Bring a friend for half price with Qantas

first_imgQantas is offering 50% off companion fares in Premium Economy and Business Class to a range of international destinations.The four day buddy sale will last until 11.59pm on Monday (AEST), and the special airfares will be valid for travel from 07 June – 14 September, with limited availability.The special is available for a number of international destinations including Johannesburg, Los Angeles (Premium Economy only), San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Noumea, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mumbai, Manila and Jakarta. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/23eef/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Royal Caribbean sails Celebrity Century to Australasia

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/236ad/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Celebrity Cruises announced yesterday it will return to Australasia in 2011, tripling the region’s Royal Caribbean Cruises’ capacity and delivering more inbound tourists ‘Down Under’.”We’re thrilled to return to Australia and New Zealand. It’s a region our guests and trade partners around the world have said they wanted to experience again with Celebrity,” Celebrity Cruises President Dan Hanrahan said.Royal Caribbean Cruises’ third superliner to be based in the region will better enable the company to feed the growing cruising appetites of Australian travellers said Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia Managing Director, Gavin Smith.“As more Australians take to the seas, the more discerning they are becoming about different styles of cruising,” Mr Smith said.“There is a growing appreciation that not all cruise ships are the same and we are excited to be able to invite Australians to discover what makes our ships so different, and our itineraries so special.“ Celebrity Cruises will launch a new series of vacations on Celebrity Century, debuting in Australasian waters in November 2011.A range of brand new itineraries will see Century sail between Sydney and Auckland, as well as its maiden circumnavigation of Australia available in two 18-night segments.Geraldton, Broome, Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide, Albany, Bunbury and Perth are among sone of the ports Century will visit for the first time.“With a high proportion of international guests, as well as many local tourists, we’re confident these new destinations will help boost the local economy as our visitors stop and shop, and enjoy the many and varied local amenities,” Mr Smith said.center_img Celebrity Century underwent an extensive USD55 million revitalisation in 2006, becoming the highest rated cruise ship to be based in the region.last_img read more

Regional NSW eyes domestic market

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H New statistics showing regional travel trends in New South Wales (NSW) should be used by tourism operators in the state’s outback to help develop their businesses.According to ABC News, the statistics revealed in the Federal Government’s Regional Tourism Profiles 2009/2010 show where and why people in Australia are travelling. Outback Regional Tourism Organisation chief executive, Lori Modde, says that whilst most visitors to the region come from within NSW, “there’s definite potential interstate” that can be capitalised on, the ABC reported.“There is that potential from South Australia and Victoria, where we’ve got obviously great access to those states from our southern roads and also our western roads, we’ve also got great inland routes into Queensland from Lightening (sic) Ridge,” Ms Modde said. “Broken Hill is a place where people say we’re going to do that while in Outback NSW.”Additionally, NSW can look forward to more overseas visitors as “the international market is on the increase”, Ms Modde said.last_img read more

Centre Dominates at MEA Awards

first_imgThe Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre has dominated Australia’s leading events industry awards, winning a best-ever four categories in last night’s Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) National Awards.The Centre won the top awards for Meeting Venue – 500 delegates or more, Banquet and Catering, In-House AV services and Corporate Social Responsibility, announced at MEA’s annual awards gala in Brisbane.Centre Chief Executive Ton van Amerongen said the four awards provided a welcome endorsement of the Centre’s standing as Australia’s leading conference venue.“The Centre has placed a very strong emphasis on innovation and creativity,” Mr van Amerongen said. “Our ambition has always been to offer not just a first-class facility in one of the world’s most enviable locations, but also an extremely high level of in-house expertise. “We’re especially pleased to be recognised in areas like catering and audio visual services, because these are some of the fields in which the Centre has strived to provide standards and skills that simply aren’t available elsewhere,” he said.  “And being named Australia’s best large-scale venue is a great honour given the effort and investment we’ve put into constant improvement and renewal at the Centre.”  The MEA awards come one month after the Centre was given the same honours in the association’s NSW awards.  They were based on detailed submissions outlining the Centre’s business processes, innovations and demonstrated excellence within the business events sector.   Using case studies of various events, the submissions highlighted the Centre’s role in assisting organisers to reach their objectives, through flexible meeting spaces, creative technical production and design, innovative menus and environmental initiatives to make events more sustainable.The MEA award for Corporate Social Responsibility was awarded jointly to the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau. Source = Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centrelast_img read more

Joyce still keen on premium Singaporean airline

first_imgQantas boss Alan Joyce is still enthusiastic about establishing a premium airline in the Asian market, declaring Singapore as a possible base for operations. In an interview with The Australian, the Qantas chief said the airline was currently in talks with the Singapore government regarding the possibility of commissioning a premium service in the future. “We work with them on a range of issues and one of them is keeping the door open to the possibility of a premium airline,” Mr Joyce said. “We do believe that for the long-term success of Qantas it needs to participate in the premium end of the market.” Lingering issues of air traffic rights were thought to have dampened plans for the proposed new service but Qantas views the service as a necessity for its future business portfolio. “Qantas could probably live with it for the next few years but I’m committed to (the idea) that in the future we have to address it, and the way to address it is to be involved in a premium airline in Asia,” he added.“We’re going to actively work on how we do that.” Qantas is determined to focus on growing its share of the Asian region and although a premium service may not be established immediately, the airline has other stakes in the expanding Asian marketplace.New low-cost carrier Jetstar Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Qantas and partnered with China Eastern, is currently awaiting regulatory approval. “China Eastern is comfortable that we’ll get the approvals — but we obviously don’t take it for granted . . . but we’ve done that multiple times now and Hong Kong is going to be no different.” In other Qantas news, the airline’s A380 that underwent some of the most expensive aviation repairs has returned to service in Australia. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

RitzCarlton designing hotels for the future luxury traveller

first_imgRitz-Carlton designing hotels for the future luxury travellerOver the course of the last decade, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has opened the doors to more than 50 new, renovated or refurbished luxury hotels in its growing global portfolio. Spectacular properties in Tianjin and Macau brought the luxury brand’s number of hotels in China to eleven; the opulent Ritz-Carlton hotels in Almaty, Herzliya and Bangalore marked the brand’s entry into Israel, Kazakhstan and India; and the barefoot luxury experiences in Dorado Beach and Bali were milestones in casually chic and elegant design execution, driven by extensive global customer research.Since 2004 The Ritz-Carlton design team has produced specifications for one individually designed and curated hotel after the next. High-style and contemporary design exudes in Kyoto,  Wolfsburg and Barcelona. Tasteful conversions of spectacular former palaces in Vienna, Muscat and Riyadh, and transformations of protected buildings in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Georgetown near Washington DC in a new era of converted and preserved heritage spaces.As The Ritz-Carlton embarks upon the development of an additional 30 hotels within the next three years, the brands design philosophy has evolved to now represent a diverse and varied collection of beautiful local and culturally relevant hotel and resort environments “Each new project gives us an opportunity to create the best hotel within its locale that provides a true sense of place. Consideration is given to the market needs and how we can best create a hotel that will be a signature property within the group” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operations Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.According to Humler, while most new builds tend to be more contemporary with modern interpretations of elegance, two recent hotel openings are in total contrast. “The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canalis classical in design. The hotel is situated adjacent to the statuesque Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, so the façade and interiors have been designed to respect and complement the area. Inspired by 15th to early 17th century Renaissance architecture and the urban planning of the city of Venice, the hotel is located at the waterfront and consists of ten stately buildings arranged in a crescent formation.”Conversely, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is located on the cherished island of Puerto Rico. The resort is an intimate retreat offering a true sense of barefoot elegance, blending Laurance Rockefeller’s novel environmental design philosophies and modern yet minimal décor. Created as an open-air enclave, infused with references to the surrounding natural landscape and diverse culture, thepower of the great outdoors weaves its magic on interior comfort.Drawing on themes of local relevance, The Ritz-Carlton adopts design strategies to enhance the brand image in an increasingly global marketplace. The company philosophy is to design hotels that are casually elegant, with the occasional classical influence as appropriate. Where there are multiple hotels in one city, the preference is to provide diverse physical products and contrasting styles. “Our company design standards are the blueprint from which we establish engineering infrastructure, operational requirements, safety regulations and room sizes – however they do not drive the character of a hotel. We do not work to one design mold, but rather allow the process to be destination and customer focused as we grow into many new international locations.” Stay at The Ritz-CarltonSource = The Ritz-Carltonlast_img read more

Quest Apartment Hotels NZ unveils expansion plans

first_imgQuest New Zealand CEO Stephen MansfieldQuest Apartment Hotels (NZ) currently operates 35 properties in New Zealand and Fiji under its business franchise format.The group is looking to add another 20 purpose-built operations over the next five years, which will take the total number of Quest properties in New Zealand and Fiji to 55.The group has released its five-year growth strategy, showing the new properties will be in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Nadi. Quest has been growing 10-15 percent per annum, year on year, since opening its first New Zealand property in 1998.New Zealand CEO, Stephen Mansfield, says the experience of working in New Zealand and the Pacific, along with feedback from Quest customers has helped identify locations for the future properties.“Over the past decade, Quest has focused on getting established in the main centres of New Zealand, as well as all of the key regions,” Mr Mansfield said.“The national framework  is now complete and over the next five years our focus is on increasing density in the main centres.”Quest anticipates the new developments will add around $200 million in value to the existing property that is under the Quest system.Once the properties are complete, it will boost the total value of property under the Quest network in New Zealand and Fiji to an estimated $550 million.“We are currently working with finance institutions and developers to help us achieve this goal and to assist in establishing the best complexes and locations to meet our customers’ needs,” Mr Mansfield said.“The domestic corporate market is set to grow and we see many positive trends in the tourism and hospitality sectors that makes us very optimistic about the future. Now is the perfect time for Quest to expand its network to meet this demand.”One of those trends is the growth in the millennial business traveller, which was one of the key motivators of Quest’s rebrand last year.“We have ambitious growth plans over the next five years but we remain firmly committed to our core focus of meeting the needs of the extended-stay business traveller,” Mansfield says.With plans to open a second property in Fiji, Mansfield says Quest’s current property in Suva has escaped any major damage after Cyclone Winston hit the Pacific Island nation on Saturday night. Quest Suva remains open to guests as staff clean up after the powerful storm.“The property has no significant damage and all staff and guests have been accounted for and are safe,” he said.“We are working with our staff and managers in Suva to assess and quickly fix any damage that may have been caused by the storm.” Quest Apartment Hotels Source = Quest Apartment Hotelslast_img read more

Star Ratings launches 360 degree videos inside Australian properties

first_imgStar Ratings launches 360 degree videos inside Australian propertiesStar Ratings Australia have produced two cutting edge 360 degree videos that showcase star rated properties in South Australia and Tasmania as part of their integrated marketing campaign, Star Tripping. These videos have been created to give Australian travellers the ‘full picture’ of their accommodation experience.“Our aim is to provide Australian travellers with the full picture because the accommodation they expect should be the accommodation they get. So Star Ratings Australia has gone into the rooms of two Star Rated properties to showcase the facilities in virtual reality,” commented CEO of Star Ratings Australia, Michael Reed.The properties featured include: The Barossa Vineyard Cottages in the Barossa Valley and, the Cradle Mountain Highlanders and the Seaview Retreat on Bruny Island – in Tasmania. “In response to consumer demand, we are also releasing another set of three, four and five Star Rated itineraries for a range of different types of getaways, from outdoors and adventure through to luxury and indulgence to help Australian travellers plan their getaway,” continued Michael. “With widespread social media and self-ratings currently dominating the travel industry, independent ratings systems like Star Ratings are crucial for maintaining authenticity, accountability and providing Australian travellers with the full picture,’ commented CEO of Star Ratings Australia Michael Reed. Star Ratings AustraliaLearn more hereSource = Star Ratings Australialast_img read more

Movenpick Siam Hotel Pattaya joins forces with local partners

first_imgMovenpick Siam Hotel Pattaya joins forces with local partnersThe leading luxury resort on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, Mövenpick Siam Hotel Pattaya, today launched a program of family oriented activities in partnership with Siam Music Yamaha, Siam Country Club Pattaya and the Thailand Equestrian Federation, based on active and engaging vacation experiences that provide young visitors and their parents with an opportunity to learn together.The program was announced during a press conference held at the ‬Pacific City Club in Bangkok, which also included an introduction by Khun Suladda Sarutilavan, Pattaya Office Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand.According to Ms. Suladda, TAT is keen to promote the Eastern Seaboard region as a family destination. She said: “The TAT already runs campaigns to highlight Pattaya as a diverse and appealing world-class family destination for domestic and international visitors and the area now attracts around 10 million visitors per year. Several major transport and infrastructure projects have been initiated that will help develop the region as a family tourist destination. These include the expansion of U-Tapao Airport, a new road tunnel, which will open in time for the Songkran public holiday, and also a proposed high-speed rail service.”Such projects make Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard increasingly accessible, which is one reason why the Thai government has identified the region as a new Eastern Economic Corridor (ECC).“Pattaya is also home to a vast choice of attractions and activities, including fascinating cultural sites and temples, championship golf courses, first-class marinas, water parks, as well as diverse shopping options and endless culinary delights,” added Ms. Suladda.Dr. Peerawat Chookhiatti, Managing Director, Siam Music Yamaha pointed out the musical side to the greater Pattaya region. “Pattaya is already home to several popular music events and the surroundings provide the perfect inspiration for children and adults to learn an instrument, make music or enjoy live musical performances. The annual Yamaha Thailand Music Festival – a competition we run for Yamaha music students around the country – attracts thousands of entries, including a large number of students from our Pattaya branch. We are also hosting a violin camp at Mövenpick Siam Hotel Pattaya from 21-23 April, which will attract some 20 families and includes workshops and a performance on the beach.”Another activity that is attracting increasing attention for Pattaya is Polo. Mr. Nara Ketusingha, Secretary General & Manager, Thailand Equestrian Federation said: “Polo and other equestrian sports are gaining a greater public profile in Thailand. International-class tournaments regularly take place at the Thai Polo & Equestrian Club in Pattaya and these events show the exciting, social side of polo, combining high quality match play with interesting activities for spectators and families. Learning to take care of horses and building a relationship with such intelligent animals is a highly valuable experience for children. As part of this program we plan to introduce families to new experiences that will help them understand the range of skills required to ride horses and play Polo.” Movenpick Siam Hotel PattayaSource = Movenpick Siam Hotel Pattayalast_img read more

Did Fannie Mae Pay Too Much for MSRs in BofA Deal

first_img Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Servicing Rights Processing Service Providers 2012-09-20 Krista Franks Brock September 20, 2012 400 Views center_img As part of its High Touch Servicing Program, “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html entered a deal with “”Bank of America””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/ in July 2011 to purchase mortgage servicing rights (MSR) for about 384,000 high-risk loans the GSE guaranteed. [IMAGE]The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG) recently reviewed the deal and the program in general. The idea behind Fannie Mae’s High Touch Servicing program is to purchase the servicing rights for portfolios of high-risk loans it guarantees and transfer them to specialty servicers to mitigate losses. At the time of the BofA deal, the portfolio in question had an 11 percent delinquency rate. Fannie Mae estimated it would reduce losses by between $1.7 billion and $2.7 billion by turning the loans over to a specialty servicer. [COLUMN_BREAK]The GSE has the option of transferring servicing rights “”for cause”” without paying any fees to the current servicer, or “”without cause”” at a rate of twice the annualized servicing fee. However, the ultimate deal negotiated between Fannie Mae and BofA required the GSE to pay 2.4 times the annualized servicing fee — $512 million instead of $427 million. While the FHFA held reservations about the price of the deal, it ultimately approved it. After reviewing the purchase, FHFA-OIG stated in its report, “”Fannie Mae, as guarantor of the mortgages in the BOA portfolio, faced the prospect of significant losses were it not to purchase the MSR; thus, the value of the MSR to Fannie Mae might well have exceeded the value to a purchaser with no such liability.”” The FHFA-OIG did find some fault with Fannie Mae’s approach in negotiating the deal. The GSE relied solely on one independent valuator’s review of the portfolio and “”did not avail itself of its internal Model Risk Oversight Group to assess the independent valuator’s process or conclusions.”” The FHFA-OIG “”ventures no findings as to the validity of the independent valuator’s valuation model or the accuracy of its valuation of the BOA portfolio.”” The terms of the BofA deal were not out of line with other similar deals, according to the report. However, the FHFA-OIG suggests, “”The High Touch Servicing Program would benefit from a more rigorous valuation process.”” Did Fannie Mae Pay Too Much for MSRs in BofA Deal?last_img read more

FDIC Unveils Technical Assistance Videos for Mortgage Rules

first_imgFDIC Unveils Technical Assistance Videos for Mortgage Rules Share November 19, 2014 533 Views Federal regulators have launched a new educational resource to aid bank employees in meeting regulatory requirements.In an announcement Wednesday, FDIC introduced the first in what the agency says will be a series of technical assistance videos developed in the wake of this year’s mortgage regulations handed down from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).The first video, available now, covers the ability to repay and qualified mortgage rules and is intended for compliance officers and other staff involved in ensuring compliance, the agency said.”The release of this video is part of the FDIC’s ongoing efforts to inform supervised institutions about important regulatory issues,” said Mark Pearce, director of the Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection at FDIC. “The FDIC is committed to providing technical assistance to help community banks comply with recent regulatory changes.”FDIC is already planning the release of two additional videos in the series in the upcoming months. Those offerings will focus on rules governing mortgage servicing and loan originator compensation.The videos will be available for viewing on FDIC’s website or directly through its YouTube channel.center_img in Government, Headlines, News Compliance Consumer Financial Protection Bureau FDIC 2014-11-19 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Altavera Mortgage Services Names New SVP of Due Diligence

first_imgAltavera Mortgage Services Names New SVP of Due Diligence in Headlines, News Jennifer FountainAltavera Mortgage Services, a Denver-based provider of third-party residential mortgage origination services, has named Jennifer Fountain SVP of due diligence, according to an announcement from the company.In her new position as SVP of due diligence with Altavera, Fountain will have oversight of the company’s closed-loan file review business, also known as pre-purchase review. Closed-loan file review is the review and approval of loans prior to investor purchase or the audit of a loan package prior to the package being purchased by a correspondent buyer or aggregator.When they purchase loans, independent, non-bank mortgage companies and investment firms often consider outsource providers to limit their exposure to poor loan quality. Altavera recently announced that it would expand its closed-loan file review services starting in the third quarter. The company’s closed-loan file review services include:Validation of product acceptability to investor guidelines;Review of credit decision and supporting documentation;Confirmation of QM/ATR requirements;Performance of compliance review;Review of appraisals and property value validation; andReview of closing documentation.Fountain has more than three decades of experience in the residential mortgage lending business. Her career has been distinguished by an emphasis on credit and underwriting policy, operations, due diligence, management, and training.“I worked with Jennifer at Aurora before she went to Redwood and know her to be an unrivaled expert in the fields of closed-loan file review and rating agency approval. She also has a long and deep history in credit policy and credit risk management,” said Altavera Chief Operating Officer Debora Aydelotte. “Jennifer possesses and exceeds the critical qualifications mortgage lenders and investors expect when they outsource closed-loan file review to a service provider partner.” Sharecenter_img August 2, 2016 526 Views Altavera Mortgage Services 2016-08-02 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

Caliber Home Loans Launches Mobile Platform

first_img Coppell, Texas-headquartered Caliber Home Loans, Inc. (Caliber), has announced the launch of a new mobile platform. Featuring three mobile phone apps customized for three user groups–borrowers, the Caliber sales force, and their business associates–all users receive real-time information and the ability to respond from virtually anywhere. Caliber processes data from all three apps on the back end, which enables efficient and effective communication across the loan process.“We customized each of these new mobile apps to provide user-friendly access to all touchpoints in the mortgage system,” said Sanjiv Das, CEO, Caliber. “This greatly increases the efficiency of the process and will help us close loans even faster. We’re well-aware that today’s consumers prefer to manage their finances via cell phone whenever possible.”While digital technology is essential to keep up with the pace of the ever-evolving mortgage business, Caliber continues to offer high-touch service and personalized guidance from a distributed network of more than 1500 Loan Consultants around the country.“Caliber’s investment in technology extends beyond our customers to our own loan professionals and business partners. Now each group has their own apps that plug them into an interconnected digital platform that includes secure sharing of data with customers,” Das said.While the Caliber Home Loans app for borrowers helps customers connect during originations and manage their loans after closing, CaliberH2O for sales and brokers enables their business networks to communicate and respond in real time. Caliber MyPipeline for real estate agents and builders provides access to shared borrowers’ loan pipelines, keeping them in the loop during underwriting.The new apps are available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Share March 19, 2018 486 Views in journal, News, Originationcenter_img Caliber Home Loans Launches Mobile Platform App Borrowers Caliber Home Loans Lenders Servicers technology 2018-03-19 Radhika Ojhalast_img read more

Lenders Get Bearish on Profit Margins

first_img September 11, 2018 561 Views Lenders Get Bearish on Profit Margins Share Mortgage lenders have reported a net negative profit margin outlook for the eighth consecutive quarter according to Fannie Mae’s Q3 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. As mortgage demand erodes further, lenders’ profit outlook this quarter was worse than the outlooks reported last quarter and one year ago.”Lenders continued their bearish trend this quarter, as they note ongoing anemic refinance activity and the worst purchase mortgage demand for a third quarter in the survey’s history,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “The profit outlook remains negative, with those lenders expecting decreased profit margins outweighing those anticipating increases for the eighth consecutive quarter.According to the Survey, lenders cite competition from other lenders as the primary cause of the continued margin compression. Consumer demand was cited as the second most important reason for the decreased profit margin outlook, a survey high.Fannie Mae found that less mortgage lenders have been reporting growth across all loan types, including GSE-eligible, non-GSE eligible, and government. Additionally, expectations of growth for the next three months has reached Q3 reading of any Q3 since the survey’s inception five years ago.”For the first time this year, consumer demand was one of the top two reasons for the downbeat profit outlook, cited by more than one-third of lenders—a record high,” Duncan said. “Meanwhile, the pace at which lenders are easing credit standards has slowed. The net shares of lenders reporting easing credit standards for GSE-eligible and government loans are less than half the peak shares reached at the end of last year. This may suggest the realization among lenders that combatting declining affordability by making it easier to obtain mortgages might not be the answer – or simply that there is little room for additional easing going forward.”Additionally, Fannie Mae notes that demand for refinance mortgages remained negative but stable. Despite the decreased mortgage demand and increased competition that lenders have reported, fewer lenders reported easing credit standards in the Q3.Find the report from Fannie Mae here.center_img Affordability Lenders profit Reports 2018-09-11 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Newslast_img read more

Kerryn Murphy and Zak Zreikat have recently become

first_imgKerryn Murphy and Zak Zreikat have recently become Travel Counsellors staff members with both now working within the business development unit at TC head office in Melbourne.A Travel Counsellors head office team member since 2010, Kerryn Murphy brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having previously worked in the business as a product executive and recruitment executive, with extensive systems understanding and an intimate understanding of the training process. Kerryn’s focus will be assisting new starters going through the induction process, and will play a pivotal part in transitioning new Travel Counsellors into the business and helping them navigate the territory that comes with running their own home-based travel enterprise. “I’m excited to be stepping into this new role. I’ve been with Travel Counsellors for seven years, so I understand the processes and systems really well. I am looking forward to assisting new starters at the start of their journey with Travel Counsellors. The induction process is crucial to ensuring new Travel Counsellors get the best start they can, and I hope to make an impact that sets them up for future success,” she said. Zak Zreikat’s impressive skill set has been honed through his previous experience working at IBM, General Electric and the University of Ballarat. He has extensive professional experience in relationship management, business coaching and management training. “The Travel Counsellors business model represents a great opportunity for self-starting agents who want to work with more freedom and flexibility. I look forward to helping Travel Counsellors get the best out of their business. Whether they want to grow their client base by increasing referral rates or look towards finding more corporate clients, I am confident that I can bring the best out of everyone I work with,” said Zak. Fred van Eijk, Acting Managing Director Travel Counsellors Australia, said he believes that growing the business development team is one of the best ways to support Travel Counsellors working around Australia. “I am very pleased to welcome Zak and Kerryn to the business development team. Their roles are essential to ensuring the ongoing success of Travel Counsellors working from home on their own travel businesses. I am sure their insights, energy and perspective will be valued by everyone they work with. Providing high levels of support like this is what sets Travel Counsellors apart from the rest.” Kerryn Murphy & Zak Zreikat appointmentsTravel Counsellorslast_img read more

Any time a team gets 300 yards passing and three t

first_imgAny time a team gets 300 yards passing and three touchdowns from its quarterback and holds an opposing team — one with a top-ranked offense — to around 100 less yards than they normally average, it should have a decent chance to win the game.Because of those circumstances, the Arizona Cardinals certainly had their chances to win Sunday’s NFC showdown in Philadelphia. However, a turnover-happy first quarter and a sluggish start to the third quarter plagued Bruce Arians’ squad, as it dropped its first game in five weeks by a final of 24-21. Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo – / 22 While the margin of defeat was slim and the chances to pull even were plenty, Arizona never seemed to completely have a handle on the flow of the game.It was a disjointed effort to say the least.“I feel like we had opportunities right until the end of the game. We just didn’t make enough plays,” Johnson said. “I felt like offensively when we got going, the defensive fell back. When the defense forced three straight three-and-outs, the offense fell back. “We were never on the same page together as two units to do what we needed to do win this game. We just didn’t make enough plays.”Although Todd Bowles’ unit only held Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense to 24 points at home, two defensive lapses turned a tight contest into a come-from-behind affair.After Dave Zastudil knocked a punt inside the Eagles’ 19-yard line with just under 2:30 to play in the first half, Arizona had an opportunity to hold its ground in order to keep its deficit at 10-7 going into the half.Instead, Nick Foles directed a nine-play, 78-yard drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown grab by tight end Brent Celek with 15 seconds left to play in the second quarter. Philadelphia marched into the locker room with a 10-point lead and subsequently had all the momentum.Following the halftime break, the Eagles went on another soul-crushing drive, spanning 82 yards in 13 plays. The result was another touchdown reception by a tight end, Zach Ertz, this time from 24 yards out.“It was fast. That’s the best way to put it. They come out and do a lot things that are different from a normal offense,” said Johnson of the Eagles’ offense. “If you’re not disciplined and you’re not set in what you’re doing, they can gash you and get big plays against you. I think they were able to do that, especially going into that third quarter. “That opening drive was a statement drive. As a defense, we didn’t do what we needed to coming out with it on our shoulders to get the offense the ball back. They drove down, and we gave up a touchdown. That’s something we can’t do as a defense.”The Cardinals hadn’t allowed points on the final possession of the first half and the first possession of second half since Week 7 against Seattle — the last time they lost a game.According to Johnson, those back-to-back possessions will force the defense to do some collective soul searching ahead of next Sunday’s divisional matchup with the St. Louis Rams. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories “We always preach going into a half that we stop them and we get points as an offense,” said Johnson. “We didn’t do that. Coming out in the third quarter, we are on defense and its our opportunity to go out and make a statement and get our offense the ball back. And we didn’t do that, either. As a whole on defense we are not pleased with the way that we played. “Coming into the game we were well-prepared, and they didn’t do anything that we didn’t expect. We didn’t make the plays that needed to be made, and that’s something we need to look in the mirror about, watch the film and be tough on each other.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

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first_img Top Stories The total package may be hard to find, but Arians believes there is talent in this year’s QB draft class.“So far, I would say one of the guys — I’m not going to mention names — I think one of them is probably ready to start as a rookie,” Arians said. “All the rest, there are some really talented arms that need a year of learning how to play the position, especially at this level. If you’re plug-and-play then this draft is very small, but if you have time to bring them along then this draft is large because the talent level is there.”Arians wasn’t tipping his hand on the Cardinals’ plans for the NFL Draft from April 27 to 29 in Philadelphia where they have the 13th, 45th, 77th and 120th overall picks in the first four rounds. Then again, Arians can’t tip his hand because the plan will evolve with what happens on the draft floor.“Every year you would like to draft a quarterback,” he said. “We’ve had two with the name on the card ready to roll, and they’ve gone like a pick or three picks ahead of us the last two years.“You’ve got them set on your board where you’d like to take that quarterback and if he falls to you, take him, but don’t reach. If you’ve got one in the fourth round, don’t take him in the third round, cause now you’re screwing up your board, and you’re probably putting him in a position he doesn’t belong.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arians does not believe the Cardinals need to draft a QB this year because he thinks Carson Palmer can keep playing, but if the Cardinals do draft a quarterback, Arians thinks that player will come into an ideal situation because of all the mentors the team has. Aside from Arians, assistant head coach Tom Moore and quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich, the presence of Palmer and veteran backup Drew Stanton could provide a wealth of knowledge.“It would probably be one of the best situations for any of these kids to fall into because Carson is going to welcome him openly, and then Drew Stanton, you’ve got two guys who are mentors,” Arians said. “They’re going to listen to them probably more than they will listen to us.”There has been some speculation that Arians, 64, might retire rather than oversee another QB development, but Arians, like Palmer, said he welcome the chance to mentor another quarterback.“It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had in the 40-some years I’ve been coaching,” he said. “Probably the most excited I got was when I was re-fired [in Pittsburgh] to go back and work with Andrew [Luck in Indianapolis]. That really rejuvenated me and gave me a whole new perspective on the game again.” Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img Arians offered some insight on the qualities that quarterback should possess.“First of all, you have to have some stature,” he said. “There are no 5-11 quarterbacks; haven’t been any since Doug Flutie and it took him a hell of a long time to get in. The game has changed since Fran Tarkenton played.“You have to have some stature, you have to have some arm strength. It doesn’t have to be a cannon. Most guys with a cannon wait to see a guy get open and then they throw a fastball. Those get intercepted the other way. You have to have some anticipation so if your arm isn’t quite as strong and you anticipate better you’ll get it out on time.”Arians also cited the importance of deciphering information quickly.“What’s my protection? Am I hot? Do I have a sight adjustment, weak side? What’s the coverage? Who do I throw to in this coverage? That all happens in 1.5 seconds so if you can’t process that information you probably can’t play. You either can process information — you either have that brain ability or you don’t have it,” Arians said. “That’s the hardest thing to evaluate.” QB Carson Palmer chats with coach Bruce Arians during training camp Aug. 8. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) 0 Comments   Share   PHOENIX — What would the ideal Cardinals quarterback of the future look like? Coach Bruce Arians offered his take on the final day of the NFL Annual Meetings on Wednesday at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.“You take Ben (Roethlisberger), Andrew (Luck), Peyton (Manning), and I’m gonna throw Tim Couch in there, too,” Arians said. “You roll them all up and make one, and you’ve got a hell of a player, but it really starts here and here (pointing to his head and heart). If you’ve got a guy that’s got grit and he can lead, you can probably live with his skill level. Now if he’s got the skill level and those two things, you’ve got the world champ.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

The league however will continue to penalize any

first_imgThe league, however, will continue to penalize any celebration deemed offensive, including those that embarrass opponents or mimic the use of weapons.“Players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves,” Goodell wrote.That freedom had been stripped in many cases, with fans and media criticizing the NFL as being the “No Fun League.” A 15-yard penalty often was the price paid for excessiveness.Goodell’s email also mentioned how the league is placing an emphasis on speeding up the pace of games. To go with that, he said the league knows “that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectaculartouchdown.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments   Share   Atlanta Falcons’ Mohamed Sanu reacts after catching a touchdown pass during the first half of the NFL football NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) Following conversations with dozens of players, we’re making changes to our celebrations policy: https://t.co/1NLdEJjsGD— Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) May 23, 2017 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires CHICAGO — The NFL wants to put some flair back into touchdown celebrations, allowing players to use the football as a prop,celebrate as a group and roll around on the ground again if they choose.In an email from Commissioner Roger Goodell sent to fans in an effort to deliver “a more exciting game experience,” the commissioner said the new guidelines came after conversations with more than 80 current and former players.last_img read more

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first_img1205676 TeamWinsLossesTiesPoints ForPoints Against When the Los Angeles Rams win, nobody else in the division does.At least that’s held true through three weeks of the NFL season. The Rams scored a wild 41-39 win over the 49ers on Thursday Night Football, then got a chance to watch the Seahawks and Cardinals flounder on Sunday and Monday.Here’s a closer look at what went down in the NFC West in Week 3.Dallas Cowboys 28, Arizona Cardinals 17One of the big questions entering this week’s Monday Night Football offering was whether or not Dallas’ dynamic duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott would/could have another lackluster performance. Top Stories 21010775 San Francisco, much like the crazed murderer in a horror movie, still wasn’t dead. Robbie Gould’s onside kick was recovered by Raheem Mostert, giving the Niners another chance. The didn’t do anything with it, though. Hoyer was sacked on 4th and 20 by Aaron Donald to finally preserve the win in what was arguably the most entertaining game of the early season.Stat of the Game: The Rams scored 41 points — the second time they’ve scored 40 or more in a game so far in 2017. They’ve scored 107 points in three games. It took Los Angeles until its sixth game to reach that same level in 2016.He Said It (LA): “You see a lot of playoff teams win games like this. I’m not saying that we’re going to the playoffs, but when you can get a win like this you can just feel it.” — Rams defensive lineman Michael BrockersHe Said It (SF): “This has only been our third game together. For us to be down 15 and still stay in there, stay fight … that’s one of the things that we can take from this game. You see the potential. You see where we can go. We just have to learn how to win, learn how to play a full game. And we’ll be where we want to be.” — 49ers linebacker Navorro Bowman Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   What’s Next for the Rams: Los Angeles hits the road to take on the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium Sunday.What’s Next for the 49ers: The winless Niners play another division foe, traveling to Glendale to face the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday afternoon.Tennessee Titans 33, Seattle Seahawks 27A three-touchdown outburst in a six-minute stretch of the third quarter carried the Tennesee Titans (2-1) to a win over the Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.Trailing 14-9 midway through the third, Marcus Mariota hit Rishard Matthews, who took a screen pass and weaved through defenders for a 55-yard touchdown to give the Titans a 16-14 lead. They weren’t nearly done.After the Seahawks went three-and-out on their next possession, Mariota hooked up with tight end Jonnu Smith on a 24-yard touchdown. Seattle punted again, leading to DeMarco Murray’s 75-yard touchdown jaunt on the first play of Tennessee’s next possession.Russell Wilson spearheaded a comeback attempt with fourth quarter touchdown passes to Luke Willson and Paul Richardson, but it was too little, too late for the Seahawks.Stat of the Game: Tennessee ran for 195 yards on Seattle’s defense, which has uncharacteristically struggled against the run this season. The Seahawks rank 30th in the league against the rush, giving up an average of 146 yards per game through three weeks. They ranked seventh in the league last season, giving up only an average of 92.9 yards per game. He Said It: “Block better.” — Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians when asked what his offensive line needs to do to improve.What’s Next for the Cardinals?: Arizona will play a second consecutive home game as they host the San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium.Los Angeles Rams 41, San Francisco 49ers 39What was this? An entertaining Thursday Night Football game? And from two the league’s least-likely participants?That’s exactly what transpired in Santa Clara last Thursday night, with the Rams’ suddenly potent offense lighting up the scoreboard (and the stat sheet) in a two-point win over the Niners at Levi’s Stadium.Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Gurley scored three times in helping the Rams to a 41-26 lead midway through the fourth quarter. But to their credit, the 49ers (0-3), who hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown before Thursday, rallied. Brian Hoyer hit Trent Taylor on a 3-yard touchdown pass to make the score 41-33. Then, LA’s Pharoh Cooper fumbled on the ensuing kick-off, setting the Niners up at the Rams’ 30-yard line.Eight plays later, on fourth down, Carlos Hyde scored from a yard out, giving San Francisco a chance to tie with a two-point conversion. However, Hoyer’s pass to Taylor was deflected and intercepted by Michael Brockers, thwarting the attempt. Special Teams Player of the Week: Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers — Mostert recovered an onside kick and had a 20-yard kickoff return.Standings Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) scores a touchdown in front of San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) The answer, unfortunately for the Cardinals, was a big, fat ‘no.’Prescott threw two touchdown passes and ran for another and Elliott responded with 80 yards on the ground and a touchdown as the Cowboys broke a four-game losing streak to the Cardinals in Glendale.Carson Palmer had his best game of the year for Arizona (1-1), throwing for 322 yards and two touchdowns, but Arizona’s running game was not a factor.Questions that have yet to be answered by the Cardinals so far in 2017 were very much prevalent on Monday? Like, can the Cardinals block anyone — or more to the point — can they field a healthy offensive line. Guard Alex Boone left the game late and it’s being reported to be a pectoral muscle injury. Daniel Munyer, a surprise member of the Cardinals’ 53-man roster when training camp ended, finished the game at guard. He’s the eight different lineman Arizona has been forced to use so far through three games.Stat of the Game: The Cardinals dominated the time of possession, keeping the ball for 36:15 to Dallas’ 23:45, but then again, the Cowboys didn’t have to go far. Three of their four touchdown drives were 50 yards or less. 0305176 He Said It: “Eliminating the frustration. Eliminating the bickering with other teams, eliminating the extra exertion of energy that we don’t need. Need to conserve the energy for each play so your brains can think. That, and just tackling better.” — Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor on what needs to happen for the team.What’s Next for the Seahawks: Seattle returns home to the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field to host the Indianapolis Colts (1-2) Sunday afternoon.Award WinnersOffensive Player of the Week: Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams — It could have been any number of winners from L.A., but Gurley had 113 yards on the ground, 36 yards in the passing game and visited the end zone three times. It was his first 100-yard game since Week 14 of his rookie season in 2015, when the then-St. Louis Rams beat Detroit, 21-14.Defensive Player of the Week: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams — There wasn’t a lot of defense played in the division (NFC West teams gave up an average of 35.3 points in Week 3), so we’ll give it to the player who made the most impactful play. Donald came up with a sack on fourth down late against San Francisco to preserve the Rams’ second win of the year. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 1204859 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 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 13 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories With the 49ers, Gabbert completed nearly 57 percent of his passes for 925 yards and five touchdowns against six interceptions.The former 2011 first-round pick of the Jaguars out of Missouri saw his most extensive playing time as a rookie, when he started 14 games and threw for 2,214 yards with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for a team that finished 5-11. He started 10 games the next season then just three in 2013 before being traded to the 49ers in March of 2014 for a sixth-round draft pick.The Cardinals signed Gabbert to a one-year contract in May and the 28-year-old performed well in preseason, completing 41-of-67 passes for 547 yards with a touchdown and an interception — a quarterback rating of 85.9.His performance in preseason has teammates such as wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald trusting in his overall ability.“He’s got a gift in terms of being able to throw the ball and arm strength,” he said. “It’s the same routes, same concepts. Blaine has been here now, he had a whole offseason and training camp and he got reps periodically throughout practice throughout the course of the year.”Fitzgerald added that he expects to see many extended plays from Gabbert, noting the quarterbacks ability to get out of the pocket and scramble during broken plays.center_img Arizona Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert (7) throws against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of the Pro Football Hall of Fame NFL preseason game in Canton, Ohio, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) TEMPE, Ariz. — Head coach Bruce Arians made it official and announced Blaine Gabbert as the starting quarterback for the upcoming game against the Houston Texans.Earlier in the week, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki reported Gabbert would get the nod but the team had not officially done so.The start will be Gabbert’s first time seeing the field as an Arizona Cardinal. His most recent action was in 2016 when he started five games for the San Francisco 49ers. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Drew Stanton, who started the last two games for the Cardinals, suffered a sprained knee in a 22-16 loss to Seattle last week, although he did finish the game.The backup to Gabbert will be decided on Sunday. If Stanton is healthy enough he will be active. If not, recently signed Matt Barkley would be the guy.Gabbert will be the third guy to take snaps under center for the Cardinals this season. Carson Palmer is recovering from a broken arm he suffered during the second quarter of their loss to the Los Angeles Rams.Gabbert’s ability to lead the Cardinals will be seen on Sunday. For now, Fitzgerald and teammates remain confident that Gabbert will perform to expectations.“I think he’s comfortable. I think we are comfortable with him,” Fitzgerald said. “Blaine’s solid. He’ll be ready to roll.”last_img read more