TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Roger’s €261m Headache for Europe’s Airlines

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Easter skiing this week in Espace Killy above Val d'Isere, France

Easter skiing this week in Espace Killy above Val d’Isere, France

The headlines this week:

  • Thailand moves to reassure tourists
  • French ATC creates €261m headache
  • Anthem of the Seas gets a giraffe
  • Easter skiing in the Alps some of the best in years
  • Dublin airport gets 20 new summer routes

Travel Extra TV

Video of week April 12Our video of the week takes Sunday Supplement readers on a ride of the Slip N Fly water ride at Ohio Dreams in Butler, Ohio. Brace yourselves. Watch here.

  • Tourism Ireland’s US ad for golfing in Ireland. Watch here.
  • Etihad’s new ad campaign: Behind the scenes with Nicole Kidman. Watch here.
  • Boeing has patented a backpack-style sleeping aid that allows passengers to sleep upright. It’s called a cuddle chair. Take a look. Watch here.
  • Spanish band Sidonie’s ode to Ryanair. Watch here.
  • To mark 60 years in business, Disney Parks uploaded an archive time-lapse of Disneyland’s construction. Watch here.
  • Qantas celebrates 50 years of services to New Zealand. Watch here.
  • British Airways’ communities an conservation programme presents Surfers not Street Children. Watch here.
  • How Emirates prepares a newly delivered A380 for its first commercial flight. Watch here.

Headlines

page 001 cover May 2015 300The hard working team of Travel Extra have been circumnavigating the globe once again to bring you the May 2015 edition, to be delivered to travel agents in the coming days. This month’s edition features Australia, with visits to Cairns, Port Douglas and the Whitsunday Islands on the Queensland coast, a bridge climb in Sydney and a camel trek in Western Australia. We look at  theme park developments for 2015, with a focus on the new attractions in Orlando and the advanced technology to help bypass those long queues. We report on Aer Lingus’s A350 plans, Royal Caribbean‘s latest cruise ship launch and Alan Joyce shares his favourite holiday experience. Read the online version here.

Trade show logoRegistration is now open for the Irish Travel Industry Trade Show. Programme of events:

Thursday, April 23

  • 10.00 Golf Lesson for Beginners (register here)
  • 12.00 ITAA Golf Classic, sponsored by Shannon Airport (entry form)
  • 18.30 Pre Dinner Drinks, Dinner and Presentation of Prizes

Friday, April 24

  • 10.00 ITAA AGM
  • 11.00-13.00 Workplace Wellness Presentations (register here)
  • 14.00-19.00 Irish Travel Industry Trade Show (register here)
  • 19.30 BBQ with entertainment, sponsored by Sunway and Mark Warner. Tickets €25. (book here)

Suraphon SvetasreniTourism Authority of Thailand moved to reassure holiday makers after Friday’s car bomb in Ko Samui. No Irish tourists were affected by this incident. The incident is currently under police investigation. Initial reports suggest this is a result of civil political tension. The explosion was not aimed at tourists. In a separate incident the ferry travelling between the town of Krabi and Phuket island caught fire causing the death of a 12-year-old Israeli tourist. Picture shows Suraphon Svetasreni of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Roger Rousseau’s air traffic control union SNCTA went on strike on Wednesday, causing the cancellation of 40pc of flights in French airspace. SNCTA deferred their strike initially planned for March 25-27 because of the Germanwings crash. Further strikes are planned April 16-18 and April 29 to May 2, during school holidays, with Gauthier Sturtzer’s USAC-CGT waiting in the wings. Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland (listen here) that passengers could face tag-team strikes over the summer from the three main unions representing the 3,800 French air traffic controllers. About 2,000 flights were cancelled in total, costing airlines €261m. Ryanair lost 500 flights, including Irish services to Spain and Italy as well as France. Cityjet lost two of their six daily services to CdeG and Aer Lingus lost one. Easyjet lost 331 flights after cancelling 248 on Wednesday.

Ciaran Mulligan’s Blue Insurances took the opportunity to highlight its optional ‘Travel Disruption’ cover which includes extended cover for flight disruption, delayed departure, missed departure and accommodation sections, should your travel flight be cancelled or delayed including as a result of strike and other circumstances such as volcanic ash. Cover includes additional accommodation and travel costs up to €1,000/£1,000 if your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours. A seven day moratorium applies from the time of adding this cover, and cover is excluded for any existing strikes publicly announced at the time of taking out insurance.

dimitri killy eoghan corry copySnowstorms last week led to excellent snow conditions throughout Easter week especially in high altitude resorts. Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry spent a week skiing the 300km of Espace Killy under blue skies. Picture shows Dmitri Killy (a nephew) with Eoghan Corry in Val d’isere. The Alps offered classic spring skiing with blue skies, icy conditions in the morning turning soft as the day progressed and lots of goggle tans as resorts are winding down towards the end of the season. Some low level runs are suffering but on the whole, great spring skiing is to be found across France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Norway and parts of Sweden are struggling with some bare patches on the lower slopes. Bulgaria’s season continues to go from strength to strength, with almost half a metre of snow falling this week. Scottish resort Cairngorm is offering great conditions for the time of year and some new snow is forecast. Up to 25cm of new snow has fallen in Utah, and a nice top up in Colorado. New snow has improved the conditions in California, where Squaw Valley got 20 inches and extended the season until April 19, but some resorts have already closed for the winter.

Travel Trade

bernie whelan cathy burke ciara mcconnellIreland’s 62 Travel Counsellors will celebrate their tenth anniversary with its biggest conference to date on Thursday and Friday next April 16-17 at Carton House Hotel in Maynooth. Travel Counsellors recorded a turnover of €22m in Ireland in 2014. Delegates will hear from a number of key management staff about future plans and developments to help support them and grow their businesses. Agents will be recognised at an awards ceremony and gala dinner. A dedicated supplier Pow Wow session will enable agents to meet directly with representatives from tourist boards, hotels and airlines. Picture shows Bernie Whelan, Cathy Burke and Ciara McConnell of Travel Counsellors.

The Travel Fun Day will take place on Sunday August 16 2015 at Wanderers RFC, once again. The new target for 2015 is set at €70,000 after the 2014 Travel Fun Day raised €60,000 for various charities. Five-a-side football and bubbleball will return subject to entry fee, bash the boss and other events. The committee want more Travel Industry Companies to get involved in sponsorship, including Travel Industry companies from the north.

antonio padeiraThe Portuguese Tourist Board, hoteliers and trade suppliers are hosting a Portuguese Workshop at the Westbury Hotel on Grafton Street, Dublin on April 14 (this Tuesday) and at the Clarion Hotel, Lapps Quay, Cork on April 15 (Wednesday). Both workshops  start at 5.30pm and are followed by a dinner at 7.30pm, which António Soveral Padeira will attend. RSVP tmason@aeconsult.ie. Picture shows Antonio Padeira, the two-country director of the Portuguese Tourist Board for Ireland and Britain.

Spanish Tourist Board is hosting the Canary Islands Roadshow in the Strand Hotel, Limerick on April 22 and in The Dean Hotel, Dublin on April 23. RSVP dublin@tourspain.es.

lee osborne karl tyrrell copyBookabed have finalised details of their white label website product which it says will be an exact copy of our own website but rebranded with all the agents logos and contact details. Lee Osborne said the iframe option is for agents that want to have their own website and populate with their own offers. it will feature a search box on the website which will then drill into the Bookabed system and everything that Bookabed has at the moment including low cost airlines, long haul airlines fares via the GDS, and our filtering systems including the new Tripadvisor filter. Picture shows Lee Osborne and Karl Tyrrell of Bookabed.

Emirates one direction 001 copyEmirates took four Irish travel agents to see One Direction in Dubai. Picture shows Lorraine O’Connor of Travelfox, Donna McGann of Eimer Hannon Travel, Stella Grant of O’Hanrahan Travel, Lynne Casey of Fahy Travel and Rob MacDonald of Emirates. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Silversea appointed Lisa McAuley as two-country Commercial Director for Ireland and Britain part of a strategy in which the cruise line say they are focusing “team expertise on individual markets.” Mafalda Barreto moves to the newly created position of Head of Expedition Sales, Natasha Donovan and Maarten Tromp also reporting directly to Lisa McAuley.

Celebrity Cruises is offering a range of booking incentives a part of the ‘Modern Luxury Giveaway’ agent giveaway and sales blitz on April 10-20.matt corcoran H&S

Matt Corcoran’s King Travel, based in Malahide, has joined Mary King’s Travelsavers having had its membership of Dominic Burke’s Travel Centres terminated.

Travel Management Company Portman Travel created eight permanent new jobs at their European Centre of Excellence in Monavalley Business Park in Tralee and announced that another eight are planned to come on stream before the end of the year.

topflight eventTopflight’s 5 Day Italian Sale commences today. Topflight and Cork Airport, hosted an agent training day in the Imperial Hotel in Cork to highlight products such as the Topflight charter from Cork to Verona. Picture shows Maurice Shiels of Topflight, Kathleen Walshe, Communications of Cork Airport; Ciaran Carton, Head of Operations at Cork Airport and Simon Daly of Topflight. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Places are still available on Thursday’s Skål Dublin club’s day trip to Skålleague Mary Bowe’s Marlfield House in Co Wexford for lunch and then on to Skålleague Esther O’Brien’s Woodbridge Hotel. Skålleagues can park in The Stillorgan Park Hotel and enjoy a complimentary coffee while awaiting the coach. Price €35 for members and guests.

The Travel Broker in Clontarf is seeking an experienced, Travel Professional to drive sales and increase market share in a niche markets.ray treacy copy

Sad news: Ray Treacy, international soccer player, travel agent, singer and long standing friend of Travel Extra has died. Ray opened his travel agencyin Store Street with a staff of three on May 8 1979 and quickly became a popular member of the trade, a hilarious after dinner speaker and former captain of TIGS.

Once Irish travel agents book a room at one of the three Adrian Hoteles’ properties in Tenerife, guests can make the most of their stay by booking a spa treatment, a Balinese bed and a romantic dinner, for instance, via the brand new online shop – something not very usual on hotels’ websites.

British Airways‘ seat sale is now on. Sell between now and April 30 for travel from April 19 to June 25 and from August 20 to December 5. Fares starting from Beijing €150, Shanghai €170, Abu Dhabi €104. See your GDS for more.

Hotels

Paul Collins CBREPaul Collins of CBRE expects 2015 to be the busiest year ever hotel sales after the first quarter saw the highest ever volume of transactions including high profile sales such as Adare Manor: 25 individual properties in 17 transactions totalling €500m. Last year’s total was 63 transactions totalling €341.7m.

  • Worldhotels has opened five hotels in Europe and two in Asia.
  • Geraldine Dolan, formerly of Jury’s Doyle, was appointed GM of Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa.
  • st regis istanbul copyOpenings this week included the St Regis Istanbul, designed by Emre Arolat, offering floor-to-ceiling views of the Bosphorus from each of the 118 guestrooms and suites, 298-room Hilton Barra hotel in Rio de Janeiro, the 64-room Ramada Almaty in Kazakhstan, 15km from Almaty International Airport, the 304-suite Embassy Suites Louisville Downtown and the Holiday Inn Express Cartagena Bocagrande in Colombia. St Regis has tripled its global footprint in the last decade to 34 hotels and is set to open three more hotels this year.
  • InterContinental Hotels Group said the Hotel Indigo Bath will open at the end of 2016.
  • The 107-room JW Marriott Bodrum will open on May 15 in Yalikavak town on the Bodrum Peninsula. Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Apartments Al Rigga will open next month in Dubai, with 149 studios and apartments an all-day dining restaurant, a speciality restaurant, a banquet hall, a health club, and an outdoor pool.
  • Carlson Rezidor will open Park Inn by Radison hotels in Bucharest and Onitsha.
  • The Grand Hyatt Taipei will reopen later this month following a renovation.
  • The 391-room Sortis Hotel Spa & Casino in Panama City joined the Autograph Collection
  • Marriott International Asia Pacific launched a new MICE product: Meetings Imagined and its Meeting Services App intended to assist the planner, from inspiration through execution
  • Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group launched the Radisson Red Hotel Brand in India. Carlson Rezidor has 74 hotels in India and 43 more in the pipeline.
  • Saudi SWF bought Malaysian DoubleTree and Dubai’s SWF acquires 3 properties.
  • Delta Privilege and Hilton HHonors were ranked highest in the JD Power 2015 Hotel Loyalty/Rewards programme satisfaction report.
  • Hotel management company White Lodging reported that it suspects a data breach of POS systems at food outlets in 10 hotels occurred from July 3 2014 to February 6 2015.

International

The number of wild rhinos killed in South Africa last year jumped by 21pc with one rhino killed on average every seven hours.

orlando eyeOrlando became the first US destination to surpass 60m visitors. Picture shows the Orlando Eye due to open on May 4.

The number of people in their forties signing up to try their hand at travel dating has increased from 4,000 to 16,192 in the past six months, according to travel dating website and app tourbar.com.

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio plans to open a luxury eco-resort on a private island off the coast of Belize by 2018, The New York Times reported.

The US Transportation Security Administration collected $675,000 in loose change discarded by travellers at airport checkpoints in 2014.

Food & Wine

Stephen Toman and Alain Kerloch’s OX restaurant in Belfast (website) won the award for Best Restaurant and Best Wine Experience at the Ulster Regional Final of the Irish Restaurant Awards having won the Best Newcomer and Best Chef Award in 2013, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience and Best Chef in 2014, in The Titanic Belfast. Ardtara Country House won best emerging Irish cuisine and Saul McConnell of Deanes won best restaurant manager in the province.

Food Festival Saturday Social Media-22 (1) copyGalway Food Festival 2015 (pictured) recorded a record 78,000 visitors at its food festival, up 10pc on 2014. 

Gareth Clements Sales Director of food service company, Brakes, and his 22-strong team of Sales Representatives attained certificates in the Principals of Nutrition in Food Production from City & Guilds, in conjunction with Unilever Food Solutions.

Ross Lewis of Chapter One restaurant will take part in a cooking demo at the Burren Slow Food festival in the Lisdoornvarna Pavilion Theatre. The event takes place May 16 to 24.

Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, Burren SmokehouseThe Burren Smokehouse in Co Clare will feature in the first episode of ‘Wild Ireland‘, a new ITV series on the Wild Atlantic Way. The programme airs on UTV Ireland and ITV tomorrow (April 13), 8.00pm-8.30pm. Picture shows the restaurant owner, Birgitta Hedin-Curtin.

Gary Burke is the new Head Chef at Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway

Aviation

shannon-ad

Taking Off For The Holliers!Dublin airport launched their summer schedule with the news that they now have 20 new services due to commence in 2015: Copenhagen, Ryanair, March; Helsinki, Finnair, March; East Midlands, Aer Lingus Regional, April; Agadir, Aer Lingus, April; Nantes, Aer Lingus, April; Doncaster, Aer Lingus Regional, May; Bournemouth, Flybe, May; Gothenburg, SAS, May; Washington DC, Aer Lingus, May; Paris Orly, Transavia, May; Newquay, Aer Lingus Regional, May; Geneva, SWISS, June; Chicago, United, June; Reykjavik, WOW Air, June; Cardiff, Flybe, June; Los Angeles, Ethiopian Airlines, June; Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airlines, June; Paris CDG, Europe Airpost, July; Halifax, Europe Airpost, July; Lublin, Ryanair, October.

Dublin Airport passenger numbers are running 17pc ahead of last year with March figures up 19pc to 1.8m, meaning the airport is on course to break 23m passengers again. Europe – was up 21pc to 858,000, England Scotland and Wales up 17pc to 760,000, Transatlantic up 8pc to 131,000, UAE/Africa up 45pc to 63,000 and domestic up 52pc to 6,000.

There are 9pc more seats on air services to Ireland for summer 2015 to 340 flights each day across all major international routes, England, Scotland and Wales up 6pc to 140,000 seats per week, mainland Europe up 8pc to 204,000, trans-Atlantic up16pc to 45,000 seas per week and middle east up 27pc to 9,000 seats per week. Frequency and capacity on a number of routes is up on last summer, with Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Lufthansa, SAS, Luxair, Delta, United and Air Canada Rouge adding capacity.

In response to the withdrawal of Flybe from the Dublin to London City route British Airways is to add a sixth daily service from June 1 for a month leaving Dublin at 17.15 and London at 14.40, which will become permanent from September 1. British Airways customers flying between London City Airport and Edinburgh, Dublin and the Isle of Man can collect double Avios points during the months of April and May.

Another huge jump for Ryanair’s load factor in March, up 10 points to 90pc, and seats sold up 28pc YOY to 6.67m. Aer Lingus passenger traffic was up 2.3pc YOY in March. Load factor was up 4.4 percentage points to 79.1pc.

Aer Lingus Regional launched their service from Dublin to East-Midlands.

The name US Airways will soon be just a memory, after the US Federal Aviation Administration granted American and US the authority to operate as a single carrier on Wednesday. American Airlines which is using an A330 to both Philadelphia and Charlotte this summer has dropped plans to use a Boeing 763 on Dublin to JFK, Delta will switch from a 208 –passenger B763 to a 246 capacity B764 for winter partly because Dublin-Atlanta will cease in November/December.

Cityjet appointed Cathal O’Connell as commercial director.

Ireland’s Aviation Authority was ranked joint first out of 29 European States for the measure of Effectiveness of Safety Management.

ryanair touchingThe IAA said that it had implemented the recommendations of the Air Accident Investigation Unit into an incident involving two Ryanair aircraft on taxiways at Dublin airport as well as “some additional significant safety enhancements by withdrawing Taxiways A and B2 from service”. At around 7.25am on April 1, one aircraft reported that there may have been contact from the plane taxiing behind.

Air Canada diverted an aircraft to Shannon saying that a 79-year-old first class passenger on flight ACA-877 from Frankfurt to Toronto had become disruptive. The crew dumped aviation fuel over the Atlantic to ensure they could touch down within safe landing weight limits. The crew reported a problem with the fuel dumping procedure that they appear to have resolved later.

It was reported that the steering group on the IAG bid for Aer Lingus will not finish its report in time for next Wednesday’s its cabinet meeting. An Irish Independent editorial showed the newspaper may be changing its mind on the issue once again.

Confiscated food items from LCY 2 copyLondon City Airport said the most common food items confiscated from passengers: Jam or marmalade, marmite, golden syrup, Nutella chocolate spread and Heinz baked beans.

Stormont Trade Minister Arlene Foster has asked officials to consider a new air route development fund to promote connections from Derry and Belfast to focus on Germany, Scandinavia, Milan, Brussels and Madrid.

Features on display at the Aircraft Interiors Expo held in Hamburg, Germany April 14-16 will include overhead lockers that take 50pc more suitcase than conventional lockers, faster WLAN at every seat, cabin windows that store sunlight and convert it directly into energy for the passengers’ smartphone batteries, on-board films with Dolby Surround Sound and 3D and first-class seats that are as comfortable as a winged chair at home and yet can withstand 16G force. The Airport Interiors Expo shows the future of aviation. Many of the innovations presented in Hamburg at the world’s largest trade fair for aircraft cabins will soon be everyday features of air travel. Three halls are dedicated exclusively to in-flight entertainment this year. The 600 exhibitors from 40 countries will be visited by 10,000 international industry specialists, including 800 airline representatives.

The IAA is investigating an incident where two passengers, believed to be off-duty crew members, were allowed into the cockpit during a Ryanair flight from Dublin to Shonenefeld airport.

The US government says it will review claims by three US airlines that their state-owned Gulf rivals received more than $40bn in alleged subsidies.

The European Cockpit Association expressed concern that international standards for investigation and the release of information were not followed for the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash on March 24. The Association  said it accepts that the information released suggests the co-pilot probably acted deliberately to destroy the aircraft, but maintains that the failure to respect agreed accident investigation protocols is damaging the process of investigation itself and endangering aviation safety.

EASA came closer to permitting capacity on the A320 to increase from 180 to 195 seats, six more than the 189-seat capacity for which Airbus recently sought approval.

Airbus patented interactive windows that allow passengers to learn about the landmarks they fly over using touch screens.

Lufthansa_Technik_dishwashairLufthansa Technik has developed a dishwasher — called The Dishwashair (pictured) — which allows cabin crew to wash dishes inflight.

Inflight Dublin was appointed as Egyptair’s IFE provider.

Avolon added 28 aircraft, increasing its fleet by 24pc YOY to 143 aircraft at the end of Q1.

Security staff at 11 regional airports in Scotland held a 48-hour strike this week.

Boeing beat Airbus in net new aircraft orders and deliveries for Q1: 110 orders for Boeing, 101 for Airbus.

Qatar Airways introduced Giorgio Armani branded amenity kits for business and first class passengers. Missoni branded sleeper suits and slippers are also available for first class passengers flying overnight.

The FAA awarded a single operating certificate to American Airlines, which allows it to legally operate as a single carrier with US Airways.

Virgin Atlantic rolled out a new ad campaign targeting US business customers.

SAS video tourSAS uploaded an interactive Google Street View video tour inside the upgraded A330 and A340 aircraft cabins.

Mitsubishi Aircraft has delayed the Mitsubishi Regional Jet as a rsult of static strength tests on the airframe butstill expects to deliver the first of the regional jets in April-June 2017.

An Air India flight was grounded after a pre-takeoff argument between the pilots escalated to a fistfight. 

Copenhagen Airport is upgrading Pier C to allow handling of Emirates daily Airbus A380 service.

Qatar Airways expanded its codeshare agreements with Oneworld partners Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.

A 21-year-old man stowed away in the wheel cavity of a Garuda B737-800 survived the flight from Pekanbaru to Jakarta.

Wizz Air announced plans to introduce allocated seating on selected routes from May 4 with a full roll out to follow on May 19. 

Miami International Airport is to roll out 44 more SITA kiosks.

Emirates now offers free wi-fi on 106 aircraft, with two to three more being installed with wi-fi connectivity every month.

Michael O’Leary took first, second and third in the Irish Grand National, won by Thunder and Roses at 20-1.

Aer Lingus re-advertised a vacancy for a Retail Product Specialist. The IAA has vacancies for an ICT Programme & Business Intelligence Manager and an Aviation Security Inspector.

Afloat

giraffe on anthemIn the same place as Quantum of the Seas launched last November with a 30-foot magenta polar bears on its 12th deck, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas will have a massive multi-coloured giraffe. Meyer Werft officially handed Anthem of the Seas over to Royal Caribbean in Bremerhaven, Germany on Friday. The cruise ship is Royal’s second Quantum-class ship and will be joined by Irish agents and travel media on a pre-launch cruise from Southampton on Monday April 20. It will spend summer based in Southampton. Anthem will have a puzzle room, where people need to solve brainteasers as a team within an hour in order to get out, free for all cruisers.

AIDAprima smileThe new flagship of AIDA Cruises, AIDAprima, received its signature smile at the Mitsubishi shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan.

Carnival will start charging for room service later this month, Items featured on the menu will include chicken wings, fried shrimp, quesadillas, sushi, and personal pizzas ($4-$7). Last week Norwegian announced it will charge for room service orders on Breakaway and Getaway.

Norwegian Cruise Line passengers can book land extensions in Argentina and Chile when they cruise onboard Norwegian Sun beginning November. Cruises range from three to five days and allow cruisers to participate in experiences such as tango dancing with professionals in Argentina and an archaeological adventure on Easter Island.

Costa Cruises is offering a guaranteed refund to passengers not satisfied with a Mediterranean cruise up to 14 nights booked by the end of May.

Princess Cruises are to circumnavigate South America from Australia, visiting 28 ports in 18 countries on an 84-night cruise, with overnight stays in Buenos Aires, Lima and Rio.

P&O are to increase their cruise fleet in Australia to five ships, enabling them to extend seasons from Victoria and Queensland and increase options from Sydney.

Deal Watch

ITAA cycling offers: 7 nights All Inclusive Bordeaux River Cruise from €1,649pps incl. transfers, depart April 26. 8 days Tour de France, Vercors from €1,299pp incl. flights, transfers, range of meals and excursions, depart July 19. 4 nights B&B Guided Mountain Bike Holiday, Spain from €500pp incl. return flights, bike and helmet rental and guided excursions, depart October 14, November 4 or November 18. 7 nights B&B Guided French Camino Cycling Tour from €940pps incl. airport transfers, baggage transfers, pilgrims passport and cycling equipment. 14 nights Cycling Tour Vietnam from €1,330pp incl. English speaking guide, 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 2 dinners. 7 nights B&B Puglia Self Guided Cycling Holiday, Italy from €759pps incl. flights, transfers, luggage transportation and bike rental.

Abbey Travel is offering free half board family meals on trips to Disneyland Paris. Travel April 15 to October 31, book before April 28.

Topflight’s 5 Day Italian Sale, book April 15-20, all prices above include return flights from Dublin, return resort transfers, luggage allowance, all taxes, and rep service: 7 nights half boardHotel Bristol, Sorrento from €799pps, depart May 10. 7 nights Bella Italia, Peshiera, Lake Garda from €1,392 for two adults and two children, depart May 16. 7 nights half board Hotel Majestic Palace, Torbole, Lake Garda from €569pps, depart May 9. 7 nights half board Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €569pps, depart May 9. 7 nights B&B Hotel Eden, Torbole, Lake Garda from €499pps, depart May 23. 7 nights half board Hotel Trevi, Lido Di Jesolo from €499pps, depart May 23. 7 nights half board Hotel Cambridge, Lido Di Jesolo from €769pps, depart June 6. 7 nights half board, Hotel Bagli, Rimini, Adriatic Riviera from €619pps, depart June 27. 7 nights half board Hotel Sporting Baia, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €669pps, depart June 14. To book, visit topflight.ie  or call 01 2401 700.

Lowcostbeds offers of the week, based on 7 nights, 2 adults and 1 child, departing May 10: Self catering 3* Palmeras Garden, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €9pppn. Self catering 2* Oura Branco, Playa de las Americas, Tenerife from €12pppn. Self catering 3* Puerto Caleta, Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura from €11pppn. Self catering 3* Riosol, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €13pppn.

Sunway offers: 7 nights All Inclusive Club Med Kamarina, Sicily from €1,059pp incl. return flights and transfers, depart June 4. 7 nights B&B Sea Pearl Hotel, Kusadasi, Turkey  from €259pp incl. return airport transfers, taxes and charges, 20kg checked in baggage pp and Sunway rep service. 7 nights self catering Los Lomas Village, La Manga from €499pp incl. flights, return airport transfers, taxes, charges and 20 kg checked in baggage pp, travel in May.

Thomson offers: 8 nights All Inclusive Morromar, Puerto Del Carmen from €589pp incl. flights ex Dublin, depart Dublin May 17. 7 nights All Inclusive Helona Resort, Portobello Royal, Kos from €899pp, depart Dublin June 7. 7 nights half board Son Baulo, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €599pp, depart Cork May 9.

Falcon offers:  7 nights self catering Bitocra Apartments, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €489pps incl. flights ex Dublin, depart June 4. 7 nights self catering Royal Sun, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €379pp, depart May 25. 7 nights self catering Sun Apartments, Marmaris, Turkey from €379pp, depart May 25.

Lowcostholidays May and June offers: 7 nights All Inclusive Luna Clube Brisamar, Algarve from €264pp, depart May 13. 7 nights All Inclusive Club Bellevue Apartments, Majorca from €423pp, depart June 5. 7 nights The Inn at Jack London Square, San Francisco from €965pp, depart May 17. 7 nights Blue Sea Cancun Plaza, Mexico from €956pp, depart June 1. 2 nights B&B Les Jardins de Montmartre, Paris from €206pp, depart May 7. 2 nights Salles Hotel Pere IV, Barcelona from €198pp, depart May 12. All prices include return flights from Dublin and taxes. See more offers here.

Click and Go offers: 7 nights Cape Town Lodge Hotel, Cape Town from €855pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and transfers, travel in June. To book visit clickandgo.com  or call 01 637 1699.

Tourism NI offers of the week: 2 nights B&B The Mourne Lodge, Cnocnafeoia, Kilkeel, Newry from £80pp based on four people sharing a 4-bed room incl. lunch and transport to Newcastle for the Irish Open, available May 27 to 31, call 028 4176 5859 to book. 2 nights B&B Hilton Belfast from £150pps incl. a 3 course dinner on the first evening in Sonoma Restaurant and passes to the Game of Thrones tour, available until December 31, call 028 9027 7000 to book. 1 nights Treetop Apartment, Lisnakea, Enniskillen from £80 incl. two sit-on top kayaks, paddles and buoyancy aids to explore Upper Lough Erne, available April 26 to June 30, call 028 6772 2240 to book. 2 nights B&B Maldron Hotel, Derry from £99pps incl. a 2 course evening meal and 2 cocktails pp, available until Dec 31, call 028 7137 1000 to book.

Ireland

birr diaspora centreTransport and Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe axed the planned €26m National Diaspora Centre after being told there was no capital funding for the project. Eight companies were short-listed for the centre including Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, the CHQ building and another in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Birr Workhouse (pictured) and Rockhill House barracks in Letterkenny. Seven did not have funding in place but all claiming they had the financial capacity to deliver, with a mix of Government funding, public and private sector borrowing, philanthropic, corporate donations, and local authority funding. A Fáilte Ireland report proposed a centre would be viable and self-financing and would enhance Ireland’s tourism offering.SALES BLITZ TO BOOST AMERICAN TOURISTS

Tourism Ireland’s 2015 Jump into Ireland sales blitz saw 11 Irish tourism companies and five American tour operators visit Atlanta, Charlotte and Tampa last week. Tourism Ireland’s ‘Jump into Ireland’ programme will visit 12 different cities in the US this year, including Minneapolis, Denver and Dallas in September; and Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco in November

ITALIAN TRAVEL AGENTS GIVE GALWAY THE THUMBS UP!Tourism Ireland in Milan hosted Italian tour operator Cocktail Viaggi and 12 of its top-producing travel agents, all specialists in coach tour and group travel, to visit Clonmacnoise, Galway city and Connemara, as well as the Aillwee Caves and the Cliffs of Moher. The group undertook a walking tour of Dublin and an evening at The Irish House Party. Ireland’s Italian inbound market grew 39pc for the December 2014 to February 2015 period according to Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Italy.

Minister Simon Harris announced free entry to Dún Aonghasa on Oileán Árainn. Last year 120,000 visitors came to Dún Aonghasa

A 13th English language school catering for international students has closed in Dublin.

eoghan ballynafeighSa phictiur: Eoghan Corry eagarthóir Travel Extra agus Keith Grainger ó TG4 ar suíomh ag déanamh clár ar loganimneacha na hÉireann do TG4. Beidh an sraith le feiceáil ar an teilifís ó mí Méan Fomhair ar aghaidh.

Powerscourt Gardens hosts its Annual Tulip Festival April 20-May 3, with 12,000 tulips in bloom.

Trinity Library, Belfast and Giant’s Causeway featured in Condé Nast’s 50 things to do in Europe before you die.

The Irish Cycling Show takes place in the RDS on April 18 and 19.

Upcoming events in Limerick: Ballyhoura International Walking Festival, May 2 to 4. Riverfest, May 1 to 4. Fleadh by the Feale, Abbeyfeale, April 30 to May 4. European Sports Tourism Summit, Thomond Park, May 14 to 15. Culture & Chips Food Festival, May 28 to June 2.

Irish Open Trophy Tour#1 copyPicture shows Katie Curran and Daniel Jennings from St Mary’s Primary School in Newcastle, Co Down, joining Antonia Beggs from The European Tour and Kevan Whitson, Head Golf Professional at Royal County Down, to launch the inaugural Irish Open Trophy Tour competition organised by The European Tour and the Rory Foundation which will give four schools across Ireland an opportunity to host a visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy and the Claret Jug which, Ireland’s Rory Mcilroy holds as reigning British Open Champion. Schoolchildren between the ages of 9 and 15 should simply send an email outlining in no more than 250 words why their class or school deserves to win.

Camino Ways is hosting a Sunday Walk in Glendalough on Sunday, April 26. Register here.

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

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