Travel Tips – Hitting the Links in St Kitts

Much like other islands in the Caribbean, the tourism industry of St. Kitts has recently been courting the serious traveling golfer. With over 50 million devoted golfers worldwide and far more recreational players, Caribbean golf resorts are turning to golf as a focal point of their tourism efforts. According to published statistics, the traveling golfer, on business or vacation, both travels
more often and spends approximately 35 percent more per trip than an average tourist.Throughout the entire Caribbean, the golf industry continues to grow at an incredible rate. Within the last 10 years, many of the world’s most recognized golf course architects have lent their skill to Caribbean soil, including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Greg Norman and Peter Dye.
In regards to St. Kitts, it certainly helps that the island’s climate and environment are perfectly suited for such golf course construction. In addition to heavenly weather, everything from the jungles to the beaches remains remarkably well-preserved. With one of the centerpieces of St. Kitts tourism now in place, the coming years will see at least four new tournament quality courses. Here is an outline of what to expect in the future and some travel tips to make the most of your Caribbean golf vacation.At the heart of St. Kitts’ golf course development and tourism plans is the recently remodeled Royal St. Kitts Golf Club. Developed in conjunction with the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino, the 6,900-yard, par 71 golf club majestically overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Designed by award-winning architect Thomas McBroom and essentially rebuilt atop an existing course of lesser renown, the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club has already established itself as the premier links-style course in the Caribbean.To accompany the beautifully updated course, the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club also has a luxurious new clubhouse with a restaurant and bar, locker rooms and a full-service pro shop. The Royal St. Kitts Golf Club will also house the Faldo Institute by Marriott, a state-of-the-art training and education facility. If that isn’t enough for you, the Marriott Hotel has 648 guest rooms and suites, three swimming pools, the 35,000 square foot Royal Beach Casino and the 15,000 square foot Emerald Mist Spa.Slated to open in early 2007, the $14-million La Vallée Golf Course designed by Charles Howard will be a traditional links layout coupled with impressive views of the Caribbean Sea, small neighboring islands and Mount Liamuiga, the island’s highest point. In the future, this St. Kitts golf club will be surrounded by private villas, a new marina and a luxury hotel.In the Sandy Bank area, a $295 million Caribbean golf resort is scheduled to open in 2008. Besides the luxury hotel and its trimmings, the complex will include another much-anticipated championship course. With a layout designed by Rees Jones, brother of Robert Trent Jones Jr. and one of the leading golf course architects in his own right, the course is destined to be yet another gem in a growing collection of St. Kitts treasures.The most recently announced project is the Kittitian Heights Resort at Belmont Estate in northwestern St. Kitts, only 20 miles from the capital of Basseterre. The $195 million development is scheduled to open in 2011 and will include a course designed by Ian Woosnam, the former Masters Champion.On St. Kitts sister island of Nevis, the Four Seasons Caribbean Golf Resort is another great design by Robert Trent Jones Jr., one of the Caribbean’s most active architects. Finished in 1991, the course certainly set the standard for things to come on the islands. Now, a new layout designed by renowned Canadian golf course architect Doug Carrick, scheduled to open in 2008, will carve a path through the coconut groves on the foothills of Mount Nevis.

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Mortgage Loan Modification – 4 Essential Factors to Consider About Obama’s Mortgage Stimulus Program

The Obama administration introduced the new mortgage loan modification plans on March 4th 2009. This can be considered a huge lifeline and helping hand for those of you struggling to make your mortgage repayments. It is expected that the mortgage loan modification program will aid up to 9 million American homeowners. In this article i would like to answer some of the questions you may have about Obama’s scheme.1) In order to qualify for mortgage loan modification, you should have taken your loan out prior to January 1st 2009 and still be living in the property. Your home should also be worth less than $729,750.2) The mortgage loan modification plans are intended to help borrowers in financial difficulty. Although the majority of applicants have either been in arrears or facing foreclosure, this is not absolutely necessary to be approved. Many lenders would prefer that people approach them if they believe they are in financial hardship, this of course may be prior to you falling into arrears.3) Your mortgage payments should be adjusted to form no more than 31% of your monthly income. So if you believe that you are paying more than this on a monthly basis, you have a great chance of qualifying for mortgage loan modification. Usually your lender will drop the interest rate on your loan to as low as 2%. They may decide to extend the term of your loan to an absolute maximum of 40 years. They may even offer you a combination of these 2 things to ensure your payment falls within the 31% threshold.4) Unfortunately mortgage loan modification can be a complicated process. Due to the huge amount of applications expected, many lenders are unable to help borrowers with their paperwork. However, applications that have incomplete paperwork or missing documentation will simply be declined and you will be put to the back of the queue. There are professional mortgage loan modification companies that can help you through the application process, however, you can expect this to cost you in the region of $1500-$5000. I would hazard a guess that if you are struggling to meet your mortgage repayments, you are highly unlikely to have this amount of cash just “lying around”!

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The Future of Digital Marketing: Five Trends to Leverage a Small Business Opportunity

Jameson General Store was a historical treasure in the small North Carolina Community. Jim Jameson, the owner, had been part of the family legacy over 100 years old. The company had seen bad times, including The Great Depression. However, their hard work and customer loyalty had sustained the company’s success. Even when a neighboring community got its Walmart’s Marketplace Store, their customers remained loyal. Jim did not believe in utilizing online advertising and social media platforms. He believed that these activities were only a fad. Yet, their customers gradually started shopping online because Jameson General Store was limited in its product offerings. In fact, most of the business that Jameson Store lost was not to local competitors, but online sellers. Jim was adamant about resisting the temptation about shopping online. Yet, when he saw his own 10-year-old grandson purchase a difficult item to locate in the area online at significant costs, Jim had to ponder his current marketing strategy with the changing landscape in the nation.Today’s customers can purchase a variety of items online with minimum effort. Given this scenario, brick and mortar companies are fighting to stay alive with the fierce internet competition. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Square and Mercury Analytics looking at 1,164 U.S. business owners, the following observations were made:

96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone.

51% of Americans prefer to shop online.

67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop online rather than in-store.

Millennials and Gen Xers spend nearly 50% as much time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours).

51% of seniors have shopped on marketplaces, 66% at large retailer sites, 30% on web stores or independent boutiques, and 44% at category-specific online stores.

Marketing professionals understand the importance of the internet and how to effectively leverage this power. According to, 90% of marketers use social media for their businesses. Sadly, many small businesses do not recognize this fact. Many businesses had opted to bury their heads in the sand in hopes that this ‘internet thing’ will go away. It hadn’t!In fact, e-Commerce is growing more than 23% annually; however, 46% of American small businesses do not have a website according to Square and Mercury Analytics research. This article focuses on how small businesses can leverage digital marketing to achieve greater success and enhance their market opportunities.Digital marketing should be a tool that every serious small business should utilize. Digital marketing goes by many names such as e-commerce marketing, online marketing, and internet marketing. Digital marketing can be defined as “the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers.” The key objective is to promote brands the usage of the internet.Digital marketing extends beyond internet marketing to include channels that do not require the use of the internet. Some digital marketing channels include websites, social media platforms, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, podcasts, and online advertising to name a few. Beyond technology gimmicks, businesses should know their customers and their core competencies. Digital marketing is not a silver bullet. Digital marketing is a tool for the savvy business professional.Catherine Juan, Donnie Greiling, and Catherine Buerkle, authors of Internet Marketing: Start to Finish, suggest that effective digital marketing requires plenty of careful planning. They add, “The heart of getting real traction out of your internet marketing program is to tie marketing and sales data together, with metrics. Track what you’re doing, track the impact, and track the resulting sales.” Looking at the landscape of technology and internet innovation, small businesses should think strategically about the following five digital marketing trends:• Artificial Intelligence – Some people develop elaborate doom-day scenarios of machines to control the world. However, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a way of life in marketing. AI can be defined as ‘the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.’ Voice Activation technology like Amazon’s Echo is bringing AI into public attention. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their purchases without interacting with a person.• Internet Searching – Buyers are more knowledgeable than ever with access to the internet. In fact, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. Thus, exploring how to utilize search engine optimization and getting your business at the top of searches is an invaluable step.• Mobile Communications – Most Americans have grown accustomed to instant gratification and easy access to technology. Mobile and tablet e-commerce will reach $293B by 2018. Smartphone and tablets are part of this wave of innovation. Mobile will account for 72% of the U.S. digital ad spend by 2019. Marketers recognize that mobile marketing is an untapped business tool.• Social Media – Social media platforms, like Facebook, allows buyers to connect with each other virtually. 65% of business-to-business companies have acquired customers through LinkedIn ads. Marketers realize this value.• Web Content – Good content will attract customers. In fact, customers are more likely to purchase from sellers with good, relevant videos/photos on their website. 52% of marketing professionals globally name the video as the type of content with the best ROI.Faced with the tenants of competition, small businesses need to utilize digital marketing. Some small businesses may be hesitant to explore digital marketing due to their lack of trust and understanding of the internet. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management, note “Top firms are comfortable using technology to improve the way they do business with their business-to-business customers.”This article demonstrated that today’s small businesses can utilize digital marketing to enhance their market opportunities. Hopefully, gaining this knowledge will help business owners so that they will not continue to bury their heads in the sand. The internet is here to stay. Pray that you are listening to this message.© 2017 by DD Green

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