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VEGAS DESERT OASIS OF EXCESS DOM REP OUTSIDE THE ALL-INCLUSIVE S AFRICA WALKING JOHANNESBURG Germany TM
R U YO
e d a r T ER P PA
IRELAND'S PREMIER SOURCE OF TRAVEL INFORMATION Free
July August 2013
VOLUME 17 NUMBER 7
and other winter options
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AntarcticOrlando Seaworld Orlando opens exhibit with penguins and more
lorida’s big ticket opening of the season took place last month. Mary McKenna of Tour America was among the guests when SeaWorld Orlando opened Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, which features a room with below-freezing temperatures and hundreds of birds. Visitors queued for more than four hours to experience the four-minute signature ride, which follows the Southern hemisphere adventures of young Puck the penguin, guided by a new trackless ride system that helps imitate movements of the birds. More than 250 birds from four species are on open-air display at the end of the ride. They show off their swimming skills in a room built for underwater viewing. The attraction's exterior is designed to look like tall walls of ice and snowcapped granite on all sides of the four-acre area. It is another boost to Central Florida’s $32bn tourism industry.A
ers: The Ride — 3D and Springfield (an extension of The Simpsons experience) are both opening this summer. Earlier this month, the Orlando theme park opened Fast Food Boulevard, a line of Springfield eateries including Krusty Burger, Luigi's Pizza, the Flying Dutchman and Cletus Chicken Shack Moe's Tavern serves Duff Beer and Duff Light, both specially made for Universal Orlando, are on draft.. Flam-
DISNEY are to join Universal Orlando in charging more than $90 for a single-day, single-park ticket. Admission to the Magic Kingdom has increased by $6 to $95 (or $89 ages 3-9) and one day admission to its other Florida parks, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, is s$90 ($84 ages 3-9) Disneyland California is to charge $92 and a one-day park hopper ticket goes from $125 to $137. Most Europeans pay for longer term tickets. DUBLIN was one of the cheapest cities in Europe for a club sandwich according to the Hotels.com poll of in 840 hotels across 28 countries. Geneva was most expensive.
Mary McKenna at the opening of Antarctica in Florida whole generation of Americans have grown up thinking the Serengeti is in Orlando. Now a new generation will
ing Moe's, a non-alcoholic drink that's made without cough syrup, ("Simpsons" fans get that one), are also available. A ride based on the show's space aliens called the Kang & Kodos Twirl 'n' Hurl, according to Universal will open later this year.
think that Antarctica is in Orlando as well.
Smithsonian in Virginia and Endeavour at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, as well as the prototype orbiter Enterprise at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City — Atlantis is being displayed in "flight."
KENNEDY pace Centre Vis- LEGOLAND itor Complex: the retired Space Shuttle Atlantisand the new $10 m exhibit that bears its name will open to the public on June 29. Unlike the other shuttles — Discovery at the
WINTER SUN NEW
FALCON Holidays has added two new destinations to its holiday programme for summer 2014, Ibiza and Rhodes, both with weekly flights from Dublin Airport. Accommodation options including Holiday Villages, SplashWorld Resort, kids’ club property, the family friendly resorts on Ibiza of Port des Torrent and Santa Eulalia, and a selection of self-catering and all inclusive properties and hotels. They will launch a Find the Falcon Family competition. Holidays go on sale from June 27th 2013. MATCHMYGAS has launched an app that it says prevents rental car customers and car salesman
NEXT: THIS SUMMER IN FLORIDA
World of Chima opens July 3rd, an adaptation of the Legends of Chima TV series on Cartoon Network.
ON SALE NOW
CO CLARE launched a walk that is said to be targeted “at the more experienced walker,” a 400,000 12km long coastal path from Hags Head outside Liscannor by the Cliffs Of Moher to Doolin. EURTUNNEL English and French authorities have granted German train operator Deutsche Bahn the right to run passenger services through the Channel Tunnel. PORTUGAL Rota Vicentina path reached full completion this month, a 350kms walking and cycling trail in the Alentejo and Algarve regions. Fishermen’s Trail consists of 4 sections in the Alentejo region and also 5 complementary circuits going through the Algarve covering 120kms. Historical Way takes you through 12 sections of the South West of Portugal amounting to 230kms whilst enjoying the main towns and villages of SW Portugal.
Direct ﬂight from Dublin to Tenerife
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Page 004 Knowledge 20/06/2013 15:15 Page 1
JULY/AUGUST 2013 PAGE 4
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3-7 News Where to go, how much to pay 5 Germany TM: Report from Stuttgart 6 Hotels: End of room service 7 Disney: Disney go digital 10 Postcards: from the trade
12 IPW: The pre-clearance question 14 Las Vegas: Oasis of excess 16 Wintersun: More than the Canaries 24 Egypt: Falcon in luxury 25-29 Flying: Ryanair’s captcha 30 Afloat: A big Princess 32 Ireland: Strokestown
33 Thailand: Ireland a target for TAT 35 Global Village Conference dates 38 Pictures: Out and about
The art of wintering out
the end of the afternoon, rather than ruin the entire day. The main attraction of the winter climate is its consistency. The sun shines reliably for a good nine or more hours a day, with day-time temperatures reaching about 28C. Sea breezes and low humidity mean it rarely feels too hot. The sea remains at 2627C throughout the winter.
inertsun holidays all vome with one central problem, where can you get guaranteed susnshin without flying a sector length that defeats the pit of a seven day break?
3 HOURS, Morocco: Guide price €800 B&B. Constant winter sun is not guaranteed, Jan and Feb temperatures are about 17C. Agadir is a popular choice, the main reasons for its popularity include its year-round sunshine with just the occasional unpredictable rainy day, its wide sandy bay and the backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas mountains. 3 HOURS,
Tunisia: Guide price €800 B&B. Flight time 3 hours. Constant winter sun is not guaranteed: Jan and Feb temperatures are about 17C in the north, higher in the south near Jerba and the desert. Hammamet stretches nearly 10 miles around the bay. Port el Kantaoui is a compact purpose-built resort developed round a neat modern marina. Radiating out from here are a succession of ever more grandiose hotels that have gradually mushroomed along the sandy coastline.
Madeira: Guide price
€1,500 half board. It is
mild and sub-tropical year round. Average temperature Jan-Feb about 17C. New, familyoriented and childfriendly hotels are
Florida: Guide price
€1,400 room only.
Windsurfing in the Dominican Republic helping Madeira change its image as a destination aimed solely at the more mature traveller.
Canaries: Guide price €1,000 half board. Immensely popular because of the high standards through the resorts. Expect about half-a-dozen rainy days each month, seven hours of sun per day and temperatures reaching 22C-23C. Don't expect the sea to be more than 20C, however, and check that your accommodation has a heated pool. There are escapes to the north of Tenerife and some spectacular walks in Gran Canaria for those who tire of resort life.
4.5 HOURS,, Cyprus Guide price €800 B&B. Cyprus has the most reliable winter
climate in the Mediterranean and stays warm much later in the year, the average sea temperature is still 19C at this time of year. Rain is recorded on about 10 days a month), but temperatures normally top 17C and the earlier in the autumn or later in the spring you go, the warmer it is.
Egypt. Guide price
€1,000. December days
are reliably warm with virtually unbroken sunshine, average peaks in Sharm el Sheikh on the Red sea or Luxor on the Nile are around 25C, with 10 hours of sunshine a day, very low humidity and virtually no rain. Aswan, farther up the Nile, has a similar climate, although fewer sites and a much smaller choice of hotels. Spend-
ing more on a top-rank hotel will mean better food, and a better pool.
Dubai: Guide price
€1,400 room only.
Dubai is fast becoming the new Caribbean,. Beaches are superb, sun is almost guaranteed, super-sleek hotels are opening. Shopping is not as good value as it as but other ztivities include golf and desert safaris,
Caribbean. Guide price (Barbados): €2,400 allinclusive. The Caribbean winter climate can vary according to the location of each island, but even on the wetter ones, such as St Lucia and Tobago, February is one of the driest months of the year. And when it does rain, it is most likely to fall as a heavy shower towards
Theme parks, beaches and keen prices make Florida a favourite winter-sun standby for Irish visitors. By March the American visitors have gone and the weather is still very comfortable. Average maximum temperatures are up to 27C, with nine hours of sun, and only seven rainy days in the month. Evenings can get cool, but the average sea temperature doesn't drop below 23C. The Gulf coast is more sheltered and warmer than the Atlantic side.
11 HOURS Thailand: Guide price €1.400 room only (Phuket) Flight time 11-13 hours (to Bangkok), 14 hours charter to Phuket. The Thai maritime climate is not as consistent as Goa's, but it will be hot, 30C or more, and there will be a good nine hours of sunshine a day. The biggest problem is the wind, the north-easterly monsoon wind blows through the winter. This affects east coast resorts such as Koh Samui. Phuket is more sheltered
Page 005 Germany TM 19/06/2013 12:15 Page 1
JULY/AUGUST 2013 PAGE 5
Sean Mannion reports from Stuttgart
GERMANY TM 2013
Calling the young Youth and UNESCO heritage German focus for 2013
he Stuttgart region played host to the 39th GTM Germany Travel Mart. The German National Tourist Board invited around 620 buyers, tourism professionals and journalists from 42 countries and more than 350 German providers from the hotel, inbound and transport sectors, as well as local and regional tourism organisations. Outside the workshop which took place at the ICS/Stuttgart exhibition centre, guests intent on establishing or strengthening contacts were also treated to a Stuttgart programme of classical grandeur, gastronomic and technical achievement, starting with an evening welcome with Swabian cuisine in the heart of Stuttgart, a big opening ceremony in the "Forum am Schlosspark" in Ludwigsburg followed by an impressive celebration in the Baroque former royal resi-
LEIPZIG set a record in 2012 with an increase of 13.4pc in visitors, the highest growth in overnights for any major German city.
Petra Hedorfer: Youth travel a priority dence of Ludwigsburg Palace, an exclusive evening event in the spectacular Mercedes-Benz Museum and finishing with a visit to the Stuttgart Spring Festival. At a press conference in the Porsche museum, Monday, Petra Hedorfer, chief executive of the GNTB, listed the key areas being focused on in 2013: youth travel, UNESCO World Heritage sites, sustainability and barrier-free travel. "Young international travellers are
a vital target group for the future. From Europe alone, the source region that generates the most overnight stays for Destination Germany, almost ten million trips were made by young people aged between 15 and 29 in 2011.” The GNTB was also set on a course of making the country as barrier-free as possible for travellers with disabilities," Petra Hedorfer added.
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IRISH In 2012 there were a total of 302,591 overnight stays by Irish visitors to Germany, Ireland has a 0.4pc share of the international market. Germany’s market share of incoming visitors is 16.9pc. The Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA were the main inbound markets.
MARTIN LUTHER The decade long celebration of Martin Luther that culminates with the 500th anniversary of nailing his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg in 1517 has been a consistent provider of visitors to such East German towns as Erfurt, Wittenberg and Weimar. HOTELS A new hotel group was launched, one with a twist: Best of SouthWest Germany launched a new nine member association of four and five star hotels Baden- Wuerttemberg. Each member hotel has a restaurant with at least one Michelin star. BERLIN is now Europe’s third most popular tourism city, after London and Paris. GERMANY recorded its third consecutive record year for inbound tourism, with 400m overnight stays in German hotels.
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HOTELS LOW COST beds has launched a new “secret hotels” programme, four and five star hotels at 10pc-50pc off rack rates RED CARNATION the luxury
hotel group represented in Ireland by One Stop Travel Shop, have acquired five-star luxury hotel Ashford Castle. The property was in the hands of receivers. The move saves 160 jobs.
CULLODEN Estate has unveiled a herb garden in the grounds of its five-star hotel CONNACHT Hotel Galway (formerly
the Carlton hotel Galway city) has appointed Regis Herviaux as Executive Head Chef.
CORK The New Yorker Bar & Bistro has opened at Cork International Airport Hotel POWERSCOURT will become
part of the Autograph Collection, Marriott International's exclusive portfolio of passionately independent hotels," and cease to be a RitzCarlton on Octber 1st. It will continue to trade as an "up-scale independent luxury hotel".and be managed by Interstate, which also manages the new Marker Hotel in Dublin's Grand Canal Square. Kevin McGillicuddy’s Brehon Capital Partners purchased the hotel in march, and say a eported price of €1m is not accurate.
HOTEL du Cap-Eden-Roc in France
launched what it called the world’s most exclusive champagne lounge with views over the Mediterranean and pool.
Room service RIP
So says New York hotel which invented room service
he New York hotel that invented room service has decided to phase it
out. The move will be watched by other hotel groups, as the trend towards lower level of service gains momentum among hotel groups. Limited service hotels are the most profitable in the industry at present and a growing number in the USA have started imposing extra charges and resort fees, extending charges beyond internet facilities to pool use and even a $4 charge for consuming the coffee supplied in the room. In some hotels there is an incentive of $8 not to service rooms, indicating room cleaning will soon incur an extra charge. The 1,981-room HIlton hotel on the Avenue of the Americas plans to end room service at the end of August.
Some day, air travel may be this good.
Ful service hotels are rethinking their strategy Hilton say New York be able to shop at a gourHilton Midtown has con- met food market called tinued to see a decline in Herb n' Kitchen that will traditional room service open inside the hotel. requests over the last sev- Seating in the market also eral years as customer will be available. The New York Hilton preferences and expectations continue to evolve." Midtown is the only Guests wishing to eat Hilton Hotels & Resorts in their rooms will instead hotel discontinuing food
A new era in coach travel: Now bigger, more comfortable and free Wi-Fi on-board Introducing a whole new departure in travel: the new Expressway ﬂeet is ready for take-off. With free Wi-Fi, extra legroom and charging points for personal electronics, this makes how you travel intercity an easy choice. No expensive tolls. No rising fuel prices. No hassle with parking. Just frequent services connecting Ireland’s main cities and towns all day long, and you can work, rest and play while you’re getting there. Some day, air travel may be this good.
delivery to rooms, according to Hilton Worldwide Vice President John Forrest Ales. There are four other Hilton Hotels & Resorts hotels in New York, and the brand has more than 550 hotels in 79 countries.
SPAIN PRICES UP 91pc
uropean summer mally high for June. Other resorts showing destinations popular amongst Irish similar price increases in holidaymakers have in- comparison to May are creased their hotel prices the Spanish destinations in anticipation of the of Santa Ponsa (up 77pc to €111 per night), Playa summer season. Out of the 100 most d’en Bossa (up 75pc to popular summer destinations €134 per night) and Palon www.trivago.co.uk, manova (up 47pc to €97 hotels in Spain’s Magaluf per night). Although Spanish are showing the largest price increase in compar- hoteliers appear to be ison to last month. One raising their hotel prices, some Spannight in June ish holiday will cost an averIRELAND destinations age of €131 per Belfast 98 still present night, which is a Cork 99 the best 91pc increase Derry 103 value for from €68 per Donegal 124 money this night in May. Dublin 113 month. This is a 33pc Galway 104 Out of the increase from Kilkenny 104 100 most this time last Killarney 118 popular sumyear (one night Limerick 88 mer destinain June 2012 Sligo 101 tions on €98 per night), Tralee 99 trivago, suggesting hotel Waterford 96 Puerto del prices are abnorAverage: 105
Carmen has the cheapest hotel prices (average of €53 per night), followed by San Antonio (€59 per night), Alicante (€72 per night) and Malaga (€78 per night). In comparison, Italian holiday destinations are amongst the most expensive this month. One night in Florence will cost an average of €168 in June and one night in Sorrento will cost an average of €163. Marbella in Spain is also one of the most expensive holiday destinations this month (up 26pc from May to an average of €159 per night). Hotels directly surrounding Wimbledon have raised their prices by an average of 70pc for the Tennis Championships.
Page 007 News 20/06/2013 11:31 Page 1
JULY/AUGUST 2013 PAGE 7
Microchip technology on the way at Disney Orlando They will also be able to reserve viewing areas for fireworks and parades. While Disney does not release visitor figures for the Park, Mr Garfield partially confirmed the Themed Entertainment Association rankings of visitor numbers for 2011. Eight of the top ten most visited theme parks in the world are Disney Parks.
THEME PARK NUMBERS
Randy Garfield briefing media at IPW 2013
ew microchip bracelets for customers will change the Disney park experience and, more importantly, their queue systems forever, Randy Garfield, VP of Sales at Disney, told a media briefing at IPW 2013 in Las Vegas.
Within the next few months, guests to Walt Disney World will be able to enter the parks, reserve fast-track access, purchase food and merchandise, enter their hotel room and access certain rides using MagicBand bracelet, which will serve as an optional extra.
1 Magic Kingdom Florida 17.536m 2 Disneyland California 15.963m 3 Tokyo Disneyland 14.847m 4 Tokyo Disney Sea 12.656m 5 Disneyland Paris 11.200m 6 Epcot Florida 11.063m 7 Disney's Animal Kingdom Florida 9.998m 8 Disney's Hollywood Studios Florida 9.912m 9 Universal Studios Osaka 9.700m 10 Islands Of Adventure Florida 7.981m Source: Themed Entertainment Association
NEWS FAILTE Ireland is looking for nominations for their 2013 Food Champions, who this year will undertake a culinary learning journey along one of Europe’s newest food focused driving routes in Norway. LOOP Head Tourism launched a parking initiative which enables visitors on walking or cycling holidays to park their car for the duration of their stay in the Loop Head area of County Clare while their belongings are delivered to their places of accommodation. IRISH water safety reported that accidental drownings have doubled in the last two years: 147 people drowned last year compared to 162 people who were killed on roads. BIRR Europe's largest public Tree House and adventure playground, a new visitor attraction at Birr Castle Demesne, opens at 12 noon on Sunday, June 23rd. KILBEGGAN Distillery Experience visitors centre in Co Westmeath has completed an 85,000 refurb. 2013 Irish restaurant award winners were announced with The Tannery in Dungarvan picking up the best restaurant award.
MORE REASONS TO THINK TURKEY
isit Bodrum, a glorious and historic city nestled on the southern side of the Bodrum Peninsula on Turkey's south west coast. Be greeted by the sight of boats or gulets bobbing up and down as the sun glistens on the crystal clear turquoise waters. Meander through this cosmopolitan town where you can shop in chic boutiques one minute and dazzling bazaars the next! Or for the more energetic, dance the night away at Halikarnas - with up to 5,500 fellow partygoers at one of the biggest open air nightclubs in the world! Visit Gumbet - located just 3kms from Bodrum with its warm shallow sea, centered around a golden arc of its gently curving beach. Here you will also find an abundance of cafes and restaurants and if it's shopping you want “genuine fake designer” goods are on every corner of the resort! Visit Bitez - the hidden gem of
the Bodrum Peninsula (just 2kms from Gumbet). Here you can catch a glimpse of the real life of the local village people in this small, charming and laid back resort. Bitez really allows you to unwind and enjoy Turkish hospitality at its best. Visit Altinkum - The name translates as “Golden Sand” and has been described as a beach lovers paradise. You must visit the town behind the beach - Didim - a busy town full of eateries and well known for its nightlife. If it's history you want, The Temple of Apollo and the extraordinary Head of Medusa are two sights in this area you don't want to miss out on. Visit Kusadasi - This resort needs little introduction as its reputation as a “Mecca” for holiday makers precedes it. Kusadasi has all the ingredients that go towards a great holiday - Sea, beach, history, hospitality and endless amenities. On arrival in Kusadasi, one is struck by the huge cruise liners sitting majestically offshore. They bear testament to the importance of this cosmopolitan resort.
Think Turkey – LOVE TURKEY - Talk about Turkey! Have you fallen in love with Turkey? Don't keep it to yourself, tell Wings Abroad. WHERE do you love? Kusadasi? Bodrum? Istanbul? Altinkum? WHAT do you love? Beaches? Bars? Shopping? Value for Money? The warm welcome? Now is your chance to tell us why YOU Love Turkey. Share your experience with us and then let us share it with others. Simply ring (01) 871 9446. Leave your name, number and short message and tell us why you have fallen in love with this beautiful country!
Page 008 Indaba 19/06/2013 12:20 Page 1
JULY 2013 PAGE 8
Eoghan Corry reports from Durban
GOHOP’s Andre Miglirina from Atlas
Travel/Gohop went to Thanda private game reserve for two nights and spent three nights in Cape Town’s iconic beach front hotel Winchester mansions While in Durban, Andre Migliarina received a Top 10 Partner Growth Award for 2012 / 2013 from Springbok Atlas.
JOHANNESBURG Inner city, once a no-go area, is back on tourist itineraries. Tours of the Yeovil area of Johannesburg, a refugee district with remarkable markets and food, are been organised by Jo Buitendach’s Pastexperiences group (jobugtourguideblogspot.com). Among the products on offer are graffiti tours. NEW CAMPAIGN Juan Herrada marketing & Communications manager for Ireland and Britain said that South Africa will reach out to a younger demographic in its new marketing efforts. The country is popular with the traditional older market, they are highlighting urban lifestyle attractions, musical experiences, food, fashion and wine and the vibrancy of the city, as well as the traditional safari product which drives most of 43,000 visitos from Ireland each year HERITAGE and culture are the theme
of South Africa’s tourisms campaigns in 2013. Andrew Sharpe Trade Relations manager for South African tourism Ireland & Britain says that training for the Irish travel trade is to resume in the autumn, when the website will be extended to cater for Irish travel agents.
DURBAN Sea Breeze, the new poolside
bar and restaurant in the Elengeni Southern Sun hotel opened during the event
WILD COAST William Ross’s Wild
Coast nature tours are expanding. William is now working on establishing walking tours on St Helena, the most remote spot on earth and a place to visit before its first airport is completed in February 2016.
South African Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk speaking at the Indaba 2013 Opening ceremony
Ireland slips three places in tourism to South Africa
outh Africa is a safer place than we are led to believe, the chief of South African tourism says. Thulani Nzima CEO of South African Tourism said that the World Cup had shown that many of the impressions about South Africa were false. “Some countries advised people to come with bullet proof vests. We hosted an incident free soccer world cup. In today’s world with so much access to social media, even the snatching of a bag would have been
gone viral. That did not happen. He said the challenge to South Africa was that people were opting for shorter stays and shorter distances. The airlift into Cape Town had decreased substantially with the ending of the London-Cape Town service.”We lost 10pc of our arrivals.” Although David Slattery previously operated direct flights form Dublin to Cape Town, Bashni Muthaya director for South Afircan Toruism in Europe admitted that a re-
sumption of this service was “a long way off .” In relation to the position regarding Lundi Morrison, London-based SA tourism office for Ireland and Britain, Thulani Nzima said he hoped for a speedy conclusion to the investigation into procedures in the London office. He said the process was “never about replacing the country manager there.”
PORT Elizabeth’s convention centre has
opened catering for parties up to 800. KZN have launched a new tourism strategy with an expanded series of agent fam trips of the new season to start in the autumn.
INDABA’s social scene is amongst the
best on the circuit. The best party once more was the Safari Owners Association evening in the Ninth Avenue Bistro in Morningside. Is there a more diverse group in the entire industry than the safari owners association?
INDABA 2013 remained at four days despite and ealrier decision to reduce the fair to three days. A total of 850 direct jobsand 5 000 indirect jobs were created over 11 days.
TECHNOLOGY A total of 240 693
electronic connections (over 60 000 per day) were made by 11 458 "Indaba Connect" users, who shared over 14 258 documents. “This was a deliberate eco-friendly initiative, a 'Go Green' approach at Indaba that led to the potential saving of a small forest of 374 trees,” said Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism
Eoghan Corry interviewing CEO of South Africa tourism Thulani Nzima at Indaba 2013 in Durban
IRELAND FIGURE SLIGHTLY DOWN
reland sent 28,862 tourists to South Africa in 2012 compared with 29,098 in 2011. The decline of 236 means visitor numbers are well down from our peak
of 43,379. It makes Ireland the twelfth most important European market for South Africa and well down the world charts in 34th place, although Ireland’s spend
per capita is among the highest. “It is a case of demand in both directions.” Bashni Muthaya said. “Given the access via other destinations in England, the
United Arab Emirates, France etc), I think this is something we'd need to work on by growing the demand significantly first.”
page 009 19/06/2013 13:07 Page 1
E N I D E E FR RLD O W Y SNE I D T A L D A I R W O T L A F N I T R RESO
7 14 y e n s i D Park for Days
016733800 • AMERICANHOLIDAYS.COM/AGENTSLOGIN *Booking period for combined Free Dine + 14 for 7 ticket offer is 25 Apr 2013–5 Nov 2013. For selected arrivals 1 Jan–8 Apr 2014, and 27 Apr –30 Nov 2014. Bookings must include ﬁve nights’ minimum stay at a Walt Disney World Hotel plus Disney’s 7-Day Ultimate Tickets for the whole party travelling to receive ‘14 day tickets for the price of 7’ ticket offer plus a free Disney Quick Service Dining Plan for participating Moderate Resort bookings and free Disney Dining Plan for participating Deluxe Resort or select Deluxe Villa bookings. Full terms and conditions apply. Please ask in-store for details. ©Disney.
Page 010-011 Postcard 8 19/06/2013 12:28 Page 1
JULY/AUGUST 2013 PAGE 10
POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE
nited Airlines celebrated 15 years of nonstop flights from both Dublin and Shannon to its New York hub, Newark. Since Jun. 16, 1998, the airline has carried over 3.4m customers on the routes. United increased its services between Ireland and the US with the introduction of a seasonal nonstop service between Shannon and its Chicago hub, O’Hare International Airport, on Jun. 7,
isitScotland hosted media in Dublin to highlight the 'Year of Natural Scotland' when all things Caledonian are to be celebrated as voters there decide whether to break Britannia's apron strings and go it alone as an independent country. Helen Campbell (Ireland & UK Head of Marketing), Janice MacGregor (Senior PR manager) and Glenda Rochead (PR executive) told how North Ronald-
alcon’s sun-soaked fam trip to Crete produced some of the quotes of the month. "Where are the family rooms?" one clever agent asked in the Couple only hotel,. Picture shows Ann-Marie Nolan of Falcon Kilkenny, Clare Hoog of Falcon Duke Street, Stacey Hannigan of Thomson Newtonards, Zoe Drennan of Thomson Coleraine, Sinead Minto of Falcon Talbot St, Leila McCabe of Falcon Duke St, Erica Archer of Supersun Travel,
2013. Previously, United launched a nonstop flight between Dublin and its Washington D.C. hub, Dulles International Airport, on Jun. 8, 2012. Picture shows Yvonne Muldoon, Sales Manager Ireland, United; Bob Schumacher, Managing Director Sales, Ireland & UK for United and Kevin Tolan, Chief Executive Officer, Dublin Airport Authority.
say sheep feed solely on seaweed and the surplus heat from Bowmore Distillery Islay is used to warm the town's leisure centre swimming pool. Visitors are invited to view the country's "Big Five" (red squirrel, red deer, golden eagle, otter and harbour seal) in their natural habitats. Plans for 2014 include the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles in September with an accompanying all-star concert.
Justin Hughes of Falcon Duke St, Lyndsey Martin of Clubworld, Charlotte Doyle of Falcon Clondalkin, Jacynta Mullen of Abbey Travel, Patricia Wynne of Falcon Duke St, Sylvia Shannon of Travel Counsellors, Alison Larkin of Falcon Clarehall, Samantha Mc Dermott of Budget Travel, Lynn Sheridan of Falcon Waterford, Margaret Fitzgerald of Killiney Travel, Caroline Kelly of Travel creations Waterford, on the Falcon fam trip to Crete
tihad’s fam trip to Abu Dhabi was a high-temperature, highadrenaline affair. Members of the group were strapped into an F1 cockpit on the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World,. They also visited Yas Waterworld, and Monte Carlo Beach Club on Saadiyat Isla while accommodation was at the Jumeriah Etihad Towers, Al Raha Beach Hotel and Centro Hotel.
athryn Thomas was among the speakers as SeaDream Yacht Club in association with Cruisescapes held a client evening in the National Yacht Club Dun Laoghaire. Attendees heard about SeaDream’s Mediterranean itineraries for twin megayachts SeaDream I & SeaDream II
arom Airlines hosted a lunch in the Westin Hotel on Wednesday to celebrate their return to Dublin Airport after a gap of twelve years. Speaking at the lunch the Romanian Ambassador, Iulian Buga, spoke about the strong ties between Ireland and Romania with Bram Stoker getting more than a couple of mentions.
Pictured: Rachel Tracey from Travel Dept, Michelle Burke from USIT, Julie Nolan from Club HRG Travel, Yvonne Chaney from BCD Travel, Kelly Henderson from Corporate Travel, Glenn Lowry from Selective Travel, Hugh Staunton from Tropical Sky, Fiona Lawless from Etihad Airways and Clair Delaney from FCM Travel on the Etihad fam trip to Abu Dhabi
and highlight voyages to Asia - Pacific and Northern Australia in 2013 and 2014. Picture shows: Tryphavana Cross, Jenny Wright and John Donohue of SeaDream Yacht Club Kathryn Thomas, Alan Lynch and Celine Kenny of Cruisecapes,
Tarom is now flying Dublin to Bucharest three times weekly on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Onward connections include Athens, Beirut, Belgrade, Cairo, Larnaca, Tel Aviv, & Sofia. Picture shows Ambassador Iulian Buga, Georgeta Diniu, Head of Corporate Communication Tarom and Vincent Harrison, DAA.
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POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE
ncoming tourism traffic from North America is up significantly already this year, as airlines have added an extra 26 per cent seats across the Atlantic compared to last summer, Leo Varadkar, Mininister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, told guests at a function in Dublin last month. “This year we’ve had our strongest first quarter since 2004, with a 17 per cent increase from North America.”
Minister Varadkar was giving the annual IUSA prominent alumni lecture in the US ambassador’s residence in the Phoenix part. The historic building was formerly the official residence of the Chief Secretary before independence. The IUSA organization was set up to tap in on the US government’s alumni scheme, which sponsors people to take part in educational programmes in the US.
Cathy Burke, General Manager at Travel Counsellors
The Good Times… The first 6 months of the year have been great! Travel Agents the length and breadth of the country are reporting fantastic sales – the best it’s been in years as some have proudly stated. There have also been numerous reports of more jobs available in this fabulous industry of ours. The Travel industry, while perhaps not booming, is back on track at last. Hopefully those whose salaries were affected as a result of the downturn will be feeling the benefits of the more positive market. I don’t think I’m alone in noticing that there is now an air of positivity in this country and it’s certainly rubbing off on agents. I’ve been on a “negativity diet” for more than two months; it’s had a hugely positive effect on my outlook, my work and my life. It’s not easy to stay on this diet but I have seen some great benefits of it so I keep trying.
ric Mathieu, MD of US Airways international sales, said the company expects to carry its one millionth passenger at Dublin Airport in about two months. US Airways celebrated ten years at Dublin Airport with an event hosted by DAA. They brought agents to lunch as a thank you for their support over the
oSomethingDifferent.com hosted agents in Cork for cocktails and a ‘cash cube’ competition at The Oliver Plunkett, sponsored by Orlando FlexTicket. Elizabeth Kenny of Trailfinders Cork won a place on a fam trip to Orlando. Do Something Different (for consumers: Attractions Tickets Direct) have introduced greater flexibility to their tickets, allowing customers to reserve
previous ten years. Pictured at the cake cutting: Cormac O’Connell, DAA head of aviation business development, Margaret Skinner, US Airways regional sales manager Ireland and UK, Fiona Ryan, US Airways account manager and Eric Mathieu, manager director of US Airways international sales
park tickets and change the dates closer to departure. A 14-Day Orlando Freedom Ticket costs 547 (or 507 ages 39). The Freedom Plus ticket costs 560 (or 520 ages 3-9). Picture shows Trevor Ryan of Shandon Travel, Elizabeth Kenny of Trailfinders, Ciara O'Driscoll of Lee Travel Karen Smith of Premier Travel, Catrina O'Donavan of Dawson Travel and Annabel Cove of DoSomethingDifferent.
I have set myself a few rules to ensure I stay on this self-imposed diet: • I don’t engage with negative chatter or people. • I don’t read newspapers or listen to sad stories on the radio. • I record the news each day and fast forward through the negative bits, if anything dramatic happens in the world, I still hear about it. Interestingly, I’ve had an increase in calls from people enquiring about joining Travel Counsellors in the past few months. I believe that it’s because of the newfound confidence in the industry. We’ve always had our biggest intake of people in the “good times” and I believe it is because there is less fear or worry about giving up the steady job to make your own way in business. By the time this article goes to print, we will have exceeded our goal to have more than 50 Travel Counsellors running their own successful businesses from home here in Ireland. I appreciate that some may think that it’s all too easy for me to say that our Travel Counsellors are successful but I’m so pleased to say that they really are – our individual agents are doing fantastically! The average commission our Travel Counsellors are earning this year is up which is great to report. Success in any business is down to hard work. Does anyone know a successful business person that doesn’t work hard? Lady luck doesn’t do house calls so you have to make it happen yourself. Each month I set my own goals both for business and personal life and we encourage our Travel Counsellors to do the same. We also encourage them to reward themselves in some way when they reach those goals. It might be a shopping trip, a holiday, a meal out with the family or just to wake up one morning and decide you are taking the day off to do something indulgent! Success can be anything you believe it to be, it might be earning more to pay bills or a simple treat for family and friends. Everyone has a hunger or passion for something – it just needs to be released and realised.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @CathyBurke1 or @TC_Ireland Facebook: Ireland Careers @ Travel Counsellors Connect with me on LinkedIn
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Eoghan Corry reports from Las Vegas
FLORIDA Commemorating the 500th
anniversary of Florida's first tourist, Visit Florida is inviting today's travelers to explore for themselves and share their stories at the redesigned visitflorida.com website. New President and CEO is Will Seccombe. The new Chief Marketing Officer is Paul Phipps, with Susan James as the new Marketing Director.
welcomed a record 42m vis-
itors in 2012.
ORLANDO Visit Orlando has intro-
duced a new Global Online Training For Travel Agents. Orlando Travel Academy is an online tool that provides education on all aspects of Orlando, with the goal of helping agents expand their knowledge of the destination and enhance their ability to help their customer base. orlandotravelacademy.com
PHILADELPHIA Convention &
Visitors Bureau announced the launch of the destination's official convention and international visitor website, www.discoverPHL.com
UNIVERSAL Agents can now book reservations for Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the new, 1,800-room hotel at Universal Orlando Resort that will feature value-priced guest rooms and moderately priced suites. WASHINGTON Newseum has
opened two new exhibits and an original documentary as part of a year-long exploration of President John F. Kennedy in the 50th anniversary year of his assassination.
REFUNDS of the $160 Visa fee which are non refundable should a visa application not be granted will be raised by the US Travel Association with the immigration authoriteis, Roger Dow said in reply to a question from Travel Extra. DISNEY Orlando wil open its new Fan-
tasyland in November with a themes restaurant in Beauty and the Beast’s Castle, “good food fast.” At night it wil turn into a gourmet dining experience.
NYC & CO announced the South
Bronx as the next destination to be featured in its Neighborhood programme.
BRAND USA USA President and CE Chris Thompson told Travel Extra that he did not regard the Brand USA partnership with Expedia would have any effect on its relationship with other tour operators. “All our partners are valuable to us and online partners are an important part of that mix.” UNIVERSAL Studios is to launch an expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which will feature in both of its major theme parks for the first time.
■ Eoghan Corry travelled to Laz Vegas with Aer Lingus who fly Dublin to JFK daily at 10.45 and 15.30 and connected through Jetblue’s Terminal 5 to Las Vegas. Since Aer Lingus moved to T5 and with pre-clearance in Dublin, connections to Jetblue destinations can be made within 40 minutes of arrival at JFK.
PRE CLEARANCE STAYS FOR NOW
re-clearance at Dublin and Shannon Airport is not under immediate threat from American government cutbacks, the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed. Douglas Smith of the Washington headquarters of the Department said that while there was pressure to reduce spending and close stations, the Irish operation had survived the first round of cuts. “I cannot say what will happen in the future, but the relationship has taken so long to build up and the operation is so successful that it will not be ended lightly.”
At the Visit USA discussions at IPW in Las Vegas one of the officials had commented that the Dublin and Shannon operations may be under threat. To reduce queues at immigration, 3811 new CBP officers have been recruited and this is vouchsafed against government cutbacks. Queues at immigration at the airport from airports which don’t have pre-clearance such as London and Paris and waiting time for visas have improved considerably over the past two years, according to the Department. The possibility of the Global Entry
fast-track scheme being extended to Irish citizens was also raised by Travel Extra at IPW. Dublin and Shannon are two of 44 airports with Global Entry kiosks. Douglas Smith said that Global Entry was a “two step dance.” It offered fast all electronic access and any other country could apply to join the existing membership but the Irish Government had not done so yet. He said Global Entry had saved 30,000 hours of officer time but had not been successful in all markets. Only 147 people had applied for fasttrack status in Britain for instance.
Showtime at IPW
Spectacular entertainment wows up IPW Pow Wow
as Vegas lived up to its showbiz best for the delegates to IPW 2013, the trade fair formerly known as Pow Wow. On Tuesday, Cyndi Lauper addressed thousands while representing New York City and her Broadway show, Kinky Boots, and Roseanne Cash sang the theme song for Brand USA on Monday during lunch. The climax was music from Once, leading to the unlikely scenario of Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, Veronica Aherne the world’s largest single destination and Liz Wright of Tour America, and Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel event trying to recreate the atmosAssociation at the inaugural Chairman’s Circle Honors at The Venetian phere of an Irish pub. hotel in Las Vegas where Tour America was recognised as a Top InterThe US Travel Association’s pres- national Buyer. ident and CEO, Roger Dow, was Cirque While dressed up like Dolly Parton as part du Soleil performers walking through previous Pow Wows have served up of comedian and impressionist Terry the media room. The duo, in full some top class entertainers, including Fator’s act during the news brunch at Cirque clown costume, proceeded to Chuck Berry, Lionel Richie, Johnny the Smith Center for place red clown noses on a Cash, Kaycee and the Sunshine Band, the Performing Arts, couple of journalists before Earth Wind and Fire, Gloria Estefan, FUTURE IPW’s which included permaking their way casually Gypsy Kings and the Beach Boys, formers from 13 2014 Chicago out of the room. Celine did NOT sing, and indeed any shows on the Strip, all 2015 Orlando The event concluded in attempt to do so would likely have of whom donated their 2016 Miami Las Vegas with a much an- been foiled by a substandard sound time. 2017 Washington DC ticipated appearance by system. While music played, the fireOn Monday, media 2018 Denver Celine Dion at Caesar’s works drew the curtains down on anwere greeted by yelps 2019 Anaheim Palace. other IPW. and shrieks from two 2010 Las Vegas
IRISH DECLINE DESPITE CAPACITY
total of 331,850 Irish people visited the USA in 2012, down 4pc from the 360,000 who visited the year before. It represents the fifth consecutive year in which Irish visitor numbers to the USA have declined. Ireland has
slipped back to 18th place in the league table of inbound tourist markets to the USA. Julie Hetzler of the US Department of Commerce says that her office has predicted further declines in 2013 of 1pc, while traffic will be flat in 2014,
rising by 2pc in 2015, 4pc in 2016, 6pc in 2017 and 6pc in 2018. The fall comes despite an increase in trans-Atlantic capacity in 2012 and in the face of another dramatic increases in trans-Atlantic capacity in 2013.
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Eoghan Corry reports from Las Vegas
WEBSITE A new American website www.knowbeforeyougo.com is due be launched soon and this will be the one stop shop for pre-planning trip advice regarding visas, licences, policies etc – vital information to the USA visitor.
Ciara Foley of Platinum Travel, chair of the Visit USA committee in Dublin with her two immediate predecessors as chair: Ciaran Carraher and Beverleigh Fly of Innstant Travel and Clodagh Oxley CEO
Visit USA growth
Dublin committee targets potential members at IPW
ublin’s Visit USA committee had more than 45 meetings with current and future members during IPW. Ciara Foley of Platinum Travel says: “during these meetings we reiterated again our commitment to promoting and marketing each member’s product/destination to the Irish Consumer, Travel Trade and Press. “We reassured our members and future associates that the Irish Econ-
omy is stabilising and confidence is returning. Bookings are up and future numbers are positive.” “We are delighted to have recruited some new members during our visit at IPW and we dedicate ourselves to continuing to serve all our existing member to the best of our ability.” The committee also met with Brand USA at a clsoed session on Sunday, at which members were told of support for promotions and contributions. Key suggestions are:
■ Include the Brand USA Logo in advertising ■ Provide Ad space to Brand USA ■ Add Brand USA logo to our internationally focused websites, emails, Facebook pages, etc ■ Donate photos, content, video and international research to brand USA ■ For brand USA events, travel missions, and trade shows, donate accommodation, airfare or food & beverage
6,400 A RECORD NUMBER
he US Travel Association reports record-setting attendance at the 45th annual IPW, the trade fair formerly known as International Pow Wow, in Las Vegas. Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association, confirmed there were 6,400 delegates from 78 countries and 500 media from 74 countries. He said the new tagline for IPW would be “bringing the world to America.” There were 1,300 international and domestic buyers. About 90,000 prescheduled business appointments, each lasting about 20 minutes, were held. The US Travel Association says the event is estimated to generate more than $3.5bn in travel to the U.S. over the next three years and at least $350m in future economic impact for the host city. Typically, the host city gets about 10 percent of the total take. PW has experienced double digit growth over the past three years in delegate attendance, booth sales and buyer participation. That is, between 2010 and 2013, the number of total delegates grew by 25 percent, booth
sales increased 23 percent and participation by international and domestic buyers grew 30 percent. "After a dip during the recent recession, America's travel industry is back with great strength," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "IPW has experienced double-digit growth over the last three years, and literally billions of dollars in deals are being signed this week with tour operators that will bring more international visitors into the United States." The association says every major American city and state tourism office attends IPW, as well as attractions, museums, amusement parks and other travel businesses. These groups market themselves to the world's top international tour operators that sell travel to the U.S. IPW pre-schedules meetings through a sophisticated online matching system to maximize productivity; 90,000-plus business meetings were scheduled for the three-day event. "At IPW, buyers and sellers are
able to conduct business that would otherwise be generated only through an exhaustive number of around-theworld trips," said Dow. "A recent Oxford Economics report we commissioned as part of our Travel Effect campaign notes that in-person meetings double the likelihood of closing a deal, and U.S. companies experience nearly $10 in revenues for every dollar invested in business travel." The report also noted that U.S. businesses are investing record levels on domestic business travel, spending an estimated $225 million in 2012 and surpassing a historic peak set in 2007. Business travel expenditures generated 1.9 million jobs, $59 billion in personal income and $35 billion in tax revenues last year. First timers at IPW included Veronica Aherne of Tour America, Adrienne Keogh of American Holidays, Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus and Clem Walshe, who represented Lowcostbeds at the event.
POLAND will not qualify for Visa Waiuver status under US immigration law anytime soon, according to the US Department of Homeland Security. One of the factors the Americans consider is visa refusal rates and Poland’s is currently 9.3pc. It needs to be under 3pc for visa waiver to happen. While Poland’s rate is way ahead of Bulgaria (18pc) and Romania (17pc), Cyprus (1.9pc) and Croatia (4.4pc) will likely be the next two countries to qualify, alongside Chile (2.8pc) and Brazil (3pc). According to the 2011 census there are 120,000 Poles living in Ireland, WASHINGTON DC has been se-
lected as the host city for the International Pow Wow (IPW) June 3-7, 2017. Delegates will experience new hotel facilities such as the 1,175room Washington Marriott Marquis Hotel,, electric streetcars along H Street NE corridor, the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the expanded Metrorail line connecting DC visitors to Dulles International Airport.
LAS VEGAS added 17000 new rooms during recession attracting $25bn of new investment, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman,told delegates. At Macarran airport Temrinal 3-opened. The city plans to build the largest observation wheel in the world. LOS ANGELES has a “brilliant array of new hotels, 3,400 new hotel rooms under development in the next two years,” delegates were told by Ernie Wooden Jr, President and CEO of Los Angeles tourism. The pipeline includes the $1bn Wiltshire grand hotel where the check in is on the 70th floor and there is pool on top of the building on the 73rd floor. MONTEREY Bay Aquarium has joined the San Francisco CityPASS programme. From April 17, toutists have a choice between visiting the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39 on San Francisco's lively Embarcadero waterfront or the Monterey Bay Aquarium AIRPORTS Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services on Feb. 25 unveiled “Taking Off with the Hungry Traveler,” a magazine and webisode series featuring the best of food and travel from the airports at which the company operate. WEST VIRGINIA which boasts
seven wonders of the natural world, from beaches, waterfalls, high plains plateau to river and mountain trails, rock formations and gorges, is to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its statehood next year. Attractions include a road-bowling league similar to that which is played in Cork and in Armagh.
GOOGLE street view has loaded four of the USA’s national parks and will continue to more and more parks.
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Great Gas Vegas
Ida Milne goes to Vegas for the first time Eiffel Tower, New York architecture, pyramids and Venetian canals all on one street
as Vegas is booming again, following a few bleak years during the recession. The city authorities focused on adapting to the crisis, and now it has an extra 20,000 hotel beds compared to 2008, converted from apartments that weren’t selling during the economic downturn. Visitor numbers for last year were up to almost 40 million, the best year ever. Tourism interests report a great positivity.
Conference business is once again thriving. And while my very own ‘gabby cabbie’ strikes a more cautious note, he admits that the city’s economy has seen a turnaround. It’s my first time in the city, and this trip presented me with some surprises. For a start, the Strip is well, pleasant. Clean, well kept and lively, not at all the sordid experience I expected it to be. It’s not Hollywood,
THINGS TO DO
■ The Neon Museum is at 770 Las Vegas Blvd., North Las Vegas, NV 89101 Tel (702) 387-6366 (NEON) or see www.NeonMuseum.org Opening hours vary. Guided tours are available. Price: $18 for adults (12 years of age and older). $12 for students, seniors ages 55 and over. Children 6 and under are free. Show tickets: for Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana and other shows, see www.vegas.com/show Prices for Zarkana start from $115. ■ The SkyJump at the Stratosphere might be worth a visit for the brave or the foolhardy,. The Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the US. See /www.stratos-
which is surprisingly dowdy out of Oscars season. In Vegas, the gambling take is reinvested in society – the tax gleaned from the casinos goes to the upkeep of the city, maintaining roads and the urban infrastructure and the health and education system. The air is clean, and the arid mountains ever present on the horizon are a constant reminder that this is a city emerging from a desert. If the heat didn’t already do that.
pherehotel.com/Tower/Rides Tower tickets cost $18, SkyJump costs from $109.99. ■ The Smith Center for the Performing Arts www.thesmithcenter.com is worth a visit just because of its architecture, but take in a concert or ballet while you are there. ■ The Graceland Chapel offers a full wedding service, with its own florist on site, photography and video and limousine service, and of course Elvis impersonators. Prices start from $200. With the $329 Elvis package, Elvis will accompany the bride down the aisle and sing three songs. See www.gracelandchapel.com/
nd then there’s the fine dining experience. Again, I had expected the concept of food to play second fiddle to the gambling, perhaps a quick bite from a desultory burger grabbed between marathon pulling of the slot machines or playing the roulette table. Not so. The city has built up quite a reputation for fine dining. Even our hotel, the MGM Grand has a fancy ‘French’ restaurant. Celebrity chefs are quite the talking
point among the hotel executives. At the MGM Grande it’s Emeril Lagasse with his Cajun specialities and Joël Robuchon’s Michelin star Atelier, great if quail stuffed with foie gras and fine French dining is your thing. Lagasse crops up again at Table 10 at the Palazzo, where we sampled his fresh twist on New Orleans favourites - rashers candied in bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, New Orleans Fried Shrimp Po-Boy and truffle mac and cheese. We
ate under a wall of garden gates salvaged from New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It’s chilling but poignant.
own market dining can be equally interesting, and a useful glimpse of what’s available for the less well-heeled tourist. We drop into a Mexican diner on the Strip for breakfast; it’s unsurprisingly busy, and incredibly cheap. Our waitress tempts us with huevos
■ Aer Lingus moved terminals in JFK this year, to its new home in partners JetBlue’s Terminal 5, using gates 11 or 14. Moving into the same terminal as its travel partners in the US means that Aer Lingus’s passengers have a much easier transit between flights in JFK, staying airside and consequently being able to dramatically cut transfer times. ■ Our group tested this to the limit on the way back from Las Vegas to Dublin, as the one hour we had for transfer was shredded to twenty minutes. We made it, and incredibly, so did our bags, a testament to the efficiency of the baggage handling system. It helped that the incoming and outgoing gates were side by side. ■ Ida Milne flew to Las Vegas courtesy of JetBlue and Aer Lingus., and was hosted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors’ Authority. Aer Lingus, in partnership with JetBLue, operate daily services to Las Vegas via JFK, New York, and Boston, via Dublin and Shannon. Fares start from €249 each way ■ The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination. ■ For more information about what is hot and happening in Las Vegas, go to lasvegas.com or call the Dublin office on 01 6319640.
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DESTINATION USA rancheros for four dollars, and a side of a Bloody Mary for 99 cent. Well, the sun was over the yardarm at home, and it is part of the travel journalist’s duties to sample the local experience. We declined the yard of Margarita on ice for 15 dollars, but could see its attractions when the heat really kicks in. One thing that didn’t surprise was the shows. We went to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana, at the Aria Resort and Casino in CityCenter. Cirque’s shows typically combine extraordinary acrobatic performance with exotic costumes and set, dance, illusion and more than a touch of the bizarre. They typically have six or seven shows running in Las Vegas hotel venues.
lmost two thousand people crowd into the twice-nightly show, billed as a zany acrobatic rock experience, loosely themed on the concept of magician ringmaster Zark bringing a surreal circus back to life. Zark looks and sounds more like a 1970s Eurovision hopeful than a rock singer, with his goatee, pantaloons and flamboyant cape. The acrobatics and set make for an incredibly busy and stunning show, but it’s the mime characters, Zark’s two anarchical assistants Hocus and
The Fremont Street experience Pocus, who steal the show with their version of old-fashioned slapstick,. I’m hooked, finding the overall experience entrancing. And yet the locals we talk to are not that entranced with Zarkana compared to other Cirque shows, but admit that maybe they are just used to the formula.
here’s no shortage of shows in Las Vegas if that’s your thing: just a brief selection is Jersey Boys at Paris Las Vegas (complete with an Eiffel Tower, that’s Vegas architecture or you), Le Rêve at the Wynn Theater and of course Celine Dion at the Colosseum. For more highbrow entertainment, the lavish and newly built Smith Center for the Performing Arts is home to the Ne-
vada Ballet Theater and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Las Vegas has its own version of a quirky side. Down at the Neon Park, our dedicated guide Troy Beals takes us for a tour of some of the city’s most famous icons, his enthusiasm spilling over to his audience as he explains how the colours of neon gas were manipulated for the landmark light signs. Now discarded, dimmed and in broken disarray, they are provided with a dignified final resting place in this neon boneyard, a museum privately funded by people dedicated to preserving the heritage of the city.
he Neon Museum doesn’t receive any funding from the city authorities, but
age wedding costs about 300 dollars. But it’s the gambling staple that keeps Las Vegas in business. Back in the MGM Grand, the ground floor of the 5,000 bed hotel is like a slot machine car park. My favourite part is a theatre style venue for gambling sports addicts. You sit and gaze at a giant screen with multiple windows of sports events, keeping an eye on the betting odds for each. ll the while slender waitresses of uncertain age glide in between in the machines in impossibly high sandals and black dresses, their purpose to keep the clients watered so that they keep focused on emptying their pockets. The gamblers, some bleary eyed, stay routed to their spot, intently concentrating on the next pull, hoping that they will pull off the big win of their dreams. Maybe they will.
maybe it ought to. Here lie the now dull signs that once lit up the skyline, advertising the local delights that became famous the world over. And then there are the wedding chapels. We spent a day hopping in and out of longer and swankier stretch limos, as wedding chapel after wedding chapel called to collect us to show off the unique selling points of
their product. My favourite is that of Brendan Duffy, the Graceland chapel on Las Vegas Boulevard South. Brendan (his great grandfather is from Shannonbridge) does a convincing and genial version of Elvis, accompanying the happy couple up the aisle to Via Las Vegas, dressed in a 3,000 dollar Elvis rhinestone suit. He tells us the aver-
er Lingus moved terminals in JFK this year, to its new home in partners JetBlue’s Terminal 5, using gates 11 or 14. Moving into the same terminal as its travel partners in the US means that Aer Lingus’s passengers have a much easier tran-
sit between flights in JFK, staying airside and consequently being able to dramatically cut transfer times. Our group tested this to the limit on the way back from Las Vegas to Dublin, as the one hour we had for transfer was shredded to twenty min-
utes. We made it, and incredibly, so did our bags, a testament to the efficiency of the baggage handling system. It helped that the incoming and outgoing gates were side by side.
Clockwise: Irish-American Elvis impersonator Brendan Duffy, the City centre which includes the Aria hotel. the iconic welcome to Vegas sign, Celine at Caeser’s Palace and the Stardust.
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The art of wintering out Winter holiday options increase both east and west Djerba in Tunisia: a sometimes winter option
ong haul destinations, both east and west are featuring in the agendas of the Irish travelling public next winter. Reasons for this include the decline of the traditional charter model and the increased prices to the winter favourites of the Canary Islands, Madeira and north Africa. Better access has also driving a change of focus. The appetite of the Irish traveller has been whetted by more one stop options. Daily flights to Dubai, ten times weekly flight to Abu Dhabi, daily flights to Turkey and connections through London, Paris and Frankfurt. The appetite for long haul has also been helped by a breakdown in the differences between the length of summer and winter holidays. The fortnight in summer is all but dead. A whole day has been shed off average holiday length every three years during the noughties. People who were reluctant to do more than one sector or a flight of more than four and a half hours for a one week break are now taking in two sectors and eight hour flights. Connections to the Caribbean have also im-
proved greatly with BA and Virgin’s services through England, the Aer Lingus JetBlue tie up through JFK and the services from the two US carriers who fly year round.
s far as the Caribbean is concerned the Dominican Republic is leading the bunch, with the preferred access route the Air France Boeing 777 to Punto Cana. Wholesale rates for the key resorts are available for $80. There is 1,288 km of coastline, the major resorts such as Secrets, dreams and the big American all-inclusive resort consortia are well established, and the customer is familiar with what to expect: toothpaste whitebeaches, diving attractions nature reserves all around the island, zip lines, championship golf and one of the great tourist excursions, the trip to Saona Island, enjoyed by 500,000 excursionists annually. New boutique hotels have popped up all aorund the all inclusives, giving al sorts of extra optinos for the new generation of tourist. Those who venture out of the all inclusive resorts
are discovering a lot more to see, visits to the local sugar and rum plantations and local dining on a farm. In the northern playgrounds around Puerto Plata and further east at Sanchez and Samana there are even more spectacular trips, to Cascada del Limon waterfall, Playa Rincon, mangrove tours and the beautiful Parc Nationale Les Haitises. The Leon Centre in Santiago is one of the best museums in the Cribbean and the old town of Santo Domingo wears its colonial glory lightly, definitely worth a day trip. Dominican Republic has an online training for agents accessible for agents in Ireland: www.domreps.com
or the traditional destinations the story has been of the decline of the charter market. SATA’s service to Madeira is back, a weekly service that has never prospered but at least survived with the support of the leading tour operators and agents. Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus are loading all four Canaries on to their winter schedules as we go to press. Morocco was dropped for the pre-Christmas pe-
riod two years ago. Sunway continue to promote the destination with great success but we are not likely to return to the two Saturday flights to Agadir, one Sunway charter and one Aer Lingus schedule, that we had at peak. The rest of North Africa will be as it as with a charter service that will remain at last year’s levels to Tunisia and Egypt as much of the former market of both countries returns to the Canaries instead. Falcon and Thomas Cook are continuing to support Egypt, as discerning passengers realise that Sharm is 510km from Cairo, a stretch further than Dublin is from London. The history of the charter market is that it grew and prospered on routes that the scheduled airlines were reluctant to fly of found uneconomical. History may be about to repeat itself.
hailand remains the big holiday option in the East, and a considerable number of the 59,894 Irish who travelled there last year were winter customers using the middle east one stop options
through Dubai, Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, or the more traditional services through London, Paris, Frankfurt and even Copenhagen (even Helsinki proved a route to Bangkok in its time). Air Berlin have a service to Phuket from Abu Dhabi but Bangkok remains the gateway of choice. Thailand’s disadvantage is the flight time of 13 hours, before you factor in a layover time of between two and nine hours, depending on which hub you use. Aviation technology may help a new generation of Irish winter holiday makers here. Smaller aircraft can travel longer distances nowadays, with the advent of winglets and the arrival of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and, eventually the A350.. TUI have a large delivery of these craft on the way. Chris Lee of the Tourism Authority of Thailand says that these aircraft are perfectly suited for routes that scheduled carriers find too thin to sustain at the moment. The Mexican Tourism Minister Gloria Guevara told Travel Extra something similar in march, that Pacific Coast resorts
were now within reach of the big European charter groups which had previously only served Cancun, such as TUI, Martinair and Excel. Charters with longer reach can transform our winter holiday options. Two of Ireland’s three big long haul destinations, South Africa and Thailand, are within reach of the 787 and the Airbus equivalent, the A350 when it comes on stream in 2015-6. Oslo can sustain a daily service to Bangkok in winter. Why cannot Dublin sustain a weekly one?
lorida is a favourite holiday spot in summer of Irish people, when the heat and humidity are high and the queues to key rides at the big theme parks are long. Winter access is not as rich as summer access, with fewer connections and no direct flights, but the Irish have been finding their way there too. Irish people tend to travel to O)rlando whenit it is at its most hot and muggy. Why dont; we go in winter?
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WINTERSUN: THE CANARIES
Canary calls 400,000 Irish holiday makers can’t be wrong
Playa Blanca in Lanzarote and (bleow) an advertisement for hoidays in the Canary Islands in 1969
anarias. Two gen- tions or when the sun erations of Irish comes out. Irish people are more holiday makers associate the word with familiar with Puerto del some of the most memo- Carmen than with some rable and pleasant days of of our own provincial their lives, a European towns. It is the most popdestination with duty free ular among Irish holidaycigarettes, year round makers having overtaken Santa Ponsa in sunshine and some of the best IRELAND’S recent years. Playa del Inbars in the busi- VISITORS glés was one of ness. If any of the 2005 431,000 the first towns to individual Ca- 2006 422,000 come into exisnary Islands was 2007 474,000 tence solely for a country they 2008 505,000 holidaymakers: would be among 2009 449,500 it tells us everyIreland’s most 2010 354,036 thing we need to popular destina- 2011 397,000 know that Mulli2012 405,201 gan’s is the most tions. prominent of the Lanzarote is the favourite island, and social venues there. Most Irish people received 176,965 Irish visits (more than Greece), would name Puerto Rico Gran Canaria 83.402, as the resort on the southTenerife 77,332 and west coast of Gran Canaria. 10 miles west of Fuerteventura 54,308. last yearThe resorts are Playa del Inglés, than the as familiar as those fam- Caribbean island. They attract three times ily members who turn up at weddings or confirma- the number of holiday
makers that Greece and her islands does. Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, the two most popular, each attract more visitors than Turkey. “The Irish have a special welcome here,” Tobias Pujol on Gran Canaria says. “They like to party.” The love affair, as love affairs do, goes deeper than that. Juana Rosa Aleman says the Irish are the best clients to the island of Gran Canaria. “We receive a lot of visitors: the numbers are astonishing
in comparison with the population of the country.” Only Norway compares with Ireland in the proportion of people that come to Gran Canaria. Urs Rohrig hosts many of them at the Hotel Marina Suites in Puerto Rico. He has the needs of his Irish guests down to a tee. The Irish spend more money on holiday than any other nation, he says. Puerto Rico is our second most popular resort on Gran Canaria. I recount the story of a travel agent who once sent someone to the wrong Puerto Rico but he has heard it before.
veryone knows there are more than four Canary Islands without being sure of the names of the others: most people get La Gomera and stop at that. There are seven, Lan-
zarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura in order of visitor arrivals from Ireland, La Gomera – beautiful but a tad expensive to get to, the mountainous La Palma and the diving idyll of El Hiero. Canary Islands history was defined by their geography. Fuerteventura was the first island to be "discovered" and conquered by the Spanish, leading to an almost preordained squabble over the islands between the Portuguese and the Spaniards and eventual extinction of the indigenous people who had welcomed St Brendan, the Guanches, after they lost their unequal battle against more technological opponents in 1495. Within decades the new world had been discovered and the Canary Islands became the first meg-hub of trans-Atlantic
travel and commerce, at the heart of the trade throughout the empire on which the sun never set.
n Las Palmas, tour guide Bruno Knudsen will point out some of the places where battles were fought and won, Spaniards against Guanches, against Portuguese, against Dutch and Ottoman privateers, and how the character of the islands emerged from their unique perspective on the world, European islands less than 100k off the coast of Africa with their face always pointed west to the Americas. “An island people are always aware of the world around them,” he says. “Here we are more aware than most, because every year the world comes to us in their millions.” The Irish came too,
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WINTERSUN: THE CANARIES then as now, in search of duty-free. Henry Pyne made his fortune selling wood from Waterford to the treeless islands in the 1590s. The great Galway trader John Blake left a fantastic account of his visit in 1622. John Skerrett came, also from Galway, to preach in Tenerife in 1658 and describes an exciting melting pot of nations. When Robert Praeger came by to explore the natural beauty of the Canaries in the 1920s he slept in open fields and sandy beaches. The only people who visited the Canaries then were on fruit ships. To this day one of Ireland’s famous exports, Em-
mett’s liquor, is made from Canary bananas. The finished product is then exported back to Canaries. It might be expected that the world of Blake, Skerrett and even Praeger would be long extinct but you can still get a sense of the old Canaries, sometimes within ten minutes drive of the ribbon-glitz resorts. Today, young gap year sailing fans congregate her to catch the trade winds of wealthy yacht owners heading west to the Caribbean as they have every spring since Columbus’ time. Plus ca change, más ca cambia.
reland’s association with the Canaries came about, as these things do, by accident. The Canaries was an impoverished backwater when the first charters started arriving from Sweden in the 1960s. It was too distant for Irish minds, what few tourists travelled there arrived on a £110 cruise. Back in Collinstown Aer Lingus were trying to work out what to do with one of their new Boeing 711s ordered in a fit of expansionist exuberance by Jeremiah Dempsey a few years earlier and now inherited by his successor as Aer Lingus CEO, Michael Dargan. Exactly 45 years ago,
on May 30 1967, they sent it to Madrid, with the combination of optimism and the descending feeling that nobody was going to Franco’s capital on holidays. The advertisements of the time are full of promise and possibilities, especially the possibility of Iberia connections to the south of Spain and the Canaries (Iberia was then the fastest growing airline in the world). One clever advertising campaign visualised what was happening on a Spanish beach in December “just three hours from Dublin.” Irish travel agents knew better. They started advertising Tenerife for
Playa de Tasarte, with its single bar, which has an asphalt road to the last kilometre.
favourite, is the most volcanic of all, the Isla de los Volcanes, It measures just 40 miles from north to south and 13 miles east to west. The landscape is stark and stony, peppered with 300 volcanic cones, a moonscape that leads to lush valleys full of vegetation. Unesco declared the entire island a biosphere reserve in 1993. New development must be balanced against the need to preserve the island’s heritage and environment. That means that the tourist resorts, noisy and boisterous as they are, are easy to escape. The best trip is to Timanfaya the so called Fire Mountains to have lunch cooked by the volcano. The lava slopes and craters can be ascended by camel. Cueva de los Verdes (Jameos del Agua) is a memorable system of volcanic caves extending some 3 miles to the sea; they are the home of blind albino crabs, usually only found at 200 metres below. One cavern is used as a nightclub. Montañas del Fuego. You can also take sea trips by schooner to Arrecife to Papagayo beaches. Mirador del Rio in the north is a famous viewing point from which the island of Graciosa (the graceful one) can be seen. Yaiza village wins the "Best
90 guineas. The price came down to 76 guineas in 1970, and by 1973 the travel industry had combined to offer the first direct flights, a joint effort to fill one of the new Aer Lingus 747s, for £66. The love affair was born. With the arrival of better aircraft, the islands secured their place as capital of wintersun. The guaranteed sunshine options are limited, Malta, Cyprus, Tunisia, Morocco, Madeira and the four islands. Otherwise holiday makers are flying for eight hours, and often through more than one airport. The Canaries thrived as a tourist haven. Today a total of 12m tourists ar-
TENERIFE is the old
Teguise-Fundación César Manrique in Lanzarote Kept in Spain" award year after year for its pristine white painted houses. Each Sunday there is a market in the old inland town of Teguise from 8am. Some operators offer a day trip to Marrakech, a short flight away.
G CANARIA second most popular, has a circular coast road with a number of steep mountain roads striking inland to the central mountains, which reach an altitude of 6,400 feet. In the north are green valleys, pine trees and abundant sub-tropical crops and flowers. The south is dry and desertlike. Its 538 square miles can be explored by tour bus, jeep safari or hire-car. Sioux City, just outside Playa del Inglés, is a spaghetti western film set (the Hard Ride, 1975) now turned into a Wild West theme park open 6 days a week, with evening shows. The
capital Las Palmas, a sizeable city and port, offers the best shopping opportunities, with some good duty-free bargains. La Vegueta is the historic quarter where Columbus called en route to the New World and in the eccentric 18-room Hotel Madrid the clocks are stopped at July 17 1936, when Franco was governor and invited by English supporters to go fight for fascism in Spain. The most famous beaches are in the south, where the Malpalomas sand dunes do a good impression of Africa. Puerto Mogan has a wide range of water sports including jet ski trips and paragliding. If you propose somewhere above water-level, it is also the only place on the island you can get married. If you want to escape the crowds go west to Playa de Guigui, a two hour hike through a roadless landscape, or the slightly more accessible
maiden, largest of the Canary Islands at 795 square miles just slightly smaller than Louth, so there is plenty to explore. It has a great variety of subtropical and high altitude landscapes, flora and fauna which reflect its volcanic origins and proximity to Africa. It was the first big destination in the islands for Irish holiday makers but for a period was regarded as the preserve of newly-weds and retired. Some theme parks, Sky Park Tenerife, and two expansive waterparks Aqualand Costa Adeje and Siam Park have gone some way to changing that and reimposing its family appeal. There are also half a dozen animal parks. There is no escaping the outstanding excursion here: Mount Teide (El Pico), the 12,402 foot volcanic mountain which dominates the island was once accepted as the tallest in the world. Visitors can also daytrip south to see Las Cañadas National Park with its lush verdant scenery in the Oratava valley and moody deserted volcanic landscapes. There is a 3,000-year-old dragon tree at Icod. There are medieval shows at San Miguel (a "Knight" to remember) and
rive on the islands, 4m from Germany, 3.5m English, 500,000 Scandinavians and 397,000 Irish. Laly Lozano Martel, for many years a rep with Stein Travel and Sunway tells how the same families would return, season after season from the 1970s, and resume where they had left off. A warning about prices though: the Irish, in common with most northern markets, European moved their focus from troubled North Africa, and the Canaries took up the slack. The key is to book early.
a variety of water based experiences.
FUERTEVENTURA has almost guaran-
teed sunshine, supposedly only 15 days of the year without, and is the quietest of the four biggies. There are beaches - over 150 of them - which are considered among the best in Europe, with clear waters ideal for snorkelling and diving, miles of soft, light sands, rising to windblown dunes in places, sloping down to clean, clear waters. At Nuevo Horizonte they constructed Lagos de Antigua, a sea-water swimming lake with restaurants and shops nearby.
LA GOMERA is
mountainous, quiet, unsophisticated, rural retreat for those seeking total relaxation with the options of scenic drives to see the spectacular mountain scenery or serious hiking in the National Park, definitely not for the booze and beach brigade. The island is a popular with Germans, a knowledge of whose language can be more useful than Spanish on occasions, especially in Valle Gran Rey. It lies 20 miles west of the port of Los Cristianos in Tenerife from where ferry boat and hydrofoil services operate to San Sebastian de la Gomera.
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A Modern Day Renaissance City
HILADELPHIA, PA - the birthplace of America and home of modern innovation. This city combines rich history with a flourishing creative spirit, award winning culinary scene, a renowned arts and culture community, vibrant street life, green parks, and a retail Mecca with designer shops and boutiques offering taxfree shopping on all clothing and shoes! With a brag list that includes being named the “next great American city” by National Geographic magazine; a top city for street food, burgers, and sandwiches by Travel + Leisure magazine; and one of the world’s 10 best cities for parks by Frommer’s – this city offers something to entertain any travelers fancy. Rated as “America’s # 1 City for Culture” by Travel + Leisure, Philadelphia’s art, music, film, design, fashion, performance and culinary
energy pulse through the many neighborhoods that weave together to create the fabric of the city.
Philadelphia’s art museums cover one of the most comprehensive collections of art in the U.S.A., including the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world. Known as the “Mural Arts Capital of the World” the city is also home to the largest collection of outdoor sculptures and mural arts across the globe. Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, newly coined “Museum Row”, internationally famous works can be found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the leading art museums in the country; the Rodin Museum, home to the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris; and The Barnes Foundation, which boasts the world’s largest private collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art. In the
Old City District unique galleries offer a more informal approach to art with the First Friday celebration – independent venues, boutiques, and pop-up shops open their doors for an evening of live entertainment, artist wares, and often cocktails on the first Friday of every month.
The Sixth Sense, National Treasure, and Limitless. Coming soon to a theater near you: Dead Man Down (featuring Collin Farrell), and Paranoia (featuring Harrison Ford and Liam Helmsworth) were both recently filmed in the city and are set to release in 2013.
For live arts, head over to the Avenue of the Arts (Broad Street) – home to theaters and concert halls including the magnificent Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra; and the Academy of Music, main stage for the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Experience Philadelphia first-hand and you’ll be sure to leave captivated. Explore this 21st century hub where an inspired young creative culture is blooming and deep-routed American history is waiting to be revealed. You will feel like a Philadelphian as you wander the vibrant streetscapes and immerse in America’s old world and new world.
Big screen bragging rights, Philadelphia has served as the backdrop for more than 85 films produced in the city with more in production every day. Some notable movies shot in Philadelphia include the Rocky series, Trading Places, Witness, Philadelphia, In Her Shoes,
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau invites you to Discover PHL! Visit www.discoverPHL.com to begin planning your trip!
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BRANDYWINE/VALLEY FORGE – great access, great history, great culture and the three stooges as well
randywine and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania—the Countryside of Philadelphia—embraces visitors year-round with an ever-changing array of music, painting, sculpture, dance, theater, exhibitions, shopping and sport. Its treasures unfold against the backdrop of the history that defined a nation and set the course for its people. But be prepared: A visit here isn’t just strolling by glass cases, gazing at artifacts. It’s watching your kids “join” the Continental Army and receive their marching orders; caressing your taste buds with the tangy bite of a local wine; fistpumping to celebrate conquering a rock wall; gazing wistfully at an artistic masterpiece; tapping your toe to music that ranges from funk to folk; and strapping on skis for a downhill or cross-country schuss. The tempo here can rev up to the dizzying whirl of a roulette wheel. Or it can ease to the pace of a leisurely stroll along a tree-lined walking path that winds along a
gurgling stream. Best of all, thanks to an extensive highway system, a world-class airport and numerous rail options, access is easy and convenient. And our array of hotels can either swath you in luxury or wrap you in homey comfort. Both Brandywine and Valley Forge played noteworthy roles in the Revolutionary War: We have museums to appeal to all tastes, from high art to lowbrow comedy. The Brandywine River Museum displays an unparalleled collection of illustrations, still-lifes and landscapes by three generations of the Wyeth family. The Wharton Esherick Museum celebrates the “Dean of American Craftsman” and his unique and fanciful woodcarvings. The John James Audubon Center contains a copy of his Birds of America, printed and hand colored from copper plate engravings. At the other end of the spectrum, The Stoogeum stands as tribute
to the comic artistry of The Three Stooges. Inside, a steady stream of their shorts plays out in an 85-seat theater, where visitors are free to sit back and giggle after viewing some 3,000 pieces of Stooge memorabilia. Outdoors, Brandywine and Valley Forge offer vistas that change character and detail with the passing of each season. The splendor on display puts the “great” in the term “great outdoors.” Sports-minded vacationers can take advantage of miles of trails for biking, hiking, jogging, and horseback riding. Golf, bowling, boating, skiing, ice skating and snowmobiling are abundant, and thrill-seekers can go zip-lining, rock climbing or mountain-biking. The world-renowned Longwood Gardens combines the best of Italian, French, and English traditions. New for 2013 are ongoing opportunities to enable visitors to “Go behind the Garden Gates” and witness the background operations of the garden. If you’d rather hunt bargains than
daffodils, King of Prussia Mall—the largest retail complex on the U.S. East Coast—features over 400 stores Nearby Philadelphia Premium Outlets additionally offers 150 name brand outlet stores offering 25–65 percent savings every day. The QVC Studio Tour allows you to experience a live television broadcast, where you can see for yourself how products are brought to life on air and delivered to millions of customers. Afterward, the studio store is available for shopping. Tempting palates is something at which Brandywine and Valley Forge excel. A crew of expert chefs can satisfy every craving, whether you’re in search of haute cuisine or hot dogs. Brandywine offers a renowned wine tasting tour of eight wineries, where you’ll experience beautiful estate vineyards in the rolling hills, charming tasting rooms and barrelaging cellars filled with premium wines that showcase a unique goût de terroir. The Countryside of Philadelphia: Everything & More!
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ATLANTIC CITY – The beach defines the city, you can smell it, you can feel it, and Las Vegas will never have a beach
tlantic City has just got bigger. The 1,800 room Revel resort is the latest addition to the inventory at Atlantic City, playground of the east coast. At Revel, every room has an ocean view. The resort has seven restaurants a high end disco and, of course, a casino. It is totally smoke free. Resorts Casino Hotel has rebranded as Margueritaville inspired by singer Jimmy Buffett’s hit song
that celebrates the island culture. The $35m project will include a year-round beach bar, 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, Landshark Bar and Grill, retail stores and a coffee shop. Part of the Margaritaville complex will be built within the existing Resorts casino, as part of an effort to rebrand the casino’s facade with the Margaritaville theme. Excite the tastebuds. Atlantic City has an array of fine dining options, Bobby Flay, Carmine’s in Tropicana
the Palm restaurant. Every resort has a range of restaurants for every taste without leaving the playground. Shopping is exciting here. There is NO TAX on clothing and shoes Access is great. You can get there easily from Philadelphia (or indeed New York). You can tour New York City without any inconvenience. Jackson, New Jersey, has a Six Flags adventure park and drive through safari. You can shop on Jersey shore in the outlet malls and be back in
Atlantic City before dinner. There are lots of new things to do. Try the Boardwalk Empire – behind the scenes prohibition tour. As they say in Atlantic City, Vegas will never have an ocean. The European market enjoys the beach and that’s what you get in Atlantic City. You can smell it, you can see it, you can feel it.
clothes & shoes
From the renowned Brandywine River Museum, to the site of Washington’s famous encampment at Valley Forge National Historical Park, a bottle of cabernet or chardonnay at Chaddsford Winery or over 1,000 acres to explore at the world-renowned Longwood Gardens, combining the best of Italian, French and English traditions creating one of North America’s most memorable gardens and of course the resplendent beautiful rolling hills and picturesque countryside. And with tax-free shopping at The King of Prussia Mall or Philadelphia Premium Outlets, whatever you enjoy doing, there’s everything & more in the Countryside of Philadelphia.
For further information visit www.thecountrysideofphiladelphia.com
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arely can one resort accurately claim to have 'covered all bases'. Something is usually missing, be it guaranteed warm and sunny weather, five-star luxury, world-class archaeological sites, a stunning landscape or crystal clear waters fringed by sandy beaches. Sharm el Sheikh, on the tip of the Sinai Peninsular in Egypt, claims all these and more – and yet it's within six hours of Dublin airport. Jerusalem, Cairo (for the Pyramids), Luxor (Valley of the Kings) and other "musts' are within reach – yet it has a stunning golden-sand beach and one of the world's finest coral reefs right on the doorstep (as for the five-star luxury – Thomson Holidays is rapidly developing its Sensatori brand into a trusted travel marque). Strangely, Sharm is located in one of the most politically sensitive parts of the word, at the very junction of the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez – yet, seemingly undeterred, sun-hungry tourists flock here from all parts of northern Europe. Off-shore from Sharm sits the Island of Tiran, once occupied by the Israeli Defence Forces after the Six Day War but now home to no-one
except a few bored UN troops who, one imagines, are working hardest at keeping their cool! Draw a straight line through Tiran from Sharm and you reach Saudi Arabia (there is even talk about, one day, building a causeway between Egypt and Saudi, although no sign yet of any road works). Of more interest to tourists are the dolphins that inhabit these waters, the coral of the world-famous Ras Mohammed Marine Park and the pink glow that bathes the island as the sun sinks behind the mountains of Sinai. The wind direction is important too. If the breeze wafts onshore from Saudi and Tiran to Sharm, the heat on the beaches can increase (in high summer) to a baking 55 degrees. Time to stay in the water. Despite some stories in both the Irish and British papers painting Egyptian tourism in a state of near-panic, our Thomson Airways flight from Dublin was full and the Sensatori at 'Sharm' (as it's universally known in the area itself) was 95% full in June. So, why stay at the Sensatori?
magine, for a moment, if a starry-eyed couple, planning their wedding and honeymoon, visited you in
WHAT’S HOT ■ Swim-up rooms for those who prefer privacy to sharing their space. ■ The weather. warm all year round. ■ Transfers from the airport at Sharm take less than fifteen minutes. ■ Swap boxes" at reception where you can leave your half-emptied bottles of sun-tan cream or borrow from ■ Nespresso (Italian) coffee makers in the rooms.
their local travel agents one afternoon with a very precise wish-list (or imagine, for example, an older couple celebrating their retirement). Both she and he want guaranteed sunshine and warmth. It goes without saying that they want a s t r e s s - f r e e honeymoon/retirement holiday. They both want romantic sunsets, balmy breezes after dark and an exotic location (they've been to Spain and Portugal several times and want something a bit different this time). They want privacy without isolation (company in the evening with maybe a tinkling piano but certainly NO loutishness). Both of them love the idea of swim-up rooms where you can roll out of bed in the morning and sink into the pool without a second's thought (no problem with earlymorning sorties to grab a sun-lounger in the best spot beside the pool – because it's just the other side of the French windows, on your very own patio). But, for argument's sake, they differ in some important ways. HE wants to be able to check on the football scores. SHE wants to have a massage and maybe a facial. HE wants to snorkel on the reefs while SHE wants a shopping trip or two.
WHAT’S NOT ■ Tattoos – does everyone consider it 'de rigeur' these days? ■ Leopard-skin patterned baby-gro's (yes, I see the joke – but really …) ■ Never drink tap water (but they offer you bottled water at every possible occasion) ■ Getting offered a brandy the size of which would floor a rhino!
When it comes to accommodation, HER focus is on a big bathroom with fluffy toweling robes while HE emphasizes the importance of a HUGE and very comfortable bed (this couple are demanding!). Neither hates kids (if they're honeymooners – they plan to have some of their own one day) but they don't want someone else's making too much of a noise beside the pool. He is a plain eater and wants his egg and bacon for breakfast. She likes to experiment but wants to avoid piling on too many of the pounds she painfully lost in preparation for the wedding. This is the sort of situation in which the Sensatori concept wins hands down.
es, it has satellite TV for checking the football scores but NO, televisions don't blare out in the bars. Yes, there is a spa and beauty salon, so she can have some "me time" while he snorkels and fishwatches on the reef (directly from the jetty that floats off Sensatori's own private beach). There is an "adultsonly" wing of rooms and half the main restaurant is for adults while couples with children can rest assured there are children's menus and a children's buffet (don't tell, but some plain-eating adults have been seen to snaffle the fried chicken/chips and baked potatoes from it). The Sensatori 'brand' (if it can be called that) really does try to attempt
Anne Cadwallader on the Red Sea Riviera the impossible: create the ultimate, all-optionscovered luxury resort holiday. In Sharm, there are three all-inclusive restaurants (bookable but included in the overall cost of the holiday): a middle-Eastern (the "Marhaba"), an Italian (the "Casa Bianca") and an American diner (the "Tiran" whose menu differs between lunchtime burgers and evening steaks/ barbecued chicken etc).
ur imaginary couple would be fine. She can eat as much fresh fruit and salads as she wishes (and no tempting calorie-heavy dressings) while he can choose between steaks, fried fish and chicken and even a (beef) hot-dog for lunch. You can tick off some potential problems immediately. There's no need for visas or inoculations. No need either to worry about changing currency (your ATM card will work in most machines in Sharm and it's a doddle working out rates because the Egyptian pound is worth roughly ten cents). Free wifi is provided in the hotel lobby and main bar, all your food and local drinks (including spirits, cocktails, wines and beer) is included in the overall cost of your(payable only after midnight and if you insist on a particular brand). As for day-trips to Cairo etc – they obviously cost extra (about Euro200 to Luxor by air/roughly the same by private taxi to Cairo and
about Euro170 to Jerusalem). There are excursions into the solitude of the mountains of Sinai to view the stars through a telescope, Red Sea cruises, quad-biking in the desert, scuba-diving lessons on the Ras Mohammed, a trip to Petra (the "rose red city half as old as time" where "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was fimed) and so on (the choice is endless).
eaving aside our honeymooning couple (and our retirees) for a minute, families are specifically catered-for with a large and exciting pool with flumes, sprays etc for kids along with an earlyevening entertainment programme. Evening entertainment for adults ranges from a Motown night in the main marquee to classical music, an Abba tribute night and adultonly comedy evenings. For shopping there's a private taxi service (it costs around Euro 10 each way) to Soho Square mall where prices are fixed (no haggling) and Na'ama Bay centre is a mere Euro 5 return by hotel shuttle bus. And finally, if you're interested in seeing where Moses was handed the Ten Commandments, it's not far from Sharm at Saint Catherine's Monastery – while the sea between Sharm and the island of Tiran is where the same Moses is said to have parted the Red Sea waters.
Falcon Holidays Sensatori brand is available in several locations across its portfolio and wil prove verty popular with clients.
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THE FLYING COLUMN
Aviation with Gerry O’Hare
A350 takes to sky Aer Lingus among customers for new craft The A350n returning to Toulouse irbus has taken their first allnew plane in eight years, the A350, on a test flight. Half of the craft is lightweight carbon-fiber designed to save on jet fuel, which makes up half the cost of longhaul flights. The craft has larger windows and overhead storage than comparable jets. Airbus says the 220-inch cabin width from armrest to armrest is inches more than the competition, allowing 18-inch seat width in ninewide seating. To date the A350 XWB has already won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide.
Aer Lingus has eight A350s on order, two to arrive in 2015; four in 2016 and three in 2019. The craft is ideal for long haul routes such as San Francisco, a resumption of which is expected to be announced by Aer Lingus soon after we go to press. The aircraft was flown by Peter Chandler, Airbus’ Chief Test Pilot, and Guy Magrin, Project Pilot for the A350 XWB. A The A350 XWB – carrying the registration F-WXWB – took off at around 221 tonnes. During the flight, which took the aircraft around south western France, the crew explored
the aircraft’s flight envelope. The aircraft was accompanied by a chase plane to observe and film the various manoeuvres. Its progress was monitored by experts on the ground in real-time via a direct telemetry link. The maiden flight marks the beginning of a rigorous test flight campaign involving five A350s, and around 2,500 flight hours. It will culminate in the aircraft’s certification followed by its entry into airline service in the second half of 2014 with first operator Qatar Airways. Over 50,000 visitors watched the flight on airbus website,
RYANAIR RAISES TARGET TO 110m
yanair has raised its growth plans from 100m to 110m passengers per annum by Mar 2019. The decision follows the confirmation of a firm order for 175 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft last month which will allow Ryanair to grow its fleet to more than 400 aircraft, The deal is worth
$15.6bn but Ryanair could be paying less than $9bn for the aircraft. The deal was concluded by Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive, Ray Conner at the Paris Air Show. Ryanair say the deal will allow them to grow by about 7pc per annum (re-
vised upwards from 5pc) over the next five years, taking Ryanair’s traffic to over 110m passengers a year by March 2019. This, Ryanair says, is “in response to increased demand (and lower costs) from both existing and new airport partners across Europe.” The first of the new Boeing aircraft is due for deliv-
ery in September 2014 and a senior Ryanair working group is continuing to evaluate the benefits of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft, which enters service in 2017. Ryanair also plans to return €1bn to shareholders over next two years.
LINGUS WINTER SCHEDULES
er Lingus have partially loaded the winter schedules for 2013-4. The airline has cancelled routes to Bucharest (on 30 April), Stuttgart and Verona from their 2013-13 winter schedule which was loaded this month There are increased services to ■ Aberdeen 10w (up 3),
■ Alicante 3w (up 1 ), ■ Boston 11w (up 4), ■ Bristol 20w (up 4), ■ Budapest 5w (up 1), ■ Cardiff 17w (up 4), ■ Faro 4w (up 1), ■ Geneva 9w (up 2), ■ Hamburg daily (up 2), ■ Lanzarote daily (up 2), ■ Lisbon daily (up 2), ■ Malaga 8w (up 1), ■ Munich 12w (up 1),
■ Nice 5w (up 1), ■ Paris 4 daily (up 7), ■ Zurich 9w (up 2). Services are reduced to ■ Isle of Man 10w (down 2), ■ Warsaw 3w (down 4). They have added capacity to Paris (Air France dropping a daily CDG flight in March). Flights to Alicante, Zurich, and Hamburg have been tweaked to offer better trans-Atlantic
connections. Some Bristol flights have been transferred to Cardiff. Unlike 2013, there is no reduction to New York from Dublin in January 2014. The schedule from Belfast City Airport offering 84 weekly departures and arrivals, amounting to over 12,000 seats each week.
SHANNON The new CEO of Shannon Airport is Neil Pakey, former MD of Liverpool John Lennon Airport DAA chairman Pádraig Ó Ríordáin says the number of passengers using Cork Airport needed to be more than 3m to make it sustainable. Currently the airport has only 2.34m passengers, which means it is sustaining operating losses of about €6m EU The European Commission says inefficiencies caused by Europe's fragmented airspace bring extra costs of around eur 5 bn a year. These costs get passed on to business and passengers. Air traffic control currently makes up 6-12pc of the cost of a ticket in Europe. The US air traffic management system is twice as efficient as that of the EU; it manages double the number of flights for a similar cost from a third as many control centres. AER LINGUS pension deficit prob-
lem eased towards a solution. The proposal is 110M to pension fund as a final one off gesture, and a "stabilisation" figure for employees.
DELTA the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey have opened their new $1.4bn terminal 4 at JFK International Airport QANTAS announced an extension of Select on Q-Eat, allowing Business customers travelling between London, Australia and Dubai, to pre-order their meal, designed by Qantas consulting chef Neil Perry, prior to flying. DUBLIN Airport was 'highly commended' and Tourism Ireland nominated at the Routes Europe awards. ARKEFLY the Dutch airline, is to operate charter service from Cork Airport for Falcon Holidays this summer. FLYBE celebrated their inaugural flight on the Manchester route from Waterford Airport EU The European Commission has approved Vinci's acquisition of Portuguese airport operator ANA Aeroportos de Portugal. Vinci acquired ANA for €3.08 bn in early 2013 and is committed to hub operations at Lisbon Airport. SAS Scandinavian Airlines Alan Sparling is to continue working for the airline as GSA. CEO Rickard Gustafson said the airline's rationalisations in administration are continuing with the number of full time positions reduced by around 300. During 2013 Q1 the airline started operating 18 new routes and plans to launch another 32 routes in summer 2013. PEGASUS Conor McCarthy of Dublin Aerospace has been appointed as a non-executive director of Turkish airline Pegasus. Dublin Aerospace current chief executive Donal Rogers was previously the chief financial officer and deputy chief executive at Pegasus. AMERICAN Airlines expects it can have partnerships with Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.
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Aviation with Gerry O’Hare
IATA’s AGM unanimously endorsed a set of
core principles for governments to consider when adopting consumer protection regulation: ■ Ensure regulations are clear, unambiguous, aligned with international conventions, without extra-territorial implications and comparable with regimes in place for other modes of transport ■ Allow airlines the ability to differentiate themselves through their customer service offerings above a basic common standard ■ Ensure passenger access to Information concerning their rights, fares, including taxes and charges (prior to purchasing a ticket), the actual operator of the flight, and regular situational updates in the case of service disruptions ■ Ensure appropriate assistance for those with reduced mobility ■ Ensure efficient complaint handling procedures that are clearly communicated ■ Reflect the principle of proportionality and the impact of extraordinary circumstances when determining compensation ■ Do not compromise the industry’s top priority of safety and exonerate airlines from liability for safety-related delays and cancellations ■ In the case of denied boarding and cancellations, entitle passengers to re-routing, refunds or compensation where circumstances are within the airlines’ control. ■ In the case of delays, entitle passengers to re-routing, refunds or care and assistance; and acknowledge that when such delays or disruptions are beyond the control of airlines, market forces should determine the care and assistance available to passengers. ■ Ensure that the burden is allocated among the different service providers involved.
Ryanair’s new captcha and (inset) the old model
Ryanair’s listens to complaints from website users
he revised captcha on the Ryanair website has been extended to all markets after its trial on the Irish and English sites. Since captcha was introduced in November 2011, ostensibly to prevent screen scrapers, deciphering the
BRITISH AIRWAYS is operating serious and increased summer programmes on Heathrow-Dublin and Heathrow-Belfast City.
HSBC group reported its stake in Ryanair
reduced from 6.5pc to below 5pc and BlackRock Inc reported a stake increased from below 5pc to 5pc.
BEIJING Capital International Airport
has become the world's busiest airport (in terms of seats on offer), according to Innovata, ahead of Atlanta Airport. Beijing Capital has 2.12m seats per week, compared to 2.09m at Atlanta, Tokyo Haneda Airport (2.00m), London Heathrow (1.84m), Dubai (1.66m) , Chicago O'Hare International Airport (1.60m seats), Frankfurt International Airport (1.55m), Paris Charles de Gaulle (1.49m), Hong Kong (1.47m) and Dallas/Fort Worth (1.44m).
AER ARANN said it will create 50 jobs over the next 12 months. The new jobs are for cabin crew, engineering and support roles and will bring staff numbers to 370 THOMSON Airways has based a B737-800 at Dublin for the summer CORK The Minister for Transport,
Tourism and Sport, Dr Leo Varadkar TD, has appointed Ann-Marie O'Sullivan to the board of the DAA. She is a director of H+A Marketing & PR in Cork.
code has wrecked many punters heads. Ryanair used a company called Solve Media to revise the captcha. Michael O’Leary wanted to have this change implemented months ago, but it took longer than expected.
Ryanair’s site has 1.2m daily users, more than any the biggest internet wholesalers, which suggests that the risky policy of keeping their inventory to themselves rather than releasing it to an OTA or GDS has paid off.
PEAK SEASON BAGGAGE FEES
study by lastminute.com indicated that Irish holiday makers paid out €17.5m in excess fees last year with an average fee of €46 per person, Of those surveyed, 55pc are unaware of the peak season baggage charge increases from Aer Lingus and Ryanair
for the peak summer period from June to September, with only 12pc knowing the exact increase. The Aer Lingus charge for a 20kg bag increases from €15 to €20 in peak season online. It rises on Canaries and Greek, Romanian and Turkish routes from €20 to €25 per flight.
Ryanair’s charge for a 15kg bag rises from €15 to €25 in Peak season, and on the Canaries and on Greek routes from €20 to €35 in Peak season. Ryanair’s charge for a 20Kg bag rises from €25 to €35 and on the Canaries and Greek routes from €30 to €45. It costs more in summer
HEATHROW T2 OPENS JUNE 4 2014
eathrow’s new Terminal 2 is to open in a year’s time on June 4th 2014. Aer Lingus wil be among the ailrines which wil use the new facility brinign an end to the 800m walk to the 80-90 gates at the end of a tunnel in Heathrow Temrinal 1. The first flight to land in the new terminal will be a
United Airlines flight from Chicago, scheduled to land at 05.55am. Terminal 2 will eventually serve 20 million passengers a year and, as well as Aer Lingus, be home to 23 Star Alliance airlines, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings. It is to be known as “Terminal 2: the Queen’s Terminal” in recognition of
Queen Elizabeth II and marking her long association with the airport. As regards shops, the airport says the brands that won positions in Terminal 2 were “challenged to improve the passenger experience by moving away from one-size-fits-all.” “As well as providing tailored offers and experiences, Terminal 2 also in-
corporates a range of flexible and ‘transient’ spaces that keep our retail experience fresh enough to engage frequent of flyers. ■ 69 outlets overall ■ 52 shops ■ 17 bars and restaurants including ■ seven restaurants with airfield views.
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THE FLYING COLUMN
Aviation with Gerry O’Hare
AIR NEW ZEALAND has unveiled its new livery. There are two versions: white with a black tail, and all-black. They feature the silver fern, New Zealand’s national emblem. UNITED Airlines is to offer flat-bed seats on all long-haul international flights from North American hubs BOEING predicts that the number of commercial aircraft in operation globally will double in the next two decades, with the bulk of the 35,000 new planes going to Asia. AMERICAN Airlines plans to add seats and reduce legroom on its Boeing 737 and MD-80 jets, which account for about twothirds of its current fleet. AER LINGUS Regional flights have
been loaded for winter
ETIHAD Airways has launched a Meet and Greet service for guests arriving on Etihad Airways flights at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Trans-Atlantic capacity leads way at Dublin United’s 757-200 service
ummer kicked off at Dublin with American Airlines begins its new direct, nonstop service between Dublin and New York. American are offering travel agent clients up to 20,000 bonus Avios every time they fly this new route. Each of the airlines operating transAtlantic routes from Ireland has announced an increase in capacity for 2013, meaning that 224 flights per week will operate to Americas and Canada during the peak summer season this year Shannon airport’s transatlantic passenger numbers will increase by 22pc this year. Dublin Airport will have 12 daily scheduled flights to nine different US airports. Aer Lingus is increasing frequency on Dublin-Boston and Dublin-Chicago and is inceasing Dublin-Orlando to three weekly.
Delta is increasing the Dublin-JFK service from 7 to 10 weekly and introducing more capacity on the normal daily service, with three flights using a 226 seat aircraft in a 26-200 configuration rather than last year’s 208 seat B767-300 in a 36-172 configuration. Delta’s Dublin-JFK flights take off at 11.20 and land at 13.50 daily and the new afternoon flight on Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays takes off at 14.50 and lands at 17.15. The return flight takes off from JFK at 19.30 and lands at 07.25 while the second flight on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays takes off from JFK at 21.30 and lands at 9.30. American Airlines launch a new daily using a 2-class B757 DublinJFK service on June 12th which will be year round. The flight will leave Dublin at 9am
making it the first service to leave Dublin for New York each day. United to Newark is also scheduled at 0900. Air Canada’s Dublin-Toronto service resumed two weeks earlier than last year on May 18 and operates five weekly before daily service from May 28. Air Canada will keep their one remaining larger B763 on the route before rouge takes over the route next year. It will be year round form 2014.. US Airways will operate Shannon to Philadelphia daily from May 22 to early September, using a B757. United Airlines are to fly Shannon to Chicago five times a week on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday June 6-August 28 at 11.00am. Delta Air Lines seasonal flight between Shannon Airport and JFK recommenced on May 11, using a B757-200 aircraft with 170 seats.
ahead of the capacity increase from an extra aircraft. Load factor was up 2.9pc to 84.4pc, RPK up 21pc and ASK up 17pc. Short-haul passenger numbers were up 4pc and Aer Lingus regional up 2pc. It was a good May all
AER LINGUS Regional is to dedicate one of its new ATR 72-600s to a new three daily business shuttle service between Dublin and Birmingham. FLYNONSTOP the Norwegian airline is to start a new flight from Dublin to Kristiansand, on the Skagerrak strait in southern Norway, from October 28th. It will use a100-seat Embraer E-190 aircraft fitted with iPads to keep passengers entertained throughout their journey with In-flight meals composed by Bølgen & Moi. Flynonstop is a premium Norwegian regional “virtual airline” operated by Denim Air, DELTA Air Lines has opened a lounge at New York's JFK airport with a 2,000-squarefoot outdoor Sky Deck, an unusual outdoor space for a U.S. airport. AER LINGUS in partnership with UNICEF Ireland, has launched a collection on board all flights across its network for the children of Syria. FALCON
Holidays launched their new service from Belfast to Sharm el Sheikh.
TRANSFERS BOOST LINGUS PASSENGERS
er Lingus passengers numbers for May indicate just how dramatic are the changes in their long haul business model. The airline reported that long haul passenger numbers were up 20pc in May year on year,
RYANAIR will operate 23 routes from Cork Airport this summer, with flights available for booking from Cork to Alicante, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, La Rochelle and Pisa.
UNITED Airlines say they will offer lieflat seats on every long-haul international flight from New York. All 182 international aircraft with United Global First and United BusinessFirst cabins will have the 180-degree flat-bed seats. Each seat will also have a personal on-demand entertainment system.
round. Ryanair passengers were up 5pc across its system. Dublin Airport figures were up 9pc, with trans-Atlantic again the star performer with an increase of 18pc. Europe was up 10pc and England 8pc.
AER LINGUS website got a welcome makeover. They are also reportedly developing a new app. TOPAZ is to invest 3m in its service station at Dublin airport. Jetblue’s Terminal5 at JFK
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THE FLYING COLUMN TURKISH charter operator Sky Airlines ceased operations last weekend. The Antalyabased carrier was owned by tourism conglomerate Kayi Group and was affected by the bankruptcy of tour operator GTI Travel, which also belonged to the group. One of the aircraft was sent to Shannon.
DUBLIN TERMINAL 1 The consortium of Pascall+Watson, Mott MacDonald and EC Harris has been awarded the contract for a plan to rejuvenate Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport. Pascall+Waton designed the T2 terminal.
Aviation with Gerry O’Hare
Best bar in the sky Eoghan Corry samples the Emirates A380 service
US AIRWAYS has commenced its daily service from Shannon to its Philadelphia hub, resuming a route it last flew in 2009. AIR CANADA has reduced its comfort plus upgrade fee to 66 each direction. KNOCK The Department of Transport is
seeking tenders for consultancy advice ‘concerning options for the viability and growth of Ireland West Airport Knock
THOMSON’s first B787 was delivered
to Manchester and initially went to Newquay for training. The airline will spend three weeks at Shannon training crews this summer.
AMERICAN Airlines announced daily
nonstop service between Miami and MilanMalpensa Airport with B767-300ER beginning Nov 21.
ETIHAD Airways confirmed that it will
acquire, subject to regulatory approval, a 24pc stake in Jet Airways India Etihad Airways. Etihad is looking at placing a joint aircraft order with India’s Jet Airways, Air Berlin and Air Seychelles. Etihad president and CEO James Hogan sasys the plans to maintain its 10pc stake in Virgin Australia “at the moment” andhe did not rule out increasing the share stating, “Once the Jet Airways deal is over we'll see what we can do moving forward working with Virgin." Air New Zealand Ltd. increased its stake in Virgin Australia to 23pc
Domodedovo Airport handled 28.2m passengers, an increase of 9.6pc on 2011. Sheremetyevo Airport passenger numbers increased 16.5pc to reach just over 26m. St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport grew by 16.1pc to 11.2m passengers, while Moscow Vnukovo Airport increased 18.3pc to 9.7m.
Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson says that the carrier does not see a need to order more aircraft although its current order book is only approximately 100 aircraft.
PRE-CLEARANCE The US
House of Representatives passed an amendment that would prohibit the US Dept of Homeland Security from establishing a Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
DELTA Air Lines says Memphis is losing
hub status in late 2013. Cincinnati’s fate as hub in the combined Delta-Northwest network is also being examined.
Travel Etxra editor Eoghan Corry finds a whole new meaning to the word bar-fly
mirates have swamped us with flight options to Australia. There are 98 flights a week to five cities, including Adelaide, but the best bit is the selection of craft that they have on offer. They offer the A380 to Melbourne and, from July, twice daily to Sydney. Irish people have got used to the high standards of service you get on the Boeing 777, which is luxurious but to really comparable to the A380 you take from Dubai to Sydney. The Emirates A380 has without doubt, the best bar in the sky. My journey to Sydney airport was a bit more stressful than it should be, as the tunnel was log jammed and I headed through the city centre instead. The gamble was worth it. I made my check in time with five minutes
to spare and have time for a celebratory glass of Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz in the Emirates lounge, a suite of rooms furnished in 1970s décor with a very classy food choice. Wolgan Valley barramundi with zucchini flowers, chicken escalope with olive, shallot and tomato salsa, cous cous with pine nuts, onion and parsley and 12 other options (count them). Next to the aircraft. The A380 is configured with 14 open suites in first class with an 86-inch pitch, 76 flat bed seats in business with a 48-inch pitch, and 399 seats in Economy with a 32-inch pitch. The USP is their bar, located at the back of the business class seats. Qantas have a bar in their A380, also for business class customers, but it is spectacularly unlit by compari-
son with this one, a fluorescent semi circular counter with low seats on either side. It is a place to gather and meet fellow passengers, including an 86year-old Carlow born doctor returning for his sister’s funeral. If you don’t make it to the bar when there are stewardesses to bring you glasses of Chateau Phelan Segur 2004 Cru Bourgeois St Estephe or 2010 Mendoza. And beside your seat on the A380 you have a mini bar of your own at your shoulder with coke 7up, Perrier, still water and cranberry. If you are in first class you can have a shower in mid flight. If you are in economy, it is still great, you have the biggest screens in the sky.
LONDON OFT’S RYANAIR VERDICT
s speculated, the London Commission of Fair Trade found against Ryanair in its provisional ruling that Ryanair exerts undue influence over Aer Lingus and suggested they would have to sell have of their 29.82pc shareholding in Aer Lingus. Ryanair responded by saying the provisional decision is in breach of EU law and pointed out it is six and a half years since Ryanair
bought the holding. The ruling itemised five problems with the shareholding: ■ Ryanair’s shareholding would be likely to be a significant impediment to Aer Lingus’s ability to be acquired by, merge with or acquire another airline and could make it more difficult for Aer Lingus to attract a strategic minority shareholding. ■ Ryanair’s ability to block a special resolution gives it influence over Aer
Lingus’s ability to issue shares and might hamper Aer Lingus’s ability to raise capital. ■ Ryanair would be able to influence Aer Lingus’s ability to dispose of some of its Heathrow slots in order to optimize its slot portfolio. ■ Ryanair could influence Aer Lingus’s commercial strategy by exercising the deciding vote in the context of an ordinary resolution.
■ Ryanair’s minority shareholding increased the likelihood of it mounting a full bid for Aer Lingus. Any such bid could significantly disrupt Aer Lingus’s commercial policy and strategy. ■ It was unlikely that Aer Lingus would compete less fiercely with Ryanair in order to avoid antagonizing its largest shareholder either now or in the future.
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Aviation with Gerry O’Hare AIR FRANCE and KLM have launched in-flight Wi-Fi on Boeing 777-300s QUICKPARK has launched a promotional parking offer at Dublin Airport for €3.33 per day when you pre-book online. SHANNON Air Traffic Contorl Centre is to take responsibility for all upper airspace air traffic control under IAA reorganisation plans while Dublin will focus on terminal service provision. AER RIANTA International discussing the sale of its one-third stake in Russian duty-free operator Aerofirst to Arial. Local media reports this week speculated that Aer Rianta International’s stake could be worth €15m.
Eithad’s trade stand reflects their expanding empire. Aer Lingus may soon operate Abu Dhabi flights.
Etihad & Lingus
Abu Dhabi may be operated by Aer LIngus craft
er Lingus are considering their long haul options for summer 2014. Plans to lease three Boeing 757s for transatlantic operations were confirmed in the annual results, with the first aircraft coming as early as January and all three by summer.
The flight crew will be from Air Contractors and the cabin crew Aer Lingus. The 757s will help to support Shannon frequencies and release an A330 to expand the Dublin route network. Toronto may be served from Shan-
non rather than Dublin. The possibility of the A330 taking up some of the Etihad services to Abu Dhabi is also in play. Eithad, who hold a 2.987 per cent equity stake in Aer Lingus, fly double daily three days a week.
RYANAIR FARE UP 6.3pc to €48.20
yanair’s results reported that traffic was up 5pc to 79.3m passengers, revenue up 13pc to €4.88bn, profit for the year €569m, up 13pc. More significantly its operating margin of 14.7pc is comfortably the highest among European airlines. EasyJet is second on 8.6pc. Even after returning
€1.5bn in cash to shareholders over the past five years, the airline had €3.6bn in cash at the end of Mar-2013, equivalent to almost nine months of sales. Average fare is €48.20 up 6.3pc from €45.36, Total revenue per passenger is €61.82, up 8pc from €57.05. The cost per passenger was €52.56 up 7.5pc from €48.90, when
fuel is excluded the cost per passnger was €28.77 up 2.8pc from €27.88 .The growth is down to a new strategy buy the famously low-cost airline: ■ tighter capacity expansion than in the past, ■ restructuring and capacity cuts by competitors. What happens next? The headlines suggested he is prepared to grow from
Dublin again. These conditions should help Ryanair make progress towards its target of a 20% market share over the next five years, after which a possible order for the Boeing 737MAX may be the key to longer term earnings growth
DUBLIN AVERAGE 477 MOVEMENTS
he Irish Aviation Authority reported that commercial terminal flights at Dublin airport were up 4.2pc, with an average of 477 daily movements. Cork was up 5.4pc, with an average of 61 daily movements and Shannon down 6.3pc, with an average of 54 daily movements. Total flights in Irish air-
space in May decreased by 0.2pc when compared to May 2012. There was an average of 1,546 daily flights during May 2013, with the busiest day being 17th May with 1,687 flights in Irish airspace. There was a decrease of 0.7pc in Ireland’s en-route traffic movements (flights that pass through Irish air-
space but do not land) during May 2013, in comparison to May 2012. However, North Atlantic Communications flights (Europe /North America) saw an increase of 1.4pc in May 2013, when compared to May 2012. Data from Eurocontrol for May 2013 shows that eight of Ireland’s top ten ‘Airport Pairs’ (from a
billing perspective) showed growth (or neutral growth), when compared to May 2012. The most significant growth was for London Gatwick – Dublin (9.7pc), London Heathrow – Dublin (8.9pc), London Stansted – Dublin (4.4pc) and Edinburgh – Dublin (4.3pc).
DAA chairman Pádraig Ó Ríordáin says efforts are being made to secure a transatlantic carrier to operate a route from Cork but “There is only one aircraft that could actually fly to the east coast and that is a B757, which has 205 passengers, a relatively small plane. If you think about it, there are a whole load of immediate impediments from an airline’s point of view,” WATERFORD Airport CEO Graham Doyle is leaving to take up a government role BMI Regional has celebrated its first anniversary as a standalone airline, during which time it has added 12 new routes, opened new bases in Bristol and Birmingham, created 100 new jobs and carried more than 500,000 passengers. EU The European Union will impose a 4.7pc duty on jet fuel imports from the Middle East starting next year in a move that could significantly increase costs for airlines. JET Airways (India) Ltd announced with the appointment of Gary Kenneth Toomey as its new CEO. Mr Toomey, 58, an Australian national, has previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Air New Zealand Group at the time when its subsidiary Ansett collapsed and Air NZ had to be rescued by the NZ government and as CEO of Airlines PNG in Papua New Guinea during their periods of major expansion. Prior to these roles, he was Deputy CEO, CFO and Executive Director of Qantas Airways Limited and before that CFO of Qantas subsidiary, domestic carrier Australian Airlines. SOUTHWEST Airlines and Baltimore-Washington International Airport are talking about adding overseas flights, perhaps as early as 2015. Offering a hint of what those planes might offer Southwest's customers, airline spokesman Brad Hawkins said: "We could definitely get to Western Europe." PAUL SCHUZ Chairman of the merged Aeropelican and Brindabella Airlines, Ian Woodley, announces Paul Schütz as CEO of the airline following the planned departure of Ian Vanderbeek. Paul negotiated and implemented the Aer Lingus regional franchise at Aer Arann.
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AFLOAT NORWEGIAN Aaron Fletcher has become the first-ever Partners First Ambassador for Norwegian Cruise Line. ROYAL CARIBBEAN announced that Quantum of the Seas will be making its first eight-night westbound transatlantic voyage from Southampton on November 2 2014, arriving in the New York area at Cape Liberty Port, New Jersey, on November 10. CAPTAIN’S TABLE Muriel Bolger’s new cruise-based book, The Captain’s Table launched on Monday. Muriel says: “I’m a huge cruise fan, and an avid people watcher. Add being curious and a writer to that mix and it’s easy to see how The Captain’s Table came about! The inspiration was all there in front of me – sun, sea and solo travellers, the opulent ships providing countless settings for scenes of seduction, debauchery, family fights and new romances. Add great destinations, men in uniform, hot tubs, cocktails, dancing under the stars, and an affable Captain who is good at hiding his problems, and you have a pretty fool proof recipe for an interesting holiday. (And a good summer read too, I hope.) And NO – it’s NOT autobiographical.”
Ferries’ superferry twins, European Highlander and European Causeway which operate between Larne and Cairnryan, have returned to service following a £100,000 re-fit on each ship.
FRED OLSEN is sending its
Boudicca and Black Watch ships to witness a total eclipse of the sun from a position just off the Faroe islands - and the possibility of seeing the Northern Light in March 2015.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN launched their 2014-15 worldwide cruise brochure offering more agent incentives to sail a season of eight ships in Europe for summer 2014, along with what they call Oasis of the Seas’ “European micro-season.” The cruise line’s 2014 brochure includes 60 new itineraries worldwide.
IRISH FERRIES is offering children under 16 free travel when travelling by car with an adult on all cruise-ferry and Dublin Swift fast ferry sailings this year, inclusive of peak July and August holiday dates. P&O Adonia came to Dublin for its first ship visit. It sails typically from Southampton to Fjords / Baltics. The P&O Adonia is the smallest ship in the line up taking 710 passengers, giving a more intimate cruise experience and because of the smaller size 75% of staterooms have balconies. It’s also exclusively for adults.
Launch fo Royal Princess by Kate Middleton in Southamton
A big Princess
This month’s new cruise ship is the 9th largest afloat
bit like the cruise industry itself, the launch of the 3,600passenger Royal Princess in Southampton was extravagant, overgilded and full of salty humour. Quayside festivities included an original song by “the first lady of London’s West End,” Kerry Ellis, and percussive orchestra Mass Ensemble which performed with its signature “Earth Harp,” an architectural instrument with strings that extend for
sea and the largest ever for Princess. The inaugural cruise will visit Barcelona, Vigo, Malaga, Gibraltar and Lisbon. he name was taken from the original Royal Princess ship which launched in 1984 and no longer belongs to Princess Cruises. The original ship is now known as the MV Artania and is based in Germany, where it is part of the fleet belonging to German cruise company, Phoenix Reisen.
IRISH FERRIES 40 YEARS A-SAILING
rish Ferries celerbates 40 yers of operations of its Ireland-France service this month. in June 1973, the direct passenger car ferry service between Ireland and France now operated by Irish Ferries began operation. Managed by the then Irish Continental Line – subsequently joined by B&I Line under the Irish Ferries flag – the route was
serviced by the passenger ferry vessel St. Patrick which had been built in Bremerhaven, Germany to service the route. Initial sailings operated between Rosslare and Le Havre. Later, services to Cherbourg and between Cork and Le Havre were added, but discontinued because of the long asil involved. A route to the French port of Roscoff was
added. Today, direct services from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Roscoff continue. Serviced by the vessel Oscar Wilde, the service operates year-round on a three sailings per week schedule and carries in excess of 200,000 passengers annually. In business terms, the service makes a significant contribution to the eco-
nomic welfare of Wexford and the South East Irish Ferries Marketing Director, Tony Kelly said “over the past four decades, our services to France have made a significant contribution towards building Ireland’s links with communities throughout Europe, especially France, Germany and the Benelux countries.”
THIRD QUANTUM FOR ROYAL
CELEBRITY Infinity stopped by in
Belfast where cruise specialist Sandra Corkin of Oasis Travel entertained some of her clients.
has unveiled Quantum of the Seas’ first 18 Caribbean sailings, ranging from seven to 12 nights, with the official inaugural sailing taking place on 23 November 2014.
1,000 feet and was played as it hovered over the 2,000 guests at the ceremony. English pop singer Natasha Bedingfield sang her hit Unwritten, the ship was blessed by Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, before a £1,250 Nebuchadnezzar of Moet et Chandon champagne was smashed against the hull of the Royal Princess to officially name the ship. It is the ninth largest cruise ship at
Cuttiing of the first Quantum plate
oyal Caribbean Cruises has signed a contract with the Meyer Werft shipyard to construct a THIRD Quantumclass cruise ship for delivery in mid-2016.
The unnamed new ship will join the Royal Caribbean fleet in mid-2016 following Quantum of the Seas in autumn 2014 and Anthem of the Seas in spring 2015.
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CARNIVAL As yet another report showed near-record high air-fares on trans-Atlantic routes, Carnival Cruise Lines announced cuts in its European itineraries because of the cost of transporting Americans here..
Stena offers night in hotel as booking incentive
tena Line customers in Ireland will be offered one of thousands of free hotel rooms when they take the ferry to Britain this summer. Families and couples booking summer travel with Stena Line from Dublin Port /Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead or Rosslare to Fishguard before 28 June will receive a complimentary night at a three or four star hotel in a choice of locations across Ireland and the UK. The hotel accommodation includes a full breakfast for two adults and customers can also extend their stay by adding an extra night or an extra room at the same hotel – the deal also allows two children to stay for free.* A wide choice of hotels is on offer when travelling from Ireland to Britain including The Grand Hotel in Swansea city centre where guests can
LEE TRAVEL weclomed Royal Caribbean's first ever passengers embarking in Ireland at Cobh last month. The ship's first Officer, Joseph Gillespie from Newtown Cunningham, County Donegal says he is proud to bring the ship home to Ireland. The visit ill also feature a girls Barbie party for competition winners, the first ever party onboard for day guests MSC The 2,518 passenger MSC Magnifica was in Cork, Dublin and Belfast for the first time this month. The cruise line hosted members of the trade onboard.
The HSS in Holyhead look forward to elegant accommodation and great facilities including the Baby Bistro and Sports Bar; or located in the heart of Wales’ capital city, the Angel Hotel in Cardiff boasts fine food in Castell’s Restaurant or light bites in Angel Cocktail Bar; while visitors to Liverpool can stay at the Atlantic Tower by Thistle in the
bustling city centre. Customers booking the special Flexi fare will be issued with a voucher for accommodation which they can use at a later date for their convenience. www.stenaline.ie/freehotel
STENA Line’s new look ships, the Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey, are back in service on the Belfast–Liverpool route having been refurbished by £2.3m each to offer improved facilities and additional services for customers. ASTRONOMY Irleand and Project Travel have launched the next Astronomy Ireland Northern Lights tour which takes place 1-6 December next. Book by 2nd August. Open to non-members too.
Get away the easy way to Britain. Don’t deny yourself your home comforts, pile them all into the car now and head off on a well deserved Car-cation. Oodles of luggage isn’t the only thing free on your Stena Line sailing: WiFi, movies and kids entertainment are all part of your holiday. Book now and start packing, your Car-cation awaits!
Single online fares car + driver Belfast – Cairnryan Belfast – Liverpool Dublin Port – Holyhead Rosslare – Fishguard Dun Laoghaire – Holyhead
From €89 €89 €89 €89 €149*
call 01 204 7777 or see your travel agent Single Economy online fares shown are valid on selected sailings when booked in advance of travel and a minimum of 42 days. Extra adult from €33 single. €15 service fee applies to non-web car bookings. *Dun Laoghaire - Holyhead route is seasonal and operates to 10 September 2013. Facilities and services may vary by route and craft. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
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DESTINATION IRELAND letter from the land agent, John Ross Mahon to his landlord. 'Emigration on an extensive scale' wrote the agent, 'was the principal feature of my plan.' Evictions were merciless in Strokestown and Major Mahon, the landlord at the time, chartered three ships to send 1000 of his tenants to Canada. Nearly half of them perished during the voyage. Major Mahon was one of the first landlords to be assassinated in Ireland during this period and fittingly the gun used to shoot him is also on display.
e've all done it rooting through an old office, garage or attic only to come away triumphant - unearthing an old photograph, a long lost tennis racquet or if lucky enough a valuable piece of china or a painting. But to come across a historical pot of gold, a cache of hundreds of letters and records that document and serve as a witness to history - that is the incredible story of the rescue of Strokestown Park House, recognised as the most significant private restoration ever undertaken in Ireland. Strokestown Park House was the family seat of the Pakenham Mahon family from 1653 till 1981, when the entire estate was bought at auction by garage owner Jim Callery who wanted to acquire just four acres of land in order to expand his growing truck dealership. He planned to sell on the remaining 300 acres to recoup most of the purchase price. But a casual weekend root through the estate offices revealed boxes of documents, including a letter from tenants dated 1846, pleading with the landlord for famine relief. Realising the significance of the find that spanned 350 years of Irish history, Jim Callery and the directors of the Westland Garage de-
Cauvery Madhavan takes a ttip back in time
cided, with considerable vision, to restore the house rather than sell it. Their foresight saved a very valuable nugget of Irish Heritage for posterity.
trokestown House will be familiar to the many fans of TV3's hit, The Big House, as it was the setting for the series that brought descendants of the original servants to
JULY 19th: International Famine Conference 19 - 25th: Strokestown Park 'The Gathering' Festival. Details of the many events on www.strokestownpark.ie/the-gathering-2013/what's-on AUGUST 8th: Kilglass/Strokestown Anglers Gathering 17-25th: Heritage Week. Details at www.heritageweek.ie 16-20 Trace your roots in Roscommon, Strokestown genealogy Centre. See www.roscommonroots.com SEPTEMBER 7-8th Strokestown Agricultural Show in the grounds of Strokestown Park
experience what life was like living and working below stairs. The house has been faithfully restored, retaining its authentic period furnishings, paintings, books and family portraits. The Galleried Kitchen is believed to be the finest remaining example of its type with working bread ovens, spit, range and smoking room. The gallery was designed to allowed the
www.strokestownshow.com Date to be announced: Culture Night OCTOBER 11-13th: Feile Frank McGann, Traditional Music Festival. www.feilefrankmcgann.com 18th School Sculpture Competition winners announced NOVEMBER 30th: Beginning of Victorian Christmas Experience - Santa, Mrs Claus and the Elves arrive for the holiday season DECEMBER Victorian Christmas Experience Meet Santa in Strokestown Park
mistress of the house to remain at a height, a good distance away from the servants if she ever deigned to visit the kitchen! Of course, the restoration of the house was only one part of the project - the six acre walled Georgian complex is an absolutely fascinating insight into horticultural practices since 1740. The Gertrude Jeckyll inspired herbaceous border, acknowledged as the longest in Ireland and the UK, is a joy to behold in the summer and as you wander past the Fruit Wall into the Glasshouses, you can only marvel at the sheer ingenuity of the heating system that provided the Packenham Mahons with exotic pineapples and luxurious peaches for their dining table. The very gothic Victorian Fernery, the Veg-
etable Gardens, the Melon house and Tomato House have all been loving restored and traditional methods are practiced throughout with plant varieties dating back to the mid 1700's.
n complete contrast to the life of comfort and the pursuit of pleasure indulged in by the landlords of Strokestown House, was the suffering and misery of their tenants. The Irish National Famine Musuem aims to educate and provoke discussion about this tragic period in Irish History. Housed in the old stable yards, using original documents, imaginative displays, detailed reconstructions and state of the art multimedia points, the Museum is laid out in ten different rooms. One of the exhibits is a
owever, 167 years later things have come a full circle because as part of The Gathering 2013, Strokestown Park House is inviting home the descendants of the 10,000 Strokestown Famine emigrants for a week of remembrance and celebration. The Tye family from Quebec in Canada, descendants of two very young orphan children who survived the desperate Atlantic crossing will be the special honoured guests. Events include an International Famine Conference, a manned information tent with a genealogy table, the Tye Family visit to their Lisonuffy home place and an Olde Fayre Day amongst others. Strokestown Park is a special place where opposites meet: brutal history that needs to be understood and on the other hand, as if to make it easier to bear, nature at its most soothing - fabulous gardens, peaceful meadow and woodland walks. Make sure you head there this summer.
fStrokestown is 144km from Dublin and 23 km from Longford on the N5. The house, Museum and gardens are open all year round. Daily 1030 to 1730. The restaurant situated in the estate's old granary serves home baked fare throughout the day
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Eoghan Corry reports from Bangkok
Opening ceremony at Thailand Travel Market 2013
63k and growing
Irish visitors to Thailand already up 4.7pc for 2013
hailand Travel Market in Bangkok attracted buyers from a record 58 countries. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand, said that Irish tourism to Thailand was 4.7pc ahead of last year, indicating 63,000 visitors in 2013. She said the figures (59,894 visitors from Ireland last year) justified a direct flight from Dublin but there were no discussions under way with any airline at the moment. Oslo and Helsinki both have daily services to Bangkok from similar population bases. TUI-Thomson will start flights to Phuket from Gatwick with their new Dreamliner in the autumn and Emirates has started flying from Dubai to Phuket. She said direct
flights to Krabi remains a priority for the Authority as does conveying Thailand’s measures to improve the safety of tourists. She outlined the country’s emphasis on green, golf, wedding and honeymoon and health and wellness to grow further its market share from Ireland. Irish tour operators Brendan Barry and Jacqui Herssens and Karen Maloney of Etihad visited Phuket and Ko Samui in advance of the event. The media visited the abandoned cities of Sukhothei and Si Satchanalai for a bicycle tour. An agents post-fam led by Chris Lee is visiting the East Coast of Thailand, which has not been highlighted for some time, visiting Pattaya, Rayong, and Ko Chang.
I Joanna Cooke from Tourism Authority of Thailand office in London, Epghan Corry and Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governo of rTAT at TTM 2013 in Bangkok
A highlight of the trip to Bangkok was the late night room party at the Grand Centre Point Hotel Ratchadamri Bangkok and the Bed Supper Club. The Irish media delegation had a seamless journey by contrast, with speedy journeys to Abu Dhabi and form Abu Dhabi to Bangkok and comfortable transfers. Jackie Herssens and Karen Maloney had a dramatic return journey when their Bangkok to Abu Dhabi flight was diverted because of a disruptive passenger and they narrowly missed their connection. Their extra day in Abu Dhabi was less indulgent than it sounds, it was a dry day in the Emirate.
THAILAND WANT TO HOST ITAA
reland remains a priority for the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand told a media briefing in Bangkok. “That is why we chose a mission to Ireland with our partners after ITB this year.” The Tourism Authority of Thailand brought 30 hoteliers and tourism interests to Dublin the week after the Berlin show on their post ITB tour.
Hoteliers participated in workshops attended by tour operators in the afternoon followed by a series of face to face meetings with travel agents in the evening. Ireland was included among six major growth markets being targetted by TAT during the main forum at TTM. Thailand is also interested in hosting the annual conference of the Irish Travel Agents Association should the opportunity arise.
VISA The long awaited single visa for ASEAN countries is likely to be in place by 2015, The oft-postponed move depends on political agreement but the mood was optimistic at TTM that it would be in place by then. This would mean that visitors would require just one visa to visit Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia Separately Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia have signed the "Statement of Intent on Smart Visa" on Wednesday, June 5, at the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar (Burma). The initiative is the first global implementation of the smart visa system, based on the Australian smart visa system. A smart visa is a digital paperless substitute for a traditional visa that can be obtained by a traveler from a travel agent or participating airline at the time of making a travel reservation or online through an Internet portal or through a mobile device such as a smart phone. A single visa scheme for tourism travel between Cambodia and Thailand, was implemented on January 1. GOLF
Thailand has 300 golf courses, enough to meet all the requirements as they attempt to grow their golf tourism, Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand said. A lot of the courses are in the Pattaya region designed by some of the greatest names in golf. She said that while more courses would be built in the north and north east in coming years the priority would be in filing the capacity already available.
KRABI Airport will be a priority for TAT in promoting international services. Phuket airport is already very busy while Krabi did not have its quota of international services. TAT wants to extend from Phuket which is very congested to other destinations nearby. WOMEN are more inclined to visit Thailand in recent years. In the past Thailand was seen as a male destination, but of Thailand’s Number of women to visit Thailand 22.3m visitors in 2012, women visitors were up 18pc, and men up 14pc.Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand said she wanted to change Thailand’s image to be a holiday destination for families. THAI Airways is limiting its expansion to
Asia over the coming months, removing the possibility of any new direct routes to Europe.
TRAVELMOOD Kirstin Skinner from Travelmood, who has never been to Thailand and was perhaps the most enthusiastic prize winner in history of the Irish travel trade when she won at the Thailand roadshow in Dublin in March, will be taking her trip to Thailand in November. HONEYMOONERS spend more
that 2.3 times per head than leisure travellers, Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand told a media briefing in Bangkok. “They tend to stay in five star hotels. They spend a lot. Our intent is to grow this market, as it brings more return and we have the quality product to offer.”
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GLOBAL VILLAGE SPAIN The Spanish Tourism Office held their first “I Need Spain” Golf Event with Andalucía, at Dundrum House in County Tipperary attended by epresentatives from the Irish Travel Trade and Golf Course Directors from Andalucia region. Golf directors from Baviera Golf, Golf El Rompido, Santa Clara Golf, La Monacilla Golf, The Andalucia Golf Federation, Hotel Almenara, La Cala Resort, Elba Costa Ballena, Hotel Golf Isla Canela and Vincci Golf played with the 12 teams. Sean Skehan of Killester Travel and Lorraine Cunningham of LCT won a trip to Spain with golf and accommodation. Andalucia accounts for over 100 of Spain’s 430 courses. Courses are available in its eight provinces – Almeria, Huelva, Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba and Jaen with most of them in Malaga and Cadiz. ARIZONA Office of Tourism hosted an
evening in Dublin’s Morrison Hotel to spread the latest news from the Grand Canyon state. Representatives spoke about some of the newest attractions in Arizona including the American Indian Veterans National Memorial (Phoenix), Yume Japanese Gardens (Tucson) and Butterfly Wonderland (Salt River Reservation).
INSIGHTVacations have launched their
2013/14 Winter Europe brochure, that includes tours and cruises of the Eastern Mediterranean and Christmas Markets. The brochure features 35 premium autumn, winter and spring escorted journeys. New to the collection is the 9day Alpine Christmas Market itinerary which travels through the winter landscapes of Germany, Austria, France & Switzerland.
TONY BRAZIL of Limerick Travel
and Clare County Manager Tom Coughlan have been appointed to the remaining two positions on the SAA Board.
EMIRATES has appointed Anita
Thomas to the position of Key Account Manager for Ireland. Anita’s remit will be the Irish corporate market, where she has extensive experience. Anita started her career in Ryanair in 1992 and has worked for a number of international carriers, in the UK and Ireland.
SURESKILLS, Digital Marketing trainer to the Travel Professionals Skillnet, have a small number of Digital Marketing Interns available to begin work experience immediately and will have more seeking placement from the beginning of July 2013. Fionnuala on 01-4179696. SURFHOLIDAYS report that sales are up 15pc on this time last year. Nicky kelly of Surfholidays says “Portugal being the strongest performer for us, largely driven by Ericeira and Lagos.”
GOHOP and Air France/KLM are run-
ning a fam trip to India on September 11, taking 10 agents on a 7 day tour of the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur, Karauli and Agra. Andre Migliarina says that GoHop will be bringing six agents from Ieland and Britain to Sri Lanka in November visiting World Heritage sites, National Parks, tea plantations and beach resorts.
Inside the Travel Business
Skillnet programme sets out to tackle “training deficit’
ravel Professionals Skillnet is now stepping up efforts to recruit suitable Job Seekers to all available training programmes. Acroding to Fionnuala Carter of the Skillnet prog=ranme: “it is clear from member’s inquiries that there is currently a serious deficit of trained staff for the Travel Industry in Ireland. That training can be provided by the Travel Professionals Skillnet. “There are places freely available to Job Seekers on any courses run through the Travel Professionals Skillnet, and that range of training is very broad indeed, covering such diverse areas as Management Development, Sales and Marketing, Health and Safety or Technology. “Participation on half day or full day training events can provide Job Seekers with the opportunity to engage with the industry and to test their interest. It can also provide potential employers with a platform from which they can identify their future high-flyers. The Travel Professionals Essential Skills Programme is due to kick off in the early Autumn of 2013. This programme is exclusively for Job Seekers and runs for 20 days. Ideally, participants will be nomi-
Martina Hnidiakova at the luanch fo the Skillnet programmecaption nated by a member company and will ■ Great people skills proceed to work experience with that ■ Job Seeker status company for a further 20 days subse- ■ Proven track record in training quent to training. with the Travel Professionals SkillFinnuala says: “All going to plan, net there should then be opportunities for Fionnuala says:“The Travel Trade successful participants to continue on has gone through enormous changes in developing their career in the over the last short few years and it's a Travel Industry, either through initial really exciting area to be entering at internships or employment. Partici- the moment. Those working in the inpants have, in the past, continued on dustry should be in the best position to prove their worth through Job- to understand the type of work inBridge programmes and have forged volved. If you know somebody who successful careers in the trade” fits the bill or simply wish to find out The Travel Professionals Skillnet more, contact Fionnuala Carter 01 is seeking to recruit participants with: 4179696 email@example.com. ■ Passion for Travel
WORLDCHOICE PLAN CONFERENCE NOV 8th
orldchoice’s 2013 Conference will be held the Pillo Hotel Ashbourne, formerly the Ashbourne Marriott on November 30th. orldchoice General Manager Garry Zancanaro commented ‘Our Conference will be a combined conference, suppliers forum, gala dinner and awards ceremony and many of our
members will close their shops for the day and make it their staff Christmas Party. The Pillo Hotel is a striking, modern hotel with excellent conference facilities, conveniently located for members and our business partners, including the many from the UK that will attend this event.”
member Colin Heal passed away last weekend at the Worldchoice Conference in Lake Bled, Slovenia. Colin as a great friend to the Irish Trade and a familiar face at Worldchoice conferences down the years, including the international conference when it was staged at Citywest in May 2004, attracting 652 delegates.
■ Worldchoice board
ANDALUCIA HOSTS THE TRADE
ntonio MartínMachuca from the Andalucian Tourist Board (with 14 supplier companies) hosted 60 trade and media in the Dining Hall in Trinity.
Antonio spke thanking all the Irish travel trade and media for their invaluable business and support. The event, a workshop for the trade followed by a seated dinner in the Dining
Hall in Trinity, was hosted by Antonio MartínMachuca from the Andalucian Tourist Board and Gonzalo Ceballos from the Spanish Tourist Office in Dublin.
The guest of honour for the evening was H.E Javier Garrigues Flores, Ambassador pf Spain.
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Inside the Travel Business
GLOBAL VILLAGE KENYA’s Tourism Board brought 14 ho-
tels and operators to meet the Irish trade at Dublin’s Morrison Hotel. Andres Nagashiro of Adams & Butler Africa won a 12 day trip to Kenya.
TRAVEL CENTRES have produced a publication entitled Why you need a Travel Agent. AMADEUS Chris Goring from Amadeus Consulting & Solutions and Nigel Webster from Amadeus Cruise Shop were among the speakers at the Amadeus forum in the Residence this week. Rob Sinclair-Barnes from Amadeus Insights gave a description of the 21st Century Business Traveller. Diane Bouzebiba & Volker Lorenz answered questions about the New Distribution Capability (NDC) and products themes to Consulting Solutions Showcase explained the GDS’s Cruise Solutions, Connected Traveller Corporate and Leisure products, Agency Efficiency Solutions and Social Media products. ITAA CEO Pat Dawson and President Claire Dunn
Spanish province to host agent fams in November
he Irish Travel Agents Association conference in Granada on October 10-13 will include a mega-fam for which agents will travel on the light leg of a charter service. The plan is to create as many opportunities for agency employees to join the managers and owners at the conference, something that was a fea-
ture of the ITAA conferences twenty years ago. The Association has been talking to airlines and ITOF to implement a more ambitious set of pre and post fams as part of the conference programme. “Our goal is that a lot of members and counter staff will be invited out to see the product.” Pat Dawson,
CEO of the ITAA says. “In future we intend more regular fam trips as part of our conference programme.” Antonio Martin of Andalusia Tourism, a big supporter of the Irish travel trade was recently in Dublin to host an Andalucia evening for the trade.
ITAA EXPAND TRAINING COURSE OPTIONS
urther details of the ITAA Travel Professional Skillnet programme have been released. The programme includes: ■ Holiday Spanish for Beginners,
■ MS Excel 2, ■ MS Publisher Photoshop 1, ■ MS PowerPoint ■ InDesign, ■ Credit Card Compliance, ■ MS PowerPoint,
■ Train the Trainer, ■ Digital Marketing Diploma, ■ Marketing Modular and ■ Applied Communications Modular. firstname.lastname@example.org
T Dominic Burke
BLUE INSURANCES Ciaran Mulligan’s Blue Insurances brand Mulititrip.com has launched a new look smartphone friendly website in Ireland and UK. TOURISM N ZEALAND
launched the new 100pc Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme, its online trade training programme. “The programme is open to everyone and designed to help new and existing agents to develop their New Zealand knowledge. Ireland is a key focus for us, particularly for gap year travel and those looking to travel on Working Holiday Visas. We would welcome Irish agents who want to improve their knowlsays Danielle Genty Nott, Regional Manager, Europe.
TRAVELPORT have renewed their full content agreement with Air France / KLM / Delta. CONTIKI, holidays for 18-35s has added more departure dates to their Latin America tours for 2014 TOUR AMERICA won the award for Most Innovative use of Social Media at the Bord Gais energy 2013 Social Media awards Fionnuala Carter
ravel Centres has added Riviera Travel to its 50 suppliers who cater for the groups’ growing sales throughout Ireland. Riviera Travel general manager Stephen Sands said ‘We have plans in
ONHOLIDAY Brendan Mallon, formerly of Falcon Holidays, hosted the Irish trade to introduce them to the OnHoliday group which he represents in Ireland.
place to conduct webinars with agency staff over the course of the coming weeks so that they can more effectively promote Riviera’s range of river cruises and exciting tour itineraries.’
Dominic Burke says Travel Centres managed to grow its agency base by a further 14.5pc during 2012 and expects to grow by a similar margin this year.
VOLKER LORENZ thanked all his colleagues in the trade for all their help, encouragement and sponsorship for his halfmarathon run in Enniscorthy, which raised more than €1000 for the Travel Fun Day and the Irish Cancer Society, AMADEUS launched their new Cruise Shop product, a business-to-business shopping application that builds on the long-standing success of Amadeus Cruise. TRAVELPORT announced that Jet2.com and Norwegian are now live and bookable in Travelport Aggregated Shopping, part of the Travelport Merchandising Platform.
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JULY/AUGUST 2013 PAGE 36
r vid Speakman, Jennife Travel Counsellors Da rat eb cel y gle lcolm Hin O’Brien and Director Ma tus ing Jennifer’s gold sta
Dee Burdock and Sinea d Frizzelle of American Holidays during IPW 20 13 in Las Vegas
Out and about with the Travel Trade
Mary Phelan from Abbey Travel, Lisa Byrne from Clare Hoog, Patricia Wy American Holidays, Lisa McNulty from Erne nne, Antoinette Young Travel, Bronagh Butler from American Holidays and Sarah Walsh at the Falco n agents event in and Bernie Burke from Travel Centres onboard - Belfast. revitalised Brilliance of the Seas in Harwich
CPat Reede of United and Adrienne Keogh of American Holidays during IPW 2013 in Las Vegas
Vomil Styla and Martina Elizabeth Kenny of Trailfinders,and Annabel Michaela Jancikova, Ka r me sum nce Fra Air the Cove of DoSomethingDifferent presneting the at s ker oo Eb of jtekova prize at the DSD party in Cork party.
Paul Grant from Stena Line receives an award from NITB Market Mana ger Fiona Cunningham at the NI Tourism Award s 2013.
ghan's Travel, Jim Marie Neary of O'Calla and Deirdre Sweeny of Vaughan of Just Split Rivercrusie launch ay Sunway at the Sunw
Joyce McElroy from Tou rism Ireland; Brian Murra y from Aspects of Ireland (destination management company); and Evelyn O’S ullivan from Cork Convention Bureau, at IMEX in Frankfurt.
Visit USA chair Ciara Foley of Platinum Travel, Clodagh Oxley and Beverleigh Fly of Innstant Travel at IPW in Las Vegas
Killiney Travel, Patricia Margaret Fitzgerald pf of Street, Caroline Kelly Wynne of Falcon Duke be Ca Mc ila Le d an d for Travel Creations Water to Crete on the Falcon fam trip
Volker Lorenz of Amad eus and Brian Nevin of Private Villas at the Sp anish Tourist Board go lf day in Dundrum House , Tipperary
ffy, nway and Caitriona Du Barbara McKenna, Su ay nw Su ardstown on th Cassidy Travel Blanch e gu fam trip to Pra
Suzanne Reynolds of Cassidy Travel, Ciara Mooney fo Freedom Tra vel and Colette Murph Rhona McCann, Fiona O'Reilly, Clodagh y of First Choice at the Su nw ay river cruise launch Flanaghan of FCM Travel Solutions at the American Airlines party
Veronica Aherne of Tour America, Beverleigh Fly of Innstant Travel and Ivan Beacom of Aer LIngus at IPW in Las Vegas
d vel, Jeanette McKee an Liz O Reilly of Atlas Tra rty pa s line Air can Trish Luff at the Ameri
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JULY/AUGUST 2013 PAGE 37
Out and about with the Travel Trade
of ited; Kevin Tolan, CEO Yvonne Muldoon, of Un of Lorna Wood of Atlas Travel and Orla Tooher of r che ma hu Sc b Bo d an Dublin Airport Authority Abbey Travel at the Air France summer party â€™s 15 years at Dublin Untied celebrate United
Emirates cabin crew Ali cia O'Dell, from South Africa, and Danielle Sh arp, from Belfast with Margaret Shannon at the Emirates spsonsor ship announcement for the Irish Open
Jackie Herssens of Tra velmood, Karen Malon ey of Etihad and Brendan Barry of Discvover Tra vel attending Thailand Tra vel market in Bangkok ,
of vel and Beata Golczak Andrew Sharpe Trade Relations Manager of Anna Panak of Club Tra r me sum nce Fra South Africa for Ireland & Britain and Andre Migli- FCM Travel solutions at the Air rina of Gohop during Indaba 2013 in Durban party.
Tom Travelrs of Beacon Hotel, Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus, Clodagh Oxley of Visit USA, John Donohue of Las Vegas CVA and Liz Wright of Tour America at IPW Cora Munds and Ruth Connolly of Topflight at the Ameircan Airlines party for the trade to cel ebrate the launch of the ir new JFK route
Corporate Travel and Kelly Henderson from IT on the Etihad fam trip Michelle Burke from US to Abu Dhabi
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Irelandâ€™s head of N America visits the United craft before it departs for Shannon, with Todd Kersting; Aidan Cronin, Consul General of Ireland and United first officer Clark Shelton ard Ireland accepts the aw Peter Nash of Tourism tel Min r, m Michael Gree for Market Research fro awards 2013. ting rke Ma d at the All Irelan
Belinda Donegan and Anna Quinn of Budget Travel at the Air France summer party.
Marie Claire Porter, Tanya Airey, Michele Anderson, Deirdre Sweeny (all Sunway) and Jimmy Murphy AMA Waterways at the Sunway launch Gioia Goodrum of Willia ms CC, Heather Ainard i of Flagstaff and Mary Rittman of Arizona Off ice of Tourism at the Arizona event in Dublin
aking at the Spanish Gonzalo Ceballos spe in Dundrum House, Tip y da Tourist Board golf ht rig nnell on perary, Kathryn McDo
Thomas Cook competitio n winners on board Celebrity Infinity: Sean Treacy, Stephanie Mooney, Denise Calna n journalist with Niki Sta nford and Hazel McCorm ack of Thomas Cook
Marie Olive Nolan of J Barters, Aoife Brennan of Cassidy T, Michelle Lyons of Fahy T, Donna Kenny of Classic Resorts, Ger Hayes of BA. Front row: Fiona Dobbyn of Classic Resorts, Sinead Carne of Limerick T, Bronagh Sweeny of McDermott T, Helen Maguire of Mackin T. of the Classic Resorts fam trip to Dom Rep
of nt Travel, Trevor Scott Beverleigh Fly of Innsta d an rk two Ne vel nt Tra Worldwide Independe 13 riftaway during IPW 20 Th of a arm Sh h kes Mu in Las Vegas
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JULY/AUGUST 2013 PAGE 38
d Karen Whyte of Ameri Rachel McAnaspie an rty pa r me sum nce Fra can Holidays at the Air
Rachel McAnaspie an d Karen Whyte of Ameri can Holidays Clare Ne alon, Belinda Donega n and Anna Quinn of Bu dget at Air France
WagonLit Travel and Sarah Vella of Carlson nway at the Air France Ciara Dromgoole of Su summer party
Michealla Soares and Maryeve Lecardeux of Ebookers at the Air Fra nce summer party.
it Greg Evans at the Vis Lisa Chamberlain and lier de an Ch the in rty d pa USA Britain and Irelan Hotel, Las Vegas an olit op sm Co the of r ba
Irish media at the media marketplace at IPW 2013 in Las Vegas, JP Thomspon, Fionn Daven port, Mark Evans (top), Isabel Conway, Micha el Flood, Leslie Graham and Eoghan Corry
Out and about with the Travel Trade
Oasis Travel's Sandra Corkin and Aaron Fletcher Marie Claire Porter of Sunway, Gerry O'H are of who has become first-ever Partners First Ambas- Travel Extra) and Tanya Airey of Sunway at the Su nw ay River Cruises lunch in sador for Norwegian Cruise Line, and (reflected) Dublin Martin Maclare of Norwegian Cruise Line
Fred Bickmore of Golf Breaks and Jane Ninnim of Expedia at the Visit USA Britain and Ireland party at IPW 2013
d Martina Vojtekova of Michaela Jancikova an nce summer party. Ebookers at the Air Fra
Tim Husbands from Tit Lisa Petherbridge, Caroline Gallagher, Clare anic receives an award fro m NITB Market Manage Petherbridge and Lynda Burke at the ASmerican r Fiona Cunningham at the NI Tourism Award Airlines party s 2013.
who Liz Wright and Veronica Aherne of Tour Americ at Teresa Murphy with Zina Meehan Sunway w dra the in ets tick erica IPW in Las Vegas won 2 Delta North Am nce Fra Air of and Siobhan Scanlon
Ryan Howard, SECAD, Food Writer Lilly Higgins Michelle Anderson an d Zina Meehan of Sunw ay and Simon Coveney TD at the launch the Ring of at the Sunway River Cru ises lunch on board the LE Eithne in Dublin Cork Festival
Jesse Davis, John Donohue andJ jenelle jacks of Las Vegas CVA at IPW 2013 in Las Vegas
sco Monticelli, Hugo Godfrey Lydom, France al of Club Travel at the Arevalo and Alberto Vid rty. Air France summer pa
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Wedding & Honeymoon Destinations at Home and Abroad
Over 55’s Holidays
YOUR TRADE DAY Friday 24th January, 2014 VISIT
To Pre-Register for FAST TRACK ENTRY log on to www.registrationdesk.ie/holidayworldtrade
RDS Simmonscourt | Simmonscourt Road Ballsbridge | Dublin 4
Please contact Maureen Ledwith t: + 353 (0)1 291 3700 e: email@example.com To find out more log on to:
HOLIDAY WORLD 2014 SHOW DATES RDS SIMMONSCOURT
Fri Fri Sat Sun
Jan Jan Jan Jan
24th 24th 25th 26th
10am 1 pm 11am 11am
1pm 7pm 5.30pm 5.30pm
Trade Trade Trade Trade
Only and Public and Public and Public
HOLIDAY WORLD 2014 SHOW DATES KINGS’S HALL BELFAST
Fri Jan 17th Sat Jan 18th Sun Jan 19th
1 pm - 9 pm Trade and Public 11am - 5.30pm Trade and Public 11am - 5.30pm Trade and Public
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