Bank Brand Values Higher Than Ever Wells Fargo in the Lead

first_img February 1, 2013 490 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Bank Brand Values Higher Than Ever, Wells Fargo in the Lead Bank brand values across the globe are on the rise, charting their highest values ever and double their values in 2009, during the financial crisis, according to the results of an “”annual study by Brand Finance.””:http://www.brandfinance.com/images/upload/the_banker_brand_finance_banking_500_full_results.pdf[IMAGE]Following a $100 billion decline in brand values last year, this year’s study found a 15 percent increase in bank brand values worldwide to a total of $860.7 billion. U.S. banks hold the top five spots on Brand Finance’s list of most valuable bank brands. The most valuable bank brand worldwide is “”Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/, with a $26 billion brand, according to the study. “”CEO John Stumpf has spearheaded an impressive recovery from 2012,”” according to Brand Finance. [COLUMN_BREAK]Emerging markets are showing strong growth in bank brand values, particularly in Russia, the Philippines, and China. “”Chinese banks are still leading the charge in terms of the largest increases in brand value, but they are now being joined by leading US banks such as Chase, Citi, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo,”” said Brian Caplen, editor of _The Banker_, magazine, owned by “”Brand Finance.””:http://www.brandfinance.com/ Chinese bank brand values increased a total of 335 percent since last year. “”Only UK banks continue to lag behind the global recovery in both reputation and brand value,”” said David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance. In fact, the United Kingdom, which is home to last year’s most valuable bank brand, “”HSBC,””:http://www.hsbc.com/ is the only top 10 country to experience a decline in bank brand value over the past year. The country’s bank brands experienced a 2 percent decline in value. HSBC fell two spots to the No. 3 brand this year. “”Chase””:https://www.chase.com/ took the No. 2 spot, and “”Bank of America””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/ and “”Citi””:http://www.citigroup.com/citi/ claimed the No. 4 and No. 5 spots on the list of most valuable brands. “”This year’s results show that globally the banking crisis is nearly over as both brand ratings and values are rising,”” Haigh said.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Citigroup Company News Investors JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Wells Fargo 2013-02-01 Krista Franks Brock Sharelast_img read more

Attorneys General Call for DeMarcos Replacement

first_img March 18, 2013 432 Views Share A coalition of nine state attorneys general is petitioning the national government to replace “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) Acting Director Edward DeMarco. The coalition charged DeMarco with positioning Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a “”direct impediment to our economic recovery”” and called for his replacement in a joint letter to the president, the Senate majority leader, and the Senate minority leader Friday.[IMAGE]””The time has come for the President and Congress to work together to install a new, permanent leader at FHFA that will be a partner, not an impediment, in the national effort to comprehensively address the foreclosure crisis,”” said New York Attorney General “”Eric T. Schneiderman””:http://www.ag.ny.gov/, one of the coalition members.The attorneys’ general complaint stems from DeMarco’s refusal to allow the GSEs to engage in principal reductions for struggling and underwater homeowners.The issue of principal reductions has led to a contentious and lengthy debate between DeMarco and other government officials, with DeMarco remaining firm in his stance that principal reductions are not in the best interest of the GSEs.The attorneys general argued that principal forgiveness is beneficial to homeowners, financial institutions, and the economy overall. They pointed out that this strategy is a key part of last year’s National Mortgage Settlement and assert that the FHFA’s aversion to the practice “”is inconsistent with its combined goal of asset preservation and foreclosure prevention.””The attorneys general suggested a portfolio of $200,000 loans that are performing is “”far more profitable”” than a portfolio of $250,000 non-performing loans.DeMarco’s insistence that principal forgiveness does not support the goal of asset preservation “”is not supported by reality,”” the attorneys general stated in their letter.The coalition includes Schneiderman, one of the leaders of last year’s National Mortgage Settlement, along with Massachussetts Attorney General “”Martha Coakley””:http://www.mass.gov/ago/ and California Attorney General “”Kamala D. Harris””:http://oag.ca.gov/, who have also been outspoken about the foreclosure crisis.Attorneys general from “”Delaware””:http://www.beaubiden.com/, “”Illinois””:http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/, “”Maryland””:http://www.oag.state.md.us/, “”Nevada””:http://ag.state.nv.us/, “”Oregon””:http://www.doj.state.or.us/Pages/index.aspx, and “”Washington””:http://www.atg.wa.gov/ also participated in the coalition and signed Friday’s letter.””We believe that until new, permanent leadership is named to FHFA, [the GSEs] will continue to stand as a roadblock to comprehensively addressing the foreclosure crisis,”” the letter stated in its closing line. Attorneys General Call for DeMarco’s Replacementcenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Edward DeMarco Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Principal Reduction Processing Service Providers 2013-03-18 Krista Franks Brocklast_img read more

HUD Grants Appraisers a Reprieve

first_imgHUD Grants Appraisers a Reprieve Home appraisers received a reprieve in the form of a clarification of a requirement issued earlier this year in HUD’s recent updates to FHA’s Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook.When published earlier this year, the handbook contained a new requirement for appraisers to physically observe and operate appliances in a home while an appraisal was being conducted. Subsequently, realtors and appraisers expressed concerns that this requirement effectively turned appraisers into inspectors and exceeded the previously understood appraiser duties—and that it would ultimately hurt the consumer, resulting in longer and more costly appraisals.The new guidelines clarify the requirement; in most cases, appraisers are now only required to make sure that certain appliances that contribute to a property’s market value are physically present.“Appraisers have a lot on their plate, and their work is important to ensuring buyers, sellers, lenders and everyone else involved in a transaction has a credible source to turn to when determining the value of a property,” National Association of Realtors President Tom Salomone said. “Requiring appraisers to perform duties that are better left to a home inspector only slows the process while potentially adding unnecessary costs. FHA did appraisers and consumers a big favor by clarifying appraiser duties and specifically listing the appliances to which this new guidance applies. While there are still improvements to be made, FHA’s announcement provides our realtor members with additional certainty as they continue playing a critical role in the home buying and selling process.”The update to the requirements alleviates other problems as well. In some cases, appraisers were being blamed when homeowners reported after the appraisals that appliances were either broken or malfunctioning.“The greatest impact of the revision to the HUD Protocol requirements relating to operational verification of appliances and fixtures is the relief for FHA panel appraisers from concerns of testing a malfunctioning appliance or fixture or being blamed for having broken an appliance or fixture as a result of testing during the inspection of the property,” said Greg Stephens, Chief Appraiser/Compliance with Metro-West Appraisal Co. “To ensure compliance with the previous guideline, some lenders were actually requiring the FHA panel appraisers to provide photographs of the actual operation of each fixture and appliance within the property being appraised.”The new guidelines provide a clear definition of what constitutes an appliance: “Appliances refer to refrigerators, ranges/ovens, dishwashers, disposals, microwaves, and washers/dryers.”Ernie Durbin, Chief Valuation Officer with Valuation Vision, noted that, “The handbook actually states that appraisers still have to confirm that remain and contribute to the market value opinion’ are operational. So the appraiser is not fully off the hook for inspecting appliances. That being said, many times appliances do not contribute to the market value and therefore do not need to be confirmed as operational. A high-end built in appliance such as a subzero refrigerator would necessitate operation by the appraiser. Most freestanding appliances are not considered as contributing significantly to the value of a property, therefore they would not require operation. It is probably a good idea for appraisers to note all appliances that are on premises and simply state whether they contribute to value or not. Those that in fact contribute to value should be noted as functional and operated by the appraiser.” October 5, 2016 768 Views Appraisers FHA HUD Single-Family Housing 2016-10-05 Seth Welborncenter_img in Daily Dose, News, Origination Sharelast_img read more

The Week Ahead Checking in on Existing Home Sales

first_img Share On Wednesday, January 24, at 10 a.m. EST, the National Association of Realtors will release its data on existing home sales for December 2017. The NAR report tallies the number of previously built homes that sold during a given month. Since existing home sales account for a large percentage of overall home sales, the NAR report is an important snapshot of the state of the housing market at any given point.In November 2017, existing home sales were up 5.6 percent month-over-month, spiking for the third month in a row and showing the strongest performance in almost 11 years. The West was the only national region that didn’t see a significant increase in existing home sales during November.Here’s what else is scheduled for The Week Ahead:Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans to speak at Chicago Council of Global Affairs conference on “The Future of Monetary Policy: Embracing the Unconventional” in Chicago, Illinois, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. ESTMBA Mortgage Applications, Wednesday, 7 a.m. ESTFHFA House Price Index, Wednesday, 9 a.m. ESTJobless Claims, Thursday, 8:30 a.m. ESTBloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, Thursday, 9:45 a.m. ESTNew Home Sales, Thursday, 10 a.m. ESTFed Balance Sheet, Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ESTGross Domestic Product, Friday, 8:30 a.m. EST in Daily Dose, Featured, News The Week Ahead: Checking in on Existing Home Salescenter_img January 21, 2018 559 Views Existing-Home Sales NAR National Association of Realtors The week ahead 2018-01-21 David Whartonlast_img read more

Trelix Adds Closing Services Solution

first_imgTrelix Adds Closing Services Solution May 25, 2018 563 Views in Headlines, News, Origination Sharecenter_img Company News mortgage Trelix 2018-05-25 David Wharton Trelix, a St. Louis-based provider of licensed fulfillment, quality control, and other due diligence products and services across the loan origination and securitization lifecycle, announced the launch of its closing services solution that helps mortgage lenders efficiently and properly execute and settle their loans. With the addition of closing services, Trelix now provides a full suite of end-to-end fulfillment services for its customers.In today’s evolving mortgage industry, Trelix offers innovative technology and services to help mortgage bankers and mortgage purchasers mitigate risks, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. With the addition of closing services, the Trelix platform helps its clients streamline the start-to-finish closing experience from disclosure and document preparation to compliance review and closing coordination. The NMLS-licensed Trelix employees communicate regularly with all stakeholders and help improve closing cycle times—reducing timing uncertainty for originators, borrowers, and realtors.“As our customers work to minimize origination and underwriting costs and become more efficient, they can now turn to Trelix to provide an end-to-end experience for their borrowers,” said Jon Gerretsen, President of Trelix. “We offer a seamless process for our customers and their borrowers to ensure we are putting their needs first so that lenders can stay competitive within the industry. With the end-to end fulfillment services we offer, our customers can use Trelix as the single vendor for all their mortgage fulfillment needs.”The Trelix suite of industry-leading mortgage fulfillment offerings includes:Processing: Timely and accurate file preparation from application to closing.Underwriting: Financial profile evaluation against lending guidelines and loan criteria to better inform loan request decisions.Closing Services: Fast and accurate closing experience, including disclosure and document preparation and compliance review.Loan Due Diligence: Full correspondent performance analysis and Ratings Agency Due Diligence (RADD) to help meet industry standards.Quality Control: Independent review of applicable loan files and associated documents to help determine and maintain compliance with agency and lender requirements.Advisory Services: Identification of process inefficiencies and provide clear, actionable recommendations to drive improvement to help meet unique client objectives.CastleLine Certification: Execution of the CastleLine proprietary risk management process to help clients obtain Certified Loan insurance.last_img read more

HUD Secretary Carson Discusses Healthy Homes Initiatives

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News With the Department of Housing and Urban Development celebrating National Housing Month in June, HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently appeared at the Bipartisan Policy Center to discuss initiatives tied to health and housing. The Bipartisan Policy Center “is a non-profit organization that combines the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans. BPC drives principled and politically viable policy solutions through the power of rigorous analysis, painstaking negotiation, and aggressive advocacy.”Here’s how the BPC website described the topic of Dr. Carson’s recent discussion:The advantages of a more integrated approach to the health and housing needs of our country are significant. By more tightly linking the two, policymakers can work to improve the health outcomes and quality of life for vulnerable Americans, while more efficiently allocating limited federal resources. There are many promising collaborative opportunities at the intersection of health and housing as federal departments confront a host of pressing challenges, from combating opioid addiction to recovering from natural disasters.You can watch the full video of Dr. Carson by clicking the image below. June 30, 2018 690 Views Ben Carson Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD video spotlight 2018-06-30 David Whartoncenter_img HUD Secretary Carson Discusses Healthy Homes Initiatives Sharelast_img read more

Banks New Digital Tools Aims to Make Home Buying More Efficient

first_imgThe digital mortgage application platform, which brings speed and flexibility to the application process by a collaborative online portal that provides:Web-based document collection and validation of asset, income and tax data through secure sign-on;A responsive checklist and task reminders to keep you organized and on track;Real-time co-browsing with your loan officer to assist with filling out the application. Bank’s New Digital Tools Aims to Make Home Buying More Efficient The Citizens One mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices, which makes managing your loan and understanding the value of your home more convenient and accessible. Through the app customers can:Manage their mortgage loans by making payments, calculating equity impact, and viewing loan statements and tax and insurance information.Stay up-to-date on their area with access to neighborhood data, price trends, school statistics and listing alerts. in Headlines, News technology 2019-06-21 Mike Albanese The digital mortgage loan platform, mobile mortgage servicing app and the Your Home Reward program were launched in partnership with Blend, Black Knight and HomeStory Real Estate Services (Vast), respectively. Share Rhode Island-based Citizens Bank launched digital tools that aimed to make the home-buying experience seamless and efficient. The new Your Home Rewards from Citizens Bank  program, digital loan platform and Citizens One loan servicing mobile app collectively bring new capabilities to bear at each step of the home buying journey, from house hunting to loan repayment.“Buying a home is one of life’s biggest financial and personal decisions, and it can also be one of the most stressful,” said Eric Schuppenhauer, President of Home Mortgage at Citizens Bank. “Creating a digital experience that simplifies the home buying process enables us to alleviate some of its most challenging aspects so our customers can focus on what matters most – finding a place to call home.”                                                                     Creating more choice for customers as they determine the “when, where and how” that best meets their needs, the suite of solutions allows for a digital or blended human-digital experience. Elements of the solutions suite comprise:Your Home Rewards, an online home shopping portal, which allows customers to browse home listings across the country and matches them with a local real estate agent, integrating shopping for a home and applying for a home mortgage for a more streamlined buying experience. Qualifying customers can earn up to $6,500 in rewards. June 21, 2019 320 Views last_img read more

Many think of Japan as a technologically advanced

first_imgMany think of Japan as a technologically advanced country, but, as the case tends to be elsewhere around the world, the agricultural industry is lagging behind.”Sorting process is automated in Aomori, but in Nagano it is not,” said Naito. “When it comes to production there is no fancy technology, but we use sprayers for fertilizers and pesticides. I think it is similar to ordinary farmers in China.”A shrinking labor pool is another factor that has driven up fruit prices.”In Japan, quality is everything in the domestic market, so all the farmers really look at how to enhance the quality (of the products). For example… Japanese farmers do pruning three times for each tree, so it takes a lot of time,” said Naito.”We thin usually three to four times to control the condition of the fruit. And because Japanese apples are very matured, they are handpicked and we carefully pack them in the orchards.”Future opportunitiesHowever, Naito firmly believes that there are more chances for automation in the Japanese apple industry.”If we see the components of technology, I think there are a lot of high-tech companies in Japan for example DOCOMO or even Toyota, who is now very interested in the agritechnology area,” he said, noting his company has received offers for partnership from some technology companies.Naito also sees an opportunity to expand Japanese fruit exports beyond Asia – but not with apples.”When it comes to only apples, I think it is a tough market outside Asia because U.S. and Europe are also big producing countries,” said Naito.”But if we think about specific types of grapes which are only harvested in Japan, there should be opportunities all over the world,” he added.The company has started branching out to other fruits this year such as grapes and peaches and will look to expand to even more products in the future.Other than being a producer and exporter of Japanese fruit themselves, Nihon Agri also partners with foreign players such as Freshco in New Zealand to export their apples to Southeast Asian markets during summer – bearing the Nihon Agri brand name. Japanese apples in an Indonesian retailerJapan is not a country known for its fruit exports, but a weaker domestic demand is now forcing its apple industry out onto the world stage.Shohei Naito, CEO of Tokyo-based fruit export company Nihon Agri, told Fresh Fruit Portal that with an ageing society coupled with a shrinking population has squeezed local demand.He said that unlikely many other countries, “Japanese agriculture has been largely focused on the domestic market, where demand has been decreasing due to the aging society and shrinking of the Japanese population.”These conditions drove Naito to set up a business in 2016 focused on fruit export. After just a couple of years, the company is now shipping to various Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.Export challengesHowever, when it comes to export, Japan – which last year produced around 850,000 metric tons (MT) of apples – faces its own set of challenges.”The cost of freight is high, especially for 40-foot containers. More than 30 tons of Chinese apples can be loaded in one container, but only 10 tons of Japanese apples can be loaded,” said Naito, adding that the company had to make changes to box and pallet sizes so as to fully utilize loading capacities.”In Thailand or Indonesia, importers, distributors and retailers who import U.S. or Chinese apples have really hard and strong fruit because those apples are harvested in very early stages … Japanese apples are harvested maturely so that makes apples sweeter, but on the other hand as a tradeoff, they are really sensitive.”The high prices of Japanese fruits also complicate the task of grabbing hold of a significant global market share.Shohei NaitoFor Nihon Agri, the bigger focus lies in new markets in Southeast Asia – where Japanese fruit is almost unheard of and where the company reduces prices of apples by exporting smaller sizes. “Japanese apples, for example, can cost US$5 per piece, while Chinese apples are US$0.50 per piece and U.S. or New Zealand apples are US$1 to $2 per piece,” said Naito. “Typically the size of Japanese apples is big, but we focus on the smaller-sized ones so the price per piece will be decreased, allowing us to tap into more mass segments.”According to Naito, the retail price of his company’s apples is around US$1.40 per piece across all their export markets, and varieties exported include Orin, Fuji and Shinano Gold.Around 80% of volumes come from the country’s Aomori Prefecture in the north, and the remaining 20% from Nagano Prefecture. You might also be interested in August 27 , 2018 Report: U.S. fresh apple holdings down 12% on last …center_img NZ horticultural export value grows to NZ$5.5B … Could early sweet apple ‘Posy’ herald rosy future … Argentine apple campaign off to a positive start … last_img read more

As far as how the seasons later timeline might af

first_imgAs far as how the season’s later timeline might affect market conditions, Sanders notes: “everybody’s a little bit delayed”. He clarifies: “Mexico’s a little delayed, so their season is running into ours, and if we’re a little delayed, our season runs into Oregon, you know everybody’s just kinda pushed back a little bit.”Meanwhile, he says blueberries across the state are beginning to “color up” in huge quantities and warmer weather is likely to hit California this week, with temperatures forecasted to rise above 32°C. As a result, growers are “going to see all these fresh high-quality blueberries coming off, not all at once, but at significant volumes. So, movement of the fruit is going to be paramount.”He emphasizes that organic blueberries are going to reign supreme this year, with the category’s expected volume to be “almost double” its total in 2018.”I think you’re going to continually see the organic category grow, to what level that is sustainable I’m not sure, but it’s going to continually grow just as the market, especially domestic and especially in California demands it.”According to Sanders, part of this can be attributed to a new method of blueberry cultivation – substrates. Rather than wait years for soil to be suitable enough to earn the “organic” label, many Californian growers are planting blueberries in substrates, which are above ground. This allows farmers to grow organics quickly to meet the rising demand for the commodity.While Sanders says this demand in nationwide, he adds: “California is really driving that organic category and it’s only going to continually grow…the Californian consumer is definitely geared towards wanting more and more organic food and this is something that is filling that need.”Sanders believes other categories will do well, though, remarking: “We’re looking forward to a positive and a strong season this year. I know that the berries that have initially started coming off…are good quality, good color, good size, and so I anticipate that trend to continue”. You might also be interested in April 23 , 2019 Mexico: Berry association says industry not affect … Shipping companies drop British flag to avoid Brex … center_img Argentina: Northeastern orange, mandarin exports t … With California’s blueberry season kicking off, the California Blueberry Commission’s executive director Todd Sanders looks forward to a promising season.”We’re expecting a significantly larger crop than last year,” he says, adding the reasons for this are twofold.”One, that it’s just a larger crop in general, I think a lot of the commodities, not just blueberries, but cherries, apples, everything in the state of California is going to be a little bit larger than normal – also, last year, we had about a 25% crop loss due to frost, maybe 30%,” he comments.Yet, Sanders anticipates 2019’s volumes to not only exceed last year’s, but to surpass a typical season’s, explaining: “Compared to last year, we’re going to be 30% larger, but on average, we’re probably about 10-15% larger than we normally would be.”He predicts California will see this increased production despite its late start to harvestings. Speaking on the delay, he says: “This year we’re running a little bit late…There’s been a little bit cooler weather…so we’re running about seven to ten days later than normal.”Normally harvest in the south, southern California, would be starting to ramp up about a week or so ago, but… we’re just now starting to get our blueberries,” He adds. Q&A: Westfalia Fruit on EU avocado market’s i … last_img read more

Australian Cruise AssociationcruiseNorwegian Cruis

first_imgAustralian Cruise AssociationcruiseNorwegian Cruise LineQueenslandSteve OdellSunshine CoastViking Cruises The Australian cruise industry seems unstoppable, and the latest CLIA figures show incredible growth. With more and more cruise lines home-porting their ships downunder each season, industry attention has turned to destination development and, critically, our Aussie ports.It’s timely then, that with the theme “Together Towards Tomorrow”, the Australian Cruise Association’s annual conference, which will take place in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast from 6-8 September 2017, has a focus on the state of the industry in Oz and the immediate future, and celebrates the importance of regional ports.Hosted by Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC), four keynote speakers have already been secured, and preparations are well underway for the event which is expected to attract around 140 people, including leading national and international cruise executives and representatives from the supply side of the cruise sector. “We are thrilled with the calibre of speakers already confirmed for this year’s conference who will undoubtedly deliver some thought-provoking insights. In addition to hearing from our guest speakers, we will also be holding a panel discussion to address plans for the future around this critical issue. Panel participants will be announced shortly,” said CEO of Australia Cruise Association, Jill Abel. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Senior VP and MD Asia Pacific, Steve Odell, will kick off the event, speaking on Opportunities, Challenges and Brand Diversity, and drawing on his extensive experience with NCL, and his previous work with Silversea, to provide observations on what’s ahead in the next few years for the cruise industry.Supporting destination development is a key platform for the ACA and second speaker, Matt Grimes will offer valuable insights gleaned from his responsibilities across itinerary, development and deployment at Viking Cruises, and in anticipation of Viking’s first ocean cruise from Australia, in early 2018. Chair, Asia Pacific for Ponant Yacht Cruises and Expeditions, Sarina Bratton, will present Delivering the Expedition Experience. Sarina’s visionary approach to the cruise business, evidenced as founder of Orion and now special adviser to Ponant as they set an aggressive course for growth in APAC, will no doubt be of high interest to the audience.Sarina BrattonRounding out the keynote presentations will be Tammy Marshall, founder of innovation and change management consultancy, The Bhive. Tammy will be delivering a Demand Study, commissioned by ACA, which addresses trends and future projections for the industry. She has driven change in Australia for major organisations such as Carnival and TFE. The welcome function will be held on the pool deck at host hotel, Mantra Moololooba, and the Gala Dinner will take place at highly-renowned Thai favourite, Spirit House, set in lush tropical gardens in the hinterland.The conference agenda will be supported with a fabulous line-up of activities designed to showcase our host venue to attendees. Half day and full day networking programs will kick the conference into gear on the first day with Paddock to Plate experiences and visits to Noosa, Australia Zoo and even sea-kayaking on the agenda. For further information on the conference or to register click hereTOP IMAGE: Steve Odell ACA Keynote Speakerlast_img read more

Amadeus has announced the creation of a taskforce

first_imgAmadeus has announced the creation of a taskforce dedicated to leading its new Smart Cities offer in Asia Pacific, enabling ‘Smart Mobility’ – how people travel into and move around a city – for the world’s most densely populated cities. The company says it is uniquely positioned to be at the heart of the development of Smart Cities, and that its offer will leverage the IT backbone of Amadeus, to enable true mobility across the entire travel journey, creating seamless door-to-door travel experiences. Led by Simon Akeroyd, Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Asia Pacific at Amadeus, the Smart Cities offer will help cities best use existing infrastructure and new technology in order to improve tourism as well as residents’ daily commutes.“As urbanisation increases and governments are faced with challenges around traffic congestion, pollution, inadequate energy and resources, it will be vital for cities to harness technologies to solve complex problems,” says Akeroyd. “The future of travel will be driven by multi-modal journeys and data to deliver more personalised and smart experiences. The rise of Smart Cities will boost travel and tourism, and so the public and private sector must collaborate to share data and use technology. When done successfully, we believe that this will enable the immersive travel experiences and services that citizens and travelers expect in the future.”Amadeus will collaborate with the public sector and governments to deliver solutions that enable the Smart Cities of the future. In 2017, Amadeus committed US$800 million to research and development for innovation globally, half of which was directly linked to technologies that furthered its Smart Mobility initiatives – including biometrics, traveler identification, IoT, massive data platforms and passenger handling solutions. In addition to this investment and to further its commitment to Smart Cities, 2016 and 2017 saw Amadeus invest a total of US$1.5 billion across strategic focus areas including Airport IT and Hotel IT through acquisitions. Asia is a strategic focus for Amadeus’ Smart Cities solution, given 22 of the 39 megacities worldwide are in Asia Pacific, and 11 alone are in China. Additionally, Asia’s large population and emerging middle class means the next billion Asian travelers are just around the corner, with half of global air passenger traffic expected to come from Asia by 2030.Amadeus is currently working on a number of key projects in Asia Pacific that support Asia’s Smart Cities’ initiatives. Some of these include:· Smart Tourism – Amadeus is working closely with National Tourism Boards in Asia to help cities attract more inbound travelers and have a better understanding around their preferences. This is done through both Travel Intelligence and Digital Advertising, using big data to help cities make better decisions.· Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and Amadeus worked together to deploy the world’s first hot-swappable battery powered movable check-in kiosks, called iCUSS, with both a self-service and full-service mode, reinventing the entire check-in experience. The versatile cloud-based mobile kiosks are powered by Amadeus’ common use technology and can be rapidly deployed and relocated for use by the traveler to check-in themselves or by the airport staff to provide full-service operations. The airport can now say goodbye to different systems and fixed locations, meaning greater freedom and flexibility to serve passengers throughout their journey to and around the airport.Amadeus’ new Smart Cities taskforce builds on existing mobility projects across Amadeus’ global business. One example is the European Union (EU)’s ‘The Shift to Rail (S2R) Innovation Program 4,’ which uses Amadeus’ IT solutions to deliver fully integrated, multimodal passenger services for long and short trips in Europe. Another example of innovation in this field from Amadeus’ Airlines team is a partnership with Lufthansa, where the airline is using Amadeus’ facial recognition technology to vastly reduce passenger boarding times at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Amadesfuture of travelITmobility Smart CitiesSmart Mobilitytechnologytravellast_img read more

Entire Travel Group is celebrating the launch of M

first_imgEntire Travel Group is celebrating the launch of Maldives Travel Connection by offering travel agents the chance to win a seven-night trip for two to the ‘Jewel of the Indian Ocean’.The prize will be awarded to the travel agent who books the highest number of passengers through Maldives Travel Connection before 30 November 2018. But there is a twist – every booking made with any of the incentive’s three partner resorts will receive a double entry.One lucky travel agent will get to experience three of the Maldives’ leading properties: Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives (two nights in an Ocean Front Beach Villa, all inclusive), Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives (two nights in a Beach Suite, ultimate all inclusive) and Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa (three nights with daily breakfast).Launched last month, Maldives Travel Connection offers Australian travel agents an unparalleled range of products and services, with its debut brochure* featuring more than 40 four- and five-star hotels and resorts spread throughout the Maldivian archipelago.As with all Entire Travel Group brands, agents working with Maldives Travel Connection will also receive the full support of specialist consultants with first-hand experience of the destination.IMAGE: Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives Entire Travel GroupIncentiveMaldiveslast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img Fight Night: Week 6.NFL.com writer Adam Schein broke down some of the top feuds in the NFL entering the 2015 season, placing the rift between Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and the Pittsburgh Steelers sixth.No matter how you spin it, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers let Arians go. And now, Arians is a two-time Coach of the Year and arguably a better head coach than Tomlin. In fact, personally, I’d take Arians over Tomlin.Arians is in a fantastic position in Arizona, but you know he still holds a grudge — and he should. Don’t think that it won’t be personal when the Cardinals visit the Steelers in Week 6. And you know what? The Cardinals are in better shape than the Steelers heading into 2015.Arians was with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-11, serving as the offensive coordinator starting in 2007. He then “retired,” eventually taking over as offensive coordinator (and later interim head coach) of the Indianapolis Colts in 2012. He was hired as head coach by the Cardinals that following offseason.He led Arizona to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in 2014.Tomlin has taken the Steelers to the Super Bowl twice in his tenure as head coach, winning Super Bowl XLIII against the Cardinals with Arians as his offensive coordinator.Pittsburgh went 11-5 last season before being eliminated in the Divisional Round of the playoffs by the Baltimore Ravens. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

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first_img Your browser does not support the audio element. In February, Gresham told SiriusXM NFL Radio his heart was in Cincinnati and he hoped to return, but understood at the time it was possible he would not. Just less than nine months later, he said he’s not necessarily disappointed with how things worked out.“I think everything worked out well,” he said. “They got what they wanted, next guy up with Tyler (Eifert) and everything. It’s a business and I understand that part of it so I can’t be mad about it. They gave me the opportunity to feed my family for five years, and feed them well, and I have no regrets about it.”That’s not to say Gresham isn’t hoping to put together a big game Sunday against the team that, in no specific terms, cast him aside. Of course he would like to play well and get a win, perhaps showing the Bengals what they’re missing out on.“But I don’t want to look too much into it or make anything personal about it, you know,” he said.No doubt Gresham will get a chance to make an impact Sunday, though how many chances or in what way he could step up remains to be seen. Although he’s seen an uptick in usage over the last few games, he’s still on pace for some career-lows with 13 catches for 158 yards and one touchdown on the season. That one touchdown was one of the biggest of the season; it helped the Cardinals regain the lead in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s 39-32 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling LISTEN: Jermaine Gresham, Cardinals’ Tight End “Any time you play a team where you spent some time, and especially for as much time as I spent there, it’s not just another game,” he said. “I’m solely focused on this and we’re solely focused on this. There’s obviously a little bit extra on it, but it’s a big game for us, it’s a big game for them and I’m very focused on my job.”Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was asked if it’s natural for someone in Palmer’s shoes to have a little more emotion entering a game like this.“I think if it was the next year, you know? He’s already been through that with the Raiders and having played them and done all that stuff. So I think it is long history,” he said. “Everybody wanted to think I was going back to Pittsburgh for the first time and it’s not about that anymore. It’s about the game this week. I think there are some story lines that people are trying to write, but I don’t think he has any.”Indeed, just as Arians had coached against the Steelers before leading the Cardinals into Pittsburgh last month, Palmer has already faced off against the Bengals, completing 19-of-34 passes for 146 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 2012 loss while with the Oakland Raiders. So maybe the game won’t be as big a deal to Palmer. But Arians did say it may be a bigger deal if this was Palmer’s first year since playing in Cincinnati and first time taking the field against the Bengals. While that is not the case for the QB, it is the exact situation tight end Jermaine Gresham finds himself in.The 27-year-old spent the first five seasons of his career in Cincinnati, catching 280 passes for 2,722 yards and 24 touchdowns while reaching two Pro Bowls. He signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals in July and is looking forward to the game.“It’s going to be fun,” he told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “Just seeing some of the people that I spent so much time with in the past five years. It’s going to be good to see them.“I’m just going to just cherish the moment and just have fun with it. Seeing those guys every day in practice, actually getting a chance to compete against them, I’m just going to have fun with it.”While Palmer’s exit from Cincinnati was rather messy — more on that can be read here — Gresham’s was rather uneventful. His original five-year contract with the team expired, and they chose not to bring him back. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The catch showed what Gresham is still capable of, even if the Cardinals do not call on him as often as the Bengals used to. He said he’s not greedy and not worried about how many passes get thrown his way. His focus remains on doing whatever the coaches ask of him and winning football games.He has, and the team is.“A lot of it is what coverages they play and where the ball goes,” Arians said of Gresham being integrated more into the offense. “We do not traditionally throw it to the tight ends. We pay Larry (Fitzgerald) and those guys too much money to throw it to the tight ends.“They’re here to block, but he is a very capable receiver when he gets his opportunities, which they’re starting to grow. He’s played well.”center_img Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham holds the football behind his back as a television camera records his celebration after his touchdown reception against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) One of the angles that has unsurprisingly come out of this week, in which the Arizona Cardinals host the Cincinnati Bengals, is of Cards QB Carson Palmer facing off against his former team.Palmer was chosen first overall in the 2003 draft by the Bengals and played seven years for the organization before forcing a trade during the 2011 season.Wednesday, Palmer admitted to the media that Sunday’s tilt has added significance. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

New Color Rush jersey arrives for AZCardinals

first_imgNew “Color Rush” jersey arrives for @AZCardinals: https://t.co/AimpSGgSPW pic.twitter.com/2W8XzXCYt9— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) September 13, 2016While Tyrann Mathieu looks pretty fired up in his new jersey, he won’t get the chance to play in it. The Cardinals are slated to play the San Francisco 49ers for their Thursday night game on Oct. 6, and due to the 49ers having black uniforms already, Arizona will be wearing their road whites. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact (Twitter Photo) The NFL has released this season’s iteration of the ‘Color Rush’ jersey line that teams wear exclusively on “Thursday Night Football”, but the Arizona Cardinals won’t be donning theirs.Arizona’s ‘Color Rush’ jersey is primarily black with red numbers and outlines. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling However, according to Cardinals reporter Darren Urban, the ‘Color Rush’ jerseys will still be available for purchase at the team shop at University of Phoenix Stadium, the Nike store in north Scottsdale and local Dick’s Sporting Goods.All proceeds from the ‘Color Rush’ jerseys are donated to youth football programs and various charities around the nation. Top Stories last_img read more

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald

first_imgArizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) makes a diving catch as San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Top Stories NFL.com is looking to name the best catch of the 2016 season, and in the spirit of the NCAA Tournament, created a bracket of 32.Of the 32 catches, three were made by Arizona Cardinals. Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and J.J. Nelson, along with cornerback Patrick Peterson, are contenders.Nelson is facing Falcons wideout Julio Jones in the first round of the Toe Drag Swag section, one of four regions that divide the bracket. Nelson’s came on Oct. 2 against the Rams, where he completed an over-the-head catch on a 3rd-and-7, dragging his feet to stay in bounds and gaining 24 yards in the process. Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Fitzgerald is up against Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the Immaculate Reception region. Against the 49ers on Nov. 13, Fitzgerald found a hole in the defense and dove toward the sideline to finish the catch, gaining 18 yards.Peterson’s submission comes from Week 3, where he pulled in a one-handed interception against the Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, giving the Cardinals a chance to turn back from a 10-point deficit. He’s up against Packers receiver Randall Cobb in the first round.The winners will be determined by fan vote. Round 2 voting will begin on March 22, with two more rounds until the final opens April 3. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Cardinals have allowed 28 sacks in 10 games and only the Buffalo Bills have scored less points per game than the Cardinals (14.5 points per game).Related LinksBehind Enemy Lines: Cardinals travel to seven-win ChargersLosing to Oakland is rough, but might be best thing for CardinalsThe 5: Explanations for the Cardinals’ blown opportunities vs. the RaidersRapid Reactions: Cardinals lose in disappointing fashion to OaklandCardinals shine early, fall to Raiders on last-second field goal“If you look at the Cardinals, that’s the one area again — go all the way back to when I was there — that’s always been an area of concern,” Warner said. “And they’ve never really fixed it to the point where you’ve felt really good year in, year out with all five guys across the board.“Until you fix that, I don’t care how innovative you are — you can run some smoke and mirrors — but you’re not going to win with smoke and mirrors week in and week out. Especially when you’re playing teams like we saw last night.”Warner specifically mentioned the Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints as offenses that thrive because of strong offensive line play.Those three teams are the only ones that average over 30 points per game and are a combined 28-4 this season.“They all protect their quarterbacks extremely well and allow them to get downfield and change the complexion of games with big plays,” Warner said. “You’ve got to have good players, a good quarterback and you have to be able to protect them if you’re going to throw the ball all over the yard and try to put pressure on defenses like good teams do.”The Cardinals’ offensive line has been decimated by injuries this season, which has further hampered the offense.Most recently, starting offensive tackle D.J. Humphries couldn’t go Sunday against the Raiders because of a knee injury.“It takes five guys to do it as well. It’s not about one guy being really good,” Warner said. “You still have to mesh with five guys so that’s what is so unique with the offensive line.“You can’t just put a couple of guys in there and think it’ll fix whole thing. You have to have a collective unit that plays well together that understands and communicates.”Warner does believe the Cardinals could improve quickly.He noted the Rams’ quick rise, from 4-12 in 2016 to 10-1 so far this season.But for the Cardinals to even scratch the surface of the Rams’ recent success, it’ll start with an improvement on the offensive line.“I think like everything else, what makes great players great or great offensive lines great, is the ability to react in the moment positively,” Warner said. “Whether that’s falling back to proper technique, the ability to see twists of a defensive line and be able to counter those twists or to be able to play against the great pass rushers and hold your technique.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories 12 Comments   Share   Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner believes there’s a major difference between the Cardinals’ offense and the best ones in the NFL.It has little to do with the quality of the team’s playmakers.Warner told Bickley and Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Tuesday that he believes the Cardinals’ inability to field a strong offensive line is holding the offense back from having more success. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) is hit from behind by Denver Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb as Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (74) blocks during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Broncos won 45-10. Rosen was injured on the play. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter After 25 years of hi

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >After 25 years of high-end fashion Collette Dinnigan has turned her creativity to her love for interior design and hotels.Working with Bannisters by the Sea, a coastal boutique hotel a 5-minute drive from Dinnigan’s NSW South Coast country retreat, penthouse suites 29 and 30 have been completely renovated and reimagined.The first 100 guests will receive a limited edition Collette Dinnigan candle made in France.The uninterrupted ocean views of Penthouse Suite 29 are complemented by comfortable linen sofas, handprinted cushions by textile designers such as Kathryn Ireland, Penny Morrison and Carolina Irving, a wool rug by Vaughan, a gas fireplace with marble mantle, oak wooden floorboards, and wooden shutters and doors.The bedroom features Schumacher fabrics, brass Aerin Lauder wall fittings and a chair Collette bought in the south of France, hand-covered in velvet.The bathroom features handmade vanities with Carrara marble tops, Perrin & Rowe tapware, a sizeable bathtub and shower, and heated floors. There is also a separate powder room.Australian photographers and artists who have an emotional connection to the water are featured throughout, such as Murray Hilton and John Witizg’s 1970s surf nostalgia.Both suites have a collection of botanical and coral sea life sourced from the French markets, as well as charts from Collette’s family’s sailing journeys across the Indian Ocean.The balcony offers customised cane furniture in a relaxed setting for two.Penthouse Suite 30 is now accessed through a private hallway adorned with John Witizg’s nostalgic Australian surf photography from the 1970s.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter A new cultural expe

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >A new cultural experience offered by andBeyond is available for guests staying at the Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge, Botswana.‘The Interpretative Bushmen Experience’, included in the guests’ stay, is a half-day journey guided by Bushmen, known as the San people. As one of the continents oldest inhabitants with ancestral roots tracing back to over 30,000 years,  they are highly skilled hunter-gatherers who use bows and poisoned arrows, traps and throwing sticks, fashioned out of raw materials found in the wilderness.Three Bushmen lead the experience, where guests will be introduced to their various hunting and survivalist techniques and given the opportunity to follow the Bushmen as they interpret natural findings along the walk.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Small Luxury Hotels of

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterSmall Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), the champion of exclusive, independent hotels has announced two new additions this month, both part of YTL Hotels. MUSE St Tropez in France and the Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse in Japan expand the geographical diversity of the YTL hotels currently in the SLH collection, offering guests the opportunity to experience world-class hotels and resorts across four diverse countries and further cementing the relationship between the two companies.YTL Hotels currently within the SLH collection include Pangkor Laut Resort, Cameron Highlands Resort, The Majestic Malacca and Tanjong Jara Resort in Malaysia, Gaya Island Resort in Borneo and the Spa Village Resort Tembok, Bali in Indonesia.Luke Hurford, Senior Vice President – Sales and Marketing for YTL Hotels says: “YTL Hotels is excited to bring two more iconic destinations to the SLH brand. Muse Saint Tropez – Ramatuelle, the epitome of style, is a chic hideaway within Saint Tropez and embodies the defining features of SLH. Niseko Village has over the past decade become the hottest ski destination in Asia and a must-ski mountain for skiers from around the world. Winter travelers find themselves returning for summer for its world-class golf courses, activities and to get a taste of Hokkaido’s renowned seafood, meats and farm-to-table seasonal produce given Niseko’s reputation as Japan’s breadbasket. Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse joins a rarefied collection of ski resorts around the world with SLH properties including Jackson Hole, Zermatt, Gstaad and Courchevel, and becomes the first at a Japanese ski resort. Partnering with SLH in Niseko is another step forward in our plans to evolve Niseko Village into one of the world’s great year-round mountain resorts.”Daniel Luddington, Vice President of Development for SLH comments: “The addition of these two exceptional properties in St Tropez and Hokkaido exemplify our independently-minded approach and provide our guests with two very different experiences in an established and an emerging destination.  They also beautifully complement the existing and iconic YTL hotels that have been with SLH for several years. We are excited that we have now been able to extend this relationship beyond Asia and look forward to continuing to provide YTL with a valuable association with SLH for many years to come.”MUSE Saint Tropez – Ramatuelle, FranceEncapsulating the laid-back glamour of the Riviera, MUSE Saint Tropez – Ramatuelle is a chic retreat that reflects architectural simplicity nestled in the heart of an award-winning ecological and self-sustainable garden designed by Sophie Agata Ambroise. Its 14 well-appointed suites open onto private gardens or wooden terraces and plunge pools in selected suites. The main pool is interpreted as a water salon surrounded by a bar, cabanas and loungers for sun seekers, massages, light meals or sundowners, complemented by soothing lounge music. The exquisite ‘M’ restaurant brings to life the flavours of the earth and sea, evoking the senses with locally sourced produce from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coastline. Rejuvenation through old world spa traditions using exclusive spa products based on the gentle hydrolat technique where microscopic oil droplets are suspended in water, can be experienced in the comfort of each suite. In addition, concierge services, conveniences for mobile devices to complimentary shuttle services to town or the beach and custom-made bicycles, guests’ needs are met around the clock.Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse, Hokkaido, JapanLocated at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri, Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse occupies a position at the heart of Niseko Village, an all-season destination that has become legendary among the skiing cognoscenti and internationally acclaimed for being one of the premier powder destinations in the world. Niseko Village is centrally located within the Niseko United ski area and accesses its inter-linked ski resorts, an international snow school, award-winning hotels with spa and onsen facilities, luxury residences, a dining and retail village hub, an outdoor nature park and two world-class golf courses with future development phases in the works – now made even more accessible by the extension of the bullet train service to Hokkaido which commences on 26 March. The eight exclusive townhouses are an ode to Japan’s heritage townhouses that were inhabited by craftsmen and wealthy merchants from the Edo period with bespoke interiors that embody authentic Japanese charm with contemporary elegance. Each three-bedroom townhouse accommodates up to six adults with a flexible dining area that can be converted into an additional bedroom for two children, and comes complete with a personal residence concierge. Priority privileges include a complimentary one-hour guided Niseko Village mountain orientation for advanced to expert level skiers and a welcome by instructors at your doorstep for any private ski or snowboard lessons booked during winter while during summer, golfers or families can take advantage of either complimentary rounds of golf at two renowned courses or enjoy Super Passport tickets at Pure, an activity and adventure park within Niseko Village.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more