Prepaid gratuities and onboard credit with Holland Americas Ready Set Sail

first_imgPre-paid gratuities and onboard credit with Holland America’s ‘Ready Set Sail’ Tags: Holland America Line, Promotions SEATTLE — Holland America Line has brought back its ‘Ready Set Sail’ promotion offering pre-paid gratuities and up to US$500 onboard credit per stateroom.Clients who book a Holland America Line cruise by June 1, 2017 will be eligible to receive the offer, and guests who book a suite also will receive an additional $100 Internet credit.All cruises between June 1, 2017, and March 30, 2018, excluding Grand Voyages and Grand Voyage segments, are eligible for the Ready Set Sail promotion. Depending on stateroom category, guests will receive onboard spending money ranging from $100 up to $500 per stateroom.“As we head into spring the weather is getting nicer and travellers are starting to think about their next vacation, so our Ready Set Sail promotion comes at the right time and features some exceptional values,” said Orlando Ashford, President, Holland America Line. “Covering gratuities represents nice savings for our guests, and the onboard spending money makes it possible for them to take advantage of many of our shipboard venues and experiences that will enhance their overall cruise vacation.”More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerIn addition to pre-paid gratuities for the entire cruise, valued at up to $27 per stateroom per day, guests receive onboard spending money that can be used to enjoy a variety of shipboard experiences and amenities. Extras that the credit can be applied to include treatments at the Greenhouse Spa and Salon, gift shop purchases, Journeys Ashore tours, beverages or dinner at one of the specialty restaurants such as Pinnacle Grill, Sel de Mer, Canaletto or Tamarind, depending on the ship.Eligible Holland America Line destinations include Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Bermuda, Mexico, South America, the Panama Canal, the Far East, the South Pacific, Europe and Australia/New Zealand. Share Travelweek Group center_img Tuesday, March 28, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bylast_img read more

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Win cash and a fam seat with Grenadas new Specialist program

first_img Posted by Win cash and a fam seat with Grenada’s new Specialist program Share Tuesday, June 26, 2018 Tags: Contest, Grenada, Questex Media LLCcenter_img ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA — The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched its ‘Pure Grenada Specialist & Loyalty Program’ designed to incentivize over 20,000 registered travel agents to become an extension of the destination’s marketing and sales team.The platform promotes the products of Grenada, Carriacaou and Petite Martinique in areas like soft adventure, culinary, culture, honeymoons and destination weddings, luxury and specialized offerings.Agents are encouraged to record their bookings on the program’s website to become eligible for rewards. From July 1 a monthly cash prize of $200 will be awarded to the travel agent with the most bookings. The deadline for each month’s reward is the last day of that given month.In addition, the top 20 producing agents from both Canada and the U.S. will be invited on a fam trip scheduled for November 2018. For this trip, the GTA will cover roundtrip airfare from Toronto Pearson International Airport, Miami International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, four-night accommodations, meals and destination tours.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaThe trip is eligible to agents who confirm bookings made from May 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018, and logged by July 31, 2018.Participating is both rewards is open to all Canadian and U.S. travel agencies and agents operating under a current and legitimate ARC/IATA or CLIA number, except agencies that are or act as wholesalers. To qualify, bookings must include overnight accommodations and roundtrip airlift to and from Grenada, Carriacaou and Petite Martinique. Cruise bookings do not qualify for rewards.For more information go to http://www.puregrenadaspecialist.com. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Sandals Foundation celebrates 10th anniversary The work is far from over

first_img Travelweek Group Thursday, March 21, 2019 Posted by Sandals Foundation celebrates 10th anniversary: “The work is far from over” Sharecenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Sandals Foundation, Sandals Resorts, Volunteering MONTEGO BAY — Sandals Foundation is celebrating 10 years of goodwill in the Caribbean, and is now promising to double down on its efforts to protect the environment and bring together local communities over the next decade.“Our goal has always been simple – to unite the Caribbean region, elevate its people and protect its delicate ecosystem – and I am so proud of how far we’ve come in our first decade,” said Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International and President of the Sandals Foundation. “To build on our momentum and bring even more awareness to importance of supporting the Caribbean, we are tapping into the power of social media to launch a campaign to galvanize the world to join in our efforts.”The hashtag #FaceTheCaribbean encourages guests across the 19 Sandals and Beaches Resorts to help change the face of the Caribbean for generations to come, whether through donating towards a particular project, participating in the Pack for a Purpose program, purchasing items from Caribbean Artisan Collections available in the Sandals and Beaches Resort Shops, or through voluntourism excursions such as the Reading Road Trip.Since its inception in 2009, the Sandals Foundation has worked with an extensive network of donors, volunteers, partners and social media activists to build schools, outfit computer labs and libraries, foster youth engagement through sports programs, manage marine protected areas, offer free medical, dental and eye care and much more.It has worked with 578 schools across the region to promote literacy and technological advancements, as well as award scholarships to deserving students. It has partnered with CLEAR Caribbean to establish restoration programs inside Saint Lucia’s Soufriere Marine Management Area and trained local stakeholders to build, install and monitor two coral nurseries. And it has also launched the Women Helping Others Achieve (WHOA) program, an initiative aimed at positively impacting marginalized women across the Caribbean through vocational training, counseling, agricultural programs and more.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthTo date, the foundation has raised $11,182,955, impacting well over 850,000 people in the region, with the overall dollar amount of projects and programs implemented valued at over $58 million.Moving forward, the Sandals Foundation will be placing special emphasis on the environment, with investments already made towards supporting marine conservation and environmental awareness. These include:Floating Classrooms: This unique program brings children face-to-face with the marine ecosystemBoscobel Sanctuary & Whitehouse Fish Sanctuary: In partnership with the government of Jamaica, the foundation has established and manages the sanctuaries to combat the effects of overfishing along Jamaica’s coastlineEndangered Species Conservation: The foundation has provided education and resources to protect important species including the Grenada Dove, Sea Turtles and Parrotfish, as well as worked with land-based organizations to protect fauna and flora including the Lansan treeOn the importance of preserving the environment, Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, said: “The Caribbean Sea connects more than 700 islands and coastlines, which is a source of livelihood for thousands of people. The role we all play in supporting protected areas and teaching the next generation the importance of caring for their precious environment is crucial now more than ever. The Sandals Group of companies and Sandals Foundation have intensified our efforts by reducing plastic pollution through our operations and in our communities as well as ensuring we engage all the key stakeholders in our efforts.”More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Last year, in partnership with Oceanic Global, all 19 Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts eliminated the 21,490,800 single-use plastic straws and stirrers used across the resorts each year, along with plastic laundry bags and plastic bags throughout gift shops. As of Feb. 1, 2019, all resorts have also eliminated Styrofoam.Although the Sandals Foundation has made tremendous progress in the region, the work is far from over, it says. It is committed to engaging 100,000 people in environmental protection and conservation over the next 10 years, which involves working with schools to integrate marine education in their lesson plans, spearheading hands-on field trips to protected areas, and engaging residents in coastal communities on proper solid waste management programs.In line with its mission to reduce waste, the foundation will also provide school children in the region with reusable lunch kits to reduce their dependence on Styrofoam.And another pledge from the Sandals Foundation: to strengthen the resilience of coral reefs in the region by planting 30,000 coral fragments onto reef systems over the next 10 years. As part of this initiative, locals will receive training in coral restoration, and guests at Sandals and Beaches Resorts will be able to participate in coral planting dives.For more information go to www.sandalsfoundation.org.last_img read more

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Where is the environmental discussion in Costa Ricas presidential campaign

first_imgIn December, the advocacy group Environmental Network Alliance hoped to bring green issues to the forefront of Costa Rica’s presidential debates by scheduling anenvironmental forum for candidates. Only two of 13 candidates – Luis Guillermo Solís and José María Villalta – showed up.With a month to go for Costa Rica’s presidential runoff election between ruling National Liberation Party candidate Johnny Araya and Solís, of the Citizen Action Party, little seems to have changed.“The fact that a country that claims to be an environmental leader has an election and the environment, climate change and conservation are not part of the debate is very troubling,” said Mónica Araya, director of Costa Rica Limpia, a new organization that hopes to raise environmental awareness in the political realm.Alarmed by what the group describes as a lack of discussion on environmental issues, Costa Rica Limpia launched in January with a video calling for a president who would support a “clean” Costa Rica. The organization quickly gained momentum, pulling in more than 25,000 followers on Facebook. Related posts:Solís to suspend Costa Rica’s carbon neutrality goal A look at Costa Rica’s 2014 elections Live Costa Rica election results UCR Poll: Solís running away with runoff election Mónica Araya, who was a vice presidential candidate for Social Christian Unity Party candidate Rodolfo Hernández before he dropped out of the race, began by analyzing the candidates’ platforms. Then, focusing on 13 different areas, the Costa Rica Limpia team began publishing proposals by each of the top five candidates. In many cases, those candidates had not addressed the issues publicly or in their government proposals.“One interaction that took us by surprise was Twitter,” Mónica Araya said. “We would post that a candidate did not have a public stance on an issue and then their campaign would respond with the party’s plan.”Though Costa Rica Limpia has captured the attention of voters interested in the environment, with a few exceptions, the candidates still do not view the environment as a core campaigning issue, the group says. According to Jaime Ordoñez, director of the Central American Institute for Governance, this is similar to past elections.“Costa Rican political parties are so traditional,” he said. “Fiscal issues, social security, infrastructure; these are things the parties know how to talk about and that have large constituencies. The environment is a new issue.”According to Ordoñez, time and training are required to change the old model. While Costa Rica has no shortage of environmental groups, Costa Rica Limpia is one of few organizations geared towards politicizing green issues.“I don’t see the environment becoming a topic of discussion in the next month,” Ordoñez said. “To change election themes you need frameworks and groups trained to create that narrative.”While Solís and Johnny Araya continue to hammer on issues like corruption, social security and infrastructure, their plans on hot-button environmental issues like the looming 2021 carbon neutrality deadline remain nebulous.“It is frustrating to watch as plans for carbon neutrality are failed to put into action,” said Leiner Vargas, from the National University’s International Center for Economic Policy for Sustainable Development. “I don’t see enough force behind this issue from the candidates. It isn’t an emphasis.”Recommended: Poás Volcano spews material 300 meters high after explosion inside craterVargas led the transport carbon-reduction research team for Laura Chinchilla’s administration in 2012, and also works on candidate Johnny Araya’s economic team. He says that large parts of the plan have yet to be implemented, and he doubts it will be a priority with a new administration.“Where are the journalists and groups asking the candidates these questions?” Vargas asked. “People are asking about whether the future president will pay to have cookies in their meetings instead of whether or not they plan to preserve the oceans.”Vargas isn’t alone in pointing a finger at the media. Mónica Araya also says traditional media has failed to bring up the environment in debates and at press conferences. To counter this, Costa Rica Limpia is developing a media analysis project to look at 10 topics and to count the number of stories published about them in each of the main news outlets.Costa Rica Limpia hopes that through these projects candidates not only will start to think about the importance of environmental campaigning, but also will begin to see links between the environment and the economy.“In Costa Rica more than anywhere you can see the economic advantages conservation has with tourism and green jobs, so why are we talking about unemployment without also bringing up the environment?” Vargas asked. “This is just allowing politicians to kick the ball to the next administration.”This week, PAC’s Solís did address the issue in a Facebook post, saying, “We have a beautiful country! Full of ecological, continental and marine wealth. For us, development should be founded on conservation, and the protection and sustainable management of natural resources.”The post generated more than 1,500 likes in a few hours.center_img Still, green groups already are looking ahead to 2016 municipal elections, when they plan to bring up issues like recycling and trash management.“I would say that the candidates lost a massive opportunity to make Costa Ricans fall in love with a vision focused on development, help and sustainability,” Mónica Araya said. “We do hope this is the last election that will be silent on these issues.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Social conservative lawmakers incensed over LGBT flag at Casa Presidencial

first_imgRelated posts:President of Costa Rica raises LGBT flag over Casa Presidencial Costa Rica grants first gay common-law marriage in Central America Costa Rica’s changing definition of family hits cookie commercial Costa Rica files criminal complaint against same-sex couple who married due to clerical error Social Conservative lawmakers lashed out at President Luis Guillermo Solís’ decision to fly the rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement Friday, saying that that the leader’s decision “provoked” Christian politicians.Lawmakers from the Costa Rican Renovation Party, National Restoration, Accessibility without Exclusion (PASE) and the Christian Democratic Alliance criticized the president’s deacons, reported CRHoy.comThe president ordered the LGBT flag be raised on even mast with the Costa Rican tricolor Friday in recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17. Costa Rica has officially recognized the celebration since 2008.PASE lawmaker Óscar López said the act was a “provocation” at a time when there was a bill to allow same-sex civil unions pending in the Assmebly, reported AmelaiRueda.com“We are profoundly sad that President Solís did not set time out of his schedule for an activity for the Day of the Family or Farmer. This leaves us much to think about his priorities and we would like to know if he will fly the flags of other causes as well,” said Fabricio Alvarado, lawmaker for the conservative Christian National Restoration Party, according to CRHoy.com.Later in the morning Friday, Casa Presidencial said that they would celebrate other causes, including people with disabilities and HIV-AIDS, in a similar fashion.Solís denied that the decision was a provocation, saying, “I think this is in the spirt of fraternity and humanity, which is what we want to rescue.”The president said that he did not publicly celebrate the other events because of the on-going teachers’ strike, which began May 5.“Just because I wasn’t [celebrating yesterday] does not mean I’m not thinking about farmers,” Solís said on the lawn of Casa Presidencial, “There’s no double standard or lack of interest; it’s simply a lack of time.”The president noted that he keeps Costa Rica’s patron saint, the Virgin of the Angels in his office, and confirmed that he planned to attend midday mass in the Basilica Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago, on Sunday.Not everyone in the church opposed the symbolic flag raising. The president of the Costa Rican fisheries institute, Incopesca, and ordained Catholic priest, Gustavo Meneses, ordered the LGBT standard fly over the institution, too, upon the request from Casa Presidencial, reported Monumental. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Cristian Gamboa becomes third Tico in English Premier League after signing with

first_imgLONDON — English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday announced the signing of Costa Rican right-back Cristian Gamboa.Gamboa, 24, played in all five matches as Costa Rica made a stunning run to the quarterfinals in Brazil before losing on penalties to the Netherlands. He’s now the third Costa Rican currently with a Premier League team. Gamboa joins a West Brom club that was one of the worst in the league last season.The other Ticos in the Premier League are Joel Campbell of Arsenal and Bryan Oviedo of Everton.Gamboa has signed for an undisclosed fee after playing last season for Norwegian side Rosenborg. He penned a three-year deal with West Brom after the Football Association approved his application for a work permit.“Cristian is a player I was extremely impressed by during the World Cup,” said West Brom manager Alan Irvine. “We faced stiff competition from other Premier League clubs for his services, but we’ve managed to convince Cristian that West Bromwich Albion is the best club for him to join.“Cristian is a quick, aggressive defender with good energy levels. He gets up and down the pitch really well and we believe he will continue to improve.”Having avoided relegation by three points last season, West Brom open their 2014-15 campaign at home to Sunderland a week from Saturday. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica coach Pinto gives status updates on trio of key players for the World Cup A sigh of relief for Costa Rica as Cristian Gamboa’s knee injury won’t require surgery Another Costa Rican heads to Europe as Tico midfielder Yeltsin Tejeda signs with French club Evian La Sele looks to clinch spot for final round of World Cup qualifyinglast_img read more

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PHOTO REPORT Marching on May 1 in Costa Rica

first_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Related posts:No clear path forward, opposition lawmakers lament after Solís’ 100-day report Costa Rica’s struggle with fiscal reform highlights its governance problems President Solís meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at UN Quick Venezuela facts on Election Day Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Thousands of Costa Rican workers on Friday participated in the annual May 1 march in the nation’s capital, San José.Union members from various public institutions, political parties, environmentalists, musical bands and a group of self-described anarchists marched to demand better conditions for workers, a more just society, and better policies to help protect the environment.The march began at 9 a.m. in Parque La Merced and continued along Avenida Segunda to the Legislative Assembly. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Alberto Font/The Tico Timeslast_img read more

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Cultural Center anniversary vegan fair and more events around Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Cowboys, coffee, and other happenings around Costa Rica U.S. Independence Day Concert, ExpoVida 2015 and other happenings around Costa Rica Guanacaste fest, AcroYoga and other happenings around Costa Rica Patriotic tunes, Children’s Day theater, and more events around Costa Rica Upcoming Concerts:Señor Loop + Infibeat: Panamanian band Señor Loop will join Costa Rican band Infibeat to offer a concert for rock and funk lovers. Oct. 9 at Jazz Café Escazú. 9 p.m. ₡10,000 ($20). For more information call 2253-8933.Boca a Boca: Club Vertigo presents its new edition of the Boca a Boca concert, featuring artists Roger Sobrado, DiSTO, Enzo Ruisi B2B Carlos Montenegro, Macho Iberico, Dj FRiGiD, Eddie Busanello, and Y-an Esquivel Bryan B2B Meli Rodriguez. Oct. 10 at Club Vertigo, downtown San José. For more information call 2257-8424.The Awakening: The gothic rock band will play in alongside Fractured Souls, Vórtice, Seres, and Evening Star. Oct. 11 at OZ Bar, Paseo Colón. 4 p.m. ₡2,000 ($4). For more information call 4702-1986 or visit the event Facebook page.The Shame of Man: Costa Rican rock and roll band Mumble Riot will be presenting its new EP “The Shame of Man,” alongside the bands Señorita Abril and Movement in Codes. Oct. 15 at Hoxton Pub, San Pedro. 9 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). For more information call 6105-9296. Facebook Comments World Egg DayJoin the fun as Alajuela celebrates World Egg Day: kick things off with a yummy egg breakfast and participate egg contests, music and cultural activities. The activity is sponsored by the National Chamber of Aviculture to promote eggs as a healthy and nutritious food.“Día Mundial del Huevo”  takes place Oct. 9 at Juan Santamaría Plaza in Alajuela. 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. Free. More info here.Expo Anime-Comics-CartoonsThis Expo will create a world of fiction this upcoming weekend in Heredia, featuring art shows, contests, exhibits and markets.“Expo Anime-Comics-Cartoons” takes place Oct. 9 – 11, starting each day at 10 a.m., at Paseo de las Flores Mall in Heredia. Free. More info at the Expo Facebook page.CAA Oktober FestIf you missed last week’s Oktoberfest celebrations, don’t worry. You still have a chance with the annual Oktober Fest organized by the Community Action Alliance (CAA) of San Ramón, featuring Chef Andy’s Homemade Bratwurst, Knockwurst, Sauerkraut, German Potato Salad, and Apfelkuchen. And, of course, beer.“CAA Oktober Fest” takes place Oct. 10 at Magallanes Community Center, San Ramón, Alajuela. 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Members pay ₡5,000 ($10) and non-members ₡6,000 ($12).Music: National Symphony Orchestra of Costa RicaIn celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center, a National Symphony Orchestra concert will feature four musical theater artists from Northern Iowa University. The show, “American Broadway Spectacular,” will include some of the Great White Way’s most famous musical themes.“Concierto Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional y artistas de Northern Iowa University” will be performed Oct. 9 at the Eugene O´Neill Theater, Barrio Dent, 7:30 p.m. Free, but limited space.Art Fair: The Four ElementsContinuing the anniversary celebrations for the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center, the Sophia Wanamaker Gallery has united 20 artists for a three-day exhibition at Multiplaza del Este.“Feria de Arte de los Cuatro Elementos” takes place Oct. 9 – 11 at Multiplaza del Este, in Curridabat. 10 a.m. Free. More info at the Fair Facebook page. Art piece part the fire element exhibition (Courtesy of Feria de Arte de los 4 Elementos)Vegan FairChat with experts who can answer questions regarding protein, calcium, recipes, meat, dairy and egg substitutes, – in short, everything you need to know to become vegan or vegetarian. Sample homemade and gourmet food and other vegan products along the way.“Feria Vegana Sabanilla” takes place Oct. 10 at the Casa Juventud in Barrio San Marino, 200 meters south and 150 west of the Sabanilla Church. Free. 10 a.m. More info at the event’s Facebook page.Skapolis FestivalThe second edition of the country’s best ska music festival takes place this upcoming Saturday. Guests bands are Askatasuna, Milly Majuc, Adaptados, Endemia, UFO, and Sr. Mephisto.“Festival Skapolis” takes place Oct. 17 at Amón Solar, Barrio Amón, San José. 5 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). More info at the Festival Facebook page.Dance: Zumba ClassesDance classes for people 50 years and over will be offered during the whole month of October at La Libertad Park, Desamparados. The goal is to offer a comfortable space where people can exercise, taking into account varying levels of physical condition and musical tastes.“Clases de Zumba” take place every week from Monday tthrough Friday during October at La Libertad Park, Desamparados. Free. 10 a.m. For more information call the National Cultural Center (CENAC), 2221-2154.Dance: Urban ShamanSwedish group ADN Dialect joins with Costa Rican group Los Innato to present a special performance the attempts to unify their different cultures in one unique dance, using it as an international language.“Urban Shaman” performs Oct. 9 – 11 at Montes de Oca Theater, University of Costa Rica (UCR), San Pedro. 8 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). For more information call 2511-4595.Pop-Up PlaygroundA celebration of child-directed play with cardboard boxes, fabrics, strings, cardboard cylinders and more. The activity is held in a public space and seeks to increase recycling consciousness. The goal is for children, in the company of adults, to use their imagination and create toys with the materials given; at the end of the event they can take their toys home.“Pop-Up Playground” takes place Oct. 11 at Escazú Park. 9:30 a.m. Free. More information at the event Facebook page. (Courtesy of Pop-Up Playground)Tableo FlamencoTo celebrate its fourth anniversary, Spanish restaurant La Tosca,is organizing a “Tableo Flamenco” night with renowned Spanish artists: dancer Lydia Cabello, singer Pilar Sierra, and guitarist Beto Campos.“Tableo Flameco” performs Oct. 10 at La Tosca Restaurant, San José, Av. 8 Streets 45 – 47. 9 p.m. Presale ₡6,000 ($12), Day of the event ₡8,000 ($16). For more information call 2283-5500.Theatre: “A Ciegas”This free adaptation of the play “No Exit” by Jean-Paul Sartre will be performed at the Casa Museo in Barrio Amón. Check out our preview.“A Ciegas” will be performed Oct. 8, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. At Casa Museo, Barrio Amón. For more information call 8420-9161 / 8997-5813, or visit the event’s Facebook page. Shnit Short Film FestivalSan José is the only Central American host city in this year’s shnit International Shortfilmfest, and will offer four days of the best short films from around the world. The festival started Oct. 7, but events will continue until Oct. 11., including a national and an international short films competition, free workshops, and parties.The Shortfilmfest takes place Oct. 7 – 11 at Cine Magaly, San José. $6 per event. Find the whole program at the shnit Website or check out our preview.last_img read more

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Electricity rates to rise 19 percent in January

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s main electricity supplier asks for big rate hike Regulatory Authority approves lower electricity rates starting October Electricity rates: regulator says drop ’em, utility companies say raise ’em Regulatory Authority approves reduction in electricity rates If you’re a client of Costa Rica’s National Power and Light Company (CNFL), prepare for a potentially big jump in your electricity bill next year. The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) approved an increase in electricity rates which, while only half the percentage increase requested by CNFL, is still a whopping 18.6 percent.The new rates will take effect in January and apply for a year. CNFL’s customer base encompasses most of the Greater Metropolitan Area, including San José and parts of Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago.CNFL had submitted a request to raise basic electricity rates by 36 percent, but ARESEP found that such a big jump wasn’t justified. The regulatory agency ruled that CNFL couldn’t take into account ₡4,183 million ($7.8 million) in expenses related to its collective bargaining agreement in its rate calculation, among other disallowed expenses.The approved figure corresponds to costs for energy the CNFL bought from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) this year and distribution to customers.CNFL’s administration commented on the regulatory authority’s decision in a news release, saying the firm is studying possibilities for appealing the ruling.ARESEP Energy Manager Juan Quesada Espinoza said Tuesday that his office will continue to conduct detailed and rigorous analysis of rate adjustment requests to ensure public agencies are not including costs unrelated to the public services they provide.Business sector rejects increaseLeaders of the Costa Rican Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations (UCCAEP) also said Tuesday that they plan to appeal the new rates — for the opposite reason CNFL would appeal them. The group’s president, Ronald Jiménez, said they will not remain with their arms crossed as “this unjustified increase will hit the pockets of thousands of homes and the budgets of thousands of businesses.”Jiménez said the CNFL likely will use the 18.6 percent rate to cover increases in rates charged by its parent company, ICE, in previous months.UCCAEP requested a full revision of the country’s energy rate-setting model, saying the current model “does not work and actually threatens to have a negative effect on job creation.”Jiménez said business leaders are currently evaluating all legal options for challenging the rate increase, “which is nothing but evidence of general inefficiency at all Grupo ICE’s agencies, which the population ends up paying for.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Photos and videos from last nights earthquake in Costa Rica

first_imgSince an earthquake strong enough to be felt across the country is enough to distract even the most avid selfie-taker, it’s perhaps not surprising that one of the dramatic videos from Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast last night came from security camera footage.This video, widely circulated on Twitter, was described by @wikisismos as a scene from Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Herradura – approximately 25 km from the earthquake’s epicenter – provided by Esteban Saborío. @Wikisismos also shared photos from a Jacó supermarket: Twitter via @Wikisismos Momento Exacto Sismo de 6.5 Grados Richter En Jaco Costa Rica 2017 Terremoto pic.twitter.com/7BMjbHM14y— RMS – Red Mundial (@redmundialsismo) November 13, 2017 Registro del terremoto de Costa Rica en Los Sueños Resort and Marina en Herradura, cerca de la zona epicentral. Video: Esteban Saborío. pic.twitter.com/JedW7MTDxr— Wikisismos (@wikisismos) November 13, 2017 Related posts:Earthquake jolts five provinces in Costa Rica Strong earthquake on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific is felt across country UPDATED: Three die from heart attacks following Costa Rica’s Central Pacific earthquake Earthquakes felt across Costa Rica on Sunday Meanwhile, many Costa Ricans commented on the country’s propensity to react to an earthquake first with utter terror, then with calls and WhatsApp messages to check on loved ones, and then – all of this within a span of minutes – jokes and memes for ours. As Twitter user @Princeboy_Ran spoke for many of us when he wrote, “I’m not going to lie to you”… The earthquake was classified as 6.9-magnitude by the National University’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVISCORI); however, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude of 6.5. Strong effects of the quake were felt by Tico Times readers as far away as Manzanillo, Limón, and in many other areas of the country.Read more about the quake here.Channel 11 sportscasters were a little rattled when the quake shook their studio in San José: Facebook Comments no les voy a mentir…#TemblorCR pic.twitter.com/lPjWrLe0el— Ran Barbossa (@Princeboy_Ran) November 13, 2017last_img read more

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Saudis propose a 5day ceasefire in Yemen if rebels agree

first_imgHamed al-Bokheiti, a spokesman for the Houthi movement in the capital of Sanaa, was dismissive of the news of the cease-fire. “What cease-fire are we talking about? Airstrikes are continuing unabated,” he told The Associated Press by telephone.News of the conditional cease-fire after weeks of airstrikes came as forces loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognized president battled the Houthis and their allies.Military and security officials said the rebel forces advanced on the suburb of Dar Saad north of the strategic port of Aden on the Arabian Sea, while fighting intensified in nearby Abyan, Shabwa and Taiz provinces.At a news conference with Kerry, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the oil-rich kingdom would halt its airstrikes in neighboring Yemen because it is determined to expand relief assistance to the Yemeni people. Saudi Arabia, a longtime source of vital aid to the impoverished country, will provide $274 million in new assistance, he said.Kerry said the “humanitarian pause” wouldn’t start for several days, enough time for diplomatic efforts to persuade the rebels and their backers to accept the terms of the deal. He said aid organizations needed time to coordinate a strategy for getting food, fuel and medicine into the country. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, right, hold a joint news conference at Riyadh Air Base in Saudi Arabia, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Kerry sought to secure a pause in Yemen’s war after he arrived to Saudi Arabia to meet with the king and other top officials, citing increased shortages of food, fuel and medicine that are adding to a crisis that already has neighboring countries bracing for a mass exodus of refugees. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool) 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Comments   Share   “Hopefully we’ll see you in Sanaa soon,” Hadi told Kerry.“Ah,” Kerry replied, “there’s some work to do.”News of the proposed cease-fire came as the Houthis and Saleh forces consolidated their hold over much of Aden, the main bastion of Hadi supporters. On Wednesday, they overwhelmed the downtown district of Tawahi and a presidential palace in the area.As many as 50 people were killed when rebel fire hit their boat as they tried to flee by water, according to military and security officials in the city, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.Aden health chief Khedr al-Aswar said shrapnel from mortar rounds killed at least 30, while the rest, including women and children, were believed to have drowned.Van der Klaauw, the U.N. official, said he was “gravely concerned” by the casualty reports. “Civilians were reportedly targeted while they were trying to flee to safer areas, having been trapped in Aden with limited or no access to water, food and health care for weeks,” he said.___Klapper reported from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Paris. Associated Press writers Aya Batrawy in Riyadh and Cara Anna at the United Nations contributed. In Saudi Arabia, Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, was meeting Thursday evening with armed forces commanders as a military spokesman vowed a “harsh response” to the death of at least five Saudi civilians in cross-border shelling this week that Riyadh blamed on the Houthis.“The formula has changed after Saudi towns and civilians (were hit), and those who planned and executed this aggression will pay a price,” military spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri said. “The Houthi militias have crossed red lines and they will be dealt with differently now.”Saudi-owned broadcasters reported warnings by the Saudi military on Thursday to Yemenis living in Saada to keep away from military facilities and the headquarters of what they called “Houthi militias.”Kerry, who also met with Saudi King Salman, said the proposed cease-fire would mean “no bombing, no shooting” and no repositioning of forces. But he and al-Jubeir insisted the plan depended on the Houthis and the Iranians agreeing to it and not trying to exploit the lull for military gains.Kerry met Thursday in Riyadh with Hadi and the Yemeni vice president and foreign minister. Sponsored Stories There also has been a shortage of gas for cooking, forcing some to use firewood. Most restaurants and hotels have closed, and homes get one hour of electricity a day, if that. Running water has almost stopped reaching homes, giving rise to a black market in water and posing a health threat to children.The shortages have added significantly to the suffering of the Arab world’s poorest nation, which has been beset for decades with political dysfunction and violence. It also has to endure the violence of al-Qaida’s most lethal branch.The Houthis took over Sanaa and much of the north late last year, backed by military forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. They began a march earlier this year on the south, forcing current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia. That prompted the Saudis and other Gulf Arab states to begin the air campaign while backing pro-government forces on the ground.Saudi Arabia had said it was dialing down its airstrikes, but it quickly revved them back up when the rebels and pro-Saleh forces pressed ahead with an offensive in the south.Yemeni security officials reported multiple airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Saada, the birthplace of the Houthi movement, as well as the Red Sea port town of Hodeida, west of the capital. They said there was heavy air activity over Aden late Thursday but no airstrikes. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober “We strongly urge the Houthis and those who back them … not to miss this major opportunity to address the needs of the Yemeni people and find a peaceful way forward,” Kerry said.Kerry, who has spoken recently with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to get assessments of the Houthis, landed later Thursday in Paris for wider meetings with top Arab diplomats. Kerry and al-Jubeir said they would provide an update there Friday.Iran gives the rebels political backing, and Saudi Arabia and the U.S. say it also provides them with weapons, a claim Tehran denies.The U.S. supports the Saudis and a coalition of other Arab countries in the air campaign that began March 26 against the rebels.Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the new U.N. envoy for Yemen, also was in Riyadh, where he met with Saudi officials and regional ambassadors, according to Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general. Ahmed’s schedule of meetings has not been announced, but “Iran obviously has a critical role to play,” Dujarric said.On Wednesday, Yemen’s ambassador to the U.N., Khaled Alyemany, asked the international community to intervene with ground forces to save the country from the Houthi rebels, but Russia’s envoy to the U.N. said such a move “would be a reckless escalation.” Check your body, save your life SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Saudi Arabia said Thursday it is prepared to begin a five-day, renewable cease-fire in Yemen so that humanitarian aid can reach millions of civilians caught up in the conflict that has killed more than 1,400 people.The badly needed reprieve was announced in Riyadh by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Saudi foreign minister. It is dependent on whether Yemen’s Iranian-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies also agree to halt fighting. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The vital role family plays in society “What we need to have is a very quick resumption of talks with U.N. mediation,” said Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, adding that the Saudi and Qatari ambassadors have assured him that a meeting being planned by Hadi in Riyadh “might even help resume the U.N. talks.”The U.N. has not yet announced a time or place for talks.The Saudi-led air campaign along with the fighting on the ground has pushed Yemen toward a humanitarian disaster, U.N. and other aid officials have said. The turmoil has disrupted crucial imports and internal transportation, causing shortages of fuel, food and medicine.In the past six weeks, more than 1,400 people have been killed and 6,000 wounded, many of them civilians, according to the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Johannes van der Klaauw. More than 300,000 others have fled their homes.Gas stations have closed in Sanaa, crushing the hopes of thousands of motorists who had lined up for weeks to fill up. Gasoline remains available on the black market, but is sold at prices most residents cannot afford.Deepening the crisis is that the Houthis have commandeered much of the city’s fuel supplies. Residents say that the few cars and motorbikes still seen on the streets almost invariably belong to the Houthis.last_img read more

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French school newspaper threatened over Charlie Hebdo issue

first_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility PARIS (AP) — Teachers, parents and media freedom activists are urging police action after death threats against a French teenager over a school newspaper issue about the extremist attack against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.The 17-year-old student, chief editor of the paper at the Marcelin Berthelot school in the Paris suburb of Saint-Maur des Fosses, received seven threats, according to Reporters Without Borders. They included letters sent with bullets and swastikas, some sent to his home, others left in his school locker. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men The special issue included essays and poems about the Charlie Hebdo attack Jan. 7. The father of a student at the school was among the 12 killed.The school’s teachers threatened to stop work, expressing concern that police aren’t doing enough to protect the school or stop the threats.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

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White House announces 4B in private sector climate pledges

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is announcing $4 billion in pledges from major foundations and institutional investors to pay for innovations that reduce carbon pollution. President Barack Obama is also using his executive powers to help make such investments easier.Vice President Joe Biden will draw attention to the effort Tuesday during a Clean Energy Investment Summit at the White House. The White House says the investment commitments come from hundreds of organizations ranging from the Sierra Club Foundation to Goldman Sachs. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Among the initiatives is the creation of a non-profit group that would identify and assess companies and commercial investments that result in projects that are both profitable and aim to address climate change.The executive actions are designed to encourage the private sector to invest in more clean energy efforts.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

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Airport security must focus on bad people not things IA

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged the United States government last week to co-operate with the aviation industry to better passenger safety following a foiled attack on a Northwest jet on Christmas Day.IATA called for the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to address security in an “extra-ordinary” way.In a letter to DHS Secretary Napolitano, IATA Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said airports needed short-term temporary measures, improved technology and intelligence.“The air transport system cannot support 100% pat-down searches over the long term” he said, recommending that security decrease the percentage of intensive pat downs and use proportionate screening procedures to achieve security requirements and reduce delays.He said the failed Detroit terror plot emphasized the “global nature of the threat and the need for effective cooperation and information sharing among and within intelligence organizations.”“Effective security needs a system that is built on global harmonization, effective information exchange, industry/government cooperation, risk assessment and efficient technology”“This is how we made flying the safest way to travel. We must take the same approach with security“Instead of looking for bad things—nail clippers and rogue bottles of shampoo—security systems need to focus on finding bad people“Adding new hardware to an old system will not deliver the results we need. “It is time for governments to invest in a process built around a check point of the future that combines the best of screening technology with the best of intelligence gathering” <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/234b8/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

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Qantas launches Next Generation Checkin Neil Perry menus

first_imgQantas has officially launched its Next Generation Check-in as well as a new Neil Perry designed domestic food and wine program. “Next Generation Check-in has now opened in Sydney and Perth and is already dramatically reducing domestic check-in times for customers allowing them to move through the check-in area with increased speed and ease,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced. “In addition to Next Generation Check-in, Qantas has made changes across the entire domestic experience with the most significant changes to the Business Class offering, both inflight and on the ground.” “Qantas invented Business Class travel in 1974. We have set standards both nationally and internationally and we’re now raising the bar once again.”“The introduction of Neil Perry designed menus means our domestic Business Class offering has been aligned to that of international Business Class –it’s now one premium standard.” Neil Perry menus have been matched with fantastic wines and will now be enjoyed by Qantas passengers inflight and throughout Qantas Business Lounges. “Our new menus are more contemporary, seasonal, and adventurous and will change weekly,” Mr Joyce said. “We have kept the food offering simple –classic with a contemporary feel and more appropriate to the time of day with great emphasis on freshness and choice,” Qantas Consulting Chef Neil Perry said. In Economy Class and in Qantas Clubs, customers will also enjoy new Neil Perry influenced menus, which will include a greater range of hot options and premium breakfasts. Mr Joyce concluded,“Qantas customers can now check-in via their mobile phone, pre-select seats, check-in and pass through premium security lanes, enjoy more food and wine and be treated to enhanced levels of service both inflight and in the lounges.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

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Future of business travel lies in carriers Per DM Group

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Per DM Group chief executive Jess Young believes the recovery of business travel lies in airline interaction with passengers. Business travel took a turn for the worst when economy hit in 2008 and it is unlikely to return to pre-recession, Marketwire reported. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reported that the UK and US business scene was badly affected with UK demand falling by 4.4 percent in 2008 and a further 22.2 percent in 2009. Mr Young said airlines need to interact with business customers on a personal level in order to regain their attention. “The Golden goose has been killed and the product quality and service offering has been sacrificed by airline operators,” Per DM Group chief executive Jesse Young said. “It has been easy to pinpoint the crisis in the financial services as being at the route of this decline. “However this does not recognise the airlines’ ongoing reduction in their service offering before the recession struck.” Mr Young said carriers need to take extra time to consider their routes, the value to customers and act in advance. “It just isn’t good enough to send out direct mail pieces offering deals on routes for first and business class travellers that just don’t stack up,” he said. “We believe that paying a premium for comfort means less downtime recovering and a better business case all round. “There are many companies out there who would be predisposed to a personal contact seeking their business.”last_img read more

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Carnival extends Glorys Canada trips

first_imgCarnival Cruise has increased its presence in Canada for the season starting June next last, unveiling extended schedule of voyages from Boston and around eastern Canada.The only cruise line offering the short cruises from Boston to the Canadian Maritimes, Carnival said it will deploy its Carnival Glory to lead the series of four and five day trips running until 26 July 2012. Massport director of the port Mike Leone said he was keen to welcome the extended cruises and expects the line to generate success on the Boston to Canada sailing route.”Carnival Glory provides a great opportunity for New Englanders and others to enjoy Eastern Canada during the summer months, and the shorter itineraries will be a huge draw for those with limited vacation time or who are looking to getaway for an extended weekend,” Mr Leone said. The new program offers passengers to explore the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal on the four day “long weekend” trek, while the five day voyage travels through Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John.Carnival has also prepared a one off seven day cruise, which will travel cruisers through Portland, Maine, Saint John, Halifax and Nova Scotia. “We are thrilled to offer these four- and five-day cruises from Boston which is not only a world-class destination but also provides a convenient and affordable drive-to homeport for millions of Northeastern U.S. residents,” Carnival chief executive Gerry Cahill.   “Carnival Glory is a fantastic ‘Fun Ship’ with so much to offer and on these cruises guests can visit charming and historic cities in eastern Canadian Maritimes while enjoying all the fun and excitement that Carnival is known for.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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The Darling Hotel And Spa Named In Conde Nast Hot List 2012

first_imgThe Darling, Sydney’s newest hotel, has been named in the coveted annual list of the best new hotels in the world by Conde Nast Traveller. Some of the features of The Darling that were highlighted include the many art pieces, harbour and city views, the 16 treatment room luxury spa and the contemporary Japanese restaurant Sokyo which is located in the lobby. The unranked list this year featured 60 hotels internationally.Located on the edge of Sydney’s harbour and a key feature of The Star’s $870 million redevelopment, The Darling Hotel and Spa is Sydney’s newest five-star hotel featuring 171 stylish rooms and suites complete with spectacular views of the harbour and city skyline. The rooms and suites are designed to feel like a home away from home for both business and leisure travellers.The Darling has been designed as a stand-alone hotel, with its own arrival experience, amenities and alluring personality. It is the first five-star new build hotel in Sydney since the 2000 Olympic Games. Built in addition to the existing hotel and apartments, The Darling will bring the total rooms and suites at The Star to over 650 across three towers. Adored Couples Suitecenter_img Source = The Starlast_img read more

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Port Douglas hotel takes top accommodation honours

first_imgSource = Peninsula Boutique Hotel Peninsula Boutique Hotel has capped off a stellar year after being recognised as one ofnorth Queensland’s best at the recent Tropical North Queensland Tourism Awards. The 34 room property, overlooking Four Mile Beach and the Coral Sea in Port Douglas, was honoured at thetourism awards in the coveted category of Best Deluxe Accommodation. It is the second time in 12 months that the hotel has been recognised for its industry leading product, with itreceiving Gold Honours at the National Accommodation Industry Awards for Exc /lsfke’o;kfd njellence in2011. For the hotel’s owners, Phil and Sheryn Blundstone, to win both awards was testament to the loyal team theyhave at Peninsula and reward for all of their hard work, dedication and passion. “Winning awards of this calibre recognises the quality product we deliver within the Port Douglas region.“It reflects on the service and the hospitality that we extend to our guests, which in a lot of cases can only beachieved in a smaller property like ours that offers true individualised service and attention to detail,” Sherynsaid. In the five years the couple has owned Peninsula Boutique Hotel, they have transformed the property intoone of the regions most sought after, deluxe accommodation, catering to the 16 plus age market. She said it was the small touches such as walking guests to their room, greeting them with a coolaromatherapy refresher towel and welcome drink on arrival as well as providing return airport transfers fromthe airport that made all the difference. “We want people to really enjoy their time with us in Port Douglas. It is the little things that go a long way. Welike to also provide power adapters for international guests, a complimentary DVD and book library, guestlaundry and daily full hot buffet breakfast for every guest to name just a few.”last_img read more

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Chinese spending the most in Australia

first_imgChinese Visa cardholders are leading spending growth in Australia, with an 11.6 percent increase in spending last year compared to 2011.According to VisaVue Travel data, in total Visa holders spent AU$4.8 billion while visiting Australia, a 0.3 percent year on year increase.In total, the Asian market contributed AU$1.2 billion, a 26 percent increase compared to 2011.The report found growth from the Chinese market helped offset a spending decline in tradition markets, including the UK.Despite the dip, travellers from the UK remained Australia’s number one inbound source market followed by the United States, New Zealand and then China.“In 2012 we saw an increase in spending by Visa account holders from the United States (+4.85%) and New Zealand (+4.7%) but the growth from China far outshines other markets,” Visa Australia country manager Vipin Kalra said.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJ Visa account holders spent AU$4.8 billion in Aus.last_img read more

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