Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Thailand’s Surprise Bounce & a Midsummer Strike Nightmare

thailand travel market


*Despite coup, Thailand sees increase in Irish visitors

*Heathrow T2 opens smoothly

*Aer Lingus-IMPACT talks continue

*Lufthansa to expand Dublin-Munich service

*Fáilte Ireland launches Blueway initiative

Video of the week: Cooling off – There was a lot of talk about the opening of Terminal 2 at Heathrow this week, but it seems that the real action was elsewhere: Terminal 5, of all places. Our video of the week proves that the internet isn’t just for cute cats…the occasional dog breaks through as well.


Eoghan Corry Juthaporn Rerngronasa copyDespite the unrest in Thailand, figures released at Thailand Travel Mart Plus in Bangkok show inbound visitor numbers from Ireland have increased. Between January and April this year figures rose by 11.4pc for Ireland. Forward bookings for July, however, are down 19pc from Ireland. Chris Lee of TAT in London said the figures were inconclusive, more reflective of a pause in bookings created by news of the coup than anything of long term significance. Overall, tourism to Thailand is down 5.9pc and Bangkok down 20pc. Juthaporn Rerngronasa of Tourism Thailand reported that there has been a big increase in inbound arrivals direct to resort airports such as Phuket and Chiang Mai, rather than via Bangkok, as people try to avoid Bangkok.

brendan barry tuk tuk copyThis is a trend that is likely to gather pace. Both of Ireland’s most popular carriers to Thailand, Emirates (currently) and Etihad (from October 26) will have services direct to Phuket from Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively. Interestingly the UAE is one of just two countries that is advising its citizens not to travel to Thailand, which may have an impact on load factors on the Asian legs of those services. So far 20 countries have issued travel advice and 46 countries have given travel warnings, but these have just advised visitors to exercise caution. The latest advice from Department of Foreign Affairs is that travellers in Thailand should “exercise extreme caution”.

IMG_3676 copyThe contradictions of Thailand’s cuckoo coup were on display in all their glory in Bangkok to the 314 buyers from 45 countries who attended the event (picture show Brendan Barry of Discover Travel arriving for the opening party by tuk tuk, and with Fiona Dobbyn of Classic Resorts at the agent party in Bangkok’s Centara Hotel). When Travel Extra investigated the streets of Bangkok during the forbidden hours, the streets were still inhabited by vehicular traffic and a few pedestrians and it was possible to get street food. Last Sunday’s closure of the streets around the Victory Monument and a nearby metro station was widely reported, but uncharacteristic of the business as normal appearance of the city. Many hoteliers said the coup made travel to Thailand much safer than it had been during recent uncertainty.

Joanna Cooke Chris Lee_3903 copyThe news that the coup was lifted in three resorts, Phuket, Pattaya and Samui, on Tuesday, and four more, Hua Hin, Cha-am, Krabi and Phang-nga, on Friday, raised hopes that it would be brought to an end altogether. Getting the curfew, hugely damaging to the country’s perception, lifted altogether is still a long way off. Picture shows Chris Lee and Joanna Cooke of TAT in London on a post family to Phuket where delegates experience the post-curfew party at first hand. The resort island of Phuket has been largely unaffected by the political unrest with the number of international tourist arrivals to the resort island growing by 6.9pc year-on-year to 962,953 arrivals in the first quarter of 2014.

Meanwhile reported a 31pc decrease in searches from Ireland to Thailand since the coup last month; searches to other countries in Southeast Asia increased by 22pc in the same period. Vietnam and Indonesia experienced the strongest growth, with searches increasing by 24pc and 16pc. Ian Jarret from Travelmole reported a drop of 55pc in advance bookings (using the clever headline from 1982 coined by his former employer, the Sun: Stick it Up Your Junta).

Just as in Australia some weeks ago, much of the coverage of the event was generated by a question from Travel Extra. Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Thawatchai Arunyik was unable to give an answer to the question, what is the strategy beyond telling people that Thailand is safe. (Listen here). TAT has asked the government (if the National Council for Peace and Order could be described as such), for more marketing money. A mega-fam of 1,000 international travel writers has been planned for July. An insurance scheme to ensure that travel insurance policies are not invalidated by government travel advisories is being considered. Listen to Thawatchai Arunyik’s presentation here.

What happens next? Hoteliers such as Jason Friedman, whose luxurious Siam Hotel hosted the Irish media group at the event, says that he does not expect hoteliers to drop rates to stimulate demand. He may underestimate how fickle are the travelling public. It is amazing how many people who are afraid to travel reconsider when they see the prices drop.

Thailand Loei Group_Tour operators and travel media were hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand in the enchanting and largely “un-touristed” north east province of Loei. Back row: Krittika Phiwkliang of Oriental Voyage (TEATA), Joerg Guenther from Berlin, Dave Tucker from London, Sebastian Mann of TAT Frankfurt, Mallory Ericson from Minneapolis. Middle row: Sumonta Korkaew of DASTA, Sripijit Termchaijaroensak of Thai Seafrog (TEATA), Mike Smith from Singapore, Solveig Grewe from Dortmund, Philippe Guersan from Paris, Chris Ball from Sydney, Lana Bugonovich of ETB News in Sydney, Suvapa Kaewsook of TAT in Paris, Duangkamol Chansuriyawong of Wild Thailand (TEATA). Front row: Somchai Chaicharoensin of TAT Frankfurt, Irina Sarbu from Bucharest, Nongluk Silakup of TAT, Saichalee Varnapruk from TEATA, Chanida Mumanachit of TAT Bangkok, Parichat Suntararak of Thailand Green Rides and Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra in Ireland. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Kate Els of Tourism News in Johannesburg eating a bug at the opening part for Thailand Travel Mart Plus June 3 2014

Picture shows Kate Els of Tourism News in Johannesburg tucking in to a bug at the opening of Thailand Travel Mart Plus. If that hasn’t put you off your Sunday fry, connect with the photo album on Facebook or Flickr.

Watch here the footage of a Phi Takhon ghost dance, shot by Travel Extra in Loei.

Strikes two and three are looming at Aer Lingus. They might even go ahead.

michael landers H&s copyHaving successfully led his troops to the barricades last week, IMPACT boss Michael Landers set June 16 and June 18 as the next two strike dates for his rebellious cabin crew. From a union point of view the bank holiday Friday strike was a success, generating massive media coverage and giving new impetus to IMPACT in its arm wrestle with rivals SIPTU for prominence within the airline and airport. Three days of talking this week did not see anything resolved or indeed anything of note discussed, suggesting both airline and union are leaving options open for LRC or agreed panel arbitration. Aer Lingus is clearly tempted by the option of staffing its trans-Atlantic flights from the USA, leaving its unionised crew to man short haul flights, presumably with their desired 5:3 roster. This would be following an international trend: Lingus are not the first airline to discover that a long haul and short haul division within the same airline can create rostering drama, discontent, rivalry and cost over-runs among pilots and cabin crew. Norwegian Air Shuttle are in the process of providing a model which many airlines would like to follow, including the slanty shamrock. Even Aer Lingus decision to withdraw travel privileges from striking crew is means less in these days of low fares and curtailed standby options than it did in the decades when fares were high and aircraft flew empty, and the prospect of free travel was an envied perk for those who worked for a major airline.

Travel Trade

travelcube_0590Eight travel agents travelled to Toronto courtesy of Air Canada Rouge on the direct service from Dublin. The group was hosted by Jens Bachmann of Air Canada/Premair and Peter Friedrich of TravelCube. They explored Tortonto’s helicopter and jet boat tours, wine-tasting, shopping opportunities and visited Niagara Falls. Pictured: Peter Friedrich of TravelCube, Jens Bachmann of Air Canada GSA, Kathleen Kinane of Clubtravel, Renee Kenedy of FcM, Mary Murphy of Corporate Travel Management CTM, Ailish Berkeley of Travel Department, Kieran O’Doherty of Premier Travel, TBA of Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Stephen Aston of Clubworld Travel and Rory Campbell of Trailfinders. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Gonzalo Ceballos Spanish TB Golf dayGonzalo Ceballos, director of the Dublin office of the Spanish Tourist Board poses poses at the Heritage Golf Club in Killenard before Thursday’s golf outing for the trade. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Tour America won the Best Use of Social Media by an SME Award at the Bord Gais Social Media Awards. celebrated its fourth year in business and has new holidays to Poland and Scandinavia. The site has a number of last-minute June departure sun holiday offers this week: San Antonio, Ibiza – June 10, seven nights, self-catering from €355pp; Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria – June 10, seven nights, self-catering from €359pp; Salou, Spain – June 10, seven nights, self-catering from €455pp; Puterto Santiago – June 12, seven nights, self-catering from €365pp.

nicki stanford h&s copyClickandgo hosted 28 guests on board Cunard Queen Victoria in Dun Laoghaire. Cunard brand is not exclusive to Clickandgo but wil be a central part of their new cruise divison headed up by Niki Stanford (pictured, formerlyof Thomas Cook) and Will Walsh, formerly of the Travel broker. was filming a new promo video in Ericeria, Portugal. Videographer James Skerritt and Irish surfers Aaron Reid and Conor Maguire travelled with a crew to bask in the warm temperatures and hit the waves. You can watch the result here.

Adventure Holidays announced a new programme of self-guided tours to Portugal

ChooseChicago_Storehouse_050614_PatReede(UnitedAirlines)_MayelaMonge(CassidyTravel)_DonWelsh(PresidentAndCEOChooseChicago)_9066 copyPictured: Pat Reede of United Airlines, prize winner Mayela Monge of Cassidy Travel and Don Welsh President and CEO of ChooseChicago at the Choose Chicago event at the Guinness Storehouse. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Immarama Festival of Travel Writing takes place in Lismore from June 12—15. Award winning author and journalist Tim Butcher and broadcaster Charlie Bird are among those due to descend into Waterford for the weekend. Manchán Magan and Allanah Hopkins are also on the programme.

Happy Mondays winner Stacy MacMahon with Grainne Caffrey of Lowcostbeds.The winner of the Lowcost Travel group ‘Happy Mondays’ trade promotion was Stacey MacMahon from Skytours. The final winner of the competition will be contacted tomorrow (June 9).

The NITN Big Travel Trade Event takes place in Belfast from June 10—11. The event takes place at the Hilton, Templepatrick. Over 80 companies will be represented. Oman Ministry of Tourism, Getabed, Cape Greece Resorts in South Africa, Tennessee Tourism and Maxx Royal Hotels in Turkey will make their NI debut.

  • Royal Caribbean will host an agent event in Dublin on June 12.
  • Visit California will host an agent event in Dublin on June 13.
  • Brendan Barry’s Discover Travel took over Tandon Travel in Dungarvan on Tuesday.Sunway Bloom Mairead Morris & Alice swords  June 2014 copy
  • Sunway reported a busy stand at Bloom in the Park. The Bord Bia event, Ireland’s largest garden and food festival, pulled around 106,000 visitors over the June bank holiday weekend. Pictures shows Mairead Morris and Alice Swords on the Sunway stand.

ITAA is offering day trips to Alton Towers, a family break to Orlando with Tour America, and holidays in Fuerteventura.

Insight Vacations reports that its European summer escorted tours are definite departures. Its India and Nepal programme is seeing an increase in demand.


Hotelbeds predicted a 20pc growth in Europe for 2014. The group hosted the MarketHub networking event in Ibiza this week. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Carlos Mun¦âoz_Markethub Hotelbeds

Dalata Hotel Group has agreed to acquire the Maldron Hotel, Parnell Street, and the Pearse Hotel on Pearse Street for around €30m.

HRS has launched a new Mobile Special Tariff for smartphone users. Last year, 12pc of all its reservations were made via smartphones and tablets. The new tariff is targeted at business travellers and spontaneous bookers. It offers a 10pc discount and can be booked through the HRS app.

Talbot Hotel Group purchased the four-star Oriel House Hotel in Ballincollig Cork, securing the jobs of 120 staff. The 78-bedroom hotel was re-developed in 2006 and has two bars, a restaurant, conference and banqueting facilities for up to 480 people and a leisure club.

Hotel Near Me, the first hotel reservation app for Google Glass, is now available to download. The app was launched by

Irish entrepreneur Emmet O’Neill and Brehon Capital Partners outbid billionaire John Malone in the purchase of the five-star hotel and golf resort Mount Juliet for an estimated €15m. O’Neill made his buck when he sold his Smiles Dental business to Oasis Healthcare for €36m.

Hilton SLS LV Exterior Rendering Night 2Hilton announced the launch of its new brand Curio, a collection of four and five star hotels around the world. A number of properties have already signed letters of intent including: SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, The Franklin Hotel, etc. (email) has released the latest hotel prices for the FIFA World Cup. Figures show that the average match-day hotel price is €215. Mananaus and capital Brasilia are the most expensive cities for hotel stays during the competition at €303 and €295. A night in Rio de Janeiro will set you back an average €238 on match days. If you’re looking for a bargain, the cheapest night, at €131, is in Porto Alegre. See here for more.


Visit Britain published the May edition of its market insights report.

In celebration of Homecoming Scotland, Visit Scotland invites visitors to share their surfing experiences on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag ‘#brilliantmoments’. Clan Surf in Glasgow, New Wave Surf School in Hopeman village and Coast to Coast in Dunbar are among the providers supporting the initiative. Other highlights from the year-long Homecoming include events such as the 2014 Ryder Cup and the Glasgow Commonwealth games.

Briton Lee Thompson took a daring selfie on top of Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Thompson, a photographer who is documenting the build-up to the World Cup, climbed the 124-foot statute with colleague Oliver Harvey. The two convinced the tourism board to let them make good use of the scaffolding installed by workers who are repairing the statue.

A report into the Gulf region’s travel industry says that the coming-of-age of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s young population will reshape the travel industry in the region over the next 15 years. The report is available to read here. has launched a portfolio of new products and experiences available in India. Highlights include the Spirit of Dharavi private tour, Private Bollywood Tour, Mumbai full day Private City Tour and a full day excursion to Agra.

Castelfalfi Castle in Borgo completed its renovations. It took two years to complete work on the medieval castle that once had Andrea Bocelli tinkling the keys in its piano bar.

Préfecture de police de Paris plans to tighten security for tourists this summer. The police force will introduces a field patrol unit for the Champs-Elysees and promises “increased vigilance” around the Gare du Nord.

Food & Wine

The Bistro at The Tower - Tower Hotel WaterfordBistro Restaurant in Tower Hotel, Waterford was awarded an AA Rosette for culinary excellence.

Echlinville Distillery, a new distillery in Kircubbin, Co Down, in investing £1.5m (€1.8m) to develop premium Irish whiskey for markets outside NI.

In Kinsale, John and Sally McKenna launched their book Where to Eat and Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Belfast chef Niall McKenna was named Northern Ireland’s tourism hero of the year at an event in Ulster Hall for his work in helping to promote the city. Other winners included Fermanagh’s O’Doherty’s Fine Meats in the Taste of NI category, while Lough Erne Resort was named Hotel of the Year. Click here for the full list of winners.


StobartAir_ATR72_EIREH_DUB_050614_0690_300 copyStobart Air have painted an aircraft in their own new livery to enable the craft to be used as a substitute for its Aer Lingus Regional and Flybe franchise operations. Flybe started  three of its six new European routes from London Southend Airport this week.

DAA plans a direct link to China within the next two years. Chief executive Kevin Toland said that Ireland “is now on the radar in China for direct air connectivity”. “It’s a question of time. Our job is to make that sooner rather than later,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

A soft opening of T2 helped Heathrow avoid the mishaps of T5 in 2008. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was among the first passengers to board the flight from Chicago and Heston Blumenthal brought his liquid nitrogren recipes to the Perfectionists’ Café, his latest restaurant. The full list of T2 moves is below: airline moves copy

Lufthansa announced that the Dublin to Munich service is to become a year round service following the success of the seasonal summer flights. The service will operate Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays during November and March, reducing to twice weekly (Wednesday and Sunday) between December and February. Christian Schindler, Lufthansa UK and Ireland GM, said: “We have seen a continual increase in demand on our Dublin to Munich summer service since it was introduced in 2008 and have increased the frequency of the flights accordingly. Developing the route into a year round service is the obvious next step. It reinforces our commitment to meet the expectations of our Irish passengers and also confirms the continuing importance of Dublin Airport within the Lufthansa worldwide network.” Return fares on the new flights start from €119.

Aer Lingus passenger numbers rose by 2.4 pc in May. Short haul passenger numbers fell by 3.5 pc in May 2013, while long haul numbers were up 20.6 pc last month. Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers rose 35.6 per cent to 122,000. The airline’s load factor was down 1.1 pc.New Glasgow services takess off from Ireland West Airport Knock

Ryanair’s traffic for May was up 4pc at 8.2m customers. The airline attributed this growth to their “new website, allocated seating, a free second small carry-on bag and PED use on all flights”. The airline also launched its new Knock to Glasgow service this week, and is to add five new routes to its winter schedule at Shannon.

Leo Varadkar ruled out making Cork Airport independent, saying that if it were to secure its independence now, it would “immediately be loss-making”. Speaking at a Seanad debate on the State Airports Bill 2014, the minister said now is not the right time for Cork to become indepdent. “Unlike Shannon Airport, Cork Airport’s operating costs substantially exceed its revenues. To operate on a commercial basis it would require significant redundancies and/or pay cuts, which nobody is proposing,” he said.

The captain of an easyJet flight from Gatwick to Turkey was forced to abort landing the aircraft when three drunken passengers began wreaking havoc in the aisles. It only landed in Dalaman when all 155 passengers were seated. Police were called to meet the plane at the airport, but no arrests were made. BBC journalist Neil Henderson, who was on-board, compared the ordeal with a certain ITV show:

€200,000 worth of damage was done to a Ryanair plane as it rolled backwards at Rome Ciampino Airport yesterday. Ryanair said the plane was parked with no one in board but had not been properly secured.

Ireland West Airport Knock has launched a new mobile version of its website,

IATA says airlines are forecast to make a net profit of $18bn (€13bn) this year despite rising infrastructure costs, air traffic management and tax and regulatory inefficiencies.

DAA has shelved a €3m re-branding initiative.  “The response to a proposed name change was firmly negative and considered to be unnecessary, unwarranted, a waste of money and potentially damaging to the reputations of the Dublin Airport Authority and Government…It was decided, therefore, not to engage in an expensive rebranding exercise and to use instead the existing acronym, DAA, in lower case,” Minister Varadkar said.

Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImagesRyanair launched a branding agreement with National Express.

The Bloomberg Hub was opened at London City Airport. It provides news, data and information on a media wall in the airport’s business lounge for business travellers.

Bristol Airport experienced severe delays after a power failure grounded flights at the busiest time of the day.

Malaysia Airlines passengers can now check-in a two pieces of baggage within the 30kg, 40kg and 50kg free baggage allowance included in their travel in economy, business and first class.

United Airlines launched a second daily non-stop service between Dublin and Newark Liberty International Airport.  The service will operate until August 19.

Brendan O’Connor hosted a charity Hair-A-Thon in T2.© Robert Allen Photography 2014

  • The aviation regulator proposed a cumulative 22% drop in charges at Dublin Airport over the next five years.
  • A United Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Dublin.
  • After three months of searching for flight MH370 Australia has decided to outsource the search operation to a private source.
  • Aer Lingus’s 3 Million Mega Seat Sale from now until June 16 for travel from July 1 to October 31.
  • International Airlines Group chief executive Willie Walsh said airlines are “embarrassed to make profits” and worry that passengers would “bitch and moan” about high margins.
  • Passenger traffic rose by 8% at European airports during the month of April.
  • Kevin Toland was appointed to chair the review of the Department of Justice in light of the Guerin report findings.
  • The top three cities that have the highest rates in the world for room rates per night are Geneva ($308) Dubai ($273) and Kuwait ($253). The index was compiled by Bloomberg.
  • American maths professor Jordan Ellensberg says “if you’ve never missed a flight, you’re not doing it right” and claims to have formulated a mathematical equation for the best time to check-in.  English travel journalist Simon Calder challenges the professor’s argument.
  • Southwest Airlines was fined $200,000 by the US Department of Transportation for advertising cheap fares that didn’t exist.
  • Michael O’Leary said Aer Lingus’s picketing cabin crew members are not being treated like “Siberian salt miners”.
  • Monarch Airlines is the latest carrier to ban reclining seats.
  • British Airways has taken delivery of two new 98-seat Embreaer 190 jets.
  • Package holiday flights resumed at Lydd Airport in Kent for the first time in decades.
  • Qatar celebrated 100 years since the first commercial flight from Tampa to Florida.
  • The London Telegraph explores aisle surfing, dead passengers and zombies on-board in this ‘Confessions of an Air Hostess’ picture gallery.
  • Etihad Airways announced a major expansion of its codeshare agreement with Jet Airways, offering travellers more connections throughout India, and linking India with even more destinations worldwide.
  • Hainan Airlines has signed a merchandising agreement with Travelport.
  • SkyTeam anticipates an 18pc increase in membership cooperation for 2014.
  • SITA is to introduce a new flight tracker function for airlines.
  • Jet2 apologised to passengers on a flight from Cyprus to Newcastle after it was forced to make an emergency landing in Bulgaria due to a loss of cabin pressure.

Etihad Airways will forward a letter detailing the conditions precedent and the criteria for a proposed equity investment by Etihad Airways that have been negotiated with Alitalia and its stakeholders over the past months.

Inmarsat mobile satellite operator is to roll out an EU-wide broadband service for commercial and business aviation passengers.

The pocket-sized Knee Defender gadget is designed to prevent the seat in front of you from reclining and save “precious legroom”.

Gatwick hosted an event for customers to see its refurbished Service Centre.

Flybe commenced three of its six new European routes from London Southend Airport operated by its franchise partner Stobart Air.

A petition calling on British Airways to stop selling trips to SeaWorld in San Diego has gained over 85,000 signatures.


Brittany Ferries is offering 15pc off all Cork-Roscoff regular ferry fares and on-board accommodation when passengers book a minimum four night’s accommodation. The offer excludes special offers and promotions.

Irish Ferries announced a family package of a three-night stay with breakfast in Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel in Stafford for €489 in celebration of the opening of CBeebies Land at Alton Towers.

Royal Caribbean Cruises launched its 2015/16 catalogue this week.

Stena Lines customers can now take a day trip to the newly opened FunZone centre in Oakwood Theme Park.

A sightseeing tour boat crashed into London’s Tower Bridge. The City Cruises vessel Millennium Diamond, with 130 people on board, struck the bridge at about midday. Nine people were injured.


George Wendt (aka Norm from Cheers) recently accepted an invitation from Fáilte Ireland to visit the Wild Atlantic Way.

Kevin O’Malley from St Louis, Missouri is the new US ambassador to Ireland. He made his name defending physicians and hospitals in medical malpractice lawsuits.

NITB launched an all-Ireland summer campaign aimed at bringing visitors to the North for short breaks. Look out for Game of Thrones actress Michelle Fairly and tour guides Caroline Wilson and Colum Lynch in the adverts.NITB summer campaign 2014 Pic 1

Leo Varadkar announced that €300,000 is being allocated to Fáilte Ireland’s Capital Investment Programme for the development of a visitor centre at St Patrick’s Cathedral and a whiskey museum at College Green. “These two city centre projects should prove a hit with tourists. St Patrick’s Cathedral gets more than 370,000 visitors every year and many of them want to learn more about the Cathedral. The new interpretative centre will tell the story of the Cathedral, and the development of Dublin,” Minister Varadkar said.

Titanic Belfast will be closed to the public tomorrow (June 9) due to a major film production taking place at the visitor centre.

Ireland’s largest free festival, Bray Summerfest, is back this year from July 5 to August 4. It will be launching its programme of events this Thursday, June 12, at the Martello Hotel in Bray.

VODAFONE_FIRST_HIGH_RES-7Kerry adventurer and polar explorer Mike O’Shea became the first person to fly from Mizen to Malin head by a paramotor. Travelling at heights of up to 10,000 feet, the Kerryman completed the journey in three days. A video of his journey is available to watch here.

Kim Kardashian tweeted this week that she “Had the best most relaxing honeymoon in Ireland & Prague!” Kanye West and Kim Kardashian – collectively known as “Kimye” – were in Ireland last week for their honeymoon. It had been rumoured that the newlyweds were disappointed with their destination and left early. If Kardashian’s tweets are anything to go by, this was not true:  “We spent Kanye’s bday in Ireland a few years back & fell in love with it! Its [sic] such a calming relaxing place!” It is also rumoured Kanye bought Kim a Claddagh ring.

Blueway Launch with MinisterMichael Ring launched Fáilte Ireland’s Blueway initiative to encourage visitors to tour the Wild Atlantic Way. The Blueway programme developed trails for water activities such as snorkelling and kayaking, and will highlight events at five locations in Mayo and Galway: Boffin Harbour on Inishbofin, Killary Fjord in Leenane, Keem on Achill Island, and Mannin Bay and Old Head  in Mayo. Speaking at a launch event, Minister Ring said that Blueways will offer visitors “an entirely new perspective on Ireland’s magnificent wilt Atlantic coastline.”

Footfalls Walking Holidays, and Wicklow County Tourism are organising a series of guided walks to the summit of Lugnaquilla Mountain in July and August. The scheduled walks will take place on July6, July 27, August 10 and August 31.

Derry City Council unveiled the full programme for the LegenDerry Maritime Festival. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, The Beach Boys and the RAF Red Arrows are among the highlights. The festival takes place June 21 to 29.Tourism App Launched for Wexford

A new free tourism app, Visit Wexford, was launched in National Heritage Park.

The Garda’s Public Order Unit was put on alert to respond to major public order incidents at popular beach spots in Dublin after mad scenes in Howth last weekend. Tommy Gaffney, director of Howth Tourism said: “We experienced this last year as well where social media takes hold and they announce that they’re heading to Howth for the day…and they come in big numbers.”

Two Irish attractions made Lonely Planet’s top 50 secret spots in Europe. The eBook, entitled Secret Europe, 50 Truly Unforgettable Experiences to Inspire Your Next Trip features Kerry’s Cromane Peninsula at number five and John Kavanagh’s pub (aka Gravediggers) at number 46. The compilation focuses on “undiscovered and overlooked destinations and experiences” in Europe.

…but Waterford Whispers News “reports” that Temple Bar at 2:30am failed to make the list…

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

Upcoming events of interest to the trade:

  • June 10-11 NITN Big Event, Belfast
  • June 11-13 Visit USA roadshow
  • June 12 Royal Caribbean agent event, Dublin
  • June 12-15 Immrama festival of Travel Writing
  • June 13 Visit California agent event, Dublin
  • June 18 Abu Dhabi travel event, Dublin
  • June 18 ITIC Cruise hire business launch, Carrick on Shannon
  • June 23 Miami agent event, Dublin
  • June 24 Slversea cruise event, Dublin
  • June 26 New York roadshow, Dublin
  • July 2 Las Vegas roadshow, Dublin
  • July 4 Sunway agent event, Dublin
  • July 7 Kimpton Hotels trade event, Dublin
  • July 13 Travel Trade charity fun day, Dublin
  • Sept 17-22 World Spa Convention, Bangkok
  • Sept 17-19 Travelmart S America, Salta
  • Sept 17-19 PATA Travel Mart, Phnom Penh
  • Sept 20-23 Routes, Chicago
  • Sep 23-26 Top Resa 2014, Paris
  • Sept 25-28 FITA Mexico City
  • Oct 1-4 SITE, Dar es Salaam
  • Oct 5 Tour America USA sale day, Red Cow, Dublin,
  • Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Killarney
  • Oct 6 Aereps roadshow, Dublin
  • Oct 7 Aereps roadshow, Belfast
  • Oct 17 Northern Ireland Travel News awards, Co Down
  • Oct 25-30 Skål World Congress, Mexico
  • Oct 31-Nov 2 ITAA conference on board Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the seas,
  • Nov 3-5 WTM 2014, London
  • Nov 14-15 Travel Centres Conference, Naas
  • Nov 14-15 AOIFE conference Ballinasloe
  • Nov 25-27 EIBTM 2014, Barcelona
  • Dec 1-3 Travel South, New Orleans


  • Jan 8-13 Vakantiebeurs, Utrecht
  • Jan 14-16 Florida Huddle, Fort Lauderdale.
  • Jan 15-18 MATKA, Helsinki
  • Jan 16-18 Holiday World, Belfast
  • Jan 22 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin
  • Jan 23-25 Holiday World, Dublin
  • Jan 28-Feb 1 FITUR, Madrid
  • Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi
  • Jan 29-Feb 1 Destinations, Olympia, London
  • Feb 10-13Go West Summit, Colorado Springs
  • Feb 12-14 BIT, Milan
  • Feb Utazas, Budapest
  • Feb 23-24 IHF Conference, Ballyconnell
  • Feb 25-Mar 1 BTL, LIsbon
  • Mar 4-6 ITB, Berlin
  • Mar 6-8 Guangzhou International Travel Fair
  • Mar 9-12 Cruise shipping Miami
  • Mar 16-18 GIBTM, Abu Dhabi
  • Mar 18-21 MITT, Moscow
  • Mar 19-22 Tur, Gothenburg
  • Mar 24-27 Tianguis Turistico, Acapulco
  • Mar 27-28 Skål National Convention Ireland, Cork
  • Mar 31-Apr 1 Rendez Vous France, Paris
  • Apr 12-18 Mountain Travel Symposium, Whistler
  • Apr 14-16 COTTM Beijing
  • Apr 15-16 WTTC Global Summit, Madrid
  • Apr 15-17 WTM Africa, Capetown
  • Apr 22-23 Visit Scotland Expo, Aberdeen
  • Apr 22-24 WTM South America, Sao Paolo
  • Apr 26-28 Germany Travel Market, Erfurt and Weimar
  • Apr 27-30 ATM, Dubai
  • May 5-7 Fitcuba, Jardines del Rey.
  • May 9-12 World Travel Fair Shanghai
  • May 9-11 Indaba, Durban
  • May 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt
  • May 20-27 Trenz New Zealand, Wellington
  • May 26-29 Rendez-vous Canada, Niagara Falls
  • May 30-June 3 IPW 2015 Orlando
  • June 21-24 ATE, Melbourne
  • Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Namibia
  • Oct 18-23 Skål World Congress, Kenya coast
  • Nov 2-5 WTM 2015, London
  • Nov 17-19 EIBTM 2015, Barcelona
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
  • Jan 15-17 2016 Holiday World. Belfast
  • Jan 22-24 2016 Holiday World. Dublin
  • June 4-8 2016 IPW (Pow Wow), Miami
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC
  • May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas

Previous editions of Travel Extra’s Sunday blog: 
 June 1
May 25 – May 18 – May 11 – May 4
Apr 27 – Apr 20 – Apr 13 – Apr 6
Mar 30 – Mar 23 – Mar 16 – Mar 9 – Mar 2
Feb 23 – Feb 16 – Feb 9 – Feb 2
Jan 26 – Jan 19 – Jan 12 – Jan 5
Dec 29 – Dec 22 – Dec 15 – Dec 8 – Dec 1
Nov 24 – Nov 17 – Nov 10 – Nov 3
Oct 27 – Oct 20 – Oct 13 – Oct 6
Sept 29 – Sept 22 – Sept 15 – Sept 8 – Sept 1
Aug 25 – Aug 18 – Aug 11 – Aug 4
July 28 – July 21 – July 14 – July 6

Make sure to connect with the print edition of Travel Extra on
June 2014: USA, Rivercruise and car hire issue
May 2014: Australia & Theme Parks Issue
April 2014: Summer Cruise Issue
March 2014; Industry Awards Issue
February 2014 Holiday World issue
January 2014 Weddings & Honeymoons issue
November 2013: Winter cruise issue
October 2013: Ski & Asia issue
September 2013 Beds & Technology Issue
July August 2013 Wintersun issue


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