Agents and family members get up to 70 off New Zealand airfares

first_imgAgents and family members get up to 70% off New Zealand airfares Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Posted bycenter_img Friday, March 24, 2017 Tags: American Airlines, New Zealand VANCOUVER — American Airlines is making New Zealand more accessible to Canadian travel agents through an exclusive travel fare.For a limited time IATA or CLIA registered agents are eligible to receive up to a 70% discount on New Zealand airfare and can more easily take a step to become a certified Tourism New Zealand NZ Specialist.The promotional fare is valid for currently employed travel agents contracted with American Airlines. Sub-agents may also take part in the program as long as employment has been verified by the contracted agency. A valid IATA or CLIA card is required. Tickets must be issued on or before May 31 for travel by May 31. All segments must be confirmed in O and Q class; O discount 70% and Q discount 60%. The deals is valid only on AA operated flights and on AA’s transpacific flights 82/83. AA*/codeshare flights are not permitted.Up to three family members or one travelling companion may purchase this fare too, however all passengers must travel on the same flights, dates, itinerary as the agent, with no exceptions.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme is designed to help travel agents build knowledge and better sell New Zealand. The free program provides online training modules, webinars, and informative videos about New Zealand’s diverse regions and what they have to offer. A trip to New Zealand is a requirement of the certification.“We are dedicated to educating more travel agents across the U.S. and Canada about New Zealand as a destination,” says Bjoern Spreitzer, General Manager Americas & Europe for Tourism New Zealand. “This deal is a great opportunity for travel agents to experience the country first-hand and see how New Zealand’s breathtaking landscapes, unique Maori culture and award-winning food and wine make it the perfect destination for North American consumers.”Once in New Zealand agents can receive further discounts on tourism products and activities by signing up to Tourism New Zealand’s Explore New Zealand Programme. The program enables accredited international travel sellers travelling independently to enjoy a range of New Zealand products and experiences.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoDiscounts are offered for accommodation, attractions, activities, tours and transport. Typical discount offers are 50% off or two-for-one offers for the Explore pass holder and their partner. Offers are available throughout New Zealand, allowing agents to explore off-the-beaten track regions as well as New Zealand’s most popular destinations.For more information on these special agent discounts, to start the New Zealand Specialist training and to sign up for the Explore program visit read more

Canadian visitation to Hong Kong is up in first half of 2018

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Canadian visitation to Hong Kong is up in first half of 2018 Friday, August 3, 2018 HONG KONG — The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has reported over 30.6 million visitor arrivals in the first half of 2018 as well as a significant uptick in Canadians from January to June.In the first six months of the year, the destination saw a 10.1% year-on-year growth in visitor arrivals, with overnight visitors exceeding 13.85 million, up 6.2% year on year.Canada recorded an increase of 4.8% for a total of 191,359 visitor arrivals from January to June. In the month of June alone, 23,147 Canadians were reported, compared to 22,517 in the same month last year, an increase of 2.8%.“Additional air capacity and effective campaigns partnered with media and trade partners contributed to the result,” said Michael Lim, HKTB Director of Canada, Central & South America. “We’ll continue our market promotion, with ‘Best Of All, It’s In Hong Kong’ inviting visitors to discover Hong Kong like a local, explore the neighbourhood attractions and enjoy the authentic experiences.”More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backAccording to Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the HKTB, growth in visitor arrivals was largely driven by the Mainland market. As for international arrivals, he said long-haul markets performed well, growing 2.6%.“With the continued intense competition among travel destinations in the region, visitor arrivals from short-haul markets fluctuated, falling of 1.5%,” he said. “Looking ahead, the business environment for the tourism industry will face different challenges caused by the unstable global economy and exchange rates, which may affect tourism growth in the second half of the year.”Leveraging the upcoming opening of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou- Shenzhen-Hong Kong High Speed Rail and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the HKTB will introduce related promotions through various channels to promote the two main infrastructure additions and travel experiences featuring Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Tags: HKTB, Hong Kong, Statistics Sharelast_img read more

Two brands two brochures Insight Luxury Gold launch 2019 lineups

first_img Cindy Sosroutomo Share Friday, October 19, 2018 Two brands, two brochures: Insight & Luxury Gold launch 2019 lineups TORONTO — You can never accuse The Travel Corporation (TTC) of resting on its laurels. Following a highly successful summer 2018 season, its Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold brands are already gearing up for 2019 with brand new brochures, both of which are being called their biggest collections yet.Speaking to Travelweek at Toronto’s launch event yesterday, Insight Vacations’ CEO, Ulla Hefel Böhler, said that the company’s product offering has never been better after 40 years of business. Highlighted in its 230-page Europe & Britain 2019 brochure, Insight will travel to over 40 countries on 96 journeys and offer more than 70 Insight Experiences, which are characterized by authentic dining, stylish accommodations and small groups sizes.New for next year is the 10-day ‘Northern Lights of Scandinavia’ itinerary, which includes a meet and greet with the owner of a husky farm, visits to Akershus Castle and the Royal Palace in Oslo, and a stay at the glass-roofed Aurora Village in Ivalo for the chance to view the Northern Lights from the comfort of one’s own bed.Scandinavia, said Böhler, has always been popular for Insight during the summer months, but the company is now pushing it as a winter destination, too, that offers much more than just the Northern Lights. And because there are limited departures for ‘Northern Lights’, Böhler anticipates that it will sell out quickly.This is all the more reason for agents to push for early bookings, said Brad Ford, President of Insight Vacations. “We’re telling travellers to not wait because you run the risk of not getting the journey of your choice,” he said. Insight’s Early Booking Bonus includes 10% off and runs until Jan. 31, 2019.Also expected to sell well next year is a new 10-day Greek Island Hopper tour (“a great standalone itinerary” according to Ford), the newly enhanced ‘Jordan Experience’ (now featuring an overnight in Wadi Rum and a visit to the Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative), as well as Egypt, which Böhler said is making a big comeback for the company.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winter“We’ve been seeing so much business to Egypt, and we’re excited to say that numbers are finally coming back,” she said, adding that during a recent trip to the country, she was amazed by the sparse crowds and short lineups. “It’s much less crowded than it was before, now is definitely the time to go.”Luxury Gold, which also offers Egypt, is anticipating another stellar year with its brand new Worldwide 2019 brochure. Featuring 55 itineraries (up from 48), the brochure offers “the best of independent travel and guided vacations,” said Brett Tollman, CEO of The Travel Corporation. The brand, a collection of high-end travel experiences that has been personally curated by TTC chairman (and Brett’s father) Stanley Tollman, was launched five years ago to bring back the golden era of travel.“My father’s vision for Luxury Gold came about after seeing the success of Red Carnation Hotels and Uniworld (TTC’s high-end hotel and river cruise brands). He thought, ‘Why not do the same for land offerings?’” he told Travelweek.In addition to upscale accommodations, gourmet dining, and 40-pax maximum group sizes (with some select journeys capping at 16 and even less, now with its new Group Travel and Bespoke Journeys department), Tollman highlighted Luxury Gold’s Travelling Concierge as one of the brand’s differentiating pillars, whose sole duty is to customize trips to create a unique experience for each client.With such elevated touches, he described Luxury Gold as “the best of two worlds” (a hybrid of FIT travel and guided touring), and went so far as to put the brand above competitors A&K and Tauck. The difference, he said, is that Luxury Gold is much more agent focused.“We don’t do consumer marketing, we rely heavily on our agent partners,” he said. The company’s personal guarantee is to never steal a customer, which is backed up by its Travel Wallet program. According to Tollman, 90% of its business is repeat clients who go back to the travel agent to book. “For the other 10% who come directly to us, we’ll still pay full commission to the original agent, even if they had nothing to do with the booking.”More news:  FIVE FESTIVE FOODS TO TRY AT EUROPE’S CHRISTMAS MARKETSAnd with Luxury Gold packages priced anywhere from $8,000-$10,000 – times two per booking – “the commissions are amazing,” he said.Another value to agents is client testimonials, which are posted to TTC’s websites via third party platform Feefo. Clients are encouraged to provide post-trip feedback via email, which is then posted “with no interference from us,” said Tollman. “Consumers want validation from other consumers. By reading these reviews, they can book with 100% confidence.”And although the volume of bookings for Luxury Gold is nowhere near that of Insight Vacations’, there’s room to grow, he added.“Even though our numbers are still relatively small, we’ve grown exponentially over the past five years,” he said. “There’s plenty of capacity to grow further, which is why we need agent support.”For more information go to and About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019 Tags: Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, The Travel Corporation << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bylast_img read more

Canadas Group Germain hits benchmark early 20 hotels by 2020

first_img Travelweek Group OTTAWA — Canadian hotelier Group Germain Hotels has announced the construction of the $40 million Alt Hotel Ottawa Airport.The 180-room new-build hotel will have about 3,000 square feet of meeting rooms and a restaurant located on the top floor, providing 360-degree views of the airport’s operations. An indoor skywalk will connect the hotel to the airport terminal. The hotel is scheduled to open late 2020.“This announcement marks an important milestone for Group Germain Hotels. It means that we have reached our goal of 20 hotels by 2020, and we are extremely proud of this achievement,” says Jean-Yves Germain co-president Group Germain Hotels.“Since we set out this ambitious goal, our teams have been working relentlessly to find the best locations to establish our three hotel brands across Canada, this was a tremendous collaborative effort,” added Christiane Germain co-president Group Germain Hotels. “We are well on our way to reaching our ultimate goal which is to become the first Canadian independent hotelier group to be present all across Canada.”More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyThe Alt Hotel Ottawa Airport will be Group Germain Hotels’ third property in Canada’s Capital Region. The first Alt Hotel, located in the business district, opened in 2016 and in spring 2018 Le Germain Hotel welcomed its first guests. YOW will be the third Alt Hotel to open in a terminal airport location confirming the growing demand for airport stays.“After more than a year of due diligence, we found the ideal site and partner to develop a YOW terminal-connected hotel,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “This development, plus LRT connectivity, plus our pre-board screening and concession revitalization plans underline YOW’s commitment to serving the growing demands of Canada’s Capital Region’s residents and visitors.” Share Posted by Canada’s Group Germain hits benchmark early: 20 hotels by 2020 << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, January 28, 2019 last_img read more

Canada Jetlines signs agreement to launch service from Quebec City

first_img VANCOUVER — Canada Jetlines is heading to Quebec City after signing an agreement to provide future ultra-low fare service from YQB.According to Javier Suarez, Jetlines’ CEO, the ULCC plans to offer domestic and international flights from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport after its anticipated launch in summer 2019. Specific routes and schedules have yet to be released.“Quebec City is an exciting addition to our future route network that will provide more Canadians with diversified and low-cost alternatives to explore this beautiful country,” said Suarez. “This partnership will allow us to tap into the market opportunity available and stimulate demand for more travel, which Jetlines will be able to leverage to grow its business.”In 2017, YQB doubled its capacity by opening a brand new international terminal. Since its privatization in 2000, the airport has tripled its traffic, going from just 643,000 passengers to 1.8 million in 2018. It remains one of the fastest growing airports in Canada with an annual passenger growth rate of 7.2% per year for the last 15 years.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthGaëtan Gagné, President and CEO of YQB, saluted Canada Jetlines’ willingness to serve the passengers of Quebec City.“This decision aligns perfectly with our development strategy to improve accessibility to Quebec City, increase the region’s connections to the rest of the world, and support its economic growth, visibility and prestige,” he said. “Bringing a low-cost option to Quebec City was one of our top priorities for the future and one of the reasons why we’ve expanded our terminal. I am delighted to see that this strategy is paying off and we welcome Jetlines with enthusiasm.”The signing of YQB is just the latest in Jetlines’ rollout of developments leading up to its launch. Since January, the carrier announced plans for future service to Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and Cancun, added Kelowna (YLW) and Winnipeg (YWG) to its proposed network, named Vancouver International Airport as its home airport, and also confirmed that it will fly to Quebec, Florida and New York from Saint-Hubert airport (YHU) in Montreal. Share Tags: Canada Jetlines, Québec City Canada Jetlines signs agreement to launch service from Quebec City Posted bycenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Travelweek Group last_img read more

Regional drug summit draws tepid support

first_imgFrom the print editionANTIGUA, Guatemala – In the backdrop of the centuries-old ruins of Antigua, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina proudly announced four proposals for a Central American strategy against drug trafficking to close the New Paths Against Drug Trafficking Summit, March 24. Unfortunately, other nations’ officials had left before he made the announcement.  Despite his bold claims for a new regional strategy, other heads of state seem hesitant to overtly support Pérez Molina’s new direction. Only two other presidents, Costa Rica’s Laura Chinchilla and Panama’s Ricardo Martinelli, were present at the summit, hosted by the Central American Integration System. The summit included delegations from from eight countries, including the Dominican Republic.Support for Pérez Molina’s policy shift has been sporadic. Just one day after backing a debate for decriminalization of illicit drugs in February, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes reversed his position, saying that drug legalization would make Central America a “paradise” for drug traffickers. Funes did not attend the summit, sending his defense minister, David Munguía, instead.Honduran leaders, currently under U.S. congressional scrutiny for alleged human rights abuses, have staunchly opposed the proposal. Honduran President Porfirio Lobo cited “God’s will” when he first rejected the idea on Feb. 18. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said he wouldn’t decriminalize illicit drugs in Nicaragua because the army and police are already winning the war on organized crime.This regional lack of support for decriminalization did not prevent Pérez Molina from suggesting even more potential strategies to “deepen the fight against drug trafficking.”His first proposal suggested compensation for Central American countries for every kilogram of drugs seized or destroyed. Guatemalan authorities recently destroyed the equivalent of $838 million of poppy plants. If the proposal were implemented, the United States would be asked to pay Guatemala $838 million. Being able to determine the destination of such drugs and accurately value them could be contentious, and concurrence with such a policy on the part of the U.S. seems unlikely.Another proposal would establish a temporary Central American drug trafficking court. Any crime – from murder to money laundering – associated with drug trafficking would be tried in the court. Pérez Molina said that such a body would alleviate the strain on justice systems in the region, especially those in Guatemala and Honduras, where impunity is rampant.Another proposal suggested legalization of the transport of illicit drugs in the region, a policy that would allow traffickers to move freely within the countries. Pérez Molina described the region as “sandwiched between producer and consumer countries” and suffering unjustly for their location.While leaders agreed a new policy is needed and declared their support for Pérez Molina, their absence during the presentation of the new proposals was notable. The Guatemalan president cited “travel urgency” as the seven delegations left before his 20-minute press conference.  Nevertheless, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros said, “Chinchilla and Martinelli’s responses to the proposals were magnificent.”If the decriminalization proposal was used simply to get the attention of the U.S. and other countries – as many analysts have suggested – it seems to be working. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited the region in late February. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with regional leaders soon after. And William Brownfield, U.S. assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, toured Guatemala and Honduras this week. On Friday, Costa Rica’s Chinchilla traveled to New York to meet with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also to discuss drug trafficking and violence in Central America.The region’s leaders do agree with Pérez Molina that “the fight against drug trafficking in the last 40 years has failed.” While they have not reached a consensus on the specific policies yet, Central Americans can expect their leaders to announce changes in the fight against drug trafficking soon. Regional heads of state will meet again April 11-12, two days before the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Stick to peace planning says PAC founder of exPresident Arias plan to

first_imgCosta Rica’s former two-term President Óscar Arias on Tuesday announced a proposal to reduce the country’s fiscal deficit that included a mix of both direct and indirect taxes.Arias’ proposition urges the administration of President Luis Guillermo Solís to reduce spending by 2 percent of the gross domestic product in the next two years, while increasing tax revenue by 3 percent in the form of new taxes.To achieve that, the former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who served from 1986-1990 and 2006-2010, recommends a coalition of union leaders and representatives from the business and political sectors.Costa Rica’s Finance Ministry and Central Bank expect the country to finish the year with a fiscal deficit of 6 percent.Arias called for a national accord between members of the Solís administration, business leaders and other members of the private sector, as well as political parties and unions to seek a viable solution to the fiscal deficit problem. He said Costa Rica should seek to promote dialogue similar to Spain’s “Pacto de La Moncloa,” a series of economic reforms achieved in the late 1970s. The goal, he said, is to find common ground between those who support new taxes and those calling for spending cuts.Arias, from the National Liberation Party, said he opposes the Solís administration’s plan to shift from a national sales tax to a value-added tax and a new global income tax.Recommended: Solís outlines plans for Costa Rica in first Washington appearance as presidentEarlier this month, ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Costa Rica’s bond rating to junk status, citing the country’s growing fiscal deficit and the failure of a proposed 2015 budget to cut spending.Next year’s budget proposal currently is under discussion in a Legislative Assembly commission, where it has faced strong criticism from opposition parties – and even a leading member of the president’s own party, Ottón Solís. Responding to complaints that proposed spending is too high, the administration yesterday offered to slash $408 million from the proposal.Lawmakers have until November to pass the budget.No love lostCitizen Action Party founder and Assembly Budgetary Commission President Ottón Solís criticized Arias’ proposal, saying the former president “lacks the moral authority” to discuss deficit reduction.“[Arias] can talk about peace plans, but not about fiscal plans,” Ottón Solís said Tuesday.President Luis Guillermo Solís also probably won’t be paying too much attention to Arias’ statements.“I’ve had conversations with the finance minister about why his [Arias’] opinion isn’t viable,” President Solís said on Tuesday. “The transition from a sales tax to a VAT [value-added tax] with a global income tax has been proven in other countries not only to be viable but also ideal in reducing the deficit, as international credit ratings agencies have been requesting for years.”President Solís added that, “It seems to me that Dr. Arias had the chance to lower the deficit during his administration after having two years of surplus, but he didn’t.”When he left office in 2010, Arias passed on to his successor, Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014), a deficit of nearly $1.2 billion, about 5 percent of GDP, according to former Finance Minister Fernando Herrero. Facebook Comments Related posts:Finance Ministry submits bill to improve tax collection, reduce evasion Costa Rica’s ex-President Óscar Arias says the country is on the wrong path Hitler reference stirs up Legislative Assembly session Costa Rica’s struggle with fiscal reform highlights its governance problemslast_img read more

New York pizzeria owners trafficked cocaine hidden in Costa Rican cassava

first_imgIn a tale that sounds like the plot of a Mario Puzo novel, a family-owned pizzeria in Queens, New York was the center of a trans-Atlantic drug trafficking operation that smuggled cocaine in refrigerated containers of cassava from Costa Rica.The cocaine was distributed in New York and Italy to members of the ’ndrangheta organized crime ring, Italy’s principal importer and wholesaler of cocaine.A total of 17 people have been arrested in Italy and the U.S., including the alleged ringleader and pizzeria owner, Gregorio Gigliotti. Gigliotti is a native of Calabria, ‘ndrangheta’s heartland in southern Italy. He had moved to the Queens district of New York where he ran a pizza restaurant called Cucino a Modo Mio with his wife and son.Gregorio and Eleonora Gigliotti, their son, Angelo, and another relative have been arrested and charged in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. Italian police arrested another 13 people suspected of being involved in the trafficking ring on Thursday, The New York Times reported.The Gigliottis traveled to Costa Rica — sometimes separately, sometimes together — nine times starting in 2012, according to Costa Rican immigration records. During one of Eleonora Gigliotti’s five flights into Juan Santamaría International Airport in 2014, she delivered $400,000 to the family’s Costa Rican suppliers, according to court documents.When an expected shipment did not arrive during the summer of 2014, Gregorio Gigliotti called one of the Costa Rican sources saying:Listen to me. If I don’t have the container by this next week, I’ll go over there. I know where you live, where they live. Don’t make me blow my mind. Do your job, send me the container.All but one of the couple’s stays in Costa Rica lasted less than five days.In October 2014 police uncovered 44 kilograms of cocaine in a shipment marked “fresh cassava” on its way to the family’s wholesale produce warehouse and another 15 kilograms in December inside the cardboard boxes carrying the food.The street value of the cocaine was estimated at $2 million, The New York Times reported.Drugs often move through Costa Rica’s ports in containers of food or flowers. Dutch authorities in Rotterdam uncovered 3.5 metric tons of cocaine hidden in a shipment of cassava from Costa Rica in December 2014.Spanish authorities found 2.5 metric tons of cocaine in boxes of pineapples from Costa Rica in May 2014.Costa Rica seized more drugs than any other country in Central America last year.AFP contributed to this story. Facebook Comments Related posts:Israeli tourist caught smuggling cocaine at Costa Rica airport Italian mafia ‘interested’ in drug trafficking in Costa Rica, says Interpol Costa Rica Coast Guard confiscates 810 kilos of cocaine near Quepos Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragualast_img read more

Colonial estate in a Gated Community for sale in Hacienda Los Reyes

first_img Previous Image Next Image Price: $515,000Province: AlajuelaCantón: AlajuelaConstruction: 574m2Land: 1153m2Bedrooms: 5Bathrooms: 3Parking: 3This house is in a very private area of this community. It is located inside an exclusive gated community in La Guácima, Alajuela, with easy access to main highways and close to the airport and super markets and banks nearby.This is a colonial style house, with a center garden and double raised roofs keeping it cool in the warm Alajuelean climate. It consists of 5 bedrooms, a master with walk-in closet and hot tub, office, TV room, open kitchen with dinning room, formal living room, outside terrace, 3 car garage indoor and space for 5 more outside, spacious laundry area, service bedroom w/bathroom and a usable attic, as well as center corridors.The gated community has a club house with all the amenities, polo fields, and a golf court.See this and other listings in the new Tico Times Real Estate section here.COD: 29-6Email: realestate@ticotimes.netPhone: +(506) 2258-1558 Facebook Comments info heading info content Related posts:Beautiful home for sale or rent in Escazú, reduced from $1.1 million to $750,000 Architecturally Beautiful Home, Grecia, For Sale Beautiful home for sale or rent in Escazú, reduced from $1.1 million to $750,000 Heredia house for sale: Property overlooks 3 natural rivers with lush tropical gardens, many walking pathslast_img read more

National riverpicnic events cancelled due to heavy rains

first_imgThe organization Río Urbano, which promotes awareness and conservation of Costa Rica’s rivers, announced that its“Picnic at the River” event scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 27 has been cancelled due to the heavy rains the country has received in recent days, which can create treacherous riverbank conditions.The event, part of Río Urbano’s celebrations of World Rivers Day, sought to draw attention to the country’s neglected and often heavily polluted rivers by reviving the tradition of picnicking along the banks. Activities had been planned at rivers nationwide and even internationally, with expat Costa Ricans honoring their country’s natural treasures from afar.“For the organizing team it’s very sad to communicate this news, but citizen safety is our top priority,” architect Alonso Briseño, the director and founder of Río Urbano, said in a statement Saturday.Visit the Río Urbano Facebook page for more information. Facebook Comments Related posts:To help save Costa Rican rivers, head to a picnic Río Torres festival aims to help clean up one of San José’s most polluted rivers Dutch teen targets Pacific Ocean ‘plastic soup’ menace Mexico closes 80 schools after 10 million gallons of sulfuric acid poison Sonora River earlier this monthlast_img read more

Costa Rica airports increase security following Brussels blasts

first_imgTravelers should give themselves at least three hours to pass through security at Juan Santamaría International Airport on Tuesday and throughout the week after terrorist attacks in Brussels sent airports around the world into heightened security mode.Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Authority announced that it had elevated the threat level from green to yellow at the country’s airports, including Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela — Costa Rica’s largest — and Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste.Glen Pacheco, head of security for Juan Santamaría International Airport, said there was no need for alarm but travelers should be aware that security and immigration screening would be more rigorous starting Tuesday. Pacheco said that the elevated security measures at Juan Santamaría would continue at least through the Holy Week holiday. All flights at #brusselsairport today are cancelled. Contact your airline for further instructions. Avoid the surroundings of the airport.— Brussels Airport (@BrusselsAirport) March 22, 2016 Condeno el salvaje atentado terrorista en Bruselas.— Luis Guillermo Solís (@luisguillermosr) March 22, 2016 More than 30 people were killed and dozens injured in two terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday. Emergency services said 14 of those killed and more than 90 of those injured were the victims of two blasts at the check-in area of the main terminal at Brussels’ Zaventem airport. Shortly afterwards, another explosion ripped through a train at Maalbeek metro station, killing around 20 others and wounding more than 100 people.The Belgian city was already on high alert following Friday’s arrest of Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the November attacks on Paris that killed 130. Both attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.President Luis Guillermo Solís condemned the attacks Tuesday and expressed his sympathy with the people of Belgium and the European Union.center_img “Such acts of barbarism have no justification,” Solís said, “In the name of the people and government of Costa Rica I express my solidarity and condolences for the Belgian people and their authorities, as well as the European Union.”AFP contributed reporting from Belgium to this article. Facebook Comments Related posts:Guanacaste airport expansion set to begin in January Winter Storm Stella causes flight cancellations between New York-Costa Rica Costa Rica to host World Surf League comp in Esterillos Este Costa Rica airport restricts liquids in carry-onslast_img read more

The Annual Whales and Dolphin Festival 2017

first_imgIt’s almost September now, so you still have time to book your trip to Bahia Ballena.The month of September is the perfect time to visit this picturesque part of Costa Rica and catch the 5th Annual Festival of Whales and Dolphins. The 5th Festival is to be held on the weekends of September 6, 7 and 8th and the 13th, 14th and 15th in Bahia Ballena, Osa.This well-known festival is organized by the Association of Tour Operators in Marino Ballena National Park, and it offers something for everyone.You will find families with children to young people and the general public visiting these activities. The planned activities include plenty of whale watching tours as well as sand sculpture competition, music concerts, a photography exhibition, environmental workshops and lots of good food.The festival provides a chance to enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of this area. This is also an opportunity to view some of the vast array of species that make their home in this part of Costa Rica’s waters.In addition to humpbacks, other species include pilot whale, Bryde’s whale, false killer whales, three species of dolphins, several kinds of turtles and a variety of seabirds such as frigates, white ibis, pelicans and brown bobo birds.Don’t let this opportunity go by, this is a great event for any nature lover. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica present at British birdwatching fair Police arrest Costa Rica-bound US family for smuggling $45,000 in suitcases The Tico Times to display photo exhibit at Cultural Center Highway to Limon partially closed until Septemberlast_img read more

OIJ finds female body near where Carla Stefaniak went missing

first_imgRelated posts:Limón sees 60 percent jump in cruise ships Barrio Chino aims to be San José’s next big food spot Administrative Court bans dry law during holidays President Solís inaugurates first phase of long-awaited Golfito Marina Village Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) on Monday confirmed to The Tico Times that they have discovered a female body near the Airbnb property where missing tourist Carla Stefaniak had been staying.The OIJ has not yet identified the body, which will be sent for an autopsy.Stefaniak, a tourist visiting Costa Rica from the United States, has been missing since Nov. 27. She was residing at an Airbnb in San Antonio of Escazú, San José.Walter Espinoza, Director General of the OIJ, said in a Monday afternoon press conference that the body was found by the organization’s canine unit.“The body was in a state of decomposition, but preliminary observations from investigators verify it is a woman’s body,” Espinoza said.“We cannot say at this time that it is the body of Carla Stefaniak. We will first need to conduct an autopsy […] and take other necessary steps to determine with certainty whether it is her body.”The OIJ also swept the Airbnb apartment for biological evidence and found fluids appearing to be blood that were sent for additional testing, Espinoza said.In a statement to ABC Action News, an Airbnb spokesperson said the company is “aware of the recent development” and has reached out to law enforcement “to offer our continued support and cooperation with their investigation.”According to friends of Stefaniak, she had messaged Tuesday evening that it was raining heavily and that the power had gone out. “It’s pretty sketchy here,” Stefaniak reportedly sent, before all communication ceased.Stefaniak missed her flight out of the country the next day, prompting alarm from friends and family who flew to Costa Rica to assist with the search. In addition to the OIJ, the U.S. Embassy and FBI were also alerted.Espinoza said Monday that the case remains under investigation.Less than a month ago, police in San Antonio of Escazú found the dismembered body of 28-year-old local Stephannye Paola Castro Mora. The OIJ has not named a suspect in the Costa Rican’s death.Stefaniak’s disappearance also comes weeks after Costa Rica’s Tourism Board launched a campaign for tourist safety.This is a developing story. It was last updated Monday at 6:05 p.m. Stay tuned to The Tico Times for more. Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years. Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Blue River Resort Hot Springs in Costa Rica named worlds best family

first_imgAt the Boutique Hotel Awards ceremony in London, England, Costa Rica’s very own Blue River Resort & Hot Springs walked away with two awards on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, for America’s Best Family Hotel and the World’s Best Family Hotel. In attendance at this gala black-tie affair were about 350 fellow hoteliers from around the world.In accepting the award, the elated co-owner, Kevin Glassman, gave credit to his partner Danny Apelboim, saying, “it was his dream, and he spent over two years to find just the right location, with natural hot springs, volcano views, blue rivers and a lush rainforest – and we spent over two years to create an immersive experience with five pools, butterfly gardens botanical gardens, spa, natural mud bath and sauna – a list of environmentally friendly amenities that keeps growing.”Guests also visit awe-inspiring nature on a variety of eco-adventure tours on horse, tubing, zip lining and rafting, and there is even a “Jurassic World” inspired Dinosaur Park. Glassman also thanked the management and staff of the hotel. Courtesy Blue River Resort & Hot Springs.The Boutique Hotel Awards recognizes standards of integrity, individuality and character among hotels that display special imagination and flair appreciated by discerning travelers. Above all, the Boutique Hotel Awards looks for hotels that are undeniably and irrefutably unique. Each hotel is personally inspected and evaluated, after which a panel convenes to decide the winner, in a variety of categories. Visit their website and purchase their book of recommended hotels for more information.To learn more about the Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, or to book a stay, visit their website by clicking here.  Related posts:Don Wang: A bite of China in San José New Liberia Airport Shuttle serves visitors to Guanacaste, Costa Rica Friends launch GOPlaya website to explore more than 200 beaches in Costa Rica Costa Rica Treatment Center tackles addiction differently Facebook Commentscenter_img This story was sponsored by the Blue River Resort & Hot Springs. Promote your business by emailing last_img read more

Greek election victor to hold coalition talks

first_img Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center “The country cannot waste a day,” the paper said. “It is clear from the arithmetic that after New Democracy’s victory a government can even be formed by two parties. But from a political viewpoint that will not suffice. All parties that say they believe in the country’s European future must actively prove their respect for the message of the elections.”The United States welcomed Sunday’s result. “We hope this election will lead quickly to the formation of a new government that can make timely progress on the economic challenges facing the Greek people,” the White House said in a statement.Power-sharing negotiations could be tough. Socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, who spent months negotiating bailouts as Greece’s finance minister, has suggested dumping the usual procedure of each party seeking coalition partners. He proposed a four-party coalition between New Democracy, Syriza, PASOK and Democratic Left, which was in sixth place with 6.3 percent of the vote and 17 seats.“There is not one day to lose. There is no room for party games. If we want Greece to really remain in the euro and get out of the crisis to the benefit of every Greek family, it must have a government tomorrow,” Venizelos said. Top holiday drink recipes Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Associated PressATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greek conservative leader Antonis Samaras will launch coalition talks Monday after coming first in national elections that follow weeks of uncertainty over the debt-crippled country’s future in Europe’s joint currency.The campaign was closely watched by global leaders and markets, as central banks stood ready to intervene in case of financial turmoil, as the Sunday’s election was seen as a vote on whether Greece should stay in the 17-nation group sharing the euro currency. A Greek exit would have had potentially catastrophic consequences for other ailing European nations, the United States and the entire global economy. Top Stories Leaders of the European Union appeared relieved that a pro-austerity government could now form. The group “is convinced that continued fiscal and structural reforms are Greece’s best guarantee to overcome the current economic and social challenges,” it said in a statement.Asian stock markets climbed early Monday on the news, as did those in Greece, with Athens stocks gaining 3.2 percent in early trading.Sunday’s vote “will probably ease fears of an imminent Greek euro exit,” said Martin Koehring of the Economist Intelligence Unit. “But the key question is how quickly can a government be formed?With 129 of Parliament’s 300 seats, Samaras’ New Democracy party lacks enough legislators to govern alone, and must seek allies among the smaller pro-bailout Socialists.But the deal that evaded Samaras after first elections on May 6 looks more attainable this time. With the Socialists’ backing he would control 162 seats, and could seek a further boost from the small Democratic Left party, which while opposing the country’s harsh austerity program has said it will do what is needed to help form a strong government.Samaras will receive the presidential mandate to start power-sharing talks shortly after noon, after President Karolos Papoulias is handed the final election results. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths With 99.95 percent of the ballots counted so far, New Democracy has 29.66 percent, followed by the Syriza radical left coalition at 26.89 percent.Greece has survived for more than two years on rescue loans from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund. The vital bailouts are conditional on the country continuing with its deeply unpopular package of spending cuts, and pushing through new structural reforms.Syriza, which campaigned on a promise to renege on the bailout commitments, has ruled out cooperation with Samaras.Speaking shortly after the result was announced, Samaras said Greeks voted to stay in the euro, foster growth and respect the country’s international commitments.“This is a victory for all Europe,” he said. “I call upon all political parties who share these objectives to join forces and form a stable new government.”Samaras repeated campaign promises to honor the country’s bailout pledges.“We will work together with our partners in Europe in order to supplement the current policy mix with growth enhancement policies,” he said. “We are determined to do what it takes and do it fast.”Greece’s broad-circulation Ta Nea daily said in an editorial Monday that party leaders _ including Syriza’s Alexis Tsipras _ must respect voters’ manifest desire for a coalition government. Sponsored Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of PASOK officials said Venizelos would insist on Syriza joining any future coalition, despite its anti-bailout stance _ although the move could simply be a negotiating tactic to convince the public that Syriza was unwilling to play a constructive role in pulling Greece out of its crisis.Tsipras, a 37-year-old former student activist, has ruled out such a possibility.Tsipras phoned Samaras on Sunday night to congratulate him on his victory and vowed that his party would remain outside the government.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

Mourners attend funeral of shot UK police officer

first_img Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   center_img Top Stories MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Thousands have attended the funeral of an unarmed police officer killed with her colleague in a gun and grenade attack in the English city of Manchester.Members of the public emerged from offices and stores to line the streets as the funeral cortege of 23-year-old Nicola Hughes passed on its way to Manchester Cathedral.Greater Manchester Police chief constable Peter Fahy told 1,000 mourners inside the building that Hughes’ professionalism had “showed that policing is not about muscle but reason, restraint and intelligence.” 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Hundreds more people watched on a big screen outside.Hughes and fellow officer Fiona Bone died while answering a burglary call on Sept. 18. A man has been charged with their murder.The crime shocked Britain, where guns are tightly controlled and most police do not carry firearms.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

Milan officials close migrant reception area in rail station

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall MILAN (AP) — City officials have closed a migrant reception area overlooking the Milan train station’s main entrance hall where hundreds have been sleeping this week amid increasing health and sanitation concerns.Milan’s Mayor Giuliano Pisapia told reporters at the station Saturday that progress has been made, saying “You can see that at the Central Station there is no more degradation.” 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories A child walks at Milan’s main train station, Italy, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Milan city officials have appealed for help in managing the huge flow of migrants arriving from southern Italy after rescue at sea, as increasing numbers are unable to find beds and are sleeping in the train station. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) Italian news channel Sky Tg24 showed images of French police blocking the border, and reported that authorities in the Italian city of Ventimiglia have set up mobile showers and toilets near the station to accommodate migrants.Milan has become an important way station, with the city providing food, medical care and beds. Until recently, most migrants have been staying just a few days, and sometimes just hours, before continuing their journey.More than 64,000 have passed through Milan in the last 20 months. Few request asylum here.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 sleep positions for men and what they meancenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Four benefits of having a wireless security system “Now we have to resolve the problem as regards the refugees to have a situation that doesn’t give the image of people sleeping on the ground without the assistance we had hoped for,” Pisapia said.Alberto Sinigallia, the head of the Progetto Arca charity, said the mezzanine area was closed overnight after a new center with beds was opened, but that about 150 migrants slept outside the station. Migrants had been received in the mezzanine, within an arm’s length of passing tourists and commuters, for the last 20 months.Some 300-400 migrants, mostly Eritreans arriving from southern Italy after being rescued at sea, have been sleeping in and around the station the last few nights because of a lack of beds in city-organized centers. Health officials say there have been over 100 cases of scabies in recent days, 500 since the beginning of the year.The Italian State Railway is fixing up a former canteen to accommodate the migrants away from the station’s main traffic, but officials said that won’t be ready before early next week. The railway also has agreed to renovate another space nearby as a more permanent accommodation.Italian cities have been struggling to cope with the huge flow of migrants brought to Sicily after rescue at sea, many of whom are seeking to join relatives and friends in northern Europe reportedly are having more difficulty crossing into neighboring countries. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Men’s health affects baby’s health toolast_img read more

Asia market saviour of inbound ATEC

first_imgMore and more Asians are heading down under Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Increasing tourist arrivals from China are counterbalancing the downturn in numbers from traditional markets, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week. While business from the UK and Japan remains ‘soft’ following the GFC and tsunami, China has moved into the top three source markets by volume, with over 39,000 visitors in May 2011. Additionally, the world’s second largest economy now holds the number one position by value.   “These figures confirm what we have now recognised as tourism’s ‘Chinese Dragon’, with not only the value of Chinese tourism expenditure in Australia growing rapidly, but now the volume is beginning to increase too,” Australian Export Tourism Council (ATEC) managing director Felicia Mariani said.With the UK and Japan markets declining over the past twelve months by 10 per cent and 25 per cent respectively, Ms Mariani also pointed to countries like Singapore, India and Malaysia, which showed a 12 per cent annual increase, as “saviours” of inbound tourism.“The challenge for our industry is to embrace and grow these emerging markets and to find new ways to attract our domestic market back on-shore,” the ATEC boss said.It was not all doom and gloom for traditional markets however, with visitor numbers from New Zealand remaining steady over the last year.According to the ABS results, the number of Australians heading overseas rose from 635,400 in April 2011 to 645,900 in May, with short-term resident departures showing year-on-year growth of 10.5 per cent.last_img read more

Tiger flying schedule leaps in time for Xmas

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Tiger Airways has received approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to increase its services down under just in time for the Christmas rush.Effective immediately, the approval was handed down earlier this week and will see the carrier operate 32 flights per day, up from its 22 sectors daily.The increase comes months after the carrier was forced to ground its entire Australian operations due to safety concerns.The carrier said additional services will be added to its four popular routes, Melbourne to Sydney, Gold Coast to Melbourne, Perth to Melbourne and Perth to Brisbane.“Today’s news means we are now in an even better position to offer greater choice for Australians looking for affordable air travel in the lead up to the busy Christmas and summer holiday season” a Tiger Airways spokesperson said in a statement. “Whilst it has been a demanding year for Tiger Airways Australia the groundswell of our customer support has remained strong. “This coupled with Tiger’s recent run of operational excellence and industry leading punctuality means that we are continuing to do what we do best; driving local market competition and enabling more people to travel for less,” said Ms. Regan. The extra flights include an extra daily Melbourne – Perth flight rotation (from one daily return flight currently to two daily return flights); an extra Melbourne – Brisbane service (from three daily return services currently to up to four daily return services); an additional Melbourne – Gold Coast service (from two daily return flights to up to three daily return services); and, up to two extra daily return Melbourne – Sydney rotations (from five daily return services to up to seven daily return services.They are on sale now for travel commencing 16 December 2011.Earlier this week the carrier’s Group announced it has experienced a 23.2 percent decline in passengers for the second quarter this year over last year from 1.4 million to 1.1 million.The Group’s operating profits also fell from $9.6 million to negative $41.2 million.last_img read more