REVEALED Aussie cruising habits

first_imgIt appears that Australians are at the top of the world league in spending on drinking on cruise ships, according to reports, with the rocketing spend per head driving Australian cruising globally.This high spend habit is the reason why for example, Celebrity Cruises has announced a 50 percent increase in cruises it will run in its Australia 2014-15 season, with the company offering 27 cruises with the choice of two ships, compared to their inaugural 2012-13 season of just 12 trips on the one vessel, News Limited reported.Celebrity Cruises Australia managing director Gavin Smith said Australians going to Europe are the highest-yielding guests that the company has.”Australians spend the most on their ticket revenue because they are buying premium accommodation and we probably drink a little bit more and have an extra beer or two more than other countries as well,” Mr Smith explained.In addition, the comparatively weak tourism market in North America and Europe has attracted more ships to Australia, with Smith saying 45 to 60 year old empty nesters with money to burn are driving much of the business, but unlike other countries we tend to travel on cruises overseas as couples rather than families, adding, ”a lot of us leave our kids behind rather than go to the expense of bringing them along”.Source = eTB Cruise Expertlast_img read more

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No respite in Air France strike

first_imgSource = ETB News: Megan Tran There seems to be no progress made after Air France pilots rejected the airlines offer to resolve the industrial dispute.Air France pilots have been striking for nearly 10 days.As reported in ETB News last week, the strike was in response to the airline’s plan to establish Transavia France- its low cost subsidiary, employing cheaper pilots.The pilot’s movement was described by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, as “incomprehensible”.As previously reported on ETB News, an Air France pilot’s salary is around 75,000 euro per annum, while a captain of long-haul flights earns up to 250,000 euro. According to an airline source, the hourly rate of a Transavia France pilot was about 40% less than a pilot at the senior group.The French carrier operated four of its 10 flights on Wednesday 18 September.“It is regrettable that a single category of employee, in this case pilots, can bring air transport in the country to a standstill,” Mr Valls said.Reuters has reported that management has vowed to push ahead with its low-cost carrier ambitions, while pilots promised to strike indefinitely.last_img read more

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New tourism campaign promotes South Australia to India

first_imgSource = ETB Travel News: Megan Tran The first of three new films by the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) aimed at encouraging visitors to Adelaide during the Cricket World Cup premiered in New Delhi today.The film stars Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja and encourages Indians to visit South Australia when it hosts the opening game of the ICC Cricket World Cup in February 2015.Deputy Premier John Rau said the India versus Pakistan game is a drawcard for the state, providing tourism opportunities.“The film aims to uncover the real South Australia. We wanted to capture the experiences of real people and this film does that in a creative way.”Mr Rau said the first film shows South Australia through the eyes of Ajay Jadeja and his son on their recent visit and features attractions such as, the Barossa, Kangaroo Island and the Adelaide Hills.The films were conceptualised and commissioned by SATC as part its India Strategy 2020, directed by Indian film maker Deepti Chawla and produced by Daydreamer Pictures. The aim was to create content that Indian visitors could relate to and identify with.“India is an important market for South Australia and these films are aimed at creating awareness and appeal for the State. Mr Rau said.“There is huge potential to showcase our state through the online medium and these films are designed to tap into that potential.”last_img read more

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Conference focuses on Success for Personal Travel Managers

first_img TravelManagers Australia become a Personal Travel Manager hereSource = TravelManagers Australia Conference focuses on Success for Personal Travel ManagersTravelManagers’ eighth Annual National Conference is now less than a fortnight away.  Due to be held in Adelaide over the weekend of 28-30 August, with a theme of “Focus” and an impressive line-up of inspirational speakers, anticipation is building among the attending personal travel managers (PTMs), who are looking to find new ways to achieve great things in their businesses.The company’s Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the conference will combine motivational presentations from world class speakers, “Show and Tell” sessions with key suppliers, and a series of workshop sessions that range from improving small business skills to becoming cruise and airfare gurus, and even achieving better health, vitality and work/life balance.“Our business operates in an environment of constant and often fast-paced change.  The conference theme reflects our will to remain focussed on our stated goals and to eliminate time-consuming distractions that do not add value – to the company as a whole and to each of us as individuals.”Nutritionist Teresa Boyce, whose presentation at TravelManagers’ upcoming National Conference will cover ways to maximise health and minimise stressWith that in mind, delegates can expect to gain much from the session presented by Teresa Boyce, a nutritionist who specialises in educating and motivating individuals and groups on managing stress and understanding the negative impact of ongoing stress.Gazal says, “Teresa will be discussing the benefits of exercise on body, mind and productivity, as well as the importance of sleep, optimum nutrition and tips on staying healthy.  It’s a great opportunity for our PTMs to glean some valuable tips on how to cope with what can be a high-pressure work environment.”The conference will be opened by Matthew Michalewicz, a world-class entrepreneur who will be discussing the ‘Science of Success’ and ‘How to Improve Small Business Performance’.To close the conference, participants will hear from Australian Olympic gold medallist, Alisa Camplin-Warner (OAM), whose has proven her ability to overcome physical, mental and emotional challenges in order to achieve sporting and professional success.Gazal says the company is excited to bring some amazing talent to Adelaide.“These sessions will be a great source of motivation to everyone who attends.”In addition to these presentations, delegates will have plenty of opportunity to catch up with their colleagues in a less formal environment.  The conference will open with a “Taste of South Australia”-themed welcome dinner at Adelaide’s amazing National Wine Centre, and will close on a high with a gala awards dinner at the Adelaide Convention Centre, where the company’s top-performing and most improved PTMs will be recognised for their efforts in the preceding year.Local hero and motor-racing star Nick Percat will be appearing at TravelManagers’ Sporting Heroes and Legends dinner in Adelaide on 29 August, another highlight of the company’s Annual National ConferenceGazal says many PTMs are particularly looking forward to Saturday night’s big event, which is the Sporting Heroes and Legends dinner to be held at the Adelaide Oval.“We are thrilled to have racing car driver, Nick Percat, attending the dinner on Saturday night.  In 2011 he became the first rookie driver to win the Bathurst 1000 since 1977, plus he’s Adelaide-born and bred.”As well as the hearing from inspiring leaders in other fields, PTMs also have the opportunity to pick up useful information from their colleagues during the aptly-titled “Secrets of my success” sessions.“One of the key components of TravelManagers’ success is the willingness of our PTMs to share their experience and knowledge with their colleagues,” says Gazal.  “Coping with change, harnessing the power of social media, growing your business: we are fortunate to have a great depth of talent within our ranks.  Sharing this knowledge in a fun, social environment is great for our PTMs and leads to delivering even better service for our clients.”Another highlight for many PTMs will be the community event which takes place every year.“It’s something we’re very proud to include in our agenda each year,” explains Gazal, “and for many of our PTMs, it’s the thing they most look forward to.  It’s an opportunity for our people to focus on helping others, but they’ll have to wait until they get to Adelaide to find out what we have in store for them this year!”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.last_img read more

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Tourism Philippines ANZ partners with helloworld for world first Inst

first_imgBy-Marcello-Di-Francesco-Coron-PalawanTourism Philippines A/NZ partners with helloworld for world first Instagram RelayThe Philippine Department of Tourism in Australia and New Zealand is partnering with Australia’s leading integrated travel group, helloworld, to mark the United Nations World Tourism Day on September 27, 2015 with an innovative and world first social media initiative.Together with over 60 countries and more than 75 Instagram influencers, helloworld is creating an Instagram relay entitled #helloworldRELAY, that will capture countries, cities, people and places, through creative and inspiring images on the same date across our incredible planet.The Philippines will be part of this history-making relay, featuring the stunning eco-friendly island archipelago of Palawan. Consuelo Garcia Jones, Tourism Attache, Australia & New Zealand at the Philippine Department of Tourism, says: “It’s great to be part of this exciting Instagram first, giving us the opportunity to introduce one of our 7,107 Philippine islands along with its stunning beaches and crystal blue waters, and the UNESCO World Heritage site the Underground River in Palawan, to over 5.5 million Australian Instagrammers. Whether it be island hopping, diving, or trekking, we hope to showcase the many adventures that make travelling more fun in the Philippines!”We are also delighted to have engaged top Australian Instagrammer and photographer, Rob Mulally, as our lead Instagrammer for this exciting world first. Working with leading Instagrammers in the Philippines, Rob will capture some of the most stunning locations in Palawan which was named the most beautiful island in the world recently by Conde Nast Traveller.World Tourism Day in 2015 aims to raise awareness of the important impact tourism has on countries and communities around the world and its potential as a force for good, creating a better world for all. As the sun rises in each destination on September 27, Instagrammers will commence posting until the sun sets in their location. Beginning at sunrise in Samoa, the westernmost point of the earth and travelling across the world, until it finishes at sunset in the Cook Islands 36 hours later, the global relay will showcase destinations in every daylight hour around the world. Kim Portrate, Chief Marketing Officer at helloworld, is proud to be leading a movement that will create social media history. “There are approximately five million Australians checking into Instagram every month with 70% of those users active every day. The #helloworldRELAY is a unique opportunity to inspire travellers and show them parts of the world they may have never seen before.”For more information or to participate in our RELAY in the Philippines follow :Instagram: @tourismphilippines and @robmulallyOfficial hashtag: #morefuninthephilippinesFacebook: TourismPhilippines.anzTwitter: @PhilippinesANZ Connect with Helloworld hereHelloworld Relay Philippine Tourism Departmentit’s more fun in the Philippines Source = Philippine Department of Tourismlast_img read more

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Countdown is on for the helloworld Owner Managers Conference

first_imgCountdown is on for the helloworld Owner Managers ConferenceCountdown is on for the helloworld Owner Managers Conference in SingaporeIn just 2 weeks’ time over 500 helloworld Owner Managers will descend upon Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore for the annual helloworld Owner Mangers Conference (OMC).Larry Emdur will MC the conference with keynote speakers including helloworld CEO Andrew Burnes, business motivational expert Chris Helder, entrepreneur and entertainer Vinh Giang, Mark Jenkins from Resurg and Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Pottharst. There will also be breakout workshop sessions with topics including Human Resources, ResWorld and helloworld.com.au plus optional sessions on multi-store Franchising and Business Building/Networking.Social networking functions will include a ‘Welcome to Singapore’ cocktails and dinner event at the S.E.A Aquarium and the prestigious closing night Gala Awards Dinner sponsored by Qantas.Julie Primmer, helloworld Head of Branded Network, said delegates would be flying in from all over Australia to experience Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa.“We’re so pleased to be heading to Sentosa and bringing with us hundreds of helloworld Owner Managers to showcase this amazing travel destination that many of them may not have seen first-hand before,” said Julie.“The delegates are in for a few days of inspirational presentations, business focused workshop sessions, entertaining social events and important networking opportunities,” she added.Resorts World Sentosa is an integrated resort on the island of Sentosa, off the southern coast of Singapore. It is home to key attractions including the regions first-and-only Universal Studios theme park, S.E.A Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island.The major sponsors of the helloworld Owner Managers Conference are: Qantas, The Travel Corporation, Etihad, APT/Travelmarvel, Qantas Holidays, viva! Holidays, Territory Discoveries, Ready Rooms, The Cruise Team, Insider Journeys, Sunlover Holidays, Disney Destinations International, United and World’s Leading Cruise Lines. helloworld Source = helloworldlast_img read more

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SiteMinder analysis finds online hotel bookings have doubled

first_imgSiteMinder analysis finds online hotel bookings have doubledSiteMinder analysis finds online hotel bookings have doubledA country analysis by the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, has revealed online hotel bookings in Spain have virtually doubled over the past five years. The finding is based on data from Euromonitor International, which reports that hotels in the world’s most tourist-ready economy earned €7.3 billion from bookings made through the Internet in 2017 – or, 98 percent more than the €3.7 billion registered from Internet-based hotel bookings in 2012.Today’s announcement comes as SiteMinder counts down to its sixth consecutive appearance at Fitur, the world’s tourism trade fair for the Ibero American markets, this week.Mateus Coelho, Regional Manager for SiteMinder’s Iberian and Brazilian markets, says, “With an enviable climate, excellent beaches and cities that offer all kinds of activities, Spain has the opportunity to reach travellers from all over the world who want to experience all the country has to offer. It is essential that local hotels take advantage of this opportunity by being more visible online and allowing potential guests to make their reservations instantly and safely through the web.”The analysis by SiteMinder suggests Spain’s hotels are indeed capitalising on the growing volume of tourists arriving each year – by taking ownership of their supply. While third-party sites continue to contribute 57 percent of the country’s online hotel sales, their contribution is a drop from the levels seen in previous years and it is expected to drop to below 50 percent within the next three years.“Direct hotel bookings have grown 113 percent in the last five years, indicating a closer relationship between Spanish hotels and their guests. A holistic distribution strategy therefore has to be a priority in 2018, for any hotel in Spain that is looking to compete and stand out in a highly-saturated market,” says Mr Coelho.Barcelona remained Spain’s most popular destination in 2017, followed by Madrid and Palma de Mallorca, which attracted the second and third-highest number of arrivals into the country. Almost four-in-five travellers were under 50-years-old.Source = SiteMinderlast_img read more

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Escape the chill to Cuba

first_imgCuba beachEscape the chill to CubaWhile the winter chill well and truly sets in, travellers may begin to turn their thoughts to warmer climates.Escape the cold to warmer weather with Tempo Holidays Cuban Winter Warmer Special. Travellers can save up to A$1000 off on bookings made until the 30 June 2018.Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands, offering stunning beaches and scenery. It’s fascinating history and exciting nightlife makes Cuba an enticing holiday attraction, while it’s pristine beaches make for the perfect refuge from the cold Australian winter.Included in the deal is Tempo’s eight day Beautiful Cuba – Deluxe, boasting the biggest saving. With prices now starting from A$3900, this independent tour includes 7 nights deluxe accommodation, breakfast daily, six lunches and four dinners, and private airport transfers.On this tour you will learn the local dance with Salsa dancing lessons in Havana, explore old Havana by foot and hit the Buena Vista Social Club Café for a great night out.Terms and conditions apply. Valid for travel between 28 May to 31 Oct 2018. Please quote ‘Cuba’ at time of booking. For more information and packages visit www.tempoholidays.com/specials, call 1300 362 844 or email res@tempoholidays.com.Visit Tempo Holidays Australia at www.tempoholidays.com for the full product range or call 1300 362 844 or email res@tempoholidays.comVisit Tempo Holidays New Zealand www.tempoholidays.co.nz for full product range or call 0800 836 764 or email res@tempoholidays.co.nzSource = Tempo Holidayslast_img read more

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Galapagos Islands Travel Advice

first_imgGalapagos Islands Travel AdviceGalapagos Islands Travel AdviceLa Cumbre Volcano in the Galapagos Islands began erupting on 16 June 2018, creating spectacular laze clouds and steam explosions as the lava flow reached the shore line. The volcano forms the uninhabited Fernandina Island and is the most active volcano in the archipelago.Eclipse Travel‘s local partners report that emissions and tremors have decreased since Sunday evening considerably, however the situation is unpredictable, and a safe distance should be kept. Passengers on cruises in the area have been able to witness the dramatic eruptions from a safe distance with no impact on itineraries. Local authorities are monitoring the situation on Fernandina as well as neighbouring Isabela Island that is on yellow alert, although viewpoints on the rim of the Chico Volcano still open to visitors.Any travellers planning to visit the Galapagos Islands in the near future should monitor the situation however all tourist activities are currently not impacted and remain open for business. Contact Eclipse Travel’s Galapagos experts for travel advice and further updates via enquiry@eclipsetravel.com.au or 1300 575 752.Source = Eclipse Travellast_img read more

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Vistara adds Lucknow and Bengaluru to its network

first_imgVistara has added Lucknow and Bengaluru to its fast growing network. From May 18, 2015 Vistara is offering daily flights on the Delhi-Lucknow-Delhi route and will double the daily flights from June 16, 2015 onward. The Delhi-Bengaluru-Mumbai daily return flight will also commence from June 16, 2015. These latest additions to the network are in line with Vistara’s organic expansion plan to connect a mix of metros and non-metros across India.Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara said, “We are steadily expanding our pan India footprint, and the addition of Lucknow to our network seemed the most logical way to grow. The historical and culturally rich city of Lucknow has emerged as a leading commercial hub in the state of Uttar Pradesh while also offering a huge potential for tourism. In fact to mark our foray into this city we are also looking forward to adding a flavour of the Awadhi cuisine to our menu on board. We are optimistic about the opportunities that this destination will offer for corporate and leisure travel to our customers.”“On the other hand, Bengaluru is one of the most preferred cosmopolitan cities in India offering significant prospects for corporate travel. We are optimistic about the opportunities that these destinations will offer for corporate and leisure travel to our customers,” he added.Introducing pioneering customer-centric innovations like the Premium Economy class which offers a lot more for just a little extra, value-based points accrual in Frequent Flyer Programme, an innovative food philosophy and a contemporary and innovative in-flight entertainment which Vistara launched with BAE Systems, the airline is on its way to become a preferred airline for travelers in India. Vistara’s Business Class customers are given tablets pre-loaded with specially selected audio video content and by the end of the year, all customers across cabins will be able to access audio video content streamed to their PEDs through in-flight wireless streaming. In the coming months customers can expect a wider choice of destinations, more frequencies and exciting new offerings added to Vistara’s product and services portfolio including a lounge, that is being thoughtfully curated keeping customers in mind, at Delhi Airport by August 2015.With these latest additions, Vistara’s network now connects 10 cities including Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Goa, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.last_img read more

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WorldHotels unveils its exclusive experience of World Luxury

first_imgWorldHotels has reinforced its maxim ‘Defy Ordinary’ by offering its guests the ultimate luxury through its curated collection of distinctive hotels. World Luxury provides bespoke, tailor-made, intuitive experiences that are as unique as each guest and as rare as their own dreams and aspirations.World Luxury hotels adequately cater to the expectations of the modern travellers by promising authentic travel experiences and lasting memories.LRA by Deloitte has been appointed as a strategic partner to conduct in-depth emotional level intelligence audits for handpicked candidate hotels who are anticipating for inclusion under the World Luxury umbrella. All hotels flying the World Luxury flag have been measured against stringent criteria and will provide genuine travel experiences and stories that will always be remembered with much fondness.Among the hotels are Amatara Resort & Wellness, Phuket, Thailand; Amilla Fushi, Baa Atoll, Maldives; Sunset Marquis Hotel, Los Angeles, United States; The White Swan Hotel, Guangzhou, China and Upper House, Gothenburg, Sweden.last_img read more

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Technology is making travel seamless for Millennials Saurabh Sharma Founder and Director

first_imgWith more than 300 million active internet users, India is one of the booming countries in travel tech space. When it comes to booking tickets, choosing a travel package or searching about a particular destination more and more Indians are going online for all their travel woes. Speaking exclusively to Travel News Digest, Saurabh Sharma, Founder and Director of Travel Unravel Holidays Pvt Ltd talked about the new advancement in the field of travel and technology. Sharma said, “With the growth in technology in the travel industry and the rise in the awareness of the travellers, there is now an ease of booking. The travellers have the freedom of choice to compare the prices, to enjoy a seamless process where everything is happening online. Starting from planning to the ticketing process, everything is now online.”When asked how traditional way of booking tickets and planning a holiday has been hindered by technology, Sharma quipped, “In the traditional way of booking, people were essentially dependent upon the travel agent which used to make it a lengthy and time-consuming process leading to delays. But now all of that information is already handy and is made available to the traveller which enhances the experience.”He also said that millennial travellers are now becoming more aware and with the growth of technology the process has become completely seamless. “Now they can draw price comparisons, check out online reviews and know the destination inside out before even visiting. This has happened as a blessing by technology for the millennial travellers,” he added. Talking about the future of travel tech confluence, he remarked, “With the growth in the travel-tech, I think the future has the robots handling the front desk, virtual reality enhancing the travel experience and the process of travelling becoming a whole lot more seamless than what it already is in the 21st century.”Sharma also said that online transaction in India has undergone a rapid shift in the recent few years. Speaking about the new trends in Indian travel space, Sharma commented, “Now Indians are choosing to explore destinations like South America and South Africa; which were the places that were never on any travellers wishlist. This is a clear sign that Indians now want to go outside their comfort zone and have new adventures.last_img read more

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Indias Eco Rent a Car partners with Europcar in global foray

first_imgThe French car rental company Europcar Mobility Group announced its new strategic partnership with ECO Rent a Car in India. With this partnership, both ECO and Europcar customers will benefit from a consistently high-quality service worldwide.ECO customers will now be able to access Europcar’s high-quality global car rental services directly from ECO website (www.ecorentacar.com). In the same way, Europcar customers will have access to ECO’s premium services through Europcar’s website (www.europcar.com) and will be able to either rent a car or book a chauffeur driven service in India.This new partnership will enable Eco Rent a Car to offer a global quality of Service in India with their Self Drive and Chauffeur driven products under the aegis of a global brand. For this Eco will be making various technology and service enhancements to its current product. At the same time, Eco’s customers will also see the comfort and familiarity of the Eco brand embedded in over 3,700 rental stations in over 130 countries across the globe is the first time that the two car rental companies have come together. Efficient and optimised shared Mobility is one of the largest areas of investment globally. Renting cars – with or without drivers is the fastest disruptors to car ownership in the world today. As Millennials move away from car ownership and the associated liabilities and headaches of ownership to renting cars – with or without a driver, as per their need and convenience is the way ahead. This exploding market size then presents the biggest opportunity to established brands like Eco and Europcar to provide the kind of product and service that this new trend demands.Speaking about the joint venture, Fabrizio Ruggiero, Deputy CEO, Europcar Mobility Group said, “We are delighted to enter the Indian market in partnership with ECO RENT A CAR. Having collaborated with the company, they were our first choice as partners as we share the same vision, mission, and functionality. The Indian car rental market has a lot of potentials and is growing at a brisk rate. The mobility business in India grew with a CAGR of 24.6% from FY15 to FY19. With this venture, we aim to propel the growth and development of this industry in India and abroad.”Rajesh Loomba, Managing Director, ECOS (India) Mobility & Hospitality Pvt Ltd said, “We feel proud to be the first Indian car rental company to partner with an international brand which will embed the Eco Rent a Car brand in over 3700 locations across 130 countries. While the global car rental market is expected to register a CAGR of 17.52% during 2018-2023, this partnership with Europcar, Europe’s largest and the world’s 3rd largest car rental and mobility group will bring global standards to India for the 9 million+ people travelling to India every year and at the same time give the 22 million+ Indians now travelling across the world the comfort to connect with the Europcar brand in India and book their favourite self-drive cars with confidence. We, however, look to grow beyond cars to cater to the entire mobility needs of our customers who may be institutions, individuals or even public transport. Technology and a shared value for a fanatical zeal for quality is what will make us the first choice for our customers.”last_img read more

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Spending Growth Outpaces Income in August

first_imgSpending Growth Outpaces Income in August Consumer spending rose $57.2 billion ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬Ø 0.5 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬Ø in August, but personal income improved just $15 billion, 0.1 percent, the “”Bureau of Economic Analysis””:http://bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/2012/pdf/pi0812.pdf reported Friday. While the increase in spending matched economist expectations, the increase in incomes was half of what had been forecast.[IMAGE]BEA also revised the report for July which had originally shown spending up $46.0 billion while incomes rose $42.3 billion. With the revision, the spending increase was cut to $45.4 billion while incomes rose $18.5 billion.The continued increase in spending is an encouraging sign for third quarter GDP. Consumer spending is roughly 70 percent of GDP. In the first two months of the third quarter, consumer spending is up $34 billion over the second quarter. By the same measures, personal spending for the entire second quarter was up about $35.7 billion from the first quarter.Still, the monthly income-spending report shows signs of a weak labor market, as wages rose just $5.5 billion in August after improving almost $8.5 billion in July. Within the goods-producing sector, aggregate wages dropped $6.4 billion, but wages increased in the service sector.[COLUMN_BREAK]Disposable personal income ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô essentially after-tax income ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose $12.5 billion in August after growing $15.4 billion in July. Personal savings for August fell $47.4 billion.Personal savings as a percentage of disposable (after tax) income fell to 3.7 percent in August from 4.1 percent in July. Despite continuing low interest rates, personal interest payments (non-mortgage interest) rose to $171.7 billion in August from $169.2 in July as consumers upped their borrowing.Government transfer payments ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô fell $1.4 billion to $2.4 trillion in August due primarily to a cut in unemployment insurance payments.The drop in unemployment insurance payments was the eighth consecutive monthly decline ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reflecting congressional mandated reductions.The increase in personal consumption was primarily due to a higher spending on goods, up $46.2 billion, while spending on services rose $11.1 billion. The increased spending on goods though was heavily weighted to non-durable goods, $42.2 billion, compared with $4 billion for durable goods, suggesting consumers might be reluctant to spend on higher ticket items which are often financed through borrowing. The Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Price Index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô often considered the Federal Reserve’s favored measure of inflation ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose 0.4 points in August, the sharpest increase of the year, and was up 1.5 percent in the last year. In July, the index saw a year-over-year increase of 1.3 percent. The “”core”” PCE Index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô excluding food and energy ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose 0.1 points in August and was up 1.6 percent in the last year, unchanged from July. September 28, 2012 423 Views Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis Consumer spending GDP Inflation Investors Lenders & Servicers Personal income Processing Service Providers 2012-09-28 Mark Lieberman in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

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Builder Confidence Ends Growth Streak in October

first_imgBuilder Confidence Ends Growth Streak in October October 16, 2014 484 Views Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) index of builder sentiment fell in October, ending a four-month streak of gains that resulted in a nine-year peak.The group’s Housing Market Index, a measure of homebuilder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes, lost five points in this month’s reading, bringing it to 54. An index value above 50 indicates market perceptions are more positive than negative.”We are seeing a return to the mid-50s index level trend established earlier in the summer, which is in line with the gradual pace of the housing recovery,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly.All three index components lost ground in October, led by six-point declines in both the gauge of current single-family sales (to 57) and the gauge of traffic from prospective buyers (to 41). The index measuring sales expectations in the next six months slipped three points, meanwhile, falling to 64.Despite the all-around decline, NAHB’s chief economist, David Crowe, remains optimistic.”While there was a dip this month, builders are still positive about the housing market,” Crowe said. “[H]istorically low mortgage interest rates, steady job gains, and significant pent up demand all point to continued growth of the housing market.”Month-to-month, confidence declined in all four census regions, led by an eight-point drop in the Midwest to a reading of 53. The Northeast saw the smallest decline—two points to a reading of 40—while the South and Midwest posted moderate decreases.Looking at the three-month moving average, each region’s index was little changed. Both the Northeast and Midwest remained flat in October at 41 and 59, respectively, while the West lost a single point to settle to 57. Meanwhile, the South reported the only increase, a two-point gain to 58. Confidence Homebuilders National Association of Home Builders New Home Sales 2014-10-16 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

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Report Finds Mortgage Concerns Are One of the Top Financial Reasons Americans

first_imgReport Finds Mortgage Concerns Are One of the Top Financial Reasons Americans Lose Sleep More Americans are sleeping better at night knowing that the economy is recovering. Those Americans that are losing sleep over financial stress is declining in the U.S., according to a new CreditCards.com poll.The national poll, commissioned by CreditCards.com, also found that 62 percent of adult Americans are losing sleep over at least one financial problem. This is 7 percentage points lower than the amount in June 2009, the last time this poll was conducted, but higher than 56 percent in 2007.One of the top insomnia-inducing issues that worries many Americans is how they will pay their mortgage and monthly rent bills, the poll determined. Twenty-seven percent indicated that home and rent payments block sleep at night.“Many Americans are still struggling financially, even as the economy rebounds,” said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com. “Twenty-seven percent of Americans are losing sleep over mortgage or rent payments—about the same number as in 2009, in the throes of the Great Recession when we last did the survey. And 1 in 3 Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 are losing sleep over paying their rent or mortgage.”According to the poll participants, the most common financial worry is saving enough for retirement. Two-in-five Americans noted that stress about retirement keeps them awake at night at least occasionally. The next big concern is educational expenses, which troubles young adults the most.“Ultimately, it’s about income. They say money can’t buy you love or happiness, but according to our survey, it can sure as heck buy you a better night’s sleep. Those making $75,000 or more per year were the least likely to be losing sleep, while those making less than $30,000 per year were the most likely.”CreditCards.com found that 40 percent of poll respondents are restless at night because of retirement savings. This anxiety cause the most amount of stress, especially among those adults who are approaching retirement age. Educational expenses seem to another burden among American that causes wakefulness thought the night. Approximately 31 percent of participants pointed out that they are deeply concerned with their ability to pay their own or someone else’s educational expenses.Americans are also worried about health care or insurance bills and how they will manage to pay these necessary expenditures. The poll found that 29 percent of people lose sleep over these financial stressors, a 6 percent decrease since 2009. Americans place credit card debt at the bottom of their list of worries, with 21 percent saying that this troubles them at night.”I think people are better off today than they were six years ago,” said James Chessen, chief economist with the American Bankers Association (ABA). “They are more secure in their jobs, their incomes are a little better, housing values are improving and they’ve managed their debt. There are still a lot of challenges, but overall people are in better positions than they have been since the recession.”CreditCards.com advises those Americans who are losing sleep at night due to financial woes to review their finances thoroughly, spend less, start an emergency fund, and come up with a budget.”I’m guessing someone who is really worrying does not have the basics covered,” said Edward Tonini, director of education at Alliance Credit Counseling. “For a lot of us, the unknown can really create the most anxiety. Take little steps and focus your energy on them and feel some sense of relief that at least you are making progress. It might take longer than you would like it to take, but realistically you have to work within your budget.”Click here to view the complete CreditCards.com poll. June 25, 2015 498 Views Sharecenter_img CreditCards.com Economy Financial Stress Mortgage Payment Rent Payment 2015-06-25 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Uncategorizedlast_img read more

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Quicken Loans Raises Speculation of Exiting FHA HomeLoan Program

first_img Earlier this year, the nation’s third-largest mortgage lender—Quicken Loans— and the Department of Justice (DOJ) went back and forth in a legal battle accusing the lender of improperly originating and underwriting Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured mortgages.”Those who do business with the United States must act in good faith, including lenders that participate in the FHA mortgage insurance program,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “To protect the housing market and the FHA fund, we will continue to hold responsible lenders that knowingly violate the rules.”In response, Quicken accused the DOJ of perpetrating a “witch hunt” against them and of continuing “abusive practices.””The complaint filed today is riddled with inaccurate and twisted conclusions from fragments of a handful of emails cherry-picked from 85,000 documents that the DOJ subpoenaed,” Quicken said in a statement on its website. “Worse than that, the DOJ appears to be basing their entire case on a handful of out-of-context email conversations skimmed from the communication between Quicken Loans employees. These conversations relate to a miniscule number of loans out of the nearly 250,000 FHA mortgages the company has closed over the past seven years.”Well now, that lender is now tossing around the idea of exiting the government program altogether.Reuters reported that Quicken Loans, the nation’s third-largest mortgage lender, may leave the FHA home loan program with regards to how they handle bad mortgages.JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo are other banks that are grappling with the FHA about their mortgage loan program, Reuters said.”After three years of struggling to understand the DOJ’s position and methodology,” Quicken CEO Bill Emerson said earlier this year. “It is time to ask the court to intervene. It’s a shame the DOJ would choose to attack the country’s largest and highest quality FHA lender … at the very time our nation needs expanded access to credit for middle-class Americans who benefit most from the FHA program.”Quicken Loans did not immediately respond for comment when contacted Wednesday afternoon.Reuters reported:”Lenders including Quicken say the FHA demands repayments for even the most minor of mistakes that a bank may make when extending a loan, to force them to bear the agency’s losses, making the government’s insurance an illusion.””Now Quicken, the largest FHA lender, is looking at bowing out as well, company founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert told Reuters. It is also considering cutting the risk it takes in the program, he said.”Brian Montgomery, The Collingwood Group Vice Chairman and former FHA Commissioner explained that if Quicken decides to proceed with this “troubling pattern of FHA lenders believing the risk of Justice Department enforcement down the road for failing to underwrite to near perfect standards far outweighs any financial benefit to the lender. I suspect most lenders never thought they’d see the day where the nation’s flagship home-buying program created in the Roosevelt Administration would be shunned by lenders fearful of government reprisal.He added, “As more lenders retreat from FHA, it only shrinks the number of potential homebuyers hoping to buy their first home with a low down payment–the hallmark of FHA lending.”Click here to view the full report from Reuters. Department of Justice FHA Home Loan Quicken Loans 2015-12-02 Staff Writer Quicken Loans Raises Speculation of Exiting FHA Home-Loan Program in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Originationcenter_img December 2, 2015 602 Views Sharelast_img read more

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Tom Reaves Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at NoteExpo Convention

first_img Lifetime Achievement Award National Asset Advisors NoteExpo Convention NoteSchool 2016-01-14 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Headlines, News Tom Reaves Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at NoteExpo Convention Co-founder of National Asset Advisors Tom Reaves, who has partnered with NoteSchool for over 10 years, was given a lifetime achievement award at the NoteExpo Convention “for his “high moral business standards, visionary leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and his lifetime commitment to the Note Industry.”NoteSchool founder Eddie Speed presented the award at the ceremony after mentioning that Reaves and co-founder David Campbell “have always been dedicated to maintaining a moral compass within the company—in both good and bad economic times.”“Our industry has gone through massive changes over the last few years,” said Reaves. “In order to survive we had to be nimble and change to meet the new challenges created by government regulations. We were able to accomplish this transition because of the diligence of our talented employees. By meeting these challenges head-on, we have become stronger and better able to service our customers while maintaining our goal of ‘doing the right thing every time.’”Speed added, “Nothing has shaken Tom’s consistent attitude of ‘doing the right thing by everyone.”National Asset Advisors, LLC and National Asset Mortgage, LLC, both Reaves’ affiliated companies, have worked with Speed and NoteExpo for a long time. Recently, the companies partnered to help members of the NoteSchool Mentorship program with loan origination, servicing notes, collections, and preservation.“Students in our mentorship program range from highly sophisticated investors to those who are new to the business,” Speed explained. “We realized that there was a gap in the process that NAA is so uniquely qualified to provide–anywhere from billing to specialty services. The company has established procedures, a proven track record, and incredible scalability–all services that offer a perfect fit for the investors in our mentorship program.”center_img January 14, 2016 573 Views Sharelast_img read more

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Genworth Launches Enterprise MI Underwriting Platform

first_img GENie Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp. Underwriting 2016-05-18 Staff Writer Share Genworth Mortgage Insurance, a subsidiary of Genworth Financial, Inc.,  announced the launch of GENie, a highly automated enterprise underwriting platform designed to streamline its operations and enhance underwriter productivity.According to Genworth, GENie automates manual underwriting processes such as document classification, data extraction, loan routing/assignment, and performance management, eliminating the need for underwriters to interface with multiple systems.“Innovation and technology that streamline our underwriting services remain a top priority for us,” said Paul Gomez, SVP and COO, Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “GENie is the type of platform that allows us to continue offering industry-leading turnaround times and drive new efficiencies via automation, further enhancing Genworth’s reputation as a mortgage insurance underwriting company determined to stay ahead of the technological curve and to make it even easier for our customers to do business.”The platform, developed in conjunction with leading mortgage technology provider, Tavant Technologies, will also improve workflow via a series of enhanced dashboards that more clearly demonstrate the progress of each individual underwriting application.“We’re thrilled to have collaborated with Genworth in the development of GENie,” said Hassan Rashid, EVP–Global Sales & Marketing, Tavant Technologies. “As the mortgage insurance industry continues to innovate, platforms like GENie will be key drivers in streamlining operations and maximizing efficiencies.” Genworth Launches Enterprise MI Underwriting Platformcenter_img in Headlines, News, Technology May 18, 2016 565 Views last_img read more

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Carrington Adds Conventional Loan Products

first_img June 21, 2016 503 Views in Headlines, News Carrington Adds Conventional Loan Products The Wholesale Lending Division of Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC, has announced the addition of conventional loans to its suite of products.The addition of conventional loans adds to Carrington’s government lending experience, which provides more choices for Carrington’s broker customers, agent partners, and clients, according to the announcement.“Together with our government product line and expertise, Carrington is the go-to lender for both government and conventional lending, ensuring we’re able to provide loan choices across the entire market to enable brokers to serve a more diverse range of customers in Bringing Their Loans Home,” said Ray Brousseau, EVP of Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC’s Mortgage Lending Division.The new conventional loan products offered by Carrington include: conforming fixed rate loans (purchase/refinance available), conforming, high balance (higher loan amounts, purchase/refinance), Freddie Open Access (Refinance), DU Refi Plus (Refinance), lender paid mortgage insurance (LPMI), and Texas Home Equity.“With the addition of our Wholesale Lending conventional loan products, Carrington can now offer even more purchase loan options for borrowers with great credit, first-time homebuyers, those needing a low down payment and the underserved,” said Patrick Flanagan, EVP of Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC’s Wholesale Lending Division. “Combined with our great service and fast turn-times, that makes it possible for us to better serve brokers and consumers—putting more people, and more families, in the home they want.”center_img Carrington Mortgage Services Conventional Loan Products 2016-06-21 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

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