A boost for NSW tourism came in the form of eleven wins at Qantas’ annual Australian Tourism Awards. From twenty six categories, NSW took home eleven gold, six silver and three bronze awards, dominating the competition which saw Queensland tourism pick up just a single prize. Top trophies for NSW included winners such as Jenolan Caves, Tri State Safaris, Newcastle Airport, Scone Motor Inn, Sydney Harbour YHA, Coffs Coast Aboriginal Discovery and the NSW Caravan, Camping, RV & Holiday Super Show. Tourism and Major Events Minister George Souris congratulated the state on its stellar performance. “This is an outstanding result for NSW, demonstrating excellence in our tourism industry and highlighting the top-quality operators who are leaders among their peers,” Mr Souris said. Queensland snared seven category wins in 2011 but this year were only acknowledged as having the top major tour operator, in the form of Fantasea Adventure Cruising. “It was a great result for tourism operators in the NSW’s North Coast and Hunter regions, winning a total of 13 honours between them, showing the tremendous variety and quality of tourism businesses across NSW,” Mr Souris said. The Northern Territory managed to secure ten awards from a total of twenty one categories at the ceremony in Cairns last Friday. Coffs Coast Aboriginal Discovery Outdoor Centre Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Ormina Tours partners with SilverseaOrmina Tours announces a strategic partnership with luxury cruise line Silversea to launch joint land and sea itineraries and packaged products as part of its 2016 program.“This partnership is about the customer experience,” says Ross Ioppolo, Ormina Tours managing director. “We recognize that our guests frequently book our small group journeys on either side of a cruise. The alignment of our departure dates with quality Mediterranean cruise options provide guests with choice, flexibility and the opportunity of a seem less end-to-end luxury experience on land and sea.”The motivation for the initiative goes deeper, explains Ioppolo. “We pride ourselves on luxury, small group offerings. We select the best 4 and 5 star centrally located hotels, we find hidden treasures within Europe’s most awe-inspiring cities and we pride ourselves on personalized service so guests have the most magical journey. It’s important these values align with our partners.”Silversea Cruises has a long-standing record as a leader in the luxury cruising market. Silversea ships are small and intimate with spacious accommodations. Its suites offer one of the highest space-per-guest ratios of any luxury cruise accommodations. All suites feature ocean views, many with a private teak veranda. Irrespective of the ship or suite, every guest is pampered by the personalized services of a butler and every cruise is fully inclusive. “It’s this level of service and offering that drew us to Silversea because we know our guests are discerning and Silversea’s commitment to excellence is unrivalled.”Cathy Tees, Head of Field Sales & National Accounts at Silversea Australia elaborates – “Ormina Tours is a logical partner. Both brands focus on luxury and personalized service and this announcement provide guests with unique and interesting land extensions pre or post our exciting Mediterranean cruising calendar in 2016. Also as both companies are family owned with Italian routes, there is a common language of warm and generous Italian hospitality.” Source = Ormina Tours – Silversea
Ethiopian Airlines Group is Inaugurating its new Aviation AcademyIn line with its vision 2025 strategic road map, Ethiopian Airlines Group has invested USD 100 million in breakthrough expansion and upgrading its Aviation Academy. The scale and scope of the expansion seals the Academy’s position as the largest and the finest Aviation Academy in Africa with annual intake capacity of 4,000 students.The new Ethiopian Aviation Academy has many class room buildings. The Technical block is housing the Pilot Training School and the Aviation Maintenance Training School; while the Commercial and Leadership block accommodates the Inflight Services Training School, Commercial and Ground Services School and Leadership School. It also has separate Administration building, workshops, auditorium, students’ dormitory and large cafeteria. As an ATO (Authorized Training Organization), the B-777, B-787, B- 737, B-767/757 and the Q-400 full flight simulators which enables the academy to offer full type rating trainings for pilots.Currently, the academy has the best aviation training technology like full range of fleet cabin emergency, evacuation and door trainers fitted with standard swimming pool for cabin crew ditching exercises and more than 20 pilot training aircraft, the finest expertise, dedicated and experienced instructors and a perfect environment forstudents.Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian said, “Education is the greatest equalizer in today’s global village. We are proud to be in a position to avail the latest and next generation aviation technology training machines and facilities where we can train the continent’s youth and prepare them for the 21st century African Aviationdevelopment. The Ethiopian Aviation Academy is positioning itself to be the catalyst leader in aviation training technology in supporting the African Union to realize its vision 2063.”Ethiopian Airlines, the largest and most profitable airline in Africa, is continuously expanding rapidly in the development of most departments. The New Cargo Terminal, expected to be operational towards the end of 2016.Source = Ethiopian Airlines
TAT extends its thanks for the confidence in ThailandTAT extends its thanks for the confidence in Thailand Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Governor, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn has extended a warm word of thanks and gratitude to the thousands of tourists who maintained their confidence in visiting Thailand in the aftermath of the 11-12 August incidents in the Southern parts of the country.He also thanked the entire Thai private sector for their show of unity in the face of adversity. “We would like to thank everyone in the tourism sector who is contributed to the revival of Thailand’s tourism. This includes the tourists world-wide who still keep coming to our destinations as well as both the private and governmental sectors who have unitedly given their hands in restoring the situation back to normal in a short time.”Visitor arrival statistics in the immediate aftermath of the attacks in various parts of Thailand indicated just a small percentage drop, which lasted exactly a week. As of 19 August, arrivals began increasing again. It is expected that the arrivals will fluctuate over the next few days but return to steady growth by September. TAT is optimistic that the projected arrivals of 33 million visitors this year can be met.Among some of the high-profile visits and events that have proceeded normally are:A Phuket call by the Pacific Eden cruise ship, with 1,343 passengers and 620 crew members. Phuket was one of the major destinations of Pacific Eden’s one-month inaugural sailing in Asia.The Travel Managers Conference from Australia, comprising 230 participants to join the team-building, and workshop activities during 19-21 August, 2016, at the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong in Bangkok.Among Japanese travellers, several pre-booked school tours from Japan have gone ahead as planned with organisers expressing full confidence in the safety and security of the kingdom.Mr. Yuthasak credited several factors for this minimal impact, but cited the positive force of social media as playing a large role.“It is clear that visitors no longer just rely on mainstream news delivered via TV and print for their information. Social media networks can also be used effectively to provide accurate and updated news,” he added.“We did this well via our in-house crisis management channels at TAT. I am happy to report that our private sector, which has a very high stake in warding off cancellations, also did a good job. The thousands of visitors who were in Thailand at the time were also able to make use of their own social media channels to communicate the all-clear.”He noted that all the various recovery campaigns (read more here: Thailand formulating strategies to boost industry and tourist confidence after recent incidents) would remain in place, especially those targeted at women visitors in this month marking the auspicious 84th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.“We look forward to communicating a strong business-as-usual message at all the international travel trade events over the course of the rest of the year. And once more, we thank all our visitors, security agencies and the private sector for their support and confidence in Thailand.”Find out events and festivals on September 2016 HERE Fly THAI Amazing Thailand
The Langham, Auckland has been acknowledged as the Best New Zealand Hotel of 2016The Langham, Auckland has been acknowledged as the Best New Zealand Hotel of 2016 at the HM AwardsThe glittering awards dinner that took place at the Town Hall in Sydney last week, recognised the accommodation industry’s finest staff, properties, brands and chains across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.The Langham Auckland provides timeless style that balances European heritage with elements of New Zealand’s natural beauty. As one of New Zealand’s largest hotels, it embodies a celebration of classic luxury and quiet comfort, offering 409 spacious rooms and suites.Managing Director Franz Mascarenhas is delighted the luxury hotel has been acknowledged as the leader in New Zealand tourism, by the prestigious awards for a second time, having also won this award in 2013.“In addition to our luxurious facilities, the award is a testament to the individual effort every one of our over 400 staff contribute to exceeding our guest’s expectations and creating great memories.” says Mr Mascarenhas.Mascarenhas also received a Highly Commended acknowledgment in the New Zealand General Manager category.The Langham, Auckland is also New Zealand’s leading environmental hotel, having won The New Zealand Tourism Industry Award for Environmental Initiative for 2015 and 2016. The hotel, which has EarthCheck certification standards ‘Gold’ status for the last 5 years, is set to achieve the prestigious EarthCheck Platinum level of certification on successful completion of an audit later this year.Staff at The Langham, Auckland not only provide a high level of quality guest service at the hotel but also contribute to a Volunteer Activity Programme which allows colleagues to volunteer their time, expertise and efforts in the local community, by assisting with community partners such as Ronald McDonald House, Garden to Table, Make a Wish Foundation and Eat My Lunch.Mascarenhas adds “In these times when life can often seem so busy, we are proud to be recognised for our contribution to the community and the luxurious oasis of calm we provide to every guest we welcome through our doors”. Source = The Langham Auckland
Source = Next Story Group Next Story Group enters Vietnam with Kafnu BrandNext Story Group enters Vietnam with Kafnu BrandInternational hospitality company Next Story Group marks the opening of Kafnu Ho Chi Minh City in the heart of one of Asia’s top emerging markets. Kafnu Ho Chi Minh City is the fifth Kafnu property to open globally, following launches in Taipei, Bengaluru, and most recently in Alexandria – Sydney, since the brand’s debut in Hong Kong in late 2017.Kafnu Ho Chi Minh City is an 8-storey building located in Saigon Pearl. It is minutes from District 1 and 2, and a 30-minute drive from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Vietnam’s largest airport. Members enjoy round the clock access and their productivity is assured with a range of work spaces including hot desks and private offices, high-speed internet, a soundproof phone booth, and five meeting rooms with video conferencing capabilities.Spanning 2,440 sqm, Kafnu Ho Chi Minh City also has a multi-screened 180 sqm event space where members can host product launches, workshops, and other events for up to 150 guests. There are also eight en-suite hotel rooms that ensure members from out of town get a good night’s rest and wake up to views of the city skyline. Members can also keep fit at the Virtual Fitness Studio which offers over 1,500 classes, socialize at Habitat Cocktail Bar, and enjoy modern Asian cuisine at Soy Restaurant.“We are excited to be part of Vietnam’s growth story,” said Chris Edwards, General Manager of Kafnu Ho Chi Minh City. “We aim to be a catalyst for success to the entrepreneurs and creative trailblazers who choose to build their enterprises, brands and personal networks in the vibrant economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City. To support their endeavours, we are cultivating a warm, welcoming community of like-minded change-makers, delivering targeted programming, and providing unique opportunities for discovery, connection, and growth.”Named after a hamlet, Himachal Pradesh, in northern India where climbers regroup before summiting the Himalayan peak, the Kafnu brand that offers the best of a shared work space, boutique hotel and social community. Kafnu properties are strategically-located and designed to foster co-creation, co-exploration and co-innovation. Kafnu aims to elevate the individual and collective potential of its members, who include creators and business owners, and to support them in their journey to success by providing the ideal environment for them to work, rest and socialise.Kafnu also offers bespoke member event and curated workshops tailored to the needs of its community, providing access to resources, capabilities, and people that inspire success. Kafnu members enjoy access to all Kafnu properties worldwide, which means that they can stay connected to the Kafnu community, wherever their work and inspiration may take them.Kafnu members will have access to other Kafnu properties around Asia Pacific so that they have a base to stay, work and connect with the local community. Currently, there are five operating Kafnu spaces in Hong Kong, Taipei, Bengaluru and Sydney. Kafnu Hong Kong was the first Kafnu space to launch, designed to incorporate the latest biophilic and stimulating design principles into the space, with a hint of local flavour in the artwork. Kafnu Taipei is designed as 12-floor vertical village with diverse zones catering to a creator’s needs, which encompasses the element of Live, Work, Play, Learn and Rest. Kafnu Alexandria, located next to the iconic The Grounds of Alexandria, is within one of Sydney’s thriving creative and industrial hubs while Kafnu Bengaluru on Residency Road’s central location is the perfect spot for like-minded individuals to meet professionally and socially. Kafnu Colombo as part of Next Hotel Colombo located in Colombo City Centre is scheduled to open at the end of 2019.About Next Story GroupNext Story Group creates and transforms urban spaces into thriving communities by harnessing the power of human imagination and innovation. The group currently owns, manages and franchises 37 hotels and resorts in Australia, Laos and Thailand, bearing its brands including Next Hotels, Sage Hotels and LinQ Hotels. It also manages five Kafnu spaces, in Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney, Bengaluru, Taipei and Hong Kong.For more information: www.nextstory.com
Take a tour of the city where they say dreams come true. In a single, you get to meet a hot dog vendor who works at Yankee Stadium, visit the subterranean world that keeps the city cool and go onstage with one of Broadway’s newest sensations.Source: BBC
Blue Square Consultants have been appointed as the Sales and Marketing Representative for Australia’s inbound travel management operator – Australia and Beyond Holidays (AABH). The company provides global solutions to Indian travel agents from both Destination Management Company (DMC) and Free Independent Traveller (FIT) point of view. Through its online Agora booking system, AABH offers thousands of land products and hotels worldwide, many with allocations. It also has a wide range of tailored itineraries that allows Indian travellers to experience Australia’s vast and varied landscape.India continues to be an important source market for Australia, with the growth of over 15% in arrivals over the last year and a 30% increase in travel spendings. The Indian market spends on an average 13 nights in Australia allowing the company to develop itineraries to inspire more visitors from India, said Simon Bernardi, Director, AABH. “Blue Square Consultants is the apt partner to have in India because of their highly professional team and their undisputed knowledge of the travel trade in India,” added Bernardi.Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, added, “We are confident that our association will not only be beneficial for AABH but also for Australia as a destination.”AABH was established by Simon Bernardi, Former Head of Qantas Holidays and Tour East Australia.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation recently announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a management agreement with Little Projects for a Hyatt Centric hotel in Melbourne, Australia. Hyatt Centric Melbourne will be addressed at Downie Street. The hotel will also join 20 Hyatt Centric brand hotels worldwide and soon-to-open hotels in Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru.Located minutes from the city’s Docklands and Southbank precincts, home to key entertainment and sporting venues, guests will also be in close proximity to the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Center and the Crown Entertainment Complex. The expansions and continued development of the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Center, Etihad Stadium, and the Docklands office precincts are expected to further attract local and international travellers alike.“We are thrilled to work with Little Projects, a respected developer in Melbourne that shares our vision of authenticity and creativity, to bring the Hyatt Centric brand to Australia for the second time,” said David Udell, President, Asia Pacific Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation.The property is expected to be operational by 2020, with 280 guestrooms and suites, a restaurant infused with locally inspired fare and a rooftop bar fit for the celebration, featuring handcrafted signature cocktails and spectacular views of Melbourne’s Yarra River and Southbank.Expecting a strong growth for the Hyatt Centric brand, the new Hyatt Centric Melbourne follows the recent announcement of plans for Hyatt Centric Hobart, Australia and the opening of Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo earlier this year. The hotel will further enhance Hyatt’s brand presence in Australia’s second-most populous city as a great addition to Park Hyatt Melbourne, Grand Hyatt Melbourne, and Hyatt Place Essendon Fields.
Share Mortgage rates slammed into a new, record-setting low Thursday, with mortgage giant “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ reporting that figures for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell below 4 percent for the first time in history. Finance Web site “”Bankrate.com””:http://www.bankrate.com/ noted a similarly record-smashing low for the loan.[IMAGE]Freddie and Bankrate.com released weekly surveys to yield the results for this week.Making the biggest waves, the GSE found the 30-year loan dropping on average to 3.94 percent nationally, down from 4.01 percent last week and 4.27 percent over the same time last year. This marks the first time that Freddie saw the benchmark mortgage hitting lows below 4 percent.Bankrate.com also a reported a new record, seeing the 30-year loan fall only to 4.21 percent, down from 4.30 percent last week. The Finance Web site saw a slide in 15-year fixed-rate mortgages from 3.47 percent last week to 3.46 percent this week, with 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) hitting a 3.11-percent stride, inching below 3.13 over the same period.[COLUMN_BREAK]Freddie departed from the findings by again seeing record lows for the 15-year loan, with interest rates falling to 3.26 percent this week from 3.28 percent last week. The GSE recorded a 2.96-percent average for the 5-year ARM, a few percentage points down from 3.02 percent last week, and a 2.95-percent average for the 1-year ARM this week, down from 2.83 percent last week.Speaking with _MReport_, “”Frank Nothaft””:http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, VP and chief economist with Freddie, cites action from the “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ and investors fleeing euro zone markets as dual forces contributing to “”incredibly low”” mortgage rates.He specifically highlights the $400-billion buy-up in short-term Treasury debt by the Federal Reserve and doubts about whether bigger euro zone economies will bail out their faltering neighbors.Asked whether record lows for the benchmark 30-year will help stimulate demand, he says that it helps but that low consumer confidence, fears about a double-dip recession, and a wait-and-see approach to still-falling home prices keep first-time homebuyers on the sidelines.””There’s not strong demand for credit in the housing market and that’s tending to keep a lid on borrowing costs,”” “”Sal Guatieri””:http://www.bmonesbittburns.com/economics/profiles/sguatieri/, a senior economist with “”BMO Capital Markets””:http://www.bmocm.com/, tells _MReport_. He faults job security and tight credit supply for the slow tread among consumers, and says low mortgage rates “”will inspire some first-time buyers to enter the market and repeat buyers to buy a bigger house, but we need to see stronger job growth and some easing in lending standards, and some work on the parts of households in paring down their debts.””When will mortgage rates rise again? According to Nothaft, consumers and market watchers should expect to “”see long-term yields remain extraordinarily low for the next few weeks and months,”” with interest rates for loans staying below 5 percent for the remainder of the year into 2012. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Bankrate Federal Reserve First-Time Homebuyers Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac Home Prices Home Sales Housing Affordability Investment Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2011-10-06 Ryan Schuette October 6, 2011 456 Views in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Mortgage Rates Drop Below 4% for First Time
Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-04-03 Tory Barringer Capital Bank Duo Ranked Among Nation’s Top Originators April 3, 2013 412 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing “”Capital Bank””:http://www.capitalbankmd.com/ congratulated two of its rising stars Tuesday for their rankings as _Scotsman Guide_ 2012 Top Originators.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]The 2012 list marks the second appearance of Brad Cohen and Brian Blonder in the ranks of top originators. Cohen took the No. 8 spot in Top Dollar Volume, closing 758 loans totaling more than $279 million. Blonder ranked No. 12 with 769 loans totaling more than $256 million.Additionally, Blonder ranked seventh in Federal Housing Administration-backed (FHA) loans, and both Cohen and Blonder ranked Nos. 5 and 6 (respectively) in Refinance Volume.The two originators were ranked among entries from nearly 1,500 mortgage professionals across the country. To be eligible for initial consideration, originators must have had at least $30 million in loan volume or 100 closed home loans for the 2012 calendar year.””The success of Brad and Brian is a direct reflection of their approach to customer service,”” said Scot Browning, president of Maryland-based Capital Bank. “”Their top rankings demonstrate the commitment they bring to providing the highest level of service to our customers and we couldn’t be happier to have them on our team.””
March 21, 2014 489 Views in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination Fannie Mae Forecast GDP Housing Starts Refinance 2014-03-21 Krista Franks Brock Following a slowdown in activity over the previous two quarters, Fannie Mae’sEconomic & Strategic Research Group expects economic activity to pick up in the second quarter of this year, bolstered by increases in the housing sector, consumer spending, and business investment.Fannie Mae expects economic growth in the first quarter to come in around 2.0 percent, but thereafter, the economy should pick up. Economic growth for the year is expected at 2.7 percent, according to Fannie Mae.The housing market is expected to show a relatively strong performance, according to Fannie Mae’s chief economist, Doug Duncan, with housing starts increasing almost 20 percent to 1.1 million over the year.As foreclosure inventory declines, new home sales will pick up, Duncan said.Overall, “we continue to anticipate that the rise in house prices and mortgage rates will take a toll on home sales and homebuilding activity this year, although some modest gains are expected overall,” Duncan said.Fannie Mae anticipates a continued rise in mortgage rates over the year, with the 30-year fixed-rate ending the year at 4.6 percent.The median price for a new home in the first quarter should come to about $281,000, according to Fannie Mae’s outlook, while the median price for an existing home will be about $191,000.Mortgage originations will pick up in the second and third quarters of this year and then dip again in the fourth quarter, while the refinance share of the originations market will decline over the first three quarters of this year and end the year at about 36 percent, according to Fannie Mae.Rising home prices are increasing household wealth, although consumers are “still rebuilding their wealth following the crisis and perhaps taking on a more conservative consumption pattern,” according to Duncan.On the other hand, “[f]iscal and monetary policy jitters appear to have waned and the most recent employment numbers came in at reasonable levels,” he stated. Share Sunny Days Ahead for Growth?
CoreLogic Home Sales International Homebuyers Texas Association of Realtors Texas Markets 2015-09-02 Staff Writer Source: Texas Association of RealtorsNothaft also noted that in a National Association of Realtors (NAR) report, the number of U.S. homebuyers who identified as international dropped to 2 percent during the first four months of 2015 from 2.5 percent a year earlier. This equaled a 19 percent decline. Approximately three-fourths of real estate agents who work with international clients said that foreign exchange rate changes have a moderate to very significant effect on foreign homebuying.According to the Texas International Homebuyers Report, for the first time, homebuyers from Latin America (including Mexico) did not occupy the majority of international homebuyers in Texas, making up only 41 percent of this group. Homebuyers from Asia/Oceania (including China) nearly doubled their share of 18 percent from April 2013-March 2014 to 31 percent from April 2014 to March 2015.Texas homebuying activity among European and African buyers doubled during the same time, rising from 9 percent to 15 percent and 4 percent to 8 percent from April 2014 to March 2015, respectively. Meanwhile, at the same time, Texas home sales from Canadian homebuyers decreased slightly from 5 percent to 4 percent.“The increasing diversity of homebuyers in Texas reinforces the importance for buyers to have a trusted advisor on their side to help them navigate the homebuying process,” Chairman Kesner said. “Texas Realtors with a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation are specifically trained to understand the unique language, qualification, and financing challenges international homebuyers sometimes face and can be instrumental in de-stressing the homebuying process for these families.”Click here to view the Texas Association of Realtors Report. Share International Homebuyers Move into U.S. Real Estate Markets in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News A recent Corelogic report found that foreign buyers are pulling back from the U.S. housing market, but this trend doesn’t seem to be influencing Texas markets.CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft found that in relation to the first few months of last year, home sales jumped 9 percent with the help of lower fixed mortgage rates by one-half percentage point, but foreign buyers did not help with this increase.The lack of foreign homebuyers is mostly due to the strengthening U.S. dollar against currencies used by many foreigners who buy homes in the U.S, Nothaft said.He added, “Between the first four months of 2014 and the same four months of 2015, the number of homes sold to foreign buyers drastically declined. Foreign purchases were down between one-quarter to one-third during this period for buyers whose currencies depreciated significantly relative to the U.S. dollar, even though domestic purchases rose.”However, the Texas Association of Realtors released their 2015 Texas International Homebuyers Report Wednesday, finding that international buyers have moved into Texas markets and have contributed $8.32 billion to the Texas economy between April 2014 and March 2015.International homebuyers purchased 4 percent of all U.S. home sales and accounted for 8 percent of total U.S. home sales dollar volume between April 2014 and March 2015. The home sales number decreased 10.15 percent during this period, but international home sales dollar volume rose 11.4 percent.The Texas Realtors also found that approximately 8 percent of home sales and $8.32 billion worth of this activity occurred in Texas, a 4 percent decrease from the same time frame last year. Texas is ranked third in the U.S. for total number of international home sales by state, while Florida (21 percent) and California (16 percent) hold the top two spots.“With more international homebuyers in Texas now originating from China, Europe, and Africa than Latin America and Mexico, Texas truly has a global reputation as a great place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “International homebuyers see Texas real estate as a strong investment, whether that be as an investment property, a vacation home, or a primary residence.” September 2, 2015 531 Views
Share December 6, 2018 701 Views Eye on the Industry: Updates on Ellie Mae, Genworth, and More … Alan Ferree Dan Madden Ellie Mae Gateway Mortgage Group Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp. Jonathan Corr valueinsured Vendorly 2018-12-06 Donna Joseph From new fintech features and leadership appointments to launch of platforms, feel the industry’s pulse in this weekly updateEllie Mae, a cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, announced that Dan Madden will join the organization as EVP and CFO on December 20, 2018. Madden will report to Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae’s President, and CEO.“Ellie Mae is leading the industry as we drive toward our mission of providing the true digital mortgage to lenders of all sizes,” Corr said. “Dan’s extensive financial, operational and strategic experience coupled with his knowledge of technology and SaaS businesses will be a huge asset to Ellie Mae as we continue to grow. We look forward to having Dan’s leadership and expertise on our team.”Most recently, Madden served as CFO for Revel Systems, a cloud-based POS platform, where he led the growing organization’s finance team. Prior to joining Revel, Madden was the CFO at Cepheid, a publicly traded leading molecular diagnostics company, and VP Finance & Corporate Controller at Symmetricom, where he led the company’s finance, accounting, and investor relations functions.________________________________________________________________Genworth Mortgage Insurance, an operating segment of Genworth Financial, Inc. has launched GenRATE, a proprietary risk-based pricing engine providing lenders with a more granular approach to pricing for borrowers pursuing the dream of homeownership. The company said that with the introduction of GenRATE, lenders can opt-in to this proprietary pricing solution or choose from Genworth’s standard published rate card.The new product is the result of market research and a thorough evaluation of customer needs, uncovering that certain segments of lenders have begun seeking more dynamic pricing solutions. GenRATE provides that solution, allowing Genworth to expand its value proposition to meet a broader range of customer needs.________________________________________________________________Oklahoma-based Gateway Mortgage Group has launched a new down payment protection program to protect homebuyers against unpredictable and unfavorable market changes. The new program is offered through ValueInsured and has been seamlessly integrated into most of Gateway’s mortgage loan products.“Gateway is always growing, innovating and seeking new ways to better support homeownership in the communities we serve around the country,” said Alan Ferree, President of Gateway. “This partnership with ValueInsured allows us to differentiate Gateway from other mortgage lenders while providing our customers with a unique option that offers some peace of mind and simply makes sense for certain markets or borrowers.”________________________________________________________________Vendorly, a vendor oversight platform for financial institutions, announced the launch of its Contract Management feature to enhance insights into contract terms, performance, and spend analysis within the vendor management solution. Contract Management is available as a new feature for existing customers using the VendorlyTM platform, or as an independent software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.In a Vendorly survey conducted earlier this year, 44 percent of banking and mortgage professionals surveyed said their organizations were responsible for managing at least 100 vendors. When asked how often their organizations monitor and assess vendor performance, 30 percent of respondents said annually. With the addition of the Contract Management feature, Vendorly makes it easier to gain valuable insights into contract terms, performance, and spend analysis of third-party vendors. Financial institutions can proactively manage key metadata within a contract and create action date triggers to automate reminders to help avoid missing renewal and other relevant dates and terms. in Daily Dose, Featured, News
“We’re thrilled to be a host and part of the CIOPORA Academy. IP protection for plant varieties is becoming ever more valuable in the global economy and we are excited to help educate people on this important topic,” said Dr. Travis W. Bliss, counsel and chair of Buchanan’s IP Biotechnology & Life Sciences group.The CIOPORA Academy is an ongoing, specialized training and certificate program for individuals seeking to expand their knowledge of Intellectual Property (IP) in the field of horticulture. The CIOPORA Academy events are held at different locations around the world and vary between one-day workshops to three-day seminars tailored to the needs of the green sector. Each event tackles topics surrounding IP for plant innovations and is led by world’s leading IP experts. With six workshops and over 100 learners from 17 countries so far, the CIOPORA Academy aspires to be a global reference program on IP for the green business. www.ciopora-academy.org.Speakers and topics:Sept 5, 2018Module 1: The triggering point of novelty in Plant PatentsChristian A. Hannon, J.D., USPTO August 22 , 2018 Trademarks for Plant Products: International Registration and Trademark Strategies in Multiple JurisdictionsLaura K. Pitts, J.D., Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Afternoon program – tour of the USPTO Facilities and meeting with Supervisory Patent Examiners (Alexandria, Va) PRESS RELEASEHamburg/Washington, D.C. – CIOPORA Academy is partnering with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney to bring the next workshop in its series to Washington, D.C. The workshop will provide participants with a 360-degree perspective on the available IP instruments for plant innovators and, for the first time since the launch of the program, will raise the bar from the Competence to Advanced level, which means contents on IP strategy with increased complexity.CIOPORA Secretary General Dr Edgar Krieger said, “We have created the CIOPORA Academy to help plant breeders protect the results of their work and guarantee for sufficient return on their R&D investments. The Washington, D.C. workshop will revolve around the strategic IP portfolio management outlining multiple legal tools, within and without the IP protection systems, that can help innovative plant breeders secure their proprietary rights.”The 1.5-day workshop hosted at the Washington D.C. offices of CIOPORA member Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney will encompass lectures on both domestic and foreign IP protection regimes, touching upon the U.S. plant patents and utility patents, Plant Breeders Rights, the IP systems beyond the PVR such as trademarks (strategies in multiple jurisdictions) and trade secrets, as well as topics going beyond the sole IP including Competition law (in the US) and (national and international) taxation of royalties. The speaker lineup includes leading experts on IP for plant innovations, including lawyers from Buchanan, Baker McKenzie (US), DíazWiechers (Chile), The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In addition to the lectures, participants will visit the USPTO facilities in Alexandria, Va, attend a meeting with the Supervisory Patent Examiners and take a tour of the Public Search Facility and the National Inventors Hall of Fame on September 6. Plant IP and royalty taxation in a changing landscapeJames Wilson and Alexandra Minkovich, J.D., Baker McKenzie LLP Sept 6, 2018: IP Protection for Plants: Beyond the PVRJessica Greenwald, Ph.D., J.D., Baker McKenzie LLP General Scope of Plant Variety Protection and enforcement tools in ChileJuan Alberto Díaz Wiechers, DíazWiechers S.A. You might also be interested in IP Rights and Competition law in the USATravis Bliss, Ph.D., Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC UPOV PRISMA PBR Application Tool: The BasicsBenjamin Rivoire, UPOV
A team of six partners from New Zealand met with over 500 delegates at the 12th Associations Forum National Conference last week at Sydney’s ICC, the 7th year NZ has taken part in the AFNC.Represented across the two day conference were:Auckland Museum – Tamaki Paenga HiraChristchurch & Canterbury Convention BureauConventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ)Destination Rotorua Business EventsHobbiton™ Movie SetThe Langham AucklandSkyline QueenstownTourism New Zealand“With true Kiwi Manaakitanga (hospitality), we had a constant flow of Antipodes New Zealand Artesian water available to refresh delegates throughout the conference, as well as a special Cloudy Bay wine event on day two,” saidConventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Australia Manager Sharon Auld.The NZ team was on hand to outline the support available to associations for their business events, big and small, and Auld said there was particular interest in Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme which provides the opportunity for applicants to secure marketing support. New Zealandtrade event
Mobile Travel Agents Members Rosemary Metcalf, Pauline Haldane, David Fraser, Jodi Dalton and Deb Duncan cruised Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake, one of the country’s top tourist attractions, on a recent study tour with Mandarin World Tours and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.Based on a full south to north tour of the island, highlights of the Members’ itinerary included visits to Kaohsiung and the nearby, world-famous Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery, culturally-rich Tainan, Hualien and Sun Moon Lake before ending the program with a full sightseeing tour of the capital Taipei. Mandarin World ToursMTA. Taiwan Tourism Bureau
Bunnik ToursCentral AmericaSouth Americaspecials Clients can save up to $1000 per person on a range of Bunnik Tours’ popular South and Central America Small Group Tours in Bunnik’s last minute sale, with bookings by 12 July 2018. Save $1000 per person on the 30-day South America In-Style deluxe tour for November 2018 to April 2019 departures. Among the tours offering savings of $600 per person are the 28-day Peru & Ecuador Discovery, the 28-day Cuba, Peru & the Galapagos and the 36-day South American Discovery Small Group Tours, just to name a few. To secure these savings, your clients will need to book and pay the applicable deposit and airfare payments by Thursday 12 July 2018.Bunnik Tours has a maximum group size of just 20 passengers in South and Central America and all prices include flights. IMAGE: Bunnik Tours/Guatapé Colombia
D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments Share Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation The Arizona Cardinals, in 2010, ran the football less than anyone in the NFL, gaining the fewest yards out of all 32 teams.Expect that to change in 2011.According to tight end Jeff King, who signed with Arizona in the off-season, one of the reasons he chose the Cardinals was because of the style of football the team wants to play.“They want to run the football, they want to use multiple tight ends, I think that fits what I do best,” King told Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf. “I’ve been happy with my decision thus far.” What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo TEMPE, Ariz. — The more things change, the more they stay the same.Such is Carson Palmer’s rehabilitation process.Palmer, who has missed the last two games with a nerve injury in his throwing shoulder, was excused from practice Wednesday so he could go see another specialist. At this point, more than three weeks since the injury occurred, he said it was more of a visit to make sure every stone is turned over, to make sure nothing has been missed now that the injury regressed over the bye week. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Comments Share “Same feedback,” he said. “No structural damage to the shoulder, no surgery, it’s not career-ending, it’s not season-ending. Nothing like that. “So that was all positive and just going to continue to do the rehab I’ve been doing with our guys and we’re very confident that this thing will wake back up and come back.”That it is at this point — now — is a disappointment to Palmer, who last week was able to throw the football upwards of 40 yards and felt confident he would be ready for Sunday’s tilt with the Denver Broncos. But even though he wasn’t throwing with a delivery anywhere near his full speed, he said it must have “frustrated the nerve.”
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