Go back to the enewsletter Written by Andrew Conwa

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterWritten by Andrew ConwayThe classic Australian song, ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’, has long captured the inherent spirit of antipodean travellers. With longer annual holidays, higher disposable income and a keener sense of adventure than many other nationalities, Australians are widely considered among the world’s most prolific travellers.But a distinct cultural shift is changing the way Australians now explore the world. The once-popular “been-there-done-that” approach is rapidly giving way to a more thoughtful, altruistic and globally minded rationale that’s also moving firmly into the thriving luxury travel arena.Not the rarefied world of five-star hotel suites, white linen tablecloths and silver service, but a more authentic, immersive, private and highly personalised space – and luxury travel brands are responding to the new mindset.Cathy Wagstaff, Editor-in-Chief of Signature Luxury Travel & Style“Small and intimate is in,” says Cathy Wagstaff, Editor-in-Chief of Signature Luxury Travel & Style, a leading media sponsor of ILTM – with the largest audited circulation of any Australian consumer travel magazine – and of LATTE, the only luxury travel trade enewsletter in Australasia.“Australians will always love Europe, especially Italy and France, but there is a trend towards smaller, more personalised hotels, customised tours offering unique and immersive cultural experiences, and authentic regional cuisine in places like Japan, Iceland, the Galapagos Islands, Africa and Antarctica,” she adds.Wagstaff points to tented camps, ‘bubble’ tents, exclusive wellness retreats and off-the-beaten-track wildlife safaris, especially those with a genuine focus on conservation.“Australian luxury travellers want the best and will be loyal to luxury travel brands that deliver on service, product and experiences,” she adds. “Giving back to local communities wherever possible is also increasingly important.”Michael Londregan, Managing Director of Virtuoso Asia PacificMichael Londregan, Managing Director of Virtuoso Asia Pacific, agrees.“Small is big and exotic is really popular,” he says. “Australian travellers are looking for things in the middle of their wishlists like the Galapagos, Japan, Antarctica, Cuba and Mexico.”“These are all places that have traditionally not sat at the top of people’s bucket lists, but that are really doing well this year,” he adds.Londregan says there is also a backlash against mainstream travel offerings. “Now it’s all about bespoke,” he contends. “I want travel to be designed around me, according to my and my family’s brief. I don’t want to be offered a trip that’s near enough, but cheaper. The point isn’t the cost; it’s the perfection of the fit. I want it custom-made for me.”The latest Virtuoso Luxe Report (Australia), which surveyed the opinions of leading luxury travel agencies and advisors in 82 locations across the country, predicts 2019 will be a year of ultra-personalised experiences for Australian luxury travellers.“High-end brands are starting to understand that personalisation is the new luxury,” says Londregan. “For the industry to do this well, we need to understand broader societal changes and trends towards health and wellness, authenticity and true engagement. The human trends that are happening for high net-worth individuals are translating into the travel trends we are seeing today.”While the average income of Australian luxury travellers is reported to be around $318,000 – and they spend approximately $13,000 per trip – value for money is still a key driving influencer.Anthony Goldman, Joint Managing Director of The Goldman Group“Everyone wants value, no matter how much money they have to spend,” says leading luxury travel authority and Joint Managing Director of The Goldman Group, Anthony Goldman.“Luxury travel brands need to understand that even though a client will spend big on travel, if the experience doesn’t live up to the promise, you will not be able to attract that high-end traveller on an ongoing basis,” he says.“Another point to note is that luxury means different things to different people, and contrary to what most people think, luxury travel is no longer the reserve of the very wealthy.”Goldman says luxury travel is changing, and it is no longer about being over the top. “The luxe travellers of today are seeking more personal and stripped-back special experiences, with superior service and recognition remaining mandatory,” he says.“Australian luxury travellers are adventurous, travelling with family and travelling more often, and want to experience local culture over white tablecloths and chandeliers.”Steve Odell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director,  Asia Pacific at Norwegian Cruise Line HoldingsThe booming luxury cruising industry is also seeing a shift in trends. Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Steve Odell, says Australian luxury cruise clients are increasingly looking for a one-of-a-kind, fully inclusive experience akin to travelling on a private yacht.“Simply translated, this means a personalised style of travel,” he says. “Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the only luxury cruise line to offer free unlimited shore excursions in every port. This is matched by exemplary service, all-suite accommodations with private verandahs and an array of inclusive dining choices on every ship in the fleet.”Odell says key trends for luxury cruising in 2019 include bespoke guided tours that immerse guests in the local culture of the region being visited.“We are also seeing a surge in bookings for destinations such as Japan, French Polynesia, the Baltic and Alaska,” he says. “Smaller ships mean smaller boutique ports of call, away from the crowds.”Lead image: Joali Maldives – Three Bedroom Ocean ResidenceGo back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

State Roundup AbortionRights Groups Mostly Silent On Fetal Pain Laws Conn Advocates

first_imgA selection of health policy stories from Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, California, Tennessee, Kansas and Wisconsin.Politico: Abortion-Rights Groups Absent On Pain LawsWhen new limits on abortions are proposed, abortion-rights groups usually go all out to stop them. So why haven’t they gone all out against state fetal-pain laws, enacted in nine states since early 2010? These laws ban abortion after 20 weeks, based on the controversial assertion that the fetus can then experience pain. They’re handing victories to anti-abortion groups, and so far there’s only one major challenge from an abortion-rights group: in Arizona, where the 9th Circuit Court early this month temporarily blocked the state law (Smith, 8/13).CT Mirror: Health Care Advocates Remain Wary Of LIA Changes, Even As DSS Scales Back RestrictionsAfter advocates for mentally ill and disabled residents warned that a new plan to limit the number of people receiving state Medicaid benefits would hurt that population in particular, the state has somewhat modified its plan. DSS spokesman David Dearborn said the agency would revise its planned application to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the Medicaid for Low Income Adults program, known as LIA (Phaneuf, 8/13).Health News Florida/Kaiser Health News: Readmit Rates Cost FL HospitalsLower Medicare reimbursement rates are coming for hundreds of hospitals across the country and for 131 in Florida with “excess readmission” rates, according to analysis of CMS data by Kaiser Health News. … Nine hospitals around the state, including Florida Hospital in Orlando, will deal with a 1 percent gap caused by the penalty. Even though half of the 22 facilities in the Florida Hospital system will be penalized under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, hospital officials said care won’t be affected (8/13).Minneapolis Star Tribune: Hospitals Face Penalties If Patients Quickly ReturnMinnesota hospitals will lose an estimated $1.7 million in Medicare payments next year under a new program that penalizes hospitals for higher-than-average rates of readmission. The penalties are based on the 30-day readmission rates for Medicare patients with three common conditions — heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia — between 2008 and 2011. The penalties, which will affect 29 Minnesota hospitals, will average about one-tenth of 1 percent of their annual Medicare payments, the Minnesota Hospital Association said (Lerner, 8/13).Minnesota Public Radio: Careful Look At State Employees Health Benefits May Save Taxpayers MillionsThe state of Minnesota is terminating health insurance coverage for about 3,100 family members of state employees. The action comes after the state conducted an audit to determine whether anyone was improperly receiving benefits. Supporters of the audit say it is proof the program is working, and that it could save the state millions of dollars (Scheck, 8/14).The Oregonian: Hospital Error Reports Up Slightly In Oregon — And That’s Good NewsReports of errors in Oregon hospitals grew slightly last year, according to the Oregon Patient Safety Commission. But that might actually be good news. The commission relies on voluntary reporting, and has been struggling to persuade hospitals to improve their reporting. More reports will allow the state to better improve safety, says Bethany Higgins, the commission’s executive director. “You can clearly see that there’s improvement across the board with the quantity as well as the quality of the reports submitted, as well as the timeliness with which they are submitting them,” she said, adding, “We have a long ways to go” (Budnick, 8/13).HealthyCal: NPs On The FrontlinesGlide, situated in the heart of San Francisco’s gritty Tenderloin neighborhood, is a haven for the homeless. Outside the shelter’s door, though it is just before noon, a group of men and women line up to wait for a bed for the night or a hot meal. … Hints of the state-of-the-art health center on the top floors of the onetime hotel start inside the lobby, in the form of posters and flyers announcing services ranging from free HIV testing to tai chi classes. Patricia Dennehy, the director of Glide Health Services, has learned that low-income patients make better health decisions when providers focus on the entire person, not just the illness that landed them in the examining room. Challenges such as poverty, inadequate housing and unemployment can eventually wreak havoc on people’s health (Ramirez, 8/14).The Associated Press: Tennessee Nursing Job Market More Competitive Health care experts say Tennessee’s nursing job market has grown more competitive in recent years. According to the Tennessee Board of Nursing, there were more than 83,000 registered nurses in the state in 2011, and 21 new schools were added between 2000 and 2011 (8/13).Reuters: Health Startups Learn To Compete In Silicon Valley It may not sound as flashy as social media, but health care is becoming a new star in Silicon Valley. Driven by the promise of enormous payouts, entrepreneurs are using the latest technology and design to help save lives, and make money. But it’s tough to grab a share from the big companies, which are dominant in certain fields in health care, such as Electronical Medical Records, or EMR, where doctors store and manage patients’ digital health data (Tian, 8/14). California Healthline: Designing A New Tier Of Dental Professional In CaliforniaAbout two million California kids will gain access to dental coverage over the next few years as a result of the Affordable Care Act and the state’s decision to shift children from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. ACA also will provide more dental coverage for some adults. That’s generally considered good news in the dental and children’s health communities … but who’s going to do the work? … The California Legislature this month will consider a bill aimed at improving dental care for underserved children. SB 694, by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-San Fernando Valley), would … launch a project to train a new level of oral health care professional in California — people less educated than dentists but with enough training to perform some dental procedures (8/13).Kansas Health Institute News: Changes Under Way For Determining In-Home Medicaid ServicesState officials are changing the way they determine which in-home Medicaid services are provided to the frail elderly and people who are physically disabled. The new system will rely on a single agency or organization with a presence in each of the state’s 105 counties to assess what services a person will receive. Currently, there are more than 30 organizations involved with the process. Some assess only the elderly. Others focus solely on the physically disabled (Ranney, 8/13).Kansas Health Institute News: Kansas Looks To Wisconsin For ADRC Model In Wisconsin, it’s easy for frail seniors or people who are physically disabled to find out if they are eligible for the Medicaid services that could help them live at home and avoid or delay the move to a nursing home. All they have to do is call the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) in their county. They’ll be hooked up with someone who can assess their conditions, figure out how to pay for the services and put them in touch with the providers who can make it happen (Ranney, 8/13). Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Mental Health Advocates Urge Abele To Fund Community Care Advocates for community mental health services called on Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele on Monday to reinvest savings from downsizing the Mental Health Complex into community services in his 2013 budget. Abele was reminded that he signed a resolution last year promising to do just that. However, the 2013 budget request by the county’s Behavioral Health Division does not set aside for community services the $1.5 million in savings from closing an acute-care unit at the complex, shutting down part of another unit at the complex and privatizing some mental health services elsewhere (Schultze, 8/13). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. State Roundup: Abortion-Rights Groups Mostly Silent On Fetal Pain Laws; Conn. Advocates Worry Over Medicaid Cutslast_img read more

Research finds drop in number of measles cases in the EUEEA since

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 21 2018During the month of July, a total of 758 cases of measles were reported across seventeen countries in the EU/EEA, which is a decrease from the 1054 cases reported during the month of June.”Since March, the number of measles cases in the EU/EEA has dropped steadily, which is of course a positive development” says Tarik Derrough, ECDC senior expert on vaccine-preventable diseases. “However, measles continues to spread across Europe because vaccination coverage in most European countries remains sub-optimal. Only four EU/EEA countries reported figures of at least 95% vaccination coverage, for both doses of measles-containing vaccine for 2017. If the goal of eliminating measles is to be reached, vaccination coverage for children and adults needs to increase in a number of countries.”Looking at the situation over the past year (1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018), 14 118 cases of measles were reported across 30 EU/EEA Member States. The most cases were reported by Greece (3 224), Italy (2 873), France (2 794) and United Kingdom (1 724), accounting respectively for 23%, 20%, 20% and 12% of all cases reported by EU/EEA countries.Of 14 117 cases with known age, 4 250 (30%) were children less than five years of age, while 6 115 (50%) were aged 15 years or older. Source:https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/drop-eueea-measles-cases-between-march-and-july-2018last_img read more