TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ireland will NOT ban electronics on inbound flights following US & England’s laptop dance

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

The group of 17 Spanish exhibitors pose for a team photograph at the Irish Travel Industry Trade Show in the RDS, March 22 2017

  • Things to know about Travel this week
  • Travel Industry Trade show most successful yet
  • Ryanair ends Marrakech service as summer scheds begin
  • Laptop ban: Ireland will NOT follow US & England
  • CAR confirms Ryanair Holidays German license applies in Ireland
  • Revving up for Rendez Vous France in Rouen

Travel Extra TV

  • In light of the controversial laptop ban, Emirates suggested how they’ll keep passengers entertained. Watch here.
  • “Planespotting” — Ryanair’s take on a certain popular Danny Boyle film. Watch here.
  • Airbus’s A320 fleet will soon reach 10,000 units, so the manufacturing is extending the manufacturer’s serial number from four to five digits. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s highlights from St Patrick’s Day in London. Watch here.
  • Cork Airport posted photographer Karol Kachmarsky’s timelapse of the airport, city and county to showcase its gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East and Wild Atlantic Way. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

The third annual Travel Industry Trade Show took place in a new venue, the RDS. The show was attended by 300 travel professionals, with a lunch co-sponsored by Spanish Tourist Board and Paradores attended by 140, while 230 sat down at the evening barbecue sponsored by Aer Lingus. Picture shows Ana Celina Tavares of Portuguese tourism, Maureen Ledwith of Business Exhibitions and Teresa Gancedo of the Spanish tourist board at the event. Watch here highlights of the Irish travel industry show. Watch here Cormac Meehan’s speech at the opening of the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

It is reckoned 18,000 daily passengers to US will be affected by the electronics ban on devices larger than an Iphone 6 or Galaxy note in the aircraft cabin. America singled out ten airports in eight Muslin majority countries for the ban, which did not apply to Us carriers. London responded by banning laptops in the cabin in all flihgts for all airlines from six countries. Emirates tweeted a joke in response to the ban, but said the ban will not stop US expansion. The Business Travel Coalition said more lithium-ion batteries in the cargo hold carried a big fire risk. Ireland will NOT follow the USA and Britain in imposing an electronics ban and will follow the lead of Brussels. Listen here to Eoghan Corry on RTE’s Morning Ireland.

Ireland is in 15th place in the World Happiness Report 2017, up from 19th. Norway knocked Denmark off the top spot as the world’s happiest country followed by 3 Iceland, 4 Switzerland, 5 Finland, 6 Netherlands, 7 Canada, 8 New Zealand, 9 Australia and 10 Sweden. The report noted that 96pc of Irish residents have someone to count on, compared to an international average of 80pc. Ireland and Iceland were cited as “the best examples of happiness maintenance in the face of large external shocks. Both suffered decimation of their banking systems as extreme as anywhere,and yet have suffered incommensurately small happiness losses.”

France tourism hosted 300 travel writers and agents on 21 fam trips in Normandy in advance of Rendez Vous in Rouen next week. . Watch here interview with Anne Garcon where she describes the changes to the Mont St Michel visitor experience which are part of the 200m upgrade of France’s original UNESCO heritage site, which includes removing the causeway and replacing it with a bridge, and moving car parking to a location 2.7km away and shuttling the 2.2m visitors a year to the mount. Watch here highlights of the visit to Mont St Michel. Watch here interview with Jules Vernon about the immersive D Day Experience March 25 2017 Watch here interview with Cecille Brossault about Falaise museum of civilian casualties which commemorate 65m civilian casualties worldwide during WW2. Picture shows a rout of travel writers at Mont St Michel: Coach Driver Kevin Ozenne, Yilan Chen of China Travel Agent, Svetlana Baeva of Russia Tour News, Eliizabieta Sawicka of Poland Rzeczpospolita, Amadeu Castanho of Bresil Viagens , David Bowden of Travel Write Malaysia, Louise Gaboury of Canada Tourisme Plus, Amadeu Castanho of Bresil Viagens, Domenica Demaio of Australia Travel Daily, Nadine Godwin of US Travel Weekly, Front row:  Oleh Bozhko of Ukraine Gazette, Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland.

Travel Trade

The Commission of Aviation Regulation confirmed that Ryanair can trade in Ireland under the German license granted to GmbH, established in Germany and the Travel Agent behind Ryanair Holidays, which can operate as a Travel Agent in Ireland.

The annual general meeting of the ITAA selected a sub-committee to work on the challenges of Brexit/Breat-imeacht. Picture shows the incoming board of the ITAA: Paul Hackett of Clickandgo, Ben Greene of Arrow Tours, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel, Joe Tully of Tully’s Travel, Pearse Keller of Keller Travel, Mark Clifford of O’Hanrahan Travel, Des Manning of Manning Travel, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Front row: Clare Dunne of The Travel Broker, Valerie Metcalfe of FCM, Cormac Meehan of Meehan Travel Bundoran President of the ITAA, Des Abbott of Des Abbott Travel and Angela Walsh of Corporate Travel Management

Agents were offered the chance to qualify to win a place on Insight and Uniworld’s night out at Philip and Joss Horgan’s Man Friday in Kinsale. Agents who book any Insight Vacations Tour or Uniworld Boutique River Cruise can win two spaces for themselves and another member of their agency

Cassidy’s Blanchardstown, Fahy Travel, Galway and O’HanrahanTravel, Monaghan, are Topflight’s latest winners on their mystery fam trip to Italy. Picture shows Colette Desmond of Manning Travel in Kilkenny.

A

Alan Sparling’s Airline Sales Management has been appointed GSA for Ireland by Your Car Hire, a car hire broker based in England and dedicated exclusively to the trade. Picture shows Alan Sparling and Ruth Bligh of Our Car Hire,

Silversea is giving agents the chance to win a fantastic shopping spree as part of the Silversea Advocates recognition programme. Ten winning agents will be chosen from a shortlist provided by Silversea’s regional sales managers.

There are two weeks left for agents to register bookings to USA on American Airlines or British Airways to win a place on the Brand USA mega fam. Ireland had ten places on the fam last year. The number of places depends on the number of entries. Register here.

Kerry to Lapland: Sunway offers a one night sleepover trip direct from Farranfore on December 13.

Denise Harman, country director Ireland at CWT, takes over as director of programme management for Britain as well when Nigel Turner steps down to retire on April 28. Denise, who joined CWT three years ago has achieved five stars of operational excellence and a client retention of 99pc.

Picture shows the winners of the TIGS outing to Portmarnock on Thursday Marian Benton and Clem Walshe with Isabel Harrison of new sponsor Shannon Airport and TIGS captain Martin Skelly. Next outing is April 27th Powerscourt, Sponsor Amadeus, May 18th Mount Wolseley overnight, June 22 President’s Prize The K Club, Sponsor Etihad Airways, Sept 14th Captain’s Prize Headford Sponsor Travelport, October The Castle, Sponsor TravelExtra (Date to be confirmed).

Picture shows Rosie Nugent from Cassidy Travel who won €600 worth of Celebrity Rewards points with Mandy Burrie of Celebrity Cruises and a Celebrity Butler. Celebrity Cruises sales team were out on the road accompanied by a team of butlers to reward the best performing agents throughout January and February 2017. The top 10 agents won €1,200 worth of Celebrity Rewards points and 100 agents won €600 worth which they can convert into luxury items or cash. A bottle of sparking wine was also sent across along to celebrate the occasion.

Travel Department instigators Brendan Breen and Bob Haugh have set up Oroko, a new high end travel operations selling luxury holidays to the Irish consumer. See the April print edition of Travel Extra. Picture shows Brendan Breen and Nicola Cox of Oroko at ITB in Berlin.

The number of trips abroad by Irish residents continued to grow by 6.4pc 2016, up to 7.405m at exactly the same rate of increase as 2015 (2010 was down 7.6pc, 2011 down 3.9pc, 2012 up 0.5pc, 2013 down 0.3pc, and 2014 up 3pc). Trip duration was also unchanged at 7.6 nights. Expenditure was up 8.8pc to €5.1m. For Oct-Dec trips were up 10.0pc, duration fell slightly from 6.1 nights to 6.0 nights. Expenditure rose 7.2pc.

Turkish Airlines and North Cyprus hosted the trade for an information evening in the Radisson Blu Golden Lane in Dublin. Turkish Airlines’ General Manager for Ireland, Hasan Mutlu, Onur Gull and the team were joined by English tour operator Cyprus Premier, which is aiming to work with the trade here, plus representatives of Hotel Pia Bella, Tour Plus and Hotel Acapulco. Navan Travel’s Martin Skelly picked up the top prize of a trip to the island. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

 

Watch here John Grehan speaking about National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures. John hosted 52 travel agents in Dublin and 40 in Cork at roadshows promoting G Aadventures’ marine product earlier this month.

  • Budget Travel founder Gillian Bowler left €4m in her will.
  • The assigned tables for International Media Marketplace for IPW 2017 were released.
  • Watch here Travel Counsellors Ireland conference in Fota.

Strange world

A former police chief was detained at JFK airport because his name sounded Muslim, he claimed.

A Beijing park dispenses loo roll using facial recognition

  • A Canadian pilot admitted he drank a bottle of vodka before a flight
  • The propeller that fell from a REX plane was found in Sydney.
  • A loose snake was spotted on a 90-minute Ravn Alaska flight between in southwest Alaska and Anchorage. Yes, really, snake on a plane
  • The Big Bend, a U-shaped New York skyscraper dubbed the ‘longest building in the world’ was unveiled.
  • Having been told that Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry used the Irish for Brexit on radio, Alistair Campbell tweeted: just learned the Irish for Brexit – Breat-imeacht, the linguist in me says this does not bode well.

International

Ireland’s electronic passport application process will be launched this week.

Universal’s latest reveal about Volcano Bay water park, to open May 25, is that 60 dishes across five beautifully-themed dining locations ranging from jerked mahi sandwiches to fresh island chicken salad to chocolate pineapple upside down cake.

Berlin launched their Luther 500th anniversary tourist programme. Listen here to Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry on the RTE History Show speaking about Luther’s 500th and other anniversaries in 2017.

Tourists and travellers at airports across Italy were hit by delays and cancelled flights thanks to strikes by air traffic controllers and air transport workers.

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit named Singapore as the world’s most expensive city for 2017 for the fourth year in a row.
  • Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld are engaged in legal battles with the county appraiser and tax collector regarding what their properties are worth.
  • Drivers to France were urged to apply for car stickers.
  • UNWTO appointed Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa as Ambassador for development of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism.
  • The US Citizenship and Immigration Services said that there would be no changes in H-1B skilled worker visas this year.
  • Uber president Jeff Jones, a marketing expert hired to help soften its often abrasive image, quit less than seven months after joining.

Food & Beverage

Four Star Pizza is to open 16 new stores across Ireland, as part of a €3m investment.

  • No.4 Monkstown Crescent, home to Seapoint Restaurant in Dublin was sold for €1.25m.
  • A Drug and Alcohol Review report found 85pc% of Irish drinkers engaged in pre-drinking before a night out, compared to an international average of 63pc.
  • A new €15m Dublin Liberties Distillery and visitor centre is to open in spring 2018.
  • Dingle Whiskey launched a second batch of its Single Malt Whiskey, which sold out following the launch in November 2016,
  • Dundalk Bay Brewing Company says it will focus on contract brewing.
  • InterContinental Dublin launched a G&Tea menu which it calls a “gin-inspired take on the ever-popular classic afternoon tea”  from €30pp.
  • Galway Food Festival‘s 2017 Programme on Easter Weekend,  April 13th – 17th, was launched at Domini Kemp’s Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen
  • Breweries and distilleries welcomed a private members bill brought by Alan Kelly to the Dáil seeking the removal of regulatory barriers for the growing number of distilleries, breweries, and cider makers in Ireland.

Hotels

Plans to redevelop Clery’s department store into a boutique hotel, which will see it become a ‘rooftop destination’ with the addition of restaurants and bars, are to go ahead after SIPTU withdrew its appeal.

Signature Living Group is to develop the derelict Crumlin Road Courthouse in Belfast into a luxury hotel at a cost of £25m million, the first of five planned hotels that it will bring to Belfast over the next three years.

  • The 68-bedroom Athlone Springs Hotel is for sale for €3.5m.
  • Garret Marrinan’s recent appointment as GM of the Gibson Hotel on Dublin’s docklands was publicised.
  • An attempt by former (until 1963) owner Conor O’Brien, Lord Inchiquin, to halt the €16m upgrade at Dromoland Castle was rejected by the planning authorities.
  • A new network was launched, aimed at young professionals in the Business Events industry.
  • Prem Group was appointed to manage the 36-room three-star
  • Carnegie Court Hotel in Swords,
  • The HotelTonight app launched a €34m funding round
  • Airbnb changed its name to Aibiying and doubles investment to woo China.
  • An Australia-based Irish immigrant revealed plans to turn a run-down estate in Co Armagh into a €10m hotel and spa resort
  • 300 jobs are to be created in a Belfast call centre with the opening of 15 Travelodge hotels
  • Skift ran a 60,000 word deep dive into how boutique hotels transformed the way we travel.

Aviation

Ryanair’s Dublin-Marrakesh service came to an end on Thursday and will not be returning.

Aer Lingus has already sold 1m transatlantic seats for travel in 2017 – its fastest year on record for transatlantic sales. Watch here Jenny Rafter talking about Aer Lingus’ trans-Atlantic offering in 2017.

Is that the sound of the summer schedules returning? Ryanair routes to resume this week include Almeria on the 29th, Barcelona Reus 27th, Bari 27th, Biarritz 28th, Bremen 28th, Chania 29th, Girona 29th, La Rochelle 29th, Lublin 29th, Palma 29th, Pisa 28th, Santander 29th, Tallinn 29th, Tours 27th, Valencia 29th, and Vigo 30th. Aer Lingus summer routes are Bilbao 11th, Catania/Sicily 28th, Dubrovnik 26th, Murcia 26th, Naples 26th, Santiago de Compostela 11th, Stuttgart 26h,Toulouse 26h, Cork-Faro 26th. Other seasonal routes to take to the sky this week include Dusseldorf with Eurowings operated by Air Berlin (Wednesday) and Transavia Dublin-Munich (todayy, March 26). Frequency increases included KLM Dublin Amsterdam from today.

Dublin-Istanbul returns to double daily this week. Turkish airlines fleet is now airborne again after the winter although the carrier has delayed deliveries. These include 92 Airbus A321neos, 65 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 10 737 MAX 9s that were due to enter service between 2018 and 2022. Aircraft deliveries will now drop from 34 to 10 in 2018, from 40 to 35 in 2019, and from 52 to 42 in 2020. There will be no changes for 2021, but 2022 will see an increase from 6 to 30 aircraft delivered.  At the end of 2016, Turkish had a fleet of 334 aircraft. Turkish Airlines carried 35.5m international passengers last year, up 1.7pc and 27.3m domestic, up 3.8pc. but slipped into a loss. Irish bookings were down by 40pc. Load factor on international flights was down 3.3 points to 73.5.

Three Cityjet Sukhoi Superjet arrived yesterday at Brussels Airport. They will start operating flights for Brussels Airlines today Sunday, with the inception of the summer schedules.

American Airlines’ Dublin to JFK service offers lie-flat business class seats when it resumes April 13. Watch here interview with Caitriona Toner.

Omega Air CEO Ulick and Des McEvaddy claim to have secured financial backing from from Tricap Investments Dubai to build a proposed a €2bn terminal scheme on 130 acres of land they own adjacent to Dublin Airport.

Ryanair 450th B737-800 arrived in Dublin on Tuesday bringing the fleet to 380 of which 70 have been returned to lessors or sold.  The oldest remaining aircraft is EI-DAC which was delivered in Dec 2002. Watch here Michael O’Leary on how Ryanair will carry 130m passengers in 2018. Watch here Michael O’Leary on Ryanair’s plans for 2017. Watch here Kenny Jacobs itemising Ryanair’s target markets including Italy Germany and Spain at ITB 2017. Watch here Kenny Jacobs saying Ryanair will carry 17m passengers in Germany in 2017 at ITB 2017. Ryanair announced winter 2017/18 programmes from Birmingham, Baden Baden, BristolEast Midlands  and new bases in Memmingen and  PoznanWillie Walsh, IAG CEO said Ryanair will have more competition, as other destinations in Europe are set to follow. This is “just the start.”

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE told the ninth ACI Airports Economics & Finance Conference that Ireland is the country most exposed to Brexit/Breat-imeacht.

Aer Lingus is increasing capacity on the Dublin-Toronto route.

Alitalia is to end code-share with Air France on Paris-Dublin as one of a long list of terminations

EasyJet added 155,000 extra summer seats from Belfast. Total departure seats from Belfast and Derry airports to non-British destinations were up 17.5pc to 1m in 2016. Dominant routes were Faro, Malaga, Alicante, Palma and Amsterdam.

Shannon Airport commissioned a masterplan to develop a strong brand proposition for the airport. ATI fee approval was granted an application from Shannon Airport.

London-based NATS and the Irish Aviation Authority have worked together to develop the XMAN initiative to tackle the Heathrow stacks to save fuel, reduces CO2 emission and delivers a better arrival experience for travelling passengers.

Fresh appeals were made for the Coast Guard to be equipped with fixed-wing aircraft to provide top cover in the wake of the Rescue 116 disaster. The AAIU statement on the investigation into the loss of R116 said the wreckage and black box of R116 has been  located on the sea bed on the Eastern side of Black Rock Light House is 10 nautical miles west of Blacksod, Co Mayo with an unattended light is about 280 feet above sea level and a very small helipad.  Blacksod is close to sea level and the heilpad is a refuelling station for the Coast Guard manned by Irish Lights.

US President Donald Trump is proposing to dramatically restructure both the FAA and the TSA, removing air traffic control from FAA and shifting the majority of responsibility for funding aviation security to airline passengers by significantly raising the flight ticket security fee.

The European Commission reinstated fines totalling €776m on 11 airlines for operating a price-fixing cartel on air freight from 1999 to 2006, Air Canada, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, Martinair, Qantas, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Singapore Airlines. A 12th member of the cartel, Lufthansa and its subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines, was spared from the financial penalties after it applied for immunity in 2005 and revealed details of the alleged arrangements between the airlines.

United Airlines opened a redesigned security checkpoint in Terminal C in Newark, used by passengers departing for Dublin on United, complete with dedicated Premier Access and TSA Precheck® security lanes and 17 automated screening lanes. See here.

Finnair’s board elected Colm Barrington as Vice Chairman. The Chairman called on the government to change the ownership rules for Finnair. Finnair’s vice president told Routes Asia that he wants to know from airports not just how many people live in a new market, but how many of them have passports. The conference was told that airports in Asia are facing same challenges as those in US. We have a reasonable fix to our problems: remove the cap on the PFC.

Cartrawler released a 13-page report Cash is King: Revenue Now Rules Frequent Flyer Programme Accrual” which concludes that the distance flown has lost much of its relevance and 22 of 25 airlines use the type of fare purchased by the consumer to help determine the final tally of a member’s status. American, Delta, and United are unique because these carriers base mileage accrual on a combination of the price of a ticket and the member’s elite status. See here.

Alitalia approved a 2017-2021 business plan, designed to reduce costs by €1bn in the first three years of the plan with reductions in operating costs and manpower and increase revenues by 30pc% from €2.9bn to €3.7bn. Alitalia will add six new long-haul aircraft between 2019 and 2021 if targets are met, in addition to the two scheduled for in 2017 and 2018 and launch 10 new long-haul routes between 2017 and 2021.

  • Kuwait Airways is adding a London Stansted stop for WB New York svc in summer 2017 having ended its Shannon stopover.
  • Flight and cabin crew equipment is exempt from the laptop ban imposed by Washington and London authorities on flights from named Muslim-majority countries. The UAE and Qatar are not on the London list.
  • Belfast International Airport says the white paper report on Northern Ireland (see here) is a boost for the case against APD.
  • Advanced Seat Selection is available for Air Canada Rouge passengers using an Economy Tango fare from Wednesday (booked in classes: K, A, L, T, S, G, W)  for a fee, agents’ clients can continue to make seat selection within 24 hours of departure or  during check-in at no cost.
  • Analysis of Flight Global data suggests air transport supports 63.5m direct and indirect jobs globally, generating roughly 3.5pc of the world’s GDP, the Airport Economics forum was told
  • Flybe reinstated its Duty Free in-flight shopping on board flights to and from Jersey, Guernsey and Geneva.
  • Dublin Airport announced Regus as the first tenants to Skybridge House near Terminal 1
  • Airlines for America said the 10 publicly traded US passenger airlines collectively reported a pre-tax profit margin of 14.2pc in 2016, 0.5 points lower than 2015.
  • The EU plans to relax rules on airlines’ transatlantic wet leasing deals
  • An extra €250 fine has been proposed for air rage.
  • Virgin America brand is to disappear in 2019 following its takeover by Alaska Airlines.
  • Acumen Aviation launched EMPower.
  • Avolon was named as Business and Finance company of the month.
  • The programme was launched for Westport Airshow in May.
  • Watch here LEVEL IAG’s new low cost airline brand out of Barcelona
  • Watch here Lufthansa forecasts 2017 profit fall.
  • The fastest growing Australian domestic route in 2016 was Hamilton Island to Sydney which saw an increase of 16pc.
  • Alan Joyce told Bloomberg that Qantas survived because we have adapted. Watch here.
  • Why new jets could destroy airlines. Watch here.

Afloat

MSC Cruises is to introduce a Flexi-Dining program — similar to Royal Caribbean’s MyTime Dining on the 4,500-passenger MSC Meraviglia when it launches in June, followed by the 5,179-passenger MSC Seaside in December. It will then be rolled out across the fleet.

  • Royal Caribbean has introduced a non-refundable deposit for any suite bookings made as part of its NextCruise programme.
  • The line’s — will allow passengers to select an evening time slot for their meal with the option to change it at anytime.
  • A challenge by a Dublin Bay environmental organisation to an €18m terminal berth for cruise ships at Dún Laoghaire harbour is to be heard later this year at the Commercial Court.
  • Bantry Bay Port Company will see eight cruise liners calling to the West Cork area this summer.
  • Silversea Cruises released new renderings of the restaurants and public areas for the redesigned Silver Cloud.
  • Crystal River Cruises postponed the launch of new vessels, Crystal Bach from June 18 to August 13 and Crystal Mahler from August 13 to September 30.
  • Holland America Line laid the keel for its new ship Nieuw Statendam, to launch end  2018, in Fincantieri.
  • Séan Garnier was among 14 CLIA media award winners announced in London.
  • Virgin Voyages cut steel for its unnamed first ship Wednesday in Fincantieri, a 2,860-passenger vessel for delivery in 2020.
  • Holland America pulled the Mexican city of Acapulco from eight upcoming itineraries due to security concerns.
  • The first cruise ship of the season arrived in Cork with a further 64 ships and 160,000 passengers to follow.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line unveils its top five spa facilities from the on-board Mandara Spa.

Ireland

Final figures for 2016 from the Central Statistics Office showing that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors for 2016 rose by 8.8pc compared with 2015. Bednights rose 8.4pc to 66.4m.

Waterford Greenway opened yesterday. The €15m project stretches 46km from Waterford City to Dungarvan along the former Great Southern and Western Railway line.

Plans were unveiled for a €19m Hell Fire Club visitor centre.

Meitheal moves to a new venue this week, Punchestown in Co Kildare for the first time. Fáilte Ireland will host 277 tour operators form 19 countries, meeting with 360 Irish businesses and 12,000 face to face meetind on a redesigned appointment programme. Tour operators are embarking on 13 familiarisation trips through the wild Atlantic way and Ireland’s ancient east.

ITAS said tourist victims of online accommodation fraud rose from for in 2015 to 10 in 2016 and already three cases have been dealt with in 2017. Fraudsters have taken online payment for “bookings” on accommodation which they do not own or control and even for properties which do not exist. The majority of crimes against tourists place between the hours of 2-6pm in Dublin, with victims tending to be female aged between 17-25 years. Theft from person accounted for 36pc of referrals and 13pc were referred after violent crime such as aggravated theft, assault, sexual assault and robbery.

Exhibitors from Ireland at the British Tourism & Travel Show (The Very Best of Britain & Ireland) in Bimringham NEC included Discover Mayo, 4 Star Great Northern Hotel, Bill O’Briens Doolin Ferry Company, Fermanagh Lakelands, Holiday Ireland Hotels, Irish Ferries, Select Ireland Hotels, Shannon Ferries and Tourism Ireland

  • An impact study will be required for the 32km Kerry greenway.
  • Almost 160 animals died at Fota Wildlife Park in 2015
  • Titanic Belfast won European Coach Friendly Attraction at England’s Coach Tourism Awards 2017
  • A direct Belfast to Dublin luxury bus service launched.
  • ITIC’s report on Improving Tourism Data for Sustained Market Growth criticised timeliness, coordination and presentation of output saying key data availability is poor, particularly where there has been rapid change such as cruises, new long-haul routes and related traffic.  The NZ model was cited.
  • Facebook moved to prevent an article about the Irish being enslaved in the West Indies in the 1640s as “fake news.”
  • The CSO report “Measuring Ireland’s Progress 2015”  concluded Irish prices are 22.5pc above the EU average and third highest in EU behind Denmark and England. Press release here.
  • A Europcar survey measured 98pc enthusiasm for the Wild Atlantic way.
  • Watch here the Irish at ITB Berlin. Up next: BIT Milan.

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 2 nights 4* WestCord Fashion Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands from €239pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights self catering FBC Fortuny Resort Apartments, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €759 2+1 incl. returns flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights self catering 3* Sun Beach Apartments, Majorca from €339pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights self catering 3* Club Alvorferias Apartments, Alvor, The Algarve from €789 2+1 incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,349pps, depart June 8. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach Meloneras, Meloneras, Gran Canaria from €339pps, depart May 11. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €399pps, depart Cork May 18. 7 nights half board 3* Costa Dorada, California Garden, Salou from €719pps, depart Knock August 15. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sun Palace Splash World, Faliraki, Rhodes from €3,659 2+3, depart June 14. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,349pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,589pps, depart June 7. 7 nights self catering 3* Rocomar, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €269pps depart April 29. 7 nights self catering 3* Parque Santiago III, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €349pps, depart April 28. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

ITAA offers: 3 nights 4* Sheraton St John’s, Newfoundland from €669pp incl. return flights, travel May. 6 nights Toronto and Niagara Falls holiday from €869pp incl. 2 nights 3* hotel accommodation in Niagara Falls, 4 nights 3* hotel accommodation in Toronto, return flights and transfers, travel November. 15 nights Rocky Mountaineer Rail tour and Alaska cruise from €4,899pp incl. return flights, depart August 25.

Thomson offers: 7 nights half board Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €829pps, depart April 8. 14 nights half board Hipotel Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €1,049pps, depart April 16. 7 nights half board Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €829pps, depart April 7. 7 nights half board Lagos Meia, Lagos, Algarve from €619pps, depart May 21. 7 nights half board Bali Hotel & Apts, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €599pps, depart Cork May 28. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia from €439pps, depart May 16. 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel RIU Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,659pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive RIU Lupita Playa car, Mexico from €1,499pps, depart June 7. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway offers: 10 days Prague, Vienna and Budapest escorted tours from €1,905pp incl. accommodation in 4* and 5* hotels, meals and tours, depart May 12. 7 nights full board Melodies of the Danube river cruise from €2,199pp, depart June 19. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €299pps, depart May 13. 7 nights B&B 4* Carlos V Hotel, Sardinia from €899pp, travel June. 7 nights self catering 3* Tenerife Sur Apartments, Tenerife from €599pp, depart June 3. 3 nights 4* Sheraton St John’s, Newfoundland from €669pp, travel May. 3 nights 3* Bond Place Hotel, Toronto from €699pp, travel May. 5 nights 3* Ramada Inn Downtown, Vancouver from €929pp, travel October. 12 nights Vancouver to Calgary fly-drive from €1,759pp incl. flights, car hire and hotels, travel September. Visit sunway.ie.

Topflight 5 day Italy sale: 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €369pps, depart May 6. 7 nights self catering 4* Camping Villaggio San Francesco, Sirmione, Lake Garda from €499pps, depart Cork May 27. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Villa Rosa, Desenzano, Lake Garda from £822pp, depart Belfast May 20. 7 nights half board 4* Superior Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €929pps, depart April 16. 7 nights self catering 3* Villaggio Verde, Sorrento from €399pps, depart April 23. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel D’Annunzio, Venetian Riviera, Lido di Jesolo from €499pps, depart September 23. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel de France, Adriatic Riviera, Rimini from €499pps, depart September 16. 7 nights self catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, Tuscany from €499pps, depart May 26. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond Sicily, Giardini Naxos from €899pps, depart June 15. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €699pp, depart November 23. 3 nights Best Western River North Hotel, Chicago from €649pp, depart November 10. 3 nights Holiday Inn Midtown, Boston from €639pp, depart November 16. Cruise Holidays offer: 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean fly-cruise holiday from €1,159pp incl. 3 nights hotel accommodation in Orlando, car hire to and from car port and 7 nights on board Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, depart October 5.

What we learned

Stage acts in medieval plays were designed to last for 20 minutes, because that was hoe long it took candles to burn down. Courtesy of guide Didier Leceouer in Cherbourg.

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