Day: August 19, 2019

Air Canada adds 6 new routes to Australia South America Caribbean US

first_img MONTREAL — Air Canada is boosting its 2017-18 schedule with six new seasonal routes, including five on Air Canada Rouge – Vancouver-Orlando, Toronto-Belize, Toronto-St. Vincent, Montreal-Lima and Montreal-Phoenix – and one on Air Canada (Vancouver-Melbourne). All flights are now open for bookings and all are part of the airline’s strategic expansion of its international network.So far in 2017 Air Canada has launched new international services between Montreal-Shanghai, with Vancouver-Taipei, Vancouver-Nagoya, Vancouver-Frankfurt, Vancouver-London Gatwick, Toronto-Mumbai, Toronto-Berlin, Toronto-Reykjavik, Montreal-Reykjavik, Montreal-Tel Aviv, Montreal-Algiers and Montreal-Marseille inaugural services to begin in the weeks to come.“Air Canada is continuing its strategic, global expansion with a diverse range of exciting new non-stop routes this winter to Australia, South America, the Caribbean and the United States,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. “Vancouver-Melbourne is our third route to Australia, in addition to year-round service to Sydney and Brisbane. Our seasonal Melbourne service will provide additional options for business travellers between North America and Australia as well as Australians seeking a Canadian winter vacation experience.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upMontreal-Lima is Air Canada’s first South American route from its Montreal hub, and will offer travellers from Quebec and Atlantic Canada convenient access to Peru, complementing existing year-round flights from Toronto, says Smith.The addition of the first long-haul, international scheduled service to St. Vincent in the Caribbean, along with the addition of Toronto-Belize, Montreal-Phoenix, Vancouver-Orlando “offers new choices for travellers looking to escape Canadian winters,” he adds.All new routes are timed to optimize connectivity at Air Canada’s Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver hubs to and from the airline’s network across North America and globally.The Vancouver-Melbourne service is four times weekly and runs Dec. 1, 2017 – Feb. 4, 2018. The Vancouver-Orlando flights run Dec. 20 – April 8, twice weekly. Toronto-Belize City starts Dec. 15 and goes through April 13, with weekly flights. Toronto-St. Vincent is also weekly, from Dec. 14 – April 12. Montreal-Lima starts Dec. 16 and goes until May 27, twice weekly. Montreal-Phoenix will operate Feb. 22 – May 28, three times weekly. Travelweek Group Tags: Air Canada, Air Canada rouge, America, Arizona, Australia & New Zealand, Belize, New Routes, Orlando, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Wednesday, May 3, 2017 Air Canada adds 6 new routes to Australia, South America, Caribbean, U.S.center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted bylast_img read more

New bridge opens on Califfornias Big Sur coast to replace damaged span

first_img BIG SUR, Calif. — California transportation officials have opened a $24 million bridge on State Route 1 that replaces one damaged when winter storms pounded the Big Sur coast and cut the scenic coastal highway in several places.The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge opened Friday afternoon following a celebration of the project’s completion just eight months after the old concrete bridge was hit by a landslide.Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty says such projects normally take several years to complete.The new structure has 15 steel girders, each weighing 62 tons, that span the 310-foot canyon. It has no support columns, eliminating vulnerability from future slides.Caltrans says another slide 24 miles south of Pfeiffer Canyon remains active and construction of a new roadway is underway at a slide near the San Luis Obispo-Monterey county line. Share Source: The Associated Press << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: California Monday, October 16, 2017 New bridge opens on Califfornia’s Big Sur coast to replace damaged spanlast_img read more

TravelBrands adds two adultsonly Bahia Principe resorts to product lineup

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> MISSISSAUGA — Agents can now book two additional Bahia Principe properties with TravelBrands: Luxury Bahia Principe Samana and Grand Bahia Principe Aquamarine.Available to book for travel from Nov. 1, 2018 onwards, the two properties add to TravelBrands’ already existing vacation packages to multiple Bahia Principe hotels and resorts in the Caribbean.“We are always looking to expand our product lines and these Bahia Principe properties were a natural fit for TravelBrands,” said Frank DeMarinis, President & CEO, TravelBrands. “Bahia Principe is a trusted name for travellers and their hotels offer a relaxing and beautiful escape from everyday life.”The Luxury Bahia Principe Samana is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort in Samana, Dominican Republic featuring a spa, pool, five restaurants and much more. The Grand Bahia Principe Aquamarine in Punta Cana, also adults only and all-inclusive, boasts an on-site casino, spa, evening entertainment and other amenities.Grand Bahia Principe AquamarineAgents can book of these new offerings by visiting travelbrandsaccess.com. Travelweek Group Posted by Tags: Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, TravelBrandscenter_img TravelBrands adds two adults-only Bahia Principe resorts to product lineup Tuesday, July 3, 2018 Sharelast_img read more

259 people have died from doing this one thing we all do

first_img Share Tags: Other, Selfies 259 people have died from doing this one thing we all do while on vacation Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by TORONTO — People will do anything to capture the perfect shot while on vacation, but at what cost?According to a new global study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, ‘selfie’ deaths are on the rise, with 259 deaths reported in 137 incidents from October 2011 to November 2017. There were only three selfie-related deaths in 2011, but that number spiked to 98 in 2016 and 93 in 2017.Drowning, transport and falling were the top reasons for deaths caused by selfies, which is defined as any accidental death that occurs while doing self-photography or clicking selfies.“Selfie deaths have become an emerging problem and we performed this study to assess the epidemiology of self-related deaths across the globe,” said the report.The organization inputted keywords such as ‘selfie deaths’, ‘selfie accidents’ and ‘‘mobile death/accidents’ when gathering data. It found that the mean age of people who’ve died was 22.94 years, with 72.5% of total deaths occurring in males and 27.5% in females.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Where are selfies most dangerous? Russia, United States and Pakistan.The report also stated that “this is just the tip of the iceberg”, with many cases not being reported. For example, certain deaths due to selfies may be reported as road traffic accidents or others, which leads to underreporting of a large number of cases.In September 2018, a California woman fell to her death while taking selfies on the edge of a 200-foot cliff at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. In that same month, an Israeli teen also fell to his death while trying to take a selfie at Yosemite National Park.In June, an Australian couple fell to their deaths while taking a selfie on a 30-metre high wall in Portugal. And in May of this year, a man in Odisha, India tried to take a selfie with a wounded bear and was mauled to death.To keep click-happy tourists safe, researchers suggest the creation of ‘No selfie zones’ areas in places such as water bodies, mountain peaks and tall buildings.last_img read more

US under pressure to let Cuba join Americas summit

first_imgNo related posts. CARTAGENA, Colombia – Leaders from across the Americas launched talks here Saturday on expanding trade as the United States came under strong pressure to let Cuba attend future summits.Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, host of the Summit of the Americas, said Saturday it would be “unacceptable” to keep Cuba out of the next gathering.“The isolation, the indifference has shown its ineffectiveness. In today’s world, there is no justification for this anachronism,” he stressed.Cuba has never taken part in a Summit of the Americas, a regular meeting sponsored by the U.S.-based Organization of American States (OAS).Washington argues that communist-ruled Cuba is ineligible to attend because it lacks democratic credentials and does not “respect the human rights of the Cuban people.”Cuba was expelled from the OAS in 1962 at the height of the Cold War. The expulsion was rescinded in 2009, but Cuba has refused to return to the organization.Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa is boycotting the summit because of the exclusion of Cuba, one of its allies and the Americas’ only one-party Communist state.Saturday, an alliance of left-leaning Latin American countries known as ALBA announced here that its members would not take part in any future summits of the Americas if Cuba was not included.“We express our decision not to take part in future Summits of the Americas without the presence of Cuba,” ALBA, which groups Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, said in a statement.It also demanded an immediate end to Washington’s 50-year-old “inhuman economic, trade and financial embargo against Cuba” and urged regional countries “to continue to maintain its united solidarity in favor of Cuba’s admission to the summit”.The two-day summit formally opened earlier Saturday under tight security in this Colombian Caribbean resort city, attended by U.S. President Barack Obama and 30 other democratically elected leaders of the Western Hemisphere.“It is remarkable to see the changes that have been taking place in a relatively short period of time in Latin, Central America and in the Caribbean,” the U.S. leader said at a business forum ahead of the summit. “We’ve seen enormous progress.But Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, speaking at the same forum, urged Obama to treat Latin America as an equal.“In Latin America, we have a huge space to make our relationship one of partnership, but partnership between equals,” said Rousseff, whose country has gained mounting international clout as the world’s sixth largest economy and Latin America’s dominant power.“This is a very relevant factor between the most developed country of the region and Latin American countries,” she added, in veiled criticism of Washington’s past dealings with an area it used to view as its own back yard.Acknowledging the region’s growing assertiveness and independence, Obama said in response: “I think often times in the press the focus is on controversies. Sometime those controversies date back to before I was born … to the 1950’s … Yankees and the Cold War, and this and that.“That is not the world in which we are living today,” the U.S. leader said. “My hope is that we all recognize this enormous opportunity that we have.”In addition to Cuba, many Latin American leaders sought to focus on the pros and cons of drug legalization.Several Central American leaders met here on the sidelines of the summit to discuss Guatemala’s proposal to consider legalizing street drug consumption. But they failed to reach consensus.Guatemalan President Otto Perez insisted that his idea remained very much alive and voiced hope it would be taken up at a private meeting of hemispheric leaders.Speaking at the business forum, Obama meanwhile said he favored a debate on the issue. On Friday, he said he opposed decriminalization or legalization of drugs.“I think it is a valuable agenda to have a conversation whether the laws in place are laws that are doing more harm than good in certain places,” the U.S. leader said Saturday.Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is suffering from cancer, did not make the trip to Cartagena on the advice of his doctors. He was to travel to Cuba for further radiation therapy to treat a recurrence of cancer, according to his foreign minister Nicolas Maduro.Also absent was Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said. No reason was immediately given.In the fallout of an embarrassing incident, the U.S. Secret Service said Saturday it had suspended 11 agents assigned to Obama’s trip to Colombia amid reports they had used prostitutes.Five U.S. military personnel are also being investigated for misconduct said to have taken place at the same hotel where the Secret Service staff were staying in Cartagena, and have been confined to barracks. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

ExPresident José María Figueres quits presidential race

first_imgRelated posts:Former Costa Rican President José María Figueres confirms 2014 presidential bid Figueres presents ‘Way Forward’ for Costa Rica Ex-President Figueres coming home ‘soon’ Prosecutors Request Figueres Corruption Case Dismissed Former Costa Rican President José María Figueres Olsen (1994-1998) withdrew his bid for the presidency in the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) primaries for the upcoming 2014 elections.“I will devote all my energy and experience to work in a multifaceted project to build the country’s future, a project called Vía Costarricense [the Costa Rican Way],” Figueres said in a statement Wednesday evening. He confirmed Thursday morning at a press conference that he was dropping out of the race and planned on moving back to Costa Rica permanently.“I think I can do a lot for Costa Rica without having to head the government,” he added.Since his return to the country for the first time in 11 years on Dec. 22, after living in Europe, Figueres appeared as one of the strongest contenders for the PLN nomination.He said at the time he was working on the Costa Rican Way project, gathering suggestions from citizens on how to build a better country. The project also involves a number of experts from political, social and economic fields.The daily La Nación published on Thursday a poll showing that San José Mayor Johnny Araya leads among probable candidates in the PLN, with 16 percent voters, followed by Figueres and Rodrigo Arias, both with 6 percent.Figueres said he would not officially back any candidates in the race. Liberation primaries are scheduled for April 2013. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Seven new hotels to open in the next two years

first_imgNo related posts. New hotel projects soon will help expand Costa Rica’s hotel capacity by 1,309 rooms, with openings scheduled from December 2013 to November 2014, the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) announced.At the end of 2010, Costa Rica had 43,715 hotel rooms. The figure rose to 44,307 in 2011 and reached 45,531 in 2012, an increase of 1,816 rooms during that period, according to the ICT.Hermes Navarro, head of tourism management at ICT, said the outlook is very good, and tourism officials are pleased to see a positive performance by a group of boutique hotels.However, the president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels, Ruben Pacheco, said the news isn’t all positive. “Despite the growth in large hotels, some 20 small hotels closed in the past two years in the country,” he said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Guatemalas expresident Portillo home from US prison

first_imgFormer Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo returned home Wednesday evening after spending nine months in U.S. prison for laundering bribe money from Taiwan.“I am so happy to be home in Guatemala with my daughter Gabriela, with [his ex-wife] Evelyn and my family,” said Portillo, 63, who earned the dubious distinction of having been the first former Latin American president handed over by his country to a U.S. court.As Portillo spoke with reporters at Guatemala’s La Aurora International Airport, a large crowd of followers waited outside, cheering the former leader.Portillo left no doubt that he plans to jump into the country’s election-year political scene, though not as a candidate. He said he wanted to seek a national agreement aimed at reforming the Guatemalan government.“The country can’t continue with the same political system we have, … with the same justice system we have,” Portillo said, adding that the country’s constitution and government “don’t work.”“If we all agree, in Guatemala, if we all accept, humbly, responsibly, bravely … that we’ve made mistakes, that we’re not perfect, the country could move forward,” he said.Portillo assured he would not be a candidate for any elected position, and that if his proposed national agreement wasn’t possible, he would not take part in active politics and would go back to being a university professor.Portillo had been extradited to the U.S. in May 2013 and a year later was convicted of laundering $2.5 million in bribes from Taiwan so that Guatemala would keep recognizing Taiwan and not Beijing.Central America is home to six of the 22 countries that recognize Taiwan’s independence from China.Costa Rica also recognized Taiwan until 2007. Since then, it has signed a free trade agreement with China, in 2011, and cooperation deals worth $2 billion in 2013, equivalent to four percent of its economy.Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Portillo had served six months in U.S. prison.  Related posts:Guatemala’s Alfonso Portillo gets six years in prison in US Guatemala’s Pérez Molina clings to power despite unprecedented pressure to resign Guatemala’s former vice president charged in customs fraud ring, ordered held in prison Guatemalan legislative commission recommends lifting President Pérez Molina’s immunity Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica now will accept Syrian refugees after president reverses course

first_imgIn a presidential flip-flop, Casa Presidencial announced Tuesday that Costa Rica will begin accepting refugee applications from Syrians fleeing a brutal and horrific war back home.The statement, which followed a meeting with protesters advocating on behalf of refugees, was a reversal from President Luis Guillermo Solís’ earlier remarks that Syrian refugees would not find acceptance in Costa Rica.Vice Minister of the Interior Carmen Muñoz met with members of Costa Rica’s Muslim community, including Syrians, after a small demonstration took place outside Casa Presidencial on Tuesday urging the government to accept Syrians fleeing the civil war.Demonstrators held signs reading, “We have family in Syria, what would you do for your family?” and the now iconic image of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian boy photographed facedown on a Turkish beach after drowning in an attempt to reach Europe with his family. According to figures from the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, the war has turned more than 3.8 million Syrians into refugees, and an additional 7.6 million people are internally displaced as a result of the four-year conflict. #EnDesarrollo Afueras de Casa Presidencial: Reducido grupo pide a @luisguillermosr apoyo a refugiados sirios. pic.twitter.com/jJJIfoU96C— ameliarueda (@ameliarueda) September 22, 2015 Related posts:As tragedies shock Europe, a bigger crisis looms in the Middle East Costa Rica’s Solís joins UN secretary-general in call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza conflict Germany reinstates border controls over refugee surge Costa Rican knitters provide comfort to Syrian refugeescenter_img “Costa Rica is recognized internationally for its democratic tradition and respect for human rights. It has been a destination country for people who seek protection from conflict areas in their place of birth. In this spirt, and amid the situation in Syria, we will process the applications these citizens present,” Solís said, according to a statement from Casa Presidencial.The president’s words are a reversal on comments he made on Sept. 11, when he told reporters that Costa Ricans and Syrians do not share a common culture or religion, and he doubted the refugees would successfully integrate into Costa Rican society.“I don’t want a humanitarian gesture to end up with us building ghettos in Costa Rica,” Solís said, according to the news website AmeliaRueda.com.According to immigration figures, 38 people of Syrian origin currently have legal resident status in Costa Rica because of connection with Costa Ricans. Four refugee applications are pending, and six visas are being processed based on family reunification. The number of Muslims in Costa Rica may be small, but San José does have a mosque and Islamic culture center.Costa Rica has a strong history of accepting conflict refugees, mostly from Latin America. In addition to Ecuador, Costa Rica is the largest receiver of refugees in Latin America. The vast majority of the refugees in Costa Rica – 76 percent – are from Colombia. After Colombians are Cubans (8 percent) and Venezuelans (3 percent).Costa Rica has seen a spike in refugee applications during the last year, especially from people fleeing violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle. So far in 2015 the government has approved 115 refugee requests. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

New details in shipwreck off Nicaragua as Costa Rica mourns dead

first_imgRelated posts:13 Costa Ricans dead in shipwreck off Nicaragua Nicaraguan man found guilty of raping, killing US missionary Nicaragua’s only billionaire says luxury resort can lift economy UPDATE: US tourist drowns in Costa Rica rafting trip The tricolor flew at half-staff Monday as Costa Rica observed a national day of mourning for the nine Costa Rican tourists who drowned Saturday in a boating accident off Nicaragua’s Corn Islands, in the Caribbean. Four Costa Ricans are still missing.President Luis Guillermo Solís with first lady Mercedes Peñas and Foreign Minister Manuel González received survivors of the shipwreck and the bodies of the deceased Sunday evening at Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela. Costa Rica’s Air Surveillance Service served as an honor guard, escorting caskets off the plane. Survivors tearfully embraced family and friends on the tarmac and President Solís gave his condolences.U.S. Southern Command is reportedly set to provide Nicaragua with aerial assistance to help search for the four missing Costa Ricans. The Nicaraguan military dispatched six helicopters and several navy vessels to the area on Sunday.The boat “Reina del Caribe” sank Saturday 7.5 km (4.6 miles) off Little Corn Island with 37 people on board. The bodies of nine Costa Ricans were recovered; four are still missing. The rescued included two U.S. citizens, two Britons, one Brazilian and one Nicaraguan, as well as the captain and his crewmate.Following the accident and rescue, the Nicaraguan police arrested the boat’s captain and first mate under suspicion of reckless homicide and endangerment. The tourism boat was owned by Roger Blandón, a 52-year-old Nicaraguan captain. The captain previously served five years in prison for drug trafficking, according to Nicaraguan police.The police said Blandón ignored high wind warnings from the Nicaraguan Navy and left port despite the danger. One survivor, a Costa Rican man, disputed the Nicaraguan authorities’ claim that the ship’s captain defied a storm alert.“There have been false reports that the weather was bad,” he told AFP, declining to give his name.But other survivors reported huge waves that eventually capsized the boat, trapping some underneath.Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister, Manuel González, told daily La Nación that several survivors reported that not everyone on the boat had life jackets.The Corn Islands, made up of Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island, are located around 70 kilometers (45 miles) off the coast of the southern Nicaraguan town of Bluefields.The tragedy provided a brief respite from the animosity between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega ordered expedited autopsies so the deceased could be returned to Costa Rica Sunday. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega spoke with President Luis Guillermo Solís to express his solidarity and support.The accident comes just a year after a catamaran carrying some 100 tourists off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast capsized, leaving three dead. That accident brought renewed calls for updates to Costa Rica’s maritime law designed to increase safety on the seas. However, no changes have yet been made. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas new international airport expected to open in 2027

first_imgRelated posts:Lufthansa to fly nonstop between Costa Rica and Germany Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría Airport expands capacity with new departure lounges, boarding bridges Administrative Court bans dry law during holidays Tourism entrepreneurs oppose license, royalty payments to canopy patent holder Public Works and Transport (MOPT) Minister Carlos Villalta announced Wednesday that the construction of Costa Rica’s new Metropolitan International Airport will begin next year and that a first stage of the terminal will be fully operational by 2027.The $3.5 billion project will be built in the Alajuela canton of Orotina, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from San José. The project will be financed through a public-private alliance, as the government does not have the required resources to build it, Villalta said.“A first stage of the project will be ready in 2027 with an investment of $1.9 billion. The fourth and final stage should be completed by 2047,” he added.The chosen location has the best characteristics for the airport, according to a report from MOPT’s Technical Council of Civil Aviation. The report comprises 24 technical studies that concluded that building a terminal at sea level represents a series of aeronautical and commercial advantages.Among others, it allows planes to take off carrying more payload and also allows them to reach more distant destinations. The area is free of natural obstacles such mountains or high buildings.President Luis Guillermo Solís signed an executive decree, also on Wednesday, declaring that the acquisition of 370 private properties that the government will buy for building the project is a matter of public interest. Decree 40.431-MOPT seeks to avoid price speculation and ensure a fair price for acquiring those properties.The project’s general coordinator, Carlos Segnini — a former Transport Minister — explained that a technical report performed by British firm Mott MacDonald estimated a budget of $41.3 million for the purchase of all the properties. CapacityThe country’s two international terminals currently handle just over 5.8 million passengers a year, of which 83 percent pass through the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela, according to the Civil Aviation Administration.The consulting firm projects a demand of 7.8 million passengers for the first year of operation. The figure would grow to some 20 million in 2047 and to 50 million by the end of the century.The new airport would have the capacity to operate at least 38 flights per hour: 21 departures and 17 arrivals.The project’s area spans 1,500-hectares, representing almost eight times the area of the SJO Airport.Infrastructure improvementsThe Mott MacDonald study concluded that the expansion of Route 27, which connects San José with the province of Puntarenas, is necessary for the operation of the new terminal.The firm estimated that Route 27 currently allows passage of up to 2,165 people during rush hour, and that this capacity must be increased to at least 3,685 people per hour.The British company recommended building a new highway in Alajuela connecting Pozón de Orotina and San Ramón, and a train connecting Orotina with San José, likely near La Sabana Park. The new airport would have the capacity to operate at least 38 flights per hour: 21 departures and 17 arrivals. (Via Casa Presidencial)SJO: Local terminalThe project states that once the new international terminal enters into operation, Juan Santamaría, or SJO, will only operate local flights and flights from small aircraft and private jets. It will also receive aircraft that require repairs.“It is also clear for us that [the SJO] also would serve as an alternative in case of emergency,” Minister Villalta said.The SJO recently underwent a renovation and expansion and earlier this year the terminal administrator announced a $100 million investment in coming years.That investment includes the expansion of the runway, which began last month with the expropriation of an adjacent property. For decades, that land was home to a restaurant famous for providing its customers with a great viewpoint to watch planes landing or taking off.Today, SJO operates flights from 27 airlines to some 70 international connections.Tourism Minister Mauricio Ventura said that from the almost three million people who entered the country in 2016, 70 percent did it by air.“Air terminals are our the main ports of entry to our country and for that reason we applaud this effort,” he said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more