11 things to know about travel this week
- Norwegian to connect Cork to Boston
- Sunway’s Alice switches on Royal Caribbean gold cards
- Spain’s millionth Irish visitor arrives earlier than last year.
- The dangling prospect of Dublin-Delhi
- Tom Travers: Upper West is best when visiting NY
- Aran air service & a mental inter-departmental mess
- North wins United Cup for the first time
- Schindler’s wish list: more growth for Dublin
- 1 Stop Travel shuts its door
- Routes rewards Tourism Ireland, Cork and Shannon
- RIP: How Rory McDyer will be missed
Travel Extra TV
Are you kidding me? YouTuber CalicoStrike’s extraordinary dash cam footage captures the moment a small aircraft landed on Red Hill Avenue in Irvine, California. Watch here.
- Vive la France! Watch daredevil Graham Dickinson navigate through mountains and trees in his wing suit with his friend Dario gliding behind. Watch here.
- Introducing Etihad Cargo. Watch here.
- Highlights from the inauguration of the Airbus US manufacturing facility. Watch here.
- Qatar Airways took a group of 20 children from the Shafallah Centre for Children with Specia Needs and the Qatar Orphans Foundation to Kidzania Kuwait child-sized city, complete with flight simulator. Watch here.
- Aer Lingus thanked Kodaline for their impromptu performance on a flight to New York. Watch here.
- Introducing Tourism NI’s Year of Food and Drink 2016. Watch here.
- See Emirates’ Rugby World Cup 2015 promo. Watch here.
- Koko, the gorilla that speaks American sign language, introduces her new kittens. Watch here.
Behind the Headlines
Cork’s first ever trans-Atlantic route was so unexpected it might as well have sailed in on a longship. Norwegian are to operate Cork-Boston 4w from next May using a 186-seat B738. They promised Cork-New York in 2017 and a Cork-Barcelona 4w service from May 2016. Be prepared for a tight squeeze. Norwegian’s seat pitch is 29 inches, three inches less than Ryanair. The service will partly answer US critics that Norwegian’s Irish registration was a flag of convenience: Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos told Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe: “This is only the beginning of our plans for new routes in Ireland but our expansion relies on the US Department of Transportation approving Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign carrier permit. Bjorn Kjos, who has 100 738s on order, previously told Travel Extra that he was able to purchase his aircraft from Boeing at rates that would make leasing companies jealous. Existing narrowbody trans-Atlantic services include Europe Airpost’s Dublin to Halifax in Nova Scotia, Westjet Dublin and Glasgow to St John’s in Newfoundland, SAS plan a service from Copenhagen to New York using a reconfigured B737 with 66 economy and 20 business class seats, while, famously, the former Budget Travel ran a 737 charter service to Dominican Republic via St John’s in winter 2008-9. Cork Airport passengers were up 1.3pc for August, the first growth for the airport in eight years. Cityjet formally announced their Cork to London City service at a function on Thursday.
Sunway’s Alice Swords was picked to activate the gold card status for travel agents when Royal Caribbean celebrated their first birthday of their agents incentive scheme Club Royal on Thursday. So far 6,000 agents have signed up for the scheme, 525 of them in Ireland. Alice pushed Ben’s big button to add £50 to each gold car holder, and further dramatic incentives were announced, including the chance to join Harmony of the Seas in Southampton on its three sailings. Picture shows Nicola Fields of Falcon Travel, Holly Wilkinson of Royal Caribbean, Alice Swords of Sunway and Colette Murphy of Falcon Travel at the party.
Speaking to Travel Extra at the event (watch here), Ben Bouldin of Royal Caribbean said the trade in Ireland was more important to Royal Caribbean than in other markets, that retail is where you win hearts and minds (watch here or listen here), that Harmony of the Seas was Important for the growth strategy of Royal Caribbean in the coming year (watch here or listen here). He said Royal Caribbean aims to double the number of cruises it sells out of Ireland (watch here or listen here) bringing numbers back to the heyday of Royal’s three-brand product when many Irish people departed on cruises from Malaga and Palma and Lorraine Quinn headed up the sales team.
The cruise line’s agent incentive loyalty card scheme is designed to be simple and easy (watch here or listen here), the cruise line would organise more Irish based events for card holders (watch here or listen here). Bouldin said that owner managers were showing more resistance to the scheme in Ireland than in England and attempted to allay their fears (watch here or listen here) Ben Bouldin of Royal Caribbean said that the cruise line aims to repeat its agents roadshow in March (watch here or listen here) having had a great reaction to its first Irish roadshow (watch here or listen here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Christian Schindler, regional director of Lufthansa for Ireland (pictured), stopped by to say that passenger numbers ex Dublin are up 12pc to 375,000 year to date and are expected to surpass 500,000 by the end of 2015. Lufthansa is to offer WiFi in European flights with Deutsche Telekom and the airline say that every aircraft in the air now features its new cabins. Commenting on the GDS fee introduced at the start of the month, Schindler said “it’s early days, we don’t see any [fall off] trends” and said that it is preparation for the NDC Standard.
Tom Travers of the Hotel Beacon in Manhattan determined to show upper west is best when he hosted an Aer Lingus and NYC & Co press trip this week. Tom told Travel Extra (watch here): You don’t feel like a tourist on the upper west side, you feel like a New Yorker. During the day you are able to go to visit the main attractions and come back and leave the madding crowds behind you. The rooms were created as apartments with hotel services with apartment size rooms so the rooms are much bigger than mid town hotel rooms (listen here). Tryphavana Cross of NYC & Co hosted a group which included representatives of an impressive array of national titles. The group visited Ellis Island as well as two May openings: One World Observatory on floors 100-102 of the World Trade Centre and the relocated Whitney Museum at the end of the High Line. Picture shows Irish travel writers and their hosts outside the Hotel Beacon in New York, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra, Rich Gilligan of Cara, Lucy Whyte of Cara, Declan Mescall of Travelbiz, Tom Travers of Hotel Beacon, Rachel Collins of the Irish Times, Tryphavana Cross of NYC & Co, Brian Farrell of the Sunday World, Deirdre Conroy of the Irish Independent, Gillian Culhane of Aer Lingus and Martin Breen of the Sunday Life. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Check out Travel Extra’s video report of Ellis Island (watch here), Travel Extra’s video report from One World Observatory (watch here) and Travel Extra’s video report on The Whitney Museum (watch here). It was not all work either.
A sporting surprise. Team North beat Team Ireland 5-4 to win the United Golf Cup for the first time at Carton House. Picture shows Clem Walshe, Pat Dawson, Martin Skelly and Martin Dempsey at the after-match reception. Picture below shows Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Mervyn McNeely, Darach Culligan of Culligan Travel and Peter McMinn. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook, also see Travel Extra’s video report from the event (watch here)
Further praiseach déanta le aer-chhonradh Oileáin Arain, compounded on Friday when the Department of Gaeltacht Affairs cancelled the tender process for air services to the Aran Islands and entered talks with Aer Arann Islands to ensure no disruption to flights when the current contract ends next week. Another blow to a beleaguered department and to the reputation of Joe McHugh. The volatile Pádraig Ó Céidigh has been appeased for now but the problems with the contract are as insurmountable as ever. Is it time for Paschal Donohoe and the Department of Transport to take control of the situation? Galway County Council voted unanimously in favour of a motion blocking the use of Galway Airport for the provision of air services to the Aran Islands after December 15. Earlier Executive Helicopters claimed choppers are the transport of choice for many islands
Spain’s millionth visitor from Ireland arrived earlier than last year on Thursday. Visits were up 5.2pc to 977,844 between January and August 2015. Air passengers from Ireland to Spain between January and August 2015 were up 12pc to 1.2m. Gonzalo Ceballos, director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Ireland said: “I want to thank the Irish public for making Spain the leading destination for holidaymakers. The welcoming nature of the people, the rich culture and relaxed atmosphere, attracts and unites Irish and Spanish people making it a success story year after year. (watch interview with Gonzalo Ceballos here)
Dublin to Delhi direct? Narendra Modi who became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Ireland in 59 years seems to think so: “I am glad that we will soon have direct air services by airlines of both countries. This will not only promote our business links, but also give a strong boost to our tourism ties that are already growing at 14pc per year.” Watch here the Air India landing at Dublin airport.
George Hook Junior (yes, a son), familiar in the travel and hospitality industry from his work with hotels and as both an inbound and outbound operator says that the new licence issued to Irish Rugby Tours, 1 Main Street, Carrigaline, Co Cork, by the Commission of Aviation Regulation involves a change of name for his rugby tours which operated under a different license. He intends expanding rugby tours in the coming months. Adehy Ltd retains just three trading names – Falcon Travel, Falcon Travel Shop, and First Choice Travel Shop and deleted five trading names: Aran Travel, Eugene Magee Travel, Terry Flynn Travel, Marina Holidays and Travel, and JWT USA.
Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1 departures drop-off road will be closed from 4am tomorrow Monday, September 28 for a three-month period for essential maintenance. Dublin Airport will provide an alternative set down area for customers departing from Terminal 1 at the rear of the T1 multi-storey car park, keep an eye out for signage where the bus and car park lanes diverge.
Sad news: Over 1,000 people turned out for the funeral of Rory McDyer who died after a brief illness. ITAA CEO Pat Dawson paid tribute to long time board member: He was a man of principle who always spoke out for the interests of the small to medium retail agencies. His valuable contributions and friendship will be missed. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. Travel Extra would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family, colleagues and many friends in the industry.
Colm McDonagh’s 1 Stop Travel in Galway ceased trading today. All enquiries to the Commission of Aviation Regulation: aviationreg.ie. Picture is of Colm and the team in 2012: Caryl McDonagh, Colm McDonagh, Eliza Geraghty, Lisa McNamara and Annette Hynes.
Ben Bouldin of Royal Caribbean said that the cruise line aims to repeat its Irish roadshow visiting Irish travel agents in March (watch here or listen here) having had a great reaction to its first Irish roadshow (watch here or listen here). Picture shows Holly Wilkinson of Royal Caribbean, Alice Swords of Sunway, Ben Bouldin of Royal Caribbean, Nicola Fields of Falcon Travel and Colette Murphy of Falcon Travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Agents will depart for Jerez for the ITAA conference next Thursday. Speakers will include a rare appearance by Ireland’s most successful Travel Agent Liam Lonergan who has a turnover of €100m, and his focus in discussion with Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry will be concentrated on preserving the margin in changing times. He says: “we delude ourselves on turnover and we don’t keep much of that money. How do you achieve a margin? You either get increased commission or you reduce your costs. Ask yourself what is reducing your margin.”
- Is it Admin?
- Is it quotations and the rate of conversions?
- Is it regulation and Ireland’s unique umbrella bonding system?
- Is it poor systems handing cash & credit cards.
- Is it agents not understanding what business they are in?
- Is it agencies failing to value their staffs’ time.
- Is it agencies not understanding the range of consumer choice out there and a myriad of competitors many which are not Irish based.
Liam’s talk will focus more on the solutions than the problems. He maintains that today’s agent needs to offer a range of services backed by good systems to enable them to compete and prosper. He will explore how umbrella and cooperative approaches can reduce overheads and get over barriers such as acquiring more sophisticated systems that are often too costly for small agencies. A merry band of 65 agents and 35 suppliers will depart for the conference in Jerez on Thursday. Picture shows Lee Osborne and Rebecca Kelly, favourite suppliers throughout the travel trade in Ireland. See pictures from ITAA Conference 2014 here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Clem Walshe says that Lowcostbeds’ decision to move operations to Krakow will lead to some redundancies in Gatwick and some in Palma but will not affect the Irish operations. It is a very cost effective operation, we have Siobhain Mulholland dealing with the direct business, Grainne Caffrey dealing with the trade, and I am holding the pieces together. Picture shows Clem Walshe, Grainne Caffrey, and Alex Gisbert of Lowcostbeds. Clem says that the group will be expanding as a result of the cost savings resulting from the Krakow move. We are bringing all technology backs in house. This is an expensive thing to change. It will be a win for the consumer and for travel agents alike when all this happens. On the bed side we have had issues and we work closely with trade on those issues. We have to bring that feedback to our peers to make sure we are supplying state of the art service to the trade. This is a fast moving business with so many moving parts that if you don’t keep up with it, you are going to run into trouble. If you are treading water you are going backwards. Lowcostbeds hosted travel managers on a fam trip to Dubai. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
The 20th anniversary celebrations for Mary McKenna’s Tour America reach a climax next weekend with the annual sales day in the Red Cow and celebratory dinner. The 35 exhibitors include key tourist boards NYC, Orlando and Philadelphia, cruise companies such as Royal Caribbean and hotels such as Fitzpatrick Hotels in NYC and key guest speakers to keep you up to date with all that is travel, and to provide you with additional information on all the destinations available to book in the USA. Doors open 10am-6pm and admission is free.
Sarah Slattery of thetravelexpert.ie has been chosen by the ITAA to market the official Association in her popular blog. She appeared on TV3’s new weekend morning talk show to comment on travel affairs.
Sandra Corkin of Oasis Travel won the won Independent Travel Agent of the Year, at the Ulster Tatler Awards 2015.
Travel Professionals Skillnet training: Delegation skills training at ITAA, Westmoreland Street, September 22, 9.30am-4.30pm, cost €110, book here. FETAC Level 6 Supervisory Management, 5 day course, October 5,9 and 16 and November 6 and 11, 9.30am-5.30pm, book here.
Travel Extra’s Gerry O’Hare and Anne Cadwallader are pictured at the luxurious Thomson Sensatori resort in Fetiye, Turkey, where they are guests of Falcon Holidays.
Skal’s September lunch has been moved from IT Tralee to the Yew Tree Restaurant at Muckross Park Hotel. Reservations email@example.com, cost €35 for guests.
Former Star Travel Editor Paddy Dignam has completed his biography and the work will be entering the pre-press stage in the coming weeks.
Roeland Vos was appointed president and CEO of Belmond.
Amadeus announced a multi-year distribution agreement with Air Canada.
Pictured outside Manfred’s Restaurant in Copenhagen on the SAS and Travelcube fam trip to Copenhagen: Shane Cullen of Killiney Travel, Alan Sparling of SAS, Patricia O’Neill of Atlas Travel, Brendan Egan of BCD, Sharon O’Rourke of USIT, Peter Friedrich of Travelcube and Stella Grant of O’Hanrahan Travel.
In a potential game changing move. Google suggested its hotel strategy had shifted away from metasearch to instant booking, similar to the approach taken by TripAdvisor. Google will ramp up the Google Hotel Ads Commission programme and Book on Google, putting more focus on a commission-based model accessible through typical search functions and maps and officially scrapping its metasearch site, Hotel Finder. More information on hotels and their amenities will be added over the coming months.
Garrett Marrinan is new GM of Clarion Hotel Cork, Mary Glynn is new Sales & Marketing Manager of Shamrock Lodge Athlone, Ken Battigan is new GM of Celbridge Manor, Stephanie Higgins has joined O’Callaghan’s Hotels as Marketing Executive.
Shangri-La opened the 19-storey Shangri-La Hotel Bengaluru is on a two-acre site between the central business district and the suburbs.
Hotel prices in Dublin during Web Summit 2015 are 43pc higher than the following week, according to Trivago.ie. Average price during the event, November 3-5, is €184 per night compared to €129 November 10-12. Prices peak at €185 on the final night of the event. The Web Summit will move from Dublin to Lisbon next year.
Four Seasons will open 12 hotels in seven countries later this year and in 2016. The hotels will open in New York, Oahu, Surfside, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bogota, Seoul, Casablanca, Kuwait City, Kyoto and Tianjin.
The final phase of the former Burlington Hotel’s renovation was completed with a new frontage added to the Double Tree by Hilton Dublin, Burlington Road.
- JFK airport is set to open the 505-room TWA Flight Centre Hotel in 2018.
- Expedia rolled out the Expedia PartnerCentreal App for hoteliers to manage rates and inventory on Expedia sites.
- Canopy by Hilton launched its Meet the Neighbours social media campaign.
- Marriott International will open an Autograph Collection hotel in Seoul in early 2016.
- AccorHotels opened an Ibis Styles boutique hotel in Glasgow.
Iran (131) and Morocco (87) suffered the bulk of the casualties in the Hajj stampede that killed 717 pilgrims. No Irish pilgrims were affected although one European pilgrim for the Netherlands died.
France’s Constitutional Court upheld a national law that banned one of Uber Technologies’ car services that relies on non-professional drivers using their own vehicles, dealing another setback to the company in Europe.
- Tunisia’s inbound tourist numbers are down 20pc to 4m from the start of this year to September 10.
- Airbnb-style accommodation service, OrientStay, opened nine Iranian cities, listing 200 flats.
- Queensland said current pollution prevention measures at The Great Barrier Reef are not working fast enough.
- The Eiffel Tower was closed for several hours on Monday after a man was seen climbing the tower carrying a large rucksack.
- WYSE Travel Confederation and the World Tourism Organisation updated the estimated size of the global youth travel market to 23pc of international tourist arrivals.
- Gunnar Garfors, Tay-young Pak and Øystein Djupvik broke a world record by visiting 22 US states in 24 hours.
Food and Wine
The revitalised food court at Dublin airport completed its first week of trading. Newcomers include a €4m investment by Marqette, a concept based on traditional food markets and employing 110 new permanent staff from the local areas of Swords, Portmarnock, Malahide and Drogheda. Executive Head Chef, Peter Brennan sees his airport outlet ideally placed to promote Ireland’s growing reputation as a food island: we evoke traditional outdoor food markets in a new world setting, catering for 5,000 passengers and Airport staff daily, offering locally sourced, organic produce as well as fresh artisan breads that are baked on site.” See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Tourism NI launched the Year of Food and Drink 2016. The initiative will include a food and drink theme for every month of the calendar and a series of events. £300,000 funding has been designated for food and drink experiences.
The Vinters Federation Ireland claimed that tourism helped create 5,000 seasonal jobs this year in Irish pubs.
Feargal and Fiona O’Donnell’s Fatted Calf pub reopened after moving premises to Athlone. Their Beef Club stages its first dinner meeting in the new premises on October 30, where head chef Deirdre Adamson will present a four-course tasting menu for €55pp. Call 0906 433 371.
Picture shows Declan Power and Colm Ryan of Shannon Airport en route home from World Routes in Durban where Shannon were shortlisted for a marketing award in their category (4m passengers) for the third year in succession, having won the award last year. Cork were shortlisted for the second year in succession. Category winner was Halifax, where Aer Rianta International have an operation and whose weekly Dublin service has been confirmed for an extended eason in 2016. Other airport category winners were Dubai, Copenhagen and Prague with Tourism Ireland winning the destination and overall awards (see below).
Worldwide Routes is a good time to call the prospects of new routes for the next summer. DAA are optimistic about their negotiations with a number of carrier to short haul destinations, while the perennial Delhi and Beijing options are still in play. Dublin had 28 new routes and six new airlines in 2015, they expect similar number of new routes and three or four new airlines in 2016. Importantly, neither Ryanair nor Aer Lingus chose Routes to do their airport negotiations. Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian, told World Routes in Durban that African countries should be allowed to designate foreign carrier to be de-facto flag carrier. Delegates heard that the average cost of a mid-haul flight in Africa is 45pc more expensive than in Europe. Quote of the conference: “so many people have tried and failed to run Alitalia. Since the Romans, everyone has had a go,” It was not a great week for Durban or for South African Tourism, with muggings and a taxi ramming detracting from the events. World Routes 2016 will take place in Chengdu, China on September 25-27.
Travel Extra sampled facilities at the Aer Lingus Gold Circle lounge at JFK, which opened last May. The lunge is on a single level near gate 38 at the airport, with a bar, snack facilities, rest seats and workspaces. Picture shows Sharon Presaud welcoming guests to the lounge. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Finnair confirmed it will take delivery of first Airbus A350 on October 7 and will launch long-haul operations with the aircraft on November 21. Watch here the first landing of the Finnair A350 at Toulouse Airport.
Tnooz reported that Lufthansa GDS bookings have tumbled because of the 16pc surcharge and rival carriers benefitted.
Travel Extra used the refreshment lounge off the baggage hall in Terminal 2 in Dublin airport this week for the first, on arrival from New York before a connecting flight to join the Royal Caribbean event in England. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
Aer Lingus will increase its flights from Dublin to Alicante to daily for Summer 2016.
The Congo plane grounded in a debt row was released by the High Court. It ruled that the that the debt did not concern Congo Airways.
Ryanair is to distribute €398m Aer Lingus proceeds to shareholders.
British Airways to start move a Boeing 777-300ER to its San Diego sevice from March 27, launching of First Class for this market.
WOW Air are registering their fleet with a sense of humour, after their 2 A321s being reg’d as TF-MOM and TF-DAD, their 2 new A320s are TF-SIS and TF-BRO.
The Qatari and Australian governments signed an agreement to increase flights between the two countries. Virgin Atlantic and Qatar Airways ended their partnership.
American is offering AAdvantage members up to 125,000 bonus miles when flying transatlantic with AA, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia or OpenSkies (although not yet Aer Lingus).
Aer Lingus IAG partner Vueling is to launch eight routes from Charles De Gaulle in May.
Oman Air is to add a fifth weekly flight to Paris from October 25.
Wizzair to fly Warsaw to Bristol and Aberdeen from May.
BA launched a 50pc extra points promotion on flights across the BA, American Airlines and Iberia networks flown before December 15.
BA to close its Gatwick lounge in January in advance of its move across to the South Terminal in November 2016, leaving ten months during which there will be no BA lounge in the North Terminal.
KLM postponed the debut of its B787-9 Dreamliner until mid-November for its Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi-Bahrain route.
Emirates is to fly double-daily to Phuket, it previously planned to increase the current daily B777-300ER service, operating as EK378/379, to 11-times weekly from December 1.
United’s new domestic first class seat made its first public appearance on an A319 before being retrofitted on to A320s, B737s and B757s..
Some video of the first Flight Landing on St Helena one of the most remote islands on earth.
Rhodes airport closed due to re-ergence of a sinkhole in the runway.
Etihad launched a mobile exhibition to showcase new cabin and inflight service products.
Watch here Kenny jacobs on the new Ryanair uniforms.
United Airlines added a new seat to its domestic first class cabin on an A319. It will gradually be retrofitted to other A319s, A320s, B737s and B757s until the end of 2016.
Etihad announced a marketing partnership with private jet company Chapman Freeborn to promote the carrier’s Residence and First Apartment cabins on their A380 fleet. Picture shows Shane O’Hare, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Marketing, and Russi Batliwala, CEO of Chapman Freeborn.
- American Airlines rolled out a live tracking service for checked baggage.
- AWAS delivered a B747-400F to Kalitta Air.
- Etihad carried 230,000 passengers during Eid Al Adha, up 20pc YOY.
- Boeing and China announced an initiative to turn agricultural waste into aviation biofuel.
- Kenya Airways will resume direct flights to Sierra Leone following a ban last year.
Irish Ferries celebrated 20 years of their Rosslare-Roscoff service on board the Oscar Wilde. Picture shows Irish Ferries MD Andrew Sheen, Captain Steven O’Mara and Ole Bockmann, director of operations for Irish Ferries at the ports of Cherbourg and Roscoff.
Celebrity Cruises is to charge $5 for late night room service between 11 pm and 6am on all cruises after October 1.
The refurbished and renamed Celestyal Nefeli, formerly the 1,074 passenger 1992 build MS Gemini, is to replace the Celestyal Odyssey in the Eastern Mediterranean when its charter agreement ends in late October.
Silversea Cruises 246 voyages covering 800 destinations for 2017 are now available to reserve.
Royal Caribbean offers: 3 nights Royal Experience on Anthem of the Seas from €1,058pp incl. flights, transfers and visits to Paris, Bruges and Belgium, depart October 24. 7 night Greece, Turkey and Croatia cruise on Vision of the Seas from €1,603pp incl. flights and transfers, depart May 14 2016. 11-night Middle East and Asia Cruise from €1,491pp incl. flights and transfers, itinerary includes Mormugoa, Conchin, Penang and Port Klang, depart October 23. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.
Sunway offers: Turkey ex Knock, depart September 26: Seat only from €199pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Golden Gate Apartments from €369pp. 7 nights half board 4* Palm Hotel from €499pp. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmin Hotel from €539pp. 7 nights B&B 5* Charisma Hotel from €799pp. Call 01 231 1800. Club Med offer, no single supplement: 7 nights all inclusive Cervinia, Italy from €1,279pp incl. ski lift passes and ski school, depart November 22. 7 nights full board Arabian Gulf Cruise from Dubai with Royal Caribbean from €980pp incl. visits to Khasab, Muscat and Abu Dhabi, depart January 31 2016. See sunway.ie. Lapland offers: 1 night Santa’s Sleepover from €859 per adult, €759 per child, depart Cork December 14. 2 night Sleighbell Spectacular from €1,199 per adult, €999 per child, depart Dublin December 13, 15 and 17. Visit www.sunway.ie/lapland or call 01 231 1800.
Thomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive 5* Sensatori Mexico from €2,329pp, depart June 20 2016. 7 nights half board 5* Kos Imperial from €539pp, depart October 3. 7 nights half board 3* Alkion, Corfy from €439pp, depart October 2. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Riu Guarana, Olhos D’Agua, the Algarve from €759pp, depart October 4. 7 nights full board Med cruise on Thomson Dream from €899pp, depart October 3. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
Turkish Airlines offers, prices incl. taxes and charges: Istanbul and Antalya for the Turkish Airlines Open from €189 return, book before December 31, depart until May 27 2016. Fly to Cape Town from €618 return and Johannesburg from €472 return, book before October 8, depart until June 30 2016. Fly to Bangkok from €584 return, book before October 8, depart until June 30 2016. Fly to Tokyo from €560 return, book before October 8, depart until June 30 2016. See turkishairlines.com.
Irish Ferries is offering discounts of up to €323 on 7 night Haven Holidays. Secure booking before November 2 with €50 deposit. Call 0818 300 400.
Click and Go offers: 3 nights B&B 3* Kazimierz Hotel, Krakow from €179pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in December. 3 nights 4* Illusion Suites Madrid Hotel from €259pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in October. 7 nights self catering 4* Sands Beach Resort Apartments, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €399pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in November. 6 day half board Hurtigruten Arctic cruise on MS Richard from €999pps incl. return flights to Tromso, transfers, checked in baggage, 3 nights cruise and 2 nights B&B pre/post cruise stay in Tromso and taxes. See clickandgo.com.
Falcon offers: 7 nights half board 3* Aeolos, Kos from €479pp, depart October 3. 13 nights all inclusive 3* Be Live Experience, Costa Tequise, Lanzarote from €939pp, depart October 12. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Nubian Island, Sharm El Sheikh from €719pp, depart October 8. 7 nights half board 3* More Hotel, Alcudia, Majorca from €499pp, depart October 6. Call 1850 858 229.
Tour America offers, prices incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel May 2016: 7 nights Rosen Inn, Orlando from €659pp. 5 nights Rossen Inn Hotel, Orlando and 4 nights Sirata Beach Hotel, St Pete’s Beach from €799pp incl. 4 days car hire. 6 nights Rosen Inn Hotel, Orlando and 3 nights La Playa Resort Daytona Beach from €729pp incl. 3 days car hire. 6 nights Rosen Inn, Orlando and 3 nights Westin, Cape Coral from €809pp incl. 3 days car hire. See touramerica.ie.
Insight Vacations is offering a 7-day tour of Budapest, Vienna and Prague from €1,449pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation, book by September 30, depart November 1. See insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8-day cruise of Paris and Normandy on the River Baroness from €2,084pps incl. flights, transfers, meals, beverages and shore excursions, book by October 31, depart April 10 2016. See uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.
Contiki is offering an 8-day Western Quest tour of three countries from €999pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation, depart October 30. See contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.
Lowcostholidays city breaks, all prices incl. return flights ex Dublin and taxes: 2 nights B&B 3* Hotel St George, Prague from €178pp, depart December 2. 2 nights B&B 3* Acta Mimic Hotel, Barcelona from €125pp, depart December 12. 2 nights B&B 3* Norfolk Plaza, London from €159pp, depart December 12. 4 nights 4* Flora Grand Hotel, Dubai from €720pp, depart December 1. 2 nights B&B 4* Galata La Belle Hotel, Istanbul from €248pp, depart December 3. 5 nights 3* Circus Circus Hotel, Las Vegas from €560pp, depart December 3. 5 nights 3* Seton Hotel, New York from €720pp, depart February 18 2016. See lowcostholidays.ie or call 01 485 3835.
ITAA offers: 6 day Arctic Highlights Northern Lights cruise with Hurtigruten from €1,775pps incl. return flights ex Dublin, 1 night pre hotel stay in Tromso 3 nights half board on MS Richard and 1 night post hotel stay in Tromso, depart March 22 2016. 11 nights Eastern Caribbean cruise from €1,299pp incl. return flights, car hire, 4 nights in Orlando and 7 nights on board the Norwegian Spirit, depart November 17. 32-night cruise of Old England and New England on the Balmoral with Cruisescapes from €4,629pps incl. meals, taxes and charges, depart April 16 2016.
Tourism NI offers of the week: 1 night B&B Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Bangor from £69.50pps incl. hot port on arrival, upgrade to executive room and dinner in Coq and Bull Brasserie, available until December 13, call 028 9185 2500, quote promo code Autumn Leaves when booking. 2 nights B&B Marine Hotel Ballycastle from £89pps incl. 4 course evening meal in Marconi’s Bistro, available until October 31, call 028 2076 2222. 1 night B&B Best Western plus White Horse Hotel, Derry from £60pps incl. 4 course evening meal in 68 Clooney Restaurant, nibble plate and bottle of sparkling wine on arrival, available until September 30, call 028 7186 0606.
Siobhán McManamy, Head of Co-operative Marketing at Tourism Ireland was on hand to accept the award for overall winner of the World Routes 2015 Marketing Awards, at Durban’s People’s Park, next door to the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium. The awards are voted by airlines and split into five categories by size and the destination category also won by Tourism Ireland. Tourism Ireland has 22 offices across the world and 3m Facebook followers.
The six-week Autumn Sales Blitz kicks off tomorrow with the British coach and group tour workshop in The Strand Hotel, Limerick. Irish tourism businesses are expected to take part in 8,500 one-to-one sales meetings with 275 international tour operators. The full schedule includes: British inbound workshop, October 7. US market workshop, October 13. The WAW Expo, October 19. Meet in Ireland 2015, October 22. Canadian workshop, November 3. Picture shows British coach and group tour operators with Marlene Burke of Fáilte Ireland on their arrival in Galway this weekend.
Eleven travel journalists visited Ireland as guests of Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. Their itinerary included a tour of Louise Kennedy headquarters at Merrion Square, a visit to milliner John Shevlin’s Cow’s Lane Designer Studio and guided tours of Castlecomer Craft Yard and the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny.
Inbound Irish tourism for the first half of 2015 reported holiday visits up 20pc, holiday spending up 34pc, overall numbers up 12pc, bed nights up 10pc and value up 16pc growth in value, meaning an additional €250m spent in the country to a total of €1.78bn. ITIC commented that accommodation sectors benefitted from an uplift in demand, with rental sector experiencing a marked increase. The rate of growth in visitor expenditure outstripped the volume growth from most markets. While mainland Europe continues to be the most valuable source market, North America generated half of the additional €250m spent in the country over the period.
A group representing nine German business tourism companies visited Fermanagh this week as guests of Tourism Ireland. Their itinerary, designed by Tourism NI, included a boat trip to Lough Erne Resort to learn about Year of Food and Drink 2016, a visit to Castle Coole, Orchard Acre Farm and Hillsborough Castle. The group also took a cookery class at Belfast Cookery School, visited the Gobbins Coastal Path, Titanic Belfast and Montalto Estate. Their trip concluded with a Game of Thrones archery lesson at Castle Ward. Picture shows the group with Denise Quinn of Tourism Ireland Germany, John O’Neill of Lough Erne Resort, Noel McMeel, Executive Chef, Tanya Cathcart of Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism, and Willie Lougheed of Tourism NI.
Bobby Fennel and American PBS executive producers Colleen Kelly and Tricia Fusilero visited Ireland to explore the Wild Atlantic Way for two shows, Family Travel with Colleen Kelly (on left) and World Golf Getaways. Picture shows the group in Galway with Anne Melia of Fáilte Ireland.
Eight US group tour buyers including CIE Tours International, Crystal Travel and Tours, Globus Groups and Global Consolidated Services visited Ireland’s Ancient East this week as guest of Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. They attended networking events with the Irish trade in Waterford and Kilkenny with Jenny De Saulles, head of Ireland’s Ancient East. Picture shows Eamonn McEneaney of Museum of Treasures, Ciara Sugure of Fáilte Ireland and Greg Caples of Grueniger Travel Group at the networking event in Waterford Castle.
Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry gave a talk on the history of polo in Ireland at the All Ireland Polo Club.