TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Aviation Nation, ANOTHER Irishman flies to a high place in international aviation


Willie Walsh speaking at the CAPA Aviation conference in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, May 11 2017



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Things to know about Travel this week

  • Kristin wins the car, and her reaction is great
  • Pythons on golf courses
  • Liars, drunks and bullshitters, who excels at aviation? 
  • Inside story of the proposed US-Europe laptop ban
  • German Travel Market in Nuremberg reveals 9pc increase in German visitors to Ireland on 2016. 
  • Gillian Young appointed Visit USA Ireland Executive Director
  • Pilot suspended for sleeping on the job
  • Ireland wins Travel Golf Challenge match
  • End to Zika emergency in Brazil
  • Thomas Cook cancels all Sharm el-Sheikh bookings
  • US issues Philippines travel warning
  • Chapter One wins Irish Restaurant’s Awards
  • Joycean-themed New Ormond Hotel gets approval
  • Skelling Michael to open

Travel Extra TV

Some extraordinary drone footage of a fleet of dolphins thrashing in the water. Watch here.

Meanwhile in South Africa, an enormous python slithers his way onto a golf corse. Watch here.

  • Have a look at Aer Lingus’s promo for its summer seat giveaway at Belfast City Airport. Watch here.
  • Etihad Airways explains Ha Al Laila, a traditional celebration marked by UAE families on the sixth month of the Islamic calendar. Watch here.
  • Here’s a gas video of a seal sunbathing on a car roof. Watch here.
  • Qantas showcases Tasmania’s winter festivals. Watch here.
  • Qatar Airways opened KidzMondo Doha in Mall of Qatar, where children can pretend to be passengers, cabin crew or pilots. Watch here.
  • There were severe storms in Oklahoma recently. Watch here.
  • Spotted in Alabama: an alligator chases a kayaker. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Arise, Kilcoole, and take your place among the nations of the earth. Ray Gammell is interim CEO of Etihad, suggesting the airline wants shot of James Hogan  (third generation Corkman, wouldn’t you know) sooner than expected.  Dublin (two of them, Glasnevin and Tallaght), Meath, Westmeath and now Wicklow have all provided the key decision makers for leading international airlines. Mohammad Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Etihad Aviation Group’s chairman of the board, said the company is now in the “advanced stages” of recruiting a new group chief executive with an announcement expected to be made “in the next few weeks”. Etihad Airways plans to stand by Air Berlin until end 2018. Focus magazine reported that Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr is in discussions with Etihad on how to finance a possible takeover of Air Berlin.  Airberlin Q1 net loss was €293m, €100m worse than last year.  Watch here Ray Gammell speaking at the 2015 All Ireland hurling final. The flying geese continue to soar.

The year-long Blue Insurances Volkswagen Polo competition was won by Kristin Skinner of American Holidays. The announcement was made at an event in Saba on Dublin’s Clarendon Street, attended by the 13 finalsists, including Angela Taylor from Oasis Travel, Helena Kilduff from Skytours, Rose Kane from Kane’s Travel in Longford, Claire Mulligan from Clubworld Travel, Mandy Walsh of Travel Counsellors, Rita Gaughan from Limerick Travel, Kate McGillycuddy from Abbey Travel in Killarney, Nicola Quigley from O’Hanrahan Travel and Ross Waters from Tour America, Kathrice Canning from Cassidy Travel, Caroline Riordan of Sol Travel and Trish O’Reilly from Best4Travel. Picture shows Kristin Skinner with the prize, a Polo magnifico. Watch her reaction here.

What was going through the minds of Washington’s homeland security director chief John Kelly (and fourth generation Roscommon man) on Wednesday when it was leaked that the USA was considering extending its controversial laptop ban to ALL flights from Europe? The US laptop ban differs from England’s in that it is airport specific, ten airports in eight Muslim-majority countries, while London’s is country specific, applied to six named Muslim countries. Ireland is not considering implementing a similar ban. The US initially told European officials they wanted the ban extended to two European airports, Madrid and Brussels. When European officials objected they then threatened to extend it, starting Thursday, to all inbound flights from Europe, affecting inbound (US bound) although perversely, not outbound (US originating) flights. The idea was first reported first by the Daily Beast. And then it melted away, as if the negative reaction had forced a rethink. Listen here to the analysis of Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry on RTE’s news at one.

Willie Walsh and Peter Bellew were the stars of the CAPA Leaders summit in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow. Picture shows Willie Walsh, Peter Bellew and Eamonn Brennan chief of the Irish Aviation Authority. CEO of the DAA Kevin Toland welcomed guests with a speech extolling Ireland’s role in aviation history (watch here). Willie Walsh quoted a more deprecatory version which he attributed to Michael O’Leary (watch here). The aviation industry is dominated by liars, bullshitters and drunks, “and Ireland excels at all three.” Watch here Henrik Hololei of the EU commission who said politicians do not fully understand the implications of Brexit for Open skies. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travelport used the opportunity to launch the new Travelport Business Insights product, giving travel agents opportunities to analyse their booking data and compare it with the national average. Watch here interview with Simon Ferguson, Travelport’s northern European chief, Sinead Reilly head of Ireland and Paul Broughton head of Britain. International media at the event were given a showaround of Travelport Digital, formerly MTT, which has grown from 30 to 200 people in the past five years, by Kathrina Gallogly. Picture shows the Travelport Digital team that hosted a dinner in the Unicorn afterwards: Kathrina Gallogly, Aisline White, Chris Boba, Martina Coogan, Steven Ratcliffe and Neil Gleeson of Travelport Digital. And, yes, the parting glass was sung.

The annual CAPA dinner Q&A concentrated on issues like Brexit and ended with a beer-drinking contest to raise money for charity. “Which charity?” asked MC Richard Quest. “Alitalia,” said one of the comedians in the audience. Who should head up Alitalia in its crisis? The panel session concluded it might be the right job for Conor McCarthy.

One CEO who was not there was Tallaght-born Alan Joyce of Qantas. Watch here why he now probably wishes he had come.

Germany TM in Nuremberg outlined the growth of Germany tourism. For Irish travellers the curve for Germany is definitely upward with 68,290 overnight stays recorded in January and February this year alone, a solid 9pc increase on the same period in 2016. Such statistical nuggets, great and small, were chipped out of the 43rd GTM Travel Mart, Germany’s annual main tourist sales platform, which ran in historic Nuremberg from Friday to Monday last (May 7-9). Over 500 travel industry representatives from 50 countries met up with 330 exhibitors from the hotel and transport industries, both convivially, at some of the prestige cultural venues in the city before doing business at the two-day B2B workshop at the NürnbergMesse trade fair centre, the focal point of the GTM. Picture shows Sean Mannion of Travel Extra, Petra Hedorfer, CEO of Germany Travel; Yvonne Coulin, CEO of CTZ Nuremberg and Jens Huwald, CEO of Bavaria Tourism. Watch here Nuremberg Philharmonic Orchestra performing at Nuremberg State Theatre. Watch here the Town Hall Show for delegates. Nuremberg. Watch here knitting at 300km an hour on the Munich to Nuremberg train. Watch here Christkindlesmarket. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.


Australian Tourism exchange returned to Sydney. Catch up with whom we met at Australian Tourism ExchangeCaitlin Williams of CAPTA group (watch here and see website), Leanne Dyer of Central Coast Tourism (watch here and see website), Brett Ince of Great Southern Touring Route (watch here and see website), Tracy Willis of Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat (watch here and see website), Carolyn Melbourne of Jenolan Caves (watch here and see website), Sab Lord of Lord’s Kakadu and Arnhemland safaris (watch here and see website), Naomi Hammond of Mantra group (watch here and see website), Kirsty Grace of Melbourne Sports Tours (watch here and see website), Kendall Munns of Moonlit Sanctuary (watch here and see website), Alysha Brandenburg of Parks Victoria (watch here and see website), Kylie Schumann of the Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld (biggest wine cellar in the Southern hemisphere (watch here and see website), Steve Lane of Sea Dragon Lodge on Kangaroo island (watch here and see website), Katie Hart of Sunreef Wooloolaba (watch here and see website), Liz Tuckett of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (watch here and see website), Stephen Howard of QT Hotels (watch here and see website), Emilya Colliver of Sydney Culture Scouts (watch here and see website) and Wade Bowen of Thala Beach Nature Reserve (watch here and see website).

The first guests arriving for Indaba 2017 have been engaged in pre-tamils across South Africa. Picture shows Mark Young of Hayes & Jarvis, Eleanor Hawkins, John Fair of South African Tourism, Jo Austin of Selling Travel, Linda Harris of Discover the World, Alexia Williams of Noble Caledonia, Ginny Russell of Cedarberg, Peter McMinn of Travel Solutions, Rajiv Shah of Citibond and (front) Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland at Maropeng Official Visitor Centre for the Cradle of Humankind world heritage centre.

Just going to visit G Adventures Irish GSA John Grehan and the Polar and Antarctic explorer G Expedition was a gruelling adventure in itself for the media pack accompanying the trade to Edinburgh during the week. The flights were provided courtesy of Aer Lingus – but a missing piece of paperwork, or the click of a mouse, meant no seats onboard for the travel writers en route to Edinburgh. Over the phone from Scotland, John Grehan saved the day (in the early hours, circa 6am), and the writers joined the trade. From the airport they took the No 35 “direct” bus to the city’s Ocean Terminal, with the 10-mile journey taking an hour and 45 minutes, in the company of Edinburgh’s many pensioners and the odd wino. At least the journalists had no problem getting a return flight to Dublin – except that the seats were for two days later. No jokes please about travel journalists having trouble finding the G spot.

Travel Trade

Gillian Young was appointed Executive Director of the Visit USA Committee in Ireland. having worked in the Travel industry for 27 years and specialising in the US market for 23 years with American Holidays. Picture shows Dee Burock chair of Visit USA Ireland with Gillian at the Visit USA roadshow event in Dublin. See picture gallery of the Visit USA event here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Paula Coughlan from Dawson Travel was prize winner at the Insight Vacations Cork Evening in conjunction with the Spanish Tourism Office. She won a 10-day Insight Vacations premium escorted tour to Northern Spain including flights courtesy of the Spanish Tourism Office. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Ireland, captained by Volker Lorenz, won the Ireland v England (captained by Greg Evans), travel golf challenge, the Celtic Cup, by 8 and a half to three and a half at Machynys and Langland Bay golf clubs in Wales. Irish Ferries, whose Dermot Merrigan is the incoming captain for 2018, transported the team on the Rosslare-Pembroke ferry. Picture shows the Irish team: Peter O’Hanlon of Travelfinders, Tony Collins of Topflight, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel, Dermot Merrigan of Irish Ferries, Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel,  Niall McDonnell of Classic Collection, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Clem Walshe of, John Cassidy of Cassidy Travel. Front row: Don Shearer, Volker Lorenz of Amadeus and Philip Airey of Sunway,. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Topflight report a 20pc increase in chalet bookings for winter season 2017/18. The company also reports the trend among guests to request a specific chalet host when re-booking, second only to close proximity to the ski area. Topflight offer over 50 chalets throughout the French Alps in resorts including Plagne 1800, Plan Peisey, La Rosiere 1850, La Tania, Meribel Centre and Val D’Isere offering access to some of the best ski areas in the world. Week long packages start from only €899 per person sharing.

Picture shows travel agents hosted by Sunway at Club Med Sandpiper bay. Carolyn Davis of Liberty Travel, Fidelma Burke of Grogan Travel, Catherine Murray of Globe Travel, Jayne O’Shea of Limerick Travel, Holly Best of Virgin Atlantic, Jacinta McGlynn, Ben Greene of Arrow Tours, Maura Doran of O’Leary’s Travel, Michele Anderson of Sunway and Matt Stuart of Club Med on the Sunway trip to Club Med Sandpiper.

  • Tour America are finalists in three categories in the Social Media Awards, the Sockies. Best Use of Facebook by a Medium+ Business (in-house team managed), best blog of an SME, best use of social media by an SME medium (six employees or more).
  • Topflight launched pre-bookable added extras such as a night at the Verona Opera, water sailing or cycling on Lake Garda, and an excursion to the Amalfi Coast.
  • An ECTAA workshop in Brussels on the Package Holiday directive, due on July 1 2018, pointed out that implementation of the new rules into national legislation is fraught with difficulties.
  • Flight Centre has assigned a new manager, Andy Hegley, to Corporate Traveller.
  • Sabre appointed an ex-airline boss to restore industry relationships.

Strange world

During a thirteen hour flight, a couple swore, spilled drinks, banged chairs, argued when asked to be quiet, and threatened to open the aircraft doors mid-flight unless they were served more alcohol. No reports on whether the aircraft also was carrying squalling babies.

  • A pilot was suspended after being photographed fast asleep in business class during a flight from Pakistan to London. An asleep pilot on a long haul flight may be no bad thing. You don’t really want your pilot to be working without a break for an eight hour flight, so a system of rotations and quick breaks is desireable. But unfortunately this man was being paid to conduct training during that time.
  • Dooagh strand in Achill reappeared after being washed away 30 years ago.
  • Watch here Scotty Knemeyer somersaulting on a hoverboard while drinking a pint of Guinness.


Instituto Nacional de Estadistica reported Irish visits to Spain are up 17.5pc for the year so far and destined for a record 1,742,615. Spain received 4.1m international tourists in February, up 11.9pc.

  • Brazil declared an end to the Zika emergency after fall in cases.
  • Thomas Cook cancelled all flight and hotel bookings for Sharm el-Sheikh.
  • Holiday fraud rose by a fifth last year within the UK.
  • An 11-year-old schoolgirl died after falling off a water park ride.
  • A man and a woman died on two flights diverted to Shannon Airport in the last week.
  • The US Embassy issued a Philippines travel warning.

Food & Beverage

Chapter One on Dublin’s Parnell Square won the overall award at the Restaurant’s Association’s Irish Restaurant’s Awards.

  • Temple Bar’s only ‘temperance hotel’ has applied for- and been granted– a bar licence to stop guests wandering around the streets at night looking for alcohol.
  • Diageo opened a Guinness Export House with in-store tastings at Terminal 2, Dublin Airport.
  • Belfast City Airport announced the ten finalists in a competition offering food and beverage products marketing support and brand visibility at the airport.
  • Clayton Hotel in Cork’s restaurant is to be rebranded as the Globe Restaurant with an emphasis on produce sourced from The English Market.


Tony Fernandes’ Monteco Holdings finally got approval for the 170 bedroom, six-storey New Ormond Hotel on condition it retains a Joycean theme

  • Jim Murphy’s Prem Group is to open Premier Suites Plus in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
  • The 244 bedroom hotel development at Belfast’s Hamilton Dock is on the market.
  • Dalata‘s John Hennessy said  trading performance for the first third of 2017 is marginally ahead of expectations.
  • Estates Gazette reported Accor is sell an 80pc stake in its €6.6bn HotelInvest real-estate business.
  • Best Western bought Swedish hotels.
  • ALTOUR and HRS signed a deal to give corporate hotel programmes gain access to competitive rates at business-grade hotels around the world.


A bust of Sixmilebridge born travel and tourism visionary Brendan O’Regan is to be unveiled at Shannon airport tomorrow, the man who invented Duty Free, Bunratty and Shannon Hotel management college.

CityJet Chief Commercial Officer Cathal O’Connell told the Irish Independentin 2015, we employed just over 500 staff. Today that figure is in excess of 1,200. Aviation is a numbers business and our latest statistics show that 33 of our 44 passenger aircraft – up from 18 in 2015 – operate on wet-lease contracts. It’s a far cry from the past when a solitary contract with Air France supplemented the airline’s extensive scheduled – and own-risk – network.”

Dublin Airport passengers in April were up 12pc to 2.5m, Britain up 5pc to 851,000, Europe up 13pc to 1.3m, transatlantic up 34pc to 234,000, Middle East/Africa up 20pc to 69,000, domestic up 16pc to 8,700.  Connecting passengers are up 52pc to 130,000.

KLM is to add a fifth Amsterdam-Dublin service, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 19 July and daily from 2 September-28 October. The additional frequency will be operated by an Avro RJ85, probably operated by CityJet.

The Commission of Aviation Regulation is to replace the existing trigger, which added €0.59 to the per passenger price cap in the year following Dublin Airport serving 25m passengers with three triggers which increase the price cap in three stages “to better align the remuneration with the timeline for delivery of the parallel runway project”, €24.7m in the year that follows the start of works, €209.7m in the year after the north runway becomes operational, and €12.3m in the year after the project is complete. While the DAA estimates the new runway will cost €320m estimate, CAR’s estimate is €247m, but appears willing to review this when actual tenders have been received.

Malaysia Airlines is considering resuming services to Frankfurt. Speaking to Travel Extra on the margins of the CAPA conference in Powerscourt, Peter Bellew said that the previous European services were using the wrong aircraft but with increased load factors and the right aircraft we could return to Frankfurt and Paris (watch full interview here). Air Asia X is also considering resuming services to Europe. Speaking at the recent WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes saidWe are jealous of Norwegian; they have the right aircraft, Boeing 787-9, We want to go to Europe, but the Ukraine incident put an extra hour on our aircraft. There are many interesting points in Europe, so it may not be a hub airport like London. It may be Manchester or Dublin.”

Kevin Toland told Fingal council Dublin Airport is the busiest bus station in the country, three times busier than Busáras, so Metro north is critical for the airport.

Aer Lingus currently has seven vacancies for Aircraft Engineers to join its Dublin Maintenance Base, EASA CAT A or B1 / B2 engineers.

OAG weekly schedules for Aer Lingus for the winter include increases on San Francisco, Toronto (now A330) and Washington with Miami up to 6 per week post-Christmas and Orlando down to 3 per week.

Andrew Tinkler is to step down after ten years as the head of Stobart Group to be succeeded by Warwick Brady.

Fraport CFO Matthias Zieschang said Ryanair will add a further 10 Boeing 737-800s to its Frankfurt base bringing the total to 12 aircraft next year.

Ryanair launched Travel Labs Spain IT innovation hub based in Madrid city centre, creating 250 new jobs and following Dublin and Wroclaw.

Outgoing Kerry Group chief executive Stan McCarthy is to join the board of Ryanair as a non-executive director at the end of May.

Schenghen tribulations have led to Ryanair updating advice for passengers “due to extended Travel Document Checks by Border Control Authorities, customers are advised to expect possible delays at immigration control points across our European network.” Ryanair advises customers to “arrive at least 3 hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight, to ensure they have sufficient time to arrive at the boarding gate at our recommended 30 minutes prior to their scheduled fight departure time.

  • Cork Airport passenger numbers were up 6pc in April. Passengers on Britain up 5pc, Europe up 8pc.
  • Kerry Airport passenger numbers were up 6pc in 2016 to 325,670.
  • The €15m project has commenced to upgrade the country’s longest runway, the 3,199m runway at Shannon. The airport’s runway was built in 1961 and was last fully rehabilitated in 1983.
  • Two legal actions taken by residents in St Margaret’s affected by the planned new runway at Dublin Airport will be switched to the Commercial Court for a hearing in October.
  • Questions were asked about an Air Corps CASA CN-235 was prevented from landing in Sweden in March to deliver munitions to the Irish Artillery Corps involved in a training exercise there.
  • Tony Fernandes sold his 20pc stake in Dublin Aerospace to Conor McCarthy. Staff numbers at the company have risen to 290.
  • CAE Parc Aviation is to take on up to 80 employees in its Dublin and Shannon offices over the next three years.
  • Commenting on AerCap Q1 results Gus Kelly said “I expect our assets to begin growing again in the second half of 2017 as our forward order books starts to deliver in earnest.”
  • Norwegian Air said its Cork flights to Rhode Island remain on schedule for a July start
  • Comac’s C919, designed to compete with the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737, took off from Shanghai’s Pudong International airport on its maiden flight.
  • BA are re-introducing free seat reservation for Bronze, Silver and Gold Members on a Basic (previously known as Hand Baggage Only) fare from June 14 and will be refunding any seating fees to customers with an upcoming booking to their original form of payment.
  • AerCap delivered a 787 Dreamliner to Hainan Airlines.
  • The European Regions Airline Association’s Director General, Simon McNamara, a first generation Limerick man, will be standing down later this year to take up a senior role at one of ERA’s airline members.
  • Emirates profits fell on oil and militancy concerns, the 2016-17 Annual Report showed $670m profit down 70pc from last year’s record. Emirates will launch a third daily B777-200LR Brisbane service from December 1.
  • Air Canada is to launch its own loyalty rewards plan in 2020 and not renew its contract with the company running Aeroplan.
  • CityJet got its fifth Sukhoi Superjet 100 Joins
  • Lufthansa listed The Irishman in first class lounges
  • Willie Walsh told the CAPA summit personalisation of offers contributed 160 million Euros to IAG in 2016, across 53m customers
  • Belfast International Airport passenger numbers  grew 35pc to March
  • The government signed an oorer to adopt “Alternative A” insolvency provisions of the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol 2001 into Irish law
  • Kerry Airport started talks  on new routes
  • Simon Ryan started a third budget carrier in South America
  • CAE Parc Aviation is to create 80 jobs across Shannon and Dublin
  • German media reported that Level is looking to Paris, Rome and Dublin for expansion.
  • Ryanair hits back at criticism that it was ‘destroying’ cities
  • Aer Lingus said there was no benefit to second runway
  • DAA won two Middle East airport shop contracts
  • The EU is to hold talks with US on removing time limits on wet-lease deals.


Could MSC follow Celebrity’s lead and homeport in Dublin? Pat Ward of Dublin Port put Antonio Paradiso, MD of MSC Cruises for Britain & Ireland, on the spot with a bit of nudging. Paradiso himself wasn’t ruling out the idea, nor in (yet), as he and MSC Preziosa paid a visit to the capital. Watch here as the man from MSC reveals why Ireland is a key market for the European cruise giant. See the welcoming ceremony as 70 travel agents visited the cruise ship. Picture shows Ciara Mooney ofFreedom Travel; Roisin Carberry ofTropial Sky; and Pamela Brownlee of Fly Away Travel and Cruises for You. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Despite the issues faced by the travelling journalists, the trade had a whale (and Polar bear) of a time onboard the G Expedition – represented in Ireland by John Grehan – in Edinburgh. And although the Arctic and Antarctic are niche destinations, travel agents were given key tips (including bring binoculars, sleep masks, and rent big lenses onboard) from expedition experts. Picture shows Sharon Harney of Cassidy Travel and John Grehan of, G Adventures, onboard the G Expedition in Edinburgh. See picture gallery here or connect with the album on Facebook.

    • Dublin hosted the Celebrity Cruise Line president’s cruise. Picture shows Lisa Lutoff Perlo and Jo Rzymowska celebrating the maiden visit of Celebrity Eclipse in Dublin with Paul Hackett of Clickandgo.
    • Dublin hosted the Celebrity Cruise Line president’s cruise.
    • When Celebrity Constellation emerges from dry dock on May 26, it will feature two new restaurants, including the Top Deck Burger Bar which is new to the line.
    • Emerald Waterways launched the Emerald Destiny for the rivercruise season.


The Office of Public Works confirmed that Skellig Michael, the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site located off the Kerry coast, will open to visitors on May 14th.

Dublin-based travel-tech company Stroll claimed a world with a portfolio of tours, called Stroll Exclusive which allows travellers to pick from multiple genres, from spooky strolls through Dublin’s streets after dark, to eye-opening tours of the Irish Silicon Valley.

Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland Manager Australia and New Zealand hosted eight travel agents from Australia and New Zealand, winners of a competition run by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Emirates, during Tourism Ireland’s sales mission ‘Down Under’ in late 2016, for a Black Taxi Tour of Belfast, a drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, Newgrange, Glendalough and the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience.

A delegation of 11 Irish tourism companies, is meeting with 185 meetings and incentive buyers from North and South America at the annual Meeting & Incentive Forum in Cancún. Picture shows Adrian Mooney of The K Club; Marie McKeown of Tourism Ireland; Sandra Russell of Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links; Sharon Joyce of O’Callaghan Hotels; Gillian Griffin of Adare Manor; Olwyn Horgan of Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge; Stephanie Hughes of The Westin Dublin; Orla Byrne of Druids Glen Resort; Stephanie Hayes of Clontarf Castle; Lynda Reilly of Dublin Convention Bureau; and John Callely of Odyssey International, at M&I Forum in Cancún, Mexico.

Fáilte Ireland’s Capital Grants Allocation announced released €400k for the development of King John’s Castle in Carlingford. Picture shows Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan with Jenny de Saulles, of Ireland’s Ancient East.

Dublin rose five places to 13th in the International Congresses and Conventions Association rankings. Ireland is up six places to 26th. Cork, Galway and Limerick are in the top 100, see here.

Golf Voyager, the Irish booking engine that allows golfers to custom-build their own golf package in minutes,  has been announced as the winner of the ITB China Awards in Shanghai.

Even with almost 1.5m visitors a year, the Guinness Storehouse headcount is still dwarfed by Dublin Airport’s near-30m visitors a year. The Loop in Terminal 2 will be home to the world’s first Guinness Export House, where visitors can learn about the black stuff and try in-store tasting sessions from on-hand beer specialists.

Keith Duffy of Boyzone fame and former Westlife star Brian McFadden entertained would-be conventioneers at a Fáilte Ireland event in London here.

Fáilte Ireland, and Tourism Ireland hosted a group of German media footstepping German writer and Nobel Prize Laureate, Heinrich Boll who wrote the journal Irisches Tagebuch. They visited the cottage on Achill Island where he stayed in 1958, the deserted village at Slievemore, Ceide Fields Visitor Centre, the Museum of Country Life and Ballycroy National Park and met with the Achill Heinrich Boll Association at Bervie Guesthouse, Keel.

Picture shows Joan O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Tourism Ireland; Richard Hurley, Granville Hotel; Margaret Jeffares, Good Food Ireland; and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, before the Tourism Ireland board meeting at the Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co Waterford.

  • An iReach survey of the summer holiday plans was published.
  • Maurice Pratt, marketing adviser for Tourism Ireland was a long-term target of Shane Ross’s Sunday Independent column. In an interview with Mark Paul of the Irish Times he calls Ross “the Minister in charge of ignoring tourism”?.
  • The most Instagrammed place in Ireland?
  • Phil Donnelly is collaborating with Dundara productions on a workshop for May 29th in the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth: create a winning brand & produce quality social media content
  • Tourism trade from Co. Tipperary completed Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Champions – Service Excellence’ Programme.
  • A Tourism Ireland campaign is under way in The Daily Telegraph,

Deal Watch

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* The Edison Hotel NYC, New York from €669pp, travel November. 7 nights self catering  Duna Beach Apartments, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €349pp, travel June. Over 50s offer: 7 nights half board 4* Belver Hotel Boavista, Albufeira, The Algarve from €389pp, travel November. 3 nights 4* NH Wien Belvedere Hotel, Vienna, Austria from €339pp, travel July. Visit or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €429pp, depart May 19. 7 nights self catering 2* Tamanaco Apartments, Gran Canaria from €319pp, depart June 15. 14 nights half board 3* Hotel Cala Font, Cap De Salou, Costa Dorada from €799pp, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights self catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €589pp, depart Cork August 24. 7 nights half board 3* More Hotel, Alcudia, Majorca from €529pp, depart Shannon August 26. 7 nights self catering 3* Royal Sun Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €2,059 2+3, depart June 19. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Royalton Riviera Cancun, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €2,179pp, depart June 14. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach, Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,709pp, depart June 15. Visit or call 1850 45 35 45.

Intercontinental Dublin is offering family suite packages from €460 per family per night incl. family day pass to Dublin Zoo, breakfast, Intercontinental picnic and access to leisure facilities. Available from June to August. Visit

ITAA offers: 7 nights The Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Orlando from €529pp, depart June 12. 4 nights New York shopping trip from €499pp, depart February 8 2018.  California and the Golden West tour from €2,669pp, travel between now and November.

Sunway offers: 6 nights Jews of Italy tour from €1,359pp, depart September 2. 7 nights Melodies of the Danube river cruise from €2,265pp, depart August 14. 5 day adventure tour from Shanghai to Hong Kong from €1,359pp, depart August 30. 7 nights all inclusive Da Balaia, Portugal from €1,315pp, depart May 17. 7 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, Kusadasi from €299pps, depart May 20. 7 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apts, Fuerteventura from €399pp, depart May 20. 7 nights self catering 3* Roc Lago Park Apts, Menorca from €499pp, depart May 21. 7 nights self catering 2* Carmen Miosotis Apts, Sicily from €329pp, depart May 20. 3 nights 3* Bond Place Hotel, Toronto from €535pp, travel November. 4 nights 3* Stratosphere, Las Vegas from €599pp, travel November. 3 nights 4* Doubletree by Hilton, Chicago from €645pp, travel February 2018. 3 nights taster cruise from Barcelona on board Norwegian Epic from €799pp, depart April 22 2018. 8 nights Estonia and Russia fly cruise on board NCL Getaway from €1,639pp, depart October 7. 11 nights Dubai fly cruise on board Celebrity Constellation from €1,599pp, depart November 26. Visit

Thomson offers: 7 nights full board Med cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €1,119pp, depart June 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Hotel Belvedere, Salou, Costa Dorada from €949pp, depart Knock August 1. 7 nights half board Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cal Bona, Majorca from €689pp, depart Cork June 17. 7 nights self catering Cinco Plaza, Puertyo Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €599pp, depart Shannon July 17. 14 nights all inclusive TUI Sensatori Resort Azul , Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,879pp, depart June 14. 14 nights all inclusive ClubHotel RIU Ocho Rios, Ocho Rios, Jamaica from €1,589pp. 7 nights half board TUI Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €799pp, depart May 19. 7 nights half board San Miguel Beach Club, Puerto San Miguel, Ibiza from €669pp, depart May 25. 7 nights self catering Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €499pp, depart May 31 7 nights B&B Hesperia Lanzarote, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote from €699pp, depart June 1.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Funchal, Madeira from €369pps, depart May 25. 7 nights B&B 4* Jardins d’Ajuda Suite, Funchal, Madeira from €399pp, depart May 18. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Monumental, Funchal, Madeira from €449pps, depart May 18. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Melia Madeira Mare, Funchal, Madeira from €799pps, depart May 25. 7 nights self catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, Tuscany countryside, Italy from €449pps, depart May 26. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento, Italy from €469pps, depart May 21. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Ascot, Sorrento, Italy from €669pps, depart May 28. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento, Italy from €899pps, depart May 21. 7 nights self catering 3* Ambassador Suite Apts, Riva, Lake Garda from €469pps, depart May 27. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Splendid Palace, Limone, Lake Garda from €799pps, depart May 27. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Lido di Jesolo, Venetia Riviera from €669pps, depart May 27. Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Orlando from €529pp, depart June 12. 4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €649pp, depart June 9. 3 nights Excelsior Hotel, New York from €699pp, depart June 8. 8 nights Northern Europe fly cruise on board Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas from €1,699pp, depart July 7. 7 nights Miami & Caribbean fly cruise on board MSC Divina from €1,829pp, depart August 25. 7 nights Greek isles and Croatia fly cruise on board Norwegian Star from €1,465pp, depart August 27. Visit

Travel Department is offering 7 nights B&B hotel accommodation in Madeira from €499pp for 4* or €599pp for 5*. Travel May or June. Click here or call 01 637 1600.

Wendy Wu Tours offers: 16 days Wonder of China tour from €3,590pp, depart October 29. 17 days Angkor to the Bay tour from €3,690pp, depart October 13. 13 days trails of Japan from €5,790pp, depart November 20. 26 days grand tour of China from €4,490pp, depart August 24. 12 days Vietnam at a glance from €2,790pp, depart October 24. 9 days Golden Triangle tour from €2,390pp, depart December 9.



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