Athbhliain faoi shéan agus faoi mhaise daoibh
FIVE things you need to know about travel this week:
- Bah humbug: The first strike threat of 2016 comes from France
- New European airline association launched
- The main travel sales start this weekend
- A record year for Ireland’s leading visitor attractions
- CSO: Visits to Ireland up 14pc for first eleven months
Travel Extra TV
An air hostess sang the safety briefing to the tune of Jingle Bells on a Rvan Airlines flight, our video of the week. Watch here.
- Drone rules came into effect this week. See the IAA’s guide to registering your drone. Watch here.
- Two strangers play Una Mattina by Ludovico Einaudi on the piano in a Paris train station. Watch here.
- The Points Guy, Brian Kelly, experiences Etihad’s Residence suite, their new lounge in JFK T4 and their inaugural A380 flight from New York to Abu Dhabi. Watch here.
- Aer Lingus’s Home for Christmas video was watched over 80,000 times. It documents five expats’ emotional journeys home. Watch here.
- TAP Portugal played Jingle Bells using aircraft sounds. Watch here.
- Ryanair posted a Christmas video featuring a giddy labrador. Watch here.
- Qatar Airways recruited Barcelona FC to explain its in-flight WiFi service. Watch here.
- A Christmas message from Guinness Storehouse. Watch here.
- An inexperienced flyer misunderstood a security officer’s instructions and climbed into a luggage scanner. Watch here.
- See Qantas flight 73 land in San Francisco from Sydney. Watch here.
- See British Airways Holidays’ TV ad. Watch here.
- Emirates put together a cutesy animated film to showcase their Fly With Me plush toys. Watch here.
Behind the Headlines
The main travel sales start this weekend: Aer Lingus sale lead in prices to USA from €255 are €46 up on last year’s lead in, with Britain from €20 and Europe 50pc off, the sale runs until midnight Jan 18, travel May 1-Sept 30 2016. Emirates fares from Dublin start at €499 return to Dubai and €869 return to Australia from, book between January 5 and January 18 2016 for travel between January 15 and November 30. Topflight started their January Sale on Saturday with savings of up to €344 per person, claiming this is their biggest ever sale. Missing this year is the great Air Malaysia Australia prices of yesteryear, they have slashed capacity between KL and Australia so the prices that characterised last January are no more.
With the usual seasonal good cheer, the first strike threat of 2016 came from France. Confédération Générale du Travail, called Air France staff to strike on January 28 on the occasion of the first central works council of the year.
It was has been a record year for dozens of Ireland’s leading visitor attractions. Guinness Storehouse will be the number one attraction in Ireland again with approximately 1,491,536,17.5pc up on last year which was also a record year. By the end of the year we 1.2m visitors will have visited the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, more than 15pc ahead of the same period last year. Katherine Webster of Moher says: All sectors of the market have been performing well. December has started softly due to the very bad weather but it is the month with the lowest visitor volume overall and will make very little difference to the final results for the year. Dublin Zoo reached 1m visitors on October 10, the earliest ever, and attracted 1,085,382 to December 14, surpassing total footfall figure for 2014, 1,076,876. The National Aquatic Centre expects to finish in fourth place, up 7pc around the 995,000 mark with Giant’s Causeway in fifth place. Tayto Park in Ashbourne are up 80pc to sixth place. Other big climbers are the National Gallery and Connemara National Park (both up 24pc), the National Museum Collins Barracks (up 21pc), the Little Museum of Dublin (up 18pc), the Book of Kells and Chester Beatty Library (both up 17pc), The top twenty will look something like this: 1 Guinness Storehouse 1,491,536; 2 Cliffs of Moher 1,242,576; 3 Dublin Zoo 1,130,720; 4 National Aquatic Centre 996,249; 5 Giant’s Causeway Centre 827,400; 6 Tayto Park Ashbourne 765,000; 7 Book of Kells 761,057; 8 National Gallery 735,547; 9 Titanic 684,720; 10 Botanic Gardens Glasnevin 552,785; 11 National Museum Kildare St 469,494; 12 St Patrick’s Cathedral 466,423; 13 Ulster Museum 456,680; 14 Fota Wildlife Park Cork 433,620; 15 Science Gallery 411,052; 16 Rock of Cashel Tipperary 409,753; 17 Farmleigh 402773; 18 Blarney Castle 390,000; 19 Number 29 370,000; 20 Chester Beatty Library Dublin 355,680. Obviously, numbers are subject to confirmation.
A new European airline association, Airlines for Europe, is to be launched by Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group and Ryanair at the Aviation Summit in Amsterdam on January 20-21. Willie Walsh said “We’ve recognised from having multiple associations speaking on behalf of the industry is that politicians like to identify areas where we don’t agree. We will agree a position and be very loud on it. We will be very, very focused.”
Click and Go’s 12 days of Christmas promo continues until January 1, with giveaways including upgrades, promo codes, vouchers and airport lounge passes up for grabs on their Facebook page. Customers who book a holiday before January 1 will be entered into a draw to win a 7 night B&B holiday for two in the 4* Sea Pearl Hotel, Kusadasi.
Picture shows the group from the Topflight fam trip to Austria. The group sampled the apes ski bars and slopes in Kirchberg over two days with Maurce Shiels and Melissa Whelan from Topflight. The group included Elaine Harding of Garda Holiday Club Donagh McCarthy of Lee Travel Cork, Suzanne Walsh of Just Split, Charlene Coffey of Carefree Travel, Suzanne Walsh of Just Split, Charlene Coffey of Carefree Travel, Rita Gaughan of Limerick Travel, Caitriona Duffy of Cassidy Travel and Ellen Farley of J Barter Travel Cork.
Royal Caribbean launched its Go All In promo, with selected drinks included in the price of the holiday, a 50pc discount off the cruise fare for a second guest and a 35pc discount for third and fourth stateroom guests on cruises booked by February 29 216. See Deal Watch for more.
Falcon and Thomson predict an increase in all inclusive bookings in 2016, especially for young families, an increase in the number of 10 and 14 night holidays and a bigger demand for Wi-Fi.
According to the latest IHF Hotel Barometer, nine out of ten hotels and guesthouses reported increased business this year and 60pc have hired new staff in 2015. 92pc of hoteliers plan to refurbish their properties and invest in product development in 2016. The IHF reported increased demand for three-day Christmas packages.
London is the most searched New Year’s Eve destination for Irish users on Trivago.ie. Dublin came in second, followed by New York City. The top 15: 1 London, 2 Dublin, 3 New York City, 4 Amsterdam, 5 Paris, 6 Galway, 7 Edinburgh, 8 Prague, 9 Killarney, 10 Tenerife, 11 Berlin, 12 Lanzarote, 13 Liverpool, 14 Manchester, 15 Brussels.
- Travelodge completed a £100m three-year modernisation programme that brought room improvements at over 500 hotels, including the addition of king size Dreamer beds
- Hyatt is the latest hotel group to be hacked with half of its hotels affected in data breach discovered in November.
- The Portlaoise Heritage Hotel and Leisure Club joined the Great National Hotels and Resorts Group.
- Connemara Sands Hotel in Clifden was awarded a 4-star rating by Fáilte Ireland.
- Accor Hotels rolled out an emoji search feature.
- Hilton started to trial a stricter cancelation policy at 24 hotels with a $50 cancellation fee any time after the booking is made.
- Hyatt Hotels reported a suspected malware attack on its payment system.
The United Nations declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. UNWTO awarded the Ulysses Prize to Dr Richard Butler, Emeritus Scholar of the Strathclyde Business School, in Glasgow.
- Istanbul’s third bridge over the Bosphorus will open by May 2016.
- Tunisia extended its state of emergency from December 24 to February 21.
- Wye River, a popular tourist destination in Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, was evacuated because of in a Christmas Day bushfire.
- China’s National Tourism Administration said 120m Chinese traveled overseas in 2015, up 19.5pc from 109m the previous year and nearly 13 times the level in 1998, making it the world’s largest outbound market.
- Portugal Tourist Board reported Irish visitors are up 9.1pc YOY January to October, making Ireland the seventh biggest market to Portugal.
- AirPortr luggage delivery service launched at London Heathrow.
- A Department of Homeland Security document says that TSA agents can enforce mandatory body scanner screenings for some passengers.
- Airbnb expects to record 1m guests on New Year’s Eve, double the number last year. Paris has the highest number of guests, with 45,000 bookings.
- The MET New York opened its Vishnu exhibition until June 5.
- Emerald VIP Services will open a Paris office in the New Year.
Food & Wine
The IHF reported strong bookings for Christmas lunch and dinner.
The first bottle of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin was distilled at the Shed Handcraft Distillery, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim. 100,000 litres will be produced next year, generating sales of €3m.
Dublin Airport reported 1m passengers were using it as a hub in 2015. Listen here to Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland about the need for new planning conditions for the parallel runway at Dublin airport.
Dublin Airport is to refurbish the ground floor of Terminal One, and Shannon Airport is to refurbish gates one to five including the arrivals hall, transit lounges and departure gate areas. The departure road to terminal 1 at Dublin airport has reopened.
Shannon airport handled 57,000 passengers this week, up 4pc compared to the Christmas period last year.
IAG converted 15 A320neo options into firm orders. The aircraft will be delivered in 2021 and 2022. The jets can be used by Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling for fleet replacement.
Shannon Group confirmed that chief executive Neil Pakey will leave the company at the conclusion of his three-year contract next year.
Conor McGregor flew from LA to Dublin with Ethiopian to spend Christmas at the K Club in Straffan. And yes, Travel Extra’s editor still maintains MMA is not a real sport.
An explosion on board a Pegasus Airlines aircraft at Istanbul’s second airport Sabiha Gokcen killed a cleaner, injuring another and causing damage to surrounding aircraft and buildings. The DFA advice on Turkey remains unchanged although other European countries updated their advice.
John Mulligan reported that the IAA is considering remote technology in favour of building an 87-metre high control tower at Dublin Airport.
Aer Rianta International won a 10-year contract for the Abu Dhabi Airport’s Midfield terminal, where they will be responsible for the retail of perfume, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and jewellery.
Ryanair added extra flights between Dublin and Bordeaux for Ireland’s Euro 2016 clash against Belgium on 18 June. Listen here to Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry speaking on RTÉ Radio’s News at One about options for Euro 2016. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry ar Raidió na Gaeltachta ag caint ar Euro 2016.
England is investigating a lawmaker’s claim that US officials prevented a British Muslim family from flying to Disneyland for a planned holiday from LAX.
Online retailer Amazon is reportedly in talks to lease 20 B767s to launch an air delivery service.
Rayani Air, a Sharia airline that complies with Islamic claw, banning alcohol and serving halal food, launched this week.
A couple was detained in Paris over the fake bomb left in a toilet that caused Air France flight 463 to make an emergency landing in Kenya.
Dublin Airport was briefly evacuated because a smoke alarm went off, believed to be triggered by a passenger smoking in the toilet.
Etihad Airways announced an agreement to use Luggage Logistics’ baggage management system to deliver and track luggage.
Aer Lingus received 2,800 applications for 12 places on its 2016 Cadet Pilot Training Programme.
Frankfurt Airport welcomed its 60 millionth passenger.
Bombardier executive chairman Pierre Beaudoin will step down in Q1 2016.
Mexico was added to BA’s World Sale, starting from €337.
Iron Maiden’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson will pilot the band’s B747 Ed Force One during their upcoming world tour.
Qualtrics’ Passenger Pain Index found that one in five of the 520 American flyers surveyed say lost luggage is what bothers them the most about air travel, and 48pc said they would consider never flying with an airline again if it lost their luggage.
Royal Caribbean announced details of its WAVE promotion under its new brand slogan, Where Extraordinary Happens, in a bid to drive the ‘new to cruise’ market. Royal Caribbean will bring Empress of the Seas back to Miami in March 2016, offering short Caribbean itineraries.
Crystal Cruises launched the 62-passenger yacht, Crystal Espirit, in the Seychelles.
Stena Line, rebranded Santa Line as part of its Christmas promo, carried 135,000 passengers over the Christmas period.
Disney Cruise cancelled calls to Turkey, Greece, and Malta in August “due to unrest and uncertainty in the region”.
An eight-year-old boy tragically drowned in a swimming pool on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean started charging for the use of its RipCord by iFly sky diving simulator and the North Star observation capsule on Quantum of the Seas.
A number of countries have citizens to exercise caution when applying for jobs on cruise ships via the internet. The International Transport Workers Union has also posted warnings of on-line scams offering fake jobs in the cruise industry.
Falcon Easter offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Bitacora Club, Lanzarote from €1,350 2+1 and from €1,799 2+2, depart March 20 2016. 7 nights self catering 4* Villa Mandi, Tenerife from €1,599 2+1 and from €2,099 2+2, depart March 18 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Punta del Rey, Tenerife from €1,739 2+1 and from €2,319 2+2. Other offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Dunas Mirador, Gran Canaria from €499pps, depart January 9 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Hyde Park Lane, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €449pps, depart January 31 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Punta Del Rey, las Caletillas, Tenerife from €399pps, depart February 5 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Blue Lagoon Resort, Kos from €2,299 2+1 and from €3,689 2+2, depart June 20 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Club Alize, Marmaris, Turkey from €1,829 2+1 and from €2,459 2+2, depart June 27 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Catalonia Riviera Maya, Cancun from €1,929pps, depart July 4 2016. Falcon #NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Sun Beach, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €399pps, depart June 4 2016. Visit www.falconholidays.ie or call 1850 858 229.
Thomson offers: 7 nights self catering Riu Helios Bay, Obzor, Bulgaria from €489pps, depart May 23 2016. 7 nights all inclusive Blue Bay, Marmaris, Turkey from €739pps, depart May 30 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Riu Cancun from €2,359pps, depart July 4 2016. 7 nights half board Sol Princesa Decil, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €619pps, depart February 5 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach Princess, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €379pps, depart January 16 2016. 7 nights half board Hioptel Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €689pps, depart January 31 2016. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
Norwegian Cruise Line passengers who book a Freestyle cruise by Januayar 3 are offered a choice of two extras from the following list: speciality dining package; premium drinks package; 250-minute internet package; $100 on-board spending money. Call 0845 201 8900.
Click and Go offers: 3 nights 4* Hilton Garden Inn Bar Hotel from €235pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel in April 2016. 7 nights B&B 4* Diverhotel Tenerife Spa & Gardens Hotel from €379pp incl. retune flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in February 2016. 3 nights B&B 4* Union Praha Hotel, Prague from €179pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel in February 2016. 7 nights self catering 4* Paraiso de Albufeira Apartments, the Algarve from €229pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in January 2016. Visit clickandgo.com.
Sunway Lapland 2016 offers: 1 night trip from €859 per adult and €759 per child, depart Dublin or Cork December 10 and 17 2016. 2 night trip from €1,199 per adult and €999 per child, depart Dublin December 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 2016. Visit sunway.ie/lapland or call 01 231 1800.
Topflight January sale offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Crest Apartments, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €299pp, depart January 10 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Sporthotel Austria, St Johann from €699pp, depart January 9 2016. 7 nights 3* Chalet Sorrier 2, La Plane, France from €669pp, depart January 23 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Pedra dos Bucos, Albufeira from €449pp, depart May 7 2016. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Tivoli Victoria, Vilamoura from €739pp, depart May 14 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Jable Bermudas, Puerto del Carmen from €489pp, depart April 2 2016. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Beatriz Playa, Puerto del Carmen from €699pp, depart April 9 2016. 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia Resort, Peschiera from €399pp, depart March 27 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine from €938pp, depart May 14 2016. 7 nights B&B 3* Vello d’Or, Taormina, Sicily from €669pp, depart May 28 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Eden, Lido di Jesolo from €669pp, depart September 24 2016. All prices include return flights, return transfers, all taxes and Topflight rep service. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 2401 700.
Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights all in France and Spain cruise on Independence of the Seas from €1,285pp, depart May 28 2016. 7 nights all in Norway cruise on Navigator of the Seas from €1,170pp, depart May 30 2016. 7 nights all in Western Mediterranean cruise on Harmony of the Seas from €1,598pp, depart August 21 2016. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.
Tourism NI offers: 1 night B&B Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Bangor from £55pps, available until January 31, call (028) 9185 2500. 1 night B&B Ibis Hotel, Belfast City Centre from £68pps incl. two tickets to Crumlin Road Gaol, available until December 31, call (028) 9023 8888. 1 night B&B Corick House Hotel & Spa, Clogher from £115pps incl. a 60-minute spa treatment, access to hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room, and a 4-course a la carte dinner in the Carleton restaurant, available until December 31, call (028) 8554 8216.
Images of Belmond Grand Hibernian were released. The luxury sleeper train will commence service in August 2016 with 2, 4 and 6-night itineraries available.
CSO figures showed that visits to Ireland was up 14pc for the first 11 months of 2015 with 8m visitors, above Tourism Ireland’s estimate of 7.9m. Visits from Europe were up 15.9pc, North America up 14.1pc, Britain up 12.5pc and ROW up 13.3pc.
Tourism Ireland will roll out its Ireland’s Ancient East online ad campaign in January, targeting all 23 markets. A TV ad was filmed a few months ago at Castletown House, Glendalough, Newgrange, Kilkenny Castle, Waterford city and the Rock of Cashel. Picture shows Brian Twomey of Tourism Ireland, actor Zeff Lawless, make-up artist Shirley Talbot, cameraman Piers McGrail and director Stevie Russell during filming at Castletown House.
An article on Kilkenny appeared in Australia’s Traveller magazine.
See travelextra.tv for more video.
Jan 8-13 Vakantiebeurs, Utrecht
Jan 14-16 Florida Huddle, Fort Lauderdale.
Jan 15-18 MATKA, Helsinki
Jan 16-18 Holiday World, Belfast
Jan 22 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin
Jan 22-29 ASEAN Tourism Forum, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
Jan 23-25 Holiday World, Dublin
Jan 28-Feb 1 FITUR, Madrid
Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi
Jan 29-Feb 1 Destinations, Olympia, London
Go West Summit, Colorado Springs
Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv
Feb 12-14 BIT, Milan
Feb Utazas, Budapest
Feb 23-24 IHF Conference, Ballyconnell
Feb 25-Mar 1 BTL, LIsbon
Mar 4-6 ITB, Berlin
Mar 6-8 Guangzhou International Travel Fair
Mar 9-12 Cruise shipping Miami
Mar 16-18 GIBTM, Abu Dhabi
Mar 18-21 MITT, Moscow
Mar 19-22 Tur, Gothenburg
Mar 24-27 Tianguis Turistico, Acapulco
Mar 27-28 Skål National Convention Ireland, Cork
Mar 31-Apr 1 Rendez Vous France, Paris
Apr Meitheal, Dublin
Apr 12-18 Mountain Travel Symposium, Whistler
Apr 14-16 COTTM Beijing
Apr 15-16 WTTC Global Summit, Madrid
Apr 15-17 WTM Africa, Capetown
Apr 21-22 Social Travel Summit, Hamburg
Apr 22-23 Visit Scotland Expo, Aberdeen
Apr 22-24 WTM South America, Sao Paolo
Apr 24-25 ITAA AGM & Exhibition, Citywest
Apr 26-28 Germany Travel Market, Erfurt and Weimar
Apr 27-30 ATM, Dubai
May 5-7 Fitcuba, Jardines del Rey.
May 7 Bookabed cork –
May 6 andalucia golf powers court –
May 9-12 World Travel Fair Shanghai
May 9-11 Indaba, Durban
May 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt
May 20-27 Trenz New Zealand, Wellington
May 26-29 Rendez-vous Canada, Niagara Falls
May 30-June 3 2015 IPW 2015 Orlando
June 3-5 TTM Plus, Bangkok
June 15-21 Paris Air show
June 21-24 ATE, Melbourne
Sept Travelmart S America, TBA
Sept PATA Travel Mart, TBA
Sept Top Resa 2015, Paris
Sept FITA Mexico City
Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Namibia
Oct 18-23 Skål World Congress, Kenya coast
Nov 2-5 WTM 2015, London
Nov 17-19 EIBTM 2015, Barcelona
Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
Nov 30 Launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 Marketing Plans, Dublin
Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
Nov 30-Dec 3 International Luxury Travel Market Cannes
Dec 4-5 Travel Centres Conference, Lyrath Hotel
Dec 10 World Tourism Forum Mediterranean meeting Belek
Dec 11 The Travel Corporation’s 5th birthday Trade Christmas Lunch, The Residence, Dublin
Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC
Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver
2019 – 2024
Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles
November 2015: Winter cruise issue
October 2015: Ski issue
September 2015: Accommodation issue
July/August 2015: Wintersun issue
June 2015: USA issue
May 2015: The Australia issue
April 2015: Summer Cruise issue
March 2015: Industry Awards issue
February 2015: Holiday World issue