Tag Archives: Failte Ireland

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


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.



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



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

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

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

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

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

Deal Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

Travel Extra TV

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

Behind the Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Trade

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

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

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

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

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

Kate Wooldridge of Fred Olsen

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

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

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

Strange world

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


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

Eoghan Corry on the RTE history show

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

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

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

Food & Beverage

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

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


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

Pamela Byrne CEO of the Food Safety Authority

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

Bjørn Kjos CEO of Norwegian

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

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

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

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


Eamonn Rothwell of Irish Ferries

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Deal Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we learned

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

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


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

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


 10 Things to know about travel this week

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

Travel Extra TV

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

 Behind the Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Luis Araujo of Portuguese Tourism in Dublin, September 20 2016

Luis Araujo of Portuguese Tourism in Dublin, September 20 2016

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

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

Travel Trade

Lorraine Quinn

Lorraine Quinn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Deirdre McGlone of Harvey's Point

    Deirdre McGlone of Harvey’s Point

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


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

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

Food and Beverage

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

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


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

Aer Lingus service to Hartford Connecticut commences on Wednesday.

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

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

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


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

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

Bob Binder CEO of NCL

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

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

Strange World

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Deal Watch

Aer Lingus sale ends Monday last chance to book

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

35712487 - hong kong harbour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See travelextra.tv for more video.

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

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


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

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



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

Travel Extra TV

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

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

Behind the Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

holiday show ad

Travel Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agent Promotions

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

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

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

Travel Media


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

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

Strange World

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


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


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

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

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

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

Food & Wine

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Deal Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See travelextra.tv for more video.

Upcoming events of interest to the trade


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


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


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

2019 – 2024

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

2019 – 2024

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

Previous editions of TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday supplement

Previous issues

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

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


header july 31 2016

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

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

Travel Extra TV

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

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

Behind the Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

holiday show ad

Travel Trade

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

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

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

Agent Promotions

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

Strange World

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