The week that was in travel
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Mojitos in the footsteps of Hemingway, Air France travel trade trip to Cuba

The headlines this week:

- Back to Belfast for Ryanair?
- Aer Lingus will be part of IAG group by December
- Weekend of air displays in Shannon and Bray
- Busy week for cruise calls
- Summer fun with Kimpton Hotels

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week July 19 2015Our video of the week is the much-shared video of an Irish dad’s first flight. Newry-native Michelle Carville uploaded footage of her father Patsy during takeoff on the flight to Liverpool. Watch here.

  • Jedidiah Jenkins decided to break out of his routine — by cycling 7,000 miles across two continents. Watch here.
  • seagull steals a German tourist's GoPro (don't worry, he gives it back). Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus uploaded a video of the A350 XWB’s visit to Dublin. Watch here.
  • A selfie stick becomes a selephant stickWatch here.
  • Airbnb’s new Mankind campaign has been criticised for being too creepyWatch here and see for yourself.
  • Tourism Ireland promotes Belfast’s design scene as part of ID2015. Watch here.
  • Ryanair uploaded archive footage from their B737 at FlightFest Dublin. Watch here.


michael o'leary arm in sling copyWho twisted Michael O’Leary’s arm? He appeared at a Brussels press conference with his arm in a sling, Maybe it was over the airline’s famously contrary insurance opt out, set to be disappear on October 27, the bane of many a passenger’s life. How many people have accidentally bought travel insurance they did not want? Michael O’Leary claimed he tore ligaments in his shoulder in a football accident playing soccer with his six year old. So it was his son that twisted his arm?

ryanairMichael O’Leary confirmed Ryanair will bid for the five pairs of slots to be released by IAG at Gatwick as part of EU regulatory approval for its takeover of Aer Lingus. The slots appear to have to be bid for as a block and include at least one round trip to Belfast, which indicates a possible Ryanair return to the city. Currently, Aer Lingus operates to Gatwick about 38 services per week from Dublin, 20 from Belfast City and 7 from Knock; Ryanair operates 28 per week from Dublin, 7 from Cork and 7 from Shannon  Approval terms, published by the EU a day ahead of time, list the Gatwick slots alongside fare combinability, pro rate agreements, frequent flyer programmes, and a monitoring trustee. Anyone with spare time on their hands can  try to figure out what the Special Prorate Agreements and Inventory access requirements in the dense 29-page document (basically an attempt to preserve the status quo). Events afterwards were neatly choreographed: the Aer Lingus EGM passed the takeover resolutions by overwhelming majorities, all in excess of 99pc paschal donohoeof shares voted. IAG is now assured of acceptances of 75pc which will allow it to seek delisting of the Aer Lingus shares from the Irish and London Stock Exchanges. Paschal Donohoe rowed in with his support and IAG’s Enrique Dupuy de Lôme said the US Justice Department regulator had "satisfactorily concluded" its review of the transaction. Other airlines are invited to apply for seats on Aer Lingus' short-haul network for their transfer passengers, on normal commercial terms. When acceptances inevitably reach 90pc (shares will be untradeable after delisting and IAG has extended the deadline by two weeks), IAG can compulsorily acquire any shares that have not been offered to it. By December Aer Lingus will be part of the IAG group. Eight extra aircraft will be on their way to the fleet and six new direct trans-Atlantic destinations will be lined up for Irish holiday makers.

Shannon celebrated the anniversary of the first commercial flight to Rineanna yesterday with the Shannon Air Display (website). Swedish jet, the Viggen Saab, was among the highlights of the even, six hours of aerobatics performers, parachutists, helicopters, jet fighters and stunt fliers watched by 40,000 people.

Official rehearsals for the Swiss Air Force aerobatic team Patrouille Suisse ahead of Sunday’s Bray Air Display, July 18 2015, picture by Michael Kelly

Today Bray will host the Swiss Air Force aerobatic team, ‘Patrouille Suisse’, who will give a joint display with the Irish Air Corps with the Patrouille Suisse supersonic red and white Tiger aircraft reaching speeds of between 250 and 1,100 kilometres per hour. Jets from Aer Lingus, Ryanair and CityJet will also be taking to the skies above Bray that day and spectators are strongly advised to use Dublin Bus, DART and other public transport services, as traffic restrictions will be in place. All visitor information about the free Bray Air Display is available from and and no tickets are required. The event hash tag on social media is #BrayAirDisplay. Michael Kelly’s pictures show official rehearsals for the Swiss Air Force aerobatic team Patrouille Suisse ahead of Sunday’s Bray Air Display. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Next Sunday one of the largest search and rescue (SAR) training exercises ever undertaken in Ireland will open the 2015 Foynes Air Show in front of the estimated 15,000 people The show features Russian MiG, WW2 aircraft and aerobatics performance.

Natalie Papoutsoglou Christine HannonThis was the busiest week so far for cruise ship calls. As if to prove how badly needed are Dublin Port’s €230m expansion plans, some for the biggest called by in tandem, including P&O’s Britannia, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and Royal Princess. It was an opportunity for a joint promotion by Royal and Cunard. “We deal with the same agents and we are not really in competition with each other so it was too good an opportunity to miss,” Natalie Papoutsoglou of Princess says. On the ground Dawn Conway of Sunway put her organisational skills to use to recruit the leading agents. Picture shows Natalie Papoutsoglou of Princess Cruises and Christine Hannon of Cunard. Listen here to Christine Hannon of Cunard describing the cruise line of the three Queen’s advantages, including an enhanced transatlantic programme and a large passenger to space ration. Also listen here to the lively Q&A with Irish agents where Christine Hannon answered questions about onboard gratuities, drinks packages, average cruise age and onboard activates. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Bernie Burke Carl LonerganKimpton Hotels' visit to Dublin is a highlight of the summer calendar. Cindy Brewster outlined the hotel chain’s key selling points: what other hotel company offers bicycles, has a sommelier called Emily Wines who is selecting the wine list throughout the group, some of the best restaurants in the US and the wine hour, probably the most popular event in the Irish market (listen here). She also mentioned that Ireland was one of the few markets where different types of buyers could be invited to a single event (listen here). Martin Skelly replied on behalf of the Irish travel trade (listen here). Picture shows Bernie Burke of Travel Centres and Carl Lonergan of Club Travel at the Kimpton Hotels event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Ashlee Ciora Francine SheridanDid any trade delegation have as much fun on their Irish visit as the 15 from California who surfed through Dublin last week? The US ambassador Kevin O’Malley, hearing they were in town, brought them on a tour of the ambassadorial residence in Phoenix Park. The visit finished with a performance by Liam Ó Maonlaí on the Friday and a dinner in Fade Street Social where they were so loud they treated adjoining table to a drink by way of compensation. California dreaming indeed. Picture shows Ashlee Ciora of Greater Palm Springs and Francine Sheridan of Visit Los Angeles at the Visit California event at Drury Buildings. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

tsiprasGreece's 31-hours-later deal with EU will raise restaurant VAT rates to 23pc and remove discounts on rates in the Aegean islands. Yanis Varoufakis outlined his objections to the package. Ryanair is helping Greece with €5 domestic fares and €10 inbound fares from foreign destinations.


Travel Trade

Agents hosted by Air France in Cuba pictured outside the Bodeguida after Mojitos in Havana: Monica Rossi of Abbey Travel, Ian Walsh of Travel Counsellors, Kevin Ryan of Tropical Sky, Barry MacCourt of Trailfinders, Dianne McCarthy of Shandon Travel, Teresa Murphy of Air France KLM, Our Guide Marianella, Helen Stokes of Topflight and Paul Harvie of GoHop.

Picture shows agents hosted by Air France in Cuba pictured outside the Bodeguida after mojitos in Havana: Monica Rossi of Abbey Travel, Ian Walsh of Travel Counsellors, Kevin Ryan of Tropical Sky, Barry MacCourt of Trailfinders, Dianne McCarthy of Shandon Travel, Teresa Murphy of Air France KLM, Our Guide Marianella, Helen Stokes of Topflight and Paul Harvie of GoHop. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Olive Taaffe from Club HRG Worldwide won the second spot prize in the Air France KLM Supper Taste of the World Competition, a bottle of French wine and Butlers chocolate. Two more spot prizes will be won before the grand finale on  July 31st.

Agents who book an Air France or KLM flight before July 31 and enter their booking on the competition website can win business class tickets for two to any Air France-KLM destination and other prizes. Picture shows Olive Taaffe from Club HRG Worldwide, who won the second spot prize in the Air France KLM Supper Taste of the World Competition, a bottle of French wine and Butlers chocolate. Two more spot prizes will be won before the grand finale on July 31.

Deirdre GrantDeirdre Grant joined Topflight’s Worldwide division to head up the worldwide group department. Deirdre started in travel organising the Raphoe Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes and her 36-year career includes 22 years at the helm of Driftaway Travel in Letterkenny from 1987 to 2009.

P1080339Picture shows Margaret CroninNicky Logue GM of Gibson Hotel and Joan O’Shaughnessy at Skal’s annual BBQ in the Gibson Hotel.

Portuguese Tourist Office moved into a new office this week. The new address is 70 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4. A direct phone is being set up. In the meantime, call +353 (0) 833254947. Celina Tavares says there will be limited access to emails tomorrow, July 20, but they will try and revert to you as soon as they can.

Michelle Harley of Tullys Travel, the winner of the Travel Corporation summer incentive receives her prize from Donna Kenny and Egle Godliauskaite

Picture shows Michelle Harley of Tully’s Travel, winner of the Travel Corporation summer incentive, receiving her prize from Donna Kenny and Egle Godliauskaite.

Michelle Barron of Stein Travel and Emily Leahy of Barter Travel won €100 in lowcostbeds Happy Mondays promotion. There are two more draws, one tomorrow (July 19) and next Monday (July 27).

Anthony Daniels has been confirmed as the new Head of Sales for Hurtigruten, taking over from Maxine Parker who leaves next month. The company has also promoted Daniel Giles to Senior Sales Manager for the North, Scotland and Ireland. Anthony’s previous roles include Business Development Manager for Norwegian Cruise Line, Commercial Development Manager for Reader Offers Limited and UK Sales Manager for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Anthony Daniels has been confirmed as the new Head of Sales for Hurtigruten, taking over from Maxine Parker who leaves next month. The company has also promoted Daniel Giles to Senior Sales Manager for the Northern England, Scotland and Ireland. Anthony’s previous roles include Business Development Manager for Norwegian Cruise Line, Commercial Development Manager for Reader Offers Limited and UK Sales Manager for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

John Grehan finishes up on July 31 with Justsunshine, whose Tunisian programme was withdrawn after the Sousse shootings.

Chris Mottershead has been promoted to London commercial director for Thomas Cook, beginning later this month.



trivago mapTrivago’s July Hotel Price Index shows average hotel prices in Ireland increased 15pc YOY to €124. Unsurprisingly, Dublin  topped the list with an average price in Trivago’s scan of 32 search engines at €168, up 9pc YOY. Belfast up 46pc YOY largely thanks to the weakening of the euro. Limerick had the lowest price at €99. Galway and Kinsale saw the biggest increase compared to last month, both up 7pc MOM.  The price list: , Dublin €168, Belfast €168, Killarney €156, Kenmare €146, Kinsale €146, Galway €137, Cork €122, Sligo €122, Westport €120, Dingle €113, Derry €112, Wexford €111, Tralee €110, Kilkenny €106, Waterford €104, Athlone €99, Limerick €93.

Trivago EuropeThe usual suspects topped the July European Hotel Price Index: Geneva’s average price for July is €284, followed by London at €263 and Venice at €250. As expected, lowest prices in Eastern Europe: Warsaw €62, Sofia €62, Bucharest €70. Paris prices up slightly by 1.4pc YOY to €181. Berlin up 5pc to €102. Rome up 5pc to €136.  Barcelona up 7pc to €160. Lisbon up 5pc to €114.

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Ballygarry House Hotel & Spa in Tralee launched a range of Wild About Kerry packages, capturing hidden gems along Kerry’s WAW route.

Japanese business man Hideo Sawada unveiled the Henn na Hotel, a hotel run by robots. Watch video here.

Sheraton-HyderabadStarwood Hotels & Resorts will add four European properties to its luxury collection: Augustine in Prague, Falisia Resort  Spa in Portopiccolo, Caresse Resort & Spa in Bordum and Grand Hotel River Par in Bratisalva. The group opened a Sheraton property in Hyderabad and will debut its W Hotels brand in Costa Rica in 2019.

Hyatt Hotels will open the Hyatt Regency Wuhan Optics Valley hotel in central China.



shanghai disneyDisney unveiled the details of its $5.5bn Shanghai Disneyland theme park, planned since 2009 and due to open spring 2016. There will be six themed lands and attractions based on Star Wars and Marvel characters, a Mandarin-language production of the Lion King live show, two resorts — Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel — Disneytown shopping and entertainment district, and the Enchanted Storybook Castle. There will be plenty of competition: The number Chinese amusement parks is expected to reach 850 this year, and Universal Studios and Dreamworks have Chinese attractions in the pipeline. The one-child policy and trend in extended families travelling together means adult visitors will outnumber children 4 to 1, which means more seating areas, more restaurants and open spaces for older family members.

canadaCanada, is the country with the best reputation according to the Reputation Institute’s 2015 Country RepTrak report with Ireland just outside the top ten in 11th place. The top ten is: 2 Norway, 3 Sweden, 4 Switzerland, 5 Australia, 6 Finland, 7 New Zealand, 8 Denmark, 9 Netherlands, 10 Belgium. Ireland’s reputation improved 5.2pc in the RepTrak index, with top ten finishes in environment, desire to visit and something called the emotional halo.

US CBP officers began using a mobile device to scan fingerprints from a sample on selected flights flying out of Atlanta. The  test will be expanded inautum to  Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, San Francisco and Washington.

A proposal to curtail home rentals in San Francisco aimed at hosting platforms, such as Airbnb, to list only units that are registered with the city has qualified for the Nov 3 ballot.

abby spatzNYC & Company appointed Abby Spatz as chief marketing officer.

According to’s annual Chinese travel monitor, Australia, Japan and France were the top three destinations for Chinese travellers in 2014. The number of Chinese travellers was up 20pc last year to 107m.

Yes I Speak TouristeParis launched the mobile app Yes I speak touriste to help visitors find shops, hotels and attractions where their native language is spoken.

Adventure Travel World Summit 2015 in Chile is sold out. 700 delegates will participate.

A report by travel expense management company Certify suggested that business travellers in the USA are warming to alternative travel options. The survey claimed that 31pc of ground transport receipts in Q2 were from Uber, compared to 24pc from taxis and 45pc from rental car. Receipts from Airbnb are spall, but the room rental site grew 143pc over Q1.

East London’s Docks will be open for casual and competitive swimmers during set periods on weekdays and Sunway mornings. Water temperature promises to stay around 18C. Wetsuits, showers and food are available on site.

  • 12-Hay-Hill-by-Alex-Brenner-_DSC2967_blend6A five-floor business club opened at Berkeley Square, London.
  • Austria banned smoking in all restaurants.
  • See suggestions for New Zealand’s new flag.
  • Worshippers in Mecca streamed their pilgrimage stories on Snapchat and Twitter.
  • Uber was ordered to pay a $7.3m fine for failing to comply with California’s state reporting requirements.
  • Kongeveien Eiendom Spa ComplexKongeveien Eiendom Spa Complex, claimed to be the largest spa in Norway, will be rebranded The Well. The facility is slated for December 2015. The Agora, claimed to be the world’s largest public sauna, opened on Sandhornøya island, Norway.
  • A survey by found that 60pc of business travellers suffer from homesickness, but only 8pc said this resulted in a drop in productivity.

Food & Wine

Doris ChoiNew York chef Doris Choi joins Domini Kemp, her sister in law, for an event at Alchemy in BT2, Dublin this Wednesday, July 29. They will be serving a raw and vegan three-course dinner with coconut lime soup, spicy avocado rolls and a raw Pad Thai with courgette noodles. Tickets are €55, email to book.

JD Wetherspoon open their fourth pub in Ireland in Swords on Tuesday, July 21.



polito o'learyRyanair’s case against Simon Polito’s ruling on its Aer Lingus shareholding will continue even when the shares have been sold despite ALL the legal decisions having gone against them. When England’s Competition and Marketing Authority welcomed the Competition Appeal Tribunal's decision to rule against Ryanair’s it did acquiesce to grant Ryanair the necessary approvals to sell its 29.8pc stake to IAG and suspended the requirement to appoint a divestment trustee to carry out the sale, removing one of the obstacles it could have put in the way of Ryanair’s sale. London’s Supreme Court refused Ryanair permission to appeal against the judgment of February 12. The case will continue with extra-territoriality at the heart of the case (of more than passing interest to the industry in general). As Kenny Jacobs says: this is the equivalent of the Irish regulator making a ruling  on Sainsbury’s because people on the border shop there.

PassengersSkybridgePassenger numbers up 15pc in first six months at Dublin Airport. The airport is on course for 25m passengers in 2015, current record 23.4m in 2008.

Average ancillary revenue per passenger is $17.49, up 8.5pc, according to a study sponsored by Bobby Healy’s CarTrawler. Sixty-three airlines participated in the study, with the low cost carriers being a 32.8pc jump in ancillary revenue to $2.9bn.

Aer Lingus Regional reported a 4pc YOY increase in load factor to 74pc for June. Passenger number on the Kerry-Dublin route was up 39pc and Donegal-Dublin up 11.3pc.

Sport Statue Shannon 16A new statue at Shannon airport marks one of Irish sport’s most iconic moments: an image of Paul O’Connell being hoisted into the air by his Irish teammates Donncha O’Callaghan and John Hayes against England in 2007 is turned into a sculpture.

American Airlines announced that it will add eight routed throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America later this year.

  • The last US Airways flight will take off on October 17.
  • Bohai leasing in China is to acquire a 20pc stake in Avolon for $429m.
  • Airbus is reportedly preparing to launch an A450-900LR for long range flights. They are in talks with Singapore Airlines for an ultra-long haul jet.
  • Qatar freighterQatar Airways Cargo will introduce a 747 freighter to its fleet on August 1.
  • Delta cancelled an order for 40 Boeing 737-900s and 20 Embraer E-190s after pilots voted down a three-year contract.
  • All Nippon Airways returns to Sydney after a 15 hiatus. Daily overnight flights from Tokyo commence December 11, served by B787-9 Dreamliners.
  • United Airlines awarded two hackers with 1m free flight miles for spotting security glitches in its website.
  • 10 signs you’re and Av geek, according to Private Fly blog.
  • Australian Business Traveller reported that the Australian government is to pool 100,000 government workers into a frequent flyer programme to book their flights.
  • Air Malta launched a free in-flight spa experience.
  • Air-Berlin-Wunderkind-amenity-kitFashion brand Wunderkind designed amenity kits for Air Berlin’s long haul flights.
  • Eleven airliners and one military aircraft reported laser strikes a New York airports on Wednesday.
  • The abandoned Ciudad Real airport was sold at auction for €10,000 — 100,000 times less than it cost to build.
  • runway1AlexSutton__3376537bEmirates resumes a 4w A330-200 service to Erbil, Iraq from August 15.

Architecture graduate Alex Sutton won a distinction for his design for an airport above the streets and canals of Stockholm. Sutton proposed a short runway, city-wide baggage system, taxi-track system to move aircraft and self-service baggage kiosks.



Norwegian a la carte

Travel Department launch a Rhine river cruise on September 25. Package includes 7 nights full board basis on the Superior A-Rosa Aqua, transfers, flights from Dublin and one night in the 4* Maritim Hotel Cologne on a half board basis. See

captain-kate-mccueCelebrity Cruises appointed their first America female captain, Kate McCue, to the helm of the Celebrity Summit. 

MSC Cruises is to rename MSC Club the MSC Voyagers Club and revamp its loyalty scheme, introduce a new points earning system and remove of top tier perks.

balletSilversea Cruises announced that Russian ballet dancers Daria Khokhlova and Artemy Belyakov will perform three ties on the Silver Spirit’s 9-day Mediterranean cruise, depart August 19.

American Cruise Lines has named its new Mississippi riverboat America.


Deal Watch

  • Champions World Hotel, OrlandoITAA offers of the week: 2 nights B&B hotel accommodation from €175pp incl. full day at Cambridge Vintage Sales, coach transfer, dinner in hotel, return ferry travel from Dublin, depart October 16-18. 7 nights Champions World Hotel, Orlando from €569pp incl. flights, travel November. 7 nights full board cruise on board MSC Musica Cruise, Abu Dhabi from €899pp incl. return flights, return airport transfers and check in pp, depart January 1.
  • Thomson offers: 14 nights half board Hotel Levante, Cala Bona, Majorca from €1,069pp, depart July 23. 7 nights half board Son Baulo, C’an Picafort, Majorca from €519pp, depart August 22. 7 nights self catering Cosmos Maris Lardos, Rhodes from €449pp, depart September 2. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Falcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive Akti Beach Club, Kos from €2,219 for two adults and two children or from €2,789 for two adults and two children, depart August 22. 7 nights self catering Janeas Do Mar, Algarve from €1.549 for two adults and one child or from €1.879 for two adults and two children, depart August 23. 7 nights Cortijo Blanco, Marbella, Costa Del Sol from €769pp, depart Cork August 23. See or call 1850 45 35 45.
  • Classic Resorts Dominican Republic offers, travel September 1 to October 31, book by August 31: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Occidental Grand Punta Cana from €1,299pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa from €1,499pps. 7 nights all inclusive 5* Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa from €1,689pps. See or call 01 874 5000.
  • Click and Go offers: 7 nights self catering Vista Oasis Apartments, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €349pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in November. 3 nights 5* Radisson Blu Es Hotel, Rome from €359pp incl. return flight ex Dublin, travel in August. 3 nights 3* Red Roof Inn, Chicago from €579pp incl. return flight ex Dublin and 23kg British Airwayscheck in baggage, travel in December. 7 nights B&B 4* Windsor Hotel, Madeira from €599pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and transfers, travel in August. See or call 01 539 7777.
  • British Airway’s rest of world seat sale continues until July 21. Beijing from €200, Johannesburg €300, Dubai €194, Sydney €360.
  • Lowcostbeds all inclusive Turkey offers, based on 2 sharing, 7 nights, travel in August: 4* Flora Palm resort, Dalaman from €49pppn. 5* GARCIA Resort & Spa, Dalaman from €65pppn. 5* Le Blue Hotel & Resort, Bodum from €65pppn. 5* Gloria Golf Resort, Antalaya from €103pppn. See
  • Pontins 1Stena Line is offering 7 nights self catering Pontins holiday from €525 for two adults and two children incl. return car ferry from Dublin, Rosslare or Belfast, arrive on Mondays or Fridays until August 31.
  • Sunway Menorca offers, based on 7 nights, travel in September: 2* Los Lenticos self catering from €439pp. 2* Vistablanes self catering from €464pp. 2* Binimar Apartments self catering from €514pp. 3* Roc Lago Apartments self catering from €539pp. 4* Los Defines half board from €654pp. 4* Almirante Farragut half board from €744pp. See
  • Sunway Mark Warner Beach Clubs offers: 7 nights half board 5* Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes from €929pp, depart September 23. 7 nights half board 4* Lakatira Beach Resort, Kos from €829pp, depart September 19. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sea Garden Beach Resort, Aegean Coast, Turkey from €739pp, depart September 20.
  • Lowcostholidays September offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Rio Apartments, Algarve from €289pp, depart Sep 23. 7 nights self catering 3* Blue Sea Costa Teguise Gardens, Lanzarote from €389pp, depart Sep 21. 7 nights 3* Ramada Gateway Hotel & Inn, Orlando from €625pp, depart Sep 23. 7 nights B&B 3* Royale Hummingbird Cliff Resort, Jamaica from €886pp, depart Sep 23. 3 nights B&B 3* Kavalir Hotel, Prague from €185pp, depart Sep 26. 3 nights B&B 4* Illunion Almiranta, Barcelona from €315pp, depart Sep 26. More offers here. See or call 01 485 3835.
  • Insight Vacations is offering a 9 day tour of Spain and Portugal from €1,809pps incl. flights, transfers, selection of meals and visits to Madrid, Granada, Seville, Lisbon and Salamanca. Book by July 31, depart August 29. See or call 01 775 3803.
  • Uniworld River Boutique Cruises is offering an 8 day all inclusive river cruise to Paris and Normandy from €2,149pps incl. flights, port tax, gratuities and transfers. Depart July 26. See or call 01 775 3803.
  • Contiki is offering a 14 day European Highlights tour from €1,420pps incl. two night stops in Paris, French Riviera, Rome and Amsterdam, flights and meals. Depart September 11. See or call 01 775 3803.
  • Cassidy Travel offers 7 nights 3* accommodation, Algarve from €287pps, depart Sep 1. 7 nights 3* accommodation, Costa del Sol from €306pps, depart Aug 27. 7 nights 3* accommodation, Tenerife from €303pps, depart Aug 27. 8 nights 4* accommodation, Barcelona from €332pps, depart Sep 7. All prices include flights. See or call 0818 332500.


Tourism Ireland German Group Tourin HousePicture shows Kristin Jameson of Tourin House, Lismore, Co Waterford and Gardens who hosted eight German travel writers and their hosts: tour guide Helen O’Connell, Brenda King of Fáilte Ireland, Ute Strunk of Verlagsgruppe Rhein Main, Heidrun Seidel of Lausitzer Rundschau, Reni Christiansen of Schleswig Holstein am Sonntag, Juergen Juchtmann of Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Gabriele Beautemps of Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Ina Sperl of Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Judith von Rauchhaupt of Tourism Ireland and Claudine Weber-Hof of Spotlight.

Irish Design appID2015 launched their Design Ireland app. The app features recommendations for design-focused attractions around Ireland. Picture shows Fred Raguillat of IBM Studios Dublin, Laura Magahy of Irish Design 2015, Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton and Lara Hanlon of IBM Studios Dublin.

Fourteen teams will travel to Dublin to Cricket-small_1compete in the final qualifying stages for ICC World Twenty20 2016, India. The tournament is supported by Fáilte Ireland and is expected to give the capital 1,400 bed nights over 10 nights until the final in Malahide on July 26.

Eleven golf journalists from the USA arrive in Ireland tomorrow to embark on a week-long tour of the golf courses on the Wild Atlantic Way. The media will be hosted by Fáilte Ireland. Sports Illustrated writer John Garrity — whose family comes from Carne, Co Mayo — is among the group.

Fáilte Ireland’s business tourism team has helped bring 50 international events to Ireland. The events are slated for 2016-2019.

Medi-games-smallThe World Medical and Health Games take place until July 25 at University of Limerick. The event is expected to attract 1,500 participants from Europe, North America, Morocco and Japan.

Upcoming events in LimerickWorld Medical and Health Games continue until July 25. Meitheal 2015, July 24. Foynes Air Show, July 26. Seisúin at the Hunt Museum.

German President visits Cliffs of MoherGerman president Joachim Gauck concluded a three-day state visit Ireland this week. Picture shows president Gauck at the Cliff of Moher visitor experience.

Minister Michael Ring launched the 142nd Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, which takes place at the RDS, August 5-9. There will be 1,500 horses on show, competing for a €1m prize.

Enda Kenny_MilanEnda Kenny visited the Ireland pavilion at EXPO Milano 2015. He met with Tourism Ireland staff and Italian tour operators selling holidays to Ireland. Picture shows the Taoiseach with Simon Gregory and Niamh Kinsella of Tourism Ireland.

Tourism Ireland and a delegation of 13 tourism enterprises attended the three-day TOURISM ENTERPRISES ‘MEET’ IN LONDONMeetings Show in London. Picture shows Catherine Bunn of Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Sarah Dallas of Tifco Hotel Group, Joyce McElroy of Tourism Ireland, Mairéad Cullen of InterContinental Dublin, Karina Martin of Park Avenue Hotel Belfast and Cathy Joyce, Citywest Hotel. Dublin.


A delegation of Irish tourism businesses travelled to Moscow to take part in a B2B workshop organised by Tourism Ireland hosted by the Irish Embassy in Moscow. The event involved one-to-one meetings with 70 Russian agents and operators. Pictured in the embassy: Siobhán Byrne, Adams & Butler; Benjamin Egorov, Preferred Hotels & Resorts; Veronika Smirnova and Elena Shreyder, both S7 Airlines; Paddy Sheridan, Dublin Differently; Ksenia Shevchenko and Alina Sutulova, both Kildare Village; Olga Pleshakova, Belmond Grand Hibernian; Made Ots, Abbey Tours; HE Eoin O’Leary, Irish Ambassador to Russia; Irina Pichugina, British Airways; Doireann Hennebry, The Merrion Hotel; Maria Suvorova, Relais & Chateaux; Anna Malkova-Egorova, Travel Media; Grant Sarkisyan, Royal Green Tours; Gerard MacCarthy, Enterprise Ireland; Eliza Gorbunova, Tourism Ireland Russia; Robert Meade, Irish Embassy; and Paul Sheehan, Cork English World.

What we learned this week

Ryanair intends to grow traffic from 89m this year to over 150 Mega Pascals in 2024. Mega pascals?

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Upcoming events of interest to the trade

  • Sep 20-24 Lowcostbeds/Emirates Dubai trade Fam trip
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