Travel Extra February 2020

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Iran: destination of the year

Irish airports record year

Ryanair 1st in Europe


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East easy e-visa


Russia extends E-visa system to St Petersburg

new short-stay e-visa system (maximum 8 days) has been introduced for nationals of 53 countries, including Ireland, wishing to travel to Saint Petersburg and its region. Irish citizens should take note that these visas are only valid for travel to and within the St. Petersburg (Leningrad Oblast) region and are not valid for travel to the rest of Russia. It follows the introduction last July of an evisa systtem for entering Khalingrad. Irish citizens should ensure that the name on their e-visa exactly matches the one in their passport. Even a minor difference in spelling will result in entry to Russia being refused. Russia will introduce a so-called

St Petersburg: Advance visa no longer required for 72 hour stay

“Open Skies” regime for Ryanair for five years, the the Russian Transport Ministry said, allowing airlines to fly

to St Petersburg without requiring the traditional bilateral inter-governmental agreements.

ALGHERO 2w from Dublin KOS from Belfast International RHODES with Aer Lingus from May 24 next.

with TUI from May 16.

with KLM from March 30 next.

from Cork next summer

AMSTERDAM from Cork LANZAROTE 4w from Shannon, Aer Lingus from May 2


Aer Lingus 2w from Dublin from may

from TUI

MARSEILLES 5w from Dublin with Ryanair from April

with Ryanair from June 2

from Belfast International with Jet 2 from July 1.

3w from Dublin with Ryanair next summer

DALAMAN two new services from Belfast International

KOS from Belfast International with Jet2 from May 16.


PALMA Knock service from Lauda from March 30..


from Belfast International with Jet 2.

new route from Belfast City from March 29.

TEL AVIV: Dublin 3w from El Al from May 26 VERONA

3w from Dublin with Ryanair from April 2

PARIS 4w from Shannon, Aer Lingus from March.

VIENNA from Shannon with Air Malta from April 1

Dublin with Ryanair next summer

6w from Cork with Ryanair from May 3 next.

KATOWICE 3w from Cork PODGORICA 2w from

with Ryanair from October

SHANGHAI new route via Helsinki with Juneyao, Mar 29


2w from Dublin with Aer Lingus from May 23 next.


says the scheme will include a €200m credit line for businesses affected by the Thomas Cook failure, stimulus for job creation and a discount in airfare> Thee Canary Islands are expected to lose 400,000 tourists this winter while the Balearic Islands,will see 300,000 fewer visitors. The government says 3,400 jobs depending directly on contracts with Thomas Cook are at risk. They say 100 Thomas Cook owned hotels and 400 other hotels will close.




SPAIN’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto



*Offer terms and conditions apply. TUI is a trading name of TUI Ireland Limited and is fully licensed and bonded by CAR T.O.021.

mission network supported over 1,700 Irish citizens caught up in major incidents overseas; including militant attacks in Sri Lanka and Kenya, protests in Hong Kong as well as political instability in South America. It said 260 families required the support of the Department following the death of a relative abroad. A significant number of cases required assistance over an extended period. At any one time, the Department’s Consular Assistance team is working on 150 active cases.

CSO Tourism & Transport Statistics say inward visits in 2019 Q3 were up while the average duration of stay, total bed-nights and total expenditure excluding fares were down

DUTY FREE The Minister for Finance has announced that duty-free shopping for people travelling from Ireland to British ports and airports would return in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Paschal Donohoe was responding to a statement from the British government that it intends to reintroduce duty-free shopping for passengers travelling to EU countries if Britsin leaves the EU without a deal. SPAIN Irish visits to Spain are up 6.6pc

on 2018 in the ten months to October, to 1,997,782. Visits in July were up 6.7pc to 269.599. This is helping making up for the decline in English visitors of 1.9pc in anticipation of Brexit. Spain is Ireland’s most popular outbound destination and will pass 2.1m visits in 2019. Ireland is Spain’s fourth fastest growing market, after USA, Russia and Portugal.

PASSPORTS 900,000 Irish passports were issued in 2019, up 7pc on 2018. The oldest online applicant was 101 and the youngest just 5 days old.



Travel Extra Clownings, Straffan, Co Kildare (+3531) 2913707 Fax (+3531) 2957417 Editor: Eoghan Corry eoghan.corry@ Publisher: Edmund Hourican Sales Director: Maureen Ledwith Sales Manager Paulette Moran t: +353 (0)1 291 3702 Accounts and Advertising: Maria Sinnott Chief Features Writer: Anne Cadwallader Contributors : Damian Allen damianjamesallen@ Marie Carberry Carmel Higgins Cauvery Madhavan Sean Mannion Catherine Murphy Aileen O’Reilly

Editor Emeritus: Gerry O’Hare Travel Extra takes no responsibility for errors and omissions. Distribution Manager: Shane Hourican Origination: Typeform

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Contact +353872551675 if you have difficulty getting Travel Extra.


3 News Where to go,h ow much to pay 8 Destination: Austria’s passion play 10 Australia: After the bush fire 14 Destination: Cyprus, Israel, 12


Home holidays: Maryborough House, Center Parcs, Lough Erne 30 Holiday World: Guide to the show 34 Iran: Exotic destination of the year 40 Travel survey: Where we go 42 Ski: Park Cioty and Sportwelt

46 Afloat: Stena’s new ferry 48 Flying: New destinations 2020 53 Postcards: News from the trade 56 Global Village Inside the travel industry 58 Window seat: Our columnists 60 Pictures: Out and about

Surviving terminals

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..

approach to the food hall has been extended with more dining options.

LOUNGE Dublin Airport recently opened a new premier lounge for east bound passengers, the former Etihad lounge. There are now four shared lounges, the Dublin airport lounges in Terminal 1 and 2, 51st&Green Lounge for west bound and The East Lounge for Asia and Africa, and the double deck Aer Lingus lounge on the passage from T2 to T1 at departures level.


Dublin, 3am has become the new 4am. Security Opening hours are now 03.15 in T1 and 04.00 in T2. Live security times are available on the website and app where you can track times during the early morning gridlock at the airport with the 15 machines in Terminal 1 under particular pressure. 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.

T2 has all the trendy destinations. There are new remote stands. Allow LOTS of extra time if your boarding pass says gate 307, and airlines such as Etihad have moved terminals in recent years. Emirates arer to be found on 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

Passengers pass through Dublin airport

gates at T1 for some Aer Lingus flights.

T1 Long haul flights

using T1 include Air Canada, ASL, Ethiopian and Westjet. Lufthansa, BA, SAS and some Aer Lingus flights are to be found at the 300 gates. Cityjet and the charters are to be found at the 200 gates. Ryanair are at the 100 gates, a long curved walk from the terminals but there are retail and food options at the pier.

MOBILE Charter

operators are the only ones still using paper boarding passes with the classic cardboard folder.

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.


DAA has a membership system allowing parking in the short term car park and fast-track. Fast Track access is priced between €5.95 - €7.99 and is dependent on date and time of travel. Passengers get access to a dedicated fast track channel, flight status updates via text message and a complimentary hot beverage. Opening hours are 04.00 to 21.00 in terminal 1, and 20.00 in terminal 2. There is also a separate VIP service which can be bought by commuters to celebrate a special occasions such as honeymoon, where you get divn by lino to the aircraft like rock stars.


number of scheduled airlines offer self-service check-in kiosks and internet check-in technologies in order to facilitate their passengers with early check-in, seat selection and issue of boarding passes. Airline employees should be on hand if you re-

quire any assistance with the self-service kiosks. Passengers can check in their check-in luggage at the check in area – either with an airline customer bag drop desk, or at the self-service bag drop kiosks.


There are 202 desks available at the airport. Aer Lingus has 28 desks. Ryanair operates 16 desks at check-in area 13. During busy periods, Ryanair over spill into check-in area 12 with additional desk requirements depending on passenger numbers. The number of desks dedicated to check-in versus bag-drop vary on a daily basis depending on passenger loads. Nowadays airlines tend to have more bag-drop than check-in.


prices are the same in both terminals. The Loop shopping area on the approach to the 300 gates recently opened a new beauty hall at Dublin Airport. The

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 the time they spend with an US Officer to less than 30 seconds with each passenger. CAR PARK

Use the credit card to enter and exit short term car parks, you can tap ratehr than insert card.

BUSES The departures road to Terminal 1 has been upgraded. Aircoach, Airport Hopper, Ardcavan, Bus Eireann, Citylink, Gobe, Goldline, John McGinley, Kavanagh, Dublin Coach N7, Wexford Bus and Dublin bus routes are located at the back of the multi-storey car park and the coach park opposite T1. There are notices in the terminal showing locations by zone.

Once the skies opened, so too did our world We have come a long way since our first flight in 1940. Thank you for coming on this journey with us.

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ould you recognise Jesus if you met him on the street? No problem in Oberammergau, where Christmas comes once every ten years, and locals get to take part in the world’s most famous passion play. There is an imperial edict sent out by the producer that the Romans are allowed to shave while the non-Romans grow a beard. The village is full of beards for a year and a half, “and we get to look down on those savages, says Jonas Konsek, who played Peter in 2010 and Nikodemus in 2020. Jonas started life as one of King Herod’s servants at the age of 13. He ponders what lies ahead. ten years is an awful long time. Frederik Mayet and Rochus Rückel play him this time round. What would he think: “Jesus said Hierarchies are not Passion play participant Jonas Konsek, in Oberammergau important. The world is about getting along with others, about the people. “Rethink“ was one of his guiding principles. Think differently, question things!“


lay director Christian Stückl says. The right to be part of the play has been and still is an indicator of whether a person is part of the community. Since 1990, only those who had lived in Oberammergau for 20 years have been allowed to participate in the Play” In the 19th century this was basically not a problem, out of the 1000 people inhabiting the vil-

The lord a-beard

The famous Oberammergau festival takes place this year

lage, between 600 and 700 were involved in the play, “that is anyone who could and wanted,” says. The fact that everyone was catholic, was self-evident. And that there was a special focus on the protagonist of Mary, too. She was young and, usually, unmarried Selection criteria have changed.


owadays 2,000 people are eligible to partici-

pate. We stayed in the Alte Post hotel, where Bavarian poet Ludwig Thoma was born. His effigy adorned the dining room wall, and owner Anton Preisinger told us of the impact the passion play has on the

town. His family have been involved for 130 years. There are families in the

town who have been associated with the play for more than ten generations..

“It is a little bit of everything. You know all these people from the town.


n From May 16th to October 4th 2020 the 42nd Passion Play will take place in Oberammergau. n In 1633 the Oberammergau villagers promised to perform the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ every tenth year, in so far as no one was to die of the plague anymore. n There are still e tickets for the performances (except for the premiere

day) on our website. Depending on the category, the prices are between €30 and €180. n Unauthorised ticket providers are offering tickets for the Passion Plays 2020 at prices many times higher than the regular ticket price, stating that performances are “sold out” or that “only a few tickets left”. This information is not correct.

Clockwise: Venue for passion play at Oberammergau , Dome in Baroque parish church of SS. Peter and Paul, Roman soldiers theatre prop shields in storage, Oberammergau , Andrea Kemmler tour guide and Martin Skelly of Navan Travel, Oberammergau



He played Judas 20 years ago. “I was one of the apostles ten years ago. We used to have apostles-only meetings. My two sons were 12 and eight at the last passion play. Their last question was could they participate in ten year’s time.” Forty key members of the cast paid a trip to Israel to visit the places where the play is set. “Three from the church travelled with us. We had lots of discussions about the Bible and the relevance of the Bible.” For a long time the venue was not used between plays. Now it is used for opera and theatre. It helps to get people from the town to get experience on such a big stage, 60 metres wide. It is a bustling stage with live animals who have their special stage ramp.

Passion play participant Jonas Konsek, in Oberammergau , Example of Lüftlmalerei commemorating first passion play in 1634 on house near original staging scene, the graveyard Do they have donkey auditions, one of the group asked.


he influx into the town puts all the systems under pressure. “The problem is getting rooms and places

to eat,” Anton says. :There are 2,000 beds in Oberammergau And not enough restaurants to feed people

in the long interval in the play. The interval is three hours, between 5pm and 8pm. Shuttles are organised to outlying

towns. Perhaps they should introduce a loaves and fishes scene.

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More than we could ever tell.

Complete b 31st March y t win a Malte o s Gastronom e y Goody Bag

Malta Training Programme From 7,000 years of history and gastronomic delights to adventure activities and bucket-list sites; the Maltese Islands have something to offer every visitor. The Malta Training Programme boasts five courses, which provide you with the inside knowledge and the top tips to share with your customers; whether that be city breakers, families, under 30’s or the LGBT+ community.

DISCOVER MALTA COURSE This course will give you the tools to sell the year-round Maltese Islands with confidence. Discover the islands’ vibrant history and culture, tantalising gastronomy offering and the ‘need to know’ information to facilitate your bookings. Course highlight: Browse the dynamic events calendar, which highlights the top annual events throughout the islands.


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CITY BREAK COURSE The Maltese Islands are home to a number of fascinating cities, Valletta, Mdina, The Three Cities and Victoria, which are perfect for a city-break. After you’ve completed this course, you’ll find recommending where to stay, top events and main attractions easy. Course highlight: Discover where to wine and dine in Malta’s capital city using an interactive map.

FAMILY COURSE When customers are choosing a holiday for the whole family, keeping everyone happy might seem a daunting task. This course highlights the top beaches, adventure activities and main attractions on the Maltese Islands to keep the whole family entertained. Course highlight: Follow the points included in our recommended itinerary and explore the islands’ main family attractions.

UNDER 30’S COURSE Discover the cool hang-outs, top festivals and adrenaline-filled adventure activities that the Maltese Islands have to offer. With accommodation and flight packages to suit all budgets, young adults have every reason to visit this Mediterranean hot spot. Course highlight: Check out a number of sites which young adults will have to add to their bucket-list.

LGBT+ COURSE A trip to Malta offers the LGBT+ community the freedom to relax whilst feeling accepted and safe. Take this course to discover the reasons why Malta has ranked first on the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Index for four consecutive years. Course highlight: Browse the interactive timeline which showcases half a century of change. Travel Extra DPS 8th Jan_V8.indd 2

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outhern Ocean Lodge ranks among the most beautiful hotels in the world. This month the staff watched as thier island hinterland burned.. Kangaroo island is not the biggest casualty of the bush fire crisis that is eating at the heart bof Australa’s ecologicial, economic and social life. But it is the one that featured most prominently on tourist itineraries. Australia tourism wants tourists to help their efforts to rebuild the scarred bush, by continuing to visit. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the scene and told reporters “Australia is open, Australia is still a wonderful place to come and bring your family and enjoy your holidays.” “Even here on Kangaroo Island, where a third of the island has obviously been decimated, two thirds of it is open and ready for business,” he said. “It’s important to keep the local economies vibrant at these times.” Tourism accounts for 3.1 pc of Gross Domestic Product and last summer Australia attracted 2.71m holidaymakers. Since the outbreak fo the fires, hotel occupancy has dropped and some normally crowded resorts are ghost towns due to the crisis.

Keep coming

A total ban on climbing Ularu came into effect this winter

for working holiday visa holders for Australia who carry out six months of specified work in regional areas. Eligible types of work and regions correspond with the requirements for the second visa. Travel agents note there may be more restrictive age limits for other passport holders. Ireland was one of three countries admitted to the first scheme in 1975. The backpackers who take reland is the 20th most imAGE OF up one year work visas (6,520 portant inbound market in to IRISH Irish in 2018 makes us the sevAustralia, according to year VISITORS enth highest recipient nationalend figures to December 2018. ity, it peaked at 11,122 in 2011) Year end figures of 62,300 to 15-29 45pc December have been surpassed 30-39 21pc and two year visas (1,427 Irish in 2018, making Ireland the fifth in the months since. 40-49 8pc Ireland sent 66,900 visitors to 50-59 14pc highest recipient nationality of Australia in the twelve months to 60pc 14pc the scheme) drive the average stay of an Irish visitor to Austhe end of September 2019, up tralia up to 20 days, but shorter 14.2pc. Of the fifty major markets sending breaks are common with increased air tourist to Australia, only the Philippines access. Travel Extra’s editor is going for five is growing faster. The growth is driven by increased days this September, on the longest of capacity through middle eastern and long hauls, the Qantas London to Perth now Chinese hubs, and the reaction of flight. Ireland is the fifth biggest inbound airlines like Qantas to regain market share they have lost in recent years to market to Australia from Europe, the 62,300 who visited Australia in the Emirates, Etihad and Qatar. While Ireland is growing at record year to December 2018 up 8.9pc from levels, Brexit-stricken Britain held 57,300 in 2017. nother story of Australian tourflat in 2018 and is in notable decline ism over recent months has in 2019, down 18.5pc in March alone been value for money. The and 3.2pc in the twelve months to May 2019. Germany is also declining slightly Euro was worth 1.38 in March 2017 although France (up 8.4pc) and Italy (up (1.16 in 2012), it is worth 1.61 today,. The price dive has been helped by a 3.9pc) are both in growth. hotel building boom. Hotel construction wo major changes have come has reached heights not seen since the into force. From November 1st, Sydney Olympics. Tourism Accommodation Australia 2018, the eligible age of participants on the working holiday visa to say 40 new hotels had been built across Australia, who hold an Irish passport the country. Tourism Accommodation was increased from 30 to the age of 35. Australia expects another 272 hotels to (the only other country afforded this be built in Australia’s capitals over the next six years. status was Canada). That would add 45,000 new rooms A third year working visa is now

by 2025, of which 11,600 rooms will be in Sydney and 15,000 in Melbourne, in contrast, just 3,000 hotel rooms were added in both Sydney and Melbourne each between 2000 and 2016.


2012 62,600 2011 60,600 2010 62,300 2009 56,800 2008 73,000 2007 66,000

nounced in November last year, coupled with the recent announcement of an optional third year for this visa will assist in driving Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for young Irish travellers,”




2018 62,300 2017 57,300 2016 56,800 2015 58,000 2014 61,700 2013 63,800

H Phillipa Harrison Acting CEO of Tourism Australia During the mining boom Perth was one of the priciest hotel markets in the country, but when the mining boom fell over the Perth hotel market changed quite dramatically. Now Perth has a lower occupancy rate of about 78 per cent, and the average nightly price for a room has fallen from more than $200 at the peak to $170. International access to Perth via the Middle east has also seen capacity cuts since the end of the mining boom.


hillipa Harrison Acting CEO of Tourism Australia says “a number of key developments, particularly for young travellers, have helped to kick-start this period of strong growth from Ireland, which we have sought to capitalise on with our new Australia Inc campaign targeting young working holiday makers.” “The increase in the age limit for working holiday maker visa applicants to Australia from 30 to 35 years, an-

iccups with internal air access has been driving further price falls, Qantas has cut flights to Alice Springs which means that major tour operators such as Contiki have pulled out of the centre. It is uncertain what affect the total ban on climbing Ularu, due to come in to effect this winter, will have on tourism to Australia’s red middle, and whether the rock will still feature as the third point in Australia’s long established bridge, reef and rock visitation mantra. Darwin and Northern territory have seen tourism numbers fall as air access gets spotty five years after the main European access hub moved from Singapore to Dubai. .


he Federal Government is also investing $2m in surf clubs along the Great Ocean Road, to boost tourism from Melbourne. Food openings are keeping apace with the sub continent’s culinary boom. Chase Kojima and Victor Liong (have created a menu blending Chinese flavours with Japanese technique at Chuuka in Sydney, Alejandro Saravia’s Peruvian restaurant Uma is scaling heights in Perth while Sean Connolly has opened The Bon Pavillion in Gosford, a favourite Irish haunt.



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Fields of gold The olive oil villages of Andalucia



Travel agents and media visit the Royal Sanctuary of María Santísima de Araceli, the Blessed Virgin of Araceli

ere around, the Andalucians say that olive oil cures all ills. Here it is not just an additive for cooking, it is integral to survival and the local way of life. Olives flow over the horizon in every direction. Making the olive oil sounds very simple, when you listen to Jose Luis Momparler‘s explanation water, oil, bone and skin, separated lovingly and put into a bottle where it spends two years. He should know. Rincon de la Subbetica voted best in the world. The quality of the oil is determined by its fruitiness, bitterness, sweetness (or smoothness), spiciness and “greenness”. He gave us three small glasses in front of us. We warmed them with our hands before inhaling and then tasting. The tip of the tongue, Jose Luis says, detects sweetness. The side and middle of the tongue will find bitterness. The back of the tongue and the throat will pick up spiciness. Humidity and fermentation are the enemy, inducing a vinegary,

metallic or rancid flavour. When we left, we were well educated and, ahem, well oiled. he towns of Córdoba built their ancient wealth on olives and fabric and then decided to make time stand still. Antonio Poyato of Zuheros tourism walked us up and down the narrow streets, between limestone cliffs and the Bailon gorge, about as picture-postcard a pueblo blanco as you can get. It is a five minutes off the main road between Granada and Córdoba, and judging by the photographs in the Los Palancos restaurant, a haunt of the latter day conquistadores from Real Madrid. Antonio told us how those with more time to stay than we had could walk through the Vía Verde de la Subbética along the reclaimed olive train railway line, primeval, grey, white and pink rock stretching into the distance. You can also visit the visit the cueva de murciélagos (bat cave), and sample the excellent local goat’s cheese.


any of these other worldly feel. of Preigo de Córdoba’s towns are an From the high castles magnificent baroque hour’s drive you can drink the view, churches. north of Malaga, but they the blue-grey peaks of The church with the might as well be in a dif- the Sierras Subbéticas best view is at Lucena, ferent planet. in the distance, and a the mountain top shrine The windy road, ubi- mosaic of shimmering of María Santísima de quitously signposted silvery-leaved trees car- Araceli, the Blessed Virwith “Curvas peligro- peted over the hills. gin of Araceli.Iznájar sas” notices, found anlooks across the Embalse other one around every abra was named de Iznájar, the biggest gentle bends, opening for the goat. Sol reservoir in Andalucía, up into epic valleys, Maiz, which we from a rocky mount. past sculpted limestone translated as sunflower The Barrio del Coso and, look up, there’s the waked us through the is a timeless labyrinth of castle. town of Cabra in the narrow alleys, fountains, You could write the late evening, finishing in churches, geraniums, script for the tour guide the cloisters of a former with castle and panat each white-walled monastery as the light oramic views. stopped. Established faded. In summer the freshin the 8th century, a Lucia G o n z a l e z water lake itself has a 1,200-year-old castle, showed us through a few beach where you can built by the Moors and captured by the Christians in the 1400s after what we Irish might call 800 years of oppression, with the help of Castilian cannons which meant that these seemingly impregnable castles and walled towns could no longer just lock doors and dig in for long sieges. The fight was always hard. We were out of breath just climbing the steps, and the history poignant. Churches were built where the mosques once stood, the minarets becoming bell towers but retaining that exotic, View from the castle in Priego


swim, rent canoes or sailing boats, and is surrounded by rolling hills carpeted in olive groves, as far as the eye can see. Lope Ruiz the Mayor of Iznajar brought us to the highest point to look back across the hills, lines of olives on every one, tended lovingly by people who know what they are doing, and have been doing over the generations, caring and lovingly, each tree surrounded by the distinctive soleras – raked circles around their roots. The conquistaodres did not have to leave home to find gold.

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hen in Extremadura, to subvert a common saying, do as the Romans do. At the Aqua Libera Rural Hotel, half an hour outside of Mérida, they have recreated the menus of 2,000 years ago and get guests to dress in togas and laurel leave crowns. It sounds cheesy, it turned out to be fun. You could imagine the sulkiest teenager on holiday being transformed by the illusion of Patrician power. Our group moved from quizzical to giddy faster than you can say XXDID. Not since Caligula’s horse has such greatness been visited on the undeserving been given such status. And if anyone contends that the Romans did not do selfies, there is always the museum back in Mérida. There they have, on display, the ancient Instagram of the empire, in toles and murals, plates and gravestones.


ou cannot put a shovel in the ground without finding Roman remains here, and the best of the finds have been collected into Rafael Moneo’s national museum of Roman art (entry: €2.40), which opened in 1986. When work started on the building, archaeolo-

Forgotten Spain Extremadura, least visited part of our most visited tourist destination Eoghan Corry in Mérida Roman ampitheatre

gists uncovered an old Roman road, and you can see a section of it in the basement. A sculpted head of Augustus, now displayed in the museum, was found in a local pharmacy. Builders recently a wealth of Roman remains while demolishing a jamon factory. The grave memorials are especially poignant, people named and their ages itemised in that cryptic way that stonecarvers did. The amphitheatre (astonishingly, only discovered in 1910; before that, they lay hidden under fields of olive trees) would have been used for

gladiatorial combats; the fictional character played by actor Russell Crowe in the film Gladiator, Maximus Decimus Meridus, took his name from here..


he least visited province of our most visited tourist destination is surprisingly accessible. Extremadura is also surprisingly large, the province is half the size of Ireland at 41,633 sq kn of 16,075 sq miles. It is surprisingly storied. The reputation for being a poor backwater, left behind by the economies to the east, north and south driven by industry, commerce or

n Extremadura is two hours from Madrid, served from Dublin year round by Aer Lingus 7w, Iberia Express 14w and Ryanair 18w. and two hours from Seville, served year round 3w by Ryanair

Clockwise: Mérida Roman ampitheatre. Marco Mangut tour guide, more Mérida Roman remains and Espezia cookery school

tourism, is a recent one. Isolation comes with an advantage. It has kept joys from the past, including medieval cities such as Cáceres, while letting all the ills of modern tourism pass it by. Baking hot in summer, freezing cold in winter. Little English spoken. No Nerja nerds here, it is hundreds of miles from the nearest beach. Isolation meant this was a recruiting grounds for the conquistadores escaping for a better life in Latin America. Extremadura a name that contains the Spanish

words for “extreme” and “hard”.” One of the finest and barest landscapes, Los Barruecos natural park, caught the eye of the Game of Thrones makers. Examine any high point in the region and you are likely to see a stork. In Cáceres, south of Plasencia, there is even a building, the palace of Las Ciguenas, named after them. When wool was wealth, which is most of history until the industrial revolution, Extremadura was very wealthy indeed. When the Romans left or

assimilated, the Via de la Plata was a commercial and pilgrim path that conveyed the wealth its name suggested. . his being off the tourist trail, not many speak English (one who did walked down the length of the bus to upbraid your correspondent for not being fluent in Spanish). Being away from the tourist trail has its advantages: €2 for coffee and toast, €3.80 for two beers, one large. Isolation is way underrated.



n Zafra, nicknamed Little Seville on the strategic Via de la Plata, or the Silver Route at the base of the Sierra de Castellar Mountains, the little streets cluster round the 15th century castle, formerly a Moorish fortress n Mérida founded in 25 BC and once capital of Lusitania (Spain and Portugal) has some of the finest Roman ruins in the world, open air festivals are held in the Roman theatre, UNESCO World Heritage Site. n Aqua Libera Rural Hotel, a re-creation of a roman house, ancient cuisine, massages and Spa where you can dress and dine like a Roman. n Los Barruecos natural park near Cáceres, large granite rocks carved by time with nests of white storks and other birds, film location for the ‘Game of Thrones’, Season 7 great battle between the Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen armies.

n Espezia, visitors get to try your luck at cooking traditional dishes n Vostell Museum a former 18th century wool washhouse, now a contemporary art museum opened in 1976 by the German Wolf Vostell (1932-1998), co-founder of the Fluxus movement and video art pioneer. n Cáceres a blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles, 30 towers still stand from the Muslim period, UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986. n Herreruela, the “dehesa” which is the characteristic managed oak forest landscape, home to the region’s Iberian pigs and source of the prized “jamón ibérico” acorn-fed cured ham. n Trujillo birthplace of Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Peru, whose equestrian statue stands in the Plaza Mayor and Francisco de Orellana, discover of the Amazon River





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Azores, Madeira & Portuguese Highlights (Marco Polo)

14 nights

6-April 2020


Easter River Seine Experience (Marco Polo)

7 nights

13-April 2020


Treasures of the British Isles (Marco Polo)

11 nights

24-April 2020


Portugal & Seville Fiesta (Marco Polo)

13 nights

24-June 2020


River Seine Experience

8 nights

2-July 2020


Fjordland Splendour

9 nights

11-July 2020


Weekend Mini Cruise

2 nights

13-July 2020


Round Britain & River Seine Experience

11 nights

24-July 2020


Iceland and Faroes

12 nights

5-August 2020


Spain, Portugal & Morocco

12 nights

17-August 2020


Summertime Fjordland

10 nights

27-August 2020


River Seine Experience

7 nights

3-September 2020


Overnight Mini Cruise

1 nights

3-September 2020


British Isles Discovery

10 nights

13-September 2020


Mini Cruise to Bristol

3 nights

16-September 2020


River Seine Experience

6 nights

22-September 2020


Hidden Baltic Treasures

14 nights

6-October 2020


Grand Canary Islands & Madeira, Iberian Treasures & Morocco

16 nights

22-October 2020


Iceland & Land of the Northern Lights

9 nights

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ohannesburg and its reputation, how dangerous? Around the “It is not safe to travel in Johannesburg independently,” one travel agent information site warns. Others called it “dangerous” and “a city of crime and contrasts.” Noisy fruit-sellers and minibus drivers seeking custom, “but can also put a knot of fear in your stomach” says a respected journal. “I was shot in Jo’burg,” says the photo booth gift tee-short in Maboneng arts district in Johannesburg they make fun of the city’s dark reputation. Jo Buitendach of Past Experiences Tours brought us through the former no-go areas like a painter showing off her new paint job. There were paint jobs everywhere, street art or, as it used to be known, graffiti, “not commissioned but legal,” Jo says. There are clusters around pieces by Tapz, the most famous graffiti artist in Johannesburg. Other local artists impressing the new audience include Bias, Mars/ Moris, Fallon and Mr Slippers. Their work should be interpreted liberally rather than literally. “You could see this as an angry door or a piece of fabric,” Jo ponders, finger on chin knowledgeably. A trained archaeologist she started running history and architecture tours but found that tourists

Nkululeko Mahlangu with street art, graffiti in the bohemian Maboneng district of Johannesburg

In the Lion’s den

were fascinated by the subcultures of a city regarded as one of the most dangerous in the world. Over at the mural of faces street artist Nkululeko Mahlangu was embarking on a new project. Nearby Hloni Kutu and Jermaine Burts of the Azuri Street symphony put on an impromptu performance. The city has other poverty stricken areas. In the 1990s, Johannesburg’s authorities discussed converting the 54-astorey Ponte City into a high-rise prison. Wisecracks noted that it was already full of criminals. But Maboneng is a start, and starting to export its fashionable

rooftop bars, weekend markets and artists’ studios in newly chic warehouses. Even at Ponte, three of the top-floor flats are available for daring tourists via Airbnb. Daniel Monegi offers skateboarding tours. As well as people selling avocados, there are not people eating them in cafes. ‘Never grow up, it’s a trap,’ is another of the slogans in the arts centre in Maboneng. It applies to the entire suburb.


outh Africa tourism woke up to the fact that its tour guides are as big an asset as the sundowner in its tourism armoury.

So it proved when we were met at Johannesburg airport by Charles Ngqaqamezweri Ncube. The Xhosa name is a giveaway, he does an impressive Nelson Mandela impression, and an impossible series of clicks when he describes going to the doctor to get a pill. Charles is cheerful and not so much engaging, as overwhelming with his enthusiasm for his native city. Outside the apartheid museum, he tolls us how, when he was small, the regime took his mother away. He never saw her again. t the apartheid museum there is an early 1960s


clip of an interview with Paul Sauer, an apartheid regime cabinet minister, booming voice and smirking face, talking about how it is a difficult to task to get the African to work, to make himself as big in the eyes of his woman when he is working as when he is chasing a lion with a spear. In a former migrant workers’ hostel in Mzimhlophe we ate miner’s foods and talked about mining. The work was hard and the risks were high. Phtisisis and silicosis, the miners diseases were hauled to the surface as vigorously as the gold the poorly paid dislocated

tribesmen were sent to retrieve. Our tuk tuk drivers ere Mokhinne “Isaac” Thulo, Lungile Mbangula and Philip Malepa brought us around Meadowlands, the Hector Pieterson memorial and Vilakazi Street, home to Mandela house and Desmond Tutu. “The story of Soweto is the story of driveways,” Mokhine says. “No one had a car when they built their house but everyone had a driveway.” Jane Siswe Dube, a traditional healer, brought us into her back room to communicate with her ancestors and heal our physical and mental ills. Vibrant and lively, she old us stories of the lost wonder of Sophiatown, the racially mixed area from where she was evicted in 1955. Your correspondent is still smitten with the play Sophiatown by Malcom Purkey. The play t included one truly memorable line: ‘if you steal something small it is a crime, but if you steal something big, like a country it is not a crime.”


f you are in harmony with yourself, you may meet a lion without fear because he respects anyone with self confidence,” Nelson Mandela said. Johannesburg is the first place to meet a lion in South Africa. Time to be brave. It is well worth the effort.

n Jo Buitendach of Past Experiences charges SAR1,100 for a private tour and does occasional local tours for SAR 200

Clockwise Street stall in Marobeng, Daniel Monegi who conducts skateboard tours, Jo Buitendach of Past Experiences conducts a walking tour, Charles Ncube tour guide. Street scene

Y o ur p e r f e c t h o l i d a y h i d e a w a y .


Just back from:


Just 17 hours to go, yippee Ready for the night: Qantas have the best pyjamas in the sky

The 17 hour flight London to Perth


passenger should expect the 17 hour flight from London to Perth, nonstop, to be an ordeal. Not only is it passable, it is comfortable, possibly more comfortable than the sequence Of 14 and ate our flights that have become standard for the Antipodean bound adventure r. It is all about the humidity and the higher cabin pressure in the Dreamliner, which promises to help beat jet lag. It makes for a slightly steamier atmosphere en route, but is better when you get there. The details are worth noting. A cradle foot net support for the calf of the leg. The seat pitch and the configuration. 

The business class seat offers 46-inch (117 cm) pitch, with an 80inch (203 cm) bed when put into lie flat mode. Seats are in a 1-2-1 layout meaning all business class passengers have direct aisle access, something that’s not available on the airline’s Airbus A380s yet, or the older Boeing 747 jumbos. Qantas are perennial cellar in the sky award winners. They offer a wine tasting subject to availability of their team of trained sommelier cabin crew, and vary the wines, concentrating on Australian offering: Vickery, Xanadu, St Hallett, when I flew. The food is excellent, developed with Charles Perkins Centre, with

lighter, healthier offerings, an on-demand menu, ice cream, and Lily O’Briens supply the chocolate. Businessclass features include a drawer which pops out from beneath the seatback screen for storing small items such as ther phone. Above the screen, there is a small handle for pulling yourself up from your seat. A cavity to the left of the foot well where you can pop your shoes. The entertainment comes with a dedicated Australian section, always worth a peek for movies that do not make it into mainstream. There are 42 business seats, in eight rows and three rows,, and three toilets in business which

can be used by premium economy passengers. Qantas have always had the best pyjamas in the sky, with a cute kangaroo on the chest. There is a new international lounge at Perth airport for passengers flying the London route. There was a yoga session on offer. For those who want to know, the toilets are still clean and tidy even after 17 hours in the air. We alighted fresh, perhaps not as a daisy, but an outback flower in summer. Those we met at Heathrow transferring back to the Irish transfers were happy, having travelled with children in economy. That is the ultimate test.

Wine tasting with sommelier Ben Agolimi

Healthy living

Yoga in the lounge at Perth

The gallant flight deck crew of Ben Jenkins, Cameron Powell, Brett Alexander and Robert Turner and the mood lighting which can be adjusted

PHILADELPHIA WE MADE HISTORY FOR AN ENTIRE NATION. PLUS, A CHEESESTEAK JUST FOR YOU. Philadelphia is a city that speaks for itself—and it’s got tons to talk about. National landmarks within walking distance. Tax-free shopping. Diverse museums. Nightlife that lasts ’til morning. Yeah, you’ll want to get here fast. Lucky for you, this Central East Coast gateway welcomes non-stop flights from 130+ cities worldwide.




Swimming pool Maryborough House was built sometime between 1710 and 1730

Cupola pleasure


e arrived, late and in the winter dark-

ness. It meant we missed the grandeur of the handsome house adorned with a cupola, built by a merchant prince from the great days of Cork’s worsted trade rather than a titled lord or established church bishop. The arrivals area is on a slope, and we just missed the drama of a woman who took the handbrake off her car and rolled back into bushes.

Maryborough House might be a boutique hotel if it was on a street or a grand resort if it had its own demesne. It manages to combine both, because the hilltop gives it a rural feel and the city is so close that Siri got confused guiding us through the roundabouts (yes, of course it WAS Siri’s fault). The rooms and staircase are smaller than the Downton Abbey mansions that were constructed even two or three decades later. And

on to the old building is the new wing with conference facilities and the signature 2 AA Rosette Bellini’s Restaurant. We gathered for the feast. Gemma Murphy is the head chef, known for her commitment to avoiding over flavouring: “You should not have to flavour vegetables, a vegetable should taste of itself. When you eat carrot you should taste carrot:” Starters were twice cooked pork belly, grilled mackerel fillet,

Eoghan Corry and restaurant manager Shiby Karan, the amazing staircase

sweetcorn pannacota, seafood chowder, black pudding roquet, whole roasted quail, Mains, duo of venison, fillet of Hereford beef, breast of Skeaghanore duck, fillet of Irish trout, arancini. Clearly people traveled for the food. The best bit the amazing staircase to our room, filled with romance by the climb. The birds tried to bully us out of bed at 7am. The city was just below the hill. But you couldn’t be quite sure.

Bathroom in suite

Fillet of Hereford beef with porchini and truffle polenta cake, heritage carrot, celeriac textures and café au lait.

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19/12/2019 16:40



Young deer hunters

Center Pars has the highest zipline in Ireland

Parc de Triomphe


ongford for the holidays,” is a phrase we have not been used to hearing Not any more. The opening of Center Parcs last summer changed that. It was the biggest single investment in Irish tourism history, an investment of €233m, and a marketing budget of €10m that dwarfs that of Tourism Ireland, 500 villas and 2,400 beds, making it the size of nearby Ballymahon. Travel Extra attended the opening weekend with family, two nine year old twin girls who had never encountered any of the experiences on offer. We tried the spectacularly challenging zip line, archery, wall climbing, canoeing, lower

adrenaline but equally expensive pottery painting and a ranger walk through the forest. Budget at least €200 a day extra for food and activities. The only accessory that comes free with a Center Parcs stay is the pool, with its splashy, screaming, washing tub churning rides. You can chose to spend the entire break splashing and screaming. The dozen frontline activities (and 100 overall) on offer would cost far more than Center Parcs charge at your local adventure centre. Some of the optional extras are not exactly optional. Holiday makers are required to park the car and bicycle everywhere.

It is a pleasant ride, especially for those of us who are not active enough, amid the wild oats, sweet vernal grass and Coillte planted Douglas fir, Sitka spruce and wild chicory, but without a bicycle the distances are huge, especially for littlies. This is a non-optional extra, but you can bring your own bicycles. We loved the nature walk. This is not highend environmental encounter, a former bog overlaid with invasive species, but the rangers bring it to life with bug hotels and adventurous animal-tracking. The girls loved the waffles and pancakes, which worked out €38 for four of us. You can

Eoghan Corry meets some barking friends, fireworks on opening weekend

save money by cooking in. What was the best thing? We asked. On arrival one of the girls fell into a bog hole. According to her sister, of course. Not mentioned in the marketing budget. For another, there is a dog exercise area. The best thing? You don’t see children going around with their phones against their noses. A blessed miracle. n Prices vary by age and season. Sample summer prices for weekend: 3 Bedroom for €1399, two bedroom €859. Costs range from €32pp for zipline, to €35/€25.50pp for bike hire. Spa €42/€85. Some activities require accompanied paying adults.

Ballymahon’s Subtropical Swimming Paradise

Canoeing on the lake

Seeing the wood from the trees

How far can two wheels take me? How many valleys passed, how many kilometers traveled, How many friendly smiles met…how many memories made? From coastline to tree line…surf to snow…wetlands to highlands… So much inspiring beauty and challenging terrain. I found it all…cycling in Taiwan!

For more information:

TRO Cycling AD 2020 330x240 12-19.indd 1

Taiwan Tourism Bureau ( Taipei Representative Office in Ireland (

25/12/2019 10:27




ne of the most exciting new routes for 2020 is El Al’s daily service to Tel Aviv, 60 km from Jerusalem and 90 km from Haifa, second largest city In Israel and the capital since the state of Israel was founded. One of Europe’s great beach cities, the 6km stretch of Tayelet seaside promenade is among the best sunset strolls in the Med (Shlomo Lahat, merging into Homat Ha Yam). The sea in front tends to be calm as there is a breakwater. The green Hayarkon park is the city’s lung and a welcome escape from the endless party. Tel Aviv (spring hill in Hebrew) is known as a club destination, but has equally strong theatre. The city offers 35 theatres. The Israeli Opera perform regularly In the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Centre and the Camen Theatre. You find the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra at the at the Tel Aviv Culture Palace.. Tel Aviv port is where the City’s major clubs and bars are found but pub crawls such as TLV nights bring you into other area as well. The southern part of Tel Aviv is known for the popular Haoman 17 club with underground spaces such as Block Club. Comfort 13, Paradise Garage and several other party venues. The Allenby Rothschild area is another popular nightlife destination with live music such as Pasaz. Radio EPGB and Penguin.

Direct flight to history Everybody becomes a pilgrim in Israel, whether to Tel Aviv’s nightlife or the cradle of history inland


Tel Aviv’s six kilometres of seafront

ravel to the holy land in search of spirituality never went out of fashion. Step in to the collection of Franciscan churches that pockmark the biblical sites of Israel and PA and you quickly understand why. The scrap for square footage is to be found most ostensibly the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and also in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where four ancient Christian persuasions battle for ownership is all too evident. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre never looks like it is ever going to get finished, even 1600 years later, there are always lighter rollers ladders and scaffolding in some corner of it keep it from falling apart. But that is part of the charm. These are some of


n Massada, with its ruins of King Herod’s mountaintop fortress and last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against the Romans, 73 CE, can be reached by cable-car. Check out the recently refurbished museum n Qumran - ruins of ancient Essenes settlement (a mystical Jewish zealot sect) in whose nearby caves the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered n Float in the Dead Sea and enjoy the spa facilities at several local hotels.

Christianity’s oldest sites, built heritage from the 500s and still been used for the original purpose. Even divorced from the Biblical canon that serves as out Rough Guide to the Holy Land, these make them amazing sites in themselves


he Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is the most unspiritual pilgrimage sites of all, the Orthodox occupying the slab on which Jesus body was washed, the Catholics occupying the crucifixion site and the more discreet Armenians holding the tomb where the body was laid. The sacred spot was secured by Helen, Mother of Constantine, when she decreed that Christianity should be the official religion of the empire in 325AD, afraid that the lo-


n After the signature Via Dolorosa check out the rebuilt Jewish Quarter and Cardo, ruins of a main street from Roman times n Tower of David with an enthralling museum of the History of Jerusalem at the Citadel n Yad Vashem - national memorial and museum of the Holocaust, including: the Valley of the Communities and the Hall of Names of child Holocaust victims and the museum

cation of the sites might be forgotten. They found some caves here, one was identified as that of Joseph of Arimathea. The sloping bedrock was cut away around this tomb, leaving a freestanding shell at the site of the present Edicule. But as soon as the church was built, the squabbling began. On a ledge just above the main entrance there is a wooden ladder that has remained since the 19th Century because no-one can agree who has the right to take it down. By the time the church was built in Byzantine times and extended in Crusader times, pilgrimage was already an industry. It is a common theme through the churches of the so-called Holy Land. The most spiritual place here is where the Ethiopians have built a monastery on the roof, having been ejected for not paying taxes to the appropriate controller. It feels like Lalibella, and closer to serenity than the chaos below. Because the churches can’t agree, the keys are kept by two Muslim families. The Nusaibi and Joudah families have been the sole guardians of the key to the church since they were entrusted

with it by the Muslim ruler Salah el-Din (Saladin) in 1178.


he tourist, for everyone becomes a part-time pilgrim in Israel, can find the most spiritual places along the Galilee seashore. Josef Id, from the tourist office in Nazareth, says that visitors pay too much attention to Jerusalem and Bethlehem and spend pay too little attention to the north east of the country where most of the New Testament sites are to be found In a small patch of land, about 50 kilometres long and twenty kilometres wide, is where Jesus spent his entire life, moving only for his birth in Bethlehem, the flight to Egypt and the traumatic last week of his life in Jerusalem.


he road from Nazareth demonstrates Josef Id’s point, Cana of the wedding feast is the next town. Another town has been identified as Jesus childhood home, Capharnaum, where pilgrims visit an ancient synagogue. Everything is disputed and will unlikely ever be verified. Zachariah’s tree

is shows to tourists in Jericho without a blush. Even as we were there an English archaeologist Ken Dark claimed he has identified the first century childhood home of Jesus, a stone and mortar structure hewn out of limestone in a hillside in Nazareth, using Irish St Adhamhnan’s pilgrim text, De Locus Sanctis, as a source. Each signpost comes to life from the Bible. You can feel at home here. All the action was in Galilee. The birthplace in Bethlehem and site of the crucifixion in Jerusalem, the two most visited sites by far, are there as bookmarks to a cultural visit as if the marketing manager stepped in and reminded the four authors of the Gospels that air access, a plentiful supply of urban high quality hotel beds, and marketing nous was important. The Holy Land does not need any marketing. The world’s best selling book and 2,000 years of interpretation does it for them. At the site of the sermon on the mount, a natural amphitheatre recedes away to the Galilee shoreline. It is peaceful and bucolic beneath the shining blue winter sky and the crescent moon.

EL ALʼs new direct service from DUBLIN to TEL AVIV

Ranked by IATA as one of the most efficient carriers in the world, EL AL passengers experience an unrivalled level of reliability, care and punctuality…And the rewards of travelling donʼt stop there.


ince its establishment in 1948, EL AL Airlines, Israelʼs national carrier history has been intertwined with the history of the country, as an inseparable narrative. EL AL currently flies to 36 destinations from Israel, serves hundreds of other cities throughout the world via codeshare, interline partnerships with many other carriers embodying Israelʼs values of innovation and caring, and is known for its genuine Israeli hospitality. EL AL offers a full Boeing fleet and began its renewal in September 2017 with the arrival of the first of sixteen 787 Dreamliner aircraft. In 2018, EL AL flew over 5.6 million passengers. The guidelines by which the company continues to operate are creativity, efficiency, punctuality and professionalism, in order to meet its passengersʼ requirements at all times and places. Through broad global coverage supported by an international chain of 77 sales offices and warm Israeli hospitality, EL AL has become more than a means of transport from one place to another in the world.

Our Schedule – Launching our direct service from Dublin to Tel Aviv EL ALʼs new direct service from Dublin to Tel Aviv will launch on 26th May 2020 with flights every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The flight will operate using a Boeing 737-800 with 2 service classes; Business & Economy. The aircraft seats 166 passengers, 16 Business Class Seats and 150 Economy Seats.

Our New Business Class Seats

Our seats in business class offer a large, luxurious headrest which is 4-way adjustable, 10” seat recline, 42” pitch and 21” seat width, all our business class seats offer a cocktail tray, electrical outlet and USB for charging, storage for water bottle, coat hook, dining tray and tablet holder.

Our Economy Class Seats

Our seats in Economy offer an ergonomic seat, headrest with 4-way adjustability, 3” seat recline, 29”-30” pitch, 17” seat width with a tablet holder, USB outlet & coat hook.

Our Pricing Model for Economy Class Tickets FLEX



2 X hand baggage

1 X hand baggage

1 X hand baggage

1 X checked baggage

1 X checked baggage

Advanced seat selection

Seat reservation

EL AL introduced a new pricing model for Economy Class tickets to/from our European, Far East and South Africa destinations, enabling passengers to customize their flight package and fly at attractive rates. The new model is based on three different family branded fares: • Lite: Handbag fare only, changeable for a fee with meal

• Classic: with 1 checked bag for 23kgs • Flex: fully flexible

Superstar Holidays

Superstar Holidays – EL ALʼs in-house tour operator has been leading tourism to Israel for over 36 years. We cater for B2B and B2C clients and the only tour operator that only sell Israel. Immerse yourself in luxury at a top hotel, take one of our 7-night absorbing classical tours, or simply

take to the open road and tour around Israel at your own pace. From short stays city breaks to long-stay holidays of a lifetime, all with a range of fun add-on features, there is something for everyone – because Superstar allows you to discover Israel your way. Recognised as market leaders in tailor-made packages to Israel and offering the unique packages, Superstar Holidays prides itself in specializing in-group travel and for the independent traveler by tailoring any holiday package.

Tel Aviv: Israelʼs Culture & Sunshine Capital

Fly with EL AL direct from Dublin (flights commence 26th May 2020) to Tel Aviv, the capital of fun & sun, is one of the must-see places of Israel. The weather in Tel Aviv is almost always sunny. The summers are very hot and humid. The winters are mild and although they can get rainy, the majority of the days are gorgeous and sunshine is plentiful.

All year round Tel Aviv, is pulsing with culture, fashion, nightlife, restaurants and cafes. The gorgeous beaches offer the perfect balance to the bustling urban nature of city life. This city is famous for its Bauhaus architecture, laid back cafes, thriving markets, boutiques, fine dining, world class nightclubs, street art and beautiful sunsets.

To make your bookings: contact your local travel agent or visit

128522 TE_FEB_TELAVIV FP AD_V1.indd 1

23/12/2019 12:00



Well Erned ReLoughxation

Noel McMeel of Lough Erne Resort

The indigenous; smoked Lough Neagh eel, comber potato puree, Armagh brambly apple, seared Donegal scallop


The signature tenth hole at Lough Erne resort

t sounded ambitious and it was. Five star Fermanagh. Just beyond Enniskillen, sharp right and you find it huddled on the lakeshore, as if it had found a good place to hide. Having found the spot, they searched for someone to load the landscape into the kitchen? And found Noel McMeel, an ambassador for Irish ingredients since he trained in Washington DC. He returned with his local and artisanal message. The French and the Italians built their reputation using Irish ingredients. We could do it too.

He came to talk us through the menu. Smaller and more taste is in for 2020, according to Noel. He tells his staff of 35 that you need to understand what the product is first. “get a carrot from somewhere amazing, from the grower, clean it and take and cook it. It does not matter if you cook it in duck fat or in hot boiling water with some salt or roast it, until it is perfect, or and put it on a plain plate. If you perfect that more than a hundred times, and it is perfection, then we put it on a fancy plate.” “The new thing is the

produce. The chef is all very fine. But where is the food coming from?” The menu names Noel’s celebrity producers, the signature is a trio of pork from Pat O’Doherty, Lisdergan beef. Thornhill duck, his indigenous starter with Lough Neagh eel, comber potato puree, Armagh brambly apple and Donegal scallop. The Lough Erne experience was assembled in the economic boom and perfected in the recession, a lakeside resort and a golf course that would become as big a destination as the entire county, which gets just

Noel McMeel with Eoghan Corry, the resort in morning light

40,000 tourists a year, the 31st most visited county (for the 32nd, see p24). The tenth is the signature hold of the Nick Faldo designed golf course. It finishes on cygnet’s rest, beginning with a t, for there is sand t the left and water to the right. The ninth, a par five, plays neatly to a narrow, angled green. Lower Lough Erne is further north on the map that Upper Lough Erne. The best bit? The view over the lakeshore on a winter’s morning. And breakfast was cooking downstairs.

Early morning, view from Lough Erne resort

Pat O’Doherty’s pork fillet, crispy shoulder, hock terrine and rosti, confit belly and tapioca crisp, sour cabbage, apple and sage butter, celeriac, maple jus,

THE WORLD. WE FLY THERE. 6 continents. 200+ destinations. There’s an entire world just waiting to be discovered. That’s why we’re so proud to connect travellers from Ireland through our Canadian hubs to more than 200 destinations around the world. If your clients are travelling to the U.S, they will conveniently clear U.S. customs while in transit in Canada, skipping the line upon landing. Wherever the destination, your clients will enjoy the ultimate in comfort and convenience aboard North America’s Best Airline. Book now at

Voted Best Airline in North America



Holiday World Show

Jan 24-26 2020


O The Low Down


Friday 24 January 1.00pm – 6.00pm Saturday 25 January 11.00am – 5.30pm Sunday 26 January 11.00am – 5.30pm Trade Only: Friday 24 January 10.00am – 1.00pm How Much: Adults €7 OAPs €4 Students €3 Children Free Family Price: Family €14 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 24 January at 2pm Official opening by Shane Ross TD, Minister for Tourism Saturday 25 January 11.30 opening Home Holiday pavilion by Minister Brendan Griffin Website: 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 Extras Trekking & walking activity holidays City Breaks 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. Next Year: Belfast 16-17 January 2021 Dublin 22-24 January 2021

n behalf of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) I would like to welcome you to Holiday World Show Dublin 2020. This year we have over 200 exhibitors representing both national and international travel opportunities. Travel professionals from across the globe have all come together in the RDS this weekend to give you first hand and first class information on nearly every destination on the planet. Travel agents, tour operators, resorts, hotels, airlines, ferry companies, railway companies, cruise lines, and national and regional tourist organisations are all here, under one roof, to help you book your dream holiday. Our research has found that adventure tour sales are increasing, so at this year’s show, in addition to the more traditional holiday options, there is a large selection of activity and adventure-based holidays. As an island state, we are born 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 employment and income generation. Last year saw an increase in Irish travel. That was in part due to the fact that Ireland is exceptionally well serviced with airports, and partly because travel has become less expensive and more accessible. There are no excuses any more not to travel. Just your desire to do so! The key to a great travel experience is planning ahead, and you can start that process right here at this years’ Holiday World Show- with access to 1,000 travel industry experts who have travelled here to make their information available to you. 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. If you need assistance before, during or after your holiday, your Agent is ready, willing and able to help. The personal touch of an expert travel agent can help to create the ideal customer experience, bringing together in-depth knowledge of the industry with an understanding of your wants. It is no secret that the travel industry faced a number of challenges last summer, between airline strikes and ferry cancellations, but we found that those who booked with bonded ITAA travel agents felt the benefits of its protection. 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 2020. We are looking forward to working with you.!

John Spollen President ITAA

Maureen Lediwth, John Spollen and Shane Ross at the opening of the 2019 show

WHERE WE GO: IRELAND OUTBOUND Spain 2,047,379 England 1,800,000 France 611,000 USA 441,890 Italy 345,000 Portugal 318,200 Germany 216,502 Wales 132,000 Netherlands 116,000

Scotland 107,000 Thailand 68,982 Greece 72,654 Poland 65,000 Australia 63,000 Austria 58,000 Turkey 56,000 Belgium 55,000 Malta 36,177 South Africa 31,510

DUBLIN TO FRANCE DIRECT Summer in France is calling. Sail in style direct from Dublin to France on the new W.B. Yeats. Take the family, take the car, take all the luggage you want and start your holiday in the most relaxing way possible. Book now with a deposit of just â‚Ź100 at

Get in touch: Ireland Trade Support 0818 300 400 N.I. Trade Support 00353 818 300 400


Book with A100 deposit minimum 43 days in advance of travel. Final balance payable 42 days before departure. Standard terms and conditions of booking & travel apply. See for details.

Travel Extra/DPS 2020 [1]:Layout 1



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Abbey & Central Hotels Donegal Town T9/U7 Abbey Travel Adventures B6 Access Africa Safari D6 Actons Hotel Kinsale T15/U13 Adams & Butler C6 Advantage Austria N18 Aillwee Caves Q1 Air Canada P9 airBaltic Corporation P28 Airfield Estate V3 Airotel N8/P7 Alabama Tourism K5 Alentejo Promotion Office L6/M8 Algarve Tourism Bureau L6/M8 American Holidays J8/K7 AMResorts L2 ANA - All Nippon Airways B3 Andalucia Tourist Board L10/M13 Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council R11 Aphrodite Hills Resort H13/K12 Arkansas H7

OUR EXHIBITOR LIST Arabella Jewellery C13 Ards Peninsula Tours S9 Asociacion de Hoteles de Turismo de La Republica Argentina G4 Atithi Voyages India C10 Atlantic City H6 Attraction K4 Backstage Theatre Longford T3 Bahamas Tourist Office E11 Baia Algarve Hotels L6/M8 Balkan Roads 'Take the Road Less Travelled' L11/M14 Ballybunion By The Sea U10a Barbados Tourism Marketing INC F11 BeckettHanlon Limited RV1 Beds Of Silk Luxury Holiday Retreat S3 Bellbridge House Hotel R3 Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre Q1 Benidorm Tourism Board L10/M13 BOM Sucesso Design Resort, Leisure & Golf M10a Bot - Conan Lodge Brittany N9 Bradley International Airport J5 Breffni Arms Hotel Q14/R15 Brian McEniff Hotels R6 Burren Nature Sanctuary Q1

C'est Si Bon Ardeche Camping N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Bocage Du Lac N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Cap Soleil N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Champ La Chevre N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Chateau Des Tilleuls N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Chateau Le Verdoyer N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Domaine Des Messires N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Eurosol N8/P7 C'est Si Bon France N8/P7 C'est Si Bon L'isle Verte N8/P7 C'est Si Bon La Belle Etoile N8/P7 C'est Si Bon La Guyonniere N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Le Coin Tranquille N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Les Genets N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Moulin Du Bel Air N8/P7 C'est Si Bon Pont De Bourgogne N8/P7 Cest Si Bon Pyrenee Natura N8/P7 Cambrils Tourism Board L10/M13 Camden Fort Meagher T15/U13 Camino Groups N14 N4/P4 Camp De Florence N8/P7 Campasun L'aigle N8/P7 Campasun Les Hautes Prairies N8/P7 Campasun Mas De Pierredon N8/P7 Campasun Paradis Du Campeur N8/P7

Campasun Parc Mogador Camping & Bunglow Park Las Dunas Camping & Spa Cap Soleil Camping A La Rencontre Du Soleil Camping Au Bocage Du Lac Camping Bois Soleil Camping Cala Gogo Camping Chateau De L'Eperviere Camping Chateau De Tilleuls Camping Chateau Le Verdoyer Camping Cros De Mouton Camping De Gaujac Camping De Savel Camping Domaine De La Bergerie Camping Domaine De Verdagne Camping Domaine Des Chenes Camping Domaine La Bergerie Camping Eursol Camping Holiday Green Camping Ker Helen Camping L'Ideal Camping L'Ile D'or Camping La Bastiane Camping La Baume La Palmeraie Camping La Blaquiere Camping La Citadelle

N8/P7 K9 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7

Camping La Cote D'Argent N8/P7 Camping La Grand'Terre N8/P7 Camping La Grappe Fleurie N8/P7 Camping La Roubine N8/P7 Camping La Route d'Or L4 Camping La Tabardiere N8/P7 Camping Lac De Panthier N8/P7 Camping Le Coin Tranquille N8/P7 Camping Le Bois Guillaume N8/P7 Camping Le Bosc**** M5 Camping Le Domaine De Gil N8/P7 Camping Le Domaine Du Logis N8/P7 Camping Le Floride & L'Embouchure N8/P7 Camping Le Garden N8/P7 Camping Le Lac Bleu N8/P7 Camping Le Logis Du Breuil N8/P7 Camping Le Pansard N8/P7 Camping Le Sen Yan N8/P7 Camping Le Tedey N8/P7 Camping Le Tropicana L5 Camping Le Val De L'arre N8/P7 Camping Le Vaubarlet N8/P7 Camping Le Ventoulou N8/P7 Camping Lei Suves N8/P7 Camping Les Castels L’Orangerie de Lanniron N5 Camping Les Castles Les Ormes Domaine & Resort N5 Camping Les Coudoulets N8/P7 Camping Les Gorges De Chambon N8/P7 Camping Les Lacs N8/P7 Camping Les Mimosas N8/P7 Camping Les Pecheurs N8/P7 Camping Les Pinedes N8/P7 Camping Maiana N8/P7 Camping Mas Patotxas K9 Camping Palais De La Mer N8/P7 Camping Parc Saint James N8/P7 Camping Pyrnee Natura N8/P7 Camping Soleil Fruite N8/P7 Camping Turiscampo P3 Camping Village de la Guyonniere***** Q4 Campings Des Aples Maritimes N8/P7 Campings Du Var N8/P7 Campings Grand Sud N8/P7 Campings Les Salisses N8/P7 Campissimo Campings in France N8/P7 Campsites in Brittany P6 Campsites In Costa Brava and Pyrennees of Girona K9 Campsites in Spain J10 N4/P4 Canary Islands L10/M13 Cantabria - Green Spain L10/M13 Carlingford Lough Ferry Q11 Carlow Tourism T6 Carrickcraft U2 Carvoeiro Golfe S.A L6/M8 Casada E14/F14 Cascais Tourist Board L6/M8 Cassidy Travel E1/F1 Cassidy Travel H1 Castel Camping La Garangeoire N6 Castellon Tourist Board L10/M13 Castlemartyr Resort T15/U13 Castlerosse Park Resort T12 Castletroy Park Hotel/So Hotels R2 Catalonia - Catalan Tourist Board L10/M13 Causeway Coastal Route S7 Cavan Adventure Centre Q14/R15 Cavan County Museum Q14/R15 Celebrity Cruises F4/F5 Celestyal Cruises E7 Celtic Ross Hotel/Farm Tours T15/U13 Center Parcs T3 Charles Taylor Trading RV5/6/8/9 China National Tourist Office E4 Choice Hotel Group R18

City Brea Clanree Clare Tou Clonakilt Clonmel Cobh He Colombia Comharc Complet Compost Coral Ho Connecti Connema Constant Coral Ho Coral Los Coral Vil Cork City Corlea Tr Costa Ca Cottage Creative Croatia Croatia T Crover H Cruise U Cuba Tou Cyprus D Cyprus G Daragh D Deep Sou Destinati Dillons H Dingle Pe Discover Discover Discover Discover Discover Discover Discover Discover Discover Dom Ped Dominica Donegal Donegal Donegal Donegal Donegal Dubrovni Dutchess e-Travel. Eagles Fl Research Edgewor EL AL Isr El Delfin El Rompi Embassy Embassy of Ethiop Embassy Embassy Embassy Embassy Emirates Energy W ENIT - Ita Enjoyirel EPIC The EPIC - Th Escorted Ethiopian Euro Gar Exodus T Experien Explorati Explore S Explore! Farnham Fermana Fiddlers Fiona Ega & Cooke Fitzpatric Flight Ce Fly Drive Follow th Forever L Fosters Fota Hou Fota Wild Foyle Ho Foz Atan Frank Ke Frazer Fe Fuerteve G Advent

N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 L4 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 M5 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 L5 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N8/P7 N5

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City Break USA H7 Clanree Hotel T9/U7 Clare Tourism S3 Clonakilty Park Hotel T15/U13 Clonmel Park Hotel T5 Cobh Heritage Centre T15/U13 Colombia C3 Comharchumann Na nOilean T9/U7 Complete Insulations RV3 Compostela Beach Coral Hotel Tenerife P14 Connecticut Office of Tourism J4/K3 S15 Constantinou Bros Hotels H13/K12 Coral Hotels Tenerife P14 Coral Los Silos Tenerife P14 Coral Villas La Quinta Tenerife P14 Cork City Attractions T15/U13 Corlea Trackway Centre T3 Costa Calida - Region De Murcia L10/M13 Cottage Pride V5 Creative Ardagh T3 Croatia - Vodice Tourist Board P18 Croatia Tours P21 Crover House Hotel & Golf Club Q14/R15 Cruise USA H7 Cuba Tourist Board G8 Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism H13/K12 Cyprus Golf L8 Daragh Dark Sky Park R10 Deep South USA K5 Destination Niagara USA H2 Dillons Hotel Letterkenny T9/U7 Dingle Peninsula Tourism Alliance S12 Discover Ballyshannon T9/U7 Discover Boyne Valley Q3 Discover Bundoran T9/U7 Discover Galway Q16/R17 Discover Kerry U10 Discover Long Island H2 Discover New England J4/K3 Discover Newport Rhode Island J4/K3 Discover Northern Ireland S6 Dom Pedro Hotels L6/M8 Dominican Republic Tourist Office F9 Donegal Food Tours T9/U7 Donegal International Airport T9/U7 Donegal Self Catering T9/U7 Donegal Tourism T9/U7 Donegal Town Enterprise Scheme T9/U7 Dubrovnik and Neretva Tourist Board P19 Dutchess Tourism H2 - Cruise Specialist N2 Eagles Flying/Irish Raptor Research Centre S17 Edgeworth Heritage & Literary Trail T3 EL AL Israel Airlines G7 El Delfin Verde Costa Brava Resort L10/M13 El Rompido L8 Embassy of Argentina G4 Embassy of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia C4 Embassy of Republic of Latvia P28 Embassy of Peru D3 Embassy of Slovakia P25 Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran F6 Emirates Holidays G1 Energy Wipes RV2 ENIT - Italian State Tourist Board L12/M15 S19 EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum S4 EPIC - The Irish Emigration Museum Q1 Escorted Tours USA H7 Ethiopian Airlines C4 Euro Garden & Homes P34 Exodus Travel B6 Experience Killarney S11 Exploration Dome H14/K13 Explore St Louis J6 Explore! D9 Farnham Estate Hotel Cavan Q14/R15 Fermanagh Lakelands Tourism R13 Fiddlers Green Festival S10 Fiona Egan Cloughan Farm & Cookery School T3 Fitzpatrick Hotel Group J3 Flight Centre G5 Fly Drive USA H7 Follow the Camino J11 Forever Lifestyle S23 Fosters V6 Fota House & Gardens Q2 Fota Wildlife Park T15/U13 Foyle Hotel T9/U7 Foz Atantida L6/M8 Frank Keane Group A10 Frazer Ferries Group Q11 Fuerteventura Tourist Board L10/M13 G Adventures B8

Galicia Tourism Board L10/M13 Galway 2020 Q16/R17 Garryvoe Hotel Shanagarry T15/U13 Garvetur Holidays L6/M8 Genealogical Society Of Ireland N23 Gervanne Camping N8/P7 Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum Q1 Glencolmcille Folk Village T9/U7 Gran Canaria L10/M13 Great Lakes USA J7 Greek National Tourism Organisation H9 H&Z Corporation LTD (Clickheat) D14 Halkidiki Tourism H8 Hankyu Travel International B3 Harvey's Point Country Hotel T9/U7 Hayes & Jarvis J8/K7 Heritage Island Ireland's Premier Attractions Q1 Hertz Car Hire Outside Horizon Worldwide B5 Hotel Beacon NYC J1 Hotel Coral California Tenerife P14 Hotel Coral Compostela Beach Golf Tenerife P14 Hotel Coral Los Alisios Tenerife P14 Hotel Coral Ocean View Tenerife P14 Hotel Coral Suites & Spa Tenerife P14 Hotel Coral Teide Mar Tenerife P14 Hotel Estrela de Fatima L6/M8 Hotel Ria Park Hotel L6/M8 Hotel Westport R4 Hotel Woodstock R18 Hoteles Servigroup L10/M13 Hoteli Vodice P18 Hotels Olympia & Olympia Sky Croatia P18 House of Waterford Crystal U3/U5 Huelva Tourism Board L10/M13 Hurtigruten J13 Iberostar Hotels & Resorts L8 Ibiza Tourist Board L10/M13 ICELANDAIR J9 Ideal Homes Real Estate Services C11/D11 Imperial Hotel Cork T15/U13 India Tourist Office B5 Innovart G4 Intasun Homes Property Consultants B10 Ionad Cois Locha T9/U7 Irish Ferries P8 Irish Golf Review Q9 Irish Heritage Trust Q2 Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) A3 Israel Government Tourist Office G7 Istria Tourist Board P20 Jamaica Tourist Board E9 Japan Airlines GSA B3 Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) B3 JMG Travel H12 Johnstown House Estate Q2 Jordan Tourism Board G3 Kansas/Oklahoma Travel & Tourism K6 Katarina Line P21 Kenmare Marketing & Events Group U9 Kentucky Tourism K5 Kilbroney Rest S10 Kilcar Coastal Tourism Development T9/U7 Killeavy Castle Estate S10 Killester Travel L8 Kinsale Hotel and Spa T15/U13 Knights and Conquests Heritage Centre T3 Knights Templar Tours M3 Korea Tourism Organization L13 Kylemore Abbey Q1 L'Abri des Pins L5 L'Hippocampe - Haute Provence (Sunelia) P5 La Ballena Alegre Costa Bara Camping & Bungalow K9 La Finca Golf & Spa Resort M10 La Gomera Tourism Board L10/M13 La Palma Tourism Board L10/M13 La Sirene Camping Clubs P5 Lanzarote Tourist Board L10/M13 Lanzarote Tourist Board N12 Laois Tourism P30 Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority H1 LCPSPAIN B9 Le Bois de Valmarie Camping P5 Le Pin Parasol Camping***** Q4 Leitrim Tourism N20/P31 Leonardo Hotels & Resorts H13/K12 Lepton Calypso Hotels Public H13/K12 Les Camping De Bretagne N8/P7 Les Camping De Normandie N8/P7 Les Campings C'est SI Bon N8/P7 Les Campings Campasun N8/P7 Les Campings De Bretagne N9/P7 Les Campings De L'ardeche N8/P7 Les Campings De Normandie N8/P7 Les Campings Des Landes N8/P7

Les Campings Des Pays De La Loire N8/P7 Les Castels by Le French Time N5 Les Places DorĂŠes L5 Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter CLG T9/U7 Life Adventure Centre S10 Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Q12 Lismore Heritage Town & Centre Q1 Listowel Business & Community Alliance U8b Lithuania P26 Longford Tourism T3 Lough Foyle Ferry Q11 Loughree Distillery T3 Louisiana Office of Tourism K5 Lusitania Museum and Siganl House T15/U13 Madeira Promotion Bureau L6/M8 Maine Office of Tourism J4/K3 Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board C1/D1 Malone Lodge Hotel & Apartments R18 Malta Tourism Authority N19 Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark Q14/R15 Maryland Office of Tourism H7 Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism J4/K3 Matilde Beach Resort P18 Mayo The Adventure Capital S13/T13 McKeever Hotels R11 Medieval Mile Museum Q1 Michael Collins House T15/U13 Mid & East Antrim Borough Council S8 Mid Ulster District Council R10 Midleton Park Hotel & Spa U1 Mississippi Tourism K5 Model Railway Village West Cork T15/U13 Montalto Estate S10 Montana Tourism H7 Monte Santo Resort L6/M8 Montenotte Hotel R18 Moorings L9 Moroccan National Tourist Office H10 Mountains of Mourne Country Cottages S10 Mountain Ways Ireland S10 Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa & Golf Resort R7 Mourne Glamping Pods Ltd S10 Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion S10 Moville Boutique Hostel T9/U7 MSC Cruises J14 Mulroy Woods Hotel T9/U7 Murcia Property Services G11 Murcia Vacations G11 Mysteries of India B4 Naked Penguin G15 NAR UK H5 N8/P7 Navan Centre Q1 Nesbitt Arms Boutique Hotel T9/U7 Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre Q1 New Hampshire Travel and Tourism J4/K3 New Nation Travel & Tours E5 Newry and Mourne Museum S10 New York State Division of Tourism H2 Nire Valley County Waterford U6 North Dakota Department of Tourism H7 Norway with Project Travel J13 Nowaday J1 NYC & Company J1 Office de tourism de la Vallee du Loir L4 OLE International E13/F13 Omagh & Sperrins Region R12 OPW Heritage Services T10 Oranmore Lodge Hotel Conf & Leisure Q15 Oriel House Hotel Cork U1 Orlando H5 Outdoors And Dirty Q14/R15 Pafos Regional Board of Tourism H13/K12 Parc Saint James Le Sourire N8/P7 Parc Saint James Montana N8/P7 Parc Saint James Oasis N8/P7 Passage East Ferry Q11 Passport Services & Consular Directorate Q13/R13 Pearse Lyons Distillery Q1 Pestana Gramanho L6/M8 Philadelphia H6 PhoneWatch E15/F15 Planet Cruise P12 Platinum Travel H7 PortAventura World M12 Princess Cruises J15 Project Travel J13 Pure Cork T15/U13 PY Hotels & Resorts S.L. N15 Quality Hotel Youghal R18 Railtours Ireland First Class V1 Rathlin Island Ferry S7 Reel Irish Music Tours T9/U7 Riu Hotels & Resorts P16 Riverside Park Hotel T8

Riviera Travel N3 Rockefeller Centre J1 Rockhill House T9/U7 Rocky Mountaineer P12 Roscommon Tourism P32 Rose Hospitality (Jackson's Hotel & Villa Rose & V-Spa) T9/U7 Royal Caribbean International N2/P2 Sacred Tours M3 Saint Lucia Tourism Authority D10 Saint-Cyprien Tourism Board M5 Salou Tourism Board L10/M13 Salzburg Tourism N18 SalzburgerLand Tourismus GmbH N18 Sanyog Gupta Voyages B5 Seafarer Cruising & Sailing Holidays E7 Sean Skehan World of Golf L8 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment K4 Select Hotels of Ireland T23 Selection Camping N8/P7 Shamrock Walking Tours M3 Shantivillas L6/M8 Sheraton Grand Salzburg N18 Siblu Holidays France M6 Silver Line Cruisers S2 Silversea Cruises K11 Sirene Holidays P5 Sites Et Paysages by Le French Time N5 Skellig Coast Tourism Network U8 Skibbereen Heritage Centre T15/U13 "Skyline Flying Club, Abbeyshrule Aerdrome" T3 Slattery Water Sports CM2 Sliabh Liag Centre T9/U7 Slieve Russell Hotel Golf & Country Club Q14/R15 Slow Adventure Leitrim K4/L4 Smilebright M17 Sociedade de Golf da Quinta do Lago L6/M8 Sole-Mates C14 South African Tourism C5/D7 South Dakota Department of Tourism H7 South Dublin County Council P35 Spanish Tourism Office L10/M13 Spike Island T15/U13 Spring Hotels N13 Station House Hotel Letterkenny T9/U7 Stena Line K10 Stormhall D2/D3 Strokestown Park House Gardens & Famine Museum Q2 Stuart Insurances CM1 Sundowners Overland C8 Sunelia Domaine De La Breche N6 Sunelia Vacances N7 Sunsail L9 Sunway Holidays K1/K2 Taipei Representative Office in Ireland B1 Take on Nepal C9 Talbot Hotel Carlow U1 Talbot Hotel Stillorgan U1 Talbot Suites at Stonebridge Wexford U1 Ten Square Hotel R8 Tenerife Tourism Corporation L10/M13 Tennessee Tourism K5 Thanos Hotels Paphos Crypus H13/K12 The Countryside of Philadelphia H6 The Earth Trip F8 The Florida Keys & Key West J2 The Flying Golfer L8 The G Hotel Galway R18 The Great American West H7 The Green Holiday Cottages S10 The Hardiman R18 The Highlands Hotel T9/U7 The Inn At Dromoland R3a The Kixby Hotel J1 The Lake Spa Resort - Vilamoura L6/M8 The Manor House Rathlin Island S7 The River Lee Hotel T15/U13 The Rusty Mackeral T9/U7 The Talbot Collection U1 The Talbot Hotel Wexford U1 The Tanzania Chamber of Commerce (EU) Ireland C7 The Travel Department V2 Thessaloniki Tourism Organization H8 THIS IS CAVAN Q14/R15 Tirol Tourist Board N18 Titanic, Belfast Q1 Tivoli Hotels L6/M8 Topflight N18 Tour America F4/F5 Tour Buffalo H2 Tourism Authority of Thailand C2 Tourism Calgary P13 Tourism Northern Ireland S6 Tourism Nova Scotia P13

Trabolgan Holiday Village Trailfinders Tralee Chamber Alliance Travel House of America Travel Oregon Travel Texas Travel Trade Tickets and Tours Trident Hotel Kinsale Trigon Hotel Group Tucan Travel TUI Tunisian National Tourist Office Turkish Airlines Turks & Caicos Tourist Board Uganda Tourism Board Ulster Folk Museum Union Bretonne de l'Hotellerie de Plein Air UBHPA Unique Japan Tours Unique Japan Tours Universal Orlando Resort Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Utah Office of Tourism Valencia Region Variety Cruises Viajes Olympia Vilanova Park Villas Arausana & Antonina Virginia Visit Ards and North Down Visit Armagh Visit Belfast Visit Derry Visit Gaeltacht Visit Idaho Visit Mourne Visit Nepal 2020 Visit North Carolina Visit Offaly Visit Portland Visit USA Visit Waterford Visit Wexford VisitPortugal Vorarlberg Tourism Walking Ireland Warrenpoint Golf Club Washington DC Capital Region Water Safety Ireland Waterfront Hotel Dungloe Waterways Ireland Wendy Wu Tours West Cork Garden Trail West Cork Islands WestJet White Mountains Attractions Association WiFi Door Bell WWT Castle Espie Wyoming Office of Tourism Xhale Yelloh Village L'ocean Breton Yelloh Village La Plage Youghal Attractions Your Dream Home ZafirotourshorsetrailMexico

T4 L3/M4 T11 H5 H7 H7 H5 T15/U13 T15/U13 B7 M2 M16 D8 F10 E6 S9 P6 A1 B3 H3 H11 H7 L10/M13 E7 M12 M11 P18 H7 S9 Q1 R8 R9 U11 H7 S10 G6 H7 R16 H7 L1 U3/U5 T7 L6/M8 N18 T9/U7 S10 H7 P36 T9/U7 Q7/Q8 B2 T15/U13 T15/U13 P13 J4/K3 RV4 S9 H7 S10 Q5 Q5 T15/U13 E12/F12 E2

CARAVAN & MOTORHOME SHOW BBikes Ireland Brownes Mobile Homes Buccaner Touring Caravans Campervan Caravan and Motorhome Club Charles Camping Downshire Camping & Caravans Elddis Affinity Elddis Avante Elddis Crusader Elddis Touring Caravans Go-Pods Micro-Tourer Caravans Irish Camping and Caravan Club Irish Caravan & Camping Council Kampa Dometic Tents Awnings & Accessories New for 2020 Diamond Collection O'Meara Camping Ireland Outwell Royal Tents & Accessories Rushin House Caravan Park The Green Guide Vango Vango Awnings & Furniture Whiterocks

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List correct at time of going to press




wo big surprises (and many little ones). The infrastructure and the English language signs. Iran is a modern country, with motorways, excellent hotels and restaurants and , surprisingly, road and street signs in English. The country, unlike many of its middle eastern neighbours, is not on a war footing. It is profoundly safe. The calmness of the people in public spaces accentuated by the absence of drunken revellers. And, if you disregard an overly fussy visa process, it is easy to get to, thanks to Turkish airlines links. Most foreign visitors go south to see the historic cities of Isfahan, Shiraz and Yazd. Which is where we, as first time visitors, headed.


he past is not a foreign empire here, to parpahrase LP Hartley It is everywhere. Iran’s is older than anyone else’s and in a remarkable state of preservation. First stop should be the archaeological museum in Tehran to get a flavour of King Sargon’s exploits and what the Achaemenid kings were up to in 500BC, ten in all, headed by Cyrus the Great. They conquered 40pc of the then known world, including Egypt, Turkey and Greece, where

A selfie in Isfahan Naghsh-e Jahan Square

Persian glory

Iran’s treasures are waiting to be discovered

the battle they fought at marathon gave us the name of an Olympic event. That sets the backdrop for the country’s big ticket attraction: in the desert near Shiraz. Persepolis, ceremonial palace built by Darius in 518BC, portal to the ancient past and still the symbol of Iran’s greatest era. The site is on a plateau

below another tomb encrusted cliff face. In the manner of these things, some of the arches and stone piles have partially reconstructed, but that does not matter when such epic history peeks back at us out of the past. We rambled at uncomfortable hot but uncrowded early afternoon, past the famous winged bulls, guardians of the palace. Sadly they didn’t

deter Alexander, who burned the place down. Not regarded as very great in these parts. Further into the desert is the strikingly contoured simplicity of Pasargad, the tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian empire and the first king of Iranians. His sarcophagus stands without pomp on a windswept plain. Small tomb, immense history


ran is a vast country, 19 times size of Ireland. There are mountains and ski resorts, lush Caspian plains and beaches, but it is the desert that dominates the tourist route from Isfahan to Yazd. The road climbs into the hills, turns and sweeps into circle vision valleys. The collection of cliff face emperors’ tombs at

Naqsh-e Rostam offer a taster of what is to come, high cheeked bearded figures carved out of rock reliefs meeting Ahura Mazda, the Lord who created man from a clot, or represented in combat, every detail of their armour discernible in the desert sun.


he epitaph of John Chardin declares: John Chardin – nomen sibi fecit eundo, (he made a name for himself by travelling). Chardin visited Isfahan at the height of its powers, after Shah Abbas when his capital was established here in 1600

Clockwise: Tomb of Darius the Great, rooftop art gallery, fofmer polo gournds Yazd, Naghsh-e Jahan Square is second largest square in the world after Tiananmen Square in China and ahead of the Vatican Square, Dolaat Abaad garden with the 34 M. high wind tower, Yazd, Dad hotel, Yazd,

and described it as one of the great capitals of the world. As a capital, it lasted scarcely more than 100 years,, and níl shah ann anois, but the spirit of Isfahan endures, Persia of the poetry.. We stopped in Naghsh-e Jahan Square, where Shah Abbas cheered on his favourite polo players beneath the colonnades and turquoise domes from the palace of Alighapou, looking for all the world like the pavilion in Phoenix Park. Ponies still jingle through the square today but they are tourist trap ponies, or tourist ponyand-traps, as they may be more accurately described. We watched it fill with people as the sun’s rays declined and were replaced by floodlights reflected in the water pools. We viewed the spices

2,500 year s of history n Persepolis and jewellery in the old Gheisariyeh bazaar with its four miles of labyrinthine alleys, checked out the ceiling of the Lotfollah mosque where the design of the tiles creates the same sensation as watching a starry night. Isfahan’s bridges are

another legacy of its capital age, the plain-brick Si-o-se pol with its 33 arches, one for every year in the life of Jesus Christ. It was built by the Shah as a tribute to his Armenian Christian subjects, a reminder that tolerance is older than its opposite in


n Day One: Tehran archaeological museum, Golestan palace, Ferdowsi Restaurant, Bazaar of Tajrish, Saad Abbad palace complex, flight to Isfahan. n Day Two: Isfahan Naghsh e jahan square complex Gheisarieh old bazaar, Aliqapoo palace, Imam and Sheikh lotfollah mosques, Chehel sotun palace, lighting of square. Overnight at Kowsar hotel 5 stars , Isfahan city. n Day Three: Isfahan Friday mosque, Vank Cathedral, shaking minarets, old bridges of Isfahan, bazaar shopping. n Day Four: Rad to Yazd Naiin city, Friday mosque, Anthropology museum, Meybod, Narin castle, ceramic

factory. Yazd, Dolaat Abaad garden with the 34 m high wind tower, Fire temple, Tower of silence, Friday mosque, Yazd city. Overnight Moshir Mamalek ho n Day Five: Mountain road to Shiraz, Passargad mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, Persepolis. Overnight Pars hotel. Bazaar of Shiraz n Day Six: Shiraz, visit Bishapoor, city in honour of the Roman conquest, Shiraz Eram garden, Mausoleum of Ali ebneh Hamzeh. n Day Seven: Shiraz, Nasir al Molk mosque (Pink Mosque) Vakil old Bazaar , Karim Khan citadel. Visit to mausoleum of Hafez and Saadi.

this desert land. At Khaju bridge with its decorative motifs and tiles, the Shah would sit to enjoy the sound of water falling over specially designed steps. This is the centre of the Armenian Christian heritage of Iran, and there is a small museum attached to the ornately adorned church. There are 10,000 Christians left. In Tehran there is a club where only Armenians are admitted, and they can drink their own wine.


rofoundly modern, and intensely, in your face, traditional at the same time, Iran is a country of contradictions. Iran’s social conserv-



atism make it a heavy handed version of our grandmother’s Ireland, a place of tight headscarves and foreboding beards, ostentatiously observed pieties and forbidden alcohol where old women in chadors are a feature of every public space. The image of Iran is so calcified by its politics that every western visitor comes expecting catch-up infrastructure and head-in-the-sand tribal introversion, not the friendly, modern country that it is.


he first indication comes the aircraft as we land, when women start putting on their head scarves.

Every female wears one, although we did not see any clothes police we were sure they existed. On the trendy rooftop bar in Yazd, the young people who gathered had pushed the headscarf limits as far as they would go, with bright colours and the edges pushed back past the hairline. While the country is not on a war footing and you do not encounter the military trappings of conflict on the streets, there is no escaping the recent past. The street signs and murals lionise revolutionary leaders and, more poignantly, memorialise martyrs of the eight-year war with Iraq.


he carnage is the product of foreign interference. Memories are not fond of the period when Iran, not Saudi, was the darling of America’s foreign policy (or rather the wishful thinking that passes for foreign policy). People recall that the last Shah gave immunity from prosecution to Americans based in Iran. In a conservative society, this cut deep. Arms-dealing and war followed As we approach each town, strikingly heart breaking photographs of comely youths flicker by

n Eoghan Corry travelled to Iran as a guest of Iranian tourism and ground handlers Poonel Tour and Travel. n He flew with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul’s new airport to Tehran,returning form Shiraz

Armenian Christian museum in Isfahan, rock relief at Naqsh-e Rostam, Amir Ghabouri of Poonel Travel,, Passargad., road to Yazd, Passargad.


DESTINATION IRAN on the road medias, lives lost to the political interference of the west. Even today the victims of Donald Rumsfeld’s poison gas are still languishing in hospitals, blind and disabled.


ran is one of 17 countries in the world that ban the beverage that was given its name by Shiraz, once exporter of the finest wine in the world (the orignal Shiraz was white, unlike the modern heavy Syrah cousin, mainly grown in Australia) Don’t shed too many tears for the lost wine of Shiraz. The city is now custodian of the poetic


Na’in has one of Iran’s oldest mosques still standing soul of Iran. Venerated poets Sa’di and Hafez are buried here. Iranians use

welve people from a number of hillwalking clubs in Cork went to Iran and were overwhelmed by the friendliness of the people and by the safeness of travelling within that country and especially with the low cost of living there. As a result, we urge people to holiday in Iran and to get on to their Travel Agents and Travel Writers to spread the news. Our itinerary featured a climb of Damavand, the highest mountain in Iran, the highest mountain in the Middle East and the highest volcano in Asia, and a second week touring. n Day one: Stayed in Iranshahr Hotel (USD 60 pps) in Tehran the first night (private bus from airport to hotel, 3.5 hour time difference from Cork). Left some luggage in this hotel while away walking for the first week. n Day two, private bus to village of Varangerood (36.1286N, 51.3704E; 2,518 m) where we met Farzin (owner of and our muleteers & mules. Walked 18 km (about 6 h) to first camp at Dashte Kaman (36.1471N, 51.4388E; 3,530 m above sea-level). A mutiny of muleteers from two different valleys that morning meant that our luggage & tents arrived after dark on a cold night on the col. n Day three: a very hard walk on a very hot day up the steep scree slopes of Azad Kuh Mountain (4355 m) to acclimatize. One of the mules fell down a gorge (was rescued unharmed), so our second camp location was changed to a col around 36.133N, 51.5E (3,675 m). Walked 22 km that day. n Day four: the lead mule after about quarter ways, laid down and would not get up….had to be unpacked and left there for a few hours (later recovered and carried some of the original heavy

Hafez’s mystic poetry for divination. The grave is a pilgrimage, Drumcliff

Damavand press-ups load). A lovely low-level 16 km walk among colourful flowery rough grasslands. Had to cross some streams by removing boots and walking across. Saw five brown bears and a red fox that day. Saw eagles and a herd of deer. Shepherd from Afghanistan with his goats & sheep. Camped near bee hives a few km east of the village of Nahiyeh at 36.1515N, 51.6247E (2,622 m). Bullfrog croaking in nearby irrigation ditch part of night. n Day five: a private bus to Daskte Laar National Park. Camped near Laar Lake (at 35.9204N, 51.9433E (2,500 m), a lake that has a hydro-electricity generating station and also supplies water to eastern Tehran. Heard an owl that night and heard a cuckoo next morning. n Day six:, hired two open-top sheep trucks to Pardis to collect climbing passes at USD 50 each. Hired three 4 WD’s from there to take us to Damavand base camp car park (3020 m). Walked to Bargah e Sevom hut (4250 m) on the south side of the mountain, a climb of 1230 m in three hours. Stayed overnight in this hut. Poppy flowers everywhere (famous Damavand poppy). Bee hives & honey for sale everywhere. n Day seven: climbed slowly to the “Frozen Waterfall” (5100 m) to acclimatize, a climb of 850 m in four hours, returned to hut in 2.5 hours. Some people suffered from headaches, most took Diamox tablets. Stayed overnight in the hut.

meets Le Pere Lachaise. There is plenty of superb food for a detox,

fruit and nuts, saffron and yogurt rice, served with chicken and barberries,

n Day eight: rose at 5 am and walked for 3 hours to Frozen Waterfall (faster speed today) and almost another 2.5 hours to the top of Damavand (5671 m), passing sulphur gas bellowing from the volcano about 15 m below the summit. Yellow colours on the rocks from sulphur gas leaking out in different locations. Took under 5.5 h to travel from the hut to the summit. Cold wind on the way up gave a wind chill factor of minus 6 to minus 7 degrees centigrade, according to our three guides. Stayed on top for one hour in order to get the full group together again. Sean Cotter challenged by Dan to do ten straight-arm press ups. Descended from the summit to the hut in three hours. Stayed a few hours in the hut to re-unite all eleven walkers. Walked from the hut to base camp car park in 2 to 2.5 hours. Total ascent that day was 1471m & total descent that day 2651 m. Hired three 4 WD’s to take us in darkness from base camp car park to Damavand Hotel in village of Larijan. Some went out to local café for meat on skewers. Dined local style, sitting up on the table, shoes off (more like a bed), with mat in the middle with the food on it n Day nine: private bus to Tehran. Stayed again at Iranshahr Hotel in Tehran. n Day ten: Private bus (with tour guide Nadia) for the eight of us to Persepolis Stayed at the Forough Mehr Boutique Hotel in Shiraz (USD 60 pps) for two nights. n Day eleven: public bus (Royal Safar Company for USD12 including pack lunch and water) from Shiraz to Isfahan for 7 hours. Stayed for two nights at Setareh Hotel (USD 60 pps), fiveminute walk from the Naghsh-e-Jahan square n Day twelve: public bus (Royal Safar

faloodeh frozen noodle dessert.

Company for USD 12 including pack lunch and water) from Isfahan to Tehran Airport, IBIS Hotel for 6 hours. Sean Cotter sprained his hand: €0.5 taxi fare to hospital, €4 for X-ray, €4 for doctors and €5 for pain killing tablets, anti-inflammation gel tube and hand strap. No queues or waiting around, all very nice and caring staff in hospital. €1 return taxi. n Misc: Mainly cars, taxis and 125 cc Honda motor bikes in the cities. Little or no bicycles. Chaotic drivers and traffic. Several of our group were invited into the homes of Iranians for teas/coffer and for photographs. People were friendly, well educated, well behaved. We felt very save at all times. The cost of living there for us was very low. They sought photographs of us with them and their families. The Shia of Iran have zero or an even number of minarets in their mosques, whereas the Sunni Islam (of Saudi Arabia, etc.) have an odd number. All women, including our three, had to cover their head-hair (not face), arms and legs at all times (both indoors & outdoors; some exceptions out on the mountains) n Approximate costs: Lunch €3; 3-course meal with soft drink €5 or 6; Taxi €1 pp; soft drink €0.5; Museum / Mosque €2 or 3; 3 Magnum Choc ices & 3 cans soft drinks for a total of €1.5, etc. Ann Casey, Sharon Clatworthy, Geraldine Hunter, John Halbert, Dan MacCarthy, Richard Casey, John Coakley, John O’Sullivan, Reggie Murphy, John Paul Curtin, Robbie Murray, Sean Cotter




Clocwise: Yazd mosque, at night, Isafahan Naghsh-e Jahan Square square, Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Persepolis f Isfahan is the tourist poster burgh of Iran, Yazd might be. It is a place to put the fire in your soul. Yazd is the city of badgirs, the tall wind towers that act as air-conditioning systems in summer, designed to suck the hot desert air down into a

shallow pool of water to cool the homes. in Dowlatabad Garden, we can see the tallest functioning wind tower in the world. No other city in Iran has been preserved so meticulously. Zoroastrians gather annually at Chak Chak, a mountainside temple

closed to Muslims. You can visit a functioning fire temple in town and make the hike to the Towers of Silence where, until 70 years ago, bodies were left to be consumed by vultures. The practice has long since ended, partly, Amir told us, because some-

body had a body part dropped on them from the sky during breakfast.


est part of all? It was a quiet road stop, on the road to Yazd along the edge of Dasht-e Kavir, one of Iran’s two central deserts.

Visitors here can seek out the Moon Qanat, an ancient double-tier aqueduct which shows the scale if the civilisation of ancient Persia. At Na’in we paused at a stunning Biblical old town, a maze of sundried brick that is still inhabited.

There the mosque was less grandiose than its big city counterparts. A sunken pit near the prayer wall gives the imam a place to lower himself below the congregation, in the shi-ite tradition. Humbled by all we have seen, we dropped our head in awe.

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Holiday World Show

Jan 24-26 2020

A travel nation H

Irish among least likely to change travel plans in unrest

Sydney is Ireland’s most sought after designation that does not have a direct connection, followed by Johannesburg

oliday World 2020 once again 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 2015. 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 proportion-

ally 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.


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 militant threat in 2019 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. ewer 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 Wellness 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.


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 mak-


Holiday World SHoW

ers. 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 Tourism spreads economic largess unevenly and in contrast to the industrial sector, to the rural and coastal areas likely to be affected by peripherality and depopulation and where agricultural conditions are poor. Tourism impacts disproportionately on less developed countries. Outside Europe, tourism 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.


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.


ur travel agents and tour operators have set the highest standards with regard to customer care, the consumer legislation is only catching up with these standards and attempting to impose them on the aviation industry. The travel business is one of the most regulated consumer retail sectors. But even in advance of regulation the travel industry had set up a standards regime of its own to make sure customers got compensated in the event of a business failure. The business of selling holidays was among the first to embrace technology

and be transformed by it. Many of the developments being embraced by other service and retail sectors are old hat in the travel business. They are good at supplying all the information that the customer needs in an easily accessible format. Airlines, hotels and holiday compan-

ies are all vying to be at the cutting edge of information technology. This attention to detail has meant that the traditional holiday package and the charter flights that carry the package holiday makers are very much alive and well. Come along and see for yourself.

Jan 24-26 2020

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gia Napa of the teenagers. White washed churches of the culture seekers. Cyprus comes in many shapes. The noisy and boisterous clubbing venue does not feature in the brochures or on our tour itinerary. We passed through Agia Napa at its unthreatening best, bright sun and yachts, a pirate party boat sitting silent, its jolly roger unflown, and the wine flowing and seafood sizzling, followed by sludgy Cypriot coffee. We went to the open sculpture museum, seagulls sitting between the horns of bull headed human figures, bronze stick figures and tilted cubes, shapes that once were only found on the clubbing scene here in the wee hours. Later we descended on the coastline, the dark and sharp interiors of Avioi Anargyroi cave, the colourful wildflowers, limestone crags and bright blue waters of Konnos Bay and Cape Greco national park, jacarandas to keep out the sun and whitewashed villas line a driveway that is gated to keep out the traffic. And we stayed in the pristine 270 room Nissi beach. Agia Napa seems a long way away.


t Oroklini Lake, Yiota Kutula told us of a 40 year old pelican died last year . There are 14,000 here, and migratory birds who always come back. We know how they feel. The big issue for Cyprus today is connectivity. The national carrier failed four years ago. The quasi-national carrier failed last autumn. That was followed by the demise of the charter supply line provided by Thomas Cook. The government and the tourism stakeholders do not have many places to turn. One place they did was Michael O’Leary.

Access to Cyprus remains the biggest challenge Street in Lefkara

Land of resurrections

He expressed interest but then came back to Dublin to tell us that it was one of the most complicated places he had ever been. “Cyprus is two thirds the size of Ireland and three times as political,” he said. Ryanair serves Paphos and there are some charters to Larnaka. A hotelier says his business is down 40pc since Cobalt failed. Once upon a time 65,000 Irish travelled to Cyprus each year. Now it is around 10,000.


eed to find yourself? The labyrinth at Cy Herbia Botanical park in Avgorou is the place. It takes a while with the tall lime green hedges. At Argonaftis Donkey farm, Lucas Zachariou brought us along the dusty road aback a conveyance called Elias, everything changed around us, only the conveyance was the same. Language, like pace

of lifestyle, is said to be a museum piece: the dialect is close to Ancient Greek, and when we asked for folk songs, it was Greek music they played. They eventually found some haunting Cypriot tones, loves won and lost, songs of exile and repentance. Exile haunted George Pavlou of Our House, so he came from the USA to open a B&B in his ancestral village. He will show the bed where he was born. The Cyprus society he fled was clannish and village based. But the village population of 252 people is now down to 22, and it has become rustic and immersive.

winery declared. So we went to investigate, Georgia Shoshilou and her father Andreas of GS Ecophysis and Sayuri the dog dressed us in white bee keeper’s outfits and we inspected the hives, pondering pollinators without fear of retaliation. Bees were locavoring long before it became trendy, In Lefkara we met lacemakers Toula and Michalis Rouvis, and

heard how Leonardo Da Vinci bought an embroidered cloth in Lefkara for the altar of the Cathedral in Milan; he visited the village in 1481. They still make the lace they made in Leonardo’s time, a stop for Troodos Mountains trippers. The church has a piece of the true cross. here is a folklore on Cyprus about Lazarus, raised from the dead by Christ,


unable to settle again among the living. This is where he came. In Larnaca. Thena Markidou showed us the tomb in a low roofed crypt (empty, or course, body stolen rather than resurrected this time) and a splendid silver reliquary in an ornate church. At times, needing to be raised from the dead itself, Cyprus tourism could empathise.


e dined with Costas Kyriazis of To Plumin restaurant in Sotira Village, where he talked about short supply trails in a land of bounty. The bee is maybe the most exciting animal on the planet Yiannis Christoudia of Christoudia

crypt of Church of St Lazarus in Larnaca, Lazarus tomb,

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ark is the word, the city, the terrain. There are more parks in Park City, in Utah’s pink mountains than anywhere I have ever been. Take a stroll to the outskirts of town and you find one. The further you go the trail begins to empty of snow shoers, cross country skiers, hikers and flat tyre cyclists along the trail. We have more dog parks than parks for children. Every second passer by has a dog. “We call it bark city,” the human owned by a fabulous coated Siberian husky called Sky yelled back over her shoulder on the off leash dog park. And she was over the crest of the hill and into the great beyond.


he journey is long but the landing is happy. Within half an hour of landing in Park City airport (transition to gate B33 in JFK would not be possible in 18 minutes without pre clearance) our ski boots are under the desk in our resort. The are two resorts and, cunningly and confusing, one has the same name as the city. Both resorts are high end so book through a tour operator for best condo and ski package deals. Park City Resort and Park city overlap glori-

Olympic heights


Signage at Deer Valley resort, ously. You can sit at a coffee house on the main street and watch skiers pass overhead on the chair lift. Urban planning, as well as urban planning. The second is called Deer Valley, which also conjured up competing images. The $180 a day lift pass is reduced to $100 a day if you buy in advance. The Steiner Residences, our plush-luxury hotel, cost $2,000 a night, plush comfortable beds, big rooms, a pool with the best view west of the Mississippi, and a labyrinthine course back to the lobby that meant everyone was five minutes late. But, hey, this is Utah, on holidays, mountain time.

e have come to see what the fuss is about, or perhaps the Fuzz, because that is who has come to show us around six resorts: Deer Valley, Park City on to Solitude, Brighton, Alta and Snowbird. “The snow here is the best in the Rockies, but don’t tell the good people of Colorado. First of all they will have to change all those license plates,” said Fuzz. . The snow was great, not crusty on top and got very heavy over the brow of the hill. We tucked around a double black with steep moguls and finished in a buoy half pipe. I found I was not making any turns and then, on Erica’s Gold, came the

crash, the upside down fall and 400 meters down the mountain upside down. It was thankfully a

soft landing. I remounted and made it to the lift station, brushing off concerned paramedics.

“After the gold rash,” was a colleague’s comment on my snow burn. The best run? “Stein’s way, first thing in the morning,“ said Kris Fuzz Fedderson, an Olympian, part of the ski with a champion programme. He should know. Stein’s, named for Stein Eriksen, a Norwegian champion who made Park City his home (“it was your pleasure to meet me<’ is one of his many famous quotes, is steep and dog-legged, pitched into the rising sun, classic Rockies terrain. Two turns and another kilometer you are into the housing estate of Mansion, where there are triple garages and signs for a private ski track. The nearby road is undersoil heated.


n Park City is one of the world’s most accessible four season mountain recreation destinations, located 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport. n Home to two world class ski resorts Deer Valley and Park City Mountain n 100 lodging properties including large multi-family private homes, bed and breakfast inns, condominiums, and full-service hotels. n The highest concentration of on mountain luxury lodging in North America, and 100 restaurants, two micro-breweries and during winter, the world’s only ski to the door whiskey distillery and saloon. n Daily flight with Delta Airlines from London Heathrow to Salt Lake City, getting there is easy. Free public transport system

n 400 miles of summer hiking and biking trails, with chairlifts and gondolas up the mountain amid the spectacular scenery. n In summer it is hot and sunny by day, with very low humidity, and cool by night. n Summer visitors can play golf at Park City’s four eighteen hole golf courses, horse riding, fly fishing, paddle boarding, road cycling, zip lining or a thrilling ride on the Alpine slide. n Shopping in the Historic District, where many buildings date from the 19th century when Park City was a major silver mining town. n Many hotels have classy spas for indulgent relaxation or start the day with a morning yoga session in the glorious mountain sunshine. n

Clockwise: Deer Valley, Pool at Stein Residences, Kris Fuzz Feddersen ski with a champion programme, Snow shoe with William Robert ‘Bob’ Pazden,



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Whiteout in Park City Houses. This being western USA, with its wild west layer-cake property investment model, the real estate quick-marches up the mountain like a million dollar a step glossy brochure reinterpretation of the grand old duke of York. “Real estate run,” Fuzz tells us. “That’s what I call it. “


he ski chairlift passes over the main street in Park City, merging town and mountain in a unique fashion. Without the chairlift reminder, Park City would be a culinary capital. We trailed from restaurant to bar to restaurant in the cause of research, the boommusic boisterous to the open-kitchen voyeuristic and a bookshop or coffee shop where everyone was reading real paper and not just screens. The High West distillery is star hospitality spot among the hundreds in town. The Maitre’d doubled with a well rehearsed comic turn: “While you are waiting for entertainment, Floyd here is going to juggle, he doesn’t know how to juggle but he will learn.” This, apparently, is

the only ski-in distillery in the world. They served something called Dead Man’s Boots, with Double eye Whiskey with spice, tequila, fresh lime juice and ginger beer. I remember the ginger beer. At Fireside dining, Charles, the waiter offered “cheese, stew, leg and fondue.” The smell of woodfire and the smell and crackle sounds of food being prepared filled the air, mountain dining at its best. “Between a racklette and a hard place,” pondered one of our party.


ccasionally you find an oddity in the odyssey: a door in the side of the mountain, like the seven dwarfs were due to heigh-ho home from work when we were not looking. They do a mine head ski tour, invoking the days of the Silver King Coalition Mine which helped Thomas Kearns, second generation Corkman, to rise from penniless pilgrim to the state’s richest man. The 1960s skiers were brought into the mountain on a mine cart for

three and a half miles and 1800 feet up a miner’s elevator. To this day everything on the southern side of the mountain is named for mining terms. For the pre-ski history, check out the Park City Museum at 528 Main Street in the heart of Park City’s historic Old Town district.


he snow fluffed the outdoors each night. “A little gift each night for the skiers,’ was how Victoria Ritzinger described it. “U mountain was left as a parting gift by the native Americans, the Mormons came and took the F away.” The Mormon presence is less prevalent in park City, a boozy mining town, than elsewhere in the state. Wasatch brewery offering include polygamy stout and five wives vodka. Billy Bob brought us snow showing through the hills. He warned us they had closed one of the trails because of an aggressive moose. “They are large and in charge.” “Anyone who wants to go to the toilet should use the facilitrees.”

n Eoghan Corry travelled with delta via JFK to Park City and strayed as a guest of Park City tourism.

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Booking Terms & Conditions: Fully licensed and bonded by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (T.O. No: 163). Travel Department T&Cs apply for all bookings. Per person prices are based on two sharing. Single room supplements apply. For full T&Cs, visit our website or call us. Prices, taxes, flight times and availability all subject to change. Offer Terms & Conditions: Available for new bookings made at the Holiday World show or by phone/online using promo codes listed above. Offer is available from 24th January until 2nd February 2020 only. Offer is non-transferable, has no cash value and is limited availability. Offers applies to one holiday per party and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. E&OE.




elt. A skiing word. Welts on your shins where your boots were too tight. Welts on your shoulder. where you fell on that scary red, late in the evening, when the soft powder turned to sheet ice. Welts on your hand joints from carrying the skis too long when you took a wrong turning into the dead end and had to Sherpa up a steep slope. When those welts are not enough, head to Austria. The ski welt is the country’s most extensive snow area. Why do so many of us bypass the sportwelt en route there? Mainly because we have heard so little about the cluster of towns and resorts that constitute Sportwelt, Alpendorf, Eben, Flachauwinkl, Goldegg, Radstadt, Radstadt – Altenmarkt, Schwarzach im Pongau, St Johann im Pongau, St Veit im Pongau and Zauchensee, as unknown to the Irish market as if they were in Argentina. Astonishingly, they are just one hour from Salzburg airport, with its services from five airlines, three from Dublin and one each from two Belfast airports. The burning question after such high grade skiing is, how does a resort not have the same visibility as the better known resorts around it?

Amadé’s sporty Alps

Eoghan Corry visits the sporty ski region of Salzburg


Look down to Flachau, Salzburgerland, here are 35,000 the valley are St Johann guest beds in with its 11,000 inhabitthe valley in all, ants and 4,000 tourist seven access points to beds and Flachau, with the mountain with its in- its 2,800 inhabitants and tegrated 750km of slopes 10,000 beds. Flachau has on the ski pass (250km of a variety of intermediate slopes in Flachau region), and more challenging ofand six competing ski ferings, with lively apres schools offering a variety in bars such as Dampfkesof prices and options. sel, which has its own The beating hearts of booming base-boom an-

them. We went to dinner to the deliciously named woodworm restaurant, Holzwurm. Bernhard Klieber brought us to the little

folk Museum In Atlmarkt, a converted barn which is used to host people taking refuge from the Advent market nearby.

The place gives a glimpse into mountain life, when skies were a commodity and used for transportation.

n Eoghan Corry flew to Flachau via Munich with Aer Lingus. n He was hosted by Flachau Tourism at the Hotel Waidmannsheil n Ski Amadé region consists of 25 villages. Price of 6 day pass €266, Children half price. Prices come down at the beginning of March. n

Clockwise: Burgstallhütte ski hut in Zauchensee, Aileen Eglington of AE Consulting and Gerhard Wolfsteiner of Salzburger Sportwelt in Hotel Waidmannsheil, night over Flachau, Zauchensee view and Herzerlalm restaurant




lachauwinkl is a self contained area with the bars and ski rentals circling a snow ground where the pistes converge and from where the lifts depart. It could, for all the world, be a market town in Tipperary or the beginners gathering point in Westendorf. It is a safe place for parents at war with shrug shouldered teenagers and precocious princesses. The family slopes of Flachauwinkl have all the family slope accoutrement, over sized squirrels and rabbits gleaming in the sunshine and reflected white glare. The show park is the pride of the resort, introduced by the owner in 1999 at the behest of his 15 year old son, Josef “Seppi” Harml. It was the first true recreational snow park in Austria, not designed for a specific snow event and dismantled afterwards. Now Seppi runs the resort. He recalls how he and his father hand welded the rails and installed what has evolved

Peter Oberreiter of Flachau Tourism points the way to Flachau, Salzburgerland,

into 100 features. Even if you cannot manage the jumps, it is worthwhile taking a run through the park and stand and watch the ad-

renaliners at play. Maybe in another life, one of the group commented. Which welt would you prefer? I know mine.

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AFLOAT IRISH Continental Group issued a trading update which covers carryings for the year to date reporting revenue up 8.2pc to €308.8m for Jan-Oct with increases across all of the Group’s revenue streams, many from the improved schedule integrity following the prior year disruptions. Group fuel costs are marginally higher and €25m invested in expanding and improving its fleet. These fleet investments included the acquisition of a fifth container vessel, a deposit on a further container vessel and initial investment in exhaust scrubber systems in preparation for new fuel regulations. IRISH Continental Group has agreed an extension to the port operating concession agreement at Belfast Port to 2026 where significant investment is being undertaken by the port owner Belfast Harbour Commissioners. CELEBRITY Cruises is expanding

its partnership with OneSpaWorld (formerly Steiner), which until now has only operated the spa onboard Celebrity Edge. Starting in May 2020, Nine Millennium- and Solstice-class ships will be transitioned from Canyon Ranch to OneSpaWorld, with onboard spas rebranded as The Spa. Spa menus will include more than 124 treatments, including signature offerings, such as the Hot Mineral Body Boost, Poultice-Powered Muscle Release, Restorative Salt Stone Massage, Zero Gravity Massages and Thousand Flower Detox Wrap.

UNIWORLD Boutique River Cruise

Collection is expanding to Amazon River sailings in Peru in September 2020 on a chartered ship, 32-passenger Aria Amazon. Two cruise tours will be offered: a 15-day tour that begins in Lima and ends in Peru’s Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, with a seven-night cruise on the Amazon in between; and an 11-day trip that starts in Lima before the cruise. The cruise portion of both trips is roundtrip from Iquitos.

SCENIC’s Scenic Eclipse; Ritz-Carlton’s Evrima; and Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen have all been delayed due to ishipyard issues.

SEADREAM Yacht Club has outright cancelled an order for its planned expedition vessel, SeaDream Innovation

HOLLAND America’s refurbished Noordam Cruise Ship is to get a new music venue and upgraded suites.

ROYAL Caribbean plans to construct a

new $100 million cruise terminal at the port of Galveston, which will host Allure of the Seas in November 2021.

CARNIVAL Panorama, the 4,008-passenger third of Carnival Cruise Line’s Vistaclass of ships, has arrived to homeport Long Beach, the first new Carnival cruise ship in 20 years to homeport on the West Coast.

CELEBRITY Cruises will have 15 departures s from Southampton in 2021, offering seven to 14-night itineraries ranging from the Norwegian Fjords to Iceland and Ireland. CARNIVALCruise Line unveiled a Heroes Tribute Bar, during the inaugural celebrations for Carnival Panorama.

Estrid under sail

Estrid arrives

New Stena ferry may offer extra Holyhead rotation


hen Stena Estrid, replaces Superfast X on Dublin Holyhead route in January, it may get a fifth rotation. Currently there are four rotations on the route, which takes 3 hours 15 minutes with a two hour turnaround for the ship.

The new craft brings 50pc extra freight capacity, an enhanced passenger experience and considerable fuel savings. Diane Pool says that fuel consideration will determine whether the extra rotation is added, as the journey team needs to be shortened and pos-

sibly turnaround time. Turnaround times will likely be affected by the proposed Brexit of October 2019. Stena are avoiding giving an exact launch date for the ferry on the route but Superfast X will remain on the route until it is ready.



elebrityCruise Line has raised the mandatory daily gratuity by $1 to $15.50. The new charge will be $16 (up from $15) for Concierge Class and AquaClass rooms; and $19 (up from $18) for passengers staying in suites. Those who choose to pay their gratuities onboard, regardless of when the cruise was booked, will


be subject to the new rates on all sailings departing on or after January 6, 2020. Celebrity last raised its gratuity, also by $1, in January 2018. The per person daily amount is added automatically to passengers’ bills if not prepaid. They carry different names on cruise lines which employ them, “automatic gratuities,” “daily service fee.,”

or a “daily service charge.” Guests three years and older will pay the service charge. the per person charge means couples pay twice. When one cruise line raises their daily gratuity, all the others seem to do the same. Princess raised their gratuity charge last summer to $14.50 per person per day. Holland America Line

raised gratuities also to $14.50 fand $16 for suite guests. Carnival raised gratuities to $13.99 per person per day. Celebrity recently dropped an unpopular $14 daily charge it added to its “complimentary” beverage package. Norwegian Cruise Line raised the mandatory fee for all room service orders to $9.95 up $2.


rincess Cruises is to increase deploy seven ships in Europe in 2021 although the line will no longer home port in Dublin. Newest ships Sky Princess, Enchanted Princess and Discovery Princess will be joined by Grand Princess, Island Princess and Crown Princess out

of Southampton and the 670-passenger Pacific Princess. Six of the ships are Ocean Medallion-activated. the 3,080-passenger Crown Princess will offer 14 Britain and Ireland itineraries from April to October, including overnight calls in ports such as Dublin and Edinburgh. With the exception of

Pacific Princess, all European-based ships will offer Ocean Medallion technology -- a free, wearable chip-sized disc that serves as an access point to information about passengers, their “digital identity”. This allows passengers to customise your onboard experience. It also allows passengers to unlock their

cabin door and pay for purchases, such as in the shop or at the spa. The Medallion works in conjunction with a series of mobile phone apps, with each app offering a different function, such as checking in at embarkation, ordering food and drinks, playing games and navigating the ship.



VIKING River Cruises is to deploy four identical 84-cabin, 168-passenger ships on the Seine, Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and Viking Skaga. The ships will all debut in 2020 and begin sailing the popular seven-night “Paris and the Heart of Normandy” itinerary in 2021. It follows years of busing passengers to Paris because its longships were too large to dock there. P&O Cruises announced electronic band

Clean Bandit, four-time MOBO winning DJ Trevor Nelson, radio presenters Jo Whiley and Sara Cox and Blur’s Alex James will perform during “Ionafest”, the music and entertainment festival at sea which will mark the naming of its new 5,200-passenger flagship Iona.

HURTIGRUTEN’s newest hy-

brid-electric ship, Fridtjof Nansen, has completed sea trials ahead of schedule, allowing it to sail five pre-inaugural cruises around Britain and Ireland and Scandinavia in March 2020,

CORAL Expeditions launched a new

Cruise ship in Dublin

The lost decade

Ireland cruise figures back to pre-recession levels


he Cruise Lines International Association calculated that 48,300 cruises were taken by Irish passengers in 2018, up 8.3pc for the second successive year. The figures show that cruise from Ireland has only now recovered to pre recession levels, although industry figures from the pre-CLIA days were not officially collated and are

IRISH AFLOAT 2011 41,780 -3.2pc 2012 40,114 -3.9pc 2013 35,440 -11.6pc 2014 31,523 -11pc 2015 35,972 +14.1pc 2016 41,200 +14.5pc 2017 44,600 +8.3pc 2018 48,300 +8.3pc

disputed by cruise lines. The average age remained consistent at 48 years, slightly below the average age for Europe cruise passengers. Andy Harmer of CLIA said figures showed that Irish passengers aged between zero and 39 years were the highest ever recorded last year. With cruise lines continuing to expand their offerings both onboard and ashore, ensuring that there is something to suit every age and taste, Caribbean (43 years) and Mediterranean (47 years) attracted the youngest age demographic, “likely due to being popular destinations for families,” according to Andy Harmer

of CLIA. The Mediterranean make up 45pc of cruises sold (Western Med 37pc, Eastern Med 8pc), followed by Caribbean (24pc) and Northern Europe (10pc). Harmer says “As more cruise lines homeport ships in Dublin – this year Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises both have ships sailing round trip from the city cruise around Europe has never been easier. “Ireland relies a lot on airlift to reach tis cruise embarkation points,” Andy

Harmer says. “It is amazing that the Irish average age is so much younger than Britain. It is a very different market and relies on word of mouth to spread the cruise news.” Andy Harmer of the Cruise Line Industry Association says one of the things we have had in Ireland as you grow the number of people who take a cruise, they tell their friends and family. They automatically tell people that cruises are amazing.


Western Med Caribbean N Europe Eastern Med

2016 2017 2018 17,000 19,000 18,000 10,000 10,000 12,000 3,000 3,000 5,000 5,000 4,000 4,000



oyal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas, to launch in November 2020, will feature VR playground, a twoLevel pool deck, and new restaurants. It will feature experiences already available

across the fleet, including the FlowRider, RipCord by iFly, SkyPad bungee trampoline experience and dining venues such as Giovanni’s Kitchen and Chop’s Grille. SeaPlex, Royal Caribbean’s signature indoor activity space,

will be reimagined and extended and used for the glow-in-the-dark Clash for the Crystal City laser tag experience, found on many of the line’s other ships. Culinary additions include Teppanyaki, a hibachi-style Japanese eatery,

programme of Great Barrier Reef cruises that will visit different regions and islands as well as Australia’s most famous rainforest.

STAR CLIPPER may not take possession of completed ship, Flying Clipper. NATGEONational Geographic Endur-

ance, the line’s first-ever cruise ship designed specifically for polar cruising, floated out at the Ulstein Verft shipyard in Norway.

MSC Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, a private island in the Bimini island chain of The Bahamas, opened to cruise passengers with a call from MSC Divina. Located just 65 miles from Miami, Ocean Cay offers cruisers longer stays ashore, including nighttime lightshows and Bahamian Junkanoo parades. AIDA Ocean Voyages’ first cruise ship,

World Navigator, will feature an array of cabins that range in size from 183 to 466 square feet, including 10 one-bedroom suites.

SEABOURN laid the keel for Seabourn Venture in San Giorgio di Nogaro, Italy.

SAGA Cruises says the Beatles will be the theme for the inaugural voyage of its first purpose-built river ship, Spirit of the Rhine.

PRINCESS Jill Whelan of “Love Boat” presided over the naming ceremony for Princess Cruises’ fourth Royal Class ship, Sky Princess, in Fort Lauderdale. CARNIVAL Cruise Line is to open poolside Guy’s Burger Joint for breakfast on Carnival Sunrise.

SEADREAM Yacht Club cancelled its order for new ship SeaDream Innovation El Loco Fresh and Play- after consultation with its shipbuilding partner, makers, will be some of the Damen. line’s most popular dining Cruises is to roll out venues including Izumi, SILVERSEA new shows and entertainment on all its ships. Chop’s Grille, Wonderland and Giovanni’s Italian MSC floated out of new MSC Virtuosa at Kitchen & Wine Bar. the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in SaintNazaire, France.


THE FLYING COLUMN STANSTED Airport has put its new

£150m arrivals terminal on hold while it reviews the plans. Economic and political uncertainty, fresh demands from airlines, and delays in approval for further expansion are behind the rethink. The airport said uncertainty over what border controls would be required after Brexit and wider economic doubts had also influenced the review. The terminal was due to open in 2020, as part of an ongoing £600m plan to create capacity and improve facilities.

WIZZ Air Holdings Hungary has reached agreement in principle for the establishment of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi UAE in partnership with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company. JV airline will be launch in 2020, focusing on existing markets and later India, Middle East and Africa. Fleet will consist of 50 A321neos.

RYANAIR Group reported 11.0m sold seats in Nov19, up 6pc on Nov18 with the Ryanair brand reporting 10.5m, up 4pc and Lauda reporting 0.5m up 67pc. Seat factors were 96pc for Ryanair and 95pc for Lauda

ABU DHABI Catalyst Partners is investing US$100m in a aleasing company with Sirius Aviation Capital (UK), which will focus on mid-life, single-aisle aircraft. Sirius Aircraft Investments will be based in Abu Dhabi. It was founded by former Ryanair CFO Howard Millar. Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners was founded this year with a $1bn fund. It is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi sovereign Mubadala Investment Company and New Yorkbased Falcon Edge Capital. US

FAA issued a statement alerting airlines and international aviation regulators that certain wing parts on more than 300 B737s may have been improperly manufactured and must be replaced within 10 days.

CREWLINK Ryanair cabin crew agency Crewlink profits fell sharply despite turnover rising 14pc to €98.2m and employing almost 4,100 people in 2018, topping the 3,338 permanent staff working at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin. BERLIN Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB), via its official Twitter account, announced that the much delayed Berlin Brandenburg Airport will officially open on October 31 2020. FBB chairman and CEO Engelbert Lütke Daldrup stated final services from Berlin Tegel Airport will subsequently close on November 8 2020.

IRELAND’s Air Corps is set to receive

two new C295 aircraft, to be manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space at their production facility in Seville, Spain, and to replace two CASA 235 Maritime Patrol aircraft, which have been in service since 1994. Defence Minister Paul Kehoe signed off on a €221.6m contract, including equipment fit-out and ancillary support, including VAT, for delivery in 2023

RYANAIR will maintain its base at Girona after reaching an agreement with employees. Bases in Tenerife South, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Lanzarote will still close on January 8 2020.

San Francisco airport; now two services from Dublin

United fly San Fran Surprise new route will compete with Aer Lingus


nited are to serve San Francisco daily from June 6, 2020 using a B787-8 Dreamliner. The new daily 5,000 mile 10 hours 30 minute service will depart Dublin at 11.50 arriving in San Francisco at 14.20. The return flight will depart San Francisco at 15.55 and arrive in Dublin Airport at 9.45 following day. United will compete with Aer Lingus on the route, which is popular

with the tech sector. The service offers 219 seats, 36 in Polaris class, 70 in economy plus and 113 ion economy. Aer Lingus EI147@EI147 uses an A330-300 in 30 -287 (occasionally 23-243) configuration. The times are close with one user complaining that neither service will allow a full day of work in the bay area in either direction.

United Airlines also operates services to Chicago, Newark, and Dulles Washington DC. from Dublin. During that time Dublin Airport handled 1.4m additional passengers. Dublin Airport has flights to 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by 50 airlines. United operates 300 flights each day from the bay area to 100 cities.



ublin Airport is seeking offers from potential providers of a remote bag drop service for passengers at Dublin Airport as an enhancement of its existing customer services. The system is already in operation in other cities —


the company AirPortr has been operating a luggage pick-up service that began in London in 2016. In that case, a company representative comes to the person’s hotel or home with a handheld scale and asks to see the passenger’s travel details before taking their

luggage away. Passengers pay about €33 for the service. Daa said it believed the provider of the remote dropoff service might operate a number of ‘hubs’ in the greater Dublin region. Daa hopes a trial by a delivery company or cour-

ier service can be carried out over the spring and summer of 2020. The bag-drop service, which has a working name of Offload, is a new development from Dublin Airport’s Future Factory innovation hub.


uneyao Air (China) is to launch a twiceweekly service between Dublin and Shanghai via Helsinki on March 29. The service to Shanghai Pudong Airport will also have onward connections to 40 other Chinese destinations, 6 cities in Japan and 10 other Asia-Pacific destinations. Tourism Ireland estimates that about 100,000

Chinese visitors came to Ireland last year, which was an 11pc increase compared to 2017. Juneyao has full fifth freedom traffic rights for the new route, meaning that it can also sell tickets for travel between Dublin and Helsinki. Flights will depart Dublin at 10.00 arriving in Shanghai at 06.30 the next day. The return flight departs Shanghai at

0.55 arriving in Dublin at 08.45. Juneyao will operate the new route with a B787-9 aircraft in a two-class configuration with 324 seats – 29 in Business Class and 295 seats in Economy. Juneyao’s B787 features comfortable ergonomic seating, enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screens and wireless inter-

net access throughout. All business class seats have direct access to the aisle and can be fully reclined into a flat-bed position. The seats in economy class are designed to provide a comfortable personal space with a state-of-the-art individual on-demand entertainment system.


THE FLYING COLUMN RYANAIR is offering one-stop services from Dublin to Brindisi and Lamezia Terme in Southern Italy through its Milan Bergamo base, connection times three hours plus, the first time Ryanair has offered one-stop services from Dublin in a break from its point to point business model. Aer Lingus is to launch a new route to Brindisi in May. GALWAY County councillors voted to grant a licence to Galway Flying Club to use the Airport site over the next year. While the flying club has secured the leasehold for the airstrip for 2020, they have been advised to search for an alternative location going forward due to future plans to develop the site.

Lauda will be launching some of the new Ryanair-owned routes in 2020

Fewer new routes


Irish airports get 28 routes in 2020 vs 35 in 2019

rish airports will have fewer planned new routes in 2020 than last year. To date 28 routes are planned, eight from two Belfast airports, four from Cork, 12 from Dublin, one from Cork and three form Shannon. This compares with 35 new routes in 2019 and follows a year of route losses, nine from Belfast alone when Thomas Cook failed in September. Ryanair seats approved at the slots conference are up 9pc, Aer Lingus unchanged, and others down 14pc. The airlines affected are mainly Norwegian, Etihad, Flybe, Ethiopian, Hainan, WOW, TUI and Lufthansa. The slot coordinator for Dublin Airport, ACL International, awarded 90pc of slots sought without change for summer 2020 with another 7pc negotiated after some changes. For the peak week, Aer Lingus is shown with 1,970 movements, up 58 on 2019 (58 = 4 daily round trips approx ) and 324,114 seats, up 13,329; Ryanair with 1,914 movements, up 117, and 361,746 seats, up 22,491. Relative to summer 2019, Aer Lingus is shown adding routes to Alghero, Bournemouth, Heraklion, Ibiza, Krakow, Minorca and Poznan, adding services on 12 other routes and decreasing 2. Ryanair is adding Billund, Marseille, Palanga, Podgorica, Toulouse and Verona, increasing services on 16 other routes and ending Stuttgart. New carriers getting peak week

slots are Air Dolomiti (3 round trips in peak week, charters to Milan, Bologna and Verona), EgyptAir (Cairo 4w, not yet confirmed), El Al (Tel Aviv 3w), Juneyao (Shanghai via Helsinki, 2w), LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw 7w, likely dependant on B737 MAX deliveries). Carriers not seeking slots in 2020 include Air Arabia Maroc, Arkia, ASL Airlines, Great Dane and Stobart Air. Air France are adding a daily morning Paris CDG service, BA CityFlyer, Faro, Reus and London City, total 7w, BA no change, Cathay Pacific showing Hong Kong, 4w,

Emirates unchanged 14w, Ethiopian unchanged commercial stops 4w , Etihad 7w (down 4w), DHL/European Air Transport, 13w down to 6w (no longer linking Dublin and Shannon?), Finnair + 1w, total 11, Flybe +3w, total 52w, Hainan still showing 4w (so Beijing might return), Lauda + 5w on Vienna, total 12w, Lufthansa + 7pw (on Frankfurt, total 8 daily services between Frankfurt and Munich), Norwegian, total 24.5w, (no transatlantic), Qatar 11w unchanged, SAS +4w, total 24w, United +7w (unconfirmed destination), total 28w, WestJet +8w (Toronto, not yet confirmed).

NEW ROUTES 2020 Brindisi 2w, Aer Lingus, May 23 BELFAST INTERNL Helsinki-Shanghai. Juneyao, Mar 29 Corfu, Jet2, July 1 Dalaman, Easyjet, Mar 31 Dalaman TUI May 18 Girona Ryanair Izmir Jet2 May 26 Kos TUI May 16 Sofia, Jet2, began Dec 28,

BELFAST CITY Southend, Flybe, Mar 29


Amsterdam, KLM, Mar 30 Katowice 2w, Ryanair Lanzarote, TUI, May 24 Zadar 6w Ryanair, May 3


Alghero 2w, Aer Lingus, May 24

Marseilles 5w, Ryanair. Apr 1 Menorca, 2w, Ryanair June 2 Palanga 3w, Ryanair, Mar 31 Podgorica 2w, Ryanair, Aor 2 Rhodes 2w, Aer Lingus, May 23 San Fran, daily, United, June 6 Tel Aviv daily, El Al, May 26 Verona 3w, Ryanair, Apr 2 Warsaw Modlin 9w, Ryanair,


Palma, Lauda, Mar 31


Barcelona, 2w Aer Lingus, May 2 ParisCDG, 2w Aer Lingus, Mar 29 Vienna, Malta, April 1



here were 20 fatal airliner accidents in 2019, resulting in 283 fatalities, the the Aviation Safety Network says.

This makes 2019 the seventh safest year ever by the number of fatal accidents and the third safest in terms of fatalities.

The safest year in aviation history was 2017 with 10 accidents and 44 lives lost. Thirteen accidents in-

volved passenger flights, six were cargo flights. One out of 20 accident airplanes was operated by an airline on the EU “black list”,

RYANAIR 16 of Ryanair’s weekly Dublin-Poland services in summer will be operated by Ryanair Sun, rebranded as Buzz. QATAR Airways is increasing services

Doha to Dublin from 11w to double daily during July to October 2020.

COBH The inaugural Cóbh Air Spec-

tacular has been postponed until August 21 to facilitate a larger event.

RYANAIR’s Cologne-Knock service in summer 2020 will be operated by Malta Air as will Lauda’s Vienna-Shannon. BOEING named current Chairman,

David L Calhoun, as CEO and President, effective January 13. Calhoun, an accountant, is the global head of private equity portfolio operations at Blackstone and concurrently is the executive chairman of Nielsen

RYANAIR has moved aircraft out the Irish Register to Malta Air (about 47) and Ryanair Sun/Buzz (Poland) (about 32). Lauda has about 23 A320s, which did not come from within Ryanair. That leaves about 370 aircraft with Irish AOC Ryanair DAC. There is also a trickle of disposals through lease returns, some of which are going for freighter conversion. ARI Aer Rianta International, which oper-

ates in 12 markets and employs 3,000, pre-tax profits at the company more than halved to €16.57m in 2018. Income from subsidiaries and joint ventures decreased 41pc to €17.29m. Revenue increased by 4pc to €246.6m.

RED C Research secured a three-year

contract delivering consumer insight to DAA, following a public tender. Jan Richards, head of insights at DAAt, said Red C showed a robust methodology and understanding of business context and its experience across tourism.

LUFTHANSA Technik is planning a new operation in Celbridge for minor aircraft engine repair which could create 150 jobs.

TEAM BGF. a State-backed venture capital firm, invested €5m to take a “significant minority stake” in aerospace and industrial engineering company Team Accessories at Ballyboughal near Dublin Airport, Team provides overhaul, testing and repair services for the aerospace and industrial sectors. Primary focus is the overhaul of critical, high value accessories for jet engines


THE FLYING COLUMN US Department of Transport issued a request for additional information on the application by American Airlines, British Airways, OpenSkies SAS, Finnair and Iberia and Aer Lingus for Approval of and Antitrust Immunity for Alliance Agreements between Aer Lingus and the others covering pro rate rules, mutual inventory access plans by fare type, slot arrangements at Heathrow, potential non-stop operations not from Ireland by Aer Lingus and not from Finland, Scandinavia and Baltic States by Finnair and how these would be negotiated, implications of Brexit, how LEVEL and Vueling are and might be involved, alliance agreements Aer Lingus-Royal Jordanian, frequent flyer plans, and ten year fleet forecasts individually for the airlines, LEVEL and Vueling, and much else, plus what the airlines will do if the application is not approved. CINCINNATI Irish Ambassador Dan

Mulhall visited the Cincinnati Airport CEO to discuss getting a direct Aer Lingus flight from Cincinnati to Dublin. The airport once had five transatlantic routes and is now down to one, Paris CDG with Delta.

CORK airport switched to 100pc green

electricity from Electric Ireland. as part of a deal to supply 8m kWh a year to the airport,

JAMES FITZ The image of Irish aviator James Fitzmaurice has been added to the fin of a B787 for Norwegian Air Sweden

SMBC Aviation Capital (Ireland) has

closed a US$1 bn loan facility with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The facility has a 10 year term and will be used to finance a proportion of SMBC’s order book in the coming years.

RYANAIR is to cancel its weekly Belfast International-Alicante from end March. AER LINGUS network passengers were down 1.3pc in November.

RYANAIR announced a new Dublin-Mahon/Menorca route, 2w from June 2.

IAA The Irish Aviation Authority won the

Global Air Traffic Management Award for Service Provision 2019 for the Aireon ALERT service facility in Ballygirreen.

TIM CLARK is stepping down in June as Emirates president after 35 years. Clark, who has a house in Lismore in Waterford, will remain an advisor to Emirates to ensure smooth transition

BOEING is being sued by Timaero Ireland seeking to cancel its order for 22 B737 MAX jets that it alleges is worthless because of the plane’s troubles

CORK passenger numbers are expected to increase by more than 8pc this year.

TAP Air Portugal has selected Dublin-based OpenJaw Technologies’ t-Retail Platform to provide NDC capabilities.

AIRBUS obtained EASA approval to

raise the maximum passenger number on the A350-1000 from 440 to 480.

Dublin decline

First drop in passenger numbers since March 2014


he aviation lift from Ireland has declined for winter by 4pc, the first decline since

2014. Capacity is not finalised for summer 2020 but is likely to be flat. Dublin Airport handled 2.2m passengers in November, a 1pc decrease and the first drop in monthly passen-

ger numbers since March 2014. Daa says the decline in passenger numbers is due to airlines withdrawing services or reducing capacity on their existing route network to and from Dublin during the winter. n Britain down 2pc to 833,000 n Europe up 2pc to 1.1m n Transatlantic down 4pc to

263,000, n Other international down 11pc to 65,000, n domestic routes down 25pc to 7,300. n Connections were up 5pc in JanNov to 1.8m passengers (900,000 connections).



AA needs to have a “major focus” on challenging the local Irish market to deliver more competitive tenders for fit-out projects, This is according to a report by economic consultancy Steer for the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

It said Dublin Airport has pointed out that the Dublin construction market is overheating. The consultancy said that DAA should give “serious consideration” to looking further afield for suppliers to deliver fit-out works. DAA has rejected Steer’s comments, argu-

ing the consultancy has put forward a “theoretical” view that “misunderstands the market for fit-out works and the way in which DAA procures such works”. Firms have been invited to tender for about €1.3bn of capital projects at Dublin Airport

Dalton Phillips



ourism minister Shane Ross announced the payment of €3.7m in grant aid towards the operating costs of regional airports. Under the Government

funded Regional Airports Programme grants were made to Donegal, €688,922, Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK), €1,736,515, and Kerry, €1,277,546,.

The announcement is in addition to €10.4m in Capital grants already allocated to the three airports. The Minister said a successor Regional Airports Programme (2020 - 2024)

is being finalised. Funding of €11.8m will be available for regional airports in 2020 ensuring a dependable level of operational support can continue to be provided.



yanair group carried 152.4m passengers in 2019, up 9pc to become the largest airline in Europe.

Load factor was 96pc for the year. December traffic grew by 9pc, driven by a 67pc increase in Lauda, 200,000 from a small base.

The figure puts Ryanair ahead of the Lufthansa Group as largest in Europe for the first time. December growth is

traditionally very high for Ryanair, 25pc in 2015, 20pc in 2014 and 2016, and 12pc in 2018, so 9pc is below average..


THE FLYING COLUMN ALITALIA Italy’s government ap-

proved a US$400m bridge loan to Alitalia to carry the airline through May 2020 as it searches for a plan to save the company. Atlantia, controlled by the Benetton family, is still interested in supporting the relaunch, and not the rescue, of ailing carrier Alitalia, Italian state-owner rail group Ferrovie and Atlantia discussed a joint investment in Alitalia for months with US carrier Delta and with Germany’s Lufthansa but the plan ran into trouble when Ferrovie said conditions were not in place to set up the consortium.

AVOLON has converted 14 A321neo orders to orders for the A320neo.

AIR CORPS Seven members of the 35th Regular Air Corps Cadet Class were newly commissioned

The new Aer Lingus A321LR which opens new trans-Atlantic possibilities

Famous five

No trans Atlantic expansion for Aer Lingus in 2020


er Lingus carried a record 2.5m passengers on trans-Atlantic services in 2019, and plans to increase capacity. The new Montreal service has been delayed to 2021, and there will be no new trans-Atlantic routes in 2020. Orlando, Florida will move from a four flights per week service to six flights per week, the Miami service

will increase from two to three flights per week and the Dublin to Seattle route will move to a daily service in summer 2020, increasing from five flights per week. Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Minneapolis St Paul will be serviced by the larger Airbus A330 aircraft and the full Boeing 757 fleet will be replaced by four new Airbus

A321 neo LR. Aer Lingus now flies to 14 North American destinations. Aer Lingus will add 300,000 extra summer seats to Europe on five new European routes for 2020 with flights direct from Dublin to Italian cities Brindisi (Puglia), Alghero (Sardinia) and Rhodes (Greece), from Shannon Airport to Paris and Barcelona and from Cork to Nice and Dubrovnik.


on jet fuel would add 12pcto tickets, while ending the VAT exemption could bring the overall increase to 30pc. Europe would scrap existing national taxes on air fares should it introduce VAT, said Mr McCarthy. The State will “engage constructively”

in negotiations surrounding an aviation fuel tax or the application of VAT on airline tickets, the Department of Finance said, while Ryanair said further taxation would prove to be “very damaging for Ireland”. Colm McCarthy



AA has formally asked Transport Minister Shane Ross to appoint an appeal panel to consider its appeal against the CAR Determination reducing maximum future charge per passenger at Dublin Airport below what daa had sought.

The Minister can accept or decline the request to establish the panel. If one is appointed, it will accept written and oral submissions, before making findings that are submitted to CAR. The Commission can decide to accept or reject the outcome of the panel, however.

week slot pairs at Heathrow for summer 2020 but wound-up with its existing 163. Norwegian got three slot pairs per week.

EPP The European People’s Party has called for an end to the tax exemption for aviation fuel in a bid to curb emissions STOBART Air now part of Connect

Airways, a consortium between Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Aviation and Cyrus Capital Partners, recorded a €3.8m profit. The Santry based company employs 600 people, including 400 crew members. Income included €7.1m in supports received for the operation of PSO routes from Dublin to Donegal and to Kerry. The PSO contracts run until 2022, having been awarded in 2018.

CORK Airport has been honoured with

the Best B2C Campaign at the 2019 Spider Awards for its most recent drive to increase brand awareness and maximise bookings through its digital marketing campaign Love Taking Off. The campaign focused on a selection of the over 50 routes on offer from Cork Airport across the UK and continental Europe along with an emphasis on the key European hub airports that connect its passengers to further destinations around the globe.


conomist Colm McCarthy noted that Brussels also wanted to end a VAT exemption for airline tickets. Speaking at the University of Limerick tourism policy workshop at Dromoland Castle in Co Clare, he said that the proposed carbon tax

AER LINGUS sought two extra peak

Daa said today that while the appeal process takes its course, it will continue to reassess its planned capital programme and engage with stakeholders to determine what infrastructure can be delivered within the new capital programme and over what timeframe. “The construction of

the new North Runway, which had its official sod turning last February, will continue throughout next year and a number of other upgrades and improvement projects - that were approved within previous capital programmes will be proceeding,” said a DAA spokesman.

DATALEX made a loss of $33.1m during the first half of last year. The company had originally reported a profit for the period of $2m. Revenue from the company’s platforms increased by 15pc, but revenue from contracts with customers was $22.6m, down 9pc compared to the same period of 2018 due to lower levels of revenue-earning services.

CLOUDCARDS has partnered with CAE Parc Aviation to supply it with aircraft transition and inspection tool, Cards. Cards manages the delivery and redelivery of leased aircrafts as well as inspection and maintenance projects. The cloud-based software platform has been deployed in 300 aircraft transition projects around the globe.

FINNAIR is to add new premium

economy class cabin on services to the US, beginning with A330-300s in Dec20. All refurbishments will be completed by 2022.



is now available for Aer Lingus passengers offering 7,000 publications from around the world. Irish titles include The Irish Times, and Irish and Sunday Independent. With PressReader, passengers can search for and read publications from a device before, during, and after a flight.

SAFETY All airlines certified in Gabon have been released from the updated EU Air Safety List list following improvements to the aviation safety situation in that country..

CSO Aviation Statistics for 2019 Q3 show passengers handled by Irish airports up 4.2pc on 2018 Q3. Highest growth rate was Cork 7.7pc, followed by Dublin 4.5pc, Knock 3.3pc and Kerry 1.8pc with Shannon down 4.4pc. IAA CAR MERGER The Irish

Government is reorganising how the aviation industry is regulated in Ireland, consolidating all aviation regulatory functions within a reconstituted national aviation regulator – the Irish Aviation Authority and establishing a separate, standalone commercial State enterprise to provide air navigation and traffic control services. Applications are sought for the position of Aviation Regulator to head up the new regulatory body.


at Dublin Airport is opening a new Design Ireland store at Terminal 2 features a specially selected collection of work by 24 Irish design and craft brands. The range includes jewellery designers Chupi from Dublin, ENIBAS from Cork and Martina Hamilton from Sligo, and fashion items from Hanna Hats of Donegal, Emblem Weavers in Wexford, and Mourne Textiles in Co Down. Rathbornes Candles, which was established in Dublin in 1488, skincare and wellness products from Modern Botany, which is based in Schull in Cork and textile artist Martina Scott from Louth,

VODAFONE’s 5G network now available as Dublin Airport has become Ireland’s first 5G connected airport.

AER LINGUS passengers were down 1.9pc in November 2019 to 806,000, RPKs were up 2.5pc and passenger load factor was 78.5pc, up 1.8 points. Cargo is down 5pc.

IAG and LATAM Airlines Group decided they will not implement the announced joint business agreement and are terminating the contracts, interline agreements, codeshare agreements, contracts of access to VIP lounges and FFP between the airlines remain valid, without any impact on passengers. RYANAIR announced a base in Zadar

for the 2020 season with 31 routes some beginning as early as April with an estimated 672,000 passengers annually. Ryanair is to base 3 Laudamotion aircraft in Zadar. 11 new routes are Aarhus (2 pw), Bremen (3), Cork (2), Paris Beauvais (2), Gdansk (3), Kaunas (2), Liverpool (2), Maastricht (2), Riga (2), Toulouse (2) & Wroclaw (2).

INVERIN The State has confirmed its purchase of Aerfort na Mine Connemara Airport for €2.75m.

Grounded b737 Max at Dublin airport

Maxless summer

Ryanair cannot take deliveries even if MAX resumes


yanair may not receive any B737 MAX aircraft from Boeing in time for its summer 2020 season due to European delays in testing the grounded jet. “It could potentially be a Maxless summer,” Kenny Jacobs says. “We expect we have five, ompared to the 30 we said previously compared with the 58 we originally expected.” Europe faces specific high-density modifications to these aircraft which will need additional approval.

Because the Ryanair aircraft has further modifications, it will certianly face a further delay. Ryanair has revised its summer 2020 schedule based on receiving just 10 MAX aircraft rather than the 20 as previously planned. 60 planes had originally been scheduled for delivery. As a result, Ryanair cut its expected traffic growth for the year to the end of Mar21 from 157m passengers to 156m. It also said the shortfall in new

MAX planes will necessitate the closure of two more bases - Nuremberg and Stockholm Skavsta - in March. “We regret these two further base closures and minor capacity cuts at other bases which are solely due to further delivery delays to our Boeing MAX aircraft,” Ryanair DAC CEO Eddie Wilson said. It also expects to cut summer capacity in other existing bases, and is currently in discussions with affected emloyees and airports.



antas has opted for the Airbus A350-1000 as its preferred plane to operate ultra-long haul flights Australia to New York and London. It came down to a simple choice between the modified A350 and

Boeing’s 777X. The A350 will be fitted with an extra fuel tank and its maximum take-off weight will be increased. Qantas still has to decide whether to go ahead with ultra-long haul ‘Project Sunrise.

Apart from determining its financial feasibility there are numerous other challenges such as regulatory issues and new contract negotiations for flight crew. A board decision is scheduled for Mar 2020.

Alan Joyce



irlines for Europe CEOs, chaired by Michael O’Leary, laid out pressing priorities for new EU Transport Commissioner Adina-Iona Vălean and the new Commission mandate: n Close collaboration with industry on climate goals; n Incentives and investments for sustainability

investments instead of new taxes on aviation; n Urgent reform of Europe’s outdated air traffic management system and completion of the Single European Sky initiative, which would reduce Europe’s carbon emissions by 10% n Urgent revision of Regulation 261 on Air Pas-

senger Rights. In order to best contribute to the European Commission’s upcoming Green Deal strategy, A4E and other airlines have joined forces with Europe’s airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers in the development of a cross-sector climate initiative. Run as an in-

dependent study, this sustainable aviation roadmap for Europe will identify opportunities for even greater industry decarbonisation, whether through technology, operations, sustainable aviation fuels or price incentives by 2030 and/or by 2050.




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.”


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.


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 ( and Roscoff. n He stayed with Canvas holidays on their campsite at Chateau des Marais, where Canvas Holidays has 30 pitches

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

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


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.


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-

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.


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



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

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


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.

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

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.


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.



Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines Dublin office with onboard chef Ozlem Eif Meydan, Turkish airlines flight TK1978 Dublin to Istanbul,

View form open balcony on business class lounge


IST excitement

hey opened the first four runways of the new Istanbul Airport in January. There are two more runways to come later this year, and they tell us that these will be specifically used for cargo flights. As infrastructure projects go it is an impressive pace of development. And this is just the start. There is no doubt that the centre of world aviation is shifting east. The only question is where the centre of that aviation will land. Turkish airlines have an expansion plan which is designed to make Istanbul the hub of choice for the huge avi-

ation markets between Europe and Asia. Abu Dhabi, Doha and the legacy airports in Europe, London, Paris and Amsterdam cannot offer the joy of Istanbul’s geographic location. Dubai is the biggest of several rivals. Travel Extra stopped by to see the new airport and we were impressed by the scale and the stunningly simple design features. There is, as is the nature of these things, a lot of walking. But the ceilings are high, the terminal Is airy, and the space is used to give passengers a sense that they

are being liberated. The transfer is not complete. C & D checks still take place in Ataturk while A & B checks take place in the new airport. There are two major lounges, one for business class and another for Miles & Smiles customers. Features of the business class lounge include beds and a quiet area and six differentiated food areas, with a golf simulator among several recreational features. Gates are easy to find. Security quick and efficient. The contrast with the poky and sweaty Dublin gates in Ataturk could not be greater.

Business class check in area with couches

The downside is the rail link to the city is not yet complete and the distance is further. The journey, however, is less choked than that to Ataturk and takes just 35 minutes. Connecting passengers do not have to worry about such things. The 2023 target is 120m passengers passing through four terminals. Turkish currently serves 312 destinations in 124 countries, including 60 national capitals. The whisper is Turkish will offer connections to Australia in 2021. And whisper is the ambiance of the new, noiseless, Istanbul.

Gates are easier to find

Long walk through well-lit piers


Airy high ceiling terminal makes a great contrast with Istanbul’s former Ataturk airport

n Turkish Airlines departs 14 times a week from Dublin’s Terminal 1 and beyond 311 + destinations in 124 countries worldwide, the fourth largest network and more international destinations than any other in the world. To support this extensive network, n Turkish Airlines fleet of 336 aircrafts (passenger and cargo). A four star airline, Turkish Airlines prides itself on its level of service quality which has been recognised with numerous Skytrax Passenger Choice Awards. Full service airline with flying

chefs inflight entertainments 337+movies, 414 tv series, 756 albums, 17 games cartoon movies Wifi and Live tv on board. n Round trip Economy Class for Dublin to Istanbul starting from €325 only (including taxes), Return business class starting price for same route starts from €1035 only (in taxes). n Flight 3h 50 min n Baggage allowance in economy class is 23 kg + 8 kg for the hand luggage. İn business class 40 kg + 8 kg x 2 for the hand luggage. 01-5251849,,



Inside the Travel Business

TRISTAR Skerries has ceased trading.

the closure was orderly and no customers were adversely affected.

RISH residents made 612,300 overseas trips in November 2019, an increase of 7.6pc.

AMADEUS Sean O’Kelly, formerly of Sabre, has joined Amadeus BOOKING.COM John McKibben formerly of Stuba has gone to

TRAVELPORT signed a new agreement with TAP Air Portugal in preparation for future NDC connections TRAVEL CENTRESS ap-

pointed ~Lisa Gibbons to take charge fo digital activies. Lisa Gibbons has over 10 years’ exDeirdre Sweeny, Jeanette Taylor and new Sunway CEO Mary Denton at the Travel Centres conference perience in the marketing space. Lisa currently offers her expertise to niche businesses focused on travel, eCommerce and start-ups. Previously she managed the digital marketing for, managed the Canadian market for and developed business and sports tourism for Campus Life Services at the University of Limerick. The tour operator’s traditional base ompleting the integration of caused knock on effects in dealing HISTORY Channel have announced Sunway’s back office sys- with travel agents. in Agadir, however, has been discontheir partnership with the World Federation of Sunway’s US product, on sale this nected by the decision of Air Arabia tem is the priority for new Tourist Guide Association, CEO Mary Denton who took over as month is one area of growth. Club to discontinue its 2w service, without CEO of the company on November Med is also growing. particularly its warning, on November 2. Sunway G Adventures has appointed Tom Bell as director of sales for Ireland and Britain. Tom offers extremely cheap transfers from 1, while Tanya Airey, daughter of ski resorts. will join G Adventures on 21st October 2019, Sunway, which reduced capacity the Ryanair destination, Marrakesh to co-founder Jim Furling, takes a back to drive the adventure travel company’s trade role as the company’s new Executive in 2019, is to continue moving away its Agadir hotel portfolio. sales and engagement and will be supported by Chairman. The tour operator is committed from chartered aircraft to using National Sales Manager, Stu Darnley, who was The system, which integrated scheduled services. “We changed to dealing with the trade. At the repromoted into his role in October 2017. scheduled, charter and low cost because charters did not give us the cent Travel centres conference Mary fares, and moved from separate same flexibility as scheduled servi- engaged with agents outlining the AIR CANADA are upgrading their air long haul and short haul databases, ces,” Mary says. key charter destin- advantages of dealing with a tour reservation system from RESIII to Amadeus has been causing problems since it ations that remain include Turkey, operator, including issues such as Altéa. Air Canada flights will continue to operwas implemented two years ago and Salou and the Lapland product. supplier failure. ate as scheduled and airport services, including online and kiosk check-in remain available.

Sunway’s plans

New CEO Mary Denton to bring Sunway forward


VISA WAIVER has been extended

to Polish passport holders by US immigration authorities. According to the last census there are 122,515, Polish nationals living in Ireland.

STUBA the brand formed from the mer-

ger of getabed and roomsXML are launching a board basis filter to complement filters including hotel chain, star rating, location, price and ‘best for. Agents will now be able to filter hotels according to board basis; breakfast to all-inclusive. Stuba says the ‘best for’ filter is particularly popular with agents as it includes over 20 lifestyle filters including romance, luxury, resort stay, foodies and shopping.

SKAL Nora Cronin and Margaret Cahill met with the Croatian delegation with regard to the twinning of the Skål Clubs of Rijeka and Galway, both celebrating European Capital of Culture in 2020. CSO figures show Trips abroad from Ireland in Ireland were up 11.9pc to 973,600.

HURTIGRUTEN Danny Giles formerly of Hurtigruten, has moved to Silversea NEWBRIDGE TRAVEL Elaine O’Hagan has joined Newbridge Travel



TI Travel has acquired the MAP Travel

brand. MAP Travel was established in 1997 by Marian Benton and Patricia Kenny and specialises in group and escorted tours and pilgrimages. Derek Keogh, Man-

aging Director of GTI Travel, said “I am delighted to have successfully acquired MAP Travel which is a profitable company and a great brand and I look forward to growing the business further in the future”. Patricia Kenny of MAP Travel said ‘we

are pleased to have our business placed in the safe hands of Derek and his team whose sound business model and ethos is compatible with ours’. GTI Travel is Ireland’s leading specialist in tailor-made tours for groups and high-quality escorted tours .

Patricia Kenny and Marian Benton who founded MPA travel in 1997



ccording to the Commission of Aviation regulation, four entities, established outside of the European Union who were previously licenced by the Commission up to the 31st October 2019, no longer

hold an Irish licence. The EU Package Travel Directive only requires Irish established to be licenced by the commission. Three of these entities have put in place arrangements to allow them to continue to trade in Ire-

land. These are: n Expedia Inc: evidence of insolvency protection insurance for sales in Ireland. n Travel Corporation Ireland evidence of insolvency protection insurance for sales in Ireland.

n Bravonext S.A. t/a All Irish sales from 1st November 2019 are being handled by their Spanish established entity Red Universal n Campingvision is now an accommodation only provider.


Inside the Travel Business


various lawyers to sue the Federal Republic of Germany following the Thomas Cook bankruptcy for official liability, have apparently been effective, because the State now wants to compensate those customers who will not receive anything from the insolvency insurance, capped at €110m.

CARTRAWLER announced its

appointment as exclusive online car rental provider to easyJet. The four-year deal means easyJet will now offer customers unrivalled access to the best car rental deals globally.

TRIPADMITan Irish start-looking Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Susana Cardoso Director of Portuguese Tourism in Dublin and John Spollen of Cassidy Travel president of the ITAA announce the venue at the ITAA conference in Cordoba

Portugal calling

Portugal will host ITAA conference on Oct 16 2020


vora in the Alentejo region of Portugal will host the next annual conference of the Irish travel Agents Association on October 16 2020. The announcement was made at the gala dinner concluding the 2019 annual conference in Cordoba. It is the third time that Portugal has hosted the annual conference after the Algarve in 1999 and Oporto in 2017. Ireland sends 350,000 tourists to Portugal, with most travelling to the Algarve and Alentejo considered the least visited region. The conference traditionally hosts 130 delegates split 60/.40 between agents and suppliers.


1999 Alvor 2000 Tralee 2001 Galway 2002 Newcastle 2003 Killarney 2004 Citywest 2005 Citywest 2006 Santry 2008 MSC Poesia 2009 Portlaoise

2010 Malaga 2011 Seville 2012 Istanbul 2013 Granada 2014 Quantum of the Seas 2015 Jerez 2016 MS Antoinette 2017 Oporto 2018 Philadelphia 2019 Cordoba



ravelport is to open an inside sales centre in Dublin. The sales centre will be supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland and will focus on growing Travelport’s small-tomedium-tier customer base across Europe. Initial hiring will

target sales, account management and customer support, with 22 new positions expected to be created in the first year and further recruitment planned over the following two years. Paul Broughton of Travelport, said: “the creation of an inside sales team comes on

the back of four years of strong results and development since we established our digital operations here. Our decision is also due to the availability of highly skilled people.” Recruitment is underway for the new positions www.travelport. com/careers


the November round, The projections for tour operators is €163m, up 3.1pc. A total of 83 travel agents and 19 tour operators were licensed. licenses for Atlantic Sky Team Tours Limited

IRISH FERRIES Dermot Merrigan is to stay in the travel industry as he leaves his position as passenger sales manager with Irish Ferries at the end of November 2019. Dermot, has worked for Irish Ferries for 30 years, and been Head of Passenger Sales since 2012. TRAVEL TRADE SHOW

Exhibitor registration is now open for the Irish Travel Trade Show which will take place in a new venue, The Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham, on Thursday, 2nd April 2020. For the first time, Cork will host the ITAA’s Irish Travel Trade Show on Wednesday, 1st April 2020. Both Shows will be open from 5.00pm to 7.30pm at a great value rate of €499 + VAT for the Cork Show and €799 + VAT for the Dublin Show. The package includes a table, chairs, power point, WiFi and free tickets to Exhibitors and Visitors for a Buffet Dinner and Networking Event. The ITAA will arrange transport for Exhibitors between the two venues and offer very competitive room rates in both Hotels. The ITAA AGM and Consortia meetings will take place before the Dublin Show opens.


Byrne Learat has been nominated for the 2019 Virtuoso Member Award: Most Engaged Agency - EMEA. Virtuoso will announce the winners during ILTM Cannes at the Virtuoso EMEA member lunch.

Riona McGrath of Travelport


he Commission of Aviation Regulation says travel agents have indicated a projected licensable turnover of €433m for the year ahead, down 2.3pc, based on applications received in

for a chunk of the €150bn that goes into the tours and activities industry each year, plans to offer live availability for visitor attractions worldwide. John Maguire and Andrew Kelly say API connections provide access to 50,000 experiences and secured €150,000 in funding.

(TA0751), John Moran t/a EU Tours (TA0578) and PCE Coaches Ltd (TO269) had not been renewed at time of going to press. The first round of licences is issued on the 1st May (the Spring round)

and the second round of licences are issued on the 1st November (the Autumn round). A licence is valid for a period of twelve months from date of issue.

COMMISSION of Aviation regulation November licensing round report notes that MAP Travel, Global Teamwork, Matthews Coach Hire, Prime Marketing, Travel Choice Ltd, TUI Ireland, Affinion International Travel and Shannon Air Ground Handling no longer need or are required to have a licence/insolvency protection in place.

SKAL new Skal President elected at the world congress Peter Morrison from Christchurch, New Zealand, is considering visiting Dublin, where his daughter works and lives.

TRAVEL CENTRES conference will be taking place at the Heritage Hotel in Killenard, Co. Laois on November 13th & 14th, 2020



Last month in numbers

u5.26bn Revenue generated by tourism in

Ireland in 2019.

152.4m Number of passengers carried by Ryanair in 2019, a record.

13.2m Number of passengers carried by Aer Lingus in 2019, also a record. 11.2m Number of passengers carried by Ryanair in December 2019, also a record.

11.1m Visitors to Ireland, 2019, u1 96 Ryanair load factor t=for the year, a record for the industry..

$15.50 New compulsory daily gratuity charge on board Celebrity cruises.

-4pc Air capacity on and off the island




osita Boland asks in this collection of nine journeys from nine different moments in her life, why is it that a woman travelling alone, as she has often done for months at a time, is perceived to be “brave”, whereas men who travel alone are entirely unremarkable? “You are only brave or courageous when you are afraid of something but still do it. I have never been afraid of travelling alone.” There were things along the way that cause her deep fear. Most terrifying was an overloaded bus with bald tyres on mountain roads with sheer drops. Describing such a bus

Elsewhere by Rosita Boland is published by Penguin Ireland

trip in 1995 along a section of the Indus Highway in Pakistan, she writes, “the road began to take on the sensation of fiction, the bus appeared to be levitating in thin air, so narrow was the road, and so close were the wheels to its bare edge.” “The landscape was almost savage in its nightmarish beauty. I was barely able to comprehend its vast, surreal scale. Outlandish, I thought. Not of this world. “ Later in the same chapter she is stuck in a tiny village where no women appear in public, she waits

for an aircraft that is repeatedly delayed. Being by herself out in the world has never scared her. She says the chief joy of travelling alone is the simple act of just doing it: crossing that invisible border in your head before you ever leave home, by deciding you want to see the world anyway, even if it means doing it by yourself. “What’s the alternative if you don’t happen to have a partner at certain times in your life but still long to travel, as I do? Stay at home and never go anywhere?

Busman’s holiday: Frances Grogan

Every month we ask a leading travel professional to write about their personal holiday experience. This month: France Grogan of Grogan Travel Tuam


rowing up in a family business which included shop, bar, farm supplies, travel agency, and funeral directors, our family holidays generally consisted of a few days by the sea in Salthill Galway or a day trip to Connemara. We would often have to change plans at late notice if my Dad received a phone call to arrange a funeral or if Mam had to arrange an urgent airline ticket. Also as the bar was open until late on a Saturday night and had to be in ship shape for business again on Sunday night, there was always work to be done! My memories, however, of trips to Connemara are of long journeys on bumpy roads – not of the magnificent


scenery of the Twelve Bens, Joyce Country & Killary Fjord and the beautiful beaches at Dogs Bay and Glassillaun which I have come to love now! When my overseas travels eventually started - it consisted of the usual sun resorts in Spain & Portugal. Skiing was also a firm favourite with an annual week’s skiing in the many resorts of Austria, including Soll, Alpbach, Niederau and Kaprun. After college and a spell of 6 years working with the Western Health Board, I returned to take over the travel agency in Tuam in 1989. One of my first long haul fam trips was a Slattery’s Travel trip to South Africa taking in the beautiful Garden Route, visiting Oudtshoorn, Kynsna, Plettenberg Bay and finishing up with a fantastic safari in Kariega Game Reserve. Since then, enjoyable visits to USA, Europe, UAE, generally with family &

Lake Garda in Northern Italy friends and usually involved activities such as white water rafting in Slovenia, parasailing in Sharjah UAE, and snorkelling in Sardinia and the Red Sea. However, my go to place and top of my personal favourites is Italy. It has such a variety of holiday destinations from the beautiful lakes Garda, Como and Maggiore – offering access to both Venice and Verona, to the stunning Amalfi Coast and beautiful island of Capri. The stunningly beautiful countryside of Tuscany lined with long rows of cy-


he holiday world show is a good place to gauge the mood of the travel industry. Despite the problems , we are looking forward to an exciting, if uncertain, year ahead. That is not to underestimate the difficulties. Pilot shortages we are used to. Aircraft shortages are a new one for the travel industry. It is now clear that the Boeing Max will not be back in the air for the peak summer season. There

goes Ryanair’s plan to have 58 of them in the sky . It looks like their first will not take off until October, if even then. Ryanair have an extra door in their version of the Max, so certification is even more complicated than EASA would have us believe. That is before we ponder the prospects of a summer of aviation taxes and a disorderly Brexit. The growth in inbound tourism to Ireland is slowing to a halt and may

even kick into reverse. That means good deals for the punter, at home and abroad. The Thomas Cook hoteliers have lots of stock to sell. Markets that rely n England are looking for alternatives. Ireland’s appetite for Spain and Portugal is not going to go away. The airlines have seats on offer. And the mood of the industry is to keep people moving and enjoying themselves.

press trees, lovely old towns and villages, is a feast for the senses. The beautiful historic cities of Pisa with its famous Leaning Tower, the beautiful Renaissance walled city of Lucca, the iconic architecture and exquisite art of Florence and the famous fan shaped central square of Sienna Piazza del Campo . All the above attractions in Tuscany only come second to the beautiful food and of course wine to make this destination a little bit of Heaven on earth

IN YOUR NEXT TRAVEL EXTRA: Available to Travel Agents or online February 17 2020

AWARDS ISSUE Irish travel; trade salutes its 2020 Champions SUMMER ‘20 UPDATE


1st April 2020 The Imperial Hotel


76 South Mall, T12 A2YT

EXHIBITOR PROFILE • Health Resorts & Spas

• Airports

• International Hotels/Resorts

• Attraction Tickets

• Insurance

• Bed Banks

• Media

• Car Rental

• National/Regional Tourist Organisations

• Destination Marketing • Ferries • Financial Services including Credit Cards

Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham 23 O’Connell Street Upper, D01 C3W7


• Airlines

• Cruise Companies

2nd April 2020

• Technology and Communications Companies • Theme & Leisure Parks

Travel Agent Proprietors, Managers and Frontline Travel Professionals.

PROMOTION OF THE SHOW A comprehensive promotional programme will ensure a high turnout of travel agent proprietors, managers and frontline travel professionals.


• Ticketing Agents

• Golf Resorts and Related Services

• Trade Associations

• Ground Handling

• Tour Operators

• Travel Agents




The Irish Travel Trade Show is organised on behalf of The Irish Travel Agents Association by Business Exhibitions Limited 59 Rathfarnham Road Terenure Dublin D6W AK70

Maureen Ledwith - Sales Director t: +353 (0)1 291 3700 • e: Paulette Moran - Sales Manager t: +353 (0)1 291 3702 • e: Angela O’Rourke - Business Development Manager t: +353 (0)1 291 3705 • e: 126311 TRADE SHOW SEPTEMBER 2019_V2.indd 1

02/08/2019 13:10


MEETING PLACE Out and about with the Travel Trade

Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Susana Cardoso Teresa Lambe, Karen Maloney Shannon O’D Sharon Jordan of The owd Leila McCabe of TUI, dy ssi Director of Portuguease Tourism office in Dublin of Etihad update for the trade d Fiona Foster of Ca s and John Spollen of Cassidy Travel Travel Corporation an tive ecu Ex vel Tra n Wome Travel, Association of

Astrid Bell of American Holidays pictured with Alison Hamilton of Oa sis Travel at the Celeb rity Cruises industry upda te

resa Lambe and Karen Shannon O’Dowd , Te d update for the trade ha Maloney of Etihad, Eti

Kieran Collins, Lydia Ma Johnston of Lee Travel digan and Mary Lee , at the CLIA Ireland con ference -

rWall of The Travel Co Brian Hynes and Eilish event poration, Red Carnation

Filippo Rocchi of Emira tes pcitured with Adam Coughlan of World Tra vel Centre and Kerrie Fo of Travel Department, Emirates industry upda x te

Maureen Delmar of MD Travel and Isabel Harrison of Shannon Airport, Star Alliance event

Katherine Morrison, Jan Lyons and Grainne Dunne of Riviera Travel, Association of Women Travel Executives

Brian Hynes and Adam Goddard of the Travel Corporation, at the CLIA Ireland conference

McGibney of Alan Lynch and Celine pes, at the CLIA Ireland sca ele rav s/T Cruisescape conference

Ann-Marie Murphy of Ire Lisa Browne of Keller land West Airport and Travel, at the Knock air port event

ll of m Travel and Eilish Wa Ciara Foley of Platinu Red Carnation event , The Travel Corporation

Anthony Collins of Topflght and Mark Clifford of Sh O’Hanrahan Travel, Topflight event to mark publi- Traeila Deasy and Declan O’Connell of Lee vel, at the CLIA Irelan cation of 2020 Italian brochure, Ballyknocken d conference

Orla Markey and Charlotte Brenner. of TUI, Association of Women Travel Executives

tion Carnation Hotel Collec Sally Gray of the Red h Eilís Wall of Red Carwit ed South Africa pictur rnation event nation Ireland, Red Ca


MEETING PLACE Out and about with the Travel Trade

ead Murphy of Hertz at Emma McHale and Sin ence in Naas. fer the Travel centres con

Paula Cross and Helen Kelly of Platinum Travel Colorado Tourism eve , nt@The Grayson

off Wu and Karen Whyte g John Booty of Wendy rkin two ne ice cho rld Wo Classic Resorts, at the event.

Moya McCrossan of Atl antic Travel, Blaithin O’Donnell of Air Cana da and Frances Grogan Grogan Travel, of

e h Ferries and Geraldin Dermot Merrigan of Iris at the Worldchoice netl, Sa McFadden of Costa working event.

David McGuinness of Tra Worldchoice networkin vel the Unknown, at the g event.

Cousins John Grehan of G Adventures and Shan- Alanna Byrne and Suzanne Rowe of MSC at the CLIA Ireland conferen non O’Dowd of Etihad, ce

Celebrity Cruises’ Michael English pictured with Clare Dunne of The Travel Broker at Celebrity cruise update.

ghan Travel, Lynsey Maria Neary of O’Calla Elaine Sheridan of d an t gh Mackay of Topfli , vel Tra an gh alla O’C

Cathe Tracey Coughlan of Failte Ireland and Aine Kear- No rine Grennell Whyte of ATTS and Paul lan of APG, at Travel Centres conference. ney of TourismNI, conference of the Association of Visitor Experiences & Attractions, Limerick

Martina Coogan of United Airlines and Alanna Byrne of MSC, Association of Women Travel Executives

Travay and Tara Hynes of Mary Denton of Sunw nt. eve g rkin two ice ne elport, at the Worldcho

Maureen Ledwith and Edmund Hourican pictured Ruth Gardiner of with Alper Sean Hackett and Onur Gull of Turkish lister of Royal Ca Celebrity Cruises, Jennifer Calribbean Airways at the inum Travel, at the CL and Helen Kelly of PlatIA Ireland conference

blin AirPaul Hackett of Clickandgoa nd Valerie Murphy of Dave Cromwell and Maura Maloney of Du ce. en fer con es Celebrity Cruises, at the CLIA Ireland conference port, at Travel Centr


MEETING PLACE Out and about with the Travel Trade

Marike Nolan with Ger and Emma Dinan of Doug- Jenny O’Connor of American r Airlines and Gabri adeus and prize winne elle Gilmartin of FCM, Olwen McKinney of Am urs, at the Worldchoice las Travel, at Travel Centres conference. American Airlines Than To giving event and upda ksJosie Carrigy of Arrow te for the trade networking event.

Lynda Betsch of Aege an sidy Travel president of , John Spollen of Casnedy of Croatia Airline the ITAA and Irma Kens, Star Alliance event

Jenny O’Connor of American Airlines and Gabrielle Gilmartin of FCM, American Airlines Thanksgiving event and update for the trade

Greal ly Travel, Lorraine Mc an David O’Grady of E-Travel pictured with Fiona Emma Walsh of Kilkel of Grog rke Bu a elm Fid d Flaherty of Fahy Travel and Deirdre Sweeney of an of Westport Travel nt eve rt po Sunway Travel air ock Kn the at Travel,

Lorraine Kenny of Ask Su United and Niamh Byrne san, Aoife Gregg of Worldchoice networkin of Ask Susan, at the g event.

Jean Claffey and Adele Walsh of Joe Walsh Tours at the PATA Roadshow

the Colorado Tourism Andrea Blankenship of g O’Hara of American hlin Office pictured with As sm event@The Grayson uri Holidays, Colorado To

Philip Airey of SunwayT ravel pictured with Lee Osbourne of Bookabe d, for the Irish travel trade Emirates industry update @ The Cliff Townhouse

ort Travel and Maeve Jerome Kiely of Westp sellors at the Knock air un Co vel Tra Doherty of ort, stp We , use Ho ey ran port event in Knock

of Sharon Jordan, Rachael Coffey and Brian Hynes Sa nway, Emma McHugh ra Rivero of the Spanish Deirdre Sweeny of Su ughlan of Travelcheaper. of The Travel Corporation, Travel Corporation Co ula Pa , Ma ry King of Worldchoice Tourist Board and Atlantic Travel ion tat Christmas event@Shanahan’s on the Green, Ireland, Headon Represen of on ad He y dre Au d an

Onur Gull and Alper Se an Hackett of Turkish Airways pictured with Tu rkis Murat Burhan at Turkis h Ambassador, Levent h Day celebrations

Paul Carty Luke Mullanofand Guinness Lisa Miksch Storehouse, of Trailfinders., Aine ManRed Carnation gan of Kildare event Failte and Eoghan Corry at opening of From Malt to Vault exhibition at Ardclough

ftle of Sunway, Jenny Ra Prizewinner Toni Birthis s and Claire Doherty of gu ter McCann of Aer Lin USA Thanksgiving event it Vis t, en rtm pa De vel Tra


Out and about with the Travel Trade MEETING PLACE

Karen Anderson of Ca non Airport, Martina Yvonne O’Donohue of O’Donohue Travel and ssidy Isabel Harrison of Shan clan Power of Shannon ma l of Best4travel and Cia Travel, Kamil StockDe Maureen Ledwith of Business Exhibitions, Assod an ra Mooney of Freedom Coogan of United Travel, nt ciation of Women Travel Executives airport, Star Alliance eve

Michaela McCluskey, Nicola Quigley, Julie Farmer, Mark Clifford of O’Hanrahan Travel , win ners best Long Haul at Travel Centres award s

ght and Aisling Duignan Maurice Shiels of Topfli pflight Italian brochure To of Travel Counsellors, launch

Megan Bourke, Ciara Joh of TUI, Visit USA Than nson and Kaitlin Murphy ksgiving event

land prize winner Ian Co Aoife Gregg of United tne ice cho rld Wo the at lins of Strand Travel at working event.

Rueben Lopez Director of Spanish TB Dublin, sana Cardoso Director Su of Portuguese TB Dublin and Cormac Meehan of Meehan Travel Bund oran

Travel, Clodagh Conhazel marshall and Dawn Conway of Sunway nces Grogan of Grogan with Sharon Jordan of The Travel Corporation, at Fra of Corrib Travel, Paula Roberts of Ireland nolly the CLIA Ireland conference ock airport event West Airport, at the Kn

Frances Madden of Keller Travel, Elaine Geealy Tom Scott of Trailfinders and Adam Goddard the Travel Corporation of of Ireland West Airport and Mick McCormack , Red Carnation event photographer, at the Knock airport event

oe Travel with Sarah Niall Gibbons CEO of Tourism ireland, Richard sa Plunkett of O’Donoh of Tully’s Travel, ere Th Andrews ambassador of Australia and Sally Cope rmody O’Keeffe and Wendy De rking event. of Tourism Australia two at the Worldchoice ne

Jocelyin, Dominic and Bernie Burke of Travel Centres, at Travel Centres conference.

Philip Airey of Sunway Travel pictured with Da O’Hagan of Donabate vid Travel.

hy andon Travel, Maura Fa Martin Drew Vice President - Europe & Americas Michael Doorley of Sh World of eill O’N ne An rol at Etihad Airways and Shannon O’Dowd of Etihad of Fahy Travel and Ca choice networking event. choice Ireland, at World Dublin, Etihad at the Etihad update for the trade

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20/12/2019 14:02

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