Hawaii convention centers regional director of accounts for the Nort

first_imgBrian Reaver The Hawai‘i Convention Center is pleased to announce that Brian Reaver, regional director of accounts for the Northeast, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the ‘New Star’ award by the New York Society of Association Executives.The award recognizes the significant contribution of a new NYSAE member with less than three years of service made to NYSAE in the areas of committee work, special projects or new programs. Reaver has been a member of NYSAE since November 2009. He serves on NYSAE’s Meet NY committee, which plans the annual Meet NY client/customer showcase in New York with qualified executives and planners. Reaver also hosted the NYSAE board during a visit to Hawaii in 2010. “The Hawai‘i Convention Center encourages its employees to be active leaders in their communities and professional associations,” said Joe Davis, SMG general manager of the Hawai‘i Convention Center. “Brian sets the standard in exemplary leadership, and we are proud of him for receiving this prestigious recognition.”Reaver, who is based in Philadelphia, is responsible for managing day-to-day sales efforts for the Center along much of the East Coast. He has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality and meetings industry and is a member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, the American Society of Association Executives, Meeting Professionals International and the Professional Convention Management Association. He is also a board member of the Greater Philadelphia Professional Convention Management Association.SMG markets and manages the Hawai‘i Convention Center under the direction and support of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency.  The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority was created in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future.  Its mission is to strategically manage Hawai‘i tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawai‘i’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires and visitor industry needs. Source = Hawai‘i Convention Centerlast_img read more

Seasonal Workers positive for tourism

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Seasonal Workers good for tourismIMAGE SOURCE: The Federal Government has announced an expansion of the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme to include Islands Samoa, Solomon, Tuvalu and Nauru.The Australian Government also announced that it will implement a small scale trial with Tourism employers in Broome, Western Australia with workers from East Timor. Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) managing director Felicia Mariani said the decision is welcome news to the tourism industry.“This announcement is a positive move towards helping the industry to get the labour and skills it needs, particularly in regional areas,” Ms Mariani said.The Pilot is subject to an independent evaluation that will report to Government which will examine whether the Pilot has contributed to Pacific regional economic development objectives and if the horticultural industry have benefited from an increased labour supply.“While this is a pilot scheme benefiting operators in Broome, ATEC is pleased to see the Government has recognised the needs of the industry and is looking at new and sustainable ways to meet our labour requirements,” Ms Mariani said.Ms Mariani said the tourism Industry directly employs more than half a million people, however was experiencing a major labour and skills shortage as a result of the mining boom.ATEC has called for changes to the Working Holiday Maker Visa to include extending the definition to allow travellers to stay an extra year in return for working in a regional areas, an increase in the age limits and allowing young people to apply for the visa a second time.“Australia’s tourism industry is suffering from enormous labour and skills shortages which schemes such as the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot and an extension of the Working Maker Visa can help to ameliorate,” Ms Mariani said.last_img read more

Industry leaders on Tourism Vision 2020 at ATM

first_img“Since opening in 1993, Marriott has been operating ten hotels across five brands…we can operate 10,000 rooms by 2020 and we will be working closely together with airlines and cruise lines to continue to create demand,” Mr. Jones said. Since announcing the target to grow annual visitor numbers from 10 million to 20 million by 2020 at last year’s ATM, Dubai is on track to reach the target, thanks to the collaborative effort of both publican and private sector industry partners embracing the vision and initiatives. Since announcing Tourism Vision 2020 at last year’s expo, DTCM and its industry partners have worked closely together to implement initial phase strategies across the board, from aviation to hospitality. The industry leaders discussed the initiatives and their challenges and successes one year in, at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with His Excellency stating that Dubai’s winning bid to host Expo 2020 has positioned Dubai as not only a tourism destination, but a top business hub also. Hotels are also rapidly growing, with the number of hotels in Dubai expected to reach 665 by the end of the year, a 6.4 per cent growth on the previous year. Dubai’s airline Emirates is continuing to bring in increasing numbers of passengers to Dubai (currently over 1.2 million) and expects to have two million by 2020.center_img “Emirates now flies to more than 104 destinations, and our goals are aligned to meet Dubai Expo 2020’s growth plans with our challenge being to meet the demand while developing the brand and continue accelerating in our high quality standards,” Mr. Antinori said. Leading the “Delivering the Tourism Vision for 2020 and how Dubai is marketed to the World” panel discussion session, were His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Dubai World Trade Centre chief executive officer and Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing director, Ghaith Al Ghaith, flydubai chief executive, Thierry Antinori, Emirates executive vice president and chief commercial officer and Neil Jones, Marriott International chief sales and marketing office MEA. A panel discussion during the first day of the Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) saw industry leaders discuss Dubai’s “Tourism Vision 2020” target of reaching 20 million annual visitors and triple the tourism industry’s economic input by 2020. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

One Legendary Night on board Carnival Legend

first_imgCarnival Cruise Lines chief executive officer and president, Gerry Cahill with vice president Australia and New Zealand Jennifer Vandekreeke Around 1,500 people dressed up in character as their favourite “legend” and celebrated One Legend-ary Night on board Carnival Legend last night in Sydney harbour.The one night cruising extravaganza featured plenty of fun and entertainment, showcasing the best the superliner has to offer as she kicked off her Australia 2014-15 cruise season.Carnival Legend is the first ship international ship to arrive in Australia for the 2014-15 cruise season, and is the second ship to be based in Australia by Carnival Cruise Lines, after deploying Carnival Spirit in 2012, in response to Aussies’ growing demand for cruise holidays.“With almost half the population considering a cruise holiday, we are seeing a lot of first time cruisers from Australia joining us, around 80 percent of our customers for the 2013-14 season were first time cruisers,” Carnival Cruise Lines vice president Australia and New Zealand Jennifer Vandekreeke said.“We find that first time cruisers tend to decide on the brand first, then the itinerary, and Australians have shown a real affinity for Carnival Cruise Lines because we share a similar outlook on life – a passion for fun, new experiences and adventure.”After successfully completing a whopping USD $47 million “Aussification” to ensure the ship was ready for the Australian market, the ship boasts exciting new features including the thrilling Green Thunder water slide, and its Bonsai Sushi Restaurant, Red Frog Pub with locally brewed ThirstyFrog Summer Ale, Cherry On Top lolly shop and Seuss at Sea program for the kids, all exclusively available on Carnival Legend.With more than 35 different ships sailing Australia’s waters, visiting over 600 ports and injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, the 2014-15 summer cruising season signifies the country’s biggest cruise season to date.For more photos and information on One Legend-ary Night on board Carnival Legend, click here.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

Air Frances ecofriendly web series wins the gold

first_imgThe 2015 Deauville Green Awards Festival dedicated to audiovisual productions for sustainable development and ecology, has awarded Air France’s Lab’line for the future mini-series a gold totem in the Transport and Ecomobility category.For the past four years, this festival has been rewarding the best sustainable development documentaries, corporate films and awareness campaigns.This distinction thus confirms the Lab’line for the future mini-series’ role in promoting the recognition and visibility of Air France’s sustainable development efforts.Air France demonstrates its commitment to sustainable development in its program Lab’line for the future.As part of this program, an aircraft powered by biofuel has been providing one weekly flight on the Toulouse–Paris-Orly route since last October.With 300 films in competition from some 30 countries and an international jury, the Deauville Green Awards festival is a global showcase devoted to the environment and sustainable development.Air France’s latest episode of the eco-friendly program showcases the airline’s efforts to reduce fuel consumption.Watch the video below and discover the 2nd installment of Lab’line for the future! Source = Air Francelast_img read more

Personal Travel Manager demonstrates expertise at Seniors Expo

first_imgPersonal Travel Manager demonstrates expertise at Seniors Expo TravelManagers’ personal travel manager Pamela Bass (left) with Millie Browne, Sales Development Manager, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours at Toronto Seniors Week Expo at the Toronto Workers ClubPersonal Travel Manager demonstrates expertise at Seniors ExpoThe decision to focus on the seniors market has proved a success in more ways than one, for TravelManagers’ personal travel manager Pamela Baas representative for Wallsend.Initially inspired by seeing an article from a local member of parliament to hold a Seniors Expo in her area, the New South Wales personal travel manager didn’t realise that from this proactive enquiry, an exciting adventure with the seniors travel market was about to begin.“I know the seniors have the time and money to travel a lot. They also love to live life, meet new people and experience all that they didn’t get to do when they were younger. The really nice thing too is that they also like to explore our backyard including places like Norfolk Island and Tasmania as well as travelling further afield.”Baas has wholeheartedly embraced the seniors market taking many marketing opportunities to grow awareness within her local community of her specialisation into the seniors travel market.“I have attended many expos including the Toronto Seniors Week Expo, the NSW Seniors Week Festival and even taken a stand for a few days at my local shopping centre, the Stocklands Wallsend Plaza. I also sponsor the bowls team at The Cove Village, one of the largest and fastest growing lifestyle villages in my area where I advertise on all of the drink holders around the greens. The seniors in my area are definitely starting to know my name as being the seniors travel expert which is fantastic.”Baas truly understands the needs of seniors travel requirements.“I assess what each of their individual physical abilities are and then tailor make the holiday to suit. Some prefer the routine of organised tours whilst others just love to experience another culture yet want the peace of mind that everything is organised for them. As long as they have a day or two to get over the flight and a few extra days of leisure in the middle and a not too fast paced itinerary, they are happy. It’s the little things that make all the difference and I just love making sure all these finer details are in place to ensure they have a hassle free and truly enjoyable holiday experience.”Executive General Manager – Michael GazalTravelManagers’ Executive General Manager Michael Gazal says, “We applaud the way Pamela has focused on a growing need within her community. This innovative thinking epitomizes TravelManagers’ philosophy of personal travel managers utilising their skills and expertise to provide the ultimate travel experience for their customers. We recognize each personal travel manager has strengths in different areas and we actively support and encourage their individual focus on niche markets to further grow their businesses.”Baas’ success can be attributed to her clear focus and innovative, outside the square thinking.“The key is being innovative and fun. I recently held an afternoon tea wine and cheese event where a supplier spoke as well as a local resident talking about their most recent travels. Some casual mix and mingle time followed to get to know the residents more. That was hugely successful in really connecting with potential clients.”Baas advises the support of the national partnership office is invaluable.“I have now been with TravelManagers for five and a half years and the encouragement and support I receive from the national partnership office and other personal travel managers is incredible. I don’t know of any other travel business where everyone wants everyone else to succeed and are willing to help each other to achieve individual goals. TravelManagers gives me flexibility and allows me to confidently focus solely on my love of selling travel and to provide expertise and exemplary customer service. Working against each other creates stress, anxiety and negativity. We choose to work together and create positivity, happiness and prosperity, you can’t ask for more than that.”The future certainly looks bright for the seniors in Wallsend.“I actually have my bus license, so it’s on the cards that in the not too distant future I will also organize day trips out for the residents, which both they and I are very excited about,” laughs Baas.For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599. Source = TravelManagers Australia Join TravelManagersbecome a personal travel manager todayAbout TravelManagersTravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.last_img read more

Amara Bangkok unveils yearend celebration package

first_imgAmara Bangkok unveils year-end celebration packageAmara Bangkok unveils year-end celebration packageAmara Bangkok today announced a year-end celebration package for its customers with fabulous party offers immediate available until January 2018 including upscale event facilities, accommodation and an array of food and beverage options in a very reasonable price.Priced THB 1,200 per person, the celebration package is available for company staff gathering, party and dinner with at least 30 persons attending from now until end of January 2018, subject to availability. Complimentary additions like provision of international buffet, soft drinks and mixers up to 4 hours, corkage charge, changing room, stage backdrop wording with company logo, bring-in band and LCD projector with screen.In addition, with minimum spending of THB 80,000 or minimum guarantee of 80 persons, guests can enjoy either a one-night accommodation at the hotel including breakfast voucher or complimentary 1 barrel of selected draught beer. With minimum spending of THB 160,000 or minimum guarantee of 150 persons, guests can enjoy one choices such as a one-night accommodation at the hotel including breakfast voucher, complimentary 1 barrel of selected draught beer and complimentary karaoke set. Package offers a range of complimentary inclusions so the more spent, the more value the guest will receive!Guests can also enjoy special discount when organizing weekday party (Monday – Thursday) as the hotel will provide 5% discount for a minimum guarantee of 30 persons and 10 percent discount for a minimum guarantee of 100 persons.The all-in celebration package showcases an option for corporate and MICE organisers in Surawong Road, one of Bangkok’s most colourful districts neighbouring Silom Road CBD, popular night markets and shopping malls, a stroll from BTS Sky Train stations and convenient for expressway connections to the airport and major exhibition and convention centres.Facilities in chic meeting rooms streaming with natural light include latest state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and modern amenities from microphones and LCD projector to pens, notepads and flip charts.Amara Bangkok offers 250 tastefully appointed guestrooms designed to suit all guests’ needs and preferences with contemporary furnishings in soothing tones, boasting all modern conveniences including luxurious bathrooms featuring rain showers and top-rate bath amenities.Thai Art pieces feature in every room and hotel spaces. In addition, the hotel offers innovative F&B concepts, Mini Bar Boutique, a Sky Gym and Sky Pool, and a range of function and meeting rooms with glass facades for spectacular city views and natural light.F&B highlights include signature Singaporean and authentic Thai cuisine at all-day restaurant Element, fashionable rooftop nightspot AkaAza with spectacular views and signature cocktails at The Bar and specialty coffee at Barista.Amara Bangkok’s dedicated events specialists will take care of all the important details and the talented chefs will present a selection of tempting cuisine sourced locally and from around the globe.For more information, please call + 66 (0)2 021 8888 extension 5110, email or visit the hotel’s website at Source = Amara Bangkoklast_img read more

All eyes on tvN new Drama A Moment I Want to Stop

first_imgAll eyes on tvN new Drama ‘A Moment I Want to Stop: About Time’All eyes on tvN new Drama ‘A Moment I Want to Stop: About Time’Club Med Sanya, tvN new Monday and Tuesday drama ‘A Moment I Want to Stop’: An introduction of the Club Med Sanya resort in Hainan where the actors ‘Sang Yoon LEE’, ‘Sung Kyung LEE’ meet for the first time in the resort and begin to fall in love. The episode was aired on 21 May 2018.The Hainan province, called ‘Hawaii of the Orient’, is popular as a vacation spot for warm weather and beautiful scenery throughout the year.22km sprawling clean beach, three types of swimming pool, Kids Club for all ages, various sports and activities makes it a great family vacation resort.The premium All-Inclusive Resort Club Med is proud to host tvN’s new Monday and Tuesday drama ‘A Moment I Want to Stop: ‘About Time’ film at Club Med Sanya on Hainan Island. ‘Woo Hyo-Kwang, Yu Xiao-Guang 于晓光’ participated in an overseas filming as a special cast with the main star-crossed lovers of the drama, ‘Sang Yoon LEE’ and ‘Sung Kyung LEE’. Club Med Sanya will be featured in the first two episodes in which the three main actors will appear amongst the beautiful scenery of the resort. Actress ‘Sung Kyung LEE’ plays the role of a resort G.O. (Gentil Organisateurs) and will appear in the TV drama wearing a Club Med uniform along with a G.O. name tag ‘MIKA’. Capturing visitors attention, the filming took place at Club Med Sanya’s main swimming pool, Presidential Suite and restaurant.Chinese actor ‘Yu Xiao-Guang’, who is popular in Korea with the nickname ‘Lovely-Yu’, will make his first debut appearance in a Korean drama as the main actor’s business partner in China. In a released teaser video, he made fans of Korea and China laugh as he expressed how elated he was at the oversea ‘China location’ filming of his first Korean drama. The Korean TV show was first aired on 21 May 2018.About Club Med SanyaSanya, located on the tropical haven on the island of Hainan, is known for its warm weather and beautiful tropical scenery throughout the year. Also known as the ‘Hawaii of the Orient’, the resort is loved by people from all over Asia.Club Med Sanya was first opened in 2016 with state-of-the-art facilities and features beautiful forests and a flawless 22km beach. Just 90-mins away from the airport, the resort is equipped with deluxe and suite rooms with either a Jacuzzi or private swimming pool. Guests are also spoilt for choice with three swimming pools available for everyone of all ages – including a pool with a water slide and a Zen pool corner for adults who are looking for some relaxation. Club Med is known for its wide range of activities such as Yoga, Tai-Chi under the palm trees, Sailing, Archery, the Flying Trapeze as well as Club Med Sanya’s Must-Try Experiences, windsurfing and sailing in the crystal blue sea. A marketing representative at Club Med commented “Club Med Sanya is known as a tropical paradise for a mild and pleasant summer vacation spot with an annual average of 25 degrees, and is one of the most popular places to visit. Club Med Korea office expects positive attention for this special promotion for tvN ‘About Time’ drama from tourists who are planning a summer vacation this year.” Premium All-Inclusive Club Med provides round-trip flight tickets, shuttle to and from the airport, rooms, premium meals and drinks, daily entertainment show and party in the evening, various sports, and activities as part of the package, so at Club Med, you know everything is taken care of.For more information and for bookings, please visit Source = Club Medlast_img read more

Free entry to one of Macarthurs oldest homesteads

first_imgSource = Destination Macarthur Glenalvon HouseFree entry to one of Macarthur’s oldest homesteadsSaturdays, August 11 and 25, Monday, August 6, 2018One of the oldest homesteads in the historic Macarthur region will open its doors to the public for three days in August – offering free entry to all who come and explore the domestic and social history of the region as they explore the 177-year old Georgian house.Glenalvon House in Campbelltown will open its doors from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays, August 11 and 25, as well as Monday, August 6, 2018. On each open day, volunteers from the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society will provide free, guided tours of the house.Something of a hidden gem in the Macarthur region, just 100 metres from Campbelltown’s main street, Glenalvon House is a sanctuary of history. From the moment they step inside the hallway and walk past the beautiful wooden hatstand, guests will feel like they have been transported back in time as they explore the 12 period-furnished rooms open to the public, including the library, nursery, drawing room, bedrooms and servants’ quarters. An agricultural exhibition, commemorating the farming community that Campbelltown once was, is also located on site, featuring the actual tools used in colonial times.Described by the National Trust as ‘an exceptional two-storied sandstone home of colonial Georgian design’, Glenalvon House was built in 1840 by Michael Byrne. Complete with a period garden, sandstone coach house and heritage stables, the historic property is noted both architecturally and historically as a rare remnant of days gone by.The picturesque property is home to the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society and is located in Campbelltown in the Macarthur region, 45 mins south-west of the Sydney CBD.For more information, visit the what’s on page of House Open DaysWhere:      Glenalvon House, 8 Lithgow Street, CampbelltownWhen:        Saturdays, August 11 and 25, and Monday, 6 August –  10am to 1pmCost:           FreeMore information: (02) 4625 1822 or visit read more

Dr Mahesh Sharma inaugurates Ashok Institute of Hospitality Tourism Management

first_imgOn the occasion of World Tourism Day, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Tourism and Culture and Minister of State of Civil Aviation, Government of India, Dr Mahesh Sharma inaugurated the Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management – Centre of Excellence in New Delhi.AIHTM, a hospitality training institute and the HRD division of India Tourism Development Corporation, with the support of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India had formalised affiliation with the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology to offer a three years Bachelors course in Hospitality and Hotel Administration programme. The first batch of the three year degree course started in July this year and more than 50 students were admitted in AIHTM- Centre of Excellence.As one of the prime movers in hospitality and tourism education, AIHTM is presently handling multi-dimensional hospitality related training for in-house and outside agencies. AIHTM aims to work towards making a difference to the academic culture for the students by offering a globally competitive curriculum and infrastructure. The centre also focuses on contributing significantly to the supply of trained manpower in the hospitality industry.Looking at the future requirement and huge gap in the demand and supply of trained manpower in the hospitality industry, AIHTM is focusing more on job-orientated short term courses. Apart from imparting skill development training in areas of food production, F&B services, accommodation operations at front office, AIHTM has also added this new three year degree course in Hospitality and Hotel Administration. It further intends to add more courses of tourism and allied areas soon.last_img read more

IATA to launch Aviation Leadership Development Programme

first_imgThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) has divulged its plans of launching the Aviation Leadership Development Programme in partnership with Harvard Business Publishing (HBP). With the inaugural session on November 2, this will be the first IATA educational programme to be taught in real time by instructors in a virtual environment.The programme evolved out of an intensive series of needs assessment interviews by IATA and HBP with key industry stakeholders. These identified their strategic business goals, challenges and trends that would need to be addressed in the development of high potential senior managers and business leaders.What emerged was a curriculum of three modules-1.Leadership and influence2. Operational excellence3. Global mindset and collaborationAn IATA-HBP certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the programme.“Economic forecasts call for a doubling of air travel by 2032. Meeting that demand will require significant growth in the aviation workforce and the development of future leaders. The partnership of IATA and HBP has created a world-class educational opportunity for aviation professionals. And the virtually learning approach of the Aviation Leadership Development Programme will provide participants the opportunity to develop business-critical skills and interact with their peers globally while minimising travel expenses and out-of-office time,” said Victor de Barrena, Director, ITDI.last_img read more

Traveling guide to the mountainous city of Chiang Mai

first_imgChiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in Northern Thailand. The city is 700 km north of Bangkok and is situated amongst the highest mountains in the country.Source: Expedialast_img

Royal Jordanian undergoes digital transformation with Amadeus

first_imgThe airline signs for a full suite of Amadeus IT solutions, and renews its distribution agreement with Amadeus, to improve the traveller experienceRoyal Jordanian has signed for the full Amadeus Altéa suite, through the process by which all its critical systems including reservation, inventory and departure control will be moving onto Altéa technology, as well as renewing its distribution agreement with Amadeus.The new agreement supports Royal Jordanian’s efforts to enhance the customers’ experience from the moment they plan to book until they board the aircraft. The innovative solutions give passengers more options, like paying for services at the airport or paying a small fee for locking a fare at a particular price when they book online.Stefan Pichler, President, Royal Jordanian said, “One of the key success pillars in our turnaround plan is the continuous enhancement of passenger services across all touch points. In line with Royal Jordanian’s technology strategy, and in an effort to anticipate the evolution of our traveller experience, we are delighted to expand our core systems portfolio in the passengers’ service with Amadeus.”Passengers will benefit from improved RJ call centre and sales teams who will be better able to offer Royal Jordanian products to customers, allowing for a more flexible offering and personalised packages that suit passenger needs. In addition, through Amadeus’ Altéa technology, Royal Jordanian will have access to the latest NDC capabilities.This move sees Royal Jordanian’s transition away from the current technology environment, in which its processes were handled across multiple vendors and different systems, to a single integrated platform that will allow the airline to better serve passengers and benefit from streamlined internal processes. Furthermore, during disruption times, passengers will be able to rebook themselves onto flights easily and use self-service tools.The full suite of Amadeus IT solutions will also support Royal Jordanian’s strategy aimed at increasing revenues by upselling ancillary services through multiple channels, improving RJ’s competitiveness and business performance and helping it better measure its key performance indicators.last_img read more

Consumer Bureau Warns of Potentially Misleading Mortgage Ads

first_img Share Fraud,Consumer Bureau Warns of ‘Potentially’ Misleading Mortgage Ads November 19, 2012 474 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Federal Trade Commission Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-11-19 Esther Chocenter_img Two federal agencies partnered up to let certain companies know their mortgage advertising tactics may be unlawful. [IMAGE]On Monday, the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””: (CFPB) and the “”Federal Trade Commission””: (FTC) announced letters were issued over “”potentially”” misleading advertisements that target veterans and older Americans. The CFPB sent about a dozen warning letters to mortgage lenders and brokers, and the FTC sent 20 letters to real estate agents, home builders, and lead generators. The letters inform recipients that they may be violating federal law and urge review of the ads. The CFPB provided examples of warning letters to companies with mortgage ads targeting “”older Americans””: and “”veterans””: The agencies randomly reviewed about 800 mortgage ads promoting different services from a variety of sources. For [COLUMN_BREAK]example, the ads targeted potential customers for loans, refinancings, and reverse mortgages, and the ads could be found anywhere including the web, newspapers, or on direct mail flyers. Those targeted in the warnings are suspect of violating the Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule, or Regulation N, which prohibits misrepresentations in mortgage ads. Both agencies are granted authority to enforce the rule for non-bank mortgage advertisers. Examples of potential violations the agencies found included ads suggesting affiliation with a government agency and ads offering very low fixed mortgage rates but with potentially misleading terms. The CFPB also says it found ads for reverse mortgages claiming no payments in connection with the product, even though reverse mortgages generally require monthly or other periodic tax or insurance payments, and may risk default if the payments aren’t made.””Misrepresentations in mortgage products can deprive consumers of important information while making one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives,”” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “”Baiting consumers with false ads to buy into mortgage products would be illegal. We will conduct a fair and rigorous investigation into these issues and will take appropriate action for any violations we find.”” The CFPB says the companies it finds in violation of the rule could be subject to enforcement action. The FTC announced the possibility of paying civil penalties. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Will 2013 Bring Declining Originations and Rising Interest Rates

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Refinance Service Providers 2013-01-08 Krista Franks Brock in Data, Origination As we delve into the new year, many wonder what lies ahead in the mortgage industry. According to one mortgage lender, we can expect declining originations, rising interest rates, and fewer mortgage professionals. [IMAGE]Residential mortgage origination volume will decline 24 percent this year, largely driven by significant declines in refinances, according to Milford, Connecticut-based “”Total Mortgage Services, LLC.””: mortgage lending company foresees purchase originations rising by about 16 percent this year. However, a sharp decline in refinance originations will more than offset this growth, according to the company’s analysts. In addition, interest rates that continue to hover near record lows will soon become a thing of the past, according [COLUMN_BREAK]to Total Mortgage Services. The company anticipates rates will begin rising by the second half of 2013. The lender expects strengthening in the overall economy will contribute to higher interest rates. “”Rising employment and wages, while supporting the residential real estate market, will also help to push interest rates higher and cut refinance volume significantly,”” the company states. Changes in the mortgage market landscape this year “”will present mortgage lenders with a new set of challenges,”” said John Walsh, president of Total Mortgage Services. “”This new set of challenges will require adaptation by lenders that wish to survive in the new lending environment,”” he added. As refinances decline and purchases rise, originators will have to adapt. Total Mortgage Services suggests the “”vast majority of mortgage originators are wholly unprepared”” for this change. However, not all originators will adapt, according to the company, and not all will need to. The company anticipates a 30 to 35 percent decline in employment in the originations sector this year. While a decline may be warranted this year, “”the most likely victims of the industry’s reduction in force [will be] younger, less experienced workers.”” This trend will lead to a whole new obstacle for the industry: “”the graying of the mortgage industry,”” Total Mortgage Services says. January 8, 2013 402 Views center_img Will 2013 Bring Declining Originations and Rising Interest Rates? Sharelast_img read more

New Home Sales Rise in March as Prices Plummet

first_imgNew Home Sales Rise in March as Prices Plummet Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau Existing-Home Sales For-Sale Homes Home Prices Home Sales HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman National Association of Home Builders National Association of Realtors Pending-Home Sales Processing Service Providers 2013-04-23 Mark Lieberman Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img April 23, 2013 445 Views After experiencing the sharpest drop in two years in February, new home sales increased 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000 in March, the “”Census Bureau and HUD””: reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected March sales to increase to 419,000 from February’s 411,000. [IMAGE]The median price of a new home, according to the Census-HUD report, plunged $17,900 (or 6.8 percent) in March to $247,000, the largest month-over-month decline since February 2011.The inventory of homes available for sale rose to 153,000–the highest level since November 2011–translating to a 4.4 month supply, matching February.Sales had fallen 7.6 percent in February, the largest drop since February 2011.The Census-HUD report tracks contract signings, not closings. While the boost in sales is a positive sign, the sharp drop in prices was consistent with the drop in builder confidence reported last week by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The “”decline in the NAHB├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Housing Market Index””:, though, was driven largely by a drop in buyer traffic.The average price of a new home fell a staggering $30,100 in March (9.7 percent) to $279,900, its lowest level since last June. The monthly average price decline was the steepest in both dollar and percentage terms since August 2008, when the average price fell $36,400–or 12.8 percent–in one month. The median price of a new home remained ahead of the price one year ago by 3.0 percent, the weakest year-over-year gain since last June. The average price, however, was 1.3 percent below the average price in March 2012.The sharp drop in prices add new challenges to builders who are already seeing a shift in preferences as “”housing starts tilt to multifamily””: from single-family. In its last report on housing permits and starts, Census and HUD said the entire increase in housing starts in March was attributable to multifamily activity as single-family starts fell. That report also showed builders completed 593,000 new single family homes in March, far above the sales pace. Indeed, the gap between March completions and sales was 176,000, the widest since August 2011, when builders completed 186,000 more homes than they sold.The government report on new homes came on the heels of the “”report Monday””: from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that existing-home sale closings fell 0.6 percent in March as the median price of an existing single-family home rose. The NAR├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Pending Home Sales Index, which parallels the new home sales report, will be released next week.Homes with price tags under $300,000 represented 68 percent of March sales, up from 64 percent in February. Homes priced below $150,000 represented 13 percent of March sales, up from 10 percent in February. Homes prices at $400,000 or more represented 13 percent of March sales, down from 21 percent in February. The boost in sales for lower priced homes could mean more construction activity for less expensive homes–primarily low-end, starter homes–but also reduced profit margins for builders.Regionally, sales improved in two of the four Census regions: up 35,000 in the South to 215,000 and 7,000 in the Northeast to 41,000. Sales fell 29,000 to 110,000 in the West and dropped 7,000 in the Midwest to 51,000. _Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. Eastern time._last_img read more

FOMC Meeting Determines Rates Remain Unchanged Until Inflation Improves

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News FOMC Meeting Determines Rates Remain Unchanged Until Inflation Improves Today, the Federal Open Market Committee announced in a press release that it has decided to further postpone raising federal rates until inflation improves. This meeting is the fourth of eight meetings the committee will have this year to discuss market developments, economic conditions, and the highly anticipated federal funds rate increase.”To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate,” the Committee said. “In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress–both realized and expected–toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation.”The Committee noted that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace after very little change was recorded in the first quarter since their April meeting.  Meanwhile, job gains increased and unemployment rate remained little changed. Household spending growth has been moderate and the housing sector has shown improvement. Inflation is still below the Committee’s desired level of 2 percent, placing a hold on the rate increase.”When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent,” the Committee said. “The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.”In May, a combined session of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the manager of the System Open Market Account (SOMA), held a meeting to discuss domestic and foreign financial market developments and the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet. The FOMC released minutes documenting the meeting.This meeting comes three weeks after an previous meeting in late April, where Federal Reserve officials doubted that they would be able to raise short-term interest rates by the next mid-June meeting due to low economic growth.Those who attended the April policy meeting believed that the rise and fall of factors such as, job gains, unemployment, household spending, income, business investments, and energy prices all had an effect on the economy, according to the press release from the meeting. Fed officials are taking extra precaution before lifting interest rates to ensure that the economy is on track for growth, and that their goal for maximum employment and a 2 percent inflation goal is met.“A few anticipated that the information that would accrue by the time of the June meeting would likely indicate sufficient improvement in the economic outlook to lead the Committee to judge that its conditions for beginning policy firming had been met,” the meeting minutes said. “Many participants, however, thought it unlikely that the data available in June would provide sufficient confirmation that the conditions for raising the target range for the federal funds rate had been satisfied, although they generally did not rule out this possibility.” June 17, 2015 427 Views center_img Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Economic Conditions Federal Open Market Committee Rate Hike System Open Market Account 2015-06-17 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

Nationstar Mortgage Posts Q2 Net Income of 75 Million

first_img Nationstar Mortgage Holdings rebounded from a $48 million net loss in the first quarter this year to post a net income of $75 million ($0.69 per share) for the second quarter in the company’s Q2 2015 earnings statement released Thursday.The Lewisville, Texas-based residential mortgage servicer posted adjusted earnings of $35 million ($0.32 per share) for Q2, which was an increase of 59 percent from Q1. Nationstar received $52 million ($0.47 per share) of after-tax benefits resulting from the net increase in the value of mortgage servicing rights and related liabilities accounted for at fair value. The company also had $10 million ($0.10 per share) in after-tax expense related to streamlining operations (including severance).With a larger servicing portfolio, Nationstar’s servicing segment produced an increase of $16 million sequentially in Q2, primarily as a result of increased incentive fees, which were due to continued strong operational performance and higher servicing fees.A favorable rate environment and focused execution resulted in adjusted pretax income of $59 million for Nationstar in Q2. Xome, the company’s end-to-end real estate platform, produced top-line growth of $14 million sequentially, largely as the result of an increase in property sales, according to Nationstar.”We remain resolute in our strategy of creating long-term sustainable growth by capitalizing on market opportunities, increasing the profitability of our servicing segment, building the first fully integrated digital platform for buying or selling a home through Xome and taking advantage of the recovering economy and rising rate environment, all of which we believe will create additional value for our shareholders,” said Jay Bray, CEO of Nationstar. “Our servicing segment continues to operate as the top ranked servicer in its FNMA STAR peer group and had a significantly improved operational quarter, even with elevated levels of amortization.”The share of 60-plus day delinquent mortgages in Nationstar’s total portfolio declined to 7.4 percent in Q2, with the company having completed 16,831 workouts during the quarter as well as the boarding of lower delinquency portfolios.Nationstar’s adjusted revenues climbed by $24 million sequentially, primarily because of $15 million in higher base servicing fees, which are due to a higher average unpaid principal balance as well as an increase in incentive fees of $5 million. The company’s servicing portfolio ended Q2 with a UPB of $404 billion, which was in increase of 4 percent from the previous quarter and the first time in Nationstar’s history that the UPB was greater than $400 billion at the end of a quarter. The hike in UPB was due to the successful closing of $29 billion worth of servicing acquisitions. The company’s outstanding commitments as of the end of Q2 total $28 billion. July 30, 2015 554 Views Nationstar Mortgage Posts Q2 Net Income of $75 Million in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Servicingcenter_img Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Net Income Q2 2015 Earnings Statement 2015-07-30 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

FOMC Minutes Show Interest Rate Hike Delayed Due to Global Economic Woes

first_img The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) September meeting showed that the Fed’s concern mostly lingers around global economic troubles, but they still intend to raise rates before the end of 2015.”The concerns about global economic growth and turbulence in financial markets led to greater uncertainty among market participants about the likely timing of the start of the normalization of the stance of U.S. monetary policy,” the minutes said. “Based on federal funds futures, the probability of a first increase in the target range for the federal funds rate at the September meeting fell slightly.””Many participants judged that the effects of these developments on domestic economic activity were likely to be small, but they acknowledged the risk that they might restrain U.S. economic growth somewhat.”Even though most officials indicated that economic conditions will allow the hike to happen later this year, “the committee decided that it was prudent to wait for additional information confirming that the economic outlook had not deteriorated.’’According to the minutes, Fed officials are pretty optimistic about the U.S. economy. Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a moderate pace in the third quarter, and labor market conditions continued to improve, although compensation gains were modest.Consumer price inflation remained under the Fed’s 2 percent objective due to headwinds from failing energy prices and non-energy import prices. The minutes also highlighted that employment expanded in both July and August.In terms of housing, the minutes explained that it remains on an “upward trend,” as new single-family starts rose in the third quarter.Now, what concerns officials most is that foreign economic growth remains weak due to GDP contractions in Canada, Japan, Brazil, and Taiwan, even as activity expanded at a moderate pace in the euro area and the United Kingdom.Economic downfalls abroad raise one question: How will this affect U.S. net exports, GDP, and inflation?”Although U.S. economic data releases generally met market expectations, domestic financial conditions tightened modestly as concerns about prospects for global economic growth, centered on China, prompted an increase in financial market volatility and a deterioration in risk sentiment during the intermeeting period,” the minutes explained. “Tighter financial market conditions and greater volatility contributed to a reduction of the odds that market participants appeared to place on the first increase in the federal funds rate occurring at the September FOMC meeting and to a flatter expected path for the policy rate thereafter.”The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) Chief Economist and Director of Research Curt Long commented on the recent FOMC minutes noting that “the minutes from the FOMC’s September meeting frames the decision to hold off on increasing rates as one driven by global weakness rather than on the subsequent reaction of financial markets.”The committee reiterated that it intends to raise rates this year, but low inflation and the continued downward pressure from currency values, oil prices and weakness abroad represent significant obstacles.”At the FOMC September meeting, officials decided to keep the federal funds target rate at zero to 1/4 percent, where it has been for nine years.”In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress—both realized and expected—toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation,” the Fed said in a statement. “This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen some further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term.”Click here to view the FOMC minutes. Federal Funds Rate Federal Open Market Committee Global Economy 2015-10-09 Staff Writer October 9, 2015 609 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Market Studies, Newscenter_img Share FOMC Minutes Show Interest Rate Hike Delayed Due to Global Economic Woeslast_img read more

Senators Introduce Amendment to Spur GSE Reform

first_img Amendment GSE Reform Jumpstart GSE Reform Act Senators 2015-11-19 Seth Welborn U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) have introduced a bipartisan amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2577) in an effort to spur substantive and structural housing finance reform, according to an announcement from Corker.The amendment, known as the Jumpstart GSE Reform Act, was introduced by Corker, Warner, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), and Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) in September and offered on Thursday by Corker and Warner as an amendment to H.R. 2577. The Jumpstart GSE Reform Act prohibits the sale of Treasury-owned preferred shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without approval from Congress, and also prohibits increases in guarantee fees charged by the GSEs from offsetting non-housing related government spending.“Although the FHFA is taking important steps to de-risk Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers will continue to be on the hook for a future bailout if Congress does not produce legislation to transform our housing finance system,” Corker said. “There is overwhelming consensus that congressional action is needed, and it is hard to imagine that anyone would ever want to harm taxpayers and return to the failed model of private gains and public losses. While comprehensive reform is my preference, this amendment will ensure the future of Fannie and Freddie will be determined by Congress.”That same quartet of Senators originally introduced the Jumpstart GSE Reform Act in March 2013. Three months later, in June 2013, Corker and Warner also introduced a bill to wind down the GSEs and replaced them with a new government agency with a private backstop, transferring much of the mortgage risk from taxpayers to the private sector.“As my colleagues and I reintroduce this broadly bipartisan legislation, momentum is certainly building to ensure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not turned loose to wreak havoc on the economy and taxpayers in their current form,” Vitter said. “I’m confident that when it reaches the floor, there will be an overwhelming show of bipartisan support for this common sense, reform legislation.”Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been in conservatorship of the government since September 2008, at which point they received a $187.5 billion bailout from taxpayers to continue operations. Treasury purchased senior preferred stock in the GSEs as a result of the bailout and was given sole discretion as to what to do with those shares. The Jumpstart GSE Reform Act would change that and require Congressional approval for Treasury to purchase those shares.Sen. Bob Corker“There is overwhelming consensus that congressional action is needed, and it is hard to imagine that anyone would ever want to harm taxpayers and return to the failed model of private gains and public losses.”Sen. Bob CorkerWhile there is much bipartisan agreement that the conservatorships were only meant to be temporary and should end, top officials in the Obama Administration have stated in the last two months that the FHFA’s conservatorships of the GSEs will not end during the last year of Obama’s presidency despite calls from various activist groups to “recap and release,” or recapitalize the GSEs and release them from conservatorship.“Given Fannie and Freddie’s significance to our housing market, any decision about their future should be based on bipartisan policy goals that have been reviewed and approved by Congress,” Warner said. “It’s been seven years of limbo and volatility since the GSEs were taken into conservatorship. It’s time for Congress to act on a long-term solution for our housing finance system.”On the issue of GSE reform, Warren said, “It has been nearly seven years since the financial crisis, and it is past time to reform Fannie and Freddie. That means removing the obstacles and starting a bipartisan effort to take on housing finance reform this Congress. I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with Senators Corker, Warner, and Vitter, and I look forward to collaborating with them and other Senators in the months ahead on this important issue.”A bill sponsored by Vitter and Warren that would cap the annual salaris of the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at $600,000 passed in the House earlier in November with bipartisan support.Earlier in November, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass an amendment eliminating the use of guarantee fees on mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fund a controversial $47 billion transportation bill known as H.R. 22, or the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act. The amendment, proposed by Reps. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) and Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan), removes the proposed delay in cuts to Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s g-fees and also strikes down the proposed reduction to the Fed’s fixed dividend rate for banks, which would limit the banks’ ability to lend. November 19, 2015 613 Views Senators Introduce Amendment to Spur GSE Reformcenter_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more