The Stars 2nd AACTA awards to be held in January 2013

first_imgThe coveted Australian Academy of Cinema Television and Arts (AACTA) Awards will be held in The Star’s new Event Centre in January 2013.The Star’s partnership with the AACTA Awards was revealed at a media conference this week at the Darling Hotel.  Also announced were the 2nd AACTA Awards nominees, as well as the official dates for the AACTA Awards.The AACTA Awards is the first major event to be announced for The Star’s $100 million multi-purpose entertainment and events venue which is scheduled for completion at the end of the 2012.AFI | AACTA CEO, Damian Trewhella, said:”The newly established AACTA Awards are delighted to be the first major public event at The Star Event Centre which is a much needed and welcome addition to Australia’s entertainment and convention landscape.”With stunning views across the Sydney skyline, and with state-of-the-art technology, it’s the perfect setting for Australia’s most prestigious screen Awards, the AACTA Awards, which are proudly produced and hosted in Sydney, the heart of the Australian screen industry.”With both The Star and AACTA bringing some of Australia’s and the world’s most celebrated screen icons to Sydney; this partnership is the perfect fit.”The Star Event CentreThe Event Centre is the final component of The Star’s recent $870 million redevelopment and transformation into a total leisure and entertainment destination.Built on the rooftop of The Star with views over Sydney Harbour and the city skyline, the venue has been designed to host A-list acts from around the world in intimate concert settings as well as domestic and international conferences, exhibitions and awards functions such as the AACTA Awards.Multi-use in every sense, it will be able to accommodate 4000 patrons in concert mode, 3000 with half seating, up to 1200 in a banquet or ballroom setting and 1300 people in conference/business mode. The 2,400 square metre column-free space will be the largest banquet area of any hotel in Sydney making it ideal for gala dinners and award ceremonies.Describing the venue as a major asset for the people of Sydney, Managing Director of The Star, Frederic Luvisutto, said the Event Centre will help fill a void in the local convention market and will give the city an edge in the competition for entertainment events both around the country and globally.”This new venue fulfils our aspiration to make The Star a one-of-a-kind leisure and entertainment destination with multiple reasons to visit.  We already have the 2,000-seat Lyric Theatre for musicals and major theatre productions and soon we will have a specialised venue like no other,” Mr Luvisutto said. A feature of the Event Centre is its distinctive gemstone shape and translucent glass shell exterior. The use of backlighting within the glass façade will allow the venue to morph into different colours at night making it highly visible from various corners of the city.”Architecturally this new facility is unique in design, but what makes it even rarer is the placement of such a heavy structure on top of an existing building, including the casino floor below,” Mr Luvisutto said.Highly flexible, the venue will have the ability to convert to various configurations with a quick turnaround time between each function or event.  To create a ballroom environment, 720 retractable theatre seats can be quickly and readily stored to obtain a 1077sq m flat floor space.Concert-goers will be welcomed in a modern elegant lobby which can also cater for cocktail parties and a variety of private functions.  In addition, the concert venue will offer four VIP suites with a premium viewing platform, bringing VIP guests closer to the stage complete with their own exclusive bar and dining service.The Star’s redevelopment has seen the opening of a new five star boutique hotel, The Darling, a luxury day spa, several signature restaurants and bars and a collection of high end retail outlets. Other changes include new gaming facilities and The Star’s new international nightclub, Marquee, which is located on the third level of the harbourside entrance on Pirrama Road.Equipped with leading edge audio visual technology and production facilities, the Events Centre has been designed by ScenoPlus, creators of The Colosseum at Caesars Palace and The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. With construction running ahead of schedule, the venue is expected to open at the end of the year.Mr Luvisutto said The Star was in the process of confirming the initial line-up of concert and conference bookings which will be announced in the coming weeks. Source = The Starlast_img read more

Myanmar tourists fancy Singapore

first_imgTravellers from Myanmar selected Singapore as the ultimate destination of choice, a new survey has revealed.The new MasterCard Worldwide survey listed Singapore, ahead of other popular cities including Bangkok, Paris, New York and Seoul as the most popular destination for Myanmar’s outbound tourists.Singapore was selected for its shopping, sightseeing, and diverse cuisine offerings.While less than 1 in 5 Myanmar residents travelled abroad for leisure in the past 12 months, 4 out of 5 of those who did travel overseas intend to do so again within the next year.  Time and financial constraints were highlighted as the main obstacles for international travel.Domestic travel seemed the more popular options, with 73 percent of those surveyed having travelled within Myanmar within the past 12 months and 80 percent planning on repeat travel within a year.The top three local cities of choice were Taunggyi, Mandalay and Pathein.Cash is the dominant form of payment for Myanmar travellers, spending just over US$230 per person on average for domestic leisure trips and about six times more on international trips.Inbound visitation to Myanmar exceeded one million in 2012, with figures expected to increase a further 30 percent this year.“This shows how the recent opening of the economy has created significant optimism which bodes well for the country’s future,” MasterCard Worldwide president South East Asia Matthew Driver said.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Shopping, sightseeing and cuisine attract travellers.last_img read more

PNG dancers headline at Wicked Wednesdays Brisbane

first_imgSource = ETB News: NJ A group of traditional Papua New Guinea dancers kept guests entertained, while Papua New Guinea Tourism and Air Niugini presented their second travel agent training module on yourworkshops. Check out photos from the event below, or click here to tag you and your friends on Facebook. Other sponsors for the evening include TravelManagers, C&M Recruitment, Virgin Australia and Fairchild as well as ETB News, Breakaway International Travel Industry Club and GTI Tourism.center_img Industry friends gathered at Cloudland in Brisbane last night, to enjoy drinks and food at this month’s Wicked Wednesdays. Winners for the evening included Travel Counsellor Vicki Blanco with a 7-night Trip to PNG for two including international and domestic airfares by Air Niugini, Just Cruises Antonios Kalsaris walked away with a 10-day trip to Vietnam by On the Go Tours and Travel Managers Anita Noon won the Laneways tour in Melbourne for 2 by Meltours.last_img read more

British target Aussies with cooperative campaign

first_img“The kangaroo route has brought many millions of Australian residents to London since the 1930’s and last year Australia was London’s 4th biggest market for tourism expenditure, generating £470 million and the 7th biggest visitor market with 600,000 visitors coming to London from Australia,” London & Partners director consumer marketing and digital channels Julie Chappell said. Virgin Atlantic, VisitBritain and London & Partners team for new marketing strategy. Over the last five years, passenger numbers from Australia have steadily improved, while expenditure has grown by 52 percent. “Last year was a record year for Virgin Atlantic on the Kangaroo route… our passenger numbers travelling through to the UK increased by more than 20,000 people and we saw a marked improvement in our market share to London,” Virgin Atlantic general manager Australia and New Zealand Luke Fisher said. More than 3 million Australians have visited London since 2008, spending £2.2 billion in the capital.center_img Virgin Atlantic has partnered with VisitBritain and London & Partners to release a co-branded marketing campaign to drive additional tourism from Australia to London and the United Kingdom. The combined strategy, ‘Flying in the face of ordinary to Britain’ will commence from 2 September 2013, featuring discounted fares and promoted offline and online; primarily with Yahoo! 7, BBC.com and Ninemsn Gourmet Traveller. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Chinese invest in Australian hotels

first_imgCBRE Hotels in Australia director of strategic hotels Oscar Westerlund said first time investors had growing interest in the sector, the South China Morning Post. “This represents a significant proportion of total hotel sales in Australia.” Earlier this year, the Greenland Centre launched a property project costing more than AUD $ 600 million. “In the past three years, there have been eight major hotel investments involving first-time investors from China,” Mr Westerlund said. In terms of general Asian investment in Australian hotels, Singaporean investment leads the pack along with Hong Kong. center_img Although coming off a low base, Chinese investment is increasing in the Australian hotel sector with the country becoming the fifth largest investor in 2014. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale Greenland’s investment overtakes the total Chinese investment in Australian hotels the past three years.last_img read more

Consumer losses worsen after All Travel collapse

first_imgConsumer losses are piling up after the collapse of Helloworld affiliate All Travel.Customers with All Travel are estimated to have lost more than AUD $530,000, which is a 32 per cent increase on the AUD $400,000 in consumer claims originally reported.TravelManagers chairman Barry Mayo said that if the collapse had happened a week later that there would have been confusion over how the consumers would have been compensated as the upcoming ATAS scheme does not have any mandatory consumer protection.It is envisaged that the affected customers will be compensated with credit card charge-backs to the tune of AUD $100,000 or 19 per cent of all the lost money.“With only 19 per cent of All Travel’s client losses being attributed to credit card payments I think it clearlyshows the reality that client payments using credit cards are decreasing, not increasing as AFTA has claimed, this is due to more and more suppliers charging for merchant fees,”  Mr Mayo said.The Australian Federation of Travel Agents has previously said that customers paying travel agents by credit card will be protected because of the ability to make charge-backs.However, Mr Mayo said that the number of customers paying by credit card is dropping due to merchant fees so that less customers will have charge-back protection.Mr Mayo reiterated that the only solution was to run ATAS in conjunction with the Travel Compensation Fund to the end of 2014 in order to address the aforementioned concerns.The existing Travel Compensation Fund regime, which protects consumers against travel intermediary collapse, is due to be wound up today and replaced with the voluntary ATAS scheme.Source = ETB News: Travel Managerslast_img read more

Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts Pakistan presence blooms

first_imgMövenpick Hotels and Resorts’ Pakistan presence blooms From left to right, front row: Andreas Mattmuller – COO Middle East and Africa Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, Mian Ahmad Fazal – Executive Director of Orient Group of Companies, Olivier Chavy – CEO and President Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts. Back row: David Weir – Senior Legal Counsel Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, Amir Lababedi – Vice President Development Middle East & Africa Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, Andrew Langdon – Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President Asia Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts.Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts’ Pakistan presence blooms as firm signs new property in the ‘city of gardens’Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has expanded its footprint in Pakistan after finalising an agreement to operate its third property in the country. The Swiss hospitality firm has signed a deal with the Orient Group of Companies to manage the 310-key Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Lahore, part of a new mixed-used development the government has earmarked as the city’s new commercial hub.Set to be one of the tallest buildings in Pakistan when it opens in 2021, the property will be the focal point of the high-profile Finance and Trade Centre project in Johar Town, an up-and-coming district earmarked for significant development.The hotel will also be close to the Lahore International Expo Centre, the Bank Square financial precinct and several corporate and government offices, as well as new and upcoming theme parks and shopping malls.“Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Lahore will be perfectly positioned to capitalise on the significant resident and visiting population this new commercial hub will attract,” said Mian Ahmad Fazal, Executive Director of Orient Group of Companies.“We are pleased to be able to support the government’s ambitions for infrastructure development and look forward to Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts setting new hospitality standards in Lahore, as it has in other key cities across the region.”Known as the ‘city of gardens’, Lahore is the Punjab province’s capital and its commercial and banking centre.The Finance and Trade Centre development, which aims to grow the city’s prominence as a regional financial hub, comes as Pakistan ploughs significant investment into developments designed to transform the country’s economic landscape.Located at the heart of this new project, Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Lahore will feature 260 rooms and 50 serviced apartments; five restaurants and lounges; 1,500 square metres of meeting and event space, including a large ballroom; a 700-square-metre spa and fitness area; and a kids’ club and business centre.Mövenpick already operates the 407-room Mövenpick Hotel Karachi and is scheduled to open the 361-key Mövenpick Hotel Centaurus Islamabad in 2018.“Signing our third property in Pakistan marks yet another milestone in our expansion strategy, which focuses on operating properties in key gateway cities across the Middle East and Asia regions,” said Andrew Langdon, Chief Development Officer, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.“Pakistan is undergoing rapid development and we are actively seeking opportunities to further expand our footprint in a country that offers strong growth potential.”About Mövenpick Hotels & ResortsMövenpick Hotels & Resorts, an international upscale hotel management company with over 16,000 staff members, is represented in 24 countries with 83 hotels, resorts and Nile cruisers currently in operation. Around 20 properties are planned or under construction, including those in Chiang Mai (Thailand), Al Khobar (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and Nairobi (Kenya). Focusing on expanding within its core markets of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts specialises in business and conference hotels, as well as holiday resorts, all reflecting a sense of place and respect for their local communities. Of Swiss heritage and with headquarters in central Switzerland (Baar), Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is passionate about delivering premium service and culinary enjoyment – all with a personal touch. Committed to supporting sustainable environments, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has become the most Green Globe-certified hotel company in the world. The hotel company is owned by Mövenpick Holding (66.7%) and the Kingdom Group (33.3%). For more information, please visit www.movenpick.comSource = Mövenpick Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

Emirates to receive 100th A380 aircraft in November

first_imgEmirates to receive 100th A380 aircraft in NovemberEmirates to receive 100th A380 aircraft in NovemberEmirates, the world’s largest A380 operator, is set to receive its milestone 100th A380 aircraft on 3rd November.Over 80 million passengers have flown on the superjumbo in the nine years since it first joined Emirates’ modern fleet. Today, Emirates flies the A380 to over 45 destinations spanning Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Everywhere it operates, the Emirates A380 attracts consumer demand for its industry-leading inflight experience in all cabin classes, and is welcomed by local economies as a contributor to tourism and visitor growth.Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The A380 has been, and continues to be hugely popular amongst our customers, many of whom deliberately plan their travel so that they can fly on it. But we don’t rest on our laurels and continually invest to enhance our product so as to continue offering our customers the best possible inflight experience.“Our frequent flyers will have noticed countless improvements onboard over the years, ranging from minor updates such as the addition of in-seat USB and HDMI ports, to bigger cabin overhauls where for instance we relocated the central overhead luggage bins to create more spacious cabin on the upper deck, and when we introduced bigger and better inflight entertainment systems, amongst many other initiatives.”On the ground, Emirates had also worked closely with stakeholders to launch and operate an A380-dedicated airport concourse with 20 gates offering direct boarding from the airport lounge, and one of the world’s most advanced engineering centres which include six heavy maintenance hangars, paint shops, and the capability to completely overhaul an A380.Industry firsts and continual innovationWith its inaugural A380 flight in 2008, Emirates introduced several industry firsts including its iconic A380 Onboard Lounge and First Class Shower spa.The Onboard Lounge remains one of the biggest draws of the aircraft to date, and is arguably the most popular spot at 40,000 feet. It has gone through several successive and subtle changes, such as the introduction of electric window blinds, before a brand new look was unveiled last July.The latest makeover of the Onboard Lounge, inspired by private yacht cabins, features a more intimate and social area for up to 26 guests. The lounge now has a larger 55 inch LCD screen with surround sound speakers giving customers the latest flight information, or live TV broadcasts of the latest news or sports updates.The First Class Shower spa, catering exclusively for the 14 passengers travelling in Emirates’ First Class private suites, continue to generate as much curiosity and buzz today as when first launched. Since Emirates blazed a trial for the ultimate shower spa experience, only one other commercial airline has offered a similar facility in the sky. With nearly 100 A380s in its fleet, safe to say that if anyone is taking a shower at 40,000 feet, chances are it’s on an Emirates A380.With its many thoughtful design touches including a heated floor, shower timer, a hairdryer, and spa products, Emirates’ Onboard Shower spa remains the standard to beat for inflight luxury.  The airline recently introduced sustainable VOYA spa products and exclusively-developed moisturizing pyjamas, allowing customers to arrive at their destination refreshed.Inflight entertainmentEmirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice, has also been constantly updated to provide customers with more choices for on demand entertainment as well as improvements to the viewing experience. While the equipment has become smaller, media capacity has only expanded and Emirates now provides more than double the entertainment with 2,500 channels of blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music and documentaries.In addition to choice, Emirates has invested close to US $1 billion on hardware to provide a more comfortable viewing experience. Over the years, in-seat screens have been made larger across all classes. The screen in First Class has increased from 27 inches to 32 inches, the screens in Business Class from 17 inches to 20 inches, while screens on the latest A380 aircraft offer the industry’s largest in Economy at 13.3 inches from its original 10 inch screen. Little touches have also been introduced including USB ports for power and data in each seat as well as HDMI ports in premium classes to connect personal devices to the ice screen.The entire A380 fleet has also been fitted with connectivity to allow for free 20mb of Wi-Fi throughout the cabin. In June last year, the first A380 was fitted with Live TV allowing passengers to watch news and sports matches live on board.Extended capability Since 2008, the efficient A380 aircraft has been further enhanced to operate even longer routes. This had enabled Emirates to add more destinations to its A380 network, including the world’s longest A380 flight – a non-stop Dubai-Auckland service introduced in March 2016.Today, the Emirates A380 reaches all ends of the globe with non-stop flights to Sao Paulo, Casablanca, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Los Angeles from Dubai.Emirates also introduced the world’s first 2-class configured A380 in November 2015, making it the highest-capacity plane in the world with 615 seats on board while retaining the airline’s signature inflight services and comfort.Source = Emirateslast_img read more

An ECG at an altitude of 10000 meters

first_imgAn ECG at an altitude of 10,000 metersAn ECG at an altitude of 10,000 metersMobile ECG system will improve medical care for emergencies on all long-haul Lufthansa flightsAssists cockpit crews when making decisions regarding medical emergenciesAlso new: Lufthansa passengers can now book medical travel assistanceAs the first airline in the world to do so, Lufthansa has equipped all long–haul aircraft with the mobile ECG (Electrocardiogram) system CardioSecur. In case of on-board medical emergencies, the compact, intuitive system will allow flight attendants without cardiological expertise to record an ECG for passengers and send the test results directly to a medical hotline on the ground. The system has initially been tested in 2018 on the A380 fleet and now, it will be available for medical emergencies on all long-haul aircraft within the Lufthansa fleet.“The health of our passengers is very close to our hearts. Especially when they are feeling unwell on board, they should know that they are in good hands with Lufthansa. The results of the resting ECG conducted directly onboard the aircraft provide a better basis for deciding whether it is necessary to divert a plane in order to provide medical care on the ground in case of medical emergencies,” says Dr. Sven-Karsten Peters, a cardiologist with the Lufthansa Medical Service, as he explains the advantages of the system.Cardiovascular complaints are the most common cause of medical incidents on board. If there are any doctors on the flight, they have been able to use the defibrillator so far as a workaround to better assess the situation. However, the results from that machine cannot replace an ECG.Getting started with telemedical care with the mobile ECG systemWeighing only 50 grams, the compact mobile ECG system developed and distributed by Personal MedSystems GmbH under the name CardioSecur does not take up much space or weight. It consists of an app on the flight attendant’s Cabin Mobile Device (mini iPad) and a small bag with an ECG cable and four disposable electrodes. If a passenger complains of heart trouble, the system can record an ECG in a few short steps: First, the flight attendant establishes an internet connection via the FlyNet WiFi network on the Cabin Mobile Device and starts the app. The crew then connects the ECG cable to the four electrodes and places them on the upper body of the unwell passenger. The app records a 12-lead ECG; additional parameters such as the patient’s age, weight, gender, blood pressure and oxygen saturation are captured manually.Fast and accurate data transfer to doctors on the ground via FlyNetThis data will then be transferred from the app to the medical hotline of International SOS (ISOS). This Lufthansa partner can be contacted by pilots and pursers 24/7 in case of medical questions. ISOS will evaluate the ECG and advise the cockpit crew via telephone based on the gathered data. The cockpit crew will then have to make the final decision on whether it is necessary to divert the plane. If there is a doctor among the passengers on board, they can use the expert mode on the app to monitor the heart activity.The existing program “Doctor on Board” allows the cabin crew to swiftly identify doctors present on board, including their specialties. This program provided by Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS currently has 11,000 participating doctors from all specialties who can provide assistance in the case of medical incidents. For this purpose, an optimally equipped emergency kit that exceeds regulatory requirements is available, along with other materials. The crew is also well prepared for emergencies and receives first aid training every year.Also new: Lufthansa now offers a medical travel assistance serviceAn additional new feature: Lufthansa now offers a medical travel assistance service in cooperation with the service provider Medical Travel Companion. Passengers can choose to book either a nurse, a paramedic or a doctor to care of them during their entire flight. Lufthansa is the first European airline to offer this service. The medical companion program has different packages that passengers can choose from. Depending on their needs, customers can for example book medical supervision or wound management.Lufthansa as one of the leading airlines in the area of Health & MedicineAll in all, Lufthansa is a worldwide leader in Health & Medicine among airlines thanks to its extensive medical product portfolio.For more than 20 years now, Lufthansa has been the only commercial airline company that offers intercontinental intensive care transport: the Lufthansa Patient Transport Compartment (PTC) is available for the repatriation of people who are taken ill abroad or for the transportation of patients who require intensive medical care. The high-tech product is a kind of ‘flying ICU’ (intensive care unit) that unites state-of-the-art technology, competent specialists and efficient processes with the comfort and safety of an isolated ICU.In addition to that, Lufthansa offers a variety of medical services, for example a stretcher for pre-booked, non-intensive patient transports, provision of medical oxygen or seminars for stress-relieved flying as well as a separate Medical Operation Center (MOC). 365 days a year, the Lufthansa MOC supervises medical transports and answers passengers’ questions, for example regarding fitness for air travel or taking along medication.For more information on the topic, click on the following link:https://www.lufthansa.com/de/en/travelling-with-special-requirementsSource = Lufthansa Grouplast_img read more

Southwest China Delivers Surprise and Delight for TravelManagers

first_imgSource = TravelManagers Southwest China Delivers Surprise and Delight for TravelManagers The TravelManagers famil group meeting locals from Xijang – the biggest Miao village in the world (L-R) Back row: Andrew Hallinan, Kirsty Whittaker, Carolyn Burgmann, Emma Rowan-Kelly, Carolyn Johnston; middle row: Chris Van Hoof, Anna Curran; front row: Lyndal Hewitt, Natalie Miller, Sarah Birtwhistle, Sarah SegalSouthwest China Delivers Surprise and Delight for TravelManagersThe southwest Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou are not as well known to Western tourists as some other regions of China, but their popularity is steadily increasing, thanks to their rich cultural heritage, impressive scenery and population of pandas. Eleven personal travel managers (PTMs) recently participated in an exclusive TravelManagers famil to the two provinces, which provided them with valuable first-hand insights.The group were hosted by China’s National Tourism Office and China Travel Service (CTS), with flights provided by Air China. They spent a total of ten days in China, beginning their famil in Sichuan Province’s capital city, Chengdu.TravelManagers’ Natalie Miller, who is representative for Belmont, NSW, says she loved exploring the Wide and Narrow Alley section of the city – a historic and vibrant shopping area which has undergone considerable restoration work over the past fifteen years.“There was an array of cafes, restaurants, tea houses and souvenir stores, and it was so pleasant to wander through, watching the local people enjoying themselves in this amazing setting,” she explains.Miller was not the only famil participant to enjoy her time in this ancient city, which has been inhabited for at least four thousand years and is now home to a population of more than ten million: her colleague, PTM Sara Birtwhistle, was also very impressed.Meeting a different kind of local at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding“It’s big and busy and crowded but it all works,” says Birtwhistle, who is TravelManagers’ representative for Scarborough, QLD. “From old buildings to new, everything was exciting to explore, and I felt really safe everywhere we went – even when we went out to Bar Street one night, it was fun and crazy and totally different to anything I’ve experienced before. Chengdu is my new favourite place to visit.”A major highlight for all the famil participants was their visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, which is located just ten kilometres from downtown Chengdu. There are fewer than 2,000 of these endearing animals left in the wild, and 70 percent of them are distributed within Sichuan Province. Much of their survival as a species depends upon captive breeding programmes, and the Chengdu Research Base is designed to imitate the bears’ natural habitat to provide them with the best possible environment for breeding and rearing.“Giant pandas are a Chinese national treasure,” PTM Emma Rowan Kelly points out. “It is well worth paying extra to join the volunteer program for a chance to meet and feed the pandas up close.”The famil was Rowan-Kelly’s first visit to China in almost twenty years, and she declares herself amazed at the changes to the country in the intervening years.“The progress is really impressive,” she explains. “The roads and trains are exceptional, and the cities and towns are clean, unpolluted and modern. I would be very keen to return to see more, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to visit this incredible destination.”It was the first time in China for TravelManagers’ representative for Annerley, QLD, Chris van Hoof, and he says he was favourably surprised by how much he enjoyed his experience.“Everywhere we went, the scenery was amazing, the cities were clean, the people were friendly, and the food was great,” he reveals. “The famil has given me a useful understanding of the little quirks of the destination – I’m looking forward to sharing all this with my clients so that they really enjoy their time here too.”From Chengdu, the group flew to Guiyang, which is the capital city of the neighbouring province of Guizhou. Here they ventured beyond the city to visit numerous sites of great natural beauty, including Xiaoqikong National Park and Mt Fanjing.“At Mt Fanjing we took a twenty-minute, somewhat hairy, winding mountain shuttle up to the start of a twenty-minute cable car, concluding with a final climb of 2,000 steps to the spiritual paradise of the Buddhist temple located on the top of the world,” Miller explains. “It’s a bit of an effort, but once we reached the top, it felt as though we were in an enchanting fairyland!”Whittaker says although she had previously visited the cities of Beijing and Shanghai, this famil was her first taste of a more rural China, and the experience has enhanced her confidence in selling the destination.“I do feel I’ve only just scratched the surface of what this incredible country has to offer – there are so many more incredible sights, UNESCO World Heritage areas and different ethnic cultures to explore – I’d love to return again.”This view is shared by Whittaker’s colleagues, including Birtwhistle, who says she is already planning her next visit.“I had not expected to love it as I did, but the culture, the people, the natural beauty and every other aspect has left me wanting more – I would return to this region in a heartbeat!”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599About 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 570 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.last_img read more

Mega Maldives Airlines to offer direct nonstop flights from Delhi to Male

first_imgMega Maldives Airlines is all set to open a new chapter in Indian aviation with the launch of non-stop flights between India and Maldives, which would begin its operation from November 15, 2016 and connect passengers from New Delhi and Male’ three times a week. “We are thrilled with the positive response both in India and in Maldives to our new services to India. The resort and hospitality community of Maldives is clearly throwing open their doors to an excited and dynamic Indian market,” said George Weinmann, Founder and Chief Executive Office, Mega Maldives Airline. “The Maldives is consistently ranked among the world’s best tourist destinations. It is also increasingly popular with Indian tourists with over 52,000 guests arriving in 2015, and growing at almost 20% per year in recent years.”At a journey time of just 3Hrs 40Min (outbound) and 4Hrs and 20Min (Inbound), this would the fastest and only non-stop connection between the two capital cities, cutting the journey times on other existing flight options by between 2-8 hours.Mega Maldives will provide the ‘Queen of Skies’ – Boeing 737-800 for this route, which would be configured with 12 business class and 156 economy class seats. For leisure travellers the schedule would provide significant benefits, as it would depart from Delhi at the convenient time of 8:50am (Tue, Sun) and 10am (Fri) and arrive in the Maldives just after mid-day to make the best use of hotel check-in times and seaplane transfers. Similarly, the flight departs Maldives at 3:15pm, allowing guests to enjoy their hotels in the morning before transferring to the airport conveniently right after check-out.  The above schedule allows for a range of holiday durations including 2, 3 and 4 night packages popular with Indian tourists.For business travellers, the schedule would allow a convenient option of arriving into the Male on Sunday (the first working day in the Maldives) and departing either the next day, or an option to arrive on Tuesday for a 2 night option before departing on Thursday (the last working day of the week in Maldives).last_img read more

JNTO conducts Japan Travel Seminar 2019 in New Delhi

first_imgInternational High-speed Rail Association (IHRA) and Embassy of Japan in India in collaboration with Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), conducted a Japan Travel Seminar 2019 recently, ‘The Shinkansen – Make your way through Japan with a high-speed Train’, at The Lalit, New Delhi.The key agents of New Delhi were invited to the event. The objective of the seminar was to introduce, promote Japan tourism in India and help Indian travellers know about the rich cultural heritage of the country and for travellers to explore it through the high-speed train.The opening ceremony was kicked off by a welcome greeting by Masafumi Shukuri, Chairman, IHRA; Kenko Sone, Minister, Embassy of Japan and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Minister of Tourism, Government of India. This was followed by a brief presentation by Mamoru Kobori, Executive Vice- President, JNTO and Akihiko Tamura, Former Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner.“The Shinkansen, commonly known as a high-speed train, is the safest and the most reliable mode of transport within Japan. The aim of the high-speed train is to shorten the time people spend travelling from one destination to another. The high-speed train may change the way tourists travel, leaving more time for them to enjoy the destination. It plays a very prominent role in the country’s economy and lifestyle. Even India has decided to have its own high-speed rail between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which will help us build a better relationship between the countries,” said Masafumi Shukuri, Chairman, IHRA.Kenko Sone, Minister, Embassy of Japan said, “India is a key market for Japan. Recently the 3rd Meeting of India-Japan Tourism Council summit was held in India in early January 2019 to improve our relationship with India. We have decided to promote Japan in South India and are planning to start direct flights from Chennai and Bangalore as well to Japan, very soon.”Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Minister of Tourism, Government of India thanked the gathering and commented that he was looking forward to the inauguration of the high speed rail in India. He also expressed his sincere wish that the relationship between India and Japan should continue to flourish and grow.Mamoru Kobori, Executive Vice-President, JNTO made an extensive presentation on the JNTO website, its navigation and features. He also spoke about The Japan Specialist Program, key visuals of Japan and requested the attendees to enrol in the same.The final presentation was by, Akihiko Tamura, Former Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner who said, “The Shinkansen is the most effective mode of transport within Japan as it cuts down the travel time immensely. The high speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will play a major role in Indian economy and lifestyle as well.”Several senior officials attended the seminar from the Tourism and Urban Planning and Transportation department of India and Japan.#ANA and #JAL will introduce new direct flight route from Japan to Chennai and Bengaluru, respectively.last_img read more

Report FHA Could Require Bailout by Next Year

first_img November 16, 2011 417 Views The “”Federal Housing Administration””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory (FHA) submitted an “”annual actuarial report””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=FHAMMIFundAnnRptFY11No2.pdf to Congress Tuesday that suggests diminishing returns from a fledgling growth strategy could lead the agency to a taxpayer-funded bailout next year.[IMAGE]The reason why? The FHA currently fails to meet a 2-percent capital reserve ratio mandated by federal law, with cash reserves on hand falling to less than an eighth below the required threshold. The report said that cash reserves on hand fell accordingly from $4.7 billion last year to $2.6 billion over 2011 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô an amount that fails to meet the needs of more than $1 trillion loan guarantees. Writing in the preface, “”HUD””:http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD “”Secretary Shaun Donovan””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/about/principal_staff/secretary_donovan described the FHA’s insurance fund as “”actuarially sound,”” although he noted “”significant near-term economic risks”” that could include rapidly declining home prices and rising defaults among homeowners with single-family loans.If Congress acted to shore up the agency with taxpayer funds, it would mark the first bailout for the FHA in its nearly 80-year history. Some estimates predict that the FHA could require as much as $50 billion or more from the “”Treasury Department””:http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx.The actuarial report comes on the heels of “”another””:https://themreport.com/articles/study-fha-may-soon-need-50b-in-bailout-funds-2011-11-11 by “”Joseph Gyourko””:http://real-estate.wharton.upenn.edu/people/faculty.cfm?id=805, a real estate and finance professor with the University of Pennsylvania, who used the word [COLUMN_BREAK]””overoptimistic”” to describe an FHA strategy that aims to recover capital and meet federal requirements by 2014.Speaking with _MReport_ for a past story, several sources in the know about problems with the FHA credited any sudden bailout that may happen with the FHA’s decision to take on more loan guarantees.FHA “”Acting Commissioner Carol Galante””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/about/principal_staff/assistant_secretary_galante, now an Obama administration nominee for the position, assured reporters in a teleconference Tuesday that FHA business has expanded “”significantly,”” even while the average credit score for a homebuyer meets or exceeds 700.She cited base-case statistics to justify the FHA’s capital position, saying that the agency could withstand as much as 4-percent to 5-percent declines in home prices without becoming insolvent.””We are very mindful and aware that there are downside economic risks,”” she said.””The more complicated the FHA story becomes, the more cautious banks will be in originating FHA loans,”” Paul Miller, a financial analyst with “”FBR Capital Markets””:http://www.fbr.com/, said in a note.He projected that FHA denials ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the result of a sudden bailout that requires the administration to hold off on loan guarantees ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô could cost banks $13.5 billion if the hammer falls on servicers, and $11.5 billion, if it falls on lenders.Despite the talk of a bailout, he said, “”we believe that the risk is more a headline risk than a capital concern.””Others defended the FHA as a needed buttress for the sagging economy, despite a growth policy that has expanded its portfolio from just 5 percent of homeowners to 30 percent this year.””FHA plays an important countercyclical role in the housing market, with its greatest contributions coming during those times of market stress, like those we have seen in recent years,”” “”Michael Young””:http://www.mbaa.org/michaelyoungbio.htm, chairman of the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm, said in a statement. “”Without FHA’s support, our housing market would be in far worse shape than it is today.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FBR Capital Markets FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgage Home Prices HUD Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Bonds Mortgage Insurance Processing Service Providers Treasury Department Underwriting Standards 2011-11-16 Ryan Schuette in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img Share Report: FHA Could Require Bailout by Next Yearlast_img read more

CoreLogic to Expand Building Permit Database

first_img Building Permit Database CoreLogic Residential and Commercial Market 2015-06-03 Staff Writer According to a recent press release, CoreLogic, Inc., a leading global property information, analytics, and data-enabled services provider, announced that its nationwide building permit database has reached over 28 million residential, commercial, and industrial building permits. It also now tracks more than 35 permit types, covering 65 percent of the U.S. residential and commercial market.CoreLogic combines data from public, contributory, and proprietary sources includes over 3.5 billion records spanning more than 40 years, according to the company. It provides detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk, and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, and the public sectorThe building permit database provides users with access to comprehensive improvement data in a standardized format, according to CoreLogic. The database also uses industry norms for property identification such as, assessor parcel numbers (APN) and standard addresses and latitude/longitude to easily link to other CoreLogic property and mortgage datasets. This form of integration allows users to gain visibility into all relevant properties and transaction details related to a specific building permit or property improvement.CoreLogic says that the database along with all of the linkage throughout it gives appraisers, direct marketers, homebuyers, lenders, realtors, property insurers, servicers, and secondary market participants’ property intelligence necessary to assess risk and opportunity to a variety of industry stakeholders.“Building permit data can provide critical insights into a variety of purchasing, marketing, financial, and risk decisions,” said Randy Wussler, VP, product general manager at CoreLogic. “Our database and standardized reporting makes accessing and consuming the information easier. It can also be validated and enhanced by integrating with other public property data to deliver customized solutions.” June 3, 2015 560 Views CoreLogic to Expand Building Permit Databasecenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

From DC to Detroit Judge Moves Quicken Loans Trial

first_img November 15, 2016 712 Views Department of Justice FHA-Insured Loans HUD Lawsuits Quicken Loans 2016-11-15 Seth Welborn From D.C. to Detroit: Judge Moves Quicken Loans Trial There will be a change of venue in the trial of USA v. Quicken Loans case—from Washington, D.C. to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Michigan District, which is based in Quicken’s headquarter city of Detroit.Judge Reggie B. Walton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted Quicken’s motion to have the trial moved from D.C. to Detroit. Since the beginning of the bitter battle between Quicken and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Quicken had argued that Detroit was the only appropriate venue for the trial, since the majority of the company’s loan processing and underwriting operations are in Detroit. Quicken Loans is one of the largest non-bank mortgage lenders in the country by volume and the country’s largest Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lender.Quicken sued the DOJ and HUD in April 2015, anticipating that a lawsuit from the DOJ was forthcoming.  Quicken’s suit alleges the DOJ demanded the company make public admissions of fault, as well as pay a large penalty or face legal action, and the DOJ’s suit accuses Quicken of improperly originating and underwriting hundreds of FHA-insured mortgages on which HUD later paid millions of dollars in insurance claims due to defaulted loans.“I think it is becoming increasingly clear what we have known all along: the DOJ case against QL has absolutely no merit,” said Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman. “QL is the gold standard for residential lending in this country. We have had the FHA’s lowest delinquency and default rates in the nation for years, resulting in billions of dollars of profits to the FHA insurance fund. It is obvious the DOJ made a conscious decision to exert pressure on the largest lenders in the country, using the weight of the federal government and its endless capacity to bring lengthy litigation and corresponding reputational damage without regard for the actual validity of its claims. DOJ’s strategy was deployed for the sole purpose of extracting large settlements. We do not succumb to these egregious tactics. QL’s outstanding reputation hard-earned over 31 years is not for sale.”The Department of Justice declined to comment on the change of venue for the trial.Quicken anticipated in its original court filing that it would take at least two years for the case to go to trial because of the D.C. venue; the trial may happen sooner now that the trial has been moved to Detroit.center_img in Daily Dose, News, Origination Sharelast_img read more

Going Online How Borrowers are Connecting With Lenders

first_img October 1, 2018 904 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share As web interfaces, online portals, automated loan processing, and sales automation become standard practice in mortgage lending, a new Ellie Mae survey looked at how borrowers used technology to get a purchase loan or refinance an existing mortgage and what more they would like to see in terms of digitization from mortgage lenders. For the survey, Ellie Mae analyzed the responses of more than 500 borrowers who took out mortgage loans over the past 10 years. The respondents spanned an age group of 35-55 years, with Generation-X borrowers (those in the 35-54 age group) comprising the largest group of survey respondents at 43 percent, followed by millennials at 29 percent. Baby boomers consisted of 28 percent of the people surveyed.A vast majority, 92 percent, of borrowers, said that they did online research prior to reaching out to lenders in the last year, the survey indicated. This was in stark contrast with just 57 percent borrowers going online for research five to ten years ago. Borrowers also preferred working with lenders who provided an online portal for sharing documents. The survey revealed that borrowers who were provided an online portal were two times more likely to say technology improved the loan process.What did borrowers research for online? Some of the most popular reasons for online research for borrowers ranged from finding the best rate and calculating how much mortgage they were qualified to receive, to research on where they could find a trusted lender, the survey found.The survey also revealed that borrowers were increasingly going online to make the first contact with a lender, followed by phone, which took second place to make the first contact with lenders. In fact, refi borrowers were 21 percent more likely to reach out to a lender online than purchase borrowers, the survey indicated.Borrowers went online to complete nearly every phase of the loan process from comparing options to application and qualification. The survey also found some things that borrowers wished they could do online. These included, order or pay for an appraisal, pre-qualify with or without a credit report, and get a pre-approval letter from a lender.For lenders, the survey gave many recommendations including, simplifying the borrower experience with online applications that guide the applicant through every step of the loan process, implementing workflow to automate and streamline data collection and ensure compliance, and most importantly not to forget the human element.center_img Borrowers Buyers Digitzation Ellie Mae Lenders mortgage Online Refis technology Tools 2018-10-01 Radhika Ojha Going Online: How Borrowers are Connecting With Lenderslast_img read more

Agency NewsEvent Famil photosTravelManagers

first_imgAgency NewsEvent & Famil photosTravelManagers TravelManagers is getting ready for its annual conference in September, buoyed by the success of its first quarter round of state meetings across the country.Strong personal travel manager attendance saw record numbers achieved in both Adelaide and Sydney, with a 35% and 10% increased attendance respectively. Hosted by the local state-based business partnership managers, the five regional meetings in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth had a strong business focus, allowing the personal travel managers to network and begin consolidating their 2017 goals.Michael Gazal, TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager says they have come a long way since the first state meeting in 2009 with just two national partnership office reps and 90 attendees.“Eight years on and we are thrilled that on average at least triple the number of personal travel managers now attend these meetings, and we provide a much broader involvement from members of our national partnership office support team.“The level of engagement of our personal travel managers with the company is so high that five personal travel managers travelled interstate to ensure they didn’t miss a meeting when they were unable to attend the scheduled one in their own region. This shows true commitment and dedication,” he adds.Queensland – Maree Evans with Michael GazalGazal says he is proud that the TravelManagers’ state meetings are a winning formula with personal travel managers. “The feedback over the years from our personal travel managers has always been that our inclusive strategy, strong business focused agenda, large contingent from our national partnership office and hosting by our locally based business partnership managers really works. Despite a category four cyclone heading towards Queensland the day of the meeting and personal travel managers still attending in force, happy and eager to hear what is new for TravelManagers, we know we are on a winning formula with these meetings. The fact that over thirty-eight percent of personal travel managers have been with the company for more than five years does not surprise Gazal.“TravelManagers is a company that really cares about its people and recognizing talent and providing opportunities for growth is of absolute importance to us. We treat each personal travel manager as an individual and valued business partner. The ability to have the freedom and flexibility to work how and when you choose we know resonates with our personal travel managers.”Victoria – Helen Rolton with Michael GazalA select group of partner suppliers are invited to attend each state meeting.“The state meetings always provide a great opportunity for our partner suppliers to network directly with our personal travel managers. We were delighted to have Air New Zealand, Silversea and Total Holiday Options promote their products and unique selling points fostering greater supplier relationships,” says Gazal.A post meeting networking session hosted by Singapore Airlines proved an outstanding success. Singapore Airlines commenced the networking session with a brief presentation from the local representative in each state, followed by a chance for personal travel managers and national partnership office team members to mix and mingle.Personal Travel Managers in AdelaideA series of virtual state meetings were held via webinar for the personal travel managers who could not attend in person.“We follow up with state webinars so that everyone has the opportunity to be part of the partnership process and across new developments,” says Gazal.last_img read more

TravelManagers homebased Personal Travel Manager

first_imgTravelManagers’ home-based Personal Travel Managers (PTMs) report that cruise holiday sales are on the increase, and to prove the point, PTM Justine Trevenar, who is representative for Loganholme, QLD, has been named on P&O Flagship’s list of Top 20 selling consultants for 2018, while Nicole Edgar, representative for Narre Warren South, VIC, has been named among the finalists, in the ‘Home-Based/Mobile Agent of the Year 2018’ category, in Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) 18th annual Cruise Industry Awards.Justine TrevenarTrevenar says says achieving Top 20 P&O status was a delightful surprise.“I was totally shocked: I had just been focused on looking after my clients. Then when I received the call to say I had finished the year within the Top 20, I was told I had made it to number ten and that I was the first person from TravelManagers to have made the list.“P&O Cruises are easy to book and easy for me to sell, as I’ve been on many cruises over the years.”CLIA finalist, Nicole Edgar, hoped she had submitted a strong application for the awards.Nicole Edgar“I had a good case to show how my cruise sales had increased and how my recent cruise marketing promotion had worked, but with the sheer number of Australia-wide applicants and the high calibre of applications, I was still surprised to have my nomination confirmed.”As an accredited CLIA Cruise Master, Edgar says she loves selling cruise holidays, and believes there is a cruise product to suit every client. She recently ran a highly-successful “Getaway with the Girls” promotion which saw the cruise component of her overall business soar from eight to 25 percent. cruiselast_img read more

BrochuresCosmosGlobus family of brands

first_imgBrochuresCosmosGlobus family of brands The 2020 North America brochures for North America Globus and Cosmos offerings include seven new itineraries, including three Cosmos itineraries spanning North America’s renowned Joshua Tree National Park and desert playground of Palm Springs; to the resident sea lions of Alaska’s Inside Passage; and through to the Eastern Seaboard’s charming towns of Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina and Daytona Beach, Florida. Two new Globus new itineraries take in the sights of Quebec, Canada, with highlights including picturesque maritime ports, the province’s largest winter carnival, and a behind the scenes look into the art of strawberry wine making (and of course tasting). Globus also shines a light on a number of special events including the Jasper Dark Sky Festival, which features a Planetarium and telescope experience of the largest sky preserve in the world, as well as the historic Mayflower 400th Anniversary Embarkation Festival in Plymouth.Globus family of brands’ Australasia Managing Director Gai Tyrrell said the team is delighted to be expanding the offering across North America and Canada, providing even more opportunities for Aussies to reconnect with nature and enjoy a more immersive travel experience.“The launch of a new brochure is always an exciting time for us, though particularly when we are announcing seven inspiring new tours. These specially crafted itineraries have been curated to meet the evolving demands of the market, with both brands seeing significant growth across the region, specifically Alaska and the Southern States including Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. This continuous development is testament to the brand’s ongoing dedication to uncovering captivating destinations around the globe.”To celebrate the launch of the 2020 North America brochures, Globus family of brands is offering:Globus – Earlybird savings of 10 per cent off, applicable on all bookings made before 26 November, 2019. Terms and conditions apply. Cosmos – Save $300 (per couple) on any Canadian & Alaskan Masterpiece booking. Terms and conditions apply. GLOBUS BROCHURECOSMOS BROCHURElast_img read more

LISTEN Steve Keim Cardinals general manager

first_img LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals general manager Comments   Share   Freeney’s deal also calls for more financial gain for every sack he registers for the rest of the regular season. Keim will be happy if that’s the case, as Freeney is capable of providing an ingredient that isn’t a surplus for the Cardinals’ defense.“He’s a guy we’re going to count on down the stretch,” Keim said. “If there are any concerns, it is that ability to apply pressure without manufacturing and bringing the blitz. “(Defensive coordinator) James Bettcher does a nice job of diagramming our defense and making sure guys are in positions to succeed, but we need to be able to win one-on-one situations from time to time, and Dwight Freeney is a guy that can do it for us.”Teddy Bridgewater goes for the win.Dwight Freeney goes for the strip-sack fumble.And the Cardinals win. #MINvsAZ https://t.co/vQz2uxsmrt— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2015 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Your browser does not support the audio element. There was a lot of white-knuckling going on last Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.The Arizona Cardinals led the Minnesota Vikings by three points in the last minute of the game. The Vikings were in field goal range for kicker Blair Walsh, but opted to run another play on third down even though they didn’t have any timeouts. Linebacker Dwight Freeney beat left tackle Matt Kalil on one of his patented spin moves and sacked quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, forcing a fumble in the process. Defensive end Calais Campbell jumped on the loose ball to preserve the 23-20 win, which clinched a playoff spot for the Cardinals for the second straight year. Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Dwight Freeney (54) forces Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) to fumble during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals recovered the ball to secure the 23-20 win. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) – / 45 Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “I was thinking that was the best $200,000 we’ve ever spent,” Arizona general manager Steve Keim told Doug and Wolf Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Freeney’s sack was his fourth of the season and activated a $200,000 bonus in his contract. The 35-year-old pass rusher was signed to a one-year deal by the Cardinals in mid-October. It’s just another in a long line of one-year contract success stories for Keim.“Dwight was chomping at the bit to get off the couch, and we knew from watching the tape that he still had the ability to apply pressure,” Keim said. “Last year, I think he only had four sacks in the entire season, but he was sixth in the NFL in pressures.”Freeney had 21 quarterback hurries last season when he was a member of the San Diego Chargers. He’s already surpassed his sack total from 2014 and has 10 pressures in eight games for Arizona.Even though Freeney has been terrorizing NFL quarterbacks since 2002, Keim still marvels at the effectiveness of the seven-time Pro Bowler’s signature spin move.“That inside spin is remarkable,” he said. “I haven’t seen many guys who can master that. To have a guy come off the edge and be able to almost gain speed coming out of the spin is unusual. I haven’t seen anyone else do it like Dwight Freeney does it.”last_img read more