Headlines this week
- Skyshock on the Skydeck at Chicago’s Willis Tower
- The 900 Hour Limit and Aer Lingus
- Thailand’s Confusing Curfew
- Countdown to Heathrow T2 show
- TTC’s party on the Green
- Summer charters take to the air
Video of the week features this child acrobat on a beach (watch here and don’t try this with your two year old). Check out this time-lapse of US Airways aircraft being repainted in new American Airlines livery (watch here).
The crack is 103 in Chicago, or at least on the 103rd storey. Visitors to the Willis Tower’s Skydeck got a surprise when they stepped out onto The Ledge. They thought it was cracking under them, 103 stories above the ground. It turned out it was just the protective coating, but they didn’t know that at the time. The effervescent Randy Stancik, who always has a great welcome for Irish visitors to the attraction, swears he did not do it on purpose.
In the end it was no surprise that the IMPACT cabin crew strike at Aer Lingus went ahead when last ditch talks failed over cabin crew’s demand for a 5:3 roster. It caused the cancellation of 200 bank holiday flights on Friday and al sorts of connection headaches. Union official Michael Landers had said he was not going to the Labour Court or LRC for a resolution – although talks are scheduled from Tuesday next. He stated instead the employer needs to be serious about the roster issue. Aer Lingus claim that the revised rosters could make part of its network unviable.
No surprise, either, that it was Ryanair who got crankiest of all, asking the board why Aer Lingus had failed to defend the company’s position in the case of cabin crew at Aer Lingus, who by law cannot fly more than 900 hours per year (less than 18 hours a week) and whose total duty time in a year is limited to 2,000 hours (less than 40 hours per week).
The impact of the strike remains to be seen. It will certainly be quite different from the last all out withdrawal of labour by cabin crew on October 23rd, 2003 or the work to rule by cabin crew over a period of months in Winter 2010/2011, because Aer Lingus is now more dependent on customers from elsewhere in Europe to feed its Trans-Atlantic services, passengers who they may be slower to return than their Irish customer base. It remains to be seen how hard line Aer Lingus will become as a result of the action which, it claims, cost it €10m when the cost of hiring in craft and the lost internet bookings are considered. Aer Lingus has threatened to move 300 cabin crew posts to North America.
Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry speaking about the Aer Lingus strike on RTE’s Drivetime, making the point that the union claims did not square with the 900 hour legal limit on cabin crew airtime but that several more complex back-stories had complicated what seemed to outsiders a simple rostering issue: inter-union rivalry between IMPACT and SIPTU, relationship between pilot and cabin crew divisions within IMPACT, pressure on Aer Lingus from non-union competitors and the air of resentment among cabin crew after previous rounds of concessions.
On the same day airlines across Europe were hit by an Italian air traffic control strike, with Ryanair, easyJet, and BA forced to cancel 100 flights.
Thailand’s curfew was reduced to the four hours between midnight and 4am, but will anyone notice? As calls grew to lift the curfew imposed by Thailand‘s military, including one by the President of Thailand Tourism Piyaman Tejapaibul, Travel Extra walked the city of Bangkok after midnight on Friday to night to find lots of traffic and people still on the streets. You could even get something to eat on Rajdamri road during the forbidden hours. The major effect of the curfew is to bring public transport to a halt and to force restaurants and businesses to close early. One restrauteur told Travel Extra said he had been forced to close at 11 and send any staff who travel by train home by 10.30. Things have improved from when the curfew was 10pm until last week but the sooner the largely irrelevant curfew is removed the better for Thailand’s burgeoning but vulnerable tourism industry.
There are just days to go to the launch of Heathrow Terminal 2, to which Aer Lingus will move on July 9. Bob Schumacher of United spoke about the airline’s plans ahead of becoming the launch customer for the terminal on June 4 (listen here). Christian Schindler of Lufthansa spoke about the new Star Alliance lounge at the terminal (listen here). Picture shows Bob Schumacher of United and Christian Schindler of Lufthansa in advance of the launch of Heathrow Terminal 2 See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
English travel journalist Simon Calder wrote: Everything to do with the opening of Terminal 2 is seen through the prism of the shambles into which Terminal 5 descended within minutes of first contact with the travelling public in March 2008. He also claimed that those who want to drink alcohol on a flight outnumber by five to one people who think alcohol should be banned.
Is this the ultimate wheely bag? There was much coverage of Chinese inventor He Liangcai, of Changsha, Hunan province, travelling on his suitcase. His suitcase scooter can go 12 mph and cover 37 miles on one charge.
Travel Corporation hosted 68 members of the trade at a function in il Posto on a sunny evening in Dublin’s Stephen’s Green, their guests spilling into the pavement outside to mingle with passers by. Newest member of the team Donna Kenny gave an outline of developments in the company’s four product portfolio, Insight Vacations, Uniworld, Contiki and Red Carnation. Picture shows the Travel Corporation team Donna Kenny, Sharon Jordan and Carole Carmody. Listen here to ITAA President Martin Skelly’s acknowledgement of the Travel Corporation’s support of the trade in Ireland. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Falcon launched their new seasonal weekly charter services from Dublin to Ibiza and Diagoras /Rhodes and also launched their Belfast to Corfu charter service. The Falcon Holidays/Thomson TUI Group summer 2014 programme from Irish airports uses a variety of in-house airlines including Jetairfly, TUIFly and Thomson Airways. Belgium’s Jetairfly is operating service Cork- Palma de Mallorca using B737-700s. Canada’s Sunwing Airlines B737-800s have been contracted to operate services from Belfast International and Dublin Airport on behalf of Thomson Airways. Germany’s TUIFly is operating from City of Derry Airport to Palma using B737-800s. Picture shows Delia Aston of Club World, Aaron Fletcher of Oasis Travel, Leila McCabe of Falcon, Damien Murphy of Terra Travel and Deborah Harris of Belfast International Airport at the Falcon Holidays TUI Thomson rock and roll bingo night held at the Grand Opera House Belfast. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Picture shows Donna Kenny of the Travel Corporation on her Contiki agent FAM trip in the USA.
The Irish Travel Agents Association reported what it called an “unprecedented rush of registrations” for their conference in October on board Quantum of the Seas, departing Southampton, England on the October 31st for two nights at sea. The conference allocation to members sold out in three days. It will be the biggest conference in 16 years with 200 travel trade attending.
- Falcon are to end their interest in franchised retail shops in November. The told franchise Partners in March that they had undertaken a full review of the franchise business model and would not be renewing the agreement which is due to expire in November. They will “continue to work with their partners on an individual basis” and “in doing so consider new and innovate ways of working together.”
- Topflight launched their seasonal summer charter flight programme to Verona from Cork.
- Thomsonfly launched their season weekly charter service from Belfast International to Corfu.
- The Travel Trade is watching the implications of a European ruling on holiday pay which could impact travel firms and cause commission schemes to be reviewed.
Picture shows Lisa Aylsbury from Tully’s travelwho won business class tickets from Emirates and a stay in the Jumeirah with Anita Thomas of Emirates presenting the award. Craig Baxter of Classic Resorts and Eimear Hannon of Eimear Hannon Travel also won tickets in the Emirates Valentine’s promotion.
Travel Counsellors will host four recruitment roadshows between in Cork June 6th, Dublin June 9th, Galway June 10th and Limerick June16th. Picture shows Claudia Lane winner of Best Corporate Travel Counsellor and Graham Hennessy of Topflight at the Travel Counsellors conference in Lyragh in Kilkenny.
Sunway launched their Tunisia brochure with package holidays from €299, flight only from €249 and deposits from €50 per person.
Video Making was added to the Travel Professionals Essential Skills programme presented by Lottie Hearn of http://www.pressplaypresentations.com (watch here), Sixteen participants completed this year’s training in Product and Destination, Dynamic Packaging, Digital Marketing, Sales, Customer Service and Travel Law. This year, the curriculum was extended so that all participants now have full GDS training with either Galileo or Amadeus.
Picture shows Cathy Burke of Travel Counsellors with Terry Smith and Holly Best of Virgin Atlantic who hosted an Agents Awards and dinner at Patrick Guilbaud’s.
- Travel software firm Datalex said that transaction revenue rose by 18pc in the first four months of 2014 on same time last year. New customers so far this year include Brussels Airlines (which is part of the Lufthansa Group) and Air Transat, Canada’s leading holiday travel airline.
- Amadeus released an insight paper which collects the viewpoints of over 20 senior IT leaders from the airport industry to investigate the business case for adopting cloud based Common Use systems at airports. Amadeus launched Corporate Suite, a solution which is aimed at optimising business meeting planning.
- Skål Dublin club’s monthly lunch will be hosted by Merrion Hotel GM Peter McCann on Tuesday June 10th.
- Dublin based OpenJaw Technologies launched the OpenJaw Tribe Developer Community which supports innovation in travel retailing.
- Travelport launched a campaign to see how technology impacts and helps travel agencies around the country with prizes. Travelport is a running a series of full page adverts in conjunction with the ITAA in the Sunday Independent promoting the travel agent / travel company channel. Members of the Travel & Tourism industry are being asked to participate in a new World Travel & Tourism Council campaign to help change the perception of a career in the sector (watch video here).
- Greyce Inacio of Club Travel won the Air France-KLM Wild on Wednesday anniversary incentive.
- SAS, Tumlare (DMC) and Hurtigruten host an agents’ evening on June 12.
- Turkey specialists Wings Abroad report bookings ahead of this time last year, itself a record, as a result of their Think Turkey campaign.
- Marty Whelan and his Lyric FM crew returned from Berlin after a Travel Department Opera holiday.
- Do Something Different, which won the preferred supplier award at the travel Counsellors Ireland conference, have added horse drawn carriage tours and PediCab rental through Central Park in New York and a bike tour through the increasingly trendy Brooklyn area.
- South African Tourism hosted 247 post FAM trips after Indaba 2014.
- ITAA website offers this week include a trip to Copenhagen during Roskilde, a holiday in Gran Canaria during the International Jazz Festival and the chance to welcome summer at Sanjuaneo is Costa Del Sol.
- And the sad verse: the phones were disconnected from the Thomas Cook Ireland office in Parkwest on Wednesday and the last members of staff finished on Friday, ending 140 years of Thomas Cook presence in Dublin. We extend best wishes to all the team in their new careers.
Jurys Inn launched an online booking tool for business travellers to help manage their reservations online, Jurys Business Booker. Suzanne Cannon Group Marketing Manager (pictured) says the tool offers the best room rates in Jurys 31 city centre hotels.
- Hilton opened a rebranded Jurys Inn Chelsea as its ninth London Doubletree, a new hotel in Jaipur and its first Dubai Doubletree, Dubai – Al Barsha with 359 rooms
- Raffles Istanbul is to open in September, a 181-room new-build in the Zorlu Centre development.
- A study by Standard Dinar for Muslim traveller hotel comparison site Lagisatu.com calculates the size of the Muslim market at $130bn. billion according to, with its unique hotel listing service specifically for
- The 238-room Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC/Georgetown Area opened in the city’s West End district.
- TripAdvisor is under investigation in Italy following complaints about “fake” reviews.
- Channel 4 in England commissioned a fourth series of “The Hotel”, set in Torquay, the setting for Fawlty Towers. Inchydoney Island launched packages from €245 per person sharing, two night’s accommodation in an ocean view room, breakfast and add activity from Fish for your Dinner, Whale Watching or Moonlight Kayaking at a cost of €30 to €50 extra.
- Viceroy announced two new Dubai hotels to be located on Sheikh Zayed Road and in Dubai Business Bay scheduled to debut in late 2016 and 2017.
Dublin was voted third best city in the word for its taxi drivers by Tripadvisor users. Russian capital Moscow was voted the worst city in the world to visit by Tripadvisor users for its poor hotels, terrible value and the least helpful locals. Tokyo was voted the best destination for tourists overall and fourth best Istanbul was voted best in Europe. Mumbai was voted the worst city for overall experience, second-last was the picturesque city of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. TripAdvisor compiled more than 54,000 responses in their annual Cities Survey, in which people who have written a review on either a hotel, restaurant or attraction in the featured 37 cities during 2013 were surveyed across categories including Friendliest taxi drivers, Helpful locals, Best for Restaurants and Comfort Travelling Alone.
- The European Environmental Agency found that Europe’s cleanest beaches are in Cyprus and Malta. Ireland was sixth form bottom with 3pc of its beaches deemed poor for water quality.
- The UNWTO named the five biggest spending international tourism markets: 1 China $129bn +26pc; 2 United States $86bn +3pc; 3 Germany $86bn +2pc; 4 England $53bn +25pc; 5 Russian Federation $53bn +4pc.
- President Obama authorised a programme to expedite the entry process for travellers the USA, to begin with the 15 largest airports, and help meet the goal of 100m international visitors annually by 2021.
- Elephant rides are being dropped from holiday itineraries by tour operators concerned about the animals’ welfare. STA Travel is reviewing its provision involving contact with animals and has stopped tours taking in elephant rides and Tiger Temple in Thailand, as well as trips to SeaWorld in Orlando and San Diego.
- The longest and highest urban cable car in the world opened in Bolivia. The seven-mile Mi Teleférico connects the capital La Paz with the neighbouring city of El Alto, site of the country’s main international airport offering a new transit between the two cities.
Adventure Holidays, headed up in Ireland by Drew Duggan, announced a programme of self guided walking and cycling holidays to Provence.
Orphanage tourism was back in the news when the English Guardian reported on what it termed Nepal’s bogus orphan trade fuelled by rise in ‘voluntourism’ describing how poor parents are duped into sending children to homes where owners use them to extract money from foreign visitors. The same issues were reported in the Unreported World documentary six months ago and led to the launch of the Stop Orphanage Tourism campaign last year.
- Narendra Modi’s new government in India set out a tourist-friendly agenda with simpler visa applications and a revival of Varanasi. Shripad Yasso Naik is the new Minister for Tourism in the Lok Sabha.
- The death of an aid worker in Kenya provided an unwelcome reminder that malaria has not gone away, you know.
- Holiday makers who buy a package for 5 nights or more at a Disney moderate hotel can qualify for free dining.
- The world’s fastest wooden rollercoaster was listed among this year’s most terrifying new rides.
- Security was stepped up in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada with roadblocks and military checkpoints
- The English Guardian listed the best travel rages and retorts from the Ranting, Bitching and Swearing chapters of a new swearing for travellers guide.
- Two rangers and a bull elephant were killed on an African safari.
Picture shows Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry with Sandra Chipchase, CEO of Destination New South Wales, at the opening of Vivid in Sydney, a festival of light which illuminates 60 different locations around the city (see gallery here).
- Cirque du Soleil will perform a series of free, open-air shows in Andorra between 5 July and 2 August. Tickets for the Canadian theatre troupe’s “Scalada” production will be offered by application, with 2,000 seats and a further 3,000 standing places for each show.
- Three Italian towns started a street-fight over which possesses the country’s narrowest alleyway.
- A survey claimed that more and more holidaymakers are going away without their partner.
- An abandoned town in Argentina provided the backdrop for a new film starring Danny MacAskill.
- Self-catering families were advised by a consumer group to avoid resort mini-marts.
- The London Telegraph asked if cycling is the world’s worst spectator sport, and featured a ski rental shop in Agadez, Niger, which remains open despite a complete lack of customers.
Food and Wine
- Maui Winery Havens added Marlborough’s Forrest Wines vineyard to its travel escape packages
Dublin Airport say 265,000 passengers are expected to travel through the airport over the course of the June Bank Holiday weekend from Friday to Monday. The Commission of Aviation Regulation proposed a 22pc reduction in airport charges at Dublin airport for the period 2015–2019.
- Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar is inviting feedback by July 31 to the draft National Aviation Policy. Controversial issues including the parallel runway at Dublin, regional airports and PSO routes and labour rights for airline employees are referred for further study or review. The policy proposes that the State “retain its shareholding in Aer Lingus in the short term and will seek to maximise its value. The State remains open to the sale of its shareholding when conditions are right and if the right price and terms could be agreed”.
- It is a big week for Stobart Air, formerly Aer Arann, who commence franchise operations with Flybe from London Southend to Europe. Stobart are to base two ATR72-500s out of Southend for Flybe operations. Stobart reported their busiest ever day, 5,525 passengers booked to travel on Friday last, May 23rd. For the first time 100 flights operated on a single day.
- The ash cloud created by the volcanic eruption of Sangeang Api in Indonesia has affected Australian aviation.
- Exciting news due from Lufthansa Ireland next week, more anon. Lufthansa launched a promotion for their new Premium Economy class with a range of special promotional return fares for Irish passengers travelling from Dublin. Premium Economy is now available for booking on flights flown by Boeing 747-8 aircraft from December 10th.
- The Interpol chief called for more airline action on stolen passports.
- Passengers flying with Cathay Pacific may soon be able to bid online for an upgrade to a premium class cabin
- Virgin Galactic signed a deal with the US Federal Aviation Authority, which will allow it to charter space flights from a base in New Mexico as early as August.
British Airways added a burger to its first class menu the “Flying Burger” developed by a team of chefs using three different cuts of British beef, picture shows BA Chef Mark Tazzioli with the BA Burger.
- Turkish Airlines are considering Belfast to Istanbul. Turkish new routes this year include Asmara, Catania, Luanda, Bamako, Conakry and Cotonou. There will be 35 more new routes to until end of this year. The Turkish Airlines pilot recruitment roadshow comes to Ireland on June 12-13. Currently 16 Irish pilots work for Turkish.
- Kerry-Dublin passengers were up 40pc in April.
- SAS released the first images of the new cabin interiors on the long haul fleet with new seats, new entertainment system and WiFi access. The entire SAS long haul fleet would be renewed in the next few years.
- Airbus sales chief John Leahy said Airbus plans to raise capacity from 180 to 186 seats on the A320 and from 220 seats to 240 on the A321. Could this be a response to a trend that the Airbus A321 is forcing out the A320 at American Airlines?
- The Ryanair Pilots Group held a press conference at the ILA Air Show in Berlin.
Belfast Lord Mayor Mairtín Ó Muilleóir, a great supporter of the travel trade, joined with Bob Schumacher of United Airlines to celebrated the ninth anniversary of its direct service between Belfast International Airport and Newark which has carried 830,000 people on the route since its inauguration in 2005.
- Taiwan’s EVA Air confirmed the delivery of two more Boeing 777 aircraft.
- Norwegian Air Shuttle’s EU plans are facing renewed union opposition.
- Vincent Aviation (Australia) ceased trading and appoints receivers, another casualty in the Australian regional airline sector.
- Stormont Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy proposed a study to examine feasibility of a rail route serving Belfast International Airport.
- Virgin Atlantic and Delta are to exchange some services from October 26 with Virgin operating a daily Heathrow-Atlanta and Delta a daily Heathrow-Los Angeles.
- Check out the picture posted on Twitter by @PhotosOfDublin: Dublin airport in the 1960s.
- Canada relaxed rules on in-flight device use allowing travellers to use tablets, laptops during take-off and landing. Air Canada rouge (767) and Aer Lingus (757) fly to Toronto with Westjet’s 737 service to Toronto via St John’s to commence June 15th. WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky recently said demand is so strong on St John’s-Dublin service they are extending it by three weeks to Oct 25.
- Etihad Airways has announced it will establish the Etihad Flight College at Al Ain in the UAE. In Australia, Fairfax Media claimed Etihad had access to a secret, interest-free US$3bn loan from the royal family of Abu Dhabi that required no repayments until 2027.
- It was claimed that Ryanair‘s new baggage rule only guarantees half of passengers can take on board their carry-on bag. There was more debate on Ryanair’s consideration of dropping the trumpet blare it plays when its planes land on time.
- SIA closed its Hong Kong lounge for a refit.
Anna aero reported Lufthansa’s transfer of routes to Germanwings was nearing completion; 25 routes dropped and 47 added leading to capacity growth of 1pc. Germanwings made available all published fares via Amadeus. Germanwings service Knock to Cologne has commenced with German travel writers (pictured kayaking) among the passengers. Listen here to an interview with Ryanair’s new Head of sales and marketing, Peter Bellew, regarding growth plans from Knock.
- A baggage reclaim chart named the best and worst airports for baggage delays.
- KLM launched a rate your cabin service app allowing passengers to provide the Dutch carrier with feedback about the inflight service.
- Boeing won a long-distance rating for 787 Dreamliner. Forbes reported Boeing is bleeding cash as 787 Dreamliners cost $200M but sell For $116M, but productivity is improving. And another aviation question for Boeing: can a cheap 767-300ER replace the 757W?
- BA launched a new smartphone app compatible with both iPhone and Android devices, it can be downloaded for free.
- Air Canada said its B777 fleet is to go ten-across in economy in 3-4-3 configuration.
- JetBlue continued their policy of codeshares with national carriers, pioneered with Aer Lingus back in 2007. They launched a codeshare with Turkish Airlines and applied for a codeshare with Singapore.
- Paul O’Kane of DAA told the Digital Summit: “It’s all about the story, don’t get caught up in the technology”
- Malaysia Airlines raised its commission to agents in certain markets to 20pc and continued to push its Travel Fair promotion allowing travellers to purchase our tickets at 50pc off for immediate travel until 31 December 2014. Malaysia Airlines’ CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya was forced to deny rumours that airline would shut down operations on May 28: “these articles were written based on quotes from unofficial sources and have eventually caused anxiety amongst its passengers”.
A new mobile travel solution will be in place for Ryanair customers by August including mobile boarding passes, Caroline Green of Ryanair told the PhoCusWright hosted European conference in Dublin. She said that Ryanair does not plan on investing in a frequent flyer program, but maybe promo codes for repeat customers, and that Britain is a tough market for Ryanair. Ryanair initially promised mobile boarding passes in May. Picture shows discussion involving Caroline Green of Ryanair and Tony D’Astolfo of PhoCuswright at the conference. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
- Air Canada rouge expanded to Hawaii.
- With Manston Airport in Kent set to close and set become a garden city the London Telegraph published a list other abandoned airports around the world.
- AirAsia X reported highest ever year-on-year quarterly growth in capacity of 60.1pc in 2014 Q1.
- A Philippine airline launched a novel holiday advertisement that is only visible when it’s raining.
- The 75th anniversary of first transatlantic commercial flight at Foynes will be celebrated with the family festival, which will run on Saturday and Sunday July 5 and 6. This will also double as the 25th anniversary of the opening of Foynes Flying Boat Museum and the 75th anniversary of the first aircraft, Irish Air Corps Aero Anson A43, landing at Rineanna.
- The London Telegraph indulged their back humour with a story on what cabin crew at BA do with dead passengers: “move them to first class – don’t put them in the loo.”
- Ryanair uploaded their summer launch video (watch here).
Avis launched a mobile wifi unit which allows Avis customers to connect up to five devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other wifi-enabled gadgets, simultaneously.
Paul Hackett of Clickandgo will host 28 guests on board Cunard Queen Victoria today (keep an eye out for the famous red and black funnel ) with press and direct clients. Clickandgo had a radio promo running on Rising Time which attracted nearly a thousand entries each day for four days. Cunard brand is exclusive at Clickandgo.com having been handled by Thomas Cook last year. Queen Victoria visits Dublin en route to Guernsey before heading back to Southampton on a Britain & Ireland voyage.
Royal Caribbean will launch a new campaign and brochure tomorrow Monday.
MSC hosted the trade on board Magnifica during ties three port tour of Cork, Dublin and Belfast.
ICG (Irish Ferries) CEO Eamonn Rothwell said Irish tourism authorities can be tempted to become “wound up in exotic markets” when Britain should be more of a focus. Irish Ferries said it carried 95,000 cars in the 20 weeks up to May 17 up 5pc on the same period last year. Car passenger numbers were up in line with the car volumes but foot passengers fell leaving total passenger volumes in line with the previous year at 441,100.
It will a good year to take your family on a ferry. Irish Ferries launched a Kids Go Free offer on all of their routes to Britain this year and into 2015. Then on Friday, Stena Line also announced that kids go free on their new Rosslare-Cherbourg route as well as Dublin Port/Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead, and Rosslare-Fishguard routes, when you book at least seven days in advance and before June 30 for travel by car until January 30. Picture shows Rosslare Europort general manager John Lynch with Ian Davies, Stena Line’s route manager Irish Sea South at the official opening of their recently acquired Rosslare-Cherbourg ferry service. The new Stena Line route operates an all year round service with 3 weekly sailings from Rosslare and Cherbourg accommodating up to 1 000 passengers, 200 cars and 120 freight units per sailing. Stena launched a new “agents go free” trade promotion on sailings to Britain. Elsewhere, Stena Line agreed to withdraw the most contested elements of new employment conditions for staff on its Irish Sea services.
- Royal Caribbean is offering an additional $200 spending money when you book a balcony room or above on selected 2014 European cruises.
- John Galligan Travel, GSA for Saga, announced the SAGA River Cruise Sale with no single supplement. With more than 30 new ships launching this year, it is a big year for rivercruise. See the special supplement in the June issue of Travel Extra (read online).
- Norwegian Cruise Line launched new marketing and sales tools and an enhanced agent on-board rewards programme.
Like the first cuckoo, celebrity season was officially declared open when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West – nicknamed ‘Kimye’ – arrived by private jet into Cork Airport (watch here) to spend their honeymoon at Castlemartyr (pictured). Trivago named one major surprise among their top five honeymoon hotels in Ireland as 1 Park Kenmare, 2 K Club, 3 Morrison Hotel, 4 Adare Manor, 5 Castlemartyr. Next up: George Wendt (Norm from US. sitcom, Cheers) arrived with his wife Bernadette to take a road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Tourism Ireland launched an advertising campaign n Madrid metro stations and on Barcelona trams, and published its Situation & Outlook Analysis Report for May.
Picture shows a group promoting Irish golf at the PGA championship in Wentworth. Francis Hartnett of SWING Golf Ireland; Tony Lenehan of Fáilte Ireland; Barry Dowling of Druids Glen Resort; Colin Turkington of British Touring Car Champion; and David Boyce of Tourism Ireland front row: Rachel Meehan of Tourism Ireland; Kirsty Worthington of Galgorm Castle; and Ann-Kristin Brandt of Fota Island Resort;
Bloom, Ireland’s largest garden and food festival opened in the RDS, sponsored by Bord Bia (watch video).
Zoe Redmond’s Tourism Ireland stand at IMEX in Frankfurt was partnered by 29 business tourism enterprises. The event attracted 9,000 visitors, including 4,000 buyers from 75 countries. Picture shows Leah Gunn of Verve (event management company); Niamh Burns of The Convention Centre Dublin; Joyce McElroy of Tourism Ireland; and Lynda Reilly of Guinness Storehouse, on the Tourism Ireland stand at IMEX.
Picture shows the Dutch Vogue team in Kinsale, getting ready for their fashion shoot in West Cork: Cato van Ee (model); Zoe Rosielle (production assistant); Martien Mellema (creative director); and Paul Bellaart (photographer).
Lusty Beg Island was awarded a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence.
The CSO’s Household Travel Survey shows a significant growth in the camping and caravanning sector with the number of nights generated by domestic tourism up by 30pc from 2012.
Picture shows Tom McGarry of Glach a Mara, B&B, Lorna Jane Neary of Markree Castle, Christina Flannelly of Enniscrone Golf Club and Eva Dearie of Fáilte Ireland attended a workshop on Driving Growth Through Segmentation, in the Radisson Hotel Sligo, organised by Fáilte Ireland.
A weekly programme of seven different guided walks, is being hosted in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark. The walks start today Sunday (June 1st) and continue through the end of August. They say it is the first of its kind in Ireland.
Floral Artist Camelia Austen will host a morning of floral culture from across the world at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion in Enniskerry, on June 11 at 10.30am.
- Alaskan deep-tissue masseur Matthew Gale will be in residence at the five-star Monart Destination Spa in county Wexford from June 20 until July 11.
- A 5,000 year old standing stone was vandalised in Tara.
Sad news: Brian Winders late travel editor of the Irish Examiner passed away, a close colleague of Travel Extra for 35 years.