Dubai continues its rise now 4th most visited global city

first_imgDubai continues its rise: now 4th most visited global cityDubai’s ongoing efforts to position itself as a premier leisure and business hub have resulted in growing visitor numbers to the city, as well as higher rankings on various global traveller and meeting indexes.This week, global payments giant MasterCard announced that Dubai has risen to fourth position out of 132 top destinations for international travellers in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, behind London, Paris and Bangkok. A one-place rise since 2014 figures, Dubai has risen from the eighth position in 2012 and MasterCard predicts that the emirate will welcome almost 14.3 million international visitors in 2015, a ratio of 5.7 international overnight visitors per city resident. Official figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) in May of this year showed that the emirate welcomed 13.2 international overnight visitors in 2014.Mastercard’s announcement came days after Dubai retained its top ranking in the Middle East region for international association meetings, and climbed 19 places globally to 44thposition in the 2014 International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) World Rankings – up from 63rd place in 2013.The ICCA rankings are considered the most dependable and consistent benchmark on how individual destinations which host international association meetings are performing. International organisations and associations regularly use ICCA rankings to gauge the event hosting capacity of a city they may wish to host events in.In terms of international meetings, Dubai had more news to celebrate, as the Union of International Association (UIA) announced in a recently published report that Dubai made huge leaps forward in the number of international meetings hosted. Hosting 146 international meetings in 2014, compared to 80 in 2013, Dubai jumped from 21st position to 14thglobally.*Commenting on Dubai’s growing appeal to international leisure and business visitors, His Excellency Helal Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, said: “Dubai as a destination is ever evolving in order to create memorable experiences for its guests through world-class infrastructure, excellent service and remarkable attractions which are compelling and entice visitors to return. Although the MasterCard rankings are predictive, they do approximate with our own estimations of future growth and are a clear demonstration of Dubai’s continual rise as a global destination of choice.With regards to business tourism, the increase in the number of meetings and conferences being hosted in Dubai is significantly contributing to the rise in visitor numbers while also positioning the emirate as a global hub for creation, education and innovation.We are very pleased that the efforts being exerted by the city’s tourism stakeholders to deliver the Tourism Vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and create remarkable experiences for both leisure and business visitors are seeing results, and will continue to seek to reach into new markets while maintaining and increasing our share of existent markets.”Source = Dubai Tourismlast_img read more

TravelManagers Disaster Plan tested by Paris Terror Attacks

first_imgSource = TravelManagers Australia TravelManagers Australialearn more here Join TravelManagersbecome a PTM here Executive General Manager – Michael GazalTravelManagers’ Disaster Plan tested by Paris Terror AttacksThe terror attacks that were carried out just over a week ago were the worst terror attacks to have taken place in Paris in over 70 years. Amidst a nation thrown into mourning, the travel plans of many thousands of people were thrown into complete disarray, with border controls tightened, flight and rail services delayed, and many travellers unclear as to the certainty of their plans.TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says his company’s focus in such an event is to provide their personal travel managers (PTMs) with as much information as possible, as quickly as possible, in order to track down and ensure the safety of any clients that may have been affected.“It’s a sad reality in today’s world that we need to be prepared for the worst case scenario, be it a terrorist attack or a natural disaster,” he explains. “We have very clear plans and systems in place so that we can swing into action immediately and get on with the task of providing our PTMs with the appropriate client lists.”In this case, Gazal says the National Partnership Office (NPO), which has the responsibility of putting the crisis plan into action, was alerted to the situation in Paris within two hours of the first attack taking place, while events were still unfolding at the Bataclan Theatre.“Less than an hour later, we had provided our entire PTM network with a comprehensive Client Location Report, detailing all clients that were currently in Paris or would be arriving into any point in Paris between 1 and 20 November,” Gazal says.In many cases, that information also included the name, phone number and address of the client’s accommodation arrangements, which Gazal says further simplified the task of contacting clients. Throughout the weekend, Gazal says the NPO continued to communicate any updates to its PTMs by email, SMS, Intranet and TravelManagers’ Closed User Group Page on Facebook.For the PTMs, this support, and the speed with which it was provided, was invaluable. Gayle Dawson, representative for Queensland’s Springfield Lakes, was one of the PTMs who has since expressed her appreciation for the support of the NPO.“Having the support of NPO when we are worried and trying to help our clients is so important and those efforts do not go unnoticed – we all really appreciate it so much.”As Gazal explains, when things go badly wrong as they did in Paris last Friday evening, for many of the PTMs it’s very personal.“We are an organisation of passionate travellers, so when somewhere as beloved as Paris is affected by a terrible tragedy, it really hits hard. On top of that you have to consider that for many of our PTMs, their clients have become their friends, so it’s very disquieting to know that they may be in danger or distressed, far away from home. That’s just one of the reasons it’s so important that we provide every assistance in verifying all clients’ welfare as quickly as possible.”In the end, 25 of TravelManagers’ PTMs had a total of 46 clients who were affected by the Paris terror attacks. Once those details had been established, PTMs were able to contact those clients to make adjustments to travel arrangements, keep them advised regarding airline announcements, insurance company advisory notices and other details that might impact on their journeys.Michelle Desmarchelier, representative for Berowra in New South Wales, is another PTM who has been grateful for the quick action taken by the NPO.“It’s comforting for all PTMs to have the support of NPO but it’s sad that we need to be travelling down this path (yet again!). I am truly distressed by what’s unfolding in Paris.”Gazal is also very grateful with the way the situation has been handled and the support that the NPO has been able to provide.“We are lucky have some fantastic staff who are prepared to drop everything, even over the weekend, to make this all happen. Without their dedication, it would be nearly impossible to provide our PTMs, and their clients, with the support that really need.”About TravelManagers TravelManagers 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 2014. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 480 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

Companies incur heavy losses as ITbased frauds on rise

first_imgCompanies incur heavy losses as IT-based frauds on riseCompanies incur heavy losses as IT-based frauds on riseThe incidents of IT-based frauds are rising in organisations, raising concern among corporate houses and external key stakeholders on how to detect and prevent fraud as companies lose heavily.Companies should select “right people with integrity and competency” to detect and prevent fraud, Abdulqader Obaid Ali, President, UAE Internal Audit Association, told CIOMajlis.Addressing the CIOMajlis at Godolphin Ballroom, Emirates Towers, in Dubai, on the topic ‘Information Technology – Fraud, Prosecution and Prevention’, Abdulqader said: “Whenever you hire somebody in your organisation you hire the person for two things: Integrity and Competency. Invest more in people, educate them and select the right people is what you really need to do. For any organisation, that is the most important thing.”The talk was in the context of various IT-based fraud scenarios surfacing in organisations. This raised concern among corporate houses and external key stakeholders on how to prevent, detect, and ensure a safe and resilient business environment to conduct business.As technology advances, so do schemes to commit fraud. Technology can not only be used to perpetrate fraud, but also to prevent and detect it. Using technology to implement real-time fraud prevention and detection programs will enable organizations to reduce the cost of fraud by lessening the time from which a fraud is committed to the time it is detected. “Fraud comes in different ways. When you take something that does not belong to you, or when you abuse your authority or access to information for personal gains, frauds are perpetrated,” he said.Technology is moving very fast. It’s very difficult to catch up with it. CIOs are in the middle of a lot of people who do not understand the need for protection.For example, people give out the pin number of credit cards to gas station attendants, trusting them, but they can misuse them.  This system is in place to protect the people, but unfortunately they don’t give attention. Although the Central Bank made the mandate that all credit card users must use pin number, people give it out trusting others. Then what’s the use? So people are the weakest link.CIOs should go the extra mile and educate people about not to share passwords. But you make it in a way that people understand the purpose. When you say you have to change your password every three months, they may not like nor do they appreciate the need for it.  It is important to invest in people and create awareness.“CIOs have a crucial role in detecting fraud in their organisations. They can educate the people about what is happening in their organisations because CIOs spend a lot of time and effort in protecting their system using firewalls, etc.” Abdulqader, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Smartworld, said.“If you have competent people with integrity they would not be tempted to do any fraud, bringing losses to the organisation.  Organisations should spend more time in investing and introducing the culture of security.”Ahmed Al Mulla, Chairman of CIOMajlis, who is also Senior Vice President, IT, Emirates Global Aluminium, said: “Today most companies depend on IT. Most of your applications run actually on the systems. The role of CIOs is actually to facilitate the systems so that they can actually detect fraud, looking at patterns, looking at repetitions, dummy employee or dummy transactions. Many companies use dummy transactions on their systems.” “Technology is the challenge before a CIO. Technology in fact is the support. The challenge is in the human. No matter what you do, you can always work outside the system. The CIO’s role is to ensure that nothing happens outside the system. Then the system can support that,” he said.The topic is how you can help prevent fraud. Companies put up systems, all the auditors ask whether you are following systems. If you cannot do, you cannot identify patterns.For example, sometimes in sales department, you can create a dummy customer and make the transaction coming through this dummy customer. This customer is not a real customer. The beneficiary may be the staff himself.Generally, in a company everybody has to work together, with the finance department, or procurement or human capital. The CIO has to lead that. He is responsible to create the culture of really detecting and preventing fraud.Source = CIOMajlislast_img read more

Thailand Grand Songkran celebrations 2018

first_imgSongkran in BangkokThailand Grand Songkran celebrations 2018Songkran Festival, which takes place nationwide in Thailand, is an event where boisterous fun and ancient traditions go hand-in-hand. For tourists, the event offers a chance to enjoy a huge celebration where water parties break out in the streets of Thailand’s towns and villages. For locals, it is a time when they can spend precious time with families and visit the temples to observe ancient rites and make merit. There’s no doubt that it is a fascinating time to be in Thailand wherever you travel.So here’s a region-by-region round-up of some of the best nationwide Songkran Festivals to be enjoyed in 2018.Songkran in BangkokGrand Songkran Celebration 2018 at Lumpini Park (12-15 April): The famous Phra Buddha Sihing image from the National Museum will be taken on a parade to be installed at Lumpini Park – this tradition only takes place once a year (normally to Sanam Luang). During these dates, the public will have the chance to Song Nam Phra or purify Phra Phuttha Sihing image with scented water. There’s also a mass alms-giving ceremony to mark the beginning of the Thai New Year, as well as the Thai tradition of being blessed by elders or Rot Nam Dam Hua.Songkran Wisutkasat (12-13 April): The legendary Songkran celebration in Bangkok since 1931, Songkran Wisutkasat on Wisutkasat Road (Under the Rama XIII Bridge) is best known for being the origin of Miss Songkran Beauty contest in Thailand. The traditional festival has been held annually for over 70 years along with several other cultural activities taking place at the event.Songkran Phra Pradeang, Samut Prakan (20-22 April): Taking place at the Phra Pradaeng City Hall, this is one of the most fascinating ways to celebrate a Songkran near Bangkok. Phra Pradaeng is where the local people observe Mon ceremonies in a traditional way, and their New Year traditions are very different to those found in the rest of Thailand. For a start, the celebrations here take place a little later, and feature a range of cultural activities including a spectacular floral procession, a parade of the local Mon people in their colourful traditional outfits, a Miss Songkran parade and Mister and Miss Songkran Beauty Contest. Visitors will also have the chance to join merit-making activities in the local temples, pay respect to community elders and enjoy folk plays and cultural performances.Ayutthaya Grand Songkran Celebrations 2018Songkran at the Ancient Capital (13-15 April): Thailand’s former capital – Ayutthaya is another place worth visiting during the Songkran festival. The province is inviting both local and foreign tourists to celebrate Songkran in the most unusual exotic way – water splashing with the elephants in the very Thai environs of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya Historical Park. Tourists can celebrate Songkran with the elephants along the road in front of the TAT Ayutthaya Office. Several cultural activities will also be held such as pouring water over the sacred Buddha images, sand pagoda building, and the chance to enjoy the traditional Thai dances with the locals.Mon Songkran of Ayutthaya (13-15 April): The Mon people have their own traditions when it comes to celebrating Songkran and many of these can be seen in the Bang Pa-in district of Ayutthaya where a range of activities take place around the temple of Wat Thong Bo. Visitors will get the chance to make merit by donating food to the local monks and watch the ceremony in which the main pagoda of Wat Tong Bo is covered by sacred fabric. One of the more unusual aspects of the Mon ceremony is the bathing of the local Buddha images which is done via long bamboo pipes.Songkran Supanburi 2018 (13 -14 April): To appreciate how Songkran is celebrated on Thailand’s central plains, visitors should head to Supanburi which boasts one of the biggest New Year celebrations in the country. Many people come here to cool off with the water splashing but there are also many traditional elements of Songkran to appreciate. You can see the golden Luang Poh Toh image as it’s paraded through the streets of the town and appreciate cultural displays from ten different ethnic groups from the region. There will be a contest to see which of the displays in the parades are best as well as a Miss Songkran pageant. Throughout the festival there will be concerts from well-known Thai artists and folk and cultural shows performed by local students.Songkran in the Northern Region Sukhothai Grand Songkran Celebrations 2018Thai Puan’s Elephant Ordination Tradition at Baan Had Siew (7 April): Taking place at Wat Had Siew in Si Satchanalai district, “The Elephant Procession Ordination” is an ancient ceremony which makes the ordainment of monks from the Thai Puan tribe in Ban Had Siew. It’s a tradition that all local men must become monks for at least 7 days and every year, the ordinations take place on this date. The men prepared in the traditional way are taken to the temples on elephants while wearing local headgear. This ritual is based upon the tale of “Phra Vessandara Chadok” one of the Lord Buddha’s former incarnations. It is a colourful parade and all the people of the town come to see. Most of the men leave the temples on Songkran day on 15 April to enjoy New Year with their families.Song Nam – Oi Tan Ceremony, Songkran Si Satchanalai (8-12 April): Taking place at the Monument of Phra Mahathammaracha I (Lithai) in Si Satchanalai district, the highlight of the Song Nam – Oi Tan ceremony is a procession to pay respects to Phra Maha Thammaracha I, who was a king of Sukhothai from 1347 to 1368. Oi Tan, is a phrase that means to make a donation and relates to the good morals of the people of Sukhothai. So each year, there is a Lady Oi Tan beauty competition and cultural parades from the 10 local communities and tasty northern food to enjoy. Songkran and Sawan-khalok Food Festival (13-15 April): The Sawan-khalok Songran and Food Festival takes place at the Public Health Park in Sawan-khalok district. Here visitors can Song Nam Phra the 3 highly-revered Buddha images from three most important temples of the district, including Wat Sawang Arom Worawihan, Wat Sankaram, and Wat Klong Krajong. The event of course is a huge draw for Thai food lovers who come to enjoy tasty northern dishes and see cooking demonstrations.Retro Songkran Splendours, Sukhothai 2017 (12-14 April): At Sukhothai Historical Park, visitors can enjoy a range of traditional activities and games to celebrate the Thai New Year. One of the most popular events is the sand pagoda building contest in which families compete to make stunning designs. Here, the Songkran festival celebrates the ancient city’s status as the cradle of Thai civilization; so many visitors embrace the old-style features of the event with traditional costumes and age-old games, parades and merit making. Visitors too are invited to wear traditional Siamese clothes and enjoy the old world feel. Flowery Shirt Songkran on Khao Tok Road, Sukhothai (12-15, April): Visitors to Thailand during the New Year celebrations can hardly fail to notice how so many celebrants are clad in colourful Hawaiian-style shirts. These have become a firm Songkran tradition and in the weeks prior to April, shops are stacked high with these gaudy items. This year the flowery shirts are being celebrated on Sukhothai’s Khao Tok Road where people are invited to parade in their shirts at the Sukhothai city and Sukhothai public park. There will also be a float procession and the chance to pay respects to the Buddha images, water fun, retro Thai circle dance activities and the usual beauty contests.Sukhothai Songkran at Wat Sri Chum (13 – 16 April): Wat Si Chum is probably one of Thailand’s best known temples and its iconic Buddha image draws people from around the world who come to pay their respects and apply gold leaf to the statue. Now the 13th Century temple is attracting people during the Thai New Year who want to make merit. There are a range of Songkran activities taking place in Sukhothai Historical Park over the three days of Songkran and a visit to Wat Sri Chum should be on the list of things to see for anyone who appreciates Thai culture.Hae Nam Kuen Hong Ceremony and Chao Muen Dong Bathing Rite (17-19 April): At the Monument of Chao Muen Dong, Baan Toek sub-district, in Si Satchanalai district, there will be a special sacred ceremony to pay respect to the Buddha image of Chao Muen Dong at Baan Toek. This is aimed at giving visitors the chance to make merit for the year to come. As well as the ceremony itself, there will be folk plays and a procession of elephants. The mighty beasts will even bow to the famous Muen Dong The elephants are also given a health check as part of the event and there will be cultural parades from 14 local communities.Paweni Pi Mai Muang Chiang Mai Songkran Festival 2017 (12-15 April): The best-known Songkran celebrations in the whole of Thailand take place in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Here you’ll find a wonderful balance of water-based fun and sacred ceremonies that show the religious importance of this festival to the Lanna people. In Chiang Mai, Songkran is often called Paweni Pi Mai Muang. Highlights include the procession of Chiang Mai’s prominent Phra Buddha Sihing image as well as bathing the image, and taking part in a parade bringing sand and Sali(the Bodhi tree) clutches to temples, cultural events and performances. There is also a lot of tasty northern cuisine to enjoy in retro Thai Lanna market.Salung Luang Songkran Festival in Lampang (9 – 13 April): Experience the Lanna tradition of Songkran in Lampang, at Khelang Nakorn Park on Tha Kraw Noi Road. Enjoy a huge parade called the Salung Luang procession as well as the Miss and Mister Songkran Contests, floral horse-drawn carriages competitions, cultural shows and a many local performances. Many people take the chance to buy local goods and try unique Northern foods.Songkran in the Northeastern RegionPleasant Songkran, Thailand-Laos’ New Year, Nakhon Phanom (13 – 15 April): Organised each year in Nakhon Phanom with activities taking place at Laan Phanom Naga in Muang district, the event is based on the traditions of seven tribes who traditionally settled in this area. Many of the traditions mirror those found in the rest of the country including almsgiving for local monks and the building of sand pagodas. But there is also the chance to take part in religious activities that originate in Laos such as the Bai Sri Su Khwan spirit blessing ceremony believed to bestow happiness and prosperity on others.Grand Songkran Isan Nong Khai (13-15 April): During this festival, visitors get the chance to bathe the revered Luang Por Phra Sai Buddha image as it is paraded along Jenjobtid Road, to the Naga fountain, to Prachak Road and finally Wat Pho Chai the Royal Temple in Mueang district. This procession of Luang Por Phra Sai is held only once a year for worshippers Thai and Lao to pay homage to this sacred Buddha image. As well as the parade there are many other traditional Songkran activities taking place many with a distinct Lao theme.Dok Khun, Siang Kaen and Khao Niew Festival (8-15 April): This is one of the biggest and certainly the best known of the Songkran events in the Northeast of Thailand. As usual, this year there will be a lot of activities to enjoy that reflect the rich local culture, including a flower procession and contests to find the best blooms, water rituals to pay respects to images of the Buddha and seniors and a fun water splashing event at Bueng Kaen Nakhon and Sri Chan (Khao Niew) Road. There will be lots to eat and buy too, with demonstrations of local handmade products and crafts.Songkran in the Southern RegionPhuket Grand Songkran Celebration 2018Songkran on the Beach (11-13 April): Join the local people and tourist folks at Phuket for “Songkran on the Beach” at Phuket’s famous Patong beach. There will be several merit-making activities such as Rot Nam Dum Hua ritual, the parade of Phra Budha Sihing image, cultural shows, and various competitions and fun-filled entertainments. In Phuket town there are flower parades, dancing and cultural shows, and the ever-popular Miss Songkran Contest.Songkran No L (13 April): Phuket’s lifestyle mall, Limelight Avenue Mall, is hosting a clean, alcohol-free Songkran party to encourage tourists and locals to celebrate the holiday in a responsible and safe manner. The one-day Songkran No Alcohol party offers family-friendly fun in safe zones where there are restrictions on alcohol, high-powered water pistols, powder and water dyes.Songkhla Grand Songkran Celebration & Hat Yai Midnight Songkran 2018 (12-15 April): In Thailand’s south, the Songkran fun takes place in Hat Yai, so head downtown if you want to join in. The main action takes place on the streets of Nipat Uthit 3, Sanehanusorn and Thammanoon Vithi. Here there will be free music and concerts as well as other entertainment throughout the event, every day between 10:00 – 23:00 Hrs. with the highlight being the Songkran Carnival parade.Songkran in the Eastern RegionSand Pagoda Ceremony on Lai Day, Bangsaen District, Chon Buri (16 – 17 April): This charming event celebrates not only Songkran but the gorgeous natural sand of the district. People of the Sansuk district flock to Bangsaen beach to build sand pagodas in a tradition known locally as the ‘Tam Bun Wan Lai’ day. The event sees local people come and celebrate together with activities such as sea boxing, pagoda competitions. As well as the sand pagodas, other amazing sculptures are made during the festival using the sand on the beach with many teams working all night to create unique pieces of art such as dragons, historical tableaus, elephants and amusing scenes. There is also a competition to choose the best sculpture before the sand is returned to its natural state.In addition, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is also encouraging local and international tourists to join the Amazing Songkran 2018 events in five emerging secondary destinations known for unique traditions in celebrating the Thai New Year: Sing Buri, Chanthaburi, Kamphaeng Phet, Kalasin, and Nakhon Si Thammarat. Dates also vary between 11 and 17 April.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

Thailand to be first Asian country to host 4th UNWTO World Forum

first_img4th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy TourismThailand to be first Asian country to host 4th UNWTO World ForumThailand’s strategy to promote gastronomy tourism will take a huge step forward with the 4th UNWTO World Gastronomy Forum to be held in Bangkok between 30 May – 1 June 2018. It is the first time this event will be held in Asia.Organised annually by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Centre, the event is being supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports with more than 567 delegates registered to attend (as of 18 May 2018).This fourth edition will specifically focus on harnessing the power of technology as a driver for sustainable growth. The event will include a symposium, workshops and seminars in which leading experts in gastronomy tourism will discuss current trends and challenges in the sector, exchange best practices and inspire discussion on intercultural dialogue, gastro diplomacy, and the importance of technology for sustainable gastronomy tourism.H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “This is going to be a landmark event in the annals of Thai and Asia-Pacific tourism. We will take full advantage of this gathering of leading experts in the field of gastronomy tourism to strengthen the connections between Thailand’s two bedrock industries, agriculture and travel and tourism.”One unique part of the programme is on-site visits for international delegates to four Bangkok districts, each of which have their own unique culinary characteristics. These include Bang Rak, Nang Loeng, Trok Khao Mao and Phra Nakhon route. Another four route visits will help delegates enjoy the best culinary experience combined with culture and the community. These include: Talat Phlu, Talat Noi, Kudi Jeen, and Klong Bang Luang.The first edition of the event was held in San Sebastian city of Spain, the 2nd time in Lima, Peru and 3rd in San Sebastian, Spain again. Over 250 international participants attended each event.A press conference will be held on 30 May 2018 after the opening ceremony. It will be addressed by H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mr. Zurab Pololikashivili, Secretary-General, UNWTO, and Mr. Joxe Mari Aizega, Director, Basque Culinary Centre.In 2016, international visitors to Thailand spent an estimated 326 billion Baht on food and beverage consumption, representing 20 percent of the tourism revenue.TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, “TAT has made gastronomy tourism an important part of its marketing strategy under the Thailand 4.0 socio-economic development plan.”“Thai cuisine is famous all over the world. It is rare a major city in the world that does not boast a Thai restaurant, be it in the form of fine-dining or takeaway. All our culinary delights have their roots in Thai agriculture, which was our bedrock source of economic livelihood well before tourism. Now, the Royal Thai Government is more firmly linking both.”In December 2017, TAT celebrated the opening of an exciting new chapter in Thailand’s dynamic culinary evolution with the launch of the first Michelin Guide Bangkok.A total of 98 Thai, Asian and international restaurants, including for the first time 28 Thai street-food stalls, are featured in the inaugural Michelin Guide, which was launched at a gala ceremony in the Thai capital on 6 December. The selection of the Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018 features three two-star restaurants, 14 one-star restaurants and 35 Bib Gourmand restaurants.The Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018 will be followed by similar guidebooks covering the food, service and catering sectors in other popular destinations.In 2018, TAT also supported the publication of a bilingual Thailand guidebook Gault and Millau Belux 2018 edition.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

Preferred Hotels Resorts welcomes 22 new member hotels

first_imgPreferred Hotels & Resorts welcomes 22 new member hotelsPreferred Hotels & Resorts welcomes 22 new member hotelsPreferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand, is pleased to welcome 22 new member hotels, resorts, and residences  to its curated collection of more than 700 distinctive properties around the world. From a 35-acre private island luxury resort in the Maldives and a new opening in Paris to the brand’s first-ever hotels in Quebec City (Canada),  Apulia (Italy), and Malaga (Spain), each of these new member properties, which joined between April and June 2018, cater to discerning travelers who seek extraordinary service and singular luxury travel experiences.Highlights of the new additions include: Real Inn Monterrey – Monterrey, MexicoSmyth Hotel – New York, New YorkCaribbean:Marigot Bay Resort & Marina – Marigot Bay, Saint LuciaEurope/Middle East:Edgbaston Hotel & Conference Centre – Birmingham, United KingdomFarris Bad – Larvik, NorwayGrand Hotel San Pietro – Taormina, ItalyHotel Imperial – Karlovy Vary, Czech RepublicHotel Vincci Estrella Del Mar – Marbella, SpainHotel Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio – Malaga, SpainKalidria Hotel & Thalasso SPA – Apulia, ItalySummum Prime Boutique Hotel – Palma de Mallorca, SpainVivienda Al Hada Residences – Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaYasuragi – Stockholm, SwedenWhether traveling for business or leisure, travelers can access exclusive member rates and earn reward points at many of these properties along with 650 others around the world through the Preferred Hotels & Resorts I Prefer Hotel Rewards program. Free to join, the program extends points redeemable towards free nights and other on-property expenditures, elite status, and other complimentary benefits to members. Bookings can be made online at PreferredHotels.com or on the I Prefer mobile app, available on Android and iOS.For more information on these hotels or any of the properties represented within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio, please visit www.PreferredHotels.com.About Preferred Hotels & ResortsPreferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 700 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries. Through its five global collections, Preferred Hotels & Resorts connects discerning travelers to the singular luxury hospitality experience that meets their life and style preferences for each occasion. Every property within the portfolio maintains the high quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program. The I Prefer™ hotel rewards program, Preferred Residences℠, Preferred Pride℠, and Preferred Golf™ offer valuable benefits for travelers seeking a unique experience. For more information, visit PreferredHotels.com.Source = Preferred Hotels & Resorts Hotel 71 (Quebec City, Canada) – Located in a 19th-century stone building in the center of Quebec’s historical Old Port district, Hotel 71 seamlessly blends modern convenience with European-style boutique charm. This neo-classic property, which was once the head office of the National Bank of Canada, offers 60 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites, along with sweeping views of the St. Lawrence River, Cap Diamant and the historic Petit Champlain district. Guests looking for exclusive luxury can book the 7th floor Penthouse Suite, featuring a private rooftop terrace, living area, fireplace, kitchenette, and private home theater. Downstairs in the lobby, visitors can revel in a self-serve grand-cru wine bar that conveniently remains open until 3:00a.m. The hotel also plays host to a fitness center, boutique homegoods storefront, and stylish Italian restaurant, Il Matto.o   Discover #ThePreferredLife – Art enthusiasts will be delighted with the hotel’s permanent art gallery that was created in conjunction with the Vincent et moi program, a charitable organization dedicated to supporting artists with mental health challenges.Additional member hotels to join Preferred Hotels & Resorts in the second quarter of 2018 include:Asia Pacific:Gokulam Grand Hotel & Spa – Bengaluru, IndiaMosaic Hotels – Mussoorie, IndiaAmericas:Balboa Bay Resort – Newport Beach, CaliforniaBeechwood Hotel – Worchester, Massachusetts The One Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) – Set in one of Barcelona’s most exclusive neighborhoods just steps from Paseo de Gracia, newly opened The One Barcelona offers an invigorating hospitality experience that exudes comfort, bespoke service, and personality in every space. Conceptualized by award-winning designer Jaime Beriestain, the hotel’s interiors offer a stylish palette of gold, marble, copper, stone and glass. Open seasonally on the impressive top floor terrace, the Mood Rooftop Bar provides a new vantage point for the city and a place to enjoy fresh and dynamic cuisine against the backdrop of a local DJ who plays on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Steps away, hotel guests have exclusive access to the rooftop’s plunge pool and solarium.o   Discover #ThePreferredLife – Arguably offering some of the best views of the city skyline, the hotel’s Sagrada Familia Suite presents a private terrace equipped with a luxurious Jacuzzi, sunbeds, outdoor shower and unobstructed views of the city’s most prized landmark, the Segrada Familia Roman Catholic church. 9Hotel Confidentiel (Paris, France) – Positioned in the trendy Marais district and featuring a design by visionary architect Philippe Starck, the ultra-modern 9Hotel Confidentiel is slated to open in October 2018. Part of the 9Hotel Collection group, the boutique property will feature 29 rooms, including three suites with panoramic views of the city, along with a chic lounge and trendy cocktail bar managed by renowned mixologist Nico de Soto, who first grew to distinction through the Experimental Cocktail Clubs in Paris, London and New York. Feasibly one of the city’s most recognized landmarks, hotel guests can take utmost advantage of the hotel’s prime location by walking less than a mile to the legendary Notre Dame Cathedral.o   Discover #ThePreferredLife – Teaming up with Parisian custom-made skincare brand Codage, the hotel will offer in-room, à-la-carte beauty and well-being treatments, including manicures and pedicures, and special face and body therapies. JA Manafaru (Manafaru, Maldives) – Located on a 35-acre private island on the northern Haa Alif atoll of the Maldives, this luxury resort is the epitome of bucket list travel with its unparalleled accommodations ranging from beachfront bungalows to over-water villas with infinity pools. Surrounded by crystal clear blue waters and perfectly white sandy beaches, the resort’s exclusive locale is ideal for outdoor activities such as Maldivian fishing excursions, guided snorkeling safaris, diving expeditions, local cooking classes, sunrise beach yoga and diving sessions. With enough activities to build up an appetite, the resort offers a variety of local and international cuisine across seven restaurants, including ‘The Cellar’ – a unique underground stone cave stocked with hand-selected vintage wines.o   Discover #ThePreferredLife – Guests seeking complete isolation can arrange a visit to nearby Castaway Island, an uninhabited secluded isle owned by the resort, for private picnics and overnight stays in rustic island huts. Borneo Eagle Resort (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia) – Nestled on the pristine island of Pulau Tiga, off the west coast of Sabah, Malaysia is a luxury boutique resort flanked by clear azure waters, a stretch of white sandy beach, and magnificent coral reefs. Thirteen spacious, well-appointed ocean-front villas offer discerning guests unparalleled views of the South China Sea. Dining at Borneo Eagle Resort abides by a farm-to-table philosophy where organic fish and vegetables from the resort owner’s farms on the mainland of Sabah are featured prominently on the international menu. The on-site spa offers pampering signature treatments that harness the healing qualities of the volcanic soil from the island.o   Discover #ThePreferredLife – Guests wishing to keep up their fitness routine will appreciate complimentary water sports activities like kayaking and snorkeling, as well as personal Yoga and Pilates classes, upon request.last_img read more

Finnair grows its operations in China

first_imgFinnair grows its operations in ChinaFinnair grows its operations in ChinaFinnair adds capacity to Beijing with three weekly flights to the new Beijing Daxing International Airport, which opens for operation by 30 September, 2019. Finnair will operate to Beijing International Daxing Airport on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays as of 3rd November, 2019 with an Airbus A330 aircraft. The new frequencies are in addition to Finnair’s daily flights to Beijing Capital Airport.“With the new flights, we are proud to offer even better connections between Beijing and our 100 destinations in Europe”, says Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair. “Our aim is to continue to grow our presence in China. The new Beijing Daxing International Airport will become a key hub for international travel to and from China and will serve our customers well.”“We are grateful for the support and collaboration from both authorities and our partners in opening the new Daxing flights”, Orvér adds.The new frequencies connect smoothly to Finnair’s network of over 100 destinations in Europe, allowing travellers short flight times and convenient transfers via Helsinki.Finnair operates to seven destinations in Greater China, and China is among Finnair’s top markets globally. This spring, Finnair announced codeshare collaborations with Juneyao Air and with China Southern, which brought 13 new Chinese destinations to Finnair’s customers.Further information: www.finnair.com,www.twitter.com/Finnairwww.facebook.com/finnairwww.instagram.com/feelfinnairwww.youtube.com/finnairAbout FinnairFinnair is a network airline specialising in passenger and cargo traffic between Asia and Europe. Helsinki’s geographical location gives Finnair a competitive advantage, since the fastest connections between many European destinations and Asian megacities fly over Finland. Finnair flies to 19 destinations in Asia, 8 in North America and over 100 destinations in Europe. Finnair is the only Nordic network carrier with a 4-star Skytrax ranking and a member of the oneworld alliance. In 2018, Finnair’s revenues amounted to EUR 2.834 million and it carried over 13 million passengers. Finnair Plc’s shares are quoted on Nasdaq Helsinki.Source = Finnairlast_img read more

N3 closed at Van Reenen due to strong winds

first_imgHigh winds have forced the close of the N3 near Van Reenen. Winds gusting at about 140 kilometres per hour have been reported.The N3 is closed between the Tugela Toll Plaza and the Caltex Garage in Van Reenen. Wind speeds of as high as 141km/h have been recorded.RTI and N3TC have appealed to drivers to delay their journey if they plan to use this route. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

Farhana Kaloo buried after sudden death

first_imgThe sudden death of Farhana Kaloo has sent shock waves throughout Ladysmith.She was unwell when she was found by family members on Wednesday evening. She was rushed to hospital, but could not be saved.A postmortem has been done to determine the cause of death. The results have not been officially released.According to Muslim tradition, she was buried yesterday (Thursday).Related stories:Sudden death of Ladysmith resident WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

KFC closedKFC closed

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Rumours have been filtering through that Ladysmith KFC in Lyell Street is closed for business. The Ladysmith Gazette dispatched a journalist to the scene who confirmed that the drive-through and store was indeed closed. Customers arriving at the store were being turned away.The store is currently undergoing a revamp and should be back up and running by Monday. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img

Petrol price to drop

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Before we all start celebrating, however, we have to remember that at the start of the year, the petrol price was R13.20 and by April this year, it had risen to a whopping R13.98 – just two cents short of breaching the R14 mark in coastal priced fuel, the cheapest category in the country.So, despite the 22 cents drop, we are still paying 41 cents more than we did at the start of the year.The recent drop in fuel price has been attributed to a stronger rand and increased production this time of year, which naturally drives the price of petroleum products down.So fill up while you can, because long term forecasts  are not promising and the downward spike in the fuel price could end as fast as it has begun.Update: The new price for unleaded petrol in Ladysmith is R13.68.Important note, the diesel price is unregulated and it pays to shop around for the cheapest price. The petrol price will drop by 22 cents today.This drop in the price of fuel will provide small relief for most consumers.The wholesale price of diesel will drop by 23.58c a litre and that of paraffin by 10c a litre.This makes the standard price of 95 unleaded petrol R13.61 a litre as of Wednesday. ( This is the coastal price. The price in the Ladysmith zone is R13.68)last_img read more

Accident scene at Van Reenen still being cleared

first_imgThe scene of this morning’s truck accident that has blocked traffic on the N3 at Van Reenen is still not clear.The vehicle, which was carrying class 3 flammable goods, is slowly being made safe.A contraflow traffic system is in place on the southbound lanes.The scene should be clear within the next 45 minutes. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

Swimming star Brad Tandy jets into Ladysmith

first_imgIt was a pleasant surprise when Brad Tandy joined his old swimming squad at the Town Pool on Friday.He had just landed from America and needed a swim so he could clear his body of jet lag before leaving for Durban the next day. The local swimmers enjoyed talking to him, and asked him about his achievements and plans for the future.Brad was on his way to Durban to take part in the SSA Senior Nationals Swimming Championships. The champs are also the trials for team selection to the Commonwealth Games. The games will take place later in the year. Brad hopes to be selected for his favourite stroke, the crawl. The swimmers from Ivan and Denise Ball’s squad wish him well and will be closely following his progress. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

Lights out for Earth Hour

first_imgFor seven years running, on the last Saturday of March, millions of people around the world have switched off their lights for Earth Hour as a symbolic gesture to show their commitment to taking positive action for our planet. Beyond the symbolic 60 minutes of darkness, Earth Hour has grown into a powerful, global, citizen-driven movement of progressive change for the environment. Recent examples of bold innovation and collective action have demonstrated the power of Earth Hour to effect lasting and tangible change across the globe.Earth Hour is an inspired opportunity to engage our hearts and minds, and to reflect on (and renew) our commitments to making the planet a place where we and future generations may prosper. Although we are not always aware of it, our individual actions can (and do) have a great impact on our natural world. It is also a good idea to do something else that will help our planet. Clean the litter off your street, plant a tree or donate money to a local charity. This year, join the movement that will transform our planet! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Earth Hour 2014 is scheduled for Saturday, March 29, from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.Earth Hour engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. It was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide, and the one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement. The worldwide event is held towards the end of March annually, encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol of their commitment to the planet.last_img read more

Cars get stuck in flooded Main Road

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A heavy storm this afternoon caused chaos in Main Road, Acaciavale.Water flowed like a river down the road, causing vehicles to get stuck.Many motorists got out of their cars and tried to push their way out of the mini flood that had trapped them.Other drivers were luckier and had the presence of mind to make a quick U-turn before their wheels hit water.last_img

Vietnam promotes tourism and cinema at Cannes Film Festival

first_imgThe 2017 Cannes Film Festival from May 17-28, 2017 in France witnessed Vietnamese cinema and Ho Chi Minh City being promoted as a tourist destination.Three posters of 21m x 3m size were displayed during the festival, including one featuring the image of Son Doong cave in Quang Binh province where the movie ‘Kong – Skull Island’ was filmed and three others highlighting the beauty of the land and people of Ho Chi Minh City.All the billboards were designed with modern technology by Cannes’ leading traditional design professionals. Additionally, a ‘Vietnam Night’ was held on May 20 under the framework of the festival, featuring the most famous and successful films of Vietnamese cinema. On the occasion, the Vietnam Cinema Department and French Cinema Centre also signed several cooperation agreements.The 2017 Cannes Film Festival, which attracted over 23,000 visitors from countries around the world was a good opportunity for Vietnam to promote its cinema and tourism, particularly Ho Chi Minh City to international friends and filmmakers.At the film festival, representatives of Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department also held talks with some international investors and communicators to discuss the sector’s development strategy as well as call for the investment.last_img read more

House Democrats Call for Ouster of FHFA Head

first_img The principal reduction debate resurfaced after 45 members of the House of Representatives–led by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Maryland) and John F. Tierney (D-Massachusetts)–sent a “”letter””:http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5861:45-house-members-urge-president-to-nominate-a-permanent-director-of-fhfa&catid=3:press-releases&Itemid=49 to President Obama, urging him to replace “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco with a permanent director. [IMAGE]DeMarco was mainly criticized for his resistance to a loan modification pilot program that would “”examine whether a principal reduction program could reduce costs to taxpayers while helping borrowers stay in their homes.””The letter points out that as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, Congress granted FHFA authority to modify mortgage loans through the “”reduction of loan principal.”” According to the most recent data from CoreLogic, about 10.7 million residential properties are in “”negative equity.””:http://www.dsnews.com/articles/corelogic-100k-homeowners-rose-above-of-negative-equity-in-q3-2013-01-17Rather than allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to implement a principal reduction program, DeMarco has “”stood firmly””:http://www.dsnews.com/articles/demarco-reiterates-stance-against-principal-forgiveness-program-for-gses-2012-07-31 against his critics, arguing principal [COLUMN_BREAK] reduction is not in the best interest of taxpayers and could cause a “”moral hazard”” issue. To counter DeMarco’s reasoning, the letter points to a principal reduction “”pilot program””:http://www.dsnews.com/articles/representatives-say-demarcos-stance-on-principal-reduction-seems-to-be-about-ideology-2012-05-02 developed by Fannie Mae and Citibank that was terminated due to “”operational”” challenges. Cummings and Tierney challenged DeMarco in a previous “”letter””:http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/images/stories/2012-05-01.EEC-JFT%20to%20FHFA.pdf after receiving documents revealing a principal reduction pilot program in the works suddenly ended. The letter claims Fannie Mae officials estimated the pilot would cost about $1.7 million, while benefits could exceed $410 million. “”By not supporting this pilot program-even after the Department of Treasury offered funds to help cover its operational expenses-Mr. DeMarco demonstrated that he is not interested in obtaining real-world evidence that might contradict his pre-established views,”” the letter states. The letter also argues FHFA’s proposal to raise guarantee fees in high foreclosure states would “”penalize borrowers arbitrarily”” in places where many homeowners are facing foreclosures. “”FHFA proposed increasing state-level guarantee fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on new borrowers in the five states with the longest average foreclosure timelines,”” the letter states. Such an action, the letter argues, could “”unfairly punish borrowers”” without actually addressing the factors leading to longer foreclosure timelines. “”For these reasons, we strongly urge you to nominate an FHFA Director who is ready to fulfill this mission and address the many challenges still facing the nation’s housing finance markets,”” the letter concludes. House Democrats Call for Ouster of FHFA Head February 7, 2013 423 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Edward DeMarco FHFA Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Principal Reduction Processing Service Providers 2013-02-07 Esther Chocenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

Mortgage Risk Continues to Climb

first_img Share Mortgage Risk Continues to Climb Last month’s implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) qualified mortgage (QM) guidelines did little to stem the rise of mortgage risk across the nation, according to the latest from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).The group’s National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI), a measure of loan performance under stressful economic conditions, increased to a reading of 11.8 percent in January from 10.6 percent at the end of 2013.The index saw the greatest lift from a rise in the share of purchase loans backed by the government, which was up to 33 percent. The stressed default rate among those loans increased to 23.7 percent. Isolating only loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the default rate was 24.4 percent.Among loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the stressed default rate was 5.8 percent; an index value of 6 or lower is “indicative of conditions conducive to a stable market,” AEI said.In addition to FHA’s elevated presence in the market, AEI fellow and index co-creator Edward Pinto linked last month’s increase in risk to reports of lenders loosening credit standards—including the revelation that Wells Fargo has dipped its toes back into subprime waters.“What’s really going on here is that means they’ve lowered the floor on their FHA lending … again, I believe responding to political pressure from HUD and FHA,” Pinto said in a press call.AEI also released for the first its State-Level Mortgage Risk Index (SMRI), which showed Mississippi topping the ranks in terms of stressed default risk with an index score above 15 percent. Louisiana followed with a reading near 14 percent, while a number of states ranged between 12-13 percent.Most of those high-ranking states also have the highest concentration of government-insured mortgages.“In Mississippi, half the loans that were originated in this three-month period were FHA loans,” remarked Stephen Oliner, resident scholar for AEI and the other creative mind behind the index.Hawaii was the least risky state last month, though its own index still came in above AEI’s “safe” level of 6 percent.Compared to December, only three states experienced a decline in default risk: Hawaii, Arkansas, and North Dakota. South Dakota remained more or less flat from where it was, while every other state saw their respective indexes climb.“It’s clear that the national pattern we see is very, very widespread across the country,” Oliner said. February 24, 2014 510 Views center_img American Enterprise Institute Credit Standards Fannie Mae FHA Freddie Mac 2014-02-24 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, Headlines, News, Secondary Marketlast_img read more

Carrington Mortgage Appoints Wholesale Regional Sales Manager

first_img Share in Headlines, News Tom O’LearyCarrington Mortgage Services, LLC (Carrington) recently announced in a press release the appointment of Tom O’Leary as regional sales manager for its Wholesale Lending Division. Carrington’s Wholesale operation will now run under O’Leary’s direction and remain focused on continued growth, providing expanded product offerings, and producing faster turn times to effectively meet market demands.“I’m excited to join the emerging leader in government lending, and contribute to further building upon and equipping Carrington’s wholesale lending team to provide the highest quality in customized service and performance,” O’Leary said.Previously, O’Leary worked at Mountain West Financial, where he served as regional VP and spearheaded retail mortgage loan origination offices, including P&L management, recruiting new branches, increasing production, and managing the relationship between the outside sales force and inside operational support teams, the company said.He has more than 15 years’ experience in mortgage lending, and the company believes that he has the experience and dedication necessary to ensure the most efficient delivery of products and services to their clients. O’Leary provides Carrington with the leadership and sales management expertise necessary to drive the regional sales force for the wholesale group with his proven success in retail and wholesale residential mortgage origination, real estate, consumer finance, and the commercial loan origination industry.“Carrington remains sharply focused on increasing our capacity, expanding our offerings and widening our reach to serve more consumers – tasks that require strong leadership and commitment at the local level,” said Ray Brousseau, EVP of Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC’s Mortgage Lending Division. “With Tom O’Leary’s industry knowledge and his tenacity to meet the unique needs of the clients we serve, he is well positioned to lead our wholesale lending operations and add tremendous value to our customers.” June 24, 2015 518 Views center_img Carrington Mortgage Services Regional Sales Manager Wholesale Lending Division 2015-06-24 Staff Writer Carrington Mortgage Appoints Wholesale Regional Sales Managerlast_img read more

Capturing vs Analyzing

first_imgCapturing vs. Analyzing data analysis Lead Recovery 2018-12-05 Donna Joseph in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, News, Servicing, Technology How do you know whether your company is running as efficiently as it can be? How do you know whether you’re receiving maximal returns on your investments? A common answer to these questions is, “Well we try to capture as much data as we can in order to ensure our process.” The issue is that capturing the data is only half the battle. If an institution is unable to properly analyze that data and execute proper plans of action based upon the results of those analyses, then the efforts undertaken to capture the data were in vain. Banks and lending institutions place a very large emphasis on lowering costs of origination and ensuring that their loan officers wring the most value out of every lead. They utilize their data to measure client retention and closing ratios for qualified applicants. However, all too often, those entities focus only on those clients and applicants who initially qualify for the financial products that they offer. Many of those entities simply disregard those consumers who fall outside of qualifying parameters, when they could be leveraging that data to create new pipelines and close more loans. Thirty-nine percent of all mortgage declines are due to credit profile. If a lender or financial institution is cognizant of that statistic when scrutinizing their turndown data and average loan size, they will be able to draw some conclusions about how much loan opportunity is lost due to credit profile. By disregarding the decline data, many companies deprive themselves of millions of dollars in potential new business. Luckily there is a way for banks and lenders that recognize the missed opportunity to capitalize and convert those declines into closings. Partnering with non-profit organizations that specialize in credit rehabilitation is one of the most effective ways to go about it. When choosing a partner, it is imperative that the referring entity is able to track its referrals. This ensures that when the referral becomes qualified for the financial product for which he or she initially applied, the referring entity is immediately alerted so it can recapture that business.center_img December 5, 2018 672 Views Sharelast_img read more