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Quality Hotel Taylors Lakes wins international award

first_imgQuality Hotel Taylors Lakes, part of Choice Hotels Australasia, has had a major win, receiving the 2015 International Quality Hotel of the Year award in Las Vegas.The hotel was eligible to win the title after it was awarded the 2014 Quality Hotel of the Year in Australasia.The Melbourne-based property came equal first with Quality Hotel Curitiba in Brazil, at the Choice Hotels International Convention, competing against hundreds of hotels around the world.Choice Hotels Australasia chief executive officer Trent Fraser said the award is a result of the hotel’s commitment to providing outstanding guest service.“The entire team at Choice Hotels Australasia is so proud of the Australian property, recognised internationally with this award and setting the standards for the entire industry,” Mr Fraser said.The four-star hotel was recognised for demonstrating excellence in the hospitality industry and for providing outstanding customer service.Quality Hotel Taylors Lakes general manager Eric Visscher said the hotel would not have received the award without the support of Choice Hotels.“This partnership has given us the backing and support of a global hotel group who have assisted in improving operational efficiencies, driving new business and improving standards across the property,” Mr Visscher said.“Our hard working staff thrives on providing exceptional service to our guests and we are so honoured to receive this international award.”The hotel features 58 guest rooms and provides guests with complimentary Wi-Fi, daily breakfast, two restaurants, gym facilities and a complimentary shuttle bus service.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

CeBIT 2016 secures major international delegation for expo

first_imgIn a major coup, CeBIT Australia, Asia Pacific’s largest and longest running business technology event, has today announced China, Taiwan, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and Germany will exhibit as country Pavilions at the 2016 show, resulting in roughly 115 technology companies being introduced to the Australian market.Due to CeBIT’s international presence, solid visitation numbers and NSW’s reputation as a leader in business technology, the 2016 show is viewed as a strong opportunity for international companies and governments to explore, meet and do business with local businesses.CeBIT Australia’s International Pavilions will connect technology solutions to a senior audience of government, enterprise and SME technology buyers and sellers.Harvey Stockbridge, Managing Director of Hannover Fairs Australia – organisers of CeBIT Australia, said for those Australian companies interested in identifying potential international customers or vendors, or for those looking to expand abroad, the 2016 International Pavilions will allow them to easily connect with overseas companies and industry organisations.“The International Pavilions provide exhibitors and visitors with the opportunity to explore new business partnerships,” said Mr Stockbridge.A representative from this year’s Korean delegation, Mr Kyungjun Lee from Telit Wireless Solutions, will again join 20 Korean technology companies at the 2016 event. Mr Lee said CeBIT provides them with the perfect platform to showcase their innovative Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.“This year we had numerous quality meetings with potential customers and received many enquiries about our product range,” explained Mr Lee.Whilst six countries have confirmed their participation in the 2016 show, more International Pavilions will be secured in the near future.“It’s imperative that we have a significant contingent of countries on board so that we truly do provide a one-stop-shop for businesses across the Asia-Pacific region to have access to the latest solutions, people and businesses.“As NSW is Australia’s ICT capital, accounting for 43% of Australia’s total ICT businesses and home to two-thirds of Australia’s technology start-up companies, we present a unique opportunity for our international partners to explore NSW as a viable regional business location, and therefore ensuring the future of NSW as the desirable destination in which to do business,” concluded Mr Stockbridge.CeBIT Australia will take place 2 – 4 May 2016 at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush. CeBIT AustraliaSource = CeBIT Australialast_img read more

Anantara Vacation Club appoints Maurizio Bisicky as CCO

first_imgSource = Anantara Vacation Club Anantara Vacation Club appoints Maurizio Bisicky as CCOAnantara Vacation Club appoints Maurizio Bisicky as Chief Commercial OfficerAnantara Vacation Club, Asia’s leading luxury shared ownership concept for discerning travellers, is pleased to announce that Maurizio Bisicky, formerly Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, has been appointed to the role of Chief Commercial Officer.As Chief Commercial Officer, his scope includes Sales & Marketing, overseeing the Club Services and Resort Operations teams and developing the Human Resources division, with a key focus on attracting top talent.Since joining the company in May, Maurizio has helped drive leads across all of its sales and marketing centres and has increased the total number of Anantara Vacation Club Points Owners by 13% in 2016’s last two quarters. He oversaw the opening of a new Club Resort in Chiang Mai in October 2016 and has enabled Anantara Vacation Club to partner with a number of industry leaders in the banking, hospitality and aviation sectors through his strategic and innovative initiatives.About Anantara Vacation ClubLaunched in 2010, Anantara Vacation Club is Asia’s premiere shared holiday ownership programme. Offering a portfolio of eight luxurious Club Resorts across Thailand, Indonesia, China and New Zealand, it provides Club Points Owners and their guests with the opportunity to explore top holiday destinations. Club Points Owners’ travel opportunities are further enhanced through the use of the flexible Club Escapes and Global Traveller programmes, which provide access to hundreds of partner resorts and hotels internationally.Anantara Vacation Club is part of Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor with a current portfolio of 155 properties under the Anantara, AVANI, Elewana, Four Seasons, Marriott, Oaks, PER AQUUM, Tivoli and St-Regis brands. Today, Minor Hotels operates in 23 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe and South America.For more information, please visit, or follow Anantara Vacation Club’s blog or social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Weibo.last_img read more

Hilton delivers another recordsetting year set up for continued outp

first_img2016 was an extraordinarily impactful year for Hilton (NYSE:HLT), which achieved record pipeline and net unit growth, accomplished its most successful brand launch with Tru by Hilton and maintained its position as the fastest-growing hospitality company. It also completed the spin-offs of Park Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations, creating three pure-play businesses that will lead their respective segments with tremendous growth potential.“For nearly 100 years, one name has stood for hospitality: Hilton. And it’s for this reason that we continue to build on our success and expand at a rapid rate,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president & CEO, Hilton. “As the result of our spin-offs, Hilton is a more simplified, focused and resilient business, which allows us to offer even more exceptional experiences to our guests, extensive opportunities to our Team Members and premium returns for our hotel owners and shareholders.”Hilton’s major highlights in 2016 include:Global Development HighlightsHeld its position as the fastest-growing global hospitality company on an organic net unit growth percentage basis. Grew its pipeline to a record of more than 300,000 rooms, with more than one in five hotel rooms under construction globally destined for Hilton brands, which is 4.5 times Hilton’s existing share of global rooms. Four of Hilton’s brands make up the top five brands in the industry under construction globally. Approved 106,000 new rooms, started construction on 76,000 rooms and delivered net unit growth of 45,000 rooms, representing 6.6 percent growth of the managed and franchised portfolio. Opened nearly one property a day (a total of 354 properties) and expanded its footprint across five new countries (Philippines, Armenia, Montenegro, Estonia and Morocco) for a total of 104 countries and territories. Launched its 13th brand – Tru by Hilton – which has become the fastest-growing new brand in company history and we believe the most successful new-build hotel brand in the industry, with nearly 400 deals now signed or in progress.Enterprise HighlightsWelcomed 150 million guests to its nearly 4,900 owned, managed and franchised properties.Created nearly 20,000 new hotel jobs worldwide as a result of opening managed and franchised properties across its portfolio.Grew the HHonors loyalty program by 9 million members for a total of nearly 60 million members, accounting for 55 percent of total room occupancy.Named one of the “World’s 25 Best Multinational Workplaces” by Great Place to Work®, as well as one of Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies” and Boston Consulting Group’s “Most Innovative Companies.”Regional Development HighlightsAmericas: For the second consecutive year, Hilton delivered a record number of approvals across the region – signing more than 600 deals, representing approximately 73,000 rooms. Europe, Middle East and Africa: Hilton closed the year with almost 100 new approvals (approximately 16,500 rooms) including its first properties in Lithuania, Latvia and Serbia. Asia Pacific: Hilton had a record-breaking year for approvals with the signing of nearly 17,000 rooms. Greater China alone also had a banner year with nearly 60 deals (more than 12,000 rooms) signed, including the first two Curio – A Collection by Hilton and Canopy by Hilton hotels. Hampton by Hilton opened seven hotels and signed 30 hotels in China through its partnership with Plateno Hotels Group.Brand HighlightsLuxury and Lifestyle: Hilton’s luxury and lifestyle portfolio continues to grow. Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts has 26 properties open and 12 new hotels in the pipeline, including the soon-to-open Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills and recently signed Waldorf Astoria San Francisco properties and Conrad Hotels & Resorts has 29 properties with the recent openings of the Conrad Manila, Conrad Makkah, Conrad Pune, Conrad Chicago and Conrad Xiamen along with 21 in the pipeline. Canopy by Hilton opened its first hotel, Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Center in Iceland, and the brand has an additional 29 properties in the pipeline.Full Service: Hilton Hotels & Resorts has one of the largest pipelines of any upper upscale brand. In 2016, the brand opened hotels in strategic markets including Hilton Brooklyn New York, Hilton Cleveland Downtown, Hilton Podgorica Crna Gora in Montenegro, Hilton Bali Resort and Hilton Edinburgh Carlton. Curio – A Collection by Hilton has rapidly grown to more than 30 upper upscale hotels with 7,000 rooms around the globe since its 2014 launch with locations that include some of the world’s most sought-after destinations such as Reichshof Hamburg, Anselmo Buenos Aires and Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza. DoubleTree by Hilton expanded in key markets including DoubleTree by Hilton London Kingston Upon Thames, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Mexico City Santa Fe.Focused Service: Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton continued their strong development presence across all regions. Hilton Garden Inn celebrated its 700th hotel opening in Downtown Asheville, N.C. and opened in its 50th state with the Kauai Wailua Bay and Waikiki Beach locations, in addition to opening in six new countries. The largest brand within the portfolio, Hampton by Hilton, successfully entered all 50 states with the opening of the Oahu Kapolei location and continued its rapid international growth, including the opening of the flagship hotel in Guangzhou Zhujiang New Town. Tru by Hiltonlaunched a year ago and now has nearly 400 deals signed or in progress and will open its first hotel in the first half of 2017.All Suites: In 2016, Hilton’s All Suites category reinforced its position as an industry leader, celebrating the opening of its 750thproperty and closing the year with more than 500 hotels in the pipeline. Embassy Suites by Hilton, which has the largest upper upscale new build pipeline in the U.S., announced the upcoming Embassy Suites by Hilton New York Midtown Manhattan and Embassy by Hilton Riyadh King Fahd Road, the brand’s first property in the Middle East. The brand also signed two new hotels in Canada, Embassy Suites by Hilton Montreal Airport and Embassy Suites by Hilton Toronto Airport, and the brand’s first property in Aruba, Embassy Suites by Hilton Aruba Resort. Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton celebrated the opening of their 400th and 100th properties respectively. Innovation HighlightsThe Hilton HHonors app, the company’s award-winning guest-loyalty program app, has been downloaded more than 3.6 million times (downloaded every 8 seconds) and is the highest rated travel app in the Apple App Store.Digital check-in with room selection, the hospitality industry’s first-and-only way for travelers to check in and select the exact room they want, is available worldwide at more that 4,700 hotels and has been used more than 22 million times since it launched in the summer of 2014. It is currently used at a rate of more than one million times per month. Hilton guests can now access their rooms through the Hilton HHonors app via Digital Key functionality, currently available in 750 hotels. Hilton will continue to build on this industry-leading capability, with an additional 2,500 hotels around the globe expected to offer the service by the end of 2017.Great Place to Work HighlightsEarned the following workplace recognitions: Great Place to Work® recognized Hilton as one of the World’s 25 Best Multinational Workplaces. Hilton also ranked in all 14 country lists where it was eligible in 2016 including ranking #1 in China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.Great Place to Work® and Fortune named Hilton as one of the 100 Best Workplaces, Best Workplaces for Women and Best Workplaces for Millennials.Led the charge in addressing the challenge of global youth unemployment, by connecting, preparing or employing more than 150,000 young people.Achieved its Operation: Opportunity goal two years early, hiring 10,000 U.S. military veterans and their family members in just three years.Developed a workplace culture that attracts the best talent by introducing unique benefits such as: A best-in-class parental leave policy;A best-in-industry adoption assistance program;The Go Hilton Team Member travel program, a global, system-wide framework to support travel for Team Members and their family and friends.Joined 28 other leading businesses, including Apple, Coca-Cola, Facebook and General Motors, in signing the White House’s Equal Pay Pledge.Included on Newsweek’s “Top Green Companies in the U.S.” list and Forbes’ “The Just 100: America’s Best Corporate Citizens” list. *Industry data from STR GlobalAbout HiltonHilton (NYSE:HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising nearly 4,900 properties with more than 796,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company’s portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to benefits including an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi, as well as digital amenities that are available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app, where Hilton HHonors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. Visit for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTubeSource = Hilton – Business Wire Hilton’s 2016 Year In Review (Photo: Business Wire)Hilton delivers another record-setting year, set up for continued outperformancelast_img read more

Record domestic travel growth as more Aussies holiday in their own bac

first_imgRecord domestic travel growth as more Aussies holiday in their own backyardAustralia’s domestic visitor economy continues to set new records with the latest figures for 2017 revealing strong growth in overnight trips, nights and expenditure.The National Visitor Survey released today by Tourism Research Australia has confirmed that in the year ending March 2017 there were 91.7 million overnights trips (up three per cent), 335.5 million visitor nights (up four per cent) and $61.7 billion in overnight expenditure (up six per cent).Tourism & Transport Forum Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said the latest data shows that the nation’s visitor economy continues to go from strength to strength with more Australians choosing to explore the beauty and attractions of their island continent than ever before.“With each set of data coming out it is becoming more and more apparent that the visitor economy is the Australian economy’s great success story,” Ms Osmond said.“The staggering growth we are seeing reflects the increasing number of Australians who are choosing to pass on an overseas holiday in favour of experiencing the wonders of their own backyard.“The data also shows that there is a real shift towards people heading interstate for their holidays instead of simply just heading down the coast for a few days, for example.”Ms Osmond said NSW continues to lead the charge with $16.17 billion in overnight visitor expenditure, followed closely by Queensland ($15.3 billion) and Victoria ($12.7 billion).“The ACT has recorded double digit growth (16 per cent) while Tasmania has seen a staggering 30 per cent rise, which is testament to the value of our state-based tourism bodies and their campaigns to encourage more Australians to holiday at home.“South Australia ($3.9 billion) and the Northern Territory ($1.9 billion) continue to perform strongly, despite the NT seeing a seven per cent decrease in overnight trips.“Western Australia has unfortunately seen a five per cent decline in visitors and a two per cent decrease in expenditure, which may be the result of fewer business trips to the state as the mining economy continues to cool.” Tourism & Transport ForumSource = Tourism & Transport Forumlast_img read more

Crystal marks first construction milestone

first_imgCrystal marks first construction milestoneCrystal marks first construction milestoneCrystal marked an important construction milestone in Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises’ expansion, as it cut the first piece of steel for Crystal Endeavor at MV WERFTEN Shipyard in Stralsund, Germany.Crystal president and CEO, Tom Wolber, was joined by Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman and CEO of Crystal’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong (GHK); Colin Au, group president of GHK; Jarmo Laakso, CEO of MV WERFTEN; and local dignitaries Harry Glawe, Economics Minister of the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and Dr. Alexander Badrow, Lord Mayor of Stralsund at the ceremony held at the shipyard on Monday, January 15.“Today is a special day in the development of Crystal Endeavor, which will introduce the next level of exploration for the Crystal brand,” Wolber said. “We are pleased to collaborate again with the experts at MV WERFTEN as we work toward a vision for Crystal Endeavor that truly embodies the spirit of discovery of Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises.”“We look forward to this innovative expedition yacht with great anticipation in the Stralsund shipyard,” Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said. “A highlight is our investment of over 20 million euros in new equipment so that the Stralsund shipyard will be able to continue to build cruise ships efficiently in the future.”“Crystal Endeavor is a truly exceptional ship. We are proud to be able to implement this project and are particularly pleased to, once again, be starting shipbuilding activities in the Stralsund shipyard, creating hundreds of new jobs,” Laakso said.Set to debut in 2020, Crystal Endeavor will be the largest and most spacious purpose-built Polar Class ship featuring Crystal’s celebrated service and hospitality, all-suite, butler-serviced accommodations, and unmatched choices for bold adventure in the world’s most remote destinations.Source = Crystallast_img read more

Travel Managers All Time High First Quarter

first_imgChief Operating Officer – Grant CampbellTravel Managers All Time High First QuarterHaving set the ball rolling with strong sales in January, TravelManagers has gone on to smash it out of the park with a record-breaking first quarter for 2019: a result which Chief Operating Officer, Grant Campbell, explains as the culmination of a strong January and best-ever trading month in February followed by a record March.“Year on year, we have experienced more than seven percent growth in our first quarter, thanks in large part to strong sales for long-haul destinations. The destination with the highest percentage growth was Asia, with an increase of more than 17 percent, which, when combined with a seven percent increase for Africa, contributed to a 70 percent increase in total adventure travel sales.”Campbell reports that TravelManagers has also recorded double-digit growth in both Australia and New Zealand, at 11.5 percent and 11 percent respectively.“We also achieved close to ten percent growth in one of our most high-value destinations, Europe,” he adds. “It’s very pleasing to see strong results occurring across all destinations, rather than being confined to just a few.”Other categories to have recorded strong results in the first quarter include guided coach tours and customised holiday packages, which have increased by 27 percent and 21 percent respectively.“These categories tend to feature more extensive, detailed itineraries: it’s a great indication that our personal travel managers (PTMs) are continuing to focus on designing holiday experiences that are individually tailored to their clients’ needs.”Sports-related travel has also increased significantly year-on-year, and although it represents a relatively small percentage of TravelManagers’ total sales volume, Campbell describes this achievement as a hallmark of the company’s overall philosophy.“We have a network of PTMs who among them represent a vast range of interests when it comes to travel, and every area of the company is designed to foster that entrepreneurial spirit so that they can grow their businesses by pursuing those interests.”When asked to predict what lies ahead for the remainder of 2019, Campbell points to the previous year’s results.“Every year since TravelManagers began, we have achieved a new record for first quarter sales, which has always served as a strong foundation for the year ahead. Whilst we can expect this year to present its share of challenges along the way, we’re off to a great start and have every reason to expect great things from 2019.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagersTravelManagers is Australia’s market leader and biggest home-based travel business operating in all States & Territories. A wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $2 billion for 2019, TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel. TravelManagers is solely dedicated to providing the best possible support to its network of more than 560 personal travel managers throughout Australia, through a dedicated team at the company’s National Partnership Office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer funds in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are secure and only used for client purchases. This is supported by a Trust Account Fidelity Risk insurance policy to protect all clients’ funds in the unlikely event they are missing from, or not paid into the Insured Trust Account. Source = TravelManagerslast_img read more

Trafalgar instils confidence to Indian agents with majority departures

first_imgTrafalgar, the leading provider of guided holidays, assures travels agents confidence and peace of mind ahead of the peak booking season for the India market. With over 80% of its departures guaranteed that translates to thousands of departures across its entire 200+ range of itineraries from April all through to October 2015, travel agents can now confidently secure every piece of the consumer business.“We want to give our agents 100% confidence in their business when they work with Trafalgar, in these less-than-robust economic times. Besides helping to build our partners’ business with good and sustainable mutual returns, we look to give their guests a holiday of a lifetime with Trafalgar,” said Nicholas Lim, President of Trafalgar (Asia).Trafalgar recently awarded the Gold Trusted Merchant status from Feefo, the global ratings and reviews provider used by the world’s most trusted brands. “We let our guests satisfaction rating of 96% speak for itself. Our rating was based on over 7,500 independent, unedited guest reviews conducted during 2014. So it is important that our trade partners know and trust that their guests would have a great quality experience and are well taken care of when they are with Trafalgar,” added Lim.last_img read more

SITA maximises airport capacity through Airport Management solution

first_imgSITA has completed deploying its next-generation Airport Management solution across 10 airports in India. The unique implementation includes inter-airport collaboration, with airport operations control centres (AOCCs) linking to the central control at Chennai International Airport and a back-up site at Kolkata.The Airports Authority of India (AAI) now has an overview of all 10 airports, enabling optimisation of resources and equipment as well as proactive control over operations. The 10 airports are Chennai International Airport, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, Pune Airport, Tiruchirapalli International Airport, Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut International Airport, Mangalore Airport, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati and Jaipur International Airport.The solution, deployed in partnership with NIIT, was completed in June 2015. Results like operational efficiencies, data security and reduced revenue leakage have already been witnessed. The airport authority’s command and control centre forms the core of the system, which monitors and manages operations at all 10 airports in real-time.Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President for India and Subcontinent said, “The result is enhanced inter-airport collaboration using easy-to-use modules for operational planning, giving the airports the flexibility needed to plan and improve business results through a highly integrated approach. Everyone benefits as well as increased efficiency, the automation of flight processing and key processes helps provide more accurate information to passengers. And it facilitates accurate and faster billing cycles for airlines.”SITA’s Airport Management solution, in its adoption of the airport collaborative decision making (A-CDM), has proved to be a stepping stone for these airports.  A-CDM is a unified operational process that begins with the activation of an air traffic control flight plan and covers both arrival and ground-handling activities and procedures through to an aircraft’s turnaround and departure.last_img read more

Indrajit Sarkar

first_imgMy experience at OTM was really good. I found it to be very well organised. The Hosted Buyer- Seller meet was a unique programme which helped exchange ideas. We have got a lot of new contacts and have found new destinations and service providers. The sellers will also be happy that they have got some genuine contacts from the forum. We eagerly look forward to the next OTM.last_img

Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau highlights results as economic catalysts at Annual

first_imgThe Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) presented key findings on the hospitality industry at its Annual Report Business Meeting. 18 citywide conventions, the most in a decade and an increase in overseas visitation combined to bring 1.3 million overnight visitors to Philadelphia. Both factors have contributed to a growth in hospitality-related jobs, hotel room nights booked and overall visitor spends – all markers of the industry’s success and impact on the local economy.“The PHLCVB has played a major role in the positive growth and development of our city. Through their work, Philadelphia is now viewed as a top destination for meetings, conventions, sporting events and visitors from across the globe,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.As the official tourism promotion agency for Philadelphia globally and the primary sales and marketing organisation for the Pennsylvania Convention Centre, the PHLCVB coordinates efforts with local partners and seven international representation offices around the world to bring visitors to the city.“2018 set new records across most of our industry’s key performance metrics – more visitors came to our city, stayed in our hotels and spent money with local businesses,” said PHLCVB Chairman of the Board Nick DeBenedictis. “This economic activity drives results for our city and region by generating taxes and supporting the 74,300 hospitality-related jobs in Philadelphia, which has grown by 15% since 2013. Tourism and hospitality are one of the city’s largest and fastest growing employment sectors and the visitors we bring to the city create stability and opportunity for workers across a broad spectrum of jobs.”PHLCVB’s annual report also contained the most recent data (2017) for overseas visitation to Philadelphia. The Global Tourism Department travels to domestic and international trade shows to promote and position the city as a leisure travel destination. In 2018, the team participated in 48 trade shows in 14 countries, led 14 sales missions in 12 countries and hosted 334 travel buyers from 21 countries. Additionally, the Philadelphia-based team hosted 96 international media from over 19 countries and placed over 1,600 stories about Philadelphia as a leisure travel destination in the overseas travel trade and consumer media.last_img read more

Markets Squeeze Banks Homebuilding Companies

first_img Agents & Brokers Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association National Association of Home Builders Processing S & P Index Service Providers Unemployment 2011-08-10 Ryan Schuette in Data, Origination, Servicing August 10, 2011 454 Views The Dow Jones Industrial Average swept clean Tuesday’s historic gains with a 519.83-point nosedive Wednesday, reflecting widespread fears about contagious European debt, the impact of “”Standard & Poor’s””: downgrades, and an economic slowdown worldwide. Signaling further distress for housing markets, banks with thick mortgage portfolios and homebuilding companies saw their stocks tumble in an investor stampede for the exits.[IMAGE]Three major mortgage giants saw selloffs rout their Tuesday victories. After watching their stocks soar skyward by some 17 percent Tuesday, shares for “”Bank of America””: plummeted some 11 percent into the red Wednesday, closing at $6.77. “”JPMorgan Chase””: fell less dramatically, with shares falling 5.58 percent to close at $34.37. “”Wells Fargo’s””: shares landed between the three at 7.67 percent and closed at $22.88 per share.A sample of homebuilding companies fared marginally better. “”KBH Homes””: plunged 11.27-percent low, closing shares at $6.22. “”Lennar Corp.””: ended the day by falling 9.26 percent off-course, closing shares at $13.32, alongside “”Beazer Homes USA, Inc.””:, which plummeted by nearly 12 percent to close at $1.62 per share. “”PulteGroup, Inc.””: dove by some 9.21 percent to tie off shares at $4.24. Dipping to a lesser extent, “”D.R. Horton, Inc.””: achieved $9.18 per share by only dropping by some 3.90 percent, as “”Toll Brothers, Inc.””: raced past at 6.46 percent to close shares at $15.64.Following the Dow closely, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 plunged 101.47 points and 51.77 points, respectively. The “”CBOE Volatility Index””:, which tracks market fears and worries, rounded out the bad news for banks, homebuilding companies, and many others by jumping 22.62 percent Wednesday.The bipolar stock market cycles back and forth at a bad time for the homebuilding industry in particular.[COLUMN_BREAK]In July a “”National Association of Home Builders””: (NAHB) monthly index registered slight improvements in homebuilder confidence, which moved up two points to reach 15 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a trend that stayed within a three-point zone over the past 10 months. Another NAHB index found remodeling activity, a key metric for economic health, falling to 43.9 percent over the second quarter this year.””_The Wall Street Journal_””: reports that S&P’s debt-ceiling downgrades, alongside weakening consumer confidence, continues to sink homebuilder earnings, with the latest reports seeming to fall hardest for Beazer Homes.The _Journal_ quotes Beazer’s CEO, Allan Merrill, as saying recently that he worries about “”people├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª [who] are not starting that eight-to-12 week [sales] process”” over concerns spurred by wider economic worries.Mike Fratatoni, VP of research and economics at the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:, tells _MReport_ that the housing economy may continue to experience fallout from the zigzagging stocks and debt downgrades.””This uncertainty is going to be harmful for the market, because people are just going to pause├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª and it will be very difficult for someone to buy a home,”” he says.Doug Duncan, chief economist for “”Fannie Mae””:, says investors are wary about fallout from S&P’s downgrades but see the spreading debt crisis in Europe as more consequential.””The downgrade was simply an acknowledgement that the political process has not yet attacked the long-term fiscal questions of the country, but I don’t think it is fundamentally about whether the potential of the U.S. economy is there to repay its obligations,”” he says.The GSE downgrades “”will have an impact on how their obligations are viewed by the market,”” Duncan adds, “”but at present there hasn’t been a lot of impact because Europe has flooded up and distracted folks”” from troubles in U.S. markets.On Wednesday a “”_Washington Post_””: story attributed renewed selloffs stateside to signs that the European debt crisis will hit Italy and Spain, following downturns in Greece and Portugal.Fratatoni waves away concerns about S&P’s downgrades and events in foreign markets.””As long as we can get back to some fairly steady job growth and reduce some unemployment in the country … the underlying fundamentals of the U.S. economy”” will steer the housing sector back on track, he says.center_img Share Markets Squeeze Banks, Homebuilding Companieslast_img read more

Officers at Arizona Mortgage Firm Sentenced for Roles in 28M Fraud

first_img Share Officers at Arizona Mortgage Firm Sentenced for Roles in $28M Fraud A North Dakota judge sentenced two officers from an Arizona mortgage originator for their roles in a $28 million scheme to defraud North Dakota-based BNC National Bank.[IMAGE]According to a release from the Office of the “”Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program””: (SIGTARP), Scott N. Powers, former CEO of American Mortgage Specialists (AMS), and David McMaster, a former officer of the same company, were sentenced to serve 96 and 188 months in prison, respectively.Powers and McMaster were accused of falsely representing the financial and operational condition of AMS, including inflating the dollar amount of loans sold to banks and other lenders, in order to obtain funding from BNC and personal benefits for themselves. The alleged fraud resulted in a loss of more than $28 million to BNC, which had to sell some of its assets and could not make its required dividend payments to TARP as a result.””American taxpayers invested $20 million of TARP funds in BNC to stabilize the bank, not to provide an opportunity to fund crime,”” said Special Inspector General Christy Romero. “”SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners will bring to justice and hold accountable those who look at TARP as an opportunity to finance criminal activity.””The two men pleaded guilty on October 19, 2012, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud affecting a financial institution. In addition to their prison terms, they were each ordered to pay a money judgment to the government of approximately $28.6 million and also to pay restitution to BNC in the same amount.Powers and McMaster were not the first officers from AMS to face punishment for the alleged fraud. Lauretta Horton, formerly the director of accounting for AMS, and David Kaufman, formerly the external auditor, were previously sentenced for their own related offenses. July 2, 2013 453 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers SIGTARP TARP 2013-07-02 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

National MI to Insure 5B in Fannie Mae Loans

first_img “”National Mortgage Insurance Corporation””: (National MI) announced Wednesday it will insure about $5 billion in residential mortgages in its first risk transfer transaction with “”Fannie Mae””: National MI received the offer through a formal bid process to private mortgage insurers. According to a company release, Fannie Mae’s decision was based on the mortgage insurer’s favorable terms and conditions, and beneficial risk share attributes.The Emeryville, California-based National MI is a newer company that was approved by the GSEs as a qualified mortgage insurer in January of this year and began writing business in April. National MI to Insure $5B in Fannie Mae Loans Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Fannie Mae Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-08-01 Esther Cho in Secondary Marketcenter_img August 1, 2013 463 Views Sharelast_img read more

Citi Ups Earnings in Third Quarter

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Headlines, News October 14, 2014 427 Views Citigroup reported an increase of 7 percent in its net income from $3.2 billion up to $3.4 billion year-over-year in the company’s 2014 Third Quarter Earnings Report released on Tuesday.The net income increase was driven by higher revenues and a decline in credit costs and was partially offset by higher operating expenses. Excluding credit value adjustment/debit value adjustment (CVA/DVA) in both periods and the tax benefit from the prior year, Citigroup’s net income for Q3 was $3.7 billion, representing a 13 percent year-over-year increase.Overall, Citigroup’s revenues increased by 9 percent year-over-year in Q3, up to $19.6 billion. Without CVA/DVA, the company reported revenues of $20 billion, which marked a 10 percent increase from the same period in 2013. The revenue increase was driven by Citicorp revenue growth of 8 percent and an increase in Citi Holdings revenues of 30 percent.Citigroup’s loans and deposits were each down by 1 percent in Q3 from the same period in 2013. Loans dropped slightly down to $654 billion while deposits fell to $943 billion. Citigroup’s loans increased by 1 percent and deposits remained largely unchanged on a constant dollar basis, however. Declines in Citi Holdings, driven mostly by the North America mortgage portfolio, partially offset growth in Citicorp.Global Consumer Banking (GCB) revenues in North America climbed by 5 percent in Q3 from the prior year up to $5.0 billion, reporting higher revenues in retail banking, Citi-branded cards, and Citi retail services. Revenues for retail banking jumped by 9 percent from Q3 2013 to Q3 2014, an increase that reflects a 9 percent increase in average loans and a 2 percent hike in average deposits. The gains in retail banking also reflect higher revenues in the U.S. mortgage business driven by an approximate $50 million repurchase reserve release in Q3. GCB net income in North America was reported at $1.2 billion in Q3, an increase of 33 percent from Q3 2013.Citi Holdings reported a net income of $238 million in Q3, compared with a net loss of $115 million from the same period a year ago. Excluding CVA/DVA, Citi Holdings’ net income was $272 million compared with a net loss of $113 million in Q3 2013. The gains in Q3 2014 were driven by higher revenues, lower operating expenses, and lower net credit losses. Net credit losses experienced a 45 percent decline in Q3 from the previous year, down to $347 million, fueled by improvements in the North America mortgage portfolio. The net loan loss reserve release plummeted by 79 percent in Q3 year-over-year, mostly due to the North America mortgage portfolio-related lower releases.center_img Citigroup Profits Quarterly Earnings 2014-10-14 Seth Welborn Citi Ups Earnings in Third Quarterlast_img read more

Poll Half of Adults Plan to Buy a Home

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News May 8, 2017 644 Views Poll: Half of Adults Plan to Buy a Homecenter_img buy a home Gallup Homebuying Homeownership HOUSING mortgage 2017-05-08 Aly J. Yale A new Gallup Poll shows that about half of all non-homeowner adults plan to purchase a home within the next five years. Ten percent of that group say they’ll buy in the next year, and an additional 20 percent say they plan to buy in the next decade.The poll, conducted March 9 through 29, marks an uptick in all categories over the year. In April 2016, 9 percent said they’d buy in the next year, 32 percent in the next five, and 18 percent in the next 10. A whopping 38 percent said they wouldn’t buy a home in the foreseeable future.“Homeownership remains an aspiration for the vast majority of Americans who do not currently own a home—about seven in 10 non-homeowners expect to buy a home within the next 10 years,” Gallup reported. “This indicates that the market for real estate sales should remain strong.”Gallup’s poll also looked at homeownership plans based on age, finding that the majority of non-homeowners 55 or older aren’t planning to buy anytime soon. The nation’s younger generations are certainly on board though; Nearly 60 percent of non-homeowners between 35 and 54 plan to purchase a home in the next five years, and more than half of those between 18 and 34 do, too. Only 14 percent of Americans between 18 and 34 don’t plan to buy a home in the next 10 years.On a geographic level, the poll showed higher purchasing intentions among those in the South and lower chances of homeownership in the East.Gallup recently conducted another poll on housing prices, which showed 61 percent of Americans expect local home prices to jump over the coming year—the highest the poll has seen since 2005 when 70 percent of those surveyed said the same.The uptick in price doesn’t seem to be spurring homeowners to sell though. Gallup found that 64 percent of homeowning adults don’t plan to sell their property anytime in the near future. One in five expects to sell in the next five years, and 13 percent expect to in the next decade. Again, younger people were more likely to sell than those 55 and older.Because a higher percentage of non-homeowners plan to buy in the next five years than homeowners plan to sell, this could cause a housing shortage, according to Gallup. This could encourage growth in the construction sector and drive housing prices up even further.“Some of the shortfall in housing supply can be made up by new construction, which might indicate a construction boom is on the horizon, if not already underway,” Gallup reported. “But if real estate demand continues to outpace real estate supply, home prices will continue to rise and could rise beyond what most Americans can afford. To the extent that happens, many would-be homeowners may not be able to achieve their goal of owning a home.last_img read more

Breaking Down Aspiring Homebuyers by Generation

first_img The CoreLogic Loan Application Database shows there has recently been a net outward migration of homebuyers from the center of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to more affordable adjacent counties. Using the same set of data, this post focuses on homebuyers’ composition by generational cohort in the Washington, D.C., area in 2017. (The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area includes the District of Columbia, five counties in Maryland, 17 counties/cities in Virginia, and Jefferson County in West Virginia.)Among the Washington, D.C., area residents who applied for home-purchase mortgage loans during 2017, Generation X represented the largest share at 41 percent, followed by millennials, baby boomers, and the ‘silent’ generation at 38 percent, 19 percent, and 2 percent, respectively. (Pew Research Center defines generations born 1981 to 1997 as millennials, 1965 to 1980 as Generation X, 1946 to 1964 as baby boomers, and 1928 to 1945 as the silent generation.)Figure 1 shows the generational cohort breakdown by jurisdiction for major counties/cities in the metropolitan area. Young homebuyers (millennials) were more likely to buy homes in the core of the metro area–D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria–representing about 50 percent of the potential homebuyers (with 54 percent, 48 percent, and 45 percent of the homebuyers, respectively). Most of these millennials were still unmarried or have no kids, prefer a shorter commute, and do not necessarily need a big home. (About 38 percent of the millennial applicants who applied for home-purchase mortgage loan were unmarried.) About 55 percent of the loan applications by millennial homebuyers in the core area was for condominiums/coops.In contrast, older homebuyers were more likely to buy in suburbs. Generation X homebuyers were the largest cohort, with more than 40 percent of the potential homebuyers in suburban jurisdictions of Maryland and Virginia such as Loudoun, Montgomery, Fairfax, Prince George’s, and Prince William. This age group often has kids and prefers more space. More than half of the loan applications by Generation X were for single-family homes or townhouses. Though millennials were more likely to buy homes in core areas, they were buying more affordable homes compared with Generation X. The average home sale price for millennial homebuyers was $428,000, compared to $525,000 for Generation X and $496,000 for baby boomers in the area. Millennials bought more condos compared with the share of Generation X. About 59 percent of the loan applications for condominiums/coop in the core area were by millennial homebuyers alone. Generally, with little savings and lower income, millennials can only afford the lower-priced homes, whereas Generation Xers are trading up and baby boomers and the silent generation are downsizing. About 55 percent of the loan applications for million-dollar houses were by Generation X, compared to just 17 percent by millennials. Figure 2 shows the millennial share of home-purchase mortgage loan applications diminishing as home prices go up.As baby boomers and the silent generation downsize, more than half of the loan applications by these cohorts in the core area were for condominiums/coops. However, the price of a condominium that a member of the baby boom or silent generation wanted to buy was more expensive compared to the price of a condominium that millennials wanted to buy. The average condominium sale price for a baby boomer or silent generation loan applicant was $587,000 compared to just $437,000 for a millennial homebuyer in the core area. A baby boom or silent generation homebuyer was willing to pay more for amenities in contrast to the millennials. April 6, 2018 772 Views Baby Boomers Generation X Homebuyers Loan Applications Millennials 2018-04-06 David Wharton in Daily Dose, Featured, journal, Market Studies, News, Originationcenter_img Breaking Down Aspiring Homebuyers by Generation Sharelast_img read more

Fairway Implements Calyx LOS

first_img Calyx fairway independent mortgage 2019-06-07 Seth Welborn June 7, 2019 281 Views in News Calyx Software, a provider of comprehensive mortgage software solutions for banks, credit unions, mortgage bankers, wholesale and correspondent lenders and brokers, recently announced that Fairway Asset Corporation has selected Calyx Path as its loan origination software (LOS).Founded in 2008, Fairway Asset Corporation is a mortgage bank licensed to do business in Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The company offers mortgage programs, including conventional, jumbo, FHA, and commercial mortgages.According to Taihun Cho, Manager at Fairway Asset Corporation, the company began evaluating new LOSs because it wanted a more modern, cost-effective LOS that could grow with its business, as well as easily handle regulatory updates.“We chose Path because it is an entirely new LOS and gives us more freedom than our previous legacy system,” said Cho. “From a management point of view, Path is easier to maintain since we no longer need to worry about managing hardware or software updates. The cloud-based LOS can be accessed on multiple platforms—desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.—which allows our loan officers to be productive even when they’re not in the office. And, best of all, Path costs less than our previous LOS.”“According to a recent report from McKinsey & Company, a successful digital transformation requires ‘building capabilities for the workforce of the future’ and ‘empowering people to work in new ways,’” said Bob Dougherty, Executive Vice President of Business Development at Calyx Software. “Perhaps that’s why more forward-looking lenders, like Fairway Asset Corporation, are turning to Path. Our LOS is nimble enough to evolve with changing markets and regulations and it is built on completely new, cloud-based technology, giving greater flexibility to loan officers to better serve their customers.”center_img Share Fairway Implements Calyx LOSlast_img read more

New Employees Announced for Fintech Startup

first_img new hires 2019-07-16 Mike Albanese 17 days ago 255 Views Share Troy AllenKathy BellCaleb SaltIowa-based fintech startup LenderClose has expanded its staff, adding three new employees. To meet demand from its growing client base of community lenders nationwide, LenderClose has increased its workforce by more than 15 employees in the first half of 2019.Joining the LenderClose team in July are sales representatives Troy Allen and Kathy Bell, and software developer Caleb Salt.“We’re building out our team to support steady growth, which continues to affirm our belief that we’re offering credit unions and community banks the best digital lending platform,” said LenderClose COO Ben Rempe. “We’re always evaluating the size and skills of our staff to maintain the best possible customer service experience, and to find new ways to enhance platform features and functionality.”Allen, of Altoona, Iowa, is the former regional manager of Community 1st Credit Union in Indianola. There, he managed four branches and 25 employees. During his more than 17 years in banking, Allen achieved consistent loan and deposit growth and was recognized as a top sales professional. He’ll use this deep experience working in community lending institutions in his role as a sales executive for LenderClose.Bell, of Grimes, Iowa, brings experience in sales and business development to the LenderClose team, having most recently worked as a client executive with ACS and a senior sales executive with Dice Holdings, both in Urbandale, Iowa. She has expertise in developing sales strategies in highly competitive markets, and as a LenderClose sales executive, will help to further its footprint in key markets.Salt, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a developer with experience designing, coding, and deploying software systems for more than 400 companies. In his most recent role as a software programmer analyst for IMT Computer Services in Des Moines, Iowa, he worked in a fully test-driven development (TDD) agile programming environment. For LenderClose he will be focused on developing further solutions, including API integrations into loan origination software and the solutions of national data providers.center_img in Headlines, News New Employees Announced for Fintech Startuplast_img read more