first_imgSource = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman TripAdvisor has announced the winners of its Travellers’ Choice awards for Destinations on the Rise.The awards highlight 52 spots around the world that have seen the greatest increase in positive feedback and interest from the TripAdvisor community, year-over-year.Lists were unveiled for World, South Pacific, Asia, Europe, South America and the United States.Ranked first in the world is the rapidly developing Da Nang in Vietnam while Tumon, located amongst the white sandy beaches of the Mariana Islands, is named the top South Pacific destination on the rise.Four Aussie cities also made the top ten with Perth, Darwin, Cairns and Hobart placing fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth on the South Pacific list respectively.Rounding out the South Pacific list were two New Zealand cities consisting of Wanaka and Hamilton.Award-winners were determined using an algorithm that primarily measured the year-over-year increase in positive TripAdvisor traveller review ratings on accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, across destinations worldwide.The full list of Travellers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise for South Pacific are:Tumon Guam, Mariana IslandsNoumea, New Caledonia,Nadi, Fiji,Perth, Australia,Darwin, Australia,Cairns, Australia,Apia, Samoa,Hobart, Australia,Wanaka, New Zealand, andHamilton, Waikato, New Zealand.Finally the Travellers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise for the world are:Da Nang, Vietnam,Silhanoukville, Cambodia,Limassol, Cyprus,Ao Nang, Thailand,Bodrum City, Turkey,Naha, Japan,Hurghada, Egypt,Kazan, Russia,Manaus, Brazil, andEilat, Israel.last_img read more

first_imgCarnival SplendorCruiseTrends™ reports are compiled based on actual consumer quote requests and transactions taking place via CruiseCompete.com, the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003. Consumers request an average of more than 25,000 cruise quotes per month via CruiseCompete. Most Popular Cruise LinesRanked by the total number of quote requests for each particular line in 2015. Royal Caribbean International 8 Nights 20 Cabins Inside Norwegian Cruise Line River River Disney Cruise Line Scenic Cruises Paul Gauguin Cruises Slovak Republic / Slovakia Kusadasi Barcelona 2 Cabins Berlin May 2015 North America Oceania Marina Regent Seven Seas Cruises Luxury Star Clippers River Virgin Islands (US) Honduras Emerald Waterways Ships Asia/Far East Asia/Far East Africa Caribbean Scenic Balcony Oceania Regatta January 2016 Holland America Line Contemporary/Premium Contemporary/Premium Rudesheim Most Popular Cruise RegionsRanked by the total number of quote requests for each region. Caribbean Yes20% Luxury 12 Nights Most Popular Cruise Ports VisitedRanked by the total number of quote requests for each port visited during cruise itineraries. (Excludes departure ports). Most Popular Cruise Departure PortsRanked by the total number of quote requests for each departure port. Netherlands CruiseCompete Avalon Waterways 1 Cabin 10 Nights Crystal Symphony Azamara Club Cruises Most Popular Sailing Months RequestedMost requested months for consumer travel. No74% Queen Victoria Oceania Insignia Carnival Cruise Lines Saint Barthelemy American Cruise Lines Contemporary/Premium Central America American Eagle 6 Cabins Mykonos New York 16 Nights 6 Nights Los Angeles River Luxury Greece 5 Cabins 7 Nights 5 Cabins 9 Nights Hungary Basel 12 Nights 3 Cabins December 2015 No71% Number of Cabins RequestedMost popular numbers of cabins per request. Emerald Waterways Norwegian Breakaway Caribbean South America Italy No80% March 2015 11 Nights River Fort Lauderdale Europe Spain Bora Bora 16 Nights Russia/Central Asia 4 Nights June 2015 Turks / Caicos Islands St Thomas Canada 5 Cabins August 2015 2 Cabins 3 Cabins June 2016 7 Cabins 4 Cabins Istanbul Santorini Cayman Islands Nuremberg Port Canaveral 3 Nights 7 Nights 12 Cabins 14 Nights Vancouver Princess Cruises Venice December 2015 Scenic Cruises Europe Most Popular Cabin TypesRanked by the total number of quote requests for each cabin type. Panama Canal Suite South America Budapest United States 10 Nights 12 Nights Inside Norwegian Getaway Lisbon Mediterranean Ketchikan Bratislava Seabourn Cozumel 6 Cabins Luxury October 2015 157 United States Outside Juneau Breisach August 2015 Queen Mary 2 10 Cabins Balcony Cunard Line JR Suite French Polynesia Scandinavia 6 Cabins 10 Cabins Moorea Dubrovnik Philipsburg November 2015 Carnival Fantasy Passau Bulgaria Avalon Siem Reap Europe Bamberg France Cologne July 2015 April 2016 Luxury Luxury Bahamas United States Turkey February 2016 Germanycenter_img North America Cambodia Suite 14 Nights Africa Piraeus January 2016 Yes25% 18 Nights Civitavecchia World Quest Cruises Croatia / Hrvatska Europe Vienna Contemporary/Premium September 2015 Emerald Princess San Juan Yes8% 11 Nights Charleston March 2016 Contemporary/Premium River Serbia 1 Cabin AmaWaterways New Orleans France Scandinavia Outside Oceania Riviera Miami River Suite Outside September 2015 Crystal Cruises Nassau Regal Princess Strasbourg Luxury Luxury Asia/Far East Seabourn Odyssey Source = CruiseCompete July 2015 New York Netherlands Antilles Contemporary/Premium 13 Cabins Past Passenger on Line RequestedThe percentage of consumers indicating past-passenger status on the cruise line they are requesting Mediterranean 8 Cabins Central America 10 Cabins 9 Cabins September 2015 Yes29% Skagway Carnival Glory October 2015 JR Suite New Orleans Contemporary/Premium 7 Cabins Galveston Balcony River 1 Cabin American Queen Steamboat Company Tampa Silversea Cruises Mediterranean Costa Cruise Lines 15 Cabins North America Paris MS AmaSerena Most Popular Cruise Itinerary LengthsMost requested itinerary lengths. Contemporary/Premium Allure of the Seas 5 Nights Luxury Carnival Fascination 3 Cabins Oceania Cruises Oasis of the Seas Puerto Rico 8 Nights South America Nuremberg Middle East 7 Nights South Pacific/Australia/New Zealand Viking Aegir 4 Cabins Seattle 11 Nights American Queen 4 Cabins Contemporary/Premium River Papeete November 2015 Windstar Cruises Southampton MS AmaCerto South Pacific/Australia/New Zealand 13 Nights Amsterdam Prague Contemporary/Premium Luxury MSC Cruises Russia/Central Asia JR Suite Rhodes Athens Most Popular Cruise ShipsRanked by the total number of quote requests for each ship. Scandinavia Crystal Serenity October 2015 May 2016 Inside 7 Cabins June 2015 Requested Travel InsurancePercentage of consumers indicating they would like to purchase travel insurance. Yes48% Cartagena Contemporary/Premium No52% 10 Nights Mexico November 2015 Grand Cayman Island Gustavia Azamara Journey Luxury Luxury Most Popular Countries VisitedRanked by the total number of quote requests for each country visited during cruise itineraries. (Excludes countries of departure). August 2015 256 Freedom of the Seas Regensburg May 2015 River Un-Cruise Adventures Contemporary/Premium Queen of the Mississippi Jamaica Miami Viking River Cruises Luxury River July 2015 226 8 Nights River 15 Nights Celebrity Cruises 15 Nights Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Yes26% 2 Cabins No92% December 2015 Booking WindowThe average number of days between the date the cruise was booked and the date it sails. 14 Nights Grand Turk River Austria MS AmaPrima 9 Nights No75% Contemporary/Premiumlast_img read more

first_imgHelloworld Travel appoints new Group General ManagerHelloworld Travel Limited (ASX: HLO) today announced that John Constable, former Global head of STA, has been appointed as the new Group General Manager – Retail and Commercial. Mr. Constable, who has also held senior positions with Tui and other major UK travel retail and wholesale businesses will take up the position, based in Melbourne, on 12th February 2018. Julie Primmer, Head of Branded Network, David Padman, Head of Corporate, Associate and Affiliate Networks, Mike Thompson, Group General Manager Partnerships and Stan Scott, Head of Commercial, will report into Mr. Constable.“I am delighted that John has agreed to join Helloworld Travel Limited” said Helloworld Travel CEO Andrew Burnes. “John brings with him a wealth of experience in the wholesale and retail global travel distribution business and I am confident he will have a very positive impact on our retail businesses, including our commercial operations”.This appointment now establishes the four pillars of Helloworld Travel’s operational management team, with Mr. Constable heading up the Retail and Commercial divisions in Australia, Cinzia Burnes heading up the Wholesale and Inbound divisions, Russell Carstensen heading up the Corporate and Air Tickets businesses and Simon McKearney heading up Helloworld’s extensive operations in New Zealand.Mr. Constable will report to Helloworld Travel CEO Andrew Burnes.Source = Helloworld Travel Limitedlast_img read more

first_imgOTM Mumbai gives a great exposure and a great platform for everyone to come together. Mumbai is being the largest market. We are participating for last two to three years and it adds on our business. I have met lot of new travel associate sticking to the point and speaking business with you.  It is something benefiting us and we will continue to participate.last_img

first_imgMexican tourism report revealed a 20.3% increase in the amount of foreign visitors in 2014. Tourism in Mexico climbed five places in the amount of international tourists and the country is among the top 10 major tourist destinations in the world.The ‘Economic Observatory Mexico’ report shows that it is the highest increase of the 10 countries listed worldwide. In terms of total income from international tourism, Mexico ranked 22nd in the world standings in 2014.Mexico harbours opportunities for cultural tourism, eco tourism and sustainable tourism. The report indicates a positive development in tourist numbers from 2014 to the first half of the current year. In the first half of this year, foreign tourist arrivals in Mexico grew 7.6%, a figure higher than the rate of 4.4% seen worldwide, while revenue for the same period grew 9%. In the first six months, the average spending by overnight foreign tourists was $865. Cruise tourism has registered a significant recovery of 28% in 2014 and nine percent in the first half of this year. The air arrivals on the other hand have recorded an increase of 10.7%, from January to June, 2015.last_img read more

first_imgThe 64th Annual Convention of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), ‘India Travel Congress’ is all set to be held from August 18-20, 2017 at The Intercontinental Kunming in the Yunnan province of the People’s Republic of China. The final decision in this regard was made by the TAAI Managing Committee.Commenting on this development, Marzban Antia, Vice President, TAAI, said, “The 64th Convention & Exhibition of TAAI will focus on the vision, ‘Discovery as an important option’. The Convention is being hosted by the Yunnan Government of the People’s Republic of China. The event is being coordinated by MFITS (Mao Fa International Travel Services). It is a unit of Service Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China.”Elaborating on the Convention, Antia said that its endeavour is to ensure members of the trade ‘discover’ newer options to promote and sell to their clients. “Kunming being only a 2-hour flight from Kolkata is a destination worth promoting among Indian travellers,” he said.Talking about China as the Host Country for the Convention, Bettaiah Lokesh, Secretary General, TAAI, said, “Today, China leads the world as far as tourism is concerned with 120 million outbound visitors, and consistently growing inbound travellers. Therefore, it is an apt time for TAAI to bring its Convention to China and also for the industry to focus on this market.”The registration process for the Convention began on July 5 and would close on July 20. “On August 18, we will begin the India Travel & Trade Expo, the B2B networking platform and officially inaugurate the Convention. The second and third day will include knowledge sessions on issues pertaining to the industry along with the India Travel & Trade Expo. We have proposed to organise pre and post Convention tours to Shangri-La, Li-Jiang, Dali City and Puzhehei,” stated Jay Bhatia, Hon. National Treasurer, TAAI.”last_img read more

first_imgMerchants Bank Integrates DocMagic Origination, Compliance Solutions November 1, 2012 442 Views Document and compliance software developer “”DocMagic, Inc.””:https://www.docmagic.com/, announced it has successfully customized and integrated its loan origination and package compliance solutions for the benefit of the more than 200 correspondent bank customers of Winona, Minnesota’s “”Merchants Bank””:https://www.merchantsbank.com/index.htm.[IMAGE]Merchants Bank now has the ability to control both loan programs and loan packages in a customizable pull-down menu, allowing their correspondent banks to easily select the right programs and products. [COLUMN_BREAK]Prior to this, Merchants Bank needed to review loan packages for discrepancies and then order missing reports and documents.Previously, Merchants Bank had to review a complex list of required documents from a long list of correspondent banks using a variety of loan origination software, resulting in a lengthy process of checking and double-checking each and every loan package for documents. In response to this issue, DocMagic created a solution with a customized loan program to meet Merchants Bank’s needs. Correspondent banks can now simply select the correct program and quickly produce initial disclosures and closing documents, increasing efficiency and reliability.In addition, Merchants Bank can now use DocMagic’s built-in compliance checks, allowing loan packages to be audited for compliance at any point in the loan process.””Our correspondent banks can now precisely deliver the documents we need,”” said Bob Dougherty, mortgage operations manager at Merchants Bank. “”Plus the material is easily audited by compliance. For us, this eliminates guesswork and hours to review incomplete loan packages.”” in Originationcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Compliance DocMagic Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-11-01 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

first_imgJuly Home Sales Stall Share August 15, 2014 428 Views Home sales for July decreased slightly from the previous month after increasing for four months in a row, according to the July 2014 RE/MAX National Housing Report released this week.Meanwhile, home prices fell marginally month-over-month but increased year-over-year.The number of home sales in July dropped by 3.1 percent  from June and decreased by 6.8 percent from July 2013.Though sales activity is down, the company asserts the market is still trending toward improvement.”After a slow start to the year, 2014 home sales have been improving,” said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO.  “Sales are following the expected seasonal pattern and are approaching the levels we saw last year. As inventory continues to build the recovery continues at a more stable and sustainable rate.”According to the latest RE/MAX report, the median home price of $204,550 for July in the 52 metro areas was down 2.4 percent from June but up 7.9 percent from a year ago. July 2013 saw an 11.5 percent year-over-year increase in home prices, but growth was slower in July 2014 due to improved inventory.July was the 30th consecutive month in which home prices increased year-over-year, according to RE/MAX. Overall, 44 out of the 52 metro areas surveyed reported a year-over-year spike in home prices with the largest increase happening in Miami, Florida, at 10.5 percent.The average number of days on the market for each home fell by two days both month-over-month and year-over-year, RE/MAX reported. Low inventory combined with high demand has caused the drop in the number of days on the market for each home; the average days on the market has been below 90 in the 52 metro areas for 26 consecutive months.RE/MAX reported that inventory of homes for sale in July inched downward by 1.1 percent from June and dropped by 3.5 percent from July 2013. The months supply of inventory, which is calculated by dividing the number of homes listed for sale at month’s end by the number of contracts signed during the month, increased slightly from 4.1 in June to 4.3 in July. San Francisco had the lowest months supply at 1.5.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Home Prices Home Sales Housing Supply RE/MAX 2014-08-15 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

first_img Share Older Americans Lodge Reverse Mortgage Complaints with CFPB Consumers aged 62 and older face a unique set of financial difficulties, according to the Monthly Complaint Report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday. One of their prime concerns? Servicing issues with reverse mortgages.According to the report, “servicing problems with reverse mortgages” came in as one of the most-complained about issues from consumers at least 62. Often, these problems even lead to erroneous foreclosure.“Older consumers with reverse mortgages seeking to stay in their house following the death of the borrowing spouse report servicing problems that sometimes result in foreclosure proceedings,” the CFPB reported.Complaints surrounding reverse mortgages have long been common. The CFPB even produced a report on the matter in 2015. The report showed that 1,200 reverse mortgage complaints were filed between December 2011 and December 2014. The most-cited concerns were “difficulty with changing the loan terms” and “problems communicating with loan servicers.”Overall, complaints related to mortgages, in general, comprise 26 percent of all CFPB complaints submitted by consumers 62-plus; that’s 10 percent higher than the number of mortgage-related complaints from consumers under 62.In addition to mortgage complaints, older consumers also often report difficulties recovering funds after being financially scammed, fees charged for unauthorized add-on products and services, and confusion surrounding deferred-interest and zero-interest credit cards.“With more than 10,000 Americans turning 62 every day, older consumers are one of the fastest growing consumer groups in the marketplace,” the CFPB reported. “While older consumers are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, a growing number of older consumers face financial exploitation, struggles with debt, and entering retirement with limited savings.”According to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, aging consumers are at a higher risk for financial issues than their younger counterparts.“Older consumers who may be on a fixed income are at a greater risk for financial trouble if they encounter problems with financial products or services,” Cordray said. “The complaints submitted by older consumers are important for the Bureau to ensure we are properly looking out for this segment of the population.”CFPB complaints from older consumers were most common in California, Florida, and Texas. The three states accounted for almost 25 percent of all complaints since 2011.View the CFPB’s full Monthly Complaint Report at ConsumerFinance.gov. CFPB HOUSING mortgage Mortgage Complaints older americans older consumers Richard Cordray 2017-05-31 Aly J. Yalecenter_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News May 31, 2017 661 Views last_img read more

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News The Week Ahead: Senate Banking Committee Hearing Examining the Equifax Cybersecurity Breach. October 1, 2017 617 Views On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will convene in an inquiry of the Equifax Cybersecurity breach, which left 143 million consumer records at risk.The unprecedented hack has brought a slew of questions to light in the industry, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulatory reach, and potential regulatory reform to prevent another occurrence such as this one.The breach also spurred the retirement of Richard Smith, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Equifax. “The cybersecurity incident has affected millions of consumers, and I have been completely dedicated to making this right,” said Smith. “At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward.”The full committee hearing to inquire further into the nature of the breach, will take place at 10 a.m. EDT in room 538 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.Other Events in the Week Ahead: Construction Spending, Monday, 10 a.m. EDTU.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing on Wells Fargo, Tuesday 10 a.m. EDTFreddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Survey, Thursday, 10 a.m. EDTUnemployment Rate, Friday, 8:30 a.m. EDTcenter_img Share Equifax Senate Committee on Banking week ahead 2017-10-01 Joey Pizzolatolast_img read more

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News October 10, 2018 826 Views The 100 metropolitan areas with the largest populations in the U.S. are expected to experience a 4.5 percent appreciation of property value over the next year, according to the Veros Real Estate Solutions’ most recent quarterly forecast. This prediction is seen as highly favorable by Veros, with 97 percent of all metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the U.S. experiencing appreciation and only 3 percent experiencing a decline in value.Washington and Nevada top the list of metro areas with the highest expected appreciation rates, with Washington having four in the top 10 and Nevada having three. The Western region of the U.S. dominates the list, with Idaho, California, and Colorado also having MSAs in the top 10. Utah and Oregon are expected to see a healthy rise in value too. In fact, all these western states in general are projected to experience a half-percentage point increase overall since Veros’ last forecast, giving them an appreciation rate over the next year between 9 and 12 percent.     In Texas, Midland and Odessa are anticipated to see a healthy rise in value also, although larger MSAs in the Lone Star State like Dallas and College Station—while still expected to see a rise in value—are expected to see a slowdown in the total rate. This is true also in San Jose, California, where the appreciation rate is predicted to drop from over 10 percent to 8.5 percent.Although states clustered in the west are expected to see the highest rate of appreciation, other regions of the country are expected to perform well too. North Carolina is expected to see property values rising overall, as are a few cities in the Great Lakes Region, specifically in the states Michigan and Indiana. The Indianapolis-Carmel area, for example, is also projected to appreciate 8.5 percent.On the other hand, Illinois stands out with three MSAs predicted to lose value. At the bottom of the list is Farmington, New Mexico, which is expected to see a drop of 2.2 percent by September 2019. Housing inventory is seen as underpinning these numbers, with the top forecast markets all having a lower supply in comparison to those more slowly growing areas. Metro Areas Ranked by Property Value Appreciationcenter_img Housing Inventory Housing Market Metro Areas Metro Home Prices Property Values Veros Real Estate Solutions 2018-10-10 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

first_img April 11, 2019 904 Views Share asking price Closing Costs Costs Home Home Improvement Home Sellers Homebuyers HOUSING Thumbtack Zillow 2019-04-11 Radhika Ojha Homeowners: Paying up for a Salecenter_img Home sellers are likely spending almost $21,000 in additional costs to sell their homes, according to an analysis by Zillow and Thumbtack. These costs include prep activities like painting and staging the home for sale.The analysis revealed that these costs come as an unwelcome surprise for almost half the sellers who are doing this activity for the first time. It indicated that almost 79 percent of sellers completed at least one home improvement project before putting their property on the market.”Selling is often a complicated process that can sometimes require extensive prep work in order to put your best foot forward for a successful sale,” said Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow. “It also comes with huge transaction costs that aren’t necessarily top of mind to someone who hasn’t sold a home in a while or never has had the pleasure. Selling was hard even in the sellers’ market of recent years, and it’s going to get harder as markets soften.”One of the key costs that home sellers need to budget for are closing costs. The analysis revealed that these expenses, which include agent commissions and transfers or sales tax, could add up to $14,281, on average, but because they are based on the home’s sale price, sellers in the nation’s priciest markets pay much more. For example, in  San Jose sellers pay $76,015 on average in closing costs, the highest of metros analyzed. By comparison, sellers in Cleveland spend the least at $9,046.Additionally, sellers who hire professional help for common home prep projects tend to spend, approximately $6,570 on improvements like interior and exterior painting, staging, and carpet cleaning, as well as local moving costs to their new home, the analysis indicated.And while these costs may initially pinch the homeowners’ pockets, the analysis found that sellers who made these improvements were more likely to sell at a higher rate than the asking price compared with those who didn’t.”While the costs of these touch-up projects can add up, particularly in high cost of living metros, sellers should remember that by taking care of these projects, they can get a really strong return on their investment and may be more likely to sell their home for the highest possible price,” said Lucas Puente, Economist at Thumbtack. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

first_img Colombia denies rumored outbreak of TR4 in the cou … July 25 , 2018 EU-Mercosur trade deal increases risk of banana ov … Colombia: TR4 suspected on two banana farms … A 354-kilogram haul of cocaine has been discovered hidden in a banana consignment at an Ecuadorian port, local publication El Comercio [in Spanish] reports.The load was bound for Russia and was discovered at the Port of Guayaquil on July 21 by a National Police anti-drug unit. center_img During a routine inspection of a container of bananas, port staff reportedly became suspicious when they saw that the security seals did not match the container. Authorities then looked inside the container and found 354 brick-sized packets of the drug wrapped in green tape.The consignment was due to be shipped to the Russian market – Ecuador’s leading banana destination – passing first through the Belgian Port of Antwerp.Police are investigating who is responsible for the haul. You might also be interested in LatAm countries form united front against TR4 – ‘D …last_img read more

first_imgOctober 10 , 2018 AgroFresh and Zest Labs partner on sales solutions … From the pages of Produce Business UKGhana firms began exporting by air the Smooth Cayenne (SC) variety of fresh pineapple to Europe in the mid-1980s, relying on smallholders who contributed about 50 percent of export volumes.Like many other industries in West Africa, Ghana’s pineapple industry hoped to gain a footing in international markets. Its exports increased significantly from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s, where it reached its peak at more than US $30 million, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Since then, however, there have been struggles. The fresh pineapple export industry had declined considerably, with the number of exporters in 2004 dropping from 50 to 14. The UN reports that this has been primarily due to a shift in market demand to the MD-2 variety of pineapple produced primarily in Costa Rica by Del Monte.14 years later, the country is showing signs of resurgence, along with a continued commitment to its workers.Produce Business UK sat down with Theresa Poku and Patrick Safo, MD, co-owners of Ohu Farms, one of the exhibitors at the upcoming Amsterdam Produce Summit (12-14 November), to understand how a Ghanaian farm is working with the international market to export its pineapples crop. Could you start by giving us some basic information about the Ohu Farms?The inception of the farm started in 2014, with the initial planting in 2015. We currently employ four full-time staff, with up to 14 additional staff who help with demands on the farm. We supply the local market: HPW Fresh & Dry Ltd., Blue Skies Ltd., Chartered Impex Ltd. How did the company come about? What were some of the founding philosophies? Ohu Farms started as an endeavor between both co-owners as a farm that provides an exotic fruit for the local and foreign population. We also thought of the local community and the livelihood it will provide for them. Now, we have women in the community who work for the farm and are able to help their families. The farm is located along the Akwapim Hills of Ghana (about an hour north of the capital city of Accra), with meandering streams and year-round conditions conducive for cultivation of pineapple. What would you say is your main service now in 2018 to the produce industry. What is the unique selling point? How has this evolved over the years? At its inception, our main target was the local consumers and local exporting companies. As the farm expands with consistent and larger-scale production, we have ventured into foreign market.What would you say makes your pineapples unique? Is it the cost? The quality?The quality and taste of our fruits is a distinguishing factor for Ohu Farms. We pay attention to producing the fruits with recommended standards. The weather patterns and location of the farm have also contributed to the products. We pay particular attention to ensuring fruits are cared for, in addition to rotating land practices. The used land is rotated with legumes to foster natural replenishment of nutrients to the land. The products have been acclaimed on the local markets. We have also recently participated in Fresh Produce Africa Expo FPA 2018 in Kenya.    We ventured into the foreign market in collaboration with a local existing farmer who exports to France. They are called Chartered lmpex. We are actively seeking to start sole exportation to other parts of Europe: notably Germany, Netherlands and the UK.  We do also have interest in emerging fruit markets in the Middle East area.Let’s talk a little about your specific farming techniques. Could you briefly describe the farming process for your pineapple varieties in Ghana?Ohu Farms Ltd. has an exceptional cultural practice which enhances the best of qualities that any buyer could desire. For example, we use the best of global GAP-certified chemicals on our farm.What specifically are the cultural practices that you mention? What are the buyer’s desires?Our farm is located on a previously uncultivated land. To that effect, we use minimal amount of Dursban — a broad-spectrum insecticide for controlling pests in horticultural crops, and Diuron — an algicide and herbicide of the arylurea class that inhibits photosynthesis. The buyer is interested in quality fruit that is appreciated by customers. To achieve this,  we try to maintain high-quality measures on our farm.Have these cultural practices evolved over the years? Is there anything you do now in 2018 that stands out from when you opened?Yes, we also use some organic fertilizer during the land preparation which helps in conventional fertilizer usage on the farm. Thus, the maximum residue level of the chemicals used on the farm is highly considered.Let’s talk about some of your pineapple varieties. Are there any in particular – the smooth cayenne / sugarloaf for example that have more demand than others? The majority of our focus has been optimizing the Smooth Cayenne (SC) and Sugarloaf (SL) varieties. Although there was a peak shift in interest for MD-2 around 2005 in Europe, both SC and SL are increasingly popular in European and Asian markets. These varieties have a vibrant, sweet taste that is unmistakable. You might also be interested in Australia forges custard apples’ future, tests pro … center_img U.S.: Avocado shoppers show “unique demographic pr … [Sweet Cayenne is a 2.5- to 3.0-kg (5- to 6-lb.), pale yellow– to yellow-fleshed fruit with high sugar and acid content, and is well-adapted to canning and processing; its leaves are without spines. It was replaced in many areas by MD-2, a hybrid named for Millie Dillard, wife of former Del Monte Hawaii general manager Frank Dillard, that is the  predominant pineapple cultivated for fresh fruit export worldwide. Ghana is one of the few areas in the world that still grows Sweet Cayenne well. Sugarloaf, at 2.5 to 3.0 kg (5–6 lb.), has white flesh with no woodiness in the center, and has a high sugar content but no acid.]Which countries do you mostly distribute to, and approximately how many pineapples per year are you selling? Our exports have been to France. We were selling about 400,000 pineapples per year. But our production for 2019 is already over one million. We are also actively seeking new buyers in Europe. This is actually one of the major reasons that we are attending the upcoming produce summit in Amsterdam. We are also seeking new buyers in the Middle East for exportation of the fruit. We would still supply to the local market, as well exporting with Charted Impex.Do you have plans to expand this in the future? In terms of geographic regions? Varieties? Yes, very much so. We are excited to supply to continuing demand for SC and SL in Europe as well as the evolving high demand in Middle East and Asia.Are there any specific ways that you market your farm? Are you in collaboration with other farms? Growers?The majority of the initial products have sold through the local market, exporting with local farmers (Charted lmpex to France) as well as local processing companies. We are collaborating with governmental agencies (free trade, foreign exporters association in Ghana) to enter the market space. We are also attending trade shows of fruits, in addition to having the new website. With international borders up for redefinition, how is this and will this affect your business in the future? The major impact would be dependent on changes to trade tariffs and similar barriers with these border redefinitions.  Do you think the upcoming Brexit uncertainty could have an affect on your trade? We hope that Brexit engenders a fair and flexible trading platform between the UK and its European and international partners.  What other global challenges do you see as affecting trade in the future? The evolving world population density with concomitant economic progress of several countries in Asia and some in Europe has the potential influence on the demand of agricultural products in the future. Furthermore, evolving climate change would influence production for several countries. OhuFarms is positioning itself to optimize production of pineapple to meet this growing demand.What are your thoughts on agri-innovation and this becoming relevant for the growth of pineapples in the future?Agri-innovation, when applied judiciously, is an invaluable part of enhancing production of quality agricultural products for the growing population.  How does your company compare to the giant branded suppliers of pineapples? How do you define yourself in terms of what you offer?Giant pineapple suppliers have focused predominantly on MD-2 production. There remains significant opportunity untapped demand for other pineapple varieties. Ohu Farms would continue to work fervently to produce quality SC and SL varieties to match the growing demand for these fruits.What are your thoughts on snack packaging for pineapples? Many UK supermarkets now offer snack packs of pineapples? Is this something that you see growing in the future?It is a very good idea that prolongs the shelf life and accessibility of pineapple to customers, which is very exciting. We are considering that in the future.What other areas of focus that are relevant today are you keen to work in?The improving education for healthy food choices continues to increase individual demand for fruits and vegetables. We are focused on expanding our production of quality fruits to meet some of the demand. For example, there is significant public health education in recent years about healthy eating habits published here and here. It is affecting the millennial population and also influencing the choices made by business. These can be seen widely across the spectrum. From airlines increasing fruit selection, fast food (for example, McDonald’s) restaurants increasing fruits and salads on their menu. Some of these business changes are motivated by individual customer demands as well as increasing public awareness.  These changes, in conjunction to increasing world population, as well as developing countries with more middle-income populace that can afford healthier food choices, are likely to increase demand for fruits and vegetables.What attracted you to exhibit at the Amsterdam Produce Summit? What do you expect from the show? What can people expect from you?We are excited to participate in the Amsterdam Produce Summit. We look forward to meeting innovators in the fruit produce sector to explore ideas for supply of pineapples to the market and the evolving retail chains. With the event focused on omni-channel retailing, we expect the attendees will really be on the cutting edge.Photos: Courtesy of Ohu Farms U.S.: Trump’s farm aid favors wealthy growers, rep …last_img read more

first_imgNominations for the prestigious Luxperience Awards close Monday 30 July 2018, which recognise the industry’s endeavours and the evolution of luxury travel while highlighting the shining stars and visionaries of the premium leisure travel and business events markets.Luxperience is being held at the ICC Sydney 16-19 September 2018.Awards are open to both leisure and business event specialists emphasising the impact and influence of luxury travel across both segments.There are three major awards categories, open to buyers and exhibitors, which represent the core philosophies of Luxperience: Inspiring, Meaningful, Connections. The fourth major award is for the Outstanding Destination.Participation in the Awards is a two-step process. Firstly, a nomination must be received by the deadline. Nominations are then reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges and those worthy companies or individuals will be asked for a detailed submission. The final submission step is due by 3 August 2018.The full list of Award Categories:1. Inspiring Award2. Meaningful Award3. Connections Award4. Outstanding Destination Award awardsLuxperiencenominationslast_img read more

first_imgAir New ZealandairlinesairportSydney Airport Location and admittanceAir New Zealand’s Australian flagship lounge at Sydney Airport is located near gate 59 of the international terminal, on the mezzanine level above the departure gates. The lounge is accessible to passengers flying in Air New Zealand’s Business Premier category, Koru Club members, as well as Elite, Gold, and Elite Partner members of Air New Zealand’s Airpoints program.ServiceThe service at the lounge was prompt and reasonably friendly.Lounge AmbienceAir New Zealand’s Sydney international lounge opened in 2015 and measures 1450m2, accommodating 299 guests. Global architectural firm, Gensler, conceptualised the lounge’s design, which has now been extended to most of the airline’s network of lounges in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. The space has been divided into different sections for business and leisure travellers, and also features a dedicated kids’ area for little travellers.It was a busy morning at Sydney Airport when I visited but despite the morning rush, the lounge wasn’t too crowded and I easily found a spot to sit in each of the designated areas. I started at the breakfast buffet and had time to order a coffee at the bar before heading to the gate.The vintage-themed Air New Zealand posters placed around the lounge provide a nice Kiwiana touch, while a large LCD-style screen behind the buffet acts as a digital design centrepiece. I also enjoyed the natural light that was offered up from the lounge’s large (and plentiful) windows.Food and beverage optionsThe breakfast buffet had a lot of options for peckish travellers. Fresh fruit, yoghurt pots and green smoothies led to a generous selection of breads (including crumpets), as well as pastries. Hot choices included mini hash browns that were thankfully replenished as I approached; baked beans, delicious scrambled eggs infused with chives, a vegetarian Spanish omelette, and bacon.Juices, soft drinks, tea, coffee and water (still or sparkling) were available at several beverage stations placed around the lounge. Those who can’t start their day without a barista-made coffee won’t be disappointed, with a handy touch-screen ordering system enabling you to order your preferred brew and pick it up a few minutes later – especially handy if you need to head to the gate promptly (like I did).Connect meFree Wi-Fi was easy to access, with several placards placed around the lounge with instructions on how to connect. Likewise, each seating zone had plenty of power ports for charging devices.Boarding information was readily available and announcements were useful for learning the length of the walk to your gate for boarding.Refresh optionsSeven private shower suites are available with hairdryers, towels and Antipodes amenity products.Biggest wow factorAs a bit of a coffee connoisseur, the flat white I had at the lounge was definitely up to the Kiwi/Aussie standard; and ordering it to-taste from the dedicated iPad was quick and easy.last_img read more

first_img Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — One year ago, Bruce Arians was making the rounds at Radio Row leading up to Super Bowl XLVII between Baltimore and San Francisco.This year, the Cardinals head coach is making the rounds at the TPC Scottsdale leading up to the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open.Arians was among the headliners at the CBS Outdoor Special Olympics Open Tuesday.“This is a fantastic day,” he said of the putting challenge that matched up a Special Olympian with a celebrity or sports star and local business leader. “It’s so special to be with these kids because they work so hard at their craft; had to win a lot of tournament to get into this. You respect all their work they put in. They work as hard as the Arizona Cardinals, I promise you.” Speaking of his day job, Arians is well into an offseason that has him and his staff re-examining 2013 and looking ahead to 2014.“Just continue to see our team improve in all phases fundamentally and add new pieces, which is new every year,” he said of his offseason goals. “Watch them gain cohesiveness and just watch us improve because I think our guys are coming back with a great taste in their mouth.”The Cardinals ended the season winning seven of nine, but missed out on the playoffs despite a 10-6 record, which doubled their win total from 2012.“We finished strong,” Arians said. “We know what we need to do. It’s just which pieces do we add and how we fit them in.”Both the Cardinals’ offense and defense showed dramatic improvement over last season. The offense ranked 12th compared to 32nd a year ago, while the defense was the sixth-best in the league (up 15 spots from 2012) and number-one against the run, allowing only 84.4 yards per game.The latter statistics earned defensive coordinator Todd Bowles head coaching interviews with the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings. He was not hired by either team.“Glad of it,” Arians said with a smile. “Wish he had gotten a head coaching job, but I’m really happy he’s still here.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires At least for the immediate future, football has been put on the back burner. Arians is scheduled to return to the TPC course Wednesday to participate in the Annexus Pro-Am; however, he’s unsure about his golf game at the moment.“Not like I’d like to have it right now. I’ve got a sore back from practicing,” Arians said laughing. – / 8last_img read more

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians will be launching the sale of his iconic derby hat as part of an upcoming partnership with Just Sports and New Era.Arians and Just Sports, located in the Chandler Fashion Center, will hold a kick-off sale of their 2016 B.A. New Era derby hats on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.Proceeds from sales of the new hats will support the Arians Family Foundation, which strives to prevent the abuse and neglect of children. Arians will be available to sign the first 50 hats purchased. Top Stories (AP Photo/Matt York, File) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arians has worked with the NFL to allow him to wear his hat during games to support his charitable cause.Last season, Arians got to wear his hat during a game against the Minnesota Vikings as part of his $150,000 contribution to Voices for CASA Children. This year, he got to benefit his foundation by wearing the hat during a Monday Night Football game; he later auctioned it off for $2,829. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Every week Paige Dimakos (@The_SportsPaige) will catch up with one Arizona Cardinals player and give our listeners the opportunity to submit questions to be answered on video. Submitting a question is easy, head on over to @AZSports on Twitter and tweet as many questions as you can think of. The best ones will make the cut! This week features Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman, Frostee Rucker (@theorganicfrost). This is Four Downs. 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories last_img read more