Author Archives: Sixdayexpert

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Zika and travel – what is all the fuss about?

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Brian Stack speaking at the CIE awards for excellence, February 1 2016

Brian Stack speaking at the CIE awards for excellence, February 1 2016

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5 things you need to know about travel this week:

  • Zika: A lot of fuss over comparatively small risk
  • GPO Witness History centre anticipates 300,000 visitors a year
  • A “storm” brewing in the Dingle peninsula
  • Bordeaux comes to Dublin
  • Sheepdogs are the new stars of tourism in Ireland

Travel Extra TV

video of the week feb 7Eejits in Egypt? Our video of week shows German tourist Andrej Ciesielski’s climbing up a 4,500-year-old pyramid in Giza. The foolish feat reportedly earned the teen a lifetime ban from the country. Watch here.

  • A polar Picasso? Henry the polar bear creates a work of art at the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat. Watch here.
  • Ryanair introduces their 2016 cabin crew calendar. Not a bikini in sight. Watch here.
  • Extraordinary footage of a huge lightning storm, captured on board a flight from Toronto to LA. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus uploaded an emotional video for the Six Nations. Watch here.
  • This CCTV footage captures the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that shook Taiwan this week. Watch here.
  • Staff at Pittsburgh Zoo rescue an ostrich on thin ice. Watch here.
  • Pascale is paraplegic, but that doesn’t stop her from surfing. Moving footage. Watch here.
  • This spectacular timelapse shows Mexico’s Colima volcano erupting. Watch here.
  • Want to enhance your selfies? Take the advice of John Marshall. Watch here.
  • Duck! Des Roswess’s footage shows a PAWA Dominicana MD 80 landing low at Princess Juliana International Airport, Sint Maarten. Watch here.
  • Baby’s first time snowboarding. Watch here.
  • Watch this surfer drop 40 feet in a wipeout to end all wipeouts. Watch here.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

Margaret Chan whoOn Monday, World Health Organisation director Margaret Chan declared that the clusters of brain-damaged babies born in Brazil – linked to but not proven to be caused by the Zika virus – constitute a public health emergency of international concern. It has created unprecedented confusion in the travel industry. Honeymoon couples bound for the Caribbean have been panicking and demanding refunds which the travel trade has not been able to provide. Some airlines are allowing pregnant women to change their tickets but are not compensating for ground arrangements. Until government advisories kick in, travel insurance companies will not compensate women for changing their plans, many of them destined for Mexico (37 cases), Dominican Republic (10 cases) and Jamaica (no cases as yet), but oddly not the USA (30 cases).Officials from Mexico’s Ministry of Health insisted that the Zika virus poses no risk to tourists in meetings with tour operators. It is a lot of fuss over comparatively small risk. Dengue fever carried by the same mosquito kills 20,000 people a year compared with the 270 cases of microcephaly believed to be caused by the Zika virus, and 3,448 other cases suspected in the Recife area of Brazil. Is this uncertainty enough for people to change their travel plans? Listen to Eoghan Corry speaking on the issue on Neil Prendiville’s show on Red FM (listen here) and on 96Fm (listen here). DFA advice is for males to wear a condom for a month after return from Zika infected area. The war on the mosquito could not just help the case against Zika, but also dengue and yellow fever. Let us spray.

GPO four_1737The GPO was a witness to history, we are not interpreting it, the GPO Witness History (website) project manager Barney Whelan, who hands over the nearly completed centre on February 12, assured the journalist from the Daily Mail who asked about the “contested history” of 1916 in advance of the new visitor centre opening on March 29 (listen here). Entry for the anticipated 300,000 visitors a year costs €10, and will be to the right of the façade. The exit leads on to Princes Street, having passed through the hidden jewels of the world’s oldest functioning general post office. For Barney’s description of the centre and its conception listen here. For Aline FitzGerald (listen here).  “Why didn’t they occupy YO! Sushi,” one travel writer commented as he surveyed the tuna sandwiches on offer. Travel Extra mused at the press conference that handling the 300,000 visitors would not be a problem, it is fewer than the GPO accommodated on that fateful day on Easter Monday 1916 (listen here). For the Q&A at the press conference listen here. Picture shows John Horgan, Aline FitzGerald, Barney Whelan and Nandi O’Sullivan. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

fly shannon showAirlines signed up for the Fly Shannon Holiday Show in Limerick’s UL Sports Arena on February Saturday/Sunday February 20/21 2016 include: Aer Lingus, Air Canada/Air Canada Rouge, American Airlines, ASL Airlines France, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines. Tour Operators/Travel Agents include – American Holidays, Attraction Tickets Direct, Falcon/Thompson Holidays, Justsplit.com, Limerick Travel, Sunway Travel, Tour America, Travel Choice, Travelfox.ie, Tropical Sky and Unique Japan Tours. Travel Corporation. Las Vegas, Spanish Tourism Board, VISIT USA, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, MSC and Stena Line will also be there. Clare will be very well represented with a cluster of stands including Aillwee Cave, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin Ferries, Shannon Ferries and Bunratty Castle.

caroline boland speaking copyThe train has left the station as regards global warming,” Professor Enda McGovern told Féile na Stoirme in Dingle, a “storm festival” designed to kick-start winter tourism to the Dingle peninsula, where, as Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry pointed out, trans-Atlantic travel was invented at Brandon Creek. The eoghan susan enda 002 copyfestival addressed coastal erosion and sustainable tourism, while Travel Extra’s editor noted that Kerry, which attracts more visitors than counties like Iceland, Fiji and Myanmar, could have a waterfall-and-surf winter product which would augment its overcrowded summer product, Pictures shows Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry with Professor Enda McGovern and Susan Vickers of Clean Coasts South West. The festival continues today with walks in Fermoyle (10.30am), treasure hunt (12noon), and talks at Dingle Oceanworld (11.30) and Anascaul (12 noon). See here.

IMG_1777Bordeaux came to Dublin this week to advise Irish fans on what to expect in the French city, which has completed a unique €4m revitalisation. It will become home to a new Vinopolis-stole wine experience to open next May. Speakers included Lochlann Quinn of Château de Fieuzal (listen here), French ambassador Jean-Pierre Thébault (listen here) and (listen here) Stephan Delaux, deputy mayor and president of the Bordeaux Tourist office (listen here), Jean-Pierre Thébault (listen here) and Olivier Bernard president of Les Grand Crus de Bordeaux (listen here.) Christoph Chateau talked about the impending opening of the Bordeaux Grand Vins experience (listen here). Travel Extra raised the issue of the price of beds in Bordeaux for the Euro 2016 group match against Belgium (listen here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Dublin Castle event roomSheepdogs are the new stars of Ireland’s tourism circuit judging by the increased number of sheepdog trail recipients of awards at the annual CIE International tourism awards. Big winners were Slieve League Cliffs, Co. Donegal (visit), Glen Keen farm, Co. Mayo (tour feature), Don & Barry’s Kinsale Historic Stroll (walking tour), Dunloe Hotel, Killarney (5 star hotel), Brehon Hotel, Killarney (4 star Hotel), Benners Hotel, Dingle (3 star hotel), Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare (hotel accommodation), Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel, Killiney (Hotel Dinner), Kee’s Hotel, Co Donegal (hotel service & hospitality), Brazen Head, Dublin (event dinner/entertainment), Killeen House Hotel, Killarney (dinner feature), Davitt’s, Kenmare (lunch) and Giant’s Causeway, Co Antrim (National Heritage Award). Brian Stack presided over the awards for the last time at Dublin Castle on Monday night, telling Travel Extra he had anticipated slippage in 2015 but now was back on course for 2016 and had not seen prices rise in 2016 or 2017 (listen here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

megafamBrand USA, American Airlines and British Airways launched seven itineraries for their USA MegaFam 2016: 5 State Splendour, Southern Shine, Frontier Flavours,  Lights & Sites, Alaskan Adventure, Heavenly Hawaii and California Finale. To enter: Register booking made to the USA with American Airlines or BA until April 3, complete the MegaFam Airlines badges which give tips to boost flights sales, and pass as many specialist badges as you can on the USA Discovery Programme.

British Airways is offering free Upgrade to First Class on flights booked by March 11 for travel by April 16 on select flights.

Avios appointed Eileen McGuinness as head of market for Ireland.

Hotels

Dalata is to wind down its purchasing Ireland this year to focus on expanding in Britain.

trivago six nationsTrivago’s hotel price index indicates that a hotel stay in Dublin on a Six Nations match night will cost an average of €270. The biggest increases are in Cardiff, where prices are as high as €667 for the Wales v France match on February 26.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will significantly expand its portfolio of Speciality Select brands in New York State over the next three years by increasing the number of properties from 12 to 22 by the end of 2018 across its Aloft, Element and Four Points brands.

Marriott Rewards is being expanded to include Delta Hotels and Resorts.

London’s Kensington hotel relaunched following an extensive renovation.

International

fake photoThe winning image in amateur photography competition run by camera company Nikon was exposed as a fake. ‘Look Up’ by Chay Yu Wei appeared to show an aircraft caught mid-flight, shot through a ladder. The aircraft was added through Photoshop.

New York City officials agreed to reduce the number of tourist helicopter flights over the city. The number of flights to and from Downtown Manhattan Heliport at Pier 6 will be cut by 50pc, flights over Governors Island will be banned and no flights will be allowed on Sundays starting April 1.

Finland and Estonia’s capitals, which are only 80km apart, are developing a joint ticketing system that would introduce a single transport card for use across all public transport in either city.

Empire State Development hired Brand Sense Partners to represent and manage licensing for I LOVE NEW YORK.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car are now available in Luxembourg.

legoland berlinLegoland Discovery Centre, Sealife Berlin, Madame Tussauds Berlin and the Berlin Dungeon were added to the Berlin Pass sightseeing card.

An English tourist was trampled to death by an elephant during a trek on Koh Samui island. His daughter was injured in the incident.

It was reported this week that Deutsche Bahn is to axe all overnight sleeper and couchette trains in December.

Food & Wine

Food Training FleadhFifty hospitality businesses in Clare attended an information evening at the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis ahead of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The event comprised of series of workshops focussed on a range of topics from food safety, personal hygiene, and the collection, storage and preparation of food.

Silk Road Cafe at the Chester Beatty Library set up a cook school, Silk Road Kitchen. Visit silkroadkitchen.ie.

Croan Cottages will host a three-day residential cookery course on April 15-17. Course costs €690, full board and drinks with dinner. Some non-residential places available for €540. Visit croancottages.com.

Aviation

Ryanair appointed Shane O’Toole as head of investor relations as Justin McAleese moves to NDRC in the Digital Hub.

etihad first class loungeEtihad Airways will open a First Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3.

Avolon delivered an A330-300 to Garuda Indonesia.

CityJet may wet lease some of its SSJ100s on order to Air France.

Delta CEO Richard AndersonRichard Anderson, who oversaw Delta Air Lines’ transformation into one of the world’s most profitable airlines, will retire this May. His right-hand man, airline president Ed Bastian, will take over as CEO.

Flight operations of Pakistan’s flag carrier PIA remain suspended for the fourth day today due to a countrywide strike by its employees against the planned privatisation.

Knock is predicting 710,000 passenger numbers in 2016, up 3pc, a new record for the airport. The 2015 passenger numbers were down 2pc to 689,080.

BA’s upgrade to first sale continues until March 11 (see Travel Trade). EtIhad’s business class sale continues.

IAG January group traffic up 11.9pc YOY, load factor up 1.7 percentage points to 78.7pc.

ryanair from above copyRyanair reported January passenger numbers up 25pc to 7.5m, load factor up 5 percentage points to 88pc.

Avolon delivered an A330-300 to Garuda Indonesia.

Ryanair announced an €800m share buy-back programme after reporting Q3 profit of €103m, up €54m, a 1pc fall in air fares drove Q3 traffic growth of 20pc.

Turkish Airlines received its 300th aircraft, an A330-300.

Afloat

MeravigliaMSC Cruises commissioned two new ships in the Meraviglia class due for completion in 2019 and 2020. Boasting an additional 200 staterooms and a maximum capacity of nearly 6,300 guests, the cruise line says the vessels will be “the largest ships at sea able to call at any port.”

A shipyard fire damaged Emerald Belle, Emerald Waterways’ new ship, and is likely to delay its launch, which as scheduled for April.

Carnival Cruise Line added 22 Journeys cruise, longer sailings of nine to 15 nights, to its inventory through 2017.

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

Michael Caslin’s 747 Travel has flight only’s to Paris for the France-Ireland rugby match next weekend, out 10am Friday, return 5pm Sunday, €175 including taxes.

Sunway is offering day return flights from €459pp for Euros 2016 for the first, second and third matches: Ireland v Sweden, June 13, Belgium v Ireland, June 18 and Italy v Ireland, June 22. Sunway is offering 7 nights self catering 2* Pertocarmen Aparthotel, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart Cork and Shannon February 13. Other offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Meridiana, Lake Garda from €749pp, depart June 4. 7 nights 3* Universal Cabana Bay Resort, Orlando from €615pp incl. flights, travel May. 9 days Canada Rockies fly-drive, Vancouver to Calgary from €1,199pp incl. 3 stay hotel accommodation, flights and car hire, travel in May. 7 nights B&B 4* Old Phuket Resort, Thailand from €865pp incl. flights and transfers, travel in June. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

thomson deal watchThomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive 4* Clubhotel Riu Tequila, Playacar, Mexico from €1,729pp, depart June 20. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Ocean Maya Royale, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,809pp, depart June 20.14 nights 4* RIU Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,839pp, depart June 12. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Royalton White Sands, Trelawny, Jamaica from €2,179pp, depart June 19. 7 nights half board 5* Maspalomas Princess, Gran Canaria from €799pp, depart February 13. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach Princess, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €359pp, depart February 20. 7 nights half board 3* Sol Tenerife, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €739pp, depart February 27. 7 nights full board Mediterranean Medley cruise on Thomson Majesty from €899pp, depart May 17. Visit thomsonholidays.ie.

Lowcostbeds offers, based on 2 adults, 7 nights, depart May 15: 4* Secrets Playa Mujeres Gold & Spa, Mexico from €151pppn all inclusive. 5* Secrets The Vine, Cancun from €157pppn all inclusive. 4* Comodoro, Havana from €29pppn B&B. 5* Iberostar Playa Alameda, Havana from €72pppn all inclusive. 4* Bellevue Palma Real, Varadero, Cuba from €105pppn all inclusive. 5* Iberostar Varadero, Cuba from €97pppn all inclusive. Visit lowcostbeds.com.

falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 14 nights all inclusive 3* Holiday Inn Resort, Jamaica from €4,499 2+1, from €5,619 2+2, depart July 3. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica, Runaway Bay from €1,809pps 2+1, from €4,580 2+2, depart June 12. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron, Jamaica from €1,899pps, depart June 19. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Hilton Rose Hall, Jamaica from €2,189pps, depart June 19. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €459pps, depart February 19. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Paradise Valle Taurito, Playa Taurito, Gran Canaria from €799pps, depart February 20. 7 nights self catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €339pps, depart February 26. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Wendy Wu Tours has partnered with Cathay Pacific to offer a business class upgrade from €130 per person (one way) when you book fully escorted group tours departing between 1 – 15 March, 16 April – 30 June and 20 August – 30 November 2016

Click and Go offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Globales Costa Tropical Aparthotel, Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura from €399pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in March. 3 nights 4* Delta Hotel, Vienna from €229pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel in March. 7 nights 4* Paradise Bay Hotel, Mellieha Bay, Malta from €289pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in April. 7 nights half board 3* Golden Donaire Beach Hotel, La Pienda, Salou from €579pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in June. Visit clickandgo.com today or call 01 539 7777.

Royal Caribbean offers: 7 night Arabian Gulf cruise on Splendour of the Seas from €1,290pp incl. return flights, depart March 14. 5 night France and Belgium cruise on Ovation of the Seas from €989pp incl. return flights, depart April 17. 7 night All In Western Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas from €1,395pp incl. return flights, depart September 11. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Tour America offers: 7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €569pp incl. return flights, all taxes and charges, travel in June. 4 nights Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas from €589pp incl. return flights, all taxes and charges, travel in May. 7 nights all inclusive Dreams Puerto Aventuras, Cancun from €1,189pp incl. return flights, all taxes and charges, travel in September. Visit touramerica.ie.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days Spain and Portugal from €1,804pps incl. 8 nights acommodation, flights and transfers. Book by February 29, depart April 23. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Uniword Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8-day Danube Discover cruise on the River Ambassador from €2,318pps incl. flights, transfers, all meals and beverages and all shore excursions. Book by February 29, depart May 8. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

Contiki is offering an 11-day, 5 country Berlin to Budapest trip from €1,312pps incl. flights, transfers and 10 nights accommodation. Book by February 29, depart April 16. Visit contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.

Topflight midterm ski offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Frontera Blanca, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €379pps, depart February 14. 7 nights self catering 3* Daina Apartments, Arinsal, Andorra from €489pps, depart February 14. 7 nights B&B 2* Pension Faistenauer, Soll, Austria from €499pps, depart February 13. 7 nights half board 3* Gasthof Mauth, St Johann, Austria from €649pps, depart February 13. 7 nights half board 4* Sporthotel Austria, St Johann from €969pps, depart February 13. 7 nights self catering 3* Residence Cybele, Meribel from €499pps, depart February 13. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Zodiac, Livingno, Italy from €589pps, depart February 13. All prices include return flights, return transfers, taxes and Topflight resort rep services. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 2401 700.

Lowcostholidays Spain offers: 7 nights B&B 4* Princessa Solar, Torremolinos, Costa Del Sol from €399pp., depart June 14. 7 nights half board 5* B.Sea Gran Hotel Cervantes, Torremolinos, Costa Del Sol from €475pp, depart June 14. 7 nights B&B 4* Regente Aragon, Salou, Costa Dorada from €469pp, depart July 1. 7 nights B&B 5* Gran Hotel La Haccienda, La Pineda, Costa Dorada from €589pp, depart July 1. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Areca, Benidorm, Costa Blanca from €425pp, depart August 19. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Gran Bali, Benidorm, Costa Blanca from €525pp, depart August 19. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Mercury Hotel, Santa Susanna, Costa Bravia from €595pp, depart August 18. 7 nights half board 5* Aqua Hotel Onabrava, Santa Susanna, Costa Bravia from €570pp, depart August 18. Prices include return flights ex Dublin and taxes. Visit lowcostholidays.ie or call 01 485 3835.

ITAA bucket list offers: 17 days Rocky Mountaineer Railtour & Alaska cruise from €4,899pp incl. 7 nights cruise on 5* Holland America Line’s MS Nieuw Amsterdam, Gold Leaf train service, gratuities on tours and transfers, depart August 19. 8 nights Route 66 tour from €3,399pp incl. return flights, B&B accommodation, motorcycle rental w/ unlimited mileage, free fuel and oil, all taxes, fees and environmental surcharges, national park entrance fees, hotel parking fees, discounted activities, transportation between the hotel and the EagleRider location and supplemental Liability Insurance, depart May 18. 14 nights Dubai to Singaport fly-cruise from €1,830pp incl. flights, transfers, full board cruise on Ovation of the Seas, unlimited beer, wine by the glass, soda fountain, port taxes, air taxes and 30kg checked baggage, depart May 26.

Cassidy Travel family holidays: 7 nights half board 3* Felfin Azui, Majorca from €1,639 2+1, from €2,359 2+2, depart June 22. 7 nights self catering 3* Pefki Islands, Rhodes from €1,459 2+1, from €2,149 2+2, depart June 22. 7 nights self catering 3* C’san Sanso, Ibiza from €1,349 2+1, from €1,879 2+2, depart June 23. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Park Hotel, Corfu from €1,799 2+1, from €2,419 2+2, depart June 24. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Globales Playa, Costa Del Sol from €2,139 2+1, from €2,939 2+2, depart June 26. All prices include flights and resort transfers. Visit cassidytravel.ie or call 0818 332 500.

Stena Line is offering 7 nights self catering Haven holiday from €799 2+2 incl. return car ferry travel. Visit  stenaline.ie/haven or call 01 907 5399.

tourism ni deal watchTourism NI Valentine’s offers: 1 night B&B Cross Square Hotel, Crossmaglen, Newry from £55pps incl. four course evening meal and complimentary drink, available February 12 to 14, call (028) 3086 0505. 1 night B&B 3* Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh from £79.50pps incl. bubbly and rose petals in your room on arrival and choice between four course banquet in the Barreta Bar and Grill or five course sharing picnic, available February 12-14, call (028) 8224 2520. 1 night B&B 5* Merchant Hotel, belfast from £400 per room incl. champagne and chocolates on arrival, access to hydrotherapy suite, five course dinner in The Great Room and rose petal turndown, available February 14, call (028) 9023 4888.

Ireland

Shannon Heritage attractions recorded 8pc growth in 2015.

TOURISM IRELAND ANNOUNCES NEW HEAD OF CHINATourism Ireland appointed James Kenny as Country Manager for China. He will be based in Shanghai.

Tourism Trade Targeting Online Travel Agencies and Digital Sales worth 126bn Euro (Travel Extra)Online travel operators met with Irish tourism businesses at Fáilte Ireland’s event, Evolve Ireland, in Croke Park. Attendees included representatives from Booking.com, Expedia and Lastminute.com. Pictures shows Paul Mockler and Martina O’Dwyer of Fáilte Ireland with Richard Hurley of The Granville Hotel, Waterford.

The Irish Maritime Festival named Fáilte Ireland Best Tourism InitiativeDrogheda’s Irish Maritime Festival was named Fáilte Ireland Best Tourism Initiative at the LAMA Community & Council Awards. Picture shows Cllr Oliver Tully, Miriam Roe and Mary T Daly of Louth County Council with Jenny De Saulles, head of Ireland’s Ancient East, Fáilte Ireland.

At Your ServiceHazelwood Lodge in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare showcased Fáilte Ireland’s Welcome Standard on an episode of RTÉ’s ‘At Your Service’ with Francis Brennan. Watch the episode here. Picture shows Francis Brennan, SouthWestern assessor Anne Jordan, Hazelwood Lodge’s Victor McSweeney and Linda Campbell of Fáilte Ireland.

clare rose supportRose of Tralee Elysha Brenna and 2015 Rose Ava Mahony visited the De Valera Library, Ennis to support the County of Culture initiative and the County Clare Festivals & Events Guide 2016. Picture shows Clare xo-ordinator of the Rose of Tralee, Ciaran O’Connell, Rose of Tralee Elysha Brennan, Clare Rose Ava Mahony and Maureen Cleary of Clare Tourism.

NEW TOURISM IRELAND BOARD MEETS FOR FIRST TIME IN 2016Tourism Ireland’s new board met for the first time this year. Picture shows Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland with Tourism Ireland board members Michael O’Sullivan, Trevor White, Brian Ambrose, Joan O’Shaughnessy, David O’Brien, David Rodway and Stephen Kavanagh, in Teelings Distillery, Dublin.

Westport House was put up for sale with a guide price of €10m.

Tourism Ireland launched its promotion in Austria, will billboard ads targeting commuters.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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

Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

Feb 4-7 Destinations, Olympia, London

Feb 4-7 Scottish Holiday Home Show Glasgow

Feb 9-10 Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv

Feb 9-11 IBTM, Abu Dhabi

Feb 11 Nordic Trade Workshop, Copenhagen

Feb 11-13 BIT Milan

Feb 20-March 1 IHF Conference, Killarney

Feb 20-21 Fly Shannon Holiday Show, University of Limerick Arena

Feb 22-25
Go West Summit, Anchorage

Feb 24-27 Guangzhou International Travel Fair

Feb 29-Mar 1 IHF Conference, Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney

March 2-6 BTL, LIsbon

March 3-6 Utazas, Budapest

March 3-9 Travel South, Winston-Salem

March 9-13 ITB, Berlin

March 14-17 Seatade Global, Fort Lauderdale

March 16-17 Britain and Ireland Travel Show, Birmingham

March 17-20 Tur, Gothenburg

March 23-27 MITT, Moscow

March 26-27 Skål National Convention Ireland, Killarney

April 2-9 Mountain Travel Symposium, Keystone Heights

April 4-9 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Dubai

April 5-7 Rendez Vous France, Montpelier

April 5-7 WTTC Global Summit, Dallas

April 6-8 WTM Africa, Cape Town

April 6-8 World Tourism Forum summit, Istanbul

April 7 Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, Ballsbridge Hotel (formerly Jury’s Hotel)

April 7 ITAA AGM

April 11-12 Meitheal, RDS, Dublin

April 12-14 COTTM, Beijing

April 17-19 Germany Travel Market, Magdeburg

April 17-21 Virtuoso, Cape Town

April 19-20 Eyefortravel Travel Distribution Summit, London

April 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt

April 23 Irish Tourism Industry Awards

Apr 23-26 Routes Europe Krakow

April 24-27 Rendez-vous Canada,

Apr 25-28 Tianguis Turistico, Guadlajara

April 25-28 ATM, Dubai

May 2-5 We Are Africa, Cape Town

May 7-9 Indaba, Durban

May 10-13 Trenz New Zealand

May 10-13 World Travel Fair Shanghai

May 11-15 Fitcuba, Havana

May 19-20 CLIA, Southampton

May 15-19 ATE, Gold Coast

May 19-22 Irish Open, Straffan

May 22-26 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Scottsdale

June 1-3 IATA world congress, Dublin

June 1-4 ILA Berlin Air show

June 8-10 TTM Plus, Bangkok

June 9 Thomson Discovery launch

June 18-22 IPW (Pow Wow), New Orleans

June 28-July 2 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Madrid

July 11-17 Farnborough Air show

July 17 Foynes Air Show

Sept 3-4 Air Waves, Portrush

Sept 6-8 Seatrade Europe, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Sept 14-16 Travelmart Latin America, Iguassu Falls, Brazil

Sept 7-9, PATA Travel Mart, Jakarta

Sept 29-Oct 2 Top Resa, Paris

Sept 10-13 FITA, Santa Cruz

Sept 19-22, Adventure Travel World Summit, Anchorage

Sept 25-27 World Routes, Chengdu

Sept 26-30 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Madrid

Oct 15 NI Travel Trade Awards, Newcastle, Co Down

Oct 29-Nov 1 Skål World Congress, Monaco,

Nov 7-9, WTM London

Nov 10 Scottish Travel Trade Awards,

Nov 19-21 CLIA rivercruise conference, Amsterdam

Nov 25 ITTN Awards

Nov 29-Dec 1 IBTM World, Barcelona

2017

Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast

Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin

June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC

2018

Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast

Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin

May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver

2019 – 2024

Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast

Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin

June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim

May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas

April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago

June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando

May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio

May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

Previous editions of Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 

Jan 31Jan 24Jan 17Jan 10Jan 3

Dec 27Dec 20Dec 13Dec 6

Nov 29Nov 22Nov 15Nov 8Nov 1

Oct 25Oct 18Oct 11Oct 4

Sept 27Sept 20Sept 13Sept 6

Aug 30Aug 23Aug 16Aug 9Aug 2

July 26July 19July 12July 5

June 28June 21June 14June 7

May 31May 24May 17May 10May 3

Apr 25Apr 18Apr 11Apr 4

Mar 29Mar 22Mar 15Mar 8Mar 1

Feb 22Feb 15Feb 8Feb 1

Jan 25Jan 18Jan 11Jan 4

Previous issues
November 2015: Winter cruise issue
October 2015: Ski issue
September 2015: Accommodation issue
July/August 2015: Wintersun issue
June 2015: USA issue
May 2015: The Australia issue
April 2015: Summer Cruise issue
March 2015: Industry Awards issue
February 2015: Holiday World issue

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair warms up for next winter

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE

janaury 31 cover

Six things you need to know about travel this week

  • Ryanair looks to Germany for growth spurt
  • Holiday World visitors up 11pc
  • Arizona says approach the Grand Canyon from the north
  • Travel Trade Skillnet programme comes to an end after 2,300 training days
  • Superbreak’s four prong launch in Ireland
  • Zika the latest alarm for international travel

Travel Extra TV

video of the week jan 31 2016Our video of the week shows Casey Neistat and friends snowboarding through the streets of the Big Apple — with a cameo appearance from the NYPD. Watch here.

  • Keeping up the snow theme, here is a timelapse of the 2016 blizzard that hit the east coast of the United States, shot in Purcellville, Virginia. Watch here. And here’s compilation of the best snow dives during the blizzard. Watch here.
  • The US Embassy in Dublin uploaded a video of Ambassador Kevin O’Malley at Holiday World Show 2016 in the RDS Simmonscourt. Watch here.
  • Qantas launched a new safety video that showcases Australia. Watch here.
  • Ryan Pernofski put together a beautiful collage of two years worth of surfing footage captured off Australia’s Central Coast. Watch here.
  • Golfer and Etihad Airways guest ambassador Martin Kaymer takes the desert bunker challenger in Abu Dhabi. Watch here.
  • Introducing Services by Airbus. Watch here.
  • See Ryanair’s winter getaways promo. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland continues its partnership with PBS in 2016, sponsoring the broadcast of the final season of Downton Abbey in New York, Boston and Chicago. The campaign focuses on the launch of Ireland’s Ancient East. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus’s recap of 2015. Watch here.  Aer Lingus also launched a video to publicise their North American sale featuring a Stormtrooper and a Naked Cowboy in Stephen’s Green.
  • Qatar Airways at the Bahrain International Airshow 2016. Watch here. Qatar celebrated the launch of its daily service to LA with a gala evening at the Dolby Theatre. Watch here.
  • Emirates showcases its two class configuration A380 at the Bahrain Airshow. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’ promo for Dublin – A Breath of Fresh Air. Watch here.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

robin kenny mathias cabin crew_1563robin kenny planning_1459Ryanair gave its strongest hint yet of where it will get most of its passengers in its latest phase of growth. Germany and its neighbours is providing the biggest chunk, followed by eastern Europe, while Ryanair is leaving Scandinavia to itself for SAS and Norwegian to scrap things out on fares. The message Kenny Jacobs and Robin Kiely wanted to leave from its Wednesday morning briefing was that Ryanair would handle the short haul business out of Dublin and Aer Lingus the long haul. Tammy Donohoe and Liana Pavlucenko stopped by to showcase Ryanair’s new uniforms, and new Marketing Operations Director Matthias Wenk also stopped by to meet the media. Picture shows Robin Kiely, Tammy Donohoe, Kenny Jacobs, Liana Pavlucenko and Matthias Wenk at the launch. Ryanair used the opportunity to warn customers and commentators that now is the time to book Spain and fates and hotel prices can only go up. Listen here to Kenny Jacobs’ full presentation from the event. Listen here to the full Q&A session. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Ryanair’s new winter routes from Dublin are Hamburg 5w and Sofia 3w (using a with a Sofia based aircraft), services to Athens 2w, Bologna 2w, Murcia 2w, Porto 2w and Seville 2w are extended to winter and there are more flights to Bucharest 5w and Gatwick, 8 daily.

eoghan corry clinicVisitors to Holiday World 2016 at the RDS Simmonscourt were up 11pc. Retail agencies at the event reported bookings up even further and the highest level of enquiries since 2008. Robin Kiely of Ryanair revealed major changes to the algorithm systems used by Ryanair’s new website booking engine at the Eoghan Corry Travel Summit during the event. Edmond Hourican commented: Belief and confidence in the travel market continues to improve on last year. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Fionnuala Carter speaking at the ITAA Conference in Jerez, October 2 2015After 2,300 training days and 2,500 customers, 900 in the past year, the Travel Industry Skillnet programme came to an end. In the absence of support via the Travel Professionals Skillnet, ISME Skillnet will be treating all members of ITAA, ITOA, ITOF and CTTC to preferred rates for training. Should you have any specific requirements that you would like addressed, Liz Carroll is the Network Manager at ISME Skillnet and is available at liz@isme.ie or at 01 6622755. Fionnuala Carter said: “It has been wonderful to work in such an energetic industry and I have very much enjoyed engaging and collaborating with all that participated in our training and delivery.” Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry dedicated to Fionnuala a rendition of Fionnghuala at the Irish Travel Industry awards last week.

graham balmforthSuperBreak launched their long anticipated Irish operation with a 52-page brochure, bookable Euro website, local rate number for access to SuperBreak’s contact centre and sales support teams. Picture shows Graham Balmforth and Madeleine Roast.

Another week of alarm for international travel as the DFA advised Irish citizens to be aware of the risks of Zika Virus and to take the appropriate precautions if visiting 20 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. The WHO will decide on Monday if it is to give the virus the public health emergency status that has only been declared on three previous occasions, for polio, swine flu and ebola.

Miichael Davern Gary Funston Antonia Beggs_1590The Irish Open press conference hosted by Michael Davern this week at the K Club focussed on the paradox of Ireland’s showcase golf event, why a tournament which is among the top two best attended and is just outside the top five in prize money is assigned a date in May (Travel Extra set the agenda with the first question). Philip Reid asked about getting a more prominent date for the tournament. Listen here to the Q&A from the event. Picture shows Michael Davern GM of the K Club, Gary Funston President of the Rory foundation and Antonia Beggs of the European PGA. Listen here to Antonia Beggs of European PGA speaking at the event. Listen here to Michael Davern. Listen here to Gary Funston. Listen here to George Horan. Listen here to Redmond O’Donoghue. Travel Extra’s aisling for the tournament on May 19-22: because Straffan has no restriction on attendance we could see a record attendance for a European PGA event, ideally with Rory and another Irishman contending for the lead on Saturday and Sunday and 130,000 filling the galleries. Yes we can. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Today FM’s Topflight ski trip brought 500 insomniac skiers to Austria for an event that is as well known for it slate nights as its morning ski runs.

Arizona Office of Tourism media event in Dublin, January 29, 2016tony alba_0284Tony Alba from Arizona Office of Tourism visited Dublin with hints on how best to view the Grand Canyon: from the north side rather than the touristy South and the Nevada-facing west. It can be a long walk but Tony says it is worth it. He also listed his favourite ghost towns in the Arizona state. Picture shows Tony briefing the travel media in Dublin.

US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley attended the InterExchange and SAYIT J1 Job Fair in Dublin to meet and greet with 2016 J1 applicants and US Employers. Under new terms of the J1 scheme applicants have to have secured a job in the USA in advance of travel. 

Travel Trade

The total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during the period October – December 2015 rose by 5.9pc to 1,544,800.

Members of the Irish Travel Agents Association say bookings are 50pc ahead of last year with many agents reporting their strongest January since 2010. John Spollen of Cassidy Travel said there was a growing confidence about the country is one of the many reasons driving  demand our travel shops seeing increased bookings from  families along with  cruises and lates as people look to escape the horrible Irish winter.

faty dot ieDundalk travel agent John McGuill launched his new website, faty.ie.

On the Beach’s license, issued on March 11 2015 with an expiry date of April 30 2016, but was cancelled by the Commission of Aviation Regulation.

Topflight expanded their summer holiday programme to include a luxury holiday selection to the Algarve. See Deal Watch for more.

Qantas launched an Australia Day prize draw with a chance to win one of three great prizes: a pair of return Economy tickets from London Heathrow to Sydney or Melbourne, a £250 Love2Shop voucher or a £100 Love2Shop voucher. Bookings must be made and ticketed before February 2 2016.

The 2016 Irish Travel Trade News awards will be on Friday November 25.

dreamliner dashCheck out Falcon’s Dreamliner Dash, an interactive game to promote the 787 Dreamliner routes launching this summer. Play here.

Skal’s February function takes place in The Fitzwilliam Hotel, St Stephen’s Green on February 9, 12.30pm. Price for members €30, €35pp for their guests.

Hotels

skal club conor henninganFounding member of SKAL in Kerry Conor Hennigan was honoured for his contribution to tourism at the annual SKAL dinner in the Muckross Park Hotel on Saturday.

Alex Incorvaja who formerly headed up the Maltese TB in London, has been appointed GM oft Le Méridien St Julian’s.

Jennifer Ward has been appointed Head of Marketing with the Irish Hotels Federation.

WestinThe Westin Dublin launched its Family Glamping in the City package for children, which includes a choice of Eason book, delivered to your room by the Children’s Book Butler. The package is charged at a €60 supplement on the deluxe bedroom rate. Price includes: 2-man pop-up tent, single airbeds, LED torch and book.

Dalata agreed leasehold interested for four four-star hotel — Gibson Hotel Dublin, the Croydon Park Hotel, England, the Clarion Hotel Cork and the Clarion Hotel Limerick — for €40m.

The fire that broke out at the Hotel Ritz Paris will delay its reopening until June.

Hilton Worldwide signed a management license agreement for Atlantica Hotels to develop and manage Hilton Garden Inn hotels in Brazil. Hilton announced its 13th brand, Tru by Hilton, which will be rolled out later this year. Hilton has 100 hotels signed to Tru, a mid-scale Millenial brand.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide added its portfolio to TripAdvisor.

International

canada electronic Travel AuthorisationCanada’s new electronic Travel Authorisation comes into effect on March 15, 2016. The eTA costs $7 CAD and is valid for 5 years, it is similar to USA’s ESTA which costs USD14 and is valid for two years.

Las Vegas strip’s first park will open April 4.

US border control to use facial comparison technology at JFK Airport

JPMorgan Chase says it will start rolling out ATMs that can let you withdraw cash or do other transactions on a smartphone.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car launched an Exotic Car Collection at Heathrow Airport to give consumers access to Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari, Range Rover and Bentley vehicles. A second Exotic Car Collection branch in central London is also set to open in the coming months.

Research by Expedia showed the Irish population will lose 5m holiday days this year, with the average worker losing two and a half days each with employees are taking shorter trips. Thai employees have the lowest average holidays (10 days) while the US averages just 15.

VisitPortugal or the Portuguese Tourist Office is the correct designation for Portugal’s tourism representation.

Thailand reported a record 29.88m visitor arrivals in 2015.

Peter McMinn’s Travel Solutions winter season to Buglaria from Belfast for 2017-8, wil hold prices at 2016 levels and increase capacity by 50pc. Learn to Ski packages will start from £499 fully inclusive. The programme, formerly run by Radka Lynn, is the only ski operation to Bulgaria from Ireland.

An English tourist driving on the wrong side of the road in Spain crashed into German professional cycling team Giant-Alpecin, which was training near Alicante, and injured six cyclists.

Cabforce, the travel technology platform that is part of CarTrawler, was appointed preferred online taxi and private transfer provider to GobalStar Travel Management.

dog on aircraftPope Francis will visit Mexico City, February 12 to 18.

MGM Resorts International will debut its park, dining and entertainment district on the Las Vegas Strip on April 4.

The sky is the limit for this young pup who was pictured on a board Delta flight.

Qatar Museums unveiled a number of public art installations at Hamad International Airport.

Food and Wine

wine weekendKnockranny House Hotel’s Wine Producers Weekend takes place February 26-27 with reps from vineyards in Rioja, the Loire Valley, the Languedoc, the Veneto, Austria, Slovenia and Sicily attending. Sommelier Nick Faujours and Sinead Cabot of Cabot & Co wine importers will open the weekend with a wine clinic. The following evening, punters will get the chance to meet the producers and taste their wines with a selection of cheeses and Knockranny breads and smoked salmon. They will also attend masterclasses on each of the regions. The event concludes with a dinner in La Fougère, where chef Seamus Commons will match dishes to a selection of wines. 1 night B&B package is available from €135pp incl. wine tasting, masterclasses and dinner, €199 for two nights, non-resident option for €69. See knockrannyhousehotel.ie.

Aviation

Aer Lingus Dublin service to Washington Dulles is to be year round once it resumes in March after finishing earlier this month. The route will be served by a B757-2 for winter season 2016-17.

ASL applied for permission to serve CDG and Shannon to Providence Rhode Island between May and September 2016. ASL serve Dublin to Halifax in Nova Scotia.

knock pilgrimage annoucnement jan 2016Aer Lingus are to operate a single pilgrimage rotation from Boston to Ireland West Airport Knock on Thursday July 14. Picture shows Richard Gibbons, Rector of Knock Shrine with Joe Kennedy and Joe Gilmore of Ireland West Airport Knock.

French ATC workers called their 40th strike since 2009

Dublin-London air passengers were up 9pc to 4.5m in 2015 making it the second busiest international route in the world.

  • Trade union Unite called for a public inquiry into the damage caused to cabin crew by ‘aerotoxic syndrome’.
  • United Airlines is to operate the longest scheduled flight,between San Francisco and Singapore.
  • A study by Airline Passenger Experience Association states what might be considered the obvious – that 70 percent of all passengers consider cabin comfort the most important contribution to the flying experience
  • An aircraft from Bangkok to Amsterdam made an emergency landing in Warsaw Saturday night, after a passenger tried to open the door during the flight.
  • Belfast City Airport passenger numbers for 2015 were up 5.4m to 2.7m
  • It is reported in Tehran that several European airlines will resume their flights to Iran after nearly five years following a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Turkish Boeing 001Turkish Airlines Chairman M.lker Ayci and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President CEO Ray Conner signed a long-term collaboration agreement in Istanbul.

Qatar Airways is increasing its flights to Zagred and Budapest to a 10-weekly service from April 3 and July 3, while flights to Baku increase to an 11-weekly service from March 27. Qatar will launch direct flights from Doha to Belgrade from March 16.

turkish airlines batman v supermanA Turkish Airlines flight from Houston to Istanbul made an emergency landing in Shannon following a bomb threat.

Turkish Airlines announced a partnership with Warner Bros Pictures to launch experiences inspired by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ahead of its release on March 25. A scene from the movie was filmed on board a Turkish Airlines B777.

swiss zurich loungeSWISS unveiled its Dock E lounge at Zurich Airport, which coincides with the arrival of its first B777-300ER. SWISS also confirmed that it will offer in-flight WiFi and roaming mobile phone access on the jets.

Aircoach defended its handling of luggage after passengers complained on TripAdvisor that their bags were allegedly stolen while using the service. Aircoach responded by saying it was aware that some bags had been taken without permission and said a number of those incidents involved people mistakenly taking luggage that didn’t belong to them.

  • United Airlines and American Airlines will join Delta and launch a no-frills far later this year.
  • CityJet announced a weekly service from Bastia to Avignon and Beziers, commencing June 25 to September 3. .
  • Ryanair sponsored the anna.aero London Marathon with a €5,000 donation for Anthony Nolan bone marrow transplants.
  • Finnair announced additional flights to Lapland — Kittilä, Kuusamo and Ivalo — for winter 2016/2017.
  • Kenya Airways will dry lease three Boeing B777-300ERs to Turkish Airlines.

Afloat

norwegian getawayNCL’s second-newest ship Norwegian Getaway will move from Miami to spend the summer in Germany in May 2017. Norwegian Jade will move to Southampton for summer 2017. The moves will boost Norwegian’s presence in Europe to five vessels which also includes Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Star.

MSC_PARADISO_okAntonio Paradiso was appointed MD for MSC Cruises Ireland/Britain.

Celebrity Cruises ended mandatory prepaid gratuities on select dining.

  • Tauck said it is to reconfigure the majority of its river cruise fleet.
  • CLIA reacted to the cancellation of cruise port calls: In the event of any safety concerns, cruise ships have the flexibility to alter their itineraries as needed to avoid areas of higher risk. Our priority is to provide for the safety of passengers and crew at all times.
  • Oasis Class ships announced added benefits to some cabins. Hurtigruten is to modify several of its vessels for shore power during the first half of 2016.
  • Hurtigruten is to modify several of its vessels for shore power during the first half of 2016.
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises signed a five-year partnership agreement with the World Wildlife Fund to reduce Royal Caribbean’s carbon footprint by 2020, increase awareness about ocean conservation and support the WWF’s global oceans conservation work.
  • silversea fitnessSilversea Cruises launched a collection of health and fitness-themed expedition cruises on board Silver Discoverer for 2016 and 2017.
  • Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas will feature family-friendly offerings including the DreamWorks Experience, updated entertainment in the Adventure Ocean youth programme, and a collection of family features in balcony staterooms.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line announced the Norwegian Edge quality standard, part of its two-year $400 million investment through 2017. 
  • AIDA cruises as recruiting 570 performers worldwide, holding auditions from London to Los Angeles.

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Holiday Village, Sarigerme, Dalaman from €1,889 2+1, from €2,639 2+2, depart May 30. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Holiday Village, Costa Los Gigantes, Tenerife form €2,159 2+1, from €3,009 2+2, depart August 26. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Holiday Village, Marmari, Kos from €2,559 2+1, from €3,619 2+2, depart August 20. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay from €1,729pp, depart July 10. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Waikiki Hotel, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €589pp, depart February 20. 7 nights self catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santigo, Tenerife from €319pp, depart March 4. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Dunas Mirador, self catering from €369pp, depart March 12. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway Santa Ponsa offers, depart June 25-26 and July 2-3: 7 nights self catering 3* Bouganvilla Apartments from €599pp. 7 nights self catering 3* Verdemar Apartments from €599pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Surfing Playa Apartments from €699pp. 7 nights self catering 3* Deva Apartments from €699pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Sunbeach Apartments from €699pp.7 nights all inclusive 3* Santa Ponsa Playa Hotel from €899pp. Flight only from €399pp. Algarve offers, depart May 7 and 14 ex Dublin and Cork: Flight only from €299pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Acqua Maris Balaia Apartments from €389pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Bayside Salgados Apartments from €399pp. 7 nights self catering 3* Colina Village Apartments from €429pp. 7 nights self catering 4* Paraiso Apartments from €459pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Carvi Beach Hotel from €499pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Vila Gale Cerro Alagoa from €559pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Algarve Casino Hotel from €579pp. Orlando and Florida offers: 7 nights 3* International Palms Resort from €519pp incl. flights, travel May. 7 nights 3* Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €589pp incl. flights, travel March. 7 nights 3* Universal Cabana Bay Resort from €615pp, depart May. 7 nights 4* Sonesta ES Suites, Orlando from €655pp incl. flights, depart May. 7 nights 3* Disney’s Art of Music, Orlando from €669pp incl. flights, depart May. 10 nights Caribbean cruise and Orlando from €1,479pp incl. 3 nights 3* Orlando International Drive, 7 nights on board Oasis of the Seas, flights and selective drinks package, depart December. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Sunway is offering a 7-day 4* Trafalgar escorted tour of Canada’s Rockies from €2,449pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, tax, 6 breakfasts and three dinners, travel by luxury coach, VIP entry to sights and audio headsets. Sightseeing itinerary includes visits to Calgary, Lake Louise, Jasper, and Banff. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive Taurito Princess, Maspolomas, Gran Canaria from €709pps, depart February 27. 7 nights self catering Caybeach Princess Bungalow, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €409pps, depart March 5. 7 nights half board Catalonia Oro Negro, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €469pps, depart March 11. 14 nights all inclusive Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Sap, Lucea from €1,799pps, depart June 19. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Suntopia Tropical, Sarigerme, Turkey from €1,899 2+1, from €2,569 2+2, depart June 6. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Atlantica Marmari Beach, Kos from €2,179 2+1, from €3,299 2+2, depart June 18. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

thomson cruise deal watchThomson cruise offers: 7 nights full board Mediterranean Medley cruise on Thomson Majesty from €899pps incl. flights, depart May 17. 7 nights full board Hellenic Classics cruise on board Thomson Dream from €1,069pps incl. flights, depart June 3. All inclusive upgrade available from €10pppn.

tour america deal watchTour America offers: 14 nights Orlando and Cancun from €1,439pp incl. 7 nights at the Rosen Inn International Hotel, 7 nights all inclusive at the Riu Cancun, outbound flight to Orlando, inbound flight from Cancun, depart June 9. 7 nights all inclusive honeymoon at the Dreams Puerto Aventuras, Mexico from €1,189pp incl. return flights, depart September 22. 3 nights Row NYC Hotel, New York from €739pp, depart September 29. 4 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €629pp, depart September 15. Visit touramerica.ie.

Topflight Algarve offers: 7 nights self-catering 5* Victoria Residences, Vilamoura from €599pps, depart May 21. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Quinta do Lago from €1,260pps, depart May 21. 7 nights B&B 4* Vila Gale Marina, Vilamoura from €679pps, depart May 28. 7 nights self catering 4* Vila Petra, Albufeira from €569pps, depart June 4. 7 nights B&B 5* Tivoli Marina, Vilamoura from €949pps, depart June 11. All prices include return flights, return transfers, taxes and Topflight rep service. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 2401 700.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 4* AC Hotel Firenze by Marriott, Florence from €339pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, airport taxes and charges, travel in April. 7 nights B&B 4& Meridien Hotel, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €369pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, airport taxes and charges, travel in May. 7 nights B&B 5* Corfu Holiday Palace Hotel, Kanoni, Corfu from €419pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, airport taxes and charges, travel in May. 7 nights B&B 4* Amarin Resort Aparthotel, Croatia from €439pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, airport taxes and charges, travel in May. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Riviera Travel is offering a 3-night escorted city break to Pars from €399pp incl. return flights, return transfers, 3 nights’ B&B accommodation in a 3* hotel, sightseeing tour of Paris, Paris By Night tour, visit to Versailles and visit to Montmartre, depart March 25. Visit rivieratravel.ie.

Insight Vacations is offering an 8-day Glories of Greece tour from €2,186pp incl. flights, transfers and 7 nights accommodation, book by February 29, depart July 1. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8-day tour of derdeaux on the River Royale from €2,246pps incl. flights, transfers, all meals and beverages and all shore excursions, book by February 29, depart March 27. Visit uniworld.ie or call 01 775 3803.

Contiki is offering a 9-day tour of Scandinavia from €1,515pp incl. flights, transfers and 8 nights accommodation, book by February 29, depart June 4. Visit contiki.com or call 01 775 3803.

Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights Western Med cruise on Harmony of the Seas from €1,699pp incl. return flights, depart June 12. 10 nights Western Med cruise on Jewel of the Seas from €1,319pp incl. return flights, depart May 13. 7 nights Arabian Gulf cruise on Splendour of the Seas from €1,295pp incl. return flights, depart March 21. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

ITAA Valentine’s Day offers: 3 nights in 4* accommodation, Lisbon from €226pps incl. return flights, depart February 12. 2 nights B&B 4* Union Praha hotel, Prague from €279pps incl. flights, depart February 12. 2 nights 3* Grand Hotel du Havre, Paris from €399pp incl. return flights ex Cork, depart February 12.

Lowcostbeds offers, 7 nights based on 2 adults, depart June 25: 3* Hotel de Rey, Benahmadena, Costa del Sol from €21pppn self catering. 3* Port Fiesta Park Hotel, Costa Blanca from €35pppn B&B. 3* Ionian Sea View, Kavos, Corfu from €11pppn self catering. 3* Villa Angira, Fira, Santorini from €26pppn B&B.

Ireland

writers_wkend_logoAn anthology celebrating 35 years of Salmon Poetry will be launched at Doolin Writers’ Weekend March 4-6 2016. Participants will include Joseph O’Connor, Danielle McLaughlin, Elaine Feeney, Billy Ramsel, June Caldwell, EM Reapy and Neil McCarthy, as well as workshops hosted by Dermot Bolger, Lia Mills, Stephen Murray and ER Murray.

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation and IBEC launched its tourism manifesto entitled Tourism Opportunity – A manifesto for growing tourism and jobs.

Ireland was one of nine destinations listed in the best travel destination category during 2015 by Travel & Leisure magazine at an awards ceremony in China.

The Gathering Traditional Festival returns to Killarney for its seventeenth year from February 17 to 21.

IRLAND BITTE! GERMANS TARGETED AT HOLIDAY FAIR IN STUTTGART

Picture shows Irish tourim interests at the Caravan, Motor Tourism Fair in Stuttgart: Sabine Rosenhammer, Skellig Reisen; Julie O’Connell, Tourism Ireland; Ralf-Michael Hubert, Irish Ferries; Stefan Kupner, Shannon-Travel Bootsreisen; Paula Irwin, Manor House Marine (and representing Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism); Ann Campbell, B&B Ireland; Elke Barnick, Skellig Reisen; Nadja König, Shamrock Irland Reisen; Martina Burba, Irish Caravan & Camping Council; Astrid Kliem, Highländer Reisen; Judith Koritke, Thoba Reisen; Michelle Tighe, Irish Greyhound Board; Sonja Fischer, Tourism Ireland, on the Ireland stand at CMT in Stuttgart.

 Twenty five tourism businesses participated in Tourism Ireland’s first promotion of 2016, a B2B workshop and networking event in Glasgow. Stormont Tourism Minister Jonathan Bell showcased NI’s Year of Food and Drink at an event in New York organised by Tourism Ireland. Pictures shows  Laureen McDonagh, Invest Northern Ireland; Michael McKillop, Glens of Antrim Potatoes; Stephen Brown, ScotlandMid; Paul Hargreaves, Cotswold Fayre; James Laws, Food & Drink Hub (Scotland) Ltd; Caroline Mulligan, Tourism Ireland; and (front l-r) Emily Dodd, Tourism Ireland; Melanie Harvey, Sunday Mail; Michelle Charrington, Invest Northern Ireland; and Paula Murray, Scottish Sunday Express

tourism ireland brussels 4 jan 2016Picture shows Sheila Geary of Visit Belfast; Danielle Neyts of Tourism Ireland; Azeta Seery of Dublin Convention Burea and Jenny Finegan of Fáilte Ireland, at the Meeting Matters networking event in Brussels.

Donohoe and Ring launch Tourism Action PlanMinister Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State Michael Ring launched a Tourism Action Plan for 2016 to 2018. Key issues raised in the plan include: restoring overseas tourism marketing funds to pre-recession levels; more funding to encourage direct air and sea access; a list of themes for other marketing initiatives; an analysis by Fáilte Ireland on hotel capacity problems in Dublin; and support for the IRFU’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

CSO Jan-Dec 2015 figures showed overseas trips to Ireland were up 14pc Britain was up 12pc, North America 14pc, France 11pc, Germany 13pc, Italy 25pc, Spain 18pc, Australian/New Zealand 9pc and other areas 14pc.

Failte Ireland Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards. Photo Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography.

Fáilte Ireland honoured 79 conference ambassadors at the Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, hosted by comedian Dara Ó Briain. The recipients were given the wards for bugging and hosting international conferences and events in Dublin. Brian Stapleton, MD of Periploi Aviation, was named Conference Ambassador of the Year, while Matthew Ryan, director of the Grand Hotel in Malahide and Marine Hotel in Sutton was honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to Business Tourism Industry, and Dr Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech, was honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to Business Tourism during the Gathering.

Belfast Waterfront hosted 140 conference organisers, event planners and meeting professionals to preview the facility which reopens in May following a £29.5m refurbishment.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Call to ActionA letter signed by Rory McIlroy was sent to every golf club in Ireland, requesting their support for this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, which takes place at The K Club from May 19 to 22. The letter including a five-point plan on how they could show their support, including the Irish Open Club Challenge, a golf tournament which gives one club team an opportunity to play alongside a top professional in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro–Am. The plan also includes a skills challenge for junior club members, special coach offers for clubs travelling to the tournament, and signed memorabilia. Pictured at the press conference: K Club CEO Michael Davern, Rory Foundation CEO Barry Funston, Antonia Beggs of European Tour, President of Dubai Duty Free George Horan and Chairman of the Confederation of Golf in Ireland Redmond O’Donoghue.

powerboat racingLord Mayor of Dublin Críona Ní Dhálaigh launched the Venture World Cup Ireland 2016 powerboat racing festival, which begins in Cork on June 10 and finishes in Dublin. Twenty-five teams will compete over the seven-day event. Picture shows..

Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin – A Breath of Fresh Air was one of Creative Blog’s top four rebranding trends for 2015.

growing tourism in corkGrowing Tourism in Cork was launched by the Cork Tourism Strategy Taskforce at Cork Airport this week. The strategy outlines a five-year plan to increase domestic and international visitors to 2.8m. Picture shows includes Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Shaun Quinn and Fiona Buckley.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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

Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

  • Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi
  • Feb 4-7 Destinations, Olympia, London
  • Feb 4-7 Scottish Holiday Home Show Glasgow
  • Feb 9-10 Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv
  • Feb 9-11 IBTM, Abu Dhabi
  • Feb 11 Nordic Trade Workshop, Copenhagen
  • Feb 11-13 BIT Milan
  • Feb 20-March 1 IHF Conference, Killarney
  • Feb 20-21 Fly Shannon Holiday Show, University of Limerick Arena
  • Feb 22-25
    Go West Summit, Anchorage
  • Feb 24-27 Guangzhou International Travel Fair
  • Feb 29-Mar 1 IHF Conference, Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney
  • March 2-6 BTL, LIsbon
  • March 3-6 Utazas, Budapest
  • March 3-9 Travel South, Winston-Salem
  • March 9-13 ITB, Berlin
  • March 14-17 Seatade Global, Fort Lauderdale
  • March 16-17 Britain and Ireland Travel Show, Birmingham
  • March 17-20 Tur, Gothenburg
  • March 23-27 MITT, Moscow
  • March 26-27 Skål National Convention Ireland, Killarney
  • April 2-9 Mountain Travel Symposium, Keystone Heights
  • April 4-9 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Dubai
  • April 5-7 Rendez Vous France, Montpelier
  • April 5-7 WTTC Global Summit, Dallas
  • April 6-8 WTM Africa, Cape Town
  • April 6-8 World Tourism Forum summit, Istanbul
  • April 7 Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, Ballsbridge Hotel (formerly Jury’s Hotel)
  • April 7 ITAA AGM
  • April 11-12 Meitheal, RDS, Dublin
  • April 12-14 COTTM, Beijing
  • April 17-19 Germany Travel Market, Magdeburg
  • April 17-21 Virtuoso, Cape Town
  • April 19-20 Eyefortravel Travel Distribution Summit, London
  • April 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt
  • April 23 Irish Tourism Industry Awards
  • Apr 23-26 Routes Europe Krakow
  • April 24-27 Rendez-vous Canada,
  • Apr 25-28 Tianguis Turistico, Guadlajara
  • April 25-28 ATM, Dubai
  • May 2-5 We Are Africa, Cape Town
  • May 7-9 Indaba, Durban
  • May 10-13 Trenz New Zealand
  • May 10-13 World Travel Fair Shanghai
  • May 11-15 Fitcuba, Havana
  • May 19-20 CLIA, Southampton
  • May 15-19 ATE, Gold Coast
  • May 19-22 Irish Open, Straffan
  • May 22-26 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Scottsdale
  • June 1-3 IATA world congress, Dublin
  • June 1-4 ILA Berlin Air show
  • June 8-10 TTM Plus, Bangkok
  • June 9 Thomson Discovery launch
  • June 18-22 IPW (Pow Wow), New Orleans
  • June 28-July 2 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Madrid
  • July 11-17 Farnborough Air show
  • July 17 Foynes Air Show
  • Sept 3-4 Air Waves, Portrush
  • Sept 6-8 Seatrade Europe, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Sept 14-16 Travelmart Latin America, Iguassu Falls, Brazil
  • Sept 7-9, PATA Travel Mart, Jakarta
  • Sept 29-Oct 2 Top Resa, Paris
  • Sept 10-13 FITA, Santa Cruz
  • Sept 19-22, Adventure Travel World Summit, Anchorage
  • Sept 25-27 World Routes, Chengdu
  • Sept 26-30 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Madrid
  • Oct 15 NI Travel Trade Awards, Newcastle, Co Down
  • Oct 29-Nov 1 Skål World Congress, Monaco,
  • Nov 7-9, WTM London
  • Nov 10 Scottish Travel Trade Awards,
  • Nov 19-21 CLIA rivercruise conference, Amsterdam
  • Nov 25 ITTN Awards
  • Nov 29-Dec 1 IBTM World, Barcelona

2017

  • Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC

2018

  • Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver

2019 – 2024

  • Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

Previous editions of Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 

Jan 31Jan 24Jan 17Jan 10Jan 3

Dec 27Dec 20Dec 13Dec 6

Nov 29Nov 22Nov 15Nov 8Nov 1

Oct 25Oct 18Oct 11Oct 4

Sept 27Sept 20Sept 13Sept 6

Aug 30Aug 23Aug 16Aug 9Aug 2

July 26July 19July 12July 5

June 28June 21June 14June 7

May 31May 24May 17May 10May 3

Apr 25Apr 18Apr 11Apr 4

Mar 29Mar 22Mar 15Mar 8Mar 1

Feb 22Feb 15Feb 8Feb 1

Jan 25Jan 18Jan 11Jan 4

Previous issues
November 2015: Winter cruise issue
October 2015: Ski issue
September 2015: Accommodation issue
July/August 2015: Wintersun issue
June 2015: USA issue
May 2015: The Australia issue
April 2015: Summer Cruise issue
March 2015: Industry Awards issue
February 2015: Holiday World issue

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Simmonscourt swingers & FITUR is bright

ITAA President Martin Skelly addresses the Irish Travel Industry Awards in the Mansion House, Dublin.

ITAA President Martin Skelly addresses the Irish Travel Industry Awards in the Mansion House, Dublin.

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE

7 things you need to know about travel this week:

  • A4E airline association ‘strike’ up a conversation
  • Happy faces at FITUR, Madrid
  • Dublin Airport re-announces end-of-year figures
  • How long is a Jamaican minute?
  • Thirty-seven ambassadors attend HWS reception
  • Chuffed: Eoghan Corry accepts lifetime achievement award from travel industry
  • Last chance to see Dublin Holiday World Show 2016

Travel Extra TV

video of week january 24 2016Video of the week: Teerawong was motorcycling through Khao Yai National Park when he came across a surprise traveller… Watch here.

  • A Spanish filmmaker videos himself climbing on top of a moving train. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s promo for Ireland’s Ancient East. Watch here.
  • Golfer Martin Kaymer takes the Etihad Airways simulator challenge. Watch here.
  • Qatar Airways’ cabin crew on the first flight from Doha to Durban. Watch here. Mr Potato Head, who features in the Hasbro kids pack, flies with Qatar. Watch here.
  • Introducing New York’s cuddliest grizzly bear. Watch here.
  • Airbus’s year in review: Highlights from 2015. Watch here

Today, Sunday, is the final day of Holiday World at the RDS Simmonscourt. Family admission with any number of children is €7.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines
schiphol A4E

Strikes. No prizes for guessing what is first on the agenda of A4E: the new European airline association founded by Michael O’Leary, Willie Walsh, Alexandre de Juniac, Carolyn McCall, and Carsten Spohr was a call for an action plan to avoid disruptions during ATC strikes.

At a launch event in Brussels with the EU Commissioner and EU Presidency the group called for a lowering of airport charges and removing unreasonable taxes. Will it be any more effective in lobbying than the existing three European Airline Associations? Time will tell. Picture shows Michael O’Leary, Alexandre de Juniac, Carolyn McCall, Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport, Thomas Reynaert, Willie Walsh and Carsten Spohr.

eoghan stage_4314 copyChuffed and humbled. That was the reaction of Eoghan Corry, Travel Extra’s editor, as he accepted the lifetime achievement award from the travel industry on Thursday night at the Mansion House. Listen here to Eoghan Corry’s acceptance speech Listen here to Martin Skelly’s award citation. Awards attendees joined him in a rendition of Fionnghuala while the parting glass was also sung when Eoghan Corry was called back on stage. Minister Michael Ring conveyed his congratulations at a speech during Holiday World “on behalf of the government.” See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

ambassadors_1257 copyThere were a record 37 ambassadors at the ambassadors reception at Holiday World in Simmonscourt. The first two days at the show were crammed with agents reporting the strongest series of show bookings in recent years.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Time was when Airbus and Boeing came to aviation conferences to flaunt the fuel efficiency of their aircraft. With the price of a barrel of oil costing less than a cocktail at one of the trendier clubs, there was not a peep about fuel efficiency at either of the air finance conferences hosted by Dublin this week. Instead they talked about noise and comfort, while Willie Walsh was at the Airline Economics conference Shelbourne talking about his new found love for second hand aircraft. His remarks on infrastructure at Dublin Airport to John Mulligan were widely reported. The 18th Annual Global Airfinance Conference at the Conference Centre (having outgrown the Four Seasons) featured Bjorn Kjos of Norwegian. Listen here to Willie Walsh speaking at the Air Finance conference.
debbie egerton nat pieper copyDelta Vice President Nat Pieper stopped by to talk to travel Extra to say how second hand wide bodies was the way to go, with prices that can be s quarter of s new aircraft cost. It costs €12-€15m to fit an aircraft and the 787s are arriving on the market. The price of new wide bodied aircraft is not coming down anytime soon and he said the IAG/Aer Lingus aircraft supply conundrum was best solved by second hand rather than leasing. Delta have added 60 seats to each of their trans-Atlantic Services this summer. Nat is pictured with Debbie Egerton.

Taleb Rifai speaksThere were happy faces at FITUR in Madrid, which is seeing a tourism boom. There were 10,000 exhibitors and just over 120,000 trade buyers at the event, which is the staging point for the Hispanic world as well as Spain, as well as what FITUR CEO Luis Gellego called 47 “full ministers.” FITUR has some of the best hospitality on offer at the circuit, and the scene was set with a star-studded Malage event in Cine Callao on the evening before the opening. Gonzalo gonzalo antonio copyCeballos conducted a series of meetings with the Spanish regions to help scale up activity in the Irish market in what will be his last year in Dublin. The fact that it was 40 years since the UNWTO moved to Madrid from Geneva was commemorated at the event. Gonzalo Ceballos is pictured with Antonio Martin from Andalusia at the event. For Luis Gallego CEO of FITUR listen here, Luis Eduardo Cotes President of IFEMA listen here, Francisco Fernandez Counsellor for Tourism in Andalucia listen here, Taleb Rifai Secretary general of UNWTO listen here, Jose Manuel Soria Spanish tourism minister listen here. Picture shows Taleb Rifai Secretary general of UNWTO speaking at FITUR in Madrid with Luis Gallego CEO of FITUR Luis Eduardo Cotes President of IFEMA, Francisco Fernandez Consellor for Tourism in Andalucia and Jose Manuel Soria Spanish tourism minister. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Kevin Toland and Paschal Donohoe, January 17 2016Dublin airport re-announced their end of year figures (up 14pc to 25m) with minister Paschal Donohoe (listen here) present. Kevin Toland (listen here) said Dublin Airport (listen here). In the question and answer session afterwards (listen here) passenger charges were due to rise 60pc to pay for the parallel runway under existing agreements, but hinted the planning permission would have to be revisited. He suggested the Cork-Boston Norwegian route was running out of time, as tickets could not be sold until clearances were achieved on the American side. Both Dublin Airport’s CEO Kevin Toland and Paschal Donohoe said everything that could be done on the Irish side. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

blue mountain cycleHow long is a Jamaican minute? As long as it takes, according to Woney the bus driver. Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon and Ellie McMahon took three-and-a-quarter Jamaican minutes to freewheel down Blue Mountain, stopping on the way to roast some coffee beans, sing with the pupils in a local primary school, and cool off in a waterfall. The bus journey to Blue Mountain brought the couple past James Bond Beach — Ian Fleming, who lived on the island, featured Jamaica in three novels and Dr No was filmed there —and through Portland Parish, where the first tourists came to Jamaica.

bob marleyConor and Ellie, guests of Thomson/Falcon Holidays, went to the hometown of the “real Rasta man” on the Zion Bus Tour. Nine Mile village is one of Jamaica’s most popular tourist attractions because it is both where Bob Marley was born and buried, and it is partially legal to consume marijuana. Marley liked to meditate with a joint in each hand: “Have you ever seen a bird fly with only one wing?” Crazy the Rastafarian tour guide reasoned. “We don’t drink and drive in Jamaica,” he said, “we smoke and fly.” See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

There was drama at Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay: Thomson’s flight from Jamaica to Birmingham was delayed for two hours on Wednesday after illegal substances were discovered onboard the aircraft.rebecca kelly award_1112 copy

Cassidy’s Travel and Fahy’s Travel won the travel agency of the year awards at the Irish Travel Industry Awards. Rebecca Kelly won the covetted supplier representative of the year award. The full list of winers: ITAA MEMBER AWARDS, Contribution to the Travel Industry Award: , Eoghan Corry, ITAA Corporate Travel Professional – Sponsored By American Airlines:, Karen Gleeson – FCm Travel Solutions, ITAA Leisure Travel Professional – Sponsored By American Airlines:, Liz Wright of Tour America, Most Innovative ITAA Member Marketing Campaign – Sponsored By American Airlines:, ClickandGo.com, ITAA Corporate Travel Agency – Sponsored By British Airways:, Atlas Travel Group, ITAA Travel Agency of the Year (under 10 employees) – Sponsored By British Airways:, Fahy Travel Worldchoice, ITAA Travel Agency of the Year (over 10 employees) – Sponsored By British Airways:, Cassidy Travel, SUPPLIERS AWARDS , Air Travel Category – Sponsored By Dublin Airport, Airline to Europe: Aer Lingus, Business Class Airline to Europe: British Airways, Airline to North America: Aer Lingus, Long Haul Airline: Emirates, Tour Operator Category – Sponsored By Hertz, European Sun Tour Operator: Sunway, Escorted Tour Operator: Insight Vacations, Specialist Tour Operator: The Travel Corporation, Ski Tour Operator: Crystal Holidays, Long Haul Operator: Classic Resorts, Cruise & Ferry Category – Sponsored By: Holiday World Show, General Cruise Company: Royal Caribbean International, Ultra Luxury Cruise Company: Silversea Cruises, Specialist Cruise Company (including River): Uniworld, Ferry Company: Irish Ferries, Agency Services Provider Category – Sponsored by Riviera Travel, Technology Provider: Amadeus, Car Hire Company: Hertz, Travel Insurance Provider: Blue Insurance, Tourist Board: Spanish Tourist Board, Supplier Support Team: MSC Cruises, Accommodation-Only Provider: Bookabed, Supplier Representative: Rebecca Kelly – MSC Cruises, Destinations Category – Sponsored By Turkish Airlines – Sponsored By Turkish Airlines – Sponsored By Turkish Airlines, Worldwide City Destination: New York, European City Destination: Barcelona, Ski Destination: Austria, Summer Sun Destination: Spain, Winter Sun Destination: Lanzarote, Worldwide Theme Park: Universal Orlando Resort, Worldwide Hotel Chain: Hilton,

travel writer awards_1282 copyIsabel Conway was awarded Travel Extra Travel Writer of the year at a ceremony in Thomas Prior House on Friday. Award winners were: Young journalist sponsored by Falcon Holidays: Jamie Blake Knox, Sunday Independent, Home holiday sponsored by Failte Ireland: Yvonne Gordon Sunday Times , Northern Ireland sponsored by NITB: Mal Rogers, Irish Times, ,, Spain sponsored by the Spanish Tourist Board: Pol O Conghaile Nat Geo Traveller, , Broadcast sponsored by Cassidy Travel: Mary Fanning RTE Nationwide, , Ski sponsored by Topflight: Catherine Murphy Sunday Business Post, , New Media sponsored by Clliackandgo: Deirdre Mullins RTE Ten, , Sun Breaks sponsored by Sunway: Conor Power Irish Examiner , Short breaks sponsored by Malta Tourist Authority: Conor Pope, Irish Times, , Long haul sponsored by Turkish Airlines: Isabel Conway Sunday Business Post, Overall sponosred by The Travel Corporation: lsabel Conway, Irish Examiner. Listen here to Ambassador Jose Marie Rodriguez speaking at the event. Listen here to Gonzalo Ceballos reflection on his time in Ireland. Listen here to Martin Skelly.speaking at the Travel Writer awards.

Travel Trade

Niall McDonnellNiall McDonnell returned to the industry to head up the new Irish operation of Classic Collection Holidays, who have already been voted best luxury operator at the north’s Travel and Tourism Awards. Nick Munday who first chartered flights to Tunisia, Ibiza and Andorra for Panorama in the 1990s, is joining forces once again with Niall McDonnell offering luxury tailor-made holidays to traditionally popular resorts in Europe and North Africa.

John Grehan is joining The Travel Corporation in a supporting role to promote Insight Vacations and Uniworld River Cruise products.

martin skelly h&s 1400The ITAA reported that Irish travel agents experienced a 40pc increase in holiday enquires.

Travel Department, who are celebrating 20 years in business, reported strong sales figures in January with increased advance bookings for late summer and early autumn with Italy, Spain, Iceland, and Portugal the to performing destinations.

Irish Travel Trade News launched a new Online Travel Directory for Ireland.

TIGS outings for 2016 are: Thursday March 10: Portmarnock Links: Sponsor: Amadeus. Thursday April 21: Druid’s Glen (President’s Prize): Sponsor: Etihad Thursday May 26: Mount Juliet and overnight: Sponsor: Turkish Airlines Wednesday June 15: Luttrelstown: Sponsor: Travel Corporation. Tuesday September 6: Killeen Castle (Captain’s Prize): Sponsor: Travelport Thursday October 20: The Castle (AGM): Sponsor: Travel Extra.

Newstalk Mary Mckenna Eoghan Corry Jan 16 2016 copyPicture shows Mary McKenna and Eoghan Corry talking travel with Pat Kenny on Newstalk.

On The Go Tours a tour operator specialising in locally led group tours and tailor-made holidays to worldwide destinations unveiled a selection of new tours across Eastern Europe, following a surge in demand from customers.

Shandon Travel are seeking a website content manager for a new website across our main brands, Shandon Travel; Sayit Travel; familyholidaycentre and myhoneymoon.ie. Michael Doorley says they require an experienced travel person, in consultation with our management team, to maintain and distribute on a regular basis up-to-date and relevant website content. Familiarity with all aspects of travel including dynamic packaging; cruises; tour operator packages; scheduled and online airline bookings; destination knowledge is a basic requirement. a three day week will suffice preferably in our office in cork but home working will be considered depending on communications facility and skills. remuneration will depend on experience and computer skills. immediate employment. Contact michael.doorley@shandontravel.ie or call 087 2228533.

Ireland - Save €150pp copyNI Travel Awards will take place on October 21.

Travel Department reported that sales for last week were up 50pc YOY. Bookings show the three most popular months for travel are March, May and April. Spain and Portugal are performing very strong, as are Iceland and Italy.

Wendy Wu Tours is celebrating its first year in Ireland by offering €150pp off full price tours booked by close of business January 31. Call 0818 776 380. New products on the Irish market for 2016 include the launch of Discovery Tours packages and the Exclusive Collection, and new tours in South America and South Africa.

Lowcostholidays said its booking app has been downloaded 40,000 times.

Hotels

hotel doolinHotel Doolin was runner up in the IBEC Environment Awards 2016.

Sad news. We are sorry to report the death of Des O’Connell, who was manager in Jury’s hotel in Ballsbridge for many years and then director of accommodation and catering in Trinity College. He initiated the use of accommodation for conferences with third level colleges around the country and set up a charity called Outreach Moldova where he spend a lot of time working on in recent years. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

A fire broke out at the Ritz hotel in Paris, which was due to reopen in the next few weeks following a €200m renovation.

  • TripAdvisor’s top 10 Irish hotels for 2016: 1 Harvey’s Point, Co Donegal. 2 Ashford Castle, Cong, Co Mayo. 3 The Merrion Hotel, Dublin. 4 Castle Durrow, Co Laois. 5 The River Lee Hotel, Cork. 6 Adare Manor, Co Limerick. 7 Hayfield Manor, Cork. 8 Dromoland Castle, Co Clare. 9 The Brehon, Killarney. 10 Ballygarry House Hotel, Tralee.
  • TripAdvisor’s top 10 small Irish hotels for 2016: 1 Castlewood House, Dingle. 2 Lough Lein Country House, Killarney. 3 Bellingham Castle, Castlebellingham, Co Louth. 4 Heaton’s Guesthouse, Dingle. 5 Ballyfin Demesne, Co Laois. 6 MacNean House & Restaurant, Co Cavan. 7 The Ross, Killarney. 8 Brook Lane Hotel, Kenmare. 9 Rosleague Manor, Letterfrack, Co Galway. 10 Strandhill Lodge & Suites, Co Sligo.
  • Belfast City Council agreed to back plans for two hotel projects in the city centre, a new 179-room hotel on Hope Street and an extension to the Ten Square Hotel.
  • Dalata Hotel Group bought the Clarion Hotel in Sligo for €13.1m.
  • Hostelworld grew by 21pc in the second half of 2015, up 17pc on a full year basis.
  • The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts will open a Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand hotel in Tokyo in July.

International

  • Europa-Park is to open a new Irish-themed area which will open later this year.
    europa park
  • Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas completed its convention centre expansion
  • The UN World Tourism Organisation reported that the number of international tourists was up 4.4pc YOY to a record 1.18bn.
  • A tourist ferry caught fire in New Zealand. All 53 passengers and seven crew were safely rescued.
  • A survey by Expedia found that travellers consider their smartphones the most indispensable item to carry, ahead of their toothbrush, deodorant and driver’s license.
  • Some light flurries of snow kept pistes fresh in the northern Alps.
  • New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC & Company reported 58.3m visitors last year, up by 1.8m visitors YOY. This includes 12.3m international visitors.
  • Designers Collective-LOK installed a 10ft Heart of Hearts installation and kissing booths in Times Square in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.
  • ittle change has taken place across Europe over the past few days, with only a few light flurries of snow keeping pistes fresh in the northern Alps.

Food and Wine

NI Year of Food & Drink- Breakfast Month 2 copyAs part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink 2016, January is Breakfast Month and next Friday January 29 (Fry-Day) commuters at Dublin’s Connolly Station will be given breakfast courtesy of TNI and Co Down’s Krazi Baker Mark Douglas.

Aviation

EU Aviation SummitThe Dutch Presidency hosted the EU Aviation Summit, where topics included Smarter Regulation and Connectivity and the EU Aviation Strategy.

Marian Pilgrimages are to run direct charter services from Dublin to Tel Aviv. Two flights a week will include difrect departyures from Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast. The first flight wil depart from Dublin at 10am on October w2nd and 1pm on October 3rds. Marian Pilgrimages as 20 staff and ofices in Dublin Boston and London, servicing 20,000 pilgrims a year from Irerland, England and USA. See Marian.ie

Air France/KLM was voted MRO of the year at the Aviation 100 Awards gala in Dublin as part of the Growth Frontiers conference, hosted by Airline Economics, voted by 10,000 industry peers spread across the airline, banking, leasing, and engine-brokerage sectors.

Saad Hammad, CEO of Flybe, and Gheorghe Racaru, DG of Blue Air, were elected to the board of the European Regions Airline Association at its board meeting in Dublin.

Air France-KLM completed the installation of 765 next generation self-service kiosks across 50 European airports.

Ryanair increased its business fast-track service to 25 airports: Birmingham, Budapest, Brussels-Z, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Glasgow, Hamburg, Malaga, Rome F, Stockholm S, and Stuttgart. The service is available in Dublin but not yet in Shannon or Knock.

Ryanair’s 76 cabin crew bases agreed a five year pay deal.

Delta allows turkeys on bvoard flights and other strangel tales from the therapy animal kingdom (read here).

aer lingus tailAer Lingus announced an extra 6,000 seats available over the summer period from Shannon to Boston. Shannon Airport reported 5pc growth in 2015 to 1,714,872 with its third successive years of passenger increases.

Heathrow Express launched weekend advance tickets for £5.50.

Cork Airport is set to change both of its runway designation numbers for its main runway in April due to alternations in the earth’s magnetic poles. From April 2016 the runways will be numbered as 16/34.

Etihad Airways renewed its commitment to Abu Dhabi HSBC golf championship

Singapore Airlines announced a new capital express’ service to connect Singapore, Canberra and Wellington.

Emirates pushed back the launch of its 17 hours and 35 minutes flight from Dubai to Panama City to March 31.

droneThe Department of Transport confirmed that there are 1,200 registered drones in Ireland.

Shannon Airport carried 1.7m passengers in 2015, up 5pc YOY.

Dublin-bound flight casualties of the New York snowstorm included EI104, UA023, AA722, DL404. JFK returned to full capacity after a two hour runway closure.

Turkish Airlines cancelled over 400 flights scheduled on January 18 and 19 due to heavy snowfall in Istanbul.

Avolon is set to receive $1.25bn funding from its parent company HNA Group for expansion.

Lufthansa added two online pre-flight services. Passengers can browse and reserve in-flight shopping purchases and download ejournals for their personal devices.

Cityjet-SukhoCityjet’s Sukhoi Superjet 100 made its first flight.

Mumbai Airport’s runway was forced to close for 35 minutes after a stray dog was spotted on the runway.

Qatar Airways’ safety demo video featuring Barcelona FC was viewed 40m times on social media.

Ryanair said it will add 30 extra flights between Dublin and Birmingham for Cheltenham festival from March 15 to 18.

Concorde celebrated the 40th anniversary of its first commercial flight.

A lecture by Joe Maxwell on Fouga Magister jet trainer this week in Wynn’s Hotel was well-attended by former practitioners on the ground and in the air. The Fouga Magister jet trainer was operated by the Irish Air Corps 1974-1999 and the talk covered the history of the aircraft from the first encounter by Air Corps personnel of the type in the Congo in 1961 to the winning aerobatic display flown by the Silver Swallows in 1997 at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

Afloat

stenarosslareStena Europe, Stena Horizon and Stena Flavia took over three berths of Rosslare Europort in advance of Stena’s £4.4m refit of their Irish Sea fleet.

Celebrity Cruises Travel Agent Achievement Awards.Picture shows Dominic Burke accepting the consortium award at the Celebrity Cruises Travel Agent Achievement Awards: Dondra Ritzenthaler, Sarah Harraghy, Dominic Burke of Travel Centres) Jo Rzymowska and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. Trailfinders won the top agency Celebrity Cruises Travel Agent Achievement Awards.award, picture shows: Dondra Ritzenthaler, Sarah Harraghy, Sean Atton of Trailfinders, Jo Rzymowska, and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

MSC and NCL became the latest cruise lines to suspend port calls in Turkey. Cruise ships will call to Greek islands, including Santorini, instead.

Experts from different research fields selected by the Palace Museum will be invited to give lectures of Chinese history and culture to guests on Ovation of the Seas.

Watch here Ovation of the Seas construction at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

Falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Holiday Village, Kos from €2,579 2+1, from €3,669 2+2, depart June 25. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Lanzasur Splashworld, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €499pps, depart January 31. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantic, San Agustin, Gran Canaria from €529pps, depart February 20. 7 nights self catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €289pps, depart February 26. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe, Jamaica from €1,859pps travel June, from €1,989pps travel July. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Suntopia Tropical, Sarigerme, Turkey from €2,129 2+1, from €2,869 2+2, depart June 27. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Atlantica Aegean Blue, Kolymbia, Rhodes from €2,479 2+1, from €3,489 2+2, depart June 15. 7 nights half board 5* Melia Salinas, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €699pp, depart January 30. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach Princess, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €359pp, depart February 20. 7 nights half board 3* Sol Princesa Dacil, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €659pp, depart February 5. 14 nights all inclusive 5* Riu Palace Mexico, Cancun from €2,279pp, depart July 14. 7 nights half board 4* Florida Hotel, Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol from €499pp, depart June 19. 7 nights full board Moorish Delights cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €959pp, depart June 14. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Brittany Ferries is offering 15pc off accommodation and return ferry sailings to France on bookings made by February 9. Click here for more. Visit brittanyferries.ie or call 021 427 7801.

Sunway cruise offers: 9 nights Caribbean cruise on MSC Divinia from €1,150pp incl. 2 nights pre stay in Miami, depart June 3. 7 nights Italy, France and Spain cruise on Celebrity Equinox from €1,369pp, depart June 25. 10 nights Baltic cruise on Norwegian Star from €1,479pp incl. 1 night pre stay in Copenhagen and ultimate drinks package, depart May 23. 8 nights Orlando and Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas from €1,729pp incl. 1 night pre stay in Orlando and select drinks package. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Aer Lingus is offering direct flights to North American destinations from €245 each way. Book by February 15 for travel from April 1 to September 30. Visit aerlingus.com.

Celebrity Cruise/Tour America offers: 7 night 5* Mediterranean cruise on Celebrity Equinox from €1,469pp incl. drinks and return flights, depart June 25. 11 night 5* Greek Islands cruise on Celebrity Reflection from €1,639pp incl. drinks and return flights, depart April 25.

Royal Caribbean’s All In offers: 7 night Western Mediterranean family cruise on Harmony of the Seas from €1,739pp incl. return flights, depart July 31. 7 nights England to Barcelona cruise on Ovation of the Seas from €1,255pp incl. return flights, depart May 3. 7 nights Arabian Gulf cruise from €1,229pp incl. return flights, depart February 15. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Wendy Wu Tours is offering a 15-day China Explorer tour from €3,690pp incl. a Yangtze cruise, visit to Pingle town, a hike on the Great Wall, meet a panda at Bifengxia and a Shanghai cuisint tour. 20-day China Trailblazer tour from €4,390pp incl. visit to the Terracotta Warriors, hike through Bifeng Gorge, cruise down Li River, Tai Chi session in Yangshuo and explore the Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall. Prices fully inclusive, covering flights, domestic transport, tour guide, meals, accommodation, entrance fees and visa fees. Visit wendywutours.ie.

Click and Go offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Estrela do Vau Aparthotel, Praia do Vau, the Algarve from €239pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in April. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Croatia, Cavtat, Dubrovnik Riviera, Croatia from €479pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in April. 7 nights self catering 4* Sunset Beach Club Apartments, Benalmadena, Costa del Sol from €389pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in April. 3 nights 4* Zenit Lisbon Hotel, Lisbon from €199pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, depart February. UFC195 packages to see Conor McGregor fight in Vegas in March: 4 nights 4* Westgate Resort from €645pp, 5 nights from €695 incl. flights. 4 nights 4* MGM Grand from €895pp, 5 nights from €965pp incl. flights. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Topflight January sale offers, ends midnight January 31: 7 nights self catering 3* Daina Apartments, Arinsal, Andorra from €319pps, depart January 31. 7 nights B&B 3* Pension Hochwimmer, Zell am See, Austria from €419pps, depart January 30. 7 nights self catering 3* Résidence La Riviere, Chamonix, France from €399pps, depart February 6. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Zodiac, Livigno, Italy from €589pps, depart February 6. Prices include return flights, return transfers, taxes and Topflight resort rep service. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Lowcostholidays offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Balaia Golf Village, the Algarve from €285pp, depart May 11. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Beatriz Playa & Spa, Lanzarote from €450pp, depart May 10. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Royal Al Andalus, Costa Del Sol from €1,595 2+1, depart June 15. 7 nights all inclusive 3* HTOP Molinos Park from €1,250 2+1, depart June 15. 7 nights 3* Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €1,935 2+1, depart June 17. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Flamingo Cancun Resort, Mexico from €1,250pp, depart June 17. Visit lowcostholidays.ie or call 01 485 3835.

Lowcostbeds family offers, based on 7 nights 2+1 sharing, depart June 24: 3* Albuferia, Portugal from €13pppn. 3* HTOP Molinos Park Hotel, Salou from €17pppn. 3* Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €17pppn self catering. 3* Fuengirola Myramar, Costa del Sol from €19pppn self catering. Visit lowcostbeds.com.

tourism ni deal watchTourism NI offers: 2 nights Dunadry Hotel, Antrim from £89.95pps incl. meal on evening of choice, available until April 17, call (028) 9443 4343. 2 nights B&B Corr’s Corner Hotel, Newtownabbey from £99pps incl. one evening meal, available midweek until April 17, call (028) 9084 9221. 1 night B&B Roe Park Resort, Limavady from £59pps incl. one evening meal, available until April 17, call (028) 7772 2222.

The Lodge at Ashford Castle is offering 1 night B&B from €159 per room, 2 nights B&B from €225 per room incl. dinner, available until March 31. Visit thelodgeac.com or call 094 954 5400.

Ireland

clare dot ieClare Tourism hosted its annual networking event featuring presentations from the Fleadh Cheoil committee, Failte Ireland and Clare Tourism, the launch of its new brand and redesign of its new website clare.ie.

Tony Lenehan, formerly of Fáilte Ireland and the man behind the Optimus Awards, is the new Chair of Kildare Fáilte.

In what Hotels.com describes as the Star Wars affect, global searches for Co. Kerry up more than 30pc year-on-year, searches for Co Kerry from the US up more than 60pc compared to the same period last year and there is a 160pc increase in searches for Co. Kerry from England

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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


Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

  • Jan 22-29 ASEAN Tourism Forum, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
  • Jan 28-Feb 1 FITUR, Madrid
  • Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi
  • Jan 29-Feb 1 Destinations, Olympia, London
  • Feb 10-13
    Go West Summit, Colorado Springs
  • Feb 10-11
    Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv
  • Feb 12-14 BIT, Milan
  • Feb Utazas, Budapest
  • Feb 23-24 IHF Conference, Ballyconnell
  • Feb 25-Mar 1 BTL, LIsbon
  • Mar 4-6 ITB, Berlin
  • Mar 6-8 Guangzhou International Travel Fair
  • Mar 9-12 Cruise shipping Miami
  • Mar 16-18 GIBTM, Abu Dhabi
  • Mar 18-21 MITT, Moscow
  • Mar 19-22 Tur, Gothenburg
  • Mar 24-27 Tianguis Turistico, Acapulco
  • Mar 27-28 Skål National Convention Ireland, Cork
  • Mar 31-Apr 1 Rendez Vous France, Paris
  • Apr Meitheal, Dublin
  • Apr 12-18 Mountain Travel Symposium, Whistler
  • Apr 14-16 COTTM Beijing
  • Apr 15-16 WTTC Global Summit, Madrid
  • Apr 15-17 WTM Africa, Capetown
  • Apr 21-22 Social Travel Summit, Hamburg
  • Apr 22-23 Visit Scotland Expo, Aberdeen
  • Apr 22-24 WTM South America, Sao Paolo
  • Apr 24-25 ITAA AGM & Exhibition, Citywest
  • Apr 26-28 Germany Travel Market, Erfurt and Weimar 
  • Apr 27-30 ATM, Dubai
  • May 5-7 Fitcuba, Jardines del Rey.
  • May 7 Bookabed cork –
  • May 6 andalucia golf powers court –
  • May 9-12 World Travel Fair Shanghai
  • May 9-11 Indaba, Durban
  • May 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt
  • May 20-27 Trenz New Zealand, Wellington
  • May 26-29 Rendez-vous Canada, Niagara Falls
  • May 30-June 3 2015 IPW 2015 Orlando
  • June 3-5 TTM Plus, Bangkok
  • June 15-21 Paris Air show
  • June 21-24 ATE, Melbourne
  • Sept Travelmart S America, TBA
  • Sept PATA Travel Mart, TBA
  • Sept Top Resa 2015, Paris
  • Sept FITA Mexico City
  • Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Namibia
  • Oct 18-23 Skål World Congress, Kenya coast
  • Nov 2-5 WTM 2015, London
  • Nov 17-19 EIBTM 2015, Barcelona
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
  • Nov 30 Launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 Marketing Plans, Dublin
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 International Luxury Travel Market Cannes
  • Dec 4-5 Travel Centres Conference, Lyrath Hotel
  • Dec 10 World Tourism Forum Mediterranean meeting Belek
  • Dec 11 The Travel Corporation’s 5th birthday Trade Christmas Lunch, The Residence, Dublin
  • 2017
  • Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC
  • 2018
  • Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver
  • 2019 – 2024
  • Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

Previous editions of Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 
Nov 29Nov 22Nov 15Nov 8Nov 1

Oct 25Oct 18Oct 11Oct 4

Sept 27Sept 20Sept 13Sept 6

Aug 30Aug 23Aug 16Aug 9Aug 2

July 26July 19July 12July 5

June 28June 21June 14June 7

May 31May 24May 17May 10May 3

Apr 25Apr 18Apr 11Apr 4

Mar 29Mar 22Mar 15Mar 8Mar 1

Feb 22Feb 15Feb 8Feb 1

Jan 25Jan 18Jan 11Jan 4

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Time to test whether porridge is REALLY an aphrodisiac

Holly Monson is photographed by Rosemary Hamilton and Terry Murphy during the Belfast Holiday World Show at its new venue, the Titanic Centre,

Holly Monson is photographed during the Belfast Holiday World Show at its new venue, the Titanic Centre

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

5 things you need to know about travel this week:

  • 2016 Year of Food and Drink served up by Foster and McGuinness
  • Belfast Holiday World’s debut in new venue, the Titanic Exhibition Centre
  • Who can answer the €7bn question?
  • Inbound tourism numbers almost back to 2007 levels
  • Rum, rasta and reggae in Ocho Rios

Travel Extra TV

video of week jan 17 2016Video of the week: An octopus becomes a little attached to a scuba diver. Watch here.

  • Exhausted after your flight home? Watch here.
  • See MT Aviation’s cockpit view of a B787-8 Dreamliner landing in Mexico. Watch here.
  • A selfie stick-wielding man captures surprise space debris on camera. Watch here.
  • A fisherman just dodges getting impaled by a huge Marlin. Watch here.
  • Fáilte Ireland breaks down its review and forecast. Watch here.
  • See Intel set the world record for the Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles airborne simultaneously, involving 100 drones. Watch here.
  • A unique strategy: See how one man tackles the buffet. Watch here.
  • A humpback whale says hello. Watch here.
  • Shabab and Indian lifestyle blogger Riaan George try out the Hungarian delicacies in Budapest. Watch here.
  • Ryanair lists its 16 must-see travel destinations for 2016. Watch here.
  • A New York grizzly bear shows his softer side. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s video from the launch of N Ireland Year of Food & Drink 2016. Watch here.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

The February 2015 print edition of Travel Extra is available at travel agencies and will be distributed at Holiday World in Dublin’s RDS Simmonscourt next weekend.

arlene speaks_0085John McGrillen Fiona CunninghamPorridge is an aphrodisiac (yes, us too, but see here) is the title of a book that hotelier Howard Hastings presented to Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness before their first, awkward, event as first and deputy minister, the launch of one of Arlene’s legacy initiative from her time as Stormont tourism minister, the 2016 Year of Food and Drink. The body hosted 220 tourist and food stake holders to the Ulster Hall, including the province’s leading chefs and restaurateurs, with both speakers (listen here to Arlene and listen here to Martin) drawing on Howard’s presentation. Picture shows new Tourism NI CEO John McGrillen with Fiona Cunningham the director of Tourism NI’s Dublin Office. See here the menu for the event.

tryphavana cross tom travers_0503Belfast Holiday World made its debut in a new venue, the Titanic Exhibition Centre. It started strongly with visitor numbers up 14pc on 2015, despite an icy Friday. The venue is marginally larger than the King’s Hall, but infinitely more comfortable, By the close of yesterday (Saturday) airlines and tour operators reported being extremely busy, with much speculation in the aisles as to how Easyjet will respond to Ryanair’s arrival on their patch, Belfast International Airport. Aer Lingus have a new Algarve route from Belfast City Airport this summer. Sandra Corbin’s Oasis Travel hosted a busy schedule of cruise presentations and the home holiday section expanded impressible form previous year with Phil Donnelly from Kildare Faille and Steve Conlon of Waterways Ireland hosting some of the biggest stands.Picture shows Tryphavana Corss of NYC&Co and Tom Travers of the Hotel Beacon. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

1Spanish Tb_0329maureen doreen_0407There are big plans for the annual Spanish Tourist Board event for the travel trade in the north which was hosted this year by Kathryn MacDonnell from the Dublin office and Agustin Garcia form the London office of the Spanish Tourist Board. Deane’s Meat Locker was the venue for the event in recent years but Agustin has big plans for 2017. Watch this space. Picture shows the Spanish represenatatives at the event, which included Arminda Delgado who had not seen snow before he came to Ireland. Arminda Delgado of Fuerteventura Tourism, Agustin Garcia Head of Travel Trade Relations of the Spanish Tourist Board in London, Katerina Brohmstein of Gran Canaria Tourism, Nataia Bel of Salou Tourism, Sara Rivero Press Director of the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin, Kathryn MacDonnell Head of Travel Trade Relations of the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin, Rosa Ferrer of Castellon and Paco Gutierrez of the Spanish Tourist Board in London, who hosted travel trade and media in Deane’s Meat Locker in Belfast. Second picture shows Doreen McKenzie of Knock Travel, ABTA representative in the north and Maureen Ledwith organiser of Business Exhibitions. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

ryanair 30 names resizedLast summer Ryanair ran a 30 Names 30 Planes competition to celebrate its new Facebook account and 30th birthday offering 30 fans the chance to have their name and face pictured on one of 30 Ryanair aircraft (see video here). The company received over 80,000 entries and the winners were announced in October In early December Ryanair started applying the names and face images to their aircraft. Here are two of the first images of the Irish winners Paul Carroll & Mairead Twohig taken at Dublin Airport yesterday afternoon by Mike Kelly.

Who can answer the €7bn question? We got a rare peep at some of the tension within the various Irish tourist bodies this week. Fáilte Ireland chairman Michael Cawley had a gentle sideswipe at Tourism Ireland at the body’s results announcement on Monday when he claimed that the Wild Atlantic Way was known domestically but not internationally (listen here), while CEO Shaun Quinn agreed there was more to be done (listen here). Fáilte followed the consensus prediction that inbound tourism to Ireland will grow 5pc in 2016 (listen here) Cawley’s media briefing stressed Fáilte’s role in supporting the regions (listen here) and promoting its various brands (listen here), including the latest, somewhat stop-start Ireland’s ancient east campaign (listen here).

Sustained Investment in Tourism Brands Key to Realising Longer-TThree of the four tourism agencies have now returned results for 2015 with enthusiastic predictions for 2016. Tourism numbers are almost back to levels of 2007 (listen here), while he made the interesting observation that Britain’s strength in 2007 was artificially inflated by the phenomenal air access to Ireland as against other markets (listen here). The star performing market is North America, which has a seventh of the visitors and a quarter of the spend (listen here). Trans-Atlantic is growing massively (listen here), driven by the strength of the Dollar (listen here). American inbound to Ireland is unaffected by politiical events (listen here) especially in Ireland (listen here). Revpar is rising (listen here), the IAG deal will help access (listen here) and despite Dublin’s bed shortage in high season there is plenty of availability from November to May (listen here). Cawley also fielded questions about the 1916 commemoration (listen here) and highlighted the success of social media (listen here) and the commie chef campaign (listen here). Not everything is rosey in the garden: regionality is still an issue (listen here), there are seasonality issues (listen here), 95pc of access growth has been in Dublin, and Dublin is gaining market share (listen here). While hotels are doing better than restaurants (listen here) the hotel inventory is stagnant (listen here), and there is no imminent possibility of additional capacity in Dublin where it is needed most (listen here), with beds needed especially in the budget sector in Dublin (listen here) and although Dublin’s bed shortage will help the regions (listen here) the regional airports are connected to England but not to Europe (listen here), business sentiment is good but there is a danger of complacency about price (listen here) with currency fluctuations masking cost rises for English and Anerican visitors returning to the topic when he discussed Brexit during the questions and answers session (listen here). He said Ireland has a huge untapped market (listen here) and the abolition air tax boosted the more price sensitive markets (listen here). Also see here the Fáilte Ireland YouTube video shown at the event.

dublin airport group_0508And so to Simmonscourt next week. Canada will send 11 exhibitors to the Holiday World Show on next weekend Jan 22-24 for the first time.Wendy Wu Tours chose the Hoiday Wirld show to launch their first two escorted tours outside of Asia: to South America and Africa. Call by at the Simmonscourt next week to find out more. Dublin Airport are to sponsor the Eoghan Corry travel summit sessions at the event Picture above shows Dublin airport team at Holiday World in Belfast: Nadia Mohamed, Roisin Kirwan, Anne Singleton, Cormac O’Connell, Theresa Murphy and Paul O’Farrell.

Conor Ellie jamaica fallsPicture shows Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon with his girlfriend Ellie after climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Thomson/Falcon Holidays are hosting the couple at the Riu Ocho Rios resort in anticipation of their direct Dreamliner route from Dublin to Montego Bay, which launches in June. Jamaica, the third largest and most mountainous island in the Caribbean, holds the world record for the most churches per square mile. Bus driver Cliff noted that there are a lot of rum bars near churches because while “the wife gets the holy spirit, the husband gets distilled spirits”. Yesterday, Conor and Ellie enjoyed a little bit of both when they travelled on Cool Runnings, Thomson’s catamaran of choice, to snorkel in the nearby reef before heading to the falls, where they immersed themselves in the refreshing “crystal punch”. Back on the boat they switched to rum punch, Jamaica’s national drink. Alas, the parting glass was not sung, but the best of reggae and Calypso was. Tomorrow, they will be freewheelin’ on the Blue Mountain bike tour, and Tuesday brings them to Nine Miles village, the birthplace of Bob Marley.

According to DFA figures, 2,300 Irish citizens required consular assistance last year, including the families of the 263 people that died abroad in 2015. The most serious tragedy was the Berkeley balcony collapse, which killed five Irish students and one American.

Travel Trade

A strong opening week of January for holiday bookings has continued into the second week. Sunway say most sales are ahead and some are on par depending on the destination. Falcon Holidays say that sales of 10 to 14 night hoidays are the best since the recession. American Holidays say that sales are very strong considering the exchange rate with trading ahead o last year and lots of Multi centre USA , Cruise and Stay also big demand on Mexico.. Cassidy have had what they describe as a fabulous start to new year across travel shops and online, families are back booking summer sun and Easter  with big increases in bookings  across all sections including cruise . all inclusive,  long haul, bookings are ahead year on year with Holiday World  and end of month payday still to come .Irish Travel Industry awards supplier nominees 2016 sized
The shortlists for more of Thursday’s Irish Travel Industry Awards at the Mansion House were announced; Most Innovative ITAA Member Marketing Campaign Sponsored by American Airlines, Tour America, Cassidy Travel, ClickandGo.com Best ITAA Corporate Travel Agency Sponsored by British Airways , Atlas Travel, Carlson Wagonlit, FCm Travel Solutions. ITAA Travel Agency of the Year (Under 10 Employees) Sponsored by British Airways, Corrib Travel, Fahy Travel Worldchoice, Grenham Travel, Hannon Travel Services, Navan Travel, ITAA Travel Agency of the Year (Over 10 Employees) Sponsored by British Airways: Best4Travel, Cassidy Travel, Corporate Travel Management, J Barter Travel, Tour America. The supplier of the year nominees announced last week are Holly Best and Brian Hughes join Rebecca KellyThomas McNally and Lee Osborne.

Topflight and Crystal both report strong ski and snow sales as snow continues to fall across the Alps. Base depths have increased dramatically across the region as a result, and conditions both on and off the piste are improving daily as snow falls all the way down the village level in many resorts. Avalanche danger remains high (currently 4 out of 5 across much of Europe. A light dusting of fresh snow has fallen in the Pyrenees, which has been doing less well. The Rocky Mountains are continuing a terrific start to the season.

Lowcostholidays reports that 40pc of bookings to date have been for 4 and 5 star properties with 18pc of customers opting for all inclusive options. Lowcostholidays launched its #letsgetouttahere social media competition, offering €1,000 vouchers up for grabs. Entrants have to send a picture of themselves getting ready to go on holiday, using the hashtag. See the current gallery of entries here. All entrants will receive a promo code worth €50.

Travel app developer MTT is recruiting 70 staff for its Grand Canal Dock headquarters over the next six months, with roles in software development, product management, marketing and other areas.

Hotels

Talbot Hotel 4The Talbot Hotel in Wexford has taken over he ‘Stonebridge’ building on Paul’s Quay, 73-luxury apartments located less than 100 metres from the four-star family owned Talbot Hotel. picture shows owner of the Talbot Hotel Collection Cormac Pettitt and group Managing Director Philip Gavin.

The K Club’s wedding showcase, hosted by celebrity stylist Lisa Fitzpatrick, will be held this Sunday, 17th of January from 2- 5 and will feature a fashion show with top models from the Andrea Roche Agency.

Hotel prices in Dublin were up 17pc YOY to €112, according to Trivago’s Hotel Price Index for January 2016. The average hotel room in Ireland costs €93 in January 2016, up 6pc YOY. Dublin and Kinsale saw the biggest month-on-month decrease (both down 15pc), followed by Cork (down 11pc) and Dingle (down 11pc). Westport saw the biggest month-on-month increase, with prices up 9pc to €96.

trivago europe pricesAverage hotel prices in Europe are down 5pc compared to last month, according to Trivago. Dresden saw the biggest month-on-month decrease, down 26pc to €79. Followed by Manchester, down 22pc to €131, and London, down 20pc to €182. Not surprisingly, prices for European ski destinations listed on Trivago were up. Ishgl increased by 47pc to an average of €401, Sölden up 46pc to €268. Verbier up 23pc to €402. Chamonix up 25pc to €186.

An Bord Plenala approved the development of a seven-storey, 107-room hotel on Moore Street.

US real estate investment group Kennedy Wilson started its €5m upgrade of the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, which includes new conference facilities, a spa, gym and car park.

Martinhal hotel brand will opened two properties in Lisbon in Q1 2016, Martinhal Lisbon Chiado Family Suites and Martinhal Lisbon Cascais Family Resort Hotel.

marriott madridMarriott Hotels opened its largest property in Europe, the 869-room Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel and Conference Centre.

Hyatt Hotels confirmed that 250 locations were affected by a recently reported data breach.

The N Ireland Hotels Federation predicts that 1,074 more hotel rooms are expected to be built in Belfast by 2018, with four and five star room offerings up by 25pc.

Historic Hotels of America added 22 members last year: Fairmont Heritage Place, California; Inn at Diamond Cover, Portland; The Partridge Inn, Curio, Georgia; Sheridan Inn, Wyoming; Southernmost House, Florida; The Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown; Inn at Wise, Virginia; Embassy Suites, Portland; Keswick Hall and Golf Club, Virginia; Bear Mountain Inn, New York; Clarmont Club & Spa, Berkeley, California; LondonHouse Chicago; The Sam Houston Hotel, Houston; The Redmond Hotel Birmingham, Alabama; La Concha Hotel & Spa, Florida; The Fairfax, Washington DC; Hotel Alex Johnson, South Dakota; The Graylyn Estate, North Carolina; Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo, Hawaii; The Admiral Hotel, Alabama; Punderson Manor State Park Lodge and Conference Centre, Ohio; and The Whitehall, Houston.

InterContinental Hotels Group opened its 5,000th hotel in operation, the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side in New York.

Travelodge plans to open 19 hotels this year.

International

screen-shot-2015-12-05-at-11-54-14

kenyaFrom next month Kenya will waive the visa fee for children less than 16 years of age and capped Park fees at US $60 down from US$90.

investigators said the killing of a Montana man by a Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear highlights the need for hikers in the region to travel in groups, carry Mace-like bear spray and take other precautions against attacks,

  • Indonesia is a safe state and the negative impact of Thursday’s terrorist attacks in downtown Jakarta to tourism industry is limited, Indonesia‘s tourism minister said
  • Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Germany will not make any further immediate changes to its travel advice for Turkey but could do so in light of the investigation into Tuesday’s bombing in Istanbul. Ireland’s DFA is advising tourists to exercise caution.
  • Alton Towers unveiled its first new ride since last June’s Smiler crash, Galactica, which will open in April. Customers will use virtual reality headsets for the experience.
  • Japan predicts the number of visitors in 2016 will increase 19pc to a record 23.5m.
  • Walt Disney Company announced that Shanghai Disney Resort will officially open on June 16.
  • Thomson signed an advertising deal to sponsor Channel 4’s First Dates matchmaking show.
  • Hard Rock International plans to open a second hotel in the Dominican Republic, slated for 2017.
  • Montenegro plans to turn an island fortress that was formerly used as a WWII concentration camp into a luxury resort.

Food and Wine

2travel writers belfast food tourfood tour hostsAs part of the launch of the Year of Food and Drink Tourism NI hosted a group of food and travel writers from Dublin, including Travel Extra on a food tour led by Caroline Wilson of belfastfoodtour.com and joined by Phil Ervine marketing manager of the new by Shortcross gin distilled in Crossgar, Co Down. Bob McCoubrey explained how a shortage of chefs caused him to close his Dublin branch of Mourne Seafoods. The group visited Saers Deli, Deirdre Canny’s Go Gourmet chocloates and Sam Spain and Tony O’Neill’s Coppi restaurant . Picture shows, Mary Fanning, Anne Doyle, Sile McArdle, Claire McCoy of Tourism NI, Sharon Noonan, tour guide Caroline Wilson, Jules Mahon, Keith Mahon, Gwen Beveridge of Tourism NI, Cathy Armstrong, Fiona Cunningham of Tourism Ni, David Carton and Kieran Walsh.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Aviation

A330-200 american airlinesAmerican Airlines decision to use the Airbus A330-200 on seasonal Dublin to Chicago service from May 6, instead of a Boeing 767-300ER has been welcomed by the trade.

Ryanair will increase its Dublin based fleet from 24 to 26 in summer, increasing iDublin to London Gatwick from 5 to 7 times daily from March, using IAG remedy slots surrendered as part of Aer Lingus takeover, iadding an extra flight to Dublin Amsterdam and adding Athens 3w and Vigo 2w. Ryanair’s Dublin Summer schedule will now feature 18 daily flights between Dublin and London.

United Airlines is to update its boarding algorithm later this year.

Cristian SamoilovichMatthias WenkRyanair have recruited a former Uber executive Cristian Samoilovich (previously with Boeing and Airbus) as head of Public affairs and former Lidl Ireland advertising head Matthias Wenk as Marketing Operations Director.

Irish owned ASL Airlines France is to offer a new service from Bordeaux to Hamburg.

A Green Party attempt to have new car parking facilities attached to Dublin Airport charged the full rate of development contribution failed.

AeroMexico and WestJet has announced codeshare partnership.

@causewaytours tweeted: Loving this year of food & drink lark. We’ll have to scoff it all ourselves as due to #APD no one can fly here anyway. I despair

  • Ryanair have been awarded slots at Oslo Gardermoen airport.
  • Airbus took 1,036 orders in 2015 and delivered 635 aircraft, Boeing took 768 orders last year and delivered 762 aircraft. Boeing had more success selling big-budget wide-body jets such as the 787 while Airbus sold mostly the single-aisle A320 range of jets.
  • Figures by the IAA show that flights in and out of Irish airspace were up 5.6pc last year. An average of 2,811 flights were managed by the IAA, En route traffic increased by 5.4pc. North Atlantic Communications service increased 5.3pc. Dublin air traffic increased 10pc with a total of 191,233 recorded flights. Traffic to Shannon was down 12.5pc. Cork was down 8.6pc.
  • Etihad carried 17.4m passengers in 2015, up 17pc YOY.
  • Frankfurt Airport opened two yoga rooms for passengers.
  • Etihad is to receive 10 aircraft deliveries in 2016 including five B787-9s, three A380s and two B777-200Fs.
  • IAG signed a joint business agreement between BA, Iberia and LATAM Airlines Group.
  • klm virtual realityKLM developed a virtual reality app to allow passengers to explore its B787-9 Dreamliner.
  • Malaysia Airlines will stop operating its daily Kuala Lumpur to Dubai service on February 15.
  • AWAS is to purchase and leaseback three B787-8s from Ethiopian Airlines.
  • Avolon chief executive Domhnal Slattery is to be based in Hong Kong for 2016 following the acquisition by Bohai Leasing. Avolon said China needs $1 trillion worth of aircraft over the next 20 years as the country under-ordered by 750 aircraft over the next decade.
  • Ryanair is recruiting cabin crew, with recruitment days in Dublin on January 26 and February 26.

Afloat

P&O Ferries has ended Larne to Troon seasonal route it has operated since 2003 with immediate effect.

Harmony of the Seas will have an exclusive Royal Caribbean production of Grease, while the AquaTheaterb will feature a gravity-defying diving and acrobatic display and a comedic whodunit. Harmony of the Seas launches May and operates seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises out of Barcelona until October when it relocates to Fort Lauderdale A Let’s Celebrate Promenade Parade combines Halloween, Valentine’s Day, the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, birthdays and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Uniworld is making a big push for the family market with the launch of a dedicated Family River Cruise Collection brochure featuring 11 new family-friendly itineraries
  • River cruise specialist Scenic has ordered an ocean cruise ship for delivery in August 2018. The all-suite, 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse been described as more like a billionaire’s yacht than a cruise ship, with an ice-strengthened hull, twin helicopters, an aft marina with a fleet of Zodiacs and a seven-person submarine.
  • Emerald Waterways two new ships due in 2017 will sail the Rhone- Saone and Douro rivers. Emerald Liberté will carry 138 passengers in 70 cabins and Emerald Radiance will carry 112 passengers in 56 cabins.
  • Crystal Cruises have followed Celebrity Cruises and Disney Cruise Line in cancelling calls to Turkish ports Istanbul and Kusadasi chosing stops in Greek ports instead.
  • Carnival Inspiration’s refurb will introduce Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, and three new bars.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line’s Belize private island, Harvest Caye, has been pushed back to November. It was originally scheduled to receive its first port call on February 16.

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

thomson deal watchThomson offers: Sensimar Tenerife adults only resort available to book with €100pp deposit. 7 nights half board Sensimar Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €639pps, depart May 27. 7 nights self catering Cay Beach Princess, Maspalomas, Grand Canaria from €409pps, depart January 30. 7 nights self catering Tamanaco Apartments, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €349pps, depart February 6. 7 nights half board Catalonia Oro Negro, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €549pps, depart February 12. 7 nights self catering Nirides, Psalidi, Kos from €389pps, depart May 21. 7 nights all inclusive Marmaris Imperial, Turkey from €739pps, depart May 30. 7 nights full board Moorish Delights cruise on Thomson Majesty from €959pps, depart May 24. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Parque Cristobal, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €2,099 2+1, from €2,929 2+2, depart May 27. 7 nights 3* Aqualand Village, Agios Ioannis, Corfu from €1,939 2+1, from €1,687 2+2, depart May 20. 7 nights self catering 3* Mythos Apartments, Tingaki, Kos from €479pp, from €1,349 2+1, from €1,687 2+2, depart July 4. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantica, San Augstin, Gran Canaria from €499pp, depart January 30. 7 nights self catering 2* Green PArk, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €299pp, depart February 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropics, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €309pp, depart February 26. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay from €1,599pp, depart June 26. Visit falconholidays.ie.

Sunway Bodrum Peninsula offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Summer Garden Apartments from €369pp, 14 nights from €449pp, depart May 1 or May 8. 7 nights B&B 3* Baba Beach Hotel from €389pp, 14 nights from €469pp, depart May 1 or May 8. 7 nights B&B 4* Ambrosia Hotel from €569pp, 14 nights from €699pp, depart May 1 or May 8. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmwings Altinkum from €679pp, 14 nights from €929pp, depart May 1 or May 8. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Veonsa Beach Resort from €699pp, 14 nights from €979pp, depart May 1. Other offers: 7 nights B&B 4* Gloria Izaro Club Hotel, Lanzarote from €599pp, depart between February 20 and March 12. 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel, Kusadasi from €299pp, travel May. 7 nights self catering 3* Ola Bouganvilla Apartments, Majorca from €379pp, travel in May. 7 nights self catering 2* Los Pueblos Apartments, Lanzarote from €379pp, travel in May. 7 nights self catering 2* Carmen Apartments, Sicily from €399pp, travel in May. 7 nights self catering 2* Presidente Apartments, Algarve from €399pp, travel in May.  7 nights self catering 3* Bajondillo Apartments, Costa Del Sol from €399pp, travel in May. 7 nights self catering 3* Puerto Plata Apartments, Gran Canaria from €399pp, travel in May. 7 nights self catering 2* Vista Blanes Apartments, Menorca from €399pp, travel in May. 7 nights B&B 3* Dorisol Florisol Hotel, Madeira from €499pp, travel in May. 7 nights B&B 2* Kalofer Hotel, Bulgaria from €399pp, travel in June. 7 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apartments, Fuerteventura from €399pp, travel in June. 7 nights self catering 3* Tamaimo Tropical Apartments, Tenerife form €499pp, travel in June. 7 nights B&B 3* Sana Estoril Hotel, Lisbon Coast from €499pp, travel in June. 7 nights B&B 3* Londra Hotel, Sorrento from €539pp, travel in June. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Sunway is offering 3 nights 3* Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas from €619pp to see Conor McGregor fight Dos Anjos. Depart March 4, fight ticket not included. See sunway.ie.

Lowcostholidays offers: 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Beatriz Playa, Lanzarote from €410pp incl. return flights, depart May 4. 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, the Algarve from €365pp incl. return flights, depart May 5. 7 nights 5* Blue Sea Gran Hotel Cervantes, Costa del Sol from €410pp, depart June 7. 7 nights 4* Gran Villas Resort, Orlando from €780pp inc. flights ex London, depart June 4. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Krystal Hotel, Cancun from €1,065pp incl. flights ex London, depart May 21. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sunscape Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,395pp incl. flights ex London, depart May 21. 5 nights B&B 5* Bonnington Jumeriah Lakes Towers, Dubai from €995pp incl. return flights, depart April 9. Visit lowcostholidays.ie or call 01 485 3835.

Click and Go offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Villa Linda Hotel, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €489pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes, larges and In the Godfathers excursion, travel in May. 7 nights B&B 5* Corfu Holiday Palace Hotel, Kanoni, Corfu from €459pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in May. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmin Hotel, Kusadasi, Turkey from €449pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in April. 3 nights B&B 3* La Fortezza Hotel, Florence from €259pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in April. Fly and Cruise St Patrick’s offer with Emirates and Royal Caribbean: 7 nights full board cruise departing Dubai from €999pp incl. return flights, checked in baggage and return transfers, depart March 13. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

WOW air is offering Dublin to San Francisco and LA via Reykjavik from €199pp one way. Visit wowair.ie.

Abbey Travel is offering a 2 match package for the Euro 2016 games against Belgium on June 18 and Italy on June 22 from €1,499pp incl. flights, transfers, 3 nights accommodation and rep service. Money back guarantee if clients do not secure match tickets through UEFA. Visit abbeytravel.ie, email sports@abbeytravel.ie, or call 01 804 7102. Abbey Travel is offering two days extra at Disneyland Paris’s Hotel Santa Fe for arrivals from March 24 to October 31. Book before February 8. Call 01 804 7160.

Aer Lingus extended its summer sale to include additional seats and April travel. North America from €255 each way, Britain from €19.99 one way. Book by midnight, January 18.

Stena Line is offering 10pc off travel from Rosslare to Cherbourg on bookings made by February 3. Receive a free trip to Britain on return car bookings from Rosslare to Cherbourg, travel between June 1 and August 31. Visit stenaline.ie.

Topflight offers: 7 nights BUB 5* Princesa Yaiza, Playa Blanca from €929pps. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort, Playa Blanca from €889pps, depart April 9. 7 nights B&B 4* Suite Hotel Fariones Playa, Puerto del Carmen from €725pps, depart May 7. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel San Antonio, Puerto del Carmen from €809pps, depart April 2. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Beatriz Playa, Matagorda from €839pps, depart March 26. 7 nights half board 5* Hotel Villa Vik, Puerto del Carmen from €989pps, depart April 9. All prices include return transfers, taxes and resort rep service. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 2401 700.

Lowcostbeds all inclusive family prices based on 7 nights, 2 adults and 1 child, depart June 25: 3* HTOP Molinos Park Hotel, Salou from €28pppn. 3* Cala D’Or, Ariel Chico Club, Majorca from €31pppn. 3* Laguna Park, Playa de Las Americas, Tenerife fro €24pppn. 4* Club Caleta Dorada, Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura from €24pppn. 3* IFA Interclub Atlantica, San Augustin, Gran Canaria from €26pppn. 3* Blue Sea Costa Teguise Gardens, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €28pppn. Visit lowcostbeds.com.

Ireland

Dublins DNAMinister Paschal Donohoe announced the launch of collaborative tourism initiative, Dublin’s Northside Attractions. The Dublin DNA trail was launched with the website, dublindna.ie. DNA members: Old Jameson Distillery, Glasnevin Cemetery, National Botanic Gardens, GAA Museum and Croke Park Stadium, Mountjoy Square Society, Guinness Storehouse, The James Joyce Centre, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin Tenement, 14 Henrietta Street, 1916 Rebellion Walking Tours, EPIC Ireland, and GPO Witness History.

Sofia Hansson is the new Tourism Ireland Director in Australia. Stormont tourism minister Jonathan Bell will travel to New York and Copenhagen on upcoming Tourism Ireland promotions.

Europcar Ireland’s Europcar Tourism Index survey found that 77pc of visitors would visit Ireland again, 55pc had been bfore, 25pc came from England, 15pc from the USA, and 24pc of visitors ranked the landscape as the main motivation for coming to Ireland.

Fáilte Ireland is using Google’s Trekker camera to capture Ireland’s Ancient East for Google Street View.

Lonely Planet published an article on Ireland’s Best Remote Surf Spots.

laura whitmoreLaura Whitmore went on a cultural tour of Ireland’s Ancient East this week. Her itinerary was organised by the Discover Ireland team at Fáilte Ireland and included a jewellery-making session and a tour of the Smithwick’s Experience.

Dublin featured in The New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2016.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! NEW BELGIAN FILM SHOWCASES SPECTACULAR SCENERY OF WEST CORKBelgian thriller Broer, which was shot in Bantry House and West Cork, will premiere in Belgium on January 20. Picture shows screenplay writer Pierre De Clercq, actors Alison Doody and Elva Trill, producer Mariano Vanhoof,actors Koen De Graeve, Titus De Voogdt, Koen De Bouw and Daisy Van Praet, and director Geoffrey Enthoven at Bantry House.

Tourism Ireland in Amsterdam started its 2016 programme of promotions this week at Vakantiebeurs holiday fair in Utrecht. The six-day event is expected to attract 117,000 visitors.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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


Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

  • Jan 15-18 MATKA, Helsinki
  • Jan 16-18 Holiday World, Belfast
  • Jan 22 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin
  • Jan 22-29 ASEAN Tourism Forum, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
  • Jan 23-25 Holiday World, Dublin
  • Jan 28-Feb 1 FITUR, Madrid
  • Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi
  • Jan 29-Feb 1 Destinations, Olympia, London
  • Feb 10-13
    Go West Summit, Colorado Springs
  • Feb 10-11
    Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv
  • Feb 12-14 BIT, Milan
  • Feb Utazas, Budapest
  • Feb 23-24 IHF Conference, Ballyconnell
  • Feb 25-Mar 1 BTL, LIsbon
  • Mar 4-6 ITB, Berlin
  • Mar 6-8 Guangzhou International Travel Fair
  • Mar 9-12 Cruise shipping Miami
  • Mar 16-18 GIBTM, Abu Dhabi
  • Mar 18-21 MITT, Moscow
  • Mar 19-22 Tur, Gothenburg
  • Mar 24-27 Tianguis Turistico, Acapulco
  • Mar 27-28 Skål National Convention Ireland, Cork
  • Mar 31-Apr 1 Rendez Vous France, Paris
  • Apr Meitheal, Dublin
  • Apr 12-18 Mountain Travel Symposium, Whistler
  • Apr 14-16 COTTM Beijing
  • Apr 15-16 WTTC Global Summit, Madrid
  • Apr 15-17 WTM Africa, Capetown
  • Apr 21-22 Social Travel Summit, Hamburg
  • Apr 22-23 Visit Scotland Expo, Aberdeen
  • Apr 22-24 WTM South America, Sao Paolo
  • Apr 24-25 ITAA AGM & Exhibition, Citywest
  • Apr 26-28 Germany Travel Market, Erfurt and Weimar 
  • Apr 27-30 ATM, Dubai
  • May 5-7 Fitcuba, Jardines del Rey.
  • May 7 Bookabed cork –
  • May 6 andalucia golf powers court –
  • May 9-12 World Travel Fair Shanghai
  • May 9-11 Indaba, Durban
  • May 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt
  • May 20-27 Trenz New Zealand, Wellington
  • May 26-29 Rendez-vous Canada, Niagara Falls
  • May 30-June 3 2015 IPW 2015 Orlando
  • June 3-5 TTM Plus, Bangkok
  • June 15-21 Paris Air show
  • June 21-24 ATE, Melbourne
  • Sept Travelmart S America, TBA
  • Sept PATA Travel Mart, TBA
  • Sept Top Resa 2015, Paris
  • Sept FITA Mexico City
  • Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Namibia
  • Oct 18-23 Skål World Congress, Kenya coast
  • Nov 2-5 WTM 2015, London
  • Nov 17-19 EIBTM 2015, Barcelona
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
  • Nov 30 Launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 Marketing Plans, Dublin
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 International Luxury Travel Market Cannes
  • Dec 4-5 Travel Centres Conference, Lyrath Hotel
  • Dec 10 World Tourism Forum Mediterranean meeting Belek
  • Dec 11 The Travel Corporation’s 5th birthday Trade Christmas Lunch, The Residence, Dublin
  • 2017
  • Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC
  • 2018
  • Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver
  • 2019 – 2024
  • Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

Previous editions of Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 
Nov 29Nov 22Nov 15Nov 8Nov 1

Oct 25Oct 18Oct 11Oct 4

Sept 27Sept 20Sept 13Sept 6

Aug 30Aug 23Aug 16Aug 9Aug 2

July 26July 19July 12July 5

June 28June 21June 14June 7

May 31May 24May 17May 10May 3

Apr 25Apr 18Apr 11Apr 4

Mar 29Mar 22Mar 15Mar 8Mar 1

Feb 22Feb 15Feb 8Feb 1

Jan 25Jan 18Jan 11Jan 4

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Year of Mexico & Jamaica for Falcon

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HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

5 things you need to know about travel this week:

  • A big year for Falcon/Thomson Holidays with direct Dreamliner flights
  • Ryanair carry 100m passengers – the SIXTH airline to do so
  • This week’s snow dump has made Alpine snow base very unstable
  • Mueller’s problems took turn for the worse with Malaysia’s baggage ban
  • It doesn’t look good for proposed resumption of Irish flights to Sharm

Travel Extra TV

video of the week january 10 2016Our video of the week has got the cute factor: Tourists play with a baby elephant at Chiang Mai, Thailand. Watch here.

  • Behind the scenes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with JJ Abrams and Tourism Ireland. Watch here.
  • Frederico proposes to Poon on a Ryanair flight. Watch here.
  • Meet the robotic suitcase that follows its owner. Watch here.
  • Sightseeing in Manhattan with Qatar Airways cabin crew. Watch here.
  • A timelapse of Dubai Airport waking up to 2016. Watch here.
  • Monocle’s best of travel. Watch here.
  • Timelapse: Loading a Finnair A350 in less than a minute. Watch here.
  • Rolling out the first Boeing 737 MAX. Watch here.
  • An awesome year of aircraft spotting with GVA Spotter. Watch here.
  • See Tourism Ireland’s promo for Ireland’s Ancient East. Watch here.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

Falcon team jan 6 2015 copyIMG_0198 copyIt is a big year for Falcon & Thomson Holidays with direct Dreamliner flights to Cancun and Montego Bay to start in June. Falcon has seen strong sales on the back of travel agent educationals to Jamaica and Mexico. At the launch of the Irish campaign for 2016, Scottish-born head of Ireland Chris Logan (listen here) noted a return to longer 10-14 night breaks in the Irish market, an increased demand for Wi-Fi and a growth in demand for all inclusive board. Majorca is still the leading Falcon destination from Ireland, but Costa Daurada, to where a flight form Knock has been added in 2016, is strengthening. Falcon recently launched a new customer website for desktop and mobile, a new retail web browser for agents and cabin crew and resort reps are now equipped with iPads. He said it was a good year for the tour operator in Ireland (Irish results were strong although they are not stripped out of the overall TUI figures), pre-Christmas bookings were the strongest in years and bookings have been strong since the TV campaign launched on December 26. Team Falcon at the launch of the Falcon & Thomson Holidays programme for 2016 in Angelina’s restaurant in Percy Place, Dublin: Carol O’Connor marketing executive, Charlotte Brenner, marketing manager, Claire Murphy commercial manager, Antoinette Young distribution manager, Chris Logan head of Ireland and laine Slator marketing executive. Travel Extra will be reporting from the Falcon resorts in Montego Bay next week.

ryanairRyanair’s arrival at Belfast International Airport, Easyjet at their biggest Irish base, was reported with enthusiasm (see Ryanair start with a 4 daily Gatwick service in March) with the promise of 3 aircraft and 5 more new routes from October 2016, 1m new customers and 750 on-site jobs at Belfast International Airport.

Ryanair carried 101.4m passengers in 2015, with December passenger bookings up an impressive 25pc to 7.5m and load factor up 3pc to 91pc. Their claim to be the first airline to carry 100m passengers in a year was widely reported: they are correct when they claimed 100m international passengers but they are in sixth place in hitting the target: Delta, Southwest, China Southern, American and in the old days, Aeroflot. Ryanair’s defence, they were taking their leave from BA in the 1980s (“the world’s favourite airline”) who were well down the list of airlines but had more international passenger than the others.Irish Travel Industry awards supplier nominees 2016 sized

The Irish Travel Industry Awards 2016 supplier shortlist features some interesting first-timers including G Adventures and Top Deck. Morocco return as nominees in the winter sun category. Holly Best and Brian Hughes join Rebecca Kelly, Thomas McNally and Lee Osborne as nominees (pictured above) for the hotly contended supplier representative award. The ITAA Member Awards Finalists will be announced on 13th January, 2016. MC is radio and TV presenter, Miriam O’Callaghan. Award categories are sponsored by American Airlines, British Airways, Cork Airport, Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, Hertz, Turkish Airline, Riviera Travel and The Travel Corporation. The nominations are: Air Travel Category sponsored By Dublin Airport; Best Airline to Europe: Aer Lingus; British Airways; Ryanair; SAS; Turkish Airlines; Best Business Class Airline to Europe: Aer Lingus; Air France; British Airways; SAS; Turkish Airlines; Best Airline to North America: Aer Lingus; British Airways; Delta Airlines; United Airlines; Virgin Atlantic; Best Long Haul Airline: British Airways; Emirates; Etihad Airways; Turkish Airlines; Virgin Atlantic;

Tour Operator Category sponsored By Hertz; Best European Sun Tour Operator: Concorde Travel; Crystal Holidays; Falcon Holidays; Sunway; Topflight; ; Best Escorted Tour Operator: G Adventures; Insight Vacations; Riviera Travel; Sunway; Wendy Wu; Best Specialist Tour Operator: Discover Travel; If Only; The Travel Corporation; Sunway; Wendy Wu; ; Best Ski Tour Operator: Club Med; Crystal Holidays; Inghams; Top Deck; Topflight; Best Long Haul Tour Operator: Classic Resorts; If Only; Sunway; Topflight; Travel Focus.

Cruise & Ferry Category; Best Cruise Company: Celebrity Cruises; MSC Cruises; NCL; Royal Caribbean International; Thomson Cruises; Best Ultra Cruise Company: Azamara Cruises; Celebrity Cruises; Royal Caribbean International; Silversea Cruises; Uniworld; Best Specialist Cruise Company: AMA Waterways; Celebrity Cruises; Riviera Travel; Royal Caribbean International; Uniworld; Best Ferry Company: Brittany Ferries; Irish Ferries; Stena Line.

Agency services provider category sponsored by Riviera Travel. Best Technology Provider: Amadeus; Bookabed; Digital Trip; Proactive Labs; Travelport; Best Car Hire Company: Affordable Car Hire; Alamo; Avis; Flexible Car Hire; Hertz; Best Travel Insurance Provider: Accident & General; Blue Insurances; Worldwide Insurance; Viasure; Best Tourist Board: Dubai Tourist Board; Las Vegas; Portuguese Tourist Board; Spanish Tourist Board; Visit USA; Best Supplier Support Team: Amadeus; Arrow Tours; Bookabed; MSC Cruises; Sunway; Best Accommodation Only Provider: Arrow Tours; Bedsonline; Bookabed; Hotelbeds; Lowcostbeds; Best Supplier Representative: Brian Hughes of United Airlines; Holly Best of Virgin Atlantic; Lee Osborne of Bookabed.ie; Rebecca Kelly of MSC Cruises; Thomas McNally of Bedsonline.

Destinations Category sponsored by Turkish Airlines; Best Worldwide City Destination: Cape Town; Dubai; Las Vegas; New York; San Francisco; Best European City Destinations: Barcelona; Krakow; Lisbon; Paris; Rome; Best Ski Destination: Andorra; Austria; France; Italy; Switzerland; Best Summer Sun Destination: Italy; Greece; Portugal; Spain; Turkey; Best Winter Sun Destination: Dubai; Florida; Gran Canaria; Lanzarote; Tenerife; Best Worldwide Theme Park: Disneyland Paris; PortAventura; Siam Park Tenerife; Universal Orlando Resort; Walt Disney World Resort; Best Worldwide Hotel Chain: Hilton; Marriott; Radisson Blu; Sheraton; Sofitel. The Irish Travel Industry Awards are an initiative of the Irish Travel Agents Association in association with Amadeus.

swiss alpsIt will be a dangerous season in the Alps, early snow followed by warm weather followed in turn by this week’s snow dump has made the snow base very unstable. A metre of snow landed on the ski resorts as it got very cold very suddenly across Europe this week, with more terrain opening up on a near daily basis. Avalanche danger reached Level 4 out of 5 in places. The snow line is predicted to come down to 1,000m on Monday. Snow has also returned to the west of the USA.

eoghan cwt three jan 8 2015 copyPicture shows Carlsson Wagonlit‘s Aubrey King, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra, Nigel Turner and Adam Ausrtin of Carlsson Wagonlit at the CWT event for prize winning travel journalists at the reopened Victorian Bathhouse restaurant in London.

christoph mueller h&s iata 001Christoph Mueller’s problems took another turn for the worse when Malaysia Airlines imposed a ban on checked-in baggage on its flights from Kuala Lumpur to Europe, citing safety and “strong head winds”: Passengers who wish to check in their luggage will be able to do so, however their baggage will only arrive later. Economy passengers will be allowed cabin baggage of 7kg, business/first passengers two pieces totalling 14kg. When Malaysia’s routes to Amsterdam and CDG end on January 26, London Heathrow is their last remaining European service. Kuala Lumpur to Australia services have been cut with Melbourne and Sydney down form three to two daily and Brisbane and Perth dropped. The question is whether this will affect prices on the kangaroo route, which fell by around €100 when Malaysia started discounting heavily in mid 2014.

Bella Vista Hotel hurghadaAll is not looking well for the proposed resumption of Irish flights to Sharm on May 5: A German man and a Danish woman were both stabbed at the Bella Vista Hotel in the TUi custom built red sea resort of Hurghada, The attack came a day after a gun attack on a tourist bus outside the Three Pyramids Hotel in Cairo in which nobody was injured.

Travel Trade

british airwaysBA is offering free upgrades to first one-way on select US flights. See your GDS for more. Book before March 11, travel completed by April 16.

Canada will send 11 exhibitors to the Holiday World Show in the RDS Simmonscourt on Jan 22-24 for the first time.

Sunway celebrates 50 years in business this year.

Skal Club Kerry hosts its Presidents function on January 23 at Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney.

Hotels

Cincinnati ac hotelsMarriott International will open 22 hotels under its AC Hotels brand this year, starting with five openings this month in Cincinnati, Boston, Guadalajara, Queretaro and Marseille. Other due are Atlanta, a second Boston hotel, Phoenix, Santa Fe and Minneapolis.

  • Hyatt Place Goa/Candolim officially opened in Goa, India.
  • Marriott is to open a five-star property in Minsk, Belarus.
  • Starwood opened 105 hotels last year.

International

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An enormous gold-coloured statue of Chairman Mao was torn down in China’s Tongxu county.

No individual reached the peak of Mount Everest in 2015, the first time it was unconquered since 1974.

Food & Wine

super chefThe Restaurants Association of Ireland and St. Angela’s College, Sligo extended the deadline for entries to the Super Chef Competition 2015-2016. The new deadline is Friday, January 15. For more details on how to enter the competition, click here.

Fern House Cafe will host four wine appreciation classes at Avoca, Kilmacanogue on January 20 and 27, and February 3 and 10. Tickets from €45. Book online at avoca.com or call 01 274 6900.

Aviation

etihad crewEtihad starts the first of its six worldwide recruitment days at the Hilton Airport hotel, Dublin on Tuesday (January 12). They are looking for applicants for cabin crew, in-flight chefs and food and beverage managers. Candidates are asked to drop their CVs to the Hilton Airport hotel tomorrow (January 11) or they can submit their CV with a cover letter here.

ryanair interiorGoodbye garish yellow: Ryanair unveiled its new toned-down interiors.

Ryanair appointed former European public policy manager for Uber Cristian Samoilovich as head of public affairs

A flight was delayed at Heathrow after a drone flew onto the runway, causing ATC to close it for seven minutes.

finnairFinnair to increase summer flights between Dublin and Helsinki to 9w: adding 6.10 departures on Wednesday and Sunday.

2015 was the safest year in aviation, with an accident rate of one in every five million.

Delta Air Lines added the meditation app, OMG. I Can Meditate!, to its in-flight entertainment.

marquetteThe Mayor of Fingal, David O’Connor, officially opened Marquette food court at Dublin Airport T1.

British Airways lounge-eligible passengers departing London Gatwick will use the No I Lounge while BA’s lounge undergoes a renovation.

Etihad is investigating a potential data breach during a 2013 promotional campaign that leaked the personal information of 7,000 Etihad Guest members.

United added two bundle options to its Economy Plus offering.

Avolon completed its merger agreement with Bohai Leasing.

Manchester Airport closed the Escape lounge at Terminal 2 for refurbishment. It will reopen in April.

Father Ted co-creator Graham Linehan collaborated with Stephen Fry to create a humorous guide to Britain for Heathrow Airport. Watch here.

Afloat

ncl feel freeNorwegian Cruise Line launched its Feel Free campaign, promoting the brand as a cruise line that offers flexibility. It coincides with Norwegian’s Free at Sea promo, offering a choice of four offers — unlimited drinks, speciality dining, internet package or spending money — on booking made by April 10. Norwegian appointed Nick Wilkinson as GM for Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Stefanie Hegener was promoted to senior director of marketing and PR for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

  • Celebrity Cruises appointed Accenture to provide digital agency and web services.
  • Phillip Ordever switched from VP of international sales and marketing at Crystal Cruises to VP and MD of Crystal River Cruises.
  • Princess Cruises confirmed that it ordered a new ship from Fincantieri shipyard, due to enter service in 2019. The ship will weigh 143,000 tonnes and will carry 3,560 passengers.

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Atlantica Portobello, Kos from €2,129 2+1 and from €2,897 2+2, depart June 11. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Aqua Nevis, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €1,799 2+1 and from €2,739 2+2, part June 13. 7 nights self catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €329pps, depart February 5. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Catalonia Rivera Maya, Cancun from €1,799pps, depart June 13. Call 1850 354 545.

thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights half board 4* Sensimar Falesia Atlantic, Olhos D’agua, Algarve from €799pp, depart May 23. 7 nights half board 3* Playa De Las Americas, Catalonia Oro Negro, Tenerife from €459pp, depart February 5. 7 nights self catering 2* Tamanaco, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €389pp, depart February 6. 7 nights half board 4* Coronas Playa Hotel, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €599pp, depart February 7. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Marmaris Imperial, Turkey from €799pp, depart June 13. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Club Hotel Riu Ochos Rios, Jamaica from €1,429pp, depart July 4. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Irish ferries deal watchIrish Ferries is offering 3 nights Haven Park holidays from €329, 4 night breaks from €575, travel in June, 7 night breaks from €816, departing June 3, and free upgrades from standard to deluxe holiday homes for families staying between July 22 and September 4. All prices include return ferry. Book by February 29. See irishferries.com/haven or call 0818 300 400.

Royal Caribbean all inclusive offers: 7 nights Greek Isles cruise on Vision of the Seas from €1,133pp incl. return flights, depart May 7. 7 nights Arabian Gulf cruise on Splendour of the Seas from €1,165pp incl. return flights, depart March 14. 9 nights Mediterranean and Adriatic cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas from €1,297pp incl. return flights, depart April 24. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Sunway offers: 7 nights 3* Ramada Gateway, Orlando from €555pp, travel May. 7 nights 3* Disney’s Art of Music, Orlando from €675pp, travel May. 7 nights 3* Universal Cabana Bay Resort, Orlando from €669pp, travel May. 7 nights B&B 3* Chaba Samui Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand from €849pp, travel May. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Dreams Puerto Aventuras, Mexico from €1,445pp, travel May. 7 nights B&B 3* Reethi Beach, Maldives from €1,399pp, travel May. Morocco offers: Flight only from €259pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Tilila Studios from €279pp. 7 nights self catering 3* Intouriste Apartments from €349pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Tildi Hotel from €409pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Argana Hotel from €409pp, no single supplement. 7 nights B&B 3* Oasis Hotel from €419pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Agadir Beach Club from €449pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Kenzi Europa Hotel from €499pp. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Founty Beach from €649pp. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

tour america deal watchTour America Orlando offers: 7 nights Cabana Bay from €699pp incl. flights, travel May. 7 nights Royal Pacific from €799pp incl. flights, travel May. 7 nights Hard Rock Hotel from €849pp incl. flights, travel May. 7 nights Portifino from €859pp incl. return flights, travel May. 7 nights Sapphire Falls from €719pp, travel in September. Visit touramerica.ie.

ITAA offers: 10 nights honeymoon all inclusive 5* Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, Mexico from €1,989pps incl. flights and taxes, depart August 27. 7 nights half board 4* Beatriz Costa Teguise & Spa Hotel, Lanzarote from €549pps incl. flights and transfer, depart January 19. 7 ge pp and taxes, depart August 16. 7 nights self catering SunClub, Cap Salou Beach from €2,083 2+3 incl. flights ex Knock, 15kg checked baggage and taxes, depart August 16.

Topflight offers: Ski holidays — 7 nights self catering 2* Crest Apartments, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €299pp, depart January 17. 7 nights self catering 3* Livingno Ski Apartments from €469pp, depart January 23. 7 nights self catering 3* Le Hameau de Pierre Blanche, Chamonix from €439pp, depart January 23. Algarve holidays — 7 nights self catering 5* Tivoli Victoria Residence, Vilamoura from €619pp, depart May 14. Lanzarote holidays — 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Beatriz Playa, Puerto del Carmen from €849pp, depart March 19. Italy holidays — 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Sorrento, depart August 28. All prices include return transfers, taxes and Topflight resort rep service. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 2401 700.

Insight Vacations is offering a 9-day Spain and Portugal holiday from €1,799pps incl. flights, transfers and 8 nights accommodation, book by January 29, depart May 21. Visit insightvacations.com or call 1800 98 98 98.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8-day Castles along the Rhine cruise on board the SS Antoinette from €2,499pps incl. flights, transfers, meals and beverages and shore excursions, book January 29, depart August 7. Visit uniworld.com/ie or call 1800 98 98 98.

Contiki is offering a 10-day, 6-country European Horizon holiday from €1,299pps incl. 9 nights accommodation, book by February 29, depart May 4. Visit contiki.com or call 1800 98 98 98.

Lowcostbeds Orlando offers, 7 nights based on 3 sharing, depart June 25: 3* Rosen Inn International Drive from €19pppn. 3* Rosen Inn closest to Universal from €19pppn.  2.5* Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando from €20pppn. Visit lowcostbeds.com.

Ireland

cliffs of moherVisitors to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience were up 15.8pc last year to 1,251,574 visitors.

Guinness Storehouse visitor numbers were up 18pc YOY to 1,498,124 guests.

Meitheal 2015

Minister Michael Ring announced that €1.8m in funding has been allocated to 23 festivals and events by Fáilte Ireland under its 2016 National Festivals and Events programme. A second phase in funding will be announced in February.

N Ireland featured on three episodes Chinese reality TV show I, Supermodel. Contestants battled it out at Titanic Belfast, Belfast City Hall, Mount Stewart, Donghadee and Dubcluce Casltle in a bid to win a modelling contract. Watch here.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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


Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

  • Jan 8-13 Vakantiebeurs, Utrecht
  • Jan 14-16 Florida Huddle, Fort Lauderdale.
  • Jan 15-18 MATKA, Helsinki
  • Jan 16-18 Holiday World, Belfast
  • Jan 22 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin
  • Jan 22-29 ASEAN Tourism Forum, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
  • Jan 23-25 Holiday World, Dublin
  • Jan 28-Feb 1 FITUR, Madrid
  • Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi
  • Jan 29-Feb 1 Destinations, Olympia, London
  • Feb 10-13
    Go West Summit, Colorado Springs
  • Feb 10-11
    Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv
  • Feb 12-14 BIT, Milan
  • Feb Utazas, Budapest
  • Feb 23-24 IHF Conference, Ballyconnell
  • Feb 25-Mar 1 BTL, LIsbon
  • Mar 4-6 ITB, Berlin
  • Mar 6-8 Guangzhou International Travel Fair
  • Mar 9-12 Cruise shipping Miami
  • Mar 16-18 GIBTM, Abu Dhabi
  • Mar 18-21 MITT, Moscow
  • Mar 19-22 Tur, Gothenburg
  • Mar 24-27 Tianguis Turistico, Acapulco
  • Mar 27-28 Skål National Convention Ireland, Cork
  • Mar 31-Apr 1 Rendez Vous France, Paris
  • Apr Meitheal, Dublin
  • Apr 12-18 Mountain Travel Symposium, Whistler
  • Apr 14-16 COTTM Beijing
  • Apr 15-16 WTTC Global Summit, Madrid
  • Apr 15-17 WTM Africa, Capetown
  • Apr 21-22 Social Travel Summit, Hamburg
  • Apr 22-23 Visit Scotland Expo, Aberdeen
  • Apr 22-24 WTM South America, Sao Paolo
  • Apr 24-25 ITAA AGM & Exhibition, Citywest
  • Apr 26-28 Germany Travel Market, Erfurt and Weimar 
  • Apr 27-30 ATM, Dubai
  • May 5-7 Fitcuba, Jardines del Rey.
  • May 7 Bookabed cork –
  • May 6 andalucia golf powers court –
  • May 9-12 World Travel Fair Shanghai
  • May 9-11 Indaba, Durban
  • May 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt
  • May 20-27 Trenz New Zealand, Wellington
  • May 26-29 Rendez-vous Canada, Niagara Falls
  • May 30-June 3 2015 IPW 2015 Orlando
  • June 3-5 TTM Plus, Bangkok
  • June 15-21 Paris Air show
  • June 21-24 ATE, Melbourne
  • Sept Travelmart S America, TBA
  • Sept PATA Travel Mart, TBA
  • Sept Top Resa 2015, Paris
  • Sept FITA Mexico City
  • Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Namibia
  • Oct 18-23 Skål World Congress, Kenya coast
  • Nov 2-5 WTM 2015, London
  • Nov 17-19 EIBTM 2015, Barcelona
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
  • Nov 30 Launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 Marketing Plans, Dublin
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 International Luxury Travel Market Cannes
  • Dec 4-5 Travel Centres Conference, Lyrath Hotel
  • Dec 10 World Tourism Forum Mediterranean meeting Belek
  • Dec 11 The Travel Corporation’s 5th birthday Trade Christmas Lunch, The Residence, Dublin
  • 2017
  • Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC
  • 2018
  • Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver
  • 2019 – 2024
  • Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

Previous editions of Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 
Nov 29Nov 22Nov 15Nov 8Nov 1

 

Oct 25Oct 18Oct 11Oct 4

Sept 27Sept 20Sept 13Sept 6

Aug 30Aug 23Aug 16Aug 9Aug 2

July 26July 19July 12July 5

June 28June 21June 14June 7

May 31May 24May 17May 10May 3

Apr 25Apr 18Apr 11Apr 4

Mar 29Mar 22Mar 15Mar 8Mar 1

Feb 22Feb 15Feb 8Feb 1

Jan 25Jan 18Jan 11Jan 4

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: We will pay 6-10pc more for our holidays in 2016

header jan 3 2016

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

SEVEN things you need to know about travel this week:

  • Expect more Dublin route announcements before March
  • Dublin hotel capacity problems in Dublin “a handbrake on growth” in tourism
  • Spanish and Canary island prices will spike by up to 20pc in 2016
  • Holiday prices will sell for about 6-10pc more than 2015
  • Fuel prices will continue to sit at abnormally low levels
  • Soccer ole-day makers will invade Paris for the Sweden match
  • Dublin Airport to sponsor new-format Travel Summit sessions

Travel Extra TV

video of week jan 3 2016Video of the week: Four-year-old Léa experiences her first aerobatic flight — and loves it. Watch here.

  • Qatar Airways recruited Barcelona FC for its in-flight safety video. Watch here.
  • Pat O’Regan’s video shows a Ryanair flight aborting landing at Dublin Airport due to severe winds caused by Storm Frank. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus’s summer sale promo. Watch here.
  • Emirates gives a tour of its A380 flight deck and explains how to fly the aircraft. Watch here. AvGeek Yves Heye won a Facebook competition to experience the A380 at the Dubai Airshow and to visit the Airbus factory. Watch here.
  • See a drone double up as a food blender. Watch here.
  • Introducing Hard Drive Marine’s self-docking boat. Watch here.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

canary islandsIt is that time of the year, for our look back at what happened in 2016, twelve months early (another Travel Extra exclusive).

  • Holiday prices will sell for about 6-10pc more than last year with few if any late specials. The fact that long haul air fares are already €50 higher in the January sales than twelve months ago does not augur well for the punter.
  • Spanish and (especially) Canary island prices will spike by up to 20pc as the big European outbound markets search for alternatives to North Africa. Irish holiday makers will prefer to move to less attractive hotels than pay the higher prices.
  • For anyone looking for a bargain, south-east Turkey is the playground of choice. Turkey’s high end hoteliers will turn to other Russian speaking markets to replace its Russian tourists (about 23pc of their market) but the shock might be enough to break down Turkey’s heavy reliance on tour operators and send inventory to bedbanks and internet wholesalers instead.
  • Several English and foreign based tour operators will re enter the
  • Irish market, led by Graham Balmforth’s Superbreak in January.
  • A small number of retail travel agencies will close, with some expeirnced agents turning to homeworking. However, retail pods based in shopping centres will continue to sprout.
  • Despite new cruise ship launches (including two in the same month by Royal Caribbean), cruise prices will rise as major cruise lines, even the entry level ones, exit the discounted cruise market.
  • No matter how many new trans-Atlantic routes we get, they seem to be filling as fast as they come, meaning prices will stay resolutely high. One stop options through London, Amsterdam or Paris will offer savings of up to €200 per person.
  • Dublin airport will get more new route announcements before March, and two long haul airlines likely to announce services to the Middle East and Asia in 2017.
  • The fuel price will continue to sit at abnormally low levels and will sit there until sufficient damage is done to Putin’s Russia. Will airlines pass on the savings to punters? Ask the flying pig in seat 16A.
  • Soccer ole-day makers will invade Paris for the Sweden match, leaving the Belgian and Italian matches to a smaller number of hard core followers, and then re-invade Lyon when Ireland reach the last 16 of the Euros.
  • If any of these don’t pass, blame the rain. Travel Extra’s crystal ball has been a bit damaged by rainfall in recent days.

holiday world showDublin Airport are to sponsor new-format Travel Summit sessions at Dublin Holiday World  Jan 22-24, 2016  chaired by Eoghan Corry, will see him leading a panel of speakers in an ‘on the couch’ breakfast TV-style discussion.  Summit sessions are being planned to cover Ski and Snow, Holidays to America, Cruising, Ireland’s Heritage & Holidaying at Home, Travel insurance, Weddings and Honeymoons, Golf Holidays, Hotels and B&Bs, Holidays in the east, Holidays in the west, Latin America, Solo travel, Visas and passports Louise Bannon, Head of Marketing at Dublin Airport added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Eoghan Corry and are looking forward to giving visitors to the show a wealth of expert information to help with truly rewarding holiday and travel experiences.”

paul gallagherThe Clyde Court hotel closed its 160 beds on Friday, reducing further Dublin’s already critically underserved hotel stock. Hotel capacity problems in Dublin are now “a handbrake on growth” in tourism (listen here), something which will get worse when the D4 (formerly Jury’s) closes its 400 beds in 2018, Tourism Confederation chair Paul Gallagher told a press briefing on Thursday. To deliver the estimated 5,000 beds the city requires, he said Dublin needs a fast track planning process (listen here) similar to the 16-week turnaround that approved the Hastings Group’s plans for the Grand Central hotel in Belfast. On the issue of inadequate hotel capacity in Dublin (listen here), Gallagher said Dublin needs 5,000 beds (listen here), at a time when the premium property sites were being chased by other types of construction (listen here). Capacity constraints are also stalling growth at key attractions (listen here). CEO Eoghan O’Mara Walsh (listen here) also cited Dublin Hotel capacity as a restraint on growth.

Eoghan O’Mara Walsh and Paul Gallagher photographedSo where are the new hotels likely to come from? There are between 40 and 60 properties that have been in dialogue with Fáilte Ireland in Dublin but only a handful. There is a retrofit on a property on O’Connell St as a Holiday Inn Express. The Fitzwilliam is putting in an extra floor. The Merrion Hotel is adding 20 rooms on Baggot Street over some existing retail (the former JWT house, where so many travel love stories began), Cassidy’s have also converted space. There are no shovel in the ground, however. At the Eastlink there are proposals for a 500 room hotel. Dublin Airport is looking at a 500-bed hotel adjacent to the T2 car park. Guinness has a site next door to the quayside gates. Red Carnation has looked at two sites near St Stephen’s Green. Denis O’Brien has his eye on a site for a hotel in the Liberties. But nothing is going to happen quickly. “Convention customers need hotels of 500-bedroom size to source beds. There is a need for more mixed use, retail and commercial with some hospitality and more higher rise to alleviate the problem,” Paul Gallagher says.

The 9pc VAT rate needs to be made permanent (listen here) and Irish tourism to be granted a capital allocation of €25m over five years (listen here). The new team at the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation came out with their pie charts blazing at their end of year briefing at Paul Gallagher’s Buswell’s Hotel on Wednesday. ITIC claimed that tourism got just €106m of €17bn capital budget (listen here) and the industry needed capital projects to stay competitive (listen here for suggestions).

Eoghan O'Mara WalshThe Confederation chairman Paul Gallagher cited the OPW budget, which has been slashed from €15m to €275,000 (listen here). Confederation CEO Eoghan O’Mara Walsh said tourism needed new projects of scale (listen here), (on cycle ways Paul Gallagher memorably said “24km is not a cycle trail:” listen here), He said there was a need to invest in technology for existing interpretation centres (listen here), Paul Gallagher said Ireland needed to make more inroads into the German market (listen here) and the number of Dutch visitors could be doubled (listen here). Eoghan O’Mara Walsh said the US market remained strong despite fear of terrorism (listen here),

Eoghan O’Mara Walsh and Paul Gallagher press briefingThe press briefing involved some recycling of the ITIC catchphrase “a perfect storm for tourism” (listen here). ITIC said the Industry is now worth €7bn to the Irish economy (listen here), earned €4.1bn per annum in foreign reserve (listen here) and was a bigger employer than construction (listen here), Paul Gallagher said that every €1m in revenue from foreign visitors generates 14 tourism jobs (listen here), Recent growth was about much more than currency fluctuation (listen here). Paul Gallagher said that tourism measures more successful than the industry hoped (listen here) but the regions had not recovered as well as Dublin (listen here),

While 1916 won’t be one of the big drivers of tourism in 2016 (listen here), the 1916 legacy attractions will be more important than commemoration (listen here), Eoghan O’Mara Walsh welcomed the proposals for a parallel runway at Dublin Airport (listen here) and said the IAG Lingus tie-in was good for tourism (listen here), The core message, he said was to draw attention to the importance of tourism to national economy (listen here),

During the question and answer session they stridently defended the criticism of Web Summit hotel rates (listen here), Paul Gallagher maintained that the 9pc VAT rate was vitally important to the industry (listen here) did not cost the exchequer €250m as some claimed (listen here). and should be made permanent (listen here), Eoghan O’Mara Walsh said the VAT rate pales into insignificance compared with the benefit (listen here). And an idea from Paul Gallagher, why do Dublin’s museums all close on Mondays and not stagger their closing days (listen here)? Click here to access ITIC’s Year End Review 2015 and Outlook 2016, click here to access the related Press Release.

taytoparkThe biggest visitor number rise among Ireland’s biggest tourist attractions in 2015 was Tayto Park, with visitor numbers up 80pc to sixth place, and possibly fifth ahead of Giant’s Causeway, whose figures are not as yet available. Other big climbers are the National Gallery and Connemara National Park (both up 24pc), the National Museum Collins Barracks (up 21pc), the Little Museum of Dublin (up 18pc), the Book of Kells and Chester Beatty Library (both up 17pc). The top twenty will look something like this figures are estimated): 1 Guinness Storehouse 1,491,536; 2 Cliffs of Moher 1,242,576; 3 Dublin Zoo 1,130,720; 4 National Aquatic Centre 996,249; 5 Giant’s Causeway Centre 827,400; 6 Tayto Park Ashbourne 765,000; 7 Book of Kells 761,057; 8 National Gallery 735,547; 9 Titanic 684,720; 10 Botanic Gardens Glasnevin 552,785; 11 National Museum Kildare St 469,494; 12 St Patrick’s Cathedral 466,423; 13 Ulster Museum 456,680; 14 Fota Wildlife Park Cork 433,620; 15 Science Gallery 411,052; 16 Rock of Cashel Tipperary 409,753; 17 Farmleigh 402773; 18 Blarney Castle 390,000; 19 Number 29 370,000; 20 Chester Beatty Library Dublin 355,680. Obviously, numbers are subject to confirmation.

Disney is getting ready for its biggest makeover since 1998. In January, 10 attractions and eateries will close, some temporarily, some permanently. The Space Mountain and Star Tours rides have been overhauled to include special effects borrowed from the recently released movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The move comes a few months after the resort hiked the price of annual passes as much as 31pc. At the other end of International drive in Orlando, Universal Studios Hollywood is to unveil another widely anticipated Harry Potter attraction.

Aerlingus.a320-214.ei-cva.750pixThe first of the airline sales roared into action as soon as the turkey wishbone was pulled. Aer Lingus lead in trans-Atlantic fares are €255 each way, Europe 50pc off and Britain €20 each way,travel May 1 –Sept 30. British Airways‘ Club World Sale, offers New York from €679 and Las Vegas from €779. Book by Feb 2, travel Jan 4- Nov 30. Air France-KLM offers Cancun from €432, Beijing from €528 and Johannesburg from €559. Book by Jan 11, travel Jan 8 – June 22. See Deal Watch below.

Travel Trade

Ireland’s travel agents reported a reasonably busy Christmas with bookings up and dynamic packing now constituting up to 90pc of sales.

ray treacy copyThe charity raffle at the Irish Travel Industry Awards in Dublin’s Mansion House on January 20 will be for first motor neurone disease in memory of Ray Treacy RIP. Prizes will be gratefully accepted. The awards are now sold out.

The venue for the 2016 Irish Travel Agents Association conference will be decided at an ITAA board meeting on Jan 14, to be decided from among Porto, Prague and a Uniworld Rivercruise ship.

Hotels

Castlemartyr ResortCork’s five-star Castlemartyr Resort was praised for offering emergency accommodation to local families affected by flooding after Storm Frank hit Ireland.

STR Global’s hotel performance survey found that room occupancy in Europe was up 0.8pc YOY to 68.1pc for November 2015, down 3.3pc in the Middle East-Africa region to 69.2pc, down 1.8pc in the Asia Pacific region to 70.4pc, and down 0.6pc in the Americas to 59.7pc.

International

screen-shot-2015-12-05-at-11-54-14

web summitDavid Pegler, chief executive of the ExCel convention centre, told John Mulligan that he was interested in bringing the Web Summit to London after its stint in Lisbon.

  • The Alps got their first snowfall in over a month on New Year’s Day, it was just a dusting but more significant and potentially season-changing snow is on its way. The outlook for the Pyrenees is also looking better with snow due this weekend.Most lifts are open in the western USA and more terrain is opening up almost daily on the east coast.
  • Switzerland experienced its warmest December on record, with temperatures 3.4C above average. Switzerland’s stripper visa programme expired on January 1, which, since 1995, allowed women outside the EU to work as strippers and cabaret dancers for up to eight months.
  • A proposal was put forward to develop the World War II forts off the coast of Kent into luxury suites, bars, restaurants, retail outlets, banqueting rooms and rooftop terraces. The forts were built to defend England against a Nazi invasion.
  • A report by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia said that Russian tourists are travelling to Thailand, Vietnam and India in exchange for Turkey and Egypt.
  • The ancient city of Hatra in Iraq was added to the Unesco list of World Heritage Sites under threat. So too were the Old City of Sana’a and the Old City of Shibam in Yemen.
  • Malaysia claimed it will receive 30.5m tourists in 2016.
  • China will open 100 ski resorts in 2016, catering for 10m domestic skiers.
  • In a bid to revive its tourism industry after last April’s earthquake, Nepal is offering free visas to Chinese visitors.
  • Dubai expects 10,000 people to attend mass yoga sessions at the two-day XYoga Dubai Festival on February 19 and 20. Dubai’s new zoo and safari park is slated for mid-2016. It will feature 1,000 animals and 100 species of plants.
  • Iran’s I Run marathon will be open to international runners for the first time on April 9, but women are banned from taking part because of local laws.
  • Plans for a Universal theme park in the Hwaseong region, South Korea were revived after being on hold for three years, The park is expected to open in 2020.
  • Vietnam opened a 500 hectare safari park at Phu Quoc, featuring 3,000 animals across 140 species, including Bengal tigers, gazelles and rhinos.
  • Nine tourists were injured after a Big Bus Tours double decker crashed in San Francisco.
  • Graceland will celebrate 60 years since Elvis’s debut, starting on January 7 with the opening of the Elvis in Hollywood exhibit, an auction, a Birthday Proclamation and a performance by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
  • Las Vegas saw a record 42m visitors in 2015.
  • The annual Zillow survey found that Americans would most like Taylor Swift as a neighbour, but would hate to live beside Donald Trump.
  • USA, Japan, Australia and Canada citizens will be given a visa waiver for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics for visits between June1 and September 18. Visitors are allowed stay for up to 90 days.

Food & Wine

An appeal against Pearse Lyon’s planned distillery and visitor centre in the Liberties was filed to An Bord Pleanála by the resident of an apartment building next to the site.

Aviation

dublin airport skybridge80,000 people reportedly travelled through Dublin Airport the day after St Stephen’s Day to take part in post-Christmas skiing or sunbathing.

Aer Arann Group recorded a loss of €2.6m in 2016, compared to a profit of €380,241 in 2013.

There has been no formal sale or order for Cityjet‘s much heralded Superjets as yet.

After missing the year-end deadline, Airbus said the A320neo is to enter service in the coming weeks.

russell crowe tweetActor Russell Crowe posted an angry tweet after Virgin Australia refused to carry his sons’ hover boards.

Amazon chartered a B737 from DB Schenker last November to trial its own air freight business.

Ethiopian Airlines signed a firm purchase agreement with Bombardier for two more Q400s.

TSA agents are to increase the number of random security checks of airport personnel that work in restricted areas.

the twisterDesign company Factorydesign created an aircraft seat called The Twister. It allows passengers to hold the seat in a position that they feel most comfortable. It moves with the shape of their spine and their weight.

Irish Rail is looking for drones that can search for damages on railway lines and help coordinate responses to major incidents like flooding.

Twenty-one Air Canada passengers were injured in severe turbulence on a flight from Shanghai to Toronto, which had to divert to Calgary, Alberta.

A German court ruled against a codeshare agreement between Etihad Airways and Air Berlin, saying that the 29 codeshare routes were not covered by a traffic rights agreement between Germany and the UAE. Etihad is to appeal the decision.

Turkish Airlines cancelled 142 flights to and from Istanbul because of heavy snowfall.

London Heathrow celebrates 70 years as a commercial airport this year.

Virgin American announced a codeshare agreement with China Southern Airlines.

Afloat

  • Princess Cruises has commissioned a fourth 3,560-passenger Royal-class ship from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.
  • Azamara Club Cruises made its Australian debut after Azamara Quest sailed from Bali to Darwin and on to Sydney.
  • HAL ship Veendam was hit with a suspected outbreak of norovirus, affecting 57 passengers and 10 crew.
  • Fred Olsen cruise ship Braemar rescued the 14-metre Nicollet sailing yacht and her four passengers and crew after it was adrift for three days.
  • Costa will build two new ships for its Chinese market, joining the fleet in 2019 and 2020.
  • Royal Caribbean has changed the name of its Devinly Decadence restaurant onboard Anthem of the Seas to Solarium Bistro,
  • Norwegian Cruise Line cruisers logged 576,896 Facebook posts during the 20-day period, c, 14,150 tweets and 11,367 Instagram posts for a total of 159m impressions during the inaugural voyages of Norwegian Escape.
  • Carnival Corporation ships will carry cage-free eggs by 2025. Royal Caribbean signed a 10-year contract with Virgin Islands Port Authority until 2026.

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

Project Travel offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Grotto Bay resort, Bermuda from €2,636 per adult and €1,880 per child incl. return flights and transfers, book by January 31. 7 nights B&B 5* Cambridge Beaches, Bermuda from €2,345pp incl. return flights and transfers, upgrade to half board for €555pp, book by January 31. Call 01 210 8391.

Wendy Wu Tours is offering free upgrade to Business Class on selected China Tours.

Topflight January sale offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Crest Apartments, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €299pp, depart January 10 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Sporthotel Austria, St Johann from €699pp, depart January 9 2016. 7 nights 3* Chalet Sorrier 2, La Plane, France from €669pp, depart January 23 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Pedra dos Bucos, Albufeira from €449pp, depart May 7 2016. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Tivoli Victoria, Vilamoura from €739pp, depart May 14 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Jable Bermudas, Puerto del Carmen from €489pp, depart April 2 2016. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Beatriz Playa, Puerto del Carmen from €699pp, depart April 9 2016. 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia Resort, Peschiera from €399pp, depart March 27 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine from €938pp, depart May 14 2016. 7 nights B&B 3* Vello d’Or, Taormina, Sicily from €669pp, depart May 28 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Eden, Lido di Jesolo from €669pp, depart September 24 2016. All prices include return flights, return transfers, all taxes and Topflight rep service. Visit topflight.ieor call 01 2401 700.

Ireland

The three-month Ireland 2016: Global and Diaspora Programme was launched, featuring celebrations in Argentina, an exhibition and seminar on Roger Casement in Brazil, a digitisation project in Melbourne, a production of the musical Wherever Green Is Worn in Sydney, a conference in Tokyo, a production of Sean O’Casey’s Shadow of a Gunman in Abu Dhabi, a three-week arts and culture festive in Washington DC’s JFK Centre for the Performing Arts, a commemorative event in NYC’s Pier A, and a conference on Ireland in 1916 and Finland in 1917 in Helsinki.

Lonely Planet named the centenary of the Easter Rising as one of its top special anniversaries in 2016.

English tour operator Last Night of Freedom named Dublin as its fifth most popular stag and hen party destination for 2015. The top ten: 1 Prague, 2 Newcastle, 3 Riga, 4 Budapest, 5 Dublin, 6 Amsterdam, 7 Nottingham, 8 Krakow, 9 Barcelona, 10 Bournemouth.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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


Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

  • Jan 8-13 Vakantiebeurs, Utrecht
  • Jan 14-16 Florida Huddle, Fort Lauderdale.
  • Jan 15-18 MATKA, Helsinki
  • Jan 16-18 Holiday World, Belfast
  • Jan 22 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin
  • Jan 22-29 ASEAN Tourism Forum, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
  • Jan 23-25 Holiday World, Dublin
  • Jan 28-Feb 1 FITUR, Madrid
  • Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi
  • Jan 29-Feb 1 Destinations, Olympia, London
  • Feb 10-13
    Go West Summit, Colorado Springs
  • Feb 10-11
    Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv
  • Feb 12-14 BIT, Milan
  • Feb Utazas, Budapest
  • Feb 23-24 IHF Conference, Ballyconnell
  • Feb 25-Mar 1 BTL, LIsbon
  • Mar 4-6 ITB, Berlin
  • Mar 6-8 Guangzhou International Travel Fair
  • Mar 9-12 Cruise shipping Miami
  • Mar 16-18 GIBTM, Abu Dhabi
  • Mar 18-21 MITT, Moscow
  • Mar 19-22 Tur, Gothenburg
  • Mar 24-27 Tianguis Turistico, Acapulco
  • Mar 27-28 Skål National Convention Ireland, Cork
  • Mar 31-Apr 1 Rendez Vous France, Paris
  • Apr Meitheal, Dublin
  • Apr 12-18 Mountain Travel Symposium, Whistler
  • Apr 14-16 COTTM Beijing
  • Apr 15-16 WTTC Global Summit, Madrid
  • Apr 15-17 WTM Africa, Capetown
  • Apr 21-22 Social Travel Summit, Hamburg
  • Apr 22-23 Visit Scotland Expo, Aberdeen
  • Apr 22-24 WTM South America, Sao Paolo
  • Apr 24-25 ITAA AGM & Exhibition, Citywest
  • Apr 26-28 Germany Travel Market, Erfurt and Weimar 
  • Apr 27-30 ATM, Dubai
  • May 5-7 Fitcuba, Jardines del Rey.
  • May 7 Bookabed cork –
  • May 6 andalucia golf powers court –
  • May 9-12 World Travel Fair Shanghai
  • May 9-11 Indaba, Durban
  • May 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt
  • May 20-27 Trenz New Zealand, Wellington
  • May 26-29 Rendez-vous Canada, Niagara Falls
  • May 30-June 3 2015 IPW 2015 Orlando
  • June 3-5 TTM Plus, Bangkok
  • June 15-21 Paris Air show
  • June 21-24 ATE, Melbourne
  • Sept Travelmart S America, TBA
  • Sept PATA Travel Mart, TBA
  • Sept Top Resa 2015, Paris
  • Sept FITA Mexico City
  • Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Namibia
  • Oct 18-23 Skål World Congress, Kenya coast
  • Nov 2-5 WTM 2015, London
  • Nov 17-19 EIBTM 2015, Barcelona
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
  • Nov 30 Launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 Marketing Plans, Dublin
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte
  • Nov 30-Dec 3 International Luxury Travel Market Cannes
  • Dec 4-5 Travel Centres Conference, Lyrath Hotel
  • Dec 10 World Tourism Forum Mediterranean meeting Belek
  • Dec 11 The Travel Corporation’s 5th birthday Trade Christmas Lunch, The Residence, Dublin
  • 2017
  • Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC
  • 2018
  • Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver
  • 2019 – 2024
  • Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim
  • May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas
  • April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago
  • June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando
  • May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio
  • May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

Previous editions of Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 
Nov 29Nov 22Nov 15Nov 8Nov 1

 

Oct 25Oct 18Oct 11Oct 4

Sept 27Sept 20Sept 13Sept 6

Aug 30Aug 23Aug 16Aug 9Aug 2

July 26July 19July 12July 5

June 28June 21June 14June 7

May 31May 24May 17May 10May 3

Apr 25Apr 18Apr 11Apr 4

Mar 29Mar 22Mar 15Mar 8Mar 1

Feb 22Feb 15Feb 8Feb 1

Jan 25Jan 18Jan 11Jan 4

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: January Travel Sales Start early, but So Do the Strike Threats

header december 27 2015

Val D’Isere

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

Athbhliain faoi shéan agus faoi mhaise daoibh

FIVE things you need to know about travel this week:

  • Bah humbug: The first strike threat of 2016 comes from France
  • New European airline association launched
  • The main travel sales start this weekend
  • A record year for Ireland’s leading visitor attractions
  • CSO: Visits to Ireland up 14pc for first eleven months

Travel Extra TV

video of the week december 27 2015An air hostess sang the safety briefing to the tune of Jingle Bells on a Rvan Airlines flight, our video of the week. Watch here.

  • Drone rules came into effect this week. See the IAA’s guide to registering your drone. Watch here.
  • Two strangers play Una Mattina by Ludovico Einaudi on the piano in a Paris train station. Watch here.
  • The Points Guy, Brian Kelly, experiences Etihad’s Residence suite, their new lounge in JFK T4 and their inaugural A380 flight from New York to Abu Dhabi. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus’s Home for Christmas video was watched over 80,000 times. It documents five expats’ emotional journeys home. Watch here.
  • TAP Portugal played Jingle Bells using aircraft sounds. Watch here.
  • Ryanair posted a Christmas video featuring a giddy labrador. Watch here.
  • Qatar Airways recruited Barcelona FC to explain its in-flight WiFi service. Watch here.
  • A Christmas message from Guinness Storehouse. Watch here.
  • An inexperienced flyer misunderstood a security officer’s instructions and climbed into a luggage scanner. Watch here.
  • See Qantas flight 73 land in San Francisco from Sydney. Watch here.
  • See British Airways Holidays’ TV ad. Watch here.
  • Emirates put together a cutesy animated film to showcase their Fly With Me plush toys. Watch here.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

Aer_Lingus_Airbus_A330-300The main travel sales start this weekend: Aer Lingus sale lead in prices to USA from €255 are €46 up on last year’s lead in, with Britain from €20 and Europe 50pc off, the sale runs until midnight Jan 18, travel May 1-Sept 30 2016. Emirates fares from Dublin start at €499 return to Dubai and €869 return to Australia from, book between January 5 and January 18 2016 for travel between January 15 and November 30. Topflight started their January Sale on Saturday with savings of up to €344 per person, claiming this is their biggest ever sale. Missing this year is the great Air Malaysia Australia prices of yesteryear, they have slashed capacity between KL and Australia so the prices that characterised last January are no more.

With the usual seasonal good cheer, the first strike threat of 2016 came from France. Confédération Générale du Travail, called Air France staff to strike on January 28 on the occasion of the first central works council of the year.

storehouseIt was has been a record year for dozens of Ireland’s leading visitor attractions. Guinness Storehouse will be the number one attraction in Ireland again with approximately 1,491,536,17.5pc up on last year which was also a record year. By the end of the year we 1.2m visitors will have visited the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, more than 15pc ahead of the same period last year. Katherine Webster of Moher says: All sectors of the market have been performing well. December has started softly due to the very bad weather but it is the month with the lowest visitor volume overall and will make very little difference to the final results for the year. Dublin Zoo reached 1m visitors on October 10, the earliest ever, and attracted 1,085,382 to December 14, surpassing total footfall figure for 2014, 1,076,876. The National Aquatic Centre expects to finish in fourth place, up 7pc around the 995,000 mark with Giant’s Causeway in fifth place. Tayto Park in Ashbourne are up 80pc to sixth place. Other big climbers are the National Gallery and Connemara National Park (both up 24pc), the National Museum Collins Barracks (up 21pc),  the Little Museum of Dublin (up 18pc), the Book of Kells and Chester Beatty Library (both up 17pc), The top twenty will look something like this: 1 Guinness Storehouse 1,491,536; 2 Cliffs of Moher 1,242,576; 3 Dublin Zoo 1,130,720; 4 National Aquatic Centre 996,249; 5 Giant’s Causeway Centre 827,400; 6 Tayto Park Ashbourne 765,000; 7 Book of Kells 761,057; 8 National Gallery 735,547; 9 Titanic 684,720; 10 Botanic Gardens Glasnevin 552,785; 11 National Museum Kildare St 469,494; 12 St Patrick’s Cathedral 466,423; 13 Ulster Museum 456,680; 14 Fota Wildlife Park Cork 433,620; 15 Science Gallery 411,052; 16 Rock of Cashel Tipperary 409,753; 17 Farmleigh 402773; 18 Blarney Castle 390,000; 19 Number 29 370,000; 20 Chester Beatty Library Dublin 355,680. Obviously, numbers are subject to confirmation.

willie walsh_9312A new European airline association, Airlines for Europe, is to be launched by Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group and Ryanair at the Aviation Summit in Amsterdam on January 20-21. Willie Walsh said “We’ve recognised from having multiple associations speaking on behalf of the industry is that politicians like to identify areas where we don’t agree. We will agree a position and be very loud on it. We will be very, very focused.”

Travel Trade

12 days of xmasClick and Go’s 12 days of Christmas promo continues until January 1, with giveaways including upgrades, promo codes, vouchers and airport lounge passes up for grabs on their Facebook page. Customers who book a holiday before January 1 will be entered into a draw to win a 7 night B&B holiday for two in the 4* Sea Pearl Hotel, Kusadasi.

topflight fam groupPicture shows the group from the Topflight fam trip to Austria. The group sampled the apes ski bars and slopes in Kirchberg over two days with Maurce Shiels and Melissa Whelan from Topflight. The group included Elaine Harding of Garda Holiday Club Donagh McCarthy of Lee Travel Cork, Suzanne Walsh of Just Split, Charlene Coffey of Carefree Travel, Suzanne Walsh of Just Split, Charlene Coffey of Carefree Travel, Rita Gaughan of Limerick Travel, Caitriona Duffy of Cassidy Travel and Ellen Farley of J Barter Travel Cork.

Royal Caribbean launched its Go All In promo, with selected drinks included in the price of the holiday, a 50pc discount off the cruise fare for a second guest and a 35pc discount for third and fourth stateroom guests on cruises booked by February 29 216. See Deal Watch for more.

Falcon and Thomson predict an increase in all inclusive bookings in 2016, especially for young families, an increase in the number of 10 and 14 night holidays and a bigger demand for Wi-Fi.

Hotels

stephen mcnally2According to the latest IHF Hotel Barometer, nine out of ten hotels and guesthouses reported increased business this year and 60pc have hired new staff in 2015. 92pc of hoteliers plan to refurbish their properties and invest in product development in 2016. The IHF reported increased demand for three-day Christmas packages.

London is the most searched New Year’s Eve destination for Irish users on Trivago.ie.  Dublin came in second, followed by New York City. The top 15: 1 London, 2 Dublin, 3 New York City, 4 Amsterdam, 5 Paris, 6 Galway, 7 Edinburgh, 8 Prague, 9 Killarney, 10 Tenerife, 11 Berlin, 12 Lanzarote, 13 Liverpool, 14 Manchester, 15 Brussels.

  • Travelodge completed a £100m three-year modernisation programme that brought room improvements at over 500 hotels, including the addition of king size Dreamer beds
  • Hyatt is the latest hotel group to be hacked with half of its hotels affected in data breach discovered in November.
  • The Portlaoise Heritage Hotel and Leisure Club joined the Great National Hotels and Resorts Group.
  • Connemara Sands Hotel in Clifden was awarded a 4-star rating by Fáilte Ireland.
  • Accor Hotels rolled out an emoji search feature.
  • Hilton started to trial a stricter cancelation policy at 24 hotels with a $50 cancellation fee any time after the booking is made.
  • Hyatt Hotels reported a suspected malware attack on its payment system.

International

screen-shot-2015-12-05-at-11-54-14

Dr-Richard-ButlerThe United Nations declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. UNWTO awarded the Ulysses Prize to Dr Richard Butler, Emeritus Scholar of the Strathclyde Business School, in Glasgow.

  • Istanbul’s third bridge over the Bosphorus will open by May 2016.
  • Tunisia extended its state of emergency from December 24 to February 21.
  • Wye River, a popular tourist destination in Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, was evacuated because of in a Christmas Day bushfire.
  • China’s National Tourism Administration said 120m Chinese traveled overseas in 2015, up 19.5pc from 109m the previous year and nearly 13 times the level in 1998, making it the world’s largest outbound market.
  • Portugal Tourist Board reported Irish visitors are up 9.1pc YOY January to October, making Ireland the seventh biggest market to Portugal.
  • AirPortr luggage delivery service launched at London Heathrow.
  • A Department of Homeland Security document says that TSA agents can enforce mandatory body scanner screenings for some passengers.
  • Airbnb expects to record 1m guests on New Year’s Eve, double the number last year. Paris has the highest number of guests, with 45,000 bookings.
  • The MET New York opened its Vishnu exhibition until June 5.
  • Emerald VIP Services will open a Paris office in the New Year.

Food & Wine

The IHF reported strong bookings for Christmas lunch and dinner.

The first bottle of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin was distilled at the Shed Handcraft Distillery, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim. 100,000 litres will be produced next year, generating sales of €3m.

Aviation

Dublin Airport PassengersDublin Airport reported 1m passengers were using it as a hub in 2015. Listen here to Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland about the need for new planning conditions for the parallel runway at Dublin airport.

IMG_2745Dublin Airport is to refurbish the ground floor of Terminal One, and Shannon Airport is to refurbish gates one to five including the arrivals hall, transit lounges and departure gate areas. The departure road to terminal 1 at Dublin airport has reopened.

Shannon airport handled 57,000 passengers this week, up 4pc compared to the Christmas period last year.

IAG converted 15 A320neo options into firm orders. The aircraft will be delivered in 2021 and 2022. The jets can be used by Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling for fleet replacement.

Shannon Group confirmed that chief executive Neil Pakey will leave the company at the conclusion of his three-year contract next year.

Conor McGregor L.A. - Dublin 20Dec2015Conor McGregor flew from LA to Dublin with Ethiopian to spend Christmas at the K Club in Straffan. And yes, Travel Extra’s editor still maintains MMA is not a real sport.

An explosion on board a Pegasus Airlines aircraft at Istanbul’s second airport Sabiha Gokcen killed a cleaner, injuring another and causing damage to surrounding aircraft and buildings. The DFA advice on Turkey remains unchanged although other European countries updated their advice.

John Mulligan reported that the IAA is considering remote technology in favour of building an 87-metre high control tower at Dublin Airport.

Aer Rianta International won a 10-year contract for the Abu Dhabi Airport’s Midfield terminal, where they will be responsible for the retail of perfume, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and jewellery.

ryanair from above copyRyanair added extra flights between Dublin and Bordeaux for Ireland’s Euro 2016 clash against Belgium on 18 June. Listen here to Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry speaking on RTÉ Radio’s News at One about options for Euro 2016. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry ar Raidió na Gaeltachta ag caint ar Euro 2016.

England is investigating a lawmaker’s claim that US officials prevented a British Muslim family from flying to Disneyland for a planned holiday from LAX.

Online retailer Amazon is reportedly in talks to lease 20 B767s to launch an air delivery service.

Rayani Air, a Sharia airline that complies with Islamic claw, banning alcohol and serving halal food, launched this week.

A couple was detained in Paris over the fake bomb left in a toilet that caused Air France flight 463 to make an emergency landing in Kenya.

Dublin Airport was briefly evacuated because a smoke alarm went off, believed to be triggered by a passenger smoking in the toilet.

Etihad Airways announced an agreement to use Luggage Logistics’ baggage management system to deliver and track luggage.

Aer Lingus received 2,800 applications for 12 places on its 2016 Cadet Pilot Training Programme.

Frankfurt Airport welcomed its 60 millionth passenger.

Bombardier executive chairman Pierre Beaudoin will step down in Q1 2016.

Mexico was added to BA’s World Sale, starting from €337.

ed force oneIron Maiden’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson will pilot the band’s B747 Ed Force One during their upcoming world tour.

Qualtrics’ Passenger Pain Index found that one in five of the 520 American flyers surveyed say lost luggage is what bothers them the most about air travel, and 48pc said they would consider never flying with an airline again if it lost their luggage.

Afloat

empress of the seasRoyal Caribbean announced details of its WAVE promotion under its new brand slogan, Where Extraordinary Happens, in a bid to drive the ‘new to cruise’ market. Royal Caribbean will bring Empress of the Seas back to Miami in March 2016, offering short Caribbean itineraries.

crystal espiritCrystal Cruises launched the 62-passenger yacht, Crystal Espirit, in the Seychelles.

Stena Line, rebranded Santa Line as part of its Christmas promo, carried 135,000 passengers over the Christmas period.

Disney Cruise cancelled calls to Turkey, Greece, and Malta in August “due to unrest and uncertainty in the region”.

An eight-year-old boy tragically drowned in a swimming pool on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas.

ifly sky diveRoyal Caribbean started charging for the use of its RipCord by iFly sky diving simulator and the North Star observation capsule on Quantum of the Seas.

A number of countries have citizens to exercise caution when applying for jobs on cruise ships via the internet. The International Transport Workers Union has also posted warnings of on-line scams offering fake jobs in the cruise industry.

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

falcon deal watchFalcon Easter offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Bitacora Club, Lanzarote from €1,350 2+1 and from €1,799 2+2, depart March 20 2016. 7 nights self catering 4* Villa Mandi, Tenerife from €1,599 2+1 and from €2,099 2+2, depart March 18 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Punta del Rey, Tenerife from €1,739 2+1 and from €2,319 2+2. Other offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Dunas Mirador, Gran Canaria from €499pps, depart January 9 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Hyde Park Lane, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €449pps, depart January 31 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Punta Del Rey, las Caletillas, Tenerife from €399pps, depart February 5 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Blue Lagoon Resort, Kos from €2,299 2+1 and from €3,689 2+2, depart June 20 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Club Alize, Marmaris, Turkey from €1,829 2+1 and from €2,459 2+2, depart June 27 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Catalonia Riviera Maya, Cancun from €1,929pps, depart July 4 2016. Falcon #NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Sun Beach, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €399pps, depart June 4 2016. Visit www.falconholidays.ie or call  1850 858 229.

thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights self catering Riu Helios Bay, Obzor, Bulgaria from €489pps, depart May 23 2016. 7 nights all inclusive Blue Bay, Marmaris, Turkey from €739pps, depart May 30 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Riu Cancun from €2,359pps, depart July 4 2016. 7 nights half board Sol Princesa Decil, Los Cristianos, Tenerife from €619pps, depart February 5 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach Princess, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €379pps, depart January 16 2016. 7 nights half board Hioptel Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €689pps, depart January 31 2016. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Norwegian Cruise Line passengers who book a Freestyle cruise by Januayar 3 are offered a choice of two extras from the following list: speciality dining package; premium drinks package; 250-minute internet package; $100 on-board spending money. Call 0845 201 8900.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 4* Hilton Garden Inn Bar Hotel from €235pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel in April 2016. 7 nights B&B 4* Diverhotel Tenerife Spa & Gardens Hotel from €379pp incl. retune flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in February 2016. 3 nights B&B 4* Union Praha Hotel, Prague from €179pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel in February 2016. 7 nights self catering 4* Paraiso de Albufeira Apartments, the Algarve from €229pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in January 2016. Visit clickandgo.com.

Sunway Lapland 2016 offers: 1 night trip from €859 per adult and €759 per child, depart Dublin or Cork December 10 and 17 2016. 2 night trip from €1,199 per adult and €999 per child, depart Dublin December 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 2016. Visit sunway.ie/lapland or call 01  231 1800.

Topflight January sale offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Crest Apartments, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €299pp, depart January 10 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Sporthotel Austria, St Johann from €699pp, depart January 9 2016. 7 nights 3* Chalet Sorrier 2, La Plane, France from €669pp, depart January 23 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Pedra dos Bucos, Albufeira from €449pp, depart May 7 2016. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Tivoli Victoria, Vilamoura from €739pp, depart May 14 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Jable Bermudas, Puerto del Carmen from €489pp, depart April 2 2016. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Beatriz Playa, Puerto del Carmen from €699pp, depart April 9 2016. 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia Resort, Peschiera from €399pp, depart March 27 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine from €938pp, depart May 14 2016. 7 nights B&B 3* Vello d’Or, Taormina, Sicily from €669pp, depart May 28 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Eden, Lido di Jesolo from €669pp, depart September 24 2016. All prices include return flights, return transfers, all taxes and Topflight rep service. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 2401 700.

Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights all in France and Spain cruise on Independence of the Seas from €1,285pp, depart May 28 2016. 7 nights all in Norway cruise on Navigator of the Seas from €1,170pp, depart May 30 2016. 7 nights all in Western Mediterranean cruise on Harmony of the Seas from €1,598pp, depart August 21 2016. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Tourism NI deal watchTourism NI offers: 1 night B&B Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Bangor from £55pps, available until January 31, call (028) 9185 2500. 1 night B&B Ibis Hotel, Belfast City Centre from £68pps incl. two tickets to Crumlin Road Gaol, available until December 31, call (028) 9023 8888. 1 night B&B Corick House Hotel & Spa, Clogher from £115pps incl. a 60-minute spa treatment, access to hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room, and a 4-course a la carte dinner in the Carleton restaurant, available until December 31, call (028) 8554 8216.

Ireland

belmond1Images of Belmond Grand Hibernian were released. The luxury sleeper train will commence service in August 2016 with 2, 4 and 6-night itineraries available.

CSO figures showed that visits to Ireland was up 14pc for the first 11 months of 2015 with 8m visitors, above Tourism Ireland’s estimate of 7.9m. Visits from Europe were up 15.9pc, North America up 14.1pc, Britain up 12.5pc and ROW up 13.3pc.

STARRING ROLE FOR CASTLETOWN HOUSE IN TOURISM IRELAND’S NEW GLOBAL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNTourism Ireland will roll out its Ireland’s Ancient East online ad campaign in January, targeting all 23 markets. A TV ad was filmed a few months ago at Castletown House, Glendalough, Newgrange, Kilkenny Castle, Waterford city and the Rock of Cashel. Picture shows Brian Twomey of Tourism Ireland, actor Zeff Lawless, make-up artist Shirley Talbot, cameraman Piers McGrail and director Stevie Russell during filming at Castletown House.

An article on Kilkenny appeared in Australia’s Traveller magazine.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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


Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

Jan 8-13 Vakantiebeurs, Utrecht

Jan 14-16 Florida Huddle, Fort Lauderdale.

Jan 15-18 MATKA, Helsinki

Jan 16-18 Holiday World, Belfast

Jan 22 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin

Jan 22-29 ASEAN Tourism Forum, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Jan 23-25 Holiday World, Dublin

Jan 28-Feb 1 FITUR, Madrid

Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi

Jan 29-Feb 1 Destinations, Olympia, London

Feb 10-13
Go West Summit, Colorado Springs

Feb 10-11
Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv

Feb 12-14 BIT, Milan

Feb Utazas, Budapest

Feb 23-24 IHF Conference, Ballyconnell

Feb 25-Mar 1 BTL, LIsbon

Mar 4-6 ITB, Berlin

Mar 6-8 Guangzhou International Travel Fair

Mar 9-12 Cruise shipping Miami

Mar 16-18 GIBTM, Abu Dhabi

Mar 18-21 MITT, Moscow

Mar 19-22 Tur, Gothenburg

Mar 24-27 Tianguis Turistico, Acapulco

Mar 27-28 Skål National Convention Ireland, Cork

Mar 31-Apr 1 Rendez Vous France, Paris

Apr Meitheal, Dublin

Apr 12-18 Mountain Travel Symposium, Whistler

Apr 14-16 COTTM Beijing

Apr 15-16 WTTC Global Summit, Madrid

Apr 15-17 WTM Africa, Capetown

Apr 21-22 Social Travel Summit, Hamburg

Apr 22-23 Visit Scotland Expo, Aberdeen

Apr 22-24 WTM South America, Sao Paolo

Apr 24-25 ITAA AGM & Exhibition, Citywest

Apr 26-28 Germany Travel Market, Erfurt and Weimar 

Apr 27-30 ATM, Dubai

May 5-7 Fitcuba, Jardines del Rey.

May 7 Bookabed cork –

May 6 andalucia golf powers court –

May 9-12 World Travel Fair Shanghai

May 9-11 Indaba, Durban

May 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt

May 20-27 Trenz New Zealand, Wellington

May 26-29 Rendez-vous Canada, Niagara Falls

May 30-June 3 2015 IPW 2015 Orlando

June 3-5 TTM Plus, Bangkok

June 15-21 Paris Air show

June 21-24 ATE, Melbourne

Sept Travelmart S America, TBA

Sept PATA Travel Mart, TBA

Sept Top Resa 2015, Paris

Sept FITA Mexico City

Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Namibia

Oct 18-23 Skål World Congress, Kenya coast

Nov 2-5 WTM 2015, London

Nov 17-19 EIBTM 2015, Barcelona

Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte

Nov 30 Launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 Marketing Plans, Dublin

Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte

Nov 30-Dec 3 International Luxury Travel Market Cannes

Dec 4-5 Travel Centres Conference, Lyrath Hotel

Dec 10 World Tourism Forum Mediterranean meeting Belek

Dec 11 The Travel Corporation’s 5th birthday Trade Christmas Lunch, The Residence, Dublin

2017

Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast

Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin

June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC

2018

Jan 19-21 2018 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast

Jan 26-28 2018 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin

May 19-23 2018 IPW (Pow Wow), Denver

2019 – 2024

Jan 18-20 2019 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast

Jan 25-27 2019 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin

June 1-5 2019 IPW (Pow Wow), Anaheim

May 30 –June 3 2020 IPW (Pow Wow), Las Vegas

April 24-28 2021 IPW (Pow Wow), Chicago

June 4-8 2022 IPW (Pow Wow), Orlando

May 20-23, 2023 IPW (Pow Wow), San Antonio

May 4-8, 2024 IPW (Pow Wow), Los Angeles

Previous editions of Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 
Nov 29Nov 22Nov 15Nov 8Nov 1

Previous issues
November 2015: Winter cruise issue
October 2015: Ski issue
September 2015: Accommodation issue
July/August 2015: Wintersun issue
June 2015: USA issue
May 2015: The Australia issue
April 2015: Summer Cruise issue
March 2015: Industry Awards issue
February 2015: Holiday World issue