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page 001 cover Jan 2014 r 06/11/2013 09:04 Page 1


Conference season begins

Ryanair drops its charges

New routes


e d a r T ER P PA




Happy ever after Honeymoons and weddings


page 002 06/11/2013 09:37 Page 1

London City Airport: More punctual, more convenient and the only airport actually in London The only airport actually in London, and with a unique time-saving proposition offering quick and easy check-in and even quicker arrivals from tarmac to train, London City Airport is the most convenient and efficient airport in the UK. Flying to London has never been easier, located just three miles from the buzzing business districts of Canary Wharf and The City and with easy access by public transport direct to the West End, the airport is an ideal choice for business and leisure passengers alike. For passengers travelling to and from Ireland, Cityjet offers up to six flights per day from Dublin to London City Airport. The reliability of the airport’s service is illustrated by the fact that industry data shows it consistently delivers the most flights on-time and with the shortest average delay of all UK airports. The airport is enjoying a record-breaking year, with July turning out to be its busiest month of all time, with 328,115 passengers passing through. 11 airlines fly out of LCY, serving 48 destinations, eight of which were new for 2012, with eight further announced in 2013. New routes include; Aberdeen, Dresden, Kristiansand, Nuremberg, Paderborn, Rome and Venice, as well as additional frequencies to Luxemburg and Milan. DLR - Docklands Light Railway

In just over two and a half decades London City Airport has grown from offering flights to three destinations into becoming the gateway to east London and the City. In 2009 the airport was granted permission to operate 120,000 flight movements per year, up from the 70,000 it currently operates. It recently submitted a planning application for permission to develop the existing infrastructure to facilitate this increase. The plans will see passenger numbers double to six million by 2023, the next generation of aircraft operating from the airport and the creation of 1,500 jobs. Declan Collier, Chief Executive Officer, London City Airport, believes that the £200m expansion is vital - not just to satisfy growing demand for business travel, but also for the on-going development of the Royal Docks and the east of London. He said: “London City Airport’s goal is to be a driver for growth, in its local community and across the south east of England. LCY is the first choice airport for business travellers and is the only way to travel for those wanting quick and easy access to the heart of London.” Further information about the airport and its services can be found at

Stratford 14 mins

Jubilee Line mins Distance to/from London City


22 mins Canning Town

Tower Gateway Bond Street Green Park 30 mins

27 mins


Westminster Canary Wharf 25 mins

14 mins

London City Airport

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LONDON CITY AIRPORT – THE FACTS: • The only airport actually located in London • Just three miles from Canary Wharf, seven miles from The City and 10 miles from the West End • Time-saving proposition means passengers can arrive at the airport 20 minutes before their flight and can clear arrivals in around 15 minutes • CityJet operates daily flights from Dublin to LCY up to six times per day • Routes: UK Domestic and European • Total passengers 2012: 3,016,664 • Total movements 2012: 70,781

Page 003 News r 05/11/2013 17:04 Page 1




CUBA is to scrap the CUC (convertible

The WTM buzz

peso), used by tourists, which has been in use since 1994. The process is expected to take about 18 months.

CONCORDE Travel launched their 2014 Croatia & Montenegro brochure offering holiday packages to Croatia and Montenegro, Schooner Holidays, Escorted Tours, Weddings Abroad, Pilgrimages and two Centre Holidays. Early Booking Discount is €100 per person, agents who book online will get up to €10 One4All vouchers per passenger booked.

225 new exhibitors at World Travel Market

orld Travel Market attracted 225 new exhibitors to London. Nearly one-quarter of the new businesses in attendance this year can be found within the inaugural Travel Tech Show at WTM, derived from the success of the travel technology region at previous WTMs. Europe is the next most popular region for new exhibitors with 43 new European exhibitors, followed by the Americas. All eight WTM regions will host new exhibitors. Russian flag carrier Aeroflot is the biggest name back within the WTM fold. VisitBrussels is also new, strengthening the overall presence of Belgium at this year's WTM. Spain's state-owned railway Renfe is also exhibiting. There were more than twenty new exhibitors in The Americas region, which covers North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Brand USA has also increased its stand space by 30pc. Tourism Ministers from around the world and private sector representatives participated in a discussion around the theme “How to bridge the gap between tourism and aviation policies”. The event was the springboard for the inaugural Amadeus & WTM Travel Experience Awards, recognising those who are delivering the best in 21st Century Travel Experiences. The Awards cover ten categories, rewarding tourist boards and travel providers for their best and most innovative product offerings. Cypriot hoteliers launched ‘the

VENEZUELA is to introduce a tourist exchange rate in an effort to tackle black market trading.

SKI Beginner skiers spend an average of

three days of their holiday learning to ski at a cost of €350, an indoor snowslope operator claimed

CSO The number of Irish trips abroad was

flat during the summer period, up 1pc for January to September on the corresponding period last year. Overseas trips to Ireland for the period July to September 2013 were up 8pc and up 6pc for the period January to September.

The floor at WTM

biggest holiday competition in the world at WTM. The competition will run for 50 weeks, during which the Island's hoteliers will give away 50 seven-night stays. Other big WTM announcements came from Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, Moscow City and Thailand, who launched their weddings and honeymoons brand and Jamaica who launched a new logo. Leo Varadkar was elsewhere and there was no Arlene Foster this year but Michael Ring was present from Ireland. Tourism Ireland was joined by 17 partners: ■ Abbey Tours, ■ Ashling Hotel,

■ Best Western Ireland, ■ Camden Court Hotel, ■ Carlton Hotel Group, ■ Cassidys Hotel, ■ Castle Leslie Estate, ■ Causeway Coast & Glens, ■ Celtic Group Hostels, ■ Choice Hotel Group, ■ Cliffs of Moher Visitor Exp ■ Cork Coach & Chauffeur Drive, ■ Culture & Heritage Tours Ireland, ■ Dalata Hotel Group Ltd – Maldron Hotels & Partner Hotels, ■ Derry Visitor & Conv Bureau, ■ Destination Killarney Group and ■ Destination Waterford City.

ORPHANS The volunteering debate

continued with the news that fake orphans were paraded through the streets of Siem Reap to attract tourist volunteers.

DOOLIN’s new pier and construction on the new coastguard station already underway.

SCIENCE Gallery at Trinity College Dublin’s synthetic biology and DNA exhibition Grow Your Own opened yesterday and runs until January 19th. KENYA More bad news for Kenya came

in the form of a travel alert from Australia, one of the jumpiest governments in the tourist advice business.

CELTIC Horizons launched their “self drive premier league football packages priced from €156 pp based on Car + 4.

WINTER SUN 2013/2014

Experience the magic of


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DAY TRIP DEPARTURES From Dublin Airport Friday 6th and Friday 13th December Prices from: Adult x629 Child x549

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THE KNOWLEDGE Travel Extra Advertising & Subscriptions 6 Sandyford Office Park Dublin 18 (+3531) 2913708 Fax (+3531) 2957417 Editorial Office Clownings Straffan Co Kildare Managing Editor: Gerry O’Hare Editor: Eoghan Corry eoghan.corry@ Publisher: Edmund Hourican Sales Director: Maureen Ledwith Accounts and Advertising: Maria Sinnott Picture Editor: Charlie Collins Chief Subeditor: Ida Milne Chief Features Writer: Anne Cadwallader Contributors : Eanna Brophy Marie Carberry Carmel Higgins Cauvery Madhavan Sean Mannion Ida Milne Catherine Murphy Cleo Murphy

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

Printer: WG Baird Limited Caulside Drive Greystone Rd Antrim BT41 2RS Contact 01-2957418 if you have difficulty getting Travel Extra.

3-5 News Where to go, how much to pay 6 Hotels: News 10 Weddings: Guide to the market


22 Tenerife: Tenacious Teide 24 Escorted Tours: Lots of options 26 Afloat: Allure plans a mini-season 28 Flying: Ryanair rings the changes 33 Golf day: Kings of the Castle

34 Travel writers: The awards for 2013 35 Global Village Inside the travel industry 37 Window seat: Our columnists 38 Pictures: Out and about

Selling weddings

round 4,000 Irish couples look abroad each year for their wedding arrangements. With an average cost of €8,000, a third of the €23,000 average they can spend on a wedding at home, it keeps costs down for the couple. It is also big business for the trade, with an average of 25 people attending a wedding abroad it means there is €50m worth of business out there for those selling flights, transfers and accommodation, not to mention a slice of the €32m spend on wedding packages. There is commission to be made from wedding packages. Guest accommodation and travel, pre wedding and post wedding and guest activities, reconnaissance visits by the couple in advance and Wedmoons.

BUDGET It is all

about budget. Within a few minutes of sitting down with your client you should have established how much they are willing to spend. How many guests? Four star or five star? The average costs of a four star wedding abroad is €8,000 for the reception and for seven nights for bride and groom, but it can mount after that. If in doubt, sell from the top down. Your customers will soon tell you if that is not their budget.

KNOW your stuff. Make sure your knowledge of the legals and documentation required is up to date. In France you have to be resident for 40 days, in Barbados you can arrive on the day of your wedding.

the menu, with only spirits costing extra. Planning an Irish wedding that could be a distinct advantage. Even if you do pay for wine, €5 a bottle is one third what they pay in Ireland.


The Wedding Church in Kafr Kanna, Israel... no extra charge for the water

MAKE it easy for

the couple so you will get the bookings. Packages and odd-ons are easier to sell. Most packages include photography, ceremony, flowers, music, video editing and planning support. The extras can include cakes, more time on or off site for couple and guests, and transport.

CHANGE their thinking. Some brides are too cautious, they do not realise that five star luxury is only a few euro more. Pitch the romantic the sense of fairytale wedding created by an exotic venue and climate. Couples are looking for something different. Point out that getting married abroad invariably means less family politics, a more

intimate ceremony and guaranteed weather.


Introduce destinations they never even thought about. Concorde’s biggest number of enquiries are for Malta, followed by Cyprus and Croatia. Sunway says their most popular destinations are Egypt, the Caribbean, Las Vegas, New York and Mauritius. Generally weddings would be on a civil basis. Sunway’s Vegas product is very popular and very easy to organise. Couples get assistance with paper work and marriage registry.

GET local expertise

or outside help. It is worth it. Selling a wedding can be a high maintenance operation. The trade refers to control-

ling brides as Bridezilla, the ones who have high demands and tend to come back with complaints. In 80pc of cases the bride does all the planning but when the groom does the arrangements, the wish list can be even more taxing.

VENUE hire can

change the cost of the wedding dramatically. Some hotels don’t charge extra for venue hire, depending the number who are coming. For instance they won’t charge for 60 guests, they will for 20 guests.

STRESS the value

when wine is included. Menus start at €15 but watch for the extras that come with €45-€50 menus, many Mediterranean hotels will provide beer and wine with

the negatives, that family may be unable to travel through old age or health (point out the convenience of direct flight destinations such as Malta), family traditions, the extra planning, the fact that couples feel it is too difficult and feel no control and wouldn’t know where to start. It is the agent’s job to brush over those obstacles and secure the knowledge and contacts on the ground to reassure the couple. Tempt them to talk and show evidence of your previous bookings through photos, videos and testimonials. Use social media and offer a clear uncomplicated package in your online material.

CRUISE Mention it is possible for captains to perform legal wedding ceremonies at sea sailing through international waters or on board a docked cruises ship in many venues. Cruise can offer the best value weddings and a ready made honeymoon.

STAY in touch. Even if they don’t take a wedding package they may go on honeymoon with you. The point of contact is valuable. Of the 25,000 wedding a year in Ireland, 75pc of couples say they considered going abroad to go abroad and 48pc say they requested quotes.

Page 005 News r 06/11/2013 09:05 Page 1


Iran goes v-free

Visa on entry extended to Irish tourists but not to US

ran is the latest country to allow visas upon arrival at the airport, after India’s announcement last month. Mohammad-Ali Najafi of the heritage and tourism organisation confirmed this week that Iran is planning to relax its visa requirements to boost tourism. Irish people will be entitled to visa on arrival but not passport holders or residents of England who will continue to apply to the Iranian consulate in Dublin for their visas for the time being. Ireland is Iran’s 13th most important inbound tourist market among countries that currently require a visa. US passport holders are also excluded from the proposed visa on arrival scheme.



USA National Park Service has submitted a recommendation to Congress to establish a new National Historical Park to honour César Chávez and the Farm Labour Movement. ROME reported a surge in pilgrims following this year's election of Pope Francis. Wales is preparing for a year-long festival to mark Dylan Thomas's 100th anniversary. NSW The tourism industry in the NSW

Blue Mountains said it is losing more than $2m day because of the area's bushfires.

YOUNG adults are most likely to cut back on their travel spending, a survey claims. HWANGE There was outrage at

cyanide poisoning of elephants and other animals and birds by poachers in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

INOCULATION Holiday makers in tropical Africa and South America were warned they may encounter a shortage of yellow fever inoculations. Yellow fever disease is endemic in 44 countries, 23 countries in Africa and 11 countries in South America. Isfahan awaits your visit

CBEEBIES Land is to open next spring at Alton Towers, with rides, play areas and characters such as Bob the Builder and the Teletubbies.

Page 006 Hotels r 06/11/2013 09:07 Page 1



GLH is to launch a new four-star Amba brand with four properties which will all be located in London, at Buckingham Palace Road, Charing Cross, Marble Arch and Tower Bridge.


Cartagena, Colombia was named best new hotel in the world by Tripadvisor, Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square, Vilnius in Lithuania was named best in Europe.

LAS VEGAS A new zip line ride be-


tween two towers at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas opens next month Hotels Federation welcomed Michael Noonan’s decision to retain the 9pc VAT rate for the hospitality sector rather than increase it to 13.5pc as had been threatened.


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fans were offered the opportunity to be permanently branded with the name of a hotel.


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rant Patrick Guilbaud at The Merrion Hotel was ranked 33rd in the world in the list of top 100 hotel restaurants compiled by food website the Daily Meal, José Andrés at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was top.

CONDE NAST Traveler readers

awards listed eight Irish properties in its top 20 of European resorts: the Lodge At Doonbeg at number one, Dromoland Castle at number four, Sheen Falls at number seven, Adare Manor at number eight, Ashford Castle at number nine, Mount Juliet at number 14, Killarney Royal Hotel, at number 17 and Galway Bay Hotel at number 18 in Europe.

WATERFORD Castle Hotel and Golf

Resort has launched its new Ferry Service with a Facebook competition to find a new name for the ferry.

CHAINS Travelodge the most visited chain in Britain, with 500 hotels, had an overall score of 50pc in a survey by Which magazine. The top six hotels customer satisfaction score were Q hotels 78pc, Radisson Blu Edwardian 77pc, Premier Inn 76pc, Sofitel 74pc, DoubleTree by Hilton 71pc, Park Plaza 71pc. The bottom six: Britannia Hotels 36pc, Travelodge 50pc, Ramada 51pc, PH Hotels 51pc, De Vere Village 51pc,Shearings Hotels 52pc.

LONELY PLANET Trinidad and Riga were surprise inclusions in Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities for 2014, 1 Paris, 2 Trinidad, Cuba, 3 Cape Town, 4 Rīga, 5 Zürich, 6 Shanghai, 7 Vancouver, 8 Chicago, 9 Adelaide, 10 Auckland.

BRAZILians are the biggest spenders in Ireland according to Hotel Price Index.

DROMOLAND Castle will open for

Christmas and New Year after a break of 10 years as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, rates begin at €2220 for 2 adults and 2 children.

EUROPARC Federation’s annual con-

ference and general assembly will take place in Killarney September 28th to October 1st 2014. The organisation represents Europe’s Protected Areas with 400 members in 35 countries.

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Citywest with characteristic helicopter in 2004


Citywest sold

Latest in series of Irish hotel sales as market turns

itywest is the latest Irish hotel to be sold at a knockdown price as hotel sales hit highest volume in five years BSQ Investments bought the 789-bedroom hotel, 4,000 person capacity convention centre and golf course, out of receivership for €30m, less than onethird of its €100m peak value. CBRE said 20 hotels were sold in the first nine months of this year totalling €106m in value. This compares with 24 for the whole of 2012 and eight in 2011. The big hotel transactions this year include the Trinity Capital Hotel in Dublin, which was sold for €35m to US billionaire John Malone and Fota Island Resort in Cork which was sold for €20m. Westport’s Carlton Atlantic Coast Hotel was sold to the operators of the Westport Plaza and Castlecourt Hotels, Joe and Anna Marie Corcoran and Anne Corcoran.

CBRE head of brokerage for the Ireland and UK Paul Collins said his firm "continued to see strong demand from Irish and international buyers for good hotel properties". The growth in the hotels market was driven by the capital gains tax waiver. Buyers of commercial property who hold it for seven years will be exempt from paying tax on the appreciation of the value of the property during that time. Launched at Budget 2012, the waiver was extended for another 12 months in a move that was widely welcomed by the property and construction sector. A guide price of €200,000 was set for 20 holiday homes in Carlow. Dublin's Hilton Hotel went on sale with a guide price of €22m. Pat McCann’s Dalata hotel group is planning further expansion beyond its 34 properties, following strong sales growth in 2012. Two hotels are up for

sale in Limerick CBRE quoting €3m for the threestar, 151-bedroom Jurys Inn, DTZ Sherry FitzGerald quoted €4m for the 154bedroom Radisson Blu Hotel on the LimerickShannon Road. CBRE put Moyvalley Hotel and golf course in Enfield, Co Kildare on the market by Private Treaty. The 188-bedroom Quality Hotel & Suites, Killarney is up for sale for €3m. A series of restructures have also helped reduce Irish hotel debt. A loan restructure helped save €42m at CG Hotel group which operates the Radisson hotels at the country's three state airports. Loans had been costing €60,000 per month to service in 2011. Druids Glen recorded profits of €1m after a €7.2m debt write-off. K Club holding company revenue was up 10pc in 2011 from €10m to €10.9m, losses were down to €6.59m from €7m while €54.8m in bank loans were refinanced by

shareholders. The company now has no external bank debt. Citywest was built by former lorry driver-turnedmultimillionaire Jim Mansfield in 1990. When Mansfield assets, including Citywest and the Weston Aerodrome were seized in 2011, €300m worth of debt was owed to Nama and Bank of Scotland. BSQ, which bought Citywest, is linked to Swiss-based Celtic Global Real Estate, where two Irish bank executives, Tony Lynam and Mary Moloney, are directors. BSQ is a privately owned boutique investment house, which funds investments in-house and refinances investments post acquisition, Citywest will be run by British hotel and asset management company Michels & Taylor. Mitchels & Taylor already runs a €600,000 investment hotel chain venture for Ulster Bank. It is headed by Hugh Taylor and David Mitchels.

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Page 008 Postcard 06/11/2013 09:11 Page 1




company that will send a commission to the local agent if they take a direct booking? Welcome to Ifonly, which Martin Penrose, Debbie Black and Brendan Graham launched in Ireland this month hosting agents in Dublin and Cork. The trio explained how they will never sell directly and if they do get a direct sale will send a commission to the agent.


orthern Ireland Tourist Board is expecting 140,000 overnight visitors for the start of next year’s Giro d’Italia cycle race in Belfast. Stephen Roche joined the NITB for a launch of the event in Dublin. The race gets under way with the Grande Partenza (Big Start) in Belfast next May. NITB is expecting in excess of 140,000 overnight visitors to Northern


rendan Breen speaking at Travel Department’s first ever Holiday Show where over 4,000 people attended over two wet and windy days at Ballsbridge. China, Moscow & St Petersburg, Spain and the Italian lakes were all very popular holidays booked through the Show on the two days. Participants included Paolo Tullio, Bairbre Power and Dermot O’Neill who

Martin Penrose said the ifonly brand and philosophy was to sell high end luxury holidays at good rates, and had an unrivalled level of support from their business development managers, Picture shows Martin Penrose speaking to a group that includes Debbie Black and Brendan Graham of ifonly with event sponsors Karen Maloney of Etihad and of Michelle of JA resorts.

Ireland for the biggest sporting event of 2014 and is urging Irish cycling fans to join in the celebrations to launch the start of the race, rather than wait until Sunday, when racing concludes with a road stage from Armagh to Dublin. Fiona Cunningham manager of the NITB Dublin office and Naomi Waite Director of Marketing in NITB are pictured at the launch in Dublin's Chapter One restaurant.

engaged with holiday makers and answered questions about upcoming trips. Other guides who lead Travel Department tours abroad were also present. Paolo’s next trip is to the Bay of Naples next year, and there was lots of interest on the day when that was announced. Paolo’s last tour was a Tapas Tour with Travel Department to the Torres Winery Visitors Centre.


ebecca Kelly launched the new MSC brochure in Dublin.

€299 cruise only). The brochure offers 168 global itineraries and a Mediterranean summer cruise promotion with lead in prices of €399 cruise only. Rebecca said the MSC drinks package of €23 per day per person is proving popular with customers. Picture shows Rebecca Kelly with Isabella Shadaya of MSC and Emma Howard Smith of BGB at the launch.

t was, appropriately, at the Gala ball for the IATA passenger symposium in Dublin that Brian Stapleton, who did more than anyone in bringing major aviation conferences to Dublin this year, was acknowledged. Anúna was the headline entertainment on the evening, attended by 700 delegates from around the world. The aviation industry employs 26,000 people and is one of the few industries

that is dominated by Ireland. Last year 90m passengers used irish registered planes and our airspace is also important, 60,000 flights used irish air space. In the same way as technology and pharmaceutical conventions have been targetted, Stapleton proposed that Ireland makes sense as a venue for major international aviation conferences. There will be two more of these before Christmas.

Highlights include the new Dubai season of MSC Lirica (lead in price €839 cruise only), the Canaries season for MSC Armonia (lead-in price of €349 cruise only, €689 including flights, Thomas Cook have great offers on their charter service) and MSC Divina’s first season in the Caribbean (lead-in price



ow I know what a returning officer feels in Mayo after Michael Ring is elected, CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said after the minister gave what may be the rousing speech ever given at World Travel Market in London, a refreshing contrast to previous years. Ring told the guests at the Irish party in Excel in London to come to Ireland next year, the year after and keep com-

ing, having extolled the virtues of the island ahead of the 200 competing countries assembled at the gargantuan travel event. The Irish party is a modest affair, offering traditional music, drinks and canapes, but is one of the best attended at the event. Michael Ring adjourned to the embassy for dinner afterwards while Vera Steadman hosted media at Tanner & Co restaurant in Tower Bridge

Page 009 Postcard 06/11/2013 10:40 Page 1




he tourism team from San Francisco came to Dublin to whip up support for Aer Lingus’s new daily service to commence in April. They hosted travel media in Fade Street social. New developments in the city of Alcatraz, Haythe, Sonoma/NAPA and 9,000 restaurants include the new SFJAZZ Center in the Heart of the city, the Exploratorium move to the Embarcadero Pier 15, the San Francisco-Oak-


arolyn Feimster came to Dublin to publicise a shopping revolution, a new outlet eight minutes the Outlets at Assembly, just eight minutes from Boston city centre, due to open in May. The individual tenants have not been named yet (Nike and Brooks Borchers are mong those confirmed), but Carolyn said that the mall will have all the major players and dining options and “we are


oyal Caribbean hosted agents from John Cassidy Travel, O'Hanrahan Travel, Bowe Travel and Oasis Travel, Clubworld Travel, Coop Carrickfergus and Thomas Cook Ballymena onboard Celebrity Infinity during an ‘Immersive Wine Cruise.’ The cruise travelled around western Europe hosted by the Leon Hand, Celebrity Cruises’ ever-popular trainer

land Bay Bridge Retrofit and the Fisherman’s Wharf makeover and upgrade Picture shows Joe D’Allesandro, President/CEO of San Francisco Tourism, Kandace Bender, Deputy Airport Director, SFO Airport, Tom Kiely, Exec VP San Francisco Tourism, Angela Jackson, Director, Media Relations, International and Hubertus Funke, Director, International Tourism, Europe

not going to have the luxury outlet brands but we will have something for everybody at a good price point.” . She says this is unique in that it has been built as a new neighbourhood. “You can see the skyline of downtown Boston.” Kathy Anderson from America’s Premier Shopping Places highlighted the developments in the group’s 26 properties.

for Ireland and Britain. Pictures shows Vanessa O'Connor, Kathleen Core and Gillian Murphy from John Cassidy Travel; Shirley Woods from O'Hanrahan Travel; Catherine Bowe of Bowe Travel; Oasis Travel's Eimear Lenaghan with Leon Hand, Celebrity Cruises. Jennifer Greene from eTravel, Dublin was one of the latest winners of Celebrity Cruises’ agent incentive.


ob Haugh, founder of Travel Department and Clickandgo, and Fergal O’Brien were at WTM to launch their new product, Groupleader (slogan: “built for hoteliers by travel professionals”). The product puts the buyer in touch with a hotel so the hotelier can send them their rates directly Holiday Inn, the Doyle Collection, Bewley’s Hotels, Encore, Carlton, Tifco


olm McLoughlin of Dubai Duty Free was presented with the Michael Smurfit Business Achievement Award at the Annual American Celtic Ball organized by the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA,, held in the Pierre Hotel, New York. Colm was recognised for his leadership at the helm of Dubai Duty Free for the past 30 years during which the business grew from an annual turnover of


alaysia’s minister for Tourism Mohamed Nazri stopped in to WTM to talk about his plans to boost the Irish market. While he has raised the issue of direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Dublin with the national carrier he said that this is some way off. “The question is which comes first, the numbers or the route. At the moment the numbers do not justify a direct flight.”

and Fitzpatrick Hotel Group have already signed up. For the group travel organiser it provides a platform for groups to search and book hotels, ground transport and tour guides and discounts of up to 45pc for groups. The product wil be actively marketed to group travel organisers around the world. Picture shows Fergal O’Brien, Tourism Minister Michael Ring and Bob Haugh.

US$20m to an expected US$1.8bn. A former General Manager at Shannon Duty Free, he was one of the original team of ten assigned by Aer Rianta to set up the airport retail operation at the request of the Dubai Aviation Authority back in 1983. Picture shows Michael Davern CEO and GM of the K Club, Colm McLoughlin, his wife Breeda and Michael Smurfit.

Ireland currently sends 22,00 tourists a year to Malaysia. Air Asia came close to launching a direct service in 2008. He said that the ministry wil concentrate on growing eco tourism, and boosting the profile of the country’s nature and forests. Junus Suhid has been appointed director of the Malaysian Tourism Office for Ireland and UK. Picture shows Mohamed Nazri speaking to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry at WTM.

Page 010-017 Weddings r 06/11/2013 12:18 Page 1




he number of people getting married in or out of Ireland is not going to decline, come good times or bad. A total of 25,000 get married each year, and while exact figures are not available, it is estimated that more than 4,000 are doing so abroad. The research company Mintel say one in five couples get married abroad. They are usually tempted to sunnier climes by the fact that getting married abroad is just a third of the cost of getting married at home. There is also the prospect of spending the most important day of their lives in a draughty church followed by an expensive reception in the local hotel. The cost of a wedding abroad has risen and now costs just over €8,000. This is still attractive compared with as an average €23,000 for an Irish-based ceremony. This figure, importantly, does not include guest accommodation or flights. Not that people want to go abroad for a cheap wedding. Nobody wants a cheap wedding. They still want a fairy tale wedding. They want something special. They are not just interested in sun destinations, winter destinations feature too and countries like Austria. Wedding planners are increasing in number and expertise in the details of the wedding. The travel trade has the expertise to add the flights, transfers and accommodation as well as taking over the hassle of dealing with the tricky business of the details of the wedding ceremony itself.


he average wedding abroad involves 25 people, so it is good business for the travel trade.

start and it takes a lot more planning. The fears are well founded. A surprising number of things may be beyond their control when they get married abroad. The timing of the wedding, for example, often depends on the availability of a registrar (or similar), and therefore can often be confirmed only on arrival: the couple’s request for a particular time will be noted, but often no more. Also note that most registrars, especially in the Caribbean, only work Monday to Friday, so they often won't be able to have the traditional Saturday wedding.


Bouquet list Preparing the big day

Many consider getting married abroad: 75pc of couples say they looked at getting married away from home, and 48pc say they requested quotes. Many of these will be interesting in using the travel trade for their honeymoon even if they do not choose to get married abroad. The overall resistance

to the idea is declining, and the destination choice is expanding. Point out that a wedding abroad has guaranteed weather, is more intimate and they want their family members there, but there tends to be less family politics. The couple really gets to know who their friends are when they are asking

them to risk losing their luggage and patience on a low-cost airline flight. The cost of flights, hotel accommodation and the fact there is no Barry’s tea available may deter a few of the older, more distant relatives. Then again, in some circumstances that might be an advantage.


ne of the big five fears of a couple getting married abroad is that things are too difficult, that they have no control over the detail of the wedding. The cons tend to be family unable to travel due to health, family traditions, it is too difficult they feel no control, they wouldn’t know where to

reland’s favourite wedding abroad destination is Italy, followed by Malta. Italy’s Tuscany and Sorrento offer gorgeous backdrops to the special day. You can get married and have your papal audience on Wednesday in Rome, which a lot of couples still do. Malta is popular because it is English speaking, there is no residency requirement, it has an attractive climate, direct flights and is groaning with churches. Spain and France are next with Cyprus, New York and Austria also in the hunt. Now you can get married anywhere in Austria and all the locals speak English. Austria offers some romantic settings such as Zell am See. In summer you can get married on Lake Zell. In winter they have the wonderful Sissi church right at 2,000 metres on top of the mountain.  Bad Gastein has Gruner Baum hotel in the Hohe Tauern National Park – with its own church. St.Johann and Westendorf have also had Irish weddings. Florida, the Caribbean,

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WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS SPECIAL Croatia, Prague, Greece and Turkey are all growing. Thomas Cook would be that Cyprus and Lanzarote (Playa Blanca) are popular with their Irish customers. Vegas is regarded as glitzy (rather than quickie) and relatively free of bureaucracy with some gorgeous honeymoon landscapes in the vicinity. South Africa, St Lucia, Mauritius or Antigua (the most popular venues) can cost a lot less than at home, while Greece and Cyprus have a huge range of accommodation and getting married there is far less bureaucratic than other short haul destinations such as France and Spain. The Caribbean remains one of the most popular long haul locations. A lot of European countries do not allow a beach wedding. In the Caribbean it has become the norm. Over the past few years Mauritius, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles have been growing. More unusual locations are now being chosen away from the beach, such as Lapland and Iceland.

not all countries perform wedding ceremonies that are legally recognised here. It is the couple’s responsibility to provide their operator with all the documentation, such as passports and birth certificates. Be certain to address the document question early - at least three months before the date and remember that they will often need to obtain local documents on arrival. There will almost certainly be a fee for these. Get the documents wrong in this area and they won't be getting married, whatever their destination. Marry in St Lucia, for example, and the couple could need as many as nine different documents, more if either party has been divorced.



wedding abroad is very different from a wedding at home. It enables the agent having a long term relationship with the customer. Most of the serious discussion takes place between a year and two years ahead of the event. Your clients are more needy than the average and a degree of counselling is helpful. If you make it easy, you will get the bookings. The packages available include photography, the ceremony itself, flowers, music wedding planning support, extras like cake and transport. When they are thinking of getting married tempt them to talk. Use photos

and videos in selling the product. Cite testimonials. Weddings are wellsuited for promotion on social media: 90pc of brides now research their wedding online. Offline as well as online, networking is huge. Every

wedding guest is a potential customer or source of advice to another couple. Communicate a clear package with a package price they can get their head around. If you don’t have a precise package to offer them the planning process gets stalled.

Once they have a package they can add on to that. The commission from wedding packages is important but there are other commissionable elements, guest accommodation and travel, pre wedding and post wed-


ding activities, and guest activities, reconnaissance visits in advance, and wedmoons.

rganising an overseas wedding can involve a lot of bureaucracy, and

etting the wedding of your dreams is enabled by good planning. Requirements vary from country to country, but are broadly similar. For a church ceremony, several months' notice is often necessary. Civil weddings can usually be arranged at shorter notice. Civil ceremonies are much easier to arrange than church weddings, but pretty much anything is possible if the couple has the patience and determination. For most countries, the ground handler or wedding planner will require passport, original birth certificate, letters of freedom and proof of divorce or annulment, and a sworn affidavit, obtainable in Ireland, stating that both parties free to marry. Stress that clients should follow the ground handler instructions, not those of the couple’s solicitor, who may claim that certain documents

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WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS SPECIAL are not required in certain situations. There may also be a certain length of time that the couple must reside in the country before a wedding can take place. Most famously, in France they have to be resident for least forty days prior to the ceremony. France demands a syphilis certificate (issued by a doctor practicing in France certifying that you have been examined "en vue de mariage") and a certificate of celibacy (stating that you are indeed single or divorced and are legally able to marry). According to French law, the Banns must be published at the mairie of the commune in which you will be married 10 days before the civil marriage takes place. You must prove residency for 30 days and a ten day stay after the ceremony.




Church weddings abroad with civil weddings at home are increasingly popular

panish authorities may take 30 to 45 days to approve a marriage application. Policies and procedures

vary from region to region. Spanish law appears to permit foreigners who are not Spanish legal residents to marry in Spain. The different au-

tonomous communities in Spain, however, interpret this law differently. Outside Madrid, it may be required that one party be a citizen or resident of Spain.

n Italy, persons wishing to be married must appear with two witnesses and make a declaration of their intention to marry before the

Ufficiale di Stato Civile (Civil Registrar) of the city or town where the marriage is to take place. Following the declaration it is usually necessary for banns, or


hip-based weddings are usually held in one of the main public rooms or in the ship’s own chapel, if it has one. Some ships also have small deck areas that can be set aside for al-fresco ceremonies. Weddings onboard cruises in the Caribbean are legally recognised by the Bahamas Marriage Act. The act allows for marriages in international waters, which is defined as outside the 12 mile limit of the territorial waters of any nation. The actual location of the ship when the marriage takes place is then recorded in the Marriage Record book of the Bahamas. With the re-registration of Celebrity Cruises’ seven ships in Malta, it is now possible for captains to perform legal wedding ceremonies at sea sailing through international waters. In accordance with Maltese law, couples should allow for at least eight weeks landbased lead time in order to process the required legal documents. Princess Cruises was the first cruise line to offer weddings at sea conducted by the captain and it has since been followed by other lines including Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club

Cruises. Couples booking 12 or more staterooms on a Royal Caribbean International sailing receive a complimentary ‘Romance at Sea’ nuptial package, inclusive of the ceremony performed by the Captain, photography and extras. As most meals on cruise ships are included in the price, the couple and their wedding party need not pay extra for the traditional wedding breakfast unless they opt for a speciality restaurant which carries a fee. Royal Caribbean has wedding chapels on some of its ships, but couples can also opt to say their vows at

on-board attractions which, on its larger ships, include a surf simulator, rockclimbing wall or on-board ice rink. With ceremonies starting at approximately €1,500, they are considerably less than land-based alternatives.


ll weddings performed onboard the ship must be in conjunction with a cruise. Upmarket specialist line Paul Gauguin, which cruises in the South Pacific, features a special ceremony that includes a Polynesian blessing while tall ship line Star Clippers will organise a sunset blessing for honeymooners

aboard one of its masted sailing yachts, conducted by the captain and attended by uniformed crew. Princess Cruises offers live “wedding cams” which allow absent parties to attend “in cyberspace” as live pictures of the ceremony can be beamed from the ship’s wedding chapel and are accessible via its website. Thomas Cook Cruise Ireland offer a Weddings at Sea package with Cunard. They can also marry on board a docked Celebrity Cruises ship in the following ports: Aruba, Baltimore, Barbados, Catalina Island, Cozumel, Fort Lauderdale, Cabo San Lucas, Civitavecchia (Rome), Grand Cayman, Hawaii, Juneau, Ketchikan, Key West, Livorno (Florence), Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Jamaica, San Diego, San Francisco, Santorini, Seattle, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, Tampa and Vancouver. General packages include the services of a local marriage official, a bottle of champagne, wedding cake, floral arrangements and a wedding certificate. Other cruise lines, are not licensed to carry out seafaring weddings but can perform ceremonies when the ship is in port – either on-board the ship or ashore.

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WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS SPECIAL marriage announcement, to be posted at the local comune (city hall) for two consecutive Sundays before the marriage occurs if one of the parties is Italian or if the Irish citizen is a resident of Italy. Banns can be waived by the Ufficiale di Stato Civile if neither party to the marriage is Italian and neither is residing in Italy. Local authorities require the presence of a translator if neither party speaks Italian. Many couples get round this by having a small marriage ceremony in Ireland followed by a larger confirmation ceremony abroad. Topflight have some enticing villa complexes in Tuscany, which also have churches on site. They say their most popular places are Malcesine in Lake Garda ( and Scaliageri Castle), Sirmione, and of course Sorrento and Positano.


he bureaucracy of France, Italy and Spain has meant that the tiny island of Malta (you can fit two and half Maltas into Ireland’s smallest county, Louth) has been advancing rapidly up the aisle as the wedding destination of choice for hundreds of Irish couples each year. Malta has earned a steadily growing market share because of its easy bureaucracy residency stipulation of just three days, the close relationship between civil ceremony and church wedding, and the preponderance of churches and good hotels which offer a dazzling array of wedding options. There are nearly 400 churches in Malta, one at every turn of the road, three times as many churches as pubs, the Irish eye will quickly gather. The most prominent building along the landscape is the parish church. It has close cultural, economic and religious

Vegas offers the best variety of novelty wedding options

connections with Ireland. One of the oldest traditional wedding venue hotels, the Phoenician, is Irish owned. More importantly, a wedding in Malta will cost an average of €4,500, compared with the average of €23,000 at home. Plates for the wed-


ding meal can come in at €15 with some good options at €30. There are over 300 restaurants as well and everybody has decided to chase the wedding business. A couple can get married in a vineyard (Ta Mena Estate in Gozo), a historic palace (Palazzo

Parisio, Naxxar) or even underwater (a Chinese couple did it at the Azure Window in Dwejra, an impressive natural arch standing some twenty metres high). Keep a weather eye on those local church charges, which can mount very quickly. In Malta the


average “donation” required by the church is €500.

n contrast to France and Spain’s long ‘residency’ stipulation, Greece, Austria, the Czech Republic and Italy are all becoming feasible choices.

Spain, France and Italy will all need someone to translate documents which adds expense and bureaucratic hurdles. There are no residency requirements for getting married in Thailand; however the required paperwork will normally take at least two working


etting married abroad is big business. Four thousand Irish a year now choose to tie the knot on foreign soil, especially if it’s graced with swaying palms and tropical beaches. Several of the travel industry’s big names produce dedicated brochures for what’s known in

the trade as the “cupid market”. The general idea is to first choose the destination, and the hotel that offers the most attractive wedding package, then check the full details of the holiday (including prices) in the main brochure. Charges for the wedding itself vary widely: in fact, in many

cases, the ceremony and paperwork are thrown in free if the couple stays for a week or more. That’s because wily companies are really interested in what they will spend on the honeymoon (understandably, as we all tend to splash out here). As well as the tempting brochures, most have a team of

nuptial experts to advise on the legal logistics and run through the options available at different hotels. Weddings are a €32m business not including flights and accommodation. With an average of 25 people travelling for each of 4,000 weddings abroad the business is worth €82m.

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JANUARY 2014 PAGE 15 days to complete before the marriage can be registered. Most Caribbean islands stipulate that couples must have been resident at least 24 hours before the wedding, though on Barbados couples may marry on the day that they arrive. On St Lucia, they must have been on the island for at least two working days in advance. In Mexico, blood tests for HIV are compulsory.


urkey is big news too. This is an example of how booking a Turkish wedding works with Sunway. A travel agent rings with an enquiry for the end of august for 20 adults and 10 children. First Sunway check that the date the couple want is free with resort (as they only do one wedding a day on either Thursday or Friday). Sunway go back to the agent and confirm the date is available and give them a rough idea of costs. Sunway also give them a link so they can see the costs for everything. The cost for a wedding reception for 20+10 is €1300, including a four course meal, wedding cake, table and chair decorations and live music. The cost of arranging the civil marriage is €1,500. This is mandatory and includes arranging medicals and blood tests, obtaining necessary permission for the Turkish authorities, services of an official registrar, translation of documents, notary services and collection of documents etc. Then of course you have optional extras, like flowers, video, photos, hair and makeup, which depends on a persons budget. ■ Flowers €400 ■ Video €300 ■ Photos €400 ■ Hair & make up €100 So in total for this wedding, the cost is €2800 +

€1200 for optional extras. Once Sunway provide the agent with the initial information and availability, the client (not the agent) is then told to contact our wedding planner in resort and they deal directly with each other. Sunway and the agent stay out of the wedding reception details. Sunway only arrange weddings in conjunction with their program, so this gives the added advantage of offering fantastic group rates for the bride and grooms family wanting to travel. Sunway forwards sample wedding itineraries for each destination to the clients, this gives them an idea of the cost of a Wedding aboard and the link for what is required for Weddings aboard is also forwarded to the client. The bride and groom are put in direct contact with the Wedding Co-ordinator once they decide to go ahead with their Wedding aboard and flights and accommodation are held until their Wedding is confirmed.


air, makeup and the cost of the preparations have to be identified in advance. The cake will generally be a plain one-tier sponge, unless stated. Red carpets can be the biggest variable expense. The price could turn out to be €200 as easily as it could be €100 with no discernible difference between the two, Couples may also be at the mercy of local florists for the bouquet. More importantly, they may not even be able to choose the precise location of their wedding: some hotels have one spot, and one spot only, where they allow ceremonies. Standards and reliability of photography and videos can vary: facilities and equipment abroad, especially on smaller and


A reservation for two

more remote islands, are often poor, and in the Caribbean and elsewhere DVD formats are USfriendly and will not work in Irish machines (though they can be converted). It may also come as something of a shock for the bride to discover that hairdressing and other grooming required for the big day may be hard to come by or a long way from a hotel - and that standards may not be what she is used to.


ouples should be wary of ‘free weddings’ tacked on to the cost of a honeymoon package. These can sometimes translate into a swift exchange of vows witnessed by gawking hotel guests with inexpensive cake and sweet fizzy wine. The simplest approach is to buy an add-on to their holiday from a tour operator that has a specialist wedding department. The cost is determined by location and exotic extras. Options such as mariachi bands, helicopter rides and Balinese dancers send the price rocketing. Before choosing a hotel, check the number of weddings it carries out. Some resorts stage so

many that newlyweds can find themselves sharing their special day with rather more people than they had intended. Couples who decide not to bring any relatives may enjoy the camaraderie. But those who want to avoid the risk of a ceremony conducted as the next party is lined up on the lawn would be well advised to select a hotel where weddings are not the main trade.


atch out for the day pass feint. Friends who wish to stay in a less expensive hotel nearby may well have to buy a ‘day pass’ to the happy couple's hotel for the ceremony. Take care, too, for

many resorts are ‘couples-only’ and children are not welcome. Some companies offer discounts for friends, especially if there are 20 or more in the party. Some hotels may not be able to offer a postwedding reception at all, creating further complications. There are other potential downsides. In the most popular locations, brides in billowing white and over-hot grooms can find themselves caught in a traffic jam of twosomes waiting their turn at the wedding bower.


s a rule, a wedding package includes sorting out the legal administration, organising the bou-

quet, buttonholes, cake and a champagne reception. Weddings abroad can be insured, although this is intended to supplement rather than replace travel insurance. Similarly, a ceremony overseas and a reception at home can be covered under one policy Blue Insurances’ Wedding Insurance starting from €39.99, covering cancellation and rearrangement, failure of suppliers, rings, gifts, bridal attire, personal liability and personal accident. Making one member of the agency team a wedding specialist is a wise move for anyone who operates in this field.

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he licensing office in Las Vegas does not look very romantic, a square yellow slop-box of a building, plonked in the limbolands around the original Fremont Street city. It stays open 16 of the 24 hours, so customers who arrive for a 4am wedding (as Britney Spears did) will need to be there by midnight. Getting your license costs 55 bucks. They don’t ask questions. There are no blood tests, no checks, no demands for divorce papers or proof that your bride isn’t your cousin. The marriage still isn’t legal until you go to a minister and get it stamped by a licensed minister. And that’s where the fun begins. Vegas will offer any wedding experience you can think of. They do 112,000 marriages a year, churning them like slot machines plays, theming and retheming the event so that virtually every wedding angle you can think of has already been requested. At Excalibur they will supply a wizard to marry

you. At the Las Vegas Hilton you can get married on the bridge of the Star Trek Enterprise. At the Venetian they have a wedding gondola where you can speak softly love while an AllAmerican gondolier sings O Solo Mio. At Treasure Island they will do a completely over the top Viva Las Vegas marriage ceremony.

You can buy a Weddings to Go package which will bring you out to the Grand Canyon or the Red River canyon to make your vows against spectacular desert landscapes. You can get married at the top of the Stratosphere, the tallest building east of the Rockies. If you want to go higher you can do it on a hot air balloon.

There are lots of drive through wedding chapels where you don’t have to get out of the car. And they will have every sort of chapel you can think of too. Big chapels, small chapels, labyrinthine buildings kitted out with a dozen chapels of various sizes, chapels that look like 1950s American diners, like forests and like caves.

They all offer a similar style standard product with live internet broadcasts, flowers, photos, and occasionally champagne and occasionally cake – city health regulators are more fussy than wedding license departments. An average of $330 will get you the flowers and video session. Some of the wedding providers will package your hotel

and reception for you, getting over the local oddities like the all-present tipping culture. And you can have Elvis impersonators perform the ceremony. The most lookalike of the lookalike Elvises to be licensed as a minister, has retired. But you can always have a ‘short back and sides’ version.

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Table with a view


The whole of the Moon

any couples are still choosing a fly-and-flop fortnight for their honeymoon, with a focus on excellent beaches, good weather and romantic extras. The basics remain unchanged. Forget Unesco sites; it's all about beaches, good weather and romantic sunsets. Many modern honeymoons are no longer just about spending two weeks in the sun. With the average age of newlyweds now over 30, couples are looking for something more exciting.


Many traditional honeymoons are no longer about staying in one resort. Favourite combina-

tions include the Maldives and Dubai, and Kenya and Mauritius.


the most famous derivative of honeymoon, is for those who can't spare the time or money for a two-week honeymoon. The phenomenon took off at the start of the credit crunch, when many chose a shorter trip after their ceremony and then saved up to take a longer break when they could afford it. With the average cost of a wedding now ÂŁ23,000, it is little wonder that the trend continues. There's no reason a minimoon can't be as glamorous or indulgent as a traditional honeymoon. The trick is to partner a great location with a short

travelling time, such as Venice or Paris. Since the recession more honeymooners are going for European destinations. It is not necessarily a budgetary thing , the average spend on a honeymoon hasn't really changed, it's about not wanting to fly too far or be jet-lagged. Couples short of time or newly-weds who have blown their budget on their wedding and need to save before taking a longer, more luxurious trip.


With many couples now marrying later in life, children are often already on the scene, while second-timers are increasingly choosing to marry abroad, with a

small party in tow to join the celebrations. Ideal "familymoon" destinations are somewhere safe, with good beaches, family-friendly activities, good-value food and chic accommodation for the couple. There are also those who honeymooning with siblings or friends, which is

becoming big business.


mooners who want to walk the Great Wall of China or visit the orangutans in Borneo, or canoe down the Amazon. Adventuremoons don't automatically mean a lack of luxury, although accommodation is more likely to be local and bou-

tique, rather than five-star chain hotels. Holiday companies have noticed a trend for honeymooners looking for destinations which are luxurious yet culturally exciting.


Ideal for couples who want an exciting experience, but also feel they want to give something back while they're there. This doesn't necessarily mean two weeks' digging a well in an African village; a more popular approach is to add on a few days' volunteering to a more traditional honeymoon. In Argentina, couples can help at a community project in Buenos Aires for a few days before heading off to explore the

Pampas. The feedback organisers get is that honeymooning this way creates longer-lasting memories and allows for a deeper understanding of local life.


consequence of couples marrying later in life has been the rise of the longer honeymoon, with people extending their holiday into a six-week work sabbatical, or even leaving their jobs and taking a gap year. They are choosing to visit several places, or try something they've always wanted to do, such as travelling through South America or taking a round-the-world journey.

Page 018 Gran Canaria 06/11/2013 09:15 Page 1




ou could call it a camino to the Calima. Irish people have long fallen in love with the Calima, the warm sandy breeze that blows from the Sahara that blows to Gran Canaria and is responsible for those famous Maspalomas sand dunes. On EI 782 en route to the sun and over the last St Patrick’s Day I met some of them, people who have returned to the same group of resorts for three decades. On St Patrick’s Day in Playa des Ingles (it had an air of Playa des Irlandeses for the day) we were guests of Victor Auz, a gracious lawyer who serves as consul general of Ireland on the island, for St Patrick’s day. The day was marked with a message from Michael D Higgins and one of the sweetest prize giving ceremonies I have ever attended, “for being nice people” to Rita and Jack Costigan, Connie Scanlan and Laly Lozano Martel, a Canarian with the most extraordinary Limerick accent acquired after years of dealing with Irish clients for Corona, Stein and Sunway. It wasn’t the biggest Patrick’s day party I have ever attended, but it might be the most pleasant. As night fell a Thin Lizzy cover group gave it socks in a stage outside Mulligan’s Pub. They should give more of those nice person awards.

Gran Sands



Eoghan Corry in Gran Canaria

The famous inland craters: one of the enduring attractions of Gran Canaria

C is the second most popular Canary after Lanza. Every year 90,000 visitors from Ireland trundle to this island alone, as many as Greece. What brings them? Urs Rohrig hosts many of them at the Hotel Marina Suites in Puerto Rico. He knows what his Irish guests like. The Irish spend more money on holiday than any other nation, he says.


■ There are seven Canary islands in all, the big four, La Gomera, La Palma, Hierro and six islets of which the only inhabited one is La Graciosa ■ Tourism fashioned Gran Canaria from the moment the first Swedish charters in the 1960s and now of the Canaries total of 12m some 4m come to GC, 4m Germans, 3.5m English, 3.5m Scandinavians, 500,000 Danes, then Dutch, Irish and French. ■ Emmett’s Irish liquor is made from Canary bananas and exported back to the Canaries

Get it right, get the crispy bacon in the right place at the breakfast buffet, the conviviality in the bar, the pace of life just at the right pitch, and they keep coming back. Marina Suites, and a few other local hotels is one of the reasons why Puerto Rico is our second most popular resort on Gran Canaria - I retell the story of a travel agent who once sent someone to the wrong Puerto Rico .

■ Sam Stephenson designed some of the avant garde apartment buildings in Puerto Rico. ■ The far western show Sioux City is a popular excursion at a faux American desert film set built for the 1975 Lee van Cleef movie Take a Hard Ride, with a classic rope and knife act and the Leha family show. ■ Gloria Palace Thalasso & Resort hotel ( Take time to enjoy the thalasso therapy facilities, the pools and the sun.

ctivities and variety can do it as well. Some of these are water based, cruises along the shoreline and some exhilarating paragliding out of Mogán, described in the brochures as a fishing village but it is tourists that are baited and reeled in here nowadays. Mogán is the only town where tourists can get married on Gran Canaria. A trek inland can be just as exciting and surprising. A drive up to the 16km wide crater that dominates Gran Canaria. Travel a few kilometres away from the shore and you find yourself in little villages where mass tourism is far behind, At Fataga you can stop and sample the ancient atmosphere, at Guayadeque Ravine you can do a light

hike, at Cueva Bermeja in the Tagoror Restaurant you can lunch in a real cave in, at the poetic picture postcard village of Aguimes you can, well, write poetry, or just take an expresso and sit in the street and try to imagine what Hemingway or Charlie Donnelly might say about it. The most iconic feature is not faraway at all, it is just outside our hotel, the dunes at Maspalomas, a tidy slice of Sahara sand hills misplaced here by the ocean current system and the wind. They are the island’s most accessible natural attraction, and like all of nature’s beauties in a mass tourism age, under threat. An unexpected hazard is the nudist area on the way. Not glamorous at


all, unless crinkly Germans are your taste.

he capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, capital of the island of Gran Canaria, is situated on the north-eastern vertex of the island where a small peninsula sticks out into the sea. It is a five euro, one hour daytrip into the country’s past. The centre of the city is divided by the old Guiniguada Gully where a little Seville colony was established after the five year battle for the island. Triana, the oldest neighbourhood, even looks like Seville. This is where Francisco Franco planned his war, was transported by an English sympathiser Webb who took him to Morocco. The clock is even left stopped at 17 July 1936 in the 18 room boutique Hotel Madrid. In the San Juan district where the houses are painted, as fishermen do, in the colour of their boats.


otel Palm Beach in Maspalomas was my home for five nights. It is a six floor hotel with the most amazing retro bar, a splendid path to a splashy beach double-dip beach. Two pools and a breakfast buffet designed for every nationality (you can always tell that Germans come in numbers when the buffet is stacked with jugs of tomato juice). I like to sleep with my balcony door open and the sound of the waves filtering through. There is nothing more conducive to a night’s sleep than the sound of the ocean outside. They tell me one client once complained about the sound of the waves. They said they would switch it off.

■ Aer Lingus flies three times weekly to Gran Canaria throughout the year on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. EI 783 from Gran Canaria departs at tea-time leaving time for a last day at the resort or some shopping.

Page 019 destinations 2014 06/11/2013 12:19 Page 1


he holiday business has turned very traditional after the 2008 downturn and has stayed that way. But there are new services to play with in 2014 and a growing number of destinations at the right price to attract the curious,



14 for 2014


Amid the fuss about Aer Lingus now Toronto daily route to commence Apr 21 2014 (a Boeing 757 in 12-165 configuration), you could forget that Air Canada are going daily on the route having operated a seasonal service, and Air Transat are still operating on the route. Toronto’s big ticket openings in recent months were Ripley’s aquarium and the Edgewalk tower, a newly opened scarey experience. Beyond the city the Niagara wine district is worth a visit, with 75 wineries and George Bernard Shaw have their own theatre festival dedicated to the writer from April to November.


Back on the map with direct flights to the city of Alcatraz, San Francisco is the most European of American cities with the street trams and an amazing array of restaurants. This is where Irish coffee was first served commercially.

RHODES Back in the brochures after a few years, Falcon Holidays will operate a direct charter for summer 2014 including packages in the the Holiday Village Rhodes in Kolymbia. Many people’s first holiday in decades past, the island has revitalised its tourist product. Falraki, while still boisterous, has a fabulous beach with great facilities and watersports, also has the largest water park in Europe, a state-of-the-art bowling park, a history park, an amusement park

New Year: new places to go Toronto is the city which hsas seen most route expansions in 2013

and a fully air-conditioned fun-park for families and younger children.

EGYPT If you have been put off by the trouble, don;t be. Direct flights resume December 26th form Dublin (they continued through the season from Belfast) and hotel rates are offering some of the best value in the beach business. ALGARVE In-

terest in the region was sustained through recent years by the terrific value on offer, flights to Faro have become so popular that Aer Lingus will use their A330 for a rotation between transAtlantic flights in summer 2014, as they already do with Malaga.


You cannot escape the centenary of the first world war, with a small industry of documentaries, re-enactments and commemorations al-

ready having sprung up. Going to the battle fields themselves is a much more pleasant and immersive experience than listening to the TV jingo on the satellite channels. Some restaurants will recreate the menus of the period for you.


Dylan Thomas’ centenary is the excuse for a trip to Laugharn, beautiful and inspirational spot in any year. As citybreaks go, Swansea is under-stated and low cost and a short journey away by ferry.

year, due to the range of connections through Abu Dhabi (Etihad) and Dubai (Emirates). Emirates has started flying from Dubai to Phuket. Thai will have an A380 on the London route from summer 2014 and easy connections with Aer Lingus through terminal 2 at Heathrow when both airlines move there. Thailand has launched a high profile wedding and honeymoon campaign, although they need to make the weddings easier to make more headway in this business.

DONEGAL Har- QUEENSLAND vey’s Point and Lough

Eske together have raised the standards of the home hotel product. Five star and four star plus prices in Donegal are much lower than the traditional luxury end product in Munster


More than 60,000 Irish will go to Thailand this

We cannot get enough of Australia, with 12,000 visa migrants and 50,000 other tourists heading there each year. Emirates and Etihad have an amazing number of seats to sell to Australia and Turkish will offer one stop connections through Istanbul from April. It is the year of Queensland,

with Cairns hosting Australian Tourism Exchange and the focus on Port Douglas and its hinterland..

WILD ATLANTIC WAY Signage wil be

in place in April for Ireland’s equivalent of the Great Pacific Highway, brining profile and, hopefully, property to al the small villages, inns, hotels and hostelries in its path. Drive it before the tourists.

can be expected to bring prices down. Infrastructure is the other big legacy, monorails are being constructed in São Paulo and Manaus. The World Cup is being used to revitalise the cities centres that have been abandoned by the middle class in the past. In the coastal cities Fortaleza. Salvador, Natal and Rio de Janeiro the city planners are making the waterside promenade much more attractive

BRAZIL Avoid the SERBIA Haven’t

world cup form June 12 to July 13, when prices wil soar. Over 40,000 new beds are being delivered to the twelve venue cities including 18 new international first class and luxury hotels with about 2,800 guest rooms. These beds have to be sold when the World Cup is over. Getting there and internal flights can be expensive but the increased lift provided by the world cup

been? Go. Great citybreaks in Belgrade at lower rates than Prague, terrific winelands and stunning Hapsburg and Ottoman fortresses.


The Whirlpool-shaped aluminium-clad Blue Planet aquarium as the big opening in 2013, located near the airport on the metro. Copenhagen shoping and cafe culture has brought it up the citybreak charts.

9 page 020-021 06/11/2013 09:40 Page 1


Wedding & Honeymoon Destinations at Home and Abroad

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Abbey Travel Adventures Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority Academy Plaza Hotel Dublin Advantage Austria Affordable Car Hire AIR TRANSAT Alabama Tourism Allianz - Travel Insurance Ambassador Hotel Cork American Holidays Andalucia Tourist Board Aquatica Aran Island Ferries Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority ATTS Travel Representation Solutions Banbridge District Council Basquetour SA Belvedere Hotel Parnell Square Dublin Birds of Prey Centre Aillwee Cave Boutique Journeys Breaffy House Resort Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts Aruba Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Camino Souvenirs Camping Chantepie Camping El Delfin Verde Camping L'Étang Campsite L'Atlantique

Canadian Affair Carlingford & Cooley Tourism Association Carlow Tourism Carlton Atlantic Westport Carlton Hotel Kinsale Carlton Millrace Hotel Carrickcraft Carrigaline Court Hotel Cassidy Travel Castel le Domaine de la Breche Castel le Domaine de Sévenier Castel Séquoia Parc Castellon Tourist Board Castlecourt Hotel Resort Catalonia Tourist Board Cavan Crystal Hotel Celtic Link Ferries Charleville Park Hotel Cork China National Tourist Office Choose Chicago Citywest Hotel Leisure & Golf Resort Clarion Hotel Galway Clayton Hotel Galway Clyde Court Hotel Dublin Cobh Heritage Centre Colaiste UISCE Contiki Holidays Cuba Tourist Board Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium Cyprus Tourism Organisation

Czech Tourist Authority Dalata Hotel Group Deep South USA Destination Mourne /Ring of Gullion Deutsche Bahn Diagonal Plaza SA Diamond Coast Hotel Enniscrone Discover Bundoran Discover New England Discover Newport Rhode Island Discover Philadelphia Discovery Cove Orlando Dominican Republic Tourist Office Donegal International Airport Donegans Monasterboice Inn Down District Council Dromoland Castle Dublin Airport Authority Dubrovnik and Neretva Tourist Board Earth's Edge Egyptian State Tourist Office Eircom PhoneWatch El Al Israel Airlines Elit Dental Clinic Embassy of Argentina Exodus Travel Fermanagh Lakelands Tourism Fitzpatrick Hotels Group New York/Dublin Florida Keys & Key West

Florida's Beaches Flower Campings Follow the Camino Forster Court Hotel Galway Fortina Spa Resort Malta Fota Wildlife Gallaghers Hotel Donegal Georgia Department of Economic Development GoKerry Great National Hotels & Resorts Greater Fort Lauderdale Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau Heffernans Travel Heritage Hotel Portlaoise Heritage Island Hertz Rent A Car Hotel Beacon NYC Hotel Westport Hurtigruten India Government Tourist Office Insight Vacations Intrepid Travel Ireland’s Blue Book Irish Golf Review Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) Israel Ministry of Tourism Istria Tourist Board Jordan Tourist Board Kansas/Oklahoma Travel & Tourism Kilkenny Tourism

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t the Holiday World Show! ««« Killarney Chamber of Tourism Knockranny House Hotel Korea Tourism Organization Kreativ Fogklinika Kft Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Lakes & Mountains of New Hampshire Letterkenny Court Hotel Donegal Lissadell House & Gardens Louisiana Office of Tourism Louth - Land of Legends Lyrath Estate Hotel Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board Maldron Hotel Group Malta Tourism Authority Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism Matthews Tours Mayo Trails Meliá Hotels International Metro Hotel Dublin Airport Mexico Tourism Board Midleton Park Hotel & Spa Mississippi Tourism Moroccan National Tourist Office MSC Cruises New Hampshire White Mountain & Lakes Region Northern Ireland Tourist Board Nubawax Care Care NYC & Company Oakwood Arms Hotel

One Stop Touring Shop Oriel House Hotel Cork Orlando Flexticket PAB Travel Passport Service Patronat Turisme Cambrils Pillo Hotel Ashbourne Polish National Tourist Office PortAventura Promotur Turismo De Canarias SA Quality Hotel Killarney RING OF CORK Riu Hotels & Resorts Rivercourt Hotel Kilkenny Rovos Rail - South Africa Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Salou Tourist Board Salthill Hotel San Francisco Seaworld Parks & Entertainment Seychelles Tourism Board Shamrock Lodge Hotel Athlone Shannon Heritage & Tourism Silversea Cruises Skellig Coast South Kerry Development Partnership Spanish Tourism Office State of Maine Office of Tourism St Vincent and The Grenadines

Stillorgan Park Hotel Sunway Holidays Taipei Representative Office in Ireland Talbot Hotel Carlow Talbot Hotel Wexford Tennessee Tourism The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel The Cruise Broker The Harlequin Hotel The Heritage Golf & Spa Resort The Inn at Dromoland The Lake Hotel Killarney The McWilliam Park Hotel The New Hampshire Ski Group USA The Sunday Times Tipperary Tourism Titanic Experience Tourism Agency of Galicia Tourism Thailand Trabolgan Holiday Village Trailfinders Trailwalkers Ireland Tralee Chamber Alliance Travel Oregon Travel Portland Tunisian National Tourist Office Turismo de Santiago de Compostela Turkish Airlines Turkish Culture and Tourist Office Ultimate Getaways

Unique Japan Tours United Airlines Universal Islands of Adventure Universal Studio's Florida Uniworld Cruises Vermont Department Tourism VIA Rail Canada Village de la Guyonniere Visit Belfast Visit California Visit Florida Visit St Petersburg/Clearwater Visit USA Ireland Visit Wexford Waterford Tourism Waterways Ireland Westlodge Hotel Westport Plaza Hotel Wet'n Wild Orlando White Hotel Group Whites of Wexford WingsAbroad Woodlands Park

Page 022 Tenerife by marie r 06/11/2013 09:18 Page 1




aco, our whale spotter, kept his eyes peeled on the horizon from the front of the boat. We were steaming at full speed when he suddenly yelled out and started jumping up and down like someone possessed. His beady eyes had spotted the fin of a pilot whale and he was beside himself with excitement as were we. The boat made a sharp manoeuvre and a few minutes later the engine was cut and the boat idled in the choppy water as we waited. And then, so close we could almost touch them, two pilot whales rose out of the waves, quickly followed by four or five others. We were among a pod, including babies, which lazily circled our boat, diving and surfacing as they felt like it. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. This was Tenerife under the shadow of the Los Gigantes cliffs where ospreys make their nests and pilot whales splash in deep, clear water. We stayed for half an hour admiring the whales and taking photos. Pilot whales are extremely photogenic. Marine law in Tenerife doesn’t allow for swimming with the mammals but being this close was the next best

Tenacious Teide

Marie Carberry hits the water in Tenerife


Mount Teide was once thought to be the highest mountain in the world


enerife is the largest and most populous of the Canary Islands and is serviced by two airports. It also has the highest elevation in Spain, the third largest volcano in the world – El Teide which is a World Heritage site. It is known as Isla de la Eterna Primavera or Island of the Eternal Spring because of its year round warm climate.


■ Loro Park is a 13.5 hectare zoo on the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz which is heavily involved in animal conservation. It is a sister park of Siam and there are discounts available for using both. ■ Tenerife is a golfer’s paradise with a plethora of courses no matter what your handicap and you won’t need any rain gear. ■ The Golden Mile in Arona is one of the most exclusive areas on the island. Luxurious hotels and designer shops abound.

The temperature hit 27 degrees when we were there and what better way to cool down than in Siam Water Park in Costa Adeje. Siam claims to be Europe’s best water park and it’s not hard to see why. Opened in 2008, it covers 185,000m2 of natural landscapes which houses buildings in the Thai design. Attention to detail was foremost in the owners’ mind and, after


■ Declared a National Park in 1954, El Teide is the highest peak in Spain and the best way to visit is by cable car. Once at the top you can walk around and take in the sights. ■ San Cristóbal de La Laguna has been declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. A wander round this lovely town reveals many historical monuments and buildings. There is also an excellent shopping area. ■ The village and fishing port of Garachico, which has been declared a site of Cultural and Historical interest. It houses many interesting buildings like the Chapel of San Roque, the ExConvent of Santo Domingo de Guzman and the old Convent of San Francisco.

five minutes in the place, you can be forgiven for thinking you are in a Thai jungle, albeit one selling t-shirts and fast food. But it was the slides that were foremost in my mind and so I spent the next four hours sitting in rubber tubes being bounced up and down to my heart’s delight. Sheer walls of water give way to deep, dark holes that suck you in (in a good way, I hasten to add). Shamrock shaped tubes sent us plummeting, defying gravity to a dunking at the end. And then there are the water rapids, lazy rivers, wave machines and lots of other watery features. The king of all, however, is the Tower of Power, a vertical 28 metre sheer drop that shoots you through a shark tank and spits you out into a small pool. There is just

enough time to see your life pass in front of your eyes as you slither over the top. Not for the fainthearted.


he next morning was hot and clear and, after all the excitement of the previous day, we decided to pay a visit to Sandos San Blas nature reserve. This reserve had previously been used as an ad hoc dumping area before environmental interests intervened and it was revealed as an area that was home to The Guanches, a blue eyed, blonde haired race who were of Berber origin and arrived on Tenerife between the fifth century B.C. and the beginning of the Christian era. Evidence of their lives can be found among the rock formations and

re-enactments show how they worked and socialised. They lived an idyllic life in the sun until nasty invaders turned up and hauled them off as slaves. In the interpretive centre you can see how they fared as they adjusted to the climate and developed labour saving techniques for feeding themselves. You can also see how they reacted to the invaders with one Guanche jumping off the cliff and landing with quite a loud thump. To see present day inhabitants at large there can be no nicer place to visit than Puerto de la Cruz on the north coast of the island. Situated around a seaport, the cities origins date back to the 16th century. Today the town is lively and bustling with the obligatory promenade on which to stroll in the evening. Nearby are small pedestrianized streets which house a number of historical buildings such as the Church of Nuestra Senora de la Perla and San Felipe Castle, and don’t forget the old quay where fishing boats are still moored.


ut one of the best attractions of Puerto de la Cruz is the Lago Martinez, a series of seawater pools conceived by the artist Cesar Manrique. His unique white pools reflect the blue of the water and the views across the bay are amazing. There is also a subterranean casino and small cafes. The lido was built as a community feature and with an entry fee of 4 euro this is a cheap and very cheerful way to idle away an afternoon. Or even a whole week.

■ Marie Carberry travelled to Tenerife courtesy of the Spanish Tourist Board and Aer Lingus. ■ Accommodation was provided by the five star Hotel Iberostar Anthelia, Costa Adeje. ■ Aer Lingus operates return flights from Dublin to Tenerife on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays on their summer schedule. For more information on fares and schedules and to book log on to

page 023 06/11/2013 09:40 Page 1


Escorted Tours by air Fully Bonded Price Promise – No Surcharge Guarantee Excellent Tour Managers

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For more information please contact 01 905 6300 or visit Holiday organised by and subject to the booking conditions of Riviera Travel, Chase House, City Junction Business Park, Malahide Road, Northern Cross, DUBLIN 17. Fully licensed and bonded by CAR (T.O. 257) . Per person prices based on two sharing a twin room. Single rooms available at a supplement.

Page 024-025 Escorted Tours r 06/11/2013 09:22 Page 1




any clients always longed to travel but don’t know where to start. That’s where a tour operator in whose safe hands they can trust their precious holiday comes in. When it comes to visas, insurance and all that boring stuff, which can make or break a holiday, they not only need expert guidance – they MUST get it. Escorted tours are normally conducted by a tour director who takes care of all services from beginning to end of the tour. They normally include flights, hotels, transportation, transfers to the airport/hotel, most meals and sightseeing. They are typically conducted by motorcoach. They can be fastpaced, with no more than two nights spent in each location, or more leisurely, with more time spent overnight at each locale.


ravelling on an escorted tour is ALWAYS more affordable than travelling on your own. Escorted tour operators book hotel rooms in bulk, passing the savings on to your clients. They also have the buying power to get the best value in guided sightseeing, meals and local transportation, such as motorcoach, train or ferry travel from one city to another. It costs much less than if your client arranged the same services themselves. Plus, you know your total cost up front. There are no hidden fees. On an escorted tour, a knowledgeable tour director will lead the escorted tour group along every step of your vacation. They will take you to the main sights, but sometimes off the beaten track to somewhere you would never have visited on your own. They will be well versed in the local lan-

Take me by the hand Escorted tours are not just for the uninitiated

Leg stretches and the view

guage and culture, which is especially important if you are travelling in a foreign country. They react well to the group and participate socially and share unique insights and anecdotes. Participants will learn about the history, geography and current events of each region you visit. On an escorted tour, much of the sightseeing is included. That means participants do not have to pay for each museum visit or activity separately, it is all included in the price of your tour. While the days may be filled with included sightseeing, or transferring via motorcoach from one overnight neighbourhood to another, participants will also have some free

time to spend however they like, optional excursions (for additional fees), relaxing at the hotel, sitting at a sidewalk and writing postcards, or exploring the area on their own.


big selling point is that people like to travel with like-minded passengers on an escorted tour, they compare notes on sightseeing, share travel tips and get to know one another over included meals. They can also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with travelling in a group. Remember that not all escorted tours are created equal. Some pack their buses, some deal with

smaller groups of less than twenty. Some switch between the two, while some dealing with small groups use local transport rather than a chartered coach. Some may stay in one city for several nights while taking day trips through the local countryside, or use a leisurely itinerary that may cover a few different cities in one area of the world. Then there are fastpaced tours that give you a great overview of many countries in Europe, several states in the USA or many regions of Australia. Accommodation can vary significantly, and is often at local guesthouses and pensions. Sometimes you'll have

an amazing room, other times you'll be in a small room sharing a bath down the hall. Travel Department are the brand leader out of Ireland, having made a huge success out of the so-called grey market. CIE Tours International and Brendan Vacations are also Irish connected although they offer tours worldwide. Globus, Cosmos, Contiki, Insight, Riviera Travel, Trafalgar, Collette Vacations, GTI, Explore and Exodus are all big international brands. Contiki targets the younger traveller, up to age 35. Globus and Trafalgar operate around the same price points while Cosmos is a less expensive Globus brand.

Intrepid and Imaginative Traveller target smaller and younger groups. Explore and Exodus have loyal travellers who have stuck with them, often since the companies were founded in the 1980s. Their demographic seems to have grown older with the companies. Riviera Travel and Insight Vacations are a little more upmarket from the others.


iviera Travel staff all undergo intensive resort-based annual training and build knowledge so they can advise about the holiday based on their own experience. Staff are selected for

Page 024-025 Escorted Tours r 06/11/2013 09:22 Page 2

JANUARY 2014 PAGE 25 their organisational ability. their knowledge, their people skills and are multilingual. Holidays are managed by their Tour Managers, many of whom have been with them for over a decade, sixteen of them now for over twenty years. Caring, professional and reliable in the event of any problem, clients say that being with them is like being with a trusted friend who clearly love the destinations: it’s a passion, not just a job! You’ll learn far more from their staff than you would from many guidebooks – and their enthusiasm and intimate knowledge brings your holiday to life. Riviera itineraries include the must see sights and experiences, less famous visits and they say you miss nothing of importance. They offer experiences as standard that some companies sell as ‘optionals’ adding to clients overall cost. Riviera pricing is transparent and clear. It includes essentials like taxes, “fuel” supplements and there are no hidden extras. Riviera are proud that since their inception 29 years ago, they’ve never levied a surcharge – even when currency, fuel and more recently tax movements were excessive. Their ‘no surcharge’ guarantee means that whatever happens after booking, the price will not increase. Riviera say they have a real family ambience; they have been told by clients ‘it was like travelling with family’ and ‘it was like coming home’. Riviera staff operate very much at the sharp end of the market with senior managers spending significant time overseas, researching, checking and meeting clients to ascertain their likes and dislikes. There’s so much to see and experience on Riviera holidays and if you


A busy day at Ephesus

want to take part in everything that’s fine, but if not, that’s fine too. If you want to see the sights on your own, no one will put any pressure on you not to, the freedom to explore. Riviera claim they are more passionate about their holidays than any other tour operator. They say they only operate to places they’re truly passionate about and in a manner to match.


nsight Vacations Europe and Britain brochure offers classic and modern routes by rail, road and cruise ship. Many parts of Europe, for all the recent American-style customerfriendly improvements, still doesn’t yield up some of its attractions easily. No-one who has ever turned up at a museum or art gallery to find a “Closed” sign on the door will know that. More pertinently even than that, what’s the point of travelling long distances and then missing out on the kind of cultural experience you are searching for? Why travel to Venice and miss a gondola ride? Why visit Seville and not see a flamenco dance? Why visit Vienna and not experience a waltz or two? Or go to Italy or Spain and not try out the best the local gastronomes can

offer? This is where an escorted tour comes into its own. Providing the unforgettable memories and experiences that the solo traveller would, very likely, miss out on. Insight has been offering its customers the best of Europe’s finest touring itineraries for 35 years. From Iceland to Egypt, taking in the Mediterranean and North Africa, the company has it covered. The company’s coaches have 100pc more leg room than many others with just forty seats and every stop includes free time so your clients can explore on their own as well as enjoy more organised activities. Their 2014 Europe brochure with new destinations, expanded off the beaten track “Country Roads” holidays, welcome receptions to include a sit down meal and dine-around options and free wi-fi on coaches and in hotels. Insight travels to every country in Europe with the exception of Kosovo. Early bookers get a 10pc discount.


xplore escorted tours launched 80 new tours its 2014/15 collection with over 80 new tours on offer in destinations including Guinea Bissau in

West Africa, Taiwan and Colombia’s Lost City, in addition to a new range of ‘food and drink’ tours.


scorted tours are available on every continent in the

world, from budget to luxury, leisurely to fastpaced. They range anywhere from 6 to 34 days. Then there’s the Mauiva Air Cruise – using private airports to hop from city to city by air.

An example is six days (five nights) takes you from New York, Niagara, Toronto and Washington DC or seven days (six nights) from LA, San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

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Page 026-027 Afloat 06/11/2013 09:24 Page 1



STENA Line introduced a special offer of five meals for under £5 each.

BRITTANY Last month saw the end of the Brittany Ferries 2013 departures until March 15th 2014. The ferry company says the season ended with a buzz for French midterms and good numbers of passenger on these last two sailings numbering 4500 passengers and 1100 cars, mostly French.

CUNARD A shipyard in the Chinese port of Zhoushan has won the £63 million contract to convert retired Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 into a 400-suite floating hotel. A shipyard in the Chinese port of Zhoushan has won the £63 million contract to convert retired Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 into a 400suite floating hotel.

CARNIVAL's 25th ship, to enter service 2016, will be named Carnival Vista. It will have a capacity of 4000 passengers. Carnival promises many new innovations to be announced later, and a wide variety of dining, drinking, and entertainment options. Its itineraries will also be announced later. The ship is being built in Italy.

PRINCESS Cruises will complete a $30m refurb of the 2022-passenger Sun Princess this season. It will produce a new atrium with an International Café, a new sushi and seafood venue, an al fresco barbecue venue, an updated buffet, a pastry shop, a coffee bar, many Asia-inspired elements, and a refreshed Lotus Spa. ROYAL CARIBBEAN A quar-

ter-century of Alaska cruising will be observed next year when Royal Caribbean places two ships in service there. 34 sailings will leave Vancouver or Seattle on seven-day itineraries.


Eight of Holland America's 15 ships will be deployed in European waters next summer. From the tip of Norway to the beaches of Turkey, there will be 105 departures sailing on 57 itineraries. There will be 17 overnight ports. Trips will range from seven to 42 days in length. Norwegian has ordered a second 4200-passenger ship for delivery in the spring of 2017. It will follow a sister ship due to take to the waves in October of 2015.

P&O Cruises and Cunard have scrapped

their Vantage and Getaway fares after criticism from agents and from customers.

CELEBRITY has developed a suite of mobile vacation apps to allow travellers to dig deeply into their planned cruises. The apps contains videos of many of Celebrity's worldwide destinations; depictions of experiences found on Celebrity ships; profiles of shore excursions; detailed itineraries and maps; interactive ship deck plans with the capability to zoom in on specific accommodations and public areas; and pricing. P&O Britannia: we knew it would be arriving in 2015 will not have a walk-round Promenade, and the open space at this level on Deck 7 is limited to relatively small spaces.

Waiting to board at Cherbourg

French routes up


Three ferry companies look to increase again in 2014 he major Irish ferry companies all report that bookings to France for 2014 are up on last

year. Irish Ferries, Brittany ferries and Celtic Link had their best season, so things looking positive there. The ferry companies have a single digit increase in both Irish and French over 2012. “Generally speaking, our business to the UK wouldn't tend to book as early as our France traffic, but given the solid performance of 2013, we'd be optimistic of a good year on our


Ireland - UK services,” Dermot Merrigan of Irish ferries says. Brittany’s season ended with a full passage at the end of October. Celtic Link go into dry dock in december and return ton January 14th. Irish Ferries Oscar Wilde goes into dry dock in January for further improvements that include cabin upgrades. Celtic Link Ferries (like last year) will be transporting passengers from Cherbourg to Rosslare for as little as possible on the 16th March (bringing people to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day for €1. This means that passengers

will be able to sail with their vehicle and everybody in the vehicle for only €1. The only thing that people will need to pay for is a cabin. Celtic Link Ferries are currently conducting a special offer between now and Christmas time where people can bring caravans free of charge. Celtic Link Ferries have now introduced a short break deal where it will give its passengers an opportunity to sail to Ireland for up to 6 days for only €220 return. This is cheaper than it is to sail from the UK to Ireland.


osta is claiming a new style of cruising with its neoCollection on board the refurbished neoRiviera and neoRomantica. The product offers leisurely itineraries to a selection of destinations off the beaten track, similar to the product offered by Azamara Club Cruises and yetto-launch Viking Ocean Cruises. NeoRiviera, with 624 cabins, is currently sailing as Grand Mistral for Spanish sister company Iberocruceros;.

The ship will be refurbished before embarking on a 62-day Grand African Tour, departing from Dubai on February 9, 2014. The cruise will visit the Seychelles, the Maldives, Mauritius and Reunion, before moving on to Madagascar, circumnavigating the African continent on a route past Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, St. Helena, Senegal, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Morocco. Highlights include the discovery of the world apart in Madagascar and

Maputo, the City of Acacias, with the Iron House and train station both designed by Gustave Eiffel, as well as the cities of Mumbai, Cape Town and Dakar. The ship's Mediterranean cruises in the summer include calls at unfamiliar ports such as Porto Empedocle in Sicily, Propriano (Corsica), Olbia (Sardinia) and Portoferraio (Elba). NeoRomantica (789 cabins) emerged from a £77 million makeover last year. The ship will be under-

taking 13 and 15-day premium cruises from Amsterdam, including voyages to the North Cape and the Baltic capitals, fFrom June 1, the and on July 7 a oneoff cruise to the acSvalbard archipelago. The Costa neoCollection shore excursions are designed to soak up the culture, scenery and flavours of each place along the route. So as to enhance the independent tourist feel, each excursion will be arranged in small groups of no more than 25 people.

Page 026-027 Afloat 06/11/2013 09:24 Page 2



AFRICAN Queen used in the 1951 Hol-

lywood classic film is to sail again on commercial cruises up Uganda's Nile in the coming months. (Another boat claiming to be an original from the film is now in Florida, also having been restored, running daily cruises).

REGENT has ordered a new 738-pas-

senger ship for delivery in the summer of 2016. The $450 million ship will be the company's third all-suite, all-balcony vessel. It will have six open-seating restaurants, a nine-deck atrium, and a large Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Cabins will range from 300 square feet to 1500 square feet. The ship, which will be 732 feet long, is to be constructed in Italy and will be named Seven Seas Explorer

COSTA Diodena (the Italian word for

Richard Fain and Laurent Castaing hold up the first steel plate of Oasis 3

52,418 more tons


Oasis 3 to have population of a large provincial town

asis 3 will become the biggest cruise ship in the world, due to enter service in summer 2016, but Royal Caribbean are saying very little more. Oasis 3’s real name will not be disclosed for another year All we have to go on is a fact sheet that disclosed significant differences with predecessors Oasis and Allure of the Seas. The ship will be seven feet longer and carry 88 more passengers when each cabin is occupied by two people, with third and fourth berths available on bed-settees and pull-down bunks, the ship's maximum passenger capacity will be 6,360 (compared to 6,318). Add on a potential total of 2,100 crew and that's a town the size


Eoghan Corry interviews Richard Fain

of Mallow ro Tramore floating around the Caribbean. That gross register tonnage is 277,700 for Oasis 3 compared with 225,282 for Allure. According to Fain, it can be ex-

pected that Oasis 3 (the shipyard refers to it as Hull No. A34) will have the signature Central Park introduced to the seas for the first time by Oasis in 2009 and many other features from the other Oasis ships. There will be some new features, but we will have to wait for that choreographed PR campaign to find out what they are. It will, according to shipyard chief executive Laurent Castaing, have a unique "French touch" (the earlier versions were built in Finland). And it will, according to Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain, be the most energy-efficient cruise ship in the world.


ith a new name and a new business plan, the former Viking River Cruises will embark on ocean travel in 2015. The 930-passenger Viking Star is expected to make its first voyage will sail a series of inclusive cruises between Stockholm

and Bergen to the Baltic capitals in May 2015 and in the eastern Mediterranean. The ship's maiden season was put on sale in Ireland for the first time this month. Its brand new 928-passenger Viking Star will sail a series of inclusive cruises between Stockholm and

Bergen and in the eastern Mediterranean. Included in fares will be guided excursions in each port, wi fi, some alcoholic beverages, and additional amenities. The ship will have a spectacular infinity pool cantilevered over the stern and, true to its roots, a luxurious Scandinavian-inspired spa.

A second ocean-going ship is on order for delivery in 2016, and the company has options for four more. The ship will have 12 dining "experiences," 18 types of cabins, two pools, a library, a spa, and additional highlights.

"tiara") is the name chosen for Costa's new 3700-passenger ship scheduled to sail next October. There will be 1862 cabins, most with balconies; 64 suites; seven restaurants; 15 bars; a 7800 square foot spa on two levels with a gym, therapy pool, treatment rooms, sauna, steam room a solarium, and spa suites and cabins; eight hot tubs; three swimming pools, including one under a retractable roof; a jogging track; a cinema; a three-level theater; a casino; a disco; a country rock club; a two-level games area; an internet point; a library; a shops gallery and a baby pool.

CUNARD 2014 and 2015 highlights include three around-the-world trips, 70 Med departures to 25 ports, 10 transatlantic crossings between Hamburg and New York, Caribbean and New England/Canada cruises, Northern Europe circuits, and an array of new land tours.

CELEBRITY "Cruise Lingo" is Celebrity's attempt to meld modern tech with world travel. It is an interactive language and culture guide in a mobile application. By simply speaking a word or phrase, or typing it, the translated language of the local destination appears on the screen. The app has 80 standard phrases in 11 languages, 56 cruise-specific phrases, access to 2000 dictionary words translatable into all 11 languages. CARNIVAL are offering any passen-

gers who wish to leave their cruise within the first 24 hours of the voyage a full refund of their cruise fare plus an additional 10pc and complimentary return air transportation from the next port of call along with a $100 shipboard credit to be used on a future cruise.

SILVERSEA is introducing streamed movies and live TV news broadcasts for reception on passengers' mobile devices. SEABOURN is introducing

"Seabourn InSights," a series of on-line videos that offer insights into ships, destinations, and on-board personnel.

NORWEGIAN's 2014 deployment will consist of three ships in Alaska next summer, four in Europe for the summer, Hawaii, the Bahamas and Florida, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and new 4000-passenger ships based in New York City and Miami.

Page 028-032 Flying r 06/11/2013 09:26 Page 1



ETIHAD adding eight live TV channels to its inflight entertainment, BBC World News, BBC Arabic, Euronews and Sport 24. Further channels will then be added

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare


sengers took to Twitter after a fellow passenger sneaked a snake on board an Easyjet flight.

RYANAIR announced low cost transfers from 31 airports in partnership with Plus Group, including troublesome transfer spots such as Girona and Memmingen.

AMADEUS said that London has maintained its position as the world’s largest LCC city by capacity. VIRGIN Atlantic Clubhouse

has launched at Terminal 4 at JFK The airside space is double the size of Virgin Atlantic’s previous Clubhouse.

BRITISH AIRWAYS sale sees reductions of up to 41pc on long haul destinations worldwide. IAG chief executive Willie Walsh dismissed

Norwegian's low fare US plans and warned the airline will face "huge challenges" to keep its transatlantic costs as low as it has advertised. Pre-tax profits at Shannon-based duty-free operator Aer Rianta International almost halved last year to €18.9m.

IRAN AIR, which has been severely

hampered by the international sanctions against the country it represents, has one of the most eye-catching logos of all, compiled the 30 Best-Looking Airlines Logos in The World

HEATHROW has proposed that the

use of both runways for arrivals could help the airport get back to normal more quickly after periods of disruption and reduce the impact on passengers following an eight-month trial at the airport that ended in March,

CITYJET’s Dublin to London City serv-

ice is scheduled to increase from 32 to 34 weekly in 2014, 29 using RJ85s and 5 using F50s weekly.

BOEING got $20.7bn worth of 737 Max commitments from China.

BRITISH AIRWAYS launched a premium leisure sale, offering up to 40pc off flights and holidays in Club Europe, Club World and First cabins.

THE LOOP at Dublin and Cork airports won Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Frontier Awards in Cannes for its Christmas campaign, The Joy of Giving.

UNITED Airlines (reported third-quarter 2013 net income of $590m, up 13.5pc, and profit up to $379m against $6m a year earlier but the airlines' parent company is to take "immediate action" to improve efficiencies after saying its results were not good enough. UNITED were fined $1.1m under America’s controversial tarmac delay legislation for delays at Chicago O'Hare airport.

Ryanair has promised an extra 1m passengers will pass through Irish airports


All to play for

Abolition of tax leads to route announcements

irlines and airports rushed to welcome the abolition of the 3 tax in the 2013 budget.. The ITAA added that airlines should reduce some of their own charges in response, such as the Ash Crisis Protection and administration fees. Ryanair called a press conference

at short notice at which Michael Cawley (pictured) promised to deliver a million extra passengers and base an additional four aircraft in Ireland, (more visitors in 2014, Ryanair claimed, than the Gathering in 2013). Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that unless there was an increase in services the tax would be reintroduced (after four years and after the tax had al-



ore than 73 years on, the last scheduled movement of a Douglas passenger aircraft at Dublin took place this month with the arrival and departure of an MD82 on the SAS Copenhagen-Dublin route.


SE-DIR was scheduled to operate the flight initially but SAS changed the aircraft before the flight. Alan Sparling, Country Manager for SAS Ireland is pictured with the flight captain of SEDIR which hed been scheduled to be the last

MD-80 into Dublin The SAS morning service will continue to be operated by SAS’s subsidiary Blue1 using B717 (an MD-80 series development with the Boeing label) and the evening service will be an A320.

ready been found to be in breach of EU regulations). Dublin Airport’s response to Ryanair’s response ran to just 90 words and was phrased very carefully indeed (“we are fully supportive of any airline that plans to grow in the Irish market”), in advance of what can be expected to be tough talks with the notoriously avaricious airline.

Alan Sparling at cockpit of MD-80


yanair’s Michael Cawley told the IATA symposium that Ryanair are unlikely to deal with travel agents or allow any third party distribution. He told conference delegates: “Michael O’Leary

was misquoted, or so he told me.” O’Leary also told Travel Weekly that his comments on dealing with OTA’s were misreported. “We have accepted that you can’t get rid of or block out a lot of the OTAs.

We license some where they are giving people the price comparison websites where they send people through to make the booking. But we continue to oppose the likes of eDreams and other screen scrapers

where they engage in misleading customers to believe they are booking Ryanair when they are booking with eDreams. They don’t give us the email address so we can’t communicate with those passengers.”

Page 028-032 Flying r 06/11/2013 09:26 Page 2



Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

ETIHAD Airways will increase its Abu Dhabi-Colombo service from seven flights per week to a double daily schedule from February 16. Etihad has expanded its codeshare agreement with Korean Air, South Korea’s largest airline, RYANAIR For the third month in a row,

Ryanair carried eight million passengers in a single month in October, the only European airline to ever do so, up 2pc on October 2012 with load factor up 1pc from 82 to 83.

TICKETS The end of paper airline tickets is scheduled for April 2016, Tony Tyler the CEO of IATA said in Dublin this month

The infamous captcha has been removed from the Ryanair website

Captcha first to go


Ryanair to allow boarding passes on mobile phones

yanair’s customer experience revolution has progressed ast a faster pace than any of us expected, although there were a few caveats in last month’s announcement that the airline is to reduce fees, remove the second bag charge and introduce what it calls "quiet flights." Ryanair dropped the recaptcha from its website last month, two days earlier than expected, and gave customers a 24-hour grace period to allow customers to fix minor errors, such as spelling or pet names (Peggy, Paddy) in bookings. That facility is now in place, with more to come: ■ The number of clicks needed to book to be reduced from 20 (they say 17) to five from Nov 30, thanks to the removal of opt-outs, ■ An intuitive booking flow, which helps identify the cheapest fares from Nov 30. ■ My Ryanair, which allows customers to securely store their details so they can save time when making repeat bookings from Dec 31. ■ A facility to download boarding

passes to smart phones from Feb 28. ■ A revamped mobile app available for smart phones and tablets to allow your phone act as boarding pass from May. ■ A 'share the fare' option to allow users to share low fares on social networks from Mar 31. ■ A 'fare finder' feature, from April 30. ■ Tailored language websites in all its major EU markets starting April 2014. Customers who book directly on the website will be given a 24 hour grace period from the time of their original booking, to correct minor errors (such as spelling, names, routings) made in their original booking. This facility does not apply to travel agents or screenscrapers. Ryanair will operate “quiet flights”, prior to 8am in the morning and after 9pm in the evenings. During these quiet flight periods no PA’s will be made on board other than required safety announcements.



he Astral system will llive on to see its 50th anniversary in 1966, which may be a unique achievement for a PSS. So suggested Aer Lingus’ Christoph Mueller at the IATA Passenger Symposium in Dublin this month. Instead of buying somebody else’s re-

search as airlines do nowadays, Aer Lingus is going to rebuild its own technology and offer it for sale to other airlines. Christoph Mueller’s opening remarks to the symposium suggested Aer Lingus was about to rebuild the creaking Astral system (“older than most of the people in the room,” Gordon Wilson,

of Travelport remarked). Christoph Mueller said “the cost of deploying advanced PSS systems might still be an entry barrier to smaller airlines and that it "might be very useful" for them to team up with Aer Lingus. At its peak Astral had 20 airline clients around the world.

Ryanair will also dim the lights during these quiet flights so that any customers who wish to snooze, can comfortably do so. From December 1st, Ryanair will allow passengers to bring a second small carry-on bag (small ladies handbag or small airport shopping bag) no bigger than 35 x 20 x 20cm which will allow a bottle of wine or equivalent to be carried. Yes to duty free but no to laptops. From December 1st, Ryanair’s boarding card reissue fee will be cut from €70 to €15 for customers who have already checked in online. Customers who fail to check-in online will continue to pay a €70 airport check-in fee. There was some confusion about the fee reductions, originally announced for January 5th but moved to January 1st. Ryanair’s standard airport bag fees will be cut from €60 to €30 at the bag drop desk, and from €60 to €50 at the boarding gate, bringing them into line with competitor airline standard airport bag fees.

CBP The US Department of Homeland Se-

curity is to boost the numbers of staff at its Customs and Border Protection facility at Dublin Airport.

EASYJET announced new routes from

Belfast Aldergrove to Bordeaux, and Jersey for next summer.

ABU DHABI Carlow born John

O’Kelly’s steel engineering firm won the contract to build a new baggage handling facility at Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal.

ETIHAD suspended the Tripoli service for "safety and operational challenges" it has observed in recent months at the Libyan capital's airport.

RPG The Ryanair Pilots Group Press Con-

ference in Brussels announced officially the formation and aims of the RPG.


said they are to use four extra aircraft on routes from Dublin to Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff.

ETHIOPIAN Airlines took delivery of

the first of its four Boeing 777-300ERs next monthend. The B777-300ER will be the largest aircraft in the airline’s fleet with 400 passengers seating capacity.

QATAR Cardholders of all Oneworld

member airlines' frequent flyer programmes will receive double mileage points over a twoand-a-half month period when flying with Qatar Airways to celebrate the airline’s joining Oneworld.

AIR FRANCE is to launch a daily A380 service to SFO in March for the summer 2013 season. EMIRATES is to expand the Dubai-

Hong Kong service operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft before being upgraded to a larger Boeing 777-300ER later in the year

HEATHROW cancelled 20 times more flights than Gatwick during last month’s storms. DUBAI’s newest airport, which could be

Christoph Muelelr speaking at the IATA symposium

the world’s busiest within ten years, received its first commercial passenger aircraft.

QANTAS offered sneak peak of upcoming lounges in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Page 028-032 Flying r 06/11/2013 09:26 Page 3



AIR CANADA is to introduce premium economy onto London Heathrow flights. The airline plans a major expansion into Europe. It previously announced a daily Dublin year-round service under the Rouge brand. Avalon reported it has raised fleet numbers from 171 to 179.

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

LUFTHANSA are changing the seat reservation options for mid-priced fare groups (free seat reservation instead of seat upon check-in) and offering low-priced fare groups advance seat reservation for a fee on short/medium haul routes, which wasn’t possible before at all. On long-haul routes, all seat reservations in advance are free, and this remains unchanged. The changes to be implemented relate to mid-price and lower fares on short/medium-haul routes only.

ETIHAD will begin non-stop daily services between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles from June 2014, subject to regulatory approval.

POLICY The decision on Irish Aviation Policy is now deferred into 2014, following a further public consultation on a further draft policy statement.

DUBAI Colm McLoughlin, the Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free received the Michael Smurfit Business Achievement Award at the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA Annual American Celtic Ball in New York. DEPT OF TRANSPORT sug-

gests that EU Member States should be allowed to provide a higher maximum intervention rate for regional airports (90pc instead of 75pc) for safety and security related projects for all airports. There should be more flexibility for airports with less than 1m passengers and more flexibility in terms of the annual reduction in the operating cost coverage to take account of individual airport’s circumstances

DELTA and Virgin were granted approval

by the US authorities to coordinate fares and schedules on flights across the Atlantic.

GERMANWINGS, the Lufthansa

Group carrier, is to take over the Dublin to Düsseldorf route from Eurowings, part of Lufthansa Regional, for Summer 2014 from 31 March to 26 October, increasing frequency from 2 to 4 per week using Bombardier CRJ900s seating 86 passengers. This is in addition to the existing seasonal Dublin to Cologne service which will operate 4w.

FARO Some services from Dublin will be operated by A330-300 aircraft during summer 2014 between the morning transatlantic arrival and the afternoon departure, as happens to Malaga at present.

CORK Airport was ranked first for overall

customer satisfaction in the latest Airport Service Quality. Niall MacCarthy said there will be new route announcements in the coming months and “we are confident of further passenger growth across all airlines in 2014.”

BELFAST City Airport operating profit

in 2012 fell by £1.3m to £0.7m

Munich: A new Ryanair route form Shannon

Shannon’s 8-up


Ryanair announce two German routes for 2014

yanair’s Michael Cawley said the airline plans to base a second aircraft at Shannon as the airline announced eight new routes (five of them restarts) in response to Michael Noonan’s abolishing the €3 tax. Ryanair say the routes from Shannon to Berlin, Faro, Fuerteventura, Krakow, Munich, Nice, Paris and Warsaw from April 2014, which will deliver an additional 300,000 passengers p.a. and support 300* new onsite jobs at Shannon. The new route announcement was

more adventurous than it might have been. Beauvais, Faro (a route restarted by Aer Lingus this summer), Fuerteventura and Warsaw were predictable, Berlin, Krakow, Munich and Nice laess so. There were no new/revived routes to England. Michael O’Leary sees Shannon as an inbound destination (“the Germans love that hunting, fishing shooting stuff”) but the airline has tried 35 different roués from Shannon in the past. Ryanair say they will deliver an extra 1m passengers p.a. that Ryanair



yanair announced three more routes from Knock, Glasgow, Eindhoven and (a surprise) Kaunas in Lithuania.


They will increase frequency on the Knock to Stansted routes from 16 to 18 flights pw, and now have 16 routes from Ireland West Airport Knock.

will deliver at Irish airports in direct response to the Government’s budget decision to scrap the €3 travel tax from April 2014. At the peak in 2008, Ryanair was flying 20 departures a day with 6 based aircraft, compared to only 5 daily departures and one aircraft now. Ryanair promised 300,000 new passengers bringing Ryanair total at Shannon to 750,000 & airport passenger numbers to 2.3m, up 15pc. Like he turned on a tap, he has Shannon growing again. Next up Cork and Farranfore.

Ryanair say this will deliver an additional 80,000 passengers ayear. and support 80 new on-site jobs at Knock, bringing the total to 580,000 Ryanair passengers a year.


er Lingus announced summer 2014 schedule, with increased capacity on 15 outes from Dublin but now additions to the network. Capacity incrreases in-

clude Alicante (lead in fares from €73.99), Bilbao Bordeaux (€56.99), (€56.99), Corfu (€116.99), Lanzarote (€116.99), Nice (€63.99) and Santiago de Compostela (€63.99), There are capacity in-

Joe Gilmore of Knock

creases from Shannon to New York and Boston (€229 each way including taxes and charges, almost doubling the schedule and operating year-round. Cork increases include Cork to Barcelona and

London Heathrow. New routes to San Francisco and Toronto from Dublin, announced with much fanfare earlier this year, will also begin next April.

Page 028-032 Flying r 06/11/2013 09:26 Page 4



Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

AIR FRANCE is to provide €12m to

Cityjet and has committed to continue funding until August 2014. Air France has already provided €180m in capital. CityJet made a €21.3m operating loss in 2012. The accounts show total loss of €209m in 2012, including exceptionals of €185m.

ETIHAD Airways is to organise new recruitment open days across the country.

AVIOS Frequent flier Avios points earned on BA flights and otherwise are now redeemable on Aer Lingus transatlantic flights,

SHANNON Airport passenger numbers

grew 7pc in September to 276,289, the fourth successive month of passenger growth. Transatlantic routes were up 21pc and European services up 4pc.

AIR NEW ZEALAND appointed Antony Price as new general manager Europe.

The body language between Michael Cawley and Stephen Kavanagh during the IATA symposium

Coming up for air


Cawley compared Ryanair to other LCCs, mentioning the disadvantages of Chapter 11 to the airline sector in the USA and made some interesting points on misconceptions about ticket prices and how the demographic of low cost airlines is much lower than their rivals. He said a new generation was growing up that did not have the expectation of getting things for nothing from airlines, costs which somebody had to pay. He said that he did not understand why airlines provide lounges as they were not economically viable. Stephen Kavanagh of Aer Lingus told how customers determine the Aer Lingus business model, spoke about aspects of the LCC model and pointed



ncillary revenue is now a nonword,” Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller said in his opening address the IATA Passenger Symposium in Dublin this month. “We are changing the phrase to added value. We want our ancillary revenue to be eatable, to

be consumable, to be enjoyable.” “They are not ancillary they are vital. We are sitting at 20pc of our revenue from airline passengers through the ancillary channel. There must be value behind them.” “If it is perceived as tricking the customer and charging under a dif-

ferent bracket what is supposed to be part of the normal ticket, that is not the way we want to go. The name ancillary revenue is already tarnished, particularly in Ireland, where you can be very badly surprised when you turn up at the airport.”

offer more than €140m towards the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme deficit of €800m.


European Commission is investigating the incentives offered by Girona-Costa Brava and Reus airports to airlines (Ryanair). La Repubblica claims Ryanair is receiving €10m of the €15m made available to low cost carriers by out how all European carriers have a Italian airports. problem. The conference propagated a new EU has proposed an amendment to the conword (screenagers), some great stats troversial EU emissions trading system (so that (2.5m cups of tea served on Aer Lin- aviation emissions would be covered for the gus flights, and the 38 different web- part of flights that takes place in European airsites visited by average holiday maker space. before they make a booking), a few AIR FRANCE will launch three choice quotes (Michael Cawley: “the idea of Air France buying Alitalia is a flights a month from Paris to Brasilia from 31 joke, it is like two drunks holding March,, with connections from Dublin. each other up”), and not a little wis- TRANSAERO Airlines CEO Olga dom: (“how come theme parks like Pleshakova said the airline is planning to inDisney are better able to construct stall a record 652 seats in 12-24-616 configuracustomer offers than airlines” from tion when it takes delivery its first Airbus A380 Bryan Wilson and “put aside the idea in 2015. that your intermediaries are your cusclaimed that austerity was tomer, the consumer is king,” from EASYJET driving businessmen to use the airline. Anne Coughlan). CITYJET will continue as the official airline for Leinster Rugby until 2015.

IATA symposium brings 700 aviators to Dublin

ATA Passenger Symposium in Dublin brought together 703 delegates, 80 speakers and 50 exhibitors. Michael Cawley gave a succinct and energetic description of Ryanair’s business model to symposium, Ryanair is run for the benefit of shareholders. Other airlines are not as focussed on the interests of share holders. He said far from exploiting airports by looking for marketing support, Ryanair was changing a situation where airports made all the money out of aviation for decades. Prompted by mention of Germanwings, Michael Cawley spoke about the dismal record of those low cost carriers run by legacy carriers.

AER LINGUS said it is not going to

JETSTAR Australian airline Jetstar

apologised for an 'I am gay' message slapped across a passenger’s suitcase

DAA Vincent Harrison of DAA told dele-

gates at the IATA Passenger Symposium in Dublin this month that 80pc of DAA car park customers now pay online.

AVIATION’s winter season kicked off

with 250 new air routes worldwide in the first two months (including Dublin-Newcastle).

GADGETS Pressure is on Europe after

Ancillary charges are now 20pc of revenue at Aer Lingus

the US aviation regulator lifted the ban on use of e-books and tablets on flights. JetBlue and Delta were first to let passengers use gadgets during takeoff and landing.

Page 028-032 Flying r 06/11/2013 09:26 Page 5

€ €



EMIRATES expects to become the

largest airline by international traffic in 2020, with 250 aircraft flying 70m passengers (Ryanair already does 80m).

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

THEFT Police arrested nine members of staff at Heathrow airport on suspicion of theft.

RYANAIR derided a survey which claimed that when baggage charges are added they are not the cheapest airline. Pegasus Airlines was named the cheapest European lowcost airline by Although Ryanair was the cheapest based on average basic prices of tickets, when you add on transaction fees and charges for checking in luggage, it finished in fourth place.

AIRPORT SLEEPING Website named Manila as the world's worst airport for the second year running, with Bergamo named worst in Europe and Ryanair’s Paris airport Beauvais second worst in Europe. Singapore Changi was voted as the world’s best airport for the 17th year in a row with Amsterdam voted best in Europe.

JAL Japan Airlines threatened to sue the

government for favouring rival ANA in allocating landing slots

DELTA Air Lines reported quarterly in-

come up 31pc to $1.37bn due to a rise in passenger numbers and air fares and a fall in fuel costs. It said bookings for the end of year holiday season were strong.

TWO SEATSa 37 stone Welshman

who was forced to pay for two seats on a flight out of Ireland and then found that one seat was in row 17 and the other in row 19,


gus flights now pre-clear customs and immigration in Ireland. Until the end of October, afternoon flights EI125, EI137 and EI139 do not preclear in Dublin.

UNITEDAirlines is to extend its seasonal

Shannon-Chicago service by five months in 2014, operating from May 22 to September

RYANAIR has asked customers to submit their opinions to Michael O'Leary.

LOUNGE Irish born Lisa Murray’s Quintessentially Aviation is to open a new lounge for private jet fliers at Shannon designed by Cohn Rhattigan

BA British Airways has trialled new smartphone bag tags for use by customers.

TRANSAVIA Dutch charter airline Transavia cancelled flights to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh due to an alleged threat of a militant rocket attack. NORWEGIAN Bjorn Kjos of Nor-

wegian launched a Gatwick to JFK service (3w) with lead in prices from €176, Fort Lauderdale (2w) and, Los Angeles (2w), to be operated by Norwegian’s Irish headquartered transAtlantic division. Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, threatened to resign if the airport is not short-listed for another runway.

Air France lounge, Hall M Charles de Gaulle airport

More CdeG glee


Hall M makes transit easier but mainly for Shenghen

or a sense of the high price Irish passengers pay for staying out of Shenghen it is worth looking at the new facilities at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Ireland want to be in Schengen but while Britain stays out that is not a possibility. It adds 15-20 minutes to transfer times through Charles de Gaulle – more at peak periods. The airport has gotten more efficient since hall M opened in June 2012, but more complicated too, especially for those of us outside the promised land of Schengen. The airport has changed its security system to become self regulating, you can chose a green queue if your connection is less than an hour and a half and an orange queue if your connection is more than an hour and a half. Yes passengers get lost and end up in the wrong hall, but the French have


upgraded their in-terminal technology to help. If in doubt, find one of the Aeroports de Paris kiosks. Stick your boarding card in, it reads the barcode, and you get your gate number and flight information. Charles De Gaulle arrivals and departures come in six waves a day, so there is a lot of frantic shutting around, particularly in the morning, and inevitably a few people end up in the wrong hall. Air France say 97pc of their connections succeed with both customers and luggage traveling onbound together. Flying with Cityjet gets you to terminal 2E (sort of, after a bus ride in the case of 60pc of connections). The train that shuttles passengers from one end of 2E to another now has three stops and they have double the number of train cars to carry 8,000 passengers an hour.

it is At Hall L where I boarded AF 3563. It processes 10m passengers a year and has bays for eight aircraft, including seven A380s at the same time. Hall M is long haul only with room for 16 wide body aircraft, seven A380’s at the same time. The security area of Hall M is the largest in Europe. The waiting area there has 600 seats and offers 6 square meteres a passenger. There are also six Air France lounges. A giant new Eu13m lounge in Hall M is available to economy passengers for an admission price of Eu35. “When we say Air France,” Jean Paul Claret says, “passengers hear the word France.” “it is therefore important not to disappoint our customers who demand excellence.”


esearch by London Sleep Centre showed the value of an extra inch of wriggle room, a seat 18 inches wide improves quality of sleep by 53pc above a seat 17 inches wide, Airbus called on airlines to implement an 18 inch minimum.

The London Sleep Centre using polysomnography* to record every standard physiological sleep measurement – including monitoring brainwaves, eye, abdominal, chest and hip leg movement Dr Irshaad Ebrahim of The London Sleep Centre commented: “The differ-

ence was significant. All passengers experienced a deeper, less disturbed and longer nights’ sleep in the 18 inch seat. They went from one sleep stage to the next as you would expect them to do under normal circumstances. Whilst, in the narrower 17 inch seat the passengers were affected by numerous distur-

bances during sleep which meant they rarely experienced deep restorative sleep. When it comes to flying long haul in economy, an inch makes a huge difference on passenger comfort.” Both Aer Lingus and Ryanair use seats that are 17 inches wide.

Page 033 TE golf day r 06/11/2013 12:15 Page 1



Mary Stillman, overall winner ladies, with Maureen Ledwith of Travel Extra and Volker Lorenz

Martin Dempsey overall winner mens

Jack Sheil category 1 winner mens

Ann Marie Dalton category 1 winner laides

Dave Conlon category 2 winner mens

Ann Byrne category 2 winner ladies

Action from the ninth Travel Extra golf day, won by Mary Stillman and Martin Dempsey

Mary Martin show


Ninth Travel Extra golf day brings out the sun

wo new Travel Etxra champions, Martin Dempsey and Mary Stillman were the winners of the ninth edition of the Travel Extra TIGS golf event at the Castle in Rathfarnham. The AGM of TIGS was an opportunity to reflect on one of the most spectacularly successful years in TIGS history. Membership has grown from 70 to 120 and on a fine Thursday sandwiched between an extremely wet Wednesday and Friday (the Castle course was declared unplayable on both days), 45 golfers took to the course for the event.

Volker Lorenz of Amadeus succeeded Eileen Penrose, who is leaving Emirates, as TIGS captain and Audrey Headon of World Travel Centre succeeded Graham Aldren of British Airways as President of TIGS. Helen Kelly is the new treasurer. Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra, thanked the TIGS committee for organising the event. Gents Winner Martin Dempsey (11) 39 points; Ladies Winner Mary Stillman (31) 36 points; Category 1 Gents - Jack Sheil; Ladies - Ann Marie Dalton; Category 2 Gents - Dave Conlon; Ladies - Ann Byrne;

Louis O’Toole category 3 winner mens

Category 3 Louis O’Toole; Nearest the Pin Gents - Gilbert Barrington; Ladies winner - Mary Stillman; Longest Drive Gents - Martin Dempsey; Ladies winner - Ann Marie Dalton. Previous winners gents: 2005 Tom Mulcahy, 2006 Jimmy Lennox, 2007 Bruce Crehan, 20089 Jimmy Lennox, 2010 Con Horgan, 2011-2 Louis O’Toole. Previous winners ladies: 2008 Audrey Headon, 2009 Niamh Byrne, 2010 Lorraine Cunningham, 2011 Rachel Treanor, 2012 Ann Byrne..

New TIGS President Audrey Headon speaking at the event

Incoming TIGS captain Volker Lorenz,the overall winners Mary Stillman and Martin Dempsey and Maureen Ledwith of Travel Extra

Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra speaks at the event

Setting out on the course on a fine October Thursday

John Spollen back 9 winner mens

Tanya Airey back 9 winner ladies

Page 034 Travel Writer Awards r 06/11/2013 12:15 Page 1



2002 winner Cleo Murphy

2003 winner Pól Ó Conghaile with tourism minister Seamus Brennan who presented the award

2004 winner Pól Ó Conghaile with Gerry O’Hare, Seamus Brennan and Michael Doorley

2005 winner Kathryn Thomas with Gerry O’Hare and James Malone

2006 winner Muriel Bolger with Stephen Rea who presented the awards

The awards ceremony will take place in Thomas Prior Hall on January 24th 2014

Get your entry in for travel writer awards T

he Travel Extra Travel Writer of the year awards are now open for entries. There are eleven categories and entries are invited to: Travel Extra Travel Writer awards, Limelight Communications, 60 Grand Canal Street Upper, Dublin 4. Articles should be printed out in hard copy with contact details for the entrant. The awards will be presented at a function in Thomas Prior Hall on Friday January 24 2014, during the Holiday World Show at RDS Sim-

monscourt. Home market - Category sponsor: Fáilte Ireland. Long haul - Category sponsor: Sunway. Northern Ireland - Category sponsor: Northern Ireland Tourist Board. New media - Category sponsor: Clickandgo. Short break - Category sponsor: Cassidy Travel. Skiing - Category sponsor: Topflight. Sun holiday - Category sponsor: Falcon Holidays.

Broadcast Production - Category sponsor: Istop shop. Travel Book – Category sponsor: Lowcostholidays. Spain – Category sponsor: Spanish Tourist Board. Overall - Category sponsor: Maltese Tourist Board. Previous winners of the overall award were: 2002 Cleo Murphy, 2003-4 Pól Ó Conghaile, 2005 Kathryn Thomas, 2006 Muriel Bolger, 2007 Philip Nolan, 2008 Pól Ó Conghaile, 2009 Mark Evans 2010 Philip Nolan 2011 Isabel Conway 2012 Sue Morrell.

2007 winner Philip Nolan with Gerry O’Hare, James Malone and Alex Incorvaja

2008 winner Pol O Conghaile with Gerry O’Hare

2009 winner Mark Evans with Eoghan Corry and Gerry O’Hare

2010 winner Philip Nolan with Lorraine Keane, Maureen Ledwith and Eoghan Corry

2012 all Category winners

2011 winner Isabel Conway with Alex Incorvaja and Gerry O’Hare

2012 winner Sue Morrell with Eoghan Corry, Gonzalo Ceballos and Alex Incorvaja

Page 035 Agent r 06/11/2013 09:33 Page 1

Inside the Travel Business



NDC still on trial Debate rages at IATA conference in Dublin

ATA reassured delegates at the World Passenger Symposium, which included a record 50 travel agents, in Dublin that they did NOT plan to develop NDC at the cost of agents and GDSs. NDC is not a channel, it is channelagnostic, Yanik Hoyles of IATA repeated more than once. Both Christoph Mueller of Aer LIngus and Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of Air France, made the point that the investment required for NDC was not high compared with the cost of aircraft. Airlines would spend more than €500m required for NDC on two A330 aircraft. It was clear that nobody can martch the investment potential of the airlines. Conor Brophy pointed out that Datalex’s entire cap funding, by comparison, was €40m. Clare Dunne, President of the Irish Travel Agents Association, was among a record 50 agents at the conference and she voiced the concerns


lare Dunne represented the Irish Travel Agents Association at the first World Summit of Presidents Travel Agencies Associations in Cordoba. Fifty Presidents and

FOST Friend Operators in Spanish Tourism, a specialist group of tour operators working with the larger agents who send tourists to Spain, is to be chaired by former ITAA President Con Horgan, and will hold its first event on December 12 in Dublin. ETIHAD Dave Walsh is leaving Dublin

to become Etihad’s manager in Malaysia. Dave communicated his desire to work abroad when joining Etihad as Ireland manager two years ago. European manager Beatrice Cosgrove will head up the Irish operation of Etihad Airways.


formerly of Thomas Cook is to head up the Irish operation of Tunisian specialist operator Just Sunshine, the tour operating division of the El Mouradi hotel group in Tunisia. The Irish division will operate from an office in Merrion Square Dublin and plan a monthly charter from Dublin to Enfida.

Explaining NDC at the IATA Conference about IATA’s New Distribution Capa- pre-internet standards” and also said bility: “We want something that de- in response to a question from Travel livers value, if we don’t do that, we Extra at the press conference that airwon’t be in business.” lines needed more data about their Tony Tyler CEO of IATA com- customers to “help enhance their exmented in his opening remarks that perience.” travel agents technology is “built on



endy Aitken has been newly appointed as Head of Recruitment and Training for Holiday Experts, the new homeworking division of Jeff Collins’ Best4 Travel. Wendy was previously General Manager for Thomas Cook retail in Ireland. Holiday Experts - Ireland is to offer an attractive homeworking recruitment package,

which includes the provision of free set up of telephones, IT systems and training, central administration for accounting and documentation, free personalized websites and e-marketing, 50% paid towards selected marketing activity to help agents grow their databases and inclusion on free educational and conferences. They will have the ability to dynamically package holidays, selling under the

license and bonding of 4 Travel. Holiday Experts-Ireland and 4 Travel Managing Director, Jeff Collins, stated "We see potential for growth with Holiday Experts-Ireland as the travel agent community looks for better ways of stimulating business. We have the ability to feed calls to the homeworkers through our network of businesses.


Wendy Aitken


CEOs of Travel Agent Associations from all over the world attended the event. Also present were the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, the Secretary-General of WTO (World Tourism Organization), the Andalusia Re-

gional Minister of Tourism and Commerce, the Secretary of State for Tourism, the President of Cordoba Provincial Council, the Mayor of Cordoba and the General Manager of TURESPAÑA.

Subjects to be covered include Travel Facilitation and Connectivity, Associations in the 21st Century, Sustainable Tourism, NDC and an Open Forum: where we are and where we are going.

WORLDCHOICE will have 35 Irish and UK business partner exhibitors at their annual conference, which includes a workshop, Gala Dinner, Awards Ceremony and Christmas Party and takes place at the Pillo Hotel Ashbourne on November 30th.

ECTAA The European Travel Agents and Tour Operator Associations bring 50 travel trade leaders their bi-ennial meeting in Ballsbridge this autumn. Each year, the members of ECTAA hold two annual meetings hosted by members of ECTAA in different member countries. In light of the Gathering and Ireland holding the EU Presidency this year, the ITAA will the host the 108th ECTAA biannual meeting in Dublin on the 28th – 29th November, 2013. This will be the first time in 17 years this event has been hosted in Ireland. ROYAL CARIBBEAN invited the trade to a product update on Wednesday November 6 with news of what it calls “opportunities which will convert everyone into Royal Caribbean brand experts.” As part of the restructuring within the organisation, Stuart Leven has been appointed MD of Royal Caribbean International Ireland and UK. Dominic Paul is new vice president international. UNITED Airlines and California’s Cen-

tral Coast are giving away eight seats on a Fam Trip to California in February.

LOWCOST travelgroup launched new business and consumer websites in the US, New Zealand and South Korea. The Lowcost headquarters is moving to Spain, where CEO Paul Evans and marketing manager Alex Gisbert are based. Clem Walshe will continue to head up the Irish operation.

INNSTANT Travel launched its new

product “Sports Tickets Online”.

AMADEUS announced an agreement with dnata, one of the world’s largest combined air services providers.


Ireland is to organise Discovery Days across the country for recruits. 0818 33 20 03.

Page 036 Agentr 06/11/2013 09:34 Page 1



SUNWAY’s new Florida, USA Cities

and Canada 2014 brochure features Orlando from €579, New York from €680 and Las Vegas from €675.

TRAVELSAVERS say they will continue their policy of not charging their agencies any fees through 2014l and will have an open policy on supplier contract terms that they can share with their members. For any enquires on becoming a Travelsavers agency or for more information please contact 087 7627869

TRAILFINDERS launched their 2014 Caribbean brochure to be followed by Islands of the Indian Ocean 2014 (Nov 12), a dedicated brochure on Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman 2014 (Nov 18, on the back of Etihad's and Emirates direct flights to the area) Africa and The Middle East (Dec 7), all orderable on (you can order up to 3 brochures before 4pm each day and they'll be posted out that same day). Insight Vacations launched their Europe Brochure 2014.

BOOKABED released details of their prizes on a Fam Trip to Chicago in December. US. Hotels booked before Nov 22 will earn 5 Bookabed Points, any USA direct Aer Lingus flight or a Kimpton property will receive 5 extra bonus points, USA Attractions through the call centre will receive 5 bonus points.

TRAVELSAVERS Travel Tix desk now offers Irish travel agencies attractive commission levels on carriers that often do not offer such levels in Ireland. International contracts include: Virgin Airways, United Airways, Malaysian, Lufthansa, Air Canada and many more with commission up to 15pc. ROYAL CARIBBEAN Interna-

tional, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises announced improvements to their res system and a two month agent training and sales blitz, link here.

NEW YORK’s Ellis Island reopened to

the public one year after Hurricane Sandy forced its closure. NYC & company is focusing on Long Island City in Queens as part of the neighbourhood campaign.


The 40 members of Hotels & Preference, a chain of 150 chic luxury hotels, are offering a 15pc commission rate to travel agencies for reservations made until Feb 28 2014.

TRAVELSAVERS say their global

hotel rate programme has over 20,000 “BAR” (Best Available) rates with negotiated, contracted rates available exclusively to Travelsavers Agencies leisure and corporate.

JUSTSPLIT has appointed Frank Mc-

Caffrey, formerly of SAS, as Sales and Marketing Manager.

SOUTH AFRICA Tourism’s Ubuntu Awards was re-launched during this year’s WTM. EILEEN Penrose is leaving Emirates.

Inside the Travel Business

Doreen’s delight


Doreen winner of NI Travel Industry award 2013

McKenzie was oreen awarded the Industry Award at the NITTN Travel Trade Awards last month. Mervyn McNeely the Industry Roll of Honour, Barry Jackson the NI Travel Trade Representative/Manager of the Year 2013 and Oasis Travel, Lisburn the Agency of the year award. Sandra Corkin of Oasis is pictured with Doreen McKenzie. ■ Tourist Information Centre 2013 Derry TIC ■ NI Special Tourism Achievement Award 2013 - John Toner ■ NI Tourism Marketing Initiative 2013 - Fleadh Cheoil, Derry 2013 ■ NI Visitor Attraction 2013 - Giants Causeway ■ NI Travel Student of the Year 2013 - Francis McCabe ■ UK Domestic Airline 2013 Flybe ■ Airline Worldwide 2013 - United Airlines ■ Airline to Europe, ex-Belfast 2013 - Aer Lingus ■ Ferry Company 2013 - Stena Line ■ Tourist Board 2013 - Dubai ■ Accommodation-Only Specialist 2013 - Travelcube ■ Travel Internet Booking System 2013 - Jet2

Sandra Corkin and Doreen McKenzie: Honoured at NI awards ■ Travel Insurance Company 2013 - ■ Package Tour Operator - Jet2holiBlue Insurances days ■ Cruise Line 2013 - Royal ■ NI Travel Trade RepresentaCaribbean International tive/Manager of the Year 2013 Barry Jackson ■ Luxury Operator 2013 - Caribtours ■ Sales Support Team to NI Travel Trade 2013 - Corporate Travel ■ Specialist Cruise Company - Sil■ NI Multiple Retail Agency versea Cruises Thomas Cook, Buttercrane, Newry ■ Worldwide Tour Operator 2013 Kuoni ■ NI Travel Industry Award 2013 Doreen McKenzie ■ Specialist Tour Operator 2013 American Holidays ■ NI Travel Industry - Roll of Honour - Mervyn McNeely ■ Short Breaks Tour Operator 2013 ■ NI Travel Agency of the Year - Superbreak 2013 - Oasis Travel, Lisburn. ■ Ski Operator 2013 - Topflight



ravel Counsellors Ireland 2014 Conference will take place from Thursday March 27th – Saturday March 29th at a venue to be confirmed. Over 120 delegates will be in attendance, 55


of the company’s agents and partners plus the company’s management team, head office staff guest speakers and suppliers. There were suggestions they should go back to Cork after the most successful confer-

ence in the history of the Irish operation was held in Fota last April? Cathy Burke says she is conscious of the journey for some people to Cork from Donegal etc. so she is looking at a few more before we make our final decision.

Cathy Burke and Ciara MacConnell at 2013 conference


ravel Centres annual conference in Naas hosted 113 at the owners/managers day on Friday, and had to change function rooms due to the unprecedented demand for places. With 210 confirmed for the Saturday programme,

our figures were up 23pc on last year’s attendance. The full programme on Friday includes presentations from: Carol Smyth (Syneo) and Pat Kennedy (EConcepts) presented a new Facebook platform that Travel Centres is considering developing for its mem-

bers Saqib Ahmed showcased a real game changer in productivity suites, their new Intuiti platform combines, a DP booking engine, CRM and sales pipeline software. Alan Richardson shared industry stats with members when he revealed some interesting metrics,

extracted from the Commission for Aviation Regulations’ data set. Some 45 suppliers representing 57 separate brands will engage with key agency personnel on Saturday afternoon, culminating in the Travel Centres annual agency and supplier awards at the Gala Dinner.

Page 037 window seat r 06/11/2013 09:34 Page 1



Busman’s holiday: Don Shearer

Home sweet hime: it is hard to beat the camping experience in France

Every month we ask a leading travel professional to write about their personal holiday experience. This month: Don Shearer, general manager of Worldchoice Ireland


iva La France! What’s the difference between and Egg and France? You can beat an Egg!!! Polite version of an old one I know, but for me, France, and in particular the Atlantic coastal resorts, offer the real deal when it comes to chilling the beans (French of course). I was persuaded many


years ago by a colleague in American Holidays to try the mobile home experience. Take the ferry, load the car, strap on the bikes, kids, surf boards, togs and head for Roscoff. I was hooked! You can bring as much luggage as you like, your car magically becomes a large, fast suitcase which you don’t have to try and smuggle on board and then squeeze into an overhead bin! Then “hey presto” you can get into it after

eating, drinking and sleeping, throw all the family in and drive to your destination. The selection of

beaches, towns, resorts and sites from North to South are too numerous to mention, but I found a little slice of heaven in a sea side town called St Gilles Croix de vie, situated In the Pays de las Loire region of the Vendee. That was the best part of twenty years ago and in the words of Mr Remington, I was so impressed I bought the company, in the guise of my holiday home.


e cannot be unimpressed by the pace of change in Ryanair. Less that a year ago Michael O’Leary went on the Late Late show to say “the customer is almost always wrong.” He said that Ryanair deliberately “tortures” its passengers when they check in bags; that the airline industry is populated by a bunch of “losers” and “lemmings”; and that Ryanair’s ideal customer is someone with “a pulse and a credit card”.

Then in summer Ryanair issued an unexpected profit warning, and O’Leary grudgingly told shareholders that he will stop “unnecessarily pissing people off”. What has happened since is astonishing. O'Leary had always insisted that a stiff-necked approach to customer service kept costs (and thus fares) down. Ryanair’s clunky, angst-inducing website is being replaced. And the airline would enter the world of social media by launching a Twitter page.

Take the ferry, take the car

Remember this? “We don't pander to all the twats on Twitter, or the crap on Facebook. If you want to be a friend of somebody, go buy a dog.” Or this. “All of this crap you get from IT specialists–saying it should be a smooth and seamless process– bullshit it should be. Being a smooth and seamless process reduces your ability to deliver ancillary sales, and ancillary sales form a key part of us making air travel cheaper and cheaper.” Plus ca change.

IN YOUR NEXT TRAVEL EXTRA: Available to Travel Agents or online January 20 2014

HOLIDAY WORLD 2014 Guide to the show and the destinations of the year BUMPER 80-PAGE CONSUMER EDITION

Page 038 pics r 06/11/2013 09:35 Page 1



r and Ivan Beacom of Ae Sharon Jordan of 1sts the in n ncisco functio Lingus at the San Fra Crypt,

Ciaran Mulhall, Helen Kelly and Eimear Farre ll at the Travel Extra TIGS day at the Castle.


wer at the Travel Ex Ann Byrne and John Po . TIGS day at the Castle

Jennifer Macken and Brendan Liddy of Tourism ireland at the IATA passe nger symposium in DublinCaption

Out and about with the Travel Trade

,Valerie Metcalfe of FCm, Claire Dunne of Travel- Volker Lorenz of Aamdeus, Con Horga n of Abbey broker, President of the IITAAand Sinead Reilly Travel and Ann Marie Dalton of Turkis h Airlines at the Tra vel Extra TIGS day at of Travelport at the IATA Passenger Symposium the Castle

Veronica Aherne, Linda Ryan and Niamh Doherty of Tour America at the San Francisco function in the Crypt,

Audrey Headon of World Travel Centre and Jeff Collins of Globe Hotels at the Travel Extra TIGS day at the Castle.

Marianne Costello of SFO, Tom Kiely, Exec VP San Francisco Tourism and Barry Hammond of Topflight at the San Francisco function

an rahan travel in Monagh Mark Clifford of O’Han Ra in of Travel Advisors and Kealen Valentine ce en sid in the Re toath at the Ifonly launch

Ciara Corcoran and Da vid Buckley of Celtic Ho rizons at the San Franci sco function in the Cry pt

Caitriona Toner from US Margaret Skinner and la Dinner in the Royal Airways at the IATA Ga am Hospital Kilmainh

Deirdre Sweeny and Clare Doherty of Sunway at Brenda Douglas and Denise Winters of the n Fran CVB Stephen Hubertus Fungue of Sa the America’s Premier Shopping Places event in Garda holiday club and Debbie Black ire hop and Marie Cla of Ifonly at /Go vel Tra as the Atl of Ifo a nly nn launch in the Residen McKe ction the Residence, Dublin, fun sco ce, nci Fra n Sa the Porter of Sunway at

Robbie Smart and Ge rry Headon at the Travel Extra TIGS day at the Castle.

John Moroney and Pam Fogarty at the Travel Extra TIGS day at the Castle.

er at the the IATA Passeng Shannon airport team rriHa l be Isa , key Pa il Ne Symposium in Dublin, r, son and Declan Powe

9 page 039-040 06/11/2013 09:47 Page 1

Millennium Holiday group

is a DMC in Antalya, Turkish Riviera, for nearly 18 years.

Having our headquarter in Antalya, it is particularly advantageous being within a very easy reach of our guests, thus enabling us to deal with all their requirements and to make sure our operations continue smoothly. 96 % of customer satisfaction among our guests coming from 13 different countries with more than 32 tour operators proves us the quality of our services. Beside golfing holidays, we also offering various travel options to the non golfers such as Spa holidays, short breaks to the other exciting destinations in Turkey. We proud ourselves by offering taylor made packages with competitive rates to all our partners.

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We are glad to inform that Millennium Holiday Group is just opening 4 new branches in Istanbul, Kusadasi, Van and Dubai, in order to help you to plan your next projects on these destinations.

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page 039-040 06/11/2013 09:47 Page 2


!;7# 13

Travel Extra Jan 2014: Weddings, honeymoons and escorted tours issue.