Suite stay at Secrets Akumal top prize in Sunquests latest contest

first_img Thursday, July 28, 2016 MISSISSAUGA — Sunquest has a seven-night stay at Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya up for grabs, in a new contest for bookings July 28 – Aug. 3.All Deal of the Week bookings qualify as a ballot to win. Sunquest will be doing a random draw for the prize when the Deal of the Week ends and the winner will be notified on or before Aug. 10Agents will also receive a bonus US$150 resort coupon, for a total of $550, at all Secrets Resorts and Spas offered by Sunquest in Mexico, the D.R., Jamaica and Costa Rica. This applies per room, per stay, in Preferred Club room categories.For more information visit << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: AMResorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Sunquest Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Share Suite stay at Secrets Akumal top prize in Sunquest’s latest contestlast_img read more

VUCA leading to travel disruptions Virtuoso flash poll

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group VUCA leading to travel disruptions: Virtuoso flash poll Tags: Trend Watch, Virtuosocenter_img Posted by NEW YORK — A new Virtuoso flash survey has found travellers are avoiding certain worldwide destinations as a result of the uncertainty tied to specific countries and global regions. VUCA stands for ‘volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous’, as a means of describing the potential travel disruptions caused by geopolitical situations.“The world is going through a transition where uncertainty is the new norm,” says Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “Whether it’s Brexit, the shifting political climate in the U.S., or the threat of terrorism or disease such as Zika, there seems to be only two certainties. First, we have no idea what we might wake up to find tomorrow because change happens fast. Two, and this is of utmost importance, travel is the best way to bring people together when isolation begins. At Virtuoso, we say borders divide, but travel unites. Never has it been more important to keep the ability to travel as a fundamental right.”More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamAmong the questions asked, Virtuoso surveyed its travel advisors globally to discover the impact of the Presidential Executive Order disallowing travellers from seven countries to enter the U.S.Although the order is not currently in effect, Virtuoso advisors report that it is still impacting clients’ travel decisions.Among U.S.-based advisors, 10% say clients are changing travel plans due to a concern over anti-American sentiment. Some 40% say their clients are now avoiding certain destinations due to concerns over terrorism including the Middle East, Europe and Africa. They report that clients are choosing to travel within the U.S. as well as visit those perceived as safer, including Japan, Canada and New Zealand.Among Virtuoso-affiliated travel advisors outside of the U.S., 42% say their clients are avoiding travel to the U.S. due to factors including opposition to the country’s foreign policy and concerns over obtaining visas. As an alternative, they are electing to travel to destinations such as Italy, Australia and the U.K. The majority of advisors anticipate the slowdown in travel to the U.S. will last three to six months. Tuesday, March 28, 2017 last_img read more

Off to the races Sunwing shares whats new on Every Step of

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Thursday, April 26, 2018 Travelweek Group Share TORONTO — Woodbine Racetrack served as a fitting locale for Sunwing’s 2018 Every Step of the Way Tour, which made its Toronto stop last night as part of a coast-to-coast road trip across 21 cities.The tour operator has raced out of the gates in 2018 with new brochures and an array of special offers and products in a wide range of sun-soaked destinations. And as the name of the tour suggests, Sunwing is assuring agents that it will help ensure a seamless travel experience for their clients ‘every step of the way’.Supporting Sunwing in this endeavour are the 85+ suppliers who were in attendance at last night’s show. These included the company’s ‘Gold’ partners, including: AMResorts; Barcelo Hotels & Resorts; Be Live Resorts; Melia Cuba International; Playa Hotels & Resorts; Oasis Hotels & Resorts; Sandos Hotels & Resorts; and Seadust Cancun Family Resort. ‘Platinum’ partners RIU Hotels & Resorts and Blue Diamond Resorts were also on hand to not only lend its support but also share what’s new at their respective properties.Over the course of the tour, which spans from Stoney Creek, Ontario to Coquitlam, B.C., over 5,000 agents learned firsthand what Sunwing has in store for 2018/2019. Here are a few highlights:Sunwing Brochure 2018/2019:Features over 50 of the most popular destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America from 33 gateways coast to coastNew resorts include Royalton Antigua, Royalton Cancun Resort and Spa, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica, Grand Memories Punta Cana, and PlayaBachata ResortNew destinations include Antigua, Playa Mujeres and Riviera Diamante in Mexico, as well as BonaireExclusive perks for families include unlimited access to waterparks, and Kids Stay Play and Eat FRE dealsCouples perks include unlimited à la carte dining and spa discountsMore news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTNew Signature Collection by Sunwing brochure:Evolution of previous Signature Vacations’ collection of resortsBrochure features six leading resort chains: RIU Hotels & Resorts; Karisma Resorts; Jewel Resorts; Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts; Hard Rock Hotels; Krystal Hotels and ResortsIncludes Jewels Resorts in Jamaica for the first timeNew hotel openings include: Riu Dunamar; Riu Palace Costa Mujeres; Riu Palace Baja California; Riu Santa Fe; Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos; and Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta and Sensatori Azul Beach Resort Jamaica Off to the races! Sunwing shares what’s new on ‘Every Step of the Way’ tour Tags: Sunwing Sunwing app:Allows travellers to call home to Canada for free, plan their next vacation, book excursions, confirm flights, gain exclusive deals on local attractions and moreGroups:The 2018-2019 Groups Guide is what Lorraine Brisbois, Corporate Manager, Sunwing Travel Group, refers to as “your Bible to Groups”Brisbois also notes that “destination weddings continue to soar”, but that the company has also seen a rise in groups celebrating vow renewals and anniversariesGroups Plus Premium promotion: once a minimum of 10 adults book together, the 8th person travels freeGroup discounts are also available now on Sunwing Experiences; private tours available for groups of 12 or more and the 21st adult travels freeGroup pricing is also available for cruise packages with MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Marella Cruises where bookings of a minimum eight double cabins will have the 16th adult travel for freeSTARmillionaire promotion is returning, whereby agents can qualify for booking a group of 10 adults or more between March 28-Aug. 28, 2018More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJSunwing Experiences:For the first time ever, Sunwing will now offer agents the chance to earn STAR Agent Reward Points that convert to cash on Sunwing Experiences bookings across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central AmericaAgents will be able to book and earn commission and rewards points as these excursions can now be added as standalone purchases, regardless of which tour operator the vacation package was booked withSunwing Experiences bookings are confirmed under the category ‘Activities’ on SIREV and will soon be available on Amadeus Tours, Galileo Vacations, and Sabre VacationsClients benefit from pre-paying in Canadian dollarsNew cruises:New cruise brochure features fly & cruise packages departing form Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and VancouverAll packages include roundtrip flights on Sunwing Airlines with transfers include between the airport and the ship’s portCruise lines offered include MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Marella CruisesDomestic flights:Sunwing’s popular summer flight service resumes for its 13th consecutive seasonDaily flights are available between Toronto-Vancouver (May 15-Sept. 5, 2018), and Toronto-St. John’s (June 13-Sept. 5, 2018, Monday-Friday)Twice weekly flights to Gander on Tuesdays and Fridays (June 15-Sept. 4, 2018)Weekly Wednesday flights to Stephenville (June 13-Sept. 5, 2018) will soon be able to book via the platform and collect STAR points from anywhere in the world (more details to come)last_img read more

Red Label Vacations to operate as whollyowned subsidiary of Japans HIS Group

first_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: H.I.S, Japan, Travelweek Group Wednesday, January 9, 2019 center_img TORONTO — The parent company of TravelBrands,, The Travel Experts, and more will be bought out by a subsidiary of Japan’s H.I.S. Group in a new deal set to be completed in the first calendar quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals.Red Label Vacations Inc. says it has signed an agreement to be acquired by the H.I.S. Group subsidiary. H.I.S. has 282 branches in Japan, 275 branches in 158 cities internationally, nearly 17,000 employees worldwide and over ¥600 billion (about Cdn$7.33 billion) in annual sales.H.I.S. is no stranger to the Canadian travel industry. The company acquired a majority stake in Merit in December 2016 and also purchased Jonview Canada from Transat in October 2017 for $44 million.With this new deal, Red Label Vacations will continue to operate as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of H.I.S.Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the Canadian Competition Bureau.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin Cruises“It is a very exciting day for our company as this marks the launch of our next phase of growth,” said RedLabel Vacations co-owners Frank DeMarinis, Joe DeMarinis and Enzo DeMarinis.“H.I.S. is committed to supporting our continued growth at home in Canada as well as internationally. We expect that H.I.S.’s support will enable us to enhance our service offerings on both the wholesale and retail fronts and accelerate our growth objectives. We look forward to a very bright future.”H.I.S. Co. Ltd.’s Executive Officer, Global Business Development Division, Hideo Hatano, says the acquisition of Red Label Vacations “is in keeping with our ambitious expansion plan in North America and we look forward to building upon Red Label Vacation’s branding and experience in the Canadian market space to further service the North American market.”The DeMarinis brothers’ long history in the travel industry began in 1983 with Belair Travel. Belair was bought out and brought into the fold of what would later become Thomas Cook Canada.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe brothers returned in 2004 and created In 2013 they acquired the North American segment of Thomas Cook Group plc, later rebranded to TravelBrands. In August 2016, the company acquired, the second largest OTA in Canada. Share Red Label Vacations to operate as wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan’s H.I.S. Grouplast_img read more

Nicaraguan lawmakers approve construction of proposed canal

first_imgMANAGUA – Nicaraguan lawmakers approved a bill Tuesday aimed at creating a $30 billion alternative to the Panama Canal, a project President Daniel Ortega says “will lift the country out of poverty.”The new law, approved by 85 of 91 legislators, establishes a legal system for the proposed 125-mile canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.The legislation also creates a Grand Canal Authority that will have the power to direct the project’s state and private funding as well as to supervise work on the canal.Feasibility studies are expected to cost $350 million, while actual construction costs could hit $30 billion. The government is proposing to raise funds through a joint public-private partnership, with the state maintaining a 51 percent stake.Plans to build a canal across Nicaragua date back centuries but were overtaken by the construction of the 51-mile Panama Canal. In recent years, subsequent administrations have revived the concept as a way to promote development in the second-poorest country in the Americas, after Haiti.The project’s leader, former Sandinista-turned-Contra commander-turned-Sandinista, Edén Pastora, said Nicaragua’s canal, to be built along one of six proposed routes, would be larger and deeper than the Panama Canal. He also said project leaders have had talks with six countries – including Japan, China, Russia and Brazil – that are interested in investing in the project. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Ricas Social Security System is going to text you to stop

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s Supreme Court declares anti-smoking bill constitutional Tobacco company wants overhaul of Costa Rica’s smoking ban No smoking ban in Costa Rican bars, restaurants goes into effect Government collects almost $20,000 in fines for smoking Costa Rica’s Social Security System, or the Caja, wants to reduce the number of people who smoke, as well as the high costs public hospitals incur in treating patients with tobacco-related illness.In 2013, the Caja spent almost ₡90 billion ($179 million) on treating patients with smoking-related cardiovascular disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death in Costa Rica, according to a Caja report released Wednesday.Caja Medical Director María Villalta Bonilla said the anti-smoking campaign includes distributing information and promoting recreational activities.“Most of (the campaign) targets young people, who are the most vulnerable population,” she said.The five-year initiative includes ads in national media and on mobile platforms, and sports and arts activities in schools. Suggested activities include drama, music and dance clubs, among others, Villalta said.The Caja this month launched the campaign, which will be paid for by taxes and fines from the country’s anti-smoking law, by sending short text messages to mobile phones and posting them on social media.In 2012, President Laura Chinchilla signed a law banning smoking in public places such as bars, restaurants, public buildings, bus stops and taxi stands.A survey by the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Institute that year estimated the number of smokers in Costa Rica at 480,000 people, mostly men over 20. On average, 10 people die every day from tobacco-related diseases, the Caja claims. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Legendary novelist Gabriel García Márquez leaves hospital in delicate condition

first_imgRelated posts:Nobel writer Gabriel García Márquez hospitalized in Mexico The great and magical Gabo Texas university acquires Gabriel García Márquez’s personal archive Mexico bids farewell to García Márquez MEXICO CITY – Nobel laureate for literature Gabriel García Márquez returned to his Mexico City home on Tuesday after a week-long hospitalization for a lung infection, but officials said he remains in “delicate” condition.The 87-year-old Colombian writer, who has lived in the Mexican capital for more than three decades, arrived in an ambulance as a throng of journalists waited outside his home.“His condition is delicate due to his age. He will recover at home,” said Jaqueline Piñeda, spokeswoman of the National Medical Sciences and Nutrition Institute.García Márquez was hospitalized on March 31 and treated with antibiotics for lung and urinary tract infections.The 1982 Nobel laureate is a pioneer of magical realism. His masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude” has sold millions of copies and been translated into 35 languages. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Hot wheels cold cash Police discover more than 1 million hidden in

first_imgCosta Rican Drug Control Police (PCD) discovered over $1 million in cold cash hidden in the spare tires of a semitrailer at the northern border town of Peñas Blancas, Guanacaste, on Saturday,  Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa said at a press conference Tuesday.PCD officers searched the tractor-trailer after the driver, a 57-year-old Costa Rican from Cartago with the last names Dávila Ponce, appeared nervous. The search uncovered 108 different colored packages of tightly packed U.S. dollars hidden in two spare tires, totaling $1,116,840. The colored packages had names written on them, like “Luis,” “Tavo,” and “Chacho.” The trailer was empty.In the driver’s compartment police also discovered Dávila Ponce’s son, a 29-year-old with the last names Dávila Martínez, who abandoned a truck he was driving in El Salvador on Friday with 102 kilograms of cocaine. The Public Security Ministry said that Dávila Martínez was reportedly traveling to Guatemala to hand over his drugs.Neither father or son had criminal records.“As the son was driving up with drugs his father was driving down with cash,” Public Security Vice Minister Gustavo Mata said.The vice minister told The Tico Times that some of the money was likely destined for the purchase of cocaine, guns or other equipment in Costa Rica before the rest was sent to Panama or Colombia.“The money goes down, it doesn’t go up. It comes down from North America, Guatemala, Mexico, down to Costa Rica, Panama,” Mata said.Mata believes the father and son duo were working for the same criminal organization, but he couldn’t confirm it as of Tuesday afternoon.The suspects have been turned over to the prosecutor’s office in Liberia, Guanacaste. They could face eight to 20 years in prison for money laundering if convicted. Fotografía del dinero decomisado en Peñas Blancas por #PCD en total $1.116.840.00— Celso Gamboa Sánchez (@CelsoGamboaCR) August 5, 2014 One of 108 packages worth over $1 million found inside two spare tires on Saturday, August 2, 2014, in Peñas Blancas, Guanacaste. Courtesy Public Security Ministry Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Solís put on the defensive as joint US-Costa Rican patrols come up for renewal Explainer: What do Costa Rican authorities do with 4.1 tons of seized cocaine? Costa Rica seized record-breaking 26 metric tons of cocaine in 2014 Costa Rica Coast Guard confiscates 810 kilos of cocaine near Queposlast_img read more

Obama finally gets a Twitter account

first_imgHello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.— President Obama (@POTUS44) May 18, 2015 Good question, @billclinton. The handle comes with the house. Know anyone interested in @FLOTUS?— President Obama (@POTUS44) May 18, 2015 If Hillary were elected, Bill Clinton would become the first American “First Gentleman.”Since Calvin Coolidge made the first presidential radio address in 1923, presidents have often tried to speak directly to voters.Similarly Obama has embraced social media to sidestep the media’s filter, appearing on YouTube, posting selfies and hosting question-and-answer sessions on Reddit. Facebook Comments WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.”With that inaugural Tweet sent from a smartphone in the Oval Office before jumping on Marine One Monday, the President of the United States Barack Obama — or @POTUS — cast off security and bureaucratic chains in place since he was elected.The account — which already had nearly 150,000 followers in the first half hour and a million followers shortly after — instantly became one of the world’s top hacking targets, but will also allow Obama to tweet directly for the first time.Until now Obama has tweeted through his executive staff @WhiteHouse or the remnants of his campaign staff @BarackObama.“The @POTUS Twitter account will serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him,” the White House said.The already verified account features the customary headshot of Obama, but also a background photo of him walking over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in March, when he marked the 50th anniversary of a civil rights march that changed America.Obama describes himself as “Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States.”He is following 65 assorted alma maters, sports teams, Cabinet members and senior staff, as well as wife Michelle Obama.“It’s about time, @POTUS! –mo” she tweeted in response. Obama’s arrival on Twitter was also greeted by Justin Bieber’s mother, the Chicago Bears and former president Bill Clinton, husband of 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.“Welcome to @Twitter, @POTUS! One question: Does that username stay with the office? #askingforafriend,” he tweeted.Obama responded: “Good question, @billclinton. The handle comes with the house. Know anyone interested in @FLOTUS?” — referring to the first lady of the United States account. It’s about time, @POTUS! –mo— First Lady- Archived (@FLOTUS44) May 18, 2015 Related posts:Now you can watch Periscope streams directly in your Twitter feed 10 key quotes from Obama’s final State of the Union speech President Obama’s speech was a wholesale rejection of Trump’s worldview Obama: ‘Don’t despair’ over US Supreme Court intervention in carbon emissions caselast_img read more

The dark side of Nicaragua

first_imgOn November 2016 I published a pieceat Semanario Universidad entitled “Nicaragua, at the border of dictatorship” and I remember that many friends, contacts and readers criticized us for “exaggerating.”In the text we talked about the disintegration of the opposing parties, about how the division of powers disappeared, and how the strongest entrepreneurs of the country had made themselves at home in familiar Ortega-Murillo surroundings. We talked about the suppression of civil rights, electoral trickery and international indifference, perhaps motivated by the romanticism of the 1979 revolution. We talked about how there was no democracy there.To the disgrace of Nicaragua, a year and a half later only the most daring of observers would say that it’s exaggerated to speak about that country as a dictatorship. More than 300 dead have been counted due to the brutal and cowardly repression directed by the government of Ortega ever since the ticking time bomb exploded in April. Curiously, university leaders and Catholic bishops were the catalysts of a “Revolution 2.0” that, in just a few days, united internal forces and attracted international attention.Venezuela is sunk in its own crisis, now without a revenue stream from China, so the government of Nicaragua has had to face this crisis alone. Inside, entrepreneurs have recognized that the time has come to change sides, and they’re now opponents – without risking a lot, but they’re finally opponents, and that counts.Here in Costa Rica, the administration of Carlos Alvarado has provided a pleasant surprise with its strong position on Nicaragua. It’s true that the president’s firmness is politically advantageous inside Costa Rica, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable, especially when it takes place in international forums where more pressure must be generated on Ortega’s regime.The effect on transportation and increased migration are clearly more direct effects on Costa Rica, but it goes further. Nicaragua is Costa Rica’s fourth commercial partner and its biggest in Central America, and it has been a primary destination for Costa Rican investments. It has been the wall that for various years has stopped the advance of the “maras” [gangs] toward the south. It’s also home to a brother population whose well-being is closely tied to our own.The problem is that for many years we fell into the trap of believing that Nicaragua was doing well, that its economy worked over a solid base, but the only thing that’s true is that underneath that apparent stability there was a void. We now understand this, since seemingly buoyant businesses and opportunities have collapsed.Costa Rica can receive some of the investment that, naturally, will look to get out of Nicaragua as soon as it can, but this will not settle the score. The crisis of our northern neighboring country is also a crisis for the entire region, which, until very recently, boasted of complying with stability of 30 years of the Esquipulas Agreements. We now know that we can’t turn back town, but that dictatorships do repeat themselves as far as they are allowed.Just as Somoza succumbed before a revolutionary force and the decided support from Costa Rica, Ortega and Murillo will fall; we hope, however, that that curtain falls on them as soon as possible. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s elections 2018: a primer Hurricane Otto: Two myths swept aside in a single night How Juan Diego Castro is turning Costa Rica upside down Nicaragua’s primal screamlast_img read more

President Alvardo expected to attend Popes mass in Panama

first_imgRelated posts:Victims speak on allegations of abuse within Catholic Church in Costa Rica Pope Francis invited to address US Congress El Salvador’s beatified Romero symbol of new Catholic Church Pope and Russian Orthodox leader to hold historic encounter in Cuba At least seven nations’ leaders are scheduled to attend the last mass that Pope Francis will give at the World Youth Day, to be held this month in Panama, said Panamanian deputy foreign minister, Luis Miguel Hincapié.He indicated that Presidents Jimmy Morales (Guatemala), Juan Orlando Hernandez (Honduras), Salvador Sanchez Ceren (El Salvador), Carlos Alvarado (Costa Rica), Iván Duque (Colombia) and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (Portugal), as well as the host, Juan Carlos Varela, will attend the final mass on Jan. 27.“We wanted to invite the presidents of Central America because the World Youth Day (WYD) is a day for all Central America that is taking place in Panama,” Hincapié told reporters.Pope Francis will visit Panama from Jan. 23-27 to participate in WYD, a massive Catholic event that gathers tens of thousands of pilgrims from around the world.The final mass will be held outside the Panamanian capital, where a gigantic platform is erected so that, along almost three kilometers, attendees can follow the Pope’s procession.“We do not see that there will be bilateral meetings because the presidents are invited to the final mass,” said Hincapié.“We think that they will arrive on Saturday night or Sunday and leave on Sunday,” he added.Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Gold Cup 2019 Preview Will Costa Rica claim the crown

first_imgCosta Rica’s men’s national soccer team will seek to end nearly three decades of North American Gold Cup dominance as the 2019 tournament kicks off Saturday.La Sele will host Nicaragua on Sunday, June 16 as part of Group B action. The top-two finishers from Costa Rica’s group — which also contains Bermuda and Haiti — will advance into the single-elimination quarterfinals. No team outside North America has won a Gold Cup, with Mexico and the United States sharing all but one of the titles. The United States are reigning champions, though El Tri are the unquestionable favorites this year. With the regional tournament fast-approaching, The Tico Times previews the 2019 Gold Cup. Costa Rica in search of a goal-scorer Gustavo Matosas has had a rocky start to his managerial tenure with La Sele. Since taking charge earlier this year, Costa Rica has gone 1-3 in four friendlies and has only scored once. The lone victory was a 1-0 decision over Jamaica at the National Stadium in La Sabana, while the three losses all came on the road. While there’s no shame in away defeats to the United States or Peru, the lack of offensive creativity has become a concern. Striker Mayron George has seen increasing playing time with La Sele following the 2018 World Cup, and that will likely continue at the Gold Cup. Costa Rica also has a dangerous option in Joel Campbell, and Álvaro Saborío was a surprise inclusion on the 23-player roster.While the once-retired San Carleño won’t win many footraces, the veteran can be a reliable option for Costa Rica’s experienced midfield and provide a different attacking style than the speedy George and Campbell. Saborío earned the roster spot thanks to his club form; he led all players with 28 goals in the 2019 Clausura. While focus will be on Costa Rica’s attack, La Sele will be without goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who asked not participate while his status at Real Madrid remains uncertain. That’s an unfortunate development for Costa Rica and also for a Gold Cup tournament that could use the star’s drawing power. The favorites: Mexico eyes an eighth title Mexico will also be without several stars at the Gold Cup, but that hasn’t stopped them from being labeled the tournament favorites. And for good reason, as El Tri’s recent matches include wins over Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay and Chile. New manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino has a strong roster, though familiar names — including Carlos Vela and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez — asked not to be included. Expect to hear Raul Jimenez’s name called repeatedly throughout the tournament, as the Wolves striker will feature heavily in Mexico’s fast-tempo and dynamic attack. Group A includes Mexico, Cuba, Canada and Martinique. For El Tri, anything other than finishing atop the group would be a surprise, and anything less than a Gold Cup championship would be a disappointment. All eyes on the United StatesThe United States is facing serious questions ahead of the 2019 Gold Cup following home losses to Jamaica and Venezuela. It’s hard not to overreact to the two friendlies, but manager Gregg Berhalter has asked supporters for patients. He’ll have veterans Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley at his disposal in the Gold Cup, and lineups should feature Christian Pulisic, the new Chelsea signing who can provide optimism for a soccer federation that desperately needs it. The United States’ opening match against Guyana on Tuesday, June 18 presents an opportunity for an easy victory. But the competition will become significantly more difficult in fixtures against Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama, to close out Group D. Tico Times prediction With the benefit of hosting a Gold Cup match for the first time, Costa Rica should have little trouble finishing atop Group B. Assuming La Sele does just that, they will face a tough quarterfinal — likely against Canada, Cuba or Martinique — and the possibility of a massive semifinal against Mexico on July 2 in Glendale, Ariz. Pencil that date into your calendar, but expect Mexico to continue its Gold Cup dominance and lift the trophy at the end of the 2019 tournament.  Facebook Comments Related posts:Faster path to 2022 World Cup for Costa Rica, United States 2017 Gold Cup: Costa Rica’s La Sele draws Canada 1-1 Costa Rica falls to Peru, 1-0, in Gold Cup warmup Costa Rica to face Mexico in Gold Cup quarterfinallast_img read more

Costa Rica becoming a more accessible and inclusive tourist destination

first_imgSemanario Universidad LogoThis story was originally published by Semanario Universidad on June 18, 2019. It was translated with permission by The Tico Times. Read the original report here. Facebook Comments Last weekend, Costa Rica presented its new model of inclusive and accessible social tourism, with activities aimed at older adults, youth, children, adolescents and people with disabilities.The Tourism Board’s first Social Integrity Program was carried out in La Fortuna, San Carlos, where about 120 tourists were the first to participate in the experience. Among them were Yurusti High School students, guides and scouts, seniors, and a group of guests with disabilities, who all enjoyed a series of adventure activities.All were transported by a chapulín (tractor) — which had a special cart with seats — to a village near the indigenous Maleku community.Most of the participants enjoyed this type of recreation for the first time, said Alberto López, general manager of the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT).Ricardo Ureña, coordinator of the ICT Social Tourism program, said Costa Rica is the first Central American country to implement more inclusive tourism.“There are other countries like Honduras that intend to implement this type of tourism but still do not do it solidly,” he said. “That is why one of the most important elements is to attract them to the agreement of the International Social Tourism Organization (ILOS) and the Secretariat of Central American Tourism Integration (SITCA).” The objective of the program is to urge that Costa Rican companies and organizations, whether tourist-focused or not, manage spaces within their operations that facilitate recreational activities aimed at these populations.Ureña highlighted that the country was for the first time the headquarters of the Meeting of the Americas of Social Tourism — held from June 12 to 15 — which brought together more than 14 countries of the American continents focused on publicizing good practices of solidarity and sustainable tourism. During this activity, 23 Costa Rican companies obtained their “seal of social tourism.” Tourism for all peopleThe activities carried out in La Fortuna were managed by the Arenal Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Anywhere Costa Rica and Arenal Mundo Aventura, companies that are part of the accreditation process carried out by the Social Tourism Program through the ICT.Tadeo Morales, vice president of the Arenal Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, expressed his satisfaction that the destination has been selected to start the social tourism plan.“We are a tourist center visited by more than one million tourists per year and endowed with excellent connectivity,” he said. “We have more than 60 parks and attractions, as well as 21 natural attractions, and we represent 10 communities that live directly from tourism. For these reasons, we have to include social tourism in our ecosystem of experiences in order to reach all populations.” The Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo, said that the Social Tourism Program is possible thanks to private initiatives that seek to improve the quality of life of the Costa Rican population.Both the minister and the Second Vice President of Costa Rica, Marvin Rodríguez Cordero, stressed that promoting this model of tourism management makes it possible to fulfill the objectives of sustainable development and to “leave no one behind,” according to the vice president.A more human Costa RicaSeveral representatives of other countries that already implement social tourism, such as Chile, Brazil and Mexico, applauded Costa Rica’s commitment.Francisca Retamal, from the National Tourism Service of Chile, said Costa Rica has enormous potential. “The work they are doing, for example in Arenal Mundo Aventura, shows that they have made an integration with the people who live in the area, who have built their own hotels, their lodgings, and this is an opportunity for Costa Rica and for those of us who come here from abroad,” she said.María Paz Lagos, adviser of Sernatur, projected successes for Costa Rica in this model for “the will of the entrepreneurs, the citizens and the public policy sector.” “What I liked the most about the country are the people,” Lagos said. “I think Costa Ricans are good people, generous, kind, with a quality customer service system, concerned about tourists.“The landscapes are wonderful, but the important thing is the human warmth that Costa Rica has.” Related posts:Health Ministry orders improvements at Manuel Antonio National Park Construction of Discovery Costa Rica set to begin in 2018 Manuel Antonio National Park administration moving to comply with Health Ministry orders Tourism entrepreneurs oppose license, royalty payments to canopy patent holderlast_img read more

After 12year hiatus Chambers returns to Olympics

first_img“It worked out. I just have to keep my mind on the present occasion and just go out there and perform well.”Chambers’ time was a season best, not a huge surprise given the speed of the Olympic track surface. But he knows he will have to be even faster in the semifinals.“I know I’ve got the potential to run fast,” he said. “I’ve just put it together at the right time. I wasn’t even expecting to run that fast. I don’t want to run sub-10 (seconds) now and not doing it in the final. I’ll be kicking myself.”He’d be even more aggravated with himself if he didn’t cherish every moment of his first Olympics in a dozen years. The 34-year-old sprinter is much different now than he was in Athens.“More than anything, I’ve learned now in my age not to take things for granted,” Chambers said. “I’ve got kids. I just want to make sure I take the right steps and do the right things to set the right example.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) AP Sports WriterLONDON (AP) – Britain’s Dwain Chambers waited 12 years to get back to the Olympics. It could end up being a triumphant return.Chambers, whose lifetime ban as a doping offender was overturned in May, won his 100-meter heat in 10.02 seconds Saturday. He advanced to Sunday’s semifinals, along with favorites Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin.“More than anything, it’s just a great feeling to know that when you’ve had upsets in your life, if you still remain focused and believe in yourself anything can happen,” Chambers said. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Comments   Share   The London-born Chambers finished fourth in the 100 at the 2000 Sydney Games. But he was banned from competing for two years after testing positive for designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone in 2003. The British Olympic Association banned him for life.The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the BOA’s lifetime ban was not in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency code, declaring Chambers had served his ban and clearing the way for his return.He was named to the British team last month.He had been counting the days until his first race, a wait that gave him time to reflect on what it truly meant to be back.“It was difficult because my last Olympic experience was 12 years ago,” he said. “I still remember it clearly to this day. The main point that I have become eligible to compete, and I just want to make sure I’ve done my team, my friends, my family, the supporters proud. Being here, being eligible to get here is one thing, but performing is what’s important.”Chambers received a warm welcome from the home crowd, which has packed into the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium for two days of track and field.“The welcome was, ‘Wow, what was that?’” Chambers said. “The welcome is what gave it an extra bit more than anything else. The fear of getting through the heats comfortably was nerve-racking for everybody, mostly for myself. … I was just more worried about my performance, just coming this far and not doing it. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

Vietnam donates rice to floodstricken North Korea

first_img Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The vital role family plays in societycenter_img HANOI, Vietnam (AP) – Vietnam’s president said his country would donate 5,000 tons of rice to flood-stricken North Korea, Vietnamese state media reported Tuesday.The pledge was made by President Truong Tan Sang in a meeting with North Korea’s visiting nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam in Hanoi on Monday, the Communist Party newspaper Nhan Dan reported.Flooding in North Korea has killed 169 people since late June, while leaving 400 missing and around 212,000 homeless. The paper quoted Sang as expressing his “deep sympathy” for the deaths and loss of property caused by the flooding. Kim said the rice donation would help his people overcome their difficulties.The two leaders also vowed to constantly develop the “traditional friendship” and further promote economic cooperation, particularly in agriculture, between the two countries, the report said.Vietnam in the mid-1980s opened up its economy to foreign investment and trade. It has since moved from being a rice importer to become the world’s second-biggest rice exporter.Kim, who arrived on Sunday, also met with Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong on Monday.He was expected to meet with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Tuesday before going to Laos. Kim’s last visit to Vietnam was in 2001.North Korea and Vietnam were close allies until ties began cooling with Hanoi’s establishment of relations with South Korea in 1992.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Parents, stop beating yourself up Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories last_img read more

Aquino names Philippines 1st female chief justice

first_imgLeft-wing Rep. Rafael Mariano questioned her independence, saying she will be “politically indebted” to Aquino for her appointment. He challenged her to uphold a Supreme Court decision to break up the Aquino family’s sugar estate and distribute the land to farmers.Farmers’ groups worry that her opinion of compensating the estate owners according to the 2006 fair-market value of the property rather than an earlier year would jack up the amortization payments of farmers who will get the land.Roan Libarios, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, said they welcomed her appointment and he believes she will be independent.“She is good for the call of the times for transparency and reforms in the judiciary,” he said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   Associated PressMANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippine president appointed the country’s first female Supreme Court chief justice Friday and praised her ability to lead the court after her predecessor was removed for constitutional violations.President Benigno Aquino III was confident Maria Lourdes Sereno will lead “in undertaking much-needed reforms” in the judiciary and “restore our people’s confidence in the judicial system,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Sereno has been an associate justice on the 15-member tribunal since August 2010 and was formerly a law professor. Now 52, she will serve on the court until retirement at 70.Former chief justice Renato Corona was impeached and convicted in May for not disclosing his $2.4 million bank accounts. Aquino had called Corona an obstacle in his anti-corruption campaign.Sereno was one of the minority members of the court who voted in favor of the Aquino government’s order to stop former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from leaving the country allegedly to evade corruption charges.Sereno was one of the eight nominees for chief justice submitted to Aquino by the Judicial and Bar Council. In an unprecedented move to show transparency in choosing the chief justice, the council conducted a televised interview of all 20 aspirants to the post and took questions from the public via Twitter and Facebook.In a brief statement, Sereno assured her countrymen she would stand by her oath “faithfully to the end of my term.”“This is a serious job that calls for the support of the entire country for it to be successful and I understand the implications of this job,” she said, adding she will announce her proposed judicial reforms soon. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

Bolivia Coca fields destroyed in national park

first_imgLA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) – Authorities in Bolivia say they have eradicated about 545 hectares (1,350 acres) of coca plants found in the South American country’s biggest national park.Government official Felipe Caceres says an anti-drug team destroyed the illegal plants in the Carrasco National Park in central Bolivia. He said Monday that growers protested the operation but eradication workers finished the mission. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Coca leaves are the basis for cocaine, but they also are a sacred plant among Andes natives. They have been used as a mild stimulant for centuries, and Bolivia allows limited growing of coca for traditional uses.The United Nations lists the country as the world’s No. 3 coca producer behind Colombia and neighboring Peru with 120 square miles (31,000 hectares) under cultivation.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Sponsored Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Experts puzzled by lone dolphin in Cayman Islands

first_img“People just don’t get the message,” he said. “Leave those dolphins alone.”The Cayman Islands’ Department of Environment has said it will launch an education campaign to highlight that message.The NOAA biologists urged people to get out of the water if they spot Stinky because they could get injured. The dolphin has demonstrated aggressive behavior such as opening his mouth wide, which some people misinterpret as a welcoming smile that is quite the contrary, Spradlin said.“He has done jaw pops, tail slapping, chuffing, pushing, charging,” he said. “People need to understand these warning signs.”Spradlin said that integrating Stinky into a pod of dolphins elsewhere in the region is not realistic because scientists do not know enough about him. There are two types of bottlenose dolphins: those who live near coastal areas and those who live in deep water. It is unclear to which group Stinky once belonged.“He’s left by himself,” Spradlin said. “He’s been socializing obviously with people and with vessels.”Local government officials also considered placing Stinky in captivity, especially since the island already has two dolphinariums. Cayman Islands videographer Michael Maes can attest to that.He was scuba diving with his wife and a friend near Grand Cayman when he spotted Stinky. He tried to catch his wife’s attention to no avail.“I turned my head away from her and Stinky was there, maybe 15 inches (38 centimeters) away from me,” Maes said. “His eyes (went) straight into my eyes, so I went crazy, like, `Hello! There’s a dolphin.’”He began to film until his wife urged him to surface and leave Stinky alone.“My wife, he tried to eliminate her,” Maes said. “He charged her like five times, but forcefully.”The dolphin then tried to mate with Maes, who at one point put his back against a coral wall as he does when sharks approach.“But a dolphin, he just joins you,” Maes recalled with a laugh.The incident was caught on a sometimes frightening video that has been viewed nearly half a million times on YouTube.Maes said he posted the video to warn people to leave Stinky alone. This is not a “swim with the dolphins” sort of animal. He said a few days after his encounter, a woman tried to ride Stinky’s dorsal fin, only to get bitten. How men can have a healthy 2019 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Comments   Share   But Engleby rejected that idea, saying it’s best to keep the dolphin in its natural environment.“A public display would be an option of absolute last resort,” she said. “This situation can be managed as long as people manage their behavior.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Associated PressSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Stinky the dolphin is lonely, and he’s getting way too frisky with humans.The lone male bottlenose dolphin has been cavorting for months in waters off the Cayman Islands, a rare case of a solo dolphin far from a pod of his fellows.The sight of the dolphin has delighted many boaters, swimmers and divers, but his antics dismay scientists who traveled to the archipelago to study him. They say Stinky is a danger to humans, and they also worry the dolphin could hurt himself. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix “He spent a fair amount of time engaging in very high-risk behavior,” said Laura Engleby, a marine mammal branch chief with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “There is concern for his safety.”She noted the dolphin has a fondness for boat propellers in motion, and that he also likes to rub against anchors, channel markers and mooring buoys, cutting himself in the process.Scientists estimate he is roughly 20 years old given his worn-down teeth and aging scars.“He’s certainly been around the block,” said Trevor Spradlin, a marine mammal biologist with NOAA who also traveled to the Cayman Islands.It is unusual for bottlenose dolphins to separate from their pods, with only about 30 such cases reported worldwide, scientists said. Also puzzling is how Stinky arrived in the Cayman Islands, given that the nearest pods of bottlenose dolphins are in Cuba and the Bahamas, said Dr. Chris Dold, vice president of veterinary services for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, who also studied the dolphin.Dold said the absence of female dolphins might help explain Stinky’s behavior.“What’s unusual about this, of course, is not necessarily the behavior that this male dolphin is demonstrating, but that those behaviors appear to be directed toward people,” he said. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img

APNewsBreak AQ militant killed in raid

first_imgNews of his death was originally reported by the U.S.-based SITE Intel Group, which tracks militant websites.Garsalloui was suspected in the kidnappings of a Swiss couple who were held captive for eight months in North Waziristan, an al-Qaida and Taliban stronghold, according to the intelligence officials who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.Although he was known as an experienced militant with explosives skills, Garsalloui wasn’t considered a top al-Qaida leader or strategist. Still, dozens of al-Qaida leaders and militants have been killed in recent years, crippling advances made by the group and its affiliates.Garsalloui came onto European intelligence officials’ radar nearly a decade ago with his Belgian wife, Malika El Aroud, who was recently sentenced to eight years in prison in Belgium for heading a terrorist group linked to al-Qaida and running a Web site that glorified suicide bombings.Intelligence officials say through her French-language blog, El Aroud lured dozens of women into extremism across Europe.She was convicted in Switzerland in June 2007 for running a Web site propagating hardline Islamic ideals. She received a six-month suspended sentence and returned to Belgium, where she continued her Web site. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top Stories Associated PressLONDON (AP) – Intelligence officials say an al-Qaida militant with links to European recruiting and training cells has been killed in Pakistan.Moez Garsalloui, a 43-year-old Tunisian, fled Europe years ago for the remote tribal region of Waziristan.Two intelligence officials confirmed Thursday that Garsalloui _ also known as Moezuddin al-Qayrawani _ died in a raid this month, though neither the circumstances nor the precise date could be immediately confirmed. Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Brussels police raided houses across the city in 2008, detaining 14 people on suspicion they had associated with Garsalloui. Al Aroud and others were sentenced in 2010, and Garsalloui, who had fled at that point, was tried in absentia.Though most of the women who made contact with El Aroud through her blog were French speaking Muslims, her posts have resonated with English speaking women in countries such as Britain, according to the two intelligence officials who said they are actively tracking dozens of women suspected of extremist links.El Aroud’s first husband died in a suicide attack on a top anti-Taliban leader in Afghanistan just two days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Govt raids opposition print plant in Venezuela

first_img Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The intelligence agency’s regional chief Carlos Calderon tells the Panorama newspaper that agents on Friday found pamphlets that aimed to “sabotage the candidacy” of Francisco Arias Cardenas, a Chavez ally running against Perez in the Dec. 16 elections.Calderon didn’t give details but said officials reported the propaganda to electoral authorities.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Government intelligence agents have raided a business printing opposition political pamphlets ahead of next month’s state elections in Venezuela.Zulia state Gov. Pablo Perez says the raid by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service in the western city of Maracaibo is an attempt to intimidate opponents of President Hugo Chavez’s government. He told reporters on Saturday that such actions are “abuses of power.” Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more