Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Turkish Goes to 12 Weekly and Leo Wants 4pc More Tourists

Turkish Airlines will increase their Dublin to Istanbul service from 10 weekly to 12 weekly in March. The B737 service will be double daily except Tuesday and Wednesday.

The latest step in the reinvention of Ryanair is the launch of all allocated seating from February 1st St Brigid’s day. Wonder if she can get her cloak onboard, (to visit her relics in Lisbon, now that Ryanair are flying there).

Lyrath in Kilkenny will be the venue for the Travel Counsellors ireland conference March 27-29 2014.

1450047_10151786966472727_1449294845_nTourism Ireland launched its marketing plans for 2014 at events in Dublin and Belfast. Next year’s focus is, as expected, on the Wild Atlantic Way, due to launch in April and currently being promoted with rousing cinema ad campaigns in France (La Côte Sauvage d’Irlande) and Germany from this weekend.

Separate breakout updates were given on the main markets by Caroline Brunel, Aileen Hickey, Niamh Kinsella, Monica MacLaverty, Vanessa Markey, Alison Metcalfe (pictured), Jim Paul, Zoe Redmond and Barbara Wood.

alison metcalfeTourism Ireland reports visitor numbers up 7.2pc & spend up 6pc in 2013. As Tourism Ireland chairman Brian Ambrose said: “The reward for growth is a new baseline.” Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar set an ambitious target of 4pc growth in visitor numbers and 8pc in visitor spend next year (listen here) a target he admitted is ambitious (listen here). Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said the target was 8.9m visitors & 12.6bn revenue by 2016 (listen here) and outlined how this growth in revenue will be achieved with more long-stay long-haul visitors (listen here). Tourism Ireland’s marketing investment will be concentrated in Europe and North America (listen here), and the next three years is about working in the “markets with the best return” (listen here).

At the Belfast launch Arlene Foster set a target of 7pc growth in visitor numbers and 10pc in revenue.

In his summary of 2013 (listen here), Minister Varadkar claimed value for money not a problem anymore (listen here) in promoting Irish tourism and said 2013 had delivered growth and jobs (listen here. He stressed at the press conference (listen here) and separately in the main forum (listen here) that 2013 was not the high water mark of Irish tourism. He said 2014 would also see growth in domestic tourism (listen here), thanks to a recovery in the domestic market (listen here), and generally signs are very good for next year (listen here).

common visa area with Britain is to be introduced in 2014 (listen here), extending the visa waiver system beyond the 16 countries to which it applies.

Moscow, Tel Aviv and Texas featured on the minister’s wish list of year-round direct air routes from Ireland (listen here), and said the government had “put a lot” into air access (listen here) and stressed Italy among several potential untapped markets for Irish tourism (listen here). Niall Gibbons said there would be a 5-10pc increase in air capacity expected in 2014 (listen here), also detailed a wish list (listen here).

Minister Varadkar said it did not make sense to separate Cork airport from DAA as Shannon has been (listen here), but Cork would get a new stakeholders forum and become more autonomous (listen here),

He paid tribute to spirit of the Gathering (listen here) which has “worked out extremely well” (listen here), and said he expected research “soon” to show soon how many extra visitors the Gathering brought (listen here) but the success of the Gathering should be measured in ways other than visitor numbers (listen here), He talked about the biggest surprise from the Gathering (listen here). As a result of the experience of the Gathering the government would be supporting more festivals in future (listen here).

The Minister said the response to the Wild Atlantic Way is phenomenal (listen here), and paid tribute to the initiative (listen here), but said promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way is additional to promotions (listen here), and would not diminish funding for other tourism projects such as the Viking Quarter in Waterford (listen here). Niall Gibbons outlined plans for the Croke Park classic (listen here), Giro d’italia (listen here) and Limerick city of culture (listen here).

Niall Gibbons ((listen here to his introduction) said competitiveness was the best it had been for ten years (listen here) in his summary of 2013 (listen here). He predicted inbound tourism will be back to 2008 levels in every market except Britain (listen here) although Ireland is still third most popular business tourism destination from Britain (listen here).

Niall Gibbons said the Gathering had been a marketing success (listen here), and listed his own biggest surprise from the Gathering (listen here) including the enhanced conversations with diaspora organisations and events (listen here).

He said Tourism Ireland is going to increase its focus on digital marketing (listen here), Ireland is already number two tourist board on Facebook, number three on Twitter and number one on Youtube (listen here), there had been 3m views on family history page (listen here), that Tourism Ireland had helped to increase the social media reach of 100 festivals (listen here).

In a year in which 70 icons went green for St Patrick’s day (listen here), Niall Gibbons appealed to stake holders to allow their own property go green (listen here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook,

  • Tour operators and journalists from 14 countries attended Travel South USA’s International Showcase in Nashville for two days of pre-scheduled appointments for International Buyers and Southern Travel Suppliers and showcased Travel Service Providers in the 11 state Travel South USA region.
  • Ryanair enjoyed its best ever November with passenger numbers up 6pc to 5.2m. Load factor increased 1pc to 81pc, Annual traffic to end November rose 2pc to 81.2m customers
  • Dublin airport reported 1.4m passengers in November up 7pc, and 18.8m for the year to date up 5pc and putting it on course for 20m passengers for the year. Last December numbers were 1.296m. Britain was 626,000 up 11pc, Europe 620,000 up 3pc, Transatlantic 123,000 up 5pc, Africa/Middle East 39,000 Flat and domestic 5,000 up 26pc.
  • Aer Lingus reported passenger numbers down 5.7pc. Numbers on its short-haul routes fell 5.6pc to 560,000, while on long-haul they were 6.9pc lower, at 81,000. Short-haul capacity was down 3.5pc year-on-year, while long-haul capacity was 0.8pc higher.
  • Cityhopper is to take over KLM’s European network, the move will be phased in over a five-year period and is intended to save KLM in operating expenses because Cityhopper staff are paid less. Timely because last week in Amsterdam Christoph Müller commented at the CAPA World Aviation summit that multi-bank hub structures and necessary feeder aircraft size means hub feeder services are structurally unprofitable because short-haul to short-haul transfer traffic has gone to low cost carriers.
  • The Cork-Lisbon route is gone for 2014
  • Sunway sponsored a trip to Lapland prize on the Late Late toy show.
  • Helen Caron, Ireland manager of Falcon Holidays/TUI Thomson was appointed new Managing Director of cruise for Thomson Ireland & UK. She will continue to run Thomson’s Irish operation.

spanish tb ave press trip nov 2013

The Spanish Tourist Board, David Gómez from Valencia Tourism and the High Speed Train (AVE) network hosted a group of Irish journalists to show just how easy it is to travel through the country, visiting Madrid, Valencia and Cuenca. The group stayed in the Eurostars Gran Valencia and the Albufera Natural Parc, visited the City of Arts and Sciences, did a bike tour of the city and dined at La Cigrona restaurant, at El Coso Restaurant on Malvarrosa beach promenade, at Seu Xerea Restaurant and tasted Agua de Valencia at Café de las Horas. Picture shows John Low of Senior Times, Niamh Mac Sweeney of Business & Finance, Niall O´Connor of Independent Newspapers, Deirdre Mullins of RTE, Carol Hunt of Sunday Independent, Sara Rivero press officer of the Spanish Tourist Board, Joyce Fahy of Galway Now Magazine.

  • The Irish delegation to IPW (formerly Pow Wow) at Chicago on April will be housed with delegations from Benelux, France, Kuwait, Mexico, Qatar and UK at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place (named for the Co Antrim originated publishing family) beside the venue for IPW and walking distance from the museum campus.IMG_9835
  • We have come from travel into technology (listen herewhile OTA’s have moved from technology in to travel.” Travel Extra stopped by to meet Bob Haugh, founder of Travel Department and Clickandgo, and Fergal O’Brien (pictured with Charlotte Fenning) to hear about their new project Groupleader (groupleader.com) which has already signed up a couple of hundred hotels (listen here) and will be live for bookings in April (listen here). Groupleader wanted to build a good range of mainly urban hotels in the key European destinations (listen here).
  • Bob Haugh explained how he got idea for Groupleader (listen here), the advantages of the product to group trip organisers and travel agents (listen here), how every request has a unique rate (listen here) and creates its own competitive tension (listen here).
  • He said he had positive reaction to Groupleader from hoteliers (listen here) largely because the product does not look for allocations or contracts (listen here) and hotels have more control over their own bookings than in other processes as default terms and conditions will kick in as soon as the request is answered (listen here). He listed the advantages of Groupleader over OTAs (listen here) and outlined the sort of data they will be able to supply to hotels (listen here).
  • He said he was watching for changes in license regimes across Europe, in the meantime flights are not included on the website because his license only applies to Ireland (listen here) although he was building a multi-market multilingual site (listen here).
  • He said there were safeguards against anyone spamming hotels for multiple quotes (listen here) as the request process was “difficult but not too difficult” (listen here).
  • The group have built their own technology and database as there was nothing similar in the marketplace (listen here).
  • Bob Haugh estimates that group travel continues to grow in the era of the independent traveller, was being boosted by social media (listen here) and group travel could be worth €31-€50bn worldwide (listen here)
  • He said he hoped Groupleader would become a linkedin of tour guides and coach operators (listen here), as hotels had embraced technology much more quickly than coach sector (listen here). “A good bus driver can enhance a tour” (listen here)
  • Fergal O’Brien offered an intriguing possibility: an online group vote on a potential trip (listen here), and another intriguing naming and shaming process if the group organizer wanted to make public who had paid for the stag party trip (listen here). Fergal explained the price on request model (listen here) and the request for price process (listen here).

IMG_9919

One Stop Travel Shop hosted the travel trade at the Residence on Friday for a third birthday party. Sharon Jordan talked about the growth to prominence in 2013 of their 18-25 product Con Tiki from being the least important of the company’s suite of products: Uniworld, Insight, Con Tiki and Red Carnation hotels, enabling 30pc growth of the portfolio in the process. Uniworld have gone completely all inclusive for 2014 (to include gratuities) and Red Carnation have purchased a second hotel in ireland. Picture shows the one stop team Shannon O’Dowd, Sharon Jordan, Carole Carmody and Jessica Byrne. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook,

  • Flybe‘s Shannon to Glasgow route will end on January 5th and the seasonal service Knock to Edinburgh will not be returning in 2014, but the airline will continue to operate 14 routes from Belfast City Airport in its summer schedule for 2014. Flybe cancelled 30 routes in all, including 14 services that operate only during the summer, while it is also revealed that Flybe will run 150 services during the 2014 summer season. Flybe is to continue operating flights from London Gatwick to Cornwall, lifting the threat to the Cornish airport’s survival.

group pic zell am zee dec 7 2013 copy

Early snow has driven strong bookings in Europe’s ski resorts prompting Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry to go uphill to see conditions for himself. At Zell am Zee he visited the opening of a new eight man lift and opening night of a new Irish bar, Flanningan’s (” NOT an Irish bar” and definitely not recommended), to start the season. Topflight hosted a group in Zell am Zee. Picture shows Roisin Derrane, Miki Barlok, Maura Derrane, Eoghan Corry, Aileen Eglington and Marguerite Kiely. Elsewhere, a study showed that wearing a helmet dramatically reduces the risk of a head injury, but fails to protect the neck. Skiers have more fun than snowboarders, new research claimed to answer the long running debate of the slopes.rtin skelly worldchoice

Worldchoice Ireland had 160 agents and suppliers at their conference in Ashbourne last weekend. Listen here to Garry Zancanaro’s farewell speech at the conference 2013, youtube version or audio version. Michael Doorley thanked delegates for a successful conference (listen here), paid tribute to John McKibbin (listen here), paid tribute to Garry Zancanaro (listen here), a move that provoked 40 seconds of sustained applause even before he had begun (listen here), and Ita Johnson paid tribute to Garry Zancanaro (listen here). Listen here to audio of Lee Osborne being announced favourite business partner representative, Wings Abroad being announced favourite business partner and Rachel Donnelly being announced Worldchoice travel professional of the year at the Worldchoice 2013 awards. Picture shows Helen McCormack, Katrina McMullan, Martin Skelly and Michelle McDonagh of Navan Travel at the Worldchoice Ireland conference. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook,

Shannon-Bristol is to be revived next April, this time by Aer Lingus Regional, while Shannon-Birmingham is increased to double daily, and Shannon-Manchester to three daily. See video of announcement.IMG_9896 copy

Brian Staunton, formerly Ireland manager of Worldspan was in Dublin on Friday to explain the Enett payments system, a virtual mastercard that is used by the travel trade at a breakfast jointly hosted by Sinead Reilly of Travelport who are part-owners of Enett. There is a waiver of the €10 per month fee for a period of six months for those agencies who register before Christmas. Picture shows Sinead Reilly of Travelport and Brian Staunton of Enett at the event. Enett.com/travelport to register your agency. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

imi graduates

Simon Boucher of the IMI, Tony Lenehan and Mary Hall, of Fáilte Ireland are pictured with Hotel managers who completed their High Potential Leadership programme this week. Eighteen managers within the Hotel industry this week graduated after completing the newest management programme, John Gavin of Pillo Hotel, Galway, Corah Caples of Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin, Seamus Mulkern of Glenview Hotel, Wicklow, Imelda Lineen of Aisling Hotel, Dublin, Barry Francis of Dylan Hotel, Dublin, Michelle Mc Donald of Mespil Hotel, Dublin, Michael Wade of Delphi Lodge, Galway, Madeline Riley of Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin, Brendan Kavanagh of Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport, Keith Boyle of The Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Kathleen Heraghty of Harvey’s Point Hotel, Donegal, Ines Guerra of Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport , Dublin, John Sheridan of Croke Park Hotel, Jones’s Road, Dublin, Shane Young of Killary Adventure Company, Leenane, Galway, Seamus Brennan of Academy Plaza Hotel 10-14 Findlater Place, Dublin, Brian Forde of Absolute Hotel, Sir Harrys Mall, Limerick, Ronan O’ Halloran of Westbury Hotel Grafton, Dublin and Maurice O’Donoghue of Westbury Hotel, Dublin.

  • Air New Zealand redesigned their app to permit customers to check-in from 24 hours before departure
  • Easyjet launched a Chinese website.
  • Marriott International extended mobile check-in services to an additional 20 hotels in 19 countries, including the UK, Mexico, UAE and India
  • Video of the week is Air New Zealand’s timelapse video of their new hobbit livery. Alternative Video of the week (see the Tourism Ireland videos above) is the new Visit Nevada upload don’t fence me in.
  • Shannon Airport Car Parks will be carrying out essential upgrade works to our short term car park and airport terminal approach road until late January 2014. Shannon airport says roadworks will take place on the N18 Limerick to Ennis road until mid December resulting in lane closures, in both directions, between J7 Sixmilebridge and J6 Bunratty East. Motorists travelling to Shannon Airport should expect delays during peak times and allow extra time for their journey.
  • Alton Towers are offering children half price on Santa’s sleepovers and 25pc off January Escape.
  • Breakaway are offering 2 Free Hotel Nights and 2 Free Park Days
  • Travel Solutions said air and coach package sales increased 22pc this year.
  • Ciaran Mulligan’s Gadgetinsurance.com claimed “a dramatic increase” in mobile theft claims over the last few months, Garda figures this week revealed 12,000 mobile phones were stolen during 2013.
  • The European Tour Operators Association issued a report (read here) that Japan remains a vital market for Europe in the coming decade.
  • Stena HSS Explorer fast ferry is returning on the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead route, December 20-23, December 27-30 and January 2- 5,
  • After Kilkenny won the top tourism town award last week, Hotels.com reported searches for Kilkenny hotels up 146pc. See more pictures here from the awards ceremony or connect with the album on Facebook,
  • Ireland was in 21st place in the international freedom from corruption index compiled by Transparency international with Denmark and New Zealand in joint first place. 3 Finland & Sweden; 5 Norway & Singapore; 7 Switzerland; 8 Netherlands; 9 Australia & Canada; 11 Luxembourg; 12 Germany & Iceland; 14 England; 15 Barbados, Belgium & Hong Kong; 18 Japan; 19 United States & Uruguay; 21 Ireland,.
  • Ryanair announced a new base in Catania and seven new routes, also four new routes in Comiso. There was much coverage of Ryanair’s alleged offer to help fund Alitalia was indignantly dismissed by the Italian flag carrier. O’Leary said that, despite all its problems, Alitalia could still be turned around, telling reporters: “Seen from outside, you get the impression that Alitalia’s problems are the result of too much political interference, of reluctance on the part of workers to accept changes in the airline industry and of too many loss-making, short and medium haul routes. On top of that, Alitalia has too many expensively leased aircraft, too many planes and too many types of planes. O’Leary also said that the current recapitalisation will provide only short term financial solutions, adding: “Alitalia can still pull through if work methods change and if the Alitalia fleet is radically overhauled”.
  • Germany’s airport traffic grew less than 1pc in 2013.
  • brendan donohoeThe Irish Times paid tribute to Brendan Donohue of Aer Lingus (pictured) and air consult international
  • Dublin had its driest November in 70 years, the driest autumn in 20 years.
  • Knock airport recorded a pre-tax loss of €627,195, excluding a government subvention, a euro for every passenger.
  • Bus services around Waterford and commuter routes from Dublin to Tullamore, Newbridge, Portlaoise, Kildare and Athy are to be privatised. 1.6m journeys were made on the Dublin Bikes scheme last year according to a CSO transport update.inisheer award
  • Picture shows Paddy Crowe, Galway County Mayor Liam Carroll and Xiamen mayor Yu Weiguo as Inisheer were awarded the top place in the LivCom Awards in Xiamen.
  • United is to add flat-bed seats on premium service routes follwing the redesign of all 15 Boeing 757-200 aircraft that fly from New York to Los Angeles and from New York to San Francisco.
  • Qantas and China Southern signed a codeshare agreement expected to be available for booking and travel from early 2014
  • Doha‘s Hamad International Airport will open in January when see ten carriers initially move to Hamad International, operating out of Concourse B
  • Air France launched a Panama City route deploying a B777-200 in a three-class configuration with 309 seats
  • BA unveiled a new amenity kit and refurbished T5 spa
  • Aeromexico is to fly a Dreamliner to London deploying a B787 on its Mexico City to Heathrow route from April.
  • Qantas is to begin a cabin upgrade on its A330 fleet to be completed by mid-2016, with each aircraft upgrade taking about a month.”
  • British Airways to test onboard wifi High Life Connect trial on a B747-400 aircraft over the next 12 months
  • British Airways launched a revamped version of the Gate 365 shopping site offering Executive Club members Avios for purchases and 500 points for each customer’s first purchase.
  • Travelbiz Directory Diary 2014 ail be delivered in the next week
  • The London government confirmed that England’s Air Passenger Duty will rise for the sixth time in as many years.
  • Ski hire shop Skiset is expanding into the holiday market.
  • To mark 500 years since the publication of Machiavelli’s The Prince, the London Telegraph went on the trail of 10 famous back-stabbings.
  • The most irritating holiday-related Facebook updates were revealed: feet on the beach, checking in at the airport, and poolside selfies.
  • Crystal Ski Holidays revealed next season’s European ski programme ahead of the start of the current season
  • Three the mobile operator scrapped roaming charges visiting the United States prompting calls for others to do the same.
  • County Down born adventurer Bear Grylls announced a new academy in Africa
  • Hotel software was developed that progammers say could allow hoteliers to link their reviews to their room rates.
  • It was claimed that seeing the Northern Lights is the most sought after travel experience in the world.
  • As protests in Bangkok escalated into violence not far from some of the city’s most popular tourist spots, the Tourist Authority of Thailand rushed to reassure visitors of their safety. For tourists visiting the kingdom, it should be stressed that tourists have not been targeted in the ongoing political protests. Despite the protests, most attractions in Bangkok and throughout Thailand are open and operating as per normal. For live images of Thai tourist destinations, check out these Thai Live Cam streaming cameras. Éist le Eoghan Corry ag caint faoi Sofia agus an Téalann ar Cruinneog, Raidio na Gaeltachta.
  • Rail commentator Christian Wolmar said it was “absolutely daft” that the strongest English language brand in European train travel is to be rebranded as French internet domain, Voyages-sncf.com.
  • Easyjet CEO Carolyn McCall earned £6.4m for the 12 months to September 30, up from £3.7m last year.
  • The world’s largest floating vessel was launched in South Korea.
  • Swanwick Air Traffic Control in Southern England suffered technical problems which led to delays in Irish flights.
  • Travelsupermarket launched a new ski comparison tool for the English market.
  • Ryanair paid €69.1m to buy back 10m US-listed shares.
  • A 63-year-old man Thomas Smyth, whose nose was broken by a closing electronic door at Dublin Airport, was awarded €19,000 damages
  • Joe Gilmore told John Mulligan that Knock Airport is aiming to secure new transatlantic services by 2016 as part of its new 10-year strategy. He said there are more outbound pilgrims going through Knock airport than inbound.
  • Brendan Keenan pondered how did Madrid’s metro cost €85m per kilometre while Dublin’s proposed metro track will cost €180m per kilometre?
  • England’s travel writer of the year Mark Jones wrote: After five minutes examining your final bill following a few days in a hire car you’ll conclude Ryanair are models of open-handed, corporate generosity.
  • Ampleforth Limited, which owns the Fitzwilliam hotel on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, saw operating profits jump by 81pc to €3.06m in 2012.
  • Tourism Ireland teamed up with British crisp brand Walkers in an effort to boost late-season travel from Britain.
  • Minister Michael Ring turned on the Christmas Light display sponsored by the ESB at Merrion Square Park in Dublin. ictured with Minister are Tonnta choral group Zosia Kuczynska, Morgan Crowley, Emmet Kiberd and Robbie Blake. Last year 37 business and stakeholders came together to showcase the Square.
  • Unions will begin balloting over 2,000 staff at Dublin and Shannon this weekend over possible industrial action on the pension deficit, there is no threat of any action until the New Year, meaning Christmas travellers won’t be affected. Former Aer Lingus workers claimed that the pension proposals discriminate against them.
  • Laura Slattery noted that the ban on alcohol advertising on French television resulted in one of 2012’s “Jump Into Ireland” ads was set inside the driest Irish pub on the island.
  • VOYA the Irish Spa seaweed brand from Strandhill, received the Halal stamp of approval from the Halal monitoring committee.
  • Easyjet announced Gatwick to Tel Aviv, the airline’s third route between England and Tel Aviv.
  • Qantas cut 1,000 jobs and warned of challenges as it predicted a half-year loss of up to A$300m. Virgin owner Richard Branson claimed that if Qantas, run by Alan Joyce from Tallaght, was “better managed” then it wouldn’t be in a “financial mess
  • Eurotunnel is to continue operating ferry services from Dover after it quashed an earlier ban by England’s Competition Commission. The commission told the group in June that it would have to stop its MyFerryLink service because of fears that it could use its dominance of cross-Channel transport to increase prices
  • Air Canada revealed their B787 Dreamliner cabin design. The first of the 37 B787s that the carrier has on order are due for delivery in the spring.
  • Chic outlets has launched VIP Lounges, now open at Maasmechelen Village near Brussels, Kildare Village near Dublin and Ingolstadt Village near Munich.
  • It does not happen very often but the Serengeti migration has turned. Due to the lack of rains in the Serengeti, the migrating wildebeests have made a u-turn and are now crossing back into the Masai Mara.nicola nelson2
  • Nicola Nelson has joined O’Callaghan Hotels group as Business Development Manager
  • Jenny Garret won a €50 GTI gift card in the group’s exclusive giveaway.
  • The Irish Aviation Authority’s say their Point Merge air traffic management system provided savings of €5.5m to airlines flying into Dublin Airport during 2013
  • P&O Cruises and Cunard raised their English agency commission levels from 5pc to 7.5pc following pressure from the trade.
  • Travel Department 2014 programme highlights include Tromso & the Northern LightsCalifornia & the Golden West by Rail, and  Highlights of Japan.
  • Sunway Holidays are to sponsor the Festive Most Stylish Ladies Day at Limerick Racecourse Saturday  December 28th.
  • Delta is forecasting unit revenues to increase 7-9pc year over year for the month of December.
  • Tour America have moved to a new bigger premises in the heart of Cork city on 31 Parnell StreetTour America Cork Shop Front
  • Qatar are to launch a Dallas/Fort Worth route, it already flies to Houston, as well as to New York, Washington DC and Chicago.
  • Travelport launched an enhanced version of their point-of-sale application, Travelport Smartpoint.
  • Experian the credit rating company which tracks bankruptcies and spending, estimated there were 115m visits to online shopping sites on cyber Monday.
  • Martin Penrose’s If Only operation opened open for business on Wednesday and copies of the Arabia & the Indian Ocean and Asia brochures, will be delivered to agencies in the next few days. 01 447 5275
  • British Airways is adding an extra three flights per week to its Heathrow to Cape Town route from May. BA is currently operating a double-daily service between the two cities during the busy October to May southern hemisphere summer season. British Airways and Elemis have launched new-look travel spas at its terminals and amenity kits now available in Club World.
  • Etihad Airways won the world’s leading airline for the fifth year in a row. at the World Travel Awards.
  • Skyscanner hired a new chairman as it eyes the path to a flotation
  • Sweden’s Icehotel opened with a London Underground theme, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Tube.
  • The Travel Extra Travel Writer of the Year Awards 2013 are now open for entries.
  • Final word for Michael O’Leary of Ryanair on his spat with the horse racing authorities: “You would swear we are some bunch of spivs running around organising betting coups.”
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