel Platini and requests a swift disciplinary process by the relevant FIFA bodies on the merits of the case.“The UEFA executive committee once again supported Michel Platini’s right to a due process and the opportunity to clear his name.”Platini’s camp voiced optimism after the ruling. “Michel Platini knows he will ultimately be exonerated,” his lawyer Thibaud d’Ales told AFP.He said that given the emergence of new evidence — a 1998 UEFA document indicating that UEFA knew Platini had been made an advisor to Blatter — FIFA’s judges would not be able to issue a ruling before January 5.FIFA opened an investigation after Swiss prosecutors questioned a million Swiss franc payment Platini received from FIFA in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.Blatter and Platini acknowledge there was no contract for the fee, but insist that their “oral contract” is valid under Swiss law. Each insists there was no wrongdoing.Platini’s lawyers are particularly relying on the 1998 document. Switzerland’s attorney general confirmed Friday that it had taken possession of the UEFA document and other material.With the possibility of a lifetime suspension pending, a victory on Thursday would not have marked the end of Platini’s problems. But it would have been a symbolic win for the man who seemed on track to become the most powerful figure in the world’s most popular sport.It also would have left him free to take part in Saturday’s Euro 2016 draw in Paris. Organizers said Platini was not even in Paris on Friday.Blatter’s replacement will be decided by a vote of FIFA’s 209-member associations on February 26.Blatter’s 17-year tenure as FIFA’s president culminated with a major corruption scandal, which has seen 39 people within world football charged with corruption by the U.S. justice department.The Swiss national on Friday told Japan’s Nikkei business daily that he would be back in office in time for the February congress, but the impending verdict from FIFA’s ethics court could rule that out.In the meantime, the five confirmed presidential candidates continue to make their case to FIFA voters.They include France’s Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, South African business tycoon Tokyo Sexwale, Asia’s football chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Gianni Infantino, Platini’s deputy at UEFA.Op-Ed: Soccer needs new guardians, not Old Guard Facebook Comments
VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis on Saturday named a Spanish Franciscan to be the No. 2 at the Vatican’s office for religious orders, his first appointment to the Vatican bureaucracy badly in need of a shakeup.Jose Rodriguez, who also was elevated to archbishop, replaces U.S. Archbishop Joseph Tobin, who was transferred from the high-ranking Vatican post to a Midwestern U.S. archdiocese following his efforts to mediate tensions between the Vatican and American nuns, who in the view of theological conservatives had become too secular and political. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments Share Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Rodriquez, 60, is an outsider to the Vatican administration and comes from the world of religious orders, like Francis who is a Jesuit. Rodriguez is well-thought of among the orders, and last year was elected president of an international association that gathers the heads of the male orders. He has been twice elected head of the Franciscans’ Friars Minor order, one of the main branches of the Franciscan order founded by St. Francis of Assisi, the pope’s namesake.American nuns have seen the election of a Jesuit pope devoted to the poor as a glimmer of home following a Vatican crackdown under Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI. The nuns were accused of focusing too much on social justice _ one of Francis’ priorities _ at the expense of other church issues, like abortion.Rodriguez’ predecessor, Tobin, is now archbishop of Indianapolis, which has fewer than 230,000 parishioners.One of the important tasks facing Francis is the reform of the scandal-plagued Curia, or Vatican administration, which decides everything from bishop appointments and liturgy, to parish closings and discipline for abusive priests. Benedict commissioned a report on the Curia for papal eyes only following such scandals as VatiLeaks, in which Benedict’s butler leaked the pope’s private papers revealing feuding, corruption and cronyism at the highest levels of administration. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center 5 treatments for adult scoliosis
BERLIN (AP) – A small jet crashed in thick fog near an airfield in western Germany on Sunday, killing four people, police said.The Cessna Citation plane had taken off from southern England. It was approaching the Foehren airfield, near the city of Trier, when it clipped an electricity mast on the Koblenz-Trier railway line.The aircraft crashed shortly afterward near a landfill site and burst into flames.Police in Trier said all four people aboard were killed _ a 61-year-old businessman from the region and his 60-year-old wife, along with the pilot and co-pilot, who weren’t immediately identified. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Men’s health affects baby’s health too New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The vital role family plays in society Comments Share Sponsored Stories Top Stories There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help
WASHINGTON (AP) — With a bronze metal and glass structure taking shape on the National Mall, the Smithsonian Institution said Thursday that its new National Museum of African American History and Culture is on track to open in 2016.Over the past two weeks, workers have begun installing the bronze-color panels that will form the defining “corona” facade of Washington’s newest museum. The idea was inspired by an African headdress. Architects said it will appear as a glowing bronze crown in different lights. Construction workers install the bronze colored cladding that will form the “corona” on the under construction National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, Thursday, May 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Numerous individual donations of $25 and $50 have shown how important the museum is to so many people, Bunch said. Nearly 82,000 people have joined the museum as members to contribute to the building, representing every state.The museum has built a collection of 40,000 artifacts, and a staff of 160 is developing the 11 major exhibits that visitors will find at the opening next year. The exhibits will trace the history of slavery, segregation, civil rights and African-Americans’ achievements in the arts, entertainment, sports, the military and the wider culture.Bunch said it will be a museum for everyone to gain a fuller, more nuanced understanding of history.“The strength of this museum is that it seeks to use African American culture as a lens to understand what it means to be an American,” he said. “We’re all shaped by the African-American experience.”___National Museum of African American History and Culture: http://nmaahc.si.eduCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Four benefits of having a wireless security system 0 Comments Share The design is a significant departure from the mostly classical structures of Washington. Museum Director Lonnie Bunch said the idea for the metal lattice panels was meant to evoke the work of enslaved craftspeople and iron workers who created screens and designs popular in New Orleans and Charleston, South Carolina.“So much of the African-American experience is hidden in plain sight,” Bunch said during a briefing on the museum’s progress. “I thought: Wouldn’t it be powerful to take this building and in some ways make it a monument to all those people whose work shaped this country, whose work made the country possible but whose work is often forgotten.”After 10 years of work to develop the museum, Bunch said the building has reached a milestone as its defining elements become evident. The building is 18 months from completion. Bunch said he’s determined the museum will open before President Barack Obama leaves office so that the nation’s first black president can cut the ribbon.The Smithsonian has raised $476 million in public and private funds. Congress provided half the building funds and money for staffing, and about $200 million has been raised privately from corporations, foundations and individuals. The Smithsonian still must raise as much as $70 million more to finish the project, Bunch said. Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like
5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist WASHINGTON (AP) — A judge deciding whether President Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin can live full-time outside a mental hospital said Tuesday that it’s a “very hard decision,” but one he knew he would have to make eventually when he “opened the door a crack” for John Hinckley Jr. a dozen years ago.“I knew this day would come. How could it not? That doesn’t make the decision any easier,” Judge Paul L. Friedman said at the end of a seven-day hearing on Hinckley’s freedom. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Friedman has incrementally expanded Hinckley’s freedom since ruling in 2003 that he could leave St. Elizabeth’s hospital for daylong visits with his family. Hinckley now spends 17 days a month at his mother’s home in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the hospital and his lawyers say he’s ready to live there full-time. The government wants more restrictions, to ensure Hinckley won’t be a danger.The judge seems to be preparing to allow Hinckley to live full-time with his 89-year-old mother, as long as he abides by certain restrictions. He asked both sides to draft a roadmap for what that might look like, working together on a document that lays out the restrictions they can agree on as well as where they disagree.There are many points of agreement, the judge noted. Both sides agree Hinckley, who turns 60 this month, must continue to see a psychiatrist and therapist. They also agree he should make at least monthly visits to St. Elizabeth’s, where he has lived since being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1981 shooting that injured Reagan and three others. They agree there should be certain restrictions on his travel.But prosecutors also want more stringent conditions, including requiring Hinckley to create a weekly itinerary saying where he will go and putting a GPS tracking device on the car he uses. They also want Hinckley to start wearing a monitoring bracelet on his ankle, a condition the judge suggested he would not agree to. Prosecutor Colleen Kennedy said the proposal made by St. Elizabeth’s and Hinckley’s lawyers is “not a safe plan.”“There is too much of a risk to the community,” she said.Barry Levine, Hinckley’s long-time attorney, called the government’s proposal “punitive,” and told the judge the law requires that Hinckley be allowed to live under least restrictive conditions that ensure the public’s safety.The mental illness that drove Hinckley to shoot Reagan in a delusional effort to impress actress Jodie Foster has been in full and sustained remission for years, Levine has said. He said Hinckley has shown he is a “law-abiding citizen” and not dangerous, and he accused the government of “fear-mongering.”Deon Merene, a lawyer for the hospital, told the judge that Hinckley has recovered his sanity. There “will always be some risk,” but Hinckley poses a “low risk of danger at this time,” she said.The judge has not indicated when he will issue a written ruling, but near the end of the hearing, he said “I won’t be seeing you for a while, Mr. Hinckley.”“Correct,” Hinckley answered. Comments Share Sponsored Stories Barry Levin, attorney for John Hinckley arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. A judge who will decide whether to let the would-be assassin of President Ronald Reagan live full time outside a mental hospital will hear closing arguments in the case. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona ___Follow Jessica Gresko at https://twitter.com/jessicagresko.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments Share Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis How men can have a healthy 2019 Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algerian army troops killed 21 armed Islamic extremists who were meeting Tuesday in a forest to plan attacks on the country’s capital, a ranking gendarmerie official said.The official said that two others were captured in the assault on the group meeting in the Boukram forest in Boumerdes, some 20 kilometers (about 13 miles) from Algiers. A dozen Kalashnikovs, three rocket launchers and dozens of homemade bombs were recovered. It was the deadliest assault on extremists in recent times in Algeria where al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, carries out sporadic attacks east of Algiers.The official, in the gendarmerie’s command post in Boumerdes, said intelligence sources had informed the army of the meeting. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak publicly about the operation.The official described the dead as “terrorists,” the habitual reference for AQIM which operates in the region, sometimes striking at security forces in a drum of low-level violence.The last major attack in Algeria was the attack on a desert oil plant in January 2013 that left 40 hostages, mainly foreigners, dead. It was claimed by a group headed by the feared Mokhtar Belmokhtar, loyal to al-Qaida but not to its Algeria branch.AQIM struck in the Algerian capital in December 2007 in a double bombing that demolished U.N. offices, killing 17 U.N. staffers, and damaged the Constitutional Council building across town.There was no immediate official reaction to Tuesday’s army assault.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
5 ways to recognize low testosterone But the justices divided over why the law violated the rights of the Good News Community Church.The church complained that the law forced the church to put up smaller signs than those for political candidates, real estate agents and others. The church’s signs also could be in place for short periods of time.Lower federal courts upheld the town’s sign ordinance, saying the distinction it drew between different kinds of temporary signs was not based on what a sign said.Justice Clarence Thomas rejected that argument in his majority opinion for six of the nine justices. Thomas said political signs are “given more favorable treatment than messages announcing an assembly of like-minded individuals. That is a paradigmatic example of content-based discrimination.”Under the rigorous review the court gives to laws that treat speakers differently because of content, the law must fall, Thomas said.Justice Elena Kagan said she fears that all sign ordinances now will have to face the same strict review and many “are now in jeopardy” because of Thursday’s decision.There was a narrower way to decide the case in the church’s favor, Kagan said. The town’s defense of its sign ordinance was marked by the “absence of any sensible basis” for distinguishing between signs and did not pass “even the laugh test,” she said. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday for an Arizona church in a dispute over a town’s sign law in a decision that three justices said could threaten municipal sign regulations across the country.The court unanimously agreed to strike down a law in Gilbert, Arizona, that set tougher rules for signs that direct people to Sunday church services than for signs for political candidates and real estate agents. Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined Kagan’s opinion.Thomas said the decision would not prevent cities and towns from regulating signs to take account of safety and aesthetic concerns.The Good News Community Church is led by Pastor Clyde Reed and serves roughly 30 adults and up to 10 children, but lacks its own building. The church and Reed sued Gilbert for treating religious groups more severely than others, alleging violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedoms.The sign ordinance struck down Thursday allowed directional signs, like the ones put up by the church inviting people to Sunday worship, to be no larger than 6 square feet. They had to be placed in public areas no more than 12 hours before an event and removed within an hour of its end.Signs for political candidates, by contrast, can be up to 32 square feet and stay in place for several months.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too
How men can have a healthy 2019 “The raid is the latest incident in a pattern of arbitrary arrests and harassment of transgender women in Malaysia,” it said.Human Rights Watch has called Muslim-majority Malaysia one of the world’s worst countries for transgender people as they face constant harassment, sexual abuse and arrest by Islamic authorities.Since the 1980s, every state has passed Shariah criminal enactments that institutionalize discrimination against transgender people. All 13 Malaysian states prohibit Muslim men from “dressing as women,” while three states also criminalize “women posing as men,” it said.Malaysian transgender rights activist Thilaga Sulathireh said one of the nine transgender women was celebrating her birthday with family and friends in a private party at a hotel when they were detained. She said the two were sentenced to jail because they had been arrested several times previously for cross-dressing.“Laws against cross-dressing not only deny transgender women in Malaysia their fundamental rights but also contribute to a hostile environment,” said Thilaga, who is with the Justice for Sisters group.Last November, three Muslim transgenders won a landmark ruling in a civil court against Shariah law banning them from cross-dressing. The Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the Shariah law in southern Negeri Sembilan state was discriminatory as it failed to recognize men diagnosed with gender identity issues and deprived transgenders of the right to live with dignity. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The state’s Islamic Religious Department has appealed the ruling to the top Federal Court, with a hearing due in August.Figures for how many people have been arrested and sentenced under the law are not known, but Human Rights Watch last year said it interviewed transgender women who said they had been jailed from four months to three years. Several of them were placed in male wards, where they face sexual assault from both guards and other prisoners, it said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Human Rights Watch on Monday criticized a Malaysian Islamic court for fining nine Muslim transgender women for cross-dressing and jailing two of them for a month.Religious authorities in northeastern Kelantan state arrested the group in a raid on June 16 and they pleaded guilty the next day, the New York-based watchdog said in a statement. Their lawyer has filed an appeal and the two sentenced to jail were released on bail pending the outcome, it said. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 0 Comments Share Top Stories Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Parents, stop beating yourself up
BAGHDAD (AP) — A series of attacks targeting public places killed 12 people in Baghdad on Saturday, said Iraqi authorities, as the prime minister announced the arrest of an aide to Saddam Hussein.Police officials say a car bomb went off about noon Saturday near shops selling car parts in southeastern Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 13 others.Another bomb blast at an outdoor market killed three shoppers and wounded eight in the city’s eastern suburbs. Also, police said a bomb exploded near a row of shops in the capital’s western neighborhood of Baiyaa, killing two and wounding 10. Sponsored Stories Al-Abadi provided no details on the arrest, except that al-Sadun was captured on Thursday.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments Share Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Later on, a bomb blast near a vegetable and fruit wholesale market in southern Baghdad killed two people and wounded three others.Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. Iraq sees near-daily attacks that are claimed by the Islamic State group.Meanwhile, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Saturday that security forces arrested Abdel Baqi al-Sadun, a senior official in the disbanded Baath Party.Al-Sadun has been at large since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. During the Hussein era, he was in charge of Baath party formations in southern Iraq and he is wanted for his role in repressing of the Shiite uprising in 1991.“I have the pleasure to announce the good news that our security forces were able to arrest the wanted Abdel Baqi al-Sadun. The operation was purely an Iraqi one,” said al-Abadi in a speech aired on state television.Al-Sadun was part of the U.S. military deck of cards containing images of the 55 Saddam regime figures the U.S. military was particularly interested in capturing. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Vigorous campaigning on Australian television, bus sides, magazines and newspapers have proved successful for Egypt after a 17.8 percent increase in Australian visitors for the first half of this year compared to the previous year. The ads from the Egyptian Tourism Authority are made up of six mysterious attractions in Egypt and exciting activities were exposed in the images with the new logo and slogan.“The Australian market has high potential for growth and ETA will continue to attract Australian visitors with continuous and various PR and marketing activities,” Egyptian Tourism Authority Tourism Counsellor of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, Mr Ibrahim Khalil said.
Source = Kuoni Destination Management Asian Trails, the unit of Kuoni Destination Management in Asia, was adjudged “Best Travel Agency Indochina” at the 21st TTG Travel Awards 2010 Ceremony and Gala Dinner. The event was held at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre October 7, 2010.TTG Travel Awards has been recognising the luminaries of the travel industry since 1989. They are reputed to be the most coveted and influential awards in the region’s travel industry. Over 700 eminent trade professionals in Asia-Pacific attend this annual event.Recipients of the Travel Agent Awards and Travel Supplier Awards category are determined by votes cast by TTG readers across Asia-Pacific. This year, a total number of 48 300 nominations were received.“We are delighted, proud and honoured to have received this award for the fourth consecutive year. Our dedicated teams in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh and Vientiane have worked hard to earn this title,” said Luzi Matzig, CEO of Asian Trails.
Source = Visitor Centre Association of WA The Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia (VCAWA) is pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2012 West Australian Newspapers Golden i Award – Visitor Centre Manager of the Year.This annual award recognizes a nominee’s outstanding contribution to the many aspects of visitor servicing and how that contribution has been of benefit to the development of tourism in their area.The recipient will be presented with a cash prize of $1,000 kindly sponsored by West Australian Newspapers, a framed certificate and a Golden i Award trophy for their keeping, as well as receiving a free full registration to attend the 2013 Visitor Servicing State conference.Mr Ian Jones from West Australian Regional Newspapers said “We are now in our 6th year of this fantastic award and we are so proud here at West Australian Newspapers to be recognising, supporting and acknowledging the hard work that Visitor Centre Managers do for our Tourism industry in WA”.Previous winners have included –– 2007 – Glenys Russell from the Kojonup Visitor Centre– 2008 – Felicity Anderson from the Bunbury Visitor Centre– 2009 – Scott Fleming from the Swan Valley Visitor Centre– 2010 – Narelle Brook from the Kununurra Visitor Centre– 2011 – Justine Nagorski from the Denmark Visitor CentreMr Scott Fleming from the 2012 Judging Panel said “As the winner of this award in 2009, I understand how valuable the Golden i Award is for recognising not only the individuals but the whole of the Visitor Servicing sector in our State.Visitor Centre Managers work tirelessly to ensure that the visitor experience is of a high quality, so it’s wonderful that we can take time to reward and recognise their individual efforts”. On behalf of the judging panel, we are looking forward to finding that manager who constantly strives for excellence and adds value to Visitor Servicing”.Nominations open on Wednesday 11th July and close on Wednesday 1st August. A written submission is then required to be submitted and the closing date is Friday the 17th of August 2012. Once the written submissions have been received the judging panel will commence a desktop assessment and announce the finalists for the awards. The finalists will then participate in a 30 minute telephone interview with the judging panel and the winning entrant of the 2012 West Australian Newspaper Golden i Award will be announced at the Gala Dinner, which is part of the Annual Visitor Servicing Conference being held in Mandurah on Thursday the 20th of September 2012.The Visitor Centre Association of WA is a not-for-profit peak industry body, representing more than 102 Visitor Centres and sub-representation of approximately 4,500 tourism businesses throughout Western Australia.