Things to know about travel this week.
- Message to the tourism industry after Barcelona: keep travelling
- The battle for Air Berlin’s market share
- Martina Coogan to head up United Airlines in Ireland
- Data regulations to be discussed at ITAA conference
- JJ Corry’s launch highlight of Dublin Whiskey festival
Travel Extra TV.
In Sochi a drunk couple use a public fountain in a busy resort as a hot tub and claim to be ‘enjoying the spa’ as astonished holidaymakers look on. Watch here.
Aer Lingus is pushing the sights and delights of its Canadian destination of Toronto here.
Meet the man who has never flown in all his 72 years – British Airways reckon they can get him off the ground. Watch here.
Bet you didn’t know that Emirates has 6,000-plus bartenders for its bars in the sky onboard the A380. Find out more about the lounges here.
Behind the Headlines
The Ryanair share price rose to a record €19.23 after the Air Berlin insolvency was announced Tuesday while, with Franz Beckenbauer efficiency, Germany organised its defences against the Mulingar marauder in advance of the battle for Air Berlin’s 20pc market share. Ryanair lodged competition complaints with the German Bundeskartellamt and the European Commission about the obvious conspiracy playing out in Germany between the German Government, Lufthansa and Air Berlin to carve up Air Berlin’s assets, while excluding major competitors, and ignoring both EU competition and State Aid rules. German ministry officials were quick to accuse Ryanair of being loudmouths, “clatter is part of their business model.” The role of Austrian carrier Niki and also cross-leasing arrangements may also have to unravel. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has called for Lufthansa to buy a major part of the assets, saying Germany needs a “national champion” in international aviation. Lufthansa aims to take over as many as 90 of the roughly 140 aircraft from Air Berlin (Germany) and operate them under its Eurowings brand. That includes the 38 aircraft that it is already leasing from Air Berlin and all of the NIKI (Austria) planes. Watch here Airberlin CEO Thomas Winkelmann proclaiming business as usual.
The Irish Travel Industry Awards on Thursday, January 25, 2018, wil have a new headline sponsor. Prize categories, to be voted on by member travel agencies, have been reorganised and details will be announced in the coming weeks along with details of the new sponsor.
NYC & Co‘s Tryphavana Cross and United Airlines’ Brian Hughes led a fam trip of journalists to mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of Fitzpatrick’s Hotel on Lexington
Avenue and also 25 years of Restaurant Week, where the area’s top restaurants offer a cut-price menu twice a year. The group visited the upcoming National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey on Times Square, saw Manhattan in miniature at Gulliver’s Gate model world, the Carole King musical on Broadway and even where Joe Pesci got whacked in Brooklyn in GoodFellas, courtesy of A Slice of Brooklyn tours. Pictured beside the Brooklyn Bridge are Stephen Gordon, Belfast Telegraph, Fearghal O’Connor, Sunday Independent, Brian Farrell, Sunday World, Travel Extra contributing editor Mark Evans, for The Herald, Brian Hughes, United Airlines, Tryphavana Cross, NYC & Co, and Pol O’Conghaile, Irish Independent. United Airlines is currently rolling out its Polaris product, to replace BusinessFirst, and the group got to check out the changes onboard the 777-200 from Dublin and at Newark Airport. The group also got to try out the $42 three-course menus in The Ribbon, in uptown, and The Sea Grill at the Rockefeller Centre, as well as breakfast at the Great Northern Foot Hall on 42nd Street. Connect to the album here.
The agenda for the ITAA conference in Oporto on Friday, October 13. is hotting up. There will be five or six crucial presentations, relevant to both agents and suppliers about changes in legislation coming down the tracks. From January the PCI will dramatically change the regulations on credit card details. Other changes will bring corporate travel bookings outside the bonding system. Fines for data transgressions will be increased dramatically. Places are closing for what will be an intriguing ITAA conference, see here to see details of the full itinerary for the conference, see here for details of the optional post conference FAM October 15th-17th and see here for the registration form.
Virtuoso in Las Vegas brought 5,670 travel professionals, including 2,714 travel advisors and 2,404 preferred partners, from 103 countries at the Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa for Virtuouso Travel week, pretitled to make a luxury travel conference sound more like fashion week. Attendees engaged in a series of four-minute “speed dating” meetings, 10-minute meetings, and a series of Globetrotting sessions showcasing preferred partners in four areas: adventure travel, cruises, family travel, and wellness, along with a fifth focus on shopping in travel. Globetrotting showcased Virtuoso’s new community building strategy, where brought preferred partners and travel advisors interested in specific travel niche areas together.
There is no sign yet of Ryanair’s summer 2018 schedule. The first details began to emerge mid July 2016.
The Italian Tourist Board ENIT office in Dublin, run by Francesco Tirelli, is now open at 17 Old Naas Rd, Inchicore, Dublin 12, D12 T8P4. Email.
Remember the outcry when the Government sold the Gulfstream Jet in December 2014? it was practically given away for $500,000. The Government at the time cited its poor condition for disposing of it so cheaply. Well, surprise, the aircraft visited Dublin in the early hours of Tuesday and departed today Thursday. It is now registered to Pontiac Aviation LLC, Troy, MI, USA. For an aircraft that was practically given away … it’s looking remarkably well.
The message to tourism after the Barcelona Fiestas de Gracia attack: keep travelling. If we don’t, who wins? Barcelona was a different kind of target Listen here to Eoghan Corry on Marian Finucane, RTE One radio, speaking about aftermath of Barcelona Fiestas de Gracia attack. Read here Eoghan Corry’s reaction to the attack.
Martina Coogan will commence as new Ireland manager for United Airlines on September 26. Martina worked with Aer Lingus, Air France/Delta and Travelport’s Mobile Travel Technology.
Nan Short and Natalie Dorrington of Crystal Cruises hosted 30 agents and key customers on board Crystal Symphony in Dublin. The old girl is going in for an refurb this September and will re-emerge with new dining options, an entirely new class of room designated as Seabreeze penthouse suites, capacity reduced from 922 passengers down to 848 and unlimited, free internet for the duration of each cruise. Picture shows Nan Shortt, Natalie Dorrington and Alissa Gustafsso of Crystal Cruises on board Crystal Symphony in Dublin. Watch here video report of visit. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
The prize for longest presentations at a trade event this summer go to Holland America Line who hosted key trade at a quiz night in Dublin.
Jennifer Twomey from Premier Travel, Cork, won an ipad and Leanne Mulcahy from Limerick Travel won a theatre night in Dublin in Topflight’s weekly agent competition. prizes on offer include an iPad, a night at the Theatre with overnight stay, a make up hamper with brands like Morphe, Urban Decay, SoSu etc and a spa day at a venue of the agents’ choice. Next winner will announced next Friday August 25th. To enter book a last minute Topflight holiday within 14 days of departure and then email booking reference.
Mary McKenna of Tour America is inviting support on her 500km cycle from Barcelona to Valencia this September, 3rd to 7th. All funds raised will go to Crumlin Hospital who help so many families. Mary McKenna is participating in memory of her cousin whose daughter spent 12 days there before passing away from Edwards Syndrome. “Only for the wonderful care given to Fiadh they would not have had these precious days with her.” Contact Mary here.
Turkish Airlines is seeking a Corporate Sales Representative Ireland based in Dublin. The role is to identify and develop new leads via direct sales (customer visits), contact by phone, networking and client referrals. The successful candidate will have strong sales and negotiation skills, effective communication skills and well-developed interpersonal skills ability to multi task, perform well in cross-functional team environment, and assist the corporate sales manager and/or marketing manager in implementing targeted sales and marketing plans and ensure corporate customer satisfaction via providing after sales support. Requirements are a minimum two years of experience in Corporate Sales or preferably, travel related fields interacting extensively with customers. Fluency in English is required and fluency in any of the following language is an asset: French, German, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese. Apply here and contact here for further information.
Fly Cruise Stay launched a Certificate of Excellence Award for Hotels & Resorts. Award winners include Royal Hotel Beirut, the Table Bay Mountain, Cape Town, Dosso Dossi Old Town, Sultanhamet, Istanbul and the Kenzi Club Agdal Medina, Marrakesh.
Alan Lynch of Cruisescapes hosted 17 agents from eight agencies on board Fred Olsen’s MS Balmoral in Dublin Only one agent had ever been on a Fred Olsen ship before. The presentation by Fred Olsen Cruises outlined the benefits of small ship cruising: no tendering in busy ports such as St Petersburg, cruising into fjords which are impossible to navigate with larger ships and no queuing for food, silver service is available at all meals if the client prefers. Picture shows Amanda O’Brien and Tracey Crowley of American Holidays with Alan Lynch, MD of Cruisescapes, on board Fred Olsen Balmoral.
Fred Olsen River Cruises were also part of the presentation with the new 4 star Brabant launching 31 itineraries for the 2018 season.
Explore are offering free visas with India bookings until 4th September.
Councils in England are removing cat’s eyes signs because tourists are worried that poor domestic animals were being so horribly mistreated.
Banker Samuel Jankowsky claimed he accidentally flew to Las Vegas instead of returning to his pregnant wife in England from Cologne after airline staff failed to notice he had the wrong tickets and he fell asleep.
Belfast teenager Lewis Nickell who suffers from Tourette’s syndrome cannot help shouting “I’m in ISIS” at airport security.
One in 10 people in England cannot identify Ireland on a map, according to research by Insurance comparison website Gocompare.
Jack Palfrey recalled a trip to one of the world’s most bizarre borders at Wagah Border, the primary land crossing between the nations of India and Pakistan.
Paradies Arosa hotel in the Swiss Alps said a sign asking Jewish guest to shower had been a mistake, saying that some Jewish guests had gone swimming with clothes, such as T-shirts, on and had not showered first.
EasyJet insisted a cheese toastie was not out to date when it was given to a passenger with a best before 2007 on the label.
Ireland finished top of Hostelworld‘s list of most travelled nations per capita, followed by 2 Australia, 3 New Zealand, 4 England, 5 Canada, 6 Netherlands, 7 Switzerland, 8 Scotland, 9 Sweden and 10 Denmark. Travel Extra’s own research usually places Ireland in second place behind Norway.
The USA reported 22,100 visitors from Ireland in January 2017, up 0.9pc. Overall visits were up 2pc, the first month of growth in total US visits since June 2016, although key European markets are down, England by 9pc, Germany by 7.4pc, and France by 3.1pc.
- Germany says overnight stays are up 3pc for January-June 2017 to 36.7m.
- Michael Leavy of Home Healthcare Adaptations has published an interactive storymap which outlines nine of the most wheelchair-friendly tourist attractions in the world, See website.
- Forward Keys says international flight bookings to Germany for the third quarter, up to the beginning of August, are 5.6 percent higher than in the previous year.
- The US federal government says it will eliminate a policy that allowed national parks like the Grand Canyon to ban the sale of bottled water in an effort to curb litter and protect birds and wildlife.
- News that Louisiana’s favourite crustacean has turned up in Michigan prompted a local tourism agency to create a pop-up crawfish festival in Michigan.
- Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida has set another record by welcoming the highest number of visitors of any six months in the state’s history with 60.7m visitors.
- Idaho expects the state’s population to increase by a third with visitors coming to watch the eclipse.
Food & Beverage
JJ Corry’s Whiskey, by Cooraclare based craft distiller Louise McGuane using recipes created by Kilrush publican JJ Corry who died in 1934, launched at the Irish Whiskey Museum last night. The first blend, the Gael will launch in September at $70 a bottle and, so far, 1,000 casks have been sold in the USA. Yup, Travel Extra’s editor, first generation Coraclare, was there to sample an ancestral ball of malt. Picture shows Louise Duane and Blaise Kelly of Chapel Gate Distillery at the launch. Watch here video of the event and interview with JJ McGuane.
Dublin whiskey festival saw launches, seminars and debate about the challenges facing the craft distillery movement.
Opening of the week was Dollard & Co Food Hall and Grill opened on the ground floor of the historic Dollard Printworks, the oldest steel frame structure in Ireland on Wellington Quay and East Essex St. It comes with a casual, order-at-the-counter deli with breakfast dishes, an all day menu, vegan flatbreads, creamy homemade ice cream, dedicated dessert counter, coffees, smoothies and juices. From Wellington Quay entrance there is a bakery, pizza and pasta counter. In the middle is The Grill with 40 seats, serving Miso glazed chicken wings a our Crab, Lobster and Potato Omelette, the Hake with braised Calamari, or their cheeseburger. TwoFifty Square Coffee operate the coffee shop. On the East Essex St side of Dollard & Co is a grocery with meat, fish, charcuterie and cheese counters.
Hotel Chocolat has announced that it will be opening its first ever Irish café this October.
Underdog, which opened beneath Brogan’s Bar next to The Olympia theatre on Dame Street, features 20 beers on tap and intends changing the drinks they have on offer.
East Side Tavern on Leeson Street reopened.
Beer sales in Eastern Europe are down 13pc in March to June, according to Carlsberg.
Hotelier John Fitzpatrick told Travel Extra that despite the strong dollar, occupancy rates are at 91pc, and there’s value to be had in Manhattan given the strong number of new hotel openings in recent years. And he said there’s such a squeeze back home in Dublin, with demand ahead of supply so far, that he’s seen dearer bed nights in Dublin than in New York.
John Fitzpatrick talked about that first month in 1992 – without a liquor licence – as an Irish hotel, hosting Taoisigh, Liam Neeson’s mother – and why Charlie Haughey had to leave the Waldorf Astoria to have a nose around. Catch the interview here.
- Dublin’s Fitzsimons Hotel spent €378,000 on music, entertainment and royalties in 2015. Pre-tax losses are down from €407,722 to €64,612.
- Ashford Castle’s Fairytale Castle Experience was listed in the Chad Clark Certified listing 25 premium and unique travel experiences and services.
- Tullyglass House Hotel in Ballymena saw occupancy rates double raising turnover to £4.6m.
- Dalata sought to increase the new Maldron hotel on Belfast’s Brunswick Street by 31 rooms.
- Virtuoso in Las Vegas awarded hotel of the Year to Palazzo Seneca, Norcia, Italy. Other award wnners: Dining Experience: La Terrazza-Hotel Eden Rome, Bar: Bar Hemingway-Ritz Paris, Family Programme: The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Fla, Wellness Programme: Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Ariz, Hotel Experience: Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, Mexico. Newcomer: Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, Hotel Ambassador: Kees Hogetoorn, Grand Hotel Amsterdam, Hotelier of the Year: Susanne Hatje, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental New York.
- AirBnB are to launch a new brand to compete with boutique hotels
- The European cities with most hotel rooms in construction are Istanbul (4,497 rooms in 24 projects), London (4,300 rooms in 27 projects), Moscow (3,602 rooms in 16 projects), Munich (2,897 rooms in 13 projects) and Amsterdam (2,166 rooms in 12 projects).
American Airlines will close their check-in counters 75 minutes before the flight departure time owing to enhanced security checks at Dublin airport to allow passengers to pass security checkpoints in enough time. American say the change has been made with immediate effect. “We ask that all passengers plan ahead their journeys to ensure that they clear the check-in process in sufficient time.” Picture shows Caitriona Toner of American Airlines,
Hainan Airlines did not include Dublin in plans to open six international routes despite reports of ongoing discussions, Shanghai-Tel Aviv, Beijing-Prague-Belgrade, Shenzhen-Brisbane, Chongqing-New York JFK, Chengdu-New York JFK and Shanghai-Brussels.
Headset improvements are next on the agenda for Aer Lingus with new long-haul meals, a €1m entertainment system upgrade. This autumn there will be new south apron gates for short-haul walk-on, walk-off. Aer Lingus has 600 more front-line staff than two years ago. Watch here Aer Lingus COO Mike Rutter.
Fearghal O’Connor reported Hainan Airlines is close to agreeing a direct scheduled flight from Dublin to Beijing for winter season.
- Pre-tax profits at Shannon-based aircraft maintenance firm Atlantic Aviation Group doubled to €1.48m.
- Dublin-based inflight services firm Retail inMotion added a retail consultancy contract with Aer Lingus.
- Apollo Aviation Group is to purchase 38 aircraft in the first half of 2017 for a total gross purchase price of $910m.
- Fly Leasing appointed Julie Ruehl as its Chief Financial Officer
- Peter Barrett said SMBC Aviation Capital aims to become the world’s leading jet lessor. It is currently ranked fourth in the world after GECAS, AerCap and Avolon. Annual Report and Accounts here.
- The Commissioners running Alitalia in bankruptcy are seeking to reorganise its network, with a focus on increasing operations domestically and its central long-haul Rome Fiumincino hub.
- Cork Airport appointed Con Dooney as General Manager of Operations and Safety
- Four Irish airports have been nominated in the aviation marketing awards World Routes which takes place in Barcelona in September.
- Passengers who were aboard an Emirates aircraft that crash-landed in August 2016 are suing Chicago-based Boeing for an alleged malfunction of the aircraft’s electronics.
- Monarch Airlines is “reviewing its current business model” to deduce optimum size and shape of the airline.
- TAP Portugal is to revive its prior designation and rebrand as TAP Air Portugal from mid- September 2017,
- American Airlines is to fly Philadelphia-Budapest, Prague , Zurich and Chicago-Venice seasonal services in 2018 and is dropping Manchester-JFK.
- The Daily Express reported the distress code 7500 indicates a hijacking. So now you know.
- Goose eggs were destroyed to stop aircraft strikes at Belfast City airport.
- New Stobart Air website here.
- Sad news: James Osborne, director of Ryanair, friend of Ryanair founder Tony Ryan and legal adviser to Mr Ryan’s Guinness Peat Aviation has died aged 68.
Royal Caribbean cut the first piece of steel for its Quantum Ultra ship, destined for the Chinese market, and revealed the name will be Spectrum of the Seas. The 4,180-passenger ship will be the fourth in the line’s Quantum class of ships and will debut in 2019.
Royal Caribbean is cancelling a previously scheduled cruise on Allure of the Seas, saying the ship needs maintenance work in dry dock in January.
The largest competitive race track at sea and an open-air laser tag course are among the features promised for Norwegian Bliss when it launches May 2018.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises unveiled its new 2019-20 voyages season, comprising 118 new sailings, departing from March 2019 to June 2020 aboard four of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships, Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Navigator.
- Holland America Line’s Explore4 promotion returned with alluring offers on more than 600 cruises from March 2018 until April 2019.
- Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary- and destination- focused cruise line, unveiled La Cuisine Bourgeoise, by Jacques Pépin.
- Crystal Symphony skipped her call to Waterford on Wednesday due to rough seas. Pacific Princess skipped a Jersey call following power outage onboard.
- Silversea adjusted the dining and dress code for Silver Muse.
- Celebrity cruises and Canyon Ranch launched sleep-themed spa treatments.
- Tropical storm Harvey affected Caribbean cruise itineraries.
- Saga cruises revised dining and beverage options on Spirit of Discovery.
- Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth revealed the hosting details of QE2 fiftieth anniversary celebrations.
- Bonnie Tyler is to perform during the solar eclipse on oasis of the seas cruise.
- Crystal River cruises named German soprano vocalist Ana Maria Kaufmann as godmother to its first ‘Rhine Class’ river ship in Rüdesheim.
- American Duchess river cruise ship was named in New Orleans.
Picture shows Paul Carty of the Guinness Storehouse wiith a selection of the 2017 Rose of Tralee contestants. The festival returns next week.
Thirty invasive Pacific pink salmon have been caught since the end of June along the west and northwest coast. IFI wants anglers to report any catches of the invasive species to it by calling 1890 347 424. The fish are present in Norwegian rivers as a result of stocking in Russia.
- The most popular travel TV show in Italy, Kilimangiaro, which has 1.2m viewers, is filming in Ireland’s Ancient East this week.
- Kathryn Thomas is running another one day detox with her team in the Radisson Blu Hotel Galway Sunday September 24th
- Tourism Ireland launched a quiz on their website, Ireland.com where Game of Thrones fans can answer questions connecting scenes in the Game of Thrones tapestry with real life filming locations in Ireland.
- Overnight visits to the six counties from the 26 counties are up 35pc to end March 17.
- A Cork Chamber of Commerce survey indicated 77pc support for a call for a €12m annual fund to minimise the Brexit effect on tourism
A railway bridge in Carrick-on-Suir was struck by vehicles 41 times from 2009 until February last when it was replaced with a higher bridge according to Irish Rail’s report, there were 92 rail bridge strikes last year up from 85 in 2015 but down from 200 per year in the mid noughties.
There are 1,700 events planned for Heritage Week in 2017. See full list here. Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which forty countries participate each year. Water heritage day is scheduled for August 27. Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry is leading/guiding a heritage walk up Lyons Hill in Co Kildare tomorrow 2pm, visiting 14th century church, 12th century castle, and ancient royal site, all welcome, free of charge, converge at gate of UCD Lyons farm at 1.50pm just outside Newcastle Co Dublin on Lyons Rd. Also for heritage week, a talk on the origins of Clane and Kildare GAA at 8pm in Clane GAA club on Tuesday night.
Falcon offers: Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights all inclusive, 3* Catalonia Punta del Rey, Las Caletillas, from €549, depart September. Shannon to Lanzarote, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Lanzasur Splash Resort, Playa Blanca, from €849, depart September 11. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self catering 3* Villa Del Mar, Patalavaca, from €429, depart October 12. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Puerto Plata , Puerto Rico, from €679pps, depart December 21. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 3* Tabaiba Apartments, Costa Teguise, from €519, depart January 7, 2018. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, from €479, depart January 11, 2018. Dublin to Majorca, 14 nights self-catering 3* Sea Club, Alcudia, from €869, depart August 22. Dublin to to Majorca, 7 nights self-catering 3* Sea Club, Alcudia, from €669, depart September 29. www.falconholidays.ie, call 1850 45 35 45
Thomson offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 14 nights self-catering 4* TUI Family Life Playa Feliz, Bahia Feliz, from €759, depart September 7. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights all inclusive 4* Abora Catarina By Lopesan, Playa Del Ingles, from €989, depart December 21. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, from €559, depart January 11. Dublin to Kos, 7 nights half board, 5* Grecotel Kos Imperial Thalasso, Psalidi, from €919, depart September 9. Cork to Algarve, 7 nights self-catering 3* Cerro Mar Colina, Albufeira, from €589, depart September 17. Dublin to Crete, 7 nights self-catering 2* Ourania Apartments, Gouves, from €469pp, depart October 1. Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Barceló Fuerteventura Thalasso Spa, Costa Caleta, from €989, depart December 5. www.thomsonholidays.ie, Call 1850 45 35 45
Sunway offers: Dublin to Turkey, 7 nights self-catering 3* Esat Hotel, from €399, depart September 16. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 nights free upgrade to half board, from €999, 5* Tivoli Carvoeiro Hotel, depart September 2. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights all inclusive at 3* Kamarina, from €805, depart September 9. Dublin to New York, 3 nights at Fitzpatrick’s Grand Central Hotel, with free extra bag and 20pc off at Macy’s, from €915. Dublin to South Africa for the Southern Kings v Leinster, 3 nights Cape Town and two nights Port Elizabeth, from €1349, depart September 16. Match tickets not included. www.sunway.ie
What we learned.
Dublin Airport handled as many passengers in July 2017 as in the whole of 1986.