Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Richard Muller of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California has gained a solid scientific reputation for his work in astrophysics and particle physics. He’s waded into policy debates over nuclear weapons and terrorism as a member of the secretive JASON panel. And his introductory course, Physics for Future Presidents, is popular among undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley. But that impressive track record of research, teaching, and service wasn’t why the science committee of the U.S. House of Representatives invited Muller to testify last week. The topic was climate change research and policy, and Republicans wanted Muller to discuss his recent reanalysis of global temperature records. Republicans expected Muller to challenge the accepted wisdom that the earth has warmed 0.7˚C since the 1880s. But to the dismay of skeptic bloggers, his preliminary analysis supports that canonical view. Muller first delved into paleoclimate research in the 1980s to counter what he calls “a lot of B.S.” in the field. Over a decade, his papers in Nature, Science, and other journals questioned standard explanations of the ice ages involving eccentricities in the planet’s orbit. 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He does not take it for granted when he is told something. His instinct is to go check it out for himself,” says fellow Berkeley physicist Raymond Jeanloz, who has served with Muller as a JASON panelist. “He’s a very eclectic, very broad scientist. He’ll apply physics to earth science, and apply earth science to physics or astronomy.” He also began to question what scientists were saying about the likely impacts of present-day climate change, and in November 2009 he became concerned about what he regarded as the imperial behavior shown by some climate scientists in leaked e-mails released as part of what’s become known as Climategate. So in 2009, Muller assembled a team of physicists and statisticians and launched the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. The project has sought to use new techniques to analyze temperature data to see whether problems like the bad stations could bias the results. Muller says he admires the work of prominent skeptic blogger Anthony Watts, a bête noire for most climate scientists, who has published photographs that document problems with hundreds of official U.S. government temperature stations. (Whether those problems affect reported climate trends is controversial.) Muller spoke twice with ScienceInsider after testifying on 31 March before the science committee. Here are excerpts from those conversations. Q: You testified that the scientists maintaining the three climate temperature sets—maintained by NASA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.K. Met Office—have done “excellent” work. So how did you feel when the e-mails from the University of East Anglia emerged? R.M.: I felt like a woman who’s just learned her husband was cheating on her. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad husband in all ways, but that trust is lost. … The e-mails didn’t relate at all to the temperature work. … It was all the [paleotemperature] proxy data. [But] that disillusioned me. Q: What does your initial examination of 2% of world temperature stations find in terms of world climate? R.M.: Some [readings] are going down—but more are going up. The average is going up. Q: You compared U.S. climate trends from some 300 stations deemed well or moderately-well located with 800 stations that are poorly sited. What did you find? R.M.: There was no statistical difference [in the data] between the good groups and the bad groups. Q: Why was that surprising? R.M.: Because the stations were so bad. … You see stations right up against buildings, next to heat sources. Q: How is your technique different than the methods used by the teams analyzing the three major datasets? R.M.: [Their goal is] to generate long continuous methods. … If there was a change, [like] a station moved, they would adjust the data to try to eliminate that. [But] it makes me very uncomfortable when you adjust the data. … [So] we just cut the data at that point [and create two shorter records]. It means we wind up in our analysis with [not very many] continuous records. Q: Did you have any trouble getting access to data? Access was central to the fight that led to the East Anglia e-mail flap. R.M.: We believe we have 95% of the data that the U.K. [Met Office] is not releasing. … Merging the data—from 16 sources—we found there is a great deal of overlap. Q: You say that “openness and transparency” are central to your project. So why present your findings to Congress before describing your methods in a publication that everybody can read? R.M.: We were originally planning to submit a paper at the same time as the testimony, to a journal which would allow simultaneous publication of the draft online. … This is a problem that causes us great concern. What do you do when you are working on [something] and Congress asks you to testify? It’s a difficult issue. Q: Did photos on [skeptic] Anthony Watts’ Web site showing official temperature gauges in flawed locations like parking lots inspire you to get involved in the debate over the accuracy of the weather stations ? R.M.: I realized that Watts was doing something that was of importance. The issues he raised needed to be addressed. It made me seriously wonder whether the reported global warming may be biased by poor station quality. Watts is a hero for what he’s done. So is [prominent skeptic blogger] Steve McIntyre. Q: What are you hoping to accomplish with Berkeley Earth? R.M.: There’s a huge penumbra of scientists who have … heard from prominent scientists that the debate is over, it’s all been settled and so on. … [So] when they stumble across things like the Watts pictures they’re disturbed. …They feel that many of these questions haven’t been answered. What I’m hoping to do is calm the debate. Q: What’s next for your project? R.M.: Very soon we hope to have both the data and the programs online. And if you don’t like our results, my [advice] is to change the program, but be open and transparent about it. Let us know what you changed. If there’s some assumption we make that you think is invalid than change the assumption and run the programs and see what answer you get. I’m hoping that if we make it that open and that accessible that the people who are interested in the answer … will be won over. Q: Are there any other lines of research that you want to pursue? R.M.: We’re applying for funding to study the ocean temperature data. That will allow us to get a true global picture of temperature trends. *This item has been corrected. Anthony Watts was originally identified as Andrew.
Ed Moses event ambassador of Mumbai Marathon Mumbai, Jan 6 (PTI) Americas hurdles legend Edwin Moses is the Event Ambassador of the 13th edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, to be held on January 17 on the winding roads of the metropolis. The Montreal Olympic 400m hurdles champion, who recaptured the gold eight years later in the home Olympics in Los Angeles and was unbeaten in a staggering 122 races (107 finals) between 1977 and 1987, is expected to arrive in Mumbai next Thursday. “It feels to be great to be a part of a marathon that started it all for India. I am honoured by being the Event Ambassador and would be more than happy to extend my support to all the participants across this diverse country,” said Moses in a message to event promoters, Procam International. “I have admired long distance runners and the challenge, perseverance it takes to run 42km or 22km (half marathon) is remarkable and highly commendable,” said the 60-year-old Ohio-born US track legend, who had set four world records and bagged two World Championship and three World Cup gold medals to add to his two Olympic titles and a bronze medal in the Seoul Games of 1988 during his glittering career. “Hope that my presence at the event helps to motivate and encourage each participant and inspires them to reach their full potential. Impossible is only a state of mind,” added the all-time great athlete who founded the Laureus World Sports Academy in 1999 and influenced drug policies as a member of the US and international Olympic committees. The marathon, carrying a total prize fund of USD 3,77,000, will see top Indian distance runners – O P Jaisha, Lalita Babar and Sudha Singh – attain the qualifying mark for the August Rio Olympics. Course record holders Jackson Kiprop of Uganda, in mens race, and Valentine Kipketer of Kenya, in the womens run, would be striving to repeat their triumphant finish in 2013.advertisementA total of over 40,000 rpt 40,000 registrations, in all categories, have been received so far, it was announced at a media conference today. PTI SSR KRK NRB FK FK
When we think about what motivates people at work, some cliches come out. Money? Maybe. Power? Perhaps. But as someone working for a mission you know it’s something else — altruism.But what may surprise you is this isn’t just a truism in the nonprofit sector. It works in most places.This past Sunday, the New York Times had a fascinating magazine profile of Adam Grant, the youngest-tenured and highest rated professor at Wharton. Grant focuses on workplace psychology and the effects of altruism in your career. His research shows generosity at work is a strong motivator that spurs increased productivity and creativity. Helping others, it seems, helps ourselves. (As a person, Grant is radically generous, spending hours a day helping students, colleagues and strangers for the sake of being useful to others.)Early in his career, Grant worked with a demoralized call center to show the positive effects of altruism. Since one of the center’s purposes was funding scholarships, Grant had a student who benefited from the fundraising efforts speak to the telemarketers for ten minutes. The student told the callers how the scholarship had changed his life – and how he was headed off to work for Teach for America. A month later, the call center reported workers were on the phone 142 percent more and raising 171 more. A follow up found revenues had rocketed up 400 percent. Grant concludes the greatest untapped source of motivation is service to others. This reminds me of Daniel Pink’s writing on a higher purpose being a powerful professional motivator.Maybe that’s why there is research suggesting that the first instinct of humans is to contribute to the greater good at their own expense. We’re wired to do what motivates us to do our best.In my own work at Network for Good, where we not only support nonprofits like yours but also seek to help companies bring philanthropy into the workplace, we find these ideas hold true. Allowing employees to do good for others builds loyalty, increases job satisfaction and boosts morale. Giving rewards to employees like charity vouchers have been documented to make people happier and more satisfied with their jobs. We know giving makes us happy. Maybe it makes all of us more motivated – and successful – too.
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 29, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Our colleagues at Jacaranda Health and the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Health are now accepting applications from qualified maternal health professionals.Jacaranda Health is seeking a Knowledge/Special Projects Manager to:Join the management team to help us capture what we are learning and work with other players in the global health landscape to share and expand our influence. This should be someone who can roll up their sleeves and help work with our operations team to build systems and innovations as well as communicate them. We seek someone who is the consummate consultant and communicator, who wants to apply those talents to shape global health. This position is based in Nairobi, Kenya.To learn more, visit the full job description at Jacaranda Health.UCSF is seeking a Global Maternal Health Research Coordinator to:Coordinate planning, implementation and evaluation efforts for the “Que Vivan Las Madres” project, a scale-up of a proven three-pronged intervention to prevent maternal and neonatal mortality in Guatemala. Work with Guatemalan and other international colleagues in the implementation and evaluation of PRONTO (Programa de Rescate Obstétrico Neonatal: El Tratamiento Óptimo y Oportuno): http://prontointernational.org, a core component of the intervention strategy. Coordinate collaborative research efforts between the UCSF Global Health Sciences and the Center for Epidemiologic Research in Sexual and Reproductive Health (CIESAR) in Guatemala. This position requires excellent project management, scientific writing and editing skills. Written and spoken Spanish language fluency is essential.To learn more, visit the full job description at UCSF.Share this:
You’ve heard that a donor management system (DMS) can help grow your organization. A DMS can turbocharge your nonprofit’s efforts in a variety of ways, ultimately boosting fundraising results and streamlining operations while reducing the amount of time your team members spend on manual tasks. But how does a DMS do all of this? Here are five ways a donor management system can grow your nonprofit.How a Donor Management System Can Grow Your NonprofitOnce you have an existing database of donors (we recommend starting with a minimum of 100 contacts), you can put that data to work. The knowledge you glean from your DMS will inform the types of campaigns you run, the messages you use, what you ask for, and how you thank your donors. 1) Gain Key InsightsUsing a DMS will give you powerful insights into your donors’ characteristics, preferences, and giving behavior. You’ll be able to see, at a glance, information like:Which donors are connectedWhat projects and programs a donor is most interested inHow much a donor has given to specific projects and programsWhat types of campaigns a donor has been most responsive toWhat time of year a donor is most likely to give2) Personalize and Customize CommunicationsKnowing this information and being able to easily sort donors by various characteristics allows you to segment your donors by any given criteria. You can then craft your communications accordingly. Customizing and personalizing communications doesn’t just result in increased donations. It also creates a better donor experience, increasing donor retention. Donors feel known, understood, and valued, generating a stronger bond with your organization.3) Work With Accurate DataWhen you use multiple software systems and spreadsheets, your data is spread out and difficult to keep up-to-date. You may update information in one place but forget to update it in another. Additionally, the amount of time required to update data in multiple locations results in delays, meaning that campaigns are created with inaccurate data. With a DMS, when a change is made in one area of the system, the software automatically updates that information across the system. And many types of data are automatically generated and updated based on donors’ interactions with your campaigns and communications.4) Streamline ProcessesTrying to manually keep data up-to-date and create fundraising campaigns takes a significant amount of time. Nonprofit staff are unable to keep up with overwhelming workloads when they have to do all these tasks without the aid of software. A DMS can streamline a myriad of processes, from creating online fundraising pages to sending gift receipts, relieving pressure on busy team members. 5) Gain More Time for Strategic WorkWith all the time they’re saving, your staff will be able to devote more attention to more strategic work. They can focus on optimizing the donor experience, generating new ideas for fundraising campaigns, and analyzing giving data to better target donors in the future. This strategic work will position your nonprofit to generate more revenue and better fulfill your mission.Thanks to more actionable donor insights and the help of automation, a DMS gives your organization the power to function more effectively and build stronger relationships with your donors. As a result, your organization will see increased revenue and decreased operating costs, the ultimate benefits of using a DMS. Want to learn more about how a DMS can help your organization and what to look for in a DMS? Read our Buyer’s Guide to Nonprofit DMS Software.Read more on The Nonprofit Blog
Posted on July 20, 2016October 7, 2016By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In July 2016, 35 global leaders in maternal newborn health gathered for the second annual Safe Mothers and Newborns Leadership Workshop (SMNLW) hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF), the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and The Aga Kahn University, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The participants represented 26 countries from five continents.SMNLW participant Dr. Emmanuel Ugwa is from Nigeria where he has served as a Consultant Obstetrician/Gynecologist at several hospitals. He is a principal investigator on USAID and Gates-funded research projects in Nigeria. Additionally, Dr. Ugwa sits on review committees and editorial boards for multiple scientific journals and has published numerous research articles himself.S: Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.E: I am an OB/GYN clinical specialist from Nigeria. I currently work with Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, where we’re implementing The Maternal and Child Survival Program in Nigeria. The program’s aim is to use high impact, low-cost interventions to end preventable causes of maternal and newborn deaths. As an operations research adviser, I work with the rest of the team to test new innovations to end maternal and newborn death in Nigeria’s multicultural context.S: What is the biggest challenge in maternal and newborn health in your country? E: There are a lot of challenges. I think the first is getting the right figures about how many women and newborns are dying, especially in the rural areas where there is no well-organized system for documentation and reporting. Whatever figures we have are assumed to be a national average. Sometimes we have to do something extra to disaggregate this to reflect the various regions – whether rural, peri-urban, or urban. There should be equity in data collection and reporting. We need to get the figures right: how many women are dying and what are they dying from? And we also need to identify appropriate interventions that are culturally acceptable and feasible to address maternal and newborn deaths.S: What is being done to address that challenge?E: Part of the work that we do at Jhpiego is to strengthen the health information system. We organize trainings on record keeping and accurate data collection involving the officers at various health facility levels. We hope this will build their capacity for capturing and recording the right data correctly. We also build their capacity on how to use that data for decision-making.S: What kind of leader do you aspire to be? E: Partnerships are key to achieving health objectives. If you know other people working in the area where you work, you share experiences and lessons learned – and also health metrics. People tell me, “our maternal mortality is as low as 70 per 100,000 live births”, and I think back home ours is as high as 576 per 100,000 live births. So I want to know where they started from and what they did to bring these figures down. How did they engage their government and what advocacy strategies did they use? What stakeholders did they get involved? I think learning from these kind of experiences would really help me as a leader to see how I can apply them in my context.S: What would you like MHTF readers to know?E: A lot is going on in Nigeria in maternal, newborn and child health. We are testing new approaches to training and capacity building. In the past we’ve been taking health workers out of their facilities, bringing them to another location, training them, and sending them back to their facilities. That seems to not have worked, so we are testing other methods at Jhpiego. We’re taking the trainings to the facilities. We’re training as many people as possible without taking them out of the workplace, and we’re getting them to practice competencies using anatomical models. We give them mentorship to see if this capacity building approach will translate into better performance – whether they’ll be able to handle obstetric emergencies, and in the long run, whether we will see better outcomes such as reduction in maternal and newborn mortality.I also think people need to know that leadership capacity in maternal and newborn health has to be built and developed because that’s the key! We need leaders who will become champions who will train, motivate and mentor others at the government, policy and program implementation levels – also at the local levels. We need leaders in these areas, not just in Nigeria but in all of sub-Saharan Africa, who will work together to improve health outcomes.—Read this blog post in Spanish on the ISGlobal website.As Emmanuel said, having accurate data is necessary for improving maternal and newborn health outcomes. Click here for reliable data resources.Are you an aspiring leader in the global maternal health field? Please contact us – we would love to hear from you!Receive the newest interviews in this series delivered to your inbox by subscribing to the MH Blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
BATON ROUGE, LA – OCTOBER 13: Michael Divinity Jr. #45 of the LSU Tigers and Devin White #40 celebrates during a game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Tiger Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)There’s plenty of big-time college football games this upcoming Saturday. But LSU-Florida is by far the most-important contest of the weekend.Ahead of the game, LSU’s social media has released an epic hype video for the game.Check it out below.A Tiger moves quietly.He’s never more quiet than the moment just before he attacks… pic.twitter.com/wrrB28hrbx— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 10, 2019 The video is narrated by former LSU great Booger McFarland. The current Monday Night Football announcer played defensive tackle during his playing days.This is easily one of the best hype videos of the season.Both teams are undefeated heading into Saturday’s contest. LSU’s most impressive win came against No. 11 Texas in Week 2. The Tigers put up 45 points on the Longhorns’ defense.Florida is coming off an emotional, statement win against No. 12 Auburn last Saturday. The Gators flexed their stout defense, holding Auburn’s explosive offense to just 13 points.LSU is led by quarterback Joe Burrow. The Ohio State transfer has been phenomenal this season, throwing for 1,864 yards and 22 touchdowns through five games. If Burrow can keep playing like he has, there’s no doubt he’ll be Heisman candidate at the end of year.As they did last week against Auburn, the Gators rely on their defense. But quarterback Kyle Trask is certainly capable of leading his team to a victory.LSU-Florida kicks off at Death Valley at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN.Stay tuned for updates on the game.
Even though Barcelona failed to capture Neymar over the summer, his spectre lives on in the Camp Nou dressing room.The Brazilian’s much-debated possible return dominated the transfer talk in Catalunya and, now that the window has shut, the aftermath of months of rumours, speculation and failed negotiations will be long felt. All other subjects of conversation at Barca took secondary status to the hope – or fear – that Neymar would be rejoining the Blaugrana ranks. That feeling was stoked by the club itself. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Barca made every single move public in their pursuit of the Paris Saint-Germain forward. The press also gleefully dissected the comings and goings from Barcelona to Paris and back again, to varying degrees of accuracy. A few prestigious market specialists went as far as to say the deal was closed, an assertion eventually proved false by the facts themselves.But until the smoke cleared and deadline day passed, tensions within the club continued to grow and, now, one must ask whether Barca’s failed chase was worth all the trouble. Unless, of course, the objective was never to sign Neymar – but rather to be seen to be trying to sign Neymar.Whatever the truth, all eyes are now on Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic.If the pair really did hold the key to Neymar’s return as transfer makeweights, then their refusal to leave will not sit easily with those who wanted Neymar back, chief among them Lionel Messi. Dembele, in particular, remains on shaky ground after allegedly hiding the full extent of the injury he suffered in the season-opener against Athletic Club, but Rakitic is a standard-bearer for the club thanks to his six years of sterling service. The Croat has every right to be furious with Barca’s hierarchy.Distracted from footballing matters, Rakitic has dropped out of the Blaugrana first team and also missed out on a call for the latest international games.Philippe Coutinho’s agent had an identical complaint when he was told his client still had a place at Camp Nou at the very moment he was being used as a bargaining chip with PSG. Without Jordi Mestre or Pep Segura – both of whom have left the Barca staff – president Josep Maria Bartomeu took the lead in negotiations. But the club chief has racked up more mistakes than successes in his bid to take the Champions League back to Catalunya before his term ends in two years. He seems not to have grasped the consequences of his actions. If the intention was to bring Neymar back at any cost, he has failed, and damaged relations with the dressing room by trying to offload players that did not want to leave.Bartomeu stressed over the weekend that his intention really was to try and sign Neymar, denying claims that he offered players in part-exchange.”An ‘extra’ became available at one moment of the summer,” the president told Barcelona’s official club website. “We heard Neymar wanted to leave PSG and there was a moment when Leonardo opened the door to negotiations – for other clubs too. We didn’t arrive at a deal because we could not match PSG’s demands.”Barca never put names on the table, they are players that PSG put there. We could not match their demands.”Whatever Bartomeu’s intentions and actions, he certainly comes out of this messy episode looking very weak.PSG are living proof that it takes much more than money to win a Champions League; you also need a plan, but did Barcelona have one?They are the club that all others aspire to be, but right now the Catalans are divided at every level, from the dressing room to the boardroom – not to mention amongst a restive support. While it may be true that coach Ernesto Valverde has a better squad than one year ago, the team’s prospects are much reduced.Neymar has risked splitting Barcelona in two, a poor omen for a team that only triumphs in Europe when everything goes their way. Only time will tell if Valverde has room to manoeuvre and take Barca out of this pickle. He’s done it before, of course.Valverde’s first days as Barca coach were overshadowed by the sudden and surprising loss of Neymar to PSG. He went on to lead the Blaugrana to a domestic double.Back then, though, the dressing room was united in shock at Neymar’s departure. Now, they risk being divided over his failed return.
If you were looking for surprises, you haven’t been paying attention.Gregg Berhalter’s latest U.S. men’s national team roster was unveiled on Wednesday and, by and large, it was exactly what we’ve come to expect. There were the usual suspects, players like Gyasi Zardes and Wil Trapp, that continue to draw the ire of a section of USMNT fans. There were veteran leaders, like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, who continue to bridge the gap to the next generation. And there were young faces sprinkled in, players like first-time call-up Brenden Aaronsen and a returning Josh Sargent, signifying a new generation that isn’t there just yet.In other words, it was more of the same. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career A total of 18 of the 26 players from the squad are MLS-based and 17 of the 26 were in January camp, Berhalter’s first in charge of the USMNT. A whopping 20 of the 26 were in camp last time out for a loss to Mexico and a draw against Uruguay, while eight players on the roster have already collected double-digit caps this year.The message is clear: continuity is key, and this is your current version of the USMNT.“Entering this competitive phase, one thing that’s important is we continue some of the younger guys along, integrate some new players into camp, but also have a familiar base,” Berhalter said. “Most of the guys have been in camp before, understand how we want to play, and we think that continuity will help in our performance.”He added: “I think it’s very important to have veterans in the team; for them to share the heritage of what it means to be a United States men’s national team player.”For better or worse, this is the USMNT squad for the foreseeable future, although there are some key absences. Tyler Adams is a player that can change the way the USMNT plays, whether he features as a midfielder or in that hybrid right back role. Sergino Dest remains a talking point as he mulls over his international future with the Netherlands lurking. Timothy Weah could be a player on the radar, although he may be better off with the U-23s. The same can be said for players like Paxton Pomykal, Mason Toye and a host of others.Still, there are sections of fans clamoring for a full-on youth movement, and it appears that day isn’t coming any time soon. If there was a time to experiment, a time to throw players in and see how they fare, it was the Nations League. The competition is brand new and will have virtually no impact on anything the USMNT does in the coming years. If there was a time to truly test out a gung-ho team of youngsters, this was it.It’s not happening.Now, that idea could point to some overarching plan. There’s Olympic qualifying to be concerned with, and the Olympics should be a vital competition for the U.S. over the next few months. Given the failures of a previous generation of players, qualifying for the Olympics should be seen as absolutely vital as it gives a chance for young players to face the world’s best in a meaningful tournament while showcasing themselves to any number of clubs. You can’t pass over that sort of experience.When the torch is truly passed from the current group to that group, though, remains to be seen. World Cup qualifying begins in June and, depending on how that schedule shakes out, one would expect that to be a veteran-heavy group as well. You don’t bring a group of 18-year-olds to the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica or the Azteca. This group of 26 players that kick off the Nations League against Cuba will likely be very similar to the one that begins World Cup qualifying next year.When it comes to the U.S. men’s national team, what you see is what you get.
Lee Zanello, GM Flight Centre Independent July 5 2017, TORONTO – The Independent Host Agency business is nothing new to Flight Centre in Canada, with Flight Centre Associates in operation for the last nine years; however, the business is about to see some major investment. Officially rebranded to Flight Centre Independent on July 5th, the company has set its sights on providing the best host solution in the marketplace. “We’ve matured as a business,” says Lee Zanello, General Manager of Flight Centre Independent. “We’ve spent the last couple of years listening to what our Independent agents have to say and the new Flight Centre Independent is the result.” Flight Centre has made significant resource and technology investments leading up to the launch to ensure that Flight Centre Independent agents receive support and work in systems that are second to none in the market. “As a Flight Centre Independent, you have access to all levels of support across the country within our Leisure Business,” Zanello says. “The same team of over 100 support staff that support our shops is also there for our Independent agents, and this gives us the opportunity to provide direct, one on one support in ways that are not available with any other host.” Zanello points to Flight Centre’s Group Centre and Cruise Centre as two such examples, teams designed to help agents manage group and cruise bookings from the enquiry stage right through to after travel. “The engagement we have as an entire company over our Independent business model is incredible,” says John Beauvais, President of Flight Centre Canada. “We are very proud of the business and we know we have the best offer in the Canadian marketplace.” “The name change comes to us at a good time,” Zanello says. “We were the only ones using the ‘Associates’ term which means we were the best in that ‘Associates’ space. That’s not where the other players are playing. For an agent looking for a host, the question now becomes a lot clearer: do you want to be an Independent Agent or do you want to be a Flight Centre Independent Agent.” One of the biggest attractions for agents to Flight Centre Independent is the trust that comes at a consumer level for a brand name they recognize. “You can’t put a dollar value on that brand equity,” Zanello says, “and at the same time, we recognize that some agents and small agencies, especially in smaller communities, value the brand they have built and we are completely fine with that. You don’t need to paint yourself red and white if you don’t want to.” The full steam ahead approach of the model now means the Independent Agent is more a part of the Flight Centre family than ever before. “We’ve always run this business in true Flight Centre fashion, putting the people first,” Zanello says. “Flight Centre Independent takes this to the next level where we have an entire company now working to support the success and profitability of our agents.”
More convenient global ocean escapes added to suit any travel schedule MIAMI, October 18, 2017 – In its continued commitment to offer luxury travelers more choices, Crystal Cruises has unveiled an expanded selection of Crystal Getaways – abbreviated voyages derived from longer existing itineraries – for both 2017 and 2018. New to the roster of Getaways are eight shortened segments of Crystal Serenity’s 2018 World Cruise voyages, exploring Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, South America, the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, and the Caribbean. The global voyages range from four to 17 days in length, providing busy travelers options for luxury vacations with reduced investment of time and funds. “Crystal Getaways are perfectly suited to modern luxury travelers, whose calendars are packed but who relish opportunities to discover new cultures and adventures,” says Carmen Roig, Crystal’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “These shortened itineraries help our guests make the most of their travel time, with the same standard of Crystal’s award-winning luxury and enriching experiences, at a fraction of the fare of the full voyage.” Combined with existing 2017 Crystal Getaways exploring the Arabian Coast, South Africa and the Caribbean, the newly added 2018 itineraries round out a total of 15 abbreviated worldwide journeys. Guests can discover the glamour of the United Arab Emirates and the wilds of the African savannah; the bustling marketplaces and sacred temples of Vietnam and the famous giant pandas of Chengdu; the crystalline waters of Fiji and waterside jungles of Phuket; and the biological wonders of the Galapagos Islands and colorful culture of Chile. The new collection of Crystal Getaways includes: 2017November 22, Dubai to Abu Dhabi, 4 days, Crystal SymphonyNovember 26, Abu Dhabi to Mahé/Victoria, 5 days, Crystal SymphonyDecember 1, Mahé/Victoria to Port Louis, 8 days, Crystal SymphonyDecember 6, Fort Lauderdale to Barbados/Bridgetown, 8 days, Crystal SerenityDecember 9, Port Louis to Maputo, 7 days, Crystal SymphonyDecember 14, Barbados/Bridgetown to Charleston, 6 days, Crystal SerenityDecember 16, Maputo to Cape Town, 6 days, Crystal Symphony 2018January 30, Honolulu to Sydney, 17 days, Crystal SerenityMarch 15, Hong Kong to Singapore, 14 days, Crystal SerenityMarch 28, Singapore to Colombo, 12 days, Crystal SerenityApril 6, Valparaíso to Lima, 6 days, Crystal SymphonyApril 9, Colombo to Mumbai, 6 days, Crystal SerenityApril 12, Lima to Colón, 7 days, Crystal SymphonyApril 23, Aruba to Fort Lauderdale, 7 days, Crystal SymphonyMay 26, Honolulu to Vancouver, 8 days, Crystal Symphony All-inclusive cruise fares for Crystal’s 2017 and 2018 Crystal Getaways abbreviated voyages start at $940 per person. By sea, river, land and air, Crystal has redefined the way the world views luxury travel. Celebrating 27 years of excellence, Crystal Cruises is the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line, having earned “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards for 24 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by travel professional organization Virtuoso for three consecutive years (2014, 2015 & 2016). The readers of Travel + Leisure also voted Crystal River Cruises the “World’s Best River Cruise Line” and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises the “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” in 2017. The newest and upcoming extensions of the celebrated Crystal brand include Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises, Crystal Luxury Air, Crystal River Cruises – The World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line – Crystal AirCruises and Crystal Exclusive Class with Crystal Residences. Crystal is proud to be a platinum partner of the professionals of ASTA. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888.799.2437, or visit www.crystalcruises.com. Join the hundreds of thousands who follow Crystal Cruises’ Facebook pageand @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram, and engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.
Written By: Geoff Millar, Owner – Ultimate All Inclusive Vacations This month we are going to cover the remaining Sandals Resorts located in the Southern part of the Caribbean. These would include the islands of St. Lucia, Barbados, and Grenada. As all the Sandals Resorts, these resorts have the fantastic Red Lane Spa, a great Destination Wedding Dept. and Scuba diving is included for certified divers. Let’s look at St. Lucia first. This is an iconic island defined by the two peaks or pitons as they are called. It is a verylush island with its own rain forest. Tourism and agriculture are the main industries on St. Lucia. It is a very safe island and the people are extremely warm and friendly. The main airport is located at the south end of the island and is about an hour from the Sandals Resorts located on the northwest part of the island. The ride from the airport is beautiful but very curvy. There is a helicopter service to the northwest part of the island. The calmer waters are located on the west side of the island or the Caribbean side. On the eastern side of the island or the Atlantic side the water is a little rougher. St. Lucia has fantastic diving, snorkeling and sailing. Marigot Bay is a popular mooring for yachts from all over the world. St. Lucia tends to be a fantastic once in a life time destination although there are many people who return to St. Lucia many times. Sandals has 3 resorts on the island. What is nice is you can stay at one and play at all 3 of them. They have a shuttle that runs between all 3 resorts on about an hourly basis. The shuttle runs until midnight. This not only expands your activities but also your dining options. You can have breakfast at the resort you are staying at, take the transfer to the next Sandals and spend the morning and have lunch, and then transfer to the third Sandals Resort, play for the afternoon stay for dinner and entertainment and then return to your home Sandals Resort. The unique thing is that each Sandals Resort offers guests a completely different vibe. A tip, just bring a change of clothes and you can use the shower in the Spa at any of the Sandals Resorts at no charge. SANDALS REGENCY LA TOC The first Sandals Resort we will look at is the Sandals Regency La Toc. This is a beautiful resort that is spread out over 210 acres. It has some of the most beautiful lush gardens anywhere. It contains a 9 hole executive golf course. There are 3 primary areas of the resort. The first area is the area around the main resort, the Emerald area, and the second area is on what is called the Bluff and in between is what is called the Pitons Village. The bluff area does not have a beach but sits on a bluff with fantastic ocean views. The main resort area has the beach. It is a smaller ½ mile long half moon shaped beach. The one thing to remember is that there are not a lot of water activities at this resort because the water can get rough and can sometimes have strong undertows. Don’t worry, they will tell you when it is safe to swim at the beach. This is a beautiful resort, but I caution you, it may not be the best resort for people with mobility issues as it is spread out over a few hills with some long walking distances between areas. You can call for a golf cart to pick you up and transport you between the different areas. As far as accommodations at the Sandals La Toc there are many, as usual. There are 3 areas, the Emerald Village, the Pitons Village, and the Bluff. At the top we start with the Millionaire Butler Suite. These sit higher on the bluff above the rest of the Bluff accommodations and are 1,000 sq. ft with its own pool. This resort is home to the original Millionaire Suite. With what the call the Love Nest Suites we continue with the one bedroom suites that are one and two story suites with private plunge pools. Most of these are in the Bluff Section with some in-between the Pitons section between the Emerald Section and the Bluff Section. The next level is the Club Level or what I call the Concierge level. These are made up of Jr. Suites and large rooms. These are spread throughout the resort but most of them are in the Pitons Village area, and the Emerald Village. Last are the lowest level rooms, the Luxury and Deluxe rooms. These are in the buildings in the Emerald Village section of the resort. Some of the rooms with plunge pools sit behind the Emerald Village Section and I must warn you, the pool areas in this section are not very private. There is a lot more privacy in the rooms with plunge pools located in the Bluff Section. Dining at this resort is spread across 9 restaurants but remember with the exchange privileges there are a total of 27 restaurants available to your clients. The 9 restaurants at the Sandals La Toc include, International where the Buffet is and at night an A La Carte menu, a delightful French restaurant, a Caribbean restaurant, Italian, Oriental Teppanyaki, Seafood, British Pub fare, a Pizzeria, and a great Sushi bar. There is something to suit everyone. Food here is good. I personally don’t think it is Gourmet level, but it is very good with a wide variety, Sandals has always prided itself on the number of restaurants they have while some newer resorts are now cutting back on the number of restaurants but increasing the food quality. As far as activities most of them are land activities and the watersports are better at the other resorts. The do have an executive 9 hole golf course on the property, tennis, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Board Games, and nightly entertainments. There are a lot of watersports but most of them, take place outside of this resort or at the other Sandals Resorts. There are 2 main pools at the resort one in the Main or Emerald Village section and one in the Bluff section, each with a swim-up bar. There is scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, paddle boarding, wind surfing, wake boarding, and waterskiing. The resort also has a great fitness center and the world famous Red Lane Spa. This resort would be good for your clients that want to take a romantic vacation, a honeymoon, anniversary, destination wedding. It has a more romantic feel than active but if they want active, they do have the exchange privileges with the other Sandals Resorts. SANDALS HALCYON BEACH Let’s move on to the next Sandals Resort in St. Lucia, the Halcyon Beach Resort. This is a smaller, and quieter resort sitting on a beautiful beach and has some of the most beautiful gardens of any resort. This resort is a favorite resort of Europeans who take 2 and 3 week vacations. It is the perfect resort for people who want to relax, sit in a beautiful garden or on a great beach and read a book. This resort sits about half way between the Sandals la Toc and the Sandals St. Lucia Grande. It is also the lowest priced Sandals Resort on St. Lucia. As far as accommodations, at the top there is the Beachfront Honeymoon Butler Room with a private plunge pool, Honeymoon Butler Room with private pool, and the Beachfront Honeymoon Crystal Swim-up room. These are the only Butler category rooms at this resort. In the middle are the rooms with the Club Level description. These are the Concierge level rooms. At the lower level you have the Deluxe and the Luxury level rooms. This is a low rise resort, so it tends to feel a little more intimate than some resorts. Dining at this resort consists of 6 restaurants but remember with the exchange privileges it brings the total number of dining venues up to 27 restaurants. The main restaurant, a Caribbean restaurant, at the Sandals Halcyon sits at the end of a pier with fantastic water views. There is also an Italian restaurant, a Teppanyaki Oriental restaurant, an International Cuisine restaurant which is also the buffet for Breakfast and Lunch, a Sushi restaurant, and the Bistro restaurant serving Grilled fare. Remember to take the shuttle to one of the other Sandals Resorts for many more dining choices. Activities include both water and land choices. In the water there is scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaks, sailing, windsurfing, and two pools. As far as land sports, you have, shuffle board, beach volleyball, chess, board games, tennis, and a fantastic Red Lane Spa. Remember there is golf at the Sandals La Toc. This resort is good for extended stays, relaxing, romantic, smaller resort lovers, beach lovers, garden lovers. SANDALS GRANDE ST. LUCIAN The last resort we will look at, in St. Lucia, is the sandals Grande St Lucian. This resort is the most active of the 3 Sandals Resorts. The Sandals Grande St. Lucian used to be the Hyatt Resort before Sandals took it over. It sits on one of the best beaches, in St. Lucia, on a peninsula just outside of town. On the beach side of the resort is Rodney Bay and on the other side of the resort is the open Atlantic Ocean. There is no beach on the ocean side and remember that any of the rooms on the ocean side look over a garden and a road to the ocean. This is a large resort spread out along the beach. They are the third Sandals Resort to now offer their over the water bungalows. Depending on the time of year they will run from $17,000 – $20,000 for 2 people for 7 nights. This resort has a more extensive water activities program than the other 2 Sandals Resorts on St. Lucia. This is also the most expensive of the 3 Sandals Resorts on St. Lucia. As far as accommodations, at the top are the over the water butler bungalows. Next in line is the President Clinton Ocean Front Penthouse Two Story Butler Suit. Then comes the Beach Front Grand Rondoval Butler Suites with private pools. After those you have a variety of Butler Suites. We then come to the Club or Concierge level suites and rooms with everything from Beach Front to swim-up Club Level rooms and suites. At the lower levels you have the Luxury and Deluxe Levels. Remember if the room category says Beach it faces the beach on Rodney Bay and the main pool area. If it says Ocean it faces the other way toward the Ocean but the view will be over the gardens and the road toward the Ocean. Dining choices at the Sandals Grande St Lucian is spread over 12 restaurants including, a Continental Cuisine including the Breakfast and lunch buffet, an Italian Restaurant, a Creperie and Coffee House, Seafood Restaurant, an old English Pub serving great Pub fare, A white glove Seafood Restaurant located at the end of the pier, a Pizzeria, a restaurant serving a variety of grilled items, A newer Indian Restaurant, an Oriental Teppanyaki Restaurant, and a Sushi Bar. Don’t forget the other 15 Restaurants available with the exchange program. As far as activities the Sandals Grande St. Lucian has more water sports than the other two Sandals resorts on St. Lucia, they have scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, paddle boarding, wind surfing, wake boarding, water skiing, Kayaks, Hydro Bikes, 5 swimming pools, and a great swimming beach. Land sports include, tennis, beach volleyball, pool tables, board games, and don’t forget with the exchange privileges, golf. There are a lot of off-site tours and activities on St. Lucia. This resort is great for weddings, honeymoons, and couples who want an active vacation and love the beach and water sports, with a wide variety of accommodation selections, as well as the stay at one resort and play at three. The only drawback with these resorts is getting there, especially from the west Coast. Although several airlines fly there the only non-stop flights are from cities on the east Coast. SANDALS GRENADA Next, we’re going to move to another Island, the Island of Grenada. The new Resort of Sandals Grenada provides not only a top quality resort but a unique vacation experience on a beautiful island. Even the resort is unique with some features that other resorts don’t have. This resort is the newest in the Sandals family. Grenada is known as the Spice Island for it’s production of spices such as nutmeg. One of the drawbacks of this resort is, again, getting there. There are non-stop flights from NY, Atlanta, and Miami. Coming from the West Coast will require a connecting flight and for some an overnight in a connecting city. Accommodations at the resort are one of the thing that are unique to this resort. At the top of the accommodations is the Ocean View 1 bedroom sky pool Butler Suite that sit on the third, fourth, and fifth, floor and have an infinity pool on the balcony. They also have 1 bedroom private villas and Rondovals with their own pool. The have the Club level, Concierge, rooms and suites, and at the lower price points they have a Jr. Suite Level room as well as the luxury and Premium rooms. The dining options include, French, Mediterranean Seafood, Oriental Teppanyaki, Sushi Bar, International Buffet, Italian, Steakhouse, Pizzeria, Parisian-style Patisserie, and British Pub Food. All restaurants and menu items are included. The included activities are numerous and varied. In the water they include, Scuba Diving, the new Snuba is available at an additional cost, it is a cross between scuba diving and snorkeling and you don’t need to be certified, Snorkeling, Paddle Boarding, Sailing, Wind Surfing, kayaks, 5 pools, one with a swim-up bar. A very nice beach. Remember that the beach is on the smaller side and is on a large ocean fed lagoon rather than directly on the ocean. On land the resort has, tennis, beach volleyball, pool tables, board games, and bocce ball. This resort, as all sandals resorts has the wonderful Red Lane Spa. At night the resort comes alive with a very nice party atmosphere including, talent contests, beach party night, Lovers night, Street party night, also shows and live music. This resort would fit the couple looking for a slightly different, more exotic vacation on a beautiful island that is a little off the beaten path with an active upbeat vibe. Great for Honeymoons and Weddings. The last island we are going to look at is the island of Barbados with 2 Sandals Resorts. SANDALS BARBADOS The first resort is the Sandals Barbados, which used to be the Couples Barbados and before that the Casuarina Beach Resort. This is an older resort that has had some quality issues because of the age. In fairness Sandals has built a new section that they are billing as a new resort the Sandals Royal Barbados, will be covered in a later section of this article. They do have exchange privileges with each other. This resort sits on a very nice beach, part of which is protected with a rock seawall. They do have vendors on the beach as most islands in the Caribbean do since, on most islands, all beaches are public. The resort is surrounded by a jungle area where you can see monkeys playing. Again, a drawback is that all the non-stop flights are from points on the East Coast, Boston, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta and Miami. It makes traveling to Barbados a little harder from the West Coast. One of the biggest complaints is one that covers most of the Sandals and that is the fact that higher room categories get preferential treatment. The complaints are that this kind of treatment covers basic services and makes the lower room category clients feel like second class citizens because they can’t afford the butler level. I can understand both sides. Things like Butler level can reserve loungers by the pool and on the beach while clients in the lower level rooms cannot. Other resort chains handle this by having totally different sections and pools for the butler level as well as certain restaurants set aside just for the butler level clients. As far as accommodations the resort has one bedroom penthouse butler level suites, also they have the standard Club or Concierge level suites and rooms and then the entry level Deluxe and Premier rooms. Many clients think that because Sandals Resorts are billed as luxury level resorts, all rooms at every level contain the same level of luxury. I am not saying they should, but it is all about setting the correct client expectations. Part of the problem I see reflected in the complaints is a lot of bookings are made by the client directly with Sandals so they either set the expectations higher than they should or they set they no expectations at all. One of the complaints I saw reoccurring was, when it was a problem occurred with the air, Sandals took very little, if any, responsibility. One of the responses from Sandals about air was “we don’t control the air, we only do air as a courtesy”. Dining at the Sandals Barbados consists of 11 restaurants at this resort and with exchange privileges another 6 restaurants at the other Royal Sandals Barbados. The 11 restaurants at this property are a mix of, Indian, a Steakhouse, Parisian-style Patisserie, a Pizzeria, British Pub style dining, Oriental Teppanyaki, Italian, Seafood, a Sushi Bar, International Buffet, and Seaside Grill fare. As far as activities, all non-motorized water sports, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Sailing, Paddle Boards, Kayaks, Glass Bottom Boat Ride, and 3 pools, one with a swim-up bar. On land your choices are, Beach Volleyball, Cricket, Bocce Ball, Board Games, and Pool Tables. The resort also has a fitness Center and the Famous Red Lane Spa. At night the resort comes alive with, live music, shows, Barbados Street party, the famous Sandals Chocolate party, Beach Party, and Caribbean night. This is a great resort for couples looking for a lively resort that is also romantic in a more exotic destination. Great for Honeymoons and weddings. The beach is very nice. SANDALS ROYAL BARBADOS The last resort we will look at today is the new Sandals Royal Barbados. This is billed as a new resort but is more of an extension of the Sandals Barbados Resort. It sits on the same beach as the Sandals Barbados Resort. It is a more luxurious all suite resort with Sandals first roof-top pool and bar, a Craft Beer Bar, a bowling alley, a barbershop, and the skypool suites, like they have in Grenada. They have also added the Millionaire Suites. It has a 15,000 Sq. Ft Red Lane Spa. Guests also have exchange privileges with the Sandals Barbados. It takes their Barbados offering to a new level. Accommodations consist of all suites and at the top are the Beachfront 1 Bedroom Butler Skypool Suites, there are also a wide variety of Butler Suite choices. They also have the One Bedroom Millionaire Butler Suites; their entry level Suites are the Club or Concierge Level Suites. They do not have the Standard Sandals Deluxe or Premium Level Rooms. Dining at the Sandals Royal Barbados consists of, Seafood/Steakhouse, Asian Fusion, American Comfort Food, French, Mediterranean Seafood, and Caribbean. You can expand your choices by 11 more restaurants with exchange privileges at the Sandals Barbados. As far as activities at the resort, you have, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Sailing, Boogie Boards, Kayaks, Paddle Boarding, windsurfing, 3 pools with 1 swim-up bar and their new Rooftop Pool. On land you have a Bowling Alley, Fitness Center, Beach Volleyball, board Games, Bocce Ball, Pool Tables, and Cricket. At night you can indulge yourself in, Live Music, Piano Bar, Live Shows, Sandals famous Chocolate Party, Caribbean Night, and Beach Parties. This resort would fit couples with the same interests as the Sandals Barbados but want to experience it at a higher level of Luxury, a lively resort in an exotic location. Great for couples, honeymoons and Destination weddings. We have now ended our look at Sandals Resorts, some of the top level Couples only resorts. Sandals are very nice resorts, but you need to keep in mind a lot of the things at a Sandals Resort are not free, but they are included. An example is Scuba Diving is included but if you are not a scuba diver you are still paying for it in your price. Until next month when we look at another impressive set of Resorts. Safe Travels and Good selling.
Unprecedented YOY Increases in Sales and New Bookings Indicate Strength in Land and Cruise Travel Sales BOCA RATON, FL – July 9, 2018 – OASIS Travel Network today announced a significant upswing in business, noting the strongest first six months of the year in the company’s history. The record-setting period includes increased overall sales and new bookings, indicating the outlook for land and cruise travel remains very optimistic. “We couldn’t be happier to share what a great start we’ve had to 2018, as we feel this paints an incredible picture for what agents can expect overall this year,” said Kelly Bergin, president of OASIS Travel Network. “Our agents place a heavy emphasis on providing exceptional service and creating unforgettable vacations. I am extremely proud of the hard work, dedication and professionalism of our network and look forward to seeing what lies ahead!” OASIS Travel Network today reported a 52 percent increase in land and cruise sales from January to June, over the same timeframe in 2017. In addition to a very successful first two quarters, the company distributed its largest commission payment ever in May, totaling nearly half a million dollars. With more than 30 years of experience, OASIS Travel Network is a strong resource and home for travel professionals seeking access to unparalleled training and continuing education. Individuals without prior travel industry experience can sign up for the company’s New2Travel program by visiting www.oasistravelnetwork.com/new2travel. Each member receives hotel, breakfast and lunch costs during an in-person boot camp and during promotional events throughout the year. Monthly payment plans are available, making a dream career in travel possible for almost anyone. After completing the New2Travel program, members are transitioned to OASIS Travel Network’s Elite plan, which includes a professional website with B2C cruise and hotel booking engines, an email and direct mail marketing system, and the Pocket Travel Consultant itinerary app by Axus in the monthly fee. “With so much potential and opportunity on the horizon, now is the perfect time to enter the travel industry,” said Bergin. “Our hand-picked New2Travel curriculum is a great first step for those looking to begin a new career in travel.” About OASIS Travel NetworkOASIS Travel Network is the independent contractor division of Smart Travel Group, a full-service retail travel agency. The host agency encompasses more than 70 full-time employees and 700+ independent contractors across the country who sell cruises, escorted tours, land packages, air and more. A proud member of the Signature Travel Network, OASIS Travel Network has become a leading agency in the State of Florida and a major seller of cruises in the United States. To provide agents with a plan that works for their personal goal in the industry, OASIS Travel Network offers three different plans for agents to pick from including a basic, elite and platinum plan. New2Travel, the agency’s program for “New Sellers of Travel” is a hand-picked curriculum that the host agency created to prepare new independent travel professionals, which includes an in-person three-day boot camp training. OASIS Travel Network also offers its agents various technologies and marketing solutions free or at very reasonable cost to help agents grow their business. For more information on OASIS Travel Network, visit www.oasistravelnetwork.com.
An Outpost is a last connection to civilization. Leading experiential travel company, Upscape, has recently launched Outpost – Chile’s first off-the-grid, pop-up camp experience found within the vast remoteness of Patagonia’s wilderness, created to escape the buzz of 21st century life. “The mindset around travel has changed – travelers want challenges, meaning and something not yet discovered. At the same time, the constant presence of Wi-Fi and pressures of social media make finding those moments—and fully enjoying them—increasingly difficult every day,” says Upscape Founder & CEO, Brian Pearson. “We were able to use our deep knowledge of the land to identify lesser-known destinations, outside of the common travelers’ route, to create places where family and friends can come together and truly explore.” Outpost launches with private and group excursions in Aysén, a sparsely populated area with vast glaciers, fjords and snow-capped mountains, and Maule Valley, one of the oldest wine-producing regions in Chile. Upscape’s inaugural Outpost debuts along Patagonia’s Río Jeinimeni in February 2019 and the Maule region in October 2018 with announcements to follow for Outpost Atacama, Outpost Elquí and Outpost Lakes for the 2019 and 2020 total solar eclipses, respectively. Despite the vast remoteness, Outpost guests are surrounded by comfort and accompanied by specialty guides intimately familiar with the land. Each camp accommodates up to 16 people in private, furnished tents and offers a relaxing base for trekking, fly fishing, horseback riding, paddling, and photography classes. Travelers can book Patagonia and Maule locations as private Outposts or join small-group excursions (see dates below). Pricing includes specialty guides, a private cook (daily food and drink) and lodging. CURRENT & UPCOMING OUTPOSTSOUTPOST PATAGONIAWithin the Jeinimeni Reserve, which stretches from Argentina to the Patagonia Ice Fields in Chile, Outpost Patagonia is found along the shores of the brilliant turquoise river, Río Jeinimeni. This largely uninhabited area has four markedly different ecosystems, including: deciduous forests, evergreen forests, steppe, and high peaks, creating unique and dramatic scenery. Outpost Patagonia is positioned as a home base for travelers to explore, as well as access the entrance of Patagonia Park, the conservatory that made headlines earlier in 2018 when it was gifted by the Tompkin’s Conservation to the Chilean government. OUTPOST MAULEMaule Valley, within Chile’s region VII is known historically as the southern-most boundary of the ancient Incan empire. Today, locals preserve generations of family land and winemaking customs. While only a few hours from Santiago, a visit can been described as stepping back in time. Outpost Maule is found along the shores of Río Maule, which runs through the wine valley westward from the Andes and provides a home base for travelers to explore nearby wineries, including Bouchon Family Vineyards, where the País Salvaje is made from wild grown uva país. Now available for private bookings in October and November 2018. Suggested itinerary includes two nights in Outpost Maule and one night at boutique hotel and winery, Casa Bouchon. OUTPOST ATACAMAComing late 2018.OUTPOST ELQUIComing for the total solar eclipse 2019 near Elquí Valley, Chile.OUTPOST LAKESComing for the total solar eclipse 2020 near Pucon, Chile.For more information about off-the-grid Outpost adventures with Upscape, visit upscapetravel.com/outpost. About UpscapeUpscape is an experiential and adventure travel company based in Santiago, Chile with 15 years of know-how in creating unique itineraries in the Southern Cone, including Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. Their extensive knowledge covers iconic cities such as Buenos Aires, Santiago and Montevideo, wine-growing regions, alternate season ski destinations, on and off-the-grid in Patagonia and the Atacama Desert. Upscape itineraries have been recognized by the likes of National Geographic Traveler, Vogue and Food + Wine. In 2017 Upscape was named to the Travel + Leisure A-List for the 4th year in a row and Upscape Founder Brian Pearson was recognized as a Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist for the third year in a row.
BELLEVUE, WASH. – August 6, 2018 – Paul Gauguin Cruises (www.pgcruises.com), operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, announces a Two-Week Sale on select 2018 and 2019 Tahiti, French Polynesia, and South Pacific voyages. Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering savings of up to $2,900* per person off select luxury voyages aboard The Gauguin when booked between August 6 and August 18, 2018. Roundtrip airfare between Los Angeles and Papeete, Tahiti, is also included. On board, guests will enjoy the highest standards of luxury, quality, and all-inclusive value sailing to South Pacific destinations that are the cruise line’s specialty. Qualifying voyages are: Tahiti & the Society Islands (7 nights):November 10, 2018 – now from only $5,595 $4,595 per personJanuary 5, 19, 2019 – now from only $4,945 $4,145 per personFebruary 16; March 2, 2019 – now from only $5,645 $4,645 per personMarch 30; April 27, 2019 – now from only $5,945 $4,895 per person Society Islands & Tahiti Iti (7 nights):November 3, 2018 – now from only $5,595 $4,595 per person Society Islands & Tuamotus (10 nights):November 28, 2018 – now from only $5,845 $5,245 per person On The Gauguin, nearly 70% of suites and staterooms offer balconies. Dining experiences include L’Etoile, which showcases an array of culinary creations expertly prepared each evening. The ship’s other two dining venues, La Veranda and Le Grill, serve breakfast and lunch. At night, signature dishes designed by French celebrity chef Jean-Pierre Vigato are offered in La Veranda, and Polynesian specialties are served poolside at Le Grill. Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins—a troupe of Tahitian entertainers—provide enriching experiences of the destinations throughout each voyage. The Gauguin features expert lecturers on each voyage and special guests on select sailings conducting presentations on topics ranging from the history of the South Pacific to conservation, culture, marine life, and the wonders of coral reefs. A luxurious spa, fitness center, watersports marina, and expansive outdoor decks with chaise lounges and a pool are also available aboard The Gauguin. One of the highlights of each sailing is exclusive access to Motu Mahana, the cruise line’s private islet off the coast of Taha’a where guests can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, Polynesian activities, a full-service bar, a floating lagoon bar, and a delicious barbecue. In Bora Bora, guests can enjoy complimentary access to a private, white-sand beach with beach volleyball, sunbathing, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and refreshments. For more information or reservations, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-800-848-6172, or visit www.pgcruises.com. *All fares are in US dollars, per person, based on double occupancy, and reflect promotional savings, are for new bookings only, are subject to availability, and must be booked by August 18, 2018. Offer may be combined with applicable 3rd guest in stateroom offer but may not be combined with other offers. Port, security, and handling charges of $139-$195 per person are additional. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Call for details. For full terms and conditions, visit www.pgcruises.com. About Paul Gauguin CruisesOwned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., French Polynesia’s leading luxury hotel and cruise operator, Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the 5+-star cruise ship, the 332-guest m/s Paul Gauguin, providing a deluxe cruise experience tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific. Paul Gauguin Cruises has been recognized by notable publications in travel and lifestyle and was voted “#1 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Line” by readers in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017†. The line was also recognized as one of the “Top Small Cruise Lines” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards and is honored on the publication’s 2018 “Gold List.” Paul Gauguin Cruises was also selected as “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” in Global Traveler’sLeisure Lifestyle Awards in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and received top honors as the “#1 Cruise Line for Honeymooners” in BRIDES Magazine’s 2017 Honeymoon Awards and was listed in the publication’s “Top All-Inclusives” in the 2018 Honeymoon Awards.
Jeff Lavender brings global leadership and broad travel industry background to new role at Avoya Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – July 22, 2016 – Avoya Travel, one of the world’s largest and most innovative travel companies, today announced the appointment of a new Vice President, Jeff Lavender, to play a key role in leading Avoya’s corporate strategy and development initiatives. Lavender brings over 20 years of global experience to Avoya and will support the company’s future growth, strategic positioning, and pioneering Shared Success™ model that creates mutually beneficial relationships between customers, travel professionals, and supplier partners. “Avoya Travel is honored to have Jeff onboard our executive team as we continue to look ahead and expand the footprint of our brand,” said Brad Anderson, President, Avoya Travel. “Jeff’s travel industry experience will be integral in strengthening Avoya’s strategic position, growing market share, and optimizing efficiencies to benefit the Avoya Network, supplier partners, and travelers.” Lavender is an innovative customer-centric leader with a diverse travel industry background driving global sales, maximizing revenue and margin growth, leading teams, strategic planning, product development, and employing cutting edge technology. “Avoya Travel is recognized as one of the top travel companies worldwide and it is a privilege to join their senior leadership team,” said Jeff Lavender, Vice President, Avoya Travel. “I am looking forward to helping Avoya diversify its product offerings, grow revenue, and accelerate technology initiatives to further enhance the success of our key stakeholders.” Lavender’s previous experience encompasses senior leadership and business development positions for premier travel companies across the globe including: Travel Impressions and American Express Vacations, Viator.com, EuropAssistance,Macau.com, Travelport France, Travelocity Europe, Preview Travel, and Amadeus. Lavender holds an International Executive MBA from INSEAD in Paris and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration for Travel Industry Management from the University of Hawaii. About Avoya TravelAvoya Travel has a long-standing reputation for being one of the world’s largest and most innovative travel companies. As an American Express Travel Representative for more than 25 years, Avoya is deeply committed to Integrity and Professionalism™, service, and value in every aspect of planning cruises and vacations. Through an elite network of independently owned and operated travel agencies, Avoya provides exclusive discounts, amenities, and first-class customer service to travelers worldwide. For this, Avoya has received numerous accolades, including being repeatedly named Travel Partner of the Year, by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruises, American Express, Oceania Cruises, and more. Travel agency owners, travel professionals, and others interested in owning and operating their own travel business should contact Avoya Travel at 800-521-2597 or visit www.JoinAvoya.com. Travelers interested in booking their next vacation with Avoya Travel, should call 800-753-1463 or visit www.AvoyaTravel.com.
Milestone Visitor, New Yorker Jean Larsen, Met By Tourism Minister and Officials and Given Grand Prize by Elite Island Resorts for Return Stay at Pineapple Beach Club Antigua DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla.- The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda ended 2016 on a high note by celebrating the arrival of its 100,000th U.S. Visitor for the year, for the first time in over ten years. This milestone is a crowning achievement in a banner year for tourism that included announcing multiple new properties, the re-opening of Pineapple Beach Club Antigua, and a variety of awards and achievements including most recently being named ‘Destination of the Year,’ by Caribbean Journal’s 2016 Caribbean Travel Awards. The 100,000th US Visitor was Ms. Jean Larsen, an artist and philanthropist, who works with Pink Rock, a breast cancer survivor charity. Ms. Larsen was traveling with her partner, Denis Murphy, on American Airlines flight 978 from New York-JFK to V.C. Bird International Airport, and was greeted with flowers and prizes by the Minister of Tourism, Honorable Asot Michael, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Mr. Colin James, and U.S. Director of Tourism, Ms. Kim Jack Riley. In honor of this milestone, Elite Island Resorts provided the Grand Prize of a complimentary 3-night stay for two at Antigua’s newest All-Inclusive resort, Pineapple Beach Club Antigua, to Ms. Larsen. Pineapple Beach Club is Antigua’s most laidback Adults-Only resort, located in a tropical hideaway where the beach curves in a perfect quarter-miles arc of brilliant, powdery white sand. The resort offers Caribbean-style accommodations amidst 30 acres of lush gardens, where guests can swim in the resort’s two freshwater pools, enjoy a gamut of non-motorized watersports or dine al fresco at one of the seaside restaurants. All of the passengers on the flight were treated to special music and dancers upon arrival, as well as a gift bag filled with local delicacies and a discount code for island tours to complement their stays. Tourism arrivals to Antigua from the U.S. have been strong throughout the year, with double-digit growth month over month. According to the latest statistics, at the end of November 2016, arrivals from the U.S. were at an 18.35% increase that is predicted to grow once December figures are released. This growth is particularly significant, as the U.S. remains Antigua and Barbuda’s largest source market for arrivals. Overall visitor arrivals have also increased by 7.42% year over year as of November, with numbers suggesting the year will end with over 250,000 global visitors overall. About Elite Island ResortsElite Island Resorts represents an impressive portfolio of All-Inclusive Caribbean beachfront resorts. Each resort provides a uniquely authentic Caribbean vacation experience, from destination weddings and honeymoons, to romantic escapes, family retreats, and eco vacations. Resorts include: St. James’s Club & Villas, The Verandah Resort & Spa, Pineapple Beach Club Antigua and Galley Bay Resort & Spa, all in Antigua; St. James’s Club Morgan Bay, St. Lucia; Long Bay Beach Club in Tortola, BVI; Palm Island Resort & Spa in the Grenadines; The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa; and Los Establos Boutique Hotel in Boqueté, Panama. For more information, visit www.eliteislandresorts.com or call 800-858-4618.