Mr.Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya (Middle), Executive Director of the Advertising and Public Relations Department of TAT, Mr. Banyat Hansakul (2nd left), Director of Engineering for Thai AirAsia and Mr. Wisut Ponnimit (2nd right), Thai cartoonistThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is partnering with Thai Air Asia in launching the “Paint the Sky with Amazing Thailand” design contest, following the success of last year’s co-branding partnership in which the airline wrapped its newest Airbus A320 aircraft with the logo of the 2015 Discover Thainess campaign and decorated its interior with images of the “12 Hidden Gems” destinations.Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Executive Director of the Advertising and Public Relations Department of TAT said, “Last year’s co-branding partnership between TAT and Thai Air Asia proved highly popular with visitors while adding a unique colour to Thai Air Asia’s fleet.“Under this year’s Paint the Sky with Amazing Thailand design contest, we look forward to seeing great designs that will help inspire more travellers from around the world to want to visit Thailand to discover the many amazing travel stories here by themselves.”The “Paint the Sky with Amazing Thailand” design contest is open for designers, artists and members of the public.They are invited to submit their entries under two categories: Amazing Thailand – Amazing Culture, to promote Thai culture, hospitality and lifestyles, and Amazing Thailand – Amazing Destination, to promote Thailand’s tourist attractions, be they cultural, natural, architectural or concerned with Thai festivals and leisure.Any region of Thailand can be represented, giving artists a great deal of freedom when coming up with creative designs.Mr. Banyat Hansakul, Director of Engineering for Thai AirAsia said, “As one of the world’s largest low-cost carriers, Thai Air Asia is responsible for bringing tourists into Thailand and showing them its wonders, so we are proud to work with TAT again and further promote the kingdom via the livery of our aircraft.”The winning designs in both “Paint the Sky with Amazing Thailand” concepts will be painted onto two of Thai Air Asia’s Airbus 320-200 aircraft, which operate on both domestic and international routes. The first aircraft with the winning design will be launched in August 2016, and the second one about a month later, and will be available for at least 11 months. Tourism Thailand Thai Air AsiaSource = Tourism Authority of Thailand
Sunshine Coast celebrates 50th anniversary of its naming with a birthday bash!It is 50 years ago today that Queensland’s “Sunshine Coast” name officially came into being. Until then, the region was known as the “Near North Coast”, reflecting its proximity to Brisbane.However, with the region’s rapid growth in population and tourism, the Maroochydore, Noosa and Landsborough shires all voted to adopt the name “Sunshine Coast”, which came into effect on 1 August, 1967.The origin of the name was fairly simple, best summed up by a tourism official at the time, Mr R.M. O’Loughlin, who remarked that: “This area had something that could not be bought for gold: that was glorious sunshine”.Today, the Sunshine Coast is not only Queensland’s fastest growing tourism destination, it is one of the 10 biggest “cities” in Australia with almost 300,000 people calling it home.Just over one hour’s drive north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast encompasses an area stretching from Caloundra and the distinctive Glass House Mountains in the south, to the Hinterland and Mary Valley in the west, to Noosa and Rainbow Beach in the north.The region has its own university and the Sunshine Coast Airport was recently designated an international airport, with a major extension and upgrade underway to enable the airport to attract an even wider range of domestic and international flights.The Sunshine Coast will celebrate the 50th anniversary with a series of special events over the next five months. They include concerts, the largest ever Horizons Arts Festival, a poetry trail, sand sculpture festival and a special commemorative exhibition retracing the region’s development.Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Mark Jamieson said: “This anniversary milestone also allows us the opportunity to celebrate the region’s unique identity and to showcase the past, present and future.“The exciting program of events, which will be held from August to December, will appeal to a broad range of ages and interests.”Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Simon Latchford, said that it was remarkable to look back and see how the region had developed as one of Australia’s premier tourist destinations.“The Sunshine Coast has always concentrated on showcasing its diversity: we are far more than just Sunshine and Coast, with our distinctive natural attractions, such as the Hinterland and Glass House Mountains, complementing our beautiful coastal attractions,” he said.“And we are constantly innovating. The new airport, plans for major new hotels and tourism attractions, blueprints for new town centres, massive expansion of our ‘agri-tourism’ sector and world-class tourism activities such as Swimming with Whales highlight our continuing commitment to offering fresh reasons to return.“We invite the whole of Australia and the rest of the world to join us in the celebrations. Everyone is welcome.”Full details of the anniversary celebrations can be found at: https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/fiftySource = Visit Sunshine Coast
Tourism Authority of ThailandThailand travel advisory on The Royal Cremation for the late King Bhumibol AdulyadejThe Royal Thai Government has announced that the Royal Cremation for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is scheduled for 25-29 October, 2017. Thursday, 26 October, will be the royal cremationday, and it has been declared a public holiday by the Cabinet to allow the people to take part in paying a final tribute to the late King.During the process of the Royal Cremation which will last five days, tourist attractions across Thailand will be open as usual. This is with the exception of Bangkok’s Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which will be closed from 1-29 October, 2017, as they will be the venue of the Royal Cremation. All transport, banks, shopping areas, hospitals and other public services will be operating as usual.However, the Tourism Authority of Thailand would like to recommend that any visitors with travel or tourism plans reconfirm with agents and check local media regularly as well as follow the advice of the local authorities for announcements and updates. They should also be aware that in some areas transportation could be affected. We also ask tourists and visitors for their understanding and patience should they experience delays or some routes may be closed to traffic.In this time of great sadness and mourning, we would like to ask that everyone uses their judgment regarding how or should they make arrangements for events planned in Thailand. Also, we would like to ask visitors for their understanding that this is a sensitive time for Thailand, and they should respect the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people.Many Thai people will be wearing black clothes as a sign of mourning. This is not required of visitors but if possible, they should wear respectful clothing when in public. We also would like to request that the solemnity of the Royal Cremation is observed, and visitors should refrain from conducting any inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour.The world is welcome to Thailand during this historic period. Visitors to the kingdom at this time will get to see the great love and reverence that the Thai people have for their beloved King in the way they mourn and pay their respects. And during this time, Thailand is thankful for our friends coming to share their sadness and pass on their condolences. This gesture of empathy and friendship will be remembered by the people of Thailand for decades to come.For more details on the Royal Cremation, please CLICK HERESource = Tourism Authority of Thailand
Smoking ban on Thai beachesSmoking ban on Thai beachesThailand is imposing a smoking ban on some 20 popular beaches across the country as part of the country’s sustainable tourism plan efforts. The ban comes into effect in November 2017.These beaches are in the provinces of Phuket (Patong); Surat Thani (Bo Phut on Ko Samui); Krabi (Phra Ae and Khlong Dao on Ko Lanta); Chon Buri (Bang Saen and Pattaya as well as Tam Pang on Ko Si Chang); Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin and Khao Takiap); Phetchaburi (Cha-am); Phang-nga (Ko Khai Nok and Ko Khai Nai on Ko Yao); Songkhla (Chalatas); Pattani (Tha Wa Sukri); Rayong (Mae Phim); Chanthaburi (Laem Sing), and Chumphon (Sai Ri).Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said, “These beaches are among the most beautiful in Southeast Asia, and the aim is to keep them that way.”Many tourists include a visit to one or more beaches as part of their holiday in Bangkok and wider Thailand, and these beaches offer the opportunity to enjoy some unique Thai local experiences.“People who do smoke need not worry, as they will still be accommodated. The new smoking ban on Thai beaches is aimed at maintaining a clean and safe environment for everyone and to help with Thailand’s positive image as a wonderful tourist destination,” Mr. Yuthasak added.While the smoking ban covers the beaches themselves, officials say there will be designated smoking areas provided inland with refuse containers for the disposal of cigarette butts.Cigarette butts, apparently, are the main reason behind the new smoking ban on Thai beaches. More precisely, the disposal of butts, or even more precisely, the disposal of butts in the proper way.Thailand’s Department of Marine And Coastal Resources says it has had to retrieve tens of thousands of butts from the sands of beaches, with this accounting for a large amount of all rubbish collected. A department official said up to 138,000 butts had been collected from just one particular beach – a 2.5 km stretch of Phuket’s popular Patong Beach.Come November, the new smoking ban on Thai beaches that has been making Thai tourism news recently will carry a fine of up to 100,000 Baht or a year in prison. Far better, it will be, to head to the designated smoking areas for a cigarette.Officials say the ban initially being implemented on the 20 or so beaches could be expanded to all beaches in Thailand, if it is successful in tackling the waste problem. Meanwhile, under consideration is a similar measure against smoking on tourist boats.Thailand became a party to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on 27 February, 2005. Since then, the country has become one of the world’s forerunners in the fight to ban smoking from public places.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand
Source = Amara Bangkok Amara Bangkok presents 35 percent off 72-hours flash saleAmara Bangkok presents 35 percent off 72-hours flash saleOnly 72 hours for holiday makers to lock their staycations at an incredible 35 percent discount for stays between January 20 – August 31, 2018. The booking clock starts ticking from 19 January 0000 hrs to 21 January 2359hrs!Guests can start making reservations during January 19-21, 2018 only for stays during January 20 – August 31, 2018, to enjoy 35 percent off Best Available Rate. In addition, guests can enjoy addition perks such as THB 500 food and beverage credit per stay and complimentary late check out at 2 pm [subject to availability], terms and conditions applied.Guests can book via website at https://goo.gl/XxRDSJ or call 02 021 8888 for more information.Term and conditions;· Full pre-payment is required upon booking and non-refundable· Rate is subject to 10 percent service charge and 7 percent value-added tax· Promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions, discounts or offers at the time of visit· Blackout period applied during February 9-11 and February 16-18, 2018
Roy Merricks The WOW Factor – MTA has ‘Zero Flight Risk™The WOW Factor – MTA has ‘Zero Flight Risk™MTA – Mobile Travel Agents’ co-managing director, Roy Merricks says the collapse last week of Icelandic budget airline WOW Air, while not an approved MTA supplier, serves as a timely reminder that all travel agents need to ensure their clients are adequately protected in the event a travel intermediary or end supplier becomes insolvent and unable to deliver a product or service.The WOW Air collapse brings to five the number of European carriers forced into insolvency in the last 18 months.Mr Merricks said many of the 4000 or so passengers affected by the WOW Air collapse will now be looking towards their travel insurance for refunds.“Travel insurance covers for a host of factors – be that a lost suitcase, damaged camera or overseas medical assistance – but when it comes to supplier insolvency protection that’s a whole different ball game,” he said.“Sadly, while some of those passengers may see some return on ticket purchases, it is highly likely many of them won’t with the airline having stated the chances of reimbursement are “narrow” and already advising passengers to address claims to the airline’s bankruptcy trustee.“And remember this doesn’t just happen to overseas companies – locally we only have to go back to December and the Bestjet Travel collapse.”Mr Merricks said while consumers may buy optional travel insurance products via their consultants or online, many of these either do not offer supplier insolvency protection and if they do, it is invariably limited to a very small number of suppliers and always at additional cost.“The same applies if a consumer pays for their travel arrangements by credit card. There may be some insolvency protection provided under complimentary travel insurance but the emphasis is very much on the ‘may’.”Mr Merricks said the WOW collapse provided a compelling reason as to why consumers needed to ensure that when they book their travel, they book via agents who are able to provide iron-clad, 100 per cent money-back guarantees in the event of insolvency, such as MTA’s ground-breaking ‘Zero Flight Risk™’.Launched in 2014, shortly after the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) was dismantled, ‘Zero Flight Risk™’ is an MTA initiative whereby any client purchasing approved travel products and services through the company can rest assured their funds will be guaranteed in the event of any approved MTA travel intermediary or end supplier becoming insolvent and as a result, being unable to deliver the product or service.“‘Zero Flight Risk™’ provides a very convincing argument why consumers need to book their travel via MTA,” Mr Merricks said.”We can provide our customers with peace of mind and in the full knowledge that this piece of protection comes with a 100 per cent money back guarantee – no ifs or buts – and at no extra cost whatsoever.”Source = MTA – Mobile Travel Agents
The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma held a meeting with the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge), Dharmendra Pradhan and Secretary, Tourism, Dr Lalit Panwar in New Delhi to discuss the preparations for the upcoming festival of Nabakalebar in Odisha.Dr Mahesh Sharma said that the Union Tourism Ministry will promote the Nabakalebar festival under the Incredible India Campaign for its international branding. The Government of India will release Rs 50 crore for providing infrastructure and facilities for the Nabakalebar festival. Along with that the Union Culture Ministry will also release a postal stamp and coin to mark the festival.In a different meeting, Dr Mahesh Sharma met with the Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (Independent Charge), Government of Odisha, Ashok Chandra Panda in New Delhi to discuss the branding of Nabakalebar as an international festival and sanctioning of funds for the proposed Light and Sound shows. Dr Mahesh Sharma assured Panda that the Tourism Ministry will make all efforts to provide funds at the earliest for the three Light and Sound shows proposed to be held at Dhauli, Udayagiri / Khandagiri caves and at Konark. Dr Sharma informed that a special media campaign will be mounted to popularise Nabakalebar as an international festival. The campaign will be released in the electronic, print and cyber media.Dr Mahesh Sharma also informed that the Government of India is making all the efforts to start the first International flight from the Bhubaneswar International festival on this auspicious occasion. This first flight is likely to be for Abu Dhabi, he added.Nabakalebar festival will be celebrated on July 10, 2015 after a gap of 19 years.
Lama Tours organised its Tier II city roadshow in Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Pune, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar. Lama Tours concluded its Kolkata roadshow on August 27, 2016. The roadshows in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar are scheduled on August 29, August 30 and August 31 respectively.Kulwant Singh, CEO & Managing Director, Car Fare & Lama Groups LLC, said, “Tier II cities are very important for us as we have been coming to India for the last 15 years, doing roadshows in Tier I cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, etc. but we saw that a lot of enquiries are being generated from Tier II cities. Also, there was a gap of right information being provided by the Tier I cities to the Tier II. We thought it would be ideal for us to come to Tier II cities and talk to the agents and describe them our products and give them information about our products.”Kulwant also added that social media is playing a very active role and there is a lot of information that is available, however, if the partners of lama tours personally talk to the agents then they can tailor made the requirements and explain them in detail what they could offer to their customers which will be much more informative and valuable.Lama Tours highlighted the importance of Indian travellers to the UAE, as this is a strong feeder market to the region. The roadshows had an opportunity to interact with hoteliers, travel agents beside the travel and trade fraternity.Participants were ranging from Hotels, Airline and Leisure Parks like Dubai Parks & Resorts, Golden Sands Hotel, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Ferrari and Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, Air India, etc.
Maldives has welcomed its 750,000th tourist, Wang Shuai, a Chinese tourist, this year in August. Shuai and his family were warmly welcomed at the airport VIP lounge by Moosa Zameer Hassan, Minister of Tourism; H.E. Wang Fukang, the Ambassador of China to Maldives, along with senior officials from the tourism industry, Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC), Maldivian, Maldives Airports Company as well as the Maldives Immigration. Shuai was gifted a commemorative plaque and a holiday in the Maldives sponsored by Meeru Island Resort & Spa.This is the third event held this year to celebrate the achievement of arrival milestones of Visit Maldives Year 2016. Visit Maldives Year 2016 aims at achieving the target of 1.5 million tourist arrivals this year.Upcoming events include Maldives Photography competition and Surfing Competition to be held in the Maldives. Tourism being the most important industry for Maldives, the VMY2016 campaign is expected to strengthen the industry, giving more opportunities to locals to promote their products and services in a greater platform.
India’s largest ecosystem for start-up success the, Start-up Expo, co-created by Lufthansa and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) showcased business experts, investors, mentors, industry partners, government agencies, corporates and customers – all under one roof.Over the past five years, Lufthansa has empowered 150,000 entrepreneurs through its flagship program Lufthansa Runway to Success, a platform that has grown to become India’s largest SME stage. It has been a catalyst for some of India’s most disruptive start-ups such as Chaayos, Sattviko, Find My Stay, Heads up for Tails, Prozo amongst others.Taking forward the unprecedented success of the first Startup Expo held in 2016, the second edition featured over 75 investors, 100 partners, 500 mentors, 250 startup showcasing more than 10,000 attendees. It provided start-ups an opportunity to explore funding opportunities, receive valuable insights at expert workshops, engaged with government organizations and network and gain mentorship with potential clients and customers.Wolfgang Will, Senior Director, South Asia, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, said, “Entrepreneurship is the driving force of the Indian economy. As an integral part of our Lufthansa Runway to Success initiative, the Startup Expo yet again brings alive our promise to be ‘More Indian Than You Think’.”This year too, Startup Expo attracted widespread support from organizations such as Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Sequoia Capital, Unitus Seed Fund, IDG Ventures India, YourNest, Calcutta Angels, Ivy Camp; Indian Angel Network, Orios Venture Partner; IFC, Kalaari Capital, Saif Partners, etc.According to Geetika Dayal, Executive Director, TiE Delhi-NCR, “This is the collective strength of India coming together to fuel the drive and passion of young entrepreneurs. As the largest global network fostering entrepreneurship, TiE’s core philosophy is to support startups and SMEs with opportunities and mentoring them for success. This is why our long-standing partnership with Lufthansa through initiatives such as Runway to Success and the Startup Expo is unparalleled.”
The Singapore Tourism Board and the Singapore Economic Development Board unveiled a unified brand, Passion Made Possible, to market Singapore internationally for travel and tourism industry.Launched officially in Singapore by Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, in a bid to put forth Singapore’s unique attitude and mindset: a passionate, never-settling spirit of determination and enterprise that constantly pursues possibilities and reinvention.Over the last five decades, Singapore has built a strong reputation as a global business and tourism hub, recognised for its quality infrastructure, safety, stability, connectedness and accessibility. Tourists are more interested to immerse themselves in cultures and build deeper connections with destinations, while international businesses want to create new solutions that make a difference.The unified brand thus aims to communicate the country’s value proposition in addressing these new needs of travellers and companies and help Singapore stand out on the international stage.G.B. Srithar, Singapore Tourism Board Regional Director, South-Asia, Middle East and Africa, said, “With Passion Made Possible, STB is presenting a brand that can tell a fuller Singapore story beyond just tourism. This brand articulates what we stand for as a country and supports the telling of many stories about this destination and its people.The unveiled brand will allow building a deeper and more personal connection between Singapore and with other neighboring countries like UAE.
MakeMyTrip launched ‘Pay Later’ feature for travel payments. It is available to select users.Few fintech companies are considered by MakeMyTrip to maximise the ‘pay Later’ feature to different platforms like redBus and Goibibo.Through ‘Pay Later’ feature, MakeMyTrip’s goal is to achieve the requirement for access to credit along with reinforcing trust and convenience in online travel booking experience for its most valued customers.
A third-quarter opinion survey for loan officers revealed that more financial institutions tightened their credit supply over fears that debt-ridden euro zone countries would tear apart the content’s currency and expose U.S. banks to danger.[IMAGE]The “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ polled senior loan officers from 51 U.S. banks and 22 branches for the nation’s financial institutions at foreign branches for the “”_October 2011 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices_””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/snloansurvey/201111/table1.pdf.Seventy-eight percent of those polled agreed that their financial institutions tightened credit standards over economic malaise and threats to the financial services system, compared with 67 percent who dismissed questions about whether deteriorating capital positions played more of a role.[COLUMN_BREAK]Equal numbers of loan officers disagreed over whether their financial institutions felt less appetite for risk at about 44 percent in each category.Twenty-two percent and 11 percent respectively agreed “”somewhat”” and “”very strongly”” that industry-specific problems caused their institutions to downsize their lending habits over the third quarter.The Fed nonetheless reported that refinancing activity drove up healthy numbers for residential loan demand, which outran weak demand for the first time since 2010, largely among smaller community banks.Notably, responses to questions about exposure to the European debt crisis portrayed the banking industry as wary and watchful, as about two-thirds of all respondents with U.S. banks and their affiliates overseas reported tightening credit in preparation for toxic assets and sovereign defaults.””Paul Dales””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/global-economics/paul-dales.html, a senior U.S. economist with consultancy “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, called it “”encouraging”” that only 35 percent of senior loan officers with U.S. financial institutions reported possessing more than 5 percent of loans with significant exposure to credit and debt in Europe.””US [sic] banks are not immune to the events in Europe,”” he wrote in a note. “”But at least they appear to be taking steps to protect themselves from any illiquidity and solvency issues that would be trigged by a sovereign debt default or the break-up of the euro-zone.”” Agents & Brokers Bank Failure Capital Economics Confidence Debt Crisis Euro European Union Federal Reserve Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Refinance Service Providers 2011-11-07 Ryan Schuette in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing November 7, 2011 418 Views U.S. Lenders Wary Ahead of Euro Crisis: Survey Share
Thanksgiving is a time when Americans step back from their busy lives to commemorate our nation’s history, specifically the days when the original colonialists engaged in a feast to give thanks to their blessings in the new world.Then, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day. With such a unique history, you would think modern Americans would stay indoors and feast during the weekend, escaping the hunt of the modern era for a second or two. But according to Realtor.com, that all depends on where you live. It seems some Americans see the holiday of thanks as a good chance to get a leg up–no turkey pun intended–on the home market competition. The Realtor.com team set out to see whether home shopping activity ceased during the holidays, particularly Thanksgiving. What they found is it all depends on what part of the nation you hail from.As for the Pacific Northwest–specifically Washington, Oregon, Idaho–and then drifting Southeast towards Utah– the real estate website found traffic data for home shoppers during the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday was hardly impacted by the Thanksgiving holiday when compared to average fourth-quarter traffic. Other states were home shopping traffic remained relatively stable through Thanksgiving included Colorado, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia.But Thanksgiving did impact traffic in some New England states, with Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont among the states reporting significant traffic declines because of the Turkey holiday. Other states where Thanksgiving negatively impacted home shopping include Wyoming, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama and Indiana. Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News Home Shopping Northeast Pacific Northwest Realtor.com Thanksgiving 2015-11-25 Kerri Panchuk November 25, 2015 583 Views Turkey Day Puts Northeast Home Shopping to Sleep, but Pacific Northwest Wakes Up
First Mortgage Debt on the Rise, but HELOC Balances Subside Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Origination New debt created by first-time homebuyers transitioning into homeownership and existing homeowners that are upgrading to larger homes growing a rapid pace, meanwhile, home equity loan balances have cooled off thanks to borrowers paying off debts.Equifax’s National Consumer Credit Trends Report for February 2016 found that the total balance of outstanding first mortgages in January rose 2.1 percent year-over-year to more than $8.3 trillion.”Home purchase activity accelerated in 2016 as economic conditions boosted consumer confidence,” said Amy Crews Cutts, Chief Economist at Equifax. “When first-time homebuyers move into homeownership or existing homeowners upgrade to a larger, more expensive home, new debt is created. This trend is finally dominating the accelerated amortization from borrowers paying a little extra each month or paying their mortgages in full, and foreclosure activity is also greatly diminished.”On the other hand, home equity lines of credit (HELOC) debt seemed to decrease from last January. The report showed that HELOC debts decreased 3.7 percent from $514.2 billion to $495 billion from January 2015 to January 2016. In addition, home equity installments loan balances fell 5.1 percent from $138.5 billion to $131.4 billion over the same time period.”With many HELOCs hitting their recast into amortization we are seeing increased payoffs, reducing the debt and numbers of HELOCs outstanding. About 20 to 25 percent of HELOCs active a year prior to their recast anniversary will payoff and close within the year after date. Originations of new loans are not keeping pace with the payoffs.”Existing first mortgage numbers rose 0.4 percent year-over-year in January to reach 50.1 million, while at the same time, HELOCs and home equity installment loans declined 3.2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.The Equifax report showed that the total number of new first mortgages originated January 2015 to November 2015 was 7.60 million, up 43.2 percent from a year ago. The total balance of first mortgages originated in that same time was $1.79 trillion, an increase of 56.7 percent. The severe delinquency rate among first mortgages, or balances that are 90 days past due or in foreclosure, was 1.75 percent in February 2016, down from 2.50 percent one year ago.The total number of new home equity installment loans originated January 2015 to November 2015 was 760,900, up 32.4 percent year-over-year, while the total balance of new loans was $25.1 billion, an increase of 25.2 percent. The severe delinquency rate for these loans is 1.63 percent, down from 2.12 percent same time a year ago.From January 2015 to November 2015, the total balance of new HELOC loans was $135.3 billion, up 21.6 percent from same time a year ago. In that same time, the total number of new loans originated was more than 1.29 million, an increase of 13.1 percent, Equifax said. The severe delinquency rate for these loans is 1.34 percent, down from 1.49 percent same time a year ago.Click here to view the full report. March 8, 2016 956 Views Equifax First Mortgage Origination 2016-03-08 Staff Writer
in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News The Beginning of a New Era in America Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on Friday afternoon, and those in the housing industry are expecting that the changes promised by the new administration will be beneficial to the housing industry.An estimated 800,000 people gathered at the nation’s Capitol to witness the swearing in of Trump and his Vice President, Mike Pence. Trump’s inauguration speech was heavily focused on returning the country back to the American people and putting American people first.“This moment is your moment. It belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America,” Trump told the crowd gathered for the inauguration. “This your day, this is your celebration, and this, the United States of America, is your country. What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”Among the changes that Trump or his cabinet appointees have promised to make are rolling back regulations for housing, which greatly increased in response to the crisis of 2008; and ending the government’s conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which was intended to be temporary when it started in September 2008.President Donald J. Trump“I welcome the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States and the change a new administration will bring to the nation,” said Ed Delgado, President and CEO of the Five Star Institute and a former executive with Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac. “As a successful and prominent real estate developer, I believe President Trump is uniquely qualified to address the concerns and challenges facing the housing and mortgage markets with sound policies and strong cabinet appointments.”Trump has also promised reform to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Republicans have long criticized as unaccountable and overreaching. In particular, Republicans have been critical of the CFPB’s handling of enforcement activities within the mortgage industry, which they believe have made mortgage loans more expensive and more difficult to obtain.“I hope both the Trump Administration and Congress include on their ‘priority list’ how to bring some stability and certainty to our nation’s housing finance system,” said Brian Montgomery, Vice Chairman and Co-Founder of the Collingwood Group and a former FHA Commissioner in the Bush and Obama Administrations. “Excessive enforcement actions, coupled with state and federal regulatory reforms, have discouraged mortgage lenders from making any loans that fall outside of the strict boundaries set by CFPB regulations. In the end, prospective homebuyers, including many who are first-time buyers with perhaps a blemish or two on their credit score, are largely shut out of the mortgage market from this stifling of housing credit.”The homeownership rate in the U.S. sank to a 51-year low in the second quarter of 2016, down to 62.9. It rose by 60 basis points in the third quarter but is still hovering above a record low.“There is tremendous opportunity,” said Meg Burns, Managing Director of the Collingwood Group. “The Trump leadership team has publicly acknowledged a concern with the regulators’ heavy-handed approach over the course of the crisis. There is a good chance that they will halt the very aggressive enforcement activity. It would be best to return to a monitoring regime that identifies problems and issues, so that they can be addressed and resolved, as opposed to stringent enforcement for the sole purpose of imposing financial penalties. The latter approach has clearly resulted in less lending activity and stifled access to credit.”For the last several months, the housing industry has been experiencing a shortage of available inventory for sale as demand has outpaced supply, and new construction has not been keeping up with the demand.“[T]he administration of Donald Trump could take a fresh look at existing regulations across the board, and that could result in new rulemaking to change provisions that are hurting real estate, including provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial services reform law enacted in 2010 in response to the financial crisis,” the National Association of Realtors (NAR) wrote. “NAR analysts say the association might favor easing some Dodd-Frank requirements on community banks, which traditionally provide the bulk of financing for housing construction. Housing starts have been far below what’s needed to meet rising demand, and easing some requirements on community banks could lead to more robust construction lending.”The inability of Congress until now to address the longstanding issues in the housing industry has had seriously adverse effects for the U.S. economy as a whole, according to Collingwood Group President Brian O’Reilly.“It’s amazing that something so vital as housing to the overall health of the American economy and the average—is something Congress still can’t rally in support of resolving—especially when the risks associated with continued failure to do so are potentially so serious,” O’Reilly said. “The facts are that housing is a critical component of overall economic health in the U.S. Thus, continued failure by Congress to address housing reform is reckless and irresponsible.” Donald Trump Housing Industry Inauguration President 2017-01-20 Seth Welborn Share January 20, 2017 716 Views
April 26 , 2019 Potentially record heatwave to strike continental … Attendees we spoke to provided excellent feedback about the event.Andrés Fuenzalida, general manager of Copefrut – one of Chile’s largest fruit exporters and a leading player in the cherry industry – said: “We think that it is a great event. On this opportunity, here we launched our new corporate image because we feel that the event brings together the biggest players in the cherry industry.””The speakers and the organization have been really good,” he said, highlighting that he found the educational session on the Chinese market particularly useful and relevant for Chile.Rogelio Busto, the reefer director of Hapag-Lloyd, said: “We see very positive evolution compared to the first event. It is very well organized and very interesting topics were addressed. There are also more attendees than last year.”Javier Mozó, commercial manager of MM Packaging said: “This year has surprised me by the quality of the event, especially the speakers. I was particularly interested in the people from China who have spoken about the market, about the consumption trends, and I think that that is vital for all actors of the supply chain for that market.”Below is a small selection of photos from the Global Cherry Summit 2019. Stay tuned for more coverage over the coming days. U.S.: Port of Virginia now open for South American … U.S.: First storm hits California, more heavy rain … Hamburg Süd strengthens its product portfolio … You might also be interested in Leaders and key players of the cherry industry from all four corners of the world met in Chile on Thursday for what was a hugely successful second edition of the annual Global Cherry Summit.The event, which took place in the Monticello Conference Center in San Francisco de Mostazal, was organized by Yentzen Group, Produce Business magazine, and the Chilean Cherry Committee of fruit exporters’ association ASOEX.The Global Cherry Summit 2019 welcomed around 700 industry professionals and more than 50 exhibiting companies from countries including Chile, China, the U.S., the U.K., Peru, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and Mexico, making this edition a larger and more international affair than the inaugural event in April last year.Guests were treated to a series of insightful and eye-opening educational sessions and panel discussions, which analyzed the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the global cherry industry as it continues to grow at a rapid pace.The commercially-focused sessions, which included “The cherry industry on the global stage”, “China in numbers: The consumer and the imported cherry industry”, “Global trends in cherry marketing”, and “The Chilean cherry industry by 2025″ captivated attendees and provided valuable information that will be essential for companies to thrive in the future.The event also saw Liu Zhi, general manager of Chinese importer and logistics company Dalian Yidu, presented with the Cherry Visionary Award for his work advancing the industry.”The second edition of the Global Cherry Summit was another overwhelming success,” said Gustavo Yentzen, general manager of Yentzen Group and founder of FreshFruitPortal.com. “This unique event is consolidating itself as the meeting point of the cherry industry worldwide, and a place for industry leaders to come together, learn, share ideas and place themselves in an excellent position for the future.”
Argentina to send increased blueberry volumes in s … As for how this situation would affect the processing industry, he pointed out that fruit will be used depending on the demand of the sector.For the fresh sector, particularly exports, he commented: “Surely there will be smaller volumes because much of the crop can no longer be recovered. The fruit biologically has a period, which, if passed, no longer can meet export quality.”He also cautioned that frost could further affect these smaller volumes.LGS sees successful lemon imports Despite the unfavorable growing conditions that have impacted much of the industry, not all have been affected. LGS Specialty Sales, Ltd. an importer and distributor of key citrus in the U.S. is one of these outliers. It referred to the success of their Darling Lemons. “We are proud to continue with our lemon program in Argentina this year,” said Luke Sears, president and founder of LGS. “We anticipate that consumers and buyers will be delighted with the quality, taste and size of our Argentine lemons.” “The Argentine season will continue to have value in the U.S. market, as the coastal area of California decreases its production, which will result in better prices for lemons. ” Meanwhile, the Chilean Navels should arrive in the first week of July, with enough volumes to supply the Northern Hemisphere until autumn. Argentine fruit industry welcomes export tax reduc … Limoneira completes Argentine citrus JV and land a … June 21 , 2019 The Argentine citrus season continues to suffer as a result of the climatic conditions that are affecting the country. According to José Carbonell, president of Federcitrus, the campaign is still delayed. “It’s still raining, both in the NOA (Argentine Northwest) and in the Argentine NEA (Argentine Northeast). At this time the harvest is paralyzed because we had five days in a row of rain, which ended two days ago and still can not enter the fields,” he explained. “We are going at a very low level of progress in relation to the time,” he said. He added that the Northern Hemisphere carried out abundant campaigns, keeping the market well supplied. “The U.S., Spain, Turkey have had important harvests in the Northern Hemisphere and markets are a bit repressed.” These circumstances apply for acid citrus as well as sweet citrus. You might also be interested in Argentine lemon industry expects first exports to …
Tourism New Zealand’s new mobile-led global campaign –‘One journey leads to another’ – begins with a film, shot specifically for vertical screens, that explores NZ’s hidden gems – from diving at Poor Knights Islands marine reserve and glamping in Abel Tasman National Park, to discovering ice tunnels on Franz Josef Glacier.“New Zealand’s tourism has seen unprecedented growth in recent years, with more Aussies now seeking out a more diverse and enriching holiday experience. With new discoveries just waiting to be unearthed, we wanted to show the range of experiences and hidden gems that New Zealand has to offer and inspire travellers to go beyond the key hubs,” said Andrew Fraser, Director of Marketing Tourism New Zealand. The campaign will be launched across global media partners including Facebook and Google, WeChat and Qyer, and will run in all Tourism New Zealand’s target markets. Tourism New Zealand
airlinesBeijing Capital AirlinesChina Beijing Capital Airlines is starting direct flights between Sydney and Qingdao, in the southeast part of Shandong Province. Qingdao is known as the home of Tsingtao beer. The airline will fly twin-aisle A330-200 aircraft four times a week – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – on the route, and flies Melbourne – Qingdao three times a week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.“You can now fly direct to Australia from no less than 18 different cities in mainland China. Many of these new flights are from China’s secondary cities such as Kunming, Hangzhou, Wuhan and now Qingdao, effectively opening up parts of China that are, as yet, largely untapped,” said Tourism Australia chief executive John O’Sullivan.