TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Making room for EI in T2: EY go to T1

HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & BEVERAGE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

Algarve Tourism hosts international travel writers in a helicopter ride over Portimão, October 14 2016

Algarve Tourism hosts international travel writers in a helicopter ride over Portimão, October 14 2016

14 Things to know about travel this week

  • Ryanair reduces check-in window for unreserved seats to 4 days
  • Etihad back to 2 daily & moves to T1 to make way for Aer Lingus westbound
  • Thailand mourns its king, but urges tourists to come
  • Agents join DSD on behind the scenes tour of Barcelona 
  • Cityjet cabin crew threaten 5 days of strikes
  • 20 year old ship wins ‘best new ship’ award in London cruise awards
  • A trip with 747 travel to a country that does not exist
  • More flights to Canada in Summer 2017
  • Delta calls a truce with frequent fliers
  • 43-room Bullitt hotel opens for business in Belfast 
  • Tower Hotel finds new owners
  • irish passport service gets facial recognition technology
  • Short stay visa scheme extended for 5 years
  • A high octane trip to the Algarve

Travel Extra TV

video-of-the-weekOur video of the week is heart-in-mouth material. A Boeing 737 had a near-miss trying to land in difficult crosswinds at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport. Watch here.

  • More scary stuff: a great white shark manages to break into a diving cageWatch here.
  • A traveller hiking in Indonesia witnessed a magnificent volcanic eruptionWatch here.
  • A word of advice: don’t wake a sleeping tiger. Here’s why: Watch here.
  • Qatar Airways cabin crew visit Helsinki. Watch here.
  • Airbus uploaded a highlights reel from the delivery of its 10,000th aircraft. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus posted a video of its inaugural Dublin to Hartford flight. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

chris-leeChris Lee of the Tourism Authority of Thailand stressed that that there is NO ban on alcohol or music or any form of entertainment.  Some bar and restaurant owners may choose to close earlier and/or tone down any music played as a sign of respect but there is no instruction from the government to do so. The Authority advised visitors to Thailand to continue with their travel plans as normal after the death of their king and the declaration of a year of mourning. If possible visitors should wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public. Tourist attractions will be open as usual with the exception of Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace, as they will be the venue of the Royal Funeral Rites.The Government has asked for the cooperation from the entertainment venues; such as, bars and nightclubs to consider the opening of their business operations during this time. The decision will be made by the individual owners. Most of the traditional and cultural events will be taking place as usual, although the celebrations may be changed for appropriateness as a mark of respect, or the events may be dedicated to the memory of the king. All transport, banks, hospitals and other public services will be operating as usual. Authorities have stepped up safety and security measures. The London Daily Mail reported that English tourists were enraged to hear that the red light district could close for a month.

Etihad’s move to T1 on January 24 and return to double daily on April 1 (read here) will solve some capacity problems for Dubln Airport, freeing extra widebody capacity to the 400 gates in T2 in advance of Aer LIngus pending announcement of new trans-Atlantic routes in 2017.

Amy Murphy of Rosetta Travel and Hugo Nascimento of Algarev TourismHugo Nascimento, (“there is more to the Algarve than a beach”), brought 17 travel writers and travel agents, including Amy Murphy of Rosetta Travel (pictured with Hugo Nascimento), to sample the activities within an hour of Faro, one of the best served holiday gateways from Ireland. The willing victims were treated to food, culinary and wine experiences, a cookery lesson with chef Margarida Varques at Tertulia Algarvia (website), a helicopter ride across the crumbling cliffs and glowing red-hue headlands  of the coast (website), a drive on the Algarve racetrack (website), a swim with dolphins experience at Zoomarine (website), a visit to Novacortica cork factory (website), a segway tour of Lagos city (website), a jeep safari through the cauldron mountains (website), custard tarts in Agua Mel delightful coffee shop in Alte (latte and choice of tart €1.90),  and a tasting menu in Hans Neuner ‘s two star Michelin restaurant, Ocean. The group was accommodated at the Vila Vita Park and Epic Sana hotels.

group-louleThe trip was well irrigated with Portuguese wine, and a fado performance on the final night from Argentina Freire at the Garrafeira Veneza restaurant in Mem Moniz (website). Hugo, a great supporter of the Irish trade, will be fronting up another trade mission to Ireland in 2017. Picture shows back row Hugo Nascimento, Laia Curto Igual, Herve Giraud, Fergal Hallahan. Middle row: Rosalind Cummings-Yeates, Isabel Garcia, Deborah Pham, Peta-Gal Innerarity and Kerry Skarratt. Front row: Jessice Flitter, Stephanie Van-Anh Triph, Pauline Weber, chef Margarida Vargues. Seated front: Eoghan Corry.

Michael and Barry Caslin in TransnistraMichael Caslin of 747 travel brought 40 of his loyal soccer supporters, including Travel Extra, to a country which does not exist. In a breakout from the soccer trip to Moldova the group crossed the border into the unrecognised country of Transnistra, a breathtaking throwback to the Soviet Union, complete with giant statues of Lenin and pictures armed of citizen-heros on the town hall. Like Moldova, Transnistra has its own excellent beer and wine. An English translation of the Soviet national anthem was sung on the bus journey home. Guess who? Only Ireland’s most loyal supporters made the long trip and were to be found clustered around the character laden little bars of Chişinău. And Midway through the second half you could hear the strain of We all dream of a team of James McLeans. Some things never change.

New ship? Despite the fact that it is 20 years old TUI Discovery won the best new ship in the London Cruise Critic editors’ choice awards. It just shows what a lick of paint and a new fascia board can do. Stateside, Carnival Vista, Crystal Mozart from newcomer Crystal River Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Explorer won best new cruise ships of 2016. Disney Cruise Line was named Best Dining and Best for Families.  AmaWaterways won Best River Cruise Line, What is the betting for the best new ship in 2017? Helen Caron has had her credit card out again and no doubt she will be looking for TUI Discovery 2 to come up with a ship gong, or should that be bell? Why was the ship named TUI Discovery and not Thomson Discovery? Helen Caron head of Cruise Division at Thomson/TUI explains here.

dsd-barcelona-group-2Do Something Different hosted ten agents for five nights on a famil to Barcelona including the Formula 1 race track, where the winner of the Formula 1 Race was Jayne O’Shea Limerick Travel, and PortAventura. Picture shows Sophie Phelan of Strand Travel, Tania Brown of Downe Travel, Jayne O’Shea of Limerick Travel, John O’ Brien of Just Split, Nicole Cullen of Fahy Travel Picture shows Annabel Cove of Do Something Different, Carlos of Guide, Jayne O’Shea of Limerick Travel, Tania Brown of Downe Travel, John o Brien of Just Split, Sophie Phelan of Strand Travel, Nicole Cullen of Fahy Travel. Second picture shows Jayne O’Shea and friend on the podium. dsd-barcelona-ba-bcn-12

Algarve tourism (website) will be hosting a group of tour operators at the Spanish Masters this week. Ethiopian is also hosting some golfers on a trip. It caused the unfortunate postponement of the Travel Extra sponsored TIGS golf day at The Castle which will be held in December instead.

Travel Trade

angela-taylor-oasis-travelAngela Taylor from Oasis Travel became the sixth winner in the competition for a Polo Magnifico run by Blue Insurances. She follows previous winners Helena Kilduff from Skytours, Rose Kane from Kanes Travel in Longford, Claire Mulligan from Clubworld Travel, Mandy Walsh of Travel Counsellors and Rita Gaughan from Limerick Travel.  The competition started in April and runs until March 2017. Monthly winners enter a draw for a new Volkswagen Polo in a competiton organised by Ian Dack of Ireland’s Largest Volkswagen Dealership, Frank Keane Volkswagen and Ciaran Mulligan of Blue Insurances Every five Blue Insurances policies sold each month automatically generates an entry in the monthly draw. Blue Insurances reminds agents to have their own unique login to make bookings count for their monthly draw.

sunway-winnerAlison Larkin from Falcon Travel Shop Clarehall was the winner of the Sunway competition for  a Royal Caribbean, 7 Nights Greek Isles Cruise on Vision of the Seas to travel on November 5 for 2 people including flights and transfers.

Spain, Portugal and the US are the top three destinations for Winter 2016 according to the ITAA quarterly members survey. Agents said 72pc had an increase in turnover for the third quarter of 2016 (July – September), a fifth increased their turnover by more than 20pc, 59pc said offline business increased and 48pc said that over 60pc of business is based on repeat customers. Cruise Holidays were voted the top travel trend for 2017.

Majella Green of O'Hanrahan Travel and Olwen McKinneyThe magnificent seven of travel suppliers, Travel Partners brought their roadshow to Dundalk. The partners are Amadeus Ireland, ASM, Blue Insurance Group, Classic Collection Holidays, MSC Cruises, Bookabed and Cruisescapes. Picture shows prize winner Majella Green of O’Hanrahan Travel and Olwen McKinney of Amadeus. 

Oneworld expanded their Training Academy, designed to equip agents to sell oneworld fares, available at travelagent.oneworld.com with more details on batraveltrade.com. For each Oneworld Training Academy module completed before October 31, agents will receive an entry to win one of 10 shopping vouchers worth £50/€50 each.

Skal Dublin club president Daragh O'Neill with Stephen Hanna GM Camden Court Hotel and Paula Barry Herbert Park HotelPicture shows Skal Dublin club president Daragh O’Neill with Stephen Hanna GM Camden Court Hotel and Paula Barry Herbert Park Hotel at the monthly event in the Camden Court Hotel.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel 2017 Energy, Resources and Marine Forecast said 2017 will be a volatile year for travel in the energy, resources and marine sector, driven by the combination of only slight growth in oil prices, minimal growth in both mature and emerging economies, and increases in alternative and renewable energy resources.

img_1925Topflight were hosted by the Ski Club of Ireland in Kilternan on Monday evening for an evening of skiing, fun and socialising to get their ski legs back in advance of the season and see the wonderful newly opened clubhouse. Topflight are resuming or starting four French resorts, Tignes, Aimes 200, Arc 1800, and Arc 1950. The Irish owned operator has 13 resorts in Austria for sale this winter, 13 in France, Livigno in Italy, and three in Andorra. Both of the major ski operaers out of Ireland, Topflight and Crystal, had increased capacity by 20pc for the season ahead. .
  • China Southern, represented in Ireland by Paul Weir’s APG, are introducing net fares for agents.
  • A guest blog on GradIreland featured a career in the travel retail industry.
  • ABTA, which has 75 member agencies in the north, chose Azores as the venue for its next convention.
  • Skift’s report into the travel agent of the future ($295) recommended that travel agents leverage personalisation to capture the hearts and minds of travellers.
  • A report by London School of Economics in Travel distribution: the end of the world as we know it? speculated that artificial Intelligence, virtual reality and the use of portable technology would transform travel distribution. It urged distributers to go beyond bilateral partnerships and contractual relationships.
  • The Irish Travel Agents Association pledged its support for the National Tourism Careers Programme, run by the Irish Hotels Federation and the Irish Hospitality Institute in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, with its interactive online programme for students and teachers (Tourism Insight), a free digital and print magazine on tourism career options (Get a Life in Tourism) and student work experience programme.
  • Sharon Jordan is seeking a Marketing and PR coordinator for The Travel Corporation. Agencies seeking staff at the moment include Cassidy Travel, Fahy Travel, Falcon Holidays, Limerick Travel,  Mullingar Travel. Navan Travel, Skytours, Tour America’s new cruise department and Travel Department are among the agency seeking sales staff at the moment.

Strange World

Dora Sarchese vineyard, who have opened a 24-hour wine fountainfontana del vino in Caldari di Ortona in Abruzzo, in central Italy, say it is not for the use of “drunkards” or “louts”.

Hotels

bulllittThe €4.3m 43-bedroom Bullitt Hotel (website) opened on Church Lane in Belfast complete with ski-themed bar, a 58-seater restaurant and the city’s slickest coffee machine. Former Clayton Belfast GM Michael Sullivan is the new General Manager for the development is by the the owners of the Merchant Hotel.

International

Budget 2017 allocated €4m additional funds for passport modernisation including the introduction of facial recognition technology and more streamlined renewal services.

  • TripAdvisor announced it will no longer allow users to book activities that involve contact with endangered species or captive wild animals.
  • Portugal tourism introduced All for All Portuguese tourism programme created by VisitPortugal addressed to all entrepreneurs in the tourism sector.
  • There was a record turnout for the Magical Kenya Travel Expo of 140 hosted buyers and media from 35 countries while 137 exhibitors which includes 6 tourism boards, 13 counties, 11 airlines and 12 countries are participating in the expo. Kenya recently waived visa fees for children under 16, reduced parking fees, scrapped tourism VAT and offered incentives for charter operators.
  • The number of foreign visitors to Turkey dropped 38pc in August. Hürriyet newspaper said the target of a rocket attack on Friday may have been a tanker moored at sea, and rockets were fired from a mountainous area near a highway linking the resort of Kemer to the city of Antalya.
  • Designs for $70m Statue of Liberty Museum were unveiled.
  • SITE in Dar Es Salaam has been cancelled in the wake of a tourism slump caused by an 18pc tourism tax.
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car is expanding to Argentina, Paraguay and Curacao.
  • Wannabe PR was  appointed PR representation agency for the Cook Islands.
  • Residents of five US states (New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshirt, the American Samoa) may be barred from boarding a commercial flight using a driver’s license beginning in 2018 because of their states’ refusal to comply with federal proof-of-identity requirements.

Food and Beverage

Cork County Council launched Cork Incubator Kitchens to drive food production in the area, giving Cork food entrepreneurs an edge by giving them access to a fully equipped kitchen for €15 per hour with no rents or  term contracts.

  • Fitzgeralds Woodlands House in Adare unveiled Dick’s Bar as a tribute to its late owner and commissioned Dick’s Stout in Dick Fitzgerald’s memory.
  • Bullitt Belfast opened a ski-themed bar.
  • Familia Castaño, Hécula Monastrell 2014 won Wine of the Year at the Irish Wine Show Star Awards.
  • ShortCross Gin will be stocked by World Duty Free shops in George Best Belfast City Airport and selected airports in England.
  • Chefs’ Choice Award at the national organic awards went to Highbank Orchards in Kilkenny, for their Orchard Syrup. Bord Bia say the Irish organic sector grew 23.7pc last year to bring organic grocery sales to €142m. There were a record 278 entries to the national organic awards.
  • All in the Food: 75 Years of Cathal Brugha Street was launched by Senator David Norris.
  • Stonewell Rós cider won the overall award at the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards in Dingle

Aviation

Ryanair are reducing the advance check-in window to four days from seven days before departure from the beginning of November. Passengers who wish to book more than four days in advance will have to pay €6 for their choice of seat. Passengers without the Ryanair app on their smart phones who do not wish to pay the €6 will now have to source a printer while on holiday abroad. Customers who purchase seats can check-in between 30 days and up to 2 hours before their scheduled flight departure time.

  • CityJet cabin crew have announced five days of strike action from 5am on Thursday October 20 until midnight on Friday October 21, and again at 5am on October 24 until 10pm on October 26, over the loss of overnight allowances in Amsterdam.
  • Rome’s Ciampino International Airport, used by Ryanair, closed on Friday for 15 days of runway repairs.  Most of the flights to Ciampino will move to Rome’s other airport, Fiumicino, during that time.
  • Ireland is to get two more flights to Canada in summer 2017, Air Canada Rouge‘s Vancouver – Dublin in Summer 2017. Air Transat is increasing its frequency from Dublin to Toronto from 2w to 3w next summer. They also were Montreal weekly.
  • SAS are to fly Stockholm to Shannon 2w on Tuesdays and Saturdays Stockholm to Shannon from April  1 – October 7 2017, as a result of a long-standing campaign by their GSA in Ireland Alan Sparling. Shannon Airport welcomed the new service to Stockholm saying Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons was a key factor in securing the new route. Separately, the governments of Norway and Sweden say they have sold some of their shares in Scandinavian Airlines, saying the move will strengthen the regional carrier by reducing state ownership.
  • Cork (up 12.1pc) was reported as the fastest growing airport, ahead of Dublin (up 8.6pc) and Shannon (up 3.3pc) as the IAA said terminal traffic was up 5.7pc in September.
  • Aegan wil have an extended season and frequency increase to 3w next summer
  • Samsung hinted it is terminating production of its troubled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone and warned owners to stop using their phones. The Irish Aviation Authority issued a passenger advisory notice about the device and the FAA and DOT banned Note7 phones on all US flights. Aer Lingus cabin crew have been issuing instructions to customers to have their Note 7 powered off at all times on board aircraft.
  • aer-lingua-fireDramatic photographs of the service truck fire while loading Aer Lingus EI-DUO A332 in Orlando on October 6 were widely circulated this week just before the aircraft arrived back to Dublin on Friday. Swissport employees Kevin Charles and Alexix Salgado were both injured in the incident.
  • Was Hitchcock right? Multiple bird strikes put one of Aer Lingus newest A330s, EI-FNG, out of action in Boston. _jw_7262_hr
  • Andrew Kelly of ASL Airlines Ireland was elected to the board of the European Regional Airlines at their AGM in Madrid. The conference heard that 55pc of the EU airline industry is dominated by the big five, the Lufthansa group, Ryanair, AF-KLM, IAG and Easyjet, with the remaining 45pc made up of 120 other airlines. Pat Byrne told the conference that London City Airport expansion would have an impact on raised fees. “It is a great airport, but the most expensive in Europe.” Boet Kreiken of KLM Cityhopper told the conference that consolidation of airlines in Europe does not make it easy for regional players to emerge. Cityjet won the ERAA silver airline of the year behind Spain’s Binter and ahead of Flybe.
  • AerCap delivered an Airbus A320neo on lease to Spirit Airlines. AerCap leased, purchased and sold 143 aircraft in the third quarter 2016.
  • United Airlines has suffered computer systems failure that resulted in delays and cancellations globally late Thursday and early Friday.
  • Delta Air Lines says the sudden resignation of chairman and former CEO Richard Anderson, having just taken over in May, was “part of the plan.” Delta was the first of the big three carriers to announce quarterly earnings report and took the opportunity to revoice concern over low-cost carriers (for which read Norwegian’s Cork-Boston service) cutting into its very profitable trans-Atlantic business. In a more welcome development, Delta appear to have called a truce with Skymiles members and restored some of the upgrade entitlements which had recently been removed.
  • Etihad became the ninth airline to gain five star status form Skytrax. There are 40 furtehr fourt-star airines, including Aer Lingus
  • Alaska Airlines kicked a passenger off a plane for heckling a female flight attendant, calling out “sexy!” as she demonstrated how to use a life vest.
  • An additional flight to Barbados for Caribbean fly/cruise from Belfast International Airport was announced for January 2018. One departs in November
  • Avolois to focus on Integrating CIT, and will consider M&A after 2017
  • Belfast International Airport company report was published
  • A Boeing 787-9 dreamliner visited Dublin Airport for the first time. The Boeing 787-10 went into final assembly, the landing gear has spinning hubcaps and colour lights
  • BA customers were given the opportunity to check their luggage in and have it celviered form anywhere in London for an extra £30 in an initiative by Airportr.
  • Croatia Airlines is to operate Osijek – Dublin charters in summer 2017.
  • Volotea is to operate a weekly B717 scheduled service from Cork to Verona from June 2017.
  • Datalex named Blair Koch their CTO and President of Datalex Americas.
  • Dublin Airport set a September record of 2.6m. A woman awarded €40k for a Dublin Airport escalator fall saw the award overturned.
  • FETAC grades are among the issues to be raised at the Irish Aviation Students Association second annual symposium on October 21st
  • GECAS Cargo Aircraft Group announced its first 737-800NG passenger-to-freighter conversion placement with ASL Aviation Group
  • HNA’s Avolon group is to acquire CIT Commercial Air, creating the world’s third largest aircraft lessor.
  • Joe Gill assessed the threat to the Irish aviation leasing industry from China in an article for the Irish Examiner.
  • Monarch said recent issues with the CAA were unfortunate and had an impact on holiday bookings more than flights.
  • Qatar Airways said they would unveil the business class seat at ITB 2017.
  • Ryanair CMO Kenny Jacobs told the Italian press that the airline is close to an agreement with Norwegian and Aer Lingus to feed long-haul routes to the US.
  • Ryanair deliveries resumed with the arrival of Boeing 737-8AS EI-FTB  and EI-FTD. Ryanair said it carried 1m US-based passengers in summer 2016. Ryanair is expanding Its Aircraft Maintenance Base in Kaunas. Ryanair said it could start operating from Foronda in April 2017
  • Speculation emerged that Emirates annoyance with Airbus delays with the A380neo could see it order the 787, not the A350.
  • Turkish deferred deliveries of 92 A321neos and 75 737 Max jets.
  • IATA and the Secretariat of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe agreed a new partnership for aviation security in Europe.
  • Michael O’Leary told the Irish Times Ryanair could provide a third Dublin Airport terminal for €200m.
  • Willie Walsh told the London Times he believes Heathrow‘s third runway is still a fantasy project.

Afloat

Silversea introduced free business class flights on select Mediterranean voyages booked before 3 December 2016 and with every 2016 and 2017 booking agents receive a complimentary sweet treat from Hotel Chocolat.

  • Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian’s next new build will seasonally homeport in Seattle from Summer 2018.
  • MSC added UNESCO-protected Saranda in Albania to its Eastern Mediterranean itineraries form April 2017. MSC Fantasia will replace MSC Orchestra in the Antilles and the South Caribbean in November 2017. Alternative calls were scheduled instead of Ocean Cay Marine Reserve which has been delayed until October 2018.
  • Government sources told the Irish Times they were agreeable to using Irish ports and airports to control immigration to Britain.
  • Royal Caribbean said Icon class vessels to be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024 will be fuelled by LNG. The cruise line will begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017.
  • MS Thomas Hardy, one of four new 5 Star All Suite Ships to be launched next year by Riviera River Cruises, is undergoing sea-trials.
  • A fire broke out on board the Norwegian Joy currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
  • Scenic became the first cruise line to offer a river cruising travel guarantee for every guest at no extra charge
  • Enda O’Coineen takes part in the round-the-world Vendee Globe Challenge sailing race which begins in France in early November.

Ireland

Minister Frances Fitzgerald extended the Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme for a further five years, enabling visitors from 18 countries to visit both Ireland and Britain on a single visa. It covers nationals of Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Montenegro, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.coach-tour

Fáilte Ireland, in collaboration with Tourism Ireland hosted coach tour operators from Germany, Austria and Switzerland visited King House, Boyle Abbey and a tour of Strokestown Park House, Roscommon, followed by a visit to St Mels Cathedral and Corlea Trackway in Keenagh, Longford, Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre in Offaly and the Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens in Kildare. Th group are pictured at King House, Roscommon with Marlene Burke, Failte Ireland.

Fáilte Ireland, in collaboration with Tourism Ireland hosted Austrian tour operator Prima Reisen in Limerick City and a visit to Lough Gur Heritage Centre at Bruff, a foraging walk with Mary Bulfin at Roundstone House in Laois, a tour of Barberstown Castle, Kildare, a tour of the Blasket Island Centre, Dingle Distillery, the Gallarus Oratory Visitor Centre and the Killarney National Park.

FRENCH JOURNALISTS SAY ‘OUI’ LOVE IRELANDThe Ireland’s Ancient East brand was the focus of separate trade and media famils this week. Picture shows a group of French journalists at the Rock of Dunamase, with tour guide Mick Langan and Anne Zemmour of Tourism Ireland. Travel agents from the United States, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Denmark also visited the Ancient East.

The itinerary for Middle Eastern journalists from Al Bayan newspaper and Condé Nast Traveller magazine included a walking tour of Galway city, visits to Ashford Castle, Gregans Castle and Dromoland Castle, the Burren and the Poulnabrone Dolmen, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and Birr Castle. Picture shows Shannon Heritage’s Adrienne O’Flynn showing Ghassan Kharoub, Al Bayan and Vibha Dania-Dhawan with Asaad Masri of Four Communications around Bunratty Castle.pic-1-middle-east-meets-west-influential-journalists-visit

  • Details were announced of the Bram Stoker Festival over Hallowe’en in Dublin, designed to reinforce ties between the author of Dracula and his native city.
  • Ireland was named the number two destination on social media in France, at the International French Travel Market travel trade exhibition in Paris.
  • A judge dismissed a case of overloading involving a Killarney Lakes tourist boat saying that while “it wasn’t entrapment, a trap was set”.
  • The exhibition design and violence (website) opened at Science Gallery Dublin, exhibits include a 3D gun, bruise indicators, the controversial Camden bench, and a hoax bomb detector.

Deal Watch

tourism-ni-deal-watchTourism NI offers: 1 night An Creagan, Co Tyron from £125, valid October 21-23, call 028 80 761112. 1 night B&B Armagh City Hotel from £120pps incl. Prosecco on arrival with afternoon tea and dinner on one evening, call 028 37 51 8888. 1 night Roe Park Resort, Derry from £245 incl. unlimited rounds of golf, back massage, facial treatment and evening meal, valid until November 30, call 028 777 22222.
Thomson
 offers: 14 nights all inclusive 4* Clubhotel Riu Ochos Rios, Jamaica from €1,669pp, depart June 8 2017. 7 nights half board 3* Nerja Club, Costa Del Sol, November 24. 7 nights half board 4* SBH Crystal Beach, Costa Calma, Fuerteventura from €726pp, depart November 22. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Clubhotel Riu Papayas, Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €1,109pp, depart December 31. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Barcelo Santiago, Puerto Del Santiago, Tenerife from €599pp, depart January 20 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Family Life Bahia Feliz Orquidea, Gran Canaria from €679pp, depart January 21 2017. 7 nights half board 4* H10 Timanfaya Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote form €639pp, depart January 22 2017. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Cala Bona, Majorca from €599pp, depart Cork May 2 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Protur Alicia, Cala Bona, Majorca from €569pp, depart Shannon May 6 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Clubhotel Riu Tequila, Playacar, Mexico from €1,579pp, depart June 14 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Island Explorer cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €969pp, depart February 3 2017. Lapland day trip from €579 per adult and from €479 per child, depart December 10, 16 or 17. 7 nights half board 5* Hotel Maspalomas Oasis, Gran Canaria from €1,959pps, depart December 31. 7 nights full board 5* Sensatori Resort Tenerife, Guia de Isora, Tenerife from €1,319pps, depart January 6 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Clubhotel Riu Ochos Rio, Jamaica from €1,699pps, depart June 8 2017. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Club med, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from €1,539pp, depart May 17 2017. Morocco offers, depart December 23: Flight only from €359pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Tilila Studio, Morocco from 2429pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Intouriste Apartments, Morocco from €449pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Argana Hotel, Morocco from €579pp incl. Christmas gala dinner. 7 nights B&B 4* Kenzi Europa Hotel, Morocco from €579pp incl. Christmas gala dinner. 7 nights B&B 4* Agadir Beach Club, Morocco from €729pp incl. Christmas gala dinner. 7 nights B&B 4* Royal Atlas Hotel, Morocco from €839pp incl. Christmas gala dinner. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Founty Beach Hotel, Morocco from €899pp incl. Christmas gala dinner. 7 nights B&B 5* Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay, Morocco from €1,099pp. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 236 6800.

falcon-deal-watchFalcon offers: 7 nights half board 3* Vistalmar, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €499pps, depart November 6. 7 nights half board 3* Arena Beach Hotel, Corralejo, Fuerteventura from €799pps, depart November 15. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €939pps, depart December 30. 7 nights self catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €399pps, depart January 27 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantic, San Augustin, Gran Canaria from €589pps, depart January 28 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Cinco Plazas, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €419pps, depart January 29 2017. 7 nights half board 3* Best Cambrils, Costa Dorada from €399pps, depart May 5 2017. 7 nights B&B 3* Sellas Hotel, Sidari, Corfu from €419pps, depart May 19 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Holiday Inn Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,459pps, depart June 15 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,539pps, depart June 14 2017. Lapland day trip from €579 per adult and from €479 per child, depart December 10, 16 or 17. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

tour-america-deal-watchTour America offers: 3 nights The Row New York and 4 nights the Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €699pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart February 7 2017. 3 nights The Wellington New York from €499pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart February 2 2017 7 nights The Rosen Inn Pointe Orlando from €589pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart February 16 2017. 4 nights The Excalibur, Las Vegas from €499pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart February 8 2017. Visit touramerica.ie

Classic Resorts offers: 7 nights all inclusive Hotel Riu Lupita, Mexico from €1,269pp, travel select dates in May and June 2017, book by October 31. 7 nights all inclusive Iberostar Tainos, Varadero, Cuba from €999pp, travel select dates in May and June 2017. 7 nights B&B Seaview Patong Phuket from €799pp, travel select dates in May and June 2017, book by October 31.

ITAA offers: 7 nights 4* accommodation Bernes Oberland tour, Switzerland from €1,999pp incl. 4 days planned touring, 2 free days with personal itinerary, Swiss regional pass, mountain railway ride and bale car ride, travel June to September 2017. 11 nights Nepal tour from €2,645pp incl. meals, transport, accommodation and activities. 7 nights B&B accommodation, Agadir, Morocco from €489pp incl. transfers, travel January 2017.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days Christmas markets of Poland, Prague and Germany from €1,639pp incl. flights, transfers and accommodation, depart December 6. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days river cruise on the Danube on board the River Princess from €1,819pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals and beverages and shore excursions, depart November 9. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

Topflight five-day sale: 7 nights 3* Kolpinghaus Apartments, Kitzbuhel, Austria from €659pps, depart Dublin or Cork December 31. 7 nights self catering 3* London Pub Apartments, Kirchberg, Austria from €399pps, depart Dublin or Cork January 14 2017. 7 nights B&B 3* Landhotel Martha, Zell am See, Austria from €649pps, depart Dublin or Cork January 21 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Sporthotel Austria, St Johann in Tirol, Austria from €919pps, depart Dublin or Cork March 4 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Residence La Riviere, Chamonix, France from €589pps, depart December 24. 7 nights self catering 3* Chalet Laponia, Plagne, France from €899pps, depart December 24. 7 nights self catering 3* Les Ravines, Meribel, France from €449pps, depart January 21 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Sant Gothard, Arinsal, Andorra from €649pps, depart December 20. 7 nights self catering 2* Apartments Crest, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €339pps, depart January 8 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Princesa Parc, Arinsal, Andorra from €945pps, depart February 12 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Piolets, Soldeu, Andorra from €789pps, depart February 26 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Livigno Ski Apartments from €499pps, depart December 24. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Alaska, Livigno from €719pps, depart January 21 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Intermonti, Livigno from €869pps, depart February 4 2017. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

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