0

Philippine Airlines boasts bumper growth in Oz

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A According to Mr Miller product improvements have resulted in enhanced yield for PR, particularly with business travellers taking advantage of the “exceptional value for money service in the Philippines”.“Overall, through the year we’ve seen an improvement over last year,” he said.PAL claim a 60 per cent share of all flights from Australia to the Philippines and a 65 per cent chare of all direct flights between the destinations. Posting a record winter of Australian sales, Philippine Airlines (PR) announced double digit passenger traffic growth between May and July of this year compared to 2009.PR chief commercial advisor Richard Miller attributed the growth to this year’s launch of PR’s new Boeing 777-300ER, along with both an intensive marketing campaign to grow interest in the Philippines and new wholesale programmes and preferred agreements. The national carrier, which is not beholden to fifth and sixth freedom traffic given the almost guaranteed travel of ‘balikbayan’ customers (Filipinos living overseas who return home to visit friends and relatives), has taken active steps to boost traffic from Australia.“We’ve increased capacity by 50 per cent, which is significant considering where the market was last year,” PR Country Manager Arnul Pan said. The carrier also introduced services between Brisbane and Manila in March and debuted its new Boeing 777-300ER on its flights between Sydney and Melbourne and Manila.“We’ve done a lot of advertising and PR to…get the word out about how easy and comfortable it is to fly to Manila with us, while at the same time raising awareness about the appeal and value of the Philippines as a holiday destination,” PR’s Australian general sales agent, RAKSO, General Manager Brett McDougall said“We’re agent friendly,” Mr McDougall told e-Travel Blackboard. “We offer five per cent commission to agents and all rates on our website are gross.” Speaking during this week’s Destination Philippines Showcase for travel agents, Mr Miller waxed lyrical about his experience of living and travelling through the Philippines over the last eighteen months.“The Philippines is without a doubt the most stunning place to visit… there’s not a place you would not recommend,” he gushed.“The job for us is to convince Australians to get there; we’ve just got to crack the unknown factor.”“But we’re certainly getting there.”center_img PR’s Arnul Pan and Brett McDougall with Philippines Department of Tourism’s Benito Bengson and Vicente Romano, PR’s RichardMiller and Consuelo Garcia Jones (also with DoT).last_img read more

0

Celebrity Cruises Australian preview

first_imgThe countdown is on for Celebrity Cruises’ first ship to hit Australian waters this November. Celebrity Century will home port in Sydney for the Australian summer before making way for her big sister Celebrity Solstice in the summer of 2012-13. “There’s no greater substantiation for the interest in this market than the investment the company’s (RCI) making in the largest and most modern cruise ship ever to call Australia home which will be in the summer of 2012-2013,” said Gavin Smith, managing director Celebrity Cruises Australia.President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Dan Hanrahan, flew into Sydney last week ahead of the deployment to speak with Australian media and agents about the Celebrity offering and sang the praises of the land down under.Mr Hanrahan expressed his long-term goal to have more than one ship home port in Sydney during the summer but recognised that improvements need to be made to the Sydney port situation in order to achieve this.  Highlighting the economic benefits to NSW as a whole, Mr Hanrahan expects over $1 million in revenue to be generated per day that a Celebrity ship visits Sydney. “The port has some interesting opportunities ahead of it…if the port can figure out how to accommodate large ships as well as small ships, the beneficiary of that will be the greater Sydney area and NSW in general.”Whilst having a good port infrastructure is important, Mr Hanrahan explained that something simple can always be effective. He cited the port in Hamburg, Germany as an example which was constructed out of shipping containers for the recent inaugural sailing of Celebrity Silhouette and reiterated that the line can work within the conditions provided to them. Taking time out to speak with e-Travel Blackboard prior to his Sydney media briefing, Mr Hanrahan cleared up the confusion recent comments caused regarding tipping on board.With tipping included as a line item when booking a cruise, Mr Hanrahan explained that his comments were in relation to educating Australian cruisers about the amounts allocated per staff member, not about how to tip in general. “When I saw that article I was mortified. I would have to be really dumb to say something like that, or very arrogant and I’d like to think I was neither.”Listen to Mr Hanrahan explain the confusion in his own words below. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A The entire interview will be aired on Cruise Radio later this week. last_img read more

0

Fantasea Brings Home Gold for Queensland at Australian Tourism Awards

first_imgFantasea Adventure Cruising was the sole Queensland tourism operator to win gold in the 2012 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.It is the second successive year in which the Whitsunday cruise company has won the gold award for Best Major Tourism and Transport Operator in Australia.The award winners were announced at a gala function at the Cairns Convention Centre on Friday evening.In 2011, in addition to taking out the national award for Best Major Tourism and Transport Operator in Australia, Fantasea Adventure Cruising was also named Best Major Tour and Transport Operator at the Queensland Tourism Awards and was inducted into the Whitsunday Tourism Awards Hall of Fame in 2010, for the Most Unique Accommodation award for Fantasea’s Reefsleep experience. Fantasea General Manager Matt Lloyd  thanked the team led by Rob Addis and said it was a significant achievement for the Queensland company to beat major tourism transport operators such as Spirit of Tasmania and Rottnest Express Ferries.‘This will reward and motivate the hard-working and dedicated team who hope to return next year and gain entry into the prestigious Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame by making it three gold awards in a row,’ he said.Mr Lloyd also thanked Hamilton Island and the local and regional agents for their on going support of Fantasea Adventure Cruising and said that ultimately, the industry as a whole would benefit from the award.‘This is a real boost for the Airlie Beach region,’ he said.Other Airlie Beach businesses recognized for their contribution were Adventure Whitsundays Caravan Park, Capers in the Beach, Villa Botanica and Tourism Whitsundays. Fantasea Adventure Cruising is a division of Queensland owned Riverside Marine which has its headquarters in Brisbane.It operates a fleet of high speed, multi-hull vessels running innovative and quality day cruises in the Whitsundays and also operates Reefsleep, a unique attraction which allows guests to overnight on Fantasea’s Reefworld platform on Hardy Reef. Source = Fantasea The team at Fantasea Adventure Cruisinglast_img read more

0

New president for Carnival Cruise Lines

first_imgCarnival Corporation, today announced that Christine Duffy has been named president of Carnival Cruise Line, which is the corporations largest cruise brand with a total of 24 ships.Duffy, currently president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), will assume the role on February 1, and she will be reporting to Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation.“Christine is one of the most respected and dynamic leaders in the travel industry, she brings a wealth of experience to Carnival Cruise Line that will help the cruise line continue to deliver unmatched vacation experiences to millions of guests each year,” Mr Donald said.Duffy has more than 30 years of experience in the travel industry and started her career as a travel agent in Philadelphia at McGettigan Partners.As CEO of CLIA, the leading trade association of the cruise industry, she led many advancements including the globalization of cruise industry associations around the world to create a unified voice promoting cruising to key stakeholders.“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to be part of a dynamic organization with a long history of innovation and industry firsts, the name Carnival is truly synonymous with cruising and I look forward to joining this talented team to continue the tradition of excellence that has made Carnival Cruise Line one of the top cruise lines in the world,” Ms Duffy said.Duffy serves on various travel industry boards including U.S. Travel Association (USTA), the advisory board for Starwood Hotels, and the Board of Directors for Visit Florida.She also is a member of The Committee of 200, an organization of the world’s most successful women business leaders that supports, celebrates and advances women’s leadership in business.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

0

Executive Pastry Chef wins 2016 PATA Face of the Future

first_imgThe Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to announce that Mr Danny Ho is the recipient of the most prestigious honour for young tourism professionals in Asia Pacific – the 2016 PATA Face of the Future award.A native of Malaysia, Danny is the Executive Pastry Chef at Hotel ICON in Hong Kong SAR where he oversees all pastry and bakery operations at the hotel, which also acts as an extension of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM).Mr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA stated, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to congratulate Mr Danny Ho on winning the 2016 PATA Face of the Future award. He has clearly demonstrated a commitment to the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region, and his views on how travel and tourism can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be a welcome asset to the 2016/2017 PATA Executive Board.”Mr Danny Ho, Executive Pastry Chef, Hotel ICON said, “I was very surprised to win the 2016 PATA Face of the Future award and I feel so honoured to have been recognised in this way. This award isn’t just recognition for me – it’s actually recognition for the amazing Hotel ICON team I work with who have worked tirelessly over the past 5 years helping build up the reputation of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.“I couldn’t have done it without my team and the small groups of elite students. Hotel ICON is an important facility in training the next generation of hoteliers and the award validates our vision to create a commercially viable, and industry-leading hotel that is admired by hospitality experts from the world.”Mr Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire, and a judge of the essay submissions, said, “All the essays contained excellent thought-prompters on the linkage between Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals. Danny Ho’s essay on the need to alleviate food waste highlighted one of the major issues facing the F&B sector, an intrinsic component of the travel & tourism industry.“I compliment Mario Hardy for taking up my suggestion to have the Face of the Future essays focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and look forward to other industry associations and organisations following suit.”Danny and his team at Hotel ICON value unique experiences that demonstrate fresh Asian hospitality. His team took a chance with the introduction of Durian, an authentic fruit from Malaysia, as the main ingredient for their signature desserts.After launching the first Durian dessert the customer response was overwhelming – leading to the development of more Durian creations. The Durian is imported directly from local farmers with the hotel as the largest importer of the fruit. Many other luxury hotels have followed this trend.As they have look to source local producers more businesses are generated, thus increasing the standard of living standard for local communities and facilitating the development of the agricultural industry – especially in Malaysia where poverty is still a major issue.With the success of their creative desserts, Hotel ICON’s reputation has steadily increased and now training courses are being organised to provide quality education to those wishing to enhance their skills in pastry.Danny added, “Travel and tourism can contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals for less developed countries. Citizens of less developed countries rely heavily on agricultural production to make a living.“It is recommended that they can transform the raw materials in their home countries into multifarious goods, adding value (both monetary and non-monetary) to the product and the country. By collaborating with neighbouring or other developed countries, the less developed ones can sell the products, or hold training workshops to generate income and let travellers experience the local culture.”As the winner, Danny receives a complimentary round-trip flight and hotel accommodation to speak during the conference at the PATA Annual Summit 2016 on May 19 and to share his thoughts about the importance of Human Capital Development, shortly after the PATA Awards Presentation. Danny will also be invited to join the 2016/2017 PATA Executive Board as a non-voting member and observer. PATASource = Pacific Asia Travel Associationlast_img read more

0

SwissBelsuites Victoria Park introduces stateoftheart mobile key

first_imgSource = Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, Auckland ASSA ABBLOY’s mobile room key provides guests with added security and convenience.Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, introduces state-of-the-art mobile key access for guest roomsSwiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, Auckland, a collection of 40 luxuriously appointed one-, two- and three-bedroom suites by Swiss-Belhotel International has unveiled a new electronic and mobile locking system implemented throughout all the property’s guest rooms.Manufactured and installed by ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, the global leader in door opening solutions, the new locking system known as VingCard Allure provides state of the art security while allowing guests to use personal smart devices as secure keys for a true bespoke hotel experience.In a world where people are relying more and more on their mobile phones throughout their travels and everyday life, the move to mobile room keys is an obvious next step in the full-service hotel experience. The VingCard system offers a sleek design by replacing external hardware from guest room doors with a panel that controls the locking mechanism. ASSA ABLOY Hospitality’s revolutionary mobile key feature also enhances guests’ experience through simplified check-in processes and the convenience of carrying your key on a device people already keep with them.“Coming from one of the world’s fastest growing hospitality providers, we’re constantly looking for new ways of integrating cutting edge technologies and practices to streamline business operations and enrich guests’ stay at our properties,” said Mr.Gavin.M.Faull, President and Chairman of Swiss Belhotel International. “The future of technology is becoming increasingly mobile and we’re proud to be at the forefront of embracing these changes. Not only is Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, Auckland the first property from Swiss-Belhotel International in New Zealand, it is also the first in the city to provide this level of high-tech locking system.”ASSA ABLOY’s SEOS security technology protocol, integrates with the Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, Auckland’s Property Management System to generate a digital key for each assigned guest room. The key is encrypted and securely delivered to a guest’s smartphone while also being placed in a secure key vault within the hotel’s own mobile app. When the smartphone is presented to the corresponding lock, the app transmits the encrypted key via a secure communication channel to unlock the door.Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park offers advanced amenities with stylish living and dining areas designed to suit leisure and business travellers, as well as long-stay guests and families.last_img read more

0

IATA launches Standard Safety Assessment Program

first_imgThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) for airlines not eligible for the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).ISSA is a voluntary safety audit program aligned with global best practices and created primarily for airlines that operate aircraft which have a lower maximum take-off weight (MTOW) than the 5,700 kg (12,566 lbs.) threshold for participation in IOSA. ISSA is also an alternative for airlines, such as some private charters whose business model does not allow conformity with IOSA’s standards. ISSA is not a substitute for IOSA which remains a requirement for IATA membership.“There is a clear need to ensure that operators of all types of equipment have robust safety infrastructure in place, validated by an operational safety evaluation. ISSA, which is based on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) provisions, enables the industry to address the need for a global operational safety standard for operators that are not eligible for IOSA. I am confident that it will deliver a positive safety benefit in the same manner as has IOSA,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.Utilising experience and knowledge gained from the IOSA Program, ISSA helps airline operators to conform to global safety standards and best practices; and provides them with an opportunity to evaluate and improve their existing operational and management control systems. ISSA also introduces elements of a Safety Management System (SMS). Additionally, assessments will be performed by IOSA Accredited Audit Organisations.last_img read more

0

Shahrukh Khan to shoot ad film for West Bengal Tourism

first_imgBollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan has geared up to shoot an ad film to promote West Bengal’s vital tourist spots.Bratya Basu, Minister of the State Tourism, informed that the actor, also the brand Ambassador of West Bengal, would visit Kolkata for the indoor shoot. A budget of Rs 8 crore has been fixed for the film’s shooting, for which the reputed agency Ogilvy and Mather have been hired for Rs 75 lakh. Khan has expressed his desire to not to take any remuneration for the film.Several films of at least one-minute duration would be prepared for the campaign, with the catch line ‘Experience Bengal – the sweetest part of India’, Basu revealed. He said that the film will showcase Bengal’s variety, the picturesque Darjeeling hills and Dooars in north, besides the rustic flavour of Santiniketan in Bolpur and the coastal areas in the state. The film will be dubbed in English, Hindi and Bengali.last_img read more

0

FITUR 2016 by UNWTO to focus on innovation and sustainability

first_imgThe 36th edition of FITUR, a global meeting point for tourism professionals will be held from January 20-24, 2016 in Madrid. The opportunities that innovation opens up for tourism and the importance of promoting initiatives in the field of sustainability and ethics will constitute the main topics of the activities to be organised by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) at FITUR 2016, with the support of the Fair.The annual UNWTO Awards will be based on the theme of innovation in tourism. 2016 marks the twelfth edition of this initiative, which gathers tourism success stories from all around the world.Social responsibility and sustainability will comprise areas of special attention in UNWTO’s programme at FITUR, with the 2nd International Conference on ‘Nearly Zero Energy Hotels’, the UNWTO/ONCE Foundation Seminar on Accessible Tourism and the presentation of the UNWTO/Global Compact Spain project ‘Responsible Tourism: A Commitment by All’. The initiative aims to promote social responsibility among companies and business associations in the tourism sector as well as to foster their real and lasting commitment to the ethical principles that underpin responsible and sustainable tourism.The second day of the event will conduct the VII Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa – INVESTOUR, an initiative of UNWTO, FITUR and Casa África that will primarily focus on business and investment opportunities in Africa.The Middle East will also receive a special attention within UNWTO’s activities at FITUR. A Ministerial Round Table on Tourism Development Policies and Strategies in the Middle East and North Africa, to be held in conjunction with Casa Árabe, will discuss strategies for promoting sustainable growth in times of crisis.Other initiatives by UNWTO during FITUR include the 2nd Conference on Shopping Tourism, and the presentation of the ‘Global Forum on Food Tourism’.last_img read more

0

Djubo crosses 1000 Indian hotels client mark in a span of nine

first_imgDJUBO is a fast growing hotel tech company that has made its presence known in more than 150 cities in India and has over 1000 Indian hotel clients within a span of nine months of funding. They are managing daily bookings worth 1.1 Cr every single day which amounts to approximately one percent of the entire hotel industry in India. Managing 3300 room night transactions every single day is quite a big feat as compared to some OTAs.Tarun Gulati, DJUBO, said, “Early mentors had warned us against starting a SAAS business in the Indian SME space citing poor payment collections especially in the hospitality sector. They had wanted us to look outside India. But, we felt that the Indian hospitality industry was in need of a revamp. In order to ease the hotel industry into the online market, we came up with a 360° sales platform.”DJUBO’s product combines the functionality of a number of standalone products such as a Channel Manager, CRS and Booking Engine under one interface which is helping hoteliers solve problems of under exposure, overbooking and rate parity issues which otherwise wasn’t being solved by existing hotel tech. Hoteliers can make much easier online payments with the help of a Secure Payment gateway which can be accessed via a mobile app at any given time. Customers are making direct bookings on the hotel’s webpage with the help of an integrated booking engine and built in price comparison widget. All operations, sales distribution and revenue management is managed by a Central Reservation System. All these SAAS products are managed via a single dashboard.A majority of their clients have started to engage with DJUBO as a web app but even on a smartphone. DJUBO’s support and training has helped clients become self-dependent in being able to manage their businesses 24/7. The growing user engagement shows that they are a ‘True Sales Management’ system that is being widely accepted by clients the world over.Having solved the major problems faced by most Indian hoteliers, they are also planning to launch many ground breaking products globally, like yield management, actionable big data and app based property management systems sometime soon.last_img read more

0

LenderLive Implements ResWare to Enhance Workflow Management

first_img In Colorado, “”LenderLive Network Inc.””:http://www.lenderlive.com/Home.aspx announced the implementation of “”Adeptive Software’s ResWare Platform””:http://www.adeptivesw.com/resware to leverage the automate workflow in the company’s Settlement Services division.[IMAGE]The implementation empowers LenderLive to more effectively identify all necessary tasks in real time and perform them more efficiently, the company said in a release.[COLUMN_BREAK]””We wanted a platform that would automate workflow based on client requirements and file status to task appropriate employees for execution,”” said Joe Mowery, president of LenderLive Settlement Services. “”ResWare’s platform provides business process management functionality that allows customizing client requirements into automated decisioning which takes the guesswork out of process management and minimizes unnecessary human intervention.””ResWare also enables LenderLive to integrate all of its Settlement Services products and services across its entire enterprise, providing seamless interaction between their origination, document services, and default services systems–thus improving turn times and reducing errors. “”We have seen a dramatic improvement in our work output and controls,”” Mowery said. “”The platform provides better visibility into our daily and ongoing production and helps us make more informed and timely decisions, which enhances the customer experience and the value we can deliver to our clients.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors LenderLive Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-12-13 Tory Barringer LenderLive Implements ResWare to Enhance Workflow Management in Technologycenter_img Share December 13, 2013 491 Views last_img read more

0

FHFA Loan Limits to Remain Unchanged for 2015

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Secondary Market Conforming loan limits will remain untouched throughout most of the country for 2015, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) revealed Monday.In an release, FHFA announced that the maximum limit for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will stay at $417,000 for single-unit properties in most of the country, with a maximum of $625,500 for certain high-cost areas.Loan limits are recalculated and set each year under the terms of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA). Calculations are based on median home values.While loan limits were kept the same for most the United States, 46 counties will see an increase based on their own local conditions. Those counties are concentrated in higher-cost areas in a handful of states, including California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Washington.A full list of counties with higher limits can be found at FHFA’s website, along with the agency’s list of loan limits for all counties nationwide. FHFA: Loan Limits to Remain Unchanged for 2015 Conforming Loan Limits Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac 2014-11-24 Tory Barringercenter_img November 24, 2014 582 Views Sharelast_img read more

0

Brexit Drives Mortgage Rates Down Near AllTime Low

first_img June 30, 2016 488 Views Freddie Mac Mortgage Applications Mortgage Rates 2016-06-30 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Brexit Drives Mortgage Rates Down Near All-Time Lowcenter_img Fixed-rate mortgages are dropping in the wake of the U.K.’s Brexit vote, with 30-year FRMs hitting a three-year low this week. Thirty-year rates are, in fact, only 17 basis points higher than the all-time low of 3.31 percent, hit in November of 2012.Freddie Mac’s latest weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey set average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 3.48 percent for the week ending June 30. Last week, that average was 3.56 percent, and a year ago it was 4.08 percent.  Likewise, 15-year  fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.78 percent, down from last week’s 2.83 percent and down 3.24 percent from last year.“The immediate impact of Brexit on the mortgage market is the major decline in rates which produces lower monthly payments,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said. “This means that a well-qualified buyer can afford an 8 percent higher price since the beginning of the year. The increase in buying power is more than offsetting the higher prices.”Even 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages are down. They averaged 2.70 percent this week, compared to last week’s  2.74 percent and last year’s  2.99.Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac, said that in the wake of the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond plummeted 24 basis points.“This week’s survey rate is the lowest since May 2013 and only 17 basis points above the all-time low,” Becketti said. “This extremely low mortgage rate should support solid home sales and refinancing volume this summer.”“This extremely low mortgage rate should support solid home sales and refinancing volume this summer.”Sean Becketti, Chief Economist, Freddie MacPerhaps, but as far as mortgage applications go, this week’s activity was slower than last week’s. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications dropped 2.6 percent from last week. On an unadjusted basis, the pace decreased 3 percent compared to last week.The MBA’s Refinance Index also decreased, by 2 percent, and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent, but was up 13 percent than the same week one year ago.The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances hit its lowest level since May 2013, 3.75 percent, but the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgages increased to 3.74 percent from 3.70 percent.The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA remained unchanged at 3.61 percent. Sharelast_img read more

0

Fed Rate Hike is Unlikely Until After Election

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Federal Funds Target Rate Federal Reserve 2016-07-21 Seth Welborn Fed Rate Hike is Unlikely Until After Election July 21, 2016 715 Views center_img Against the backdrop of rising global risk following Britain’s exit from the European Union in June, it is unlikely that the Federal Reserve will raise the federal funds target rate until after November’s presidential election, according to Reuters poll of 100 economists.Fed policymakers had originally forecasted four rate hikes for 2016 at the start of the year following December’s historic liftoff, but volatility in overseas markets, an up-and-down labor market in the U.S., and inflation well below the Fed’s target rate of 2 percent has kept policymakers from enacting a rate hike in 2016.The Federal Open Market Committee, the monetary policymaking arm of the Fed, has four more meetings scheduled for 2016: July 26-27, September 21-22, November 1-2, and December 13-14. The December meeting will be the first one after the presidential election.Slightly more than half of the economists polled by Reuters said they believe the Fed will raise interest rates in the fourth quarter from their current level of 0-25-0.50 annually up to between 0.50 and 0.75 annually. It is unlikely the rate hike will come in the FOMC’s November meeting, since it wraps less than a week before the November 8 presidential election, according to the economists polled.The remaining economists surveyed by Reuters were divided on when they think the next rate hike will come—whether it will be in September, since the Fed has given no indication that a rate hike will come in the July meeting, or whether it will come next year.A Reuters poll in January indicated that economists widely believed a Fed rate hike would come no later than March. In the last six months since that poll, predictions for another rate hike have already been pushed back three times, according to Reuters. It was widely expected that the Fed would raise rates in June, but a dismal jobs report in May was largely responsible for preventing that from happening.The latest Reuters poll forecasted two more rate hikes in 2017, which will put the federal funds target rate at 1.00-1.25 percent by the end of next year.“All Fed commentary to date has suggested they will proceed very patiently and very gradually in normalizing policy. Our sense is the Fed might be extra cautious moving on rates close to the election since they’ll have to be seen as politically neutral,” said Sal Guatieri, economist at BMO Capital Markets. “Based on our view of how the economy will perform over the next six months and (considering) the U.S. is pretty close to full employment now … December is probably as good a time as any to move next.” Sharelast_img read more

0

The 20 Percent Downpayment A Thing of the Past

first_imgThe 20 Percent Downpayment: A Thing of the Past? in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Genworth Mortgage Insurance recently released their inaugural report on first-time homebuyers. Source data dates back to 1994 and analyzes over 20 million records. The survey tracks home sales to first-time homebuyers on a monthly basis, publishes quarterly, and compares the data against national housing market indicators. It is also singles out and identify homebuyers that purchased their home using a VA loan, USDA loan, FHA loan, or with a low downpayment coupled with mortgage insurance instead of the traditional 20 percent downpayment that has historically been required. The report found that this demographic accounted for 424,000 single-family home sales, or 38 percent of the total homes sold in Q1 of 2017. This amount is an 11 percent increase from Q1 2016, and the most since 2005.It also found that first-time homebuyers were the driving force behind the expansion of the housing market between 2014 and 2016, making up 85 percent of total sales and averaging an increase of 260,000 sales per year, two years in a row. During that time period, FHA loans were used 80 percent of the time to secure a mortgage—around 730,000 loans. An estimated 510,000 sales used private mortgage insurance to purchase their home, further reducing the number of homes obtained through a traditional 20 percent downpayment. In order to fully understand and predict the first-time homebuyer market, the report also tracks repeat homebuyers. In 2016, repeat homebuyers accounted for only 63 percent of home sales, the lowest since 2000. This is attributed to lower asset accumulation, preventing people from upgrading their living situation. In a statement released with this new data, Tian Liu, Chief Economist for Genworth Mortgage Insurance, said, “[First-time homebuyers’] impact has already been felt in falling inventory and rising home prices, and we expect them to increasingly drive growth to businesses most exposed to this market segment …  [b]y studying this group more closely, we hope to bring a better understanding about the many low down payment options available to help first-time homebuyers reach homeownership sooner.”The report for the second quarter of 2017 will be released August 22, 2017. Sharecenter_img FHA loans First-Time Homebuyer Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp. Mortgage Insurance USDA loan VA loan 2017-06-09 Staff Writer June 9, 2017 706 Views last_img read more

0

Arch MI RateStar Pricing Tool Gets an Update

first_img April 5, 2019 850 Views Arch Mortgage Insurance Company (Arch MI), a provider of private mortgage insurance (MI) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Arch Capital Group Ltd., announced the release of an update to their premium pricing tool, RateStar.This next generation of Arch MI’s RateStar user portal delivers a streamlined customer experience with express quotes and options to fully customize quotes. RateStar launched 10 years ago as a dynamic tool that could evaluate individual loan risk precisely.RateStar is also the only MI pricing tool that currently has an MI buydown feature. RateStar Buydown allows loan officers to customize a unique MI premium payment for each borrower, leveraging all lender and seller credits.“RateStar continues to evolve as we apply our decade of expertise and customer feedback,” said Michael Schmeiser, Arch MI’s President and CEO. “RateStar transformed the way lenders selected coverage, delivering our most competitive rates for each loan, and RateStar Buydown made it possible for them to tailor MI premiums according to individual borrower circumstances.” “Now we’re taking RateStar to the next level with our new portal,” he continued. “It offers an express rate quote option that returns rate quotes faster and requires far fewer fields. Users have a full range of MI pricing options to choose from. RateStar provides a streamlined, uncluttered customer experience with design enhancements based on lender preferences.” The new RateStar portal has a unique URL, archmiratestar.com (archmicuratestar.com for credit unions). It’s also available on most industry loan origination systems and pricing engines, as well as through Arch MI’s origination platform, CONNECT, and its downloadable mobile app.“Arch MI has led the way with our risk-based MI pricing solution, and we’ll continue to identify opportunities to enhance and expand RateStar’s capabilities,” Schmeiser said. “Fortunately, we have both the in-house expertise and experience to ensure the tool evolves as conditions change. Constant innovation makes RateStar relevant to loan officers, who are competing for every loan and need a dynamic MI pricing solution with the flexibility and precision to differentiate them in the marketplace.”The new RateStar portal features:a streamlined, clutter-free look and feela simplified, user-friendly interface, including an accessible font, font size, and languagefewer required data entry fields to receive a basic quotea reduced processing time on the back end, resulting in faster resultsa new express rate quote option, plus a full menu of applicable pricing options Arch MI Company News RateStar 2019-04-05 David Wharton Arch MI RateStar Pricing Tool Gets an Updatecenter_img Share in Headlines, journal, News, Technologylast_img read more

0

The Minister for Tourism of Brazil Marx Beltrão

first_imgThe Minister for Tourism of Brazil, Marx Beltrão, is in Sydney today to officially announce the launch ofthe new electronic visa to Brazil.Australians will be able to obtain a temporary entry visa from 21 November 2017, after which the electronic visa system will be fully operational from January 2018. Australian citizens planning to visit Brazil will be able to apply for their visa online and receive a response within 72 hours, a vast improvement on the previous 15-day wait.Online visa facilitation is one of many steps the Brazilian Government is taking to strengthen ties between Australia and Brazil. “[Our] two countries have everything to gain from the intensification of the flow of tourists,” the Minister said. Brazilvisalast_img read more

0

Princess Cruises will make its largest ever commit

first_imgPrincess Cruises will make its largest ever commitment to South Australia over the 2020/21 summer season with over 20 cruises to and from Adelaide, injecting an estimated $20 million into the state economy in crew and passenger spending, ship supplies and port charges.Watch drone footage of Sea Princess arriving into Adelaide’s Outer Harbor yesterday morning. AdelaidecruisePrincess Cruisessouth australialast_img

0

hotelsSingaporeSix Senses MaxwellSpawellness

first_imghotelsSingaporeSix Senses MaxwellSpawellness Singapore’s Six Senses Maxwell has introduced five spa pods and two relaxation rooms where guests can experience both traditional and innovative wellness experiences from Six Senses Signature Massages to locally-inspired rituals, targeted therapies and functional fitness. “Created in line with the brand’s commitment to incorporating wellness into each guest experience, the spa pods bring globally celebrated Six Senses rituals to Singapore’s urban community. Our wellness partners have put together a menu of treatments and activities which deliver positive and lasting benefits so that every guest finds harmony and balance from the inside out,” said Murray Aitken, general manager of Six Senses Singapore.Located on the fourth floor of Six Senses Maxwell, the spa pods and relaxation rooms are decorated and furnished in line with the property’s signature 19th century aesthetics and a stylish, modern twist. Spa pods at Six Senses Maxwell are open daily from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. For spa enquiries or reservations, please contact +65 6914 1410 or email reservations-singapore-spa@sixsenses.com. Advanced bookings are recommended to secure preferred timings. last_img read more

0

Dbacks president Derrick Hall Franchise still f

first_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Clearly this season has not gone as planned for theArizona Cardinals. The team stands at 1-6 with the 21st ranked offense and29th ranked defense. Obviously there are plenty of holes to fill, and somecould make the argument that almost every position needsan upgrade, but one glaring weakness the Cards possess isthe offensive line. This season the line has allowed 24sacks, second most in the NFL.Not to be pessimistic or anything, but the Cardinals arewell on their way to earning a top five pick for thesecond consecutive year. Remember, this is only a list of the top ranked offensivelinemen, the player’s that will most likely be taken inthe first two rounds — if not the first round alone.There will be plenty more talent to pick from in thefollowing rounds. So even though there are nine weeks left the season wedecided to look at the top offense linemen in next year’sdraft.• USC OT Matt Kalil Kalil has been compared to former number one pick JakeLong. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both rank himas the best offensive lineman in the 2012 class, and bothhave him number two on their big board. Only problem is ifKiper and McShay are right then the Cardinals probablywon’t have the chance to draft the offensive tackle.That’s because the Colts and Dolphins will probably havethe top two picks in the draft, since both currently sitat 0-7 and are actually in worse condition than theCardinals.• Stanford OT Jonathan Martin ESPN Scouts Inc. currently ranks Martin as the seventhoverall prospect. Kiper ranks him sixth on his big boardand says he is a trusted blindside blocker for Andrew Luckwith good ability to get to the second level. McShay rankshim seventh on his board. If Kalil is gone this could bethe best possible fit for the Cardinals, who could sit ashigh as third in the draft. • Iowa OT Riley Reiff Reiff, yet another offensive tackle, ranks ninth onKiper’s board and 12th on McShay’s. One positive aboutReiff is that he has not missed a game at Iowa, whichshows his durability. Kiper writes that the Hawkeye moveswell and is effective at getting under the pads ofdefenders and is another complete tackle expected to betaken in the top ten. Comments   Share   What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkecenter_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away • Georgia T/G Cordy Glenn Now even though the above three players are all ranked inKiper and McShay’s top 32, Glenn is not. McShay doesn’trank Glenn but Kiper ranks him 16th. Kiper ranks thecurrent Bulldog 16th because of two factors: experienceand versatility. Glenn can play either tackle or guard,which could make him valuable among NFL teams that shuffleoffensive linemen around, like the Cardinals.• Stanford G David DeCastro DeCastro is the second Stanford Cardinal to make the listand while Kiper doesn’t rank him, McShay puts him atnumber 20 on his top 32. McShay wrote that DeCastro is the“most dominant” inside lineman in the nation. DeCastro isan integral part of the Stanford O-line that helps theteam rush for an average of 219 yards per game. Could be aperfect to open up holes for the between the tacklesrunning style of Beanie Wells. • Oklahoma State OT Levy Adcock Kiper ranks Adcock 25th on his big board. The 6-6, 322pound senior is versatile with good footwork and movement.Adcock’s biggest strength is his consistency, something astruggling Cardinals offensive line has yet to find. DeCastro, Reiff, Martin and Kalil are all underclassmen soeven though it’s expected they’ll come out, there is noguarantee meaning that the top offensive lineman in nextyear’s draft could be Cordy Glenn. Top Stories last_img read more

1 2 3 4 190