Bonus commission for any Royal Collection Suite booked at Honua Kai

first_img Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Set between the Pacific Ocean and the West Maui Mountains on Kaanapali North Beach, Honua Kai Resort & Spa is a Hawaiian vacation ideal for families, couples and business travellers.Travel agents can earn a booking bonus commission of US$200 when booking any Royal Collection Suite. The resort consists of 628 studio-, one-, two- and three-suites all varying in size, three acres of aquatic playground, full-service concierge desk, two restaurants and a spa.All suites also come equipped with gourmet kitchens, stainless-steel appliances, washer and dryer. Highlights of the amenities include a 24-hour front desk, barbeque grills, WiFi, car rentals and valet parking, 24-hr fitness facilities and a bathroom off each bedroom.Guests have two on-site restaurants to choose from: Duke’s Beach House with authentic Hawaiian cuisine featuring locally grown ingredients, seafood and steak; and ‘Aina Gourmet Market, a café with a full coffee bar, pastries, salads, sandwiches and snacks. Guests can also venture out of the resort to the numerous local restaurants, get take-out or visit the grocery store to make home-cooked meals in their suite.Other features include the Ho’ola Spa offering a Himalayan salt room, warm stone rituals, massages and facials. The Aquatic Playground highlights waterfalls, a water slide, caves, hot tub and four lounge pools, including a lazy river, lap pool, kids pool and quiet pool. The Beach Activities Desk offers towels, pool toys and beach gear.For more go to honuakai.com. Sharecenter_img Tags: Hawaii Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Bonus commission for any Royal Collection Suite booked at Honua Kailast_img read more

WestJet announces fee increase on prereserved seats

first_img Posted by Travelweek Group Tuesday, May 23, 2017 CALGARY — Starting today, passengers will pay a bit more for pre-reserved seats (PRS) on select routes with WestJet.The airline has just announced a $5 increase on PRS from $20 to $25, effective as of May 23. The new fee only applies to regular seats.The following routes will be subject to the fee hike:Edmonton (YEG) – Maui (OGG)Calgary (YYC) – Maui (OGG)Edmonton (YEG) – Honolulu (HNL)Calgary (YYC) – Honolulu (HNL)Vancouver (YVR) – Maui (OGG)Vancouver (YVR) – Honolulu (HNL)Toronto (YYZ) – Aruba (AUA)Toronto (YYZ) – London Gatwick (LGW)Winnipeg (YWG) – London Gatwick (LGW)John’s (YYT) – London Gatwick (LGW)Edmonton (YEG) – London Gatwick (LGW)Vancouver (YVR) – London Gatwick (LGW)Calgary (YYC) – London Gatwick (LGW)For more information go to westjet.com/servicefees. << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Tags: Ancillary Fees, WestJet WestJet announces fee increase on pre-reserved seats Sharelast_img read more

Costa Rica is favorite regional destination for European tourists

first_imgNo related posts. Costa Rica received 248,996 European tourists in 2012, and it’s their favorite tourist destination in the region, followed by Guatemala with 172,160 visitors from that continent.The figures were published in a report released this week by the Central American Tourism Promotion Agency, adding that the region as a whole increased tourist arrivals by 16 percent in 2012.According to the report, 717,883 European tourists arrived in the region in 2011, while in 2012 the number rose to 832,576.Germany and the United Kingdom are the countries that most contributed to these figures, as visitors from those countries accounted for 9.7 and 7 percent of visitors in the seven countries of the region.Spanish tourists are third, as they increased their visits to Central America by four percent. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Trump says immigrants in US illegally have to go

first_imgRelated posts:Venezuela’s Maduro calls Donald Trump a ‘thief’ For Mexicans, the Donald Trump candidacy is getting scarier Trump tangles with Latino newsman, launches fresh attacks on GOP rivals Bernie Sanders’ CAFTA reversal pledge worries Costa Rica businesses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says that undocumented immigrants “have to go,” and he has vowed to undo President Barack Obama’sDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.The comments underscore how Trump, who has regularly stoked controversy with comments on illegal immigration and border security, is running a very conservative campaign centered on the issues — and one that puts him to the right of some of his key primary opponents. On Sunday, Trump released a position paper on immigration and border security that called on Mexico to pay for a wall on the southern border of the United States and force the “mandatory return of all criminal aliens” to their home countries.See also: Costa Rica also tells Donald Trump, ‘You’re fired’Trump made his comments during a wide-ranging interview with Chuck Todd airing Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” In it, he said he would vigilantly police the controversial nuclear deal with Iran as president, criticized former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s comments on women’s health and argued that America deserves more in return for helping other world powers in their military conflicts.On immigration, Trump said, “We’re going to keep the families together, but they (those in the country illegally) have to go,” according to a transcript released by NBC.He also said the country should “get rid of” birthright citizenship.“What they’re doing: They’re having a baby. And all of a sudden, nobody knows … the baby’s here,” he said.In Trump’s paper, he took a shot at one of his Republican opponents, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who once pushed a comprehensive immigration bill but now favors a piecemeal approach. “The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties,” said Trump’s paper.Trump’s paper said Mexico “must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all border crossing cards — of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico (tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options).”Donald Trump’s immigration platformThe Washington Post reported last week that Trump would unveil a series of position papers in early September. According to a Trump associate, the campaign wanted to wait, but due to mounting questions about specifics, they decided to get it out now.Venturing into foreign-policy territory during his “Meet The Press” interview, Trump said Germany and other European powers should be doing more to help Ukraine, arguing that much of the responsibility is falling to the United States. He also complained that the United States was going it alone in helping defend allies against North Korea.“So the young man from North Korea starts acting up and having one of his fits, we immediately get our ships going. We get our aircraft. We get nothing for this,” Trump said. “I’m not saying that we’re going to let anything happen to them. But they have to help us.”Trump, who campaigned at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, took a shot at Bush’s comments questioning the level of federal spending that should go toward women’s health issues. (Bush later said he misspoke.)“I actually think that that statement is his 47 percent,” said Trump, referencing Mitt Romney’s infamous comments from the 2012 campaign.Trump said he opposes abortion but would make exceptions in cases of rape and incest and to save the life of the mother. He used to be in favor of abortion rights.On the Iran nuclear agreement, which some Republican candidates have pledged to undo, Trump said he would “police” the deal.“I’ve taken over some bad contracts. I buy contracts where people screwed up and they have bad contracts,” he said.Trump has faced increasing criticism from some of his GOP rivals. On ABC on Sunday, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina questioned whether Trump is really a Republican.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica to host World Surf League comp in Esterillos Este

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s Circuito Guanacasteco de Surf: A new surf philosophy Pavones: Fowlie, squatters, tuna farm and surfers collide in disturbing new book World Surfing Games in Jacó: 5 things to know about attending World Surfing Games preview: Can Costa Rica win second consecutive title? Costa Rica’s continued rise on the surfing scene took another giant leap on Tuesday when it was announced that the country will play host to a world surf tour event for the first time in over a decade.The World Surf League (WSL), the sport’s international sanctioning body, will hold the Costa Rica Pro men’s and women’s qualifying series event from Oct. 5-9 at Esterillos Este in Puntarenas.Costa Rica surf legend Diego Naranjo announced on his Facebook page Tuesday night that his surf company Orange Wave worked for 10 months to assure a WSL event in Tico waters. On top of getting the official license from the league, Naranjo said he also had to clear some red tape hurdles with local authorities like those at the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).In working side by side with the tourism institute, the international surf event can help promote Costa Rica to surfers and fans from all over the globe, he said.“There’s a strong movement that is happening all around us in Panama and Nicaragua with regards to designing tourism around surfing,” Naranjo told The Tico Times on Wednesday. “In a sense Costa Rica has been sleeping on this opportunity and we need to promote surf again to travelers.”Costa Rica’s last official world qualifying series events were at the turn of the century with a pair of Billabong Pro tournaments in 2001 and 2002.Brian Robbins, who is in charge of selecting event sites for the WSL, said Costa Rica stood out because of its penchant for year-round waves that don’t fluctuate too strongly between seasons and hours of the day.“Costa Rica is unique because you can probably surf most beaches all the time,” Robbins said. “The beach we’re looking at in Costa Rica has a reputation for working at all tides, which allows you to surf all day. That means it’s a fair competition that doesn’t give disadvantages to surfers at different times of the day.”The Costa Rica Pro has been designated a 3,000-point event, meaning the winner will receive 3,000 points in the qualifying rankings. By the year’s end, the top 10 surfers in the qualifying standings will be eligible to compete in the World Championship Tour next season. Costa Rican stars Noe Mar McGonagle and Carlos “Cali” Muñoz have been mainstays in the qualifying series and currently rank 74th and 76th, respectively, after finishing within the top 40 last season.For Muñoz, who hails from Esterillos, the Costa Rica Pro will be a homecoming in which he should figure as one of the favorites to win. Naranjo said that all of the top Costa Rican surfers plan to compete in the October tournament, including Santa Teresa’s Anthony Fillingim and Leilani McGonagle, the younger sister of Noe Mar.Some 200 surfers could be expected to participate in the tour event, Robbins said. He echoed Naranjo’s words by saying that Costa Rica, with its big waves and gorgeous coasts, belongs among the most sought-after surf destinations worldwide.“It was really the first Latin American traveling destination for surfing,” Robbins said. “Other countries have kind of joined in on surf tourism, but it was Costa Rica that hit the mainstream early on.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

A great night for a little footy

first_imgRelated posts:Off like a shot Farewell, work week A walk in the clouds Holy Week offerings for those in need Facebook Comments The moon rises over the Universitario Stadium in Monterrey, Mexico before the start of the CONCACAF Champions League football match between Mexico’s Tigres and Costa Rica’s Herediano, on Feb. 27, 2018.At the time of this writing, the game is still tied 0-0 at halftime.Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or any other image you care to share? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to kstanley@ticotimes.net. We’d love to see the sights with you.last_img

Accidental president rides antiSarkozy wave

first_img Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Affable, soft-spoken and witty, the president-elect has built his reputation as a manager and consensus-builder rather than as a visionary. He’s never held high government office, despite a 30-year career in French politics. An image makeover during the campaign _ slimming down and donning more fashionable suits and eyeglasses _ was a bid for greater presidential gravitas.A high point in this transformation came during the televised debate May 2. Hollande teed off on a presenter’s question about what kind of president he’d be, tipping back in his chair, folding his arms, and launching into a litany of points starting with the phrase: “As president of the Republic, I …”The gutsy performance was one of the most talked about moments of the rough-and-tumble debate, and went a long way to making Hollande look presidential in the eyes of the French.His girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiler, a well-dressed and impeccably coiffed political journalist, is also seen as an asset to the presidential ticket.Hollande promises to be a “normal” president, signaling a dramatic change of tone both at home and abroad for the French president after five years in which Sarkozy ruffled feathers with his aggressive, brash personality. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizonacenter_img Associated PressPARIS (AP) – Just one year ago, the idea that Francois Hollande would become France’s next president would have been laughed at _ even by some of his political allies.Hollande had long been sidelined from France’s national affairs. Longtime friends and colleagues compared him to a jiggly pudding, or the captain of a pedal boat _ a way to suggest he had no political spine. He led the Socialist Party through 11 years _ years fraught with divisions and two consecutive presidential defeats. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family That was before the “Affaire DSK,” the New York sex scandal that engulfed Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the man France’s Socialists were counting on to be their champion in the election battle with incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.Now, Hollande will have to show the French, and the world, that he brings the talents of a statesman to the table, not just the fact that he’s not Sarkozy.Hollande, 57, won the presidency in a campaign that reflected his personality _ slow and steady. Like the tortoise in Aesop’s fable, he managed to overtake the hyperactive hare in front of him and win the race without ever igniting passions.And after a strong performance in his only debate with the tough-tongued Sarkozy, Hollande’s looking ready to slip right into his new role as head of state.“The change … starts now,” he said in his victory speech.After a bitter campaign and five years under the often-divisive Sarkozy, Hollande promised to be the “president of everyone” and not just those who voted for him.“There is just one France … one single nation, united in the same destiny,” Hollande said.He promised to reduce the budget deficit and preserve the French social model, and said youth and justice are his two top commitments. Sarkozy tried to turn this claim against Hollande, saying his “normality” was insufficient to take on the broad economic, political and social challenges facing France.A majority of French voters disagreed Sunday. Hollande will have five years to prove his win was no accident.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Patients with chronic pain give advice New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img read more

Miniature Yugoslavia on verge of vanishing

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Associated PressSUBOTICA, Serbia (AP) – Blasko Gabric and his friends found it hard to cope with the collapse of Yugoslavia, so they made a miniature one of their own.Now, they could lose this one too.The Yugoland theme park, for years a gathering spot for the admirers of the former communist state, faces closure because Gabric put up part of the property as collateral in a bank loan that went bad.“I will try to save Yugoslavia,” said Gabric, a 70-year-old retired Serbian printer. “It would be truly sad if this Yugoslavia disappeared as well.” Gabric’s mini-Yugoslavia is squeezed on 3.5 acres (1.5 hectares) of land featuring a fake mountain, a ditch meant to represent the Adriatic sea, Yugoslav flags and communist red stars. It all symbolizes the despair of a people whose country dissolved in brutal wars of the 1990s, leaving thousands dead and millions homeless.Facing a new reality of shrunken lands and free market chaos, many ex-Yugoslavs have started to look back at the former communist dictatorship as a dreamland that offered equality and job security.The trend became known as “Yugo-nostalgia.”And Gabric is a main proponent.“No Bible can describe a more beautiful heaven than the one we had in our Yugoslavia,” he exclaims. “We had the most wonderful country in the world.”During the communist years, Gabric spent many years in Canada, where he owned a printing press. He returned in 1983 and set up a business in Subotica, a town near Hungarian border.Then, in the early 1990s’, Gabric witnessed Yugoslavia torn to pieces by nationalists: First Slovenia, then Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia left the federation in a series of bloody ethnic conflicts.What finally spurred Gabric to action was the decision in 2003 by Serbia and Montenegro _ the two republics that had remained together _ to abolish the name of Yugoslavia altogether. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Miroslav Andrijevic, a 62-year-old retired photographer from Subotica, became a citizen of mini-Yugoslavia seven years ago. Andrijevic tearfully says mini-Yugoslavia has offered consolation to the people who felt lost without the country they had lived in for most of their lives.But, with Socialism gone, mini-Yugoslavs have encountered one major obstacle to making their dream come true: money. The miniature country is shabby and dusty, the Adriatic Sea has bushes growing at its bottom and Mt. Triglav bears no resemblance to the Alpine original in today’s Slovenia.But Gabric won’t give up.He hopes to organize a charity concert to gather funds to pay off the bank.The stakes are high. If I don’t succeed, Gabric says: “we will lose Serbia and Macedonia.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Gabric registered a “mini-Yugoslavia” on his land in February 2003. He and his friends put up border stones and a bronze bust of the late Communist dictator Josip Broz Tito. They recreated Triglav, Yugoslavia’s highest mountain, by piling up several tons of soil they dug out to create a miniature Adriatic Sea. They even started issuing virtual mini-Yugoslavia passports.“We wanted to preserve a piece of our lives here,” he explains.Mini-Yugoslavia today has over 8,000 “citizens.” A sign at the theme park gate reads: “Yugoslavia will live as long as we live.”Over the years, thousands have visited the park, mostly to mark Tito’s birthday on May 25, or other former Yugoslav holidays. On such occasions, the theme park organizes picnics, music and dance. Thousands more, from all the former Yugoslavia, have gathered each year at Tito’s grave in the capital Belgrade, or in his birthplace Kumrovec, in Croatia.Tito’s admirers say the former leader was a skillful politician who split from the Soviet Union and steered the country successfully through the turbulent Cold War era. They say Tito’s leadership was softer than the communism in the rest of eastern Europe, noting that Yugoslavs were able to travel abroad and enjoy relative freedom, if not democracy. Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories last_img read more

Rebels seize sprawling army base in southern Syria

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How do cataracts affect your vision? BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels seized a sprawling military base in a lightning assault Tuesday, marking the latest in a series of defeats for President Bashar Assad’s increasingly embattled forces, rebels and activists said.Assad’s forces have suffered a stunning string of setbacks over the past three months at the hands of insurgents, members of al-Qaida’s local affiliate and the Islamic State extremist group. The government lost the northern city of Idlib, the central historic town of Palmyra and a southern border crossing point with Jordan. Al-Rayyes said more than 67 soldiers were killed in the battle for Brigade 52, including seven officers. Eleven rebel fighters were also killed. The numbers could not be independently confirmed.The Free Syrian Army’s Southern Front is an alliance of rebel groups backed by the U.S. and its allies, including Syria’s southern neighbor Jordan, which offers the group logistical support. Earlier this year, the rebels captured a string of towns from government forces. They aim to carve out a swath of territory leading to the doorstep of Assad’s seat of power in Damascus.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights meanwhile said it has documented the deaths of 230,000 people since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011.The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists inside Syria, said the dead include 69,494 civilians, among them 11,493 children. The conflict has also claimed the lives of 49,106 troops, 32,533 pro-government fighters and 38,592 rebels, it said. The others killed include army defectors, Islamic State militants, foreign fighters and members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, which is fighting alongside government forces.Observatory director Rami Abdurrahman said the real death toll could be above 300,000, since there are tens of thousands of people who are missing or were buried without being counted. Comments   Share   The Western-backed rebel alliance known as the Southern Front led the dawn assault on the army base in the southern Daraa province, known as Brigade 52, said Ahmad al-Masalmeh, an opposition activist in Daraa. It is the biggest Syrian military base in the province and lies near a major highway running from Jordan to the capital Damascus. He said the rebels also captured the nearby village of Mleiha al-Sharqiyeh.After a fierce six-hour battle, the rebels were in control of the air base, said Issam al-Rayyes, a spokesman for the Southern Front alliance.“Brigade 52 is fully liberated after intense battles that saw regime soldiers rapidly collapse,” he told The Associated Press by telephone. He said the base, which borders the government-controlled Sweida province, was used by the army to shell civilian areas with deadly barrel bombs and artillery. It houses an air base, an infantry unit and an artillery and T-72 tank battalion.He said the capture of the base triggered celebrations in nearby villages.The Syrian government did not comment directly on the battle for Brigade 52. But state-run news agency SANA said army units struck “terrorist” groups in Daraa province. It said fighters trained in camps in neighboring Jordan, as well as weapons and ammunition bound for “terrorist organizations,” were flowing across the border into Daraa. The Syrian government refers to rebels fighting to topple Assad as terrorists. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The difference between men and women when it comes to paincenter_img The U.N. said last year that the war has killed at least 220,000 people. That figure has not been updated.Syria’s conflict began with largely peaceful Arab Spring-inspired demonstrations demanding political reform, but eventually escalated into a civil war after the government responded with a violent crackdown on dissent. Today the country is split among Assad’s forces, the Islamic State group and rebel factions, many with Islamist ideologies.___Associated Press writer Bassem Mroue contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Four benefits of having a wireless security system Top Stories Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Tunisia launches nationwide manhunt for attack accomplices

first_img Top Stories The attacker has been identified as Seifeddine Rezgui, a 24-year-old graduate of Tunisia’s Kairouan University where he had been living with the other students. The attack was claimed by the radical Islamic State group.“We are sure that others helped, but did not participate,” Aroui said. “They participated indirectly.”Investigators believe the suspected accomplices provided the Kalashnikov assault rifle to Rezgui and helped him get to the scene, Aroui said.Authorities have yet to suggest a motive for the carnage. A security official close to the investigation said the student frequented an “unofficial” mosque in the Tunisian holy city of Kairouan for the past two years.The official said a swimmer had found the attacker’s cellphone in the Mediterranean. The phone showed the attacker spoke with his father just before his assault, the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.Friday’s attack on the Imperial Marhaba Hotel shook this North African nation that thrives on tourism and has struggled since its 2011 revolution to be the one Arab Spring country that succeeds in transitioning from authoritarianism to democracy. The owner of the Imperial Marhaba hotel, Zohra Driss, said unarmed beach guards “tried to beat (the attacker) with chairs, with flower vases of flowers, but it was impossible.”The hotel’s beach security chief Lotfi Torkhani told the AP on Sunday that two armed security officers, one at the main entrance and one at the beach, would be provided by the state on July 1.“Many of my English friends died. They have been visiting us for 10 years. They even visited me at home and ate Tunisian food,” Torkhani said. He echoed numerous accounts from tourists and hotel employees of the bond between them. “They love me and I love them.”___Andrea Rosa in Sousse, and Bouazza Ben Bouazza in Tunis, contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology The attacker methodically moved from the beach to the hotel’s swimming pool, reception and other areas. The death toll surpassed the 22 people killed in March at The National Bardo Museum outside Tunis — again mostly tourists, in a country known for its beaches and rich history.Tunisian authorities moved quickly to bolster security for tourists and other vacationers. Interior Minister Mohamed Najem Gharsalli announced late Saturday the deployment of 1,000 extra police officers at tourist sites and beaches. Tunisia’s tourism sector made up nearly 15 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2014.“We don’t want to make tourist establishments into barracks. That’s not our goal. But we must act to guarantee the security of the tourist sector,” he said.It wasn’t clear whether the reinforcements would all be in uniform. There is currently a tourism police unit in vacation areas of Tunisia and numerous police wear civilian clothes.Tourism Minister Selma Elloumi will meet with foreign ambassadors to lay out new security measures for tourists.On the night of the attack, Prime Minister Habib Essid announced a series of measures, including closing 80 mosques not condoned by the state. Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   center_img SOUSSE, Tunisia (AP) — The student who massacred holidaymakers on a Tunisian beach and at a swank resort hotel acted alone during the attack but had accomplices who supported him beforehand, an Interior Ministry official said Sunday.Police were searching nationwide for more suspects after the slaughter of at least 38 people in Sousse on Friday, in Tunisia’s deadliest ever such attack. The attacker’s father and three roommates were detained and being questioned in the capital, Tunis, Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told The Associated Press. The bloodshed shocked European nations across the Mediterranean worried for the safety of their citizens who populate Tunisian beaches — and about what it may mean for their own countries in an age of globalized terrorism.British counterterrorism police official Mark Rowley said Sunday that Britain has mobilized more than 600 officers and staff — one of the force’s largest counterterrorism deployments in recent years — in response to the attack.At least 15 Britons were among the 38 killed, the most serious attack on the British since 52 people were killed in attacks targeting London’s transport network in July 2005. Three Irish nationals were also among the dead.Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said it was highly likely that “a significant number” of the victims yet to be identified would be British.Britain has deployed senior detectives and forensic teams to Tunisia.Ballistic tests showed the bullets came from a single Kalashnikov, Aroui said, adding that the attacker was equipped with four ammunition chargers — all found by investigators. Aroui said each might hold 30 rounds.Shortly after Friday’s shooting spree, Aroui had initially said that two people were involved in the attack before backtracking. To some, the long duration of the assault — reportedly lasting nearly 30 minutes — and the high casualty count might indicate that more than one gunman was involved. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Parents, stop beating yourself up Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day A Tunisian police officer on horse patrol the beach in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Sousse, Tunisia, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Tunisia’s top security official says 1,000 extra police are being deployed at tourist sites and beaches in the North African nation. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)last_img read more

GOP House chairman calls on Obama to remove IRS commissioner

first_img“Throughout his tenure, Commissioner Koskinen obstructed these congressional investigations,” Chaffetz wrote in a letter that was also signed by 20 other Republicans on the Oversight Committee. “His obstruction takes the form of failure to comply with a congressional subpoena, failure to testify truthfully and failure to preserve and produce up to 24,000 emails relevant to the investigation.”Chaffetz also raised the possibility of impeaching Koskinen or voting to hold him in contempt of Congress. But when pressed, Chaffetz was noncommittal, saying those were tools available to Congress if the White House does not act.The White House had no comment Monday.The IRS issued a statement disputing Chaffetz’s allegations, saying the agency and “Koskinen have been cooperative and truthful with the numerous investigations underway.”The IRS says more than 1 million pages of documents have been provided to Congress and the agency has participated in more than 30 congressional hearings.“The agency will continue to cooperate with the committees, support the important oversight role of Congress as well as make additional improvements in our operations and processes,” the IRS statement said. The Senate confirmed Koskinen as head of the IRS in December 2013, months after the agency acknowledged that agents had mistreated tea party and other conservative groups when they applied for tax-exempt status. Koskinen, a specialist at turning around troubled agencies and companies, was tasked with restoring trust in an agency that had lost much of its top management to the scandal.Shortly after the scandal erupted, Obama forced acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller to resign.Chaffetz said Koskinen failed to preserve IRS emails by a key figure in congressional investigations, despite promising to produce them.Last month, the IRS inspector general told Congress that two IRS workers at a computer center in West Virginia had erased computer backup tapes that could have contained up to 24,000 emails to and from Lois Lerner, who used to head the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.The inspector general said the workers might have been incompetent, but he found no evidence that they had destroyed evidence as part of a conspiracy.The emails were initially lost when Lerner’s computer hard drive crashed in 2011.“The bottom line is that the inspector general found no evidence to back up Republican claims of political motivation, White House involvement or intentional destruction of evidence,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee. “Calls for Commissioner Koskinen to step down are nothing more than an attempt by Republicans to manufacture a political crisis based on allegations that have already been debunked.” Lerner, who has since retired, has emerged as a central figure in congressional investigations. The House voted to hold her in contempt of Congress last year after she refused to answer questions at two House Oversight hearings.___Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephenatapCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   How do cataracts affect your vision? Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican chairman of a powerful House committee called for the removal of the IRS commissioner Monday, saying he has obstructed congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative groups.Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, sent a letter Monday to President Barack Obama, asking him to remove IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Chaffetz is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which has been investigating the IRS for more than two years.last_img read more

Gold Coast tourism shoots back up

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Australia’s sunshine state has received 10 million visitors over the past 12 months for the first time since 2008. Gold Coast Tourism chief executive Martin Winter said reaching the 10 million mark demonstrates the industry’s recovery particularly in the Gold Coast. “Given the challenges of the past couple of years, we saw this 10 million visitor mark as a definite sign of recovery,” Mr Winter said. The head added that despite the rising number of tourists the group will continue to focus on increasing total visitor expenditure. “In March 2008 visitor expenditure peaked at just over $4.7 billion on the Gold Coast, this year was $4.49 million so we are steadily working within reach of that target,” Mr Winter said. “We believe increased visitor expenditure can be achieved by getting visitors to stay slightly longer, helping visitors choose more activities within the destination, encouraging accommodation venues to rebuild their room rates, and reviving the Middle East peak season as Ramadan becomes less of an impact.”last_img read more

Indias tourist visa increases arrivals

first_imgIn order to create even further growth for India an Indian delegation from IATO visited Australia and New Zealand to highlight the details of India’s new tourist visa on arrival.More than 300 travel industry members in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland met with this delegation from India Tourism and Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).The popularity of the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) has been strong since it was introduced on 27 November 2014 to various countries including Australia and New Zealand.During the month of January 2015, a total of 25,023 tourist arrived by availing TVoA as compared to 1,903 TVoA during the month of January 2014, registering a growth of 1214.9 per cent.This high growth is due to the introduction of ETA enabled TVoA for 43 countries, the percentage shares of top 10 source countries for TVoA, in India during January 2015.Foreign Tourist Arrivals were at 7.46 Million in 2014 with a growth of 7.1 per cent, as compared to 6.97 Million in 2013.Special guest at the tour of Australia, Mr. Sunjay Sudhir, spoke about the growing interest of Australians and New Zealanders who wish to visit India.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

RCL Cruises Ltd wraps up successful Australian season

first_imgRoyal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have concluded their Australian season, finishing with record-breaking results and carrying more Australian passengers than ever before.During the season, a fleet of five RCL Cruises Limited ships were home ported in Australia and a total of 82 sailings were deployed.RCL Cruises Ltd Australia and South East Asia commercial director Sean Treacy said the cruise line is thrilled to be a part of the current growth period for the Australian cruise industry.“We carried more guests than ever before, and although it is bittersweet that we have farewelled Rhapsody of the Seas … we look forward to next season when we welcome two new Royal Caribbean International ships, Voyager Class Explorer of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, the first Royal Caribbean ship to be home ported in Brisbane,” Mr Treacy said.“And we are also very excited to welcome Azamara Club Cruises to our shores for the first time.”The five ships included Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Century from the Celebrity Cruises brand and together they offered Australian cruisers 27 voyages.Royal Caribbean International provided the newly renovated Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas.Across the three ships, over 130,000 passengers were carried on 55 sailings.Between October 2014 and April 2015, the five ships called 51 ports in total around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.Looking ahead to the 2015/16 season, RCL Cruises Ltd will increase its local capacity by almost 50 percent, with Royal Caribbean International set to base its first ever ship in Brisbane, Legend of the Seas.Australia will welcome boutique cruise line Azamara Club Cruises to its shores for the first time; Azamara Quest will arrive in Cairns in January next year for her first local cruise.Royal Caribbean International will also introduce the first ever brand new cruise ship to Australia, Ovation of the Seas, which will arrive in Sydney in December next year.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

Abu Dhabi – Discover the jewel of the crown with roomsXML

first_imgroomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide . If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents. Thanks for Wikitravel for the tips. Abu Dhabi – Discover the jewel of the crown with roomsXML roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsxml.com The destination with enough to do and see to last you a year, Abu Dhabi is the UAE capital, and jewel of the crown. With the staggering Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (rumoured to hold 40,000 visitors), the worlds fastest rollercoaster, or visit the Grand Prix circuit, Abu Dhabi is understandably one of the most popular tourist locations on the planet. roomsXML has over 140 Properties across Abu Dhabi.If you are planning to book Abu Dhabi for your clients with families, don’t miss the followingSheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – the biggest & possibly the grandest in the world.Ferrari World Abu Dhabi – the fastest and most extensive Ferrari themed indoor roller coaster.Yas Waterworld – a water park so large it will keep the kids busy for days.Arabian Wildlife Park – A massive wildlife park protecting 10,000 free roaming animals. This park occupies over half of the island.Abu Dhabi Corniche – An 8km stretch of idyllic waterfront cafes, play areas, and even a beach.Aldar HQ – A massive circular building that has to be seen to be believed. Also pop in a visit for the Emirates Palace, Al Bahar Towers and Capital Gate. Jewel of the UAE; Abu Dhabilast_img read more

Ninth property joins expanding NSW outback tourism stable

first_imgNinth property joins expanding NSW outback tourism stableNinth property joins expanding NSW outback tourism stableOutback NSW tourism operator, Out of the Ordinary Outback, launched in 2016, has expanded its portfolio of tourism and leisure assets with the purchase of its ninth property – The Alma Hotel in South Broken Hill.Out of the Ordinary Outback has begun refurbishing the heritage-listed Alma Hotel, built in the late 1800s, with the aim of making the family-friendly pub in Hebbard St a hub of leisure and entertainment in the area.The dining room has been refreshed and a sports bar added while over the next three months Out of the Ordinary Outback will develop a new family-friendly beer garden for locals and travellers alike to enjoy.While the Alma does not offer accommodation, eat in and take-away meals have been introduced for lunch and dinner, serving quality pub food with kid’s options available. Live music is also on offer on Sunday nights.To mark the hotel’s new lease of life, Out of the Ordinary Outback is offering guests a special meal deal – buy a main meal at the Alma Hotel’s new bistro and get the second for half price.Out of the Ordinary Outback owner, Scott Smith, said the addition of The Alma Hotel to the company’s portfolio would complement its other combination of offerings across far west NSW, while the revitalisation of the hotel would enhance its appeal to locals and travellers alike. “We hope the Alma Hotel will become a popular and intrinsic part of Broken Hill’s social, leisure, entertainment and dining scene and encourage the locals to come together and enjoy good food, refreshing beverages and great company.”The Alma Hotel is open from 10am to midnight daily. Call the Alma Hotel on 08 8087 3260 or visit http://alma-hotel.business.site/Out of the Ordinary Outback encompasses outback tour company, Tri State Safaris, and nine properties. These include Broken Hill properties – The Argent, Tourist Lodge and the Alma Hotel, Warrawong on the Darling Caravan, Camping and Cabins Holiday Park, the iconic White Cliffs Underground Motel, Cobar’s Copper City Motel, the Ivanhoe Hotel, and the Broken Hill Outback Resort which will open in April 2018, offering caravan and camping accommodation. Out of the Ordinary Outback also runs its own visitor centre in Broken Hill.Visit www.outoftheordinaryoutback.com.au or call 1300 688 225.Source = Out of the Ordinary Outbacklast_img read more

Lufthansa receives 10th Airbus A350900

first_imgAirbus A350-900Lufthansa receives 10th Airbus A350-900First landing in Munich, on the 1st of JuneAward-winning cabin on display on the 9th of JuneLufthansa is expecting the arrival of its tenth Airbus A350-900 today. The aircraft bearing the registration D-AIXJ is named after the town of Erfurt, and is expected to land at its future home base in Munich around noon. A few days later, the A350-900 featuring the new Lufthansa livery will be one of the main attractions at the Family & Music Days at Munich Airport: On the 9th and 10th of June, the world’s most modern long-haul aircraft can be experienced close up. Aircraft fans should not miss the opportunity on Saturday, the 9th of June, when all visitors – young and old – can view the multi-award-winning cabin. The aircraft is open for viewing between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on that day only.The Lufthansa A350-900 is the world’s first passenger aircraft to model its cabin light on the course of daylight.  The extraordinarily lighting concept, which makes travel even more relaxed and comfortable, recently received the award of the German Lighting Design Prize 2018. This is the second time the Lufthansa A350-900 has won an outstanding award:  Prior to that, the Lufthansa A350 Economy Class received the German Design Award 2018 in the category “Excellent product design”.The A350-900 is the most modern and environmentally friendly long-haul aircraft in the world. It consumes 25 percent less jet fuel, generates 25 percent less emissions and is significantly quieter on take-off and landing than comparable aircraft types. The first of 15 aircraft entered service from its Munich base in February last year. The A350-900 can seat 293 passengers: 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy Class and 224 in Economy Class.Source = Lufthansalast_img read more

Worlds First Beluga Whale Sanctuary to be created in Iceland

first_imgWorld’s First Beluga Whale Sanctuary to be created in Iceland·        SEA LIFE TRUST unveils ground-breaking plan to create the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary·        Two beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White, will be transported 6,000 miles from China to Iceland in Spring 2019·        Project partner, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), believes the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary will lead the way in encouraging more captive whales and dolphins to be released in the futureThe SEA LIFE TRUST has today announced it will create the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales in a ground-breaking marine welfare project in Iceland.Created in partnership with WDC, the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary is one of the biggest developments in captive whale and dolphin care and protection in decades and the first of its kind to be created for cetaceans. It is hoped the project will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales into natural environments in the future, and one day bring an end to whale and dolphin entertainment shows.The sanctuary will become the new home to its first residents, two female beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White in Spring 2019.Currently located at Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai, China, Little Grey and Little White will take part in an incredible 6,000-mile journey and will be transported by air, land and sea to a large sanctuary in a natural bay at Heimaey, one of the Westman Islands, located off the southern coast of Iceland.The secluded bay, which measures up to 32,000 sqm with a depth of up to 10m was chosen to provide a more natural sub-Arctic environment and wild habitat for these amazing whales to call home.Andy Bool, Head of SEA LIFE Trust, said: “We’re delighted to break new ground in marine animal welfare with the creation of the world’s first sanctuary for beluga whales. This project has been years in the making and is a pioneering solution to how the aquarium industry can re-shape the futures of whales in captivity.“This is a truly global effort and working with our partners, leading veterinarians and marine experts, we believe providing a more natural habitat for Little Grey and Little White to dive into cool waters and interact with the natural environment will greatly enhance their quality of life.”Work on the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary is already underway after planning permission was granted in April.Backed by a donation from Merlin Entertainments and supported by the world’s largest chain of family aquariums, SEA LIFE, the sanctuary will comprise of a stunning natural sea inlet in Klettsvik Bay and include a landside care facility and visitor centre.Chris Butler-Stroud, WDC Chief Executive, said: “We have long applauded the commitment of Merlin and the SEA LIFE TRUST to find a better, alternative future for these belugas, which is in line with our concerns about the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity around the world, and the need to find a solution for the thousands of individuals held.“We are proud to have been a partner from the very beginning in this important project to improve beluga welfare and hope it will create a blueprint for further such sanctuaries for belugas and other captive whales and dolphins, which are desperately needed to address the risks captivity poses to whale and dolphin health and welfare.”Little Grey and Little White are 12 years old and each have very different and unique personalities. While Little White is shy and reserved, Little Grey is much more vocal and mischievous.They are taking part in a special training programme designed by a team of world leading veterinarians and cetacean experts to help them adjust for the journey ahead, as well as adapt and acclimatise to North Atlantic waters. This includes:·        Introducing the belugas to specialist equipment including stretchers and platform training to prepare them for transportation·        Training the whales to hold their breath underwater for longer to get them ready for diving·        Building the belugas’ strength through fast swims in their current pool to help them adapt to the tides and current of their new home·        Increasing the belugas’ calorie intake of a rich diet of herring and capelin to support weight gain and extra blubber for colder waters they will experience in IcelandRob Hicks, Director of Merlin’s animal and welfare department, said: “This is a complex and logistically challenging rehoming project of two well-loved beluga whales. Little Grey and Little White are highly intelligent marine mammals and are fast learners, but we are taking all precautions to protect their health and well-being.“The aquarium team at Changfeng Ocean World have been very helpful in supporting this project and we will be helping each beluga to get ready for this landmark journey and their new environment. A team of vets will be with the whales at all times during transit to monitor their welfare to ensure their relocation is successful.”A sustainable rehoming solution for the belugas has been explored ever since Merlin Entertainments acquired Changfeng Ocean World in 2012, driven by its philosophy to not keep cetaceans such as whales and dolphins in captivity.The Sanctuary is set to be completed in 2019, and while it will offer limited and discreet viewing of the whales for visitors to help off-set long term running costs, this will be very carefully controlled to ensure the two whales are not disturbed in their new and very natural environment.For more information about the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary, visit www.sealifetrust.org.Source = SEA LIFE TRUSTlast_img read more

Centara unveils Majestic Hotel

first_imgSource = Centara Hotels & Resorts Centara West Bay Residences & Suites DohaCentara unveils Majestic HotelCentara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hospitality group, has made its debut in Qatar with the launch of a spectacular new seaview hotel in Doha, the country’s rapidly expanding capital city.Welcoming its first guests in December, Centara West Bay Residences & Suites Doha is located in the West Bay district which is home to many of downtown Doha’s most dramatic skyscrapers. Overlooking the glittering Arabian Gulf, the hotel is adjacent to the lively Doha Corniche and 25 minutes from Hamad International Airport.Guests at Centara West Bay Residences & Suites Doha can choose from a range of 265 stylish and spacious rooms including studios, suites, one- to three-bedroom apartments and spectacular penthouses.Residences range in size from a roomy 45 square metres to an opulent 365 square metres and feature comfortable bedrooms, living and dining areas, well-equipped kitchens, washing machines and tumble dryers. This makes the hotel ideal for families and travellers on extended stays in Doha. All rooms also offer complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and Smart TVs, while the floor-to-ceiling windows showcase stunning panoramic views of West Bay and the Gulf.Perched on the 42nd and top floor of the hotel, the ultra-luxurious Orchid Sea View Penthouse is a luxurious retreat for up to nine adults and two children. Complete with marble floors and high ceilings, this expansive apartment features four bedrooms, several bathrooms including one with a Jacuzzi, and a majestic living and dining area with breathtaking vistas.Centara West Bay Residences & Suites Doha also offers guests and foodies an appealing new culinary destination with a collection of contemporary dining outlets and progressive menus developed by skilled international restaurant consultant, Alfred Prasad, who previously oversaw the 4 restaurants in the Tamarind Collection, including the Michelin-starred Tamarind Restaurant in Mayfair, London.Chef Prasad is the expert behind Dalchini restaurant which serves progressive Indian cuisine. Guests can also enjoy food delights at Caprice, a casual, café-inspired international restaurant, the elegant Lobby Lounge and a refreshing Pool Bar. Whilst all restaurants are set to take the Doha dining scene by storm, guests will have to wait a little longer to try the Indian delights of Dalchini which will have its grand opening in January. Exquisite in-room dining is also available and all residences have their own cooking and dining facilities.Guests have plenty of opportunities for rest and rejuvenation at the hotel, with steam rooms or saunas, an indoor pool with views of the Gulf, and a spacious fitness centre with a Yoga and aerobics studio. There is also kids’ club and children’s pool for younger guests, plus a gift shop, a prayer room and two flexible meeting rooms.“Doha is one of the most exciting emerging destinations in the world today, and we are delighted to enter this important market with such an impressive new hotel. Centara West Bay Residences & Suites Doha delivers a full range of upscale facilities for all types of guest, from leisure visitors on short stays in Qatar to large family groups and long-stay business travellers. We look forward to welcoming guests as the city prepares to host a series of major global events,” commented Thirayuth Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer, Centara Hotels and Resorts.A key cultural and economic hub for the entire Middle East region, Doha is home to a wealth of cultural attractions including the historic Souq Waqif market, Museum of Islamic Art and State Grand Mosque, plus major shopping malls and soft sandy beaches. It is also becoming a global sporting destination, hosting the annual season-opening Qatar Open tennis tournament, 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships, and of course, the 2022 FIFA World Cup.The opening of Centara West Bay Residences & Suites Doha forms part of Centara’s strategic five-year development plan, which aims to double the company’s global portfolio of properties by 2022.Reservation can be made at https://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centara/cwq/last_img read more

Brazil sees growth in tourism sector during the first 6 months of

first_imgThe tourism numbers in Brazil are up during the first half of 2018 with both inbound tourism and tourist spending showing the increase compared to last year, informed Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism.With an increase of 8% compared to the first six months of 2017, the number of foreign tourists by June reached 3.5 million.International tourist spending also came up 5.6% between January and June in 2018 compared to the same period last year, totalling USD 3.24 billion, compared to USD 3.06 billion in 2017.Brazil’s Minister of Tourism Vinicius Lummertz stated that the data emphasise tourism as a vector of the economy which has to be addressed.According to analysts, the second half of 2018 also shows a positive forecast with the addition of more international flights. LATAM airlines recently announced that they will be adding new direct flights to/from São Paulo and Las Vegas and Boston, and the existing routes will also see more flights added including those between São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro and Tel-Aviv, Lisbon, Paris, Rome, and Munich.“We need to open our country to visitors from other countries and thus bring in new foreign exchange to move the Brazilian economy. The tourism sector has much to contribute to the Brazilian economy and these numbers prove this. We made the right move but we still need to do more,” added the Minister.The tourism numbers are also expected to increase with the introduction of the new e-visa offered for visitors from the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada, who can now apply for visas to Brazil online and receive the visa in 72 hours after submitting the required documents. Since the launch of the new e-visa program, Canadian visa applications are up by 50% last year, U.S. applications are up by 45% and the Australian and Japanese visa applications are up 35% and 23% respectively.last_img read more