UNWTO records five percent rise in international tourism in JanuaryApril


first_imgThe UNWTO World Tourism Barometer has revealed a five percent rise in international tourist arrivals between January and April 2016. The prospect for May-August is also positive with around 500 million tourists projected to have travelled abroad in the Northern Hemisphere in the summer holiday peak season.Destinations worldwide received 348 million international tourists (overnight visitors) between January and April 2016, that is, around 18 million more than the same period last year (+5.3%). This follows an increase of 4.6% in 2015, and could make 2016 the seventh consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year following the crisis in 2009.“Results show a strong desire to travel and this continues to drive tourism growth. Destinations keep benefitting from solid demand across all world regions despite ongoing challenges, showing that tourism is a dynamic and resilient economic sector,” said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO.By region, Asia and the Pacific (+9%) recorded the highest increase in international arrivals, with all Asian subregions enjoying a growth of seven percent or above. By subregion, Subsaharan Africa (+13%) led growth, strongly rebounding from previous years’ modest results.UNWTO forecasts international tourist arrivals to increase by 3.5% to 4.5% over the full year 2016, in line with UNWTO’s long-term projection of 3.8% growth a year for the period 2010 to 2020.last_img read more

Political Tensions Alive at Cordray Hearing


first_img A confirmation hearing for “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) director-nominee Richard Cordray largely went as expected for the “”Senate Banking Committee””:http://banking.senate.gov/public/ Tuesday, with Democratic members defending the federal agency and Republicans heaping criticism on it. Lingering tensions found their way into exchanges between lawmakers from both parties, in and outside the committee room.[IMAGE]For his part, Cordray used his opportunity before the committee to downplay the array of rule-making authority and supervisory abilities for which the CFPB is responsible.Reading from a “”prepared statement””:http://banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=34fb5952-05b5-409f-801a-d9471615ff3c, he said that his experience as Ohio attorney general offered up the idea that “”lawsuits can be a very slow, wasteful, and needlessly acrimonious way to resolve a problem.””He pledged to “”judiciously”” deploy the CFPB’s powers by first attempting to resolve compliance disputes outside of the litigation process.Cordray went on to say that “”enforcement… will still have an important role at the Consumer Bureau. If people are ignoring or evading consumer protections laws ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and seeking to gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô then litigation is an essential tool.””[COLUMN_BREAK]The committee hearing played the part of another forum in which lawmakers found reason to fight each other over the controversial nomination process, from which “”President Barack Obama””:http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-obama ejected CFPB architect Elizabeth Warren in July.””MSNBC””:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44413026/ns/business-consumer_news/ quoted “”Sen. Richard Shelby””:http://shelby.senate.gov/public/ (R-Alabama) as describing the bureau’s director as one that is too powerful for any one federal agency, saying in his opening statement that “”government should be accountable to the people.””Committee chairman “”Sen. Tim Johnson””:http://johnson.senate.gov/public/ (D-South Dakota) fired back by calling Republican measures “”political gamesmanship”” that prevents “”Americans from receiving the consumer protections they deserve.””More recently, outside the committee room, “”Rep. Barney Frank””:http://www.house.gov/frank/ (D-Massachusetts) published a “”_Washington Post_””:http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-senate-refuses-to-consider-obama-nominees/2011/09/01/gIQA2AkJvJ_story.html column criticizing 44 Republican colleagues for their avowed opposition to any CFPB director-nominee, calling their measures ones that “”blatantly distort… the Constitution, substituting a refusal to allow the constitutionally mandated nomination process for the legislative process in which they [Republicans] simply do not have the votes to accomplish what they want.””Speaking to _MReport_, Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies with the “”Cato Institute””:http://www.cato.org/, says “”it is incredibly hard for me to see them letting this guy move forward.”” He adds that the decision to confirm or not will “”be along party lines, and the question will be whether they want to devote any time.””He says that he believes Cordray will leverage his media attention as CFPB director-nominee to return for election to higher office in Ohio.He calls Cordray a “”perennial candidate,”” and says that he has no doubt that “”he’ll be back running for office in Ohio sometime soon.”” Share Political Tensions Alive at Cordray Hearing September 6, 2011 473 Views center_img in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Elizabeth Warren Lenders & Servicers Processing Richard Cordray Service Providers The Cato Institute 2011-09-06 Ryan Schuettelast_img read more

NeighborWorks America Elects New Board Chairman


first_imgNeighborWorks America Elects New Board Chairman in Featured, News July 8, 2016 486 Views Grovetta GardineerNeighborWorks America elected Grovetta Gardineer as their board chairman. This appointment is effective as of June 28, 2016, according to the announcement from the company.Gardineer is the successor to Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry, who had been the chairman since March 2014. During his tenure, Curry led the corporation as it managed and invested stakeholder funds that resulted in more than $27 billion of investment over the past five years in communities across the United States by the NeighborWorks network.Before being elected as board chairman, Gardineer served as vice chairman of the board from December 2013 through March 2014 and chairman from June 2005 to April 2012. NeighborWorks America’s board consists of the heads of the financial regulatory agencies and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or their statutorily designated representatives.“All of us at NeighborWorks are honored and excited to have Grovetta lead the board of directors and help guide the organization as it begins a new five-year strategic plan,” said Paul Weech, NeighborWorks America president and CEO. “Her experience and commitment to community development and operational excellence will enhance the corporation’s ability to meet its mission and help every community be a place of opportunity.”In this role, Gardineer will provide strategic leadership and oversight in support of NeighborWorks America’s mission to create economic opportunities, further the ability of people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives, and strengthen communities.“It is a tremendous honor to chair an organization with such an important mission of enabling quality and affordable rental housing and homeownership,” Gardineer said. “Through education, access and empowerment, NeighborWorks strengthens the foundations of communities and enriches individuals’ lives throughout our nation.”center_img Share Neighborworks America OCC 2016-07-08 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

Camino de Santiagoguidewalks


first_imgCamino de Santiagoguidewalks UTracks has published a handy new quick reference guide to the Camino de Santiago, available in print and online, to help agents plan the right Camino experience for their clients.The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of Saint James, is the name used to refer to all the routes that lead to where the apostle Saint James is said to be buried. It has been one of the most important Christian pilgrimages for more than 1,000 years.“Each year around 200,000 people, from all walks of life, embark on a journey along part or all of the Camino de Santiago,” says UTracks’ Camino expert, Jaclyn Lofts, who has walked the full Spanish Camino (all 790km kilometres of it!).“They all do different trails; that span France, Spain and Portugal. Some of them cycle, but most tend to walk.”Lofts has also walked sections of the Portuguese Camino, and has presented Camino walking and cycling information nights at countless venues around the world.“While there is a myriad of ways to walk ‘The Way’, when it comes to planning their journey, most prospective pilgrims ask travel consultants the same questions.“What is the Camino? Why are there so many routes? Which one should I do? When should I go? How fit do I have to be?” she says.The UTracks Quick Reference Guide to the Camino de Santiago is available at utracks.com or call 1300 303 368 to order a print version.last_img read more

agentsRail Expert Training Program trainingRail P


first_imgagentsRail Expert Training Program. trainingRail Pus Over 300 travel agents across Australia and New Zealand have graduated with flying colours from this year’s Rail Expert training program, with an elite group of consultants also securing themselves spots on an unforgettable rail famil across Europe.The 2017 Rail Expert program required travel agents to complete a total of 10 modules, the majority of which focused on some of Europe’s most popular rail networks, including TGV France, Swiss Travel System and Eurail. For the first time, the training initiative was supported by all of Rail Europe’s Australian distribution partners – Infinity Rail, Rail Tickets and Rail Plus.The top two graduates from four regions across Australia won places on the European famil, with this year’s winners including:· VIC/TAS – Garrath Ridd (Helloworld) and James Hughes (Flight Centre)· NSW/ACT – Lela Hopkins (Helloworld) and Telisha Kelso (Flight Centre)· QLD/NT– Brenda Simon (Helloworld) and Brad Sward (Flight Centre)· SA/WA – Caitlin Byrne (Flight Centre) and Katrina Miragliotta (Helloworld)The top scorer for each of the 10 training modules also won a $100 VISA gift card, while every travel agent who qualified received a certificate and an ‘I’m a Rail Expert’ banner for their email signature.Rail Plus Commercial Director Ingrid Kocijan says that the number of graduates emerging from this year’s program shows that consultants understand the benefits that flow from ongoing training and education.“Knowledge provides a commercial edge on competitors and is the key to delivering outstanding customer service. This is particularly true when it comes to areas such as rail, where networks and products are continually evolving.“As with all quality training initiatives, this year’s Rail Expert program required focus and skill to complete, so well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to all of this year’s worthy graduates.”Agents are reminded that Rail Europe tickets are distributed via Rail Plus, Rail Tickets and Infinity Rail in Australia (Rail Plus in New Zealand). See =raileurope.fr/wheretobuy for more details.IMAGE: Off on an exclusive European rail famil: Rail Expert graduate Brenda Simon with Rail Plus’ Brisbane-based Account Manager Larry Burrows.last_img read more

PTMsTravelManagers


first_imgPTMsTravelManagers The arrival of three new personal travel managers (PTMs) has boosted the total number of PTMs past 550 for the first time in the company’s 12 year history.Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says it’s taken just eighteen months to grow from 500 to 550 PTMs: an achievement which he accredits to the company’s excellence in providing support in the form of product training, technology support, accounts and business mentoring. “The strongest endorsements for our business model are the rate at which we’ve grown the number of PTMs and the fact that we have a number of long-serving PTMs who have been with us since the beginning.”The three new PTMs together have more than 50 years’ travel industry experience between them. Coupled with the intensive, three-day induction programme at the National Partnership Office (NPO) in Sydney which they have just completed, Gazal says all three are now ready to hit the ground running and are excited about the opportunities offered by their new business ventures.Caroline Rutherford joins TravelManagers as representative for Forestville, NSW, Elaine Taylor, joins as representative for Bethania, QLD, and Stacey Farnham joins as representative for Mount Duneed VIC.IMAGE:TravelManagers’ Michael Gazallast_img read more

Corporate TravellerFCM AustraliaFCTGInternational


first_imgCorporate TravellerFCM AustraliaFCTGInternational Women’s Day Over 300 guests will join FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller at Crown Hotel in Melbourne today, to celebrate International Women’s Day, marking the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.“As both companies boast a workforce that is approximately 75% female, we are committed to supporting female development within our organisations and across industries,” Melissa Elf, General Manager of FCM Australia said.“For FCM and the broader Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), there is a lot of work underway to strengthen our support networks, career development and mentoring opportunities to help women achieve their goals.”FCM and Corporate Traveller, as part of FCTG, say they are proud to offer female employees access to initiatives including Womenwise – to champion gender diversity and equality, flexible working conditions, unconscious bias training, equal gender representation for all senior leadership interview panels, a financial literacy program and the FCTG Parental Allowance.Melissa is part of a growing group of senior female leaders across FCTG, where there is a concerted effort to encourage more women to apply for leadership roles, to connect with and learn from mentors, and to upskill.“Women across industries can actively support each other by creating networks with their customers, industry partners and within our own businesses to ensure we are equally represented and heard,” Melissa said. “We are delighted to have so many of our customers joining us tomorrow to celebrate our collective achievements.”Today’s event will also introduce guests to one of FCTG’s not-for-profit partners, SolarBuddy. Billie Murphy, SolarBuddy General Manager of Education, will be shining a light on energy poverty and the fact that an estimated 18% of the world’s population has no access to electricity. Particularly relevant on International Women’s Day, SolarBuddy says it is women and children who are mostly impacted by energy poverty. Attendees will be invited to help build a SolarBuddy kit, which takes around 15-20 minutes.Guest speakers also include coach and mentor, Donny Walford, the founder of Behind Closed Doors and Bottom Line, which specialise in professional development, peer coaching and mentoring. Donny will be sharing key insights to her success.“We are looking forward to celebrating the cause with our customers, colleagues and industry partners,” said Julie McLean, FCM’s Director of Global Enterprise Sales Strategy and event emcee.“Additionally, I’d also like to thank our International Women’s Day major sponsors Crown Hotels and Virgin Australia, with Virgin providing our major prize. All funds raised are going to SolarBuddy.”last_img read more

What an MLB source said about the Dbacks trade h


first_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke He didn’t pull any punches when it came to Newton either. 0 Comments   Share   If you think the Arizona Cardinals should draft Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton with the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, you might want to think again. That is if you put much stock into what ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge has to say.Hoge isn’t exactly what you’d call a fan of either player and he isn’t afraid to voice his disdain for their games.“If [Blaine Gabbert] goes in the top 10 I think he’s going to be a bust,” he told Sports 620 KTAR’s Gambo and Ash Thursday. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocationcenter_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

There is a top draft prospect whose athletic abili


first_imgThere is a top draft prospect whose athletic ability is undeniable but whose character and integrity is being called into question this week. We’re not talking about Auburn athlete quarterback Cam Newton and what was said in a Pro Football Weekly draft guide. We’re talking about LSU defensive back Patrick Peterson.Earlier in the week ESPN revealed that they had evidence that Peterson, then known as Patrick Johnson, had offered to sign a letter of intent with Texas A&M back in 2007 for $80,000. A former assistant coach at A&M said the request came through a family friend of Peterson’s named Willie Lyles. A name which may ring a bell due to his involvement with Oregon. 0 Comments   Share   That part of the story is interesting but Peterson’s subsequent denial of not only knowing Lyles but ever visiting Texas A&M is where things get interesting. See, Peterson in a August 2007 article on Rivals.com is quoted as saying he visited the school on the recommendation of a friend of his father. That friend? Willie Lyles.Cam Newton’s character, Wonderlic score and past transgressions have all been reasons why analysts say the Arizona Cardinals and other teams at the top of the draft shouldn’t select him. If that’s the standard by which he’s being judged don’t we have to use the same criteria for Peterson with what has come to light over the last few days?Sure, he was a young kid and someone like Lyles was probably just trying to find a way to make a quick buck off of his great athletic talent. The problem is, it’s not the initial action that’s the issue. It’s the cover up that is the real issue (just ask Jim Tressell).If Peterson had come clean upfront it’s forgivable. By allegedly lying on top of initial allegations just brings his character into question even more.Young men make mistakes and this won’t define him or his career but it does have to concern teams like the Cardinals and others that are lining up to invest millions in him and his character. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ If Newton is being picked apart for every character flaw shouldn’t Peterson too? Then again, no one is questioning Peterson’s ability to be a great NFL player like Newton’s. And that’s all that really matters when teams like the Cardinals go to the podium later this month right (insert sarcasm here)? Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkelast_img read more

With the Big Red going to the Big Apple Paulie Pi


first_imgWith the Big Red going to the Big Apple, Paulie Pigskin would like to acknowledge the best known New York Jet player of ’em all. That’s right, in honor of Broadway Joe Namath’s (in)famous sound bite on Monday Night – “team strugggling” – we’ve been thinnnking. But first, let’s hit ‘zoom out’ on our hand held devices because this is a big picture question that we’ve been chewing on since, well…before the Thanksgiving leftovers. Actually, ever since the ribs of Kevin Kolb were torn asunder like a wishbone. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo No, we’re talking about a “winning” QB. How does Paulie Pigskin Inc. define that? Simple. A quarterback that doesn’t lose football games, capisce?! (All apologies…a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns in a game lost by exactly 14 points still has us a rootin’ & a tootin’.) In fact, following Sunday, did you happen to catch this Holy Cannoli Stat? In 33 drives since the injury, they’ve “punted 17 times, lost seven fumbles, thrown four interceptions and had one possession end on downs. It scored two touchdowns and two field goals.” What’s more, the QB rating was “38.7…thanks, largely, to three second-half interceptions” in a loss to a 3-8 team. The above stats come from the Cards loss to the Rams, right? #Buzzer. That’s a blurb lifted from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week, detailing the Steelers offensive woes since the rib injury to Ben Roethlisberger, including the Steelers heinous loss to the Browns (3-8). And something tells us that if you examined the Bears minus Jay Cutler, the numbers would not be flattering. In other words, NFL teams are best served to remember: don’t throw the entire roster out with the QB bath water. Are the Arizona Cardinals a team that is struggling? Or are the Cards an NFL team that is struggling at quarterback?Team struggling? Or a team struggling at the QB position? Either way, you wind up in the same landing spot – below sea level in the standings. Both scenarios are akin to driving on bald tires in a rainstorm. Eventually, you’ll find yourself in a full-blown power slide and looking at the road ahead through your side windows. The difference comes when the skid (seven games) grinds to a halt. How do you put that car back on the road? Do you ever get behind the wheel of that car again? Because if your entire team is struggling, then you’re rebuilding (“Fire in the Hole!”) However, if it’s the QB position that’s struggling, then you’re either recruiting (“Hey, uh, Peyton, can we buy you dinner?”) or commencing with research and reconnaissance (Matt Barkley?) Wait, hit ‘zoom out’ again. New question — how many franchises succeed without a winning QB? We’re not saying a Pro Bowl or Hall of Fame QB. We’re not even saying a bona fide franchise signal caller. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

Comments  


first_img Comments   Share   New Arizona Cardinals linebacker Lorenzo Alexander appeared at Heritage Elementary School in Glendale Friday morning to speak to 400 students about the importance of exercise.But after his positive message to the kids, the talked turned to his teammate, Daryl Washington, who was accused in a domestic disturbance Wednesday.“Of course, we’re his support system, we’re his brothers and we’re definitely backing him up,” Alexander told KTAR reporter Bob McClay. “The team has talked to him and they’re handling it the best way they can.” Alexander did elaborate that he hasn’t seen Washington since the alleged incident.“We work out every day, but I haven’t seen him since everything has come out,” Alexander said. “Him and his family are going to deal with that the best they can and we’re praying for D-Wash and hopefully he comes out from this, learns from this and continues to move forward.” Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Top Stories


first_img Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Incomplete. Palmer overshot it. Rams football.It was Arizona’s first loss of the season, a stunner to a team most expected the Cardinals to have little trouble with. If nothing else, the game proved how any team is beatable on any given day, and that Sunday, it was the home favorite that went down in a good battle. Most importantly, our 12th top game of 2015 featured the explosive Cardinals offense showcasing its talents, only to see a multi-score lead evaporate in a second half Seattle blitzkrieg. Then, with the outcome still in doubt, a brilliant play call sealed the deal. Oh, and it was in front of a national audience with no other football to turn their attention to … here’s to Arizona-Seattle being THE rivalry that captures every fan’s attention for the next several years.While the win over Seattle was ranked No. 1 on our very own list, it was a different Cardinals triumph that topped Harrison’s.And to be fair, it’s difficult to argue that Arizona’s Divisional Round win over the Green Bay Packers was the best game of the season.The Hail Mary. The rarest of successful football plays … and to think Aaron Rodgers hit two of them last year. The second of which only served to push the Packers at Cardinals playoff game from fun matchup to ridiculous game in seconds. Larry Fitzgerald’s clutch overtime performance moved this postseason thriller to a firm No.1 on our Top 20 Games of 2015 countdown.Harrison noted a nice touchdown catch by Floyd, a long Eddie Lacy run, big penalties costing each team monster plays, Arizona taking the lead on a deflected pass along with the game seemingly ending a few times when it actually was not even close to being finished. Palmer got the matchup he wanted on the left side of the formation, a pick play to free rookie David Johnson, matched up on linebacker Akeem Ayers. Ayers got knocked off by Michael Floyd, and ended up trailing Johnson by several steps. Palmer had his man open for the first down and more, certainly in Catanzaro’s range. The Cardinals’ other two appearances on the list went much better for them than their first.At No. 12, Harrison has their big win in Seattle over the Seahawks, noting it was a game that featured Bruce Arians’ aggressive, unconventional and fearless coaching style.Arians’ football machismo was on full display in Week 12 versus the Seahawks. Arizona pushed the pedal to the metal, and only downshifted when the Seattle defense least expected it (see below). More importantly, Arians’ club delivered a resounding salvo across the proverbial NFC West bow that this division didn’t belong to Russell, Marshawn, Kam, and the Legion of Boom anymore. To quote the late, great Glenn Frey, there’s a new kid in town.The Sunday Night Football affair was also a coming out party for Michael Floyd, who caught seven passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns.Outside of the push-it approach from Arians, it should be noted that both scores were the result of fantastic efforts from the ever-tough Floyd. On the first touchdown, he toe tapped in reverse to ensure both his feet were inbounds. On the second, Floyd stretched over the pylon while simultaneously heading out of bounds to prevent Arizona’s short yardage offense from having to take the field.Part of what made this game so great, though, was that while Arizona jumped out to an early lead, the Seahawks fought back and even took a 29-25 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Not. Even. Close.This game had great plays, terrible plays and fluky plays, and it all resulted in a phenomenal football game that ultimately propelled the Cardinals to the NFC Championship game.Does Harrison really need a reason to rank it first? Not really, but he provides one anyway.This is the sixth season we’ve done the Top 20 Games series. Despite the fact that NFL competition is closer than ever, and that there exists so few “haves” and “have nots” anymore, selecting the premier game has been rather easy.Much like the “Miracle in the New Meadowlands” in 2010 or Super Bowl XLIX, Packers at Cardinalsstuck out as a game that fans will remember for years to come. And although neither of these franchises would find their way to Super Bowl 50, ask even casual fans the most exciting game they watched last season and this overtime thriller will usually come out of their mouth within seconds. My colleagues at NFL Network and NFL.com were no different in that regard.center_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   At that point, the home team had all the momentum and the visiting Cardinals were reeling — until they weren’t. Harrison mentions how Arians’ playcalling helped Arizona produce a 10-play, 83-yard touchdown drive to retake the lead. Then, after the defense forced a punt, Arizona’s offense got back on the field and produced what the writer believes is the play of the game.The Cardinals were up 32-29 and needed four yards from the Seattle 48. Given his style, no one would have been surprised if Arians had his offense take to the air and try to pick up the yards or even points. Instead, Palmer handed the ball off.The play call was a delayed handoff to Andre Ellington. Not Chris Johnson, the team’s leading rusher, nor David Johnson, the dynamic rooke. The Cardinals banked on right defensive end Frank Clark rushing straight up the field. This was a clear passing down, after all. Palmer had already dropped back 50 times. So Arians knew the pass rush would be over aggressive. Ellington scurried past the traffic behind the line, before suckering Kam Chancellor into a bad angle while he bounced outside. Then Ellington pulled a tightrope act staying inbounds … 48 yards later he had a touchdown, and the Seahawks comeback was kaput.Ellington’s run spawned the Drew Stanton dance, while the victory led to the Palmer hip thrust. The win pushed Arizona’s record to 7-2 and put them in the driver’s seat to win the NFC West for the first time since 2009. And on national TV, it served notice that the Seahawks’ reign as the top team in the division was — if not coming to an end — going to be hotly contested. Back in 2000, Maximus turned to the crowd and asked, “Are you not entertained?”In 2015, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians could have done the same thing, asking his team’s fans the very same question.Though the Cardinals fell short of the Super Bowl, the answer would have to be “yes,” right?NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison certainly thought the Cardinals were entertaining, as he wrote Arizona was part of three of the top 20 games of the 2015 season. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The Cardinals’ first appearance on the list was at No. 20, as their home loss to the St. Louis Rams made for some good viewing.Explaining the choice, Elliot Harrison pointed out how the best player on the field that day was St. Louis rookie running back Todd Gurley.Gurley sprinted around the edge. He gashed a top defense. And perhaps most of all, he moved with a sense of urgency while maintaining a graceful gait. On this day, an afternoon in which the lowly Rams upset an undefeated Arizona team, Gurley looked like the lovechild of Eric Dickerson and Eddie George.But it was not just Gurley’s excellence — he ran for 146 yards — that had Harrison feeling good about the game. While very little of what made this afternoon exciting went the Cardinals’ way, he pointed to the Rams coming up with turnovers with the Cardinals hanging around until the end until what was deemed as the play of the game.With the score Rams 24, Cardinals 22, Patrick Peterson broke up a Nick Foles pass, forcing the Rams to punt with 3:03 to go.Arizona advanced to the Ram 43-yard line, where it seemed Palmer would get the Cardinals in range for a Chandler Catanzaro game-winner. Yet after two incompletions (including a drop by Jaron Brown), the Arizona offense was facing fourth-and-2.last_img read more

Top Stories


first_img Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 19 Comments   Share   “Andre Ellington was the guy that we drafted David Johnson to play behind and then he got hurt, Chris Johnson (who the Cardinals re-signed) got hurt and there’s David Johnson,” Arians told Late Hits. “This has happened to us a couple of times, so it’s a great opportunity for Kerwynn Williams and Andre, and we’ll get Chris Johnson back up to speed.”Foster carried the ball seven times for 24 yards in limited action last year. He appeared in three games and also caught a two-yard pass. At ASU, Foster was used at running back and receiver. He accumulated at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage in his first three seasons at ASU before totaling 864 his senior year. He will wear No. 37.The team also announced practice squad moves. Tackle Givens Price was re-signed while cornerback Ryan Lewis and running back James Summers were released. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact (AP Photos) The Arizona Cardinals made roster moves Tuesday, adding more depth at running back after the wrist injury to David Johnson in the team’s opening game of the season.Johnson was placed on injured reserve while veteran running back Chris Johnson was re-signed and former Arizona State running back D.J. Foster was signed from the New England Patriots’ practice squad. The team also released tackle Ulrick John. While David Johnson is eligible to come off the IR on Nov. 7, head coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday on Sirius XM NFL’s Late Hits show that he was only hopeful the back could return by late November or December.“Hopefully, as miraculous as he came back from that knee injury last year, I’m hoping we can possibly get him back by Thanksgiving or Christmas,” Arians told Jeff Rickard and Bill Polian.David Johnson was injured in the third quarter of Arizona’s season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions Sunday. He left the game briefly after taking a hard hit from Glover Quin on a 24-yard catch. Johnson returned on the Cardinals’ next series, but fumbled on the play and left for good after that.It was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he is expected to miss 2-3 months. Schefter reports that Johnson will have surgery on his wrist.Chris Johnson comes back to the team after originally not making the 53-man roster. Johnson rushed for 814 yards and three touchdowns in his first year with the team in 2015. In 2016, Johnson only played in four games before being placed on injured reserve because of a groin injury.Other running backs in the mix include Kerwynn Williams, Andre Ellington and Elijhaa Penny. Williams had five carries for 10 yards and one catch for two yards in the loss to the Lions.last_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of


first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Larry Fitzgerald is UNREAL! pic.twitter.com/fdiNPNeJGU— NFL News (@NFLFBGAMETIME) September 26, 2017Go with what works.On a 3rd-and-18 with a touchdown deficit against the Dallas Cowboys in an eventual 28-17 loss on Monday night, what the Arizona Cardinals felt confident about was Carson Palmer giving Larry Fitzgerald a chance at making a play.And Fitzgerald, as it’s become standard, will make the play. Heading toward the sideline, the 34-year-old receiver streaked in front of cornerback Orlando Scandrick and lept, ripping the 50-50 ball away before bobbling and making the catch as he fell to the ground for a 24-yard reception. 5 Comments   Share   The play came in the heart of a 16-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a Phil Dawson 37-yard field goal that pulled Arizona within 21-17 of Dallas with 6:40 to play.After what was the 11th catch of the evening, Fitzgerald had tallied 122 yards and a touchdown — the score of 15 yards came after Palmer previously connected with Fitzgerald on a 37-yard, jump ball strike over Scandrick in the third quarter.Earlier in the night, Fitzgerald had recorded a sixth-catch first quarter, a career-best, and passed former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison (14,580 yards) to take eighth place on the all-time receiving yardage list.Fitzgerald finished by tying a career-high with 13 catches for 149 yards in the loss.Here’s another angle of Fitzgerald’s skillful grab.Larry Fitzgerald MOSSED Orlando Scandrick!! Wow. #Legend pic.twitter.com/euNgOK6U2h— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 26, 2017center_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact – / 32 Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) makes the catch as Dallas Cowboys free safety Byron Jones (31) and cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) defend during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

Hilton Pattaya is delighted to announce that the e


first_imgHilton Pattaya is delighted to announce that the eforea spa has been named Asia’s Best Luxury Destination Spa and Thailand’s Best Luxury Hotel Spa at the 2015 World Luxury Spa Awards. The awards set benchmarks in quality, innovation and service for spas around the globe and put the spotlight on spas representing only the finest standards.“We truly appreciate our spa guests that voted for eforea spa. We aim to provide indulgent experiences for all spa-goers and we will continue striving to raise the bar. This award underscores our commitment to offer guests an exclusive retreat in the heart of Pattaya City that is backed by a high level of service excellence,” said Rudolf Troestler, general manager, Hilton Pattaya.The World Luxury Spa Awards are inclusive of 22 spa categories and recognized on the global front by the public and media at large, universally acknowledged as the world’s leading awards initiative for luxury spas.The winners and finalists of World Luxury Spa Awards were selected by means of an annual online voting process by thousands of spa guests worldwide. Thousands of votes came in from across the globe, and as a result, key brands and independent spas were rewarded for their extraordinary efforts.eforea spa at Hilton Pattaya, is an 880sqm spa featuring seven treatment areas – all of which include integrated music and aroma diffusing systems that simultaneously diffuse signature scents throughout the room while playing soothing music.www.eforeaspa.com11 June 2015last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter The snow gods have d


first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >The snow gods have delivered 30cm of fresh powder to Thredbo in the past 24 hours, covering the Thredbo Resort in a white blanket all the way down to the village.The conditions are looking ideal to kick off the second half of the snow season with more snow expected throughout the day and across the coming week.“This snow dump really came out of nowhere, but we’re definitely not complaining,” Thredbo Resort Operations Manager Stuart Diver said. “It has set us up perfectly for the start of spring, proving winter certainly isn’t over yet – it just keeps on delivering the goods!”The resort has welcomed the snowfall with open arms, just in time for visitors to take advantage of the numerous September Snow Specials on offer in spring; including Thredbo’s Kids Ski Free in September promotion, as well as the Torah Bright Beginner Packs, where first timers get a free day skiing or boarding in September.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter On 1 May Martin Place


first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterOn 1 May, Martin Place came to life when the Spirit of Aloha Sydney commuters were treated to a little bit of Hawaiian aloha spirit in the morning with a fresh flower lei, flown in overnight from Honolulu to celebrate ‘Lei Day’.The 1 May is ‘Lei Day’ in the Hawaiian Islands, so to mark the occasion, fresh flower leis were handmade in Hawaii and gifted to Sydneysiders by 28 visiting tourism operators from the islands.Passers-by in Martin Place were entertained by dancers from Germaine’s Lū‘au on O‘ahu, who performed hula and music throughout the morning.Kerri Anderson, Country Manager Australia for Hawaii Tourism Oceania said: “Lei day is a great opportunity to bring a little bit of aloha to Sydney and a feel-good start to the working week.“Lei Day, which was established in 1929, honours the aloha spirit of love and sharing as well as the Hawaiian tradition of friendliness and hospitality that any Australian who has visited the Hawaiian Islands would already be already familiar with.”A lei is a garland or necklace of fresh flowers, seeds, shells or nuts, created as a gift and given in Hawai‘i as a token of love, congratulations, welcome or farewell. It is a tangible representation of aloha and a symbol of that special warmth that is felt throughout the Hawaiian Islands.Ms Anderson said Hawai’í residents celebrated Lei Day across the islands with lei making, hula and music. In recent years Lei Day has also become a part of the ‘Mele Mei’ festival, which runs for the month of May and offers visitors even more opportunity to take in a Hawaiian Music concert or cultural event over an extended period of time. Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania has made a short video to say Mahalo to Sydney for letting us share aloha with them this morning.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter The Emporium Hotel in


first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterThe Emporium Hotel in Brisbane has announced its Winter Escape package. Starting at $259 per night, this offer includes an overnight stay in a luxurious suite, a bottle of perfect cold-weather red wine, chocolates on arrival, daily valet parking and a late checkout.The hotel’s cocktail bar features a fusion of vintage and custom-designed pieces, and is home to an all-new Winter Cocktail menu featuring winter delights like the Banofee Pie cocktail, the Pavlova Martini, the Spiced Pumpkin Latte, the Bee’s Knees (featuring honey from the hives on the rooftop) and the classic Strawberries and Champagne. The bar also offers wonderful mocktails like the Lychee & Lemon Myrtle Collins and the Nutella Sundae.Celebrating history and beauty, the bar is also home to a stunning German chandelier which overlooks the grand onyx bar proper, a stained glass wall from Paris, custom-designed furnishings and is one of the most beautiful places in the city to sit, sip and celebrate the cooler months of the year.The Winter Escape package is valid for stays between now and 31 August 2016 (excluding 22 June 2016).Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Time to look at new luxury hotels in Amsterdam Th


first_imgTime to look at new luxury hotels in Amsterdam. There are three, all well worth international note in today’s world of changing demand, and more and more differentiation. First in alphabetical order is Hyatt Regency Amsterdam, replacing what was a children’s hospital on Sarphatistraat, overlooking that canal, has a truly “wow” ground floor that can be summed up as green and authentic, inside and outside, and fabulous eating and drinking with more than hints of Indonesia. Mama Makan restaurant, for instance, even has exotic spices on its breakfast buffet and you can have the Indonesian national dish, nasi goreng, any time you want, breakfast, lunch and dinner.Interestingly the Dutch East India Company (VOC, in Dutch) was set up specifically to import spices from the East and it established a base in 1619 in what is now Jakarta – half a century later VOC was the world’s richest private company, with over 150 merchant ships, 40 warships, 50,000 employees, its own 10,000-strong private army and paying 40 per cent to its investors, who were predominantly German. I wonder what those farsighted internationalists would think of this fascinating six-floor hotel, which opened this very April? They would surely applaud local architect Van Dongen-Koschuch’s tile exterior, with some facets echoing the surrounding trees of quiet Sarphatistraat, and one real, living tree, in the building’s indent, which forms a terrace.And like me, they would love what CONCRETE, another Dutch company, has done for the public areas inside. Go in via the main entrance, which interestingly has a prominent Free Wi-Fi sign on its glass wall, and you see to your right a long living wall in perfect condition. Everywhere you turn there is living greenery, hanging down or set in planters. Go along to Mama Makan, which is invariably heavy on local eaters-and-drinkers, and there are 150 enormous white paper lanterns hanging overhead, one, I am told, for each seat.Locals are also using this luxury hotel’s lobby as a casual meeting and work place. The 20-seat communal table has inset sockets, and of course that free connectivity. There is a manned bar, and a grab-and-go deli with the most superb bottles of limoncello. Gosh, you could take in calories all day and all night here. I have not mentioned Mama Makan’s breakfast salad, with poached egg atop almonds, broccoli, cheese and spinach, or, in your room, anything you want, including breakfast, 24/7 (choose a Crave Express item and even Mie goreng comes in 20 minutes). The savvy, by the way, probably choose a room overlooking Singel Canal, and definitely one with access to the two-floor, light and airy Regency Club. The keen-to-learn, too, really appreciate that using the 24/7 Lifefitness gym they get Wikipedia on their screens, which means you can learn even more about the East India Company and the background to the Dutch spice trade and so much more.Next up in this trio of new Amsterdam hotels, Jaz in the City, is a bit of an anomaly. First, it spells ‘jazz’ in a weird way. Secondly it is not actually in the city centre. Next, there are some in that centre who still have not heard of it – and it is now 15 months old – but it does extremely well, thank you. This is a 21st-century luxury hotel that is absolutely right for its market sector, which is corporate plus events plus fresh air, all paired with extraordinarily nice and willing staff, led by the Jaz Brand Leader, Marjolein Bruschke. So, where is it? Think the Zuidoost suburb, 200 yards from Bijlmer ArenaA and Strandvliet stations, both of which have masses of 15-minute trains to Amsterdam Central Station. It is part of an open-square development, the other sides being formed by an office block for national headquarters (behind is a massive Deutsche Bank tower), and the Johan Cruijff Ajax Arena and the Ziggo Dome theatre.Now the Arena, which hosts some mega-events as well as sports events, seats up to 68,000 and whenever there is an Ajax home game the activity spills into that open square and into the hotel and dozens of relief staff come in to serve after-game beer. The Dome has a 17,000 capacity and has continual big-name tickets: coming up in September, for instance, are Neil Diamond on Monday 4th and, on 22 Friday, John Legend. All this happening means lots of business for the 11-floor hotel. It has 258 rooms and miraculously runs with only 50 full-time staff, with others brought in as required. Marjolein Bruschke calls her Housekeeper the Dream Maker, and the black T-shirted youngsters who man the circular metal desk in the lobby are Smart Operators.When the hotel opened it motivationally recruited by inviting applicants to jam with bits of kitchen equipment – as its name implies, this is a hotel integrally linked with music. Blown-glass threads running along upper corridor ceilings are like musical waves; bedrooms have big wall decorations of unmarked CDs hanging one above the other and moving gently to give kaleidoscopes of colour, and you may have a real guitar. But, and this is new luxury; in traditional terms these rooms are minimalist, with open climbing frames for extra hanging and storage, and plain wood floors and concrete ceilings deliberately exposing utility pipes (view the video, below, to see a superb top-floor terrace room, and note the stunning dayglo orange basins and bath). I want to meet designer Michaela Reichwald, obviously a nonstop creator.Another imaginative lady is the events producer, who makes sure there is, every night, a different live act in the main eatertainment venue, Rhythms Bar + Kitchen (above is Oliver Twist, the resident DJ the night I was there – a few days later, the regular Sunday breakfast vibe was to be the Eduardo Blanco Jazz Trio). This anonymous lady also brainstormed with the Jaz Brand Leader (the GM) and came up with the idea of quickie makeups, offered to the red-carpet-dressed females coming to events in the arena or theatre. And this, in turn, led to regular Sunday popup fashion boutiques in the hotel lobby. See why this modern-luxury hotel works? I have not even mentioned breakfast, which again is clever. It is a large second floor space with openair terraces. Help yourself, including using a tablet to get your required drink from one tap, but also follow a witty sign (‘Break a l-egg’) to have cooked-to-order. Tables, of different heights, are on wheels, so the space can quickly be reconfigured for meetings or weddings – or just to accommodate a mere few of John Legend’s fans.Last in this round-up is actually a complete reinvention of a former Crowne Plaza, near the central rail station. What is now Kimpton DeWitt, is a complete update of the past. There was a private home here in the mid-17th century – playwright Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, 1581-1647 was born here. Now that old house, wrapped around by a new building, is partly The House specialty suite, and, undoubtedly even more profitable, the House Bar. Every evening from 5 p.m., go into this inner sanctum for such Dutch beers as Oedipus by Gaia IPA, and Brasserie de Marsinne by Bax Bier Kon and cocktails that may include a Harris Sea Kelp gin. This is just one example, says the gal, of how the luxury Kimpton DeWitt, which opened its doors 17 May, displays not only the best of today but also the past.The 274-room hotel quickly got rave reviews on TripAdvisor, especially from Americans who already know the Kimpton brand. It is so close to the rail station, they enthuse. They love the look – interiors are by Michael Boyd. They love the bedrooms’ top-of-the-range Frette bathrobes – they are soft kelp grey, with white lining. They are over the moon about the fact that the espresso machines’ cups are traditional Dutch porcelain, as are the spoons. Bedrooms are certainly what many think of as Dutch, with masses of blue, contrasting with white walls. Day cushions are blue floral, bathrooms have geometric blue tiles (toiletries are generous-size Marie-Stella-Maris, a brand which also runs the spa, and there is a display vitrine as you enter the hotel, next to its working flower shop).All rooms, also, have Bluetooth gear standing on desks. Yes, this is a really generous hotel, shown to the ultimate in the Penthouse specialty suite. This is just under 500 square feet but seems so much larger, partly because you enter up 14 wood stairs, go past the eight-seat dining table and emerge to a glorious terrace, which adds 300 square feet to the whole: this, with 360 degree views of Amsterdam’s rooftops and church spires, is the ideal place for private parties, intimate wedding receptions, or merely romantic dinners for two. And that, naturally, brings me on to food. One of the brilliant touches here is the hotel’s partnership with Brooklyn chef Sam DeMarco, always known as Sammy D. As he told me, he was doing American comfort food with style a decade ago and now that has become commonplace it was time for a complete life change, to challenge himself. So, with wife and three kids under 11 in tow, he moved across the Atlantic to Amsterdam, to offer comfort food and superb service here at the Kimpton DeWitt.Wyvers Bar.Restaurant is really fun, and not only because of Sammy, who may personally be adding wood to the rotating grill as you pass by (“I am so PLEASED you have come” he still manages to say). One of his many superb creations is the shared appetiser, a glass jar of whipped ricotta topped with sexy salt, his term, and olive oil, served on a platter with different breads, all toasted. Yes, he does Dutch moules with Ywhit beer, as well as such Sam-wiches (sic) as a Cuban, with roast pork and ham. As is the norm in hot-spot eating in Amsterdam these days, by the way, you sit at plain wood tables, china is plain white or a hotchpotch collection of pink, or blue, floral, and cutlery is utilitarian, no label. What is unusual is this luxury’s hotel’s to-go kiosk, street entrance only on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, a main way to the rail station: called Miss Luisa’s, it specialises in coffees, and beignets – see Sammy sugar-dusting beignets, above. Having sampled Sammy’s food, and relaxed in the luxury hotel’s inner garden, now I look forward to returning to stay, which of course will include at least a few minutes at the nightly complimentary wine-tasting, from 5pm, a feature of the Kimpton brand from the very start.Mary Gostelow travels over 300 days a year, doing one-night stands in top hotels around the world. Read her daily travelogue, www.girlahead.comlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter


first_img Go back to the e-newsletter South Africa’s The Blue Train has announced two unique departures in 2020 that will include an entire day exploring Kruger National Park as part of the three-day journey.The exciting addition has been added to two round-trip itineraries from Pretoria, departing on 18 June and 30 July 2020, and is available for a maximum of 54 guests, so capacity is limited. The Pretoria-Kruger National Park-Pretoria 2020 trip is priced at R47,040 per person twin share for Luxury Double or R37,630 per person twin share for De Luxe Double.For more information, see bluetrain.co.za/ Want to be in the luxury travel know? Subscribe to our free eNewsletter here to keep up to date with everything in the luxury travel industry.center_img The Kruger element of the journey begins with an early morning arrival (5am) of The Blue Train into Numbi Train Station, where guests disembark and are straight into the action with a sunrise game drive in search of Africa’s Big Five and more. Afterwards, guests will enjoy a bush breakfast at an “exclusive, unfenced location” within Kruger National Park.Returning to the train at midday, guests are treated to a five-course gourmet lunch served in The Blue Train’s Dining Car and are given time to rest before they head out again for an afternoon game drive on the Nkambeni concession – an 11,400 hectare envelope of land that stretches from Numbi’s gate entrance and Phabeni, to beyond Shabeni Koppie.That evening, the gaming experience concludes with a boma dinner at Nkambeni Safari Camp and an interactive cultural experience, before guests return to The Blue Train at 10:00pm for post-drinks, cognac and Cuban cigars in the Club Car. The journey concludes on Day 3 when the locomotive arrives at Pretoria Station at 10:00am.View the full itinerary here. Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more