The headlines this week:
- The ‘fun’ doesn’t set on Indaba
- Following the footsteps of Mandela
- Spain tops the Tourism Competitiveness chart
- Ireland remains at number 19, falling short on price
- Flamenco dancing with Andalucia
Travel Extra TV
Our video of the week comes from Alex Chacon, who created an Epic Selfie from three years’ of travel. Watch here.
- Dublin airport plans to turn Aer Lingus’ former head office building into an office space called ONE Dublin Airport Central. The first tenants are expected to move in in 2016. Watch here.
- Aer Lingus uploaded footage from the 7th annual Viscount Awards in the House of Commons, Westminster. Watch here.
- Etihad Airways A330 with EXPO 2015 livery taking off at Dublin airport. Watch here.
- KLM and Heineken introduce The Orange Experience. Watch here.
- Airbus showcases its Cockpit Experience Trainer, a mobile cockpit simulator that simulates the A350 XWB cockpit. Watch here.
- Two Qatar Airways pilots talk about their career. Watch here.
- Emirates launched its A380 service to Perth. Watch here.
Meet Savi, the room service robot. Watch here.
Indaba 2015 burst into life in Durban (slogan: “the city where the fun never sets”). South African tourism showcased the four meet South Africa videos (slogan: “inspiring new ways”) that the tourist board has released as pillars of its marketing campaign, its new Mandela and Gandhi trails, its golf initiative (SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima told Travel Extra that South Africa intends to “dominate the golf market”) and a new ‘hidden gems’ campaign. Picture shows Sarah Gilbert of TTG, Jo Austin of Seling Travel, Kgomotso Ramothea press officer at of the London office of South African Tourism, Tolene Van der Merwe director of the London office of South African Tourism and Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Fair trade in tourism was the theme of an excellent speed marketing session. In the most memorable contribution to the conference of all, Lara Mostert, marketing manager for Monkeyland, told delegates: “It is WRONG to pose with monkeys or any animals to put pictures on your wall.” Also new to Indaba this year was a tech zone and a bloggers’ conference.
Minister Derek Hanekom conducted his traditional walkabout yesterday morning at the event, spread-eagled over four halls. Indaba had fewer buyers (2,000) and sellers (1,000) than in the past, but the media presence (750) is a record as is the breadth of representation from 20 African countries. Thulani Nzima said that the emphasis was on quality, and 10,000 meetings would take place at the event, which is about to change dramatically even further Minister Derek Hanekom says that Indaba will be tendering for industry partners to create a pan-African show, based in Durban, which will rank third in the world behind WTM and ITB.
According to Tolene Van der Merwe, London based two-country manager for Ireland and Britain for South African Tourism (pictured with Kgomotso Ramothea), Ireland is expected to grow in 2015. Johannesburg is the fifth biggest indirect destination out of Dublin but there are no plans for a direct service. Thulani Nzima said he “does not care” how tourists come to South Africa. Minister Derek Hanekom said that protecting South African Airways was not a priority of the government at the expense of greater air access, but that open skies on the continent of Africa had a long way to go. The country is popular with the traditional older market, they are highlighting urban lifestyle attractions, musical experiences, food, fashion and wine and the vibrancy of the city destinations, as well as the traditional safari product which drives most of 43,000 visitors from Ireland each year. Andrew Sharpe, trade relations manager for South African Tourism Ireland & Britain, says that South Africa is stepping up its activity with the Irish trade and has scheduled two fam trips for the Irish market in the autumn of 2015 and spring of 2016 with tour operator Sunway and the Travel Centres consortium.
Buyers were disappointed if they expected the long awaited clarification on South Africa’s controversial new immigration rules which come into effect on June 1, The situation is as confused as ever. Negotiations are still ongoing and Minister said while he was concerned it was the Home office. Parents travelling with a child must produce an unabridged birth certificate for the child; copies are acceptable. The new rules state that an affidavit will be required if both parents are not travelling with the children, or court order or death certificate for a deceased parent.
Indaba’s social scene is amongst the best on the circuit. The opening event, a cross between a Eurovision interval act and The Late Late Toy Show, us a multinational extravaganza with classical singers, the Afro tenors, the Jaizel brothers, gospel choirs, and dancers, was brought to a crescendo by Beatenberg that had the delegates dancing in the aisles. They even got the Minister for Tourism to play the drums. At least he LOOKED like the Minister for Tourism.
The renowned Saturday night beach party had gotten washed out once too often and is no more but there were 24 dinner events instead. Uganda sponsored the ATTA dinner (no awards this year) in Moyo. On Friday night, some pleasant and well lubricated networking took place at the Welcome Africa evening on the 31st floor of the Maharani Hotel while some of the media were hosted by Thoko Jili of Wisdom Tours at a venue with a difference, Max’s Lifestyle in Umlazi township.
Marcel Von Aulock of Southern Sun showcased hotel developments, a R1.8bn expansion at Suncoast Casino and Entertainment, a R110m refurb at Garden Court Marine parade, refurbs at the Waterfrotd in Cape Town, and a new 500-room Sunsquare and Stayeasy, Sandton in Johannesburg will be completed in September.
It was 21 years to day since Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa’s first democratically elected president, and it was a special moment for Travel Extra’s editor Eoghan Corry, who was present in Pretoria representing the Sunday Press, to see a white minister for tourism being led to the stage by Zulu dancers. Yes, he shed a single manly tear.
National Geographic photojournalist Pablo Corral Vega visited South Africa recently to retrace the life of Mandela. Travellers can use the Madiba’s Journey app to follow the statues and sites that document Mandela’s life and achievements. Watch footage from Vega’s visit.
SA tourism hosted 20 fam trips prior to Indaba, bringing delegates from new markets such as Turkey for the first time. Turkish operate a flight from Istanbul to Cape Town, with a 40-minute stay-on-board stop over in Johannesburg. This opens a one-stop option for Irish people travelling to Cape Town with improved connections since Turkish went double daily last month. Nina Farrimond hosted a tour ops group in Limpopo, the hidden jewel of the north “real Africa” as South Africa specialist Richard Lamont of Zeta Tours described it. Kgomotso Ramothea hosted tour operators and one journalist in the Zulu battlefields where Rob Gerrard rose to the chalenge of dramatising events for British ears (whatever about the Zulus, who had more casualties). Andrew Sharpe escorted 11 tour operators and journalists, including Travel Extra’s editor Eoghan Corry and Declan Hughes of Flycruisestay through the winelands of Stellenbosch and Franschoek, where they were hosted by Sheila Grey of Red Carnation at the Twelve Apostles Hotel, by Laurence Gould at Cle des Montages and stayed at Richard Branson’s Mont Rochelle lodge and at the heart of Cape Town’s waterfront action at Sun International’s Table Bay hotel. Picture shows Ross Sinclair, Melissa Kirby, Andrew Sharpe of SA Tourism, Samantha Gee, Paul Scudamore, Hannah August, Declan Hughes, Sarah Weaver, Mariska Knoesen, Michelle Seddon, Eoghan Corry and Charles Clark. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Spain climbed three places to top the biennial Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum. The boost is supported by high global rankings in cultural resources (1st worldwide), IT readiness (4th) and infrastructure (4th). This is the first time the country has claimed the number one spot.
Europe continued to dominate the top ten tourism-ready economies with France (2nd), Germany (3rd), Britain (5th), Switzerland (6th) and Italy (8th). The USA (4th), Australia (7th), Japan (9th) and Canada (10th) completed the list. Sweden was missing from this year’s top rankings, having slipped from 9th place to 23rd. Singapore dropped one place to number 11. Europe scored high for tourism service infrastructure, health and hygiene and integration, but the region is not making the most of its cultural resources and fails to prioritise new trends. Regulatory restrictions are also holding Europe back.
The biggest growth in international arrivals was seen in Southeast Asia, thanks to an expanding middle class and competitive pricing. Regional cooperation on visa policies is recommended if the region wants to further boost tourism.
Although the Middle East and North Africa have built significant tourism industries, concerns about security continue to hold the region back, despite the fact that tourism resorts are far from the most dangerous areas.
South Africa (48th globally), the Seychelles (54th) and Mauritius (56th) make up the top three competitive economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Longstanding problems with infrastructure, health and hygiene prevent the region from seeing its full tourism potential.
The Americas tell two stories: North America falls down on travel facilitation, price competitiveness and infrastructure upgrades, while Central and South America is dogged by concerns with safety and security.
Ireland remained at the number 19 spot, and placed 11th in Europe. We scored high for tourism policy conditions (5th in the world),international opens (5th as well) and human resources (12th), but lost out when it came to price competitiveness (122nd out of 141) and natural resources (72nd).
Overall, the tourism and travel sector continues to grow at a faster rate than the global economy (3.4pc per year compared to 2.3pc). The World Travel & Tourism Council predicts that this could accelerate to 5.2pc per year in the next five years. Read the full report here.
There were 2,700 exhibitors from 91 countries and 23,000 visitors at this year’s Arabian Tourism Market, held in the Dubai World Trade Centre. Unsurprisingly, mobile dominated the tech
seminars, with analysts predicting global growth in mobile bookings to account for 35pc of all online bookings by 2018. This was flagged as an opportunity to develop business tourism and Dubai Expo 2020 in particular. With 50pc of online searches conducted on mobile (which incorporates tablet devices as well as smartphones), investment in travel technology is not an option. Family holidays and enticing millennials with adventure travel were flagged as areas for potential growth — as the
Middle East aims to welcome 101m annual visitor arrivals by 2020, the region is looking to extend the tourism sector beyond gateway cities. Speaking at the UNWTO Ministerial Forum, government minister and chairman of the UAE council of tourism Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan called for an intra-Arab tourism strategy to boost the number of tourists travelling between the countries.
A report by Euromonitor focussed on the Middle East predicted that the percentage growth in air transport value will rise from 6.1pc to 12pc, hotel value from 7.4pc to 9.1pc and travel retail from 7.1pc to 9.7pc. Incoming tourist receipts is expected to grow by 10.4pc this year.
Nepal was awarded the new Frontiers Recovery Award. Rishav Agarwal of Nebuti Travels in Kathmandu said that the country is determined to get things back on track as soon as possible. “Despite the devastating loss of life, only around 30% of temples were destroyed, and the majority of hotels in Kathmandu are operational, and neither Pokhara nor Chitwan were affected.” Nepal’s tourism sector was undeterred by the recent earthquake, with four out of six participating companies attending ATM 2015.
The Andalucia Tourist Board and the Spanish Tourist Office Dublin hosted a workshop and dinner (followed by flamenco dancing) in Trinity College. Picture shows Antonio Martin at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Nicky Logue, GM of The Gibson Hotel, hosted a barbecue to celebrate the launch of the summer season. Picture shows Nicky with his team at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
The travel industry is weighing up the impact of the British General Election, in which David Cameron confounded pollsters and pundits by winning a sensational second five-year term in office for his Conservative party, and it is not pretty. An English exit from the EU could be on the cards as early as 2020, with profound implications for international travel and a new set of hurdles for the tourism industry in and out of that country — although Scotland going its separate way will lessen the blow in Alban. Is now the time for Ireland to consider becoming more tourist-friendly and join the Shenghen region unilaterally? Over to you Frances.
Former Falcon Irish and country manager Damien Mooney was appointed MD of cruisingexcursions.com.
Travel Professionals Skillnet 2-day finance for non finance professionals course takes place May 21 and 22, 9.30am-5.30pm, Blanchardstown Corporate Park. Costs €299. Book here. Excel Early Bird Special: Excel Level 1 and 2 for €150, March 25. Book before March 23. Book here.
Paul Gallagher took office as Chair of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation. The Buswell’s GM and former IHF President was elected at the AGM of the Confederation, as Paul Carty ended to his two year term of office.
Jennifer Kearney from GoHop.ie pictured in Kenya on a Fam trip organised by the Kenya Tourist board which visited 25 properties in eight locations across Kenya, including safari and ending on the coast in Diani.
Red Sea Holidays launched their month-long Dublin Bus campaign this week. Red Sea is also sponsoring FM104’s weather bulletins for the next six months.
Wendy Wu Tours is offering €30 One4all vouchers for every booking made before the end of May.
Agents making bookings before May 15 will be in with a chance to join United on the inaugural flight from Dublin to Chicago on June 5. The more bookings you make, the more chance to win. Picture shows Pat Reede of United Airlines treating the World Travel Centre team to a gourmet chocolate pizza to celebrate the launch of the service. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
J Barter Travel‘s 150 years in business exhibition in Cork Vision Centre opened on Thursday.
Topflight’s charter summer schedule launched on Thursday with the Dublin- Funchal route. Tony Collins reported a 15pc increase in bookings so far this year. The charter services to Italy launch from May 23. There is extra capacity on both the Naples and Verona routes.
Picture shows Declan O’Connell of Lee Travel, Noel McAuliffe of Travel Focus, Kieran Collins of Heffernan’s, Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel, Anita Thomas of Emirates, Paul O Connell, Mary Jones of Lee Travel, Sarah McCarthy of Travel Counsellors and Cian Bohane who were hosted by Emirates at the Munster Rugby Awards at the Maryborough Hotel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Bobby Healy’s CarTrawler is to acquire Finnish technology and services company Cabforce.
Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA, called the inaugural Irish Travel Industry Trade Show a success and said the aim is to shape the event into the best forum in Ireland for productive engagement between travel agents, suppliers and business partners.
Pictured at the Janus Awards: Paul Clark, UTV who hosted the event, Joanne McKenna, Michael Cafolla and Niall McKenna of James Street South.
Louis Walsh will be special guest and judge for WedRock, the battle of the wedding bands competition, at Mary Fennin’s Clanard Court hotel to headline the hotel’s 10th anniversary wedding extravaganza. Picture shows staff at the Clanard Court celebrating the anniversary.
Hotels.com said mobile bookings made by Irish users increased 70pc in 2014. The most popular destinations booked by Irish travellers via mobile devices: 1 London, €162 av. 2 New York, €211 av. 3 Paris, €155 av. 4 Lanzarote, €87 av. 5 Rome, €120 av. 6 Barcelona, €126 av. 7 Amsterdam, €127 av. 8 Albufeira, €84 av. 9 Las Vegas, €110 av. 10 Berlin, €99 av.
- IHG Q1 global room revenue up 5.1pc.
- Four Seasons will open its second property in Dubai, at the city’s International Finance Centre, in 2016.
- The former Nile Hilton will re-open as the Nile Ritz-Carlton later this summer.
- IHG announced the opening of Crowne Plaza Berlin – Potsdamer Platz.
- Amari Phuket opens its Ocean Wing from June 1.
- Carlson Rezidor announced two Park Inn by Radisson Hotels in Istanbul. Park Inn Odayeri and Park Inn Atasehir will open in early 2016.
- Hilton opened the DoubleTree by Hilton Lafayette.
- Fairmont Hotels & Resorts opened the Fairmont Ajman in the UAE.
- Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts entered an agreement withGaranti Koza to manage Swissôtel KozaPark Istanbul.
- DHISCO partnered with Nustay.com to launch a combination OTA later this month.
- Hyatt Hotels opened Hyatt Place Washington DC.
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts will double its Middle East portfolio over the next five years.
- Choice Hotels rolled out a redesigned website and advertising campaign.
- The 192-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel Budapest is to open in 2016.
- Carlson Rezidor will open the 126-room Radisson Blu Hotel, Misrata in early 2016.
- Kaba and Dorma plan to merge to become the dorma+kaba group.
- Spanish hoteliers called for a unified star classification system.
- Holiday Inn Express opened a property at Aberdeen International airport.
- Hyatt Hotels will open its first Place brand hotel in Africa, the Hyatt Place Taghazout Bay.
Thoor Ballylee, a former home of WB Yeats in Gort Co Galway re-opened after its closure since 2009 when American lawyer Joseph Hassett pledged €31k to develop the Yeats Exhibition in the Tower. The plan is to develop a world class Cultural Centre in the Tower to accommodate a new exhibition, a cafe, bookshop, and space for exhibitions, lectures and classes.
ONYX Hospitality Group is to launch two new projects in Malaysia, OZO Medini and Shama Medini, scheduled to open in 2018.
WiFi topped Hotels.com’s amenities poll, ahead of breakfast and free parking.
The Mitsui Garden Yotsuya hotel in central Tokyo launched crying rooms — rooms that come with tearjerker films, make up remover, extra soft tissues and sad manga comics. And when you’ve got it all out of your system, you can avail of the room’s steam eye masks.
Travel distributor GTA launched a loyalty programme for the Middle Eastern and African travel trade. Rewards include smartphones, tables and shopping vouchers.
Travelport renewed its contract with travel management company HRG.
Brand USA launched its culinary tourism strategy.
Wednesday sees the official opening of The Simpsons-themed Springfield attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood.
NYC & Company’s latest NYCGO Insider Guide features Manhattan’s Flatiron District .
Fifty tour operators from 18 countries are expected to attend EUROAL 2015, which takes place June 3-5 in the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones in Torremolinos.
Monday saw the opening of Orlando’s new entertainment destination, I-Drive 360, home of the new Orlando Eye. Stuntman Nik Wallenda successfully completed his record-breaking walk atop the Eye, while the observation wheel was in motion.
- TUI is looking to sell laterooms.com.
- A King Kong themed attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, will open at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in summer 2016.
- The Fondazione Prada arts centre opened in Milan.
- ATM partner Sabre launched its TripCase app for Apple Watch.
- Hertz added 235,000 new vehicles to its US fleet.
- Benidorm will apply for World Heritage status.
- Leopold Museum, Vienna will host new works by Tracey Emin until September 14.
- TripAdvisor reported Q1 revenue of $363m, up 29.2pc YOY.
- Universal is to open Nintendo themed rides and attractions at its theme parks.
- Brooks Brothers was appointed apparel sponsor for the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015.
- GTA moved its Global Assistance Team to Dubai.
- A tour guide in China had her license revoked after threatening to cancel a tour group’s itinerary unless they spent more on souvenirs.
Food & Wine
Picture shows Artane-born Martin McDonnell, formerly of Mint and Ecrivain and now executive sous-chef at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, DC who hosted Irish travel writers who flew out on the Aer Lingus Washington DC inaugural last weekend.
Karl Breen of Locks Brasserie in Dublin talks to Irish Food Channel about his signature dishes: 12 hour octopus with black garlic, calamansi mayo, tamarind and salted celeriac. Watch here.
The first episode of Dublin chef Colin Fassnidge’s two-part food series My Ireland with Colin was broadcast on Channel 7 in Australia. The episode showcased Fermanagh’s food and scenery to 1m viewers. Picture shows Colin Fassridge with butcher Pat O’Doherty, director Paul Melville and cameraman David Rose during filming.
- The Temple Bar Food Market celebrated its 18th birthday yesterday.
- Liadain Kaminska and Sarah McNally’s Market Kitchen opened in Dublin city centre. Initially, the market will be a monthly pop-up. It will open every Saturday next year.
- Irish Bake Off finalist Maryanne Dalton and Gemma Cullen launched Dalkey-based food company Dine.
The Runway Night Run at Shannon Airport takes place at midnight, June 19. There are 1,700 places available for this year’s event, 500 more than last year. Registration is now open. Register before June 15. All proceeds go to Tipperary Limerick Clare for Cystic Fibrosis and Milford Care Centre, Limerick.
Ryanair carried 9m passengers in April, up 16pc. Load factor was up 7 percentage points to 91pc.
Aer Lingus carried 923,000 passengers in April, down 5.2pc YOY. Load factor was up 2.4 percentage points to 78.2pc. Short haul traffic was down 5.5pc to 710,000, and long haul traffic was up 1.8pc to 113,000.
Avolon delivered eight aircraft to five airlines in Q1. The lessor reported Q1 net income of $49m up 36pc on total revenue of $175.7m.
Ryanair fares and ancillary services will be available in a third GDS, Sabre from June 2015.
British Airways is offering passengers flying from May 12 the option to buy a Word Traveller meal as an alternative to the normal menu on selected long haul routes.
Cityjet and Powerscourt Hotel announced a joint marketing deal.
Avolon appointed Donal O’Neill as head of investor relations.
Aer Lingus quietly dropped its €3m legal challenge against Siptu.
Shannon group chief Neil Pakey received €281,869 in his first full year at the firm.
Boeing reported orders for one B787 VIP, five B777s and six B787s from unidentified customers.
Picture shows Warren Delaforce, Airport Fire Officer, and Rob Jenkins, Airport Police, Fire & Rescue, at the launch of the “Save a Life” campaign where Cork Airport offered Cardiac First responder training (CFR) to all airport staff and businesses.
FLY Leasing reported Q1 revenue of $122.5m, up 34pc. The Irish lessor invested $147m in four aircraft in Q1 and sold three aircraft.
Ryanair will operate a service from Rome Ciampino to Rabat from October 27.
Stephen Kavanagh said Aer Lingus is becoming the dominant transatlantic airline operating out of Boston.
American Airlines resumed its Shannon-Philadelphia summer service. This year’s service will have a 58pc increase in capacity.
Ryanair reduced its airport check-in fee from €70 to €45 and its missed departure fee from €110 to €100. The airline has also reduced the cost of checking in sports equipment.
Flybe is offering triple Avios to customers who book Dublin-LCY for travel May and June, book before May 31.
Cork Airport plans to develop a 50-acre site to extend the Airport Business Park.
IATA reported global passenger traffic results for March 2015 showed RPKs up 7.4pc, ASKs up 5.6pc and load factor up 1.3 percentage points to 80pc.
Avolon delivered a B737-800 to Sunwing Airlines.
British Airways launched an in-flight channel dedicated to the Tate museum of modern art. It features short films by artists like Grayson Perry, Ai Weiwei, Yayoi Kusama and Damien Hirst.
Avolon delivered an A320-200 to VivaAerobus, the first of four aircraft due to deliver to the Mexican carrier.
New York-based designer Zac Posen will design new uniforms for Delta ground staff and cabin crew.
Etihad Airways launched its Abu Dhabi-Entebbe service.
Malaysia Airlines plans to phase out its entire fleet of A380s.
American Airlines launched a streaming video service on its domestic fleet.
1,000 parts on the Airbus A350 XWB were 3D printed.
Qatar Airways will introduce routes to Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta in 2016.
Lufthansa reported improved Q1 earnings, but said further action is needed to lower costs.
JetBlue will stream Amazon Prime Videos through its Fly-Fi internet system.
A live stick of dynamite was accidentally left on the Spirit of Seventy Six vintage aircraft at LAX after a security training exercise.
Bombardier announced SWISS is the launch carrier for the CSeries twin jet, due for delivery in the first half of 2016.
Qatar introduced a shuttle service between Doha and Dubai.
Norwegian Air plans to open a base at LAX.
Emirates renewed its marketing agreements with the tourism boards of South Africa, Seychelles and Mauritius.
Flights from Rome Fiumicino Airport were cancelled Thursday morning because of a fire.
Malaysia Airlines Group welcomed Christoph Mueller as chief executive on May 1 and resigned as chairman of An Post. In his first internal communication to the airline’s 20,000 employees, Mueller warned of huge job cuts ahead, saying the airline is spending about 20pc more than its rivals.
Emirates is in the final stages of launching a luxury bedroom product to be rolled out on its A380 and B777s.
Airbus won orders for 229 aircraft between January and April 2015. 196 aircraft were delivered. After cancellations, net orders totalled 209 aircraft. Orders included four A320neos for Avolon.
United Airlines is being sued in a $5m lawsuit for allegedly deceiving passengers about a lack of in-flight WiFi access.
Boeing sold 139 aircraft between January and April 2015, a net total of 114 after 25 cancellations.
Lufthansa will take delivery of first of 25 A350-900s at the end of 2016.
Members of Etihad Guest loyalty programme donated 30m Etihad Guest Miles to provide humanitarian aid to victims of the Nepal earthquake.
Boeing, Lufthansa and SWISS finalised an order for three addition B777-300ERs.
Qatar Airways will launch flights to Zanzibar from July 1.
The co-pilot responsible for the Germanwings crash is believed to have practiced a rapid descent on the outbound flight.
American Airlines launched its B787 Dreamliner service on the Dallas-Chicago route. The aircraft will be deployed on the Dallas-Beijing service from June 2.
The New York Times profiled Rhapsody, United Airlines’ first class in-flight magazine.
Iberia announced a car rental partnership with Avis Budget Group.
Etihad will operate a B797-9 Dreamliner on its Abu Dhabi-Singapore route, which launches August 1.
Students at Delft University in the Netherlands have collaborated with KLM and Zodiac Aerospace to develop smart seats fitted with built-in heart rate monitors that could help cabin crew identify passengers who are feeling ill or anxious.
Zodiac Aerospace subsidiary GMBH patented an in-flight food delivery system that offers a sushi bar carousel dining style.
Royal Caribbean ordered a fourth Quantum-class ship from Meyer Werft in Germany for delivery in 2019, two weeks after the launch of Anthem of the Seas. Royal’s Capacity increases over the next five years are expected to be 5.5pc, 6.3pc, 3.1pc, 3.9pc and 6.5pc, respectively.
Times for the presentations of the eight participants at the e-travel Cruise Show at Red Cow Morans Hotel on the Naas Road south of Dublin today (May 10) are: 12.30 MSC, 13.00 Riveria Travel, 13.30 Celebrity, 14.00 Silversea, 14.30 Royal Caribbean, 15.00 Cunard, 15.30 Holland America, 16.00 Uniworld.
Royal Caribbean president Michael Bayley suggested that Oasis and Allure of the Seas might follow Harmony of the Seas’ suit and add waterslides.
Scenic’s 2016 European river cruise programme includes itineraries in Portugal, two new ships — Scenic Azure and Scenic Amber — and increased activities like Tastes of Oktoberfest on Scenic Enrich experiences.
- Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration were forced to divert to San Diego and San Pedro due to high swells.
- A combination of rainfall in Switzerland and France, and spring snowment in the mountains has disrupted itineraries for lines sailing on the Rhine, Rhône, Saône, Danube and Seine rivers.
- Royal Caribbean is expected to roll out perks for Suite Class passengers some time in 2016.
- Norwegian banned passengers from taking food outside dining areas.
- Princess Cruises and Holland America Line cancelled all 2015 port visits to La Goulette, Tunisia, following March’s attack in Tunis.
- Celebrity Cruises’ new ships will feature Suite Class dining.
- P&O Azura underwent repairs in Norway after experiencing problems with its electrical system.
- Carnival Cruise Line changed its loyalty programme, limiting VIFP party invitation to passengers with platinum and diamond status, effective May 15.
- MSC Cruises‘ Divina docked in Manhattan for its maiden call at New York City.
- Royal Caribbean appointed John Sulley as VP of food and beverage operations.
- Princess Cruises will deploy its next vessel in China full time.
- Baja Ferries received a license to operate a ferry service between the USA and Cuba.
Irish Ferries is offering two adults and car travel from Rosslare to Cherbourg/Roscoff from €99 each way. Valid for travel up to May 28 and from August 24-December 16. See irishferries.com for more or call 1818 300 400.
Bring a friend to France for free on Stena Line. Prices from Rosslare to Cherbourg start at €98 single for a car and two passengers. Book by May 19 for travel up to May 28 and from August 24 to December 16.
Lowcostbeds offers for Greece, based on 2 sharing for arrivals in May to mid-June: 5* Holiday Palace, Corfu form €27pppn half board. 3* Fereniki Holiday Resort & Spa, Crete from €16pppn all inclusive. 3* Pantheon Studios, Kos from €10pppn half board. 3* Hotel Virginia, Rhodes from €17pppn all inclusive. Visit lowcostbeds.com for more.
Insight Vacations is offering a 9-day tour of Budapest, Vienna and Prage from €1,879pps incl. flights, transfers and selection of meals. Book by May 31, depart July 31. For more, visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
Uniworld is offering an 8-day all inclusive river cruise on the Rhine Discovery from €2,329pps incl. flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers. Book by May 31, depart June 21. For more, visit uniworld.ie or call 01 775 3803.
Contiki offer of the week: 12-day European tour from €1,490pps incl. accommodation, 16 meals and visits to 8 World Heritage Sites. Itinerary includes England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland and France. Book by May 11, depart Jun 5. For more visit, contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.
Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* Mark Apart Hotel, Berlin from €199pp incl. flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in June. 7 nights self catering 3* Albona Apartments, Rabac Istrian Riveria, Croatia from €479pp incl. flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in May. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Brisamar Aparthotel, Corralejo, Fuerteventura from €499pp incl. flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and transfers, travel in June.
Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Hyde Park Lane, Playa De Los Pocillos, Lanzarote from €979 for two adults and one child and from €1,199 for two adults and two children, depart June 11. 7 nights B&B 3* Marvel, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €419pp, depart June 1. 7 nights B&B 3* Sinem Hotel, Marmaris, Dalaman from €349pp, depart June 8. 7 nights self catering 3* Loulas Village, Psaras, Corfu from €379pp, depart June 12. To book, visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
Sunway offers: 10 days escorted tour of Southern Italy and Sicily from €2,099pp incl. flights ex Dublin, transport, meals, hotel accommodation and transfers. Itinerary includes visits to Rome, Sorrento, Taormina and Palermo. Book by May 15, depart June 19. 7 nights B&B 5* Gran Atlantis Bahia Real Hotel, Fuerteventura from €989pps incl. transfers, taxes, charges 20kg checked in baggage pp and Sunway rep service, depart June 6 or 13.
Thomson offers: 7 nights half board 4* Barcelo Santiago Puerto de Santiago, Tenerife from €609pp, depart June 12. 7 nights full board onboard the Thomson Spirit from €669pp, depart June 1. 7 nights self catering 3* Silver Springs, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €439pp, depart June 1. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach Sun, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €509pp, depart June 15. To book, visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
Wendy Wu Tours is offering €200pp off all inclusive tours: 16 days Wonder of China tour, €3,790pp, depart July 12. 10 days A China Experience tour, €2,940pp, depart August 15. 21 days Magnificent China, €4,190pp, depart September 13. 14 days Glories of China, €3,390pp, depart September 24. 9 days In Pursuit of Pandas, €2,640pp, depart October 25. 18 days Vietnam Panorama, €2,990pp, depart July 12. 17 days Angkor to the Bay, €3,590pp, depart August 14. 28 days Tour of Indochina, €5,190pp, depart September 26. 9days Golden Triangle, India €2,690pp, depart November 21. For more, visit wendywutours.ie or call 0818 776 380.
Sunway Mark Warner Beach Club holidays: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sea Garden Beach Resort, Bodrum, Turkey from €699pp, depart May 31. 7 nights half board 5* Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes, Greece from €899pp, depart May 27. All prices include direct flights ex Dublin.
Topflight’s 5 day Italian sale starts today, all prices incl. return flights ex Dublin, return resort transfers, luggage allowance, all taxes, rep service and online discount: 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €799pps, depart May 24. 7 nights 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €1,596 for two adults and two children, depart May 23. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Eden, Torbole, Lake Garda from €499pps, depart May 23. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Trevi, Lido Di Jesolo fro €449pps, depart May 23. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Senior, Catholic from €519pps, depart June 27. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Tysandros, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €469pps, depart May 31.
Abbey Travel is offering free half board meals for families at Disneyland Paris and 20pc off hotel and park tickets, offer ends October 31.
Cassidy Travel is offering last minute holidays to The Algarve from €165pp, all inclusive from €229pp and family holidays from €669 for two adults and one child. See cassidytravel.ie for more or call 0818 332500.
Best4Travel offers: 11 nights all inclusive Sandos Papgayo, Lanzarote from €799pp incl. flights ex Dublin, depart May 17. 7 nights all inclusive Sandos Papgayo from €665pp incl. flights ex Cork, depart May 21. 7 nights half board Gloria Palace Amadores from €546pp, depart June 10. 7 nights B&B Gloria Palace Royal from €663pp incl. flights and baggage, depart June 3. To book, call 1800 814 031.
Tourism NI offers of the week: 1 night B&B Ten Square Hotel, Belfast from £55pp incl. 3 course Table d’hôte dinner in The Grill Room, available until November 29, call 028 9024 1001. 2 nights B&B Glenavon House Hotel, Cooktown from £69pps incl. use of leisure facilities, available until December 31, call 028 8676 4949. 1 night B&B Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena from £99.50pps incl. use of the Thermal Areas in the spa and a 3 course evening meal in restaurant of your choice with a bottle of house wine, available Monday-Wednesday until May 31, call 028 2588 1001.
CSO figures show that the domestic travel market grew again by 4pc last year to 7.4m, while holiday trips grew by 2pc. The five most visited counties, in descending order, are: Dublin, Cork, Galway, Kerry and Wexford, click here for a comprehensive overview.
Nine German and Swiss journalists visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland and German cruise operator Le Boat. The group’s itinerary included cruising on Lough Derg, visits to Terryglass, Garrykennedy, Portumna Castle, Clonmacnoise and Ballynahown Craft Village, and a cooking demo in Larkins Bar. Picture shows the group with with Daniel Farrell of Tourism Ireland at Clonmacnoise jetty.
A group of Australian journalists visited the north this week as guests of Tourism Ireland, VisitBritain and British Airways. The group visited the Ards Peninsula, stopping off at Mount Stewart House and Gardens. They also took part in a Game of Thrones Winterfell activity tour at Castle Ward, toured Belfast by bike, took part in a walking food tour and drove along the Causeway Coastal Route. Picture shows Jenny Orme of British Airways with Lee Tulloch, Fairfax Media’s Traveller; Natasha Dragun, Mindfood; Helen Anderson, The Weekend Australian; and Amanda Woods, Adventures All Round.
A group of five journalists from India visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland. The group’s itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI, included visited to Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, Clonmacnoise, Galway, Lough Gill, Yeats’ Grave, Lissadell House & Gardens, Marble Arch Caves, Belfast city and a boat trip on the Fermanagh lakes and a Game of Thrones afternoon tea. Picture shows Beena Menon of Tourism Ireland with Srinivasa Ramanujam of The Hindu newspaper; Mallica Singh, CEO India magazine; freelance journalist Susheela Nair; Vatsala Chhibber of Elle India magazine; and Shalini Sharma of Hi Blitz magazine at Lissadell House.
Mariana Barros and Fabio Merielles of Brazilian tour operator Donato Viagens visited Ireland on a fact-finding mission as guests of Tourism Ireland. The itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland and included visits to the National Library, Trinity College, the Guiness Storehouse, Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, the Cliffs of Moher, Kilkenny Castle and Malahid Castle. They also went on a pub crawl in Dublin, a backstage tour of the Abbey Theatre and hurling at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. They plan to produce a video of their time in Ireland. Picture shows Mariana and Fabio at Kilkenny Castle.
Upcoming events in Limerick: Lough Gur’s Wellbeing Day, May 16. Ireland v Barbarians, May 28. Culture & Chips festival, May 28-June 2. The Pig ‘n’ Porter tag rugby event, July 11. DruidShakespeare, June 23, 24, 26 and 27. Limerick Sings International Choral Festival, June 26-29.
Tourism Ireland’s May board meeting took place in the Sligo Park Hotel. Picture shows Paul Gunning with Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland Tourism Ireland board members and senior managers to Lissadell House.
Tourism NI announced the line up for the Pro Am competition at Royal County Down, May 27: AP McCoy, Pat Jennings, Stephen Ferris, Shane Warne, James Nesbitt, Dennis Taylor, Jamie Redknapp, Patrick Kielty and George Hook. Buy tickets here.
Upcoming events in Cavan and Fermanagh, promoted by The Border Uplands Project: Fermanagh — Saturday night dinner cruises, Lough Erne, May 2- September 26. The Marble Arch Caves 30th anniversary, May 31. Festival Lough Erne, June 20-21. Forest Fun and Minibeast Hunt, the Marble Arch Caves, June 7. The Adventures of Robin Hood, Ardhowen Theatre, May 20. Cavan — A Taste of Cavan, Cavan town, August 7-8. Fleadh Cheoil an Chabhain, Swanlinbar, May 31-June 1. Cavan Kayakarun, August 8. The Cavan Walking Festival, May 1-10.
Tourism Ireland and Transavia launched a billboard campaign on the Paris Metro to promote the airline’s daily Dublin to Paris-Orly flight from June 1.
The White Tailed Sea Eagle Viewing & Information Point at Mountshannon Pier, Co Clare reopened this week.