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Dubin breaks daily record

Paris air show




Winter Sun


What your client should know about the 2017-8 season

HOSTES 24x33cm ING.indd 1

8.06.2017 13:58



What an eruption


Volcano Bay Orlando opens up the flood gates

olcano Bay, Universal’s new water park in Orlando, opened with a South Pacific dedication ceremony featuring performances by Maori water dancers and Haka war dancers. The climax was an eruption from the 200 foot Krakatau faux volcano which serves as the park’s centre piece. In common with recent major theme openings there were long waits for some of the rides.  Volcano Bay is Universal Orlando’s third theme park. The tropical-themed park has been billed as a next-generation water park, largely because of its ride reservation system, the TapuTapu wearable, included with guest admission which allows virtual queueing. Their bands lets users reserve times on one ride at a time, and then alerts visitors when it’s time for their ride. The wristband  offers TapTu Play experiences throughout the park enabling visitors to control streams

irish travel agents at Volcano Bay

AGADIR Already served by Sunway, Air Arabia will join them on the route 2w in winter

ICELAND New flights from Cork and Belfast, Iceland tourism has trebled in recent years.

PHUKET New one-stop option via Istanbul from July

Ryanair and KLM (4 daily) are competing with Aer Lingus.

from July.

PROVIDENCE Norwegian flights from four Irish airports.


destination for 2017, there is a visafree stopover available.

HARTFORD Daily from Aer Lingus since September.

SPAIN Irish tourism numbers to Spain in

PORTUGAL Irish Tourism Numbers

sandy beaches, n a winding river, n twisting multi-rider raft rides n speeding body slides from the top of the volcano into the water n Themed dining locations featuring 60 South Pacific-inspired dishes.

DOHA The big marquee new

65,916 outstanding applications are not affecting waiting times of 14 working days for renewals and 20 days (four weeks) for first time applicants. Applications in May are up 7.6pc, British applicants for Irish passports so far this yeat up 55pc.

April were up 44pc on April 2016 to 181.271. Figures for the first four months of the year were up 17.7pc, according to Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica.

of water spurting from whales in Tot Tiki Reef, shoot water cannons at guests snaking down Kopiko Wai Winding River, and illuminate images in the volcano’s hidden caves and more. Volcano Bay features: n 30 experiences and 18 attractions n a multi-directional wave pool with


PASSPORT The passport office said

KRABI One stop through Doha MIAMI Aer Lingus’s marquee route from the autumn, opening up Florida and cruise opportunities.

MUNICH Ryanair and Tran-

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

NAPLES New Ryanair service commences 2w in winter.

to Portugal were up 19,5pc in April and bed nights also up 20.6pc making Ireland the third fastest growing market after Brazil and the US, according to Portugal’s Instituto Nacional de Estatisticas. The dominant Algarve market was up 14.2pc and bednights 16.3pc; Porto, where ITAA Conference will be held, up 68.2pc and bednights up 72.8pc; Centro up 27,9pc and bednights 71.9pc; Lisbon up 22.2pc and bednights 24.6pc; Madeira up 20pc and bednights up 25.4pc and Alentejo up 14.2pc and bednights up 16.3pc.

SPANISH bullfighter Ivan Fandino was gored to death after tripping on a cape, the second Spanish matador to die in the ring in the past year. After Victor Barrio was killed after being gored by a bull last July.

UBER reversed its longstanding policy in allowing tips for drivers. CHINA based Young Pioneer Tours (“budget trips to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from”) is reconsidering sending North America tourists to North Korea following the death of Otto Warmbier, see statement on website.

TRAVELBIRD’s 2017 beach price index showed suncream is most expensive when bought from beaches in the Seychelles, costing €25.12 for a 200ml bottle.

SPLIT New Aer Lingus service ROAMING CHARGES A sur-

to Croatia.


Stewart International hinterland.

vey by price comparison site found that 61pc are unaware of the new law to scrap mobile roaming costs around Europe.


Historical cities, breath-taking scenery and incredible food. Fall in love with Lake Garda this Summer. Crystal Summer is fully bonded and licensed by CAR (TO 021).

It’s not t o late to b o ook SUMME R ‘1 holidays 7




Travel Extra Clownings, Straffan, Co Kildare (+3531) 2913707 Fax (+3531) 2957417 Managing Editor: Gerry O’Hare Editor: Eoghan Corry eoghan.corry@ Publisher: Edmund Hourican Sales Director: Maureen Ledwith Sales Manager Paulette Moran Accounts and Advertising: Maria Sinnott Sunday Supplement & Online: Mark Evans Chief Features Writer: Anne Cadwallader Contributors : Eanna Brophy Marie Carberry Carmel Higgins Cauvery Madhavan Sean Mannion Ida Milne Catherine Murphy

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Contact +353872551675 if you have difficulty getting Travel Extra.


3 News Where to go, how much to pay 6 Hotels: News 8 Postcards: News from the trade 10 Wintersun: The Canary islands

16 La Gomera: Best kept secret 17 Long haul: Winter options 18 Thailand: Phuket paradise 20 Vegas Canyon and casino 22 Qatar Latest destination 25 Ethiopian African treasure

26-27 Afloat: Merry Meraviglia 28-31 Flying: Airline and airport news 33 Global Village Inside the travel industry 35 Window seat: Our columnists 36 Pictures: Out and about



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?

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 26-27C throughout the winter.


Madeira: Guide price

u1,500 half board. It is

mild and sub-tropical year round. Average temperature Jan-Feb about 17C. New, family-oriented and child-friendly hotels are helping Madeira change its image as a destination aimed solely at the more mature traveller.

3 HOURS, Morocco: Guide price u800 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. 3.5 HOURS, Tunisia: Guide price u800 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

Si Kao Resort & Spa, Thailand

have gradually mushroomed along the sandy coastline.

4.5 HOURS,

Canaries: Guide price

u1,000 half board. Im-

mensely 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

u800 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 u1,000. 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. Spending more on a top-rank hotel will mean better

food, and a better pool.

7 HOURS,, Dubai: Guide price u1,400 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,

9 HOURS,, Caribbean. Guide price (Barbados): u2,400 all-inclusive. 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 the end of the afternoon, rather than ruin the entire day. The

9 HOURS, Florida: Guide price u1,400 room only. Theme parks, beaches and keen prices make Florida a favourite winter-sun standby for Irish visitors. Aer Lingus’s Orlando flight runs through the Christmas season this year. 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

u1.400 room only (Phu-

ket) Flight time 11-13 hours (to Bangkok one stop via Dubai or Abu Dhabi. 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 and drier. The sea is 27C-29C.


Staying at one of Universal’s on-site hotels makes holidays even more amazing. Each hotel puts guests within walking distance of Universal Orlando’s three theme parks: Universal Studios Florida™, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ (opening 25 May, 2017). Plus, on-site guests enjoy many incredible benefits including Early Park Admission† to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Volcano Bay.

EXCLUSIVE GUEST BENEFITS INCLUDE: zEarly Park Admission† to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Volcano Bay™ (Valid admission required). zUniversal Express Unlimited™ to skip the regular queues at most attractions is FREE* for guests at select hotels. (Valid admission required.) zComplimentary transportation to Universal’s three theme parks and Citywalk™.




Contact Your Preferred Travel Provider For More Information. HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s17) †Valid theme park admission required. Early Park Admission (EPA) begins one (1) hour prior to regular scheduled park opening to either Universal Studios Florida™ or Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ (as determined by Universal Orlando) and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ (opening 25 May, 2017). Valid at select attractions at each park. Attractions are subject to substitutions without notice. Additional restrictions may apply. *Valid theme park admission required. Only valid at Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ theme parks. Not valid at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™, other select attractions, separately ticketed events and Hogwarts™ Express. Benefit not valid for guests staying at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort; available for purchase only. Only valid for the number of guests staying in the room for the length of hotel stay as indicated on the Universal Express Unlimited pass (UEU). Available during normal theme park operating hours only. Additional restrictions may apply and benefits are subject to change without notice. Sapphire Falls Resort TM & © 2017 UCF Hotel Venture III. All Rights Reserved. Portofino Bay Hotel TM & © 2017 UCF Hotel Venture. All rights reserved. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2017 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. 17-24025/DP



AIRBNB Daithí Downey of Dublin

City Council told the Oireachtas Committee on Housing that 48pc of Airbnb rentals in Dublin city are available more than 90 days a year. There are 5,300 rentals in Dublin city and 6,700 in Dublin county. The average number of days per year that a “highly available” listing is booked for is 132 days, with entire homes being taken for 236 days.

GALGORM in Co Antrim began a £2m refurbishment b.

CORK City Council are planning a budget

hotel and hostel for three buildings it intends to sell at Parnell Place

McKEEVER group purchased Antrim’s Dunadry hotel from the Mooney Group. DUBLIN finished 23rd in a survey of

accommodation costs by campsite online booking platform Campsy which compares the price of accommodation in over 200 cities and regions. Dublin hostels cost €18, one star €300, two star €372, three star €437, four star €527 and five star €861. Peer to peer costs €100 according to the survey.

NAMA is to sell Dublin’s Gibson Hotel for


FINGAL Council started enforcement

action against a Malahide property allegedly used exclusively for short-term Airbnb lettings.

HASTINGS Group said the 304-bedroom Belfast Grand Central Hotel will open on the first week of June, 2018. MOTEL ONE German budget boutique hotel chain is considering Dublin.

JURYS INN launched a “Stay Happy” marketing campaign and £2.9m investment.

BELFAST Lawrence Kenwright said his £80m investment in four new hotels in Belfast will add 500 new bedrooms and create 350 jobs, 150 at the refurbished Crumlin Road courthouse, over 200 at two hotels in Waring Street, one of these themed on George Best, and 80 at the Scottish Mutual Building. DYLAN Hotel showcased its €10m extension as part of a celebration of a decade in business, increasing the number of bedrooms from 44 to 72.

CASTLEMARTYR hotel applied to Cork County Council for a wedding-and-conference centre to two-storey gym, a 61-space car park and extensions to the Knight’s Bar, Franchini’s Restaurant, and spa area.

FLOATING Sam Field Corbett is seeking to raise €2m to convert the former Aran Islands ferry Naomh Éanna, into a boutique hotel/hostel, café and restaurant to be berthed beside the CHQ building on Dublin’s north quays.

PORTUSH Rajesh Rana of Andras Hotels plans to demolish the Londonderry Hotel building in Portrush and replace it with a 103-bedroom £8m hotel.

Tom Barrett fo Savill’s

3k room boom

Davill’s say Dublin has a “very limited’ hotel pipeline


avills Hotels predicted that the number of hotel rooms in the capital will rise by over 3,000 before the end of 2019. It said 55pc of new bedrooms will come from new hotels in 2018 with the rest coming from extensions to existing hotels. Tom Barrett of Savils told the Hotel investment Conference that Dublin had a “very limited’ hotel pipeline with just 488 bedroms due in 2017 and 508 in 208 and room rates would climb close to 140 a night as new supply came on board. He saidas new supply comes on-line, some speculative projects will become increasingly difficult to finance. Dublin had just four openings since 2007, Gibson Hotel (2010, Marker Hotel (2013), The Dean (2014) and Gibson Hotel (2010). Hotels on the way includedx Holiday Inn Express, Moore lane and Sacckvill House. Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay and CCD in Dublin


1, Harcourt Street, (Office Conversion) , 16-18 Pembroke Street Lwr . Clayton Hotel Charlemont ain Dublin 2, Ranelagh in Dublin 6, Maldron Hotel, Kevin Street, , Blackpitts, dean Street and Iveagh markets in Dublin 8. Extensions include North Star, Hilton garden Inn, Merrion Hotel, Camden Court Hotel, and Moran Red Cow. Closures include Clyde Court, Dublin 4 and the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4. Serataely, Fáilte Ireland said that a shortage of hotel rooms in Dublin is in danger of adversely impacting Irish tourism in the coming months. The agency has released a new report stating that there is currently a high number of nights when hotels in the capital are booked to near-capacity, causing difficulties for visitors seeking accommodation while simultaneously resulting in higher room rates. The report referenced a recent

survey which revealed that hotels both in the city and in close proximity to Dublin airport averaged approximately 90pc room occupancy for more than half of all nights in 2016. The average cost for a room in a hotel with such high occupancy rose from €95 per night in 2014 to €140 per night last year. The report went on to state that Dublin had the highest hotel occupancy rate among major European cities in 2016 and that there will continue to be an accommodation shortage in the capital through to 2018. However, it noted that there should be a surplus capacity from 2019 onwards due to 69 projects in the planning stages that promise to provide the city with almost 6,000 additional bedrooms. Paul Galagher of ITIC said Dublin needs as marny as 30 new hotels (5,000 bedrooms) between now and 2020.


rish hotels recorded occupancy rates of 81.6pc for April of 2017, representing an increase of 3.7pc on the same month last year. Dublin figures remained unchanged, with hotels in the capital recording occupancy rates of 86pc. STR data reveals that the average daily rate of a room in Ireland during

April rose by 7.7pc from 2016 to €122.60, with Dublin up 5.5pc. Room costs in the capital were actually higher at €129.04. Revpar increased by 11.7pc to €110.10 nationally and €111.01 in Dublin up5.4pc on the same period in 2016. In the 12 months to the end of April, occupancy rates for Ireland were

70.3pc, average room rate €114.76. Revpas was lower at €80.67, still higher than those for the previous year. Occupancy rates for Dublin hotels for the same period were at 75.5pc, with the average daily rate for a room being €122.38 and the Revpar €94.41, up6.2pc on the twelve months to the end of April 2016.

Investec analysts stated that “the Dublin RevPAR data is broadly in line with our expectations in the year to date. April RevPAR was strong in regional Ireland and was boosted by the timing of Easter” Investec research suggests that revpar in Dublin could grow by 6.5pc by the end of 2017.

K i v a j k y e R Now you know how to spell it, go visit.

ere h w e m o s r o go? Looking f o t g n i t s e r te new and in straight to You can fly om Cork Airport fr Reykjavik er than t t e B . r i with WOW Allyshannon. a a week in B FROM



Bookings can also be made through an authorised ITAA travel agent. Fare correct as advertised on on 12th June 2017.






ravel folk aren’t used to being on the menu, but that was the fate facing the European media pack who came face to face with the dreaded Komodo dragon, one of the few lizards that are harmful to humans. After the Bali and Beyond Travel Fair, they were treated to a Garuda flight from Denpasar in Bali to the Komodo International Airport, an hour and a half away on Flores island. They were in the


ravel Counsellors hosted an Irish mini conference in Dunboyne Castle where the company’s latest training resource, TC coach was unveiled. The my TC app 2.1, will be released in the coming months with personalised information, real time flight information and accommodation reviews. Cathy Burke says Travel Counsellors invested €4.8m in technology in the past year,


ilversea cruises hosted 17 agents on board Silver Whisper in Dublin port. “The idea is to know the small ships, what the small ships have to offer, the fact that we go to different destinations that the big ships cannot go to,”Agents can offer Silver Select a tosuite upgrade or $1,000 onboard credit. “Just speak to reservations and ask them what the promotion. Clients that are booking in advance can save 10pc

capable hands of the guides from locally based Komodo Tours, who showed them the sights of Flores, including the Mirror Cave, which rose up from under the sea about 1m years ago. Flores is something island - a place that looks more like a Caribbean island than, well, the Caribbean itself. Frederick Horipun from Komodo Tours explained that reggae rules on the tiny island. “No woman, no cry is our anthem,”

Tyrone born Jim Eastwood moderated a panel discussion with Sherry Meagle, Mary Foyle, Sharon Tiernan-Murphy and Brenda Murray-Flynn. The mini-conference was sponsored by MSC Cruises, G Adventures and Emirates Airline with the evening meal and fun quiz sponsored by Turkish Airlines . Picture shows Douglas Hastings and Travel Counsellors Ireland General Manager, Cathy Burke

if they book and pay by a certain date. will give you great understanding with two modules and two to come” Amanda’s new advocacy programme looks each month for an advocate who is pushing Silversea, it does not go necessarily on the number of bookings. It is for those who try very hard. Picture shows Amanda Middler and Linda McCorry on board Silver Whisper.


he news that KLM’s Dublin to Amsterdam service will remain five daily for winter and a B737800 will replace the Embraer on one of the rotations was delivered by Siobhan Scanlon at the airline group’s fifth annual summer barbecue. Siobhan country manager for AF/DL/ KLM hosted 163 agents on Friday night in the Trinity Capital Hotel with chicken on the grill and hens in the audience.


manda Lacey won a ticket to board Symphony of the Seas next year during a levitation stunt on South King Street in Dublin’s City Centre by English TV personality, David Meade. One illusion in particular involved transforming an ordinary €50 note into a golden ticket for a shopper to board Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas which launches next year.


eletext Holidays, the longest established digital travel agency in England has launched an Irish operation. The ‘bucket and spade, cheap and cheerful’ holiday company, which also offers value-for-money European city breaks, all-inclusive options and last minute deals, conjures up a ‘nice smile in the mind’ of holidaymakers according to Kelly Maher, Head of

Guests included a hen party for one of four brides-to-be currently on the FCM team Clair Delaney. Emma McDonnell, Danielle Smyth and Roz Drew. Big prize winners on the night included Rachel McAnespie of American Holidays who won Delta tickets, Dajana Szekeres of USIT who won Air France tickets, Reneta Pereira of RCSI who won KLM tickets, Sarah Jane Jones of Cassidy who won Transavia tickets.

The stunt saw a local holidaymaker levitating whilst flicking through the extraordinary destinations and itineraries in the Royal Caribbean brochure. Jennifer Callister, Head of Ireland, Royal Caribbean, commented “seemingly this not only lifted his spirits but his entire body so that he was floating on air.” Picture shows Jennifer Caillster and the Royal Caribbean crew with the prize winner.

Marketing, who officially launched at One Pico restaurant in Dublin on Wednesday. Teletext Holidays brought over 380,000 people on holidays in 2016 and has carried 20m customers over 25 years. The company will operate a flights and hotel model with departures from Dublin and Cork. Picture shows Kelly Maher, marketing, and Darren McCloskey, social media manager.





he Spanish ambassador Jose Maria Rodriguez hosted travel trade and media on board the Spanish sail training vessel Juan Sebastian de Elcan in Dublin to stat the hard working Spanish tourist board’s summer round of activities. Picture shows Sara Rivero of the Spanish Tourist Board, Claire Dunne of The Travel Broker and Kathryn McDonnell of the Spanish Tourist Board.


imear Farrell and Paul Dawson were the winners from a field of 62 golfers at the TIGS President’s Day outing to the Smurfit Course at the K Club, Paul Dawson shot what Gordon Penney described as an amazing score of 44 points playing off 16. It was the brightest and sunniest TIGS outing for many years, and scores reflected the mood of the field.

At a separate event the Spanish Tourist Board celebrated world tapas day at the Port House with chefs from Lanzarote. Chefs Manu Liria and Pedro Santana from Lanzarote performed a culinary demonstration as part of Taste of Dublin main stage. followed by Lanzarote´s Wine tasting with pairing of cheese from the island at the “Flavours of the World” stage.

TIGS captain Martin Skelly paid tribute to the sponsors, Etihad fielded an entire team to represent the sponsors for the first time. Angel Chua, Travelmood, Picture shows the winners with TIGS president Peter O’Hanlon, TIGS captain Martin Skelly and Beatrice Cosgrove, Ireland country manager of sponsors Etihad. See for another hilarious golf joke from TIGS President Peter O’Hanlon.

It’s not too late to book your summer holiday! Haven Holidays, summer fun for a whole lot less! Enjoy late availability summer fun at Haven for a whole lot less with Stena Line. Book a self-catering holiday to England or Wales with return ferry from Dublin to Holyhead or Rosslare to Fishguard and enjoy free entry to pools and splashzones, kids activities and great family entertainment. Sounds too good to be true?


urkish Airlines and Island Marketing from the Maldives hosted 73 agents in Dublin and 34 in Cork at events this week. Brian McCarthy, Managing Director, Island Marketing, gave a presentation on the destination and on the Kuramathi, Kandolhu and Maafuushivaru Resorts. Alper Sean Kanburoglu spoke at the event and Turkish announced that they will be flying to Mexico at the end of the

It gets even better – book now and save up to ¤175 off the cost of your holiday! year. Alper thanked the trade and said Onur Gull was soooo excited about the Irish Travel Industry Trade award that he is sure Onur sleeps with the award under his pillow. Visitor numbers from Ireland to the Maldives are expected to increase to 5,000 from 3,468 last year. Fam trip places were won at the roadshow by Angel Chua of Travelmood and Katrina Trnikova from J Barter Travel Group.

But hurry, don’t miss out! Book quick and save big! Terms and conditions apply, see website for details.


WINTERSUN 2017-18 


wo generations of Irish holiday makers associate the Canary Islands with some of the most memorable and pleasant days of their lives, a European destination with duty free cigarettes, year round sunshine and some of the best tourist nightspots on the trail. The islands have long been secured in their position as capital of Europe’s wintersun market. 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. Th Irish like to go in summer as well. Last year 24pc of the Irish visitors to Spain ended up in the Canaries for at least one visit, some many times. If any of the individual Canary Islands was a country they would be among Ireland’s top ten most popular outbound destinations. Irish visits to the Canaries were up 5.1pc last year to 465.203 and the islands report an increase on top of those figures in the first months of 2017. The figures are the second highest in the history of Irish tourism to the Canaries, 10,000 short of the peak of 2008. Irish people are more familiar with Puerto del Carmen than with some of our own provincial towns. It is the most popular among Irish holidaymakers having overtaken Santa Ponsa in recent years. In Lanzarote 228,000 Irish Trips represent 9pc of total tourist to the island in 2014 In Fuerteventura (45,000) they are 2.3pc of total, Gran Canaria (71,200) 2pc and in Tenerife (101,000) 2pc. Playa del Inglés was one of the first towns to come into existence solely for holidaymakers: it tells us everything we

Canary Islands had second best year from Ireland in 2016  Signature sand dunes in Gran Canaria

465,203 Irish can’t be wrong

need to know that Mulligan’s is the most prominent of the social venues there. Most Irish people would name Puerto Rico as the resort on the southwest coast of Gran Canaria. 10 miles west of Playa del Inglés, than the Caribbean island. They attract three times 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..


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, Lanzarote, 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 pre-ordained 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

successor as Aer Lingus CEO, Michael Dargan. Exactly 50 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 throughout the empire on promise and possibilities, which the sun never set. especially the possibility reland’s association of Iberia connections to with the Canaries the south of Spain and came about, as these the Canaries (Iberia was things do, by accident. then the fastest growing The Canaries was an airline in the world). impoverished backwater One clever advertiswhen the first charters ing campaign visualised started arriving what was happenfrom Sweden IRELAND’S ing on a Spanish in the 1960s. VISITORS beach in December It was too dis“just three hours tant for Irish 2006 431,000 from Dublin.” minds, what 2007 422,000 I r i sh t r avel few tourists 2008 474,000 agents knew better. travelled there 2009 424,279 They started adverarrived on a 2010 353,506 tising Tenerife for £110 cruise. 2011 395,871 90 guineas. The Back in Col- 2012 375,234 price came down linstown Aer 2013 407,666 to 76 guineas in Lingus were 2014 422,195 1970, and by 1973 trying to work 2015 442,583 the travel industry out what to do 2016 465,203 had combined to with one of offer the first direct their new Boeflights, a joint efing 711s ordered in a fit fort to fill one of the new of expansionist exuber- Aer Lingus 747s, for £66. ance by Jeremiah DempThe love affair was sey a few years earlier born. . and now inherited by his



WINTERSUN 2017-18 


the 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

Malpais en Tinguaton_55 “Best 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. Marina Lanzarote opens in Arrecife this year. Claiming to be the first Luxury Refit Centre in the Canaries, sailors can make use of its 820-tonne hoist and repair services, in addition to shore side leisure facilities. Cruising expert Jimmy Cornell has set up the Atlant i c Odyss e y non-competitive rally. The inaugural event will take place in the newlyopened Marina Lanzarote, Arrecife, November

9 to 15. Visitors can participate in ecological activities in conjunction with UNESCO. Highlights of the event include talks and seminars for visiting cruisers. The Jameos del Agua will reopen for winter. Set on a volcano cave, the auditorium can hold 600 people for concert and dinner events. The Tapas Fair takes place in Puerto del Carmen, September 26-27. Visitors can sample products and wines from local restaurants in one location. The event coincides with International Tapas Day Teguise village hosts the Tasting Lanzarote Food & Wine Festival on November 28 and 29. Chefs from Spain and the rest of the Canary Islands will host cooking demos and prepare more “avant-garde” dishes

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 G CANARIA New World and in the second most popular, has eccentric 18-room Hotel a circular coast road with Madrid the clocks are a number of steep mounstopped at July 17 1936, tain roads striking inland when Franco was govto the central mountains, ernor and invited by Engwhich reach an altitude lish supporters to go fight of 6,400 feet. for fascism in Spain. In the north T h e are green m o s t FAVOURITES valleys, pine famous trees a n d Lanzarote 227,680 b e a c h e s a b u n d a n t Tenerife 100,800 are in the s u b - t r o p - Gran Canaria 71,800 south, ical crops Fuerteventura 57,000 where the and flowers. MalpaloThe south is mas sand dry and dedunes do sert-like. Its 538 square a good impression of Afmiles can be explored by rica. Puerto Mogan has tour bus, jeep safari or a wide range of water hire-car. sports including jet ski Sioux City, just outtrips and paragliding. If side Playa del Inglés, is you propose somewhere a spaghetti western film above water-level, it is set (the Hard Ride, 1975) using local ingredients. Visitors can experience the food market or attend exhibitions in the Taste Room. Other attractions include a food-inspired film series. The Royal Ocean Racing Club transatlantic race starts at Puerto Calero in November.

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 Playa de Tasarte, with its single bar, which has an asphalt road to the last kilometre. Gran Canaria’s winter temperatures average 19 degrees. Evenings can be chilly, but still average 14 degrees. The chances of rain peaks during winter, coming in two or threeday bursts. The island gets about two day of rain each month during summer, increasing to six days between October and March. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that locals class a rainy day as any day where there is a shower. The upside of the rain is that the winter showers bring out the greenery, which makes for an attractive landscape for winter walking. Visitors are encouraged to rent a car and search for “waterfalls” in the barrancos. Gran Canaria invites LGBT visitors to Maspalomas for the Winter Pride festival, November 9 to 15. Fiesta del Charco takes place mid-September, with fishing and other water competitions. Fiesta de la Naval , a maritime festival commemorating the 1595 at-

Clockwise Lanzarote burnt landscape, Malpais en Tinguaton, Playa Famara, Eoghan Corry paragliding in GC, terraced fields in GC


WINTERSUN 2017-18  tacks by Francis Drake, takes place early October in the La Isleta district. Atlantic Rally for Cruisers takes place November 29. The yacht rally departs Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Fiesta de Santa Lucia takes place in December.

TENERIFE is the old 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 newlyweds 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 day-trip 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-yearold dragon tree at Icod. There are medieval shows at San Miguel (a “Knight” to remember) and a variety of water based experiences. The Singha waterslide opens at Siam Park this winter. No launch date has been announced yet. The slide is 200 metres long with lots of bends to hurdle thrill seekers over small jumps at high speed. Adrián Hoteles launched an online shop to allow guests to prebook experiences at any of the group’s three hotels in Costa Adeje, including gastronomy experiences, spa treatments and private tennis lessons. The group launched the Babymoon Package for parents to be — a last holiday before the baby arrives. The package includes a romantic dinner, couple’s massage and spa treatments. Fuegos del Risco takes place August 2. The event takes place every five years to commemorate the Treveljo volcano eruption of 1706. There will bonfires and fireworks on the Bay of Garachico, with the nearby mountains serving as a backdrop. The Professional Windsurfers Association World Championships comes to El Médano beach, August 3 to 9. If

 Paragliding in Gran Canaria

you’re not into waterFUERTEVENsports, there will be concerts and family activities TURA has almost guaranteed sunshine, on the beach as well. Tenerife celebrates supposedly only 15 days the 125th anniversary of the year without, and is the of Agatha quietTHE MARKET Christie’s est of birth at 50pc the the Agatha With partner C h r i s t i e Partner and children 14.1pc four 8.1pc bigInternational Other family 7.8pc gies. Festival in Friends 5.5pc Puerto de Travelling alone 1.6pc la Cruz, Single w children 0.3pc November Work colleagues 9 to 15. The full They claim 3,000 programme has yet to be announced, but there will hours of sunshine be films and plays cele- throughout the year, with brating the crime novelist temperatures sustaining who visited Puerto de la throughout the winter. Cruz in 1927 and wrote The lowest sea temperThe Man from the Sea atures will drop is 19 degrees, offering good while she was there. conditions for surfing,

diving, fishing and other water sports. There are 150 beaches, some considered among the best in Europe, with clear waters ideal for snorkelling and diving, miles of soft, light sands, rising to wind-blown dunes in places, sloping down to clear waters. At Nuevo Horizonte they constructed Lagos de Antigua, a sea-water swimming lake with restaurants and shops nearby. Acua Water Park is open until November 10, and Oasis Park will remain open during the winter season. Rainbow Fuerteventura, the island’s winter gay pride festival, takes place in Corralejo this December, final dates to

be announced. There will be a host of events including volleyball tournaments, concerts and parties. The International Kite Festival takes place November 6 to 8. Day one starts with a free-fly on the beach and is the day to collect your commemorative t-shirt. All day Saturday, kite flyers will demonstrate their skills right until sundown. Sunday is the big day though: 150 kites are distributed to visiting children who are invited to colour the kites. Parachuting teddy bears will drop sweets from the sky and there will be raffles. The final event is a kite combat, where stunt kites battle it out in the sky. Last man flying wins.

Clockwise: Puerto Rico- GC, Playa Blanca Lanzarote.Teide under snow, Fuerteventura-La Oliva, Teguise-Fundación César Manrique

Seychelles: The place for families The beauty of the Seychelles Islands is legendary – all 115 of them. Accessible and affordable as never before, Seychelles is a great place to spend quality time with the family. Firstly, there are no visas required from any nationality and you can stay up to a month without extending your visit. Then there’s the fact that Seychelles is considered as the ‘land of perpetual summer’, providing day after day of balmy weather with temperatures rarely descending below 24° or rising above 32° centigrade. A good time for the family is waiting around every corner. The range of accommodation is vast and if you go for the ultimate in tropical pampering at any one of our 5-star resorts or exclusive island hideaways, no effort will be spared to cater to your every whim, including those of your children, as most top hotels offer Kiddies Clubs and programmes of entertainment for the young. The Seychelles Secrets portfolio has now expanded to take in a total of 67 properties spread among the islands, making a Seychelles holiday accessible in terms of budget, authentic in terms of the diverse experiences it offers... and the adventure of a lifetime. Even many smaller hotels and self-caterings offer adjoining rooms and other amenities that are convenient for families. Seychelles also offers excellent swimming and snorkeling in the crystal, welcoming waters just offshore and where you can discover the beauty which lies just beneath the waves. There is also great fishing to be enjoyed in the waters around the island or even a cruise aboard a traditional schooner, catamaran or motor yacht from where you can discover the real beauty of Seychelles – by sea. When it comes to meal time, there is a host of hotels and restaurants to tempt the family palate, with many offering special menus for the young and Seychelles is just the place to indulge in some of the freshest seafood you will find anywhere. Far as it is from the madding crowd, Seychelles is just the place to treat your family to a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, where welcoming, friendly smiles, a safe, pristine environment and entertainment galore will give you memories that will never leave you.

Seychelles Tourist Office - UK & Ireland Ground Floor, 130-132 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9SA Tel: +44 (0) 207 730 0700 Images: © Denis Island

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olcanic islands, all of them, have a prehistoric feel. The trees and plants looked like extras from a Jurassic park sequel. The volcanoes on La Gomera last erupted between seven and 12 million years ago, but they have never lost that jagged ready for action feel. Throughout the national parks there are curious tall stacks, chimneys of solidified lava, the Roques Ojila, Zarcita, Carmona and Las Lajas, with nicknames such as the Sombrero or the Lion, and folk tales to match. “We cannot offer a lot of beaches, lazing in the sun,” says tour guide Gordo Wenke. “What we can offer is nature.” Roque de Agando in Garajonay National Park was the sacred rock of the indigenous people. Young boys had to climb to the top to show thier virility. “The young beauties waited below for them to come down so they could show them what matters in life,” Gordo says.

Nature’s crater

Eoghan Corry in La Gomera


Trek to Abrante through characteristic red landscape

very rock and animal seems to have a story to tell. At another stop Gordo picked up a small white bubble on a prickly pear. He squeezed it between his thumb and forefinger and maroon blood flowed ghoulishly

out. “The cochineal louse,” he says. It was the source of immense wealth for the island, when it was the only source of carmine and royalty from all Europe sought the dye it produced La Gomera was Chris-


n Garajonay National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique forest ecosystem, terrific location for walks and hikes with stunning views. Information Center Juego de Bolas is a good place to start. Tina Excursiones whale and dolphin watching, good food is served on board and you can swim off the boat in the clear blue water. +34 922 80 58 85

n La Iglesia de la Asuncion, beautiful church which serves as focal point of the community in the capital n Bosque del Cedro, ancient woodlands, green and lush n Torre del Conde, watch tower against the indigenous people, Columbus stopped here before his voyage of discovery in 1492, home to an exhibition of original historic maps, plans and documents.

topher Columbus’s last port of call before he crossed the Atlantic in August 1492. The small square tower in the island’s capital and main port, San Sebastian de la Gomera, is the only mark of his presence. A map on the pavement sets out his journey. A small collection of historic maps is inside. And a love story;. He had planned to stay four days, to take on provisions, but fell in love with the island’s governor,

Beatriz de Bobadilla. Legend holds it was she who gave him cuttings of sugarcane, to take to the new world. from that La Gomera sapling grew an industry. Menus are adorned with local produce. The local wine is distinctive, fruit of the black volcanic soil. We dined on maruso perch and watercress soup at a clifftop restaurant surrounded by red sand. Teide loomed at us from across the channel.


a Gomera is the most easily accessed of the Canry Islands that did not make La Liga of four. You fly to Tenerife south and transfer by local bus to the harbour. The ferry ride is 30 minutes, the channel crossed by two ferry lines every hour. Take a excursion from Tenerife, rather than book separately. excursion was €65 for coach transfer, ferry, coach and guide around island and lunch and drinks.. ferry on its own is €60 from Tenerife. There is one tourist resort, Valle Gran Rey, and another aspirant, Playa de Santiago. You get the feeling this is a place to pack hiking boots with the suntan lotion. “All the little villages were connected with ancient pathways that criss cross the country, up and down the hills, through the forests and along the ravines. That was how people communicated. The old pathways are still there. You can walk for two weeks and never retrace your steps.” The people who come usually come to walk. You do not need to fear any rustling sounds in the undergrowth. La Gomera has no snakes and almost no insects.

n Eoghan Corry flew to Tenerife with Aer Lingus and was hosted by the Spanish Tourist Board. Aer Lingus fly daily to Tenerife South, the airport nearest the La Gomera ferry n He stayed at the cliff top Hotel Jardin Tecina,

Clockwise: Torre del Conde, dockside tavern, flowers and terraced fields, view to Teide, the view down to farmlands




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 improved 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

Winter wanderlust

An increasing number are going long haul for wintersun resort consortia are well established, and the customer is familiar with what to expect. White sandy beaches, diving attractions nature reserves all around the island, championship golf along the north coast of Playa Grande and, for the few who venture out of the all inclusive resorts, exotic dishes such as known as ‘la bandera’ (the flag) consisting of white rice, beans, meat, vegetables and fritos verdes (green plantains fritters), sancocho prieto, made of seven different local meats, pescado con coco (fish with coconut sauce), chivo de Azua (goat dish from Azua), chivo liniero (goat dish from the north western region) which has an exquisite, peculiar taste because the goat eats wild oregano daily, Johnny Cakes and mangú, and Dominican Locrio. This native preparation of rice is the missing link of Valencian paella (Spanish rice with seafood and meat). There is, unusually for this region a discernible history. The first residents were exterminated in a 50 year period, artefacts such as the hammock and the macuto (wicker bag) give us a small insight into the

treasure of their culture. The Euro-Spanish history is as old as much of Europe, it is not for nothing that Santo Domingo is called First City of the Americas. Dominican Republic has an online training for agents accessible for agents in Ireland: www.


or the traditional destinations the story has been of the decline of the charter market (see page 3). 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, despite rumours of a row between Ryanair and Fuerteventura. Morocco was dropped for the pre-Christmas period in 2011. It remains in play as negotiations continue between Sunway and Aer Lingus, but the scenario of two Saturday flights to Agadir, one Sunway charter and one Aer Lingus schedule, that we had in 2008 is unlikely to return this season.

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 Irish who travel there are winter customers using the middle east one stop options through Doha, Dubai, Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, or the more traditional services through London, Paris, Frankfurt and even Copenhagenand Helsinki which providea a route to Bangko. The four Eastern European and middle Eastern airlines now each provide

services to Phuket from Abu Dhabi but Bangkok remains the gateway of choice. Thailand reported a record 67,273 visits from Ireland in 2016, up 3.9pc and overtook Australia for the first time as Ireland’s most popular long haul destination. 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. 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? Are you listening Norwegian?


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 was never as rich as summer access, with fewer connections but Aer KLingus have now extedned their Orlando servce and the Irish have been finding their way there in increaisng numbers. The airline statisticians think that wide-bodied craft don’t work to Orlando in winter. Their successors might have another idea.




hi Phi Island is one of those familiar names when travel people converse. How is it faring? Is it losing the magic? Is the wind behind it? Three decades or more ago Phi Phi embarked into the tourist game as a backpacker magnet. Now it is as top shelf as you can get, honeymooners and even junketing tour operators will find much to impress them here. We joined the tour operators to find out how impressed they would be. Tourism Authority of Thailand chose the itinerary: n La Vela hotel in Khao Lak, avant garde white triangular design with long dark corridor approach to the spa and a centre piece pool, spectacular beach and rock lobster on the menu for lunch n Le Coral Hideaway Beyond Phuket, lazy pools and a bridge over the river estuary to the beach, Travel Extra lay flat in the pool in the dark looking up at the moon n speedboat transfer from Royal Phuket Marina n Zeavola eco resort on Phi Phi Island, an eco resort built on the edge of an aggressive jungle which has to be managed a cooking course lunch n a tour and snorkel of Maya Cove, picture postcard Phi Phi, iconic and crowded n longtail boat transfer

Eoghan Corry at Paradise Koh Yao

The honeymoon islands of Thailand Eoghan Corry swims Phi Phi and its neighbours

n Phi Phi Island village, luxury pool villas layered into the hillside to offer beach views, the nearby bars offer a counterpoint between the honeymoon and back-

packer cultures n another boat transfer to the Racha on Koh Racha, via Chalong Pier on Phuket, a smaller island with more pool villas and a signature

lighthouse suite n overland to Yacht Haven Marina n boat on to the se-

cluded Paradise Koh Yao to see the tree house villas due to open in November, built to enhance

the beach lodges and unencumbered beach resort n boat to Cape Kudu, n Santhiya Koh Yao Yai with the best poolside party n boat from Santhiya Koh Yao Yai to Ao Po Grand Marina Pier in Phuket. But first, the journey there took us through Phuket, Thailand’s biggest island, a place of once pristine beach areas that has come under pressure from the scale of development that has put infrastructure under pres-

n Eoghan Corry travelled to Thailand as a guest of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. He flew with Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi.

Clockwise: Signature lighthouse at Racha on Koh Racha, view from Le Coral Hideaway beyond Phuket, overcrowded Maya Bay, karst outcrop



sure, not least the roads that get tourists to and from the place. The ferry from Phuket to the island cluster of Ko Phi Phi takes nearly two hours along the warm Andaman Sea, past the iconic giant limestone karsts that give this seascape its distinctive feel, some of them reaching 100m or more into the air. These are a classic of south east Asia, James Bond used one in one of the franchise moves, and it never loses the knack of seducing backpacker, honeymooner, tour operator or wizened travel writer alike.


ike Cape Clear and Sherkin, Phi Phi is an archipelago of two halves, Ko Phi Phi Don, and its neighbouring smaller sister, Ko Phi Phi Le. Most visitors have come to see Maya Bay, that picture-perfect cove where Leonardo DiCaprio and others were filmed in The Beach in 1998, acting out the story of a backpacker community that sought an untouched, off-themap tropical island all to themselves. You could find that here in 1998, but when the boat finally pulls round the high cliff (in low season) we find the cove congested. I count 23 boats, some speedboats, some smaller boats, some large passenger boats and one of the crew tells me there can be twice this number in high

Ferry port at Phi Phi season. This is stadium tourism, but what a product. It really is green like the movie, given the Everyone is offered a snorkel and we are given half an hour to swim in the tepid water before the boat will leave for the main pier at Ko Phi Phi Don. There is another, less crowded s, scenic spot to swim before we return. The water is like creme de menthe, it is so green, and the dive or snorkel is through colourful fish to the coral below. The next stop ashore, the one we did not take, is a selection of bars, restaurants and shops

serving the large throng of backpackers, not quiet Bali, but given time this could turn into a Magaluf of the Andaman. The director of The Beach, Danny Boyle, said: “We got a chance to speak for Thailand, to tell these westerners to go home and stop treating it like a playground.” That is not going to happen anytime soon.


he key to Phi Phi is that it today’s backpacker is tomorrow’s luxury tourist. The people who came here for their post Leaving Cert runaround will be back on their honey-

moon. They don’t want the backpacker experience when they come. There is no shortage of high end hotels to give them something more luxurious instead. Getting there is now suddenly easier. All four airlines operating over Eastern Europe and the Middle East from Ireland offers services to Phuket with the arrival of the Turkish airlines service in July. It means no messy transfer through Bangkok. Thailand’s already burgeoning visitor figures from Ireland, a record 67,273 visits from Ireland in 2016, up 3.9pc

and overtaking Australia for the first time, should be enhanced by this development. And what about direct flights? Chris Lee of the London office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand is optimistic. One of my only concerns is that we have great one stop services form Dublin with Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Turkish. I would love to see a direct service but it has to be sustainable. What we have seen in another source markets, one particular case is South Africa where we have had some frustration, is that direct carriers have come and gone, come

and gone, three times. It leads to frustration and it does not reflect well on the destination as well as the airline. “If we are going to get an airline partner that is looking to fly Dublin to Thailand, that’s great. “As long as we think we have a truly long term relationship model that is going to work, we will back them all the way


e Coral has an executive lounge at Phuket International Airport complete with a 15 minutes massage. It makes for a great finish to a great trip.

Clockwise: Tree House Villas at Paradise Koh Yao, beach at Koh Racha, pool view at Phi Phi Island Village, and tractor operating at low tide




his, I decided, was my kind of Vegas and a far more memorable way of spending $550 dollars than feeding the Casino slots. We were flying over the Colorado River, through Mohabi and Sonoran desert terrain, past the Hoover Dam and Fortification Hill to land 3,000 feet into the Grand Canyon. The sight of other helicopters in the distance – somehow cinematic – thrilled us. One by one they landed in the canyon, lining up like patient servants as we drank in the wonder of the place. Landing in the canyon as part of Maverick Helicopter’s Wind Dancer Tour was a big surprise to those of us who hadn’t read the blurb. Tick, tick, tick that bucket list. As our pilot Toon de Vestryer pointed out iconic Joshua trees, wild horses and bighorn sheep below, he told us that hiking in the canyon is a must-do. No sooner have you ticked one dream off the list than another one comes along. From one of the great natural wonders of the world, we flew back towards the man-made wonders of Down Town Las Vegas and the Strip, the vertiginous gold exterior of the Trump building mesmerisingly reflecting white clouds as we approached.


hat a way to see Vegas in all its OTT surreality; we decided to stick with the aerial theme. On Freemont Street, the original Vegas strip, we took the lift in a building designed as a massive slot machine (of course) and zip-wired three at a time above tourists, shops, scantily-clad showgirls and shirtless men offering lap dances. The best part of the Slotzilla Zip Wire is the anticipation – as you’re

Casino & Canyon Catherine Murphy started out a Vegas virgin, mastered the Strip and hopes her first time won’t be her last.

Catherine Murphy at the Grand Canyon suspended prone, a hatch opens and you’re released into the void before whizzing happily along. Later this year Freemont Street will launch another new attraction; Fear of the Walking Dead. . Some views of Vegas are more jaw-dropping than others. We sneaked onto the Big Apple rollercoaster ride at the New York New York resort, once again oblivious to what the ride actually entailed and determined to sit in the front row. A slow vertical ascent and painfully long halt at the top were followed by a shriek-filled vertical descent, head-wrecking corkscrews and a loop that fuelled sound barrier-breaking screams of terror. What a great way to see the sights of Vegas – upside down. Our next aerial pursuit was more relaxed. On the 55th floor of Palms

resort, Ghost bar offered fantastic midnight Vegas views. After that rollercoaster ride, standing on a rooftop glass floor and peering down 55 floors was easy. Slightly more challenging was the $400 tab for a bottle of vodka. Bring your ID and a wallet filled with last night’s winnings to really relax here. ghostbar


as Vegas hosted 43m visitors in 2016 and will spend in the region of $9 billion dollars on new projects in the coming years. Billions of dollars are gambled there each year with more upmarket casinos set in hotel resorts like Cosmopolitan, Bellagio or Palms. We stayed at the five Star Palazzo Hotel where my 42nd floor suite reminded me of a (pre-de-

struction) scene from The Hangover. To get to your room, you walk through the casino so gambling can become a casual thing that you do on your way in or out. While Vegas is mostly about casinos, designer shopping, partying and shows (anyone for Britney?) They say everyone takes something different away from their experience. For some it’s all about the Rat Pack or Vegas local Brandon Flowers from The Killers. For others, it’s about giving in to jet lag and hitting the resort casino tables at 4.30am. Nobody

needs a clock in this town and nobody will bat an eyelid if you fall asleep in front of a slot machine with a free beer still in your hand. For the rest, it’s about shopping at the Las Vegas North Premier Outlets or just enjoying the craziness of the strip. To get to grips with it, get out and walk it. What you forget about as you bathe in the superficiality of the strip is the history of this region and how it developed as a frontier cowboy and silver mining town. Do yourself a favour; take a break from the casino and visit two places – the

Neon Museum and the Mob Museum. The Neon museum is a boneyard housing iconic Vegas signs from the ‘50s and ‘60s but behind the signs lie interesting history as told by Beverley, Vegas’ trendiest senior citizen. Opt for a night-time tour when some of the old signs and the boneyard are lit up. The Mob Museum, situated in Downtown Vegas, is housed in a former courthouse, one of fourteen where the Kefauver hearings –which sought to expose Mob crime – were held. You might think you know

n Catherine Murphy travelled to Las Vegas as a guest of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority – – with British Airways Club World return flights – n In between gambling and partying, she ate ‘family style’ at Ferraro’s Italian restaurant ( home to an impressive wine cellar featuring a collection of Italian Piedmont wines; at Otto for anti-pasti and pizza (; at the Wicked Spoon in Cosmopolitan resort for Vegas’ most famous buffet (; at Freedom Beat Downtown Grand for post-Mob museum chicken wings and Caesar salad



a lot about the mob but here you can listen to real FBI surveillance tapes on wiretapping equipment, see the wall from the St Valentine’s Day massacre and if you’re so inclined, sit in an execution chair from Nevada’s gas chamber.


hat happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is the famous marketing line, self-explanatory when you see the hordes of young party animals arriving on Friday night to live it up. Another line you’ll find yourself saying all the time is ‘that’s very Vegas’ – whether you’ve just seen Elvis driving along in a mobility scooter or admired yet another Vegas groom’s flamboyant outfit. You have to wonder if Americans view Vegas as a kind of Rome – its huge golden skyscrapers appearing monument-like, its models of European landmarks like the Eiffel Tower providing a glimpse of a continent that most Americans will never see and that cruise ship companies copy – perhaps all gearing up to be an open air museum of the future. One of the funniest things you’ll see is the ‘piazza’ at the Venetian resort. High end designer shops, bustling cafes and restaurants are set around a canal complete with gondolas and opera-sing-

Las Vegas strip by night

ing gondoliers. Visitors gaze at the sky above if only because it’s an incredibly good fake where the clouds never move. The photos we took show what looks like an Italian piazza and the food at Otto restaurant was great but still, it made us yearn for the real thing.


y perfect Vegas day began with the Grand Canyon tour and ended with Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE

show at the Mirage. Like Vegas itself, Love is pure spectacle, bringing to psychedelic life the story of the Beatles. Cleverly, there’s so much happening on-stage that you could easily return to see it over and over again and many people do. From the perfect day to the perfect pint - Mandalay Bay resort is home to the only Guinness Store outside Ireland and there, Galway woman Honora Cosley taught us how to pull the perfect pint. I couldn’t believe I had

travelled all the way to Vegas to learn that pulling a pint is quite easy, before sitting down to eat dinner in Ri Ra, an Irishowned venue that looked like it was gearing up for a great live music session when we left. www. Honora and Ri Ra weren’t the only Irish Vegas links. Freemont Street’s marketing manager Paul Maguire talked proudly of his Irish lineage and of hosting rugby player Jamie Heaslip and team mates on Freemont.

Clockwise: The strip, shopping, helicopter trip with Maverick helicopters, and twist and shout show.


t the Graceland Wedding Chapel, funny guy/Elvis/ordained minister Brendan Paul Duffy (just call him Brendan Paul) entertained us with tales of six minute weddings and unlikely pairings, and gave us a taste of the Elvis songs he performs at many of the chapel’s 9,000 weddings each year. The chapel, which operates up to 45 weddings a day during peak period, is just a few

minute’s walk from the pawn store that featured in TV series Pawn Stars – the store has been transformed into a tourist magnet with security men controlling visitor numbers – possibly an ever sadder experience than when it was just a downtown pawn store. No visit to Vegas would be complete without a limo ride. After avoiding marriage at the Graceland chapel, we took a limo over to Top Golf, an impressive new facility with great views and a high tech set-up where you get to compete with your pals on the driving range or just lounge around with food and drinks. www.topgolf. com Our last stop on the tour, Machine Guns Vegas, wasn’t my thing, perhaps because not even a sub machine gun could help me hit my target. The other women in the group seemed to love blowing the heads off theirs. If firing ranges are your thing or you’re hosting a stag/hen party, this one offers a VIP room with private shooting lanes. With visitors mostly comprising tourists, you’ll be happy to read that people don’t bring their own guns and ammo. Will I return to Vegas? Only if I can hike that Grand Canyon, zip that wire and scream on that rollercoaster again....




he new Dublin to Doha service with Qatar airways commenced on June 12th and you got the impression at the gate ceremony, amid the excitement of a route being started after a 12-year incubation, that we have been here before. And the question is what will be different? The inaugural flight to Bahrain was lavish and plush and exciting from the perspective of Ireland’s 2004 aviation outlook. A falcon was among the adornments that greeted passengers and Gulf Air CEO James Hogan. We were brought to a five star hotel where there was a pool with a waterfall and some of us went clubbing through the night in what was justly regarded then as the liveliest city in the Middle East. Bahrain was followed by Abu Dhabi and an inaugural in 2007. Abu Dhabi went all cultural, seeking out a franchise of the Louvre among their more recent developments. Then came Dubai, all glitz and glamour, highest building in the world ascending the heights. So where does Doha fit in all of this?

Quirky Qatar Eoghan Corry visits a marquee new summer launch


Eoghan Corry with distinctive Doha skyline with a whirlwind, a pyramid, a golden sphere and a torpedo t follows a distinctively Middle Eastern pattern. Dhow and wow. But is has tailored and personalised it. Tourists gravitate towards the lively souk in a renovated Arabic market place with lamps and carpets in rows and cats prodding through the dead, dusty midday heat. There are pictures which show what a sleepy place Doha once was, and, by extension, Souq Waqif.

Nowadays it is one of the most tourist friendly bazaars you will find in the Arab world, because of the lack of hassle and absence of hard sell. Inside the alleyways, merchants sold spices and nuts, and further past them were the rabbits, dyed birds, kittens and puppies for sale. Horsemen in full garb paraded up and down the street past restaurants and shisha pipe estab-


n Shangri-La Doha and check in A luxury 5 star hotel, The Shangri-La Doha offers exceptional dining experiences. CHI, The Spa, at The Shangri-La Doha CHI, The Spa, the only luxury Asian-themed spa in Doha, invites Qatar residents to be pampered with the renowned Shangri-La hospitality in a place of personal space, enchantment and well-being. CHI offers a unique selection of Asian and Arabic treatments based on authentic natural healing methods found in traditional well-being practices n The W Doha is a modern sanctuary above the city, peering out over the blue Arabian Gulf. The signature style and vivid interiors set the scene for unforgettable days and nights. Step into style in any of the 442 guest rooms and suites. Spice Market at The W Doha offers authentic south-eastAsian street food by Jean-Georges

Vongerichten n The Four Seasons Doha With palatial Arabic luxury – right on the sea, in the heart of the city – Four Seasons Hotel Doha is smoothly efficient as a business hotel and deeply relaxing as a beachfront resort. n Argan Restaurant, in the heart of the historic Souq Waqif and just 15 minutes from the Doha Airport, Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels is a collection of nine unique buildings putting the best of the city at your doorstep. Get a taste of Arabian feasts and gourmet goodies n The world’s largest Nobu restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Doha. In a 2,415-square-metre (26,000-squarefoot) landmark perched above the Arabian Gulf, this one-of-a-kind showpiece presents Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa’s signature new style Japanese cuisine.

lishments and a small art gallery. n The big ticket signature museum is the Museum of Islamic Art, filled with treasures that money cannot buy, or, more realistically, CAN buy if you have enough of it. n The shapely statuesque skyline with a whirlwind, a pyramid, a golden sphere and a torpedo (one is nicknamed the condom), a building that looks like a wrapped present and the distinctive zig zag towers. n Recreated canalside neighbourhoods such as Pearl, a development comprising of overpriced apartments built to follow some western theme (in this case the Venetian empire), restaurants, exclusive shops and a marina to park, as one does, the spare yacht. n The Bunratty style cultural villages hankering back to a Bedouin past,

with mosque and a postal museum. n The Qatar Islamic Cultural Centre, a spirally minaret-type building as famous as the old clock tower. n Doha has so many shopping malls even Qataris are losing count. There is a The Venetian canal inside Villaggio shopping mall. n Sports stadiums, many of them, and there will be more. The first of the eight world cup venues was opened when we arrived. There are twelve more to come. And then the city itself, amazing luxurious five star hotels with plush restaurants drawing on recognisable chef names or big brands (we dined exquisitely at Nobu), a day dune bashing in the desert and a dhow trip around the bay. The call to prayer echoes melancholy across the architectural cornucopia shining

in the forgiving sun. Yes, this is worth coming to feel, see, hear and smell all of this.


oha has the beaches as well, the Sealine resort, and Golden Beach, as the road signs call it. This is on the way back along the half constructed 18 lane highway, basically Sealine to Doha. Doha has a giant construction zone and you get the impression, like Brendan Behan said of Canada, that it would be lovely when it’s finished. Some of it was built by Tommy Drumm. Remember Tommy? The Dublin footballer from the 1970s. He was the first person any of us had heard of to come to Qatar when he came out in the early 1980s. You did a great job Tommy.

Shisha pipes in Souk Waqif and Shah Jehan Khan with Eoghan Corry at the dune bashing venue, Khor Al Adad




oha’s many treasures include the Corniche. IN fact the Corniche defines the mood of the city.. As you drive on the approach roads to the city the signs show Al Corniche, different lettering and different colouring from signs to all the different neighbourhoods of the city. It is the to indicate the place is special, as you discover when you pass the monumental large oyster with a pearl, to commemorate the shellfish that provided Doha with its pre-oil and gas meal ticket a century or so ago. Al Corniche runs along the seafront and somebody in the past decided it would be a plum place to build the best embassies, to parade there, like peacocks, out peacocking each other. Now they’ve decided the embassies to make beach access easier. The Egyptian flag has been removed from a private embassy relic to

raucous Bahrain, which is more like the Reno of the Middle East. There is a family market somewhere in between and it has identified and was successfully winning it, although the life blood of that market, the one that emanated from Saudi Arabia, has been cut off

I Parading the colours in Soug Waqif

the series of spats that emerged and an indication the change of mind.


hat will Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi be like in 50 years’ time? It is hard to imagine but one has to think of the faded Imperial cities of Europe where their current buildings have become


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

history, their monuments seem gaudy and incomprehensible to t the new generation. It is as if it has taken a little while for Doha to choose which lane moved in the highway, with Dubai in the fast lane in Abu Dhabi in the middle Bahrain somewhere in the distance veering off course. It likes to be more conservative than Dubai

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

or Abu Dhabi. In terms of covering up women and marginalising alcohol, how many of the values which it holds dear is it prepared to sell down the wadi? It took them a while to decide. They know that if they do business with the Western chain

hotels, that will solve the problem of conservatism and keep the ex-pats and those tourists who like those oddities like nightclubs and bars happy. Then those tourists are going to be in Dubai anyway because it is party town, the Las Vegas of the Middle East, or more

n winter Qatar is a pleasant place. In summer, when we were there, the weather is hot, unrelentingly so. Summer becomes quite humid. Qatar us sizeable enough to offer to offer second and third visit itineraries. As a stopover, it is likely to remain on the Irish destination board for a long time to come. From what we saw, there is much to offer for several short trips for years to come. Welcome to the route board, Doha.

n Eoghan Corry flew with Qatar Airways to Doha as a guest of Qatar Tourism. Dublin has welcomed the first Qatar Airways flight from Doha, the new daily service that connects Dublin to more than 150 destinations worldwide. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays Doha (DOH) to Dublin (DUB) QR017 departs: 07:45 arrives: 13:20 Dublin (DUB) to Doha (DOH) to QR018 departs: 15:25 arrives: 00:30 Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Doha (DOH) to Dublin (DUB) QR019 departs: 01:50 arrives: 07:25 Dublin (DUB) to Doha (DOH) to QR020 departs: 08:50 arrives: 17:55 Fares Dublin- Bangkok-€499. Kuala Lumper €539. Perth- €969. Tokyo €759 Seychelles €749 with visa free stopovers in Doha n Sample prices for a four night holiday to Qatar (Atlas) €1,309 per person. The price includes a two night stay at the Shangri-La Hotel Doha and a two night stay at the Four Seasons Doha, both on a room only basis. The offer also includes return international flights from Dublin with Qatar Airways. Tour operators that feature Qatar include Atlas/Gohop, Cassidy Travel, Club Travel. Travel Counsellors and Tropical Sky, For more information on Qatar visit:

Clockwise: Museum of Islamic Art. View form the Four Seasons, dhow and skyline, Yumna Yuan of the Museum of Islamic Art and giant oyster statue

240x330mm - Magazine - 787, route & advertorial-RDUB-0617.pdf 1 01/06/2017 16:54:10


Youngest fleet Over 240 daily flights Over 95 international destinations in 5 continents Over 18,450 Star Alliance network connections Winner of Prestigious Awards









Ethiopian was first established with the intent of bringing Africa together and closer to the rest of the world. Today, Ethiopian serves 95 international destinations across five continents and 58 destinations on the African continent. Ethiopian’s network includes Addis Ababa, the airline’s hub and gateway to destinations that include Seychelles, Mombasa, Madagascar, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Windhoek, and latest addition, Victoria Falls.

PRIVILEGES AND BENEFITS Ethiopian is also a member of the Star Alliance Group, the world’s largest aviation alliance with currently 28 member airlines. Ethiopian customers who join the airline’s ShebaMiles loyalty programme accrue points each time they fly and can then redeem them against access to Star Alliance lounges worldwide, excess baggage, flight upgrades and flights. To book your flight to Africa To contact Ethiopian: Ethiopian Airline Offices, Mezzanine Floor, Level 3, Terminal 1, Dublin Airport. T: 01 812 5916


With 4 direct flights operating weekly from Dublin to Addis Ababa, Ethiopian offers travellers who want to explore Africa both convenience and competitive fares. HEALTHY FLYING EXPERIENCE To date, Ethiopian is still the only airline connecting the three continents of Africa, Europe and North America through Dublin Airport. Plus on all flights from Dublin, Ethiopian operates the truly innovative and state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The Boeing Dreamliner, already globally recognized for bringing flying to another level of comfort, offers a roomier brighter cabin, quietness, improved temperature control and lower cabin altitude. Best of all, the Dreamliner’s improved technology pumps in cleaner moist air which means you feel less dehydrated and more refreshed on arrival. Overall, flying the Dreamliner is a healthier and more pleasant flying experience.

Khartum Mekelle Dakar Niamey Bahir Dar Bamako N’Djamena Djibouti ano K Bissau ConakryOuagadougouAbuja Berbera Dire Dawa Freetown Juba Cotonou Enugu Monrovia Lomé Lagos Douala ADDIS ABE ABE BEBA BA Abidjan Accra Malabo Bangui Yaoundé Mogadishu Libreville Brazzaville GomaEntebbe Nairobi Mombasa Kigali BujumburaKilimanjaro Pointe Noire Kinshasa Zansibar Moroni Dar es Salaam Luanda

Lubumbashi Ndola Lusaka




Harare Blantyre

Gaborone Johannesburg

Cape Town

Madagascar Maputo




ahir Dar. beside the large Lake Tana on the Nile. is as close to a tourist district as Ethiopia has got. It and enough attractions to see: 37 islands with 19 churches and monasteries on the islands. The ancient monastic culture there would have been familiar to Kevin in Glendalough and Ciaran in Clonmacnoise. Lake Tana has 19 islands with monasteries, including Tana Qirqos where the Virgin Mary rested on the journey to Egypt. A priest picks up a goatskin parchment book, the age of the Book of the Kells, and leafs through it to show us the ancient prayers. Lake Tana looked blue when we arrived, like a Leitrim lake would in winter, except this was the end of a hot Ethiopian summer. You can keep your eye out for birds as you ferry out along the lake, tern, fish eagle, African jacana, white pelican, Egyptian goose and cormorant. Pana Kilkus, where Mary reportedly stayed for three months and 10 days during the flight to Egypt is the jewel of the crown but most people stop by more accessible monasteries to visit the circular church Narga Selassie on Dek Island. The footpath was wet as we walked up the rise in the peninsula. The stalls were spaced out regularly, three metres apart, then four or five metres apart. One man with a blue scarf over his head has souvenirs, and al variety of crosses for sale. A woman with a grey scarf looked the other direction, distracted. We passed the traditional church school where the chatter of the children could be heard. A woman was selling wild coffee right beside where the plant was growing, the beans still green rather than red.


Bahir blown

worthwhile hike over a hill across an ancient Portuguese built Alata bridge. The Blue Nile is not very blue. It is full of mud, rich mucky red mud, like the earth that is on the path. Despite the fact that crocodiles sleep in the morning here. People will put their clothes on their head and wade through the water home in the evening when the boat is not running. Volcanic rocks are strewn like pebbles all over the valley Small children come cadas provide the music in the deep and dark and ask passers by for pens, boys play their night. flutes trying to sell their The thundering Tis wares. A family group passes, Isat – the legendary collecting pentode beans. smoke of fire, the Blue Nile Falls are about 35 A club footed boy lies in km southeast from Bahir the grass. The green is pockDar, at the end of a short marked with scrub 106x149mm-print-787-RDUB-0517.pdf 1 31/05/2017 15:16:06 but arduous journey on an unpaved road and a bushes on the hills ahead.

Ethiopia’sacred lake

Bahir Dar fisherman

The gate to the monastery is like an ancient Irish monastery, for all the world what Glendalough used to be like, compete with its almshouse entrance. The guide shows me a long stone hung with wire on to a frame that served as a bell in pre-metallic times. I counted 22 stalls on the way back down from the church. Roasted coffee, leather, papyrus, crosses and jewellery.


y night time the streets of Bahar Dar were de-

serted. There was, as always, the ubiquitous flash of light on the horizon, indicating another faraway thunderstorm, as there is every night across the tropics and across Africa. You can tell the approaching bajags by the single light on front. There was a row of them parked very near where we had eaten, a nightspot with another show with traditional music in full swing. We eventually flagged one down after a short wait, four minutes at most, and passed through the streets, eerily empty of the horse carts, oxen and donkeys and the people in traditional dress that spilled on to the street in daylight. In fact the only person we saw was from

Sudan. My guide said that Sudanese like to come here for the ladies, and indeed the Ethiopian ladies are the most beautiful in the world. There was a surprise police check outside the buildings that were used by the Organisation of African Unity. The policeman asked the driver for his papers and frisked both the driver and my guide, but when he looked at me with my camera hanging over my shoulder, my Giordano teeshirt, trousers and dusty shoes he exonerated me wrong risk. That seemed odd. We passed the Nile bridge in the silence, the water now black and invisible beneath. Many soldiers had drowned crossing this river in the battle against the Derg because the Derg had blown it up in 1991 in a feint and three card trick period when the rebels had taken the town and then evacuated it again. The only light on the right-hand side of the road from the spire that serves as a monument for those who fought against the Derg. The politics of those who fought for and against are still live in many parts of Ethiopia. Dogs ran at the bajag, as if a game, hoping to catch an ankle in their teeth and no doubt, sometimes they might succeed. The crickets and ci-

Three heifers pass with a calf and white goat with white eyebrows looking for all the world like it wandered out of a trendy night club in Addis. And when to the right hand side, smoke like mist is rising from the falls, the precipitous green slopes behind it. It billows a little and blows along the canyon as if unsure what to do next. Last time I saw them there is barely enough water to make it over the cliff but now the path is muddy and the falls are full with copper coloured earth, dirty and foamy. Before the hydroelectric station the falls flooded all the way across this flat green basin, 400 metres wide. It must have been a sight.










Youngest fleet Over 240 daily flights Over 95 international destinations in 5 continents Over 18,450 Star Alliance network connections Winner of Prestigious Awards Tel: 01 812 5916


AFLOAT LINDBLAD Expeditions will include

all drinks and crew gratuities in the cruise fares for departures of National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion from April. Lindblad Expeditions delayed the launch of new cruise ship, National Geographic Quest

CARNIVAL In an effort to streamline the way travellers pay for their cruises, Carnival Cruise Line has introduced EasyPay, a payment plan that automatically charges the credit card on file in three instalments. Customers can opt out at any time, the line says.

AVALON Waterways launched its 2018 brochure, and a newly designed website with trade portal, backed by a mainstream TV ad campaign, to raise awareness of the brand. STENA Line is offering savings up to

€175 on their summer holiday this June and July with Haven holidays 4 and 7 night breaks.

CELEBRITY Cruises Caribbean shore excursions are offering complimentary cocktails and local delicacies, with the added treat of $300 on-board spending money.

SEABOURN cancelled zodiac-only ventures excursions in Alaska

NORWEGIAN Cruise Line changed ‘free at sea’ inclusions for passengers in The Haven

PRINCESS Pacific Princess emerged from dry dock with new suites and restaurants.

ROYAL Caribbean’s 5,497-passenger Symphony of the Seas, which will be the line’s fourth Oasis-class ship, was floated out of dry dock for the first time during the week, at the STX shipyard in France. CUNARD The second of Cunard Line’s three ships to be refurbished -- Queen Victoria -- has returned to England boasting additional cabins and suites and a new restaurant. The third ship, Queen Elizabeth, will go in for its refit late next year.

ISLE OF MAN The Isle of Man

Steam Packet Company carries 14,037 motorcycles, a 6pc increase on 2016, and 36,500 passengers, a rise of 2.8pc, to the Isle of Man TT from Dublin, Belfast, Heysham and Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin.

SCENIC ’s first ocean-going cruise ship, the 228-passenger “Discovery Yacht” Scenic Eclipse, will feature 10 dining experiences, eight bars and lounges, two pools, and a spa.

CARNIVAL Imagination is to run family branded cruises featuring Transformers and My Little Pony.

CARNIVAL announced 1990s theme cruises with Backstreet Boys and Salt-N-Pepa. CELEBRITY Malala Yousafzai will be Godmother to Celebrity Edge.

CMVannounced a series of child-friendly sailings, from August 2017.

AMERICAN cruise lines launched American Constellation.

Steve Williams, Director of Sales MSC Cruises London, Erica Oglesby MSC Ireland and Antonio Paradiso two country Managing Director MSC Cruises Ireland and Britain

Merry Meraviglia

MSC launch new flagship with glittering ceremony


he cruise event of 2017, the launch of MSC Meraviglia In Le Havre, was, like the cruise industry itself, gloriously over the top and laced with bling and glitz. Sophia Loren presided, as is usual at MSC events, defying age. Screen icon Sophia Loren arrived by luxury car wearing an ivory gown covered in beads and crystals. The godmother made a brief speech in French, then cut the ribbon with a pair of gold scissors, officially naming MSC Meraviglia by smashing a bottle of Champagne on the hull. The moment was followed by a firework display. .Highlights of the ship itself include the two-story Promenade, reminiscent of a small town centre lined with shops, restaurants and bars, a redesigned yacht club, and Cirque du Solieil as signature entertainment with two performances six nights a week, albeit at an extra charge. Meraviglia will be Mediterranean-based for this year and Northern Europe-based in 2018, calling in at Southampton twice. In 2019, it will join sisters MSC Divina and MSC Seaside in Miami, The speciality restaurants have a la carte price options, rather than the fixed dining charges employed by other cruise lines. ned MSC Cruises’ newest and biggest ship, MSC Meraviglia, in a glittering ceremony in Le Havre, France, this evening. The 5,714-passenger ship is the biggest ship to launch this year and becomes the flagship of the line, taking the MSC fleet to 13. It will be followed by the launch of MSC Seaside in December, which will homeport in Miami.

Master of Ceremonies Gad Elmaleh, a French comedian and actor, kicked off the event by welcoming MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago to the stage. Vago thanked the St. Nazaire shipyard and its workers, the MSC team and the company’s 17,000 employees, attendees, MSC Cruises Founder Gianluigi Aponte, and, of course, Loren. Speakers at the ceremony included MSC CEO Gianni Onorato, the STX France CEO and the mayor of Le Havre, broadcast worldwide on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Vago looked ahead to the line’s new ships, including MSC Belissima, which launches in 2019 and will be classified as Meraviglia-Plus Class. Vago reaffirmed his commitment to have a museum onboard containing priceless works of art, “I’m proud to say this is just the beginning. We will build up to four 200,000 gross ton ships in St. Nazaire. These ships will be called World Class. The investment will be 4.5bn.” “We have an ambitious vision for the future, and MSC Meraviglia marks the start of the second phase of growth for our company. For this reason, this evening is an extremely proud moment for all of us at MSC Cruises as we see the first of our next-generation ships being named. “The new ships that we are building -- between 2017 and 2020 alone, we will receive six new ships -- are purpose-built, featuring innovation in both product and design, as well as the very latest cutting-edge marine and consumer-facing technology to create unforgettable holiday experiences at sea for guests of all ages.

MSC Meraviglia is the first to make this vision come to life, as it sets a new standard for cruise ships as a destination in itself.” During the ceremony, French music group Kids United, which supports UNICEF campaigns, performed. MSC has a partnership with UNICEF, uniting in a campaign to fight childhood malnutrition worldwide. The ceremony also included a spirited dance performance that included salsa and can-can numbers. French singer and actor Patrick Bruel also performed.


SC took delivery of Meraviglia at a ceremony three days ealrier iin nearby St. Nazaire attended by French President Emmanuel Macron. Discussing MSC’s World Class ships, which will be entirely propelled by Liquefied Natural Gas, Vago said: “There is no land vacation that can compete with the cruise industry,” he said, referring to the ships’ green credentials. MSC has forged a number of link ups with well-known chefs, including two Michelin-star chef Helene Darroze, with whom MSC announced a partnership at a news conference earlier today. World-class chocolatier Jean-Philippe Maury also has a chocolate shop onboard where passengers can watch his creations being made. Sophia Loren has had a close relationship with MSC Cruises since she became godmother of MSC Lirica in 2003. As the MSC Cruises fleet has continued to grow, she has blessed each new ship



AVALON Waterways, represented in Ireland by Travelfox, is expanding its Active Discovery on the Danube cruises to include two new Active Discovery on the Rhine LIMBLAD

has appointed Francis Lam as a culinary naturalist responsible for orchestrating experiences and excursions that expose Lindblad passengers to the role that food plays in culture, particularly the Faroes.

CARNIVAL Horizon, the second ship in Carnival’s Vista class of vessels, will pioneer walk-in, open-seating dining and a Dr Seuss-themed WaterWorks water park when it launches in Europe next April. ROYAL CARIBBEAN broke ground for CocoCay pier in the Bahamas. The first ship in Quantum Ultra class will debut in the Asia-Pacific region in early 2019.

IRISH FERRIES is offering 25pc off motorist up until December 15th available until May 8 on Dublin to Holyhead and Rosslare to Pembroke routes, (excluding the 11:50 & 14:30 Swift sailings in July and August)

Celebrity Eclipseis to home port for a mini season in Dubin April to June 2018

ApocEclipse now

Step up for Dublin with 5 Celebrity rotations in 2018


elebrity Cruises reports a brisk interest in the first mini series to oepratoe for a major cruise line out of Dublin port.. Celebrity hosted trade and media at the Taste of Dublin festival and updated guests on the five rotations to be oeprated by the 2,850 passenger ship from April to June 2018. Itineraries include a 10-night Ireland and Iceland sailing calling at Belfast, Reykjavik, Iceland; Akureyri, Iceland; Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland; and Cork, as well as offering an eight-night Norwegian Fjords itinerary. Eclipse, after eight years of homeporting in Southampton, will split its time between Dublin and Amsterdam. Celebrity Silhouette will replace Eclipse based out of Southampton from summer 2018. Celebrity Cruises will have five ships in Europe for 2017-2018, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Equinox,


Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Silhouette Celebrity Cruises already features Dublin and other ports throughout Ireland in its European deployment, including an overnight in July 2017. This is the most significant increase in its investment into Ireland in the history of the global business. Dublin Port hosted 180,000 cruise visitors from 100 cruise ship calls In 2016, of which four were cruise ship turnarounds where the ship begins its sailing and guests embark. The port uses a €6m economic impact figure based on Southampton Cruise Tourism report 2004 which states that each passenger that joins a cruise ship via the Port of Southampton generates £380 to the local economy. £380 spend per head of 2,800+ guests for five turnarounds equates to £5,320,000 or €5,852,000 based on exchange rate of £1 to €1.1

Celebrity Cruises has a fleet of 12 ships with two new ships on order, scheduled to join the fleet in 2018 and 2020, and a further two ships on option. The cruise line is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the second large cruise business in the world. Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class of ships are the newest in its fleet, all introduced between 2008 and 2012. In addition to luxury guest accommodation, designer boutiques, extensive bars and restaurants, they also feature a real grass lawn on the top deck. With extensive awards particularly for its food and wine, Celebrity Cruises boasts the largest and rarest collection of wine at sea and a host of exclusive restaurants on-board all overseen by a Michelin-starred executive chef.


&O Cruises’ 710-passenger adults-only ship Adonia returned to its homeport of Southampton this week following a refit, which includes a new restaurant and new entertainment.

In an unusual move, P&O is charging for entry to one of the shows onboard Pacific Explorer. Tickets run from $15 to $29pp for adults-only cabaret Love Riot, but will include a cocktail and souvenir glass ($15 ticket).

The more expensive ticket is branded as VIP and includes dinner, a cocktail and souvenir glass. P&O also unveiled the newly refurbished Pacific Dawn featuring a new kid’s waterpark on the

pool deck and two new waterslides, virtual reality experience in the teenage clubs, HQ and HQ+, a new seafood restaurant, Shell & Bones, a redesign of bars, the Dome, the atrium, Charlie’s cafe, The Orient and Promenade Bar.

STENA is offering 25pc off travel to Britain with their Dublin – Holyhead and Rosslare – Fishguard routes available until May 3 for travel up to December 15 (excluding 08:55 and 15:10 sailings in July August.) RITZ CARLTON announced new cruising yachts to launch in 2019 VIKING Ocean named their cruise ship

Viking Sky

EMERALD Waterways’ newest ship, Emerald Radiance, was named in Portugal

SEABOURN announced 2018-2019 itineraries including cruises to Asia.

CELEBRITY Cruises marked the keel laying of Celebrity Edge


Joy was handed over from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany to become Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship for China.

HOLLAND America launched an Elite Beverage drinks package for $54.95 per person, per day.

SEATTLE is offering cruise passengers the ability to check their luggage through to the airport and receive their airline-boarding pass before disembarkation a. SILVERSEA named the 596-passenger Silver Muse in a rainy day in Monaco’s Port Hercule in the presence of Prince Albert.

VIKING Ocean Cruises ordered two 930-passenger ships from Fincantieri shipyard for delivery in 2021 and 2022. ANTARCTICA XXI ordered a new polar vessel.


Grille is to offer lunches at $19.

JERSEY BOYS is to feature on

board Norwegian Bliss when it launches June 2018 alongside a second musical, comedy club,


THE FLYING COLUMN AER LINGUS has sold 1m transatlantic seats for travel in 2017 – its fastest year on record for transatlantic sales.

FLYBE brought nine training Medical Alert Dogs on board as part of the dogs’ socialisation programme. ACUMEN


Aviation launched EM-

JET2 said investment will lead to new Belfast International jobs BOEING

CEO Dennis Muilenburg said he plans to produce 14 787s a month by the end of the decade, the 737 Max is oversold to 2020 at 57 a month and is to go higher.


Aviation group won their fourth skills title in a row and is to exhibit at the Dublin Aviation Summit.

BOMBARDIERCSeries commercial jet was certified to fly out of London City.

RYANAIR launched the winter 2017 schedule at Newcastle upon Tyne. RYANAIR spent €1.5m to fund academic post at Trinity College

GOAL, German Operating Aircraft Leasing, arranged the financing for eight ATR72600 aircraft with the Propius leasing company belonging to Stobart, primarily providing flights for Aer Lingus regional.

AER LINGUS wants more women to apply as it launched an apprentice scheme.


Aviation Capital to expand operational capabilities. SMBC concluded four aircraft deliveries to Jeju Air.

TURKEY’s BoraJet ceased operations. AERCAP posted $7.2bn in 1Q 2017 fi-

nancing transactions. AerCap signed $7.2bn of financing deals in the first quarter. They signed lease agreements for an Airbus A319 with German carrier, Germania and 2003 vintage Airbus A330-200 with Wamos Air.

UNITED imposed a cut-off time of 60

minutes before departure for all bookings of flight crews on its own planes to avoid a repeat of the David Dao incident.

SHANNON Airport was granted a €10m loan to help fund runway upgrade-


delayed cancelling free meals on services from London City Airport until Oct 2017, as a result of a family’s appeal to English small claims court.

DUBLIN and Cork airports got €13m to upgrade an ‘explosive detection’ system.

CLARIFICATION ALITALIA Last month’s Travel Extra

featured a photograph of Anita Valente and Concezio Natale boarding an Alitalia aircraft alongside an article on Alitalia. Travel Extra would like to point out that Consezio and his business Best holidays in Italy has no connection with the airline and its current situation..

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

New Gulf games

IATA summit stunned by move to encircle Qatar


he subject that dominated the congress of the International Air Transport Association in Cancun was not even on the agenda. It was the dramatic decision of the Gulf states to close its airspace and facilities to Qatar Airways forcing Qatar Airways to reroute dozen of flights through Turkish and Iranian airspace. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker mingled with IATA delegates late on Sunday in Cancun but left overnight by business jet. As IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said “it completely surprised all of us.” Aercap CEO Gus Kelly who is surprisingly under-exposed in Qatar, said “you can read too much into a short-term event. Global travel is resilient. We have been through so much in the last decade: Russia, Brazil, Eurozone crisis, Turkey. A lot of capacity has been going into the Gulf region. Some carriers in the Gulf recognised about a year and a half ago that there wasn’t an endless growth model of 15p a year.” Peter Harbison of CAPA said there has always been a significant concern that Gulf aviation is, if not on a knifeedge, then on a fairly narrow plane.” The congress, whose panellists included Willie Walsh and Peter Bellew, then returned to the agenda

Iata board 2017 items of laptop bans, emissions and air cargo modernisation. Oil price, which dominated previous agendas, was almost entirely absent from the discussions. The laptop ban imposed earlier this year appeared to hurt traffic on the Middle East-US route but overall monthly data indicated a 10.7pc increase in demand for air travel and profitability outlook for the airline in-

dustry was raised to $31.4bn from the earlier forecast of $29.8bn. Resolutions were passed to accelerate the modernization of the air cargo industry, to urge governments to collaborate better on security, and to ask governments to do more on sustainable alternatives fuels for aviation. IATA estimated a worldwide electronics ban would cost US$3.3bn.



atar Airways regained top spot from Emirates in the annual (and controversial) awards run by Singapore-based ratings company Skytrax (both have won four times). Aer Lingus retained its much flaunted four-star status, climbing 11 places to 38th at the awards, which took place at Paris air show and placed Qatar

ahead of perennial rivals Singapore (three times champions), ANA and Cathay (three times champions). Nine airlines won five star status. The top ten: 1 Qatar, 2 Singapore, 3 ANA, 4 Emirates, 5 Cathay Pacific, 6 EVA Air, 7 Lufthansa, 8 Etihad, 9 Hainan. 10 Garuda Indonesia, n Etihad won best first class,

n Qatar won best business class, n Thai won best economy class, n AirAsia won best lowcost airline, n Bangkok Airways on best regional airline, n Eva Air won the cleanest cabins, n Emirates won best in flight entertainment n Garuda won best cabin crew.

n Turkish Airlines won best business class airline lounge, best business class onboard catering and best business class lounge dining. n Seat awards went to Etihad for first class, Qatar for business class, Qantas for premium economy and Japan Airlines for economy. n Best airline in Europe was Lufthansa.



yanair nnounced the purchase of 10 more Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft. Five are for delivery in

the first half of 2019, and five in the first half of 2020, offers 197 seats per flight compared with 189 at present.

The Max will reduce fuel consumption by 16pc and reduce noise emissions by 40pc and incorporates the latest technology en-

gines and winglets which reduces fuel consumption and noise emissions,



Aviation with Gerry O’Hare UNITED’s Scott Kirby said 30pc of pas-

sengers are booking basic economy which has been rolled out to all markets in continental USA

NATS London-based NATS and the Irish Aviation Authority have worked together to develop the XMAN initiative to tackle the Heathrow stacks to save fuel, reduces CO2 emission and delivers a better arrival experience for travelling passengers.

COAST GUARD Fresh appeals were made for the Coast Guard to be equipped with fixed-wing aircraft to provide top cover in the wake of the Rescue 116 disaster.

US President Donald Trump is proposing to dramatically restructure both the FAA and the TSA, removing air traffic control from FAA and shifting the majority of responsibility for funding aviation security to airline passengers by significantly raising the flight security fee.

AER LINGUS is extending its Dublin Bilbao route to winter

IT FAILURE The cost of British Airways IT failure was estimated at €91.5m.. Willie Walsh used the IATA congress to criticise the media coverage of the BA systems shutdown IRELAND and Ireland launched full virtual joint communications


Passenger levels at Dublin airport are highest ever

120,000 pax a day Dublin Airport on course for 29.3m passengers


ublin airport is on course for 29.3m passengers in 2017 following another record month in May with 2.6m passengers. During June the airport handled more that 100,000 passengers on four days, peaking at a record 102,000 for a single day at the airport on June 18. So are this year passenger numbers

are 6pc ahead of 2016, an additional 640,000 passengers. The number of passengers using Dublin Airport as a hub to connect to another destination in the first five months is up 51pc with 330,000 connections through Dublin Airport (165,000 passengers).

In May n Europe was up 4pc to 1.4m n Britain was up 1pc to 843,000 n North America was up 18pc to 321,000 n Africa Middle East was up 3pc to 56,000 n Domestic was down 9pc to 8,000



tihad Airways is to end its complimentary chauffeur service at Dublin Airport for Business and First Class passengers. The service will be retained only at the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub. Etihad said it was amending its chauffeur policy “following a review of usage by premium guests across all major markets” and said the service will be “replaced with a paid option at specially

negotiated rates in all other cities. The changes will be implemented from July 3.” The paid option will be available to all passengers and allow Etihad Guest members to accrue miles on their chauffeur bookings. Guests travelling in The Residence onboard the Airbus A380 fleet will continue to receive complimentary chauffeur services at all A380 destinations – namely Abu Dhabi, Lon-

don, Paris, Sydney and New York. First and Business Class tickets issued prior to July 3 will not be affected by these changes and will receive complimentary chauffeur service across destinations where the service is currently offered. Emirates confirmed to Travel Extra that it has no plans to end its complimentary chauffeur service at Dublin Airport, and said Business Class cus-

tomers in Dubai will be transferred in the BMW 520i Touring, which has wifi access. There are some upsides for Etihad passengers, with the airline now offering the option of paying for a ‘Neighbour-Free Seat’ in Economy Class. Passengers can bid for up to three empty seats next to their original seat -  subject to availability and  cabin configuration. Guests can bid at the time of booking.

said their Irish flights will use Boeing 737 MAX 8 from September 1

EU airports made up 35pc of all global runway incursion reports during 2016.

KERRY Airport handled 59,000 passengers in the first three months of this year VALLAIR acquired three Boeing 737400, two oex Enter Air stored in Shannon

WOW air launched flights from Keflavik

to Chicago offering Dublin connections from €139 (NOT direct from Dublin to Chicago as some media reported).

FLYBE and former Cityjet CEO Chris-

tine Ourmieres-Widener joined ERA’s Board.

DATALEX revenues rose on the back of moves into Chinese market BELFAST International Airport pas-

senger numbers were up 27pc in February, its sixth successive record passenger month.


Airways announced its intention to fly with GX Aviation

SEAT DESIGN Patricia Clements’ Bradford seat cover manufacturers in Rostrevor and Joanne Liddle‘s IPC Mouldings, plastic injection moulding firm from Carrickfergus, demonstrated a new airline seat at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this week. ETIHAD is to get around the laptop ban

by lending iPads to its top-paying travellers on US-bound flights.

INTREPID is to lease two new B777 for Philippine Airlines.



Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

HOME CARRIERS the highest proportion of international seats provided by home-based carriers Iceland 80.0pc, Turkey 78.6pc and, Ireland 77.7pc. Towards the other end of the range, 19.5pc of seats to/from Spain, and 13.4pc to/from Italy, are on home-based carriers.

FAILTE Ireland’s new tourism facts release show that 23pc of North American visitors arrive via Britain and 22pc via Mainland Europe, with 53pc arriving on direct trans-Atlantic flights. TrueNoord closed a financing facility for two Embraer E190 aircraft leased by Air Astana Aer Lingus awarded Dublin Aerospace a five year landing gear contract is planning a one off Belfast –

Airbus A350-1000 at Paris Ari show, photograph by Mike Kelly

Le shopping spree

Newark flight.

BA’s London City-JFK via Shannon westbound all business call service to be reduced to once daily year-round. DUBLIN AIRPORT unveiled

Vibrant Irish Light, Irish art installations to depict native wildlife and the unique quality of Irish light, using rainbow colours which vary in intensity at different times of the day

ICELANDAIR cited research showing four in ten air passengers regard the flight as wasted time and 78pc say cabin crew can make or break their journey. Passengers can now change their boarding pass for an Icelandair stopover pass. DUBLIN Airport is inviting tenders to research and develop new techniques to keep wildlife off the airfield.

NORWEGIAN named Jonathan Swift and Tom Crean as low-cost airline’s ‘tail fin heroes’ AER LINGUS

launched an Irish Filmmaker Competition with Irish Film Board

EU proposed new rules to tackle alleged

unfair competitive practices by foreign airlines after complaints about Gulf carriers receiving illegal government subsidies,


Airways closed bookings for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and UAE until October 28 2017.

AIR TRANSAT will operate charter flights from Dublin to Toronto on December 20, 2017 and return on January 2, 2018. RYANAIR appointed Chiara Ravara senior sales and marketing manager. ACI

ranked Dublin Airport among the top 20 for airport connectivity.

CITYJET got its sixth Superjet SMBC Aviation Capital reported profits up 48PC

AIRHELP Hong Kong based rankings site AirHelp Score ranked Aer Lingus 9th and Ryanair 83RD of 87 airlines for on-time performance, customer service efficiency and quality of service. Singapore finished top followed by 2 Etihad, 3 Qatar, 4 Austrian.

Irish aviators purchase aircraft with list price of 30bn


oeing’s new Max 10 was king of the bling unveiled at Paris Air Show, which fired up the engines with characteristic swagger this month. Boeing’s Ray Conner celebrated his last air show by topping John Leahy and Airbus for the first time since 2012, order commitments from Boeing were 766 and Airbus 331, excluding 229 order conversions announced during the show, and $58m-$25bn in sales (and re-announcements, some deals were being aired for the second or even third time round, in fact letters of intent and MoUs tend to outweigh actual orders). Just under half of the buyers were from Ireland. The option to convert to the Max 10 was floated by Domhnal Slattery’s Avolon as it ordered 75 single-aisle B737 Max 8 aircraft and options to acquire an additional 50, bringing the fleet to 925. Aengus Kelly’s AerCap ordered another 30 Boeing 787-9 making it the largest customer for the Dreamliner. Gecas placed an order for 100 A320neo bringing its A320 fleet to 600. CDB Aviation, based in St Stephen’s Green, ordered 42 737 MAX

8s, 10 737 MAX 10s and eight 787-9 Dreamliners. Viva Air, founded and backed by Declan Ryan, ordered 50 A320’s for Viva Colombia and Viva Peru. Ryanair used the air show to highlight their purchase of ten Boeing 737 Max 200 jets. It was estimated the Irish spending spree at the show ran to a list price of $30bn, without the discounts everyone knows they are getting. Anyone with an interest in the finer points of the industry can acquaint themselves with a variety of products from “DryCleaning” an aircraft with no water, to a self locking nut. In fact almost every single facet of aviation is covered at the event The majority of visitors come to see the big ticket aircraft types. The Paris (and Farnborough) shows have traditionally launched new aircraft types and the public get to view these new types up close. This year was no exception. Visitors got a chance to see some of the latest new aircraft types up close and personal including Airbus’s A350-100, A321NEO, Boeing’s B737 MAX 9, B787-10, Embraer E195E2, Sukhoi SSJ100, and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet 90. Of course it was not all civil aircraft. Noise and excitement was

provided by, among others, the new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning flown by company test pilot Billie Flynn. A stunning, albeit very noisy display was flown by the Dassault Rafale C of the French Air Force. If noise, after-burners, steep climbs and fast turns do not excite you, the sight of a small electric plane, the extra 330LE towing a glider and releasing it to soar gracefully in silence above the crowds might just be your cup of tea. The Paris Air Show (Salon international de l’aéronautique et de l’espace de Paris-Le Bourget, Salon du Bourget) claims to be the world’s calendar-oldest air show. Established in 1909, it has been held every odd year since 1949 at Paris - Le Bourget Airport Le Bourget Airport is almost half way between Charles de Gaulle airport and the centre of Paris. Access is easy from the RER B line with a bus service linking the RER stop at Le Bourget with the airfield. Running from the 19th - 25th June 2017, this was the 52nd Paris Air Show. June traditionally has brought an eclectic mix of weather and this year was no different with day time temperatures As the 2017 show comes to an end, it was time to sit back relax and tend to the sunburn and weary feet.



celander Einar Adalsteinsson was the unlikely Déise hero as he introduced a new airline to serve three routes from Waterford to Birmingham 3w, Luton 5w and Manchester 3w. Aer Southeast is, a sub-

sidiary of Slovenia crew training and airworthiness company Aer Lipican. .They also intend serving the Irish charter market. Waterford Airport passenger numbers fell from 34,249, in 2015, to 13,511, last year but has

been without commercial service since now-bankrupt Belgian airline VLM withdrew in mid-2016. it was recently awarded a 1m grant from the Department of Transport for safety and security upgrades. It can also access an

additional e870,000 once scheduled services are resumed. Aer Southeast will use Saab 340 S5-BBS 33-34 seater aircraft, of which one was mocked up with a logo for the website. Ticket prices will start from €79 one-way.




Aviation with Gerry O’Hare DONEGAL An art exhibition opened in Donegal Airport. It was claimed airline investment could provide positive knock-on effects for Donegal

EDREAM said their survey showed one in ten passengers claimed to have had a fling on an aircraft

NORWEGIAN launched a new 2w service year-round from Dublin Airport to Stockholm. The new route, plus the increase in frequency of its Dublin-Oslo service, represents a 50pc rise in capacity on its routes between Dublin and Scandinavia

DUBLIN AIRPORT Departing Hasan Mutlu and Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines

Turkish to go 17w Istanbul service stays double daily for winter 2017-8


urkish Airlines, which operates 14w from Dublin to Istanbul, is exploring the option of increasing from double daily to 17w next year. Turkish, which decreased to single daily for winter 2016-7 will keep its double daily service through the winter 2017-8 as it expands its network

of connections through Istanbul. “We are having a good June and July” Hasan Mutlu, Ireland manager of Turkish airlines says. “Advance sales for autumn are looking very bright as well. Who knows what will happen next April. We are looking tat Istanbul and we are looking at other places as well.”

Turkish have long considered a direct service to Antalya which has not been served by chartered or scheduled services from Ireland for several years. Izmir is served by Aer Lingus (under a charter license) and by Suncorp chartered by Sunway.



he hunt is on to replace Eamonn Brennan as head of the Irish Aviation Authority. The Chief Executive is off to Brussels to become Director General of air traffic control giant Eurocontrol. Galway native Eamonn Brennan will succeed Frank Brenner whose term comes to an

end on 31st December 2017. Mr. Brennan was nominated by the Government through the Director General Civil Aviation Ireland. Founded in 1960, Eurocontrol currently has 41 member states and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The organisation em-

ploys 2,000 and operates with an annual budget of 500m. . Although Eurocontrol is not an agency of the European Union, the EU has delegated parts of its Single European Sky regulations to Eurocontrol, making it the central organisation for coordination and planning of air traffic control for all of Europe.



yanair May traffic statistics show passenger numbers up 11pc to 11.8m, rolling annual traffic to May up 13pc to 122.5m and load factor up 1pc to 95pc. Load factor is the highest in the industry. This com-

pares with 11.3m in April and 10.6m in May 2016. This was the 38th successive record month for Ryanair passenger numbers. The growth trajectory mean that Ryanair are unlikely to fall below 10m passengers in a month until November.

RYANAIR MONTHLY PASSNGER LEVELS 2017 May 11.8m Apr 11.3m Mar 9.4m Feb 8.2m Jan 8.77m

DAA CEO Kevin Toland told a Seanad Special Select Committee on Brexit that airlines will be offering fewer routes to Britain at higher prices from next spring. Duty-free shopping between Ireland and Britain should commence immediately after the UK leaves the EU, and that Ireland should position itself as the ‘business destination of choice’.

IATA Alan Joyce and Qantas will host

next year’s IATA congress in Sydney, June 3-5 2018.


John Leahy says he will retire “sooner rather than later” on the advice of his doctors. Current deputy Kiran Rao is to replace him, meaning the great aviation sales hurling match will no longer be contested by sales chiefs of Kilkenny (Leahy) and Tipperary (Connor) ancestry.

ETIHAD Airways pulls out of talks

with TUI Group aimed at creating a new joint venture holiday airline. Under plans outlined last year, TUI’s own airline TUIfly was to be merged with Air Berlin’s leisure airline Niki

LUFTHANSA to boost capacity on Dublin-Frankfurt route from winter.

AER LINGUS is still an IAG poster

boy as airline group reveals extent of IT failure at British Airways

ACI Europe welcomed new measures

adopted by the European Commission to further support air connectivity, including a proposal to allow the Commission to investigate unfair competitive practices in aviation from non-EU countries

Eamonn Brennan 2016 Dec 9m Nov 8.8m Oct 10.9m Sep 10.8m Aug 11.5m Jul 11.3m Jun 10.6m May 10.6m Apr 9.90m Mar 8.5m Feb 7.4m Jan 7.48m

2015 Dec 7.50m Nov 7.71m Oct 9.68m Sep 9.55m Aug 10.40m Jul 10.14m Jun 9.50m May 9.50m Apr 9.00m Mar 8.5m Feb 7.4m Jan 7.48m

STRIKES Leo Varadkar’s call for a ban on air traffic control strikes was opposed by trade unions. CITYJET announced new pilot recruit-


CORKAirport won the ACI Airport of the year in the under 5m passenger’ category. Naples and Aiicante won the other categories.

BREXIT Willie Walsh told the IATA

AGM that he believes that there will be no disruption on flights between England and Europe due to Brexit.

QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce predicted the share price will keep rising as airline focuses on more cost cutting

u u



Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

DUBLIN airport handled a record num-

ber of passengers in a single day, 102,000 last Sunday June 18 2017. The airport has four days over 100,000 so far this year and the record is likely to be broken again in the coming weeks.

STOBARTAir’s new Dublin to London Southend Airport route under the Flybe brand with an Embraer 195 leased from Flybe will operate up to three flights per day, commencing October 29, part of a three-year growth strategy which includes a €25m investment, 60 new jobs and the addition of two new Embraer E195s jet aircraft to its fleet. Lead in fares start at €29.99 one way, including taxes and charges.

SHANNON Group’s International Aviation Services Centre and DCU Ryan Academy for

SHANNON Entrepreneurs are part-

nering with Boeing and Datalex to assist new start-up aviation and travel tech companies at Shannon.

HEATHROW Express partnered with British Airways to launch €15 ticket for British Airways’ day tripper passengers.

SHANNON Everest conqueror John

Burke and his wife Aoibhín led 2,000 runners and walkers at the Bank of Ireland Night Run at Shannon Airport.

NORWEGIAN n confirmed the first 737 MAX delivery date for June 29. Bjorn Kos said at Paris Air Show Norwegian’s partnerships would be in Paris Charles de Gaulle and Gatwick with Easyjet and in Ireland for Ryanair. He said he expected two hours would be plenty for transfer times. GECAS signed a commitment letter to create a US2bn global aircraft financing platform with CDPΩ. MALAYSIA Peter Bellew headed

Malaysia is nearing an A330Neo Deal. Peter Bellew said Malaysia Airlines are close to a deal for more widebody Airbus Aircraft .

SUKHOI Vladislav Masalov of Sukhoi

told Flight Global that CityJet’s use of the SuperJet is expected to stir interest among other carriers.

POWDAIR Nicholas Davis’s Sion

based virtual airline Powdair plans to apply for an Irish air operator’s certificate, operate using two wet-leased Embraer 170 and fly from Dublin to Sion for winter 2017-8.

AIR ASIA Tony Fernandes said in

Paris that AirAsia now has no intention of returning to London or even Europe (he had negotiated with Dublin airport in the past). We will stick to the 8 to 9 hours. Our focus will be Asia, with the odd route like Hawaii which is actually 8 hours from Japan. We let the full service guys fight it out over Europe. Many of them bleeding so much.

LEGAL Catherine Deane of McCann

FitzGerald was named Best in Aviation at the European Women in Business Law Awards.).

Lottery boarding is the new stampede boarding

Riddle of seat 33

Ryanair lottery boarding creates social media storm


yanair has defended its policy of seat allocation for passengers who do not buy assigned seats in the midst of a new media storm and allegations that the airline was keeping families apart. Ryanair recently adopted an alogarithm similar to that used by Wizz in allocating seating. Basic Row Order: 33, 20, 19, 22, 15, 24, 12, 26, 10, 28, 8, 30, 18, 21, 14, 23, 11, 25, 9, 27,

29, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 17, 16, 31, 32 Seats with no free seat next to them are always allocated first for solo travellers. If you booked a middle seat and are one the party the other two seats beside you will go right to the top of the queue. If you book two seats in a single row the remaining seat in your block of three would be put at the top of the queue

When Ryanair originally started assigned seating, (these conditions did not apply. Because people were being separated these caveats were put in place to make it less likely that children and parents would be separated. The new priority for solo travellers was single seats in 33, 20, 19, 22, 15, 24, 12, 26, 10, 28, 8, 30, 18, 21, 14, 23, 11, 25, 9, 27, 29, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 17, 16, 31, 32



t last it appears ,Alan Joyce is feeling the embrace of his adopted country. After being made a Companion of the Order of Australia, the highest level in the Order, for his services to “aviation and tourism, to gender equity, inclusion and

diversity, and to the community, particularly as a supporter of indigenous education” he was selected as the Australian nominee in the Queen of England’s birthday honours list announcement. Joyce was berated by Australian media in his rearly years of cutting

jobs, slicing routes, and postponing aircraft orders. After a record $2.8 billion loss in 2013/14, Qantas quickly recovered due to falling fuel costs and a major operational overhaul which the Tallaght-born aviator ovesaw. Alan Joyce



he Irish Aviation Authority also said that total air traffic handled through Irish airspace and at the main airports increased by 3pc (103, 191 movements) in

May 2017 compared to the same month in 2016. Since the start of the year it hss handled almost half a million flights. The Irish Aviation Authority publishes the State

Safety Plan 2017 – 2020 which it says contains safety actions to address key safety risks in aviation identified from the analysis of safety performance at national, European and

global levels. The Authority reported profits up 18.3pc to €39.5m on a turnover of €191.9m in 2016.

Last month in numbers

€30bn Estimated list price of aircraft bought by Ireland’s aviation induatry at Paris air show.

€1.316bn Ryanair’s year end profit. 11.8m Ryanair’s May passenegr numebrs, the

38th successive record month.

102,000 Number of passenegrs through

Dublin airport on Sunday June 18, a new record/

54,000 Number of Irish holiday home dwellers in Spain says Instituto Nacional de Estadística

77pc Air seats from Ireland on home carriers. 44pc Increase in number of Irish visits to Spain

in April 2017 over April 2016

19.5pc Increase in number of Irish visits to Portugal in April 2017 over April 2016





t was fifty years ago and it was already too late. In 1967, Gerald reckoned, tourism had already ruined the island of Corfu. Michael Haag focusses here on a five-year period when Louisa Durrell and her four children went to Corfu in 1935. It was a crucial time for all of them. “We had arrived,” Gerald wrote later, “at a place that was to be of enormous influence over all of us”. Gerald, at 10, was the youngest when the family arrived in Corfu. With brothers Leslie and Larry, sister Margo and their widowed mother, the Durrells lived a comically adventurous life in what was then an unspoiled backwater.

The Durrells of Corfu by Michael Haag is published by Profile

Louisa’s husband had died in their native India in 1928 and she and the children moved to England, but never settled. Corfu was a chance to regain a lost paradise. Gerald began his first menagerie here shortly after disembarking, and the book soon swarms with beetles, dragonflies and a four-legged chicken. The word “magical” recurs often and these pages conjure the sunlight on stone that entranced Gerald and his siblings. When Italy invaded Albania in

the spring of 1939, its ngry navy stationed two miles from Corfu, the Durrells left and never returned. The three houses they occupied are still private homes, a strawberry-pink villa that has been completely rebuilt and bears little resemblance to the original, a snow-white villa in nearby Cressida which can barely be seen through the foliage, and the daffodil-yellow villa where you can regain the sense of wonderment of the past.

Boardwalk in Kota Kinabalu at dusk and Bak Bak beach in Kudat

Busman’s holiday: Peter Bellew

Every month we ask a leading travel professional to write about their personal holiday experience. This month: Peter Bellew CEO of Malaysia Airlines.


go on my holidays in Kerry. I am from Meath but it is my spiritual home in Ireland.


In Asia the states of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo are quite incredible. There is walking, cycling, hiking, fishing, beaches amazing food, incredible music and a great welcome. That is the place I liked the most in Asia. I could pass on Bali and some of those

places. I could pass on Bali and some of those places. There is a coast that starts at the town of Kota Kinabalu and goes up from towards the Philippines. If you travel as far as a town called Kudat where more than half of the people are of Chinese origin. I will defy anyone to find me a place that has nicer beaches than there are at Kudat or better food or more amazing mix of everything that is going on. If


n the month that they commenced their Dublin to Doha service, life has been made tougher for Qatar’s national carrier. Donald Trump backed the decision of several Gulf states to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, which they accuse of being to close to largely Shia militancy. The sanctions closed airspace around the country meaning flights from Qatar must be rerouted, pushing upcosts.

The Trump administration’s ban on taking laptops into the cabins of several Middle Eastern carriers, including Qatar, is also likely to be hurting demand. What is behind this? America complaints about Middle East run hollow when you recall that, through a mixture of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and mergers, the USA contrived to minimise competition, in which the four biggest carriers control 80pc of the market, up from

48pc a decade ago. North American carriers made a combined profit of $16.5bn in 2016. Margins approach 20pc. This is bad for customers, and crretes conditions that European airlines can only dream of, as is ban on more than 25pc ownership and on overseas operators operating domestic routes. Qatar’s response is no surprise to those who know Akbar Al Baker, Qatar’s combative boss. Pass the popcorn.

you go to any small village in Malaysia the welcome is unreal and the food is great.l It is a place for hanging out too. Things don’t move too fast. People are quite happy to hang out with you for a cup of tea for two hours. Tourism is only starting in most of the countries too and particularly Malaysia. They have had some tourism for a long time but most of the country is still ripe for development.

IN YOUR NEXT TRAVEL EXTRA: Available to Travel Agents or online August 21 2017

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Inside the Travel Business

TIGS AGM outing in The Castle, spnsored

by Travel Extra, wil take place on novemebr 23rd. Previous winners of the items include gents: 2005 Tom Mulcahy 2006 Jimmy Lennox 2007 Bruce Crehan 2008-9 Jimmy Lennox, 2010 Con Horgan 2011-2 Louis O’Toole 2013 Martin Dempsey 2014 Tom Coade 2015 Gerry Headon 2016 Volker Lorenz ladies: 2008 Audrey Headon 2009 Niamh Byrne 2010 Lorraine Cunningham 2011 Rachel Treanor 2012 Ann Byrne 2013 Mary Stillman 2013 Tanya Airey 2015 Emer Farrell 2016 Tanya Airey. and Jet2holidays also celebrated four route anniversaries from Belfast, the 10th anniversary of its Majorca and Ibiza routes, and fifth anniversary of Alicante and Faro. The airport has handled 800,000 and Jet2holidays customers.

IF ONLY which is headed up in Ireland by Martin Penrose, announced a spectacular three fold expansion, creating 40 new jobs at its HQ in Milngavie just outside Glasgow, with several recruitment days planned over the coming weeks. Andy Freeth has been appointed as CEO and will join If Only in early December 2017. TOUR AMERICA

was presented with a chairman’s circle award at a pre-IPW event in the cathedral in Washington DC. Bookabed had a record turnout in Cork for their event co-hosted with Do Something Different, AA/BA and Seaworld, and one of the biggest in Ireland for a trade event. The event continued late into the early hours at famous travel industry hostelry Crane Lane where some of the oldest swingers in town were embedded in the heart of the action.

DELTA and Massachusetts hosted a group of agents in Boston to mark their new daily Dublin flight. Pictures shows Teresa Murphy of Delta, Edel Shanahan of American Holidays, Andrea Dixon of Cassidy Travel, Patricia Purdue Massachusetts Tourism, Sue Morrell, Rachel Fitzgerald of American Sky, front row Carla Kidd of Trailfinders and Diane Bowman of Travel Counsellors. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. AER LINGUS and Universal hosted agents in Orlando at Universal’s new onsite hotel Sapphire Falls Resort. Aer Lingus has increased their service to Orlando to 4w. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

ANDALUSIA and the Spanish Tour-

ist Board hosted travel agents and media for a Flamenco evening in Trinity College. Picture shows Teresa Gancedo and Antonio Martin. Peter McMinn’s Balkan Ski have expanded their capacity to Pamporovo and Borovets in Bulgaria and Poiana Brasov in Romania with direct flights from Dublin to Sofia and a separate programme from Belfast to Plovdiv.


Bloomington, Minnesota is promoting special offers through the trade to celebrate their 25th Anniversary.

Volker Lorenz: Negotiated with IAG on behalf of Amadeus

Volker departs

Amadeus and Lufthansa chief will stay in Ireland


olker Lorenz will remain in Ireland after deciding to leave his position as Amadeus chief in Dublin to look for a new challenge after what he describes as “12 very successful years with Amadeus.” “I have recently been involved in the IAG Negotiations for Amadeus and this project has now ended, so

it is a good time to look for a new venture. “After 23 years in Ireland I have no plans to move anywhere. For the summer he will be taking a bit of time off and will enjoy various beaches and pools around Europe. Volker grew up near Stuttgart and became hooked on Ireland after encountering Irish fans at Euro 88.

After joining Lufthansa in global contact centre management he became MD for the main European call centre for Lufthansa located in East Point in Dublin. He joined Amadeus in May 2005, and among his big projects was the launch of m-Power on top of the day job.



he Commission for Aviation Regulation recently met the Irish Travel Agents Association on reform of the travel agents bonding scheme. The meeting was part of the consultation process for reform of the licensing and bond-

ing scheme for Travel Agents, who currently bond 4pc of turnover, and tour operators, who bond 10pc. The ITAA is asking licensees to join their lobby to change a system that was brought in, as CEO Pat Dawson says, to repatriate passengers stranded in the

event of a tour operator failure in a pre-internet, pre credit card age. The ITAA wants a 50 cent charge on all departing passengers to replace the current bonding system, which cost agents between €3 and €5 a passenger. Commissioner Cathy Mannion



AG’s proposed €9.50 distribution charge on GDS bookings will not apply to Aer Lingus (Irish agents cannot book Aer Lingus on GDS short haul). The charge takes effect on November 1. Ukraine International Airlines quietly joined BA

and Lufthansa in adding a $9 fee per segment for GDS bookings. The charge raises once more the controversy over IATAs own distribution system, NDC. BTC Chairman Kevin Mitchell. commented that “those who witnessed the launch of

NDC in 2013 by the International Air Transport Association will recall vividly that the multiple airlines that are the controlling members of IATA designed NDC as a tool to defeat fare transparency.” A 100-page report on Amadeus by Credit Suisse

analyst Neil Glynn predicted other airlines, such as Air France-KLM will follow Lufthansa and IAG in attempting to disintermediate GDSs. Amadeus shares took a hit after the BA announcement, dropping 4.5pc.



Inside the Travel Business

GLOBAL VILLAGE ABTA English based travel trade organisation urged the Westminster government to close a legal loophole which allows bogus food poisoning claims against all inclusive resorts by holiday makers, which could lead to a ban on English holiday makers. TUI recorded 15 times more illness claims in 2016 than in previous years. TRAVEL SOLUTIONS Peter McMinn’s Travel Solutions is increasing its charter service from Belfast to Bourgas for summer 2018.

Celina Tavares of Visit Portugal, Maureen Ledwith of Business Exhibitions, and Teresa Gancedo of the Spanish Tourist Board at the Irish Travel Industry Trade Show in the Royal Dublin Society

Trade show No 4

Travel industry show date set for RDS on April 12


hursday, April 12, 2018, is the date for the fourth Irish Travel Industry Trade Show, which returns to Hall 3 of RDS Main Hall Complex again next year – with a second travel trade show potentially scheduled for Cork the following day. The one-day event is organised on behalf of the ITAA by Business Exhibitions Limited and offers agents and tour operators an opportunity to network with fellow professionals. The show will be open to members of the Irish trade from 2pm to 7pm and will again include a sponsored lunch for agents, meeting rooms for

travel agent buying groups and a postevent barbecue with entertainment. Maureen Ledwith, Director of Business Exhibitions and organiser of the show, said: “This year’s show was the biggest travel trade show ever held in Ireland with over 140 exhibitors. The RDS offered top of the range facilities and the opportunity for the show to expand so it was the number one choice for 2018. We are looking forward to an even bigger and better show next year, with more exhibitors, plenty of prizes and an evening of fun entertainment.” Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA,

said: “We’re very excited to be working with Business Exhibitions again to present the fourth annual Irish Travel Industry Trade Show. This show offers travel professionals an unrivalled opportunity to engage with the Irish travel trade at all levels, from owners and managers to frontline staff. “As the demand for this type of trade show continues to grow, we are looking to the future and considering other possible locations for a sister show such as Cork. We would like to offer the travel trade in other regions the chance to meet with vital suppliers on their doorstep.”



the third to olene Van der Merwe, two Gauteng and country dirLimpopo and ector for South Afriother tertiary destinations. can Tourism Ireland “Apart from & Britain, came to Dublin to talk about training we her plans to ramp up Tolene Van will do in the South Africa activities der Merwe office, travel agents will be in the Irish market with a heavy emphasis on able to go to South Africa to do the main wine route agents. The new SA specialist and garden route and then training programme is de- a game lodge,” said Tolsigned to bring key travel ene. “It is normally a twoagents on fam trips to SA week itinerary but I don’t think we can spare you out over three years. The first is designed to of the office for two weeks. the entry level destina“To qualify, agents tions of Cape Town, gar- will accept us into the ofden route and game lodge, fice for the first round of the second to KZN and the training, do a training

course, do some bookings for South Africa or incentivise clients. We will pinpoint that and ask agents to contact us if they need any support.” “We will randomly select agents for the first round of trips. Agents will then go out and experience South Africa for themselves. “We will continue training, help you with bookings and be there as your support with natural, with creative and in year two the agents which went out in year one will do a second-time visitor area, KZN or Limpopo. “We will then come

back and continue working with you as an agent, even if you move to a different agency. We will continue working with you, developing you to become a specialist, and in the third year we will bring you out to a third area, Gauteng, out to Kruger or Limpopo. “We will look at an area that is selling significantly and will consider taking you out and exploring that area from a product perspective and do that in depth,” said Tolene. “We are there at your beck and call for training, and to answer any questions. We will have a dedicated trainer on the road.”

CORK EVENT Paula Coughlan from Dawson Travel was prize winner at the Insight Vacations Cork Evening in conjunction with the Spanish Tourism Office. She won a 10-day Insight Vacations premium escorted tour to Northern Spain including flights courtesy of the Spanish Tourism Office.

VISIT USA Gillian Young is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Visit USA Committee in Ireland. Gillian brings with her a wealth of experience having worked in the travel industry for over 27 years and specialising in the US market for 23 years with American Holidays. Gillian says, “I am looking forward to meeting and supporting all the Visit USA members and travel trade and continue to actively promote the USA in Ireland.”

WORLDCHOICE Ireland will host a four night fam trip together with Kelair Campotel, Irish Ferries and Aer Lingus from May 27th to 31st. To be in with a chance of winning a place on the trip, Worldchoice agents can make a new KelAir Campotel booking between April 1st and May 5th inclusive. The fam was announced by Carol Anne O’Neill, Commercial Manager of Worldchoice Ireland.

SOUTH AFRICA Nina Farrimond, Manager Trade Relations from South African Tourism, Anne O’Sullivan from Travel Focus and Audrey Headon from Headon Representation, hosted 32 agents from the West of Ireland at a training session held in the Galway Bay Hotel. Nina told delegates that Irish tourism to South Africa in 2016 was up 18.3pc to 30,545. CATHERINE Grennell-Whyte’s

ATTS no longer represent Affordable Car Hire in Ireland by amicable agreement. Queries should go direct to Angela Day’s Affordable Car Hire team in England on +44766801164.

TRAVELPORT appointed Julian Eccles as new VP communications.

AMADEUS golf and spa day, a highlight of the travel trade calendar, takes place at Knightsbrook in Trim on September 21, a week after the TIGS outing to Headfort. SHANNON became headline sponsor

for the seven-member Travel Partners Group.

ALTOUR and HRS signed a deal to give corporate hotel programmes gain access to competitive rates at business-grade hotels

TUI completed the sale of Travelopia for €369m.

u u



Out and about with the Travel Trade

Lisa McAuley, Catherine Monaghan, Fionnuala d Shannon Connolly and Maureen McAuley of FCM at the an vel Tra in alk nd Clo Jim McGonigle of AF/FL/KLM summer BBQ S@the K Club O’Dowd of Etihad at TIG

Irene Onorati, Cristiane Pilato of Club Travel at Tormey and Federica Di the AF/FL/KLM summe BBQ r

Ciara Kilpatrick and Lisa Coady of Classic Resorts at the AF/FL/KLM summer BBQ

pical Sky and Colleen Dave Hennessy of Tro graphed at IPW 2017 in Lorraine Lawless, Nadine Farrelly and Jeanette oto Coughlan of Travel Counsellors on board Silver Butler of Bookabed ph Whisper in Dublin, Washington DC

Rosemary Chawke an d Travel Counsellors Ire Sinead Lonergan at the land mini-conference in Dunboyne

Edel Shanahan of Am eri Murphy of Delta and Dia can Holidays, Teresa Counsellors boosting ne Bowman of Travel it for Boston

m Airways and Ivan Beaco Keith Chuter of British in Washington DC of Aer Lingus IPW 2017

Hellen O’Flaherty and No Travel Centre at the AF rma Tolefe of World /FL/KLM summer BBQ

Lukas Vock and Jenny Pearson of World Travel Centre and Mrtina at the AF/FL/KLM summer BBQ

vel on Armstrong at the Tra Roger Barrett and Sim ce ren nfe i-co Counsellors Ireland min

ve at Martina Vojtekova and Lynda Costello of World ne Onorati of Club Tra Travel Centre at the AF/FL/KLM summer BBQ Adriana Boros and Ire BBQ r the AF/FL/KLM summe

Linda Dougal amd Joh n Travel at TIGS@the K Galligan of John Galligan Club

Eileen Penrose of APG Airline Business, Corm O’Connell of Dublin Air ac port and Alan Daniels of APG at TIGS@the K Clu b

Shane McEntee, Sabrina Vonsowski, Sol Vonsowski and Jason McGinley of Club Travel at the AF/FL/KLM summer BBQ

gus and Veronica Flood Ivan Beacom of Aer Lin 2017 in Washington DC of Tour America at IPW


Out and about with the Travel Trade


Liz Wright, Veronica Flo Edel Redmond of Dubliin Airport. Siobhan Tour America, Dee od and Linda Ryan of John Devereux of SHGI/ lidays &Visit USA Ireland Scanlon of Delta/AF/KLM and Michelle Reilly of Tour America at the Nationals Ball Park du Ho ring Burdock of American IPW 20 17 17 20 Dublin Airport at the AF/FL/KLM summer BBQ in Washington DC antic at IPW Holly Best of Virgin Atl

Olesea Ceciltan, Alina Tir of Club Travel at the AF ceag and Violeta Ionita /FL/KLM summer BBQ

na Travel Centre with An Sonya Walsh of World nch of Bookabed at the Cli kie Jac Naughton and Q AF/FL/KLM summer BB

Sharon Harney, Rache l of Cassidy Travel on bo Goss and Louise Kenna ard Silver Whisper in Dublin,

Karen Morgan Murphy of Travel Counsellors and hala Kinska of Atlas Jennifer O’Brien of Travel Counsellors on board Barry O’Connor and Mic M summer BBQ Silver Whisper in Dublin, Travel at the AF/FL/KL

Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus and John Devereux of Jean Claffey and Mu iriosa Griffin of Joe Wa SHGI/Tour America photographed at IPW 2017 in Tours at the AF/FL lsh /KLM summer BBQ Washington DC

Linda Ryan and Liz Wright of Tour America at IPW 2017 in Washington DC

c an McCarthy of Classi Mark Maslowiec and Se M summer BBQ Resorts at the AF/FL/KL

ght Peter Cullen and Bettina Haltmayer of Clickandgo Gillian Young of Visit USA and Vanessa athan Howitt from Topfli Holoh of Club Travel at IPW at the AF/FL/KLM summer BBQ Shauna Kelly and Jon in Dublin, 2017 in Washington DC an er isp Wh ver Sil ard bo on

Tanya Airey of Sunway and Niamh Byrne at TIGS@the K Club

Eoin Walsh and Karen Pugh at the Travel Counsellors Ireland mini-conference in Dunboyne

irdre Gunn of American Terry Sheehan and De M summer BBQ /KL Holidays at the AF/FL



Out and about with the Travel Trade

an Jenny Rafter of Aer Lingus with Linda Ryan, Ver- Colleen Butler bliin Airport and Siobh and Bever Edel O’Donovan of Du Delta, KLM at the AF/FL/ onica Flood and Liz Wright of Tour America at and IPW 2017 in Washi leigh Fly of Bookabed , ngton DC Svcalnon of Air France IPW 2017 in Washington KLM summer BBQ

Jenny Rafter and Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus IPW 2017 in Washing at ton DC

n Skinner and Mary Martin Hannigan, Kriste ys at the AF/FL/KLM lida Ho can eri Oman of Am summer BBQ

Glenda Dwyer and Bre nd America at the AF/FL/KL a Clarke of Tour M summer BBQ

Crona Gilvarry of Atlas Travel and Diane Bowman of Travel Counsellors at the AF/FL/KLM summer BBQ

Lisa Doorley and Amy Henderson of Tour Amer- Ross O’Brien and Alice Carrick of Tour America at the AF/FL/KLM sum ica at the AF/FL/KLM summer BBQ mer BBQ

Siobhan Murphy, Sarah Duncan and Mary Mcand David sey, Dajana Szekeres Govern of Atlas Travel at the AF/FL/KLM summer Katherine Demp vel at the AF/FL/KLM summer Yeates of USIT Tra BBQ BBQ

a Aileen Martin Sales Director Hastings Hotels & can Holidays and Teres Conor Wall Manager CIE Tours Internatona at Terry Sheehan of Ameri M at the AF/FL/KLM the Hastings Hotels announcement Murphy of Air France/KL summer BBQ

Liz Wright, LInda Ryan an Tour America photogra d Veronica Flood of phed at IPW 2017 in Washington DC

McAnaspie and Emer Karen Whyte, Rachel lidays at the AF/FL/KLM Thomas of American Ho summer BBQ

Yvonne Lennox of WTC and Karen Maloney of Etihad during the TIGS President’s Day outing to the K Club in Straffan,

Aoife O’Brien and Earna n at the AF/FL/KLM sum Kelly of Tour America mer BBQ

pical Sky and Gillian Dave Hennessy of Tro graphed at IPW 2017 in oto Young of Visit USA ph Washington DC

RDS Hall 3, Ballsbridge

Presented by




• Airlines

• International Hotels/Resorts

• Airports

• Insurance

• Attraction Tickets

• Media

• Bed Banks

• National/Regional Tourist Organisations

• Car Rental • Cruise Companies • Ferries • Financial Services including Credit Cards

• Technology and Communications Companies • Theme & Leisure Parks • Ticketing Agents

• Golf Resorts and Related Services

• Trade Associations

• Ground Handling

• Tour Operators

An initiative of the ITAA supported by Travel Centres, Worldchoice and Travelsavers

Travel Agent Proprietors, Managers and Frontline Travel Professionals.

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


• Travel Agents

• Health Resorts & Spas





RDS Hall 3 Anglesea Road Ballsbridge Dublin DO4 AK83 Ireland t. +353 (0)1 668 0866 w.

Thursday 12th April 2018 2.00pm – 7.00pm

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

Maureen Ledwith - Sales Director t: +353 (0)1 291 3700 e: Paulette Moran - Sales Manager t: +353 (0)1 291 3702 e: 112200 TRADE SHOW APRIL 2018_V1.indd 1

5/8/17 2:57 PM


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For more info log on to:

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EXHIBIT! 110960 HOLIDAY WORLD SHOW FP AD_April17_V3.indd 1

Maureen Ledwith - Sales Director

Paulette Moran - Sales Manager

t: +353 (0)1 291 3700

t: +353 (0)1 291 3702



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