The headlines this week:
*Turnaround man Christoph heads East
*Club Med highlights accessible Marrakech
*Emirates flies 100 one stop destinations from Ireland
*Uniworld excited about Iceland
*‘Sno Snow as Europe’s resorts get ski-jumpy
*Win a stand at Holiday World
Travel Extra TV
Our video of the week shows how Disneyland gets ready for Christmas. It takes over 6,000 lights (a lot of untangling) and 1,800 ornaments to decorate the 60ft Christmas tree (which is so tall it has to be split in two). Watch here.
- Michael O’Leary surprises the 13mth passenger at Shannon Airport. Watch here.
- The Adventure Travel Trade Association uploaded another video showcasing Ireland, ‘Exceptional Ireland’. Watch here.
- Emirates uploaded footage of a 43 truck convoy to commemorate the UAE’s 43rd National Day. Watch here.
- Qatar uploaded video highlights from the A350 XWB inaugural touchdown in Hamad International Airport. Watch here.
- Shannon is Ireland’s fastest growing airport, says Michael O’Leary. Watch here.
- The US Embassy in Dublin posted footage from the Smart People Smart Economy youth conference in November. Watch here.
- Finnair’s new ad reveals Santa’s secret. Watch here.
- Crewlink’s new ad features Ryanair training. Watch here.
- Dublin Airport in brief. Watch here.
- Landing at sunset, Dublin Airport. Watch here.
- Samantha Jade talks to Qantas about her travel favourites. Watch here.
So what is Christoph Mueller’s grand plan? There may not be one. The confusion that prevailed after Malaysian newspapers reported he would be approached to head up the new Air Malaysia last week seemed to have died off before the rumours restarted early in the week and the announcement was eventually made on Friday that he was to head up the revived airline. Reuters reported he could be moving as early as February and Malaysian media saying the role is effective Jan 1. Trading in MAS shares are to be suspended from Dec 15, the first step towards a government-led restructuring. Christoph is to remain as An Post chairman.
Club Med hosted Irish trade and media at the Club Med La Palmeraie resort in Marrakech to see the all-inclusive product at first had. The resort has become more accessible since Ryanair’s 3w flight commenced to Marrakech and is a pleasant 25 minutes transfer from the airport. It offers a safe comfort zone away from as well as easy access to the bedlam that is Marrakech market. The group learned all about the magical properties of Arcana oil and the protocol of market bargaining where vendors offer a “democratic price”. Komeil Nofeli said the Club Med product is growing fast with new resorts being added across the world: the Sheraton beach Malaysia, the Palmiye in Turkey and Columbus island. Michele Anderson, Sunway’s Club Med specialist said the product grew 4pc in the Irish market last year with activities proving especially popular. There is a flying trapeze (pictured) in most resorts, with tennis, water ski, archery, wind surf, sailing, and horse riding (some require an additional charge). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Emirates hosted the travel trade at an event in Dublin. Enda Corneille, who has headed up the Irish operation for three months now, told the travel trade (listen here) that it is an exciting company and it is an exciting time. While a lot of low cost carriers are trying to be full service and a lot of full service carriers are trying to be low cost, Emirates is that constant that is consistently delivering impeccable service. Customers love the 777 and the A380. From Ireland we are offering over 100 destinations, the airline flies to 141.The A380 from Dubai on a 16 hour trip can cover 96pc of the world’s population. While he said Emirates will not be going to four or five a day from Ireland, he did not rule out three (as Glasgow did). Was THAT just a teaser or is there more to come? Picture shows Joe Tully of Tully’s Travel with Enda Corneille. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Seasonal venison was on the menu when Travel Corporation hosted the trade at The Residence in Dublin. Sharon Jordan told the guests that ConTiki was continuing to grow in the Irish market, albeit not at the spectacular rate of 2013, and the group’s other products Uniworld were also adding new ships (Uniworld has a new build this year and next) and itineraries. She is particularly excited about the access to Insight’s Iceland programme that new flights will offer in 2015. Red Carnation’s Ashford Castle hotel is expecting a decision on planning permission for the new hotel spa, to be built underground so as not to interfere with the integrity of the building. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Veronica Flood and Mary McKenna of Tour America are photographed at the John Bishop gig at the 3Arena where they hosted members of the travel media. The Liverpool comedian constructed a series of elaborate jokes around the Emirates’ A380 experience, endorsing their product in that obtuse style of his. Elsewhere Etihad paid tribute to the Irish trade at a function thanking for their support at a function in the Shelbourne Hotel.
Snow is in short supply in Europe’s ski resorts as they nervously await their opening. Mild weather has prevented the opening of the Three Valleys until next weekend. Val Thorens has most lifts open with 16 operating on Thursday. The new Club Med at Val Thorens is set to open next weekend. Temperatures fell in the second half of the week, which will help kick start the snow cannons and raised the hopes of resorts of meeting their scheduled opening dates. Many have postponed their opening dates to next weekend.
Tignes is offering good skiing on the Grande Motte glacier while the Double M piste back to Val Claret is open. Several other resorts have also pushed back opening to the same date, including Chamrousse, Les Saises and Villard-de-Lans. As Lillehammer hosted the opening of the ski jump circuit, Norwegian resorts provided open runs and decent base depths. In the US, Squaw Valley plans to open five additional lifts on the upper mountain following storm system that dropped nearly three feet of fresh snow. Mammoth reported 46cm of snow on Wednesday. East coast resorts such as Sunday River also benefitted from new snow this week. New snow fell this week in Wyoming and California, adding to the great early season base in Jackson Hole. The good start to the season in Canada continued with clear skies and cold temperatures providing excellent skiing conditions as more and more lifts opened. New snow is set to fall this weekend and into next week, with Whistler likely to benefit the most.
Minister Paschal Donohoe and Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons launched Tourism Ireland’s €35m 2015 marketing campaign. The target over the next 12 months is 7.74m visitors, an increase of 6pc. The long term target is 10m visitors by 2025, aided by an additional 507,000 seats to Ireland. A tweaked online and TV ad campaign for the WAW was showcased at the event, along with a new series of ‘Jump into Ireland’ ads, including the ‘Craic Ireland’ in 48 hours challenge which hopes to attract young mini-breakers during the shoulder season when there is extra capacity . Tourism Ireland is also working on expanding regional gateways, particularly to the South and East which will also benefit from a WAW-like campaign. The joint visa with Britain hopes to attract more visitors from developing markets in India and China, but most of the spending will go towards maintaining the main markets. Picture shows Niall Gibbons, Minister Paschal Donohoe and Brian Ambrose, chairman of Tourism Ireland, at the launch.
Travel agents are being given the opportunity to win one of six stands for free to exhibit at the Holiday World Show in the RDS on Jan 23-25 2015. This offer is a joint initiative of the ITAA and Holiday World. Members that have won these stands in previous years cannot enter into the draw.
A Travel Corporation agent incentive running until the end of February 2015 is offering €1,000 to the agent and €1,000 to the client if they book an Insight Vacations escorted tour, a Uniworld luxury boutique river cruise, a Contiki trip, or a Red Carnation hotel stay. All booking reference numbers can be sent to Rosanna Leary.
- Gary Byrne (pictured) is to join Sunway as Product and Groups Manager. He will be looking after our group and incentive business and also a product manager for some of their European destinations.
- Tryphavana Cross was announced as the new account director for NYC & Company in Ireland.
- Daniel Curry has been appointed General Manager at Skytours Travel. Sarah Slattery has departed to establish her travel blog, ie.
- Amadeus and Worldpay entered a partnership which they say “further simplifies travel payments.”
- Sunway have added country and location reviews from journalists around the country to their website sunway.ie. They can be accessed using the more button at top right then click press and the most recent articles are there for you to view including Lapland, Morocco and Tunisia.
- Travel agents can win a ‘One4all’ shopping voucher worth €25 if they recommend MSC Cruises as a first-choice option to the cruise line’s mystery shopper. Winners will be entered in to a draw taking place on December 19 to win a €500 voucher.
- Air France KLM is seeking an Account Manager, based in Dublin. Clickandgo is seeking a Product Administrator.
- Aer Lingus is seeking a Corporate Programme Manager within the Finance Department.
- The Commission for Aviation Regulation is seeking a Head of Economic Affairs.
- British travel agents association ABTA is launching a national print advertising campaign using the consumer strapline: ‘Travel with confidence’ on Sunday December 28.
- Terra Travel from Lurgan and Downpatrick’s Downe Travel owned by Marie Gallagher won awards at the Jet2 Travel Awards in Leeds.
- John Galligan complained that we may have a new Minister but we have the same old mantra. Do nothing until Europe does it for us.
- Travelport announced Matt Minetola as its new Chief Information Officer.
- Thomson reported a surge in bookings for Lapland from couples, crediting the success of the Disney animation Frozen.
- Travel Professionals Skillnet training: Managing on the Frontline with Jerry Kelly of First HRD, Tuesday Dec 9, 9.30am-5.30pm, cost: €100 members or €150 non-members, more info/bookings. Two Excel courses for €150 if you book and pay online by Dec 17, contact Fionnuala for more: 01–4179696 email@example.com. FETAC Level 5 occupational first aid, 9.30am-5.30pm December 10, 11 and 17, cost: €220 members or €280 non-members, more info/bookings. Fire Warden Training, 9.30am-5.30pm December 16, cost: €120 members or €170 non-members. Upselling Skills, Dec 16, 9.30am-5.00pm, free of charge, more info/bookings. Facebook Marketing, Dec 18, 10.30am-2pm, cost: €70, more info/bookings.
- GuestLogix, which provides payment technology solutions for airlines and travel brands, is to acquire Dublin-based OpenJaw Technologies for €33.4m.
- ETOA is offering members a reduced rate to exhibit at its pavilion at the Travel & Adventure shows in Los Angele, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas and Philadephia.
- Stena Line is offering a 2-night ferry and accommodation break from Dublin to Holyhead or Rosslare to Fishguard from €159pps/€175pps when Ireland take on Wales in Cardiff during the 2015 RBS 6 Nations on Saturday, March 14.
- Falcon is offering 7 nights all-inclusive Dublin-Sa Coma, Majorca from €769pps, depart June 6.
- Silversea’s new Silver Wave promotion is offering guests a complimentary suite upgrade and $1,000 on board spending credit per suite for bookings made by Dec 31 for select voyages in 2015.
- Thomson is offering 7 nights all-inclusive Shannon-Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €529pp, depart May 9.
- Click and Go’s Disneyland Paris offers in Prestige Val d’Europe, travel Feb 17-18: 3 nights Double Standard from €260pp incl. return flights Dublin-Paris, taxes and charges; 3 nights Quadruple Standard from €955 for two adults and two children (under 12) incl. return flights Dublin-Paris, taxes and charges; 3 nights Triple Standard from €765 for two adults and two children (under 12) incl. return flights Dublin-Paris, taxes and charges.
- Click and Go’s Valentine’s Day city breaks: 2 nights at DoubleTree by Hilton, Chelsea London from €185pp, depart Feb 14; 3 nights at Aranea Hotel, Barcelona from €199pp, depart Feb 13; 2 nights at WetCord Art Hotel, Amsterdam from €215pp, depart Feb 14; 3 nights at Jorge V Hotel, Lisbon from €245pp, depart Feb 13; and 4 nights at DoubleTree by Hilton, Istanbul from €399pp, depart Feb 12.
- Sunway is offering 7 nights all inclusive at the Hotel Costa Calero, Spain from €929pp incl. flights and transfers, travel April 2015.
- NITB hotel offers of the week: 1 night B&B in the Bushmills Inn Hotel, Bushmills from £98pps incl. Prosecco and strawberries on arrival, £50 credit per room towards dinner in the hotel restaurant, available until Dec 31, call 028 2073 3000 to book. 1 night Deluxe Double/Twin room in Tara Lodge, Belfast from £50pps incl. Prosecco on arrival, £25 Victoria Square voucher and late check out until 2pm, available on selected dates until Feb 2014, call 028 9059 0900 to book. 1 night B&B in The Watermill Lodge, Enniskillen from £62.50pps incl. evening meal, available until Dec 24, call 028 6772 4369 to book. 2 nights B&B at Best Western Plus White Horse Hotel, Derry from £79pps incl. 1 four course evening meal, use of leisure centre and half price taxi far to and from the city, available until March 31, call 028 7186 0606 to book.
- ITAA offers of the week: 4 nights at Rialto Hotel, Barcelona from €229pps incl. return flights from Cork, transfers and free insurance, depart January 25; 7 nights B&B at Du Pacha Hotel, Marrakech from €175pps incl. return flights from Dublin, depart February 4; 4 nights B&B Guided Mountain Bike Holiday, Spain from €569pps incl. return flights and private transfers, 1 checked bag pp, bike rental and 2 guided cycles through Montegre National Park.
- Abbey Hotel, Roscommon is offering wedding packages starting at €49. Call 090 6626240 for more info.
- The Gibson hotel in the Point Village won the Best Hospitality Award at the Docklands Business Awards. Picture shows Ciara Scully of Fáilte Ireland, Doireann O’Neill and Gillian Dowling from the Gibson Hotel and Michael Harte, Chairman from Dublin Docklands.
- Business travel bed bank HRS said London (average room rate €174) is Europe’s most expensive capital to stay in for business people during the last three quarters of 2014 ahead of Zurich (€152) and Copenhagen (€142). Prague is cheapest at €69 per night, followed by Warsaw and Budapest at €71 per night.
- A three-storey underwater hotel opened off the island of Pemba in Zanzibar’s archipelago.
- To mark its 30th anniversary, The Westbury Hotel partnered with the Irish Handmade Glass Company to create a limited edition Irish glass bauble, available to buy in the hotel for €22. All proceeds go towards Focus Ireland.
- The Oetker Collections’ Brenners Park-Hotel in Baden-Baden, Germany will open a new spa in the Villa Stéphanie on January 15, 2015.
- Shangri La hotels and resorts are offering guests who book the Holiday Escape deal complimentary breakfast and up to $200 in food and beverage credit per stay. Guests who arrive by hotel limousine will be given free Wi-Fi in the car. Children under six will be given a complimentary buffet meals in all day dining and pool cafés.
- Saudi billionaire prince Alwaleed Bin Tlal Bin Abdulaziz is set for a full takeover of the Plaza hotel in New York. He already has a 25pc stake in the property and hopes to bout the 75pc owned by Indian businessman Subrata Roy.
The final film in The Hobbit trilogy premiered in London on Monday. The film was shot in New Zealand across more 150 locations. The event was marked with the launch of new evening dinner tours of Hobbiton and new experiences at Weta Workshop.
IdeaWorksCompany and CarTrawler released a 19-page report on ancillary revenue innovations from airlines and other travel companies. Download here (requires sign-up).
MITM Americas, Meetings & Incentive Travel Market and Cultourfair, International Cultural Travel Fair opened in Puebla, Mexico, with a Welcome Reception at the Lago de La Concordia. Picture shows Roberto Trauwitz Echeguren, Tourism Secretary of the State of Puebla, Charo Trabado, General Manager of GSAR Marketing and Matthijs de Kool, Executive Director of Convenciones y Parques)
- Lithuania will be bringing the interactive screen to their stand at the Holiday World Show. Picture shows the stand in action in Berlin.
- TUI Travel Accommodation & Destinations maintains strong growth in 2014, increasing sales by 10pc to €4,048m. Nearly half of searches for Thomson and First Choice holidays were made on mobile phones and tablets in 2014, according to figures released by parent TUI.
- Many Crystal Ski Holidays are offering up to 50 per cent off on Christmas ski departures when booked by December 13.
- Vienna hosted the city’s first Rainbow Christmas Market.
- The First UNWTO Conference took place on Accessible Tourism in Europe in San Marino.
- Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital opened to the public.
- North Korea launched a tourism site, com.
- Plans for a cable car in the Unesco-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park, Vietnam would give visitors access to the world’s biggest cave, but locals are protesting the project.
- Vienna opened its first Christmas market for the LGBT community, Pink Christmas in Vienna.
- The number of outbound tourists from China reached more than 100m at the end of November, according to the China National Tourism Administration.
- The International Aboriginal Tourism Conference will take place in Quebec City, Canada on March 24-15. Over 300 aboriginal tourism professionals and companies will attend.
- Boston Convention & Exhibition Centre will increase the number of Wi-Fi access points from 113 to 580.
- VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford welcomed the £15bn project to improve roads and build a tunnel near
- Sam’s Club membership warehouse in the US launched a travel mobile app.
- The second Masaai Olympics will take place in the Sidai Oleng Wildlife Sanctuary, Kajiado, Kenya on December 13. Prizes include a premier breeding bull for the winning village, student scholarships and a sponsored trip for two winning runners to compete in the 2015 New York Marathon.
- The University of Phoenix Stadium will host LEGO KidsFest from February 27 to March 1.
- TripAdvisor appointed Heather Leisman in the newly-created role of vice president of industry marketing.
- The Dead Sea, Israel will host the third annual Grand Fondo cycling race on Jan 10.
- Virgin Holidays is renovating 12 of its stores in England.
Food & Wine
The Melia Nassau Beach hotel announced details of four new restaurants at the resort, which is undergoing a $19m renovation. The plan includes: Mexican restaurant Cilantro; Japanese Cantonese and Peruvian food by Nikkei; and the Black Angus steakhouse.
Significant disruption is expected at Brussels Airport tomorrow (Monday) as a result of strike action by a wide range of industries across Belgium.
Ryanair celebrated 13m passengers through Shannon on Monday but said there would be no new routes from the airport until winter 2015/16. Michael O’Leary said Ryanair is looking at 2 of the 3 Stobart routes, speculated to be Birmingham and Edinburgh, Ryanair also celebrated 40m passengers at Charleroi.
There was concern in Knock at Ryanair’s Shannon announcement, as three of the five routes likely lost to Knock in 2015 had been newly introduced by Ryanair and moved to Shannon: Kaunas, Eindhoven, and Prestwick. GermanWings Cologne service is also on the schedule for Shannon but will not be confirmed until a meeting with the airport immediately before Christmas. Ryanair will not continue Gran Canaria, for 2015 while Manchester has not yet been confirmed. Cork called for the Shannon-Ryanair fees deal to be reviewed.
Travel Extra can confirm that the proposed Dublin to Antalya flight, a charter to be shared between Falcon and Sunway, will not be flying in summer 2015. The proposed Cancun charter is also of the cards for summer 20215 but may be up and running for 2016.
The USA Department of Homeland Security has ruled out a ban on taking carry-on luggage on planes for the time being, but may consider it again in the near future. DHS secretary Jeh Johnson told CNN a ban is “not being considered” at this time.
- Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport passed the 20m mark last weekend a month earlier than last year
- Derry airport general manager Julian Benbow resigned and will leave the company in January.
- Cityjet signed a codeshare deal with Blue Islands. It was reported that CityJet was closing in on its long awaited fleet renewal.
- Ryanair November traffic jumped 22pc to 6.35m customers. Ryanair revised its full year traffic guidance up from 89m to just over 90m passengers. Ryanair carried 95.4m passengers in the 12 months to end November, up 5pc on the previous year. Ryanair’s November traffic is up 22pc, load factor up 7pc to 88pc and seat capacity up 13pc.
- Ryanair announced it will open its fourth Portuguese base (No 72 in total) at Ponta Delgada in the Azores on April 1 2015.
- Aer Lingus short-haul passenger numbers in November were down 7.6pc on last year, short-haul down 9.1pc, long-haul up 28.4pc, the lowest number of short-haul passengers in November since 2007
- Ryanair is to roll out inflight Wi-Fi within two years.
- The EU made €3bn available to deliver the Single European Sky. The EU accused the US of breach of joint air transport agreement in by delaing the Norwegian application. Norwegian Air is building ambitious growth plans around narrow-body jets.
- Private Sky Ireland’s largest business jet operator added Citation X and Gulfstream G650 to its growing fleet.
- Air France pilots approved the development of Transavia France.
- Airbus said it expects the first customer for longer-range A321neo in December.
- The new JAL Sky suite 787 began flying between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt with daily service beginning on December 16, 2014. It has 25 fewer seats than the airline’s existing 787-8, down to 161 passengers from 186.
- Belfast international airport handling has been bought over by HAE group.
- German media reported that Lufthansa are investigating plans to build a low-cost airline serving the pan-European market to be called Eurowings and to operate at unit costs 40pc below Lufthansa.
- Etihad enhancements announced this week include luxury hotel-style reception service in First Class, cotton loungewear, mattress and turndown service in Business Class, and anergonomic pillow which converts into a neck pillow in Economy Class. Picture shows the new business class lunch.
- Westminster Chancellor George Osborne announced the scrapping of APD for children under 12. The move affects passengers flying from the two Belfast and Derry airports. Ryanair announced that it will refund children’s APD to English, Scottish and Welsh customers for the six weeks from 27 March 2015, earlier than any other airline.
- Flybe announced a new codeshare with Cathay Pacific.
- Ryanair announced it will refund children’s air tax on British flights from March 27.
- Alitalia and Etihad Airways were officially handed over the plot where they will construct a pavilion for Expo Milano 2015.
- Former Ryanair deputy chief executive and financial officer Howard Millar was appointed to the advisory board of Dublin-based Irelandia Aviation, headed by Declan Ryan.
- Airlines For America trade group announced the appointment of Melanie Hinton as MD for airline industry public relations and communications.
- London mayor Boris Johnson was among the passengers who tried to calm a drunken passenger in an air rage incident on a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow.
- A 23-year-old woman died on a United Airlines flight from Heathrow to Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday night. A doctor on the flight tried to resuscitate her, but she was declared dead 75 minutes before landing. Her cause of death is unknown.
- Lufthansa cancelled almost half its long haul flights after yesterday’s pilot strike action.
- The official delivery of the first of Qatar Airway’s 80 A350 XWB aircraft will take place on December 13 in Toulouse.
- Macedonian Airlines will be succeeded by a new national carrier during the second half of next year.
- Qatar Airways’ Manchester-Doha service will go double daily from Feb 15.
- Belfast International Airport backed Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
- The 1,900 seats on Shannon Airport’s Ryanair Santa Flights sold out in 12 minutes.
- A computer error at Singapore Airlines meant around 900 business class seats were sold at economy prices.
- Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm Avolon is looking to raise $286m-$314 in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
- British Airways increased Unaccompanied Minor charges: $125 per direction for domestic flights; $125 per direction for European flights; and $150 per direction for longhaul flight.
- Aer Lingus transported Leona the Loggerhead Turtle from Dublin to Gran Canaria on Tuesday, over one year since she was found on the beach at Quilty, Co Clare. Since then the turtle has been rehabilitated at the Galway Atlanticquarium and is now fully recovered.
- Etihad Airways and airberlin celebrated the launch of the German carrier’s daily Stuttgart-Abu Dhabi service. Picture shows the inaugural flight receiving a water canon salute at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
- Ethiopian Airlines announced that it has started three weekly flights to Doha, Qatar.
- Four Flybe trainee pilots were the first to be awarded a Multi-Crew Pilot License by the Dutch Civil Aviation Authority. Picture shows David Taylor, Andrew Malavisi, Captain Ian Baston, Richard Van Leeuwen and Kasper Petersen.
- Ireland is to introduce the Single European Rules of the Air (legislation (EC 923/2012) on Thursday, December 4 In tandem with all other EU Member States.
- Woodgate Aviation is investing £1.5m in a new hangar at Belfast International Airport to cope with an increase in demand.
- Estonia joined Eurocontrol.
- Qatar Airways will take delivery of the first customer A350-900 next week on December 13.
- Pilots from across Europe warned against practices which they say threaten to diminish the aviation industry in Europe.
- Air Canada will resume 4w non-stop service from Toronto to Delhi from 1 November 2015 using B787.
Celebrity Cruises ordered the first two in a new class of ships from French shipbuilder STX France. The first ship is up for delivery in autumn 2018, with the second delivered in the early part of 2020.Two 2,900-guest, 984 feet long, 123 feet wide and 190 feet high, 117,000-gross-registered-ton ships, developed under the project name EDGE will build upon the brand’s Millennium and Solstice class ships. Based upon current ship orders, projected capital expenditures for full year 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are $1.4bn, $1.5bn, $2.3bn,$0.4bn and $2.2bn, respectively. Capacity increases for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are expected to be 2.4pc, 5.5pc, 6.7pc, 3.8pc and 4.3pc
- Norwegian Cruise Line signed a partnership with Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
- Silversea released two new brochures showcasing 300 luxury cruises sailing in 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. It also launched the redesigned com website.
- Carnival officially shut down its Spanish cruise line Iberocruceros. Costa has absorbed the Iberocruceros’ market.
- Costa Cruises released details of their joint Costa Cruise Tours programme, which combines three-night land tours with seven-night Costa cruises.
- Seabourn confirmed a second new-build ship to join the fleet in spring 2018.
- G Adventures cancelled an Antarctica cruise after an engine failed on its expedition cruise ship.
- Norwegian Cruise Line appointed Jason Montague (pictured) as President and Chief Operating Officer of Prestige Cruise Holdings.
- Stena Line’s shopping day trip on the Dublin-Holyhead and Rosslare-Fishguard routes (until Dec 17): £5pp return fare gives you access to Stena Line’s on board shopping. Receive a £5 retail voucher when you spend over £25.
- Richard Branson confirmed plans to launch two Virgin Cruises ships. No date was set.
Dublin is to target €55m revenue with 8pc growth in conferences in 2015.
The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation analysis of the CSO figures January to October showing 8.8pc growth commented that Ireland has outperformed the growth in international travel around the world this year, winning market share in some key source markets, despite a fall off in the pace of growth in recent months. Ireland has clearly been gaining share of the US to Europe market over the past two years. Travel by US citizens to Europe was up 6m to 1.2m travellers in September, Europe has an 18pc share of the US outbound market.
A Restaurants Association of Ireland survey found that 58pc of people feel intimidated by people who look for money and beg on Dublin streets, nine out of ten view aggressive begging as having a negative impact on the attractiveness of Dublin city and two out of three say they don’t see enough Gardaí patrolling the streets.
Passengers arriving in to Belfast City Airport will now be able to access visitor information via a new welcome information ‘pod’ installed by Visit Belfast. Picture shows Visit Belfast Chief Executive, Gerry Lennon, with Katy Best, Commercial & Marketing Director at Belfast City Airport and Councillor Deirdre Hargey from Belfast City Council.
NITB said the turnout for the Big Start of the Giro exceeded the target of 140,000 visitors with the final figure of attendance across the race and its associated Festival activity around Northern Ireland reaching 230,000, NITB supported the MTV EMA’s in 2011, the Irish Open in 2012, the G8 World Leaders Summit in 2013 and the Giro d’Itaila in 2014. Picture shows Niall Gibbons (Tourism Ireland), Dominick Chilcott (British Ambassador) Minister Arlene Foster and Howard Hastings (NITB Chairman) at the NITB Dublin showcase.
Monart have announced a Master Detox Programme for Spring 2015 plus a brand new Pilates Retreat which will be taking place in January and also in March.
Michelle McDermott of Limerick-based Dream Ireland Wedding and Evelyn Woodard of Woodard Photography (pictured) launched the WestCoastWeddingsIreland.com on Monday, a website that aims to attract international destination wedding business. The website will showcase wedding specialists and vendors on vendor listings, live blogs, social media campaigns and an online wedding TV channel.
A €1.9m bid for Ireland to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup was launched by Enda Kenny, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness in Armagh on Friday. Irish Rugby Football Union said the event has the potential to attract over 350,000 visitors to Ireland. “We have the fans, the stadiums, and the accessibility to make it a world cup to remember,” the Taoiseach said. “Irish people love our sport. We are passionate about sport and celebrate it. We want to share the Irish sporting experience with the world by inviting the world to Ireland.”
The NTA said public bus companies will be fined if drivers are rude, buses are dirty and if the first and last service of the day leaves earlier or later than scheduled. Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus must also respond to complaints on Twitter within an hour.
Minister Paschal Donohoe announced that a further €100m will be invested in the public transport network next year.
The government is to provide €162m additional funding for Iarnród Éireann.
Rudy Maxa, host of US radio travel show Rudy Maxa’s World, and co-presenter Bob Carey broadcast live from the Guildhall in Derry. More than 700,000 listeners tuned in across 170 local stations in the US. Odhran Dunne of Visit Derry, Martin McCrossan of Derry City Tours and Michelle Murray of the Maritime Museum appear on the show. Prior to the show, Rudy went on a guided walk of the city’s walls and visited St Columb’s Cathedral. He stayed at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel. Meanwhile, Bob was in the Lough Erne Resort and spoke to the hotel’s executive chef, Noel McMeel, and local butcher Pat O’Doherty. He also visited Enniskillen where he interviewed Patricia McCauley, the visitor centre manager at Belleek Pottery. Picture shows Rudy Maxa with Garvin Kerr of Derry City Tours, Deputy Mayor Alderman Gary Middleton, Odhran Dunne of Visit Derry and Michelle Murray of the Guildhall and Tower Museum.