The headlines this week:
- Another milestone for Irish aviation
- Long haul continues as the Lingus success story
- ITAA discuss the Package Holiday Directive
- Another cosy tourism briefing
- Travel Corporation thank the trade
Travel Extra TV
Excellent work by the pilot of this Aer Lingus Regional ATR 72 during a crosswind landing at Cork Airport, our video of the week. Watch here.
- What are the odds of Dublin being attacked by a 40ft cartoon character? One in a Minion. We know, we know — that joke was Despicable. Watch here.
- First there were the legroom wars, now there are the selfie stick sword fights. Watch here.
- Introducing Hailo’s three-year-old driver. Watch here.
- See Tourism Ireland’s promo for Armoy Road Races, Antrim. Watch here.
- An elephant’s first encounter with a GoPro. Watch here.
- What’s it like to work at Aer Lingus head office? Watch here.
- Economist Dan Ariely’s guide to a happier holiday. Watch here.
- The Airbus A350 XWB visits EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Watch here.
- Emirates operated a one-off A380 flight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Watch here.
Another milestone was passed by Irish aviation this week. Ryanair became the sixth airline ever, first in Europe and the second outside America, to join the 10m passengers-in-a-month club. The club now includes Delta, Southwest, China Southern, United and American Airlines with China Eastern likely to join this or next month. July is the equivalent of hay making season for airlines and Ryanair were first to tie up the roundy bale. The next barrier: the first European airline to fly more than 100m passengers in a year. It is a long way from the a 15-seater Bandeirante aircraft which took off from Waterford for Gatwick airport in 1985. See picture from Michael Kennedy’s Pioneers and Aviators book, published by Avolon.
Aer Lingus were also making hay while the sun shone (somewhere). Long haul continues as the success story of the airline, with passengers up 18.3pc on July 2014, RPK up 19.8pc ASK up 20.5pc and load factor, while marginally down at 90.3pc, ahead of the peer group. Shorthaul was less disappointing than recent months. With load factor up 2.2 percentage points to 87.1pc, passengers up 3.7pc, RPK up 6.3pc, ASK up 3.7pc. Short-haul passenger numbers in July were up 2.3pc when the 5.6pc fall in Aer Lingus Regional traffic is taken into account.
Minister Paschal Donohoe responded to a question by Travel Extra this week by saying he expected Aer Lingus to implement an east coast strategy and west coast strategy when they announce their two new trans-Atlantic routes next month (listen here). Los Angeles, although still unannounced, is the west coast option 4w from May while pre-IAG strategy focussed on expanded capacity in New York and nearby airports, including potential Oneworld partner American’s hub in Philadelphia, the heartland of United (and the Star alliance) in Newark, and soon-to-be-revamped La Guardia. Negotiations has proceeded around Bradley international between Hartford and Springfield in northern Connecticut (or as they say in Connecticut, Bradley “Not-Really-International”) has also been under negotiation, with Governor Malloy calling by to talk and dangle a $5m carrot in front of Aer Lingus in June. It would be Bradley’s first daily trans-Atlantic flight since Delta pulled its Amsterdam nonstop in 2009. The real trans-Atlantic game begins when IAG completes its takeover on Tuesday August 18.
The prospect of someone with a Bulgarian tour operator’s licences being allowed to trade in Ireland was one of the subjects that excited Irish Travel Agents Association members who attended a seminar on the implications of the Package Holiday Directive which is (rather ambitiously) designed to give the same protection to consumers from online bookings as they have through the formal travel trade. Ireland’s bonding regime is one of the most stringent in the EU, requiring 10pc of turnover by tour operators and 4pc of travel agent turnover to be tied up in a repatriation fund that now totals €50m. Under the new regime airlines and websites, currently unbonded, will have to adhere to the same regulations. Consumers who click through on an airline website to a hotel or car hire company are effectively buying a package and entitled to the same protection and compensation levels, including repatriation, compensation for the failure oaf a third party firm and a cooling off period. Domain owners will also be responsible for three days’ cover in the eventuality of a major disruption such as the ash crisis.
Travel Agent and Tour Operator licenses will be valid in all EU countries, so there will be no need to take out separate licenses in 28 member states, effectively opening up Ireland to foreign travel companies. Currently those agents who want to operate across the border need to take out two licenses. Many of the regimes have loose regulatory regimes, with many only requiring tour operators to hold licenses and local tourist boards licensing the travel agencies. Delegates heard that the licensing change will have big implications for the trade in Ireland. As the directive will take two years to come into law airlines are likely to try get out clauses in advance. The ITAA say it is about time we had a level playing pitch, which is on the horizon and they will push this in ECTAA.
Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons, Minister Paschal Donohoe and Chairman Brian Ambrose held another of their cosy “tourism is booming” briefings at Tourism Ireland headquarters in Dublin’s Bishop Street this week. The number of visitors to Ireland will close further on 10m if midyear figures (up 11.7pc, listen here) continue through the traditionally fat months of August and September, with the north also showing figures up around 9pc. North America is up 15pc, considerably behind the increase in seat capacity, but market share has reached an all time high of 10pc of Europe-bound traffic and 2pc overall. Market share also increased in Britain (numbers up 9.4pc) and Germany (numbers up 12pc), with increases from France (up 12pc), Spain (up 15pc), Italy (up 32pc), Benelux (up 11pc) and the Nordics (up 5pc) and other areas up 12pc. Paschal Donohoe set out three government priorities and declared the achievements of the tourism industry are greater than the sum of its parts (listen here). The questions covered the absence of any food representatives on Tourism Ireland board (listen here), the prospect of 7pc VAT being retained for the hospitality sector (listen here), the hospitality sector conflicted relationship with the minimum wage (listen here), value for money options (listen here), shortages of beds in certain areas (listen here), the prospects of another gathering (listen here) and new trans-Atlantic options (listen here): T/A now 400,000 seats a week available to and from Ireland. Tourism Ireland haven’t been able to give a clear picture for the island because NISRA statistics are so far behind, but Brian Ambrose said both Belfast airport passenger numbers were up 9pc this year, suggesting that Belfast International would hit 4.4m and Belfast City 2.8m in 2015. Vat in the north remains at 20pc in the hospitality industry and air travel is subject to £13 APD charges on short haul flights, but as taxation is not devolved (listen here) these encumbrances look set to remain although Brian Ambrose expressed some hope of a change on APD. (listen here) See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Watch here Paschal Donohoe speaking about the tourism experience in Ireland and (listen here) to plans for 2015 and 2016.
The Travel Corporation hosted a thank you BBQ for agents in Cork. Picture shows Amanda Casey of Falcon Travelshop, Wilton, Lynsay Walsh of Falcon Travelshop, Wilton, Laura Sweetman of Falcon Travelshop, Wilton, John Seymour of USIT and Naoimh Feeney of Falcon Travelshop, Mahon Point. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Topflight are giving away a free holiday to Cancun on their Facebook page to celebrate reaching 100,000 fans on Facebook.
Donal Byrne, long standing RTÉ editor, has been appointed to oversee the re-vamp of RTÉ’s online travel coverage. Byrne says his appointment as RTÉ Travel Commissioning Editor is as a result of an overall re-vamp of RTÉ’s online lifestyle output. “I’m anxious as part of this process to have a re-focusing of RTÉ’s travel output to make it more relevant to a wider audience, from individual’s to families, and to include a wider choice of material to reflect that new focus.” He can be contacted here.
Deadline for the 2015 GNTO German-Irish Travel Writers’ Awards is September 7 (enter by email). Last year’s winner was Ros Drinkwater for her material in the Sunday Business Post.
The Commission of Aviation Regulation says August 15 is the deadline for receipt of completed licence application at standard fee for the November licensing round. Decision-in-principle letters for completed applications will be issued of September 15 and October 15 is the deadline for receipt of applicants’ bonds. CAR says it is going to impose levies for late submission as advised on July 13, and that nearly one third of agencies have still not applied for licenses. See here for details.
Tour America launched their new website with blogs for many US destinations and testimonials from customers.
Travel Professionals Skillnet training: Free cybersecurity information day, 14 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, August 18 9am-2pm, book here. Excel Level 1, €110pp, September 3, book here/ Excel Level 2, €110pp, September 10, book here. Outlook Level 2, €110pp, August 27, book here. Time Management and Personal Effectiveness with Michael Cox, €70pp, September 8, book here. Supervisory Management FETAC Level 6 with Michael Cox, €560pp, 5 days in October and November, book here.
Sunway added a cruise section to their website. See it here. See our Deal Watch for their latest offers.
Silversea is offering agents the chance to win a case of Prosecco for every 2015 bookings across the classic and expedition fleet. Bookings must be made by 10am Thursdays. See silversea.com for more info.
Amadeus acquired Hotel SystemsPro by its subsidiary Newmarket.
Travelport signed a long-term deal with travel management company Portman.
Picture shows Vivienne Brolly of Skytours, the final winner in lowcostbeds’ Happy Monday promotion.
Lowcostholidays extended its strategic European partnership with Amadeus for another three years, making Amadeus the preferred GDS supplier for the company.
Travelport Hotelzon appointed Daniel Guillou as Managing Director.
Intercontinental Hotels Group is reportedly considering bids for Fairmont and Movenpick.
Irish Apple users pay an average of €125 for a hotel, compared to €111 for Android users, according to Trivago.
The hotel industry is objecting to the proposed combination of travel booking sites Expedia and Orbitz, saying that the deal would mean higher prices for vacationers and larger fees for hotel owners.
During the first half of 2015, the number of reservations at B&Bs recorded 39pc more stays in the first half of 2015, and the number of accommodations increased by 18pc according to bedandbreakfast.eu, the world’s largest B&B website.
- Swire Hotels will open an East hotel in Miami later this year, its first property outside China.
- Hilton will open a Conrad hotel in Shenzhen, China, in 2019.
- Kimpton Hotels signed luxury boutique properties in San Francisco and Manchester, Vermont.
- Amadeus acquired Hotel Systems Pro by Newmarket.
- Voting opened for the Fourth Annual Historic Hotels of Europe Awards.
- Limerick Strand hotel unveiled a commissioned picture of local rugby legend Paul O’Connell.
- See here a good history of Google’s search battles with European antitrust regulators from Brad Stone at Bloomberg..
- Four Seasons will open its first Korean property in Seoul this October.
- Carlson Rezidor announced that Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Ljubljana opens in Slovenia later this year.
- Starwood opened a Four Points hotel in Istanbul.
As the saga of Cecil the lion led US airlines to ban the transportation of trophy animals, South Africa warned the ban would lead to an increase in poaching and smuggling, and opponents also resisted a hunting ban with Cecil’s minder, Brent Stapelkamp of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit saying hunting can be a valuable component to conservation. In Zimbabwe Johnny Rodrigues dropped his claim that another lion, Jericho, had been killed.
Spain continued to bake in its hottest heat wave in 40 years with Cilla Black now reportedly counted as a high profile casualty when she moved from her air-conditioned room on to her sun terrace. Temperatures have been regularly topping 40 degrees since July 2. The Middle East baked this week with temperatures passing 50 degrees in Dubai while Iraq declared a mandatory four day holiday and power failures added to the discomfort in Beirut. A record-breaking heat wave in India earlier this summer claimed over 2,500 lives.
The new Irish passport card, announced in January, is finally to be made available to Irish passport holders from the end of September. The two-month delay was caused by changes to the manufacture of the credit card-sized document.
USA Secretary Jeh C Johnson said visitors entering USA under visa waiver scheme must ALL have e-passports under new regulations, All Irish passports issued since 2006 are e-passports. Please note however that Temporary Passports, which are issued to Irish citizens who passports are lost or stolen while abroad, are not electronic.
A Tasmanian coroner gave a poppy warning after opium tea killed 26-year-old Danish backpacker Jonas Pedersen, who died from accidental morphine intoxication and may not have realised the varying strength of poppies.
There was worldwide celebration of the celebrated rarity, the blue moon.
National Geographic’s annual photography competition attracted 17,000 entries, they were whittled down to three winners and seven recognised on merit.
A report by non-profit Open Doors Organisation values the US disability travel market at $17.3bn. A survey of 1,000 people found that 72pc of disabled travellers encountered obstacles with airlines.
Four people were injured near Russell Square, London when a double-decker Golden Tours bus had its roof ripped off by an overhanging branch.
Dubai plans to open a 1.2km indoor ski slope as part of the Medan One project, which will feature a shopping mall, 711m tower and 4km canal. The first stage is to be completed in 2020.
Kenya Tourist Board suspended its advertisement deal with CNN International after a correspondent described the country as a “hotbed of terror” during Barack Obama’s visit.
- SKAL Asian President Marco Battistotti was involved in a fatal accident early yesterday morning on his way to Kuala Lumpur.
- Thousands of travellers arrived at their destination without their bags following a power failure at Heathrow T5.
- Nokia sold its mapping service Here, a direct competitor with Google Maps, for €2.8bn to BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
- Dollywood will roll out the Lightning Rod launching wooden rollercoaster in March 2016.
- TripAdvisor launched a French language site in Canada at fr.tripadvisor.ca.
- Forever young: Sven Hagemeier flew across the International Date Line to extend his 26th birthday by 46 hours, a world record.
- Travel Extra’s frolicksome feline Clinger Corry repurrrts that New York’s Meowseum of Moving Image will host an exhibition called How Cats Took Over the Internet until January 31 2016.
- Egypt opened a new extension to the Suez Canal.
Food & Wine
- Dublin’s Westbury Hotel launched the Irish Design Afternoon Tea to mark ID2015. Inspired by the work of five Irish designers, Tatjana Upelniece-Kiselova’s selection includes an Earl Grey cheesecake modelled on Karl Harron’s glasswork Migration Reactive Bulleye, and a sour cream mousse with blackberry cremoux inspired by Angela O’Kelly’s Long Round Sculptural neckpiece. Irish Design Afternoon Tea costs €45pp or from €55pp including champagne. Call 01 646 3311 to book in advance.
- One hundred exhibitors will take part in this year’s Food and Hospitality Ireland Expo in Citywest, September 16 and 17. Free entry. Register at foodhospitality.ie.
- Java Republic’s Rwandan Light Roast and Cuinneog Farmhouse country butter were both awarded three stars at the Great Taste Awards.
London City Airport, headed up by Declan Collier, has been put on sale by 75pc stakeholder Global Infrastructure Partners and 25pc stakeholder Oaktree Capital. The airport could be priced at €2.5bn, beating the English record €2.1bn paid for Gatwick in 2009. Passenger numbers will grow to 4.1m this year from 3.65m. Previous owner Dermot Desmond purchased the airport for £23.5m from Mowlem in 1995.and sold it for £750m in October 2006. LCY saw 406,986 passengers in July, up 18.8pc YOY. Edinburgh, Dublin, and Amsterdam were London City’s busiest routes in July.
A pilot, co-pilot and two stewardesses, all from Latvia, were found to be above the legal alcohol limit of 0.2 when they boarded an 05:45 Air Baltic charter flight from Oslo to Chania after police received a tipoff from an anonymous caller around 4am. The four risk up to two years in prison if found guilty.
IAG signed a firm order for 31 Airbus aircraft, which includes 11 wide-body aircraft (eight A350-900s, three A330-200s) and 20 A320neos.
Shannon Airport enjoyed its busiest August Bank Holiday weekend in five years, with 40,000 passengers from Friday to Monday,
Knock receives a pilgrimage flight from New York this Sunday morning, with mass of welcome at 12 noon with live broadcast by RTÉ.
FedEx, Atlas Air, JetBlue and Hawaiian lobbied the America’s Transportation, State and Commerce departments to counter American, United and Delta airlines attempts to roll back Open Skies.
DAA has submitted a planning application for an A380 airbridge at the end of the 400 gates in Terminal 2 for an A380 to Fingal Co Council, application FS5/028/15 seeks “to confirm that the provision of a piece of airside equipment and works associated with its connection to the adjacent pier is exempt development.” Emirates are the likely customer when the upgrade, with a second airbridge for the upper deck, is approved and completed;
Lufthansa Technik Airmotive said revenues declined 17pc due to the group shutting down its Irish engine overhaul segment with the loss of 411 jobs.
The European Commission is investigating whether the proposed acquisition of TNT Express by FedEx Corporation breaches EU merger regulations.
There was more confusion for MH370 families as a Malaysian team at the French territory of Reunion Island has collected other jet debris including a window and some aluminum foil. The Paris prosecutor’s office contradicted those reports saying there is no new aircraft debris from the French island of Reunion.
Frontier airlines in USA is to bundle fees and offer one checked bag, one carry-on bag, the best available seat, and ticket change if the customer pre-books them as a package.
Volcanic ash from Indonesia’s Mount Raung continues to impact Virgin and Jetstar Airways flights to and from Bali‘s Ngurah Rai International Airport
A new regional airline group was born: bmi regional and Loganair now part of AIL Group under newly appointed Chief Executive, Peter Simpson. Each carrier will continue to operate as a distinct business and brand.
Delta domestic load factor increased by 2.6 to 88.6pc from 86pc YOY, international load factor is down 2.3 to 86pc.
Bloomberg’s Justin Bachman went on board Delta’s First Private Jet Upgrade.
United Airlines is to restore its year-round New York to Belfast service. United will continue service 3w between Jan 6 and March 11 having discontinued it this year.
Shannon Airport handled 40,000 passengers over the August bank holiday weekend.
Six hundred credit and debit cards have been left behind in Dublin airport retail shops since November 2014. The number has gone up since WH Smith introduced self-service checkout machines.
Rapper Snoop Dogg had money confiscated at Lamezia Terme airport for failing to declare $422,000 that had been stuffed into two bags. This follows another incident in Sweden where Snoop was detained under suspicion of drug possession in Uppsala.
Etihad Airways launched its daily B787-9 Dreamliner Abu Dhabi-Changi service.
Airbus says it is on track to delivery 15 A350s in 2015 and plans to double that next year. They also plan to break even on the A380 this year, despite delivering fewer than the 30 aircraft planned.
A four-hour air traffic controllers strike at Athens airport resulted in 22 cancelled flights and 173 rescheduled flights.
Avianca Brasil signed an agreement to take six A320-200s on sale-leaseback with Vermillion Aviation.
Lufthansa is to open five new lounges at Munich airport next year in the forthcoming T2 satellite building.
Airbus patented a jet that is capable of flying from London to New York in one hour.
Lufthansa launched an in-flight restaurant service for business class passengers flying long haul. Trays and flight trolleys have been replaced with service plates and the “table” will be set with ceramic crockery.
IAG reported July passenger numbers were up 12.6pc to 8.8m, load factor up 3.1 percentage points to 85.7pc.
Aspire lounge opened in Heathrow’s Terminal 5.
Emirates announced a codeshare agreement with Bangkok Airways.
British Airways will launch a route from London Gatwick to Costa Rica from May 4 2016.
Avolon’s net income increased 133pc to $56m in Q2. Domhnal Slattery reported that the company sold three aircraft in Q2 with a net book value of $170m and delivered 14 aircraft to 10 airlines. They also announced placement of the first aircraft from its B737 MAX order with LOI.
- B/E Aerospace designed a seat to end all legroom wars — it can be moved backwards or forwards by cabin crew according to a passenger’s height.
- AWAS delivered a B737-800 to Ethiopian Airlines.
- LOT Polish Airlines now accepts bitcoin payments.
- LATAM, the group formed by LAN and TAM, launched its brand in Sao Paulo.
- Berlin’s new international airport is expected to face further delays after the insolvency of engineering group Imtech Deutschland.
- Finnair launched an Apple Watch app.
- Pierce Brosnan was pulled aside at passenger screening while travelling through Burlington airport, Vermont after security discovered a 10-inch hunting knife in his carry-on bag.
- United Airlines CFO John Rainey resigned to join PayPal.
- Picture shows an archive picture of two dozen Gardaí Síochána attempting to prevent Charles Ulm’s doomed Avro X monoplane, hopelessly overloaded with fuel for his trans-Atlantic flight attempt, from subsiding into the sand at the Velvet Strand in Portmarnock in July 1933. Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry reviewed Michael Kennedy’s Pioneers and Aviators, published by Avolon, in the Irish Examiner.
Low water levels on the Danube and Elbe disrupted more river cruises: Viking cancelled Berlin to Prague cruises and Uniworld cancelled their August 9 Budapest to Amsterdam cruise on the SS Maria Theresa.
- Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it will return to Asia in winter 2016/17 with a Norwegian Star sailing from Singapore to Hong Kong. She will also sail in Australia and New Zealand before returning to Singapore in spring 2017.
- Viking Cruises was forced to cut short a cruise on Viking Star after she suffered engine problems and was stranded in Estonia.
- Antalya-based Fusion Tour announced a Halal cruise — free of alcohol, pork and gambling — will sail from Izmir to Rohdes, Crete and Piraeus on September 27.
- Celebrity Cruises launched new Caribbean overnight excursions.
- Travel Department offers: 12 nights Highlights of Burma tour from €2,899pp incl. taxes, flights, accommodation, transfers and excursions, depart April 3 2016. 13 nights tour of the Aztec Empire and Cancun, Mexico from €2,299pp incl. taxes, flights, accommodation, transfers and excursions, depart April 8 2016. 11 nights tour of Peru from €2,999pp incl. taxes, flights, accommodation, transfers and excursions, depart April 15 2016. See traveldepartment.ie.
- Cassidy Travel September offers: 5 nights 3* accommodation, Faro from €352pps, depart September 13. 7 nights 3* accommodation, Corfy from €235pps, depart September 23. 7 nights 3* accommodation, Majorca fro €361pps, depart September 25. 14 nights 3* accommodation, Alicante from €437pps, depart September 12. All prices include return flights ex Dublin. See cassidytravel.ie or call 0818 332 500.
- Sunway offers: 7 nights all inclusive Club Med, Da Balaia, Portugal from €1,089pp, depart October 4. 7 nights B&B 5* Atlantic Palace Resort, Morocco from €599pp, travel in September. 7 nights B&B 4* Sea Pearl Hotel, Turkey from €499pp, depart October 24. 7 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apartments, Fuerteventura from €744pp, depart October 24. 7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apartments, Gran Canaria from €669pp, depart October 23. See sunway.ie.
- Sunway cruise deals: 7 nights Western Med Cruise on Norwegian Epic from €599pp, depart November 8. 7 nights Duba and UAE Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Spendour of the Seas from €980pp, depart February 7 2016. 7 nights Cuba and Caribbean Cruise on MSC Opera from €1,199pp incl. Cuban visa, depart January 26, 2016. 8 nights Souther Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Summit from €1,289pp incl. pre night in San Juan, depart November 13. 6 day Arctic Highlights cruise on board Hurtigruten’s MS Richard from €1,375pp, depart March 22 2016. See sunway.ie/cruise for more.
- Lowcostbeds offers of the week, 7 nights 2 sharing, stay in September: 3* Rooms on the Beach, Negril, Jamaica from €27ppn B&B. 5* Occidental Grand Xcaret, Mexico from €66pppn all inclusive. 4* Temptation Resort Spa Cancun, Mexico from €74pppn all inclusive. 3* Grafton Beach Resort, Trinidad and Tobago from €104pppn all inclusive. 5* Occidental Grand Aruba from €137pppn. 5* Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, Mexico from €149pppn all inclusive (stay Nov 13 to Dec 3). See lowcostbeds.com.
- Click and Go offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Clube Maria Luisa Apartments, Olhos d’Agua, Algarve from €179pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, transfers, taxes and charges, travel in November. 4 nights 4* Exe Coloso Hotel, Madrid from €259pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in August. 5 nights 3* NH Sants Barcelona Hotel from €419pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in August. 12-night cruise on the Celebrity Constellation from €1,299pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, return transfers, port taxes and visits to Turkey, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro, travel in September or October. See clickandgo.com.
- Stena Line is offering day returns to Oakwood theme park from €50pp return by car from Rosslare to Fishguard or €59pp by foot incl. entry to the park. Book here or call 01 907 5555. Stena Line is also offering 2 nights in Blackpool from €89pp per night incl. 3* accommodation and travel by car from Dublin to Holyhead. See stenaline.ie/hotel or call 01 907 5399.
- Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Saturno, Alcudia, Majorca from €1,759 for two adults and one child or €2,569 for two adults and two children, depart May 25 2016. 14 nights self catering 4* Viva Mallorca, C’an Picafort, Majorca from €2,239 for two adults and one child or from €2,319 for two adults and two children, depart August 25. 14 nights self catering Janelas Do Mar, Montechoro, Algarve from €699pp, depart August 23. 7 nights self catering 3* Nicon, Kos town from €439pp, depart August 29. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
- Thomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive Sensimar Belek, Antalya from €1,149pp, depart May 28 2016. 7 nights half board Lagos Meia, Algarve from €949pp, depart May 29 2016. 7 nights self catering Palm Gardens, Icmeler, Turkey from €629pp, depart August 24. 7 nights half board Los Gigantes, Playa De Arena, Tenerife from €739pp, depart August 28. 7 nights half board Costa Dorada, Belvedere, Salou from €609pp, depart August 28. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
- Contiki is offering a 10-day European Horizon tour from €1,080pps incl. flights, 9 nights accommodation, 15 meals and six World Heritage Sites, depart September 11. See contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.
- Insight Vacations is offering an 8-day tour of Austria and Bavaria’s Christmas markets from €1,669pps incl. fights, transfers, selection of meals and visits to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Munich, book by August 31, depart November 29. See insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
- Tour America offers: 7 nights at the Liki Tiki Resort, Kissimmee, Florday from €759pp incl. return flights exDublin or Shannon and 7 day car hire, depart October 26. 7 nights Rosen Inn International Drive from €599pp incl. return flights, depart January 11 2016. 5 nights Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas from €739pp incl. return flights, depart November 23. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €669pp incl. return flights, depart January 12 2016. See touramerica.ie.
- Irish Ferries is offering 3 nights B&B in Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel from €590 for two adults and two children under 12 incl. return car ferry and one day at Alton Towers. Valid for arrivals up to August 21. Call 0818 300 400.
- ITAA couples offers: 7 nights Western Mediterranean cruise on Harmony of the Seas from €1,349pps incl. port taxes, return flights and 20kg checked bag pp, depart June 26 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa, Mexico from €1,999pps incl. complimentary Wedding in Paradise, newlywed or anniversary package, travel May or June 2016. 11 nights 4* India and Kerala tour from €1,926pp incl. flights, transfers, tours, entrance fees and taxes, travel from April to September 2016.
Fáilte Ireland is using Google’s Trekker backpack to collect images of remote areas for Google Street View. The Trekker is fitted with a camera designed by Google and will visit the Wild Atlantic Way this week to capture images of Inishbofin, Achill, the Blashets, Sliabh Liag and Croagh Patrick. The following week it will visit Ireland’s Ancient East.
St Patrick’s Cathedral launched the Discovery Space, an interactive facility that includes a large touch screen table that tells the building’s history, a reference library, an audio visual unit and iPads that showcase the cathedral’s app. Picture shows Canon Horace McKinley, St Patrick’s Cathedral; Orla Carroll, Director of Strategic Development, Fáilte Ireland; Minister Paschal Donohoe and Andrew Smith, Education Officer, St Patrick’s Cathedral at the launch event.
The ninth annual Belfast Mela takes place in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens on Sunday, August 30, 12pm-6pm. This year’s event is once again sponsored by Turkish Airlines and 30,000 people are expected to attend. Tickets online cost £4 for adults, £3 concessions and £12 families. Book here. Picture shows Nisha Tandon, Onur Gul from Turkish Airlines and Thady Graham.
The Limerick Radio Club will operate a 48-hour ham radio broadcast from Loop Head Lighthouse as part of the 18th annual International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend from August 14-16. Communications will be broadcast to 400 other participating lighthouses in 65 countries. The Loop Head Heritage Trail was shortlisted in the Culture and Heritage category for this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards.
AIG Insurance included the Kerry Way in its top seven hikes in European National Parks.
Twelve journalists from the US, Austria, Denmark, German, Switzerland and Britain visited Ireland this weekend for a Game of Gods hurling fam trip organised by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. They will attend today’s Kilkenny v Waterford All Ireland hurling semi final in Croke Park. Picture shows Cormac O’Donnchu of Experience Gaelic Games with the group.
The 43km walking trail from Dublin Mountains to Sean Walsh Memorial Park, Tallish was listed in Barry Stone’s book, 1001 Walks You Must Experience Before You Die.
Slieve Donard Resort & Spa was listed as one of The London Telegraph’s best golf hotels. Picture shows William Hastings and general manager Stephen Meldrum celebrating.
As 350,000 people converge for the all Ireland in Sligo, the Green Fleadh 2015 continues the precedent set last year when it was awarded Highly Commended in the Green Festival category of the Responsible Travel & Tourism Awards 2014.
Picture shows Zombies at the Dublin comic con in the Convention Centre.
Britain & Ireland Marketplace,a B2B workshop for Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh product will return to London’s Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.
‘Sand Angel’ World Record Attempt will be held at 29th annual Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival.