TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: New Children’s passports will be valid for FIVE years instead of three

 

Michaela Gray of Seaworld speaking at the Orlando roadshow in Croke Park, March 30 2017

 

 

 

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

  • Things to know about Travel this week
  • Children’s passports now valid for five years instead of three
  • Minister expects 30pc of passport renewals will be online after new facility is launched
  • Stephane Ballot is French tourism’s new chief for Ireland 
  • Orlando roadshow comes to Dublin: new rides across the parks
  • Aer Lingus brings Aerclub to market, just 15,000 of 400,000 keep lounge access 
  • Disney to bring back free dine from April 6
  • Ryanair’s slot share in Dubin drops to 37.4pc vs 35.9pc for Aer Lingus
  • KLM Aer Lingus codeshare to be phased out
  • Rendez Vous sees French tourism hoping for a rebound after a bad year
  • Tianguis in Mexico told: ‘No wall cannot isolate this country’
  • Aberdeen hosts Irish travel writers
  • Normandy on show for Rendez Vous delegates
  • Irish visits to S Africa up 18.3pc to 30,545
  • KLM Dublin-Amsterdam load factor amongst highest in network

Travel Extra TV

  • Airbus drew a parallel between flying an Airbus A350-1000 and manning this race yacht. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s promo for the island’s food scene. Watch here. The agency also posted a 10-minute video that tells the story of St Patrick as a slave on Slemish Mountain. Watch here.
  • Emirates celebrated the day it launched three A380 routes in one day. Watch here. The airline also brought Real Madrid players tour on one of them. Watch here.
  • Ryanair showcased all Dublin has to offer to holidaymakers. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

At last, passports for children will now be valid for five years instead of three, half the ten year validity of adult passports. Minister Charlie Flanagan told the media briefing to launch Ireland’s new online passport application service in the ballroom at Iveagh House that all children’s passports will now be valid for five years at a cost of €30 and may be applied for using Passport Express. The three-year passport for infants will no longer be available. The extension of the five year passport to all children who are seventeen years of age or younger is another notable development aimed at improving customer service, in this case to the parents of young children.  The standardisation of children’s passports will result in less confusion among parents about expiry dates on children’s passports and more efficiencies for the passport service. Picture shows Minister Charlie Flanagan and Jean Maxwell of the ITAA at the launch.

Minister Charlie Flanagan said 30pc of Irish passport renewals will be made online in first year of the new application scheme/. Online applications can be made for renewals of existing passports by citizens over 18 if your passport is less than five years out of date, and the scheme is expected to be extended to children’s renewals by 2019.  See here photograph guidelines. Watch here Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan launching the online passport scheme in Dublin. Watch here the Q&A session at the launch of the Irish passport online application service, where, in answer to a question from Travel Extra. the DFA estimated that Ireland would issue a record 840m passports in 2017. Picture shows the minister with Fiona Penollar, Head of Passport Reform, and Siobhan Watters, Passport Office reform team at the launch.

Aer Lingus brought their new loyalty scheme, Aerclub to market, as they put it, at a lively session in Dublin. Aerclub points can now be earned in shopping centres following s successful pilot scheme with Supervalue. Susanne told the audience that the Aerclub brand, launched in November, was about creating tangible value and rewards. The most controversial aspect of the new scheme was glossed over. Lounge access and fastrack is now available to just 15,000 members of about 400,000 Gold Circle members transferred to Aerclub with 1,500 signing up week. Gold Circle was developed in the 1980s and was very much an analogue programme working in a digital age. Susanne told the assembled geusts that of 400,000 members, only 10,000 were generating real tangible awards. The new system devides members into four levels. Points can then be used on flights to degtinations in six zones, about 8,000 points will get passengers off peak to Zone 1 (near Europe, Britain, Amsterdam, Paris), Zone 2 covers middle Europe, 17,000 points will bring them to Zone 3 the islands and far Europe such as Corfu, Zone 5 to east coast USA and Zone 6 to west coast USA. Later in 2017 a scheme called part pay with Avios will be launched. Points can be earned, shopping with the avios e-store, three avios for every euro spent with Aer Lingus, five avios for every four euro spent with Kildare Village, Supervalue and Appleby’s.Pictur shows Susanne Carberry, Dara McMahon, Paula Donaghy, Shona Kelly, Pauline Crowley, Roz Duff, Eoin McGirl and Colm Maher of Aer Lingus at the launch.. See more pictures here or connect with the album on FacebookWatch here the conversation between Susanne Carberry by Kathryn Thomas at the launch. Sign up here for Aerclub.

Orlando’s roadshow hosted 32 agents at Croke Park. Elkie Bird and Karl Moen told agents that Disney free dine is back and will be available from April 6 for advance bookings, Pandora – The World of Avatar opens May 27, Happily Ever After Night time Spectacular opens May 14, Star Wars Guided Tour and Miss Adventure Fall at Typhoon Lagoon are already open. Dave Cole outlined how virtual queuing will work at the Universal’s new Volcano Bay waterpark and Michaela Gray outlined developments at Seaworld including Krakin becoming a virtual roller coaster. Watch here video report of the Visit Orlando Roadshow. Watch here Michaela Gray of Seaworld March 30 2017. Watch here Dave Cole of Universal. Picture shows Karl Moen of Disney, Michaela Gray of Seaworld, Maddy Phillips of Visit Orlando, Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus, Dave Cole of Universal and Elkie Bird of Disney at the Visit Orlando roadshow at Croke Park. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Warner Rootliep General Manager Air France KLM for Ireland & Britain said he expects just two of the three airlines serving Dublin-Amsterdam to stay on the route, stressing that one of them will be KLM. KLM’s load factor since they launched their twice daily service in November has been 88pc, one of the highest in the network, and they expect to retain it at 85pc now they have moved from two flights to four daily last weekend. He said 70pc of passengers were connecting, 40pc of them long haul connectors to Asia, Latin America, and 30pc of tickets were sold in Ireland. He said that the code share with Aer Lingus would be phased out now KLM has moved to four daily but the codeshare would be retained on Cork-Amsterdam. Watch here interview with Warner Rootliep General Manager Air France KLM for Ireland & Britain.

Stephan Ballot has been appointed to represent Atout France in the Irish market, based in London, on the departure of Agnes Angrand to New York. Picture shows Vanessa Rennaud and Stephan at Rendez Vous France 2017 in Rouen.

Atout France hosted 892 tour operators and 36 journalists from 67 countries at their annual event which rotates among the regions, to meet 742 French companies in 23,400 meetings over two days. Eleven regions hosted 490 tour operators on site tours in advance of the event. Maria Madigan of Irish Wine Tours joined a prefam to the wine regions of Bordeaux, Cognac and Limoges. Visits included the old house at Remy Martin,a walking tour of St Emillion and a visit to Cite de Vin in Bordeaux. “Definitely worthwhile,” she said, “Interactive, scientific and playful.” Picture shows Eoghan Corry and Maria Madigan at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

France is still the world’s leading tourist destination with 83m visitors in 2016 down slightly from 84.5m in 2015, with 15pc of the visitors coming from non-European countries and a target of 200m by 2020 still in their sights. Bookings for 2017 are at 2015 levels, but he cautioned it would be mid April before any clear pattern could be detected. Paris stores such as Galleries Lafayette and Printemps instituted Sunday opening after a tortuous round of negotiations with city planners and trade unions, helped over the line by the designation of 12 specialised tourist zones in the city which enjoys a Europe topping 40m international visitors a year. Delegates passed reminders that this was a tough year for France, armed soldiers guarded key access points at the tourism fair, and were stationed on the streets of Rouen during a lavish open ceremony. Watch here Rendez Vous 2017 Opening Ceremony. Watch here the arrival at the Hôtel de Bourgtheroulde in Rouen.

Travel Extra joined a group of 13 journalists from 12 countries to see what is new in Normandy, Including. Picture shows the group at the Museum of the Seine in Caudebec-en-Caux, Alain Bossu of Swiss Travel Inside, David Bowden of Travel Write Malaysia, Louise Gaboury of Canada Tourisme Plus, Eliizabieta Sawicka of Poland Rzeczpospolita, Nadine Godwin of US Travel Weekly, Armelle Le Goff of Normandy Tourism, Oleh Bozhko of Ukraine Gazette, Amadeu Castanho of Bresil Viagens, Frpnt row: Susan Li Bing of China Travel Weekly, Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland and Domenica Demaio of Australia Travel Daily. And yes the parting glass was sung. Geneva based travel writer  Alain Bossu responded with a song of his own in the Palais Benedictine in Fecamp, where the herbal liquor is distilled.

Sample the menu here at Michelin starred Manoir de Rétival in Caudebec en Caux with Florien Brunner. Watch here the visit to the Palais Benedictine in Fecamp. Watch here the tour of Cherbourg. Watch here Gaetan Aubarret of Cabourg tourism. Watch here Hélène Aubry of the Museum of the Seine. Watch here Cecille Brossault of the museum of civilian war casualties in Falaise. Watch here Gregory Brussot of Deauville Lawn Tennis Club. Watch here Christophe Cusseau describing tourism developments in Fecamp. Watch here Johanna LaminetteI interviewed at the Jardins d’Etretat. Watch here Stephanie Leriche on the refurb of the Barriere Hotel du Normandy. Watch here Vincent Moreau update on Honfleur Outlets, to open next year. Watch here Marie Hélène Priou speaking about the Abbey of St Wandrille. Watch here Jules Vernon of the immersive D Day Experience which simulates a parachute drop over Normandy on D day. Meet the travel writers who toured Normandy.

A separate day tour to the villages of the Seine was organised for media delegates. PIcture shows  Maria Jedlikova of TTG Czech Republic,  Czech Republic, Marbee Sh8ing-Go of Travel Now Magazine Phillipines, Cyrot Dominique of Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil, Cyrot Dominique of Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil, Sandrine Geronimi of Seentrotter.com tour guide, Jacqueline Pevoste of Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil, Mary Winston Nicklon ot Travel Agent Magazine USA, Fran Lambert of Normandy Tourism, Mihaela Dalar Stanca of Forbes Magazine Romania, David Bowden of Travel Write Malaysia, Nadine Godwin of US Travel Weekly, Svetlana Baeva of Russia Tour News, Jaepil Yang of TTL News S Korea, Killian Penven of Normandy Tourism, Frnt row: Murari Jha of UBM India, Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland, Sveltana Larina of Your Business Russia and Yilan Chen of China Travel Agent at the at Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil. Watch here Sandrine Geronimi speaking about the Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil. Watch here Sandrine Geronimi speaking about Junieges Abbey. Watch here the tour of the Abbaye St Georges de Broscheruil with Sandrine Geronimi and Danielle Pytel. Watch here Sandrine Geronimi as she conducts a tour of La Bouile on the Seine. Watch here Killian Penven of Rouen tourism describing the medieval menu at Auberge des Ruines.

Among the sites visited by the travelling band was the impressive €200m redevelopment of Mont St Michel which has changed visitor access, removed the car parks on the sand and will eventually flush away 120 years of silting caused by the construction of a causeway. Watch here Mont St Michel’s new facilities. Watch here Anne Flora Marziou, deputy manager of the Mont St Michel Abbey. Watch here Anne Garcon of Mont St Michel Visitor experience. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

 “No wall in the world can isolate this country.” Taleb Rifai told Tianguis Turistico, back in its traditional home Acapulco. Mexican tourism is reeling from the US election result, and delegates from around the world came to offer support. “When we travel, we become better people” the UNWTO  Secretary-General continued. Tourism contributes nearly 9pc of Mexico’s GDP and generates 9m jobs. Mark Evans was at the even on behalf of Travel Extra. See more pictures here.

Be-kilted Aberdeen was put on show for a group of Irish media to promote the Aer Lingus Regional route to the city and its hinterland with some astonishingly good food served up to the group at Eat on the Green and the Meldrum. Picture shows Stevie Brown of Visit Aberdeen, Jennifer Gleeson of PR360/Aer Lingus Regional, Damian Allen of Travel Extra, Craig Wilson The Kilted chef at Eat On The Green in Udny Green, Angela Mullin of the Sun, Jim Murty of the Daily Mail and Sorcha Hamilton of the Irish Times. Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, operates 11 flights per week from Dublin to Aberdeen with lead in fares from €35 each way, including taxes and charges.

April 1st brought out the full ensemble of media comedians writing make believe travel stories. Among the choices, Donald Trump bought Liberty Hall to turn it into his Dublin Trump Tower, Royal Caribbean announces world’s first cruise ship with ski slope and Celebrity discovered a previously unknown island 720 nautical miles South West of Bermuda which baffled scientists and Bermuda Triangle fanatics.

Travel Trade

Worldchoice Ireland will host a four night fam trip together with Kelair Campotel, Irish Ferries and Aer Lingus from May 27th to 31st. To be in with a chance of winning a place on the trip, Worldchoice agents can make a new KelAir Campotel booking between April 1st and May 5th inclusive. The fam was announced by Carol Anne O’Neill, Commercial Manager of Worldchoice Ireland.

Nina Farrimond, Manager Trade Relations from South African Tourism, Anne O’Sullivan from Travel Focus and Audrey Headon from Headon Representation hosted 32 agents from the West of Ireland at a training session held in the Galway Bay Hotel. Nina told delegates that Irish tourism to South Africa in 2016 was up 18.3pc to is Final numbers are 30,545. Picture shows Geraldine Dolan of Society Travel receives her prize from Nina Farrimond of South African Tourism and Anne O’Sullivan of Travel Focus at the South African Tourism and Travelfocus roadshow. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. ‘

An Irish tourist will feel at home in the most unexpected way,’ Japanese Airlines showcased their product to the travel trade. Picture shows Eamon Flanagan of Premair, Kyoko Delaney of Premair/JAL, Jens Bachmann of Premair and Eleny Negri of JA.

Topflight’s mystery Italian fam trip will be to Tuscany,with a Coast & Country itinerary including Montecatini Terme, Viareggio, Pietrasanta and Lucca. The group will also spend time in the Florence and Pisa. The final winners were Abbey Travel, Best4Travel and Clubworld Lisburn Road. They will join Lynne Casey from Fahy Travel, Colette Knowles of Manning Travel in Kilkenny, Noelle Looney of J Barter Travel in Cork, Rita Gaughan from Limerick Travel, Donna Kenny of Cassidy Travel Blanchardstown and Lisa Sprake of Oasis Travel, Holywood. The group take off on April 6.

  • ‘An Irish tourist will feel at home in the most unexpected way,’ Japanese Airlines showcased their product to the travel trade. Picture shows Eamon Flanagan of Premair, Kyoko Delaney of Premair/JAL, Jens Bachmann of Premair and Eleny Negri of JA.
  • Tall Ships, JFK and quiet coastal towns: Massachusetts roadshow showcased their 2017 fare to Dublin trade. Picture shows Katie Aldrich of The Godfrey Hotel Boston, Patricia Purdue Massachusetts Tourism, Catherine Doran of Greater Boston CVB, Jackie Ennis of MOTT and Lee Stratham of JFK library at the Massachussetts event in Dubin.
  • There was more positive feedback on the Irish Travel Industry Show at the RDS Simmonscourt, the largest gathering of suppliers and agents veer held in Ireland. Watch here video of Irish travel industry show. Watch here Cormac Meehan’s speech at the opening.
  • Skal’s coach trip to Marlfield House and The Woodenbridge Hotel takes place on April 12th.

Strange world

A teenager accidentally flew to Sydney in Nova Scotia while trying to find a cheap route to Australia.

  • A wildlife park worker was killed in an elephant herd charge.
  • Brighton’s troubled i360 viewing tower, dubbed the i-sore,  closed for the third time in six months due to ‘temporary fault’
  • A Flightdelays.co.uk survey estimated that it costs €210m to replace items forgotten on holiday each year, the most forgotten items are clothing 20pc, glasses and sunglasses 15pc, phone chargers 13pc, toothbrushes 12pc, medication or contraception 10pc.
  • A mother posted video of the  ‘unnecessary’ pat down of her disabled son by airport official she claims left him ‘traumatised for hours’

International

People make Glasgow had haggis croquettes on the menu whan they came to Dublin to showcase the city’s offerings in 2017. They highlighted morning coffee, the home of Mackintosh, museums and galleries, shopping, gin and beer, Glencoyne whiskey, Glasgow’s UNESCO city of music status and the hinterland such as Loch Lomond. Picture shows Chris Pollack, Elaine Dickie, Fiona Potter and Alison Fleming at the event in Medley.

  • Ferrariland opens in Solou on Thursday
  • Uber is to shut down its business in Denmark
  • Several hotels were damaged by Cyclone Debbie in Queensland
  • WTM revealed its 2017 themes.
  • A tourist died at a popular gibbon zipline park in Laos

Food & Beverage

Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry will be speaking about international food tourism at the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation conference in Holywood on Tuesday morning.

  • Dalkey’s Guinea Pig Restaurant is for sale for €850,000.
  • The Oyster Tavern in Cork has been restored back to its original use as a bar and restaurant.
  • Blackwater Distillery, maker of Blackwater No 5 Gin, received planning permission to build a micro-distillery with visitor facilities in Ballyduff, Co Waterford, to start in July.
  • Cooks Academy host a Greek cooking event on Wednesday evening

Hotels

Planning permission is being sought for an eight-storey 249-bedroom hotel at River House on Chancery Street in Dublin’s north inner city, entailing the demolition of the existing vacant six-storey building with an independent cafe/restaurant unit at ground floor and mezzanine level, a hotel lobby, reception, breakfast area, a basement fitness room, meeting and function rooms.

  • Mayo County Council has granted conditional planning permission for a 46-bedroom hotel in Ballinrobe.
  • The Irish Hotel award winners included Culloden for best luxury hotel, Dónal Minihane, of Hotel Doolin for best manager, Citynorth for best airport hotel, McGrory’s Donegal for best hotel bar, Amber Springs for best family hotel, Roe Park for golf hotel.
  • Gerry Gannon is seeking planning permission for a 209-bedroom hotel in Clongriffin.
  • Jury’s Inn international visitors were up 13.6pc in 2016.
  • Hostelworld shares rose 9pc as it pays €10m extra dividend.

Aviation

Aer Lingus defended a series of baggage charge increases, the second in four months, which came into effect on Tuesday night. The last price hike was from €15 to €25 (each way for Spain) and this has increased from €25 to €35. Aer Lingus say that 58pc of short-haul customers travel on its thirty ‘near’ services, where it says prices have fallen.

Summer time and the livery is airborne: here are the 26 seasonal routes that resumed this week from Dublin, 16 from Ryanair, eight  from Aer Lingus and one each from Eurowings and Transavia. Dublin airport slot allocations for summer 2017 show Hainan Airlines has been allocated 4w slots from July for the much-speculated but unannounced Manchester route extension to Beijing.  Ryanair market share at Dublin is down to 37.4pc from 40.3pc (capacity down 1.5pc) and Aer Lingus down to 35.9pc from 36.7pc, including Aer Lingus Regional (capacity up 3.9pc).  Aer Lingus has more and larger transatlantic operations but six fewer slot pairs.  The combined share of the two big airlines is 73.3pc, down from 77.0pc followed by British Airways with 2.6pc, American Airlines 1.6pc, Lufthansa CityJet, Emirates, United, Delta and Norwegian.   Movements are up 4.6pc (allocations) and 5.4pc (take-up) to 136,457, seats are up 6pc (allocations) and 6.4pc (take-up) to 23.24m. Peak week movements  are up, 5pc and seats up 6.1pc to 787,722. The allocations include cancelled Ryanair routes to Leeds, Lodz and Almeria and an unannounced operation by Loganair from Dundee.

Etihad says its double daily Dublin to Abu Dhabi service which was increased yesterday from single daily will now remain double daily year-round, using a two-class Airbus A330-200 in 22-240 configuration. EY departs 09.30 and EY48 at 19.10. Etihad is expanding its Aer Lingus codeshare routes in Summer 2017.

Dublin Airport was named the world’s 10th best in a survey by travel website eDreams behind Helsinki-Vantaa, Glasgow, Zurich, Munich, Frankfurt, Geneva, Bangkok, Tel Aviv and Oslo. Berlin Schonefeld was picked as the worst.

Dublin Airport secured planning permission to build a small solar farm that will help deliver 500m litres of water to the airport every year.

  • Bombardier’s C Series jet was reportedly nearing approval for London City airport
  • Michael O’Leary told German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung [German] that Lufthansa will buy Air Berlin within three years and talked up Ryanair’s target to double German market share to 20pc.
  • Emirates delivered three new Airbus A380s to three continents in one day, Casablanca, Narita and SaoPaulo. Emirates has 93 A380s in service and 49 on order. Emirates postponed its A380 visit to Dublin indefinitely.
  • KLM’s summer 2018 schedule shows B787 Dreamliners replacing 747s on long-haul routes.
  • AerCap signed up for PACE route and aircraft economic analysis software
  • Shannon Airport plans to change its status from a full time category nine to a flexible category nine airport in a bid to cut costs. Shannon Group started work on a €10m high spec office block.
  • Vallair acquired three Boeing 737-400, two of them ex Enter Air stored in Shannon
  • WOW air launched flights from Keflavik to Chicago offering Dublin connections from €139 (NOT direct from Dublin to Chicago as some media reported).
  • Clare Daly TD, formerly an Aer Lingus shop steward, questioned Minister Shane Ross about the problems associated with the building of the new runway at Dublin Airport.
  • Flybe and former Cityjet CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener joined the ERA Board.
  • Datalex revenues rose on the back of moves into Chinese market
  • Belfast International Airport passenger numbers were up 27pc in February, its sixth successive month of record passenger figures.
  • Patricia Clements’ Bradfor seat cover manufacturers in Rostrevor and Joanne Liddle‘s IPC Mouldings, plastic injection moulding firm from Carrickfergus, will demonstrate a new airline seat at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this week.
  • Etihad is to get around the laptop ban by lending iPads to its top-paying travellers on US-bound flights.
  • Intrepid is to lease two new B777 for Philippine Airlines.

Afloat

Norwegian Cruise Line increased service fees in all cabins, the third rate increase since February 2015. Standard cabins charges are now $13.99 per passenger, per day, up from $13.50   or the original rate of $12.50 in February 2015. A couple wil now pay almost $190 in service charges for a standard cabin on a one-week cruise.

P&O Cruises has raised its daily gratuity charge (the Service Reward Programme) from £5 to £6 per day.

  • Thomson Cruises revealed the 1,924-passenger former Mein Schiff will be renamed TUI Explorer when it launches May 2018.
  • CroisiEurope named Miguel Torga in Porto.
  • Fincantieri delivered the 4,250 passenger Majestic Princess to Princess Cruises.

Actress Joan Collins named Uniworld’s Joie de Vivre in Paris. The first public sailing takes palce today on Paris & Normandy itinerary on the Seine. With a length of 125 metres, rather than the typical 135 metres, the  Joie de Vivre can dock in the heart of Paris in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

Joss Stone and Victoria’s Secrets Model Sara Sampaio named the Douro Azul, Douro Elegance & Douro Serenity ships in Porto, live on Portuguese TV. Riviera River Cruises commence weekly sailings on the board the new 5 Star Douro Elegance on April 14.

  • American Cruise Lines will name their 2018 arrival American Constitution.
  • Norwegian Jade now offer 24-hour free pub grub at their Irish pub, O’Sheehan’s, and complimentary poolside food at 1950s-style diner Pit Stop.
  • Saga Cruises’ new build 999-passenger Spirit of Discovery completed its journey along the River Ems from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Pappenberg. The vessel starts service in June.
  • Caribbean Princess is to get new restaurants during its April dry dock, World Fresh Marketplace replacing the Horizon Court buffet, Salty Dog Grill replacing the Trident Grill, Planks BBQ in Cafe Caribe, Steamers Seafood, Slice replacing the Pizzeria, The Mix replacing Blackbeard’s Bar, and Coffee & Cones replacing Scoops.

Ireland

Overseas tourism buyers from 19 countries came to Punchestown Co Kildare for Meitheal. Failte Ireland hosted 13 familiarisation tours for international operators to Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way. A new meeting system was introduced this year between the 277 buyers and 360 Irish suppliers.  Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan delivered the welcome speech. Failte Ireland published an infographic on the value of Meitheal to Irish tourism. See here.

ITIC warned that up to 10,000 jobs are at risk after the Central Statistics Office confirmed a 6pc decline in British arrivals from December 2016 to February 2017. The  monthly drop in February was 22pc.

Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir, DG of the Icelandic Tourist Board -and her colleagues met with Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly and members of his team as part of a fact finding visit to Ireland.

Tourism Ireland and 15 partners held a preparatory briefing for the sales blitz to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong on April 24-28. Picture shows Su Fong Gan and Majella O’Sullivan, both Newbridge Silverware; and James Kenny, Tourism Ireland, at the briefing.

  • Quest Glendalough anticipates 2,000 entrants next Saturday, part of the Quest Adventure Series.
  • Tourism Ireland and 18 tourism companies met with 70 French group travel operators at the Irish embassy in Paris. Picture shows Fiona Dunne, Caroline Phelan, Séverine Lecart, Marc Faivre and Gavin Radford of Tourism Ireland with the operators.
  • Belfast zoo manager Alyn Cairns said concerns raised by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria about how some of its animals are kept have been addressed. Belfast zoo attracts 247,000 visitors annually and is the island’s 37th most popular attraction.
  • Castle Saunderson, Belturbet, Co Cavan completed an upgrade which was grant-aided to €60,000 by Fáilte Ireland.
  • The 63rd annual Cork International Choral Festival expects 5,000 singers and 50,000 visitors on May Bank Holiday weekend, April 26-30.

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* The Edison Hotel New York City from €679pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel August. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sealight Family Club Hotel from €469pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Globales Samoa Hotel, Majorca from €389pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel May. Over 50s offer: 7 nights half board 4* Beatriz Costa Teguise & Spa Hotel, Lanzarote from €479pp 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* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,569pps, depart June 14. 7 nights half board 3* Best Camrbils, Cambrils, Costa Dorada from €389pps, depart May 5. 7 nights all inclusive 3* El Trebol, Costa Tequise, Lanzarote from €579pps, depart Cork May 18. 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, Costa Dorada from €719pps, depart Knock August 15. 7 nights self catering 3* Royal Sun Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €2,539 2+2, depart June 12. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,249pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,569pps, depart June 14. 8 nights self catering 2* San Marcial Apartments, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €389pps, depart April 30. 5 nights all inclusive 3* Servatur Waikiki, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €489pps, depart April 29. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €499pps, depart April 28. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Hotel Palazzo, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €459pps, depart June 12. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 9 days Spain and Portugal tour form €1,989pps incl. flights, transfers and 8 nights accommodation. Book by May 12, depart June 24. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 10 nights all inclusive 5* Dreams Palm Beach Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from €4,659 2+2 incl. return flights and taxes, travel May 1. 8 nights Russia Revealed river cruise between St Petersburg and Moscow onboard the 4* MS Surikov River Cruiser from €1,159pps incl. returns and transfers, depart May 8. Over 50s offer: 7 nights 4* Best Sabinal Hotel, Almeria, Spain from €499pp incl. flights, transfers, one 15kg baggage pp, depart May 13.

Project Travel is offering a 6 day ‘classic southbound’ Hurtigruten cruise from €1,597pp incl. flights, transfer in Norway and hotel nights, travel December. 12 day ‘classic round voyage’ from €2,075pp. Visit hurtigruten.ie or call 01 210 8391.

Sunway offers: 8 nights Spanish experience holiday from €1,239pp incl. 3* and 4* accommodation, transfers, meals and tours, depart May 20. 7 nights Golden Triangle, India from €1,302pp incl. flights and excursions, depart September 1. 7 nights B&B 5* Melia Madeira Mar Hotel from €829pp, depart June 29. 7 nights Croatia and Greece fly cruise on board Norwegian Star from €1,025pp, depart October 8. Visit sunway.ie.

TDactive Holidays is offering 10 days Kerala photography holiday from €1,899pp incl. accommodation in 4* half board hotels, excursions, transfers, local guides, tutors from Dublin Photography School and taxes charges. Depart February 12 2018. Click here or call 01 637 1633.

Thomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel RIU Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,559pps, depart June 8. 8 nights half board Sensimar Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €739pps, depart April 30. 5 nights self catering ardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Caria from €379pps, depart April 29. 7 nights half board ardin Del Sol, Playa Del Ingles, Fuerteventura from €984pps, depart April 18. 7 nights self catering Cerro Mar Garden, Albuferia, Algarve from €559pps, depart May 28. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €539pps, depart Shannon May 19. 11 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €589pps, depart May 23. 14 nights half board Belvedere Hotel Salou, Costa Dorada from €939pps, depart Knock July 11. 14 nights all inclusive Clubhotel RIU Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,559pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive RIU Lupita, Playa car, Mexico from €1,499pps, depart June 7.

Topflight offers: 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €929pps, depart April 16. 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Hermitage, Sorrento from €769pps, depart May 28. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Conca Park, Sorrento from €799pps, depart June 4. 7 nights self catering 3* Villaggio Verde, Sorrento from €429pps, depart April 23. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €489pps, depart April 30. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Ascot, Sorrento from €689pps, depart May 14. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, Sorrento from €919pps, depart June 11. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento from €899pps, depart July 16. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Astoria, Sorrento from €819pps, depart August 6. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America/Cruise Holidays offers: 8 nights the Rosen Inn Pointe Orlando from €559pps, travel November. 4 nights The Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €569pps, travel November. 12 nights Miami and Southern Caribbean fly cruise on board on board Celebrity Equinox from €1,899pp, depart September 25. 10 nights Orlando and Caribbean cruise on board MSC Armonia form €1,299pp, depart September 14. 7 nights Cuba and Caribbean fly cruise from €1,399pp, depart January 16 2018. Visit touramerica.ie.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days castles along the Rhine river cruise on board the Empress from €3,199pps incl. flights, airport transfers, all meals and beverages and all shore excursions, depart July 5. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

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