Domestic tourism reaches new high

first_imgThe latest results from the National Visitor Survey have shown domestic overnight trips grew to a record 79.1 million, with tourism spend reaching a record high of AUD $53.3 billion, representing a four percent growth for the year ending June 2014.According to the quarterly survey, conducted by Tourism Research, visiting friends and relatives were the driving force in the expenditure growth, contributing AUD $12.1 billion, up seven percent, with trips increasing by 8 percent to 28.1 million and surpassing the previous record of 27.6 million in 2004.Overnight business travel also recorded good growth with the number of trips reaching 41.9 million, up five percent, number of nights increasing by eight percent to 49.4 million and expenditure at AUD $12.3 billion, up six percent.“This is a great result for the Australian domestic tourism industry and on the back of record tourism exports of over AUD $30 billion, we now have a total overnight spend at a new high of over AUD $30 billion,” Tourism Research Australia manager strategic research and analysis Tim Quinn said.However, Mr Quinn stresses the need to be mindful of lost opportunities moving forward.“While the domestic tourism sector is the industry’s bread and butter, responsible for three-quarters of tourism’s AUD $42 billion contribution to the economy, Australians’ preference for holiday continues.”Although domestic tourism expenditure remained steady at AUD $27 billion, domestic holidays grew by only two percent, with nights falling by two percent, while overseas holiday travel grew by eight percent, reaching 5.4 million.“While growth in overseas holidays remains solid, assisted by a stubborn Australian dollar, this is expected to moderate with some switching of demand toward domestic holiday travel.“With AUD $50 billion in the tourism investment pipeline, the Australian tourism industry has much to look forward to as it is likely growth in overnight tourism spend will continue toward the goal of $140 billion.”Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

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Helloworld enhanced by hello You program

first_imgAfter the completion of Round Two of the hello You program, helloworld brand-carrying agents are already applying the skills learnt in the program to the day to day activities of their business.The program was developed by leading global training expert and PeopleInProgress chief executive officer Terry Hawkins, and it will empower helloworld’s front line staff with ample more skills.Skills to positively influence, engage, and create strengthened, long lasting customer relationships while adding significant business enhancements to their agency.Helloworld head of branded networks Julie Primmer, said the hello You training program reflects the commitment helloworld has to deliver excellence in customer service.“This is a key differentiator for our brand-carrying members within their communities and our agents are already reaping significant benefits from this tailored training initiative,” Ms Primmer said.Helloworld head of associate and affiliate networks David Padman, said internal research has shown that customer service is a prime advantage in the industry.“Our agents and our research tell us that excellence in customer service is a prime advantage and our hello You program has been embraced by our brand-carrying Agents because they want to cement their position as business leaders,” Mr Padman said.In addition, helloworld agents are already seeing significant business advantages through putting the practical outcomes of the training into action.Helloworld Thornton store, retail sales manager Sarah Fenton, said she found the hello You training to be a real game changer.“It is a chance to look not only at how we can improve our business, but how we can improve the way we relate to, communicate and interact with our customers on a day to day basis. From a business perspective, it has given me a new level of patience when dealing with clients, especially in regards to complaint resolution,” Ms Fenton said.In other helloworld news, Andrew Burnes, the founder of Australia’s AOT Group, has increased his stake in Helloworld to 10.2 per cent.Mr Burnes bought 15.5m helloworld (HLO) shares at 36 cents each in an off-market transaction from UBS and Europe Voyager.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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AirAsia signs up for Travelports rich content and branding

first_imgAirAsia, signs up for Travelport’s rich content and brandingTravelport today announces a new agreement signed with AirAsia, Asia’s largest low cost carrier, for its Rich Content and Branding solution.This supplements the distribution agreements that Travelport already has with seven carriers within the AirAsia group.Through the agreement, AirAsia becomes the first Low Cost Carrier (LCC) in Asia to sign up for this innovative feature that allows airlines to market and retail their products more effectively by controlling how their products are visually presented and described to travel agents. It is designed to enable partner airlines to use more sophisticated retailing techniques in order to drive sales of core fares as well as ancillaries and “optional extras” such as selected seating and lounge passes.The popular merchandising technology has seen more than 100 airlines signing up including leading carriers such as China Eastern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, easyJet, Ryanair and many more.Spencer Lee, Head of Commercial, AirAsia Berhad, commented: “On AirAsia.com, we are very proud of the wide variety of options and add-ons we offer to our customers, clearly presented with detailed descriptions and highly illustrative visuals. We are glad we are now able to present our products in the same manner to Travelport’s global network using its Rich Content and Branding solution.”Damian Hickey, Vice President, Asia Pacific and Global Sales Strategy, Air Commerce, Travelport, added: “We are delighted to join hands with AirAsia to present the Airline’s complete and unique brand experience to our network of 259,000 travel agency terminals worldwide. This is indeed a first in Asia.”Source = Air Asialast_img read more

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SIA CAG and STB strengthen commitment to Singapore tourism

first_imgSIA, CAG and STB strengthen commitment to Singapore tourismSingapore Airlines (SIA), Changi Airport Group (CAG) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have stepped up efforts to jointly promote inbound travel to Singapore and Changi Airport, in the largest collaboration among the three partners to date. Under the new two-year partnership, the three parties will jointly invest $20 million to collaborate in amplifying the Singapore experience to leisure, business and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) audiences in more than 15 mark; ets worldwide.This will be carried out through the refinement and delivery of the Singapore experience to visitors coming to and through Singapore and Changi Airport, and the intensification of marketing efforts direct to consumers and through trade partnerships. In addition to ongoing work in attracting leisure visitors, the partnership will also boost marketing investment for the business traveller and MICE segments.“This partnership demonstrates our commitment to further developing our home base as a travel hub and promoting Singapore as a destination of choice. We are pleased to continue working closely with STB and CAG and draw on our respective strengths, to promote sustainable growth of inbound travel to and through Singapore,” said Singapore Airlines CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.“One of the key initiatives in this collaboration is developing and enhancing joint programmes that will contribute towards strengthening the global mindshare and perceptions of both Singapore and Changi Airport. We look forward to working together to leverage our collective strengths and insights, and to amplify our efforts to promote the Singapore experience,” said Mr Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer, Changi Airport Group.“Our airline and airport are an integral part of the Singapore experience. The new product offerings demonstrate SIA, CAG, and STB’s commitment to provide today’s discerning travellers with a more seamless and in-depth experience. To constantly refresh and add value to the visitor experience, it is essential for the industry to rally together; STB looks forward to more partnerships with the industry,” said Mr Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board.Source = Singapore Tourism Boardlast_img read more

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New mega venue opens in Estonia

first_imgNew mega venue opens in EstoniaNew mega venue opens in EstoniaThe Estonian National Museum, a massive culture/event centre that has been a decade in planning and construction, opened its doors this month in the country’s university town of Tartu.The multi-million euro museum provides a comprehensive showcase of Estonia’s ethnographic history and culture, displaying a large number of high-tech installations as well as artefacts from the 107-year-old institution’s collection.The project to rehouse the ERM, as the museum is abbreviated in Estonian, is being hailed as the country’s largest architectural undertaking since regaining independence a quarter of a century ago. The building covers an area of 33,876 square metres, with a full 6,134 square metres dedicated to exhibition space“The opening of this cutting-edge museum adds yet another 5-star attraction to Tartu, which will certainly do a lot to boost the overall number of visitors to the city. But it also represents an interesting new opportunity for event planners thanks to its top-notch reception and meeting facilities,” said Riine Tiigi, Marketing Manager at the Estonian Convention Bureau.The ERM offers nine function rooms in all, the largest of which can accommodate 250 guests. Event catering services are available from the operators of the museum’s restaurant and café.Event bookings were already rolling in prior to the museum’s grand opening. International meetings now scheduled to be held at the ERM include the European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD) conference this November, the 11th Triennial Meeting for Conservators of the Baltic States next May, the 14th Finno-Ugric Writers’ Congress in summer 2017 and a 1,000-delegate gathering of the International Bobbin Lace and Needle Lace Organisation in 2020.Designed by Paris-based architecture firm, DGT, the building sits on a 40-hectare plot of land that was originally the site of a Baltic-German manor and later served as a Soviet air base. Estonian Convention BureauAbout TartuEstonia’s second largest city, Tartu, is known for both its historic charm and its classical academic ambience. The city of 104,000 is home to the country’s most prestigious university, the University of Tartu, as well as a number of other institutes, which makes it a popular choice for scientific, academic, research-related gatherings. It is located in south Estonia, 2 to 2.5 hours by train or coach from Tallinn. Daily flights from Helsinki are offered by Finnair.The Estonian Convention Bureau is a non-profit organisation established jointly by public and private sector bodies. It was founded in March 2008 in order to attract international conventions to Estonia. The bureau’s 31 members include the cities of Tallinn and Tartu, and a number of DMCs, PCOs and hotels. It is co-financed by the Estonian Tourist Board, Enterprise Estonia. Estonian Convention Bureau`s international activities introducing Estonia as an attractive tourism destination are supported by The European Regional Development Fund. Source = Estonian Convention Bureaulast_img
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THAI holds its Annual General Shareholders Meeting 2017

first_imgTHAI Airways International www.thaiairways.comTHAI holds its Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting 2017Air Force Convention Hall – Mr. Areepong Bhoocha-oom, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), presided over the Company’s Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting 2017, with the attendance of THAI’s Board of Directors, THAI Management and shareholders, covering the following agenda:Operating Results for 2016At THAI’s Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting 2017, the operating results for 2016 (January-December 2016) were acknowledged. THAI continued to implement its second phase of the transformation plan “Strength Building” in 2016 by embarking on four main strategies: 1.) generating aggressive revenue, 2.) reducing cost and increasing efficiencies, 3.) building capabilities for sustainable growth, and 4.) creating excellent quality of service. THAI implemented these tasks by using information technology with international standards to enhance revenue management and to implement its new business class service, to launch new routes: Bangkok-Tehran, Iran, Phuket-Frankfurt, to resume the Bangkok-Moscow route, to add flight frequencies in Europe, and continuation of last year’s MSP program.Furthermore, THAI adjusted its fleet strategy by taking delivery of 2 Airbus A350-900XWB aircraft that primarily operate on intercontinental routes while it decommissioned 2 Boeing 777-200 operating lease aircraft on 31 December 2016 with 95 aircraft remaining in the fleet, which is the same amount as the end of the previous year but with improved aircraft utilization. Consequently, product traffic (ASK) of THAI and its subsidiaries increased by 1.9% while passenger traffic (RPK) increased by 2.5%. The average cabin factor was 73.4% higher than last year which was 72.9% with 22.3 million passengers carried, representing a 4.8% increase from last year.As a result of development in various areas based on the strategic plan and satisfactory success of the organization’s transformation, there was an overall improvement in customer satisfaction evident from various awards that the Company received. In addition, the financial performance in 2016 of THAI and its subsidiaries showed an operating profit of THB 4,071 million compared to last year’s loss of THB 1,304 million or 412.2%, a vast improvement from last year mainly because total expense decreased by 7.1% from the decrease in fuel expense by THB 17,907 million (28.3%) resulting from the jet fuel prices that dropped by 21.6% and improved fuel risk management, net finance cost reduced by THB 431 million (7.7%) due to efficient cash management and financial restructure, while non-fuel operating expense increased by THB 4,773 million (3.9%) mostly due to increase in maintenance and overhaul expenses. Total revenue decreased by THB 8,190 million (4.3%). Passenger and excess baggage revenue reduced by THB 4,428 million (2.9%) due to fuel surcharge adjustment while other revenue reduced by THB 3,775 million since last year, the main reason being that last year THAI received insurance compensation from the delayed delivery of economy class seats at the amount of THB 3,968 million.In 2016, THAI and its subsidiaries had a one-time cost item that resulted from aircraft maintenance based on actual conditions of aircraft and maintenance contractual obligations of THB 1,317 million, transformation plan expenses of THB 1,228 million, and impairment loss of assets and aircraft of THB 3,628 million but had a THB 685 million gain on foreign currency exchange. Consequently, THAI and its subsidiaries reported a net profit of THB 47 million. Profit attributable to owners of the parent amounted to THB 15 million. Profit per share was THB 0.01 or 100.2% higher than last year’s loss per share of THB 5.99.As of 31 December 2016, total assets were THB 283,124 million, a decrease of THB 19,347 million (6.4%) from 31 December 2015, mainly due to short-term and long-term repayment, additional provision of impairment of aircraft and aircraft sold during the year. Total liabilities as of 31 December 2016 totaled THB 249,536 million, a decrease of THB 20,009 million (7.4%) from 31 December 2015. Total shareholders’ equity amounted to THB 33,588 million, an increase of THB 662 million (2.0%).Distribution of Dividend At the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting, shareholders approved to suspend payment of dividend in reflection of the Company’s financial performance in 2015. The suspension of dividend payment is in accordance with the Company’s dividend policy providing that the Company shall distribute “not less than 25 percent of the consolidated net profit before gains or losses on foreign currency exchange and shall also be subject to the future investment plans, necessity and appropriateness.”Selection of Board of Directors At the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting 2017, the following Directors retired by rotation:1. ACM Treetod Sonjance2. Gen. Chatudom Titthasiri3. ACM Siwakiat Jayema4. Mr. Peraphon Thawornsupacharoen5. Mr. Somchai SujjapongseAt the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting, the following three Directors were appointed for another term:1. ACM Treetod Sonjance2. Mr. Peraphon Thawornsupacharoen3. Mr. Somchai SujjapongseAt the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting, the following Directors were appointed to replace those who retired by rotation:1. ACM Johm Rungswang, in place of ACM Siwakiat Jayema2. Mr. Vachara Tuntariyanond, in place of Gen. Chatudom TitthasiriAttending THAI’s Annual General Shareholders Meeting were 1,434 shareholders, representing 1,625,253,727 shares.Source = THAIlast_img read more

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Unlock our great outdoors or miss the tourism boat

first_imgUnlock our great outdoors or miss the tourism boatUnlock our great outdoors or miss the tourism boatAustralia’s potential as one of the world’s leading nature-based tourism destinations will not be realised unless there is significant investment in making the wealth of our natural treasures more accessible to tourists, a new paper released today by the Tourism and Transport Forum has found.“We are one of the most beautiful destinations in the world but if we do not make that beauty more accessible we will miss out on a potential pipeline of new tourism dollars especially for regional Australia,” TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said today. Releasing the paper, Unlocking our Great Outdoors, she said it was an important contribution to the debate around how we can best conserve our natural areas while also unlocking the economic benefits that can be delivered by nature-based tourism.“There is no doubt that nature-based tourism across Australia is already big business, with last year alone seeing more than 25 million domestic and international visitors engaging in some form of nature-based tourism and spending $41 billion on nature-based activities,” Ms Osmond said.“It is also a key driver of regional economies and jobs growth, with just under 100,000 people directly and indirectly employed in nature-based tourism across Australia’s 15 premier natural regions.“However, our research has found that we are only just starting to scratch the surface of the potential for nature-based tourism in Australia.“What these new figures show is that across Australia international visitors make up a tiny four per cent of tourists visiting our national park areas. The potential to double this visitation in the next few years with the right facilities, conservation priorities and government backing is enormous.“If we are truly going to see nature-based tourism reach its potential, we cannot afford to be complacent. TTF is calling on the Federal Government to lead the way and commit to developing a national nature-based tourism strategy to ensure that this critical part of the tourism pie receives the funding and recognition it needs to take off.“Australia has all the ingredients to become the world’s leading country for nature-based tourism, but the seemingly unlimited tourism potential of our stunning natural areas cannot be unlocked without appropriate investment that turns inaccessible wilderness into a place where visitors can access, stay and experience.“A key priority is recognising the critical need to conserve and understand these environments and what kind of access and experience can be offered in an environmentally appropriate way while reaping the benefits of what could be a tourism gold mine.“From the Kimberley to the Red Centre to the wilds of Tasmania, no country on earth offers the natural diversity, complexity and beauty of Australia. However, there is little point having a stunning natural landscape if no one can get there to see it.“In every state and territory in Australia there are world-class natural landscapes that should be bucket list tourist hot spots, but are not because they are isolated, only accessible by infrequent flights or long car trips, or have limited options for people to stay in or do things when they get there. This makes them unattractive places to visit, especially for international visitors.“Tasmania has led the way in investing in and developing visitor facilities in natural areas to encourage tourism. Unfortunately, other states and territories are being strangled by red tape, barriers to investment and a lack of visitor infrastructure, and have been unable to unlock their tourism potential in the way Tasmania has.“It is vital we continue to look at practical and effective ways we can to improve the standing and future of Australia’s competitive delivery of this important tourism sector.”Source = Tourism & Transport Forumlast_img read more

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Surfs up at AVANI Broadbeach with Miss Universe Australia

first_imgSource = AVANI Hotels & Resorts Surf’s Up at AVANI Broadbeach with Miss Universe Australia Laura DundovicSurf’s up at AVANI Broadbeach with Miss Universe AustraliaHot on the heels of winning Best Video by a Hospitality Brand at the first annual Citizine Travel Video Awards, AVANI Hotels & Resorts continues to inspire travellers to see themselves in cities around the world with the latest instalment in the #AVANIme campaign. This third #AVANIme video follows Laura Dundovic, Miss Universe Australia 2008, to some hidden delights of Australia’s Gold Coast.With this Gold Coast episode (www.avanihotels.com/me), Laura ventures to enticing spots just a stone’s throw from AVANI Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences (www.avanihotels.com/broadbeach). Viewers can discover why locals favour the natural serenity of Tallebudgera Creek and the panoramic surf views at Mick Shamburg Park before Laura takes them to check out the scene on Oracle Boulevard, ending with some refreshing brews at the Gold Coast’s first craft beer-maker, Burleigh Brewing Company.The #AVANIme video campaign was launched in 2016 to excite viewer imagination about AVANI destinations by showcasing local charms through the eyes of a local celebrity. The premier episode features supermodel, actress, and current host of Asia’s Next Top Model, Cindy Bishop, sharing the wonders of her hometown, Bangkok, Thailand (www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWvJgnDmf_g), while the second, award-winning instalment transports savvy travellers to Lisbon with renowned singer Cuca Roseta (www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOn_UcTZC6M).“Over a million views and an acclaimed award speaks to the success of the #AVANIme campaign, and we are thrilled,” said Alejandro Bernabé, Vice President of Operations – AVANI Hotels & Resorts. “This time, Laura invites travellers to explore the Gold Coast with her through the digital realm, then inspired, they will decide to come and see these enchantments in person.”Filming for the next #AVANIme instalments are currently happening in exciting destinations around the world, stay tuned by subscribing to https://www.youtube.com/avanihotels?sub_confirmation=1.AVANI Hotels & Resorts currently operates 23 properties in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, most recently debuting in Australia, New Zealand and Laos. The brand has a strong pipeline of new properties under development including in new destinations such as South Korea, Tunisia, the Maldives, Mauritius, and Oman.last_img read more

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Wyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali awarded gold medal

first_imgWyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali awarded gold medalWyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali awarded gold medalWyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali has been awarded a Gold Medal in the Tri Hita Karana Awards 2018 for the second year running.The awards recognise hospitality operators for adopting the Balinese Hindu philosophy on harmonious relationships between the community, environment and business. The Gold Medal Award was presented at a ceremony held by Bali Travel Newspaper and Yayasan Tri Hita Karana on November 30 at the Art Centre inDenpasar, Bali.Tri Hita Karana is the Balinese Hindu philosophy on life, which literally translates as the Three Paths to Prosperity, and whose doctrine explains that peace and liberty are obtainable in life only when humans respect and observe three harmonious relationships between humans and the gods, humans and nature and among themselves.“A key element of Wyndham’s corporate philosophy is to be both socially and environmentally responsible, and we have closely followed the guidelines laid down by Bali’s Tri Hita Karana doctrine,” says Agus Suananda, General Manager of Wyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort Bali.“To be selected for the prestigious Gold Medal after just two years of operation is a very satisfying recognition of the work of our management and staff.”The awards were first implemented in 2000, and this year saw 168 hotels in Bali participating in the scheme. In 2004, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UN-WTO) endorsed the awards and the Tri Hita Karana concept was included in Bali’s tourism law in 2009. The awards gained further support when in 2010, the philosophy became part of the Bali Clean and Green roadmap.Located absolute beachfront on Bali’s beautiful Lepang Beach on the tranquil east coast of Bali, Wyndham Jivva Bali is ideal for weddings and honeymoons. The resort offers a host of world class facilities and dining experiences nestled among the romantic setting of tranquil Balinese gardens. Guests can choose to stay in a range of accommodation from spectacular private pool villas, luxurious Jacuzzi and pool suites overlooking the beach or stylishly appointed deluxe rooms. The resort serves as the perfect base to experience the authentic side of Bali, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist centres, but within easy reach of nearby Klungkung and Ubud, the world-class surfing break of Keramas and the Bali Marine and Safari Park.For more information about Wyndham Jivva Bali, call +62-366-543-7988 or visit: www.wyndhamjivvabali.com Source = Wyndham Destinationslast_img read more

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A V Moorty

first_imgOTM Mumbai is a brand and whenever exhibition happens, you cannot ignore OTM. Here you get a flow, participants, and agency visiting so everything is awesome, fantastic. We are glad to see such heavy crowd and so many participants, probably looking forward for something good to happen for the upcoming season.last_img

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Virgin Atlantic launches Freedom Sale with 30 off on UK and US

first_imgVirgin Atlantic is celebrating India’s 72nd Independence Day by offering its customers incredible savings through a freedom sale from August 8-10, 2018. Customers planning a trip to the UK or US can enjoy a discount of 30% on one way and return flights in Economy and Upper Class. Customers already travelling with Virgin Atlantic this Independence Day will be offered tricolour bakes. The ground staff will also welcome the passengers in traditional dresses and tricolour stoles marking the celebrations.David Hodges, Country Manager at Virgin Atlantic said, “We are extremely delighted to offer our customers a specially discounted airfare to help plan their next trip soon. Customers travelling on August 15 and celebrating a birthday are also in for a special surprise – if there’s a seat available we’ll upgrade them to the next cabin free of charge.”Hodges also added, “Virgin Atlantic offers daily flights to London and beyond, and we pride ourselves on making travel that little bit more fun, personalised and more exciting – from serving afternoon tea, having Wi-Fi connectivity in every cabin to having the largest fully flatbed available in business class. We are always looking for ways to ensure our customers are surprised and delighted by every journey with us.”last_img read more

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Walter Investment to Buy Ally Business Lending Operations

first_imgWalter Investment to Buy Ally Business Lending Operations Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Ally Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers Walter Investment Management Corp. 2013-02-18 Tory Barringer in Origination, Servicing Sharecenter_img February 18, 2013 447 Views “”Walter Investment Management Corp.””:http://www.walterinvestment.com/ has signed a definitive agreement to acquire “”Ally Bank’s””:http://www.ally.com/ business lending operations, the company announced.[IMAGE]The transaction is expected to close on February 28, though terms were not disclosed. Upon the completion of the transaction, Walter expects it will employ approximately 300 of Ally’s correspondent and wholesale lending employees.””This transaction brings to Walter Investment a team of knowledgeable, experienced employees with which to pursue correspondent lending opportunities, using the [COLUMN_BREAK]outstanding capabilities resident in the recently acquired ResCap originations platform,”” said Mark O’Brien, chairman and CEO of Florida-based Walter Investment. “”We look forward to working with this team as we execute on our strategic plans for the originations business.””The deal represents a major step in Ally’s ongoing move away from the mortgage business. The bank “”announced last year””:https://themreport.com/articles/ally-exploring-options-to-cut-loose-remaining-mortgage-business-2012-10-26 its intent to “”explore strategic alternatives”” for its agency mortgage servicing rights and its business lending operations.””We are pleased to be transferring Business Lending to a well-respected, strategic buyer like Walter, who values the high quality of our people, platform and relationships and is committed to building its origination capabilities,”” said Ally Bank president and CEO Barbara Yastine. “”This is a positive outcome for our 300 Business Lending employees and enables Ally Bank to direct more resources toward our priorities of growing our leading direct banking franchise, as well as supporting Ally’s auto finance operation.””As previously announced, Ally Bank will continue to originate “”a modest level”” of jumbo and conventional conforming home mortgages for its own portfolio through a group of correspondent lenders.last_img read more

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Carrington Names New SVP National Sales Director

first_img Share August 12, 2013 466 Views The Wholesale Lending Division of “”Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC””:http://www.carringtonms.com/webapps/cms/index.do announced the appointment of industry veteran Rey Maninang to SVP and national sales director for the company’s wholesale channel.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Maninang comes to Carrington with an industry history spanning more than two decades, much of which was spent in senior leadership positions. Most recently, he served as SVP and national head of sales for PMAC Lending Services’ wholesale and retail channels.In his new role, Maninang assumes responsibility for overseeing Carrington’s wholesale production sales team, providing strategic direction and managing funded volume, profitability, revenue, and recruitment. “”Carrington’s continued growth plan for wholesale lending calls for increasing our capacity, expanding our offerings and widening our reach into new markets–all of which will require the expertise and guidance of a strong leader,”” said Ray Brousseau, EVP of Carrington Mortgage Services’ Mortgage Lending Division. “”With Rey’s knowledge, passion and enthusiasm, I’m confident in his ability to lead our wholesale team toward effectively meeting the increasing demands of the market and providing enhanced service to our growing customer base.”” New,Carrington Names New SVP, National Sales Directorcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Carrington Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-08-12 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

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Is the AllCash Trend Moderating

first_imgIs the All-Cash Trend Moderating? April 2, 2014 476 Views All-cash Investment ZipRealty 2014-04-02 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newscenter_img While some of the most competitive metros nationwide continue to see high concentrations of all-cash (and thus, mortgage-less) home sales, trends suggest moderation in all-cash numbers overall.ZipRealty released Tuesday an analysis of all of its transactions from January 2012 through December 2013, concluding that nearly one of every four closed without financing.While still high, that share is an improvement from only a few years ago, says Lanny Baker, president and CEO of ZipRealty.“Nationwide, the percentage of all-cash real estate transactions reached a five-year high in 2010 at 27 percent, and the percentage of all-cash property sales has slowly declined or flattened every subsequent year,” Baker said.The company’s analysis points to two major market forces that have pushed all-cash financing to such high levels: increased investor activity and historically low housing inventory levels.These factors may be most evident in markets like Las Vegas, which saw the greatest share of all-cash transactions in 2013 at 48 percent. Also seeing elevated percentages of all-cash sales last year were Orlando (43 percent), Chicago (33 percent), Richmond (32 percent), and Los Angeles (29 percent).”Investors that are backed by institutions have the financial wherewithal to write a check for a home, unlike some consumers right now,” said Van Davis, president of brokerage operations for ZipRealty. “And these investors are still active in quite a few metro areas across the country.”Davis added that all-cash sales have created a headache for home shoppers in highly competitive markets, where sellers are increasingly seeking those kinds of offers.“Many agents have told us anecdotally that some buyers may arrange post-close financing, which do not show as financed deal on the contract for purchase,” he said. Sharelast_img read more

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The Pros and Cons of San Franciscos Tech Boom

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Technology A booming tech sector and overall job and income growth have helped fuel a real estate boom in San Francisco, according to a recent special commentary from the Wells Fargo Economics Group. The group found that the city’s perennially tight housing market has gotten even tighter, pushing rents and home prices up.One emerging trend is the increased numbers of younger tech workers living and working around downtown San Francisco. The group comments that major tech companies—Twitter, Dropbox, Square, Trulia, and Salesforce.com—are setting up shop in downtown San Francisco. A wave of new office construction for the recently relocated tech giants has set off a wave of accompanying apartment development.The group notes that jobs in the tech sector increased 6.9 percent in the last year alone. By comparison, the financial and legal sectors in San Francisco have declined 0.7 percent in the same time. The area’s unemployment rate has also fallen, down to 6.4 percent, its lowest level in almost six years.Due to the increase in employment in and around the Bay Area, the supply of homes and apartments available for sale or rent remains exceptionally tight. San Francisco has a 2.8-month supply of homes on the market, down from 4.0 months a year ago.Although rising rents and tight inventories have led to a surge in new construction, the new supply is barely able to keep pace with demand. “Multi-family permits, which include both apartments and condominiums, surged 30.4 percent in Santa Clara County during 2013 and have eclipsed previous highs for this market,” the group said.Single-family home building is rebounding, but only “slowly and off exceptionally low levels.”Concerns over the rapid expansion of the tech industry are rising to the surface, as lower income residents are feeling the effects from higher costs of living. The group cautiously noted, “There is little doubt that San Francisco’s near-term economic fortunes ride with prospects for the tech sector, which has directly accounted for 25.3 percent of the jobs created in San Francisco over the past year and more than 32.1 percent of job growth in Silicon Valley.”The group is careful to note that while concerns over the Bay Area’s economy becoming another dot-com crash are possible, “traditional valuation measures are much different than they were during the run-up during the tech bubble in the late 1990s.”The group cited a lower price/earnings ratio of the NASDAQ, as well as the diversification of tech firms as signs of more stable growth for the economy, and thus, housing. May 14, 2014 716 Views The Pros and Cons of San Francisco’s Tech Boomcenter_img Share Housing Starts Housing Supply Jobs Rents Wells Fargo 2014-05-14 Colin Robinslast_img read more

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North Miami Mayor Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

first_imgNorth Miami Mayor Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Origination A mayor in the Miami area has been suspended by Florida Gov. Rick Scott following a federal indictment alleging mortgage fraud.According to a report from the Miami Herald, North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau was suspended Tuesday after appearing in court to face charges related to her role in an $8 million fraud scheme.In its indictment, the government alleges that Tondreau, working with accused co-conspirator Karl Oreste, advertised for a local mortgage company on her weekly radio show to in an effort to recruit straw borrowers whose identities and credit were used to purchase approximately 20 properties. Officials estimate the scheme defrauded various mortgage lenders out of $8 million.She faces charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and wire fraud affecting a financial institution.Also named in the indictment are Okechukwu Josiah Odunna and Kelly Augustin, who also stand accused of recruiting borrowers and preparing false documents.In remarks made to the press following the hearing, Tondreau maintained her innocence, saying she believes her community will support her.Also speaking Tuesday was Tondreau’s attorney, Ben Kuehne. “It appears that one of the individuals in this case was an advertiser on her radio program. We fail to see how that involves criminal conduct,” he said, adding, “We’re confident the facts will show that all she attempted to do is help her community lift themselves up.” Mortgage Fraud 2014-05-21 Tory Barringercenter_img May 21, 2014 437 Views Sharelast_img read more

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Consumers Mixed on Housing Economic Sentiment

first_img Consumer attitudes toward the housing market deteriorated slightly in June, reflecting a more subdued outlook as the sector pulls out of its early-year slump.Looking ahead to the next 12 months, 46 percent of Americans polled expect home prices to rise, Fannie Mae reported in its latest National Housing Survey. That share is down from 48 percent in May and 50 percent in April.On average, respondents anticipate a home price change of 2.4 percent, down half a percentage point from the previous two surveys and the lowest forecast since January, when news of a slowdown in price gains affected attitudes.Additionally, the share of respondents who said they expect mortgage rates to rise over the next year increased to 55 percent, ending a downward trend that began in February.”The uptick this month in the share of consumers expecting mortgage rates to go up and the accompanying decline in home price expectations reflect the pause of activity in the housing market so far this year,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Despite recent improvement, we now expect an annual decline in existing home sales due to weak volume in the first four months of the year associated with the rise in mortgage rates mid-last year and the current dearth of supply of lower-priced homes.”In brighter news, 52 percent of consumers surveyed said they think it would be easy for them to get a home mortgage today, matching the survey’s record high.At the same time, the share of employed respondents who expressed concerns about their job security dropped to an all-time survey low, Duncan reported—consistent with June’s encouraging jobs report.”This may encourage potential homebuyers to enter the purchase market in 2014, helping to offset some of the weakness in sales activity,” he added.Overall, 39 percent of Americans polled said the economy is on the right track, up slightly from May, though more than half said it’s still on the wrong track.There was also a slight uptick in the share of respondents whose household income has risen “significantly” over the past year, accompanied by an increase in the share whose expenses have risen. July 7, 2014 437 Views Consumers Mixed on Housing, Economic Sentiment Consumer Confidence Fannie Mae Forecast Home Prices Mortgage Rates 2014-07-07 Tory Barringercenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

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Mortgage Applications Fall in MidSeptember Index

first_img Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinances 2014-09-24 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Origination September 24, 2014 490 Views Mortgage Applications Fall in Mid-September Indexcenter_img Share After rising on the back of a double-digit jump in refinances, mortgage applications experienced another dive last week, according to figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).For the week ending September 19, the group reported a seasonally adjusted 4.1 percent decline in overall loan application volumes, a step backward after the previous week’s 7.9 percent recovery. Unadjusted, applications fell 5 percent from the week prior.Declines were recorded in both purchase and refinance loan applications, with refinances seeing the larger drop at 7 percent. The drop came as mortgage rates moved up to their highest level since May, averaging 4.39 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate loan.With the latest decrease, the refinance share of total applications fell to 56 percent for the week.Meanwhile, applications for home purchases fell 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Taking out seasonal factors, MBA’s purchase index was down 2 percent week-to-week and 16 percent compared to this time last year.last_img read more

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Wells Fargo to Settle With FHA Over Reckless Mortgage Claims

first_img February 3, 2016 724 Views Wells Fargo to Settle With FHA Over ‘Reckless’ Mortgage Claims San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo announced Wednesday that it has reached a billion-dollar settlement agreement to resolve claims surrounding its Federal Housing Administration lending activities.Since 2012, the lender has been involved with the U.S. government regarding allegations that it was “reckless” in certifying the credit and underwriting quality of FHA loans it originated. The FHA had to pay out insurance claims on default FHA-insured mortgages.According to a Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) 8-K filing on Wednesday, Wells Fargo reached an “agreement in principle” with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and HUD.The SEC filing noted that Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to resolve civil claims that the Federal Government had pending against the bank concerning its lending program from 2001 to 2010, including other potential civil claims relating to the lender’s FHA lending activities for other periods.”Although the Company and the Federal Government have reached an agreement in principle to resolve these matters, there can be no assurance that the Company and the Federal Government will agree on the final documentation of the settlement,” the bank said in the SEC filing.Catherine B. Pulley, SVP, Consumer Lending Communication at Wells Fargo told MReport, “Wells Fargo and the United States government have reached an agreement in principle to resolve claims regarding our FHA lending activities, and the company has made an addition to its previously announced reserves to reflect this development. However, we can’t provide any additional details at this time.” The 8-K filing showed that the settlement will knock $134 million, or $0.03 per share, off the company’s 2015 profits, dropping earnings down to $22.9 billion, or $4.12 a share.The net income numbers for Wells Fargo in Q4 and for the full year of 2015 were little changed year-over-year, according to Wells Fargo’s Q4 2015 earnings statement. Wells Fargo’s Q4 2015 net income of $5.7 billion, price of $1.03 per share, and full year net income of $23 billion were all virtually the same as the year before (the full year net income did slightly decline, from $23.1 billion in 2014 down to $23.0 billion in 2015).“Full year and fourth quarter 2015 results demonstrated the benefit of our diversified business model as we again generated strong financial results, maintained our risk discipline and continued to invest across the company for future growth,” Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf said. “We remained focused on the building blocks of long-term shareholder value, with continued growth in loans, deposits and capital. For the fifth consecutive year, we returned more capital to shareholders than the prior year. I am proud of the dedication of our team members and their focus on helping our customers succeed financially.”Click here to view Wells Fargo’s SEC 8-K Filing. in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, Newscenter_img Federal Housing Administration Settlement U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wells Fargo 2016-02-03 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

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Diversity Council Names New Senior Policy Advisor

first_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News American Mortgage Diversity Council The Five Star Institute 2016-09-30 Seth Welborn Diversity Council Names New Senior Policy Advisor By Kendall BaerAccording to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2014, African-Americans represent 11.4 percent of the workforce. Asians compose 5.7 percent and Hispanics or Latinos make up 16.1 percent.When you look at the numbers specific to the financial services sector, African-Americans account for 9.1 percent of the workforce, Asians  6.3 percent, and Hispanics 11.3 percent. Data found that in the real estate workforce, African-Americans make up 7.8 percent of this group, and Hispanics 14.9 percent.In 2015, in an effort to expand diversity and inclusion across the mortgage industry, the American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC) was formed by and for the mortgage industry. The mission of AMDC is to create and sustain a dialogue that addresses key issues affecting diversity and inclusion in the mortgage industry that leads to action with measurable and enduring practices that in turn create benefits for all industry stakeholders.To further this mission, the AMDC announced this month that it has appointed Erik Richard, CEO of Landmark Network, as the organization’s Senior Policy and Program Advisor.One of Richard’s first initiatives is to advance AMDC’s newly created Diversity & Inclusion Directory, which features minority, women, LGBT, veteran, and disabled owned or operated businesses. This directory is to be a resource for mortgage servicers, government agencies, investors, asset management groups and supply chain managers—all looking to engage in services provided from diverse companies.Erik Richard“I am honored to accept this position and work closely with AMDC. My organization is a staunch advocate of diversity and inclusion company-wide from entry-level to c-level positions. As a certified LGBT Business Enterprise, our commitment to diversity shows in our workforce. Along with AMDC, I will continue to embark on diversity initiatives that help the industry as a whole,” said Richard.Richard will work with AMDC co-chairs, Jay Inouye, Director of Vendor & Diversity Management, Freddie Mac, and Michael Ruiz, Director of Corporate Procurement, Fannie Mae, and AMDC members which includes representation from BankUnited, Ocwen, U.S. Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, PennyMac, Bank of America, and other leading mortgage industry companies and government agencies.“We welcome Erik to AMDC as an advisor to the council and the membership at large. He brings expertise in the diversity and inclusion space and we look forward to the thought leadership he will bring to the organization,” said Ed Delgado, President and CEO of the Five Star Institute and Ex-Officio of the AMDC.To learn more about AMDC, visit MortgageDiversityCouncil.com.Editor’s Note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of MReport and theMReport.com.center_img September 30, 2016 579 Views Sharelast_img read more

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