The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approval. American Express’ consumer travel business, which provides Card Members and other consumers with travel benefits and services, would not be part of the proposed venture. Source = ETB News: P.T. “We’ve been making strong progress in our efforts to transform our corporate travel business,” American Express group president global corporate services Stephen J. Squeria said. The joint venture would continue to operate under the American Express Global Business Travel brand, with the investor group expected to contribute between US$700 million to $1 billion to help grow the business. “The first phase of this transformation, announced earlier this year, has been focused on reducing the cost structure within GBT through our technology and infrastructure advances.” Ongoing discussion continue between American Express and investor firm, Certares, to develop a partnership, creating greater investment capacity for GBT to further enhance its products and services and attract new customers internationally. American Express has revealed plans to create a joint venture with an investment group to advance the revolution of its Global Business Travel (GBT) division.
Source = Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Dubai’s Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Best Hotel in the WorldOn 18th May at the Daily Telegraph’s much coveted annual Ultimate Luxury Travel Related Awards (ULTRAs), Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the World’s Most Luxurious Hotel, was once again voted the Best Hotel in the World and Best Hotel in the Middle East.Burj Al Arab Jumeirah was awarded the ‘Best Hotel in the World’ title, a new category added to the Awards in 2013, for the third year in a row. The award of ‘Best Hotel in the Middle East’ marked the ninth year in a row that Burj Al Arab Jumeirah has received this second accolade. The awards were collected by Gerald Lawless, President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group and Melanie Bisch, Assistant Guest Relations Manager of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.Every year, the readers of Ultratravel, the Daily Telegraph’s luxury-travel magazine, vote on 20 categories to select the best of luxury travel. The ULTRAs Reader Survey provides a unique and trusted source of advice to travellers worldwide. The awards recognise the best luxury hotels, airlines, cruise companies, spas and destinations globally.Earlier in the day, at the 2015 Ultratravel Forum – in partnership with TTG Luxury -Jumeirah Group’s President and Group CEO Gerald Lawless took part in The Presidents’ Panel. This highlight of the Forum invited a panel of leaders in their field to discuss how they see the luxury landscape, how their product and experiences are changing and how they continue to adapt to ensure affluent travellers are attracted to their hotels and destinations.Gerald Lawless said: “For Burj Al Arab Jumeirah to retain the crown of ‘Best Hotel in the Middle East’ for the ninth year running and ‘Best Hotel in the World’ for the third is a powerful endorsement of its status as the world’s most luxurious hotel. On behalf of Jumeirah Group, the operator of this outstanding property, I would like to thank the readers of Ultratravel for their vote of confidence, our guests for their continuous support and our many colleagues who deliver the service for which the hotel is rightly renowned.”
Scenic has been named one of Australia’s ‘most trusted cruise operators’ in Reader’s Digest 2015 Trusted Brands Survey, an independent annual survey which recognises the products and services most valued by Australian consumers.The leading global luxury tour company was voted highly commended in the most trusted cruise operator category which makes Scenic the most trusted river cruise operator in Australia.Commenting on the win, Michelle Black, GM Sales and Marketing, said: “It is a great honour to see that Australians continue to put their trust in us. We work hard to deliver a 5-star luxury travel experience for our guests, which extends from the building of our ships through to the actual travel experience itself.“After 29 years in the travel industry it’s wonderful to know that Australian consumers recognise our consistently high level of service.”The annual Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Survey has been operating for 14 years as an independent survey of the Australian public, featuring 46 categories of products and services across a wide range of industries.This is Scenic’s third award win of the year, after picking up ‘Best Cruise Company’ and ‘Best Tour Operator’ in Luxury Travel Magazine’s 2015 Gold List Awards in April.Source = Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours
The Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun, one of the most visited landmarks in Bangkok.The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is still on track with the 2015 global marketing activities with travel trade events and road shows in the pipeline between now and December in a bid to maintain tourist confidence and strengthen the image of Thailand as a top tourist destination.Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, TAT’s Acting Governor and Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas) said, “As the government body tasked with the mission to promote Thailand to potential visitors worldwide while also supporting the development of the country’s tourism industry, we are determined to continue with the arrangement for Thailand’s participation in major international travel trade events and for the country’s strategic travel showcase through road shows in key target markets.”Between now and December, TAT has scheduled to participate in 18 travel trade events and activities in more than 20 countries, including:PATA Travel Mart 2015, India, 6-8 SeptemberOTDYKH Leisure 2015, Russia, from 15-18 SeptemberAstana Leisure 2015, Kazakhstan, from 24-26 SeptemberJATA Tourism Expo Japan 2015, Japan, from 24-27 SeptemberInternational Golf Travel Mart 2015, Spain, from 5-8 OctoberITB Asia 2015, Singapore, from 21-23 OctoberNordic and Scandinavian-Pre WTM, Denmark/Norway/Sweden, 27-29 OctoberWorld Travel Market 2015, UK, from 2-5 NovemberChina International Travel Mart 2015, China, from 13-15 November,International Luxury Travel Market 2015, France, 30 November – 3 DecemberTAT is also heading with the plan to stage road shows in potential markets. The road show in India was held on 21 August, in two cities in Korea on 31 August and 2 September, in Myanmar on 1 September, and in Vietnam on 11 September.Mrs. Juthaporn said, “At these travel trade events and road shows, we will continue to focus on promoting Thailand as a ‘Quality Destination through Thainess’ under the main Amazing Thailand brand umbrella.“We will also use this opportunity as a platform to assure all our friends from around the world that Thailand remains amazing and welcoming. On tourist safety, we are working closely with concerned authorities to put extra security in place at all tourist areas across the country.” Visit ThailandSource = Tourism Authority of Thailand
LATAM Airlines Group inaugurated the most advanced simulator for training maintenance technicians for its Boeing 787 fleet, which took place at the Technical Training LATAM (TTL) centre located at its Maintenance Base in Santiago, Chile.The Boeing 787 is one of the industry’s most modern aircraft, and the company’s already have 18 in its fleet (ten 787-8s and eight of the latest model, the 787-9), making it the Latin American airline with the highest number of 787s.This simulator is the first of its kind in Chile and was developed together with Boeing and Aerosim Technologies, a leading provider of technologies and solutions for commercial aviation training.The simulator reproduces the aircraft’s operation and represents various real-life scenarios within a controlled and safe environment, which allows technicians to learn without putting the aircraft or their personal safety at risk.The simulator design incorporates real information from the aircraft for analyzing faults, providing training on processes, identifying parts, problem resolution exercises and other tasks.“LATAM Airlines Group continuously invests in the most modern technology to optimise its operations and the service it offers passengers. The new simulator will allow us to train more technicians in less time and at a lower cost, and the examples used in the courses can be tailored to our specific situation. Between 2016 and 2019, we expect to train more than 500 technicians in the region”, said Sebastián Acuto, Senior VP of Maintenance at LATAM Airlines Group.About the SimulatorThe simulator is installed in a room especially equipped to train 16 technicians (eight training stations) who can practice different scenarios at the same time. It also has one station for the instructor with three parallel projectors that can be personalised to show different views of the simulation (instruments, aircraft exterior, schematics, etc.).Common defects can be simulated, which allows the technicians to follow the fault resolution process recommended by the manufacturer (problem resolution) without putting the aircraft at risk and to learn as if they are working on the actual aircraft.Each student station also has a Maintenance Laptop, which simulates the laptop used by technicians who carry out maintenance tasks on the Boeing 787 fleet. LATAM Airlines GroupSource = LATAM Airlines Group
The Gold Coast’s booming tourism industry has welcomed news that international visitor expenditure in the city was up by 15.4% in the twelve months to March 2016, rounding off a hugely successful period for the city.Gold Coast Tourism CEO, Martin Winter explained the significance of this growth.“The Gold Coast is riding another wave of international tourism success with a 15.4% increase in visitor expenditure to $1.2 billion,” Mr Winter said.“Our industry is really punching above its weight, with the 11% growth in international visitors to the Gold Coast outstripping that of Queensland (+10%) and Australia (+9%).“We expect this growth to continue, particularly given the hugely successful 2016 Australian Tourism Exchange held recently on the Gold Coast, during which the global travel distribution network and international media developed critical business ties and experienced the very best our city has to offer.“Visitors from China were up by a significant 32% in the year ending March 2016, supported by direct access from Central China and via Hong Kong.“Without doubt, China remains the dominant player for the Gold Coast and now accounts for 28% of total international visitors to the Gold Coast, up from 24% in the twelve months prior.“We are also encouraged by the return of the Japanese market, with visitors up 15% to 56,000, due in part to the successful introduction of Qantas’ new direct service from Tokyo (Narita) to Brisbane in August 2015.”In the year ending March 2016, the Gold Coast also recorded double-digit growth from the USA (+19% to 35,000), Taiwan (+77% to 29,000) and Hong Kong (+40% to 28,000).The international education market also increased by 22% to 22,000 visitors in the year ending March 2016 with the sector accounting for 21.5% of total international visitor nights on the Gold Coast.“This data confirms the significance of the education sector for the Gold Coast and its sizeable contribution to international visitor nights and its contribution to the local economy,” Study Gold Coast CEO Shannon Willoughby said.“The double-digit growth is testament to the renewed push by Study Gold Coast in partnership with the local government and the education sector and our close working relationship with Gold Coast Tourism, to promote the city as a world-class education destination.Study Gold Coast’s online campaign has targeted the burgeoning Chinese international education market, generating 46 million page impressions over the Christmas period.“There’s immense interest from China in the Gold Coast as an education destination,” Ms Willoughby said. Visit Gold CoastSource = Gold Coast Tourism
As Britain gears up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and in the run-up to the launch of the film adaption of The BFG, VisitBritain is showcasing to the world what makes Britain a GIANT – and family-friendly – tourism destination.Earlier this week, the national tourism organisation launched an international ‘Where Giant Dreams come to Life’ film tourism campaign in its first-ever collaboration with Disney, producer of The BFG.The film, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the book by Cardiff born author Roald Dahl, was filmed at locations across Britain including Blenheim Palace, London, the Isle of Skye and Bamburgh beach in Northumberland. The BFG film launches in the Australia on 30 June and in the UK on 22 July.VisitBritain’s £350,000 six-week digital and social media campaign showcases magical, mysterious and dreamlike moments that can only be experienced on a trip to Britain. The campaign features a set of exclusive images of giant landmarks in Britain including the Angel of the North, Big Ben, the Isle of Skye and the lions in Trafalgar Square.These images, and other giant visitor experiences across Britain, are being promoted across VisitBritain’s online and social media channels adapting its #OMGB (Oh My GREAT Britain) to ‘Oh My GIANT Britain.’ The campaign also wants people to upload their own images of ‘giant’ experiences and locations in Britain to their own social channels. “Our collaboration with Disney on The BFG is a fantastic opportunity to promote to a global audience of millions an unexpected side of amazing, family-friendly moments that can only be experienced in Britain,” VisitBritain/VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said.“By inspiring people to come and experience the best of ‘GIANT’ Britain we can drive growth from tourism and its economic benefits across all our nations and regions.”Ms Balcombe said that the link between tourism and film – ‘set-jetting’ – was “a potent one” with recent films delivering a real increase in visitor numbers.VisitBritain’s campaign drives online ‘traffic’ to BFG websiteThe site has information on the British locations in the film, a ‘user-generated’ feed of #OMGB content, the official BFG movie trailer and details of visitor experiences linked to Roald Dahl and events to celebrate his 100th anniversary in September. Oh My GIANT Britian Source = VisitBritain
Norwegian SunTax Free Labor Day spree with NorwegianNow is the time to beat the back-to-school blues and plan your next vacation, as Norwegian Cruise Line is making it easy to book your next cruise and take advantage of multiple, valuable offers available during the month of September. From an all-inclusive cruise to Cuba to celebrating the Labor Day holiday tax free, guests looking for a getaway have a variety of offers to choose from to make their next vacation unforgettable.Now through September 7, guests can enjoy a Tax-Free Labor Day Spree, as Norwegian is waiving the government taxes, port expenses, and fees*** for the first and second guest on new reservations in a balcony stateroom or above on select three day or longer sailings.50 percent reduced deposits** are available now through September 7 for new bookings more than 90 days prior to their sail date.Those interested in sailing across the Baltic Sea, can receive up to $1000 in free onboard spending* for balcony staterooms and above on select Norwegian Getaway itineraries now through September 18. The offer is combinable with Free at Sea, adding up to $2800 in additional value.Norwegian’s Havana Nights offers cruisers who want to immerse themselves in the culture and history of Cuba $50 in free onboard spending money*** when they book a new all-inclusive cruise to Cuba on Norwegian Sky from Miami or Norwegian Sun from Port Canaveral now through September 30.Norwegian’s Holiday Bonus Bundle, available now through September 30, offers $100 of onboard credit*** on select holiday sailings over the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays, making gift giving a breeze.Norwegian’s popular Free at Sea promotion will be extended through October 2. This signature value-added offer provides guests who book a new three-day or longer sailing in an oceanview, balcony or minisuitecategory stateroom with the opportunity to select their preference of two free choices from five spectacular onboard amenity offers†, including free unlimited open bar, a free specialty dining package, $50 towards shore excursions in each port per stateroom, 250 minutes of free WiFi, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer that allows the third and fourth guests to sail for free on many 2017 and 2018 sail dates. Inside staterooms, as well as Norwegian’s Studio staterooms for solo travelers, can choose one free offer. Guests seeking the ultimate in pampering and luxury at sea can book a cruise in a suite or The Haven by Norwegian® and enjoy all five free amenities**, providing up to $2,500 in added value to their cruise.Norwegian’s Free at Sea Hawaii offer has also been extended through October 2. Guests who book a new cruise vacation aboard Pride of America, the only ship in the world that can sail seven-day inter-island cruises in Hawaii, have the freedom to select one of five†* offers to enrich their cruising experience, including a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay^ with an option to select reduced airfare starting at $399 from select gateways, a free specialty dining package**, free pre-paid service charges for the first and second guest in the stateroom, free $50 per port shore excursion credit per stateroom, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free, allowing the third and fourth guests in each stateroom to sail for free on many 2017 and 2018 sail dates. Guests who book a suite aboard Pride of America can enjoy all five offers.To book a cruise aboard a Norwegian ship, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.comSource = Norwegian Cruise Line
Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts Celebrates 25 YearsBanyan Tree Hotels & Resorts Celebrates 25 Years of Exceptional ExperiencesThe award-winning luxury hospitality company and one of Asia’s most successful brands is celebrating its momentous 25th anniversary this year with the theme “Exceptional Experiences” as a fitting homage to the brand’s rich heritage and core values.A sanctuary for the senses offering unique and modern accommodations across the world, Banyan Tree received its first guest in the flagship Banyan Tree Phuket, Thailand in 1994 – built on an abandoned tin-mine site which was transformed into Laguna Phuket, Asia’s first destination integrated resort. Since then, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has grown from a single property to a chain of successful resorts, hotels and spas with footprints across Asia, America, Africa and the Middle East.A total of 39 hotels and resorts worldwide across four hotel brands – Banyan Tree, Angsana, Cassia and Dhawa will be crafting their own local and authentic Exceptional Experience with their guests in mind.From 29 March onwards, Banyan Tree will be unveiling exceptional campaigns and share heart-warming stories focusing on the most important attributes of the brand – people and the environment. Rooted in its corporate ethos of ‘Embracing the Environment, Empowering People’, Banyan Tree’s sustainability approach emphasises on building in harmony with nature and contributing to the growth and development of the community where each of its hotels is planted.From exceptional guest stay experiences to exceptional working experiences of associates and exceptional sustainability experiences, these curated Banyan Tree stories will be featured on the websites as well as the social media channels of each brand.Banyan Tree will kick off the celebration with a special 25th Anniversary Celebratory Offer that includes 25% savings on rooms (Best Available Rate), food and beverage services, Spa and Gallery retail. All guests partaking in this offer will be treated to the signature 25thAnniversary Cocktail – The Botanical, a concoction of Bartender Khun Kornchaphat Pichayadechapaisarn of Banyan Tree Phuket – winner of the groupwide 25th Anniversary Cocktail Contest.The highlight of this offer is a complimentary Exceptional Experience for the guests from one the following three categories:Celebrate Self – Re-centre yourself with an activity focused on you as an individual. At Banyan Tree Phuket, guests can attend a body awareness workshop conducted by accredited Wellbeing Hosts and gain insightful knowledge on how one’s body posture can impact overall health and wellbeing.Celebrate Relationships – Reconnect with your loved ones and participate in an activity together. At Cassia Phuket, guests can hop on a scooter tour and explore the streets the way locals do. They can look forward to uncovering local treasures and experience the authentic way of life with their loved ones during an amazing afternoon out in town.Celebrate Community – Immerse in the local culture, discover hidden gems or participate in a sustainability activity. Go on a tour of the Tea Mountains withAngsana Xishuangbanna , known for its tea culture. From tea leaves picking, guests can immerse in the local culture and discover their next favourite local tea flavour. Guests may also learn more about marine conservation at the Marine Lab at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru in Maldives, embark on coral planting and explore the Ranamaari Shipwreck.As a leading international hotel operator and developer, Banyan Tree pioneers and champions sustainable development since its inception in 1994. During the stay, guests will be invited to partake in its groupwide sustainability activities from tree planting, school projects to community home visits – focusing on its ethos of creating better environments and enriching more lives as it celebrates 25 Years and beyond.*25th Anniversary Offer” Terms and Conditions:Booking Window: 29 March to 18 December 2019 (both dates inclusive)Stay Window: 29 March to 19 December 2019 (both dates inclusive)A minimum of two nights stay is required for this offerThis offer cannot be combined with other promotions and/or gift certificatesReservation is final, non-transferable, non-refundableReservation dates cannot be changedFull payment is required upon confirmation of the bookingProperty’s Own General Terms and Conditions ApplyMore details will be revealed regarding the 25th anniversary celebrations in the upcoming months.For more information, please check HERE Source = Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts
OTM is one of the leading tourism events in India, and Mumbai is one of the biggest source markets in the country. We are participating as Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey together with the private sector, and we are expecting more business B2B interactions with the Indian travel agents and tour operators.
The 62nd Annual Convention of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) successfully concluded at the Westin Resort, Nusa Dua Bali in Indonesia. The convention proved the popular destination of Bali still has many unique attractions for the Indian travellers.In this year’s convention, eminent international speakers from over seven different nationalities interacted with the delegates during the business sessions. The speakers were from diverse backgrounds – niche travel companies, futurists, outbound and inbound champions, hospitality, technology, airlines, and motivational speakers on creativity, innovation, brand management, media, and many more. Over 500 delegates registered for this year’s convention. There was an excellent participation of the Indonesia’s industry players too.The focus of the convention’s business sessions were on the following key areas that support successful strategising of travel & tourism business:– The Challenge to remain Relevant– The strength of being Unique – What’s your Niche?– Embracing Technology – Bridging the growing gap– New Distribution Capability – It’s impact!– Breaking Tunneled Visions– It’s all about ValueSpeaking to Travel News Digest, Sunil Kumar R, President, TAAI said, “Considering the great cultural connection India and Indonesia share, we planned to use this TAAI convention to promote common cultural heritage through new destinations and tourism products. While doing this convention in Bali, we did not actually have any bid, but we were amazed to get the kind of corporate industry support. We are able to do this successful convention with the participation of over 500 delegates and media due to the tremendous help we received from our supporting partners in Indonesia as well as in India.”The Secretary General of TAAI, Harmandeep Singh Anand said, “Over the years, the way our business is being done has changed. We want to tell our members to do business in a way that is relevant to the current day and age. Travel agents are not just ticketing agents; they have evolved as tour operators and offer much more services. The way the business is done needs to be changed as per industry demand.”The Indian Embassy hosted a Namaste India Dinner to connect TAAI delegates with the local Indonesian travel industry. Incredible India’s latest campaign in Indonesia Sahabat India, Festival of India in Indonesia 2015 was promoted in the evening too.There were arrangements for pre and post event familiarisation tours for the agents in and around Indonesia and Singapore as well.
Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, has introduced new flights on Delhi–Jammu, Bengaluru–Vijayawada and Kolkata–Agartala sectors. The flights on the Bengaluru–Vijayawada and Kolkata–Agartala sectors have started operations. The ATR 42-320 aircraft will be operated on the Bengaluru– Vijayawada–Bengaluru and Kolkata–Agartala– Kolkata routes.The flight AI9507/9508 will operate five days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) departing from Bengaluru at 16:00 hrs and will arrive Vijayawada at 17:30 hrs. On the return, AI-9508 will depart from Vijayawada at 17:50 hrs and reach Bengaluru at 19:20 hrs.The evening frequency from Kolkata to Agartala will operate five days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday). AI9715 from Kolkata will depart at 17:10 hrs and will reach Agartala at 18:15 hrs. The return flight AI9716 will depart from Agartala at 18:35 hrs and will reach Kolkata at 19:40 hrs.Air India has started operating additional frequency thrice a week on its existing route of Delhi– Jammu–Delhi. Operating with Bombardier jet aircraft, the flight AI9613 will depart from Delhi at 07:45 hrs and will reach Jammu at 09:00 hrs. The return flight from Jammu, AI9614 will depart at 09:30 hrs and will touchdown at Delhi at 10:45 hrs.
Changdeokgung, also known as Changdeokgung Palace or Changdeok Palace, is set within a large park in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the ‘Five Grand Palaces’ built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty.
According to the latest Mood of the Nation research, around 95% of New Zealanders agree international tourism is good for New Zealand.The Mood of the Nation research is undertaken by Kantar TNS on behalf of Tourism New Zealand and Tourism Industry Aotearoa twice a year (November and March) to measure New Zealanders’ perceptions of international tourism.“As we head into our peak visitor season Kiwis are telling us they can see the wider benefits tourism brings to their communities through local employment, local amenities and services as well as stronger businesses and economic growth,” said Stephen England-Hall, Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive.The survey shows that public concerns about the number of visitors have stabilised. Just 21% of respondents felt there are too many international visitors, the lowest percentage since November 2016.Tourism pressure on infrastructure continues to be the top concern for New Zealanders (44%) followed by road congestion and safety (37-41%) and impacts on the environment (31%).“The results show us that while Kiwis agree tourism is good for the country, they also worry about the impact it can have in some areas,” said England-Hall.“It’s no secret that some regions are feeling pressure and need support to ensure that tourism enriches their environment, community and the people who live there. On the flip side we also have regions that are keen to attract more international visitors,” he added.
Artists have already been announced for the festival’s final weekend at The Wharf – including two ticketed shows at The Anthem plus outdoor performances on three stages. They include: Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Snarky Puppy, Joshua Redman Quartet, Michael Franks, Stefon Harris & Blackout, 14-year old Joey Alexander. Terri Lyne Carrington, Lean on Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers, the 2018 DCJazzPrix winning band Cornerstore, Ralph Peterson & GenNext Big Band celebrating the Art Blakey Centennial, a host of international artists on the International Jazz Stage and much more. Destination DC is working with district hotels to offer DC Jazz Fest festival-goers exciting packages, deals, discounts and more. Featured hotels include Washington Marriott/Renaissance Hotels, Rosewood Suites, Washington Hilton, Holiday Inn Central-White House, Capitol Skyline, The Madison and more. “DC JazzFest draws over 110,000 music lovers from around the world to celebrate all things jazz in June,” said DCJF Executive Director Sunny Sumter. “Each year, the out-of-town festival-goers grow and we anticipate that trend to continue. We are pleased that Washington Marriott/Renaissance Hotels, Holiday Inn Washington, DC-Central/White House and Rosewood Washington DC will help our artists and festival-goers make the most out of their visit.” There’s much more to the DC JazzFest presented by Events DC than The Wharf, which has quickly become a true city hotspot. DC JazzFest presents renowned artists in settings throughout the capital city. DC Jazz Festival (DCJF) is the only city-wide jazz festival in the mid-Atlantic region with performances in over 20 neighbourhoods across all four quadrants of the city, showing off the real DC to visitors and residents alike. The 2019 DC Jazz Fest presented by Events DC offers an exceptional mix of universally-renowned masters and emerging artists from across the jazz spectrum and beyond, 100+ bands, 300 artists, 40+ venues, 20 neighbourhoods, from June 7-16.
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing New,FirstREX Recruits Two New Hires to Grow Funding Program “”FirstREX””:http://www.1rex.com/, a real estate equity finance firm operating out of San Francisco, has brought on Don Shewmaker and Jim McGuire to help the company meet growing demand for its down payment funding program, “”REX HomeBuyer””:http://www.rexhomebuyer.com/.[IMAGE]As director of operations, Shewmaker will oversee day-to-day operations of the REX HomeBuyer program. He has more than 28 years of experience in the financial services industry, having served in management positions at Bank [COLUMN_BREAK]of America, Wells Fargo, and Deutsche Bank. In his most recent position, he served as bank operations executive at Pacific Capital Bancorp.McGuire has taken the role of sales director and will be responsible for introducing and expanding REX HomeBuyer into new markets. He has an extensive background in mortgage banking, having built McGuire Mortgage Company into one of the largest home equity lenders in the Midwest. He also founded 1-800-One-Loan and OneLoan.com, two early pioneers in online mortgage originations.””As our REX HomeBuyer volume grows, Don’s track record in managing high-tech, high-volume operations for some of the largest banks in the country is going to prove invaluable,”” said FirstREX co-CEO Jim Riccitelli. “”Likewise, Jim is a seasoned mortgage professional with deep talent and experience, who will help bring our home finance solutions to clients in the largest and most dynamic real estate markets in the country. We’re delighted to have these high-caliber professionals join our team.”” August 13, 2013 467 Views Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-08-13 Tory Barringer
Titan Lenders Corp. Reports Major 2014 Growth February 4, 2015 460 Views Share In Denver, Titan Lenders Corp., a firm specializing in mortgage services, is headed into 2015 strong after closing the book on one of its best years yet, according to an announcement.Adding up its results for 2014, Titan reported an overall 71 percent increase in revenue over the year prior, thanks in part to a 15 percent increase in its services client base and significant growth in compliance support (up 278 percent year-on-year), MERS audit services (up 115 percent), and whole loan purchase review (up 54 percent).”In 2014, Titan Lenders Corp. experienced a shift in the demand for its services from lender-focused back-office support to quality assurance-related activities for investors and servicers,” said Titan CEO Mary Kladde. “Despite the poor performance of our retail general fulfillment division, Titan had an extremely successful year as a company, and with our renewed focus on servicers, warehouse lenders and investors, 2015 should prove to be equally as lucrative, if not more.”Another major contributor to Titan’s growth in 2014 was its jumbo correspondent investment subsidiary, Titan Capital Solutions (TCS), which saw its number of approved sellers rise by 60 percent over 2013 and the number of loans purchased surge by 461 percent.The total value of loans purchased by TCS increased 409 percent, while the total value of locks issued in 2014 increased 485 percent, the company added.”2014 was a tremendous year of growth for Titan Capital Solutions,” said Titan EVP Ruth Lee. “There is an established appetite in the market for jumbo origination, and as TCS enters 2015, it is with an eye towards expansion beyond jumbo to other products where supply may not meet demand. Titan’s mission in 2015 is building our product base, expanding our quality control channels and offering an outlet for scratch and dent.” Company News Titan Lenders Corp. 2015-02-04 Tory Barringer in Headlines, News
in Featured, Headlines, journal, News Veros Launches VeroPACE to Assist Lender Compliance Veros Real Estate Solutions (Veros), a Santa Ana, California-based provider of data, analytics, and technology for the mortgage banking industry, has developed a solution for lenders specializing in PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) loans in the state of California, where new compliance requirements went into effect on January 1, 2018.VeroPACE, available through the VeroSELECT ordering platform, will generate, analyze, rank, and report the multiple Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) now required for PACE lending by California State Assembly Bill 1284 and the companion State Senate Bill 242.”The passage of this legislation significantly changed the valuation process for PACE loans, which are used to finance greater energy efficiency in homes,” said Veros VP of Sales Rob Walker. “Historically lenders could process a PACE loan in California using the results of a single AVM, but they now need three AVMs and must use a new method of calculating the final value.”AB 1284 intends to enhance PACE underwriting by requiring lenders to obtain the three AVMs from a third-party vendor, then choose the one with the highest confidence score and calculate the midpoint of that AVM’s high-low value range. The resulting value, combined in a report with data from the three AVMs, becomes the valuation submitted with the PACE loan application.”Ordering three AVMs on the same property can be difficult,” Walker added. “And because different AVM providers have different methods of producing confidence scores and values, the mid-range requirement has presented some significant challenges for many PACE lenders. Also, if lenders cannot get three AVMs, they have to get an appraisal, which will add time and cost to the loan application process. To combat this, lenders need to achieve high AVM hit rates.””The good news for PACE lenders who are struggling with this new compliance requirement is that VeroPACE handles the entire process for them,” said Luke Ziegenmeyer, Director of Product Management at Veros. “And, if need be, we have an optional add-on for VeroPACE users that can facilitate the request and delivery of appraisals as well.”When VeroPACE is ordered through the VeroSELECT platform, a single data call is made, which generates a “cascade” through which up to 10 AVMs may be run to increase the likelihood of getting a hit. The VeroSELECT system stops requesting AVMs once it has received three valid hits. VeroPACE then determines the AVM with the highest confidence score, calculates the average of its high and low values, and returns it to the lender in a standardized data format. VeroPACE also generates a cover sheet with all the data elements that can be put in a file of supplemental information. Share Company News PACE VeroPACE Veros Veros Real Estate Solutions 2018-03-05 David Wharton March 5, 2018 618 Views
Non-prime borrowers are likely to get more access to mortgage loans as the mortgage market continued to perform well in the first quarter of 2018 according to the latest quarterly TransUnion Industry Insights Report released on Tuesday. The report features data and insights on consumer credit trends including mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and personal loans.The report revealed that while balances rose in aggregate for the year, average new mortgage loan balances declined from $235,361 in Q1 2017 to $229,538 in Q1 2018 as a result of a deceleration in refinancing activity and a lower share of super prime loans. The shift in new origination mix, as a result, pushed subprime and near-prime originations to 16 percent in the last quarter of 2017 from 14.4 percent in the last quarter of 2016. TransUnion said that originations were viewed one quarter in arrears to account for reporting lag.“It is encouraging that balances continue to increase, as new purchase originations outpace paydowns. As time passes from the housing bubble and mortgage loan performance continues to remain exceptionally low, non-prime borrowers may begin to see their access to mortgage credit open up,” said Joe Mellman, SVP and Mortgage Business Leader at TransUnion. “However, it’s likely that mortgage lenders will approach the non-prime market cautiously, incorporating new alternative data sources to determine which non-prime borrowers offer the least risk.”Serious mortgage delinquency rates also continued to decline for the 19th consecutive quarter and fell to 1.74 percent in Q1 2018 from 2.07 percent during the same quarter last year.Despite an overall drop in delinquencies, the hurricanes in the third quarter of 2017 “have driven an interesting dynamic related to the number accounts in forbearance, which are typically reported as current to credit reporting agencies regardless of their actual payment status,” the report noted. In areas like Houston, Miami, and Tampa only 1800 out of 2.36 million active mortgages were reported to be in some form of forbearance in the second quarter of 2017. “That number skyrocketed to 164,000 mortgages in some form of forbearance status by the end of Q1 2018,” the report revealed.“The opening quarter of 2018 was more of the same on the mortgage delinquency front. Borrowers continue to perform well, making on-time payments that are more in line with traditional patterns observed prior to the mortgage crisis,” Mellman said. “We will also monitor the forbearance population in areas affected by last year’s hurricanes to better understand that dynamic and its influence on the region’s mortgage market.” Will Non-prime Mortgage Lending Increase in 2018? May 8, 2018 896 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Borrowers Delinquencies Forebearance Lenders loans mortgage Mortgage Credit Non-Prime Origination Paydowns TransUnion 2018-05-08 Radhika Ojha Share
Although the housing market is booming and mortgage applications increasing by 40% to a three-year high, insight from Forbes found investors may still be wary of investing in housing. “I understand why no one wants to hear about housing. But you should want to hear about housing, because the evidence is overwhelming,” the article states. Rebounding from the housing crash of 2008, Forbes states that 2018 was also a “terrible year for housing,” as mortgage rates rose for the first time in five years, and the U.S. Home Construction ETF dropped 32%. The report, however, states that the market is nowhere near a bust, and that housing is still affordable for most Americans. Unisom’s 2019 Home Affordability Report, however, stated it now takes 14 years for those making a median income to save for a 20% down payment on a median-price homes, meaning many prospective millennial homebuyers won’t achieve homeownership until their 40s.The report states that the monthly payment needed to support a home purchase with a down payment of 20% grew by 12% between 2017 and 2018, far outpacing the growth of income during that period of 6%.The Forbes report also downplayed the notion that millennials will not enter the housing market. “Census Bureau figures show the number of households in America just hit an all-time high at 122 million,” the Forbes report stated. A survey from SunTrust found that more millennials are focusing on homeownership before marriage, as the survey found that among more than 2,000 U.S. adults, nearly half of millennials (aged 22-38) who have been married say they and/or their spouse owned a home before marriage (48%), compared to only 35% of baby boomers (ages 55-73).”People are choosing from many different paths and reaching common life milestones at a wider age span than before, changing when they decide to purchase a home,” said Sherry Graziano, Mortgage Transformation Officer at SunTrust.The survey also found that an increasing number of couples are entering marriage where both individuals own a home. According to the survey, 25% of unmarried women and 21% of unmarried men said, if faced with this decision, they would prefer to sell both places and buy a new one after getting married. 2019 Housing Market Investment 2019-07-01 Mike Albanese Share Why Aren’t Investors Buying Into Housing? July 1, 2019 294 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination