first_imgHamilton Island Marina back to normal after Ului Hamilton Island has cleaned up quickly in the wake of Cyclone Ului, the sunny destination back to normal and welcoming guests again.“Hamilton Island’s extensive and rigorous cyclone procedures were definitely put to the test over the weekend” said Hamilton Island chief executive Glenn Bourke.Ului had passed over Hamilton Island in the early hours of Sunday morning causing strong wind gusts of up to 200km/h and rain showers.The cyclone caused some trees to fall and broke a number of windows but there was no significant structural damage to any of the hotels.“Naturally our focus was on the safety and comfort of our guests. We were well prepared for the bad weather and had taken all necessary steps to ‘batten down the hatches’“This included removing all outdoor furniture and bringing all our vehicles indoors, as well as ensuring we had adequate food provisions for everyone.” “We are really proud of our staff and residents, everyone has pulled together exceptionally well. While we still have some work to do, it’s great to see how quickly we are returning to ‘business as usual’.”Flights and ferry services resumed on Monday this week and most activities have restarted on the Island. Power has also been restored to the Island. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img read more

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first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C Airlines are fretting over the costs of carrying out checks on more than 100,000 potentially faulty passenger seats after safety authorities proposed a crackdown.The safety order comes seven months after Japanese seat manufacturer Koito Industries admitted to altering their designs then faking the safety test results, Airwise.com reported.Shares in the company plunged 33 per cent after it said it had been told by Japan’s transport ministry to ‘improve business management’ over the falsification of fire resistance and strength data on plane seats.Last week, US and European agencies provisionally called for worldwide check on Koito seats, expected to affect over 150,000 seats on 1,000 Boeing and Airbus passenger jets.However, authorities stopped short of issuing emergency directives, implying they were not certain whether the seats were dangerous.”The fault is not with (airlines) but with the manufacturer. From that point of view, I would be surprised if the airlines would be happy to pick up the cost. The real worry is that there will be some kind of legalistic ban on using the seats altogether and having to scrap them,” spokesman for the Association of European Airlines in Brussels, David Henderson said.The US Federal Aviation Administration estimated the cost of the exercise to US airlines alone at USD$875,000.Airlines buy seats separately from the rest of the aircraft but usually have them installed by the plane maker. Seat costs range from USD$2,300 in economy to USD$150,000 for a luxurious lie-flat seat in first class, the FAA said.Koito started business in 1915 making lenses for railway signal lamps and began making car headlamps in the 1950s. It also makes seats for Japan’s high-speed bullet trains.Among major clients, Koito lists Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Continental Airlines.last_img read more

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first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Travellers seeking a lasting memory of their trip are advised against getting piercing and body art done overseas after a West Australian man contracted HIV after getting a tattoo in Bali. A warning was issued by the Health Department after the travellers tattoo revealed evidence suggesting it for the source of infection of HIV.Department of Health communicable disease control director Paul Armstrong pointed out that tattoo parlours overseas may not meet the same standards and regulations as required by tattooists here in Australia. “This case demonstrates the very real health risk in having this type of procedure done overseas.  The equipment used in tattooing and body piercing, if contaminated with infected blood, can pose a risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C as well as bacterial infections,” Mr Armstrong said.Australians who have recently got a tattoo or a body piercing whilst overseas, and particularly Bali, that are concerned are advised to visit a doctor for a blood test. last_img read more

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first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard Globetrotting getaways are more than just about luxury and relaxation this year with high-end activities, local experiences and customisation key to attracting the 2012 traveller.Research released by guidebook producers, Mr & Mrs Smith found that holidaymakers travelling this year are looking for more than just a cocktail, deck chairs and some sun and are instead expecting destinations and operators to woo them with spiritual enlightenment and social awareness.Hoping to take-on life changing journeys, travellers have told the guidebook group that they are searching for trips that will allow them to return with the ability to share cultural aspects of a destination as well as show-off their local cooking skills and arts and crafts ability as well as tell stories of their involvement in charity and conversation projects across the globe.Customisation is also leading decision making in 2012, with travellers wanting more personalised tours and accommodation as well as hotels that steer away from big brand names and offer boutique style housing.“Smart, stylish interiors continues to mark out true boutique hotels from their cookie-cutter imitators, but with comfort and practicality never sacrificed for wacky, look-at-me effects,” research read. “It’s no longer just about being a slick ‘design hotel’ though.”Although more travellers are wearing the smart, cash savvy hat, more and more holidaymakers are looking to embark on a private jet at some point during the year while others want to enjoy soul-enriching experiencing available at radical spas.last_img read more

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first_imgThe US travel community today thanked and congratulated Congress for passing a spending bill that renews Brand USA, America’s public-private travel promotion partnership.US Travel Association chief executive officer and president Roger Dow, said that it is great that Congress approved the extension of the program.“It’s not every day that Congress makes a policy move that makes abundant sense and has demonstrable value for every region and demographic of this country. Renewing Brand USA is one such thing,” Mr Dow said.“The tens of thousands of jobs it creates, the zero cost to federal taxpayers, the fact that it helps our trade balance by bringing huge amounts of foreign currency to the U.S., the contribution it makes to reducing the deficit by millions—Brand USA is simply a policy that works.”In only its third year of existence, Brand USA’s economic impact through attracting international visitors is strong, in 2013, the program drew more than 1.1 million additional visitors to the United States, generating USD$3.4 billion in additional visitor spending.A recent study by Oxford Economics confirmed Brand USA’s economic impact by revealing the consequences of a future without the program, over the ensuing five-year period, 2016-2020, America would have lost nearly USD$54 billion in total business sales.“The travel community gives great thanks to Reps. Gus Bilirakis and Peter Welch, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Roy Blunt along with Senate Major Leader Harry Reid for leading the effort to reauthorize Brand USA,” Mr Dow said.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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first_imgDestination Britain APMEA 2015 was a successful week, with the final night being hosted by Visit Scotland adding to the success.The night was filled with traditional Scottish food including devilled eggs and black pudding, all the food was fantastic.There was also a very popular Scottish whisky tasting area, which everyone enjoyed as it really complimented the food.To add to the Scottish vibe, a local Indonesian band dressed up in tartan and sang some classic Scottish hits including Gerry and the Pacemakers!Other exciting things included Samsung’s newest product that took everyone into a virtual reality.The night was aimed to highlight what Scotland has to offer and for one lucky person they get to experience it first hand after winning a trip courtesy of Etihad to Scotland.Overall the night was a great success and added even more to the success of the week, which was so very well planned from start to finish.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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first_imgSource = TravelManagers Australia Personal Travel Manager discovers mutual support invaluable The backdrop of ‘Learn & Collaboration’ is extremely apt as experienced personal travel manager Merran Wiggins (right) mentors new recruit Sahra Vilayrack (left) at the INNX Hub in NewcastlePersonal Travel Manager discovers mutual support invaluableTravelManagers new recruit Sahra Vilayrack representative for Carrington in Newcastle and long established personal travel manager Merran Wiggins, representative for Warners Bay in Lake Macquarie enjoy more than a neighbourly cup of tea. Whilst some may consider the fifteen and a half kilometre distance apart as being competitive territory, it is completely the opposite philosophy for Vilayrack and Wiggins who are representative of how TravelManagers’ personal travel managers across Australia interact.It was Wiggins’ own experience of knowing how daunting starting your own business is, with no client base and your own self-doubt that led her desire to provide encouragement and mutual support for those personal travel managers just starting out.“Starting out on your own is often the biggest decision of your career. It certainly was for me. The smallest thing can make or break your business start-up and from experience, every personal travel manager will question his or her own abilities. I jumped at the chance to mentor Sahra offering support, advice or simply just providing answers to questions about how things work. The smoother the start-up process, the quicker Sahra can build her own business will benefit us all.”TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager Michael Gazal applauds Wiggin’s proactive, approach that really resonates with the TravelManagers family based philosophies.“Merran’s selfless proactiveness to offer support and encouragement without personal gain or reward epitomizes TravelManagers’ philosophy of personal travel managers working collectively together to support each other and foster community spirit. We recognize each personal travel manager has wide-ranging strengths in different areas and actively encourage this type of peer community support both from a social and business point of view.”For Vilayrack it was TravelManagers’ community spirit that was one of her motivators to join the company,“After working part time for many years as a single mum in the travel industry, I knew I had to make a change if I wanted a better lifestyle and opportunities for myself and my children. I chose to do this with TravelManagers as I felt confident in the model, its reputation for community spiritness and the endless opportunities including the potential income I could make.”Vilayrack has been overwhelmed with the level of support she has received from her fellow personal travel managers.“I thought initially it would be quite competitive with everyone in the area having their established existing clients and being wary of another personal travel manager. However it’s completely the opposite! On my first day I met everyone from the Newcastle area, they were all friendly and willing to offer advice. I have been invited to BNI meetings, we meet for coffee after our cluster meetings and I feel completely comfortable emailing any of my fellow colleagues if I need a hand. From day one I was made to feel like part of the TravelManagers family.”Vilayrack advises the support of the national partnership office is invaluable.“With TravelManagers, you know you are never alone. The encouragement and support I have received has been invaluable. I have been in personal contact with Michael Gazal over the phone who has given me pep talks and support on big business decisions, I honestly feel like I am histeammate! The marketing team have helped me develop many advertisements including tips and hints on free local marketing strategies including one that gained me 180 newsletter sign ups and a group of 22 to Asia for a sporting event! It’s like having an office full of colleagues right here in my living room. The support network with TravelManagers is really above and beyond and makes home based consulting a dream.”For Vilayrack enjoying a cup of tea together with her mentor Wiggins takes on new meaning. As well as the usual daily chitchat it’s a chance to network, support each other and work together to collectively grow their individual businesses.“The autonomy and freedom to drive your business in so many different directions, the opportunity to earn a great income whilst having a good work life balance is invaluable to me. Being mobile is a huge asset, my clients really enjoy going for coffee or lunch whist we nut out their next dream holiday. I feel secure in my business being in the TravelManagers family, I feel I’m not doing this journey alone. Having so many people rally for you and your business is priceless.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599. TravelManagers Australiajoin here todayAbout TravelManagers Travel Managers 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.last_img read more

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first_imgLast minute, wet season saving of 20 per cent in the KimberleyLast minute, wet season saving of 20 per cent in the KimberleySave up to $2640 per couple on a 13-day cruise showcasing the best of the wild Kimberley coast at its most exciting time during the wet season as part of a last-minute offer by cruise operator, Ahoy Buccaneers.Ahoy Buccaneers’ first two cruises for 2018 along the Kimberley coast set sail in February and March, with a last-minute, 20 per cent discount on both cruises. Thundering waterfalls and vast, empty coastal waters will greet passengers aboard the low-cost cruise operator’s 19-guest motor yacht, ‘Oceanic’, as it meanders along the spectacular Kimberley coastline.The ‘Oceanic’ will take guests on a spectacular, 13-day wet season cruise from Broome to Wyndham on February 26, 2018, and another from Wyndham back to Broome on March 12, 2018.Every year, the monsoonal wet of the far north transforms the famous Kimberley coast waterfalls like King George Falls, Kings Cascades and Casuarina Falls into spectacular, thundering jets of water, enabling adventure-seekers to see and feel nature at its raw and powerful best.Ahoy Buccaneer’s wet season expeditions through the wild and remote islands of the Buccaneer and Bonaparte archipelagos also enable guests to experience the dramatic excitement of tropical storms, beautiful sunsets, lightning shows and lush scenery.The wet season is also devoid of larger cruise ships, leaving Ahoy Buccaneer’s privileged passengers to enjoy the region’s serenity alone.Ahoy Buccaneers offers travellers one of the most affordable ways to see the wild and unspoilt Kimberley. The 13-day Broome to Wyndham cruises offer guests a comprehensive and in-depth exploration of the 2000 islands, stunning waterfalls and lively marine parks that comprise the Kimberley coastline. Because of its small size, Oceanic is able to anchor close to the shore, with daily excursions that include fishing, swimming in fresh waterholes, beach combing, exploring aboriginal art, beach camp fires and hiking in some of the remotest parts of the Kimberley.Oceanic offers double bed and bunk cabins as well as the opportunity for passengers to sleep under the stars in deluxe swags in a mix of boat and beach locations each night. The 24m rigged vessel also boasts indoor and outdoor dining areas, two lounges and a deck spa.  Fresh and healthy cuisine is prepared by an onboard cook who regularly sources much of the menu from what is caught from the sea each day. The atmosphere onboard Oceanic is barefoot casual and friendly, with guests encouraged to help fish or operate the Oceanic.Including the 20 per cent discount, each of the 13-day cruises between Broome and Wyndham on February 26 and March 12 is available from $4000 per person (including for solos) in a swag – a saving of $1000, Cabin accommodation is available from $5280 per person, twin-share, or if sharing with another solo passenger  – a saving of $1320 per person. Fares include meals, shore excursions and transfers. The saving is available until sold out.Call Ahoy Buccaneers on 08 9193 7650 or visit www.ahoybuccaneers.com.auSource = Ahoy Buccaneerslast_img read more

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first_imgA&K: Two new brochuresA&K: Two new brochuresAbercrombie & Kent has released two new brochures from its luxury portfolio.A&K Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea 2019A&K’s new-look collection of inspiring journeys around Australia and New Zealand and PNG captures the quality and diversity of the travel experience here with a range of journeys labelled by style of travel. There are active journeys like cycling in the Barossa Valley and golfing in Tasmania, gourmet themed holidays around the country, a family collection including a Lord of the Rings experience in N.Z. and a self-drive adventure in the Red Centre. A cluster of iconic adventures includes Ningaloo Reef, rock art in Arnhem Land, a journey on the Indian Pacific and more. Then there’s the new luxury expedition cruise along the Kimberley coastline.A&K’s 2019-2020 Luxury Expeditionary Cruise PortfolioA&K’s new portfolio of innovative and exclusively-chartered journeys combines active exploration, highly curated itineraries and an all-inclusive, all-encompassing experience. There are expeditions to the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Northwest Passage as well as cultural expeditions to Japan, Italy, the Greek Isles, and Australia’s own Kimberley coast. On every expedition, guests cruise in incomparable A&K style on state-of-the-art small ships, with award-winning expedition teams, curated shore excursions, expert on-board lectures and enrichment programmes, special events and exquisite dining.Source = A&Klast_img read more

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first_imgTransport for London (TfL) has introduced world’s first zero-emission, long-range, all-electric BYD Double-Decker buses into revenue service routes. TfL celebrated the decision to deploy its first all-electric double-decker buses with a special ceremony at London city hall with London’s Deputy Mayor of Environment and Energy, Matthew Pencharz formally receiving the first bus from BYD Europe.“It’s a very exciting moment that this is happening here,” said Matthew Pencharz. “The running costs are much lower and some of the maintenance and operations costs are much lower on the buses. Also, these [buses] are zero-emission, zero-tailpipe-pollution and that is a huge benefit for Londoners.” TfL is putting five of the all-electric double decker buses on Route 98 operated on behalf of TfL by Metroline. Route 98 was chosen given its status as a pollution hotspot in the city.TfL and Metroline would be receiving support from BYD with the installation of fast charging equipment at Metroline’s Willesden Bus Garage in north London. In addition, BYD would also provide driver training for the bus operators. BYD has designed and developed the vehicles to Transport of London’s specifications. The five buses scheduled for deployment are more than 33 feet long and feature air conditioning, seats for 54 passengers with space for 27 standing passengers (81 total).“BYD is pleased to partner with Transport for London to provide this zero-emission, advanced technology buses that will help improve air quality in the greater London area and will also provide costs savings,” said Isbrand Ho. “TfL challenged us to develop a clean, all-electric bus that would meet their service requirements, and we’ve done just that. I hope other transport agencies take note of TfL’s leadership and see that there are no barriers to deploying all-electric buses into service in today’s market.”The buses are outfitted with BYD-designed and built Iron-Phosphate batteries, delivering 345 kWh of power that comes with an Industry-benchmark 12 year battery warranty. The batteries can power the bus for over 24 hours and up to 190 miles of typical urban driving on the service routes with a single daily recharging requiring only four hours. TfL plans to charge the buses overnight using lowcost, off-peak electricity to provide additional cost savings.last_img read more

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first_imgAs per the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam, the country received a record number of international arrivals in 2016. Concluding a year long promotional campaign, Vietnam celebrated the National Tourism Year.It was hosted by the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang under the theme ‘Discovering the Southern Land’, which had a target of welcoming 8.5 million international visitors, against nearly eight million in 2015.At the ceremony on the province’s Phu Quoc Island, the Tourism Ministry said that Vietnam’s tourism has set a new milestone by surpassing the landmark of 10 million foreign arrivals in 2016. Contextually, the 10 millionth tourist was warmly welcomed by the Tourism Ministry upon his arrival at Phu Quoc International Airport on Christmas.Vietnam’s foreign tourist numbers in 2016 jumped 20% from a year earlier and Kien Giang, as the host of the 2016 National Tourism Year reported impressive tourism performance. Huynh added that nearly 320,000 foreign visitors spent their holidays in Kien Giang, mostly visiting the famed Phu Quoc Island, in 2016, whereas the total tourism revenue topped $157.59 million, a strong 41.9% surge from 2015.last_img read more

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first_imgAkansha Pandey | New DelhiThe island country has been witnessing majorly business travellers from India. With their debut in the Indian market early this year, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) is expecting an increase in leisure travellers from India this year. “We are very serious about tapping the Indian market further. For the next year, we are planning on launching consumer promotions and co-op campaigns to encourage family travellers from India to visit Bahrain. The focus segments will remain wedding, MICE and leisure for the next year too,” highlighted Yousef Alkhan, Director-Marketing and Promotion, BTEA while speaking exclusively to Travel News Digest on the sidelines of the recently organised BTEA two-city maiden roadshow in Mumbai and Delhi along with 18 suppliers.Alkhan added, “Bahrain is like a breath of fresh air. Indian travellers have “Been There, Done That” in almost all major tourist destinations globally and are on the lookout for new options. Bahrain offers unique history and culture which is sure to amaze people. The best season to visit is from October to April when travellers can enjoy outdoors and the cultural events lined up.”Sunil Mathapati, Country Manager-India, BTEA added that for MICE visitors, the already existing Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre showcases 16,000 sq m of space. The new exhibition and convention centre slated to debut by 2020, is expected to be a game-changer for Bahrain, providing 100,000 sq m of exhibition space and over 25,000 sq m of convention space.The Bahrain visa can be availed by Indian nationals in three to five days at $12 visa fees.last_img read more

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first_img in Daily Dose, News, Origination January 17, 2017 609 Views Homebuyers Millennials 2017-01-17 Seth Welborn Sharecenter_img Millennial Homebuyer Capacity is Shrinking Thanks to rising interest rates, the average U.S. millennial homebuyer has lost 9 percent in mortgage capacity since the October 2016, according to Fitch Ratings.Since October, 30-year mortgage rates have increased from 3.42 percent to 4.2 percent and, as a result, since September, the median mortgage that borrowers under 35 could afford dropped from $120,000 to $109,000 as of early January.“Historically low rates have been one of the few factors that have helped young adults to buy homes,” Fitch Ratings reported. “If rates continue to rise, particularly if the rise occurs rapidly over a short time period, this could add yet another obstacle to homeownership. Many first-time homebuyers have seen mortgage capacity eroded by tight loan underwriting standards, rising student loan payments, high rents, and stagnant wages.”Throw in the recent data that homeownership is low on Americans’ 2017 to-do lists, as well as the rising amounts of student loan debt college graduates are dealing with, and this is just one more hurdle millennials must jump before buying a home is an option.“The growth in the cost of higher education outpaced consumer price inflation for several decades,” the report stated. “This led to an increase in both the number of student loan borrowers and the average amount owed. The median student loan monthly payment in 2016 was $203, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.”Tighter lending standards are also boxing the millennial out of the market. FICO scores on conventional loans for first-time buyers are “notably above the 720-730 range level typical prior to the crisis,” Fitch Ratings reported.As a result, more and more millennials are choosing to live with their parents, avoid high rental costs, and put off homeownership for the foreseeable future.“The homeownership rate for under 35-year-olds experienced a large drop,” the report stated, “declining to 35 percent in 2016, from 41 percent in 2000, according to the US Census Bureau. During this time, rental costs increased faster than the incomes millennials earn.”Though these may be short-term decisions for millennials themselves, as a whole, the trends could have a lasting effect on the economy and housing marketing in general.“For younger Americans forced to defer or abandon plans to buy a first home, the long-term financial effect of missing out on home-equity creation could be significant,” the report stated. “Long-lasting shifts in savings and consumption patterns, while difficult to isolate now, will likely emerge more prominently in the coming years. This could mean other long-run affects including downward pressure on durable goods consumption, urban population growth and a decline in affluence, translating into lower birth rates, and less secure retirements.”last_img read more

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first_imgThere comes a time in homeownership where remodeling comes into consideration. Though many wish they had disposable income readily available to renovate their home, most times homeowners find themselves taking out a loan. Recent studies by Bank of America show that more than 36 percent of first-time homebuyers wouldn’t consider using a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, because they simply aren’t aware of what they are or how they work. So how can HELOCs be better explained to buyers so they are aware of the opportunity? To find out more, MReport asked Dave Gorman, Divisional Sales Executive at Bank of America.Q: Other than lack of understanding, what are some reasons people hold back from using a HELOC?A: Lack of understanding is a clear barrier revealed in the 2017 Homebuyer Insights Report. In many cases, homeowners need to wait a few years to grow the equity necessary for a HELOC, and to build a strong overall financial picture. We employ responsible lending standards when it comes to HELOCs, so our clients can be financially successful.Q: What are the advantages of using a HELOC versus a credit card or a loan that is not tied to home equity?A: A HELOC allows owners to secure credit from their home, which can be used for major projects such as home renovations, among other possibilities. HELOCs often have lower interest rates than credit cards and the interest you pay is typically tax deductible. HELOCs also offer a great level of flexibility in payment options as when compared to a credit card.Q: What advice do you have for first time homebuyers to get more educated on HELOCs and other information regarding home buying?A: When considering a HELOC, any owner, whether new or experienced, should consult with a financial advisor or loan officer about the opportunities available to them. It takes time to build the equity necessary, but can be a worthwhile venture due to a HELOC’s flexible nature and many benefits.Making smart improvements can positively affect a home’s value. It’s a good idea to understand your home’s current value and consult with a local real estate expert before investing in significant home improvements. There are tools online that enable you to make these calculations from home. Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News What’s a HELOC Again?center_img HELOC 2017-07-13 Brianna Gilpin July 13, 2017 553 Views last_img read more

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first_img Share Arch MI Mortgage Insurance OpenClose Private Mortgage Insurance 2017-08-22 Krista Franks Brock August 22, 2017 748 Views Arch Mortgage Insurance Company and OpenClose announce Monday an integration aimed at providing “more competitive, sophisticated and dynamic MI pricing solution than conventional rate sheets,” according to Chris Hovey EVP and COO at Arch MI.Arch MI, the flagship private mortgage insurance provider of Greensboro, North Carolina-based Arch Capital Group, and West Palm Beach, Florida-based OpenClose, are collaborating to offer Arch MI RateStar pricing information within the OpenClose LenderAssist loan origination system.“Put simply, this integration eliminates manual steps and allows our customers to tap Arch MI’s RateStar solution to price mortgage insurance coverage based on loan risk, which ultimately helps originators offer eligible borrowers the best pricing for their specific loan scenario,” said Vince Furey, SVP of Lending Solutions at OpenClose. “Both OpenClose and Arch MI are committed to maximizing value for lenders, which this integration showcases.”Lenders can access RateStar pricing information in LenderAssist “at the press of a button,” according to the two companies, and then view direct comparisons on various products and pricing based on individual loan risk.The pricing information is delivered in seconds and then stored in the LOS.“We are pleased to be the first MI company to partner with OpenClose,” Hovey said.“Customers will not only be able to quickly obtain RateStar quotes from within OpenClose’s multi-channel LOS, but also skip the cumbersome re-entry of data so that they can increase their productivity,” he said.Arch MI offers mortgage insurance in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.center_img in Headlines, journal, Technology Arch MI, OpenClose Offer Individualized MI Rates in Secondslast_img read more

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first_imgcharitydrought reliefTravel Counsellors Travel Counsellors is supporting Drought Angels, a registered NFP charity that provides support systems to Australian farmers going through tough times, by creating the opportunity for its head office team to contribute, and individual Travel Counsellors to donate a portion of their commissions to the charity. More than $3000 has been raised for the charity to date. Drought Angels was set up by Natasha Johnston and Nicki Blackwell in 2014 in response to the adverse conditions experienced in rural Australia. Over the past four years, Drought Angels has assisted over 800 rural families, enabling them to continue to make a living and put food on their tables.Narrabri based Travel Counsellor Kara, says she’s proud of the support the company is giving to Drought Angels. “Living and working in the country means I experience first-hand the tough conditions our rural communities go through. When the farmers are doing it tough, it affects all the local businesses and the whole community too. I’m so proud to see Travel Counsellors supporting a charity, and such a worthwhile cause – one close to my heart and many of those around me – with time, resources and donations. As a Travel Counsellor I always feel 100% supported by the head office team in Melbourne, and it’s great to see this kind of support being shown to our Australian farmers and rural communities too. The work that Drought Angels do is incredibly important.”Travel Counsellors Regional Managing Director and leading travel industry figure, Kaylene Shuttlewood says the work the charity undertakes is essential.“…we as a business feel passionately about supporting people to be able to continue to live, work, farm and make a living in the community and landscape they love. Through supporting Drought Angels we’re so proud to be able to say, ‘Thank you’ to all of our Australian farmers too.”last_img read more

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first_imgaustraliaBIG4holidays parksThe Wiggles The nation’s most-loved children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles, and Australia’s leading holiday park brand, BIG4, have just announced a three-year partnership that will allow The Wiggles to share the BIG4 experience with a new generation of families.The Wiggles managing director, Paul Field, said the partnership was the perfect fit for Anthony, Lachy, Emma, Simon & co.“Just like The Wiggles, BIG4 delivers great experiences for young families right across Australia. We both share a deep commitment to the positive development of growing families. We could not have picked a better partner than BIG4.”BIG4 Holiday Parks CEO, Steven Wright, was equally excited about a partnership that he deemed a “natural alignment”.“The education values that underpin The Wiggles are strongly engrained in the BIG4 network, too.“We strongly encourage holidays that allow children to explore, exercise, and make new friends while enjoying a great Aussie adventure. So, it makes perfect sense for these two well-known and popular brands to come together.”Mr Wright said the partnership had the capacity to introduce a whole new segment of families to a first-class leisure accommodation experience at an exciting time.“Our family-focused holiday parks have undergone enormous transformations. Not only are they located in the best spots within Australia’s top tourist destinations, but many have bolstered our amenities offering from swimming pools, aquatic playgrounds and splash parks to jumping pillows and kids’ play rooms and clubs.”“Moreover, many park operators curate localised experiences for parents ranging from yoga classes to gourmet food and wine tastings from local producers, all within the best natural and secure surrounds so parents can relax and enjoy their holiday just as much as the kids.”As part of the agreement, The Wiggles and BIG4 will be offering The Wiggles audience a range of benefits and opportunities that will be rolled out in the coming months.last_img read more

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first_imgAs the Arizona Cardinals prepare for their season finale against the rival San Francisco 49ers, the future of head coach Ken Whisenhunt continues to take center stage.Rumors are swirling that Whisenhunt could be one of a good number of head coaches fired on “Black Monday.” ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen joined The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Friday and said he believes Whisenhunt isn’t the only member of Cardinals’ brass who could be shown the door. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling It’s quite possible Whisenhunt could do well coaching another team, as many of his supporters suggest, but it may just be too little, too late in Arizona. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “There’s going to be changes in Arizona,” Mortensen said. “By the way, there’s going to be a lot of general manager changes.”Mortensen said Cardinals GM Rod Graves is on thin ice with the team and he could indeed be one of the general managers on the way out.Graves and Whisenhunt have taken a lot of heat for the Cardinals’ failure at obtaining and helping to cultivate a franchise quarterback. Mortensen believes that it may be in the best interest of both Whisenhunt and the Cardinals to go their separate ways.“Because of the quarterback situation and just how they have botched it and I know [Whisenhunt] well, I have great respect for him and I believe he will be a head coach again if he’s fired,” Mortensen explained. “But the quarterback thing is really on both of them and you know that the owners, the Bidwill family, are very frustrated.”While the quarterback debacle may indeed seal Whisenhunt’s fate, there are other factors that indicate it could be time for a change. The 50-year-old coach came to Arizona with the hope of using his esteemed offensive background to revamp the Cardinals’ system. But in the last three years of his six season tenure, the offense has failed to meet expectations. Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories last_img read more

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first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   Carson Palmer did not play well in New Orleans. Although he has only played three games for the Cards, this was his worst showing. Palmer completed just over 50 percent of his passes, threw for only 187 yards and two picks. And the offense responded to his performance in kind. Big Red scored only seven points. The offense was relatively anemic on third down and only got into the Red Zone twice. That’s what happens in the NFL when your Q struggles and that’s why quarterbacks get paid the kind of money they do. Most teams go as far as their QB will take them. – / 30 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The problem is you cannot be a successful quarterback in the National Football League if you anticipate the hits or expect the hits. A quarterback needs to anticipate the rush but not the hit; and the only expectation they should have is to be successful. In theory…But theory is not reality and the reality for Carson Palmer came crashing down around him on Sunday — literally. Palmer is going to be fine; he’s not the problem for the Cardinals. He has played very well considering he hasn’t had great protection. But, unfortunately, he has got to settle his soul, accept his plight and bear the burden of responsibility that comes with being a quarterback in the NFL. Being a successful quarterback in professional football translates into big dollars. The rewards are real for crisis management…and so is the punishment. The question is why did Carson Palmer play poorly? And the answer is getting old.The offensive line created a Context of Crisis for Palmer, where every read was a little quicker, every throw a little sooner than it should have been and every decision not as sound as it needs to be. Palmer let the pressure get to him and that is something we have not seen heretofore. When we watch a QB under duress make bad decisions and/or bad throws, we can empathize with why he didn’t execute. It’s completely understandable. Coaches are no different. They look at the film, break it down, pick it to pieces and grade every play with the eyes of one who knows the context of every play in which a QB is operating. They understand the situation…but can never accept poor decisions or ill-advised throws.And this is how I feel about Palmer’s performance on Sunday. It’s unacceptable…but I completely understand how it happens. Getting your back waxed by a 300-pounder is something our brains rail against and warn us of — consciously and subconsciously. Self-preservation and instinct take over and those primal attributes begin to affect our gross motor skills and psyche. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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first_imgStanton will be under center Sunday as the 9-3 Cardinals host the 7-5 Kansas City Chiefs at 2:05 p.m. The game can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Your browser does not support the audio element. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Jaworski said he’s seen Stanton makes some fundamental missteps in the veteran’s latest round of starts for the Cardinals.“I saw some mechanical breakdowns in the game (against Atlanta), which always bother me — when you feel pressure and start drifting back, when you’re not staying on your back leg and driving the football, when you’re not finishing your throws because you sense defensive linemen around you,” said the analyst, who played quarterback for four teams over 15 NFL seasons. “Those are the little things that bother me about quarterbacks. The one thing you have to do is be tough. You’ve got to hang in the pocket; you’re going to get hit if you complete it or not, and you’d better make sure you complete it.“But you can’t have mechanical breakdowns — and fundamental breakdowns in those mechanics. And I’m seeing too much of them from Drew Stanton.”Even though Jaworski thought Stanton looked rattled in the Cardinals’ most recent game, the analyst agreed that getting Larry Fitzgerald back from an MCL injury could help the signal caller regain some confidence.“Every quarterback likes that security blanket: the guy he trusts (and) he knows where he’s going to be,” the ESPN football expert said. “And Larry certainly is that guy. And there clearly has been that communication issue, I believe, as I watch these routes develop with the timing of the quarterback and the wide receivers. And when you have a Larry Fitzgerald, he certainly is a guy that Drew Stanton is going to look for because he knows where he’s going to be.” “We’ve known this all along: When Carson Palmer went down, this offense would become very pedestrian, and it has been since,” Jaworski said Thursday on Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Bruce (Arians) tried to sell everyone real hard that Drew Stanton could lead them to the Super Bowl. Well, it was a good sales job, but I told you three weeks ago I wasn’t buying it. This team was going to have to win other than the quarterback making plays. Yeah, (Stanton) made some plays, but not enough where this team is going to challenge to go deep in the playoffs.”The 30-year-old Stanton threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns in his first full game since Palmer was placed on injured reserve, helping Arizona to a 14-6 home win over the Detroit Lions. However, the seven-year quarterback also threw two interceptions in the Nov. 16 win, and he tossed three picks over the next two games before recording a passing touchdown late in the fourth quarter against Atlanta. On the season, Stanton has completed 55.3 percent of his passes for 1,363 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s already seen more action this year than in any other campaign. 0 Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals backup quarterback Drew Stanton filled in adequately when Carson Palmer missed three games early in the 2014 campaign.But now that Palmer is out for good and Stanton once again has the keys to the offense, the fanbase may be getting a little restless, especially in light of the team’s first back-to-back losses of the season.Even though Arizona’s defense shares a good portion of the blame for a 29-18 loss in Atlanta last Sunday, ESPN football analyst Ron Jaworski said he was never convinced the Cardinals could keep up their winning ways without their starting QB.center_img Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires LISTEN: Ron Jaworski, ESPN NFL analyst last_img read more

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