Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair upgrades to allow smartphone boarding passes


Picture shows Portnablagh Harbour,Co. Donegal. Credit: Liam Moloney via Flickr

Picture shows Portnablagh Harbour,Co. Donegal. Credit: Liam Moloney via Flickr


*Ryanair allows smartphone boarding passes

*7 hour queue to escape from Gringott’s

*Flat laptop ban could come to Ireland

*So long Varadkar, welcome Donohue

*Fáilte Ireland’s top tourism towns

*Magaluf clamps down on pub crawls


Travel Extra TV

YouTube footage of a near collision at Barcelona airport received widespread coverage this week. The video – shot by plane spotter Miguel Angel – shows a Boeing 767 operated by Utair coming in to land and narrowly missing an Aerolinea Argentineas Airbus A340 that was taxiing on the runway. The video racked up over 20m views during the week. You can watch it here in case you missed it. But our video of the week shows an even closer call at the RAF Waddington airshow. The clip shows a Turkish F16’s “extremely low landing” as it thunders over the crowd. “That was a bit close, wasn’t it?” one plane spotter says at the 24 second mark; quite the understatement as you’ll see.

  • This video shows three Boeing 737 fuselages on the banks of Clark Fork River in Montana. How did they get there? A freight train carrying six 737 fuselages and other cargo derailed sending three aircraft shells into the river. Nobody was injured. The video was shot by David Shearer who came upon the scene with a group of rafters. You can hear them contemplate how large the repair bill is going to be. Boeing said it was assessing the damage to the components. reported that the company faces temporary disruption to its 737 production system. You can watch the video here.
  • To celebrate its 40th anniversary, New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure Park built the new Zumanjaro Drop of Doom ride. Those who brave the drop plummet 520ft at 90mph. Watch POV footage of the ride here.
  • Irish National Stud & Gardens released a new promotion video. You can watch it here.
  • An estimated 20,000 people came to the Foynes airshow this week. You can watch highlights of the two-day event here.
  • Folks at Cork airport are the latest to create a music video for Pharrell Williams’ hit ‘Happy’. The video was created to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. You can watch it here.
  • See Dublin from 1,500 feet thanks to the Bray Air Spectacular. Watch Clare Cullen’s video here.Bank of Ireland Runway Night Run Shannon Airport

Participants in the Bank of Ireland Runway Run at Shannon raised over €15,000 for the Samaritans. You can watch a video from the event here.

HeadlinesRyanair new app

A game-changer. Ryanair’s all-new phone app went live on Friday, ending paper boarding passes forever and introducing a new era for lo-co travellers across Europe and the 40pc of Ireland’s air passengers who fly with Ryanair. The new app allows passengers download their boarding passes to their smartphone. The booking process has also been streamlined. The official launch takes place tomorrow (monday) morning. Don’t have a smartphone? You are back to paper. You pay €15 for a reprint at the airport (reduced before Christmas from a penal €70) but if you fail to check in four hours in advance you will be hit by the €70 check in fee at the airport. Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry speaking about the new phone app on RTE’s Drivetime.


Aer Lingus moved seamlessly to Heathrow Terminal 2 on Wednesday. The terminal is much closer to the Heathrow Express and Tube links to London than Terminal 1. Aer Lingus desks are to the left as you enter the spcaious and airy new terminal and the lounge is beside the much-hyped Heston Blumenthal restaurant (The Perfectionists’ Café, complete with €10 pizza, tobacco cocktails and rose petal ice cream; see report here), with a great airside view. Check which airline you are using if you are passing through Heathrow from now on; British Airways flights continue to depart from Heathrow Terminal 1 before moving to Heathrow Terminal 5 in October. Listen here to Declan Kearney of Aer LIngus speaking on Morning Ireland about the Aer Lingus move to Termrinal 2. See video here.

Much confusion about the new security regulations insisting passengers that banned uncharged phones and laptops from “certain inbound flights to the US.” All the travel industry has to go on is a short statement from the US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson last Sunday. The Department of Transport which is repsonsible for security arrangements in Dublin airport said it expects no change to existing procedures. If the direction from the TSA is fomralised, the secuirty checks that wil be affected will be tha e final check after US CBP en route to the gate. Transit passenegrs may not be so lucky. BBC reported Heathrow and Manchester would be targetted for the new measure. Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry speaking on Morning Ireland about the new regulations. The London Telegraph reports that Robert Goodwill, the British transport minister, said the government will introduce more charging facilities at airports so passengers don’t fall foul of the new rule. He added that airlines were working on methods of reuniting passengers will items that had to be left behind, but the British Labour Party accused the government of confusing passengers with cryptic advice.


pashal_donohue Ireland’s new tourism and transport minister Paschal Donohue will inherit, untouched, the running sore of the travel industry, a bonding system that was designed for the pre-credit card age in 1984 and which is throwing up new anomalies of consumer protection by the month. He also inherits uncertainty over the independence of Cork airport and the future of PSO routes, and an aviation policy on which the ink is not yet dry (like the Treaty of Limerick). Other than, he has been bequeathed a relatively ship-shape tourism department from Leo Varadkar, who may have Ireland’s most successful ever tourism and transport minister, with huge progress on the inbound visa issue, albeit with Ireland remaining outside Schenghen for now. Relations with Ryanair are at an all time high, important for an ailrine that control 40pc of the access ot the island and can turn on and of capacity like a tap.

Picture by jurvetson via Flickr

Picture by jurvetson via Flickr

Fáilte Ireland published its longlist for the 2014 Tourism Town Awards. Fifteen towns and villages around the country have been listed for the third annual event. This year’s competition will see a change of format, with titles awarded to the best large town and best small town. Michael Ring said: “This award is all about recognising Irish towns and villages which are working hard to make Ireland even more attractive for tourists.” Speaking about the towns listed, Paddy Mathews of Fáilte Ireland said: “These are towns that have already performed well in the Tidy Towns Competition in 2013, so we know that they are clean and well presented. Now we want to know how well they present themselves to their visitors.” The top ten Highly Commended Tourism Towns will be announced at the Tidy Towns Awards later in the year. The overall winners will be announced by Fáilte Ireland in November.tourism-towns Magaluf lived up to its debauched reputation this week after a video emerged of an Irish teenager performing oral sex on multiple men in exchange for a free drink while being egged on by the club’s DJ. Police have launched an investigation into the matter. Paul Smith – who runs Carnage, the club where the video was shot – told the Irish Daily Star: “I’ve made mistakes and I’m here to rectify them and make sure this doesn’t happen again, but why should I apologise…What have I done wrong? I’ve made mistakes but I wasn’t the one who forced her to get on the floor. I’m not going to apologise to the family.” He did, however, say he “feels sorry” for the 18-year-old woman. Manuel Onieva, Mayor of Calvià, issued a statement in which he expressed his “total rejection and anger at the activities which were carried out in a video which is currently on the social media circuit”. He added: “This week I have passed a law giving us tighter control over the operation of pub crawl organisers and we are the first municipality resort to implement a law such as this. The law will come into effect this month [July 2014]. Companies operating pub crawls in Calvià now have to apply for a licence through the town hall.  They have to prove their responsibility and show that they have the appropriate civil insurances in place. Each pub crawl guide will have to wear a specific jacket so local police can monitor those operating in the region and identify those that have been approved. Pub crawl groups can now not exceed more than 50 people and if any operators exceed this legal capacity, they will be fined.”

Travel TradeDaniel Kiely SEO manager for Lowcost Beds and Mark Garwell strategy director of Lowcost beds at the Lowcost event for Travel media in Dobbins Bistro, Dublin, July 9 2014.

Meath born Daniel Kiely and Londoner Mark Garwell (pictured) from the Lowcost Group SEO team joined Clem Walshe and Gráinne Caffrey in hosting travel media in Dublin. Clem Walshe gave what he called a mid term catch-up on the Lowcost groups dual brands, beds and direct (listen here) noting that this year’s market is very price driven and very late, 80pc of the sales are coming inside 10 weeks Lowcost now indemnifies every travel agent on every booking they make through the group (listen here). Pat Dawson said that members had been landed with claims of €20,000 to €80,000 on holidays booked through bedbanks but that Lowcost group were the first to sign an indemnity (listen here). Clem Walshe reported holiday sales were up 42pc year on year (listen here) and weather was not having the same impact as last year. The group is helping boost inbound tourism with Dublin, Cork and Galway regularly featuring in the top sellers of the trading week (listen here). He said we are seeing the benefits of our investment in becoming a one stop travel shop. He said Spain represents 35pc of all Lowcost group bookings (listen here). He said when Lowcost launched in Ireland 95pc of their sales were to Spain but Lowcost is now a global brand (listen here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

1Rebecca Kelly speaks 001 Rebecca Kelly and Rose Darby of MSC cruises hosted 26 members of the travel trade and four press to update them on the air to treble their cruise business out of Ireland by 2017. The 2015 summer and 2015-16 winter cruises are for sale and MSC promised prices in their current sale (book by Sept 30) will not be available again. “ Four mega ships will be delivered between 2017 and 2019. Their “Renaissance” ship-elongation programme commences with MSC Armonia next month to followed by Lirica, Sinfonia and Opera, adding 24 metres and 611 passengers to each ship. MSC will base four ships in both Eastern and western Med in summer 2015 and two ships in the Baltic bringing Yacht Club to Northern Europe for the first time. Rebecca talked the trade through the new experience-based pricing recently introduced by MSc at three levels, Bella, Fantastica and Aurea. Janet Parton started as MSC Director of Sales base din London last Monday. See more pictures here or connect with the album in Facebook.

According to the ITAA’s quarterly survey, 78pc of Irish travel agents say that the Aer Lingus and French air traffic controllers’ strikes have had a negative impact on business. Speaking about the survey results, president of the association Martin Skelly said, “The recent strikes skellyput a large strain on the time and resources of many travel agents. Without doubt, the strikes were both a hassle and a nuisance for travel agents, but that extra level of care is an inherent part of the service we provide, it’s what sets us apart from faceless travel providers and it’s something that we are very proud of.” ITAA’s survey found that 52pc of agents reported increased turnover for the second quarter of 2014 while 19pc said turnover matched last year’s figure. Business travel bookings remained the same for 50pc of corporate travel agents and increased for 42pc. The biggest customer demographic for agents this summer is families, followed by business travellers, young couples and groups of Leaving Cert or college friends.

David Powell of Kimpton San Francisco, Racquel Toro of Kimpton Chicago, Kristy Rooney of Kimpton Washington DC, Ingrid Ruz of Kimpton Boston, Cindy Brewster of Kimpton Head office, Greg Evans and Judy McCluskey of Kimpton’s representation in London who hosted members of the travel trade at Chapter One in Dublin, July 7 2014. Cindy Brewster of Kimpton Hotels hosted members of the travel trade at Chapter One in Dublin on Monday, with the Michelin starred restaurant opening especially for the occasion. Cindy said the repsonse to Kimpton’s first trade mission last year was above expectatins and brought a gorup ogf representatives from leading US hotels in the USA. It being a fine summer evening, in one of those spontaneous parties that the travel trade does so well, guests rambled as far as the Vintage Cocktail lounge for more refreshments and continued to refresh themselves into the early hours. Picture shows David Powell of Kimpton San Francisco, Racquel Toro of Kimpton Chicago, Kristy Rooney of Kimpton Washington DC, Ingrid Ruz of Kimpton Boston, Cindy Brewster of Kimpton Head office, Greg Evans and Judy McCluskey Kimpton’s representation in London. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.IE PortAventura Incentive is offering agents the chance to win a four-night holiday for two to PortAventura. Agents who book any of the website’s worldwide tickets must email to be in with a chance of winning. Those who book a theme pass to PortAventura will receive a bonus entry.

Leo Varadkar (before he moved into the Department of Health) and Minister Michael Ring invited members of the tourism industry to comment on a draft tourism policy statement. According to the DTTAS’s website, the “central goal of the Draft Tourism Policy Statement is to increase overseas tourism revenue to €5bn per year by 2025 (excluding the cost of air fares and ferry charges)…in addition, there is a target of having 250,000 people employed in tourism by 2025, compared with approximately 200,000 at present. The statement can be viewed here. Comments must be submitted before July 31 and can be emailed to or posted to Anthony Donnelly, Tourism Policy Review, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Government Buildings, New Road, Killarney, Co. Kerry.

  • Travel Department announced late summer offers: 7 nights stay in Tuscany from €699pp; available July 31, August 5, 12, 19, 26 and 28. 7 night stay in Dubrovnik from €959pp; available July 16 and 23 and August 13, 20, 27. 7 night trip to Lake Garda, Venice and Verona from €799pp; available July 24 and 31 and August 7, 12, 14, 21 and 26. 7 night trip to Lake Como, the Swiss Alps and Milan from €829pp; available July 28 and August 6, 11, 13, 18, 20 and 27.
  • Abbey Travel is offering free half board meals and a 15pc saving on hotel and park tickets at Disneyland Paris. The offer is valid for arrivals up to November 12 and sale ends July 20.

Corporate hotel suppliers HRS and independent agency Circle Research everywoman of Influence Dinner.have completed what must be the most intensive survey of Ireland’s corporate travel buyer habits. They found that just 4pc of corporate travellers said that the fact the hotel is preferred by their organisation was the most important factor in hotel choice. 78pc said that a hotel’s location was the most important factor when deciding on hotel choice, showing that traveller convenience should be a key consideration. When making a booking, 62pc focused on the proximity to the meeting place, 11pc cared about the hotel’s proximity to air/rail, and the rest (5pc) took into consideration the distance from the city centre. Despite cost being a key factor, 8pc felt that a hotel’s overall package/value for money was the most important factor in hotel choice, 54pc saying that the lack of hotels in the right location was one of their top three frustrations. Jon West of HRS (pictured) briefed Travel Extra on the surprises in the survey and HRS efforts to establish themselves as the go-to supplier of corporate beds and how cancellation policy is as important as price for the business traveller. is hosting three free talks around the country this month. Sales director Jeremy Perrin will discuss the Camino Francés route to those interested in making a trip to Camino de Santiago. Talks take place in The Great Outdoors, Galway on July 24, Fifty Three Degrees North, Carrickmines on July 30 and Fifty Three Degrees North, Cork on July 31.sinead desmond eoghan corry_5449 (1)

Ireland AM reported all week on Topflight’s Italian programme to Emilia Romagna, concentrating on Bologna, Rimini and Riccione. Picture shows Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry being interviewed by Sinéad Desmond of TV3 on the workings of the beach clubs, which originated on the Italian Adriatic coast. See more pictures here or connect with the Facebook.

  • Tropical Sky is offering up to 30pc off last-minute all-inclusive deals from Dublin to the Caribbean: 7-night trip to St Lucia, from €1,329pp, departing between August 20 and October 1, book by July 31; 7-night trip to Dominican Republic, from €1,479pp, departing between August 31 and October 1, book by August 30; 7-night trip to Barbados, from €1,399pp, departing between August 17 and October 1, book by July 30.
  • Travel Professionals  Skillnet will host four online seminars on travel law during the summer. The seminars will be taught by solicitor Anne Dolan. The second ‘webinar’ takes place this Wednesday (July 16), from 8:30am—10am. Each instalment costs €25. See here for more.

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Caroline Coyle of Las Vegas CVA was uncharacteristically coy about the prospect of direct air services to Las Vegas when she briefed Travel Extra after hosting the Irish travel trade in Dublin last week, but did say that Vegas’ hosting of Routes last October had spurred interest in direct fights among international airlines. Michael Goldsmith of Las Vegas CVA told Travel Extra it was a question of ‘when and not if’ there are direct flights from Dublin to Las Vegas at IPW in Chicago in April. Plans by Omni air to launch a service from Shannon to Las Vegas for summer 2014 did not materialise and Thomas Cook has announced a single charter flight from Belfast to Vegas on July 5 2015. Las Vegas Hosted Picture shows Angel Williams of Miracle Mile Shops and David O’Grady of etravel at that event where Las Vegas CVA hosted 37 members of the travel trade at a breakfast event in the IMG_6682 copyShelbourne Hotel in Dublin. See more pictures here or connect with the album on FacebookLas Vegas CVA also hosted 73 members of the travel trade at a workshop, dinner and table quiz in Cafe En Seine. Picture shows Kelly Sawyer of Las Vegas CVA and John Donohue of Aereps. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

To mark the release of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, is promoting a number of attractions and experiences for visitors who are “up for the craic”: Dublin Bike Tour, €25pp; traditional Irish music pub crawl, €13 per adult and €12 per child; one day Celtic Tour from Dublin, €44 per adult and €23 per child.

Fáilte Ireland said that one of Belgium’s biggest holiday programmes, Vlaanderen Vakantieland, is being filmed along the Wild Atlantic Way. The presenters, Tina Maerevoet and Bill Barberis, are travelling by caravan from Croagh Patrick to Kinsale. An estimated 800,000 people are expected to watch the programme when it is broadcast. Aisling Travers of Fáilte Ireland said: “It is extremely important for influential media, many of whom are visiting Ireland for the first time, to experience first-hand what we have to offer on the Wild Atlantic Way. Hosting key influencers, such as these Belgian celebrities, to road test the Wild Atlantic Way gives us a powerful and persuasive way to grow visitor numbers.  In our work to promote Ireland as a top class destination, this type of publicity gives us credibility far beyond the scope of advertising. Indeed, it is suggested that the impact of this type of publicity is three times that of paid advertising.IRELAND SAYS ‘BONJOUR’ IN LYON

Nine Irish tourism companies travelled to Lyon to take part in a business tourism promotion organised by Tourism Ireland. The group was made up of: Eileen O’Donoghue, Premier Travel; Susanne Reid, Dunboyne Castle Hotel; Áine Comerford, Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort; Christophe de Patoul, Irish Horizons Conference & Incentive; Siobhán O’Sullivan, Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast; Cathy Joyce, Citywest Hotel Conference & Events Centre, Dublin; and Caroline Phelan, Tourism Ireland; Monica Ramchandani, Aer Lingus France; Mylène Campalto, Abbey Incentive & Events; and Susan Sheahan, Clyde Court Hotel, Dublin. The promotion involved a B2B workshop and a networking reception. it was attended by Lyon’s major conference and meeting planners. The event gave participating Irish companies the opportunity to showcase their products and Tourism Ireland highlighted the Wild Atlantic Way, the Causeway Coastal Route and major events happing this year including Limerick City of Culture 2014. Tourism Ireland’s head of Europe Fiona O’Mahony said: “Business tourism is an important, high yield sector and Tourism Ireland in France has a busy programme of promotions under way throughout 2014, to grow this type of tourism. Our networking event in Lyon provided Tourism Ireland, and our industry partners, with an excellent opportunity to highlight our world-class business and conference SPOTLIGHT ON THE ISLAND OF IRELAND IN SCOTLANDfacilities, as well as the great experiences delegates can enjoy in Ireland on the sidelines of their conference or meeting.” Tourism Ireland also made a trip to the four-day Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh to attract potential holidaymakers in Scotland. Insight Vacations launched its 2015/16 USA & Canada programme. It features 16 premium and nine Gold Luxury escorted trips.

  • ETOA will host a new workshop on digital marketing strategies in London on September 30. The event, Showcase Travel Digital, will include sessions on digital strategies and face-to-face meetings with tourism technology suppliers. See here for more.
  • is promoting its free dining plans for customers who book a 2015 package to Disney World, Orlando. Seven nights at Disney Coronado Springs Resort, departing June 24, 2015, is available from €599pp.
  • Sunway is offering last-minute trips to Turkey: 7 nights at Sunset Plaza Hotel/Sea Pear Hotel from €399, departing July 18, from €549, departing July 25.
  • is offering free half-board and a 15pc saving on trips to Disneyland Paris.
  • Aer Lingus captain Elaine Egan spoke to the Irish Independent about her career and life.


Picture by Paul Keller via Flickr

Picture by Paul Keller via Flickr

The Journal de Dimanche reported on Sunday that France’s five-fold increase in hotel tax will not be passed through the Senate. The measure would have seen the hotel tax go from a current €1.50 to €8 in the regions and €10 in Paris.

Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa in Killarney announced a Juicing Detox Spa Retreat with juicing expert and yoga instructor Aileen Slein Kingelle from August 29 to 31.

According to data collected by, average hotel prices in Galway will increase during the Galway Races, peaking at €193 on Ladies’ Day (July 31). The comparison website also said that hotel prices in Dublin have risen to €139, a 24pc increase compared to last year. Hotel prices in Donegal, which will host a number of events this month, have risen by 33pc. Meanwhile in Glasgow, the average hotel price during the Commonwealth Games (July 23—August 3) will be €432. Below is the latest Irish Hotel Price Index for July 2014 from

  • Kilcullen Investment Partners announce a €1m investment in An Seanachai Pub, Restaurant and Holiday Homes in Waterford.
  • CasaVersa is a new home-swapping service. Users are invited to list their home online, select travel dates and location and then propose a house swap with matching participants. So far, there are only two proposed exchanges online in Ireland.
  • Globe Hotels is offering a free upgrade to twin sea view at The Vik San Antonio to customers who book a twin room for stays between July 16 and August 24.
  • Monard Destination Spa added a one-hour Pevonia skincare treatment to its menu.

Lusty Beg Island Resort and Enniskillen Hotel are offering an Ultimate Getaway package. The offer includes a 2-night stay in Lusty Beg with dinner on one of the nights, sparkling wine on arrival, spa treatment with lunch and a tour of Belleek Pottery, as well as 2 nights at Enniskillen Hotel with dinner on one of the nights, sparkling wine on arrival, cocktail making class before dinner included, whiskey tasting after included meal, tour of Marble Arch Caves and a Kestrel boat tour. The offer is priced at €700pps.


Picture by Chor lp via Flickr

Picture by Chor lp via Flickr

New York will unveil a shopping revolution over the coming months, according to Reginald Charlot, Senior Director Tourism Development at NYC & Company, who talked to Travel Extra about upcoming developments in the city (listen here). Two competing Shopping centres, Brookfield and Westfield, will open at the 16-acre WTC site in Lower Manhattan. Brookfield opens in the autumn while the first of Westfield’s eventual 460,000 square feet will open in 2015. This will put the nearby Century 21, a favourite with Irish shoppers, under pressure, so is also getting a new look with a new shoe section. Century 21 is also planning to open in a new location close to the Hotel Beacon, from where Tom Travers and Gerry Traino are great supporters of the Irish trade. There is more retail excitment to come. In 2016-17 the first outlet shopping mall in New York City  Empire Outlets wiil open on Staten Island. Staten Island, a free 20 minute ferry ride from Manhattan, will see the opning in 2016 of the world’s largest ferris wheel, the 60 storey on St George on the northeastern side of Staten Island. Ticket prices are estimated to be in the range of $20-$30 for approximately 38-minute ride. The Whitney Museum of American Art will open in the Meatpacking District next spring and will be followed by the third phase of the High Line will open in autumn making the parkway complete from thew 14th to 34th street. The number of Irish visitors to New York increased 4pc in 2013 compared with 2012, (listen here). By the end of 2014 there will be an extra 4,000 rooms in New York City, with development in mid town and lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx, bringing the Reginald Charlot Eoghan Corry copynumber of beds to 104,000 in all (up from 93,000 at the end of 2012 and 99,000 at the end of 2013). Reginald Charlot said the NYC& Co neighbourhod campaign had been a  success in attracting repeat visitors, while first timers still preferred to stay in Manhattan. Long Island is an example of cost savings: there are hotels which are not full service so you will get a lower rate, full service versus full service will be 15pc cheaper. Second time visitors are more likely to stay elsewhere and see something different. Reginald Charlot is pictured with Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry.

  • International travellers in Israel and Palestine have been advised to “reconsider their need to travel to areas of Israel within 40kms of the border with the Gaza Strip” and to “familiarise themselves with emergency procedures and how to respond to air raid sirens”, The Israel Defense Force’s Home Front Command website provides information on preparedness.
  • In West Africa travellers have been advised that borders in the Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia region may be closed at short notice to contain the Ebola outbreak that has killed 500 people.
  • A second attack in eastern Kenya in less than three weeks resulted in the deaths of at least 22 people. Somali militants claimed responsibility.
  • Japanese authorities evacuated almost 600,000 people from the island of Okinawa as super typhoon Neoguri brought heavy rain, high waves and gusts as strong as 216kph.
  • A roller coaster in California’s Six Flags Magic Mountain derailed after hitting a fallen tree branch. Four people received minor injuries and many of the riders were stuck 20ft in the air for almost three hours.
Picture by mattbuck4950 via Flickr

Picture by mattbuck4950 via Flickr

  • A disgruntled First Capital Connect train passenger has created a Tumblr page that features a morphed picture of CEO Tim O’Toole every time his train is delayed.
  • Universal’s Harry Potter theme park Wizarding World trebled in size on Wednesday (see pictures here) and now straddles the two Universal parks in Orlando, Universal Studios and Island of Adventure. Punters waited for seven hours to board the new signature ride, Escape From Gringotts. A two-park ticket is required to the new Diagon Alley, and a Hogwarth’s Express link has opened linking the two sections. Interestingly, the character’s creator JK Rowling was nowhere to be seen at the confetti strewn festivities. The high profile opening is being equated with that for an entire theme park. Universal sales were boosted by $1bn after the first Harry Potter ride opened.
  • PATA launched its PATA Loves ASEAN campaign on Travel Channel. The initiative aims to boost Asia Pacific’s tourism industry.
  • A study by Consumer Reports urges parents not to use spray-on sunscreen on their children as it could put them at risk for asthma or allergy attacks.
  • Huffington Post listed the top cities to visit when you are in your twenties. Dublin features at number 12.
Picture by Andrew from Sydney via Flickr

Picture by Andrew from Sydney via Flickr

Three Mobile issued a spoof online pamphlet to raise “awareness” of TSD or Travel Selfie Disorder, a “chronic disorder characterised by the uncontrollable urge to photograph one’s face while abroad”.

TAT announced its 2015 marketing plan that hopes to bring in 1.4tn Baht in revenue from foreign tourists. In keeping with Thailand’s recent return to peace, the strategy also to promote concepts like “Thainess”, happiness and sustainability. TAT also invited tourists visiting Chiang Rai to see Doi Tung and learn about the culture of the people who live and work in some of the area’s royal projects. Italy’s tourism minister Dario Franceschini announced new entry rules for all state museums and archaeological sites. Entry to state sites is free to all on the first Sunday of every month. Over 65s will have to pay for entry while reductions will remain for under 25s and under 18s will still receive free entry. The minister also announced plans for two scheduled open museum nights at €1 and late openings every Friday.

The US Department of Commerce reported that 5.8m international visitors travelled to the States in March, a 1pc decrease compared to last year. In March 2014, non-resident visits from overseas countries (2.3 million) were down 8pc when compared to March 2013. Mexico reported the biggest increase in visits (+28pc) while the highest decrease was from England (-21pc). See the full list Dubai announced plans for The Mall of the World, a 743,000 square metres shopping centre that will include a theme park, theatres and 100 hotels. The project is to be the retail and hospitality showpiece for Expo 2020 in Dubai. Other commercial developments in Dubai’s 2020 plan are: Wire World Meydan Adventure Park, Dubai Opera House and Opera District, Dubai Water Canal, Al Habtoor City, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Six Flags Theme Park, Aladdin City, Bluewaters Island and Dubai Frame.

Disney opened their new dark ride at Paris, Ratatouille, on Thursday. Brand USA is launching a campaign to promote gastro-tourism to the States following the release of the Discover America: Great American Food Stories guide. It is also promoting a number of upcoming events around the country: Cowboys will herd 1,300 buffalo at the 49th Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup on September 26. Maryland’s Star-Spangled Spectacular will take place in Baltimore on September 10—16. The free event will include live re-enactments, air shows, live music and tours of the tall ships and navy ships in Inner Harbour. New River Gorge Bridge Day will take place on October 18 in West Virginia. it is the only day of the year where pedestrians are allowed to walk on the deck of the 876-foot bridge.THE BRAEMAR GATHERING 2004, ABERDEENSHIRE.

Food & Wine

Picture by Liamfm via Flickr

Picture by Liamfm via Flickr

The A Taste of Lough Derg 2014 initiative was launched this week and will continue until September. The pilot campaign – organised by food producers and restaurant owners surrounding Lough Derg – features 13 separate food events taking place around Clare, Galway and Tipperary. The series includes a  Sunday Picnic at the lake in Killaloe, a butcher masterclass in Terryglass, farm walk and cheese tasting in Portumna, a BBQ garden party and talent show in Garrykennedy, and chocolate making and tasting in Tuamgraney and Newtown.

  • Foodies are invited by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority to explore the twin island’s restaurants dotted along the coast beaches (365 in total).
  • Euphoria food and music festival will take place in Greenville, South Carolina September 18—21.


Picture by leppre via Flickr

Picture by leppre via Flickr

The IAA reported a 4.4pc increase in the volume of North Atlantic Communications flights between Europe and North America. Total flights in Irish airspace in June increased by 7.6pc compared to the same month last year, including a 10.7pc increase in Ireland’s en route traffic. There was an average of 1,759 daily flights last month. The busiest day was June 24 (1,955 flights in Irish airspace). International arrivals and departures were up 3.6pc in Dublin, down 8.7pc in Cork and up 24pc in Shannon. Aer Lingus announced the appointments of Bernard Bot as its CFO and Federico Balzola as CPCO. Current CFO and executive director, Andre Macfarlane, will step down on September 1.

Shannon airport reported a 15pc increase in terminal passenger numbers for the first half of the year.Ryanair Labs

Ryanair is looking to fill IT roles at its digital hub in Swords. Chairman of the Westminster Intelligence and Security Committee Malcolm Rifkind said tightening airport security is unavoidable because of “devilish technical skill” adopted by terrorists to create increasingly sophisticated devices.

Air New Zealand became the first airline to fly the “stretch” version of Boeing’s Dreamliner, the 787-9.

Emirates received its 50th A380. It will enter into service in August.

A Frontiers Airlines captain bought pizzas for passengers when their flight was delayed.He spoke to the BBC about his good deed.

Etihad reported a 28pc increase in first-half revenues. Revenues from code-sharing and equity partners, including Aer Lingus, were up 31pc. The airline carried 6.7m passengers (+22pc) and cargo volumes for the first six months were 268,713 tonnes (+25pc). The airline also announced a partnership with Google flight search, which is available to travellers in Ireland. Etihad will also partner with PAL in an agreement that covers codeshare flights, loyalty programmes, airport lounges, joint sales/marketing programmes, a Philippines domestic air pass, cargo and the coordination of Etihad Airways Perth Day Partyairport operations at Abu Dhabi and Manila. The airline held a “Perth-day Party” in mark the launch of its new route to Perth, which will commence on July 15. The airline will also launch six new routes in the first half of 2015: daily flights will operate from Madrid, Edinburgh, Kolkata and Entebbe. Four flights a week will operate from Hong Kong and three weekly from Algiers. The existing flight from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane will become a direct service in June etihad award2015. The daily route to Singapore will upgrade to a three-class Airbus A330-300 and a three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will be introduced on daytime flights to Moscow. Etihad received the Financial Planning and Analysis Award at the gtnews Awards for Global Corporate Treasury and Finance in London.

Easyjet launched a direct service from Belfast to Reykjavik. Starting from December 12, the service will fly Fridays and Mondays. The airline also announced three new routes from Scottish airports: Aberdeen to Geneva, Glasgow to Marrakech and Edinburgh to Funchal.

Runway 4 at Kennedy airport was closed for over an hour on Wednesday thanks to 100 diamondback turtles who were making an annual pilgrimage to nearby sands to lay eggs. Specialists were called in to remove the terrapins. Some flights were delayed, but few passengers were affected as the runway is used infrequently this time of year.


Lufthansa’s new CEO, Carsten Spohr, said a new round of cuts, a further push into the low-cost market or an alliance with a Gulf airline is on the cards as he aims to win back investors following a profit warning that knocked $2bn off the airline’s market value.

New regulations relating to children under the age of 18 who travel to and from South Africa will be take effect from October 1. The new rules say:

  • When parents are travelling with a child they must produce an unabridged birth certificate that shows the names of both parents
  • When a child travels with only one parent, additional documents should include an affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent for the child to travel, a court order granting full parental responsibilities or legal guardianship of the child, or the death certificate of the absent parent. The affidavit should be no more than three months old, from date of travel.
  • If a child is travelling with someone other than a parent, the unabridged birth certificate must be supplemented by affidavits from the parents or legal guardians confirming that the child may travel with that person, copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian, and the contact details of the parents or legal guardian.
  • Similarly, a child travelling as an unaccompanied minor would have to produce not only the unabridged birth certificate, but also proof of consent from both parents, or legal guardian and contact details, plus documentation relating to the person receiving the child in South Africa; a letter stating the person’s contact details and residential address must also be included, plus a copy of his or her identity document, passport or residence permit.
  • All documents must either be original or certified as true copies of the original, by a competent authority. Documents not in English must be accompanied by a sworn translation.

Tlali Tlai, a spokesperson for South African Airways said: “These regulations are designed to ensure the safety of children and should thus be welcomed.”

From July 15, Malaysia Airlines passengers travelling from Kuala Lumpur with an economy ticket will be required to use self check-in services up to 48 hours before their flight. Customers can check-in via, or through self check-in kiosks at KLIA. The conventional check-in counters will be replaces with bag drop counters. Two special handling counters for unaccompanied minors and disabled customers will be operated at E15 and E16.


hurtiguten whiskeyHurtiguten is promoting a special themed voyage from Bergen to Hamburg on October 2—4 from £165pp. Passengers will be hosted by lecturer and whisky expert Bernard McGee onboard the MS Fram, which has carried two barrels of 21 and 25-year-old Scotch whisky to Argentina, Antartica, the Arctic Circle and Prime Meridian before reaching Scotland. The whisky is only available for purchase on board and for tastings in the ship’s bar.


  • Bray Summerfest revealed its surprise music act for July 18: Dublin band The Riptide Movement. You may recognise their track ‘All Works Out’ from Discover Ireland’s This is Living campaign. The festival continues until August 4.
  • Battle Vinegar Hill #4FB39E
  • County Wexford will host a number of events this August bank holiday: Art in the Open from July 28—August 4, Vinegar Hill Battle re-enactment from August 1—3 and Gorey Market House Festival from July 31—August 3.
  • NITB is inviting visitors to pack a bucket and spade and head to NI’s beaches. Clare McCoy of NITB said the north: “boasts a fantastic selection of beautiful beaches, including eight with the celebrated Blue Flag title..”
  • The Scattery Island Festival takes place on July 26 and 27. Brian Ború’s invasion of the monastic settlement on the island and killing of the Viking king of Limerick and his two sons will be recreated at the event. The festival will also feature guided walks, lectures, music and water activites.
  • Foynes Airshow SY 023
  • Picture shows The Breitling Wingwalkers at the Foynes airshow: Martyn Carrington with wing walker Lydia Beadle and pilot David Barrell with wing walker Danielle Hughes in the main airshow as 15,000 turned up for the centrepiece of the celebrations involving up 30 different aircraft.
  • Bus Éireann promoted its Expressway service from Galway to Dublin Airport.  A return ticket costs €20 (€40 for families of two adults and up to three children) and departs from Eyre Square daily at 07:30; 09:30; 11:30; 13:30; 15:30; 17:30 and 20:00. The service operates from Dublin Airport at 06:50; 08:50; 09:50; 11:50; 13:50, 15:50 and 20:20.
  • 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 next scheduled walk takes place on July 27.
  • Ballycotton Island Lighthouse Tours was launched. The lighthouse on Ballycotton Island, which was built in 1845, will now be served by daily boat tours following a €90,000 investment from South and East Cork Area Development.

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