Minimal cost maximum impact how VR helps clients connect with destinations long

first_img Of all the tech trends to come along in the past several years, few are more well-suited to the home-based retail industry than virtual reality (VR). It’s an easy way to add a high-impact boost to a sales pitch using minimal equipment and at minimal cost. Home-based agents looking to introduce their clients to destinations around the world via VR technology just need a simple headset – available from $20 – and a smartphone.Already a multi-billion-dollar industry, VR personalizes the sales pitch – at a time when clients are clamoring for anything and everything customized – and takes travel marketing to a whole other level. It’s most often described as “the next best thing to being there”.Travelweek launched its Explor VR earlier this fall with an app that can be downloaded by anyone with a smartphone. The smartphone then slides into the VR headset – available for purchase from $19.99 at – and within minutes clients can experience their favourite vacation destination in 360-degree virtual reality.Leroy Bridges, Media & Interactive Director for Visit St. Pete Clearwater (and a partner on the Explor VR platform) says every time he puts a VR headset on someone, whether they’ve been to St. Pete Clearwater or not, “they are blown away by how close they get to real-life experiences, like parasailing over the Gulf of Mexico or seeing dolphins jump in the wake behind a boat.”St. Pete/Clearwater is so diverse, says Bridges, that the VR experience gives clients the opportunity to experience the white sand beaches, nature, world-class art scene and bright sunshine in a matter of minutes. “There are only so many regular videos or maps you can look at. VR brings all of that to life in an incredible way,” says Bridges.VR is just as effective selling St. Pete/Clearwater to consumers as it is educating travel agents, he adds. “The power of the tool can’t be overstated. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever had.”G Adventures, another early adopter of Travelweek’s Explor VR, showcases the colourful chaos of India in one of its VR videos. Every traveller G Adventures has spoken to that has tried its VR is amazed by the experience, says Aizaz Sheikh, Marketing Manager, Canada, G Adventures. “VR caters to our industry more than many others. You get to put yourself somewhere and really whet your appetite as to how it would be to be in destination. This surely inspires wanderlust more than an image or video,” says Sheikh.Using Explor VR, agents can showcase not just the destination, but the trip experience too, a key selling point with a product like G Adventures. Sheikh says G Adventures’ India VR video is hosted “by a very popular CEO. He guides you through a wonderful river adventure as if you are actually part of his group.”G Adventures’ VR product is “very experiential”, notes Sheikh, and while the company keeps the execution of its product consistent, what would-be travellers experience in every destination is completely different. “VR gives our travellers a chance to sample different destinations from a travel agency or their living room,” he says. “You feel like you’re actually in the destination.”Devin Kinasz, Director of Digital Strategy, Travelweek said agents were top-of-mind when developing Explor VR. “We’re always thinking of ways to add value for travel agents, so we thought long and hard about the future of travel marketing, and created a suite of sales tools agents can use to capture the attention of consumers,” she said. “The result of our efforts is the industry-leading Explor VR, which puts fun virtual reality destination experiences into the hands of agents and their customers.”About two dozen destination experiences are already included on the Explor VR app ranging from destinations, hotels and airlines to cruise lines and attractions.And while some in the travel industry fear that VR will replace travel, “we’ve seen the exact opposite impact,” says Gordon Meyer, Director of Marketing at YouVisit. “After experiencing our travel content, we’re finding that people are even more excited and motivated to visit a location. We believe that as the devices and software supporting this technology continue to grow and advance, virtual reality will become even more interactive and engaging for viewers, ultimately driving them to book more vacations and see even more of the world.“The goal of VR is not to replace the world around us, but rather to give us a taste of the possibilities.”To order a $19.99 Explor VR Starter Kit or upgraded VR viewer models, and to download a User Guide and see helpful videos, check out Posted by Minimal cost, maximum impact: how VR helps clients connect with destinations long before they arrive Share Tags: Explor VR, Sphere, Virtual Reality, Xplr VRcenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Travelweek Group last_img read more

Germanys Lufthansa and Dubaibased Etihad enter code share agreement

first_img Friday, December 16, 2016 Posted by BERLIN — German airline Lufthansa is launching a code-sharing agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad — a key financial backer of troubled rival Air Berlin, from which Lufthansa will lease 38 aircraft for two of its subsidiaries.Lufthansa said Friday that its LH code will be placed on Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt and Munich starting in January. Etihad will use its EY code on Lufthansa flights between Frankfurt, Rio de Janeiro and Bogota.In a separate agreement, Lufthansa’s Eurowings and Austrian Airlines units are to lease 38 planes from Air Berlin in a six-year deal set to start in February.Etihad owns a 29 per cent stake in Air Berlin after stepping in to support the heavily indebted airline. The Canadian Press Germany’s Lufthansa and Dubai-based Etihad enter code share agreementcenter_img Tags: Etihad Airways, Lufthansa Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Agents can win one of five Google Home smart speakers with ParkN

first_imgTags: Contests, Google, Park’N Fly Share TORONTO — Agents can take advantage of Park’N Fly’s exclusive new Google Home contest offering the chance to win one of five Google Home smart speakers.The contest runs from Sept. 15 to Nov. 30.To enter, travel professionals must locate their agency Park’N Fly referral code which can be found on Park’N Fly’s coupons and enter it into the contest entry form, along with their contact information, at are five grand prizes available, each consisting of one Google Home smart speaker. Each grand prize has a retail value of $179.Winners will be chosen at random from all eligible entries on Dec. 17. Travel professionals that require assistance locating their agency’s Park’N Fly referral code can email Canadian operated company with over 40 years of airport parking experience, Park’N Fly says it has earned the reputation for providing cost effective services for both business and leisure travellers.No purchase is necessary to take part and the contest is open to all Canadian travel professionals, including those that reside in Quebec, that are over the age of 18 years. See Posted by Tuesday, September 18, 2018 center_img Travelweek Group Agents can win one of five Google Home smart speakers with Park’N Fly << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

WestJet launches inaugural flight between Calgary and Atlanta

first_img Tweet Posted by Monday, March 4, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group center_img WestJet launches inaugural flight between Calgary and Atlanta Tags: New Routes, WestJet CALGARY — WestJet is now the only airline to connect Calgary to Atlanta with nonstop service, having launched its inaugural flight on March 3.The six times weekly service departs Calgary International Airport (YYC) at 9:55 a.m. and arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) at 4:08 p.m. It moves to daily service starting April 7.Atlanta is now the 65th destination that WestJet serves nonstop from Calgary. WestJet already serves more destinations with more nonstop flights from Calgary than any other airline.“Today’s flight between Calgary and Atlanta marks another significant milestone in WestJet’s continued investment into Alberta while supporting strong business and tourism ties,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer. “We are thrilled to offer our guests this service along with access to 111 unique routes between Atlanta and points across North America served by WestJet and our codeshare partner, Delta.”WestJet, via Delta, offers an extensive list of U.S. destinations including the southeastern United States and Gulf Coast, and cities such as Memphis, Tenn., Charleston, S.C., New Orleans, La., Savannah, Ga., Pensacola and Panama City, Fla.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaThe two carriers have signed a definitive agreement to create a comprehensive transborder joint venture arrangement that will offer travellers an expanded network within Canada and the U.S., frequent flyer benefit reciprocity, lounge access and join corporate discounts. The proposed joint venture agreement is subject to regulatory approvals in the U.S. and Canada.last_img read more

US woman killed in southern Costa Rica after attacker hits her in

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Police arrest 2 US citizens on cocaine possession charges US real estate developer accused of $7 million fraud Ohio man convicted in Costa Rica telemarketing scam Former U.S. convict Dan Fowlie speaks out against being barred entry to Costa Rica again Update: The Judicial Investigation police published a clarification that the woman’s name was Kropf, not Crock as originally reported by the authorities.A U.S. woman was killed with a rock to the head in southern Costa Rica on Wednesday afternoon. Police responded to a 911 call that a woman had been attacked with a rock in Coto Brus. When they arrived at the scene with a Red Cross ambulance they found the woman dead from apparent head injuries. The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) told The Tico Times that the victim’s name is Ester Kropf, age between 35-40 years old.A 20-year-old male suspect, identified with the last names Jiménez Torres, called police after the incident and is in custody. According to the suspect, Kropf raised Jiménez since he was a boy. He accused Kropf of sexually abusing him. The two were in a river 500 meters from their home in Los Ángeles de Limoncito when Jiménez allegedly grabbed a rock and smashed it into Kropf’s head.The daily La Nación reported that Kropf had lived in Costa Rica for 14 years as part of a Mennonite community in the southern canton that sits alongside the Panamanian border. The Tico Times was unable to immediately verify her immigration status.This story is a breaking news story, and will be updated as it develops.last_img read more

Costa Rican lawmakers go to battle against President Solís reversal of labor

first_imgA group of 21 lawmakers from five parties on Friday morning filed a complaint with the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, challenging the constitutionality ofPresident Luis Guillermo Solís’ decision to lift a veto on a bill proposing reforms to the country’s Labor Procedures Law.Solís on Dec. 12 ordered the reversal of the veto by former president Laura Chinchilla in 2012, arguing that the period for its discussion and approval by the Legislative Assembly was about to expire.Lawmakers from the previous legislature passed the bill in September 2013, but Chinchilla in October refrained from signing it into law. She then vetoed it, saying the bill “would create a loophole for legalizing strikes in essential services without restraint, and that would be unconstitutional.”Interpretations of the bill describe essential services as public health care, public security and transportation.The latest complaint by lawmakers was signed by members of the National Liberation Party, the Social Christian Unity Party, the Libertarian Movement Party, the National Restoration Party and the Christian Democratic Alliance.“There is a strong conflict of jurisdiction here. The bill was under review by the Legislative Assembly and therefore its discussion corresponded to lawmakers. President Solís decided to lift the veto when we were in the middle of a legislative process,” the National Restoration Party’s Fabricio Alvarado said at a press conference on Friday.Solís on Thursday signed an executive decree reiterating his administration’s pledge to maintain essential services and establish protocols to guarantee that these and other public services are not interrupted by labor disputes.The Christian Democratic Alliance’s Mario Redondo said the president’s decree makes no sense, and he called it a “legal platypus.”“President Solís’ action constitutes an interference by the executive branch of the legislative branch. He’s in a huge mess and now he doesn’t know how to get out of it,” Redondo said.The National Liberation Party’s top legislator, Juan Luis Jiménez, confirmed that all 18 members of his party supported the Sala IV complaint.Solís’ decision has been widely criticized by business groups and private-sector chambers, which say the reform in its current drafting would hurt the country’s competitiveness and affect foreign investment by creating the possibility of strikes in the private sector. The bill also would forbid employers from sanctioning striking workers, they argue. Facebook Comments Related posts:For Solís, next key issue is striking workers in essential public services President Solís lifts veto on Labor Procedures Bill, promises to ban strikes in essential public services Costa Rica’s Solís denies secret agreement with unions on Monday’s strike Workers’ unions to demonstrate against raise in Social Security ratelast_img read more

Former Judicial Investigation Police official named Costa Ricas new public security minister

first_imgPresident Luis Guillermo Solís quickly named a law enforcement veteran to replace Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa after Gamboa announced Tuesday he would step down. Gustavo Mata, vice minister of public security and former Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) deputy director, will assume the minister’s post on Feb. 16.Gamboa said he is leaving the ministry to work at the Prosecutor’s Office as a deputy prosecutor. He severed in various Public Security Ministry offices in the last four years, including vice minister and chief of the Costa Rican intelligence agency under former President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014), before Solís named him minister in May 2014.Mata, 51, said his administration would focus on crimes that affect people’s daily lives, such as assaults, robberies and homicides, and targeting international drug traffickers with the assistance of the United States and Colombia.The newly named minister from Turrialba, Cartago, said he would send letters to the OIJ, the courts and the Prosecutor’s Office to see how the National Police and the rest of the ministry could better coordinate efforts.Mata is a lawyer and alumnus of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s academy in Quantico, Virginia, and received training at London’s Scotland Yard, as well as in Spain, Panama and Colombia. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa steps down US anti-drug trafficking review arrives in Costa Rica as lawmakers debate permissions In a hideaway for Brazil’s rich and famous, a new scandal emerges Why Guatemala’s Pérez Molina turns a deaf ear to widespread calls for his resignationlast_img read more

President Solís issues red alert for Caribbean region following major flooding

first_imgFlooding of the Reventazón and Pacuare rivers completely blocked passage to the community of Imperio in the canton of Siquirres, in the Caribbean lowlands.A Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) hydroelectric plant on the Reventazón River reportedly evacuated all of its employees early Saturday morning.Barra de Parismina River overflowed and flooded the community of La Pajarera in El Carmen, in Limón province.Emergency staff in Turrialba have evacuated people from various communities and opened a shelter at a local community hall. Heavy flooding has destroyed infrastructure in Costa Rica’s Caribbean region. (Courtesy of the Costa Rican Red Cross)Several homes and properties are reportedly affected by flooding in the Sarapiquí communities of Caño San José, Nogales and Colono. CNE opened two shelters and according to a report at 2 p.m., 144 people had been evacuated. CNE operations director Walter Fonseca said they are currently working on sending supplies to all shelters and emergency committees have started delivering food.Passage of vehicles on Route 32 to Limón remains closed due to approximately 4,000 cubic meters of debris that fell off the mountains. Currently, the only access to the Caribbean from the Central Valley is through Route 10 (Paraíso-Turrialba-Siquirres), although it is being regulated by Traffic Police.The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) at 2 p.m. reported rainfall accumulations of up to 185 mm (7 inches) in the last 30 hours in Sarapiquí, 229 mm (9 in) in Turrialba and between 10-55 mm (0.4 – 2 in) at communities in the Metropolitan Area. Damage to roads in Limón province happened as a result of heavy rains early Saturday morning. (Courtesy of the Costa Rican Red Cross)Recommended: Costa Rican exporters report Route 32 closure cost them an extra $800,000 Facebook Comments Related posts:Crews continue working to remove debris from Costa Rica’s Route 32, which remains closed on Monday Costa Rica’s Luis Guillermo Solís issues national emergency decree following widespread flooding Emergency officials downgrade weather alert for Costa Rica’s Caribbean, northern regions Costa Rican capital hit by heavy rains, flash floods President Luis Guillermo Solís issued an emergency red alert – the highest of the country’s three alert levels – Saturday across the Caribbean province of Limón and in the cantons of Sarapiquí, in Heredia, and Turrialba, in the eastern province of Cartago, in response to heavy rains and flooding that have led to widespread structural damage and evacuations.In a press conference Saturday at noon, Solís said all emergency agencies activated their response protocols to address situations caused by downpours persisting since Friday evening.National Emergency Commission (CNE) officials met with the President on Saturday morning to evaluate the damage in the three provinces.Following the meeting, CNE reported that the most affected cantons are Sarapiquí, Turrialba, Siquirres, Matina, Central Limón, Talamanca and Valle de la Estrella.The Costa Rican Red Cross issued a statement Saturday afternoon saying that there have been no reported deaths or injuries in the affected areas, but that the rain’s intensity could remain the same until at least Monday afternoon.center_img Water rushing out of the Reventazón dam in #CostaRica after intense rains trigger red alert. @theticotimes— Zach Dyer (@zkdyer) June 27, 2015last_img read more

President Solís church leaders discuss Cuban migrant crisis

first_imgPresident Luis Guillermo Solís met with Costa Rican bishops Wednesday as another day passed with no resolution on the Cuban migrant crisis at the Nicaraguan border. Foreign Minister Manuel González told reporters Wednesday evening that assistance from the Catholic Church — one of several organizations providing relief and shelter to the migrants — would likely be required for several more days at least.The Cuban migrants have become a diplomatic hot potato as countries blame one another for the crisis.González said he and the president asked to address the issue at a meeting of church leaders from across Central America that was already planned for early next week in San José.The National Emergency Commission said Wednesday that it opened a sixth shelter for Cuban migrants stuck at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border trying to reach the United States in order to ask for asylum. Temporary shelters for some 980 people have been set up in school gymnasiums, churches and fire stations.The Cuban government issued a statement Tuesday evening decrying the U.S.’s “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy, which it said motivates these migrants. Authorities on the island said that U.S. immigration policy “holds back the normalization of migration relations between Cuba and the United States and creates problems for other countries.”The U.S. Embassy in San José previously told The Tico Times that there is no plan to change its immigration policy toward Cubans, which is laid out in the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, and that the U.S. supports the “safe, legal, and orderly migration” of Cubans.Cuba called for a “quick and suitable” solution to the crisis that has left approximately 2,000 migrants in limbo in Costa Rica with no legal option to continue north. Costa Rica has called for a “humanitarian corridor” to allow the migrants to reach their goal.Foreign Minister González said Nicaragua’s refusal to let the Cubans pass was based on already chilly relations between the two Central American neighbors.“Nicaragua is taking advantage of the pain of these people and making it part of the bilateral relationship with Costa Rica because of the decisions by the Hague,” González told reporters, referring to the International Court of Justice, where both countries have pending cases.Nicaragua, meanwhile, continues to blame Costa Rica for the unauthorized attempted crossing of roughly 800 Cuban migrants on Sunday. Claiming that the country was defending its borders, the Nicaragua government sent the military to confront the migrants, firing rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd.Cubans require visas to enter both Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Until last Friday Nicaragua had been receiving Cuban migrants deported from Costa Rica.A regional meeting proposed by Costa Rica between Ecuador, Colombia, Central America and Mexico to address a proposed humanitarian corridor or another solution has yet to take shape. Vice ministers from the member states of the Central American Integration System are set to meet Thursday in El Salvador to discuss the subject.Minister González said he did not expect the meeting to resolve the migrant crisis that started on Costa Rica’s border with Panama at Paso Canoas on Nov. 11 and continues now in Peñas Blancas, at the northern end of Costa Rica.AFP contributed to this report Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica calls for regional meeting to address flood of Cuban migrants The fate of thousands of Cuban migrants will be determined at a Quality Inn Cuban migrants spend a month in camps as regional leaders fail to reach solution Crisis at the border: Costa Rica weighs its options after Nicaragua violently turns back Cuban migrantslast_img read more

Environmental leader killed in Honduras

first_imgTEGUCIGALPA,Honduras — A Honduran environmentalist campaigning against a dam project in indigenous lands was killed with a machete blow to the head, her organization said Thursday.Lesbia Yaneth Urquía, abducted Tuesday, was found dead Wednesday in a landfill in the town of Marcala, said the Honduran environmental and indigenous rights group COPINH.Urquia, 49, was working against a project to build a dam over the Chinacla River, which flows through lands of the Lenca indigenous people in western Honduras.“The death of Lesbia Yaneth is a political femicide that seeks to silence the voices of women with the courage and valor to defend their rights against a patriarchal, racist and capitalist system that is ever closer to destroying our planet,” COPINH wrote on its website.The Honduran prosecutor’s office announced Thursday that it would form a special commission to look into the violent killing of Urquía.In March, gunmen killed Berta Cáceres, a prominent coordinator of COPINH. She was working against a separate dam project on Lenca land.Five people were arrested in May in connection with Cácares’s murder. One is a high-ranking employee of an electricity company involved in the dam project that Cáceres opposed.Another COPINH leader, Tomás García, was killed days after the death of Cáceres in still unclear circumstances.Read also:Daughters of slain Honduran activist want int’l commission to investigate mother’s deathLatin America most dangerous region for environmentalists in 2015 Facebook Comments Related posts:Four arrested over murder of Honduras activist Berta Cáceres Another activist killed in Honduras Daughters of slain Honduran activist want int’l commission to investigate mother’s death Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres murdered, family sayslast_img read more

All on 4 Dental Implants Is it Cheaper in Costa Rica

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Why Americans are saying ‘yes’ to dental tourism in Costa Rica Seven tips to get the best implants in Costa Rica What are dental implants, and why are they better in Costa Rica? Is Costa Rica a safe destination for dental tourism? Patrick Goodness.Patrick Goodness is the founder and CEO of Goodness Dental, ranked the #1 dental clinic in Costa Rica and one of the Top Ten Dental Clinics in the World by Global Clinic Ranking. Goodness writes and lectures frequently on global medical and dental tourism topics and is an outspoken advocate for affordable dental care for everyone. center_img If you have lost a significant number of teeth, you may have researched the All on 4, All on 6 or All on 8 dental implant procedure.If you’ve received a quote for this procedure in the United States, from Clear Choice or other major competitors, your price generally starts at $50,000 or more for an All on 4. An All on 8 dental implants can cost as much as $80,000 for both arches in the U.S.In Costa Rica, you can receive this same treatment for 50-70% less. Most All on 4 dental implant procedures are priced at around $25,000 in Costa Rica for both jaw arches. A single arch solution for your upper or lower jaw can be as little as $11,000. An All on 8 may cost up to $35,000 for both arches from a top clinic in Costa Rica. Here’s a bit more information to help you as you research this procedure.An All-on-4 dental implants procedure is a dental implant-based solution. It’s helpful to understand the basic concept of dental implants first.A dental implant is a post made of a special material (titanium is the most recommended dental implant material) that is biocompatible with bone. It is inserted into your jawbone through minor dental surgery. This surgery is usually ambulatory and done using local anesthesia. Conscious IV sedation from a licensed anesthesiologist is also available at the leading clinics. However, a potential patient will need to meet with the dentist to determine if he or she is a good candidate for the procedure or if there are some considerations that will require some extra preparation — for example, abnormal bleeding or diabetes.After the dental implant placement surgery, you will need to wait typically between 4 to 6 months before returning for the stage two treatment. During this time, the implant will fuse with the bone and, in a sense, become part of it. Once the fusion is complete, the implant will have the same strength and stability as a natural tooth. The dental implants will act as anchors, forming a strong foundation for a new set of teeth.After a recommended 6-month healing period, the patient returns for a second procedure that exposes the top of the implants, allowing the dental bridge, fixed denture or permanent prosthesis to be attached to the implants.An All-on-4 is a solution based on the same principle as a dental implant, except that it uses 4 implants instead of one. (And, as you’ve probably guessed, an All-on-6 solution uses 6 implants per jaw. An All-on-8 procedure will use 8 dental implants per arch.) Once these implants are fused, a fixed denture or permanent bridge (porcelain fused to metal or zirconium is recommended) is placed and attached to the implants, providing the patient with a full arch of beautiful, new, functional teeth.After the All on 4 dental implants procedure is complete, very little specialized care is needed. The fixed denture is firmly attached, and your new teeth can be brushed as if they were natural teeth. Your new implant-based solution works and looks like natural teeth, too. So, you’ll be able to smile, laugh and eat with comfort. Everyone will be amazed at how beautiful your new teeth will look. The best part is that they will look and even feel like natural teeth to you.The All on 4 procedure is terribly expensive in the United States, forcing many people to seek inferior solutions like removable bridges or acrylic dentures. Many patients cannot afford any care at all, and so they simply do their best to get along with teeth, restricting their social lives and the kinds of food that they can eat. Not being able to enjoy food is no way to live.That’s why more and more U.S citizens (and even some Canadians!) are traveling to Costa Rica (which is ranked higher in quality and with better prices than Mexico), where they can get affordable All on 4 dental implant procedures, and other dental procedures like crowns, veneers, root canals and full mouth restorations at prices that are often 50-70% percent less than in the United States.If you have a few minutes, check out this video about All on 4 Dental Implants in Costa Rica, to see what happens during an All on 4 procedure.If you’re in the market for an All on 4 or want to learn more about the procedure, it’s helpful to note that  Costa Rica Dental Guide and Global Clinic Rating rank Goodness Dental as the #1 dental clinic in Costa Rica for All on 4, All on 6 and All on 8 dental implant solutions.As the CEO of this clinic, I’m proud of our accomplishment and look forward welcoming you to our stunning, state-of-the-art dental clinic facilities in Escazú, an upscale and safe suburb of the capital city of San José, Costa Rica.You can also call Goodness Dental toll free at 866-406-2744 to speak with one of our team members about your dental care needs.last_img read more

Jordan raises fuel prices sparking protests

first_imgAssociated PressAMMAN, Jordan (AP) – Jordan’s prime minister announced price hikes for gas and other fuel Tuesday, setting off demonstrations and calls for general strikes.Protesters blamed Jordan’s problems on King Abdullah II, who has the final say in all civic matters. They also demanded the resignation of the prime minister, a top aide of the king.Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour’s announcement on state TV cited a need to offset $5 billion in state losses from a rising fuel bill. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes The pipeline that carries Egyptian natural gas to Israel and Jordan has been blown up more than a dozen times over the past year by militants in Egypt’s Sinai desert, halting shipments. Jordan has switched to the more expensive fuel oil to generate electricity.Shortly after the prime minister’s TV appearance, 100 protesters clashed with riot police a block away from Ensour’s home in the northern city of Salt. Protesters pelted stones at policemen as they tried to break their lines to get to Ensour’s home to demand his resignation, a police official said. The official, who insisted on anonymity because he is not allowed to make press statements, said riot police responded by firing tear gas. He said there were no immediate reports of injuries among police or protesters.He declined to say if Ensour and his family were home.In some cities in Jordan’s south, inhabited by tribal Bedouins who are traditional supporters of the king, hundreds of protesters took to the streets to chant slogans calling for the ouster of the prime minister, but also criticizing the king.In Mazar, dozens of protesters burned down the main court building after stealing documents, said Yazan Naanah, a resident who said he saw the arson but did not take part in the protest. Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories center_img The news sparked protests in the capital, Amman, and at least 12 other cities across Jordan.“Revolution, revolution, it is a popular revolution,” chanted about 2,000 protesters in an impromptu demonstration at a main Amman square, housing the Interior Ministry and other vital government departments.The protesters _ affiliated with Muslim, Arab nationalist, Marxist, Communist and youth opposition groups _ also targeted Abdullah in a rare public display against the monarch. Criticizing the king in public is forbidden in Jordan and is punishable by up to three years in jail.“Freedom is from God, in spite of you, Abdullah,” they shouted.Hours later, about two dozen protesters tried to take down a street portrait of the king hung on a billboard, but riot police encircled it, preventing the protesters from reaching it.Cars jammed gas stations to stock up on fuel before the price hike takes effect on Wednesday.Ensour said a type of fuel used in public transport will rise in price by 14 percent, while kerosene oil used for household heating goes up by 28 percent.Cooking gas will jump 54 percent, he said. Many low-income Jordanians use the gas for heating.Disruptions in cheap Egyptian gas shipments cost Jordan an extra $7 million a day, the government said, pushing the budget deficit to a record high of nearly $3 billion this year. Further south in Maan, a hotbed for Jordanian Muslim militants, 500 protesters blocked the streets, burning tires and throwing stones at riot police, who were firing tear gas, a city official said, insisting on anonymity because he is not allowed to make press statements. He said there were no immediate reports of injuries.Maan was the site of riots in 1988, which killed four people and wounded scores of others. The riots then unseated the Cabinet and forced a liberalization process that froze martial law and saw parliamentary elections for the first time in two decades.The protests also spread to Jordan’s north. In Sareeh, on the edge of the northern city of Irbid close to the Syrian border, angry protesters burned down a gas station, said witness Mohammed Amoura.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

Suicide bomber kills 19 people in north Afghanistan market

first_imgKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber attacked a market crowded with shoppers Wednesday in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 19 people and wounding 38 amid other Taliban assaults in the area, authorities said.No one immediately claimed responsibility for the powerful blast in Faryab province’s Almar district, but suspicion immediately fell on the Taliban. Overnight, there had been an Afghan military operation targeting the insurgents in the same district. Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments   Share   The attack happened on a weekly shopping day for the area, meaning the market teemed with shoppers and soldiers protecting it when the bomber detonated his explosive vest, police said.The “target of the attacker was military forces that were present in the area but the majority of the victims were innocent civilians,” deputy provincial police chief Baryalia Basharyar said.Both Abdul Satar Barez, the acting provincial governor, and Sayed Masoud Yaqiubi, a spokesman for the provincial police chief, gave the casualties figures. Barez also said he feared the final death toll may be higher as many among the wounded were in critical condition.The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan condemned the attack, saying it showed insurgents’ “appalling disregard for human life.”Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks on Afghan soldiers and police in recent months. U.S. and NATO troops formally ended their combat mission at the end of last year, leaving Afghan forces in charge of security in the country.In neighboring Zawzjan province, a patrol of the security forces belonging to the country’s first vice president, Abdul Rashid Dostum, also came under attack late Tuesday night, said Sultan Faizy, a spokesman for the official. Faziy said that one insurgent was killed and a second attacker arrested after he was wounded by security forces. The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

2100 migrants try to storm Eurotunnel site in French port

first_img Comments   Share   PARIS (AP) — About 2,100 migrants tried to storm the area surrounding the Eurotunnel early Tuesday before being repelled by police, an official in the northern French port of Calais said.The official, who spoke on condition she not be named because she wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, said police arrested 200 of the migrants. She said it was the largest such attempt by migrants to enter the site.Calais is a key port for sea and land crossings to Britain. In recent months, thousands of migrants from Eritrea, Sudan and beyond have camped out around the city, and some try to sneak across the English Channel by getting onboard trucks and freight trains. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonacenter_img The encampments have soured relations between Britain and France, which blame each other for failing to cope with the crisis.On Tuesday, British Home Secretary Theresa May announced that her government has agreed to provide an extra 7 million pounds ($10.8 million) to boost security at the Channel Tunnel railhead in Coquelles.May disclosed the extra funding following a meeting between British and French officials.“We’ve had a very constructive meeting,” she said. “The French and U.K. governments are working in close collaboration and cooperation on this issue which affects us both.”Last week, the company that operates the Eurotunnel asked France and Britain to kick in 9.7 million euros ($10.6 million) to cope with an influx of migrants in Calais. Britain has also said it’s creating a “secure zone” in Calais for British-bound trucks to tackle the problem of migrants stowing away in the vehicles.Spokespeople for Eurotunnel and the police weren’t immediately available for comment.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Schiphol to invest in body scanners after letting terrorist through

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport will be investing in 60 new body scanners authorities announced after the airport after the would-be Christmas Day terrorist was allowed to board a flight to Detroit.15 body scanners are currently already in use for flights from Amsterdam to the United States, and 60more are on order after the airport stepped up security after the scare.A 23-year-old Nigerian travelled to Amsterdam from Lagos in Nigeria, from where he then boarded a Northwest flight into the United States.  On descent into Detroit, he reportedly failed to correctly detonate the pentrite explosive he had concealed in his underwear.This failed attack has seen airports around the world invest in x-ray body scanning machines in a bid to prevent any similar attempts taking place.But the x-ray machines have drawn criticism from privacy advocates as well as raising fears of increased cancer risks through radiation for frequent travellers.last_img read more

Expedia aims for more market share with new brand campaign

first_imgExpedia Inc, the world’s largest online travel company, is hoping to also become the biggest player in this region after launching a new multi-million dollar brand campaign to entice Australian and New Zealand travellers to book ‘where it matters’. The new Expedia brand is built around the tagline “Where you book matters”, and also showcases its new redesigned logo for the launch of its TV Commercial. “We are seeing to break the mould with travellers and demonstrate that it really does matter where you book your travel.  Put simply, we want to be the single best place to book travel,” Marketing Manager Australia & New Zealand, Louise Crompton said. Managing Director, Expedia Asia Pacific, Dan Lynn said it was key that the customer be able to trust where they book travel, and to do so their interests must be put first, which Expedia has done after removing booking fees and not charging passengers additional fees for changes or cancellations, keeping pricing honest and showcasing the best inventory they are able to offer. Locally, Expedia have implemented lower margins for near-term domestic demand, greater technology development, and introduced a call centre in Melbourne for sales and service calls.Mr Lynn said globally 2010 was a “tough year” for the travel industry, but “Australia fared a little better”. “Think we’ll see flattish performance in 2010 everywhere apart from APAC, which should return to positive territory, in about the 5 per cent range,” he said.The trend toward online bookings in Australia and New Zealand has continued to grow, with Phocuswright research revealing a 22 per cent increase in 2009 to AUD $6.8 billion.  Globally, online travel agents represent approximately 39 per cent of online bookings. <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.Mlast_img read more

Kidman Urban Hugh Jackman and Jay Z confirmed for Oprah down under

first_imgA list of Australia’s biggest stars will take the stage at the Opera House as part of Oprah’s two special episodes down under on 14 December. Russell Crowe, Bindi Irwin, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Olivia Newton-John are among the confirmed guests to appear across the two shows. Bon Jovi will perform some of their greatest hits and Jay Z will make a surprise appearance. Oprah’s camp said the two tapings will conclude with a one-time special musical treat from Australia’s John Foreman and his orchestra. A total of four shows will be produced in Australia, with two additional episodes to be comprised of footage filmed across Australia from both the audience and Oprah’s trips. Up to 6,000 audience members were selected out of the 350,000 requests for tickets to the tapings. The programmes are set to air in the US and on Channel Ten in Australia in January 2011. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Oz resort skiing into winter

first_imgAustralia’s ski industry has unveiled upgrades to its slopes and ticketing systems as it open its doors to the busy winter season. Skiers will no longer need to fumble around for their passes at Perisher and Thredbo gates, with the newly installed Radio Frequency Identification, which scans unique ticket codes from inside the person’s jacket, Snow NSW reported. Perisher is also turning up the beats, replacing hot cocoa and the warm cosy fire with its new PlayStation Slopestyle Park. Top and bottom lights as well as music blaring, the new range offers freestyle boarders and skiers the chance to jump and groove after lights out. For a calmer evening, Charlotte Pass has prepared the Night Groomer Tour, allowing guests to hop on board a groomer vehicle and observe how the mountain is prepared for next day skiing each night. The ski resort has also prepared an outdoor ice bar for its annual Charlotte Pass Winter Festival, along with fireworks, free tubing, road gap jumping and flare runs. Meanwhile, Smiggin Holes has booked the Super Glide Skating Rink this year, offering skiers a surface used by professional skiers and ice hockey skaters to increase speed and strength. While Mt Selwyn aims to develop young talent, offering Penguin Private Lessons for children under seven with previous experience on the slopes.The lessons are at a discounted price and are developed for one-on-one education. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

FLT focuses on online profit growth

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Aiming to expand customer offerings, Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner reaffirmed the company’s commitment to expanding its online presence while growing its global shop network.As reported by e-Travel Blackboard earlier this month, Flight Centre is focusing its efforts on tapping “into the online space” as a means to offer travellers the choice of booking holidays in-store, online, via phone or email.Speaking at the Flight Centre Annual General Meeting this week, Mr Turner said the company was diversifying customer options while keeping services coupled up.“This genuine multi-channel sales offering is a key point of difference,” Mr Turner said.“Effectively, we can replicate the web-based booking services online travel agencies provide and couple them with the services our global shop network provides.“Our goal this year is to grow this network by eight to ten percent.” He added that the company is also aiming to increase pre-tax profit by ten percent to deliver a result of $270 million.While Mr Turner said the company exceeded expectations with a 25 to 30 percent leap in pre-profit tax for the first quarter and October this year compared to last, he stressed the company was capable of reaching its goals, “excluding any major abnormal items that may arise”.last_img read more

eTravel Blackboard is moving

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard e-Travel Blackboard is pleased to announce it is moving office between Friday 27 July – Monday 30 July.The office and the websites will be offline from 7am – 2pm on Friday 27 July. Agents Support Systems, operator of e-Travel Blackboard Australia, Asia, New Zealand, The America’s and MICE, OBrochure and Travelnow will relocate from its current Pitt Street office to operate out of Suite 101, 83 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Contact details remain the same, phone number +61411 474 382. If you need to contact any staff member during the move, please call the number above. Thank you again for all your support and we look forward to bringing you Travel News Your Way from the new location. last_img read more