Government Salaries to increase up to 67 with Review

first_img Beaches puts former Premier on blast about controversial pier Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 12 Mar 2015 – There were no exact figures given on how many in the public sector will see their salary impacted by the Pay and Grade Review, but Premier Rufus Ewing and Deputy Governor, Anya Williams said it will be ‘many.’ As a prelude to a first set of meetings to be held here in Provo and then in Grand Turk with the employees in the Civil Service, media was given opportunity to question the duo on the changes; a process which started in 2012 and which may continue into the next couple of years as the review and revamp is fine tuned. Premier Rufus Ewing said while not everyone will see an increase in their salaries, no one will see a decrease either; both leaders adding that it is not just about raising pay but improving the physical work environment. A ‘well paid’ Civil Service is what the former head of the Civil Service Association explained is the aim. The range of increase in pay is 21% to 67% with those working in Education getting the largest leaps; fire officers are also seeing a big boost of around 60%. Government has allotted $9 million dollars to this recurrent TCIG expense; another quarter of a million dollars is pegged for education and training opportunities. Dames is first Hospitality Hero Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Related Items:anya williams, civil service, increase, premier rufus ewing, salary DEPUTY GOVERNOR SPEAKS OF STREAMLINING GOVERNMENT SERVICES.last_img read more

Quebecor World Sells European Operations

first_imgQuebecor’s European operations produce magazines, catalogs, retail inserts, direct mail products and directories. They include 17 printing and related facilities employing approximately 3,500 people in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Spain and Sweden.The sale is not subject to the approval of either Quebecor World’s or HHBV’s shareholders. The only condition to closing, according to Quebecor, is court approval. Quebecor World has agreed to sell its European operations to a group of Netherlands-based investors, the Hombergh/De Pundert Group, for more than $200 million. The transaction is expected to close in June.According to Quebecor World CEO Jacques Mallette, the sale is “an important step in our restructuring activities that we believe should enable us to exit creditor protection in North America as a stronger player in our industry.”Earlier this year, Quebecor filed for bankruptcy protection and announced that it had entered into a $1 billion financing deal with Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. Under the terms of the acquisition, HHBV has deposited nearly $80 million in escrow to be released to Quebecor once the deal is finalized. HHBV also will assume about $100 million of net debt, and a $33.5 million five-year note bearing interest at 7 percent per year, which will be payable to Quebecor World following finalization of the deal.last_img read more

Furloughs Salary Cuts and Employee Hours Whats Legal and Whats Not

first_imgIn an April 28th memo announcing salary cuts and a reduced work week for the summer months, Penton Media CEO Sharon Rowlands advised employees that they may be eligible for unemployment benefits and told them to check with their local unemployment office. She also noted that “special rules may apply to employees in California and to non-exempt employees, and we will be reaching out to these employees and their managers with specific information and specific instructions.”Pay cuts and layoffs are hard enough on employee morale but publishers have another reason to tread lightly in this area: Violation of state or federal labor laws could end up costing the publisher significant money and hamper future cost-saving steps.FOLIO: spoke with law firm Morgan & Lewis, which specializes in labor law, on what areas should be of particular concern to publishers trying to cut back. Government Eye on Small Businesses Smaller publishers that have made due with either a part-time human resources staffer (or none at all) may want to reinvest in that position. While some publishers may be too small to be eligible under Federal law (typically 15 employees or more), state law may still apply. All it takes is one phone call from a disgruntled worker to put you on some agency’s radar.   Be particularly mindful of the overtime demands made on low wage earners (most employees must take home at least $455 per week before deductions). The Federal Department of Labor  has announced investigations on low wage earners in variety of industries. “The Obama administration says it will pour a lot more money into that,” says Morgan & Lewis partner David McManus. “While the government might decide to focus on a particular industry, smaller companies get on a government agency radar because a former or current employee makes a complaint. Often an employee leaves for another job where they do similar work but they’re classified differently. Now that they get overtime, they scratch their head and say, ‘What‘s up with that?’ and file a complaint against their old company.”While “overtime” is a seldom-heard term in the publishing industry, publishers do have to be aware of company hours in relation to reduced wages. “You have to be vigilant in making sure you have an off-the-clock policy and make sure managers aren’t applying pressure to employees to work overtime that’s not reported,” says McManus. “Employees generally are entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Act with exceptions, so many that the exceptions almost become the rule.” Don’t try to sneak work in during a furlough week, even with the promise of future compensation. “If for a week you’re furloughing people who are exempt from the overtime laws, you have to make sure they’re not working at all,” says McManus. “If they’ve done work and they’re an exempt employee, they’re entitled to their weekly pay. You may even lose the exemption for a whole class of employees based on that one employee.”Heightened Litigation with ContractorsPublishers are increasingly outsourcing core duties such as production, edit and sales to contract workers. However, that’s also becoming a growing source of litigation. New York State is considering investigating the status of independent contractors and whether they’re classified correctly. “We’ve seen an increasing trend in private litigation and in state and federal regulatory agencies going after claims that individuals who were treated as contractors, so they didn’t get benefits or overtime, actually are employees,” says McManus.Sales reps are a particularly touchy area. If a rep  is required to spend so many hours in meetings with the publisher, that rep could be classified as a full-time employee, and eligible for corresponding benefits.last_img read more

Indias first IPR Policy approved by the cabinet

first_img7 Policy Objectives Commercialisation of IPRsTo get value for IPRs through commercialisation. IPR Awareness: Outreach and PromotionPublic awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society Administration and ManagementTo modernise and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration Human Capital DevelopmentTo strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs. Generation of IPRsTo stimulate the generation of IPRscenter_img India’s cabinet approved its first National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy on Friday. The policy aims to create awareness in society about economic, social, and cultural benefits of IPRs with a view to promote creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, according to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.The policy is expected to chart a roadmap for the future of India’s intellectual properties, alongside laying an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review of an IPR regime.The government, R&D organisations, educational institutions, corporate entities — startups, and micro, small and medium enterprises — will put their strengths together to create an innovation-conducive environment, said the statement. It noted that the efforts will stimulate creativity and innovation across sectors,  collectively facilitating a stable, transparent and service-oriented IPR administration in the country.The policy mechanism is guided by seven objectives.7 Policy Objectives7 Policy Objectives7 Policy ObjectivesIPR Awareness: Outreach and PromotionPublic awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society7 Policy ObjectivesGeneration of IPRsTo stimulate the generation of IPRs7 Policy ObjectivesLegal and Legislative FrameworkTo have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest.7 Policy ObjectivesAdministration and ManagementTo modernise and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration7 Policy ObjectivesCommercialisation of IPRsTo get value for IPRs through commercialisation.7 Policy ObjectivesEnforcement and AdjudicationTo strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements.7 Policy ObjectivesHuman Capital DevelopmentTo strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs. While different ministries shall be in charge of these action points, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be the nodal agency to coordinate, guide and oversee implementation of the policy in all the other ministries.The policy highlights the criticality that IPRs have attained globally, and attempts to push the trend in India with regard to innovations owned by oneself or others.”The importance of IPRs as a marketable financial asset and economic tool also needs to be recognised. For this, domestic IP filings as also commercialisation of patents granted need to increase. Innovation and sub-optimal spending on R&D too are issues to be addressed,” the statement said.With the slogan “Creative India, innovative India,” the vision document aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies, said the statement. Enforcement and AdjudicationTo strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements. Legal and Legislative FrameworkTo have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest.last_img read more

Thakurgaon road crash death toll rises to 4

first_imgA head-on collision between two buses on Thakurgaon-Panchagarh Highway claims life of four people.A head-on collision between two buses on Thakurgaon-Panchagarh Highway left four people dead and 29 others injured on Thursday morning, reports UNB. The deceased are Babul, 28, a minibus driver Abul Kalam Azad, 50, son of Abdul Majid, Mojibur Rahman, 75, and Quamruzzaman, 35, of Thakurgaon Sadar upazila. The accident took place at Salandar Bhutpara in the upazila around 10:00am. A Panchagarh-bound bus hit the Thakurgaon-bound minibus of ‘Nirnoy Paribahan’, killing three people on the spot, said sub-inspector Firoza Begum of Sadar police station.Police and fire service officials rescued the victims and took 22 of them to the Sadar Hospital. Later, another injured man succumbed to his injuries at Sadar Hospital in the afternoon.last_img read more

Texas School Districts Struggled To Use Law That Could Stave Off State

first_img Share For school districts with chronically failing campuses, a recently passed law that allows them a reprieve from state sanctions was supposed to be a lifeline. A year on, less than a tenth of those districts are on track to take advantage of it.About 60 Texas schools in more than two dozen districts were considered failing for four or more years in 2017, putting them at risk for being shut down by the state next year. Several of those school districts considered using Senate Bill 1882, which allowed them to partner with outside organizations to turn those schools around and get an extension from harsh state penalties, but only five are currently on track to do so.Others had trouble meeting the tight application deadline or faced backlash from school communities that protested giving up the management of their low-performing schools, many of which are located in majority Hispanic and black neighborhoods.“They’ve taken on a new process, challenging because it is new, and they’ve done it in a really hard context of a long-term, low-performing campus,” said David Anderson, policy analyst at Raise Your Hand Texas, which has been following the implementation of this law. “It’s sort of a perfect storm in the sense of hard to do.”The Texas Education Agency last week made a first round of decisions on six districts’ partnership applications, rejecting one district’s proposal, approving another’s contingent on technical changes and requesting interviews with the proposed partner organizations for the last four. It plans to make final decisions before the next school year begins.Three years ago, Texas passed a strict law intended to force districts to take responsibility for bolstering schools that failed to meet standards by setting deadlines for improvement and imposing sanctions on those that didn’t meet them. After a slow phase-in, the state is poised next school year to impose those sanctions, which include forcibly shutting down schools considered failing for more than three years or taking over the school boards of those districts.SB 1882 at first seemed like it could offer some help for school administrators in need of more time to implement fixes: districts that partnered with a nonprofit, charter organization or university to overhaul failing schools could receive a two-year reprieve from state penalties as well as additional state funding.But the process was harder than it seemed. “People go through a couple of stages of this where they initially say, ‘Oh my, that’s a bunch of money.’ Then they see what they really have to do to make it work, and that is daunting,” Anderson said.Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said he was unwilling to wait months to decide how to proceed with three schools that had been listed as failing for four or five years. “We would be insulting your intelligence as well as any potential partners to have them consider something and have a plan in by March 1,” he told board members in November, according to the Dallas Morning News. The TEA released the guidelines in late February and March, and districts faced an April 30 final deadline to submit their applications.Some Dallas ISD board members and community members also didn’t want to give up the reins of their schools, said board member Miguel Solis. Under SB 1882, districts are required to sign contracts giving the charter group or university authority over the schools’ operations and employees.“The fear from some of my colleagues was that the innovation that we are actually doing related to school choice in Dallas ISD would have been at risk of being taken away from the district’s control and basically given away to universities to run as they pleased,” Solis said. Instead, Dallas ISD officials are planning to close and consolidate some schools and use the district’s own program to try to turn struggling schools around by paying high-performing teachers stipends to work at them.Solis argued the state should be spending more money on innovative programs districts already have in place. “We have data that shows this is a more effective innovation strategy,” he said.Victoria ISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich proposed partnering with local University of Houston at Victoria to manage two schools that had been failing for five years. It would have received an estimated additional $1,921 per student — $2.1 million total — from the state each year of a proposed three-year partnership.But he couldn’t get the contract together in time and so got a terse letter from the state last week saying his request for an extension on state sanctions had been denied. Jaklich isn’t too worried about the rejection: he’s positive that school leaders have managed to turn those schools around, and that they’ll receive passing marks in August’s accountability ratings, largely based on standardized test scores. “We’re extremely confident that all of them are going to make it,” he said.Not all school administrators are as optimistic. Houston ISD has been the key example for the high stakes of the upcoming state penalties, with 10 failing schools putting Texas’ largest district at risk of state takeover. In a disastrous board meeting that ended in multiple arrests, Houston ISD proposed applying for a turnaround partnership to hand over the management of its schools to a charter group called Energized for STEM.Community members turned out in protest, furious at the drastic proposal on a tight timeline, and district officials and board members backed away from the proposal.Houston ISD has another option for a reprieve. It could receive a waiver from its state ratings this year because of the massive financial and phsyical destruction it suffered under Hurricane Harvey — which would delay the sanctions another year.Anderson thinks more districts will be poised to apply for partnerships next year, with more time to plan, and especially as schools continue to trigger potential state takeover. “The campuses people weren’t so concerned about because they were three-year low-performing, if they turn into four-year [low-performing campuses] in August, you have this whole discussion again,” he said.Disclosure: Raise Your Hand Texas and the University of Houston have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.last_img read more

Have a Tattoo Apple Watch Might Not Be for You

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Listen Now April 30, 2015 Early adopters of the Apple Watch, Apple Inc’s first new product in five years, are complaining that a number of its key functions are disrupted by their tattoos.Owners of Apple Watch – including this reporter, who bought a 42mm version with stainless steel case and black classic buckle for A$1,029 ($822) – have found that their inked skin confuses the sensors on the underside of the device.Users of the watch, which went on sale last week, took to social media on Thursday under the hashtag #tattoogate to air their frustration with the flaw from Apple’s renowned design house.One anonymous user on Reddit, an entertainment, social networking, and user-generated news website, said the device’s locking mechanism, which should disengage when the watch detects it is being worn, failed to work on decorated skin.”My hand isn’t tattooed and the Watch stayed unlocked. Once I put it back on the area that is tattooed with black ink, the watch would automatically lock again,” the user wrote.This Reuters reporter, who has a black tattoo on his left arm, also found that the watch locks on tattooed skin and does not deliver the soft pings that alert a user to incoming messages. The heart rate readings were also significantly different on the tattooed and untattooed wrists.An Apple support article says the watch uses green LED lights paired with light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist and calculate the frequency of heart beats.A website support page from the company says tattoos can interfere with readings from the heart rate monitor, but does not mention interference with other functions.”Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings,” it said.A spokesman for Apple in Sydney declined to comment on Thursday, but three Apple employees at its flagship Sydney store, including a senior advisor from its tech support line, said they were unaware of any issue.”To be honest, you’re my first caller about the Apple Watch at all,” the senior advisor told Reuters.The tattoo issue follows a report in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that some taptic engines, which produce the sensation of being tapped on the wrist, started to break down over time, a flaw that was slowing the rollout of the item.The report said the problem had been detected in some of the parts supplied by AAC Technologies Holdings Inc (2018.HK), based in Shenzhen, China. Shares in AAC Technologies dropped 8 percent on Thursday morning after the report. The company did not respond to requests for comment.A Taipei-based technology analyst, who is in regular contact with AAC, said he was not aware of the tattoo problem, but did not expect it would have a significant impact on production.”We have been hearing suppliers encountering some bottleneck issues for Apple Watch’s production such as problems with its displays, haptics or assembly,” he told Reuters, adding that those issues were quite common for new products.($1 = 1.2517 Australian dollars)(Additional reporting by Yimou Lee in Teipei; Editing by Will Waterman) 3 min readlast_img read more

7 Black Hat USA 2018 conference cybersecurity training highlights Hardware attacks IO

first_imgThe 21st International Conference of Black Hat USA 2018, has just concluded. It took place from August 4, 2018 – August 9, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is one of the most anticipated conferences of the year for security practitioners, executives, business developers and anyone who is a cybersecurity fanatic and wants to expand their horizon into the world of security. Black Hat USA 2018 opened with four days of technical training followed by the two-day main conference featuring Briefings, Arsenal, Business Hall, and more. The conference covered exclusive training modules that provided a hands-on offensive and defensive skill set building opportunity for security professionals. The Briefings covered the nitty-gritties of all the latest trends in information security. The Business Hall included a network of more than 17,000 InfoSec professionals who evaluated a range of security products offered by Black Hat sponsors. Best cybersecurity Trainings  in the conference: For more than 20 years, Black Hat has been providing its attendees with trainings that stand the test of time and prove to be an asset in penetration testing. The training modules designed exclusively for Black Hat attendees are taken by industry and subject matter experts from all over the world with the goal of shaping the information security landscape. Here’s a look at a few from this year’s conference. #1 Applied Hardware attacks: Embedded and IOT systems This hands-on training was headed by Josh Datko, and Joe Fitzpatrick that: Introduced students to the common interfaces on embedded MIPS and ARM systems Taught them how to exploit physical access to grant themselves software privilege. Focussed on UART, JTAG, and SPI interfaces. Students were given a brief architectural overview. 70% hands-on labs- identifying, observing, interacting, and eventually exploiting each interface. Basic analysis and manipulation of firmware images were also covered. This two-day course was geared toward pen testers, red teamers, exploit developers, and product developers who wished to learn how to take advantage of physical access to systems to assist and enable other attacks. This course also aimed to show security researchers and enthusiasts- who are unwilling to ‘just trust the hardware’- to gain deeper insight into how hardware works and can be undermined. #2 Information Operations: Influence, exploit, and counter This fast-moving class included hands-on exercises to apply and reinforce the skills learned during the course of the training. It also included a best IO campaign contest which was conducted live during the class. Trainers David Raymond and Gregory Conti covered information operations theory and practice in depth. Some of the main topics covered were IO Strategies and Tactics, Countering Information Operations and Operations Security and Counter Intelligence. Users learned about Online Personas and explored the use of bots and AI to scale attacks and defenses. Other topics included understanding performance and assessment metrics, how to respond to an IO incident, exploring the concepts of Deception and counter-deception, and Cyber-enabled IO. #3 Practical Vulnerability discovery with fuzzing: Abdul Aziz Hariri and Brian Gorenc trained students on techniques to quickly identify common patterns in specifications that produce vulnerable conditions in the network. The course covered the following- Learning the process to build a successful fuzzer, and highlight public fuzzing frameworks that produce quality results. “Real world” case studies that demonstrated the fundamentals being introduced. Leverage existing fuzzing frameworks, develop their own test harnesses, integrate publicly available data generation engines and automate the analysis of crashing test cases. This class was aimed at individuals wanting to learn the fundamentals of the fuzzing process, develop advanced fuzzing frameworks, and/or improve their bug finding capabilities. #4 Active Directory Attacks for Red and Blue teams: Nikhil Mittal’s main aim to conduct the training was to change how you test an Active Directory Environment. To secure Active Directory, it is important to understand different techniques and attacks used by adversaries against it. The AD environments lack the ability to tackle latest threats. Hence, this training was aimed towards attacking modern AD Environment using built-in tools like PowerShell and other trusted OS resources. The training was based on real-world penetration tests and Red Team engagements for highly secured environments. Some of the techniques used in the course were- Extensive AD Enumeration Active Directory trust mapping and abuse. Privilege Escalation (User Hunting, Delegation issues and more) Kerberos Attacks and Defense (Golden, Silver ticket, Kerberoast and more) Abusing cross-forest trust (Lateral movement across forest, PrivEsc and more) Attacking Azure integration and components Abusing SQL Server trust in AD (Command Execution, trust abuse, lateral movement) Credentials Replay Attacks (Over-PTH, Token Replay etc.) Persistence (WMI, GPO, ACLs and more) Defenses (JEA, PAW, LAPS, Deception, App Whitelisting, Advanced Threat Analytics etc.) Bypassing defenses Attendees also acquired a free one month access to an Active Directory environment. This comprised of multiple domains and forests, during and after the training. #5 Hands-on Power Analysis and Glitching with ChipWhisperer This course was suited for anyone dealing with embedded systems who needed to understand the threats that can be used to break even a “perfectly secure” system. Side-Channel Power Analysis can be used to read out an AES-128 key in less than 60 seconds from a standard implementation on a small microcontroller. Colin O’Flynn helped the students understand whether their systems were vulnerable to such an attack or not. The course was loaded with hands-on examples to teach them about attacks and theories. The course included a ChipWhisperer-Lite, that students could walk away with the hardware provided during the lab sessions. During the two-day course, topics covered included : Theory behind side-channel power analysis, Measuring power in existing systems, Setting up the ChipWhisperer hardware & software, Several demonstrated attacks, Understanding and demonstration glitch attacks, and Analyzing your own hardware #6 Threat Hunting with attacker TTPs A proper Threat Hunting program focused on maximizing the effectiveness of scarce network defense resources to protect against a potentially limitless threat was the main aim of this class. Threat Hunting takes a different perspective on performing network defense, relying on skilled operators to investigate and find the presence of malicious activity. This training used standard network defense and incident response (which target flagging known malware). It focussed on abnormal behaviors and the use of attacker Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs). Trainers Jared Atkinson, Robby Winchester and Roberto Rodriquez taught students on how to create threat hunting hypotheses based on attacker TTPs to perform threat hunting operations and detect attacker activity. In addition, they used free and open source data collection and analysis tools (Sysmon, ELK and Automated Collection and Enrichment Platform) to gather and analyze large amounts of host information to detect malicious activity. They used these techniques and toolsets to create threat hunting hypotheses and perform threat hunting in a simulated enterprise network undergoing active compromise from various types of threat actors. The class was intended for defenders wanting to learn how to effectively hunt threats in enterprise networks. #7 Hands-on Hardware Hacking Training: The class, taught by Joe Grand, took the students through the process of reverse engineering and defeating the security of electronic devices. The comprehensive training covered Product teardown Component identification Circuit board reverse engineering Soldering and desoldering Signal monitoring and analysis, and memory extraction, using a variety of tools including a logic analyzer, multimeter, and device programmer. It concluded with a final challenge where users identify, reverse engineer, and defeat the security mechanism of a custom embedded system. Users interested in hardware hacking, including security researchers, digital forensic investigators, design engineers, and executive management benefitted from this class. And that’s not all! Some other trainings include– Software defined radio, a guide to threat hunting utilizing the elk stack and machine learning, AWS and Azure exploitation: making the cloud rain shells and much more. This is just a brief overview of the BlackHat USA 2018 conference, where we have handpicked a select few trainings. You can see the full schedule along with the list of selected research papers at the BlackHat Website. And if you missed out this one, fret not. There is another conference happening soon from 3rd December to 6th December 2018. Check out the official website for details. Read Next Top 5 cybersecurity trends you should be aware of in 2018 Top 5 cybersecurity myths debunked A new WPA/WPA2 security attack in town: Wi-fi routers watch out!last_img read more

Spains Sercotel wants to make a splash in Cuba with up to

first_img TORONTO — With one resort already in Cuba and another on the way, Sercotel Hotels is making good on expansion plans in the Caribbean. Additional new properties in Cuba as well as in the D.R. and Aruba could be in the cards as well, said Sercotel’s President, Latin America, Javier Garro, at an industry lunch in Toronto.Sercotel already has a high profile in Europe, with dozens of urban hotels in Spain. The company has a presence in Central and South America as well, with hotels in Colombia, Panama and Ecuador. Now with a total of 186 properties under its belt, Sercotel wants to be a bigger player in the Caribbean. And the 330-room Sercotel Club Cayo Guillermo (which it manages) and the 660-room Sercotel new-build in Cayo Santa Maria are just the beginning. “We are dealing to have six more hotels in Cuba in the coming months,” said Garro. “We may soon have news of eight hotels altogether in Cuba, with 2,800 rooms.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upThe Cayo Guillermo property is tailored to families, with a mini-club for young guests. It also works for the adults-only crowd with Club Prestige, a new premium area offering separate check-in and superior rooms.The Cayo Santa Maria property, Sercotel Experience, is scheduled to open next fall in Jardines del Rey. The new-build will cater to families, groups of friends and couples. “Sercotel Experience Cayo Santa Maria has 660 rooms in a fresh, modern and elegant style located in two or three-storey buildings. They all have natural light and fantastic views.”Sercotel’s tour operator partners include Air Canada Vacations, Hola Sun, Transat, WestJet Vacations and Sunwing Vacations. See sercotel.com. << Previous PostNext Post >> Spain’s Sercotel wants to make a splash in Cuba with up to 8 new hotels Posted by Sharecenter_img Thursday, November 24, 2016 Travelweek Group Tags: Cuba, Spainlast_img read more

Carnival launches industrys first layaway payment program

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Carnival Cruise Line Sharecenter_img Friday, June 9, 2017 MIAMI — Cruising on layaway? Leave it to Carnival Cruise Line to think of it first.The line has launched a convenient new pay-over-time program that allows guests to pay for their cruise in three monthly installments, a move that’s being regarded as the cruise industry’s first layaway program.With Carnival EasyPay, cruise payments can be automatically deducted from the credit card on file and applied to their current balance, interest-free, over a three-month period. Guests simply make their initial cruise deposit and then the balance of their cruise is charged in three equal payments, which are taken out automatically on the same designated day for three consecutive months.Guests can either register for the program at carnival.com or via the line’s call centres. Travel agents can also sign up for Carnival EasyPay to process payments on behalf of their clients.“A Carnival cruise is already the most affordable and value-packed vacation there is and with Carnival EasyPay we’re making budgeting and paying for a cruise even easier and more convenient,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Rather than having to remember to pay for their cruise, Carnival EasyPay provides guests with peace of mind knowing that their payment is being processed automatically. Carnival EasyPay certainly lives up to its name!”More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterGuests must make a required deposit on their cruise fare to be eligible for Carnival EasyPay. Additionally, the deposit due date must be at least 90 days before the final payment date. The first installment is charged to their credit card 30 days from the date of the deposit, with two additional monthly installments thereafter.Carnival EasyPay is available at no extra cost, however, guests are responsible for any interest charges by their credit card provider.Guests are prompted to select Carnival EasyPay in the ‘How Would You Like to Pay’ section of carnival.com when ready to make payment on their booking. They can also sign up for or cancel Carnival EasyPay after the initial deposit is made by visiting the ‘Manage My Booking’ tab on carnival.com. Carnival launches industry’s first layaway payment programlast_img read more

Brand USA launches new trade website travel agent contest

first_imgBrand USA launches new trade website & travel agent contest Posted by Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Tags: America, Brand USA, Education Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Brand USA is spreading the news about its travel trade website with a new contest just for travel agents.Available at VisitTheUSA.com/TravelTrade, the trade-specific online platform fits the needs of the international travel trade and is readily accessible from all mobile devices, says Brand USA. The site has been live since January 2018, bringing a number of useful trade resources across the organization’s consumer and corporate websites into a single, stand-alone space.“Brand USA understands the importance of the travel trade and we’ve taken detailed measures to create a website that truly reflects the industry’s needs, interests and desires,” said Cathy Domanico, vice president, global trade development for Brand USA. “The travel trade continues to play a significant role in driving international visitors to, through and beyond America’s gateways. This new digital development will enable Brand USA to better connect with, and provide an engaging platform for all travel industry professionals.”Features of the new website include:Mobile-optimized, responsive design across a spectrum of devices, including tablets and smart phonesDirect access to the Brand USA Trip Kit, a resource for USA travel inspiration and informationExpanded corporate calendar highlighting Brand USA’s industry activities and signature events up to five years in advanceInformation and advice on visiting the U.S., including an overview of U.S. travel policiesExpanded directory of receptive tour operatorsContact details for Brand USA’s international representation agenciesNew ‘USA Trip Planner’ toolMore news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upIn addition to the new trade website, Brand USA has also launched its first-ever contest for travel agents for the month of April.The contest, launched in partnership with Canadian Music Week (CMW), runs until April 30 and includes all-access passes to the music-filled event, which runs from May 7-13 in Toronto.Agents who complete the USA Discovery Program and earn their USA Global Regional specialist badge by the end of the month will be entered for the chance to win two all-access Explorer + Wristband for priority access to all official CMW Club Series shows. Access also gains them entry to the CMW Concert Series to experience marquee headline shows at Toronto’s best concert venues.Chances of winning depend on the number of entries. The draw will take place on May 2. Winners will be contacted directly by Brand USA.The Explorer + Wristband, which has an approximate value of $300, is valid for all seven days.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsFor Access Concert Series shows, winners must pick up tickets at the CMW Box Office at the Sheraton Hotel from May 7-13. Limited tickets are available, first come, first served (one ticket per person/per pass). All venues/events are subject to capacity. All passes/tickets are non-refundable. Transportation and lodging are not included.To complete the USA Discovery Program course, go to usadiscoveryprogram.com. For more information on Brand USA, go to TheBrandUSA.com. Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Tinkerbell and Bob the Builder removed from flight for being unruly

first_imgTags: Disney, Ryanair, Stanstead Share Posted by Monday, August 20, 2018 Tinkerbell and Bob the Builder removed from flight for being unrulycenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group KRAKOW — Tinkerbell has had it up to here with flying, so it seems.A man dressed as the beloved Disney character – green dress, fairy wings and all – was recently escorted off a Ryanair flight by armed police for disruptive behaviour.But here’s the real kicker: Tinkerbell’s companion, Bob the Builder, was also kicked off the plane.The flight was due to take off from Stansted airport to Krakow, Poland last Friday when an unruly Tink “threatened to cut everyone up”, wrote Dan May, a fellow passenger, on Twitter. The unidentified male, who according to reports was on a stag party trip to Krakow, was soon escorted off the plane.Our flight to Krakow hasn’t taken off yet because a man dressed as Tinkerbell has threatened to cut everyone up. This is why you don’t fly Ryanair from Stansted.— Dan May (@dpmay) August 17, 2018According to witnesses, one officer adjusted the man’s wings before arresting him and taking him off the plane with his companion, who was dressed in a Bob the Builder outfit.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckA Ryanair spokesman said: “Police removed and detained two passengers ahead of this flight from London Stansted to Krakow who were disruptive, before the aircraft departed to Krakow. We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority. This is now a matter for local police.”The incident has renewed calls for implementing a two-drink limit per passenger and no alcohol sales before 10 a.m. at airports.“It’s incumbent on the airports to introduce these preventative measures to curb excessive drinking and the problems it creates, rather than allowing passengers to drink to excess before their flights,” the spokesperson added.The plane departed for Krakow after a short delay. We’re guessing Tinkerbell had to get there the good ol’ fashioned way – with pixie dust.last_img read more