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TRAVEL Extra Sunday Supplement: The reign of Spain, Irish visitors could pass 2m in 2017

HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

Jason Kearns of Hertz Ireland; Hayley French of Los Angeles Tourism, Dee Burdock of Visit USA, Gary Orr of Experience Kissimmee; Francine Sheridan of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board; and Tony Lane of Visit USA, at the Visit USA Agent Appreciation Night, Church, Dublin, November 23, 2017

 

Things to know abut travel this week

  • Spain heads for 2.09m Irish visitors as tourism up 16pc
  • Portugal also going for record with tourism up 11pc
  • High Court throws out three legal challenges against €320m Dublin Airport runway
  • Dublin runway renovations to finish April, despite storms
  • 200-year-old hotel gets makeover as Riu Plaza The Gresham
  • Visit USA gives thanks to agents for Thanksgiving – with a Seattle prize up for grabs
  • Can Cyprus rise again? Cobalt dreams of 3w year-round from 2018
  • Topflight’s Tony Collins received lifetime achievement honour

Travel Extra TV

A video went viral of musicians Sheldon Thornhill and Sean Sullivan leading an impromptu sing-along of delayed passengers in the waiting area of Toronto’s Pearson Airport. Passengers awaiting a delayed flight to Newfoundland and Labrador belted out “Sweet Forget Me Not,” “Grey Foggy Day,” “Aunt Martha’s Sheep” and other folk classics.  Watch here.

  • A private Dreamliner. Watch here.
  • Pandas experience snow for the first time. Watch here.
  • A girl who has battled cancer achieved her dream of becoming a British Airways cabin crew member. Watch here.
  • Go behind the scenes as 1,800 runners take part in the Cork Runway Run here.
  • Model Chanel Iman flies from New York to Abu Dhabi for an exclusive photoshoot to reveal Etihad‘s  new Grid Girls Uniform for the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Watch here.
  • Heathrow Airport‘s new Christmas bear ad is already being called a classic. Watch here.
  • In a season of giving, Qantas explains how UNICEF donations can help children all over the world here.
  • Ryanair launched the “Great Christmas Giveaway” competition and fundraiser in aid of ISPCC Childline, its 2017 charity partner. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland shows you the best of Ireland in just one minute. Watch here.
  • Watch here a video of a story featured by Travel Extra this week as Chargé d’affaires Reece Smyth pardons Dustin the Turkey in the US Ambassador’s Residence in Phoenix Park, Dublin ahead of Thanksgiving 2017.

Behind the headlines

The Grand Dame of Dublin hotels, The Gresham Hotel, has been a Spanish Lady – for a while now and is looking good for a 200-year-old, thanks to a massive makeover. Bought for a reported €92m, it’s been rebranded as the Riu Plaza The Gresham. It’s only the second Riu Plaza property in Europe, after Berlin, but the offshoot of the family-run empire has a big footprint in the Americas, with Riu Plaza hotels in New York, Miami, Mexico and Panama. Ricardo Luque Ferrandez, Managing Director, Riu Hotels & Resorts, left the sunny climes of Miami Beach to launch the rebrand and spoke to Travel Extra here.  Picture shows Ricardo Luque Ferrandez MD, and Laura Malone, Director of Communications,  at the relaunch. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Irish visits to Portugal so far in 2017 are up 11.6pc and heading for 282,000 for the year, with bednights up 10.6pc. Algarve was up 8.6pc (bednights 8.3pc) off the highest base, Lisbon up 11.6pc (bednights 10pc), Northern Portugal up 47.5pc (bednights 49.8pc), Central Portugal up 62.7pc (bednights 92.3pc), Alentejo up 24.2pc (bednights 24.4pc), Madeira down 5.9pc (bednights -6.9pc).

Tourist average daily expenditure in Spain is up 6.6pc to €144. Average expenditure per tourist is up 0.8pc to €1,068. Average stay is down half a day to 7.4 days. Tourism growth from Ireland slowed to 0.9pc in September but is up 16.2pc for the year to date, heading for 2.09m.

In yet another bit of fallout from Britain’s EU exit, Belfast and Derry may be banned from the European Capital of Culture competition as the European Commission maintains that they will be outside the EU after 2019, so will be ineligible for consideration. The cities launched a high-profile bid to secure the title for 2023 back in July by mayors of Belfast Nuala McAllister and Maoliosa McHugh of Derry.

Travel Trade

Visit USA hosted an agents’ appreciation night in Church on Dublin’s Mary Street during a week of Thanksgiving celebrations. Caroline Gallagher from the Travel Department won the big prize of the night – a fam trip place to Aer Lingus’ new destination, Seattle, while Caroline Mongey of FCM won a €150 prepaid Mastercard, courtesy of Hertz, who were partners for the night along with Experience Kissimmee and Francine Sheridan’s Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Picture shows Jean Claffey, Bronwyn Clinton and Adele Walsh, from Joe Walsh Tours, Catch more pictures from the night here or on Facebook here.

Irish visitor numbers to Cyprus have dwindled from 70,000 a year to 6,525 so far this year – which is itself up 69pc on last year. But Cobalt Air sees a chance to bring back the boom, it told invited agents and operators in Dublin, as it formally launched its year-round service from Dublin to Larnaca. The airline’s Irish executive, David Lee, told Travel Extra that it’s looking to expand next year from 2w to 3w. Bookings for agents here are handled by Paul Nolan’s APG. Full story here. Picture shows Paul Nolan, APG, and David Lee, Cobalt Air, with prize-winner John Spollen of Cassidy Travel. Connect to the album from the night here or on Facebook here.

Clodagh Connolly won agent of the year and Grogan’s Travel agency of the year at the Worldchoice awards. Thomas McNally and Michaela Banks shared the supplier rep awards and Bookabed won supplier of the year. See here the full winners of the Worldchoice awards 2017.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Louth-born James Treacy, Senior PR Executive for Tourism Australia in Ireland, Britain and northern Europe, is to leave the tourism organisation. He said “It’s with great sadness that tomorrow is my last day at Tourism Australia. I’ll be heading to tour operator Abercrombie & Kent in a newly created PR & Comms Manager role, starting on December 1.” 

Tony Collins won the lifetime achievement award at the Irish Travel Trade News awards. Martin Skelly’s Navan Travel won the agency award.

Nine years ago, Pamela Brownlee was told that she’d be crazy to open a travel agency as “everyone’s booking online nowadays”. Almost a decade on, and the Fly Away Travel boss is seen celebrating with staff Rachel Devers and Elma Ni Ghiollarnath at her agency in Mayo. 

  • Agents who liked a post on Travel Partners Group Facebook page can win a prize every Tuesday and Thursday until December 21. The eight partners will offer a €50 One4All Christmas shopping voucher, and comprise of Amadeus, ASM (representing SAS, ANA , OBEO Travel and Your Car Hire), Blue Insurance , Bookabed , Classic Collection Holidays, Cruisescapes, Irish Ferries and MSC Cruises.
  • Diane Risk of Belfast City airport and Andrea Hunter of Aer Lingus hosted travel agents on a flight from Belfast City Airport to London Heathrow, where they were met by Heathrow staff to explore the offering available to travellers as well as transfer options.
  • The Cork Skal event takes place December 10 at Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel in Glanmire, Cork, €50 per person. 087 6709211 or email.
  • Picture shows travel agents on a Spanish Tourist Board group trip to Lanzarote in Jameos del Agua, Clare Dunne , Travel Broker; Rebecca Kearney, Club Travel; Rachel Walsh and Mary McKiernan from Best4Travel; Ciara Mooney, Freedom Travel; Antoinette Young from TUI and Kathryn McDonnell on the island of La Graciosa.
  • Jet2holidays/Jet2 winter programme out of Belfast International is up 17pc, 16,000 additional seats with a new winter route to Madeira.
  • ETOA the European tourism association was awarded the “Golden Experience” award for sustainable tourism, presented at the International Mayor’s Forum in Seville.
  • Pre-tax profits at the main Irish arm of Hertz rose by 21pc to €15.6m last year. But revenues at Hertz Europe Service Centre Ltd fell from €62.72m to €60.63m.

Strange world

Mickey has a new rival – a penis-themed theme park in South Korea. Legend has it that the park was built to keep the spirit of a fabled virgin happy, and Haesindang Park features 300 statues.

The airline whistleblower who exposed the actions of the Korean Air chairman’s daughter who forced a plane to return to its gate at JFK Airport in a kerfuffle over macadamia nuts is suing her and the airline, accusing them of illegally demoting and ostracising him. The nuts were apparently bagged, rather than plated.

A chartered train in India is supposed to have gone 160km in the wrong direction. Passengers were alerted when the train stopped at an unfamiliar location. They were travelling overnight to the western state of Maharashtra after taking part in a protest rally in Delhi. The railway firm denies the allegations.

The Swiss town of Albinen, located in the scenic canton of Valais, is voting on an initiative to pay people €21,461 each to move there for at least 10 years, the money to be repaid on moving out within that time. The town has just 240 residents.

Comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen offered to pay the fines for six Czech tourists who were  detained in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana for dressing up as his character Borat in mankinis.

International

Austria has had the best snowfall in the Alps so far this winter season with a storm last weekend followed by clear skies, bringing forward the opening dates of most ski resorts. Tignes (30/60cm) and Val Thorens (50/60cm) are the only two early season resorts currently open in France. St Moritz (13cm/38cm), and Murren (35cm/58cm) in Switzerland, Arabba (25/48cm) and Courmayeur (10/130cm) in Italy, Beaver Creek (46cm), Steamboat (30cm) and Vail (46cm) in Colorado open this weekend.

NYC & Company launched a $15m campaign called True York City which will pair iconic sights with a deep dive into local neighbourhoods and their unique experiences, with advertisements and promotion in 17 countries, with some additional content here.

A bus driver died in a “complete inferno” after deciding to drive straight into boulders on a narrow mountain road to try to save his passengers, an inquest heard. British driver Maurice Wrightson had been driving down from French ski resort Alpe d’Huez with a coach full of resort staff in 2013 when the brakes failed and he took the full force of the crash.

  • Trump has lifted the ban on importing lion and elephant trophies hunted in Africa.
  • Authorities in Rome have started classes for 750 taxi drivers to learn inter-cultural manners and English. 
  • Caribbean nations hardest hit by twin Hurricanes will get more than $2bn to underwrite rebuilding efforts. At a donor conference held by the United Nations and regional organisation CARICOM, donor nations will give $1.3bn in aid and at least $1bn in loans and debt relief.

Food & Beverage

  • Breanagh Catering, which operates Copper Face Jacks on Dublin’s Harcourt Street, recorded pre-tax profits of €5.16m last year.
  • Conor Halpenny, a young chef mentored by Ross Lewis of Chapter One, won the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition presented by La Rousse Foods.
  • British pub chain owner Mitchell & Butlers – in which Irish horseracing names JP McManus and John Magnier have a combined 23,1pc stake – said Brexit and rising costs have created “unprecedented headwinds” for the pub industry.
  • Kevin Coppinger, who co-owns Corbett’s and Coppingers bar in Thurles with All Ireland winner Lar Corbett hit back at the storm over a Black Friday 99 cent pint promotion. He said pubs are being forced into cut-price promos to compete with cheap beer in big supermarket chains.
  • An Italian-themed restaurant is to open at the redeveloped Royal Hibernian Way off Dawson Street in Dublin 2.

Hotels

  • Ken Healy hosted the sixth European castle awards at Barberstown Castle in Straffan.
  • Hotel owner and operator Tifco plans to add 60 bedrooms in a five-storey extension to its Crowne Plaza property near Dublin Airport.
  • The company which operates the Shelbourne Hotel on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green, Kennedy Wilson-owned KW Shelbourne Ops Ltd, recorded pre-tax profits of €3.9m last year. Rugby coach Joe Schmidt lit up the Shelbourne Christmas tree, and greeted fans at the hotel during the week. Catch the album here on or Facebook here. 
  • US President Donald Trump is feeling his own Trump Slump as average room rates have fallen by as much as 63pc in 12 of his 13 hotels. Hardest hit was Trump Las Vegas, according to  analysis by FairFX, the currency provider. The only one to see a rate rise? His property in Doonbeg, Co Clare. 
  • The family of a small boy who died in an accident at an Atlanta hotel filed a lawsuit with Marriott International. The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel is facing litigation after the five-year old became trapped in a revolving track at the popular 73rd floor Sun Dial revolving restaurant. 
  • MGM Resorts, owners of the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay hotel from where a gunman shot dead 58 people, is being sued by more than 450 victims of Stephen Paddock. 
  • Managing Director Bill Kelly reports that occupancy rates at the Kelly’s Resort Hotel in Rosslare hit 92pc last year. He was speaking after new accounts show that pretax profits increased from €688,261 in 2015 to €772,282 in 2016. 
  • Ireland’s largest hotel operator, Dalata Hotel Group, is to extend its existing lease agreement on the Ballsbridge Hotel until at least October next year. There is then the option to extend the lease further up to March 2019.

Dalata Hotels officially launched its own-brand coffee offering, called Red Bean Roastery. Alan Deller, General Manager of Clayton Hotel, Leopardstown, Dublin; Samuel Pezzaioli, Cafe Manager; and Pat McCann, CEO Dalata Hotels, are pictured at the opening of the standalone Red Bean Roastery Coffee Shop at the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown.

Hollywood boutique hotel The Standard plans to become America’s first hotel with its own lobby ‘pot shop‘ in a joint venture with a cannabis firm.

Aviation

Both Aer Lingus and Ryanair show a 5pc increase in seats offered this winter and increases in ASK of 11.6pc (Aer Lingus) and 9.2pc (Ryanair). Wizz Air are up 19.8pc and 20.3pc, Vueling up 14.5pc and 11.8pc, Transavia France up 13.2pc and 22.9pc, Finnair up 11.0pc and 11.6pc, Icelandair up 10.2pc and 12.1pc, Norwegian up 9.1pc and 29.0pc, and Brussels Airlines up 8.4pc and 21.1pc. 

Business group Ibec welcomed the High Court ruling to dismiss three legal challenges against plans for a new €320m runway at Dublin Airport. “Recent growth in passenger numbers has meant that the airport is often at full capacity during peak periods. Completion of the proposed North Runway by 2020 will help to relieve this. International connectivity needs to be consistently improved, expanding tourism and trading opportunities globally,” said Ibec Planning and Infrastructure Policy Executive Órla Casey. “This investment is vital not just for today or tomorrow, but to ensure the growth of our economy for the next 50 years.”

Work to resurface Dublin Airport’s main runway, R10/28, is more than two-thirds complete. DAA spokeswoman Siobhan O’Donnell told Travel Extra: “It’ll be finished by the end of April – but we lost a few days because of the weather.” She said that despite the major storms this year, contractors are working to make up lost ground on the work. The runway, which is 28 years old, also needs an upgrade of its ground lighting system and a full replacement of all cabling and ducting. Picture shows asphalt-laying on Dublin Airport runway on August 11. The runway ground lighting system is being upgraded with 1,700 new LED lights, to reduce energy consumption by 66pc. More than 10km of new electrical ducting and 200km of electrical cabling are also being installed. During the construction work, Dublin Airport’s oldest runway, R16/34, is being used. Since the project started, 78pc of flights have been directed to a northerly flight path while 22pc  have been directed to the southerly approach. Watch the work here.

Ryanair extended its connecting flights service at Milan Bergamo Airport, adding a further 31 routes including Budapest, Lisbon and Ibiza providing Ryanair customers with an expanded 131 connections.  Ryanair will add 18 new, extended from winter or revived routes to its Italian summer schedule next year, including an additional aircraft based at Bergamo and extra frequencies on other routes including Dublin. Ryanair extended its agreement with Perugia airport for a further five years.

  • Jet2 announced Belfast International B738 to Dalaman 1w from June 26th 2018 Tuesdays Departing 16:20/arriving 02:45. Belfast now has two operators to both Antalya and Dalaman. Graham Keddie is forecasting 5.7m passengers for the year.
  • Glasgow Airport was closed temporarily after a towing vehicle hit a passenger plane getting ready for take-off. The incident happened in “freezing conditions” on Friday, November 24,  and involved a British Airways plane.
  • Builder John Sisk & Son is firm favourite to win a near €99m contract to build a hangar for Boeing that will house its  biggest aircraft at Gatwick Airport. 
  • The Commission of Aviation Regulation approved an €0.06 increase in max average airport passenger charges at Dublin Airport for 2017 and 2018 as arrival/departure segregation at Pier 2 is attained.
  • Monarch’s administrators have won their appeal against a British Court decision which prevented them from selling valuable take off and landing slots at Gatwick and Luton airports. EasyJet, IAG, Wizz Air and Norwegian Air Shuttle have all previously expressed an interest in buying the slots. 
  • Domhnall Slattery’s Dublin-based Avolon firmed up an order for 55 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and 20 Boeing 737 MAX 10s, and said it may order 20 more, in a deal claimed at €3.4bn. 
  • Aer Lingus cabin crew have been hailed as “absolute professionals” online by passengers after “awful turbulence” affected a flight from Boston to Dublin on Tuesday, November 21. 
  • Dozens of flights to and from Schiphol Airport were delayed or cancelled because of a technical problem with air traffic control systems. 
  • The A350-1000 has gained certification from both EASA and FAA type. Airbus expects to deliver the first A350-1000 to launch customer and operator Qatar Airways before the end of this year, the first of 169 firm orders from 11 customers. 
  • State-owned airline Air China suspended flights between Beijing and North Korea due to what it claims was a lack of demand.
  •  Insurers have agreed to pay €81m to settle claims that security lapses led planes to be hijacked in the 9/11 attacks. The settlement on behalf of defendants including American Airlines and United Airlines was described in papers filed in Manhattan federal court. 
  • Gatwick restated plans for a second runway after reporting that the six month period to the end of September was the busiest in its history with passenger numbers rising by 5.1pc to 26.4m.
  • Air France KLM defended its new GDS booking fee, conceding that two-thirds of the group’s seats are sold through travel agents. Jean-Marc Janaillac, Air France-KLM chief executive, said the airline was forced to impose a fee to maintain its position against leading rivals.
  • Berlin Brandenburg Airport, originally scheduled for 2011 had its opening date put back a SEVENTH time – this time to mid to late 2020. 
  • Ryanair is recruiting engineers.  
  • Bloomberg reported that Rolls-Royce non-offers may have been an element in the Emirates A380 deal collapse.
  • British Airways was criticised in social media for a new boarding policy which will see passengers with the cheapest tickets forced to board last. The airline claimed the new policy, which is being introduced from next month, will speed up the boarding process.
  • ASL Aviation Holdings Ireland sold Farnair Handling Hungary to Menzies Aviation.

Afloat

Less than a week after embarking on its maiden expedition voyage to Antarctica, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Cloud had to cancel the sailing due to mechanical problems. The ship has returned safely to port, and all passengers are enjoying the onboard amenities until they disembark.

David Dingle, Clia Europe’s deputy chair, said that the cruise  industry “absolutely recognises it has an enormous duty” to protect the environment, and said while it is working with cities such as Dubrovnik amid overtourism fears, the wider travel sector must up its game.

P&O Cruises was forced to cancel a 50-night January voyage on the Oriana due to a maintenance issue. Instead of sailing around the Caribbean and America, the ship will enter dry dock for three weeks early in the New Year.

Ireland

  • The monastic beehive huts of Skellig Michael have been made into Lego toys ahead of the release of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’.

    Lego Skellig Michael

  • Carol Gleeson of Burren Tourism (pictured) hosted 160 delegates at a tourism conference in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon where issues such as overcrowding at the Cliffs of Moher were teased out in a series of panel discussions.
  • As British inbound figures decline this year, Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI introduced 33 Irish businesses to 41 top British meetings and events, inviting professionals to enjoy a taste of Ireland, at the annual ‘Ireland Meets the West End’ event in London.
  • Maybe it’s a sign of less chivalrous times, but Irish Rail hopes to help more pregnant women get seats on trains by introducing a “baby on board” badge for expectant mothers. Instead of having to ask a stranger to give up their seat, pregnant travellers will now be able to wear badges, which the rail company hopes will encourage other commuters to give up their seats.
  • The Freebird Club was among the winners at the first Smart Ageing Innovation Awards. The Freebird Club is now running a crowdfunding campaign.
  • Tourism Ireland and Qatar Airways co hosted a travel trade workshop in Doha. Picture shows Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Hanan Koura and Samira Darwish, of ST Qatar; and Paul Kavanagh, Irish Ambassador-Designate of Qatar,

Deal watch

  • Insight Vacations offers: Easy Pace Italy – 10-day tour including flights, transfers and 9 nights’ accommodation in the best locations, from €2199, depart March 31. Book  and pay in full by December 1,  2017 . Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking. www.insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
  • ITAA offers: Trip to see Manchester City v Chelsea, one night’s hotel with match ticket from €199, depart March 3 with Cassidy Travel. www.itaa.ie/2017/11/14/football-break Dublin to Porto, 3 nights 3* TRYP Porto Centro Hotel, from €285, depart June 15 with Wallace Travel Group. www.itaa.ie/2017/11/14/porto-break Dublin to Berlin, 3 nights 4* Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte, with transfers, guided tour and tickets to see Andre Rieu in concert, from €599 with Travel Escapes, depart January 31. www.itaa.ie/2017/11/14/berlin-concert
  • Sunway offers: Dublin to Lapland, one night full board Sky Hotel , from €2792 for two adults and one child, depart December 1. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2*+ Oasis Apts, from €399, depart January 13, 20 or 27. Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 nights self-catering 3* Oasis Dunas Apts, from €369, depart January 13, 20 or 27. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Monte Verde Apts, from €379, depart January 13, 20 or 27. Dublin to Orlando, 7 Nights 3* Rosen Inn at Pointe, from €479pp, based on 2 adults & 2 children U12 sharing. Dublin to  Dubai, 3 Nights 3* Arabian Park, from €495.  Montenegro & Greece Fly Cruise, 7 nights onboard Crown Princess, from €1199, depart July 21. Short Mediterranean Fly Cruise, 5 nights onboard Symphony of the Seas, from €969, depart March 31.  Dubai, Vietnam Cruise & Hong Kong Stay, 15 nights with cruise onboard Ovation of the Seas, from €1249pp, depart April 26. Balcony Stateroom from €1550pp. Classic Italian Fly Cruise, 7 nights onboard MSC Fantasia with €100 onboard credit per cabin, from €919, depart October 10. Arctic Highlights Voyage, 5 nights onboard Ms Nordkapp, from€1249 , depart February 23. www.sunway.ie
  • Topflight offers: Black Friday offers – sale ends tomorrow. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Sonnalp, was €1760, now €1339, depart December 30. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Elisabethpark, was €1399, now €1139, depart December 30. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights B&B 3* Pension Hochwimmer, was €865, now €639, depart December 30. Dublin to France, 7 nights self-catering 3* Le Hammeau du Mottaret, was €819, now €699, depart December 30. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights B&B 3* Landhaus Roscher, was €1019, now €709, depart December 30. Dublin to Andorra, 7 nights half board  4* Hotel Piolets, was €1446, now €1219, depart December 31. Dublin to France, 7 nights self-catering 3* Résidence La Riviére,  was €449, now €329, depart January 6. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Jakobwirt, was €1069, now €869, depart January 6. Dublin to Andorra, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Sant Gothard, was €649, now €499, depart January 7. Dublin to France, 7 nights catered chalet 3* Chalet Laponia, was €1099, now €849, depart February 17. www.topflight.ie
  • TUI offers: Black Friday sale deals also available for a limited time. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights half board 3* Barcelo Margaritas, Playa Del Ingles, from €1,089, depart  December 21. Dublin to Lanzarote, 14 nights half board 4* TUI Sensimar Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, from €1,239, depart December 31.  Cork to Tenerife, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Catalonia Las Vegas, Puerto De La Cruz, from €1,269, depart December 24.  Cork to Lanzarote, 7 nights half board 4* TUI Sensimar Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, from €1,419, depart December 28. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Cay Beach Princess Bungalows, Maspalomas, from €359, depart January 25.  Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, from €429, depart January 21.  Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 2* Laguna Park II, Playa De Las Americas, from €499, depart January 26. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights half board 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, from €389, depart February 8. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* Lanzarote Paradise Club, Costa Teguise, from €379, depart February 18. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 2* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, from €419. Dublin to Tenerife, Colourful Coasts cruise onboard Marella Dream, Decks 6/7/10 Inside Cabin, FB, 7 nights from €789, depart January 19.  www.tuiholidays.ie, Call 1850 45 35 45 or visit a TUI store/travel agent.
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruises offers: Gems of Italy cruise, 8 days, includes flights, airport transfers, all meals and beverages, all shore excursions and 7 nights in a Category 5 stateroom onboard the River Countess, from €2459. Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking. Book before December 31, 2017.  www.uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803

What we learned

  • Dublin Airport’s main runway has seen 4m takeoffs and landings since opening in 1989.

 

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TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair predicts average fare will drop to €37

HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

Dermot Lee, Jenny Raffter and Yvonne Muldoon of Aer Lingus who hosted 106 agents at the Aer Lingus Miami event in House, Leeson St, Dublin, July 24 2017

  • Things 

Things to know about travel this week.

  • Ryanair predicts average fare will drop to €37
  • Irish tourism growth beats Tourism Ireland predictions
  • Falling like a stone, British visitors down by 200,000 this year
  • Michael O’Leary sitting pretty on €3.2m pay pot last year
  • Aer Lingus brings some Miami cool to Dublin
  • Celebrity Silhouette hosts the capital’s business chiefs
  • Distillery boom continues with Pearse Lyons opening
  • Fidelma is latest winner in Topflight competition
  • Travel Extra TV.

Glimpse inside The First Wing ,the new exclusive check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and Oneworld Emerald customers at Heathrow Terminal 5, leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

Pilots can be anoraks too – and four from Arsenal partner airline Emirates were happy to fly their English Premier League heroes. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Latest CSO figures reinforce the view that Brexit (Breat-imeacht) is already having  a huge detrimental impact – in inbound tourism. The headline figures will tell you that Ireland’s visitor numbers grew 4.2pc in January-June, double Tourism Ireland‘s growth guidance. But that’s only part of the story, with US growth (up 20.9pc to 629,000, Europe up 10.1 and Germany up 9pc masking the fact that Ireland’s largest inbound market is in decline. Visitor numbers from Britain fell 6.4pc to 949,000 and are likely to be down by 200,000 in 2017, and this follows recent dire warnings from DAA CEO Kevin Toland that British numbers are “falling like a stone”. Watch here  

Tourism Ireland boss Niall Gibbons conceded that  “the currency challenge for Irish tourism is very real and the drop in British visitor numbers (-6.4%) for the January to June period reflects that”, while Failte Ireland boss Paul Kelly was more gloomy, saying: “This growth of 4.2pc is to be welcomed and it has certainly been buoyed up by a very impressive North American performance. That performance is masking a worrying trend downwards in the British market as a weakening sterling makes Ireland more expensive for British visitors.”

How do you know you’re doing well? When your share price slips, ever so slightly. Just ask Apple, Facebook, Amazon – or our own Ryanair. Making hundreds of millions each year isn’t enough to quench the thirst of the Wolves of Wall Street. Ryanair shares dropped during the week, when CEO Michael O’Leary revealed that the average fare will drop to €37 this summer. Despite the knee-jerk reaction on the markets, the airline’s latest bottom line is looking more than healthy, with passenger numbers hitting 35m in the first quarter of the year, costs down and load factor up 2pc to 96pc. O’Leary continued his wake up about Brexit campaign, saying if there’s no clarity on Open Skies, “we may be forced to cancel flights and move some, or all, of our UK-based aircraft to Continental Europe from April ’19 onwards.  We have contingency plans in place and will, as always, adapt to changed circumstances in the best interests of our customers and shareholders.” Read the full report here. 

Travel Trade

Dublin’s House venue turned South Beach as Yvonne Muldoon, Jenny Rafter and friends launched the latest Aer Lingus destination in North America – Miami. Many of the passengers will be tying in with cruise departures from the city, and the route has already attracted many non-Irish passengers, who’ll be connecting from British cities, plus many through Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, Picture shows Jenny Rafter, Yvonne Muldoon and Dermot Lee of Aer Lingus. See more pictures here or connect with the album on FacebookWatch here the prize winners on the night. Watch here video of the event. Watch here speech by Yvonne Muldoon. Watch here speech by Seb Sarassin of Miami CVB.

Fidelma Brady from Travel Counsellors is the latest winner in Topflight’s ‘Win a Holiday’ Travel Agent Incentive. She joins Eva Jancichova from Cassidy Travel & Judith Hall from Thompson Travel who were the first two winners. Fidelma wins a holiday for 2 to the stylish 4* Grand Hotel Croce di Malta in Montecatini Terme, Tuscany. The final winner will be announced on Friday 4th August, and the draw will take place live on Topflight’s facebook page at 3pm on Friday 4th August. The final holiday in the ‘Win a holiday’ travel agent giveaway is a holiday for two to Sicily. The winner and their guest will stay in the Hotel Delle Palme in the resort of Letojanni. Agents who

Agents who book a Topflight last minute holiday (departure within 14 days of booking) and e-mail your booking reference to travelagents@topflight.ie. There are also numerous spot prizes. Shauna Kelly is about and doing deliveries, so keep booking and watch out for Topflight calling to your door.

The Aer Lingus discount offer for delegates travelling to the ITAA conference expires on July 31st and that there are a limited number of seats being held on the Ryanair flight Porto to Dublin on October 15.

  • Qatar Airways have a premium business class competition to the trade effective from Monday, July 31st . Agents who sell a premium  ticket, first/business before August 9 for travel before March 31 2018 are elgible to win a business class ticket themselves and a prize.
  • Austria expert Aileen Eglington hosted travel trade, media and walking group leaders to showcase Austria’s hiking and cycling product. Picture shows  John Barrett of Ski Club of Ireland, Patricia Duffy of The Roving Soles Walking Club, Ruth Whelan of Moutaineering Ireland, Jessica Keeffe of Limerick Climbing Club, Harry Dillane of Bishopstown Walking Club, Ailbhe Roche of Extreme Ireland, Catherine Murphy travel writer, Jim Gallagher travel writer, Blathnait Ni Murchu travel writer, Dan King travel writer,, Front Frank Lynch of Independent Organised Trips, , Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra Ireland, and tour guide Johnny Hagsteiner. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Celebrity Cruise Line hosted busies leaders and travel agents at separate events on board Celebrity Silhouette in Dublin port. Picture shows Declan Curtin, Chartered Land; Lorraine Quinn, Ireland Sales Manager, Celebrity Cruises; and Mary Rose Burke, Dublin Chamber onboard Celebrity Silhouette, Dublin Port. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Indonesian tourism hosted Irish travel trade at a golf event in Portmarnock to showcase the country’s 160 world class golf courses. Picture shows John Spollen of Cassidy Travel, Maria Mayabubun Deputy Director of Wonderful Indonesia tourism ministry, Martin Skelly of Navan Travel, Igde Pitana Deputy tourism Minister of Indonesia, Gordon Penney and Philip Airey of Sunway. Watch here interview with Igde Pitana Deputy Tourism Minister of Indonesia. Watch here Igde Pitana speech at the event.  Watch here his comments on the safety of visitors to Indonesia. Watch here speech by Miranda Hough about relations between Indonesia and IrelandSee more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
  • Blue Insurance boss Ciaran Mulligan‘s carhireexcess.com, is calling on the EU to regulate car hire companies and the selling of ‘excess’ insurance at car hire desks.  “Holidaymakers are being charged up to €25 a day at the rental desk abroad and they should avoid these last minute rip off charges imposed by going online before they trave,” he says. Ciaran Mulligan’s alarm over the sector was echoed by Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath who expressed his concern regarding the regulation of the car rental sector following reports of dubious practices  on the part of some car hire firms, such as staff being given €4.50 each time they spot ‘damage’
  • Celtic Horizon Tours has been appointed by Manchester City as the sole “Official Supplier of Supporter Travel” in Ireland.
  • Revenues at the Irish arm of Trailfinders in the year to end Feb17 rose by 11.5pc to £75.33m.
  • London’s Foreign Office has changed its advice against travelling to large parts of Tunisia, including Tunis and beach resort Sousse. Sami Tounsi, trade manager for the Tunisian National Tourist Office in Ireland and Britain, said: “We’re overwhelmed by this great news and it represents a great excuse for a big party in Tunisia.” 
  • Overseas trips by Irish residents are up 7.3pc to 2,119,000.

Strange world

A US man stands accused of killing his wife during a Murder Mystery dinner onboard the Emerald Princess Alaska cruise. Video report here.

  • Be careful on those hikes: A brown bear is being hunted in the Italian Alps after biting a hiker’s arm and leg following several other attacks on holidaymakers. The man was saved by his dog, who drew the bear off, allowing him to escape.
  • The twinned towns of Dull (Scotland) and Boring (Oregon) have been joined by Bland (Australia) to form the “League of extraordinary communities” to promote tourism.
  • Switzerland is anticipating an unwanted tourism boom from neighbouring nations after a supermarket chain is now legally selling marijuana cigarettes.

International

  • Uber’s cheap Madrid airport transfer service has been referred by the city council to the country’s national antitrust watchdog for review, Reuters reported.
  • Venice is to crack down on misbehaving tourists after Belgian holidaymakers were seen swimming in the Grand Canal. Littering, dawdling and jumping in the canals will now invite fines of between €25 and €500. Tourists will also have to cough up if caught picnicking in public places, cycling through pedestrianised areas and flaunting too much flesh.
  • Europcar reported a net loss of €27m due to one-off restructuring costs and ‘transformational’ merger and acquisition-related fees.

Food & Beverage

  • Adare Manor has been granted a new bar licence for the Halfway House bar, between the ninth and 10th holes.

  • The Irish Brewing Association has welcomed cabinet support for the introduction of a new law which will allow craft brewers and distillers to sell their produce onsite to visitors.
  • The distillery tourism business continues to boom with the opening of the Pearse Lyons distillery in Dublin’s Liberties area.
  • The Restaurants Association of Ireland has announced the top 10 finalists in the ‘Foodie Destinations’ competition 2017. They are: Boyne Valley, Cong, Galway’s Westend, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Loop Head Peninsula, Monaghan, Sligo, West Cork and West Waterford.
  • Online sales now make up over 55pc of Domino’s Pizza’s total sales in Ireland, the company reported.

Hotels

  • Radisson Blu has got the go-ahead for a €35m makeover of its Golden Lane hotel in Dublin.
  • Wicklow County Council refused planning permission for developer Johnny Ronan’s €50m sports-themed hotel with 141 bedrooms at St Valery’s, Enniskerry.

Cork City Council has granted conditional planning permission for Ireland’s first floating hotel on the city’s northern quays. It would allow for the berthing of a 105 metre, three-deck river cruiser with 96 cabins and accommodation for 156 people at Penrose Quay, next to the Michael Collins Bridge.

  • The proposed €50m refurbishment of Cork’s Metropole hotel would feature 400 new bedrooms.

Aviation

Etihad’s new Irish CEO Ray Gammell says the market is challenging. Although the Abu Dhabi airline carried a record number of passengers, it suffered a loss of $1.87bn due to one-off charges and fuel-hedging costs. Full story here.

  • Delta Air Lines, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic announced plans for a 15-year partnership on routes between Europe and the US and equity deals which will see them take stakes in each other. The joint venture will see the three carriers share their profits on transatlantic routes.
  • British Airways is giving travel agencies an option to avoid the airline’s $10 GDS booking surcharge, to be put in place November 1. The airline has partnered with TPConnects to establish a direct connect to British Airways’ res system. The connection has IATA’s New Distribution Capability standards, giving agents access to ancillary services, rich content like photos and videos, and personalsed preferences.The European Commission, in response to a complaint from Ryanair, found that the exemption for transfer and transit passengers from the defunct Irish air travel tax was in line with EU state aid rules.  The exemption was in line with the underlying logic of the Irish air travel tax which was to tax journeys by air originating from Ireland.
  • A 49-page Labour Court submission by Aer Lingus said short-haul operation is “structurally unsustainable” and has been negatively impacted by Ryanair’s improved customer focus. Aer Lingus is also concerned about the threat it faces on US routes from Norwegian Airlines.  The document says cabin service managers in Aer Lingus earn €63,000, 38pc more than in EasyJet and cabin crew on €38,000 earn 31pc more than EasyJet.

    Powdair virtual airline, based in Ireland, which plans flights from Sion to eight destinations from December, will now partner with the Danish Backbone Aviation to which Powdair will provide 2 Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets. The airline plans to secure an Irish AOC to be able to operate with its own aircraft as from the winter of 2018/2019.

    Ireland West Airport Knock and Stewart International Airport NY established the first Sister Airport Relationship, forming a strategic alliance to facilitate the exchange of information and promote and develop air access between the airports.

    AWAS chief executive David Siegel is stepping down and will not join the lessor’s acquirer Dubai Aerospace Enterprise when the transaction is completed in August

  • IAG is converting three Airbus A330-200 longhaul aircraft options into firm orders for new long-haul low-cost brand Level. 
  • The aviation sector did more than any other to damage its reputation over the last year through poor customer service and increasing complaint levels, a new study by design consultancy Engine found.
  • The US Court of Appeals in Washington has ordered aviation regulators to consider setting minimum standards for the space airlines give passengers. “This is the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat,” Judge Patricia Ann Millett wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel. “Aircraft seats and the spacing between them have been getting smaller and smaller, while American passengers have been growing in size.”
  • Trade union Unite on Monday said it will fight a temporary lay-off of four staff at Waterford Airport, a move blamed on the delayed launch of Air Southeast services to England.

 

Afloat

Cork Port is to build a new terminal to cater for cruise arrivals, with Cork likely to attract a record 100-plus arrivals next year. With 97 ships booked in, over 200,000 passengers are expected to visit the area.

Norwegian Cruise Line are testing a flat-fee surcharge at Margaritaville

Ireland

 

  • The push is on to attract high-spending golf tourists to the country. Failte Ireland, in conjunction with Tourism Ireland, invited a team of golf media from a key target market, the US, to play on courses in Dublin and the Ancient East.

The golf media have a combined audience of 20m in the States, and Failte Ireland says 200,000 holidaymakers play the game while visiting the country. The trip is showcasing of some of our courses including Portmarnock Golf Club; Woodenbridge Golf Club, Wicklow; County Louth Golf Club, Baltray and the Royal Dublin Golf Club.

Included in the visiting US golfing media, are representatives from leading online outlets such asSports Illustrated and Yahoo Sports,  TV channels such as Golfing the World and Golf Chicago TV as well as a representative from leading radio station, CBS and their The 19th Hole Show. Full story here.

Guinness Storehouse managing director Paul Carty, who’s also the Chairman of the Association of Visitor Experiences & Attractions, has been appointed to the board of the National Tourism Development Authority, along with Sean Boland of Hertz Ireland.

  • The latest Dublin Economic Monitor showed that the city’s hotel market remained buoyant in Q2 2017 as occupancy rates exceeded 82pc and Average Daily Room Rates reached a new post-recession peak. Click Here for graph
  • It also showed that public transport trips reached a new peak of almost 51 million passenger journeys in Q1 2017 in spite of industrial action in the quarter, reflecting a strong tourism market.Click Here for graph

Deal Watch

Falcon offers: Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Poseidon Apartments, Sunny Beach, from €639, depart August 28. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, from €549, depart August 28. Dublin to  Algarve, 7 nights self-catering 3* Ouratlantico Apts, from €559pp, depart August 27. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Rocamar, Puerto Rico, from €459, depart August 31. Cork to  Costa Dorada, 7 nights half board 3* California Garden, Salou, from €499pp, depart August 29. 04-Sep-17, Shannon to  Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* San Marcial Apartments, Matagorda, from €439pp, depart September 4. Visit www.falconholidays.ie, or 1850 45 35 45

Thomson offers: Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 4* Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, from €479pp, depart September 22. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Puerto Plata, Puerto Rico, from €599, depart August 24. Shannon to  Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 3* Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, from €439pp, depart September 25. Dublin to Zakynthos, 7 nights 3* Hotel Roseland, Kalamaki, from €769pp, depart August 29. Dublin to Costa Dorada, 7 nights self-catering 3* Sunclub Apts, Cap De Salou, from €639, depart August 29. Visit www.thomsonholidays.ie, or 1850 45 35 45

Sunway offers: Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 night self-catering 2* plus Villa Florida Apts, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to Sicily, 7 night self-catering 2* Carmen Miosotis Apts, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 night self-catering 2* plus Bayside Apts, from €449, depart August 11. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 night self-catering 2* Monte Verde Apts, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 night B&B 3* Lira Hotel, from €549, depart August 12. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 night B&B 3* Londra Hotel, from €589, depart August 12. Dublin to Vietnam, 10-day private tour from Hanoi to Saigon, including flights and tours, from €1939. Eight-night Miami, Caribbean Fly Cruise & Las Vegas, sailing on Norwegian Sky premium all inclusive, from €1340, depart May 22, 2018. Book online at www.sunway.ie

Topflight offers: Dublin to Tuscany, 7 nights self-catering 4* Fattoria Castiglionchio, was €877 now €599pps (2 adults & 2 children sharing), depart August 11. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Bella Italia Bungalow, was €739 now €599pps (2 adults & 3 children sharing), depart August 26. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Camping Cisano & San Vito, was €729 now €569pps (2 adults & 4 children sharing), depart August 12. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, from €969, depart August 12. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* plus Hotel Bristol, from €1149, depart August 13. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic, from €799, depart August 6. Dublin to Rimini, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel de France, from €729, depart August 5. Dublin to Lido di Jesolo, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Eden, €799, depart August 5. Dublin to Madeira, 7 nights self-catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, €899, depart August 3. Call Topflight on 01 240 1700, or visit www.topflight.ie

ITAA offers: Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Majestic Palace, from €899, depart July 29, with The Travel Broker. For more info, check www.itaa.ie/2017/07/18/lake

Dublin to San Giovann, 7 nights B&B, from €945, depart September 3, with Joe Walsh ToursFor more info, click www.itaa.ie/2017/07/17/san

Click and Go offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Maracaibo Apartments, Puerto Rico, from €399, September departures. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 nights B&B 5* Real Marina Hotel & Spa, from €289, depart November.

Visit www.clickandgo.com or call (01) 539 7777

Cassidy Travel offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self-catering 2* Colina Mar, from €1799 for two adults and two children, depart August 23. 8786888.

Uniworld offers: All inclusive Paris to Paris river eight-day cruise onboard the SS Joie de Vivre, was €2709 now €1349, depart December 13. All inclusive 15-day cruise,  Budapest to Amsterdam. Cruise was €7,409, now €3,699, depart September 27. (01) 7753803.

Insight Vacations offers: Nine-day Italian trip, visiting Puglia and the Neapolitan Riviera, was €2075, now €1869, depart September 2. Ten-day Best of Germany tour, was €2025, now €1,819, depart August 18. To book, (01) 7753803.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Ryanair average fare heading for lowest EVER €30

HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism Ireland is interviewed before a media briefing in Dubin, February 8 2017

  • Sorohan says Ryanair average fares will fall 15pc from €33.
  • Niall says Irish tourism numbers will grow just 1pc in 2017
  • Countdown to Limerick travel show
  • Was für eine Überraschung! Kerry-Berlin in winter
  • Aldergrove is Ireland’s fastest growing airport, up 34pc
  • Travel Partners visit Cork and Waterford
  • Irish Ferries new off-peak fare type on irish Sea crossings
  • Kathrice joins the win-a-car finalists 
  • Airfield’s newborn calf & the Tourism Award trophy
  • Failte Ireland targets business tourism growth

Travel Extra TV

  • Ryanair posted this cheeky Valentine’s Day promo. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus cheered up the Irish rugby team with Ireland’s “biggest” tweet — with yesterday’s result, it looks like it worked. Watch here.
  • Do you reckon you could ever pull off an indoor skydiving performance like this? Watch here.
  • BA recruited three up-and-coming jazz stars to perform on a flight to New OrleansWatch here.
  • Qatar Airways posted a video to mark its inaugural Auckland service. Watch here.
  • The US Embassy to Ireland posted a video about chef Amanda Freitas when she came to the island as part of a state department culinary diplomacy programme. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Free car parking is among the incentives at the Holiday Show in association with Shannon Airport at University of Limerick on next Saturday and Sunday. Picture shows Maureen Ledwith and Edmund Hourican of Business Exhibitions with Declan Power of Shannon airport. Watch video here.

Ryanair reported Q3 average fares down 17pc to €33, with passenger numbers up 16pc to 29m. The official report also unusually reiterated Michael O’Leary’s warnings about the second carry-on bag (watch here). The Q3 average fare can turn in seven or eight euro below the annual average but the trend is towards historic lows for the airline. In a series of post-results interviews NeilSorahan said Ryanair’s average fare will fall 15pc further, bringing it through €30 for Q3 2017. Michael O’Leary says that Ryanair will reduce their average fare to €30 in five years and it may yet come to pass

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said he expected the number of sites that will go green will rise to 300 by St Patrick’s Day.At a media briefing in Dublin he showcased the new German television campaign ads for 2017 Die Insel Irland (watch here). Gibbons (watch here) has revised Tourism Ireland’s estimates for growth in inbound Irish tourism in 2017 from minus 3pc too plus 1pc, still very conservative compared with other tourism stake holders. He was responding to questions from Travel Extra at a briefing. Watch here Niall Gibbons speaking on the criteria for buildings to be included in Ireland’s St Patricks Day global greening campaign, watch here full Niall Gibbons presentation, watch here speech by tourism minister Shane Rosswatch here Joe McHugh presentation. watch here Niall Gibbons say Ireland’s St Patrick’s Day Global Greening campaign is worth €10m in publicity, watch here Niall Gibbons speaking on the impact of the removal of Ireland’s aviation tax, calculations that Tourism Ireland’s journalist hosting programme costs €2m and yields €234m watch here. Also watch here Shane Ross speaking on the extensive travel programme for Ireland’s cabinet ministers this St Patrick’s Day and watch here comments on the 9pc VAT rate and aviation tax by Tourism Minister Shane Ross agus Agallamh le aire Joe McHugh, An tAire Stáit um an Diaspóra agus Forbairt Idirnáisiúnta. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Cliffs of Moher visitor, Ireland’s second most visited attraction in 2016 with 1,427,166 visitors, celebrated ten years on a brisk and sunny Wednesday. watch here Katherine Webster, manager of the centre, interviewed by Travel Extrawatch here Katherine Webster speaking at the event, watch here Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach Clare County Council, and watch here Ger Dollard, director of services with Clare County Council. Picture shows Patricia Nolan and Katherine Webster of the Cliffs of Moher at the tenth anniversary event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Topflight are preparing for their Copper Face Jack’s ski trip on is March 5th to Arinsal, Andorra where guests will include Paddy Casey and DJ Mark McCabe. All-inclusive prices start from only €959 per person sharing. Topflight are officially announcing a new trade promotion to the trade on Monday morning via e-mail and doing some Facebook teasers. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

Kathrice Gunning of Cassidy travel is the January finalist in the competition to win a Polo Magnifico run by Blue Insurances joining Angela Taylor from Oasis TravelHelena Kilduff from Skytours, Rose Kane from Kane’s Travel in Longford, Claire Mulligan from Clubworld Travel, Mandy Walsh of Travel Counsellors, Rita Gaughan from Limerick Travel, Kate McGillycuddy from Abbey Travel in Killarney, Nicola Quigley from O’Hanrahan Travel and Ross Waters from Tour America in the competition for a new car. Blue Insurances reminds agents to have their own unique login to make bookings count for their monthly draw. Agents can win a bonus place at the final by posting humourous pictures or videos featuring themselves with a car to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #DontRenewUnlessItsBlue.

The seven suppliers who are members of Travel Partners brought their roadshow to Cork and Waterford this week. Next two are Sligo on March 29th and Ballinasloe on March 30th, hotels to be decided yet. Picture shows Jason Whelan of Blue Insurances, Olwen McKinney of Amadeus and Niall McDonnell of Classic Collection during the Travel Partners roadshow tour of Waterford and Cork.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Catch up with the Eoghan Corry Travel Summit at Holiday World in Dublin. Audio files on Sounddloud or check out the individual sessions (audio only) on Youtube: Ryanair with Robin Kiely (watch here), Aer Lingus with John Keogh (watch here), Kathryn Thomas (watch here), Vincent Harrison of Dublin airport (watch here), Grainne Morrison of Dublin Airport guest services (watch here), cruise with Jennifer Callister ofRoyal Caribbean International, Lorraine Quinn of Celebrity Cruises, Rebecca Kelly of MSC Cruises and Alan Lynch of Cruisescapes (watch here), discussion on Solo travel with Sharon Jordan and Brian Hynes of The Travel Corporation and Marie Claire Porter of Sunway Travel (watch here), ski and snow with Orla Markey of Crystal Holidays, Aileen Eglington of Ski Club of Ireland, Catherine Murphy, ski journalist and Anthony Collins of Topflight (watch here), what’s new in the USA (watch here), Irish Attractions with Alex Connolly of Fáilte Ireland, Colette Coughlan of Guinness Storehouse, Dervla O’Neill of EPIC and Maire Hennessy of Hertiage Island (watch here), Flying West in 2017 with Ivan Beacom, of Aer Lingus and Catherine Grennell Whyte of ASL (watch here), Africa with Dawn Wilson of Botswana Tourism and Tony Flynn of Ethiopian Airlines (watch here), Far East with Enda Corneille of Emirates and Chris Lee of Tourism Authority of Thailand (watch here), Europe with Kathryn MacDonnell of the Spanish Tourism Office Dublin, Mary Denton of Sunway and Charlotte Brenner of Falcon (watch here), Vaccinations & Visas with Beth Sunday of the US Consular Office and Siobhan Grehan of the Tropical Medical Bureau (watch here), Ireland’s Regions with Joe Dolan, President of the Irish Hotels Federation and Managing Director of Bush Hotel, Adrian Cummins, CEO of The Restaurant Association of Ireland and Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (watch here).

Brand USA are asking agents to register here for the seven-itinerary 2017 Megafam, their fith, at. Register bookings made to the USA until April 3 with American Airlines or British Wairways, complete the megafam 2017 badge, and pass on as many specialist badges as you can.

Cork airport’s holiday show in the Cork International Airport hotel was among the best attended travel events in the city for years with cruises and river cruises very popular.

Kate Wooldridge of Fred Olsen

Fred Olsen have promoted Kate Wooldridge to the new role of sales services communications manager and  Carla Ball to specialist sales manager. Zoe Allum becomes trade support executive.

Barclaycard is putting in place a new percentage-based charge for debit cards following the EU’s capping of interchange fees between debit card issuers and merchant acquirers at 0.2pc.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is investigating Thomas Cook and Tui Group, over hotel pricing.

Strange world

Lithuania department of tourism admitted that some of the pictures they shared on social media were of Finland and Slovakia. The images ran under the slogan “Real is Beautiful”

International

Visitors to China will have their fingerprints collected starting this week, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced Thursday.

Eoghan Corry on the RTE history show

English fighter jets escorted a Pakistan International Airlines airliner to Stansted Airport near London on Tuesday after a passenger became disruptive.

Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry will be on RTE 1 radio The History Show this Sunday evening speaking about major anniversaries in 2017 including the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 thesis on the door of the Castle church, which is expected to bring 350,000 visitors to Wittemberg this year. Watch here Travel Extra video of press group visit to Martin Luther monuments and homestead last April.

  • Haven Holidays plans a £3m efurbishment of the indoor swimming pool complex at their popular all-action park of Hafan Y Mor in North Wales
  • Some ski high jinks by Irish skiers, watch here.

Food & Beverage

Sales of Jameson Irish whiskey rose 20pc in 2016 the eighth year of double-digit growth helping boost Pernod Ricard’s profits which are up 4pc. Chief Financial Officer Gilles Bogaert anticipated Jameson shipments would rise to 5m cases from 3m.

Italy’s Head Coach Conor O’Shea took time out from his pre-match schedule to join Bord Bia for an Irish beef promotional event in Rome. Conor and top Italian chef Andrea Fusco co-hosted the Chefs’ Irish beef Club (CIBC) event which attracted a number of influential Italian food writers. Guests were served an Irish beef dish inspired by tomorrow’s Six Nations clash. Pictured at the event were (l-r ): Ambassador of Ireland to Italy Mr. Bobby Mc Donagh, Former Irish rugby star and Italy’s Head Coach Conor O’Shea, Italian chef Andrea Fusco, Nicolas Ranninger, Manager, Bord Bia Italy.

I

Former Irish rugby star and Italy’s Head Coach Conor O’Shea took time out from his pre-match schedule to join Bord Bia for an Irish beef promo event in Rome. Conor and top Italian chef Andrea Fusco co-hosted a Chefs’ Irish beef Club (CIBC) lunch which attracted influential Italian food writers. Guests were served an Irish beef dish inspired by the Six Nations clash. Italy is Ireland’s fourth largest export destination for Irish beef, after Britain, France and the Netherlands and at €172m in 2016 accounted for 56pc of our food and beverage exports. Picture shows Ambassador of Ireland to Italy Mr. Bobby Mc Donagh, Former Irish rugby star and Italy’s Head Coach Conor O’Shea, Italian chef Andrea Fusco, Nicolas Ranninger, Manager, Bord Bia Italy.

Pamela Byrne CEO of the Food Safety Authority

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland served five closure orders in January, Hot Spot (take away), Parnell Street, Limerick, Polonez (retailer), 20 Moore Street, Dublin 1, Pacinos Restaurant, 18 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2, Beachview Tandoori (take away), Strand Road, Laytown, Meath and Kavanaghs Fine Foods Cork Ltd manufacturing unit 9 Pearse Square, 9 Pearse Street, Ballyphehane, Cork. The authority received 3,202 complaints by consumers relating to food, food premises and food labelling in 2016, up 17pc and food poisoning was up 45pc.

  • Bollinger are to Sponsor the ‘Best Dressed Lady’ atThe Punchestown Festival 2017
  • Dine in Dublin Festival from February 27 to March 5 will have 70 dining experiences on offer from Pichet, Rustic Stone, Zaragoza, The Woollen Mills, Fade Street Social, Carluccios, Brother Hubbard, Saba, Fallon & Byrne and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill. Participating chefs include Andrew Rudd of Medley, Tom Meenaghan of Fallon & Byrne, Alan Redmond of Flanagan’s, Ana Filpe of Zaragoza, Alfredo Donna of Gino’s, Temple Garner of San Lorenzo’s and Stephen Gibson of Pichet
  • Michelin starred Jean-Christophe Novelli is to take charge of Belfast Harbour’s hotel restaurant at the new four-star AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast to open spring 2018.
  • The Draft House in Strandhill was awarded the Just Ask Restaurant of the Month for February by Bord Bia
  • Morrissey’s annual review of the Irish pubs market lists 35 licensed sales in 2016 with a combined value of €62.17m, down from 39 in 2015 but 43pc up in value. Prominent sales included Howl at the Moon in Dublin to Paddy McKillen jr and Matt Ryan, Limerick’s Sin Bin nightclub to Alan Clancy; Dublin’s The Black Lion and The Gate to the Chris Kelly group, and The Beer Trader and The Gasworks in Grand Canal to Jason O’Connell and Niall Walsh ‘s Galway Bay Brewing Company.
  • The Licensed Vintners Association and the Vintners Federation of Ireland launched their annual ‘About Time’ campaign, calling on the 90-year-old Good Friday alcohol ban to be lifted. Research by Anthony Foley of DCU estimated that the Good Friday pub closure costs publicans €30m and results in €6m excise lost to the Exchequer.
  • David Walsh opened Ballykilcavan Brewery on a farm at Stradbally, Co Laois, with plans to sell its first beers in April.
  • Italian restaurant Dunne & Crescenzi opened a 350sqm location in Blackrock Centre bringing to six restaurants in Dublin and Kildare.
  • Fonté Coffee Roaster opened a café on Parliament Street, Dublin, the group was founded in 1992 by Paul Odom in Seattle.
  • The building that houses Salamanca Tapas Bar and Restaurant is for sale for €2.8m
  • Seamus O’Hara’s Carlow Brewing Company bought over Craigies Cider in Blessington.
  • FivePointsCoffee, in partnership with 3fe, is to open a new café on Harold’s Cross Road, previously home to The Brick House
  • Dada Moroccan Restaurant on South William Street is to open a second location, Moro Kitchen, on Camden Street, taking over from Fontana Café.
  • AIL Group plans to open 30 stores across Ireland after trialling the Oasis of Taste brand at three Maxol service stations. The group currently has 130 Abrakebabra, Bagel Factory and O’Briens Sandwich stores in Ireland.
  • Domini Kemp’s Itsa Bagel reported a profit of €200,000 across a portfolio that includes Alchemy Juice, Hatch & Sons and Joe’s Coffee.
  • Donal Doherty’s Harry’s Shack in Portstewart and Stephen Toman’s Michelin-starred OX in Belfast were picked for a top 100 list Britain and the north list by the Sunday Times.
  • The 2017 World Whiskies Awards due to be announced on March 30 reported stage one winners in the Irish categories: Blended 12 & under Winner Tullamore D.E.W., 12 Years Old Special Reserve, 40pc Gold Jameson, 18 Years Old, 40pc 13 – 20 Winner Tullamore D.E.W., 15 Year Old Trilogy, 40pc No Age Winner Jameson, Black Barrel, 40pc Gold Tullamore D.E.W., Phoenix, 55pc Silver Jameson, Signature, 40pc Jameson, Caskmates, 40pc Jameson, Bold, 40pc Bronze Jameson, Cooper’s Croze, 43pc Jameson, Round, 40pc An Fear Ciuin The Quiet Man, Traditional Irish Blend, 40pc Blended Teeling, Single Grain, 46pc. Single malt 12 & under Winner Dunville’s, PX, 46pc Gold The Whistler, 7 Years Old – The Blue Note, 46pc. Last year Green Spot Château Léoville Barton won the world’s best single pot still at the world whiskies award.
  • Sad news. Restaurateur Keith Lawless, who ran the popular Dillinger’s restaurant in Ranelagh, has passed away at the age of 44

Hotels

Noel McMeel, Lough Erne Resort; Ruth Moran, Tourism Ireland; Julia Cosgrove, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, AFAR magazine; Maren Rudolph, President, Travel Classics; George Stone, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic Travel; Kevin Dundon, Dunbrody Country House Hotel,

Dunbrody House, the four star country house hotel operated by celebrity TV chef Kevin Dundon and his wife, Catherine, reported record profits of €180,000 in 2015 up from€160,660 in 2014 employing 50 people in peak season.

The group that operates the Oliver St John Gogarty pub in Dublin’s Temple Bar reported profits of €4.9m in 2016 up  57pc. The Martin Keane-controlled Drayton House Holdings operates the well-known Dublin pub named after the Dublin literary figure immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses where he appeared as Buck Mulligan. Revenues increased from €12.92m to €15.18m in year to February 29 2016.

  • Paul Collins of CBRE updated media on the Irish Hotel Market watch here
  • Planning permission was granted for a 175-bedroom, five to seven-storey hotel in Dublin’s Smithfield at 6-11 Hendrick Street
  • Tullyglass House Hotel in Antrim is planning a £5m refurbishment.
  • Ashford Castle is offering legos on silver trays as part of its room service.
  • Jerry Conlon’s Central Hotel on Dublin’s Exchequer Street has applied for planning permission to increase it bedrooms from 70 to 116
  • Accor is in talks to acquire Travel Keys, a broker of private luxury villas in locations including the US, Caribbean and Mexico, for 12m.
  • The Irish Hotels Federation in association with the Irish Hospitality Institute, IT Tralee, Cork IT and Regional Skills hosted 250 students at a road show in Killarney and showcased the online interactive free programme Tourism Insight, which provides videos and interactive tutorials on working in tourism which can be delivered as part of class in school or for students to complete in.
  • Tourco holidays is to join the Hotelbeds Group.

Aviation

The Airlines for Europe summit in Brussels brought together Europe’s largest airlines (“we agree on more topics than we disagree”)  to request EU action on taxes, ATC strikes (22 separate strikes in Europe in 2016), the ICAO deal, airport charges and the prospect of foreign flights slipping under the radar of EU emissions limits. Thomas Reynaert told the summit that A4E “managed to push successfully for the removal of the €2.50 increase of the Italian boarding tax.” Michael O’Leary had a field day, producing the quote of the conference when he said, whilst sitting beside Carsten Spohr: “our job in Germany will be to keep Carsten honest.” Spohr retorted: “O’Leary used to talk about Lufthansa disappearing ‘now he needs lawyers to stop us talking about the Air Berlin wet lease. In case Jean-Marc Janaillac would feel left out, O’Leary interjected a discussion on low fares: “even Air France offers the occasional low fare.” O’Leary reiterated the Ryanair and Norwegian plan to start joint feeder flights from summer 2017 onward (watch here), talking up Donald Trump among other subjects, and declaring “I think that legacy carriers such as Air France-KLM and Lufthansa will work within five years with Ryanair and EasyJet. We’ll feed them their long haul because we can do it much cheaper.” He said Ryanair is ready to buy more Boeing planes if others defer and prices are cheap, but that’s not yet happening. Watch here Michael O’Leary’s views on Donald Trump.

Surprise route announcement of the week was the Ryanair’s 2w winter service from Kerry airport in Farranfore to Berlin to commence in November. Shannon-Schonefeld remains bookable.

Bjørn Kjos CEO of Norwegian

Norwegian Air International’s announcement of direct services offered from Cork and Shannon to Boston/Providence and New York/Stewart International were postponed again but seemed to get a breakthrough on Friday when Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer describing the services as being “a major economic interest in the United Stateswe are talking about US jobs both in terms of the people who are serving those planes and the person who is building those planes.” The chief executives of several airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines as well as executives from air cargo companies, were invited to a breakfast meeting with Trump on Thursday. Norwegian Air confirmed that Providence will become the second of two new bases for trans-Atlantic flights that the airline plans to operate with its new Boeing 737 MAX jets. Watch here Shane Ross say there are no further road blocks on Norwegian AI’s proposed routes. Apparently Gulf carriers, Norwegian, and travel restrictions did not come up in Donald Trump’s meeting with airlines and airports.

The Journal’s FactCheck asked if Michael O’Leary and Ryanair are right about Dublin Airport charges and concluded Ryanair claimed that the DAA’s charges were rising did not provide evidence to support the claim that charges were rising, but rather figures showing their annual payments had been increasing, which is not the same thing.  Just one fee, the third party reduced mobility fee, has increased from 35c to 44c per passenger. Where in 2016 the DAA charged separate rates per passenger for departures from Terminals 1 and 2, from March 27 this year, those rates are consolidated.

Anna aero analysis showed that Ryanair has 1,486 routes operating during summer 2017, 150 more routes than it served summer 2016, ahead of American (1,040), Delta (979), United (940), Easyjet (840), Southest (738), China Southern (573), Wizz (536). Thomson (512) and China Eastern (499). At a press conference in Rome Michael O’Leary offered to fly Pope Francis on his Ireland visit.

  • Wrights of Howth opened ‘A New Taste of Ireland’ airside in T1, beside the 300 gates.
  • WOW air said they are to introduce cut price business class on their Keflavik one stop services to the USA.
  • Passengers numbers are up for Irish airports in January, with Dublin Airport reporting overall numbers up by 9pc and on course for 30.4m in 2017, North America up 28pc and transfer passengers up 45pc, for January. Belfast is Ireland’s fastest growing airport with numbers up by a colossal 34pc, largely thanks to Ryanair’s Gatwick route, putting the airport on track for 54m passengers in 2017. Cork was up 6pc with their English services up 7pc and on course for 32.36m in 2017. Donegal airport numbers for 2016 increased 21pc to 45,000.
  • Willie Walsh said IAG Group will not be using Aer Lingus for its planned low-cost long-haul airline as it is not well known enough outside of Ireland
  • Ryanair’s latest travel insurance partner Europ Assistance offers cover on an unlimited number of European trips, of up to 28 days each in duration.
  • Air Canada got a new look to tie in with the nation’s 150th birthday. The Air Canada Rouge brand which operates out of Ireland with 14 flights a week from Dublin to Toronto and Vancouver in peak summer season and year round service to Toronto is unchanged.
  • Iran and Ireland signed an aviation MoU to broaden cooperation.
  • Ryanair’s finance chief Neil Sorahan said the sale-and-leaseback market is ‘hot’ at the moment.
  • Shannon CEO Matthew Thomas told Limerick City and County Council that half of all foreign direct investment in Ireland can be found within 60 miles of Shannon Airport.
  • Spirit Airlines says it now has four complaints per 100k pax, down from 11.
  • Irish Remote Tower two airports with one controller.
  • Rockwell Collins said the self-bag drop at Dublin Airport reduces passenger check-in time by 60pc
  • Roadworks were postponed at Belfast airport.
  • Conor McMahon: Here’s why foreign airlines are queuing to set up operations in Ireland.
  • Watch here Dublin airport CEO Kevin Toland presentation at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin.

Afloat

Eamonn Rothwell of Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries upped the game on Irish sea crossing with an Everybody Free motorist fare that charges only for the car involved, with all accompanying passengers, including driver, travelling absolutely free-of-charge, up to a limit of six persons.

Dublin’s last remaining dry dock closed after 160 years to facilitate the redevelopment of the port. Watch here.

Celebrity Silhouette will be visiting Belfast, Dublin, Waterford and Cork during 2017 and Celebrity Cruises is planning to host three seminars in Ireland. Watch here interview with Jo Rzymowska at Holiday World Dublin.

Closing date is Wednesday February 15th for Royal Caribbean’s Club Royal competition to win three pairs of tickets to attend the inaugural ‘Trade Partner & Club Royal Awards Ceremony on Thursday March 23rd 2017 at The Gherkin in London. Club Royal members can enter by nominating their most extraordinary colleague and explaining what makes them stand out from the crowd by video, email or photos to myclubroyaluk@rccl.com

CLIA’s Executive Partner Conference brought together 200 delegates including 46 cruise executives from 21 countries.

  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises launched 100 summer 2018 and spring 2019 itineraries aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, and the newly launched Seven Seas Explorer.
  • Carnival Cruise Line’s next new ship, will offer a series of four-night Bermuda cruises from New York in the spring and summer of 2018,
  • P&O Cruises will open a new seafood restaurant, Shell & Bones, on Pacific Dawn.
  • Beauty and the Beast will be performed on Disney Dream sailings from November 6.
  • Ponant has appointed sailing expert Olivier de Kersauson special advisor on the design of its four new 184-passenger expedition ships
  • The 2,240-passenger Norwegian Star was towed back to Melbourne for urgent repairs to its propulsion system after breaking down and drifting off the coast of Australia.

Ireland

Ciara Gallagher and Paul Keeley of Fáilte Ireland hosted MICE stakeholders at a briefing at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Fáilte Ireland will identify 550 leads for industry partners to pursue (up 10pc), and set a target of earnings of €157m from business tourism.

Picture shows Grainne Kelleher of Airfield House feeding the estate’s new born calf with the trophy which they won at the Tourism Ireland awards last weekend. Airfield Estate, winner of Best Food & Beverage Experience at the awards. For Irish Tourism Awards roundup video (watch here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

  • Dublin Bus launched DoDublin, a rebrand of its city and coastal tours which have been operating in the capital since 1988.
  • New Wild Atlantic Way story panels have been installed at discovery points in Clare, adding to the photo points that were developed last year.
  • A survey by German online florist Bloomy Days of pre-Valentine’s Day prices found Dublin is among the most expensive cities in the world. Cork and Belfast are among the cheapest.
  • New exhibition Humans need not apply at Science Gallery Dublin explores the idea of computers creating culture, from algorithm-driven artworks to responsive robots and animatronic desk lamps.
  • Westport house the tale behind the sale.
  • Dozens of applications were received for the first Killarney jarvey horse and carriage licence to have been advertised in generations

Deal Watch

BA fares ex Dublin, Shannon and Cork for travel until November 30, book by February 28: Johannesburg from €190. Shanghai from €250. Beijing from €250. Hong Kong form €200. Bangkok from €270. Kuala Lumpur form €205. Penang from €205. Singapore from €300. Dubai from €150. Abu Dhabi from €110. Check your GDS for full details. Prices exclude taxes and surcharges.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* Berjaya Eden Park London Hotel, London from €199pp incl. return flights, depart March 16. 3 nights 4* Mediterranean Hotel, Budapest from €269pp incl. return flights, depart March 17. 3 nights 4* San Marco Trevi Hotel, Prague from €279pp incl. return flights, depart March 17.

Emirates offers, book by February 22 for travel between June 2 and December 9: Bali from €679. Cape Town from €619. Dubai from €409. Sydney from €989. Visit emirates.ie.

Falcon offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Lanzarote Princess Club, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €379pps, depart Shannon May 22. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Gran Muthu Golf Plaza Hotel, Golf Del Su, Tenerife from €589pps, depart February 24. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantic, San Agustin, Gran Canaria from €569pps, depart March 4. 7 nights self catering 3* Ola Bouganvillia, Santa Ponsa, Majorca form €469pps, depart May 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Smaragdi Studios, Lambi, Kos from €389pps, depart May 20. 7 nights self catering 2* Lanzarote Princess Club, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €379pps, depart Shannon May 22. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,489pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Gran Bahia Principe, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,579pps, depart June 14. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Marian, San Antonio, Ibiza from €269pps, depart May 25. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 day Greece holiday from €1,882pps incl. flights and transfers. Book by February 28, depart June 6. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 7 nights full board Copenhagen city break and cruise on board MSC Fantasia from €1,640pp incl. 1 night pre stay in Comfort Hotel Vestebro, depart April 29. 4 nights B&B Lisbon Coast from €301pp, depart February 28. 2 nights London West End theatre break from €259pp incl. show ticket package.

Sunway offers: 9 nights Lima, Peru from €2,510 per adult and from €2,379 per child, depart August 11. 14 nights Beijing to Hong Kong, China from €3,115 per adult and from €2,717 per child depart July 8. 8 days Galápagos from €3,447 per adult and from €2,947 per child, depart July 15.  9 nights Salt Lake City to Denver Wild West holiday from €3,219 per adult and from €3,033 per child, depart Jun 26. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Thomson offers: 7 nights half board Sensimar Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €969pps, depart Cork February 16. 7 nights all inclusive ClubHotel Riu Vistamar, Amadores, Gran Canaria from €819pps, depart March 4. 7 nights half board Sensimar Riviera, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €679pps, depart February 12. 7 nights full board Colourful Coasts cruise from Tenerife on board Thomson Majesty, depart February 24. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul, Cala Bona, Majorca form €349pps, depart Cork May 6. 7 nights self catering Silver Springs, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €389pps, depart May 22. 7 nights self catering Planet Studios & Apartments, Tsilivi, Zakynthos from €409pps, depart May 23. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,739pps, depart June 8. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Lupita, Playacar, Mexico from €1,519pps, depart June 14.

Topflight offers: 5 nights all inclusive super cruise on board Silver Spirit from €1,399pp incl. 1 night at 5* Sina Berini Bristol, Rome with breakfast, private sightseeing tour of Rome, depart November 10, call 01 254 6312. 7 nights self catering 3* Apartments Crest, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €335pp, depart February 19. 7 nights self catering 4* Residence La Riviera, Chamonix, France from €399pps, depart March 11. 7 nights self catering 3* Le Hameau du Mottaret, Meribel, France from €399pps, depart March 11. 7 nights B&B 3* Landhotel Martha, Zell am See, Austria from €599pps, depart February 25. 7 nights B&B 3* Pension Hochwimmer, Zell am See, Austria from €399pps, depart February 25. 7 nights self catering 2* Frontera Blanca, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from€339pps, depart February 19. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: 9 nights Caribbean cruise on board MSC Seaside from €1,389pp inc. 2 nights pre stay in Miami, depart December 21. 7 nights Med cruise on board MSC Merviglia from €979pp, depart October 27. 3 nights New York from €599pp, depart October 13. 4 nights Las Vegas from €549pp, depart November 22. 7 nights Orlando from €689pp, depart December 20. Visit touramerica.ie.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Danube cruise on board SS Maria Theresa from €3,119pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals and beverages, shore excursions. Book by February 28, depart April 16. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

What we learned

Of the 1.4m annual visitors to the Cliffs of Moher, 40pc stay locally. Now for the other 60pc. Watch here.

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Can Spanish bedbank deal REALLY turn Ryanair into the ‘Amazon of travel?’

december-14

On board Uniworld Antoinette sailing the Rhine during the 2016 ITAA conference

 

 

HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

  • Things to know about Travel this week 
  • Qatar’s Dublin route still bogged down by A350 delays
  • Ryanair Holidays revives the ghost of Lowcostbeds.
  • Mary McKenna’s headline advice on hiring staff
  • American updates trade on Premium Economy & other matters
  • Cork to launch Boston AND New York as NAI finally gets license

Travel Extra TV

  • video-december-4Our video of the week is dramatic stuff. See this Emirates A380 crosswind landingWatch here.
  • Check out Tourism Ireland’s mannequin challenge in Belfast. Watch here.
  • See this cute wombat enjoy his bottle. Watch here.
  • Kereama Te Ua performs a solitary haka in protest of the installion of a multibillion-dollar oil pipe at Standing RockWatch here.
  • See Emirates’ tribute to the shortest A380 flight, Dubai to Doha. Watch here.
  • Ever wonder how a surfboard gets madeWatch here.
  • Tourism NI’s Year of Food and Drink continues. Watch here.
  • See Ryanair’s video from the launch of Ryanair Holidays. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Bjørn Kjos CEO of Norwegian

Bjørn Kjos CEO of Norwegian

As departure delays go three years is as long as it gets to wait at the gate. When Norwegian Air International were suddenly awarded their license to operate to the United States at 11PM on Friday night, tt became clear that the landscape had changed, not just for Cork, anticipating its first transatlantic services, but for the entire aviation industry. The timing caught everyone by surprise. NAI reacted quickly to say they intend to get the Boston 4w service up and running by end June / early July with tickets on sale early new year. They must have wondered why the announcement was not last April when it appeared that all the hurdles had been cleared. The ball is back in Norwegian’s court and Cork is readying itself for the launch of both Cork-Boston and Cork-New York for summer 2017, subject to an aircraft availability. Norwegian originally planned to operate Cork-Boston 4w using a 186-seat B738. They promised a Cork-New York to follow and a Cork-Barcelona 4w feeder service.

Violete Bulc

Violete Bulc

Who dunnit? Violeta Bulc. The decision of the EU commission to seek arbitration on Norwegian’s application was what pushed it over the line. The Americans had 20 days to respond and with a regime change looming with new Transport Secretary Elaine Chao arriving on Capitol Hill, it must have seemed easier to concede the license for which all arguments against smacked of protectionism. Celebrations can only really start when we see if Norwegian intends to operate a meaningful service out of Cork and Shannon airports or whether this was just an attempt to establish a bridgehead against a hostile regulatory system and whether the Cork service was just a testing ground, using the lobbying skills of Irish America to get the flights in the first place. Time will tell. See roundup of reaction hereWatch here Eoghan Corry speaking about the development on RTE’s six-one television news. Listen here to Eoghan Corry speaking about the EU action on RTE’s News at One.

Tomeu Benassar CEO of Logitravel

Tomeu Benassar CEO of Logitravel

Unbeknownst to Ryanair, they raised the spectre of the Lowcost group debacle when they announced they were moving into the package holiday business with Ryanair Holidays, or, as the newspapers who came along for the ride so eagerly reported, became ‘the Amazon.com of aviation.’ Kenny Jacobs told guests that Ryanair is prepared to invest its commission on holidays to optimise conversion and growth of the sector, brining down package holiday prices by 10pc. Ryanair threw not one, but TWO, Spaniards into the worksThe bed banks, to which Ryanair awarded the tender were surprising both in the scale and the scope of their operation. Tomeu Benassar‘s Logitravel is well known in Ireland as third biggest outbound operator from Spain. World2meet is headed up by the wife of Paul Evans, who was chasing the Ryanair accommodation contract as CEO of Lowcost Beds before it went so spectacularly pear shaped last July and stormed the Irish travel industry for €400,000. Last December Patricia Roselló moved from Lowcostholidays to the NT incoming and New Travellers companies which had been acquired by the Iberostar group where she helped launch its new brand World2meet at Fitur in Madrid in January. She is daughter of legendary Spanish travel agent Rafael Roselló. She was joined by Mark Nueschen, former CEO of Global Met and previously in Hotelbeds. The group turned over €250m in 2015 in 15 holiday destinations in Spain. It distributes its products through 10,000 travel agencies in Spain with a substantial portfolio in the Middle East and Thailand. To add to the puzzle Logitravel are licenced for just 11,560 passengers from England. Ryanair drive a notoriously hard bargain, and all of their previous accommodation contracts have ended up in dispute. Once penalty clauses kick in for not reaching targets the Ryanair website can be a very lonely place to have your brand. No doubt Benassar and Roselló are well aware of this.

six-one-newsRyanair has a licence from the Commission of Aviation Regulation by the school’s group business which was an early signal that something bigger might be afoot. Traditional Irish tour operators have been wary of airlines who dabble in their markers, with good reason, especially those with long enough memories to remember the Aer Lingus holidays debacle. How much damage Ryanair beds will do remains to be seen. Selling package holidays is a complex business and complexity has not been Ryanair’s forte in the past. See launch coverage here.

img_3266Take aways from the Irish Travel Agents Association conference held on board the River cruise ship Antoinette included:

  • Mary McKenna’s assertion that, when recruiting staff, it is not the skill set that matters but how they fit in the organisation
  • Sarah Slattery pointed out the value of authentic content in the babble of internet holidayspeak.
Cormac Meehan, president of the Irish Travel Agents Association speaking at the ITAA 2016 conference on board Uniworld Antoinette

Cormac Meehan, president of the Irish Travel Agents Association speaking at the ITAA 2016 conference on board Uniworld Antoinette

There was a surprisingly clear and frank discussion between suppliers and agents moderated expertly by Clare Dunne, where the suppliers did not hold back in saying they found agents unresponsive to promotions and incentives while agents repeated the mantra that there were not enough incentives and what used to be the only perk in the travel industry, the opportunity to travel, seems to have been whittled down over the years. ITAA CEO Pat Dawson contended that every European country, with the possible exception of Sweden, is as unprepared for the package holiday directive as Ireland is. Ireland is not alone in sitting on its hands waiting for the complex business of travel regulation to be pulled together. Ireland’s travel agents are proposing a tax per ticket to replace the existing bonding system. Social highlight of the conference was the perfect A hit right in the middle by Mary Denton and Rebecca Kelly as they sang Steve Perry’s Don’t Stop Believing (E, B, C#m,  A), and held the note as the musicians continued. All we missed was Joe Hogan (RIP) on the piano. The venue for the 2017 conference will be announced at the Irish Travel industry awards on January 26. Watch here video of the conference. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airlines, speaking at the CAPA ACTE aviation summit in Amsterdam, October 27 2016Qatar have slots to operate Dublin-Doha from March next and confirmed the route on Monday, as first reported by Travel Extra. A delay in A350 deliveries means there is no start-up date. Qatar need more A350s to release a B787 for the route. Watch here Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker speaking to Travel Extra about the Dublin Doha service.

Travel Trade

Peter O'Hanlon, Loraine Cunningham and Volker Lorenz playing during the TIGS outing sponsored by Travel Extra at The Castle gofl club, December 1 2016Volker Lorenz and Tanya Airey won the TIGS event at the Castle golf club sponsored by Travel Extra, or as Shay Mitchell called it, the Travel Extra extravaganza. At the TIGS AGM Martin Skelly became TIGS captain for 2017 and Dave Conlon became vice captain and captain elect. TIGS President Peter O’Hanlon entered the second year of a two year term (“I have been asked to keep this meeting short so let’s start with Any other Business.”) Watch video report of the event here. Picture shows Peter O’Hanlon, Loraine Cunningham and mens winer Volker Lorenz playing the ninth. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

las-vegas-fam-grand-canyon-copyEthiopian Airlines, Las Vegas CVA and Visit USA hosted a fam trip to Nevada and Arizona at the Grand Canyon, Tony Flynn of Aer LIngus was showcasing the ease of connection into Vegas via Ethiopian’s early morning service. “Because we are so early in the morning we don’t clear immigration in Ireland. But I honestly don’t think we would take them up on the offer. Because we land so early in the morning there is only one other international flight arriving at that time. You are in and out of LA in an hour and a half. We work very closely with Virgin America. We get our customers into Las Vegas at two in the afternoon. Dublin Los Angeles Vegas is no different from Dublin London Las Vegas, you still have to take the extra flight. So try us. We have everything on offer.” Picture shows Lyndsey Martin of Clubworld, Yvonne Tully of Club Travel, Dee Burdock of American Holidays, Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel, Rachel Tracey of GoHop, Thomas McEvatt of Sunway, Tryphavana Cross of Las Vegas CVA, Tony Flynn of Ethiopian Airlines, Lorna O’Brien of Sunway and Clodagh Oxley of Visit USA. Watch here interview with Tony Flynn of Ethiopian. Watch here interview with Tryphavana Cross about developments in Las Vegas.

topflight-_-melissa-whelan-jill-russell-maurice-shiels-michelle-anderson-shauna-kelly-topflightTopflight entertained the Belfast trade at an après ski party in the ski-themed Baltic Bar on Wednesday celebrating the launch of the ski season with a focus on the Salzburg ski route from Belfast City Airport. The tour operator a complimentary bar, DJ, spot prizes, a ski-themed photobooth and some games on the night. Picture shows Melissa Whelan, Jill Russell, Maurice Shiels, Michelle Anderson and Shauna Kelly. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

colman-caitrionaCaitriona Toner of American Airlines briefed the trade on the airline’s plans for 2017 including the move to premium economy. From the US to Europe, customers travelling in Business Class and Flagship First are provided with a menu created by restaurateur Maneet Chauhan. Picture shows Caitriona with Colman Burke of Club Travel.. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Departing on the Turkish fam trip to the Seychelles: Roisin Carbery from Tropical Sky, Jennifer O’Brien of Travel Counsellors, Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines, Siobhan Emma Doyle of Trailfinders, Sonya Walsh of World Travel Center and Usha Panicker of Club TravelPicture shows agents departing on the Turkish Airlines fam trip to the Seychelles: Roisin Carbery from Tropical Sky, Jennifer O’Brien of Travel Counsellors, Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines, Siobhan Emma Doyle of Trailfinders, Sonya Walsh of  World Travel Center and Usha Panicker of Club Travel.

Cork Skal Christmas President’s Lunch 2016 will take place on December 11 in  Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel. Dublin Skal Christmas President’s Lunch 2016 on Tuesday December 13 in the Talbot Hotel in Stillorgan.consort_0286

  • Picture shows a group attending the Consort conference in Alicante. Peter Freidrich, Ciaran Mulligan, John McKibbin, Sandra Corkin and Murkesh Sharma.
  • Kenya regional roadshow comes to Dublin on December 6th with drinks, food and an exciting competition.
  • john-grehan-selfiesG Adventures, represented in Ireland by John Grehan, revealed 18 new itineraries for National Geographic Journeys for 2017. John is pictured at Machu Pichu en route to the company’s annual conference and with a friend he encountered along the way.
  • Amadeus released Graham Floater and Lisa Mackie’s report: Travel distribution is it really the end of the world as we know it? See report here. See debate here.
  • The Commission for Aviation Regulation renewed the expired license of Atlantic Sky Team Tours in Galway.group_2733
  • Picture shows a group of Irish travel writers hosted by Madrid tourism on a visit to Spain on the ground fo the royal palace at Aran. Sra Rivero of the Spanish Tourist Board, Sean Dunne of the Mail on Sunday, Yvonne Gordon, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra, Edwina O’Connor of Lifeoffstuff and Emma Nolan of the Dublin GazetteWatch here video of Salamanca district in Madrid. Watch here Sean Retana, first generation Irish tour guide, explaining the basics of olive oil.

Strange world

  • It was estimated that NHS translators cost the NHS £9.3m in three years in Northern Ireland.
  • A dramatic advance in beaver evolution- an enterprising beaver wreaked havoc among the artificial Christmas trees in a shop in Maryland. He has been sent to a wildlife rehabilitator, presumably to learn the error of his ways. “Plastic. Wood. Plastic. Wood.”
  • A woman opened an emergency exit and jumped out of a taxiing United flight on to the tarmac after landing at Houston airport.
  • Airline regulations that alcohol levels of over 70pc alcohol by volume mean that Rivers rum from the Antoine Distillery in Grenada is simply too strong to travel.
  • A teenager dangled over the side of a Carnival cruise ship for a dare.
  • An airline kicked a disabled boy off a flight home from his first ever holiday because his service dog was too big.
  • A Guam judge sentenced a Korean Air passenger who pleaded guilty to fighting with a flight attendant who refused to serve him beer more than two years prison time.
  • Lucky Air pilot in China was suspended after telling delayed passengers to mount a protest when a bigger airline was given priority by air traffic control.
  • David Tait. a columinst with Canada’s Travel Industry Today likened Michael O’Leary to Donald Trump.
  • Mexican airline Interjet launched a FindMika campaign after losing dog. The dog has apparently been found. 
  • British Airways could serve passengers a digital pill to monitor in-flight happiness.
  • A 700ft high Hindu temple in India is set to become the world’s tallest religious building and include a theme park.

International

  • The Australian government lowered backpacker tax to just 15pc.
  • Bikes outnumber cars for the first time in Copenhagen.marcelo-rech
  • Palma de Mallorca city on the Mediterranean tourism island of Mallorca is to be called simply Palma – again
  • Wynn Resorts says it’s joining a growing number of Las Vegas hotel-casinos by ending free parking valet service
  • Newark fast food workers protests for higher wages led to 26 arrexts.
  • Our sympathy to family and colleagues of Marcelo Rech, leading Brazilian journalist and victim of the Medellin aircraft accident.
  • GoEuro Citybreaks index rated Barcelona, Prague and Berlin as their top three. Bucharest was top for transportation, Kiev for accommodation, Belrin for nightlife, London for day activities and Barcelona for food and drink.
  • The city with the most tattoo parlours per capita was Miami Beach, USA with 28.48 per 100,000 citizens.

Food & Beverage

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland and Food Safety Authority of Ireland drew up guidelines on terms to describe their food in the marketplace, most notably Artisanal, Farmhouse, Traditional (your recipe or method of food preparation must be at last 30 years old) and Natural.

The Licensed Vintners Association claimed that insurance premiums for pubs have increased by 47pc over last two years, with one publican seeing their insurance premium rise by 81pc. Average premiums have increased from €17,000 in 2014 to €25,000 this year

JD Wetherspoons is to open a new three-floor pub in Waterford city in two buildings located on Broad Street and Arundel Square, removing the party walls between them, introducing pavement cafe areas at ground floor level and a new customer garden area on the first floor. JD Wetherspoons was granted permission to open a new €4m bar and hotel on Camden Street and sold five of its nine pubs in the north to the Granny Annie’s group for £3m.

  • Pimento Wine & Tapas, which opened in November 2015 in Carlow, is looking to open a second venue in Kilkenny,
  • Northern Ireland Hotels Federation award for Hotel Restaurant of the Year 2016 went to Lough Erne Resort.
  • Euro-toques Ireland named 23-year-old Maeve Walsh of Restaurant FortyOne at Residence as Young Chef of the Year 2016. Judges included two Michelin starred-chef Nathan Outlaw; Graham Neville of Euro-toques Ireland, Paul Kelly of the Merrion Hotel; and Wade Murphy of Limerick’s 1826 Adare,
  • Teeling Whiskey’s Global Brand Ambassador, Kevin Hurley was named Industry Legend of the Year at the Irish Craft Cocktail Awards. Teeling teamed up with Chinese distributor Summerage Fine Wines & Spirits to create a new oriental infused malt.
  • Esquires Coffee chain opened four new Dublin-based stores in the past eight months, a fifth store is planned for Talbot Street in first quarter of 2017

Hotels

The head of AIB’s hospitality division Owen Travers said AIB continues to be ‘very supportive of the Irish hospitality sector’ and has approved over €300m in loans to the hotel sector in 2016.

Marker Hotel GM Charlie Sheil was enrolled into the Irish Hospitality Institute’s college of fellows at its annual Founder’s Banquet and Hospitality Management Awards. Lifetime Achievement Award went to Peter Malone. Hospitality Manager of the Year was  Des McCann, Clayton Dublin Airport

  • Airbnb said hosts will need a license to rent their homes in London for more than 90 days a year, and homes in Amsterdam for 60 days.
  • Zanzibar which has planning permission for the development of an 89-bedroom hotel. on Dublin’s Ormond Quay is on sale for €10m having been on offer for €5m last August.
  • Ireland’s Travelodge franchise, taken over by Irish hotel group Tifco, nearly doubled pre-tax profits to €4.155m.
  • The 289 room W Hotel Las Vegas opened. “If there are two things in this world that were truly made for each other, it’s W Hotels and Las Vegas,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. Carton House appointed Éanna Hassett as Director of Operations, Matthew Murphy as Executive Chef, and PGA professional David Kearney is the new Director of Golf.
  • Bedsonline announced total revenue growth in some markets of up to 200pc for its key product, accommodation, in the financial year ending September 30, 2016.
  • The five-star 192-bedroom Conrad Dublin hotel saw pre-tax profits double to €2.28m.
  • Mount Juliet pre-tax losses last year declined by 23pc to €1.9m as revenues increased by 5pc to €9.47m.
  • Shanghai-based Fosun Group is to create Fosun Tourism and Culture Group.
  • Marriott’s global brand officer, Tina Edmundson said eight of Marriott’s 30 brands are being designated luxury brands ahead of a major announcement on how the company’s 30 brands will be divvied up and categorised.
  • Property developer Johnny Ronan has applied for planning permission to press ahead with plans for a 141-bedroom hotel at Enniskerry, close to where Treasury Holdings, his former business, developed the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel.
  • Radisson Blu hotel at Dublin Airport reported a 44pc profit rise.

Aviation

Dublin’s summer 2017 slot allocations include Qatar’s planned service from March and Hainan’s prospective Beijing service via Manchester. A proportion of these slot allocations will not be taken up.

iceland-route-pic-2Pictured at the announcement of the new Icelandair 3w route from Belfast City Airport to Reykjavik to start June 2017 are Ciaran Doherty, Head of Co-operative Marketing, Tourism Ireland, Anne McMullan, Director of Marketing and Communications, Visit Belfast, and Ellie McGimpsey, Business Development Manager, Belfast City Airport.

Expect great access fares to Northern Portugal next summer. In response to Aer Lingus decision to fly Dublin to Porto Ryanair have increased their service from 2w to 5w for summer 2017.

  • The Avro RJ. aircraft involved in the soccer team tragedy in Medellin was formerly EI-RJK.
  • Aer Lingus transferred their gold circle members to a 4-tier avios system on Tuesday, meaning future points will be accumulated on revenue, not mileage.
  • The EU is to press airlines to sell €1 bottled water on board, voluntary, for now,
  • CityJet is to take delivery of 3 Sukhoi SuperJet 100 aircraft in the first half and five in all in 2017 funded by Vnesheconombank.
  • Aer Rianta International profits increased to €23.7m up 10.5pc.
  • CityJet reduced its losses from €30m in 2014 to €10m and said it was going to reshape into a profitable and sustainable operator. Pat Byrne said: “within two years we will be the largest regional wet provider in Europe, and we will probably be the number-two regional sized airline in Europe, just behind FlybeWe will carry about 1m passengers and 4m or 5m for other airlines.”Yvonne Muldoon of Aer Lingus speaking at the ITAA 2016 conference on board Uniworld Antoinette,
  • Kevin O’Malley, Betty McLaughlin of the Institute of Guidance Councillors, David Rook of Riot Games, Yvonne Muldoon, Director of Sales Aer Lingus (pictured), and Brian MacCraith, President of DCU  are among guest speakers at StudentLife Summit (website) sponsored by Aer Lingus will include US Ambassador to Ireland. Admission to the Student Life Summit is €5 and Teachers can register their classes at www.slsummit.com. To celebrate its sponsorship, Aer Lingus is also giving away two tickets to any North American destination of your choice for teachers registering classes before December 19.
  • Profits at ground handling service firm Sky Handling Partner are up 26pc to €882k.
  • Ryanair launched their 86th base In Naples.
  • American Airlines flight attendants union called on the airline to recall its new uniforms claiming the garments are to blame for a string of health problems including headaches, rashes and respiratory problems
  • Spain’s EASA authorised FTEJerez to train multi-crew pilots for Aer Lingus.
  • See here Oireachtas Transport committee discussion with Dublin Airport Authority: Chairman Designate Pádraig Ó Ríordáin.
  • Flying in Ireland reviewed Public Service Obligation air services routes and capacity needs at Ireland’s State Airports.
  • Ryanair was involved in a subsidy row at Zadar.
  • Aer Lingus won Best Sports Team or Athlete Sponsorship at the Irish Sponsorship Awards.
  • Listen here Richard Curran interview with Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh.
  • Newstalk podcast Michael O’Leary in the Midlands, and podcast with Henry McKean.
  • Vueling signed up for Travelport’s merchandising produce, Travelport Rich Content and Branding.
  • A life in aviation, watch Tony Fernandes CEO of Air Asia here and Akbar Al Baker CEO of Qatar here.

Afloat

Jo Rzymowska, Pat Ward and Loraine Quinn at the Celebrity Cruises event in L'Ecrivain.Dublin’s first homeported big ship will be Celebrity Eclipse operating five rotations from April to June 2018 including a 10-night Ireland and Iceland sailing calling at Belfast, Reykjavik, Iceland; Akureyri, Iceland; Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland; and Cork, as well as offering an eight-night Norwegian Fjords itinerary. Eclipse, after eight years of homeporting in Southampton, will split its time between Dublin and Amsterdam. Celebrity Silhouette will replace Eclipse based out of Southampton from summer 2018. Picture shows Jo Rzymowska, Pat Ward and Loraine Quinn at the Celebrity Cruises announcement. Watch here interview with Lorraine Quinn.

  • Construction began of Oceanwide Expeditions’ newest cruise ship the Polar Class 6 vessel Hondius at Croatian shipyard Brodospli.
  • MSC Cruises steel cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction of MSC Bellissima, the second of the Meraviglia class of ships, took place at the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire. Construction of the new MSC cruise ship terminal begins at port of Miami.
  • Princess Cruises pleaded guilty to pollution charges and paid a $40m fine.
  • Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are to include Gratuities on cruises from Australia and NZ.
  • A Welsh woman was washed up near Lawrenny after falling overboard from the Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore between Pembroke and Rosslare
  • Fred Olsen Cruise Lines launched its New Year promotional campaign with free upgrades to its all-inclusive drinks package for bookings of five nights or more, and a waiver of single supplements on some sailings for bookings made until March 1 2017.
  • Lindblad Expeditions‘ new cruise ship National Geographic Endeavour II sailed out ahead of schedule.
  • Rosslare Europort is to waive charges for cruise ships for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • Royal Caribbean’s North Star attraction has broken the record for being the “Highest Viewing Deck on a Cruise Ship.
  • Seabourn laid the keel for Seabourn Ovation. Seabourn received its newest luxury cruise ship, 600-passenger Seabourn Encore, from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.

Ireland

titanic-belfast-ceo-tim-husbands-mbe-and-vice-chairman-conal-harvey-celebrate-titanic-belfast-being-crowned-king-of-the-worldTitanic Belfast became the first Irish winner of a World Tourism Award when they were named best visitor attraction at a marathon ceremony in the Maldives where 195 winners were named, following up their European award last month. Guinness won the European attraction award in 2015 and were shortlisted as a world finalist in 2016. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers was named the world’s leading hotel, Etihad the world’s leading airline and Changi Airport, Singapore the world’s leading airport. Norwegian Cruise Line won the large cruise ship award. The United Arab Emirates won 19 awards, three more were picked by Emriates airlines.

Viewing Platform Sliabh LeagueCounty Donegal was named number one in National Geographic Traveller’s Cool List: 17 for 2017, citing filming of the latest Star Wars movie in Malin Head and the county’s “weather-nibbled coast spotted with sea stacks, Blue Flag beaches and offshore-islands,” ahead of 2 Santiago; 3 Helsinki; 4 Greenland; 5 Peru; 6 Aarhus; 7 Canada; 8 Portland, Oregon; 9 India; 10 South Africa; 11 Iran; 12 New Zealand; 13 Seoul; 14 Sudan; 15 Düsseldorf; 16 Sicily; 17 USA. Picture shows viewing platform on Sliabh League.

  • Inis Mor’s beleaguered ferry service was given a stay of execution until January 4.
  • The Hidden Ireland collection of 32 country houses and 22 self catering properties launched a coffee table book.
  • Shane Ross hit back at his critics over his performance as tourism minister at the announcement of Tourism Ireland’s marketing strategy for 2017. The body anticipates 10.5m visitors to the island in 2016 and growth of 11.5pc and expects double digit growth again in 2017 despite some challenges. Watch here Tourism Ireland’s Jump into Ireland 2017 advertisement scheduled to go live in 23 markets and featuring scenes from scenes from Antrim, Clare, Dublin, Galway, Kerry and Mayo.
  • Ireland won ‘Best Luxury Destination’ at the Travel+Leisure India’s Best Awards 2016 in India.
  • A bogus taxi was intercepted and siezed while taking passengers to Dublin Airport yesterday.
  • The CEO of Belfast International Airport Graham Keddie launched a broadside against Tourism Ireland which is chaired by the CEO of Belfast City Airport, Brian Ambrose.

Deal Watch

thomson-deal-watchThomson offers: 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cala Bona, Majorca from €4459pps, depart Shannon May 6 2017. 3 nights half board Hotel Nerja Club, Costa Del Sol from €331pps, depart December 15. 7 nights self catering Cay Beach Princess, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €544pps, depart December 15. 7 nights all inclusive Clubhotel Riu Vistalmar Amadores, Gran Canaria from €1,069pps, depart December 24. 7 nights half board Hotel Barcelo Santiago, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €539pps, depart January 13 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel Ifa Catatrina, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €449pps, depart January 28 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel H10 Timanfaya Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €699pps, depart February 5 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel Golden Donaire Beach, La Pineada, Costa Dorada from €679pps, depart Knock June 27 2017. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,789pps, depart June 15 2017. 14 nights all inclusive Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya, Playacar, Mexico from €1,499pps, depart July 5 2017. 7 nights Mediterranean Secrets cruise on board TUI Discovery from €1,409pps, depart Shannon July 15 2017. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

falcon-deal-watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel H10, Playa Meloneras Palace, Gran Canaria from €1,429pp, depart December 24. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantic, San Agustin, Gran Canaria from €489pp, depart January 28 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €389pp, depart January 13 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Globales Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €389pp, depart February 3 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Cinco Plazas, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €419pp, depart February 5 2017. Lapland day trip from €559 per adult and €459 per child, depart December 16. 7 nights B&B 3* Sellas Hotel and Apartments, Sidari, Corfu from €429pp, depart May 19 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Ouratlantico Apartments, Praia D’Oura, Algarve from €469pp, depart May 28 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, Runaway Bay, Jamaica from €1,549pp, depart June 15 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €1,729pp, depart July 5 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 5* El Dorado Royale, Riviera Maya, Mexico from €2,469pp, depart June 7 2017. 7 nights 4* Holiday Village Kos from €2,319 2+1, from €3,249 2+2, depart June 10 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Saturno, Alcudia, Majorca form €2,079 2+1, from €2,659 2+2, depart June 14 2017. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* ICandy Apartments, Malia, Crete from €459pp, depart June 11 2017. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

tourism-ni-deal-watchTourism NI offers: 1 night B&B Charlemont Arms, Co Armagh from £99 per room incl. bottle of Prosecco on arrival, valid until December 31, quote Discover NI when booking, call (028) 37 522028. 2 nights B&B Westville Hotel, Co Fermanagh from £125pps incl. 3 course meal on evening of choice, available until December 31, call (028) 66 320333. 2 nights B&B Maryville House Tearooms and Boutique B&B, Belfast from £180 incl. glass of mulled wine and shortbread and festival afternoon tea, valid until December 29, call (028) 90 681510.

Sunway offers: 7 days 4* Trafalgar tour of the Best of the US Canyonlands from €2,459pp, depart May 30 2017. 8 nights self catering 2* Intouriste Apartemnts, Morocco from €399pp, depart December 30. 10 nights half board 4* Aqua Suites, Lanzarote from €1,599pp, depart Cork December 28. 7 nights self catering 2* Villa Florida Apartments, Fuerteventura from €769pp, depart December 29. 8 nights self catering 2* Oasis Apartments, Lanzarote from €909pp, depart December 30. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Marina Elite, Gran Canaria from €1,214pp, depart December 30. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Travel Department is offering 7 nights 3* half board hotel accommodation Lake Maggiore, Italy from €919pp incl. transfers, excursions and taxes and charges. Travel May to October 2017. Book here or call 01 637 1600.

ITAA offers: 3 nights Beatles Magical Mystery Bus Tour, Liverpool from €165pp incl. accommodation at Days Inn Hotel, tour ticket and admission to the front stage of the Cavern club, depart February 5 2017. 9 nights Norwegian Fjords cruise with Eurovision winner Dana from €779pp incl. entertainment and a captain’s cocktail party, depart June 5 2017. 4 days 4* Mercure Nemzeti Hotel, Budapest from €769pp incl. return flights, taxes, transfers, 2-course dinner in Callas Cafe, half day sightseeing tour with lunch, guided tour of Hungarian Opera House, excursion to the Danube Bend towns with lunch and ticket to see José Carreras in concert, depart January 19 2017.

Topflight offers: 7 nights 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €499pps, depart May 6 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Villagio Verde, Sorrento from €529pps, depart May 7 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €799pps, depart May 13 2017. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €799pps, depart June 10 2017. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Milton, Rimini, Adriatic Riviera from €799pps, depart June 10 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €1,099pps, depart April 30 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €879pps, depart May 7 2017. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Melia Madeira Mare, Funchal, Madeira from €799pps, depart May 11 2017. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days Easy Pace Russia tour from €2,229pps incl. flights, transfersand accommodation. Book by January 27 2017, depart May 14 2017. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Burgundy Provence cruise on board the SS Catherine from €3,049pps incl. flights, airport transfers, all meals and beverages and all shore excursions. Book by December 31, depart March 26 2017. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803. 

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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

 

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Going underground (again) at Dublin airport

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATDEALWATCHFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDSTRANGE WORLD  – TRAVEL TRADE

Kildare Failte campaign for Connect 16 launch at Carton house, September 20 2016

Kildare Failte campaign for Connect 16 launch at Carton house, September 20 2016

 

 10 Things to know about travel this week

  • Canada postpones eTA until November 10
  • Department of Transport and Dublin Airport disagree over T3
  • World’s largest hotel group is formed
  • Irish visits to Portugal up by 10pc in 2016
  • Irish airports trek to Chengdu
  • Amadeus 11th golf day is a technology triumph
  • ITAA lines up speakers for conference
  • Call for women travel executives
  • Aer Lingus and LA hosted the trade
  • You wait for years, then 4 airbuses come together

Travel Extra TV

  • screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-12-08-50Airbus brings together the A320neo, A330, A350 XWB and A380 for a showcase in the skies. Watch here.
  • Emirates interview some cartoon friends. Watch here.
  • See Tourism NI’s new promo video. Watch here.
  • Here’s why you shouldn’t take your holiday selfies by the pool. Watch here.
  • Even the family pet deserves a dip. Watch here.
  • Ryanair showcases its Belfast destinations for summer 2017. Watch here.

 Behind the Headlines

world-routes-011image1World Routes conference in Chengdu kicked off this weekend with a substantial Irish delegation among the 3,000 delegates. The event brings together 300 airlines, 700 airports, 130 tourism authorities and 13,000 meetings. Dublin airport are plying their wares with the only business class lounge past US pre-clearance. Tourism Ireland and four Irish airports are shortlisted for awards.

Sharon Jordan of The Travel Corporation with Karl Lonergan winner of the Amadeus golf tournament at the Slieve Russell in Cavan, September 21 2016

Sharon Jordan of The Travel Corporation with Karl Lonergan winner of the Amadeus golf tournament at the Slieve Russell in Cavan, September 21 2016

Rarely, if ever, does holds the host of a travel occasion get a standing ovation. What happened on Thursday when Volker Lorenz of Amadeus concluded his speech at the technology company’s annual golf day. Kickstarted by Peter O’Hanlon and Dermot Merrigan, the 110 karl-with-cup_4407guests rose to their feet as one. Olwen McKinney, Trish O’Leary and Siobhan Boskett hosted the 11th Amadeus golf day at the Slieve Russell in Cavan, its lavish hospitality ensuring its place as a highlight on the travel calendar. The golfers were treated to burgers and some liquid refreshments on the ninth. The ladies and a few gentlemen were given spa treatments in the Ciuin spa. Beef and sea bass were served up before the prize giving. First-time golfers- participants included Holly volker-in-sandBest of Virgin who was ably coached round the course by Clem Walshe. Lorraine Quinn struck a hole-in-one on the 16th with a 5 wood. Appropriately for a technology company, a trendy new app kept golfers informed while they were on the course. There was no disputing the winner from early on in the day: Karl Lonergan swept through the field playing off eight and and Audrey Headon of Headon Representation was the Ladies prize winner. The last group of golfers were washed out by torrential rain. The last stragglers exited the bar and 4 AM and, yes, the Wild Rover was sung. Roll on next year and a new location. Volker says: “We are running out of locations because we want to be outside Cork, Dublin and Belfast.”  Watch here Volker Lorenz’s speech. Watch here the story of Lorraine Quinn’s hole in one as told by Pearse Keller. Watch here the speech by winner Karl Lonergan. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Francine Sheridan of LA Tourism with Yvonne Muldoon and Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus at the Aer Lingus Los Angeles event in Sonder & Ko, Dublin, September 20 2016

Aer Lingus and Los Angeles tourism hosted 130 agents at Sonder+Ko on Monday night. It was a flamboyant LA event to give the route a winter boost after a very successful summer. The dynamic of the route will be changed beyond recognition over the coming 18 months as IAG puts together a new trans Atlantic strategy. Should anti-trust immunity be granted to IAG, a decision that is pending, Aer Lingus would be able to code share with BA and Iberia passengers will be able to use alternative routings across the Atlantic, transferring out through Dublin and back through one of IAG’s other cities. Exciting times indeed. Picture shows Francine Sheridan of LA Tourism with Yvonne Muldoon and Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

eoghan-morning-ireland-sept-20-2016_4252In the end Shane Ross‘s decision to bring the second parallel runway to an independent review was couched in language that attempted to suppress what damage might be done.  Much of the debate about the second (parallel) runway was diverted into consideration of the third terminal, something which will happen later rather than sooner and something that Dublin airport do not see as a priority. The third terminal will be situated beside the existing buildings under current plans. The figure of 32m passengers, which Dublin’s due to reach in mid 2018, would only mean that the planning terms for the existing two terminals would have to be revisited, which is a first option for the airport. In the meantime, Dublin airport say they would always have had to revisit and look for an extension on planning for the runway, which runs out in 2017. The two conditions they are trying to overturn relate to the cap on night flights, which have been exceeded already before the planning permission kicks in. An easy way round this would be to redefine the night which currently runs from midnight to 7 AM. Dublin airport ‘night’ tends to be from midnight until 5.30 AM. An obvious solution waiting for strong leadership to implement it. Where are we going to find that? Listen here to Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry on RTE’s Morning Ireland. Watch here comment by Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry on the north runway.

Pat Dawson and Sharon Jordan visited Uniworld’s SS Antoinette his week to draw up plans for the ITAA conference in November. The ITAA is looking to its own industry speakers this year. They will include Sarah Slattery on blogging, a speaker from Uniworld, Mary McKenna on HR, while Pat Dawson will speak about the package holiday directive.

shaun quinnThe last time Fáilte Ireland and the hotel industry sat down to sort out the star rating system, it took three years to negotiate from 2003 to 2006. By all accounts the process of bringing that rating system up to date (wifi is not included in the standards, for example) is not going to be as complex and will be concluded by December. The only changes so far relate to one star which came into effect on August 1. Hoteliers negotiating a new three to five star matrix is negotiated were unhappy with proposed conditions for five star status that were posted on the Fáilte website and hurriedly withdrawn again. Some of the conditions were out of date, and new ones have to be fit for purpose, the federation says. Fáilte is currently awaiting the views of the IHF. IHF president Joe Dolan says that star ratings are still important in the era of Tripadvisor as it serves as a bench mark for tour operators and as a measurement standard for hoteliers themselves. We await the sound of the bellhop.

At the opening of Flight Centres Dublin office, John Appleby GM of Flight centres

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South Africa, Australia, Mexico and Thailand are the most popular destinations among the Irish consumers who visited Flight Centre in its first six weeks of business, the Gm of the Dublin office John Appleby says. Flight Centre had 300 people for last week’s official launch party in Dawson Street. Johns says: “Flight Centre has moved away from pile them high and sell them cheap. We are now putting a lot of focus on luxury holidays, our journeys brand and our escapes brand. Obviously we have a wide range of air fares at a low price point and guarantee the lowest fares in the market. We offer high class holidays at a very discounted rate. We operate in 15 retail countries and this gives us huge buying power and we can pass on those savings to consumers.” Watch here interview with John Appleby.

Luis Araujo of Portuguese Tourism in Dublin, September 20 2016

Luis Araujo of Portuguese Tourism in Dublin, September 20 2016

Luis Araujo, President of the Portuguese Tourist Board, stopped by to attend a Google conference in Dublin and said that free wifi would be introduced in Portuguese city centres. Visits from Ireland are up 10pc so far this year. He also highlighted the promotion of tourism schools belonging to the Portuguese Tourist Board in the Irish market and Irish investment in Portuguese residential tourism. Watch here interview with Luis.

Travel Extra visited Greece this week to explore the mainland of the Mediterranean country as a tourist destination post their EU/IMF bailouts. Our contributing editor Tadhg Peavoy spent time in the capital Athens, as well as the city of Nafplio and the town of Tolo on the Peloponnese peninsula. Read here.

Travel Trade

Lorraine Quinn

Lorraine Quinn

The Association of Women Travel Executives are organizing a networking event for women travel, tourism and hospitality executives on October 26.

The Travel Funday raised €55,000 for the Simon Community, My Lovely Horse/Dogs Aid, Chernobyl Children, Jigsaw and will make donations to little Batman Ben, For April, Aundrea Bannatyne and Outreach Moldova. The 2016 Fundraising Committee: Sharon Jordan of The Travel Corporation, Ciaran Mulligan  of Blue Insurances, Philip Airey of Sunway, Dave O’Grady of E-Travel, Kristin Skinner of American Holidays, John Grehan of The Travel Corporation, Fiona Foster of Innstant Travel, Sharon Lyons of Travelport, Rhona McCann of FCM, Yvonne Muldoon of AerLingus, Volker Lorenz of Amadeus and Paul Manning of Hertz.

oasis-9t2a2820Picture shows Ian Green from Lisburn who won a Mediterranean cruise on-board Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas at the fund-raising raffle at the Oasis Travel Cruise Fair in Belfast and Briege McElroy, Manager of Oasis Travel Lisburn. Oasis Travel customers raised £1,821 to help send 3-year-old Cavan O’Neill from Dunmurry to America for pioneering surgery which will help the toddler who suffers from Spastic Diplegia, a type of Cerebral Palsy, to take his first steps.

cork-skal002Picture shows at the Cork SKAL Networking Event held on the 15th September in the Clarion Hotel, Lapps Quay: Deirdre Barry-Cork SKAL Club, Angela Dillon-Dublin SKAL Club, Sean O’ Driscoll-SKAL National President, Margaret Cahill, SKAL National Vice President
waseem-haqTravel Counsellors appointed Waseem Haq as Director of Digital and Innovation. He was Digital Strategy Director for consumer goods company PZ Cussons.

Content from Lots of Hotels is now available to Travelport-connected travel agencies through Travelport Rooms and More. Lots of Hotels, a subsidiary of ASX listed Webjet Limited, was established in Dubai in 2012.

Jonathan Adair has a waiting list of 30 for the Northern Ireland travel awards, the signature event in the calendar for the travel trade across the north.

travel-partnersPicture shows Suppliers who hosted agents from the West and mid West at Travel Partners Roadshow in Ballinasloe: Alan Lynch of Cruisescapes, Alan Sparling of SAS, Lee Osborne of Bookabed, Niall McDonnell of Classic Resorts, Jason Whelan of Blue Insurances, Olwen McKinney of Amadeus and Erica Oglesby of MSC. Travel Partners roadshows take place in Newbridge tomorrow Tuesday Sept 26 and Dundalk on Thursday September 29.

Hotels

Marriott completed its merger with Starwood to create the world’s largest hotel company. Members of both loyalty programs can now access 5,700 hotels and 1.1m rooms in 110 countries including 30 of the world’s most popular brands, like The Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott and W Hotels.

Latest STR data shows that RevPAR grew by 11pc in Dublin in August and is up 19.4pc in the year to date.

lynams-hotelThe 42-bedroom former Lynam’s Hotel on O’Connell Street is for sale with a guide price of €4m.

The Irish Hotels Federation Hotel Barometer Survey reported 87pc of hoteliers saw an increase in business. Level of debt is estimated to be around €5.3bn.

Deirdre McGlone‘s Harvey’s Point Hotel in Donegal,  Ireland’s perennial No 1 on TripAdvisor, was awarded the Georgina Campbell hotel of the year and Good Things @ Dillon’s Corner in Skibbereen, Co. Cork,was named Restaurant of the Year. Full list of award winners:

  • Hotel of the Year: Harvey’s Point, Co. Donegal
  • Restaurant of the Year: Good Things @ Dillon’s Corner, Skibbereen, Co. Cork
  • Chef of the Year: Sebastien Masi, Pearl Brasserie, Dublin
  • Outstanding Guest Experience:Ballyvolane House, Fermoy, Co. Cork
  • Host of the Year:Kathleen O’Sullivan, Seaview House Hotel, Ballylickey, Co. Cork

    Deirdre McGlone of Harvey's Point

    Deirdre McGlone of Harvey’s Point

  • Business hotel of the Year:The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin & Belfast
  • Newcomer of the Year: Nook Café and Restaurant, Collooney, Co. Sligo
  • Country House of the Year: Viewmount House, Longford
  • Guesthouse of the Year: Number 31, Dublin
  • B&B of the Year:Carbery Cottage Guest Lodge, Durrus, Co. Cork
  • Farmhouse of the Year: Killiane Castle, Drinagh, Co. Wexford
  • Bord Bia ‘Just Ask’ Restaurant of the Year: 1826 Adare, Co. Limerick
  • Taste of the Waterways Award:Two Cooks Restaurant & Wine Bar, Sallins, Co. Kildare
  • Seafood Restaurant of the Year:Jack’s Coastguard Restaurant, Cromane, Co. Kerry
  • Wine Award of the Year: ely, Ely Place & IFSC, Dublin
  • Pub of the Year:O’Dowd’s of Roundstone, Roundstone, Co. Galway
  • Family Friendly Destination: Brigit’s Garden, Rosscahill,  Co. Galway
  • Pet-friendly Hotel of the Year:The Salty Dog, Bangor, Co. Down
  • Hideaway of the Year: Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry
  • Atmospheric Restaurant of the Year: The Duck Terrace Restaurant, Marlfield House, Gorey, Co. Wexford
  • Ethnic Restaurant of the Year:Pickle, Dublin 2
  • Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year: 4 Vicars, Armagh, Co. Armagh
  • Cafe of the Year:An Fear Gorta/The Tea & Garden Rooms, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare
  • Natural Food Award: Burren Glamping, Burren Free Range Pork Farm, Kilfenora, Co. Clare

International

Canada postponed its Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme for the second time to November 10 due to IT issues.

  • TripAdvisor has ranked Oslo as the world’s most expensive city with one night at a four-star hotel, a short taxi ride and cocktails and dinner for two costing €444.49.
  • Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has released the first ever drone footage over Uluru, giving a unique bird-s eye view of the 600-year-old monolith. The drone operated under permit inside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
  • London has won the Best City award at the 2016 Times Travel Awards.

Food and Beverage

Boyne Valley won Foodie Destination of the year by the Restaurant Association of Ireland at a ceremony in Clare’s Hotel Doolin, ahead of 2 Derry, 3 The Burren (2015 Foodie Towns winner), 4 Cong, 5 Sligo. See foodiedestinations.ie.

  • Guinness will celebrate Oktoberfest with a two-day beer and food festival at The Open Gate Brewery on the September 29th-30th.
  • Areas, which is a global concession catering brand of Elior Group, has won a contract for Copenhagen Airport.

Aviation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAArea 14 in Dublin airport is back. The underground area opened in 2007 will be used again as check in desks are closed while Dublin airport Terminal 1 undergoes a €10m refit to bring more light into the terminal. Watch here comment by Eoghan Corry on the new development.

Aer Lingus service to Hartford Connecticut commences on Wednesday.

Alison Taylor has been appointed Senior Vice President Global Sales for American. Dave Thomas who headed up the London office, has joined Qantas.

Ryanair launched its summer 2017 schedule from Belfast International airport, with 11 routes including Berlin, London and Milan, which will deliver 1.1m customers and Ryanair claims will support 800 jobs at Belfast International Airport.Ryanair’s 11 Belfast routes are to Alicante, Bergamo, Berlin-Schönefeld, Gdańsk (begins November 2), Kraków (begins October 30), Lanzarote (begins October 31), London-Gatwick, Málaga, Tenerife-South (begins October 31), Warsaw-Modlin (begins November 2) and Wrocław (begins October 31). Ryanair also announced summer 2017 operations from Pescara, Lisbon, Faro and Oradea.

  • Pat Byrne’s Cityjet is in negotiations to purchase Cimber Air from SAS, which owned the heigh-fleet airline since March 1 2015. The proposed takeover would take Cityjet’s fleet from eight to 19.
  • KLM‘s codeshare on Cork-Amsterdam is not timetabled in summer 2017.
  • The Galway-Aran PSO tender deadline has passed and applications are now being assessed.  Gaeltacht Minister Sean Kyne says his department officials are liaising with the Attorney General’s office on the options available in the interim period after the current contract expires at the end of this month and the start of the new contract at the beginning of December.
  • CarTrawler released its Ancillary Revenue, branding strategy and volume reports. Ryanair earned US$1.7bn ancillary revenue in 2015. Aer Lingus is earned $240m. CarTrawler believes airlines are better maintaining their own brand identity on ancillary products rather than promoting other brands
  • The Lufthansa board is expected to approve the acquisition of Brussels Airlines on Wednesday next.
  • UNWTO found Europe guilty of financing of large aircraft to the disadvantage of Boeing.
  • IATA’s Alexandre de Juniac reiterated the Association’s forecast for a collective airline industry net profit of US$39.4 bn for 2016, which would be a record for the industry.
  • EasyJet expected to carry over 255,000 passengers on Friday (23 Sep) which would be the busiest day in its history, with more than 1,600 flights taking off across its network. The airline was reported as considering buying TUIfly to enable it to continue operations in Europe after Britain’s exit from the EU.
  • Brazil’s tax authority added Ireland, Austria, Curacao and Saint Martin to its list of countries denominated as tax havens, meaning airlines that have leased 300 aircraft from companies registered in Ireland, will have to start paying a 25pc tax rate an estimated €273.7m on leasing contracts that are signed for up to 10 years.
  • Belfast City Airport has hosted a forum for its partner airports to discuss commercial strategy, challenges and trends in relation to the retail offering, car park products, currency exchange and car hire options available at airports.
  • AerCap is to host an investor day in New York on November 16.
  • Fitch’s Aircraft Leasing Sector Review said global passenger traffic grew 6.5pc in 2015 and 6pc in the first half of 2016,
  • aviation-adBrad is single, some innovative advertising from Norwegian.
  • Austrian airline Viennaline has launched the world’s shortest flight from St Gallen–Altenrhein Airport in Switzerland with Friedrichshafen Airport in Germany. The route lasts just eight minutes and covers only 20km; it’s just one of four that Viennaline operate.
  • Etihad is holding recruitment dates for cabin crew and in-flight chefs and is calling for CV’s to the Crown Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin on tomorrow Monday September 26th between 8am and 6pm.   Applicants that meet the airline’s criteria will be invited back for an assessment the following day Tuesday.   Etihad Airways already employs 200 Irish staff.
  • The Lufthansa Group and Air China have signed a joint venture with the aim of expanding their codeshare deals.
  • Galway passenger Emmet Keary was presented with a pair of Aer Lingus flight tickets to New York to celebrate being the six millionth passenger since Shannon became an independent airport operation on January 1st  2013.
  • Qatar Airways is to expand their capacity to Brazil and Argentina by 40pc from December 1 2016, when upgrading its existing aircraft for both routes from a Boeing 777-200LR, to a Boeing 777-300ER.
  • Thomas Ramdahl claimed that it would use 737 MAX 8 planes to make lower fares feasible from next year. The airline’s Irish subsidiary has had its application for permission to fly from Cork and Shannon to Boston stalled by the American authorities. The 737-8 Max has also been ordered by Ryanair.
    • Watch here Michael O’Leary’s description of way Norwegian are being utterly shamefully blocked.
    • Watch here Michael O’Leary criticism the EU for being weak on the Norwegian proposal
    • Watch here Roger Dow speaking about Norwegian Air International proposed low cost routes across the Atlantic

Afloat

MSC Cruises will deploy a second ship in China, MSC Splendida, from May 2018. MSC’s all stars of the seas awards are to take place on  board MSC Fantasia on November 13-16 with awards for travel agents in six categories.

  • Carnival Corporation announced at the China Cruise Shipping Conference and International Cruise Expo in Tianjin is that it plans to create a new brand around two new ships to be built in China.
  • Celebrity Cruises is to trial progressive dinners with a different course in each restaurant.
  • Hong Kong-based Dream Cruises showcased the new 150,000-ton Genting Dream at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany
  • Crystal AirCruises, a new venture of luxury cruise line Crystal, is to deploy a Boeing 777-200LR on 14-, 21- and 28-day itineraries to take 84 travelers around the world on an air-and-land version of a cruise.
  • Princess Cruises won the best cruise line at the Cruise International awards. Viking won the best river cruise and Harmony of the seas the best new ship. Arnold Donald of Carnival won the outstanding contribution to the cruise industry award. New York, and Norway’s fjords won the destination awards.
  • Singapore Tourism Board won the Destination of the Year award at the 2016 Seatrade Cruise Awards. The top prize at the event in Tenerife was accepted by STB’s Jason Chan, area director for northern and western Europe.
Bob Binder CEO of NCL

Bob Binder CEO of NCL

Bob Binder has become President and CEO of Oceania Cruises, retaining his position of the last 11 years of Vice Chairman of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Jason Montague, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Andy Stuart, President of Norwegian Cruise Line, are both becoming CEO within their brands.

  • Stena Line is to add additional capacity by introducing a second ship from Europoort to Killingholme.
  • The Nunavut government is considering rules to reduce the community impact of giant ships such as the Crystal Serenity, which docked in New York last week with 1,700 passengers and crew.
  • A boat designed to carry around fifty passengers, carrying three times that amount, sank last Sunday in Thailand on the Chao Phraya river after colliding with a concrete bridge.

Strange World

A hotel in Torquay, fictional setting for Fawlty Towers, refused to let an 85-year-old widow leave until she pays £60 for a dropped key.

  • A Malaysian man used forged boarding passes he downloaded and edited on his laptop to stay in executive lounges in Singapore.
  • An Italian lawyer sued Emirates after enduring a nine-hour flight seated next to an obese man.
  • Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, a country with just 105,000 tourists a year, opened a €2.1bn airport with a capacity of 17m passengers.
  • Six passengers were stranded in Tenerife after being banned from flying following drunken behaviour on a Jet2 flight from Newcastle in England.

Ireland

A horse called Dante Nicola McGrane of Conference Partners at the Kildare Failte briefing in Carton House, September 20 2016

Connect 16 opens on Thursday. Nicola McGrane and a horse named Dante joined the stakeholders from Kildare Fáilte to publicise the event at Carton house last Thursday. Kildare Fáilte is drawing up a plan to bring 200,000 tourists to the county by 2020.

Pitching to British Coach & Group Operators as Autumn Sales BlitPicture shows Deirdre Twomey of Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel with Oonagh Kelly, Fáilte Ireland who attended the first of Fáilte Ireland’s autumn sales workshops in the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel pitching their businesses to a group of 20 British Coach & Group Operators.

visit-belfast-launches-exciting-new-campaignVisit Belfast are launching their ‘Find your Belfast‘ campaign for October, funded by Belfast City Council. A cast of locals recruited via social media will offer up the things they love about the city, festivals, shopping, events, and food, via advertising on radio and billboards, social media, leaflets, and on buses and bus stops.

hook-lighthouse-photo-competition-winner-image-by-dwane-doranPicture shows the Hook Lighthouse Photo Competition winner image by Dwane Doran.

  • The National Gallery of Ireland have announced their exhibitions for 2016-2017. see here for details,
  • Read the doggie trip from London to Ireland by Cavan native and former Irish Press writer John McEntee.
  • Lovin’ Dublin founder Niall Harbison accused Fáilte Ireland of plagiarism and has sought legal advice over the State body’s use of its ‘Dublin- a breath of fresh air’ logo.
  • The GPO Witness History Visitor Centre in O’Connell Street is to unveil a letter of surrender written by Patrick Pearse on April 30th 1916, on next Tuesday.
  • Fáilte Ireland’s Autumn Tourism Barometer surveyed 600 tourism businesses and found 84p of hoteliers and 76pc of guesthouse operators reported business was up on 2015.
  • Screaming Reels won the Rosslare Small Boats Festival for a record eight year.
  • Cobh heritage centre is offering free entry on November 5th and 6th for those who had ancestors who emigrated from Cobh. . To avail of the free Genealogy service the public must email in advance the fact that they will be coming and to send details of their family story.
  • Susan Byrne formerly of Tourism Ireland in the new and emerging markets division based in London has established and launched a new company, offering marketing and representation services to Irish tourism businesses., Phoenix Travel Representation.
  • The first half of the Waterford Greenway opened from Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan.
  • Why Richard E Grant loves Ireland

Deal Watch

Aer Lingus sale ends Monday last chance to book

Tour America’s Red Cow sale day takes place next weekend

35712487 - hong kong harbour

Click and Go offers: 8 nights Asia cruise from €1,199pp incl. 1 night 4* hotel pre stay in Hong Kong, return flights, 20kg checked in bag, book by September 30, depart November 3. 3 nights 4* The Gallivant Times Square Hotel, New York from €569pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel January 2017. 7 nights half board 3* Dom Jose Beach Hotel, Quarteira, the Algarve from €359pp incl. free wine with evening meals, return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel November. 3 nights 3* Sunotel Aston Hotel, Barcelona from €149pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, depart December. 2 nights 4* Corendon Vitality Hotel Amsterdam from €169pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel November. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Tourism NI offers: 1 night Cuanton Abbey, The Cuan, Co Down from £75pps, available October 8-9, call 028 44 881222. 1 night B&B Stormont Hotel, Belfast from £50pps incl. cocktail on arrival, available until September 30, call 028 90 65 1066. 1 night B&B Maldron Hotel, Derry from £95 per room incl. main course meal and a cocktail/beer, call 028 71 371000.

thomson-deal-watchThomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive Sensatori Resort Mexico from €2,279pp, June 14 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Christina Apartments, Rethymnon, Crete from €499pp, depart October 2. 7 nights self catering 3* Mariners Club, Alcudia, Majorca form €499pp, depart October 4. 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach, Princess, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €569pp, depart October 6. 7 nights self catering Club Hotel Riu VIstamar, Amadores, Gran Canaria from €839pp, depart October 13. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Barcelo Santiago, Puerto de Santiago, Tenerife from €769pp, depart October 14. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Clubhotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort from €989pp, depart October 16. 7 nights full board Catalan Promise cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €1,029pp, depart October 4. 7 nights half board 5* Bahia Princess Hotel, Costa Adele, Tenerife from €1,169pp, depart January 6 2017. 14 nights all inclusive Riu Montego Bay, Jamaica from €2,049pp, depart June 15 2017. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

falcon-deal-watchFalcon offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Mika Apartments, Piskopiano, Crete from €369pps, depart October 2. 7 nights self catering 3* Bellevue Club, Alcudia, Majorca from €509pps, depart October 4. 7 nights self catering 3* Jardin Del Sol Aparthotel, Playa Del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €529pps, depart October 6. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €699pps, depart October 7. 7 nights self catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria from €379pps, depart October 13. 7 nights self catering Globales Tamaimo Tropical Hotel, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €659pps, depart October 14. 4 nights self catering 3* Vistamar, Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol from €369pps, depart November 6. 7 nights all inclusive 3* SuneoClub Costa Caleta, Fuerteventura from €789pps, depart November 8. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway offers: 7 nights all inclusive 5* Rhine cruise from €1,469pp, depart December 14. 9 days Cambodia tour from €1,549pp, depart March 1 2017. 7 nights all inclusive Da Balaia, Portugal from €2,819 2+2, depart May 13 2017. 10 days escorted tour of the South, USA, from €2,979pp, depart March 22 2017. 1 night Lapland trip from €899 per adult and from €799 per child, depart Dublin or Cork December 13. 3 nights 3* Circus Circus hotel, Las Vegas from €465pp, travel January 2017. 3 nights 3* Edison Hotel, New York from €615pp, travel February 2017. 7 nights self catering 2* Tilila Studios, Morocco from €449pp, depart December 23. 7 nights B&B 3* Argana Hotel, Morocco from €639pp incl. Christmas gala dinner, depart December 23. 7 nights B&B 4* Kenzi Europa Hotel, Morocco from €739pp, depart December 23. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

TDactive Holidays is offering 13 nights 4* accommodation Sri Lanka tour from €2,299pp incl. accommodation, transfers, excursions, taxes and charges, depart November 4 2017. Call 01 637 1633.

Tour America offers: 7 nights International Palms Resort, Orlando from €395pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart December 1. 5 nights Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €589pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart February 9 2017. 3 nights Day Hotel Broadway, New York from €575pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, depart February 15 2017. Visit touramerica.ie.

ITAA Halloween offers: 2 nights 2* Holiday Inn Windsor from €370 2+2 incl. 1 day ticket to Legoland, depart October 23, 24, 28 or 29. 4 nights B&B 4* hotel accommodation Port Aventura from €1,265 2+2 incl. return flights, airport transfers and 2 day pass to Port Aventura. 7 nights Orlando from €3,079 2+2 incl. accommodation, return shuttle transfer and 2 park Universal ticket, depart October 29.

Project Travel is offering 5 nights B&B 3* Tromso hotel, Norway from €1,285pps incl. flights and 3 guided Northern Lights photography with Tom O’Donoghue, book by October 14, depart November 21. Visit project-travel.ie or call 01 210 8391.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days Christmas markets in Poland, Prague and Germany from €1,559pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation. Depart November 27. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Christmas Marches cruise on board the River Duchess from €2,188pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals and beverages and shore excursions. Depart December 19. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Lagrange Résidence Cybèle, Brides-les-Bains, France from €399pps, depart January 14 2017. 7 nights self catering 2* Apartments Crest, Chamonix, France from €399pps, depart January 15 2017. 7 nights self catering 4* Residence la Rivière, Chamonix, France from €699pps, depart December 31. 7 nights self catering 2* Haus Angerer, Westendorf, Austria from €699pps, depart December 31. 7 nights half board 4* Sporthotel Austria, St Johann in Tirol from €1,069pps, depart December 24. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Magic Pas, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €669pps, depart December 20. 7 nights self catering 2* Frontera Blanca, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €859pps, depart December 27. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Alaska, Livigno, Italy from €869pps, depart December 24. 7 self catering 3* Living Ski Apartments, Livgno, Italy from €669pps, depart December 31. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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

TRAVEL Extra Sunday Supplement: Delta shuts down, so who forgot to put a nickel in the metre?

HEADLINESAGENT PROMOTIONS – AVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & BEVERAGES – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – DEAL WATCH – TRAVEL TRADE – EVENTS – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL MEDIA

White Strand, Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, August 9 2016

White Strand, Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, August 9 2016

 

 

  • Agents hosted on four cruise ships
  • Delta outage brought down 1,170 flights
  • DFA urges high degree of caution after Thai tragedy
  • Ireland’s 13pc tourism growth
  • Ross distracted by doping

Travel Extra TV

video of the week august 14 2016Lots of headlines generated from footage of a passenger jumping off a disconnected gangway and running across the tarmac to catch a Ryanair flight in Madrid. The man, who was allowed board the flight, was arrested on arrival at Gran Canaria and issued a fine. The footage was captured by baggage handlers. Watch here.

  • Looking for some thrills? Why not skateboard on top of a Hong Kong high-rise building? Watch here.
  • If that doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping, try some rooftopping. Watch here.
  • Still not pumped? Go cliff jumping in Vermont (obviously, don’t try any of these daredevil feats at home). Watch here.
  • The windy weather in Scotland sent this kite flyer airborne. Watch here.
  • Nibbles the duck enjoys a dip in a paddling pool. Watch here.
  • Fishermen in San Diego capture the incredible moment a hooked shark jumps through the air. Watch here.
  • Next in Ryanair’s humorous airport athletes series, the kayaker (watch here) and the weightlifter (watch here).
  • See Aer Lingus’s promotional video for Connecticut. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland briefs visitors on the Irish weather. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

oceania visitTravel agents were hosted on four cruise ships this week, part of a roster of 22 cruise ships calling to Dublin this month. HL, Celebrity, Fred Olsen and Oceania Cruises entertained agents at separate events. See more pictures or connect with the album on Facebook.

Who did not pay the light bill at Delta? A power outage brought down 1,170 flights, we were told. Then Delta revealed that a fire at Atlanta headquarters took down the carrier’s flights globally and the new CEO apologised for itineraries run amok. the Dublin and Shannon flights were unaffected but customers had to be rerouted.

paulhudsonPaul Hudson of private consumer group Flyersrights claimed that the Delta outage is only one out of many suffered by USA airlines due to ageing computer systems—and warned that there are more to come. A critical piece of equipment failed at the airline’s Atlanta headquarters, the airline said. The wait for passengers to talk to a representative was two hours at peak on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Two Thais died and seven foreigners were wounded after four bombs exploded in a popular night-life section of Hua Hin, a resort 117km south of Bangkok. Two were said to be from England but the nationality of the others is unknown. Two bombs hidden in plant pots 50 metres apart were detonated using mobile phones. There have been other bombings on Patong beach, the most popular of the 17 sandy beaches on the island of Phuket and the southern provinces. One man was killed and five other people were injured when a bomb went off in Muang district in Trang on Thursday. There were further reports of explosions in Surat Thani, where one person was killed, and a number of blasts in Phang Nga. Irish visitors are advised to exercise a high degree of caution. A statement on the DFA website said: There are no indications of any Irish casualties. Any Irish citizens in Thailand should avoid the affected areas, monitor the media, follow the advice of local authorities, and let people back home know you’re safe.

passports landscape2Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs received 503,596 applications for Irish passports up to the end of July, up 10.7pc from 454,931 in the same period in 2015. The biggest year-on-year increase came in May largely from soccer fans travelling to support the Irish soccer team at Euro 2016. Applications in May 2016 rose 21.4pc to 91,056 from 75,016 in May 2015. There was a 63pc increase in demand for Irish passports from the North in July, as the implications of the British referendum vote became apparent. Applications in Britain rose 73pc from 4,070 in July 2015 to 6,638 in July 2016. Overall July was the first month when total applications fell for the first time compared with the corresponding month in 2015.

shane ross tourism ireland_6067When Minister for Tourism Shane Ross arrived for his first tourism appearance to talk to media about Ireland’s 13pc tourism growth in 2016, he was best with questions about Olympics doping and tickets. Niall Gibbons retrieved the situation with some video. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry, eagarthóir Travel Extra ar Raidio na Gaeltachta ar na statistici. After the King’s Road was damaged by Storm Gertrude, here is the video about the restoration. Watch here Dublin film, which Tourism Ireland been sharing via our social channels. Watch here the video about Ireland’s Ancient East. See more pictures on Facebook.

holiday show ad

Travel Trade

sunway Philip and Tanya Airey and Jim Furlong cakeSunway celebrated its 50th birthday on the Celebrity Silhouette. Picture shows Philip and Tanya Airey and Jim Furlong marking the occasion. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The ITAA Conference on board Uniworld SS Antoinette has sold out . The river cruise line, headed up in Ireland by Sharon Jordan, will be hosting 154 passengers at the conference.

Travel agents report that August has been a slow month with high prices and low availability curtailing bookings.

The next ITAA board meeting will be held in Cork on September 8 with agents getting together on evening of September 7.

ITAA is warning members of increased instances of cyber fraud and advising members to guard against or insure against breaches of their security system.

Blue Insurance Polo Magnifico July Winner - Mandy Walsh 03July winner of the Blue Insurances monthly draw for a chance to win a car was Travel Counsellor Mandy Walsh. June winner. June winner was Claire Mulligan from ClubWorld Travel. May winner was Rose Kane from Kane Travel in Longford, celebrating 60 years in business this year and April winner was Helena Kilduff from Skytours. Agents win an iPad Mini and are invited to the Grand Final in Dublin in April 2017 to compete for a Volkswagen Polo Magnifico. Blue Insurances reminds agents to have their own unique login to make bookings count for their monthly draw, every five Blue Insurances policies sold each month automatically generates an entry. Agents can win a bonus place at the final by posting, to Facebook or Twitter, a humorous picture or videos featuring themselves with a car with the hashtag #DontRenewUnlessItsBlue. See here.

fun dayThis year’s travel industry fun day target is €70,000 on Sunday August 28 2016 at Wanderers Rugby Football Club, Merrion Road, Dublin 4. The committee say would like see more of the industry get behind this event, which is the only dedicated charity event across the industry. Five-aside football teams wishing to compete should register now at as there is a limit of 16 teams in four groups. There must be one lady on the team of five and two substitutes. Trainers only to be worn. Silver sponsorship is €1,500 and Headline sponsorship is €3,000. In addition to the usual games, a new nine-hole mini-golf is being added, together with more inflatables and games.

charlotte brennerFalcon Holidays say demand for their summer 2017 programme, which went on sale at the end of April, almost two months earlier than last year, has been consistent across all booking channels. Charlotte Brenner of Falcon says: It is not just families. Our platinum/premier range is strong. Falcon say feedback form their long haul programme to Cancun and Montego Bay which ended last week has been excellent and weddings and honeymoon booking are going well now for next year’s programme.

caminoCamino de Santiago specialist CaminoWays.com sponsored the Galicia GAA team at the Etihad Airways GAA World Games.

As previously reported by Travel Extra, the third annual Irish Travel Industry Trade Show will take place at Hall 3, RDS Main Hall on March 22 2017.

Outbound trips were up 12.8pc in Q1 with 1.5m foreign trips taken by Irish citizens, according to CSO data.

Adventure travel company Exodus Travels, which concentrates on solo travellers, says bookings are up 39pc this year. Abbey Travel is Exodus’s agent in Ireland.

Agent Promotions

Madeleine Roast, Graham Balmforth and Wendy Cameron of Superbreak at Holiday World in RDS

Travel agents can win a €50 gift card by liking SuperBreak‘s agent’s Facebook page for Ireland, which has just been set up to inform agents on product developments and short break ideas.

In order to join agents can either click ‘like’ on the Facebook page SuperBreak for Travel Agents – Ireland, or email with their agency name and account number and SuperBreak will add them. A winner will be selected by lottery at the end of August.

Travel Media

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Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry appeared on Today with Sean O’Rourke, presented by Katie Hannon, to talk about the Thai attacks, booking a cheap holiday and other travel market news. Listen here.

A German think-tank poured cold water on Dublin’s hopes of becoming a major financial centre post-Brexit. Conor McMahon reported on the issue for Fora.ie, The Journal’s business website.

Strange World

  • chinese passportA passenger at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China was caught trying to smuggle his pet turtle past airport security by disguising it as a KFC chicken burger.
  • A man was killed on the Gatwick Express after he stuck his head out the window and was struck by an oncoming train. Despite some news reports, inspector James Tyrrell from London Transport Police confirmed that the man was not decapitated.
  • A small monkey was discovered in the cabin of a Frontier Airlines flight from Columbus to Las Vegas. A passenger snuck the monkey onboard in a duffel bag and said it was an emotional support animal, but failed to inform the airline.
  • Twycross Zoo in England granted free entry to visitors with red hair to mark World Orangutan Day.
  • A Chinese tourist whose wallet was stolen spent a week at a refugee camp after accidentally filling out an asylum seeker’s application instead of a police report.
  • The head of Poland’s computer emergency response team, Przemek Jaroszewski, created a fake QR code boarding pass to gain entry into the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul. He filmed the hack, which you can view here.

Hotels

  • sirbnb projectIs Airbnb building a hotel? No—it’s building a “communal housing project” in Japan. The purpose of the project is to create a community centre in rural Japan where travellers can stay while the local residents could serve as hosts to the tourists.
  • Room prices in Paris have halved as visitor numbers dropped after the recent terror attacks in France. The occupancy rate in the capital was 32pc in the second half of July, according to junior tourism minister Matthias Fekl.
  • The hospitality group that operates the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Ampleforth, reported an 80pc in profits last year.
  • Lemeul’s bar opened at the Conrad hotel as part of an €8m renovation plan.

International

Surin Putsuran former head of ASEAN speaking at TTM Plus in Chiang Mai, June 8 2016

The UNWTO has supported Indonesia’s grant visa-free travel to citizens from 169 countries, including Ireland. The visa-free policy allows for a maximum stay of 30 days and has no restriction on the number of visits per year.

The move is seen as the first step towards a common visa for the ASEAN countries. Visa facilitation in ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) is projected to increase tourist arrivals by 10m  in the upcoming years, thus increasing tourism revenue by US$12bn, suggests UNWTO/WTTC Report Impact of Visa Facilitation in ASEAN Member States

  • The Canary Islands Statistics Institute predicts that 14m people will visit the Canary Islands by year-end. 13.3m visited the archipelago in 2015, inclusive 457,000 Irish tourists. Over 238,000 Irish tourists visited in the first six months of 2016, up 8pc.
  • SeaWorld Entertainment shares dropped 14pc to its lowest level ever. Attendance is down 7.6pc.
  • Disney World Florida started building a wall around the lake where a toddler was tragically killed by an alligator last June.
  • Holidaymakers in St Ives, Cornwall were warned not to get too close to a group of seals swimming in the harbour.
  • New York’s Independent Drivers Guild, which represents Uber drivers in the city, launched an online petition calling for an electronic tipping function to be added to the app.
  • Vienna Zoo celebrated the birth of a rare giant panda, born to mother Yang Yang and father Long Hui.
  • Mount Rushmore turned 75 this week.

Food & Wine

Pamela byrneA prohibition order was issued to a Waterford restaurant by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. The authority served a prohibition order under the EC Regulations 2010 to Kearney’s Restaurant, Main Street, Tallow. Closure orders were issued against four restaurants and three take-away businesses last month. A butcher in Longford and a wholesaler in Donegal were also issued with closure orders and Cork pub was forced to stop its food production, handling and storage due to the FSAI order.

dylan mcgathDylan McGrath’s Fade Street Social was one of 12 venues ordered to close on Friday July 15 but re-opened the following morning after a drainage issue was resolved.

A report commissioned by the Support Your Local campaign, and written by Tony Foley, lecturer in Economics at DCU, stresses tourism’s dependence on  the hospitality and drinks sector. The report states that Brexit will potentially have a negative effect on possible growth on tourism, and that the sector should be supported appropriately so that it can contribute to this growth. According to the report, the pub was mentioned as a positive distinguishing feature of Ireland by almost one in three visitors surveyed, in 2015, and that ‘listening to Irish music in the pub’ was the top-ranked experience.

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with (from left) BBC broadcaster Nigel Barden; Tourism NI chairman Terence Brannigan; Laura Briggs of BBC Good Food magazine and Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell at the launch of the Tourism NI year of food and drink in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, January 14 2016

Tourism NI selected August to be ‘Love NI Meat’ month as part of its Year of Food and Drink campaign.


Aviation

  • Dublin Airport PassengersThe Irish Aviation Authority reported a 9pc increase in traffic handled by Irish air traffic control in July to 109,806 flights. Commercial terminal flights at Dublin were up 7.6pc to 650 average daily movements. Cork up 14.4pc to 68 average daily movements. Shannon down 1.3pc to 68 average daily movements.
  • American Airlines launched its renovated arrivals lounge at London Heathrow T3.
  • Virgin Atlantic is rolling out live TV on its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with Sport 24, BBC World News and CNN International available. Live TV is accessed via passengers’ own devices using onboard WiFi.
  • Monarch extended the cancellation of its services to Sharm el Sheikh until February 2017. It is offering refunds for bookings.
  • AerCap reported earnings of $1.46 on revenues of $1.23bn in their Q2 results. The company posted earnings of $1.73 on revenues of $1.34bn for the same quarter of last year.
  • The world’s longest aircraft was brought out of the hangar for the first time. The aircraft, the Airlander 10 (nicknamed the Flying Bum) took 10 years and $43m to develop and build.

Afloat

  • aida cruises china marketingAIDA Cruises launched a marketing campaign in China ahead of AIDAbella’s deployment in China from April 2017, operating all year round in cooperation with Costa Asia.
  • Crystal Cruises scrapped plans to renovate the SS United States ocean liner, calling barriers to restoring the ship “insurmountable”.
  • An elderly Princess Cruises passenger was left behind in Juneau, Alaska after getting lost on a day hike.
  • P&O Cruises cancelled Azura’s call at Funchal because of a wildfire in Madeira.
  • Carnival Cruise Line added an election-themed educational programme to its Seuss at Sea programme. Activities include face painting and the for chance to vote for their favourite Dr Seuss book.
  • Seaborne announced a spa experience in partnership with Dr Andrew Weil.
  • Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society members will no longer be offered discounts on balcony cabins or suites, starting from September 1.

Ireland

  • Fáilte Ireland estimated that the GAA World Games generated €600,000 in revenue and brought 7,000 visitors to Dublin. Fifty-six teams from 20 countries participated in the week-long competition.
  • CSO figures for H1 2016 show a 13pc increase in overseas visitors to Ireland. Visitor numbers from Britain were up 16pc, North America up 15pc and Mainland Europe up 11pc. Domestic trips were up 1.2pc to 2m trips in Q1 2016, according to the CSO’s latest Household Travel Survey.
  • Ireland's Ancient East Orientation Sign at Wicklow Gaol (7)Fáilte Ireland began the first phase of rolling out signs along Ireland’s Ancient East with signs installed at the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience, New Ross, Wexford; Ferns Castle, Wexford; and Wicklow Gaol.  Another 80 signs are expects to be in place by year-end.
  • David McGowan, the man who hauled a Boeing 767 from Shannon to Sligo, said he is looking to refurbish a helicopter as accommodation at his Quirky Nights Glamping Village.
  • AN INDIAN SUMMER FOR IRELAND – AS TOP TOUR OPERATORS PAY A VISITSeven Indian tour operators visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI. Picture shows Lyandra D’Souza of Tourism Ireland with the group at Adare Heritage Centre, Co Limerick.
  • Maureen Cournane, Killarney Cycling Festival, Gleneagle Hotel, with Fionnbar Walsh, LiveLife Foundation, Adam King, Champion Hammer Thrower and Neilie Fitzpatrick, Ballinscelligs, at the launch the Killarney Cycling Festival
  • The Killarney Cycling Festival on Saturday August 27 offers two routes for cycling enthusiasts: The Wrong Way Round and the Hard Way Round, so there’s no winning. The Wrong Way Round is 160km, from The Gleneagle Hotel through Molls Gap, Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen, Glenbeigh, and Killorglin. The Hard Way Round is 180, and diverts from the Wrong Way Round by going through the heart of Kerry to Ballaghoisin, and around the Skellig Ring. The Donal Walsh LiveLife Foundation is the official charity of the festival.

Deal Watch

Sunway offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Hotel Riu Cancun, Mexico from €1,449pp, book by August 19, depart March 14 2017. 7 nights self catering 2* Bayside Apartments, Algarve from €399pp, depart August 26. 7 nights self catering 3* Tamaimo Tropical Apartments, Tenerife from €399pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apartments, Gran Canaria from €429pp, depart August 27. 7 nights B&B 3* San Fermin, Costa Del Sol from €449pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 2* Carmen Apartments, Sicily from €449pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 3* Oasis Dunas Apartments, Fuerteventura from €469pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 2* Carmen Apartments, Sicily from €449pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 2* Binimar Apartments, Minorca from €479pp, depart August 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Bellevue Apartments, Majorca form €499pp, depart August 27. 7 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, Turkey from €559pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 4* Clube Do Lago Apartments, Lisbon from €559pp, depart August 27. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1833.

falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Fiesta Tanit Hotel, Cala Gracio, Ibiza from €869pp, depart August 25. 7 nights half board 3* Aeolos Beach, Lambi, Kos from €569pp, depart August 27. 7 nights self catering 3* Ouratlandico Apartments, Praia D’Oura, Algarve from €629pp, depart August 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Golden Bay, Gournes, Crete from €489pp, depart August 28. 7 nights self catering 3* Hotel Palazzo, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €299pp, depart September 20. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Calypso, Salou, Costa Dorada from €529pp, depart Shannon September 2. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Globales Hotel Pioneer and Santa Ponsa Park, Majorca from €679pp, depart Cork September 3. 7 nights self catering 2* Sun’s Gardens, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €569pp, depart January 7 2017. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 2* Ekati 2, Kavos, Corfu from €449pp, depart August 26. Lapland day trips from €659 per adult and €559 per child, depart December 10, 16 or 17. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

thomson deal watchThomson offers: 14 nights all inclusive 4* ClubHotel Riu Tequila, Playacar, Mexico from €1,839pp, depart June 14 2017. 7 nights self catering 2* Tamanaco, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria from €469pp, depart September 1. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Villa Dorada, Salou, Costa Dorada from €769pp, depart September 2. 7 nights half board 5* Grecotel Kos Imperial, Thlasso, Psalidi, Kos from €829pp, depart September 3. 7 nights B&B 3* Elkomi, Malia, Crete from €399pp, depart September 4. 7 nights self catering 2* Rafael Studio, Lindos, Rhodes from €409pp, depart September 7. 7 nights self catering 4* Family Life Coma Gran Sa Coma, Majorca from €629pp, depart Cork September 9. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Villa Dorada, Salou, Costa Dorada from €639pp, depart Shannon September 2. 7 nights full board Moorish Delights cruise on board Thomson Majesty, depart September 6. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Cataonia Oro Negro, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €1,219pp, depart December 23. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call  1850 45 35 45.

TDactive Holidays and Dublin Photography School are offering 3 nights photography tour in Tuscany with demos and tutorials by Stewart Kenny from €799pp incl. B&B hotel accommodation, return flights, transfers, excursions, taxes and charges, depart March 25 Yoga Dublin Studios are also offering 5 nights yoga holiday in Lake Garda with Emma Burke Kennedy from €799pp incl. 3* B&B hotel accommodation, return flights, transfers, taxes, charges, twice daily yoga sessions and half day boat excursion, depart September 14 2016. Call 01 637 1600.

Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights Greece and Croatia cruise on board Rhapsody of the Seas from €1,279pp incl. return flights for first and second guests and transfers, depart July 29 2017. 12 nights Western Mediterranean cruise on board Brilliance of the Seas from €1,429pp incl. return flights for first and second guests and transfers, depart May 1 2017. 12 nights Canaries Adventures on board Independence of the Seas from €1,649pp incl. return flights for first and second guests and transfers, depart May 15 2017. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Cruisescapes offers: 8 nights Norwegian Fjords cruise on board 4* Boudicca from €1,349pp, depart Belfast April 30 2017. 8 nights Lochs of Scotland cruise on board 4* Boudicca from €1,479pp, depart Belfast May 8 2017. Call 01 294 1000.

Topflight offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Ambassador Suite Hotel, Riva, Lake Garda from €699pps, depart August 20. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Garda, Riva, Lake Garda from €1,029pps, depart August 20. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Senior, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera from €669pps, depart August 20. 7 nights B&B 4* Vila Gale Marina, Vilamoura, the Algarve from €939pps, depart August 20. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Portofino, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €769pps, depart August 20. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Tysandros, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €669pps, depart August 20. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Sant Alphio Garden, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €699pps, depart August 20. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Londra, Sorrento from €659pps, depart August 21. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €1,199pps, depart August 21. All prices include return flights, transfers, taxes and rep service. 7 nights Outsider Magazine hiking trip, Ehrwald, Austria from €749pps incl. half board accommodation at Sonnenburg Hotel, return flights, return transfers, baggage, welcome drinks and snacks, and guided hikes and excursions, depart August 21. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

ITAA offers: 2 nights B&B 4* Hotel Senator Gran Via 70, Madrid from €359pps incl. category C match tickets to see Real Madrid v Real Sociedad, depart January 29 2017. 1 night hotel stay, Liverpool from €299pps incl. mate ticket to see Liverpool v Chelsea, depart February 1. 2 nights B&B accommodation, Barcelona from €229pps incl. match ticket to see Barcelona v Alavés, depart September 10.

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

See travelextra.tv for more video.

Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

  • Aug 28 Travel trade fun day
  • Aug 30 MSC Splendida in Dublin
  • Aug 31 MSC Splendida in Cork
  • Sept 1 Virgin Atlantic golf day
  • Sept 3-4 Air Waves, Portrush
  • Sept 6-8 Seatrade Europe, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Sept 7-9, PATA Travel Mart, Jakarta
  • Sept 13 Aer Lingus Los Angeles trade event
  • Sept 14-16 Travelmart Latin America, Iguassu Falls, Brazil
  • Sept 15 United cup@Carton
  • Sept 29-Oct 2 Top Resa, Paris
  • Sept 10-13 FITA, Santa Cruz
  • Sept 19-22, Adventure Travel World Summit, Anchorage
  • Sept 25-27 World Routes, Chengdu
  • Sept 26-30 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Madrid
  • Sept 28 Sunway 50th Birthday Media & Suppliers Lunch, TBA
  • Oct 11 Skal function, Herbert Park Hotel
  • Oct 21 NI Travel Trade Awards, Newcastle, Co Down
  • Oct 29-Nov 1 Skål World Congress, Monaco,
  • Nov 7-9 WTM London
  • Nov 8 Skal tour of Guinness Storehouse
  • Nov 10 Scottish Travel Trade Awards,
  • Nov 11-12 Travel centres conference, Mulingar
  • Nov 19 Worldchoice conference, Sealed, Co Wexford
  • Nov 19-21 CLIA rivercruise conference, Amsterdam
  • Nov 25 ITTN Awards
  • Nov 26-28 ITAA conference, Uniworld Antoinette
  • Nov 29-Dec 1 IBTM World, Barcelona
  • Dec 2 American airlines trade event
  • Dec 9 Star alliance event
  • Dec 13 Skal president’s lunch
  • Dec 16 The Travel Corporation event

2017

  • Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25 2017 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin
  • Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • Feb 19-20 2017 Holiday Show in Association with Shannon Airport UL Limerick
  • Mar 22 2017 Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, Hall 3 RDS Main Hall Complex
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC

2018

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

2019 – 2024

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

2019 – 2024

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

Previous editions of TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday supplement

Previous issues

June 2016: USA issue
May 2016: Canada issue
April 2016: Cruise issue
March 2016: Awards issue
February 2016: Holiday World issue
December/January 2015/16: Bridal issue
November 2015: Winter cruise issue
October 2015: Ski issue
September 2015: Accommodation issue

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Green sweep, FIVE of the 25 nominees for Routes International aviation awards are from Ireland

HEADLINES  – AVIATIONAFLOATDEAL WATCHFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDSTRANGE WORLDTRAVEL MEDIATRAVEL TRADE

header july 31 2016

Today expected to be the 2nd busiest day in the history of Dublin Airport with 99,500 passengers passing through

  • Four Irish airports and Tourism Ireland nominated for World Routes awards
  • Parents that travel with children on Ryanair forced to purchase €8 reserved seat
  • Air France warns of last-minute cancellations and delays
  • Outbound travel from Ireland is up 7pc
  • Aer Lingus operating profit for H1 was €42m

Travel Extra TV

video of the week july 31 2016Video of the week: This French bulldog is a superb little swimmer — too bad there is no water in the pool. Watch here.

  • Amazing footage of a tiger shark attacking a hammerhead shark. Watch here.
  • See the Gauteng tornado sweep towards Kempton Park in South Africa. Watch here.
  • This frightening footage captures the dramatic moment lightning struck a Chicago train line. Watch here.
  • Cork Airport posted its launch video for the 2016 Global Startup Gathering. Watch here. Now check out AirCam Ireland’s footage of Cork Airport from above. Watch here.
  • See shocking footage of a delayed passenger attacking airport police at a check in desk in Frankfurt airport. Watch here.
  • Here is British Airways’ funny guide to beach etiquette in Brazil. Watch here.
  • Introducing London Heathrow’s own Mr Men character, Mr Adventure. Watch here.
  • Richard E Grant explores the Wild Atlantic Way as a guest of Tourism Ireland. Watch here.
  • July was Seas, Rivers and Loughs month in N Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

The headline on the Ryanair press release on Thursday went: Ryanair cuts the cost of reserved seats for passengers travelling with children (under 12) as fares fall 10pc (€4) in 2016. Of course, this being Ryanair there was a catch. Every parent who travels with a child will be forced to purchase an €8 reserved seat.

Siobhan McManamy accepts the overall Routes 2015 award on behalf of Tourism Ireland.

Four Irish airports and Tourism Ireland have all received nominations for the 2016 World Routes Awards to be announced in Chengdu on September 26. The World Routes awards are voted by airlines worldwide and are divided into four categories based on airport size. Dublin Airport has been nominated for the 2016 World Routes Award in the 20m-50m passengers per year category for the third year in a row.

The four other nominees in the 20m-50m passenger category are Brussels Airport, Copenhagen Airport, Munich Airport and Vancouver International Airport. Three Irish airports are nominated in the under 4m passenger category, Belfast City, Cork and Shannon Airports (for the fourth year in a row), alongside Aruba and Halifax in Nova Scotia. In the destination category Tourism Ireland is nominated alongside Algarve Tourist Board, Nassau Paradise Island.

Poland’s Tourist Organisation and Tourism Queensland. Nominees in the over 50m category are Amsterdam Schiphol, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Dubai, London Heathrow and Singapore Changi while the nominees in the 4 to 20m passenger category are Athens, Auckland, Calgary, Cape Town and Mactan Cebu in the Philippines.


AirFrance-Boeing777-300ER-YUL-2009Air France
 operated 90pc of long haul flights, 70pc of medium-haul flights and 80pc of domestic flights to and from Paris – CDG yesterday in the face of industrial action by two of the three trade unions representing cabin crew, SNPNC-FO and UNSA-PNC. Air France warns there may be last-minute cancellations and delays in the third day of a stoppage that continues until Tuesday, August 2. This is the worst hit day of operations so far, compared with the 25pc of medium haul flights lost on Friday. A proposed change in the number of crew on medium haul flights is at the core of the strike action.  Difficulties with crew compositions may also limit the number of passengers per flight. Air France flights operated by an aircraft of other airlines, including HOP, KLM and Delta, are not affected by this strike. Irish passengers affected are being routed through Amsterdam where possible.

Outbound travel from Ireland is up 7pc in the first half of 2016 compared with 2015, from 3,233,600 to 3,453,000. Travel in the second quarter (April to June) was 1,975,300, the busiest second quarter since 2008 when 2,050,800 travelled abroad from Ireland. Figures from the CSO show 4.4m overseas visitors to Ireland for January to June, up 13pc on 2015. North America was up 15pc, England up 16pc and mainland Europe up 11pc. The increase for the second quarter was slightly slower at 10.8pc. Important markets like Italy (up 12pc), Spain (up 13pc), France (up 6pc), Germany (up 5pc) and the Benelux countries (up 28pc) showed strong growth. Scandinavia was up 2pc, but Australia showed the only decline, 4pc, largely as a reduced of one-stop air capacity.

aer lingus tailAer Lingus operating profit for the half year to June was €42m, according to International Airline Group accounts and before exceptional items. Group half year profit, which includes BA, Iberia and Veiling, was €710m (2015: operating profit €555m), up 27.9pc but lower than expected. Last February IAG forecast profits would grow 2016 profit by 40pc or arund €990m Aer Lingus recorded an operating profit €68m in the second quarter, a constituent of IAG’s second quarter operating profit of €555m before exceptional items (2015: operating profit of €530m).

holiday show ad

Travel Trade

ray scully john devereux copyRay Scully, a man synonymous with Crystal Holidays, has moved to TUI’s Specialist Holiday Group. The Crystal Ski and Summer brands will stay with Tui/Falcon with Orla Markey managing the product reporting into Chris Logan. I have moved fully into the specialist business as Commercial Director SHGI. Al Fresco will not move over to Tui/Falcon. TUI is selling other non core brands as originally planned such as American Holidays, headed up in Ireland by John Devereux (pictured with Ray Scully).

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 01.26.03The final fling for Gonzalo Ceballos, departing director of the Spanish Tourist board in Dublin, took place at Keogh’s of South Anne Street and Eden restaurant on Monday evening when a small group of friends from the trade gathered to wish him well. The final meal was a lively occasion, with marinated grilled prawns and pan fried sea bream and mussels. Teresa Gancedo Nieto arrives as new director of the Spanish Tourist board in Dublin in the coming weeks. Gonzalo who? Watch here Travel Extra‘s tribute to Gonzalo.

  • Turkish Airlines is recruiting an assistant corporate sales manager and/or marketing manager Turkish say the candidate should have a minimum two years experience in corporate sales or, preferably, travel related fields interacting extensively with customers and that fluency in French, German, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese would be an asset. Apply to: General Manager, Turkish Airlines, Terminal One, Dublin Airport, Co Dublin
  • Skal Dublin cancelled a visit to a cruise ship in Dublin Port at the end of August “due to the current security situation”.
  • Travelport announced a long term agreement with Netherlands-based OTA Travix. Traveport appointed Guy Snelgar as commercial director for its sales and account management teams in Britain.
  • The Australian owned Flight Centre Travel Group will open a retail store in Dublin on August 3. Flight Centre’s Dawson Street outlet will be managed by John Appleby, who will also oversee the company’s expansion in the Irish market. The group promises opening discounts of €500 for holidays booked in-store. Flight Centre Travel Group offers across the Flight Centre brand, including its Journeys and Escapes holiday ranges and Flight Centre Business Travel.
  • Classic Collection Holidays have extended their offering of free airport executive lounge access to Cork and Shannon . The luxury operator, headed up in Ireland by Niall McDonnell, launched in February this year and initially offered holidaymakers free access to the Anna Livia lounge at Dublin Airport, now extended to include both Cork and Shannon.
  • Spanish travel technology company Amadeus says solid organic growth and the acquisition of Navitaire were behind strong first half results which show travel agency bookings up 5pc, to €279.3m. Amadeus now offers 80 low cost and hybrid carriers and bookings from this sector grew 17pc in the first half of 2016. New offerings include Ryanair’s business plus fare which became available on the Amadeus system in the past year.

Agent Promotions

  • Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 01.27.53Winner of the River Cruise competition with Travel Extra and Alan Lynch’s Cruiseescapes was Niamh Byrne of Ask Susan Travel.
  • Jennifer Mulligan of American Holidays was presented with an Air France / KLM / Delta Goodie Bag, having won the recently held in-house AFKLDL Booking Incentive.
  • Olive Taaffe. Aoife Carbin. Caitriona Toner and Tania Crinion were hosted by American Airlines at Beyonce.

Strange World

  • geneva airportA woman caused a major security alert at Geneva Airport after making a hoax bomb threat to stop her husband form boarding a flight.
  • A Chinese safari park was temporarily closed after a woman was mauled to death by a tiger. The shocking CCTV footage of the incident went viral on social media.
  • Austria’s road safety board is offering workshops on how to cross the road for Pokémon Go-playing pedestrians. Last week, Conor McMahon wrote about how marketers hope to capitalise on the game’s hype.
  • A seven-year-old girl was tragically killed after an elephant threw a stone at her with its trunk.
  • A survey by Gatwick Airport found that ‘what is the WiFi password’ is the top foreign phrase that holidaymakers wish to learn before going abroad.
  • The Sun reported that traces of cocaine were discovered at the Peppa Pig theme park in England.
  • A drunken passenger was thrown off a Ryanair flight from Alicante to Liverpool — after burping on a passenger and falling onto a small child.
  • World Animal Protection has asked the travel industry to discourage tourists from taking selfies with tigers. World Animal Protection’s new report estimates the number of tigers in captivity in Thailand has grown by a third in the past five years, up to 830. Tiger selfies exposed: a portrait of Thailand’s tiger entertainment industry estimated that there were 830 tigers in captivity at  places where tourists can be photographed with tigers up close compared to 623 in 2010.

Hotels

K Club CakeThe most anticipating hotel opening of the year takes place on Tuesday when Il Sereno opens its doors on the banks of Lake Como will open on Tuesday.The K Club commissioned a birthday cake by NF Cakes, Dublin to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Picture shows Michael Davern, CEO and General Manager, Natalja Michejeva of NF Cakes; John Mitchell, Director of Finance (holding a framed picture of the original staff 25 years ago), Sharon Smurfit, Director of Golf, Finbar Higgins, Executive Chef and Irina Volkova of NF Cakes.

Carton House is 10 years old and celebrates with a very special month long festival of offers this August from complimentary upgrades, special B&B rates plus free activities, including golf.

The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts have opened their first hotel in Tokyo, designed by the Rockwell Group Europe, the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel is situated in the heart of Tokyo’s Kioicho neighbourhood.

Slow corporate transient was blamed for dragging down Hilton’s Q2 earnings.

jurys inn charityJurys Inn staff at 36 hotels raised €82,000 for charity through its various annual fundraising events. Jurys Inn Cork hosts a sports day, Galway pedalled on stationary bikes, Belfast pushed a bed through the city and the hotels in Dublin and head office hiked around Howth Head (pictured).

The Westbury partnered with the Dublin International Pinao Competition to host performances by John O’Conor, Kevin Jansson and Joe O’Grady in The Grafton Suite.

Marriott International launched its fourth M Live marketing studio in its European headquarters in London. The studio is designed to “interact with guests in a more personalised way” through “one-to-on conversations on social platforms”.

Accorhotels launched a partnership with Hertz, offering discounted rentals, upgrades and complimentary additional drivers to Le Club and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members.

Starwood is to open a 176-room Aloft property in Melbourne in 2019.

Ifty Finn is the new GM of Howth Castle having previously worked as Waterways Ireland visitor centre manager before opening her own project management company. Katie Buckley is new Recruitment Manager at The Shelbourne. Katie Farrell has been appointed as director of sales at The Westbury Hotel.

Airbnb forecast that August bank holiday demand for their Dublin product will be up 59pc on last year. Airbnb claims to have 3,000 Airbnb hosts in Dublin and say a typical host could make up to €548 over the weekend, compared to the August bank holiday last year, when average income was €438.

International

The Department of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice after the first cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes on the US mainland appeared in Florida. Some ironic comment followed the news that Zika had arrived in Rory McIlory’s home state.

Andrew Pinnington, CEO of Hailo and Tim Arnold Hailo Ireland’s General Manager.

Taxi hailing apps Hailo and Mytaxi announced a merger this week. Hallo operates in Ireland, Britain, Singapore, Japan and Spain, while Mytaxi operates in Austria Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Together, they will have 100,000 drivers across 50 cities in nine countries. Picture shows Andrew Pinnington, CEO of Hailo, and Tim Arnold, Hailo Ireland’s General Manager.

Entebbe airport

Uganda is to turn away visitors who arrive without e-Visas from tomorrow, August 1. The parallel system of both e-applications and manual processing on arrival will cease on Monday and airlines have been told to deny boarding to any passengers heading to Entebbe unless they can show proof of having applied for a visa and obtained one in advance. Last week Uganda reversed a decision taken a year ago when the country raised single entry visa fees to US$100, resulting in a downturn of arrivals. The revised visa fee has been reduced once more to US$50.

The Muppets will star in a new show at Disney World Florida. The Muppets presents Greatest Moments in American History opens at the Magic Kingdom in October.

Lama Development proposed a €7bn plan to turn the former Hellenikon airport complex in Greece, which currently serves as a refugee camp, into a seaside town of hotels, residences and shops.

Skiwelt is undergoing a €27m investment this winter with a new Salvenmoos 10-person gondola in Hochsöll and another new lift on the agenda.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has entered the New Zealand market with its first location at the Queenstown Airport. Franchisee Redspot Car Rentals will operate the office as part of the Enterprise Holdings global network, which includes the Enterprise brand as well as National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car. As a result, the new Enterprise airport location also will be able to serve Redspot, National and Alamo customers with the friendly service they have come to expect from these brands.

After severe delays at the border last week, holidaymakers traveling from Dover to France this weekend were urged to bring plenty of food and water.

An auction of rare antique travel posters takes place at Swann Galleries, New York on October 27.

A survey by motoring solutions specialists, Easytrip suggests that the top five most forgotten items by Irish holiday makers are: 1 Travel adaptor, 2 Toothbrush, 3 Mobile phone charger, 4 Teas bags / book, 5 Driving license.

Food & Beverages

  • bewleys coffeeBewley’s tea and coffee company was awarded 29 gold stars at the Great Taste Awards 2016The top 50 products will be announced on Saturday August 6, from 3,539 products of which 430 are based in Ireland. The regional Golden Fork awards will be announced in September 5th. Nominees include include the Tipperary Kitchen’s 3-star Holycross Original Butterscotch Sauce, which was said to be “beautifully made and executed perfectly” to create “heaven in a bowl”, Old Bank House, awarded a gold star at the Great Taste award for its orange marmalade, Nobó’s “creamy and attractive” vegan and dairy free Irish Salted Caramel Ice Cream and an “unctuous and moreish, squidgy and moist” Irish Handmade All Butter Sticky Toffee Pudding from Dunnes Stores. Details of this year’s winners can be found here.
  • Two food stalls in Singapore were each awarded Michelin stars this week.
  • Steven Lamb of River Cottage hosts the second Taste of River Cottage cooking, curing and smoking weekend at Croan Cottages, Co Kilkenny, September 23 to 25.
  • Fergal Kelly has joined Irish Ferries as Catering Services Manager. Ashika Kaur has moved from Wexford to join the Castleknock Golf Club as Head Chef. Mark McDonagh has joined The K Club as Food and Beverage Cost Controller. Atilla Pecsi is Restaurant Manager in the new Fishbone restaurant. While in Nishal Chennigadoo becomes Restaurant Supervisor at the Camden Court. Lir Restaurant in Kilkee Golf Club has appointed Seamus Gillespie as Front of House Manager and Diarmuid O’Callaghan as Head Chef.
  • Sheen Falls Lodge are hosting a French Fine Wine & Dining evening taking place on Saturday, September 24, in Kenmare, on the Wild Atlantic Way. This package is priced from €425 based on 2 people.

Aviation

Today will be the second busiest day in the history of Dublin Airport when 99,500 passengers pass through, over 60,000 of them through Terminal 1. This is just short of the 100,312 handled by the airport on June 24. There are 388,113 passengers expected to travel through airport this August bank holiday weekend.

shannon charity cycleOver 160 cyclists competed in the Aer Lingus Charity Cycle out of Shannon Airport. Participants from Clare, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Wicklow completed the 110km trip and raised €10,000 for Shannon Group’s chosen charities, Irish Children’s Arthritis Network and Abalta Special School. Another 100 participated in relays on static bicycles at Shannon Airport to help raise additional donations, among them airport employees, passengers and local businesses.

Armed police are conducting extra security checks at Amsterdam Schiphzl Airport, the fifth busiest airport in Europe. A security threat has led to military police searching every car approaching the airport. Police are highly visible at Dutch train stations.

London city plans copyLondon City Airport has received planning permission for a £344m/€408m expansion from the Westminster Government, which will enable the airport to handle 6.5m passengers by 2025. The City Airport Development Programme privately funded investment that includes plans for seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway and passenger terminal extension. The airport, which opened in 1987 and was once owned by Dermot Desmond, handled a record 4.3m passengers in 2015.

Avolon delivered a B787-9 aircraft to Hainan Airlines.

FLY Leasing purchased five aircraft: three B787-8s and two B737-800s.

Miguel Albuquerque, presidents of Madeira regional government, announced that Madeira International Airport is to be renamed Cristiano Ronaldo Airport after one of the city’s most famous sons.

Dublin Bus launched a new Airlink service to Dublin Airport to serve the southside of the city, starting at Camden Street with stops including St Stephens Green, Merrion Square, the Docklands and the IFSC before heading into the Port Tunnel.

Ryanair recruitment partners Dalmac is now seeking new cabin crew on recruitment days in Dublin on August 13 and 26 and Cork on August 26.  Successful candidates will have the opportunity to work in various Airports across Europe. No previous cabin crew experience is required, applicants must be over 18 years of age to apply and it helps if you are hard-working, flexible, outgoing and have a lively personality.

Quickpark launched their €5 Premium Parking service which costs the same regardless of how many days you are parking, and offers drop off at the reception area, check in your keys and head straight for the bus.
On your return your car will be waiting for you, no need to remember where you parked. Just collect your keys and go. bookings made on quickpark.ie receive free admission for one adult for a night at the dogs worth up to €10.

cara magazineAer Lingus’s in-flight magazine Cara is to be published by the Cedar agency. The contract will see Cedar open offices in Dublin and Madrid. The magazine was previously published by Image Publications.

Turkish Airlines issued a statement after a purge of 211 airline employees, in the aftermath of the attempted coup against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government. Turkish Airlines chief financial officer Coskun Kilic will be replaced by Murat Seker, head of investor relations and financial institutions at state-owned TC Ziraat Bankasi AS, Turkey’s largest lender. Turkish is 49pc state owned, said the staff were fired for “attitudes and behaviour” conflicting with the best interests of the company and country. The government has a controlling vote on the board of Turkish Airlines, which employs more than 16,000 people and flies to 200 destinations worldwide, including Dublin. Turkish Airlines inability to assist passengers during this attempted coup of July 15-16 2016 was widely reported on social media.

AerCap announced they had completed closure of an $0.7bn secured credit facility. The facility will primarily be used to acquire new narrowbody and widebody aircraft as they deliver from Boeing and Airbus through 2017.

Cork Airport rolled out a no drone zone campaign to clamp down on rogue operators. Drones are illegal to operate within 4.5km of the airfield.

Afloat

norwegian joyNorwegian Cruise Line commissioned Chinese artist Tan Ping to design the hull art for the Norwegian Joy, which is slated for summer 2017 and will homeport in Shanghai and Beijing.

Fred Olsen Lines cruise ship MS Braemar became the first cruise ship to visit Rosslare Europort in 20 years. The visit follows the establishment of a Working Group led by the General Manager Rosslare Europort John Lynch, including representatives of Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland and supported by Visit Wexford, which has been working on developing the cruise business at Rosslare.

The launch of two Crystal River Cruises ships has been delayed by a year to cater for an itinerary change and a redesign to make them larger as a result. The Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel were supposed to sail the Seine, Rhode and Dordogne rivers in France, starting in June and August 2017. Instead, they will will sales the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers in Germany. Crystal said this was “to prioritise its offerings in the German/Austrian region in order to meet travellers’ demand.”

Seabourn extended its smoking ban to cabin balconies and the Observation Lounge. The updated policy will go into effect later this year.

Guy’s Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse will be added to Carnival Vista, Carnival Dream and Carnival Breeze in 2017. The restaurant, a joint venture between Carnival and celebrity chef Guy Fieri, is currently on board Carnival Magic.

Carnival Cruise Line’s second Vista-class ship will be called Carnival Horizon. Carnival will roll outs its Hub app, which allows cruises to search for board events and chat with other passengers, to Carnival Imagination, Carnival Valor and Carnival Victory.

Norwegian Getaway will serve as a floating hotel in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Scenic river cruise line will redesign its France-based “space ships” in 2017, reducing capacity from 167 to 155 passengers and adding two Royal Owners Suites. Scenic will also install a pool, expand the wellness centre and create a culinary centre for cooking classes.

Ireland

Minister Officially Opens Revamped Derrigimlagh Discovery PointMinister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan opened the revamped Wild Atlantic Way discovery point at Derrigimlagh. It marks the site of the world’s first commercial transatlantic wireless station and the landing site of the first non-stop transatlantic flight.

Italian broadcasters Emerson Gattafoni and Valeria Cagnoni were in N Ireland this week to film for the travel programme Dreams Road, with support from Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI. The show follows the presenters as they explore destinations by motorbike. Filming took place at Derry’s city walls, the Causeway Coastal Route, Belfast and the Ards Peninsula.

An Bord Pleanála upheld planning granted by Longford County Council for the development of Center Parcs Longford Forest holiday village near Ballymahon.

Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

Bus Éireann is offering online fires for GoBé coaches connecting Dublin city, Dublin Airport and Cork City of €9.99 for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

golf journalists niGolf journalists visited N Ireland this week to attend the NI Open at Galgorm Castle as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI. They played a round at castle, at the Strand Course in Portstewart Golf Club and at Portrush.

Tourism Ireland held its July board meeting at The d Hotel in Drogheda.

The new IHI Council Members appointed at the recent AGM in: th Conrad Hilton Hotel are; President Martin Mangan GM of The Conrad Hotel, Frank Byrne of Keystone Hospitality, Margaret Byrne of Red D, Martin Cassidy of Cassidy’s Hotel, Oonagh Cremins of The Innovate Room, Dominic Dilane DIT, Helen Fahy of The Doyle Collection, Brian Fahy Action Recruitment, Stephen Hanna of The Camden Court, Joe Higgins and Mark Long of The Guinness Storehouse, Majella Mulhall of Griffith Collage, Matt Fuller The Abbey Court Hotel, Vincent O’Gorman of The Westbury, Ewan Plenderleith of The Herbert Park Hotel, Sharon Power Cowley Net Affinity, Philip Smyth of Shannon College of Hotel Management and Edward Stephenson from Druids Glen Resort.

Guided tours of the Magazine Fort at Phoenix Park will commence on Sundays and Fridays, starting today at 10am, 12pm and 2.30pm. Tours commence at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre on a first come, first served basis with a shuttle bus to the Fort. Participants MUST visit the centre first, and will be then bussed to the fort. Only those who have been ticketed can join the tour.

Commuters in Barcelona are seeing ads for Ireland’s Ancient East (or “El Ancestral Este de Irlanda”) on trams and trains operating around the city. Tourism Ireland has ‘wrapped’ the trams and trains in giant Ireland’s Ancient East ads, to boost travel to Ireland this summer.

Tourism Ireland is to launch its autumn marketing campaign in 23 markets across the world, including a €4m promotional campaign in Britain. Our aim will be to boost late season travel and maintain the strong growth momentum.

The Ireland’s Olympians exhibition at Croke Park’s GAA Museum recently opened. It celebrates the nation’s Olympic medalists, with a special emphasis on medal winners from 1924 when Ireland first competed as an independent nation.  It also celebrates the GAA’s long history with athletics.

The 2016 Ukulele Hooley By The Sea in Dun Laoghaire on August 20-21 will feature the Ukulele Hooley are Belgium’s Winin’ Boys, Ukulele ZaZa, Minnie & The Illywhackers, Del Rey, Andy Eastwood, Peter Moss, Ukulele Uff & Lonesome Dave, Janet Klein, France’s Les Poupees Gonflee, Fred Sokolow, Shine (from Spain), Gus and Finn Trio, Ukulele Red & Li’l Mamie Brown, The East River String Band, Ireland’s West Cork Ukulele Orchestra, Ukeristic Congress and Aisling Goes Walking, UK’s Hot Potato Syncopators and many other fine artists and groups.

Swimmers and beach users were reminded of the venomous weever fish sting which has been found in Ireland when four year old Maisie Lagan from Dungiven was stung at Benone beach in Derry. Most weever stings occur during the month of August which Irish Water Safety says reflects the greater numbers of bathers rather than the number of weevers, as sea temperatures peak for the year.

  • An Post released a set of stamps featuring images from the Wild Atlantic Way.
  • Eric Kuhme, the architect behind the Titanic Belfast visitor centre, died this week aged 64.
  • Tourism businesses and other traders in Kinsale protested against the local authority’s ban on all sandwich advertising boards from the town’s footpaths.
  • Wicklow Country Tourism launched a €20,000 marketing and PR campaign, #WakeUpinWicklow.
  • The 30th annual Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival will take place on Duncannon Beach in County Wexford from Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 7.

Deal Watch

Sunway offers: 6 days Trafalgar escorted tour of the Northern Lights of Iceland incl. the Blue Lagoon from €1,974pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, hotel accommodation, 5 breakfasts and 3 dinners, hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees, local taxes and travel by coach. 7 nights Mediterranean cruise on board MSC Splendida from €589pp incl. flights, full buffet dining, taxes and fees, depart January 27 2017. 7 nights full board Greece and Croatia cruise on board Rhapsody of the Seas from €829pp incl. return flights, taxes, fees, airline baggage and return transfers, depart June 3. 7 nights full board Croatia and Italy cruise on board Norwegian Jade from €939pp incl. taxes, charges and ultimate drinks package, depart October 23. 10 nights full board Greece and Turkey Eastern Med cruise on board Celebrity Reflection from €1,929pp incl. taxes, fees and classic drinks package, depart September 30. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Travel Department offers: 13 nights B&B/half board Aztec Empire and Cancun holiday from €2,799pp incl. return flights, internal flight, transfers, taxes, charges and excursions, depart April 27 2017. 13 nights Argentina and Brazil holiday from €3,299pp incl. return flights, hotel accommodation, transfers, taxes, charges and excursions, depart May 3 2017 or September 1 2017.

Travelvalue.ie is offering a 7 night B&B group trip to the Camino from €795pp incl. return flights, transfers, en route accommodation and 2 nights in a 4* hotel in Santiago de Compostela, single supplement is €140, depart October 4. Visit travalue.ie or call 1890 289 255.

Thomson offers: 7 nights self catering Gran Amadores, Gran Canaria from €449pps, depart September 1. 7 nights self catering SunClub Apartments, Cap De Salou, Costa Dorada from €569pps, depart September 2. 7 nights self catering Protur Atalaya, Cala Millor, Majorca from €519pps, depart September 7. 7 nights half board Sensimar Los Gigantes, Tenerife from €699pps, depart September 9. 7 nights self catering Zante Atlantis, Laganas, Zante from €449pps, depart September 13. 7 nights half board Hotel Belvedere Salou, Costa Dorada from €499pps, depart Shannon September 2. 7 nights B&B Heperia Lanzarote, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote from €699pps, depart Shannon August 29. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

falcon deal watchFalcon offers: Lapland day trip from €659 per adult and €559 per child, depart December 10, 16 or 17. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Fiesta Tanit Cala Gracio, Ibiza from €799pps, depart August 25. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Los Zocos, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €789pps, depart Shannon August 29. 7 nights self catering 3* Royal Sun Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €449pps, depart August 29. 7 nights self catering 3* Kassandra Apartments, Ialyssos, Rhodes from €469pps, depart August 31. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Hotel Haiti, Ca’n Picafort, Majorca from €599pps, depart Cork September 6. 7 nights self catering 3* Bellevue Club, Gran Canaria from €469pps, depart September 29. NRG offer: 7 nights self catering 3* Palazzo Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €349pps, depart August 29. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Click and Go offers: 7 nights 5* Senator Banus Spa Hotel, Estepona, Costa del Sol from €399pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel November. 7 nights B&B 4* Playaluna Hotel, Roquetas de Mar, Costa de Almeria from €319pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel September. 2 nights 4* WestCord Hotel, Amsterdam from €199pp inc. return flights, taxes and charges, travel August. 2 nights 4* Ramada Hotel and Suites, London Docklands from €179pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel August. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

tourism ni deal watchTourism NI offers: 2 nights B&B Bishops Gate Hotel, Derry from £165pps incl. one evening dinner, one traditional afternoon tea and choice of spa treatments, available until December 31, call 028 71 1140300. 1 night B&B 3* Jurys Inn, Belfast from £109 2+2 incl. family bass to Belfast Zoo, available until August 20, call 028 90 533500. 1 night B&B 4* Burrendales Hotel, Co Down from £119pps incl. evening meal and 90-minute spa treatment, call 028 43 722599.

Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights France and Spain cruise on board Navigator of the Seas from€1,049pp, depart October 15. 7 nights Arabian Gulf cruise on board Vision of the Seas from €1,449pp, depart December 19. 13 nights Mediterranean cruise on board Independence of the Seas from €1,789pp, depart September 19. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Tour America St Patrick’s Day offers: 3 nights Boston from €579pp incl. return flights, depart March 16. 3 nights Chicago from €639pp incl. return flights, depart March 16. 3 nights New York from €679pp incl. return flights, depart March 16. Visit touramerica.ie.

Wendy Wu Tours is offering €1,000 per couple flying with Emirates from Dublin. Offer of 2 nights extension to Cambodia on select tours of Vietnam and 2 nights extension to Hong Kong on select tours of China, Burma and Japan ends tomorrow, August 1. Visit wendywutours.ie or call 0818 776 380.

Topflight offers: 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel San Pietro from €768pps, depart August 13. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €949pps, depart August 20. 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Bolivar, Lido di Jesolo, Venetian Riviera from €829pps, depart August 6. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Torre Barbara, Sorrento from €829pps, depart August 7. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Bristol, Riva, Lake Garda from €729pps, depart August 20. 7 nights half board 4* Vik Hotel San Antonio, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €969pps, depart August 13. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Los Fariones, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €720pps, depart September 3. 7 nights self catering 4* Villa Petra Aparthotel, Albufeira, the Algarve from €629pps, depart August 20. 7 nights B&B 3* Hotel Bagli, Rimini, Adriatic Riviera from €629pps, depart August 13. 7 nights B&B 4* Four Views Baia, Funchal, Madeira from €779pps, depart August 11. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Manzoni, Montecatini Terme from €859pps incl. return train tickets to Florence, guided excursions on 3 days to Florence Pisa and Siena, depart August 11. All prices include return flights, transfers, taxes and Topflight resort rep service. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

ITAA offers: 3 nights B&B 3* Yes Hotel, Rome from €250pp incl. return flights, ticket to audience with the Pope and Rome food tasting by bike tour, depart December 5. 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia Bungalows, Lake Garda from €499pp incl. flights, transfers and 15kg baggage, depart September 17. 7 nights half board 4* hotels Sicily tour form €1,099pp incl. guided tour of Agrigento’s ancient Greek Valley of the Temples, Piazza Armerina and Monreale’s medieval cathedral and day trips to Palermo, Taormina, Mount Etna and Siracusa, depart October 1.

Insight Vacations is offering 8 days Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley from €2,198pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation, depart August 27. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 8 days Danube river cruise on board the River Beatrice from €1,879pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals, beverages and all shore excursions, depart October 30. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

Cassidy Travel Algarve offers: 7 nights from €1,165 2+1, from €1,960 2+2, from €2,750 2+3, depart August 9 or 10. 7 nights from €1,425 2+1, from €2,239 2+2, from €2,915 2+3, depart August 15. 7 nights from €945 2+1, from €1,285 from 2+2, from €1,869 2+3, depart Cork August 19. 7 nights from €1,310 2+1, from €1,649 2+2, from €2,375 2+3, depart August 22. Call 0818 332500.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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

Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

  • Aug 10 Sunway’s 50th
  • Aug 28 Travel trade fun day
  • Aug 30 MSC Splendida in Dublin
  • Aug 31 MSC Splendida in Cork
  • Sept 1 Virgin Atlantic golf day
  • Sept 3-4 Air Waves, Portrush
  • Sept 6-8 Seatrade Europe, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Sept 7-9, PATA Travel Mart, Jakarta
  • Sept 13 Aer Lingus Los Angeles trade event
  • Sept 14-16 Travelmart Latin America, Iguassu Falls, Brazil
  • Sept 15 United cup@Carton
  • Sept 29-Oct 2 Top Resa, Paris
  • Sept 10-13 FITA, Santa Cruz
  • Sept 19-22, Adventure Travel World Summit, Anchorage
  • Sept 25-27 World Routes, Chengdu
  • Sept 26-30 Meetings & Incentive Forum, Madrid
  • Sept 28 Sunway 50th Birthday Media & Suppliers Lunch, TBA
  • Oct 11 Skal function, Herbert Park Hotel
  • Oct 21 NI Travel Trade Awards, Newcastle, Co Down
  • Oct 29-Nov 1 Skål World Congress, Monaco,
  • Nov 7-9 WTM London
  • Nov 8 Skal tour of Guinness Storehouse
  • Nov 10 Scottish Travel Trade Awards,
  • Nov 11-12 Travel centres conference, Mulingar
  • Nov 19 Worldchoice conference, Sealed, Co Wexford
  • Nov 19-21 CLIA rivercruise conference, Amsterdam
  • Nov 25 ITTN Awards
  • Nov 26-28 ITAA conference, Uniworld Antoinette
  • Nov 29-Dec 1 IBTM World, Barcelona
  • Dec 2 American airlines trade event
  • Dec 9 Star alliance event
  • Dec 13 Skal president’s lunch
  • Dec 16 The Travel Corporation event

2017

  • Jan 20-22 2017 Holiday World. Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast
  • Jan 25 2017 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin
  • Jan 27-29 2017 Holiday World, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
  • Feb 19-20 2017 Holiday Show in Association with Shannon Airport UL Limerick
  • Mar 22 2017 Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, Hall 3 RDS Main Hall Complex
  • June 3-7 2017 IPW (Pow Wow), Washington DC

2018

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

2019 – 2024

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

2019 – 2024

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

Previous editions of TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday supplement

Previous issues

June 2016: USA issue
May 2016: Canada issue
April 2016: Cruise issue
March 2016: Awards issue
February 2016: Holiday World issue
December/January 2015/16: Bridal issue
November 2015: Winter cruise issue
October 2015: Ski issue
September 2015: Accommodation issue