in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News, Secondary Market Homeowners continued to overvalue their homes for the seventh consecutive month in August when compared with appraiser opinions.Quicken Loans reported in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), which compares the estimate that the homeowner supplies on a refinance mortgage application to the appraisal that is performed later in the mortgage process, that homeowner estimates were 2.65 percent higher than appraiser opinions, the largest gap in over a year.“While the month-to-month number is interesting to examine, it is not the single most important factor of the HPPI report. Instead, the focus should be on the trend, the direction it’s heading and how fast,” said Bob Walters, Quicken Loans chief economist.He added, “The perception trend of most of this year suggests homeowners may be assuming that home values have been in a steady, linear path upward,” Walters said. “In reality, home values have remained mostly flat this year, and this false assumption may be leaving homeowners disappointed when their appraisals come in.”Appraiser home values are higher than homeowner estimates in San Jose, California (+5.83 percent), San Francisco, California (+5.00 percent), and Denver, Colorado (+4.31 percent). Homeowner opinions are higher than appraiser estimates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (-3.31 percent), Kansas City, Missouri (-2.86 percent), and Chicago, Illinois (-2.39 percent).The company also reported that national home values were almost flat in August, declining 0.05 percent from July, when values dropped 0.27 percent. Annually, home value rose 3.24 percent from August 2014, according to the Home Value Index (HVI).The HVI reviews home value trends based only on appraisal data from home purchases and mortgage refinances, producing a wide data set that is focused on appraisals.“The Northeast region stands out in the latest HVI findings. It is the only region with a drop in home values in August,” Walters said. “Moderating home values are a welcome sign to buyers, and could be especially enticing to those looking to purchase their first home.”Source: Quicken LoansClick here to view Quicken Loans Home Price Perception Index. September 8, 2015 533 Views Appraiser and Homeowner Gap Home Values Quicken Loans 2015-09-08 Staff Writer Homeowner & Appraiser Perception Gap Widens Further in August Share
Did TRID Really Hinder Home Sales? February 8, 2016 628 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News, Origination Capital Economics Existing-Home Sales TRID 2016-02-08 Staff Writer Many in the industry believed that the The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule was the culprit behind the huge decline in existing-home sales in November 2015. The next month, existing sales recovered with the biggest month-over-month increase ever recorded. While TRID hit November pretty hard, the major gains in December may have outweighed the losses.The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing-home sales dropped off in November to an annual rate of about 4.76 million, the slowest pace in 19 months.November’s decline represented a 10.5 percent drop from October’s downwardly revised total of 5.32 million, and the sales pace for November was the lowest since it was reported at 4.75 million in April 2014. November’s pace is now 3.8 percent lower than November 2014, marking the first time the existing- home annual sales pace declined year-over-year since September 2014.NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the longer closing times may be delaying transactions until the following month, making the slowdown in existing-home sales for November temporary.“It’s possible the longer timeframes pushed a latter portion of would-be November transactions into December,” says Yun. “As long as closing timeframes don’t rise even further, it’s likely more sales will register to this month’s total, and November’s large dip will be more of an outlier.”After suffering a major drop in November 2015, existing-home sales turned the tables with the largest monthly increase ever recorded in December.The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing-home sales rose 14.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in December, up from 4.46 million in November. Year-over-year, existing-home sales are up 7.7 percent, and December’s jump will mark the largest increase ever.”December’s rebound in sales is reason for cautious optimism that the work to prepare for Know Before You Owe is paying off,” said NAR President Tom Salomone.”However, our data is still showing longer closing timeframes, which is a reminder that the near-term challenges we anticipated are still prevalent.””That volatility was caused by the introduction of TRID disclosure requirements, which pushed some sales from November into December,” said Matthew Pointon, Property Economist at Capital Economics. “But encouragingly new home sales, which were not impacted by TRID due to the timing of when new sales are recorded, also jumped by 10.8 percent month-over-month to reach their joint-highest level since the start of 2008.” Share
DocuTech HOUSING MCrowd mortgage technology 2018-02-11 Nicole Casperson Docutech, Idaho Falls, Idaho- and Scottsdale, Arizona-based provider of document, eSign, eClosing, and compliance technology for the mortgage, home equity and consumer lending industries, has named Amy Brandt as its new CEO. Brandt, formerly President and COO, will continue to serve as the company’s president and will assume the CEO role from Founder Ty Jenkins, now the company’s chairman.“I couldn’t be more pleased to announce the appointment of Amy Brandt as Docutech’s new CEO,” said Docutech’s Founder and Chairman Ty Jenkins. “Amy possesses the strategic vision, expertise, tenacity, and exemplary leadership qualities we were seeking for this role and it’s clear she has what it takes to lead Docutech in this exciting next chapter of growth and beyond.”Brandt’s appointment to CEO represents a key development in Docutech’s growth strategy. Recognizing the company’s long-standing document and compliance leadership position and potential for growth, Serent Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, made an investment in Docutech in 2016.As part of a broader ownership structure, an Advisory Board was formed and collaborated in the selection of Brandt as the company’s new CEO. In taking Docutech to the next level, Brandt will drive the company’s strategic vision and lead its growth initiatives by adding new products, entering new market segments and seeking strategic acquisitions.Brandt is a mortgage industry veteran who brings more than 20 years of expertise to the new role. Prior to joining Docutech last spring, she most recently served as president of originations and corporate technology at New Penn Financial, where she oversaw all origination channels, including direct-to-consumer products, third-party originations, and retail.Prior to New Penn Financial, Brandt served as COO of Prospect Mortgage, where she enhanced day-to-day operations and transformed the lender’s technology infrastructure.“I’m thrilled to be at Docutech’s helm during such an exciting time in our industry and to continue to evolve our world-class technology and solutions to transform the way lenders do business and serve their customers,” said Brandt. “I am truly honored to be a part of such an outstanding team that is well poised for success.” Docutech’s Amy Brandt Appointed to CEO Share February 11, 2018 721 Views in Daily Dose, News, Technology
Share in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Bank of America HELOC Home HOUSING Lenders loan mortgage Refinance second home Vacation Home 2019-01-14 Radhika Ojha Families frequently start the New Year by planning out their short- and long-term goals. The winter season often reminds them of their dream of buying a vacation home to visit on weekends and holidays or as a place to retire or pass on to their children. While a vacation home is certainly a luxury, there are benefits to purchasing one and ways to make the dream of buying a second home a reality. Buying a vacation home is a big decision that is motivated by life situations like pursuing a retired lifestyle and building new memories with extended family. But before that, one of the most important considerations for the buyer is how to balance this major purchase with the household’s overall financial situation by assessing how much should they borrow without putting the rest of their financial plans on hold.The First StepsAs experienced professionals, you can help vacation homebuyers determine whether they can afford to take on a second home mortgage. Do they have a stable income and a cash reserve? Generally, lenders want a borrower’s debt (including the potential new mortgage) to represent no more than 36 percent of his/her monthly pre-tax income. Also, help clients anticipate expenses beyond a monthly mortgage, like furniture, maintenance, utilities, insurance, property taxes, and property management fees. Work with a lender who can explain loan options to fit your clients’ finances and their lifestyle, ensuring that they can handle the costs of an additional property. Before they start looking at properties, vacation homebuyers can also be prequalified or preapproved for a loan. For example, if they are a Bank of America client, they may be eligible for a reduction in their mortgage origination fee based on their eligible balances at the time of their application.Borrowing OptionsBorrowers will find that available interest rates frequently decline as their down payment increases, so a larger down payment will result in a lower monthly payment. Loans available for vacation homes tend to be more conservative than those for primary residences, and borrowers may need a down payment of 20 percent or more. Another option is to tap the equity in a primary residence to buy a second home, either using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a cash-out refinance. Buyers can opt to take out a HELOC on their primary home and use those funds for a down payment to purchase a vacation home. Make sure you help clients understand both the benefits and potential risks since borrowing against the home isn’t necessarily right for everyone and every situation. It’s important for them to know that with a HELOC, they’re borrowing against the available equity in their home and their primary residence is used as collateral for the line of credit. Explaining the BenefitsOwning a second home can bring potential tax benefits depending on the type of property purchased and how it is used. A second home for vacations is different from an investment property that is purchased to generate income. That difference can affect a buyer’s finances, including the taxes owed on the property and the type of insurance coverage needed. Refer your clients to a tax professional for guidance on how a second home purchase could affect their tax obligations.Many vacation homebuyers may have had the experience of buying a home on multiple occasions, however, keep in mind, it may be the first time for some who are buying a second home. Thus, there will be clients who may find the vacation homebuying process complicated. Help them make an informed and confident decision by partnering with a lender who can help them consider their goals, analyze their finances and explain their mortgage options. January 14, 2019 1,126 Views A Home for the Holidays
You might also be interested in Giddings Fruit offers cherry growers a competitive … “The GLOBALG.A.P. SUMMIT introduces opportunities to educate our industry,” says Donna Lynn Browne, Director of Food Safety and social responsibility. “We are at the point where produce companies grow globally. This summit helps bring together many key decision-makers from all over the world to discuss how the industry can move towards responsibly grown produce.” Browne spoke on the Getting Ready for FSMA panel and the Stop Forced Labor panel.“Consumers around the world have the right to food that is safe and responsibly grown. We need a common industry response and the GLOBALG.A.P. SUMMIT is the perfect place to discuss our responses on farming and agriculture” says Kristian Moeller, CEO of GLOBALG.A.P.Along with other companies, Naturipe and GLOBALG.A.P. aim to better worker conditions and introduce food safety and health initiatives to the forefront of the industry. IFCO acquisition by Triton and ADIA has been final … December 06 , 2018 Eco Farms names Emily M. Noble marketing manager a … BerryWorld’s Sweet Eve strawberry will hit its pea … PRESS RELEASESalinas, Calif. – Naturipe’s Director of Food Safety and Social Responsibility, Donna Lynn Browne, spoke on several panels at GLOBALG.A.P. SUMMIT 2018 in Lima, Peru.
BrochuresTIN Travel Industry Network (TIN) reports its most popular (top viewed) brochure for January and February 2018 is Solo Connections’ 2017-2018 Collection.Traffic for the brochure has come predominately from internet searches, with Odyssey Travellers’ 2017-2018 Catalogue and Qantas Holidays’ Norfolk Island brochure snapping at its heels.“Brochure traffic from internet searches peaked in January with almost 17,000 brochures viewed over the holiday period”, said Sabina Ziolkowski, MD at TIN. “We typically see increased brochure interest just before the end of the school holidays”.The top 10 brochures viewed at TIN for the 1 January to 28 February period were:Solo Connections Collection 2017-18Odyssey Traveller 2017-2018 CatalogueQantas Holidays Norfolk Island 2017-2018Viking Cruises River Cruises 2018Bentours Scandinavia Expedition Cruising 2018-2019Captains Choice Small Group Hosted Journeys 2018Tempo Holidays Greece Croatia & Turkey 2018-2019Tempo Holidays Italy France & Spain 2018-2019CIT Switzerland 2018Wendy Wu Tours China 2018-2019
“That’s always my focus. I could care less how I kick in June; I’m always focused on the beginning of the season — that first game of the season.”Feely, 38, is entering his 13th NFL season and his fifth year with the Cardinals. He shook off competition from former Miami Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter during last year’s preseason.But this year, the veteran appears to have a serious challenge from Catanzaro, whose kickoffs have traveled farther than Feely’s have thus far in preseason play. Both players have been perfect on their extra-point attempts (taken from 33 yards out as part of a preseason NFL experiment), but Feely’s final PAT in the Cardinals’ 30-28 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday ricocheted off an upright before it made its way through.Feely, who won the kicking duel during Monday’s practice, wishes he had a chance to kick a field goal on Saturday, after Catanzaro connected on all three of his attempts in the Cards’ 32-0 win over the Houston Texans a week earlier.“I was a little disappointed, but I understand,” he said. “It was 4th-and-short a bunch, and in the preseason you’re going to (go for it), whereas in the regular season you probably will kick a few of those. In the classic case of the young rookie trying to overtake the seasoned veteran, 38-year-old Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely is trying to stave off competition from 23-year-old rookie Chandler Catanzaro.With both kickers expected to get work in the Cardinals’ next preseason game on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, Feely said all he can do is continue to give his best.“I’m grateful that I get another opportunity,” he said. “I’m going to out there and keep getting better and get ready for September. “But I wanted a lot (of chances). I kicked the ball great in warm-ups, so I was hoping for four or five attempts.”Feely said he’ll do everything he can to prove himself during the remainder of the preseason, but he said it’s unrealistic to expect to hit the ball out of the end zone on every kickoff attempt.“As you get older, you’re not going to kick the ball as far. That’s just reality. You look at a guy like Adam Vinatieri, who I think is the best kicker of all time — the last 4-5 years, he hasn’t had to kick off at all, which I think has been great for him. “We’ve got (punter Dave Zastudil), and Dave doesn’t kick off, so there’s a need here to kick off. So, you have to do it well, and you have to find ways to get better every day, and that’s what I’m trying to do.” – / 21 Comments Share Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals announced Tuesday that defensive end Ed Stinson was headed for the team’s injured reserve with a toe injury.Taking Stinson’s place on the team’s 53-man roster will be wide receiver Brittan Golden, who previously held a position on the team’s practice squad. Stinson, a rookie, has played in 10 games for the Cardinals this season, starting in two, and has recorded nine tackles and a pass deflection. Top Stories 0 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Golden, 26, played in five games for the Cardinals last season, serving primarily as a deep threat while catching four passes for 136 yards, including one for 63 yards.Running back Zac Bauman has been re-signed to the team’s practice squad.
Top Stories If Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles accepts one of the numerous head coaching positions he’s likely to be offered, most fans wouldn’t mind seeing former Pittsburgh Steelers DC Dick LeBeau take his place.In Monday’s Sanderson Ford Poll Question of the Day, we asked: If Todd Bowles leaves, would you like to see Dick LeBeau as the Cardinals’ next DC?The response was overwhelming: Over 70 percent of the 500-plus voters said they’d welcome the 77-year-old LeBeau into the fold. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo LeBeau, who announced Sunday he had resigned as the Steelers’ DC, has reportedly talked with Cardinals coach Bruce Arians about signing on with Arizona. LeBeau would bring over 40 years of NFL coaching experience to the desert.
He’s only 25, but Justin Bethel is already regarded by many as one of the best special teams players in the NFL. Now he has the contract to show for it.The 2012 sixth-round pick out of Presbyterian signed a three-year, $15 million contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, with $9 million guaranteed.“This is definitely life changing and it’s a blessing,” Bethel told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Tuesday. “It’s kind of hard to explain it, you know? Getting to that second deal is what a lot of people try to get to.” LISTEN: Justin Bethel, Cardinals cornerback Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel, right, breaks up a pass intended for St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) In Sunday’s 27-3 victory over St. Louis, Bethel made his second start of the season at cornerback and recorded four tackles and two pass deflections.“The last couple games I’ve had to start at corner with Jerraud being down,” Bethel said. “I still have my same roles on special teams. Whatever they feel they need me to do and whatever is best for the team, I’m going to do it.” – / 24 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Comments Share Your browser does not support the audio element. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The two-time Pro Bowler for his work on special teams has played in every game since joining the Cardinals in 2012.“I did it all through high school, when I got to college I was a full-time starter and I started on every special teams, so I kind of think it’s engrained in me to go out there and do it full speed.”While not many players embrace their spot on special teams, Bethel said it’s his mentality that has set him up for success.“You’ve got to want to do it. If you go in there kind of half stepping it and not really trying to protect yourself, not trying to get too tired, all these other little things, I don’t think you’ll be able to be great at it.”The 2015 season has been his best yet. Through twelve games, Bethel has made a career-high 22 tackles, completed his first interception which he ran in for a pick-6 and totaled seven pass deflections.His contract extension both rewards the success he’s had on special teams and sends the message that Arizona has faith in what his future looks like at cornerback.The Cardinals have gotten to see more of Bethel in that role this season as Jerraud Powers has missed time with a calf injury.
Peyton Manning is hanging up his cleats.After 18 years, two Super Bowl championships, five MVP awards and numerous league passing records, the Denver Broncos signal caller is announcing his retirement Monday.When Manning entered the league as a hotshot number-one overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts out of Tennessee in 1998, his first position coach was Bruce Arians. The current head coach of the Arizona Cardinals looked back fondly on his time tutoring Manning very early in his career. LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “I’m kind of happy for him and sad for the league,” Arians told Doug and Wolf Monday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “He’s had such a great career and is such a good guy. You see some of that funny side now, but this was one of the best practical jokers I’ve ever seen.”Manning spent three years learning under Arians and proved to be a quick study. His first year, the Colts went 3-13. The very next season, they flip-flopped that record, going 13-3 and qualifying for the playoffs. Yet, Arians acknowledged that things weren’t always easy.“Coaching him was probably the hardest job I ever had,” Arians said. “Keeping his mind busy — if you had an hour meeting, you better have three hours worth of stuff. Them poor other second and third quarterbacks couldn’t write fast enough.”Even though the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, the lion’s share of the credit went to their suffocating defense. Manning became a sort of game manager in their playoff run, throwing for only two touchdowns in the postseason while attempting 30.6 throws per game. The consensus around the league was that his skills had diminished. Your browser does not support the audio element. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning (18) and quarterbacks coach Bruce Arians are seen during Colts minicamp in 1998 in Terre Haute, IN. (AP Photo/Seth Rossman) Arians is glad Manning is getting out of the game now.“Having loved Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas, I was scared (expletive) he was going to go to the Rams and look like them at the end,” Arians said. “They couldn’t hardly walk anymore and they still played.“It comes to all of us, but the mind never diminished. The ball was going to the right spot all the time and he still could get them into the end zone when they needed to.”
Go back to the e-newsletterTravel agents gathered last week to attend Treasures of the South Pacific, a series of events designed to educate and inspire Australian travel agents about the variety of tourism product and experiences available across the South Pacific.The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and Pacific Trade Invest, Australia sponsored the events, hosting over 70 travel agents in Melbourne on Tuesday 17 April, and 29 travel agents in Hobart the following evening. Events followed in both Brisbane and Maroochydore.Agents were inspired by the culture, nature, creativity and adventurous spirit that the South Pacific has to offer as they gained knowledge and insights from tourism office representatives including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Norfolk Island, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and the Hidden Treasures of the Pacific.Julie O’Grady from Exclusively Cruising and Lucy White from Helloworld were the lucky winners of an all-inclusive position on the next fabulous Matai Mega Famil to Fiji, courtesy of Tourism Fiji.The other major prize winners were Janelle Caston from Flight Centre CBD Business Travel, Connie Sottile from Dream Travel Experts in Cranbourne, Emma Warn from Flight Centre Kingston and Stacey Daley from Helloworld Hobart – all of whom won sensational holidays to the Cook Islands, thanks to Cook Islands Tourism.Travel agents can also sign up and complete the South Pacific Tourism Organisation online training platform to become a South Pacific specialist online.
Go back to the enewsletterThe UK’s Riviera Travel is eyeing a larger slice of the lucrative European river cruise sector out of Australia in response to sales growth for the company jumping by triple-digit figures in the first six months of 2018.In Sydney last week for the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia’s Cruise360 conference on 31 August, Riviera Travel’s International Sales & Marketing Manager, Thomas Morgan, said the company has tapped into Australia and other English-speaking foreign markets as the popularity of the low-cost, five-star cruise product takes off.Next year, Riviera will offer 327 sailings across 14 itineraries and will welcome two new ships to its fleet, named after famous British authors (like the rest of its ships), George Eliot and William Wordsworth.Previously sold exclusively to Brits, the “unbundled” pricing offered aboard Riviera’s fleet of a dozen ships is proving a hit, Morgan said, with fares priced “up to 50% lower than river companies more established in Australia”. The rise in interest has seen Riviera Travel launch a new Australian website priced in Aussie dollars. The portal features a new ‘wish list’ that enables potential customers to flag an itinerary of interest with their travel agent.In Australia, Riviera has distribution deals with Cruiseco and Cruise Traveller, with Morgan saying the England-based travel company have no intention of selling direct in the Australian market.“The great thing about both these companies is that they can put together flights for the customers and the transfers and create a complete package, making it a bit easier for them,” Morgan told LATTE.“We’re really trying to step up what we are doing over here. We wanted to use Australian companies because they know the local market. I think it’s quite easy for overseas companies to come here, thinking they know what is best for the market, but every market is different. They’ve all got slight quirks and tweaks. Cruise Traveller and Cruiseco are there to assist us, and assist the agent more than anything, and to make sure it is completely seamless from start to finish for their customer’s experience.”“Now we are really seeing improvements over here. Up on the first year’s figures, we’re already up 140% in the first six months over last year, and that is with a significant number of people that have decided to travel with us as well.”Morgan said Riviera’s price point is appealing to Aussies who may have been hesitant to take a European river cruise because of the cost.“Customers are realising that you don’t have to spend $10,000+ to have a great experience on a river cruise. We do things a little bit differently to all the other lines,” he said.“We offer a five-star product but with prices at the four-star end of the spectrum, with our costs comparable to the likes of Travelmarvel or Evergreen,” Morgan added.The Brit said word of mouth has driven growth in Australia.“We know that while people look at the price and see it as really good value, there’s always going to be that question: “What corner are they cutting?”. We know people are thinking that, but what we are proud of is the number of people that know who we are and know that we don’t cut corners, so they are interested in booking again.”“We work with Revu and over 97% of our customer say they would sail with us again. There’s always going to be that slight trepidation for people to book with us because we are new to market, and now people are coming back and giving positive feedback, that’s certainly one of the driving forces for our growth.”InclusionsSo what is it that Riviera is doing that is so different?“We don’t do all-inclusive,” Morgan said. “We don’t think all inclusive is good value for money.”It’s part of a formula that saw occupancy on its fleet operation at 98.7% in 2017.Instead, Riviera excludes tips/gratuities and drinks, and offers a city-highlight shore excursion rather than a variety of options from which guests must select one.“We include all the important things. All the excursions are included and all the food on board included, but when it comes to drinks they’ve got the option. We do a beer, wine and soft drinks package for lunch and dinner and that is $199 per person for 2019 for a week-long sailing, or they can pay as they go,” he said.“Not many of our customers want to drink three glasses of wine at lunch to get value for money, and then totter around doing an excursion afterwards. They’d rather have water on board, and then if they’re walking around Budapest, why not get a beer or wine in a café in the city as opposed to feeling like you have to sit on a ship and get all-inclusive on that. If we did include drinks, we’d probably have to charge something like $400 per person just to cover those people who sit at the bar and do get value for money.”TouringRiviera only offers one excursion option in each port. “Why offer three or four if you are going to Budapest for the first time, or Vienna? You couldn’t know which one you want if you’ve never been before,” Morgan explained.“We take you to all the major cities, you might get entry depending on where you are, we might take you into a cathedral. But you see all the major sites, get to take your photos and then we’ll give you quite a lot of free time in the afternoon as well to explore. And we’ve got a Riviera Cruise Director and Tour Manager on board – at least two on every sailing. That way you’ve got people to ask to give you advice and things like that.”The company also offers a ticketing service for on-shore activities, such as the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.“We can get customers the tickets at cost price – we’re not making any margin – so customers are provided tickets and they don’t have to queue and do the difficult bit.”Tips & GratuitiesWhen it comes to tips and gratuities, Riviera recommends 5 to 10 euros per person per day, but Morgan says if a customer doesn’t want to tip: “That’s fine. However, if a guest wants to tip someone directly because that particular person gave them good service, they can do. It just gives them the choice. That then means we are not then charging an extra $20 a day on top of the cruise price just to cover gratuities.”Riviera’s vessels accommodate either 140 or 167 passengers. The majority of cabins feature French Balconies, with the smaller ships’ standard cabins measuring 15 square metres and the larger 17 square metres. There are two restaurants on the larger ship, including a bistro.PricingMorgan said Riviera’s pricing structure meant there were no discounts, period. There also isn’t a loyalty scheme for frequent travellers.“We don’t do offers or we don’t do crazy deals or anything like that. So whether the customer books the day it comes out, in six months’ time, a year’s time or the day before it departs, they pay exactly the same price. We’ve never discounted one of our holidays in the company’s 34-year history and we’ve got no intention of ever changing that. So customers can book nice and early, safe in the knowledge they are not going to have someone undercut them further down the line.”Upgrade fares between cabin types are between $200 and $600 per person.Riviera also caters for the solo cruiser, offering supplement-free cabins on every cruise and four sailings in 2019 which are reserved exclusively for guests who like to travel alone.“We have four to six cabins on every single sailing with no single supplement on them. Customers aren’t being squeezed into broom cupboards under the stairs with a single bed. These are proper double cabins and there’s no single supplement on any single cabin whatsoever. Solo travellers can secure a Deluxe Balcony for around $3,500 and have it all to themselves. It’s really good value for money,” Morgan concluded.See rivieratravel.com.au.Go back to the enewsletter
Go back to the enewsletterLuxury hotelier Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of its latest property, Four Seasons Hotel and Residences São Paulo at Nações Unidas. The 258-room Hotel is located amid the leafy green spaces along the Pinheiros river in southern Sao Paulo.On arrival, guests at the Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo are immersed in a gallery-like domed space that showcases contemporary works by local artists including a trio of sculptures by Francisco Brennand, a bold and striking painting by Burle Marx, and additional furnishings and works by Tora Brasil and other local designers and artists. A truly stunning spiral staircase floats its way up to the ballroom against a shimmering wall that captures light from both the outdoors and the space’s dramatic chandeliers.The visual wonders continue as guests reach the Hotel’s cleverly designed pool, which appears to extend out over the surrounding treetops, allowing guests to swim through to the outdoors, or stay within. The fitness centre also offers inspiring skyline views across the treetops just outside.San Francisco-based BAMO has created guest rooms that welcome guests as though into a private home, with a gracious palette of sensuous lines and touchable textures, accented by pops of vibrant colour. Area rugs on polished wood floors create intimate spaces where business travellers can focus on work, and those at leisure can lean back, put their feet up and relax. Of special interest are the Hotel’s One Bedroom Corner Suites with panoramic views, and the incredible Presidential Suite on the 14th floor, which is ideal for families or those who plan to entertain while staying at Four Seasons.Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo at Nações Unidas is the first Four Seasons location in Brazil, joining sister properties in Bogota, Buenos Aires and Costa Rica as part of the company’s growing Central and South American portfolio.See fourseasons.com/saopaulo/Go back to the enewsletter
Go back to the enewsletterPreferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand, has launched a new loyalty platform for members called the “I Prefer Alliance”.Featuring a straightforward points exchange structure, I Prefer Alliance allows partner hotels to incentivise their respective loyalty members by extending access to more than 650 additional destinations across 85 countries where they can earn and redeem points, while receiving other valuable benefits during every eligible stay.Preferred Hotels & Resorts debuts I Prefer Alliance with Tokyu Hotels – one of Japan’s leading hotel groups, with 44 properties across the country and more than 700,000 Tokyu Comfort Members – as its inaugural partner.Jeri Salazar, VP of Loyalty, Preferred Hotels & Resorts“As Preferred Hotels & Resorts entered its 51st year of championing the independent hotel experience, we identified an opportunity to further support our hotel partners’ individual goals related to fostering more impactful guest loyalty,” said Jeri Salazar, Vice President of Loyalty, Preferred Hotels & Resorts.“I Prefer Alliance was created to provide independent hotels with the flexibility to personalise their own programs in a way that would help drive more loyalty from their current members, while creating more visibility for partner properties and all hotels that participate in I Prefer among a growing and highly engaged travel community who prefer authentic, inspiring travel experiences.”Other hotel partners will be integrated into the I Prefer Alliance in the future.Introduced as a points-based model by Preferred Hotels & Resorts in August 2013, I Prefer is the world’s largest global points-based loyalty program for independent hotels. As of January 2019, more than three million members have enrolled in I Prefer to take advantage of its benefits. Benefits include points that can be exchanged for cash-value I Prefer Reward Certificates, elite status, priority early check-in/late check-out, room upgrade based on availability and complimentary internet upon every eligible stay at more than 650 participating properties worldwide.Through I Prefer Alliance, partners can extend the full benefits of I Prefer Hotel Rewards to members of their respective programs upon every eligible stay. The points exchange structure for each I Prefer Alliance partnership will be unique to the structure of each individual partner’s program.Effective immediately through Tokyu Hotels’ affiliation with I Prefer Alliance, all Tokyu Comfort Members will receive two Comfort Points for every US$1 spent on net room reservations when they book any hotel outside Japan through a dedicated offer page on PreferredHotels.com or voice reservations line. In addition, I Prefer members visiting Japan will now be able to earn 25 I Prefer points per US$1 spent on net room reservations, as well as redeem I Prefer Reward Certificates.See www.iPrefer.com.Go back to the enewsletter
Go back to the enewsletterMarriott International is expecting to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2019, furthering the company’s global perspective on luxury travel with its ensemble of eight distinct luxury brands. Through the hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bulgari, Marriott International continues to push boundaries, creating new guest experiences which meet the needs of the evolving luxury traveller. The company already has hotels and resorts in more than 60 countries and territories, and is poised to expand its luxury footprint with more than 200 properties in the development pipeline. The new properties represent 20 new countries for the company’s luxury portfolio, from Sri Lanka to Bermuda and Morocco to Kenya.The Ritz-Carlton will continue to set the standard for luxury. With six openings anticipated in the year ahead, the iconic luxury brand also expects to celebrate the opening of its 100th property. The brand is expected to make its return to Australia with the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Perth and is slated to grow in China with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Xi’an. Showcasing the beauty of the Moroccan landscape and culture, The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam is set to offer an oasis in the country’s vibrant capital, while The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City will invite guests to experience the city through a new perspective. With a mission to inspire travel and create memories for its guests, the brand also expects to see the completion of a major renovation of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and to continue to work towards the inaugural voyage of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in February 2020.Currently offering more than 40 hotels in 20 countries and territories, St. Regis recently celebrated the renovation of The St. Regis Rome along with the opening of The St. Regis Zhuhai, China’s premier tourist destination on the Pearl River Delta. In the coming year, St. Regis is planning to debut the André Fu-designed St. Regis Hong Kong where the award-winning designer will blend the brand’s timeless elegance with silhouettes representative of the city’s architectural and cultural diversity. The brand is also set to expand its footprint in Europe with The St. Regis Venice, which is ideally situated on the Grand Canal and offers a central location from which to explore the historic city. Finally, St. Regis is also expecting to bring its modern glamour and bespoke service to Cairo, a destination that has captivated travellers for generations and one which is quickly reclaiming its place as a hotspot for the global explorer.Trailblazing its way around the globe, W Hotels broke the norms of traditional luxury in destinations including Brisbane, Amman and Costa Rica in 2018. The luxury rebel also rewrote the music festival rules, taking the festival experience off the field and onto fabulous hotel grounds with the global launch of WAKE UP CALL. Bringing people closer to the music than ever before, the brand’s signature music festival series made stops at W Hollywood, W Barcelona and W Bali. This year, the brand will live out its mission to fuel guests’ lust for life with eight hotels projected to open, ranging from Aspen and Ibiza to Muscat and Melbourne. W skillfully balances the power of a global brand with the relevance and personality of a local insider and continues to revitalise its global portfolio with multi-million-dollar renovations planned or underway at more than half its properties in North America, including W Washington D.C. and W San Francisco.In 2018 the EDITION brand doubled its footprint, growing from four properties to eight with openings in Shanghai, Bodrum, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi. The in-demand lifestyle brand was created through a collaboration between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, which offers sophisticated design, a curated taste of the destination and modern service. Next up, the brand expects to redefine luxury with its recent opening in New York City’s Times Square and will bring its distinct perspective to West Hollywood with a scheduled opening in Q2 2019.Offering the promise of unique, authentic experiences, The Luxury Collection is a rapidly growing ensemble of 110 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories around the world. In 2018, the brand made its debut in Savannah with the opening of Perry Lane, expanded its footprint in Paris through Hôtel de Berri and brought distinct resort design to Los Cabos with Solaz, among other exciting debuts. With each hotel serving as a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures, The Luxury Collection anticipates debuting nine properties this year in coveted locations such as Okinawa, Cesme, Buckinghamshire and Budapest.JW Marriott offers differentiated luxury experiences at 84 hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories, including the recent opening of JW Marriott Nashville. Inspired by its legendary namesake, JW Marriott is committed to curating uplifting experiences for guests, delivering experiences and environments that help guests be fully present and bringing people together to celebrate life’s most meaningful moments. This year, JW Marriott anticipates continuing to bring its distinct style of warm service to established and emerging destinations with planned openings from the Maldives and Shanghai to Savannah, Georgia USA.Lead image: The Ritz-Carlton, PerthGo back to the enewsletter
South Africa v UruguayWed 16 JuneLoftus Versfield Stadium | Great deals on packages to theSouth Africa World Cup [World CupSchedule](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2010/04/005224-south-africa-world-cup-2010—schedule.html)| [World CupVenues](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2010/04/005220-south-africa-world-cup—venues.html)| [World CupTeams](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2010/04/005223-south-africa-world-cup-2010—teams.html)| [World CupDestinations](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2010/04/005221-south-africa-world-cup-2010—destinations.html)| [World CupHome](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2010/04/005215-south-africa-world-cup—home.html)| ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map France v Mexico| Thu 17 June | The Peter Mokaba StadiumMexico v Uruguay | Tue 22 June | Royal Bafokeng StadiumFrance v South Africa | Tue 22 June | Free State Stadium Get on the ball for less with Skyscanner South Africa| France| Mexico| UruguaySouth Africans will not have been happy when Group A was announced. Aside from the fact that France are allowed to use their hands in matches these days, the other two teams can play on their day and the altitude may also suit the Mexican players. Uruguay are a bit of a one man band at the moment and only just qualified for the competition so it looks as if France should ease through without too much drama. Let’s hope though that the host nation, inspired by home support, pulls it out of the bag and gets through to the next phase.Fixtures: Uruguay v FranceFri 11 JuneGreen Point Stadium Cheap flightsto South Africa [World CupPackages](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2010/04/005233-south-africa-world-cup-2010—packages.html) World Cup Group A | Great deals on car hirein South Africa South Africa v MexicoFri 11 JuneSoccer City Save more on hotelsin South Africa [World CupGroups](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2010/04/005225-south-africa-world-cup-2010—groups.html) —|—|—|— RelatedSouth Africa World Cup 2010 – South AfricaSouth Africa is the first ever country from the African continent to host the World Cup FinalsSouth Africa World Cup 2010 – MexicoSouth Africa World Cup 2010 – MexicoSouth Africa World Cup 2010 – Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, Free State ProvinceSouth Africa World Cup 2010 – Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, Free State Province [World CupNews](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/south-africa-world-cup-news/)|
Find deals on hotels and accommodation in these top UK cities: RelatedCheap flights to dream honeymoon destinationsA honeymoon on a budget doesn’t mean you have to say no to Barbados, the Maldives or any of your other dream destinations. Pause all that stressful wedding prep for a moment and plan the perfect post-wedding holiday, without needing to extend that bank loan. There’s no need to panic,…Cheap flights for family breaks from £15It’s raining and the kids are bored. Swap the weekly supermarket shop for a family weekend away, be it a sunny short break or a weekend in a new city, and forget having to wash smelly sports kit or cook dinners for fussy teens. Treat your family and spare yourself…Weekend city breaks from just £20Make the most of the next bank holiday and get those Instagram filters at the ready. We’ve got cheap flights from airports across the UK – all you’ve got to decide is whether to go for a city break or a few days lazing on the beach! Go on, you… Not found the bargain you were after? Maybe try these…Flight deals for weekends awayCelebrate making it to the end of the week with a last minute flight out of here! Cheap flight deals of the weekLooking for cheap flights or fancy a last-minute holiday? Each week we round-up the best travel offers and the cheapest flights to a range of destinations. So whether it’s a sunny beach or a budget city break you’re looking for, check out the best deals here before you book.Bargain flights for romantic city breaksHere are this month’s cheapest flights to some of Europe’s most romantic cities.*Published September 2016. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map And in case you’re thinking of taking a staycation here in the UK, then you might want to check out our complete guide, full of ideas on things to see and do close to home:
MAHWAH, NJ.,– Jaguar announced pricing for its 2010 Model Year line up. In January 2009, Jaguar revealed the new 2010 Model Year XF and XK which includes the new XFR, and next generation XKR. Both vehicles are true to the heritage of Jaguar’s legendary performance, delivering a superb balance of dynamic ability and refinement. The 2010 XF will be priced starting at $52,000 MSRP. The XF Premium, with the new 5.0-liter naturally aspirated engine, will have a base MSRP of $57,000. The new XFR with the 510hp supercharged engine will retail for $80,000 MSRP. Also, taking the details that define luxury to higher standards, the 2010 XF Premium offers a Portfolio Pack for an additional $4,000. The Portfolio Pack offers the most luxurious XF specification, and features the naturally aspirated version of the new 5.0-liter V8.As for the 2010 XK line up, it will start with a base MSRP of $83,000 (Coupe) and $89,000 (Convertible). The XKR with its 510 horsepower engine will retail for $96,000 (Coupe) MSRP and $102,000 (Convertible) MSRP. But it is the new powertrain options that are at the heart of the changes for 2010 Model Year. The new AJ-V8 GEN III direct-injection 5.0-liter engines are the most advanced engines Jaguar has ever produced, each offering significant increases in performance and impressive fuel economy. Both deliver more torque and power than the previous generation of engines.The 2010 Model Year XF and XK models combine effortless high-performance and state-of-the-art powertrains with a new level of advanced technologies, intuitive control and Jaguar’s superbly crafted, new-fashioned luxury interiors. In addition, both models include a number of standard luxury features including navigation, heated front seats and satellite radio. www.jaguarperformance.com
by Sandy Cohen, The Associated Press Posted Jan 14, 2018 10:05 pm PDT Last Updated Jan 16, 2018 at 10:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email DuVernay, ‘black-ish,’ ‘Power’ win at NAACP Image Awards LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A jubilant Ava DuVernay was named entertainer of the year at the NAACP Image Awards ceremony that focused on the black community’s power to create change.DuVernay lauded other black artists from the stage as she accepted her award Monday night, naming writers and directors such as Shonda Rhimes, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Kenya Barris and “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler.“This is our time,” DuVernay said. “We can say we were here when all this gorgeous art was happening, and that we supported it — that we lifted each other up, that we did as Dr. King said we would do: Live the dream. We’re the dream.”DuVernay directed the films “Middle of Nowhere” and “Selma.” She is also a producer and screenwriter.Anthony Anderson hosted the ceremony at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, on what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 89th birthday.While his politically tinged monologue poked fun at the presidential administration and Omarosa Manigault, others used their time onstage to encourage more civic involvement and the fight for social justice.Producer Will Packer took a dig at President Donald Trump’s recent comments about immigration as the producer accepted an award for “Girls Trip,” which won for outstanding film.“Sisters, especially the ones from Haiti and Africa, we love you as your brothers,” he said.Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laverne Cox, Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Lena Waithe and Angela Robinson set the tone for the evening when they emerged onstage holding hands to dramatically issue a get-out-the-vote call.The six women declared support for the Time’s Up initiative to stop sexual harassment and gender discrimination and urged viewers to speak up at the polls as well.“The midterms are a perfect moment for us to use our voices,” Robinson said. “If we can take back a Senate seat in Alabama …”“Then we have the ability to shift the imbalance of power,” Smollet-Bell said.Barris’ show “black-ish” was the night’s big winner. The ABC hit was named best comedy series and took acting honours for stars Ross and Anderson.“It’s an extraordinary thing to be able to show what a beautiful black family looks like on television,” Ross said as the cast accepted the comedy series honour.“Power” was named best drama series, and star Omari Hardwick won for dramatic actor.Other winners included “Gifted” actress Octavia Spencer and “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson, who were both absent, and Daniel Kaluuya, who won for his leading role in “Get Out.”The British actor was clearly delighted at his victory.“I don’t think you’re allowed to beat Denzel Washington in acting competitions,” said Kaluuya, who bested Washington for the prize. The 28-year-old actor thanked his mom and “Get Out” writer-director Jordan Peele.“So many people didn’t believe in me, and you did, and you made all of us feel included,” Kaluuya said. “Thank you so much for letting us be seen.”NAACP president Derrick Johnson asked viewers to text in their pledge to vote in 2018 before presenting the President’s Award to Danny Glover.Glover was recognized for his professional and philanthropic contributions, particularly his work with the United Nations and his advocacy for labour unions.Glover spoke specifically of a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, where 80 per cent of employees are black, that has yet to organize.“Civil rights and labour rights have always been one and the same,” he said.The special awards provided some of the night’s most poignant moments.Halle Berry talked about the significance of presenting the NAACP Image Awards on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.“We need to take heed to his eloquent words: ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter,’” she said. “Today is an affirmation that we will never ever, ever, ever be silent again.”She presented the Music Makes a Difference award to Charlie Wilson, who talked about his road from addiction and homelessness to musical success and philanthropy.He said he prayed and promised that if he could survive the streets, he would return to serve others. Wilson said Monday that he has been sober for 22 years and is focused on helping homeless addicts.Labour organizer William Lucy received the Chairman’s Award for his more than 40 years of service. Beyond his union leadership, Lucy was also an activist who fought apartheid in South Africa.He dedicated his award to the Memphis sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968, several of whom were in the audience at the Image Awards. King spoke to the striking employees the night before he was assassinated.Another arresting moment in the show came during singer Andra Day’s chilling performance of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” Rapper Common joined her for their song “Stand Up for Something,” and the whole audience rose to its feet.___Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy.___This story corrects the spelling of Derrick Johnson. Halle Berry presents the Music Makes a Difference Honor at the 49th annual NAACP Image Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)