Author Archives: Sixdayexpert

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Storehouse soars to 1.4m visitors in 2015

westjet aug 30

Rebecca Kelly of MSC Cruises with Splendida, the largest cruise ship go dock in Dublin.

Rebecca Kelly of MSC Cruises with Splendida, the largest cruise ship go dock in Dublin.

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

The headlines this week:

  • Guinness Storehouse soaring to 1.4m visitors this year
  • Travel Trade Business Show moves back to City
  • Aran Islands gets a chopper service instead of fixed wing
  • Cruise calls by Silversea and MSC while Royal Caribbean launches agent campaign
  • Liam Lonergan to be interviewed at ITAA Conference
  • A pint with Harry Potter in the new Smithwicks Centre

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week Aug 30 15The chances of spotting bears in Alaska’s Denali National Park are not impossible, but pretty rare.  Video of the week, posted by David Pangborn, features a bear barrel rolling down a hill. “I think he’s drunk,” said one tourist (watch here).

Watch here Ben Vezina’s bike ride through Hawkstowe Park 20km from Melbourne when he met a Kangaroo horde that he compared with a zombie apocalypse. Scarey.

And watch here the promo for Dismaland, the family theme park which is unsuitable for small children. That’s is what opened in Weston Super Mar in Somerset southern England on Thursday. Dismaland features works by 58 handpicked artists including Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer have been installed across the 2.5-acre site by English counter-culture graffiti artist Robin Banks (Banksy).

  • Last week, we posted Aer Lingus’s video with the Irish rugby team. Now have a look behind the scenes. Watch here.
  • Footage from the IAA’s Meet The Drones showcase. Watch here.
  • Using 600,000 coins, British Airways created a huge coin art piece at Heathrow airport to launch the Big British Airways Take Off campaign. Watch here.
  • Internet sensation Grumpy Cat became the first feline waxwork at Madame Tussauds. Watch here.

Headlines

Volker Lorenz, Stephen Brennan and Siobhan Bosket-McGuigan of Amadeus, Lisa Buckley of Ryanair, Maura Fahy of Fahy’s Travel in Galway and Olwen McKinney of Amadeus at the Travel Industry Business Show at Citywest, April 24 2015

The Irish Travel Industry Business Trade Show will take place in the Ballsbridge Hotel on Thursday April 7 2016 in conjunction with the AGM of the Irish Travel Agents Association. It will be a one day event and will be limited to 75 exhibitors, following feedback from the industry. Picture shows Volker Lorenz, Stephen Brennan and Siobhan Bosket-McGuigan of Amadeus, Lisa Buckley of Ryanair, Maura Fahy of Fahy’s Travel in Galway and Olwen McKinney of Amadeus at the 2015 Travel Industry Business Show at Citywest.

philip airey liam lonergan copyThe Irish Travel Agents Association annual conference in Jerez will feature a tech talk by Stephen McKenna of Atlas/Gohop and a “preserve your profit margin” chat with Ireland’s most successful travel agent Liam Lonergan of Club Travel (pictured with Philip Airey of Sunway). Agents will travel by private charter to Jerez on October 1, returning on October 4. Entertainment will include the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre (Equestrian School) & Horse Show ‘Como Bailan los Caballos Andaluces’. Dinner wil be at the Carriage Museum – located in an early 19th century winery. Excursion options include the El Puerto de Santa Maria and Cadiz, karting at the Formula 1 Circuit. The gala dinner takes place among the Cloisters of Santo Domingo, Two post-fam options take in Baelo Claudia, Bolonia, Chipiona lighthouse, Conil de la Frontera, Doñana National Park, Rota town, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Tarifa, whale watching in the Straights of Gibraltar and Vejer de la Frontera.

Paul Carty of Guinness Storehouse, Chair of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation, speaking at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards with hostess Mary Kennedy in the background April 24 2015 at DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Dublin.

Some of Ireland’s attractions have seen their daily records broken more than a dozen times this year as visitor numbers across the board increased by around 12pc. Guinness Storehouse is up 16pc to q potential 1.46m (they are predicting a more cautious 1.43m), The Cliffs of Moher are up 15pc to a potential 1.24m, with daylight emerging for the first time between them and Dublin Zoo in third place on a potential 1.1m. Dublin’s roofed attractions are =having a good summer. The Book of Kells is up 15pc, closing in on the Giant’s Causeway for fifth place, the National Gallery is up 24pc taking it past the Titanic centre to seventh place, Chester Beatty Library is up 17pc and the National Library up 13pc. The National Museum’s Collins Barracks collection, normally the poor relation of the museum’s four sites, is up 25pc. Little Museum of Dublin continues to grow apace, past 100,000 for the first timeEven the National Museum in Kildare Street, boosted by the Battle of Clontarf exhibition in 2014 and down by 9.1pc, is still ahead of 2013 levels. Picture shows Paul Carty of Guinness Storehouse receiving an Irish Tourism Award in 2015.

Executive Helicopters ec120Having started serving the Aran islands in 1970, the original Aer Arann, now Aer Arann Islands may be reaching the end of the runway following the award of the tender for air services to the Aran islands to Héileacaptair Feidhmiúcháin/ Executive Helicopters. The PSO contract is worth €1.9m per annum. Executive helicopters launched scheduled services to the Aran Islands in 2102, using an EC120 B, (also known as the Colibri, Hummingbird). Services to Inis Meán, Inis Mór and Inis Thiar will move to Galway Airport from Indreabhán in Connemara, which is 45 minutes by road form Galway. The new contract runs from October 1 2015 to September 30 2019. In 2014, 10,177 people used the service. Flight times will be 15 minutes, as opposed to eight minutes on the former Aer Arann using an BN2 Islander (A and B) and will give passengers a unique transport experience and spectacular views of Galway and the islands. Check-in will be as normal for all flights out of Galway Airport. Aer Arann’s owner since 1994 Pádraig Ó Céidigh used to joke that his airline had the most trans-Atlantic frequencies of any Irish airline, up to 25 flights per day. Under the conrtract Aer Arann provided for three daily return flights to Inis Mór and two daily return flights to Inis Meáin and to Inis Oírr on weekdays with four return flights on weekends. A separate €500,000 contract was in place to manage the three aerodromes on Oileáin Árann and two airstrips at Inis Bó Finne and Clifden with Bainistíocht Aerfoirt Teo, a subsidiary of Aer Arann Islands.

Rebecca Kelly John Spollen copyCassidy Travel started with 30th anniversary celebrations by hosting the trade on MSC Splendida on a Dublin port call yesterday, Saturday. The largest cruise ship ever to dock in Dublin Port when she arrived last May,  Splendida reversed into position a few hours later than originally planned due to tidal restrictions. Staff were blown away by the amount of people lining the Liffey to wave it off, according to Giles Hawke, MSC Cruises two-country executive director for Ireland and Britain. The decision to used Dublin was taken after the ship captain tried the reversing into position manoeuvre on a simulator after a visit to Cork. Splendida will be in Cobh from 06.30 to 18.00 today Sunday, August 30. The ship was in Ireland as part of an 11-day itinerary out of Hamburg, and this weekend’s visits will be its last until May 2016. Dublin Port is working to bring in further business through a €200m redevelopment plan, which will allow larger ships to routinely visit the port, and mean ships like Slepndida would no longer have to reverse into position. Splendida was at the center of a tragedy last March 18, when 12 of its passengers were killed during a terrorist attack on Tunisia’s Bardo Museum. Picture shows John Spollen of Cassidy Travel and Rebecca Kelly of MSC in the dining room with their guests. Listen here to John Cassidy speaking at the event and listen here to Rebecca Kelly’s’ presentation on behalf of MSC cruises.. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Cassidy Travel_2436 copy

MSC hosted 147 Cassidy Travel staff and clients, as well as some clients of Centre Travel, MD travel and 30 media. Today in Cobh MSC will host some clients of Travelfox, Shandon Travel and J Barters Travel. Pictures shows the Cassidy travel team celebrating their 30th birthday on board MSC Splendida in Dublin: Katrice Canning, Brenda Ryan, Cathy Corr, Suzanne Reynolds, Vanessa O’Connor, John Spollen, Brenda Quirke, Sandra Mooney, Carla Lawlor, Ann Marie Durcan, Ann Carroll, Shirley Webster and Lisa Cunningham. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

1MG_2158 copySilversea Cruise Lines brought Silver Cloud to Belfast, Dublin and Waterford this week, and hosted travel trade at both tbeir Belfast and Dublin stops. Amanda Middler said: “It was lovely to see Silver Cloud in Dublin this week and to be able to invite 25 of our Travel partners to come along and show case the ship. Silversea sales in Ireland are going from strength to strength and in the last six months we have shown over a 35% increase on sales YOY. We have had lots of interest in the smaller luxurious ships as guests now want to try something different and love our itineries. The guests love the All inclusive life style, butler service, choice of restaurants onboard and the different ports that our ships can go right into. Also our Asia programme for 2016 has Shorex and wifi included as well and is generating lots of interest.” Picture shows Amada Middler of Silversea and Martin Skelly, President of the ITAA. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Pete Mathers of Abu Dhabi Tourism, Beatrice Cosgrove of Etihad and Nabeel Mahmoud Al Zarouni of Abu Dhabi Tourism at the Abu Dhabi/Etihad event in the The Reisdence, Dublin, Aug 25 2015

Abu Dhabi two-country tourism director for Ireland and Britain, Nabeel Mahmoud Al Zarouni, and Beatrice Cosgrove of Etihad hosted media at a function to showcase Abu Dhabi’s new cultural offerings, concentrated on Sadayat Island and family offerings concentrated on Yas Island. Listen here  to Nabeel Mahmoud Al Zarouni outlining what is happening in the Emirate. Picture shows Pete Mathers of Abu Dhabi Tourism, Beatrice Cosgrove of Etihad and Nabeel Mahmoud Al Zarouni. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Ben Bouldin Michaela Banks1 copyRoyal Caribbean set off on this week on a nationwide journey with two Hertz vehicles this week and #Jumponboard catchline and a target of 110 agency calls (listen here). Ben Bouldin said that Royal’s Irish bookings from Ireland are up 35pc this year (listen here),Royal Caribbean’s product fits perfectly with he Irish consumer (listen here),  that the cruise line is passionate about Ireland (listen here), is investing in Ireland (listen here), doubling the size of the team (listen here) and invited the Irish trade to meet the team (listen here). The purpose of the road trip was to reach out to agents (listen here), partly by linking the trip to social media (listen here). Today 80pc of their business comes through the trade (listen here) and the trade would be protected from the cruise line going direct to the customer, despite a surge in onboard rebookings (listen here). Royal Caribbean wants to strengthen relationships with the trade (listen here) and wants to engage with more agents (listen here) as they have only been dealing with a limited number of agents (listen here). He said “we are not selective” (listen here). He said Royal Caribbean met strong competition from MSC and NCL in the Irish market in 2013 (listen here) had seen some market segmentation (listen here) and that the loss of Palma and Malaga departures in 2012 had hit Royal Caribbean’s market share (listen here) but that seat availability to Barcelona had been better in recent times (listen here) and the winter sailings from Dubai had potential (listen here). Picture shows Ben Bouldin and Michaela banks at the start of their journey. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook

hangar fire2Niall Cunningham’s Eirtech was back in the news with a fire on the roof at Hangar 3 on Wednesday morning that closed the airport for 90 minutes. Operations shut down at 7.15 and resumed at 8.45. Two aircraft were in the hangar at the time, one Cityjet and one A321, but were undamaged. Last week a DR Congo aircraft undergoing painting in the Eirtech hangar was grounded by the High Court in Dublin in a dispute between the Kimbaei regime and an American mining company.

compositeTen years after Cartrawler was sold by funder Niall and Greg Turley the business moves from strength to strength under CEO Mike McGrearty and Chief Technology Officer Bobby Healy. This week it signed a deal with Ryanair that opens up a potential 103m customers.

Cityjet’s big rebrand takes place next Friday. The airline is ramping up its branding and sponsorship portfolio, and marketing manager Martina McDermott Hurley has recently been appointed to the board.

Travel Trade

Sharon Jordan and Caroline Calvert at the Insight Vacations Conference in Venice

Picture shows Sharon Jordan and Caroline Calvert, Travel Corporation friends of Travel Extra from opposite side of the globe together in Venice where they are attending the Insight Vacations global sales and marketing conference. Teams from all over the world flew in to enjoy the Venetian hospitality and watch CEO John Boulding launch their newest product Luxury Gold as Insight firmly aligns itself in the premium and luxury escorted touring marketplace for 2016.

michaela banks jennry rafter copyThere are now 525 club travel agent members of the Royal Club in Ireland and 6,000 overall, accruing to Royal Caribbean’s Ben Bouldin, due to rise to 8,000 at year end (listen here). Club Royal events are evolving (listen here) Ben Bouldin said there was no immediate prospect of direct services from Ireland (listen here) but the cruise line may be interested in doing so in the future and made some interesting points about the mythology that surrounds the new-to-cruise business (listen here).  Michaela Banks (pictured) talked about the potential of the Irish market (listen here). Jenny Rafter (also pictured) described current competitions are open to the Irish trade (listen here).

DSC02578Picture shows Travel Counsellors visitors to Royal Princess, also on a port visit this week: Mandy Walsh, Glenda Heery, Lorraine Costello, Jennifer O’Brien, Karen Morgan-Murphy, Sharon Tiernan-Murphy, Jeanette Coughaln, Andre Bedford and Lorraine Wynne.

Croatia Tours put on a direct flight to Split to service Hvar, Makarska Riviera and Split on September 30.

The Commission of Aviation Regulation says just three agencies  have not fully renewed their applications satisfactorily for the November licensing round out of 163 applicants but CAR expects these to be finalised shortly.

joanna cooke motorcycle copyJoanna Cooke departed Tourism Authority of Thailand‘s London office. Travel Extra wishes her well on her next adventure with Visit California. Picture is of Joanna on a motorcycle taxi in Bangkok during TTM plus.

Tony Brazil’s Limerick Travel signed up for a new Dolphin back-office system to manage its sun, ski, golf, honeymoon, over 50s, groups, corporate, conference and incentive programmes. Dolphin says it has replaced two legacy systems deployed across it various business divisions with a single technology solution, automating pricing while a robotic scheduling tool automatically generates itineraries, invoices and reports. Peter Brazil said, “as we operate a mix of business across multiple travel sectors we needed a flexible technology platform, we chose Dolphin due its modular design.”

A survey from Webloyalty showed 74pc of Irish holidaymakers who used offline sources for research, then go on a website to book their holiday.

Skal’s next lunch takes place at The National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire on September 8, 12.30pm. Price for member €30, guests €35pp.

Corrie visits Irish FerriesPicture shows Coronation Street cast members Katie McGlunn, Bruno Langle, Said Khan and Mikey North on Irish Ferries’ Ulysses with chef Ronnie Crosbie . Three thousand soap fans have taken the Soaps Tour with Celtic Horizon Tours.

Travel Professionals Skillnet training: Excel Level 1, Strand Street Great, Dublin 1, September 3, 9.15am to 5pm, book here. Excel Level 2, Strand Street Great, Dublin 1, September 10, 9.15am to 5pm, book here. Time Management & Personal Effectiveness half day training, Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2, October 28, cost €70, book here. Delegation Skills class, Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2, September 22, 9.30am to 4.30pm, cost €110, book here. Consumer rights and customer care training, Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin 2, cost €160, book here.

Hotels

Data from STR Global showed Ireland was the top performing country for in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the first half of 2015. Ireland had the highest average daily rate (ADR) increase in western Europe, up 13.9p in the YTD to June, with occupancy up 6.3pc. otels in Dublin mirrored this performance, with a +22.2pc increase in RevPAR. Ireland had the second highest occupancy at 74.8pc, behind Britain (75.1pc), and followed by Malta (71.3pc). ADR grew at a faster rate than occupancy across Europe. Hotels in Europe reported a +6.2pc increase to €74.03 in RevPar.

clement gaffneyClement Gaffney was named GM of the John Malone-owned 197-room InterContinental hotel in Dublin’s Ballsbridge. A graduate of GMIT, over 25 years Clement held senior management positions at the Westbury and Jury’s Ballsbridge, managed the opening of Jury’s Heathrow and was Director of Hotels for Lough Rynn Castle in County Leitrim and Kilronan Castle in Co Roscommon.

An Italian hotel association expressed disappointment in the number of foreign visitors to Milan Expo 2015, saying that while total visitor numbers would be 16m rather than the projected 20m at the six month event by the time it closes on Oct 31, half of Italian visitors have been day-trippers and there were very few international visitors.

desmond hatton 2015 copyDesmond Hatton from Slyguff in Wexford, and one of Travel Extra’s favourite Irish hoteliers, has been appointed General Manager of the 533-room Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi. He previously managed Shangri-La resorts in Fiji, Malaysia, Philippines and the extensive Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Oman.

  • Hilton Worldwide is axing adult entertainment TV channels from its hotel rooms.
  • Marriott International will open an Edition property in Reykjavik in 2018.
  • Hilton Worldwide plans to open a hotel in Nairobi early next year.
  • A survey by Agoda found that hotel guests prefer free in-room WiFi to breakfast.

International

canada waiverCanada will require visitors from Ireland and other visa waiver countries to have Electronic Travel Authorisation in advance from March 15 2016. ETA costs Ca$7 (€4.75, less than half the ESTA charge for USA which costs US$14) and the government says most permissions will be granted within minutes. It will last for five years, three years more than the USA’s ESTA which is valid for two years. The application form and guide are already live. Documents will not be required until March 15 2016, the Canadian government said this week.

  • uberAn EU study is to determine whether Uber is a transport service or just a digital service. The number of private hire vehicles in London rose 26pc as a result of Uber.
  • The Temple of Baalshamin in the Syrian town of Palmyra was reduced to rubble by Islamic State militants, a witness said Monday in what UNESCO said was a “war crime.”
  • Juthaporn Rerngronasa, deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said TAT would devise a short and long term strategy to stimulate tourism with a focus on restoring Thailand’s reputation as a safe destination for tourists.
  • An elephant in Chiang Mai killed his keeper and carried two holidaymakers from China and their young child off into the jungle.
  • Benedict_Cumberbatch_2011Benedict Cumberbatch’s starring role in Hamlet at the Barbican has become the fastest selling ticket in London theatre history, selling out 100,000 tickets in a matter of minutes.
  • Analysis by Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry: The world is a dangerous place but that should not stop us travelling.
  • The website for Banksy’s Dismaland Bemusement Park crashed after it received 6m hits.
  • 1,000 companies in 35 countries are now signed up to Airbnb’s business programme.
  • Universal Orlando Resort will open the Fast & Furious: Supercharged ride in 2017.
  • Santa Claus flied for bankruptcy: Finland’s Santa Claus Office owes €200,000 in taxes. It will be business as usual though, according to Esko Lotvonen, mayor of Rovaniemi.
  • Six people were injured after a tour bus crashed in New York.
  • Nitama was sworn in as the stationmaster cat at Kishi train station in Japan, two months after the death of Tama.

Food and Wine

  • Dublin City University economist Tony Foley said Ireland’s alcohol taxes were damaging tourism.
  • Donal Skehan was in Lisbon filming an episode of Follow Donal, which premieres on the Food Network this October. See behind the scenes.

Aviation

Alicante_airport_terminalSpanish unions announced eight strikes, two each day during peak hours on each Friday in September at Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga and Palma, Majorca, airports.

SkyGreece Airlines, which operates flights between North America and Europe, has announced it must temporarily cease operating.

What airport is likely to emerge al Aer Lingus‘ east coast trans-Atlantic route in 2016? Speculation has been reignited by a fresh round of meetings with a procession of airports, including Dallas and Miami, since the IAG takeover was completed a fortnight ago.

ryanairRyanair and Italian airport operator SEA are to hold a joint press conference in Milan Malpensa on Wednesday announcing plans to operate from Terminal 1.  The move could involve the transfer of the Dublin route from Milan Bergamo. Ryanair is to notify the Dutch slot co-coordinator on route allocation of nine slots from Amsterdam Schipol, four daily to Dublin and five daily to Stansted. Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary is in talks to increase the number of destinations from Hamburg from 2 to 25 including Dublin.

Beatrice Cosgrove said that Etihad‘s double daily service to Melbourne will mean a minimal impact on connections to ireland after the enforced reduction of the Dublin-Abu Dhabi service to single daily form January to June next year.

Royal Air MarocImages of meal trays and plates lying scattered on a Royal Air Maroc aircraft aisle on a flight from Casablanca to Lisbon were published after reports of an alleged dispute between two cabin crew members. The airline disputed the dispute, tweeting: “We rue news reports insinuating a fight between two members of staff on a Casablanca-Lisbon flight. The plates actually fell inadvertently.”

Skytrax list of 600 world carriers nominated North Korea’s airline Air Koryo the world’s worst airline for the fourth year in a row. London based Skytrax put Ryanair among the bottom 23 as a two-star airline and Aer Lingus among the 119 three star airlines. The agency’s ratings, controversially weighted towards Asia where it does consultancy work, placed seven airlines in the five star category, all of them in Asia or Autralia: ANA All Nippon Airways Asiana Airlines Cathay Pacific Airways Garuda Indonesia Hainan Airlines Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.

Michael O’Leary predicted the “mother and father” of all fare wars this winter as airlines prepare pitched battles to control Europe’s skies.

An American couple are seeking damages of $75,000 from Aer Lingus because their 10-year-old daughter was burned when a cup of tea “came out of the cup holder and came off the tray” Earlier this year, the airline successfully fought another US lawsuit, in which it was sued for $1m (€876,000) after a Dutch woman alleged her “priceless” engagement ring and other valuables were stolen on a flight from New York to Amsterdam via Dublin.

Ralph Anker’s Anna Aero listed Gothenburg as the airport with most new routes, although it admits this was helped by the virtual closure in January 2015 of nearby Gothenburg City Airport, which resulted in several carriers (notably Ryanair and Wizz Air) shifting all their flights to the bigger airport. istanbul has the most long haul routes (and is the fastest growing airport) although Frankfurt (97) and Paris CDG (95) lead the way with the most long-haul destinations served non-stop, Paris CDG has the most (108) scheduled airlines, Germania had the most new routes and the most new European destiantions.

WestJet received the first of four Boeing 767-300 extended range aircraft.

ba san jose copyBritish Airways is to fly to San Jose from next May.

A British Airways flight with 200 passengers on board was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Siberia after a passenger’s mobile phone overheated and smoke was reportedly detected inside the cabin of the Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner.

  • Flight attendants at the Czech national carrier CSA went on a three-day strike over low pay.
  • Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies won approval this week to pick up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport after weeks of debate.
  • Two women have been arrested after police say they attacked each other as their flight arrived at New York’s Kennedy Airport from Jamaica.
  • The 12 things that annoy flight attendants, from the Huffington Post.
  • Qantas Tallaght-born CEO Alan Joyce saw his pay packet triple to €8m.
  • Aer Lingus Regional reported an increase in load factor.
  • The view from the mound: Dan Griffin of the Irish Times spent a day with the plane spotters of Dublin Airport.
  • Malaysia Airlines named travel industry veteran Charles D McKee as head of marketing to begin September 14 as part of Christophe Mueller’s team to turn the airline around.

pearse compositeIn the name of God and of the dead generations, just in time for the 1916 centenary, Patrick Pierce, the new sponsorship manager at Etihad, will be over to host the travel trade at the All Ireland during final. His predecessor Audrey Teidt, niece of Irish Olympic medallist Fred, presided over the hospitality of three successive draws in the hurling final. The other Patrick Pearse had strong Galway connections. The allegiance of this Patrick remains to be seen.

  • India opened a solar-powered airport at Cochin International Airport.
  • London City Airport pull foie gras from restaurant menus following an appeal from PETA.
  • Avolon acquire an A321-200 on lease to Vueling and delivered a B737-800 to Aeromexico.

Afloat

Irish Continental Group trebled their first-half operating profit from €5.2m to €16.4m. Passenger volumes rose 2.6pc to 701,600. Roro freight grew by 11.5pc.

danubeWhile stretches of the Danube and the Elbe are experiencing low waters once more, particularly he Danube between Regensburg and Vilshofen, companies with a prsence on the Irish market are experiencing delays.

Queen Mary 2 is set to sail a Full World Voyage in 2017 to take advantage of enhancements from a 25-day dry dock refurbishment at the Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, in May, 2016 with 30 new balcony cabins for Britannia-class passengers, and added kennel space for tthose who sish to rbing their dogs at €700 a bark.

  • Research for Royal Caribbean shows that 53pc of Irish customers take four holidays a year or more (listen here) and 60pc of guests fly to cruise (listen here). Ireland still has the highest satisfaction ratings of any nation on Royal caribbean passenger surveys  (listen here).
  • Celebrity Cruises followed Costa Cruises by cancelling calls at Istanbul over security fears.
  • London is to build a new cruise terminal on the Thames River at Greenwich.
  • The MSC Lirica will call in Shanghai on May 1 as part of its 60-day round the world Grand Voyage from Rio de Janeiro.

Deal Watch

BarcelonaClick and Go offers: 3 nights 3* AB Vila domain Hotel, Barcelona from €279pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in September. 7 nights half board 4* Beatriz Costa Teguise & Spa from €449pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, wine with evening meal, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in November. 10 nights full board Norwegian Cruise from Barcelona to Canary Islands and Madeira from €999pp incl. flights ex Dublin, 10kg carry on bag, all meals, travel January-March 2016. 7 nights B&B 4* La Isla y el Mar Hotel, Lanzarote from €1,049pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and airport transfers, travel in November. See clickandgo.com.

Travel Department Christmas offers, prices include flights, taxes, transfers and guides.: 3 nights B&B 4* Holiday Inn Berlin City West from €329pp, depart November 25. 3 nights 4* NH Brugge Hotel, Brussels from €399pp, depart November 25. 3 nights in 4* accommodation, Budapest from €349pp, travel in select dates in November and December. 4 nights B&B 3* Hotel Chopin, Krakow from €399pp, depart November 29. 5 nights 4* Grand Hotel Liberty, Riva Del Garda from €499pp, travel in select dates in November and December. 5 nights 4* Grand Hotel Liberty, Riva Del Garda from €499pp, travel on select dates in November and December. 3 nights B&B 4* Hote Palazzo Zichy, Budapest from €459pp, travel on select dates in November. 3 nights B&B 4* Falkensteiner Hotel Wien Margarethen from €399pp, travel on select dates in November and December. 3 nights B&B 4* Hotel Clarion Congress, Prague from €299pp, depart November 30, December 3 or 7. 3 nights/4 nights in 3* or 4* accommodation, Iceland from €699, travel on select dates in October.

Sunway Morocco offers, depart August 29: Flight only €349pp. 7 nights self catering 3* Intouriste Apartments from €399pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Oasis Hotel from €489pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Argana Hotel from €499pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Kenzi Europa Hotel from €549pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Agadir Beach Club from €669pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Royal Atlas Hotel from €689pp. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Founty Beach Hotel from €829pp. Sorrento offers, depart August 29: Flight only €299pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Londra Hotel from €529pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Metropole Hotel from €599pp. 7 nights B&B 2* Ulisse Deluxe Hotel from €529pp.  10 nights Norwegian Epic cruise from Barcelona from €599pp incl. flights ex Dublin and drinks package, depart December 9. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Occidental Grand Punta Canta Resort, Dominican Republic from €1,199pp incl. all taxes and flights, depart October 7. See sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Aer Lingus launched their Need Another Holiday Sale: Britain from €19.99 one way, Europe from €29.99 one way and North America from €209 on way. Sale continues until September 14, valid for travel from November 1 to April 30 2016. See aerlingus.com.

maltaLowcostbeds Malta offers, based on 7 nights, 2 sharing: 3* Blue Sea Bugibba Hotel & Apartments from €24pppn all inclusive, stay in September. 4* db Seabank Resort & Spa, Mellieha Bay from €32pppn all inclusive, stay between November 8 and December 25. 4* Hotel Qawra Palace from €32pppn half board, stay in October. 4* Hotel Santana, Qawra from €50pppn half board, stay in September. See lowcostbeds.com.

Insight Vacations is offering a 9-day tour of Spain and Portugal from €1,460pps incl. flights, transfers, accommodation, depart November 28. See insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8-day tour of Paris from €1,763pps incl. flights, transfers, meals and beverages and excursions. See uniworld.ie or call 01 775 3803.

Contiki is offering a 12-day European tour from €1,625pps incl. visits to 9 countries, flights, transfers and accommodation, depart September 19. See contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.

Tour America is offering a 7 night holiday to Kissimmee, Florida from €839pp during the October mid term break, departing October 26. Price includes return flights ex Dublin or Shannon and 7 days car hire.

Thomson offers: 7 nights self catering, Green World, Icmeler, Turkey from €469pp, depart September 7. 7 nights half board Fiesta Cala Nova, Es Cana, Ibiza from €649pp, depart September 16. 7 nights half board Kos Imperial, Psalidi, Kos from €769pp, depart September 5. 7 nights self catering Cay Beach, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €559pp, depart September 14. 7 nights half board Los Gigantes, Playa De Arena, Tenerife from €669pp, depart September 25. 7 nights Mediterranean cruise from €839pp, depart September 22. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering Seaclub, Alcudia, Majorca from €469pp, depart September 1. 7 nights B&B Reis Maris, Marmaris, Turkey from €459pp, depart September 7. 7 nights all inclusive Atlantica Thalassa, Lambi, Kos from €619pp, depart September 12. DERRY Arms Hotel7 nights self catering Alykanas, Zakynthos from €529pp, depart September 1. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

The Derry Arms Hotel in Carnlough is offering one and two-night breaks from £135pps incl. a watercolour painting class with local artist Paul Holmes.

NR_CM_COURTYARDNatural Retreats Catlemartyr, Cork launched 7 nights for the price of 5 or 5 nights fro the price of 4 for stays from September 1 till October 22. Prices from €17pppn based on four sharing a two-bed Mews. See naturalretreats.ie or call 01 685 3013.

Maldron Hotel Derry (1)Tourism NI offers, quote promo code Autumn Leaves when booking: 2 nights B&B Killyhevlin Hotel, Spa & Health Club from £117pps incl. one 4 course dinner and use of health club, round of golf for one and 30-minute spa treatment for one, available from September 1 to December 13, call 028 6632 3481. 2 nights B&B Maldron Hotel Derry from £99pps incl. a 4 course meal, bottle of sparkling wine and strawberries on arrival, available September 1 to December 13, call 027 7137 1000. 2 nights B&B Stormont Hotel, Belfast from £109pps, available September 1 to December 13, call 028 9065 1066.

Ireland

National FestivalsThe application process for the National Festivals and Participative Events Programme 2016 will open on September 7. Fáilte Ireland granted €3.5m to 214 festivals and events in 2015. Applicants can access more information at http://www.failteireland.ie/festivals. Closing date for submission of applications is 12 noon on October 12th. Only application forms submitted via the online system will be accepted. For further information events@failteireland.ie.

 

The Smithwicks Centre in Kilkenny is twelve months old. Mark McGovern says visitors are 35pc domestic and 65pc international from 30 countries, led by USA, France, Germany, Canada and Britain. Highlights of the Smithwick experience is the talking portrait room, reminiscent of the queuing facility at Harry Potter’ Escape

Tour guide Laura Walsh conducts tourists through the Smithwick's Experience Kilkenny, August 28 2015

from Gringotts ride at Universal Studios, Orlando. Even Daniel O’Connell makes a cameo appearance. Picture shows Laura Walsh conducting a tour of the experience. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

An Taisce objected to Star Wars filming on Skellig Michael.

New York based Travel + Leisure named Galway, Dublin and Cork in first, third and fourth place in their sdlection of world’s friendliest cities. Dublin was shortlisted at London’s Conferencing and Incentive Travel Awards for best short haul destination on Friday, September 25 at the London Hilton.

Fáilte Ireland’s Paul Keeley warned against tourism being “captured by lobby groups” who x overstate the negative impact of alcohol prices. Fáilte Ireland say 16pc of foreign tourists cited high alcohol prices as a disadvantage.

Dublin was named cheapest for cultural tourism in London’s Post Office Travel Money survey of 16 cities, costing €100 for major site visits compared with €397 in London, €342 in Paris and €680 in New York. Four sites were placed on the Dublin agenda (two free-of-charge): National Museum and National Gallery with the Book of Kells exhibit and a theatre event.

GIY GROW Fest 2015 takes plae in Waterford from September 11th to 13th with Joanna Blythman, Alys Fowler and Mark Diacono.

Gates open at 12noon, today for Hooley at the House which takes place on the front lawn of Westport house this Sunday afternoon. Tickets are €28.50 (teens €15), music starts at 2pm, and organisers say travel early as delays are expected in Westport due to road closures for a National Youth Championship Cycling Race. The Mayo v Dublin match will be on the big screen, and line up includes Mike Denver, Nathan Carter, Jimmy Buckley, Patrick Feeney, Johnny Brady, Lisa McHugh, Declan Nerney, the Willoughby Brothers, Hurricane Highway and the Benn Sisters. Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park will be all day (usually €21 and €16.50  for adults!) and for the Pirates Haven on the Westport House Express Train, the Swinging Ship, Pirates Plunge Log Flume Ride and the Swan Pedalo Boats are open for families.

Venues across Kildare will offer a specific Kildare themed menu with the emphasis on local products as part of inaugural Foodscape Kildare Festival as part of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh Racecourse on Sunday, September 13th. The FoodScape Marquee will showcase A Taste of Kildare with tasting dishes and samples of Kildare sourced produce while restaurants, hotels and producers will be providing a range of their signature dishes created from locally sourced produce.

Mark Graham bikeMark Graham, winner of a Travel Extra travel writer of the year award category last year, finished his cycle of the Wild Atlantic Way.

The on-again off-again Spike Island €5m redevelopment is back on the agenda.

Former mayor of Co Cork, Alan Coleman said that schools starting in August is damaging to the tourism sector.

The Dingle/Corca Dhuibhne History Interactive Timeline was launched by former UCC historian Donnchadh ó Corráin. Dr Ó Corráin also suggested that the old Dingle hospital, which now lies idle, could become a valuable resource as a national maritime museum.

Giant granny

Limerick Craft Hub and Limerick 2020 are marking the anniversary of the Royal De Luxe Granny’s visit to Limerick City of Culture with a number of events: Community Craft Corner, September 4, 11am-1pm. Drop In Knit In, September 4, 1pm-5pm and September 5, 11am-5pm. Beginners Knitting Class, September 5, 12pm-2pm.

Dublin was shortlisted for best short haul destination at the Conferencing and Incentive Travel Awards. One Young World Summit was shortlisted for Best International Conference, The Convention Centre Dublin for Best Overseas Convention Centre and Green Light Events for best use of social media.

Titanic Belfast - OutsideTo mark the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the Titanic, Titanic Belfast will host a talk with oceanographer Dr Robert Ballard, who discovered the ship.

Upcoming events in Limerick: Handel’s Agrippina, September 8. Westfest, September 10-13. All Ireland Tractor Pulling Championship, September 20. Adare to Survive, September 27.

Ireland’s Ancient East featured in The West Australian newspaper. Read the piece here.

Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Keeping up with the droneses

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

WestJet ad August 16

Aviation Authority drones event in Weston

Aviation Authority drones event in Weston

The headlines this week:

  • Etihad back to single daily for Jan-June 2016
  • Keeping up with the Droneses
  • Aviation policy: Cork independence day set for 2019
  • Aviation policy: CAR to be closed down?
  • Aviation policy: Parallel runway cleared for takeoff
  • Rose of Tralee’s next step: international tourism
  • Travel Trade fun day raises €57,000
  • Dublin 42nd most liveable city in the world
  • The politics of finishing 103rd in a Lonely Planet list
  • AG now in charge of Aer Lingus
  • Where to find out what’s new in bedbanks & GDS, Travel Extra, that’s where

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week August 23Our video of the week shows a Delta B737 being struck by lightning while waiting in a takeoff queue at Atlanta Airport. Watch here.

  • See Kev Smith’s film on Ireland’s big wave surfer Ollie O’Flaherty filmed in Lahinch. Watch here.
  • Youth hostelling with Chris Eubank. Watch here.
  • Once again, comedian Rob Brydon stars in the new P&O Cruises TV ad. Watch here.
  • What happens to your checked luggage? Watch here.
  • How to steer a 5,000 ton tanker into the Port of Galway. Watch here.
  • See Aer Lingus’ emotional promo with the Irish rugby team. Watch here.

Layout 1Headlines

The September print edition of Travel Extra will be delivered to agencies in the coming week and is available online here. This month we focus on bedbanks and technology, a fast changing sector which is increasingly being dominated within Ireland by two big players in both cases after a period of uncertainly and indeed bedbank failures (1800hotels, Chase and IHG). Travel Extra gives a comprehensive updated guide to the main players in the sector, what has happened in the last year and their plans for the year ahead. We look at the long term implications for Greece of the recent currency chaos, Dublin port’s 100 ship agenda, Holiday World’s new home in Belfast, the subtleties of the summer hotel price changes across Europe, the emergence of the A350 as aircraft of choice for Aer Lingus, Aer Lingus’ new Eurobusiness class, London’s 15-minute airport, the implications of accelerated passenger growth at Dublin airport, the war over Lufthansa’s GDS fee and the Irish Travel Industry business trade show’s move to Dublin city centre, Keith Chuter of British Airways selects his favourite holiday spot. Travel Extra’s team are already trawling the world to prepare the next edition.

beatrice Cosgorve on board a330_8872Availability of aircraft is behind Etihad’s decision to drop from double daily to single daily, January to June 2015, a daily B777 will be used instead of double daily A330. Available business class available go down from 44 to 40 and economy seats down by 120. It is likely that Etihad’s double daily will be restored when more aircraft become available. Picture shows Beatrice Cosgrove Ireland manager for Etihad.

Julie Garland, Chairperson of the Unmanned Aircraft Association of Ireland and Ralph James, Director of Safety Regulation, Irish Aviation Authority holding a Phantom 3 drone at the Irish Aviation Authority drones event in Weston, August 21 2015

Ireland to become a test site for drones? Wouldn’t that be great? Gearóid Ó Brian was speaking at the Irish Aviation Authority drones event at Weston, where he outlined the opportunities for the sector drawing on Ireland’s aviation tradition. Paschal Donohoe delivered the keynote speech (listen here) at an event which teased out the implications of increased use of drones, while barrister said there were 4,000 drones in Ireland insurers at the event said the real figure is closer to 6,000. Ralph James talked about the modern aviators and quoted NASA director on Ireland’s prospects to be a world leader in drone technology (listen here). Although videos of drones being shot out of the sky look very exciting (watch here) as are the consequences (watch here), meet the drones was an appropriate name for the event and not all of them could fly, as a succession of speakers went through health and safety and legal issues. Julie Garland, Chairperson of the Unmanned Aircraft Association of Ireland, said they would encourage “prosecution of people who post footage on YouTube which has been gathered in breach of regulations.” There were a few surprises: registration of a device as an aircraft kicks in at 20kg, which is two Ryanair carry-on bags, and drones operating close to an airport may be subject to air traffic control. The height limit is 400 feet before drones start breaching regulations. Watch here Will Goodbody;s report from the event. Picture shows Julie Garland and Ralph James, Director of Safety Regulation, Irish Aviation Authority holding a Phantom 3 drone at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

wilie walsh michael o'leary copyWillie Walsh got his parking space and his Aer Lingus staff card and car back (although at €1bn they might be a tad pricey) after the 29pc Ryanair roadblock on the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus was belatedly cleared last Tuesday. The IAG offer is open for remaining 4.23pc of shareholders until Sept 1. IAG management have already arrived at the newly acquired airline, with the new regime’s first moves most likely on catering (one daily delivery other than two and ultimately, the unions fear, outsourcing) and baggage handlers (12 hours shifts and 3×6 hours). Interestingly, it has been the bet summer for baggage hall overtime for many years with the increased US flights. Shareholders will receive payment over the next two weeks, IAG will move to delist Aer Lingus from both the Dublin and London stock exchanges by September 17 and the board of Aer Lingus must resign. An féidir leat rún a choimeád? Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry ar Raidió na Gaeltachta on what lies in store next for Aer oIngus and n=how it is good news for passengers in terms of choice.

Paschal Donohoe pressThere were no surprises from Paschal Donohoe when he launched Ireland’s first National Aviation Strategy on Thursday (read here), a 96-page document that offers lots of familiar aspirations but few commitments. Travel Extra asked the minister about some of them (listen here). Some hints: The red flag of independence (or revolution) is not yet flying over Cork but they have been given a date when the rebel county can achieve this: 2019. The Commission of Aviation regulation is still in place but the regulatory process is up for grabs with an independent review of airport charges regulation will be completed by end-2015 (Eamonn Brennan’s IAA is already in place and wiling to regulate the commercial operations currently regulated by the currently leaderless CAR). The parallel runway in DAA got what seems to be the go-ahead from the minister. Paschal Donohoe said the “new national aviation policy will see aviation as a cause, not just an effect, of economic growth.”

man taseredA genuinely shocking message from Easyjet not to bring that second bag on board. English police tasered a Belfast man on an Easyjet flight from Gatwick because he got tetchy about his bag, which seems like an over-reaction on the part of everyone involved. EasyJet’s statement: police boarded flight EZY831 from London Gatwick to Belfast on August 20 due to a passenger behaving disruptively.

dismalandA family theme park which is unsuitable for small children. That’s is what opened in Weston Super Mar in Somerset southern England on Thursday. Dismaland features works by 58 handpicked artists including Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer have been installed across the 2.5-acre site by English counter-culture graffiti artist Robin Banks (Banksy). Inspired by Banksy, Waterford city has its own graffiti art event this weekend (watch here).

aircraft stepsHoliday makers had to land in Dublin rather than Cork this week because Cork did not have landing steps tall enough. A chartered Boeing 737, who were due to fly passengers from Cork to Reus, were found to be out of hours after landing in Bulgaria. The only replacement available was a widebody Boeing 767 in Dublin but Cork Airport’s ground handling operation, Swissport, didn’t have an aircraft stairs tall enough so passengers landed at 1.15am and were bused to Cork.

Dick Henggeler and Eibhlín Henggeler (nee Moriarty) new owner of the Fels Point hotel in Tralee during the Rose of Tralee Festival, August 15 2015

In ten years time it would be nice not to have to explain to anyone internationally what the Rose of Tralee is,” said Dick Henggeler as he surveyed the events of the Rose of Tralee festival last weekend (listen here) and launched a campaign to establish it on the international tourism calendar. Dick and Eibhlín (nee Moriarty, from Killarney, pictured) are the parents of Dorothy Dott Henggeler, the 2011 Rose who became well known throughout the travel industry through her roll on the New York team of Tourism Ireland before succumbing to cancer in 2013 (watch tribute here). “I couldn’t just stay crying, although I did a lot of that,” Eibhlín said (listen here). Their vision for the festival: a rebranded Rose Hotel, a permanent dome to serve as a conference centre to be completed in 2018 (listen here). The journey begins in 2016, as explained by Dick Henggeler and festival co-ordinator Simon Cronley (listen here), when 67 different Roses will be brought to Tralee to participate in the parade and ball before the 32 finalists are chosen for the TV event (listen here), which attracted a peak of 760,300 viewers. As Dick says: “there has to be something beyond August” (listen here). He promised the next step would bring a new wave of wow (listen here).

Boston Rose, Sarah Hogan, Louth rose Jenny Hanlon, and Perth Rose Denise Lynch take a selfie during the parade at the Rose of Tralee festival, August 15 2015

The speech of the weekend (and perhaps the entire 56 year history of the event) was, appropriately, delivered by outgoing Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh (listen here), where she talked about the festival’s role in the empowerment of women. Dick Henggeler also spoke about the enablement of women (listen here), and how the festival has moved beyond gowns and high heels (listen here) to become a showcase for modern female role models (listen here). He also stressed the festival’s original role in the enablement of the diaspora (listen here) and the growing phenomenon that is the fashion show (listen here), It is all a far cry from the Lovely Girls competition parodied by Graham Lenehan and Arthur Matthews’ Father Ted back in 1996 (watch here), an unfair satire that may have contributed to the loss of sponsorship and near-crash of the entire festival in 2004 before it was salvaged by Anthony O’Gara and John McCarthy. Picture shows Boston Rose, Sarah Hogan, Louth rose Jenny Hanlon, and Perth Rose Denise Lynch take a selfie during the parade. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Suwnay, winners of the Travel Industy Fun Day competition, August 16 2015:Dermot Byrne, Shelly Osborne, Barry Hammond, Niall Sweeny. Front row: James Kenny, Holly Heffernan. Missing: James Fleming.

Temperatures reached a Majorcic 20 degrees at the Travel Fun Day 2015, the first year with complimentary access, Ice Cream and a BBQ for the 800 people who turned up on the day. Sharon Jordan 2015 Chair of the Travel Funday committee said the decision to make the day as inclusive as possible was a success. Throughout Sunday we were delighted to raise almost €7,000 in raffle ticket sales and prior to that up to €50,000 was gathered in sponsorship. We hope to have final figures n the coming weeks. All we know is that the Travel Trade gave generously and the charities of the Laura Lynn Foundation, Dogs Aid, Saving Dylan, Irish Autism Ireland, Enable Ireland and Our Ladies Hospice, Harold’s Cross will be receiving substantial donations from the Travel industry. We would like to thank the sponsors of the event and everyone who attended on the day. Picture shows Sunway, soccer team, runners-up in the competition::Dermot Byrne, Shelly Osborne, Barry Hammond, Niall Sweeny.Front row: James Kenny, Holly Heffernan. Missing: James Fleming. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Tom Hall angkor wat compositeTrinity College is the surprise inclusion in Tom Hall‘s list of top 500 tourist “must-see sights of all time” for Lonely Planet: 1 Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 2 Great Barrier Reef, 3 Machu Picchu, Peru, 4 Great Wall of China, 5 Taj Mahal, India, 6 Grand Canyon, USA, 7 Colosseum, Rome, 8 Iguazu Falls, Brazil-Argentina, 9 Alhambra, Granada, 10 Hagia Sophia, Istanbul. Hall included six Irish sites: 103 Giant’s Causeway, 224 Newgrange, 378 Cliffs of Moher, 424 Titanic Centre, Belfast, 468 Trinity College, Dublin and 497 Rock of Cashel. Where were Sceilig Mhichíli, the Céide Fields and Sliabh Liag? Over to you Tom.

compositeHow bankable is a 1.2pc share of a top 500 list or a top finish of 103rd place? While Fáilte Ireland celebrated the performance and RTÉ declared that Ireland was punching above its weight as an international tourism destination (watch here), We at Travel Extra’ are more circumspect. Eoghan Corry (listen here) said on RnaG: Point-of-view lists are only important in that you need to be getting your honeypot attractions onto them regularly and in a good position. To be taken seriously as a tourist destination we need to be in the top ten, or at east the top twenty. Not to make the top 100 is a very poor performance indeed. These lists serve as click-bait for the product and feed other lists and destination websites who all tend to feed off each other. If we can’t make the top 100 in London in New York, where the Ireland brand is strong, we will have a lot more trouble making the lists in new tourism markets such s Beijing and Delhi.

jonOver at the Economist Intelligence Unit, Jon Copestake’s annual Global Liveability Index placed Dublin in 42nd place out of the 140 cities, up five places from 47th last year. Melbourne is the world’s most liveable city for the fifth consecutive year in ahead of Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Adelaide and Calgary. Vancouver was ranked first 2002 to 2011 but slipped after a highway closure on Vancouver Island. The five least livable were: 140 Damascus Syria, 139 Dhaka Bangladesh, 138 Port Moresby PNG, 137 Lagos Nigeria, 136 Tripoli Libya.

Travel Trade

John Cassidy Travel begins its 30th anniversary festivities with an event on board MSC Splendida next week.

on board celebrity aug 15 2015 copyCelebrity cruise lines hosted the trade on board Silhouette last weekend. Picture shows Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises, Tanya Airey of Sunway, Deirdre Sweeny of Sunway, Marissa Rushe of Aer Lingus, Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus, Claire Dunne of Travel Broker, Raymond Dunne of Travel Broker, Aisling Butler of Trailfinders, David Hayeems of Trailfinders and Richard Bolton of Celebrity Cruises.

john grehanJeff Collins Best4Travel has appointed John Grehan as General Manager taking on responsibility for the management and growth of the retail outlets and developing product for the group’s websites. Best4Travel currently operates 6 retail outlets alongside online divisions and employs 40 people.

Clem Walshe-headed Lowcostholidays Ireland reported a successful effort to grow their social media channels to 183,000 Facebook with a 13pc increase in engaged daily page users on Facebook and a 3pc increase in conversion rate, an increased following on Twitter by 482% with engagements up 382pc.

Travel Agent Sally Black gives 15 reasons for using a Travel Agent in the Huffington Post, “I have the best, most misunderstood job in the world.” She argues that travel agents are NOT pushy, they protect consumers, save them time, do not cost more, can match online prices and rates that consumers can not, they have contacts and understand the fine print, offer specialised expertise and priceless advice, prevent hassles, babysit reservations, offer affordable payment plans and work as troubleshooters. And they are all inclusive.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation is drafting a language scheme in accordance with the Official Languages Act 2003.

Hotels & Beds

Serge DuriavigNight swapping, founded by Serge Duriavig (pictured) has now reached: 110,000 members in 160 countries, and says it is currently gaining momentum at the moment in Ireland with hosts in Bray, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Lisburn, Monaghan and Wexford. Members host other NightSwappers at their place, and earn ‘Nights’ to be used as a virtual currency and allow them to then be hosted for free by other members on the platform worldwide. If you can’t host, then you can buy nights from NightSwapping from €7 – €49. Kate Pringle of Nightswapping says: It’s different to Airbnb because there is no exchange of money between members, and more secure than couch surfing because you know what you’re getting thanks to a way of rating each accommodation on the website from 1-7. The travelling experience is a lot more culturally rich thanks to the ‘exchange’ concept at the core of NightSwapping so people often share meals and activities.

jean o'connellWork is to begin immediately on the refurb and rebrand of the Rose Hotel in Tralee where Travel Extra heard Jean O’Connell (pictured) outline plans for what is currently known as Fels Point Hotel (listen here), Owner Dick Henggeler said the hotel would be four star plus rather than five star (listen here) and he was looking at Killarney (listen here), developing the hotel as if it was in Killarney (listen here). Dick told Travel Extra why he got involved (listen here), how he was blown away when he came to the festival with his daughter Dott (listen here), and noted that Europe and hotels are both in vogue for investors (listen here),

  • Starwood launched the Sheraton Grand brand to be added to 100 Sheraton hotels, both existing and new builds, by early 2017
  • Design Hotels welcomed eight new members.
  • The 7,351 room First World Hotel Malaysia is back on top as the Guinness World Record holder for the World’s Largest Hotel following a renovation. The three-star property hed the title with 6,118 guestrooms between 2006 and 2013, but lost to the 7,117 Venetian and Palazzo in Vegas, followed by the 6,852 room MGM Grand also in Vegas. The Abraj Kudai Mecca will be the largest hotel in the world when it opens in 2017. Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower with 1542rooms is sometimes counted as ghe largest by area.
  • IHG’s lifestyle brand hotel Even is getting ready to open in Manhattan and Brooklyn by the end of the year.
  • Marriott is to open a Courtyard Belgrade City Centre in Republic Square.
  • Airbnb on WheelsStarwood is to open a new W Amsterdam next month. The W Los Angeles Downtown is lated to open in early 2019.
  • Airbnb is renting out converted vans — dubbed “taxi hotels” — for $22 a night.
  • Mrbnb has launched for the gay male community in France and intends expanding to USA.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton opened a new property in Reserva del Higuero, Costa del Sol.
  • Hawaii’s Aqua Hospitality and Aston Hotels & Resorts will merge under the Aqua-Aston Hospitality banner.

International

bangkok bombForward bookings to Thailand have been unaffected by events on Monday. John Spollen of John Cassidy travel said normally there is a halt in bookings after an event like this but this time that did not happen. Bookings have not slowed down. Sunway said that there were no calls in relation to bookings already made and still continue to receive enquiries so we are experiencing little impact. Joanna Cooke of the Thailand Tourist Board reports very few cancellations, a few itinerary changes and many tour operators reporting new bookings for August, rest of 2015 and 2016. Tourism Authority of Thailand said tours in Bangkok are continuing as normal and that the Erawan shrine was not promoted to Irish tourists. The DFA issued no fresh warnings to holiday makers from Ireland other than to exercise extreme caution and continued to advise Irish citizens in Thailand to register on their citizens abroad database.

  • The designation for “casual business travellers” in the new India e-visa, available to Irish travelling public since last week, has been casing some confusion.
  • US republican party presidential front-runner Donald Trump called for an end to the J1 visa programme.
  • Disney unveiled plans to build Star Wars theme parks at Disneyland, California and Walt Disney World, Florida. Construction begins in 2017.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says women posing nearly naked for photos in Times Square are breaking the law and undermining efforts to keep the tourist area family friendly. Things may be about to get worse for the Gov. The women’s organisation GoTopless will launch its first Nipple Pride Parade in New York City today, the 8th annual GoTopless Day
  • Baggage checks are set to be enforced on the high-speed Thalys rail line after Friday’s foiled apparent militant action.
  • Florida has set a new record with 54.1m visitors in the first half of 2015. A hand grenade was hurled and shots were fired at officers guarding Istanbul’s Dolmabache Palace
  • In a SeaWorld shakeup, Peter J Crage was appointed chief financial officer and Anthony Esparza was appointed chief creative officer.
  • Russia proposed visa-free travel amongst the BRIC nations in a bid to boost the country’s tourist industry, which has been hit by the falling ruble and travel restrictions for Russian officials.

Food & Wine

Mark Murphy and Muireann NicGiolla Ruaidh, Dingle Cookery SchoolThe Restaurants Association say that food festivals, gourmet trails, farmers’ markets and dining experiences will mark out the winner of its food town award, which has been separated from the Irish Restaurant Awards “due to its success in 2014.” TJudges will look at local producer/supplier networks utilised and promoted by local businesses. plans for future growth and investment into the food and hospitality industry at a local level , education, training, development and employment. Dingle was top foodie town in Ireland in 2014. Enrty forms availabe on foodietowns.ie. Picture shows Mark Murphy of Dingle Cookery School and guests including tour guide Fiona Lane.

lolitaSoolnua’s Ice Cream index leaderboard closes this week: 1 Lolita, Ljubljana, Slovenia (pictured), 2 Giggi Gelateria, Bournemouth, England, 3 Valdís, Reykjavík, Iceland, 4 Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream, St Louis, USA, 5 Grand Union Café, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 6 Nicecream Factory, Virginia, USA, 7 Gelateria NIVA, Cannes, France, 8 The Cooking Ape’s Dream Creamery Frankfurt, Germany, 9 Dvor Jezeršek, Zgornji Brnik, Slovenia, 10 Coolhaus LA, USA.

English trade union Unite is waging a campaign to get the 430-strong Pizza Express restaurant chain to drop the 8pc administration fee it takes from staff tips paid on a credit card.

The 39th annual Kinsale Gourmet Festival takes place October 9-11. This year’s event includes Mad Hatters (tickets are nearly sold out), a five-course Taste of West Cork dinner and the Fruits de Mer Luncheon, which includes the Ireland v France rugby match. Buy tickets here.

Aviation

ryanairRyanair’s three daily to Barcelona and Madrid in winter may be the first shots in the much anticipated winter war at Dublin airport.

Ryanair has until Wednesday to confirm its Amsterdam slots for four flights to Dublin and five to Stansted.

Martina McDermott of CityJet

CityJet has appointed Martina McDermott Hurley, Head of Marketing and Communications to the Executive Management Board. She will oversee a major rebrand of the airline to be revealed on September 4th.

Aer Lingus ground handling is losing Etihad to Swissport in October but is likely to gain prospective Oneworld partners American Airlines.

shannon award 2014Both Cork and Shannon airport (last year’s winners) were shortlisted for the global marketing award for airports under 4m passengers at this year’s World Routes Marketing Awards ceremony on September 21st in Durban. Picture shows Shannon airport’s Declan Power receiving last year’s award at Routes in Las Vegas.

The losing streak in oil prices, the worst since 1986, looks set to continue, meaning good news for unhedged airlines like Cityjet and American Airlines.

Ros Wynne from Dublin who works with Atlantic Aviation Group in Shannon won the Gold Medal in Aircraft Maintenance at the 43rd WorldSkills competition in São Paulo, Brazil

Ryanair is to appeal the court case it lost in Manchester which extended its liability to pay compensation to delayed passengers who experienced delays from two to six years. The lawyers who brought the case say Ryanair could be liable for £500m, while Ryanair says it will appeal the case and even if it loses liability will be no more than €5m.

30names_Aug20Ryanair attracted a record 250,000 Facebook followers in six weeks to its ‘30 Names 30 Planes’ competition.

England’s Civil Aviation Authority is enforcing legislation to make Aer Lingus, Wizz Air and Jet2 change their compensation policies to pay compensation for flights disrupted by “ordinary technical faults.”

The Air Baltic co-pilot breathalysed in Oslo was sentenced to six months in jail, the same as a former BA flying officer in Oslo in 2003, after showing a reading of 1.4. The cabin crew both showed 10, and the captain 0.4. The legal limit for flying is 0.2, most country’s limit for driving is 0.8 (on a lighter note this is from an earlier era).

Qantas has ordered eight B787-9s to replace five of its ageing B747s on international routes,

Emirates Cabin crew profile 1 copyEmirates are to hold a cabin Crew Open Day on Saturday, August 29th at the Hilton Hotel Charlemont Place, Dublin.

Fraport AG is to take over 14 airports in a deal worth €1.23bn under the Greek bailout.

Etihad Airways will introduce a new fares structure and baggage allowance policy from September 14 with eight fare types: economy breaking deals, economy saver, economy value and economy freedom; business breaking deals, business saver and business freedom and baggage reduced to 45 x 72 x 90cm. On flights between Abu Dhabi and Dublin, the allowance for passengers flying in economy will be two bags weighing up to 23kg, business and first are allowedtwo bags up to 32 kg each.

British Airways’ B787-9 to offer an economy seat that is wider by half an inch.

A retired social worker was prevented from boarding a flight in Canada because an all-female security crew refused to frisk him.

Fore: a small panel door from an American Airlines A321 landed on a North Carolina golf course.

Virgin Australia launched a new business class seat it claims is “the world’s longest and widest fully lie-flat bed in domestic business class.”

The latest consumer report from the US Department of Transportation, says airline complaints are up 20pc in the first half of the year.

SAS launched a hand baggage-only fare to commence September 8.

Etihad Airlines Production At Gino Bertuccio's Home In Coral GablesThe three-room suites in The Residence on Etihad’s A380 superjumbo aircraft from New York to Abu Dhabi have been selling well at $32,000 before it comes into service on December 1. Gino Bertuccio (pictured) was the first customer to book.

Miracle on the Hudson‘ pilot Chesley Sully Sullenberger has criticized the proposed $4 billion revamp of LaGuardia airport as it does not extend the length of the airport’s short runways.

Qatar Airways is increasing flights from Doha to Asmara to 5w from September 7. From December 9, flights from Doha to Dhaka increase to double daily.

CityJet extended its partnership with UTV Radio Solutions by sponsoring Call Coony with Aidan Cooney on Dublin’s Q102.

TCS World Travel private jet operator partnered with Four Seasons to offer Secret Escapes packages in 2016, which includes visits to the Great Barrier Reef, Bora Bora, Udaipur, India and the Serengeti Plain.

congo ariways websiteThere were protests when one of the two A320s owned by new DR Congolese national airline La Société Congo Airlines was grounded in Dublin where it is being serviced by Eirtech by the High Court, because US mining company Miminco LLC claimed it was owed $11m by the Kabila government. The original Miminco judgement was controversial as it was given in a US court even though the DRC had not been served with the petition to confirm the award. Ownership of the airline is divided between the DR Congo Government and local investors, foreign shareholders and the airline’s employees, with US$35m in initial capital. DR Congo has been without a national airline since Lignes Aeriennes Congolaises (LAC), which went bankrupt in 2003 and the backers are bidding to be removed from an EU blacklist which applied to all Congolese airlines.

Home truths from Juan Jose Carlos in the Economist: This writer has many times vowed never to travel on Ryanair again after a bad flight, only to return to the fold, seduced by cheap airfares. It seems that, when booking a flight, convenience and price remain the two main considerations. Passengers want a direct flight on a date and time that suits them and they want it as cheaply as possible. The quality of service may have an impact on their journey but not their decision-making.

The 15pc growth rate means Dublin Airport will be 3m over capacity at the end of 2018, analysis by Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry in the Irish Independent.

Afloat

norwegian escapeNorwegian Cruise Line’s largest ship the 4,200 passenger Norwegian Escape, floated out of the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany in advance of its inaugurals in Hamburg on October 22 and Miami on November 14.

EIB agreed a €100m loan to upgrade Dublin Port.

Water levels rose on Europe’s cruise rivers leading to an end to weather-related cancellations on the Rhine and Danube although Viking River Cruises continued to cancel sailings on the Elbe this week.

A-Rosa’s 202-passenger Aqua collided with a freight barge on the Rhine River in Düsseldorf, Germany, injuring 11 passengers.

Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s third Oasis-class cruise ship, will be the first vessel in the fleet to feature the Splashaway Bay aqua park for kids.

Viking Ocean Cruises is removing and refitting shower glass on its new ship, Viking Star after incidents in which they shattered without provocation.

Disney have imposed a limit of two bottles of unopened wine or six beers for boarding passengers and increased corkage fee to $25 from $20 from Sept 30. 2015.

MSC Cruises plans to make its first sailing to China when newly-renovated MSC Lirica calls in Shanghai on May 1, 2016.

CPP_8596_lowHurtigruten have named Lewis Pugh, UN appointed Patron of the Oceans, as first ambassador of ‘The Hurtigruten Foundation’ to raise awareness of challenges in the Arctic, Antarctica and Norwegian coast

Holland America is to relax its formal night dress code.

Costa Cruises cancelled stopovers in Turkey for the 2015 season.

Deluxe Stateroom and Penthouse passengers on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will be provided one free hour per guest, per day

Royal Caribbean is to group its 2,800-plus shore excursions into seven special interest categories: Active Adventures, Family Connections, Royal Tour Challenge, Culture and Sights, Culinary Delights, Caring Discoveries and the Royal Premium Tour Collection.

Crystal Cruises will expand WiFi to all luxury guests from August 30.

Deal Watch

lanzaroteSunway Lanzarote offers, depart Dublin, September 26: Flight only from €399pp. 11 nights self catering 2* Los Pueblos Apartments from €499pp. 11 nights self catering 3* Hyde Park Lane Apartments from €549pp. 11 nights all inclusive 3* HL Paradise Island Apart-hotel from €919pp. 11 nights B&B 4* Los Fariones Hotel from €919pp. 11 nights B&B 5* Volcan Lanzarote Hotel from €1,089pp. Menorca offers, 7 nights, depart August 29: 2* Hi Binimar Apartments, Cala’n Forcat from €599pp self catering. 3* Los Naranjos Apartments, S’Algar from €849pp self catering. Other offers: 14-night Israel and Mediterranean cruise on board the Celebrity Silhouette from €1,399pp, depart October 3. 8-day tour of Christmas markets in Austria, Germany and Switzerland from €1,499pp, depart November 29. 7-nights Luxury AmaWaterways river cruise on the River Seine from €1,679pp, depart September 10. 7 nights B&B 4* Bali Mandira Resort, Bali from €1,119pp, travel February 2016. 3 nights 3* Circus Circus Resort Hotel, Las Vegas from €655pp, travel February 2016. See sunway.ie.

Lowcostbeds Croatia offers, based on 7 nights 2 sharing: 3* Hotel Odisej, Mljet from €22pppn half board, depart Sept 5. 4* Hote Lapad, Dubrovnik City from €39pppn B&B, stay in Oct. 5* Admiral Grand Hotel, Slano from €50pppn half board, depart Aug 25 or Sept 25. 4* Hotel Kompas, Dubrovnik City from €74pppn B&B, depart September 1. See lowcostbeds.com.

ITAA offers: 7 nights 4* Club Marthas, Cala D’Or, Majorca from €1,102 incl. return flights ex Dublin. 7 nights Bitacora Apartments, Lanzarote from €299pps incl. return flights ex Dublin, depart November 15. 1 night B&B 3* Imperial Hotel/3* President Hotel on Russell Square, Holborn from €299pp incl. match ticket to Arsenal v Newcastle, depart December 5.

Marine Court Hotel, BangorTourism NI offers: 3 nights B&B Maryville House Tearooms & Boutique from £270 incl. afternoon tea, available Sundays-Thursdays until September 30, call 028 9068 1510. 1 night B&B Ramada Da Vinci’s Hotel, Derry from £89pps incl. 3 course evening meal for two, bottle of wine or a walking tour of Derry city, available until Dec 31, call 028 7127 9111 or visit davincishotel.com. 1 night B&B Marine Court Hotel, Bangor from £99.99 per room incl. lunch and dinner with wine, available Sunday-Thursday until Aug 31, call (028) 9145 1100.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* HRC Hotel, Madrid from €239pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in September. 3 nights 3* AB Viladomat Hotel, Barcelona from €239pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in September. 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, Olhao, Algarve from €299pp incl. return fights, transfers, taxes and charges, travel in November. 4 nights Express by Holiday Inn Dubai Jumeirah hotel from €599pp incl. return flights, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in November. See clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Topflight 5* all inclusive Cancun offers: 7 nights Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort from €1,799pps incl. $1,500 resort credit, return flights, baggage and resort transfers, travel August 23 to October 15. 7 nights Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa resort from €2,099pps incl. return flights, baggage and resort transfers, travel August 22 to September 4. 7 nights Secrets The Vine from €2,056pps incl. return flights, baggage, resort transfers, depart October 1-31. See topflight.ie or call 01 2401 700.

EGY_SES_78124Thomson offers: 14 nights half board 4* Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €589pp, depart Dublin September 7. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Belvedere, Salou from €609pp, depart Shannon August 28. 7 nights full board on board Thomson Spirit Black Sea Explorer, Dalaman, from €849pp incl. visits to Turkey, Greece, Ukraine and Bulgaria, depart Dublin September 7. 7 nights all inclusive 4* H10 Timanfaya, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €639pp, depart Dublin November 22. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Falcon offers: Flights from Dublin to Majorca from €59pp one way. 7 nights self catering 1* Bellino, Hersonissos, Crete from €459pp, depart August 30. 7 nights self catering 3* Golden Gate, Kusadasi, Turkey from €509pp, depart September 5. 7 nights half board Sol House Mallorca, Majorca from €579pp, depart September 3. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Ialyssos, Trianda, Rhodes from €689pp, depart September 2. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Holiday Village, Marmari, Kos from €1,849 for two adult and one child or from €2,529 for two adults and two children, depart September 5. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Travel Department is offering a 7-nights tour of Malta and Gozo for €899pp incl. B&B accommodation at San Antonio Hotel & Spa, no single room supplement, taxes, transfer on arrival and flights ex Dublin. Depart October 29. See traveldepartment.ie or call 01 637 1600.

lasvegas1Tour America offers: 4 nights 4* Linq Hotel, Las Vegas from €719pp incl. return flights, depart December 11. 7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €629pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart November 19. 3 nights Beacon Hotel, New York from €789pp incl. return flights, depart November 12. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Caribe Hotel, Cancun from €1,339pp incl. return flights, depart October 14. See touramerica.ie.

Ireland

FINNISH TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS GIVE NORTHERN IRELAND A BIG THUMBS UP!

A group from Finnish travel agency Kon-Tiki Tours visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI. Picture shows the group in Ballygalley, Co Antrim, with Maarit Kärkkäinen of Tourism Ireland.

Heritage week events began yesterday and will take place throughout the 26 counties this week celebrating the theme of industrial heritage, see calendar here. PDF event guides are available for each county. Tourism Ireland produced a video showcasing events in Kilkenny (watch here). Manor House Hotels is the official accommodation partner of the annual week-long celebration of the country’s past. Heritage open days in the six counties take place on September 12-13.

TARGETING THE DIASPORA IN MILWAUKEEPicture shows Minister Joe McHugh,with Marie McKown (left) and Louise Cooney of Tourism Ireland, at this year’s four-day Milwaukee Irish Fest, which claims to be the largest celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the United States with an audience of 150,000 visitors.

The Irish Craft Beer Festival returns to the RDS in Dublin from August 27 to 29.

Lighthouse 2Picture shows Limerick Radio Club members Harry O’Loughlin and Simon Kenny at the base of Loop Head lighthouse where ham radio operators made 923 contacts with counterparts in 49 other countries as part of the International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend.

US travel and adventure show The Road Less Travelled, presented by explorer Jonathan Legg Explores the Wild Atlantic WayJonathan Legg, visited Ireland this week. Their itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, included visits to Dingle Cookery School, cooking with Rachel Allen, Jameson distillery, Tullamore Dew and the Dingle Distillery.

Postcards from the Edge: Read here South African travel writer Graham Howe’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Michael Ring hosted the first meeting of the new Tourism Leadership Group.

Dublin was voted second most friendly city by Condé Nast readers.

And finally

Conor mcmahonPicture shows Travel Extra‘s Conor McMahon on assignment at the European Forum Alpbach in Austria. The Forum celebrates it 70th year and brings together some of Europe’s best thinkers.

Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Super Tuesday looms for IAG

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

WestJet ad August 16

The Perseids meteor shower, visible on Wednesday

The Perseids meteor shower, visible on Wednesday

The headlines this week:

  • IAG-Aer Lingus takeover complete this Tuesday
  • Irish passport holders can access India by e-visa
  • Travel Trade fun day takes place today
  • Big plans for Rose of Tralee festival
  • Pat Dawson to be honoured in Spain

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week August 16Our video of the week is Air New Zealand’s Men In Black safety video. Watch here. Last year’s Safety in Paradise (watch here) was criticised by feminists for using underwear models. It follows a tradition of innovative New Zealand safety videos, including 2013’s outdoor version featuring the Down-born TV adventurer Edward “Bear” Grylls, the Hobbit-themed safety video of 2012 and their famous naked (body-painted) “nothing to hide” safety video back in 2009.

  • See WestJet flight attendant Michael McAdam’s entertaining safety demonstration. Watch here.
  • Talk about a cliffhanger: Passersby in Istanbul save a tourist’s rental car from plunging into the Bosphorus Strait by sitting on the bonnet. Watch here.
  • See Spencer Seabrooke set the world record for the longest free solo slackline — 300 metres in the air, no harness. Watch here.
  • See Movietone’s vintage footage of Concorde training in Shannon. Watch here.
  • Inside Ryanair’s graduate programme. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland’s promo for Bram Stoker Festival, October 23-26. Watch here.
  • Multan is Qatar Airways’ seventh destination in Pakistan. Watch here.

Headlines

willie walsh_9312Tuesday will see the completion of the IAG-Aer Lingus takeover, we are still waiting for the Ryanair acceptance of the IAG bid. Willie Walsh said he intends to update investors in November on IAG’s detailed plans for Aer Lingus.

Another embassy queue we will not miss. From yesterday, India Independence day, Irish passport holders can access India by e-visa. Our thanks to India’s ambassador Mrs Radhika Lal Lokesh in getting this measure implemented. Ireland, Belgium, Britain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden are among 36 countries added to the e-Visa facility, making a total of 113 countries. Seven more airports are being added to the list of airports where tourists can land to avail of this facility.

fun dayThe Travel Trade fun day takes place today in Wanderers Rugby club 11am-4pm. Committee chair Sharon Jordan says that entrance is FREE this year, and that includes a BBQ. So far we have raised over €50,000 for some amazing charities. But we are not finished yet and at the moment the most important thing we need is that you and your family and friends to come along on the day and support this event.

Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra and 2014 Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh at the Rose Ball in Tralee, August 14 2015

DAA and Cityjet are among the sponsors of the Rose of Tralee festival this week. The festival parade was watched by 28,000 people last night, before which visiting journalists were briefed on big plans for the festival. A permanent dome could be in place as early as 2018. All 70 centres will send Roses to the 2016 event and while numbers will be whittled down to the media-friendly 32 on Sunday, all the Roses will be able to participate in the parade. Maritna McDermott of Cityjet was there to help get formalities under away, as were judging panel members Stephen McNally, president of the IHF and Paul O’Kane of the DAA. Travel Extra toddled off to the Rose of Tralee Festival this weekend to participate in a fascinating Rose ball and chick if any of the 32 contestants really have “the truth in her eyes ever dawning” or was it all an elaborate 1845 Ríocht ruse. And if she does have the truth in her eyes, how can we tell? The Rose of Travel festival is not how much it has evolved, but how it has stayed so close to its roots. The contest too has been transformed by Maria Walsh (pictured with Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry), a pioneer, the first gay Rose and a woman who mentored female empowerment for times in the course of her speech to the Rose Ball on Friday. What an act to follow. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

ryanairReturning to the departure gate to revisit last week’s story about Ryanair’s 10m passenger in a single month, Aeroflot reached 10m passengers in one month in July 1970 and put in many more 10m months before the collapse of the Soviet Union, reaching 100m passengers a year in 1976. That puts Ryanair back to number seven in joining the 10m club, but it is still a great achievement and likely that they will be turning in 13m in a month homepagewithin four years.

Irish Airbnb hosts will be hit with unexpected tax bills when the company announced that it is cooperating with the Revenue Commissioners in a clampdown on income tax payments dating back to May 2014. Revenue stated that homeowners letting out rooms on the website on a short-term basis are not eligible for the rent-a-room tax scheme.

Travel Trade

*** NO REPRODUTION FEE **** Pat Dawson, CEO, ITAA.ITAA CEO Pat Dawson will be awarded the Media of the Order or Civil Merit later this year at a ceremony hosted by the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland, José María Rodríguez-Coso. The order recognises “the civic virtue of officers in the service of the Nation, as well as extraordinary service by Spanish and foreign citizens for the benefit of Spain”.

Dubai Tourism hosted a trade lunch in Ely Wine Bar, Dublin. Ian Scott reported 28,000 Irish visitors in H1 2015, up 15pc YOY in May and up 13pc Ian Scott of Dubai Tourism Board and Enda Corneille of EmiratesYOY in June. As always, there is a host of new attractions and hotels opening in Dubai, including the Palazzo Versace hotel, which will open on October 15. Picture shows Ian Scott with Enda Corneille of Emirates. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

  • Travel Professionals Skillnet training: Free cybersecurity information day, 14 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, August 18 9am-2pm, book here.
  • Fly Away Travel in Mayo are in search of a travel consultant.
  • Ciara Mooney of Freedom Travel has opened her new booth in the Tesco shopping centre in Naas, the second largest Tesco on the island.
  • Lowcostbeds launched their #giveusatry Twitter campaign for yesterday’s Ireland v Scotland rugby friendly. One third of lowcostholidays web traffic comes through mobile — 34,000 people have downloaded their mobile booking app.
  • Patrick Kennedy new Paddy Power CEOCarTrawler appointed Patrick Kennedy (pictured), deputy governor of BoI and former Paddy Power chief, as non-executive chairman.
  • McComb’s Coach Travel appointed Duffy Rafferty Communications to hands its PR activity in the north.
  • Sabre was attacked by hackers.

Hotels

Aiden Murphy smallCrowe Horwath’s latest Irish Hotel Survey showed average room occupancy in Irish hotels is up to 67.8pc from 65.9pc in 2013 (Dublin 77.2pc), pre-tax profit per room up to €9,201 from €7,347, average room up to €82.29 from €77.49 in 2013 (Dublin €97.25). Crowe Horwath’s Aiden Murphy (pictured) said: “For the first time in 2014 the profits for Dublin hotels are slightly ahead of pre-recession levels, where profits in hotels in the rest of Ireland are about 70pc of pre-recession levels.”

Trivago price indexAccording to Trivago’s August Hotel Price Index, prices in Dublin are up 28pc YOY to €168, pushing the capital into ninth place in the top ten most expensive cities in Europe. Overall prices in Ireland are up 10pc YOY to an average €127. Generally, prices remained steady compared to the July index. Dingle experiences the biggest jump, up 4.2pc MOM to €123. Kinsale, Cork and Kenmare were the only destinations that see a decrease in prices. No change MOM in Dublin and Athlone.

Trivago’s European Index shows that the average price is €137, no change MOM. Monaco is the most expensive destination with an average price of €476. Edinburgh has average price of €295, reflecting this month’s Fringe Festival, and Geneva has an average price of €290. London prices are up 7.3pc YOY to an average €241. Paris is up 1.4pc YOY to €151. Berlin up 3.9pc YOY to €94. Rome up 3.9pc YOY to €120. Madrid up 7pc YOY to €84. The lowest prices can be found in Warsaw (av. €61), Sofia (av. €62), Bucharest (av. €68) and Seville (av. €73). See the full European index.

Ashford Castle was voted best hotel at the Best of the Best Awards, Virtuoso Travel Week, Las Vegas.

Primary Times awardHotel Westport won its fifth Primary Times Star Award for family holidays. Other winners included Kelly’s, Rosslare, Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone and Lyrath Resort, Kilkenny.

After two years on the market Castle Oliver in Ardpatrick — the hotel where Kim Kardashian and Kanye West spent part of their Irish honeymoon — was sold for €3m.

  • The Lanesborough hotel reopened after an 18-month renovation
  • InterContinental, having recently denied reports that it might buy Starwood, is being reported to be tragetting Fairmont, instead.
  • America’s RevPAR has surpassed peaks in 2000 and 2007, according to Smith Travel Research. Life is suite, according to the Economist at least, which argues that an unanticipated shortage of rooms in America has supercharged the industry. Occupancy rates sank to a low point in 2009. They are now expected to reach a record high this year.
  • Didier le Calvez of the Bristol Hotel in Paris denounced Airbnb “as a menace that enjoys an unfair advantage.” Airbnb reportedly offers between 380 and 400 Paris properties at over €500 a night and 40 at over €1,000. Paris now has more Airbnb inventory than any other city in the world.
  • Travel agents want Marriott to dump its latest advertising campaign which encourages customers to book directly on Marriott.com. ASTA CEO Zane Kerby said the ad campaign, which tells consumers that, “they can only find the best rates on Marriott.com, is not only disparaging to travel agents, but also misleading to the traveling public.
  • hilton digital keyHilton Worldwide launched the Digital Key feature on the HHonors loyalty programme app.
  • The Guest House resort hotel at Graceland, Tennessee will officially open October 27 2016.
  • Hilton Worldwide will open a Conrad hotel in San Luis Potosi in mid-2016.
  • A report by STR Inc found that the US domestic hotel market hit 5m rooms in June.
  • Motel One opened a property in Amsterdam.
  • Ibis-Style-Crewe-roomAccor opened an Ibis Styles boutique hotel in Crewe.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts will open four hotels under the Aloft brand in Dubai, slated for 2018.

International

yuanBig development this week on a subject that makes holiday makers unhappy in certain countries, the controlled currency: China decided to float the yuan on Tuesday. As with Brazil, controls are not entirely gone but it is a big one in international travel and a strong dollar may be giving others the courage to do so. Will Cuba be next? The 35 countries with partial or full currency controls are Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Cameroun, China, Cuba, Egypt, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, India, Iran, Sri Lanka, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan[, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Russia, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Torrox resort, Costa del Sol set up a beach patrol to fine tourists €30 if they reserve a spot on the beach with their towels. 

airport securityThe US government compiles its notorious no-fly lists based an airline passenger’s friendships, travels and financial transactions, according to documents filed in a Portland court. American Civil Liberties Union is asking US agents for reasons why tens of thousands of names have been placed on the no fly list without explanation. Last month a federal judge ruled that the US government offers no adequate method for people to challenge the decision to put them on the list, highlighting the difficulty of removing names from America’s list of suspected political and religious dissidents banned from flying.

new orleansTen years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the city’s tourism has not only rebounded – it’s practically been reinvented. New Orleans, the largest city in the state, had just 3.7 million visitors in 2006, the first full year after Katrina. Last year, there were 9.5 million visitors.

Jerusalem hosts an Open House Festival on October 22-24.

Sam SmithMadame Tussauds San Francisco unveiled a wax figure of pop star Sam Smith.

Seattle’s Space Needle launched PanoCam. Panoramic images are taken from the tower and posted to the Needle’s website and to kiosks on the Observation Deck.

Barbados won the bid to host the 2017 OK Class World yachting event. 

Another Vegas landmark is to go, the 60-year-old Riviera casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

Canadian politician Stephen Harper said a re-elected Conservative government would ban Canadian citizens from travelling to a range of undesirable countries.

Some of the large flat pieces of debris washed up on beaches in the Maldives which were believed to belong to missing flight MH370 are now revealed to have come from a capsized barge.

Visit Florida fulham fcVisit Florida signed a sponsorship deal with Fulham FC.

Hertz reported a 5pc decline in quarterly revenue, hurt by lower rental volume in the States and a strong dollar.

Universal Studios Hollywood will open a 3D horror-comedy maze, This is the End 3D, based on the 2013 film staring James Franco and Seth Rogen. The attraction will open Halloween Horror Nights, starting September 18.

BBC Symphony Orchestra will mark Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ 150th birthday with a performance at the Sibelius Festival, Finland, August 31 to September 6.

Jet2Holidays apologised after staff at a hotel in Turkey dressed as gunmen as part of a poolside stunt.

Kyoto guideKyoto launched an traveller etiquette manual for visitor’s to the city. Here’s some advice: Don’t grab maiko by their kimono sleeve when you want to take a picture. Watch out for taxi doors — the are automatic. Take your shoes off before stepping on a tatami mat. Cycling drunk could result in a ¥1m fine or five years imprisonment. Don’t park your bicycle outside a designated parking zone, otherwise you could face a ¥2,300 fine.

Food & Wine

tea coffee festivalThe 2015 Dublin Coffee & Tea Festival returns to the RDS Industries Hall, September 11-13. Last year’s inaugural event attracted 5,700 people. See dublincoffeefestival.com.

To mark their 25th anniversary, the Cavaliere family of  Ristorante Rinuccini in Kilkenny launched their own olive oil sourced from Lazio.

Aviation

Passengers at Dublin Airport copyDublin airport passenger numbers for July were up 17pc and overll figures for the first sveen months of the year up 15pc. Trans-Atlantic is up 26pc, England up 16pc and Europe up 14pc.

Ryanair is to add daily Stansted-Sofia in May 2016 and will close its Lappeenranta-Milan route in October 2015. As a result, the airline will not operate any services to Finland during winter 2015/16.

Dublin airport shortlistedDublin Airport was shortlisted for the World Routes Marketing Award 2015 in the 20-50m pax category.

Production of the B767 will be increased from 1.5 to 2 per month later this year.

Emirates has recruited Jennifer Aniston for an advertising campaign.

Avolon delivered a B737-800 to Lion Air.

Emirates_Boeing_777-200LR_A6-EWD_IADEmirates will launch B777—200LR flights from Dubai to Panama on February 1 2016 — flying time is a whopper 17 hours 35 minutes, making it the longest commercial flight in the world

British Airways says it is trying to ‘reunite people with their bags as soon as possible’ following baggage system failures at Heathrow on Saturday.

Michael O'Leary conducts a press conference Aug 21 2014Michael O’Leary held up the possibility of feeding someone else’s long haul network: “What we see over the next five, 10 years is that we become a feeder for other long-haul airlines.” He said slow-cost carriers could feed up to 50 percent of passengers to long-haul carriers flying from Europe within five to 10 years but connecting passengers would be a “reasonably small part” of Ryanair’s business.

EasyJet’s winter schedule sees it increasing the number of seats for sale on Gatwick, London Luton and Stansted by more than 125,000, bringing the total number of seats to over 500,000 up to the end of February, 2016. In addition, easyJet will add seat capacity to Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester, bringing the total to 160,000 seats

Singapore Airlines launched their premium economy product on the Changi-Sydney route.

Etihad loungeEtihad Airways reopened its first and business class lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport T1.

Iberia helped raise €350,000 for UNICEF through customer donations on a platform developed by Amadeus.

United Airlinesupdated mobile app includes interactive indoor maps for Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark Liberty, San Francisco and Washington Dulles airports.

airberlin airtrampAirberlin launched their #airtramp campaign, inviting adventurers to hitchhike to the skies. All that was required was free time, a backpack and a sign with their desired destination.

Uzbekistan Airways will start weighing passengers with their hand luggage at check-in. It is not clear whether they intend to charge a “fat tax” for larger passengers.

Afloat

Celebrity_SI_landing_960x312Celebrity Silhouette is in Dublin this weekend, having stopped in Cork during the week. The cruise line hosted trade events on board in both cities.

Crystal Cruises president Edie Rodriguez has announced that the company’s first two river cruise ships will be 70-suite yacht-style vessels, to be launched in Europe in March 2017 and be available for booking starting on Dec 1.

The World yachtThe World owner suite cruise ship visited Dublin on Monday for her third visit in five years.

CLIA president Thomas P Ostebo stepped down after five weeks for personal reasons.

William Shatner will captain Star Trek: The Cruise on a six-day voyage fom Florida to the Bahamas in January 2017. Shatner will be joined by other Star Trek stars including Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis and Robert Picardo. Tickets range from $975 to $7,500.

Siversea grand expeditionsSilversea Cruises announced that Artis Alexendre Renoir and chefs Erik Arnecke and Fabio Pisani will host a cultural  enrichment programme on Silver Spirit’s 7-day sailing from Rome to Barcelona, departing November 2.

Silversea launched five all inclusive Grand Expeditions cruises on Silver Galapagos and Silver Explorer, ranging from 18 to 34 days. Starting from the Galapágos Islands, she will sail to a land connection and explore the coast of Central America, South America or Antartica depending on the package.

Deal Watch

Irish Ferries deal watchIrish Ferries is offering 3 nights at Cala Gran and Marton Mere or Presthaven Sands, Greenacres from €728 for six people in a two bedroom caravan including return car ferry travel for Friday arrivals up to August 21. See irishferries.com/haven or call 0818 300 400.

Sunway offers: 7 nights B&B4* Sea Pearl Hotel Kusadasi from €399pp, depart Shannon August 29, 14 nights from €499pp. 7 nights self catering Los Pueblos Apartments, Lanzarote from €689pp, depart Shannon October 24. 7 nights self catering 3* Hyde Park Lane Apartments, Lanzarote from €699pp, depart Shannon October 24. 7 nights self catering 4* Sands Beach Resort, Lanzarote from €804pp, depart Shannon October 24. 7 nights B&B 4* Los Fariones Hotel, Lanzarote from €959pp, depart Shannon October 24. 7 nights B&B 5* Volcan Lanzarote Hotel from €1,039pp, depart Shannon October 24. 15 days Delhi to Kathmandu tour from €1,669pp/€1,959 solo traveller, depart November 6. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Club Med, Kamarina, Sicily from €1,098pp, depart September 16. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sea Garden Beach Resort from €739pp, depart September 27. See sunway.ie.

Sunway Celebrity Cruises offers: 10 nights Eastern Med Cruise on Celebrity Reflection from €1,299pp, depart Oct 2. 9 nights Italy and France Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette from €1,470pp, depart Sept 24. 14 nights Israel and Med Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette from €1,399pp, depart Oct 3. 12 nights Italy, Greece and Turkey Cruise on Celebrity Equinox from €1,620pp, depart Oct 15.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* Domas Berlin Ku’Damm Hotel from €239pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in September. 2 nights 5* La Griffe Roma M Gallery Collection Hotel, Rome from €299pp incl. flights, taxes and charges, travel in August. 7 nights 3* Villa Linda Hotel, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €519pp incl. return flights, transfers, half day excursion, taxes and charges, travel in October. 4 nights 3* Double Tree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside from €769pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in November. See clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive Lanzasur Splash, Lanzarote from €1,889 for two adults and one child or from €2,589 for two adults and two children, depart May 26 2016. 7 nights all inclusive Suntopia Pegasos, Titreyengol, Antalya from €2,079 for two adults and one child or from €2,889 for two adults and two children, depart May 28 2016. 7 nights B&B Alexia, Rhodes from €589pp, depart August 26. 7 nights half board Aeleos Beach, Lambi, Kos from €639pp, depart September 5. 7 nights all inclusive Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Tenerife from €669pp, depart September 4. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Thomson Deal WatchThomson offers: 14 nights half board Coronas Playa, Lanzarote from €759pp, depart Cork September 2. 7 nights full board 3* Thomson Spirit Black Sea Explorer cruise from €899pps incl. visits to Turkey, Greece, Ukraine and Bulgaria, depart September 7. 7 nights half board Alkion, Sidari, Corfu from €489pp, depart September 18. 7 nights all inclusive Tropicana Jasmine Club, Sharm el Sheikh from €659pp, depart January 8 2016. 7 nights self catering Colon Il, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €619pp, depart January 9 2016. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Cassidy Travel is offering packages to Las Vegas to coincide with Conor McGregor’s fight against Jose Aldo on December 12: 3 nights Luxor Hotel and Casino from €689pps, depart December 10. 5 nights MGM Grand Hotel from €805pps, depart December 10. 7 nights Luxor Hotel & Casino from €769pps, depart December 8. Deposits from €150pps. Prices include flights ex Dublin. Fight tickets not included. See cassidytravel.ie or call 0818 332 500.

Uniworld is offering a 5* all inclusive cruise on the Danube on board River Beatrice from €1,544pps incl. flights and visits to Passau, Linz, Durnstein, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, depart November 1.

Contiki Holidays is offering a 6-day tour Yucatan Highlights tour from €2,100pp incl. return flights and visits to Mexico City, Merida, Chichen Itza, Cancun and Playa del Carmen, depart September 26.

Insight Vacations is offering a 9-day tour of Spain and Portugal from €1,849pp incl. return flights, taxes and visits to Madrid, Granada, Seville, Lisbon and Salamanca, depart August 29.

Tour America offers, prices include return flights: 7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €629pp, depart September 16. 5 nights Circus Circus Hotel, Las Vegas from €769pp, depart October 15. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €899pp, depart October 22. 7-night cruise on board Norwegian Jade incl. visits to Greek Isles, Turkey and Croatia from €1,139pp, depart October 10. 10-night all inclusive Mediterranean cruise on board MSC Orchestra from €849pp incl. 1 night in Barcelona, depart November 12. See touramerica.ie.

Riviera Travel escorted tours, prices include flights ex Dublin, taxes and 20kg checked bag pp: 3 nights B&B Paris from €479pp, depart September 18. 3 nights B&B Bruges from €489pp, depart September 13. 4 nights B&B Berlin, Dresden, Meissen and Colditz from €679pp, depart October 2. 7 nights half board Lake Garda, Venice and Verona from €899pp, depart September 28/ €799, depart October 12. 6 nights B&B Madrid, Salamanca and Toledo from €919pp, depart September 3. 4 nights B&B Iceland from €1,039pp, depart September 20. 7 nights half board Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn from €,139pp, depart October 13. See rivieratravel.ie.

ITAA offers of the week: 7 nights B&B 5* Banyan Tree Resort, Phuket from €1,899pp incl. return flights ex Dublin or Cork and private transfers, travel April to June 2016. 3 nights B&B 3* Reykjavik Lights Hotel, Iceland from €578pps incl. return flights and return airport transfers, depart October 8. 5 nights half board Le Royal Meridien, Dubai from €1,419pp incl. return flights, private transfers and airport taxes, travel in September.

Lowcostbeds offers, 7 nights bases on 2 sharing: 3* Vilanova Resort, Albuferia from €18pppn self catering, stay in September. 5* Aqua Hotels Riverside, Portimao from €32pppn B&B, stay in September. 3* Monica Isabel Beach Club, Albuferia from €43pppn all inclusive, stay in September. 4* Baia Cristal Beach & Spa resort, Carvoerio from €49pppn all inclusive, stay in October. See lowcostbeds.com.

Lowcostholidays offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Rio Apartments, Algarve from €259pp, depart October 12. 7 nights self catering 3* Blue Sea Costa Teguise Gardens, Lanzarote from €379pp, depart October 12. 7 nights B&B 3* Royale Hummingbird Cliff Resort, Jamaica from €886pp, depart October 10. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Tropical Princess, Dominican Republic from €1,200pp, depart October 10. 5 nights B&B 5* Hilton Capitol Grand Hotel, Abu Dhabi from €699pp, depart October 10. 5 nights 3* Seton Hotel, New York from €998pp, depart October 10. Prices include flights ex Dublin and taxes. More offers here. See lowcostholidays.ie or call 01 485 3835.

Tourism NI deal watchTourism NI offers of the week: 1 night B&B Ten Square Hotel, Belfast from £125 per room incl. rose petals on bed, rose petal and bubble bath, house wine, strawberries and chocolate truffles and breakfast in bed, available until Dec 31, call 028 9024 1001. 1 night B&B Glenavon House Hotel, Cooktown from £77.50pps incl. dinner, access to leisure facilities and one round of golf, available until Sept 31, call 028 8676 4949. 1 night B&B Hunter’s Lodge Killinchy, Newtownards from £90pps incl. 2-hour spa treatment, access to spa facilities and complimentary refreshments, available until Dec 31, call 028 9754 2703.

jamilIreland

Fota Wildlife Park opened a €4.3m Asian Sanctuary. The new facility will see the park expand its breeding programme for endangered species including Sumatran tigers and Indian rhinos — good news for the park’s newest resident, Jamil (pictured)

cliffs OF MOHER from belowVisitors to the Cliffs of Moher were up 15pc so far this year. 

Once again, Kerry topped myhome.ie’s domestic holiday survey. The top ten: 1 Kerry, 2 Galway, 3 Cork, 4 Wexford, 5 Clare, 6 Donegal, 7 Mayo, 8 Dublin, 9 Wicklow, 10 Kilkenny/Waterford.

EUROPEAN JOURNALISTS ‘PULL IN’ AT THE 2015 ULSTER GRAND PRIXA group of writers from motorsports magazines in France, Germany and Italy visited the Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week as guests of Tourism Ireland. The group visited the races at Dundrod, took a black taxi tour of Belfast, visited the Titanic Belfast and SS nomadic and visited Phillip McCallen’s business in Lisburn. Picture shows Marco Marini of Motociclismo, Thilo Kozik of Motorrad, and Bertrand Gold of Moto Revue with Aubrey Irwin of Tourism Ireland and Phillip McCallen.

Dublin TrazeeDublin was named favourite worldwide city at the trazeetravel.com awards in Orlando.

Forty buildings will participate in Cork Heritage Open Day this Saturday, August 22, including  Fitzgerald House, Cork Chamber, The Elysian and Carpenter’s Hall. See corkheritageopenday.ie.

Gobbins Cliff PathThe Gobbins coastal walk in Islandmagee will reopen on Wednesday, August 19. See the promo video.

A group of journalists attended the Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI. The group played 18 holes on the Faldo Course at Lough LEADING GOLF JOURNALISTS ENJOY FERMANAGH AND MOREErne Resort, Galgorm Castle and Darren Clark’es home course, Dungannon Golf Club. Picture shows tour guide Lowell Courtney, Andrew Phelan of Lough Erne Resort, Torsten Pampof Golferen.no, Andy Waple,of Sheffield Star, Frits Christensen of Golfavisen, Dan Rose of Bournemouth Echo, Jim McCann of Top100courses.co.uk, Miguel Angel Barbero Gonzalez of Viajar ABC, and Lynn McCool of Lough Erne Resort.

Seamus Heaney‘s famous line to “walk on air against your better judgement” was inscribed as an epitaph on his gravestone in Bellaghy.

Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: The month Ryanair hit the 10 Million Mark

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

Westjet Ad August 9

Header August 9 2015

Evolution of an airline: Ryanair joined the 10m-in-a-month club

The headlines this week:

  • Another milestone for Irish aviation
  • Long haul continues as the Lingus success story
  • ITAA discuss the Package Holiday Directive
  • Another cosy tourism briefing
  • Travel Corporation thank the trade

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week August 9 2015Excellent work by the pilot of this Aer Lingus Regional ATR 72 during a crosswind landing at Cork Airport, our video of the week. Watch here.

  • What are the odds of Dublin being attacked by a 40ft cartoon character? One in a Minion. We know, we know — that joke was Despicable. Watch here.
  • First there were the legroom wars, now there are the selfie stick sword fights. Watch here.
  • Introducing Hailo’s three-year-old driver. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s promo for Armoy Road Races, Antrim. Watch here.
  • An elephant’s first encounter with a GoPro. Watch here.
  • What’s it like to work at Aer Lingus head office? Watch here.
  • Economist Dan Ariely’s guide to a happier holiday. Watch here.
  • The Airbus A350 XWB visits EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Watch here.
  • Emirates operated a one-off A380 flight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Watch here.

Headlines

Ryanair’s first aircraft, Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante ‘EI-BPI.’Another milestone was passed by Irish aviation this week. Ryanair became the sixth airline ever, first in Europe and the second outside America, to join the 10m passengers-in-a-month club. The club now includes Delta, Southwest, China Southern, United and American Airlines with China Eastern likely to join this or next month. July is the equivalent of hay making season for airlines and Ryanair were first to tie up the roundy bale. The next barrier: the first European airline to fly more than 100m passengers in a year. It is a long way from the a 15-seater Bandeirante aircraft which took off from Waterford for Gatwick airport in 1985. See picture from Michael Kennedy’s Pioneers and Aviators book, published by Avolon.

stephan kavanagh aer lingus model copyAer Lingus were also making hay while the sun shone (somewhere). Long haul continues as the success story of the airline, with passengers up 18.3pc on July 2014, RPK up 19.8pc ASK up 20.5pc and load factor, while marginally down at 90.3pc, ahead of the peer group. Shorthaul was less disappointing than recent months. With load factor up 2.2 percentage points to 87.1pc, passengers up 3.7pc, RPK up 6.3pc, ASK up 3.7pc. Short-haul passenger numbers in July were up 2.3pc when the 5.6pc fall in Aer Lingus Regional traffic is taken into account.

paschal-donohoe-august15Minister Paschal Donohoe responded to a question by Travel Extra this week by saying he expected Aer Lingus to implement an east coast strategy and west coast strategy when they announce their two new trans-Atlantic routes next month (listen here). Los Angeles, although still unannounced, is the west coast option 4w from May while pre-IAG strategy focussed on expanded capacity in New York and nearby airports, including potential Oneworld partner American’s hub in Philadelphia, the heartland of United (and the Star alliance) in Newark, and soon-to-be-revamped La Guardia. Negotiations has proceeded around Bradley international between Hartford and Springfield in northern Connecticut (or as they say in Connecticut, Bradley “Not-Really-International”) has also been under negotiation, with Governor Malloy calling by to talk and dangle a $5m carrot in front of Aer Lingus in June. It would be Bradley’s first daily trans-Atlantic flight since Delta pulled its Amsterdam nonstop in 2009. The real trans-Atlantic game begins when IAG completes its takeover on Tuesday August 18.

itaa seminar on package directive copyThe prospect of someone with a Bulgarian tour operator’s licences being allowed to trade in Ireland was one of the subjects that excited Irish Travel Agents Association members who attended a seminar on the implications of the Package Holiday Directive which is (rather ambitiously) designed to give the same protection to consumers from online bookings as they have through the formal travel trade. Ireland’s bonding regime is one of the most stringent in the EU, requiring 10pc of turnover by tour operators and 4pc of travel agent turnover to be tied up in a repatriation fund that now totals €50m. Under the new regime airlines and websites, currently unbonded, will have to adhere to the same regulations. Consumers who click through on an airline website to a hotel or car hire company are effectively buying a package and entitled to the same protection and compensation levels, including repatriation, compensation for the failure oaf a third party firm and a cooling off period. Domain owners will also be responsible for three days’ cover in the eventuality of a major disruption such as the ash crisis.

Travel Agent and Tour Operator licenses will be valid in all EU countries, so there will be no need to take out separate licenses in 28 member states, effectively opening up Ireland to foreign travel companies. Currently those agents who want to operate across the border need to take out two licenses. Many of the regimes have loose regulatory regimes, with many only requiring tour operators to hold licenses and local tourist boards licensing the travel agencies. Delegates heard that the licensing change will have big implications for the trade in Ireland. As the directive will take two years to come into law airlines are likely to try get out clauses in advance. The ITAA say it is about time we had a level playing pitch, which is on the horizon and they will push this in ECTAA.

TourismIreMidYearReview10Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons, Minister Paschal Donohoe and Chairman Brian Ambrose held another of their cosy “tourism is booming” briefings at Tourism Ireland headquarters in Dublin’s Bishop Street this week. The number of visitors to Ireland will close further on 10m if midyear figures (up 11.7pc, listen here) continue through the traditionally fat months of August and September, with the north also showing figures up around 9pc. North America is up 15pc, considerably behind the increase in seat capacity, but market share has reached an all time high of 10pc of Europe-bound traffic and 2pc overall. Market share also increased in Britain (numbers up 9.4pc) and Germany (numbers up Paschal Donohoe press12pc), with increases from France (up 12pc), Spain (up 15pc), Italy (up 32pc), Benelux (up 11pc) and the Nordics (up 5pc) and other areas up 12pc. Paschal Donohoe set out three government priorities and declared the achievements of the tourism industry are greater than the sum of its parts (listen here). The questions covered the absence of any food representatives on Tourism Ireland board (listen here), the prospect of 7pc VAT being retained for the hospitality sector (listen here), the hospitality sector conflicted relationship with the minimum wage (listen here), value for money options (listen here), shortages of beds in certain areas (listen here), the prospects of another gathering (listen here) and new trans-Atlantic options  (listen here): T/A now 400,000 seats a week available to and Brian Ambrosefrom Ireland. Tourism Ireland haven’t been able to give a clear picture for the island because NISRA statistics are so far behind, but Brian Ambrose said both Belfast airport passenger numbers were up 9pc this year, suggesting that Belfast International would hit 4.4m and Belfast City 2.8m in 2015. Vat in the north remains at 20pc in the hospitality industry and air travel is subject to £13 APD charges on short haul flights, but as taxation is not devolved (listen here) these encumbrances look set to remain although Brian Ambrose expressed some hope of a change on APD. (listen hereSee more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Watch here Paschal Donohoe speaking about the tourism experience in Ireland and (listen here) to plans for 2015 and 2016.

Travel Trade

falcon-groupThe Travel Corporation hosted a thank you BBQ for agents in Cork. Picture shows Amanda Casey of Falcon Travelshop, Wilton, Lynsay Walsh of Falcon Travelshop, Wilton, Laura Sweetman of Falcon Travelshop, Wilton, John Seymour of USIT and Naoimh Feeney of Falcon Travelshop, Mahon Point. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

TTopflight - facebookopflight are giving away a free holiday to Cancun on their Facebook page to celebrate reaching 100,000 fans on Facebook.

Donal Byrne, long standing RTÉ editor, has been appointed to oversee the re-vamp of RTÉ’s online travel coverage. Byrne says his appointment as RTÉ Travel Commissioning Editor is as a result of an overall re-vamp of RTÉ’s online lifestyle output. “I’m anxious as part of this process to have a re-focusing of RTÉ’s travel output to make it more relevant to a wider audience, from individual’s to families, and to include a wider choice of material to reflect that new focus.”  He can be contacted here.

Annual German/Irish Travel Reception and Awards Event, German Ambassador's Residence, Donnybrook, Dublin, Thurs. 16th Oct. 2014. Photo: German National Tourist Office/Karl Burke.

Deadline for the 2015 GNTO German-Irish Travel Writers’ Awards is September 7 (enter by email). Last year’s winner was Ros Drinkwater for her material in the Sunday Business Post.

The Commission of Aviation Regulation says August 15 is the deadline for receipt of completed licence application at standard fee for the November licensing round. Decision-in-principle letters for completed applications will be issued of September 15 and October 15 is touramerica website launch copythe deadline for receipt of applicants’ bonds. CAR says it is going to impose levies for late submission as advised on July 13, and that nearly one third of agencies have still not applied for licenses. See here for details.

Tour America launched their new website with blogs for many US destinations and testimonials from customers.

Travel Professionals Skillnet training: Free cybersecurity information day, 14 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, August 18 9am-2pm, book here. Excel Level 1, €110pp, September 3, book here/ Excel Level 2, €110pp, September 10, book here. Outlook Level 2, €110pp, August 27, book here. Time Management and Personal Effectiveness with Michael Cox, €70pp, September 8, book here. Supervisory Management FETAC Level 6 with Michael Cox, €560pp, 5 days in October and November, book here.

Sunway cruise sectionSunway added a cruise section to their website. See it here. See our Deal Watch for their latest offers.

Silversea is offering agents the chance to win a case of Prosecco for every 2015 bookings across the classic and expedition fleet. Silversea Fizzy FridayBookings must be made by 10am Thursdays. See silversea.com for more info.

Vivienne SkytoursAmadeus acquired Hotel SystemsPro by its subsidiary Newmarket.

Travelport signed a long-term deal with travel management company Portman.

Picture shows Vivienne Brolly of Skytours, the final winner in lowcostbeds’ Happy Monday promotion. 

Lowcostholidays extended its strategic European partnership with Amadeus for another three years, making Amadeus the preferred GDS supplier for the company.

Travelport Hotelzon appointed Daniel Guillou as Managing Director.

Hotels

iphoneIntercontinental Hotels Group is reportedly considering bids for Fairmont and Movenpick.

Irish Apple users pay an average of €125 for a hotel, compared to €111 for Android users, according to Trivago.

The hotel industry is objecting to the proposed combination of travel booking sites Expedia and Orbitz, saying that the deal would mean higher prices for vacationers and larger fees for hotel owners.

During the first half of 2015, the number of reservations at B&Bs recorded 39pc more stays in the first half of 2015, and the number of accommodations increased by 18pc according to bedandbreakfast.eu, the world’s largest B&B website.

  • swire hotelsSwire Hotels will open an East hotel in Miami later this year, its first property outside China.
  • Hilton will open a Conrad hotel in Shenzhen, China, in 2019.
  • Kimpton Hotels signed luxury boutique properties in San Francisco and Manchester, Vermont.
  • Amadeus acquired Hotel Systems Pro by Newmarket.
  • Voting opened for the Fourth Annual Historic Hotels of Europe Awards.
  • Four Seasons KoreaLimerick Strand hotel unveiled a commissioned picture of local rugby legend Paul O’Connell.
  • See here a good history of Google’s search battles with European antitrust regulators from Brad Stone at Bloomberg..
  • Four Seasons will open its first Korean property in Seoul this October.
  • Carlson Rezidor announced that Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Ljubljana opens in Slovenia later this year.
  • Starwood opened a Four Points hotel in Istanbul.

International

Cecil_the_lion_at_Hwange_National_Park_(4516560206)As the saga of Cecil the lion led US airlines to ban the transportation of trophy animals, South Africa warned the ban would lead to an increase in poaching and smuggling, and opponents also resisted a hunting ban with Cecil’s minder, Brent Stapelkamp of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit saying hunting can be a valuable component to conservation. In Zimbabwe Johnny Rodrigues dropped his claim that another lion, Jericho, had been killed.

sun clear skySpain continued to bake in its hottest heat wave in 40 years with Cilla Black now reportedly counted as a high profile casualty when she moved from her air-conditioned room on to her sun terrace. Temperatures have been regularly topping 40 degrees since July 2. The Middle East baked this week with temperatures passing 50 degrees in Dubai while Iraq declared a mandatory four day holiday and power failures added to the discomfort in Beirut. A record-breaking heat wave in India earlier this summer claimed over 2,500 lives.

new passport cardThe new Irish passport card, announced in January, is finally to be made available to Irish passport holders from the end of September. The two-month delay was caused by changes to the manufacture of the credit card-sized document.

USA Secretary Jeh C Johnson said visitors entering USA under visa waiver scheme must ALL have e-passports under new regulations, All Irish passports issued since 2006 are e-passports. Please note however that Temporary Passports, which are issued to Irish citizens who passports are lost or stolen while abroad, are not electronic.

poppy seedA Tasmanian coroner gave a poppy warning after opium tea killed 26-year-old Danish backpacker Jonas Pedersen, who died from accidental morphine intoxication and may not have realised the varying strength of poppies.

There was worldwide celebration of the celebrated rarity, the blue moon.

National Geographic’s annual photography competition attracted 17,000 entries, they were whittled down to three winners and seven recognised on merit.

A report by non-profit Open Doors Organisation values the US disability travel market at $17.3bn. A survey of 1,000 people found that 72pc of disabled travellers encountered obstacles with airlines.

Four people were injured near Russell Square, London when a double-decker Golden Tours bus had its roof ripped off by an overhanging branch.

Dubai ski slopeDubai plans to open a 1.2km indoor ski slope as part of the Medan One project, which will feature a shopping mall, 711m tower and 4km canal. The first stage is to be completed in 2020.

Kenya Tourist Board suspended its advertisement deal with CNN International after a correspondent described the country as a “hotbed of terror” during Barack Obama’s visit.

  • Marco BattistottiSKAL Asian President Marco Battistotti was involved in a fatal accident early yesterday morning on his way to Kuala Lumpur.
  • Thousands of travellers arrived at their destination without their bags following a power failure at Heathrow T5.
  • Nokia sold its mapping service Here, a direct competitor with Google Maps, for €2.8bn to BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
  • Dollywood will roll out the Lightning Rod launching wooden rollercoaster in March 2016.
  • TripAdvisor launched a French language site in Canada at fr.tripadvisor.ca.
  • Forever young: Sven Hagemeier flew across the International Date Line to extend his 26th birthday by 46 hours, a world record.
  • clingerTravel Extra’s frolicksome feline Clinger Corry repurrrts that New York’s Meowseum of Moving Image will host an exhibition called How Cats Took Over the Internet until January 31 2016. 
  • Egypt opened a new extension to the Suez Canal.

Food & Wine

  • NO FEE 11 Irish Design Afternoon TeaDublin’s Westbury Hotel launched the Irish Design Afternoon Tea to mark ID2015. Inspired by the work of five Irish designers, Tatjana Upelniece-Kiselova’s selection includes an Earl Grey cheesecake modelled on Karl Harron’s glasswork Migration Reactive Bulleye, and a sour cream mousse with blackberry cremoux inspired by Angela O’Kelly’s Long Round Sculptural neckpiece. Irish Design Afternoon Tea costs €45pp or from €55pp including champagne. Call 01 646 3311 to book in advance.
  • Food expoOne hundred exhibitors will take part in this year’s Food and Hospitality Ireland Expo in Citywest, September 16 and 17. Free entry. Register at foodhospitality.ie.
  • Java Republic’s Rwandan Light Roast and Cuinneog Farmhouse country butter were both awarded three stars at the Great Taste Awards.

Aviation

London City AirportLondon City Airport, headed up by Declan Collier, has been put on sale by 75pc stakeholder Global Infrastructure Partners and 25pc stakeholder Oaktree Capital. The airport could be priced at €2.5bn, beating the English record €2.1bn paid for Gatwick in 2009. Passenger numbers will grow to 4.1m this year from 3.65m. Previous owner Dermot Desmond purchased the airport for £23.5m from Mowlem in 1995.and sold it for £750m in October 2006. LCY saw 406,986 passengers in July, up 18.8pc YOY. Edinburgh, Dublin, and Amsterdam were London City’s busiest routes in July.

AirBaltic_B733_YL-BBKA pilot, co-pilot and two stewardesses, all from Latvia, were found to be above the legal alcohol limit of 0.2 when they boarded an 05:45 Air Baltic charter flight from Oslo to Chania after police received a tipoff from an anonymous caller around 4am. The four risk up to two years in prison if found guilty.

IAG signed a firm order for 31 Airbus aircraft, which includes 11 wide-body aircraft (eight A350-900s, three A330-200s) and 20 A320neos.

shannon airport buildingShannon Airport enjoyed its busiest August Bank Holiday weekend in five years, with 40,000 passengers from Friday to Monday,

Knock receives a pilgrimage flight from New York this Sunday morning, with mass of welcome at 12 noon with live broadcast by RTÉ.

FedEx, Atlas Air, JetBlue and Hawaiian lobbied the America’s Transportation, State and Commerce departments to counter American, United and Delta airlines attempts to roll back Open Skies.

Airbus_A380_blue_skyDAA has submitted a planning application for an A380 airbridge at the end of the 400 gates in Terminal 2 for an A380 to Fingal Co Council, application FS5/028/15 seeks “to confirm that the provision of a piece of airside equipment and works associated with its connection to the adjacent pier is exempt development.” Emirates are the likely customer when the upgrade, with a second airbridge for the upper deck, is approved and completed;

Lufthansa Technik Airmotive said revenues declined 17pc due to the group shutting down its Irish engine overhaul segment with the loss of 411 jobs.

The European Commission is investigating whether the proposed acquisition of TNT Express by FedEx Corporation breaches EU merger regulations.

missing-flight-MH370There was more confusion for MH370 families as a Malaysian team at the French territory of Reunion Island has collected other jet debris including a window and some aluminum foil. The Paris prosecutor’s office contradicted those reports saying there is no new aircraft debris from the French island of Reunion.

Frontier airlines in USA is to bundle fees and offer one checked bag, one carry-on bag, the best available seat, and ticket change if the customer pre-books them as a package.

Mount Raung ashVolcanic ash from Indonesia’s Mount Raung continues to impact Virgin and Jetstar Airways flights to and from Bali‘s Ngurah Rai International Airport

A new regional airline group was born: bmi regional and Loganair now part of AIL Group under newly appointed Chief Executive, Peter Simpson. Each carrier will continue to operate as a distinct business and brand.

Delta_Airline_Boeing_767-300_N180DNDelta domestic load factor increased by 2.6 to 88.6pc from 86pc YOY, international load factor is down 2.3 to 86pc.

Bloomberg’s Justin Bachman went on board Delta’s First Private Jet Upgrade.

United Airlines is to restore its year-round New York to Belfast service. United will continue service 3w between Jan 6 and March 11 having discontinued it this year.

Shannon Airport handled 40,000 passengers over the August bank holiday weekend.

Credit cards

Six hundred credit and debit cards have been left behind in Dublin airport retail shops since November 2014. The number has gone up since WH Smith introduced self-service checkout machines.

Rapper Snoop Dogg had money confiscated at Lamezia Terme airport for failing to declare $422,000 that had been stuffed into two bags. This follows another incident in Sweden where Snoop was detained under suspicion of drug possession in Uppsala.

Etihad Airways B789_A6-BLA on arrival at ChangiEtihad Airways launched its daily B787-9 Dreamliner Abu Dhabi-Changi service.

Airbus says it is on track to delivery 15 A350s in 2015 and plans to double that next year. They also plan to break even on the A380 this year, despite delivering fewer than the 30 aircraft planned.

A four-hour air traffic controllers strike at Athens airport resulted in 22 cancelled flights and 173 rescheduled flights.

Avianca Brasil signed an agreement to take six A320-200s on sale-leaseback with Vermillion Aviation.

Lufthansa-Munich-lounge-1Lufthansa is to open five new lounges at Munich airport next year in the forthcoming T2 satellite building.

Airbus patented a jet that is capable of flying from London to New York in one hour.

Lufthansa-Business-Class-ServiceLufthansa launched an in-flight restaurant service for business class passengers flying long haul. Trays and flight trolleys have been replaced with service plates and the “table” will be set with ceramic crockery.

IAG reported July passenger numbers were up 12.6pc to 8.8m, load factor up 3.1 percentage points to 85.7pc.

Aspire lounge HeathrowAspire lounge opened in Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

Emirates announced a codeshare agreement with Bangkok Airways.

British Airways will launch a route from London Gatwick to Costa Rica from May 4 2016.

Avolon’s net income increased 133pc to $56m in Q2. Domhnal Slattery reported that the company sold three aircraft in Q2 with a net book value of $170m and delivered 14 aircraft to 10 airlines. They also announced placement of the first aircraft from its B737 MAX order with LOI.

  • legroom seatB/E Aerospace designed a seat to end all legroom wars — it can be moved backwards or forwards by cabin crew according to a passenger’s height.
  • AWAS delivered a B737-800 to Ethiopian Airlines.
  • LOT Polish Airlines now accepts bitcoin payments.
  • LATAM, the group formed by LAN and TAM, launched its brand in Sao Paulo.
  • Berlin’s new international airport is expected to face further delays after the insolvency of engineering group Imtech Deutschland.
  • apple watchFinnair launched an Apple Watch app.
  • Pierce Brosnan was pulled aside at passenger screening while travelling through Burlington airport, Vermont after security discovered a 10-inch hunting knife in his carry-on bag.
  • United Airlines CFO John Rainey resigned to join PayPal.
  • Picture shows an archive picture of two dozen Gardaí Síochána trying to shift aircraft in strandattempting to prevent Charles Ulm’s doomed Avro X monoplane, hopelessly overloaded with fuel for his trans-Atlantic flight attempt, from subsiding into the sand at the Velvet Strand in Portmarnock in July 1933. Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry reviewed Michael Kennedy’s Pioneers and Aviators, published by Avolon, in the Irish Examiner.

Afloat

danubeLow water levels on the Danube and Elbe disrupted more river cruises: Viking cancelled Berlin to Prague cruises and Uniworld cancelled their August 9 Budapest to Amsterdam cruise on the SS Maria Theresa.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it will return to Asia in winter 2016/17 with a Norwegian Star sailing from Singapore to Hong Kong. She will also sail in Australia Viking Star Cruise Ship_top imageand New Zealand before returning to Singapore in spring 2017.
  • Viking Cruises was forced to cut short a cruise on Viking Star after she suffered engine problems and was stranded in Estonia.
  • Antalya-based Fusion Tour announced a Halal cruise — free of alcohol, pork and gambling — will sail from Izmir to Rohdes, Crete and Piraeus on September 27. 
  • Celebrity Cruises launched new Caribbean overnight excursions.

Deal Watch

  • Travel Department Deal WatchTravel Department offers: 12 nights Highlights of Burma tour from €2,899pp incl. taxes, flights, accommodation, transfers and excursions, depart April 3 2016. 13 nights tour of the Aztec Empire and Cancun, Mexico from €2,299pp incl. taxes, flights, accommodation, transfers and excursions, depart April 8 2016. 11 nights tour of Peru from €2,999pp incl. taxes, flights, accommodation, transfers and excursions, depart April 15 2016. See traveldepartment.ie.
  • Cassidy Travel September offers: 5 nights 3* accommodation, Faro from €352pps, depart September 13. 7 nights 3* accommodation, Corfy from €235pps, depart September 23. 7 nights 3* accommodation, Majorca fro €361pps, depart September 25. 14 nights 3* accommodation, Alicante from €437pps, depart September 12. All prices include return flights ex Dublin. See cassidytravel.ie or call 0818 332 500.
  • Sunway offers: 7 nights all inclusive Club Med, Da Balaia, Portugal from €1,089pp, depart October 4. 7 nights B&B 5* Atlantic Palace Resort, Morocco from €599pp, travel in September. 7 nights B&B 4* Sea Pearl Hotel, Turkey from €499pp, depart October 24. 7 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apartments, Fuerteventura from €744pp, depart October 24. 7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apartments, Gran Canaria from €669pp, depart October 23. See sunway.ie.
  • Sunway cruise deals: 7 nights Western Med Cruise on Norwegian Epic from €599pp, depart November 8. 7 nights Duba and UAE Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Spendour of the Seas from €980pp, depart February 7 2016. 7 nights Cuba and Caribbean Cruise on MSC Opera from €1,199pp incl. Cuban visa, depart January 26, 2016. 8 nights Souther Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Summit from €1,289pp incl. pre night in San Juan, depart November 13. 6 day Arctic Highlights cruise on board Hurtigruten’s MS Richard from €1,375pp, depart March 22 2016. See sunway.ie/cruise for more.
  • Lowcostbeds offers of the week, 7 nights 2 sharing, stay in September: 3* Rooms on the Beach, Negril, Jamaica from €27ppn B&B. 5* Occidental Grand Xcaret, Mexico from €66pppn all inclusive. 4* Temptation Resort Spa Cancun, Mexico from €74pppn all inclusive. 3* Grafton Beach Resort, Trinidad and Tobago from €104pppn all inclusive. 5* Occidental Grand Aruba from €137pppn. 5* Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, Mexico from €149pppn all inclusive (stay Nov 13 to Dec 3). See lowcostbeds.com.
  • Click and Go offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Clube Maria Luisa Apartments, Olhos d’Agua, Algarve from €179pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, transfers, taxes and charges, travel in November. 4 nights 4* Exe Coloso Hotel, Madrid from €259pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in August. 5 nights 3* NH Sants Barcelona Hotel from €419pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in August. 12-night cruise on the Celebrity Constellation from €1,299pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, return transfers, port taxes and visits to Turkey, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro, travel in September or October. See clickandgo.com.
  • Stena Line deal watchStena Line is offering day returns to Oakwood theme park from €50pp return by car from Rosslare to Fishguard or €59pp by foot incl. entry to the park. Book here or call 01 907 5555. Stena Line is also offering 2 nights in Blackpool from €89pp per night incl. 3* accommodation and travel by car from Dublin to Holyhead. See stenaline.ie/hotel or call 01 907 5399.
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Saturno, Alcudia, Majorca from €1,759 for two adults and one child or €2,569 for two adults and two children, depart May 25 2016. 14 nights self catering 4* Viva Mallorca, C’an Picafort, Majorca from €2,239 for two adults and one child or from €2,319 for two adults and two children, depart August 25. 14 nights self catering Janelas Do Mar, Montechoro, Algarve from €699pp, depart August 23. 7 nights self catering 3* Nicon, Kos town from €439pp, depart August 29. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Thomson Deal WatchThomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive Sensimar Belek, Antalya from €1,149pp, depart May 28 2016. 7 nights half board Lagos Meia, Algarve from €949pp, depart May 29 2016. 7 nights self catering Palm Gardens, Icmeler, Turkey from €629pp, depart August 24. 7 nights half board Los Gigantes, Playa De Arena, Tenerife from €739pp, depart August 28. 7 nights half board Costa Dorada, Belvedere, Salou from €609pp, depart August 28. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Contiki is offering a 10-day European Horizon tour from €1,080pps incl. flights, 9 nights accommodation, 15 meals and six World Heritage Sites, depart September 11. See contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.
  • Insight Vacations is offering an 8-day tour of Austria and Bavaria’s Christmas markets from €1,669pps incl. fights, transfers, selection of meals and visits to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Munich, book by August 31, depart November 29. See insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
  • Tour America deal watchTour America offers: 7 nights at the Liki Tiki Resort, Kissimmee, Florday from €759pp incl. return flights exDublin or Shannon and 7 day car hire, depart October 26. 7 nights Rosen Inn International Drive from €599pp incl. return flights, depart January 11 2016. 5 nights Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas from €739pp incl. return flights, depart November 23. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €669pp incl. return flights, depart January 12 2016. See touramerica.ie.
  • Irish Ferries is offering 3 nights B&B in Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel from €590 for two adults and two children under 12 incl. return car ferry and one day at Alton Towers. Valid for arrivals up to August 21. Call 0818 Irish Ferries Deal watch300 400.
  • ITAA couples offers: 7 nights Western Mediterranean cruise on Harmony of the Seas from €1,349pps incl. port taxes, return flights and 20kg checked bag pp, depart June 26 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa, Mexico from €1,999pps incl. complimentary Wedding in Paradise, newlywed or anniversary package, travel May or June 2016. 11 nights 4* India and Kerala tour from €1,926pp incl. flights, transfers, tours, entrance fees and taxes, travel from April to September 2016.

Ireland

Fáilte Ireland and Google Partner to Put Ireland on the MapFáilte Ireland is using Google’s Trekker backpack to collect images of remote areas for Google Street View. The Trekker is fitted with a camera designed by Google and will visit the Wild Atlantic Way this week to capture images of Inishbofin, Achill, the Blashets, Sliabh Liag and Croagh Patrick. The following week it will visit Ireland’s Ancient East.

NO FEE ST.PATRICKS CATHEDRAL 6St Patrick’s Cathedral launched the Discovery Space, an interactive facility that includes a large touch screen table that tells the building’s history, a reference library, an audio visual unit and iPads that showcase the cathedral’s app. Picture shows Canon Horace McKinley, St Patrick’s Cathedral; Orla Carroll, Director of Strategic Development, Fáilte Ireland; Minister Paschal Donohoe and Andrew Smith, Education Officer, St Patrick’s Cathedral at the launch event.

Belfast MelaThe ninth annual Belfast Mela takes place in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens on Sunday, August 30, 12pm-6pm. This year’s event is once again sponsored by Turkish Airlines and 30,000 people are expected to attend. Tickets online cost £4 for adults, £3 concessions and £12 families. Book here. Picture shows Nisha Tandon, Onur Gul from Turkish Airlines and Thady Graham.

Limerick Radio Club members Alan EI8EM - Mike EI2IX - Brendan EI0CZ - Liam EI7DSB - Ger EI4GXB - erecting high frequency antenna copyThe Limerick Radio Club will operate a 48-hour ham radio broadcast from Loop Head Lighthouse as part of the 18th annual International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend from August 14-16. Communications will be broadcast to 400 other participating lighthouses in 65 countries. The Loop Head Heritage Trail was shortlisted in the Culture and Heritage category for this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards.

AIG Insurance included the Kerry Way in its top seven hikes in European National Parks.

Visiting Overseas Media to Experience the ‘Game of Gods’ with Weekend Tour of Irish Hurling (3)Twelve journalists from the US, Austria, Denmark, German, Switzerland and Britain visited Ireland this weekend for a Game of Gods hurling fam trip organised by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. They will attend today’s Kilkenny v Waterford All Ireland hurling semi final in Croke Park. Picture shows Cormac O’Donnchu of Experience Gaelic Games with the group.

The 43km walking trail from Dublin Mountains to Sean Walsh Memorial Park, Tallish was listed in Barry Stone’s book, 1001 Walks You Must Experience Before You Die.

Slieve Donard 2Slieve Donard Resort & Spa was listed as one of The London Telegraph’s best golf hotels. Picture shows William Hastings and general manager Stephen Meldrum celebrating.

As 350,000 people converge for the all Ireland in Sligo, the Green Fleadh 2015 continues the precedent set last year when it was awarded Highly Commended in the Green Festival category of the Responsible Travel & Tourism Awards 2014.

Zombies at the Dublin comic con in the Convention Centre, August 8 2015

Picture shows Zombies at the Dublin comic con in the Convention Centre.

Britain & Ireland Marketplace,a B2B workshop for Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh product will return to London’s Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.

‘Sand Angel’ World Record Attempt will be held at 29th annual Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival.

Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: IAG – Ryanair throw a spanner in the works

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE westjet ad

Header August 2 2015

View over Greenland on the Europe Airpost/ASL Aviation France flight from Dublin to Halifax, Nova Scotia

The headlines this week:

  • Will Philly join LAX as Aer Lingus’s second T/A for 2016?
  • Off to Canada for a lobster dinner
  • Costa to get four giant green cruise ships
  • Playing with cougars

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week August 2 2015Our video of the week is a shocker. It shows Joshua Newell jump the fence at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to pet two cougars — a really stupid idea. Luckily, he was not harmed, but the zoo is pressing charges for trespassing. Watch here.

  • Do you think you could keep your cool on a roller coaster like this guy (watch here)? This Irish woman couldn’t when she rode the Slingshot — she passed out not once, but twice. Watch here.
  • The third big air show in eight days took place in Foynes last Sunday. Watch here and watch here the behind the scenes video.
  • Passengers on the 07.51 train in Perth beat the Monday morning blues with a sing-along of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. Watch here.
  • Heathrow airport is looking to adapt to the needs of imaginary friends. Watch here.
  • Flavours of the Foyle: Showcasing food experiences in Derry. Watch here.
  • See Dublin airport’s Reaching Beyond Our Routes campaign. Watch here.
  • Ethiopian Airlines’ ADD-DUB-LAX ad. Watch here. 
  • Movietone News uploaded footage of the German Travel Agents conference in the Dunlop Castle Hotel, Killarney, October 1975
  • See vlogger Jimmy Hill’s tour of London and the Isle of Wight Festival for BA. Watch here.
  • See Qatar Airways’ video from the Paris Air Show. Watch here.
  • Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Ask Google Maps. Watch here.

Headlines

ryanairAn unexpected spanner in the works for the IAG Aer Lingus takeover, this time from Ryanair who decided to wait until after the offer expired until accepting the bid. “We don’t expect to receive any proceeds from the sale of our stake in Aer Lingus until September and so we plan to formally submit our signed acceptance of the IAG offer in mid-August,” Ryanair said in a statement. IAG extended their offer for Aer Lingus until 1300 (Irish time) on August 18 and said that there will be no further extension of the offer unless the offer has become wholly unconditional at that time and date. IAG will have achieved 90pc approval with the existing 62.48pc acceptances plus the Ryanair holding, sufficient to allow IAG to buy out any shareholders who do not submit acceptances. Those shareholders will still get the same offer price but their cheques will arrive a little later. asl airlinesEurope Airpost/ASL Aviation hosted some travel writers on their Dublin to Halifax 737 service to test the theory that day flights leave no jet-lag and sample some lobster at the Five Fishermen restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and overnight in the Delta Barrington Hotel before returning to Dublin the following day. Highlights of the trip included a visit to Fairview Lawn, one of three cemeteries that received the bodies of victims of the Titanic disaster. Listen here to tour guide Richard Arnold’s description of events and how the bodies were recovered. Halifax is important in aviation history as a trans-Atlantic departure and arrival point and was the birthplace of Aer Lingus’ forgotten CEO, Robert Logan, the man who first thought of putting the shamrock on the tail. The duty free facility at the airport is managed by ARI. The trans-Atlantic journey offered stunning views of the Greenland coast. Europe Airpost have 24 seats in premium economy with some of the best PE food in the sky. Europe Airpost  CEO  Jean-François Dominiak said they may consider extending their 10-rotation season from Dublin to Halifax in Nova Scotia (listen here) and said while the service is really a niche leisure market, Europe Airpost may increase frequency if nova scotia group parkthey get non leisure business. They are considering a service from Belfast because of the strong links between the north and Nova Scotia (listen here). Picture shows Kim Jardine of Nova Scotia Tourism, Linda Macken of ATTS, MIchael Flood of ITTN, Gerry Benson of Travelbiz, Catherine Grennell White of ATTS, Richard and, in front, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra and Jonathan Toms of Destination Halifax. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. Aerlingus.a320-214.ei-cva.750pixAer Lingus’s last presentation of results as an independent carrier gave some insight into the airline’s strategy. Premium economy is to be introduced in short-haul flights, in response to Ryanair’s business plus. The Aer Lingus brand is get its first makeover since 1998. A new shopping, merchandising and personal platform will go live early 2016. A new loyalty recognition and reward programme will go live early in 2016. Membership of the Oneworld Alliance will likely become more important in the coming years than existing joint ventures. New boarding and check-in processes are being finalised and staff are being trained up to improve service at 15 defined intervention points. The airline wants to improve short haul load factor by 10 points to 91pc, not far behind Ryanair levels. Aer Lingus’s proposed trans-Atlantic expansion will be “a combination of new points and increasing frequencies to moderate risk.  For 2016 the airline is looking at California with a 50pc feed which presumably makes the Los Angeles route viable. Market acceptance of the third Dublin-JFK flight indicates the scope for more flights to the New York area whether JFK, Newark or somewhere new (Philadelphia?). Increased Ireland-Florida frequencies are also being examined. Aer Lingus aims to get Dublin to “within spitting distance” of the top five transatlantic connecting points in Europe. AerLingus_757_DUB_EILBT_1stToronto_140414_8921_300 copyAer Lingus are looking at more A330-300s and B757s before their A350 deliveries begin in 2018. The A330-300 is the preferred growth aircraft in size for the US east coast in the short-term.  A fourth B757 aircraft is within the workforce agreements.  The B757 is still seen as attractive, good and reliable and the ACMI operation is still relevant. No replacement will be required until the end of the decade when the A321LR will be available. aer lingus a319Of Aer Lingus’s four A320s to be released by ending  of the Virgin/Little Red contract flying operation, one is in service as the 37th short-haul aircraft for expanded summer 2015 operation,  two will be retained and used to replace two leased A319s.  The fourth is being reviewed for possible use, return to lessor or to release an owned aircraft for sale. Aer Lingus Average fare was down 2.9pc to €91.65. Short-haul was down 0.5pc. long-haul up 10pc and load factor up 0.9 to 86.2pc. Business iffass was up 21.1pc. Guest satisfaction in business class was up 28pc. Retail revenue is up 4.8pc per passenger to €19.47 and 5.8pc in total to €54.7m.  Revenue from advance bookings is up 19pc to €56m, helped by the weaker euro. Americans are playing nearly 10pc les JFK_Airport_terminal_5_gate_11for their tickets than they were last year but while 25pc of revenue is in US$ so are 37pc of costs. Net cash at 30 June 2015 of €641m compared to €586m a year ago, after €135m was paid to DB Pension schemes arising from the changes to the IASS. Aircraft and equipment contracted is €897m (that hardly includes the cost of nine A350s?). For 2015, 38pc of fuel has been hedged at an average $758 per tonne. Cost cutting is to focus on third party ground handling costs, especially in Continental Europe. Three business sectors are now recognised: long haul, European cities and European leisure/ Mediterranean destinations. Washington is trading above expectations, the third Dublin-JFK frequency is performing well, additional capacity to other destinations including SFO and Shannon-Boston is outperforming expectation.  The B757 Business class configuration is to be updated to A330 standard “in the near future.” So that’s it folks. No more updates from Aer Lingus now it goes private and the green curtain comes down. stephen kavanaghAer Space, the Aer Lingus premium economy service, will be introduced on short haul routes this autumn, with an empty middle seat, lounge access, free snacks/ and drinks, baggage allowance and priority boarding, what it calls a EuroBusiness-style premium class. Aer Lingus will match Ryanair’s business plus pricing but there will be no class divider which would trigger higher taxes from airports where the Westminster government’s APD applies. Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh says he aspire to offering a three class service on trans-Atlantic routes. Foynes Air Show attracted 15,000 spectators, and was dedicated to the memory of tragic pilot Howard Cox, to watch authentic WW2 aircraft, Aer Lingus’ first airplane, modern fighter jets and a search and rescue training exercise. Howard Cox, 67, from Devon, died in an air crash in Waterford en route to Foynes. He and his self-built “James Bond” aircraft were well known in Irish aviation circles.

Travel Trade

Michaela banks royal caribbean 1400Michaela Banks is the new Regional Sales Manager, Ireland for Royal Caribbean International. She joins Royal Caribbean from Thomas Cook, will report into Alex Johnston, Head of Retail, Ireland/Britain, based from the Dublin office alongside National Sales Managers Jenny Rafter and Jennifer Callister. Ben Bouldin said: “Ireland is a hugely important market for us. We’ve doubled the size of our sales team and it is going from strength to strength.” can deniz tunisiaJustsunshine shut their Irish operation, as expected. John Grehan technically finished with them this week but has been on holiday for the last fortnight. The tour operator continues to sell non-Tunisia product out of London. Amadeus has picked Atlas Travel as one of two launch customers for a new Amadeus mobile solution for travel agencies in Western Europe. Amadeus half year results showed revenue was up 14.2pc to €1,976.8m, EBITDA grew 10.8pc to €778.8m and total air travel agency bookings increased 10.0pc to 265.9m. On the IT Solutions side, Passengers Boarded increased 7.8pc, to 354.2m.

  • 1280px-Splendour_of_the_Seas_2011Royal Caribbean’s Club Royal are offering a chance to win a 7 Night Dubai cruise onboard Splendour of the Seas exclusive to Irish Trade Partners. Register Splendour of the Seas 2015/16 Dubai bookings on myclubroyal.ie by September 30.
  • The Irish Travel Agents Association declared its support for ECTAA’s legal action against Lufthansa’s proposed GDS ETIHAD AIRWAYS/fee. A panel session at the GBTA Convention in Orlando heard that Lufthansa’s decision to charge €16 for GDS bookings from September 1. The Distribution Cost Charge, would not have been possible 20 years ago when buyers had more options over contracting and booking.
  • A seminar for NUJ member journalists will discuss how to handle online harassment. This free event, on Saturday September 5, will be held at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Aungier Street, Dublin. Book your place and find out about the speakers.
  • Uber is to open a customer service centre in Limerick city, creating 150 jobs.
  • Travel Professionals Skillnet is hosting a free Cyber Security training session with Resilia Axelos on August 18. Book here.

Hotels

Computer_keyboardIrish people give the third highest average scores when they rate hotels, according to a survey by agoda.com, behind Russia and Egypt. Emirateans are the harshest critics of the 44 countries featured. Small Luxury Hotels of the World reported 25 new hotels, new, old and renovated to their curated collection of independent small hotels so far in 2015, including H Resort – Beau Vallon Beach, Mahe Seychelles opening this weekend and Hotel Lilla Roberts, Helsinki independent hotels showopening August 25.

  • Some airlines and hotels were reported to be pulling the plug on discount websites.
  • The Independent Hotel Show at London’ Olympia West on October 20-21 reported a 20pc increase in exhibitor bookings for 2015 compared with the same stage last year.
  • Manor house Heritage weekManor House Hotels was appointed accommodation partner of National Heritage Week. Picture shows Roisin Wallace of Manor House Hotels, Minister of State for Rural Development Ann Phelan and Michael Starrett of the Heritage Council at the launch event in the Guinness Storehouse.
  • Indian billionaire Yusuffali Kadeis is to acquire Great Scotland Yard for £110m and turn it into a hotel.
  • Marriott International reached the 1m rooms mark in Q2. Marriott announced a partnership with the NBA.
  • Mandarin Oriental opened a hotel in Milan.

International

Snow joke. In 2022 the Winter Olympics will be held in a place with no snow. On July 31st the International Olympic Committee awarded the games to Beijing, to be held in the city of Zhangjiakou, 250km (150 miles) north of the capital, beating Kazakhstan’s Almaty 44-40, with one abstention. protests cecil the lionTheodro Bronkhorst of Bushman Safaris is on bail in Bulawayo for failing to prevent the killing of Hwange’s iconic lion, Cecil by US dentist Walter Palmer. Another controversy has erupted as to who decided the politically loaded name Cecil was an appropriate name for a lion as well as the role of Johnny Rodrigues in drawing attendant to the scandal (Rodrigues later claimed a brother of Cecil has also been killed) The El Pais newspaper reports that two shootings took place at a hotel on an intersection on the La Rambla thoroughfare in Barcelona when a number of suspects fled the scene. Vail Resorts are to combine Canyons Resort and Park City Mountain Resort under one name and logo. Fremont_Street_Binions_Golden_NuggetThe street performers on Las Vegas‘ Fremont Street have been driving tourists away, city leaders claimed this week as they moved toward imposing new rules to rein in the rowdy atmosphere. Vegas has already banned people from drinking alcohol out of glass bottles and aluminium cans on the downtown street where the party began in the 1940s.

  • The Michigan Economic Development secret escapesCorporation named Dave Lorenz as Vice President of Travel Michigan.
  • Luxury travel website Secret Escapes raised $60m of funding to expand into the US and Asia. The investment round was led by Google Ventures.
  • Cuba’s tourism ministry announced plans to launch a Tobacco Trail in Pinar del Rio this September, showcasing the island’s cigar-making heritage.
  • Events in Israel: The International Red Sea Jazz Festival takes place at Eilat Port, August 23-26. The 40th annual International Arts and Crafts Fair takes place in Jerusalem, August 3-15.
  • NeverTravelAlone1600x800FB-659x350Dating site Miss Travel launched an app that allows travellers to plan holidays with strangers.
  • Travelport announced a travel commerce service partnership with Radius Travel, a rich content and branding agreement with Lufthansa and an agreement with porcheUNISTER Travel.
  • Fake palm trees helped fuel a fire that broke out in The Cosmopolitan bamboo pool in Las Vegas.
  • Three airport taxi drivers in Lisbon were arrested for overcharging tourists.
  • Hertz added the Porche Macan Turbo to its Dream Cars collection.
  • Unseen Tours, which runs tours of London given by homeless and formerly homeless guides, doubled bookings this year.
  • billy corgan disneylandIn a bid to stop people peeing in the streets, San Francisco applied paint that splashes the urine back onto the offender to nine walls around the city on a trial basis.
  • Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan went viral this week after a snap of him looking grumpy at Disneyland was posted online.

Food and Wine

CEO restaurants associationRestaurant owners say 5,000 additional trainee chefs are needed each year. The Restaurants Association called for the re-establishment of CERT, the former State Tourism Training Agency claiming the shortage of chefs has now reached crisis levels, and threatens the Hospitality Industry. The Association welcomed the new apprenticeship proposals as a stepping stone in tackling the crisis chef shortage. There has been lots of debate in the restaurant sector about the raising of the minimum wage with the Restaurants Association firmly opposed. They argue that raising the minimum wage affects workers in tradable sectors such as tourism, where they risk losing ground to foreign competitors. The Economist argues that the cost is passed on to consumers, the minimum wage turns into a subsidy funded by a sales tax—a revenue-raiser that falls heavily on the poor. On the other side minimum wages help offset firms’ bargaining power over employees reluctant to risk moving elsewhere. They may even boost productivity and reduce staff turnover by making workers value their jobs. Truckloads of studies show that low level minimum wage below 50pc of median full-time income do not destroy jobs.

  • Nicholas Woollard, new Executive Head Chef at the gibson hotel, DublinNicholas Woollard has been appointed new Executive Head Chef at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin
  • Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney introduced legislation to protect companies that make Irish spirits, Irish whiskey, Irish poitín and Irish cream are protected ‘geographical indications’ under European Law.
  • Cavan Chefs pictured at launch of Taste of Cavan - Shane Smith, Neven Maguire, Gearoid Lynch & Adrian Martin - CopyPicture shows Cavan Chefs, Shane Smith, Neven Maguire, Gearoid Lynch and Adrian Martin at the 2015 Launch of Taste of Cavan in Fallon & Byrne.
  • Denmark’s four-time restaurant of the year Noma will open for 10 weeks in Sydney’s Barangaroo harbour next January.

Aviation

kenny jacobs 001 copyAer Lingus said at its result presentation that short haul capacity will increase by 5pc this winter. With Ryanair’s decision to base 30 aircraft in Dublin Kenny Jacobs predicted it would be a good winter for consumers with a looming winter air fares war. Ryanair reported at Q1 profit after tax up 25pc to €245m as passenger traffic grew by 16pc to 28m. Average fare was down 4pc to €45, due to the timing of Easter. Rachel Lehane and Jessica O'Rourke winners of the DAA competition on the Europe Airpost/ASL Aviation France flight from Dublin to Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 30 2015 Picture shows UL graduates Jessica O’Rourke and Rachel Lehane who won return flights to Halifax in the DAA twitter competition. Dublin Airport Head of Operations Gary McLean makes a presentation to Mark Owen from Edinburgh and Lisa Walsh from Tralee, the two and a half millionth passenger to use Dublin Airport in July. The couple were returning from a holiday on the Greek island Bank Holiday Weekend Caps Busiest Month Ever At Dublin Airportof Corfu. Passenger numbers are up 16pc compared to the August Bank Holiday weekend last year. The airport is on course for a record 24.9m passengers this year. A 354,000 passenger bank holiday weekend finished the busiest month ever although for the third timein four years the airport’s busiest day was the first weekend of the school holidays, 91,698 passed through Dublin on Sunday June 28. For the previous seven years the August bank holiday provided the busiest day, including the 96,931 who squashed through the single-terminal airport on Sunday August 6 2006. British Airways is reducing the size of carry-on baggage permitted on board its flights from August 18. BA said the move is as a result of “an increase in customers travelling with hand baggage that exceeds their allowance“. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly saids it makes financial sense for his airline to retain its “bags fly free” policy.  Southwest is the only US carrier left not to charge for bags.

wow-airWOW Air reported an 81pc load factor on its Dublin to Reykjavik route in June, carrying 3,300 passengers in its first month.

Acumen Aviation appointed Keith Addison as technical director to the Americas.

A close call at Geneva airport this week when a private jet entered the runway while a Dublin-bound Aer Lingus flight was taking off.

trousses_business_3_rvb_A_c_michelgantnerAir France relaunched its business class amenity kits, complete with Clarins moisturiser, eye mask, lip balm, earplugs and more.

Finnair Cargo signed a freighter sharing deal with IAG Cargo.

Ryanair plans to sidestep price comparison websites by displaying their rivals’ fares on ryanair.com.

  • 20150731_C8358_PHOTO_EN_466285Air Canada took delivery of its first B787-9 Dreamliner.
  • Avolon delivered a B737-800 to Aeromexico.
  • AWAS delivered an A321 to VietJet Air.
  • FLY Leasing reported Q2 net loss of $58.3m after a $65.4m impairment charge. Operating lease revenue was up 13pc to $101.7m.
  • Passenger James Bassos is suing Etihad Airways claiming he got a back injury after being forced to sit next to an obese man while flying from Sydney to Dubai in 2011.
  • Ex Korean Air executive Heather Cho (the woman who went nuts over nuts) faces a second lawsuit. Flight attendant Park Chang-jin filed a lawsuit in New York for compensation for bodily and mental harm.
  • Delta is offering upgrades to private jets for premium passengers.
  • A Ryanair flight took off with the wrong luggage on board.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was further reaction to Malaysia Airlines 40pc capacity cut to Australia which removes one of the low-cost travel options to Aus for Irish consumers.
  • Lufthansa introduced their new fare concept for Europe.
  • Star Alliance launched a round-the-world premium economy fares.
  • Iberia plans to open new routes include Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara, Managua, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia, and Asuncion.
  • wing partA wing part found in the Indian Ocean is consistent with the B777 and very possibly Malaysia MH 370.
  • Qantas pilots voted in favour of EBA, which includes an 18-month pay freeze.
  • Warsaw was reported as having the shortest connect times in Europe at 30 minutes. LOT announced more frequencies to North America and new destinations.
  • Thirty helicopters were in operation to bring people to and from Galway racecourse this week. In 2007 there were 350.
  • ARI opened a rum concept store in Barbados.
  • Governor Cuomo announced a new LaGuardia Airport.
  • Air Zimbabwe grounded yesterday’s flights due to acute fuel shortages.
  • KLM-B787-9-World-Business-Class-cabinKLM will install world business class seats on its B787-9 aircraft.
  • AirAsia claims that Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s low-cost airline terminal klia2 is sinking.
  • Etihad Airways reported a 12pc increase in passenger numbers during Eid al-Fitr. Load factor out of Abu Dhabi was up 0.2pc to 82.3pc.
  • Qatar QR on boardQantas added 16 retailers to its online loyalty shopping hub.
  • Qatar Airways Cargo rolled out the QR on-board door-to-door courier service.

Afloat

viking elbeViking River Cruises has been forced to cancel two more itineraries due to low water levels on the Elbe. A large number of other sailings have been altered or adjusted, although no further cancelations. guy harvey- norwegian escapeWildlife artist Guy Harvey designed the hull artwork on the Norwegian Escape, debuting in Miami this November. Costa Cruises is to build two new LNG powered 6,600-passenger ships, new-costa-ship 900slightly bigger than Royal Caribbean’s 6,450-passenger Oasis-class ships. Carnival’s first two of four new ships will go to its German cruise line, AIDA. Carnival and its two shipbuilding partners, Meyer Werft and Fincantieri, will launch nine new ships over a four-year period between 2019-2022, the second phase of a building spree for Carnival that will bring 10 new ships to its fleet by 2018.

Ada ColauDespite Ada Colau’s call for a tourism cap, Barcelona port authority signed a €30m deal with Carnival Corporation to construct an 11,500sqm cruise terminal capable of handling 4,500 passengers. Construction is due to begin next year, with the port opening in 2018.

Fred. Olsen's fleet of four ships cruise into Norway's second city, Bergen for the historical '4Bs in Bergen' event on 28th July 2015Fred Olsen Cruise Lines brought together of its fleet of four ships, Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch to Bergen, Norway for the 4 Bs in Bergen’ event named after the initial letter of each of the four Fred. Olsen ships, the first time ever that the fleet has converged in one place, anywhere in the world.

Silversea’s 10-day Silver Wind voyage, Silversea_musedeparting August 12 from Barcelona to Civitavecchia, will feature two performances: a tea dance with pianist Michael Robinson and a sing-along with Royal Opera House Richard_Welge_AIDAperformers. Silversea cut the first steel of its 2017 flagship, Silver Muse.

Richard Welge was appointed AIDA Cruise’s VP of customer experience.

Deal Watch

family_x2_pool_shutterstock_179254373Tour America October midterm break offers, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing: 5 nights at the Rosen Inn, Point Orlando and 7 nights onboard Freedom of the Seas from €1,069pp, depart October 27. 7 nights at the Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €679pp, depart October 26. 7 nights all inclusive at the Riu Cancun from €1,139pp, depart October 27. Prices include return flights, Call 01 817 3500.

SCE_GEN_14_F0487Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering Mar Y Vent, San Antonio Bay, Ibiza from €459pps, depart September 2. 7 nights self catering Tinas Studios, Faliraki, Rhodes from €329pps, depart September 2. 7 nights self catering TRH Magaluf, Majorca from €329pps, depart September 17. 7 nights self catering Flora Apartments, Lanzarote from €469pp, depart August 31. 7 nights self catering Poseidon, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €489pp, depart August 31. 7 nights self catering Castle Beach, Fuengirola, Malaga from €599pp, depart August 30. 7 nights self catering Bellino, Hersonnissos, Crete from €499pp, depart August 23. 7 nights B&B Citi Live, Kos from €399pp, depart September 2. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

IBZ_CTR_0268Thomson offers: 7 nights self catering Silver Springs, Sunny beach, Bulgaria from €489pp, depart September 7. 7 nights self catering Ionian Blue, Kalamaki, Zakynthos from €489pp, depart September 1. 14 nights half board Levante, Cala Bona, Majorca from €699pp, depart August 27. 7 nights half board Cala Bona Complex, Majorca from €529pp, depart August 25. 7 nights B&B Kipriotis Hotel, Rhodes from €599pp, depart September 14. 7 nights full board Best of the West cruise from €989pps, depart August 25. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway Menorca family offers (two adults and two children), depart August 22: 7 nights self catering 2* Hi Binamar Apartments, Cala’n Forcat from €1,999, 14 nights from €2,499. 7 nights self catering 3* Los Naranjos Apartments, S’Algar from €2,699, 14 nights from €3,799. Turkey offers, travel in August: 7 nights B&B 4* Sea Pearl Hotel from €649pp, 14 nights from €849pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Sunset Plaza Hotel from €649pp, 14 nights from €849pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Hotel from €699pp, 14 nights from €849pp. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmin Hotel from €939pp, 14 nights from €1,299pp. MSC Opera Caribbean, Cuba and Antilles cruises, depart January 26 2016: 7 nights Caribbean Cruise from Havana from €1,199pp. 7 nights Cuba family cruise from €1,062pp. 7 nights cruise Caribbean cruise from €1,285pp incl. 2 nights B&B in  3* accommodation. 7 nights Caribbean Cruise from €1,789pp incl. 4 nights all inclusive in 3* accommodation. Prices include full board, drinks package, Cuba visa, transfers and taxes. See sunway.ie.

Classic Resorts Christmas specials: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Xcaret, Mexico from €2,059pps, book by August 31, depart December 20. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Oblu by Atmosphere at Helengeli Resort, Maldives from €2,735pps, book by September 15, depart December 20. See classicresorts.ie or call 01 874 5000.

Stena Line customers that book a return car trip from Rosslare, to Cherbourg by August 31 will also get a trip to Britain. See stenaline.ie or call 01 907 5555.

Riviera Travel late availability offers, fully escorted tours: 3 nights B&B Paris from €479pp, depart September 18. 3 nights B&B Bruges from €489pp, depart September 13. 4 nights B&B Berlin, Dresden, Meissen and Colditz from €679pp, depart September 14. 7 nights half board Lake Garda, Venice and Verona from €899pp, depart September 28. 6 nights B&B Madrid, Salamanca and Toledo from €919pp, depart September 3. 7 nights Italy tour from €1,029pp incl. 4 meals, depart September 23. 4 nights B&B Iceland from €1,039pp, depart September 20.

Christ the redeemer - RIO (4)Travel Department offers: 13-night tour of Argentina and Brazil from €2,999pp incl. taxes, flights, accommodation and excursions, travel May or November 2016. 11-night tour of Jordan and the Holy Land from €2,199 incl. taxes, flights, accommodation and excursions, depart Dublin April 10 2016 or May 11 2016.

Topflight bank holiday specials, book before midnight tomorrow (Aug 1): 7 nights 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €1,476 for two adults and two children, depart Dublin September 26. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Eden, Torbole, Lake Garda from €499pps, depart Dublin August 29. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Savoy Palace, Riva del Garda, Lake Garda from €1,057pps, depart Cork August 8. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Miami, Lido Di Jesolo, depart Cork August 15. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Senior, Cattolica from €739pps, depart Dublin August 8. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Eliseo Park, Sorrento from €818pps, depart Dublin August 16. Prices include return resort transfers, luggage allowance, all taxes, rep service and online discount. See topflight.ie or call 01 2401 700.

ITAA October mid term offers, based on two adults and two children: 5 nights 4* Los Patos Park, Costa Del Sol from €1,099 incl. return flights, depart October 24. 7 nights half board 4* Sol Costa Dorada Hotel from €1,375 incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, depart October 24. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Riu Cancun, Mexico from €1,139pp incl. return flights, depart October 27.

Lowcostbeds Caribbean late offers, based on 7 nights 2 sharing, arrive between August 24 and October 21: 4* Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus, Dominican Republic from €65pppn all inclusive. 4* Iberostar Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from €69pppn all inclusive. 5* Iberostar Cancun, Mexico from €97pppn all inclusive. 4* Iberostar Rose Hall Suites, Jamaica from €117pppn all inclusive. See lowcostbeds.com.

Bunk Campers Campervan and Motorhome Rental, CarryduffTourism NI offers: 1 night B&B Dunadry Hotel, Antrim from £150 per couple incl. dinner in the Flax & Beetle Restaurant, dark chocolates and petal turn-down service, late check-out and leisure facilities access, available until December 19, call 028 9443 4343. Bunk Campers Campervan and Motorhome Rental, Carryduff from £75 per day per camper van, available until September 25, call 028 9081 3057. 1 night B&B Lough Erne Resort, Ross Inner, Enniskillen form £68pps incl. afternoon tea, available until December 31, call 028 6632 3230.

Ireland

eoghan o'mara walshEoghan O’Mara Walsh is the new CEO of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation. 3+ MILLION CHINESE TO READ ABOUT HOLIDAYS IN IRELANDPicture shows Chinese journalists hosted by Tourism Ireland, tour guide Min Lin Siew; Wu Qi of Sanlian Life Weekly; Wang Xin of Tourism Ireland; Wang Yin of Nanfang Weekly; Wang Yuan of Traveler Weekly; and Li Xiaoheng photographer, in Galway, photographed by Sean Mannion. st mel's cathedralLongford’s rebuilt St Mel’s Cathedral has attracted 150,000 tourists to Longford since its reopening in Christmas. The building was destroyed by fire on Christmas morning 2009 and was Europe’s largest restoration project of its kind. Highlights include the Holy Family picture which came through the 1,000 degree fire largely unscathed and the spectacular barrel vaulted ceiling which was replaced using the same traditional skills as used in the 1850s. Foreign minister Charlie Flanagan made a plea on behalf of cross-border tourism has a role to play in building relationships, supporting the all-island economy and building ever stronger North/South relations.” cliffs-of-moher-facebook-pictureRemember those warning signs at the edges of cliffs? Jan Mlázovsky’s photograph taken in May, showing part of the Cliffs of Moher falling away was posted to the Cliffs of Moher Facebook page. Separately, a 14-year-old boy, who was visiting the Loop Head Peninsula with his family, fell about 9m at the Bridges of Ross. Polocrosse comes to Russborough this August Bank Holiday Weekend. TOURISM IRELAND REACHES 3 MILLION FACEBOOK FANSPicture shows Brian Harte, Tourism Ireland’s head of customer engagement and eMarketing; Sarah Fitzpatrick, Tourism Ireland’s editor of Ireland.com; Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; and Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s central marketing director celebrating 3m fans on Facebook.

Phase One routeConstruction of the West Clare Railway Greenway cycling and walking route commenced. The first face will see a 3km track linking Ennis town centre to Ballymaquiggin. The entire project will stretch 42km along the route of the dismantled West Clare Railway, from Ennis to Lahinch via Corofin and Ennistymon.

The Story of the Irish live theatrical exhibition opens in Smithfield this Thursday, charting 10,000 years of Irish history.

Eight Degrees Brewing - core range plus World Beer Cup medal winner Amber Ella American AleThe 2015 Doolin Craft Beer & Roots Festival takes place on the grounds of Hotel Doolin, August 21-23. Breweries showcasing their products include Dungarvan Brewing, Dingle Brewing Company, Eight Degrees, Galway Hoker and Trouble Brewing. Entertainment will be provided by The Young Folk, Gavin Glass, Luan Parle and Clive Barnes. Day tickets cost €10-€15 and weekend tickets cost €25. See doolinbeerandroots.com.

Waterford-Spraoi-smallFáilte Ireland teamed up with the Alison Curtis Show on Today FM to broadcast from Carters Chocolate Cafe at George’s Court Shopping Centre, Waterford city yesterday. Alison interviewed tourism providers in the area including Wobbly Circus and the Lords of Strutt from Sprai International Festival of Street Arts and the Mayfield Birds of Prey.

Maser_finalExpressway and ID2015 collaborated with Irish designers Orla Kiely, Kevin Thornton, Maser, Diarmuid Gavin, Roughan & O’Donovan and Brown Bag Films to create bus wraps on coaches.

Spanish newspaper

El Mundo newspaper in Spain ran a three-page article by Carlos Fresneda, who visited Ireland last month. Read the online version here.

SPOTLIGHT ON IRELAND AT TORONTO’S FESTIVAL OF BEERTourism Ireland sponsored the Irish pavilion at Toronto’s Festival of Beer. 35,000 people attended the three-day event. Brewers on display at the pavilion: O’Hara’s, McGargles Irish Family Brewers, The White Hag Brewery, Brú Brewery, Trouble Brewing, Eight Degrees Brewing, The Porterhouse Brewing Company, Dingle Brewing Company, Stonewell Craft Cider, and Kinnegar Brewing. Dublin Pop Up chefs, Gavan Murphy and Tim McCarthy appeared as well. Picture shows Harry Colley and Cuán Green, Dublin Pop Up chefs, with Alison Metcalfe, Dana Welch and Jonathan Sargeant, all Tourism Ireland.

bim28 (2)Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Fáilte Ireland launched a seafood trail on the WAW, Taste the Atlantic — a Seafood Journey. See the promotional video.

DUTCH PRIZE-WINNERS ‘COOK UP A STORM’ IN BEFLAST!Margot den Dulk and Martjin van den Broek from Amsterdam embarked on a five-day visit to Ireland this week after winning a competition in KLM’s inflight magazine, in partnership with Tourism Ireland and Visit Belfast. Their itinerary included a sightseeing tour of Belfast, a visiting to Titanic Belfast, a Game of thrones tour on the Causeway Coastal Route and a cookery class with Stephen Jeffers at Belfast Cookery School.

CALLING OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS AND COUNTRYSIDE LOVERS FROM BRITAINOutdoor tourism specialists joined Tourism Ireland at the 2015 CLA Game Fair at Harewood House, Leeds. 145,000 visitors expected to attend the three day event. Picture shows Tom Anketell of Duhallow Centre of Angling Excellence, Jarlath Winters of Glenmore Rivers Estate, Lionel Knobs of Lough Agency, and Tony Hayes of Tourism Ireland.

mma tweet more real than your hair copyWhat we learned this week

Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry needs a haircut (and the hair IS real, for those who participated in the toupee or not toupee debate on Twitter).     Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 13,000 visitors in one day & a shark pact

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Four cruise ships in Dublin Port: CMV Magellan, Coisieres de France Horizon, Royal Princess and Celebrity Silhouette

Four cruise ships in Dublin Port: CMV Magellan, Coisieres de France Horizon, Royal Princess and Celebrity Silhouette

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELS           INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – TRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

The headlines this week:

  • Disruptions on the Danube
  • Record crowds at Galway Arts Festival despite Sinead’s no-show
  • Holiday World Belfast has a new venue
  • MSC Cruises come to town
  • Barcelona’s tourism cap
  • Fáilte Ireland’s tourism town 2015 shortlist
  • Ryanair to base more aircraft in Dublin for winter

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week July 26 2015There was huge coverage of Mick Fanning’s close call with a shark, our video of the week. Fanning — whose father, John, is from Malin in Donegal — managed to fend off a shark using his surfboard and fists when he was attacked in the middle of a competition. His father used to say: “I made a deal with the sharks. If they didn’t come into the pub, I wouldn’t go into their water.” Watch here.

  • Watch Team Ireland depart for the Special Olympics. Watch here.
  • Here is London Heathrow’s summer promo (watch here), and check out the Crazy Croquet lawn at Terminal 2 (watch here).
  • See a spitfire land successfully without any wheels. Watch here.
  • Airbus A350 XWB’s tour of South America (watch here) and the USA (watch here).
  • See Aer Lingus’ footage of their joint air display with the Swiss Air Force aerobatic team, Patrouille Suisse, at Bray. Watch here.
  • The cow says moo. The sheep says baa. The dog says woof. But what does the deer say? Jason Doornick found out when he was on holiday in Nara, Japan. Watch here.
  • Timelapse of Emirates’ Arsenal-branded B777-200LR. Watch here.
  • Aloft Hotels invited budding musicians to take part in their Aloft Star competition. Watch here.

Headlines

Editorial Photographer, Limerick, Ireland , Munster foynes festival, airshow, air show,Foynes air show completes an exciting week of air shows. Last Sunday 80,000 spectators, 30,000 more than anticipated, watched Bray air show while Shannon hosted its air extravaganza on Saturday where the guests included a Galway boy battling aggressive cancer (see video). See here for a photo montage from the Shannon show.

galway arts festivalCrowds at the Galway International Arts Festival this week nudged towards a record 200,000 despite the high profile cry-off by Sinead O’Connor. Travel Extra stopped by to see the new Frank McGuinness play The Match Box, a theatrical tour-de-force by Cathy Benson, the equally emotion-shredding one woman performance of Sam Beckett’s Lessness by Olwen Fouéré and Enda Walsh’s dark and somewhat disturbing A Girl’s Bedroom. Picture shows Paul Fahy, Artistic Director, Galway International Arts Festival, actress Olwen Fouéré, Producer Jen Coppinger and Padraig Cusack of Cusack Projects, producers of Lessness, in the festival club.

Patricia Piccinini exhibit at Galway Arts Festival July 22 2015

Patricia Piccinini exhibit at Galway Arts Festival

Memory of the festival is watching young families react to Patricia Piccinini’s exhibit in the Festival Gallery. Talk at the Festival was of the city’s candidature for European Capital of Culture 2020. Dublin, Galway, Limerick, and the South Eastern three sisters of Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford are the candidates, Ireland will share capital of culture status with Croatia that year. Let’s hope the national embarrassment that was Cork’s incumbency in 2005 will not be repeated: no programme of events was released until July, although many other European capitals have been less than impressive in their incumbency (has anyone heard recently from Mons or Plzeň recently?). Don’t ask what time festivities finished because Travel Extra never recorded that. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Burren - EDEN awardFáilte Ireland’s awards ceremony under the EDEN programme of the European Union was hosted by the winners, the food producers of Burren Food Trail. St Hola’s cheese from Inagh featured on what was literally a prize winning menu. Guests paid tribute to the shortlisted West Waterford, Sligo Slow Food Festival and Cong Food Village as well as the winners. Tina O’Dwyer paid tribute to her team (listen here) and the concept of tina o'dwyer_5115sustainable tourism promoted by the awards scheme. Listen here to a more detailed description of how the Burren Food trail came about as described by Tina O’Dwyer at an event earlier in the year. Listen here to John Mulcahy of Fáilte Ireland reading the citations for the finalists. Listen here to Fiona Monaghan of Fáilte Ireland on the significance of the award and Clare’s new place as Ireland’s garden of Eden. Listen here to Minister Michael Ring’s foot-stomping speech at the event and listen here to Clare County Council chairman James Breen. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

holiday world new venueThe Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show Belfast has a new venue, the new 6,000 square metre Titanic Exhibition Centre at Queen’s Road which will open this Autumn.  Holiday World Show Belfast takes place over the weekend of January 15-17 and model Anna Bates came to help the announcement.

Niki Stanford Christine ScullyThursday was the biggest day of Dublin’s cruise ship season with four cruise ships in town, bringing ashore a potential 10,000 passenger and 3,000 crew. So far 60 ships have called to Dublin with 40 more before year-end. In 2012 more than 100 ships also called, but with fewer passengers. Next Friday two biggies will be in port, two more on August 13 and 15, with three due on August 28. Picture shows Niki Stanford of Clickandgo and Christine Scully of Marble City Travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

MSC cruisesMSC hosted agents and the press at separate functions in the Residence club and Darwin’s restaurant on Wednesday. Picture shows Neal Baldwin, Rebecca Kelly and Rose Darby, all MSC Cruises. MSC will be attempting to set the world record for the biggest balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet this summer with 250 participants.

Kilkenny award group_9133The Fáilte Ireland tourism town 2015 shortlist to be announced this morning. The list has been increased to 15 from ten this year: Adare, Ardmore, Belmullet, Carrick on Shannon, Clonakilty, Cobh, Kenmare, Kilkenny, Killarney, Lismore, Mountshannon, Portmagee, Sneem, Tralee and Youghal. Seven of the towns were shortlisted last year, when Kinsale and Westport each won the €5,000 prize for best large and small town. Mulranney and Kilkenny were the 2013 champions.  Towns are judged on sense of place, local involvement, tourism products available, development and promotion of the town.

danubeLow water on the Danube continues to disrupt river cruise itineraries, but the nature of rivers is to ebb and flow means much can change daily. Avalon Waterways, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Viking River Cruises were forced to bus passengers between ports and ships in order to complete itineraries. Avalon says water levels between Regensburg and Passau continue to be very low. Uniworld’s flagship Maria Theresa ended a cruise prematurely. Viking implemented a ship swap on Amsterdam to Budapest, cancelled Berlin to Prague aboard Viking Schumann, Prague to Berlin aboard Viking Fontane and altered Berlin to Prague aboard Viking Astrild and Viking Beyla. Tauck said they have only had minimal impact from water levels on the Danube.

Ada ColauAda Colau of PAH, who on June 13 became Barcelona’s mayor, and her rainbow coalition of activists and parties including the insurgent party Podemos, wants to cap tourism in the city saying it is making the city uninhabitable for its 1.7m residents, placing a moratorium on approving new hotel rooms and short-term rentals. The country’s tourism minister disagrees. Watch here a documentary about Barcelona’s tense barcelona boomberg picturerelationship with visitors, Bye Bye Barcelona, warned that the city was becoming “a theme park.” Bloomberg offers the cautionary tale of Venice, which has long since made the transition from living-and-working town to mere visitor attraction. Its population now stands at just 60,000 compared with around 2m who visit the town each year. This is, as the article acknowledges, something of a false comparison—Barcelona is Spain’s second-biggest city, with plenty of other industries and big suburbs. The Economist poses: Nearly all cities are sold on the idea of attracting tourists; many take extensive measures to lure them. But can those cities chose to turn the taps off when they become overrun?

Europe AirpostNext week Travel Extra is off to dinner in Canada. See next week’s Sunday Supplement for our report from the ASL Airlines (formerly Europe Airpost) route from Dublin to Halifax, out on Thursday and back on Friday. Yes, we may be mad. Ask us on our return on Friday.

Travel Trade

Overseas trips made by Irish residents, which have been flat since 2010, grew 9.8pc in the six months to June to 3.2m and grew 7.6pc to 1.9m for the three months April-June.

Zevs-tempelet_med_Akropolis_bakGreece bookings are unaffected by recent events according to 65pc of travel agents who participated in ITAA’s quarterly survey. Data from the Greek Civil Aviation Authority indicates a 6.7pc increase in airport arrivals from all international markets between January and June 2015 and a 3.2pc per cent increase in June arrivals. London-based analyst GfK Ascent reported Greek bookings for summer 2015 were up 3pc. Spain, Portugal and Italy remain the top destinations for Irish holidaymakers.

michael yohannes carole smithEthiopian Airlines appointed Carole Smith’s SynNeo to manage their marketing, PR and social media.

Lisa 3Former sales manager of Bewley’s Hotel, Leopardstown, Lisa Rabbitte, was appointed as Emirates’ leisure sales executive in Ireland.

Dublin-based Accident & General Insurance Services has secured a travel insurance broker deal with specialist and niche insurer UK General using the in-house capacity of its Irish business. The deal provides travel insurance through its network of travel agents and tour operators in Ireland and parts of England.

labs-workshop-02Travelport is offering funding to travel tech start-ups based in Ireland, England and the Nordics. Winning applicants will be mentored by Travelport’s team and will have access to their APIs, software development kits and will be given feedback from Travelport’s customers.

ECTAA filed a formal complaint against Lufthansa AG concerning the announced new Distribution Cost Charge.

9T2A1397aThe Commission of Aviation Regulation says August 15 is the deadline for receipt of completed licence application at standard fee for the November licensing round. Decision-in-principle letters for completed applications will be issued of September 15 and October 15 is the deadline for receipt of applicants’ bonds. See here for details, while agents with difficulties can email or call +3531 6611700. New agent licenses granted by CAR included:

  • Green Light Travel based in Sandyford Industrial Estate
  • Sandra Corkin’s Oasis Travel (pictured) who have two branches in Belfast at Howard Street and Lisburn Road, and three others in Lisburn, Bangor and Holywood.
  • Green Life Tours based in Aungier Street, Dublin 2, trading as Francigena Ways, Camino Ireland, Camino Ways, Explore World Heritage, Ireland Ways and Rustic Rambles.
  • Apex Travel Consulting trading as GPS Travel.
  • Manasik Tours has been licensed for an additional branch at 80 Clanbrassil Street Lower, Dublin 8.
  • Seatem Ireland trading as Keith Prowse Tickets and Travel Places has had a name change approved to Travel Direction Ltd.
  • World Travel Centre has had three branch addresses deleted, 42 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2; 10 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2; and Sui Finn House, Cookstown Industrial Estate, Tallaght, and two added 43 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, and Plaza Complex, Belgard Road, Tallaght.paul hackett h&s copy
  • Paul Hackett’s (pictured) ClickandGo parent Simplysun has had two new trading names in addition to ClickandGo: Holidays with Aer Lingus and Independent Travel. It means that two licensed travel agents now have Independent news and media related trading names, Clickandgo’s parent Simplysun and Cassidy Travel parent Linevana while P&P Associates, who initially partnered with the Irish Independent travel section, belatedly registered the trading name of Independent.ie Travel. Independently, if you forgive the pun, Independent Travel Consultants has Independent Travel Consultants.

18709050338_c84dcdaa7e_zChris Browne announced that she will leave TUI Aviation in September and will take the rest of the year off to spend time with her family. She is pictured with her nieces Charlotte and Victoria at last month’s Thomson/Falcon Holidays summer 2016 long haul event at Dublin airport.

Trade promotion: Book flights with Emirates and accommodation with lowcostbeds between now and August 31 and all EK references will be entered into a draw to win a pace on the fam trip to Dubai, September 20-24.

Travel Professionals Skillnet, Outlook level 2 course is available to travel professionals for €110. The course takes place August 27, 9.15am-5pm, in New Horizons, Dublin 1. Book here.

Hotels

Hilton Worldwide Walk for Solas 2_MVHilton Worldwide Dublin took park in a 12km race to raise money for young people’s charity Solas Project.

Hotel searches for Galway were up 56pc for the Races this week (July 27-August 2) compared to the week before, according to Trivago.

Superior room Imperial hotelThe Flynn family’s 125-room Imperial Hotel in Cork has completed the first half of a renovation programme in advance of its 200th anniversary in 2016 with a new gym, for resident’s use and a brand new bar and food outlet 76 On The Mall located just off the lobby where the old South’s Bar use to be.

markus lutheMarkus Luthe, CEO of the German Hotel Association (pictured), claimed that the recent announcement that Expedia will follow Booking.com in amending rate-parity agreements with hoteliers in Europe to allow them to post cheaper rates with other third-party online travel agencie are “just another bluff. Booking.com allows the hotel to offer a lower price on Expedia than on Booking.com but not on the hotel website. Expedia allows the hotel to offer a lower price on Booking.com than on Expedia but not on the hotel website. In practice, parity-grid is set in stone for the hotelier by the two giants,”

  • Ashford Castle was voted the world’s number three hotel by Travel + Leisure readers.
  • Amadeus acquired hotel property management systems provider Itesso BV.
  • Airbnb businessAirbnb revamped its business travel programme with more features for travel managers to access employee travel itineraries and financial reports. Since it launched last year, 250 companies have signed up for the scheme. Business travel counts for 10pc of Airbnb’s bookings.
  • The Riu Palace Tenerife reopened following a €26m renovation
  • Choice Hotels opened a 135-room Cambria property at 123 West 28th St in New York City’s flower district.
  • Yotel bostonIHG will open an Intercontinental hotel in Bordeaux later this year.
  • Yotel is to open a 326-key property in Boston in 2017.
  • Carlson Rezidor opened a Radisson Blu property in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts opened a Luxury Collection property, The Grand Maison, in China.
  • IHG opened a Hotel Indigo property in York, England.

International

beware buffalloYellowstone National Park officials warned tourists to keep their distance after a bison flipped a woman into the air as she posed for a selfie with the beast.

Holiday bookings and inquiries rose as Kenya welcomed the most popular tourist in its history with hopes his visit will push a new wave of tourism, according to finance minister Henry Rotich, in a week which saw a Kenyan winner of the Tour de France. Data from the Kenya Tourism Board shows visitor numbers fell of 25.4pc to 284,313 from 381,278 in January to May, on the back of a pervious 11pc drop in visitor numbers in 2014. Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi reopened two years after a militant attack that left 67 people dead. Kenya’s tourist event, Magical Kenya Travel Expo, anticipates 100 exhibitors and 150 buyers will travel on October 15-17 to Diani south of Mombasa, itself the venue of a previous militant attack,

baubaux-traveljack_3383800bThis is the BauBax travel jacket, complete with 15 built-in features including a neck pillow, eye mask, drink holder, portable charger, blanket and tablet pocket. It appeared on crowdfunding site Kickstarter where users pledged a whopping $2.3m to the campaign.

gordon penneyThe United States Senate voted to lift the ban on Americans travelling to Cuba although the hospitality industry and other business sectors are still blocked from doing business in Cuba. Airbnb offered free stays for all guests in Cuba to mark the official resumption of diplomatic ties as the US and Cuba reopen their embassies in Havana and Washington. Gordon Penney (pictured) says that interest in Cuba has trebled this year among Irish people anxious to go before the American invasion of tourists commences.

  • Andrew Cuomo launched the I LOVE NY lottery ticket. Prizes include in-state holidays worth $5,000. 
  • Russian Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka set a new record for time in space.
  • The royal visit of King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his 500-strong retinue to Vallauris caused the closure of La Mirandole, the public beach below the king’s villa.
  • tourism thailand copyEtihad signed an agreement with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to promote travel from priority markets including Ireland, UAE, Belgium, France, Germany and Spain. Picture shows the signing ceremony with Surapit  Kirtiputra, Ambassador of Thailand to Italy, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports and front row Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Acting Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand and Shane O’Hare, Senior VP Marketing for Etihad Airways. 
  • Are we there yet? Not even close. England is to introduce a contraflow to keep the M20 moving in Kent after holiday makers waiting to use the Channel Tunnel reported waits of five hours yesterday when trains were suspended as a result of strike action and what the Calais port authorities called “migrant activity.”
  • Download Visit Scotland’s Edinburgh festival guide.
  • Paul Krugman and Jeff Koons are among the speakers at the International New York Times’ Art & Democracy weekend, Costa Navarino, Greece, September 11-13.

Food & Wine

Galway food tourWhile in Galway, Travel Extra joined Sheena Dignam on her Galway Food Around the Marketplace tour to meet some local celebrities, Alexandra Saivre of Le Petit Delice, Jimmy Griffin of Griffin’s bakery (stunning sponges, creams, jams and conger bread), Seamus Sheridan’s cheese selection, we sampled Yoshimi Hayakawa’s unique vegan turnip, spinach, carrot and mushroom sushi, met Floris Wagemakers of Gourmet Offensive who says the attitude towards street food has changed enormously since he opened here in 2005, and doughnut king Daniel Rosen, a New York native whose distinctive face already features on more than one guide to the city. Food tours are all the rage worldwide, and Travel Extra rates Galway’s among the top ten they have participated in on five continents. Picture shows Sheena in Teach Ui Meachtain with Orla Higgins of Galway Arts Festival. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

1Teeling Whiskey Distillery tours are available seven days a week for €14, which includes a 45-minute guided tour and tastings. Visitors can also get their fill of whiskey in The Bang Bang Bar (or sober up in the cafe). Available tour upgrades: Teeling Trinity Tastings; single malt and vintage reserve tastings; craft comparison tastings; tastings with master distiller Alex Chasko. The visitor centre is open 7 days a week. See teelingwhiskey.com

Paul Clune will be serving pre-show suppers on Thursdays and Fridays and brunch on Sundays when Smock Alley Theatre stages The Importance of Being Earnest, August 3-22. Dinner costs €30 including the show. See smockalley.com or call 01 677 0014.

Aviation

ryanairRyanair will base 30 aircraft in Dublin next winter rather than 25 as previously planned, up from 21 last winter. Ryanair will take delivery of as many as 38 new aircraft between September and next March.

It was another big quarter for the big US airlines: Southwest, United and American Airlines all reported their largest ever quarterly profits even though Southwest’s american airlinesrevenue grew just 2pc while United’s declined 5.6pc and American’s 2pc. Unlike the others American does not hedge boosting profits further. Even with a recent increase, the spot price of jet fuel is down 40pc since September. Third quarter is anticipated to be weaker across the board giving each of the airlines an opportunity to buy back stock a popular strategy to make the remaining shares more valuable, American is spending $2bn on buybacks, Southwest $1.5bn, and Delta $5bn, Collusion-alert US Federal authorities worry 80pc of seats are now sold by four airlines, Delta, Southwest, United and American. There is little evidence of cheaper fuel prices being passed on to customers although Southwest said its average one-way fare for the first part of summer was down 3pc from last summer.

aer lingus blue insuranceBlue Insurance announced a partnership with Aer Lingus, offering Travel Insurance products on aerlingus.com from €9.56, annual travel insurance from €31.26, gadget Insurance (€1.49 per month), pet insurances from €69, wedding insurance from €73 and cover for over 65 years old.

Jet2 flights from Belfast International to Prague and Rome have been taken off sale for Summer 2016. United’s service to Newark from Belfast will stop again January 6 to March 7. They will reduce form 4w to 3w on September 28 and fly 2w from November 16.

The European Commission granted €329m in co-funding to Air Traffic Management projects around Europe to improve infrastructure and accelerate the move to single European sky.

duty free alcoholRyanair banned passengers from bringing alcohol on to flights from England to Ibiza in an effort to stamp out drink-related problems on board. Alcohol was banned on flights from Scotland to Ibiza in April. Ralph Anker’s anna.aero speculated that Ryanair will use its Amsterdam slots in the coming winter to Stansted, Paris Beauvais and Barcelona, each twice daily and to Frankfurt Hahn. Ryanair lost a libel battle in Amsterdam Court against an award-winning investigative documentary that claimed pilots were put under pressure to reduce fuel levels.

  • paul simmonsFlybe chief commercial officer Paul Simmons will leave the company in mid-January 2016 to take up a role with Christoph Mueller in Malaysia Airlines.
  • An Australian councillor proposed turning Melbourne airport’s aircraft viewing area into a tourist hub for transit passengers who want to visit the nearby Woodlands Historic Park.
  • IATA has partnered with Tel Aviv University to create a security system that will help prevent cyber attacks in the aviation industry.
  • Boeing_787-8_N787BA_cockpitBoeing’s 2015 pilot and technician outlook predicts that commercial airlines will need to recruit half a million new pilots over the next 20 years to keep up with demand.
  • Norwegian carried 100,000 passengers from Gatwick to New York in its first year of service, 65,000 from Los Angeles, and 50,000 to Fort Lauderdale.
  • Ryanair’s Alicante and Faro flights from Derry end next week amid some speculation they will not return in 2016.
  • A planned walkout among some baggage handlers, security guards and other workers at New York‘s two major airports has been averted after the subcontractor they work for reached a deal with the union that seeks to represent them
  • Avianca Brasil joined the Star Alliance network.
  • The Boeing Company and the Boeing family are each contributing US$15m to Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
    British Airways confirmed they are ending flights from London to Entebbe after months of denying the rumours.
  • Springdale Municipal Airport traffic controller Philip Maschek was arrested after he was found unconscious and intoxicated while on duty.
  • jfk animal terminalJFK international airport is building a $48m animal terminal called the Ark.
  • Air Kenya suspended operations in Keekorok airfield in Masai Mara.
  • Avolon delivered an A320-200 to Thai AirAsia, a B737-800 to Hainan Airlines and an A321-200 to Vueling Airlines.
  • Air France said it may have to close more long-haul routes if discussions with pilots AirFrance-Boeing777-300ER-YUL-2009to reduce costs are not successful. Air France is seeking to match its competitors by increasing the proportion of profitable routes from 50pc to 80pc.
  • Qatar Airways launched two destinations in Pakistan: Sialkot and Faisalabad. A Qatar Airways Dreamliner 787 experienced a bird strike at Munich airport.
  • Airbus’ China plan will deliver its first A330 in 2018.
  • Airlines for America launched their #ThereToHere social media campaign.
  • The CSO is to revise the National Accounts for the past 15 years to take account of aircraft leasing. This should not affect GDP/GNP but will have a large effect on the reported Balance of Trade.

Afloat

Edie RodriguezCrystal Cruises CEO Edie Rodriguez announced their much anticipated fleet expansion in Leknes this week to commence in 2018. Three new all-suite all-balcony 1,000 passenger Crystal Exclusive Class cruise ships will join the two-ship fleet, with open seating in the main dining room and a one-to-one passenger-to-crew ratio. Cabins will have a minimum of 400 square feet, double the size of cabins found on other luxury lines’ vessels. Ceiling heights will be raised by a foot to 8 feet in suites and on decks. The ships, to be built at Lloyd Werft shipyard, in Germany, and will be built to polar ice class standards, enabling Crystal Cruises to operate large luxury expedition ships to the Antarctic.

  • Iarnród Éireann, Port Authority for Rosslare Europort, hosted the first meeting of a new Stakeholder Advisory Group for the Europort.
  • insigniaOceania Cruises‘ Insignia will embark on a 180-day world cruise on January 6, 2017, one of the longest in the cruise industry.
  • Crystal Cruises are to add a river cruise line, a yacht cruises division, a private jet and a mini-submarine.
  • While the Danube is short of water American Queen Steamboat Company’s paddlewheeler, American Queen, changed itineraries due to high waters on the Upper Mississippi.
  • Princess Cruises has teamed up with TV chef Curtis Stone to add new dishes and dining experiences to its 18 ships.
  • silversea brochureSilversea released two 2016 brochures. Request a brochure here.
  • Captain Cook Cruises has installed the first Sydney Harbour mobile passenger terminal pontoon, which will finally allow cruise passengers to take a charter ferry from the city to White Bay.
  • Guillermo_Mordillo_AIDAsolSix artists presented their works on board the AIDAsol last Sunday, including the Argentinian cartoonist Guillermo Mordillo.
  • Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas will continue its current sailing as scheduled after experiencing a mechanical fire as it arrived in Falmouth, Jamaica.

Deal Watch

pirate_falls_treasure_quest_at_the_legoland_windsor_resort_Stena Line is offering a 2-night Legoland Windsor resort short break from €599 for two adults and two children incl. 4* accommodation and return car ferry from Dublin to Holyhead or Rosslare to Fishguard.

Tour America and Cruise Holidays’ Med cruise offers: Norwegian Epic from €999pp, depart August 2. Norwegian Jade from €1,129pp, depart October 10. Norwegian Epic form €1,199pp, depart October 25. 10 nights all inclusive MSC Orchestra from €899pp incl. post stay in Barcelona, depart November 12. 9 nights Norwegian Epic from €1,395pp, depart December 19. 11 nights Norwegian Epic from €1,049pp, depart January 13 2016. Call 01 817 3500.

COR_GEN_F002Falcon offers: 7 nights 3* all inclusive Atlantica Thalassa, Kos from €2,609 for two adults and two children, depart August 29. 7 nights 2* self catering Playa Sol Apartments, Es Cana, Ibiza from €399pp, depart September 2. 7 nights 3* all inclusive Cortijo Blacno, Marbella from €689pp, depart August 30. 7 nights 3* all inclusive Barcelo Varadero, Play De Arena, Tenerife from €699pp, depart August 30.  7 nights 3* half board Izaro Club, Puerto De Carmen, Lanzarote from €549pp, depart August 31. 7 nights 3* all inclusive Ialyssos Bay, Trianda, Rhodes from €759pp, depart September 2. 7 nights 3* all inclusive Aquaplaned Village, Agios Ioannis, Corfu from €1,779 for two adults and one child or from €2,499 for two adults and two children. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

LZR_PDC_9323Thomson offers: 7 nights half board 5* Bahia Princess, Costa Adele, Tenerife from €699pp, depart August 28. 7 nights all inclusive Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €599pp, depart September 14. 7 nights half board Kos Imperial, Psalidi, Kos form €799pp, depart October 3. 7 nights half board H10 Gran Tinerfe, Tenerife from €779pp, depart December 5. 7 nights 4* H10 Timanfaya Palace, Lanzarote from €629pp, depart December 6. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway offers: 10 nights Canary Island cruise on board the Norwegian Epic from €799 incl. flights ex Dublin and soda package, book by August 3, depart Jan 2, Jan 24, Feb 14 or Mar 16. 7 nights B&B 4* Alay Hotel, Costa Del Sol from €769pp, depart Dublin or Cork August 1. 7 nights self catering 3* Timor Sol Apartments, Torremolinos from €779pp, depart August 1. 7 nights all inclusive Club Med, Da Balaia, Portugal from €1,089 per adult and from €559 per child under 12 incl. flights ex Dublin, transfers and 15kg baggage pp. 7 nights 3* International Palms Resort, Orlando from €819pp incl. flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in April 2016. See sunway.ie.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights B&B 3* Santa Constanza Hotel, Rome from €249pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in August. 7 nights B&B 5* More Hotel, Dubrovnik from €545pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in October. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Bahia de Lobos Hoel, Fuerteventura from €549pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in November. 3 nights 3* Double Tree Club, Boston from €869pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in October. 3 nights 3* Red Roof Inn, Chicago from €659pp incl return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in November. See clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Lowcostbeds Spanish Costas offers, based on 7 nights, 2 sharing, travel in August: 3* Blue Sea Hotel Calas Marina, Costa Blanca from €42pppn B&B. 4* HTOP Royal Beach, Costa Brava from €59pppn all inclusive. 4* Vik Gran Hotel, Costa Del Sol from €68pppn all inclusive. 5* Blue Sea Gran Hotel Cervantes, Costa Del Sol from €70pppn all inclusive. See lowcostbeds.com.

ITAA city break offers: 13 nights Lisbon and Lake Garda from €1,095pp incl. flights and transfers, depart September 10. 3 nights Kyriad Disneyland Resort, Paris from €215pp incl. return flights, depart September 28. 3 nights 4* Park Inn by Radisson, Berlin from €286pps incl. flights ex Shannon, depart October 30.

Discover Travel offers: 12 nights Andaman Essence tour from €1,639pp incl. taxes and flights ex Dublin. 12 days Best of China tour from €1,469pp, depart September 20.

Uniworld River Boutique Cruises is offering an 8-day all inclusive cruise on Bordeaux, Vineyards and Chateauz from €2,179pps incl. flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers, book by July 31, depart August 16. See uniworld.ie or call 01 775 3803.

Insight Vacations is offering a 7-day tour of Vienna, Budapest and Prague from €1,349pps incl. flights, transfers and a selection of meals, book by August 31, depart November 1. See insightvacations.ie or call 01 775 3803.

Contiki is offering a 7-day tour of Berlin and Prague from €1,069pps incl. flights and six meals, depart September 19. See contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.

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Tourism NI offers of the week: 3 nights B&B Donn Carragh Hotel, Lisnaskea, Enniskillen from £125 for two people sharing, available until October 1, call (028) 6772 1206. Game of Thrones itinerary at Honeysuckle Cottage, Ballymoney from £35pps, available until November 30, call call 07919 493 938. 1 nights B&B Corick House Hotel & Spa, Clogher from £140pps incl. spa treatments and a 4 course dinner in the Carleton restaurant, available until December 31, call (028) 8554 8216. 1 nights B&B Millbrook Lodge Hotel, Ballynahinch from £44.50pps incl. dinner, available until September 12, call 028 9756 2828 to book. 1 nights B&B The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast from £150 per room, available until August 31, call 028 9044 2080. 1 night B&B Maldron Hotel Derry from £99pps incl. a two course meal, two cocktails and a £20 gift card per room for the Foyleside Shopping Centre, available until December 31, call 028 7137 1000.

Ireland

CSO figures show strong inbound growth (+12pc) in Ireland’s visitor numbers. While the incredibly strong early increases from Britain and France has slowed somewhat to single digit growth, Germany’s and North America’s growth rates are accelerating and Italy is still showing very strongly. If the current level of growth continues the island will get 9.7m visitors in 2015. At this rate North America will send a record 1.4m tourists to Ireland.

TOURISM IRELAND BOARD MEETS IN KILKENNYTourism Ireland’s July board meeting took place in the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel on Wednesday. Board members met with local tourism operators to discuss the tourism season and overseas promotional programme in 18 markets. Watch here the Kilkenny Arts Festival video. Watch here Tourism ireland’s online video featuring St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny Castle, the Black Abbey, St John’s Priory, Rothe House and The Hole in the Wall. Picture shows Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Aileesh Carew, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland; and Eugene Downes, Kilkenny Arts Festival.

aghadoe killarneyKillarney chamber of commerce launched an initiative to rebrand the town as a spiritual destination. The spiritual trail will include Inishfallen island, where Brian Boru studied, Pugin cathedral, the Franciscan abbey at Muckross and the church and round tower of Aghadoe.

Artramon House and Farm in Castlebridge, Wexford is now open year round.

Vinegar Hill Pikemen 8Five-hundred rebels and redcoats will take part in the fourth annual Battle of Vinegar Hill reenactment in Enniscorthy, August 1 and 2. See visitwexford.ie.

White O’Morn cottage in Ma’am, Connemara — made famous by John Ford’s classic The Quiet Man — was granted protected status by Galway County Council.

Belsonic is the name of an outdoor music festival which took place at the Custom House Square in Belfast, Northern Ireland in August 2008. The opening concert was headlined by The Flaming Lips.

Discover Northern Ireland’s upcoming summer festivals: Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, now until August 3. August Féile, Belfast, July 30-August 9. Sunflowerfest, Hillsborough, Co Down, July 31-August 2. 7 Hills Blues Festival, Armagh, August 6-9. Stendhal Festival, Limavardy, Co Derry, August 7-8. Club MTV, Derry, August 15. Belsonic, Belfast, August 15-26. EastSide Arts Festival, Belfast, August 19-31. Holden Berr and Music Festival, Lisburn, August 28-30. Tennent’s Vital, Belfast, August 29-30. Carnival of Colours, St Columb’s Park, Derry, August 29-30. Belfast Mela, August 30. Hillsborough International Oyster Festival, Co Down, September 1-6. Bluegrass Music Festival, Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, September 4-6.

Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.

 

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Who twisted Michael O’Leary’s arm?

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONAL IRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

Holiday-world

Mojitos in the footsteps of Hemingway, Air France travel trade trip to Cuba

Mojitos in the footsteps of Hemingway, Air France travel trade trip to Cuba

The headlines this week:

  • Back to Belfast for Ryanair?
  • Aer Lingus will be part of IAG group by December
  • Weekend of air displays in Shannon and Bray
  • Busy week for cruise calls
  • Summer fun with Kimpton Hotels

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week July 19 2015Our video of the week is the much-shared video of an Irish dad’s first flight. Newry-native Michelle Carville uploaded footage of her father Patsy during takeoff on the flight to Liverpool. Watch here.

  • Jedidiah Jenkins decided to break out of his routine — by cycling 7,000 miles across two continents. Watch here.
  • seagull steals a German tourist’s GoPro (don’t worry, he gives it back). Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus uploaded a video of the A350 XWB’s visit to Dublin. Watch here.
  • A selfie stick becomes a selephant stick. Watch here.
  • Airbnb’s new Mankind campaign has been criticised for being too creepy. Watch here and see for yourself.
  • Tourism Ireland promotes Belfast’s design scene as part of ID2015. Watch here.
  • Ryanair uploaded archive footage from their B737 at FlightFest Dublin. Watch here.

Headlines

michael o'leary arm in sling copyWho twisted Michael O’Leary’s arm? He appeared at a Brussels press conference with his arm in a sling, Maybe it was over the airline’s famously contrary insurance opt out, set to be disappear on October 27, the bane of many a passenger’s life. How many people have accidentally bought travel insurance they did not want? Michael O’Leary claimed he tore ligaments in his shoulder in a football accident playing soccer with his six year old. So it was his son that twisted his arm?

ryanairMichael O’Leary confirmed Ryanair will bid for the five pairs of slots to be released by IAG at Gatwick as part of EU regulatory approval for its takeover of Aer Lingus. The slots appear to have to be bid for as a block and include at least one round trip to Belfast, which indicates a possible Ryanair return to the city. Currently, Aer Lingus operates to Gatwick about 38 services per week from Dublin, 20 from Belfast City and 7 from Knock; Ryanair operates 28 per week from Dublin, 7 from Cork and 7 from Shannon  Approval terms, published by the EU a day ahead of time, list the Gatwick slots alongside fare combinability, pro rate agreements, frequent flyer programmes, and a monitoring trustee. Anyone with spare time on their hands can  try to figure out what the Special Prorate Agreements and Inventory access requirements in the dense 29-page document (basically an attempt to preserve the status quo). Events afterwards were neatly choreographed: the Aer Lingus EGM passed the takeover resolutions by overwhelming majorities, all in excess of 99pc paschal donohoeof shares voted. IAG is now assured of acceptances of 75pc which will allow it to seek delisting of the Aer Lingus shares from the Irish and London Stock Exchanges. Paschal Donohoe rowed in with his support and IAG’s Enrique Dupuy de Lôme said the US Justice Department regulator had “satisfactorily concluded” its review of the transaction. Other airlines are invited to apply for seats on Aer Lingus’ short-haul network for their transfer passengers, on normal commercial terms. When acceptances inevitably reach 90pc (shares will be untradeable after delisting and IAG has extended the deadline by two weeks), IAG can compulsorily acquire any shares that have not been offered to it. By December Aer Lingus will be part of the IAG group. Eight extra aircraft will be on their way to the fleet and six new direct trans-Atlantic destinations will be lined up for Irish holiday makers.

Shannon celebrated the anniversary of the first commercial flight to Rineanna yesterday with the Shannon Air Display (website). Swedish jet, the Viggen Saab, was among the highlights of the even, six hours of aerobatics performers, parachutists, helicopters, jet fighters and stunt fliers watched by 40,000 people.

Official rehearsals for the Swiss Air Force aerobatic team Patrouille Suisse ahead of Sunday’s Bray Air Display, July 18 2015, picture by Michael Kelly

Today Bray will host the Swiss Air Force aerobatic team, ‘Patrouille Suisse’, who will give a joint display with the Irish Air Corps with the Patrouille Suisse supersonic red and white Tiger aircraft reaching speeds of between 250 and 1,100 kilometres per hour. Jets from Aer Lingus, Ryanair and CityJet will also be taking to the skies above Bray that day and spectators are strongly advised to use Dublin Bus, DART and other public transport services, as traffic restrictions will be in place. All visitor information about the free Bray Air Display is available from brayairdisplay.com and braysummerfest.com and no tickets are required. The event hash tag on social media is #BrayAirDisplay. Michael Kelly’s pictures show official rehearsals for the Swiss Air Force aerobatic team Patrouille Suisse ahead of Sunday’s Bray Air Display. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Next Sunday one of the largest search and rescue (SAR) training exercises ever undertaken in Ireland will open the 2015 Foynes Air Show in front of the estimated 15,000 people The show features Russian MiG, WW2 aircraft and aerobatics performance.

Natalie Papoutsoglou Christine HannonThis was the busiest week so far for cruise ship calls. As if to prove how badly needed are Dublin Port’s €230m expansion plans, some for the biggest called by in tandem, including P&O’s Britannia, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and Royal Princess. It was an opportunity for a joint promotion by Royal and Cunard. “We deal with the same agents and we are not really in competition with each other so it was too good an opportunity to miss,” Natalie Papoutsoglou of Princess says. On the ground Dawn Conway of Sunway put her organisational skills to use to recruit the leading agents. Picture shows Natalie Papoutsoglou of Princess Cruises and Christine Hannon of Cunard. Listen here to Christine Hannon of Cunard describing the cruise line of the three Queen’s advantages, including an enhanced transatlantic programme and a large passenger to space ration. Also listen here to the lively Q&A with Irish agents where Christine Hannon answered questions about onboard gratuities, drinks packages, average cruise age and onboard activates. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Bernie Burke Carl LonerganKimpton Hotels‘ visit to Dublin is a highlight of the summer calendar. Cindy Brewster outlined the hotel chain’s key selling points: what other hotel company offers bicycles, has a sommelier called Emily Wines who is selecting the wine list throughout the group, some of the best restaurants in the US and the wine hour, probably the most popular event in the Irish market (listen here). She also mentioned that Ireland was one of the few markets where different types of buyers could be invited to a single event (listen here). Martin Skelly replied on behalf of the Irish travel trade (listen here). Picture shows Bernie Burke of Travel Centres and Carl Lonergan of Club Travel at the Kimpton Hotels event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Ashlee Ciora Francine SheridanDid any trade delegation have as much fun on their Irish visit as the 15 from California who surfed through Dublin last week? The US ambassador Kevin O’Malley, hearing they were in town, brought them on a tour of the ambassadorial residence in Phoenix Park. The visit finished with a performance by Liam Ó Maonlaí on the Friday and a dinner in Fade Street Social where they were so loud they treated adjoining table to a drink by way of compensation. California dreaming indeed. Picture shows Ashlee Ciora of Greater Palm Springs and Francine Sheridan of Visit Los Angeles at the Visit California event at Drury Buildings. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

tsiprasGreece‘s 31-hours-later deal with EU will raise restaurant VAT rates to 23pc and remove discounts on rates in the Aegean islands. Yanis Varoufakis outlined his objections to the package. Ryanair is helping Greece with €5 domestic fares and €10 inbound fares from foreign destinations.

Travel Trade

Agents hosted by Air France in Cuba pictured outside the Bodeguida after Mojitos in Havana: Monica Rossi of Abbey Travel, Ian Walsh of Travel Counsellors, Kevin Ryan of Tropical Sky, Barry MacCourt of Trailfinders, Dianne McCarthy of Shandon Travel, Teresa Murphy of Air France KLM, Our Guide Marianella, Helen Stokes of Topflight and Paul Harvie of GoHop.

Picture shows agents hosted by Air France in Cuba pictured outside the Bodeguida after mojitos in Havana: Monica Rossi of Abbey Travel, Ian Walsh of Travel Counsellors, Kevin Ryan of Tropical Sky, Barry MacCourt of Trailfinders, Dianne McCarthy of Shandon Travel, Teresa Murphy of Air France KLM, Our Guide Marianella, Helen Stokes of Topflight and Paul Harvie of GoHop. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Olive Taaffe from Club HRG Worldwide won the second spot prize in the Air France KLM Supper Taste of the World Competition, a bottle of French wine and Butlers chocolate. Two more spot prizes will be won before the grand finale on  July 31st.

Agents who book an Air France or KLM flight before July 31 and enter their booking on the competition website can win business class tickets for two to any Air France-KLM destination and other prizes. Picture shows Olive Taaffe from Club HRG Worldwide, who won the second spot prize in the Air France KLM Supper Taste of the World Competition, a bottle of French wine and Butlers chocolate. Two more spot prizes will be won before the grand finale on July 31.

Deirdre GrantDeirdre Grant joined Topflight’s Worldwide division to head up the worldwide group department. Deirdre started in travel organising the Raphoe Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes and her 36-year career includes 22 years at the helm of Driftaway Travel in Letterkenny from 1987 to 2009.

P1080339Picture shows Margaret Cronin, Nicky Logue GM of Gibson Hotel and Joan O’Shaughnessy at Skal’s annual BBQ in the Gibson Hotel.

Portuguese Tourist Office moved into a new office this week. The new address is 70 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4. A direct phone is being set up. In the meantime, call +353 (0) 833254947. Celina Tavares says there will be limited access to emails tomorrow, July 20, but they will try and revert to you as soon as they can.

Michelle Harley of Tullys Travel, the winner of the Travel Corporation summer incentive receives her prize from Donna Kenny and Egle Godliauskaite

Picture shows Michelle Harley of Tully’s Travel, winner of the Travel Corporation summer incentive, receiving her prize from Donna Kenny and Egle Godliauskaite.

Michelle Barron of Stein Travel and Emily Leahy of Barter Travel won €100 in lowcostbeds Happy Mondays promotion. There are two more draws, one tomorrow (July 19) and next Monday (July 27).

Anthony Daniels has been confirmed as the new Head of Sales for Hurtigruten, taking over from Maxine Parker who leaves next month. The company has also promoted Daniel Giles to Senior Sales Manager for the North, Scotland and Ireland. Anthony’s previous roles include Business Development Manager for Norwegian Cruise Line, Commercial Development Manager for Reader Offers Limited and UK Sales Manager for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Anthony Daniels has been confirmed as the new Head of Sales for Hurtigruten, taking over from Maxine Parker who leaves next month. The company has also promoted Daniel Giles to Senior Sales Manager for the Northern England, Scotland and Ireland. Anthony’s previous roles include Business Development Manager for Norwegian Cruise Line, Commercial Development Manager for Reader Offers Limited and UK Sales Manager for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

John Grehan finishes up on July 31 with Justsunshine, whose Tunisian programme was withdrawn after the Sousse shootings.

Chris Mottershead has been promoted to London commercial director for Thomas Cook, beginning later this month.

Hotels

trivago mapTrivago’s July Hotel Price Index shows average hotel prices in Ireland increased 15pc YOY to €124. Unsurprisingly, Dublin  topped the list with an average price in Trivago’s scan of 32 search engines at €168, up 9pc YOY. Belfast, in third place behind Killarney, was up 36pc YOY largely thanks to the weakening of the euro. Limerick had the lowest price at €99. Galway and Kinsale saw the biggest increase compared to last month, both up 7pc MOM.  The price list: , Dublin €168, Killarney €156, Belfast €147,  Kenmare €146, Kinsale €146, Galway €137, Cork €122, Sligo €122, Westport €120, Derry €116, Dingle €113, Wexford €111, Tralee €110, Kilkenny €106, Waterford €104, Athlone €99, Limerick €93.

Trivago EuropeThe usual suspects topped the July European Hotel Price Index: Geneva’s average price for July is €284, followed by London at €263 and Venice at €250. As expected, lowest prices in Eastern Europe: Warsaw €62, Sofia €62, Bucharest €70. Paris prices up slightly by 1.4pc YOY to €181. Berlin up 5pc to €102. Rome up 5pc to €136.  Barcelona up 7pc to €160. Lisbon up 5pc to €114.

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Ballygarry House Hotel & Spa in Tralee launched a range of Wild About Kerry packages, capturing hidden gems along Kerry’s WAW route.

Japanese business man Hideo Sawada unveiled the Henn na Hotel, a hotel run by robots. Watch video here.

Sheraton-HyderabadStarwood Hotels & Resorts will add four European properties to its luxury collection: Augustine in Prague, Falisia Resort  Spa in Portopiccolo, Caresse Resort & Spa in Bordum and Grand Hotel River Par in Bratisalva. The group opened a Sheraton property in Hyderabad and will debut its W Hotels brand in Costa Rica in 2019.

Hyatt Hotels will open the Hyatt Regency Wuhan Optics Valley hotel in central China.

International

shanghai disneyDisney unveiled the details of its $5.5bn Shanghai Disneyland theme park, planned since 2009 and due to open spring 2016. There will be six themed lands and attractions based on Star Wars and Marvel characters, a Mandarin-language production of the Lion King live show, two resorts — Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel — Disneytown shopping and entertainment district, and the Enchanted Storybook Castle. There will be plenty of competition: The number Chinese amusement parks is expected to reach 850 this year, and Universal Studios and Dreamworks have Chinese attractions in the pipeline. The one-child policy and trend in extended families travelling together means adult visitors will outnumber children 4 to 1, which means more seating areas, more restaurants and open spaces for older family members.

canadaCanada, is the country with the best reputation according to the Reputation Institute’s 2015 Country RepTrak report with Ireland just outside the top ten in 11th place. The top ten is: 2 Norway, 3 Sweden, 4 Switzerland, 5 Australia, 6 Finland, 7 New Zealand, 8 Denmark, 9 Netherlands, 10 Belgium. Ireland’s reputation improved 5.2pc in the RepTrak index, with top ten finishes in environment, desire to visit and something called the emotional halo.

US CBP officers began using a mobile device to scan fingerprints from a sample on selected flights flying out of Atlanta. The  test will be expanded inautum to  Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, San Francisco and Washington.

A proposal to curtail home rentals in San Francisco aimed at hosting platforms, such as Airbnb, to list only units that are registered with the city has qualified for the Nov 3 ballot.

abby spatzNYC & Company appointed Abby Spatz as chief marketing officer.

According to Hotels.com’s annual Chinese travel monitor, Australia, Japan and France were the top three destinations for Chinese travellers in 2014. The number of Chinese travellers was up 20pc last year to 107m.

Yes I Speak TouristeParis launched the mobile app Yes I speak touriste to help visitors find shops, hotels and attractions where their native language is spoken.

Adventure Travel World Summit 2015 in Chile is sold out. 700 delegates will participate.

A report by travel expense management company Certify suggested that business travellers in the USA are warming to alternative travel options. The survey claimed that 31pc of ground transport receipts in Q2 were from Uber, compared to 24pc from taxis and 45pc from rental car. Receipts from Airbnb are spall, but the room rental site grew 143pc over Q1.

East London’s Docks will be open for casual and competitive swimmers during set periods on weekdays and Sunway mornings. Water temperature promises to stay around 18C. Wetsuits, showers and food are available on site.

  • 12-Hay-Hill-by-Alex-Brenner-_DSC2967_blend6A five-floor business club opened at Berkeley Square, London.
  • Austria banned smoking in all restaurants.
  • See suggestions for New Zealand’s new flag.
  • Worshippers in Mecca streamed their pilgrimage stories on Snapchat and Twitter.
  • Uber was ordered to pay a $7.3m fine for failing to comply with California’s state reporting requirements.
  • Kongeveien Eiendom Spa ComplexKongeveien Eiendom Spa Complex, claimed to be the largest spa in Norway, will be rebranded The Well. The facility is slated for December 2015. The Agora, claimed to be the world’s largest public sauna, opened on Sandhornøya island, Norway.
  • A survey by laterooms.com found that 60pc of business travellers suffer from homesickness, but only 8pc said this resulted in a drop in productivity.

Food & Wine

Doris ChoiNew York chef Doris Choi joins Domini Kemp, her sister in law, for an event at Alchemy in BT2, Dublin this Wednesday, July 29. They will be serving a raw and vegan three-course dinner with coconut lime soup, spicy avocado rolls and a raw Pad Thai with courgette noodles. Tickets are €55, email hello@alchemyjuice.ie to book.

JD Wetherspoon open their fourth pub in Ireland in Swords on Tuesday, July 21.

Aviation

polito o'learyRyanair’s case against Simon Polito’s ruling on its Aer Lingus shareholding will continue even when the shares have been sold despite ALL the legal decisions having gone against them. When England’s Competition and Marketing Authority welcomed the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s decision to rule against Ryanair’s it did acquiesce to grant Ryanair the necessary approvals to sell its 29.8pc stake to IAG and suspended the requirement to appoint a divestment trustee to carry out the sale, removing one of the obstacles it could have put in the way of Ryanair’s sale. London’s Supreme Court refused Ryanair permission to appeal against the judgment of February 12. The case will continue with extra-territoriality at the heart of the case (of more than passing interest to the industry in general). As Kenny Jacobs says: this is the equivalent of the Irish regulator making a ruling  on Sainsbury’s because people on the border shop there.

PassengersSkybridgePassenger numbers up 15pc in first six months at Dublin Airport. The airport is on course for 25m passengers in 2015, current record 23.4m in 2008.

Average ancillary revenue per passenger is $17.49, up 8.5pc, according to a study sponsored by Bobby Healy’s CarTrawler. Sixty-three airlines participated in the study, with the low cost carriers being a 32.8pc jump in ancillary revenue to $2.9bn.

Aer Lingus Regional reported a 4pc YOY increase in load factor to 74pc for June. Passenger number on the Kerry-Dublin route was up 39pc and Donegal-Dublin up 11.3pc.

Sport Statue Shannon 16A new statue at Shannon airport marks one of Irish sport’s most iconic moments: an image of Paul O’Connell being hoisted into the air by his Irish teammates Donncha O’Callaghan and John Hayes against England in 2007 is turned into a sculpture.

American Airlines announced that it will add eight routed throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America later this year.

  • The last US Airways flight will take off on October 17.
  • Bohai leasing in China is to acquire a 20pc stake in Avolon for $429m.
  • Airbus is reportedly preparing to launch an A450-900LR for long range flights. They are in talks with Singapore Airlines for an ultra-long haul jet.
  • Qatar freighterQatar Airways Cargo will introduce a 747 freighter to its fleet on August 1.
  • Delta cancelled an order for 40 Boeing 737-900s and 20 Embraer E-190s after pilots voted down a three-year contract.
  • All Nippon Airways returns to Sydney after a 15 hiatus. Daily overnight flights from Tokyo commence December 11, served by B787-9 Dreamliners.
  • United Airlines awarded two hackers with 1m free flight miles for spotting security glitches in its website.
  • 10 signs you’re and Av geek, according to Private Fly blog.
  • Australian Business Traveller reported that the Australian government is to pool 100,000 government workers into a frequent flyer programme to book their flights.
  • Air Malta launched a free in-flight spa experience.
  • Air-Berlin-Wunderkind-amenity-kitFashion brand Wunderkind designed amenity kits for Air Berlin’s long haul flights.
  • Eleven airliners and one military aircraft reported laser strikes a New York airports on Wednesday.
  • The abandoned Ciudad Real airport was sold at auction for €10,000 — 100,000 times less than it cost to build.
  • runway1AlexSutton__3376537bEmirates resumes a 4w A330-200 service to Erbil, Iraq from August 15.

Architecture graduate Alex Sutton won a distinction for his design for an airport above the streets and canals of Stockholm. Sutton proposed a short runway, city-wide baggage system, taxi-track system to move aircraft and self-service baggage kiosks.

Norwegian a la carteAfloat

Travel Department launch a Rhine river cruise on September 25. Package includes 7 nights full board basis on the Superior A-Rosa Aqua, transfers, flights from Dublin and one night in the 4* Maritim Hotel Cologne on a half board basis. See traveldepartment.ie.

captain-kate-mccueCelebrity Cruises appointed their first America female captain, Kate McCue, to the helm of the Celebrity Summit. 

MSC Cruises is to rename MSC Club the MSC Voyagers Club and revamp its loyalty scheme, introduce a new points earning system and remove of top tier perks.

balletSilversea Cruises announced that Russian ballet dancers Daria Khokhlova and Artemy Belyakov will perform three ties on the Silver Spirit’s 9-day Mediterranean cruise, depart August 19.

American Cruise Lines has named its new Mississippi riverboat America.

Deal Watch

  • Champions World Hotel, OrlandoITAA offers of the week: 2 nights B&B hotel accommodation from €175pp incl. full day at Cambridge Vintage Sales, coach transfer, dinner in hotel, return ferry travel from Dublin, depart October 16-18. 7 nights Champions World Hotel, Orlando from €569pp incl. flights, travel November. 7 nights full board cruise on board MSC Musica Cruise, Abu Dhabi from €899pp incl. return flights, return airport transfers and check in pp, depart January 1.
  • Thomson offers: 14 nights half board Hotel Levante, Cala Bona, Majorca from €1,069pp, depart July 23. 7 nights half board Son Baulo, C’an Picafort, Majorca from €519pp, depart August 22. 7 nights self catering Cosmos Maris Lardos, Rhodes from €449pp, depart September 2. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive Akti Beach Club, Kos from €2,219 for two adults and two children or from €2,789 for two adults and two children, depart August 22. 7 nights self catering Janeas Do Mar, Algarve from €1.549 for two adults and one child or from €1.879 for two adults and two children, depart August 23. 7 nights Cortijo Blanco, Marbella, Costa Del Sol from €769pp, depart Cork August 23. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Classic Resorts Dominican Republic offers, travel September 1 to October 31, book by August 31: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Occidental Grand Punta Cana from €1,299pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa from €1,499pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa from €1,689pps. See classicresorts.ie or call 01 874 5000.
  • Click and Go offers: 7 nights self catering Vista Oasis Apartments, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €349pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in November. 3 nights 5* Radisson Blu Es Hotel, Rome from €359pp incl. return flight ex Dublin, travel in August. 3 nights 3* Red Roof Inn, Chicago from €579pp incl. return flight ex Dublin and 23kg British Airwayscheck in baggage, travel in December. 7 nights B&B 4* Windsor Hotel, Madeira from €599pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in August. See clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.
  • British Airway’s rest of world seat sale continues until July 21. Beijing from €200, Johannesburg €300, Dubai €194, Sydney €360.
  • Lowcostbeds all inclusive Turkey offers, based on 2 sharing, 7 nights, travel in August: 4* Flora Palm resort, Dalaman from €49pppn. 5* GARCIA Resort & Spa, Dalaman from €65pppn. 5* Le Blue Hotel & Resort, Bodum from €65pppn. 5* Gloria Golf Resort, Antalaya from €103pppn. See lowcostbeds.com.
  • Pontins 1Stena Line is offering 7 nights self catering Pontins holiday from €525 for two adults and two children incl. return car ferry from Dublin, Rosslare or Belfast, arrive on Mondays or Fridays until August 31.
  • Sunway Menorca offers, based on 7 nights, travel in September: 2* Los Lenticos self catering from €439pp. 2* Vistablanes self catering from €464pp. 2* Binimar Apartments self catering from €514pp. 3* Roc Lago Apartments self catering from €539pp. 4* Los Defines half board from €654pp. 4* Almirante Farragut half board from €744pp. See sunway.ie.
  • Sunway Mark Warner Beach Clubs offers: 7 nights half board 5* Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes from €929pp, depart September 23. 7 nights half board 4* Lakatira Beach Resort, Kos from €829pp, depart September 19. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sea Garden Beach Resort, Aegean Coast, Turkey from €739pp, depart September 20.
  • Lowcostholidays September offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Rio Apartments, Algarve from €289pp, depart Sep 23. 7 nights self catering 3* Blue Sea Costa Teguise Gardens, Lanzarote from €389pp, depart Sep 21. 7 nights 3* Ramada Gateway Hotel & Inn, Orlando from €625pp, depart Sep 23. 7 nights B&B 3* Royale Hummingbird Cliff Resort, Jamaica from €886pp, depart Sep 23. 3 nights B&B 3* Kavalir Hotel, Prague from €185pp, depart Sep 26. 3 nights B&B 4* Illunion Almiranta, Barcelona from €315pp, depart Sep 26. More offers here. See lowcostholidays.ie or call 01 485 3835.
  • Insight Vacations is offering a 9 day tour of Spain and Portugal from €1,809pps incl. flights, transfers, selection of meals and visits to Madrid, Granada, Seville, Lisbon and Salamanca. Book by July 31, depart August 29. See insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
  • Uniworld River Boutique Cruises is offering an 8 day all inclusive river cruise to Paris and Normandy from €2,149pps incl. flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers. Depart July 26. See uniworld.ie or call 01 775 3803.
  • Contiki is offering a 14 day European Highlights tour from €1,420pps incl. two night stops in Paris, French Riviera, Rome and Amsterdam, flights and meals. Depart September 11. See contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.
  • Cassidy Travel offers 7 nights 3* accommodation, Algarve from €287pps, depart Sep 1. 7 nights 3* accommodation, Costa del Sol from €306pps, depart Aug 27. 7 nights 3* accommodation, Tenerife from €303pps, depart Aug 27. 8 nights 4* accommodation, Barcelona from €332pps, depart Sep 7. All prices include flights. See cassidytravel.ie or call 0818 332500.

Ireland

Tourism Ireland German Group Tourin HousePicture shows Kristin Jameson of Tourin House, Lismore, Co Waterford and Gardens who hosted eight German travel writers and their hosts: tour guide Helen O’Connell, Brenda King of Fáilte Ireland, Ute Strunk of Verlagsgruppe Rhein Main, Heidrun Seidel of Lausitzer Rundschau, Reni Christiansen of Schleswig Holstein am Sonntag, Juergen Juchtmann of Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Gabriele Beautemps of Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Ina Sperl of Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Judith von Rauchhaupt of Tourism Ireland and Claudine Weber-Hof of Spotlight.

Irish Design appID2015 launched their Design Ireland app. The app features recommendations for design-focused attractions around Ireland. Picture shows Fred Raguillat of IBM Studios Dublin, Laura Magahy of Irish Design 2015, Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton and Lara Hanlon of IBM Studios Dublin.

Fourteen teams will travel to Dublin to Cricket-small_1compete in the final qualifying stages for ICC World Twenty20 2016, India. The tournament is supported by Fáilte Ireland and is expected to give the capital 1,400 bed nights over 10 nights until the final in Malahide on July 26.

Eleven golf journalists from the USA arrive in Ireland tomorrow to embark on a week-long tour of the golf courses on the Wild Atlantic Way. The media will be hosted by Fáilte Ireland. Sports Illustrated writer John Garrity — whose family comes from Carne, Co Mayo — is among the group.

Fáilte Ireland’s business tourism team has helped bring 50 international events to Ireland. The events are slated for 2016-2019.

Medi-games-smallThe World Medical and Health Games take place until July 25 at University of Limerick. The event is expected to attract 1,500 participants from Europe, North America, Morocco and Japan.

Upcoming events in Limerick: World Medical and Health Games continue until July 25. Meitheal 2015, July 24. Foynes Air Show, July 26. Seisúin at the Hunt Museum.

German President visits Cliffs of MoherGerman president Joachim Gauck concluded a three-day state visit Ireland this week. Picture shows president Gauck at the Cliff of Moher visitor experience.

Minister Michael Ring launched the 142nd Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, which takes place at the RDS, August 5-9. There will be 1,500 horses on show, competing for a €1m prize.

Enda Kenny_MilanEnda Kenny visited the Ireland pavilion at EXPO Milano 2015. He met with Tourism Ireland staff and Italian tour operators selling holidays to Ireland. Picture shows the Taoiseach with Simon Gregory and Niamh Kinsella of Tourism Ireland.

Tourism Ireland and a delegation of 13 tourism enterprises attended the three-day TOURISM ENTERPRISES ‘MEET’ IN LONDONMeetings Show in London. Picture shows Catherine Bunn of Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Sarah Dallas of Tifco Hotel Group, Joyce McElroy of Tourism Ireland, Mairéad Cullen of InterContinental Dublin, Karina Martin of Park Avenue Hotel Belfast and Cathy Joyce, Citywest Hotel. Dublin.

TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE!

A delegation of Irish tourism businesses travelled to Moscow to take part in a B2B workshop organised by Tourism Ireland hosted by the Irish Embassy in Moscow. The event involved one-to-one meetings with 70 Russian agents and operators. Pictured in the embassy: Siobhán Byrne, Adams & Butler; Benjamin Egorov, Preferred Hotels & Resorts; Veronika Smirnova and Elena Shreyder, both S7 Airlines; Paddy Sheridan, Dublin Differently; Ksenia Shevchenko and Alina Sutulova, both Kildare Village; Olga Pleshakova, Belmond Grand Hibernian; Made Ots, Abbey Tours; HE Eoin O’Leary, Irish Ambassador to Russia; Irina Pichugina, British Airways; Doireann Hennebry, The Merrion Hotel; Maria Suvorova, Relais & Chateaux; Anna Malkova-Egorova, Travel Media; Grant Sarkisyan, Royal Green Tours; Gerard MacCarthy, Enterprise Ireland; Eliza Gorbunova, Tourism Ireland Russia; Robert Meade, Irish Embassy; and Paul Sheehan, Cork English World.

What we learned this week

Ryanair intends to grow traffic from 89m this year to over 150 Mega Pascals in 2024. Mega pascals?

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