AccorHotels group affirms its leadership in Africa

first_imgAccorHotels group affirms its leadership in AfricaOn the occasion of the French President’s visit to Angola, AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator, sealed an exclusive partnership with the major Angolan company AAA ACTIVOS LDA, to open 50 hotels (more than 6,200 rooms) in Angola from luxury to economy between 2015 and 2017.“This historical and unheard of establishment of a hospitality group in Angola, which was made possible through our partnership with AAA ACTIVOS LDA, testifies to AccorHotels’ ambition in Africa, where tourism is rapidly evolving” explains Sebastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels. “Angola has 25 million inhabitants, 40% of which are of working age. Therefore, 3 000 employees will be hired locally in a large selection of hospitality jobs, ranging from restaurant service to executive positions: The Group commits to train these employees, as well as to pass on its values to them”.Carlos Manuel de Sao Vicente, Chairman of AAA, highlighted that this collaboration with AccorHotels was an unprecedented alliance in the global hospitality industry in Angola and that it aimed at addressing a growing international demand, with a network covering the whole territory. “Angola is diversifying the economy in order to reduce the dependence from the mineral economy, namely oil and diamond industry. AAA is already contributing to achieve this strategic role by investing in the building of a national chain of 50 hotels in all capital of provinces and a chain of 3 logistic centers to supply the hotels. Now we have establish a partnership with Accorhotels to manage the hotels, train Angolans and provide hospitality services in all hotels with international quality standards with a French flavor and an Angolan touch. We are sure that Angola will become soon a big player in the hospitality and tourism activity in Africa. Angola will become a major tourist destination. Our 50 hotels will help to stimulate the domestic and international tourism.”AAA is a major Angolan corporation, known for its leadership in oil insurance and in investment. AAA began as a specialized risk management financial services provider and has led the co-insurance market in the Angolan oil sector since 2000. The company also operates in petroleum reinsurance and brokerage in UK and Bermuda.Over the next two years, 50 hotels will be opened in strategic locations, such as in Luanda, the Angola capital, and the 17 capitals of province: 6 hotels in 2015, 22 in 2016 and 22 in 2017. The offer will cover all segments of the hotel market, from luxury to economy, including midscale. 27 hotels will be operated under the banner of the economic ibis Styles brand, 22 under that of the midscale Mercure brand, and 1 under the luxury Sofitel brand.For 40 years, AccorHotels has been a major economic player and is now Africa’s leading hotel operator in terms of the number of rooms. book Accor Hotels hereSource = AccorHotelslast_img read more

Westin Hotels taps Rachael Finch as newest brand advocate

first_imgWestin Hotels & Resorts has announced Rachael Finch, certified health coach, television presenter and model, as the brand’s Well-Being Brand Advocate.In her new role, Rachael will curate and host a Westin Wellness Escape for guests at The Westin Melbourne in April 2016, marking the next phase of the Westin Well-being Movement; a brand-wide campaign designed to enhance the well-being of guests around the world.“I am thrilled to join the distinguished panel of Westin Well-Being Brand Advocates for Asia Pacific; and look forward to sharing my passion for fitness and nutrition with Westin guests,” Ms Finch said.“Wellness is far more than just looking good physically, it’s about feeling good. To achieve this, like Westin, I believe you have to make health and well-being an integral part of everyday life, even when you’re on the road.”A certified health coach, Rachael is a highly regarded Australian personality, sharing many synergies with the Westin brand.Her modelling career has seen her travel the world, and her talent as a television host has led to appearances on popular shows – including an experience where it sparked her passion for dance as a means for keeping fit and healthy.Known for promoting a wholesome and holistic lifestyle, Rachael’s success is derived from her belief that good nutrition and an active and varied work out regime are the key foundations to fostering long-term health and well-being.For more information on how Rachael maintains her health and well-being, watch this short video.As a Westin Well-Being Brand Advocate, Rachael joins Westin Well-being experts across the globe, including other brand advocates in Asia Pacific such as Waka Nozawa, renowned fashion model and yogi from Japan; alongside soon to-be-introduced Television Personality and Wellness Expert Jojo Struys.“The Westin Wellness Escapes series is designed for those seeking to achieve or sustain a healthy lifestyle while still exploring the world, something Rachael is very experienced in,” said Vincent Ong, Senior Director, Brand Management, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific.“Rachael’s partnership with the Westin brand and her expertise in health and nutrition will further underscore the brand’s well-being positioning,”Westin embarked on the next phase of its Westin Well-being Movement with the introduction of Westin Wellness Escapes in early 2015, an ongoing well-being series led by experts in the fields of mindfulness meditation, nutrition, yoga, running and more.With Rachael on board, Australia will play host to a Westin Wellness Escape on 16-17 April 2016 at The Westin Melbourne; helping attendees pursue their well-being through interactive workshops and ballroom dance classes. Westin Wellness EscapeSource = Westin Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

International visitors spend big stay longer on Sunshine Coast

first_imgA 40.8% increase in American tourists, a 95% increase in visitor nights by Germans, and continued growth in the New Zealand market saw the Sunshine Coast record a 7.1% increase in international visitor nights to 2.9 million visitor nights in the year ending March 2016.The VS) statistics from Tourism Research Australia also revealed that holiday nights spent on the Sunshine Coast were up 29% to 1.6 million, and average length of stay increased 24.2% to 7.7 nights per visit.International tourism expenditure increased 17.8% to $236 million, close to the highpoint in international expenditure reached in March 2010.A feature of the latest IVS figures was the growth in the American market. With the ‘Bindi factor’ (the success of Bindi Irwin in America’s Dancing with the Stars) reaching a crescendo in late 2015, the spotlight on the Sunshine Coast translated into a growth rate in US visitors of 40.8%, compared to the Queensland average growth rate of 19% for the same period.“The massive increase in international visitor nights and expenditure is a result of our targeted activity in the traditionally long-stay and high-yield American and European markets over the past year,” said acting CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast, Simon Latchford.“Bindi Irwin’s high profile success in Dancing with the Stars and her focus on her Sunshine Coast home and Australia Zoo have created a very positive image for the region, and our marketing campaigns in Germany have been equally effective.“By focusing on the diversity of activities available to visitors we have managed to substantially increase the length of stay and the resulting expenditure.“With the green light given for expansion of Sunshine Coast Airport and with Brisbane Airport attracting new international flights from North America and Asia, we are very optimistic about our growth prospects in both the shorter and longer terms, especially with the rapidly growing demand for nature tourism in our key source markets.” Visit Sunshine Coast Source = Visit Sunshine Coastlast_img read more

Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts expands further in Saudi Arabia

first_imgMövenpick Hotels & ResortsMövenpick Hotels and Resorts expands further in Saudi Arabia with new project in Wa’ad Al Shamal CityMövenpick Hotels & Resorts has announced that it has entered into a management agreement with Karan Gulf Services, for a new hotel within Saudi Arabia’s Wa’ad Al Shamal industrial city. The 237-room hotel is planned as the largest hotel project within Wa’ad Al Shamal City, as well as the entire northern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.The city itself, located about 30 kilometres from Turaif is being developed by Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and covers 450 square kilometres in Saudi Arabia’s Northern Frontier. It will host approximately 100,000 residents. The city will tap into the region’s significant phosphate reserves and will support and provide extensive opportunities to many upstream and downstream industries, which have already been anchored by major global players including Saudi Aramco, SABIC and SCECO. These companies will provide the infrastructure necessary to initiate the project and stimulate further activities relating to phosphate mining. The mineral industry is set to become the third pillar of the Kingdom’s economy after oil and petrochemical, in line with the country’s Vision 2030.Set to open in the second half of 2018, Mövenpick Hotel Wa’ad Al Shamal, whilst primarily targeting the corporate market, will also provide a resort feel. The property will offer three food and beverage outlets, extensive meeting and event space, male and female wellness areas as well as recreation facilities, designed to serve hotel guests, the community of Wa’ad Al Shamal and the northern region.“We are proud to have been selected as the hotel operator for this fantastic project in the region” said Andreas Mattmüller, Chief Operating Officer, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and South Asia. “We firmly support the government’s vision of economic diversification. Considering the current lack of upscale accommodation, we see the development of this hotel as strategically important to the continued growth of the city. Furthermore, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will be the first international upscale hotel in the northern region of Saudi Arabia and this new signing will consolidate our position as one of the strongest international hotel brands in the country and the Middle East.”Abdulrahman bin Fahad bin Abdul Latif al Jabr, Managing Director of Karan Gulf Services stated, “We are extremely happy to be partnering with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, in our quest to develop the northern region of the country and support the local communities. Together, we will provide approximately 100 employment opportunities to male and female Saudi Arabian nationals living close to the project. The development of this hotel will have much a wider and far-reaching positive economic impact in the northern region, and will act as a platform upon which other businesses can grow. We are also extremely grateful to Ma’aden for giving us the opportunity to develop this project in a city that is destined to change the economic profile of the entire country.”Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts already operates 11 hotels in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Five more projects in the country will be launched in the next three years. They are Mövenpick Residences Al Khobar, Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Al Tahlia Jeddah, Mövenpick Hotel Financial District Riyadh, Mövenpick Hotel Heraa Jeddah and Mövenpick Hotel Wa’ad Al Shamal.Source = Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts – Mövenpick Hotel Wa’ad Al Shamallast_img read more

X2 Hua Hin Oasis celebrates friendships with BFF Getaway

first_imgSource = X2 Hua Hin Oasis X2 Hua Hin Oasis celebrates friendships with BFF GetawayX2 Hua Hin Oasis celebrates friendships with BFF GetawayX2 Hua Hin Oasis, the stylish new Thai pool villa retreat, is celebrating the power of friendships by offering fantastic packages and exciting activities to groups of BFFs.“Best Friends Forever” can reunite and unwind in serene tropical surroundings, including their own spacious and luxurious private pool villa. Nestled in a unique setting, surrounded by traditional farmland and just 2.5 hours’ drive from Bangkok, X2 Hua Hin Oasis is the perfect place to reconnect with your closest companions.From this rural paradise, friends can enjoy plenty of fun activities including golf and bike rides (with tandems available for the ultimate BFF experience!) to the nearby Sam Phan Nam floating market. Once at the market, they can take boat rides and shop at the local stalls.“At X2 Hua Hin Oasis, we understand the enduring power of friendships. We’re seeing a rising trend of groups of friends taking breaks together, so we’re delighted to offer a range of activities for BFFs,” said Krisna Elisabeth Subsinmangkang, the resort’s General Manager. “Our luxurious pool villas provide the perfect setting for friends to come together, chill out and have a great time.”Groups of six guests can book a large pool villa featuring open-plan living space, outdoor decks, a fully-equipped kitchen and private infinity pool. And as part of the “BFF Getaway” package, friends will enjoy a special barbecue party for six BFFs in their villa on their first night!This group getaway is priced at THB15,500 net for the first night, including the barbecue party and breakfast for six. Groups staying for longer will also get great discounts, with the second night priced at THB10,900 net and the third night at THB8,900 net, also including breakfast for six. This package promotion is valid until 31st March, 2018.For more intimate friendships, BFF couples can chill out in style with the entire first floor of a residence to themselves, including a kitchen, dining area, living room and private pool. This weekday package is available for THB6,900 net per night, including breakfast for two people. This special offer is available until 30th November 2017 only.For further information or to book your next BFF Getaway, please call 062 414 4545 or email: read more

ANA first Japanese Airline to launch the Boeing 777 Freighter

first_imgANA first Japanese Airline to launch the Boeing 777 FreighterANA first Japanese Airline to launch the Boeing 777 FreighterAll Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest and 5-Star airline for seven consecutive years, is introducing the Boeing 777 Freighter to its fleet today to aid with increased cargo transportation demand in Asia and North America. The start of operations for these aircraft is the culmination of expansion plans that ANA HD announced in 2018.ANA received its first Boeing 777F, nicknamed “BLUE JAY,” on May 24, 2019 at Tokyo Haneda International Airport. The specially-designed aircraft has the ability to transport large items ranging from aircraft engines, to semiconductor manufacturing equipment as well as cargo requiring a high degree of care such as lithium batteries and pharmaceuticals. From July 2 through Aug. 25, 2019 the BLUE JAY will operate connecting cargo flights from Narita International Airport to Shanghai Pudong International Airport with a stop at Kansai International Airport. Starting from Aug. 26, 2019 ANA will offer a direct cargo flight from Narita International Airport to Shanghai Pudong International Airport.“The Boeing 777F aircraft elevates the ANA fleet to a new level,” said Toshiaki Toyama, President of ANA Cargo INC. “These 777Fs are significantly larger than the Boeing 767F models used to ferry cargo in Asia, giving ANA additional flexibility in how the aircraft are used. The aircraft will aid in the expansion of ANA’s services to include a whole new set of customers and increase ANA’s ability to safely transport larger cargo.”ANA currently boasts a strong Asian flight network centered around the Okinawa freight hub and is planning to expand its network in North America this year with the addition of large-scale cargo flights complementing its current passenger air travel options. ANA will add cargo flights to its North American operations starting on Oct. 27, 2019 with Boeing 777F flights will transport items from Narita International Airport to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.Furthermore, ANA is providing bespoke “PRIO SENSITIVE” service for delicate cargo being transported by its Boeing 777F aircraft. This service offers an additional layer of protection to fragile cargo, such as semiconductor manufacturing equipment and medical equipment. ANA is also offering a unique “PRIO VEHICLE” service that will allow for the transportation of a variety of vehicles ranging from compact cars to SUVs.The addition of the Boeing 777F aircraft will increase ANA’s ability to provide top-of-the-line service to its customers. As the first Japanese airline to make use of the freighter, ANA is equipped to meet emerging customer needs while providing hassle-free transportation options for all cargo no matter its size or composition. As ANA’s international cargo operation grows to include North America, the carrier is committed to bringing the same level of service and convenience that has made it a leader in both Asian cargo transportation and international passenger air service.About ANAFollowing the “Inspiration of Japan” high quality of service, ANA has been awarded the respected 5-Star rating every year since 2013 from SKYTRAX. ANA is the only Japanese airline to win this prestigious designation seven years in a row. Additionally, ANA has been recognized by Air Transport World as “Airline of the Year” three times in the past 10 years – 2007, 2013 and 2018, becoming one of the few airlines winning this prestigious award for multiple times.ANA was founded in 1952 with two helicopters and has become the largest airline in Japan, as well as one of the most significant airlines in Asia, operating 81 international routes and 120 domestic routes. ANA offers a unique dual hub model which enables passengers to travel to Tokyo and connect through the two airports in the metropolitan Tokyo, NARITA and HANEDA, to various destinations throughout Japan, and also offers same day connections between various North American, Asian and Chinese cities.ANA has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999 and has joint venture partnerships with United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines.Besides the full service and award winner carrier ANA, the ANA Group has two LCCs as consolidated subsidiaries, Vanilla Air Inc. and Peach Aviation Limited. The ANA Group carried 53.8 million passengers in FY2017, has approximately 39,000 employees and a fleet of 260 aircraft. ANA is a proud launch customer and the biggest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.For more information, please refer to the following link. = All Nippon Airwayslast_img read more

Korea Tourism Organisation targets MICE travel buyers in Mumbai

first_imgKorea Tourism Organisation (KTO) organised its annual incentive roadshow for MICE travel at the Trident Nariman Point Hotel in Mumbai. Overall the event was attended by more than 250 top MICE travel agents, event planners and corporate houses.The roadshow showcased Korean travel products from 10 exhibitors. Amongst the exhibitors were two regional tourism boards namely Busan Tourism Organisation (BTO) and Jeju Convention & Visitors Bureau (JCVB).The evening function Korea Incentive Night 2015 was addressed by Byungsung Lee, Director of Korea Tourism Organisation in India and Harmandeep Singh Anand, General Secretary, General Secretary of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). This was followed by a destination presentation on Korea as a MICE destination. Last year more than 146,000 Indians visited Korea which was a 20% plus growth compared to 2013. KTO is aiming for similar growth in 2015.“Our MICE roadshow comes in the right time when all the event planners and companies are starting to plan their offsite events for the financial year. I am very pleased with the positive response we received especially with the presence of big corporate houses who are generally the final decision makers when it comes to incentive travel and events,” said Byungsun Lee.last_img read more

Madhya Pradesh Tourism promotes three new travelling experiences

first_imgMadhya Pradesh Tourism will soon offer three new experiences to the inbound and outbound travellers.Hari Ranjan Rao, Managing Director, MP Tourism, said, “Going forward, the State Tourism Department is planning to open up trekking at Tamia hill station near Pachmarhi, cruise safari at Satpura Tiger Reserve and an aqua-ski resort at Sailani Island, 60 km from Hanuwantiya.”Tamia is a picturesque location in the Satpura ranges and offers one of the most spectacular spots of the area thus attracting adventure seekers and nature lovers.The tourism department will come up with an Adventure and Camping policy highlighting Forest Recreation Rules, mentioned Tanvi Sundriyal, Additional Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism.With respect to Hanuwantiya, Rao added, “Madhya Pradesh Tourism has notified a master plan for the sustainable development of Hanuwantiya covering the nearby 15-20 villages. Such destinations can develop fast if private players are promoted to invest. Besides, we won’t allow the mushrooming of concrete and will aim to make it plastic-free zone.”Around 7.40 crore tourists visited Madhya Pradesh in 2015. The Chief Minister has also recently announced to form a Tourism Cabinet in the state.last_img read more

Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre inaugurates the fifth edition of Colours of Novotel

first_imgNovotel Hyderabad Convention Centre and HICC has unveiled its fifth season of ‘Colours of Novotel’. The signature series focuses on bringing together artists under one roof and presenting them a platform to showcase some of their best works. This edition is curated by a renowned connoisseur of the field and an artist herself, Rangoli Garg, and showcases over 30 paintings.The series was inaugurated by Neil Paterson, General Manager, Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre and HICC.A collection of exquisite paintings made from acrylic, oil pastels and watercolours are being presented this season. This edition features works from renowned artists like Bala Bhakta Raju, Vasanthula Ramakrishna, Rangoli Garg, Agacharya and Satheesh Khanna that will be available for sale till the October 31, 2016. Live interactive sessions on Lippan work, Tanjore art, bamboo art and bangle making crafts  also kept guests involved with the overall theme of the evening.Speaking on the occasion, Paterson said, ‘Colours of Novotel’, has provided a platform for over 25 artists over the last year, and has entered its fifth edition now. The response to the innovative presentation of this edition is very encouraging, and the artists are pleased for having their works showcased on such a platform. An event such as this highlights our dedication towards this country’s diverse culture, while also contributing to the increase in interest towards Indian contemporary art”.last_img read more

Small Originators Filling Footprint of Rivals Report

first_img December 1, 2011 416 Views Smaller mortgage originators are stepping up to the plate to make loans as larger lenders, encumbered by mounting litigation and repurchase claims, pull back from the servicing sector, according to a report released Thursday.[IMAGE]Paul Miller, a financial analyst with “”FBR Capital Markets””:, based conclusions from the report on quarterly shares of market activity. “”The mortgage origination market has changed dramatically over the past few years because the large banks are pulling back from the market as they deal with servicing issues and repurchase claims,”” he wrote.He credited moves by “”Bank of America””: to reduce its mortgage servicing footprint as one of the reasons why smaller lenders, including “”PHH Mortgage””: and “”Quicken Home Loans””:, more than doubled their share of the mortgage market by the third quarter this year. Other ambitious, smaller lenders include “”U.S. Bank””:, “”Provident Funding””:, “”BB&T””:, and “”Fifth Third””:, among others.Servicing issues and repurchase claims discourage larger banks from allocating capital, he wrote, creating “”an [COLUMN_BREAK]opportunity for smaller players to step up and fill the void while still attaining healthy margins.””His analysis fronted three examples. PHH acquired 3.8 percent of the market share, up from 1.6 percent from 2007, with USB next in line at 3.5 percent, an increase from 1.3 percent from the same year. Quicken came last with a claim on 2.1 percent, up from 0.5 percent.Withdrawing mortgage lenders continue to cite litigation expenses and onerous new rules for their decisions to take leave of the industry. After failing to find a buyer, Bank of America announced that it would close down its correspondent lending unit in August. Two big lenders sold servicing rights and operations to “”Ocwen Financial Corp.””:, which signed up for the servicing arm from “”Morgan Stanley””: for $59.3 million in October and “”$15 billion in mortgage-servicing rights””: from “”JPMorgan Chase””: for $950 million in November.Smaller lenders meanwhile continue to expand nationally, with “”BB&T assuming $3.3 billion in low-cost deposits and 78 branches from Florida-based BankAtlantic””: in November, a move that made it the sixth largest franchise in the Miami market.Miller cited a “”Mortgage Bankers Association””: (MBA) report that predicts originations will squeeze by about 28 percent over 2012, reducing a historically trillion-dollar market to $935 billion.He also said that modifications to the Home Affordable Refinance Program would likely increase originations to $1.2 trillion over next year. He said that it is unlikely to see any reversal of the current trend anytime soon.””Given the cost to the large banks to service mortgages, we expect the smaller players to continue taking share as capacity is taken out of the system,”” he wrote. Small Originators Filling Footprint of Rivals: Report Sharecenter_img Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America FBR Capital Markets Housing Affordability Investment Investors JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Morgan Stanley Mortgage Bankers Association Processing Profits Quarterly Earnings Service Providers 2011-12-01 Ryan Schuette in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Elections Overseas Drive Mortgage Rates to AllTime Lows

first_img Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages slid this week to 3.65 percent, a four-year low made feasible by turmoil in French and Greek elections, real estate Web site “”Zillow””: said Tuesday.[IMAGE]The 30-year loan fell from 3.69 percent last week and represents the lowest recorded by Zillow since the Web site began tracking mortgage rates in April 2008. Interest rates for the 30-year also zigzagged across the country, falling most steeply in places like Colorado and Illinois.Rates for the 15-year fixed-rate loan averaged 2.91 percent, alongside 2.52 percent for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Rates slumped today as new concerns emerge about Europe’s ability to avoid a deeper debt crisis in the aftermath of the French and Greek elections, therefore encouraging investors to return to the relative safety of the U.S. mortgage bond and Treasury market,”” “”Erin Lantz””:, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, said in a statement.She credited uncertainty in Europe for the volatility in interest rates but said that the Web site expects mortgage rates to stay stable next week. Experts say shifts in mortgage rates are closely tied to Treasury yields, which rise or fall on investor interest. With many investors fleeing to the safe haven of U.S. Treasury debt, yields continue to keep mortgage rates at all-time lows.The markets moved early this week with news that socialist candidate Francois Hollande ousted incumbent French President Nicolas Sarkozy by slim margins.””_The Financial Times_””: reported that the euro fell 0.8 percent against the dollar to roughly $1.30, with scurrying investors worried that Hollande will brake on tough austerity measures and tie up plans to resolve widespread problems with public debt.Investors also reacted to the election of a leftist party in Greece, led by parliamentary member Alexis Tsipras, who will likely unseat an unpopular current prime minister once the political organization he leads is able to form a majority coalition, according to “”_The New York Times_””: May 8, 2012 424 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing, Technology Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Debt Crisis Euro European Union Fixed-Rate Mortgage Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Politics Processing Service Providers Treasury Yields Zillow 2012-05-08 Ryan Schuettecenter_img Elections Overseas Drive Mortgage Rates to All-Time Lows Sharelast_img read more

Consumer Sentiment Hits 11Year High in Preliminary Reading

first_img Capital Economics Confidence Consumer spending Jobs 2015-01-16 Tory Barringer Consumer Sentiment Hits 11-Year High in Preliminary Reading American consumers are heading into 2015 feeling good about their economic prospects, according to a preliminary confidence measure.A first-look reading of the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer confidence index shows the measure climbed to 98.2 as of mid-January, up nearly five points from a final December reading of 93.6 and from a consensus forecast of 94.1 among economists polled by Thomson Reuters.According to the group conducting the confidence survey, January’s increase—which lifted the index to its highest level since 2004—was driven by an improvement in personal finances, with more consumers reporting increases in household income than any time in the past decade. They’re also more optimistic about the labor outlook as job growth continues on a steady track.Lower prices at the pump are also helping, leaving Americans with more spending money they can use on other things.According to the survey release, the index of consumer expectations rose more than five points, climbing to 91.6. The gauge of current conditions also improved, increasing to 108.3 from 104.8.Going by just the latest reading, annualized consumer spending is projected to pick up as much as 6 percent from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015, said Paul Diggle, economist at Capital Economics.”We think that 3.5–4.0 percent is more plausible, but it is clear that consumption could be even stronger than we expect,” Diggle said in a note to clients. “This would presumably be due to consumers spending the windfall from lower gasoline prices.” in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newscenter_img January 16, 2015 756 Views Sharelast_img read more

First Americans Datatree First to Offer Residential Building Data in Orange County

first_img Share September 24, 2015 797 Views california DataTree First American Financial Corporation Residential Building Data 2015-09-24 Staff Writer First American Financial Corp., recently announced that its DataTree property research solution is the first to offer a comprehensive collection of residential building characteristic data for Orange County, California properties.“For many years, the Orange County building characteristic data found in most real estate research products was outdated and sometimes inaccurate,” said Dianna Serio, SVP of enterprise data strategy, First American.She added, “Given First American’s Orange County roots and our commitment to our customers, we recently added data from the assessor’s office, which makes our data the most current and accurate in the market. We’re proud to be the first to offer the real estate business community convenient and affordable access to these public records through”The residential data will include characteristics such as square footage, bedroom/bathroom counts, and construction year. Professionals in the mortgage, real estate, and land services industries, who rely on these data in their business, can access the residential building characteristic data via, which is designed to be the fastest, most comprehensive and easiest to use property research solution on the market.“To obtain accurate and up-to-date residential building characteristic data for Orange County, professionals must go directly to the assessor’s office, which takes time and resources,” Serio said. “Now these data sets may be accessed by professionals quickly and conveniently through from their laptop computers or mobile devices. In turn, this allows them to better serve their customers as they research properties in Orange County.”center_img in Headlines, News, Servicing, Technology First American’s Datatree First to Offer Residential Building Data in Orange County, Californialast_img read more

The Rent vs Buy Dilemma Affordability Depends on the City

first_img Buy Home Housing Market Rent SmartAsset 2016-01-19 Staff Writer January 19, 2016 740 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Origination Sharecenter_img The Rent vs. Buy Dilemma: Affordability Depends on the City Many economists expect home prices to continue their upward trend into 2016 but at a slower pace. Although home prices continue to rise, purchasing a home is still a better choice across the U.S. compared to renting.For many years, buying a home has been considered to be an obvious choice when compared to renting a home, but this is not always the case. For some, it may make more sense to purchase a home versus renting a home and vice versa.A new report from Smartasset found that the answer is simple: It all depends on where you live.Today, there is no clear answer to the rent versus buy question. In some cities, and for some individuals, buying a home may make more sense, while for others, renting a home may be the better choice.”If you were spending 30 percent of your income on housing anyway, might as well spend that hard-earned dough on something that would retain its value for you in the future,” Smartasset said. “Renting, in contrast, was like lighting your money on fire and tossing it in the trash. The rent versus buy decision was a straightforward one.”The report continued, “That all changed in 2007, when the housing bubble that had been silently growing suddenly went pop. A house, it turned out, could lose value—and, as some real-life cases demonstrated, could do so in spectacular fashion. Those with the misfortune to buy at the peak of the market in 2006 lost thousands or even millions of dollars overnight. Mortgages went underwater. A foreclosure crisis ensued. Meanwhile, the renters of the world were doing relatively well.”Smartasset weighed the pros and cons of renting and buying a home by reviewing the non-economical and non-financial aspects of the equation.  The report found that renting is more flexible than buying a home because you can change locations at the end of the lease. However, on the other hand, buying a home provides pretty solid payment continuity, while rents can change at the drop of a dime. In addition, the hidden cost of maintenance on a purchased home is another downside.So where is buying a home better than renting?The Smartasset data found that buying a home in Allegany, New York is better than renting after 4.5 years, with an average mortgage payment of $164 and an average rent payment of $907. Carter, Missouri and Burleson, Texas followed with average mortgage payments of $442 and $541, respectively.Smartasset’s Best Places to Own a HomeClick here to read the full report.last_img read more

The Truth About Millennials Who Live at Home

first_imgThe Truth About Millennials Who Live at Home Share living at home Millennials Pew Research Center 2016-05-31 Staff Writer For the first time in modern history, millennials who live with their parents beats out other living arrangements. So why is this generation not leaving their parent’s nest?New research from Pew Research Center shows that this group of young adults are not the generation that society characterizes them to be. Instead, demographic shifts in marital status, educational attainment, and employment have changed the way young adults in the U.S. are living.In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household, the research showed. The report found that 32.1 percent of millennials are living in their parent(s)’ home, 31.6 percent are married or cohabiting in their own household. Meanwhile, 14 percent head up a household in which they lived alone, were a single parent, or lived with one or more roommates and 22 percent have other living arrangements.”This turn of events is fueled primarily by the dramatic drop in the share of young Americans who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35,” said Richard Fry, Senior Researcher at Pew. “Dating back to 1880, the most common living arrangement among young adults has been living with a romantic partner, whether a spouse or a significant other. This type of arrangement peaked around 1960, when 62 percent of the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, and only one-in-five were living with their parents.”Although the number of millennials living at home seems high, it is not the highest it has ever been. In fact, Pew reported in 1940, this type of living arrangement peaked at 35 percent of the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds living at home with mom and dad.”What has changed, instead, is the relative share adopting different ways of living in early adulthood, with the decline of romantic coupling pushing living at home to the top of a much less uniform list of living arrangements,” Fry said.center_img May 31, 2016 450 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newslast_img read more

Law Firm Named Best and Brightest Place to Work

first_img in Headlines, News, REO, Servicing Law Firm Named “Best and Brightest Place to Work” Potestivo & Associates, P.C., a legal services provider to the default servicing industry, is proud to announce it has been selected for “The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™” in the National competition. The firm will be honored at a ceremony in September, where a representative from the firm will accept the award.“We are very proud to, once again, be named among the Best & Brightest Companies. It is truly an honor to be the recipients of this award. This award recognizes the high standard that we set for ourselves, to create and maintain a positive work environment,” President and Managing Attorney, Brian Potestivo commented. Potestivo & Associates, P.C., has received similar awards in the past, including being named one of “Crain’s Cool Places to Work” and ranking in the “Detroit Free Press Top 100 Workplaces.”The “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™” competition identifies and honors organizations located throughout specific regions. The organizations must display a commitment to excellence in their human resource practices and employee enrichment. They include Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions; Employee Enrichment, Engagement, and Retention; Employee Education and Development; Recruitment, Selection and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Vision; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; Strategic Company Performance.For over 27 years, Potestivo & Associates, P.C. has been providing legal solutions to the real estate finance and credit industry. The firm is a member of the Legal League 100. Headquartered in downtown Rochester, Michigan, the firm also maintains full-service operations in Chicago, Illinois, with a satellite office providing select services in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sharecenter_img financial services Legal League 100 mortgage Potestivo REO Servicing The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For 2019-02-15 Radhika Ojha February 15, 2019 799 Views last_img read more

Downward Trend for Potential Homebuyers

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Featured, News May 13, 2019 669 Views 2019 Housing Market Baby Boomer home buyer Millennial 2019-05-13 Mike Albanesecenter_img The amount of adults planning to buy a home declined for the second consecutive year. According to a National Association of Home Buyers (NAHB) report, in Q1 2019, 13% of adults said they planned to purchase a home within the next year.That represents a 4% drop from this time last year, when the rate was 17%. Additional information from the latest Housing Trends Report (HTR) show that 60% of prospective homebuyers said they had never owned a home in Q1 2019, which is a 6% increase from last year.The NAHB reports the 13% share of adults planning to buy a home has remained steady since Q2 2018 when it fell from 14% the prior quarter. The amount of adults planning to buy a home peaked at 24% in Q4 2017.Age and the intention to buy are closely related, the report states, finding that, while 20% of millennials plan to purchase a home in the next year, only 15% of Gen X’ers, 7% of Baby Boomers, and 3% of seniors plan to buy a home.People living in the South are 16% more likely to planning a home purchase, which is the highest of any region in the nation.The report added that 41% of prospective homebuyers are interested in an existing home, with 22% preferring a new home. The remaining 38% are seeking both. Home affordability continues to be a factor, as First American Financial Corportation’s February Real Housing Price Index recently reported that real home prices increased 2.9% year-over-year. Despite the increase, First American also stated that household income has increased 2.8% since 2018, and that real house prices are 14% less expensive than they were in January 2000.First American also released a study, “Why Everything You Know About First-Time Home Buyer Affordability Is Wrong,” which revealed that fewer than half of the markets studied were deemed affordable. First American added that many first time homebuyers should avoid some of the traditional measures of home affordability, noting that affordability goes beyond buying power.Additionally, First American notes that homes are already affordable for approximately two-thirds of Americans because 64.8 percent of Americans own homes, meaning any affordability metric to include existing homeowners would be misleading. Downward Trend for Potential Homebuyerslast_img read more

Agency Newscorporate travelTravelport

first_imgAgency Newscorporate travelTravelport IMAGE: Front row L-R – Gordon Wilson and Steven Ler. Back row L-R – Mark Meehan, Managing Director APAC, Travelport & Martin Herbert, Managing Director Asia, Travelport UOB Travel Planners, one of Singapore’s largest local corporate travel agencies, has renewed its long term agreement with Travelport to continue using its pos solution, Travelport Smartpoint, and making the agency Travelport’s first corporate client in Asia to pilot the company’s new corporate booking tool, Travelport Locomote. Travelport will also support UOB Travel Planners in the development of its mobile app. Travelport’s Universal API makes it easier for app users to connect to in-house agency systems and access the widest choice of content, providing the rich, open and integrated travel experience that today’s connected travellers expect.last_img read more

agentsSolomon Islandstraining

first_imgagentsSolomon Islandstraining The Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau has launched its first specialist agents’ online training program – ‘Hapi Isles Specialist’ – and agents who successfully complete all training modules by 15 October 2017 receive automatic entry into a draw to win one of 10 $50 pre-paid Visa cards.SIVB CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said a focus of the program is to equip key frontline sales staff with product knowledge via a series of online modules designed to help them learn about the Solomon Islands and the nine provinces which make up the country, and the niche products that range from culture and WWII history to reef and wreck diving, sport fishing, surfing and bird watching. All modules will also be expanded as more product comes online.REGISTER HERE for the Hapi Isles Specialist programlast_img read more


first_imgdriveDriveAwayFrancePeugeot DriveAway Holidays has been part of the worldwide tour operator push to put France back on travellers’ agendas, following a downturn in visitors on the back of a run of terror-related incidents.No longer deterred, 2018 has already seen a rise in the number of Aussies including France on their itineraries and DriveAway’s Managing Director, Chris Hamill, says the turnaround is buoyed by great airfares on offer, and the time-honoured and irresistible lure of the destination – from Paris to other cities and across regional France.The DriveAway team recently hosted Mr Christophe Spitalier, Marketing Manager and representative from Peugeot Open Europe in Paris. DriveAway has been working in a strong partnership with the Peugeot Europe brand since 1992 and once again in 2017 lead the brand to the #1 position in Australia in terms of market share and volume. “We were delighted to have Christophe visit the Australian market and experience not only our operation, but that of some of our key distribution partners. We have enjoyed a long partnership with Peugeot and look forward to many successful years ahead,” says Hamill.DriveAway’s Peugeot Leasing Earlybird special is on sale until Friday, 23 March for collections through to 31 December 2018. IMAGE:Christophe Spitalier & FCTG Team Leader Josh Burgess in Sydneylast_img read more