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HOLIDAY WORLD THE 2018 SHOW HONG KONG DIRECT FROM DUBLIN SKI 2018 BRIGHT WHITE FUTURES Home Holidays: The big openings

Irish airports record year

  R U   O Y EE FR PER PA

Ryanair’s 129m Passengers

IRELAND'S PREMIER SOURCE OF TRAVEL INFORMATION Free

FEBRUARY 2018

VOLUME 23 NUMBER 2

2018 in Travel Around the world in 64 pages


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 3

www.travelextra.ie

NEWS

779,184 passports

Irish passport is among the most powerful in the world

I

reland issued a record Ireland issued a record 779,184 passports from 785,026 passport applications in 2017, up 6pc, of which 20pc were issued to residents of Britain. Online passport renewals now account for 17pc of all applications, ahead of initial projections. The target turnaround time for online renewal is ten working days plus postage. In actual fact, 90pc of online applications are currently being processed within just five working days. We are also meeting the target turnaround time of fifteen working days for Passport Express renewals, despite the extremely high volumes being received. First-time applications and applications to renew lost or stolen passports take longer.”

FORGOTTEN

One in 7 Irish holiday-goers have arrived at an airport only to realise they forgotten their passport, according to a survey of 5,000 Irish people undertaken by AA Travel Insurance,

The Irish passport is 16th most valuable

Ireland has the 16th most powerful passport in the world after Germany (whose citizens can with 172 visa-free entries visit four more countries without a visa than Ireland), Sweden, five countries on 174 and

eight countries on 173. May is peak month for passport applications, followed by April, March, February and June. December is the quietest month, followed by October and November.

DESTINATIONS LINING UP FOR 2018

AGADIR Air Arabia are to commence 2w in winter

Dublin. Iceland tourism has trebled from this country.

and KLM (5 daily) competing with Aer Lingus.

resuming after brief hiatus.

AMSTERDAM Ryanair

CYPRUS Year round access from Cobalt for the first time.

DOHA Marquee new destina-

tion for 2017 now visa-free.

HARTFORD Daily from

Aer Lingus since September 2016.

HONG KONG to be served direct from Dublin for the first time by Cathay Pacific.

ICELAND New flights from

Belfast and increased service form

TRIPADVISOR say that London took the title of most-reviewed city in the world, despite not being the most-visited (that would be Bangkok), while the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, received more reviews than any other hotel in the world. The most famous unfinished building in the world, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, was the most-reviewed attraction, receiving nearly 30,000 comments in just 12 months. Lisbon’s Pasteis de Belem, renowned for its glorious custard tarts, was the most-reviewed eatery, with more than 10,000 ratings

MARRAKECH Ryanair

MIAMI Aer Lingus’s marquee

route started September and opened up Florida and cruise opportunities.

NAPLES New Ryanair service commenced 2w in winter and continued through summer 2018.

PAPHOS New from Ryanair

for summer 2018.

INDIA’s Taj Mahal is proposing limited

Plans are still vague, but under proposals submitted to the country’s tourism ministry by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the most probable course of action is that domestic tourists will be limited to a total of 40,000 per day, with individual visits being restricted to three hours per person.

EU

court of justice ruled that Uber should be regulated like a taxi company and not a technology service.

MAGALUF said families and adult

SPLIT New Aer Lingus service

UNESCO added the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker, or ‘pizzaiuolo,’ to its list of “intangible cultural heritage of humanity,” alongside the Irish uileann pipes.

SEATTLE Next to get a direct route from Dublin.

savia now compete on a route dominated by Aer Lingus and Lufthansa.

STUTTGART Daily from Ryanair, joining Aer Lingus.

PHUKET New one-stop option via Istanbul from July

ember reached 1.964.317, up 13,4pc. Ireland is the third fastest growing major market to Spain after Switzerland and Russia. Turkey-US visa arrangements have reverted  to normal.

PROVIDENCE Norwegian flights from four Irish airports.

MONTREAL Air Canada are joining Air Transat on the Montreal run, first explored in 1977 by Aer Lingus. MUNICH Ryanair and Tran-

SPAIN Irish tourism to Spain to end Nov-

to Croatia.

NEWBURGH Norwegian flights from four Irish airports will be increased in 2018.

couples now account for 70pc of all guests as it continues with its campaign to shed its lager lout reputation.

NEW YORK’s Met museum is to charge an entry fee for the first time in 50 years.

OUR SAVINGS PUT ‘U’ IN THE MIDDLE We’re offering free child places & money saving offers*. *Offer terms and conditions apply. Free Child Places offer is subject to limited availability. TUI is a trading name of TUI Ireland Limited and is fully licensed and bonded by CAR T.O.021.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 4

THE KNOWLEDGE

Travel Extra Clownings, Straffan, Co Kildare (+3531) 2913707 Fax (+3531) 2957417

CONTENTS

3 News The valuable Irish passport 6 Hotels: year of the big deals 8 The year ahead: Looking west 10 Destinations: Austria, Doha, Galicia, Maryland, Miami, New York,

Managing Editor: Gerry O’Hare Editor: Eoghan Corry eoghan.corry@ travelextra.ie Publisher: Edmund Hourican edmund@bizex.ie Sales Director: Maureen Ledwith maureen@bizex.ie Sales Manager Paulette Moran paulette@bizex.ie t: +353 (0)1 291 3702 Accounts and Advertising: Maria Sinnott maria@bizex.ie Sunday Supplement & Online: Mark Evans markevanspro@gmail.com Chief Features Writer: Anne Cadwallader anne@travelextra.ie Contributors : Damian Allen damianjamesallen@ gmail.com Marie Carberry marie@travelextra.ie Carmel Higgins carmel@travelextra.ie Cauvery Madhavan cauvery@travelextra.ie Sean Mannion sean@grafacai.ie Ciaran Molloy ciarancmolloy@ gmail.com Catherine Murphy cathmurph@yahoo.com Aileen O’Reilly aileencoreilly@gmail.com

Travel Extra takes no responsibility for errors and omissions. Distribution Manager: Shane Hourican shane@bizex.ie Origination: Typeform

Printer: WG Baird Limited Caulside Drive Greystone Rd Antrim BT41 2RS

Contact +353872551675 if you have difficulty getting Travel Extra.

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www.travelextra.ie

Normandy, Nuremberg, Portugal, Rhode Island, Romania, South Africa, Thailand, Val d’Isere 30 Holiday World: Guide to the show 46-49 Flying: Airline and airport news 50 Afloat: Princess comes to Dublin

52 Camping: French options 54 Ireland: Home holiday news 56 Global Village Inside the travel industry 58 Postcards: News from the trade 60 Window seat: Our columnists 61 Pictures: Out and about

Know before you go

drop desks at T2. The number of desks dedicated to check-in versus bag-drop vary on a daily basis depending on passenger loads however we tend to have more bagdrop than check-in.

t has been a whole three months since you last went on holidays? That is sooooh last year. Believe us, everything has changed in the meantime,,,

NEW GATES

Dublin Airport opened a new €22m boarding gate area in December. The new South Gates area is used mainly by Aer Lingus for flights to England and mainland Europe. It has five boarding gates serving nine aircraft parking stands who travel by shuttle bus service from an existing lounge at Gate 335 will operate every two minutes on a continuous loop bringing passengers to and from the new boarding gate facility. The new building can accommodate almost 1,000 passengers and includes a café, toilets, baby changing facilities and a workstation area with plugs and charging points. The 2,200 sq facility was built offsite in 80 pieces and then transported to Dublin Airport for final assembly.

PASSPORTS

Automated passport gates became operational at Dublin Airport in December, five each in T1 and T2, to increase to ten in the coming weeks, providing automated passport and security checks “by using advanced facial recognition technology and integration with national and international watch lists,”

SECURITY At

Dublin, 4am has become the new 5am. Dublin

SHOPPING

The new staellite gates at Dublin airport

airport has brought forward the security shift times to 4am in a bid to beat the early morning gridlock at the airport with the 15 machines in Terminal 1 under particular pressure. Queues at T2, which is used by Aer Lingus and long haul operators, have also intensified. The situation may be eased by the introduction of automatic tray return in 2016. Queue times for security at Dublin airport are regulated and penalties kick in if they extend beyond 30 minutes, so they do their best to move you along. If you are running late, present staff with your boarding pass and they will fast track you. For speediest throughput, use the queues to the right of the security area.

T1 The refurbishment of Terminal 1’s Departures and Arrivals areas has brought daylight to places that have not seen it for many years. There are windows where before there were offices on the boundary walls. Airside has seen the installation of new leisure areas with seats and workstations, an extension to the 100 boarding gate area, an upgrade to

the 200 gates. Etihad use T1 as do trans-Atlantic flights using T1 include Air Canada, ASL, Ethiopian and Westjet. Lufthansa, BA, SAS while some Aer Lingus flights are to be found at the 300 gates. Cityjet and the charters are to be found at the 200 gates. These are a bit tricky as arriving and departing passengers are mixed here, which means you cannot return to the main shopping area if you have passed through to the gates. Ryanair are at the 100 gates, a long curved walk from the terminals but there are retail and food options at the pier. Prices are the same as in the Loop.

T2 has all the trendy destinations, Emirates use gate 407 the first on the right after you have descended Ireland’s longest escalator. Gates 401-6 downstairs are blocked off for much of the day by US pre-clearance. Heathrow and Gatwick flights are always on the next nearest gates. If you are flying to the Canary Islands prepare for a long walk to the last of the 400 gates. Even this is preferable to the walk from T2 back to the 300 gates at T1 for

some Aer Lingus flights.

APPS Dublin

Airport app shows gate numbers, check in numbers, baggage belt and an estimated time to clear security. Passbook allows passengers to store any number of mobile boarding passes directly into the app, meaning that they do not need to have actual printed copies of their tickets: Air China, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Lufthansa, Qantas and United are among those signed up.

FAST TRACK

DAA has a membership system allowing parking in the short term car park and fast-track. Book on the website. Fastrack does get crowded at peak times 5am-8am and DAA are adding capacity to fast track in T2 from January and T1 from July. There is also a separate VIP service which can be bought by commuters to celebrate a special occasions such as honeymoon.

SELF-TAG Aer Lingus have rolled out self tag machines in T2.

CHECK-IN Aer Lingus have the most desks, 29 check-in/bag-

The Loop shopping area on the approach to the 300 gates has been upgraded with a sleek new curved aisle and the approach to the food hall has been extended with more dining options.

LOUNGE Two years ago 51st and Green opened airside of US CBP, with free snacks and a charge for a selection of meals. The Terminal 1 Anna Livia lounge has seating for 110 customers. Economy passengers to use the facility for a walk-in price of u20 for three hours. Etihad have the best lounge in the airport off the walkway from T2 to T1, Aer Lingus have a two storey lounge next door while the Anna Livia lounge in T2 is accessible to Priority Pass holders. 51st and Green is the new lounge airside of US CBP

US CBP The US border area has been rearranged to speed things up and four more officers deployed at peak. Since ESTA the only form to be filled is a customs declaration. Passengers travelling on an ESTA and US Citizens can use 18 self-service Automatic Passport Control kiosks reducing time. They spend with an US Officer to less than 30 seconds.


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19/12/2017 12:38


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 6

HOTELS

www.travelextra.ie

CLONSHAUGH Jalaluddin Kajani ‘s Carra Shore applied for planning permission to develop the 10-storey, 421-bedroom hotel in Clonshaugh, close to Dublin Airport. Plans to build a 427-bedroom venue at the location in question were blocked by An Bord Pleanála in October 2017.

DONALD TRUMP’s investment in the West Clare golf resort of Doonbeg reported a 30pc jump in revenues to €6.5m in 2016.

FBD Hotels & Resorts’ Castleknock Hotel in Dublin completed a €7m refurbishment with the addition of 52 new bedrooms, new restaurant facilities, a luxury spa and an upgraded leisure centre.

DUBLIN’s four-star Castleknock Hotel completed a €7 million refurbishment, adding 52 bedrooms, restaurant facilities, a spa and upgraded leisure centre. DALATA Ireland’s largest hotel group,

said RevPAR was up 9.5pc at its Dublin properties, 8.7pc in the regions and 10.4pc in its sterling zone properties to November.

EUROSTAT said 21pc book accommodation through websites or apps such as Airbnb in Ireland compared with the EU average of 17pc, third highest in Europe after England (34pc) and Luxemburg (22pc). TAXIS Six Dublin hotels, including the

Merrion, Shelbourne and Westbury, have appealed to An Bord Pleanála against plans to ban taxis from the proposed civic plaza at College Green. A public hearing on Dublin City Council’s proposal for a car-free plaza will by held in January.

JURY’S a bid led by Swedish hotel

group Pandox has confirmed its €910m acquisition of the Jurys Inn chain.

HOTELIERS and developers are planning 600 new bedrooms for Galway from 2020, according to Savills Ireland. Trending. ie reported that Galway hotel occupancy was over 74pc last year, up from 69pc in 2013. Over the same period, average room rates grew from €72 to €95. During the peak summer months of 2017, hotels had a vacancy rate of only 5pc.

Carton House was the biggest hotel sale 0f 2017

Ireland’s 820 hotels

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avills Ireland say that €600m worth of hotels have changed hands in Ireland I 2017. They were headlined by the €87m sale of the Gibson Hotel at the Point to German group Dekabank, businessman John Mullen’s €57m acquisition of Carton House in Maynooth and the purchase of Galway’s Radisson Blu hotel by a partnership between the MHL Hotel Collection and developer Jerry O’Reilly and the €19.5m sale of Knightsbrook in Trim. In all there has been €3bn in hotel transactions since 2012, €850m in

G HOTEL The High Court approved a scheme of survival for seven companies, including the five-star g Hotel and four-star Meyrick Hotel in Galway which will safeguard their future and staff jobs.

HARCOURT ST Hoteliers Brian and Sally McGill are to open a four-star hotel on Dublin’s Harcourt Street in the new year. The Iveagh Garden Hotel will be beside their Harcourt Hotel and Harrington Hall. BLUE HAVEN In Kinsale is to become Ireland’s first Dyson Hotel.

2016 and €1bn in 2015. The first half of this year saw hotel sales decline to of 18 hotels worth €75m from 29 hotels worth €136m. Irish Hotels Federation CEO Tim Fenn said there are now 820 hotels and 57,000 bedrooms in the 26 counties, 3,000 below the number at peak in 2008. In another recent study, Savills reported that upwards of 3,000 additional hotel rooms are in the pipeline for Dublin over the next several years. Opemings in 2018 include the Iveagh Garden Hotel of Harcourt Street, the Clayton Hotel of Charlemont, and the

Aloft at Blackpitts in Dublin 8. Tom Barrett of Savill’s said Dublin remains one of the best-performing cities in Europe in terms of occupancy, which will continue to attract attention from both hotel operators and investors. Looking ahead to 2018, we expect to see further retrades in a stabilising trading environment, following years of exceptional growth. In addition, the emergence of new hotels next year will also create interesting investment opportunities. So, overall, the outlook for the market is very positive.”

THREE IRISH HOTELS MAKE GOLD LIST

AN BORD

Pleanála has green-lighted a €40m luxury hotel at Loreto Hall on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green despite security concerns from staff at the adjoining offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Carton House the biggest hotel sale of last year

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romoland Castle, Merrion Hotel in Dublin and Ballyfin in Laois were included on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold

S

List of 234 of the best hotels in the world. Ireland’s three hotels compares with two from Germany and three from Turkey, The USA had

44, Italy had 30, France had 19, England nine and Switzerland six. Dublin finished 39th in a list of the world’s best cities in the list.

Mark Nolan of Dromoland

STAYCITY AIMS FOR 1,500 KEYS

taycity Aparthotels said it expects to have 1,500 keys operating in Dublin by 2021. A new 50 apartment site

will be added in Chancery Lane in 2017 and a 142-apartment building on Mark Street in 2020. Staycity expects 2017 turnover to grow by 25pc.

Last year the company opened aparthotels in Marseille, Lyon and Manchester,. Staycity are to launch a new premium brand, Wilde

Aparthotels by Staycity. The Wilde Aparthotel will open in London in spring of 2018, with a second to follow in Edinburgh in 2019.


Dreaming of winter sun? Escape to the Algarve. Talk to your travel agent.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 8

TRAVEL TRENDS 2018

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ld is new. Spain is the new Spain. Portugal is the new Portugal. Despite the huge range of destinations on offer in 2018 from the major Irish ports and airports, most of us will be going traditional, back the holiday destinations that have dominated Irish travel since Malachy went on pilgrimage to Rome. Travel Extra estimates that outbound capacity will grow 10pc in the year 1018. If demand for outbound travel increases at the rate of last year, 8.5pc, it will mean a few decent prices may be had in the shoulder season, but it is likely that peak season prices will creep ever so slightly upwards. This has been happening in recent years as Europe’s main markets turn back to traditional destinations to replace the Turkish and North African holiday spots that the nerves have forsaken.

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he signature new route launch for 2018 is the Cathay Pacific 4w service to Hong Kong, Ireland;s first direct route to China. Philadelphia commences March 26 and Seattle becomes Aer Lingus’ 12th US gateway from Ireland on May 18. Six new direct transatlantic services have been added by Aer Lingus since their acquisition by IAG in 2015. It will not stop there, with the addition of ten wide-bodied aircraft to the fleet planned over the next six years and the arrival of the A320 neo brining more north America within

Route causes

500,000 extra seats adds choice for holiday makers Hong Kong harbour: Cathay Pacific will fly direct from Dublin to Hong Kong from May range of what is effectively a short haul aircraft. American is extending the season for its Philadelphia-Shannon service. Norwegian Air International is boosting frequency between Shannon and Stewart international. United is extending the season for its Chicago-Dublin service and adding capacity between Newark and Dublin with a change of aircraft. On the burgeoning Canadian Air Canada mainline is replacing Air Canada Rouge, with new seasonal services to Montreal Dublin and from Shannon to Toronto, and increased frequency to Vancouver and Toronto from Dublin. Air Transat is adding departures from Dublin to Toronto. Each new long haul route impacts not prices,

IRISH TRAVEL TO SEPTEMBER 2017 Britain up 5.9pc to 1.5m, Spain up 9.8pc to 1.45m, France down 4pc to 490k, Portugal up 17.6pc to 462k, Italy up 14.9pc to 355k, N America up 13.8pc to 296k, Germany up 6.3pc to 168k, Other Europe up 8.2pc to 840k, Asia & M East up 22.5pc to 169k Rest of World down 30.6pc to 93k

but choices as well. Turkish, Qatar and Emirates are all talking of adding capacity in 2018. They are each individually expanding their network offering one stop options to Irish holiday makers where before they had to make two stops to key tourist locations such as Phuket, Changi and Chiang Mai. Tour operators TUI are also offering programmes to Mexico and Jamaica.

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reland will get nearly 450,000 extra seats to Europe in summer 2018. Ryanair adding 250,00 of these with extra flights on 40 different routes from Cork, Dublin, Knock and Shannon airports to Croatia, France, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Spain. From Cork they are offering extra flights to: Alicante (now 2w), Gerona (2w), Reus (3w), Bordeaux (2w), Carcassonne (2w), Faro (5w), Lanzarote (5w), Malaga (5w), Mallorca (3w), Bergamo (2w) and Tenerife South (2w) From Dublin they are taking extra flights to: Alicante (now 12w), Barcelona Girona (4w),

Barcelona Reus (12w), Biarritz (4w), Bologna (4w), Carcassonne (4w), Fuerteventura (5w), Gdansk (5w), Gran Canaria (4w), Ibiza (4w), Kaunas (5w), La Rochelle (3w), Lanzarote (11w), Mallorca (10w), Malta (6w), Murcia (9w), Nantes (5w), Pisa (6w), Rodez (2w), Santander (3w), Seville (3w), Tenerife South (daily), Valencia (3w), Venice Treviso (5w), Vilnius (4w) & Zadar (4w) From Knock they are offering extra flights to: Alicante (now 2w) From Shannon they are offering extra flights to: Alicante (now 3w) & Mallorca (3w) Ryanair say they will carry 15.5m customers to and from Ireland next year. Aer Lingus European expansion includes Bordeaux (19,000 extra seats), Lyon (22,000 extra seats), Lisbon (11,000 extra seats), Rome (12,000 extra seats), Prague (18,000 extra seats) and Vienna (21,000 extra seats). Aer Lingus will offer 945,000 seats to Spain, 310,000 seats to the Canary Islands and 495,000 seats to Portugal. Aer

Lingus use their wide bodied A330s, in between trans-Atlantic rotations, on the services to Faro and Malaga, to where they are offering 11,000 additional seats from Dublin in summer 2018.

L

ufthansa is adding frequencies to Germany. Ryanair has launched new services to Munich and Stuttgart, and is adding frequency from Hamburg. Ryanair will operate to Berlin from Kerry, replacing the service from Shannon. Aer Lingus is adding departures to Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, Montpellier, and Nantes and Air France Hop is adding a seasonal service form Cork to Paris CDG. Aer Lingus adding frequency to Rome from Dublin Ryanair is launching a service to Naples. SAS is expected to add capacity on services to Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm from Dublin. Finnair is increasing frequency to Helsinki from Dublin. SWISS is adding departures to Zurich from

Dublin and Cork. Icelandair is launching a service to Keflavik from Dublin, commencing May 8th, joining WOW on the route. Aer Lingus is adding frequency to Barcelona from Cork. Iberia Express will extend its summer season services to Madrid from Cork. Easyjet has three new routes from Belfast International to Spain, Italy and the Isle of Man. Aer Lingus, BA, Flybe and Ryanair are adjusting frequencies on a number of British routes. Flybe has reinstated the Dublin to Southend service.

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ashion is also determining where holiday makers go. The rise of Iceland as a destination has been one of the surprise stories of recent years, with tourism growing 30pc annually. The result is pressure on hotels and infrastructure on the traditional Golden Circle sight seeing run. Eastern Europe is lining up to be the next growth target with Lithuania, Romania and Montenegro all making waves as new wave holiday destinations.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 9

TRAVEL TRENDS 2018

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alta, a noted U N E S C O World Heritage site with 7,000 years of history, is European capital of culture for 2018. Attractions include festivals, nightlife, ancient stone architecture, a rollicking Carnival in February and scuba diving to wartime wrecks. The other European capital of culture for 2018 is Leeuwarden in the Netherlands’ province of Friesland. Cultural events include an Aug. 31-Sept. 1 event expanding an annual marathon across 23 villages with music, art, theatre and pop-up hotels. Two American cities mark tri-centennials in 2018. New Orleans tricentennial events include the Prospect.4 art exhibition, which is already underway; a Mardi Gras, Feb. 13, with the

Valetta is European capitlal of culture in 2018

Krewe of Rex procession themed on New Orleans’ history, spring festivals; Luna Fete next December; and a New Orleans Museum of Art exhibition showcasing works from the Duke of Orleans’ collection such as Raphael, Titian, and

Rembrandt. San Antonio plans a commemoration week in May, a Summer of Spain marketplace highlighting Spanish food, art and culture, Day of the Dead events October 29-30 and a Witte Museum exhibition about the city’s

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frontier history. Exhibits include the keys to the Alamo and Davy Crockett’s fiddle.

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reland already has one of the most valuable passports in the word, four visa-free countries less than world

leaders Germany on 174, and a few countries made it easier for Irish people to obtain visas in 2017. Belarus permitted Irish people to visit without a visa if they fly in via the capital Minsk (although few do otherwise), hold a valid insurance policy,

and leave within five days. Kazakhstan allows Irish to stay for up to 30 days without application for visa in advance. China is also making it a little easier for Irish to visit. Both Beijing and Shanghai now offer a six-day “transit permit”, which removes the requirement for a visa so long as you arrive (by air or sea) from one foreign country and depart to another. Ethiopia launched a new e-visa option in June for those arriving via Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, India increased the maximum validity of e-visas from 30 to 60 days in April. Vietnam recently extended its visa-free arrangement with Ireland for stays of up to 30 days..


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 10

DESTINATION ROMANIA

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t least they got the garlic right. The early season garlic from Transylvania. is delicious. You won’t need it to keep Dracula away. Transylvania’s signature product is a work of fiction and, frankly, a bit of an embarrassment for Transylvanians. There was never any connection between this region and Vlad Dracul, the Impaler. He came from Wallachia, a thousand kilometres away and even his connection with Dracula is tenuous. The Dracula story was written by a Clontarf author who had never visited Transylvania (he chose to write part of the book in Pennsylvania, which is not quite the same thing). The legacy that he bestowed on one of the most beautiful natural reserves in Europe is the cause of more than a little resentment. “Dracula? I have come to dislike him,” Romania’s ambassador in Dublin Manuela Breazu told a group of travel agents last spring. “Transylvania has mountains, wildlife, history and a natural reserve, one of the best of the world.

Y

ou would not think it is from the souvenir sellers, however. They present an assortment of Drac-tack, offering tourists Dracula T-shirts, fang toothed figurines and plastic spi-

D for Transylvania

Eoghan Corry samples the hinterland of Cluj Foritifed church in Viscri, the distinctive heritage mark fo Transylvania der webs and bats as they try to navigate their way down the hill from what has become Romania’s biggest tourist attraction. Bran Castle, 360,000 visitors a year and rising, is attractive and imposing in its own right. It is unfortunate that it has become famous because of Dracula, a bit of an achievement for a fictional character. It is a 19th century reconstruction of earlier fortifications on an ancient hilltop site, a frontier post with distant connections with Vlad’s Wallachian possessions, more Dromoland than Caher, and yet tourists trundle through, expecting the cloaked one to pop out of a box (in Tihuta, they DO have a man who jumps out of a

THINGS TO DO

n Brasov (remarkable city, preserving the marks of a medieval history with Saxon influences, mainly in the old town. n Sighisoara, small fortified city in the heart of Transylvania with s well preserved fortified site: the Stag House, the Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Venetian House, the Covered Stairs. n Viscri village, an oasis of tranquility try lunch in a local pension and take a carriage ride.

coffin to scare tourists, ‘nuff said). Life imitating art imitating second-hand folklore. Our tour guide Sergo Robu was reluctant to point out the supposed birthplace of Vlad Țepeș, in Sighișoara before he got on to the more serious business of showing the town’s genuine attractions, the Stag House, the Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Venetian House, the Covered Stairs. “This is the house where my friend was allegedly born “ he said, refusing to use the D-word. With so much real history on offer, why bother with the make-believe? Nor is it Bram Stoker’s fault. He met Emily Gerard at a party in Lady Wil-

n Rhein Azuga” Wine Cellars. The “Rhein & Cie Azuga 1892” winery, former supplier of the Romanian Royal Court n Peles Castle, former summer residence of Romania’s royal family. Built by King Carol I of Romania as his summer residence, the Peles Castle shelters an important collection of works of art, rare furnitures and valuable paintings. n Haller Castle Fine dining in ancient aambience. http://castelhaller.ro/en/

de’s house. She had lived in Sibiu and Brasov and had documented Transylvanian folk traditions. He liked what he heard, and set the opening of his most famous novel there, featuring a character that more resembled Stoker’s friend Henry Irving than anything from Romanian history. Tourism in Transylvania is still feeling the effects of that chance meeting in Merrion Square in Dublin.

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ransylvania had an action packed 14th and 15th century and, fictional vampires aside, very little since. Thjios was the frontier between cultures. This has bestowed upon it an amazing legacy of fortified churches, seven of them listed by UNESCO. Churches were regarded as sanctuaries in medieval Europe, where people could flee in the knowledge they would not be killed. Romania’s Ottoman invaders were not as given to these niceties so an elaborate circular defence system was constructed, com-

plete with living quarters for the villagers. We visited Prejmer, one of the most accessible and wandered through the dark tunnels with narrow winded views on the village below. The views from these fortifications are always worth the climb: mountain top after mountain top, the winding path to Rupea Citadel, and the splendid Viscri, atop a Roma village with echoes of the resilient lifestyle that endured as armies marched back and forth across these acres. The Germans fled when the wall fell, 150,000 of them between April to May 1990, leaving their century old fortifications behind. Gerhied Gross showed us where her forbears had lived. Viscri has become a symbol of rural Transylvania, a streetscape and a way of life that will not be allowed to pass into history. Aristocratic life can be fun to visit too. Peles Castle is a construction for the 19th century Romanian Royals, big house living while the peasants were revolting (literally,

in 1907). Rhein Azuga Wine Cellars are back in the business of making high quality wine. And fine dining in Haller Castle, without a clove of garlic in sight.

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raşov had a population of 360,000 in 1989. With the big factory closures one third of the population left. Romania’s diaspora now matches Ireland’s in the 19th century, 1.3m in Spain, 1m in Italy. The cities they left behind are beautiful, white gleaming under red conical roofs in the soft autumn sunlight when we visited, Cluj with its direct Blue Air flights from Dublin, Sighisoara, and the jewel in the crown, Braşov. Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches jockey for position on the skyline here, Braşov and Cluj offer two of the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe to anyone who might pass. There are in all 20,000 orthodox churches and 800 monasteries. If a certain vampire was trying to avoid crosses, he chose the wrong place to live.

n Eoghan Corry flew to Bucharest and retuned form Cluj. Blue Air fly direct from Dublin 3w to Cluj and 4w to Bucharest. www.blueairweb.com


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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 12

DESTINATION SPAIN 

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alicia is a storyteller’s paradise, so it comes as no surprise that so many films and books have been written about the region and the journey to its capital, Santiago de Compostela. Although our group is treated to a ‘pampered’ version of the French Camino Way – trekking a measly eight kilometres of the more than 700 km route – we still manage to stumble across some fascinating characters. Our guide’s advice is, when you meet a stranger on the route, ask them why they’ve decided to take the pilgrimage. The answer is sure to be fascinating. Take, for example, our encounter with a colourful, young Hungarian chap who was walking the Camino with a donkey. Along a small bank by the Catasol River, he told us the beast had accompanied him on the journey many times. The donkey – an ‘elderly’ 22 years of age – was on his final trip before retiring to a hippy commune in northern Spain. That’s just a flavour of the kind of wonderful encounters you come across in Galicia. We start our journey backwards in the capital of Santiago de Compostela, which is usually the final stop for ‘pilgrims’ – as foreigners become known in these parts – who follow the ‘Way of Saint James’.

Camino struck

Conor McMahon gets a flavour of Galicia

Sil Canyon

For a city that has been associated with religious pilgrimage since the 9th century, there’s a refreshingly modern feeling around Santiago. Perhaps that’s because it has a significant student population, which has injected plenty of young blood into the capital – along with reasonably priced bars and hipster cafés.

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ur favourite place to wet our whistles in Santiago is a pub called Modus Vivendi, which was recommended to us by the expert staff at Casa da Troia hotel. It a cosy little spot that was once had a trough in its cellar where horses could drink water. The patrons nowadays prefer Estrella beer.

(Apart from the pubs, of course), the most important building in Galicia’s capital is the cathedral at Praza das Praterías. It’s a magnificent structure, sadly enveloped with scaffolding and endless drilling when we visit since it’s in the middle of a makeover. The interior on the other hand is breathtaking, with embellished altars and icons dotted in virtually every corner of the enormous structure. Hundreds of tourists shuffle through the cathedral throughout the day, many of them here to rejoice after completing the Camino trek. One of the building’s most famous features is the ‘botafumeiro’, a kind of incense burner that dangles from the ceil-

THINGS TO DO: PLACES TO SEE

n Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela: iconic end point of the various pilgrim trails that have been trekked, beautiful and full of history. Be sure to see the attached museum a And try he Pilgrim’s Mass complete with the Botafumiero n Casco Historico, old palazzos, the palace of Rajoy, who is now communal administration with his sculpture Saint Jacques, in the sud the college of Jeromino, the many church and cloitre and the episcopal palace n As Catedrais Beach Ribadeo, free of charge! Check the times of low and

high tides in their website and ask the hosts you are planning to stay to book a visit for you. n Islas Cies Natural Park Beautiful Natural Park with grat beaches and great nature. Located about 45 minutes by ferry from Bayona/Vigo, note that access is limited pat peak times. n The Roman walls of Lugo UNESCO designated example of late Roman fortifications , a treasure trove of Roman artifacts with a Museum many statues and a Roman bath.The completely enclose the old town and are 2km long.

ing. A team of six priests hoist the object above the congregation, causing it to swing above their heads at great speeds. We’re told the botafumeiro can clock up to 80 km an hour, but it must have been a bit of a slow day when we visit. When it comes to cuisine, seafood is unavoidable in Galicia. Restaurants serve a kaleidoscopic smorgasbord of lobsters, crabs, squid, octopus and other such creatures. Most restaurant sittings require more tools than a dentist’s office so you can hammer and chisel away at each cours

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othing goes to waste in Galicia and our local guides explains how to crack open the shells of various sea creatures so we can suck out every last shred of meat. It doesn’t really matter where you eat as long as the fish is fresh. We dined in a hall with sweaty pilgrims, another night we were hosted at the fancy, Michelin-starred Casa Marcelo restaurant – on both occasions the food was exquisite and comforting.

The most luxurious seafood that’s prepared in Galicia is called percebes. It looks unappetising – like an alien’s thumb, complete with nail – but the juicy flavour is divine. It doesn’t come cheap though, selling for more than €40 a kilo. Percebes, which live on rocks, are famously difficult to catch and one fisherman died the week before our Galician tour – hence the hefty price tag. If fine dining and death isn’t your thing, most menus offer a hearty pilgrim’s broth which is very satisfying. If you’re walking the Camino, you can avail of a threecourse meal for €10 which includes the broth with boiled vegetables, a carafe of wine and an almond cake for dessert.

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s well as having deep religious roots, Galicia has a strong Celtic connection which might help explain why visitors are so spellbound by the place. With its lush, green valleys, the region is more like the Emerald Isle and a far cry from the sandy beaches of southern Spain.

On our journey, we meet an honorary Irishman in Palas de Res. He oversees the maintenance of a 7th century church which he claims was built by Irish monks. The octogenarian is an enchanting host – although his history might be a bit off. You’ll find an even older structure, dating back to 500 BC, when you visit A Guarda, the location of the Celtic fort and village of Santa Tegra. But if you only want to step back in time a few hundred years, I’d recommend a visit to the beautiful Arqueixal family farm in Alba, where you can sample homemade cheese, yoghurt and unpasteurised milk. If you really want to immerse yourself in socalled ‘ecotourism’, you can book the family in for some activities like learning how to prepare the cheese or how to survive a night sleeping in a stable with only pigs for warmth.

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alicia offers a wide range of such agricultural experiences. For example, in Arzúna, A Coruña, you’ll find O Enredo do Abelleiro, an enchanting museum and farm dedicated to beekeeping. Meanwhile in O Rosal, Pontevedra, you can try four delicious young white wines at Bodegas Terra Gaudas vineyard, which produced about 1.5 million bottles last year. You can also book yourself in for a tour of the vineyard and factory to learn how to make wine in a region with little sunshine. As with a lot of Spain, the thing that really makes a trip to Galicia is the people. Their dedication and knowledge of hospitality is second to none. You’ll be well looked after here.

n Conor McMahon travelled to Galcicia as a guest of the Spanish Tourist Board. n Aer LIngus fly 4w to Santiago de Campastela aerlingus.com


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Plus more exclusive benefits. Visit UniversalAgents.co.uk to find out more. HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s18) *Requires theme park admission. Early Park Admission begins one (1) hour prior to regular scheduled park opening to either Universal Studios Florida™ or Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ (as determined by Universal Orlando) and Universal’s Volcano Bay™. Valid at select attractions at each park. Attractions are subject to substitutions without notice. Additional restrictions may apply. †Requires theme park admission. Valid at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Not valid at Pteranodon Flyers™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Excludes separately ticketed events. Benefit not valid for guests staying at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, and Universal’s Aventura Hotel (Opening 2018) or for Universal’s Volcano Bay. Valid for the number of guests staying in the room for the length of hotel stay. Available during normal theme park operating hours only. Additional restrictions may apply and benefits are subject to change without notice. Aventura Hotel TM & © 2018 UCF Hotel Venture IV. All rights reserved. Cabana Bay Beach Resort TM & © 2018 UCF Hotel Venture II. All rights reserved. Sapphire Falls Resort TM & © 2018 UCF Hotel Venture III. All Rights Reserved. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2018 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 14

DESTINATION QATAR

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t might be tiny roughly the size of County Cork and Kerry combined - but Qatar likes to think big, with dreams of rivalling UAE cities as a stopover or one-stop destination, hosting the World Cup, and being a global playground in a tiny point on the map of the Middle East. It already attracts expats by the planeload (it’s got more Indians than locals), drawn by good wages and no income taxes. Determined to bolster its own population, the gas-rich nation offers newlyweds an interest-free loan of $200,000 and land to raise families, while the average local civil servant earns around €145,000 a year TAX FREE and doesn’t have to pay household bills. Leisure-wide, it’s aiming to be the next Dubai or Abu Dhabi, a place of luxury hotels (but not at luxury prices, unlike other cities), where beach meets desert and old cultural activ¬ities like falconry and desert safaris meet mega-malls and hip bars. Even handier, it’s a direct flight of less than eight hours from Dublin, with the recent launch of Qatar Air¬ways’ direct service. You might have flown with its big rivals, Emirates or Etihad, to the Gulf or beyond to Australia, so how does Qatar compare? I flew out to Doha in the business cabin and returned in economy, so got an

Dhow as you Doha Mark Evans tries Dublin’s new Dreamliner destination Doha marina, where size DOES matter

overall feel for what’s on offer.

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he big plus is you fly on a Dreamliner, an aircraft that offers bigger windows (even the blinds are electronically controlled and high-tech) and much better cabin air. The effect of lower pressurisation is designed to fight off the effects of jetlag, and make Doha doable, even if you’re stretched for time and want a long weekend away in the sun. Business is ultra-friendly, and it’s an intimate cabin at a time when business class on the likes of the A380s features row after row of

THINGS TO DO

n Katara Cultural Village is a purpose-built cultural and recreational district located on the West Bay waterfront where performances and various forms of entertainment can be enjoyed. n The Pearl is a man-made island connected to Doha by bridge and home of the luxurious Marsa Malaz Kempinski The Pearl hotel as well as, the yacht marina and many restaurants. 12: n Souq Waqif. Besides the souvenir bargains, a lively entertainment dining and spot, ideal for people-watching. The Gold Souq is nearby.

seating. The attention is good, and inflight entertainment is on a par with competitors. Economy was, as you’d expect, busy - filled with a VFR market from Australia, heading to Ireland for the Christmas season. It’s comfortable, and with similar inflight entertainment, albeit with slightly smaller screens, than business. While Ireland was in the grip of a December chill, Doha was basking in comfortable temper¬atures in the mid-20s — so it was a case of ditch the jacket, and throw on the summer gear. And the good news is that the airline was of-

n An off-road desert safari 60 km south of Doha, Khor Al Adaid, also known as the ‘Inland Sea’, is an impressive natural wonder. One of the few places in the world where the sea encroaches deep into the heart of the desert, it is a must visit in Qatar n The Museum of Islamic Art collection covers 14 centuries of the finest art and artifacts from across the Islamic World housed in a dramatic IM Pei-designed building on the Corniche and ranks as a top international cultural landmark.

fering a free stopover in Doha up to December 31 - but expect this to return. The advantage is that you can try the Qatari capital if you’re en route elsewhere, It’s a city dominated by skyscrapers (it’s half-way on its course to build 300) and its hotel are ultra-luxurious - many with butlers, friendly service, pri¬vate pools and beaches and rooms that are bigger than many Irish apartments.

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stayed in two (very different) hotels, firstly in the newlybuilt Mondrian Doha, which is probably Doha’s funkiest. Designed by Dutch master Marcel Wanders, it’s like no other hotel on earth — everything was made to scratch and it’s a bright and wacky mix of Alice in Wonder¬land meets the Big Brother House, with giant teapots, and looping staircase and rooms with Swarovski crystal chandeliers. Five-

star doesn’t do it justice, and you’ll stay in nothing like it in Europe, let alone Ireland. My sprawling room, with giant LCD TVs and computer-controlled air conditioning and lights, had views over the Manhattan-like sky¬scraper skyline and The Pearl area where they’re building Venice — yes, Renaissance-style villas and streets, complete with gondoliers and luxury yachts — where singer Janet Jack¬son has her

n Qatar offers free 1 Night Stopover Book 2 Nights @ USD100 per room bookable until 28th February 2018 for transit stays valid until and inclusive of 30th April 2018. n If you are on honeymoon, or just want to spend some retirement cash, business class is a little world of indulgent pamper¬ing, with champagne, movies, vibrating massage chairs and lie-flat beds on board. It’s an experience you won’t forget. n For the rest of us, economy is a class above what we’re used to, with compli¬mentary wine and beer, dozens of personal large-screen movies, shows and computer games and some of the friendliest service in the skies. Check out www. qatarairways. com/en-ie/offers/plus-qatar.html n Overnight stays at Mondrian Doha start from approximately €235 per night for a standard room, bed and breakfast, based on two sharing (breakfast is served at CUT Doha). Visit www.mondriandoha.com or contact +974 4045 5555. n Overnight at The St Regis Doha is from around €200 a night, on a bed and breakfast basis in a superior room, based on two sharing. See www.stregisdoha. com or contact +974 4446 0000. n Belgian bar or private beach tempting you? Find out more on the InterContinental Doha visit: www.intercontinental.com/doha And if you’re on a longer stay, check out Irish tour operators or travel agents and th hotels themselves for specials. n Transfers, tours and activities to the desert or sites in the city can be booked with Gulf Adven¬tures. www.gulf-adventures.com n For more information on Qatar, visit the Qatar Tourism Authority website at www.visitqatar.qa


own local palace. It’s all very cosmopolitan — one of the head guys is Dubliner Dan Kiely and many of the staff are European — and boasts its own New York-style restaurant and a very hip sushi restaurant, Morimoto, with a bevy of chefs cooking up creations in the giant kitchen in the middle of it. The nearby Pearl area is home to Katara Cultural Village, which hosts the country’s film festival, helped in its birth by Robert De Niro (they’ve built him a multimillion dollar villa to say thanks). It has its own Roman-themed Colosseum, which plays host to local Eric Clapton. It’s a nice spot by day (for water sports, restaurants and people-watching), and by night, for concerts and leisurely strolls. I’m not a big fan of museums, but the nearby Museum of Islamic Art has a mind-blowing look — the views over the city are worth a trip alone — and artefacts from as far afield as China and Spain. The medieval car¬pets are beautifully preserved, and our guide explained that the traditional colours have lasted for centuries, and haven’t faded with time, unlike modern chemically-based colours.

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y favourite bit of the city is the old souk

Old meets new on front of the Doha skyline

— a maze of shops, stalls and shisha and coffee restaurants where there’s an incredibly lively buzz. The locals are curious about the big world and very friendly, so grab a chair and enjoy endless cups of Arabian coffee. If you ‘re not into haggling, don’t worry — there is zero pressure here to buy anything. If you’re into gold or pure cashmere, locals say look to get around 25pc discount. As it was before Christmas, I picked up exotic Frankincense (no gold or myrrh, given my budget), which is said to be good for many ailments, including arthritis. Meanwhile, if you like curries, there’s a neverend¬ing array of hot and exotic spices to bring

home. If you want western-style shop¬ping, the mammoth Mall of Qatar is pure US style. It’s got western and lo¬cal names, and prices where cheaper for many things than back at home. If you’ve kids with you, the iMax screen there is enormous and hosts massive stage shows — the giant screen was showing Man¬chester United when I was there). There’s even a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce buggy to bring kids and granny around the mall, if you want to be a high roller in a small car.

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nother highlight was the desert — and here you

FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 15

DESTINATION QATAR

can ride a nice clean and friendly camel (€5) on a 45-minute trip out of the city into the sands. Strap yourself in and go dune-bashing around the sandy slopes with a 4x4 driver, then get into those togs and take a swim in the Arabian Sea while your salads are being prepared in the desert tent and the meat skewers are sizzling on the barbecue. If you like the finer things in life, the St Regis hotel is pure Fifth Avenue Manhattan in the Gulf. The pool is enormous — and it’s surrounded by cabanas, with a DJ playing at the weekend. The steakhouse is a must-visit to get a feed of rib-eye with a glass of wine, and the overall feeling here is of luxury

Clockwise: hotel pool, moxque tour, riding the market, and the Museum of Islamic Art

— with prices less than half of what you’d pay back home. There’s a private beach too, and many rooms again offer those amazing skyline views. You could get used to all the pampering, as the staff here, and across the city, are genuinely happy to welcome guests from around the world.

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ike Las Vegas, all the party ac¬tion is in the hotels, but if you want a bar atmosphere, the InterContinen¬tal (again with private beach and sweeping views) boasts the biggest Belgian bar in the world. Unlike Belgium, though, it’s got a mas¬sive terrace overlooking the beach and you can drink

under dazzling sunshine. Alcohol is dearer in the Gulf area, so if you want bargains, check out happy hours and remember Friday is the day when you stump up some cash and the booze flows with fine food all-inclusive for hours. If you like Middle Eastern cuisine — think Greek/Turkish, except with gargantuan proportions — the Inter¬Continental’s Lebanese restaurant is a must-stop for a very long lunch. Summers are sizzling (up into the 50°C), but if you fancy a winter, spring or autumn break, Doha’s a nice mix of the exotic with facili¬ties that are even above western standards.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 16

DESTINATION AUSTRIA

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n the beginning, for the beginner, there was Westendorf. They started teaching people to ski in 1952 on those gentle little slopes beside the first lift, with a scary corkscrew turn as you first approach them, where half of Ireland learned to ski. The pioneers of the pole first found it in the 1960s. The nursery slopes are right beside the town square and the neat compact hive of restaurants and bars around it, so you could fall over and then return to, ahem, fall over. They came by the score, the hundred, the thousand and eventually, by the generation. They are still coming. Is Westendorf really for beginners? We cannot begin to imagine. Local slopes do not slow a slow progression from the nursery slopes. You have to step up to the mark quickly and negotiating the first section down from the Talkasser is not for the weak hearted. Und die Jünger murrten, our ski guide Kai Muntsch said (and the disciples moaned).

Westendorf winging

Eoghan Corry in an Irish Austrian ski favourite It has been a great year for early season snow in Westendorf the Skiwelt, it translates as the ski world and in 1977 it felt like a new world. Nowadays nine village: Brixen im Thale, Ellmau, Going, Hopfgarten, Itter, Kelchsau, Scheffau, Söll and Westendorf are joined up providing direct access to 284km of ski runs, 70 mountains of 3,000m or more , 90 lifts, 21 downhills, and 77 family-run restaurants with sun terraces and

WHITE SNOW GREEN TOWN n SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental was voted Ecological Ski Resort of the year at the World Snow Awards in London. The Ski Welt has 65 snow grooming machines to keep the pistes in great shape as well as the eco concept of resource-saving snow management- all with 100pc green electricity, as well as renewable energy heating in various facilities of the SkiWelt.

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fter that came the other Westendorf. Forty years ago they made Westendorf bigger. They invented the “Wilder Kaiser - Brixental, later

table service for the WienerShnitzel, Gröstl and Marend needed to sustain yourself in low temperatures. The area has 2.6m ski days in Winter with up to 50,000 per day. If one side of the mountain

THINGS TO DO

As well as skiing, Westendorf has a great range of activities for groups and for all the family. n Cross-country skiing n Para-gliding n Toboganning, €8 for tobogan hire n Sleigh-rides n Winter hiking routes & nature walks

is empty, head for the other one. It means lots of skiing opportunities with modern tracker technology that tells you how many kilometres you have skied, The disadvantage is, from Westendorf, it can be a long way to reach the main action of the Skiwelt. The village is as far left on the piste map as you can get and only joined the general ski area in 1984. It comes with an exciting traverse that takes you over two public roads where, occasionally, cars pass and the snow does melt. Westendorf lovers were happy to put up with that to get back to their favourite village, because they loved it. The bus from Brixen was a handy alternative. It is free for skiers, in season. Westendorf, after all is for beginners. There is a sense that when you have taken your first long ski down to Brixen, with that

n Snow-shoeing free from the Tourist Board pay for snowshoe hire at €6 n Schnapps tasting n Traditional Tyrolean evenings – with schuhplattling ( thigh-slapping dancing) and music n Après ski at places like the Bruchstall on the slopes.

challenging long flat bit at the end, that you have moved into the big boys’ yard. It starts in mountainous beauty and ends in pain. Am ende ist die ente fett, Kai proclaimed, (at the end the duck is fat).

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eginners fall. A lot. You can stand on slope 111 and watch in the afternoon when it gets nicely polished

and you the bodies start collecting at the bottom. Kai Muntsch said that the mountain rescue people do not even need to ask when they get a call. They know where to go. Beginners make for good apres ski, and this is where Westendorf scores as well. There are 100 pubs and bars (Irish people always have a laugh at the FeinSinn steakhouse, it translates as Fine Sense).

For a romantic evening we took the sleigh ride to the Aunerhof Restaurant and be entertained by some thigh-slapping entertainers, where you can lederhosen like a macho. The valley is well set up for the snowball of a season, 4,500 guest beds in Westendorf, (there are just 3,600 inhabitants) and 15,000 guest beds in region. As Frank Sinatra might sing: it is up to you Westendorf, Westendorf.

Museum on the mountain: 1946 chairlift chairs n Eoghan Corry flew to Westendorf, with Aer Lingus and stayed as a guest of the Westendorf Tourist board. Aer Lingus has twice daily flights to Munich from Dublin, as well as flights from Cork. www.aerlingus.com n Westendorf is less than an hour transfer from Munich to Westendorf. Expect to pay around €95 for a return transfer with 4 Seasons – www.tirol-taxi.at n He stayed at the 4 star superior family run Hotel Schermer. an easy walk of both the town of Westendorf, and the gondola station, great breakfast and great spa, with inside outside swimming pool, and choice of treatments. www.schermer.at n He skied with the Red Ski School in Westendorf, owned by Hans Fuchs.


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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 18

DESTINATION PORTUGAL

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he Douro valley is a geological poem, poet Miguel Toga wrote. Vineyards cock-step up the rolling hills, creating a patchwork quilt of staked yellows, greens and browns. On the hilltops the fortified villages, the castros, a term descended from Celtic terminology (cathair to us), keep a sleepy eye on proceedings. Nature, agriculture and art are at work here

Douro Me

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ivers and slate define the quality of the vines, slate soil will keep the water, and water is everything in a region where temperatures come in extremes. “Eight months of Winter four months of hell,” the seanfhocal goes. Douro itself is subdivided into three regions, divided by the Corgo river. Locals talk about the vineyards that escaped phylloxera (Quinta de Noval) as if it were some sort of heroic epic tale. The great war to served the grapes turned every strip of land into a battlefield, which the producers ultimately lost. In places you can see the scars, olive trees planted in place of grapes, like Flanders graveyards. There are 85 varieties of grape in Douro, 300 varieties in the country. The last vintage was 2015, and the biggest selling consumer brand

Eoghan Corry tastes Northern Portugal Stepped vineyard terraces over the Douro

is still Matteus rose, its design famously based on soldiers’ canteen in First World War. Of these, 30 are used in port, and most ports are a blend of five grape types: Port is a Douro speciality, developed by English and Scottish families for the export market, who started adding brandy to the wine in the 1690s prevent it souring on the journey from Porto. We stopped by at

Quinta do Seixo to see the Ferreira production centre where Sandeman has been made for its Scottish family owners since 1792. Port and sherry were the products when George Messiot Brown designed the logo in 1928, the cloak based on the students of Coimbra, the caballero hat on Spain. His image created a mystique about Sandeman, and port in gen-

PLACES TO SEE THINGS TO DO

n Quinta do Seixo Sandeman visitor centre with tour and tasting near the picturesque village of Pinhïo. n Vintage House Hotel 18th century estate in a privileged location at the heart of the Douro region, renovated into a 5 star hotel. n Douro River cruise from Pinhïo to Tua and back, Douro landscape from a different and exciting perspective. n Guimarïes UNESCO city, cradle of the nation under a 12th century dominating castle and narrow streeted Medieval Town. n Santa Luzia Art Hotel at the historical center of Guimarïes, 4-star hotel with unusually narrow rooftop pool.

n Braga Portugal’s ecclesiastical capital, renowned for baroque churches, 18th century houses, parks and gardens. n BRAC cosmopolitan restaurant in the historic center of Braga, with stone walls and comfortable colourful chairs. n Viana do Castelo Atlantic City which is last stop before Galicia, river, the mountain and the sea givs this city its wonderful facets. n Hotel Fabrica de Chocolate based in a century old building, where chocolate was once produced, with chocolate museum and rooms themed to chocolate’s place in literary and popular culture.

eral, that endures. Today the guides at Quinta do Seixo war the cloak as they bring you through the production process to, oh joy, the tasting room.

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or those who do not have time to go into the countryside, Porto’s wine cellars are located right on the riverbank of Vila Nova de Gaia, with wonderful views back to the city. The 1797 Sandeman building was designed by Joaquim da Costa Lima Sampaio, who also designed the city’s Royal Palace, and taken over by the Sandeman Company in 1811. Fans can also visit The House of Sandeman in Vila Nova de Gaia, a virtual museum of wine history.

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e stopped to see one of the most spectacular castros of all: Citânia de Briteiros, looking for all the world like it belonged on Skellig Michael. The Celts and Lusitanos presided over the winelands from here long before the Romans stopped by. Portugal the nation was invented at Guimarïes. The imposing castle looks down on the town, check out the courtship seats, the Namoradeiras at the windows. Nearby Braga assumed the role of ecclesiastical capital, the Armagh of Portugal, with monasteries at every corner. In the cathedral you can meet the mummified remains of Bishop Lourenço Vicente who died in 1398, looking fresh as Ronaldho.

Sleep easy Lourenço, not much has changed here.

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rown was the only one to be inspired by the cape. One of Porto’s residents in the 1980s was Joanne Rowling. Before she wrote the first of the Harry Potter books in 1995, she was a language teacher here, and it shows. The Hogwarths capes are more Coimbra than any English public school, and an even more spectacular inspiration can be found in the Lello & Irmão Bookstore in Porto, which looks like it really has animated hallways and corridors, with moving stairs and portraits. It turns out that Harry Potter is as Portuguese as those ruby glasses of liquid bearing English names. How magical is that.

n Eoghan Corry traveled to Porto as a guest of Portuguese Tourism n visitportoandnorth.travel n Ryanair fly to Porto year round


INTRODUCING

France by car is about to get a whole lot closer! When our W.B. Yeats launches in July 2018 she will travel direct from the heart of Dublin to France, with sailings every second day. This means that alongside our Oscar Wilde schedule from Rosslare, we will now have daily sailings from Ireland to France. So with optimum schedules, exceptional standards, and our great value fares, it’s no surprise that Irish Ferries is Ireland’s favourite ferry company.

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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 20

DESTINATION AUSTRIA

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he great revelation came, as great revelations have tended to since Moses’ time, half way up a mountain. It was supplied by a Wicklow walker, Patricia Duffy of the Roving Soles waking Club, as to how hiking trails work so well on the Tirolian Alps and are so enticing even for the gloriously out of shape. Going up Lugnaquilla takes so long because it is a gradual ascent. You actually cover about three hills before you hit the mountain at all. Here in Austria you have the luxury of these great gondolas which bring you up the first thousand metres, and then you are high in the hills and you are climbing so fast it is a real sensation of being on top of the world.” The top of the world, with a beer. “Because this is sky country we could walk into an amazing restaurant on the side of a mountain instead of sitting on the grass with a soggy sandwich.”

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estendorf and Kirchberg are magic names for Irish tourism in winter. When the snow melts and the edelweiss blooms, the mountains do not go away. We stopped by to see the summer offering, the Austrian villages that we know, only greener and flowerier and with a 20pc discount. The local tourist board showed off some of the celebrities, the Hahnenkamm with seven peak mountaineer Paul Koller, Kitzbühelerhorn and Ranggenalm Runde with Fritz Minard, the most accessible of the Wilder Kaiser peaks the 2,242m Goinger Halt, Schnapps tasting atSchnapsbrennerei Erber, Brixen e-biking

High pitch

Eoghan Corry hikes through theTirolean Alps Eoghan Corry on the Kitzbuhelerhorn in Tirol, Austria through Kitzbühel and Schwarzsee and a taste of the KAT Walk - the “Long-Distance Walking Trail with Comfort” that travels over six stages across the Kitzbühel Alps, 6 stages106 kilometer6.350 elevation uphill. “Our stars are our mountains,” Christoph Stöeckl of Kirchberg Tourism says, ‘we have smooth mountains, nice villages with a lot of tradition, landscape that skiers know from winter, and good huts where you can hike or bike. E-biking is an interesting story.” The e-bike does not exactly do the work for you it just helps you up the steeper hills. “You can go by e-bike and hike the last 400 or 500 metres.” “St Johann is tremendous,” Gernut Reidel says. The Wilder Kaiser is the chancellor. We have easier walks in the valley. We have good offer with our climber card when you can take the bus and train for free. The mountain kart down the mountain is new for 2017. And we are building a new ten person

gondola facility for the winter season.”

T

he food is a surprise. Competitive fine dining has become a sport among the mountain huts as compelling as the giant slalom. Austrians deprecatory attitude towards fast food outlets from America may be partly based on their perception cherished and repeated that they invented fast food. The original fast food was, of course, the sausage. And still the sausage reigns supreme, easier to relate to than lederhosen or yodelling.

S

alzburg is the gateway. By-pass it at your peril. A walking tour guide skirted us over the bridge and back through the landmarks of the city, Mozart’s birthplace, the Mirabell palace where a famous scene in THAT film was set (Salzburg people show barely disguised disdain for the sound of the music, the musical and movie which brings many English speakers to Mozart’s city), and to lunch by cable car to the

n Eoghan Corry travelled to Tirolia as a guest of the the St.Johann in Tirol and Brixental Tourist Boards. Flights were provided by crystal Holidays.

Hohensalzburg Fortress overlooking the city. The Getreidegasse is the action street, its streetscape designed by strict building codes and a zeal to preserve ironwork period signage. An American accent said “this is the most photographed McDonald’s in the world” outside the fast food outlet that squashed the M into an iron frame. Two of my colleagues turned around to add to the collection the photographs that were taken. Until 11am, the delivery vans make their way up and down through the street to add to the bustle. One man had a Golden State Warriors future, four boys in blue word matching tee shirts and shorts and Austria 2017 emblazoned and a flag at the crest. Red Bull, sneaking its way into many of the shop sigs as it has inveigled its way into many aspects of life in the city. At one end, the towering cliff wall through which the tunnel was dug, and then a little small turn to the right with the hills in the background. The shop signs are the signature of Getreidegasse, ornate iron work hanging and supporting

what would be standard street awnings anywhere else, the Chinese restaurant with Chinese characters, a representation of a h husband and wife like they walked out of one of those barometers in your granny’s house. Schneider, Enger, Berlitz, Wanger, Swarovski, brand names all retro-engraved and all in a row. And we turn once more into a narrow tunnel and walk past ornate painted crockery and china dolls. Then a turn again, into an open courtyard, the white light in each direction, flowers, whitewashed walls and overhanging roofs to keep the deluge away. Outside the Cathedral we find Fergal, latinised to Vergilius, who was responsible for the beginning of post-Latin Christianity here. He stands tall on a pedestal, with an implausibly long mitre, to the right of the four statues on the right on front of the cathedral. Mitres were not around during his time but this does not matter to the passers-by nor to the man from Aghaboe in County Laois preserved in marble, as a stage is setup with speakers in advance of a music festival.

You could imagine Fergal rocking with the beat, the man from the homeland of Electric Picnic enjoying the party. Mozart and the Von Trapps and other begrudgers, beware.

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he real music, perhaps, could best be auditioned back on those enchanting mountainsides. You hear it as the sun goes down and the baking heat quickly turns cold, chilled by altitude and deep falling shadow. Back to Patricia Duffy, who picked out the colours as a highlight of the experience “The green is so beautiful in the mountains. We have a lot of heather and reds and browns which are fabulous too. “Here the greens were amazing. The flowers were stunning, real Alpine flowers, the colours were to strong, the purples and the yellows and the pinks. It was just a great feeling to be waling among it.” “We met these amazing cows, all over the paths, and their cowbells resounding all over the mountains. The hills were alive indeed.


Say “I do” in Italy

Venice - Veneto

Portofino - Liguria

Credit: Lake Como - IVASHstudio

Credit: Venice - iStock-Thinkstock / Lakov Kalinin

Credit: Borghi d’Italia Network

Credit: Archivio Provincia di Verona Turismo/Ferruccio Dall’Aglio

Verona - Veneto

Mondavio - Marche

Credit: Agenzia In Liguria

Nowhere spells Romance like Italy: from Romeo & Juliet’s Verona to a magical gondola ride in Venice; from that special church deep in the countryside to a breathtaking venue by the sea or on the Lakes, Italy is the place to say “I do”.

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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 22

DESTINATION USA

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t looks like a farm, which, of course, is what it is. Wade Lawrence of the Bethel Woods visitor centre turns to the little hollow in the distance and describes what it is like to work on the shrine that is the site of Woodstock 1969. “The vibe lives on that field, people walk the stage and get choked up. Of course, we feel that vibe every day, we work here.” This was the first surprise of the trip to Norwegian’s New York destination and its hinterland. Woodstock is not in Woodstock. It is nowhere near Woodstock, sixty miles away, like saying Electric Picnic was in Dublin. The mythologizing began before the concert began and Bethel Woods works hard to recreate the chaos. It was, in turn, a financial disaster, a traffic jam, a mudbath, a mess, a state disaster area, a movie and a financial success. Musicians not on the bill were conscripted to give impromptu performances. It over-ran by a half a day. The electricity had not been hooked up when the first act took to the stage. There were only 40,000 o the 500,00 spectators left when Jimmy Hendrix played the most famous set of the weekend. Today a visitor centre tries to recreate the spirit of that weekend. Joni Mitchell would be horrified.

Norwegian Air’s new service has opened up mid NY state

Newburgh with NAI T

Upper Landing Par, a disused railway bridge at Poughkeepsie on the Hudosn

he flight to Stewart International airport in Newburgh, Norwegian Air’s version of New York, was a revelation of what has changed in aviation. The Boeing 737-900 had no seatback video, but most of the passengers did not notice as they had loaded their own entertainment on tablets and were watching it. Few people had booked food or drink. When we landed, the checked in suitcases (fro those few who had checked in a bag at €80) were delivered at the check in desk. The baggage belt was put into reverse and bags form the hall unloaded where they would normally be

checked in. There was also an unscheduled stop in Boston en route, but that was a bonus. The passengers were happy with the novelty and the price. A lot of them were not going to Manhattan on the bus. They were meeting friends from the neighbouring counties. There is a bus to Manhattan, but on that evening it seemed a long way away and there were lots of interesting things to do in the immediate hinterland of Newburgh.

N

ancy Lutz of Hudson valley brought us across the Hudson atop the splendid 1889 can-

THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO EAT & STAY

n Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. www.bethelwoodscenter.org 200 Hurd Road, Bethel, New York 12720, the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, n Catskill Distilling Company, www. catskilldistilling.com 2037 NY-17B, Bethel, NY 12720. New York State Farm micro distillery in action n FDR Home & Library. www. fdrlibrary.orgm4079 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538, life and times of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and their continuing impact on contemporary life. n Shadows on the Hudson. www.

shadowsonthehudson.com 176 Rinaldi Blvd, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 award-winning waterfront restaurant located in Poughkeepsie, NY, perched on a cliff 40 feet above the Hudson River n The DeBruce. www.thedebruce. com 982 Debruce Rd, Livingston Manor, NY 12758, sits on a ledge overlooking the Willowemoc Valley and river in upstate New York’s Catskill Park. n Walkway over the Hudson. www. walkway.org, Upper Landing Park, 75 North Water St. in Poughkeepsie.

tilevered steel railway bridge. Built as a link between industrial new England and the coalfields of Pennsylvania, it was closed after a fire in 1974 and spent thirty years rusting before becoming a state park in 2009. It has become a thoroughfare for couples, joggers, walkers, and selfie-takers, watching the trains below take their long tens of minutes to snake past. It is enough to work up an appetite, and we watch the sun set over the river in Shadows on the Hudson Restaurant, on a forty foot promontory overlooking the river. “The colour genie comes out and paints the mountains purple,” Washington Irving said of the sunset. By now the food has landed and is being hap-

pily instagrammed by the group. “It is the Italian in me,” says Nancy Ludz. “I have never met a carbohydrate I don’t like” In a square below in Poughkeepsie town there is an status of New York’s Celbridge-born founding father, Thomas Dongan. “One of the greatest constructive statesmen ever sent to an English colony,” the inscription declares. “The assembly which he created passed an act known as “The Charter of Liberties and Privileges” which assumed the sovereignty of the people and proclaimed religious liberty, the right of suffrage, trial by jury, and no taxation without the consent of the assembly. Dongan’s charter was the Magna Carta of American constitutional liberty. Many of its principles are em-

bedded in the structure of our federal government.”

F

ranklin D Roosevelt is the celebrity ex president here, propelled into popular culture by Roger Michell’s Hyde Park on Hudson. The estates look down on the river on FDR’s favourite views. The FDR family homestead is cluttered with furniture and period curios, a concrete reception area with video and interpretation rooms for the place that he went to rehabilitate after contracting polio in 1921. “He got a lot done, forty hours work weeks and eight hour work days,” the guide says, “hopefully there will be some sort of social security left when I get to retire.”

n Norwegian has launched flights from Cork, Shannon, Dublin and Belfast to two airports on the US east coast which offer good access into the Boston, New York and New England areas but carry significantly lower landing charges, allowing Norwegian to offer some truly affordable fares n Flights are available to Stewart International Airport in New York from Dublin (daily), Shannon (2-weekly) and Belfast International (3 weekly) n Flights are also available to Providence-Boston from Cork (3-weekly), Shannon (2-weekly), and Dublin (5-weekly) n Fares start from €129 one-way, €230 return (for Belfast £125 one-way, £230 return) n Flights are available to book at www.norwegian.com/ie


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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 24

DESTINATION PORTUGAL

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o matter how many come, the single thing they will all be certain to take back from the Algarve is the memory of the colour of the sand on Alvor Beach. The Algarve coat of arms is reflective of martial heritage, Five shields and seven castles that distinguished themselves in the wars against the Moors, but it might well be five sunbeds and seven sandcastles. The region has 95 miles of coastline and a reputation for south-facing warm beaches, grapefruit cliffs, pudding sea-stacks with sloppy contours, and gentler waves that has rippled its way northwards since the Lisbon classe média first began to arrive a century ago. Since then, amid the unrelenting march of pools and upclimbing towers, it has preserved an astonishing amount of its beauty and character.

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he TUI rep Adam Wedge Willis greeted us on arrival. The most popular excursions, he says, are the unforgettable lazy daze and the Zoomarine and Slide and Splash. Our excursion of choice was the well worn trail to Silves and Monchique. Escape the high rise and it does not take long to reach the classic architecture of the villages, “The stripes on the doors are to keep the ghosts and the flies away”, tour guide Marta Carapuca says, “it works with the ghosts but not with the flies.

Silves Castle

Algarve: land of sand and castles

The hidden beauty that lies behind the beachfront

This is only a few kilometres from the beaches and attracts a different type of tourist. Copo de Vinho, 1.50 says a sign on the stoney route to the top. Silves is a dramatic tower topped town of red sandstone, stork nests on the tail chimneys. On the road from Seville to the west, it enjoyed an action packed

12th to 15th centuries and the accumulation of all that action is best explored in the red walled battlements of the castle with views back down across the town. The coaches drop off at the bottom of the town and it is a bit of a hike uphill on cobbled streets in hot summer but in the autumnal heat is was a pleasant place to explore.

TUI ALGARVE EXCURSIONS

n Best of the west u46 n Silves and Monchique u59 n Lisbon sights and sounds u59 n Blue Lagoon secrets u87 n Authentic Algarve u45 n Jewels of the Algarve u50 n Postcards of the Coast u80 n Pirates of the Algarve u59 n Family fun day u49 n Super day, double fun u69

n Off the beaten track u52 n Dolphin spotting u35 n Zoormarine u29 n Aquashowq u29 n Slide and splash u27 n Sunset and moonlight u65 n Guardiana river cruise u47 n Unforgettable lazy daze u48 n Seville shopping u49 n Loule market u21

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onchique was launched as a spa town by King João II In 1495 and has bubbling away nicely ever since, with modern hotels opened to reuse the famous thermal waters here. The spa buildings are from a century ago, in a droll Moorish style, the town straggles up to a stream where the walks are gentle and cooling under the tree, in contract to the gut-shrivvelling local liqueur Medronho, made from the fruits of the arbutus (strawberry) tree. Past the Sierra de Monchique, Mediterranean area where heavy rainfall has produced

a wealth of vegetation, there is a stop on Foia, at 902m high the highest point in the Algarve, a cluster of communications masts competing to photobomb the shots of the selfie-snapping tourists with the rough karst country of olives and apricots spilling away on every side. At Loule, a town with wide handsome boulevards and busy streets, there is a bustling indoor market where you can pick your food for dinner later on. Fatima D”Augusti brought us around her vineyard, a tasty finish to the tour before the excursionists scattered back to their hotels.

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agos is the focal point of the western Algarve, its main square swirling in mosaic tiles, a statue of Henry the Navigator perched overlooking the day trippers. Slaves were once sold in a small cloister like area of the square. In the Church of Saint Anthony we found the grave of Donegal born Hugo Beaty, commander of Lagos Infantry Regiment, who restored the baroque beauty in 1769 from damage in the earthquake of 1755. The gravestone notes he was protestant but put all that energy and resources into restoring a Catholic church. Further along is sabres, the End of the world, featuring a castle with a yard where Prince Henry eyed up the ocean and the stars an calculated where the salt winds might carry him. The wind rakes the yellow cliffs and the scattered brush. The nearby lighthouse offers a windswept lookout. The Portuguese headed south and west in search of a land that would rival th Algarve. They never found it.

n Eoghan Carry travelled to lvor in the Algarve as a guest of TUI Holidays


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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 26

DESTINATION GERMANY

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e were all aboard historic tram number 204 bound for the Kaiserburg, a formidable imperial castle that stands at a suitably imperial height over Nuremberg city. We could see its tallest monument, the Sinwell tower, from far off but my attention was rudely diverted by a sudden jolt forward to tremendous metallic twisting and grinding of number 204. I don’t know what year 204 was built – Nuremberg operated its first electric tramline on May 7, 1896 - but the heavy-metal cacophony that was produced each time we negotiated a turn reminded me of my skinand-bone fragility. The experience was, forgive the metallic comparison, rivetting. For not five hours earlier I was in the middle of a comfortable two and half hour flight from Dublin followed by an even more comfortable Deutsche Bahn Inter City Express train trip, rushing through German countryside at 300 kilometres per hour. The train’s displacement was so smooth an old lady across the way from me could carry out her knitting unperturbed, and, so soundproofed I could hear the clicking of her knitting needles! (I have a video to prove it). Now at a grating 20 kilometres an hour barely, I was being transported not just to the Kaiserburg but a century back in time. (There’s an Einstein theory proved

The New in Nuremberg

put together between 1490 and 1492. Missing completely is America which Christopher Columbus, agonisingly for Behaim, discovered around the same time.

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Sean Mannion is entranced by ancient Germany Nuremberg skyline

in there somewhere). I hadn’t arrived at our first destination but already I felt I knew Nuremberg very well indeed.

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ur journey came to an end at the foot of the hill rising to the Kaiserburg castle. Also known as Nuremberg Castle this is not one but a group of mighty fortresses first built around 1000. From its bastions though we could gaze upon the rust-red rooftop canopy topping Nuremberg’s wooden historic buildings and cobblestoned streets and red-sandstone Gothic architecture radiating out to the glass, steel and white blocks of the modern city. The city, old and

new, houses 500,000 citizens. We would explore further those buildings and monuments the following morning which saw us gathered at Richard Wagner Platz near the Nuremberg Opera House for themed press tours of the city and environs. There were culinary tours, industry tours and old and modern city tours but the guides hoisting the banner marked “An Obligation to the Past” drew my eye. Nuremberg has a conscience about its Nazi past.

O

n the way to our first stop we pass an SS barracks designed by Heinrich Himmler. Today it is

THINGS TO DO: PLACES TO SEE

■ Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelaende the last remaining of the huge monuments in Nuremberg planned to glorify the Nazi empire, now a museum to the excesses of National Socalism. ■ Altstadt: a great sense of 15th and 16th century Nuremberg. Christkindlesmarkt, but also the Duerer Square, the St. Lorenz church, the pedestrian area at Breite Gasse and Handwerkerhof.

■ St Lorenz church has survived for more than 700 years and still stands to share its architecture, history, and works of religious art. It has one of the biggest organ pipe in Europe. ■ Kaiserburg: a glimpse of royalty life from the mid to latter part of the Middle Ages. ,Impressive buildings and fantastic panorama overlooking Nürnberg. ■ Frauenkirche, a quiet place of worship in the midst of a bustling town.

used as the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, a fitting poke at intolerance. The bus atmosphere becomes solemn as next looms the Kongressehall coliseum. This was where Hitler intended to hold rallies after he had won the war. Driving further on on our bus then drove into open ground. We were in the Zeppelinfeld, home of the Nuremberg Rallies. To our left was the Tribune or grandstand where Hitler took the salute. While we were there a large group of young children in red topped track suits trained by running up and down the steps. We then visited the Documentation Centre museum back at Congress Hall which examines the causes and consequences of Nazi tyranny before finally proceeding to stand inside the famous Nuremberg trials courtroom. It looks exactly as it was 70 odd years ago and is still, incredibly, a real courthouse with tours only permitted when it is adjourned.

It was a relief to get back to Richard Wagner Platz and some aperitif and pretzels and the company of Italians, French, Chinese and Russians to cheer the spirit. Then in the Opera House inside the Nuremberg State Theatre the Nuremberg State Philharmonics raised the mood higher. From there we walked to the Germaniscsche Nationalmuseum for dinner and a guided tour of an exhibition among which included the great artist Durer’s masterpieces and the famous Martin Behaim globe, the oldest terrestrial globe of Earth

hristmas and May don’t usually mix but GTM Germany left no bauble unturned as it recreated a full market in the inner courtyard of The Old Town Hall with stalls and stands decorated with tinsel and serving hot mulled wine. And we did finally enter the Christmas spirit. Over two million people from around the world visit the real market. Nuremberg, the centre of the Holy Roman Empire, a city made prosperous by trade and merchants in the 15th and 16th centuries, got second wind with the industrial revolution in the 19th century. Throughout this time it used its wealth to promote and invest in arts and culture with the result that it has 40 plus museums today, an almost constant programme of arts and festivals that prove already to be a magnet for the international visitor. You will enjoy its customs and castles, its pageantry, its cafes and culinary pleasures and old town walks. Maybe even the historic tram ride too.

Conducting history

■ Sean Mannion travelled to Germany as a guest of the German tourism board. Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, Ryanair and ASL fly to Munich.


Relax

Let spa treatments, sunshine and the silence of the desert soothe your mind and body. The combination of sun, sea and tranquil landscapes make Tunisia the perfect place to relax. Add to this a long tradition of spa treatments, and stresses and strains will soon disappear.

In the hammam

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regular visit to a hammam is a way of life for many Tunisian men and women. Rooms of varying temperatures, from cool to sauna-like, combine with massage and exfoliation to thoroughly cleanse the body. Tunis offers the best range of traditional hammams, though few, if any, pander to the softer sensibilities of European spas. Less fluffy towels and smelly candles, more big hairy blokes with loofah mitts who will exfoliate you to within an inch of your life. Head to one of the hammams attached to larger international hotels for a more sanitised version of the real deal.

In the spa Spas have become ubiquitous attributes for luxury hotels and Tunisia is no exception. However, beyond pampering that just ‘feels nice’, some Tunisian spas offer outstanding treatments designed to improve physical well-being. Familiar beauty fixes sit alongside anti-smoking

116014 TUNISIA FP_V1.indd 1

acupuncture, arthritis relief, anti-stress and slimming programmes, all tailored to suit you and your stay. With its 800 miles of coastline, Tunisia has become a worldrenowned thalassotherapy destination – second only to France – and hundreds of spas offer therapies using seaweed, marine minerals, sand, sea water and nutrient-rich algae to destress and detox

In the desert Some claim that the desert ‘gives by taking away’ but if you’d rather not endure too many privations there is another way to enjoy Saharan sand and starlit desert skies. Luxury desert camps lie among the dune seas of southern Tunisia, with airy permanent tents offering comforts such as en-suite bathrooms, comfortable beds, crisp linen and, in some locations, even air-conditioning. Some are set among the dunes, where guests can spend the evening around a campfire under the stars, making believe they’re nomads. Others are found among the shady trees of an oasis, where facilities can include a swimming pool, restaurant or cocktail bar.

OASES

IN THE MEDINA

Sit back and Relax The heart of a medina may not seem the obvious place to search out peace and quiet. However, beyond high walls and heavy doors, tranquillity can be found. On the southern island of Jerba, dar bibine offers a relaxed minimalist base in the centre of Erriadh, close to the island’s capital of Houmt Souk. While an innovative use of space and pieces by world-class names make it a temple to design, its white walls, small pool and hammam, also render it an oasis of traditional Jerban hospitality. On the east coast of the Cap Bon peninsula, dar sabri has found a niche amidst the medina of Nabeul. Riadstyle accommodation takes its cues from traditional and modern themes, with a lower Arab courtyard, vaulted rooms and pool leading to chic roof terraces.

1/8/18 2:58 PM


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 28

DESTINATION FRANCE

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hen Tignes resort was constructed, it promised a playground of snow on a vast terrain shared with Val d’Isere. Club Med was expanding, so Tignes was one of the first snow resorts of the group. They brought all the signatures of Club Med, attitude and altitude combined: the fact you can ski in and ski out, the terrific French-approved food and wine and nightly entertainment, music, dance and family activities, big, spacious bedrooms and the joy of having your equipment hire and locker room in your own basement (wine cellar?). Most of all, it is all inclusive, avoiding the dangers to the wallet of staying in one of the priciest ski areas in the Alps.

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Eoghan Corry samples Club Med Val Claret

Ski-in Tignes Philip Airey of Sunway, who represent Club Med, atop Toviere between Val d’isere and Tignes

And while Club Med Tignes is not as spectacular, huggy or memorable as the new Club Med Val Thorens on the adjoining mountains, you cannot

imagine a closer encounter with an Alp. Or with the great playground that was named for local hero, the first rock star of the slopes

(and fourth generation Tipperary man), Jean

Claude Killy.

lub Med Tignes is at the tail end of the street that snakes through Val Claret,. Tignes has a big playground of its own in the mountains above, en route to the spectacular Aguille Percee. The main resort is being rebranded as Tignes 2100. Some say it makes the better base than Val with its 14th century church and old town feeling. For the Club Med Val d’Isere, take the village lift and ski around the path to land amid the two storeyed lunch quarters. Tignes is higher, more convenient, has more intermediate terrain, and quicker access to the

n Eoghan Corry flew to Geneva with Aer Lingus. n It is a three hour transfer to Club Med Val Claret where he stayed as a guest fo Club Med. see sunway.ie for further details

Canada starts here

CANADA SEAT SALE Dublin - Toronto Direct flight

Starting at

369

pp rtn

Onward connections to Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver

Book direct on airtransat.ie Available to book through the GDS, airline code TS Prices for other routes may vary. Correct at time of going to print and can change at any time. See online at airtransat.ie for more details and prices.

EUR-276 B2B2C Half Page - The Holiday World Show.indd 1

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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 29

DESTINATION FRANCE

Grande Motte glacier. The lift system has improved beyond recognition over the past five years, with newer faster chairs on the western side of the Tignes bowl. The disadvantage of Tignes is that it can be quite a journey over to the more mature and sophisticated surroundings of Val d’Isere, and the town is unusual in that all of the descents to the heart of the village are perilous. For a day of pleasure, travel the width of the piste map quickly in the morning and return slowly, up Tufs, down Edelweiss or Creux/Mont Blanc, to Marmottes, Fountaine Froide, Santons down to the village, the new Solaise Express, Loulette, Glacier, Leissieres, over the mountain to Col de l’Iseran and Pyramides, the gentle ski down to Le Formet, take

The iconic aguille percee

the bus back to Val and the Olympique cable car home. Non. Je ne regrette rien.

E

space Killy is big, with 90 lifts, 300km of piste and the capacity to put 100,000 skiers on mountain at one time.

It is undergoing long overdue development: the Solaise, a central artery to the left hand side of the Espace Killy piste map, has been replaced by a bubble and a new beginners area has been constructed where it reaches the top. It is also a bit of a lottery, for the piste

classifications here are notoriously unreliable. The various runs have acquired their own skilore: Prarirond, for example, is nicknamed “paranoid” by those who made it to the bottom with fright in their eyes. Skiers have been known to get the names of runs tattooed on their arms: the favourites are Combe and Anemone (reached by lift Palfour). In the afternoon as the music boom from the Follies Douce (it featured in “Snow, sex and suspicious parents,”

‘nuff said), they talk of their falls and their conquests like medieval pilgrims: the iconic Face overhanging the village like a cross-browed forehead, the treacherous Joseray, a blue worse than most reds you will meet on the mountains, the Monchet express “scary chair which carries you up and over a mountain ridge, Diebold, Orange, Genepy. And the best run of all? Double M. With friends like this, who needs Anemone?

THE CLUB MED EXPERIENCE

n Club Med emphasises the stress free holiday experience it offers families:. n Ski lift pass and daily ski lessons included n Ski holidays include ski tuition for children from age 4 n Ski from the door - Ski school departs from the ski room! n Kids clubs from 0 -17 years in-

cluding childcare with a daily activity program n Hassle free ski rental within the resort n Gourmet Buffets and Specialty Restaurants including wines, beers & soft drinks n Evening entertainment with professional English speaking GO’s

South Africa Win a trip to

Come and visit us at Stand P16 for a chance to win a 7-night trip to Cape Town with excursions included!

SAT Competition.indd 3

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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 30

Holiday World Show

Jan 26-28 2018

WELCOME FROM THE IRISH   TRAVEL AGENTS ASSOCIATION

O The Low Down

When:

Friday 26 January 1.00pm – 6.00pm Saturday 27 January 11.00am – 5.30pm Sunday 28 January 11.00am – 5.30pm Trade Only: Friday 26 January 10.00am – 1.00pm How Much: Adults u7 OAPs u4 Students u3 Children Free Family Price: u14 2 Adults & ALL their children DART: Don’t forget that the DART has great family rates on Saturday and Sunday. How Many: 40,000 visitors Who’s there: 2,000 travel experts from 55 countries, tour operators, travel agents, hotels, national and global tourist organisations, airports, airlines, theme parks, bus, coach, car, rail, camping, travel services, adventure holidays, ferry and cruise companies, caravans and motorhomes, Where From: n Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland n Europe and the Mediterranean n The Caribbean n The Americas n Africa and the Middle East n Asia and the Pacific n Caravans and motorhomes n Wedding and honeymoon destinations n Adventure Holidays n Tour operators Official Opening: Friday 26 January at 2pm Official opening by Shane Ross TD, Minister for Tourism Saturday 11.30 opening Home Holiday pavilion by Minister Brendan Griffin Website: www.holidayworldshow.com Over 55s Show: Explore the ENDLESS OPTIONS for Over 55s Hotel-based holidays in Ireland Sun holidays at special senior rates luxury holidays Cruise bargains, including over 55s only cruises Trekking & walking activity holidays City Breaks Extras Taiko drummers sponsored by Japan National Tourist Organisation, Failte Ireland Virtual Reality bringing the Wild Atlantic Way to Life, Free Yoga Classes from Kathryn Thomas Bootcamp, Holiday Photo Competion winners display and Art Competition for primary Schools supported by Aer Lingus. Next Year: Belfast 18-19 January 2019 Dublin 25-27 January 2019

n behalf of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) I would like to welcome you to the biggest, brightest and best Holiday World yet! This year we have 250 exhibitors representing a veritable A to Y of national and international travel opportunities. Tour operators, travel agents, resorts, hotels, airlines, ferry companies, railway companies, cruising companies, national and regional tourist organisations are all here, under one roof, to give you first hand and first class information on almost any destination on the planet. Ireland is exceptionally well served with airports, north and south, Cork, Shannon, Connacht International, City of Derry, Belfast International, Belfast George Best and Dublin. It is quite amazing how many more international tourist hotpots that can be accessed directly from Irish airports.

Ireland has become one of the most important hubs for trans Atlantic, trans African and trans Middle Eastern markets. Irish tourists have never been so well serviced! There are no excuses any more not to travel. In real terms travel has become less expensive and more accessible. The key to a great travel experience is planning and you can start that process here at the Holiday World Show. This year we have access to 1,000 travel industry experts who have travelled here to be with us to make their information available. This year, in addition to the more traditional holiday options we have more activity and adventure based holidays represented. As an island state we have to be adventurers. Travel is an integral part of our history and development as a nation. It is also very important to our economy in terms of em-

ployment and income generation. Remember, all the destinations and holidays featured over this weekend are available to book with your ITAA Travel Agent – all ITAA Agents are fully licensed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation and bonded for your protection. ITAA Agents have the knowledge, experience and online resources to offer you an excellent, complete personal service. If you need assistance before, during or after your holiday, your Agent is ready, willing and able to help. I hope you enjoy your visit to Holiday World. Relax, explore and ask plenty of questions. You can look forward to a wonderful holiday in 2017. We are looking forward to working with you!

Cormac Meehan President ITAA

Paul Manning showcasing a Hertz car at Holiday World 2017

TRENDING DESTINATIONS AMONG JOURNO-LISTS

Travel + Leisure Top 50: Abu Dhabi; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Archipelago Sea, Finland; Bahamas; Bali; Bangkok, Thailand; Bayreuth, Germany; Berkshires, Massachusett; Big Sur, California; Boise, Idaho; Brussels, Belgium; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Colombia’s Pacific Coast; Copenhagen, Denmark; Edmonton, Alberta; Egypt; Fiji; Greenland; Greenville, South Carolina; Grenada, Caribbean;; Iguazú Falls, Argentina and Brazil; Ireland; Iya Valley, Japan; Jordan; Los Cabos, Mexico; Luang Prabang, Laos; Marrakesh, Morocco; Mauritius; Mendoza, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; Montenegro; Mornington Peninsula, Australia; Nagambie Lakes, Australia; New Orleans, Louisiana; Peloponnese, Greece; Pyeongchang, South Korea; Salina Island, Italy; San Antonio, Texas; São

Paulo, Brazil; Shanghai, China; Slovenia; Šolta, Croatia; ; Southern Sri Lanka; Tel Aviv, Israel; Toronto, Canada; Uzbekistan; Valletta, Malta; Walla Walla Valley, Washington State; Washingto, DC; Zambia. Lonely Planet cities 1 Seville, Spain; 2. Detroit; 3. Canberra, Australia; 4. Hamburg; 5. Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 6. Antwerp; 7. Matera, Italy; 8. San Juan, Puerto Rico; 9. Guanajuato, Mexico; 10. Oslo, Rough Guides: 1. Newcastle, England; 2. Civil Rights Trail, USA; 3. Malawi; 4. Valletta, Malta; 5. Wales; 6. Cuba; 7. Russia; 8. New Orleans, USA; 9. Chile; 10. Sierra Leone Fodor’s: 1 Marrakesh, Morocco; 2 Cook Islands; 3 Salar de Tunupa, Bolivia; 4 Split, Croatia; 5 Kuwait; 6 Memphis, Tennessee; 7 Armenia; 8 Mongolia; 9 Dublin, 10 Belize,


5-STAR ALL-INCLUSIVE BOUTIQUE RIVER CRUISING Elegant and Luxurious riverview accommodation | Award-winning dining and unlimited beverages onboard | Extensive excursions only offered by Uniworld | All scheduled transfers | 24-hour room and concierge services | Bicycles and Nordic walking sticks | Ship-wide Wi-Fi | Onboard fitness centre and Captivating onboard entertainment

TO BOOK OR FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL A UNIWORLD SPECIALIST ON 1800 98 98 98 OR VISIT YOUR LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT.

VISIT US AT STAND R9 AND R10 AT THE HOLIDAY WORLD SHOW ON 26 -28 JANUARY 2018 AT THE RDS, DUBLIN 4.

UNIWORLD.COM

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

#EXPLOREUNIWORLD

DELICIOUSLY AUTHENTIC DINING

TRAVEL AND STAY IN STYLE

SMALLER GROUP CAMARADERIE

SEAMLESS, STRESS-FREE TRAVEL

THE MAGIC OF AN INSIGHT EXPERIENCE Watch Tomislav, lifting oysters from the dazzling sea, before enjoying them with a glass of something chilled with your new friends. Ston, Croatia

To book or for more information, contact an Insight Expert on 1800 98 98 98 or visit your local Travel Agent. Visit us at stand R9 and R10 at the Holiday World Show on 26 - 28 January 2018 at the RDS, Dublin 4.

INSIGHTVACATIONS.COM #INSIGHTMOMENTS


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Abbey & Central Hotels Donegal Town W4/X6 Abruzzo Region (Italy) P10/Q11 Achill Island Tourism V12/W9 Actons Hotel Kinsale U6 Adare Heritage Centre T11/U11 Advantage Austria R17 Aer Lingus N1 Aherlow Failte U15/U16 Air Arabia L12 Air Canada R8 Air Transat R11 Airfield Estate T1 Alabama Tourism N4 Algarve Tourism Bureau P6/Q7 Aluna Vances Sunelia S6

OUR EXHIBITOR LIST Alpenland Sporthotels R17 American Holidays M4/N3 An Post L10 An Radhairc (Self Catering) V8c ANA - All Nippon Airways G3 Andalucia Tourist Board P9/Q10 AP Hotels & Resorts P6/Q7 APG Ireland H3/H4 Arabella Jewellery G9 Ards and North Down Borough Council V8a Arkay Sales UK G10 Arnolds Hotel W4/X6 Associacao Turismo Porto Q8 Associacio de Campings de Girona N8 Athlone - At the Heart of it W1a Athlone Castle & Luan Gallery W1a Atlantic City & Pennslyvania M5 Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts Q4 Attraction Tickets Direct Q6 Attractions of Snowdonia V4/V7

Ballybofey & Stranorlar Chamber of Commerce W4/X6 Ballyhoura Country U15/U16 Ballyhoura Failte T11/U11 Ballykisteen Hotel U15/U16 Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc M10 Basque Country P9/Q10 Beauty Glow G11 Bed and Bike Northern Ireland V8c Belfast City Sightseeing V8a Belleek Pottery Visitors Centre T1 Benidorm Tourism Board P9/Q10 Berrua Sunelia S6 Bespoke India Travel K6 Bike'N Ride Holidays L1 Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre T1 Blue Insurance B1 Book of Kells Trinity College Dublin T1 Botswana Tourism Organisation Q12/Q17 Bradley International Airport N7

Breffni Arms Hotel & Leisure Centre T13/U13 Brian McEniff Bundoran Hotel T9 Broadford Ashford Walking Trails T11/U11 Bullitt Hotel V8a C'est Si Bon France R7/S7 Cahir House Hotel U15/U16 Cambrils Tourism Board P9/Q10 Camino Groups R13 CaminoWays.com R4/S4 Camping La Bretonniere***** T4 Camping La Garangeoire R5 Camping Le Bois de Valmarie Camping S5 Camping Le Pin Parasol***** T4 Camping Le Village de la Guyonniere***** T4 Camping Sequoia Parc T5 Campings In France R7/S7 Campissimo R7/S7 Campissimo/ESE Communication R7/S7 Canary Islands P9/Q10 Canet-en-Rousilion Tourist Board Q1a

CarHireExcess Carlow Tourism Carrickcraft Cascais Tourist Board Cassidy Golf Castellon Tourist Board Castle Grove Country House Hotel Castlerosse Hotel & Holiday Homes Castletroy Park Hotel/So Hotels Castro Marim Golfe Catalan Tourist Board Causeway Coastal Route Cavan Canoe Centre Cavan County Museum Celebrity Cruises CenterHotels Centro de Portugal Charles Taylor Trading Charleville Park Hotel/So Hotels China National Tourist Office Christ Church Cathedral City Break USA City Of Warwick RI Clare Tourism Classic Resorts Clayton Hotel Sligo Clayton Hotels Click&Go.com Clonmel Park Hotel Cobh Heritage Centre Cobh Pastimes Cobh The Queenstown Story Col D'ibardin Sunelia Commodore Hotel Cobh Connecticut Office of Tourism Cottage Pride Crest Si Bon France CroisiEurope River Cruises Cruise & Maritime Voyages Cruise USA cruisefromireland.ie Cruiseparadise.ie Cruisescapes Cuba Tourist Board Curraghchase Caravan & Camp Site & Forest Park Cyprus Tourism Organisation Czech Tourism Dan White's Cottage (Self Catering) Dawson Travel.ie Deebert House Hotel Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau Destination St John's Devils Edge Shirt Co. Dine In Hotels Discover Boyne Valley Discover Bundoran Discover Galway Discover New England DK Products Ltd Dom José Beach Hotel Dom Pedro Hotels Domaine De Champe Sunelia Domaine de la Breche Domaine De La Dragonniere Sunelia Domaine Du Logis

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Domaine Dominica Donegal Caravan Donegal Donegal Donegal Donegal Donegan Doolin Ca Doolin Fe Dublin Ai Dubrovni Eagles Fl Embassy Federal D Embassy Embassy Embassy Energy W ENIT - Ita Enjoyirel EPIC Irel Escapade Escape R Escorted Ethiopian Ethiopian e-Travel. EUROHIK Exodus Tr Explore G Explore S Explore W Feathard Fermana Fethard H Fighting Fitzpatric Fitzwilton Flight Ce Fly Drive Follow Th Forever L Fosters C Four Sea Four Sea Frank Kea Fred.Olse French M Galway C Galway W Region o Gateway Get West Giant Hos Glasnevin Glenview Go North Great Lig Greek Na Grimming GTI - The Harvey's Hayes & Heritage - Ireland Hertz Re Hidden in Hillgrove Hillside H Hilton Vil Cascatas HMS Car Hodson B Holiday G Holiday I Hook Lig Hotel Am Hotel Be Hotel Me Hotel Qu & Ria Pa Hotel We House of Hunt Mus


B1 W3 X3 P8 A9 P9/Q10 W4/X6 W7 T7 P6/Q7 P9/Q10 U8 T13/U13 T13/U13 K3 R3 P7a H14/J16 T7 H5 T1 L8 M6/N6 W1b A9 V13/W10 V2 A6 U15/U16 U5 U5 U5 S6 U5 M6/N6 B5 R7/S7 A7 L14 L8 A7 J2/J3 A7 M8 T11/U11 H3/H4 S17 V8c A2 T11/U11 U8a S12 B4 F8 T3 W4/X6 V11/W8 M6/N6 CM27 P6/Q7 P6/Q7 S6 R5 S6 R7/S7

Domaine Les Ranchisses Sunelia S6 Dominican Republic Tourist Office L9 Donegal Camping and Caravan Park Association W4/X6 Donegal East Tourism W4/X6 Donegal International Airport W4/X6 Donegal Self Catering Association W4/X6 Donegal Tourism CLG W4/X6 Donegans Monasterboice Inn T3 Doolin Cave T1 Doolin Ferry Co. with Bill O'Brien V3b Dublin Airport G5/G6 Dubrovnik and Neretva Tourist Board S19 Eagles Flying/Irish Raptor Research Centre X13 Embassy of Ethiopia, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia P11 Embassy of Slovakia S18 Embassy of South Africa P16 Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania T14 Energy Wipe G15 ENIT - Italian State Tourist Board P10/Q11 Enjoyireland.ie X12 EPIC Ireland T1 Escapade Cobh U5 Escape Rooms T11/U11 Escorted Tours USA L8 Ethiopian Airlines P11 Ethiopian Holidays P11 e-Travel.ie R2/S2 EUROHIKE R17 Exodus Travel H10 Explore Georgia L8 Explore St.Louis L7 Explore Worldwide J11 Feathard Horse Country Experience T1 Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism U8c Fethard Horse Country Museum U15/U16 Fighting Blindness CM24 Fitzpatrick Group of Hotels M3 Fitzwilton Hotel X5a Flight Centre S11 Fly Drive USA L8 Follow The Camino M11 Forever Lifestyle G13 Fosters Chocolates K11 Four Seasons Country Club P6/Q7 Four Seasons Fairways P6/Q7 Frank Keane Group R20/V15 Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines A7 French Mediterranean Pyrenees Q1a Galway Coast Cottages X11 Galway West of Ireland European Region of Gastronomy V11/W8 Gateway to Silabh Liag W4/X6 Get West T11/U11 Giant Hospitality V4/V7 Glasnevin Cemetery Museum T1 Glenview Lodge B&B Broadford T11/U11 Go North Wales V4/V7 Great Lighthouses Of Ireland T1 Greek National Tourism Organisation K8 Grimming/Donnersbachtal Tourist Board R17 GTI - The Group Travel Specialists G7 Harvey's Point Country Hotel W4/X6 Hayes & Jarvis N2 Heritage Island - Ireland's Premier Attractions T1 Hertz Rent-a-Car Outside Hidden in Spain R14 Hillgrove Hotel Leisure & Spa Monaghan X15 Hillside Holiday Home V8c Hilton Vilamoura At Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa P6/Q7 HMS Caroline V8a Hodson Bay Hotel & Leisure Centre W1a Holiday Green Sunelia S6 Holiday Inn Algarve P6/Q7 Hook Lighthouse T1 Hotel Ambassador R17 Hotel Beacon NYC M1 Hotel Metro NYC M1 Hotel Quinta do Lago & Ria Park Hotel P6/Q7 Hotel Westport X4 House of Waterford Crystal U3 Hunt Museum T11/U11

Hurtigruten M16 Ibiza Tourist Board P9/Q10 I'Hippocampe Camping S5 Independent News & Media B3 Inishowen Gateway Hotel W4/X6 Inishowen Tourism W4/X6 Insight Vacations A11 Insight Vacations R9 Interlude Sunelia S6 International Paintball Group X7 Irish Ferries S8 Irish Golf Review T2 Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) A3 Irish Whiskey Museum T1 Israel Government Tourist Office K7 Japan Airlines G3 Japan National Tourist Organisation (JNTO) G3 JMG Travel L14 Kanes Travel A8 Kansas/Oklahoma Travel & Tourism L5 Keith Prowse Travel A4 Keller Travel T6 Kilkenny Tourism W3b Killarney Tourism V9 Kilmallock Tours U15/U16 L.N Treks & Expedition PVT. J12 La Loubine Sunelia S6 La Pointe Du Medoc Sunelia S6 La Ribeyre Sunelia S6 La Sirene Camping S5 Laguna Lodge Residence T5 Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority L2 L'Atlantique Sunelia S6 Lazio Region (Italy) P10/Q11 Le Clos Du Rhone Sunelia S6 Le Fief Sunelia S6 Le Ranc Davaine Sunelia S6 Le Soleil Fruite Sunelia S6 Les Logis D'orres Sunelia S6 Les Pins Sunelia S6 Les Trois Vallees Sunelia S6 Les Tropiques Sunelia S6 L'escale St.Giles Sunelia S6 L'Hippocampe Sunelia S6 Life Adventure Centre V8c Limerick City County Council T11/U11 Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council V8a Lismore Heritage T1 Lismore Heritage Centre U15/U16 Living The Camino S15 Longford Tourism W1 Longueville House U15/U16 Lough Cruises Carlingford Lough V8c Lough Derg Blueway S3 Lough Gur Heritage Centre T11/U11 Lough Rea Hotel & Spa/So Hotels T3 Louisiana Office of Tourism N4 Lumbarda Resorts S20 Lusty Beg Island U8c Madeira Promotion Bureau Q9 Magnetic Balance H12 Maine Office of Tourism M6/N6 Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board G1 Maldives - Kandolhu Islandรก K2 Maldives - Kuramathi Island Resort K2 Maldron Hotels & Partners U2 Malta Tourism Authority R18 MAP Travel A5 Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark T13/U13 Marche Region (Italy) P10/Q11 Marina Club Lagos Resort P6/Q7 Maryland Office of Tourism L8 Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism M6/N6 Mayo The Adventure Capital V12/W9 McGrory's of Culdaff W4/X6 Mexico Tourism Board K1 Mid & East Antrim Borough Council V8b Mid Ulster District Council U8b Midleton Park Hotel & Spa X2 Minella Hotel Clonmel U15/U16 Mississippi Tourism N4 Mobile Massage Main Floor

Montana Office of Tourism L8 Moroccan National Tourist Office L12 Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa & Golf Resort X5b Mountains of Mourne Country Cottages Ltd V8c Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion V8c MSC Cruises M14 Muckross Park Hotel & Spa V10 Multitrip B1 Municipio da Lourinha T12/U12 Munster Vales U15/U16 My Cooling Towel CM25 Naked Penguin NAU Hotels & Resort Algarve P6/Q7 New Hampshire Travel and Tourism M6/N6 New York State Division of Tourism L3 Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism S12 Newry Mourne and Down District Council V8c Nire Valley Glamping U15/U16 Nire Valley County Waterford U4 North American Representatives L1 North Dakota Deoartment of Tourism L8 North Wales Tourism V4/V7 Norwegian Air L3 Norwegian Cruise Line L13 Nuevo Mundo J9 NYC & Company M1 Oakfield Park W4/X6 Oceanbooking.com R12 Oceania Cruises M15 Omagh & Sperrins Region T10 Oriel House Hotel Cork X2 Orlando Attractions.com L1 Paintonce.ie H13 Park Avenue Hotel V8a Partenaire Le Bois Fleuri Sunelia S6 Partenaire Les Rives du Lac Sunelia S6 Partenaire Mas Des Lavandes Sunelia S6 Pearl Afric Tour and Travel P12 Pearse Lyons Distillery T1 Pedal Pursuits Bike Hire T11/U11 Perla Di Mare Sunelia S6 Perpignan Airport Q1a Perpignan Tourism Board Q1a Philadelphia CVB M5 PhoneWatch K12/K13 Pinhl da Marina P6/Q7 Platinum Travel L8 Play Florida Golf L1 PortAventura World P9/Q10 Portimar DMC P6/Q7 Prague Is A Must T15 Prince of Wales Hotel W1a Princesa Yaiza & Fariones Hotels R15 Princess Cruises J3 Qatar Airways J5 Quinta Do Molinu - Turismo SA T12/U12 Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Ennis Road T11/U11 Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Sligo V13/W10 Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone W1a Rathlin Island & Cape Clear Island X7 Renvyle House Hotel V11/W8 Residence Lisa Maria Sunelia S6 Reykjavik Excursions R3 Riu Hotels & Resorts S13 Riverside Hotel Sligo V13/W10 Riverside Park Hotel W3a Riviera Travel Q5 Rockefeller Centre M1 Rocky Mountain States L8 Rocky Mountaineer S11 Romanian National Authority for Tourism K4/K5 Roscommon Tourism X14 Royal Caribbean International R2/S2 Rubina Resort Sunelia S6 Saint Cyprien Tourism Board Q1a Saint Patrick Centre V8c Salou Tourism Board P9/Q10 Salzburg Tourism R17 San Francisco P3 Scenic Carlingford Ferry V8c SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment P4 Select Hotels of Ireland X8 Shanagarry B & B NCW T11/U11

Sheraton Athlone Hotel W1a Shop4choice CM21 Silver Line Cruisers W5 Silversea Cruises N13 Simon Shopping M2 Sirene Holidays S5 Ski Centre Dublin S9 Sligo City Hotel V13/W10 Sligo Great Southern Hotel V13/W10 Sligo Park Hotel & Leisure Club V13/W10 Sole-Mates CM33 South African Tourism P16 South Dakota Department of Tourism L8 Spanish Tourism Board P9/Q10 Spring Hotels R12 Sri Lanka Tourism J7 St John's International Airport Authority S12 St Vincent and The Grenadines Tourist Office L11a Station House Hotel Letterkenny W4/X6 Stena Line N12 Stonehall Visitor Farm T11/U11 Sunelia S6 Sunway Travel H1/J1 Taipei Representative Office in Ireland H6 Talbot Hotel Carlow X2 Talbot Hotel Stillorgan X2 Talbot Hotel Wexford X2 Talbot Suites at Stonebridge Wexford X2 Tennessee Tourism N4 Terra Nova Gardens & Fairy Trail T11/U11 The Barn Gallery and Rose Gardens V8c The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel N5 The Bluestack Centre W4/X6 The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Passport Service and Consular Assistance J14 The Dragon Trip H9 The Earth Trip K6 The Enniskillen Hotel U8c The Glasshouse Hotel Sligo V13/W10 The Gobbins Coastal Path V8b The Killeshin Hotel/So Hotels T7 The Lake Hotel Killarney U7 The Magnolia Hotels P6/Q7 The Ride NYC M1 The Ritz W4/X6 The Safari Expert J9 The Seychelles Tourism Board J6 The Sightseeing Pass NYC M1 The Strand Hotel Ballyliffin W4/X6 The Talbot Collection X2 The Travel Department B2 This is Cavan! T13/U13 Tirol Tourist Board R17 Topflight R17 Tour America K3 Tourism Authority of Thailand H8 Tourism Northern Ireland V8 Trabolgan Holiday Village X10 Trailfinders P2/Q3 Trailriders Bike Hire/ Ballyhoura Bike Trails T11/U11 Tralee Chamber Alliance W6 Travel House of America L1 Travel Oregon L8 Travel the Unknown M13 Travel Trade Tickets and Tours L1 Trident Hotel Kinsale U6 TUI Q1 TUI BLUE PLUS SCHLADMING R17 Tunisian National Tourist Office K10 Turfortes DMC P6/Q7 Turismo De Galicia P9/Q10 Turistica do Alentejo P7 Turkish Airlines R16/S16 Turkish Culture and Tourism Office R16/S16 Umbria Region (Italy) P10/Q11 Una Walsh (Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Tour Guide) V8c Unique Japan Tours A1 Universal Orlando Resort L4 Uniworld Boutique River Cruises R10 uWalk R17 Vacances Sunelia S6

Vale d'Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa Valencia Camping Federation Valencia Region Vermont Tourism Viajes Olympia Vilanova Park Villa Rose Hotel Villaggio Dei Fiori Sunelia Virginia Visit Belfast Visit California Visit Downings Visit Kentucky Tourism Visit Maldives Visit North Carolina Visit Rhode Island Visit Sligo Visit USA Visit Waterford VisitPortugal Vorarlberg Tourism Walk the Mournes (Guided Tours) Walsh Whiskey Distillery Washington DC Capital Region Waterfront Hotel Waterways Ireland Wendy Wu Tours West Limerick Tourism WestJet White Mountains Visitors Bureau Wien Tourism Wineport Lodge Woodlands Park WOW Air Wyoming Office of Tourism Youghal Tourism Zagreb Tourist Board & Convention Bureau Zip World

P6/Q7 P9/Q10 P9/Q10 M6/N6 P9/Q10 S14a W4/X6 S6 L8 V8a P3 W4/X6 N4 K2 L8 M6/N6 V13/W10 P1 X5 P7/Q7 R17 V8c T1 L8 W4/X6 X9 G4 T11/U11 S12 M6/N6 R17 W1a W6 R3 L8 U5a S19 V4/V7

CARAVAN & MOTORHOME SHOW Bailey Caravans CM18 Brokers 4 Motorhomes CM26 Carado Motorhomes CM19 Caravan and Motorhome Club CM20 Carthago Motorhomes CM19 Charles Camping CM12 Cosy Campers CM13 Cosy Leisure Company CM13 Derek Walsh Camper Centre CM18 Dethleffs Motorhomes CM19 Donaghey Motorhomes CM19 Elddis Motorhomes CM8/CM9 Elddis Touring Caravans G14 Ford Transit Custom Campervan CM13 Freedom Caravans CM17 Happy Campers CM11 Hymer Motorhomes CM19 Ilusion Motorhomes CM18 Irish Camping and Caravan Club CM31 Irish Caravan & Camping Council M16 Knaus Motorhomes CM19 Lazy Days VW Camper Hire CM22 Nubawax Car Care CM30 Opus Camper CM7 Outwell Tents & Awnings CM23 Pilote Motorhomes CM18 Reimo Campervan CM13 Renault Master Campervan CM13 Renault Trafic Campervan CM13 Rushin House Caravan Park CM20a The Green Guide M19a Thompson Camper Cars CM8/CM9 Thompson Leisure CM8/CM9 Transcool Leiure CM32 Vango Tents & Awnings CM12 Volkswagen Camper Hire CM20 Volkswagen Campervans CM11 Volkswagen Transporter Campervans CM13 VW Leisure Drive Campervans CM8/CM9 Whiterocks G14 List correct at time of going to press


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 34

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urope is where most of the action is in outbound tourism in 2018. So it is no surprise that Spain will have the largest stand, with representatives from 14 regions. Spanish tourism grew to a mind-boggling 2m Irish tourists to Spain last year. The company will have 320 flights a week from Irish airports next summer and most of the 250,000 extra seats from Ryanair and 96,000 extra seats from Aer Lingus next summer will be on Spanish routes. We have direct flights to Alicante, Almeria, Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gerona, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Palma, Reus, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Sevilla, Tenerife, Valencia and Vigo. Portugal have grown with regional representatives from Cascais, Centro de Portugal, Madeira and Alentejo. Israel make a welcome return.

I

taly has the second largest Stand at the Holiday World, doubling the size of the stand in January 2017. Four regions are attending Abruzzo Region, Lazio Region, Marche Region and Umbria Region. Irish visits to Italy were up 14.9pc in 2017. Of our major outbound markets only Portugal is growing at a faster pace, an over 100 flights a week are planned for summer 2018. Summer 2018 will see a new route to Naples from Ryanair and increased capacity on other routes. The action entry points are Rome and Milan, the 17th and 18th most important destinations from Dublin, but there are also flights to Bari, Bologna, Catania, Comiso, Palermo, Pisa, Venice, Verona and Treviso.

Jan 26-28 2018

Holiday World 2018 opens its door

Donegal Tourism, voted “the coolest place on the planet in 2017” by the National Geographic, are hosting the largest stand in the home holiday section.

H

500 grandstands

T

There are 500 exhibitor stands at Holiday World Dublin

our operators TUI, who are in the midst of a major rebrand, have a major presence at the show. TUI are introducing new destinations like Austria, Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland and expanding a third party flying programme is an example of this. TUI are promising further growth in the TUI hotel portfolio, offering the best of what is available in other countries to the Irish market. Investment in the development of exclusive concepts, like TUI Sensatori, TUI Sensimar and TUI Magic Life will also increase with a new TUI Sensatori Resort planned to open in Rhodes next summer. The eleven retail stores completed the transition from Falcon to TUI last October and 100 retail staff presented the new name on Ireland’s shopping streets. Charlotte Brenner TUI Ireland Marketing Manager says, “ultimately we want to transform the Irish travel industry”. Coming under the TUI umbrella means Ireland can leverage TUI Group relationships with external partners to extend

global footprint and ultimately expand and diversify the offering for customers.

G

reece joins the sub destinations and the CECTA group which represents Central and Eastern Europe have a presence from Austria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and the city of Dubrovnik. There is a new French Camping Pavilion, reflecting the healthy appetite of Irish families for French campsites, with the arrival of a new ferry on the service next year enabling daily sailings in both directions. Irish Ferries will be on hand to explain all.

D

ublin airport will be there to showcase the massive changes at the airport with new south apron departure gates, the USA lounge opened in 2016 and new designs to both terminals. Airlines on hand include Aer Lingus, who are promoting their biggest year of trans-Atlantic growth. Aer Lingus launched Miami in September, and will add services to Miami in Sep-

tember, will add service from Philadelphia from March 26 and Seattle from May 18. Aer Lingus will also be adding 96,000 seats to Europe next summer. Bradley International and Connecticut office of Tourism are on hand to promote the hinterland of Aer Lingus’s daily Bradley international service. Air Canada are also expanding in 2018, Air Canada mainline replaces Air Canada Rouge, with new seasonal services to Montreal Dublin and from Shannon to Toronto, and increased frequency to Vancouver and Toronto from Dublin. Air Transat, who are also at the show, are adding departures from Dublin to Toronto.

A

sia has its strongest presence in many years, with Madagascar and Sri Lanka among the prominent exhibitors. Tour operator the Earth Trip are on hand to offer packages to both destinations. China, which gets it first direct route from Dublin this year, Japan, Taipei and Thailand will be there. Brian McCarthy will be presenting two Mal-

dives Island, Kuramathi Island Resort and Kandolhu island. South Africa return to the show, alongside Pearl Afric Tour and Travel came from Africa to meet Irish consumers. Botswana will be bolstering their presence here. Ethiopian holidays and Ethiopian airlines will be showcasing the delights at the end of the daily Addis Adaba route and its onward connections. Ethiopia launched a new e-visa option in June for those arriving via Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Safari expert Andre Migliarina will be on hand to answer queries with Atlas Travel/Gohop. Adventure holiday exhibitors include Exodus, Explore, G Adventures, GTi. Ridge Trail and LN Treke and Dragon trip

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his year’s Home Holiday Pavilion is the biggest one yet, with new presence from Athlone, Cavan, Limerick, Longford and Galway and Munster Vales, with a new Northern Ireland Tourism Village including Derry CVB, Omagh, Sperrins and Visit Belfast.

oliday World Show 2018 will include the largest ever Visit USA Pavilion. The gregarious Tom Travers from the Beacon Hotel is returning after missing last year. Tour operators American Holidays and Sunway and travel agents Etravel, Tour America, Traifinders and Travel Department will be there as well as 15 states and cities.

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ayes and Jarvis are exhibiting for the first time as part of the launch of a major tailor made high end holiday portfolio. They hope to operate 3,000 seats out of Ireland this year. Platinum Travel are also on hand to offer an expanded portfolio of product,

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t is an exciting year for cruise ship departures with celebrity basing a ship in Dublin for the first time and two cruise lines to do so in 2019, with high profile launches for Celebrity, MSC, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. The large cruise pavilion Celebrity, Fred Olsen, Hurtigruten, James McGinley, MSC, Norwegian, Oceanic, P&O, Royal Caribbean and Silversea.

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aravan and motor home lovers will find a selection of options from Donaghey’s in Letterkenny, Cosy campers in Rathcoole, Charles Camping in Blessington, Happy Campers in Wexford, Thompson’s Leisure in Co Down, Derek Walsh Camper Centre in Limerick, and newcomers Freedom Caravans from Staffordshire.


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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 36

Holiday World Show

Jan 26-28 2018

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alking hotel rooms? It is not the only innovation that has been shaking up the travel industry in the past few months. Here we look at some of the astonishing new trends in the world of travel.

BLEISURE

The line between leisure and business travel is blurring further. More people are exploring the world by working business hours at their day job on the go and then exploring in their time off. Top destinations include New York, Paris and Brussels. Where there’s a wifi there’s a way.

Trends in travel Your hotel room just answered you back

BUD

and breakfast Legalised cannabis will see destinations such as Alaska, Colorado, Jamaica and Uruguay capitalise on their newly legalised spliff tourists.

CHAT BOTS

Cyber concierges and assistants are popping up on websites across the travel industry. Radisson Edwardian Blu’s concierge Edward will direct you to local restaurants. Lufthansa’s Mildred will help you find the cheapest flight. Others using chat bots include Aeromexico, Booking. com, British Airways, Expedia, Hyatt Hotels, Icelandair and Skyscanner. These bots interact in written form via instant messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger. KLM’s will tell you when it’s time to check in, ping you a boarding pass or change your seat. But only if you ask nicely.

CO-LIVING . Based on the principle that “we are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with” co-living websites have started in major cities offering access to lounges, gyms, cinemas, spas, restaurants, themed dining rooms, kitchens, roof terraces, libraries, games rooms, offices and hot desks. Examples include:

Concierge in Ahwahnee, can an app replace all this?

roam.co, WeWork, podshare.co, commonspace.io, opendoor.io, sabbatical.io, livezoku. com, purehouse.org and thecollective.co.uk.

CONSCIENSCE

or conscious hospitality A nonprofit Green Rooms hotel opened in London’s Wood Green in June. 11 Howard in New York supports emerging business and charitable organisations. A former floating prison from the Netherlands took up a new mooring in Royal Victoria Docks, near London City airport, in September 2016. All profits from the luxurious new Good Hotel will be reinvested in training schemes for unemployed locals. People over Profit organised a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart flights between England and Indian cities of Amritsar and Ahmedabad this year. If successful, profits from the carrier will be distributed between various charities.

DESIGNER

Fashion room service. The W London Leicester Square introduced its “Walk Out Wardrobe” concept in partnership with online rental site

GirlMeetsDress.com in summer 2015. Guests staying in suites can order specific items in advance or call down to have a rail of outfits brought to their room free of charge (other travellers pay from £29 for hire).

DIGITAL WALLETS:

Enthusiasm for digital wallets that can store boarding passes and loyalty cards is extending to payment facilities from Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Android and new competitors such as Chase Pay and Samsung Pay. JetBlue and Emirates partnered with Apple Pay in 2014, now Airbnb, British Airways, Delta, Easyjet, Expedia, Marriott and Uber have joined them. In November, Qatar Airways announced it was integrating Apple Pay for the purchasing of flights through its mobile app, enabling fingerprint touch ID or passcode to do away with 16 digit credit card numbers and expiry dates. Worldpay anticipates US$647bn of consumer payments will be via e-wallets in 2019, US$412bn via debit

cards and US$577bn via credit cards, with plastic dropping from two thirds to half of all transactions.

MICE TRAP

Fatcats are chasing the MICE again: Meetings and Incentive travel is back on the rise, with shorter travel times and multiple meetings into one event. Belgium, Britain, France and Germany are the most popular destinations for international association meetings, while the US, South Korea and Singapore are the most popular globally. Average Mice budgets fell fromUS$3,659pp in 2008 to US$2,397 in 2014 but recovered to US$3,165 in 2016.

GREEN Tourism: Protecting the planet and eco-tourism may well continue to inspire travel choices but the other kind of green will prove popular in 2017. HAND LUGGAGE

Already 22pc of passengers are willing to travel hand luggage only and it is lower on airlines like Ryanair. The next siege is of storage space, although the jury is still out on the advisability of Spirit (2010) and Fron-

tier’s (2014) decision to charge for overhead storage space. From 2017 United will insist that their basic fare passengers must fit a single item of luggage under the seat on front of them.

PORTABLE

travel search is moving beyond text alerts for airfare sales, getting a price from their favourite voice-based internet device, and finding a flight through Facebook Messenger to travel planning on the go. Nowadays 60pc of demand comes from portable devices.

READY TO FLY

picnics New EU legislation just enforced (December 13) highlighted awareness of the high sugar and salt levels in airline food. British Airways is the latest all-inclusive airline to announce charges for food on board. Airport shopping malls (or, increasingly, shopping malls with an airport attached) have seen the growth of buy before you fly eateries and higher end food offerings such as Marquette in Dublin airport T1 and Wrights of Howth in Terminal 1 and 2, YO! Sushi in Heathrow

T2 has an app for passengers to place orders while going through security, then pick up their prepared box of aircraft food. Steaks on a plane indeed. The service is now available at all of Heathrow’s restaurants across all terminals. Buy before you fly options are also growing in popularity, ordering food online on such as Aer Lingus’s Bia menu.

TRUMP Slump.

Expect restrictive policies will cause holiday makers to consider switching to an alternative destination, such as Canada.

VOICE activation: Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s the Echo, and Google’s Cloud Speech API have introduced the concept. Starwood’s Aloft hotels in Boston and Santa Clara introduced the world’s first voice-activated hotel rooms. A simple “Goodnight” will turn out the lights, while “Good morning” will switch them back on. The room temperature and speakers can also be controlled by Siri via an iPad provided. Other prototypes allow guests to book a taxi and set a wake-up alarm.


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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 38

Holiday World Show

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oliday World 2018 highlights the fact that we are a nation with one of the highest propensities to travel in Europe. Every Irish person travels six times a year, three and a half times higher than the European average. Of the Irish population 82pc traveled abroad at least once in 2017. This puts Ireland in fifth place behind Iceland (91pc), Sweden (87pc), Austria (84pc), Luxemburg (83pc). It is likely Ireland lies in sixth place, as Norway, who were not part of the survey, were also likely to be placed ahead of Ireland with around 90pc of the population travelling abroad. New Zealand is the only country who travel abroad proportionally as often as the most travelled European countries. This is according to the Preferences of Europeans towards Tourism survey, which previously placed Ireland second (85pc) to Norway (90pc). Ireland is fifth in Europe among the short break (up to four nights) takers (74pc), tenth in Europe among those who took a holiday of between 4 and 13 consecutive nights away, (72pc) and 14th among those who took more than 13 nights away (38pc). Of the 18pc who did not travel abroad, 45pc of this group cited financial reasons, down 4pc on 2014, 14pc cited health reasons, 27pc said they had no motivation to travel, and 21pc did not have free time. Another 5pc said that facilities for people with disabilities was a factor and 2pc cited administrative problems, such as obtaining a visa.

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ust 12pc of Irish said they changed plans in 2015 because of security concerns. European countries most likely to change their travel plans due to mil-

Jan 26-28 2018

Shamrock Rovers

is the most sustainable form of aid you can give a developing country, bringing propensity to everyone from the porter to the taxi driver to the hotel manager to the government. Africa, the world’s poorest continent gets just 2pc of world tourism. Bringing that up half a percentage point would mean more than a year’s aid allocations. Within Europe some of the biggest tourist numbers are attracted to the poorest countries and the ones most affected by economic downturn, such as the Mediterranean sunbelt.

A Irish people travel at four times the European average

itant threat in 2016 were Turkey (70pc), Moldova (65pc), Slovakia and Greece (72pc). Irish people changed their plans for the following reasons (multiple answers possible): n Militant threats 3pc n Recent militant attacks 4pc n Political instability 2pc n Refugee situation 2pc n Level of crime 2pc n Natural disasters 1pc n Other 1pc Irish people are the third most likely to buy their holiday or flight online among European countries. Denmark is most likely at 60pc, followed by Finland (58pc0 and Ireland (55pc). n Online commercial 55pc n Online individual 17pc n Telephone 17pc n Travel agency counter 11pc n People you know 9pc n Holiday location 5pc n Airline counter 4pc n Spontaneous 7pc More than 55pc of Irish booked their tourist services such as flight/ ferry and accommodation separately from each other, 19pc bought package travel holidays and

16pc bought all inclusive holidays (there may be a problem with the definition here). Hotels and self catering paid accommodation hosted 65pc of them, 25pc stayed with friends and relatives. 3pc used their own property or second home and 3pc a shared economy host such as Airbnb.

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he survey took place over January 18-23 2016 and 1,000 Irish respondents were among 17,070 interviewed throughout Europe. Fewer than one in six Irish people travel to seek out nature, one of the lowest rates in Europe, perhaps because they have so much at home. Irish reasons for travelling given when four category answers were allowed (with European average in brackets): n Sun and beach 37pc (39pc) n Friends and relations 38pc (38pc) n Nature 15pc (31pc) n Citybreaks 23pc (27pc) n Culture 20pc (26pc) n Welnness 7pc (13pc)

n Sport related 11pc (12pc) n Events and festivals 14pc (9pc) The Irish are the 15th most likely people to go on sun holidays in Europe, and the fifth most likely to travel for events and festivals, after Latvia, Cyprus, Finland and Malta.

W

hen asked why they would go back to a destination 40pc said because of natural features, 36pc said because of activities and services available (the second highest total in Europe for this category), 35pc for quality of accommodation, 32pc for cultural and historical attractions, and 29pc of Irish people said because of price, down 6pc on 2015. Accessible facilities for people with special needs was relevant to 6pc of Irish holiday makers. The decision was based on how tourists are welcomed among 21pc of holiday makers. The decision for Irish people was based on the following survey opt-ins

(broadcast, which is very high in Ireland, was not included as a potential source of information) n Recommendations of friends 54pc n Review websites 40pc n Personal 30pc n Social media page 16pc n Supplier websites 15pc n Newspaper 10pc n Travel agency counter 9pc n Guidebook or magazine 8pc

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hat travel broadens the mind is as true today as when it was penned by Mark Twain in Aer Lingus’s newest trans-Atlantic destination, Hartford. People who travel extensively cannot be prejudiced Tourism spreads economic largesse unevenly and in contrast to the industrial sector, to the rural and coastal areas most likely to be affected by peripherality and depopulation and where agricultural conditions are often poorest. Tourism impacts disproportionately on less developed countries. Outside Europe, tourism

ir traffic works both ways, as the home holiday industry has found. Outbound air routes are crucial for inbound tourism, aircraft are filled in both directions (tourism ministers sometimes forget this, their focus is often on inbound tourism). Ireland can offer one of the most educated audiences on the planet when it comes to international travel. We have one of the most developed markets for travel services, appropriately for a nation that is the headquarters of the world aviation business. half of the world’s fleet of leased aircraft is managed from Ireland, the very concept was invented here by Tony Ryan and his colleagues. Ireland’s international success in airport management has been celebrated by a plethora of recent awards. Most of the traffic on the world’s busiest intercontinental routes pass through Irish air traffic control and they have a track record of rising to various challenges down the years, such as 9-11. Much of the modern airport and aircraft experience was invented in Ireland. Duty Free shopping was invented in Ireland by Brendan O’Regan.


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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 40

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major brand launch concentrating on the Shannon heartlands, the Midlands and Lakelands will be the highlight of Irish tourism in 2018. The brand will join the wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin: Breath of Fresh Air among the country’s promotions. There will also likely be a realignment of the boundaries of the existing brands. As Failte Ireland introduces the fourth brand, key resources are being put into multi regional areas and brands such as activity holidays. While Tourism Ireland expects Irish inbound tourism to slow in 2018 to 2pc growth, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation is more optimistic and is anticipating 5pc growth in Ireland’s tourism numbers and 7pc in spend is considerably

Jan 26-28 2018

Shannon strategy

Ireland’s fourth brand to launch in 2018 Arriving Clonmacnois: the Shannon wil be the big domestic tourism story of 2018 more optimistic than the 2pc in numbers and 6pc in spend forecast by

Tourism Ireland Inbound figures from Britain, our biggest mar-

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ket, were down 6pc and Tourism Ireland feel this is likely to continue in decline in calendar year 2018. They are predicting a flat year, zero growth in 2018 and spend to fall by 2pc. Sterling has fallen by 20pc and average daily rate in Irish hotels has declined by 20pc. “Value is the watchword,’ Niall Gibbons says. Gibbons emphasises that this is year-round market with 150,000 seats each week to Britain in winter and 245,000 in summer.

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ive Irish visitor experiences now attract more than a million visitors. Guinness Storehouse reported a record 1,711,281 visitors. USA numbers at the Storehouse were up 13pc, France up 8pc, Canada up 5pc, while developing market China was up 21pc, and long haul Australia up 2pc. In 2017, 28pc of visitors came from North America followed by Britain with 26pc. It is one of five visitor attractions to record more than 1m visitors in 2017, and is followed by Cliffs of

Moher (1.54m), Dublin zoo (1.23m), the National Aquatic Centre (1.13m) and Giant’s Causeway (1.02m). Capacity has become an issue, particularly at the Cliffs of Moher, as the spillover of coaches into Doolin is choking the small fishing village.

T

A live action experience designed by Peter Sheridan, it used actors and draws visitors through scenes from Dublin and Irish history.

E

oghan O’Mara Walsh of the Irish Travel Industry Confederation expects that domestic tourism revenue will generate €1.9bn, with a further €300m earned from visitors from the six counties. This, he says, will

he,Storehouse, Ireland’s biggest visitor attraction, is to double the capacity of the signature Gravity bar. The food and beverage tourist experience IRISH INBOUND 2017 has driven many of the recent visitor openings Britain 4,681 around the country. England 3,363k More craft breweries Scotland 645k and distilleries are Wales 179k planning visitor cen- North America 1,830k tres in 2018, the US 1,620k Powerscourt Estate in Canada 241k County Wicklow will Mainland Europe 3,397k debut its own craft fa- Germany 542k cility. Distiller centres France 673k have opened in Slane Spain 348k and in the former Italy 405k St. James’s Church Netherlands 113k in Dublin, more are Nordics 240k planned in the Dublin Poland 179k Liberties and Roe & Austria 57k Co. Switzerland 113k The Vaults in Dub- Other areas 705k lin’s Thomas Street is Australia NZ 241k set to be the signature Total 10,650k attraction to open in All island figures 2018.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 41

Holiday World Show

Jan 26-28 2018

mean 25,000 new jobs were created in the Irish tourism industry since 2015. The Irish tourism industry is now worth €8.7bn and Ireland earned an estimated €6.5bn from overseas tourism. The tourism and hospitality sector now sustains 230,000 people in employment throughout the country. Employment in accommodation and food services reached 153,000 in 2017, up 5pc.

positive territory and the unique experiences of an Ireland holiday is increasingly valued by our target market segments.

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he story of inbound tourism, is that the North American market continues to drive Ireland’s tourism revenues thanks to an expanding economy, the relative strength of the US dollar, and unprecedented growth in airlift Aer Lingus’ planned increase in services and

Aine Kavanagh, Colette Coughlan, Joe Higgins and Paul Carty of Guinness Storehouse gateways – which will see its transatlantic fleet expand from 15 aircraft in 2017 to 25 in 2021, provides for the first time an opportunity to develop a multi-year marketing

investment programme. ITIC calculates that Germany will see an expansion of airlift in 2018 as Ryanair launches new services to Ireland which provides an opportunity

for a well focused tactical marketing campaign to drive growth. In France the almost doubling of ferry capacity together with modest increases in airlift provides

an opportunity to further deepen Ireland’s market penetration. Across mainland Europe demand is expected to remain buoyant as economies remain in

orth America continues to bail out Irish tourism in the face of Brexit. Growth in aggregate earnings outpaced the increase in volume due to increasing numbers of higher spending visitors from beyond Europe, despite a further decline in the average length of stay but helped by the relative strength of the US dollar. Growth in holiday visitors, estimated at 5pc, was a positive outcome, again underwritten by the strong demand from North America thanks to increased air services by carriers, a favourable exchange rate, and effective marketing.

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UL Arena, Limerick SATURDAY 3rd & SUNDAY 4th FEBRUARY 2018 EXHIBITOR PROFILE • Adventure Travel

• Hotels

• Airlines

• National and Regional Tourist Organisations

• Airports • Caravans & Motorhomes

• Overseas Property

• International Camping Sites

• Weddings & Honeymoons

• Car Rental Companies

• Over 55’s Holidays

• Coach Tours

• Rail Holidays

• Cruise Companies

• Theme & Leisure Parks

• Ferries

• Travel Agents / Tour Operators

• Golf • Escorted Tours

• Travel Related Services

• Health Tourism

• Tourist Attractions

• Home Holidays

• Travel Accessories

BOOK YOUR STAND NOW! VENUE

2018 DATE AND TIMES

ORGANISERS

CONTACTS

UL Arena University of Limerick Limerick Ireland t: +353 (0)61 213 582 www.ulsport.ie

Saturday February 3 12.00pm - 5.30pm

Business Exhibitions Limited 59 Rathfarnham Road Dublin, D6W AK70 Ireland t: +353 (0)1 295 7418 f: +353 (0)1 295 7417

Maureen Ledwith - Sales Director t: +353 (0)1 291 3700 f: +353 (0)1 295 7417 e: maureen@bizex.ie

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www.holidayshow.ie 116014 THE HOLIDAY SHOW FP.indd 1

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Cycling_AD_FA.pdf

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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 44

DESTINATION SPAIN

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he coastline and nature park were sculpted by nature, Benidorm was invented. The plan was drawn up by Mayor Pedro Zaragoza. He rode his Vespa motor scooter to visit Franco in Madrid, to persuade him to lift the ban on bikinis on the beaches. There is a crucifix on the hill over Benidorm to demonstrate that this is as Christian a town as any, despite the arrival of the godless bikini. Pedro Zaragoza demonstrated his plan to develop the city to grow vertically using a packet of cigarettes. He put no limits on height, he put limits on the mountains instead. The third or fourth line buildings had to have a view to the sea.

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ccess and beds are a key to a destination. If you have one or the other you were already in the mass tourism market. Benidorm has both. Sadly, with all the benefits of being one of Spain’s first and best fitted mass-market destinations, comes a downside. Before we had reached our destination, the downside was already clear. The flight to Alicante had three hen parties on board. The police were on hand to greet us when we landed, to escort a gentleman off the aircraft who had been too fresh with an air hostess. The aircraft aisle was filled throughout the flight of people queueing, shoulder to shoulder, to empty their bladders,

A secluded nature park and diving haven, where could it be?

Alternative Benidorm

The cfross of Benidorm overlooks the bay, to prove the Spanish resort is not al about sin and excess

having started from a well irrigated airport preparation regime. The drive to Benidorm from Alicante airport was about 40 minutes and, when you reach the town, you see three small arcs of high-rise accommodation with the old town, elevated on a promontory, dwarfed by the concrete all around it.

B

enidorm is boisterous, too boisterous for many tastes, but there is a bigger story here. And we went to investigate. The alternative Benidorm that we were shown was full of high class rather than high rise hotels, fine dining, wine tasting, diving, jetski, and, most surprising of all, the lung of the city is a nearby national park as beautiful is anything you would hike through the wilderness to find. Benidorm is like

THINGS TO DO

■ Tao Bike Tours offer six alternative tours, Benidorm from end to end €32, Full Sierra Helada Natural Park €32, Atea Bike Experience Paella cooking class €65, Bicitapa €42, Benidorm artisanal beer brewery €42, and a night routes cycle. www.taobike.es ■ Bodegas Mendoza Winery, Enrique Mendoza’s amenable show vineyard with wines grown on local chalky soil.

an artichoke. You can scratch and scratch and the layers fall away. You do not need to hike to the Nature Park of Sierra Helada. You can bike. On the e-bikes supplied in the city centre, with an eco conscience and zero emissions The electronic bikes help you up the hill and when you reach the crest you can drink to excess, gorge yourself, dizzy and inebriated upon the vista of the rocky coastline with ancient defensive towers and secluded beaches.

S

ergio Ruiz is our host for our stay. He says that 13 Benidorms would cater for the entire tourist industry in Spain, and invites us to speculate that, by cramming los jovenes Ingleses into high rise apartments, it saves the rest of the country from being ravaged.

STAY AND EAT

■ Villa del Mar Hotel 4* superior hotel, a warm friendly place with a splendid plaza cafe on Poniente Beach where you can watch the world go by . The all inclusive package is very popular and the rooftop bars gives some of the best views in Benidorm. ■ Llum de Mar” Restaurant in Villa Venecia 5* Hotel ■ Madeira restaurant, great rooftop

Benidorm had a population of 1,200 a century ago. Now it as 60,000 hotel beds and a population of 400,000 in high season. In low season, the type of tourism changes, less frenetic, older, more measured. The key that brings everyone here since the bikini clause was conceived? The beaches, he says. They look to the south and the sand beaches are regenerating themselves. They are well kept with pedestrianised, blue paved corniches and (mostly) well behaved waves. Other resorts on the costa drunko have to bring sand from Morocco. There are seven beaches, Poniente Beach was outside our hotel, very Spanish and exotic and not at all like cliche Benidorm. Malpas Beach sits under the old town, still there with its restaurants and food markets, if a little intimidated by pushy modern flanks. To the north is Levante beach and, as you nose into the nature park you meet Almadrava beach and Top Ximo beach. All have marmalade rocks and white sand, the key to their place in the hier-

archy is how many blue and white sunbeds are stacked in little cairns in readiness of the next invasion.

T

o the north and south Mayor Pedro Zaragosa’s pack of cigarettes still stands upright, what the old guide books used to call “a spectacular complex of accommodations” (the same guide book said Benidorm’s clear luminous atmosphere made it ideal for the situation of geriatric and rehabilitation centres), a jumble of tower blocks jostling for a glimpse of the sea. Just beyond is Puig Campana, a 4,000 foot mountain with a chunk bitten out of the top, as if it belonged in Tipperary. The oldest of the alternative experiences is the jeep ride in the mountains. Dennis Raus of Marco Polo Expediciones Jeep Safari collected us and brought us up the narrow mountain tracks. A goat would be happy here.

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aving sampled all of this we went seeking a karaoke bar. We found Voices, so karaoke that they almost held audi-

tions for the singers who all got up in turn to perform a meticulously rehearsed arty piece. “Are we human or are we dancer,” said a sign outside one club along the way. All very civilised still, like the white painted stone balustrades of the esplanades which give the town a curiously genteel air. Seeking something more raucous and casual, we carried on away from the beach front, away from the strips of tapas bars, and into the place where the hen and the stag parties converge. It was a terrible sight. People passed out on the floor. Someone had been sick over a potted bougainvillaea. Love making engaged on doorways of the street, and the sounds of over lubricated revelry, turning occasionally to rage at some real or imagined slight. This was Benidorm of the satellite TV channels. No wonder they want to show the alternative side to anyone who cares to look. The joy of Benidorm is you do not have to look very far to find the serene, the beautiful, the peaceful, the antidote to the madness.

■ Eoghan Corry travelled to Benidorm as a guest of the Spanish Tourist Board.


Fly one-stop to Australia London Heathrow to Perth taking off from 25 March 2018 on the Qantas Dreamliner. Connecting in London with convenient Aer Lingus services from Shannon & Cork or a choice of Aer Lingus & British Airways services from Dublin. For more information, contact your local travel agent or visit qantas.com London to Perth flights are non-stop, scheduled from 25 March 2018 (subject to change). Subject to government and regulatory approval. ABN 16 009 661 901


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 46

THE FLYING COLUMN

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

BRITISH Airways is to expand its Irish

services from just London Heathrow and London City Airport with flights from Dublin to Manchester next summer. Given BA’s lack of long haul connections from Manchester, the service will be mainly point-to-point, but will have a two-class service. .

VIRGIN Atlantic has launched what is the only direct link between London Heathrow and Barbados. The 2w service will operate for winter 2017 using an Airbus A330. NORWEGIAN is to launch flights

from Amsterdam, Madrid and Milan to New York’s John F. Kennedy International and Los Angeles International airports next summer.

RYANAIR Insurance and financial services veteran Emer Daly and Kyran McLaughlin joined the board of Ryanair.

RYANAIR’s David O’Brien said its Cologne-Berlin route would be reinstated next summer as the airline presses the European Commission to make available take-off and landing slots in Germany after the failure of Air Berlin, with a view to opening new bases there. “Ryanair is interested in access to slots -- not slots contrived to deliver an inefficient operation, but sufficient slots to run a modern, efficient low-cost operation out of, for example, Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Berlin Tegel. RYANAIR growth slowed in November as passenger numbers booked were up 6pc to 9.3m, putting them on course for 129.3m in 2017, which should be enough to beat Lufthansa, currently 450,000 behind. AER LINGUS

passenger traffic was up 11.4pc in November with load factor down 1.1 to 78.2pc. Cargo carried was up 42pc.

DUBLIN

airport reported t 29.6m passengers for the year. Transfer passengers are up 36pc to 1.4. Cork Airport November numbers are up 4pc

BOMBARDIER’s Belfast plant has been chosen to develop and manufacture a new thrust reverser. EASYJET launched Air Time entertainment on five aircraft

NORWEGIAN passengers in November are up 11pc to 2.5m, long haul is up 52pc passenger growth, load factor was 83.7pc.

SHANNON won the global customer service award from American Airlines.

IATA

said total airline industry net profit in 2018 will rise 11pc to $38.4bn

Lufthansa’s purchase of Brussels Airlines allowed them to finish marginally ahead of Ryanair in 2017

129m passengers Lufthansa pips Ryanair as Europe’s largest airline

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yanair passenger growth has slowed substantially to 3pc in December from an average of 10pc, impacted by September’s rostering issues. Overall passenger numbers for 2017 are up 10pc to a record 129m The decline in growth has almost certainly prevented Ryanair finishing ahead of the five airline Lufthansa group as Europe’s largest airline for the second year in succession.. To end November Lufthansa had carried 120.7m, 330,000 ahead of Ryanair on 120.37m, followed by IAG on 97.15m, Air France/KLM on

91.3m, Easyjgt on 76.45m, Turkish on 63.14m, Aeroflot on 46.4m and Norwegian on 30.74m. Load factor at 95pc is the joint third

highest level reached by the airline. Ryanair load factors reached a world record 97pc in July, August and September.

RYANAIR DOWN THE YEARS 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

5k
 82k
 322k
 592k
 644k
 745k 
 651k
 945k


1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

1.1m
 1.7m
 2.3m 
 2.9m
 3.7m
 4.6m
 5.3m
 7.0m


2001 9.4m
 2002 15.8m
 2003 23.1m
 2004 27.6m
 2005 33.4m
 2006 40.5m
 2007 49m 2008 57.5m


RYANAIR MOVES TO EXPAND IN GERMANY

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yanair has applied for slots to base nine aircraft at BerUNACCOMPANIED The age for lin-Tegel airport to cement an unaccompanied minor traveling on United its position in the German capital and will be 5 - 14 (instead of 5 - 15) effective for compete with rival easyJet which has travel on/after December 14. taken over parts of Air Berlin’s busiPACKAGE An Obama administration ness. proposal that would have required US carriers Ryanair’s David O’Brien said to disclose checked and carry-on bag fees at An investment by Ryanair at Tegel the start of a ticket purchase rather than later “would allow Berlin’s residents and is being dropped by the Department of Transvisitors to avoid higher fares expected portation. from a duopoly of Lufthansa and

easyJet,” Ryanair said the slots at Tegel would allow it to make up for around 30pc of capacity lost when Air Berlin ceased operations in October. The carrier already has nine aircraft at Berlin’s other airport, Schoenefeld. While Berlin traditionally has high volumes, yields are traditionally low making it unattractive to competitors such as Lufthansa which focus on higher yielding markets.

Peter Bellew

2009 65.3m
 2010 72.7m
 2011 76.5m
 2012 79.8m
 2013 81.4m
 2014 85.4m 2015 101.4m 2016 116.8m 2017 128.77m


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 47

THE FLYING COLUMN

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare AIRBUS confirmed the Indigo order

for 430 additional A320neo family aircraft announced at the Dubai Air Show, 146 for Wizz Air, 72 A320neos and 74 A321neos; 134 for Frontier, 134, 100 A320neos and 34 A321neos; 56 for JetSMART 56 A320neo and 14 A321neo aircraft; and 78 for Volaris, 46 A320neos and 34 A321neos. Engine selection will be made at a later date. The Airbus deal follows reports during the week that it was drawing up contingency plans to phase out production of the A380 if it fails to win a key order from Emirates.

NIKI Austria administrators selected IAG/

Vueling to buy assets of the Austrian airline NIKI, which was formerly part of the Air Stephen Kavanagh and Yvonne Muldoon at the launch of Aer Lingus Seattle route Berlin group, for €20m and provide liquidity to NIKI of €16.5m to pay running costs, including salaries for 740 of the 1,000 former employees in Austria and Germany it plans to re-employ. The airline will be incorporated as an Austrian company and run initially as a separate operation, subject to competition approval. The assets include up to 15 A320 family aircraft and an attractive slot portfolio at he US and Canada saw the new seasonal services from Montreal within Ireland in 2017 up 4.3pc on various airports including Vienna, Dusseldorf, strongest year-on-year cap- to Dublin and Toronto to Shannon, 2008. Seat numbers fell by 23.8pc Munich, Palma and Zurich. ahead of shortacity increases from Ireland while increasing frequency from from 2008 to 2011, but have bounced listed trio TUI, Thomas Cook/Condor, and from 2016 to 2017 with increases of Vancouver and Toronto to Dublin. back. PrivatAir Switzerland. From 2011 to 2017 seats on do24.2pc and 22.6pc, and this is set to Air Transat is adding departures from exercised options to purchase mestic and international services, AERCAP Toronto to Dublin.. continue in 2018. 50 A320neo Family aircraft from Airbus, Aet Lingus started flying to Miami Research by anna aero suggests increased by 36.8pc, up 26.9pc since with deliveries starting from 2022, bringing in September and will add service the Netherlands and Portugal were 2014. AerCap’s firm orders for the A320neo Family From 2011 to 2017, the number from Philadelphia (effective March the other top 12 destination markets aircraft to 270 owned and on order. to experience double-digit growth in of two-way seats available on inter26) and Seattle (eff. May 18). Seattle will be Aer Lingus’ 12th 2017. Four top ranked country mar- national services increased by 38.8pc. RYANAIRThe public prosecutor’s Ryanair and Aer Lingus account office in Koblenz Germany initiated charges US gateway to Ireland, following the kets witnessed capacity cuts - UK, for 77.6pc of all seats to, from and last September against five people from two addition of 6 new direct transatlan- France, Poland and Belgium. Combined capacity from Ireland to within Ireland, based on published recruitment companies of the withholding and tic services since IAG’s acquisition in 2015. American is extending the the US and Canada increased by 67pc capacity in 2017. misappropriation of wages, not paying social Ryanair was the largest carrier in security contributions in 920 cases relating to season for its Philadelphia-Shannon from 2008 to 2017 with double-digit growth from Ireland for five consecu- 2008, but reduced capacity in this 277 Ryanair pilots. service. Norwegian Air International is tive years, with capacity growing by market by more than one-third from boosting frequency between Shannon 54.3pc to the US and 379.4pc to Can- 2008 to 2012 which led to Aer Lin- CBM Credit Bank of Moscow sold CBM gus regaining its spot as the number Ireland Leasing to Dublin-based aircraft and and Stewart NY. United is extending ada during this period. ships lessor GTLK Europe, whose sole shareRyanair topped Aer Lingus as the one operator from 2011 to 2013. the season for its Chicago-Dublin The figure might be boosted by the holder is Russia’s State Transport Leasing service, while adding capacity be- leading capacity provider from 2014 tween Newark and Dublin with a onward thanks to its international 11.8pc of published capacity from Company. Including six B737-800s with leases Ireland to North America in 2017 attached, for an undisclosed sum. change of aircraft. growth.

Stars and flights

T

Strong west bound growth to continue in 2018

From Canada Air Canada mainline replaces Air Canada Rouge, with

There are 41.51m seats scheduled on non-stop services to, from and

that are technical stops by Ethiopian, Kuwait and BA.

RYANAIR’s Porto hub went live.

CANADA IS ONE STEP CLOSER We’re giving your clients even more of Canada with two new flights from Ireland beginning summer 2018. Our seasonal Dublin–Montreal and Shannon–Toronto routes add to our existing service between Dublin and Toronto and Dublin and Vancouver.

For more information, visit aircanada.com or call 00 800 6699 2222. CR-000041_FTravel Extra AD_V3.indd 1

2017-12-12 1:40 PM


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 48

THE FLYING COLUMN

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

AIR CORPS Minister with responsibility for defence, Paul Kehoe signed a contract for three Pilatus PC-12 NG utility aircraft equipped for intelligence gathering, targeting and reconnaissance tasks, two aircraft will be delivered in 2019 and the third in 2020, worth €32m in total. They will replace the five remaining Cessna FR172H aircraft, purchased for the Air Corps in 1972.

AERCAP appointed Joseph McGinley as Head of Investor Relations. AerCap and Neos announced the Delivery of the Airline’s First Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Aercap sold a 21-aircraft portfolio to Peregrine Aviation Company.

SHANNON Mike Byrt joined Shannon-based Atlantic Aviation Group as Technical Services Director.

KNOCK Airport is to receive €1,868,439 under the Public Policy Remit Operational Expenditure Subvention Scheme to contribute towards the operational costs associated with air traffic control, fire, safety and security at the airport.

EIRTECH Aviation Services says its cargo loading system cover for A320 family aircraft will provide a safer surface for bulk loading of passenger luggage and cargo. FINGAL

County Council is to upgrade road facilities around Dublin Airport after signing a €70m loan agreement with the European Investment Bank.

DUBLIN Airport opened a new €22m boarding gate area. The South Gates area will be used mainly by Aer Lingus for flights to Britain and continental Europe and has five boarding gates serving nine aircraft parking stands. The DAA said passengers will walk out to the aircraft, allowing airlines a fast turnaround time for their operation. A shuttle bus service from an existing lounge at Gate 335 will operate every two minutes on a continuous loop bringing passengers to and from the new boarding gate facility. STOBART Air plans flights to Carlisle from Dublin and Belfast.

DAA Chairman Pádraig Ó Ríordáin an-

nounced he will step down in mid-January 2018 when his current term ends. It’s the second high profile post to change, following the departure of DAA CEO Kevin Toland to food giant Aryzta in Zurich during the autumn. Ó Ríordáin was appointed Chairman in January 2012 by then Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar. He was reappointed in February 2015 by Minister Paschal Donohoe and in July 2016 by Minister Shane Ross.

CORK Airport has been named the second happiest and friendliest airport in the world. It was ranked just behind Exeter in England in the “happy or not” survey of travellers of 160 airports across 36 countries. EASYJET routes from Belfast to

Spain, Italy and the Isle of Man could create as many as 175 new jobs, Graham Keddie, MD of Belfast International Airport, said.

Stephen Kavanagh and Willie Walsh

12m passengers

Aer Lingus the star performer of IAG Group in 2017

A

er Lingus carried a record 12m passengers in 2017 as the airline’s trans Atlantic traffic continued to grow. Aer Lingus owner IAG reported that its Irish and Spanish businesses grew passenger traffic at the company last year as expansion in their English company, British Airways, slowed. Aer Lingus traffic (Revenue Passenger Kilometres) was up 11.6pc to 21,412k, indicating passenger numbers of more than 16m. Available Seat Kilometres were up 12.1pc to 26,386 and cargo tonne kilometres up 22pc to 155k. Madrid-based Iberia was up 7.6pc. IAG passenger numbers on its four airlines were up 4.1pc to

104.83m, making them the third largest aviation group in Europe after Lufthansa’s five airline group (130m) and Ryanair (129m). According to a statement: On 8 December, British Airways launched a flexible benefits scheme incorporating a new defined contribution pension scheme, following consultation with its trade unions and employees. The scheme will open on April 1 2018 and will replace the main English defined benefit scheme, the New Airways Pension Scheme, and the main English defined contribution scheme, the British Airways Retirement Plan. The changes are subject to NAPS trustees agreeing to amend the scheme’s rules to enable closure to future accrual.

On December 29, IAG announced that it is to buy assets of the Austrian airline NIKI, which was formerly part of the Air Berlin group, for €20 million and provide liquidity to NIKI of up to €16.5m The transaction, which is being made by a newly formed subsidiary of Vueling that will be incorporated as an Austrian company and run initially as a separate operation, is subject to customary closing conditions such as the EC competition approval. The assets include up to 15 A320 family aircraft and an attractive slot portfolio at various airports including Vienna, Dusseldorf, Munich, Palma and Zurich.

AVIATION’S SAFEST EVER YEAR

T

he safest year in aviation history was 2017, when the Aviation Safety Network, which records all air crashes and incidents reported around the world, recorded just 10 fatal accidents involving commercial flights. The accidents resulted in 44 deaths, down from 16 fatal accidents and 302

deaths in 2016. None of 2017’s fatalities involved a passenger jet. Harro Ranter, president of ASN, said in a statement “since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organisations such

as the International Civil Aviation Organization,the International Air Transport Association, the Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry.” Last year there were 36.8m passenger flights meaning one fatal accident for every 7.36 m departures. The last fatal accident involving a passenger jet

was LaMia Flight 2933, on November 28, 2016, in which the Brazilian Chapecoense football team was travelling, and the last accident to claim more than 100 lives was Irish owned Metrojet Flight 9268, which came down on October 31, 2015, after leaving Sharm El Sheikh International Airport, probably due to a bomb.


u

FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 49

THE FLYING COLUMN

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare AER LINGUS

Dublin-Philadelphia service to start 4w on March 25, will increase to daily from May 18 and return to 4w for winter. The transatlantic fleet for summer18 is confirmed as 13 A330s and 4 B757s, with connections over Hartford (the cheapest with Air Canada, Boston Air Canada and WestJet and Chicago with United..

AER LINGUS was No 10 in the

OAG Airline punctuality league for listed airlines, beaten only by fly Baltic and Vueling among European airlines. Ryanair do not participate in the league.

EUROCONTROL Eamonn Brennan took office as Director General of Eurocontrol. ETHIOPIAN celebrated their 1 millionth passenger from Ireland.

BELFAST Graham Keddie predicted Belfast International will reach 6m passengers in 2018. Belfast International was up 11pc in 2017, Belfast City down 4.4pc. Cathay Pacific will operate 4w using an Airbus A350-900 aircraft in three class configuration from June 2

Cathay checks in

Direct flights to Hong Kong the signature new route

C

athay Pacific’s new route direct form Dublin to Hong Kong is the signature new route form Ireland in 2018. Apart from key westbound routes (see page 47) the main additions are: From Asia Cathay Pacific launches service from Hong Kong to Dublin on June 2nd, Ireland’s first non-stop flight to Asia.. From Germany Lufthansa is adding frequencies to Dublin. Ryanair has launched new services from Munich and Stuttgart to Dublin, and is adding frequency from Hamburg. Ryanair will operate from Berlin to Kerry, replacing service to Shannon.

From France Aer Lingus is adding departures from Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, Montpellier, and Nantes to Dublin. From Italy Aer Lingus adding frequency from Rome to Dublin Ryanair launching service from Naples to Dublin. From Scandinavia SAS is expected to add capacity on services from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm to Dublin. From Finland Finnair is increasing frequency from Helsinki to Dublin. From Switzerland SWISS is adding departures from Zurich to Dublin and to Cork.

From Iceland Icelandair is launching service from Kefljavik Keflavik to Dublin, effective May 8th. From Spain Aer Lingus is increasing frequency between Barcelona and Cork. Iberia Express will extend its summer season services from Madrid to Cork. In addition to the above, Ryanair and Aer Lingus are adding services on a number of established routes from Continental Europe catering to inbound tourism. From Britain Aer Lingus, BA, Flybe and Ryanair are adjusting frequencies on a number of routes. Flybe has reinstated service Southend to Dublin.

ENDA CORNEILLE HINTS EMIRATES WILL GROW

E

nda Corneille of Emirates revealed that the airline, which launched here in 2012 with the help of Lionel Richie, carried its two millionth passenger on the Dublin - Dubai route last month. The 1m passenger landmark was reached in December 2015.

He also fuelled rumours that the doubledaily service could expand in some form, but conceded to Travel Extra that Dublin Airport - which he says is busy with the Aer Lingus transatlantic boom - would not be ready to take the A380 “until 2019 at the earliest”.

Emirates growth from Dublin is despite increased competition on the Gulf routes. From summer 2018 restoring a three class product: a three-class 777-300ER will replace two-class aircraft on Dublin-Dubai EK163/164 from August.1. Enda Corneille

DUBLIN

airport plans to extend auto docking and slot countdown to pier 4.

RYANAIR are to increase Derry-Liverpool to 3w in summer 208. Ryanair’s English operation lodged an application for an AOC with the CAA on December 21 to continue flying UK domestics in the event of a “difficult” Brexit. IAA Airlines and airport authorities criti-

cised plans by the Government to impose an annual €1m levy on airports to beef up IAA oversight of security inspections,

AER LINGUS Jack Foley, Aer Lingus senior vice-president, North America for 21 years, retired on New Year’s Eve.

WATERFORD airport was thrown a lifeline from the government with emergency funding of €375,000 to keep the airport operational for the next six months. The proposed Waterford-Luton services from BackBone Aviation, based in Denmark, and associated with the abortive Powdair operation from Sion, would not start because the runway is too short for BackBone’s Canadair CRJ200ER.

SHANNON Airport finalised plans for a new cafe and improvements to the arrivals hall.

NORWEGIAN plans to add 12 new B737 MAX aircraft to service the carrier’s transatlantic flights from Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Shannon and Edinburgh to the US east coast, its first service to South America and 11 B787s Dreamliners to its fleet to be exclusively used on long-haul routes from Gatwick.a AIR FRANCE are to fly Cork to

Paris for summer 2018.

VIVA Air Panama appointed chairman Declan Ryan as its new President of the Group, taking over from founder William Shaw, who remains on the board. BERLIN’s new Brandenburg airport opening date appears to be October 2020.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 50

AFLOAT ROYAL CARIBBEAN and Celebrity Cruises passengers will increase gratuities charges by $1 per person, per day from January 2. The daily amount, added automatically to passengers’ bills, rises to $14.50 per person for standard accommodations, $15 for Celebrity Concierge Class and AquaClass rooms, $17.50 for Royal Caribbean suites and for Royal Caribbean suites.

MSC Cruises signed a contract to officially order two more vessels from the shipyard, in a new class, Seaside EVO. Pierfranceso Vago, chairman of MSC Cruises, said the ships would be “an evolution of the Seaside platform”, and would be longer than the Seaside Class, housing 2,280 cabins. The vessels are due to launch in 2021 and 2023. CELEBRITY Cruises celebrated the

ceremonial keel-laying of Celebrity Flora, an expedition ship being custom-built for sailing around the Galapagos Islands. The ceremony took place at the shipyard in Tolkamer, the Netherlands.

Crown Princess will partially homeport in Dublin for13 rotations in 2019

Princess to port

NORWEGIAN Cruise Lines raised

the gratuity on its drinks and specialty dining packages from 18pc to 20pc, added automatically to bills even if the packages are a value-added perk. Norwegian raised its Ultimate Beverage Package price in October by 13pc to US$106.80 per day.

IRISH PORTS Shipping and port activity grew 5pc in Ireland in Q3 of 2017 according to the IMDO Ship Index, driven by 11pc growth in laden exports. STENA Line was awarded ‘Digital Pro-

ject of the Year’ for its AI venture at the Gala CIO 2017 in Sweden.

BRITTANY Ferries carried 87,000 passengers this year on its Cork-Roscoff route, up 3pc on 2016. VIKING Ocean Cruises’ fleet will expand

to 10 ships after the line confirmed four more newbuilds, according to Fincantieri shipyard. The line aims to have 10 ocean vessels and 100 river ships.

ROYAL Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas underwent a deep cleaning and is sailing as scheduled following a recent outbreak of a gastrointestinal illness that affected hundreds of passengers.

MSC Preziosa will be based in Southamp-

ton in 2019, replacing the older, smaller MSC Magnifica. Preziosa will split its time between Southampton in the spring and autumn, and Kiel during the summer. MSC’s MD for Ireland and Britain Antonio Paradiso said he had “long wanted to have a big ship” operating out of England.

ARAN ISLANDS A new five-year contract will guarantee daily morning and evening sea ferry services by Aran Ferries Teo between Ros a’ Mhíl and each of the three Aran islands. Bus services between Ros a’ Mhíl and Galway city are included in the contract.

Second major cruise line to homeport in Dublin

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second major cruise line is to home port in Dublin in 2019. Princess Cruises are to bring the Crown Princess for 13 scheduled partial homeports for Dublin in 2019. It follows Celebrity Cruise’s decision to homeport Celebrity Eclipse from May to June 2018 and Celebrity Refection will homeport from May to June 2019 for five rotations each. Princess Cruises has announced its 2019 European cruises and cruisetours. For 2019, travelers will get

to choose from 85 itineraries on 211 cruise departures, visiting 37 countries, including ports with longer time ashore and overnight stays. The Dublin overnights include 12-day Britain and Ireland cruises departing from Dublin or London on Crown Princess. Itineraries also include Visit Ireland, Scottish Highlands and Wales on 14-day cruises aboard Pacific Princess, with calls to the Isle of Portland, Portree, and Aberdeen.

Pat Ward, head of corporate services, Dublin Port said the homeport decisions confirm Dublin City as a marquee destination for the world’s largest cruise lines.   Dublin Port’s cruise business is growing from strength to strength. We are already on track for a record year in 2018, and with work on our Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project having commenced, the future of cruise tourism to the capital is now secure.”

FRANCE DAILY IN 2018 WITH IRISH FERRIES

S

ummer 2018 will see a doubling in the number of Irish Ferries summer sailings between Ireland and France, offering daily departures alternatively from both Dublin and Rosslare ports. This is coupled with an increase in autumn/ winter sailings fre-

S

quency, and an expansion in passenger, car and freight carrying capacities on the company’s prime Ireland – Wales route between Dublin and Holyhead. On the Dublin – Cherbourg route, WB Yeats will operate up to four return sailings weekly. Oscar Wilde sailings to

Roscoff will increase. In the initial off peak winter season, the vessel Epsilon will replace the WB Yeats providing a year–round service from Dublin to the Continent for both freight and tourism customers. A new ferry will enable the Epsillon to be returned to lessor.

Dermot Merrigan of Irish Ferries

MSC SEAVIEW’S CHILD FINDER

ophia Loren named MSC Cruises’ newest ship, MSC Seaside at a ceremony that included a performance from Andrea Bocelli and Ricky Martin at PortMiami, attended by travel agents, media, and, un-

usually, executives from rival cruise lines Royal Caribbean and NCL. Among the signature features is one where p arents sailing on MSC Seaside will be able to locate their children in public spaces using the MSC for

Me app. It will allow parents to locate offspring on a map of the ship in a public space, but not their cabins. Cruisers can use MSC for Me to find their way around the ship via turnby-turn directions enabled

by 3,275 beacons (essentially serving as onboard GPS satellites). Other functionalities include the ability to make restaurant reservations, book shore excursions or see the day’s schedule.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 51

AFLOAT

CARNIVAL Cruise Line’s third Vistaclass ship will be called Carnival Panorama. Scheduled to launch in the autumn of 2019, the ship is under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard. No homeport or itinerary details are yet available.

RIVIERA Travel has been sold by Phoenix Equity Partners to London-based private equity firm Silverfleet Capital for an undisclosed sum..

The new Irish Ferries build is 50pc bigger than MV Ulysses

Biggest ever ferry

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Is there another huge Irish Ferries ship to come?

rish Ferries are to add a new €165.2m ferry on Dublin-Holyhead route from Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft in Flensburg for delivery before Mid-2020. It will have the largest vehicle capacity in the world at 5,610 freight lane metres or 330 freight units and will accommodate 1,800 passengers and crew, a 50pc increase on the capacity of MV Ulysses. The vessel has been designed for three tier freight bow loading It will allow for the deployment of the WB Yeats (arriving mid 2018) full-time on the direct Ireland France route alongside the MV Oscar Wilde, displacing the Epsilon which will return to its lessor. It is likely to be the second instalment in a period of expansion by Irish ferries, with its eye on direct services to France as Brexit/Breati-

meacht plays out. According to Irish Ferries the cruise ferry will also adhere to Ice Class specification which allows for a wide geographic area of operation. Shortly before Christmas, Irish Continental Group announced details of €446m of new debt facilities, sourced from a mix of lenders in Ireland and the US, enough to buy three more WB Yeats-sized ferries. The Group had net cash of €26.7m in June 2017, and debt of €37.9m to December 2016. Freight capacity on the new ship will be provided over five decks. Passenger facilities will be spread over three decks. In addition to its choice of bars, restaurants (to include both á la carte and self-service options), special provision has been made for premium Club Class passengers, with a dedicated lounge featuring private

access direct from the vehicle decks. The ferry will feature several entertainment options, cinemas, dedicated facilities for freight drivers, as well as many retail outlets. ICG said 20 percent of the contract price will be paid in instalments during the construction period, and the balance of 80 percent will be paid on delivery. ICG intends to utilize credit facilities to finance the cruise ferry. The pre-delivery installment payments to FSG will be protected by means of bank guarantees. The new €165.2m cruise ferry is being built by German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft specifically for Dublin - Holyhead services. Replacing the MV Ulysses will allow for the deployment of the WB. Yeats (arriving mid 2018) fulltime on the direct Ireland - France route alongside the MV Oscar Wilde.

Year of the Edge

Celebrity are building most anticipated ship of 2018

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elebrity Edge was voted the Most Anticipated New Cruise Ship for 2018 in the 5th An-

nual Cruise Fever Fan Awards. Celebrity Cruises revolutionary new cruise ship, Celebrity Edge, will debut in late 2018. Celebrity Edge barely edged CRUISE LAUNCHES 2018 out new ships from Carnival and Royal Caribn AIDAnova 6,600 pax bean in voting. The top n Seabourn Ovation 604 pax spring five most anticipated new n Blue Star Titanic II, 2,345 pax cruisesShips for 2018 n RCL Symphony of the Seas 5,400 pax Apr ranked by votes were: n Carnival Horizon, 3,954 pax summer 1 Celebrity Edge n Norwegian Bliss 4,260 pax summer , 2 Carnival Horizon n Crystal Exclusive class ship 1,000 3 Symphony of the Seas n Celebrity Edge 2,900 4 Norwegian Bliss n TUI Mein Schiff 7 2500 pax 5 MSC Seaview n HALNieuw Statendam 2,660 pax Mar Celebrity Edge promn MSC Seaview 5,300 pax May ises to change the way we n Hurtigruten Roald Amundsen 600 pax May experience the world with n Ponant Le LapŽrouse 180pax incredible new features

never before found on a cruise ship. The Infinite Verandas will take staterooms right to the water’s edge with a touch of a button, giving you open air access to the sea whenever you wish. Magic Carpet will be the world’s first cantilevered, floating platform on a cruise ship. With breathtaking views, a full bar, and space for live music performances, it truly is a destination itself. By day, outward-facing ocean views, ever-changing abstract artwork, and unexpected entertainment create a luxurious resort-style atmosphere. At night, ambient lighting, unique all fresco dining, and live music set the scene for energy, intimacy, and elegance.

HOLLAND AMERICA A coin ceremony was held for Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy

HURTIGRUTEN announced the Northwest Passage Cruise and other new itineraries for 2019 and /2020

CLIA David Dingle, Clia Europe’s deputy

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

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

MSC Cruises is to name the first of Meraviglia-Plus ships MSC Grandiosa. Under a €9bn plan, six of 11 new ships will come into service between June 2017 and November 2020. MSC Cruises’

IRISH FERRIES carried 385,100 cars in the first ten months of the year, up 2.2pc as revenues reached €184.4m. It says it has not been hit by the weakness of sterling affecting the inbound British market, ICG group revenues are up 3.1pc to €289.9m.

CELEBRITY Cruises will build a new cruise vessel custom-designed for sailing the Galapagos. Debuting May 26, 2019, Celebrity Flora will be a 100-passenger, all-suite vessel featuring floor-to-ceiling glass windows throughout and the latest in environmentally-friendly operating systems.

REGENT Seven Seas Cruises named its 750-passenger cruise ship due in spring 2020 Seven Seas Splendor.

DISNEY Magic is get a Tangled-themed restaurant, transformed teen club and an adultsonly cafe retreat when it refits in winter 2018, returning to service March 9 in Miami. VIKING Jupiter will be the name of the sixth Viking ocean cruise ship when it launches February 2019.

MARELLA Cruises refurbished the teenage hangout hub Hideout on Discovery.

AUSTRALIS the Chilean cruise line Australis launched its second expedition vessel, Ventus Australis.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 52

DESTINATION CAMPING

I

f you are to pick a mid point to follow Ireland;s endeavours at Euro 2016, the Loire Valley is the place to base yourself. It is most famous for the castles and vineyards, but the river is the best bit. Not that the Castles are losing any of their clebrated charm. Chambord is amongst the finest, built on a curve the Cosson which flows into the river Beuvron which flows into the Loire a kilometre later. The castle is a showpiece, even in the vanity competition of Loire chateaux. Francois 1 built it as a hunting lodge, adorning it with Salamanders and a signature double helix staircase and whatever could be gleaned form the creative fervour of the French master masons. They say Leonardo da Vinci was in the Loire valley to help it along the way in 1516. Despite all the loving work and the artistry, bits were left unfinished. As our guide said: “if we were to worry about completion we would never begin anything.”

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or each of the stadium chateaux, filled with tourists listening to audio guides, like Chambord, there is somewhere smaller and equally intriguing nearby, like Talcy. We are the only tourists in Talcy’s Italianate Renaissance mansion. The Auberge du Chateau

Vive le camping

Famous for castle shuch as Chambord, the Loire valley is five hours from the ferry port at Cherbourg

nearby has no English but one of the warmest welcomes in France. Our big trip was to Tours and its amazing cathedral. The small streets are full of amazing local shops, a bulwark against the homogenised shopping streets of Europe. I particularly like the gingerbread in the window of Hansel and Gretel patisserie. The ribbon of castles along its banks can be a distraction, but it is important not to miss the star of the show, perhaps the star of France itself. I swam the Loire at dusk. The level is low in

August and the river full of racey whirlpools and playful splashing. The logs and tree trunks of last winter have lodged along the shallow bits and there are sandbars that change shape and location according to the snowmelt of distant Alps. The Seine is a bigger celebrity, the Rhone wider, the Canal du Midi the package holiday icon, but the Loire remains central to understanding what France is about, its longest river (1,013 km, just made it to four figures) and still deliciously moody, despite the centuries of attempting to

tame its intemperance.

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ieux what a scorcher. We baked, in the sunsoaked, not the patisserie, sense. This heat was so intense there was only one solution, long drives in the air conditioned car with the temperature turned down as low as it can go. The little town of Beaugency combines everything that is great about the Loire region.

One of Le Plus Beaux Detours de France, its church has light streaming in sideways, much as it would have when they annulled the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine here and sparked off the hundred years war. My daughter Constance found an antique shop where she bought Bulletin de Theraputique from 1883, three euro and she is reading it from cover to cover. Each day starts with

a odip in the Loire, surprisingly fast flowing for a river that is so big and already so far from its source. This region of France is very different from where I have been before, big farms with the harvest in full flow. The key is to go off the main roads and drive the small country by-ways, along country path where cars have to stop and yield to each other, in and out of village after village with its markets square and its block-sized church. The hanging baskets of flowers and shutter-protected windows go on for ever. There is a statue of Joan of Arc in every market square. You can see a pattern here. Beaugency has the best Joan of Arc statue, with her banner and lance, positioned so red-faced tourists are almost forced to take their pictures up her skirt. The picture postcard village has a small stream running down the middle of tits main street, culverted and then opening like a porpoise coming up for air. In Chateaudun we found a delicious town of which few have ever heard and sat in the open street where the coffee and ice cream were more expensive. Passers by nodded knowledgeably,

n Eoghan Corry travelled to France with Irish ferries on their direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg (www.irishferries.com) and Roscoff. n He stayed with Canvas holidays on their campsite at Chateau des Marais, where Canvas Holidays has 30 pitches www.canvasholidays.ie

Clockwise: Beauce Drive, Beaugency, sunflowers in Beauce, a Beaugency homestead, Canvas have 30 pitches at Château des Mairais


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 53

Canoeing on the Loire,

as if to think “those tourists, so easily fooled.” We explored another ancient castle with another storied tributary of the Loire rippling by. There were also some self-indulgent diversions along the trail of South Leinster saints Fiachra/ Fiacre, Irish saints who set up their stall along the Loire. Their fame spread

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across France and still lingers, as much as at home. Fiachra is the patron saint of STDs which is a complicated tale in itself. La Vendosmois near Le Mans was named for Saint Osmana. Cerota was her servant, of an Irish royal family.

E

ach campsite in France has its rhythm, and the rhythm varies from site to site, region to region. There is a general pattern to affairs, common to them all. The early morning swim with the Germans and Parisians (there is never an English speaker in the deepest pool before 10, and

DESTINATION CAMPING 

the modern pools ARE deeper (ours in Chateau des Marais in the Loire Valley was 2.5m deep). Then shortly afterwards the queues of daddies in at the breakfast baguette shop (85 cent, so fresh the yeast is humming), the comings and goings of cars en route to local markets and sights, the enthusiastic queues of

FRANCE: THE CAMPSITE CHRONICLES

ampsites are graded like hotels, four stars for the best facilities, more than one pool, slides, play areas and onsite dining. Note that sites in France are graded up to four stars: most bigger operators use three and four-star sites. If you prefer canvas, on-site tents normally have a kitchen, fridge and electric light.

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significant number of Irish people, about 35,000, go camping each year (Irish campsite families still have on average one child more than English families). This is a fraction of the numbers who go to sun holidays in apartments, because camping has a bad reputation for a certain generation of Irish people More Irish people are using fly-drive because of cheap air fares. Irish cus-

 Domaine de la Foret tomers are going much further afield, and Italy is a favourite destination. Italy is growing very fast, Garda and the Laguna of Venice are now regular camping stops for iris people. Campsites in Slovenia and Croatia are being used by Irish people for the past three years. Numbers in these places are small in

these places compared with France, where the Vendee is still king, Brittany is popular and the Dordogne growing very fast. the traditional cycle of Irish campers is that the first time they go camping their holiday is in Brittany, usually at a site close to a direct ferry service to Cherbourg or Roscoff.

The second holiday is traditionally in the Vendee, a four hours drive from the ferry. Having got there you have got much better weather, the most sunshine on the west coast and more than some Mediterranean spots, and lots of safe sandy beaches. It has as many sunshine hours as the Cote d’Azur. It is not as hot

cyclists, each a veritable Nicholas Roche or Dan Martin and the troops of kids off to the Whoopi Club. This is followed by the heat-exhaustion of mid afternoon and the splosh of laughing children and sunburned parents in processions down the water slides. I love waterslides, the long and the windy ones, but they are put together for agile children travelling at speed, not the middle-aged and pot-bellied 90-kiloer who bumps along unevenly, feeling the rim between each section on their sunburned skin. Then the evening, pizzas from the camp takeaway, Liverpudlians laughing in the bar, the

muffled microphone sounds of a quiz or karaoke session, teenagers with bicycles flirting and admiring each other in whispered phrases that need no translation despite their multi-lingual nature, barbecues outside the caravans and tents, the voices raised a notch with every bottle of great value local wine that is emptied. Until the night when everything goes quiet, darkness descends and the last Liverpudlian is coaxed out of the bar: “I’ll put it in a plastic cup for you.” The crickets sing their love songs, the Loire goes pouring by and all in the world seems right.

PLACES TO EAT

n The picture postcard town in Beaugency featured restaurants such as Le Martroi and Chez Henry. n Blois restaurants included Hôtel Restaurant Côté Loire, L’Orangerie du château, Au rendez-vous des pêcheurs, n Orleans restaurants included Chez Eugène, Restaurant Les Toqués, Restaurant La Dariole, and La Parenthèse. but they get just as much sunshine. One surprise about the west coast of France is that the amount of sunshine decreases and the amount of rain increases as you go south. The third year’s holiday is traditionally a two centre holiday, Vendee and the Dordogne or Vendee and the Loire. Overall, the Vendee is the primary destination for Irish holidaymakers and their accommodation of choice is mobile homes.

I

rish customers are most likely to use mobile homes,, perhaps because they have been conditioned by Irish weather. You can save a lot of money staying in a tent. Operators report that 20pc of customers do not use their landbridge ferry option, including the growing fly drive market and those traveling with

the slightly more expensive Irish and Brittany ferries. Most of the major camping tour operators now have a linen hire service, recognising the number of people who now fly drive. If you don’t like the mobile home the new eco-caper can stay in a treehouse at resorts like Chateau des Ormes campsite in Dol-de-Bretagne Irish people are taking their holidays later than they used to as well. The peak date for Irish holiday makers used to be June 23rd, before England got its school holidays. UK Ireland Denmark Holland and Germany used to travel at different times. which helped keep prices down. In recent years the Irish moved out of June into July all this has begun to change


FEBRARY 2018 PAGE 54

DESTINATION USA

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he city of Miami is defined by the Atlantic Ocean. So what better way to sample it than a boat ride from Bayside Marketplace in the canalised quays of downtown. We climbed onboard the Thriller expecting to be thrilled, with some suspicion that the may have over-revved the marketing on this one. The tour began, as boat rides tend to, with fun facts about the city and dive pasts of celebrity homes, done with the enthusiastic voyeurism that celebrity culture cultivates and rejoices in. The pickings were rich. Miami was long a refuge for the rich, famous and feckless so vividly portrayed by F Scott Fitzgerald in his 1920s novels from This Side of Paradise onwards. By the time we had passed 20th industrial magnate’s home and heard how much the house was worth the novelty and the sense of being thrilled had abated somewhat. But then the boat revved up and we were told by our fast talking tour guide, to accompanying soundtrack, “welcome to the Atlantic Ocean.” The boat revved up and the music pace rose to match, the driver and tour guide punched the air and the wind burst through our hair. This was the view

Mad for Miami

The newest direct trans Atlantic destination from Ireland Paul Hackett of Clickandgo in the aquarium of Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Miami

that everyone coming to Miami hankers for, a speed course along South beach with the bathers and surfers and splashers all within easy reach or sight, a helicopter overhead, jet skiers and paragliders dancing on the waves or above, and the deep bassboom soundtrack that seems to be essential to appreciate the fast paced city. It is thirty-odd years since the television series Miami Vice reshaped the self image if the city and hastened the restoration of a seedy, slightly pathetic enclave of residen-

tial hotels into the finest collection of Art deco buildings in the United States. The preservationists moved in, old architectural plans and photos were gleaned from the archives, and an area was reborn. Since then the tempo of Miami has been close to what awe experienced on the speedboat ride, a rock tempo.

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ast paced means expensive. Eats, beers, tacos and fine steak are all priced at a premium in the city.

THINGS TO DO & PLACES TO SEE

n Stay at the Biltmore Hotel 1200 Anastasia Ave Coral Gables FL 33130 n Loews Miami Beach Hotel 1601 Collins Ave Miami Beach FL, 33139 n Classic steak dining at Jim Dunn and Dave Terry ‘s Smith & Wollensky 1 Washington Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139 n Sea food dining at Milos Miami by Costas Spiliadis +1305-604-6800 n Casual dining in an arty setting at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave Miami, FL 33127 n The SWOOP ride fun street tour +1954.248.8770 theswoopride.com

n Thriller Miami Speedboat Tour departs from Bayside Marketplace and provides sightseeing experience in Miami Vice Style..thrillermiami.com n Perez Art Museum Miami – PAMM 1103 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, Florida 33132 n Frost Museum of Science 1101 Biscayne Blvd Miami FL, 33132 n MPH club offers a chance to drive luxury cars such as Ferrari & Lamborghinis from Opa Locka Executive Airport and some hotel locations. +1 305-330-6322. www.mphclub.com n OneLimo Alliance provides transportation through the city for groups and individuals onelimoalliance.com

The South Beach dineries, the top-rated steakhouses like Christy’s, Smith and Wollensky’s, Mortons, Prime 112, Flemings, the Palm and Capital Grille come at a premium price. A beer can cost $9 and do not even thing of entering a downtown designer shop, but you can offer the credit card some respite by escaping escapes to the melting pot neighbourhoods where not everyone is from Cuba, but you might think it. Lincoln Road’s eclectic mix of funky boutiques, restaurants and al fresco cafés now includes such hot brands as Diesel, Earl Jeans, Steve Madden, L’Occitane, and Kiehl’s. Miami Design District. runs the length of 18 blocks of interior design showrooms, Dadeland Mall (www.Simon.com) is a traditional enclosed

shopping mall featuring a mix of 185 stores. and a the opposite, northern end of Miami, Aventura Mall is the largest conventional shopping mall in Florida. For the outlet-bound, Dolphin Mall and Prime Factory Outlets about 35 minutes south of downtown Miami are for shoppers with an agenda.

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e went to Ope Locka Executive airport to find the coolest activity of the trip. Alex Carles of mphclub was waiting for us. “The Lamborghini, the Ferrari and the BMW 7, you guys might have to do a bit of rock on super scissors to see who goes first.” The experience was more rock than paper, a drive around several blocks in an exotic car turned a party of experienced Irish

travel trade into 11-yearolds. People hire his cars, and one tried to setal one once, unaware there are eight GPS locaters built in. A big problem is valet drivers jumping on the roof for selfies. There is no doubt who was noisiest., Lamborghini screamed like a stuck pig. The sound of a 10 naturally aspirated engine still puts the fuel injection into the adrenaline, beating the whistle of the turbo anytime. The Silence of the Lamborghinis is not going to be made any time soon.

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merica has faster more upbeat cities, though not many, and perhaps even more iconic ones. Miami doesn’t use theme parks or casinos or movie locations or skyscrapers to push its message home. Doesn’t need to.

n Eoghan Corry flew to Miami on Aer Lingus, which operates a three times weekly service from Dublin direct to Miami Florida, year round. Fares start from €209 each-way, including taxes and charges, when booked as a return trip. Visit aerlingus.com for further information. n Aer Lingus launched Ireland’s first direct service to Miami from Dublin n Enjoy US Immigration Preclearance at Dublin airport and avoid any queues stateside n All Aer Lingus guests enjoy endless hours of the very best inflight entertainment including the latest blockbusters, box sets, games and much more plus compli-


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FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 56

GLOBAL VILLAGE BALKAN SKI , the winter ski division of Peter McMinn’s Belfast based tour operator, Travel Solutions, reported record numbers travelling to Bulgaria and Romania. Balkan Ski operate weekly charter flights from Belfast to Plovdiv in Bulgaria, from Dublin to Sofia and Bucharest 4w from December to March.

PORTUGAL’s Tourist Board hosting media at L’Ecrivain in Dublin, with the help of AE Consulting’s Aileen Eglington, with new Ambassador Miguel de Almeida e Sousa the guest of honour. The envoy, who took up the role here in October, was previously stationed in Rome and Tel Aviv. He said he will miss the friends he made in the Middle East,. The country was named the World’s Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards, with other awards for Madeira (World’s Leading Island Destination) and Lisbon (World’s Leading City Break Destination). HOLIDAY TAXIS The recipients

of this year’s Holiday Taxis top ten awards were awarded by Audrey Headon of Headon Representation, (in no particular order), Douglas Travel, Heffernans Travel, Bernard Hayes Travel, Lee Travel, all in Cork, Innstant Travel, John Cassidy Travel, GoHop, all in Dublin, O’Hanrahan Travel in Monaghan, Sol Travel in Tralee, and Arrow Tours in Drogheda.

TULLY‘s Katrina Williamson from

Tully’s Travel Carlow won the monthly draw for a place on the Classic Collection Holidays 5 Star trip next April. Four more places are up for grabs - see the Travel Partners Group or Classic Collection on Facebook to enter.

TRAVEL Counsellors says it is putting ‘sustainable tourism firmly on the map’ after going into partnership with the Travel Foundation.

HOTELBEDS Bed bank Hotelbeds

is planning to add an additional 10,000 directly contracted hotels to its platform over the next three years. The B2B provider said the exclusive deals would benefit its 60,000-plus travel intermediaries globally.

AVIAREPS

are to represent Taipei-based China Airlines in Ireland..

USA

inbound tourism visitor numbers from Ireland to July 2017 were 253,330, up 4.9pc. Big increases in April and May compensated for the drop in March caused by Easter, on course for 464,000. Of the visitors 19pc used a travel agency office and 13pc a corporate travel agency.

SUPERBREAK is launching a series of new overseas short break packages for 2018 that include regional charter flights from Belfast and Derry Airports. AMADEUS

Ventures invested in Situm, an ‘indoor GPS’ startup for travellers at airports, train stations or conference centres

SKAL Jim Flannery president of the Dublin Skal club hosted his annual end of year lunch at the Talbot Stillorgan Hotel.

Inside the Travel Business

Choice coalition

Travelsavers reorganised under Worldchoice brand

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wo of the four leading Irish travel agency consortia are to merge.: Worldchoice Ireland and Travelsavers are to create a 67shop consortium under the Worldchoice brand. Over the next 12 months, Worldchoice Ireland and TSA Travel Associates (Travelsavers) brands will integrated under the Worldchoice brand as part of a strategic partnership. Worldchoice Ireland will be Ireland’s largest consortium by volume. Travel Centres has 66 members and 76 shops. Established in England in 1978, Worldchoice group organised in Ireland on November 11 1996 and was headed up in its period of initial expansion by Cathy Burke, now of Travel Counsellors. Garry Zancanaro severed as Ireland manager through the noughties followed by Don Shearer, formerly of Falcon Holidays. Carol Anne O’Neill took over the role in 2015. In 2008 the English arm merged with TTA and in 2011 the consortium in England was re-branded as The Travel Network Group. Worldchoice Ireland remains part of the TTNG group, but all commercial

Worldchoice head of Ireland Carolanne O’Neill and one of her predecessors Cathy Burke agreements supplier relationship and the entire operation managed here in Ireland. Travelsavers was founded in Brooklyn in 1972 by AJ Rick Mazza and is headquartered in Oyster Bay, NY, spanning 35 countries with 3,265 independently owned travel agencies generating sales of $22bn. Travelsavers Ireland will be leaving the US-led group as part of the deal. Travelsavers first organised in Ireland as TEAMS and was estab-

lished by Dominic Burke who later moved to set up Travel Centres in 2005 just as TEAMS was becoming Travelsavers. Brian Rafferty, Helena Sheehan and Mary King headed up Travelavsers Irish operation. A group of eight agencies largely based in Dublin, led my Rory McDyer, had already registered the Travelsavers brand. They agreed to disband in 2004 after being offered incentives by the Mazzas.

BLUE RENEWS AGENT CAR COMPETITION

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onna Kenny from Cassidy Travel is the latest finalist in the Blue Insurance Toyota Yaris Hybrid Competition with thanks to Toyota Sandyford. Agents get one entry with every five policies sold. Each agent must ensure that the insurance

product sold is suitable for their client and must also make sure they have their own unique login to make their bookings count. Members of the Irish Travel Trade or Insurance Brokers can also avail of the bonus place at the Grand Final by visiting Toyota Sandyford and

requesting a test drive saying “Don’t Renew Unless It’s Blue”. Each of the 13 monthly winners as well as the 1 bonus winner will take home a mystery prize and be invited to the Grand Final in Dublin in November 2018 to compete for the Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Donna Kenny

RYANAIR LEAVE AMADEUS GDS

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here was little surprises that Amadeus and Ryanair failed to renew their GDS content deal supplying flights to travel agents. Ryanair claimed that Amadeus were not delivering the volumes to merit

renewal, Amadeus claim the revenue was not forthcoming from fee levels that were a fraction of what Ryanair’s rival legacy airlines were paying. Amadeus may have calculated that Ryanair needed them more in mar-

kets they plan to expand such as Germany, where Amadeus as a 90pc market share. It is not clear from Ryanair’s statement who blinked first but one gets the impression that Ryanair has still not yet bought into

the idea of using GDS. Ironically, Amadeus owns Navitaire, which hosts the Ryanair booking system. Ryanair flights are still available on the Travelport and Sabre GDS systems used by travel agencies..


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 57

Inside the Travel Business

GLOBAL VILLAGE BEST4TRAVEL Jeff Collins’

Best4travel opened their 11th shop and fifth in Dublin this week, making them the largest retail chain by number of branches. Jodie McFeely transferred from Charlestown shopping centre to manage the new branch in Omni. Jeff says that his period of expansion has ended now. Best4 have shops in Charlestown, Northside, Nutgrove and Omni shopping centres as well as Clondalkin travel in Dublin, Dunshaughlin town and Navan shopping centre in Meath, Scotch Hall in Louth, and Athlone Shopping centre in Westmeath as well as Roscrea Travel in Tipperary and Creation Travel in Limerick.

Credit card charge changes are the first of three major changes to legislation in 2018

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House of cards

Credit card charges adds pressure on agents

nter the year of uncertainty as triple whammy of legislation comes down the tracks to keep Ireland’s travel trade busy. First up on January 13 is the ban on credit card fees, followed on May 25 by the PCI Compliance and GDPR and Cyber security risk compliance legislation and on June 1 by the Package Holiday Directive. With two weeks to go to the abolition of credit card charges, “the supplier should be the first port of cal for travel agents” Cormac Meehan, President of the Irish Travel Agents Association says. “Factor in the that there is a huge administrative toll in changing your supplier. If you approach them, they will always listen to your case. You may be able to negotiate more favourable terms and consider those, make commercial decisions in placing your business, obviously bearing in mind

the best terms for the public. “Suppliers are in it for the business, one or two per cent won’t put them out of the water. We have met other challenges head on and we will meet this head on as well. The consortia have already looked for a deal where suppliers take 1pc of the credit card charge hit. Agents will need to look at recouping the charges through their gross margins,” “Agents cannot take this cut in margin so it goes back to suppliers,” Pat Dawson of the ITAA says. “The new charges eat into the 1pc. It has to be recovered because retailers are living on 1pc or 2pc already.” “It is time that suppliers who are not paying agents commission on sales stepped up to the mark. If you want to do business we should be carrying the cost of that.” “We have told members there is such a thing as shopping around and

it could make a 50pc difference.” Agents have a choice of merchant services to go to in a market dominated by AIB, Avalon and Barclays. “Another change is that debit card charges are to be changed from a fixed amount to 0.15pc, which is not significant in the case of small amounts but can be for a large booking.” Carolanne O’Neill of Worldchoice says, “so in effect increase their gross margins on an annual basis to cover the charges. You may also see some scenarios where you will see certain offers or product sold at a price whereby they can only book by paying for the purchase by bank transfer. As ITAA Legal advisor Anne Dolan pointed out at conference in October (watch here), the act allows agents to direct customers to methods of payment which are cheaper for both the retailer and the customer.

ETIHAD DOWNSIZES IRISH OFFICE

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eatrice Cosgrove is leaving Etihad as Ireland country manager ten years after the route was initiated. Etihad’s Irish operation will now be run from London under London based sales manager James Harrison. The Irish staff will be reduced to two. It is believed that the move - which will see the popular Cosgrove depart - is part of a streamlining exercise to cut costs across the airline’s global operations. In 2010, the respected airline veteran, who suc-

Etihad’s team in Ireland: Robert Duff, Valerie Murphy, Lisa Hammond, Lisa O’Leary, Beatrice Cosgrove, Shannon O’Dowd and Mo Rahma ceeded Malaysia-bound Belgium and Belarus. Last April Etihad Dave Walsh in the Irish role, was promoted to the brought back its doublenew position of Area Gen- daily service from Duberal Manager Northern lin to its Abu Dhabi hub, Europe, responsible for with 7,300 seats (up 15pc) Ireland, Germany, France, available per week.

She began her aviation career with All Nippon Airways in Dublin, and after three years moved to Continental Airlines where she spend almost a decade as Ireland Sales Manager. Her career with Etihad began by accident, as she had originally applied for a job with Bahrain-based Gulf Air in 2005. The job didn’t pan out, but her interviewer, then Chief Executive James Hogan, moved to Etihad and headhunted the Mayo-born aviation specialist for the top Irish job with the airline

TRAVEL PARTNERS Group announced the dates of their 2018 roadshows. Since a change of format form presentations to elevator pitches the group is open to new suppliers joining. The programme is: Feb 15 Waterford, March 8 Cork, April 19 Ballinasloe, May 10 Sligo, August 23 Kilkenny, September 20 Dundalk October 18 Limerick.

RYANAIR and Cartrawler partnered in Ryanair Transfers offering ground transport options in 33 European countries. Bobby Healy has spearheaded Dublin based Cartrawler’s move into the lucrative airport transfers business from its multi0brand car hire product, which includes Holiday Auto and Argus. Picture shows Ryanair’s Director of Ancillary Revenue Greg O’Gorman and CarTrawler’s Chief Commercial Officer Aileen McCormack

TRAVEL CENTRES Dominic Burke’s Travel Centres is running a consumer competition offering customers six €1,000 prizes they spend at least €1,500 with a participating Travel Centres agency on travel arrangements before May 31 and book using preferred suppliers ‘

MAYO travel specialist Emer McDermott has moved her operation from the highly-regarded agency McDermott Travel, which she founded in 2001 to join Travel Counsellors bringing the total in Ireland to 70. She is the second high profile recruit to close a shop front agency to join Travel Counsellors after Ennis based Gearoid Mannion in 2016.

BRAND USA and American Airlines will host 100 agents on seven itineraries across the US for the sixth Mega Fam booking incentive between April 26th and May 4th. The finale will held in Nashville on May 3rd, with all 100 agents returning on the inaugural flight from Nashville to London on May 4th. The booking incentive runs to March 23rd. Agents need to register their AA/BA bookings to the USA, and complete the training badges. GREG EVANS Julie Greenhill will join the Greg Evans Consultancy as a Director with effect from January 1, 2018. SELECT TUI

to Majorca 1w charter.

CLASSIC

launched their Knock

Collection Holidays released an online sale brochure to support the trade.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 58

POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE

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lodagh Connolly of Corrib Travel won travel consultant of the year and Frances Grogan’s Grogan Travel travel agency of the year at the Worldchoice awards at their annual conference in Galway. Carol Anne O’Neill revamped the conference to a much glitzier event than heretofore, with 150 agents, 60 suppliers and 14 media. Clodagh is pictured with category sponsors Isabel Harrison

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merican airlines hosted 25 travel trade at a function in the Shelbourne Hotel Dublin. The airline. American recently enhanced their technology to help ensure that seat availability is identical across carriers, to the last available seat. The airline will offer a three class service on its flights from Dublin to Philadelphia (year round) and seasonal to Charlotte, the Dreamliner returns

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isit USA in Ireland has a new chair, Claire Doherty and a new executive officer, Tony lane for

2018. Caroline Gallagher from the Travel Department won the big prize of their end of year event, a fam trip place to Aer Lingus’ new destination, Seattle, while Caroline Mongey of FCM won a €150 prepaid Mastercard, courtesy of Hertz, who were supplier partners for the night

and Declan Power of Shannon Airport receiving the award. Carol Anne O’Neill of Worldchoice said 80pc of members are located outside the Dublin area and 50pc of members are within the Shannon catchment area, hence the decision to move to Galway. The 28 Travelsavers retail outlets will join Worldchoice under a strategic partnership announced after the conference over the next year.

on Dublin-Chicago and they also offer JFK next year. They are extending their Shannon-Philadelphia season. Business class has 20 seats in 1-2-1 configuration, the premium Economy 21 seats config is 2-3-2 and main cabin 2-4-2. The dreamliner does not have premium economy but has extra seats in the main cabin. Photograph shows Tar Magee of BA with Caitríona Toner and Fiona Noonan of American airlines.

along with Experience Kissimmee and Francine Sheridan’s Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Picture shows Jason Kearns of Hertz Ireland; Hayley French of Los Angeles Tourism, Dee Burdock of Visit USA, Gary Orr of Experience Kissimmee; Francine Sheridan of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board; and Tony Lane of Visit USA

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mirates hosted 34 agents at an event in Dublin to celebrate a year of growth on the Dublin-Dubai service and hinted at the introduction of a third daily service. Speaking at the events Enda Corneille said Emirates will be going for growth from Dublin despite increased competition on the Gulf routes. Already he has added capacity during 2017 with a change of aircraft type.

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ravel Corporation hosted 40 members of travel trade at the Residence in Dublin ( Developments in 2018 include expansion of Luxury Gold, their premium Insight product and a new young people’s rivercruise (up to age 41), U By Uniworld, an idea which came out of the 2016 ITAA conference on board Uniworld. The group has shifted its focus towards

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rish visitor numbers to Cyprus have dwindled from 70,000 a year to 6,525 so far this year - which is itself up 69pc on last year. But Cobalt Air sees a chance to bring back the boom, it told invited agents and operators in Dublin, as it formally launched its year-round service from Dublin to Larnaca. The airline’s Irish executive, David Lee, told Travel Extra that it’s looking

The airline also responded to different type of demand on their morning and evening flights. The big question now is whether this would mean larger aircraft (the A380) or increased frequency. Picture shows Emirates team who hosted 34 agents at a travel trade event in Residence, Dublin: Filippo Rocchi, Anita Thomas, Sarah Jane Wilson, Olwyn McGlynn and Enda Corneille.

luxury travel in recent years, although the youth travel wing Con Tiki is still part of a portfolio that includes Insight Vacations, Uniworld river cruise and associated niche products. The group are perennial ITIA award winners. Picture shows Carol Hurley, Paul Melinis, Sharon Jordan (on maternity leave), Marissa Beck, Charlie McCarthy and Eilish Wall of The Travel Corporation.

to expand next year from 2w to 3w. Bookings for agents here are handled by Paul Nolan’s APG. The air;ine’s 2017 season delivered 2,000 seats a month between Ireland and Cyprus. The year round service offers flights on Wednesday and Saturdays. Picture shows Paul Nolan, APG, and David Lee, Cobalt Air, with prize-winner John Spollen of Cassidy Travel.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 59

POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE 

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ohn Devereux of Travelopia and Leslie Rollo of Hayes & Jarvis say that they expect 3,000 seats to be booked on Hayes & Jarvis portfolio in the first year of operations in Ireland. John Devereux and Leslie Rollo spoke at the launch of the 2018 programme in Dublin where some of the tailor made programmes to South America, the Caribbean and Africa were showcase to travel media.

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enise Harman hosted corporate clients and media at their annual thanksgiving event in the new Carlson Wagonlit Travel offices in Fitzwilliam Place. Denise. Country director Ireland at CWT. joined the agency four years ago has had huge success leading the Irish team, achieving five stars of operational excellence and a client retention of 99pc.

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madeus celebrated 30 years in Ireland at an event in Uno Pico, Dublin hosted by Rob Colledge. Picture shows Stephen Brennan, Trish O’Leary, Rob Colledge and Olwen McKinney of Amadeus at the Amadeus 30th anniversary event. The company grew its market share in Ireland with 30pc within a few years and then came to dominate the market. Recent developments include Ama-

The Hayes & Jarvis product has become a signature of the Travelopia group, formerly SHGI, which was spun off the TUI portfolio in Ireland. The group includes American Holidays. Travelopia also includes high end adventure cruise company Quark Expeditions. Tailor made holidays to 60 destinations are included in the portfolio Picture shows Aisling Gavin; Leslie Rollo and Sarah Locke.

She has taken on an expanded role as senior director of programme management in London, focusing on CWTs clients in both London and Ireland, She continues to sit on the London board reporting directly to Johan Wilson VP and country director, for Britain and Ireland. Picture shows Donal Ward and Denise Harman of CWT with Christian Schmelter of Tifco Hotel Group.

deus B2B wallet, offering virtual Mastercard prepaid Card and Visa Debit Card to avoid supplier card fees, which the DGS says is easy to use and fully automated in Amadeus for BSP usage. The cards can be used for any purchase, any type low cost carrier, BSP, cruise packages, Hotels and in a number of currencies and are a weapon against fraud and preparation for IATA’s NewGen ISS.

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hristoph Stöeckl of Westendorf tourism and Aileen Eglington of AE Consulting hosted eight travel writers and broadcasters at perennial Irish favourite, Westendorf, to celebrate 40 years of the Ski Welt. Conditions were splendid with lots of fresh snow to follow the November dump and liven the resort and hinterland up for its best Christmas ski season in five years.

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iane Poole of Stena Line hosted trade and media for their end of year event in Dublin. Stena have been connecting Ireland with Wales for 23 years. On board offerings include free wi-fi, children’s lay areas and sailor singalongs, face painting nd costume mascots to entertain the children. Stena has upgraded its hardware on the Irish Sea with the introduction of

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ony and Neal Collins and Michelle Anderson and their ground representatives Alyson Bickersteth and John Martin hosted 14 news and travel writers at their Austrian resorts. The group skied in Bad Hofgastein and in Krichberg and included some beginners including self confessed “dope on the slope” Tom Sweeney who brought his L plates.

The high quality snow continued into the new year with strong early ski sales by Irish tour operators. The group flew with Aer Lingus to Munich, a transfer of just over an hour from the slopes and stayed at the family run Hotel Schermer, with spa, inside outside swimming pool, and choice of treatments. Picture shows Deirdre Mullins, Catherine Murphy, John Barrett, Eoghan Corry and Sean Fahey.

Stena Superfast on Dublin to Holyhead and new ships on the Belfast run. Day trips have been on sale last summer for 6.50 (and there is always the prospect of the return of duty free on the route) Picture shows Michael Duffy of Duffy Rafferty PR; Diane Poole, Travel Commercial Manager at Stena Line; Lawrence Duffy and Bronagh Cobain of Duffy Rafferty PR, at the event

They sampled the VIP transfer service on a rock star bus and the spa facilities at Bad Hofgastein, which is about to be transformed by a new high speed 3422m ten person gondola lift on a mono-cable circulating ropeway, carrying 3,000 per hour, for the 2018-9 season. Picture shows Tony Collins, Michelle Anderson and Neal Collins who say ski sales are ahead of expectations.


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 60

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WINDOW SEAT Last month in numbers

128.77m Number of passengers carried by Ryanair in 2017, up 10.6pc.

29.6m Number of passengers who travelled

through Dublin airport in 2017.

12m Number of passengers carried by Aer Lingus in 2017, also a record.

u6.5bn Irish earnings form tourism in 2017 as calculated by ITIC

10.65m Number of overseas visitors to Ireland in 2017 according to Tourism Ireland, a new record

4,000 Number of beds needed to meet the accommodation shortfall in Dublin.

44 Number of fatalities in air crashes worldwide in 2017 making it the safest year on record

HIT THE ROAD FOR CRACK, JACK

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ob Montgomery’s book is subtitled A personal guide to driving Ireland’s best roads & most interesting places. Bob is curator of the Royal Irish Automobile club so motoring history is a theme here. There is an excellent overview of Irish history at the start and, as one would expect, lots on motor racing such as the Phoenix Park Grand Prix and the fourth Gordon Bennett race in 1903, Other interests of the author make an appearance, Amelia Earhart’s brief appearance in Derry merits a page, and there is a good page on Tom Crean, who has risen from obscurity in recent decades.

Drive Ireland by Bob Montgomery is published by Dreoilín u20

It has suggested routes but is not too strict with them and a nice balance of the destinations. It is not too Cork and Kerry heavy (a danger faced by all Irish guide books) with substantial and informative material on Donegal, that most beguiling of counties. Knockamany Bends, beloved of motoring fans, merits a mention. This is a guide book that means what it says about observing from the road. The 50 places you should not meet includes most of the usual suspects but also Bellaghabearna Pass,

Thomond Park Museum,South Pole Inn Anascaul, Tim Healy pass (misspelt), the oft-neglected Oldbridge House and Chester Beatty Library, “Ireland’s wildest place and (oddly) Dalkey Castle. Mischievous spellcheck-crashing typos proliferate throughout the book, but it is not alone in that nowadays. Highlight of the journey is not a drive at all, an 18 hour 35 mile trek on two sticks of chocolate and there biscuit, a reminder that sports gel and a hand held water bottle for a jog to the shops.

El Morro on Isla Margarita, Mary King’s first long haul experience

Busman’s holiday: Mary King

Every month we ask a leading travel professional to write about their personal holiday experience. This month: Mary King of Travelsavers

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rowing up in London we used to come to Ireland for our family holiday for 6 weeks every summer with time split between Clare and Galway. At least six of us would travel by ferry either Swansea to Cork or Pembroke to Rosslare with a lot of luggage, I often

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think back how did we fit everyone in the car and not kill each other. When we were younger we did not appreciate the unspoilt beauty of Connemara and there used to be a fight over who went and stayed in Clare. Now I love nothing more than heading to Connemara for a few days break. One year my parents had the brain wave of going to Southport, Wales for Butlin’s Irish Music Week needless to say

we were not pleased and this ended up been a one off as it couldn’t compare with our annual holiday to Ireland. Working in Travel for over 25 years I have been blessed with visiting many countries and resorts and to pick a favourite is very hard as I have travelled as a group of friends , as a family, as a couple and also with work so all are quite different experiences. Destinations that I have enjoyed are Isla Margarita off the coast of Venezuela...one of my first long haul holidays and absolutely loved the place and the people. I better also mention my

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

t is going to be an exciting year in travel for trade and consumer alike. And while America and Canada have been the big stories for the past two years, Asia is the story for 2018. Ireland’s first direct flight to Hong Kong is the signature route launch of the year, but other airlines are gearing up for something even more significant. Even more significant are the growth plans in store from our carriers of choice over the Gulf. Qatar

Airways are planning to promote Dublin-Doha to double daily. Turkish are certain that we will have triple daily when they move from overcrowded Ataturk to their new airport outside Istanbul. Emirates are talking growth as well. They have changed aircraft for summer 2018 and will be looking at either moving one of their flights to an A380 or adding a third daily flight.

Emirates may be the most significant player of all as we increasingly continue to look eastwards. The capacity increase is astonishing, and while it will never reach the west bound levels, Ireland’s location as a gateway to the Americas is helping this growth. It will be Easter before we have an answer to the annual question, who wins, consumer or trade. But for both it is going to be a very exciting year.

honeymoon to Cuba. We went to Havana and Varadero, again beautiful, and well needed after a busy few months organising our wedding. Closer to home a destination and I have visited several times is Nerja in Spain; I have had some lovely holidays there and some great memories including my sister’s wedding. Last year we went to Alvor in Portugal and we all loved it so thinking this will be the new favourite for the next few years, a lovely town with a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Perfect to enjoy a meal and glass of wine.

IN YOUR NEXT TRAVEL EXTRA: Available to Travel Agents or online Feb 8 2018

AWARDS ISSUE ITIA award winners for 2018 profiled SUMMER SUN TRENDS


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 61

MEETING PLACE

vel and Roisin Carbery Jean Cusack of Icon Tra vel Corporation yearTra of Tropical Sky at the end event

Lynne Casey, Fiona Fla herty and Caroline O’Toole of Fahy Travel at Worldchoice

Out and about with the Travel Trade

Aoife O’Brien, Sinead King ofRoss Tully’s O’Brien Travel,and Andrea AliceMcHugh Carrick, of Bernie Burke of Travel Centres, Sean Healy of Tully’sAmerica, Tour Newbridge at the at Worldchoice Visit USA Agent Apprecia- Lee Travel and Clare Dunne of The Travel Broker at the Travel Corporat tion Night in Church, Dublin ion year-end event

Moya McCrossan, Emma McHugh, Caroline Kerr of Sunway at the Travel Philip and Tanya Airey nt and Noreen Cullen of Atlantic Travel at Worldeve nd r-e Corporation yea choice

Ann Davis of Abbey Tra dan vel, Anita Thomas of dy Travel, Sharon Jor Emirates and Irene On John Spollen of Cassi an llig Cu h rac Da d an ora ion rat rpo Co vel Tra nd Emirates year-end eve ti of Club Travel at of The vel Corporation year-e nt of Travelworld at the Tra Alper Kanburoglu of Turkish Airlines with Rachael nt eve Donnelly of Grenham travel at thel Worldchoice conference in the Radisson, Galway,

Jackie Herssons of Tra vel of Neenan Travel at Em opia and Alan Neenan irates year-end event

Niall McDonnell of Classic Collection, Sarah Slattery of The Travel Expert, Godfrey Lydon of Club Travel and Claire Doherty of American Sky

e m O’Leary, Linda Keho Michelle McMullen, Lia ry’s Travel at Worldea O’L of and Janet Cahill ce choice Ireland conferen

Fiona Dobbyn of Classic Resorts and Joe Tully of PJ an Mcmullen and Michelle d Amma May Gannon Martin Skelly, Katrina vel of Navan Travel with Tully’s Travel at Emirates year-end event of East West Travel Tra van Na ath Worldchoice McDonagh of at Worldchoice nly Ifo of se nro Pe rtin Ma

Bepi Gaidoni of BCD Tra Sunway at Emirates yea vel and Philip Airey of r-end event

Ann Pye, Marie McCarthy and Dermot Merrigan of Irish Ferries at Worldchoice

can Holidays and Jeff Terry Sheehan of Ameri the Travel Corporation at Collins of Best4Travel year-end event


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 62

MEETING PLACE

n of

port and Mary Dento Sinead Reilly of Travel ice Sunway at Worldcho

Celine Buckley of E-trav of DSD at Travel Centr el and Graham Hennessy es

yal Caribbean, Thomas Jennifer Callister of Ro d Holly Best of Virgin an e McNally of Bedsonlin ice cho rld Wo at Atlantic

Sarah O’Keeffe and Ra ys Santagati of Shando Travel at Worldchoice n

e Bradley of Shandon Nicole Collins and Louis ter of Royal Caribbean llis Ca r Travel with Jennife at Worldchoice

Marie McCarthy of Iris h Carefree Travel, Ann Ferries, Mandy Ellis of Pye of Irish Ferries an d at Worldchoice

Out and about with the Travel Trade

Pamela Phelan and Mary Lee of Newbridge Travel during Travel Centres conference

Katie Nolan of Centre Travel of Centre Travel, Shane Coburn of Donabate Travel, and Sally Lynch of Centre Travel at Worldchoice

Cadhla Horgan and Lyn Dempsey of Newbridge Travel during Travel Centres conference

Rachael Donnelly. Marie Grenham , Margaret Roper, Pauline Grenham of Grenham Travel at Worldchoice

Elma Forde, Rachel De vers and Pamela Brown lee of Flyaway Travel at Travel Centres

do gus and Teresa Gance Ivan Beacom of Aer Lin ard at Worldchoice Bo of the Spanish Tourist

Brenda O’Keeffe of FC M. Broker, Olwen McKinne Clare Dunne of Travel y of Amadeus and Michaela Banks of Rl Caribbean at Knightsb rook

of Travel, Charlie McNally Lisa Keating of Abbey ice cho rld Wo at The Travel Corporation

Shane Coburn of Donabate Travel/ with Avril Noeleen Lynch of Atlas Travel/Gohop and Ma McGrath of Corrib travel, Annette Hynes and Amy reen uDe Michelle Naughton of Fahy Travell at Worldchoice event lmar of MD Travel at Emirates year-end

Dave Hennessy of Tropical Sky and Declan Power of Shannon airport at American Airlines year-end event

n ea Santagati of Shando Olwyn Mulally and Rh da na Ca Air f Goldsmith o Travel with Bernadette ice cho rld Wo at


FEBRUARY 2018 PAGE 63

Out and about with the Travel Trade

nifer Farrelly of Planet Melanie Squires and JenCentres vel Tra Travel in Kells at

Alana Byrne and Edel Fly during the Travel Centr nn of Newbridge Travel es annual conference in Mullingar,

Debbie Murray and Ca rol Prowse with Trish O’L ine Quigley of Keith eary of Amadeus ath Ann Marie Dalton of Wexford Opera Festival and Wo rldchoice Marissa Beck of The Travel Corporation at the Travel Corporation year-end event

Siobhan Geraghty of Cavan Travel, Noreen Monaghan of Virginia Travel and Ciara Mooney of Freedom Travel at Travel Centres

vel Bernadette Goldsmith of Air Canada, Shauna l Loane of Carefree Tra Mandy Ellis and Chery had at the Worldchoice Kelly of Topflight at Worldchoice Eti of ey lon Ma with Karen son Blu, Galway, Novem conference in the Radis ber 17-18 2017

Shelia and Justin Blackw of MIchael Bowe Travel ood and Catherine Bowe at Travel Centres

MEETING PLACE

ray, Avril McGrath of Co Jeanette Taylor of Sunw n of Sunway at Worldnto rib travel and Mary De choice

Fiona Noonan of Ameri can Airlines, David O’N of CWT and Eileen Do eill he Travel at American Air rty of Eimear Hannon lines year-end event

Wendy Dermody, Sarah O’Keeffe and Andrea King of Westgate of Tully’s Travel with Audrey Headon of Richard Cullen of Killiney Travel, Mary at the lit tsp Jus York of Headon Representation at Worldchoice Travelsavers and Nicola nd event r-e yea Travel Corporation

ll David O’Grady of E-travel and Joe Tully of Tully’s Volker Lo Travel and Austin Carro renz ex Amadeu Patricia Kenny of Map Travel Corporation year- Travel at American Airlines year-end event CEO of the ITAA at the s and Pat Dawson Travel Corporation yea of Platinum Travel at the end event rend event

Stephen O’Reilly of Du blin Airport with Jennife reilly and Geraldine Ca r rr of Atlas/Gohop at the Luxair Saturday flight announcement

David O’Hagan of Donabate Travel and Peter O’Hanlon of Travelfinders at the Travel Corporation year-end event

Airport and Beverleigh Stephen Reilly of Dublin can Airlines year-end eri Fly of Bookabed at Am event


KARISIK UCGEN 24x33cm_DUBLIN ING.indd 1

09/01/18 14:19

Travel Extra Feb 2018  

Holiday World 2018 edition of Travel Extra, Ireland's leading source of travel information

Travel Extra Feb 2018  

Holiday World 2018 edition of Travel Extra, Ireland's leading source of travel information

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