- Things to know about Travel this week
- Visa changes coming with the Trump administration
- Irish passport renewal available online next month
- Tunisia extends state of emergency
- Where to buy the 50 cent pint
- Michelin 2017 French Guide released
- Olive oil prices reach record high
Travel Extra TV
- Our video of the week shows an Antonov An-124 delivering a replacement engine for a Swiss Boeing 777-300ER stranded in snowy Iqaluit, Canada. Watch here.
- Dalata chief executive Pat McCann shared his views on Irish tourism with Itic. Watch here.
- Emirates SkyCargo gave one of its Boeing 777-F freighter aircraft a Valentine’s Day makeover. Watch here.
- Ryanair explains its online check in. Watch here.
- Tourism Ireland posted a new 30-second ad for Northern Ireland. Watch here.
- Aer Lingus is accepting applications for its graduate recruitment programme. Watch here.
Behind the Headlines
Even as Donald Trump’s administration targets the J1 summer work travel, another 2,600 of them suddenly became available to Irish students. The US State Department told the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, DC, that J1 options available include a range of opportunities for students and young people to travel to the United States, including camp counsellor positions, the Summer Work and Travel programme, or the Graduate US Visa Programme. The hit list of Trump’s proposed new executive order includes the L1 visa, which allows a foreign worker to transfer from an office abroad to the same company’s US branch, the Optional Practical Training, which allows international students to stay in the US after graduating, the E2 investor vis, and it is unclear what changes will be made to the H1B speciality occupation, non-immigrant visa, which is of concern to the aviation and technology sector.
The Holiday Show in association with Shannon Airport with 80 worldwide travel suppliers continues in Limerick today. Product includes airlines such as Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Aer Lingus, Air France, American Holidays, Sunway, ClickandGo.com, Tropical Sky, Dawson Travel and Limerick Travel, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Trabolgan Holiday Village, Aquatica, Discovery Cove Orlando and Attraction Tickets Direct. Picture shows Emma O’Driscoll launching the show.
Turkish Airlines, now official airline partner of the 3 Arena, is offering 2 VIP Tickets to Ed Sheeran at the 3 Arena on April 12th and 13th. Agents who ticket Dublin departure to any 292+ destinations between the dates of February 13th and March 30 2017 can send the ticket number, name, mail address and the name of the agency to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter the competition before March 25th at 17:00pm. The draw will be held on April 3. Picture shows Hasan Mutlu, General Manager of Turkish Airlines Ireland, with Mike Adamson, CEO of Live Nation Ireland
Maura Fahy’s Fahy Travel in Galway won the honeymoon planner award at the Creative Oceanic Irish wedding awards last weekend. The weddingsonline Irish wedding awards will be held on Monday at Clontarf Castle.
Thomas Cook are to close 39 more shops in England.
- Affordable Car Hire is in discussions with Auto Europe about a potential merger.
- Blog by the chief of Flyscruisestay Declan Hughes, Fly like an eagle – not with clipped wings can be read here.
- Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry talks travel in Tallaght Library. Watch here.
- Cormac Meehan speech at the opening of Holiday World 2017. Watch here.
- Shane Ross speech opening Holiday World 2017. Watch here.
Designer Andrew Benke claimed his baggage charge beating Airport Jacket and its 14 deep pockets can hold 15kg of items, including laptops, jumpers, shoes and a camera.
- A wild moose chased snowboarders in Jackson Hole. Watch here.
- JFK airport opened a $65m animal terminal.
- A Westjet pilot became a hero of the internet when he ordered pizzas for passengers from rival airline Air Canada diverted to Fredericton, where there was nothing to eat.
- A man was detained at Hyderabad airport for attempting to smuggle 12 gold bars past customs up his bum.
Ireland visits to Portugal are up 12.2pc in 2016 to 284,800 and is Portugal’s ninth most important market. Ireland is the third fastest growing market to Madeira (up 26.1pc) and northern Portugal, including Douro Valley, up 12pc, the Lisbon Coast is up 15.9pc and increase from Ireland, and Ireland is the fifth most important to Algarve up 10.7pc.
The Passport Service is recruiting 230 temporary clerical officers to meet increased demand for passports before renewal services in Ireland are due to go online next month. Passport applications in January were up 71pc from Britain and 77pc from the north. The DFA reported was a 13pc increase in outbound travel last year, compared to 2015.
Temperatures in Australia continue to baffle, it is genuinely hot enough to fry an egg, a bit like that Vicki Michelle & the way she might look at you in that iconic Harp Ad by Arks from 1980. For Travel Extra‘s morning swim on Jenny Dixon beach on NSW Central Coast. Watch here.
A price index by airport transfers company Hoppa listed Sofia as the cheapest city for a night’s stay, including a hotel, food, drink, a taxi journey and entertainment 1 Sofia €44.68; 2 Cairo €45.70; 3 Cartagena €46.42; Bucharest €51.29; Antalya €51.41; SiemReap €52.49; Kiev €54.64; Manilla €54.84; Mexico City €59.18; Sliema €60.38; Dublin was 11th most expensive at €143.58.
- Walt Disney World in Florida, and Disneyland in California raised prices by $2 off-peak and mid-season and peak day admission prices by $5 to $107 and $119 respectively. Top priced peak day ticket remains unchanged at $124
- Leipzig announced its celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the reformation. For Martin Luther tour of Wittenberg, watch here.
- Tunisia extended its state of emergency for another three months
- Two German tourists were found dead in the Australia’s Northern Territory having strayed off the path.
- DJ’s Tiësto and Paul Van Dyk are named as the most travelled musicians of all time by package holiday specialists TravelBird, followed by rock legends Bob Dylan, Metallica and Aerosmith
- Paris is to test face-recognition software at airports.
- Four snowboarders died in an avalanche while boarding off piste in Tignes..
Food & Beverage
Luna owner John Farrell plans three new restaurants, a BBQ-style restaurant in Stoneybatter, a 4,000 square foot restaurant on Camden Street in Dublin, and an Asian restaurant on Capel Street.
The cheapest pint in the world costs 46c in Manilla in the Philippines and Siem Reap, Cambodia according to a price index by airport transfers company Hoppa. In Beijing, a lager costs just 56c. Doha, Qatar, has the most expensive pint at €7.47 while it costs €7 in Oslo and Dubai.
Michelin’s 2017 French Guide listed 616 restaurants including 57 new stars, removed stars from 52 restaurants and promoted Yannick Alléno’s Le 1947 restaurant in Cheval Blanc Courchevel hotel to three stars. Twelve restaurants were promoted to two Michelin stars, including Le Pressoir d’Argent Gordon Ramsay in the InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel. Michelin’s website mistakenly listed Veronique Jacquet’s Bouche a Oreille bar-restaurant Bourges among the awards, instead of a restaurant of the same name in Boutervilliers
- Less than a year after opening, Coburg restaurant, in the Conrad Dublin hotel was awarded 2 AA Rosettes.
- Joe Mahon bought out the majority share in the Jo’Burger group of restaurants from business partner John Roberts.
- Heineken Ireland reported its cider brand Orchard Thieves has 10.3pc market share and is now number two cider brand behind Bulmers, Coors Light grew 0.4% and is the number one bottled beer in the trade. Revenues are up by 4pc.
- Surprise Michelin star restaurant Heron & Grey in Blackrock are to use a new system to start taking bookings on March 1st for the months of September, October and November.
- Pat Rigney and John Dillon’s Dalcassian Wines & Spirits appointed Frank O’Hanlon as Commercial Sales Manager, Julie McMahon as Wine Trade Marketing Manager and Lisa Deveney as Marketing Manager. The group’s portfolio of 100 premium wine and spirits brands including Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Walsh whiskeys, Diplomatico rum and Jaffelin, Wakefield, Elvaro and Astoria wines.
- The International Olive Council in Madrid said erratic weather in Spain and Italy has driven prices for extra virgin olive oil in Spain up 10pc and Italy up 30pc since October to a record €5.75 a kilogram. Watch here Irish-Spanish guide Sean Retana explaining the grading of olive oil.
- Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company reported world sales up 3pc.
- A bar in Norwich was fined in excess of £16,000 for deceiving the public and for misusing Jägermeister trademarks on their promotional material.
- Just Eat signed an additional 35 new restaurant partners in Dublin, including Ambala, Dublin 2, Bobo, Dame Street, Abbey Street & Wexford Street; Borlottie, IFSC, Baggot Street; Café Bliss Restaurant, Dublin; Capo, Dublin 2; Chameleon, Dublin 2; Check22, Dublin 2; Chinatown House, Dublin 1; Counter Culture, Dublin 2; Dall Italia Pasta Bar, Dublin 2; Dave’s Woodfired Pizza, Dublin 2; Eddie Rockets, Dublin 2, Blackrock, Santry, Stillorgan, Donnybrook; Jolin’s Vietnamese Coffee House; Milano, Dublin 1, Dublin 2 and Blanchardstown; O’Brien’s Wines, Donnybrook, ; Pitt Bros BBQ, Dublin 1; Pizzicato, Sandyford; Real Gourmet Burger, Terenure; Sparks Bistro, Smithfield; Rockets, IFSC; Saburritos, Dublin 1; Siri, Dublin 2; Supermacs Blackrock; and Wagamama, Dundrum.
Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick, is undergoing an 18-month €1 million refurbishment programme.
Galway’s four-star Westwood Hotel was sold to student accommodation company Ziggurat, which plans a 400 bedroom accommodation to be completed by summer 2018.
With his arm in a sling, Michael O’Leary told an accountancy body ACCA event that Ireland would make Brexit (Breat-imeacht) even worse if it reintroduced an air travel tax. Ryanair announced their Polish schedules where they will be taking on Wizz.
ACI reported that Dublin Airport was Europe’s fastest growing airport in 2016.
Ahead of its service from Cork and Shannon to Stewart International and Providence, Norwegian posted revenues of €3bn.
Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, who grew up in Southern California, the son of a meat cutter born in Mexico and the oldest of nine children told Business Insider his employees and others in the travel industry have been forced to deal with the day-to-day chaos created by Trump’s executive order, policies that are “damning and damaging” to the US. A US Justice Department lawyer said 100,000 US visas previously issued to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries were revoked while the ban was in place.
- IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac told the European Aviation Club in Brussels that Brexit threatens connectivity in Europe: European airlines who are facing the competition of EasyJet would like EasyJet not to be there.
- The European Commission is targetting unfair business practices by foreign airlines which cannot be addressed through open skies agreements, including illegal government subsidies or favourable slot allocations, ground handling services, airport charges and refuelling.
- Stobart Air’s legal name has recently changed from Comhfhorbairt (Gaillimh) to Stobart Air UC.
- CHC Ireland, which provides search and rescue services under a €500m Government contract, plans a 2,000sqm hangar complex at Dublin airport by summer 2018,
- Swiss is planning Geneva-Dublin from April 12 using the Bombardier CS100.
- Declan Dooney will take over from Fergal Keogh as CEO of flight simulation and pilot training specialists Simtech Holdings after founders Sé Pardy and Fergal Keogh sold part of the company to Renatus Capital Partners and Martello Group, a specialist aviation, leisure and real estate group.
- The IAA says operational trials on remote tower technology have been successful.
- Icelandair said 50pc of its 3.7m passengers in 2016 were connecting Europe-N America, 28pc incoming tourist visitors and 12pc Icelanders.
- KLM gave big brother a boost as AIr France‘s bottom line was hit by terror attacks and industrial strife.
- Brand Finance ranked the most valuable airline brands: 1 Aeroflot, 2 Aeromexico, 3 American Airlines, 4 China Southern, 5 Delta, 6 Emirates, 7 JetBlue, 8 Southwest, 9 Turkish, 10 WestJet.
- Watch here our round up of figures for Irish airports in 2016. Dublin Airport Anna Livia Lounge T2. Watch here. Emirates business class Dublin to Dubai. Watch here. Emirates business class lounge Dubai. Watch here. Emirates A380 business class. Watch here.
Stena Line confirmed that four vessels being built at the AVIC Shipyard in China will be located on the Irish Sea Belfast routes.
- John Galligan travel and Silversea cruises are hosting an evening on Antarctica on Tuesday February 28 at 1900 in the Merrion Hotel, Dublin.
- The keel for new Viking Ocean Cruises ship Viking Spirit was laid at a ceremony Wednesday at the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona,
- High winds in the New Zealand port of Timaru caused Seabourn Encore to break its moorings and collide with another ship docked in port.
- Former English reality TV star Jane McDonald is sailing on Uniworld as part of a new series for Channel 5 in England.
- Norwegian Star cancelled another five ports of call
Arts Minister Heather Humphreys approved extra funding of €500,000 to the National Library of Ireland to acquire manuscripts from the family of WB Yeats, including 10 signed letters and a postcard to WB Yeats from James Joyce. Picture shows Heather Humphreys with Sandra Collins Director of National Library of Ireland, and Caitríona Yeats, Yeats’ granddaughter.
Fáilte Ireland installed nine visitor orientation signs in County Cork.
Tourism Ireland hosted 40 tour oeprators at its 2017 Nordic trade workshop in Stockholm. Picture shows turism companies with Finola O’Mahony of Tourism Ireland; Orla O’Hanrahan, Irish Ambassador to Sweden and Aileen Hickey of Tourism Ireland.
Tourism Ireland unveiled a timelapse video, showcasing Ireland’s Ancient East locations Glendalough, Newgrange, Castletown House, Hook Lighthouse and Kilkenny Castle. Watch here
Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* Sunotel Aston Hotel, Barcelona from €229pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel March. 3 nights B&B 4* Quality Hotel Nova Domus, Rome from €229pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel March. 7 nights B&B 4* Diverhotel Lanzarote Hotel, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €459pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel March. 7 nights self catering 4* Colina da Lapa Resort Apartments, Carvoeiro, the Algarve from €279pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.
Falcon offers: 14 nights all inclusive 4* Blue Bay Gran Esmeralda, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico from €1,489pps, depart June 14. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,485pps, depart June 8. 7 nights B&B 4* Santa Monica, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €789pps, depart February 25. 7 nights self catering 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €469pps, depart March 10. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Riu Palace Oasis, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €1,169pps, depart March 11. 7 nights self catering 3* Heperia Bristol Playa, Corralejo, Feurteventura from €769pps, depart February 21. 7 nights B&B 4* THB Torrequebrada, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €719pps, depart February 26.7 nights self catering 2* Bellevue Club, Puerto De Alcudia, Majorca from €349pps, depart Cork May 6. 7 nights self catering 2* Laguna Park II, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €439pps, depart May 5. 7 nights self catering 2* Loulas Village, Psarras, Corfu from €349pps, depart May 19. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico from €1,489pps, depart June 14. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 3* Palazzo, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €439pps, depart €439pps, depart May 22. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
Insight Vacations is offering 8 days European breakaway Brussels to Pari from €2,039pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation. Book by February 28, depart May 21. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
Irish Ferries is offering 7 nights Haven holiday in Hafan Y Mor, North Wales from €996 for up to six people incl. return car ferry crossing, depart July 3. Call 0818 300 400 or visit irishferries.com/haven.
ITAA offers: 3 nights Amsterdam from €329pp incl. return flights, 10kg hand luggage, admission to Amsterdam Icebar with three drinks and a 60-minute sightseeing cruise along the Amsterdam Canals, depart March 15. 4 nights Montreal from €869pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, Cork or Shannon, taxes and charges, depart March 16. 7 nights full board cruise in the Middle East on board MSC Fantasia from €999pp incl. return flights, transfers, 20kg baggage and taxes, depart March 11.
Sunway offers: 10 nights full board 5* Caribbean cruise on board Celebrity Equinox from €1,999pp incl. drinks package and 1 pre night in Miami, depart September 14. 8 nights full board 5* Holland America Alaska cruise on board from €2,199pp, depart September 2. 7 nights full board 5* Ama Waterways Melodies of the Danube river cruise from €1,999pp, depart June 19. 3 nights self catering 3* Bajondillo Apartments, Costa Del Sol from €269pp, depart June 9. 4 nights self catering 2* Green Golf Apartments, Gran Canaria from €325pp, depart June 16. 10 nights B&B 2* Globales Acuario, Tenerife from €489pp, depart June 19. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.
Thomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,709pps, depart June 8. 7 nights half board Riu Palaca Maspalomas, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €965pps, depart February 25. 7 nights half board Hotel Riu Arecas, Costa Adeje, Tenerife from €839pps, depart March 10. 7 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Papayas, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €679pps, depart March 11. 7 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort, Corralejo, Fuerteventura from €979pps, depart February 21. 7 nights all inclusive Hotel Levante Club, Beniform, Costa Blanca from €579pps, depart February 23. 7 nights full board Colourful Coasts cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €759pps, depart February 25. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €369pps, depart Shannon May 6. 7 nights self catering Caybeach Sun, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €479pps, depart May 15. 7 nights half board Fiesta Hotel Milord, San Antonio Bay, Ibiza from €439pps, depart May 25. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,709pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Lupita, Playacar, Mexico from €1,479pps, depart June 14.
Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering Peschiera, Lake Garda from €399pps, depart May 6. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Monumental Lido, Funchal, Madeira from €699pps, depart May 11. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €949pps, depart April 23. 7 nights B&B Puglia tour from €749pps incl. three excursions, depart April 17. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, Sorrento from €829pps, depart May 28. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Melia Madeira Mare from €789pps, depart Jun 8. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €899pps, depart June 10. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.
Tour America offers: 4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €585pp, travel October. 4 nights Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas from €569pp, travel September. 4 nights New York New York Hotel, Las Vegas from €699pp, travel October. 7 nights Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Orlando from €469pp, depart June 9. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun from €1,349pp, depart October 2. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €699pp, depart April 27. Visit touramerica.ie.
Travel Department is offering 7 nights half board 4* hotel accommodation Pamplona and the Basque Country from €859pp incl. return flights, transfers, taxes and charges, excursions and local guides, travel between April and October.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering Gems of Northern Italy cruise on board River Countess from €2,959pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals and beverages, shore excursions. Book by February 28, depart July 9. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.
What we learned
Waiting staff and bartenders earn just $2.13 per hour in the USA, hence the importance of the 15pc tip.
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