Top Stories Top holiday drink recipes Sponsored Stories At the end of 2014, the prison attack was the deadliest terrorist operation in the world since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the report.Despite all indications pointing toward increased violence, the State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator said the numbers didn’t reflect improvements by the U.S. and its partners in stamping out terrorism financing, improving information sharing, impeding foreign fighters and forming a coalition to fight the Islamic State. “We have made progress,” Ambassador Tina Kaidanow said.Attacks occurred in 95 countries last year but were concentrated in the Mideast, South Asia and West Africa. Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria accounted for more than 60 percent of the attacks. Adding Syria, they comprised roughly 80 percent of the fatalities, the report found.The rise in kidnappings is mainly attributable to the mass abductions by terrorist groups in Syria, notably the Islamic State and the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front.In Nigeria, Boko Haram was responsible for most, if not all, of the nearly 1,300 abductions, including several hundred girls from a school in Chibok. By contrast, the report cited fewer than 100 terror-related kidnappings reported in Nigeria in 2013. Four benefits of having a wireless security system 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The terrorism statistics are an annex to the State Department’s “Country Reports on Terrorism,” an annual survey of attacks and trends mandated by Congress.Friday’s reports noted the “unprecedented seizure” of territory in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State, its ability to recruit foreign fighters to join its cause and the emergence of self-proclaimed affiliates, notably in Libya, Egypt and Nigeria. It cited a rise in so-called lone wolf attacks in the West and terrorists employing more extreme methods of violence to repress and frighten communities under their control.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Yet even as the Islamic State and the Taliban were blamed for most of the death and destruction in 2014, the department’s annual terrorism report underscored the ongoing threat posed by Iran and its proxies across the Islamic world and beyond.Tehran increased its assistance to Shiite militias fighting in Iraq and continued its long-standing military, intelligence and financial aid to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s embattled government and Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. While the 388-page study said Iran has lived up to interim nuclear deals with world powers thus far, it gave no prediction about how an Iran flush with cash from a final agreement would behave.World powers and Iran are trying to conclude an accord by the end of the month, setting 15 years of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for significant relief from the international sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.The negotiations don’t involve Iran’s support for militant groups beyond its border. But Israel and the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf, Iran’s regional rivals, fear a fresh wave of terrorism as a result of any pact. President Barack Obama, hoping to ease their fears, has said most of the money would go to Iran’s economic development. America’s “grave concern about Iran’s support for terrorism remains unabated,” White House spokesman Eric Shultz said. “That is all the more reason that we need to make sure they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon.”In total last year, nearly 33,000 people were killed in almost 13,500 terrorist attacks around the world, according to the figures that were compiled for the State Department by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. That’s up from just over 18,000 deaths in nearly 10,000 attacks in 2013.Twenty-four Americans were killed by extremists in 2014, the report said. And abductions soared to 9,428 in the calendar year from 3,137 in 2013.The report attributes the rise in attacks to increased terror activity in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria and the sharp spike in deaths to a growth in exceptionally lethal attacks in those countries and elsewhere.There were 20 attacks that killed more than 100 people each in 2014, compared to just two a year earlier, the report said. Among those were December’s attack by the Pakistani Taliban on a school in Peshawar that killed at least 150 people and the June attack by Islamic State militants on a prison in Mosul, Iraq, in which 670 Shiite prisoners died. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran’s support for international terrorist groups remained undiminished last year and even expanded in some respects, the Obama administration said Friday, less than two weeks before the deadline for completing a nuclear deal that could provide Tehran with billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions.The assessment offered a worrying sign of even worse terror-related violence to come after a year in which extremists in the Middle East, Africa and Asia committed 35 percent more terrorist acts, killed nearly twice as many people and almost tripled the number of kidnappings worldwide. Statistics released by the State Department on Friday also pointed to a tenfold surge in the most lethal kinds of attacks.
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility This satellite image taken by the JMA MTSAT-2 satellite at 9;30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 9, 2015, shows Tropical Storm Linfa, left, tracking westward parallel to the coast of China, and Typhoon Chan-hom, over the Ryukyu Trench south of Okinawa, Japan, on a track heading northwest toward the China coast north of Wenzhou. Southeastern provinces in China were alerted about possible flooding and severe weather this week from both approaching storms. (NOAA via AP) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments Share Zhejiang’s Civil Affairs Bureau said nearly 60,000 people were evacuated from coastal areas. The country’s railway service said more than 100 trains between the region’s cities are canceled through Sunday.In the seaside city of Zhoushan, all flights in and out of its airport have been canceled. The city has halted bus services and speedboat ferry services. Several tourist spots also were closed. In the nearby port city of Ningbo, 23 flights were canceled, the airport said.Several area cities also have announced suspension of inter-city bus services.The storm earlier dumped rain on northern Philippines and was expected to pass by Taiwan, where several flights were suspended. The stock market and public offices were closed Friday in Taipei, the island’s capital, authorities announced.Southern China already was struck by another typhoon earlier this week. Typhoon Linfa displaced 56,000 people in southern Guangdong province.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have evacuated tens of thousands of people, canceled scores of trains and flights and shuttered seaside resorts as a super-typhoon with wind gusts up to 200 kilometers per hour (125 mph) heads toward the southeastern coast.China’s national weather service said super Typhoon Chan-hom is expected to make landfall by early Saturday at Fujian or Zhejiang province, and has issued its highest-level alert. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Mesa family survives lightning strike to home The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Quick workouts for men Sponsored Stories Top Stories
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Kangaroo Island could be facing major travel redevelopment as the South Australian Government aims to double tourism into the island over the next ten years.As part of the makeover, the Government has commenced a study into the island’s airport, major roads and ferry terminals, ABC News reported.”One of the issues with the island is, of course, the opportunity to get here,” Tourism Minister John Rau said.”Presently the size of the aircraft that can land safely at Kingscote is limited.”We’re looking at improving the airport facilities, the runway and the terminal so that we can have larger aircraft come in.”In total the region will receive up to $18 million to develop and expand its facilities, with $8 million set aside for road improvements and $5 million to build a new walking trail.
PEAK Adventure Travel Group has become the sole owner of the Intrepid Connection business after purchasing the remaining 50 percent from Australian Pacific Tourism (APT) late last week.The other 50 percent of the company was purchased in January 2010 by PEAK’s subsidiary company Intrepid Travel.A statement from PEAK read that travellers already booked with Intrepid Connections will not experience any disruptions as the newly acquired company will continue to operate as a separate brand.However, from 2 and 31 October, PEAK said it will consolidate both Intrepid Connections Australian operations and its other company Adventure Tours Australia (ATA) into a newly named PEAK NT Operations Centre in Alice Springs and Darwin. “The sales and marketing of Intrepid Connections trips will continue to operate from Melbourne. ATA’s sales and marketing will continue to operate from Adelaide,” the statement read. PEAK Adventure Travel Group chief executive Darrell Wade added that the move to purchase the remaining 50 percent was taken in consideration of the company’s future benefits. “Australian tourism has been knocked for six by the soaring Aussie dollar over the past 12 months but we are confident that this is cyclical and the industry will recover in the long-term,” Mr Wade explained. “This move places us in a strong position when the industry does return to health.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
South Australia’s tourism industry has welcomed a spike in domestic visitor expenditure, beating out the national growth over the past year.According to statistics released by the latest National Visitor Survey statistics, the state saw a 7.4 percent domestic visitor expenditure growth while nationally there was a zero percent increase.International visitor expenditure in South Australia also exceeded the national level with a jump of 4.7 percent compared to 3.9 percent for the rest of the country. Visitor numbers to South Australia also spiked for the year compared to the previous period by 6.1 percent. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J A day after announcing cuts to its Northern Territory network, Qantas has announced a capacity increase on routes across the east coast.The extra 25,800 seats per week over 2012/13 will see the airline add 11 return services between Sydney and Melbourne from 9 July this year as well as 11 return services between Sydney and Brisbane from 23 August this year.Jetstar will also add services including 21 return services between Sydney and Melbourne from 16 August this year and seven return services between Sydney and Adelaide from 15 November this year, Sydney and Ballina-Byron as well as Sydney and the Gold Coast both from 18 April 2013.Three return Jetstar flights will also be added between Adelaide and Gold Coast from 18 April 2013 as well as four return flights between Newcastle and Gold Coast.For more information click back onto e-Travel Blackboard tomorrow.
Public voting opens for Australia’s Favourite EventThe race is on for Australia’s Favourite Event as the Australian Event Awards seek to determine the country’s most loved event.Thirty-one events across the nation are vying to be crowned Australia’s Favourite Event after being selected by the panel of industry experts on the Event Awards judging panel.Anyone in Australia with an email address can cast a vote for Australia’s Favourite Event by heading to www.eventawards.com.au.All the nominees are public events held in Australia between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015. Nominees include major festivals, charity, community, regional and sporting events, conferences and exhibitions.Nominated festivals include Vivid Sydney 2015, Glow Winter Arts Festival in Melbourne, WOMADelaide, The Perth International Arts Festival and The Falls Music and Arts Festival, Marion Bay in Tasmania.Sporting events include Australian Open Tennis 2015 in Melbourne, Santos Tour Down Under 2015 in South Australia, and the Tottenham Hotspur FC International Football Tour in New South Wales.Other nominated events include Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster in Western Australia, Cisco Live 2015, Australia in Melbourne, the Gold Coast International Marine Expo, La Dolce Italia in Melbourne, the Hawaiian Ride for Youth 2015 in Western Australia and Buskers by the Creek in Queensland.This is the first year Event Awards judges have been responsible for nominating candidates, lending the traditional public vote a critical seal of approval.Finalists for Australia’s Favourite Event will be announced on 5 November based on votes cast. The battle for Australia’s Favourite Event will continue for the finalists until voting closes at 9pm on Tuesday, 17 November, with the winner announced at the end of the Australian Event Awards that evening at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont, Sydney.Source = Australian Event Awards
Barry MayoHow long can Government continue to ignore consumer losses?Another travel agency closure has been reported in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and on Radio Station 2GB, just 18 days following the consumer coverage of Australian Escapes closure and subsequent re-trading as Australian Escapes Holiday and Travel Club. It has been reported that New South Wales based Baulkham Hills Travel, failed to open after Easter and is now being investigated for fraud.TravelManagers’ Chairman Barry Mayo knows the detrimental effect each and every negative media report has on Australian’s travelling public.“Consumer confidence in the integrity of the travel industry will be diminishing with the ongoing negative media coverage. The real worry is that consumers are not reading stories about the immense value travel agents provide their clients in co-creating the most incredible personalized holiday or travel experience, yet continue to consistently read stories about travel agency closures and resultant consumer losses.”A spokesperson from NSW Fair Trading has reportedly advised clients ‘who have not received goods and services paid for by credit card, may choose to contact their financial institution to dispute the payment and inquire about a chargeback. Mayo notes that there is no guarantee of a refund for customers who paid by credit card as any chargeback would be subject to that customer’s financial institution’s terms and conditions.“As having been previously reported that an average of a third of purchases through travel agents are paid by credit card and chargeback’s are not generally applicable to the majority of customers, this will provide little comfort to those customers out of pocket.”The NSW Fair Trading also has been reported commenting on the automatic protections under The Australian Consumer Law.“Unfortunately, unlike whitegoods and other physical products the automatic protections under the Australian Consumer Law do not generally apply when there is no actual delivery of product and are therefore unlikely to assist with recovery of losses when an agency is liquidated,” says Mayo.Mayo, knows this ninth reported travel agency closure since May 2015, will not be the last.“Stories of agency collapses and consumer losses will continue to appear as long as the industry cannot offer some form of universal consumer protection as was previously afforded consumers under the Travel Compensation Fund. The industry should be extremely worried about the cumulative and long term detrimental affect these types of negative media reports will have on their future business.”Mayo asks a simple question.“Is it appropriate for the government to continue ignoring the plight of impacted consumers considering the damage this negative publicity is doing to the travel agent industry? It cannot be argued, this is an important element of the country’s tourism infrastructure and as such should be given top priority.Access to the Daily Telegraph report is available here. About TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.Source = TravelManagers Australia
Expedia launches direct communication tool for Australian hoteliersThe Expedia group’s Australian hotel partners can benefit from better dialogue and engagement with booked guests following the roll out of Expedia® PartnerCentral (EPC) Conversations.EPC Conversations, accessible through Expedia® PartnerCentral, is designed to be an easy-to-use platform that opens the lines of communication between booked guests and hoteliers via a message centre. Guests can start a conversation by asking a question or submitting a special request at time of booking. Alternatively, the hotelier can reach out directly to the guest. The tool empowers hoteliers to:Create good first impressions and set guest expectations with a custom welcome messageBuild meaningful relations and enhance the guest experience by sharing check-in details or alerting guests when their rooms are readyAcknowledge, confirm and manage special requestsProvide information about the property’s services (spas, concierges, restaurants, etc.)Drew Bowering, Director of Market Management, Australia for Expedia® Lodging Partner Services, said: “Hoteliers have requested the ability to communicate directly with guests having made a booking across Expedia Group websites. EPCConversations was developed to answer this need, allowing both the guest and the hotelier to interact with each other, to engage from the moment the reservation is made and create memorable hotel experiences.”“According to a recent study by Gallup, there is a strong relationship between guests’ engagement with the hotel and the amount of money they spend. EPC Conversations was designed to maximise guest engagement, creating opportunities for Expedia hotel partners to increase their top line revenues.”Daniel Wilson, Reservation Manager at the Watermark Hotel Brisbane, said: “Being able to respond to guests’ reviews in real time really helps us show that we care about their experience with us. It adds a personal touch that’s sometimes lacking in an age of technology. With Expedia® PartnerCentral Conversations, we can show guests there’s a real person on the other end, listening and responding to their concerns. Most importantly, it does all this without imposing on the guest – it’s a convenient and discreet way for them to share feedback.”EPC Conversations is just one of the ways Expedia® PartnerCentral enables hoteliers to connect with guests. Real-time Feedback provides hoteliers immediate visibility into guest sentiment by soliciting real-time feedback after check-in by answering three quick questions so hoteliers can address concerns while the guest is still on the property. Expedia® PartnerCentral also provides easy access to post-trip reviews from across all Expedia sites, allowing hoteliers to identify guest feedback that requires attention and thank guests for staying with them. Expediabook your flights hereSource = Expedia
Source = Collette From left to right: Victoria Sales Manager Diego Iraheta awarding Flight Centre Altona agent Elise Elmer with double Collette Cash Agents to earn DOUBLE Collette Cash this Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving!Agents to earn DOUBLE Collette Cash this Thursday and Friday for ThanksgivingCollette has just announced that to celebrate Thanksgiving, it is offering agents the chance to earn DOUBLE the amount of Collette Cash!“Thanksgiving is an important holiday for Collette. We are a US-based family-owned business and this year, we have a lot to be thankful for! We have experienced excellent growth in the Australian market and what better way to share our success than to reward our hardworking agents,” said Alison Mead, Australian Business Manager, Collette.Collette Cash was recently introduced by the global tour operator as a major incentive which rewards agents for their support and offers them the chance to experience Collette tours first hand.Through this incentive, agents are given the opportunity to earn $500 for every deposited booking made between now and 31st December 2016, to put towards a tour of their choice valued up to $4,000.Terms: Valid for bookings made between 15 October and 31 December 2016, for travel on departures through to 30 April 2018. Must redeem vouchers prior to 30 June 2017. Vouchers not redeemable for cash. Vouchers can only be redeemed on Collette base tour product with availability and guaranteed status. Not combinable with any other offer or agent incentives. Not valid on group bookings. Not valid on FAM travel.For more information contact Collette on: 1300 792 195 or AUsales@collette.com Collettediscover more here
Three nights FREE Fiji sailThree nights FREE Fiji sailCaptain Cook Cruises Fiji has a released a ‘Three Nights Free Sail’ with savings of up to AUD$1495 per person. Book any 11 night Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise, 7 night Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands cruise and 7 night 4 Cultures or Colonial Discovery cruise and receive three nights free. This deal is on sale until 28 February, 2017 and valid for travel until 31 March 2018.All 7 and 11 night cruises are aboard the 130-passenger, fully accommodated MV Reef Endeavour small ship cruise vessel. The newly refurbished ship can visit parts of Fiji larger ships cannot get to and passengers have the unique experience of visiting remote villages, churches and schools and taking part in traditional village sevusevu ceremonies and Meke and Lovo feasts.As well as being immersed in Fijian culture there is plenty of time for relaxing on white sandy beaches, swimming in crystal clear waters and snorkelling or diving in spectacular blue lagoons. Passengers can even take a glass bottom boat ride to witness the thriving marine life on Fiji’s coral reefs.Stay on-board and be pampered at the ships Senikai Day Spa, or simply relax on the sun deck by the spa or pool, or grab a cocktail at the pool bar.Dining is another vital ingredient of these amazing cruises. Whether it is an alfresco luncheon, a casual barbecue or table d’hote dinner, all food is prepared on board from fresh local and imported produce and cultural on-board entertainment adds a special flavour to the mix.A complimentary Kids Club is available for children 5 9 years where children can make new friends, have lots of fun and learn about and experience the Fijian culture. Kids Club operates between 9.00am and 12noon, 2.00pm to 5.00pm and from 6pm and 9pm.The 7-night Yasawa Islands and Mamanuca cruise departs Port Denarau every Tuesday and Saturday for the ultimate Southern and Northern Yasawa Island experience.The 7-nights 4 Cultures Discovery cruise circumnavigates Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island and visits four distinctive Fijian cultures including Ellice Islanders (Polynesians), Banabans (Micronesia), Fijians and Indians. The cruise visits the islands of Kioa, Rabi, Labasa Town on Vanau Levu, Kia Island and the world’s third longest barrier reef, “The Great Sea Reef”.Scheduled 2017 and 2018 departure dates for 4 Cultures Discovery Cruise include 02 May and 05 September 2017 and 02 January 2018.The 7- nights Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise reveals the unique history, art and culture of the Northern Fiji Islands and allows passengers the ultimate experience of ‘standing’ on the 180th Meridian, the natural dateline. The cruise also visits the recently Heritage listed old capital of Fiji, Levuka on the island of Ovalau; Taveuni, the garden island; and Savusavu, a town of hot springs and Pearl farms.Scheduled 2017 departure dates for the Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise include 07 February, 04 April, 06 June, 01 August and 05 December 2017.The eleven nights Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise explores the lengths of the Lau Islands and Kadavu, a part of Fiji rarely seen by tourists. The cruise visits the islands of Makogai, a freshwater swimming hole on Lavena, Qilaqila, Oneata Wailagilala, Fulaga, Kabara, Vuaqava, Totoya, and Kadavu.Departure dates for the Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise include 03 January, 07 March and 07 November 2017 and 06 March 2018.The ‘Three Nights Free’ cruise sale is on sale until 28 February 2017 and valid for travel until 31 March 2018.Prices for the ‘Three nights Free Sail’ for the seven night Yasawa Islands and Discovery cruises start from AUD$1995 per person twin share, normally AUD$3140 per person twin share and prices for the eleven-night discovery cruise start from AUD$3990 per person twin share, normally AUD$5485 per person twin share.All fares include shipboard accommodation, all meals, guided village, school and island tours, snorkelling and glass bottom boat excursions, daily island stopovers and water activities, hikes and Kayak safaris, on board entertainment, kids club (5-9 yrs), onboard Wi-Fi, 24-hour self-service tea and coffee bar, post cruise transfers to Nadi and Denarau hotels and Nadi airport and use of the ship’s facilities including a swimming pool, spa’s, mini gym, sun deck, cocktail bar and library.For further information and bookings visit www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com or contact your local travel agent.
May the service be with you learn more about roomsXML.com hereSource = roomsXML.com There were 2 Jedi cars in attendance As in 2015, the event was supported by “501st Legion” who, for a charitable donation will support a Star Wars event. This year guests were also treated to a visit by the “Rebel Legion”. For their trouble, roomsXML donated $2,000 to Project Karma.Sasha from roomsXML says “They are such a fun group of people, giving up their time and giving the kids and their parents a thrill. It’s a great cause.”But wait, there’s more. Mark explains“As we only had limited spots competition for the tickets was pretty intense. One very excitable agent sent a picture of himself in his Darth Vader costume next to his customised number plates of “Jedi”.“Jeff Dimond from FBI Travel said the plates were because of his name…but he’s a top sport. He came as Darth and for that, on behalf of roomsXML and FBI Travel, we donated a further $1,000 to Project Karma.For 2017, may the Force be with you. Erica from FBI Travel roomsXML treats agents to a premiere of “Rogue One”For the second year running, roomsXML treated agents and their kids to the new “Star Wars” movie at the Lido cinema in Melbourne. Some proclaiming it the best Star Wars movie ever (which is a big call).Mark Luckey, roomsXML MD says “You can’t talk about Star Wars without a long time ago quote….I remember going to the Elizabeth Cinema in 1981 to see Empire and it was fun seeing my daughter petrified with the new movie. It’s come a long way and great to share it with my family and 75 guests.” Mark and Rosetta from roomsXML with Mark’s daughter Jess Jeff from FBI travel and Sasha and Rosetta from roomsXML
With the worlds busiest port, and one of the worlds most prosperous countries, Singapore blends Chinese, Malay, and Indian influences. Blessed with a tropical climate, good food, excellent shopping and a vibrant night-life, there is no reason not to book a getaway in Singapore. Highlights include:Marina Bay – resorts, gardens and shopping !roomsXML has 81 Properties in Marina BaySentosa – once a military post, now converted into a resort regionroomsXML has 19 properties in SentosaOrchard Rd – Some of the finest and most abundant shopping one can imagine.roomsXML has 62 Properties on or near Orchard Rd.Singapore River – Museums, statues, theatres and food !roomsXML has 25 Properties in the river region.Little India – a little piece of Indian life & culture to the city’s north.roomsXML has 24 Properties in the Little India region.In addition, roomsXML has a further 37 properties across Singapore. Nature, Culture or night life; Singapore has it all – book at roomsXML roomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide . If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents. roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsXML.com
Banyan Tree Anji to open on 25th June 2018Banyan Tree Anji to open on 25th June 2018Offering guests new heights of luxury in a nature resort Banyan Tree Anji, a hidden gem situated in Anji Lingfeng Tourist Area of Huzhou, Zhejiang Province will open on 25th June 2018. Conveniently located within a lush bamboo forest overlooking a stunning lake, the resort is accessible to major neighbouring cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing via expressways, making it an ideal location for a nature escape from the urban hustle and bustle. Combining traditional Chinese Aesthetics and contemporary design elements, Banyan Tree Anji is ready to welcome guests with its array of smart amenities, warm and thoughtful service, diverse outdoor experiences and activities.Architecture Crafted by Innovative DesignTaking full advantage of its surrounding natural environment, Banyan Tree Anji pushes the boundaries of traditional hotel design. Its main building, made of glass, carefully incorporates traditional Chinese elements. With a dark green glass exterior, it reflects the mountains and lake on its exterior like a landscape painting. The eight-storey main building provides guests an elevated and panoramic view of the mountain landscape. To the south, green hills fade into the distance; to the north, a mirror-like lake reflects the surrounding greenery of the mountains. Banyan Tree Anji is a hidden gem in the mountains, offering guests a sanctuary of comfort and serenity in the embrace of nature.Sense of PlaceIncorporating Suzhou Garden elements and Huizhou architecture style in the overall design, the resort reinterpreted traditional aesthetics from a contemporary viewpoint. The inner court of the villas celebrates the essence of traditional Chinese courtyards with an open-concept layout emphasising natural light. The contemporary styled doors and windows frame the scenic view while the inner space enjoys abundant natural light and fresh air, making guests feel at one with nature. Banyan Tree Anji salutes the palatial style of Tang dynasty wooden structure buildings.Indulge Your Senses at Distinctive FacilitiesBanyan Tree Anji features 121 spacious rooms and suites and 30 villas of eight room types, allowing guests to enjoy the breathtaking views of gardens, lakes and mountains from different angles. Some rooms face lush greenery and elegant gardens, some look out to the sparkling waters, while others feature a stunning green mountain view. The resort offers an array of luxury amenities, including the award-winning Banyan Tree Spa, a flexible meeting space of 1,235 square metres, a well-equipped fitness center, an entertainment space, Rangers’ Club for kids, two restaurants, a lounge and a bar.Featuring 10 therapy rooms, the Banyan Tree Spa is a sanctuary for the body and mind amidst beautiful natural landscape. Here, guests can indulge in a signature treatment using Anji white tea, experience the innovative rainforest spa facility, relax by the indoor swimming pool or outdoor infinity pool. In addition, the resort also provides KTV and mahjong private rooms, allowing guests to engage in fun urban activities while enjoying the charm and beauty of nature.The hotel houses mainland China’s first Saffron restaurant under the Banyan Tree brand specializing in Thai style fine dining and authentic Thai flavours. Other restaurants include the elegant signature Baiyun restaurant offering fine Chinese cuisine made with premium local ingredients; scenic rooftop bar Latitude – an ideal location to enjoy handcrafted cocktails and mesmerizing sunset and the Banyan Lounge a comfortable space for guests to relax and enjoy the pleasant scenery over a cup of tea.Local ExperiencesSet against beautiful lush landscape, Banyan Tree Anji takes full advantage of its natural surroundings, creating a luxury sanctuary for guests to stay and play throughout the year. In Spring, guests can pick tea leaves and enjoy the aromas of Anji white tea in the Zen Tea valley; in summer, guests can explore via horseback through the wooded mountains; in fall, marvel at the changing colours of trees and have a game of golf; while in winter, guests will experience a different kind of snowy holiday amidst the green landscape of Southern China. There are also plenty to be explored outside the resort. Guests can visit the Taohuayuan Town to unwind in nature, or tour the Anji Lingfeng Tourist Area to explore the essence of Anji’s landscape and attractions including Lingfeng Temple, Jiangnan Tianchi and Zhebei Grand Canyon.Opening OfferBanyan Tree Anji’s opening offer room rate starts from RMB 2029 per room per night with daily breakfast.For more information on Banyan Tree Anji, please contact 86(0)572 589 1818, email email@example.com, or visit Banyan Tree Anji’s official website: https://www.banyantree.com/en/china/anji Source = Banyan Tree Anji
Trafalgar Announces Definite DeparturesTrafalgar Announces Definite DeparturesAs well as the added advantage of a $999 Air Deal for clientsTrafalgar is making it easier for agents to book 2019 Europe & Britain holidays with confidence, today announcing all Europe & Britain summer departures are guaranteed. The global leader in guided holidays is also creating further client enticement with its $999 (return) air offer for bookings made by 31st March 2019.Clients are looking to explore the “real” Europe & Britain more than ever, with 49%* surveyed wanting to have cultural experiences that are different, which Trafalgar is synonymous with – celebrating 10 years of its signature Be My Guest dining experiences this year.Guests are guaranteed a slice of The Good Life; whether its discovering unprecedented private after-hours VIP dining at The Vatican, exploring the scenic wonders of Ireland’s Wild West Coast whilst foraging for food with a local, who’s been living off the land for over 20 years – on an exclusive Be My Guest experience or seeing the catacombs of Notre Dame without the crowd, and taking a guided walk through the spectacular Latin Quarter with a Local Specialist who can enthral with the astonishing history that marks Paris.Matthew Cameron-Smith, Managing Director Trafalgar Australia, said: “Part of our AgentsFirst promise is ensuring we can instil confidence in our agents and make it easy for them to book and respond to customer demand when selling our holidays. And that’s why we are excited to be able to guarantee 100% definite departures on all summer Europe & Britain trips. With the additional allure of our $999 return air deal, agents can rest assured knowing there’s no better time to book clients on their dream holiday with confidence and value.”For further details please visit Trafalgar.com/agents or call 1300 78 78 78 and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TwitterSource = Trafalgar
Goa’s tourism industry has welcomed the Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office’s (FRRO) move to allow online registration of foreign guests. The FRRO in Panaji launched an online initiative whereby foreign nationals can fill the mandatory ‘C’ Form online. The ‘C’ form is a key document which requires foreigners, under Section three of the Foreigners Act, 1946, to fill up their passport number and other key information for record.Goa, with three million tourist arrivals per year, is the second state after Kerala to start the online ‘C’ Form facility. According to Section 14(6) of Foreigners Registration Act, 1939, not filling the form is tantamount to violation of visa norms.“It is a step in the right direction. We no longer have to manually fill in the form. Foreigners put the form in a sealed envelope and give it to the police station,” said Ralph de Souza, spokesperson, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa.Online registration would help effective collation of data related to tourist arrivals in the state and allow the police to swiftly learn about the identity of the foreign nationals arriving in their jurisdiction, de Souza said. “From a tourism perspective too, it will help the department maintain better records of tourists who come, how many days they stay and where they have come from. It will give us an idea on whether our tourism promotion activities are on the right track or not,” he added.
Tokyo is both the capital and most populous city of Japan. It is a vast metropolis with a perfect blend of the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers and anime shops to cherry trees and temples.Source: Expedia
Hagia Sophia was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later converted into an Ottoman mosque and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous for its massive dome, it is considered the embodiment of Byzantine architecture and is said to have “changed the history of architecture.”Source: World Travel Guides
Yas Island, with an array of versatile meetings space, exciting theme parks and attractions, cutting-edge hotels, world-class shopping and dining options, and an array of sporting and community venues is perfect for business. Add in a growing calendar of music, cultural, community and sporting events, including the annual Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the island becomes the perfect destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and events.So, the team at Yas Island has outlined the following key venues for MICE:Yas Marina Circuit:Yas Marina Circuit is one of the UAE’s most innovative event spaces. Home to the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit is also home to the Yas Events Centre that boasts over 34,000 square metres of versatile indoor and outdoor venue space, along with unparalleled views of the track and Yas Marina. With capacity and capability to host events ranging from large scale events, conferences, gala functions, exhibitions to smaller more intimate events, Yas Events Centre offers ultra-modern venues, full-service event planning, and a range of hospitality packages.Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi:Instantly recognisable with over 5,000 LED lights and straddling the iconic Yas Marina Circuit, the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is a unique hotel with 499 luxury guest rooms, which also features an array of indoor and outdoor event space including 12 entertainment and dining options, the tranquil Palm Garden, six meeting rooms, four boardrooms, a Rooftop Pool Deck, and three ballrooms that combine to create the Al Manaar Ballroom.Ferrari World Abu Dhabi:Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which is the world’s first Ferrari branded theme park, is a thrilling venue that is ideal for corporate family days, team building, cocktail receptions, gala events or product launches. With a range of Ferrari-themed rides including the world’s fastest roller coaster, the Formula Rossa and the new Flying Aces and featuring five restaurant and cafes, the park can be fully privatised for up to 6,500 guests or partially for events of varying sizes.Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi:Spread out across 15 hectares and featuring 45 exhilarating Emirati-themed rides, YasWaterworld Abu Dhabi is ideal for any number of events including corporate family fun days, team building, product launches and fashion shows and can be fully or partially privatised depending on event requirements.Du Forum:A state-of-the-art multi-purpose entertainment venue, du Forum offers the latest audio-visual technology and cooling systems as it can host up to 1700 for banquets and galas; 2500, theatre style, 4500 for cocktail receptions or up to 5000 for a concert or music performance. Du Forum allows for unbridled creativity with uninterrupted sightlines, internal and external LED lighting systems, the ability to transform from an indoor venue to an outdoor venue and abundant parking.Yas Marina:The award-winning Yas Marina features 227 berths and seven licensed restaurants and lounges. From meetings or events on a super-yacht to a glamorous gala event on the terrace or at any one of the waterside restaurant, Yas Marina is an inspired choice for a business event or gala.Yas Links Abu Dhabi:Yas Links, which is the region’s first Links golf course, offers four fully equipped meeting rooms that can be organised in boardroom or theatre styles for groups ranging from 12 to 50. Barranca, an Andalusian-themed private function space that opens onto a sweeping terrace is capable of hosting between 25-120 guests, an Events lawn, which boasts expansive vistas of the Abu Dhabi skyline, as well as Hickory’s, an award-winning sports bar with expansive views of the Arabian Gulf.MAD on Yas Island:More than a nightlife venue, MAD on Yas Island mixes art, luxury and technology as it features the world’s largest privately owned graffiti wall outside and 360° and 3D projection mapping inside. Ideal for gala events and parties.
“”Mortgage Builder Software””:http://www.mortgagebuilder.com/, a Michigan-based provider of loan origination and loan servicing software systems (LOS and LSS), is officially renaming its loan servicing software platform.[IMAGE]The LSS platform formerly called G/Serv is now known as “”Colonnade.”” According to a result from Mortgage Builder, the renaming reflects “”the theme of the company’s signature LOS, Architect, as well as several other components in the Mortgage Builder lineup.””””We are investing significant resources in the continued development of Colonnade to enhance its capabilities as a standalone system, as well as a paired platform with the Architect LOS,”” said Keven Smith, president and CEO of Mortgage Builder. “”We’re finding that more mainstream lenders are interested in retaining servicing to both add revenue and control their own destinies in this uncertain regulatory environment.””Colonnade’s new brand name follows Architect, Mortgage Builder’s newly released LOS, Blueprint, Architect’s advanced electronic document management feature, and Surveyance, its enhanced originator portal and mobile device module.””We selected Colonnade as the name of our servicing platform for its connotation of stability and support.”” says Kelli Himebaugh, corporate VP of Mortgage Builder. “”Colonnade is designed to provide the structure servicing departments need and do the heavy lifting for them. G/Serv users will love the new look and feel of the platform, and servicing newcomers will be pleased to discover how far servicing software has come when they experience Colonnade.””Mortgage Builder also announced it will be offering demonstrations of Colonnade at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s “”National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo””:http://events.mortgagebankers.org/Servicing2013/default.html in Dallas. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-02-12 Tory Barringer February 12, 2013 523 Views Mortgage Builder Renames Loan Servicing Software Platform in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Share