The June 2013 edition of Travel Extra is now in print, featuring reports from Australian Tourism Exchange in Sydney and Japex in Montego Bay a comprehensive update on what is happening in river cruise, a major USA section with new of new marketing campaigns and air routes, destination reviews of Miami, Chicago and the Civil war battlefields of Virginia, an exploration of how new product has transformed the Copenhagen’s city break status, the new ship class from Royal Caribbean, five pages of aviation news, reports from the Travel Counsellors conference in Cork, and more.
The attendance at the Travelport Leadership Forum in Google’s Gordon House on Wednesday was like a who’s who of the major players in the Irish travel industry. Picture shows Catherine Brennan and Catherine Amlin welcoming guests and Travelport’s Ireland manager Sinead Reilly addressing the forum. Simon Ferguson, Damiano Sabatino and David Gomes of Travelport outlined the advances in travel technology that Travelport has brought to the trade. Aviation analyst Michael Burns of PWC told the attendance that the big fear for the hub airports in Europe is Istanbul as it sits just outside the EU, is not subject to the taxes and regulations of Brussels and has a massive domestic market unlike the Gulf states. “China and India have massive domestic markets that have not developed yet,” he said, “but they are geographically in the wrong place.” Scott Field of Google said that in the last five years there has been a massive shift in internet travel trends as people are searching for brand rather than destination. See pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Members of the Travel Extra team have been on six continents this week covering events and destinations relevant to the industry, ensuring that we continue to bring you the most comprehensive coverage of the travel industry and retain our place among the leading travel publications worldwide.
Picture shows the best bar in the sky, on board the Emirates A380, which Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry tried out (for research purposes on his return from Australia on Tuesday. Emirates are going to fly the A280 Dubai to Sydney double daily from June 2nd.
Listen to Eoghan Corry on RTE’s Morning Ireland speaking about the Australian work visa and its role in Irish tourism to Australia.
In Durban, Indaba 2013 burst into life despite a downpour that threatened to wash out its renowned Saturday night beach party for the second time in four years. Some of the stories from the event, spreadeagled over four halls:
- Inner city Johannesburg, once a no-go area, is back on tourist itineraries. Tours of the Yeovil area of Johannesburg, a refugee district with remarkable markets and food, are been organised by Jo Buitendach’s Pastexperiences group (jobugtourguideblogspot.com). Among the products on offer are graffiti tours.
- Juan Herrada marketing & Communications manager for Ireland and Britain said that South Africa will reach out to a younger demographic in its new marketing efforts. The country is popular with the traditional older market, they are highlighting urban lifestyle attractions, musical experiences, food, fashion and wine and the vibrancy of the city, as well as the traditional safari product which drives most of 43,000 visitors from Ireland each year
- Heritage and culture are the theme of South Africa’s tourisms campaigns in 2013.
- Andrew Sharpe Trade Relations manager for South African tourism Ireland & Britain says that training for the Irish travel trade is to resume in the autumn, when the website will be extended to cater for Irish travel agents.
- Sea Breeze, the new poolside bar and restaurant in the Elengeni Southern Sun hotel opened during the event
- William Ross’s Wild Coast nature tours. William is now working on establishing walking tours on St Helena, the most remote spot on earth and a place to visit before its first airport is completed in February 2016.
- Port Elizabeth’s convention centre has opened catering for parties up to 800.
- KZN have launched a new tourism strategy with an expanded series of agent fam trips of the new season to start in the autumn.
Indaba’s social scene is amongst the best on the circuit. The best party once more was the Safari Owners Association evening in the Ninth Avenue Bistro in Morningside. Is there a more diverse group in the entire industry than the safari owners association?
Pictures show Thulani Nzima CEO of South African Tourism speaking at the opening ceremony and being interviewed by Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry in Durban. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
In Las Vegas, John Donohue of Aereps and Las Vegas CVA and Gillian Culhane of Aer Lingus led a group of six journalists on a fam trip to Las Vegas, showcasing the city’s growing reputation for fine dining. Jesse Davis, director international visitor relations of the Las Vegas CVA told the group about plans for this year’s International Pow Wow over brunch at the Mandalay Bay hotel, where one of the main events will be held. Jesse says that the annual Pow Wow press brunch is literally a show-stopper this year. “We plan to offer a truly exclusive Vegas experience that will never be seen again. The $500m Smith Center, Las Vegas’ newest cultural and performing arts venue, will play host to a production that will feature some of Las Vegas’ greatest entertainers sharing the stage for the first time. From Vegas-style Broadway shows to Cirque du Soleil, this year’s Press Brunch will showcase the “Entertainment Capital of the World” like never before.” The event will also include Jersey Boys, the Nevada Ballet Theatre, Rock of Ages and La Reve. More than 400 international journalists have registered for the convention.
Las Vegas has come through the downturn revitalised with an extra 10,000 hotel beds since Pow Wow was last held there. After a couple of rocky years where some casino lights were dimmed, the city had its best ever year last year, with 39.7m visitors. “We’re hoping to surpass that this year,” said Jesse. Seventeen per cent of those are international, and account for 29pc of the tourism spend.
Pictures on the Aer LIngus/Jetblue Las Vegas trip: Gary Quinn of the Irish Times, Ida Milne of Travel Extra, Tony Clayton Lea of Aer Lingus inflight magazine Cara, John Donohue of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, John McGurk of the Sunday Life, Gillian Culhane of Aer Lingus, Gemma Fullham of the Sunday Independent and Frank Coughlan of the Irish Independent. See pics here or connect through Facebook.On the way to Las Vegas, the group were treated to a fine dining experience at the Jet Blue terminal 5, new home to Aer Lingus in JFK, and got a tour of the terminal from Tracy of Jet Blue and Helen Maguire of Aer Lingus. The terminal offers much more convenient connections for Aer Lingus passengers as we tested to the limit on the return journey from Las Vegas. With a scheduled gap between flights of only one hour, the flight from Las Vegas arrived 35 minutes late, but the group (and their bags) made the transfer in 25 minutes. Not for the faint-hearted, but an incredible achievement showcasing one of the many virtues of the transfer. It helped that the gates were side by side. Picture shows John Donoghue from Aereps, Tracey from Jet Blue and Helen Maguire from Aer Lingus show journalists in transit to a Las Vegas fam trip the advantages of Aer Lingus’s move to the Jet Blue terminal in JFK.
In Stuttgart: Germany Travel Market was at its efficient best with some of the best parties in the 39-year history of the event. The 620 foreign buyers and media were told that Germany will focus on its 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in its 2014 marketing campaigns. CEO Petra Hedorfer (above) said the Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA were the main inbound markets. The International market share of incoming visitors is 16.9pc. Ireland has a 0.4pc share of this, In 2012 there were a total of 302,591 overnight stays by Irish visitors to Germany,
A new hotel group was launched, one with a twist: Best of SouthWest Germany launched a new nine member association of four and five star hotels Baden- Wuerttemberg. The difference is that each member hotel has a restaurant with at least one Michelin star. Read Sean Mannion’s report from Stuttgart in the July print edition of Travel Extra.
In Dubai, what should have been the most interesting event of the 20th Arabian Travel Market was a disappointment. The Big Conversation with Tim Clarke of Emirates and Alan Joyce of Qantas (above) was held in a room that was too small and the mediated session was barely audible. Dubai’s new tourism campaign, 2020 vision, plans to raise inbound tourism to 20m visitors, up from the current 10m, through concentrating on the family and business markets and on increasing the average length of stay (currently at 3.76 days). The announcement descended into near farce when the video presentation did not work. Elsewhere it was announced at ATM that Fujairah will join the Emirates tourism scrum with 5 luxury hotels. Arabian Travel Market attracted 2,500 exhibitors from 87 countries.
Rachel Treacy from the Travel Department and Clodagh Flanagan from FCM won the big prizes when Angela Bates of Abu Dhabi tourism and the Etihad team hosted a group of 150 agents at the Morrison hotel in Dublin. Etihad are the biggest Middle eastern carrier out of Dublin with a 34pc increase in capacity this summer. Etihad’s new sale prices include Abu Dhabi / Dubai / Muscat from €507, Sydney / Melbourne / Brisbane from €847, Bangkok / Kuala Lumpur from €617.
- Sunway’s fam trip to Prague involved sampling some famous Czech beer. See pics here or connect through Facebook.
- Gonzalo Ceballos and the tourist boards of the Canary Islands hosted the trade at events in Dublin and Cork this week. The Canary Island Ireland is the fourth largest generator of scheduled passengers to the four major Canaries airports in 2012 after Spain, Germany and England.
- New recruits pictured with members of the Travel Counsellors Ireland team at head office in Cork Bernie Whelan, TC Business Development Executive, Fares Hatoum, Susan Hegarty, Ciara McConnell, Operations Executive at TC Ireland and Laura Beirne-Gormley. The recruits bring TC numbers to 52 in Ireland by mid-summer and a further 35 in Northern Ireland.
- Dublin Airport’s A and D pier immigration control in terminal 1 has been chosen for a six-month trial of iBorders biometric gates which use biometric technology developed by Letterkenny-based SITA. This will identify each passenger through facial recognition for over 18s and only open to citizens of the 27 EU countries and Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The gates will be at Dublin Airport until October.
- A man who forged pilot’s qualifications to get a job as a commercial airline pilot is on the run after failing to turn up at court. Michael Fay, 59, faked papers to get a job with Lybian firm Afriqiyah Airways.
- One Stop Touring Shop is offering agents the chance to win weekend passes to Electric Picnic if they book Insight Vacations, Uniworld, Contiki or Boutique Journeys holidays and send the reference number .
- Delta have added a little more capacity to the 10 weekly JFK flights, with all rotations now scheduled with a B763 instead of three B763 and B764s
- ITAA president Clare Dunne was featured in the Irish Times Me and My Money section. The ITAA says 100 new jobs will be created in the public sector this year.
- CityJet pilot unions have threatened industrial action this month unless they are advised of the plans of the two reported bidders and convinced of their viability.
- Russborough House rhododendron garden reopens today for the season. There will be 50 stalls of rare and unusual plants at the rare plant fair at Russborough House today.
- Fáilte Ireland research showed that the golf sector provides a total overseas spend of €202m for the Irish economy. The analysis of the value and profile of overseas golf visitors to Ireland shows, with 163,000 having played golf while in Ireland in 2012, that each overseas golf tourist is worth €1200 to the economy, two and a half times that of the average tourist.
- A thatched bus, the first in the world will commence tours of Dublin city next week. The Folklore and Fairytale Tour of Dublin is run by Extreme Ireland and Hidden Dublin hose acclaimed Gravedigger tour was recently voted one of the most unique experiences in the world by Vayable.com
- The Kenyan coast road link between Mombasa and the Tanzanian border at Lunga Lunga has been disrupted, following biblical rainfalls
- Michael Ring, has announced a €420,000 fund to promote traffic at Knock airport €650,000 additional capital funding has been allocated for essential capital works at Knock airport.
- Aer Lingus Regional plans to expand its Southend service to four daily. Simon Fagan, Chief Commercial Officer of Aer Arann said that the summer 2014 schedule is likely to be run by 15 aircraft. Pictures shows Aer Arann Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Fagan with Managing Director of London Southend Airport, Alastair Welch marking the first year of the Aer Lingus Regional service between Dublin and Southend Airport.
- 1.6m passengers travelled through Dublin Airport in April
- Eight people have already applied for the job of captain on a ship which is a replica of the Titanic, even though it will not set sail for at least three years. The Australian entrepreneur behind the project Clive Palmer said that staff benefits would include “bragging rights” and “falling in love”.
- Thomas Cook Ireland Team competed in the Royal Caribbean International WOW dance final in Southampton. Thomas Cook is hosting two ship visits to Dublin port in August on behalf of P&O and Cunard. Avion Express will operate both of Thomas Cook’s extra weekly flight to Reus 24 June-12 August and to Mahon 17 June-19 August on Mondays.
- A new Travelodge opened its doors in Barcelona, just in time for the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend. The hotel is around two kilometres north of the Barceloneta beach.
- The search was called off for a couple who went overboard a Carnival cruise ship off Australia, amid speculation that a young paramedic may have been trying to save his girlfriend.
- Aer Lingus announced 868,000 passengers for April down 2.5pc, short Haul was down 3.3pc to 701,000 and capacity down 3.7pc, load factor 68.7pc down 2.8. Long Haul was up 6.3pc to 84,000, capacity up 16.5pc and load factor 69.3pc down 5.3. Aer LIngus Regional was 83,000 up 5.1pc.
- Abu Dhabi International Airport installed sleeping pods” that allow passengers to nap in privacy.
- A new hangar opened at City of Derry airport this weekend
- Ryanair is to cease its daily Marseille-Bordeaux on 1 June.
- Four tourists were charged €64 for four ice creams while on holiday in Rome. The incident prompted an apology from the city’s mayor. The London Telegraph used the opportunity to publish a list of 10 more tourist rip-offs in Italy, a guide to the best places in the city to buy an (affordable) ice-cream, and a gallery of the world’s most expensive desserts.