TORONTO — Go big or go home, says Contiki, which recently launched its new 2016-17 Europe Autumn, Winter, Spring program featuring 50 trips to 24 countries and five different trip styles.To celebrate the launch, the tour operator is offerings savings of up to $330 per person off its Winter Europe trips, beginning now through Aug. 25, 2016 from the new program.“These three seasons are a great time to explore Europe, offering unique experiences, smaller crowds and more bang for your loonie,” says Deanna Lambert, Contiki Canada President. “Unique, life-changing adventures is what Contiki is all about, and our AWS trips recognize that young travellers are price sensitive and we are offering great value with our off-peak itineraries.”One such adventure that highlights the diverse offering is the brand new Icelandic itinerary, simply entitled ‘Iceland.’ This four-day adventure is a travel experience that is slightly more off-the-beaten track, and journeys through a country that has quickly topped many Millennials’ bucket lists. With Iceland’s unique landscape as the backdrop, Canadians will experience much of what this Nordic island nation has to offer including a dip in the Blue Lagoon and an exploration of Reykjavik, before heading out with a local guide to search for the Northern Lights.More news: ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthOther highlights include the 25-day ‘Winter Wanderer, which travels along the French Riviera to Rome and Barcelona, and the 10-day ‘European Magic’, a short but concise trip featuring a stopover in Innsbruck and two nights each in Venice and Paris.Equally notable is the nine-day ‘Austria Ski Plus (from London), the eight-day ‘Italian Espresso’, and the seven-day ‘London & Paris.’For more information go to contiki.com. Posted by Contiki launches 2016-17 AWS program with up to $330 in savings << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Share Wednesday, August 3, 2016 Tags: Contiki
Tags: Airbnb By: The Associated Press Wednesday, August 8, 2018 TORONTO — Business travellers are increasingly booking stays through Airbnb and other home-sharing sites.Airbnb said Monday that nearly 700,000 companies have signed up and booked rooms through its business travel portal, almost triple the number since last year.Airbnb’s corporate travel business has been growing exponentially. In 2015 Airbnb for Business (now known as Airbnb for Work) had 250 companies signed up for corporate travel stays. Two years later that number had climbed to 250,000 companies.Airbnb says 15% of its travel nights booked are for business travellers. That compares with 20 per cent for Booking.com, which includes homes and hotels on its site.SAP Concur, which handles travel and expenses for more than 43,000 businesses, says home-sharing is especially appealing when hotel rooms are in short supply. This month, it’s adding Airbnb accommodations to its search options.But home-sharing companies have a long way to go to catch up to hotels. Marriott International says business travel accounts for 70 to 80% of nights booked at its hotels. Share Airbnb seeing growth in business travel << Previous PostNext Post >>
Transat adds Cartagena, Princess Cruises and more to cruise package program Friday, August 10, 2018 Tags: Cartagena, Princess Cruises, Transat MONTREAL — Transat has announced several additions to its 2018-2019 cruise package program, including over 10 new ships, the cruise line Princess Cruises, and Cartagena as a port of embarkation.“With the growing popularity of our all-in-one cruise package program, we’re always seeking new partners and specific itineraries to fine-tune our program and please all of our customers, from families with young children to millennials looking for an adventure at sea,” said Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer at Transat.New and popular itineraries:There are 46 itineraries included in the program and 16 different ships that sail from seven ports of embarkation.With Pullmantur Cruises, Transat has added an all-new itinerary that sails out of Cartagena and visits Costa Rica and Panama.Transat will once again offer cruises sailing out of San JuanNEW: Guests can now add alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to Transat cruise packages offered by Costa in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, as well as with Pullmantur Cruises.Transat will sail the Mediterranean with 16 itineraries and 13 ships.In Europe, Transat offers 11 river cruise itineraries with CroisiEurope.New European river cruises are ideal for making a cross-Atlantic trip even better, much like an excursion. For example, in Andalusia, Spain and Venice, Italy, clients can extend any itinerary with a cruise lasting from a few days to more than a week.More news: GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsTransat advantages:With Flight Protection, clients are sure to get to their port in the event of a flight or ship delay.Clients can also add a hotel stay to their cruise.Under certain conditions, clients can move up their departure date up to 14 days before their cruise, or postpone their return up to 14 days after, at no extra cost.Passengers who book a Caribbean or European cruise package also receive additional baggage allowance (an extra 5kg for a total of 28kg). << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Posted by Share
No injuries after Via Rail train goes off the tracks in Halifax, derails travel plans << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share Tags: Halifax, VIA Rail HALIFAX — Some passengers had their travel plans derailed when part of a Via Rail train went off the tracks on Sunday morning.Via Rail spokeswoman Marie-Anna Murat says in an email that nobody was injured when three cars derailed early Sunday morning at the company’s maintenance centre yard in south end Halifax.She says the passenger train was supposed to leave Halifax at 1 p.m.The company has contacted the affected passengers to offer alternative transportation as well as a refund or the possibility to change their reservation for a later date.Murat says an investigation is ongoing. Travelweek Group Monday, November 26, 2018
Travelweek Group With AQSC buy, Victory ships will offer more excursions, better product Tags: AQSC, Victory Cruise Lines Thursday, July 25, 2019 Share TORONTO — When a cruise line invests US$3 million into upgrades for two recently-acquired ships, you’d think that would trigger a fare increase for passengers. But that’s not the case for American Queen Steamboat Company, which took over Victory Cruise Lines in January 2019.AQSC has lowered – yes, lowered – fares on the M/V Victory I and the M/V Victory II for the 2020 season.M/V Victory IA destination immersive product like Victory’s is for ‘time and money’ travellers, typically Baby Boomers, who are looking for unique experiences on smaller ships. They have the means, but they want value too. Incentives were in place for 2019 sailings now underway, for the first season under AQSC’s ownership. And one of the decisions AQSC made as the new owners of Victory Cruise Lines was to lower prices for the 2020 season.The revised pricing brings fares in line with the product, says Senior VP Sales, Bob Salmon. AQSC also decided to ‘sweat the small stuff’, because as any agent selling cruises knows, the small stuff can make a big difference.In just one example, the ships’ former owners had 9” thick mattresses on the beds. “And we said, we’re going to 13”. The former owners said, ‘But the mattresses are only two years old, they’re virtually brand new.’ But they’re too small, they’re not up to our standard,” says Salmon.More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaThe renovation of the two ships earlier this year was just the start, with more work coming when the ships wrap up their 2019 seasons in the fall. The M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II are identical 202-guests ships sailing North America’s coastal regions, with all-inclusive cruises to the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, Canada and New England.Close to two Canadian dozen travel agents got a first-hand look at Victory I yesterday, taking part in an industry lunch onboard the refurbished ship as it made its way through Ontario’s waterways before docking in Toronto. Cruise Strategies, led by company founder Vanessa Lee, is working on building market presence for both AQSC and Victory in Canada, with both consumers and the trade.Soon there will be a third ship to promote. A brand new-build, Ocean Victory, will join Victory’s fleet in April 2021 for Alaska sailings. The ship will be a full charter for the Alaska sailing season, back each spring to bring passengers up close to The Last Frontier.Meanwhile in 2020 Victory I will sail 9-night itineraries from Chicago to Toronto, cruising all five Great Lakes. “We dip our toe in Lake Superior,” Salmon said with a smile, adding that these cruises are great for bucket list clients who want to check the Great Lakes off their lists.More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionVictory II will offer 7-night itineraries in 2020, from Chicago to Niagara Falls. Three of the Great Lakes are featured on those sailings.AQSC has also added pre-sailing hotel stays for Victory Cruise Line departures, another one of those small but very important details.Seen here in Toronto this week are Vanessa Lee, President, Cruise Strategies and Bob Salmon, Senior Vice President of Sales for American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise LinesPlus, says Salmon, “we will apply our level of shore excursions to the Victory product.” AQSC’s river cruises in the southern U.S. and Pacific Northwest are known for their destination immersive excursions and as Victory’s new owners the company wants to bring Victory I and Victory II’s shore excursions up to the same level.There’s news from AQSC itself too, with a fourth ship, American Countess, joining the fleet in April 2020. AQSC already has American Queen and American Duchess and, in the Pacific Northwest, American Empress.American Empress in Richland, WAVeranda Suite onboard American DuchessA solid 75% of business on the cruise lines come through travel agents, says Salmon, making the retail distribution channel a critical one for the company. “We’ve done a great job in the U.S. developing retail partnerships,” he says. “Now we’re starting to do the same in Canada.”For more details see americanqueensteamboatcompany.com and victorycruiselines.com. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>
Costa Rica welcomed some 2.4 million tourists during 2013, an increase of 3.6 percent compared to 2012, the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) reported Thursday.The Central American country logged 2,427,941 international arrivals, according to a report from the state tourism agency.During the last four years of President Laura Chinchilla’s administration, which concludes on May 8, tourism has grown 15.6 percent.The ICT noted that the biggest growth in the number of travelers came from tourists flying to Costa Rica, which was up 4.2 percent.Costa Rica is especially popular with Gringos. Some 39 percent of tourists here are from the United States, while another 12.4 percent come from Europe. The remaining tourists are from other parts of Central America, South America and the rest of the word.The ICT did not release other information, like how much revenue tourism generated last year.In a statement released Thursday, the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR), an organization made up of private-sector business owners, said they were not satisfied with 3.6 percent growth.“We always consider any increase in the number of visitors as positive, but we can’t say we’re satisfied – it’s not enough,” CANATUR President Isabel Vargas said. “Costa Rica has the natural conditions and a tourist product to attract more travelers than those who are coming now.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Mexico said set to announce new capital airport opening in 2018 White House travel exemptions to Cuba do not cover tourism There’s a real estate boom in Cuba, but for now, only Cubans can buy Numbers reveal Costa Rica’s stagnant position in adventure tourism market
More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories “They want to defend someone who is guilty of crimes and atrocities,” countered Habib Khedr, a deputy with the Ennahda Party. “The national anthem shouldn’t be used like that in the constitutional assembly just to make a fuss.”Al-Mahmoudi, 67, was arrested in September for illegally crossing into Tunisia as he tried to flee to Algeria, where Gadhafi’s family members had sought refuge.Since then, Libya has clamored for the repatriation of Al-Mahmoudi to answer for crimes it says he committed during Gadhafi’s reign. Tunisian courts had approved the extradition.But officials from Libya’s former regime have not fared well in the hands of those that overthrew them, with Gadhafi and one of his sons executed upon capture last year.International human rights groups have condemned the extradition.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Associated PressTUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – Opposition parties staged a walk out from Tunisia’s assembly on Tuesday to protest the extradition to Libya of Moammar Gadhafi’s last prime minister.The fierce debate in parliament, which culminated in an opposition walkout and defiant singing of the national anthem, is the latest repercussion over the extradition of Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, which has caused deep divisions in the North African country’s government. Comments Share 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates On Sunday, the Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali implemented the decision of the courts and ordered Al-Mahmoudi’s to be sent back to Libya where the government that replaced the late Gadhafi’s wants to try him for a variety of crimes.President Moncef Marzouki, a former human rights activist, however, had opposed the extradition on the ground that the former Libyan official risked torture or death.Jebali’s overruling of the president’s objections threw in sharp relief the greater power of the prime minister and his moderate Islamist party Ennahda, which won the most seats in October’s elections.Marzouki comes from one of two smaller allied secular parties.When the speaker of parliament refused to allow a debate on the rupture between the two leaders, the opposition deputies walked out of the chamber and then sang the national anthem from the edges of the room.“It is a symbol of protest because the values of the revolution and human rights are being violated in the country,” said Issam Chebbi of the liberal opposition Republican Party.He said differences between the president and the prime minister are worrisome to all Tunisians and should be discussed. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Top Stories
Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments Share 4 must play golf courses in Arizona About 100 people led by Elorde pulled the crocodile from a creek using a rope and then hoisted it by crane onto a truck. It was named after a government environmental officer who died from a heart attack after traveling to Bunawan to help capture the beast, Elorde said.Elorde said he saw a bigger crocodile escape when Lolong was captured and villagers remain wary of fishing there at night. He said he has formed a new team of hunters and is seeking government permission to start hunting that crocodile.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories Bunawan Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said the news sparked celebrations in his farming town of 37,000 but also fostered concerns that more giant crocodiles might be lurking in a nearby marshland and creek where villagers fish.“There were mixed feelings,” Elorde said by telephone. “We’re really proud because it proves the rich biodiversity of our place but at the same time, there are fears that Lolong may not be alone.”Lolong has become the star attraction of a new ecotourism park and research center in the outskirts of Bunawan and has drawn thousands of tourists since news of its capture spread. Elorde said his town has earned 3 million pesos ($72,000) from the modest entrance fees at the park, with most of the money being used to feed and care for the crocodile and for park maintenance.Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje welcomed the Guinness announcement and the growing attention being given to the crocodile, saying it would help people realize the biodiversity of their surroundings and the need to protect it. He said he would recommend that the government help Bunawan become an ecotourism destination.The crocodile was captured with steel cable traps during a three-week hunt after a child was killed in 2009 and a fisherman went missing. Water buffalos have also been attacked by crocodiles in the area, officials said. Associated PressMANILA, Philippines (AP) – Guinness World Records has declared that a huge crocodile blamed for deadly attacks in the southern Philippines is the largest in captivity in the world. The giant reptile has brought pride, fear, tourism revenues and attention to the remote town where it was captured.The saltwater crocodile named Lolong, which was captured last September in Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur province, measures 20.24 feet (6.17 meters) and weighs more than a ton, Guinness spokeswoman Anne-Lise Rouse said in a statement seen Sunday. The reptile took the top spot from an Australian crocodile which measured more than 17 feet (5 meters) and weighed nearly a ton.
Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Four benefits of having a wireless security system COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) – Sri Lanka police say a diamond swallowed by a Chinese man at a gem exhibition in Colombo was a fake and they are searching for the real stone.Police arrested 32-year-old Chou Wan last week following a complaint that the he had swallowed a 1.5 carat diamond valued at $13,000. An X-ray showed a diamond was inside Chou’s body and he was later given a laxative at a hospital.Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said Tuesday that the recovered diamond was a fake and had no financial value. He said investigators suspect another Chinese man seen with Chou and believed to be his accomplice may have the real diamond. Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments Share Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project How men can have a healthy 2019
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement TOKYO (AP) – Japan and Myanmar on Sunday signed an investment treaty to nurture closer business ties as the once secluded Southeast Asian country opens its fast-growing economy to more foreign commerce.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Myanmar President Thein Sein signed the deal in summit talks following a gathering of leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Tokyo.Japanese businesses have been eager to invest in Myanmar and have stepped up their activities there after Thein Sein’s reformist government came to power in 2011 after nearly 50 years of military rule. Japan’s trade ministry said the agreement is intended to provide greater protections and a stable legal environment for investors. Japan’s investments in Myanmar still lag behind those of China and India, though that is fast changing. Trading companies Mitsubishi Corp., Marubeni Corp. and Sumitomo Corp. are leading a project to develop the 2,400-hectare (5,900-acre) Thilawa Special Economic Zone, located near Yangon, Japan’s biggest investment in Myanmar so far.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories Attracting foreign investment and lending is crucial for aiding the expansion of Myanmar’s resource-rich economy. The country has significant growth potential but is burdened with an inefficient farm sector. It also lacks a manufacturing base after decades of foreign sanctions and restrictive laws under military rule.The treaty calls for Japanese investors to receive the same protections provided to other foreign investors under international rules and prohibits the imposition of export, technology transfer or other requirements in exchange for such investments. It is also intended to improve transparency, key for a country struggling with endemic corruption.Japan is Myanmar’s largest aid donor. To help clear the way for the investment treaty, Tokyo agreed to forgive about $5.32 billion in debt owed by Myanmar and extended bridge loans to help clear the rest.Abe has promised to help support Myanmar’s economic and political reforms with both public and private help, including fresh loans for infrastructure building and major development assistance that will support Japanese business interests in the Southeast Asian nation.Japan had close ties with Myanmar before the junta took power in 1988 and Tokyo suspended grants for major projects. Japan did not impose sanctions on Myanmar in 2003 when the military regime put pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, unlike the U.S. and other Western countries, though it did scale back most business activity and cut government aid.
Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Two Indonesians and five Thais were arrested on charges of human trafficking connected with slavery in the seafood industry, Indonesian police said. They were the first suspects taken into custody since the case was revealed by The Associated Press in a report two months ago.The arrests were made Monday and late Friday in the remote island village of Benjina, said Lt. Col. Arie Dharmanto, National Police anti-trafficking unit chief. How men can have a healthy 2019 Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories ____Associated Press reporter Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia and Martha Mendoza in San Jose, California, contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How do cataracts affect your vision? Five Thai boat captains and two Indonesian employees at Pusaka Benjina Resources, one of the largest fishing firms in eastern Indonesia, were taken into custody. The arrests come after the AP reported on slave-caught seafood shipped from Benjina to Thailand, where it can be exported and enter the supply chains of some of America’s biggest food retailers.“They have committed an extraordinary crime, and we will not let it happen again in Indonesia,” Dharmanto said Tuesday. “We will not stop here. We will pursue those who are involved in this case, whoever they are.”Police will recommend they be charged by prosecutors. If the men go to trial, they could face jail sentences of up to 15 years and fines as high as $46,000, he said.He said the number of suspects would likely climb because authorities are still investigating how thousands of foreign fishermen from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand were put on fishing boats in Thailand — sometimes after being tricked or kidnapped — and brought to work in Indonesian waters where they were not allowed to leave. Many said they were beaten and forced to work up to 24 hours a day with inadequate food and unclean water. Most were paid little or nothing at all. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility With 59 Cambodians returning home Monday, most of those remaining are from Myanmar, otherwise known as Burma, but a few are also from Laos. More than 200 others have also been identified in Benjina and are waiting for travel documents to go home as well.Dharmanto said authorities planned to fly all the suspects to Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, after the investigation is completed. Police were still questioning the company’s security guards, who were also expected to be named as suspects, he added.He said the police probe found that hundreds of foreign fishermen were recruited in Thailand and brought to Indonesia using fake immigration papers and seamen books and were subjected to brutal labor abuses. The suspects are accused of locking fishermen up for one to six months in a prison-like cell located in the company’s compound in Benjina.Police have seized five fishing boats allegedly used by the suspects for human trafficking and slavery-like practices as well as dozens of fake passports and seamen books.Dharmanto said the arrests were made after police questioned more than 50 foreign fishermen from Myanmar and Cambodia along with 16 witnesses, including company employees, immigration and port officials. The yearlong AP investigation found that tainted fish can wind up in the supply chains of some of America’s biggest food sellers, such as Wal-Mart, Sysco and Kroger. It can also find its way into the supply chains of some of the most popular brands of canned pet food, including Fancy Feast, Meow Mix and Iams. The companies have all said they strongly condemn labor abuse and are taking steps to prevent it, such as working with human rights groups to hold subcontractors accountable.Gavin Gibbons, spokesman for the National Fisheries Institute, which represents about 75 percent of U.S. seafood sellers, said they are eager to see the cases prosecuted.“This is exactly the kind of action we’ve called for,” he said Tuesday. “We are pleased to see the government of Indonesia working swiftly to investigate and acting to arrest suspects in this incident.”In April, a week after the story was published, Indonesia’s Fisheries Ministry made a dramatic rescue when officials loaded more than 300 slaves and former slaves in Benjina onto six fishing boats for a 17-hour overnight voyage to the island of Tual where they have since been housed at a makeshift camp near the port.
5 treatments for adult scoliosis 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Tutu did not divulge details of the criminal charge. But police in Western Cape province, where Desmond Tutu is based, indicated in a statement that his wife Leah had initiated the complaint.“This office can confirm that a malicious damage to property case was opened for investigation by the complainant against her granddaughter,” police said. The case was opened on May 7, police said.The retired archbishop said his statement was a response to comments posted on social media by his granddaughter.Ziyanda Palesa Tutu said on Twitter on Tuesday that she was “regrouping” and “will be handing myself in on Friday.”She describes herself on Twitter as Desmond Tutu’s first grandchild, a qualified wine judge and a writer from Johannesburg with “controversial” political and religious views.Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for campaigning against South Africa’s white racist rulers at the time.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African retired archbishop Desmond Tutu said one of his grandchildren has been charged with a crime, and in what appeared to be a Tutu family dispute, police said Friday they were investigating a case of property damage.Tutu confirmed the investigation of granddaughter Ziyanda Palesa Tutu in a statement released Thursday by the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.“We are naturally distressed and deeply saddened,” Tutu said in the statement. The foundation said it “hopes and prays that the family will soon be able to put this incident behind it.” New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement
Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies BEIJING (AP) — China will make it easier for Taiwanese to visit, state media reported Monday, in the latest appeal to voters ahead of crucial presidential elections on the island in January.Rule changes will remove the need for Taiwanese visitors to apply for entry permits, the reports said, citing comments by top government adviser Yu Zhengsheng at a weekend China-Taiwan forum.Travel passes issued by Beijing to Taiwanese will be converted from passport-like documents to a basic computer readable card, the reports said. China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and doesn’t recognize passports issued by the self-governing island democracy, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949.Over the past decade, China has sought to court the Taiwanese electorate with economic incentives such as market access for the island’s agricultural goods and visits by free-spending Chinese tourists.However, many Taiwanese voters have balked at closer ties, fearing for the island’s political independence and worried that the benefits go mainly to the rich and major corporations instead of the struggling middle class.Dissatisfaction with the ruling Nationalist Party’s pro-China policies resulted in massive wins for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party in last year’s local elections.That has raised expectations for a strong showing in next year’s elections in which DPP candidate Tsai Ying-wen is the early front runner. The DPP is also expected to perform strongly in polls for the national legislature being held the same day.Unlike the Nationalists, the DPP has refused to endorse Beijing’s insistence that it recognize China and Taiwan as part of a single country. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes How do cataracts affect your vision?
Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies More than a third of Kuwait’s 1.2 million citizens are believed to be Shiite.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Kuwaiti authorities on Sunday identified the suicide bomber behind an attack on a Shiite mosque that killed 27 people as a Saudi citizen who flew into the Gulf nation just hours before blowing himself up.Police have begun making arrests in connection with Friday’s bombing, which took place at one of Kuwait’s oldest Shiite mosques during midday prayers. An affiliate of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the blast in the normally peaceful oil-rich nation. The Interior Ministry named the bomber as Fahad Suleiman Abdulmohsen al-Gabbaa and said he was born in 1992, making him 22 or 23 years old. It said in a statement carried by the official Kuwait News Agency that he arrived on a flight to Kuwait International Airport at dawn Friday.Authorities also said they arrested a 25-year-old from Kuwait’s “bidoon” community, identified as Abdulrahman Sabah Eidan Saud, who they say drove the car that brought the bomber to the mosque.The bidoon community is made up of descendants of desert nomads and others considered stateless by the government. They have long claimed the government deprives them of citizenship and rights.A Kuwaiti man who housed the driver was also taken into custody. The Interior Ministry described him as a follower of a “fundamentalist and deviant ideology.”The government-linked Al-Jarida newspaper reported that at least seven suspects had been detained in connection with the attack, which has drawn condemnation from Sunni groups in Kuwait and leaders from across the Middle East.Officials say 227 people were wounded in the attack.A local affiliate of the Islamic State group calling itself the Najd Province has claimed responsibility for the bombing. The IS group considers Shiites to be heretics and is fighting Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria. Top Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Thousands of Sunnis and Shiites from across the country take part in a mass funeral procession for 27 people killed in a suicide bombing that targeted the Shiite Imam Sadiq Mosque a day earlier, at the Grand Mosque in Kuwait City, Kuwait, Saturday, June 27, 2015. Police in Kuwait said they are interrogating a number of suspects with possible links to the bombing, which was claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State group. (AP Photo) Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist
5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories However, leader of the Socialists’ Party, Igor Dodon, claimed the ballot was flawed by irregularities. He said the pro-Europeans were “celebrating too soon. We don’t recognize the result of the elections. There were too many irregularities,” he said early MondayTurnout was 47.5 percent when polls closed at 9 p.m. (1800 GMT), slightly lower than in the first round on June 14. However, turnout in the capital was 48.8 percent, higher than in the first round.Greceanai said “residents have a great desire to see deeds and not just statements.”Interim Prime Minister Natalia Gherman, who is pro-European, voted in Chisinau, saying: “I voted for a city to look like Stockholm, Brussels or Vienna.”Runoffs were being held in 458 towns in this country of 4 million and results were expected late Sunday. Some 348 seats were already decided in the first round.Renato Usatii, a pro-Russian businessman, won outright on June 14 in Moldova’s second-largest city, Balti, and pro-Russian businessman Ilan Shor won in the eastern town of Orhei.Moldova’s currency has lost 20 percent of its value this year against the euro.Moldovans earn an average monthly salary of only $250. Some 600,000 Moldovans work abroad and send remittances home, which make up 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Near-final results gave a pro-European Union candidate a comfortable lead in the runoff vote for mayor of Moldova’s biggest city Sunday, in an election seen as a test of whether the former Soviet republic moves closer to the EU or to neighboring Russia.With over 99 percent of the votes counted, incumbent Dorin Chirtoaca had 53.44 percent of the vote with pro-Russian challenger Zinaida Greceanai, a former prime minister, trailing at 46.56 percent. Comments Share Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Moldovan officials, meanwhile, have been investigating the disappearance of $1.5 billion from state-owned and private banks before the parliamentary election last November, and Shor is being investigated in that probe.___Alison Mutler in Bucharest, Romania, contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Moldova, which declared independence in 1991 after the Soviet Union broke up, is located between Romania and Ukraine. Last year, it signed an association agreement with the 28-nation EU, angering Russia, which then banned some of its fruits and vegetables. That hurt the largely agricultural nation, one of Europe’s poorest.A victory for Chirtoaca would boost Moldova’s pro-European parties, who hold a slim margin in Parliament and struggle to remain united.Fireworks exploded in the capital just before midnight when it looked like Chirtoaca would win another four-year mandate. He has been mayor since 2007 of this city of 1 million.Earlier, the 38-year-old Chirtoaca said he was confident of victory because votes from the suburbs which are traditionally pro-European had not come in yet.“I hope we will clarify things … and build something that is certain, definitive, irreversible, for the future of Chisinau and Moldova,” Chirtoaca said after voting.Greceanai, 59, is a former member of the Communist Party who later joined the pro-Moscow Socialists’ Party.Greceanai thanked her voters and said she would continue to fight for the interests of Chisinau residents, without outright acknowledging defeat. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist
In a bid to prevent the 12-day Christmas strike by unionised cabin crew, British Airways has sought a legal injunction due to what it perceives as “balloting flaws” which would render the vote for the strike invalid.British Airways cabin crew are currently planning a 12 day walkout from the 22nd of December onwards, and covering both the Christmas and New Year’s period.Unite, the union which represents British Airways cabin crew, is arguing against pay conditions and new staffing conditions which see a reduction from 15 to 14 cabin crew members as well as a switch to part-time for 3,000 employees.But British Airways says the vote for a strike was invalid as the ballot included former British Airways staff who were made redundant.“Unite was told about the problems with its ballot on Friday. Yet it cynically went ahead with an extreme, highly publicised threat to our customers and our business in the knowledge that it might not be able to carry it out,” said Willie Walsh, British Airways CEO.“We are absolutely determined to do whatever we can to protect our customers from this appalling, unjustified decision from Unite,” he continues. “We do not want to see a million Christmases ruined. British Airways says it’s currently working with its oneworld partners to try and get passengers on disrupted services on other flights. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/15526/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=132&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=ada84479″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X
Voyages of Discovery wins Best Niche Cruise Line at the recent British Travel Awards, with an impressive thirty four percent of votes. Swan Hellenic River Cruises were also recognised for excellence at the awards, receiving silver in the Best River Cruise Line category. Voyages of Discovery offers passengers a unique and specialised cruising experience that is like no other holiday. Discovery’s smaller size accommodates around 650 passengers, allowing it to visit ports and destinations which larger cruise liners are unable to, bringing each destination to life with renowned guest speakers. Geoff Lawrence, Sales & Marketing Director of Voyages of Discovery & Swan Hellenic commented: ‘We feel extremely proud to have won both awards. We continuously strive to develop unique, discovery itineraries and add new destinations and excursions to our cruising calendar. Cruises for both brands are selling out rapidly, so this really is great recognition of their popularity’. Shortlisted companies were nominated by travel industry professionals and a selection of the previous year’s consumer voters and the final winners were voted on by consumers. In 2009 over 100,000 votes were cast with the results scrutinised and audited by Deloitte LLP. Source = Voyages of Discovery
Proximity and culture wooing Aussies. Australians are high on the priority list for New Caledonia’s tourism leaders, as the destination readjusts its focus to develop strong and sustainable tourism.Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard at last night’s Soiree Seminar in Sydney, New Caledonia president of the southern province and chairwoman of the tourism board, Cynthia Ligeard explained although mining was the country’s main resource, the government was now making tourism a priority, with a particular focus in building a sustainable sector to preserve the destination’s unspoiled scenery.Placing Aussies at the top of the market list, Ms Ligeard said the destination had seen “significant growth” from the Australian market, but expects proximity and difference in culture to play a key role in attracting more Australians to the destination.“We can offer summer in winter in just a couple of hours,” she noted.“And we also offer a different culture, the French culture without going to Europe.“We have what the Pacific Islands have plus more.”Following closely behind Australians, Ms Ligeard said New Zealand was also a market of interest for New Caledonia as well as Japan.For more information click back onto e-Travel Blackboard tomorrow, otherwise click here to see pictures from last night’s Soiree Seminar in Sydney.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJ
The afore-mentioned changes will apply to tickets sold from 22 August 2013. Competition, higher fuel prices and acquisitions raise costs. The additional costs come as the consequence of Virgin Australia’s transition to the new Sabre booking and check-in platform, transaction costs relating to acquisition of Skywest Airlines and 60 percent of Tiger Airways up to 30 June 2013. Pre-tax costs of the carbon tax for FY2013 are estimated to be between AU$45 million and AU$50 million and were unable to be recovered due to weak economic conditions and the competitive environment. Source = ETB News: P.T. The airline also announced increases to fares and international fuel surcharges in response to higher fuel costs and the fall of the Australian dollar. “We will continue to closely monitor fuel prices and consider increases or decreases to our fuel surcharges and fares in line with changes in market conditions.” The majority of short-haul international flights will incur a 3 percent increase in base fares, while domestic and regional base fares will also rise by an average of 3 percent. “In making these changes, we have been very conscious of balancing our commitment to providing competitive fares with the operational costs of our business,” Virgin Australia chief commercial officer Judith Crompton said. The added AU$64 million includes the original first-half cost estimations of AU$36 million and equates to approximately 2.4 percent of the airline’s total operating expenditure for FY2013. Virgin Australia’s fuel costs have risen by 13 percent over the past two months. Virgin Australia expects a statutory loss after tax of between AU$95 million and AU$110 million. Business class fuel surcharges and base fares will increase by AU$50 each way to the United States, while a AU$65 rise will be imposed upon business class base fares each way to Europe and the Middle East. Virgin Australia has updated its full year costs for FY2013 to approximately AU$100 million, as well as an increase to fares and international fuel surcharges. For long-haul international flights each way to the United States, Europe and the Middle East; economy base fares will rise by AU$25 and premium economy by AU$35.
In addition, Place Pins include contact details of businesses such as hotels and restaurants, allowing users to easily pull up information whenever and wherever and share with friends. With more than 53 million users and more than 750 million travel-related pins on the site already, the new feature combines magazine-style imagery with online maps and is used as a tool to help users plan their trips by adding a map to their new and existing boards. Virtual photo sharing pinboard, Pinterest, has launched ‘Place Pins’ to encourage users to add a location to their pins. “About a year ago, we noticed pinners creating more and more boards around vacations they’re planning and attractions and destinations they want to see someday, so we wanted to find a way to help people turn their travel inspiration into reality and we’ve taken the first step toward that goal with Place Pins,” Pinterest product designer Justin Edmund said. Source = ETB News: L.B.