Author Archives: Sixdayexpert

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Shocking News From Sousse – The Implications



Jesse Graham's picture of  Dante the Maremma and Maliki the dingo at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria, Australia.

Jesse Graham’s picture of Dante the Maremma and Maliki the dingo at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria, Australia.

The headlines this week:

  • Why we should support Tunisia
  • Sunway & Justsunshine Tunisia programmes to continue
  • ATM anxiety over my big fat Greek divorce
  • French air traffic controllers to strike next week
  • NYC & Company come to town
  • Melbourne hosts biggest ever ATE

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week June 28 2015Our video of the week shows the magnificent seals of Phillip Island, showing what they’ve got for Sunday Supplement readers. Watch here.

  • Ultra-light aircraft pilots: remember to check for stowaway cats when you’re carrying out your pre-flight checks. This high flying feline hitched a ride on Romain Jantot’s aircraft. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland launched two online videos promoting Galway International Arts Festival (watch here) and Kilkenny Arts Festival (watch here).
  • Last week, we had footage of a tourist being swept away in a military parade. This week, a Queen’s guard couldn’t take one visitor’s shenanigans a moment longer and pulled a gun on him. Watch here.
  • This is the story of the Headings family and their journey to the Grand Canyon. Bob Headings, who is paralysed from the waist down, hiked the South Kaibab and Bright Angel trail with his three sons and eight grandsons. Watch here.
  • See Northern Irish Connections’ showcase of Ireland’s expat artists. Watch here.
  • This video of a couple getting engaged on an Aer Lingus flight received over 3,000 likes and 260 shares on Facebook. Watch here.


LornaThe Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel is Sousse has been a favourite with the Irish for years, two kilometres from the marina area, right on the beach, with local shops and restaurants 400 metres away. It was here that Lorna Carty, nee Harlin, from Robinstown, Dunderry Co Meath came with her husband Declan who was recuperating from heart surgery and went for a last walk on the beach before the Friday night charter back to Dublin. It was here that she died at 11.58am local time on Friday, under the Tunisian sun, among 38 victims (and counting) of a gun attack. Travel Extra extends our sympathies to everyone affected by the tragedy, her distraught husband, her son Simon the Meath footballer and Hazel who as on a post Leaving Cert holiday.

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 00.28.26The two operators serving the Tunisian market, Sunway, whose customer Lorna was, and Justsunshine, are to continue with their Tunisia programme. Friday night’s flight departed late with 112 deciding to go ahead with the holiday and 59 opting for either a refund or an alternative destination. People who were due to stay at the hotel where the attack took place declined an offer to be moved to another hotel and indicated they would check into the hotel. Last year, 6m tourists visited Tunisia, only a million fewer than in 2010 when the autocratic president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, still ruled. Tourism generates 15pc of GDP and 14pc of total employment. But in March, militants attacked the capital’s Bardo museum, killing 21 foreigners, unsettling tour operators. The attack in Sousse may now doom Charlie_Flanagan_2014this summer’s season. Within hours of the attack, Charlie Flanagan has advised “In light of this incident we are changing our travel advice for Tunisia to ’exercise extreme caution’” though he stopped short of advising against visiting the coastal resorts. This is wise. One way for evil to triumph is to allow this and the Bardot museum attacks to kill off Tunisia’s tourist industry. From Ireland 5,674 people visited Tunsia last year, a market that had 24,000 seats from Ireland back in 2002. It is important that they still go, but equally important that the Tunisians can guarantee their safety. Sousse was also the scene of a failed suicide bombing attempt in October 2013, when a man was spotted approaching a hotel in a suicide vest and chased on to the empty beach, where he blew himself up.  Anyone who may have concerns about family or friends in Tunisia should contact +3531-4180200.

Tara WhelanThe attack happened ten years almost to the day since the last Irish victim of a militant bomb attack: post Leaving Cert holiday maker Tara Whelan from Kilmeaden, Co Waterford, who died in the Ladies Beach minibus bombing in Kuşadasıi on July 16, 2005. Political unrest is an unlikely cause of death abroad: just under 200 Irish people die while abroad each year and the major killers are the same things that kill most people at home. Tragic events like road accidents and drownings and routine medical events like heart attacks.

David ScowsillDavid Scowsill of the World Travel & Tourism Council said in response to the Sousse attack: Tourism is a force for good in the world with its great economic and social benefits. It is important that travel organisations and travellers continue to support Tunisia, whilst the government takes appropriate measures on security.”

ATM anxiety overtook the tourism industry this week as Greek negotiations seemed to become shipwrecked between Scylla and Person_uses_a_bank's_ATM_in_a_street_in_Athens,_GreeceCharybdis. Holiday makers were warned that credit cards might not work and ATMs would run out of money as Greek exit loomed, then receded, then loomed again. Speaking on RTÉ Radio Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry said the fears were based on the situation in Cyprus in February 2013 when the banking system effectively shut down for 48 hours and there was no cause for alarm in Greece. Those who intended bringing more cash should remember there is typically a cash limit of €250 on travel insurance policies and most policies do not cover disinclination to travel.

French ATC union, Roger Rousseau’s SNCTA intends to strike for four days from Tuesday June 30 to Friday July 3. Ryanair called on the French Government and the EU Commission to allow other EU ATCs to operate French overflights.

Ethiopian airlines crewEthiopian Airlines hosted the Irish trade at the Crown Plaza in Santry to commemorate the inaugural Ethiopian services to Addis and to LAX using the airline’s Dreamliner. Similarly an event in Los Angeles was held at Spago, owned by Wolfgang Puck and his wife Gelila whose mother, appropriately, was an Ethiopian airlines flight attendant. Ethiopian report a phenomenal start to the route, with Dublin powering ahead for the first three months of service and in both directions.  The airline described it as a most successful start up and Addis Adaba in particular is going great guns. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Lindsay White, Etihad Airways Vice President for Asia Pacific South and ...Queenland’s Gold Coast will host the Australian Tourism Exchange in 2016 (as first reported by Travel Extra). The date has not been confirmed but is likely to be May 15-19. The show saw a 20pc increase in international buyers compared to last year’s admittedly constrained but enjoyable affair in Cairns. Highlights of the event included the announcement of a five-year, A$30m marketing partnership deal between Tourism Australia and Etihad, whose double daily service from Dublin links to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney through Abu Dhabi. The annual event brings together 600 overseas travel buyers from 30 countries to meet with around 1,200 Australian tourism operators. Visits from Ireland are up 2.7pc so far in 2015. Ireland sent 61,800 visitors to Australia in 2014, marginally down on 2013.

John O'SullivanSpeaking to Travel Extra during the event Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan reiterated the commitment to the trade and said Ireland would be one of the 17 markets where the next phase of the Australia Specialist trade programme would be rolled out. He said Ireland’s high per capita spend and the dispersal rate of the Irish visitors throughout the six Australia states gave this market, the 16th biggest inbound market (and fifth largest European inbound) to Australia, added value for Tou6ism Australia. Despite its population of 6.4m, Ireland has double the inbound visitor numbers of more populous Spain. Denmark, Belgium or Austria.

Darryl Ismail Eoghan corryATE’s social circuit, back in a big city environment, lived up to its reputation as one of the best on the circuit. Media night on Friday before the opening was at a pop up venue, 220 Spencer Street, about to become a cafe called Higher Ground. The after media marketplace event was at Hilton South Wharf and Monday night’s official welcome event was at Shed 14, Central Pier, where Darryl Ismail of Innstant Travel and Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry led the Irish delegation. Tourism Victoria buyers function on the Wednesday was at the National Gallery Victoria, Great Hall and the farewell function at Cargo Hall, South Wharf. Melbourne is famously the capital of fusion food, a city with 2,000 cafes and 3,600 eateries where 178,320 meals can be served simultaneously, but there were still queues. While Travel Extra was entertained by Bria Lamberton of Art Hotel Group at the supremely chic and cheerful Olsen Hotel, there was a waiting time of 1 hour 45 minutes at Supernatural and a long queue outside Chin Chin although Lucy Lu’s was easier. Zoe Shurgold of Tourism Victoria led a party of musical media to FMs on Burke St. Just as well events in the karaoke bar were left unrecorded and unsubjected to display on the roasted spit of social media.

Etihad’s lounge in Abu Dhabi is a starred restaurant in its own right, complete with shower facilites and a spread of food across the two islands: breaded fish with tartar sauce, chicken a la king, baked macaroni vegetable, white rice, lamb with okraand vegetable biriyani on one island, sandwiches and salads including Moroccan tricolour capsicum salad and baby genoush and lashings of hummus on the other island.

NYC and companyNYC & Company visited Dublin and Belfast this week, showcasing The New New York to the travel trade and press. So what exactly is The New New York? Basically, it is a catch-all for any development that could replenish itineraries and show repeat visitors that the city still has a lot to offer. It encompasses everything from the 10,000 additional hotel rooms slated for this year to the 7 Line subway extension. Not to mention the host of new attractions and experiences open now — One World Observatory, Eliis Island National Museum of Immigration, 9/11 Memorial and Museum — and set to open over the next three years —the New York Wheel, the Super Pier, Empire shopping outlet. Picture shows Tryphavana Cross of Hills Balfour with Reginald Charlot, Christoper C Heywood, Fred Dixon and Mikako Matsuda Healy, all NYC & Company, at NYC & Company’s press lunch in The Residence. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

fred dixonCEO and President Fred Dixon was in town to tout the initiative. He is hoping to ease Irish visitor numbers up slightly by 1.4pc to 220,000. “We feel good about where [the Irish market] is,” he told Conor McMahon of Travel Extra. “Market fluctuation isn’t necessarily a good thing, so we’re happy to hang on to the market share we have.” New York City is looking to attract 58.1m visitors this year and wants to lure visitors into all five boroughs in order to get them to spend more and stay longer.

Taylor Swift NYCThe 18-34 years bracket makes up the largest demographic travelling from Ireland. With that in mind, the woman who stood up to Apple and won, pop singer Taylor Swift, makes a suitable global welcome ambassador, adding an optimistic energy to NYC & Company’s campaigns. Fees for her music, her image and her handwritten script have been donated to help fund public schools.

Meanwhile, Dora the Explorer is serving as the city’s family ambassador. She is the first bilingual ambassador since the programme was founded in 2009 (she speaks Spanish). 11pc of Irish visitors travelled with children last year.

tigsHelen Kelly (35 points) and first time winner Aaron Bolt (39 points) were the overall winners of the Travel Industry Golf Society event sponsored by Amadeus at Dun Laoghaire golf club, where 54 golfers were hosted for lunch and a 2.30 pm shotgun start. Aaron travelled down from Belfast where he works with World Travel Centre/Selective Travel. TIGS Treasurer Helen Kelly and TIGS member John Galligan were instrumental in bringing TIGS to Dun Laoghaire. Other winners included Philip Airey (Sunway, Winner Gents Cat 1), Eileen Penrose (Winner Ladies Front 9), Ann Marie Dalton (Turkish Airlines, Winner Ladies Back 9), Graham Aldren (Winner Gents Cat 2), Robbie Smart (Travelport, Winner Nearest the Pin). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

victoriaIt started as a bet, that you could not grow pinot noir on Mornington Peninsula, so when Tourism Victoria hosted travel writers on a tour of Mornington Travel Extra had to go along to investigate. The group visited Healesville animal sanctuary, stayed at Chateau Yering and Oak Tree Lodge, went truffle hunting with Thomas the springer spaniel in red Hills, visited the Penguin Parade and seals of Phillip Island, and sampled the peninsula wine tasting on horseback experience, dined in Meletos Café, Dominique Portet, Coombe Melba Estate, Cape Kitchen, Foreshore Bar & Restaurant, and Port Phillip Estate. Picture shows travel writers and their hosts in Healesville Sanctuary during a post-famil after Australian Tourism Exchange in Melbourne June 23 2015, Georgia Millard of Zoos Victoria, Guiliana Matamese from Milan, Jackie Loftus-Hills of Tourism Victoria, Ryan Ruchansky of Travelpulse USA, Raras Cahyafitri of the Jakarta Post, Eric Rosen from Los Angeles, Michele Stevenson of Tourism Victoria, Richira Bose from Delhi, Peter Janseon of Tourism Victoria, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra Ireland, Front: Megan Croucher and Mel Baxter from Healesville Sanctuary. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel writers and their hosts in Sri Lanka: Nalin Perera of Sri Lanka tourism ,Josephine Price of ABTA Magazine, Mary O'Sullivan, Travel Editor of the Sunday Independent, Vivienne Nicoll of the Evening Times Glasgow, Emily Fairbairn of the Sun, Cameron Roberts of Seling Travel, Front: Lynn Houghton from London and Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra at the olf fort, Galle, Sri Lanka, June 27 2015

Picture shows travel writers and their hosts in Sri Lanka where the group are touring the west coast of the island: Nalin Perera of Sri Lanka tourism ,Josephine Price of ABTA Magazine, Mary O’Sullivan, Travel Editor of the Sunday Independent, Vivienne Nicoll of the Evening Times Glasgow, Emily Fairbairn of the Sun, Cameron Roberts of Selling Travel, Front: Lynn Houghton from London and Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra, Galle, Sri Lanka. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

berkeleyAll six victims of the Berkeley balcony collapse were laid to rest this week. The J1 community came together at various events across the US to pay their respects and to support each other. The camaraderie on display at home and abroad served as a reminder that the J1 programme is an important cultural institution. It has inspired scores of young travellers for 50 years. It is regretful that it takes a tragedy like this for us to remind us of that fact.

Travel Trade

fun dayThe programme for the Travel Trade Fun Day in Wanderers Rugby Club on August 16 will include rodeo bull, giant puzzles, bungee run, sumo suits, mega slide, bubble ball, five-a-side and BBQ. Charities include Laura Lynn, Harold’s Cross Hospice, Dogs Aid, Enable Ireland and Autism Action Ireland. Sponsors include Aer Lingus, Blue Insurance, Etihad, E-travel, Sunway and Topflight.

nyc and co winnersRoisin Carberry of Topflight and Helen O’Flaherty of World Travel Centre won trips to New York City at NYC & Company’s agents quiz in The Westbury hotel. Runner up Lisa Coady of Budget Travel won two tickets to Taylor Swift’s sold out gig in the 3Arena. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Bobby Healy’s CarTrawler was profiled by Business and Leadership.

Lowcostbeds trade promotion: Book any Blue Sea property in Malta up to July 31 and earn a €5 One4all voucher.

Zurich-based Kuoni is selling its tour operators, specialists and travel agencies in Britain, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Finland and Benelux to German retailer Rewe, to focus on its core business as a service provider to the global travel industry

Marc_Mulcahy_TNZ_UK_Trade-300x224As reported by Travel Extra, Dublin born Marc Mulcahy was appointed New Zealand’s Travel Trade Development Consultant, Ireland and Britain. He will join Regional Manager Danielle Genty-Nott in developing and implementing Tourism New Zealand’s trade strategy. Mulcahy was Business Development Manager at Nomad Safaris in Queenstown having previous worked in hotels and ski operations in Scotland and New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Business Studies.

Skal’s annual trip to the Park Hotel Kenmare took place Wednesday.

See Go Gal’s guide to selling Portugal.


Hastings Hotels 4Hastings Hotels will invest £30m in Windsor House under the new name, Belfast Grand Central Hotel. The hotel is expected to open in 2018 and will have 200 bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, 18 serviced apartments and offices pending planning permission. Picture shows the Hastings family.

Dalata, which owns 17 hotels in Ireland and leases or manages 29 others, is to invest €27m in its hotel group and rebrand the Bewleys hotels it took over earlier this year with its Clayton Hotels brand.

thedeanThe Dean hotel featured in Condé Nast’s best new hotels hot list.

Fáilte Ireland awarded Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick a four-star rating following a €1m refurbishment.

  • The five star Aqua Village Health Resort & Spa opens in Oliveria do Hospital, Portugal on August 1.
  • A report by Exceltur tourism association found that private rented holiday homes in Spain outnumber the number of hotel beds.
  • Virgin Hotels will open a property in the Design District, Dallas in 2018.
  • Hilton Worldwide is to open a Hilton Garden Inn howe in Mbabane, Swaziland.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts will invest $300m in its Luxury Collection brand in North America.
  • prison hotelDoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands opened on the banks of the Thames.
  • Hyatt Regency Makkah opened in Saudi Arabia.
  • Tom Cruise’s $59m ski lodge in Telluride, Colorado is up for sale.
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts opened a hotel in Hefei, China.
  • Prison break, anyone? Check out Trivago’s Orange is the New Black-inspired hotel suggestions here.


Chicago_Lakefront_2A devastating blow for Choose Chicago: As of July 1, it will not receive its statutory mandated funding from Illinois’ hotel tax, which makes up 40pc of its operating budget. The organisation stands to lose $12m. As a result, the summer Chicago Epic campaign has been shorted by two weeks and the winter campaign will be put on hold.

Courtney tweetsFrance ordered an outright ban on Uber after a day of nationwide protests by taxi drivers which blocked access to Paris airports. Rockstar Courtney Love claimed that her taxi driver was kidnapped.

Travelport Hotelzon announced a partnership with Cabforce taxi booking service.

Russia Latvia picGaffe of the week: A Russian Tourism ad in The New York Times accidentally used a picture of Rundāle Palace in Latvia instead.

Travelport signed up SWISS airline to its Rich Content and Branding and Smartpoint products.

Madame Tussauds New York unveiled its renovated lobby and a wax figure of rock star Pink. The singer is suspended 25ft in the air on silk ropes.

Young Australians are more likely to save for a holiday than a house: 32pc of Australians aged 25 to 34 said they were saving for travel compared to 14pc who said they were saving for a house deposit.

Thailand reported 12.4m visitors from January to May, up 25pc YOY.

Nine lives were lost in a light aircraft crash in Alaska.

Mercury Security Management’s holiday security tips offer much of the same old advice — lock your doors , leave a radio on, ask a neighbour to mind the house, etc. But they also offer tips that holidaymakers might overlook: Be mindful of how many strangers can access your social media content – you don’t want strangers to know that nobody is home. Make sure your house insurance covers you for the entire duration of your break. Use an ultraviolet pen to mark items of value in case they later need to be identified.

  • El Capitan cliff face in Yosemite national park is available to see on Google Street View.
  • Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 01.34.27MileHi mobile app was launched. Targeting frequent business travellers, it allows users to message fellow passengers.
  • Expedia partnered with Girls Who Code, a non-profit organisation that aims to establish a gender balance in IT.
  • A White House poll found that Hillary Clinton is the presidential candidate most Americans would want to travel with this summer. Marco Rubio came in at number two and Jeb Bush was third.  Only 0.6pc of the vote said they would like to travel with Jim Web.
  • Tampa International Airport’s marketing team saw an opportunity when Hobbes the plush tiger showed up in Lost and Found: They photographed the missing tiger throughout his grand tour of the airport before returning the toy to its owner in Texas.
  • You’ll either love or hate Marmite’s PR stunt: For the next month 70g jars of Marmite will be available in supermarkets — small enough for hand luggage.

Food and Wine

  • marquetteDublin Airport is to open Marquette, a market-syle dining area, in Terminal 1 this August. The restaurant area will cater for 260 people from 5am to the last flight of the day.
  • Mexico City replaced New Delhi as the destination with the most affordable club sandwich in the annual index. Dublin placed 19th of 38 cities (total €39.78) in a price index featuring a burger meal (€17.62), cup of coffee €2.99), glass of house red wine (€6.62), and club sandwich (€12.56).
  • The Arch, the new BBQ and Al fresco dining area at Carton House opens on Friday with an appearance by the cocktail specialists of the Dead Rabbit Bar in New York.


willie walsh_9312IAG gave details of the concessions it is willing to offer to win European Union regulatory approval for its planned acquisition of Aer Lingus. Bloomberg reported IAG has not made any offer to surrender London Heathrow slots but has offered to connect passengers from Ireland with rivals’ long-haul flights. The European Commission extended the deadline for its decision on the bid from July 1 to 15 July, the day before the Aer Lingus EGM. Oddly, the Commission raised concerns related to the Dublin-Chicago route.

The European Commission updated EU Air Safety List lifted the ban on airlines from the Philippines imposed in 2010. No new bans were imposed.

Michael CawleyMichael Cawley told 350 airport delegates at ACI EUROPE’s Annual Congress in Prague: “Be more like Dubai and integrate tourism and aviation policy – in Europe aviation is seen as a source of taxation, not as an economic stimulus, but it is my experience, as both an airline and now a tourism authority boss, that the downstream tourist spend benefits are 10 times the air fare! The benefits only exist because the airline routes exist.” At the ACI Awards in Prague Cork was placed in the top three in Europe for customer service, facilities, retail, security, community relations and environmental awareness and operations.

ryanairData from the IATA confirmed that Ryanair is the largest airline in the world. Delta has higher overall passenger numbers, but Ryanair carries more passengers in terms of international routes: 86.3m last year, well ahead of easyJet’s 56.3m. Ralph Anker reported Ryanair will account for 39pc of European seat growth over the next five years.

Cityjet plan to operate from Cork to London City from September, to be announced at a  press conference at Cork Airport at 11am on Wednesday.

It was rumoured that Flybe plan to move their Knock service from Manchester to Birmingham.

malaysiaMalaysia Airlines, who offer some of the lowest fares on the Australia run from Ireland is to close Kuala Lumpur-Brisbane (currently daily A330-300) from August 8, reduce Melbourne and Sydney from 3 to 2 daily, and Adelaide from daily to 4w. The airline is considering the sale of two A380s and both of its 747 freighters. The airline is also reassessing its 777 fleet.

judge WeatherupBelfast High Court Judge Weatherup ruled in favour of Aer Lingus in its £20m lawsuit by Belfast International Airport over its decision to quit Aldergrove and move to Belfast City Airport in 2012 and said Aer Lingus only had a pricing agreement with BIA for using it as a base. According to Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus lost €44m in the venture.

Gary Montgomery MD of Thompson Aero Seating said the Portadown business wanted to grow sales £40m in the next two years after increasing Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 01.47.55turnover 90pc to £51m last year. Pre-tax profits increased by £6.1m to £10.6m in the year to March 2015, staff numbers grew from 119 to 223. The firm supplies business calss seating to Aer Lingus and Delta.

The 269 United Airlines passengers on a flight from Rome to Chicago diverted to offload a disruptive passenger last week slept on an airport floor at Belfast International overnight ascrew were out of hours.

RTÉ screened a documentary on Tony Ryan as part of its A Legacy series.

Ryanair is evaluating on board Wi-Fi but are not prepared to move until the pricing is reduced.

Bjoern Kjos said Norwegian Air Shuttle will buy 17 B787s to double its long-haul fleet as soon as US regulators approve flights on its Irish subsidiary. Otherwise it will scrap its B787 order and increase the number of US flights on the parent company’s existing B787s.

Ryanair applied for slots at Paris Orly next winter for daily services to Madrid and Faro.

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 01.49.34Kerry Airport chairman Denis Cregan told the airport AGM he is seeking new routes to England and Germany with current partners Ryanair and potential new airlines. Ryanair has an 83pc load target, current load factor on Kerry-Luton is 78pc, and Kerry-Dublin 61pc.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Stormont administration has resisted urgings to abolish Air Passenger Duty at Belfast’s two airports and at Derry.

Royal Bruneis is to expand its regional network within Asia-Pacific and increase its fleet form six to nine under a five year business plan by deputy chairman Dermot Mannion. Royal Brunei, which recently restructured its wide body fleet, remains loss-making but “the numbers are improving all the time,” according to Dermot Mannion.

Vietnam approved plans to build a US$16bn airport at Long Thanh near Ho Chi Minh City as a competitor to airline hubs Bangkok and Singapore.

pilots selfieThis selfie cost two pilots their jobs with Argentinian Airlines: They breached security laws by posing for a picture with model Victoria Xipolitakis.

Alan Joyce’s speechwriter Lucinda Holdforth warned she would go guerrilla if Qantas tried to block Fighting Words, a book about her time working there, including the controversial grounding of its fleet in 2011.

Dennis A Muilenburg takes over as new CEO of Boeing on Wednesday. Jim McNerney, who held the position for the past 10 years, continues as chairman.

24 June 2015; GAAGO, the GAA and RTÉ’s online streaming service for Gaelic Games outside of Ireland, today welcomed Etihad Airways on board as sponsor of its international live streaming of the GAA Championship 2015. Pictured at the launch are Beatrice Cosgrove, General Manager Ireland, Etihad Airways, with from left, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Aogán Ó Fearghail, Noel Quinn, Media Rights Manager GAA, and Dónal Moriarty, Product Leader GAAGO. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

Etihad Airways will once again sponsor on board streaming of the 2015 GAA Championship. Picture shows Beatrice Cosgrove, General Manager Ireland, Etihad Airways, with  Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Aogán Ó Fearghail, Noel Quinn, Media Rights Manager GAA, and Dónal Moriarty, Product Leader GAAGO.

Fly Leasing will sell 33 aircraft for US$985m this year as part of its ongoing fleet renewal plan.

Ryanair launched its Christmas season countdown with 3,500 extra flights.

Delta Airlines is discontinuing Los Angeles and Newark-Heathrow B767-300ER services from October 5 2015. The routes will continue to be operated by joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic.

Etihad Flight College - Embraer 100E - LREtihad Flight College signed a purchase agreement for four Embraer Phenom 100E aircraft.

Armagh man Roy Kinnear, formerly of Etihad Airways, was appointed chief executive of Air Seychelles.

AWAS is to place two A321s with VietJet Air on long term lease.

Avolon delivered a B737-800 to Hainan Airlines.

TripAdvisor launched dedicated airport pages offering travelling advice on what to do, where to eat and where to stay at 200 airports listed on the site. Singapore’s Changi Airport is the first to be listed on the site.

An Air Corps CASA CN-235, with members of No 101 Surveillance and Airlift Squadron, joined crews from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden to participate in the 2015 Super CEPCO – Coordinated Extended Pollution Control Operation – over the Baltic Sea.

  • siberian tigerTransaero unveiled its Siberian Tiger B747-400 livery in a bid to raise awareness of the endangered animal’s struggles.
  • British Airways will modify 130 older A320s to reduce noise on final approach to London Gatwick.
  • Virgin Atlantic will operate four flights from Belfast International to Orlando next year.
  • Four flight attendants are suing Boeing, alleging that they were contaminated with bad cabin air.
  • Lufthansa will fit its 100th A320 with noise-reduction vortex generators.
  • Singapore Airlines is in talks with Airbus and Boeing to revive its 19-hour flight from Singapore to New York.
  • A man was arrested for making a hoax call to Warsaw Modlin Airport saying there was a bomb on a Ryanair flight due to leave the Polish capital for Oslo.
  • Lisa Cudrick reflects on her experience of the Aer Lingus cadet pilot programme.
  • SITA’s Airline IT Trends Survey predicts that 22pc of airlines will offer downloadable content for flights by 2018 and 66pc will offer WIFI.
  • A Turkish Airlines en route to New York made an emergency landing in Copenhagen after an old camera bag caused a bomb scare.
  • This week marked the 30th anniversary of the Air India bombing.
  • Delta Air Lines signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Chelsea FC.
  • Memorial services will be held in Australia, Malaysia and the Netherlands on July 17 to mark the first anniversary of the MH17 tragedy.
  • Cathay Pacific failed a water contamination test. Unsafe water was found on 14 out of 22 aircraft.

Southwest Airlines is sponsoring a host of LGBT Pride events in the US while Virgin America will once again sponsor San Francisco’s Pride events.

2,000 participants took part in the Bank of Ireland Runway Night Run at Shannon Airport. Limerick’s James Liddane and Cushia Hehir from Ennis took the top prizes, and former Shannon Airport executive Bill Moloney, aged 86 (pictured), completed the 5km run.


Pierfrancesco VagoPierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, flipped a switch to begin cutting steel plates for the first of the two new Seaside class ships, part of a €5.1 billion ($5.7 billion) investment in new ships by the Swiss-based firm, the world’s fourth-largest cruise operator.

  • Virgin Cruises selected PortMiami as the home port for its first cruise ship, which will set sail in 2020.
  • Carnival Cruise Line‘s newest ship, Carnival Visata, was launched at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
  • A Celestyal Cruises ship collided with a tanker off the coast of Gallipoli. Nobody was injured.
  • Viking Ocean Cruises announced its second ship, the 930-passenger Viking Sea, was floated out.

Deal Watch

  • Astronomy Ireland 25th offer from Project Travel: 5 nights B&B in a 4* accommodation in Tromso from €1,875pp incl. city tour and optional excursions. Chairman of Astronomy Ireland, David Moore, will be there to give talks on astronomy and space. Book before July 31, depart November 12. See or call 01 210 8391.
  • Tour America offers: 5 nights Circus Circus Hotel, Las Vegas from €659pp, depart August 26.  7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €679pp, depart August 27. 7 nights all inclusive Grand Xcaret, Mexico from €1,399pp, depart August 20.
  • Stena Line is offering day trips to Oakwood Theme Park from €50pp incl. return by car or from €59pp by foot. Call 01 9075555. Stena Line launched a 10pc off on summer travel from Dublin to Holyhead or Rosslare to Fishguard, book by Tuesday, June 30.
  • Travel Department’s Occasions city break offers: 3 nights 5* Hotel Carlton Intercontinental, Cannes from €599pp incl. taxes, charges and return flights ex Dublin. 4 nights 5* Point Hotel Taksim, Istanbul from €659pp incl. taxes, charges and return flights ex Dublin.
  • Click and Go MSC Cruise deals: 7 nights full board MSC Magnifca/MSC Poesia cruise to Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia from €599pp. 7 nights full board MSC Sinfonia cruise to Russia and the Baltics from €699pp, depart July 10, August 7 or August 21. 7 nights full board MSC Sinfonia cruise to the Norwegian Fjords from €699pp, depart July 3, July 31 or August 28. See or call 01 637 1699
  • Sunway Bodrum July offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Summer Garden Apartments from €539pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Baba Beach Hotel from €499pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Ambrosia Hotel from €599pp. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sami Beach from €849pp. Prices include flights, transfers, taxes, charges, 20kg checked in baggage pp and Sunway rep service. Seat only from €399pp. See Other Sunway offers: 7 nights 5* Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real, Corralejo, Fuerteventura €1195pp, depart August 29 or October 17. 7 nights all inclusive AMA Waterway River Cruise on the Rhine from €1,999pp, depart November 2. 7 nights 3 ½* Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal Orlando Resort from €789pp, depart October.
  • Lowcostbeds’ Jumeirah, Dubai offers of the week based on 7 nights, 2 sharing, depart from now until September 30 excluding July 18 and 25: 5* Jumeriah Beach Hotel half board from €136ppn. 5* Rixos the Palm Dubai full board from €130pppn. 4* Ramada Palza Jumeirah Beach full board from €84pppn. 4* Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa B&B from €35pppn.
  • POR_BAL_0426lowFalcon offers: 7 nights self catering Holiday Village Algarve, Balaia from €1,439 for two adults and one child or for €1,659 for two adults and two children, depart August 30. 7 nights B&B 3* Sinem, Marmaris, Dalaman from €439pp, depart August 31. 7 nights B&B 2* Nathalie Ixia, Rhodes from €449pp, depart August 25. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • British Airways seat sale, sell before July 14 for travel September 1 – December 11 and December 25 – March 16 2016: Beijing from €200. Bangkok from €250. Mumbai from €259. Delhi from €160. Johannesburg from €300. Hong Kong from €220. Dubai from €194. Cape Town from €400. Lagos from €206. Shanghai from €220. Sydney from €360. Kuala Lumpur from €220. See you GDS for more.
  • Cruiseescapes is offering 3 nights full board on board the 4* MS Renoir in Paris from €619pp incl. transfers to and from the port, excursions, taxes and baggage, depart Dublin or Cork October 28. For more see or call 01294 1000.
  • Lowcostholidays’s if offering €50 off all holidays booked before midnight, July 5. See here for offers.
  • lindosbeachThomson offers: 7 nights half board 4* Atlantica Princess, Trianda, Rhodes from €899pp, depart July 15. 7 nights self catering 3* Katherina Palace, Argassi, Zakynthos from €459pp, depart August 25. 7 nights self catering Cosmos, Maris, Lardos, Rhodes from €389pp, depart August 26. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • ITAA offers of the week: 3 nights B&B JA Ocean View Hotel, Jumeriah Beach, Dubai from €645pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, private, transfers, airport taxes, complimentary shuffle to shopping mall, kids’ club, depart by June 10. 7 nights Eastern Caribbean Cruise from €569pp, depart October 31.
  • Fly Cork offers: 7 nights 3* Hotel Colina Dos Mouros, The Algarve from €445pps, depart July 30. 7 nights 5* Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Resort, The Algarve from €705pps, depart July 28. 7 nights 4* Turim Estrela Do Vau, Portimoa, The Algarve from €555pps, depart July 30. 7 nights half board 3* Las Chapas Palacio del Sol, Costa Del Sol from €410pps, depart July 22.
  • Discover Travel offers: 13 nights B&B tour of Sri Lanka from €2,349pp, depart December 19. 16 nights tour of Vietnam and Thailand from €2,749pp, travel February-April 2016 ex Dublin, Cork or Shannon. See or call 021 4635440.
  • Insight Vacations is offering 10 days Easy Pace Italy escorted tour from €1,999pps incl. flights, transfers, selection of meals and visits to Rome, Vatican City, Tuscany, Pisa, Florence and Venice, depart November 8. See or call 01 775 3803.
  • Uniworld River Boutique Cruises is offering 8 days all inclusive river cruise on the Rhine from €1,829pps incl. flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers. Book by June 30, depart October 14. See or call 01 775 3803.
  • Contiki offer of the week: 13 day B&B Mediterranean Highlights from €1,391pps incl. accommodation, four dinners and visits to eight World Heritage Sites. See or call 01 775 3803.
  • Wendy Wu Tours is offering up to €650pp off all inclusive tours in Asia. A China Experience from €2,880pp, depart August 15. Glories of China from €3,000pp, depart September 26. Grand Tour of Indochina from €4,830pp, depart August 22. Vietnam at a Glance from €2,700pp, depart August 21. See
  • The Fitzwilliam Hotel, BelfastTourism NI offers of the week: 1 night B&B Manor House Country Hotel, Irvinestown, Enniskillen from £62pps incl. afternoon tea for two and use of leisure and spa facilities, available until July 7, call 028 6862 2200 to book. 7 nights Spelga House, Newcastle from £495pp, available July 16, call 07720 432 781. 2 nights B&B weekend break from £65pps, available until July 9, call 028 7083 2768 to book. 1 nights B&B The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast from £135pp, available until August 31, call 028 9044 2080. 1 night B&B Whistledown Hotel, Warrenpoint, newly from £37.50pps, valid Sunday-Thursday from July 1 to August 30, call 028 4175 4174.


Shannon Railtours 07Railtours Ireland First Class launched hosted rail tours and day excursions for arriving passengers at Shannon Airport.

CSO data shows that the number of inbound visitors to Ireland was up 12.1pc in the first five months of the year.

Clare County Council called on community groups and individuals to submit expressions of interest for cultural festivals and events tod form part of its 2016 County of Culture programme. The county council also said it is seeking tenders to produce a visitor and tourism strategy for Inis Cealtra.

IAE-Tipperary-smallTourism operators attended Fáilte Ireland’s Ancient East workshops in Tipperary, Dublin and Wexford. The final workshop takes place tomorrow in the Castlemartyr Resort, Cork.

Fáilte Ireland launched the Dublin Discovery Trails, connected to the Dubline. The four new walking trails are: Rebellion, The Story of Dublin, Echoes of War and Empire.

SPOTLIGHT ON IRELAND AT ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW IN SCOTLANDTourism Ireland attended the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh with four tourism companies. Picture shows Trish Gill, Hamlet Court Hotel, and Linda Duncan, Tourism Ireland.

Six Swiss journalists are visiting Ireland this weekend as guests of Fáilte Ireland. The group arrived on the inaugural SWISS flight from Geneva to Dublin. Their itinerary includes an introduction to the GAA in Portmarnock, a food and fashion tour with Evelyn Coyle, The Little Museum of Dublin, Teelings Whiskey, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse, lunch in Howth, tea at the Merrion and music in O’Donoghue’s.

Bus Eireann - WAWay2 (2)Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring launched Bus Éireann’s Tourist Travel Pass and summer service to Keem Beach on Achill Island. The pass costs €60 and gives passengers three days unlimited travel out of six consecutive days on Bus Éireann and Expressway’s network. Additional days cost €16.50 per day. Bus Éireann’s 456 Ballina – Westport – Achill summer service costs €10 for an adult day return and €5 return for under 16s. Picture shows Brian Quinn of Failte Ireland, Marie King McGovern of Bus Éireann with Minister Ring at Keem Bay Achill Island.

Dutch blogger and Instagramer Eelco Roos visited Ireland this week as a guest of Tourism Ireland. He posted pictures of Spelga Dam, Silent Valley, the Causeway Coastal Route, GLenarm, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Mussemden Temple to a blog on KLM’s website.


Gary Dunleavy of Tourism Ireland briefed members of Visit Derry at a meeting in St Columb’s Park House. Picture shows Gary with Helen Henderson, St Columb’s Park House; Richard O’Rawe, chairman, Visit Derry; Maria McDermott, Visit Derry; Odhran Dunne, Visit Derry; Seanna Gillespie, White Horse Hotel, Campsie; and Iain Barr, Waterside Theatre.

Expressway updated its X7 timetable from today, June 28.

The Killarney festival was cancelled. See the apology posted to its website, complete with irritating flashing background.

ireland specialistsTwelve travel agents from six markets visited Ireland this week as a reward for scoring high in Tourism Ireland’s Ireland Specialists online training, a programme aimed at operators and agents in Australia. The itinerary — designed by Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland — included visits to Crumlin Road Gaol, Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic, Monasterboice, Newbridge Silverware, Russbourough House and Guinness Storehouse. Picture shows Louise O’Mahony of Tourism Ireland and tour guide Min Lin Siew with the group at Monasterboice.

Backers of Shanagolden based Basecamp Action Adventure Park say the park will generate €4m spend for Limerick city and county over next three years.

prideCathal McMahon, brother of Conor, attended the Dublin Pride Festival. One day after the historic US Supreme Court ruling and one month after the Irish Marriage Referendum, the crowds had a lot to celebrate. Organisers claimed that this was the biggest festival ever: some 60,000 people attended. Conor spoke to Cathal moments after Ireland legalised same sex marriage. You can listen to the interview here.

What we learned this week

Ramadan regulations on sunrise and sunset apply in the sky. The Etihad captains we travelled with this week carefully advised roasting passengers, when they could start eating and drinking again. Mick O’Reilly of Golf News, formerly Irish Press, joined the ranks of the fasters this week for research potpies. Read his blog here.

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

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ireland’s first €100m Travel Agent



Kennet River on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia, June 16 2015

Kennet River on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia, June 16 2015

The headlines this week:

  • The travel industry mourns six young lives lost in Berkeley tragedy 
  • Down to business – IAG makes a formal offer for Aer Lingus
  • The tougher the journey, the sweeter it gets
  • Liam Lonergan expands his empire
  • Australian Tourism Exchange hosts 125 travel writers from 30 countries

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week June 21Our video of the week shows a mariachi band performing for the guests of Thomson’s Dreamliner flight around Ireland. This one is dedicated to the Spanish-speaking readers of the Sunday Supplement. Watch here.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger pranked fans at Madame Tussauds Hollywood by pretending to be his own waxwork. Watch here.
  • Motown at 38,000 feet: To mark Virgin Atlantic’s direct service from London to Detroit, the cast of Motown the Musical performed a medley onboard the inaugural flight. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus Regional surprised its five millionth passenger with performance by Booka Brass Band in Dublin airport. Watch here.
  • Inside the Airbus A350 XWB during its flight presentations at the Paris Air Show. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland’s promo for Kilkenny Arts Festival, which takes place in August. Watch here.
  • Every couple of months footage of a tourist getting entangled in a military parade surfaces online. The latest one attracted 4m views. Watch here.
  • Extraordinary pictures from Jason Coniry of a close encounter with a 25ft humpback whale in West Cork. Watch here.
  • Thousands of red tuna crabs appeared on the beaches of California this week. Watch here.

willie walsh_2664 copyHeadlines

The talking ended and the serious business began with the release of IAG’s formal offer for Aer Lingus, conditional on the acceptance by Ryanair and on EU approval, and the notice of the EGM on Thursday, July 16 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

berkeleyThe travel industry and the entire island of Ireland was under a pall this week with news of the deaths of six Irish J1 visa students in a balcony collapse in Berkeley, California. Both major operators dealing with Ireland’s J1 traffic were affected. Michael Doorley of Sayit Travel flew out to Berkeley on Thursday to deal with arrangements and assist the families of deceased Eoghan  Culligan and Lorcan  Miller and also Conor Flynn, who was seriously injured.

j1 nytIreland has 8,000 J1 visas in the USA this summer and 150,000 have used the scheme through its distinguished history. The New York Times used the opportunity to launch this extraordinary attack on Ireland’s reputation (“drunken partying and the wrecking of apartments“) and on the J1 scheme (“a source of embarrassment”). The scheme is under threat by Republican lobbyists in Washington DC.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 00.06.03Aer Lingus received widespread praise on social media for assisting the families of those killed and injured in the tragedy. The airline refused to sell newspapers on board the flight to San Fransisco, provided internet access so relatives could monitor the situation in Berkeley and allowed those affected to disembark first. One message posted on the airline’s Facebook page received over 77,400 likes.

laim lonergan con horganLiam Lonergan, already the most powerful player in Irish retail travel, has expanded his empire further by acquiring Abbey Travel and its affiliates. Liam’s Next Century Travel Investments acquired Con Horgan’s Travelplan Investments. Abbey Travel was established in 1978 by its present owner Con Horgan who will continue as Non-Executive Chairman under the new ownership. Club Travel, with a turnover of €86.5m, is Ireland’s largest travel agency while Abbey has a turnover of €20m. Abbey’s Corporate Travel division FCm Travel Solutions was sold to Flight Centre Travel Group in April 2014. Liam is now Ireland’s first €100m travel retailer. It is not yet in the league of the tour operators at the height of the charter peak: at its peak Budget Travel turned over €500m a year, but it is still an impressive achievement.

Austrialia travel writers groupAustralian Tourism Exchange brought 125 of the world’s leading travel writers from 30 different countries to Melbourne this week and for the international media marketplace in advance of the event. Picture shows Ron Gluckman of Forbes Magazine, Land Kang of the Korea Travel Information Times, Michelle Stevenson of Victoria Tourism, Chumki Bharadvaj of India Today Spice, Rainer Aderhold of Victoria Tourism, Anne Kaiser of Flying Media Germany, and Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Leigh HarryVictoria Tourism hosted eight media fams before ATE, two groups to the Ocean Road, one to Victoria’s High Country and one to a Water and Wine itinerary. Next week they host four more groups, two to Wildlife & Gourmet, and one each to Winter Wonderland and Eastern Wilderness. Picture shows Leigh Harry, CEO of Tourism Victoria, speaking at the opening event for Australian Travel Exchange.

brett neagleAustralia’s fast emerging trend of walking tours was evident at the media marketplace. Brett Neagle of Auswalk says that Australians take 80,000 walking holidays abroad and there are just 14,000 walking holidays taken in Australia. Watch this one grow.

Matteo Clementi (26) and his girlfriend Enrica Apollonio (23) were charged with breaking through security at Malta’s Valletta airport to flag down their Ryanair flight . Despite fJohn-Erenacing up to two years in jail, they escaped a custodial sentence and instead were given a fine of €2,000.

Etihad Airways have the best lounge in Dublin airport by a distance. They also have the best breakfast in the airport, where Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry began his trek to Melbourne for ATE, lubricated with the Grand Corbin Manuel from Bordeaux and the Longstone from California.

Chris Browne DreamlinerA big moment for TUI Aviation’s chief operating officer Chris Browne this week when she flew her baby, the Thomson B787-8 Dreamliner, over her hometown of Strabane on a victory lap around Ireland. Speaking at lunch in the Raddisson Blu Hotel Dublin Airport, Chris remembered how she was dubbed the “woman from Strabane, off her rocker” when she placed the order for the Dreamliner in 2005. “Who’s crazy dreamlinernow?” The flight marked the launch of Falcon Holidays and Thomson’s summer 2016 routes from Dublin to Cancun and to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Chris’s family were on board to witness the moment and her nieces Victoria and Charlotte Grieves were honorary crew members for the day. Thomson Airways managing director John Murphy piloted the jet. Director of engineering Jason Mahoney and representatives from the Jamaican and Mexican tourist boards were among the 200 passengers on the flight.

b787-8 DreamlinerTravel Extra’s Conor McMahon was also there. The modern interiors complement the extra legroom and wider windows, creating a comfortable sense of space in Economy Club. The multicoloured lighting and palm tree motif at the front of the cabin gets the family holiday feel going without being overbearing. The Dreamliner’s USP for long haul passengers has got to be its noticeable noise reduction. The jet takes off and descends with such ease, making the overall experience very pleasant. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

LA tourism lunchLA Tourism & Convention Board hosted a trade and press lunch in The Dean hotel to celebrate the launch of Ethiopian Airlines’ DUB-LAX route. The key take away from Francine Sheridan, Europe regional director for LA Tourism Board: if you haven’t been to Downtown LA in the last two or three years, you haven’t been. In keeping with LA’s target of 50m visitors by 2020, Downtown is smartening up its image, looking to become a hub of cultural activity. The project is aided by new attractions like The Broad museum, home to Eli and Edythe Broad’s $1bn art collection. Michael Yohannes, Ethiopian Airlines’ Ireland country manager (pictured with Francine Sheridan), told Travel Extra that bookings for both routes are doing well and surpassed initial expectations.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Caliphate (known in the west as ISIS) has released its first travel brochure, extolling the virtues of Mosul. It is unlikely that Travel Extra will be reporting from the destination in the next print edition. Elsewhere, after the capture of Palmyra, there are concerns about access to Petra in Jordan because of its proximity to Maʿān.

Travel Trade

chicagoPicture shows travel trade hosted by United and the State of Illinois Tourist Board in Chicago to showcase United’s daily Dublin to Chicago service: Sam Van Aswegen of Atlas Travel, Jonathan Beamish of Trailfinders, Brenda Clarke of Tour America, Aoife Gregg of United, Rachel McAnaspie of American Holidays, Liz Mulligan of Club Travel, Blaithin Watson of Travel Counsellors, Elaine Seale of Sunway and Sean Healy of Lee Travel at the 360 Chicago

Marc_Mulcahy_TNZ_UK_Trade-300x224Tourism New Zealand has appointed Marc Mulcahy to the role of Trade Development Consultant, Ireland and Britain. He was previously Business Development Manager at Nomad Safaris in Queenstown.

Travel Professionals Skillnet class: Learn how to build and maintain a WordPress site, June 24, 9am-5pm. New Horizons, Strans St Great, Dublin 2. Price: €150. Book here.

Terry Lambert and Ana Vargues Via AlgarvianaAileen Eglington of AE Consulting and Terry Lambert of Hill Top Treks led the trade on a trip to Portugal this week to see the Via Algarviana’s walking trails and the Fisherman’s Trail and circular route on the Rota Vicentina. The trip was organised by the Portugal Tourist Board in Ireland, supported by Aer Lingus and the Algarve and Alentejo Tourist boards. Picture shows Terry Lambert and Aileen Ellington on the Via Algarviana.

Wendy Wu Tours is hosting a Macau webinar this Thursday, June 25 at 11am. Register here. Wendy Wu is offering agents a €50 One4all voucher for every booking made before the end of July.


trivagi ireland june 2015A strengthening of sterling against the euro propelled Belfast to the top of Trivago’s Irish hotel price index for the first time in June Donegal, often the top of the table was not included this month). Belfast was up 45pc year on year. Derry was up 32pc while Kenmare was up 32pc, Dingle 31pc, Dublin 26pc and Sligo 20pc without the benefit of currency fluctuations. Athlone and Limerick share the distinction of offering Irelands lowest average online hotel price across 32 search engines and 700 tracked by Trivago. The national average summer 2015 Irish hotel room price is €120.

trivago most popular irish summer 2015Trivago also released the ten most popular destinations searched online by its Irish customers this summer, with Paris the only one showing a lower price than last summer. Las Vegas is a surprise entry at number 9, the only top ten destinations that does not have direct flgihts from Ireland. Roll on that service that was planned by Omni from Shannon in 2014?

conor-kennyPeter McCann of The Merrion Hotel, Michael Davern of The K Club, Luc Delafosse of Hotel De Crillon, Philippe Leboeuf of Mandarin Oriental, Paris, Kiaran McDonald of the Savoy, London, Bernard Murphy of Gleneagles, and Nathalie Seiler-Hayez of the Connaught in London feature in Conor Kenny’s Dancing At The Fountain: In Conversation With World-Leading Hoteliers, which will be published by Oak Tree Press, in November 2015.

  • Executives of hotel groups including Hyatt, Hilton, InterContinental and Marriott wrote to the US government in support of open skies: “we do not wish to return to an era of regulation.”
  • Hilton Worldwide signed five new properties to its Curio portfolio.
  • Santa Monica got tough with peer-to-peer holiday rentals introducing harsh new anti-Airbnb laws.
  • Hyatt Hotels announced the opening of the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen resort in Mexico.
  • TripAdvisor announced a partnership with Marriott International. Marriott’s inventory will be added to TripAdvisor’s Instant Booking platform.
  • Hilton Worldwide will open a DoubleTree resort in Penang.
  • Six Senses opened its first Chinese resort in Qing Cheng Mountain.
  • Starwood opened its third Aloft hotel in Miami.

Correction from Sunday Supplement, June 14: The Corscadden family are owners of the Corscadden Collection, not Manor House Hotels.  Each of the Corscadden’s four castles — Ballyseede Castle, Bellingham Castle, Cabra Castle and Markree Castle — are members of Manor House Hotels.


Wetnwild_orlando1Universal’s water park Wet ‘n Wild Orlando is to close next year to make way for Volcano Bay.

New Orleans launched a website for the tenth anniversary of Katrina: noting that Louis Armstrong International Airport has surpassed pre-Katrina passenger numbers. The airport served 9,785,394 passengers in 2014 compared to 9,733,178 in 2004

Canadian regulators charged six people with operating as a travel agent without registration and have had a conviction on one person who was charged earlier.

Two young people holidaying in the beach town of Oak Island, North Carolina, were swimming in waist-deep water when they lost limbs in separate life-threatening shark attacks,

  • Greyhound Buses launched an online real-time tracking tool to its app to allow passengers to see where their bus is and when it is likely to arrive.
  • Europcar said its IPO will value the group at €1.7bn-€2bn.
  • bobby healyBobby Healy’s CarTrawler signed a partnership deal with Eurostar to offer pre-booked taxi transfers.
  • Uber introduced a one-day free trial helicopter service in Bangkok.
  • Three tourists were killed and 31 injured in a bus crash in the Algarve on Friday.
  • Early bird registration for  the IHW conference in the Algarve has been extended until July 10.

Food and Wine

  • KOVE-Killyhevlin 025The Killyhevlin Hotel launched their new £200,000 restaurant, KOVE. Picture shows head chef Kevin Watson, Leigh Watson and Jacqueline Wright, Killyhevlin Hotel joint managing directors, with host Sarah Travers.
  • Andrew Rudd is hosting a series of tasting evenings in the former Venu restaurant premises on Anne’s Lane. See
  • Blackrock Shopping Centre is now running a food market every Thursday, 10am-4pm.


Lufthansa 1Lufthansa will operate the Dublin-Munich service six times per week during the winter season, which runs from October until the end of March, tripling capacity on the route, which went year-round for the first time last winter. Lufthansa carried a record 377,000 passengers in and out of Dublin Airport last year up 5pc on 2013. About three-quarters of Dublin’s Lufthansa passengers connect at the airline’s Munich and Frankfurt hubs. Most popular onward destinations for Lufthansa’s Dublin travellers included Moscow, Sofia, Tel Aviv, Kiev, Belgrade, Lagos, Shenyang, Tokyo, Beijing, Larnaca and St Petersburg.

SWISS bombardierThe biennial Paris Air Show showcased the brand new Bombardier CS300  whose launch customer is Swiss, the Airbus A350XWB and the Boeing 787-9. Irish lessors placed $11bn worth of orders at the event. Travel Extra was there.

Ryanair shut their website for an upgrade on Friday, having announced they will continue to charge people for airport check in who are unable to check in online.

screen-shot-2015-06-21-at-00-20-32The CEOs of Europe’s three leading flags and two biggest lo-cos (or, If you like, two Irish and three others) came together to announce a new lobbying group. In response, perhaps, to the Anderson-Palmer-Smisek roadshow in America, Alexandre de Juniac, of Air France-KLM, Carolyn McCall of easyJet, Willie Walsh of IAG, Carsten Spohr of Lufthansa Group and Michael O’Leary of Ryanair met, ostensibly in response to the new EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc’s consultation on a new EU Aviation Strategy. They provoked a delicious new spat in the never-ending war of words between airports and airlines in Europe, reducing airport charges and cleaning up the continent’s notorious Air Traffic Control inefficiencies are two of the three stated aims of the new gang of five. Simon McNamara, director general of the European Regions Airline Association described the lobby as “an interesting new development” and said they were “looking forward to working with the alliance to ensure that all sectors of the aviation industry are represented.”

Qatar_Skytrax_2015_2Skytrax, the most controversial and usually the most Asia-centric of the half dozen or so international aviation awards, announced 90 category winners at the Paris Air Show. Qatar was again named as the world’s best airline for the third time in five years (Emirates and Cathay pacific held the crown in the past two years) was with Turkish (best in Europe) in fourth place, as well as an awrd for the best business class lounge dining. Singapore won airport of the year or the third year in succession ahead of Seoul and Munich. AirAsia won World’s best low-cost airline award for the seventh year running. Garuda Indonesia won world’s best cabin staff. Singapore Airlines won world’s Best Business Class , Air New Zelaand the best premium economy, Asiana won world best economy class, and Air France the World’s Most Improved Airlines. Norwegian won world’s best long haul low-cost airline and best low-cost airline in Europe. Vrigin won best airline in North America. Aeroflot won best airline in Eastern Europe. Only airlines who participate in the Skytrax quality certification system partioipate (Etihad are a high profile non-participant) and critics complain of a lack of transparency supprounding the awards..

Top ten airlines of 2015: 1   Qatar, 2   Singapore, 3   Cathay Pacific, 4   Turkish, 5   Emirates, 6   Etihad Airways, 7   ANA, 8   Garuda, 9   EVA Air, 10 Qantas. Lufthansa was top European fin isher in 12th place with Aer LIngus 61st up from 65th in 2014 Non Asian airlines have had just four top three finish in the past 15 years, three of them by Qantas.

WestJet selected London as the third transatlantic destination from Canada using its wide-body Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

The International Civil Aviation Organization banned airline passengers around the world from carrying e-cigarettes in checked baggage because of risks that the heating elements will catch fire.

  • Wicklow-based Crewlink recruitment agency reported turnover growth of 10pc in 2014 to €55.1m.
  • Aer Lingus Regional’s 6w ATR 72-600 Shannon-Birmingham service, operated by Stobart Air, commenced this week.
  • Etihad Airways expanded its codeshare agreement with Hong Kong Airlines.
  • Qatar Airways and Boeing announced a firm order for ten 777-8Xs and four 777 Freighters.
  • CityJet carried 23,000 passengers on the DUB-LCY route in May.
  • Emirates is adding 30 wireless smartphone charging trays in first and business class lounges in Concourse A, B and C and Dubai International Airport.
  • Amsterdam Schiphol airport introduced 35 electric buses to carry passengers from aircraft to gate.
  • Emirates launched a “hold my fare” facility, allowing passengers to lock-in fares for 48 hours when booking online.
  • A stowaway was found dead after falling from a BA jet as it landed in Heathrow airport. A second man remains in a critical condition. The two hid in the undercarriage of the aircraft, which flew from Johannesburg.
  • Iron Maiden’s frontman Bruce Dickinson’s firm Cardiff Aviation is launching an airline, operating as VVB.
  • Aergo acquired an A320 on lease to Avion Express, an A320 on lease to SmartLynx Airlines and signed a 12-year sale/leaseback with Sriqijawa Air on two B737-900ERs delivering in August.
  • AWAS delivered an A320 to Aegean Airlines.
  • Ethiopian announced the purchase of six additional B-787 Dreamliners from Boeing.
  • Four Muslim men who accused FBI agents of putting them on a no-fly list because they refused to become informants want to pursue damages now the travel ban has been lifted,
  • DCU hosted an Aviation Leadership Open Evening
  • Hewitt launched Eagle over-the-wing fueling nozzles for small and medium size business aircraft as well as helicopters.
  • Iberia opened a new Lounge at Malabo Airport.
  • Tayto sandwich Aer LingusPR success of the month is Aer LIngu’s Tayto sandwich, proving most popular on the Malaga, Barcelona and Alicante routes and generating lots of coverage two weeks after its launch.
  • Etihad appointed Philippe Eyedaleine as head of public affairs in Europe.
  • Iberia Business Club passengers and Iberia Plus Singular, Platinum and Gold car holders can use the VIP lounge at the Malabo Airport, Equatorial Guinea.
  • Boeing opened a research and technology centre in Alabama.
  • Virgin America upgraded its Red IFE system to run on Android devices.
  • Malaysia Airlines appointed Peter Bellew as COO, effective September 1.
  • Japan Airlines launched the JAL Countdown app which provided waiting times in security at T1 Tokyo Haneda.
  • Thunderstorms over southern Europe led to hundreds of delayed flights last weekend.


  • d17108-0012The Cuahuhtémoc arrived in Dublin on Wednesday, the first of 15 port of calls in Europe. Picture shows Ciara Sugrue of Fáilte Ireland with Captain Mata Commander of the sailing ship and The  Mexician Ambassador to Ireland, Carlos Garcia de Alba and Rear Admiral Jose Aguayo Naval Attache.
  • John Galligan Travel is offering a 12 nights Irish group departure on a Hutigruten Antarctic cruise for €7,995.
  • CLIA is planning a ‘New to Cruise Summit event aimed at agents who don’t sell cruise
  • Silversea is offering WiFi to all guests in all suites and public spaces on all cruises including expedition cruises.
  • A LEGO model of the Queen Mary will be on display on the actual ship from July 4.

Deal Watch

  • Topflight‘s 5 say USA sale starts tomorrow, Monday June 22. See or call 01 240 1788.
  • Wendy Wu Tours is offering 2 countries for the price of 1, book by July 3: Book a Vietnam tour and receive a trip to Cambodia incl. guided tour to Angkor Wat with lunch and transfers. Book a China tour and receive a trip to Hong Kong. See or call 0818 776 380. Wendy Wu Tours’ Exclusive Collection offers chauffeur transfers to the airport, 5* accommodation, champagne and visa. See here.
  • Thomson offers: 7 nights full board on board Thomson Majesty, Italian Job form €889pps incl. return flights ex Dublin, depart July 24. 7 nights Belvedere, Costa Dorada, Salou from  €599pp incl. return flights ex Shannon, depart August 28. 7 nights half board Cooronas Playa, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €659pps incl. return flights ex Dublin, depart November 1. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Sunway USA and Canada offers: 7 nights 3* International Palms, Orlando from €655pp, travel in October. 4 nights 3* Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas from €665pp, travel in November. 3 nights 3* New Yorker Hotel, New York from €805pp, travel in March 2016. 3 nights 3* Essex Inn Hotel, Chicago from €815pp, travel in March 2016. 3 nights 3* Holiday Inn Capitol, Washington DC, travel in November. 4 nights 3* Holiday Inn Downtown, Toronto from €649pp, travel in March 2016. 8 days California Coast fly-drive from €1,355pp incl. economy 2 door car hire, travel in November. 9 days Massachusetts fly-drive from €1,639pp incl. economy 2 door car hire, travel in October.
  • HV_GEN_13_F807Falcon offers: 7 nights Holiday Village Flamingo Beach, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €2,169 for two adults and one child and from €2,879 for two adults and two children, depart August 27. 7 nights half board Rey Don Jaime, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €739pp incl. return flights ex Cork, depart July 21. 7 nights all inclusive Villa Dorada, Costa Dorada, Salou from €799pp incl. return flights ex Shannon, depart August 28. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Press release 2Tour America Easter and St Patrick’s Day 2016 offers: 7 nights 3* Rosen Inn International Drive, Orlando from €669pp incl. return flights, depart March 21 2016. 3 nights 4* Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €789pp incl. return flights, depart March 16. 3 nights 4* Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, Boston from €779pp incl. return flights, depart March 16. Call 01 817 3500.
  • Click and Go offers: 4 nights 4* Abba Madrid Hotel, Madrid from €279pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, travel in July. 7 nights self catering 3* Elba Lucia Sport & Suite Hotel Aparthotel, Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura from €349pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in September. 7 nights self catering 2* Mirachoro II Apartments from €449pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in July. 7 nights 5* Atlantic Palace Agadir – Gold Thalasso & Casino Resort Hotel from €485pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in September. 7 nights half board 4* Beatriz Costa Teguide & Spa Hotel, Lanzarote from €509pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in October. 7 nights self catering 3 key Local Dubrovnik Apartments from €539pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in July. See or call 01 539 7777.
  • Sunway is offering 7 nights B&B 4* Agadir Beach Club Hotel, Morocco from €549pp incl. return flights, return airport transfers, taxes, charges, 20kg checked in baggage pp and Sunway rep services, depart July 4 or 11. 7 nights 4* Centara Kata Hotel, Phuket from €799pp, depart September. 7 nights 4* Occidental Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from €1,285pp, depart September. 7 nights B&B 4* Reethi Beach Resort, Maldives from €1,479pp, depart May 2016.
  • ITAA’s offers of the week: 3 nights 4* Roosevelt Hotel, New York City from €719pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart February 4 2016. 4 nights half board 4* Royal Andalusia Hotel, Golf  Digest Overseas Event, Spain from €695pps incl. 3 rounds of golf, 1 practice round, prizes, transfers and entertainment, depart October 6. 11 nights Jewels of Thailand tour from €2,249pp incl. return flights from Dublin and transfers, travel in September or October.
  • Insight Vacations is offering a 9-day tour of Spain and Portugal from €1,779pps incl. flights, transfers, selection of meals and visits to Madrid, Granada, Seville, Lisbon and Salamanca. Depart August 8. See or call 01 775 3803.
  • Uniworld River Boutique Cruises is offing an 8-day all inclusive cruise on the Danube from €1,456pps incl. flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers. Book by June 30, depart November 11. See or call 01 775 3803.
  • Contiki is offering an 8-day tour of Italy from €1,479pps incl. flights, 3 regional dinners and visits to six World Heritage sites. See or call 01 775 3803.


Eugene Garrihy of Doolin Tourism predicted that numbers travelling from Doolin to the Aran islands would double from the current 100,000 as a result of an extension to Doolin’s pier. “Up to now tidal restrictions have prevented sailings for up to four hours in the early afternoon at the pier, denying operators business at the peak time of the day.” Picture shows Eugene with his daughter Aoibhinn.

National Water Safety noted that 114 drowned in 2014, 23 more than in 2013, of which 79pc were male and six were children aged 14.

Submissions opened for the Film categories at Sky Road TV & Film Festival on Oct 9-11 at Station House Theatre, in Clifden and will close Aug 28. Documentary categories open June 22 and new media categories open June 26.

11 June 2015:Two German travel blogger, Steve Hanisch and Kristin Addis, were hosted by Tourism Ireland on a tour of Game of Thrones locations. Picture shows Kristin Steve with Emma Gorman of Tourism Ireland at Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle.

The Tall Ships Race will bring 80 ships to Belfast from July 2-5.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Irish Passport Card will not be available until the end of September.

Golf-small_2Fáilte Ireland and Irish Ferries hosted a group of 14 English golf writers in Ireland this week on the annual golf weekend, now in its 30th year. The played a round at the Woodbrook Golf Club, Wicklow Golf Club and the Royal Dublin Golf Club.

Kerry was listed at number 2 on Lonely Planet’s list of top European destinations for family holidays.

The Dublin Lunchtime City Cycle, which is part of National Bike Week, took place on Wednesday.

Enniscorthy Strawberry, Culture and Food Festival takes place June 24 to 28. Events include a teddy bears picnic, Faerie Queene Disco, cookery demos, literary events, an art trail and live music.

48717.00The General Lee car from Dukes of Hazzard is now on display at the Newbridge Silverware visitor centre. Hell’s Chariot from Grease will go on display from July 9. Both cars are on display till the end of July and can be viewed free of charge.

Upcoming events in Limerick: Druid Shakespeare, June 23-27. Limerick Sings International Choral Festival, June 26-29.

What we learned this week

Australian leeches like to come out after a night of rainfall in, can find a leg under a trousers leg very easily, and cause a lot of spilt blood after they suck.

And finally

Over a glass of Shiraz conversation at ATE turned, as it often does, to the slow decline of the dedicated Travel section and extinction of the dedicated travel editor.

Domini Clark of the Toronto Globe and Spud Hilton of the SF Chronicle, two of the last remaining, reckoned there are eight left in North America. London is lluckily still a bastion of the full time travel editor, Charlie Starmer-Smith of the Telegraph.

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

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Cabin Bag Size Scare Cleared Up & Simon v Ryanair Round 4



Header June 14

American Holidays and Delta fam trip to Nashville and Memphis. More pictures.

The headlines this week:

  • Cabin OK is a guideline, not a standard
  • IATA AGM comes to town in 2016
  • Addis Adaba-Dublin-LA service commences Friday
  • Inis Cealtra handed over to Clare Co Co
  • Troubles continue for Alton Towers
  • Big Travel Trade Event in Co Down

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week June 14 2015Our video of the week is Boeing’s showcase of the 787-8 Dreamliner ahead of Paris Air Show 2015.  Check out that incredible near-vertical take off. Watch here.

  • French skier Benjamin Spilthooren uploaded terrifying footage of his fall into a crevasse in the Swiss Alps. Watch here.
  • Highlights from Tunisair receiving its first A330-200 jet at a ceremony in Toulouse. Watch here.
  • British Airways Listen Up meets The Staves in NYC. Watch here.
  • Emirates showcases Sri Lanka. Watch here.
  • Tourism NI’s round up of the Irish Open. Watch here.
  • A pilot’s view of landing in Funchal, Madeira. Watch here.


Travel Extra cover July 2014 300The July print edition of Travel Extra will be delivered to agencies in the coming week and is available online here. This month we focus on the upcoming wintersun season and the revival of the much maligned Madeira charter flight, the growth of the Canary Islands back to 2007 levels: (422,000 visitors, more than Portugal, or Italy) and Tunisia. Eoghan Corry reports from IPW in Orlando where theme park developments, visa waiver and the inter-continental spat in aviation dominated the headlines. South Africa’s Western Cape and KZN product comes under the spotlight. We look at the prospects for Cork airport after the loss of two of their planned three new routes for 2015, increasing pace of hotel sales in the Irish market, Royal Caribbean’s decision to order new ships in both Quantum and Allure class, industry moves to tackle the paradox of the collective bond and credit card double-bond, We review Delta’s new lie-flat product and look back at 30 years of the Visit USA organisation in Dublin. Niall McDonnell of Red Sea Resorts selects his favourite holiday spot. Travel Extra’s team are already trawling the world to prepare the next edition.

IATA moved quickly to clarify their widely reported Cabin OK initiative at their AGM  which they say is a guideline and not a standard and aims to provide passengers with a greater assurance that their carry-on bags will travel with them in the aircraft cabin, even when the flight is fullLufthansa, Emirates, and Qatar were among eight major carriers who expressed interest in joining the campaign for new carry on smaller bag sizes 55x35x20 proposed by IATA. IATA vice president Thomas Windmuller said the new “optimum” carry on bag size will clear up confusion and speed up check in:

  • Cabin OK is a guideline, not a standard.  Airlines have no plans to restrict carry-on baggage to the Cabin OK dimensions of 55 x 35 x 20 cm (or 21.5” x 13.5” x 7.5″ inches). Most airlines have maximum size limits that are larger than this and that is not impacted by the Cabin OK initiative. Passengers will be able to continue to use carry-on baggage that is larger than the Cabin OK size provided it is within airline maximum size limits.
  • Cabin OK does not replace airline maximum size limitations. These are determined individually by each airline. There are no plans to set an industry standard.
  • Cabin OK is an optimum size, not a maximum size . We use the word “optimum” because the Cabin OK dimensions have been calculated to allow all passengers on board a typical jet aircraft of 120 seats or more to be able to carry-on one piece of baggage in the normally available storage space (storage bins and below seats).

The proposed optimum baggage allowance is 5cm narrower than the sizes imposed by Ryanair (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) and 5cm narrower and 4cm less deep than Aer Lingus (55cm x 40cm x 24cm). IATA wants luggage manufacturers to start using the ‘IATA Cabin OK’ tag from later this year to identify bags that fit the size.

brian stapeltonIATA’s next AGM is coming to Dublin’s RDS on June 1-3 2016, The news was announced by Stephen Kavanagh at the closing ceremony of the IATA conference in Miami, Florida with a custom-made video produced by Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin Convention Bureau. The conference in the latest in a series of aviation conferences secured by Brian Stapleton (pictured) and the Irish Aviation Leadership Group. Skift recalled the 15 most awkward moments at the IATA AGM.

Dublin’s marquee route of the summer commences on Friday when Ethiopian Airlines fly their Dreamliner service from Addis Adaba to Dublin and onward to Los Angeles. Tour operators from Ethiopia travelling on the inaugural flight will include Dun Laoghaire born Tony Hickey of Ethiopian Quadrants.

IMG_3548 copyChristian Carbonne and Dublin based Paul Weir of Luxair and Anne Hoffmann and Rachel Ezard of Luxembourg Tourism hosted a group of travel writers to promote Luxair’s new daily route with prices from €100 return. They visited the famed casements form the days when Luxembourg was the strongest fortification in northern Europe, the old town, the modern complex of EU buildings on a nearby hilltop, and the American war cemetery with the grave of General George Patton. Picture shows Colette Sheridan of the Irish Examiner, Christian Carbonne of Luxair, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra, Emma Deighan of In Magazine, Paul Weir of Luxair, Anne Hoffmann of the Luxembourg Tourist Board, Mark Evans of the Evening Herald, Eleanor Goggin of the Sunday Independent, George Keegan of the Northern Standard and Rachel Ezard of the Luxembourg Tourist Board. Second picture shows Paul Weir and Michael Saez of Luxair. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Spanish tourist board menorca may 2015 copyThe Spanish Tourist Board hosted a group of travel media in Menorca. Picture shows Marie Claire Porter of Sunway, Heidee Martin of the Irish Mail on Sunday, Derek Foley of the Herald, Christopher Jackson of the Irish Independent, Damien Lane of the Sun, John O’Dowd of the Star, Paula Burns The Examiner, Nicola Keeley of Sunway and Sara Rivero of the Spanish Tourist Board. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Menorca first flightIn the aftermath of the trip the first Sunway charter took off for Menorca last Sunday. Picture shows the inaugural Sunway charter of the 2015 season arriving in Menorca.

On your marks, get set, shop. Simon Outlets hosted a group of travel media in Orlando. Developments include the planned opening of a Crayola Experience at the american girlFlorida Mall, due to open July 1 (theme park language is off the roller-coaster, Disney have imagineers, Crayola has crayonologists). They also visited two outlet malls at opposite ends of International Drive, Orlando Vineland has higher end brands among its portfolio of 160 stores, Orlando International has 180 stores. Many of the main brands are replicated across both malls. They also have another property the Outlet Market Place which more local in Orlando Pictured in the doll themed American Girl restaurant in the Simon Shop Florida Mall in Orlando, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra, Ruth Brindle of London Newsquest Newspapers, Uschi Braun of ARD, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Neil Hennessy-Vass of Families Magazine and Caroline Donaldson-Sinclair of Simon Outlets.

inis cealtra photographed copyInis Cealtra in Lough Derg was handed over the historic monastic island to Clare County Council on a sunny Friday morning, watched by the cattle of James O’Brien, owner and caretaker of the island’s numerous heritage sites. The next step is to get a policy in place to manage tourism on the island while protecting its heritage and wildlife. Currently local boatman and historian Ger Madden runs a ferry from Mountshannon in summer time (adults €12, children €6) that brigs a couple of hundred visitors to the island. There are no plans to replicate the events in 1836 when 25,000 pilgrims arrived on one day for a day of prayer and revelry, enough to catapult Inis Cealtra into the top 40 attractions in the region. Ger is also working on a book on the history of the East Clare ironworks. Eoin O’ Hagan of Clare Virtually told guests that the first pig iron works to be constructed in the USA, the 1642 Saugus iron works in Boston were an exact replica of the Scariff ironworks, “it was steel that made America great and it was Scariff that made American steel popular,” and that he hoped someday to see an American President open the ironworks visitor experience in Scariff. Picture shows Gerard Dollard Director of Services for Clare County Council, John Crowe Mayor of Clare, former owner of Inis Cealtra James O’Brien and other dignitaries being photographed at the handover of Inis Cealtra on Lough Derg to Clare County Council. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Alton Towers Smiler copyAlton Towers reopened on Monday but their troubles continue. One of the four seriously injured in the car-collision on Smiler last week, Leah Washington from Barnsley had a leg amputated. The Daily Mail quoted a visitor found a large metal clip beneath the Air ride but the park said they had no record of this and while the Mail reported two further rides were closed it seems this was for routine operational reasons. Even the kindergarteners are getting anxious, the newly opened The Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure, based on the CBeebies show, was halted after a rider became upset. Four rides remain closed, Oblivion, Enterprise, Sonic Spinball and The Smiler.

simon polito 74There was been some conflicting analysis of the reiteration of Simon Polito’s ruling that Ryanair should sell their Aer Lingus shareholding, with a suggestion that Ryanair’s appeal might hold up the impending IAG takeover of Aer Lingus. The ruling of the EU competitions commissioner due on July 1st is what will greenlight Ryanair’s board to make a decision on whether to sell the shares (Travel Extra expects the sale to go ahead). Michael O’Leary told ReutersIf an offer document is submitted by the end of June, on EU approval, you’d expect the process to be complete before the end of the year one way or the other.” The appeal against the Polito decision is being treated as a separate matter by Ryanair: issues include a local regulator (in this case London) taking on extra-territorial responsibilities, telling one Irish company it has no right to have a shareholding in another Irish company. England is not the only country to be playing this particular game, and the international aviation community will be watching the outcome of the appeal with interest. Ryanair claimed this week that Polito has done a u-turn on his original rule, that Ryanair’s holding would prevent another airline being able to take over Aer Lingus, and took particular exception to the Polito claim that IAG’s bid for Aer Lingus is dependent on securing Ryanair’s agreement to sell its shareholding and accused Polito of trying to defend the indefensibleÉist anseo le Eoghan Corry ar Raidió na Gaeltachta.

reuters luxorTour operators organised a free day-trip to Luxor for more than 1,000 foreign sightseers brought from a Red Sea resort to bolster the city’s spirit and show that it was still a safe and attractive destination. Travel Advisories were updated in the wake of a foiled attack by militants outside the famed Karnak Temple, just as Luxor was starting to regain some footing after years of turmoil. Hotel occupancy in Luxor fell to 3pc during the winter high season in 2011 but was back to 15pc in 2014. Tourism, antiquities, security ministers and the prime minister flew to the southern city to ni big travel eventreassure locals and foreigners that the security situation is under control.

NITN hosted 80 Travel companies and 340 travel agents at the Big Travel Trade Event in Co Down. The event took place over two days and has become a fixture on the calendar. Niall McDonnell of Red Sea Resorts won the golf competition in Templepatrick with a spectacular score of 47 points while team-mate Volker Lorenz also scored highly to secure the team prize.

Dublin Airport Authority will NOT be bidding for Belfast City Airport.

Travel Trade

portugal tourist board tripThe Centre of Portugal’s Tourist Board and Aer Lingus hosted travel professionals, flying to Lisbon and visiting Obidos, Coimbra and Tomar the seaside city of Peniche, a tour of Berlengas Island, Serra D’ Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park and Fatima where preparations are underway for the 2017 centenary. Picture shows Sharon Kelly from, Trudi Mason from AE Consulting, Caroline Kelly from George Barter Travel and Ana Mendes from Centre of Portugal Tourist Board in Luz Houses, Fatima. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Wendy Wu Tours is offering agents a €30 One4all voucher for every booking made before the end of June. See or call 0818 776 380. 

Eileen Penrose is joining APG Airline Business to look after the Westjet account.

Brendan Maguire of Ifonly, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel President of the Irish Travel Agents Association and Martin Penrose of Ifonly at the pre-match event for the travel trade before Ireland v Scotland, June 12 2015

Picture shows Brendan Maguire of Ifonly, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel and President of the ITAA and Martin Penrose of Ifonly at the pre-match event for the travel trade before Ireland v Scotland, June 12. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Professionals Skillnet: Learn how to build and maintain a WordPress website, Wednesday, June 24, 9am-5pm in New Horizons, Strand Street Great, Dublin 2. Price €150. Book here.

The CSO said a 13.2pc increase in overseas trips by Irish holidaymakers was recorded in Q1 2015.


The Corscadden family acquired Markree Castle in Co Sligo and will spend €5m on restoration before the castle will re-open to the public in March 2016.

Florida’s Supreme Court ruled decisively in favour of OTA’s that Travel Tech members are not hotels and thus the compensation they retain for their services is not subject to an occupancy tax

Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring re-opened Derrynane House in Caherdaniel, Co Kerry.

Something odd: the Dublin Convention Bureau Delegate Map shows the locations of hotels within a perimeter Howth, Dunboyne, Maynooth, Saggart, Powerscourt, Killiney. But it shows no airports hotels. Airport hotels are also missing from the website hotel listings.

tom breenTom Breen (pictured) was appointed Operations Manager at the Radisson Blu Royal, Dublin.

  • Four Seasons launched a mobile app.
  • ALICE launched a hospitality app that allows real-time translation between hotel guests and staff.
  • Rotana announced that it will add 11 properties to its portfolio in 2015.
  • Accor rebranded as Accorhotels.
  • Marriott Hotels is offering in-room Netflix content to guests.
  • IHG will open an Intercontinental hotel in Lyon in autumn 2018.
  • Choice Hotel is suing a Florida man for allegedly taking advantage of a glitch in its online reservations system to generate $50,000 in rewards programme gift cards.
  • Intercontinental Hotel Group plans to open two hotels in Mexico in late 2016: the Holiday Inn Express Mazatlán and Holiday Inn Resort Mazatlán.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts sold The Phoenician resort in Scottsdale, Arizona in a deal worth $400m.
  • Hilton Worldwide will open a Hilton Hotels and Resorts property near Dubai’s Al Maktoum International airport in early 2019.
  • A survey by found that 45pc of us greet other guests in a hotel lift and 36pc just feel awkward. One in five have experienced “elevator rage”, which is when your blood is boiled by people who only hop into a lift for one or two floors. Fixing make up was sandwiched between flatulence and copulation in the top three things Irish people have done in a lift.


Zone_portuaire_calais_phareCalais port was closed last Sunday after unexploded bombs from World War II were discovered at a nearby beach.

Universal Parks & Resorts announced plans to develop a Hello Kitty retail experience at Orlando this year and Hollywood further down the line.

The Caribbean reported a 6pc increase in tourists for Q1.

India and Vietnam launched a 5-year tourism cooperative.

News from Italy: Pavarotti’s house in Modena is now open to the public. The Quirinale Palace is now open 5 days a week. Fontanellato Labirinto della Masone re-opened after six years of renovation. The Galleria Estense in Modena has re-opened. The Jewellery Museum opened in Veneto. Upcoming events.

  • Expedia updated its mobile app.
  • South Africa may relax its rules for visitors travelling with children. Tourism minister Derek Hanekom said tour operators and airlines are attributing cancellations to the new rules.
  • EUROAL travel market estimates an 8pc increase in tourism movements this year.
  • The CarTrawler Car Rental Customer Report found that customers would most like to see WiFi, crash proof cars, driverless cars, in-car virtual tour guides and solar powered cars in the future.
  • Huge press coverage of the arrest of the tourists who stripped naked on the sacred Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia: There are 1,613 articles on the story.
  • The Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang went on fire on Thursday.
  • Uber is looking to attract new drivers with the game UberDrive, available on iOS.
  • China plans to develop an integrated national park service based on the USA’s model.
  • Google Maps added dragon to its list of public transport options in Wales.
  • This week’s all important celeb news: Kate Moss was escorted off an easyJet flight for causing a disruption and Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother (not quite a celeb, but anyway) had money confiscated in Madrid Barajas Airport after police discovered she was carrying €55,000 in cash in her hand luggage.

Food & Wine

Goodalls Ireland's Best Scone Final

Griffins Garden Centre & Restaurant in Dripsey, Cork was the winner of Ireland’s Best Scone 2015. Picture shows Margaret Griffin, owner of the restaurant, Mary O’Mahony, aka Granny Griffin, with Paul Kelly, executive pastry chef at The Merrion, and Catherine Leyden of Odlums.

Cooks Academy’s next Grill Academy barbecue class takes place June 24, 12pm-4pm. Cost €130 incl. instruction, recipes and meal. See


dublin airport hall_4353Dublin Airport reported its busiest May in history with 2.2m pax, up 13pc YOY. Traffic from North America and Britain both grew by 13pc and other international traffic increased 22pc. 

Mark Lapidus said Amedeo could be in the market for off-lease A380s.

Shannon Airport, Aer Lingus and Fáilte Ireland rebranded the B767 that flies Shannon-Boston with a Wild Atlantic Way livery.

Dublin airport has the fastest WiFi in Europe, according to Rotten WiFi, the speed-checking website and app.

Etihad chief executive James Hogan said that Etihad will sell its 4.99pc stake in Aer Lingus. Pentwater Capital sold most of tis share already.

Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Craig Kreeger expressed concern about competitive connectivity to Ireland to continue to exist.

Michael McNamara who lost the Labour Party whip as a result of voting against the IAG-Lingus takeover said that there is more concern about AI (artificial insemination of cattle) than IAG” in his Clare constituency.

CAPA calculated that Ryanair has a 62pc share of seats from Ireland to Spain this June giving it a more pronounced leadership position over Aer Lingus on 32pc. To England Scotland and Wales Ryanair has 44pc to Aer Lingus 41pc, including Regional.  Aer Lingus leads in France, Germany and Netherlands, while Ryanair leads in Italy, Portugal, Poland and Belgium. Anna Aero reports that Ryanair will serve 184 airports this August, gaining 11: Cardiff, Copenhagen, Crotone, Deauville, Glasgow International, Hamburg, Lorient, Ponta Delgada, Santorini, Stuttgart and Verona and losing five: Groningen, Malmo, Rennes, Toulon and Volos. Ryanair switched airports at Gothenburg. Dublin will have an extra 74 weekly Ryanair departures in August. Aer Lingus is now Europe’s 13th largest trans-Antlantic operator, behind Air Transat and Swiss and ahead of SAS and Alitalia. For the first week in August, Dublin is shown as 5th largest number of seats from a European airport to US/Canada, well below Heathrow, Paris CDG, Frankfurt and Amsterdam and just ahead of Rome. In all, 67 European airports have scheduled services to US/Canada.

IATA said all regions are expected to see an improvement in profitability in 2015 compared with 2014 with half the global profit is expected to be generated by airlines based in North America where operating margins are expected to exceed 12pc, double that of the next best performing regions Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Lufthansa will fly 4w from Frankfurt to Nairobi from October 27.

Tayto sandwich Aer LingusAer Lingus are now offering Tayto crisp sandwiches on-board 

Aer Lingus now offers Tayto sandwiches on short-haul flights. Reports of problems with food not available on flights continue).

The IAA reported a 4.1pc increase in the volume of North Atlantic Communications flights between Europe and North America in May.

Aer Lingus began operating a B767-300ER, serial 30434, on lease from Omni Air International.

Aer Lingus launched an evening check in service at Cork Airport, allowing passengers to check in their baggage the evening before their flight.

Shannon Airport reported a 5pc YOY increase in traffic for May. US services saw an 18pc increase in traffic.

Shannon-based GE Capital Aviation Funding recorded a 34pc decrease in pre-tax profits to $571m for 2014.

Heathrow airport recorded its busiest May on record with 6.34m passengers, up 1.7pc YOY.

Boeing reported ten new B777s ordered from unidentified customers. B787 net orders were reduced by 15.

Dublin City Council granted planning permission to develop an aviation fuel pipeline from Dublin Port to Dublin Airport.

  • Acumen Aviation will open an office in Beijing.
  • Boeing predicts airline pax traffic will increase 6pc in 2015, maybe even 6.5pc. The aircraft maker expects to book firm orders for 750 new jets this year. So far, it has booked 136 net orders.
  • After 24 years, American Airlines will resume a daily flight from LAX to Sydney from December 17 in direct competition with United Airlines and Delta.
  • Airbus recorded orders from five customers for a total 17 aircraft in May.
  • Coopans Parnters upgraded their ATM system.
  • A Flybe flight from Southampton to Dublin had to turn back after a bee got stuck in the pilot tube.
  • Assembly started on the first Boeing 737 MAX. It will begin flights tests in 2016.
  • Alitalia will make Malpensa airport, Milan its European cargo hub.
  • Etihad launched daily flights from Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi.
  • Flybe’s 2015/16 winter programme is available for booking.
  • BA will offer Apple Pay on its app for the iPhone 6/6 Pluse and Apple Watch.
  • Emirates opened a lounge in Tokyo Narita’s Terminal 2.
  • Air Canada will retrofit its two three-class international B777-300ERs later in the year.

Delta-One-at-LAX-loungeDelta Air Lines completed its $229m upgrade at T5, LAX. The renovation (pictured) includes a private check-in lounge, renovated Sky Club lounge and Sky Priority lobby, expanded ticketing lobby and four additional security screening checkpoints.

  • Emirates announced a codeshare agreement with Flybe.
  • Cathay Pacific opened a lounge at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.
  • A United Express jet skidded off the runway at Buffalo Niagara Airport. Amazingly, no one was injured.


Stena Line customers who use the Rosslare-Cherbourg serivice in June, July or August will be given a free trip to Britain.

From July 9, Carnival Cruise Line passengers will not be able to tag alcohol for embarkation as checked luggage.

Deal Watch

  • Lowcostbeds Sharm El Sheikh offers of the week, based on 2 sharing, 7 nights, travel in June: 5* Sharm Club Village all inclusive from €24pppn. 5* Iberotel 11 Mercato all inclusive from €27pppn. 5* Tamra Beach Resort all inclusive from €27pppn. 5* Maritim Jolie Ville Royal Peninsula all inclusive from €28pppn. 5* Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resorts all inclusive from €35pppn. 5* Monte Carlo Resort all inclusive from €39pppn. 5* Cleopatra Luxury Resort all inclusive from €46pppn. See for more.
  • Sunway June and July offers to Bodrum, Turkey: Seat only from €299pp. 7 nights self catering 3* Summer Garden Apartments from €449pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Baba Beach Hotel from €399pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Ambrosia Hotel from €729pp. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sami Beach from €779pp. Prices include return airport transfers, taxes, charges, 20kg checked in baggage pp and Sunway rep service. See
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Ambavri, Kos from €599pp, depart Dublin June 27.  7 nights half board 3* More Hotel, Alcudia, Majorca from €629pp, depart Cork July 4. 7 nights self catering 2* Rosamar, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €399pp, depart Dublin November 1. 7 nights self catering Laguna Park II, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €589pp, depart Dublin November 7. #NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Mika, Piskopiano, Crete from €479pp, depart Dublin August 30. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Thomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Oceanis, Psalidi, Kos from €899pp, depart Dublin August 29. 7 nights self catering 2* Rodos Sun, Faliraki, Rhodes from €519pp, depart Dublin June 24. 7 nights B&B 3* Katerina Palace, Argassi, Zakinthos from €469pp, depart Dublin June 16. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Click and Go offers: 3 nights 4* Confortel Suites Hotel, Madrid from €329pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, travel in July.  7 nights B&B 5* Bohemia Suites & Spa Hotel, Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €885pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in September. 7 nights self catering 3* BelleVue Club Aparthotel, Majorca from €419pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, depart June 16. 7 nights half board 4* Mainare Playa, Fuengirola, Costa del Sol from €349pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in October. 7 nights half board 4* Deloix Aqua Centre Hotel, Benidorm from €409pp incl. free spa entry pp per stay, return flights ex Dublin, transfers, taxes and charges, travel in November. 7 nights 2* Hotel Perla Residencia, Benidorm from €489pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, transfers, taxes and charges, travel in August. See or call 01 539 7777.
  • Sunway is offering 7 nights B&B Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort from €795pp, book by June 30, travel from September 7 to December 17.
  • Wendy Wu Tours is offering €200pp off all fully escorted tours from Ireland, book by June 30. Last minute summer offers: A China Experience from €2,880, depart August 15.  Grand Tour of China from €4,530, depart August 20. Wonders of China from €3,770, depart August 2. Vietnam at a Glance from €2,830, depart, August 21. Grand Tour of Indochina from €4,830, depart August 22. See or call 0818 776 380.
  • ITAA offers of the week: 8 nights 3 bedroom Cordelia Holiday Home, Brittany from €1,734 incl. return car ferry travel, depart August 22. 7 nights Sol Costa Duarada Hotel, Salou from €1,880 2+2 sharing incl. return flights, depart August 24. 7 nights 3 bedroom Vivaldi Mobile, Lake Garda from €385pps incl. flights and transfers, depart June 20.
  • Travel Department offers: 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Napoleon, Pesaro from €729pp incl. taxes and return flights ex Dublin, depart September 15 and October 6. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Miami, Lido di Jesolo from €469pp incl. taxes and return flights ex Dublin, depart September 22. 7 nights 3* or 4* hotel, Sorrento Coast, Pompeii and Capri from €799pp incl. taxes and return flights ex Dublin, depart on selected dates in August or October. See or call 01 637 1600.
  • Topflight’s country music holidays: 10 nights Country Music Awards, Nashville/Las Vegas from €2,873pps, depart November 3. 8 nights Bluegrass Tour to Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina from €2,595pp, depart September 26.
  • Insight Vacations is offering a Turkish Delights tour from €1,459pps incl. flights, transfers and selected meals, book before June 30, depart September 6. See or call 01 775 3803.
  • Uniworld River Boutique Cruises is offering an 8 day all inclusive luxury river cruise to Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux from €2,129pps incl. flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers. Book June 30, depart August 9. See  or call 01 775 3803.
  • Contiki offer of the week: European Magic 9 day tour from €1,299pp incl. flights, 8 continental breakfasts, 5 three-course dinners and 5 World Heritage Sites visits. To book visit or call 01 775 3803.
  • Sunway 5* AmaWaterways river cruise, no single supplement on 2015/16 cruises, book before July 31: 7 nights all inclusive Amsterdame-Basel cruise from €1,899pp, depart November 11. 7 nights all inclusive Paris and Normandy cruise from €2,729pp, depart July 30. 7 nights Vilshofen-Budapest cruise from €1,979pp, depart November 18.
  • Topflight offers of the week: 7 nights 4* Madison Apartments, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €517pps, depart Dublin September 12. 7 nights 3* Hotel Bagli, Rimini, Adriatic Riviera from €529pps, depart Dublin June 27. 7 nights 3* Hotel Golf, Riccione, Adriatic Riviera from €619pps, depart Dublin June 27. 7 nights 3* Hotel Boliva, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €572pps, depart Dublin, Belfast or Cork  June 20. 7 nights 3* Hotel Villa Maria, Caorle, Venetian Riviera from €674pps, depart  Dublin, Belfast or Cork September 12. All prices include resort transfers, luggage allowance and online discounts. See or call 01 2401 700.
  • Natural Retreats Castlemartyr is offering 7 nights in a two-bedroom family Mew from €969 incl. complimentary welcome food hamper, see for more info or call 01 685 3013.
  • The Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport is offering a stay, park and fly package from €199. Price includes 1 night accommodation and on-site car parking at €7.50 per day. See
  • Tourism NI offers of the week: 3 nights Blackberry Cottage, Lisnaskea, Enniskillen from £300 incl. complimentary kayak, cottage sleeps eight, stay mid-week before June 30, call 028 6772 2240 to book. 2 nights B&B Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae, Bushmills from £119 incl. 4 course dinner and bottle of Prosecco on arrival, valid Sunday-Thursday nights, available until June 30, call (028) 2073 4100 to book.


Small-image-(web)Fáilte Ireland’s business tourism team Meet In Ireland are rolling out MICE training events in five locations: Grand Hotel Malahide, Dublin. Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway. The Inn at Dromoland, Clare. The Brehon Hotel, Kerry. Foot Island Resort, Cork. The events are in partnership with the Regional Convention Bureaus.

teeling distilleryThe Teeling Whiskey distillery and visitors centre in Newmarket officially opened yesterday. The €10m distillery, the first to open in Dublin in 125 years, is owned by brothers Stephen and Jack Teeling (pictured).

Michelle Mangan of The Dunloe Hotel in Kerry created an interactive timeline documenting five years of tourism campaigns in Ireland. See here

Twenty journalists from the USA, South Africa, India and Europe will visit Ireland to celebrate Joyce and Yeats. Fáilte Ireland hosted the group in Sligo for Yeats Day and will travel to Dublin for Bloomsday.  Itinerary includes a visit to Parke’s Castle, a cruise on Lough Gill, a visit to Yeats Grave and a mini Ulysses walking tour of Dublin and visit to Joyce Tower in Sandycove.

TripAdvisor recorded a 65pc growth in searches for Co Antrim in the last 12 months. The site attributed the spike in interest to the success of Game of Thrones.

Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland said 40,000 Chinese tourists visited Ireland in 2014 (a 122pc increase over two years) and said that he is confident the Government’s target of 50,000 Chinese visitors by 2017 will be met. Tourism Ireland launched its sales mission to China this week: 14 tourism companies took part in a travel trade mission in Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing.

CSO figures showed that there were 1.5m visitors to Ireland in Q1 2015, up 14pc YOY. Total earnings were up 12pc to €780m.

Nine business tourism buyers and a trade journalist from France visited the north this week as guests of Tourism Ireland. The itinerary was designed by Tourism NI and included visits to Glenarm Castle, Titanic Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, Old Bushmills Distillery Ballywalter Park and Castle Ward Estate’s Game of Thrones tour. The trip also included visits to hotels like the Hilton, Merchange, Europa, Fitzwilliam and Galgorm Resort and Spa. Picture shows the group outside Glenarm Caslte with Caroline Phelan of Tourism Ireland Paris and Adrian Morrow of Glenarm Caslte. Willie Lougheed of Tourism NI is taking their picture.

  • The inaugural SeaFest maritime festival takes place July 10 and 11 in Cork Harbour.
  • The Festival of Music & Dancing takes place in The Armada, Spanish Point during Willie Clancy Week, July 3-12.
  • The Burren Geology Field School opened on Tuesday.
  • Belfast Zoo unveiled an animatronic dragon from Game of Thrones. The creature has a wingspan of 10 feet.
  • The 12-member Willis Clan play Westport Town Hall Theatre on Friday 26. The group are staying in Hotel Westport.

Sea Lion CoveSea Lion Cove opened in Dublin Zoo. It will be home to a colony of eight Californian sea lions. Currently, there are four living in the habitat: Nico, Cassie, Florence and Seanna. Conor McMahon of Travel Extra went to see a demonstration of the new habitat by Seanna and the zookeepers (pictured).

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TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: 10 airports join the queue for pre-clearance



AJ Vicioso guiding guests to the IPW event at Universal Orlando, June 3 2015

AJ Vicioso guiding guests to the IPW event at Universal Orlando, June 3 2015

The headlines this week:

  • The intercontinental queue for US immigration
  • Dublin airport’s new routes
  • Busiest year ever for Orlando’s IPW
  • Connect comes to atherineerry
  • Air Contractors to become ASL Airlines Ireland
  • Thailand Tourist Market kicks off in Bangkok

Travel Extra TV

video of the week June 7Our video of the week shows the Broadway casts of The Lion King and Aladdin in a sing-off at LaGuardia Airport. The footage has been viewed 2m times since it was uploaded. Watch here.

  • Here’s a breakdown of IPW‘s future host cities, from 2016 to 2024. Watch here.
  • This is what it’s like to swim with the inhabitants of Jellyfish Lake, Palau. Watch here.
  • Nudity sells: Hostelworld looks to attract adventure travellers with its Meet The World campaign. Watch here.
  • Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon went stand-up paddle boarding with Jamie Knox Watersports in Castlegregory, Co Kerry. Celebrating 25 years in business, this video showcases some of Jamie’s products. Watch here.
  • Vic Kleman, 82-years-old, has ridden the Jack Rabbit rollercoaster at Kennywood, Pennsylvania a record 5,000 times. Watch here.
  • See Cork Airport’s WAW promo. Watch here.
  • Footage from the A350 XWB’s demo visits to Taipei and Manilla. Watch here.
  • Love hurts. See footage of city council workers removing Paris’s love locks. Watch here.


US immigration queueIt happens. The queue for US immigration can elongate in an instant. That is what happened this week, except on an inter-continental scale. Dublin’s pre-clearance facilities, unique in Europe, are to be replicated in major hubs, Amsterdam, Heathrow, Istanbul and Madrid, as well as Brussels, Manchester, Oslo, and Stockholm and airports in Japan and Dominican Republic. It will take two or three years to install these facilities, especially at the hubs but it is only a matter of time before this happens. Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry pointed out on the News at One (listen here) that pre-clearance is adding €35 to the cost of a ticket so it may be defraying one of Lingus’s other advantages, a cost base 20-30pc below its competitors. One immigration queue at JFK on Thursday of last week, May 28, took six hours to process.

Kevin TolandCEO of Dublin Airport Kevin Toland said recently he is ready to take out the pick and shovel and build the parallel runway at Dublin airport. The land is ready and the funds set aside, so is this time to move?

Merlin said Alton Towers is expected to reopen in the next few days. The Smiler at Alton Towers will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The group closed the smilerpark, shut down Saw at Thorpe Park, and Dragon’s Fury and Rattlesnake at Chessington World of Adventures following the mystery crash on Smiler. Vicky Balch,19, is still in critical condition in hospital following the accident on Tuesday which also left three others seriously injured: Daniel Thorpe, 27 from Buxton in Derbyshire, Joe Pugh, 18, and Leah Washington, 17 who were on their first date, both from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, when a carriage with 16 passengers ran into an empty carriage which had become stuck halfway round a loop. The stricken carriage hung at a 45 degree angle for four hours until occupants were rescued. The closure of Alton Towers is costing Merlin €600,000 a day. An app game in which players have to prevent The Smiler rollercoaster from crashing has been withdrawn by Merlin.

Bob SchumacherUnited’s new Dublin-Chicago service and Wow Air’s new Keflavik service were the signature route launches of the week at Dublin airport. Bob Schumacher arrived from London for the launch of the seasonal daily 09.50 flight UA153 that will run until August 18 using a 169 seat Boeing 757-200 in 16-45-108 configuration. Flight times will be eight hours 25 minutes westbound and seven hours 30 minutes eastbound. United also reintroduced its seasonal second daily Boeing 757-200 nonstop service between Dublin and New York/Newark at 12:55pm. WOW air fly 3w to Keflavik at 12.10 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays using Airbus A320 and A319 aircraft. Flights will operate. Aer Lingus Regional launched their service to Doncaster Sheffield last weekend.

Poland could be added to the list of visa waiver countries in the next 12 months, if US Tourism lobby gets its way. Alongside Brazil, Croatia and Israel, Poland is just outside the visa waiver requirement of 3pc refusals for visa requests. Roger Dow said the US government has the authority to raise that figure to 10pc and he would be pressing them to do so. He said the name of the visa waiver programme should change because it creates the wrong impression, “visa waiver means more security not less.”

Secretary Pritzker opens ipwOrlando’s IPW (formerly known as Pow Wow) was the busiest ever, with 6,543 delegates, 1,352 booths and 537 media from 74 countries. Ireland is USA’s 19th most important overseas market with 395,037, 40,000 ahead of non-visa waiver Israel. The delegations from Britain and China were the biggest ever. Ciaran Carraher was a notable absentee and the result of the election of chair of Visit USA Europe was not available at the time of going to press.


Tuesday’s press conference was one of the more accomplished performances of Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association (pictured). He became unusually animated on the subject of the fracas between the big US carriers in the face of Open Skies, telling his airline colleagues they were wrong and the average air fare is 30pc lower if destination is covered by open skies agreement. “Backing away from Open skies would be especially damaging for the USA.” See the next print edition of Travel Extra for more on this fraught subject.

chris thompsonBrand USA showcased activities in the past twelve months (watch here) and Chris Thompson (pictured) gave a preview of the America Wild giant screen film commissioned to commemorated the centenary of the US National parks service (watch here). New Orleans held out the prospect of the next IPW 2016 (“free alligator rides”). Stephen Spender told Travel Extra why the city was so successful in attracting conventions like IPW: the city has 38,000 beds and 22,000 of them are within walking distances of the convention centre.

NYC & Co showcased its 47 second elevator ride at One World Observatory in the new World Trade Centre which recreates a visual history of Manhattan, if a tad expensively, admission is $32. Fred Dixon said New York has the most active hotel pipeline in the USA, 113,000 in 2015 Kenneth Svendsen124,000 by 2018, and has built 40,000 new hotel rooms since 2007: “more than an entire city.” Kenneth Svendsen of Disney (pictured) hosted a dinner in the boathouse on the organisation’s resort and said the development of Disney Springs, the former Disney Downtown would transform the visitor experience there, bringing the number of dining restaurant seats up to 10,000 from 7,000 and ending the situations where families were waiting for up to two hours for a seat at peak times.

caroline betetaCaroline Beteta of Visit California reported airlift at LAX was up 11pc and congratulated Ethiopian Airlines on their new service form Addis to LAX vi Dublin. The airport is planning a gate event on June 20th, the first for a new airport CEO. Cathy Domanico, Vice President of Tourism choose Chicago said the airport expected 55m visitors by 2020. Universal gave more details of their plans to bring Harry Potter to their Hollywood Studios park.

Four cities were added to the programme of upcoming IPW’s: 2016 New Orleans June 4-8; 2017 Washington DC June 3-7; 2018 Denver May 19-23; 2019 Anaheim June 1-5; 2020 Las Vegas May 30 –June 3; 2021 Chicago April 24-28; 2022 Orlando June 4-8; 2023 San Antonio, Texas May 20-23; 2024 Los Angeles May 4-8.

ipwThe social scene at IPW is the pride of the circuit. Disney opened 19 of their rides for Sunday’s opening, highlighting the new Fantasyland Expansonthe lrgest expansion in the 42 year history of Magic Kingdom, Seaworld’s event on Monday was inundated and the showcase Manta roller coaster had to be closed due to thunder storms after a short time and the blue ponchos provided to guests made the event look like a convention of Smurfs while people tried to recognise each other in the dark downpour (“you can’t miss me, I’m the one in the blue poncho” was a popular text on the night). Tuesday culminated with the San Francisco party, less risqué than the famously over the top Chicago event, and Universal brought visitors to both ends of Hogmseade Express for the closing event on Tuesday. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

DSC_0005A big moment for Kerry Airport this week when it became the first Irish airport to host the Connect International Aviation Forum. The event took place in Killarney’s INEC Convention Centre and was attended by 450 delegates from 50 airlines and 150 airports. Speaking to Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon, Basil Sheerin, the airport’s CFO (pictured), said the conference gave Kerry the chance to show that “we have a product, we’re not just an airport”. We wanted to showcase the region, the facilities and how we know our business down here. It helps to have the “right people here” — route developers. Another German route is on Basil’s wish list, as well as a route to the Midlands in England, particularly Birmingham. There are hopes for a French route further down the line.

killarney discoveryKerry Airport and Cork Airport co-hosted The Killarney Discovery Night with support from Fáilte Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way, giving Connect delegates the opportunity to mingle with the locals and sample the town’s pub scene. The Rebels provided the currency for the night, and one with a fair exchange rate: One Cork Airport note equaled one beer or cocktail, enough to give delegates the courage to join in on the Irish dancing in Courtney’s bar, where they started pulling pints in 1891 and haven’t stopped since (watch video here). Picture shows DAA CEO Kevin Toland with Bill Daly of Cork Airport. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

taytoparkAn Irish roller coaster at last: The inverted wooden Cú Chulainn rollercoaster opened at Tayto Park in Ashbourne. Tayto Park was Ireland’s tenth most visited attraction with 483,000 visitors in 2014.

Air Contractors is to become ASL Airlines Ireland under a rebrand announced by Hugh Flynn’s ASL Aviation Group, as part of its
hugh flynnstrategy for continued growth in passenger and cargo operations. Colin Grant, CEO of Air Contractors, will become CEO of the new European Airline’s division and will be based in Dublin. Dave Andrew, CEO of Safair, will become CEO of the new Rest of the World Airlines and Leasing Division and will be based between Johannesburg and Dublin.

asl new livery 300ASL’s 4 European airlines are to be renamed under the new ASL Airlines brand and there will be four airline operations ‘centres of excellence’ in Ireland, France, Switzerland and Hungary. ASL Group, which employs 1,500 globally, will continue to be based in Swords. Some of these aircraft will be painted in airline customer colours while the rest will soon start to become visible in Europe’s airports in the new ASL Airlines livery (pictured).

  • Europe Airpost will become ASL Airlines France
  • Farnair Switzerland  will become ASL Airlines Switzerland
  • Farnair Hungary will become ASL Airlines Hungary

Thailand Tourist Market kicked off in Bangkok with the announcement of plans to increase the capacity of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport to 80m (are direct routes to Ireland in the plans? Oslo has a daily service). Phuket is doubling its capacity to 12.5m passengers by 2016. A high speed rail link between Bangkok and Chiang Mai will open within three years followed by three further routes better connecting the north east, east coast and south. IN the absence of an army curfew this year TTM attracted 374 Thai sellers, of which 21pc are first time exhibitors at the show and 362 buyers from 50 countries with the biggest delegations from China, Britain, Australia, India, South Africa and USA. Thailand’s marketing in 2016 is to concentrate on five categories have been announced for 2015-16: wellness and spa, sports, honeymoon and wedding, green tourism, and culinary travel, with an emphasis on 12 hidden gem destinations including Lampang in the north, Trat in the north east, Trang and Nakhin Si Thammarat (Khanom) in the south. Thailand attracted 62,727 visits from Ireland in 2014 and 2015 figures are just over 2pc ahead of last year.

paulo tulio 900Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry spoke to Myles Dungan on RTÉ Radio’s The History Show about recent trends in history holiday tours. Listen here.

Travel Extra was sad to hear that legendary food and travel writer Paolo Tullio died.

Travel Trade

europe-airpost Canadian embassySuzanne L Cormie and the Canadian Embassy hosted a reception for the travel trade and press in the Ambassador’s residence to celebrate Europe Airpost’s route from Dublin to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The service, which starts in Paris CDG, will operate weekly from July 9 to September 11, departing Dublin on Thursdays. Flight time is 6 hours and 20 mins. Prices start at €314 one way and ATTS is the airline’s GSA in Ireland. See what’s new in Nova Scotia. Picture shows Michele McKenzie of The Halifax Partnership, Eric Vincent of Europe Airpost, Suzanne L Cormie chargé d’affaires Embassy of Canada and Joyce Carter of Halifax International Airport Authority at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Lufthansa Group will introduce a charge of €16 for every ticket issued by travel agents via GDSs from Sept 1. Jens Bischof of Lufthansa said revenue generated from the sale of flight tickets by airlines has decreased while other service and system partners in the value chain are recording increasing margins and returns, even though we are the actual providers of flight services.

sarah clarke innstant travelDarryl Ismail’s Innstant Travel appointed Sarah Clarke (pictured) and Rebekah Taylor to the customer support team.

Travel Counsellor Mandy Walsh won a Mrs2Be Brides‘ choice wedding award.

The Turkish Culture and Tourism Office launched its new interactive online training tool for travel agents.

Travel Counsellors Ireland are seeking a sales executive.

Jonathan Millar of Bryan Somers Travel, Tom O’Donohoe of Strand Travel and Jonathan Adair of Northern Ireland Travel News, played on the winning Emirates team at the pro am for the Irish Open.

katherine lawreyKatherine Lawrey of TTG was a popular winner of the best travel article worldwide award presented by the US Travel Association at IPW each year.

Breckenridge Tourism Office appointed McCluskey International to its PR account.

Tour America Social Media Award Winners 2015 (2)Tour America won the Best Use of Social Media award, SME category, for the third year in a row. Aer Lingus won the medium business Facebook award, while Dublin Zoo won the use of Facebook by a non-profit award, best integrated SM campaign and the Grand Prix award.

Amadeus, BLUE, Lowcostbeds and MSC Cruises invite agents to their upcoming partner roadshow, presentations start at 6pm followed by dinner: Wednesday July 8, Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo. Tuesday July 14, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk. Thursday July 16, Dooley’s Hotel, Waterford. Starts at 5.30pm, meal and training free of charge. Contact or for more details

Skal’s next lunch takes place in The Merrion Hotel this Tuesday, June 9, 12.30pm. Price €30 for members, €35pp for guests.

Travel Professionals Skillnet is holding a WordPress class on June 24, 9am-5pm in New Horizons, Strand Street, Dublin 2. Price €150. More info/bookings.

Topflight’s 5 day Italian sale starts today. See Deal Watch for more.

Thai Fam Trip at Elephant HillsCorrection from last week’s supplement: Here is the group picture from the Topflight/Emirates fam trip to Dubai and Thailand. Picture shows Caroline McDermott of O’Hanrahans Travel, Denise Winters of Garda Holiday & Travel Club, Jennifer Litchfield of O’Callaghan Travel, Maria FInnerty of Gail Ennis Travel, Delia Aston of Clubworld Travel, Gillian Purser of Marble City Travel, Sarah-Jane Wall of Globe Travel and Jayne O’Shea of Limerick Travel. Leah Parmeshwar of Topflight led the 6-day trip. Highlights included a desert safari in Dubai and a visit to Elephant Hills in Khao Sok. Connect with the album on Facebook.


  • The Heritage Killenard in Co Laois celebrates its 10th birthday this month. See Deal Watch for June birthday packages. The 5* resort hosted Ban Ki-Moon on his visit to Ireland.
  • The 5* Shanghri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar opened in Mongolia.
  • Hilton’s Curio brand celebrates its first anniversary this month. Hilton Worldwide announced that The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Anselmo Buenos Aires, the Hoodoo Moab, The Partridge Inn Augusta and Redmont Hotel Birmingham will be added to the Curio portfolio.
  • Dubai is predicted to see a whopping 28,000 new hotel rooms by 2018.
  • Hilton Worldwide relaunched the Double Your HHonors promotion until August 31.
  • South Korea’s Lotte Group acquired the New York Palace Hotel for $805m.


The battle between uber and the French authorities took another turn on Thursday when the interior and foreign ministers said police controls of “unauthorised taxi drivers” during the Cannes Film Festival last month would be extended. The ministers also announced fixed rates for official taxi rides between Paris and its main airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly.

  • Canada is to introduce biometric screening for visitors.
  • Dora the Explorer will spearhead New York City’s bilingual family tourism campaign, appealing to both English and Spanish-speaking families, it was announced at IPW in Orlando.
  • Cape Town Tourism launched the Official Guide to Cape Town mobile app, free to download for IOS and Android devices.
  • Travel distributor GTA launched its 2015 Select Hotel Collection at IPW. The brochure features 240 hotels in North and South America.
  • Online agent Bravofly claims customers can book flights on mobile in 30 seconds using a passport and credit card scanner built into its app.
  • Frozen Summer Fun opened at Disneyland Paris.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood will upgrade the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with a HD 3D ride when it opens in spring.
  • As part of its bid to clean up its image, Magaluf will impose fines of up to €3,000 on rowdy tourists who urinate in public, get naked in the street or jump from hotel balconies.
  • Visit Orlando launched a new marketing campaign, Orlando — The Never Ending Story.
  • Taiwan rolled out an interpretation hotline for taxi drivers to communicate with foreign travellers.
  • The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour reopened to visitors followed repairs.
  • 11 people were killed and eight missing after Mount Kinabalu on Borneo island, Malaysia experienced a 6.0 magnitude earthquake.
  • Three people were killed after tour bus carrying Italian tourists collided with a trailer in Pennsylvania.
  • MetGlobal announced a VANs partnership with eNett International for supplier payments.
  • Travelport renewed agreements with Clarity Travel Management and Elegant Resorts.
  • Tickets for China’s replica of the Titanic are on sale June 15. The attraction is expected to open in 2017.  Guests can experience the original menu served on the 1912 voyage, ballroom dancing and other entertainment. Controversially, they will also experience what has been dubbed an “iceberg collision simulation”. To downplay any criticism in light of the recent Yangtze River disaster, a charitable fund aiding people affected by maritime disasters was set up.
  • Music events in Italy: Maggio Musical Fiorentino Festival, Teatro Comunale, Florence, until June 27. Ravello Concerts, Ravello, Amalfi Coast, until October 30. Ravenna Festival, May 29-July 27. Umbria Jazz, Umbria, July 10-19. More events.

Food & Wine

In a break out from IPW in Orlando Travel Extra experienced the famously offhand service at Last Resort Dick’s restaurant based in Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, where waiters specialise in being rude to customers. Highlights included “here’s your drinks, sort it out,” and “how was your meal, I don’t really care but I am required to ask.” How many waiters always wanted to say that?

Dunbrody Chef Kevin prepares plateKevin Dundon, Rachel Allen, and Neven Maguire will headline Taste of Cavan, which attracted 35,000 visitors in 2014, and returns August 7-8 at its new home in Cavan Equestrian Centre.

The annual world’s 50 Best from Restaurant Magazine is always controversial and this year saw a surprise shakeup at the top. Noma, Rene Redzepi’s avant garde Copenhagen restaurant, voted as the best restaurant in the world for four of the past five years, dropped all the way to third this year. El Cellar de Can Roca, the modernist Spanish restaurant that last took the top spot in 2013, is back on top. An Italian restaurant, Osteria Francescana of Modena, came in second.

Nine previous top-50 restaurants fell to the secondary 51-100 list, including The Fat Duck, Coi, Daniel, Geranium, Hof Van Cleve, De Librije, Martín Berasategui, Vila Joya and Waku Ghin. The list is voted on by food writers, well-traveled gastronomes and chefs, came under fire this year from critics alleging vote buying, sexism and Euro-centrism. The 2015 list: 1 El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain; 2 Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy; 3 Noma, Copenhagen; 4 Central, Lima; 5 Eleven Madison Park, New York; 6 Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain; 7 Dinner, London; 8 Narisawa, Tokyo; 9 DOM, São Paulo; 10 Gaggan, Bangkok; 11 Mirazur, Menton, France; 12  L’Arpège, Paris; 13 Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain; 14 Astrid y Gaston, Lima; 15 Steirereck, Vienna; 16 Pujol, Mexico City; 17 Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain; 18 Le Bernardin, New York; 19 Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain; 20 The Ledbury, London; 21 Le Chateaubriand, Paris; 22 Nahm, Bangkok; 23 White Rabbit, Moscow; 24 Ultra Violet, Shanghai; 25 Faviken, Jarpen, Sweden; 26 Alinea, Chicago; 27 Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy; 28 The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa; 29 RyuGin, Tokyo; 30 Vend”me, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany; 31 Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm; 32 Attica, Melbourne; 33 Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany; 34 Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy; 35 Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico; 36 L’Astrance, Paris; 37 Restaurante Biko, Polanco, Mexico; 38 Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong; 39 QuiqueDacosta, Denia, Spain; 40 Per Se, New York; 41 Mani, São Paulo; 42 Borago, Santiago, Chile and Tickets, Barcelona (tied); 44 Maido, Lima; 45 Relae, Copenhagen; 46 Restaurant Andre, Singapore; 47 Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris; 48 Schloss Schauenstein in Furstenau, Switzerland; 49 Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York; 50 The French Laundry, Yountville, US.

Private jet catering company On Air Dining unveiled the €825 Kopi Luwak coffee coconut gold dessert made from the world’s most expensive coffee, civet, which is famously made from beans digested and excreted by civet cats in Indonesia.


Ryanair May traffic up 16pc to 9.5m passengers. Load factor up 7 percentage points to 92pc. Rolling annual traffic grew 13pc to 93.1m passengers.

wow-airWOW air launched its Dublin-Reykjavik flight on Tuesday. The flights will operate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Picture by Mike Kelly.

Shannon Airport will host an air display, the first in 25 years, on July 18 to mark the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight at the airport. The event is expected to attract 40,000 people.

Dublin had the fourth highest growth of group 2 airports according to European airport trade body, ACI Europe:

  • GROUP 1: Madrid (+8.9pc ), Rome FCO (+7.9pc ), Frankfurt (+7.5pc), Istanbul IST (+6.2pc) and Munich (+6.1pc)
  • GROUP 2: Athens (+21.2pc ), Istanbul SAW (+14.6pc ), London STN (+10.7pc), Dublin (+10.5pc) and Lisbon (+10.3pc)
  • GROUP 3: Milan BGY (+18.2pc), Glasgow (+15.3pc), Porto (+15.0pc), Bucharest OTP (+13.4pc) and Budapest (+10.8pc)
  • GROUP 4: Santorini/Thira JTR (+62.9pc), Chisinau (+34.8pc ), Cluj (+33.5pc), Sibiu (+29.7pc) and Porto Delgada (+28.2pc)

Avolon delivered a B737-800 to Malindo Air and an A320-200 to Pegasus Airlines.

boutique launchAer Lingus added new products to its Boutique in-flight shopping range. New products include Egyptian Magic skin cream, Sheer Glo from Irish brand BUFF make-up, Dermalogica Skin Set and Talika Eyebrow Lipocils. PIcture shows Nik Robinson and Lydia Worrel at the launch.

Ryanair abandoned its plans to acquire a Cypriot AOC.

It was like old times when the aviation story of the week was about a student changed his name by deed poll because it was cheaper than paying a Ryanair fee to correct a booking error.

Stephen Perry told IPW 2015 that New Orleans is very close to signing up its first European non stop flight a 7w to operate early 2016.

Swiss 12535I copySWISS Airlines start their 4w service from Dublin to Geneva from June 26 for €45 one-way.

Etihad are adjusting the number of miles being award on the Etihad Guest programme. Five fare classes will offer more miles and two guest classes will offer fewer miles.

Basil Sheerin, CFO of Kerry Airport, said that the recent dip in the airport’s passenger numbers (down 3.3pc in 2014) was not because of a shortage in demand, but because of airline consolidation. Traffic is up 10pc YOY, January-April, and the airport projects 300,000 pax in 2015.

  • The head of the USA’s Transportation Security Administration was replaced on Monday after the success of 67 of 70 attempts by undercover agents to sneak fake explosives and other banned items and weapons past TSA screeners.
  • Southwest’s website crashed for two days during a fare sale.
  • Goshawk Aviation appointed Ruth Kelly as CEO, Peter Watson as COO, Andy Carlisle as COO and Adnand Ramachandran as head of corporate finance.
  • Heathrow airport’s air traffic control system, Time-Based Separation, claims to decrease the occurrence of delays by 88,000 minutes.
  • Virgin announced that it is ending its codeshare with South African Airways on September 27.
  • Alitalia launched its redesigned brand, livery and IFE products at an event in Fiumicino Airport.
  • Delta is trying out a system where hand luggage is preloaded above passengers’ allocated seats before boarding begins.
  • Etihad Airways launched a Twitter account for users of frequent flyer programme Etihad Guest.
  • British Airways relaunched its On Business SME loyalty scheme, offering companies the chance to earn triple points on their first six flights with BA or on select routes with participating partner airlines.
  • South Africa clarified that the new rules for travellers with children does not apply to passengers in transit.
  • Pilots at Virgin America voted to unionise.
  • Scandinavian carrier SAS is trying out an on-board three-drink cap in order to curb flight disturbances caused by alcohol consumption.
  • Airbus won orders for 247 aircraft in the first five months of 2015 and delivered 243 jets.
  • Boeing reported six orders including four B737s, one B747 and one B737 VIP. B737 net orders were reduced by four.
  • IATA announced that airlines will begin testing a tracking system that pings flights every 15 minutes.
  • The US is in talks to expand pre-clearance in 10 airports in 9 countries: Belgium, Dominican Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Britain.
  • Etihad Airways launched a daily B787 Dreamliner service from Brisbane to Abu Dhabi.
  • Jet2 issued a lifetime ban to a passenger after his behaviour causes a Leeds-Alicante flight to divert to Toulouse.
  •  Flybe’s new service to Cardiff took off from Cork Airport yesterday, June 6.
  • Seventeen Air India flight attendants were suspended for allegedly delaying flights.
  • Etihad launched its A380 services to Sydney.
  • United Airlines and Air China expanded their codeshare agreement to include 22 new routes.
  • A Victoria’s Secret lingerie store will open at Helsinki airport later this summer.
  • Low cost carrier Frontier Airlines is expanding its fleet with 12 Airbus single aisle jets.
  • Flybe continues its on-board charity collection with month for Cancer Research.
  • Malaysia Airlines will remain as an international full-fledged service carrier and not a regional carrier.
  • Australia’s competition commission reauthorised Virgin Australia’s transpacific alliance with Delta.
  • Monarch imposed a lifetime ban on six passengers after a distrubance on board caused a flight from Birmingham to Dalaman to divert to Sophia.
  • In a bid to return to a profit, Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 jobs and review aircraft purchases.
  • Honolulu International Airport was granted $16.5m for upgrades.
  • Mexican regional carrier TAR Airlines now accepts Bitcoin payments for flight bookings.
  • Etihad launched a cargo service in conjunction with the World Cargo Alliance.
  • The first 7-Eleven store inside a US airport will open at LAX.
  • India’s Kadapa airport opens today, June 7.
  • Irish aviator Norman Surplus resumed his attempt to fly around the world in a gyrocopter this week. His route will see him fly across 26 countries, three continents and 43,000km, 7,200km of which are over water.


  • Silversea will operate voyages from Ushuaia to Antartica in November 2015 and January, February and December 2016 to mark the centenary of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition on The Endurance.
  • Azamara Club Cruises will revamp two ships with changes to staterooms, restaurants and spas.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line launched the Freestyle Choice campaign, available until July 31 on cruises of five to 16 nights departing October 1.
  • Carnival launched a volunteer tourism cruise brand, Fathom.
  • Celebrity Cruises is to participate in this year’s Taste of Dublin food festival in partnership with Champagne Taittinger in Iveagh Gardens on June 11-14.

Deal Watch

  • Topflight 5-day Italian sale, starting today: 7 nights 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €1,596 for two adults and two children, depart Cork or Dublin June 13. 7 nights 3* Hotel Eden, B&B Torbole, Lake Garda from €399pps, depart Cork or Dublin June 13. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Miami, Lido Di Jesolo from €429pps, depart Cork or Dublin June 20. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Madison, Cattolica from €699pps, depart Dublin July 4. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €869pps, depart Dublin June 14. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Sabbie D’oro, Sicily from €499pps, depart Dublin June 14. All prices include return resort transfers, luggage allowance, taxes, rep service and online discount. See for more.
  • ITAA Father’s Day offers: 4 nights B&B 2* Hotel Miravali, Lake Garda from €295pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and transfers, depart June 13. 2 nights 4* NH Brussels City Centre from €229pp incl. flights and taxes, depart June 20. 2 nights B&B 2* Royal National Hotel, London from €299pp incl. tickets to 4 Emirates Cup games, depart July 25.
  • Lowcostbeds offers to Greece based on 2 sharing, 7 nights: All inclusive 5* Lindos Imperial Resort & Spa, Rhodes from €58pppn from June 13 to July 7. Half board 5* Kontokali Bay Resort & Spa, Corfu from €96pppn, stay in July. Half board 4* Venus Beach Hotel & Spa, Santorini from €77pppn, stay in August. All inclusive 4* Keir Village by Zante Plaza, Zante from €30pppn, stay in October. Half board 4* Belvedere Hotel Skiathos from €32pppn, stay in June or September.
  • Click and Go is offering 3 nights B&B 3* City Partner Hotel Apartments from €299pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, travel in August. 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, Olhao, the Algarve from €299pp incl. transfers and return flights ex Dublin, travel in November. 7 nights half board 3* Casablanca Inn Hotel, the Algarve from €369pp incl. transfers and return flights ex Dublin, travel in October. 7 nights self catering 3* Veramar I Aparthotel from €279pp incl. transfers and return flights ex Dublin, travel in October. 3 nights 5* Rea Palacio Hotel, Lisbon from €295pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in September.
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive Holiday Village, Turkey from €2,049 for two adults and one child and from €2,529 for two adults and two children, depart June 15. 7 nights self catering Portofino Sorrento, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €409pp, depart Cork June 16. 7 nights all inclusive Holiday Village Ibiza from €2,273 for two adults and one child and from €2,469 for two adults and two children, depart Dublin August 26. 7 nights self catering San Marcia, Matagorda, Lanzarote from €629pp, depart Dublin November 5. 7 nights all inclusive Hovima, Costa Adeje, Tenerife from €889pp, depart Dublin November 14. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Sunway cruise offers: 7 nights Norwegian Epic winter Med cruise from Barcelona from €595pp incl. return flights, $50 on board spend and bottle of wine, depart November 8. 7 nights on board Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas western Med cruise from Barcelona from €995pp incl. return flights, depart August 30. 7 nights P&O Azura Norwegian Fjords cruise from Southampton from €699pp, depart June 13. 10 nights Norwegian Star Baltic cruise from Copenhagen from €1,199pp incl. 1 night pre-stay in Copenhagen and return flights, depart August 27. See
  • Thomson offers: 7 nights full board Thomson Spirit, Dalaman from €769pps, depart Dublin June 15. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Helios, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €759pp, depart Dublin June 15. 7 nights half board Bahia Princess Hotel, Tenerife form €939pps, depart Dublin November 14. 7 nights all inclusive Tropicana Jasmine Club, Sharm El Sheikh from €789pps, depart Dublin November 8.
  • Travel Department offers: 7 nights half board Dubrovnik from €659pp incl. taxes, excursions, transfers and return flights ex Dublin, travel on select dates in July and October. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Montaigne Spa, Cannes from €899pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival, excursions and return flights ex Dublin, depart July 9. 7 nights Lake Garda, Venice and Verona from €669pp incl. taxes, transfers, excursions and return flights ex Dublin, travel on selected dates from June to October. 7 nights half board 4* Grand Hotel Plaza & Locanda Maggiore, Montecatini from €899pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival, excursions and return flights ex Dublin, depart July 28. 3 nights B&B 4* Hotel Clarion Congress, Prague from €399pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival, return flights ex Dublin and walking tour, depart July 31. See for more.
  • Irish Ferries Oakwood Theme Park offer: 2 nights B&B 3* Malin House Hotel from €621 for two adults and two children incl. return car ferry crossing and one fully day pass to Oakwood Theme Park, travel until July 2. Call 0818 300 400 to book.
  • Insight Vacations Best of Germany tour from €1,835pp incl. return flights, transfers and selection of meals, depart October 9, book before June 30. See for more or call 01 775 3803.
  • Uniworld River Boutique Cruises is offering 8 days all inclusive river cruise to Burgundy from €2,245pps incl. return flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers, depart November 1, book by June 30. See for more or call 01 775 3803.
  • Stena Line is promoting its Kids Go Free offer: no restrictions on dates including mid-term breaks, bank holiday weekends and summer. Stena Line is also offering 3 bedroom holiday home for the price of 2 at Haven Holiday Parks in England, book by June 30.
  • Contiki is offering 8 days Turkish sailing form €555 incl. 7 nights accommodation on a gullet boat, 20 meals and tour of the Byzantine ruins of Kisbuku, depart June 13. See for more or call 01 775 3803.
  • Lowcostholidays offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Rio Apartments, Algarve from €279pp, depart September 16. 7 nights self catering 3* Central Park Apartments, Ibiza from €329pp, depart September 18. 7 nights B&B 3* Deevana Patong Resort, Phuket from €798pp, depart September 19. 7 nights 3* Halcyon Palm, Barbados from €995pp, depart September 19. 2 nights B&B 3* Hotel Ca Formenta, Venice from €379pp.  2 nights B&B 3* Hotel Amstel Botel, Amsterdam from €261pp, depart September 19. More offers here.
  • Classic Resorts Mexico offers, book by June 17, travel August 26 to October 16: 7 nights all inclusive 5* Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa from €1,435pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Now Jade Riviera Cancun from €1,515pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun from €1,729pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita from €2,185pps. See or call 01 874 5000.
  • Sunway June offers to Algarve, Friday flight added June 19 to August 21: Seat only from 249pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Bayside Salgados Apartments from €399pp. 7 nights self catering 4* Estrela Do Vau Apartments from €449pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Tivoli Carvoerio Hotel. Offers for August 29 departure: Seat only €329pp, 7 nights self catering 2* Presidente Aparthotel from €529pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Luna Miramar Apartments from €769pp. All prices include return airport transfers, taxes, charges, 20kg checked in baggage pp and Sunway rep service. See
  • The Heritage Killenard June birthday specials: 1 night B&B from €193pps or 2 nights B&B from €258pps incl. chocolate covered strawberries on arrival, evening meal in the Arlington Restaurant, glass of Prosecco, 25-minute spa treatment, 2 hour Heritage Spa Experiance, €10 resort credit pp and late check out.
  • Tourism NI offers of the week: 3 nights Lavender Cottage, Bushmills weekend break from £150, available until June 21, call 07834 812 647 to book. 2 nights B&B Manor House Country Hotel, Enniskillen from £109pp incl. dinner in Belleek Restaurant, complimentary access to leisure facilities. Available June 11 and 25, call 028 6862 2200 to book.


kerry-pressThe lesson to learn from Kerry: Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine. Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon visited the Kingdom to sample some of the county’s tourism products this week. The trade in the area has worked together over the last three decades to create a seamless experience for visitors. Budding tourism co-ops should spend some time here and see how a combination of perseverance, risk-taking and creativity can really pay off in the long run.

Miriam FerriterAccommodation was provided by Ballygarry House Hotel & Spa in Tralee, which offers a high end four-star experience. A country hotel with a modern twist, Ballygarry appeals to mostly the leisure market, but also offers family packages. Crucially, the hotel is managed by the third generation proprietor, Padraig McGillicuddy, so the history of the house is retained throughout each revamp. And there are a lot: Every year, 15 rooms are refurbished, often following a relevant trend — for example, the superior suite decor is inspired by WAW. Contact revenue manager Marie Galvin for FIT and group rates: 066 712 3322. Picture shows Miriam Ferriter, Sales and Weddings Manager.

Jamie KnoxConor went stand up paddle boarding with Jamie Knox Watersports, which is celebrating 25 years in business this year.  Working closely with a team of six instructors, Jamie’s water safari product is suitable for both the famously uncoordinated and those with a little more skill. Paddle boarding is particularly appealing for families because it’s easy to get the hang of. The jumbo board option works well for families, corporates groups or school tours because it is capable of carrying up to eight adults.

Dingle distilleryOther activities included the Dingle Distillery tour with Eamon Dowd and Gillian Sheehy. Visitors are brought right on to the production line and given a concise tour that concludes with a glass of delicious Dingle Gin (the first batch of whisky will be available later in the year — it takes three years to mature). Conor’s tip: Spare the tonic and have it neat. Very drinkable and goes down really well.

grainne kavanaghGráinne Kavanagh of The Coach House brought Conor on a sample tour of the Kerry Craft Trail, with visits to Holden Leather Goods, Fiadh Handwoven Design, Abi Dillon’s Glass Studio, Dingle Crystal, Kathleen McAuliffe Millinery, Dingle Artworks, Swinky Doo Designs, Dingle Candles and Niamh Utsch goldsmiths. There is a diverse range of products and artwork on the trail, all of which are distinctly Dingle. Each piece comes with a unique story.

The trip concluded with a visit to Fungie the dolphin with Jimmy and Bridget Flannery of Dingle Dolphin Tours.  Fungie has resided in Dingle harbour for three decades. What’s kept him there for so long? Nobody knows. Jimmy and Bridget never imagined that they would be in business for so long. Fungie even works after hours: He made an appearance for Travel Extra after the last boat tour had finished up. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.



A group of French journalists visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland and Brittany Ferries. The group’s itinerary, designed by Tourism NI, included the Game of Thrones tour, visits to Tollymore Forest Park, Inch Abbey, Castle Ward, Belfast, Causeway Coastal Route, Titanic Belfast and SS nomadic. The group had lunch in Harry’s Shack on Portstweard Strand before heading to Derry. Picture shows the group on Portstewart Strand, with Anne Zemmour of Tourism Ireland.

BarometerFáilte Ireland’s Tourism Barometer found that 77pc of businesses are expecting growth this year, particularly in the hotels sector with eight in ten expecting increased business in 2015. 60pc of all paid serviced accommodation providers reported that business is up this year to date. 67pc in the domestic market 69pc in the overseas markets expect growth. 68pc said they expect growth from the British market and 67pc expect more business from North America.

Aer Lingus College Football Classic will take place in Dublin in September 2016.

Car sharing company GoCar now has 100 vehicles in Dublin city. Picture shows broadcaster Darren Kennedy, one of GoCar’s 4,000 members.

The new pier in Doolin will be officially opened by Minister Brendan Howlin on Friday, June 19.

The Learn from the Best in Tourism Conference takes place in Ballygarry House Hotel & Spa, Tralee on Thursday, June 11.


Giant’s Causeway features in the latest issue of Canadian men’s lifestyle magazine Sharp.

The Burren launched the Free Cup of Tea if You Cycle to Me initiative on Tuesday, inviting visitors to cycle to participating businesses in exchange for a free cup of tea.

Upcoming events in Limerick: Tres Court International Film Festival, June 12. DruidShakespeare, June 23, 24, 26 and 27. Limerick Sings International Choral Festival, June 26-29. Twilight racing series, June and July. Make a Move Hip Hop Festival, July 2-5.

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

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Four Trans-Atlantic Treats from Aer Lingus



Bruce Munro: Light in the Garden installation at the Atlanta Botanical Garden,  Georgia fam trip, May 27 2015

Bruce Munro: Light in the Garden installation at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia press trip

The headlines this week:

  • IAG takeover ready for take off
  • IPW commences in The City Beautiful
  • The Burren Food Trail is Ireland’s Eden
  • Georgia on my mind
  • Lying back with Delta
  • We’ll leave it there so

Travel Extra TV

Video of week May 31Our video of the week is a handy guide to how NOT to board a ferry. This footage of a pick up truck inching its way across two planks received over 4.6m views on YouTube. Heart in mouth stuff. Watch here.

  • Here’s some footage of Delta Air Lines receiving the first 242-tonne A330-300. Watch here.
  • ITIC uploaded footage from the inaugural Irish Tourism Industry Awards last month. Watch here.
  • Working in IT at Aer Lingus. Watch here.
  • Rory McIlroy speaking at the opening of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Watch here.
  • Adventurer Andrew Taylor descends 1,000 steps down a Chinese mountain — on a bike. Watch here.


wilie walsh michael o'leary copyThe landing was less bumpy than anyone expected. It was an exciting week for Irish aviation with Aer Lingus to get eight new aircraft, 2.4m extra passengers and three new trans-Atlantic routes in addition to the planned resumption of the service to LAX in 2016 as a result of the proposed takeover by Spanish based IAG.

The prolonged wait in the departure lounge ended on Tuesday for Willie Walsh and his small takeover team, and they moved quickly when the Irish Government approved the sale of 25pc of Aer Lingus to IAG, with just one Labour TD breaking ranks in the subsequent Dáil vote. A document setting out the vision of the airline’s prospective new owners was circulated and Willie Walsh, sounding calm and reassuring, presented much of the same detail to a Press Conference in Dublin. Willie Walsh said he would like to see some if not all of the Aer Lingus arrangements with other airlines to continue. The full Text of the Offer was released after the Dáil vote, IAG’s presentation to analysts said Aer Lingus will be expected to reach the IAG targets of return on invested capital of 12pc and operating margin 12-14pc. They reported Revenue synergies from the BA-Iberia merger were much greater than expected. Aer Lingus customers will benefit from joining the Avios Loyalty programme. Irish transfer traffic via Heathrow has been growing in recent years despite Emirates and Etihad and Madrid offers connections for Latin America. There is no intention to appoint anyone from the Aer Lingus board. American will add needed strength to Aer Lingus beyond its present network. Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh promised that compulsory redundancies and outsourcing of jobs wouldn’t happen where savings can be made within the airline and agreed to a legally enshrined Registered Employment Agreement at the company.

IAG is due to issue the offer document within 28 days. The promise of extra aircraft is addition to the three A350XWB to arrive each year from 2018 to 2020 and replace their current A330 aircraft. While Merrion capital described this as the single largest hurdle to the proposed transaction and said they expected Ryanair would be willing fielders (Willie Walsh used the featured Bloomberg photograph of himself and Michael O’Leary at a luncheon address in Dublin last week to illustrate his respect for the Ryanair CEO), there are further obstacles to overcome; competition questions in Dublin, London, Madrid and Brussels and the  opposition from Impact on the question of outsourcing. IAG says that labour relations are a local issue for Aer Lingus.  SIPTU conditionally withdrew its opposition to the proposed takeover on the promise of new legislation on Registered Employment Agreements. Clare Labour TD Michael McNamara voted against the decision and lost the party whip. FG, Labour, and RENUA voted for, FF, SF, People before Profit, Socialist, Workers and Unemployed Action Group, Anti Austerity Alliance and Independents voted against.

Travel Extra contends that Aer Lingus has under performed on the trans-Atlantic routes given the advantages of Ireland’s geographical location and Travel Extra has cited the fact that Icelandair serves 13 North American destinations compared with just seven by Aer Lingus. Access to investment and marketing muscle will hopefully transform that situation. What next? Willie Walsh said Aer Lingus would “probably struggle” to grow its transatlantic market “without a strong partner in the US”. Under the merger plans Lingus will join Oneworld alliance and the joint-venture business IAG operates with Finnair and American Airlines on transatlantic routes. It was some turnaround from their reaction to the initial proposal back in November when opposition was overwhelming among politicians and media. The general public happiness engaged by the debate, Commentator Anton Daltun has noted how few letters on the subject have been published in The Irish TimesListen here (skip to 46.28) to Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra speaking about the implications of the takeover on RTE Radio One. Eoghan Corry ag caint faoi an díol Aer Lingus ar RnaG. Éist anseo.

IPW in Orlando kicked off last night with the lively Washington DC, Taste of Colorado and Maverick Aviation events, while Travel Extra was hosted at Sean St Ledgers’s Orlando City vs Columbus Crew soccer by Experience Kissimmee (Columbus fans songs included the hilarious: “who runs the theme parks when you’re here”). This morning’s media brunch takes place at the newly opened Orlando Eye following by the grand opening party. Attendees this year include most of the major players in the Irish market to the US including Mary McKenna of Tour America, John Devereux of American Holidays, Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus and Visit USA’s Ciara Foley and Clodagh Oxley. Press conferences will be hosted by Universal Studios Hollywood, Visit California, the US Travel Association, NYC & Company, Choose Chicago and New Orleans CVB. Disney will host the opening party this Sunday evening, Seaworld the Monday evening event and Universal Orlando the closing event on Tuesday, reversing the order of events for previous Orlando hostings in 1990, 2001, 2006 and 2010.

ipw fourThe Grand Cypress Hotel where the Irish are staying is a historic building. It was the start point for almost all of the dramatic scandals and revelations which rocked Irish political life from the 1990s: it was here Ben Dunne paid $300 to rent a lady called Denise Wojcik from an agency called Escorts in a Flash, and eventually freaked out, after a bizarre night spent sniffing lines of cocaine on the balcony of outside 1708 over the hotel lobby. Life being tamer nowadays, it is unlikely that any IPW participants will be re-enacting those scenes in the coming days. Even still the hotel has a glass partition on the balcony immediately outside room 1708.  Picture shows Barry Hammond of Sunway and Geoff Dobson of American Sky with Dee Burdock and Aisling Gavin of American Holidays at Orlando Convention Centre.

Georgia pressIn advance of IPW, Peter Hannaford, Emily Murray and Cheryl Hargrove of Visit Georgia hosted a group of Irish and British travel writers in Atlanta, Savannah and Georgia’s coastal islands, culminating in an overnight at the historic Jeckyll Island beach club. As Peter says: Atlanta also has a baggage belt. Atlanta’s traffic is largely transit traffic, and Georgia tourism is anxious to showcase the state’s attractions including a beach product that is comparable to the more famous beaches further south. People often forget that Georgia’s 15 sandy islands are accessible from Orlando, a three hour drive to some of the best beaches and islands in north America, Cheryl Hargrove says. Bud St Pierre pointed out that St Simon’s Island increasingly features in the top ten island lists on the continent. Picture shows the group at Martin Luther King’s grave in Atlanta. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Debbie O'Brien of CWT trying out the flat bed in Delta One

Travel Extra’s first experience of Delta’s 180-degree lie-fat business class was as pleasant an experience as could be imagined but the journey was not without its challenges: weather delayed the inbound craft and Delta Flight 177, scheduled to depart for Atlanta at 11.10 took off at 14.37 and the entertainment had to be rebooted twice, but the captain and the staff calmed and reassured the passengers on a packed aircraft. Irish made Thompson Solutions Vantage flat-bed sleeper seats are now available on all Irish services after they were introduced on some flights last year Delta has 40 seats in business (77-81 inch seat pitch), 28 in economy comfort (36 inch) and 178 in economy (32 inch). There are some unusual divergences for the norm: for example there are no bathrooms at the front to business class on the B767 400ER. The seats recline 180 degrees, and Delta stressed their Westin Heavenly inflight bedding and noise cancelling headsets are industry leaders, the TUMI amenity kit features Malin+Goetz poducts. Best of the wines from their updated selection chosen by Sommelier Andrea Robinson is a full bodied Ontanon Bodegas Reserva 2004 from Spain. We also sampled a medium bodied Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti from Italy and one of the whites a Santinori Bianco Toscana IGT 2013 from Italy, (the other choice was a Riesling from Germany). The meal of choice was a melt in the mouth grilled beef tenderloin with chimichurri sauce, wild mushroom sauté, macaroni and cheese. Sometimes the simplest of all wins: the cream of mushroom soup was among the best we have sample in several decades of six mile high dining. In economy, the steak with blue cheese (“black and blue”) is a good choice. Picture shows Debbie O’Brien of CWT trying out the Thompson flat bed in Delta One on a trade promotional day in Dublin.

burren food trail may 29 2015The Burren’s transition from a pile of scenic stones (the “fertile rock”) to perhaps the most vibrant tourist destination on the island was rewarded on Friday when it was selected as Ireland’s Eden destination for 2015. Food became a part of the Burren story after a launch attended by Travel Extra in Ballyvaughan in 2009 starting as a private localised group, emphasising high quality, locally produced, locally sourced, seasonal food. Tina O’Dwyer said: Our goal was to bring the landscape to life and make it mentally accessible and physically accessible, food was one of the best ways of doing that. There is another Burren in Cavan. Watch those stones. Runners up were:  Cong Food Village, Mayo, West Waterford and The Wild Atlantic Way So Sligo Food Trail.

It was relief all round from Queensland’s dive and snorkel tourist industry with the release of a UNESCO preliminary recommendation not to add the Great Barrier Reef to the world body’s endangered list. The move would have led to increased restrictions on one of the world’s most desired tourism experiences. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Queensland’s government treated the decision as an endorsement of the Australian government’s 35-year plan to protect the Reef, although critics suggested the draft decision had put Queensland and Australia “on probation.” Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt celebrated by going to the Whitsundays to snorkel the reef. The recommendation will likely be endorse when UNESCO meets in Bonn next month. “The overall outlook is poor,” the document said of the reef, citing climate change, poor water quality and the impact of coastal development as the major threats to its health. Potosí in Bolivia and Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania were added to the list of 46 Billendangered heritage sites last year and six sites in Syria in 2013.

Sad news, the industry spent this week coming to terms with the death of beloved broadcaster Bill O’Herlihy, well known in travel circles because he handled the PR account in Ireland for British Airways for many years. The outpouring of grief and sympathy on social media and across the national media was unmatched in recent times for any other Irish personality.

Travel Trade

lowcostbeds Algarve tourismLowcostbeds and Associação Turismo do Algarve hosted a lunch for the travel trade and media in One Pico restaurant, Dublin. The Algarve continues to be lowcostbeds’ top destination, accounting for 17pc of the Irish market, Clem Walshe said. Irish sales to the Algarve are up 20pc YOY for the first three months of 2015. Hugo Nascimento of Associação Turismo do Algarve said that Ireland is the Algarve’s fifth biggest foreign market, up 21pc YOY in January and February. Picture shows Clem Walshe of lowcostbeds, Celina Taveras of Associação Turismo do Algarve, Grainne Caffrey of lowcostbeds and Hugo Nascimento of Associação Turismo do Algarve at the lunch. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

topflight groupTopflight’s Thailand fam trip hosted by Leah Parmeshwar stopped off in Dubai and proceeded to Thailand where they overnighted in Phuket, transferred to Khao Lak for a night then on to Khao Sok Elephant Hills. An extra treat was that they had the Scottish FA and Wasps rugby team heading to Phuket. Picture shows the group in Dubai. Connect with the album on Facebook.

Alan Neenan’s Neenan Travel launched a dedicated cycling holidays website.

Belleair Holidays revealed its new look website to agents.

Travel Professionals Skillnet is holding a class on improving you closing sales techniques in the ITAA Training Room on Westmoreland Street on Tuesday, June 9, 9.30am-1pm. Cost €60. More info/bookings.

The Travel Corporation is offering agents the chance to win a pair of Christian Louboutins. Book an Insight Vacations, Contiki, Uniworld or Red Carnation Hotel by June 30.

3Topflight train NI travel agents about Italy at Belfast City AirportTopflight held an Italy training day for 30 agents at Belfast City Airport, where the operator will launch a charter route to Verona on June 20. The workshop was led by Topflight European sales manager Maurice Shiels with Tricia Mitchell of Topflight NI.

Bobby Healy’s CarTrawler won the customer experience award at Ovum’s On the Radar awards.

Oasis travel belfast bsjuienss awardSandra Corkin of Oasis Travel won business person of the year and World Travel Centre won the business growth award at the Belfast Business Awards at City Hall, Belfast.

LA Tourism will hold a trade lunch in Dublin to celebrate the inaugural Ethiopian Airlines flight from Dublin-LAX. Venue TBC.

The fifth Brazil Travel Trade workshop takes place Thursday, June 18, 4.30pm in the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

Tom Britton of Marble City Travel, Dominic Burke of Travel Centres, Don Shearer of Worldchoice Ireland, Dawn Conway of  Sunway, David O'Grady  of  E Travel, Celine Kenny of Cruisescapes,  Brendan Breen of E Travel, Andrew Bolton of Celebrity Cruises. Front row: Claire Stirrup of Celebrity Cruises, Jo Rzymowska of Celebrity Cruises, Mary McKenna  of Tour America, Nikki Cosgrave of Click & Go, Lorraine Quinn - of Celebrity Cruises and Alison Hamilton of Oasis Travel at the Celebrity Cruises agent business breakfast event

Pictured at the Celebrity Cruises agent business breakfast event. Tom Britton of Marble City Travel, Dominic Burke of Travel Centres, Don Shearer of Worldchoice Ireland, Dawn Conway of Sunway, David O’Grady of E Travel, Celine Kenny of Cruisescapes, Brendan Breen of E Travel, Andrew Bolton of Celebrity Cruises. Front row: Claire Stirrup of Celebrity Cruises, Jo Rzymowska of Celebrity Cruises, Mary McKenna of Tour America, Nikki Cosgrave of Click & Go, Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises and Alison Hamilton of Oasis Travel.

caroline coyleCaroline Coyle, Irish Born Vice President of brand strategy for Las Vegas CVA (pictured, she was formerly with Brindley Advertising) hosted a press group hosted by Aer Lingus in Las Vegas. The group flew on the Aer Lingus flight to San Francisco which is now a daily service and with codeshare partners United on to Las Vegas.

To celebrate 10 years in business, Project Travel is offering an extra night free in Oslo on their popular Norway in a Nutshell package on multiple travel dates this July.


Ulster Bank sold its hotel portfolio, including Roadisson in Athlone, Monasrt Spa and Toner’s on Baggot Street.

Spanish headquartered NH Hotel Group unveiled a new premium product for guests, VIP Level.

Hotel WiFi Test reported that hotel chains in Europe have much better WiFi than in the United States, having scored chains on the quality of the WiFi and whether in-room WiFi is free. Nordic Choice is the number one chain in the global rankings, with 85pc of its hotels offering adequate WiFi and 100pc of its hotels offering free WiFi. Only 17pc of all Marriott hotels in the United States provide free WiFi. Irish chain Doyle Collection offer free WiFi in all their hotels.

London-Marriott-Hotel-Park-Lane--RoofnicLondon Marriott Hotel Park Lane opened a pop-up rooftop venue, Roofnic.

Marriott International opened three properties in China: the JW Marriott Hotel Zhejiang Anji, JW Marriott Hotel Macau and The Ritz-Carlton Macau.

IHG will open its first Hotel Indigo property in LA in 2016, located in the downtown area.

  • Intercontinental Hotels Group will open a Hotel Indigo property in LA in 2016.
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts opened the Hilton Yuxi Fuxian Lake, the first in China’s Yunnan province. 
  • Martinhal in Sagres say investment and refurbishment will begin Autumn 2015 for their newly taken over Martinhal Quinta Family Resort in Quinta do Lago.
  • London’s Kensington Hotel launched its pedals and picnic package which includes accommodation, afternoon tea picnic for two and Pashley bike hire, from £330pp.
  • The AC Hotel Chicago Downtown opened on Friday. 
  • A study by Marriott Rewards credit card found that 84pc of millennials would travel abroad to volunteer and 32pc are interested in charitable trips.
  • The Rezidor Hotel group will operate the Park Inn by Radisson Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
  • The 338-room Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Cape Town will take guests in late 2016. The property was previously the 23-storey Triangle House office building in the Foreshore area.
  • IHG opened the Intercontinental Dubai Marina.
  • Marriott expects 50pc growth in the Middle East and Africa.
  • The alien-themed UFO Hotel in Baker is now open. The $30m, 31-room property is looks just like an alien spacecraft.



In what could be a seismic change for online travel industry, the EU Package Holiday Directive will be extended to cover self-chosen combination on a website of a flight plus hotel or car rental. The rules will apply if the consumer, after having booked one travel service on one website, is invited to book another service through a targeted link or similar, the new rules offer some protection provided that the second booking is made within 24 hours. The rules were agreed by the EU Commission and will be voted by the European Parliament in June and got to the EU Council and is expected to be published in October, after which member states will have two years to implement the new rules and traders a further period of six months to adapt to the new rules.

south africa sunsetAs of tomorrow (June 1), tourists travelling to South Africa with children will have to produce birth certificates to prove that they are the parents. Lone adults flying with children will have to prove the consent of their partner by producing an affidavit signed at least three months before date of travel and a court order confirming parental responsibility or guardianship of the child. Widowed parents must produce their deceased partner’s death certificate instead. Those travelling with a child who is not biologically their’s (eg a family friend) must produce copies of the parents’ passports and contact details, as well as the affidavit and child’s birth certificate. David Frost of South Africa Tourism Services Association warned that the strict rules will hurt the tourism industry, the country’s fastest growing sector. He likened the new measures to “taking a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito”.

  • Universal Orlando Resort is building a water park. Construction has begun on Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort. The new park is expected to open in 2017.
  • SeaWorld is inviting tourists to come behind the scenes at SeaWorld Orlando to learn about its 50 year legacy of animal care, conservation, rescue and rehabilitation, which includes caring for 25,000 sick, injured, ill or in need animals. The move is to stem criticism of the theme parks on the back of the Blackfish documentary. SeaWorld CFO James Heaney will step down on June 19 and will be replaced by Marc G Swanson. Heaney will be a joining a cruise line.roller coaster
  • Busch Gardens Tampa announced details of its big 2015 opening Cobra’s Curse, a spin coaster featuring a vertical lift.
  • A Singaporean tourist fell off a cliff on Lembongan Island in Bali while trying to take a selfie, according to local police.
  • Fiona Reddan’s round-up of holiday finance in the Irish Times included an endorsement of the An Post currency card.
  • David Whitaker has been appointed Brand USA’s chief marketing officer.
  • Designers of the new free VisaPort app claim it enables visa applications to be made with the click of a button. The free app is available for iOS and Android and claims to reduce the time and stress of making visa applications.
  • Edinburgh Airport set up a giant 27m sign and screen as a selfie centre piece for visitors.
  • A survey by the English Post Office found that Budapest is the cheapest European city for alcohol — Dublin was the most expensive.
  • Belmond announced that the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will launch its London-Berlin via Paris route on June 2 2016.
  • Whistler ski resort in Canada rolled out a resort-wide no smoking policy today, which just so happens to be World No Tobacco Day.
  • Bombay Sapphire Distillery 1Bombay Sapphire gin opened a visitor centre and distillery (pictured) at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England.
  • Italian theme park Gardaland will open until 11pm from June 21 to September 13. Evening prices €18, 6pm-11pm.
  • The Lake District is looking to become England’s first national park to be awarded Unesco World Heritage status.
  • Chinese travel company experienced a hacking attack on Thursday.
  • Expedia launched a Spanish language version of its US website. 
  • O’Hare International Airport in Chicago is bringing all of its scattered rental car facilities together under one roof in a US $782m project.
  • Barbados saw 171,471 long stay visitor arrivals in Q1, the highest figure in 25 years.
  • Spanish tourist group Gowaii Corp will sponsor EUROAL 2015
  • Russia’s outbound travel declined by over 15pc in 2014 with knock-on effect on many destinations.
  • Beijing Week takes place at Expo Milano until June 3.
  • The world’s largest collection of Spice Girls memorabilia, belonging to collector Liz West, will be on display at Ripley’s museum London until June 30.
  • The FBI launched a probe into a claim that users of the taxi app Uber, are being charged for phantom rides. British customers have reported their accounts being used in US cities, while users in the US claim they have been charged for trips in London

Food & Wine

patrick guilbaudPatrick Guilbaud’s won best restaurant in Ireland at the Irish Restaurant Awards 2015. Chef was Mickael Viljanen of The Greenhouse, Dublin. Winners included: , Ananda, Dublin (world cuisine), Beaufield Mews, Dublin (children), Deanes EIPIC, Belfast (newcomer), Dublin Cookery School (cookery school), Fishy Fishy, Cork (seafood), Happy Pear, Wicklow (digital marketing), Idaho Café, Cork (café), Loam, Galway (emerging Irish cuisine) , Oakroom at Adare Manor Hotel (Hotel Restaurant),, Ocean at The Maritime Hotel, Cork (eco friendly), OX, Antrim (wine experience), Poacher’s Pocket, Down (gastro pub), Restaurant Forty One at Residence, Dublin (private dining club), Ristorante Rinuccini, Kilkenny (customer service), Ronan Byrne “The Friendly Farmer”, Galway (local food hero), Rua, Mayo (casual dining), Saul McConnell of Deanes at Queens, Belfast (restaurant manager), Vintage Cocktail Club, Dublin (cocktail experience).

Celebrity chef Donal Skehan is pictured in Belfast’s iconic Crumlin Road Gaol ahead of his return to the RTE screens with a second series of ‘Kitchen Hero: Donal's Irish Feast’ and travels to seven counties to find interesting food producers. Tourism Northern Ireland were delighted to host Donal in counties Fermanagh, Antrim and Down where he met some of NI’s best food producers and selected a wide range of ingredients, including goat meat and wild venison from which he makes the delicious feasts. This included filming in some iconic locations including the historic Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast (pictured), Belle Isle Estate and Ardtara House.   Northern Ireland boasts some world-class produce, not to mention talented chefs, restaurants, skilled cookery schools and a rich food heritage, all of which is becoming better known and on the back of this, 2016 has been announced as the ‘Year of Food’. The show airs on RTÉ One on Tuesdays (8.30pm) with the first NI show showcasing Fermanagh/Tyrone (2 June) followed by Co. Antrim (16 June) and Co. Down (30 June). For more information on Food in Northern Ireland visit or Callsave 1850 230 230.

Picture shows Donal Skehan who is currently travelling to seven counties to find interesting food producers ahead of his return to the RTE screens with a second series of ‘Kitchen Hero: Donal’s Irish Feast. He is pictured in Crumlin Road gaol in Belfast during his tour of Fermanagh, Antrim and Down where he selected local ingredients including goat meat and wild venison. Filming took place in Belle Isle and Ardtara House.

Crisp sandwiches were voted Ireland’s perfect picnic essentials in a survey by Keogh’s Farm.Rory Carville

Fermanagh’s Manor House Country Hotel, which is a member of the prestigious Manor House Hotels portfolio, has appointed Rory Carville, who won his Michelin star at Locks Brasserie, as its new executive chef.

The Só Sligo Food Trail takes place June 10-14. Twenty-six restaurants, cafes and wine bars are participating, serving tapa-syle dishes for €5.

The Campo Viejo Tapas Trail takes place in four restaurants in three cities: Dublin, Cork and Galway. Tickets cost €30 and include a signature tapa and glass of wine each. The event takes place in Dublin on June 3, Cork on June 7 and Galway on August 26. See for more info.


Corkconian Anna Walsh, who works in Dublin bar MVP, was named world class Irish bartender of the year.

Good Things Cafe & Cookery School in Durrus, Cork is hosting a Cooking for One class on Saturday June 6, 10am-5.30pm. Cost €160. See for more info.


Spanish air traffic controllers who were fined for causing chaos by striking over the holiday season in 2010, retaliated for those fines by calling for partial strikes over four days in June as the summer holiday season kicks off. The strikes will take place on June 8, 10, 12 and 14 for two hours each morning and two hours each afternoon across the country.

As of tomorrow it is possible to take a day trip from Dublin to New York for the first time, when Aer Lingus’s early morning flight to JFK commences. Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, launched Dublin to Doncaster Sheffield last week. Transavia’s service to Paris Orly begins tomorrow June 1. Flybe’s service from Dublin to Cardiff begins tomorrow after their service from Dublin to London City ends today (May 31). Topflight’s first Verona flight of the season took from Cork Airport yesterday. WOWair’s 3w Dublin-Reykjavik service launches this Tuesday, June 2. Passengers will be able to connect via Keflavik to Wow’s highly publicised Boston and Washington DC services from October.

Something unthinkable until recently: Ryanair won a customer services award at the second Aviation Industry Awards 2015 in the Doubletree by Hilton on Burlington Road for its always getting better programme. Willie Walsh won the Outstanding Contribution to Irish Aviation Award and Ryanair also won the Aviation Company of the Year award. Other winners: AerCap (Aviation Leasing Achievement), Aero Inspection International (Aviation Support Services), Air Contractors (Aircraft Operator), DHL Express Ireland’s Certified International Specialist Programme (People Development), Dublin Airport (Airport Achievement), Eirtech Aviation (MRO Achievement), Foynes Air Show (General and Sport Aviation), GE Capital (Aviation Innovation) , Institute of Technology Carlow (Aviation Academic Education), Kieran O’Connor of National Flight Centre (Special Recognition), Mark Dwyer of NMAI & FlyingInIreland Upcoming Aviation Professional Award, Parc Aviation (Aviation Export), Shannon Airport (Aviation Sustainability & Environment), Simtech (Aviation Training), Stobart Air (Safety), Trinity College Dublin Fluids, Vibrations & Acoustics Research Group (Aviation R&D).

It emerged during the IAG debate that Aer Lingus commissioned a report by Nyras in February which identified €60m in potential savings. FF claimed that the report suggested ground-handling could be cut by 20pc, catering by 40pc, maintenance by 15pc and heavy maintenance by 25pc.

The 330,000 passengers who will pass through Dublin Airport this June Bank Holiday are up 14pc on a like-for-like basis over the same long weekend last year.

Ryanair increased load factors from 83pc to 88pc in their financial year, increased revenue from €5,037m to €5,654m, passenger number from 81.7m to 90.6m and reported net profit after tax up 66pc to $952.2m. John Mulligan reported that the carrier is in talks with CDG, an airport it said it would never fly to. Kenny Jacobs said that Ryanair will launch new-look cabin crew uniforms later this year. Ryanair will axe one of its Shannon-Fuerteventura services this winter because of a lack of aircraft capacity. Ryanair will lease in six aircraft in the peak summer period.

Kerry airport in Faranfore’s annual results indicated 295,521 passengers in 2014, down 4pc. The Kerry-Dublin regional flight saw traffic increase 13.5pc.

Aer Lingus launches its in-flight shopping boutique summer range on Thursday.

Aer Lingus Regional reported April 2015 load factor up 8pc to 72pc. Q1 traffic up 2.5pc to 338,000 passengers.

41b3cae3750d1d9539dfa10dec8b7df7DAA Ocean Row team rowed from Waterford to Brittany last week in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Parkinson’s Ireland.

Figures from the CSO show that the number of passengers using Irish airports was up 6.9pc last year. 26.5m passengers passed through Irish airports and 217,000 flights were handled. Dublin airport accounted for 82pc of passengers, up 7.7pc to 21.7m. Shannon numbers increased 18.9pc to 1.55m. Knock airport up 5.7pc to 703,670. Waterford up 17.8pc to 33,189. Donegal up 4.9pc to 35,415. Cork airport down 5pc to 2.1m.

photo 1

  • Dublin Aerospace expects revenues to rise to $46.1m, up 10pc.
  • Avolon delivered an A320-200 to Mexico’s VivaAerobus. Avolon delivered a B787-9 to Virgin Atlantic. Avolon delivered a B787-9 to Virgin Atlantic.
  • Air Lituanica ceased operations on May 22.
  • Air Canada Rouge is converting business class seating on its A319 aircraft from a 3-3 to a 2-2 configuration.
  • El Al Israel Airlines is in talks to merge subsidiary Sun D’Or into Israir. Deal would include one A320 on order by Israir.
  • A rebranded Malaysia Airlines will start operating by September 2015 after a $1.66bn restructuring by administrator Mohammed Faiz Azmi. The airline will outline its rebranding plans next week.
  • A Singapore Airlines A330-200 plummeted 13,000 feet after it temporarily lost power to both engines..
  • Flybe launched its 2w Southampton-Bastia route.
  • Airbus suggest production increases for the A320 family.
  • Tartar Airways will showcase five new jets at the Paris Air Show, June 19-21 including the Airbus A380 and A350 XWB.
  • US military jets escorted an Air France flight arriving in JFK after a chemical weapons threats were made to authorities.
  • African carriers Safarilink and Air Kenya have made tickets interchangeable, giving passengers the choice of two daily flights from Nairobi to Ukunda.
  • Air China and Air Canada entered a partnership to operate transpacific flights from Montreal to Asia.
  • ????????????????????????????????????Etihad reported  a net profit of $73m in 2014, up 52pc2014 pax numbers were up 22.3pc to 14.8m, revenue was up 26.7pc to $7.6m. A second batch of Etihad Butlers completed their training in the London School of Hospitality and Tourism.  Etihad posted a fourth consecutive year of net profit, up 52pc US$73m.
  • Walk Off the Earth singer Sarah Blackwood says she wants compensation and an apology after being kicked off a United Airlines flight because her young child was being fussy.
  • A Singapore Airlines jet plunged 13,000ft after both of its engines failed in mid-air.
  • Boeing reported an order for two new B737s.
  • Lufthansa Group will take delivery of 17 aircraft in 2015.
  • Construction work on London City airport’s Western Pier started this week.
  • A Delta pilot ordered pizzas for passengers after their flight was delayed on the tarmac.


Cunard’s three Queens, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth gathered in the company’s ‘spiritual home’ of Liverpool to mark its 175th anniversary. The three ships sailed up the river in formation and performed a ‘river dance’ – a 180-degree synchronised turn to starboard

Carnival Vista, set to launch in May 2016, will have the first at-sea IMAX theater, the suspended open-air SkyRide and an onboard brewery. Children younger than 12 will eat without a cover charge in all for-fee restaurants onboard. The family offering include 96 Family Harbour staterooms fitted with TVs, board games and child-friendly amenities. Child-friendly options found on other ships in the Carnival fleet wlil return, including the WaterWorks water park with a tube slide that’s 450 feet long, Camp Ocean kids club, SportSquare and Dr Seuss Bookville.

635621076162073062-Crystal-SerenityCrystal Cruises announced two world cruises for 2018. Crystal Symphony will launch a 114-day voyage from Cape Town to Miami on January 7 2018. Crystal Serenity will launch a 112-day voyage from LA to Rome on January 23 2018.

Norwegian Cruise Line reversed a ban on guests taking food back to their cabins after negative feedback from customers.  The cruise line initially wanted passengers to refrain from taking food from restaurants, including the main buffet, to eat elsewhere in the interest of keeping its cruise ships clean.

Oceania Cruises cancelled two port calls in Egypt on an upcoming Riviera voyage.

Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer announced a spa treatment centre, fitted with an infinity plunge pool, located on Deck 5.

Clia launched its cruise training scheme for agents.

Caroline O’Toole from Fahy Travel, Worldchoice wss shortlisted for a special CLIA New to Cruise award in the Agent Achievement Awards in London, sponsored by Travel Weekly.

Deal Watch

  • Project Travel is offering 5 nights for the price of 4 in Norway from €895pp incl. tax, accommodation in Oslo and Bergen and a full day Norway in a Nutshell tour. See for more info or call 01 210 8391.
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Los Zocos, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €1,289 for two adults and one child or from €1,619 for two adults and two children, depart June 18. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Lanzasur Splash, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €2,099 for two adults and one child or from €2,759 for two adults and two children, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 4* Holiday Village, Balaia, Faro from €1,689 for two adults and one child or from €2,169 for two adults and two children. Visit to book or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Thomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Morromar, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €599pp, depart Shannon June 15. 7 nights half board 3* Thomas Bay, San Stefanos, Corfu from €499pp, depart Dublin June 19. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Suite Princess, Playa Taurito, Gran Canaria from €969pp, depart Dublin June 20. 7 nights full board Thomson Spirit cruise, Black Sea Explorer, Majorca from €649pp, depart Dublin June 8. To book, visit or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Topflight is offering 7 nights half board in Sonnenburg Hotel, Ehrwald, Austria from €569pps and €249 for children under 15 incl. return flights and transfers from Dublin, guided family hikes, use of local buses and 7 days Zugspitze Z-Ticket, depart July 19 or August 16, travel in October or book for summer 2016. Additional excursion for Legoland Germany also available. 7 nights Butterfly Village, Lake Garda from €546pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, Cork or Belfast, return transfers, mobile home accommodation and rep services. See for more.
  • Click and Go offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Puertocarmen Aparthotel, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €365pp incl. return flights from Dublin and transfers, travel in October. 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, Olhoa, Algarve from €369pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in November. 3 nights 5* Grand Hotel Esplanade, Berlin from €299pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, depart August 29. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Batihan Beach Resort & Spa, Kusadasi, Turkey from €429pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in October.  7 nights self catering 3* BelleVue Club Aparthotel, Alcudia, Majorca from €399pp incl. return flights ex Cork and transfers, depart June 4. 7 nights 4* Piranha Clube Aparthotel, Algarve from €289pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, transfers, taxes and charges, travel in October. 7 nights 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, Algarve from €299pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, transfers, taxes and charges, travel in November. See for more or call 01 637 1699.
  • Sunway Algarve offers, Friday flight added: June 19 — Seat only €249pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Bayside Salgados Apartments from €399pp. 7 nights self catering 4* Estrela Do Vau Apartments from €449pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Tivoli Carvoeria Hotel from €639pp. August 29 — Seat only €559pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Presidente Aparthotel €529pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Luna Miramar Apartments from €559pp. 7 nights B&B 5* Algarve Casino Hotel from €769pp. Prices include flights, return airport transfers, taxes, charges, 20kg checked in baggage pp and Sunway rep service.
  • Stena Line’s Pontins sale ends today: 7 nights self catering Pontins Holiday Park Prestatyn/Southport from €459 for two adults and two children incl. return ferry travel for a car from Dublin-Holyhead, Rosslare-Fishguard, Belfast-Liverpool or Belfast-Cairnryan, travel in July. To book, visit or call 01 907 5399.
  • Travel Department offers: 11 nights USA and Canada five city tour from €2,599pp incl. taxes, transfers, accommodation, flights ex Dublin and visits to Chicago, Green Bay, Detroit, Cleveland and Toronto, depart August 31. 9 nights Washington DC, New York and Boston tour by rail from €2,499pp incl. taxes, return flights ex Dublin, transfers, accommodation, depart October 12. See for more or call 01 637 1600.
  • Travel Department motorsport offers: 3 nights MotoGP holiday Barcelona from €599pp incl. taxes, return flights, accommodation, transfers and tickets to qualifying and main event of Catalunya MotoGP, depart June 12. 5 nights Russian F1 Grand Prix, Sochi from €1,529pp incl. accommodation,flights, taxes, transfers, Sochi city tour and tickets for qualifying and main races, depart October 9. See for more offers.
  • Insight Vacations is offering tour of Puglia and the Neapolitan Riviera from €1,813pps incl. flights, transfers and selected meals, depart June 14. See for more or call 01 775 3803.
  • Uniworld is offering 8 days all inclusive river cruise to Bordeaux from €2,059pps incl. flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers, depart August 9. See for more or call 01 775 3803.
  • Contiki is offering 10 day tour of London, Amsterdam, Rhine Valley, Venice, the Alps and Paris from €1,109pps incl. 9 nights’ accommodations, flights, 15 meals and visits to six World Heritage Site, depart June 25. See for more or call 01 775 3803.
  • Lowcostholidays September offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Bayside Salgados, Algarve from €259pp, depart September 23. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Kristal, Costa Del Sol from €320pp, depart September 23. 7 nights self catering 3* Carlota Apartments, Gran Canaria from €269pp, depart September 24. 7 nights 3* The Inn at Jack London Square, San Francisco from €894pp, depart September 24. 7 nights 3* Bsea Cancun Plaza, Cancun from €994pp, depart September 23. 7 nights B&B 4* Andaman Cannacia Resort & Spa, Phuket from €899pp, depart September 24. 2 nights B&B 3* MF Hotel, Rome from €215pp, depart September 24. 2 nights B&B 3* BLC Design Hotel, Paris from €279pp, depart September 24. 2 nights B&B 3* Aristol, Barcelona from €279pp, depart September 24. See more offers here.
  • Lowcostbeds offers of the week, based on 7 nights, 2 sharing, travel in June: 4* Iberostar Las Dalia Hotel, Tenerife from €66pppn all inclusive. 3* Iberostar Lanzarote Park Hotel from €39pppn B&B. 4* Iberostar Alcudia Park, Majorca from €55pppn. 4* Iberostar Club Cala Barca, Majorca from €66pppn all inclusive.
  • ITAA offers of the week: 10 nights California motorhome holiday from €1,269pp incl. 9 days hire of Cruise America C25 motorhome with insurance, 2 nights 4* accommodation in San Francisco and 1 night 3* accommodation in LA, travel November. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Zilwa Attitude Hotel, Mauritius from €1,799pps incl. return flights ex Dublin and private transfers, travel June. 7 nights Belvedere Village, Lake Garda from €4,122 for family of two adults and four children incl. return flights, 2 bed bungalow, checked baggage and airport transfers, depart August 1.
  • Tour America offers: 7 nights 3* Rosen Inn Pointe Orlando from €659pp incl. return flights, depart March 28 2016. 3 nights 4* Roosevelt Hotel from €799pp incl. return flights, depart November 26. 4 nights 3* Circus Circus Hotel, Las Vegas from €759pp incl. return flights, depart October 29. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Riu Cancun from €1,899pp incl. return flights, depart December 29.
  • Sunway Mark Warner Beach Club holidays: 7 nights half board 5* Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes from €989pp, depart June 13. 7 nights half board Lakitira Beach Resort, Kos from €1,459pp, depart June 13. 7 nights all inclusive Sea Garden Beach Resort, Aegean Coast, Turkey from €929pp, depart June 20. Prices include return flights ex Dublin.
  • Tourism NI offers of the week: 1 night B&B Ballygally Castle Hotel, Larne form £65pps incl. 4 course Table d’hôte dinner in the Garden Restaurant, available until June 30, call 028 2858 1066 to book. 2 nights An Creagán (2 bedroom, sleeps 6), Crockmacann, Sixmilecross, Omagh from £160 incl. 1 day free bike hire, available until June 30, call 028 8076 1112 to book.


Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny launched their website as part of their bid for the 2020 title of European Capital of Culture.

CSO figures indicate Ireland’s market share of all American visitors to Europe is 10pc. Visitors from North America were up 20pc for the three-month period of February to April, Mainland Europe was up 15pc with Italy up 42pc, Spain up 25pc, France up 15pc, Germany up 10pc and Benelux up 11pc, Britain was up 10pc, and Australia and New Zealand up 24pc. Overseas visitor numbers are up 14pc.

Tourism Northern Ireland has a new chair and new CEO: Terrance Brannigan is the new Chairman in succession to Howard Hastings and the new CEO starting in July is John McGrillen in succession to Allan Clarke. Jonathan Bell has replaced Arlene Foster as Stormont minister for tourism.

Galway International Arts Festival announced details of its 2015 Festival Programme.

Colin Ahern of Kilkenny Tourism, Mike Buckley from Killarney, Raymond Keaney, David McNulty of International Tourism Destination Planners and Simon Wall town architect of Westport are month the speakers at the Ireland’s Tourism Towns: Learn From the Best conference in Tralee on June 11.

Great LighthousesThe EU funded tourism initiative Great Lighthouses of Ireland has launched showcasing twelve lighthouses at Ballycotton, Co Cork, Black Head, Co Antrim, Clare Island, Co Mayo, Fanad Head, Co Donegal, Galley Head, Co Cork, Hook, Co Wexford, Loop Head, Co Clare, Rathlin West, Co Antrim, St John’s Point, Co Donegal, St John’s Point, Co Down, Valentia Island, Co Kerry and Wicklow Head, Co Wicklow. Picture shows Diana Molohan of the Irish Landmark Trust with Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe.

Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic launched the White Star Premium pass to mark the anniversary of the Titanic and SS Nomadic’s launch from Belfast. The pass gives visitors entry to Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic and Discovery Tour for one price.

Robert Fisk, Charley Boorman and Jonathan Shackleton are among the line up for the 13th annual Immrama Festival of Travel Writing, which takes place June 11-14 in Lismore, Co Waterford.


Representatives from nine business tourism companies in Russia visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland. The group’s itinerary was organised by GoodCause Travel and included a panoramic tour of Dublin, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, guided walk in Galway city, visit to Connemara, visit to Sean’s Bar in Athlone and Kilbeggan Distillery. Picture shows the group at Kylemore Abbey with Olga Walker of GoodCause Travel and tour guide Oxana Tovtina.

FINNISH JOURNALISTS TO WRITE ABOUT KILKENNY AND IRELAND’S ANCIENT EASTSeventeen Finnish journalists visited Kilkenny and Ireland’s Ancient East as guests of Tourism Ireland in conjunction with the General Union of Journalists in Finland. The group’s itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland and included a walk along the Medieval Mile, a visit to the Black Abbey, Smithwick’s Experience and Kilkenny Castle. Picture shows Martin Hanrahan, Cillian Hegarty, Laura Walsh and Monika Jurkiewics, all Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny, welcoming the journalists.

The inaugural Burren Poc Fada takes place today in the Michael Cusack Centre.

RTÉ 2FM’s Tubridy Show will be broadcast along the Wild Atlantic Way as part of Fáilte Ireland’s Discover Ireland campaign. The show will be broadcast from Westport on June 8, Rosses Point, Sligo on June 9 and Dunganaghy, Donegal on June 10. Local tourism businesses Cyclists photographed at Doonagore, Doolin, Co. Clare.will be interviewed.

The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark, An Taisce Green Schools Travel and the Burren Ecotourism Network collaborated on the ‘free cup of tea if you cycle with me’ campaign to help promote the Burren as a cycling destination. Cyclists will be offered a free cup of tea when they cycle to participating businesses including Doolin Hostel, Ailwee Caves and The Burren Smokehouse.

beckettTourism Ireland is sponsoring International Beckett Season in the Barbican theatre, London. The campaign includes a competition to win a trip to Happy Day’s Enniskillen International Beckett Festival on TimeOut online guide, email marketing, social media and promo on Barbican posters and leaflets.

Some Bus Éireann routes to and from Dublin Airport will be disrupted by the Women’s Mini Marathon tomorrow, June 1. See here for more info.

Tourism Ireland unveiled its Ireland Says I Do campaign targeting the LGBT community in England, USA, Canada, Scandinavia, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. Yahoo! Travel named Ireland as the world’s top wedding destination for same-sex couples.

Registration for Grand Fondo Giro d’Italia, which takes place June 21, closes next Sunday (June 7). Register here. Each participant will be offered food and hydration along the way, a gift bag, post-ride pasta party with refreshments. For those observing, there will be entertainment and food at Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

blue flag mapBlue flags were awarded for first time to Ballinesker Beach in Co Wexford and Kinsale Yacht Club Marina. Overall, 90 Irish beaches and seven marinas awarded blue flag status. 

Four beaches lost their status: Brittas Bay North in Co Wicklow, Enniscrone in Co Sligo, Portrush East Strand in co Antrim and Skerries beach in north Dublin. Another 58 beaches were bestowed with the Green Coast Award, which recognises a clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty.

Five beaches that failed to meet with the stringent quality requirements last year because of storms that ravaged the coastline have regained their flags: Bertra and Mulranny in Co Mayo; Rossbeigh in Co Kerry; and White Strand and Spanish Point in Co Clare.

  • Antrim: Portrush West Strand; Portstewart Strand and Barmouth; Whiterocks
  • Clare: Cappa Pier; Kilkee; Doonbeg; Spanish Point; Miltown Malbay; Lahinch; Fanore; Ballycuggeran; Mountshannon
  • Cork: Redbarn; Garrylucas; Garretstown; Inchdoney; Owenahincha; Tragumna; Barleycove
  • Derry: Downhill Beach; Benone
  • Donegal: Bundoran; Rossnowlagh; Murvagh; Fintra; Portnoo/ Naran; Carrickfinn; Killahoey; Marblehill; Downings; Portsalon; Lisfannon; Culdaff; Stroove
  • Down: Cranfield Bay; Crawfordsburn; Newcastle and Murlough Beach; Tyrella
  • Dublin: Portrane; Balcarrick, Donabate; Portmarnock; Seapoint; Killiney
  • Galway: Loughrea Lake; Traught; Salthill; Silverstrand; An Trá Mhór.Trá an Dóilin; Cill Muirbhthe
  • Kerry: Derrynane; Ballinskelligs; White Strand; Kells; Rossbeigh; Inch; Ventry; Magherabeg; Fenit; Banna; Ballyheigue; Ballybunion South; Ballybunion North
  • Louth: Templeton; Port; Clogherhead
  • Mayo: Carrowmore; Bertra; The Harbour, Clare Island; Mulranny; Dooega; Keel; Keem; Dugort; Golden Strand; Mullaghroe; Elly Bay; Ross Killala
  • Sligo: Rosses Point
  • Waterford: Councillors Strand; Dunmore Strand; Tramore; Clonea
  • Wexford: Courtown; Morriscastle; Ballinesker; Curracloe; Rosslare Strand
  • Wicklow: Greystones; Brittas Bay South
  • Marinas: Ballycastle Marina, Ballyronan Marina, Cork Yacht Club; Killinure Point Marina; Kilmore Quay; Kinsale Yacht Club, New Ross ‘Three Sisters’

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

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Cancun & Jamaica next up for Falcon



Thomson Dreamliner will serve six rotations direct from Dublin to Montego Bay beginning June 12, 2016, and Cancun direct beginning June 13

Thomson Dreamliner will serve six rotations direct from Dublin to cdontego Bay beginning June 12, 2016, and Cancun direct beginning June 13

The headlines this week:

  • Big news: Cancun direct, Jamaica direct
  • Aer Lingus serves up Orlando year-round
  • Ryanair responds with more frequencies
  • Revival for Aer Lingus J-class arrivals
  • Willie happy with the waiting game
  • Thailand hosts two fam trips in successive weeks
  • Delta & Air France thank the trade

Travel Extra TV

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 19.47.49Delta Air Line’s inflight safety video is our video of the week. Featuring a host of famous internet memes, the YouTube video has received over 2.7m views and appeared on The Manchester Guardian’s viral video chart. Watch here.

  • Tourism Ireland invites LGBT holidaymakers to Ireland following the marriage referendum victory. Watch here.
  • Take a look at Aer Lingus’s US pre-clearance promo, targeting customers flying Birmingham to the US via Dublin. Watch here.
  • Shannon Airport uploaded a video of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arriving for a two-day visit. Watch here.
  • Discover Northern Ireland uploaded a countdown of the top 18 golfing holes in the north. Watch here.
  • Here’s Aer Lingus‘s Smart Flies promo with Chris O’Dowd. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland’s guide to Belfast with KLM and iFly Magazine. Watch here.
  • A look at the A320neo and its LEAP-1A engines. Watch here.


Dublin is to get direct flights to Cancun and Montego Bay in the summer of 2016, thanks to Falcon holidays. This will be the second Dreamliner route from Dublin after Ethiopian’s Addis-Dublin-LAX service to commence June 15. Services on the Thomson Airways Boeing 787 to Montego Bay will operate six weekly rotations on Sundays to Montego Bay from June 12, 2016 and on Mondays to Cancun from June 13. Thomson Airways is to take delivery of up to four more 787-9 Dreamliners. Boeing has delivered 240 Dreamliners and created 49 new markets.

The new Aer Lingus "Revival lounge" at Dublin Airport: The refreshment area and seating from the entrance corridor

Aer Lingus’s new revival lounge at Dublin airport went live on Monday. The lounge is situated in the baggage hall after Immigration control in Terminal 2. It is on the right hand side of the hall. The lounge is for the use of Business Class passengers arriving on transatlantic flights. It is not for use by members of the Aer Lingus Gold circle club, but is restricted to those passengers travelling in the “J” cabin up front. See here for pictures from Travel Extra’s Michael Kelly or connect with the album on Facebook.

Aer Lingus winterAer Lingus Winter 2015/2016 will introduce two new routes, increased frequencies on sun and ski routes and improved timings on high frequency business routes. Aer Lingus returns to Dublin-Liverpool with a difference: a new 16w daily service starts October 23 to feed Liverpudlians into Aer Lingus’s expanding transatlantic services. Liverpool ‘s Evening Echo reported the development as “re-establishing it’s air link with North America with a new service seamlessly connecting passengers” Transatlantic capacity routes is up13pc with additional Thanksgiving, Christmas holidays, mid-term and Easter frequencies. The extra 275,000 seats represents its biggest growth in capacity in the past 10 years.

  • As first reported by Travel Extra, Dublin to Washington 4w seasonal service has been extended until January 4
  • Winter services to Orlando for the first time (4w until January 4 using a Boeing 752)
  • An increase in frequency on the Dublin to New York route from January through to March with 5pc growth versus last winter
  • A double daily operation in November, December and March from Dublin to Boston with 19pc capacity increase
  • Chicago is up to 10w from daily, up 18pc on winter last year, with a new 05.30 arrival time up until January 4 using an A330 and B752
  • Additional frequencies on flights from Dublin to San Francisco and Orlando over Christmas, mid term (Feb 14) and Easter (April 5)
  • Flights between Dublin and Toronto will continue throughout the winter with up to four weekly flights
  • Flights between Shannon and Boston will operate throughout the winter while flights between Shannon and New York will be suspended from early January to mid-March, recommencing in-time for demand over St Patrick’s Day
  • Enhanced connecting flows between Europe and North America meaning customers can choose from over 100 onward connections across the USA and Canada with partner airlines
  • Aer Lingus’ offering between Ireland and Britain now covers 19 airports in England, Scotland and Wales and a total of 32 routes
  • 10pc more seats on Aer Lingus from Dublin to Manchester 34w with up to six flights daily
  • 14pc more seats on Aer Lingus from Dublin to Birmingham 28w with up to six flights daily, serving peak business traffic
  • 15pc growth on Dublin to Paris route with an additional prime evening business flight
  • 5pc growth on Dublin to Amsterdam service with up to five flights daily
  • Three flights daily between Dublin and Brussels with improved evening times to facilitate day return business customers
  • Additional flights to Zurich and Geneva with 10pc extra seats, to cover demand during ski season
  • Up to 26 flights per week to the Canary Islands and Morocco, catering for demand over Christmas, mid-term and Easter

Aer Lingus team pictured at the Aer Lingus winter schedule launch in Dublin, Mike Rutter, Dervila McGarry, Paula Donaghy, Orla Ni Cochrán and Eoin McGirl, May 21 2015

Aer Lingus Chief Revenue Officer Mike Rutter said in response to a question from Travel Extra that 30pc of Aer Lingus passengers come from “behind” Dublin on the Irish side, and 20pc beyond the gateway destinations on the American side. There are 5pc more seats Dublin to
JFK between January and March, Boston is up 19pc, Toronto and San Francisco will have additional flights at Christmas, mid term (Feb 14) and Easter (April 5). There are additional frequencies to Zurich, Geneva, Birmingham, Manchester and Amsterdam. The schedule featured an increase in Shannon to Heathrow capacity. Aer Lingus serves seven transatlantic destinations compared with 13 for Icelandair and five each for SAS and Norwegian. Picture shows the Aer Lingus team at the launch, Mike Rutter, Dervila McGarry, Paula Donaghy, Orla Ni Cochrán and Eoin McGirl. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

ryanairRyanair responded by announcing increases on Liverpool, Birmingham, and Manchester. Ryanair is to increase frequencies on 12 routes from Dublin for winter 2015/6 from October 26, Gatwick and Manchester up from five to six daily, Birmingham up from four to six daily, Liverpool up from three to four daily, Barcelona up from two to three daily, daily to Faro and Malaga, Madrid from 12w to 18w, Warsaw Modlin 8w, Alicante 6w, Tenerife South 5w, previously announced services to Copenhagen and Lublin and Venice Treviso extended to a year-round service.

willie walsh_2664 copyGlasnevin’s own Willie Walsh came to Dublin to talk to the Chartered Accountants Leinster Society Luncheon, and was chaperoned to make sure he did not say anything about the imminent IAG bid for Aer Lingus. His revealing talk outlined IAG’s strategy not to be tied by national identity, as Air France-KLM was when they chose their merged name, and “we chose a deliberately boring name.” Outside the room he answered questions from Travel Extra and others when he stressed that he was taking a patient approach to the bid, relaxed said Reuters, in no rush said the Irish Independent. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Elsewhere trade union opposition was ramped up with Matt Staunton and Evan Cullen of Impact describing IAG assurances on Aer Lingus as “worthless” and Evan Cullen claiming that takeover would mean that Aer Lingus trans-Atlantic services would be diverted through London. Impact’s shopping list for the proposed takeover is:

  • No compulsory redundancies
  • Pre-agreed staff redeployment
  • Collective agreements underpinned in a legally binding agreement
  • All existing collective agreements to be extended to new and existing staff
  • Agreed pay rates, terms and conditions to be protected
  • No outsourcing, direct employment to be the norm
  • No off shoring of cabin crew or pilot bases unless by agreement
  • A protocol that staff of any IAG group cannot be called upon to take on Aer Lingus work in event of a dispute
  • An Irish/Aer Lingus presence on the IAG board
  • A worker representative on any newly composed Aer Lingus board within the IAG group

itaa and ITOF meet Minister copyMinisterial meetings tend to offer more hope of change than ever gets delivered, but representatives of the Irish Travel Agents Association and Irish Tour Operators Federation who met Minister Paschal Donohoe on Monday emerged satisfied with the level of engagement and at how well briefed the minister was. Much of the discussion related to the absence of a collective bond in the event of agency or tour operator failure. Asked what they wanted the travel reps replied a level playing field, where airlines are subject to a small surcharge as well as travel agents. At present only about 15pc of holidaymakers have any protection in the event of a company failure. A separate meeting with credit card companies on the double bonding of credit card bookings, with a lean on payments imposed on the trade, also saw some progress but no outcome to this problem is in sight: credit card companies are seeking letters of comfort which may only be facilitated by resolving the collective bond problem. A third issue: will the licensing issue be changed at European level? And is the future of the Commission of Aviation regulation up for examination, in the face of growing criticism from the industry. Recently the regulator achieved the unlikely scenario of Dublin Airport, Aer Lingus, and Ryanair reaching agreement on one issue: regulation is not working. Picture shows the travel delegation with the minister: Martin Skelly President of the Irish Travel Agents Association, Minister Paschal Donohoe, Philip Airey past president of Irish Tour Operators Federation, Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA and John Galligan of the ITAA.

Niall McDonnell Ireland country manager of Red Sea Holidays, the Egyptian ambassador Ms Soha Gendi and Jason Hilton Britain country manager of Red Sea Holidays at the launch of Red Sea Holidays Irish brochure, May 19 2015

Red Sea Holidays will be hosting 100 (yes, one hundred) Irish travel agents on press fams to its properties over the coming months. According to Jason Hillton of Red Sea resorts hosting agents has proven the most effective marketing device for the group in the past. The group is headed up in Ireland by Niall McDonnell who first dealt with the group’s properties through the Mytravel group and was recruited to head up the Irish operation by Andy Grant. The group reported brisk bookings over the past fortnight despite delivering their Sharm el Sheikh hotel-owned tour operator product late to the market place for the 2015 booking season. Picture shows Niall McDonnell Ireland country manager of Red Sea Holidays, the Egyptian ambassador Soha Gendi and Jason Hilton Britain country manager of Red Sea Holidays at the launch. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

siobhan scanlonThe Air France family of Delta, KLM and Air France hosted the trade at Dublin’s Harbourmaster. Pictures shows Siobhan Scanlon, Vicky Pascual and Deirdre Sheridan of Air France/Delta/KLM and Enzo Miccardi of Alitalia.. Siobhan Scanlon thanked the trade and told guests that Air France continues to invest in products, she highlighted Air Frances new Vancouver route, KLM’s route to Edmonton and Monday’s launch of Belfast to Amsterdam direct, something that will have far reaching consequences for connectivity from the north. Delta’s new business class continues to be rolled out on long haul and on short and medium haul the new economy flex product is enhancing the choice for business customers with Sky priority fast track and lounge access. 11377266_10152859688252727_2035626652491605500_nDelta’s seasonal Shannon to New York service has resumed launch which combined with the Dublin Atlanta service means Delta have three daily flights off the island. Enzo Miccardi of Alitalia was at the event, and highlighted Alitalia’s new long haul routes to Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul. Air France’s frequent flyer programme Flying Blue won a string of awards recently including best programme. Delta have upgraded the winter Dublin to JFK service to an A333 from B764. Picture shows Michelle McCabe, Stacey Brien, Rebecca Curley, Elaine McManus, Margaret Dolan, Sabrina Vonsowski and Louise Brennan of ClubTravel/Budget Travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

TIGSThe winners of the Travel Industry Golf Society outing to Fota island were Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel and Ann Marie Dalton of Turkish Airlines. The event was sponsored by The Travel Corporation. Picture shows Peter O’Hanlon of Travel Finders at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Next week’s IPW in Orlando will likely be the second biggest in the 47-year history of the event: just behind the record set at Las Vegas in 2013 of 6,400 buyers and 479 media. Delegate numbers are tracking 26pc higher than when Orlando last hosted in 2010 while international participation by buyers and media is tracking 15pc higher than in 2010. China Buyers are up to 109 (22 MICE buyers) from 17 in 2010, England up to 170 from 123 in 2010, France up to 34 (14 MICE buyers) from 18 In 2010. This will be the seventh time that Orlando has hosted IPW, more than any other city. Future IPWs will be hosted by New Orelans (2016), Washington DC (2017), Denver (2018), Anaheim (2019) and Las Vegas (2020).

pat dawson 300ITAA CEO Pat Dawson was appointed to the board of ECTAA, which represents the national associations of travel agents and tour operators of 27 EU Member States, two EU accession countries as well Switzerland and Norway.

Picture shows travel professionals who were invited by Delta Air Lines to see their 767 400 aircraft at Dublin Airport, to check out their lie flat product, new to the Irish markets at first-hand – Delta One, Delta Comfort and Main Cabin.Travel professionals who were invited by Delta Air Lines r to see their 767 400 aircraft at Dublin Airport, to check out their lie flat product, new to the Irish markets at first-hand - Delta One, Delta Comfort and Main Cabin. Back row: Vivienne Hackett of Club Travel, Claire Rochford of FCM, Teresa Murphy of Air France KLM Delta and Sylvia Mazon of Atlas Travel. Front row: Debbie O'Brien of CWT and Gintare Gedeikaite of BCD. Back row: Vivienne Hackett of Club Travel, Claire Rochford of FCM, Teresa Murphy of Air France KLM Delta and Sylvia Mazon of Atlas Travel. Front row: Debbie O’Brien of CWT and Gintare Gedeikaite of BCD. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

sunway group

Thailand hosted fam trips from two different tour operators on successive weeks. a group of travel agents from Sunway last week, accompanied by Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines, with Barry Hammond and Jeanette Taylor of Sunway. Picture shows Fidelma Burke of Grogan travel in Tuam, Annette Hynes of One Stop Travel in Galway, Adelle Durcan of Mackin travel, Jacinta McGlynn of Travel Biz, Barry Hammond of Sunway, Nuasara of Dheva Mantra Resort, Margaret McGaughey of Liberty travel in Letterkenny, Onur Gull of Turkish airlines, Anne Rupert Nolan of just split in Limerick, Jeanette Taylor of Sunway, Amanda Neeson of O’Hanrahan travel in Monaghan.

Leah ParmeshwarNext week Thailand hosts another group accompanied by Leah Parmeshwar (pictured) of Topflight and Clareanna Phillips of Emirates. Participants include Caroline McDermott of O’Hanrahan’s Travel, Denise Winters of Garda Holiday Club, Jennifer Litchfield of O’Callaghan Travel, Maria Finnerty of Gail Ennis Travel, Delia Aston of Clubworld Travel and Gillian Purser of Marble City Travel.

Topflight are hosting travel agent training sessions in Belfast this coming Tuesday May 26 at Belfast City Airport. The training sessions will focus on Italy and in particular the Belfast to Verona route. There will also be presentations on the Topflight worldwide product. To take part in the informative training sessions, e-mail Tricia, or call +4428 97521168.

Irish travel media and their hosts on a press trip to Madeira: Barbara Scully of The Examiner, Rita Azevedo of Blandy's Wine Lodge, Marie Carberry of Travel Extra, and Marta Henriques of Madeira Promotion Bureau.

Picture shows Irish travel media and their hosts on a press trip to Madeira: Barbara Scully of The Examiner, Rita Azevedo of Blandy’s Wine Lodge, Marie Carberry of Travel Extra, and Marta Henriques of Madeira Promotion Bureau. Madeira flights resume this summer from Dublin after a two year hiatus with a Europe Airpost charter direct from Dublin to Funchal every Thursday from May 7 until Sept 17. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

ian Tian of China Direct was the overall winner of the recent Air France KLM Asia Booking Incentive. Picture shows Teresa Murphy, Account Manager Air France KLM, presenting Jian with an iPad.

  • Jian Tian of China Direct was the overall winner of the recent Air France KLM Asia Booking Incentive. Picture shows Teresa Murphy, Account Manager Air France KLM, presenting Jian with an iPad.
  • Aviareps has acquired the separate English-based Aviareps plc and merged its subsidiary, Aviacircle under the corporate brand of Aviareps.
  • Travel Parking Group’s airport parking application now available through Travelport Smartpoint.
  • ciara mooneyCiara Mooney’s Freedom Travel is finalising plans for a booth to be opened at Tesco in Monread, Naas, the second largest Tesco in the country. It follows Best4travel’s move to supermarket booths: Jeff Collins opened his fifth shopping centre booth in Athlone last September and plans three more over the next two years.
  • Motoring solutions specialists, easytrip announced a partnership with Ciaran Mulligan’s Blue Insurance.
  • Simon Cook has been appointed as two country manager for Ireland and Britain for Oman Air. Simon was previously with Arik, Aer Arann, Luxair and Finnair.
  • Travelport’s Travel Parking Group airport parking application, Looking4app, launched to travel agencies through Travelport Smartpoint.
  • Peter Friedrich hosted five agents who had won tickets to the Take That concert at the 3 Arena in Dublin, Cathal Teague of Trailfinders; Joanna Corrigan and Jade Christie of Abbey Travel; Paula McMahon of Reliable Travel Belfast; and Maureen Eason of Clubworld Travel Newry..
  • Sunway’s Dublin-Algarve service will operate on Fridays, from June 19 to August 21. Seat only from €299pp.
  • Aoife Finneran travel editor of the Irish Sun, May 19 2015
  • Aoife Finneran (pictured) has taken charge of the travel pages of the Irish Sun, two pages on Saturdays and two pages on Sundays. Contact here.
  • Lowcosttravelgroup achieved EBITDA of €2.9m in the 2013/14 financial year. The group claimed a rise in total transaction value to €643m for Majorca-based lowcostholidays and Swiss-based trade bedbank lowcostbeds. 
Travel professionals hosted by Teresa Murphy, Air France KLM Account Manager at Paris CDG to see the newly completed satellite S4, the new boarding area at terminal 2E. This new area allows Air France to group its operations to the east of the hub and to offer its passengers shorter and more fluid connecting channels. Back row : Marvin Castellon of Club Travel, Lucy Stanley of Atlas Travel, Erika Gogorova of Travel Broker and Xue Gu of Destination Store. Front row: Aisling O'Donovan of Club Travel, Louisa Ercolino of Club Travel, Sonya O'Brien of Eimer Hannon Travel and Teresa Murphy of Air France KLM Delta.


Pictures shows Travel professionals hosted by Teresa Murphy, Air France KLM Account Manager at Paris CDG to see the newly completed satellite S4, the new boarding area at terminal 2E. This new area allows Air France to group its operations to the east of the hub and to offer its passengers shorter and more fluid connecting channels. Back row : Marvin Castellon of Club Travel, Lucy Stanley of Atlas Travel, Erika Gogorova of Travel Broker and Xue Gu of Destination Store. Front row: Aisling O’Donovan of Club Travel, Louisa Ercolino of Club Travel, Sonya O’Brien of Eimer Hannon Travel and Teresa Murphy of Air France KLM Delta.

  • Travel Professionals Skillnet is holding a fire warden training sessions in the ITAA Office on Westmoreland Street, Wed May 27, 9.30am-5.30pm for €120. More info/book here. Finance for Non Finance Professionals, Professional Development Training Centre, Blanchardstown, May 21-22, 9.30am-5.30pm, cost €299. More info/book here. Excel Early Bird Special: Excel Level 1 and 2 for €150, March 25. Book before March 23. Book here. SEO and Google Algorithm updates, Hampton Hotel, Dublin, May 26, 9.30am-1pm, Cost €60. More info/book here.
  • Ireland’s companies act 2014 will commence on June 1 2015, and will replace the Companies Acts 1963-2013.


Mary Fennin of the Clanard Court hotel and staff at the hotel's tenth birthday celebrations, May 19 2015

The Clanard Court hotel celebrated its tenth anniversary. Speaking at the event John Osborne chair of Kildare Failte noted that he learned from Patrick Kavanagh that Athy’s best known export was mythologies. Picture shows Mary and the team. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Salthill Hotel in Galway was awarded 4 star status.

Matthew Gale Massage copyAlaskan masseuse Matthew Gale will remain in residence at the 5* Monart Destination Spa in Wexford from June 5 to 25.

Blue Haven Hotel Kinsale was awarded the Trip Adviser Certificate of Excellence for the fifth year in a row.

Accor announced the sale and franchise-back of seven hotels (708 rooms) for €32.6 million, including Ibis Dublin West hotel.

Nelson Mandela’s retirement residence on the Shambala Private Game Reserve around 160 miles north of Johannesburg reopened as a luxury retreat centre.

Marriott added the 228-room JW Marriott Hotel Zhejiang Anji to its portfolio in China. Marriott also announced the opening of its first rainforest resort in Asia Pacific, Mulu Marriott and Spa in Sarawak, Malaysia.

  • Singita Ebony Lodge will reopen this summer after renovations.
  • Lifestyle hotel brand Zoku will debut in Amsterdam in autumn. Bookings available from July.
  • Pousada de Lisboa opens June 1.
  • Corinthia Hotels launched a Meetings app for even organisers and their delegates.
  • Mandarin Oriental acquired the Hotel Ritz in Madrid for €130m.
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts launched a loyalty programme for SMEs.



Florida Governor Rick Scott reported a record 28.4m visitors came to the state in Q1, up 6.2pc over the first quarter in 2014.

  • Disney says it has opened its first store in China, calling its new Shanghai location the largest Disney Store in the world. Disney is considering rolling out its MyMagic+ programme — which allows guests to make in-resort purchases and book ride times with a wristband embedded with a microchip — to other theme parks.
  • The Eiffel Tower was closed to the public for most of Friday as workers protested against a rise in pickpockets.
  • A Georgia man who posed as an airline employee to make cut-rate reservations then resold the tickets for thousands of dollars has been sentenced in Los Angeles to six months in prison
  • Gane and Marshall launched a tour to Wilderness Safaris’ new Linkwasha Camp, Hwange National Park
  • 150 exhibitors from 19 countries will attend EUROAL 2015, Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones de Torremolinos-Costa del Sol, June 3-5.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 22.03.30This could be the world’s first elfie: Christian Le Blanc captured this amazing selfie with an elephant.

  • Bioculture, a guide for walkers and bikers touring Le Marche, Italy, is now available.
  • Next month, Hertz will increase car rental prices up to $5 a day or $20 a week.
  • SeaWorld increased single day tickets by $2 to $97 at the gate and reduced advance-purchase weekday tickets by $5 to $70.
  • Zimbabwe Tourism authority expects annual earnings to increase to $1.5bn.

Food & Wine

Cornish john doryPicture shows Cornish John Dory as served in Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall Restaurant last weekend while Travel Extra was on a fam trip with Aer Lingus Regional to their new Newquay service. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

There will be 60 exhibitors in the Artisan Food Market at next week’s Bloom in Phoenix Park, May 28 to June 1.

The inaugural Wild Atlantic Seaweed Festival takes place in Ballybunion, Co Kerry, June 5-7.



ba a380 aviva stadium copy

Willie Walsh revealed his favourite photograph at the Shelbourne Hotel on Wednesday: the BA A380 with the Aviva stadium in the background, icon of BA and icon of his native city in the same frame.

The back-story to all those feel good social media photographs of the returning voters for Friday’s gay marriage referendum in Ireland is the extent to which voters were shaken down by the aviation industry as revealed by Newstalk. Some sample one way fares using prices on Tuesday: Gatwick-Dublin €412, Heathrow-Dublin €473 and €487, London City-Dublin €544, Stansted-Shannon €261, Heathrow-Cork €509, Stansted and Luton to Kerry €263, Stansted and Luton to knock €263, Gatwick-Knock €366. This compares with fares from €15 on June 2. This is also a bank holiday weekend in England.

News from the winter schedule announcement is that Aer Lingus will move from Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) to Berlin Tegel (TXL) from the end of October, Aer Lingus will move its flight services to Berlin Tegel airport, growing flight frequencies to 10w, up 18pc. Ryanair will operate 9w to Berlin Schönefeld.

Portugal’s government received three binding offers for TAP and expects to announce a buyer for the airline by the end of June, its second attempt to offload the state-owned airline in three years. Avianca’s Germán Efromovich proposed 12 new aircraft, Gateway’s David Neelman proposes replacing its fleet with 53 new aircraft.

washington press club ceos copyThe three big US airline CEOs, Doug Parker, Richard Anderson and Jeff Smisek continued their campaign against Middle East carriers, telling the USA Today editorial board that Europe should have acted to keep the expansion of the three big Gulf carriers in check. “I don’t think they knew what we now know, that indeed there was subsidisation going on” Parker said when asked about why European regulators hadn’t already acted on the claims now being made by the Americans. CEO of United Jeff Smisek listed Ireland among the obscure jurisdictions that Gulf carriers’ finances were uncovered from, alongside Singapore, Australia, India, Belgium, Ireland, Malta and England.

  • Ryanair upgraded their mobile app allows customers to store payment and passport details
  • Avolon delivered its first B787-800 to Avianca.
  • United extended their second Dublin to Newark flight by four weeks to September 24, it was originally scheduled to finish on August 18.
  • Aer Lingus Regional’s Dublin to Doncaster route does not appear in the winter schedules.
  • KLM relaunched services from Belfast City Airport to Amsterdam.
  • Avolon delivered an A320-200 to Pegasus Airlines, its sixth aircraft on lease to the carrier.
  • Cityjet will cut its Cardiff-Edinburgh and Cardiff-Paris services from June 30 after Cardiff Airport backed another airline to fly the routes in competition with the Swords-based carrier.
  • Airbus’s first A320neo fitted with Leap-1A engine performed its maiden flight.
  • Air France will resume services to Sierra Leone from next month.
  • A Jet2 pilot accidentally triggered a hijack alarm in Majorca, causing police to surround the aircraft.
  • Scotland will play Qatar in the Qatar Airways Cup in Edinburgh on June 5, eight days before Scotland’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland.
  • Air Canada will start tagging all cabin luggage tomorrow (May 25). Staff will be stationed at check-in and security points to check that bags conform to size and weight limits.
  • TUI Group will rebrand its five airlines under a single TUI brand.
  • Wizz Air launched an updated brand and livery.
  • Emirates launched an app for Android devices.
  • Mahe International Airport is now offering free Wi-Fi.
  • Alitalia will cease its partnership agreements with Air France-KLM from 2017.
  • Embraer and Tianjin Airlines signed an agreement for the sale of 22 aircraft.
  • Auckland International Airport is awarding $100,000 to businesses that create innovative ways to attract Asian tourists to New Zealand during the off-peak season.
  • Etihad Airways appointed aviation IT company SITA to provide baggage tracking services.
  • Etihad will add a fourth daily service from Abu Dhabi to Bangkok from July 1.
  • Flybe opened a base at Bournemouth Airport.
  • The “nut rage” Korean Air executive, “Heather” Cho Hyuna-ash and old friend of Travel Extra, was freed from prison after an appeals court suspended her jail sentence:  She caused a flight to be delayed to offload an attendant, here is a valuable backgrounder on the culture of gabjil”, high-handedness by the rich and powerful,
  • A US Airways passenger stripped naked in protest after his flight from North Carolina to Jamaica was overbooked. 
  • Etihad Airways added a fourth daily Bangkok service.
  • Radka Lynn’s Balkan Holidays have scheduled twice weekly flights to Bourgas from Belfast at 11:20 on Mondays and 08:35 on Fridays
  • The Sydney Morning Herald asked why, in an era of historically low oil prices, Qantas still charge Aus $570 in fuel surcharges on a return economy ticket from Australia to London and $1080 for business class. It noted Emirates and Singapore Airlines also retained fuel surcharges.
  • Norwegian plans to move Boeing 787s from Irish to Norwegian registration “due to Regulatory reasons.” The airline Norwegian is still waiting on a foreign air carrier permit for its Irish-registered company, which was created as a vehicle for its 787 operations.
  • The Irish Times featured Aer Lingus €2m journey to modernise its brand.
  • AerCap completed the purchase of ILFC from AIG.
  • Shannon Airport objected to the development of the twin office units at the north-eastern corner of the existing West Park centre, citing safety fears.
  • Bobby Healy’s CarTrawler signed a partnership with Swiss International Airlines.
  • Antonis Simigdalas’s Elix Aviation Capital acquired 25 aircraft from Nordic Aviation Capital, an IFSC based regional aircraft leasing company that focuses on turboprops,
  • Thai Airways returned to profitability as the airline group benefited from the recovery of Thailand’s tourism sector and the reduction in fuel prices.
  • Airports are the gateways to Europe’s tourism markets, but most are also loss-making. Is this inevitable, or are there better ways?is title of the address by Michael Cawley at ACI EUROPE in Prague alongside EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 22.07.57Copenhagen’s mayor took on Ryanair banning city employees from using the airline. Predictably, Ryanair struck back.

Dave Scully of Weston Airport in Celbridge reported a second year of business aviation growth:

  • The Irish Aviation Authority and Shannon’s IASC partnerred to launch a new Irish “EJ” corporate aircraft register:
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines became the first major non-EU airline to be fined under EU emissions controls.
  • Kerry Airport is to host 450 delegates at the Connect Aviation Conference, on June 3rd – 5th.
  • Alitalia CEO Silvano Cassano said his airline will sever many of its passenger agreements with Air France-KLM from 2017. These agreements are no longer beneficial, either commercially or strategically, to the new Alitalia and its ambitious turnaround plan. They were negotiated when Alitalia was in a very different position, with the result that the agreements in their current forms favour the other party. They are undermining our ability to restructure our network and the airline effectively to achieve the long term sustainability of our business. The new Alitalia is in a new position. Our business needs agreements which deliver equitable value to each party.
  • Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat confirmed that Air Malta is considering some form of strategic partnership with another airline including Turkish Airlines about a strategic partnership which could include privatisation.
  • Belfast City airport called for an end to the seats cap.
  • Dublin Airport’s app won the Ovum OTR ‘Innovation in Cloud Services’ award for delivering “a compelling mobile application.’
  • Lufthansa said there would be no further industrial action until the end of July. Air France threatened to close regional hubs in Toulouse, Marseille and Nice in negotiations with pilots unions. Cathay Pacific flight attendants camped inside Hong Kong’s airport on Tuesday after union members voted to protest new job contracts offered by the airline.anne sammon

Anne Sammon operated her last flight after 44 years flying with Aer Lingus. Travel Extra wishes her al the best in the future.

  • The Clare Herald recalled the day the first aircraft landed at Shannon in May 1939.
  • Flying in Ireland cast its eye over the increased traffic, new services, new image and infrastructural improvements at Dublin Airport and how merged American and US Airways were delivering increased Irish services this summer
  • Siobhan McCarthy, founder of the Save Cork Airport Facebook page confirmed that she had shut it down because the page had turned nasty.
  • And check out the Journal’s 14 most Dublin airport things that have ever happened.


Christina Hannon of Cunard, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel President of the Irish Travel Agents Association and Dawn Conway of Sunway in Dun Laoghaire for the visit of the Cunard Queen Mary 2, May 20 2015

The joys of tendering were revealed this week when Cunard’s Queen Mary came to Dún Laoghaire but coaches, tour guides, taxi drivers and visiting guests were left waiting as the wind rendered tenders untenable (we always wanted to write that). Picture shows Christina Hannon of Cunard, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel President of the Irish Travel Agents Association and Dawn Conway of Sunway. A total of 17 ships will dock in the bay this summer and passengers are due to be tendered off. Dublin is to get 86 cruise ship calls this year with three further calls to Dún Laoghaire. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

national_coach_tourism_awardsIrish Ferries has been voted best Cross-Sea Carrier at the 10th annual National Coach Tourism Awards ceremony in London. Pictured receiving the award are Irish Ferries’ Marie McCarthy and Ann Pye with Stuart Render of Coach Monthly and Jason Edwards of Edwards Coaches.

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas emerged from an 18-day dry dock with the main dining room sliced into four separate dining venues familiar from Quantum class: Chic, Silk, American Icon and The Grande, and two new restaurants, the Mexican themed Sabor Taqueria and Coastal Kitchen for suite passengers. Allure has ten new suites: two Royal Suites, six Grand Suites and two Royal Family Suites. New shops include Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors and Coach. Allure will be based in Barcelona this summer and returns to Fort Lauderdale in November 2015. Flexible “dynamic” dining has been put on hold for the ship.

Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen with Bergen mayor Trude DrevlandIn Bergen, 20,000 people attended the birth of a new cruise line, the first in over a decade. Viking Ocean Cruises officially launched its 930-passenger Viking Star on Sunday in Bergen, Norway and revealed plans to create at least nine other nearly identical ships. The ceremony was timed to coincide with Norway’s National Constitution Day, its most important national holiday, the launch featured performances by Norwegian soprano Sissel, actor Bjarte Hjelmeland, singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche, acclaimed violinist Charlie Siem and comedy duo Ylvis. Godmother Trude Drevland, Bergen’s mayor, offered a lovely blessing of good fortune, along with a successful smashing of a Jeroboam-sized bottle of Veuve Cliquot. Festive fireworks followed.

Star Clippers Cruise Line is to build the world’s biggest sailing ship to carry 300 passengers to launch in the second half of 2017. Construction has started at the Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia. Owner Mikael Krafft wants to recreate France II, the second largest commercial merchant sailing ship ever built. Features include three pools including one that funnels sunlight through the ship’s atrium into the dining room below, 34 suites with balconies and four luxurious owner’s suites.

  • The Cruise Lines International Association appointed Thomas Ostebo as president and chief executive officer.
  • A 10-year-old girl drowned in a swimming pool onboard Norwegian Gem as the ship was en route from New York to Florida.
  • Norwegian Dawn ran aground on a reef near Bermuda Tuesday evening and departed for Boston on Wednesday after repairs were made to its steering system.
  • Celebrity Cruises’ Bistro on Five raised its price from $7 to $10. Open from 11 a.m. to midnight, Bistro on Five serves sandwiches, salads, soups, and daily specials such as braised short ribs, lamb chops and Sunday roast. Milkshakes and floats have also been added.
  • Seabourn added guided kayak shore excursions, part of a for-fee programme known as Ventures by Seabourn. The programme will be extended to other vessels in the fleet, including those that sail to Antarctica, over time.
  • SeaDream Yacht Club will 112-guest yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II, in the Caribbean this December.
  • Celebrity Cruises is adding more overnight stays in the Caribbean.
  • Costa Cruises will base its 2,826-passenger Costa Deliziosa in Fort Lauderdale as cruise ship homeport for December, 2015
  • Princess Cruises launched its own booking portal,

Deal Watch

  • Sunway offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Montechoro Hotel, Algarve from €549pp, depart June 19. 7 nights self catering 3* Clube Praia Da Oura, Algarve from €629pp, depart June 26. Dublin-Algarve flight only from €299pp, depart June 19. 7 nights B&B 3* Montechoro Hotel, Algarve from €519pp, depart June 19. Dublin-Madeira flight only from €329pp, depart May 28. 7 nights B&B 3* Dorsal Florasol Hotel from €399pp, depart May 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Summer Garden Apartments, Bodrum from €399pp, depart June 14. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sami Beach, Bodrum from €779pp, depart June 14. 7 nights B&B 3* Baba Beach Hotel, Bodrum from €449p, depart June 14. 7 nights B&B 4* Ambrosia Hotel, Bodrum from €599pp, depart June 14.
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Saturno, Alcudia, Majorca from €1,919 for two adults and one child, and from €2,469 for two adults and two children, depart Dublin August 25. 7 nights self catering 3* Hyde Park Lane, Playa de la Pocillos, Lanzarote from €429pp, depart Shannon June 8. 8 nights self catering 2* Bitacora, Puerto Del Carmen from €429pp, depart Cork June 8.
  • Stena Line is offering 7 nights self catering to a Pontins Holiday Park from €459 per family. Price includes return ferry travel from Dublin-Holyhead, Rosslare-Fishguard, Belfast-Liverpool or Belfast-Cairnryan and accommodation in Pontins Prestatyn or Pontins Southport. Book by May 31. See for more or call 01 907 5399.
  • Thomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Haiti, C’an Picafort, Majorca from €539pp, depart Dublin June 9. 7 nights half board 3* Costa Dorada, Belvedere, Salou from €529pp, depart Shannon June 12. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Morromar, Puerto Carmen, Lanzarote from €539pp, depart Cork June 18.
  • Click and Go offers: 7 nights B&B 5* Real Minra Hotel & Spa, Olhoa, Algarve from €349pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in October. 2 nights 4* Mercure Dusseldorf Hafen Hotel from €229pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, depart May 30. 7 nights B&B 4* Windsor Hotel, Funchal, Madeira from €529pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in June. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Blue Sea Puerto Resort Hotel, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife from €499pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in June. For more info, visit or call 01 637 1699.
  • Travel Department offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Piscis, Majorca from €499pp incl. taxes, return flights ex Dublin and Palma City Tour. Majorca seat only from €199pp. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Arenal, Ibiza from €409pp incl. taxes, transfers, flights ex Dublin, depart June 20 or 23. For more info, see or call 01 637 1600.
  • Tour America offers: 5 nights the Linq Hotel, Las Vegas from €1,829pps incl. return flights and UFC 192 fight tickets, depart July 8. 7 nights the Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €649pp, depart September 16. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York City from €799pp, depart November 26. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun Hotel, Cancun from €1,359pp incl. return flights, depart September 16.
  • Sunway is offering 14 nights full board Queen Mary 2 transatlantic sailing Southampton-New York from €1,645pp, depart June 14. See for more.
  • Lowcostbeds offers, based on 2 share 7 nights, depart September 5: 3* B&B Hotel Londra, Sorrento, Italy, from €37pppn. 4* B&B Sorento Hotel Albatross, Italy from €35pppn. 3* B&B Villa Royal Hotel, Cavtat, Dubrovnik from €33pppn. 4* B&B Hotel Croatia, Cavtat, Dubrovnik from €70pppn. 4* B&B Pestana Cascais Ocean Hotel, Cascais, Lisbon from €50pppn. 4* B&B Hotel Vile Gale, Cascais, Lisbon fro €65pppn.
  • Topflight Madeira offers, based on June 11: 7 nights B&B 3* Dorisol Florasol, Funchal from €563pps. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Alto Lido, Funchal from €649pps. 7 nights 4* Hotel Baia Azul, Funchal from €669pps. Prices include return flights ex Dublin, resort transfers, luggage allowance, rep service and online discount.
  • ITAA Spain offers of the week: 7 nights B&B 5* Ritz Cartlton Abama Resort, Tenerife from €1,399pps incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, book by June 15, travel in September. 8 nights half board 4* Sol Principe Hotel, Torremolinos from €549pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, transfers and wine, depart September 28. 7 nights 3* Marco Polo Hotel, Ibiza from €399pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, depart June 23. 7 nights 3* Pins Platja Apartments, Cambrils from €1,845 for two adults and two children incl. 3 day park passes to PortAventura, depart August 25.
  • BA’s luxury sale fares in Club World: Beijing from €1,542. Mumbai from €1,225. Nairobi from €1,293. Dubai from €1,097. North America business class specials: New York from €911. Boston from €906. Toronto from €1,125. Vancouver from €1,295. For travel between June 18  2015 and April 10 2016. Book before June 9. See GDS for full details.


Paschal Donohoe told the Dublin Chambers on transport strategy for Dublin that Ireland is investing in transport at a level well below what we normally do, Historically, Ireland has invested just over 1.1pc of GDP annually on average in land transport. Between 1999 and 2011 the average level grew to 1.4pc of GDP as significant improvements were made to the network, most notably the construction of our motorway network. By 2012, however, this had fallen to 0.7% and has fallen further since.

  • Irish Tourism Industry Confederation chairman Paul Gallagher said that the proposed IAG takeover of Aer Lingus would boost tourism. The Confederation is seeking a new chief executive.
  • There will be a brain storming meeting for Skal members in Limerick (venue TBC) this Tuesday, May 26.
  • Porsche Club Ireland teamed up with Fáilte Ireland to send more than 50 Porsches along the Wild Atlantic Way, visiting 15 Signature Discovery Points.
  • Irish Rail launched a 6.15am Cork-Dublin non-stop train service arriving in Dublin at 8.30am
  • Doolin Tourism hosted a networking evening at the Micho Russell Community Centre on Thursday.
  • Wild Atlantic Way featured in Celtic Life International magazine in North America.
  • Tickets for the Irish Open sold out for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but tickets are still available for Thursday. 80,000 spectators are expected to attend the event.

Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Cllr. John Crowe being received by Gao Shuxun,  Vice Governor of Yunnan Province at Zhenzhaung Hall, Kunming Yunnan in South East China prior to the formal signing of Agreements between Clare County Council and the Province of Yunnan. NO REPRO FEE Local Government and Government officials from County Clare and the Chinese Province of Yunnan today signed an agreement aimed at developing closer industrial, tourism, farming, educational and cultural ties between the regions.   A delegation comprising officials and members of Clare County Council travelled to the southwest of China to officially mark the County/Province relationship as well as establish a formal link between the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and the Stone Forest Geopark (Shilin Geopark) in Yunnan.   Yunnan, which has a population of more than 46 million, is located in the far southwest of China and borders Vietnam, Laos and Burma.

A delegation from Clare County Council travelled to the Yunnan province in southwest China to establish a link between the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and the Stone Forest Geopark. Picture shows Cathaoirleach of Clare Co Co Cllr John Crowe being received by Gao Shuxun,  Vice Governor of Yunnan Province at Zhenzhaung Hall.

  • The annual Tolkien Festival takes place in Co Clare, June 26-28. The event is organised by the Burren Tolkien Society and supported by the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Clare
  • Pictured helping to announce a brand new Kite Flying and Baloon Festival in Wexford is sister and brother Rachel (age 10) and James Reburn age 8; the festival which features lots of old-fashioned family fun takes place in Duncannon during the June bank-holiday weekend. See – Photograph Patrick Browne.
  • County Library. The festival will feature lectures, writing workshops, archery demonstrations and evening feasts.
  • The Kite Flying and Balloon Festival takes place in Duncannon, Co Wexford during the June bank holiday weekend.
  • Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is celebrating its 30th anniversary on May 30.

The Little Museum of Dublin, Copper Faced Jack’s and Chapter One featured in Buzzfeed’s listicle on hidden gems around the capital.


Pictures show travel agents and tour operators from Australia and New Zealand who toured Newgrange, Donegal Castle, Sliabh League, Yeats’ grave, Giant’s Causeway, Titanic Belfast, Strokestown Park, Kilbeggan Distillery and the Guinness Storehouse as guests of Tourism Ireland and Emirates, with Fiona Clelland of Tourism Ireland and tour guide Conor Ellard.

Fógra eile (with apologies once more to the late Con Houlihan)

Tim Pat Coogan, Gerry O'Hare and Carol Flynn at the Irish Press 20 years reunion, May 22 2015

Irish Press personnel gathered on Friday night to commemorate 20 years since the closure, an event which was tragic for Irish journalism but which led to the foundation of Ireland’s leading travel publication Travel Extra. Picture shows Tim Pat Coogan, Gerry O’Hare of Travel Extra and Carol Flynn at the reunion. Watch and listen for mention of Travel Extra personnel in an Irish Times video using Pat Cashman’s footage from the time recalled the occupation of the newspaper offices on Burgh Quay in Dublin after the closure (watch here) and Today with Sean O’Rourke which gathered five ex-Press personnel, including Sean O’Rourke himself and ex Sunday Press editor, now Irish Tourism Industry Confederation front man Michael Keane, to discuss the legacy of the newspaper (listen here). For more presstalgia read here Declan Lynch’s review of a forthcoming book on Muligan’s public house in Poolbeg Street.

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

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair to Rhine-air, the battle for Germany’s domestic air market has begun



'Green Spirit', the Aer Lingus Airbus 320 painted in IRFU livery.

‘Green Spirit’, the Aer Lingus Airbus 320 painted in IRFU livery.

  • The €13m group booking
  • Ryanair brings forward its German offensive by eight weeks
  • Where next for Aer Lingus? See our print edition
  • Celebrity introduced Luminae, their suite class restaurant
  • And rugby players might fly…Aer Lingus wins with marketing promotion

Travel Extra TV

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 11.39.15Our video of the week comes from photographer Oliver Astrologo who created this beautiful montage of his tour of Vietnam. Watch here.

  • Two experienced daredevils climb the Shenzhen Centre with no safety equipment. Watch here.
  • U2 (in disguise) busk in New York City with help from Jimmy Fallon (also in disguise). Watch here.
  • Ryanair urge David Cameron to drop APD in England. Watch here.
  • Introducing Green Spirit by Aer Lingus. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus Dublin-Washington from the flight deck. Watch here.
  • Richie Porte announces his participation in Gran Fondo Giro D’Italia Northern Ireland, June 21. Watch here.
  • Fáilte Ireland uploaded a video promoting Ireland as an events destination. The video was launched at the opening of the European Sports Tourism Summit at Thomond Park. Watch here.
  • Drone footage of Carlow. Watch here.
  • Ryanair Family Extra promo. Watch here.
  • Emirates’ Be There campaign. Watch here.
  • Monocle magazine launches its travel guide series. Watch here.
  • Visit Scotland’s guide to whisky. Watch here.


cover june 300The June 2015 print edition of Travel Extra will arrive in agencies over the coming days, read here. The latest edition has an extensive look at developments in the USA including the marquee route to be announced by Aer Lingus in 2016, the new Aer Lingus direct route to Washington DC and newsbytes from all individual cities and states in advance of IPW in Orlando next month. We also feature Rivercruise launches and trends for 2015, and trends in car hire. We look at developments in cruise including the new Anthem of the Seas’ even more technologically advanced than its predecessor, the refurbished Explorer of the Seas which has been given many of the extra facilities on more expensive cruise ships, and the future for the dynamic “no set” dining option that was met with less enthusiasm than anticipated when it was rolled out by Royal Caribbean. There are reports from travel events from four continents including Indaba, Rendez Vous France, and a review of the Hurtigruten Arctic cruise which will be served once again by direct charter from Dublin to Tromsø next March, The home holiday section samples some of Ireland’s Eden destinations and the call out for this year’s hopefuls with a culinary theme. We look at the emergence of Spain’s tourism infrastructure to become a world leader, the prospect of late specials in the Irish marketplace this summer, the transformation of Ashford Castle in Mayo, the implications of Dublin Airport’s expansion on plans for the parallel runway, Aer Lingus’s new business class product which is now available across the 330 fleet, how sales at the Loop in Dublin Airport are ahead of expectations, plans for the ITAA conference in Jerez including the post-fam options, the fall-out from the May round of license bonding, the expansion plans in Ireland of Travelsavers group, confusion about South Africa’s new visa regime, and Globe Hotels‘ plans to recruit homeworkers to expand its holiday experts product. Stephen McNally, president of the Irish Hotels Federation contributes this month’s Busman’s Holiday. Ever restless, the Travel Extra team are hard at work trekking through five continents to prepare the next edition.

peetr long tuiAs TUI confirmed that it is to migrate to a single brand across all its markets, it emerged that Ireland could be the last of TUI’s 32 countries to switch. The move to create ‘one power brand will signal the end of Falcon Holidays, Thomson and First Choice, but will take several years to complete, according to Group chief executive Peter Long. TUI family brands understand that the move is to integrate mainstream brands, and specialist brands such as American Holidays andCrystal will not be affected. The corporation is to sell off LateRooms to cut winter losses and to rebrand its airline operations.

Details emerged this week of the ultimate group booking: 6,400 employees of Li Jinyuan’s Tiens Group were hosted by their employers in Paris in a €13m incentives promotion by their employer, who booked up 140 hotels for the experience.

kenny JacobsRyanair brought forward their first German domestic route Cologne-Berlin by eight weeks, and with it its anticipated offensive against Air Berlin and Germanwings. This is a reaction to Germanwings’s announcement that it would begin its own Berlin Schönefeld-Cologne/Bonn flights on October 5. Kenny Jacobs told the PhocusWright conference in Dublin that Germany would be responsible for 20pc of Ryanair’s growth this year and half of Ryanair’s growth in the years ahead will be to and from primary airports in the years ahead. He also predicted that Skyscanner and KAYAK are going to be squeezed by Google and the airlines. As for Ryanair, 95pc of their business is booked direct, the strength of the brand plays in their favour, and because flight is first on the decision process, Ryanair can move to be more of a travel business beyond ancillary services. “Travel intermediaries should be concerned about what Google are doing, their flight search facility works for Ryanair.” Kenny Jacobs said Facebook is a big part of Ryanair plans, as social sharing will be integrated into the booking process. On the dreaded transatlantic move, he said Heathrow airport offers 55 destinations but Stansted offers 170 so Stansted is a transatlantic hub waiting to happen. He said connections with international carriers are a possibility but alliances are not. “We want to be the Amazon of travel, we like their relentless use of data and focus on conversions.”

washington press club ceos copyThree major American airline CEOs spoke together, perhaps for the first time in history, at the Press Club in Washington DC. Doug Parker of American Airlines said: “Once the hubs start to unwind, the airlines start to unwind.” Richard Anderson of Delta: US carriers are major economic drivers, AA, DL and UA together invest Us$12bn annually in aircraft and services.” Jeff Smisek of United: “Most of you have better guidance systems on your Hondas than our ATC. Jeff Smisek replied, when asked when three CEOs would speak together again: “Hopefully never.” The three shared a stage to further their campaign against Emirates, Etihad and Qatar. Elsewhere, Scott Kirby president of American Airlines Group said airlines are not seeing capacity discipline – growth is higher than GDP and fares are falling. “I think most people define ‘capacity discipline’ as supply aligned with demand – it’s not aligned in 2015.”

eoghan st michael's mount copyOn the same day as the Dublin-Washington route launched, Aer Lingus Regional launched a new ATR 72-600 route from Dublin to Newquay in Cornwall opening up the sixth of the ancient Celtic nations to be served from Dublin. The flights are on Friday (13.50), Saturday (12.40) and Sunday (9.40), switch to 5w on June 1, adding Monday (13.15) and Tuesday (13.10) and continue until September 15. Flight time is 70 minutes. Picture shows Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry at St Michael’s mount for an evening visit before enjoying a meal and a hearty dynnargh dhis at Trevor Austin’s Fire Engine Inn in Marazion.

IMG_3486China signed an agreement to build a golf course in Bello Monte, on the west side of Havana, FitCuba 2015. The 35th FitCuba Travel Fair in Jardines del Rey, Cuba’s fourth tourism circuit. President of the Gaviota Group, Carlos Latuff Carmenate said Meliá would expand their portfolio to celebrate 25 years in Cuba. Cuba is campaigning to attract more yachts from the Caribbean. Irish tour operators report that enquiries about travel to Cuba have trebled since the first tentative signs that the infamous US ban on travel to Cuba might be lifted, at least partially, what one veteran Cuba specialist called a “get there before the Americans” effect. A pool showed 30pc of US adults are planning or would consider a trip to Cuba in the next two
years. Picture shows the closing beach party.

richard bray eoghan corry indaba 2015Indaba 2015 concluded in Durban with the 2,000 buyers and 750 sellers dispersing through KZN and other provinces and homewards. Some of the Irish delegates were among the last standing at the closing party in Moyo. Among those prominent in the exhibition halls was Serge whose high end travel fair We Are Africa had a successful second staging, albeit with a weird high-tech closing ceremony, to join Pure in Morocco as the continent’s leading high-end travel event. Picture shows Richard Bray, founding GM of the Lyragh in Kilkenny and now CEO of the Premier Hotel groups based in Cape Town, with Travel Extra’s editor Eoghan Corry at the event.

One in five Irish people who travel use a travel agent, according to a survey by ecommerce partner Webloyalty. The survey suggested 69pc of Irish people have been abroad in the last two years, that  84pc of those that have been abroad in the last two years booked online, that mobile bookings for holidays are relatively low, that online search engines are most popular Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 16.44.07method for researching holidays and that price is the most important factor in selecting a holiday.

The MSC Splendida, the 11th largest cruise liner in the world, visited Cobh and Dublin last week. See drone footage of her sailing from Cork.

Travel Trade

IMG_7174 copyFriday is referendum day in Ireland and the travel industry chose to turn out to support Ciaran Mulligan and Mary McKenna in their campaign for a yes vote.

David O’Hagan’s Donabate Travel signed with Worldchoice Ireland bringing its membership base to 54 following some consolidation with branch movement and the retirement of Peter McGinnity in Cavan. A new Worldchoice Bedbank goes live next week. Don Shearer CEO of Worldchoice says he is currently distributing members overrides which have increased by an average of 40pc with some members recording rebate increases of 200pc year on year. A new Worldchoice Gathering for members and trade partners will take place later in the year.v

jo speakingCelebrity Cruises have fitted a speciality restaurant exclusively for their suite customers on nine of their ten ships, separate entrance, separate chef, separate kitchen and separate menu. Luminae went live in April and the Celebrity team experienced it for the first time last week on Eclipse. Celebrity will be the first cruise ship out of Abu Dhabi’s new port in 2016. The dedicated team for Celebrity Cruises has been in place for a year now. Picture shows the hosts at the Celebrity Cruises event for travel media, Andrew Bolton and Claire Stirrup of Celebrity Cruises, Sally Ann Clarke of L’Ecrivain, Jo Rzymowska and Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises and Emma Wayman of Siren Pr at L’Ecrivain restaurant. Jo Rzymowska revealed her Irish background: her mother from Charleville, Co Cork and she found a half sister last year. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Colin Brodie of Visit Florida who hosted the Irish travel trade in Chapter One Restaurant, Dublin, May 14 2015

Colin Brodie and the team at Visit Florida held a thank you event for the Irish travel trade at Chapter One restaurant in Dublin. The team promised a wide variety of incentives to counter any problems in demand created by the rising dollar. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Professionals Skillnet is holding a fire warden training sessions in the ITAA Office on Westmoreland Street, Wed May 27, 9.30am-5.30pm for €120. More info/book here. Finance for Non Finance Professionals, Professional Development Training Centre, Blanchardstown, May 21-22, 9.30am-5.30pm, cost €299. More info/book here. Excel early bird special, level 1 and 2, €150, book before 6pm March 23. More info/bookings. SEO and Google analytics, Hampton Hotel, May 26, 9.30am-1pm, cost €60. More info/bookings.

Tour America Team (1) copy

Tour America announced that it is opening a new office in Davenport near Orlando.
Ingrid Aagesen has joined Norwegian Cruise Line as London based project manager.

The European Sport Tourism Summit and European Sport Tourism Awards took place in Thomond Park this week.

Pic 1 REPRO FREE 05/05/2015, Dubai – Six tourism companies from the island of Ireland travelled to Dubai, to join Tourism Ireland at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) – in a bid to grow visitor numbers from the Middle East in 2015 and beyond. PIC SHOWS: Nasser Bahlooq, Emirates Airlines, on the Tourism Ireland stand at Arabian Travel Market 2015. Northern Ireland and its Game of Thrones connections was one of the key themes highlighted by Tourism Ireland at ATM. Pic – Tourism Ireland (no repro fee) Further press info – Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland 087 685 9027
Sunway emails will be offline between Friday 6pm and Monday 9am.
What does the future hold for travel agencies? Video of a discussion from Arabian Travel Market.

Lowcostbeds and Emirates are awarding agents €5 One4all vouchers on all bookings to Dubai and Thailand made up to May 31.


Hastings Hotels Group bought Windsor House in Bedford Street, Belfast for £6.5m.

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 18.43.17Marriott Hotels introduced a request option to its mobile app. Guests can type requests 72 hours before, during and after their stays. The feature will be rolled out to all properties by the summer.

  • Starwood Hotels launched SPG Keyless, an app for members of the Preferred Guest loyalty programme to open their hotel room door.
  • Legoland Hotel at Legoland Florida Resort opened this week. Other openings this week included the 172 Room Hyatt House Seattle/Downtown.
  • The 501-room five star Mövenpick Hotel & Palais Des Congrès, Marrakech is to soft open in the autumn following a US$69 million renovation and expansion programme.
  • Hilton Worldwide partnered with World Wildlife Fund to help improve the brand’s impact on the environment.
  • Hyatt Hotels announced that a Hyatt Place hotel and Hyatt Place hotel will open in Jeddah.
  • The Hoxton hotel group will open its first property outside London in Amsterdam.
  • Melia Hotels International opened an Innside-brand property in Manchester. Melia reported a 4pc increase in Q1 revenues.
  • Choice hotels opened its first dual brand Inn/Mainstay Suites property in Mississippi.
  • Accor is expected to open a new resort in Cuba in November.
  • A 226-suite Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel will open in St Kitts in Q1 2017.
  • Nobu hotel brand will open a property in Mexico in 2017.



Alton Towers - Air Rollercoaster copyAlton Towers launched the Big Six challenge, inviting visitors to ride six of its biggest rollercoasters in one day. 

  • The Orlando Eye closed after an irregularity was found and engineers worked to fix an unspecified problem.
  • TUI reported that Q2 losses were down to €167.8m, and summer bookings are up 2pc.
  • Hotelzon opened its 12th country office in Frankfurt. It also announced that it is increasing the size of its Finnish team.
  • Eight people were killed and dozens more injured in the Amtrak rail accident in Philadelphia.
  • The Middle East’s tallest suspension bridge (80m high) is scheduled to open in the  Ardabil province, Iran.
  • The Israel Festival takes place May 28- June 24.
  • Travelport announced a participation agreement with Air Lituanica.
  • Hilton HHonours members can earn 1,500 bonus points per night at Curio Collection hotels until July 31.
  • English magazine Family Traveller launched the Family Traveller Awards.
  • Jennifer Lopez will commence a five-month residency show in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas from January 20, 2016.
  • A French tourist was killed by a bull shark while snorkelling off Kouare island.
  • The failed coup to remove Burundi president Pierre Nkurunziza has caused the DFA to warn against all travel to the country.
  • Dubai is rolling out free WiFi in 200 locations.
  • Madame Tussauds launched a Star Wars experience.
  • Copenhagen is considering asking its traffic wardens to double as tour guides.
  • The Gazelle Valley urban park opened in Jerusalem.
  • A second major earthquake hit Nepal on Tuesday.
  • Nine people were killed after a mosque wall collapsed because of heavy rain in Nairobi.
  • Travelport announced an operational agreement with Travelport Distribution Bulgaria.
  • Sabre plans to buy Asia GDS Abacus International.

Food and Wine

Wexford Food Festival copyTwenty events have been organised for the 7th annual Wexford Food and Wine Festival, May 21-25. Highlights include the Wexford South Main Ale traile, food guided foraging, pop up restaurants, bee keeping workshop and a cooking demo with Phelim Byrne.

The Burren Slow Good Festival continues until May 23-24, when there will be cooking demos and talks in the Lisdoonvarna Pavilion. Derry Clarke, JP McMahon and Ross Lewis will be hosting cooking classes. Other highlights include a Food Producers Forum, a guided walk outlining the history of farming in the Burren, a food foraging walk and a famers market.

  • Butlers Chocolates is collecting donations for St Vincent de Paul on Tuesday, May 19.
  • A Hello Kitty-themed restaurant opened in Hong Kong.
  • The Gibson hotel is the exclusive hotel partner of Taste of Dublin 2015.



AerLingus_IRFU_320_EIDEO_DUB_100515_0199 copyLaunch of the week, in terms of coverage, was the Aer Lingus A320 in Irish Rugby Team colours.

  • Kerry Airport handled 296,000 passengers In 2014, a 3.3pc decline on 2013 and retaining its place as Ireland’s eighth busiest airport.
  • Ethiopian Airlines‘ scheduled operations at Dublin started  with a westbound tech stop on ET500 Addis Ababa to Washington (B777-200LR). An eastbound B737-800 delivery Seattle-Kevin TolandWashington-Dublin-Addis Ababa came on Sunday as a bonus.
  • Kevin Toland of DAA (pictured) said the Cork to Dublin air route would require a €1.5m annual subsidy to make it feasible.
  • Enda Corneille, Country Manager at Emirates was interviewed on Newstalk’s Down to Business (listen here).
  • The Manchester Guardian: How I finally learned to stop worrying and love Ryanair.
  • Boeing is to close the 787 surge line to make way for producing 777X.
  • Bombardier Belfast hopes to save 60 of the 280 jobs under threat.
  • FlyPlymouth said it was planning to launch to launch flights from Plymouth to Dublin and Belfast in the summer in 2016. Plymouth has a notoriously short runway.
  • Aviation quotes from ATM 2015: Qatar’s Al Baker: “When you fool your passengers…you cannot compete for long” (referring to poor service at US airlines). Emirates’ Tim Clark: “Market share is not a right. It is earned” (referring to accusations they were stealing passengers).
  • Air India are talking to Airbus about a $1.5bn jet order.
  • France bought an extra 1.7pc stake in Air France KLM.
  • Aer Lingus cabin crew prepared to ballot over outsourcing the Shannon-Boston route for 12 weeks during the summer to an American-registered B767 aircraft.
  • There was more discussion on the proposed aviation fuel pipeline through North Dublin (listen here).
  • Stobart Air appointed Martin Saxton as Chief Commercial Officer, a former Director of Operational Planning and Commercial Planning at Flybe and Fleet Planning Manager at British Midland Airways. New CFO is Graeme Buchanan formerly of Aventas which used to be the Quinn Group. New COO is Andy Jolly, former general manager of Hebridean Air Services and COO of Loganair.
  • Mayo county councillor Christy Loftus suggested the local authority could waive the rates paid by Ireland West Airport Knock for a period of five years to further support the airport. Knock airport  is paying €150,000 in rates annually.
  • Ryanair extended into the winter routes from Dublin to Copenhagen, Lublin and Venice Treviso as well as increased frequencies to Alicante (6x), Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Faro (daily), London Gatwick, Madrid, Tenerife (5w) & Warsaw (8w). It expects to increase its Dublin passengers for the year to 9.7m from 8.5m.
  • Dublin Airport welcomed Ryanair’s frequency increases to Alicante (6w), Faro (daily), Tenerife (5w) and Warsaw (8w). Ryanair will operate two new services to Copenhagen and Lublin next winter and extend its Venice Treviso service.
  • Aer Lingus new B service has been extended to operate to January 4th. It was originally planned as a summer service, to finish end of October.
  • Dublin Airport grew its business out of Belfast and the north east by 52pc in 2014.
  • It was speculated Easyjet is due to unveil a major new European route from Belfast in the coming weeks.
  • Cork and Shannon airports suffered significant declines in their traffic movements last month, with Shannon down 20.4pc and Cork down 12pc. The IAA’s traffic figures show that flights in Irish airspace were up 5.6pc YOY in April. Traffic at Dublin Airport was up 6.1pc.
  • FLY Leasing reported a Q1 net income of $17.3m.
  • Aer Lingus Regional has added extra capacity to its Dublin-Isle of Man route for the Isle Man TT motocross race, which takes place May 30-June 12.
  • There was some intriguing speculation that low oil prices are providing a tailwind to the Boeing 777 instead of the 787. Boeing attempted to build and deliver a Boeing 787-9 in 67 days. Boeing’s Ray Conner says 737 Max wing spar load (LN5602) begins this month in Renton
  • Brian Ambrose is expected to tell the Public Inquiry into the passenger cap at Belfast City Airport that if the seats for sale restriction is removed, the airport will adhere to noise restrictions as imposed by the Department of the Environment.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping will touch down at Shannon Airport today at 2pm.
  • Flybe launched its summer seat sale.
  • United Airlines previewed its new website offering more personalisation and search option. The airline offered to reward hackers, offering a bug bounty to find tech security flaws.
  • Thomas Cook’s proposed route to Reno ran into opposition from US Customs and Border Protection
  • Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary told the Chartered Accountants Ireland Annual Conference in Galway: being nice to people is good for business.
  • Belfast City Airport will hold a runway run on June 24.
  • American Airlines’ Shannon-Philadelphia route returned with added capacity.
  • Spain says free and unlimited Wi-Fi will be available in 46 airports by the end of year.
  • Ryanair celebrated carrying 4m passengers at City of Derry Airport.
  • Flybe have added additional frequency on the Cardiff to Dublin and Cork routes.
  • Qatar launched its A359 XWB service to Singapore Changi airport.
  • A passenger is suing United Airlines because in-flight entertainment cut out during a flight.
  • American Airlines Group expects to phase out US Airways completely by autumn. The US Airways reservations system will migrate to American Airlines’ system in the summer.
  • Hilton announced a partnership with Japanese airlines ANA. Ana passengers will be offered Hilton-brand lounge and in-flight services.
  • Bombardier and US company Pratt & Whitney to develop a data management service for the CSeries aircraft’s health management system.
  • Lufthansa installed premium economy on half of its long-haul fleet.
  • FLY Leasing says it expects to sell a handful of older aircraft in the mid-life aircraft market.
  • Qatar Airways acquired the Novotel Edinburgh Park Hotel in Scotland.
  • The American Customer Satisfaction Index claimed that business travellers are twice as likely to file a complaint for poor airline service.
  • United Airlines previewed a redesigned website, available to view at
  • Qatar Airways placed an A350 on service from Doha to Singapore.
  • Flybe launched its London-Newquay and Southampton-Milan services.
  • Finnair increased its codeshare agreement with Japan Airlines and Qantas.
  • A Canadian woman unexpectedly gave birth on an Air Canada flight from Alberta to Tokyo.



Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have both increased the crew gratuity charge to $12.95 from $12 per person, per day and to $15.95 from $14.25 for premium cruise passengers schedule to sail on or after July 1. Charges in Celebrity suites go up to $16.45 per person per day from $15.50. Charges are automatically added to passenger’s bills. Passengers with existing bookings can pre-pay their gratuities before June 1 to lock in the current rate. It follows a similar increase by Norwegian Cruise Line in February.

Viking Cruises‘ first oceangoing ship Viking Star will be christened in Norway today (Sunday May 17). Delivery of Viking Sky, one of the new vessels from Viking Ocean Cruises, has been delayed from June 2016 to February 2017. Construction of the vessel has been moved from Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard, near Venice to the Ancona shipyard, where Viking Sea, is under construction.

  • Azamara Quest’s scheduled dry dock due in September has been moved to April 2016 to allow further upgrades. Azamara Journey’s dry dock remains on schedule for January 2016.
  • Prices on Hurtigruten’s Arctic Highlights trip on March 22 next will start from €1285pps including direct return flights from Dublin, transfers, two nights in a hotel and voyage from Tromsø to Kirkenes and back to Tromsø on half board basis. Trips to explore the Arctic are offered all year round using scheduled flights.
  • Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines‘ Balmoral cut short its eight-night Norwegian Fjords cruise due to an outbreak of a gastro-enteritis type illness
  • Puerto Vallarta Tourism director Agustin Alvarez insisted the city was safe for tourists after the USA issued a travel advisory and Royal Caribbean cancelled scheduled calls by Jewel of the Seas and Celebrity Infinity due to armed violence in the state of Jalisco.
  • Irish Ferries owner ICG reported revenues up 7.3pc to €85.1m in the first four months of the year.
  • Princess Cruise’s celebrations programme has added packages for birthdays, weddings, engagements, vow renewals and honeymoons.
  • The Viking Ocean Cruises Show Garden features at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show.
  • Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has urged cruise passengers to stray from tourist-trodden paths in Australia’s gateway port to Sydney Villages
  • TUI Cruises will transfer Mein Schiff 1 and 2, both formerly Celebrity Cruises’ Century-class ships, to Thomson Cruises, in an effort to modernise its English-based sister line. Thomson acquired Splendour of the Seas, from Royal Caribbean International in March.
  • Seatrade Cruise Med 2016 will take place in Tenerife, September 21-23 2016.

Deal Watch

  • Discover Travel is offering a 10 day full board tour of Ethiopia from €2999pp incl taxes, all flights and all transfers. Intinerary include Addis Ababa, Bahar Dar, Gonar, Lalibela, Axum and Harar. For more, visit or call 021 4635440.                                    
  • ITAA offers of the week: 12 nights B&B 5* Thailand trip from €1,879pp incl. return flights from Dublin, Cork or Shannon and airport transfers, travel September or October. 7 nights half board Over 55s Hillwalking tour, Majorca from €699pp incl. return flights from Dublin or Cork, 1 checked in bag and airport transfers, depart October 5. 3 nights B&B 3* Virginal Hotel, Lake Garda from €349pps incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, depart May 27.
  • Lowcostbeds offers of the week, prices based on 2+2 share, 7 nights, depart June 20: 3* Silchoro apartments, Albuferia, Portugal from €9.50pppn. 3* Ourasol apartments, Albuferia, Portugal from €11pppn self catering. 3* THB Flora, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €7pppn self catering. 3* VIK Club Coral Beach, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €14.50pppn self catering. 4* Principe Sol Hotel, Torremolinos, Costa Del Sol from €33.50pppn. 3* Veramar Apartments, Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol from €13.50pppn self catering. See for more.
  • Click and Go offers: 3 nights B&B 3* Akcent Hotel, Prague from €225pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel May or June. 7 nights self catering Puertocarmen Aparthotel, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €379pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in May or June. 7 nights B&B 3* Lido Hotel, Estoril, Lisbon Coast from €515pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in June. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Fantasia De Luxe Hotel, Kusadasi, Turkey from €579pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and transfers, travel in May. Visit or call 01 637 1699.
  • Thomson offers: 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Talayot, Cala Millor, Majorca from €639pp, depart August 25. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Island Escape – Med Adventure, Majorca from €779pp, depart June 16. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Riu Helios Bay, Obzor, Bulgaria from €649pp, depart June 1. 7 nights B&B 3* Katerina Palace, Argassi, Zakynthos from €459pp, depart June 9. 7 nights half board 3* Barcelo Margaritas, Gran Canaria, depart June 6.
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Nicon, Kos town from €399pp, depart June 6. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sun Palace, Faliraki, Rhodes from €1,849 for two adults and one child, and from €2,359 for two adults and two children, depart June 10. 7 nights self catering 3* Loulas Village, Psaras, Corfu from €1,149 for two adults and one child, and from €1,549 for two adults and two children, depart August 28. 7 nights B&B 3* Katerina Palace, Argassi, Zakynthos from €440pp, depart June 9. 7 nights self catering 3* Terrazamar Suites, Puerto Rica, Gran Canaria from €469pp, depart June 6.
  • Riviera Travel extra capacity: 4 nights B&B Normandy from €689pp, depart June 13. 3 nights B&B Bruges from €509pp, depart June 14. 4 nights B&B Berlin, Dresden, Meissen and Colditz from €679pp, depart June 16. 3 nights B&B Paris from €489pp, depart June 19. Prices include flights ex Dublin, taxes, 15kg checkin in baggage pp and tours.
  • Riviera 2016 long haul tours are on sale now: 15 nights Vietnam and Cambodia from €3,029pp. 15 nights South Africa from €2,449pp. 14 nights California and the Golden West from €2,709pp. 10 nights India from €2,429/€2,959pp with 4 night Shimla extension.
  • Sunway cruise offers: 7 nights Mediterranean Cruise on board the Norwegian Epic from €869pp, depart June 14. 12 nights 5* Mediterranean Cruise on board the Celebrity Equinox from €1,129pp, depart May 21. 7 nights Mediterranean Cruise on board the MSC Fantasia from €999pp, depart July 3. 12 nights Greece and Turkey cruise on board the Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas from €1,079pp, depart June 9. Prices include flights ex Dublin. See for more.
  • Sunway’s Turkey sales on tomorrow, May 18: 7 nights B&B 4* Sea Pearl Hotel from €359pp, 14 nights from €599pp, travel in June. 7 nights B&B 4* Sunset Plaza Hotel from €499pp, 14 nights from €699pp, depart in July. 7 nights 4& Golden Day Hotel from €459pp, 14 nights from €599pp, depart in August. 7 nights Kids from €359pp, 14 nights from €359pp, depart in September. See for more. Prices include flights ex Shannon, return airport transfers, taxes, charges and 20kg checked in baggage pp.
  • Sunway offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Samira Club Hotel, Tunisia from €499 per adult and from €439 per child, travel in June. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Club Hotel RIU Bellevue Park, Tunisia from €569 per adult and from €499 per child, travel in June. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmin Hotel, Izmir, Turkey from €889pp, €2,229 for two adults and one child and from €3,559 for two adults and two children, depart June 28. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmwings Kusadasi, Izmir, Turkey from €919 per adults and from €459 per child, depart June 20. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Sami Beach Hotel, Gumbet, Turkey from €819 per adult and from €489 per child, depart June 21. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Mark Warner Beach Club, Bodrum, Turkey from €2,779 for two adults and two children, depart June 13. 7 nights all inclusive Club Med Kamarina, Sicily from €3,549 for two adults and two children, depart June 14. 7 nights self catering 2* Surfing Playa Apartments, Santa Ponsa from €499pp, depart June 14. 7 nights self catering 3* Verdemar Apartments, Santa Ponsa from €499pp, depart June 14.
  • Sunway is offering 1 night all inclusive 3* Rantasipi Pohjanhovi Hotel, Lapland from €859 per adult and from €759 per child incl. flight ex Dublin, activities such as snow mobile ride, reindeer sleigh ride, arctic clothing, gingerbread decorating and a visit to Santa, depart December 19. Deposit €300 per family. See for more.
  • Wendy Wu offer: Book a group tour to India and get a free 2 night 3* break in Abu Dhabi incl. return airport transfers and city tour. Travel from September 1 to March 19 2016, book before May 31. For more info, visit or call 0818 776 380.
  • Travel Department offers, solo friendly, no single room supplement: 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Girassol from €789pp incl. taxes and flights ex Dublin, depart July 2 or September 24. 14 nights Cape Town, the Garden Route and Kruger National Park from €2,799pp incl. taxes, accommodation, flights ex Dublin and all transfers, depart September 2. 11 nights tour of Delhi, the Taj Mahal and Rajasthan from €1,599pp incl. taxes, flights ex Dublin and all transfers. 8 nights B&B 5* The Legendale Hotel, Beijing from €1,799pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival and flights ex Dublin, depart September 6 or November 10. 9 nights Moscow and St Petersburg trip from €1,569pp incl. taxes accommodation, transfers and flights ex Dublin. 10 nights trip to Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai from €2,099pp incl. taxes accommodation, flights ex Dublin and transfers, depart October 15. 7 nights half board Lake Como, the Swiss Alps and Milan from  €679pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival and accommodation in the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, depart October 21. 7 nights B&B Estoril and the Lisbon Coast from €669pp incl. taxes, transfer on arrival and accommodation at Hotel Londres, depart October 28. For more, visit or call 01 637 1600.
  • Globe Hotels is offering half bard Cordial Golf Plaza Tenerife from €169pp incl. upgrade to bedroom suite, and one free spa access per adult per stay, travel June 1, 3, 7, 10, 11, 15 or 16. See for more.
  • Tour America offers: 7 nights Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Orlando from €599pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart June 8. 3 nights Beacon Hotel, New York from €799pp incl. return flights, depart December 3. 4 nights Harras Las Vegas from €689pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart November 19.
  • Irish Ferries is offering 3 nights B&B in the Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel for €499 for two adults and two children under 12 incl. return car ferry crossing and one full day at Alton Towers, travel before June 30.
  • Topflight offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €689pps incl. return flights ex Dublin, resort transfers, rep service and luggage, Depart June 14. Sorrento excursions: Half day pizza school with lunch €70pp. Half day ice cream classes €19pp. Enogastronomic half day tour €79 per person. Full day Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius €45pp. Half day Herculaneum €35pp. Capri boat tour €79pp. Amalfi drive €35pp. Naples shopping full day €60pp. Sorrento musical evening €25pp. For more, visit or call 01 2401 700.
  • Tourism NI offers the week: 1 night B&B Dunadry Hotel from £150pp incl. dinner in the Flax & Beetle Restaurants, a selection of dark chocolates and late check-out, available until December 19, call 028 9443 4343 to book. 1 night Bramble Cottage Studio, Enniskillen from £120 for two sharing, available Friday to Sunday until May 31, call 028 6634 8138 to book. 1 night Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh from £99pps incl. complimentary drinks on arrival and dinner in Barreta Bar and Grill, available until December 1, call 028 8224 2520 to book. 1 night B&B Europa Hotel, Belfast from £80pps incl. 3 course dinner in the restaurant, available until July 31, call 028 9027 1066 to book.


Porsche-Ireland-WAW-smallA convoy of 50 Porches will travel the length of the Wild Atlantic Way next week, starting at Malin Head today. The trip is organised by Fáilte Ireland and Porsche Club Ireland.

  • Rhys Walton (Beaverstown, son of Philip), Ian Brennan (Greenore), Ben Doyle (Blackwood), Ciaran Hegarty (Kilcock), Brian McCormack (Galway), Neil O’Briain (Old Conna) and James Sullivan (Roe Park) are all partipcpating in the qualifiers for the PGA Assistants’ Championship.
  • Former Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller has stepped down from his role as chairman of An Post and from the board of Tourism Ireland.
  • Picture shows the three-eyed animatronic ravens from Game of Thrones outside Belfast City Hall as part of a promotion by Tourism Ireland.
  • So farewell then, Derek Davis, great friend of the home holiday industry and a man who promoted culinary tourism when it was barely out of the kitchen. As a result, he was responsible for one of the most explicit sex scenes in the history of Ireland’s national broadcaster when some rabbits from the show farm in Morrell Farm in Straffan were brought into studio for Live at Three., Derek handled a potentially embarrassing situation with aplomb: “what do rabbits do?”
  • IAE-media-smallFáilte Ireland held Ancient East workshops in Portlaoise, Goreyand Youghal for tourism operators in the east and south. A group of journalists from the US, Germany, Spain, Belgium and India (pictured) took part in a fam trip of Ireland’s Ancient East with an itinerary organised by Fáilte Ireland.
  • Cork Summer Show takes place June 20-21, Curraheee Showgrounds. The event is expected to attract 55,000 visitors. There will be 2,000 animals on show, the All Ireland Angus beef championship, home and garden expo, vintage rally and artisan produce.
  • Mike Laflin of Sportcal told the European Sport Tourism Summit in Thomond Park that Ireland is underachieving in the €450bn sports tourism sector, ranking number 68 in attracting international events.
  • Fáilte Ireland launched this year’s Tourism Towns Award. Only towns ranked in the top 100 Tidy Towns 2014 are eligible. Closing date for applications is Friday, June 12.
  • The Open Fringe Festival takes place May 25-31 as part of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The fringe line up includes: GAA Legends Exhibition Game, comedy from Patrick Kielty and  the Mourne Landscape Tour.
  • The INIS Fest will take place at Ennis Showgrounds in Co Clare, June 26-28. Line up includes Nathan Carter, Damien Dempsey and Delorentos. Tickets cost €27 1 night, €50 2 nights, on sale now.
  • Ireland ranked number 2 for environmental sustainability, 3 for cost to start a business, 4 for government prioritisation of tourism industry and 5 for tourism marketing in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index.
  • Ireland will host the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. The competition will be played in Dublin and Belfast.
  • Entry for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open closed this week. 156 players from 20 countries will attend the event from May 28-31. Line up includes: Rory McIlroy, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Danny Willett, Paul Lawrie, Paul McGinley and Shane Lowry.
  • The WAW features in this month’s of Canadian magazine Ensemble Vacations.

Fógra (with apologies to the late Con Houlihan)

Next weekend the Irish Press group will have been out of print for twenty years and Irish journalism is all the poorer for it. Remembering the occupation, featuring Travel Extra‘s Gerry O’Hare and his ingenious sleeping arrangements: Watch here.

Stephen Collins, Eoghan Corry and Tim Pat Coogan at the launch of the biography of Domhnall Ua Buachalla by Adhamhnan O Suilleabhain in O'Connell House, May 14 2015

Picture shows Tim Pat Coogan, Eoghan Corry, and Stephen Collins at a book launch by their former colleague Adhamhnán Ó Súilleabháin last week, a long-overdue biography of Dómhnall O Buchalla. Tim Pat celebrated his eightieth birthday on Inis Mór last weekend. Former Irish Press colleagues will be gathering in Dublin next Friday to catch up on two lost decades.

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