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Planning on having a vacation with your family? Do you want to have a hassle free option for you to set up your travel plans and choose the best travel destinations around the world? No worries. The easiest and the most convenient way to book your ticket and help you with your travel itinerary are through the internet. You can find so many websites about travel guides and tours that would certainly help you with your trip.

You can find online travel agencies that can be helpful in giving you information about great destinations around the world without going to any travel agency office or talk to a travel agent. These online travel agencies will surely give you all the comforts to set up your destination plans in front of your laptop or PC. When you choose your online travel destination, you have to remember to find the best deal that allows you to choose your own destination and at the same time gives you all the comfort and convenience.

The benefits and advantage of online travel agencies is having low cost and convenience. Online travel agencies is also available at any time, as long as you go online, you have all the time for bookings that you need to complete. With all these online agencies, you have all the option to choose the best deal and the right budget for you. It also gives the comfort in the country of destination; you are provided with the transfer to your hotel and agencies are the one taking care of any problems you might encounter.

Also, the advantage of choosing online agencies is your control on your decision without influences or pressure from travel agents. If you visit a travel agency office, many travel agents have the same tone like a salesman; remember that most of these people are working under a commission program. So basically, you might be pressured by their sales pitch and book a trip without checking other good options and much less affordable.

Usually one of the concerns for online travel agencies is the security of paying large amounts of money online. Online security is a major issue for any online business, so it is very important to make sure and choose a travel agency online with a good reputation by checking customer reviews and feedback. Not all agencies can be relied on because some of them might disappear with your money. There are so many scams over the internet nowadays, so b very careful. It is better to be safe than sorry.

So overall, make sure to choose the legitimate and quality online travel agencies to avoid scams. Always seek some tips and assistance if you’re not sure about the online travel agency. Most importantly plan your trip carefully to avoid any hassles or problems. Good luck and enjoy your vacation.

Introduction to the Topic

Australia is one of only a few countries with the capabilities to design cars from scratch and manufacture in significant volumes. Car sales in Australia are also an important factor of the Australian Automotive Industry and the Australian Economy in total.

The Australian Auto Industry (A.A.I. in short) can be divided into two interrelated sectors, the Production ( Manufacturing) sector and the Car Sales (or Import-Sales) sector, both equally important for the total performance of the A.A.I. On one hand, the Manufacturing sector refers to the market conditions under which Australian Manufacturing businesses compete, by producing vehicles and related products, with the main aim of maximizing profits. On the other hand, the Sales sector refers to the market conditions under which car representative sale businesses compete, by the sale of cars and related products, having the same aim with businesses within sector one.

It is very important to state the distinction between these two sectors within the A.A.I., as we will be talking about two different market structures, business strategies, competition conditions, e.t.c. In order to analyse these market structures it would be appropriate to develop two economic models, one for each A.A.I. sector.

1.1-Analyzing the Manufacturing Sector

There is only one market structure that can best describe the market conditions in the Manufacturing sector if A.A.I., this is Oligopoly. As there are only two organizations that produce cars in Australia, and these are Ford and Holden, the competition methods and pricing strategies are based between these two organizations. The following economic model shall help define the competition and economic conditions for the Australian Automotive Manufacturing market.

The first important characteristic of Oligopoly that needs to be stated is that prices between competitors tend to be “sticky”, which means that they change less frequently than any other market structure. This statement will be explained in more detail later on, when we will be developing the Game-Theory model, as it is a very important concept of competition. The second most important characteristic is that when prices do change, firms are likely to change their pricing policies together. These two characteristics can boost up competition within the market. Firms will either try to match rivals’ price changes or ignore them. This is depended on the Game-Theory that is explained bellow.

However, the recent market conditions for the Australian Automotive Industry and the actions of the Australian Government have worsen the competition conditions and possible pricing options available for firms in the market. The production and maintenance costs for a manufacturing business in Australia are already high and rising, mostly due to lack of economic resources and advance of technology. That is, as Holden and Ford try to compete each other, given that prices tend to be “sticky”, they are forced to focus on technological advantage and marketing. Both of these business sectors produce high costs. Furthermore, the Australian government has made it clear that is unwilling to further subsidize automotive organizations in the market. All these factors stated above produce a negative effect on the competitiveness of both firms. In other words, rising costs alongside with decreased revenue push firms in experiencing lower and decreasing levels of profitability.

Profitability and the level of competitiveness are highly interrelated in an oligopolistic market structure, being the two most important factors, alongside with product differentiation, in the competition policies that the firms follow. When we say that the level of competitiveness of a firm is very low, we mean that the firm cannot react effectively to any price changes or competition changes or even changes in production costs. This may leave the firm depended on its’ competitor’s pricing and competition actions, not being able to affect the market competitiveness at all. The firm is then exposed to external danger and can be pushed out of the market, or even worse to shut production and declare bankrupt.

1.2- The Game-Theory Model for Oligopoly

The Game Theory model is used to explain the pricing and competition policies of firms in an oligopolistic market structure. Furthermore, it can show the few different competition policies based on pricing that the two firms can follow, that is High and Low as stated above. All firms in this market structure follow a Game-Theory model, although it is surely more detailed than our example, in the process of trying to forecast competitors’ pricing and competition movements and also keep track of the competition levels in the market and market share. But how does this happen?

For example, let’s say that there are four different fields, each divided in half. These fields represent the pricing strategies that Holden and Ford may use in the process of competing each other. Field A and C represent a High-Pricing policy for Holden, while fields A and B represent a High-Pricing policy for Ford. Lastly, fields B and D represent a Low-Pricing policy for Holden, while fields C and D represent a Low-Pricing policy for Ford. When both firms decide to follow a High-Pricing policy they share a profit of, let’s say, $12 million. If Holden decided to move to a Low-Pricing policy it will experience a maximum of $15 million profit, while Ford’s profitability will fall to $6 million. The exact opposite may also occur, while if both firms decided to follow a Low-Pricing policy they would realize a maximum of $8 million of profit.

What we can identify from the above example is that firms in an oligopolistic competitive market rarely change their pricing policies because this may produce a negative effect on their profitability levels. However, Holden and Ford, being the only two firms in the Australian Automotive Industry, they will focus on competing through product differentiation and marketing. That is, they will try to compete by differentiating their products, for example by producing vehicles with different features, or even base their production on technological advantage. Marketing plays an important role here, as it is the main tool that delivers and connects the customer with product. For example, if Holden introduces a new driving technology that improves driving experience and safety and produces this technology alongside with a newly designed vehicle, it is quite likely that Holden will effectively differentiate its newly designed vehicle from a relative vehicle of Ford and lure more customers in the store. Holden may also use marketing techniques to deliver this technology to the public, in the form of knowledge; hence try to boost sales without changing its pricing policy. However, it is important to state that this new technology may produce higher production costs, if not evaluated properly; hence Holden can only rely in increasing its market share to gain greater profitability. The sales part, however, will be analyzed in more extend within the next chapter of this report.

The Game-Theory is not just a theory for the Automotive Industry in Australia, it’s a fact. It shows us that auto manufacturers in Australia have based their competition strategies on all the factors stated above and as much as they possibly can on pricing strategies. They may advertise that they have low prices, but in fact their prices are very stable. If we have a close look at Holden’s or Ford’s websites, we will identify that there is a huge variety of products and each firm competes in that. However, the new market conditions stated before have greatly changed the way auto manufacturers think of the future and this in turn may change their pricing and competition policies, or even determine their existence in the market.

2.1- Analyzing the Import/Sales Sector

While the auto manufacturers are considered to be operating in an oligopolistic market structure, importing and selling vehicles or relative products is a different story. The import and sale of vehicles is the second and equally important business sector of the Australian Automotive Industry. There are many different car selling businesses and we shall only consider first-hand sales, as second-hand sales in general are not included in economics and more specifically in GDP measurements. To enter the industry hard at all as there are not many barriers to entry, however someone who is interested needs to consider of the high costs in setting up an automotive dealership. All businesses in this market are mostly based on product differentiation to compete and while prices are not “sticky”, pricing competition is set up by the market mechanism and tends not to be considered a regular phenomenon. Lastly, cost analysis and cost management play a very important role. All of the above characteristics refer to the Monopolistic Competition Market Structure. In this market structure we will focus on two phases, the short-run phase and the long-run phase, each with different competition characteristics and outcomes.

An important factor that we need to state here is that when the costs of developing a vehicle in the manufacturing sector rise, then the cost for selling the vehicle for a dealership may rise as well. This is always depended of course on if the vehicle was produced in Australia and if it was produced overseas, under what economic conditions was it produced. Price might be “sticky” for manufacturers, however prices will change much easier in this sector if needs be. Here firms will change their pricing policies if costs either rise or fall and this is always depended on the market mechanism. The amount of competitiveness along with the amount of price elasticity of demand will depend on how many rivals the monopolistic competitive firm will have to face.

In such market the following situation is very common, a situation that helps us distinct between short-run and long-run:

Stage One

In this stage the firm experiences economic profits. However, this fact will draw new firms in the market causing the profits to be competed away.

Stage Two

The economic losses indicated in this stage will cause many firms to exit the market, as they cannot keep selling under these market conditions.

Stage Three

In the final stage, the market clears-up, or reaches equilibrium point. As all firms that needed to exit the market have done so, the market mechanism comes to the point where no economic profits/losses are realized by the firms. This is the point where the market is most stable.

Studying the situation above we can identify one very important fact for any monopolistic competitive firm in the Australian Automotive Industry/ Sales sector. That is that in this market structure, in the long run, firms will realize only normal profits and the market mechanism will eventually reach an equilibrium point. Hence, in the long-run firms will compete mostly through product differentiation. However, in the short run firms may experience economic profits or losses and this is what causes firms to enter or exit the market and “shows” firms how to compete and when to apply pricing competition policies.

Conclusion

The Australian Automotive Industry may be experiencing rough market conditions, mostly because there is no more government support; however competition and profit maximization is still possible. Thinking of moving overseas is not always a good option for the manufacturing businesses, as the Australian Economy needs the manufacturing sector, as it represents a reasonably big part of GDP.

Market competition conditions are well defined for every manufacturer or car dealership, hence any business in the market ought to use the available to them competition strategies and achieve higher market share and profitability level or stabilize its profitability levels. Either way, these are the main goals for almost every profit-motivated business in any market type under any market structure. However, every business ought to define the market structure that is operating in, so that it can then clearly define its goals, strategies and policies. The market mechanism is in all cases responsible for all the above strategies and most of the cases responsible for setting up pricing policies or indicating pricing and marketing strategies.

The automotive equipment industry deals with the production of every kind of tool and machinery that is needed for the manufacture, maintenance and repair of vehicles including cars and car parts. As such, the industry produces several different varieties of equipment starting from basic hand tools to more complex machinery.

Different Kinds of Automotive Equipment

Automotive workshops and garages will be unable to function without automotive equipment. Shop furniture, lifts, exhaust hoses, air compressors, lubrication equipment, electric and light reels, jacks, vehicle servicing equipment, fluid storage tanks and trans-air piping are some of the many different types of automotive equipment that are used by automotive manufacturing and automotive repair businesses.

Common Types Of Automotive Equipment

* Hand Tools: Automotive repair shops use several different types of hand tools for their repair and maintenance projects. Some of the commonest items include ratchet sets and wrench sets, crowbars (also known as pry bars), socket sets, screwdrivers, star and clutch-head drivers, hammers, pliers and wire cutters, electric drills, hacksaws and torque wrenches.

* Pneumatic Tools: Most automotive workshops now use pneumatic tools as an alternative to electricity powered motors because the latter is more prone to fire hazards. Such tools are powered by compressed air and are high powered versions of the more traditional hand tools. Common examples of pneumatic automotive equipment include air compressors that can be used to power a variety of tools including hammers, drills, ratchets and spraying tools.

* Availability of pneumatic equipment makes it easier for mechanics and technicians to undertake repair and maintenance work because they are powerful and easy to use. For example, a set of pneumatic shears can cut through sheet metal at a faster rate and leave behind a smoother edge when compared to traditional tin snips. Similarly, air hammers outfitted with chisel or punch bits have multiple uses. They can they be used for straightening dents. The chisel feature can be used to break rusted parts loose and the punch bits can be used to remove old rivets and bolts that are too difficult to take out by hand.

* Lifts: several different kinds of lifting equipment are used to lift and secure cars so that mechanics and repair persons can easily work under the vehicle. These lifting tools include both low-tech tools such as basic floor jacks, car ramps and jack stands as well as hydraulic lifts and floor jacks for better efficiency and performance.

* Vehicle Exhaust Removal Systems: vehicle exhaust removal systems are used to capture and remove harmful exhaust fumes to insure optimal air quality in automotive maintenance and repair facilities. These are mandatory equipment as per OSHA Standards in order to limit exposure to harmful vehicular emissions. Common vehicle exhaust removal systems include hose drops as well as reels.

* Lubrication Systems: Automotive lubrication systems include several different types of oil meters, ATF meters, gear lube meters, dispense valves and grease dispenses valves.

The Automotive equipment business is a very large and competitive business. Automotive repair businesses must buy equipment from reputable dealers for the best deals and performance levels.

While some of the most popular dishes associated with the Italian culture include a tempting slice of pizza and a heaping plate of pasta, there is much more to the world of Italian cooking. Throughout the many regions in Italy, the distinctive cuisine of the Italians shines through in a wide-range of eating habits, styles of cooking, and selection of local ingredients. The changing of the times has also influenced Italian food, as the meals served in the pre-Roman era possess both similarities and differences in the cuisine of today.

The culinary history of Italy established a reputation more than 2,000 years ago, which includes an illustrious movement during the Roman Empire. Culturally, food preparation was quite important in the past where flashes of significance have been captured in the only surviving cookbook (Apicius), which dates back to the first century BC.

The spread of Italian food diversity began after the fall of the Roman Empire when individual city states began to uphold separate identities and traditions. Each region began to display its own unique way of cooking, right down to the formation of a meatball to the characteristic cheeses and wine produced in a locale. The north developed Tuscan beef, while black truffles were very popular in Marches. Provolone and mozzarella cheeses developed in the south, as well as a host of interesting citrus fruits.

Diverse types of bread, variations in pasta, and varying food preparation techniques also differed according to region. The southern regions of Italy embrace hard-boiled spaghetti, while the north often prefers a soft egg noodle. Milan is known for their risotto, while Bologna has a deep history regarding tortellini, and Naples is famous for their pizzas.

Over the years, Italian cuisine has greatly evolved in part because of a wealth of outside influences that have added to its characteristic flavor and appeal. In the beginning, ancient Greek cookery became an integrated part of Italian cuisine. Eventually, a wealth of imports found their way into the kitchens of early Italians, who sent Roman ships to collect a variety of important foods, including wheat, wine, exotic ingredients, and fine spices from around the world. Some ships even traveled to faraway locations, such as China, to bring back edible resources that catapulted the depth and variety of Italian cooking styles.

Coastal regions are known for their developments in delicious fish and seafood dishes. For example, the island of Sardinia supplies a more traditional and simple style of cuisine, which often incorporated delicacies, associated with the sea. Swordfish, lobster, anchovies, sardines, and other Mediterranean treats represent Italian cooking of the area. In Sicily (another island region), a great deal of the cooking drew heavily from North African influences. An Arab influence also affected cuisine on the island and within the rest of the south, especially with the introduction of various spices and sweets, such as the Sicilian ice cream cake called cassata.

As for one of the most popular Italian dishes, while the history books often state that pasta was a product of the Chinese brought back by Venetian merchant, Marco Polo, it was actually a rediscovery of a food item eaten during Etruscan and Roman times. It is believed that the first pasta in Italy was made similar to the noodles of today – from the same durum wheat – which was cooked in ovens instead of boiled in water.

Today, the differences in Italian cooking still show through in the distinctions between the north and the south. Each region still carries their own traditions in cooking that reflects deep history and culture with a never ending supply of main courses, appetizers, and desserts that continuously tempts the taste buds.

Source by C. Steendahl

Imagine yourself right now walking lazily across a sandy beach, feeling the sand in between your toes as you gaze out at the sparkling water. Your ears are tuned into the delightful songs of the native birds, and the waves lapping gently against the nearby shore. Imagine the numerous activities that you could spend the day enjoying on this magnificent island. Now imagine owning the island you have pictured in your mind, it is possible. There are many islands for sale in Vanuatu, where a future full of fun and beauty can be yours. You call the shots, you make the rules.

The lifestyle potential is endless – you can build a house on your island, water ski, toboggan or swim – whatever takes your fancy! Take snorkelling for example, purchasing one of the Vanuatu islands currently for sale would make this popular tourist activity your normal pastime on your very own island! Or, if you enjoy an adrenaline rush, then imagine jet skiing and racing across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean while feeling the wind blowing in your face. Activity possibilities abound on a Vanuatu island… playing volleyball on the beach, jumping and diving onto the soft sand with family and friends. Purchasing one of the many Vanuatu islands for sale truly allows a lifestyle unlike any other.

Many celebrities have already taken advantage of the opportunity of securing an island for sale in the Pacific including Vanuatu. People like David Beckham, Brad Pitt, and Miley Cyrus to name a few. Why not experience the lifestyle of the rich and famous, with the luxury and comfort of your own island?

In terms of prices you can expect to pay for a small tropical island, you can be looking at anywhere from $500,000 to well over $1,000,000. It is common to find real estate opportunities around Puramamasa Island, Aore Island, Oyster and Malvanua Island.

Amongst the natural beauty and entertainment possibilities, spending time on an island is also the perfect way to chill out and relax, and get that tanned body you have always wanted. Choosing one of the Vanuatuan islands currently for sale gives you a front row seat to view the wonders of nature every day. When you have finished relaxing, you may perhaps want to sail or fly to one of the nearby villages and mix in with the locals, do some shopping, or treat your kids to some finely crafted knick knacks, or yummy native fruits like mango and coconut. Walking through village life in the tropics really is an experience to savor as the people are very friendly, and everywhere you look you’ll see smiling faces!

Whether you are looking for small or large island, one that is secluded and remote or close to civilisation, there is sure to be a Vanuatu island for sale which will enable you to fulfill your dream lifestyle. Explore the options carefully, and then soak up the sun in your very own piece of paradise.

Automotive equipment and tools are a very important part of the automobile industry. They can range from simple hand held devices to large structures that can even lift a heavy truck. The uses of these equipments in the world of automobiles cannot be undermined. For carrying out repairs, for changing a tire, for lubricating, for servicing, for charging up the battery, and for cleaning the vehicles, these equipments are very important.

Here Is A Brief Note On Some Of The Uses Of These Equipments.

Automobile Equipment Usage

* Automotive Lifts: Hydraulic lifts are very common in the industry and are used in showrooms, repair shops, and automobile factories. They generally come in the form of a platform fixed on a zigzag leg that can be raised or lowered as required. Heavy vehicles can be raised by the use of this equipment. These are how cars reach the first or second floor of a showroom or how the repairs to the lower part of vehicles are carried out in a mechanic’s shop. These lifts can be of different types like motorcycle lifts, runway lifts, drive on lifts, in-ground lifts, etc.

* Lubrication Equipments: As the name suggests, these are used to lubricate parts of the vehicle. There is a long list of lubrication equipments available and each is used for different lubrication purposes. Oil and grease reels, grease guns, oil drains, and oil and grease pumps are all examples of such commonly used equipment. Blacrank is a good brand when it comes to these equipments. Blacrank oil pumps are indisputable masters of the group.

* Compressors: Air compressors are used to do various works on automobiles. Generally, air compressors give additional pressure to drive in screws and give more power to tools like wrenches and nail guns. These are also used to remove dirt from the vehicle.

* Service Equipments: A vehicle needs to be serviced from time to time to ensure its proper running. This is where service equipments come in. These are battery chargers, fuel transfer device, brake fluid exchangers, coolant service equipment, tire changers, etc.

* Reels: These come in different shapes and sizes and are an important member of any automotive equipment list. Reels could be air reels, exhaust hose reels, grease reels, etc. Reels help to keep the pipes and hoses in place and also to extend its life. They can be easily reeled out to the required size and stored by reeling back.

* Jacks: Jacks are important not only in the shop but also for every vehicle owner. They enable the person to lift up the vehicle for the purpose of changing tires or doing some emergency repairs on the vehicle.

The list of automotive equipment is quite long and their uses quite large. Companies who sell such equipments also deal in car parts, thus making the store a one stop place for all things related to automobiles. Nowadays, there are thousands of online stores selling these equipments making them more accessible to all in need.

Here are the different types, available from garage equipment supply dealers:

In-Ground

This type of vehicle lift is assembled below the garage floor. It consists of one or more pistons, depending on the maximum weight capacity. Lifts with one or two pistons are used for compact, mid-sized and full-sized cars. Lifts with three or more pistons are used for larger vehicles, such as buses and RV’s.

Two Post Surface Mounted

The most common vehicle lift utilized today is called a Two Post Surface Mounted lift. On each column, there are lift arms. These are controlled mechanically, electronically or hydraulically.

Multi-Post Runway Automotive Lift

The most common type is the four-post mounted lift, which is extensively used by oil change, transmission, and muffler service shops. You’ll find this type of auto lift in wheel alignment service stations as well. The car is driven onto the two runways and raised, exposing its underside.

Low/Mid Rise Frame Engaging Lift

This type of vehicle lift engages the vehicle’s frame in lifting. There are two ways this type may operate. One way is scissors-style, moving straight up. Another is parallelogram-style, moving forward or backward, while raising or lowering. This type is commonly used for brake, tire, and wheel services as well as auto body repair.

Drive-On Parallelogram

The Drive-On Parallelogram is a surface-mounted vehicle lift. It has two runways where the wheels of the car should be placed. It has a lifting mechanism that moves the vehicle a short distance forward or backward while raising or lowering. The direction depends on the way the lift is mounted.

Scissor Lifts

The Scissor Lift can either be of a fixed pad type or a roll-on frame/underbody engaging type. It has a lifting mechanism that’s similar to the parallelogram lift. Their main difference is that the scissors lift goes up and down on a straight vertical path.

Movable-Type Wheel Engaging Lift

This type of vehicle lift is used for vehicles that are longer than conventional cars, such as buses and trucks. It consists of several lifting columns in sets of two, four, six, or more. The columns can be moved and connected with the other columns so that their movements are synchronized.

 

In the olden days a career in finance did not offer anything more than a back-office recording keeping job. A finance person was understood to be a record-keeping person in an organization.

However, with the evolution of business landscape, the role of finance has evolved and become more challenging. In today’s organization a finance person occupies a much broader role involving decision-making, planning, controlling the financial operation of a business.

Within finance, one can find a variety of job roles that are not limited to just the accounting field. You can explore financial career options in various industries such as financial service, financial planning, fund management, regulatory compliance, trading, financial management, and so on.

These different jobs require you to have completely different skill sets, and you can choose a financial career that suits your personality and skill level.

If you are analytically oriented, you can choose a career in risk management, where your job is to measure and manage the risk faced by a bank or a financial institution. Alternatively you can also join the insurance industry as an actuary where you ass the risk of loss, and design and price new insurance products. These jobs require number crunching skills. You are also expected to be very diligent as a small mistake can turn into big losses.

On the other hand, if you are a very outgoing person and like meeting people, you may be better suited for selling financial instruments. You may want to join a bank or an insurance company, and promote their financial products to prospective customers. In a bank, you are expected to sell their financial products such as deposit accounts, credit cards, personal loans, home loans, etc. For a career in sales, most organizations provide you a thorough training on their products and common techniques for selling. You are expected to be a go-getter with the ability to close deals quickly. In most financial services institutions, you are paid a decent salary and a commission, which is based on your sales targets.

One more lucrative career option is in trading. As a trader you use your employer or client’s funds to trade in financial products such as equity, bonds, currencies and currencies in an attempt to make a profit. Traders study the financial markets and identify opportunities to make profit. This is a high stress job and requires you to have strong analytical skills and a tough attitude. A career in trading also offers good salaries with bonuses and incentives linked to your performance.

While these are a few important career options available in finance, a person interested in this field can choose from a much wider array of job roles. Best of luck with your financial career!

Meet the Chontaduro or Palm Fruit

What’s that?” I asked staring at the plum-sized fruit the woman peeled in her hand.

These are chontaduros from the coast.” “How would you like yours?

How can I have them?” I queried back.

You can have them with salt or honey.

Then give me two of each.

The middle-aged Black woman sat on the top stair leading into the strip mall. Her clothing was well worn, reflecting a hard life and lower stratus. She set to work straightaway. After peeling four of the fruits she cut them in half lengthwise to pry out the single black seed in the center using a small paring knife. Then she dipped the fruit into a small bowl of salt coating half of the fruit. Repeating the procedure with two more chontaduros plucked from a plastic basin full on her lap, she dropped these into a narrow plastic bag while drizzling a stream of honey first over one then another dropped into the bag on top of the first. A separate bag held the two salted ones. With the thick, tough skin peeled off, the lone seed removed and the fruit quartered, there is no waste. I preferred the salted ones.

A Little Known Culinary Treasure

Scientifically named Bactris gasipaes, the Chontaduro or Palm fruit as it is sometimes called, is common in many of the Pacific Ocean coastal regions of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador. Varieties also grow in parts of the West Indies. Some of its many other names include Cachipay, Pejibaye, Pijuayo and Pupunja. The skin (epicarp) of the fruit can range in color from red to orange or yellow depending on the variety of the palm. It has a firm texture, slightly starchy taste and its pulp is dry and a bit stringy, but its popularity is extensive nonetheless. In Colombia, for example, it is used in dozens of recipes but is principally eaten boiled in salted water, peeled then dipped in salt or drizzled with honey. To date, the chontaduro has limited popularity outside its locally grown regions. This is beginning to change however, as its use in gourmet fare increases and its availability expands. The Palm fruit though, is a little known culinary treasure working its way up the exotic food rankings.

Cooking with Chontaduro

In sauces, soups, stews and baked delicacies though, the Chontaduro has no equal. The Palm fruit can also be used to make flour, jellies or pressed to release its high cholesterol content oil. Most people eat the fruit after its boiled in salted water, then peeled and dipped in salt, marmalade or honey. When the boiled fruit is peeled and seeded, it can be shredded, grated, ground or processed into a puree base, then used in sauces, crèmes or bases. A particular favorite is a cooked Palm fruit sauce poured over or glazed onto fish and seafood. Its unique flavor makes an interesting base for soups and stews. The pulp can be pickled, fermented, jellied or dried and ground for use in a broad range of additional applications. So if you’re looking to spice up your own recipes, try cooking with chontaduros for a unique flavor twist.

The marketing approach techniques are countless. There are many ways to approach the potential customer. There are two marketing approaches that are very interesting, due to their specific techniques. They are viral marketing and direct marketing.

The Viral Marketing is a marketing technique that is using the social networks, both online and offline, for transmitting the message or advertisement, through self replicating viral process. This process resembles to spreading computer viruses or biological viruses.

Almost anything can be the subject of viral marketing effect: information, web link, video clip, e-Books, etc.

Methods of viral marketing expansion can be:

Word of mouth – simple communication between people who knows each other.

Social Media such as Facebook are the perfect examples of viral media. The number of people who are using these services is huge. The members of these social media environments are connected very well, since every user has many contacts. Finally, method of sharing idea or message is very simple, through different sharing techniques.

“Invite Your Friend” calls from different e-services. These messages that provokes the actions are moving significant part of population who wants to share the message, but they are not willing to invest effort.

Advantage of viral marketing is that it takes very little or no investment. The viral marketing system is powered by the will of transmitters to pass the message further. The power of exponential growth is tremendous. If every person is distributing the information to 5 people and further, this gives are 3.125 informed people after 5 levels from original message transfer. The viral marketing experts know this formula very well, therefore, the viral marketing is part of marketing techniques portfolio.

Disadvantage is that viral marketing is not reliable as a standard method of information transfer, since it is not likely that every idea will be transferred at the same rate. Simply, the outcome of the viral marketing campaign is unpredictable, since the power of campaign depends of many parameters.

Also “viral competition” dictates the effectiveness of viral campaign. If two similar campaign are present at the same period to the similar audience, it is likely that the social group will transfer the message that seems more interesting at the moment.

There is no secret formula for guarantied success of Viral Marketing campaign, but good ideas, with tone of humor, anticipation and value adding elements can help the viral marketing campaign to succeed.

On the other hand, Direct Marketing is a sales method where advertisers approach potential customers directly with advertisement, products or services. The most usual methods of direct marketing are telephone sales, solicited or unsolicited emails, catalogs, leaflets, brochures, direct visits etc.

There are two main differences that distinguish it from other types of marketing. The first characteristic of direct marketing is that the message is transferred directly to consumers, without use of intermediate communication media and mass media campaign. The second characteristic is “call to action” principle of communication to the consumers.

Direct marketing is attractive to many companies since the campaign results can be measured directly. For example, if a marketer sends out 5,000 messages by mail and 250 respond to the promotion, the company easily calculates that campaign gave 5% response rate.

On the other hand, the measurement of other media ( TV, Radio ) must often be indirect, since there is no measurable calculation of message recipients. Measurement of results is a key element of every activity.

Direct marketing is practiced by businesses of all sizes – from the smallest start-up company to the multinational corporations. The decision of using of direct marketing approach is not related to the size of the company. If the niche of targeted population is too small, the direct marketing may pay off more than large scale advertising campaign.

The Direct Marketing and Viral Marketing have completely different approach. The power of both marketing approaches can be leveraged, depending on the situation. Every person is the potential shopper, it only takes a little to trigger the shopping mechanism.