First guests check into Sandals Royal Caribbeans OvertheWater Bungalows

first_img Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by First guests check into Sandals Royal Caribbean’s Over-the-Water Bungalowscenter_img MONTEGO BAY — The first guests of Sandals Royal Caribbean’s new Over-the-Water Bungalows arrived this past weekend, marking the grand debut of Sandals Resorts’ latest luxury innovation.Following the huge success of the resort’s five Over-the-Water Villas in December 2016, the 12 new Over-the-Water Bungalows opened on March 4 on the shores of Montego Bay. Ultra-luxe details include glass vision floor panels and lit water for optimal night viewing, private outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tubs for two and overwater hammocks.Every bungalow boasts hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, custom crafted king-size beds, a smart TV and bathrooms with his and hers sinks and walk-in rain shower. Outside, each private patio is equipped with an extended sun deck, outdoor shower, sun loungers and a bistro set for two.Other selling features include 24/7 butler service, exclusive in-room dining and direct resort access via a ‘Royal Duffy’ luxury boat. Bungalow guests also enjoy personal airport greeting with expedited immigration, private luxury resort transfers, welcome gift, free Wi-Fi and more. Monday, March 6, 2017 Tags: Luxury Travel, Sandals Resortslast_img read more

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Did you hear Air Canada has new service to Kauai available to

first_img Posted by MONTREAL — Earlier this month, Air Canada announced new service to Kauai with its new mainline Boeing 737 MAX-8 fleet this winter. The airline will also double the frequency of flights from Western Canada to Hawaii, and all flights from Western Canada to Honolulu, Maui and Kona will feature its new 737 MAX aircraft.All 737 MAX flights are currently available for purchase. In total, Air Canada will fly 41 weekly flights next winter to Hawaii.“Air Canada is elevating its service to Maui and the island of Hawaii and this is great news for travelers in western Canada who love escaping to two of the most spectacular settings on the planet,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “More flights, more seats, and new aircraft with top-of-the-line comforts and amenities will enhance the enjoyment of relaxing on beautiful Maui and the majestic island of Hawaii. Plus, the new seasonal service to serene Kauai will give travelers another enticing option to enjoy Hawaii’s warmth during winter. We thank Air Canada for their continued investment of confidence in the Hawaiian Islands.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upAir Canada has configured its 737 MAX with two cabins of service: North American Business and Economy. Features of the new aircraft include:Premium comfort and ambiance with improved seats and innovative LED mood lighting along the ceilingAn upgraded in-flight entertainment system with a new 15-language user interfaceComing soon, passengers will be able to stream video and audio to their own devicesFaster Wi-Fi due to antennas with the highest bandwidth available in the industry, to be available in 2018Upgraded overhead storage space compartments offer additional spaceThe latest quiet engine technology for up to 40% less noiseThe 737 MAX uses 20% less fuel per seat than the original Next-Generation 737Air Canada has 61 firm orders for the 737 MAX. They are to be delivered by 2021, with 18 due to enter the fleet by the end of 2018. << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img Tags: Air Canada, Hawaii, New Routes Did you hear? Air Canada has new service to Kauai, available to book now Tuesday, March 27, 2018 last_img read more

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Up for an adventure Register now for Intrepid Groups 4 new fams

first_imgUp for an adventure? Register now for Intrepid Group’s 4 new fams Travelweek Group Wednesday, January 30, 2019 Posted by TORONTO — Agents can now apply for The Intrepid Group’s four travel agent fam trips in 2019, to Mexico, Kenya, Indonesia and Nepal.The first trip, Intrepid Travel’s Mexico Real Food Adventure, departs June 9, followed by Peregrine Adventures’ Indonesian Island Cruise departing July 28.Next up is Intrepid’s Kenya Wildlife Safari departing Oct. 6.The Nepal fam is being offered as part of the Group’s new three-month ‘Purpose Driven Agent Incentive in the Americas’ campaign, which rewards agents for “selling, leading and travelling with purpose”. Running from Feb. 1-April 30, the campaign awards agents with one Purpose Point for every client booked on one of Intrepid Group’s 2,700 sustainable tours through the brands Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures and Urban Adventures.Tengboche MonasteryThe top 30 agents will receive monthly prizes focused on Intrepid’s sustainable travel experiences around the world. At the end of the three months, the top 10 agents who accumulate the most Purpose Points will win a free trip to Nepal, led by Intrepid Group’s Co-Founder Geoff Manchester and Shayna Zanad, the company’s head of business development for the Americas. The trip will depart Nov. 3, 2019 and include hiking and a cooking class with ‘Seven Women’, a social enterprise that benefits 1,000 disadvantaged women in Nepal.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochure“We want travel agents to experience Intrepid Group’s diverse range of product – whether wildlife, cruise, food or community-based tourism – not only so they better understand the experiences offered on each trip, but so they can visit a new destination in a sustainable, experience-rich way,” says Zand. “We’re incredibly excited to change the way our travel agents see the world, helping them realize their travel dreams this year with four completely different adventures, on different continents.”NepalZand also noted that sustainable tourism is exceeding expectation, thanks in large part to the hard work of travel agents.“Last year, industry growth exceeded our already-high projections, growing by 46% in a year, proving that North American travel agents and customers are becoming savvier about sustainable tourism and seek out companies who show real commitment to being a responsible business and a force for good.”The fam trips are open to registered travel agents in The Americas. To apply, agents must apply and attend the mandatory webinar that is linked to the fam trip of choice.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoFollowing the webinar, travel agents must fill out the required post-webinar quiz and follow Intrepid Group Insiders on Facebook. Other terms and conditions apply.For more information, visit: http://incentive.intrepidgroup.travel/FAMS2019For more information on the Nepal Purpose-Driven Agent Incentive fam, go to http://incentive.intrepidgroup.travel/Purpose. Tags: FAMs, Intrepid Group, Nepal << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Mandatory car insurance for tourists now can be paid online

first_imgNo related posts. Starting this week, tourists or travelers needing to enter the country in their own vehicles can pay for auto insurance online.The National Insurance Institute (INS) created a new section on its website (www.ins-cr.com) called “Póliza Turista,” where motorists can upload vehicle information in order to calculate costs, and then pay for it online using a credit or debit card. Once online payment is made, users print a receipt that they should keep as proof of payment.When arriving in the country the receipt must be presented to Customs officials who will grant a certificate of permission for the vehicle to circulate in the country.Article 60 of the country’s Traffic Law, which entered into force last year, states that “owners or drivers of foreign-registered vehicles must sign and maintain in force mandatory car insurance while the vehicle remains in the country.”In case of an accident, the insurance provides access to medical care, payments for temporary and permanent disability as well as life insurance.Drivers caught without the mandatory auto insurance can face fines up to ₡47,000 ($94) and have their license plates confiscated.The website is available only in Spanish, but those needing information in English can call a toll-free number, 800-83-53-467, or send an email to: polizaturista@ins-cr.com. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Avianca and regional tourism ministries want you to Discover Central America with

first_imgAvianca Airlines is now offering discounted rates on round-trip airfare in the region starting at $249, including taxes.  The promotion, which also includes deals on travel packages within Central American destinations, is part of a program called “Discovering Central America,” and it runs through May 15.The tourism ministries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, along with Avianca, invested approximately $225,000 in advertising and special rates. Travel must take place between May 1 and June 20.Avianca’s commercial director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Danilo Correa, made the announcement this week alongside Viviana Rudin, chief of promotion and marketing at the Costa Rican Tourism Board, and Isabel Vargas, president of National Chamber of Tourism.“We want to encourage the flow of travelers, both in short and long terms, and create more public awareness of the great options for sightseeing in our region,” Correa said at a press conference.Part of the advertising budget goes to print ads published in the region that highlight the special characteristics of each country depending on the interests of the target audience. According to Rudín, Costa Ricans will see promotions focused primarily on El Salvador and Guatemala.The website www.descubriendocentroamerica.com and Facebook page Descubriendo Centroamérica are part of the campaign.“These actions of increasing the flow of tourists in the area will help boost our industry. In the case of Costa Rica, Central American tourism makes up 6 percent of total revenues reported by the country via air per year,” Vargas said.Travel agents in the region will offer vacation packages that include airfare, lodging, tours, ground transportation and more.This is the third year the promotion is being offered in partnership with Avianca, formerly TACA airlines.Belize will not participate due to a lack of budget. Facebook Comments Related posts:Making the invisible, visible: In Nicaragua, women journalists call for equality World Bank offers encouraging prognosis for Central America in 2015 Guatemala to eliminate customs duties with Honduras Guatemala-Honduras customs union first step in regional development planlast_img read more

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When will violence against women stop

first_imgToday is the International Day Against Violence Toward Women.Exactly one month ago, on Oct. 25, another Costa Rican woman was killed at the hands of her companion. A young mother, with young children. Another lost life.She is the fifteenth woman this year in Costa Rica to be killed by her partner, husband or compañero sentimental. These women were victims of jealousy, anger and misogyny. Of course, not all victims of spousal aggression die. According to the National Women’s Institute (INAMU), calls to 911 for domestic violence average 10 per day. When feelings run high, so does violence toward women: The 2014 FIFA World Cup brought excitement to Costa Rica, and also more aggression. INAMU received over one thousand calls for help during the tournament. Statistics show that femicide numbers are down from previous years overall, but the crime continues to be prevalent.Women are victims because they are valued less than men from birth on. In many parts of the world, sons carry on the family name; in too many places, sons are also the offspring who bring honor to the family, and go out into the world to work. Women’s roles rate less status. In the workplace, they receive less pay and advancement than men in the same roles, and are excluded from certain positions because they are  not considered capable. In the media and in advertising, women’s bodies are used to sell, with breasts and legs pictured to sell beer as well as other products.  In sports, men dominate; women athletes are seen as threatening. Older women are seen as worthless, a burden in the social order. All of this makes it easier for certain men to use degradation, insults, name-calling, and isolation to keep women feeling helpless.On the international scene, crimes against women, rape and sexual assaults go unpunished; women are blamed as provocateurs, and are killed for the honor of the family. They are hidden away or covered up for the sake of modesty. In Nigeria, 250 girls were abducted in April and disappeared. With all the resources in the world they have never been found, never been rescued. In times of war women and girls are booty, the spoils of the conquest. Some churches exclude women from decision-making, even over their own bodies. Militarism glorifies the image of the robust warrior facing danger to protect the small, the weak, the women. Most any international forum is dominated by men.A lot must change in our world, in our communities and in our minds if we want to put a stop to violence toward women. Women are more than half the world’s population. Women add to the gross national product in every country of the world. Women are as capable as men as workers and thinkers and producers. Women are not the “weaker” sex. Women come in all shapes and colors and cultures and each is valuable as a partner in this world. Let’s show it and put an end to violence toward women.Olive Branch is the collective name for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Costa Rican section.  WILPF was founded in the Hague in 1915 to promote peace and human rights, and continues to this day in countries around the world.  Contact the organization at peacewomen@gmail.com.  Facebook Comments Related posts:Violence against women in the age of new technology Global anti-violence campaign dances through San José Why we need International Women’s Day Costa Rica launches plan to curb violence against womenlast_img read more

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Stateowned oil refinery forced to return improperly spent funds through new cut

first_imgThe Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) on Wednesday ordered the state-owned Costa Rican Oil Refinery (RECOPE) to lower fuel prices in order to return to the public ₡1,109 million ($2 million) spent improperly per the results of an audit.The investigation was conducted in late 2014 at the request of lawmakers from the Legislative Commission on Public Spending and Income Control.The irregularities correspond to expenses reported by RECOPE during the expansion and modernization project of a refinery in the Caribbean port of Limón, which is being carried out in partnership with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).The expenses, including salaries, airline tickets, travel expenses and professional services, were filed by RECOPE in one of its requests to ARESEP to raise fuel prices.Lawmakers said those expenses should have been absorbed by CNPC, not charged to Costa Ricans at gas pumps.In its audit, ARESEP concluded that the expenses “should never have been financed using RECOPE’s funds.”ARESEP’s energy office proposed that RECOPE return the funds to the public by reducing fuel prices between ₡4.5 and ₡5 (some $0.01) per liter.The reduction will likely come in July.Last week ARESEP approved a price reduction ranging from ₡1 to ₡5 per liter, which will take effect on Friday. Facebook Comments Related posts:Gas prices could rise in Costa Rica following request from state oil refinery Gas prices to drop in August Fuel prices in Costa Rica to decrease on Thursday Gas prices in Costa Rica to remain unchanged through 2015last_img read more

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Update NBA star Kobe Bryant vacations in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:LeBron James says he still has a lot to prove in his return to Cleveland Costa Rican sets milestone upon reaching summit of Yosemite National Park’s notorious El Capitán alone Warriors win, ending a 40-year gap that ranks as the longest in NBA history Costa Rica’s Circuito Guanacasteco de Surf: A new surf philosophy Updated at 5:50 p.m. Monday with Kobe Bryant’s whereabouts. Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant arrived in Costa Rica last week, according to the Immigration Administration.Bryant arrived at Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste, on June 18 for his second visit to Costa Rica. The basketball player last visited Ticolandia in September 2012. At this writing he had not yet left the country.Traveling with his wife, Vanessa Laine, and their two daughters, Bryant was spotted staying in a private bungalow at the luxurious Four Seasons Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo, according to the website everardoherrera.com. Later he traveled to La Fortuna, near the scenic Arenal Volcano, where he was photographed with a zip-lining harness.The Tico Times received a tip Monday afternoon that the Bryant family was staying at a beachside villa in Playa Langosta in Tamarindo, Guanacaste.The 36-year-old guard could soon have more time to enjoy Costa Rica’s beaches. The two-time Most Valuable Player may be preparing to retire after 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to comments from Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak in an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio in May.Bryant has played for the Lakers for his entire NBA career, but has been nagged by injuries in recent seasons and unable to display the form that made him a 17-time All-Star, two-time NBA scoring champion and two-time Olympic champion.As to his whereabouts or his activities here, the NBA star is keeping silent on social media. If you’ve spotted Kobe, send an email or photos to reporter Zach Dyer at: zdyer@ticotimes.net.AFP contributed to this report. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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The Untouchables Asian wildlife traffickers

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project It’s a murky mix. A 10-fold increase in wildlife law enforcement actions, including seizures, has been reported in the past six years in Southeast Asia. Yet, the trade’s Mr.Bigs, masterful in taking advantage of pervasive corruption, appear immune to arrest and continue to orchestrate the decimation of wildlife in Thailand, the region and beyond.And the region’s honest cops don’t have it easy.“It is very difficult for me. I have to sit among people who are both good and some who are corrupt, says Chanvut Vajrabukka, a retired police general. “If I say, `You have to go out and arrest that target,’ some in the room may well warn them,’” says Chanvut, who now advises ASEAN-WEN, the regional wildlife enforcement network.Several kingpins, says wildlife activist Steven Galster, have recently been confronted by authorities “but in the end, good uniforms are running into, and often stopped by bad uniforms. It’s like a bad Hollywood cop movie.”“Most high-level traffickers remain untouched and continue to replace arrested underlings with new ones,” says Galster, who works for the FREELAND Foundation, an anti-trafficking group. Check your body, save your life    In another not uncommon case, a former Thai police officer who tried to crack down on traders at Bangkok’s vast Chatuchak Market got a visit from a senior police general who told him to “chill it or get removed.”“I admit that in many cases, I cannot move against the big guys,” Chanvut, the retired general, notes. “The syndicates like all organized crime are built like a pyramid. We can capture the small guys but at the top they have money, the best lawyers, protection. What are we going to do?”Chanvut’s problems are shared by others in Southeast Asia, the prime funnel for wildlife destined for the world’s no. 1 consumer — China where many animal parts are consumed in the belief they have medicinal or aphrodisiacal properties.Most recently, a torrent of rhino horn and elephant tusks has poured through it from Africa, which suffers the greatest slaughter of these two endangered animals in decades.Vietnam was singled out last month by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as the top destination country for the highly-prized rhino horn.Tens of thousands of birds, mostly parrots and cockatoos plucked  from the wild, are being imported from the Solomon Islands into Singapore, often touted as one of Asia’s least corrupt nations, in violation of CITES, the international convention on wildlife trade. Sponsored Stories    The sources say that when they report such investigations seizures are either made for “public relations,” sink into a “black hole” — or the information is leaked to the wrongdoers.   Such a tip-off from someone at Bangkok airport customs allowed a trafficker to abort shipment of a live giraffe with powdered rhino horn believed to be implanted in its vagina.  “The 100,000 passengers moving through this airport from around the world everyday are oblivious to the fact that they are standing in one of the world’s hottest wildlife trafficking zones,” says Galster.   Officials interviewed at the airport, one of Asia’s busiest, acknowledge corruption exists, but downplay its extent and say measures are being taken to root it out. Chanvut says corruption is not the sole culprit, pointing out the multiple agencies which often don’t cooperate or share information. Each with a role at Bangkok’s airport, are the police, national parks department, customs, immigration, the military and CITES, which regulates international trade in endangered species.With poor communication between police and immigration, for example, a trader whose passport has been seized at the airport can obtain a forged one and slip across a land border a few days later. Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology 4 must play golf courses in Arizona  According to TRAFFIC, the international body monitoring wildlife trade, the imported birds are listed as captive-bred, even though it’s widely known that the Pacific Ocean islands have virtually no breeding facilities.Communist Laos continues to harbor Vixay Keosavang, identified as one of the region’s half dozen Mr. Bigs, who has been linked by the South African press to a rhino smuggling ring. The 54-year-old former soldier and provincial official is reported to have close ties to senior government officials in Laos and Vietnam.Thai and foreign enforcement agents, who insist on anonymity since most work undercover, say they have accumulated unprecedented details of the gangs, which are increasingly linked to drug and human trafficking syndicates.   They say a key Thai smuggler, who runs a shipping company, has a gamut of law enforcement officers in his pocket, allowing him to traffic rhino horns, ivory and tiger parts to China. He frequently entertains his facilitators at a restaurant in his office building.   According to the agents, Chinese buyers, informed of incoming shipments, fly down to Bangkok, staying at hotels pinpointed by the agents around the Chatuchak Market, where endangered species are openly sold. There they seal deals with known middlemen and freight operators.center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Associated PressBANGKOK (AP) – Squealing tiger cubs stuffed into carry-on bags. Luggage packed with hundreds of squirming tortoises, elephant tusks, even water dragons and American Paddlefish. Officials at Thailand’s gateway airport proudly tick off the illegally trafficked wildlife they have seized over the past two years.But Thai and foreign law enforcement officers tell another story: officials working-hand-in-hand with the traffickers ensure that other shipments through Suvarnabhumi International Airport are whisked off before they even reach customs inspection.    “We have cut down a lot on corruption. It still exists but remains minimal,” she said, citing recent computerization which has created a space — dubbed “the Green Line” — between customs officials, cargo and traffickers.   Galster says unlike the past, traffickers are no longer guaranteed safe passage, describing a daily battle at Suvarnabhumi with “undercover officers monitoring corrupt ones and smugglers trying to outwit them all.”   Such increased enforcement efforts in the region have slowed decimation of endangered species, he says, “but there is still a crash going on. If corruption is not tackled soon, you can say goodbye to Asia’s tigers, elephants and a whole host of other animals.”   (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement    Those arrested frequently abscond by paying bribes or are fined and the case closed without further investigation. “Controlled delivery” — effectively penetrating networks by allowing illicit cargo to pass through to its destination — is rare.Thailand’s decades-old wildlife law also awaits revision and the closing of loopholes, such as the lack of protection for African elephants, and far stiffer penalties.   “The bottom line is that if wildlife traffickers are not treated as serious criminals in Southeast Asia we are just going to lose more wildlife,” says Chris Shepherd, TRAFFIC’s Southeast Asia deputy director. “How often is anyone arrested? They just run off, they must be the fastest people on earth.”   Chalida Phungravee, who heads the cargo customs bureau at Suvarnabhumi, says just the sheer scale makes her job difficult. The airport each year handles 45 million passengers and 3 million tons of cargo, only some 3 percent of which is X-rayed on arrival. The main customs warehouse is the size of 27 football fields.   But seizures are made, she said, including boxes of tusks — the remnants of some 50 felled elephants — aboard a recent Kenya Airlines flight declared as handicrafts and addressed to a nonexistent company. Galster, who earlier worked undercover in Asia and elsewhere, heaps praise on the region’s dedicated, honest officers because they persevere knowing they could be sidelined for their efforts.   Recently, Lt. Col. Adtaphon Sudsai, a highly regarded, outspoken officer, was instructed to lay off what had seemed an open-and-shut case he cracked when four years ago he penetrated a gang along the Mekong River smuggling pangolin.   This led him to Mrs. Daoreung Chaimas, alleged by conservation groups to be one of Southeast Asia’s biggest tiger dealers. Despite being arrested twice, having her own assistants testify against her and DNA testing that showed two cubs were not offsprings from zoo-bred parents as she claimed, Daoreung remains free and the case may never go to the prosecutor’s office.   “Her husband has been exercising his influence,” says Adtaphon, referring to her police officer spouse. “It seems that no policeman wants to get involved with this case.” The day the officer went to arrest her the second time, his transfer to another post was announced.   “Maybe it was a coincidence,” the colonel says.last_img
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US senators warn Iraq over Iran shipments to Syria

first_img Parents, stop beating yourself up Associated PressBAGHDAD (AP) – American senators visiting Iraq warned the Baghdad government Wednesday that it risked damaging relations with the U.S. if it is allowing Iran to fly over its airspace to deliver weapons to Syria.An Iraqi government spokesman responded by saying Iran has told Baghdad the flights to Syria are only delivering humanitarian aid. He said the onus is on the U.S. to offer up proof that Tehran is shipping weapons. It’s not clear how Iraq would stop Iran from using its airspace in flying weapons to Syria. Iraq’s air force has only a small number of planes, and no fighter jets to protect its skies or enforce its sovereignty. That mission was previously handled by the U.S. military before American troops withdrew from Iraq last year.At the Pentagon, two senior military officials said the best way for Iraq to confirm what’s on the flights is for the Baghdad government to have the Iranian flights land and to inspect the cargo. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue on the record.___Associated Press Writer Pauline Jelinek contributed to this report from Washington.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Senator Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, said Iraq’s failure to stop the flights could threaten the long-term relationship with the U.S. as well as aid Iraq could receive as part of a 2008 strategic pact between the two nations.“Bottom line, this kind of problem with these Iranian overflights can make it more difficult to proceed with the Strategic Framework Agreement in the manner that the prime minister and we would like to see happen,” Lieberman told reporters in Baghdad. “So I hope this is cleared up quickly.”Iran is Syria’s closest ally in the Middle East and it has stood by President Bashar Assad as his forces have tried to crush the uprising there for the past 17 months. Activists say at least 23,000 have been killed.The dispute over the flights was first reported in The New York Times on Wednesday. It said American officials believe Iran resumed shipments of military equipment to Syria via Iraqi airspace in July after a three-month hiatus.“This region is about to explode,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who was visiting Iraq with Lieberman and Republican John McCain of Arizona. “They’re in a pickle here,” Graham said at the same meeting with reporters where Lieberman spoke. Top Stories Comments   Share   “The reason they’re probably not pushing back on Iran is because they don’t see how this ends. There’s an amazing lack of American leadership, and it’s beginning to show on all fronts,” Graham added.The three hawkish senators said the dispute was one example of how U.S. influence is dwindling in Iraq even after it pumped in billions of dollars of aid and fought a nine-year war that ousted the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and cost nearly 4,500 American lives.Ali al-Moussawi, media adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, confirmed that Iranian planes are flying over Iraq to deliver goods to Syria. But he said Tehran has assured al-Maliki that the flights are carrying only food and other humanitarian aid to help victims of Syria’s civil war.Iraqi and American officials say the U.S. believes otherwise. They said U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has promised to send al-Maliki evidence that the flights contain weapons to help Assad’s regime _ something that would be a violation of a U.N. Security Council agreement.“The Iraqi government is carefully monitoring this issue both in the sky and ground,” al-Moussawi told The Associated Press. He said Iraq has warned Iran against flying weapons though its airspace. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “The Iranian government has said that it respects our decisions,” he insisted. “Until now, there is no evidence of any violation in this regard, and if anyone has any evidence, they should bring it to us and we will take the needed measures,” al-Moussawi said.He said Biden promised to show al-Maliki proof of the weapons shipments about a month ago _ but claimed the Iraqis never received it.Tommy Vietor, the National Security Council spokesman at the White House, did not immediately respond when asked if Biden promised to give proof of the shipments. He said Tehran “will stop at nothing to support a Syrian regime that is murdering its own people,” adding that Iraq, like all other nations, must block Iran from exporting arms.“Iraq has taken steps in the past to meet that obligation and it must continue to do so,” Vietor said in an email. “We expect Iraq, as a member in good standing of the international community and a strategic partner of the United States, to meet its international obligations.”Iraq has insisted it is not taking sides in the uprising. But its Shiite-led government has been trying to foster closer ties with Shiite Iran over the last several years, even as western powers have demanded that Assad step down. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

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Filipino truck driver among dead in Saudi blast

first_img Parents, stop beating yourself up New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Comments   Share   5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Philippine officials say a Filipino truck driver was among those killed when a fuel truck hit a bridge and exploded in the Saudi capital Riyadh, engulfing buildings and cars in flames. Ten other Filipinos were injured.As of Thursday, authorities in Riyadh said at least 22 were killed and more than 110 people were injured.Department of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman Raul Hernandez on Friday identified the man killed as Florentino Santiago. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Hernandez says the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh is making arrangements to repatriate Santiago’s remains and assist the victims.Santiago’s wife Jocelyn Santiago told local radio interviews she had been told her husband was sleeping in his truck near the explosion when he was killed.There was no immediate suspicion of terrorist links based on witness accounts.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories last_img read more

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Ukraine president pardons 2 Tymoshenko allies

first_imgKIEV, Ukraine (AP) – A top ally of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko walked free from jail Sunday, after Ukraine’s president pardoned him and another ex-minister, moving toward fulfilling a key demand on Kiev’s path to integrate closer with the European Union.President Viktor Yanukovych signed a decree to pardon former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, 48, who is serving a four-year sentence on charges of abuse of office and embezzlement. Lutsenko’s health has deteriorated since his arrest in early 2010, his supporters and doctors said. The move came after the country’s human rights official petitioned for Lutsenko, and the presidential commission on pardons recommended that Yanukovych pardon him. He also pardoned another Tymoshenko ally, the former environment minister, Heorhiy Filipchuk, who was also imprisoned for abuse of office.Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2011 of abuse office.The West has called the cases politically motivated. The European Union has warned that it will not sign a key cooperation agreement with Kiev until those two cases are resolved. Yanukovych also needs Western support as he tries to secure a $15 billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund.Lutsenko stepped out of a prison in the Chernihiv region, about 150 kilometers (100 miles) north of Kiev, into the arms of his wife, son and supporters who held bouquets of roses. Wearing a traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirt under a black jacket, Lutsenko looked upbeat and confident.“Today’s event for me is a victory of Ukrainian democracy, of the world democracy which has achieved in making sure that Ukraine begins making the right steps in stopping political repression in our country,” Lutsenko told reporters. He added that he would continue political activity, including taking part in street protests, though he does not plan to run for president in the 2015 race. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Top Stories Telychenko said Tymoshenko should also be freed since she has been convicted of a non-violent crime and she also has health problems.However, Yanukovych says he can’t unilaterally pardon Tymoshenko until her legal options are exhausted. She is appealing her conviction before the European Court for Human Rights. He also says he doesn’t want to interfere with other cases pending against Tymoshenko. She is under investigation for murder in the 1996 killing of a businessman and faces probes in other corruption cases.Meanwhile, around 4,000 opposition supporters rallied against the government in central Kiev. Lutsenko addressed the crowd by telephone, saying he was with the opposition and believed that democracy and freedom would prevail in Ukraine.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The EU’s enlargement commissioner, Stefan Fuele, said on his Twitter feed that the pardons for Lutsenko and Filipchuk were a “first but important step.”In Poland, President Bronislaw Komorowski said it was a “good step that will help restore a good image of Ukraine,” which is a condition, along with reforms, for the signing of an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU, expected in November.Poland is an advocate of Ukraine’s EU aspirations and Komorowski has repeatedly raised the case of Lutsenko and Tymoshenko with Yanukovych. Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Marcin Bosacki said if “things continue this way, this very important signing of the association agreement in the fall will be possible. We are all counting on it.”The state prison service said that Lutsenko had been released. Lutsenko’s brother Sergei said he was on the way to pick him up from jail.Lutsenko’s lawyer, Valentyna Telychenko, hailed the decision.“It’s a very important signal that Ukraine still wants to fulfill Europe’s demands aimed at correcting problems in the sphere of justice and elections,” Telychenko was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

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Druze anger sparks deadly attack on Israeli ambulance

first_imgThey stand in contrast to other, loyalist Druze in Israel who have a particularly tight bond with Jews that dates even farther back than helping them win independence in 1948. The Druze revere Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, whose tomb in northern Israel is one of their most sacred sites.In recent days the community has enjoyed widespread solidarity from other Israelis — though that has partially been replaced by outrage after the attacks on military ambulances. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon called the attack a “lynch” while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly condemned it and invited Druze leaders to a meeting on Wednesday in a bid to lower tensions.“We will not allow anyone to take the law into their own hands. We will not allow anyone to disrupt Israeli soldiers in their missions,” Netanyahu said. “We will locate those who carried out this mob killing and bring them to justice. We are a country of law and are not a part of the anarchy that is spreading around us.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis The Israeli government insists it will not allow the Druze in Syria to be massacred, but has stopped short of definitive action, maintaining its policy of non-intervention in the conflict next door. Fighting occasionally does spillover and Israel has responded. It has also carried out a number of strikes on weapons convoys or caches it believes were destined to its enemy Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Lebanese militant group has sided with Assad’s troops in the civil war.Analyst Stephane Cohen, a former liaison between the Israeli military and United Nations peacekeeping forces, said Israel has treated more than 1,600 Syrians since the conflict began in 2011. The wounded, a mix of civilians and rebels fighting the area, arrive at the frontier and Israeli military doctors pick them up for treatment at Israeli hospitals.The Druze behind Monday’s attack on the wounded Syrians are part of the 22,000 members of the community who live in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war. They have continued to identify themselves as Syrians, even after decades of Israeli rule that has seen them become fluent in Hebrew and integrated in Israeli society.Few of the Golan Druze have taken Israeli citizenship — an option they were offered after Israel annexed the territory in 1981 — and have mostly backed Assad’s government, at least in public. NABI SHUAIB SHRINE, Israel (AP) — An unprecedented attack by a mob of Israeli Druze villagers who snatched a wounded Syrian rebel from an Israeli ambulance in the Golan Heights and beat him to death reflects the spiraling anger among the Jewish state’s Druze minority, which has been pushing for the government to do more to help the Syrian Druze caught up in the neighboring country’s civil war.The Druze, a religious sect that began as an offshoot of Shiite Islam, are among Israel’s most loyal citizens and serve in its military, although those living in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights have a more fraught relationship with the authorities. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober But the Druze are also increasingly worried about the plight of their brethren in Syria and have been demanding action from the Israeli government in the wake of a massacre earlier this month of 20 Druze villagers in Syria, killed by Syria’s al-Qaida branch, the Nusra Front.In the attack late Monday, dozens of Druze villagers swarmed an Israeli military ambulance carrying two wounded Syrian rebels, suspecting they were Islamic militants.The villagers pulled one of the Syrians from the vehicle and beat him to death. Two Israeli soldiers in the ambulance were also lightly wounded, and the other Syrian was evacuated to an Israeli hospital in critical condition. Earlier Monday, Druze villagers confronted another ambulance they believed was transporting wounded Syrian militants but that incident was quickly defused.The Israeli Druze have been angered by the Israeli government’s policy of extending medical aid to wounded Syrian rebels, who are fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government — an archenemy of Israel. They suspect that some of those treated in Israel have been Islamic militants, such as those behind the massacre of the Druze in the Syrian province of Idlib. Four benefits of having a wireless security system The Israeli military has in the past denied that it is helping treat wounded Islamic militants fighting across the border and defense officials said the Syrians who were evacuated into Israel on Monday night were civilians. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss military actions with the media.Israel’s estimated 130,000 Druze live mostly in the north of the country, where some have recently been taking to the streets, demanding more decisive action to help the Syrian Druze. Some have called for Israel to provide weapons and air support; others have proposed that thousands of Syrian Druze be allowed to take shelter inside Israel, if necessary, or that they themselves be allowed to cross the border and fight on behalf of the Syrian Druze.“The Israeli state knows how to take care of its interest, and its interest in this case is not to let the Druze community be in a situation of genocide,” said Majali Wehbe, a former Druze member of Knesset.Convening for an emergency meeting, the Druze leadership in Israel condemned the mob attack in the Golan.Israeli police said “a mass” of people had attacked the ambulance and that the crowd threw stones at the vehicle. Video footage taken shortly after the incident showed an ambulance with its windshield smashed and Israeli forces keeping guard near a cordoned-off area.last_img read more

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Kingfisher Airlines alliance with oneworld

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2a3b7/” 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> Oneworld, a universally known airline alliance, has invited Kingfisher Airlines to join with eleven other major airlines including Qantas, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines. Reaching over 700 destinations in 150 countries, oneworld intends to expand their services through the alliance with Kingfisher Airlines, whose five star fleet travels to 69 destinations, 61 of which are in India. According to a report by Jakarta Post, Kingfisher Airlines generated revenues of US$1.2 billion with 11.6 million passengers. Vijay Mallya, the chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, was pleased with the invitation and the signing of the contract took place last month. “I am delighted that Kingfisher Airlines has been invited to join what is very clearly the world’s best airline alliance and to fly alongside the best collection of airline brands in the world. By becoming part of oneworld, we will be able to offer our guests travel to more than 800 destinations in 150 countries,” he said. American Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive, and oneworld Governing Board Chairman, Gerard Arpey, added that the addition of Kingfisher Airlines is “another key element in making 2010 even more of a breakthrough year for oneworld”.With 380 daily departures on average to nine countries and a focus on customer service and innovation, Kingfisher Airlines has been rated five stars by independent airline research organisation Skytrax as well as having received numerous awards for its quality and services. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: A.Rlast_img read more

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Sir Richard Branson apologizes for Virgin Blues

first_imgSir Richard Branson has officially apologized for Virgin Blue’s recent technical troubles in an effort to appease customers who have been affected by delays. “It’s been a terrible 24 hours with the computer system going down,” he told Channel Seven in Jakarta yesterday. Virgin Blue staff nationwide were forced to process customers by hand following the collapse of the carrier’s computer check-in system on Sunday. This has led to a number of flight cancellations over the past two days and stranded passengers have been forced to put themselves up in hotels. Some Virgin Blue passengers were still unable to board flights last night, leading to a second night in alternative accommodation.Virgin Blue had no flights listed as cancelled on its website at 4:00am (AEST) today. Source = e-Travel Blackboard:C.Flast_img read more

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Mantra Group grows with SiteMinder

first_imgSource = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman Mantra Group has announced it has selected SiteMinder to power the online distribution of its entire group located throughout the Asia Pacific.The move will see SiteMinder integrate Mantra Group’s central reservation system, SIHOT, with more than 250 of the world’s leading distribution channels to power the Group’s MAX Distribution Hub.Mantra Group director of revenue & distribution Luke Moran, said today’s announcement is the result of a long process that identified SiteMinder as the clear market leader.“When Mantra Group began the selection process, we weren’t just looking for a channel manager; we were looking for a distribution solution partner. From a technical perspective, it was important to find a partner that offered scalable technology which could integrate seamlessly with our CRS,” Mr Moran said.“SiteMinder’s dominant presence within, and knowledge of, the Asia Pacific region made them the ideal choice. With SiteMinder, we have the opportunity to grow effectively in new markets – not only through traditional OTAs but through wholesalers, meta search sites and GDS partnerships.”SiteMinder’s director of sales – Pacific Michael Kinloch, said Mantra Group was one of the last few hotel groups within the Asia Pacific region that were yet to adopt SiteMinder.“SiteMinder recognised that Mantra Group was not simply a 3, 4 or 5-star hotel chain; Mantra Group represents a full, highly-complex range of accommodation, and we are thrilled our technology can now help them to drive down their cost of guest acquisition while increasing their online revenue and profits,” Mr Kinloch said.Mantra Group manages more than 116 hotel properties with in excess of 11,000 rooms across Australia, New Zealand and South East-Asia.last_img read more

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Sofitel Sydney Wentworth and Qantas team up

first_imgSource = AccorHotels – Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Sofitel Sydney Wentworth and Qantas team upSofitel Sydney Wentworth and Qantas Airways team up to launch a historic exhibition in honour of the original Wentworth HotelSofitel Sydney Wentworth and Qantas Airways have teamed up to launch a historic public exhibition to commemorate and conclude the original Wentworth hotel’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration.Inviting guests to step back in time, the exhibition will run from 14 October until 31 December 2016, and feature a fascinating selection of heritage artefacts and imagery stretching from 1966 when the hotel was originally owned and built by Qantas Airways. In addition, the display will feature a photo exhibition of the iconic Wentworth Hotel, from its first days of construction through to fashion highlights and famous celebrities and royal visits.To demonstrate its intertwined history, guests of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth are invited to explore the hotel’s beginnings as the Qantas Wentworth Hotel via a display of restored objects and mementos, including a Miniature Hotel Model, which was sent around the world to promote the hotel and convention facilities, a fabulous display of Qantas’ original 1960’s uniforms, and business class lounge.2016 is a year of reflection for Sofitel Sydney Wentworth with the luxury heritage hotel turning 50. Clive Scott, the first General Manager of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth says: “Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is one of the grand old dames of hotels. It will always have pride of place in Sydney and Australia. It has historical significance as a property and landmark in Sydney. Many people across the world have fond memories in their hearts as a special place to stay”Craig Reaume, present General Manager of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth adds: “I am proud to be part of the hotel’s history and invite our guests to relive its most iconic moments throughout this public exhibition.”This free exhibition will be on display in the hotel lobby and on level 3 of the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth located at 61-101 Phillip Street Sydney.Visit www.sofitelsydney.com.au/50yearsGuests are invited to stay overnight with the hotel’s 50th Anniversary Luxury Leisure Escape.This luxurious package, priced from $400 per night, is inclusive of:Anniversary themed mini High Tea selection upon arrival including Ronnefeldt teaBreakfast served in-room every morningThe luxury of time, with late check-out until 4.00pmThe history of the site of The Wentworth HotelIn 1800 the site of the first Wentworth Hotel in Lang Street became part of a developing area of the new colony of Sydney called Church Hill. In 1824 three substantial, two storey terrace houses were built in Lang Street. The last terrace, No 3 Church Hill, became the future Wentworth Hotel. William Charles Wentworth and Dr Wardell launched “The Australian” newspaper which was published from No 3 Church Hill in 1833.In 1854 a boarding residence was operated on the site which became known as Wentworth House. In 1882 Mary Hayes purchased Wentworth House and renamed it the Wentworth House Family Hotel. On Christmas Day in 1888, fire destroyed Wentworth House. In 1901 the lease on the Wentworth Hotel was given to Donald Samuel Maclurcan and remained in the Maclurcan family until 1950.The Wentworth Ballroom was added and opened in 1920. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII and the Duke of Windsor after abdication, danced in the new ballroom on a number of occasions. By 1925, the hotel was a well-established and popular destination and was expanded to 100 rooms and further expanded in 1940 to 200 rooms.In 1950 Qantas Empire Airways negotiated a controlling interest in the hotel, thus beginning a new phase in the development of the hotel. In 1961 approval was granted for Qantas to build a new 400 room hotel next to Qantas House in Chifley Square. The new Wentworth Hotel was completed in 1966 and was the first five star hotel in Sydney. In 1982, the hotel was resold and further refurbishments were done. In 2002 AccorHotels began managing the hotel under the Sofitel brand to bring it to what it is today, a luxurious 5-star hotel in the heart of Sydney CBD. Sofitel Sydney Wentworthbook your stay herelast_img read more

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ASIA DMC achieves anniversary CSR milestone

first_imgASIA DMC achieves anniversary CSR milestoneASIA DMC achieves anniversary CSR milestoneAward-winning destination management company ASIA DMC has opened a new chapter in its storied history by forming a pioneering partnership with Travelife, the global sustainability leader.To coincide with the celebration of its 20th anniversary, ASIA DMC Vietnam has been awarded Partner status with Travelife, the leading training, management and certification initiative for tourism companies. This demonstrates the company’s on-going commitment to environmental and social sustainability across its business.Several forward-thinking initiatives have been undertaken by ASIA DMC Vietnam to meet Travelife’s high standards, including reducing the company’s energy use, only using sustainable suppliers, eliminating the use of plastic bottles, and implementing child and animal welfare policies. It also plans to roll out a carbon offsetting project for its leisure guests by the end of the year.“Reaching Partner status with Travelife is a wonderful achievement for our entire company and reflects the hard work of every ASIA DMC member,” said Linh Le, Group Managing Director of ASIA DMC. “Moving forward, we look forward to continuing working with Travelife to add further value to our trade partners and clients by providing responsible, sustainable and educated travel experiences across the entire region.”“By reaching Travelife Partner level, ASIA DMC Vietnam has demonstrated a clear commitment to sustainability. Through Travelife’s and online platform and training programs, ASIA DMC will be provided with the best possible support as it advances its CSR efforts,” commented Naut Kusters, CEO of Travelife.ASIA DMC‘s sustainability program is underscored by the work of the HG Foundation, the company’s CSR arm, which works to provide environmental and social benefits to communities across Southeast Asia. Earlier this year, ASIA DMC and the HG Foundation launched the “Roots and Fruits” campaign – a region-wide tree-planting initiative that spanned seven destinations in three countries.ASIA DMC Vietnam joins ASIA DMC Myanmar as a certified Travelife Partner. The company will now take its sustainability efforts to the next level by working towards achieving Travelife Partner status at group level, and spreading the benefits of its CSR programs to communities all across Southeast Asia.Source = ASIA DMClast_img read more

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Hotel Indigo® arrives in Japan

first_imgHotel Indigo® arrives in JapanHotel Indigo® arrives in JapanAs the number of visitors to Japan continues to grow, there is a segment of travellers who are looking for something different – a property to satisfy their senses of curiosity and creativity that delivers a memorable experience of a destination.Looking to meet this need, IHGA Hotels Group Japan, the joint venture between InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) and ANA, signed an agreement with GHS K.K. and Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.to launch IHG’s popular boutique brand Hotel Indigo® in Japan.The first property Hotel Indigo® Hakone Gora is scheduled to open in 2019, and will be a place where guests and locals alike can gather and enjoy the rich culture and history of Gora, with its famous, pastel coloured hot springs surrounded by majestic, green mountains and the charms of nature that change with the seasons.The Hotel Indigo brand is built around the authentic local neighbourhood story concept, so Gora is the ideal location for the first Hotel Indigo in Japan. The hot springs of Hakone first opened in the Nara period, approximately 1,200 years ago, and has been frequented by countless travellers and prominent figures from around the world who come to relax and treat themselves in its soothing waters.Hans Heijligers, Chief Executive Officer, IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan comments: “We are very excited to bring Hotel Indigo to Japan. One of Japan’s leading hot spring destinations, Hakone really is the perfect first location: with its stunning beauty around scenic Lake Ashi and its captivating history and museums, it exudes a local story which is what Hotel Indigo is all about. Just 90 minutes from the heart of Tokyo, Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora will add a new dimension to the neighbourhood that will resonate with Japanese and international travellers alike.”As the world’s first branded boutique hotel, every Hotel Indigo property is unique, and the local neighbourhood is reflected in the architecture and design, choice of artwork and the restaurant menus, adding up to an intimate boutique hotel experience with the international standards, consistency and personal service promised by a leading global hotel company.Satoru Kondo, President of GHS, K.K., which has leased the property from Daiwa House and engaged IHG ANA to manage the Hotel, added, “More and more visitors are exploring Japan, attracted by the country’s wealth of tourism assets. One of travellers’ favourites is the hot spring, and we saw an opportunity for a new hot spring accommodation in Hakone Gora, which also has a reputation for breathtaking nature, history and culture. We feel Hotel Indigo is the perfect match, with its commitment to giving guests a genuine, local experience. We are proud to team up with IHG ANA to host Japan’s first Hotel Indigo, and our confidence is underscored by the success and close relationship we have built together with IHG ANA at its other hotel locations throughout Japan, such as ANA Crown Plaza Osaka.”There are currently 80 Hotel Indigo properties worldwide, with an additional 83 properties in the pipeline including Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora. The total number of rooms opened and signed is 21,505.When Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora opens in 2019, it will be 10 minutes’ walk from Gora terminus on the Hakone Tozan Train, or two minutes’ walk from Miyaginobashi bus stop on the Hakone Tozan Bus. The hotel will host approximately 100 guestrooms and suites, each with an open air onsen (natural hot spring) tub on the balcony, or an onsen tub with a view. The property will also have a restaurant “Neighbourhood café”, bar, spa treatment rooms and health club.IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan currently has 33 hotels operating under five brands in Japan: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Resort and ANA Hotels International.Source = Hotel Indigo®last_img read more

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Philippines Tourism Promotion Board launches photo contest

first_imgThe Philippines’ Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) together with Agoda organised ‘Tag the Fun’ – an exciting photo contest that rewards local and foreign travellers for choosing the Philippines as their destination.Travellers can get a chance to win a holiday break in the beaches and the underground wonder of Puerto Princesa, Palawan or in the Panglao Island, Bohol. In addition, one can also take home ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ premium items.‘Tag the Fun’ photo contest runs till November 13, 2015. It is open to participants 18 years old and above and has two categories: the local category, which is open to all Filipinos, and the foreign category, which is for the foreigners and visitors residing in and outside the Philippines.To join one needs to like the official Facebook pages of Tourism Promotions Board, The Philippines and Agoda; upload the best travel photo on the TPB Facebook page along with an English caption of no more than 500 characters together with the name of destination where the photo was taken. One needs to share the entry on their own Facebook newsfeed along with a mention of ‘The Philippines’ and ‘Agoda’ and the hashtags #tpbgovph, #tagthefun, and #itsmorefuninthephilippines.One can submit as many entries as one wish on or before the following dates with the corresponding weekly themes — November 2: History & Culture, and November 9: Music, Arts & Entertainment.There will be two winners for each week (1 local and 1 foreign) who will receive ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ premium items.On November 13, 2015, best entries will be chosen (1 local and 1 foreign) among the 4 weekly winners to award the grand prizes. The grand winners will enjoy a free 3 day / 2 night stay for two at the country’s two best beaches.The local winner will get to experience the paradise of Astoria Palawan Resort in Puerto Princesa, Palawan while the foreign winner will be treated to the white beaches of Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa in Panglao Island, Bohol.last_img read more

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