Attendees at this week’s MICE event in NZ have posted their thoughts, offering Christchurch (CHC) & Canterbury Convention Bureau advice on the future appearance of the city’s conventions and conferences industry.Joining the 30,000 ideas shared by people from CHC during the city’s Share an Idea expo held in May this year, the Bureau’s manager Leonie Ashford told e-Travel Blackboard that receiving feedback and advice from people in the industry would contribute to the future business events success in the city. Ms Ashford explained that Share an Idea was designed as part of the re-building stage to look into how people live in CHC, how they move with transport and the architecture of the city.She added that using the same concept at MEETINGS would offer the Bureau “expert advice” on the conventions side of the map.“Buyers and exhibitors know what will work and what won’t,” Ms Ashford said.“For us it’s about doing it properly, right now we are at a stage to determine the safety of rebuilding.“Then we’ll have the city plan which will include major hotels and conferences.”Theme Pro owner Chris Stead told e-Travel Blackboard that earthquakes in the city has challenged the industry and said Share an Idea would help only make the city “better”.“Asking people the use of space is the best way to build something great,” Mr Stead explained.“Gone are the days of authoritarian architecture, asking people is the best way to do it.”Ms Ashford added that although the city’s capabilities of hosting events are limited for the moment, areas closely located outside the city were still open and equipped to organise MICE get-togethers.The Bureau’s head also noted that re-development plans, particularly building, will be required to follow new regulations that have been put in place to decrease the damage caused by any future quakes. “Our capacity to host large, multi-day conferences is limited at the moment because of the accommodation problems in the central city, but we still have the ability to host one-day conferences. We’ve got a great new airport terminal which is getting rave reviews so there is no reason why people can’t fly in, spend the day conferencing in Christchurch, and then fly home again that night,’” Ms Ashford says. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
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Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M Australians now have the ability to pre-book their entertainment options before visiting the US to many sold out sports games, concerts or theatre productions using a local credit card online at StubHub. The company, owned by eBay, is now Australian and New Zealand compliant and allows visitors to browse through thousands of attractions up for secondary sale by ticket owners and in most cases, can purchase tickets for less than the original retail value. “Part of the experience for Australians visiting USA is to see an event,” StubHub Communications Manager, Glenn Lehrman told e-Travel Blackboard during his first visit to Sydney last week. “Since we’ve launched our cross border trade, Australia has bought 30 per cent more than any other international market” “StubHub’s motto ‘where fans buy and sell tickets’ explains the concept clearly, and in some cases, with seasonal tickets, travellers can find bargains for a few cents.” Mr Lehrman said StubHub provides an optimal buying experience that does not currently exist in the Australian or New Zealand marketplace and gives travellers the ability to book and schedule events before departing allowing more freedom with their travel plans.For more information, or to book tickets, visit www.stubhub.com
Business Events Sydney (BESydney) has unveiled a new strategies and corporate restructure that will see the company target NSW MICE opportunities.Announced yesterday, the company said among the key changes would be the appointment of a Mumbai-based representative to drive more Indian business as well as the launch of a new corporate structure that will see company’s resources grow.Kicking off from July 2012, BESydney chief executive Lyn Lewis-Smith said the organisation would also be divided into four teams focused on growing, securing, delivering and sustaining. “The new structure will better support clients throughout the event lifecycle, and combined with other initiatives – such as our new Future Leaders program – will help to give us the edge on understanding and delivering meetings for the coming generations,” Ms Lewis-Smith said. “We are refocused, re-energised and realigned for the future.”As well, the company said it would look to recruit a new general manager of business development while from 1 June Hannah Jamieson will step into the new role of general manager of strategic marketing.Robyn Johnson will also join the team under the role of general manager event delivery as Sonya Stewart remains in her role a chief financial officer.“The team is excited,” she added. “We will streamline processes, deepen and expand international and domestic collaborative relationships with the private and public sectors, and increase our flexibility and agility to respond to emerging market trends.“This year BESydney has already achieved a record number of bid wins, and there are a number of weeks to go before we close the books. “Yet, achievement doesn’t mean we can be complacent. It is time to challenge the status quo!” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is expanding its footprint in Australia and the Pacific with the signing of Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands, due to open in 2017.The new hotel joins Starwood’s extensive portfolio of 13 hotels at a time of unprecedented growth for the brand in the Pacific region, and follows Starwood’s expansion in Perth with the signings of The Westin Perth and Aloft Perth Rivervale earlier this year.Also this year, Starwood has opened three hotels in Australia and the Pacific; Sheraton Melbourne Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane and Sheraton Resort and Spa, Tokoriki Island in Fiji, with a further two additions to be opened in Samoa by the end of the year.“Starwood’s growing footprint in Australia is well-aligned with the increased global demand we are seeing for quality lodging in the country and with our globally-recognised, nine design-led brands, strong sales platform and leading loyalty program, Starwood is well positioned to help our partners grow and meet the needs of the next generation of travellers,” Starwood Hotels and Resorts Pacific vice president Sean Hunt said.Designed by award-winning architectural company dKo, the new-build Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands will feature 269 guest rooms, offering harbour and city views, conveniently located in the newly developed Digital Harbour Precinct in Melbourne Docklands.The hotel will offer three food and beverage venues, fitness facilities including a 25 metre outdoor heated swimming pool, and flexible meeting and function space and services.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich
Tourism Accommodation Australia concerned ACCC ruling on Online Travel AgentsAustralia’s peak accommodation organisation, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), has expressed concerns about the recent agreement between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Online Travel Agencies (OTA) – Booking.com and Expedia – in regard to restrictive price practices.TAA CEO said, “TAA welcomed the chance to be included in discussions with ACCC, but has advised ACCC that in its view the agreement doesn’t go far enough to protect hotels and consumers.“Whilst the decision that hotels no longer have to give OTAs the same availability of rooms was welcomed, TAA advised the decision to allow OTAs to prohibit hotels from offering lower rates online clearly lessened competition and was detrimental to hotels and travellers.“We advised the ACCC it should have insisted that OTAs allow hotels to set their own rates online.“Hotels will only be able to offer cheaper prices than an OTA over the phone, over the counter or via a loyalty club.“Smaller hotels in particular feel very vulnerable to the power of the global OTA duopoly.“The ACCC needs to send a stronger message to these two global giants to ensure travellers’ interests are protected.“Over the past year a number of hotel groups have committed to providing members of their loyalty programs with exclusive rates lower than that offered by OTAs, which highlights the benefits of booking direct with hotels.“For consumers, joining a hotel’s loyalty club is the best guarantee of accessing competitive rates.”Source = Tourism Accommodation Australia
With only days remaining before India implements its e-Visa scheme for Chinese tourists, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh made a strong pitch to woo travellers from China with lucrative packages and their age-old spice, martial arts links besides natural beauty steeped in local culture.With a well laid out publicity network, Kerala made a big show at special evening for Chinese media and travel writers in Beijing by organising a fusion performance which combines its ancient martial art ‘Kalaripayattu’ with China’s Shaolin temple, whose early roots stretches to the South Indian state.Six performers of ‘Kalaripayattu’ joined hands with Shaolin experts highlighting similarities between two traditional art forms at a dazzling gathering organised by the Indian Embassy in Beijing.K Sunilkumar Gurukkal, who had featured in movies alongside Hollywood’s Kung Fu star Jackie Chan, headed ‘Kalaripayattu’ team. Kathakali dance form was also displayed. Kerala’s Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar headed a delegation to China that included state Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson and Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao.Anilkumar said the fusion of ‘Kalaripayattu’ and Shaolin showed that Kerala and China have a lot in common, reminding the Chinese the adventure travels undertaken by China’s marine adventure traveller Zheng He to Kerala few hundred years ago.The state still has China’s imprints like the Chinese fishing nets dotting the coast line of Kochi, which has became a major landmark for tourists. Even though Kerala attracted over a million foreign tourists last year, Chinese accounted for little over 4,000.Andhra Pradesh, which caught the eye of Chinese investors after the April visit of its Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, is also making an effort to attract Chinese tourists showcasing its amenities like the 974 km long coastline of Visakhapatnam as well as Buddhist centres like Amaravathi which too had ancient links with China.According to Le Yucheng, Chinese Ambassador to India, Andhra Pradesh is becoming a centre for Chinese investments, specially the Kakinada Port.
Auckland, with a population of 1.5 million people, is the most populous city in New Zealand. The tourism in the Auckland is quite diverse with the city being the perfect marriage between modern buildings, art and nature.Source: Expedia
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority will be joining Pacific Asia Travel Association, thus becoming the first national tourism organisation from Africa in PATA.A letter of agreement has been signed between the two organisations that will help the nation increase the number of international tourist arrivals from influential source markets across the Asia Pacific region.“Gone are the days when just being a tourist destination was a selling point on its own. Now, with the growth of the digital world, destinations must be more innovative to get the much-needed attention from tourists in the face of growing competition. We have no doubt that the journey that we are embarking upon with PATA will go a long way to penetrating the huge Asia Pacific market,” said Karikoga Kaseke, CEO, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, welcomed this new move and confirmed close collaboration between the two organisations in support of the country’s efforts in tourism.“Zimbabwe is a fascinating country with many valuable tourism assets. The government’s new visa regime will enable easier access for visitors from many markets. I look forward to strengthening our ties with the public, private and academic sectors in Zimbabwe and I am convinced that PATA’s many membership benefits will act as a solid foundation for a new bridge that links Zimbabwe with the Asia Pacific region,” he added.Dr Hardy will also be aligning the advocacy themes of PATA with the challenges and opportunities arising in the destination including visa facilitation, human capital development, sustainability, crisis management/business recovery, to name a few.
Bali International Convention Centre (BICC) is delighted to share the recent uplifting conference that was held in its magnificent Mangupura Hall. BICC was the honoured host of the 3rd IDB Member Countries Sovereign Investments Forum which is an annual event of Islamic Development Forum (IDB) partnering with the Ministry of Finance Republic of Indonesia.The event was held from April 10–12, 2017 and organised by PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero) with presentation of an extraordinary exhibition, meetings and a lavish gala dinner for all the IDB members. The event was opened by Indonesia Vice President H.E Jusuf Kalla accompanied by President of IDB H.E Bandar M.H Hajjar and it was also attended by the Minister of Finance H.E Mulyani Indrawati along with other Ministers of Republic Indonesia.This year’s conference brought the theme of ‘Promoting Responsible Investments in IDB Member Countries’ and showcased various exhibitions from local crafts to company products in supporting the infrastructure.The Executive Chef Manoj Rawat and his culinary team had a careful and thoughtful preparation for the delightful gala dinner held at Mangupura Hall. The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali once again proved to be the perfect venue to host such a large-scale group and conference together with its iconic BICC.
Alitalia has confirmed itself as the most punctual airline in the world with 89.31% of flights landing on schedule time in March 2019. The Italian airline is at the top of the ranking even when considering the first quarter of 2019.The March on-time performance report was published by FlightStats, the authoritative U.S. independent society which drafts the list of the major airlines in the world for on-time performance every month, comparing data of equivalent airlines for size and network.The excellent on-time index performed by Alitalia in March follows the results of February when Alitalia had ranked as the most punctual airline in the world, and January when the Italian airline had taken second place. The analysis performed by FlightStats reported that Alitalia’s on-time performance was, in March, about 10 percentage points higher than the average punctuality index of world airlines (79.5%). Furthermore, Alitalia was the only European airline in the top five of the most punctual airlines in the world.FlightStats is one of the few data service companies that monitors almost every flight operated by each airline. FlightStats follows the ‘A14’ on-time performance method, monitoring flights which arrive at the gate less than 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival time.
Share Mortgage applications recovered slightly during the first week of December, the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://mba.org/default.htm (MBA) reported.[IMAGE]MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed a 1.0 percent increase in loan application volume (seasonally adjusted) for the week ending December 6. [COLUMN_BREAK]The previous survey’s results had included an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday. Unadjusted, the index increased 43 percent.Examining loan type, MBA’s Refinance Index increased 2 percent week-over-week, though it was 16 percent down compared to the week prior to Thanksgiving. The refinance share of total mortgage activity increased 2 percentage points to 65 percent.On the purchase side, applications increased 1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, ending the week 3 percent lower than the week before Thanksgiving. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 37 percent on a weekly basis and was 10 percent lower than the same week last year.Also notable was last week’s increase in adjustable-rate mortgage loans, which grew to represent 8.1 percent of all activity–the highest level since July 2008.As applications rose, so did mortgage rates. MBA’s average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.61 percent, up from 4.51 percent and the highest rate since September. Points, meanwhile, decreased to 0.26 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2013-12-11 Tory Barringer in Origination Mortgage Applications Pick Up Following Thanksgiving December 11, 2013 421 Views
Share The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), functioning as the conservator for Freddie Mac, announced a settlement with RBS Securities, Inc. RBS will pay $99.5 million, resolving claims against RBS in FHFA v. Ally Financial Inc.The settlement resolves alleged violations of federal and state securities law in connection with private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) purchased by Freddie Mac during 2005 to 2007.FHFA noted that a separate lawsuit involving RBS, FHFA v. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, is not affected by this settlement.The settlement noted, “This agreement does not constitute an admission by RBSSI of any liability or wrongdoing whatsoever, including, but not limited to, any liability or wrongdoing with respect to any of the allegations that were or could have been raised in the Ally Action.”Furthermore, the settlement’s language said, “To the contrary, RBSSI vigorously denies the allegations in the Ally action. This Agreement also does not constitute an admission by FHFA or Freddie Mac that they would not have been able to successfully prosecute their claims, and in fact FHFA and Freddie Mac firmly believe in the merit of each of their allegations in the Ally Action.”This is the 15th settlement related to 18 PLS lawsuits filed by FHFA in 2011. RBS, FHFA Reach $99.5M Settlement in Securities Case June 23, 2014 461 Views FHFA Mortgage-Backed Securities Royal Bank of Scotland Settlements 2014-06-23 Colin Robins in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News
in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Freddie Mac: Index Shows Most Metro Housing Markets Are Improving Freddie Mac released its most recent Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) Wednesday, and the results are a positive sign for the housing industry overall.The new report, which now covers 100 metro areas (rather than just 50, as in previous versions), reveals that 60 percent of the nation’s top housing markets are now showing a three-month upward trend.Overall, the national MiMi value for February was 74.7, up 0.65 percent from January and 0.30 percent over the previous three months. Since last year, the MiMi value has jumped 3.53 percent.Though the increases are minimal (the all-time high in the U.S. was 121.7), they still indicate the nation’s housing markets are moving in a positive direction. After all, the nation hit its lowest point just five years ago—in October 2010—with a MiMi value of just 57.4.On a state-by-state basis, many areas are doing much better than the national value would suggest. Fourteen states, including North Dakota, Hawaii, Montana, and Wyoming, have MiMi values in the high-80s to mid-90s, while 18 of the 100 metro areas do as well.According to the report, the most stable housing markets are located in Honolulu; Austin and McAllen, Texas; Los Angeles; and Fresno, California. Additionally, the most improved metros on a month-over-month basis were Detroit, Fresno, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Portland, Oregon. Year-by-year, Las Vegas, Denver, Detroit, Palm Bay, Florida, and Stockton, California, saw the most improvement. Stockton improved by 14.15 percent.According to Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, expanding the MiMi to include 50 additional metro markets has help gather more comprehensive information on the state of the nation’s housing industry.“By adding an additional 50 metro markets to the monthly MiMi,” Kiefer said, “we are able to capture greater insights into what’s moving local housing markets heading into the spring homebuying season. The good news is after a slight stumble last month, nearly 60 percent of all markets are improving. Also, of the top 100 metro areas, over 60 are showing purchase applications up from the same time last year with over 20 of those metro areas showing double-digit percentage increases.”Kiefer said improving job opportunities seem to be an indicator of a stronger housing market.”Likewise, the employment picture continues to improve in most markets, helping to support greater interest in purchasing a home, “Kiefer said. “For example, in markets like Fresno, California, Provo, Utah, and Portland, Oregon, the employment picture continues to improve, homebuyer affordability is also strong, and we’re seeing purchase applications up nearly 20 percent compared to the same time last year.”In addition to the MiMi results, Freddie Mac also released its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) today. The survey revealed that fixed mortgage rates have decreased slightly, nearing closer to their 2015 lows. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.65, down from 3.67 last week, while 15-year fixed mortgages dropped from 2.94 percent to 2.92.Head to FreddieMac.com to see the full results of this month’s MiMi or PMMS. April 23, 2015 544 Views Freddie Mac Housing Market Multi-Indicator Market Index 2015-04-23 Seth Welborn Share
December 12, 2016 640 Views in Daily Dose, Headlines, News Global DMS Launches Global Delivery 2016-12-12 Staff Writer Global DMS, a provider of web-based compliant valuation management software, has launched Global Delivery™, an alternative to the traditional way appraisal documents are prepared, packaged, and compliantly provided to borrowers by way of printed appraisals sent via U.S. mail, according to a recent announcement from the company.“What Global Delivery accomplishes is applying the greatest level of automation possible to alleviate an elderly task of yesteryear,” says Vladimir Bien-Aime, President and CEO of Global DMS. “There is still consumer demand in residential mortgage valuations to receive the fully packaged appraisal via the U.S. Postal Service, and of course, to receive it in full CFPB compliance. Global Delivery is a perfect blend of technology and service that automates the manual and cumbersome process of printing, folding and mailing appraisals to borrowers.”According to Global DMS, the CFPB issued its Disclosure and Delivery Requirements for Copies of Appraisals and Other Written Valuations under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B) rule, and the copies of valuations may be delivered to the borrower either on paper or electronically. The announcement says that although some solutions handle electronic delivery of appraisals, Global Delivery sufficiently addresses the hard-copy delivery of appraisals or other valuations to the borrower via mail.“Global Delivery can process appraisal documents and merge a pre-programmed, lender-branded cover letter that then delivers the hard copy to the borrower’s doorstep,” says the announcement. “Global Delivery automatically ships appraisals to lenders’ borrowers with one simple click. There is zero printing, folding and stamps involved for the lender.” Share
in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share April 11, 2018 728 Views Bank of America Digital Experience Digital Mortgage Home Homebuyers homeowners HOUSING Lending Millennials mortgage Smart Homes technology 2018-04-11 Radhika Ojha Technology is increasingly powering the homebuying experience and according to a Homebuyer Insight Report released by Bank of America on Wednesday, to coincide with the launch of its Digital Mortgage Experience, that seamlessly guides clients through the mortgage process via the bank’s mobile banking and online platform. The report indicated that more people were comfortable about applying for a mortgage online than they are with online dating. Social media apps like Instagram and the fear of missing out (FOMO) are also playing a huge role in motivating millennials to buy a home. The report found that seeing photos of others’ home on social media motivated many millennials to buy for the first time, with 33 percent millennials responding to the question on what they felt on seeing others post pictures of their homes on social media with the answer: “If they can buy a home, why can’t I?”It wasn’t just buying a home; millennials were more willing to share their home purchase on social media, more so than a new job or car, the study indicated. In fact, sharing a home purchase was ranked even above a birth announcement with 43 percent of all buyers and 53 percent millennials choosing this medium to share the purchase of their new abode.Across generations, the study found that consumers were increasingly using mobile and other emerging technology when thinking of buying a home with 71 percent consumers referring to a real estate website or app during the homebuying process followed by 48 percent preferring to take a video tour of a home.Consumers were also of the opinion that the reliance on technology would only increase. The study found that in the next 10 years 67 percent Americans believed that smart home and energy-efficient features would be standard in new construction, followed by 55 percent who thought mortgage applications would be entirely paperless in a decade. Around 53 percent consumers said that emerging technologies would allow the entire homebuying process to get completed in a matter of days.Efficiency was also top of mind for all consumers who were surveyed for the study. When describing their ideal home buying experience, 64 percent said it should be simple and efficient over speed and automation.The introduction of the Digital Mortgage Experience is the latest of Bank of America’s digital lending offerings, which include the recent broad availability of its mobile car shopping tool that enables clients to search 1 million cars in inventory from more than 2,400 auto dealers nationwide.“Everything we do starts and ends with clients, and the Digital Mortgage Experience is designed to make their lives simpler,” said D. Steve Boland, Head of Consumer Lending at Bank of America. “Our new end-to-end experience empowers clients with complete convenience and control, while also offering unique access to lending experts every step of the way.” Photo Op: Social Media and Millennial Homebuyers
June 27 , 2018 According to Zeng, if weather conditions are right the late-season variety can enjoy a long production season from September and be present in the local market almost year-round.Chinese pears were first shipped to the European market around 10 years ago, he said, with varieties such as the Ya, Crown, and Crystal pears having gained a market foothold.The Ya pear is the best known in world markets of those varieties, while the Su pear has more of a niche market and is usually sold in the domestic Chinese market.Although it is relatively new in the European market, Zeng believes a strong future lies ahead for the Su pear, noting its different taste to other Chinese varieties and the willingness of European consumers to try something new.The Su pear has four main growing regions in China, Qi County in Shanxi Province, Daishan County in Anhui Province, and Pucheng County in Shaanxi Province and Ningling County in Henan Province.Pears have been grown in Qi County for around four decades, with the total production acreage currently standing at around 16,500 acres, generally at an altitude of 800 to 1,200 meters. Zeng’s company covers around a tenth of that area.www.freshfruitportal.com Shoppers will pay the price as U.S.-China trade wa … You might also be interested in Turkish cherry industry eyes strong future in Chin … Having built up a presence with its Su pears in the U.K. and the Netherlands, a Chinese exporter based in the northern Shanxi province is now also setting its sights on the Belgian market this season. Wang Zeng, of Qi County-based Qi Xian Hong Yang Fruit Industry Co. and U.K.-based importer Wang Zeng International, said about two-thirds of the company’s production is shipped to Europe, with the remainder sold domestically and in Southeast Asian markets.After entering the Belgian market, Zeng said he would like to reach deals with wholesale markets and retailers in other European countries like Germany, France, Spain and Italy.With the local pear season now finished in Europe and the last small volumes being cleared from the market, a window is opening up for Su pears. Current price levels are similar to the same time last year, he saidThe variety has yellow skin, are have crispy flesh and an oval shape. U.S.: Disaster aid change would benefit cherry gro … China: Dongfang sees lower profit in 2018 but reco …
IMAGE: Danielle Stucki, Hampton Travel & Cruise; Jacqui Bendall, Surry Travel & Cruise; Gary Seignior, Hampton Travel & Cruise; and Simone Kaye, Worldwide TravelLast week, Victorian members of the Magellan Travel Group gathered for a night of socialising and networking with their peers at The Botanical, in South Yarra.Fiona Caffery, event organiser and director of Magellan member agency Travel Sense, said that “…it is fabulous that we come together on a regular basis at events like this. I am so thrilled with the turnout that we had tonight and I love to see us like-minded travel and business professionals encourage, support and inspire one another.”The event was an opportunity for some of the newest members meet and mingle with their peers within the group. Liz Young of Travel Avenue, Amy Wyatt of Destination HQ and Jacqui Bendall of Surry Travel & Cruise were in attendance, all representing the latest agencies that commence their partnership with Magellan over the coming months.Magellan Travel Group CEO Andrew Macfarlane said that he is “…very much looking forward to working with experienced travel professionals such as Liz, Amy and Jacqui and their respective teams.” AgencyagentsMagellan Travel Group
Departing June 23, 2018, the all-inclusive, 2000km motorcycle expedition across Madagascar – the world’s fourth largest island – will be Extreme Bike Tours’ first-ever foray on the tropical island to cater for growing numbers of two-wheeled travellers keen to explore new horizons. Riders will be taken across a landscape of lush valleys, rice paddies, coffee and vanilla plantations, sleepy, seaside hamlets and traditional, hill-top villages where hand-pulled rickshaws are still used. Guests will also enjoy the warm hospitality of the local Malagasy people. Other trips Extreme Bike Tours will offer in 2018 include rides in Cuba, Bhutan, Mongolia, Rajasthan in India, the Indian Himalayas and two adventures in Sri Lanka.Any of Extreme Bike Tours’ 2018 tours booked by August 15, 2017, will attract a 10 per cent discount. If booked by this date, the fully supported Madagascar tour on June 23, 2018, costs US$4725 for riders and US$3915 for pillion passengers, including hotel and cabin accommodation along the route, all meals on the tour, fuel and motorbike hire, an internal flight in Madagascar and local transfers. Flights to Madagascar are extra. After August 15, 2017, the tour is priced from US$5250 for riders and US$4350 for pillion passengers. earlybirdsExtreme Bike ToursMadagascar One of the world’s most exotic and mysterious islands, Madagascar, will play host to a new, guided motorbike tour in 2018, with Extreme Bike Tours unveiling the 15-day adventure as one of eight tours the company will offer around the world next year.To mark the release of its 2018 range of rides, the company is offering a 10 per cent earlybird discount on all eight tours next year, when booked by 15 August, 2017. The 14-night tour begins and ends in the capital, Antananarivo, with guests spending between six and eight hours a day riding either Africa Twin Motorbikes or Honda Transalp bikes across the island. The itinerary includes a canoe ride on the Pangalanes River, a night at the Lemur Forest Camp with a nocturnal tour of the park, the island’s stunning beaches, a ride amongst Madagascar’s famous, prehistoric baobab trees with their massive, cylindrical trunks, and a chance to enjoy delicious, local cuisine.
cruiseRoyal CaribbeanSpectrum of the Seas Move over Quantum Class – Royal Caribbean International has already moved ahead to laying the keel for its newest ship, Spectrum of the Seas, the first and only ship in the cruise line’s new Quantum Ultra class.The important milestone happened at the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock, Germany, and marks the beginning of Spectrum’s ‘groundbreaking and high-tech’ physical construction. Spectrum of the Seas will debut in 2019 and is being specifically designed for guests in China and the Asia-Pacific region.
Samoa Airways has extended its latest sale to 31 March 2019, with flights from Brisbane to Apia one way from $344 and flights from Sydney to Apia one way from $327Prices are AUD and include all taxes. Fares are one way economy.*T&Cs apply saleSamoan Airways