TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Connecticut Here We Come

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Minister Paschal Donohoe speaking the launch of the new brand and €1m international campaign for Dublin

Minister Paschal Donohoe speaking the launch of the new brand and €1m international campaign for Dublin

7 things you need to know about travel this week:

  • Cityjet goes to Moscow for a 98-seater with extra pitch, width & height
  • A double Irish win at ERAA Berlin
  • Clubworld Lurgan is north’s top agency
  • Aer Lingus to launch Connecticut this week
  • Dublin rebrands its tourism, but who spoiled the party?
  • Don departs Worldchoice but will stay in travel
  • Travel Extra winter cruise edition hits the streets

Travel Extra TV

Video of week Oct 18 2015Ssssink your fangs into our video of the week: A pit of rattlesnakes pounced on a GoPro after it fell into their nest. Watch here.

  • Take a look at Miguel Pereira’s incredible footage of a gigantic sunfish, captured off the coast of Portugal. Watch here.
  • Thongsri the elephant “rescues” her caretaker at Chiang Mai, Thailand. Watch here.
  • The Chronicles of Keith with Aer Lingus. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s promo video for The Gobbins Cliff Path on Antrim’s Causeway Coast. Watch here.
  • The making of Finnair’s A350 XWB. Watch here.
  • See the moment a Sky Airline jet’s left engine began to fall apart. Watch here.
  • Vagabrothers shared their Epic Cliff Jump video shot at the Aran Islands. Watch here
  • Is your father a terrorist because you look a bomb? Pickup lines from around the world. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

bradleyAer Lingus will announce new routes to Los Angeles (A330) and Hartford, Connecticut (B757-200) on Wednesday. The flights to Bradley International in Hartford (pictured) come with a $5m incentive and two years of free landing charges. It means EI145 (outbound) and EI144 (inbound) are back on the boards after six years. Schedules loaded in the system earlier this week showed 6w for both, although 4w is more likely. Aer Lingus reportedly has eyes on two new A330-300s in the Airbus production schedule for delivery in autumn 2016, part of an IAG Group package. Miami could be announced at a later date while Dallas, much touted by Tourism Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, is likely to come in 2017.

TE November cover 2015Winter cruise is the theme of the November print edition of Travel Extra (read here), which will be delivered to agencies in the coming days. We sort out which ship is homeporting where over the coming winter and summer, Royal Caribbean’s agent incentive scheme, the impending launch of Norwegian Escape and sample Hurtigruten’s Northern Lights cruise in the Arctic Circle, to be repeated in March. We report on the ITAA conference in Jerez, Ryanair’s new interiors, the website revamps by both Aer Lingus and Ryanair, Cityjet’s exciting new fleet options, the latest licensing round from CAR, Cork Airport’s trans-Atlantic break, the winter fare wars likely out of Dublin, the summer 2016 schedules from Aer Lingus and Ryanair, Powerscourt’s win in the AA Hotel of the Year. We review New York, Luxembourg, Falcon Holidays’ Sansatori Resort in Fethiye, the Aer Lingus regional destination of Newquay in Cornwall and the shopping options at either end of International Drive in Orlando. Niall McDonnell of Red Sea Holidays selects his favourite holiday spot. Travel Extra’s team are already trawling the world to prepare the next edition. Weddings and honeymoons is the theme of the next edition, to be published in mid-November.

jonathan adair speaksA record 453 attended the Northern Ireland Travel News awards in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle Co Down. Jonathan Adair introduced the 27 awards. Brian Surgeon won the hall of fame award, while probably the happiest winner was Drew Stewart of Classic Collection from Sussex. Clubworld Travel Lurgan, for the third time in 24 years, and Scott Parker of Feherty Travel in Bangor won the agency awards (decided by mystery shoppers, after an original shortlist drawn up after votes from the travelling public). IMG_5768Barry Jackson the supplier of the year. The Northern Ireland Travel Industry Award went to Selective Travel Management based in Murray’s Exchange near Belfast city centre, having doubled its staff numbers and £350,000 in infrastructure and IT. Tanya Cathcart won the Special Achievement Award. Picture shows Jonathan Adair introducing the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

eraa conference_22ASL Aviation Ireland (read here) and Shannon Airport (read here) both won awards at the European Regional Airlines conference in Berlin. Shannon won for the second year in succession, the first time this has happened in the history of the awards. Hugh Flynn of ASL told the conference that “artificial restrictions on ownership and control rules will not help European airlines nor passengers” and calls for cost management optimisation as decisive factor for airlines to compete successfully. European Business Speaker of the Year Larry Hochman told the conference that the company that has changed the most in aviation is Ryanair. “Airline stories are more emotive than any other.” Airberlin CEO Stefan Pichler mused that “if the weak Euro airline industry can’t defend itself against the Gulf carriers, just wait until Chinese carriers arrive.”

paschal pspeaks dubling brand launchWhat unfortunate timing. The new tourism brand for Dublin and €1m marketing campaign was launched at a major event in Croke Park the day after Paddy Cosgrave criticised the government and local authorities for failing to engage with the organisers of the Web Summit, which has moved to Lisbon for three years. On the back of the Garth Brooks debacle, Cosgrave has exposed structural weaknesses in Dublin’s newly discovered mission to win big events: with competing national and regional regulators and lobby groups there is nobody who can deliver the guarantees required by big event managers. The government and RDS handlers responded by launching a series of subtle and not-so-subtle attacks on Cosgrave himself while Tourism minister Paschal Donohoe claimed that Dublin has organised several events larger in scale than the Web Summit, in one bizarre reference he compared it to the Young Scientist Exhibition. Orla Carroll is fronting up the “breath of fresh air” brand, which is designed to counter Dublin’s image among visitors as a grey dismal place with not enough to do. The strategy is coordinated by the Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance which published its Collective Strategy for Growth to 2020 last yearListen here to Paschal Donohoe speaking at the launch. Picture shows Minister Donohoe speaking at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

Don Shearer Worldchoice_0429 copyDon Shearer’s departure from Worldchoice Ireland at the end of December “leaves the alliance in good shape for my successor,” according to the departing CEO. He will be moving within the industry and said “I achieved everything I set out to do two years ago.”

Topflight’s rapid restructuring continued this week with the departure of Simon Daly and  others, and the ending of the PR contract with Aileen Eglington’s AE consulting.

lanzarote three_5649Héctor Fernández Manchado, Director Gerente en Sociedad de Promoción Exterior de Lanzarote, and Paula Muñoz hosted travel agents at Joy Beattie’s Hot Stove Restaurant in Dublin. Gonzalo Ceballos of the Spanish Tourist Board said Ireland’s love affair with the most popular of the Canary Islands is increasing, 177,000 so far this year up 11pc on last year (total 205,000). Spain in general is enjoying an 88pc load factor. Watch here a video report from the event. Watch here an interview with Héctor Fernández Manchado. Picture shows Héctor, Paula and Gonzalo. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

alan lynch speaking 6Alan Lynch of Cruisescapes hosted travel agents on board The Fred Olsen cruise ship Boudicca in Cork. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Speaking to Travel Extra in the margins of the Northern Ireland Travel Awards, Doreen McKenzie said ABTA membership in the north had stabilised, with 75 members and 40 companies, down from a peak of 200 some years ago.

fuerteventura three_5591Sunway will operate a weekly charter to Fuerteventura in summer 2016. Tanya Airey and Arminda De Leon of Fuerteventura Tourism hosted the Irish Travel Trade at John Wyer‘s Forest Avenue restaurant in Dublin to publicise the programme. Aer Lingus have dropped their weekly flight next summer, but Ryanair will fly 3w to Fuertevenutra. Watch here a video report from the event and watch here an interview with Arminda De Leon. Picture shows Arminda De Leon, Gonzalo Ceballos and Tanya Airey. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

philadelphia busAmerican Airlines, Philadelphia and Atlantic City hosted seven key Travel Agency partners, flying business class on the Airbus A330 direct to Philadelphia where they were met by Greg Evans and Sonia Sehgal from American Airlines. The group attended a Concert performance by Madonna. Picture shows Greg Evans of PHL & AC, Terese Balzereit of Big Bus Company, Martin Hannigan of American Holidays Dublin, Sonia Sehgal of American Airlines, Kathy Cashe of Sunway, Angela Taylor of Oasis Travel, Peter Tully of Trailfinders, Roisin Carbery of Topflight, Sharon Morgan of Travel Counsellors and Jenny McIlroy of American Holidays Belfast Sightseeing in Philly on the Big Bus. See more pictures here or connect with the album on charlie darraghFacebook.

Travel Professionals Skillnet is offering a course in Telephone Skills for Travel Sales at ITAA on Westmoreland Street, October 21, 9.30am-1.30pm. Cost €70pp, book here.

Picture shows Charlie Sheil, GM of the Marker Hotel, with Skal president Daragh O’Neill at this week’s Skal Event.

Travel Counsellors worldwide appointed Cathy Burke Director of Global Business Development.

IMG_1622 copyTIGS next gold outing, sponsored by Travel Extra, at The Castle on Thursday has sold out. The AGM takes place that evening and Tanya Airey takes over as captain.

Picture shows Brian McCarthy and Ruth at their wedding on Friday, where a big delegation from the travel industry turned out to wish them well.

Video report of ITAA Conference in Jerez, watch here.

This is the citation for the win by Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry in the BTJA awards in London last week.

Hotels

Trivago Oct HPIAccording to Trivago’s October Hotel Price Index, the average price of a room in Ireland is €103. Dublin is the most expensive destination with an average price of €158, up 13.7pc YOY. Limerick is the cheapest at €85,up 1.2pc YOY. Galway up 2pc to €98. Cork up 9pc to €121. Kilkenny no change, €93.

The average price in Europe in October is €141. Monaco is the most expensive destination at €316, followed by Geneva at €260 and London at €256. The cheapest destination is St Petersburg at €60, followed by Bucharest at €75 and Warsaw at €77.

citynorth Simon AnglinSimon Anglin (pictured) is the new GM at CityNorth Hotel, having joined from the Jurys Inn group in Britain. Conor O’Toole is new General Manager in Clarion Hotel Liffey Valley. He was previously GM of Blarney Hotel for seven years and GM in Silversprings Cork for five years. Joe Kennedy has become GM of Maldron Hotel Cork

Hotel Los Fariones in Lanzarote is not closing for a winter refurb as originally planned. The hotel, a favourite with the Irish market (and ex Taoiseach Bertie Ahern) will remain open.

  • A company owned by Michael Holland bought the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast for €23m. 
  • AccorHotels purchased a portfolio of 43 hotels comprising 4,237 guestrooms for €281m.
  • Ritz-Carlton will open its first hotel in Mexico City in 2019.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton will open a hotel and spa in Liverpool.

International

New Zealand is to charge visitors a new travel tax from January 1, NZ$21.57 for air passengers and NZ$26.22 for cruise passengers.

margate rollercoasterEngland’s oldest rollercoaster reopened at Dreamland Margate following a £28m restoration.

Greece is to increase entry prices to a number of museums and monuments. Tourism officials said the prices at 200 state museums will be affected. Entry to the Acropolis in Athens is to increase from €12 to €20 and the ruins of Knosso in Crete will increase from €6 to €15.

uberAn armed robber in Baltimore used Uber to order a getaway car.

From next month, Eurostar will introduce a controversial policy that will force cyclists to dismantle their bikes before using the cross-Channel service, or pay a £30 fee.

Heavy snow has replaced the sunshine of earlier this week in the Alps. Temperatures are set to remain below average for the time of year, so the snow should remain in excellent condition. In places upwards of 40cm has fallen.

Food & Wine

burren foodie townIt is not a town, but the food producers of Burren Food Trail won the Restaurant Association of Ireland award for best foodie town in Ireland. Listen here to a detailed description of how the Burren Food Trail came about as described by Tina O’Dwyer at an event earlier in the year. Derry was runner-up. Picture shows Martin Waldron of Burren Escape, Tina O’Dwyer coordinator, Brid Fahy of Linnalla Pure Irish Ice Cream, Deborah Evers of Clareville House Kitchen Garden and Donal Monaghan of Gleninagh Burren Lamb. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Joe Rumberger is the new head chef at Fallon & Byrne Exchequer Street, Dublin 2. His menu features a gnocchi dish with raw milk ricotta, and he will be working with Caor Acla lamb and Skeaghanore duck.

glenlo abbey teaAs previously reported by Travel Extra, Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Galway marked the completion of its refurbishment with a week of afternoon tea, from October 24-30. The hotel will be offering a Bollinger champagne afternoon tea in their Pullman Dining Cars and will host a family fairytale tea by fireside, a vegetarian tea, Downton Abbey meets Glenlo Abbey, Taittinger tea, WAW fishy tea and a Halloween tea. Visit glenloabbeyhotel.com.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland launched the Super Chef Competition 2015-2016 together with St. Angela’s College, Sligo.

Aviation

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Superjet CityjetCityJet will take delivery of 15 Superjet SSJ100 aircraft, four in 2016 (Feb or Mar, May or June, July and August) and 11 in 2017 at the rate of one a month. In a deal described as a “preliminary agreement”, and “much more” than a letter of intent, Cityjet took options on an additional ten aircraft. The SSJ 100 seats 98 passengers five abreast, a generous 32” seat pitch, a wider seat and a more overhead bin space than competitors. Engines are by Snecma and avionics by Thales in France, wheels by Goodrich, auxiliary power unit by Honeywell in the USA and interiors by Pininfarina in Italy. SukhoiThe aircraft achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification in February 2012. Falko will own the aircraft and lease them to CityJet.  CityJet owns just two of its Avros, and intends releasing two RJ85s in 2016 and one a month throughout 2017. “ Executive Chairman Pat Byrne said: “We may still see a few carried through into 2018, but the RJ85 will be gone completely in the first quarter of 2018. We intend introducing the SSJ100 on charter activity in 2016 and will place it on our London City route network in 2017. We believe our customers will love this jet.. Picture shows Pat Byrne with Superset CEO Nazario Caucegli and a rendering of the SSJ100 in Cityjet livery. More here about the technical and economic advantages of the SSJ100. 

The Minister for the Gaeltacht Joe McHugh said on Tuesday that his Department has extended the Aran Islands air contract for one year with Aer Arann Islands from October 1 2015 to 30 September 2016 at a cost of €1.62m. The Government’s target had been to reduce the annual cost to €900,000.

Aer Lingus is to bring back Dublin-Bologna 2w for summer 2106, June 4 to Sept 27.

daa ryanair

Ryanair and Dublin Airport Authority launch their third joint advertising campaign tomorrow to entice people in the north to fly Ryanair from Dublin. Picture shows Dara Hanratty of Dublin Airport Authority and Lisa Buckley of Ryanair. Ryanair predicted that it will carry 35pc of the passengers to Malta in summer 2016, up from the current 26pc which places it second in the market. Ryanair will move from Ciampino to Fiumicino after this winter.

Capital Budget for State Airports in the Budget for 2016 is €193m, compared to €162.6m in 2015, funded by daa/SAA and not by the Exchequer. The provision for regional airports is €3.8m, up €300,000 on 2015.

Dublin airport shortlistedFigures by Eurostat show that Dublin Airport was the 18th busiest airport in Europe in 2014, carrying 21.7m passengers. London Heathrow was number one with 73.5m. European carriers’ international traffic was up 5.7pc in 2015 with load factor up 0.6 percentage points to 81.6pc, 2.3m passengers passed through Dublin Airport in September, 14pc up on Sep 2014 and making e it the busiest September in history. English routes were up 14pc, Mainland Europe 14pc, transatlantic up 16pc, Middle East and Africa up 14pc. The road to departures in T1 will be closed for another three weeks.

US Airways Flight 1939The American Airlines-US Airways integration was completed when US Airways Flight 1939, named for the year US Airways was founded, the last flight with US airways logo landed in Philadelphia from San Francisco.

Aer Lingus Regional added 1,000 additional seats on its Dublin-Cardiff service for the Irish rugby team’s World Cup quarter final match today.

Corkman Tony Cullinane is seeking investors to set up a new airline that would operate three flights per day between Cork and Dublin and then possibly expand to three flights per week to Belfast.

A passenger jet aborted takeoff when a car made a wrong turn onto LAX runway.

Singapore Airlines converted seven A350 orders to A350-900ULRs to enable non-stop Los Angeles and New York flights in 2018.

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Qatar Airways signed a codeshare agreement with Danish carrier SUN-AIR. Qatar will commence a daily Doha-Adelaide service from May 2 2016. Qatar partnered with Booking.com and Rentalcars.com.

Lufthansa-first-class-seat and bedLufthansa will phase out its first class seat and bed, which was introduced on ten B747-400s four years ago. Lufthansa will comence Frankfurt-San Jose, California, 5w on Apr 29.

SITA moved to new state-of-the-art premises in Letterkenny where it employs 148 people delivering technology to the global air transport industry. Almost every airline and airport in the world is a SITA customer and nearly every passenger flight relies on SITA technology.

emirates bulgari amenityEmirates updated its amenity bags for first and business class passengers with new products from Bulgari. 

Der Spiegel reported airberlin may move its long-haul base from Berlin to Dusseldorf.  The late opening of the New Berlin airport may be used as justification.

Six Air France workers were charged with riotous behaviour after the works council meeting.

american airlines b767An American Airlines flight bound for Frankfurt was delayed at Dallas Fort Worth because a swarm of 1,000 bees gathered underneath one of the B767’s wings.

FLY Leasing acquired a B737-800.

Avolon delivered eight aircraft in Q3 2015 valued at $346m, and sold seven aircraft. Avolon delivered a B737-800 to Malindo Air. 

Knock Airport had 64,000 passengers in September, up 0.2pc on Sep 2014.

aenghus kelly stephen kavanagh copyAengus Kelly’s AerCap Ireland recorded 2014 losses of $75m. Revenues rose 30pc. It acquired 23 aircraft and sold 12 aircraft.  As of September 30, AerCap’s portfolio consisted of 1,730 aircraft that were either owned, managed, or under contract to purchase. Aengus is pictured with Aer Lingus CEO Stephen McNamara.

IDA Ireland uploaded a video in Mandarin on aircraft leasing in Ireland. Watch here.

Afloat

royal caribbean tramRoyal Caribbean added improvements to CocoCay including a tram to take passengers from the ship to areas of the island, its private island in the Bahamas, according to the Royal Caribbean Blog.

P&O Cruises will homeport Britannia in St Lucia for the first time next year.

Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry was named the most influential woman in the country.

Regent Seven Seas will offer unlimited complimentary WiFi to all passengers, starting with its winter 2016/2017 itineraries.

Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 will get 15 single cabins and 30 additional Britannia Club Balcony rooms when it undergoes an extensive dry dock in 2016.

Norwegian Legends in ConcertNorwegian will debut a production of Las Vegas show Legends in Concert on board Norwegian Pearl.

Princess Cruises announced that its new ship that will be based year-round in China is called Majestic Princess.

Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas is undergoing a makeover that will see it fitted with 26 panoramic ocean view staterooms, new dining options and a boomerang slide called Tidal Wave.

Deal Watch

Falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights half board 3* Stefania, Hersonissos, Crete from €1,379 for two adults and two children or from €2,069 for two adults and two children, depart May 29 2016. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €339pp, depart December 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Green Park, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €479pp, depart December 19. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Xperience St George, Sharm El Sheikh from €589pp, depart January 8 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Bahia Principe Coba Riviera, Cancun from €1,759pp, depart June 26 2016. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Turkish Airlines is offering a 50pc refund to Irish passengers travelling to Turkey for health treatments. Passengers must submit their passport, electronic ticket, entry registration of the health institution and treatment bill to the Turkish Airlines office in Dublin.

Emirates Deal WatchEmirates online sale, book by October 20, for travel October 21 – December 10, December 28 – March 16 2016 and March 29 2016 – June 9 2016: Dubai from €509 return, Hong Kong from €639 return, Mauritius from €789 return, Perth from €889 return, Kuala Lumper from €639 return, and Beijing from €659 return. Visit emirates.ie.

Travel Counsellors deal watchTravel Counsellors offers, prices based on two people sharing: 3 nights B&B Hotel Mademoiselle, Paris from €560pp incl. private return transfers and return flights, depart April 14 2016. 3 nights B&B Duodo Palace Hotel, Venice from €550pp incl. flights, depart April 21 2016. 5 nights The Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €925pp incl. flights, depart February 27 2016. 3 nights B&B The Hilton Hotel & Suites Fallsview, Niagara Falls from €1,050pp incl. flights, depart April 21 2016.

Sunway offers: Trafalgar escorted Jewels of Italy tour, 7 days from €1,019pp incl. flights, B&B accommodation, 2 three-course dinners, coach travel, hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes, visits to Florence, Pisa Rome, Venice and Verona. 7 nights all inclusive VIK Arena Blanca, Punta Cana from €1,279pp incl. return flights and taxes, travel May 2016. 7 nights all inclusive Occidental Grand Xcaret, Cancun from €1,329pp incl. return flights, taxes and transfers, travel May 2016. Cruise offers: 10 night Canary Island cruise on board Norwegian Epic from €899pp incl. flights and soda drinks offer, depart February 14 2016. 8 night Alaska Inside Passage cruise on board Celebrity Infinity from €1,729pp incl. flights and 1 night pre stay in Vancouver, depart June 4 2016. 7 nights Norway and Fjords cruise on P&O Britannia from €899pp, depart May 9 2016. 7 nights Mediterranean cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas from €1,399pp incl. flights and $50 on board spend, depart June 19 2016. See sunway.ie.

Insight Vacations is offering a 9-day tour of California from €3,560pp incl. flights and transfers, book by November 20, depart June 3 2016. Visit insightvacations.com or call 1800 98 98 98.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering a 10-day Tulips and Windmills cruise on board the River Queen from €3,008pps incl. flights, transfers, all meals and beverages, shore excursions and visits to two countries. Depart March 25 2016. Visit uniworld.com/ie or call 1800 98 98 98.

Contiki is offering a 7-night Austria Ski Plus holiday from €915pps incl. flights and transfers. Book by October 23, depart January 9 2016. Visit contiki.com or call 1800 98 98 98.

Thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights half board 5* Kos Imperial Thalasso from €699pp, depart May 21 2016. 7 nights half board 3* Alkion Hotel, Corfu from €699pp, depart June 30 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Estival Park Centurion, Salou from €699pp, depart May 13 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Clubhotel Riu Ochos Rios, Jamaica from €1,859pp, depart June 19 2016. 7 nights half board 4* H10 Timanfaya Palace, Lanzarote from €639pp, depart November 29. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €479pp, depart December 19. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Jaz Mirabel Beach, Sharm El Sheikh from €689pp, depart January 8 2016. Lapland day trip from €639 per adult and €579 per child, depart December 5, 12 or 18. 7 nights full board Continental Coasts cruise on board Thomson Spirit from €1,089pp, depart July 17 2016. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas offers: 4 nights roundtrip from Southampton calling at Rotterdam from €499pp, depart May 22 2016. 3 nights roundtrip from Southampton calling at Cherbourg from €409pp, depart May 26 2016. Other deals: 7nights Arabian Gulf cruise on Splendour of the Seas from €1,199pp incl. flights ex Dublin, depart February 15 2016. 7 nights Eastern Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas from €1,215pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and $100 on board spend pp, depart November 15. 10 nights Greece and the Adriatic cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas from €1,285pp incl. flights ex Dublin, depart May 13 2016. Visit royalcaribbean.ie.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 4* Sunotel Central Hotel, Barcelona from €199pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in November. 7 nights B&B 4* Diverhotel Lanzarote Hotel from €319pp incl. return flights, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in November. 3 nights 5* Grand Hotel Esplanade, Berlin from €319pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in November. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmin Sunset Plaza, Kusadasi from €429pp incl. return flights, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in May 2016. Visit clickandgo.com.

Cruisescapes offers: 32-night Old England to New England cruise on board Balmoral from €4,629pp, depart April 16 2016. Boudicca offers: 14-night Rugged and Rural Canada cruise from €2,269pp, depart May 15 2016. 5-night The Emerald Isle cruise from €879pp, depart May 31 2016. 9-night Classic Norwegian Fjords cruise from €1,439pp, depart July 23 2016. 12-night Madeira, Portugal and the Canaries cruise from €1,949pp, depart August 1 2016. 14-nigh Rugged and Rural Canada cruise from €2,599pp, depart September 7 2016. Visit cruisescapes.ie.

Scarefest Alton TowersIrish Ferries is offering a 3-night B&B Halloween stay in Straffordshire from €483 for two adults and two children under 12 incl. return car ferry travel and 1 day’s entry to Alton Towers. Visit irishferries.com/alton or call 0818 300 400.

Lowcostholidays offers: 7 nights self cntergin 3* Alfamar Villas, Algarve from €160pp, depart November 21. 7 nights B&B 4* VIK Gran Hotel Costa Del Sol from €259pp, depart November 23. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Paradise Bay, Malta from €259pp, depart November 21. 7 nights 3* NYX Hotel Cancun from €988pp, depart March 5 2016. 7 nights 3* Ramada Gateway Hotel & Inn, Orlando from €689pp, depart March 5 2016. 7 nights B&B 3* Royale Hummingbird Cliff Resort, Jamaica from €897pp, depart March 5 2016. 2 nights B&B 3* Hotel Santa Costanza, Rome from €265pp, depart December 9. 2 nights B&B 3* Kavalir Hotel, Prague from €187pp, depart December 9. 2 nights B&B 4* Illunion Almiranta, Barcelona from €257pp, depart December 9. To mark Ireland’s performance at the Rugby World Cup, lowcosthoidays is offering €50 off all holidays booked with accommodation and a minimum spend of €750 per booking. Use promo code RWCWIN, offer ends October 31. Visit lowcostholidays.ie or call 01 485 3835.

ITAA offers: 9 nights Best of California tour from €2,835pps incl. 8 breakfasts, 4 dinners, service chargers, taxes and porterage, depart July 1 2016. 7 days Canadian Rockies tour from €2,578pps incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, transfers, meals and tours, depart May 7 2016. 7 nights Magic of Orlando holiday from €659pp incl. flights ex Dublin and airport taxes.

Tourism NI deal watchTourism NI offers: 2 nights B&B 4* Dunadry Hotel, Co Antrim from £99pps, available until December 13, call 028 9443 4343, quote promo code Autumn Leaves. 2 nights B&B in a 2 bedroom Loughside Lodge, Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen from £195 for two adults and two children incl. one evening meal in the Loughside Bar and Grill, available October 25-30, call 028 6632 3230. 1 night B&B Ten Square Hotel, Belfast from £65pps incl. 3 course meal in the Grill Room, available until December 13, call 028 9024 1001.

Ireland

wtm ireland stand 2014Tourism Ireland’s places on the Ireland stand at World Travel Market sold out in eight minutes. “It was like selling tickets for One Direction,” CEO Niall Gibbons joked. Tourism Ireland will bring 70 partners to Ireland meets the west end and there are 27 on the wait list. See pictures of the Irish interest from World Travel Market 2014 here or connect with the album on Facebook. For minister Michael Ring’s barnstorming speech at WTM last year watch here.

Dearbhaill Standún and Charlie Troy of Cnoc Suain, Conamara, won the Phoenix Award for Sustainable Tourism from the Society of American Travel Writers.

Kayaking.ie launched a new activities base in Lucan, augmenting its kayaking trips around Dalkey Island.

WAW expo 2015One hundred Irish tourism businesses will attend Fáilte Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way Expo 2015 in Salthill Hotel tomorrow to meet with 60 international buyers specialising in youth and adventure travel.

Great Train bikeThe next phase of the Dublin to Galway cycleway was officially opened this weekend on the disused railway line that served as the location for Sean Connery’s classic The Great Train Robbery.

A group of American travel agents visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland, American Airlines and Aer Lingus. Their itinerary included Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic, Belfast City bus tour, visit to PIC-1-US-TRAVEL-AGENTS-AT-CULLODEN-HOTELBlessingbourne Estate, Belle Isle Castle and Cookery School, Castle Coole, Belleek Pttery and a cruise on Lough Erne. Picture shows Sinéad Murray of Tourism Ireland with some of the visiting agents in the grounds of Culloden Hotel, Cultra.

ecab appDublin taxi firms Xpert Taxis, National Radio Cabs and VIP Taxis launched the eCab app which allows customers to order, track and pay for taxis.

Donald Trump’s Doonbeg golf course suffered a €2.5m in the first year under his ownership.

New Zealand broadcaster and journalist Annabelle White visited Ireland this week to sample food experiences in Dublin, Cork and along the Wild Atlantic Way, before meeting Neven Maguire at MacNean Guesthouse. Her experience will be published in Woman’s Weekly magazine, and Annabelle will broadcast on Radio Live and TV3 breakfast New Zealand.

50,000 SWEDES SEE IMAGES OF WICKLOW LANDSCAPE IN POPULAR FASHION MAGAZINEThe latest edition of Swedish fashion magazine StyleBy features a 14-page spread shot in Wicklow. Tourism Ireland Nordic invited the models and crew to stage their autumn fashion shoot in Wicklow National Park in July.

PROMOTING CORK CITY AND COUNTY IN BRITAINTourism Ireland Britain partnered with Aer Lingus to promote flights to Cork and Shannon with a series of ads that will appear in The London Times, The Manchester Guardian, Metro and London Evening Standard.

Gareth Hetherington, associate director of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre said tourism spending currently accounted for 2.3pc of Gross Value Added in the north.

loftus hallTravel Extra will dabble in the paranormal on Halloween night when Conor McMahon visits Loftus Hall in Wexford, one of Ireland’s most haunted houses. The story goes that the historic mansion is haunted by the devil himself and the ghost of Anne Tottenham. Last year, the house was the subject of a paranormal investigation on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures with Zak Bagans. Family-friendly day tours take place until November 1, and adult night time tours are available until October 31. Speaking to Conor McMahon, Anne Power said punters on the night time tour will be guided by a modern day host and a theatrical g-host, who will provide “Fun with a scream… The house does a lot of the work for us. We’re trying to do the house proud and make it come alive.” Anne claims the house does come alive when darkness falls: “I’ve had experiences that made my head turn. Recently, I was locking up the house and I heard footsteps, but I knew for a fact that there was nobody else there.” Travel Extra will investigate. Family tickets for the day-time tours are available from €30. Tickets for the night-time tour cost €16. Book here.

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

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