Sunwing launches biggest ever 2X STAR Agent Reward Points promo

first_img TORONTO — Sunwing has big news to share: it’s just launched its largest ever 2X STAR Agent Reward Points promotion.From now until Oct. 27, the tour operator is offering agents the chance to earn 2X STAR Agent Reward Points for all new bookings to Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This allows agents to earn valuable points that convert to cash, each time they make a new booking for travel between Oct. 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018. All resorts and room categories are included.Following a turbulent few weeks of extreme weather events in Sun destinations, the timing and scale of the promotion is intended to help boost tourism in these regions in order for them to return to normal operations.“As the #1 for family, luxury and adult vacations, Sunwing is a top operator to these destinations and is committed to helping them bounce back as quickly as possible. We are appreciative of the efforts of our travel agent partners in letting consumers know that these regions are very much open for business and would like to take this opportunity to reward them,” said Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaSunwing offers a wide range of resorts to suit all tastes and budgets. Depending on the resort, clients will also enjoy perks like Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals, spa discounts and unlimited à la carte dining.For full details go to Posted by Share Thursday, September 28, 2017 Tags: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Sunwingcenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Sunwing launches biggest ever 2X STAR Agent Reward Points promo Travelweek Group last_img read more

Sunwing announces opening of Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

first_img Travelweek Group TORONTO — Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica has opened its doors as the first ever all-inclusive resort by the Planet Hollywood brand.The property invites guests to ‘Vacation Like A Star’, with 294 luxury suites, each complete with ‘Phabulous Beds’ with a hand-crafted custom mattress with bedding developed exclusively for Planet Hollywood guests. There are seven globally-infused restaurants and six bars, a PUMPED Fitness Center, PH Spa, two swimming pools and a splash zone.The resort is located at the base of the Papagayo Peninsula in the Guanacaste Region.Earlier this year Sunwing Travel Group signed its blockbuster deal with Planet Hollywood, announcing immediate plans for two resorts with more resorts to come. Now that Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica has opened, the second resort, Planet Hollywood Resort Cancun, is slated to debut in late spring 2019.“It’s been an amazing journey leading my all-star cast of employees to prepare for the grand opening of Planet Hollywood Beach Resort in Costa Rica,” said General Manager Jonathan Iriarte. “With the perfect line-up of features, we can confidently say that our guests will receive the full Vacation Like A Star experience.”More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureA curated list of excursions, PH Experiences, allows guests to explore the Papagayo Gulf, from visiting life-like dinosaurs in an open-air jungle environment, to sailing and snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean’s clear blue waters.For young guests, Stars Kids Club offers fun and educational experiences such as Planet Hollywood TV, Walk of Fame Scavenger Hunt, Starlets Hall of Fame Party and more.Meanwhile an array of signature brand offerings includes the Your Soundtrack music program where guests can choose a music theme to create the soundtrack of their vacation, the Main Event Guarantee allowing guests to catch all major events in real time, and Plugged In, providing guests with unlimited high-speed WiFi resort wide. There’s also Star Class, ‘delivering the full star experience’ with exclusive amenities and high-level service. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Planet Hollywood, Sunwing Travel Group Tuesday, October 2, 2018 center_img Posted by Sunwing announces opening of Planet Hollywood Costa Rica Sharelast_img read more

Emirates posts significant drop in profits at 237 million

first_img Share Emirates posts significant drop in profits, at $237 million By: The Associated Press Thursday, May 9, 2019 DUBAI — The Middle East’s biggest airline, Emirates, said on Thursday that profits were down almost 70% in the past fiscal year, reaching lows of $237 million, compared to last year’s whopping $762 million.The Dubai-based airline’s parent company Emirates Group also posted lower profits at $631 million, down 44% from last year.Despite the dip in profits, revenue reached record highs of nearly $30 billion for Emirates Group. Revenue for the airline was slightly up at $26.7 billion.The company said operating costs had increased substantially as it footed its biggest-ever fuel bill at more than $8 billion on the back of oil prices that climbed 25% higher over the last year.The company said a strengthened U.S. dollar, lower airfreight demand and weakened travel demand also contributed to eroded 2018-19 earnings.HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairmand and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group, acknowledged in a statement that the past fiscal year “has been tough, and our performance was not as strong as we would have liked.”More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckThe company released its earnings in a statement, saying it invested about $4 billion in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies and other initiatives compared to the previous year’s $2.5 billion in similar spending.Among the major purchases was a commitment for 70 new Airbus planes worth $21.4 billion at list prices to be delivered over the next five years. The company also made slight increases in its total workforce, employing a total of about 105,300 people.Emirates Group additionally operates the global DNATA – or Dubai National Air Transport Association – ground and travel services provider. That division of the company had revenues of close to $4 billion and profits of $394 million.“It’s hard to predict the year ahead, but both Emirates and dnata are well positioned to navigate speed bumps, as well as to compete and succeed in the global marketplace,” Al Maktoum said in a statement.Al Maktoum is also chairman of budget carrier flydubai, which has a codeshare agreement with Emirates. While the two airlines operate independently, both are owned by the state-owned Investment Corporation of Dubai.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthEmirates Group said it declared a dividend of $136 million to the Investment Corporation of Dubai from its latest fiscal year earnings.The aviation, travel, tourism and leisure industries are key pillars of Dubai’s economy, which has seen a slowed down pace of growth, declines in real estate prices and companies cutting costs either by firing employees or freezing hiring as non-oil businesses struggle with delays in payments down the supply chain.Emirates airline’s aggressive expansion and growth has helped transform its hub at Dubai International Airport into the world’s busiest for international passengers. The airline said it carried 58.6 million passengers this past year, nearly the same as the year before. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Dubai, Emirates, Profit Report, United Arab Emirateslast_img read more

Will US law hurt tourism

first_imgFrom the print editionWhen the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the country’s health care reform law last week, Costa Rica’s private medical sector paid close attention. The Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as “Obamacare,” will extend health insurance to approximately 40 million uninsured U.S. citizens.The Supreme Court decision could hamper the growing global medical tourism industry, a key tourist market in Costa Rica. According to the Council for International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine (PROMED), in 2010, the country counted 36,000 medical tourists, who generated $288 million in revenue. Numbers have not yet been announced for 2011. But PROMED estimates 12 percent growth, putting the number at 40,000 tourists. At a medical tourism conference in April, organizers predicated the industry could begin attracting 100,000 medical tourists by 2013.Health officials acknowledged those estimates might need to be tempered with U.S. health care reform a reality. Barring a repeal of the law by Republican lawmakers, the full extent of the reforms will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.The medical tourism industry’s philosophy centers on providing quality care that’s more cost-efficient because it’s received outside the United States. But with more citizens obtaining insurance, health care in the U.S. becomes more affordable.However, the law will not cover certain popular medical tourism procedures, including elective surgeries and dental care. Dental treatments represent almost 40 percent of medical tourism, while plastic surgery represents another large percentage. At the same time, medical tourism promoters have been researching ways to provide care for procedures often covered by insurance.One initiative that is gaining traction is corporate tourism. The program negotiates with health insurance companies working with other private companies to create deals where employees travel abroad for treatment. “If we see health care reform possibly reducing the individual market for medical travel, we could have a huge opportunity for corporate buyers for health care,” PROMED Executive Director Massimo Manzi said.While “Obamacare” might cause individual tourist numbers to stagnate, businesses still have the potential to bring planeloads of tourists down for treatments. The key to convince companies and their employees to receive treatment in Costa Rica is to provide incentives, said Bob Repke, president of Global Medical Conexions, a corporate medical tourism facilitator. Repke has spoken on the law at medical tourism conferences in Costa Rica. The June 28 Supreme Court ruling is fresh, and he and the rest of the industry haven’t had time yet to digest the law, which has more than 2,000 pages. However, he insists medical tourism promoters should see many positives in the outcome.“We’ve been seeing an increase in medical travel in the last five years, and we still haven’t penetrated the market fully,” Repke said, adding that opportunities also include markets in the Caribbean and the rest of Latin America.Besides corporate tourism, another boost could come from those who are impatient with the new system. In Canada, a country with universal health care, patients can wait up to two years to receive non-life-threatening procedures, such as knee or hip replacements. Patients could choose to receive surgery faster in Costa Rica. Repke said those same long lines will form in the U.S., except in larger numbers. Plus, medical tourism’s reputation has strengthened over the years, and Repke believes in the future more foreigners will take interest in the idea.Doctors are realistic that certain sectors of medical tourism will see drops in patients due to the reform. Dr. Luis Wachong, director of the private medical facility Clínica UNIBE, in northeastern San José, said 90 percent of tourists who come to the hospital are there for cosmetic surgeries. The other 10 percent come for general surgeries, neurological procedures and orthopedics. The latter treatments likely would be covered by health insurance plans under the new law, resulting in a slump in business in that area. Cosmetic surgery could face challenges in the future, too. As other medical tourism destinations rush to promote procedures not covered by insurance policies, Costa Rica will need to stay ahead of other Latin American rivals. “In plastic surgery, there’s no insurance to cover that, so probably this market will continue to grow,” Wachong said. “And our competition is not in any way ‘Obamacare’; it would be the other countries.” But Wachong and other medical officials believe, at the moment, Costa Rica has the edge against its competitors. Costa Rica has long been the go-to destination for medical tourism in the region, unlike emerging markets in Colombia and Panama. Mexico, another medical tourism leader, must keep on combating a negative image brought on by the drug war.Furthermore, proximity to the U.S. gives Costa Rica a natural advantage. Few U.S. patients will choose to fly all day to medical tourism hotbeds Thailand and Singapore when most uninsured procedures – such as dental treatment – are short and simple and can be carried out after a quick flight to Central America.PROMED’s Manzi also is relieved that in the last few years, medical tourism has received positive attention in the mainstream. More foreigners are aware medical tourism exists, even if less patients might consider the option after the reform. He pointed to a recent New Yorker article called “Affordable Health Care in Thailand and Costa Rica.” The item mentioned the possibility of receiving a hip replacement at Costa Rica’s well-regarded CIMA Hospital for a sixth of the cost than what the operation costs in the U.S. That same story related an anecdote – and perhaps a warning – about the sudden vanguard of medical tourism: corporate tourism. In addition to logistics and making sure procedures go well, the greatest obstacle appears to be convincing patients they want to travel abroad in the first place. For example, in 2008, U.S. supermarket chain Hannaford set up a program for its workers to receive treatment at a renowned – and cheaper – hospital in Singapore. Hannaford’s employees chose not to try out the enticement, the New Yorker wrote.Manzi trusts that it will be easier to sway corporate employees to visit Costa Rica instead of Southeast Asia, but to make the endeavor a success he hopes to receive help from the Costa Rican government. PROMED is working to create a centralized database on medical tourism patients by surveying facilities throughout the Central Valley and the northwestern province of Guanacaste. Manzi wants the government to assist in turning the hard data into a medical tourism advertising campaign designed for the U.S. market. The Costa Rican government announced at a recent business conference that medical tourism is one of its top priorities. Since the Affordable Care Act passed the U.S. Congress, Costa Rican medical tourism officials have done the legwork. They’ve been talking to insurance companies, working with facilitators and negotiating with major employers. But without a strong tourism campaign, Costa Rica might lose its eminence as perhaps the most favored destinations for U.S. medical tourists.“Even if you convince the company, you still always have to convince the patients,” Manzi said. “And that is possibly the missing piece.” Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

South Korea becomes an observer of Central American integration

first_imgNo related posts. SAN SALVADOR – South Korea on Monday joined as an observer of the Central American Integration System (SICA), becoming the seventh country outside the region to agree to observer status.The document that formalizes the admission of South Korea was signed in San Salvador by SICA Secretary General Juan Daniel Alemán and South Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-han.In addition to the Asian country, SICA observers outside the region include Spain, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, Japan and Australia. Countries with regional observer status include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, United States, Mexico and Peru.SICA is an organization that manages the integration process of Central American countries, plus the Dominican Republic. Facebook Commentslast_img

New Costa Rican airline Ticos Air now hiring

first_imgThe recently formed Costa Rican airline, Ticos Air, is searching for personnel to fill several administrative and technical posts.Marketing Manager Daniel Gil said the new company plans to hire 120 employees, who will join 22 current workers to launch the airline’s operations.Gil said the company expects to begin operating its first flights in early 2014.Ticos Air provided the Civil Aviation Administration with the required documentation for operating permits last June.The airline will operate five Airbus 319 aircraft, and the first destinations are Mexico City, Caracas, New York and Miami.The company formed in December 2012, and has since been establishing offices in San José, hiring workers, buying planes, and conducting other preparations. TACA Airlines’ decision in May to drop five nonstop flights to Costa Rica from the United States and other countries created a market opportunity for Ticos Air and other international airlines. TACA also laid off 261 employees from its Costa Rica operations as part of an integration process with Colombian-owned airline Avianca.Applicants interested in working for Ticos Air should send a résumé by email to: airline’s website,, is currently under construction. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica could launch 7 new airline routes and add 2 carriers this year Costa Rican Hotels Chamber demands government action on Avianca-Taca flight cancellations United Airlines announces more nonstop flights to Houston and New York during Christmas season More flights coming: Delta adds Minneapolis and LA routes to Costa Ricalast_img read more

Big waves expected at Costa Ricas central Pacific beaches this weekend

first_img Facebook Comments Powerful waves and rip currents started hitting beaches in the Pacific province of Puntarenas on Friday and will continue throughout the weekend, theUniversity of Costa Rica’s Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) reported.Swells arriving Friday morning were generating waves up to 2 meters high (6.5 feet) by early afternoon, with strong breaks every 22 seconds at central Pacific and Gulf of Nicoya beaches.Some of these waves are expected to get taller when they reach the beach and even overcome breakwaters at Caldera beach in Puntarenas, mainly between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., according to CIMAR forecasts.CIMAR oceanographer Omar Lizano said swells come from the southern hemisphere and will continue generating waves with strong breaks throughout the weekend, mostly at Puntarenas and Caldera beaches.Lizano warned beachgoers enjoying the last weekend of the mid-year vacations to remain alert to these conditions, as swells likely will generate strong rip currents.“These conditions also can be dangerous for small boats at river mouths, estuaries and beaches,” he said.Wave conditions are expected to return to normal starting Monday. However, CIMAR projections indicate that a new stronger swell likely will enter the country next Thursday.This phenomenon would bring waves up to 2.4 meters (7.8 feet) high, with strong breaks every 21 seconds Lizano reported.This week CIMAR released a new application for mobile phones and devices that offers updated information on Costa Rica’s sea conditions along both Caribbean and Pacific shores, as well as around Cocos Island. Related posts:Big waves expected to hit Costa Rica’s southern Pacific beaches over the weekend Surf’s up: Caribbean beaches to see large waves over the weekend Oceanographers forecast strong waves, rip tides along Costa Rica’s Pacific shores starting Thursday Big waves, rip currents hit Pacific beacheslast_img read more

Lawmakers dismiss attempt to block Nicaragua Canal

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:35 years after Somoza’s overthrow, not much for Nicaragua to celebrate Poet Ernesto Cardenal on Gran Canal project: ‘We should denounce to the world what is happening in Nicaragua’ Thousands march to protest Nicaragua’s ambitious canal project Activists visiting Washington blast Nicaragua’s $50 billion canal project as ‘illegitimate’ MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaragua’s Congress has scuppered a bill backed by thousands of people hoping to block a cross-country canal project, saying the legislature does not have the authority to weigh the issue.The draft legislation presented by rural dwellers living along the proposed Nicaragua canal’s path “is rejected as inadmissible,” the chamber said, adding that it lacks the “jurisdiction” to handle it, Congress’s first secretary wrote in a letter made public on Monday.The government hopes the ambitious Nicaragua Canal project will rival Panama’s lucrative canal, which handles five percent of commercial maritime traffic.Some 28,000 Nicaraguans signed a petition backing the bill, which sought to block the state’s authorization giving the canal project to a Chinese consortium, HKND, to build and run for 50 years. Seven thousand of those signatures were stamped, as required by law. Only 5,000 stamped signatures must be collected for Congress to consider a citizen’s bill.See: Indigenous and Afro-Caribbeans claim they were forced to negotiate over Nicaragua CanalThe legislature argued on Monday that it is unable to debate the citizen’s bill because of a 2013 ruling by the country’s Supreme Court rejecting a complaint against the canal and drawing a line under the issue.A legal consultant for the petitioning rural citizens, Mónica López, criticized the Congress’s decision, saying the lawmakers were declaring that “the law on the canal is written in stone and 28,000 signatures cannot modify it.” That, she said, was “a legal aberration, an outrageous situation.”Congress in June 2013 approved a law handing the canal’s operating rights to the HKND consortium, which is tasked with building the gargantuan waterway at a cost of $50 billion.Read more Nicaragua Canal coverage herelast_img read more

Europeans get some relief with Euro 2012 wins

first_imgAssociated PressATHENS, Greece (AP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel watched Germany weather the storm and emerge with flying colors, while other European countries simply floundered.Only this time, it wasn’t a test of economic strength in the ailing eurozone. It was the first round of the European Championship _ a soccer extravaganza lasting 3 1/2 weeks that dishes out elation and disappointment to millions of people from the Irish Sea to the Chinese border. Just as Germany has enjoyed growth while other eurozone economies have sunk into recession, its team has emerged unscathed from arguably the toughest group at the tournament after beating Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark.However, Germany hasn’t been the only one to prosper at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain may be struggling with waves of government austerity drives, high unemployment and either the prospect or the reality of embarrassing bailouts, but their soccer teams are doing just fine.Among the 17-nation eurozone’s financially troubled nations, only Ireland was sent home this week after failing to reach the quarterfinals. But _ just as Irish people have received plaudits for coping so stoically with austerity, their hard-drinking, fun-loving fans have by far been the best of the tournament.Important though the sporting stakes may be, the soccer gods have also proved to have a sense of humor.Germany will be up against Greece in the quarterfinals in Gdansk, Poland _ the biggest contributor to the bailout funds playing against the nation that ignited Europe’s debt woes.The irony wasn’t lost on the Berliner Kurier newspaper, which printed a cartoon Tuesday of a German government spokesman telling the media that “our stance on Greece remaining in the eurozone depends entirely upon how the quarterfinal goes.” New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths “The spectacle offers people an outlet, an escape to leave behind even for 90 minutes this flood of negativity from the crisis,” said Demetris Vestarchis, the owner of Mentor Cafe in the Athens suburb of Thission. “Most Greeks identify with these players who are showing that we’re not dead and gone.”“What the politicians can’t do for this country, these players have,” said Yiannis Minasian, an unemployed 44-year-old. “These guys have heart and guts, something that politicians don’t have.”___ITALY 2, IRELAND 0Italy scored a goal in each half to reach the quarterfinals but the mood on the streets of the Italian capital was as listless as its hurting economy.Romans packing a pub near the Campo dei Fiori, a popular square, to follow the match on TV. Afterward, they glumly described the victory as a metaphor for the state of the nation, which is facing concerns it could be the next country after Spain to need an international bailout.“Look around, do you see people celebrating? No, because although it is a victory, we can only partially feel it,” said Marco Cantelli, a 37-year-old banker.“This team doesn’t even help to forget the crisis. Actually, it makes it worse,” said interior decorator Filippo Bich. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sales executive Ramona Zulma, 37, said her country’s Euro 2012 performance showed that Spain is capable of achieving great things.“Spain is not a backwater,” she said. “It is a country that has worked hard to get where it is, and it is so sad and depressing to see that for reasons that many of us barely understand we are now suffering economic difficulties.”____Rising reported from Berlin. Contributing to this report: Harold Heckle in Madrid, Ana Paiva in Porto, Paola Barisani in Rome, and Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean “We can have a break from the crisis of at least a month with Euro 2012, but I think both are coexisting, the cheerful mood and the crisis,” said Ricardo Teixeira, a 30-year-old doctor. “Our life is completely dominated by the crisis.”Unemployed housekeeper Fatima Santos, 45, watched the game on large-screen TVs in Porto’s main plaza _ happy to forget her economic worries for a few hours.“Right now with the crisis we do what is possible to enjoy life,” she said. “Being depressed isn’t worth it and giving up would be like dying.”___SPAIN 1, CROATIA 0Spain’s late goal Monday night against a skillful Croatia generated whoops of joy in Madrid’s packed bars after a particularly depressing day. The country’s risk of needing an international bailout increased dramatically when its key bond interest rate hit an unsustainable rate of more than 7 percent _ a figure that had previously prompted Greece, Ireland and Portugal to ask for bailouts.Fans said the win was redemption for a proud country and maybe _ just maybe _ a sign that Spain will emerge from its crushing financial chaos intact.“Spain’s economy is against the ropes, but watching our team struggle, suffer and win against tough opposition inspires us to think that if you work hard you can overcome,” said Diego Escalante, a 28-year-old lawyer. “You can read a lot into this beautiful sport and translate it to life. Preparation and talent make up the base, and teamwork adds the cherry on top. Many Spaniards are talented, excellently prepared and educated to good levels. If we work together we will come through this.” Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Top Stories Sponsored Stories Germany’s Bild newspaper put it like this: “Be happy dear Greeks, the defeat on Friday is a gift. Against (German coach) Jogi Loew, no rescue fund will help you.”Loew refused to be baited, laughingly telling reporters in Gdansk that the German team has a “close relationship” with Merkel.“We’ve reached a deal in which she has no say in picking the lineup and tactics and we not in her political statements,” he joked.Here’s a look at some key soccer results in the prism of the eurozone crisis:___GREECE 1, RUSSIA 0For Greeks who have seen their living standards plummet in the debt crisis, their team’s unexpected win against Russia on Saturday night was as much about national validation as sporting prowess. Street celebrations in Athens saw Greeks wrapped in their flag, wearing replica helmets of ancient Greek warriors and waving spears.“Greeks are portrayed as garbage abroad, but at least on the field we’re not,” said 29-year-old high school teacher Alexis Vasiliou.Greece may be a debt-engulfed country that’s threatening to drag down the entire eurozone, but at least has a soccer team its people are proud of. In Dublin, Irish fans walked out of pubs looking disillusioned after their Boys in Green bowed out of the tournament with three straight defeats. Some compared the ineptness of their athletes to the inability of their government leaders to negotiate better bailout terms.“We’re outgunned on the football pitch and in Europe. We need a win to feel better about ourselves,” said Terry Rafferty, a retired Dublin bank manager.___PORTUGAL 2, DENMARK 1In Porto, Portugal, fans jumped from bar stools in dismay when their team made mistakes Sunday night. But citizens of this tiny bailed-out country emerged elated and briefly forgot their deep economic misery with communal cries of “Golo!” each time the team scored and finally beat Denmark.Flag-waving supporters clogged streets with their cars, honking horns as drivers and passengers yelled “Portugal!” over and over. However, fans said the mood was much more subdued than during Euro 2004, which was held in Portugal, when the country’s economy was charging ahead following its adoption of the euro.After years of overspending, Portugal took a bailout last year and now has high unemployment, recession and harsh austerity measures imposed by creditors. Comments   Share   4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Boeing Embraer teaming up on military plane

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Boeing says it’s part of a broader agreement including cooperation “in commercial airplane efficiency and safety, research and technology, and sustainable aviation biofuels.”Embraer says it has letters of intent from various nations to buy 60 of the KC-390s. The company hopes to sell 100 of the planes over 20 years.Embraer says the first test flights of the KC-390 will occur in 2014. First deliveries are expected in 2016.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family How men can have a healthy 2019 Top holiday drink recipes Sponsored Stories BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) – Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer and U.S. company Boeing say they’ve agreed to share technical knowledge and market assessments on the development of a Brazilian military cargo plane.Embraer hopes its KC-390 plane will eventually replace Lockheed Martin’s Hercules C130 as the globe’s most widely used military transport aircraft.Financial details of the deal signed Tuesday weren’t released.center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments   Share   last_img read more

Ghana VP sworn in hours after presidents death

first_imgThe government got involved in a dispute with Kosmos Energy, the owner of the country’s Jubilee oil field, a spat that resulted in a delay in the proceeds from the country’s nascent oil trade, said Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council.Atta Mills also was one of the only leaders in West Africa who didn’t back plans for an intervention force during last year’s near-civil war in Ivory Coast. Because of its shared border, Ghana became the main smuggling route for Ivorian cocoa.The late president spent much of his career teaching at the University of Ghana. He earned a doctorate from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies before becoming a Fulbright scholar at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.Atta Mills also served as vice president under Jerry Rawlings, a coup leader who was later elected president by popular vote and surprised the world by stepping down after the 2000 vote.Richard Downie, the deputy director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that Atta Mills may be remembered more for what his election in 2008 symbolized than for what he did as president. “We are deeply distraught, devastated as a country,” Mahama said after his swearing-in ceremony, where he raised the golden staff of office above his head.Ghanaian state-run television stations GTV and TV3 broke into their regular programming to announce the president’s death Tuesday afternoon. Government officials did not release the cause of his death, which came three days after his 68th birthday.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “President Mills will be remembered for his statesmanship and years of dedicated service to his country,” according to a statement from his spokesman.“At this time of national mourning, the secretary-general renews the commitment of the United Nations to work alongside the government and the people of Ghana in support of their efforts to consolidate the country’s democratic and development achievements,” the spokesman said.Rumors had swirled about Atta Mills’ health in recent months after he made several trips to the United States, and opposition newspapers had reported he was not well enough to run for a second term.Some radio stations even announced that he was dead during one of his recent trips to the States. When Atta Mills returned to Ghana, he jogged at the airport and blasted those who had falsely reported his death. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “President Mills will be remembered for his statesmanship and years of dedicated service to his country,” his spokesman said. Ban pledged that the United Nations would support Ghana’s efforts “to consolidate the country’s democratic and development achievements.”On the streets of Cape Coast, kilometers (80 miles) from Accra, people held radios to their ears on the street, listening to the funeral hymns playing on FM stations and waiting for more information about the president’s unexpected death.“His speeches were full of a spirit of love and peace,” said Efua Mensima, 45. “He was soft-spoken. I wept when I heard of his death.”In a predominantly Ghanaian section of Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, a group of 10 men tried to organize a bus to take them to Ghana for the president’s funeral.“The Ghanaian people were happy with this president and his program for the development of the country,” said Nour Ousmane Aladji, 27, a taxi driver who moved to Abidjan in 2000.Chris Fomunyoh, the senior director for Africa for the Washington-based National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, said that Ghana’s democracy could weather the death of a president. He defeated the ruling party by the slimmest of margins, marking two successful handovers of power in Ghana, a benchmark used by political scientists to measure a mature democracy.“It showed just how robust Ghana’s democracy was, and it proved here in the U.S. what a success Ghana had become in terms of its political maturity,” he said.___Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal. Associated Press writers Sammy Ajei and Jon Gambrell in Lagos, Nigeria; Rukmini Callimachi in Dakar, Senegal; Laura Burke in Cape Coast, Ghana; and Robbie Corey-Boulet in Abidjan, Ivory Coast contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) In other nations in West Africa, the death of a ruler usually spells a coup, as it did in neighboring Guinea following the 2008 death of longtime dictator Lansana Conte, and Togo, where the military seized power after the president’s death in 2005 in order to install the leader’s son.“Ghanaian democracy has been tested and its institutions function well,” said Fomunyoh. “There’s no reason to think that Ghana and its democracy will not handle this event properly.”Atta Mills was elected in a 2008 runoff vote that was the closest in the country’s history _ and his third presidential bid.“People are complaining. They’re saying that their standard of living has deteriorated these past eight years,” he told The Associated Press at the time. “So if Ghana is a model of growth, it’s not translating into something people can feel.”He went on to serve as president as Ghana began grappling with how to deal with its newfound oil wealth from offshore fields discovered in the last five years. The country of about 25 million saw a growth rate of more than 14 percent last year, though some analysts say the handling of his time in office was less than stellar. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img Top Stories Associated PressACCRA, Ghana (AP) – President John Atta Mills’ election victory secured Ghana’s reputation as one of the most mature democracies in West Africa, a position further solidified Tuesday when the vice president took over only hours after the 68-year-old president died five months before finishing his first term.John Mahama’s swift inauguration underscored Ghana’s stability in a part of the world where the deaths of other leaders have sparked coups. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology How men can have a healthy 2019 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

UK man detained in CAR returns to Britain

first_imgLONDON (AP) – U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague says a British safari driver jailed in the Central African Republic on suspicion of killing 13 people has returned to Britain after being cleared of all charges.David Simpson, 24, was arrested on March 26 after he reported the discovery of 13 bodies with bound hands and machete wounds by a small-scale gold mine in the eastern part of the Central African Republic. Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix He was released in August after all charges were dropped, having spent five months incarcerated, but had to wait to return to the U.K.Hague said Saturday he was “delighted to confirm” that Simpson is now back in Britain.Hague says he had raised the case with his counterpart in the Central African Republic in August.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Argentines enjoy nearly the most paid holidays

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Argentina’s congress overwhelmingly approved the latest holiday, but when de Graaf drafted a bill introduced in the 2009 U.S. Congress that would have required companies with 50 employees or more to provide just one week’s paid vacation, “you would have thought we were demanding the end of Western Civilization,” he said.Argentines and their neighbors seem to recognize the upside of encouraging workers to have lives outside the office, he said. “The Latin Americans generally really do appreciate their holidays and time.”___Associated Press writer Michael Warren in Buenos Aires contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Many other countries don’t extend such benefits to all workers nationwide, according to a 62-nation survey published last year by Mercer Human Resources Consulting. For example, Lebanon has 21 bank holidays, celebrating two Easters and two Good Fridays honoring different religions, but only government and financial sector workers can count on getting paid for the days off.In contrast, Argentina legally requires all private employers to provide time off or extra pay during all national holidays.The United States has just 10 national holidays, but for many workers even these aren’t a sure thing. The U.S. stands alone among industrial nations in providing no legal guarantees of time off or holiday pay _ not even for Christmas or the Fourth of July, said John de Graaf, who runs Take Back Your Time, a group promoting worker protections in the U.S. and Canada.“It’s not good. The thinking is so short-term. It might help the bottom line and shareholder prices in the short run, but in the long run we pay for this stuff,” de Graaf said. He said studies show short holiday breaks refresh workers and make them more productive, while lack of time off can increase stress and health problems. Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix How do cataracts affect your vision?center_img Cecilia Guidi, a Buenos Aires office worker, had no idea what Argentina’s latest holiday is for, but she’s enjoying it as much as she can. She drove off with her husband and two small children to spend three nights in a hotel in the beach resort of Mar del Plata, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of the capital.“I don’t know if so many holidays is good or bad for the country, but it’s a good thing for me. I’m spending more time with my family, and getting more rest,” she said.Argentina’s newest holiday, granted for this bicentennial year only, honors the day in 1812 when revolutionary war hero Manuel Belgrano led his troops to victory against Spanish royalist forces in the Battle of Tucuman.More importantly for President Cristina Fernandez, it gives her citizens yet another opportunity to leave their homes and spread their pesos around, underpinning the consumer spending that has kept Argentina afloat in rough economic waters. Guidi’s family alone will spend more than $600 on a hotel room, restaurant meals, gas and other expenses they wouldn’t have run up without the three-day weekend.Fernandez has made a point of creating new holidays and moving others so Argentines can take enough time off work to drive or fly long distances to the country’s tourist destinations. Honoring patriotic heroes, dictatorship victims and soldiers who died fighting against Britain for the Falkland Islands, she made such a policy of it that September had been the only month this bicentennial year without a holiday _ until congress’ recent vote added it in, too. Some labor experts say requiring employers to pay for so many holidays harms profits, endangering the economy.“Faced with such an increase in holidays, businesses run the risk of losing productivity and efficiency in daily work. In many cases, holidays interrupt planned activities and make coordination difficult,” said Pablo Molouny, who runs the consulting firm in Buenos Aires.Tourism businesses, however, credit the holidays with turning around local economies across Argentina. More than 9.5 million people traveled during the year’s first seven long weekends, spending $1.6 billion and increasing the GDP by 7 percentage points, according to the Tourism Ministry, which estimates that 1.2 million of the country’s 40 million people directly owe their jobs to tourism.“Tourism is a key socio-economic measure for the country,” said Oscar Ghezzi, president of the Argentina Tourism Chamber. “It’s an important generator of excellent jobs, and also profits. It’s an activity that spills over and mobilizes all the economies, from big cities to small towns.”But does all this time off slow down the overall economy? Could Argentina’s abundance of holiday joy push businesses to invest in other countries instead? Associated PressBUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Oh, how lovely it is this weekend to be Argentine _ able to take a mini-vacation to the mountains or the sea, or simply relax at home for three days, blissfully enjoying yet another new government benefit: More paid national holidays this year than nearly every other country in the world.Thousands of Argentines began spilling out of the capital Friday night to make the most of the long weekend, which congress approved just three weeks ago. Monday’s Sept. 24th holiday makes for a total of 19 national paid holidays this year. Only Colombia comes close in Latin America, with 18. Not necessarily, because another key factor is how many vacation days governments require employers to provide. Argentina trails many other nations by insisting on just 14 days for beginning employees. Together with the 19 holidays, it means Argentine employers have to provide at least 33 days off a year, the same as Colombia, which requires a minimum of 15 days’ vacation.France, Austria, Greece and most Nordic countries require 25 days paid vacation, which together with national holidays makes for a world-leading 38 days off in Austria, the Mercer survey found. Venezuela leads Latin America with a total of 36 paid days off, while Morocco and Malaysia lead Africa and Asia with 32.“The numbers of working days in Argentina are comparable with the rest of the region … while Argentina has a high number of holidays, it requires fewer vacation days than other countries,” said Laura Roldan, who directs health and benefits research for Mercer Argentina. “From the business perspective this isn’t a big deal. Yes, it’s an additional cost, but it’s something manageable.”China has a reputation for difficult working conditions, yet requires employers to pay for 11 national holidays and 10 vacation days, a total of 21, Mercer found. The United States doesn’t legally require employers to provide any vacation pay at all. Top Stories Check your body, save your life Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

Argentine soccer violence resurfaces at Buenos Aires derby

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ramiro Funes Mori of Argentina’s River Plate, center, and teammates wash their faces after a caustic substance was thrown at them from the stands, at the start of the second half of a Copa Libertadores round of sixteen soccer match against Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, May 14, 2015. Conmebol delegate Roger Bello of Bolivia and referee Dario Herrera canceled the game after pepper spray was thrown from the stands towards River Plate players before the start of the second half of the game. The La Bombonera stadium has been closed down as a result of the incidents. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) River players stumbled onto the field to start the second half of the scoreless match covering their faces, rubbing their eyes and dousing themselves with bottles of water.The players then huddled together at the center of Boca’s compact La Bombonera stadium, seeking refuge alongside police and officials who waited more than an hour before suspending the game.Trapped at the center of the field with many of the 50,000 fans refusing to leave, players waited another hour before it was safe to move, and then sought shelter under shields held overhead by police who were battered with flying objects.“My whole body hurts,” River player Leonardo Ponzio said. “They threw — I’m not sure what it was — pepper spray at us. This just can’t be.”River said in a medical statement that at least four players were diagnosed with inflamed corneas after hospital visits, and several were burned from the spray.Once again, a soccer stadium in Argentina turned to a crime scene with Buenos Aires public prosecutor Martin Ocampo saying Friday the stadium was being sealed off to “gather evidence.”Soccer violence in common in South America and Europe. But Argentina’s may be the worst. BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The bitter rivalry between Buenos Aires clubs Boca Juniors and River Plate has produced another ugly chapter in Argentina’s long history of endemic soccer violence.Thursday’s Copa Libertadores match between the two turned to chaos when Boca fans apparently cut an opening in a tunnel put up to protect players as they entered the field and filled it with pepper spray or mace to douse the opponents. Nestor Benitez, a spokesman for the governing body of South American football, said officials were awaiting a report from the referee and were likely to say Saturday how the suspended game would be handled.Sergio Berni, a top Argentine national security official, but the blame squarely with Boca.“Boca is the only one responsible, this is undeniable,” Berni told reporters. “The club neglected to provide internal security.”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 And no game is more volatile than Boca vs. River, which ranks up there with Real Madrid vs. Barcelona for intensity. Thursday’s match was also the third the clubs had played against each other in 12 days, and they each had won once.Argentine media were calling Thursday’s meeting “The Game of the Year,” and it took place in the second and decisive leg of a knockout round in the Copa Libertadores, Latin America’s equivalent of the Champions League.Boca won 2-0 against its rival in the league, and then River won four days later 1-0 in the first-leg match in the round of 16 in the Copa Libertadores.Argentina’s problem is rooted in so-called “barras bravas,” organized hooligan groups that have connections to clubs, powerful politicians and the police. They operate with near impunity, scalping tickets, parking cars and battling rival gangs for turf inside and outside the stadiums.“I can’t say that they (Boca) lost control with the scant information I have,” Ocampo said.Argentina already bans visiting fans from attending matches, but that has not stemmed the violence.The Argentine Football Association has been widely criticized for failing to crack down. But they say it is a societal problem in Argentina, which is battling fierce inflation and social unrest and rising street crime. 0 Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

UK leader Cameron outlines who can vote in referendum on EU

first_img 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 LONDON (AP) — Britain’s prime minister on Monday outlined who will be allowed to vote in a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union, opting to exclude most voters from the other 27 EU nations living in the U.K.Prime Minister David Cameron announced the parameters ahead of introducing legislation Thursday in Parliament to organize the ballot. No date has been set for it yet but Cameron is committed to holding the referendum by 2017. Sponsored Stories British Prime Minister David Cameron, center, stands with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, and European Council President Donald Tusk during arrivals at the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga, on Friday, May 22, 2015. EU leaders gather for a second day of meetings with six post-communist nations to discuss various issues, including enlargement, the economy and Ukraine. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, praised Cameron for being “true to his word” on giving the territory’s residents a chance to vote.“As a British part of the EU, our voice will be heard as part of the franchise for this seminal exercise in democracy,” he said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Top Stories center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 must play golf courses in Arizona His plans include a tour of European capitals to press his case that the EU needs to be reformed, hoping that the upcoming vote in Britain will convince those on the continent that Britain is determined to enact change.Cameron plans to travel to Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Poland and Germany this week as part of his efforts to talk with all of the leaders of the EU member states before the European Council late next month.Under the referendum measure, the vote will be open to those allowed to vote in British elections rather than rules used for European Parliament or local elections.Cameron said U.K.-resident citizens of four other EU members — Ireland, Commonwealth members Cyprus and Malta, and the U.K.’s own territory of Gibraltar — will be eligible to vote, while citizens from 24 other EU nations will not.This means more than half of eligible voters among the 2.8 million non-British EU citizens living in the United Kingdom will be denied a ballot in the referendum.Uniquely, Cameron plans to permit eligible voters in Gibraltar, the British territory on the Mediterranean Sea, to take part. That decision could aid the pro-EU side, because Gibraltar’s 30,000 residents broadly see EU membership as essential to thwarting Spain’s ambitions of claiming the 2.6-square-mile (6.8-square-kilometer) territory. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Its a daddaughter overnighter in New York for the Obamas

first_img Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama headed to New York Friday for a rare father-daughter weekend in the city, after collecting cash for Democrats while he’s there.Obama was headlining a Democratic fundraiser hosted by businessman George Logothetis and his wife, Nitzia. About 30 supporters were contributing up to $33,400 each.Then, with the politics out of the way, the rest of Obama’s New York overnighter was set aside for time with his teenage daughters, Malia and Sasha.center_img 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Obama, Sasha and two of her friends bounded up the steps of Air Force One, eager to join Malia, who was already in New York.Malia, who is 17, was spotted earlier this summer on the Brooklyn set of HBO’s “Girls,” where she reportedly was interning. Sasha is 14.White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the president was “looking forward to a rare opportunity he’ll have to spend a little personal time with his daughters in New York.”Earnest wouldn’t say what activities were on their schedule, but said journalists taking part in the weekend would be kept up to date.He then quickly noted that journalists traveling to New York with the president would not actually be participating in his outings with Malia and Sasha.“That might interfere with the personal nature of the father-daughter time,” he quipped.Obama rarely stays overnight in New York unless he’s there for business, such as the U.N. General Assembly. He’s due back in Washington on Saturday night.___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at © 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 Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Wolgan Valley voted Australias best relaxation and Spa Hotel in TripA

first_imgSource = Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Emirates’ luxury conservation-based resort, has been honoured with the TripAdvisor 2011 Traveller’s Choice Award for Best Australian Relaxation and Spa Hotel.Now in its ninth year, the annual TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards recognise the world’s best hotels based on the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions about hotels on and content from across the web.“Being honoured with TripAdvisor’s internationally renowned award is an important milestone for Wolgan Valley,” said Joost Heymeijer, General Manager, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. “To receive such outstanding recognition from our guests is highly rewarding and inspires us to continue to offer superior levels of service and luxury.”The Emirates AU$125 million property was also recently honoured as Editor’s Choice in the prestigious 2010 Gallivanter’s Awards for Excellence, adding yet another award to its plethora of accolades.A scenic three-hour drive from Sydney and nestled between two national parks bordering the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa features 40 individual secluded suites, each with its own indoor / outdoor swimming pool, private verandah, separate living and sleeping areas, luxurious en suite bathroom and double-sided fireplace.Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa incorporates the Timeless Spa, Emirates’ own spa branded facility. The Timeless Spa is committed to offering guests the finest in holistic treatments, aimed at reducing stress and enhancing relaxation, all within a luxurious setting that echoes its locality and embodies the culture of the region.last_img read more

MEETINGS kicks off in Rotorua

first_imgExhibitors commenced selling destination Kiwi to the Aussie and Asian markets, with MEETINGS kicking off in Rotorua today. Up to 500 buyers and exhibitors have filled the Energy Events Centre for a welcome breakfast, a few encouraging words from four guest speakers and the opportunity to exchange NZ knowledge and business cards. Exhibiting at the event, private guide Mark Everard told e-Travel Blackboard that the aim of MEETINGS is to work together with buyers, “to develop the best of what NZ has to offer”. Mr Everard explained that event organisers are moving towards a more tailor made experience to cater to the interests of various groups. He said they want “unique experiences, knowledge and what’s new as well as affordable”. “[NZ] is a new country that is raw in terms of scenery but we have world class infrastructure, activity and friendliness,” he added. Travelling into NZ from Oz, Industrial Events co-founder Natasha Hardy told e-Travel Blackboard that NZ is a prime destination for her company because of its proximity, cost and adventure. “It’s more cost effective to come to NZ than to go to Australia and have the same and same,” she explained. “NZ itself is an adventure capital… and it offers a broader experience.” Meanwhile, Venture Southland conference and events marketing manager, Amanda Dowling, told e-Travel Blackboard that while the Australian and US markets focus on opportunities in pre & post-tours, local event buyers focus on developments and infrastructure of conferences venues. Despite ash clouds causing flight cancellations across Australia yesterday, buyers for Oz, China and India landed safely in NZ and were welcomed with a traditional Maori greeting usually reserved for royalty. Click here to see photos from the welcoming in Redwoods Forest, Rotorua. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Carbon hits travel with triple whammy ATEC

first_img“If you are a tourism business with a helicopter or aircraft, your fuel excise costs are going to increase by more than 150%, that is clearly going to force up the price for customers and affect your ability to be competitive in the market,” Mr Byrne explained. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Smaller travel businesses may struggle to survive in the Australian market, according to ATEC, with the carbon tax adding on to other pressures including the high Australian dollar and declining domestic tourism.Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) managing director Felicia Mariani said the “triple whammy” could force small and medium sized travel companies to “question their ongoing viability”.Ms Mariani explained that the government has “left the tourism industry high and dry” with small businesses unable to update their energy efficient system could face an electricity charge increase of up to 30 percent.“There are thousands of tourism operators across Australia with profit margins so low that any increase in operating costs will push them over the edge,” Ms Mariani said. “While ATEC is working to support these businesses to embrace energy efficiency, many just don’t have the financial capacity to make the big changes that can deliver real efficiency savings.”According to the MD, the jobs of tens of thousands of people are at risk with the inclusion of the carbon tax, particularly in regional areas that rely on their tourism economy.  Tax and advisory firm, BDO head of sustainability Dylan Byrne described the claim that the carbon tax will have minimal impact on the industry as a “myth”, highlighting that “some of the proposals will have major direct and indirect impacts on the costs incurred by tourism operators”.last_img read more

Captain sad to set sail

first_imgCaptain Trevor Haworth and his wife Mrs Haworth welcome seaLink to take the company forward Founder Captain Trevor Haworth expressed his sadness at yesterday’s sale of Captain Cook Cruises but sees a brighter future for the cruise line in the horizon. “It’s a sad time for us,” Captain Haworth said. “We have spent 41 years on [Sydney] Harbour. On the one hand it is sad and on the other it is good for the future development of the company.” “Our company is world renowned for its lunch time cruise which is a wonderful way for international visitors to see our Harbour.“Times change and the family business knows that Captain Cook Cruises needs to expand.”Captain Haworth said the huge contribution by over 300 staff members shaped the company and now is important to the future development of the business.“It was very important to our family to choose an Australian company, we needed to know the business is going to good hands,” Mr Haworth said.“We are very pleased to welcome onboard SeaLink of South Australia to take this company forward.”SeaLink Travel Group chairman Mr Giuliano Ursini said the acquisition was perfectly aligned to their national and international growth strategy and vision of “connecting Australasian icons and landscapes to the world”.“It’s a great privilege to take part in this wonderful union,” Mr Ursini said.Mr Ursini said reasons behind the purchase were attributed to adding to SeaLink’s growing portfolio providing additional security to staff.On the issue of staff, Mr Ursini said SeaLink has offered all Captain Cook staff the opportunity to retain positions within the company adding that he hoped they would.“We will go from around 450 people to 800 people it’s a very important part of the operation that we have the right people at the end of the day any business gets down to the human resources as its most important asset,” he said.Mr Ursini also revealed the sale was a mutual decision between the two companies largely based on equal respect for the brand created by Captain and Mrs Haworth.Tourism & Transport Forum Chief Executive John Lee said the arrival of SeaLink operations strengthens the placement of Sydney Harbour as a leading international attraction, and provides the SeaLink group opportunity to promote its services in Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Townsville and along the Murray River to Sydney’s prime tourist market. “Often one of the first things visitors do is take a Sydney Harbour cruise, so this offers a chance to show off some of Australia’s other coastal attractions,” Mr Lee said. Sealink Chairman Mr Ursini, Captain Cook Cruises Captain Trevor Haworth and chief executive officer and managing director Jeff Ellison congratulate each other on the sale.center_img Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more