The Loreto Secondary School community is looking forward to hosting their annual 5K Road Race – Run and Walk in Letterkenny next week.The event will take place on Tuesday next 10th September at 7pm. Due to ongoing road works it will start and finish at Letterkenny Community Centre.This is the fifth year of this very successful and enjoyable event and it is included as part of the Athletics Grand Prix series. A large turnout is expected and registration will take place in the Community Centre from 5.30 – 6.30pm. All participants will be ‘chipped’ and will be able to find out their times immediately. Entry fees are Runners 8 euro, walkers 5 euro and family 20 euro. There will be category prizes and spot prizes for both runners and walkers. The starting point of the 5K will be from the new Aldi on Neil T Blaney Road and all Race numbers and chips / pins must be picked up from the Community Centre before 6.30pm. Presentation of prizes and refreshments will be held in the marquee at the Community Centre afterwards. This is an ideal meeting place for all those who may not have met up since last year or for those with new students in the school.The Parents Association have worked hard to organise this event and they would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported them in any way, especially their main sponsors The Suit Room at County Seat, Pat’s Pizza, Jerzy’s Home and Auto Services, Kellys Centra, Value Centre, Marks and Spencer, Get Fresh, Mac’s Mace and all of the volunteers and students who help out at the event. Large turnout expected at Loreto Letterkenny 5K was last modified: September 5th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Loreto Letterkenny 5K
Tags:#Google#NYT#web Google has extended its Gmail SMS chat functionality to three more African countries: Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. Gmail SMS allows anyone worldwide to communicate with fellow Gtalk chat users even when they’re away from their computer. This year, Google added the extension to Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Zambia. Africa is a continent of mobile users so this tool seems like a good move by Google. Gmail users can send and receive SMS messages for free using the service. (Non-Gmail users can SMS for regular text charges.)Divon Lan, Google product manager for sub-Saharan Africa, wrote on the Google Africa Blog that the mobile carriers that provide the service include MTN, Uganda Telecom and Orange in Uganda, Vodacom in Tanzania and Airtel and TNM in Malawi. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting curt hopkins Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Trying to pull off a realistic fight scene? Learn from a professional stuntman how to choreograph a fight sequence and translate those stunts to the camera.If you are anything like me, you grew up wanting to be a stunt performer in a big blockbuster action movie. It seems like such an awesome life to dream about. Jumping off buildings all day and beating up bad guys isn’t too bad of a gig. So, we decided to live out our childhood fantasies of becoming stuntmen. We hired John Cann of Action PAC stunts to come teach us how to create a typical fight scene. From punching for the camera to effective throws, John went through and taught us all of the basics of stunt work, which we’re going to share with you today. Punching for the CameraNow there’s a few fundamentals you need to remember when punching for the camera.Keep the phrase on target, out of distance in the back of your mind when doing stunt fighting. This means that your punches should be on target (the face, body, wherever you may be aiming), while maintaining a healthy distance from your opponent. Punches should never make contact on set. Since you’re working with a 2D space through your camera’s lens, you need to frame the punch correctly in order to sell the hit.Don’t forget to maintain eye contact. When you have a choreographed fight scene with another actor, maintaining eye contact is incredibly important for both participants. Eye contact will help you anticipate their movements and make sure that they haven’t forgotten the choreography. When you don’t keep eye contact, you might continue on with the choreography and duck while they throw an unexpected uppercut. If you don’t see it coming it could leave you with a broken jaw.Keeping your arms extended is where stunt fighting differs from realistic fighting. In a real life bout, you would keep your arms bent and close to your core to maintain momentum in your punches. But on camera, real punches don’t translate well. You have to reveal your arms to the camera for it to pick it up. So when you are throwing your punches, keep your arms extended out while throwing those haymakers. It may feel weird for someone who has previous boxing/fighting experience, but it will look a whole lot better on screen.For every hit, you need to make sure that your punches “cross the plane” of the camera. Imagine that there is a pane of glass going from the middle of the camera lens to the middle of your opponent’s face. To sell a punch, your fist needs to break that pane. Crossing that plane simulates a hit. Just pair it with a sound effect and you’ve connected a punch.Maintaining ControlWhen doing stunt work, the person who is at most risk of harm should always be the person in control of the situation. Take a choking stunt for example. The person getting choked should be pulling towards themselves, while the person choking should be pulling away. This is one of those tricks that doesn’t feel right when performing the stunt. But, since both actors are using muscle to pull, the flexed muscles will sell the choke. The camera can’t tell which way the force is going.Tossing Someone SafelyOnly boring fights stay upright. When you want your scene to get down and dirty, including a tossing stunt can bring gritty realism to your choreography. The one thing you need to remember for a throw is that the person getting tossed should be in control of their fall, while the tosser should only be guiding them. When someone actually gets thrown, you open yourself up for an accidental injury. Luckily we had stunt mats to practice our throws. But, you can use anything soft to practice these throws on, such as couch cushions or a mattress.The mats are only for rehearsal. You can’t really just have a mattress conveniently laying on the floor in your scene for someone to fall on (unless your scene is in a mattress factory). You are actually going to be hitting that floor. To protect ourselves, John provided us with stunt pads to cover up the places where we would get hit. If you don’t have access to stunt pads, skating pads or even low-profile protective gear like lacrosse equipment can protect you.Adding Props to Sell the FightWhat’s something that always ramps up the action in a fight scene? Breakable objects, of course! For our scene, we used breakaway chairs and pool cues, as well as sugar glass bottles. The breakaway chairs we used had all of the metal screws removed from the joints and replaced with wood glue and toothpicks to keep it together. The pool cues had weak points sawed into the middle so that they broke immediately when they made contact.Sugar glass is Hollywood’s choice when it comes to glass breaking stunts. It’s an extremely brittle substance, and will break easily when it makes contact. The bottles cost about $20 each, so if you’re on a budget you can try making your own:Putting It All TogetherYour fight needs to flow, and that flow relies heavily on motivation. If someone gets punched a few times, they’ll come back swinging even harder. A scene with only punch/return punch can stagnate quickly, so ramp up the intensity as the fight carries on. You want the fight to seem like it’s life or death, and not just a quick exchanging of blows. So work with your opponent to create a dynamic scene, rehearse it multiple times, and get shooting!Want to learn more about filmmaking? Check out these articles:7 Reasons You Should “Script” Your Documentary ProjectsWhat Can Production Insurance Do for Your Film or Video?Interview: Filmmaker America Young on Stunts, Directing, and PersistenceYour Guide to Getting Started Shooting RAW Video
Fatehgarh Heritage Renaissance Resort in Udaipur uses wind and solar energyFew states of India are as evocative as Rajasthan–the very name conjures up images of medieval forts and flamboyant palaces, havelis and temples, castles on hilltops, picturesque villages and colourful fairs. Today, keeping with the times, Rajasthan’s heritage entrepreneurs are incorporating audio-tours, son et lumiore, alternative technologies for power generation or water harvesting. Nowhere is the change more apparent than in the cities of Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur.Udaipur updateA cooking demonstration in progress at Deogarh MahalUdaipur has long been the epitome of Rajasthan’s romance since an island palace of the Maharanas was converted into the stunningly beautiful hotel with five-star trappings. One of the most exciting new heritage developments of Udaipur is Fatehgarh Heritage Renaissance Resort built from the remains of a demolished castle moved to the site from about 150 km away, supplemented with architectural fragments and doors from other heritage properties. Climb to the terrace and the glass-walled restaurant offers a breathtaking view of the lakes. There is much focus on eco and social conscious measures–an energy efficient design that makes the most of air movement and natural light, a wind turbine and solar panels that account for more than half the power consumption of the property, a water harvesting system inspired by medieval stepwell architecture, indigenous plantations to make a home for wildlife, local employment and a focus on using locally available materials. Vintage collections are still popular in the StateIf you are looking for a place to dine on a romantic night out, Udaipur is becoming known for those too–the Whistling Teal is a beautiful garden restaurant with a bar furnished with saddles and a coffee lounge; the park-like Ambrai has a view across the lake to the island palaces, the aptly named Sunset View Terrace in the City Palace complex, and the recently opened Raaj Bagh, which, as the name suggests, is done in colonial style with old dressers, antique furniture and vintage cars in a covered area.Like the properties, Udaipur’s shopping scene is also taking a modern twist–the Bougainvillaea Art Gallery showcases contemporary paintings, sculpture and artworks in aesthetically pleasing interiors with an ambience to match, Andraab is an attractive showroom recently opened for Kashmiri shawls and other handcrafted textile products, the trendy Ganesh Art Emporium, the Pristine Gallery, and galleries of individual artists.New entriesTraditional food is still popular in the StateAs you head up NH-8 from Udaipur towards Delhi, you come to one of Rajasthan’s most fairy-tale heritage hotels–Deogarh Mahal which rises from an elevation in the middle of a village with hill views from its terraces. The 50 rooms are imaginatively designed to match the character of the property. For something more exclusive, head for the owner’s four-suite Fort Seengh Sagar set amid shimmering waters. The decor is Rajasthani yet chic and minimalistic, with rooms having distinctive features–a fountain, a rockery, a temple, stone art and even a jacuzzi.Jodhpur jauntRamgarh Lodge near Jaipur is now a Gateway HotelStraight out of a storybook is Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, built in AD 1459. The new thing about the historical site is an audio-guided tour that will take you through the collections in the museum of princely memorabilia. At the end of the tour you come to the splendidly designed Museum Shop, which blends the fort’s old-world charm with contemporary visual merchandising to display art, artefacts, handicrafts, porcelain, jewellery, clothing and souvenirs. The display prompted an international magazine writer equalling the shop to being as good as an annexe of the New York’s Museum of Contemporary Art!Head from here to Raika Bagh and the Palace Road for Jodhpur’s superbly carpentered furniture, first-rate antique reproductions and handcrafted artefacts. There are some fun places to eat in this area–On-the-Rocks, as the name suggests, is a bar and restaurant in a rock garden along the imposing Ajit Bhawan Palace while Khaas Bagh has an arts and crafts gallery, a resort garden and a Bollywood themed dining area.A hidden gem in the city is MV Spice Shop in the Vegetable Market. The daughters of spice merchant, Mohanlal Verhomal, who was quite a legend among tourists, have come up with an extraordinarily innovative range of spice blends that they make at home from hand-ground spices. It is the place to buy anything from chai masala to a mutton curry mix.Jaipur goes contemporaryPolo tourism is catching up in the StateWhile Udaipur and Jodhpur remain old-worldly in their charm, Jaipur has burst out of its ‘Pink City’ shell with gleaming glass-and-steel shopping complexes, malls, supermarkets and multiplexes along its thoroughfare, Delhi-style plush new residential areas, and the ubiquitous CCDs, Baristas, fast food outlets and bars. But for visitors Jaipur is still about serious shopping. What is really exciting about shopping in Jaipur these days is the initiatives of the NGOs, cooperatives, self-help groups and artisanal families. A classic is Anokhi’s museum at the restored Chanwar Palkiwalon Ki haveli at Amber which won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Award in 2000. Here you can watch craftsmen at work on block printing and woodcarving, learn about the history of block-printing besides experiencing the architecture of a haveli. It is just a few minutes away from Amber Fort, which now offers an audio-tour as well as a Sound and Light Show, with Gulzar’s words, Amitabh’s voice and music to match. Amber is also being given a makeover ahead of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.The stylish showrooms of Anokhi and Fabindia in the city, the Soma on Jacob Road, the UN-supported Mojari which, as the name suggests, sells footwear from rural Rajasthan, and the blue pottery showroom called Kripal Kumbh, run by the daughters of the master ceramist Kripal Singh, are happening places to shop.Jaipur is also teeming with places to eat–from well-known names like Dasaprakash and Sankalp for South Indian food, Copper Chimney for North Indian, Little Italy, and so forth, to novel places like the Peacock Rooftop Restaurant or Om Tower Revolving Restaurant. Favourite evenings-out from Jaipur are village-theme restaurants like Chokhi Dhani, which also offers a range of folksy entertainments, an artisanal bazaar and camel and elephant rides.A couple of new options are also available for those who want to escape the city and yet not be too far from it. A good example of this is the Ramgarh Lodge, the former hunting lodge of the Maharajas of Jaipur, which is now a Gateway Hotel. And for a taste of something more energetic, get whisked away to Anokhi Farm outside Jaipur where you can learn the royal sport of polo. The training includes riding under supervision, stick-and-ball practice on wooden horses and practice chukkers.They say it’s just the beginning of modernisation. Let’s see what this year–the year of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi–spells for Rajasthan, its neighbour. advertisementadvertisement Fact fileFatehgarh–A Heritage Renaissance Resort Sisarma, Udaipur; tel: (0294) 241 3845Whistling Teal 103-Bhatiayani Chhohata, Udaipur; tel: 242 2067Ambrai Amet Haveli, Chandpole, Udaipur; tel: 243 1085Sunset View Terrace, City Palace Complex, UdaipurRaaj Bagh Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaipur; tel: 329 0228Bougainvillea Art Gallery Fatehsagar Lake, UdaipurAndraab New Fatehpura, Udaipur; tel: 242 3285Ganesh Art Emporium Jagdish Chowk, Udaipur; tel: 242 2864Pristine Gallery Bhattiyani Cohtta, Udaipur; tel: (0) 98291 84223Deogarh Mahal tel: (02904) 252 777; 253 333Fort Seengh Sagar Reservations through Deogarh MahalMehrangarh Fort Audio Tour Tel: (0291) 254 8790, 254 8992On-the-Rocks Circuit House Road, Jodhpur; tel: 251 0410Khaas Bagh Opp. Police Lines, Ratanada, Jodhpur; tel: 251 4513MV Spice Shop Clock Tower, Jodhpur; tel (0) 92520 00435;Anokhi Museum Amber Fort, Jaipur; tel: (0141) 253 0226Sound and Light Show at Amber Fort; 6.30 and 7.30p.m.Anokhi Jaipur; tel: 400 7244/45Fabindia MGF Mall, Jaipur; tel: 511 5997; Prithviraj Road; tel: 511 5992advertisementSoma 5 Jacob Road, Civil Lines, Jaipur; tel: 222 2778Mojari Vishwakarma Industrial Area, Jaipur; tel: 309 4260Kripal Kumbh Bani Park, Jaipur; tel: 220 1127Peacock Rooftop Restaurant Ajmer Road, Jaipur; tel: 237 3700Om Tower Revolving Restaurant MI Road, Jaipur; tel: 404 6666Chokhi Dhani Tonk Road, JaipurGateway Hotel Ramgarh Lodge One-hour drive from JaipurAnokhi Farm Tel: (01532) 275 0868
Last month, the company said it would stop all non-essential spending on the expansion project to triple the amount of oil flowing from Alberta to the West Coast, which Alberta says is critical to reducing discounts on its product due mainly to pipeline bottlenecks.Kean reiterated that construction won’t be restarted unless there are sufficient assurances by the end of this month that it can proceed.Outside the meeting in downtown Calgary, about 50 vocal pipeline supporters armed with signs and slogans assembled on the sidewalk, chanting as passing cars honked their horns.Picketers Mike Owens and Derek B. Cooper say they were unimpressed with Morneau’s announcement, adding it offers further proof that the Liberal government has done too little to make sure the pipeline wins approval.Picket organizer James Robson of the Canada Action Coalition says the government shouldn’t have to offer money to make sure an approved pipeline will be built.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – The CEO of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. says he “appreciates” an announcement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau that the government will compensate investors in the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion if “unnecessary delays” cause costs to rise.Morneau says the government is willing to “provide indemnity” to any investors, be they the project’s original architects or otherwise, to ensure the controversial Alberta-B.C. project is able to proceed.Kinder Morgan chief executive Steven Kean offered no further comment during his remarks and declined to talk to reporters after his company’s first annual general meeting since being spun off by U.S.-based Kinder Morgan Inc. to hold most of its Canadian assets a year ago.
New Delhi: The government has deferred by one month the last date for bidding for the 14 oil and gas exploration blocks offered in the second round of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP). Bids for the 14 blocks offered in OALP-II bid round, covering an area of 29,333 square kilometres, were to close Tuesday. “Bid submission closing date for OALP Bid Round-II stands extended up to April 10, 2019,” the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) said in a brief notice. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepIt did not give reasons for extending the deadline. The last date of bidding coincides with the bid deadline for the 23 oil and gas and coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks offered in the third round of OALP, which was launched on February 10. OALP-II bid round was delayed at six months and its launch came barely a month before the third round. Officials said OALP-II and OALP-III will run concurrently. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had at the time of launch of OALP-II bid round on January 7 stated that an investment of about Rs 40,000 crore is expected in the prospecting of oil and gas in blocks offered. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIn the first round of OALP last year, as much as Rs 60,000 crore was committed in the exploration of oil and gas in 55 blocks or areas. In the third round, the government is expecting up to USD 700 million (about Rs 49,000 crore) of investment that it hopes will help raise domestic output and cut imports. India had in July 2017 allowed companies to carve out blocks of their choice with a view to bringing about 2.8 million sq km of unexplored area in the country under exploration. Under this policy, called open acreage licensing policy or OALP, companies are allowed to put in an expression of interest (EoI) for prospecting of oil and gas in any area that is presently not under any production or exploration licence. The EoIs can be put in at any time of the year but they are accumulated twice annually. The blocks or areas that receive EoIs at the end of a cycle are put up for auction with the originator or the firm that originally selected the area getting a 5-mark advantage. The two window of accumulating EoIs end on May 15 and November 15 every year. EoIs accumulated till May 15 are supposed to be put on auction by June 30 and those in the second window by December 31. The first OALP round was launched in 2017 and bids came in by May 2018. EoIs for second round closed on May 15, 2018, and the blocks were supposed to be put for auction by June but the round was for reasons unknown delayed. OALP-II was finally launched on January 7. In the meanwhile, EoIs in the third window also closed on November 15, 2018 with as many as 18 blocks and five CBM blocks, measuring 31,722 sq km, being sought for. OALP-III bid round was launched on February 10 with April 10 as the last date for bidding. Officials said the 14 blocks in OALP-II are estimated to hold in-place resource of 12,609 million tonne oil and oil equivalent gas. In OALP-1, mining mogul Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd walked away with 41 out of 55 blocks bid out. State-owned Oil India Ltd won nine blocks while Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) managed to win just two. State gas utility GAIL, upstream arm of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Oil Exploration Co (HOEC) won one block each. The 55 blocks have a total area of 59,282 sq km. This compares to about 1,02,000 sq km being under exploration prior to OALP. Blocks are awarded to the company which offers the highest share of oil and gas to the government as well as commits to doing maximum exploration work by way of shooting 2D and 3D seismic survey and drilling exploration wells. Increased exploration will lead to more oil and gas production, helping the world’s third largest oil importer to cut import dependence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of cutting oil import bill by 10 per cent to 67 per cent by 2022 and to half by 2030. Import dependence has increased since 2015 when Modi had set the target. India currently imports 83 per cent of its oil needs. The new policy replaced the old system of government carving out areas and bidding them out. It guarantees marketing and pricing freedom and moves away from production sharing model of previous rounds to a revenue-sharing model, where companies offering the maximum share of oil and gas to the government are awarded the block. The government prior to this had been selecting and demarcating areas it feels can be offered for bidding in an exploration licensing round. Under this, 256 blocks had been offered for exploration and production since 2000. The last bid round happened in 2010. Of these, 254 blocks were awarded. But as many as 156 have already been relinquished due to poor prospect.
Tehran: Iran’s foreign ministry warned the UK on Tuesday that giving diplomatic protection to a British-Iranian mother jailed in Tehran would not make the situation “easier”, state news agency IRNA reported. Britain on Friday extended the status to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested in Tehran in 2016. “What is certain is that the British government’s move lacks goodwill and is in no way constructive or positive,” said ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi on Tuesday. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping”If it does not make the situation more complicated, it will surely not make things easier.” Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation — the media organisation’s philanthropic arm — is serving a five-year jail sentence for sedition. She has denied all the charges against her. Diplomatic protection is a rarely-used mechanism allowing governments to seek protection for their citizens on the grounds that they have been wronged by another state. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangBritain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Friday that London would take the “extremely unusual” step of extending diplomatic protection to the jailed mother. This would signify the “formal recognition by the British government that her treatment fails to meet Iran’s obligations under international law”, he said. But Ghasemi denied this, saying Zaghari-Ratcliffe is “enjoying all legal and citizenship rights — both throughout her trial proceedings and during the conviction period”, including medical care. Tehran was informed of the UK’s decision via official channels, and is currently studying the legal and political implications, the spokesman said. Ghasemi dismissed the move as “merely reflecting a political decision by the UK” and said that it would not “in itself bring about a new legal status internally or internationally.” Iran’s envoy to London said last week that the UK’s decision “contravenes international law”, as governments can only exercise such protection for their own nationals. Writing on Twitter, Hamid Baeidinejad said Iran does not recognise dual nationality. “Irrespective of UK residency, MS Zaghari thus remains Iranian,” he wrote.
Tezpur (Assam): A Muslim man was allegedly beaten up and forced to eat pork by a group of people who were angry over his selling beef in Assam, police said Tuesday. Consumption of pork is a taboo among most Muslims.The victim, Shaukat Ali (48), was assaulted by a group of locals at Madhupur weekly market in Biswanath district on Sunday and required hospitalisation, Superintendent of Police Rakesh Raushan said. A video of the incident that has gone viral showed a dazed Ali surrounded by some people who angrily demanded to know from him where he came from and whether his name figured in the contentious National Register of Citizens that intends to weed out illegal migrants. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsAli, according to Raushan, was beaten up by locals not aligned to any fundamentalist organisation. Ali, who owns a food stall, claimed he was force-fed pork by the assailants, but police did not confirm it. “We have also heard about that. It is a matter of investigation. It is only after that has been done that I will be able to tell,” the SP said. A man was arrested in connection with the incident and questioned. Ali claimed he had been selling beef at the market for over three decades and never faced such a situation. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe group also beat up 42-year-old Kamal Thapa, the contractor of the market, for allowing Ali to sell beef dishes. Cow slaughter and consumption of beef is not banned in the state but the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950, permits the slaughter of only cattle above 14 years of age after due certification by a veterinary officer. The Sunday’s incident came to light when a video shot by one among the group of assailants went viral on social media. A case was registered with the Biswanath Chariali police station on the complaint of the victim’s brother Sahabuddin Ali on Monday evening.
Japan is working toward restoring Australian visitor numbers in 2012 after a fall in figures last year as a result of the earthquake and tsunami tragedies. Australian Consul-General of Japan Masahiro Kohara spoke to up to 130 delegates attending the Japan Snow & Adventure Seminar 2012 at the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney last night about the region’s plans to stimulate travel from down under. “The motivation for this expo is to provide the Australian market with up-to-date information and the confidence to sell Japan snow products,” he said. Japan National Tourist Organisation (JNTO) Viara Yanatchkova said Australian visitor numbers were on the rise with the first two months of this year recording growth in arrivals. “There was a 30 percent decrease in the number of Australian tourists in 2011 but with the help of last minute bookings, January and February 2012 saw an influx of 40,132 Australian visitors to Japan.” Ms Yanatchkova highlighted Japan’s accessibility as one of the key reasons Australians should visit. “There are no visa requirements for Australian visitors, the time difference is minimal so there’s little to no jet lag and Japan Airlines, Qantas and Jetstar all fly direct routes between Australia and Japan,” she said. The Qantas subsidiary is also making it easier to travel throughout Japan domestically, launching Jetstar Japan later this year. Speakers from various ski resorts across Japan made presentations at the Seminar, emphasising the quality of the product on offer and why it would be attractive to Australians. “Australians love a ski village, the lifestyle, the vibe. Over here, we have it,” a representative from the Niseko resort said. Scott Tovey from New Furano Prince Hotel said “consistency, affordability, interlinked resorts and uncrowded slopes” were just a few of the advantages of travelling to Japan for a snow or adventure holiday. The 2012 Seminar was held in Melbourne on 21 May at Rydges Melbourne Hotel. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T