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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.

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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: Year of Mexico & Jamaica for Falcon

header january 10 2016

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

5 things you need to know about travel this week:

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

Travel Extra TV

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

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

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Trade

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

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

Sunway celebrates 50 years in business this year.

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

Hotels

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

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

International

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

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

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

Food & Wine

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

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

Aviation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United added two bundle options to its Economy Plus offering.

Avolon completed its merger agreement with Bohai Leasing.

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

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

Afloat

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

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

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ireland

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

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

Meitheal 2015

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

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

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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


Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

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

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

 

Oct 25Oct 18Oct 11Oct 4

Sept 27Sept 20Sept 13Sept 6

Aug 30Aug 23Aug 16Aug 9Aug 2

July 26July 19July 12July 5

June 28June 21June 14June 7

May 31May 24May 17May 10May 3

Apr 25Apr 18Apr 11Apr 4

Mar 29Mar 22Mar 15Mar 8Mar 1

Feb 22Feb 15Feb 8Feb 1

Jan 25Jan 18Jan 11Jan 4

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

header jan 3 2016

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

SEVEN things you need to know about travel this week:

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

Travel Extra TV

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

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

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Trade

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

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

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

Hotels

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

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

International

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

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

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

Food & Wine

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

Aviation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Virgin American announced a codeshare agreement with China Southern Airlines.

Afloat

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

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

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

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

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

Ireland

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

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

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

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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


Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

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

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

 

Oct 25Oct 18Oct 11Oct 4

Sept 27Sept 20Sept 13Sept 6

Aug 30Aug 23Aug 16Aug 9Aug 2

July 26July 19July 12July 5

June 28June 21June 14June 7

May 31May 24May 17May 10May 3

Apr 25Apr 18Apr 11Apr 4

Mar 29Mar 22Mar 15Mar 8Mar 1

Feb 22Feb 15Feb 8Feb 1

Jan 25Jan 18Jan 11Jan 4

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: First Euro 2016 packages go on sale

Val D’Isere

Val D’Isere

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

Nollaig Shona to all our readers

EIGHT things you need to know about travel this week:

  • Stein travel first to release Euro 2016 packages
  • Beat layover boredom with ballet
  • First stage of Val D’Isere’s game-changing development
  • Irish agents hits the slopes in Val Thorens
  • Alps ski season reduced to the sound of running water
  • Feliz Navidad from Spanish TB
  • The force was strong at Tourism Ireland’s annual review
  • New drone rules come into effect tomorrow

Travel Extra TV

video of the week december 20 2015Our video of the week shows you how to beat airport boredom — with ballet. Santa Barbara’s State Street Ballet troupe experienced a five-hour layover at Denver International Airport and decided to kill some time by performing on the airport’s walking escalators. Watch here.

  • Qatar Airways’ inaugural A350 flight from New York to Doha aborted take off after the jet’s on-board computers applied the brakes. The flight took off two hours later. Journalist Zach Honig captured the moment on video. Watch here.
  • The Spire lit up as a light saber to mark the opening of the new Star Wars movie. Watch here.
  • Irish backpacker Roger Ryan Skyped his parents from Australia — so they could watch him skydive. Watch here.
  • Qantas crew recall the strangest requests they’ve had on a flight. Watch here.
  • Star Wars stormtroppers take the Etihad Airways simulator challenge on a B787. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland looks at the Irish connection to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Watch here.
  • Highlights from the Drones Data X conference in Westport. Watch here.
  • See what an airline ramp agent sees every day. Watch here.
  • Shocking footage of a hotel guest crashing his pickup truck into a hotel reception circulated on the web this week. The man allegedly had an argument with hotel staff about his bill beforehand. Watch here.
  • Bombardier celebrate the delivery of the 1,000th Challenger 600 series aircraft. Watch here.
  • Trials cyclist Danny MacAskill bikes across the rooftops of Gran Canaria. Watch here.
  • See WestJet’s “Christmas miracle” promo. Watch here.
  • Best of Boeing 2015: Watch here.
  • The making of the first TAM Airlines A350 XWB. Watch here.
  • Three of the 30 winners of the Ryanair 30 Names competition visited the carrier’s London Stansted hanger to come face to face…with their face. Watch here.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

The first packages for Euro 2016 were released by David Slattery’s Euro 2016: €1989pps for three matches. The FAI will receive an allocation of 13,000 for Ireland’s first game against Sweden at the Stade de France, just 6,000 at the Stade de Bordeaux and 7,000 for the final fixture against Italy in Lille. Abbey Travel and Thomson Sport will have official ticket allocations from the FAi of ireland and Irish FA but other tour operators are planning excursions, including day trips, with most interest in Ireland’s opening match against Sweden.

Chalet company Skibeat hosted Travel Extra at La DailleLa Daille. Acquired by Topflight two years ago, Skibeat has a sizeable and loyal English clientele and employs two hosts per chalet – unlike competitor companies – an array of excellent cuisine, and the animated conversation each evening after dinner that characterises the chalet experience. Skibeat follows the Topflight training programme for its resort reps, and sees a higher satisfaction level as a result.

esfVal D’Isere has just seen the first stage of a game-changing development. Beginners can now take lessons up-mountain for the first time, atop the Solaise Express, where the famous button lift has been replaced by three magic carpets: Pim, Pam and Pum. The Solaise Express will be replaced next year in the next base of a €16m upgrade. Evolution 2000 have taken up the English speaking market with enthusiasm. ESF, which employs 368 of the 600 ski instructors in the resort, has also taken to winning back the English speaking market: They now have a programme of 68 fluent English speaking instructors and guides. “We were complacent about the English speakers, perhaps because we were so big,” Benjamin Dubois says. “Now we are determined to break down the prejudice against ESF.” See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

group val thorens meal

Definitely NOT a fam trip, a group of Irish agents skied Val Thorens this week. Picture shows the group at dinner in Tango Hotel, a property exclusive to Crystal Holidays. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

alpsSki conditions are under pressure across the Alps. A sprinkling of snow on Wednesday morning helped, but a warm westerly flow of Atlantic air that shows no sign of abating means that the excellent start to the season has been trimmed away to the sound of running water. All the skiing is on piste on softening snow and guided off-piste excursions have come to a halt, although a few fresh tracks could be found on Thursday in western Austria and eastern Switzerland at altitude. The Dolomiti Superski area in Italy is almost snowless. Scandinavia has seen some decent wintry weather. Bulgarian resorts opened yesterday. It has been an epic week for snowfall in California, Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Washington, where a metre of snow fell, but the east coast of USA and Canada are having the worst start to the season in recorded history.

Tourism Ireland End of Year Review-5Tourism Ireland held their annual review this week, marking the end of a year that saw 7.9m visitors come to Ireland, an 11pc YOY increase. Tourism Ireland reported growth in all markets and highlighted a 10pc growth in the British market. The first phase of Tourism Ireland’s marketing campaign for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was rolled out in 14 markets: Britain, USA, Canada, German, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Nordic region, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and the GCC. Activity includes: a separate page on ireland.com; social media campaigns; and a major PR push. Fáilte Ireland’s domestic ad for the Wild Atlantic Way will be shown before Star Wars screenings in Ireland (watch here). Picture shows Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe and Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons.

las vegas stripLas Vegas Strip beat the Guinness Storehouse to the title of the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards in Morocco. Etihad Airways won the airline award and Changi Singapore the airport award. There was recent controversey about the awards when ICC Berlin, which closed on March 9, 2014 and is to be converted into a centre for Syrian refugees to Germany was named “Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre?

Travel Trade

spanish tb eventSpanish Tourist Board held their Christmas function with the trade. Picture shows Chris Logan of TUI Ireland, Gonzalo Ceballos of Spanish Tourist Board and Bettina Haltmayor of Click and Go. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

skal peace certificatePicture shoes Cassie De Pecca from IIPT Expedition 196 being presented with a declaration of peach certificate by Skal Dublin president Daragh O’Neill.

Travelport updated Smartpoint with integrated SeatGuru, which allows travellers to choose airline seats and in-flight amenities, and an improved hotel search function.

tara towersHotels

Dalata agreed to buy the Tara Towers hotel on Merrion Road for €13.2m.

Lucius Farrell appointed Deputy General Manager at Carton House

The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Limerick announced its ELITE team training programme for 2016.

ihg le grandIntercontinental Hotels Group opened the International Bordeaux-Le Grand Hotel.

Hilton Worldwide opened a hotel at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. Hilton Hotels & Resorts opened the Hilton Bournemouth.

Starwood CEO Adam Aron stepped down. The hotel company’s CFO, Thomas Mangas, will take over as chief executive on December 31.

DoubleTree by Hilton debuted in Colombia with the opening of the DoubleTree by Hilton Bogotá-Parque 93.

Crisiano Ronaldo is to invest €37m in Pestana hotel group to create four hotels with the CR7 logo in Portugal, Madrid and New York.

Indian five-star brand The Park Hotels took ownership of its first international property, The Sahara Palace, Marrakech.

International

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walt disney securityWalt Disney World, Florida installed metal detectors and banned toy guns and costumes for over 14s after a visitor tried to bring a gun into the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World last weekend.

The Ryder Cup is going to Italy. The next four Ryder cup venues are Hazeltine, Minnesota (2016), Le National, Versailles (2018), Whistling Straits, Wisconsin (2020) and Marco Simone, Rome (2022).

The US updated its terror alert system on Wednesday, unveiling a new “bulletin” category.

A museum dedicated to Johann Strauss opened in Vienna.

Chanel is to open a second boutique at London Heathrow.

jackie morieTheatre in Paris launched augmented reality glasses that translate musicals and plays for tourists that don’t speak French. Travel Extra’s Conor McMahon interviewed Jacki Ford Morie of The Augmented Traveller about the potential the technology has for tourism. Read here.

The tourism council of Bhutan announced the launch of a helicopter transfer service from Paro International Airport.

Irish based concierge provider Emerald VIP Services will offer services in Thailand.

Innsbruck became an ArrivalGuides destination partner.

The Moscow City news agency reported that Russian travel company Megapolis Kurort plans to launch holiday tours to Syria in 2016.

Food & Wine

burren food trail edenThe Burren Food Trail represented Ireland at a showcase exhibition of the EDEN 2015 winners in Brussels. Picture shows representatives from Burren Food Trail with Tina O’Dwyer and Donal Minihane.

Aviation

ralph james iaaRules for drones come into force tomorrow (December 21), meaning drones weighing 1kg or more will have to be registered with the Irish Aviation Authority. Registration is free until February, when a €5 fee is introduced by the IAA. Picture shows Ralph James of the IAA.

Dublin Airport PassengersThe Irish Aviation Authority said it will handle more than 1.02m flights by year-end, up 5.3pc YOY. Last month, commercial terminal flights at Dublin Airport were up 9.8pc with an average of 491 daily movements, Cork down 1.3pc with an average of 44 daily movements, and Shannon down 9.2pc with an average of 43 daily movements.

DAA estimates that 925,000 passengers will travel through the Dublin Airport up to January 1, an increase of 18pc compared to last year.

More than 2,200 children and adults met Santa on board the annual Santa Flights programme at Shannon Airport.

pre clearance one millionUS Customers and Border Protection at Dublin Airport recorded its one millionth passenger this year: Philamena Linton from Malahide, who passed through pre-clearance this week before boarding a Delta flight to New York. Picture shows Philamena with port director Tish Lagerwey and Dublin Airport MD Vincent Harrison.

Courage (be brave), said a staff member to the lady at the desk admitting passengers to the 1 hour 40 minute security queue at Lyon airport. She needed to be. The queues were extraordinarily long and caused EI153 to leave 40 minutes late.

The United States and Cuba have reached an understanding on restoring regularly scheduled commercial flights

Firefighters at Fuzhou Airport delayed 30 flights after they accidentally sprayed the wrong aircraft with foam when an Air China B737-800 reported problems with one of its engines.

As always, Dublin Airport warned passengers not to wrap Christmas presents carried as hand luggage as they travel through the airport this week.

cityjet excelCityJet announced a two-year commercial partnership with ExCeL London convention and exhibition centre. CityJet placed an option to take delivery of six Sukhoi Superjet aircraft. The were rumours that the carrier is to be sold in an ongoing deal.

RJ85CityJet intends to renew its five RJ85s on contract with Air France, which expires at the end of 2017, and the carrier is rumoured to increase services from Dublin and Cork to Italy and Scandinavia.

qatar new jetQatar Airways’ private jet division, Qatar Executive, took delivery of its first G650ER jet.

Qatar will roll out on-board Wi-Fi across its fleet in a three-year deal with Ooredoo, free for the first 15 minutes, then  $5 for one hour, $10 for three hours or $20 for the entire flight. Qatar became the latest airline to ban hover boards.

Michael O’Leary confirmed that Ryanair plans to return to Belfast with a “large base”.

delta pyjamasDelta introduced pyjamas for business class passengers flying from LA to Sydney and Shanghai.

The air travel accord between the USA and Cuba will allow for up to 110 daily round-trip flights.

Virgin America ordered ten A321 Neo jets.

A Southwest Airlines jet skidded off the taxiway at Nashville Airport, injuring eight passengers.

Tracey Curtis Taylor is flying Spirit of Artemis, a 1942 Boeing Stearman, from England to Australia, and arrived in Singapore this week from Malaysia, marking the half-way mark of the Southeast Asia leg of her journey.

The Times of India reported a fatal incident at Mumbai Airport in which an Air India technician was sucked into an aircraft engine.

BA updated its iPhone app to include a reward flight finder that allows passengers to find flights that can be book using Avios points.

The Irish Times reported that a Ryanair passenger who was scalded after a hot cup of tea landed in his lap during a flight was awarded a €38,000 payout.

ASL Aviation is raising €100m from two banks to fund expansion.

Afloat

crystal-serenityCrystal Cruises will base Crystal Serenity in Norther American for more of 2017, with itineraries to Alaska, Canada/New England, the Caribbean and the USA’s coasts.

Norwegian Cruise Line announced its summer 2017 deployment, including three Alaska itineraries, Bermuda, Bahamas and Florida cruises from New York City, Boston to Bermuda sailings, Canada and New England cruises, and three- and four-night all inclusive cruises from Miami to the Bahamas.

Costa Cruises is to introduce its first humanoid robot in Q1 2016 on the Costa Diadema and AIDAprima. The robots are multi-lingual and claim to be capable of recognising human emotions.

MSC Cruises confirmed that it plans to develop a private marine reserve island in the Bahamas.

seabourn shipSeabourn’s ship Encore will include a sushi restaurant, redesigned public spaces and 300 works of art when she launches in 2016.

Princess Cruises’s Emerald Princess is undergoing an extensive refit ahead of its 2016 sailing, adding two dining venues and cabin upgrades.

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

travel dept deal watchTravel Department is offering 7 nights half board Poiano Resort, Lake Garda from €859pp for a family of two adults and two children incl. flights, transfers and day excursion to the Gardaland Amusement Park, depart March 23 2016. Call 01 637 1600.

Stein Travel Euro 2016 packages: 3 match package covering Ireland’s group games, June 13 to 23, from €1,989pps. 2 match package covering the first two games against Sweden and Belgium, June 13 to 18, from €1,499pps. 2 match package covering the second and third game against Belgium and Italy, June 17 to 23, from €1,499pps. 2 day package with the second game against Belgium, June 17 to 19, from €799pps. Day return for the first game against Sweden, June 13, from €449 + €70 tax. Stein Travel will be laying on coaches to meet Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights in the days before and after each of the group matches. Visit steintravel.ie.

Celtic Horizon Tours is offering 1 night package ex Wexford to see Manchester Utd v Sheffield Utd at Old Trafford from €129 per adult and €109 per child incl. coach, ferry and match ticket, depart January 9 2016. €14 coach supplement pps for collection outside Dublin  Call 01 629 2000.

thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights self catering Coma Gran, Sa Coma, Majorca from €1,569 2+1, and from €2,049 2+2, depart June 8 2016. 7 nights all inclusive Club Sirens Aura, Ibiza from €2,189 2+1, and from €2,769 2+2, depart June 9 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Club Hotel Riu Tequila, Playacar, Cancun from €1,719pps, depart June 20 2016. 7 nights self catering Caybeach Princess Bungalows, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €439pps, depart February 13 2016. 7 nights half board Catalonia Oro Negro, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €439pps, depart February 5 2016. 7 nights half board Coronas Playa Hotel, Playa De Los Pocillos, Lanzarote from €449pps, depart January 24 2016. 7 nights full board 4* Treasures of the Mediterranean cruise on Thomson Majesty from €1,119pps, upgrade to all inclusive for €10pppn, depart May 24 2016. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1800 927 404.

falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* SuneoClub Thalassa Hotel, Lambi, Kos from €1,739 2+1, and from €2,619 2+2, depart May 21 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Dunas Mirador, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €499pp, depart January 9 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantic, San Agustin, Gran Canaria from €529pp, depart January 16 2016. 7 nights self catering 3* Tamaimo Tropical, Puerto De Santiago, Tenerife from €329pp, depart February 12 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,619pp, depart July 10 2016. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 858 229.

Falcon #NRG offers for 18 to 30-year-olds: 7 nights B&B 4* Ionis Art Hotel, Laganas, Zakinthos from €429pp, depart May 24 2016. 7 nights self catering 2* Odyssueus, Kavos, Corfu from €399pp, depart May 27 2016. 7 nights self catering 2* Deya, Santa Ponsa, Majorca from €329pp, depart June 19 2016. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 858 229.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 4* 987 Barcelona Hotel from €199pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel January 2016. 7 nights self catering 4* Rosa del Mar Aparthotel, Palma Nova, Majorca from €299pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in April 2016. 7 nights 4* Riu Flamingo Aparthotel, Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria from €439pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in February 2016. 7 nights self catering 4* Costa Sal Aparthotel, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote from €479pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel in January 2016. Visit clickandgo.com.

Tour America offers: 11 nights cruise on Norwegian Epic from €885pp incl. return flights, meals and entertainment on board, depart January 13 2016. 11 nights Orlando and Caribbean cruise from €1,109pp incl. return flights, 4 nights Orlando and 7 nights on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, all inclusive on board, gratuities and car hire for port transfers, depart February 3 2016. 7 nights all inclusive Riu Cancun, Mexico from €1,599pp, depart March 5 2016. 7 nights Sugar Cane Resort, Barbados from €1,599pp, depart March 4 2016. Visit touramerica.ie.

Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights Arabian Gulf cruise on Splendour of the Seas from €1,085pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, depart February 8 2016. 7 nights Western Mediterranean cruise on Harmony of the Seas from €1,589pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, depart August 14 2016. 7 night Greek Isles cruise on Vision of the Seas from €1,255pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and selected drinks and gratuities, depart May 7 2016. 7 nights Western Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas from €1,409pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and selected drinks and gratuities, depart September 11 2016. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Classic Resorts offers: 10 nights B&B in 4* hotels, Thailand from €1,335pps incl. taxes, 3 nights Bangkok and 7 nights Koh Samui, travel May 2016. 7 nights B&B 5* Long Beach, Mauritius from €1,349pps incl. taxes, travel May 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Sandals Barbados from €2,669pps incl. taxes, travel between May and June 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Moon Palace Jamaica from €2,629pps incl. taxes, travel May 2016. 10 nights in 4* hotels, Maldives and Dubai from €2,455pps incl. taxes, 7 nights Maldives and 3 nights Dubai, travel May 2016. Visit classicresorts.ie or call 0818 332 515.

Lowcostbeds Santa Ponsa offers for families, based on 7 nights, 2+2, self catering, depart June 25 2016:  4* Pirates Village Hotel from €29pppn. 3* Jutlandia family resort from €26pppn. Vista Club family resort from €17pppn. 3* Ola Bouganvilla from €14pppn. Visit lowcostbeds.com.

Topflight New Year ski offers, depart December 26, price includes return flights, return transfers, taxes and Topflight resort rep service: 7 nights self catering 3* Residence La Riviere, Chamonix from €419pps. 7 nights B&B 3* Pension Hochwimmer, Zell, Austria from €499pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Pension Siegelerhof, Mayrhofen, Austria from €599pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Manzano Apartments, Pas de la Casa, Andorra from €599pp. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

ITAA offers: 6 nights in a 2 bedroom Bali mobile home, Disneyland Paris from €1,280 2+2 incl. return ferry and 2 day park passes, depart March 25 2016. 7 nights all inclusive river cruise on the Danube from €2,856pp incl. flights, all gratuities, airport transfers and onshore excursions, depart April 3 2016. 10 nights in a 2 bedroom mobile home with decking, Brittany from €1,685 for two adults and three children incl. return ferry, depart June 15 2016. Visit itaa.ie/offers.

Celtic Horizons offers: 1 night B&B Man Utd v Swansea City package from €199pp incl. coach and ferry, accommodation in The Holiday Inn Express Manchester Airport and match ticket, depart January 2 2016. 2 nights B&B Aintree package from €299pp incl. coach and ferry, transfers, entrance into the Tattersalls enclosure at Aintree Racecourse and accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express Leigh, depart April 8 2016. 2 nights B&B Strictly Come Dancing the Live Show package from €319pp incl. return coach and ferry, accommodation at the Express by Holiday Inn Manchester Airport, coach transfers, half day visit to the Trafford Centre, had day visit to Cheshire Oaks and tickets for Strictly Come Dancing, depart January 30 2016. Call 01 629 2000.

irish open deal watchBA launched its World Sale: Las Vegas from €779, Miami from €724, New York from €679, Johannesburg from €182, Kuala Lumpur from €215, and Barbados from €320. See your GDS for more.

Tickets for the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at the K Club, May 19 to 22, are available for €30 per day or €70 for season ticket. Book here.

Ireland

ancient eastMinister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring announced €1m in additional phase funding for capital projects in Ireland’s Ancient East, made available through Fáilte Ireland’s New Ideas in Ancient Spaces grants scheme. The funding has been awarded to Laois Heritage Trails; Ros Tapestry, New Ross; The Clockgate Tower, Youghal; The Norma Way, Co Wexford; The Butler Trail, Co Tipperary; The Lifetime Lab, Cork City; Celtic Tree Experience, Co Carlow; Castle Saunderson, Co Cavan; Louth Adventures; Ireland’s Ancient Eats, Co Meath; Glaslough Heritage Trail, Co Monaghan; and 3D Viking Experience, Waterford City.

Dubline-panels-smallTwelve Interpretive Panels were officially launched along the Dubline walking trail by An tArdmhéara, Críona Ní Dhálaigh, and the Minister for Tourism, Paschal Donohoe.

TOURISM IRELAND AND VISITBRITAIN WIN GOLD FOR TOURISM CAMPAIGN IN THE MIDDLE EASTTourism Ireland and VisitBritain won an award at the Middle East PR awards in Dubai for their One Break, Two Cities campaign. Picture shows Sarah White of Tourism Ireland, Yasmine Rashed of VisitBritain and Niamh Walsh of Tourism Ireland accepting the award.

The London Telegraph included The Simpsons’ visit to Ireland in a countdown of the top 10 holiday episodes.

Ireland was named best European destination at the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.

TOP FRENCH TRAVEL WRITERS ‘IN STEP’ WITH BELFASTFrench lifestyle and travel journalists visited N Ireland this weekend as guests of Tourism Ireland and Irish dancing production Irish Celtic Connections, which will tour France. Picture shows the group with Caoimhe Ní Mhuilleoir of Tourism Ireland at Titanic Belfast.

TOURISM IRELAND SCOOPS TOP MARKETING AWARD FOR GAME OF THRONES CAMPAIGNTourism Ireland won an award for its Game of Thrones campaign at the International Content Marketing Awards in London. Picture shows Alex Buckland of Publicis with Brian Twomey of Tourism Ireland.

Dublin Bikes saw the number of journeys increase 77pc in 2014.

BRITISH WALKING ENTHUSIASTS READ ALL ABOUT KERRY IN POPULAR MAGAZINEAran Island Ferries, which operates the sole ferry service connecting Ireland’s mainland to Inis Mór, confirmed that it will cease the service from January 16 2016.

A six-page feature on walking in Kerry features in the January edition of English walking magazine, Trail.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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


Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2016

Jan 8-13 Vakantiebeurs, Utrecht

Jan 14-16 Florida Huddle, Fort Lauderdale.

Jan 15-18 MATKA, Helsinki

Jan 16-18 Holiday World, Belfast

Jan 22 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin

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

Jan 23-25 Holiday World, Dublin

Jan 28-Feb 1 FITUR, Madrid

Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi

Jan 29-Feb 1 Destinations, Olympia, London

Feb 10-13
Go West Summit, Colorado Springs

Feb 10-11
Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv

Feb 12-14 BIT, Milan

Feb Utazas, Budapest

Feb 23-24 IHF Conference, Ballyconnell

Feb 25-Mar 1 BTL, LIsbon

Mar 4-6 ITB, Berlin

Mar 6-8 Guangzhou International Travel Fair

Mar 9-12 Cruise shipping Miami

Mar 16-18 GIBTM, Abu Dhabi

Mar 18-21 MITT, Moscow

Mar 19-22 Tur, Gothenburg

Mar 24-27 Tianguis Turistico, Acapulco

Mar 27-28 Skål National Convention Ireland, Cork

Mar 31-Apr 1 Rendez Vous France, Paris

Apr Meitheal, Dublin

Apr 12-18 Mountain Travel Symposium, Whistler

Apr 14-16 COTTM Beijing

Apr 15-16 WTTC Global Summit, Madrid

Apr 15-17 WTM Africa, Capetown

Apr 21-22 Social Travel Summit, Hamburg

Apr 22-23 Visit Scotland Expo, Aberdeen

Apr 22-24 WTM South America, Sao Paolo

Apr 24-25 ITAA AGM & Exhibition, Citywest

Apr 26-28 Germany Travel Market, Erfurt and Weimar 

Apr 27-30 ATM, Dubai

May 5-7 Fitcuba, Jardines del Rey.

May 7 Bookabed cork –

May 6 andalucia golf powers court –

May 9-12 World Travel Fair Shanghai

May 9-11 Indaba, Durban

May 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt

May 20-27 Trenz New Zealand, Wellington

May 26-29 Rendez-vous Canada, Niagara Falls

May 30-June 3 2015 IPW 2015 Orlando

June 3-5 TTM Plus, Bangkok

June 15-21 Paris Air show

June 21-24 ATE, Melbourne

Sept Travelmart S America, TBA

Sept PATA Travel Mart, TBA

Sept Top Resa 2015, Paris

Sept FITA Mexico City

Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Namibia

Oct 18-23 Skål World Congress, Kenya coast

Nov 2-5 WTM 2015, London

Nov 17-19 EIBTM 2015, Barcelona

Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte

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

Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte

Nov 30-Dec 3 International Luxury Travel Market Cannes

Dec 4-5 Travel Centres Conference, Lyrath Hotel

Dec 10 World Tourism Forum Mediterranean meeting Belek

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

2017

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

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

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

2018

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

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

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

2019 – 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Turkey & Russia’s Tourism War, a View From the Front

Maxx Royal resort in Belek, venue for the World Travel Forum, Antalya

Maxx Royal resort in Belek, venue for the World Travel Forum, Antalya

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

SEVEN things you need to know about travel this week:

  • Martin Skelly speaks at the World Tourism Forum
  • The Travel Corporation celebrates its fifth birthday
  • Meet the man who lives in a Boeing 727
  • Star Alliance hosts agents at their Christmas event
  • Construction of Silver Muse gets under way
  • Turkish Airlines hosts travel media
  • CSO: 6.6m overseas visitors to Ireland in first nine months

Travel Extra TV

video of the week dec 13 2015Video of the week: Meet Bruce Campbell, the man who lives in a B727. Watch here.

  • Storm Desmond caused the Kinder Downfall waterfall in England’s Peak District to flow upwards. Watch here. The same thing happened at Gásadalu, Faroe Islands. Watch here. Meanwhile at home, kayakers took advantage of the rushing waters at River Inagh in Ennistymon. Watch here.
  • See the SkyDeck, a bubble pod that would give passengers a 360-degree view from 35,000ft. Watch here.
  • Ryanair’s typically cheeky promo for Euro 2016 flights. Watch here.
  • An orangutang rolls around laughing after seeing a magic trick. Watch here.
  • A lobster’s journey on Emirates SkyCargo. Watch here.
  • Momotombo volcano in Nicarangua erupted for the first time in a century. Watch here.
  • Qatar flies its A350 from Doha to New York City. Watch here. The carrier will operate a second daily Doha-NYC flight in April 2016.
  • Highlights from the London Heathrow Business Summit. Watch here.
  • Boeing looks at the history of aviation safety. Watch here.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

One travel agent summarised the Euro 2016 draw as “not the best scenario from many points of view.” A campsite in the Loire Valley is a tempting option for the rather spreadeagled Irish soccer team’s Euro 2016 fixtures, in Paris (150km east, June 13 v Sweden), Bordeaux (350km south, June 18 v Belgium) and Lille (350km north, June 22 v Italy). Winner of the mystic meg award for the championship goes to the Belfast based travel agent who booked (and took deposits on) 10 hotel rooms in Lyon in advance of last night’s draw. The north’s fixtures are neatly choreographed at Nice (June 12 v Poland), Lyon (June 16 v Ukraine) and Paris (June 21 v Germany). A Munster agent blocked some rooms in Bordeaux. Irish fans can expect to be accommodated some distance out of the city centres and stadium zones of the cities, and day trips are being planned by some agents. Abbey Travel (FA of Ireland) and Thomson Sports (Irish FA) are the official ticket resellers, but it is not clear what will happen ticket allocations with other agencies.

martin skelly speaks_9725ITAA president Martin Skelly and Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry were among the speakers at the World Tourism Forum, hosted in the exquisite Maxx Royal resort in Belek near Antalya. Delegates described that one of the highlights of the conference was Martin Skelly’s illustrated 11-minute presentation (without notes) on the collapse of the charter market in Ireland as a result of the country’s role as a pioneer of low cost aviation, and how travel agents had reacted by developing new relationships with destination management companies and bedbanks. He quoted Ryanair’s 20pc target market share and its knock-on implications in markets like Turkey, where 90pc of existing German business comes through tour operators (Ryanair does not currently operate to Turkey). During the panel discussions Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry, who was monitoring the forum, raised the impact of tit-for-tat visa restrictions to be imposed by Turkey and Russia on January 1 in the aftermath of the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkish forces. The 55,000 bed Belek region depends on Russia for 23pc of its business. Regional director of Hilton Hotels Michael Collini said he expected events to have no long term impact on the expedential growth hoteliers are expecting in the region. Mehmet Ersoy of the Voyage Hotels group said that the question was why the region had allowed itself to become so dependent on the Russian market and said that other regions, including other Russian speaking markets, would fill the gap. Picture shows Martin Skelly speaking at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

dominnic burke conference_9439The Travel Corporation hosted the trade at a fifth birthday event in the Residence Bar in Dublin at a lunch event that extended into the late hours, and, after a relocation, until the early hours (2.30am). Sharon Jordan explained the concept behind Luxury Gold, launched by Insight earlier this year, the brainchild of the Tollman family who founded The ttc team_9818Travel Corporation. They wanted to come with something extra special, the best hotel, Michelin Star restaurants it is niche on top of niche, clients who have money to spend and want to something different. Iceland and the Balkans are new venues for the Contiki in 2016, where advance sales are already 25pc ahead of last year. Uniworld trebled their river cruise sales in the Irish market in 2015 and have an array of tempting two for one offers on the marketplace for travel agent clients. Eilish Wall of Ashford Castle, in a stunning Umit Kutluk dress from the hotel boutique, outlined Ashford’s accolades including the best hotel award from Virtuoso (listen here). Richard Cullen interjected with a personal experience for his family and their dog and Sharon Jordan reminded the trade to remember Red Carnation’s London hotels in their bookings, and paid tribute to the late Rory McDyer. Picture shows the TTC team. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

alan sparling speaks_9926Star Alliance hosted 44 agents at their Christmas event in the Shelbourne Hotel. Alan Sparling reminded guests that SAS will be 50 years in Dublin next year and outlined the expansion across the airlines in the group, Air Canada, Ethiopian, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss, Turkish and United (there are 27 in all): Star Alliance offers more connectivity from Dublin than ever before. Some people think only a handful of airlines fly to and from Dublin. (listen here). Picture shows Alan Sparling speaking at the event. Listen here to Alan Sparling. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

team turkishTurkish Airlines hosted travel media at Keshk café and restaurant. Picture shows Onur Gul, Patrick McKinnney, Fusun Ilkay, Ann Marie Dalton and Murat Balandi, all Turkish Airlines. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

silver museThe construction of Silver Muse got under way in Genoa with the traditional keel-laying ceremony at Fincantieri shipyard. The line welded eight lucky coins (instead of the usual one) into the keel of the 596-passenger, each coin representing the seven continents that Silversea ships sail to, along with a specially designed Silver Muse coin. Silversea’s CEO Enzo Visone told guests the ship would feature an “unprecedented variety” of dining options, and its design would encourage passengers to enjoy “open air” cruising. Silver Muse launches April 2017, bringing the Silversea fleet to nine. Muse will sail throughout Europe, Canada, North and South America and the Caribbean, taking in more than 130 destinations in 36 countries.

CSO tourism figures show that there were 6.6m overseas visitors to Ireland in the first nine months of 2015, up 12pc YOY. Total earnings during this period was up 16pc to €4.38bn. Visitors from Britain up 11pc, Europe up 14pc, USA up 13pc and other long haul up 9pc.

Travel Trade

ITAA ad

jeffPeter Dolan’s Limerick based Creation Travel has been purchased by Jeff Collins and added to his fast growing Best4travel empire. Picture shows Peter and Jeff.

rebecca and alyshaTravelling to the the Travel Centres conference at Lyrath at the weekend during Storm Desmond put the travel community to the pinnacle of their organisational skills. Ben Bouldin of Royal caribbean took three attempts to get there before he successuflly landed in Dublin and made his way to Kilkenny. Martin Penrose of Ifonly faced an arduous task in navigating his way through the floods of a country road in west Wicklow. John Keogh of Aer Lingus came to the rescue of the band, who appeared ot have beet stranded in Luton before he moved to save the evening for the 76-member consortium. Picture shows Rebecca Kelly and Alysha Bartlett of MSC getting into the spirt of things at the workshops. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

pamela award_9493Picture shows Pamela Brownlee of Flyaway Travel with the award for best use of social media at Travel Centres conference.

Helena Sweeney and Enda Corneille at the Emriates event for the trade in Cork, December 3 2015

Enda Corneille of Emirates hosted the trade in Cork and in Dublin at separate events where he hailed the success of their double daily operation which is selling 22,000 seats a month, is carrying 50 tonnes of cargo a day and has carried 1m passengers since its launch four years ago (listen here) and hilariously described the airline’s role in bringing thoroughbred horses out to Dubai (listen here).

Beatrice Cosgrove of Etihad hosted the trade in Belfast on Thursday.

Holiday World ShowCuba will exhibit at the 2016 Dublin Holiday World Show at the RDS Simmonscourt. New exhibitors at the Central European Countries Pavilion include: Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.

Amadeus reported an 85pc increase in ancillary revenue through online travel agencies during the first three quarters of 2015.

Travel Professionals Skillnet training: Content creation for travel social media managers, ITAA Westmoreland Street, this Tuesday (December 15), 9.30am-1.30pm, costs €70, book here.

Skal requested members to contribute to a member’s benefit booklet when they renew their membership for 2016. Skal members are asked to include a discount or offer for their own business in the booklet, and email a form, logo and business image to skalireland@gmail.com by December 22.

Travelport extended its full content agreement with Kenya Airways.

Hotels

trivagoAccording to Trivago’s hotel price index for December, hotel prices in Dublin are up 23pc YOY with the average of €132, but down 9pc compared to last month. Prices across Ireland increased 1pc compared to last year to an average of €98.

  • U2’s Clarence hotel recorded profits of €400,000 last year. The four-star hotel was booked out for the week the band played the 3Arena.
  • The Gibson Hotel appointed graffiti artist James Early as its third artist in residence.
  • Accor is to buy FRHI Holdings, parent of hotel groups Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel, for $2.9bn.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton is rolling out a premium perks option in the Americas called the Little Extras Upgrade, offering premium in-room WI-Fi, snacks, beverages and an in-room coffee brewed for a nominal extra fee. Costs from $25pp.
  • Leeny Kelly Oberg, former chief financial officer for Ritz-Carlton, was appointed CFO for Marriott International.

International

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

aribnb officeA self-published study by Airbnb claimed that it contributed €202m and 2,020 jobs to the Irish economy in a year.

  • Hailo taxi booking app hit 10m journeys in Ireland.
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 7 2016.
  • FC Barcelona Legends visited Uganda on a five-day tourism campaign and played an exhibition match with the Uganda Stars.
  • A waxwork of Grumpy Cat was unveiled at Madame Tussauds San Franscisco. It’s a miaowsterpiece, Travel Extra’s frolicsome feline Clinger Corry repurrts.

Food & Wine

Cyril McAree reported that The Limerick Strand’s Christmas Day dinner has been booked out since the end of October.

Aviation

DC 07/12/2015 - REPRO FREE FREE PIC

Aer Lingus Regional will recommence its Shannon-Edinburgh service from March 28 2016, flying 6w. It will also base a third aircraft at Cork Airport, flying direct to Southampton and Leeds Bradford next year.

Air France will retire its B747-400s on January 14 with a two-hour tribute flight over France from CDG, which includes a champagne lunch, inflight commentary and a visit to the maintenance hangar and a drink at the foot of the aircraft.

london city airportBritish Airways is introducing “standardised” check-in and bag drop closure times at airports. Short-haul passengers have to check-in and drop-off their bags up to 45 minutes before departure. Long-haul passengers must check-in and drop-off their bags up to an hour before departure. London City Airport is not included, so passengers can still arrive up to 20 minutes prior to departure.

Keith Butler is new Chief Commercial Officer of Aer Lingus having been Chief Strategy and Planning Officer.

New drone legislation and registration process which will come into effect from December 21.

 

john sisson speaking_2938 copyJohn Sisson of Dublin Airport spoke at the Airport Council International Europe and Asia- Pacific, Exchange Conference in Istanbul.

Aer Lingus’s early morning 07.50 JFK flight is back on the schedule for for June, July and August

Shannon Airport handled 101,000 passengers last month, up 4pc YOY.

turkish airlines cadetAtlantic Flight Training Academy in Cork Airport signed a contact with Turkish Airlines to train its cadet pilots. Training has begun for the first class of 20 cadets for the airline.

Aer Lingus and BA expanded their codeshare agreement to the US, including all flights to and from London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Dublin and Shannon.

american rpemium economy PE_SeatAmerican Airlines will introduce premium economy to its international widebody fleet when its B787-9 is delivered in late 2016 and to all 777-300ERs, 777-200ERs, 787-8s and Airbus A330s over the next three years.

Airbus reported net orders of 1,007 aircraft up to November 2015, with 169 aircraft sold last month. The Airbus plant in China is to assemble its first A330 for delivery to an unnamed customer in September 2017.

Zodiac Aerospace’s new patented design turns the underused cargo area of a jet into a space for extra seats.

going placesQatar Airways launched its global marketing campaign, under the tagline ‘Going Places Together’.

The English advertising standards agency said London’s Heathrow Express cannot claim it runs every 15 minutes after a customer complained that the frequency drops to every 30 minutes later in the day.

SWISS business class passengers will be served dishes from 5* Alpina Gstaad Hotel, Michelin starred Sommet restaurant and Megu Japanese restaurant of flights from now until March 1 2016.

Lots of coverage of the English tourist who tried to board a Qatar Airways flight with a toy bomb.

Turkish Airlines is one of UEFA Euro 2016’s partner airlines.

BA will add 3D surround sound for films on long haul flights.

United Airlines will reintroduce complimentary snacks in economy class on North and Latin American routes from February 2016.

Boeing debuted the B737 MAX 8.

Etihad announced a partnership with private jet charter company Victor to offer a service to Residence and First Class passengers.

Ryanair says it will carry 5m passengers over the Christmas period.

CityJet reduced its pretax losses to €30.5m in 2014.

Boeing recorded 569 net orders up to December 2.

AWAS delivered the first of four planned A320s to VivaAerobus, and expanded its agreement with Vietjet with the lease of two A320s to be delivered in 2016.

Ethiopian Airlines ordered two B787-9s for delivery in 2017.

BA banned hover boards from its flights, flagging the lithium-ion batter as a fire hazard. American Airlines, Delta and United no longer accept hover boards as checked or carry-on luggage.

Afloat

Herbie Hancock will headline the Cunard Blue Note jazz cruise on Queen Mary2’s 8-night transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York on August 1 2016.

P&O Cruises Britannia.P&O Cruises added nine food heroes sailings to its 2016 programme, with Michelin-star chef Atul Kochhar, wine expert Olly Smith, TV chef James Martin, master patissier Eric Lanlard and cheese specialist Charlie Turnball added to the line-up. P&O now offers 24 culinary cruises.

Cunard will replace the Todd English dining restaurant on Queen Mary 2 with the Verandah Restaurant.

irish travel industry trade show banner

Deal Watch

falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights self catering 2* Lagunas Hotel, Zante from €489pps, depart June 21 2016. 7 nights self catering 2* Mika Apartments, Hersonnisos, Crete from €439pps, depart June 19 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 3* Holiday Inn Sunspree, Jamaica from €1,589pps, depart June 20 2016. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway Club Med all inclusive offers: 7 nights Wengen, Switzerland from €1,929pp, depart March 27 2016. 7 nights all inclusive Val Thorens Sensations, France from €1,976pp, depart April 24 2016. 7 nights Pragelato, Italy from €2,049pp, depart April 3 2016. Visit sunway.ie/clubmed or call 01 236 6800. Morocco Christmas offers, depart December 19: Flight only from €249pp. 7 nights self catering 2* Tilila Studio from €299pp. 7 nights self catering 3* Intouriste Apartments from €329pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Tildi Hotel from €359pp. 7 nights B&B 3* Oasis Hotel from €449pp. 7 nights B&B 3*  Argana Hotel from €449pp incl. Christmas gala dinner. 7 nights B&B 4* Agadir Beach Club from €549pp incl. Christmas gala dinner. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Founty Beach Hotel from €619pp incl. Christmas gala dinner. 7 nights half board Paradis Plage Surf Yoga from €929pp. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

Sunway honeymoon 2016 offers: 7 nights 3* Butterfly Beach Hotel, Barbados from €1,219pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Coco Palm Hotel, St Lucia from €1,425pp. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Dreams Punta Cana Resort, Dominican Republic from €1,425pp. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Dreams Puerto Aventuras, Cancun from €1,445pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Reethi Beach Resort, Maldives from €1,399pp. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive 5* Blue Lagoon Village, Kos from €2,469 2+1, and from €3,389 2+2, depart June 17 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Club Hotel Riu Tequila, Playacar, Cancun from €1,869pp, depart July 18 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Riu Arecas Hotel, Costa Adeje, Tenerife from €649pp, depart December 19. 7 nights full board Mediterranean Medley cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €949pp (upgrade to all inclusive for €10pppn), depart May 17 2016. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Copper Face Jacks and Topflight are hitting the slopes in Andorra on a group ski trip, departing February 28. Tickets from €889pp. Visit copperfacejacksskitrip.com.

Click and Go offers: 2 nights 4* Arena Hotel, Amsterdam from €169pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in January 2016. 3 nights B&B 3* Delle Province Hotel, Rome from €189pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in January. 7 nights self catering 4* Estrela do Vau Aparthotel, Praia do Vau, the Algarve from €309pp incl. return flights, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in May 2016. 7 nights 5* Senator Banus Spa Hotel, Estepona, Costa del Sol from €439pp incl. return flights, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in May 2016. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

Travel Department river cruise offers: 8 nights full board River Seine and Normandy cruise on board MS Amadeus Diamond from €1,599pp incl. return flights, transfer and pre cruise hotel stay, travel on various dates between March and October 2016. 6 nights full board Danube Highlights cruise with Munich on board MS Amadeus Royal from €1,299pp incl. return flights, transfers and 4* pre and post cruise stays, depart March 31 2016 or June 25 2016. 5 nights full board Danube Taster cruise with Munich on board MS Amadeus Brilliant from €1,029pp incl. return flights, transfers and 4* pre and post cruise stays, depart April 4 2016 or June 28 2016. 9 nights full board Danube Experience cruise with Munich on board MS Amadeus Royal from €1,799pp incl. return flights, return transfers and 4* pre and post cruise stays, depart April 20 2016. 8 nights full board Burgundy and the Rhone Valley cruise on board MS Amadeus Symphony from €1,749pp incl. return flights, transfers and 4* pre cruise hotel stay, travel on various dates between April and October 2016. 9 nights full board Classical Danube cruise with Munich on board MS Amadeus Royal from €1,299pp incl. return flights, transfers and 4* pre and post cruise hotel stay, depart August 11 2016. 6 nights full board Danube Delights cruise on board the A-Rosa Donna from €1,299 incl. return flights, transfers and 4* post cruise hotel stay, depart October 3 2016.

Royal Caribbean offers: 7 nights Arabian Gulf cruise on Splendour of the Seas from €1,099pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, depart February 8 2016. 7 nights Greek Isles cruise on Vision of the Seas from €1,139pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, depart May 7 2016. 7 nights Western Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas from €1,469pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and complimentary selected drinks and gratuities, depart January 31 2016. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Topflight’s 12 days of Christmas promo continues until December 18. Italy early bird offers: Half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Lake Garda from €799, depart May 14 2016. Half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €999, depart May 8 2016. Half board 4* Hotel Cambridge, Venetian Riviera from €869, depart May 21 2016. B&B 4* Hotel Madison, Adriatic Riviera from €869, depart May 21 2016. B&B 4* Hotel Madison, Adriatic Riviera from €700, depart August 7 2016. B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Sicily from €799, depart June 18 2016. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

ITAA offers: 12 nights all inclusive Far East cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas from €3,134pp incl. all transfers and tips, depart November 18 2016. 7 nights all inclusive Cancun from €1,069pp incl. flights, depart May 14 2016. 7 nights 3* accommodation, Ethiopia from €2,499pp incl. flights ex Dublin, domestic flights, one night pre tour in Addis Ababa, 7 day tour and taxes, travel in May or June 2016. Visit itaa.ie/offers.

Insight Vacations is offering a 20 day tour of Scandinavia from €4,469pps incl. flights, transfers and 19 nights accommodation, book by January 29 2016, depart April 24 2016. See insightvacations.com or call 1800 98 98 98.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 11 day Portugal, Spain and the Douro River Cally cruise on board the Queen Isabel from €2,939pps incl. flights, transfers, meals and beverages, all shore excursions and 2 nights in a Lisbon hotel, book by December 31, depart July 16 2016. Visit uniworld.com/ie or call 1800 98 98 98.

Contiki is offering a 13 day Mediterranean highlights tour from €1,399pps incl. flights and 12 nights accommodation, quote promo code PPCLMD2984, depart January 8 2016. Visit contiki.com or call 1800 98 98 98.

Stena Line is offering Euro 2016 fares to Dunkirk or Calais from Dublin or Rosslare via Dover of Folkestone from €476 for a car plus four return. Deposit from €100. Visit stenaline.ie/euro2016 or call 01 907 5555.

Lowcostbeds Majorca self catering offers for young travellers, based on 7 nights, 3 sharing, depart July 1 2016: 3* Deya, Santa Ponsa from €25pppn. 3* Sunbeach, Santa Ponsa from €31pppn. 3* BCM Hotel, Magaluf from €35pppn. 3* TRH Torrenova, Magaluf from €36pppn. 3* Club B Apartments, Magaluf from €41pppn. Visit lowcostbeds.com.

Discover Travel offers: 17 day G Adventures tour of Vietnam and Cambodia from €2,499pp incl. flights ex Cork or Dublin and taxes. 7 days North Ethiopia tour from €2,499pp incl. flights ex Dublin, 1 night pre-tour accommodation, travel in May 2016 or June 2016. 12 night tour of Thailand from €1,629pp incl. taxes, travel May 2016 or June 2016.

Tourism NI offers: 1 night B&B Hilton Belfast City from £60pps incl. Belfast hop on-hop off 48 hour tour ticket, available until December 31, call (028) 9027 7000. 2 nights B&B Whistledown Hotel, Warrenpoint, Newry from £79pps incl. one evening meal, available January 2 2016 to April 17 2016, call (028) 4175 4174. 1 night B&B The Enniskillen Hotel from £80pps incl. three course evening meal and whiskey tasting, available until January 31 2016, call (028) 6632 1177.

Ireland

TOURISM IRELAND JOINS FORCES WITH FRENCH LUXURY BRAND HERMÈS TOTourism Ireland, French luxury brand Hermès and Irish Ambassador to France Geraldine Byrne Nason hosted an event at the Irish Embassy in Paris to celebrate the final weeks of ID2015. Picture shows Finola O’Mahon of Tourism Ireland, Brain McGee of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, Pierre-Alexis Dumas of Hermès, artist Richard Gorman, Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason and Elmagh Killeen of Tourism Ireland.

Neil Hegarty of The London Telegraph visited Skellig Michael.

Advance season tickets for the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open are available from €70 and day tickets from €30 per day.

TOURISM IRELAND SCOOPS TOP TRAVEL AWARD IN ITALY

Tourism Ireland won the prize for digital communication at the GIST awards in Milan. Picture shows Ornella Gamacchio of Tourism Ireland, third right, accepting the award.

TARGETING LUXURY TRAVELLERS FOR IRELAND

Ten Irish tourism businesses attended the International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes. Picture shows Ronan Francis of Tourism Ireland, Garrett Power and Doireann Hicks, both The Merrion Hotel, Carol Hinch of Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Paula Ward of Paula Ward’s Ireland, Róisín Wallace of Manon House & Irish Country Hotels, Steve Fenton of The Westin, Emer Mortell of Culloden Estate & Spa, and John Heir of Dromoland Castle.

Belfast was named trendiest city for business travel in Europe by MICE Business Travel Magazine.

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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


Upcoming events of interest to the trade

2015

Dec 10 World Tourism Forum Mediterranean meeting Belek

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

2016

Jan 8-13 Vakantiebeurs, Utrecht

Jan 14-16 Florida Huddle, Fort Lauderdale.

Jan 15-18 MATKA, Helsinki

Jan 16-18 Holiday World, Belfast

Jan 22 Irish Travel Industry Awards, Mansion House, Dublin

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

Jan 23-25 Holiday World, Dublin

Jan 28-Feb 1 FITUR, Madrid

Jan 29-31 SATTE New Delhi

Jan 29-Feb 1 Destinations, Olympia, London

Feb 10-13
Go West Summit, Colorado Springs

Feb 10-11
Mediterranean Tourism Market, Tel Aviv

Feb 12-14 BIT, Milan

Feb Utazas, Budapest

Feb 23-24 IHF Conference, Ballyconnell

Feb 25-Mar 1 BTL, LIsbon

Mar 4-6 ITB, Berlin

Mar 6-8 Guangzhou International Travel Fair

Mar 9-12 Cruise shipping Miami

Mar 16-18 GIBTM, Abu Dhabi

Mar 18-21 MITT, Moscow

Mar 19-22 Tur, Gothenburg

Mar 24-27 Tianguis Turistico, Acapulco

Mar 27-28 Skål National Convention Ireland, Cork

Mar 31-Apr 1 Rendez Vous France, Paris

Apr Meitheal, Dublin

Apr 12-18 Mountain Travel Symposium, Whistler

Apr 14-16 COTTM Beijing

Apr 15-16 WTTC Global Summit, Madrid

Apr 15-17 WTM Africa, Capetown

Apr 21-22 Social Travel Summit, Hamburg

Apr 22-23 Visit Scotland Expo, Aberdeen

Apr 22-24 WTM South America, Sao Paolo

Apr 24-25 ITAA AGM & Exhibition, Citywest

Apr 26-28 Germany Travel Market, Erfurt and Weimar 

Apr 27-30 ATM, Dubai

May 5-7 Fitcuba, Jardines del Rey.

May 7 Bookabed cork –

May 6 andalucia golf powers court –

May 9-12 World Travel Fair Shanghai

May 9-11 Indaba, Durban

May 19-21 IMEX, Frankfurt

May 20-27 Trenz New Zealand, Wellington

May 26-29 Rendez-vous Canada, Niagara Falls

May 30-June 3 2015 IPW 2015 Orlando

June 3-5 TTM Plus, Bangkok

June 15-21 Paris Air show

June 21-24 ATE, Melbourne

Sept Travelmart S America, TBA

Sept PATA Travel Mart, TBA

Sept Top Resa 2015, Paris

Sept FITA Mexico City

Oct 6-9 Adventure Travel World Summit, Namibia

Oct 18-23 Skål World Congress, Kenya coast

Nov 2-5 WTM 2015, London

Nov 17-19 EIBTM 2015, Barcelona

Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte

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

Nov 30-Dec 3 Travel South, Charlotte

Nov 30-Dec 3 International Luxury Travel Market Cannes

Dec 4-5 Travel Centres Conference, Lyrath Hotel

Dec 10 World Tourism Forum Mediterranean meeting Belek

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

2017

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

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

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

2018

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

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

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

2019 – 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Targetting tourists from a galaxy far, far away

Turkish ad

Tanya Airey from Sunway photographing in Val Thorens

Tanya Airey from Sunway photographing in Val Thorens

HEADLINESAVIATIONAFLOATFOOD & WINEHOTELSINTERNATIONALIRELANDTRAVEL TRADE – DEAL WATCH

SEVEN things you need to know about travel this week:

  • Tourism Ireland sets its radar on the “next dimension”
  • A pint of plain is yer only man for 14m Storehouse visitors
  • MSC advisory board talk agent requirements and customer experience
  • See some of the new exhibitors at Dublin’s Holiday World Show 2016
  • American Airlines hosts the trade
  • Sunway and Club Med hit the slopes at Val Thorens
  • Travel Centres Conference takes place in Lyrath

Travel Extra TV

video of the week dec 6 2015Our video of the week shows a Boeing 777 that can land on its feet — and can use the toilet. Watch here.

  • Twitter user Lee Carseldine captured the moment a lightning bolt struck near the wing of a jet. Watch here.
  • Dramatic footage of a Monarch Air A320 drifting off centre in cross winds and performing a go around. Watch here.
  • See Discover NI’s 15-second tease to The Gobbins Coastal Cliff Path (watch here), and Tourism Ireland’s quirky guide to the path (watch here).
  • See a video preview of Shannon Airport’s 70th birthday photography exhibition. Watch here.
  • A stand up paddle boarder’s close encounter with a humpback whale in Santa Cruz. Watch here.
  • A falcon makes a drone its prey. Watch here.
  • This koala at Cape Otway National Park is more interested in climbing a tourist’s leg than a tree. Watch here.
  • Here’s a clever Christmas promo from American Airlines. Watch here.
  • Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe meets the press at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 marketing plans. Watch here.
  • Childline is Ryanair’s Irish charity partner for 2016. Watch here.
  • See travelextra.tv for more video.

shannon show

Behind the Headlines

star wars tourism irelandFirst there was The Quiet Man, then there was Game of Thrones. Could Star Wars move Ireland into “a new dimension”, as Niall Gibbons unintentionally quipped at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 marketing plans? There is no estimate for how many visitors screen tourism actually delivers, but Niall Gibbons claimed that “up to 35pc of people are impacted in destination choice by what they see on screen”, and stressed that the Star Wars campaign, which will be launched in January, is part of a “continuous story” and not just a one-off promotion. There is already a discussion about how to market the next instalment in the franchise, part of which was also shot on Skellig Michael, when it is released in 2017.

niall gibbonsTourism Ireland aims to bring 8.2m visitors to Ireland in 2016 to generate €4.4 billion spend, a growth of 4pc. Latest estimates show that by year-end, 7.9m people will have visited Ireland in 2015, up 11pc YOY. Ireland is still looking at 10m visitors for 2025. “We have to move into a space of sustainable growth as opposed to very big peaks and troughs,” Minister Paschal Donohoe told Travel Extra. Ireland’s Ancient East will get a big advertising campaign, while Dublin, A Breath of Fresh Air is hoped to “boost season extension”, Niall Gibbons (pictured) said.

paschal donohoeIn light of the Paris attacks and the USA’s blanket travel advice issued last week, Minister Donohoe (pictured) said: “We acknowledge that there are new risks, geopolitically, that will affect tourism everywhere across next year, but what we need to do know is focus in on the things we can influence, and focus in on the things that we can change here in Ireland, building on the reputation that we have as a very, very safe country.” Watch here Minister Donohoe speaking to the press. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.