Sunwing’s Thanksgiving sale allows clients to gobble up 50% savings TORONTO — Sunwing may have turkey on the brain but it still hasn’t lost sight of what matters most to travellers – savings. The tour operator has introduced a special holiday weekend-long promotion that allows for up to 50% off a client’s next vacation.Available from now until midnight on Oct. 11, Sunwing’s 50% offer applies to a wide range of its most popular family-focused resorts, including its SplashWorld Resorts that offer complimentary access to an on-site or nearby waterpark. SMILE Resorts also keep junior travellers entertained with children and teen clubs, dedicated kids pools and beachfront locations.Consistently popular among families is Barceló Hotels and Resorts in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Mexico. Family-friendly amenities include waterparks, bowling alleys, specialty dining and nightly entertainment. Barceló Bavaro Palace Deluxe is particularly popular among sports enthusiasts, while water babies may prefer Barceló Maya Caribe in beautiful Xpu Ha on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Here, kids will love the pirate island-themed waterpark with surf ride zone.More news: War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upAll vacation packages include return flights with Sunwing Airlines. For more details go to sunwing.ca. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, October 7, 2016 Tags: Sunwing Share Posted by
By: David KoenigSource: The Associated Press No one will be fired for dragging incident, says United CEO Share Wednesday, April 19, 2017 ATLANTA — The CEO of United Airlines says no one will be fired over the dragging of a man off a – including himself.CEO Oscar Munoz said Tuesday that he takes full responsibility “for making this right,” and he promised more details later this month after United finishes a review of its policies on overbooked flights.Company executives said it’s too soon to know if the incident is hurting ticket sales.United has been pummeled on social media – #BoycottUnited is a popular hashtag – and late-night television. Through Tuesday afternoon, its shares had fallen 4.3% since Flight 3411, wiping out nearly $1 billion in market value, although several other airline stocks declined in the same period.After the market closed Monday, United reported a $96 million first-quarter profit, down 69% from a year earlier largely because of higher costs for fuel, labour and maintenance. The revenue picture was looking better – evidence was growing that after two years of falling average fares, United will be able to push prices higher this year.On a conference call to discuss those results, Munoz started by apologizing again for the April 9 scene on a United Express plane at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. David Dao, a 69-year-old Kentucky physician, was bloodied and dragged off the plane by Chicago airport officers who had been summoned by United employees when Dao wouldn’t give up his seat. The three officers have all been suspended.More news: Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?Munoz and other executives vowed to treat customers with dignity, and said that what happened to Dao will never happen again.Munoz’s early statements on the incident were widely criticized. He initially supported employees and blamed Dao, calling him “disruptive and belligerent.” On Tuesday, he was asked if the company ever considered firing anyone, including management.“I’m sure there was lots of conjecture about me personally,” said Munoz. He noted that the board of United Continental Holdings Inc. has supported him.“It was a system failure across various areas,” Munoz continued. “There was never a consideration for firing an employee.”Dao’s lawyers have taken steps that foreshadow a lawsuit against the airline and the city of Chicago, which operates O’Hare Airport.United announced two rule changes last week, including saying that it will no longer call police to remove passengers from overbooked planes. It is not clear whether United oversold Flight 3411, but the flight became overbooked when four Republic Airline employees showed up after passengers had boarded and demanded seats so they could commute to their next assignment, a United Express flight the next morning.Some politicians and consumer advocates have called for a ban on overselling flights. Munoz declined to address that or other possible changes until the airline finishes a review by April 30.Even in normal times, airlines closely – even daily – scrutinize numbers such as advance sales and occupancy levels on planes. Yet United officials said they couldn’t measure whether the dragging has affected their business.More news: Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reported“It’s really too early for us to tell anything about bookings and in particular last week because it was the week before Easter, that’s normally a very low booking period,” said United President Scott Kirby. He said that United’s forecast for the April-through-June quarter has not changed.Limited competition at many major airports could blunt any nascent boycott of United. Wall Street analysts have been mostly silent about the Dao incident, perhaps believing that it won’t have a noticeable impact on United profits. They did not ask United management any questions about it on Tuesday’s call.Barclays analyst Brandon Oglenski told Munoz that “accidents happen … hopefully, we can put this behind us.” Back in December, the analyst had called United Continental the “most compelling stock” in the airline sector. The consensus estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by FactSet for United’s full-year earnings has risen by 3 cents a share since the Dao incident.Munoz said he has received “a lot of support” from United’s high-end customers, although “obviously a lot of people have ideas and thoughts about how we can make things better.” Tags: United Airlines << Previous PostNext Post >>
14 injured after car rams into pedestrians in Melbourne, police say no links to terrorism Thursday, December 21, 2017 SYDNEY, Australia — Australian police say the driver of a vehicle that rammed into pedestrians in Melbourne is an Australian citizen of Afghan decent who has a known history of drug use and mental health issues.Police said in news conference late Thursday that there was no evidence or intelligence to indicate that the incident was connected to terrorism, but they believe the act was deliberate. They said counter-terror officials would remain involved in the investigation to be sure there was no connection.Police said the 32-year-old driver was known to state police on “historical assault matters.”Police say a man who deliberately drove a car into a crowded intersection in Melbourne, Australia had a history of mental health issues.19 people were taken to the hospital. pic.twitter.com/Hw0pYTRUHs— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 21, 2017The two men were arrested after the SUV in which they were travelling rammed into pedestrians on a busy central Melbourne street Thursday, leaving 14 people injured in what police believe was a deliberate act.Victoria state police said the driver of the vehicle and a second man were in custody after the incident, which occurred on Flinders Street in the city’s central business district just after 4:45 p.m. when the area was busy with Christmas shoppers.Barrett confirmed 14 people had been injured in the attack. Several were taken to hospitals, and two were in critical condition, including a pre-school aged boy with head injuries. Earlier media reports said up to 19 people had been injured.More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyWitnesses described horrific scenes from the incident, which started when the SUV ran a red light outside the city’s iconic Flinders Street train station and sped up to hit pedestrians crossing the road, striking more than a dozen people before crashing into a traffic barrier near a cable car stop.“I was crossing Flinders Street on the way to the train station. I heard an engine rev behind me and heard a thump,” one man identified only as David said on ABC TV. He said he turned around saw “people literally getting thrown into the air as it hit them.”Witnesses said when the car crashed it was rushed by bystanders who started pulling the two men out before police arrived a few minutes later.Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sent a tweet calling the incident “shocking” and said his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and those treating them.Police said officers have been deployed across the area and the site would be closed-off as a crime scene for some time.“Police will continue to have a strong presence in the Melbourne CBD tonight,” Barrett said.It’s the second time this year that Melbourne, regularly ranked one of the world’s most livable cities, has been traumatized by a car attack.More news: Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsIn January, six people were killed and more than 30 were injured when a car was driven up a footpath in Bourke Street, near Thursday’s incident. Police arrested the driver, who was known to police for a history of illicit drug use, family violence and mental health problems. Police said the case was not terrorism-related.There have been a number of car attacks in other parts of the world in recent years, many of them linked to terrorism.In October a man drove a truck down a New York City bicycle path, killing eight people. The driver is accused of providing material support to the Islamic State group among other charges including murder.In an August attack, 13 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded when a vehicle rammed into pedestrians on a walking street in Barcelona. London has seen three such attacks this year, two linked to Islamic extremists and another seen as a reprisal attack outside a mosque, killing 13 people altogether.A vehicle attack on a shopping street in Stockholm in April killed five people, while an attack on a Christmas market in Berlin last December killed 12.The deadliest such attack in recent years took place in Nice, France, in July 2016 when a man drove a refrigerated truck weighing about 20 tons into a crowd, killing 86 people. Source: The Associated Press Tags: Australia, Travel Alert Share << Previous PostNext Post >>
Share Posted by Rocky Mountaineer Specialists who complete TRACKS get client incentive Wednesday, April 3, 2019 Travelweek Group VANCOUVER — Until May 3 any Rocky Mountaineer Specialists who complete the TRACKS program can receive a one-time offer of $500 in Rocky Mountaineer dollars, which can be applied to one client booking.TRACKS is Rocky Mountaineer’s online training program. The $500 can be applied to any of Rocky Mountaineer’s 2019 packages.As TRACKS training graduates, agents become part of an exclusive group with access to rewards and benefits for themselves and their clients.Says Rocky Mountaineer: “This could be just the incentive one of your clients need to embark on the journey of a lifetime.”To make a booking and apply the credit agents are asked to call 1-877-460-3200 and quote ‘TRACKS Agent offer’. Agents must have a current retail contract with Rocky Mountaineer. Wholesale contracts with Rocky Mountaineer are excluded from this promotion. Agents must have completed TRACKS online training and be a qualified Rocky Mountaineer Specialist to be eligible for the promotional offer. For more details see rockymountaineer.com/tracks-agent-promotion. Tags: Agent Incentives, Rocky Mountaineer, TRACKS << Previous PostNext Post >>
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group TORONTO — Hola Sun Holidays is in the process of migrating from commission payment by cheque to electronic funds transfer (EFT) payment. Hola Sun says it believes this process will expedite the commission payment process to its retail partners. In order for this process to occur, agents need to get in touch with Hola Sun to re-send their bank account details. Hola Sun has a form that agents need to fill out and save with their name as the file name and forward the file to Hola Sun. For the form and more details email firstname.lastname@example.org. Monday, May 13, 2019 Share Say hola to EFT payment with Hola Sun Posted by
No related posts. A criminal court in San José on Monday sentenced former National Liberation Party (PLN) lawmaker Maureen Ballestero to three years in prison, although the sentence was reduced to probation.In a plea agreement, Ballestero pleaded guilty to two counts of embezzlement for using Public Security Ministry aircraft to attend personal activities in 2009.The former lawmaker, who served from 2006-2010, was banned from serving in public office for three years, and must serve the prison sentence if convicted of another crime in the future.The court ordered her to pay the government $3,190 in damages, plus trial costs.In 2009, Ballestero – then vice president of the Legislative Assembly – used Public Security Ministry planes to fly to Liberia, Guanacaste, where she was supposed to attend working meetings. But during the trips she also attended PLN regional assemblies leading up to the 2010 presidential campaign.Ballestero’s daughter, Natalia Chávez Ballestero, who also was charged with one count of embezzlement for accompaning her mother, was sentenced to 120 hours of community service at the National Police Academy.Judge Hugo Porter warned Chávez that the “community service must be performed at Police Academy facilities and not through any electronic means.”Following the sentencing, Ballestero told reporters she does not rule out a run for public office after the 36-month ban expires.She said she would wait for a “sign from God.” Facebook Comments
Good news for water customers this year: the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) on Monday announced there will be no rate hikes for water service for the next six months.“AyA has enough funds to operate normally, to meet its operating expenses and execute its investment plan,” ARESEP reported in a press release.According to the regulatory authority, the Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute, known as AyA, forecast an eight percent increase in its profits over that period, “which is enough to maintain current rates.”Last August, ARESEP postponed a 16 percent rate increase requested by AyA, determining that the agency had a positive balance of more than ₡23 billion ($46 million). Facebook Comments No related posts.
All along Palmares’ main street, officially known as La Recta, the crowd was like a parted sea of cowboy hats. They flanked the empty avenue in growing anticipation, swigging beer from Pilsen cans, eating skewers of barbequed chicken, and taking selfies in front of waiting horses. So began the Palmares “tope,” or horse parade, on that sunny Thursday.While Palmares is a fairly humble coffee town in Alajuela province, the hamlet balloons with visitors every January, when the Fiestas de Palmares overrun its fairgrounds and fill every shop and bar with revelers. Organizers expected more than 60,000 people to attend over the course of the week, and if you attended the tope Jan. 16, you probably believed that prediction: The Palmares bus terminal in San José boasted lines around the block, and the highway into town was so gridlocked that hundreds of drivers resorted to urinating by the side of the road.The parade began with special riding clubs, carriages, ponies, and several queues of mounted police. Beauty queens waved from horse-drawn wagons – like country-style floats – and as the procession moved along, the marchers became more informal: True vaqueros of all varieties trotted down the avenue, riding everything from elegant mares to shaggy oxen. The parade continued for hours, as festivalgoers cheered from the sidelines.The tope included at least one celebrity: Presidential hopeful Johnny Araya, a Palmares native and former agronomy major, rode a patterned brown steed down La Recta amid a cadre of supporters wearing green bandanas.The Fiestas de Palmares continue through Jan. 27. A horse of a different color: many riders rode oxen—iconic livestock in Costa Rica. Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times A gang of cowgirls struts down the asphalt. No fiesta would be complete without cutoff jeans and low necklines. Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times Related posts:5 things to know about Costa Rica’s gigantic Palmares Festival 23 people injured in bullfights during first day of Palmares fest 193 people arrested in less than a week at Palmares Festival 5 things to know about Costa Rica’s gigantic Palmares Festival Horsemen cavort in the street. At the tope, vaqueros are something akin to rock stars. Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times A solitary villain: this desperado’s medallion reads “malo” (bad). Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times Mounted police in formation joined the parade. Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times While many riders dressed as generic cowboys, some donned elegant traditional outfits. Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times Facebook Comments The parade commenced around 1 p.m., filling Palmares with with thousands of equestrians and fans. Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times.
Facebook Comments Ann Maxin Patton, 43, cries as a Costa Rica court delivers a guilty verdict in a high-profile murder trial. Patton was convicted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 of shooting to death her husband, U.S. financier John Felix Bender. The Tico TimesUpdate, Wed., May 28: After being taken into custody on Tuesday, sources say Patton was transferred to a hospital in Pérez Zeledón. According to prosecutor Edgar Ramírez, officials are evaluating placing her in a psychiatric care unit of the Justice Ministry to serve her nine-month preventive detention. Original story continues here:After more than a week of testimony, a Costa Rica criminal court on Tuesday convicted U.S. expat Ann Maxin Patton, 43, of shooting to death her husband, U.S. financier John Felix Bender, 44, in 2010.The court sentenced Patton to 22 years in prison for the crime. Judges Adolfo Calderón Bogantes, Cristian Calvo and Liner Zúñiga Herrera ordered Patton to be placed into nine months of preventive detention while the sentence is reviewed.This is the second time Patton has faced a murder trial over the incident, which occurred at the couple’s luxury jungle estate in Florida de Barú, Pérez Zeledón, in southern Costa Rica. A different court had acquitted Patton last year, but an appeals court ordered a new trial. The retrial began on Monday, May 19.Patton, born in Brazil, has always claimed Bender’s death, the result of a single gunshot wound to the neck, had been a suicide.At the start of the retrial last week, Costa Rican prosecutor Edgar Ramírez said, “We will demonstrate that there is convincing evidence, scientific proof that is irrefutable.” Patton said she fought with Bender that night in an unsuccessful attempt to wrestle the firearm away from him. Prosecutors, however, say she shot him.Prosecutors said there were no signs of gunpowder residue on Bender’s hands, while Patton allegedly wiped her hands with napkins after the shooting. Those napkins revealed traces of gunpowder, prosecutors said at trial. Costa Rica law enforcement officers take Ann Patton into custody on May 27, 2014. The Tico TimesAmong the evidence judges cited in delivering a guilty verdict were photos of blood patterns obtained at the scene, and a torn pillow, which according to the court, proved the weapon was found too far from the victim to have been a suicide. Prosecutors had presented the theory that Patton shot Bender, who was wearing earplugs and was found in a fetal position, while he slept.“The firearm was far from the tear in the pillow [when it was fired], because if [the gun] had come in contact with the pillow, it would have produced a smoke and burn pattern, which leads the court to conclude that the firearm was far away from the victim’s head,” the sentencing judge stated.Judges also cited the trajectory of the bullet, which they said could not have been self-inflicted.“The fundamental element for which the court has based its opinion is the position of the body at the moment Judicial Investigation Police officers arrived, at which point the photos we can observe here were taken,” Calderón said.Calderón said judges did not believe, based on the evidence, that Bender’s body was moved after he was killed, and they ruled against the possibility of a struggle.“Beyond the fact that there was no blood on the defendant, beyond the fact that the pistol was found in another place, beyond the tampering of the crime scene, the only reasonable explanation, considering the body’s position and the evidence found on the body, is that the bullet wound is homicide, because there was no way the victim could have done it,” Calderón said.Prosecutors, however, were never able to establish a motive in the alleged killing. To that point, judge Zúñiga said it is possible to commit a crime without a clear motive.“If there is no known motive, we must examine the rest of the evidence, as established by Article 71 of the Penal Process Code,” Zúñiga said.Correction: This story previously stated only one judge during the first trial believed there was not enough evidence to convict Patton. However, the first court’s ruling to acquit was a unanimous decision by all three presiding judges. The Tico Times regrets the error and have included a copy of the ruling below. A total of six judges weighed in during both trials. Only one judge, during the first murder trial, believed there was enough doubt to find Patton not guilty. Five judges, based on scientific evidence and testimony, found Patton guilty. According to that evidence, the gun was 50 centimeters away from Bender’s head when it was fired – too great a distance to have been a suicide.The new trial took place in the southern Costa Rican city of San Isidro de El General, and lasted more than a week. Related posts:CBS to air documentary questioning Costa Rica’s murder conviction of US expat Ann Bender U.S. beachgoer tries to burn down police station after his arrest in Tamarindo Top 6 crime stories of 2014 Ann Patton on her new trial: ‘It is my opportunity to finally, hopefully, get true justice’
Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at email@example.com. Facebook Comments The Costa Rican street artist known as MUSH has been leaving his mark around the country with his recognizable signature. His work is characterized by elaborate, aesthetically pleasing calligraphy in different shapes and colors. MUSH’s love for the depiction of his artistic name began when he was young and his mother taught him the importance of having nice handwriting. He has also made mushroom drawings an important element of his art.MUSH, 32, is one of the country’s first street artists; he began his career in 2000 and has produced new works steadily ever since. His latest and most ambitious piece is called Textura Neuronal, located in Lagunilla, Heredia, which uses a vibrant color palette and various textures.On a rainy afternoon at Casa Batsú in Barrio Escalante, The Tico Times sat down and spoke with MUSH about his life and work. Excerpts follow.Why do you write your name on the streets?That’s a good question. Sometimes it bores me; sometimes I want to create other images. However, it has become a habit. Within graffiti most of the things we do began with this idea of leaving a trace that I was here, which is actually a very egocentric act. There are people who give themselves their street names and there are others who are given their street names. It may be Tito [an affectionate diminutive], Gordillo [Fatty], or something like that, and there’s not much mysticism behind it.It’s pretty fun to leave that print everywhere. It’s sort of like a code. It’s a known language within us [graffiti artists]. Sometimes you just see a signature and you don’t know that person; you watch that person’s style and where he or she paints. You wonder who he or she is. It’s about what’s behind that anonymity and hidden character.So what is that anonymity like for you? I know a lot of people and many people know me, but at the same time they don’t know me. I was on a bus and overheard people asking who Mush could be, and I was next to them listening. That’s pretty funny. She was talking about my work and me, and I was right there. When I made one of my first graffitis, the day after doing it I went to photograph it and sat down drinking a juice just contemplating the weird thing I had done. A neighbor of mine came along and said: “Hey, that was not there yesterday.” That’s what I like.One time in Desamparados I wrote, “Who is MUSH?” My friends came and told me later, “Someone is writing, ‘Who is MUSH?’”…[Playing with people’s minds] is fun. Textured details have become a characteristic of MUSH’s work. (Courtesy of Manfred Valverde)Every time you create a new graffiti of your name, how is it a new challenge?You try to invent new things, but it depends on the artist. There are people who reach a graphic comfort zone in which they develop a style, make it the same every time, and just change the colors. I like to experiment [with different things]. Every day is different. There are days when all I want is to make shapes, or something more abstract and free. When I write my name it’s a whole new challenge with the letter design because it’s about a very pure graffiti in which you question on how to write the name and which types of letters to use.How has graffiti developed over the years in Costa Rica?There has been a boom in street art in all countries. It has developed to the point in which it isn’t only graffiti artists painting, but also many talented people who have dared to paint their drawings on a wall. We’ve got to understand that graffiti includes a wide variety of things, including the trend of tags and leaving a trace in the city. Actually, right now there are more of these [tags] than elaborate artwork. There are many emerging young people right now and it’s part of the process because I was one of them at some point, but there are very few people going out there to create elaborate murals.About 6 or 7 years ago [in Costa Rica] there was a big group of colleagues painting with very distinct styles beyond tags. Most of them are tattoo artists right now; I’m very lucky that I can subsist from painting. People come to me so I can do different types of pieces them. Since this has become my day job I’ve got to do different things. Not all of my friends have had that luck, but it has to do a lot with the idea that if you’re active, it’ll all flow. Painting [on the streets] is not cheap. The materials are expensive. Many of my friends have taken their drawing potential and transferred it into tattooing. The tattoo industry has grown a lot. At 350 meters long, Textura Neuronal in Lagunilla de Heredia is MUSH’s biggest mural to date. (Courtesy of MUSH)How does it feel to be one of the first street artists in the country?I always say that I’m from the second generation [of street artists], but I’m the one who has painted the most. In 1999 I was scribbling. Not until 2001 did I begin painting with 3 or 4 spray colors. The graffiti movement began in 1980 in New York and Germany. Obviously there are more things dating back earlier, but the name manifestation began during that time. I began 20 years later, so I’m from a very recent generation.Before I started painting here in San José, there was no graffiti movement whatsoever. I met Checho, a friend who paints, in 1996. He had very few graffiti and drew the A of anarchy… I’m from that first or second generation and from all of those people, I’m the one that has never stopped painting. From 2000 until now, there are a lot of people who have begun painting but then disappeared. They have come and gone. Related posts:5 questions for Costa Rican painter Man Yu Fung 5 questions for Costa Rican sculptor José Sancho Cities filled with art: A visit to the 10th Central American Biennial 5 question for a Costa Rican painter
In the midst of ambitious renovations, Apotecario’s kombucha cocktails are barely a month old. They are so new that they’re not even on the menu. You have to know about them — possibly from reading this article — and ask for them yourself, or expect the waiters to surprise you with the news.Three blocks east from Santa Teresita church in Barrio Escalante, Apotecario stands apart from other bars and restaurants in the area because they proudly claim to be la casa del fermento, the home of fermentation.Their menu may not have as many cocktails as other bars in the area, but what they lack in mixed drinks, they make up for in beer and kombucha. The co-owners, Catherine Smart and Esteban Zamora, specialize in these two drinks. Zamora sells his own brand of beer, Cervecería Calle Cimarrona, and Smart merchandises her kombucha brand, Wild Brews.The kombucha cocktails — a gin tonic, a margarita, a Moscow mule, and an even rarer martini — are a novelty, but they’re a thoroughly planned one.“Cocktails were my idea because Apotecario’s official drink is kombucha”, Smart said from Apotecario’s patio on an unusually warm day. It was just around lunch, and the place looked brightened up and almost empty. Smart says their garden area attracts lots of patrons and bird’s nests. Alexander Villegas / The Tico TimesInside, roots and herbs hang silently from the ceiling: rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, garlic heads. In a small cooling space, spearmint hydroponics rest away from the tropical heat of the lush garden where we are seated.Apotecario’s daytime desolation is a stark contrast to the crowded nights when it’s nearly impossible to get a seat after 8 p.m.But just three years ago, Smart wasn’t worrying about unseated patrons. She was still busy explaining her Wild Brews business and trying to make others fall in love with kombucha.“My dad has brewed kombucha all his life since I was in high school. We actually called it el hongo chino [the Chinese fungus]”, jokes Smart. Catherine Smart loves mixology, kombucha, and kombucha mixology. Alexander Villegas / The Tico TimesWhen she started brewing it, the fermented drink wasn’t trendy in Costa Rica and it certainly wasn’t cocktail material — yet.“At first the Ginbucha was the only cocktail on our menu. We use a specially designed kombucha that pairs well with gin’s flavor,” Smart said. “It has hop tea for bitterness and juniper berries, which are the ones that perfume gin.“We also add a few hibiscus flowers for taste. The idea was to make an untraditional gin tonic.”My first tasting of the ginbucha wasn’t pleasant. The kombucha tea infuses the cocktail with a pungent acidic smell and a brownish color. The gin dissipated in this overwhelming taste and my palate missed the modest delicacy of plain gin tonic. Natalia prefers the simple gin and tonic, but the Ginbucha remains popular at Apotecario. Alexander Villegas / The Tico TimesI got a table on a Thursday, one of Apotecario’s busiest nights — they usually offer live music — and somehow hadn’t connected with the one cocktail that has never failed me.I was disappointed, but then I followed the waitress’ recommendation and tried the brand new margarita mixed with lavender lemonade kombucha.If I had to describe in one word my second — and last — drink of the night, I would say “creamy.” I had never tried a margarita so fragrant because even the salt at the edge of the glass was lavender. Unlike the gin cocktail, the lavender kombucha softens the tequila until it becomes a subtle smoky aftertaste. It is a luscious margarita, literally one of a kind. The kombucha margarita.I’m one of the few customers that have tasted it since its creation.Introducing the new kombucha cocktails to the menu might take time (and new menus), but Smart is confident people will drink them happily. Smart says the only one currently on the menu, the Ginbucha, is popular with clients.The Moscow mule (patada de mula as they affectionately call it, meaning a mule’s kick) and the martini will be full-on available in weeks to come.You can still ask for both of them, cross your fingers and hope Apotecario has the ginger kombucha or the lemon kombucha sherbet they need for those drinks.For now, we have to expect the unexpected while Smart experiments in the kitchen.“I was experimenting with a cranberry kombucha to create a Cosmopolitan because I feel it is starting to trend,” Smart said. “We are just starting off but there is a lot of other stuff we could do.”In the coming months, Apotecario’s renovations will not only change the cocktail menu but also the place itself. The garden will become a deck, they might tear down a wall, and start selling pastries.Until Smart and Zamora’s dreams become true, we might as well drink up. The Apotecario also offers smoked drinks. Alexander Villegas / The Tico TimesNatalia Diaz is a freelance journalist. She likes her reading the same way she likes her music: with a side of gin tonic. Natalia just started this new liquid diet and she’s writing all about it. You can follow her on Twitter @natdiaze. Facebook Comments Related posts:Know thyself: meet your signature cocktail at Bebedero Two winning drinks with Costa Rica’s best bartender at Mil948 A hangover, brunch and a classic bloody mary at Maza Cabra Negra’s warm rompope foams its way until Christmas
Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories The vital role family plays in society Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Rajapaksa was credited with defeating minority Tamil separatists in a civil war, but accused of enflaming divisions while sustaining his ethnic Sinhalese voting bloc.He was also accused of autocratic rule and nepotism.“Just as in victory we have also learnt from defeat,” Rajapaksa told his supporters.“I must tell you that we will come before you with fresh thinking, We will think anew on international relations, we will think of new ways to build relationships between communities.”The Rajapaksa administration had strained relations with the United States, India and the Europe because of his heavy pro-China policy and failure to heed requests to investigate allegations of war crimes in the final stages of the civil war which ended in 2009.Rajapaksa’s successor President Maithripala Sirisena has changed the heavy China leaning.According to a United Nations report some 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed in just the final months of the fighting. The U.N human rights body is scheduled to release a report on the allegations in September.If Rajapaksa’s party secures a majority in Parliament he could become prime minister, a step away from president. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top holiday drink recipes Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s former president said Friday he has learned from his election defeat and promised a new approach to relations between ethnic communities as he runs for prime minister in next month’s elections.Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was defeated in January presidential polls, launched his political comeback campaign in the northwestern city of Anuradhapura on Friday.In a speech, Rajapaksa denied allegations of corruption and misrule and said he was a victim of false propaganda.
New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like WASHINGTON (AP) — With space shuttles now housed in history museums, innovators in aerospace are thinking of newer, better ways humans could reach space. One idea: What about a space elevator?This real idea is one simulation that’s part of a new high-tech interactive exhibition about the future of flight opening Aug. 1 at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The exhibit also will serve as an important test case for new technologies to overhaul the popular museum with more interactives. This artist rendering provided by the designers, Evergreen Exhibitions, shows “Immersive Theater ,” part of new high-tech interactive exhibition, “Above and Beyond: The Ultimate Interactive Flight Exhibition,” about the future of flight opening soon at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington that could serve as an important test case for new technologies to overhaul the museum. (Evergreen Exhibitions via AP) Comments Share Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum is planning to overhaul all of its exhibit galleries in the coming years, and the temporary exhibit will help the museum test what works. Some current galleries date back to the museum’s opening in 1976. The museum has mostly shied away from integrating much technology into its exhibits because the galleries receive heavy traffic, and technology tends to break down, said Roger Launius, the museum’s associate director of collections and curatorial affairs.“In the future as we’re re-envisioning the museum, we’re putting more and more of these kinds of things in, but this is sort of taking us to a level we haven’t had,” Launius said. “One of the things we want to do is kind of test the technologies.”Beyond the gee-whiz technology, the exhibit is rooted in the themes of how to fly higher, farther, faster and smarter to challenge visitors with the real problems of how to make space flight more efficient and less expensive, Launius said.Curators planning the museum’s overhaul are also looking at how to use new technology to give visitors a better look at space history. The museum is considering a future simulation that could recreate what it was like to land on the moon during the Apollo era. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Designers at Evergreen Exhibitions in San Antonio, Texas, have been developing the new exhibition “Above and Beyond: The Ultimate Interactive Flight Exhibition” with Boeing, NASA and the Smithsonian to explore new innovations and ideas. It uses immersive videos, simulations, virtual reality, touch-tables and a 180-degree theater experience to create a hands-on, immersive experience. Curators said it is more interactive technology than the Smithsonian has ever had in an aerospace exhibit.“Above and Beyond” will debut at one of the nation’s most popular museums. The National Air and Space Museum draws nearly 7 million visitors each year on the National Mall. The exhibit runs until early January and then begins a worldwide tour through 2020. Stops will include museums in Dubai; St. Louis; Charleston, South Carolina; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; London, Tokyo and Chicago.One exhibit capsule will simulate the idea of a space elevator with video screens surrounding visitors to give them the feel of rising above Earth. Researchers are developing such an idea to see if it’s possible to create a real capsule that could crawl up a cord from the ground to the level of orbiting the Earth. How do cataracts affect your vision? John Tracy, the chief technology officer for Boeing, which is funding the “Above and Beyond” exhibit and part of the museum’s overhaul, said the company wants to work with the museum to inspire the next generation of innovators.“The aerospace workforce in general has a large demographic of baby boomers,” he said. “As they begin to retire, we need to make sure there’s a generation prepared to take over.”___Above and Beyond Exhibition: http://aboveandbeyondexhibition.com/___Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/28a30/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> The financial woes of Fiji’s Air Pacific may have Qantas, its second biggest shareholder, offering up its stake, but minority shareholder Air New Zealand is going nowhere, according to reports. Majority owned by the Fijian government, Air Pacific posted the biggest loss it has ever suffered in its 59-year history this year. A total loss of $F65.3 million (AU$38 million) for the year to March was recorded, compared to a loss of F$12.5 million a year earlier. But while this has made it an even more pressing task for Qantas to offload its 46 percent stake in the airline, Air New Zealand is showing no signs of concern over Air Pacific’s performance, according to a recent report in Stuff.co.nz. The report sources an Air New Zealand spokesperson as saying there would be no change in the airline’s policy and that it would retain its minority 1.9 percent shareholding. Qantas, on the other hand, has made it completely clear it wants out of Air Pacific, according to a report last week in The Sydney Morning Herald. The Australian carrier signalled their intentions to sell their holdings during talks with Air Pacific in September 2009. Since then discussions have been continuing, the most recent of which saw Air Pacific’s Chairman Nalin Patel and CEO Dave Pflieger fly to Sydney to talk with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in May.Air Pacific has declared the past financial year to be the toughest in its history, and blamed increased competition following the introduction of Fiji-Australia routes by Jetstar and V Australia, as well as higher fuel costs and fuel-hedging losses, as the reason behind its financial slide. And this latest round of losses will make it harder for Qantas to find a buyer. Despite assurances from Air Pacific that it will turn its fortunes around, industry insiders quoted by the SMH suggested that this is highly unlikely. “They are going to be squeezed into oblivion,” an insider said.Air Pacific faces major structural problems, and only has a fleet of two leased Boeing 747-400s, three 737s and one 767. On top of this, it has suffered from years of under-financing from its government shareholders. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.F
The Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia (VCAWA) announced today the opening of nominations for the prestigious GWN7 Top Tourism Awards.Now in their 22nd year of the Awards, the VCAWA and GWN7 are extremely proud to once again be recognising the importance of Visitor Centres and the Tourism Industry in Western Australia.The VCAWA Chairperson, Barbara Johnson said “I am delighted to announce the 22nd year of the GWN7 Top Tourism Awards and extend an invitation to each and every Visitor Centre, to make the time to submit an entry for these prestigious awards. Not only do our Awards help raise the awareness and profile of the Visitor Servicing industry, but it is a great opportunity for each Visitor Centre Manager to reflect on their past year‟s achievements and consider their next year‟s goals. This year has brought many challenges, however we are looking forward to celebrating our Awards and recognising our achievements through what has been an interesting year in Western Australia‟s Tourism”.The GWN7 Top Tourism Awards recognise the efforts made by a Visitor Centre within a town, city or region to attract and welcome visitors. The awards acknowledge the important contribution that community involvement and professionalism offers to the development of‟ high quality‟, though not „high cost‟ tourist facilities and experiences. In 2010 Broome was awarded the Top Tourism Award, with Bridgetown taking home the Top Tourism Award with a population of under 5000 people.GWN7 General Manager, Trevor Sutherland said “The GWN7 Top Tourism Awards are so inspiring and it‟s great to attend site visits and to feel the passion and emotion everyone has for their little patch of paradise across this great state. These awards are important for the tourism industry in Western Australia because of the valuable recognition it gives to the winners and as part of the prize, the winner receives a $25,000 airtime package on GWN7”.Nominations for the GWN7 Top Tourism Awards are open from Friday 15th of March and close on Monday the 16th of May 2011.Entrants will need to submit a written application, which is followed by the announcement of the finalists and a site visit to be conducted by the judging panel in August 2011.The Visitor Centre Association of WA is a not-for-profit peak industry body, representing more than 102 Visitor Centres and sub-representation of approximately 4,500 tourism businesses throughout Western Australia.For further enquiries regarding this Media Release or the 2011 GWN7 Top Tourism Awards, please contact Dee Smith, the Executive Officer for the Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia on 1800 134 112. Source = Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia
“The emirate is a globally recognised centre of commerce and trade which offers world class facilities, an impeccable reputation for high quality service.” The exhibition stall showcased 27 representatives from ground and tour operators as well as the Dubai Convention and Events Bureau. The AIME stall exhibited groups including 1001 Events, Arabian Adventures and Atlantis, the Palm. “The business events sector remains an important segment of Dubai’s tourism industry, Director of DTCM Australia and New Zealand Representative Office, Julie King said. Source = ETB News: T.N. The Government of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTM) showcased the city’s business events’ facilities for the AIME
Modern luxury cruise brand, Celebrity Cruises has announced it is revamping its dress code on board as Evening Chic nights replace Formal Nights on all Celebrity cruises.The change, which will commence on 4 December 2015, and reflects the modern luxury style of cruising that Celebrity is known for, while acknowledging current cruise attire trends that have moved towards sophistication and relaxation, rather than stuffiness and structure.“The introduction of Evening Chic nights perfectly complements the modern luxury holiday experience Celebrity Cruises offers. Passengers will be free to be glamorous, chic and sophisticated in their own way,” said Adam Armstrong, Commercial Director Celebrity Cruises Australia.“We will also keep several Formal Night traditions on Evening Chic nights, but will add a modern twist to them. This includes a new Captain’s Reception featuring destination-inspired cocktails, new photo/portrait opportunities as well as senior-officer-hosted tables at various restaurants throughout the cruise. Lobster will also continue to be offered on Evening Chic nights,” he said.Evening Chic nights will take place on up to two nights on every cruise. Women should feel comfortable whether they are wearing a cocktail dress, skirt, pants or even designer jeans with an elegant top, while men will fit in, in trousers or designer jeans with a dress shirt, button down shirt or even a sweater. A sports coat or blazer is optional. All other nights of the cruise will feature smart casual attire.More details on Celebrity Cruises Evening Chic attire here.*Including all Celebrity cruises except for Celebrity Xpedition where a casual dress code applies at all times Book a Celebrity cruiseSource = Celebrity Cruises
Abu Dhabi looks to build on growth in regional meetings markerAn improved website and initiatives to garner multi-stakeholder and partner bid development support for the emirate’s business events sector are to be rolled out by the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau at ibtm arabia being held at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers from February 9-11, 2016.An Abu Dhabi pavilion coordinated by the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau (ADCB) – a one-stop shop to help grow the emirate’s business events sector and division of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) – is set to take center stage in the 10th anniversary edition of ibtm arabia, the regional meetings, incentives, conference and exhibition (MICE) event, providing a platform for many Abu Dhabi partners to build awareness of the depth and diversity of the services and facilities on offer in the emirate.“Our emphasis at ibtm arabia will be to enhance awareness of the expanding range of business events facilities and outline a new compelling range of support which will solidify Abu Dhabi’s appeal as an international business events and incentives hub focused toward driving the emirate as a dynamic global business events leader,” said Mubarak Al Shamisi, ADCB Director.The website offers a portal to direct proposal submissions with a new, user-friendly, four-stage request for proposal form ensuring tailored and relevant assistance, an interactive venue finder featuring all of the capital’s venues with business facilities, a mash-up map and TripAdvisor integration, as well as comparable case studies featuring Abu Dhabi events.The improved website features an image-driven interface that is packed full of enriched and insightful new content, a comprehensive events calendar that can be filtered by business and leisure, the ability to download useful information and multimedia about business-related facts, figures, case studies and useful guides about Abu Dhabi as a meeting destination, as well as dedicated social media channels launched in July 2015 to ease event planning usability—all on a platform optimized for mobile devices.The online facelift was revealed today at the Abu Dhabi pavilion at ibtm arabia, the leading event for the Arabian meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry, and the revamped abudhabi-cb.ae Convention Bureau website has been introduced as a part of a broader overarching TCA Abu Dhabi strategy to continuously update digital offerings for their users.Enhancements to the emirate’s coordinated joint public and private sector “One Abu Dhabi” partnership bid development approach are also set to be unveiled.Two dedicated Industry Development Committees – the first consisting of Governmental and strategic stakeholder partners, the other a collection of leading hoteliers, professional conference organizers and other sector partners – have been introduced for the business events sector.The Governmental committee’s objective is to offer government support in the planning and execution of all upcoming events within the Convention Bureau whilst championing the emirate as a dynamic global business events leader. The task force works alongside the bureau to identify bid development opportunities within the business events sector and develop a strong foundation in the execution of upcoming business events to strengthen the chance of winning international bids.The Business Events committee meets to discuss international business event trends and development opportunities, and aims to increase the number of business events in the capital to expand the Abu Dhabi footprint whilst building a strong bid network to increase chances of winning varying bids.Source = Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau
Japan National Tourism Organization hosts Japan Information NightsRepresentatives of Japan’s travel industry gathered last week at the Japan Information Nights in Brisbane on 5 December and Sydney on 7 December, organised by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).This year JNTO invited guest speakers for both cities – with MasterChef Australia 2017’s runner-up Ben Ungermann in Brisbane and Top 9 Finalist Callan Smith in Sydney, to speak about their personal experience of travelling in Japan. Japan Information Night 2017 featured 17 suppliers in Brisbane and 33 suppliers in Sydney, including representatives from local governments, DMCs, accommodation, attractions, amenities and transportation.In total 69 travel agents attended the Japan Information Night held in Brisbane, whilst a whopping 117 participants joined the Sydney event, the most participants JNTO has ever hosted at a seminar trade event.The event provided an opportunity for travel agents to network and get direct updates from Japanese travel suppliers through one-on-one free-flow business meetings as well as learning more about general travel information.Source = Japan National Tourism Organization
SouthWest Germany has witnessed a growth of 23.3% with 27,615 Indian tourist arrivals during the January-October period as India continues to retain its position as the second fastest growing market for the region.“We are targeting 40,000 Indian visitors in 2016. India still has the highest number of overnight per visit, currently it is 5.9 days per visit. The international average for South- West Germany is 2.3 days. For the period ended October 2015, we will have 200,000 overnights which we targeted at the beginning of the year. We aim to reach 250,000 overnights in 2016, an increase of 25% from 2015,” said Hector D’souza, Director – India, SouthWest German Tourism.Further, with the MoU signed between SouthWest Germany and Maharashtra, events will be organised in 2016 in conjunction with each other.Regarding the visa procedure, D’souza said that Germany has made it compulsory to collect biometric data of travellers, adding that “all visitors have to personally visit the VFS visa application centre and the passport is handed over directly to the passport holder or is sent by courier to the residential address…The biometric data can be submitted once in five years.”