Travel Extra Sunday Supplement: O’Leary Bags the Limelight

Michael O’Leary calls it his dog and pony show. When silly season empties the news lists, you can rely on Michael to pop up with an outrageous comment or a daft proposal. This week he made several assaults on the top of the hour bulletins, all neatly serving to distract pundits from the airline’s sluggish first-quarter results, a proposal that slower flights would save fuel, and a press conference in which he not alone defended the annual hike in baggage fees, but said that some of the fees were going to increase further, threatened to price luggage out of the sky’ and told passengers to take fewer clothes on holidays. O’Leary said Ryanair intends to keep on increasing baggage charges until few people bring luggage that needs to go in the hold,

This has generated over 2,000 articles and still counting, and thousands more radio talk show references. It made the news in seven different main evening bulletins and was picked up by bloggers in markets where Ryanair has never even flown. It was a good result – if a little short of his 5,000 article record for his proposal to close check-in desks in February 2009 and the 3,800 articles he generated with his June 2009 proposal (unusually early in the silly season, O’Leary usually waits until the last week in July for his annual publicity stunt) that Ryanair would charge for using the toilet on their flights.

The accounts showed at least one major suprirse: that Ryanair’s average fare was down 4pc to €42 (8pc down when a 4pc longer trip is taken into account) but revenue per passenger up 1pc to €58. Moe predictably, ancillary revenue per passenger was up 21pc from €13 to €16. Ryanair’s average fare was down 4pc to €42 (8pc down when a 4pc longer trip is taken into account) but revenue per passenger up 1pc to €58.

Ancillary revenue per passenger was up 21pc from €13 to €16 Reserved seating, priority boarding, the new €3 administration fee and 2pc credit card fee made up 26.5pc of revenue.

There was a lot of other Ryanair news bouncing around this week:

Big and little. Mike Kelly’s photograph of the A380 and A319 side by side was taken when BA brought the first fully liveried A380 to Ireland this week. The visit formed part of a process to test the ability of airports to handle the super-sized aircraft in the event of a diversion, as well as building the pilots’ flight training hours. Maximum passenger capacity is 469 and the BA A380’s first long-haul route is scheduled for Heathrow to Los Angeles from September 24. It will also serve Hong Kong and Johannesburg. Emirates celebrated five years of flying the A380 this week.v2-Dig-me-river1

This photograph from Manaus, Amazonas, taken during the Brazilian Aquathlon, won the National Geographic Traveller Magazine photography competition. You can see the rest of the winners and other entries here.tornado

When the stats were collected, it emerged that Ireland had the warmest July in 120 years at several of its weather stations, although apparently the heat wave idoes not have the staying power of previous hotties in 1995 and 2006. Cork Airport recorded record 265 hours of sunshine. Thunderstorms led to a fascinating photograph of a rare carrot-shaped ‘sprite’ lighting flash over Dublin. Sadly the even more spectacular photograph of a tornado in Galway proved to be a fake, a Facebook prank by Salthill restaurateur Michael O’Meara that accidentally went viral when his friends started sharing the photo. Indeed tornadoes were forecast during the week. There was a great headline in the journal.ie over their story on one heavy rain forecast: What the fliuch.

Today is set to be the fourth busiest day in the history of Dublin airport. Dublin Airport Authority expects 285,000 passengers to travel over the course of the August Bank Holiday weekend, 7pc up on the same period last year. Over 2,000 flights will arrive and depart including 100 charter flights added to the normal schedule. It advised passengers to arrive in the terminal building at least 90 minutes before their flight departure time irrespective of whether they are checking in on the web or at the airport. Some airlines advise passengers to arrive earlier than 90 minutes at busier times. People still shudder at the memory of August Bank holiday Sunday 2006 when 96,931 crammed through the old Terminal 1.Aiden Murphy small

Aiden Murphy of Crowe Horwath (right) said that just 4pc of Irish hotels have closed over the past two years despite the doomsday predictions in the 2008 Bacon report which claimed 15pc of Irish hotels would need to close to rebalance supply and demand. He reported that hotels in Dublin made €10,000 in profit per room last year,l although the Irish Hotels Federation points out that this is before finance costs are taken into account. Dublin hotels are operating at 74pc occupancy rate and €86.04 average room rate, although the west coast hotel rate is a less healthy €61.87, down on 2010 rates and well below the Dublin average.

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National occupancy rates are continuing to rise at 63.8pc and the average room rate is up €2.05 to €74.72. Hotel sales in 2012 are at 76pc of levels seen before the economic downturn. With an estimated debt mountain of €7bn on the hotel industry, the average cost of finance per room in Ireland last year was estimated at €6,500. Click here for a short summary of the report from Crowe Horwath.profit-2-630x123 copy

Aer Lingus also announced results this week, showing an operating loss rise by €12m to €16.4m although short haul routes continued to trade positively. Aer Lingus said the deficit was due to a number of one-off factors including the start-up of the Little Red contract operation for Virgin UK, and planned changes to its long haul fleet.

Average fares was up less than a percentage point, short-haul €94.28 up 0.6pc, long-haul €346.03 up 0.7pc. Retail revenue per passenger was up 5.8pc to €19. Fare revenue up 5.6pc to €329m. Retail revenue was up 7.9pc to €50.6m. Market share at the three main Irish airports was 44pc, unchanged since 2012.

Christophe Mueller noted that seasonality is getting more acute. His pet project, the Dublin hub has taken three years to develop with three daily frequencies on many short-haul routes and two on long-haul routes and to work effectively with JetBlue, United and Aer Arann. He said all parts of the Dub-hub project have been pressure-tested and can handle growth.T1_Lounge_Opening copy

Dublin Airport’s extended and refurbished Terminal 1 executive Anna Livia lounge opened on Monday, bringing together the former Anna Livia lounge and the BMI executive lounge into one large unit.The extended lounge has seating for 110 customers. The food offering has been improved with cereals, yoghurt, fresh fruit delivered daily, mini danish pastries, cheese and crackers as well as tea, coffee, wine and soft refreshments and hot soup from 11am daily. The refurbished lounge includes a business area with computers and wi-fi and a family room with children’s play facilities. Economy passengers to use the facility for a walk-in price of €20 for three hours. Picture shows passenger Jochen Felsberger with Kate Flood, DAA Value Added Services Manager and Ruth Thewlis, DAA Premier Services Manager.

Mulligans Gonzalo Ceballos John Butterly Eoghan Corry

The Spanish Tourist Board will sponsor the Travel Extra Travel Writer of the Year Awards ceremony in Thomas Prior House again next year on Friday January 24th 2014. Picture shows Gonzalo Ceballos Director of the Spanish Tourist Board in Ireland, John Butterly custodian of the Travel Writer Awards and Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra outside Mulligan’s public house in Poolbeg Street. For further details on the significance of Mulligan’s in Irish newspaper culture, see Eoghan Corry’s contribution to the third part of the four part TV series Print and Be Damned which commences on TV3 next Thursday at 8pm and airs on the subsequent three Thursdays.Harvest Festival14 copy

The 19th Lough Rynn Harvest Festival and Vintage Day is scheduled for Aug 25th. Picture shows Victoria Duignan of Lough Rynn Castle and Jim Gannon, Drumsna in his 1924 Morris Cowley Bullnose. Fáilte Ireland said that 300,000 overseas holidaymakers attended a festival or cultural event each year.TARGETING CHINESE TOURISTS FOR IRELAND

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons is pictured with Brenda He of TLM, Tourism Ireland’s newly-appointed representative in China, at a China seminar in the Gibson Hotel in Dublin. With offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, the newly-appointed Travel Link Marketing will work with Tourism Ireland to grow the number of Chinese tourists to the island of Ireland from approximately 17,000 in 2012 to 50,000 per year over the coming five years.cork city walks copy

Jack Sheil, Vera Canniffe and Michael O’Brien of Cork City are offering Guided Walking Tours which launched this year. Cork City Walks operates guided walking tours six days a week starting from the Imperial Hotel and the Cork City Tourist Office in Grand Parade.Lughnasa at Craggaunowen 1

Craggaunowen visitor attraction near Quin, Co Clare is hosting a Lughnasa celebration during the August Bank Holiday from 11am – 5pm on August 4th and 5th with last admission at 4pm each day. Family tickets for 2 adults and 2 children cost €21.50 and 2 adults and 6 children f €24.50. As well as re-enactors in costume, Claíomh Living History & Military Heritage Group providing this ‘window to the past’ will also demonstrate and discuss aspects of Irish Viking Age technology and lifestyle. A range of replica clothing, artefacts, weapons and jewellery will be on display. There will be daily talks by Dave O’Reilly with his reconstructed Irish chariot based on the iconography of the 10th century Ahenny High Cross and contemporary literary references.guiomard copy

We know that Dublin Airport’s T2 came in over budget but by how much: 20pc or 4.6pc? The debate reignited this week after the Aviation Commissioner Cathal Guiomard (right) claimed that the total cost of Terminal 2 and its associated projects came to €923m, 20pc more than the €771m it was allowed by the commission when it was being planned in 2007. It says the terminal itself cost €759m, 22pc more than the €620m allowed, while the associated projects ran 9pc over at €151m. Paul O’Kane of Dublin Airport Authority replied: “What the commission describes as associated projects is a collection of developments not part of terminal two. The construction costs for the entire project came out at €637m, which was a 4.6pc increase on our original estimates.” The passenger charge of €10.70 is due to be revised in 2015. CAR say they are considering introducing peak service charges as demand in the mornings is very high an there is little scope to increase capacity because of the runway. Service failures by the DAA, the minute security queues will cost the company €1.1m this year. You can download a pdf (1.5 megs) of the commissioner’s report here.dublin airport Ice_Cream_Day copy

Ice Cream Day was celebrated at Dublin Airport when volunteers from Down Syndrome Ireland went through both terminals selling ice creams to raise funds for this year’s three DAA charities: Down Syndrome Ireland, Bee For Battens, and Make A Wish Ireland. Picture shows Tara O’Brien and Kelly McGuirk of the Tigin group, with Dotty the Dragon and Siobhan O’Donnell (aka Siobhan Moore) of DAA and Sandra Boland of Down Syndrome Ireland.

Online cruise specialist Bonvoyage.co.uk published the results of a survey showing cruise prices are down 22pc since 2008, from an average of $2,521 to $1,967 per person. It said cruise lines are compensating for the drop in the headline price by generating more from onboard spend, such as spa treatments, speciality dining and higher drinks costs, and 46pc of passengers said they are a lot more wary of added costs onboard a cruise.

Famine Conference7 copyPictured at the Third Annual International Famine Conference, Strokestown Park. Co Roscommon. Declan Jones, MD Westward Properties, John O’Driscoll, director, Strokestown Park House, Cllr Tom Crosbie, Cllr Martin Connaughton Mayor of Roscommon, Key note speaker Prof Christine Kinealy (Drew University, New Jersey), Dr. Ciaran Reilly, NUI Maynooth and Pat McCarrick, Bothair.

DONEGAL GARDENS DELIGHT GERMAN JOURNALISTSBob Wheeler (left) and Mark Wheeler (fourth left), both Rathmullan House Hotel, with German travel writers on a visit to Donegal, Evelyn Steinbach, Tagesspiegel Berlin (newspaper); Brenda King, Fáilte Ireland; Jutta Vahrson, freelance; Judith von Rauchhaupt, Tourism Ireland; tour guide Ute Daly; Reinholde Christiansen, Schleswig-Holstein am Sonntag (newspaper); head gardener Joe Whelan; Hilke Segbers, dpa/gms-Themendienst (news agency); Bettina Louise Haase, Potsdam am Sonntag (newspaper); and Danuta Schmidt, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (newspaper).

IRELAND MEANS BUSINESS AT NEW EXHIBITION IN LONDONDonna Brogan, Dublin Convention Bureau; Eileem Timmons, TIFCO Hotels; Paula McCorry, Grand Hotel Malahide; Gillian Dowling, the Gibson Hotel; and Emer Relihan, The Convention Centre Dublin, on the Tourism Ireland stand at The Meetings Show UK in London.fionnuala carter copy

Travel Professionals Skillnet is currently recruiting for Job Seekers to take part in the Travel Professionals Essential Skills Programme which commences on Monday September 9th. This course runs for 20 days intensive training followed by 20 days job placement within a Travel Agency. 01 4179696, or fionnuala@itaa.ie (pictured on right). The next sessions are to take place will be:

  • Facebook: 10 Strategies to Grow Your Business on Facebook – Tuesday August 20th
  • Facebook Advertising: What You Need To Know – Tuesday August 27th
  • Linked In for Prospecting – Tuesday September 10th
  • Linked In: Your Company Page – Tuesday September 17th
  • Facebook 101 for Business Marketing – Tuesday October 8th
  • Linked In 101 for Business – Tuesday October 15th.

Club Travel’s Liam Lonergan reported that pre-tax profits were up 12.5pc to €4.42m and revenue up 2pc from €84.4m to €86.4m. On Budget Travel, the brand he bought in 2010, he said “we have improved the technology behind the brand, but are achieving less margin.” Numbers employed by the firm last year increased from 124 to 130.

ICE plc (International Currency Exchange) launched Ireland’s first online foreign currency service at Dublin Airport. ICE allows holidaymakers to reserve foreign currency online for collection at the airport on the day of departure. The first service of its kind in the country, ‘Click & Collect’ is aimed at smartphone and tablet computer owners which they say offers savings in time and cost for the traveller. An International Currency Exchange survey on ways people use to cut holiday costs found that 38pc of holiday makers sneak food from breakfast to eat for lunch, 32pc don’t tip in bars and restaurants, 29.4pc used the mini-bar for supermarket bought alcohol / food rather than use the hotel.

  • Aer Lingus will take over the ground handling for Etihad from November.
  • Royal Caribbean marked two milestones in the development of its Quantum class of ships this week. Quantum of the Seas, scheduled to be delivered in the autumn of 2014, received its first block as the keel was lowered and put into place. Anthem of the Seas, Quantum’s sister-ship, had its first piece of steel cut, the first step in the ship’s construction.
  • SATA Airlines has reduced prices to Madeira by €50 on its Dublin Madeira direct flight from October 6th to November 3rd. The return flight costs €349, down from €399.
  • Former RTE journalist Leo Enright, has been confirmed as the guest lecturer travelling with Astronomy Ireland’s group tour to see the Northern Lights from December 1-6 organised by Project Travel. The cost is €1879 pp sharing an outside cabin (including flights, taxes and one checked bag) and the final booking date has been extended to Friday, August 16. The single supplement is €299.
  • United Airlines was named the Eco-Aviation Airline of the Year Gold Winner by Air Transport World magazine.
  • In an unexpected side-effect of the heat wave, last weekend 15 passengers were removed from a Swiss flight to Geneva after the plane was deemed too heavy to take off. It was claimed that other passengers at London City Airport have been denied boarding due to safety concerns caused by the hot weather.revenue sniffer dog
  • Springer spaniel Ralph is the toast of Rosslare this weekend after he helped the Customs Division to seize 10.26kgs of heroin at Rosslare Europort in a Mercedes car driven by a Dutch national which had just landed from France.
  • Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan opened the Scarriff Harbour Festival at the Waterways Ireland Marina in Scarriff, Co Clare.
  • 20 teenage Catholic pilgrims fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea on a 14-hour Qantas flight from Chile to Sydney
  • Harriet Green CEO of Thomas Cook declared that the company “is stronger, we have refinanced, we are not facing a wall of debt,”
  • An Avro Vulcan XH558 aircraft will be available for limited public viewing on Sunday 11th August at Belfast International Airport.
  • Shannon Airport reported that bank holiday passenger numbers were up by 10pc and the Shannon Liverpool 3 weekly flight will be operated through the winter instead of just seasonal. This amounts to an additional 12,500 seats over the 2013-14-winter season.daa
  • Dublin Airport signed a twinning agreement with Beijing airport. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, in China for a trade mission, said that work was under way to secure a direct air connection between Dublin and Beijing.
  • Topflight report a surge in enquiries for September following a two week travel blip caused by the heat wave. Tony Collins says sales are ahead of last year for Italy and for Topflight in general. Many enquiries are from Couples who want to head off to Italy this September as soon as schools reopen with the most popular destinations being Sorrento, Taormina, Riva del Garda, Malchesine, Rimini, and Lidi di Jesolo.willie-walsh
  • IAG reported an operating profit of €245m for the three months to the end of June,
  • Etihad Airways has unveiled plans to acquire 49pc of Jat Airways, which will be renamed Air Serbia. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier has also been awarded a five-year management contract for the Serbian national airline. Dane Kondic has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia.
  • The new Official Road Atlas Ireland by the Ordnance Survey Office is available online for €9.99.
  • A report published by Fáilte Ireland claims that the special reduced rate VAT for the hospitality sector has contributed to an increase of 10,000 jobs.
  • Titanic Belfast has extended public opening hours from 9am to 9pm until August 10. The last tour entry each day is 7:20pm. On Tuesday a Co Kildare mother of two Ciara Harmon became the one-millionth visitor to the Titanic Belfast centre.
  • Ex pilot Stefano Morra, whose identity was disclosed after a court order by Ryanair, posted an apology on pprune internet forum: I unreservedly apologise to Ryanair for the false statements made and any damage that they may have caused.
  • Travel writer Tom Sweeney’s blog has been updated to include vantastic Vancouver.
  • Excess waiver insurance charges are highest in Ireland according to a London based survey of car hire costs by the English Post Office which found such waiver charges double the cost of car hire. Orlando was cheapest and Dublin seventh cheapest for overall cost.
  • Safarilink, the Kenyan airline which is run by John Buckley (a third generation Corkman) and which offers an impressive portfolio of internal air connections to all the main safari regions, has moved to Phoenix House located near the main gate at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, adjacent to the KAA customs and departure terminal. All check-in and departures at the new lounge will commence from Wednesday August 7th.
  • Iraqi politicians have approved plans to create the country’s first ever national park, in the area described as the “cradle of civilisation.”
  • Irish, Scotch and Bourbon are to go head to head at Kilbeggan Distillery Whiskey Tourism Gathering event at the 256 year old Kilbeggan Distillery in Co Westmeath on Saturday August 17th. Representing Irish whiskey will be John Cashman, Beam’s Whiskey Ambassador, representing Scotch is Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell and representing the USA is Adam Harris Beam’s Bourbon Ambassador. Beam’s Scotch Ambassador Simon Brooking will host the event for which tickets are available at a cost of €60. Over the past three years, the number of visitors to the historic Kilbeggan Distillery has increased by 48pc. Irish whiskey sold just 2.2m cases in the US in 2012 compared to 9.2m cases of Scotch and 16.8m cases of Bourbon.
  • Lowcostholidays has reported “a significant increase” in visitors and bookings on its site for the months of August and September. Options include Algarve ex Cork Sep 11th and Majorca ex Dublin Sep 11th €197pp.
  • Broadway Week Autumn 2013 is offering theatre goers two-for-one tickets to 19 popular Broadway shows from September 2 through 15. Tickets go on sale August 19. Broadway Week was originally created by NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organisation, to boost ticket sales for Broadway while providing savings for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Through NYC & Company’s Broadway Week promotion, more than 300,000 theater tickets have been sold generating nearly $20m in revenue.
  • Next Saturday and the following Saturday, seven miles of New York‘s streets, from Downtown to Central Park, will be free of cars, buses and taxis from 7am to 1pm for the “Summer Streets” event complete with picnics, a zip-line, art installations and a fitness zone. The New York City focus for August in the ongoing Neighbourhood x Neighbourhood programme will be Harlem, Washington Heights & Upper Manhattan.
  • The 500 acre Fota Island resort in Cork has been sold to Chinese-based investors.
  • The London Daily Mail claimed it is cheaper to park an aircraft at Heathrow than use the airport car park.
  • SouthWestern has been appointed to operate Fáilte Ireland’s National Quality Assurance Framework, managing assessment, advisory and promotional visits to hotels and B&Bs. Renewals for registered businesses in the statutory sectors will take place at the same time as in previous years. Letters and forms for renewal will e sent out in August and 15th October is the last date for renewal.
  • Chic Outlet shopping which owns Kildare Village has launched a marketing campaign for six of their other outlet shops to China UnionPay card holders in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. CUP/ Chic Outlet Shopping are venting this promotion via tour operators and tour guides in Europe. CUP has more cards in circulation than Visa or Mastercard.
  • Lastminute reported increased spend and increases in the number of bookings and in the length of stays in Irish hotels. People spent 238pc more on hotel breaks in Athlone, 100pc more in Donegal, 50pc more in Limerick, 40pc more in Cork and Galway, 32pc more in Wexford, 21pc more in Dublin and 17pc more in Kilkenny. As part of its Ireland launch Lastiminute.ie has changed its CAR registration from the UK address in Hounslow, Middlesex, to 4th Floor, Ulysses House, Foley Street, Dublin 1. The phone number is unchanged: 1800 947 523.
  • Sunborn Yacht Hotels is putting the finishing touches on the Sunborn Gibraltar.
  • The 2013 World Police & Fire Games is bringing 25,000 visitors to Belfast this weekend
  • The US has issued an unprecedented month long global travel alert over an alleged al-Qaeda ‘threat’ and is closing 21 embassies and consulates from today Sunday over what it claims are security fears.
  • It was reported that there is a growing problem in England with airport parking firms taking cars on Ferris Bueller-style joyrides: holiday makers are returning to find more miles on the clock and goods stolen from their vehicles.sunway anita 20 years copy
  • Sunway Product Manager Anita Kelly celebrated 20 years with Sunway Holidays this month. Picture shows Anita receiving a presentation from Sunway joint CEO Tania Airey.
  • Christoph Mueller said that he expects there will be more than 100 more redundancies at Aer LIngus. The last redundancy round was over subscribed.air rage woman
  • New Yorker Marianne Thatcher (right) was fined €500 at Ennis District Court after pleading guilty to three air-rage related charges when her Athens-bound flight from JFK diverted to Shannon Airport.
  • Sabre will preview the new design for mobile app, TruTrip during the 2013 Global Business Travel Association Conference.
  • Sunway’s September sale starts today Sunday online at www.sunway.ie and will run until August 11. Sunway say discounts on all destinations and properties can save up to €300 per person.
  • The CEO of Irish Water Safety, John Leech said that lifeguards rescue 559 swimmers during heat wave. He said 80pc of drownings occur close to the victim’s home.
  • Match day tours at Croke Park are on offer for €3 throughout August giving supporters a glimpse of stadium operations in the final hour before turnstiles open at the stadium. Tour packages include a match ticket and admission throughout the day to the newly-refurbished GAA Museum.
  • Tour America’s 14th Annual Red Cow Sale Day is taking place on Sunday October 6th from 10-6pm at The Red Cow Moran Hotel has signed up 38 suppliers.
  • Work visa specialist Edwina Shanahan of Visafirst.com said that Australia wants our tree surgeons, bakers, butchers and sheep shearers.
  • Australia reported that tourist arrivals from Europe were up 68pc in June thanks to the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.7.5 MILLION PEOPLE IN RUSSIA AND CIS COUNTRIES TO SEE IMAGES OF
  • Russian TV crew films presenter and professional dancer Aleksandr Pukhov being shown some Irish dancing steps by the Sylvan Kelly School of Irish Dancing. Scenes for a Russian television show, Dancing Planet, were filmed here, courtesy of Tourism Ireland.
  • Jeff Collins’ Wecanbookit or Best4Travel has opened a fifth branch at Nutgrove Shopping Centre.
  • In the USA five Republican senators introduced a bill which is causing consternation in the hospitality industry, it would prohibit any government agency hosting a conference costing more than $500,000, limit participation in conferences held outside the United States, require agencies to post the details of their conferences online, and require the White House budget office to revise the guidelines for federal travel expenditures.Irish Ferries - Celtic Horizons copy
  • Irish Ferries has become a preferred partner of Celtic Horizon Tours low-cost sports and leisure packages to England by coach, car and motorcycle. Current offers include one-night Premier League packages from €189 per person. Two-night Christmas shopping breaks to Manchester and Birmingham cost from €159. Picture shows Irish Ferries’ Marie McCarthy with David Buckley, Managing Director of Celtic Horizon Tours.
  • DoSomethingDifferent has added Dublin bike tours to its portfolio, the torus starting outside Cafe Rothar on Fade Street through College Green, Dublin Castle, the Guinness Brewery, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Temple Bar, the ‘Italian Quarter’, the fashionable Southside, Parnell Square and the Georgian Northside, Merrion Square and the Oscar Wilde memorial. The Southside Spin Tour goes through the southern inner suburbs along the banks of the Grand Canal through the quieter Victorian avenues and parks.
  • The proposed launch of the review of tourism policy by the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport on Friday was unexpectedly postponed to September.
  • The Loop at Dublin and Cork airports and Teeling’s have launched The Gathering a limited edition single malt whiskey available exclusively at The Loop.
  • Holidaysonline.ie say they have teamed up with the major tour operators to provide “a one-stop shop” for holidays from Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock, Derry and Belfast. +3531 7640469 www.holidaysonline.ie.
  • Paddywagon Tours founder Cathal “Charlie” O’Connell explained how his business had to change when he quickly found out there were a finite number of backpackers and many of the other markets were being poorly served.
  • Shannon Foynes Port Company has put record financial results down to an increase in shipping activity levels not seen since 2008, operating profit up 6.6pc to €3m.
  • The European Commission published new guidance material on what constitutes extraordinary circumstances for airline compensation (yes, we are confused too).
  • Amadeus revenue for the first half of 2013 grew 5.7pc to €1,595.1m. Distribution market share was up 1.7pc to reach the 40pc threshold, and bookings numbers were up 4.7pc. Amadeus launched e-Power in Ireland on Monday, a booking engine for smaller and niche travel sellers to find and book the best air fares and best travel options around a given date (+/- 3 days) using Master Pricer Calendar.
  • Azamara is offering a double upgrade when booking a 2014 Azamara Club Cruise sailing before 30th September 2013.
  • Celebrity Cruises is including complimentary classic drinks packages on selected 2013 and 2014 cruises, on bookings made in August and September 2013.
  • Bord na Mona and the Environmental Protection Agency have completed a desert-to-wetland plan for 150,000 acres of cut-away boglands. At one stage, 13pc of Ireland’s landmass consisted of bogs.
  • The oil spill that has been washing ashore on to Ao Prao beach in Koh Samet, Thailand has been “70pc dealt with” and the remaining crude oil will be “90pc clear by Friday or Sunday at the latest”, according to TAT.
  • Easyjet passengers were told by email they would have to wait to wait 86 years and one day for a replacement aircraft.
  • Amid concern that the Australian airline Qantas has been showing Denzel Washington’s film Flight to passengers on board its aircraft, the London Telegraph took time to ponder more in-fright films designed to scare passengers.
  • SAA is asking photographers professional and amat€to upload up to five photographs for either category in their photography competition, Capture South Africa, to http://www.capturesouthafrica.com throughout August and September for their chance to win their online.
  • Leisure hotel rates worldwide set a 2013 growth record in June.
  • Venice saw a new cruise ship controversy after a sail-past scrape, reviving concerns over the size and number of cruise ships visiting the city.
  • VisitBritain Online Shop reported 3.2m visitors and £11m last year
  • A two-day Ski forum in London in the autumn will see 80 European resort tourist boards and inbound ski travel suppliers meet with 80 leading outbound ski tour operators.
  • European 2014 Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has been given honorary membership of Quinta do Lago Golf Club in Portugal’s Algarve.
  • The Mara Plains Camp has opened with seven secluded tents in Kenya’s Olare Motorogi Conservancy.
  • A company that specialises in responsible tourism has said it will no longer offer orphanage volunteering trips.
  • Security firm ADT said that half of Facebook’s users are posting holiday locations on social media (another survey of burglars show many use social media websites, as well as Google Street view, to plan their crimes).
  • A survey listed the 10 most outrageous items left in a car rental including cell phones, sunglasses, a favorite teddy bear and piles of cat hair.
  • Adrian Weckler published his guide to holiday gadgets.
  • Travelport announced a distribution agreement with Russian airline, Air Company Yakutia.
  • France is seeking to extend its smoking ban to include beaches and parks.
  • Guests at Russian hotels could be entitled to legal recourse should a stay not live up to expectations under new proposals being considered by the country’s government.
  • The London passport office says demand for emergency travel documents by English people has increased by 300pc since last year.
  • Air France said it will avoid forced redundancies as it proposes another 2,600 job cuts.
  • A Manchester teenager claimed she was asked by airline staff to strip beside the check-in counter at the airport, accoridn to the London Daily Mail.
  • US Airways has reached a tentative agreement with the Communication Workers Of America.
  • London based Vouchercodespro.co.uk said sales and deals from holiday companies on its site had increased by 67pc.
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls are just one of the antiquities on display at the newly-opened Museum of Jordan in the capital, Amman. The museum’s nine permanent exhibition themes include food, architecture and religion and feature recreated ancient Bedouin dwellings.
  • Nicaragua have launched a new Coffee Trail, which takes in museums, plantations and colonial towns.
  • British Airways launched its new in-flight entertainment system for its long haul fleet.
  • Mira Hong Kong has become the first hotel in the Asia Pacific to introduce free international calls, local calls and data connectivity via handy mobile device to all hotel Guests for unlimited use anywhere in the city.
  • As Andy Murray’s new hotel opened in Scotland the London Telegraph listed other hotels owned by celebrities.
  • The latest addition to Vietnam‘s luxury hotel scene comes from Amanresorts, which is to open, Amano’i, with 31 private pavilions, five villas and a spa overlooking Vinh Hy Bay, in September.
  • Allen Smith, age 56, is new CEO of Four Seasons.
  • London based photographer Charlie Waite issued a guide on how to take holiday photographs.hotel manager funny
  • Stanley Turkel’s blog pays tribute to a humorous 1963 booklet (right) on the skills of hotel management.
  • invention of the week: Baz Brown in Queensland claimed to have invented the sand resistant beach towel.
  • Video of the week was a case of air rage caught on camera in China.
  • Blog of the week is by a German tourist who had her smartphone pinched from a beach on Ibiza and who has taken revenge on the thief who failed to switch off the device’s photograph by uploading a blog about his life.
  • Query of the week: Is this the world’s most lavish day trip?

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