TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday supplement: Aer Lingus pull the cork on Porto route before it starts

 

Paul Gallagher chair of ITIC addressing the Irish Tourism Industry Awards in Dublin, February 3 2017

 

 

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

  • Things to know about Travel this week 
  • Aer Lingus pull the cork on Porto route before it starts
  • Holiday World numbers up by 11pc
  • Brussels Airlines pulls its Belfast route
  • Newly sold Westport House wins at awards
  • Ryanair hits unthinkable 8.77m passengers in January.
  • T1 or T2? The Qatar conundrum.
  • John Booty is Wendy Wu’s world champion
  • Politicians dither again on aviation tax & 9pc VAT
  • Airline crew rosters hit by Trump order
  • SAS applies for Irish AOC 

Travel Extra TV

  • Aer Lingus had a special announcement for these passengers en route to Edinburgh. Watch here.
  • Two kind Aussies helped a poor kangaroo that got its head stuck in a watering can. Watch here.
  • Rugby Travel Ireland put together a gas promotional video for its Lions Tour 2017 New Zealand packages. Watch here.
  • The barman at Tully’s pub in Carlow kept the punters happy with this phenomenal trick. Watch here.
  • As seen on Australia’s Sunshine Coast: two lizards battle it out to win the affection of a female. Watch here.
  • BA tested Formula 1 driver Jenson Button’s piloting skills. Watch here.
  • Lamborghini escorts an Emirates B777 to the gate at Bologna airport. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

So much for the Douro dealfest we all expected this summer. Porto was all set to be one of the bargain destinations from Dublin of summer 2017 with Aer Lingus due to launch 2w and Ryanair responding to the arrival of a competitor by increasing capacity to 5w “due to increased demand.” This week the shamrock withdrew from the duel of the Douro, as it politely put it: due to insufficient demand to sustain the route. Ryanair responded with a “rescue fare” sale.

Holiday World 2017 in Dublin recorded 35,000 visitors, 11pc up on last year, almost exactly the same increase as that enjoyed in Belfast the previous week. The trade experienced strong bookings over the three days with crowded aisle on Friday and Saturday. Exhibitors report increases in business as people feel more confident when it comes to booking holidays for the year ahead. Picture shows Cormac Meehan of Meehan Travel Bundoran, Tourism minister Shane Ross and Maureen Ledwith of Business Exhibitions during the show. Watch video of show here.

Eoghan Corry’s Travel Summit had 40 speakers on 17 different over the three days. In a lively Q&A Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said no to on-board Wi-Fi, to transatlantic routes or flights from Waterford. One audience member asked Ryanair about the conundrum of parents being forced to purchase priority boarding to sit with their children. Revelations included Enda Corneille’s news that 80pc of all his passengers

transferr onwards through Dubai and the A380 was a distinct possibility in Dublin airport when the facilities were ready, probably by mid 2018. One old man asked if the tenements experience to open in Dublin in 2017 would be sanitised. We wonder if recreating the smell of a tenement, the characteristic ash can odour that clung to your clothes and hair and never could be washed out, would increase visitor numbers. Methinks not. Picture shows Kathryn MacDonnell of The Spanish Tourist Board, Mary Denton of Sunway, Eoghan Corry, and Charlotte Brenner of Falcon Holidays. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

A week after the outbound travel industry in Ireland (value €750m) celebrated the champions of the industry, led by champion travel agent Sandra Mooney and travel agency winners Marie Grenham and Michael Doorley, this week it was the turn of the inbound travel industry (value €5bn). At a function organised by ITIC they awarded gongs to candidates chosen from an extremely long shortlist by an active judging panel that included Lonely Planet’s Nóirín Hegarty. There were 14 awards in all, and no one got more emotional among the 550 people in the Clayton banquet room all night than Nora Heraty, as the Best Leisure Tourism Innovation award went to Westport House. She worked in the house for 45 years, and with Eileen Fahy (holding the award) they have nearly 90 years experience between them. Also in the picture is Biddy Hughes and Tourism Minister Shane Ross. Full details of the awards are available here. Dublin Airport received the award for Best International Access Initiative (watch here). For Irish Tourism Awards roundup video (watch here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The formalities included a terse exchange on the subject of the 9pc VAT, Paul Gallagher (watch here) declaring it should not be a political football during each December’s budget discussions and Minister Shane Ross (watch here)who gave a recycled version of the speech he used for Tourism Ireland’s marketing launch, and was strident in his dimissal of the VAT rate of “9pc, 7pc or 6pc.”

Enda Corneille of Emirates continued his round of interviews celebrating five years on the route (watch here). The big reveal from his appearance at the Travel Summit at Holiday World last week was that the A380 is a probability rather than a possibility at Dublin airport. He expects it to arrive in late 2018. They included an appearance on the Pat Kenny show on Wednesday. Picture shows Emirates team which won the best long haul airline award at the Irish travel industry awards: Helena Sweeney, Jennied Guzman, Lisa Rabbitte, Jane Masterson, Enda Corneille, Noeleen Daly, Aurelie Tommasino, Anita Thomas, Front: Filippo Rocchi and Lotfi Temimi with Vincent Harrison of Dublin Airport.

For all the headlines that it created, newly elected US president Trump’s 17th executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days had surprisingly minimal effect on passengers, 200 affected people around the world detained in US airports and in transit around the world on the first day and just one detained in Dublin, where human rights group rallied to assist any refugees. Some airlines (mainly from the Middle East) changed crew rosters to avoid members of staff being refused admittance. Donald is still trailing FDR in the number of executive orders he has issued in the first month but seems intent on catching up. Iran’s reciprocal ban on US citizens will not extend to those who have already booked travel. Meanwhile media focus was mainly on the “entrapment” of legal US residents unable to return. Dual citizens who also hold Irish passports can still travel even if they are from the seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, but visas will NOT be issued by the US embassy in Dublin and the embassy is urging those with visa appointments not to attend. Enda Kenny’s proposed review of US pre-clearance (pre-denial?) in Ireland set off some alarm bells, including Kevin Toland speaking to the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin. Travel Extra‘s Mark Evans told the BBC here why calls to look at US pre-clearance at Dublin and Shannon are short-sighted. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry, eagarthóir Travel Extra ar Adhmhaidin ar Raidio na Gaeltachta.

Ryanair’s January passenger numbers casually shattered their monthly record once again, with what has become routine predictability: passengers up 17pc to 8.77m, load factor up 2pc to 90pc, rolling annual traffic up 15pc to 118.3m. The number was double the January figure for 2014. Michael O’Leary’s gung ho predictions for 2017 (watch here) suggest that each month will break a new record.

Europe’s ski resorts saw fresh snow this week, but temperatures as high as +7C in areas such as the Ski Welt has meant that resort runs have become increasingly soft. Topflight’s Today FM 18th annual ski trip brought 530 holiday mkaers to a week-long party in Kirchberg in Tirol in Austria.

Lucan based band The Riptide Movement rocked The Arena 365 on Wednesday night as a lunchtime mountain gig from the Harleys turned into a real party, Pump up the Jam revisited the 1990s and nine time All-Ireland winner Tommy Walsh conducted the only official GAA Poc Fada on snow.

READ  Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement June 1 2014: The Crack is 103 in Chicago & Aer Lingus Union Dances in 5:3 time

Incoming alert. Finance Minister Michael Noonan raised the prospect of reintroducing the air travel tax, claiming the aviation industry is under-taxed, The Irish Times reported.

Travel Trade

John Booty and John Warr of Wendy Wu

Wendy Wu Tours Ireland managerJohn Booty was named best of the group’s 16 regional sales people in 2016. Most popular destinations in the Irish market are China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan and India and the most popular tour is the 16-day Wonders of ChinaJohn Warr of Wendy Wu Tours says “The plan is to keep doubling the numbers John Warr says. This year we will do 1m worth and more and we are on track to hit our target. We have achieved two thirds of our target for 2017.” John Warr explained how Wendy Wu is a real person (watch here), and while China is big in 2017 (watch here), Japan is trending (watch here). He told the story of the origin of the Chinese New Year (watch here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Strange world

A woman alleged that Spirit Airlines threw her off a flight from New Orleans to Fort Lauderdale in Florida for showing too much cleavage.

International

A Dutch tourist on the MV Ortelius in Antarctica suffered a suspected stroke 3600km south of New Zealand. The ship sailed 620km towards the US Antarctic research centre McMurdo Station to transfer the 66-year-old woman who was flown to New Zealand for treatment.

  • Vienna recorded 28,439 Irish visitors last year up 8.4pc, bed nights are up 9.8pc to 65,108.
  • Casinos in Nevada won $11.3bn from gamblers in 2016, still short of the pre-recession record set in 2007,
  • Thailand has changed its 30-day visa exemption rule, tourists can only re-enter the country via a land border twice in a calendar year to prevent long stay visitors from  visiting neighbouring countries and qualifying for another visa-exemption period when they return.
  • Michael Palin won the Edward Stanford travel writing award.

Food & Beverage

Diageo’s premium-priced brand Roe & Co, to be distilled on a site on the Guinness Brewery in St James’s Gate, will begin selling in major European cities next month. Diageo is to invest €25m in a whiskey distillery in the former Power Station at St James’s Gate in Dublin.

Derry company, Niche Drinks received permission for a £12m whiskey distillery and visitor centre in the historic Ebrington square in Derry with first distillations due early next year.

The Irish Food is Medicine programme was launched by Creacon Lodge Wellness Centre in New Ross.

  • Italian casual dining restaurant chain Zizzi, which opened in Dundrum Town Centre last April, is to open a second restaurant on the site of Pizza Hut at 24 Suffolk Street.
  • The former Aungier House pub in Dublin (once known to locals as Danger House) is set to reopen on 43 Aungier Street after two decades following a €1m redevelopment by Matthew Ryan and Patrick McKillen Jnr’s Rustic Way group. It was recently sold for €831,000.
  • Guinness is to open an Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, Maryland in October with a Guinness visitor experience, tasting room for experimental brews and retail store. It will brew new beers created for the US market, including Guinness Blonde American Lager, the first time Guinness has been brewed in America since 1954.
  • While the Irish rugby team lost narrowly to Scotland, the whiskey sector is well behind. Representatives from the Irish trade (5,000 jobs & €500m in exports) met the Scots (40,000 jobs & £4bn in exports) before the kick-off at Murrayfield.
  • Frank Fredriksen and Joan Harrington’s Clonakilty Brewing Company will launch a new Belgian Blond Beer Inchydoney Blond at the Alltech Craft Beers & Food Fair in Dublin at the end of February.
  • Ballygowan led a strong growth in Britvic revenue in Ireland, up 6.4pc.
  • Industry tracker IWSR says Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing spirit category in the US and could grow market share from 4pc to 12pc by 2030.
  • Etto restaurant’s four-storey building on 18 Merrion Row is being sold by Finnegan Menton.
  • Heineken renewed its sponsorship of the soccer European Champions League until 2021.

Hotels

Tripadvisor’s readers’ choice lists continue to issue, this week the peer- review group described Helen & Brian Heaton’s Castlewood House as, “a truly stunning place, a very warm welcome, and a room with an amazing harbour view. The breakfast was the most imaginative and lavish we have encountered.”  TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Small Irish hotels: 1 Castlewood House, Dingle, 2 Bellingham Castle, Co Louth, 3 Lough Lein Country House, Fossa, Co Kerry, 4 Heaton’s Guesthouse, Dingle, 5 Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois, 6 Talbot Hotel, Belmullet, 7 Fernhill House Hotel, Clonakilty, 8 Roundwood House, Mountrath, 9 MacNean House & Restaurant, Blacklion, Co Cavan 10 Currarevagh House, Oughterard, Co Galway.

B&B Ireland reported bookings were up 15pc in 2016, revenue rose 19pc to €9,002,646, foreign visitors account for 90pc of bookings and demand exceeded supply in Galway, Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Clare, Donegal, Antrim and Kilkenny,

  • Liverpool based Signature Living hotel group is to open a George Best-themed hotel in Manchester
  • IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts continues on the expansion trail, and is to open another hotel,  the IBEROSTAR Club Palmeraie Marrakech, in Morocco in April. The group also reported a 10pc rise in turnover to €2.03bn in 2016.
  • Developer Jerry Conlon is planning a major multi-million euro upgrade of the Central Hotel on Dublin’s Exchequer Street.

Aviation

Lufthansa rolls out the A350, January 2017

Lufthansa rolls out the A350, January 2017

Brussels Airlines has pulled its Belfast route less than year after launch.

Ryanair said it is cutting seats fromand reducing services at Athens and Thessaloniki despite new routes to Katowice & Krakow, expanding in Italy and Spain with a record Barcelona schedule and Madrid Schedule, launched their winter schedules for Milan Malpensaexpanding in Israelwith 15 new routes from Eilat and Tel Aviv and confirmed that London-Osjiek was cancelled. Ralph Anker’s Anna Aero analysed the “best, most and worst” Ryanair airports over the past ten years, 2,800 air services, from 250 airports including 80 bases.

Terminal 1 or Terminal 2? Despite a confirmed Qatar airways schedule from Dublin to Doha to commence June 12, it is not yet clear which terminal at Dublin airport Qatar wil be using. They are most likely to be in Terminal 1 but with Qatar’s relationship with IAG owner Aer Lingus the airline may seek be added to the queue to use the overcrowded wide body gates at Terminal 2. Qatar’s flgiht times outbound from Dublin QR20 are 8.50 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and 15:25 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, return QR19 at 01:25 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and 07:20 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and  Sunday. Arrival times in Doha are 18:05 and 00:40, arrivals in Dublin at 07:25 and 13:20.

READ  Ireland seeing 17pc growth in tourism, reports European Travel Commission.

Shannon Group lodged a planning application for a new aircraft hangar, the airport’s tenth, with the capability to accommodate the A380. All of the airport’s hangars are now fully occupied and Shannon Group recently appointed a design team to meet demand for additional space, draw up plans and seek planning permission for a new hangar brining capacity to 50,700sqm.

SAS Scandinavian is seeking an air-operator certificate in Ireland with sites in London and Spain to counter a cost base that is 20pc higher than rivals.

Norwegian are to increase Dublin-Oslo from 3w to 6w from late March. The New York Times reported Belfast among transatlantic destinations being considered by Norwegian. The 61-day cooling off period for Norwegian subsidiary NAI’s Cork and Shannon services expired without being countermanded by Donald Trump but Norwegian has a new problem with FAA approval for operations out of Stewart Airport on the Hudson north of New York to European destinations, expected to include Cork and Shannon. Knock Airport reported a profit of €112,206 in 2015 thanks to State Public Policy Remit operational funding of €598k.

Stephen Kavanagh said Aer Linguare considering a winter seasonal route to Las Vegas (see newspaper interview here) when the airline’s A330s are not deployed on other routes. Kavanagh said that Dublin airport should privatise its terminals, and drew a predictably unimpressed reaction from SIPTU.

Kevin Toland told the Institute of International and European Affairs that constraints restricting the number of flights between 11pm and 7am could make things horrific and a huge disaster as current planning permission conditions terms reduce flights from 100 to 65 during runway rush hour, 5:30am to 7am.

  • Flybe blamed a slow start to 2017 on bad weather and poor consumer confidence. Load factors are down.
  • Norwegian is expected to open four new bases in 2017, Stewart (for New York) Providence RI (for Boston), Edinburgh and Riga.
  • Deutsche Lufthansa and Etihad Airways announced a catering and aircraft maintenance partnership that could lead to a broader alliance.
  • Wizz Air‘s 19pc growth in 2016 was the fastest among Europe’s top 20 airline groups, average growth rate was 22pc over the past decade.
  • The Irish Independent reported passenger charges at Dublin Airporwill rise to fund the planned €320m runway development
  • American Airlines dropped seatback video screens in new B737s, claiming that 90pc of passengers now bring their own device.
  • Aer Lingus January traffic up 12.3pc over same month in 2016. The Centre for Aviation estimated that Aer Lingus was IAG’s star after the first full year and analysed its rivalry with Icelandair, Airberlin and Norwegian to be the leading North Atlantic value carrier
  • Sean Whelan pondered the problems aviation leasing poses for Ireland’s national accounts and the international accounting rules in the wake of the Central Bank’s report into the aviation industry.
  • A Eurocopter 135 helicopter emergency medical service helicopter visited Cape Clear, West Cork, and Cork City, as part of a promotional tour of Munster.
  • A documentary premiered in Dublin about Dublin-born Brendan Finucane who became a poster boy for the RAF during the war when he shot down the German fighter pilot Adolph Galland.
  • In the course of his route announcements Michael O’Leary promised free flights for passengers (again) and said collective insanity has taken place in US and England. For his opinion on Donald Trump, watch here.
  • Rolls-Royce unveiled LessorCare in collaboration with Gus Kelly’s AerCap
  • Shane Cassells TD told the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee that the former government Gulfstream IV jet was plagued by breakdowns and “we are well shot of it. It broke down before leaving for Paris just five years after it was bought, leaving then Taoiseach John Bruton on the tarmac. On another occasion, it blocked Air Force One on a runway.
  • Norwegian Air Argentina was officially registered as a company in Argentina and will fly both domestic and international flights
  • British Airways launched seasonal flights from Manchester to Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza, Palma, Mykonos and Nice.
  • CNN Aviation Editor Jon Ostrower said airlines are petrified of being in a @realDonaldTrump tweet. One has even developed a crisis comms plan if they are.
  • Bombardier and CityJet finalised their purchase agreement for up to 10 CRJ900 Aircraft
  • Colm Barrington, former chairman of Aer Lingus, is to join the board of Finnair.
  • Fifty North American airports will have a non-stop connection with at least one airport in Europe this summer, up from 46 in 2012.
  • DAA staff sent €2m in donations to Irish charities.
  • Bmi regional increased its baggage allowance from 20kgs to 23kgs,
  • IATA said global airline passenger demand was up 6.3pc in 2016 with 700 new routes.
  • United Airlines two-day 2017 Global Leadership Conference in Chicago saw 700 leaders from around the world, including Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz pack more than a quarter of a million meals for children suffering from malnutrition in El Salvador.

Afloat

Dublin Port reported volumes up 25pc over four years and 13pc ahead of the peak year of 2007. Areas to be examinedduring the current masterplan consultation are the proposed development of a unified ferry terminal for the Port’s main ferry operators incorporating immigration, customs, security and other border inspection functions and the development of the 44 hectare Dublin Inland Port adjacent to Dublin Airport for port-related activities. Picture shows Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises and Pat Ward of Dublin Port at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards. Watch here interview from Holiday World show with Jo Rzymowska of Celebrity Cruises and Pat Ward of Dublin port, spekaing about Celerbity cruises’ mini season form Dublin in Aoril-June 2018.

Royal Caribbean patented four “of the Seas” ship names including Symphony of the Seas (likely name for the line’s next Oasis-class ship), Valhalla of the Seas, Sunrise of the Seas and Icon of the Seas. Watch here interview  from Holiday World show with Ben Bouldin of Royal Caribbean about plans for the Irish market in 2017.

MSC Cruises officially began construction of MSC Seaview at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone. Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, told invited journalists that the Mareviglia class will feature wearable technology, single cabins and more family restaurants.

Doolin Express, due to offer the fastest surface crossing time to the Aran Islands in just 15 minutes from April, is still awaiting clearance from the Department of Transport which could impact on the viability of the route. The new ferry is to shave 25 minutes from the old 35 minutes crossing time from Doolin Pier to Inis Oírr. Doolin ferries acquired the fast ferry Blanche Hermine from Vedettes du Golfe having served islands in the Golfe du Morbihan, an almost enclosed sea near Vannes in southern Brittany.

A new £6.2m ferry commenced service between Strangford to Portadownreplacing the aging MV Strangford, which was built in 1969 and had seen better days.

  • Silversea will homeport Silver Muse, in Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades for two years from October 2017. It will end the 2017/2018 season with a transatlantic leaving Fort Lauderdale and visiting New York and Newfoundland on the way to Dublin.
  • Adventure travel specialist G Adventures, headed up in Ireland by John Grehan, will restart Swan Hellenic cruises in 2018 having acquired the English cruise line following the collapse of All Leisure Group.
  • Carnival Cruise had added the Seafood Shack to Carnival Liberty, Carnival Glory, Carnival Victory, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Valor.
  • Actress Joan Collins will be godmother to Uniworld’s new 128-passenger river cruise ship, SS Joie de Vivre to launch in March, designed to sail the Seine from Paris.
  • Russian river cruise company Vodohod is to build a new 342-passenger ship to sail between Moscow and St. Petersburg on the Volga River.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line offered passengers $500pp in onboard credit, and a 100pc future cruise credit to be used within five years instead of three after propulsion issues hit Norwegian Star’s Asian itinerary.
  •  Riviera offered an advance look at MS Thomas Hardy
READ  TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Back to the trenches, Ryanair reignite the battle one the second carrier bag

Ireland

Vincent and Roisin Callaghan of Green Light Events

Roisin Callaghan of Green Light Events is relaunching her brand next week after a successful decade which saw her company win Best Business Tourism Innovation on Friday night. The company is appointing a new CEO, a new creative director and opening an office in San Francisco.

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons unveiled marketing plans to stake holders in New York, while Fåilte Ireland is aiming to lure the big-spending business travel market here.

Tourism Ireland told MICE stakeholders at a briefing at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham that Fáilte Ireland will identify 550 leads for industry partners to pursue (up 10pc), and set a target of €157m from business tourism.

Picture shows Rachel Deegan, Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau; Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland; Letitia Wade, Fáilte Ireland; and Seamus Heaney, Cork Convention Bureau, at the Meeting Matters networking event in Brussels where 40 international associations based in Belgium met with ten different destinations, including Ireland, and 23 convention bureaux, including Cork Convention Bureau and Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau.

Enda Kenny announced Fáilte Ireland’s €500,000 strategic partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Services to grow tourism revenues areas where the parks are located.

The Westport250 Launch Celebration take place on St. Patrick’s weekend, exactly 250 years after an advert was placed in Faulkner’s Dublin Journal by the 2nd Earl of Altamont Peter Browne Kelly advertising for tradesmen to build a new town as designed by architect William Leeson. This is considered the foundation year of Westport Town.

Tourism and Hospitality Sectoral discussion in Dundalk on England’s EU referendum result (breat-imeacht) stressed preservation of the Common Travel Area, avoiding additional tax or regulatory burdens on industry and reducing key operating costs such as insurance and utilities. See here the presentation from Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism Ireland. Sign up for information service or contact Department on this issue brexit@dttas.ieor tourismpolicy@dttas.ie

  • Tourism NI Quality Grading Scheme awarded Crumlin Road Gaol a five-star visitor attraction rating, joining Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, HMS Caroline, Belfast Food Tour and Titanic Belfast.
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral visitor numbers increased 7pc in 2016 to 565k making it Ireland’s 12th most visited attraction slightly ahead of the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin.
  • Is the superpub threatening the traditional Irish tourist product? Listen here to a discussion between Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry and Gavin Grace of Clare FM.

Deal Watch

Insight Vacations is offering 10 days Best of Germany holiday from €2,229pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation. Book by February 28, depart June 16. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Irish Ferries is charging per car not per passenger on sailings to Britain booked by February 21 for travel until May 26. Up to six persons per car. Visit irishferries.com or call 0818 300 400.

Falcon offers: 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,579pps. 4 nights self catering 3* Bali Hotel, Benalmedena, Costa Del Sol from €389pps, depart February 5. 7 nights self catering 3* Heperia Bristol Playa, Carraleio, Fuerteventura from €689pps, depart February 14. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €419pps, depart February 10. 7 nights self catering 2* Laguna Park II, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €429pps, depart May 19. 7 nights self catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €429pps, depart May 11. 7 nights all inclusive 2* Lanzarote Paradise, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €389pps, depart Shannon May 22. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decamerom Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,579pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Grand Riviera Princess, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,719pps, depart June 21. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 3* Hotel Palazzo, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €439pps, depart May 22. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Stena Line is offering 7 nights Haven Holiday from €495 2+2 incl. return travel by car. Book by March 6. Visit stenaline.ie/haven or call 01 907 5399.

The Westin Hotel is offering The Boodles luxury diamond experience from €319 incl. overnight accommodation, jewellery experience with champagne in Boodles boutique, two cocktails and breakfast for two. Available until March 31. Click here or call 01 646 3333.

Thomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,819pps, depart June 8. 7 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Vistamar, Amadores, Gran Canaria from €819pps, depart February 18. 7 nights self catering Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €529pps, depart March 3. 7 nights half board SBH Crystal Beach, Costa Calma, Fuerteventura from €829pps, depart February 14. 7 nights half board Hotel Cala Bona, Majorca from €439pps, depart Cork May 2. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €389pps, depart May 25. 7 nights half board Fiesta Milord Hotel, San Antonio Bay, Ibiza from €469pps, depart May 25. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,819pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Tequila, Playacar, Mexico from €1,619pps, depart June 14.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Apartments Crest, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €299pps, depart February 12. 7 nights self catering 4* Residence la Riviere, Chamonix, France from €349pps, depart February 11. 7 nights B&B 2* Pension Konrad, Soll, Austria from €449pps, depart February 11. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Austria, Soll, Austria from €549pps, depart February 11. 7 nights catered chalet, 3* Chalet Bouquetin, Plan Peisey, Les Arcs, France from €949pps, depart February 11. 7 nights half board 4* Grand Hotel, Zell Am See, Austria from €1,219pps, depart February 25. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Courtyard Family Suire, Universal’s Cabana Bay from €559pp incl. return flights, depart April 29. 4 nights the Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €559pp incl. return flights, depart October 12. 3 nights the Sheraton New York Times Square, New York from €599pp incl. return flights, depart March 9. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun, Cancun, Mexico from €1,299pp, depart October 19. Visit touramerica.ie.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Rhine discovery river cruise on board the River Ambassador from €3,149pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals and beverages and shore excursions. Book by February 28, depart May 28. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

The US Embassy in Dublin processed visa applications from 120 nationalities last year. So said Beth Sunday during the travel summit at Holiday world in the RDS.

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