TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair to Rhine-air, the battle for Germany’s domestic air market has begun



'Green Spirit', the Aer Lingus Airbus 320 painted in IRFU livery.

‘Green Spirit’, the Aer Lingus Airbus 320 painted in IRFU livery.

  • The €13m group booking
  • Ryanair brings forward its German offensive by eight weeks
  • Where next for Aer Lingus? See our print edition
  • Celebrity introduced Luminae, their suite class restaurant
  • And rugby players might fly…Aer Lingus wins with marketing promotion

Travel Extra TV

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 11.39.15Our video of the week comes from photographer Oliver Astrologo who created this beautiful montage of his tour of Vietnam. Watch here.

  • Two experienced daredevils climb the Shenzhen Centre with no safety equipment. Watch here.
  • U2 (in disguise) busk in New York City with help from Jimmy Fallon (also in disguise). Watch here.
  • Ryanair urge David Cameron to drop APD in England. Watch here.
  • Introducing Green Spirit by Aer Lingus. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus Dublin-Washington from the flight deck. Watch here.
  • Richie Porte announces his participation in Gran Fondo Giro D’Italia Northern Ireland, June 21. Watch here.
  • Fáilte Ireland uploaded a video promoting Ireland as an events destination. The video was launched at the opening of the European Sports Tourism Summit at Thomond Park. Watch here.
  • Drone footage of Carlow. Watch here.
  • Ryanair Family Extra promo. Watch here.
  • Emirates’ Be There campaign. Watch here.
  • Monocle magazine launches its travel guide series. Watch here.
  • Visit Scotland’s guide to whisky. Watch here.


cover june 300The June 2015 print edition of Travel Extra will arrive in agencies over the coming days, read here. The latest edition has an extensive look at developments in the USA including the marquee route to be announced by Aer Lingus in 2016, the new Aer Lingus direct route to Washington DC and newsbytes from all individual cities and states in advance of IPW in Orlando next month. We also feature Rivercruise launches and trends for 2015, and trends in car hire. We look at developments in cruise including the new Anthem of the Seas’ even more technologically advanced than its predecessor, the refurbished Explorer of the Seas which has been given many of the extra facilities on more expensive cruise ships, and the future for the dynamic “no set” dining option that was met with less enthusiasm than anticipated when it was rolled out by Royal Caribbean. There are reports from travel events from four continents including Indaba, Rendez Vous France, and a review of the Hurtigruten Arctic cruise which will be served once again by direct charter from Dublin to Tromsø next March, The home holiday section samples some of Ireland’s Eden destinations and the call out for this year’s hopefuls with a culinary theme. We look at the emergence of Spain’s tourism infrastructure to become a world leader, the prospect of late specials in the Irish marketplace this summer, the transformation of Ashford Castle in Mayo, the implications of Dublin Airport’s expansion on plans for the parallel runway, Aer Lingus’s new business class product which is now available across the 330 fleet, how sales at the Loop in Dublin Airport are ahead of expectations, plans for the ITAA conference in Jerez including the post-fam options, the fall-out from the May round of license bonding, the expansion plans in Ireland of Travelsavers group, confusion about South Africa’s new visa regime, and Globe Hotels‘ plans to recruit homeworkers to expand its holiday experts product. Stephen McNally, president of the Irish Hotels Federation contributes this month’s Busman’s Holiday. Ever restless, the Travel Extra team are hard at work trekking through five continents to prepare the next edition.

peetr long tuiAs TUI confirmed that it is to migrate to a single brand across all its markets, it emerged that Ireland could be the last of TUI’s 32 countries to switch. The move to create ‘one power brand will signal the end of Falcon Holidays, Thomson and First Choice, but will take several years to complete, according to Group chief executive Peter Long. TUI family brands understand that the move is to integrate mainstream brands, and specialist brands such as American Holidays andCrystal will not be affected. The corporation is to sell off LateRooms to cut winter losses and to rebrand its airline operations.

Details emerged this week of the ultimate group booking: 6,400 employees of Li Jinyuan’s Tiens Group were hosted by their employers in Paris in a €13m incentives promotion by their employer, who booked up 140 hotels for the experience.

kenny JacobsRyanair brought forward their first German domestic route Cologne-Berlin by eight weeks, and with it its anticipated offensive against Air Berlin and Germanwings. This is a reaction to Germanwings’s announcement that it would begin its own Berlin Schönefeld-Cologne/Bonn flights on October 5. Kenny Jacobs told the PhocusWright conference in Dublin that Germany would be responsible for 20pc of Ryanair’s growth this year and half of Ryanair’s growth in the years ahead will be to and from primary airports in the years ahead. He also predicted that Skyscanner and KAYAK are going to be squeezed by Google and the airlines. As for Ryanair, 95pc of their business is booked direct, the strength of the brand plays in their favour, and because flight is first on the decision process, Ryanair can move to be more of a travel business beyond ancillary services. “Travel intermediaries should be concerned about what Google are doing, their flight search facility works for Ryanair.” Kenny Jacobs said Facebook is a big part of Ryanair plans, as social sharing will be integrated into the booking process. On the dreaded transatlantic move, he said Heathrow airport offers 55 destinations but Stansted offers 170 so Stansted is a transatlantic hub waiting to happen. He said connections with international carriers are a possibility but alliances are not. “We want to be the Amazon of travel, we like their relentless use of data and focus on conversions.”

washington press club ceos copyThree major American airline CEOs spoke together, perhaps for the first time in history, at the Press Club in Washington DC. Doug Parker of American Airlines said: “Once the hubs start to unwind, the airlines start to unwind.” Richard Anderson of Delta: US carriers are major economic drivers, AA, DL and UA together invest Us$12bn annually in aircraft and services.” Jeff Smisek of United: “Most of you have better guidance systems on your Hondas than our ATC. Jeff Smisek replied, when asked when three CEOs would speak together again: “Hopefully never.” The three shared a stage to further their campaign against Emirates, Etihad and Qatar. Elsewhere, Scott Kirby president of American Airlines Group said airlines are not seeing capacity discipline – growth is higher than GDP and fares are falling. “I think most people define ‘capacity discipline’ as supply aligned with demand – it’s not aligned in 2015.”

eoghan st michael's mount copyOn the same day as the Dublin-Washington route launched, Aer Lingus Regional launched a new ATR 72-600 route from Dublin to Newquay in Cornwall opening up the sixth of the ancient Celtic nations to be served from Dublin. The flights are on Friday (13.50), Saturday (12.40) and Sunday (9.40), switch to 5w on June 1, adding Monday (13.15) and Tuesday (13.10) and continue until September 15. Flight time is 70 minutes. Picture shows Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry at St Michael’s mount for an evening visit before enjoying a meal and a hearty dynnargh dhis at Trevor Austin’s Fire Engine Inn in Marazion.

IMG_3486China signed an agreement to build a golf course in Bello Monte, on the west side of Havana, FitCuba 2015. The 35th FitCuba Travel Fair in Jardines del Rey, Cuba’s fourth tourism circuit. President of the Gaviota Group, Carlos Latuff Carmenate said Meliá would expand their portfolio to celebrate 25 years in Cuba. Cuba is campaigning to attract more yachts from the Caribbean. Irish tour operators report that enquiries about travel to Cuba have trebled since the first tentative signs that the infamous US ban on travel to Cuba might be lifted, at least partially, what one veteran Cuba specialist called a “get there before the Americans” effect. A pool showed 30pc of US adults are planning or would consider a trip to Cuba in the next two
years. Picture shows the closing beach party.

richard bray eoghan corry indaba 2015Indaba 2015 concluded in Durban with the 2,000 buyers and 750 sellers dispersing through KZN and other provinces and homewards. Some of the Irish delegates were among the last standing at the closing party in Moyo. Among those prominent in the exhibition halls was Serge whose high end travel fair We Are Africa had a successful second staging, albeit with a weird high-tech closing ceremony, to join Pure in Morocco as the continent’s leading high-end travel event. Picture shows Richard Bray, founding GM of the Lyragh in Kilkenny and now CEO of the Premier Hotel groups based in Cape Town, with Travel Extra’s editor Eoghan Corry at the event.

One in five Irish people who travel use a travel agent, according to a survey by ecommerce partner Webloyalty. The survey suggested 69pc of Irish people have been abroad in the last two years, that  84pc of those that have been abroad in the last two years booked online, that mobile bookings for holidays are relatively low, that online search engines are most popular Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 16.44.07method for researching holidays and that price is the most important factor in selecting a holiday.

The MSC Splendida, the 11th largest cruise liner in the world, visited Cobh and Dublin last week. See drone footage of her sailing from Cork.

Travel Trade

IMG_7174 copyFriday is referendum day in Ireland and the travel industry chose to turn out to support Ciaran Mulligan and Mary McKenna in their campaign for a yes vote.

David O’Hagan’s Donabate Travel signed with Worldchoice Ireland bringing its membership base to 54 following some consolidation with branch movement and the retirement of Peter McGinnity in Cavan. A new Worldchoice Bedbank goes live next week. Don Shearer CEO of Worldchoice says he is currently distributing members overrides which have increased by an average of 40pc with some members recording rebate increases of 200pc year on year. A new Worldchoice Gathering for members and trade partners will take place later in the year.v

jo speakingCelebrity Cruises have fitted a speciality restaurant exclusively for their suite customers on nine of their ten ships, separate entrance, separate chef, separate kitchen and separate menu. Luminae went live in April and the Celebrity team experienced it for the first time last week on Eclipse. Celebrity will be the first cruise ship out of Abu Dhabi’s new port in 2016. The dedicated team for Celebrity Cruises has been in place for a year now. Picture shows the hosts at the Celebrity Cruises event for travel media, Andrew Bolton and Claire Stirrup of Celebrity Cruises, Sally Ann Clarke of L’Ecrivain, Jo Rzymowska and Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises and Emma Wayman of Siren Pr at L’Ecrivain restaurant. Jo Rzymowska revealed her Irish background: her mother from Charleville, Co Cork and she found a half sister last year. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Colin Brodie of Visit Florida who hosted the Irish travel trade in Chapter One Restaurant, Dublin, May 14 2015

Colin Brodie and the team at Visit Florida held a thank you event for the Irish travel trade at Chapter One restaurant in Dublin. The team promised a wide variety of incentives to counter any problems in demand created by the rising dollar. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Professionals Skillnet is holding a fire warden training sessions in the ITAA Office on Westmoreland Street, Wed May 27, 9.30am-5.30pm for €120. More info/book here. Finance for Non Finance Professionals, Professional Development Training Centre, Blanchardstown, May 21-22, 9.30am-5.30pm, cost €299. More info/book here. Excel early bird special, level 1 and 2, €150, book before 6pm March 23. More info/bookings. SEO and Google analytics, Hampton Hotel, May 26, 9.30am-1pm, cost €60. More info/bookings.

Tour America Team (1) copy

Tour America announced that it is opening a new office in Davenport near Orlando.
Ingrid Aagesen has joined Norwegian Cruise Line as London based project manager.

The European Sport Tourism Summit and European Sport Tourism Awards took place in Thomond Park this week.

Pic 1 REPRO FREE 05/05/2015, Dubai – Six tourism companies from the island of Ireland travelled to Dubai, to join Tourism Ireland at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) – in a bid to grow visitor numbers from the Middle East in 2015 and beyond. PIC SHOWS: Nasser Bahlooq, Emirates Airlines, on the Tourism Ireland stand at Arabian Travel Market 2015. Northern Ireland and its Game of Thrones connections was one of the key themes highlighted by Tourism Ireland at ATM. Pic – Tourism Ireland (no repro fee) Further press info – Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland 087 685 9027
Sunway emails will be offline between Friday 6pm and Monday 9am.
What does the future hold for travel agencies? Video of a discussion from Arabian Travel Market.

Lowcostbeds and Emirates are awarding agents €5 One4all vouchers on all bookings to Dubai and Thailand made up to May 31.


Hastings Hotels Group bought Windsor House in Bedford Street, Belfast for £6.5m.

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 18.43.17Marriott Hotels introduced a request option to its mobile app. Guests can type requests 72 hours before, during and after their stays. The feature will be rolled out to all properties by the summer.

  • Starwood Hotels launched SPG Keyless, an app for members of the Preferred Guest loyalty programme to open their hotel room door.
  • Legoland Hotel at Legoland Florida Resort opened this week. Other openings this week included the 172 Room Hyatt House Seattle/Downtown.
  • The 501-room five star Mövenpick Hotel & Palais Des Congrès, Marrakech is to soft open in the autumn following a US$69 million renovation and expansion programme.
  • Hilton Worldwide partnered with World Wildlife Fund to help improve the brand’s impact on the environment.
  • Hyatt Hotels announced that a Hyatt Place hotel and Hyatt Place hotel will open in Jeddah.
  • The Hoxton hotel group will open its first property outside London in Amsterdam.
  • Melia Hotels International opened an Innside-brand property in Manchester. Melia reported a 4pc increase in Q1 revenues.
  • Choice hotels opened its first dual brand Inn/Mainstay Suites property in Mississippi.
  • Accor is expected to open a new resort in Cuba in November.
  • A 226-suite Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel will open in St Kitts in Q1 2017.
  • Nobu hotel brand will open a property in Mexico in 2017.



Alton Towers - Air Rollercoaster copyAlton Towers launched the Big Six challenge, inviting visitors to ride six of its biggest rollercoasters in one day. 

  • The Orlando Eye closed after an irregularity was found and engineers worked to fix an unspecified problem.
  • TUI reported that Q2 losses were down to €167.8m, and summer bookings are up 2pc.
  • Hotelzon opened its 12th country office in Frankfurt. It also announced that it is increasing the size of its Finnish team.
  • Eight people were killed and dozens more injured in the Amtrak rail accident in Philadelphia.
  • The Middle East’s tallest suspension bridge (80m high) is scheduled to open in the  Ardabil province, Iran.
  • The Israel Festival takes place May 28- June 24.
  • Travelport announced a participation agreement with Air Lituanica.
  • Hilton HHonours members can earn 1,500 bonus points per night at Curio Collection hotels until July 31.
  • English magazine Family Traveller launched the Family Traveller Awards.
  • Jennifer Lopez will commence a five-month residency show in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas from January 20, 2016.
  • A French tourist was killed by a bull shark while snorkelling off Kouare island.
  • The failed coup to remove Burundi president Pierre Nkurunziza has caused the DFA to warn against all travel to the country.
  • Dubai is rolling out free WiFi in 200 locations.
  • Madame Tussauds launched a Star Wars experience.
  • Copenhagen is considering asking its traffic wardens to double as tour guides.
  • The Gazelle Valley urban park opened in Jerusalem.
  • A second major earthquake hit Nepal on Tuesday.
  • Nine people were killed after a mosque wall collapsed because of heavy rain in Nairobi.
  • Travelport announced an operational agreement with Travelport Distribution Bulgaria.
  • Sabre plans to buy Asia GDS Abacus International.

Food and Wine

Wexford Food Festival copyTwenty events have been organised for the 7th annual Wexford Food and Wine Festival, May 21-25. Highlights include the Wexford South Main Ale traile, food guided foraging, pop up restaurants, bee keeping workshop and a cooking demo with Phelim Byrne.

The Burren Slow Good Festival continues until May 23-24, when there will be cooking demos and talks in the Lisdoonvarna Pavilion. Derry Clarke, JP McMahon and Ross Lewis will be hosting cooking classes. Other highlights include a Food Producers Forum, a guided walk outlining the history of farming in the Burren, a food foraging walk and a famers market.

  • Butlers Chocolates is collecting donations for St Vincent de Paul on Tuesday, May 19.
  • A Hello Kitty-themed restaurant opened in Hong Kong.
  • The Gibson hotel is the exclusive hotel partner of Taste of Dublin 2015.



AerLingus_IRFU_320_EIDEO_DUB_100515_0199 copyLaunch of the week, in terms of coverage, was the Aer Lingus A320 in Irish Rugby Team colours.

  • Kerry Airport handled 296,000 passengers In 2014, a 3.3pc decline on 2013 and retaining its place as Ireland’s eighth busiest airport.
  • Ethiopian Airlines‘ scheduled operations at Dublin started  with a westbound tech stop on ET500 Addis Ababa to Washington (B777-200LR). An eastbound B737-800 delivery Seattle-Kevin TolandWashington-Dublin-Addis Ababa came on Sunday as a bonus.
  • Kevin Toland of DAA (pictured) said the Cork to Dublin air route would require a €1.5m annual subsidy to make it feasible.
  • Enda Corneille, Country Manager at Emirates was interviewed on Newstalk’s Down to Business (listen here).
  • The Manchester Guardian: How I finally learned to stop worrying and love Ryanair.
  • Boeing is to close the 787 surge line to make way for producing 777X.
  • Bombardier Belfast hopes to save 60 of the 280 jobs under threat.
  • FlyPlymouth said it was planning to launch to launch flights from Plymouth to Dublin and Belfast in the summer in 2016. Plymouth has a notoriously short runway.
  • Aviation quotes from ATM 2015: Qatar’s Al Baker: “When you fool your passengers…you cannot compete for long” (referring to poor service at US airlines). Emirates’ Tim Clark: “Market share is not a right. It is earned” (referring to accusations they were stealing passengers).
  • Air India are talking to Airbus about a $1.5bn jet order.
  • France bought an extra 1.7pc stake in Air France KLM.
  • Aer Lingus cabin crew prepared to ballot over outsourcing the Shannon-Boston route for 12 weeks during the summer to an American-registered B767 aircraft.
  • There was more discussion on the proposed aviation fuel pipeline through North Dublin (listen here).
  • Stobart Air appointed Martin Saxton as Chief Commercial Officer, a former Director of Operational Planning and Commercial Planning at Flybe and Fleet Planning Manager at British Midland Airways. New CFO is Graeme Buchanan formerly of Aventas which used to be the Quinn Group. New COO is Andy Jolly, former general manager of Hebridean Air Services and COO of Loganair.
  • Mayo county councillor Christy Loftus suggested the local authority could waive the rates paid by Ireland West Airport Knock for a period of five years to further support the airport. Knock airport  is paying €150,000 in rates annually.
  • Ryanair extended into the winter routes from Dublin to Copenhagen, Lublin and Venice Treviso as well as increased frequencies to Alicante (6x), Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Faro (daily), London Gatwick, Madrid, Tenerife (5w) & Warsaw (8w). It expects to increase its Dublin passengers for the year to 9.7m from 8.5m.
  • Dublin Airport welcomed Ryanair’s frequency increases to Alicante (6w), Faro (daily), Tenerife (5w) and Warsaw (8w). Ryanair will operate two new services to Copenhagen and Lublin next winter and extend its Venice Treviso service.
  • Aer Lingus new B service has been extended to operate to January 4th. It was originally planned as a summer service, to finish end of October.
  • Dublin Airport grew its business out of Belfast and the north east by 52pc in 2014.
  • It was speculated Easyjet is due to unveil a major new European route from Belfast in the coming weeks.
  • Cork and Shannon airports suffered significant declines in their traffic movements last month, with Shannon down 20.4pc and Cork down 12pc. The IAA’s traffic figures show that flights in Irish airspace were up 5.6pc YOY in April. Traffic at Dublin Airport was up 6.1pc.
  • FLY Leasing reported a Q1 net income of $17.3m.
  • Aer Lingus Regional has added extra capacity to its Dublin-Isle of Man route for the Isle Man TT motocross race, which takes place May 30-June 12.
  • There was some intriguing speculation that low oil prices are providing a tailwind to the Boeing 777 instead of the 787. Boeing attempted to build and deliver a Boeing 787-9 in 67 days. Boeing’s Ray Conner says 737 Max wing spar load (LN5602) begins this month in Renton
  • Brian Ambrose is expected to tell the Public Inquiry into the passenger cap at Belfast City Airport that if the seats for sale restriction is removed, the airport will adhere to noise restrictions as imposed by the Department of the Environment.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping will touch down at Shannon Airport today at 2pm.
  • Flybe launched its summer seat sale.
  • United Airlines previewed its new website offering more personalisation and search option. The airline offered to reward hackers, offering a bug bounty to find tech security flaws.
  • Thomas Cook’s proposed route to Reno ran into opposition from US Customs and Border Protection
  • Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary told the Chartered Accountants Ireland Annual Conference in Galway: being nice to people is good for business.
  • Belfast City Airport will hold a runway run on June 24.
  • American Airlines’ Shannon-Philadelphia route returned with added capacity.
  • Spain says free and unlimited Wi-Fi will be available in 46 airports by the end of year.
  • Ryanair celebrated carrying 4m passengers at City of Derry Airport.
  • Flybe have added additional frequency on the Cardiff to Dublin and Cork routes.
  • Qatar launched its A359 XWB service to Singapore Changi airport.
  • A passenger is suing United Airlines because in-flight entertainment cut out during a flight.
  • American Airlines Group expects to phase out US Airways completely by autumn. The US Airways reservations system will migrate to American Airlines’ system in the summer.
  • Hilton announced a partnership with Japanese airlines ANA. Ana passengers will be offered Hilton-brand lounge and in-flight services.
  • Bombardier and US company Pratt & Whitney to develop a data management service for the CSeries aircraft’s health management system.
  • Lufthansa installed premium economy on half of its long-haul fleet.
  • FLY Leasing says it expects to sell a handful of older aircraft in the mid-life aircraft market.
  • Qatar Airways acquired the Novotel Edinburgh Park Hotel in Scotland.
  • The American Customer Satisfaction Index claimed that business travellers are twice as likely to file a complaint for poor airline service.
  • United Airlines previewed a redesigned website, available to view at
  • Qatar Airways placed an A350 on service from Doha to Singapore.
  • Flybe launched its London-Newquay and Southampton-Milan services.
  • Finnair increased its codeshare agreement with Japan Airlines and Qantas.
  • A Canadian woman unexpectedly gave birth on an Air Canada flight from Alberta to Tokyo.



Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have both increased the crew gratuity charge to $12.95 from $12 per person, per day and to $15.95 from $14.25 for premium cruise passengers schedule to sail on or after July 1. Charges in Celebrity suites go up to $16.45 per person per day from $15.50. Charges are automatically added to passenger’s bills. Passengers with existing bookings can pre-pay their gratuities before June 1 to lock in the current rate. It follows a similar increase by Norwegian Cruise Line in February.

Viking Cruises‘ first oceangoing ship Viking Star will be christened in Norway today (Sunday May 17). Delivery of Viking Sky, one of the new vessels from Viking Ocean Cruises, has been delayed from June 2016 to February 2017. Construction of the vessel has been moved from Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard, near Venice to the Ancona shipyard, where Viking Sea, is under construction.

  • Azamara Quest’s scheduled dry dock due in September has been moved to April 2016 to allow further upgrades. Azamara Journey’s dry dock remains on schedule for January 2016.
  • Prices on Hurtigruten’s Arctic Highlights trip on March 22 next will start from €1285pps including direct return flights from Dublin, transfers, two nights in a hotel and voyage from Tromsø to Kirkenes and back to Tromsø on half board basis. Trips to explore the Arctic are offered all year round using scheduled flights.
  • Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines‘ Balmoral cut short its eight-night Norwegian Fjords cruise due to an outbreak of a gastro-enteritis type illness
  • Puerto Vallarta Tourism director Agustin Alvarez insisted the city was safe for tourists after the USA issued a travel advisory and Royal Caribbean cancelled scheduled calls by Jewel of the Seas and Celebrity Infinity due to armed violence in the state of Jalisco.
  • Irish Ferries owner ICG reported revenues up 7.3pc to €85.1m in the first four months of the year.
  • Princess Cruise’s celebrations programme has added packages for birthdays, weddings, engagements, vow renewals and honeymoons.
  • The Viking Ocean Cruises Show Garden features at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show.
  • Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has urged cruise passengers to stray from tourist-trodden paths in Australia’s gateway port to Sydney Villages
  • TUI Cruises will transfer Mein Schiff 1 and 2, both formerly Celebrity Cruises’ Century-class ships, to Thomson Cruises, in an effort to modernise its English-based sister line. Thomson acquired Splendour of the Seas, from Royal Caribbean International in March.
  • Seatrade Cruise Med 2016 will take place in Tenerife, September 21-23 2016.

Deal Watch

  • Discover Travel is offering a 10 day full board tour of Ethiopia from €2999pp incl taxes, all flights and all transfers. Intinerary include Addis Ababa, Bahar Dar, Gonar, Lalibela, Axum and Harar. For more, visit or call 021 4635440.                                    
  • ITAA offers of the week: 12 nights B&B 5* Thailand trip from €1,879pp incl. return flights from Dublin, Cork or Shannon and airport transfers, travel September or October. 7 nights half board Over 55s Hillwalking tour, Majorca from €699pp incl. return flights from Dublin or Cork, 1 checked in bag and airport transfers, depart October 5. 3 nights B&B 3* Virginal Hotel, Lake Garda from €349pps incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, depart May 27.
  • Lowcostbeds offers of the week, prices based on 2+2 share, 7 nights, depart June 20: 3* Silchoro apartments, Albuferia, Portugal from €9.50pppn. 3* Ourasol apartments, Albuferia, Portugal from €11pppn self catering. 3* THB Flora, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €7pppn self catering. 3* VIK Club Coral Beach, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €14.50pppn self catering. 4* Principe Sol Hotel, Torremolinos, Costa Del Sol from €33.50pppn. 3* Veramar Apartments, Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol from €13.50pppn self catering. See for more.
  • Click and Go offers: 3 nights B&B 3* Akcent Hotel, Prague from €225pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel May or June. 7 nights self catering Puertocarmen Aparthotel, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €379pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in May or June. 7 nights B&B 3* Lido Hotel, Estoril, Lisbon Coast from €515pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in June. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Fantasia De Luxe Hotel, Kusadasi, Turkey from €579pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and transfers, travel in May. Visit or call 01 637 1699.
  • Thomson offers: 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Talayot, Cala Millor, Majorca from €639pp, depart August 25. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Island Escape – Med Adventure, Majorca from €779pp, depart June 16. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Riu Helios Bay, Obzor, Bulgaria from €649pp, depart June 1. 7 nights B&B 3* Katerina Palace, Argassi, Zakynthos from €459pp, depart June 9. 7 nights half board 3* Barcelo Margaritas, Gran Canaria, depart June 6.
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Nicon, Kos town from €399pp, depart June 6. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sun Palace, Faliraki, Rhodes from €1,849 for two adults and one child, and from €2,359 for two adults and two children, depart June 10. 7 nights self catering 3* Loulas Village, Psaras, Corfu from €1,149 for two adults and one child, and from €1,549 for two adults and two children, depart August 28. 7 nights B&B 3* Katerina Palace, Argassi, Zakynthos from €440pp, depart June 9. 7 nights self catering 3* Terrazamar Suites, Puerto Rica, Gran Canaria from €469pp, depart June 6.
  • Riviera Travel extra capacity: 4 nights B&B Normandy from €689pp, depart June 13. 3 nights B&B Bruges from €509pp, depart June 14. 4 nights B&B Berlin, Dresden, Meissen and Colditz from €679pp, depart June 16. 3 nights B&B Paris from €489pp, depart June 19. Prices include flights ex Dublin, taxes, 15kg checkin in baggage pp and tours.
  • Riviera 2016 long haul tours are on sale now: 15 nights Vietnam and Cambodia from €3,029pp. 15 nights South Africa from €2,449pp. 14 nights California and the Golden West from €2,709pp. 10 nights India from €2,429/€2,959pp with 4 night Shimla extension.
  • Sunway cruise offers: 7 nights Mediterranean Cruise on board the Norwegian Epic from €869pp, depart June 14. 12 nights 5* Mediterranean Cruise on board the Celebrity Equinox from €1,129pp, depart May 21. 7 nights Mediterranean Cruise on board the MSC Fantasia from €999pp, depart July 3. 12 nights Greece and Turkey cruise on board the Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas from €1,079pp, depart June 9. Prices include flights ex Dublin. See for more.
  • Sunway’s Turkey sales on tomorrow, May 18: 7 nights B&B 4* Sea Pearl Hotel from €359pp, 14 nights from €599pp, travel in June. 7 nights B&B 4* Sunset Plaza Hotel from €499pp, 14 nights from €699pp, depart in July. 7 nights 4& Golden Day Hotel from €459pp, 14 nights from €599pp, depart in August. 7 nights Kids from €359pp, 14 nights from €359pp, depart in September. See for more. Prices include flights ex Shannon, return airport transfers, taxes, charges and 20kg checked in baggage pp.
  • Sunway offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Samira Club Hotel, Tunisia from €499 per adult and from €439 per child, travel in June. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Club Hotel RIU Bellevue Park, Tunisia from €569 per adult and from €499 per child, travel in June. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmin Hotel, Izmir, Turkey from €889pp, €2,229 for two adults and one child and from €3,559 for two adults and two children, depart June 28. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmwings Kusadasi, Izmir, Turkey from €919 per adults and from €459 per child, depart June 20. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sami Beach Hotel, Gumbet, Turkey from €819 per adult and from €489 per child, depart June 21. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Mark Warner Beach Club, Bodrum, Turkey from €2,779 for two adults and two children, depart June 13. 7 nights all inclusive Club Med Kamarina, Sicily from €3,549 for two adults and two children, depart June 14. 7 nights self catering 2* Surfing Playa Apartments, Santa Ponsa from €499pp, depart June 14. 7 nights self catering 3* Verdemar Apartments, Santa Ponsa from €499pp, depart June 14.
  • Sunway is offering 1 night all inclusive 3* Rantasipi Pohjanhovi Hotel, Lapland from €859 per adult and from €759 per child incl. flight ex Dublin, activities such as snow mobile ride, reindeer sleigh ride, arctic clothing, gingerbread decorating and a visit to Santa, depart December 19. Deposit €300 per family. See for more.
  • Wendy Wu offer: Book a group tour to India and get a free 2 night 3* break in Abu Dhabi incl. return airport transfers and city tour. Travel from September 1 to March 19 2016, book before May 31. For more info, visit or call 0818 776 380.
  • Travel Department offers, solo friendly, no single room supplement: 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Girassol from €789pp incl. taxes and flights ex Dublin, depart July 2 or September 24. 14 nights Cape Town, the Garden Route and Kruger National Park from €2,799pp incl. taxes, accommodation, flights ex Dublin and all transfers, depart September 2. 11 nights tour of Delhi, the Taj Mahal and Rajasthan from €1,599pp incl. taxes, flights ex Dublin and all transfers. 8 nights B&B 5* The Legendale Hotel, Beijing from €1,799pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival and flights ex Dublin, depart September 6 or November 10. 9 nights Moscow and St Petersburg trip from €1,569pp incl. taxes accommodation, transfers and flights ex Dublin. 10 nights trip to Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai from €2,099pp incl. taxes accommodation, flights ex Dublin and transfers, depart October 15. 7 nights half board Lake Como, the Swiss Alps and Milan from  €679pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival and accommodation in the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, depart October 21. 7 nights B&B Estoril and the Lisbon Coast from €669pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival and accommodation at Hotel Londres, depart October 28. For more, visit or call 01 637 1600.
  • Globe Hotels is offering half bard Cordial Golf Plaza Tenerife from €169pp incl. upgrade to bedroom suite, and one free spa access per adult per stay, travel June 1, 3, 7, 10, 11, 15 or 16. See for more.
  • Tour America offers: 7 nights Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Orlando from €599pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart June 8. 3 nights Beacon Hotel, New York from €799pp incl. return flights, depart December 3. 4 nights Harras Las Vegas from €689pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart November 19.
  • Irish Ferries is offering 3 nights B&B in the Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel for €499 for two adults and two children under 12 incl. return car ferry crossing and one full day at Alton Towers, travel before June 30.
  • Topflight offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €689pps incl. return flights ex Dublin, resort transfers, rep service and luggage, Depart June 14. Sorrento excursions: Half day pizza school with lunch €70pp. Half day ice cream classes €19pp. Enogastronomic half day tour €79 per person. Full day Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius €45pp. Half day Herculaneum €35pp. Capri boat tour €79pp. Amalfi drive €35pp. Naples shopping full day €60pp. Sorrento musical evening €25pp. For more, visit or call 01 2401 700.
  • Tourism NI offers the week: 1 night B&B Dunadry Hotel from £150pp incl. dinner in the Flax & Beetle Restaurants, a selection of dark chocolates and late check-out, available until December 19, call 028 9443 4343 to book. 1 night Bramble Cottage Studio, Enniskillen from £120 for two sharing, available Friday to Sunday until May 31, call 028 6634 8138 to book. 1 night Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh from £99pps incl. complimentary drinks on arrival and dinner in Barreta Bar and Grill, available until December 1, call 028 8224 2520 to book. 1 night B&B Europa Hotel, Belfast from £80pps incl. 3 course dinner in the restaurant, available until July 31, call 028 9027 1066 to book.


Porsche-Ireland-WAW-smallA convoy of 50 Porches will travel the length of the Wild Atlantic Way next week, starting at Malin Head today. The trip is organised by Fáilte Ireland and Porsche Club Ireland.

  • Rhys Walton (Beaverstown, son of Philip), Ian Brennan (Greenore), Ben Doyle (Blackwood), Ciaran Hegarty (Kilcock), Brian McCormack (Galway), Neil O’Briain (Old Conna) and James Sullivan (Roe Park) are all partipcpating in the qualifiers for the PGA Assistants’ Championship.
  • Former Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller has stepped down from his role as chairman of An Post and from the board of Tourism Ireland.
  • Picture shows the three-eyed animatronic ravens from Game of Thrones outside Belfast City Hall as part of a promotion by Tourism Ireland.
  • So farewell then, Derek Davis, great friend of the home holiday industry and a man who promoted culinary tourism when it was barely out of the kitchen. As a result, he was responsible for one of the most explicit sex scenes in the history of Ireland’s national broadcaster when some rabbits from the show farm in Morrell Farm in Straffan were brought into studio for Live at Three., Derek handled a potentially embarrassing situation with aplomb: “what do rabbits do?”
  • IAE-media-smallFáilte Ireland held Ancient East workshops in Portlaoise, Goreyand Youghal for tourism operators in the east and south. A group of journalists from the US, Germany, Spain, Belgium and India (pictured) took part in a fam trip of Ireland’s Ancient East with an itinerary organised by Fáilte Ireland.
  • Cork Summer Show takes place June 20-21, Curraheee Showgrounds. The event is expected to attract 55,000 visitors. There will be 2,000 animals on show, the All Ireland Angus beef championship, home and garden expo, vintage rally and artisan produce.
  • Mike Laflin of Sportcal told the European Sport Tourism Summit in Thomond Park that Ireland is underachieving in the €450bn sports tourism sector, ranking number 68 in attracting international events.
  • Fáilte Ireland launched this year’s Tourism Towns Award. Only towns ranked in the top 100 Tidy Towns 2014 are eligible. Closing date for applications is Friday, June 12.
  • The Open Fringe Festival takes place May 25-31 as part of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The fringe line up includes: GAA Legends Exhibition Game, comedy from Patrick Kielty and  the Mourne Landscape Tour.
  • The INIS Fest will take place at Ennis Showgrounds in Co Clare, June 26-28. Line up includes Nathan Carter, Damien Dempsey and Delorentos. Tickets cost €27 1 night, €50 2 nights, on sale now.
  • Ireland ranked number 2 for environmental sustainability, 3 for cost to start a business, 4 for government prioritisation of tourism industry and 5 for tourism marketing in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index.
  • Ireland will host the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. The competition will be played in Dublin and Belfast.
  • Entry for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open closed this week. 156 players from 20 countries will attend the event from May 28-31. Line up includes: Rory McIlroy, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Danny Willett, Paul Lawrie, Paul McGinley and Shane Lowry.
  • The WAW features in this month’s of Canadian magazine Ensemble Vacations.

Fógra (with apologies to the late Con Houlihan)

Next weekend the Irish Press group will have been out of print for twenty years and Irish journalism is all the poorer for it. Remembering the occupation, featuring Travel Extra‘s Gerry O’Hare and his ingenious sleeping arrangements: Watch here.

Stephen Collins, Eoghan Corry and Tim Pat Coogan at the launch of the biography of Domhnall Ua Buachalla by Adhamhnan O Suilleabhain in O'Connell House, May 14 2015

Picture shows Tim Pat Coogan, Eoghan Corry, and Stephen Collins at a book launch by their former colleague Adhamhnán Ó Súilleabháin last week, a long-overdue biography of Dómhnall O Buchalla. Tim Pat celebrated his eightieth birthday on Inis Mór last weekend. Former Irish Press colleagues will be gathering in Dublin next Friday to catch up on two lost decades.

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

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