Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Thailand Stays Open for Business & An Upwardly Mobile Water Slide

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSTRAVEL TRADEIRELANDINTERNATIONAL -.

 

Headlines this week.

  • An upwardly mobile water slide.
  • Thailand’s coup-coup clock.
  • ITAA floats their boat for conference
  • Ryanair takes up Boeing’s offer.
  • Las Vegas has a laugh at Airport security.

verruckt_7061Verruckt, the tallest, fastest, and longest waterslide in the world opened yesterday at Schlitterbahn Kansas City. Riders will reach speeds of 65mph on the steepest and fastest water slide in the world, taller than Niagara falls. Riders are pushed back uphill by a series of water jets. Verrückt (German for insane) will have the longest uphill climb of any waterslide in the world.

 

Las Vegas airport officials freshened up the funny videos that play at security checkpoints. Video of the week features Las Vegas comedians Carrot Top and Louie Anderson (watch here).

Las vegas videoInspired by the awful Singapore Tourism Board attempt to lure more Filipino visitors (watch here), the London Telegraph listed the 10 worst tourism ads of all time. The included the much maligned 1980s spirit of Massachusetts ad (watch here, and watch the Family Guy parody here), the infamous Australian Where the bloody hell are you (watch here) and Paul Hogan’s Fair Dinkum ad from 1984 (watch here), a saucy Riga ad (watch here), an over-elaborate ad to convey the beauty of Newfoundland (watch here), Philadelphia’s pyjama-clad sleep over campaign (watch here), Banff’s photo bomb squirrel (watch here), attractive women raising their eyebrows in front of roaring fires and reclining onto beds in 1970 Miami Beach (watch here), an array of fountains in a 1963 video from Barcelona (watch here) and rather unfairly, Mike Polk Junior’s Cleveland spoof (watch here). There are lots more that might have made the list. Bloomberg News took a look at the process and problems of finding a tourism message. For every “Virginia is for Lovers,” there is a “Maryland: So Many Things to See So Close Together.”

Aer Lingus told customers who were booked to travel on its services to and from Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports, on Friday 30th May, that their flights have now been cancelled. Click here for more information. Aer Lingus say the planned strike by IMPACT union on 30 May, will result in 204 flights having to be cancelled, disrupting the travel plans of around 28,000 customers. Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry on RTE radio’s Drive Time speaking about the complex reasons for the strike and the prospects of further industrial action. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry ag caint ar an aighneas atá ar bun in Aer Lingus.

0008f6b0-942The international travel industry reacted with surprising calm to the news that Thailand’s army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha imposed martial law shortly before dawn on Tuesday, and confirmation two days later that a coup had taken place, Thailand’s 19th coup since 1932 (see images here). See updated advice from Thailand tourism here.

Both tourists and nationals are subject to a nationwide curfew that means they must not be in the street between 10pm and 5am. Tourists planning to fly into or out of the country after 10pm will be an exception. These travelers will be allowed to move between the airport and their hotels. Tourists have expressed concern on internet forums and there is concern that travel insurance exclusions could apply to some policies.

With unfortunate timing, the declaration of martial law coincided with the opening day of the high profile International hotel investors which brought 250 delegates from 26 countries to Bangkok’s Dusit Thani Hotel.

Bangkok hotels reported significant performance decreases during the first quarter of 2014, affecting Thailand’s overall performance, according to data from STR Global. Occupancy rates in Bangkok fell to 55.2pc in Q1 2014 (compared to 79.7pc in Q1 2013). In February and March, Bangkok reported its lowest occupancy figures since August 2010.

There has been none of the mass evacuations which followed previous coups, notably that after the removal of Thaksin Shinawatra from power in 2006. The Department of Foreign Affairs asks Irish visitors to exercise caution and suggests they should they should register their details, Similarly, the foreign office of Australia, which supplies 1m to Thailand advised tourists to exercise a high degree of caution. The London government advises that media outlets have been taken off air and there is a risk that this could extend to the internet. So far only the Philippines is advising against non-essential travel and warned tourists to prepare for evacuation if necessary. Philippine Airlines and Garuda have cut flights to Bangkok.

The big concern is the uncertainty of how long the conflict will last. Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry speaking from Sydney on RTE’s Morning Ireland on the implications of the coup for the travel industry in Ireland. Read here Joan Scales roundup of travel advice from her appearance on RTE’s Morning Edition.

Michael O’Leary was in New York for Ryanair’s financial results on Monday, leaving the airline’s new Montenotti-born front man Kenny Jacobs to take the questions. Ryanair profits fell 8pc to €523m due mainly to a 4pc decline in fares.

O’Leary took questions from analysts and generated almost as much coverage as if he had been giving the results himself. He said Ryanair is falling behind. we CAN learn from easyJet (watch here). Ryanair reported full year net profit of €523m, traffic up 3pc to 81.7m and load factor up 1pc to 83pc. The airline’s push for new passengers has targeted a profit increase.

He revealed that Ryanair took advantage of 5 early Boeing 737-800 deliveries offered by Boeing in early 2015 increasing the order to 180 aircraft. The 2014 deliveries are cheaper than 1999 deliveries and will lead to lower unit costs but winter ownership of 11 new Boeing 737-800s for 6 months had generated little revenue. He said the two key trends were the rise in load factor and strong forward bookings (up 5pc to September).

Ryanair will add features such as fast-track security and will roll business product towards the end of August, changeable ticket, free reserved seating, priority boarding, free bag and premium customer status. New family and business products will be rolled out in the next few months. He said Ryanair will need to sell less seats through summer season and full year yield will be up 2pc and unit costs will be flat. Ancillary revenues were up 17pc in the last 12 months. “We will blow competitors out of the water with low fares in winter.”

The monthly hotel price data from Trivago.ie indicate the average hotel price across Europe up 11pc this month and the average hotel price for the top 10 destinations in Ireland was €97 in April to €106 in May, up 10pc on last month and up 2pc on last year. Hotel prices in Dublin up 16pc in comparison to May 2013 to €131, one of the highest year-on-year increases in Europe. Prices in the major cities were: Belfast €113+15pc on last month +15pc on last year; Cork€100+9pc on last month +1pc on last year; Derry €93+9pc on last month -10pc on last year; Donegal €155+3pc on last month +25pc on last year; Dublin€131+27pc on last month +16pc on last year; Galway €102+12pc on last month -2pc on last year; Kilkenny€97+4pc on last month -7pc on last year; Killarney€116+17pc on last month -2pc on last year; Limerick €86+4pc on last month -2pc on last year; Sligo€100+6pc on last month -1pc on last year; Tralee €90+7pc on last month -9pc on last year; Waterford €91+12pc on last month -5pc on last year. The average hotel price in Lisbon peaked at €1,428 on the night of the Champions League final.The index shows the average overnight accommodation prices for the most popular European cities drawn from 1m daily hotel search queries and 1bn hotel offers stored by trivago.

Club Travel, with a turnover of €86.5m, is listed as Ireland’s largest travel agency in the Irish Times top 1,000 Irish companies. The annual survey listed 34 travel and tourism companies among the top 1,000, including three property holding companies Commidaire, Ocsas and Pembase, and eight retail groups that own hotels as part of their portfolio: Campbell Bewley’s, Carigaline’s Heron holdings. Comidaire, McCabe’s, Portwest, Spectra and Torski. The biggest aviation, ferry, transport, travel and tourism related companies and their turnovers are, according to the list: 1 Ryanair €4.9bn; 2 Aer LIngus €1.4bn; 3 Bombardier Aerospace €596m; 4 Dublin Airport Authority €574.6m; 5 P&O €468.4m; 6 Bus Eireann €286.3m; 7 Irish Continental €264.7m; 8 Cityjet €260.2m; 9 Lufthansa Ireland €243.2m; 10 Translink €224.5m; 11 Cartrawler €200m; 12 Dublin Bus €191.1m; 13 Irish Rail €186.8m; 14 Jury’s Inn €183.6m; 15 Irish Aviation Authority €175m; 16 Pembase Holdings €126.5m; 17 Doyle Hotels €126.5m; 18 Commidare Holdings €122m; 19 Torski Limited €108.1m; 20 Stobart Air €100m; 21 Campbell Bewley €975m; 22 Moran & Bewleys Hotel Group €88m; 23 Club Travel €86.5m; 24 Tourism Ireland €77.8m; 25 Portwest €697m; 26 Dublin Port company €65.3m 27 Aer Rianta International €62.2m; 28 McCabes Pharmacy €57.9m; 29 Air Contractors €57.5m 30 Ocsas €54.3m; 31 Dalata €54.1m; 32 Hostelworld €52m; 33 European Rugby Cup €51.7m; 34 Abbey Travel €50.5m; 35 Spectra €45-50m; 36 Ght Global Hotel Trade €45.7m; 37 Servisair €40m 38 Magellan Aviation Service €39.1m 39 Crystal Holidays €36.3m; 40 Carrigaline’s Heron Holdings €32.3m; 41 Sunway €30.1m; 42 Joe Walsh Tours €28.4m; 43 O’Dwyer Leisure €26.3m; 44 The Shelbourne Hotel €26m; 45 Staycity €25.2m; 46 Air BnB €21.8m; 47 Acra Control €20.6m 48 Travel Counsellors €18.5m; 49 The Merrion Hotel €16.3m; 50 Westin Hotel €12.6m; 51 Dromoland Castle €11.3m; 52 National Concert Hall €4.6m.

Alan Joyce Eoghan Corry 002 copyTravel Extra stopped by Australia’s Museum of Contemporary Art to join the festivities to mark the opening of Vivid, Sydney’s light show which illuminates 60 different locations around the city (see gallery here). Picture shows Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry with Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas. On a tragic note, an Irish tourist drowned after falling in to the water at nearby Darling harbour.

Travel Trade.

The 2014 ITAA conference will take place on board Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the seas Oct 31-Nov 2.

Steve Byrne and Kirsten Hughes Travel CounsellorsTravel Counsellors Ireland hosted 50 of their Counsellors at their Irish conference in Lyragh Kilkenny and 49 guest business partners representing 39 companies, 120 delegates in total. Steve Byrne, Kirsten Hughes (pictured) and Malcolm Hingley attended from the headquarters of the international homeworking organisation. Travel Counsellors featured in the Irish Times list of top 1,000 companies for the first time. Anabel Cove of DoSomethingDifferent won the Travel Counsellors Ireland Business Partner of the Year Award.

1907643_10152102886097727_2233494993789355125_nAndalucia hosted its annual thank you event for the Irish travel trade, Andalucia Clearly Irresistible. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

JustSunshine showcased their value holidays to their resorts Hammamet and Port el Kantaoui, to a group of Irish media including Travel Extra’s Carmel Higgins. Irish agents are familiar with the JustSunshine flies direct from Dublin to Monastir every Saturday from June 28 (a week later than originally scheduled). john grehanFlights leave Dublin at midday and return Saturday evenings. Flying time is three and a half hours, a family of two adults and two children can stay at the 5 Star El Moradi Palm Marina (a hotel familiar to the Irish travel trade for many years) all inclusive for seven nights for €1643, two weeks at the same resort costs €2131, cheaper if there is only one child. www,justsunshine.ie or phone +3531 9695566 to contact John Grehan (photographer) who beds up the irish operation. ITAA President Martin Skelly says travel agents looks forward to partners who are doing a bit of work with agents.

TheRoseGarden in El Retiro copyPicture shows Irish agents on a Spanish Tourist Board famil to the Parks and Gardens of Madrid: Alicia Perex of BSGT, Louise Lakes of Clickandgo and Toni Birthistle of Travel Escape in the Rosaleda Rose Garden.

The over 50s show takes place in Dublin this weekend.

  • Declan Hughes’s http://www.FlyCruiseStay.com published a blog about how to get a flight upgrade.
  • HotelAir renewed their contract with Travelport.
  • Sunway are hosting a party for the trade on Sunday July 4th.
  • Travelmood hosted a worldwide honeymoon event.
  • ITAA Benevolent Fund sent out an appeal for information of anyone who may access to its funds.
  • Satcom1 was accredited as Inmarsat SwiftBroadband Distribution Partner.
  • Falcon launched a City of Derry-Majorca trade incentive.
  • Lowcost travel group is looking for freelance copy writers.
  • Travelport and CityJet signed a distribution agreement.

happy mondayThe first winner of the Lowcost Travel group Happy Mondays trade promotion was Orla Tooher from Go Hop.

SKAL North of Ireland 60th anniversary celebrations will take place on June 19-20.

ENett the joint venture between Travelport and PSP International headed up by Brian Staunton launched its innovative Virtual Account Numbers to agencies in Singapore.

  • ITAA offers website offers include; a yacht journey around the Turkish isles, a chance to explore Thailand and a trip to the Las Vegas.
  • Hertz donated 1,000 computers to Irish charity Camara Education
  • Sunway July/August sale starts continues until Tuesday from €399.
  • A survey by Ciaran Mulligan’s Carhireexcess.com claimed its cover could save 288.26 in additional insurance excess charges charged by car hire companies at their desks in Malaga for two weeks cover. With a threatened strike at Aer Lingus Blue Insurances promoted the Multitrip.com cover for strike action under their ‘Premier and Premier Plus Cover’ levels.

 

Hotelbeds reported high growth rates in the Americas.

Marlfield House launched a 3 day flash sale.

Paul Clifford. Picture by Shane O'Neill / Copyright Fennell Photography 2014.Paul Clifford joined the O’Callaghan Hotel Group as General Manager of the Stephen’s Green Hotel in Dublin.

  • Hotel da Música, in Oporto was recognised by the Grand Rabbinate of Israel as a kosher hotel.
  • Limerick Strand hotel used aterrific father’s day aphorism to market their €27.95 father’s day buffet packages “a father is someone who carries pictures in his wallet where his money used to be.”

 

  • In Kenya, the Department of Foreign Affairs has asked Irish people to exercise caution but not to avoid all but essential travel to parts of Nairobi (not to the whole country as was misreported elsewhere). Kenya responded to the premature decision of TUI to evacuate holiday makers by stressing there have not been any incidents in Mombasa that have affected any tourists, and security in all tourism establishments within Mombasa remains high. While TUI have evacuated customers many other tour operators continue to sell safari circuits in Kenya and the coastal resorts of Diani, Malindi, Watamu, Kilifi and Lamu.
  • Egypt’s tourism minister declared that all tourist destinations are safe and sound as the country prepares for a presidential election next week
  • Britain’s Office for National Statistics reported foreign visitor arrivals in 2013 were the highest number since 1961, rising 5.6pc to 32.8m. Ireland is Britain’s fourth biggest inbound market with 2,395,000 visitors, after France 3,930,000, Germany 3,162,000 and USA 2,791,000, and delivers the seventh biggest spend with £818m after USA, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Italy. Visits from North America continued to show a decline, 0.3pc down on 2012, however spending from the region increased by 2.9pc. Visits from Europe and ‘Other Countries’ showed increases of 5.7pc and 9.3pc respectively.
  • Florida Beach Finder gave travellers the facility to virtually walk hundreds of miles of beaches.
  • A new range of books aims to educate travellers with an array of swear words and colloquialisms, along with more commonly taught phrases.
  • Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex added a selection of science-based activity adventures to its daily offerings.
  • TravelSim Roaminglaunched a data only package ahead of the soccer World Cup in Brazil.
  • A museum in China has been told to close after a third of its exhibits were found to be fake.
  • Legoland California launched its Legends of Chima water park presented by cartoon network.
  • Hotel workers and bartenders plan to strike at nine Las Vegas casinos next month if contracts aren’t reached.
  • Nightswapping launched a pay your holidays in nights venture.
  • Indaba in Durban is likely to keep its dates for the second week in May in 2015, WTM Africa in Cape Town will take place on April 15-17.
  • Fotosub Ranked Cuba among its leading international diving destinations.
  • New York Governor Cuomo hosted his second tourism summit.
  • VisitEnglandlaunched a series of animated destination films to mark the start the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour
  • A survey by sunshine.co.uk named Prague, Amsterdam and Krakow as the most popular stag destinations and Albufeira in Portugal as the most popular hen destination.
  • Chic Outlet shopping, who own Kildare Village and Bicester among other lutlets, launched a ‘luxury shopping as a MICE activity’ campaign.
  • Tourism Authority of Thailand announced the winners of its Dream Honeyteering Contest.
  • BackBliss Lotion Applicator claimed we could say goodbye to ever having to ask someone to put sun tan lotion on our back.
  • Visitrentals.com launched what it says is the world’s first real-time online booking portal for serviced accommodation.
  • Disney raised its prices in Orlando, a single-day ticket for either the Magic Kingdom or California Adventure is now $96 for those 10 and up sine Monday, up $4. Single-day ticket prices have more than doubled since 2003.
  • The National Museum of American History in Washington, DC celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner by reuniting the original flag with Francis Scott Key’s manuscript for the first time.
  • Don’t take this as a reason to visit Los Angeles, but check out the terrific street hack video, watch here, that has gone viral this week.
  • Families will soon be able to race together at 60mph on a new four-person zip wire ride, due to open in Wales.

 

 

Food and Wine.

McLoughlin’s Restaurant at Dublin’s Roganstown Hotel and Country Club was awarded the AA Rosette

Portugal launched a wine tourism web portal

Ultimate Winery Experiences welcomed a new member Lane Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia.

 

United SNN Chicago 119United Airlines re-introduced its seasonal nonstop service between Shannon and its Chicago hub, O’Hare International Airport. The summer service will operate during the period May 23 to Sept 15, 2014, a longer period than last year, 5w during the periods May 23 to Jun. 16 and Aug. 19 to Sep 1, daily between Jun 17 and Aug 18, and four flights weekly between Sept 2 and Sept 15 (all dates westbound). It will be operated by Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space. UA67 departs Shannon at 11:00am arriving in Chicago at 1:15pm, UA66, departs Chicago at 6:25pm arriving in Shannon at 7:35am.

Delta Air Lines launched their summer service between Shannon and New York. DL223 departs Shannon 12:40pm, DL 224 departs New York 11:32pm, landing in Shannon 10:55am using a 167 seat B757-200 aircraft featuring 15 seats in BusinessElite.

Ryanair Menu 1 copyPicture shows Ryanair’s Ricardo Morais Correia, Head of Communications, Robin Kiely and Stephanie Pattison launching the new Ryanair Getaway Café onboard menu.

Aeroflot’s low cost carrier Dobrolet was granted an operator certificate.

  • For the second time in 10 days, a US Airways flight from Italy to Philadelphia was diverted to Ireland after several flight attendants fell ill. Airline officials are investigating Monday’s incident involving Flight 715 from Venice. On May 10, the same flight had the same diversion to Dublin for the same reason – several crew members became sick.
  • Flybe are to increase their Dublin to Southampton service from three to four daily departing Dublin 06.45, 12.35, 15.10, 20.15, departing Southampton 06.50, 13.25, 18.25, 20.50. Flybe reported strong interest in new routes from London Southend.
  • Dublin airport recorded 1.8m passengers in April up 13pc, Year to date is up 7pc to 5.9m.
  • Qatar prepared to open Hamad International Airport.Etihad Airways' First and Business Class Lounge Sydney
  • Etihad Airways opened its new First and Business Class Lounge at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport the airline’s first in Australia and the newest addition to its collection of premium lounges worldwide.
  • The new Aspire Lounge at Belfast City Airport was opened by 1972 Olympic pentathlon gold medalist Mary Peters.
  • Ryanair are to go double daily on Dublin to Madrid this winter.
  • United Airlines won a sustainability outstanding achievement award.
  • Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air reported a 35pc increase in April passenger numbers.
  • According to an article in Midi Libre, French airline pilots’ union SNPL lodged a complaint against Ryanair.
  • An aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in Dublin after the crew reported smoke on board and a cracked windshield.
  • Ethiopian Airlines invited the travel trade to learn about the airline’s revamped product.
  • Cork Airport cut energy use by 35pc, saving €575,000 per year.
  • A close call between two planes at Newark Liberty International Airport last month has prompted changes in the airport’s takeoff and landing procedures.
  • Catering provider SSP named Kate Crozier from Belfast International Airport as its Barista Champion.
  • Delta and Travelport agreed to a long-term infrastructure hosting services agreement.
  • IATA backed HomingPIN’s lost property recovery service.
  • Lufthansa reported an above expectations reaction to Partner Plus (though of course SACP product had been there for many years). Helen Fyfe says “we are working very closely with the trade to help them save even more for their clients business travel budgets. We’ve added the opportunity for clients to earn points right down to the very lowest booking classes from the start of this year (including special offer classes) and hope to be able to offer them more point earning opportunities quite soon.”
  • BA announced a luxury worldwide sale, sell by June 3rd travel June 14th –April 12th 2015.
  • Belfast City Airport awarded a £2m contract to GRAHAM Facility Management.
  • Air Canada celebrated its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight with the arrival of AC7008 at Toronto’s Pearson airport Sunday afternoon carrying 100 of the airline’s employees on its maiden voyage.
  • US National Transport Safety Boardcalled for more tests on the Dreamliner battery saying previous tests had been “inadequate” after the power packs overheated in flight last year
  • Brazilian officials went out of their way to try to convince World Cup tourists they won’t face problems at airports even though not all upgrades will be completed in time.
  • QuickPark.ie marketed its summer holiday parking at spring prices.
  • Emirates entered its third year of Irish Open sponsorship.
  • Aer Lingus offered €20 off return flights to Europe this summer.
  • Turkish Airlines said its pilot recruitment roadshow comes to Dublin Maldron Hotel on June 12-13.

 

MSC‘s new cruise ships will introduce revolutionary sea-level promenades to bring the beach to the sea.

Royal Caribbean 334 copyPicture shows Jenny Rafter (Royal Caribbean International) Nora Boylan (Maureen Delmar Travel), Christine Scully (Marble City Travel), Sinead Daly (Travel Counsellors), Corina Vallely (Falcon Tallaght) on board Liberty of the Seas on a five night Brilliance of the seas famil which saw agents visiting Nice, Monte Carlo and Pisa.

  • Royal Caribbean says Quantum global odyssey on May 2, 2015is to bring quantum-class cruising to the World’s most cosmopolitan cities.
  • New York Water Taxi’s Westside ferry service starts Monday.
  • Stena line launched their “enjoy a taste of France & get a free bite of Britainoffer.
  • Project Travel launched a Hurtigruten 2 for 1 Offer.
  • Irish Ferries is offering a €55 discount on seven-night packages to Haven Holiday parks in Britain.

 

  • Alan Clarke is to step down as NITB CEO, since 2003 he saw a £300m investment by public and private sectors in tourism that included MTV awards, the Giro, and the opening of Titanic Belfast and Causeway visitor centres.
  • Government launches new online tools to help employers and SMEs.
  • Bus Éireann reduced fares on a host of Expressway services, with a special summer on-line offer of €8 for a single ticket.
  • Tourism Ireland launched an online film highlighting Limerick City of Culture.FRENCH CONNECTION FOR IRELAND AND THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY!
  • Sean O Mainin’s picture shows French journalists hosted by Tourism Ireland on the beach in Spiddal, with Anne Zemmour, Tourism Ireland (front, right), Danielle Ollivier (front, second right) and Jean-Claude Georget (back, right), both Brittany Ferries.
  • A tourism promotion strategy is targetting 1.4m German travellers.
  • The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport allocated €400,000 to Clare County Council for the construction of the first phase of the West Clare Railway Greenway.
  • NITBidentified four filming locations for Game of Thrones fans; Castle Ward which may be more familiar as Winterfell, Tollymore Forest Park which will be recognisable as North of Winterfell, Downhill Beach familiar as the Dragonstone exterior and Murlough Bay in County Antrim aka Stormlands and says there are many more to discover throughout the north.
  • An artist who invites visitors to participate in a hand-washing ritual with soap made from his own body fat and Human fat removed from a patient who has undergone a ‘tummy tuck’ are among the exhibits in the good, the bad and the beauty of FAT which opened at Trinity’s Science Gallery.
  • Powerscourt Gardens were voted number three garden in the world by National Geographic.
  • Monart Destination Spa unveiled a new Summer Body Bootcamp for 2014.
  • The International Congresses and Conventions Association rankings showed Dublin rising nine places in the world ranking to 13th globally for hosting conferences and conventions.
  • A chance to witness the magnificent flying displays of the Kingdom Falconry birds of prey has been added to Tralee School Tour packages.
  • One of Ireland’s First International Exchange Participants Carol Bergin from New York was honoured at the 2014 EIL Intercultural Learning Host Family Awards Ceremony.
  • The festival organisers umbrella group AOIFE published its review of Ireland’s Festivals in 2013.

launch2266 copyJeremy Altamont launched a memoir of his time at Westport House.

  • Belfast won a competition to host the 67th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science in 2016.
  • Benaughlin Cottages in The Fermanagh Lakelands got new owners, John Roche, who has taken over from the Wilson family
  • Failte Ireland published its programme for selling Kilkenny to a global market.
  • Westport published details of its 2014 Food Festival on Sept 5-7. Petie the Panda and Sinéad Kenny, Sales & Marketing Assistant from Hotel Westport are pictured at a promotion in Dublin with the Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn.
  • Waterways Ireland Loughfest event will take place on Saturday 31 May 2014 at the Broadmeadow, Fermanagh Lakeland Forum, Enniskillen.
  • Walk the Glens Festival over the June Bank Holiday Friday May 30th to Sunday June 1st will follow a historical theme, following a trail based around the Five Big houses in Cushendun.
  • Upcoming irish festivals include: June Fest May 25 – June 8; Lismore Music Festival May 31 – June 1; AIMS Choral Festival May 16 – 18; Fastnet Short Film Festival May 21 – 25; Ballyhaunis Summer Festival May 30 – June 6 and Rock’n the Green Festival May 31 – June 1. Klaus Maria Brandauer, Gavin Bryars, Tacita Dean, Adrian Dunbar, Heiner Goebbels, Antony Gormley, The Hilliard Ensemble, Derek Jarman, Netia Jones, Steve McQueen, Fiona Shaw, Peter Stein and John Tomlinson are amongst the artists featured in the programme for Happy Days: the 3rd International Beckett Festival, taking place in Enniskillen Thursday July 31 to Sunday August 10.

Airport officials in Australia arrested a man who allegedly tried to smuggle 16 bird eggs in his underwear.

Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.

 

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