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CRUISE PRICES AND OPTIONS 2014 WHICH SHIP SUITS YOU? CANARIES THE NEW CARIBBEAN

Munich Oktoberfest

Aer Lingus moves terminal

Caribbean

R U YO

e d a r T ER P PA

IRELAND'S PREMIER SOURCE OF TRAVEL INFORMATION

Free

NOVEMBER 2013

VOLUME 17 NUMBER 10

Oceans 14 Clear waters ahead for the cruise market


page 002 15/10/2013 14:01 Page 1

e c n e i r e p x E rt o p r i A k r o C e ’s th

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Cork Airport

ranked e v a h s r e g n passe

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n globally io t c a f is t a s r for custome n globally io t c a f is t a s r stome for leisure cu ion globally t c a f is t a s r e custom for business

#1 #1 #1

fly to over

destinations

We are honoured to be ranked the world’s best airport for service in the Airport Service Quality Regional Survey, carried out globally on behalf of Airports Council International (ACI). Thank you for choosing Cork Airport.

Visit corkairport.com


Page 003 News 15/10/2013 18:42 Page 1

NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 3

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T

NEWS

Boat show ahoy Boat show to join Holiday World in January

he Boat Show, last staged in 2009 will return to Dublin in January as part of a two in one special with Holiday World 2014. The event, with 40 exhibitors drawn from leading Irish suppliers and tourism companies, will fill one of the halls of the RDS Simmonscourt in conjunction with the Holiday World show on the weekend of January 24-26, 2014. Holiday World show attracts 50,000 visitors over three days and the attendance for the 2013 event was up 16pc over the three days. Final day figures were up 20pc, following increases of 12pc on Friday and 11pc on Saturday. The value of bookings made at the show was up considerably on 2012.

T I

It is not clear when the move will

PORTAVENTURA launched this MONUMENTS The World Monu-

ments Fund released a list of monuments that it considers to be under threat. Cruise ships were blamed for putting Venice on the list alongside Timbuktu and monuments in war torn Syria.

IMMA at the Royal Hospital reopened this weekend with a retrospective of the work of Eileen Gray, having been closed since 2011 for major refurbishment works. PASSPORT A survey by Henley

Global showed that Ireland is the 11th (joint with seven other countries) most advantageous passport to have for visa-free travel on the planet. We can visit 170 of the 219 countries in the world without obtaining a visa. Finland, Sweden and England are top with 173,

The boat show returns in 2014

GROUPLEADER Travel Depart-

Tour operators Falcon Holidays and Thomas Cook share the charter. The Belfast charter continues as it has without interruption to the service under Westminster's advisory which still exempts the Red Sea resorts from its "don't travel” advice. German, Czech, Belgian and Dutch holidaymakers have also been given the green light to return to Egypt’s

Red Sea resorts by their country’s governments. The turmoil in Egypt has once again hit package holidays to the Red Sea, TUI Travel warned. Egypt has hired the London based Rooster PR to encourage tourists to return after a difficult period for the holiday industry.

INDIA BRINGS IN VISA ON ARRIVAL ndia is to introduce visa on arrival to Ireland.

board meals for the family at Disneyland Paris hotels and savings of up to 20pc on hotel and park tickets.

year’s Halloween season with the new REC Experience, an attraction/show that brings to life some of the best moments of the terror series’ three movies.

SHARM FLIGHTS IN JANUARY

he weekly Wednesday flight from Dublin to Sharm El Sheikh will resume after the DFA changed their travel advisory last month to say it is now safe to travel to the Red Sea resorts. Lead in prices to Sharm El Sheikh for December 26th start from €799pp for seven nights’ all inclusive.

DISNEYLAND Paris offered half

be implemented but the process has begun to extend a visa on arrival system, trialled with countries such as Finland and New Zealand, to 40 other

countries. In the meantime the current clunky visa system will remain. Tourist visas cost €52.

ment and Clickandgo founder Bob Haugh is to launch a new product, Groupleader at WTM next month.

BUSINESS TRAVEL Harry

Segal of Mintel claimed that just a quarter of business travellers are fully reimbursed for business trips.

KENYA criticised the United States for issuing a warning over travel following the AlShabaab attack on Westgate mall.

READER’S DIGEST named Helsinki is the world’s most honest city. TEL AVIV is offering free WiFi to

tourists at many of its most popular attractions.

USA A Consensus Research Group poll of 1,200 overseas travellers to the US found that 44pc would not visit again in the next five years because of the hostile entry process.

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Page 004 Knowledge 16/10/2013 10:00 Page 1

NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 4

THE KNOWLEDGE Travel Extra Advertising & Subscriptions 6 Sandyford Office Park Dublin 18 (+3531) 2913708 Fax (+3531) 2957417 Editorial Office Clownings Straffan Co Kildare Managing Editor: Gerry O’Hare gerry@travelextra.ie Editor: Eoghan Corry eoghan.corry@ travelextra.ie Publisher: Edmund Hourican Sales Director: Maureen Ledwith maureen@bizex.ie Accounts and Advertising: Maria Sinnott maria@bizex.ie Picture Editor: Charlie Collins pix@travelextra.ie Chief Subeditor: Ida Milne ida@travelextra.ie Chief Features Writer: Anne Cadwallader anne@travelextra.ie Contributors : Eanna Brophy eanna@travelextra.ie Marie Carberry marie@travelextra.ie Carmel Higgins carmel@travelextra.ie Cauvery Madhavan cauvery@travelextra.ie Sean Mannion sean@grafacai.ie Ida Milne ida@travelextra.ie Catherine Murphy cathmurph@yahoo.com Cleo Murphy cleo@travelextra.ie

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

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

CONTENTS

www.travelextra.info

6 Hotels October prices 8 Postcards: News from the trade

10 Bistol & Bath: Short breaks 14 Dom Republic: beyond buffets 22-26 Cruise: Winter cruise special 26 Afloat: Steel cutting in France

28 Flying: Aer Lingus installs wifi 33 ITAA: Cadiz or Jerez next year? 34 Global Village Inside the travel industry 36 Pictures: Out and about

M

Selling a cruise break

any Irish people have either never considered a holiday at sea or have thought about it and dismissed the idea. It is up to agents to suggest a cruise when a customer asks about a destination. Choosing the right cruise is down to identifying needs. There is a high repeat business. In a nutshell, cruising is as relaxing as you like or as active as you want - the scenery changes and you only unpack once, as they say don't knock it until you've tried it.

BUDGET It is all

about budget. This needs to be established at the very beginning of the conversation along with finding out their expectations of the trip. Spend time on expectations before you offer advice. If in doubt, sell from the top down. As Larry Pimentel, CEO of Azamara says, ‘your customers will soon tell you if that is not their budget.”

EMPHASISE.

value and price. Show just how much prices of traditional cruises are dropping. There is lots of information elsewhere on this, but it is important to stress the per-day cost all inclusive which works out at €50 on Caribbean cruises.

CHANGE their

thinking. Common preconceptions about cruise may be turning some clients off, that cruising is for older travellers, that you spend all your time on the ship, that sea-sickness is an issue, and most of all that

a river cruise or an extension to a cruise for a different experience. River cruises are raising standards quietly and quickly, in Europe and on the Nile.

DUTY FREE Drinks packages are all the rage

cruising is expensive.

LUXURY Sell the dream. Point out all the luxury options for special occasions such as anniversaries. On all of the newer ships in the past 10-15 years, there is no such thing as steerage. All staterooms are well appointed, well above water, and have all the mod cons of 4 and 5 star hotels.

DRINKS packages are all the rage. The top end ships include drinks in their all inclusive prices but most lines do pre-paid packages. A typical all round package with Celebrity Cruises is from $39 per day (all soft drinks, smoothies, speciality coffees, wines, beers and cocktails. MSC’s Allegrissimo package costs €23pp per day (5pc commissionable to the agent) allowing unlimited beer, wine, cocktails, spirits, ice cream, tea coffees etc. REPEAT Encour-

age your customers to discuss their next cruise with the 'future cruise consultant' on board there are lots of extras and you can come back to your travel professional to discuss adding on flights/hotels/tours afterwards. Loyalty cards

with some cruise lines entitle the client to 5pc off the next cruise booked with Travel Agent.

clarified as customers think cruise prices are so good. They think there may be a catch, usually this is not the case.

SWITCH SELL: CHILDREN

Agents don’t get many clients walking through the door with a cruise brochure so they have to try to switch-sell. If clients want a city break, suggest a mini cruise. Cruising is the easy way to see the Caribbean in one holiday, visiting 10 islands in two weeks for instance.Check the price of a land based all inclusive or full board week holiday and then price a cruise. You will be pleasantly surprised.

LINK consecutive

cruises: tag one cruise onto another to see more especially in Asia.

STANDARD

Full board is part of the value attraction but point out how high the standard and variety is. There are speciality restaurants on the bigger ships and some cruise lines are seeking Michelin stars for the chefs. Accommodation onboard is all mod cons with lots of options up to the suites with hot tubs, pianos etc.

ONBOARD

spend items need to be

Point out how child friendly many cruiselines are with kids clubs, facilities, babysitting, menus, dedicated pool areas, and Dreamworks characters. Some cruise lines offer allow 18 year olds cruise for free.

FEARS about sea

sickness can be assuaged by telling them modern ships are well stabilised but if you are concerned choose a big ship and a cabin on a lower deck in the centre of the ship. you can reassure them that safety onboard is of the highest standard, you are surrounded by like minded people, it is ideal for teenagers.

TIPPING most cruise companies now allow you to pre book them or include them in prices, be sure to tell clients about these so no surprises at end of week if they haven’t pre paid. KEEP them up to

date with new facilities, new ships, new routes, and direct pick ups from Ireland. Establish an ongoing relationship.

VARIETY Suggest

Point out the duty free shopping available onboard many ships.

SHORE Cruises try to allow passengers as much time ashore as possible, sailing at night and waking up in a new port. Warn that shore excursions can be expensive (although many cruise lines are offering these as commissionable extras) and that they can explore on their own. SUGGEST un-

usual destinations. The big cruise lines are going to Asia, Africa and Australia. Try Hurtigruten for Antarctica and Star Cruises for Asia.

CRUISE/STAY

Several cruise lines offer land stays pre and post cruise. For those not sure they will like a holiday at sea, it could be the clincher.

GET proper training.

You will sell more effectively if you know what you're talking about. Detailed knowledge will help you identify the right cruise for each customer. Training webinars where you don’t have to leave the office are more popular. Become a member of CLIA - www.cruiseexperts.org and join their database, attend ships visits etc as part of their training. And read the monthly cruise pages in Travel Extra.


page 005 15/10/2013 14:01 Page 1

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Page 006 Hotels 16/10/2013 09:57 Page 1

NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 6

www.travelextra.info

HOTELS

BURLINGTON hotel has formally changed its name to DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin - Burlington Road and is scheduled to open in the spring following renovation work. Doubletree is introducing a dedicated floor featuring 18 conference suites and meeting rooms, each capable of holding 100 delegates. The Morrison, another DoubleTree by Hilton hotel has already opened on Ormond Quay. DOYLE Collection hotel group recorded

a total profit of €65.48m for the year 2012. This arose from a surplus on revaluation of the group’s hotels of €80.2m. Revenues jumped by 13.5pc to €126.5m. Doyle Collection operates the Westbury and Croke Park hotels in Dublin and the River Lee Hotel in Cork along with four hotels in the UK and the Dupont Circle hotel in Washington DC.The group disposed The Back Bay Hotel in Boston, The Courtyard by Marriott and the Normandy Hotel in Washington DC.

TWO new hotel brands have launched,

Clermonts and NYLOs.

BREAFFY House Resort in Castlebar, Co Mayo is for sale with a guide price of €2.9m. Dublin's Hilton Hotel went on sale with a guide price of €22m. Two hotels are up for sale in Limerick CBRE quoting €3m for the three-star, 151-bedroom Jurys Inn, DTZ Sherry FitzGerald quoting €4m for the 154bedroom Radisson Blu Hotel on the LimerickShannon Road. KILLARNEY Hotels Ltd which oper-

ates the five-star The Europe Hotel & Resort and the five-star, 102-bedroom Dunloe Castle Hotel, along with the four-star Hotel Ard na Sidhe recorded pre-tax losses of €36.97m after writing down its property by €28m.

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

searches for Kilkenny hotels are up 436pc in Ireland and 410pc in England after two restaurants in the county won Michelin star status. The Michelin Star restaurant list for 2013 included two newcomers. Garrett Byrne’s Campagne in Kilkenny and Ken Harker’s Lady Helen in Mount Juliet are additions to Ireland’s now nine Michelin Star restaurants: Aniar House in Galway (where Ultan Cooke replaced Enda McEvoy this year), Oliver Dunne’s Bon Appétit in Malahide, Adriaan Bartels and Martijn Kajuiter’s Cliff House in Ardmore and four in Dublin Patrick Guilbaud (2 stars), Ross Lewis and Martin Corbett’s Chapter One, SallyAnn and Derry Clarke’s L’Ecrivain and Kevin Thornton’s. Another 11 restaurants in Ireland appear in its Bib Gourmands section: Deasy’s in Co Cork; Sha Roe Bistro in Co Carlow; Chart House, Co Kerry; Courthouse, Co Monaghan; Aldridge Lodge, Co Wexford; Fishy Fishy Cafe, Co Cork, the Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, and four in Dublin: Pig’s Ear, Pichet, Downstairs and Brasserie at Bon Appétit.

Venice tops the hotel price list for October

Downtown down

O

Hotel prices drop in ‘month of the citybreak’

ctober is renowned for the city break. After increasing in September, European hotel prices have fallen by an average of 5pc. Based on the 50 most popular European destinations on trivago, one night in October will cost an average of €122, compared to €129 in September. Venice, Europe’s most expensive city this month, will cost double that,

Venice

€252 Geneva

€231 Paris

€214 Munich

€212 London

€208 Amsterdam

€200 Paris

€198 Milan

€186 Stockholm

€181

€252.

The most significant decreases can be found in Nice (down an average of 25pc to €111 per night), Amsterdam (down 20pc to €161 per night) and Milan (down 18pc to €152 per night). After increasing dramatically for Oktoberfest, hotel prices have fallen by an average of 18pc in Munich to €174 per night. Irish hotel prices have also dropped by an average of 5pc, from €103 per night in September to €98 in Octo-

ber. Greek destinations present the best value for money for October sun. One night on the North Aegean Islands will cost an average of just €53 and one night on Crete will cost an average of €70. Following these are Portugal’s Algarve at an average of €75 per night and Spain’s Andalusia at €79 per night. The best value found in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia (average of €66.

EUROPEAN HOTEL PRICE INDEX €175 €148 €116 €101 €94 Florence Munich

€174 Oslo Stockholm

€171 Oslo

€166 Florence

€164 Amsterdam

€161 Milan Cologne

€152

Copenhagen

€149

Barcelona Frankfurt

€145

Edinburgh

€134 Cannes

€133 Istanbul Vienna

€129 Brussels

€128 Manchester

€123 Hamburg

€119

Lyon

Donegal

€113 Marseilles

€112 Nice

€111 Brighton Dublin Prague

€108

Turin

€106 Belfast Killarney

€103 Galway

€102

Lisbon

Glagow

€99

Cork Kilkenny

€99

Liverpool

€98

Kilkenny

€97 Cork

€96 Bilbao Msdrid

€95

Sligo Toulouse Tralee

Limerick

€92 Sligo

€91

Derry Leipzig Sevilla

€89

Tralee

€88 Sligo

€83 Budapest

€81

Malaga

€80

Garnada

€77

Warsaw

€76

Bucharest

€75

Valencia

€75 Riga

€72

Zaragosa

€68 Sofia

€66

Source: Trivago.oe


page 007 15/10/2013 14:08 Page 1

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Page 008 - 009 Postcard 16/10/2013 10:10 Page 1

NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 8

POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE

H

ello my people: Clare Dunne’s closing address to conference as president of the Irish Travel Agents Association took place in the plush surroundings of the Carmen de Los Martires, a beautiful 19th century house and ornamental grounds just to the right of the Alhambra palace. The other speakers at the event included Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Gonzalo Ceballos, Raul Garcia, and An-

A

madeus hosted their biggest golf day for the travel trade to date at the Heritage in Kil-

lenard. The event is one of the highlights of the calendar for the travel trade and this year, 14 teams and 56 golfers (up from 48 last year), with some spa guests as well. There was some discussion about extending the event further next year. It was noted that the attendance in-

U

nited Airlines celebrated 15 years in Ireland at a function in Dublin. Three of the original team there, Pat Reede herself, Brian Hughes and Kevin Power who now works with Servisair. They held an American themed evening, with music by Spring Break, dining on cocktails, mini-burgers and hotdogs. There was a large crowd of agents and airline staff.

tonio Martin-Machuca whose initiative it was to bring the conference to Granada. The conference had an attendance of 160, half of them agents, and arrests a decline in attendance that has been continuous since the mid-1990s. It was followed by a Flamenco dance and a return to the eighth floor bar of the Hotel del Carmen where delegates tried to remember if there had been a more efficiently organised conference.

cluded two ex Galileo managers Shay Mitchell and Dave Walsh, then Irish country manager of Etihad but due to move to run the Etihad operation in Malaysia on November 1st. As for the golf, overall winners were Yvonne Lennox and Jonathan Adair, succeeding cousins Mary and Stephen McKenna. Picture shows the Amadeus team of Trish O'Leary, Volker Lorenz and Olwen McKinney

Pat thanked all the partners, Servisair, the catering company, and all the support teams and noted the continued growth of the airline on the Irish market in that time, culminating in the last of the Washington flight last year and the Chicago route this year, and suggested that more new routes may also happen. Pat also sent her warmest wishes to Yvonne Muldoon, who was at home with her new baby, Claudia.

I

rish Tour Operators Federation and Irish Travel Agents Association delegates were hosted by the Spanish Tourist Board in Majorca, The Spanish Tourist Board initiative, ] resulted in the setting up of FOST, Friends and Operators for Spanish Tourism. Chaired by Con Horgan, it will bring together tour operators and agents who dynamically package travel to Spain.

T

opflight completed their move the third to the fifth floor of Jervis House. The Topflight Travel Group, made up of Ski, European and Worldwide brands consolidated their .offices in Chichester in the UK, Landry in France and two corporate offices in Dublin. Tony Collins said “In May of this year we made a strategic decision to bring the Irish based teams together under one

L

owcost Beds brough agents on a fam trip to Costa Blanca in Spain: Clem Walshe says that business is 45pc up on last year and that 26pc more agents had signed up to his DP business. “I would urge Irish agents to take a look at their DP offering and ask how we can help them. Ttechnology is expensive . We aggregate the cost out among 36,000 of you.”

Pictured in Palma castle: Ray Scully of Crystal, Helen Caron of Falcon Holidays, John Devereux of American Holidays President of ITOF, Philip Airey of Sunway, Gonzalo Ceballos of the Spanish Tourist Board, Clare Dunne of Travelbroker, President of the ITAA, Con Horgan of Abbey Travel ex-president of the ITAA who will chair the new Friends and Operators of Spanish Tourism.

roof so as to gain synergies and drive growth as we come out of recession. I am delighted to announce that in record time we turned the penthouse floor in Jervis House, in the centre of Dublin City, from a drab Government office into a wonderful working environment.” Tony wished the best to Martin Penrose who is going to Scottish travel company ifonly.net and Brian McCarthy who also left the company for pastures new.

Lowcost has increased its reach from 13,000 to 36,000 travel agents. Pictured: Suzanne Furlong of JustSplit.com, Brenda Quirke of Cassidy Travel, Borja Bedoya of the Spanish Tourist office, Grainne Caffrey of lowcostbeds.com, Aisling Crowe of Bowe Travel, Sarah Slattery of Skytours, Andrea Dixon of Cassidy Travel, Jean Cusack of Icon Travel and Emma Kilkelly of Kilkelly Travel.


Page 008 - 009 Postcard 16/10/2013 10:10 Page 2

NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 9

POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE

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lue Insurances celebrated their tenth birthday in style at the Guinness Storehouse. The turnover of the company has risen from just over €15m to just under €19m with a further increase in both turnover and profit for 2013. They now employ 32 people in their Blanchardstown offices and staffing will increase to 50. Ciaran Mulligan recently announced that he was buying out his

W

hile the golfers went away to play at Golf courses were Son Antem and Benidat at the ITOF/ITAA meeting in Palma, there were ropes to climb. Falcon Holidays CEO Helen Caron hosted Clare Dunne, president of the ITAA and the media observers at the 357 room Protur Monte Safari Hotel in Cala Millor. Facilities at the hotel include 32 five-bed rooms and 24 swim up rooms,

T

urkish Airlines and Silversea Cruises jointly hosted 18 travel trade on a trip and ship visit to Istanbul including a visit to Turkish Airlines training facilities and partner catering company DO&CO. Picture shows: Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines, Sean Healy of Lee Travel, Sharon Harney of Thomas Cook, Tony Brazil of Limerick Travel, Amanda Middler of Silversea, Linda Millar of

co-founder Rowan Devereux. Both of the founders made humourous speeches at the event, the irrepressible energy of Ciaran Mulligan being the subject of a few jokes. When asked what the best decision he made over the ten years of growth, Ciaran Mulligan says it was brining his technology inhouse when he recruited Dave Moore from it4u.

four restaurants and creche facilities. There is another holiday village in Rhodes and one due to open in Ibiza next year. Picture shows high roping instructor Georgie Hawks, Clare Dunne of Travelbroker President of the ITAA, Gerry Benson of Travelbiz, Helen Caron of Falcon Holidays, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra, Joan Scales of the Irish Times, and instructor Gillian Davison from In2advsnture.

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Bryan Somers Travel, Lynsey Joy of Oasis Tl, Chandra Rowan of Feherty Tl, John Galligan of JGT, Christopher Donnelly of Barrhead Tl, Karen Ray of Travel Broker, Deirdre Byrne of CTM, Martin Hannigan of Travel Mood, Tara Fitzgibbon of Club Travel HRG, Breda Justin of Justin PR, Jennifer Pearson of World Travel Centre. Front row: Jon Knight of Silversea, Ann Marie Dalton of Turkish Airlines.

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Page 010 Bristol by Marie 15/10/2013 12:32 Page 1

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DESTINATION ENGLAND

ho would have thought that one of the nicest meals I would ever eat would be in Bristol and in an Irish hotel to boot! The Bristol Hotel is part of the Doyle collection and sits on the quayside in the city overlooking the bustling Floating Harbour. In 1809 eighty acres of tidal river were impounded to allow visiting ships to remain afloat all the time. Over the next two centuries the harbour grew as a busy commercial port until it closed in 1975. Since then, it has been regenerated for leisure, business and residential and its where you can try and find a seat at the Za Za Bazaar, the largest restaurant in England, which sits up to a 1000 customers.

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own on the quayside we showed our tickets and took our seats on the City Sightseeing open top tour bus. Margaret, our guide, explained how Bristol was one of the most important ports in the world and was heavily involved in piracy. Its most famous pirate was not Johnny Depp but the just as infamous Blackbeard, a rogue who traded on his fearsome looks but, re-

Bristol cream Marie Carberry visits Bath and Bristol

Clifton Bridge in Bristol

putedly, never hurt a fly. Another famous inhabitant of Bristol was Isambard Kingdom Brunel, an engineering genius who led the construction of the Great Western Railway connecting Bristol to London. His most famous construction is probably the awe inspiring Clifton Suspension Bridge, which spans the Avon Gorge and attracts visitors from all over the world. The Avon itself has one of the

THINGS TO DO

■ Come aboard The Matthew of Bristol, a replica of the ship that discovered North America in 1497. Manned by volunteers they will sail you around the harbour and dispense a wealth of knowledge about all things maritime (http://www.matthewbristol.co.uk) ■ At the harbour stands Arnolfini one of Europe’s leading centres for contemporary art. Entrance to the building and exhibition spaces is free. (http://www.arnolfini.org.uk) ■ Free guided tours of the Clifton suspension bridge are provided for the public on Bank Holidays and Saturday and Sunday afternoons from Easter Saturday to the end of October. (http://www.cliftonbridge.org.uk/guide d_tours)

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biggest tidal drops in the world – almost 40 feet – and in low tide turns dramatically to thick mud.

he village of Clifton is one of Bristol’s more salubrious suburbs. Everywhere you look you are graced with beautiful Georgian building, lined with tall trees and fronted by green spaces. Its scenic aspect has lent itself to many TV programmes such as Skins and Casualty.

PLACES TO SEE

■ Take a walk along Pulteney Bridge which, along with the Ponto Vecchio Bridge, is one of the world’s most beautiful bridges. Like the Ponto Vecchio, it has inbuilt shops and is best viewed from the nearby Crescent weir. By the way Crescent Weir is where Russell Crowe, aka Javert, jumped to his death in the recent version of Les Miserables. ■ The Great Bath Feast runs for the month of October and visitors can watch many celebrity chefs as they show off their skills. The Taste Trail offers free samples the local fare and further afield you can try the produce of local farms, breweries and country pubs. (greatbathfeast.co.uk)

Nearby, is probably the most famous block of flats in the western world. Nelson Mandela House, home to Dell and Rodders of Only Fools and Horses fame is still standing on the Duckmore Road and is instantly recognisable as ‘Peckham’. For something completely different book a space on the ‘Where the Wall Street Art Tour (www.wherethewall.com/ tours) with John Nation. John is a passionate exponent of Bristol Street Art which started with Banksy (John was Banksy's youth worker) who became involved in Bristol street art in the 1980’s. Knowing the establishment viewed graffiti art as vandalism, he proceeded to spray paint anything he could get his aerosol can on. His famous The Hanging Man is still on view on Park Street which in itself, proved an inspiration

for graffiti artists from all over the world to decorate Bristol’s walls, resulting in a riot of colour that can still find trouble with the authorities. By its nature street art is a transient thing and this tour brings to life the most up to date and cutting edge art on the streets.

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ur twenty four hours in Bristol were up and it was time to get the train to the nearby town of Bath. The journey takes all of six minutes so don’t get too comfortable. Though residing close to Bristol, Bath has a gentler and more conservative feel to it. This was brought home in our first stop off at the Bertinet Bakery on New Bond Street. Richard Bertinet is a Frenchman who brings all his Gallic ex-

pertise to baking the most delicious bread and cakes. We sat with him for an hour, stuffing ourselves with tarts and mille feuilles, while he explained how to make the perfect bread. Next up we met with Caroline of Experience Bath who was, a little disconcertedly, dressed like Jane Austen complete with bonnet and poms. Caroline brought us on a tour of Bath’s crown jewels, the elegant and beautifully proportioned Georgian buildings of The Royal Crescent and Circus. The sweeping Crescents are said to be the finest example of Georgian architecture in England. The first resident of No. 1 Royal Crescent was Henry Sandford, a retired Irish MP from Roscommon. Henry was described as being ‘a gentleman of the most benevolent disposition’ and his house is on view to the general public and is well worth a visit if only for the cryptic note at reception which says that ‘due to a software glitch German credit and debit cards cannot be processed.’

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o visit to Bath would be complete with a tour of the Roman Baths Museum. A world heritage site and England’s only hot spring, the Roman baths and ruins are beautifully preserved and the museum provides a glimpse into how the Romans socialised, lived and worked. Unfortunately, due to Health and Safety rules, no bathers have been allowed since the 70’s but you can still down a glass of the spa water from the fountain if you dare.

■ Marie Carberry travelled to Bristol courtesy of Aer Lingus Regional and Visit England. Aer Lingus Regional flies up to 50 times per week between Bristol and Ireland. For schedule and prices contact www.aerlingus.com ■ Accommodation in Bath was provided by Bailbrook House, a Grade 11 listed property (www.bailbrookhouse.co.uk)


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Page 012 Caribbean 15/10/2013 12:33 Page 1

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WINTER CRUISE 2013-4

any of the Caribbean islands offer similar product, white sand beaches, palm trees and rum cocktails. Many are duty free islands, and big retailers of jewellery, although bear in mind even shore based shops are often run by cruise companies. Sometimes an expensive diamond engagement ring will save the cost of the trip. Cruise ships from Fort Lauderdale and Miami are the preferred means of getting there, though the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba each cater for several thousand Irish tourists connecting through London, Madrid or Paris. The big cruise lines run alternative Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries which vary slightly from cruise line to cruise line. Many offer shore stops at private resorts on the islands January and February (quietest time during the American season) are the best value months to go. Prices fall in summer too when it is humid. June and July can be fine, getting muggy in August and September.

ANGUILLA

Small and quiet island next door to St Martin, generally not on cruise itineraries.

ANTIGUA Gor-

geous fairly low flat island with very friendly people, watch for the cricket grounds in the grounds of the airport, architecturally most interesting airport.

ARUBA Great KLM connections to this distinctively Dutch windy island close to Venezuela, a 40 minute flight from Caracas.

BAHAMAS The closest to Miami, the Lost City of Atlantis is the biggest holiday resort in the Caribbean. Fort Lauderdale is a 30 minute flight.

What your clients should know

Islands in the sun Marigot Bay St Lucia

CAYMAN Its

seven mile long beach is one of most beautiful in world, and low rise developments help preserve the atmosphere. It gets crowded on cruise days, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when seven or eight mega ships can be in port. If you have just one thing to see in the Caribbean, check out the sting ray attraction.

CUBA Heavenly is-

land with a big range of all inclusive and golf resorts. A US embargo has affected supply of consumer items but the lack of advertising gives it a homely otherworld feel. Bring euro because there is a penalty surcharge on the US dollar.

CURACAO

The most quintessentially Dutch island which is not as pretty as Aruba, with interesting museums. The town is wonderful but be careful. Check out the market in the main town where vendors trade off boats from Venezuela.

DOM REP Large

Spanish-speaking island with lots of resorts and white sand beaches that are very popular with Irish. It enjoys a good

Air France B777 service via CdeG and lots of support from the tourist board and all the major resort operators.

GRENADA Nice

little island, very English, tends to be more structured than others.

HAITI Labadee is a favourite stop on Royal

Caribbean cruises.

GUADALOUP E Five French speaking

volcanic islands, collectively slightly smaller than Co Kildare, technically part of the EU, the currency is the euro and most tourists are French.

JAMAICA The

big one for tourism, the government has been strategically working with all major hotel groups since 1970s. All major hotel groups have resorts here and although most are all-inclusive make sure to get out and travel. You can eat very cheaply. The signature resorts deal in honeymoons and romantic holidays – Sandals has ten and Beaches three.

MARTINIQUE

A stunningly beautiful island that uses the Euro (it is pictured on the reverse of all Euro ban-

knotes) and hasn’t been Americanised or indeed Westernised.

MONTSERRAT

The Emerald Isle that celebrates 17 March as a national holiday has one stunning beach of white sand despite being the most volcanic of the islands.

NETH’LANDS ANTILLES Five

Dutch (non Euro) islands which are a little bit more expensive and less developed.

ST BARTS

Small quiet islands that use the euro, a France in the Caribbean sought after by the likes of Mariah Carey, Puff Daddy and Beyoncé. Unusually it was once a Swedish colony and the towns have Swedish names. Check out the pristine beach of Grand Saline and the less accessible Colombier beach.

ST KITTS gor-

geous but not a tremendous amount on the island. Interesting airport between two mountains good beaches, quieter island, chic island.

ST LUCIA Popu-

lar due to its weather, scenery and variety of

resorts, it has become a preferred wedding location. The distinctive Pitons set it apart. Famous for white beaches but check out the volcanic black sand as well.

ST MARTIN

A wonderful island divided between France and Holland. The Dutch side is known for its nightlife and rum based drinks, the French side for nude beaches and shopping. Both sides are beautiful.

ST VINCENT

A beautiful English speaking island about the size of Longford with gorgeous beaches. The Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies was shot here.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO Group

of two large and 21 smaller islands which collectively are the size of Donegal. Trinidad is very industrialised and its capital Port of Spain can be dangerous.

TURKS & CAICOS two

groups of islands just north of the Dominican Republic, Grand Turk has a cruise port while upmarket resorts have also been developed.

B VIRGIN ISLES Four large

and 50 smaller islands of which 15 are inhabited. The baths on Virgin Cona and the reefs of Anegada are signature attractions. Don’t be fooled by the ‘British Virgin Islands’ name: the islands use the dollar.

SPANISH VIRGIN ISLES  Puertan

Rican islands of Cuelebra and Vieques, famous for their clear water, now call themselves the Spanish Virgin Islands as part of a tourism drive.

US VIRGIN ISLES Megan’s

Bay in St Thomas is one of the best beaches in the world. St Croix is a great destination for couples. The family oriented St John consists mostly of national park land. It has no airline and just a ferry link, incredible accommodation and breath taking beaches. Watch for the crowds: six cruise ships can land in St Thomas in one day and the streets can be dangerous a few blocks away from the tourist regions.


page 013 15/10/2013 14:03 Page 1

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NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 14

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DESTINATION REPUBLICA DOMINICANA

a n g r o v e swamps are among the most beautiful places on the planet. The name conjures up a tropical treasure trove of fabulous fauna and flora. The mangroves themselves are special, magnificent animals or plants (they might be either), with great stork feet, standing tall, the bits we see below the murky water line even more enticing than that which stands above. And all the life around them is brimful of fantasy, landscape of the imagination, Hollywood movie fantasy, animation fantasy, darkest an brightest life forms, camouflaged and colourful in turn, a bright red crab stalking in the tentacles, the big long saplings hanging like hanging baskets and the red mangrove stretched like a carpet everywhere. If an artist or a furniture designer did it they would be lining up the awards. Except you don’t have the sound of the Quervos in your ears at a furniture awards. The swamps are the backdrop to the human gallery, rock art left by the Taino people in the caves of San Gabriel and La Linea, animals, dancing children and arm-outstretched shamans, birds, manatees (no longer indigenous, they are important to the art form, the figures are painted with dye from the black grass of the manatee), and bats (the God of the dead) in caves pockmarking the carboniferous rocks hollowed and drummed by humidity and salty water, streaked in blackness from the humidity and salt water, a fruit bat huddling in a hole barely larger than himself , the shiny white rock contrasted with his sleek black skin like he was auditioning for Hollywood, outside the caves pelicans perched on disused pier heads and a shrieking

Beyond the Buffet

Eoghan Corry renounces his wristband to find the real Dominican Republic Eoghan Corry and Palmarito in the Parc Nationale Les Haitises , just one of the many treasures of Domincan Republic

frigata chasing a pelican. Now I know I am in the tropics. And best of all, everything was dripping, because it was rainy season in the Republica Dominicana. Drip, drip, drip.

I

t is rainy season. So we get a spectacular thunderstorm at dusk every day. It is the destiny of a travel writer to see everywhere off season. We go skiing when the snow is melting, we go to the sun resort in spring and the golf course in winter. It could be worse. Hurricane seasons starts July 1st. That makes most places MORE interesting rather than less. It starts with a conversation in Spanish with the guard at the checkpoint, they drive me to the front door and accompany me

to check-in. They tell me how they individualise the experiences of all 3,000 guests. They tell me about their restaurants and standards of care. They tell me it is not Cancun, for Cancun is the byword in the worst excesses of holiday factorydom. When you arrive they don’t delouse you, or put you in an orange jumpsuit, they give you the wristband at the check-in desk. It is part passport, part handcuff, the currency of planet all-inclusive. It delivers unqueried access to a wonderland of multiple bars, entertainment spots and pools. It is worth taking time to practice the half raised arm salute, the sort of semi-wave you use to get a small dog to sit. Use it casually, as if you are not quite aware the wristband is there. But you know it is, and the 1,500 or so

employees in your resort can spot it at 300 metres. It gets you past the security man through the wicket on the sandy route back from the beach. It gets the barman to open the generic red wine canister and pour a refill. It works at the buffet line for the prawns. As you trek the kilometer and a half from the pool to your bedroom, (and the bedrooms are enormous by European standards) you pass like minded internees from all nations, Americans, Spanish, lots of Russians (there are eight charters a week). This is stadium tourism, all wristbands and cheap generic rum: 3,000 beds in the Riu Palace hotel Bavaro, 2,000 in the Barcelo, 4,000 in the Bavaro Hotel, 2,000 in the Hard Rock in Macao (Madonna’s limo in one of the lobbies).

They all have 4-6 pools, 6-8 restaurants, 34 bars, evening entertainment of lip-synching dancers in glittery costumes on a stage and a slice of palm fringed beach to call their own. I collect my room key and having worked out where I belong in the labyrinth (when your room number is 16206 you know you are in trouble), and arrive in some of the largest hotel rooms in the industry.

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t works. Dominican Republic played the numbers game, and won big. The rapid growth has been driven by giant all-inclusive resorts that sprawl along a coastline of narrow white sand beaches and ubiquitous palm trees. Over the years I said that it is very pleasant place, it has the palm trees and the white sand,

but is filled with holiday factories, portly Americans, wrist-banded to indicate they are handcuffed to their accommodation provider. The travel trade say that focusing on the big resorts misses the point about the Dominican Republic. There is lots beyond the wristband, a swim with the turtles in a fresh water reserve, hikes and horse rides through a nature reserve. They brought me to Tortuga Bay, a chic beachside hotel with rooms designed by Oscor de La Reata that is so close to the airport they have a VIP service from the steps of the plane. They feed me in La Palapa restaurant on the seashore. Then they brought me back to an all inclusive. This is stadium tourism. These places a model in crowd management,


Page 014-17 Dominican republic 15/10/2013 12:35 Page 2

NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 15 filled with portly Americans in the queue for the camorones counter. I still love it, every naff bit of it. They put a towel heart with flowers on my bed and rose petals around the bath, drink dispensers over the coffee maker, awful bourbon and worse gin. I arrived untroubled, with no mobile number for whoever was collecting me and no hotel name, so just as well they showed up (late). I wrote “Beaches Punta Cano” on the immigration form so as not to arouse suspicion. I feel like I am the Jason Segel character in a scene from forgetting Sarah Marshall. “Are you on your own? Are you with a magazine?” Being on your own means more conversations. I spent two nights immersed in the company of Argentineans and befriended many Americans and Canadians, swapping Clancy Brothers songs with a retired Ontarian.

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herever holiday factories go, a parallel excursion industry will follow. A small army of local tour operators are installed in the lobby attempting to sell their wares to the wrist-banded internees. The standard stampede excursion here around is Saona Island, a bounty-bar destination to which 500,000 excursionists travel by boat annu-

DESTINATION REPUBLICA DOMINICANA

on the rum. Even the drive is an adventure. The roads are filled with Michael Schumacher types who show no fear when the road goes from three to two lanes and there are four lanes of trucks, cars and moped riders (no helmets, NOBODY wears a helmet) scrambling for the re-rationed roadspace,

T Magnificent mangroves

ally. My day trip is led by a highly entertaining tour guide, A Bit Of A Character. ABOAC: My name is Franklin, and I am your daddy today. Who’s your daddy? TOURISTS: Franklin. ABOAC: Okay in America, who is the boss, the mans or the womans. (The men look at their shoes and the women all shout) WOMEN TOURISTS: The Women. ABOAC: Good, because if the bus breaks down we need the woman’s to push Our bus bounces over unpaved roads to convey

us to local farmsteads and plantations, sugar cane, rum and cigars in production by bemused looking elderly men and women, Leonardo Pena Duran and Griselda Santos rolling the cigars and the farm owner Maria Guerrero presiding over an emporium of fruit and sales of the medicine drink, Mamajuana. Maria smiles patiently at the same joke every American makes about how Mamajuana sounds like marijuana. Maria can afford a smile or two. This being holiday factory/herding excursion land Sales are in dollars and three times the local market price.

They feed us plantain, chicken and the bounty of the lush hillsides. Franklin Vasquez /Daddy then brought us to the renowned Macao beach just in time for the thunderstorm. ABOAC (after lunch): How was the chicken? BOB RICKARD (from Harrisburg Pennsylvania, who is obviously A Bit Of A Character himself): It tasted of iguana.

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he original tourist playgrounds of the Dominican Republic were constructed at Cabrera, Samana and Puerto Plata. These are now the ones

most likely to leave the resorts. More than half of the wristbanded ones are venturing out to see the countryside around. I sample a boat trip to one of the Caribbean’s best beaches at Playa Rincon, The drive north brought me through the rain forests and red clay carved canyons of Parque Nacional Los Haitises. My first sight of the Atlantic is stunning – between the trunks of the palm trees that fringe the near-white (very pale yellow but you can see why they describe it as white in the brochures) ribbon of beach-front all along this coast. There was lots of fun

Clockwise: The waterfall at Cascada Del Limon , Pueblo Des Pescadores in Santana, musicians and an aquarium view

here are four things that make Dominican Republic stand out, holiday factories aside. The language is one. When you speak Spanish you cannot be swamped by American culture. My Spanish is getting progressively worse despite nine days of immersion, the laughing stock of every waiter and waitress on the half-island. The music is another, I still only know one bachata song but the sentimental high pitched cry is ubiquitous, lost love and sad times, as well as the lively in-your-face quick-stepping merengue, salsa from Puerto Rica (the next island east), son from Cuba (the next island west, I did not realize the politics of son and rumba until this week). It has been good fun though and had a great merengue lesson from an endlessly patient ballerina, Montilla Guerrero. She was 26 and not allowed to drink on the job so I ordered her Baileys.


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NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 16

DESTINATION REPUBLICA DOMINICANA I am in danger of doing myself and injury thinking about her. And that’s just my hamstring and calf, constantly cramping with every activity I indulge. Food is a third. They grow everything here. If you move out of the holiday factory you strike degustational gold. The key is the menu. If the prices are in dollars, forget it. In pesos, you are on home ground, chicken, goat, spiced fish and shrimp, rice with beans, maize cooked in, ahem, amaizing ways, washed down with Presidente beer and a glass of Brugal or Atlantico rum. Plantain is my new middle name, or rather, plantain tostones my new double barrel middle name. And why would you have French fries when fried yuca is so tasty. A side of yuca or plantain can compare closely with my beloved potatoes. They serve plantains with everything and they are delic. In a trendy restaurant in Santa Domingo, Tropical Adrian, looking over the pounding waves of the bay in, they greeted us with salcocho, a hangover busting stew of plaintain, meat and chopped vegetables. In Puerto Plata, they brought me to Brugal rum distillery and gave me the 95pc raw variety to taste (the distilled version is 43pc). Nothing in the amoebic system will survive that.

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ominican Republic has some of the most varied scenery in the region, Alpine heights and splendid waterfalls. I swam with turtle in a nature reserve. When you go deep in the colourful rocky pool, and turn your head up and look at the shafts of light from the tropical sun peeping through the leaves above, your heart HAS to dance. I rode a horse called

Punta Cana calm

Palmarito up hill and hoofed through the river up to the stirrups, water splashing everywhere, to the Cascada Del Limon waterfall. I swam there too, in the deep water under the Cascada. Local youths climbed rock and did spectacular Acapulco style dives from precarious cliff ledges.

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n escape from the all –inclusive world of wristbands: to La Casita de Papi in Puerto Plata where they put me in their executive club with its own secure area and own pool. I supped rum with beautiful women who had married elderly husbands they chose for his wallet, and real wine in the free bar, as opposed to the stuff that gets poured out of huge plastic containers into plastic glasses. Then to the sea for a long swim, plus a long walk on the narrow ribbon of silver strand they call the beach. I then try all the pools, splashes rather than swims, because I like my longer

swims to be in the sea. In Punta Cana I lost my key card when it blew of the sun lounger. The following morning (I like to get into the sea for the first light) I found my key card in the sand, like a Taino treasure.

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e don’t know a lot abut the two native populations Columbus encountered when he landed, the Taino and the Caribe. The Spaniards killed them all or rather, a combination of white man and yellow fever did them in, leaving the placenames behind like a tragedy from Brian Friel: Samana, Higuey, Cacicasgos, Maguana. They have collected some of their amazing art in the Leon centre in Santiago and the pre-Columban museum in Santa Domingo. The shine icily from the ages. Their cooking pots, implements of tone and wood, cassava plates, weapons and shaman-cave art are on display and jewellery, including a necklace of

dog’s teeth worn by the chieftain. They played a ball game on a rectangular court, baseball? Or hurling? The best museum I have seen for a long time is the Leon centre, because it plays with the imagination of everyone who visits. Visitors pass through a cavalcade of Caribbean images into a faux mangrove swamp which could be an art exhibit in itself. They walk along the swamp floor amid gleaming fish exhibits like glass exhibits, and look up through a thin film of wire to resemble the surface of the water to the forest above. Next they enter the Taino cooking and work utensils and an imagined homestead reassembled from observing indigenous tribes that survived the holocaust. The deftest touch of all: a room full of Spanish colonial artefacts in glass boxes, and on the other side a wall with what for al the world look like peep holes. It represents, my guide Jennifer Hieronimus said, the way we have hidden our

African past behind peepholes and pretended we just had a European one, reflective of the way the Dominican Republic tries to hide its slave past while exaggerating its European past.

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hen a drive of an hour and 45 minutes to the captial. Santa Domingo is the storied capital of the Dominican Republic and the oldest city in the Americas. it has a stunning colonial quarter where I dine in Maison de Vari, a restaurant with an atmospheric collection of paintings and photographs. The city has some great nightlife, and two seafront jewels where I lunch, Adrian Tropical restaurant. Colonial history goes back as far as it can here, to the tail end of the fifteenth century. The fortresses in Santa Domingo or Santiago is as old as Maynooth Castle. The Republica has real history too. The colonial architecture of Santa Domingo is stunning, a world away from the hol-

iday factories. The traffic is stunning too, five lanes of cars squeezed into three lane highways, everyone nosing forward to occupy the same few square metres of road space, hand firmly on the horn, because that is what makes the vehicle drivable. One of the three burial places that Christopher Columbus can claim is here (Havana and Seville are the others). The electricity shortages mean they don’t turn the lights of the Faro Columbus, the expensive monument they built for his bones in 1992, to project a luminous cross on to the sky. That figures. Everyone gets six hours of electricity, coming on and off unpredictably, because they cannot generate enough to keep the country going. So famous they buried him thrice. No more than where his bones lie, they haven’t a clue where Christopher Columbus landed, but there is no shortage of claims. Their best guess is Bord de Mer de Limonade (near Cap-Haïtien). Concepción de la Vega, the town Columbus founded on the second voyage, is supposed to be La Vega Vieja. After that, take your pick.

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he big change since I was last here in 2009 is the number of portly Russians now elbowing the portly Americans off the queue for the camorones. Eight flights arrive from Russia to Punta Cana each week. It has changed the face of the place since I was last here in 2009. It leads to interesting bar conversations with Russians who have no English or Spanish and I have no Russian, typing things into systranet and passing over the laptop to make conversation. The upside is that many of the emigres who went to the old Soviet


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Union after the Americans invaded and threw out the democratically elected president, Bosch, in 1965, or were sent afterwards by Isa Condi, have got jobs as tour guides and translators.

mistress, in that peculiar Dominicana way. The monument names the heroes who participated in the CIA plot (my guide pronounces CIA deliciously in Spanish: see-ya). The dictator’s family tried to keep the show on the road. Trujillo’s son came from France and had most of the conspirators rounded up and killed. But the music stopped soon afterwards. Trujillo belongs in a Sacha Baron Cohen movie. He may already be in there in one.

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his country had one of the great dictators in the history of dictatordom. The Americans installed him in 1930 after one of the proxy coups they specialize in and kept him there for 31 years. Modest as the next man, he named the capital after himself in 1936, Ciudad Trujillo (it reverted to Santa Domingo after he had his driver got accidentally riddled with bullets from CIA-supplied guns in 1961). To this day, some of the old people, when there is a strike or a demonstration, say they wish he could have Trujillo back. He didn’t bother being president for all of his 31 years as the boss (Dominicanas called him “el chivo,” the goat, does that make people who hanker for him memebrs of the Dead Goat’s Society?). He just put a few puppets in power who would do what he said.

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And this is rainy season 

He took on the sugar barons, but instead of doing anything silly like redistributing the wealth among the poor, kept it for himself and his family. The Republica economy was made of 45pc foreign, 51pc Trujillo and 7pc private. He built a ten-span bridge to the tiny island in the middle of Puerto Plata harbour to get to one of his holiday homes. He kept a fresh supply of mistresses on call, anyone he spotted

would be welcome in his bed and there were a few burley security men to make sure the husband would disappear if he objected. He had Minerva Marabal killed, alongside her two politically activist sisters, on the pretext of the following conversation. TRUJILO: What if I had one of my men seduce you? MINERVA: What if I seduce THEM? She said: “if I am killed

I will pull my arms out of my grave and grow stronger,” which puts Minerva up there with Dolores "Pasionaria" Ibárruri and Constance Markiewicz in my personal pantheon, a heroine addict (with an important e at the end), if you like. My guide says I am the first journalist he has ever brought to the Museo de la Reisistencia. That makes me proud. As for Trujillo the killer, it was only when

he planted a bomb under President Betancourt of Venezuela that the Americans got bored with him. They had him killed the following May. I was there for the assassination anniversary, May 30, a national holiday in honour of his assassins. There is an odd monument designed by Silvano Lora on the site where he was killed on a route from paying homage to religious his grandmother to visit his

GETTING THERE: AIR FRANCE TO PUNTA CANA

Charles De Gaulle arrivals e travelled on flight AF 1079 and departures come in six from Dublin to connect with waves a day, so there is a lot of the popular Flight AF 3563 frantic shutting around, particufrom Paris to Punta Cana. larly in the morning, and inIf you haven’t been in CdeG since hall evitably a few people end up in M opened in June 2012, the airport has the wrong hall. Air France say got eminently more complicated for 97pc of their connections sucthose of us outside the promised land of ceed with both customers and Schengen. Ireland want to be in Schenluggage traveling onbound togen but while Britain stays out that is not gether. a possibility. it adds 15-20 minutes to Flying with Cityjet gets you transfer times through Charles de Gaulle. to terminal 2E (sort of, after a The airport has changed its security bus ride in the case of 60pc of system to become self regulating, you connections). The train that can chose a green queue if your connecshuttles passengers from one tion is less than an hour and a half and end of 2E to another now has an orange queue if your connection is three stops and they have doumore than an hour and a half. 2E just got bigger ble the number of train cars to Yes passengers get lost and end up in carry 8,000 passengers an hour. the wrong hall, but the French have upgrade their init is At Hall L where I boarded AF 3563. It processes terminal technology to help. If in doubt, find one of the Aeroports de Paris kiosks. Stick your boarding card in, 10m passengers a year and has bays for eight aircraft, it reads the barcode, and you get your gate number and including seven A380s at the same time. Hall M is long haul only with room for 16 wide body flight information.

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here is an important axiom that travel writers would be wise to follow: never use the world turquoise in an article. But then, it is rainy season. Drip drip drip rather than azure, azure, azure. A friend emailed me to say it is rainy season in Ireland as well, the fifth this year. I need to come back to see the south west, especially the fascinating Enriquillo Lake, three times the salinity of the ocean. The republic of the wristband has so much more to offer.

aircraft, seven A380’s at the same time. The security area of Hall M is the largest in Europe. Travelling to Punta Cana with Air France offers a chance to fly in an aviation rarity, eight hours and 15 minutes on a comfortable Boeing 777 300ER that is configured for leisure traffic, 422 economy seats with 32 inches of legroom, 32 premium economy (four inches extra pitch) and 14 angle-flat business class seats. The numbers sound high and the 34-4-3 configuration daunting but the flight is not too stressful thanks to the classic Air France hospitality and a flow of red. Your fellow passengers come from all over Europe. On the last flight I was propositioned by an attractive lady from Minsk. Airline movies come in waves. Each month’s international favourites are shared by everyone across six continents, but Air France offers a chance to catch up with what is happening in French cinema. The return connection can be a lot easier. Irish flights tend to depart now from Hall L instead of their old position in Hall K. The best seat on the little BAe146 Avro RJ85 that brings you home to Dublin is 15A.


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efore we started the walking tour they handed us an indemnity slip. It is the sort of standard form that adrenaline seekers sign before a bungee jump or a shark dive: PAST Experiences is not liable for any injury, illness, death or related medical costs, theft suffered by an person or persons, loss of, or damage to any property occurring or arising from any tour undertaken with PAST experiences or arising from the use of the facilities made available. By signing this form you agree to the above statement. An indemnity form for a city centre walking tour? This walking tour is of Johannesburg. There are some truths that we travel scribblers take as self-evident. One is that downtown Johannesburg is a no-go area for any sensible tourist. It is commonly described as the most dangerous city in the world. People who know nothing else about Johannesburg know of its horrors, murders, muggings, carjackings. The rental car companies used to tell people, allegedly, not to stop at red lights at night in the city centre. You still don’t take a pedestrian crossing green light for granted even in daylight.

Tour guide Tania Ollson of PAST experiences

Shoe-safe

H

Eoghan Corry celebrates the return of the walking tour of Johannesburg

Graffiti in Johannesburg: see experiences.co.za for details of walking tours of a former no-go city

ence the surprise that anyone would advertise a walking tour of inner city Johannesburg. A company called Past Experiences (they wanted to specialize in archaeology, but followed the market demand) launched the tours last year. It was more than a brave movie was heralded as the first sign that Jo’burg is wrestling to win back its reputation. The city also launched open top red bus tours in September. The sort of bus tour you see in every other city in the world causes an element of surprise in the carjack capital. There are other surprises: here you will find the biggest visitor attraction in the country. World of Beer attracts more visitors than Robben Island and is based in the city centre precincts that once counted as close to the worst of the badlands. The fresh-as-a-rose Rea Vaia system, a bus network that operates with tram like infrastructure only without rails and wires, now carries 60,000 a day through once forbidden streets.

Around Newtown in heart of the inner city badlands, the little patch of green that is the biggest public park in the inner city, you can walk freely again without danger. It is not a redemption, yet. But the slogans on the billboards about hope and change are beginning to carry more meaning with every walking tour.

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ohannesburg is one of the world’s newest large cities, founded as a mining camp in 1886 and growing to 3.2m people today. All the great influx cities, and Johannesburg may be the most spectacular example, have ethnic neighbourhoods and suburbs. The difference here was that the ethnic boundaries were legally enforced, right up to the 1990s. The inner city suffered most. It was never one of these neighbourhoods and treated with suspicion by the regime. “We have a suburban culture for a reason,” says the tour guide Tania Ollson of PAST experiences.

“People had to leave our cities by law. Every city has distinctive neighbourhoods. Only in Johannesburg was it enforced by law.” A neighbourhood that started as an Indian, Chinese, or Black usually remained thus under the jackboot of the social engineers. A small window of liberality at the beginning of the 20th century allowed some Asian merchants to buy property and open shops near the court house. There was a Chinese club and a few places where blacks would gather (Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo’s legal offices

was one, it has been rescued from destitution and refurbished as a small museum in the past two years. Until 2009 it was a refuge for squatters. The badlands are fitted on to the original orderly grid system, a railway defining its northern border, Prichard, Market, Commisioner and Market Street forming fourparallel arteries towards the skyscraper financial district, Marshalltown. Archive photos show neat rows of parked cars along these streets in the 1940s and 1950s. By the 1970s they are abandoned and decaying. The city council virtually gave up. The battle to keep the

city functioning made Jo’burg one of the more eco-friendly cities in the world. Until recently the metal manhole covers were stolen almost every week. They developed more environmentally friendly clay versions. Nobody steals them any more.

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he facepaint of the inner city is the informal art of the gable walls, although graffiti is not seen as public art it is one of the most popular tours. A piece by Herakut on Commissioner Street is among the most famous. Another attraction is

No go areas fo Johannesburg are now crammed with shoppers


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NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 19 the collection of art deco buildings (fourth highest concentration of art deco in the world) is another, although many other landmarks were discarded to the rubble. The 1937 ESKOM Building was torn down in 1983, while the Beaux Arts Supreme Court building is hidden behind an ugly security fence. Tania has her theory that Jo’burg’s dreadful reputation may have been engineered and manipulated like as the system which created it. “People were expecting a big bomb to explode in the early nineties. When it did not happen people turned on Jo'burg’s crtime, it became the scapegoat.” “Things were never nearly as bad as people made out, especially those South Africans who left or who travelled abroad. “I have been pick pocketed in Prague. I have never been pick pocketed in Jo'burg. And I walk this city every day.” It has an untidy air. Houses with galvanized roofs still stand down street from the concrete offices. They cannot be demolished, or even the squatters moved on under city regulations. Corner lots lie vacant. Uncollected refuse was strewn across sidewalks (this was Saturday morning, so the debris was worse than normal, our guide told us). The pi-

DESTINATION SOUTH AFRICA

The statue of Brenda Fassie

geons had gathered in one corner lot leaving pigeon call-cards in a layer along the street.

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t doesn’t help that the city centre was regarded as a no-go area for the new tourist attractions as well. The Museum Africa, the first museum to be curated after 1993 is out of town, as is the apartheid museum, removed from city and in a way removed from the community. Worse, There was a great site for the apartheid museum, the old police building in John Foster square where Steve Biko was murdered among the

many atrocities of apartheid. There are other reasons to visit. The public art that flooded the city is one. There are 450 public art installations, and the Newtown Heads are scattered on poles thorough once menacing streetscapes. Here also you will find the statue of hero-minstrel Brenda Fassie, and if you are lucky (as we were) a lady boy prepared to sit on the empty stool beside her statue to sing one of her most famous songs. Just as every city is about its people, so with Jo’Burg. “I have never been anywhere where in one city block you can

hear 10-12 languages,” Tania says. The diversity of the city manifests itself in the food, the music, and most noticeably in the market places.

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owadays they charge 15 rand go to the top of Carlton centre, ASfrica’s tallest building built in a flush of enthusiasm in 1971. The hotel which was part of the Transnet complex closed many years ago. Michael Jackson stayed there amongst other celebrities. But towards the end of its existence, the Carlton became famous because

almost everyone who stayed in the hotel was mugged. That was that. There were no more big hotels in the city centre nor are there plans for any. Although there are hopes that the Carlton will reopen. The Transnet offices are being occupied again after lying empty for many years. The Reef hotel on the corner of Harrison, the Mapungubwe apart hotel and smaller accommodations (such as 12 Decades Art Hotel) around the trendy new arty district of Maboneng (Johannesburg's creative capital, where the trendy galleries of Arts on Main have be-

The former no-go Newtown Park, Street art, the courts of justice and World of Beer, South Africa’s most popular urban attraction

come a showpiece of urban renewal) are the best you can do. One photography project initiated here by Bernard Viljoen involving street kids is called “I was shot in Jo’burg.” The market places at Braamfontein are also attracting people from the suburbs, 6,000 streaming every Saturday to the honeypots on the other side of the railway from the city centre. “At least they are coming south of Empire Road,” Tania says. A multi-storey car park on Juta Street has been turned into a Saturday market called Neighbour Goods (think of the G as a H in Afrikaner manner), where Burgers of all ages and races come to sip beer and chew biltong. The idea originated in Cape Town. When they started a Johannesburg version, they chose the inner city. Other areas are opening up. Yeoville, a melting pot neighbourhood for the whole of Africa, offers food tours. Though, Tania says, I would not recommend people to go there alone. They built this city in a hurry, tore and replaced the original buildings in a hurry, hurriedly allowed the city centre to descend into the abyss. Dragging it back out is not going to be done in a hurry.


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he emphasis is back on the Caribbean for the coming winter’s cruise programme. MSC will be the only operators on the Gulf in winter 2013-14. MSC Lirica will offer one night in Dubai pre cruise and seven on board between November 23-and March 22 with lead-in prices of Eu919. MSC have an allocation of seats from Emirates and according to Ireland manager Rebecca Kelly demand is such that they are looking for more seats on some flights. Royal Caribbean, who operated out of Dubai for three seasons with Brilliance of the Seas and then Serenade of the Seas, have moved their focus to Eastern Asia, where three ships will operate, Australia and South America. In Europe MSC Splendida is operating from Barcelona through the winter, on seven night itineraries close to the summer ones. MSC Armonia is operating out of Gran Canaria on seven night itineraries for Armonia Nov 1 – Mar 14 starting at Eu349 per person. Elsewhere, the European season has shortened. Cruise ships which once wintered long in the Mediterranean waters, into October and November, have been departing earlier.

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he best value cruise options of all have been presented by repositioning of bigger ships from the Caribbean to Europe including, for the first time since her launch, Oasis of the Seas in October 2014 and the next-generation Quantum of the Seas. This means lots of trans-Atlantic crossings which are also being polished up for agency sales teams. Thomas Cook also have Transatlantic crossings on the Queen Mary 2

What your clients should know

Winter of content Hurtigruten is gearing up for another Northern Lights winter cpectacular from Southampton to Girao in Madeira. limited beer, wine, cockNew York and a World The big success story tails, spirits, Ice cream, Voyage with P&O or Cu- as regards commission- tea coffees etc. nard with lead-in prices able add-ons are the from Eu130pp per day for drinks packages. 105 days at sea. MSC’s Allegrissimo or most winter Eleven Royal package costs €23pp per cruisers the Caribbean International day (5pc commissionable Caribbean is where ships will call at 35 desti- to the agent), allowing the action is. In recent nations on these reposi- unlimited beer, wine, winters Dubai, Abu tioning cruises in 2014, cocktails, spirits, Ice Dhabi and Sharm El all of them having re- cream, tea coffees etc. Sheikh have all been wincently been revitalised Royal Caribbean Classic ter cruise options with diunder the cruise line’s drinks Package is rect flights from Ireland. $300m programme with Eu36/USD$45pp per day, But great prices have enhancements such as the and Premium drinks driven winter cruisers aerial-acrobatic entertain- Package for Eu41/$55pp back to the Caribbean. It ment production on Radi- per day and The top end can be cheaper to cruise ance and Vision class ships include drinks in in the Caribbean than in ships and new or signa- their all inclusive prices Europe. ture restaurants, up to 10 but most lines do pre-paid The average price paid per ship, including Chef’s packages. A typical all for a cruise is now over a Table, Chops Grille round package with fifth less than it was five Steakhouse, Izumi Asian Celebrity Cruises is from years ago. Comparison Cruise, Giovanni’s Table, $39 per day (all soft engine MarketWatch reand Rita’s Cantina for an drinks, smoothies, spe- ported this month that the additional charge, and ciality coffees, wines, cheapest cruise prices complimentary restau- beers and of course cock- available today are down rants, such as the Park tails - an apple martini is 43pc from the cheapest Café gourmet deli and calling). price in 2009 Boardwalk Dog House. The top end ships inMarketWatch says the Shore options west- clude drinks in their all cheapest cruises on Carbound include the caldera inclusive prices but most nival start at just $35 a lakes, on Sete Cidades lines do pre-paid pack- night, but Royal Crater Lakes at Ponta ages. Caribbean is not far beDelgada, The Azores; or MSC’s Allegrissimo hind, at $39 per person. explore Teide in Tenerife, package costs €23pp per Bargain hunters can the Canary Islands, vol- day (5pc commissionable sail for as low as $349 for canic ecosystems, Cabo to the agent) allowing un- seven nights during low

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demand periods. The slow season for cruises, the surge in inventory and a run of just plain bad news, including assaults, breakdowns and norovirus outbreaks, have all contributed. MSC Divina will operate out of Miami with lead in prices of 299 for seven nights.

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nglish online wholesaler Bonvoyage says prices there are down 22pc compared to 2008. The company says cruise lines are compensating for the drop in the headline price by generating more from onboard spend, such as spa treatments, speciality dining and higher drinks costs. It also said customers are becoming more wary of added onboard costs and the report suggests operators cannot get away with pushing up onboard costs any further. The price difference in cruises from 2011 - when the Bonvoyage site launched - compared to prices for cruises leaving

this year or in 2014 show a 19pc decrease in cost. The average respondent paid €1,900 per person five years ago, while the average respondent planning to cruise this year or in 2014 will pay 22pc lower, at €1,500 per person. In a survey, 38pc of respondents said that, despite the lower costs and potential onboard cuts, they had noticed improvements in services onboard cruises in the past five years. Of these, 46pc said they are now a lot more wary of added costs onboard a cruise, as well as the perceived value of amenities, than they were five years ago. Aspects of cruises including food and entertainment quality (31pc), level of service (22pc) and quality of staff (19pc) topped the list of the places these individuals could see that improvements had been made in the previous five years. Of those questioned in the study, 24pc stated that the reduced costs advertised in the past five years


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were one of the main reasons they decided to choose a cruise holiday.

he biggest ships of all, the 5,400passenger Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, operate on alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. Oasis and Allure of the Seas, operating from Fort Lauderdale, and Freedom of the Seas operating from Port Canaveral (an option which is about €300 cheaper, with the added benefit of good Orlando connections and options of staying to do the theme parks en route), are complex, floating resorts, equipped with superb facilities which make them a good choice for active types and families with school-age children. Typically they offer a choice of restaurants serving different types of cuisine, several swimming pools, golf practice areas, state-of-the-art fitness centres and spas, video games and outdoor activities. Evening entertainment is usually unstinting and varied and often includes a Broadway-style show. The disadvantage is the complicated

What your clients should know

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MSC Armonia: Based in the Canary Islands deck plans - it can take a week to find Explorer of the seas operating out of your way around. New York. The service is inevitably less personal than smaller ships, where the crew here has been a revolution on the quickly get to know each passenger. land side as well. Because of their size, the largest ships are unable to sail into river mouths and Private islands are now the norm. dock alongside in some ports - which Each cruise line has at least a couple of means they have to anchor a short way Caribbean beach stops in which they from the shore. have invested heavily and not without Passengers can then face long queues controversy, critics consider it an undeto get ashore by tender, the small boats sirable trend to keep cruise passengers still required by some ports. away from the locals. Alternatives to the Caribbean include Now the race is on for private

Caribbean ports. Carnival is opening a $65m docking facility at Maimon Bay, just west of Puerto Plata on the Dominican Republic's north coast for the winter season. The project will also include an adjacent retail, dining and recreation complex, as well as a shore tour and taxi staging area. Nearby Puerto Plata and its environs feature historic sites (Fort San Felipe), beaches and waterfalls. Carnival says it is too early to say which Carnival Corp. brands will eventually use the facility. The company's holdings include Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Holland America. Custom-built ports have become a regular feature of Caribbean cruising. Carnival previously opened the $60m pier-and-playground in Grand Turk in 2006 and $62m Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras in 2009. Royal Caribbean launched its own ready-made cruise village in Falmouth, Jamaica and an unaffiliated port has opened at Banana Coast in Trujillo, Honduras, with duty-free jewelry stores, themed bars, an artisans market and 10 acres of beachfront.

p>9J<N ]KB@ jNG@JCL 5B9 <9PPNNO JC P>9J<N

Amadeus Cruise Shop brings you unrivalled choice so that you can deliver superior service to your customers focusing on their own individual preferences. A simple yet powerful and easy to use shopping and booking application, featuring dynamic search results and ‘one stop shop’ access to the world’s leading Cruise lines.

Amadeus Cruise Shop makes searching and comparing cruise offers easy

These are just some of the benefits: Filter search results and tailor available offers instantly to match your customers’ preferences. If a preferred cabin is unavailable, view saleable alternative options in seconds. Enhance your customer service by proactively sharing itinerary, port, ship and cruise line information with your customers via email or screen display.

Make waves for your customers with Amadeus Cruise Shop! Discover the benefits of Amadeus Cruise Shop for yourself by contacting: Olwen on 01 879 2504 or Trish on 021 488 6870 sales@ie.amadeus.com or visit www.amadeus.com


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What your clients should know

Ziplining in Labadee with Allure of the Seas in the bay “The world is 70pc “It is sometimes forre ships too big? water. A huge amount of gotten that nearly every “Ships are ext r a o r d i n a r i l y the world’s surface is cruise ship on the planet complex, sophisticated covered in ocean. But is built in Europe, technologically advanced there are only 280 cruise whether it is in Italy, GerFinland and resorts.” Celebrity ships on the planet. That many, France. The impact is Cruises CEO Michael is small. Las Vegas has 100,000 hugely significant.” Bayley says. beds, that is nearly as big “The ships also bring “Ships are not built to be the biggest ship. Peo- as the entire cruise indus- massive impact in terms of their multiplier impact ple get quite caught up in try. It depends on how you in emerging economies.” how big and why it is the biggest. Ships are really view the sea. “The design process designed for the customer and the building process he cruise industry and the type of customer is doing better in experience we want peo- is typically five years from the design to comthe recession than ple to enjoy.” “The sea is a massive pletion of the first ship in other bits of the travel part of the world. We the class. That design is business, like hotels and spend our lives on the all based on customer de- airlines, which have been battered by a fall in busisea, make our living on mand.” “The business is doing ness travel. the sea, take people on Cruise lines also hope the sea for vacation, des- well in terms of growth tinations etc. We see it because of the demand of their decision to invest in our customers. These colossal ships may help quite differently. “It is a huge world of businesses are profitable them diversify their cusocean and there are sur- and they support busi- tomer base without losing prisingly not that many nesses in all these their traditional market of elderly customers. cruise ships in the world.” economies.”

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The industry hopes to attract even more customers in the next few years. Cruise lines are using lower prices to draw in younger passengers and families, as well as things like ice-skating rinks and cinemas. As a result of these efforts, the median age of cruise passengers in 2011 was 48, down from 60 in 2001., according to the Cruise Lines International Association. Average ages means little to a customer - people on mainland Europe tend to cruise younger, the mid 40s in Spain and Italy versus 62 in England, with Ireland and the USA in between. The real clinchers for younger cruise passengers is the growing number of on board activities, sun cruises and shorter

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cruises. Cruise is great for three generational families.

n industry that was almost exclusively aimed at the American, and later the British markets, has spread its appeal. Europeans are cruising in larger numbers, about 33,000 Irish took to the ships this year, more than 45,000 if some of the industry indices (historically regarded as optimistic) are to be believed. This has huge potential for growth. In England more people cruise than ski, while in Ireland cruising is less than 70pc of the ski market. Even bringing the Irish cruise market from where it is now to the English level of 2-3pc of population

would bring numbers up to over 100,000 per annum. “Cruise companies have a lot of opportunity to develop the market place,” Michael English of Royal Caribbean says. One of the big attractions of cruising is that it allows some people to go on holiday without paying for a flight. English clients have the option of travelling direct from an English port. Only smaller ships like the Fred Olsen and Saga, fleets (and occasionally Cobh-berthed ships like MSC Poesia) have done so in Ireland so far. Royal Caribbean say that a big rise in volume from Ireland and a big development for 2013 was the first direct pick-ups from Cobh, through the auspices of Lee Travel.


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WINTER CRUISE 2013-4

What your clients should know

Delivering the right quote

o-ordinating all that cruise information has become a big challenges for agents. Amadeus launched Amadeus Cruise Shop in Ireland and Britain earlier in the summer after a six month trial period with American Holidays, eTravel and Tour America. Cruise Shop is a browser based shopping and booking product designed to enable agents to create a booking in under two minutes using the streamlined Fast Sell feature with step-bystep search and booking process. The new browser based shopping and booking solution is designed to benefit experienced cruise specialists who can create a booking in under two minutes using the streamlined Fast Sell feature. It is equally beneficial for travel agents that are new to selling cruise holidays, thanks to a user-friendly, step-by-step search and booking process to navigate the huge choice in size of ship, quality and range of onboard experiences, itineraries and price. In summer 2013, Amadeus undertook research into con-

Trademark cantilevered jacuzzis on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship sumer perception regarding been created using agile devel- sale on 19 September 2013. cruise holidays and the oppor- opment methodology where enRob Sinclair-Barnes, markettunity and challenges this pres- hancements are delivered in ing director of Amadeus Ireland ents the industry. frequent ‘sprints’. and UK, said: “We are excited Eightpc of adults reported The successful pilot phase of about the development of this that they were open to the pos- this fully browser based solu- smarter cruise shopping and sibility of booking a cruise hol- tion has resulted in an applica- booking technology, which we iday in the next 12 months. tion that is closely aligned to believe leapfrogs anything that The opportunity for increas- the needs of today’s travel sell- is available in the business-toing sales by offering cruise hol- ers. business space today. idays as an alternative to Already more than 100 travel “The intuitive workflow is similarly priced resort based professionals are using Cruise centered on the shopping habits holidays is clear with a third of Shop and the feedback has been of 21st century travellers, makpeople (32pc ) stating that they extremely positive. ing it much easier for travel would be tempted to go on a Amadeus will be rolling out professionals to match the cruise holiday if they were of the solution to existing cus- needs of customers who value lower or comparable cost to an tomers in a phased approach their advice and expertise. all-inclusive holiday. over the coming months and “Together with our 13 cruise Amadeus Cruise Shop has Cruise Shop goes on general line launch partners available in

Cruise Shop today, we value trade sales. With the right technology, we see a real opportunity for the industry to play an even bigger role in the ongoing cruise success story.” Amadeus say the product was designed in response to agents who had tired to trying to adapt to cruise provider websites that controlled workflow on their terms. They say Amadeus Cruise Shop is designed to fit around your business requirements with user-friendly displays and processes that are optimised for selling and that Amadeus Cruise Shop offers real-time connections to the world’s leading cruise lines, including: ■ Azamara Club Cruises ■ Carnival ■ Celebrity Cruises ■ Costa Cruises ■ Disney Cruise Line ■ Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ■ Holland America Line ■ Hurtigruten ■ MSC Cruises ■ Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) ■ Oceania Cruises ■ Royal Caribbean ■ Seabourn ■ Silversea.

FIVE WINTER CRUISES FOR YOUR CLIENTS

FREEDOM OF THE SEAS: For good reason, almost two thirds of the cruises sold in Ireland are on board one company, Royal Caribbean. Their most popular winter cruise is out of Fort Canaveral in Florida, a short drive from the playgrounds of Orlando. The cruise line will package three nights in Orlando to see the Mouse and its competitors, Universal, Seaworld and Busch Gardens before you embark on the floating resort that is Freedom. Bigger means more variety, Broadway entertainment and if you want to go beyond the buffet, 18 speciality bars and restaurants. A 7night Eastern Caribbean Cruise costs from Eu480 per person, and your travel agent will put together a decent package to include flights. There are interesting New York options on board Explorer of the Seas, 7

nights Bahamas Cruise + 2 nights in New York from Eu999pp. Upgrade to balcony from Eu199pp and get $100 onboard spend.

OASIS/ALLURE OF THE SEAS: These are the giants of the industry, and such is the fuss of these 5,400 passenger floating resorts that they cost about Eu39000 more than the previous generation giant ships. They alternate sialings on the western and western Caribbean which Best lead-in price I can find at the moment is a 7-night Western Caribbean Cruise on Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas from Eu690 per person for a 12 January, 2014 sail date. Pay a little more for the outside cabin. The excursions are often to private islands owned by the cruise companies, the only reason

monia Nov 1 – Mar 14 starting at Eu349 per person and you can add in flights for another Eu340. Buy a drinks package for Eu23 per person per day and you have bagged one of the best bargains in the travel business at the moment,

MSC Armonia: Based in the Canary Islands anyone goes to Haiti nowadays Last time I did it we were is a cruise stop at Labadee. buzzed by the Iranian air force. Travelagent.ie have an outside MSC LIRICA: offer one cabin for Eu1119pp (based on 2 night in Dubai pre cruise and sharing) includes flights, taxes, seven on board between No- transfers and 7 nights cruise invember 23-and March 22 with cluding all meals and entertainlead-in prices of Eu919. Stops ment onboard. include Abu Dhabi, Khor al Fakkan, Muscat, Khasab MSC ARMONIA is operatOman, and cruising through ing out of Gran Canaria on the strait of Hormuz is exciting. seven night itineraries for Ar-

HURTIGRUTEN: Last year they told us this was the best chance to see the northern lights for decades. Guess what, this winter they are saying the same thing. Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyages have great packages on selected dates from now until December (north, south and round trip) and include 2 for 1 offers or no single supplements. A 6 night full board voyage north departing Bergen November 9th From Eu 999 per couple sharing an inside cabin (flights and any hotels are extra).


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VIKING Ocean Cruises new cruise line will make its maiden voyage in 2015.

AZAMARA Club Cruises unveiled its 2015 itineraries, 52 sailings ranging from 5nights to 18-nights Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest will visit a total of 203 ports in 62 countries, including 16 maiden port calls. Celtic Link ferries are transporting caravans free of charge between now and Christmas. DUN LAOGHAIRE Killiney hotelier, Eithne Scott Lennon, was appointed as Chairperson of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company by Minister Varadkar. THOMAS COOK announced Cunard and P&O 2015 World Cruise offerings and a Weddings at sea package.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN launched Ocean Voyages, a collection of revised onboard programmes and new shore excursion packages on sailings between Europe and the Americas. All Royal Caribbean International ships to sail Ocean Voyages will also have completed revitalisation by early 2014.

LIVERPOOL's Cunard Building where many Irish emigrants once began their journeys, could become a cruise terminal if a proposed relocation programme put forward by Liverpool City council goes ahead. LLOYD's List, claimed as the shipping industry bible, one of the oldest newspapers in the world, abandoned print after 279 years to go on-line only.

CELTIC LINK Ferries will be the only ferry company sailing between Ireland and France in January and most of February in 2014. Celtic Link Ferries will begin their January schedule on January 14th after taking a few weeks off for ship maintenance.

CELEBRITY A new late-night, adultonly entertainment format will open on Celebrity's 3046-passenger Celebrity Reflection and 2886-passenger Celebrity Silhouette. "Sin City Comedy" is designed to be "funny and a little bit sexy," combining comedians with burlesque acts. It's produced by the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood "Sin City" group. The show will be in addition to existing music, jazz, vocal, party band, and stage shows.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN commemorates a quarter-century of Alaska cruising next year when the cruise line places two ships in service there. 34 sailings will leave from Vancouver or Seattle on seven-day itineraries. Next year Royal Caribbean promises up to 11 dining options, a new entertainment array, kids and teen programs, and a new babies and tots nursery for youngsters from six months to three years of age. In ports of call, it will offer 5300-foot-long zip rides, dogsledding, White Pass and Yukon train rides, off-roading , canoeing, and more CRYSTAL has completed some remod-

eling to add more connecting staterooms. The company says it notices an increase in multigenerational cruising and has refitted 18 outside staterooms to enable connections.

irish Ferries premium suite on board Oscar Wilde

Suite feelings

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Irish Ferries brings crusie ship style comfort to ferry

rish Ferries have formally launched their three Premium Suites on board the Oscar Wilde which sails from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Roscoff. Situated high up on deck 8 overlooking the bow of the ship with unobstructed sea views, the twin-room suites offer passengers a level of comfort more akin to cruise ships. Cabin service are provided by a dedicated steward, each double-

roomed suite consists of a sitting room with sofa seating and an adult sofa bed and an adjoining bedroom with king size double bed and ensuite facilities. Other little luxuries that passengers can look forward to include a stocked minibar and complimentary fruit basket; Nespresso coffee and tea making facilities; a 32'' satellite web-connected television with wireless keyboard; air conditioning; a trouser press and hairdryer and breakfast for two in

HEADLINE HEADLINE HEADLINE HEADLINE

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ublin welcomed its millionth cruise passenger this month. A big fuss was made when Diane Taylor, from Newfoundland, stepped off Carnival Legend with her husband, Doug. She was presented with flowers and champagne and they were brought off to the Guinness Stre-

house for VIP treatment. The next passenger off the ship had cause to be very grumpy indeed. According to cruise director John Heald, Mr Ayers of Iowa would have been the millionth passenger if only his wife had not paused at the top of the gangway "to sort her purse out." Carnival Legend was the

100th cruise ship to visit the city this year and is now heading for New York on a 14-night sailing via Dublin, Glasgow, Belfast, Reykjavik, Qaqortoq and St John's, Newfoundland. Cruise passenger numbers to Dublin have tripled in a decade and are expected to quadruple during the next 10 years.

the ship’s plush Berneval restaurant. Aimed at those who like to pamper themselves, the new Premium Suites add to the accommodation offering onboard the Oscar Wilde which includes a choice of 2, 3, 4 and 5-star cabins and onboard facilities that include a choice of restaurants and lounges, two cinemas, Wi-Fi internet access, mall style shopping, children’s play zones and a hair and beauty salon.

A million up


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IRISH FERRIES passenger num-

bers were up slightly to 678,400 in the six months to June, number of cars carried was down by 4.2pc to 142,500, parent company ICG reported.

SHORE ADVICE Cruise ships in Alaska have had to change their advice about "the best places to shop" following a court case that claimed the lectures mislead guests: one shopkeeper says he had in the past paid $25,000 plus 10pc of sales to be part of the programmes. Onboard Media, Royal Media Partners, and the PPI Group, agreed to a $200,000 settlement with the state. IRISH FERRIES Haven Holidays

are offering family weekend breaks from €299 for three nights at the Welsh holiday parks of Presthaven Sands and Quay West.

VIKING Cruises increased its order for new Viking Longships from 12 to 14 for the 2014 season.

CRYSTAL has added more than a dozen

St Nazaire: Constructing its 13th Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Oasis 3 underway

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First piece of steel cut in French St Nazaire shipyard

he cruise ship business is to get a new biggest ever cruise ship. The steel cutting ceremony was held this month for the third ship in the Oasis class, temporarily known as A34 to the St Nazaire shipyard and Oasis 3. The ship to be delivered in mid 2016 will be slightly bigger and have 38 more cabins than Oasis or Allure. At 362.15 metres it will be 2.15m longer, 2,718 more gross tonnage, a maximum capacity of 6,360 passengers, 42 more than Allure. It is the 13th Royal Caribbean Ship to be built by STX at St Nazaire and

marks a return to the yards from the STX yard in Turku. A giant new crane, ordered two years ago but to be used for the first time on Oasis 3, will enable Oasis 3 to be constructed in 90 individual blocks, whereas the earlier two ships were made up of 160 blocks. Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain said he would not be revealing the details of Oasis 3's features until mid-2014. the steel was cut to Vangelis's theme music for the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise in a construction shed. The first piece, a silhouette of the

ship, was signed by (pictured, left to right) Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain, STX operations director Jean Yves Jaouen, Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean vice-president Harri Kulovaara and STX CEO Laurent Castaing at the steel-cutting ceremony for Oasis 3 in St Nazaire, September 23 2013. Royal Caribbean has an option to order a fourth Oasis-class vessel in the next 12 months. It is also building three slightly smaller Quantum-class ships at the Meyer-Werft yard in Papenburg, Germany.

new itineraries to its 2013 single-cruiser program. Some 26 trips are now available for sole occupancy of double accommodations at a supplement of 10 percent through December. Among the destinations: the Med, the Baltic, South America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, the Black Sea, the North Cape, the British Isles, Eastern Canada, and transocean

VENICE The Cruise association expects a sustainable alternative for the future passage of cruise ships in Venice to be in place by the end of the year.

STENA Line is offering breakfast in bed on Stena's Belfast - Liverpool route.

DUN LAOGHAIRE Harbour

Company launched a public consultation on the development of a floating swimming pool and ‘urban beach’ alongside East Pier of Dún Laoghaire Harbour.

CELEBRITY The 2170-passenger

Celebrity Infinity will visit 29 destinations in 13 countries during the 2014 - 2015 Celebrity's World Tout" programme. The company has added a South America and Panama Canal itinerary. Most voyages will be 15 days in length. Fort Lauderdale and San Diego are the ports of embarkation.

EMERALD The launch of Emerald

Waterways is expected to challenge Viking River Cruises’ dominance of the four-star river-cruise sector. The line is offering 8-5-day itineraries from April 15 next in two new ships Emerald Star and Emerald Sky – each carry 182 guests in 20 staterooms (two staterooms are built for solo passengers) and 72 suites.

CELEBRITY has joined forces with The first piece, a silhouette of the ship, was signed by (pictured, left to right) Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain, STX operations director Jean Yves Jaouen, Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean vice-president Harri Kulovaara and STX CEO Laurent Castaing at the steel-cutting ceremony for Oasis 3

Microsoft's Xbox to integrate the video game entertainment device into passengers' holiday cruises. It will establish Xbox-themed spaces across its fleet offering the interactive feature to families and children of all ages. There will be adult and children's venues for the game as well as themed parties and open time.


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DAA reported that 15.6m passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport in the year to date, a 5pc increase when compared to the same period last year. just under 1.9m passengers passed through Dublin Airport in September, a 4pc increase on last year. Almost 612,000 passengers travelled on UK routes, up 5pc, just over 1m on Continental routes up 2pc, more than 197,000 on transatlantic routes up 10pc, 45,000 on other international routes (mainly Gulf routes) up 2pc and 7,000 on domestic routes up 20pc.

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

Toronto at 2pm

STANSTED The Centre for Aviation Policy noted Ryanair’s share of summer capacity at Stansted increased from 60pc in 2007 to 74pc in 2013. UNITED Airlines expanded the premium beverage menu at United Clubs.

EMIRATES launched flights to Clark in the Philippines, via Dubai; a new A380 service into Brisbane and Milan to New York. ETHIOPIAN won the African Business

of the Year award at the African Business Award 2013.

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

PLAZA Premium Lounge will open a new

facility at Heathrow Terminal 2 in June 2014. The venue will offer a live cooking station with made-to-order dishes, a daily tapas selection at the champagne bar, and an à la carte menu by celebrity chefs. Aer Lingus are set to move to Terminal 2 in Heathrow next year.

RYANAIR extended their campaign to attract more business travellers. They announced a new acceptance agreement with American Express, although cards will be subjected to a 2pc charge. ETIHAD launched the first commercial

flight between Abu Dhabi and Ho Chi Minh City operated by a two-class A330-200. Emirates launched three daily flights between Milan and JFK New York, home to the largest Italian community in the USA

LAN Colombia joined Oneworld alliance and will be followed by TAM on March 31, after which all passenger airlines operated by the LATAM group will be part of Oneworld. Qatar Airways is to become a full member of Oneworld from October 30.

SIA will resume seasonal services to Athens after having suspended the route in 2012.

AIR NEW ZEALAND appointed Antony Price as new general manager Europe. RYANAIR carried 8m passengers for

second month in a row in September.

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Toronto will have extensive services from both Aer LIngus and Air Canada next year

Aer Lingus Boeing 757 to be configured as 12/165

er Lingus has indicated the configuration on their B757 service would be 12/165. The Dublin-Toronto service will commence on April 21st and fly daily in summer and up to four per week in winter. The flight times are: ■ EI129 DUB 1400 YYZ 1620 ■ EI128 YYZ 1750 DUB 0520 There will be onwards connections at Toronto to eight key Canadian

cities: Vancouver, Montreal, Saint Johns, Halifax, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Winnipeg. All these are served from Toronto by Air Canada and, mostly at lower frequencies, by WestJet. The new route means that Aer Lingus transatlantic capacity will increase by 24pc in 2014, following on from the 13pc additional capacity in the 2013 transatlantic schedule. Aer Lingus also intend to provide further connectivity from San Fran-

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cisco to Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Aer Lingus is to offer flat beds in business class commencing in 2015 on their restarted San Francisco route next year. route . Aer Lingus say this is due to the strength of bookings on the route. While United uses San Francisco as a hub, no other single carrier comes close, but Southwest and Virgin America each serve several points..

LINGUS ROLLS OUT WIFI SERVICE er Lingus launched their wireless facilities on trans-Atlantic

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Log in page for Aer Lingus wi-fi

aircraft. The new service, provided by Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Aeromobile and Deutsche Telekom, will be free to business passengers and will cost €11 for the first hour for economy passengers. A 24 hour service is avail-

able for €20. A new text messaging service was launched alongside the roll-out of wireless internet, available to customers through their mobile phone, smartphone, Blackberry and GSM-enabled tablet computer, allowing customers to send and receive text messages in-flight.

WELCOME FOR €3 TAX REMOVAL

irlines and airports have welcomed Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s decision to axe the V3 air travel tax

in the budget. The tax was in place since 2009. Aer Lingus, DAA and Aer Arann issued statements welcoming the removal. Aer Lingus said it

has always been Aer Lingus' position that the tax was counterproductive. Aer Arann called on the Minister to remove it from January rather than waiting

until April 1. Shannon said removing the tax could tip the balance for the airport. Ryanair revised some of their summer route plans


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Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

AIR CANADA is to introduce pre-

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

LUFTHANSA are changing the seat

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

Passengers could end up paying marginally less for their flights this winter

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The hot winter

Ryanair and Aer Lingus to scrap over air fares

oth Aer Lingus and Ryanair are expecting to have to reduce fares in the coming winter as they go to head on crucial routes. Ryanair have promised to reduce the average fare by Eu4 after the airline saw a perceptible dip in forward fares and yields into September, October and November. Aer Lingus followed Ryanair in downgrading their guidance (no longer blaming the heat wave) for the year. They will reduce short haul capacity by 3pc in Q4. Projected 2013 profit is down to €60m from €69m. Ryanair will cut capacity by about 1pc in winter with loss-making routes and frequencies cut. Profit forecast is down from €600m to €570m. Ryanair blamed the heat wave in June for what they believed was a short-term slowdown, now they blame a weaker sterling (Ryanair make a disproportionate amount of their revenue in Britain) and increased price competition (from Easyjet?) for what might be a slower winter than expected. Michael O’Leary said there would be no major capacity growth until 2015 but he would not be allowing

capacity increases on Ryanair routes by Aer Lingus at Dublin to go unchallenged. Michael O’Leary said there would be some growth from Stansted due to concessions by the owners. Q3 bookings (seat factor) are ahead of last year but yield is lower. When Ryanair revised their calculations in September, bout 40pc of capacity was sold for October, 15pc for November, and less than 10pc for Decemebr. Ancillary revenues were well ahead of last year but Q4 last year was very strong and hard to beat. Ryanair grounded 80-100 aircraft grounded last winter, and had planned to ground 50 next winter. This figure has now increased to 70-80. About 750,000 seats are being removed from the original winter plans, 600,000 passengers: passenger forecast for the year reduced from 81.5m to just above 80m. Michael O’Leary said there is no general capacity expansion in Europe short-haul with the legacy carriers cut-backs balanced by low fare growth. He said this is why Ryanair is so surprised by the demand weakness which it is addressing by more aggressive pricing, seat sales, promotions and advertising.

He believes the drop is due to a combination of factors, including increased price competition and some capacity increases in the UK, Scandinavia, Spanish and Irish markets, the continuing effect of austerity and weak economic conditions across Europe, and weaker sterling/euro exchange rates. Michael O’Leary said: “we will respond to this lower yield outlook by selectively reducing our winter season capacity, thereby cutting our full year traffic target from over 81.5m to just under 81m. We are also rolling out a range of lower fares and aggressive seat sales particularly in those markets mainly UK, Scandinavia, Spain and Ireland. He said that regardless of whether the figure comes in at €570m or slightly below, “Ryanair cash flows and balance sheet remain in rude good health and there is no change to our recently announced plans to complete share buybacks.”. The guidance for a small increase in profits for the first half of the year remains although the expected average fare increase of 5pc is now 2pc. He said a 4pc movement in sterling could cost €30-50m in a full year.

ETIHAD will begin non-stop daily services between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles from June 2014, subject to regulatory approval. Etihad is to purchase from Air India five Boeing 777-200 LRs, the longest range passenger aircraft in operation for use on the route. Etihad Airways increased its Jakarta flights from daily flights to double daily from October 27, 2013. Etihad Airways passenger revenue exceeds US$1bn and passenger numbers were over $3m in the third quarter of 2013. SHANNON Engine Support is expand-

ing its spare engine portfolio with the addition of a mix of 29 CFM56 LEAP-1A/-1B engines (for A320neo and B737 MAX series), scheduled to begin delivery in 2016. The order is valued at more than $375m.

AER LINGUS passenger numbers

were down 4.4pc year on year, having taken out capacity by a further 4.6pc. Long haul was up 11.3pc and short haul down 6.5pc on last year, 4.5pc when a 13.9pc increase in Aer Lingus Regional traffic (some of it diverted from the main-line) is taken into account. Long haul Load factor was 86.7pc long haul and 77.7pc short haul.

RYANAIR said it is in talks with Boeing to remove the rear toilets from its aircraft to allow for more seating. AIRBUS has announced a new lower weight variant of the A330-300 with more seats and less galleys.

RYANAIR is to discontinue services from Edinburgh to Barcelona and Stockholm from next month.

DELTA and Virgin were granted approval by the US authorities to coordinate fares and schedules on flights across the Atlantic.

DAA is to relandscape a car park in Cork airport for which it had no planning permission.

CORK Airport was ranked first for overall

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


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THE FLYING COLUMN

SAS is to fly its last McDonnell Douglas 80 into Dublin on October 24th. The MD 80 was the backbone of the fleet since the 1980s and now goes into retirement. SAS reported September traffic growth of 1.6pc on capacity up 5.2pc with passenger load factor down 2.6 points to 73.9pc.

RYANAIR made its mobile app free to download from iTunes and Google Play Store at the beginning of October, allowing customers to make flight bookings including priority boarding and checked-in baggage, and add optional services such as priority boarding and checked-in bags to existing bookings but not yet to use a boarding pass on their smart DUBLIN AIRPORT Siobhain Danaher’s photography Exhibition has opened in Terminal 1 of Dublin Airport (upstairs by the food hall. WIZZ Air has unveiled plans to expand its

Vilnius base in Lithuania with a third A320 and to establish its third Ukrainian base in Lviv with one A320.

SOKYOM Hungarian Airways has told

the company’s 73 employees that negotiations with the potential investor have broken down and the company has no funds

RYANAIR is ready to replace any domestic routes Alitalia may decide to give up, according to an interview with Michael O'Leary in Corriere della Sera.

CORK A new early learning and activity

centre for children staying at and visiting Cork International Airport Hotel has been opened. The Aviators Club is a fully equipped, free facility and a hub of fun and play for children o.

AEROFLOT is to launch a no-frills

brand, known as Dobrolet, which is loosely translated as “nice flight”. It will take to the skies next year if laws forbidding the sale of non-refundable tickets on the internet are repealed by the Russian government. Dobrolet will fly from Moscow to St Petersburg and eight other Russian cities but is likely to expand to international holiday routes, such as Turkey and the Red Sea.

ELECTRONICS Aviation authorities are considering a recommendation that passengers be allowed to use electronic gadgets throughout a flight.

WATERFORD Airport has appointed Desmond O’Flynn (formerly of Aeroport de Deauville-Normandie, as new CEO. NO TICKET A schoolboy whose fear

of flying forced him to stay in Abu Dhabi for more than a year was enabled to return with the help of a hypnotist.

HEATHROW Passengers travelling could face an extra charge of up to €8.30 for using Heathrow airport from next April.

RYANAIR flights Dublin to Stockholm Skavsta, Maastricht and Pisa all end in the first week of November.

R

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

FR gone soft?

Ryanair’s statement of intent creats a surprise

yanair’s declaration that it was going to soften its image has generated some of the most far-reaching publicity in the airline’s history. Ryanair’s new strategy emerged after chief executive Michael O'Leary told the company's AGM after several shareholders complained about the impact of customer service on sales. The Ryanair statement said: “Our primary focus this winter will be to significantly invest in, and improve, the Ryanair.com website, our mobile platform and our interaction with passengers using social media. We are pleased to remove Recaptcha from November for individual passengers, although the security feature will remain in place for high volume or multiple IP addresses in order to deter larger travel agents, screenscrapers and others who flood our website seeking fare quotes, and diminish our website's accessibility for individual passengers. This winter will also see a rolling programme of development to improve the Ryanair.com website, make it easier for passengers to navigate,

Michael O’Leary speaking at Dublin Holiday World in 2011

quicker for them to locate our all-inclusive price quotes, identify availability of our lower fare promotions and book Ryanair's great fares for themselves and their families. These improvements will be accompanied by a new digital marketing strategy which will see Ryanair switch a significant proportion of its marketing budget from old to new media, with a particular focus on mobile and social media platforms."

SYDNEY THE BIGGEST CONNECTION AIRPORT

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ydney was Dublin Airport’s biggest long haul airport for connecting passengers for the period Jul 2012-Jun 2013 The long haul top ten was: ■ 1 Sydney, ■ 2 New York,

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■ 3 Orlando, ■ 4 San Francisco, ■ 5 Los Angeles, ■ 6 Melbourne, ■ 7 Johannesburg, ■ 8 Singapore, ■ 9 Toronto, ■ 10 Perth. The short-haul top 10 was:

■ 1 Helsinki, ■ 2 Moscow, ■ 3 Luxembourg, ■ 4 Gothenburg, ■ 5 Hamburg, ■ 6 Hanover, ■ 7 Nuremberg, ■ 8 Oslo, ■ 9 Bucharest ■ 10 Stockholm.

Ryanair aims to become more userfriendly with a simpler website and co-operation with travel agents, in a cultural revolution for the airline that pioneered low-cost travel with minimal customer service. Ryanair also promised to transform its "abrupt culture" in a bid to win customers from rivals, admitting that it had a significant problem with customer service. "We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off,"

Sydney airport

NEW FRENCH CONTRACT CASES

Paris appeals court has upheld €100,000 in fines imposed on Cityjet and its Air France-KLM owner for breaches of French labour law. Cityjet received the penalty last year from a court that found it had engaged staff working in France between 2006 and

2008 using Irish contracts. Air France-KLM had also been hit with a fine, while its former chief executive, Jean-Cyril Spinetta, received a €15,000 penalty as a result of the case. Cityjet deputy chief executive Michael Collins had also been ordered to pay a €15,000 penalty. The appeals court later

acquitted Michael Collins. The fines against Cityjet and Air France-KLM are part of a continuing crackdown by French authorities on airlines which employ staff on contracts in the airlines' home countries. Ryanair has also been fined but it is appealing against the decision, Ryanair closed its only

French base at Marseille in January 2011 following the commencement of legal proceedings against Ryanair’s Marseille base, where its 200 pilots and cabin crew "work on Irish aircraft (ie Irish territory) and pay their taxes and social insurance contributions in Ireland where they receive their Irish pay".


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THE FLYING COLUMN

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

DELTA has taken delivery of its first B737-900ER.

JAL ordered 31 wide-body A350s worth

$9.5 bn at list prices, a setback for Boeing, which has traditionally dominated the Japanese aviation market.

RYANAIR agreed to put an email ad-

dress on its website as a result of representations from consumer groups

EASYJET will open a Naples base in spring 2014 with two A319 aircraft,

Dublin conference centre: venue for IATA symposium on October 29th and 30th

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IATA checks in

IATA brings 3rd passenger symposium to Dublin ublin is to host the IATA World Passenger Symposium from October 29 - October

31. Under the theme “From Service to Value - a customer driven transformation”, the agenda will focus on the customer experience from shopping for air travel to the actual airport experience. A particular focus will be given to New Distribution Capability (NDC) and to the new programs that will impact the passenger airport experience, such as the Checkpoint of the Future. As the trade association for 84pc of the world’s airlines, the IATA’s an-

nual World Passenger Symposium is a chance for senior aviation figures to get together and formalize industry positions and public policy issues. It also provides a focus for emerging industry issues, as well as providing access to first hand intelligence on new technologies and processes. Previous IATA Symposium’s have been held in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, attracting over 500 world-wide delegates. More than 700 representatives from IATA member airlines, industry partners, manufacturers, suppliers, international and regional associations, and members of the government are expected to attend the 5 day event at

ERAA AWARDS AER ARANN FOR INITIATIVE

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er Arann/Aer Lingus Regional were awarded ‘Airline of the Year’ 2013/14 Bronze Award by the European Regions Airline Association at their awards in Salzburg in Austria. The airline was commended for its rebirth over the past year and its innovative management strategy to grow passenger numbers. CEO Sean Brogan accepted the award. Other award winners were: Silver: bmi regional, Gold Binter Canarias, the airport award went to Budapest and the individual waward went to François Debost, deputy VP fleet management, HOP. The independent judging panel said Aer Arann had achieved a “remarkable” revival through a new franchise agreement that has enabled it to attract new investors and raise additional capital. “This is indicative of

great confidence in the airline’s future and its management capabilities,” said the panel. “Its campaign to pull traffic from UK airports to Dublin for US flights has been a clever move.” Aer Arann’s ‘new beginning’ strategy has included a financial restructuring of the company, a €144m deal for eight new ATR aircraft, the extension of the franchise agreement with Aer Lingus until 2022, and the addition of Newcastle to the Aer Lingus Regional route network. The airline has overseen a 32pc rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in the past 12 months and, in the coming weeks, is set to reach its three millionth passenger carried since the beginning of the franchise agreement with Aer Lingus in 2010. “We are delighted to have been selected again as an ERA award winner following two previous wins,” said the airline’s chief executive Seán Bro-

The CCD in October 2013. CEOs representing what organisers call “the entire Air Travel Value Chain” will attend Including: ■ Matthew Baldwin, Aviation Director of the European Commission ■ Alexandre de Juniac, CEO, Air France ■ Christoph Muller, CEO Aer Lingus ■ Kevin Toland, CEO, Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) ■ Gordon Wilson, President and CEO Travelport Limited ■ Nick Vournakis, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Carlson Wagonlit.

SOUTHEND Work on a £10 million

extension to the London Southend Airport terminal is on track for its New Year opening.

RYANAIR said it would continue its winter service from Kerry to London while Ryanair blamed an IT glitch for the FarranforeLondon service disappearing from its system. RECLINING seats were back in the

news, nine in ten plane passengers would like to see reclining seats banned, according to a new survey.

20 Irish companies from the aviation sector

joined Alan Kelly, Minister of State for Transport, on an Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Russia to leverage opportunities for Irish companies in that market.

EASYJET apologised after a flight

from Malaga to Bristol took off while 29 of its passengers were stuck in a boarding gate stairwell. The passengers were accidentally locked in when security doors leading to a walkway to the aircraft closed, trapping people who were queuing to board. They managed to alert staff in a nearby perfume shop after banging on the doors. After around 20 minutes, a cleaner managed to free the group, who were then seen by an Easyjet rep.

AER RIANTA Jack MacGowan said

that Aer Rianta International can double its profits in the next five years. Jack MacGowan spoke to The Moodie Report as the company hosted its 25th anniversary celebrations.

FINNAIR reported traffic growth of

7.4pc in September, on capacity up 4.0pc, and passenger load factor up 2.6 points to 81.1pc.

AIR FRANCE is to extend its Paris-

Sean Brogan wth the award gan. “Our new beginning strategy is transforming the airline. The combination of fresh investment, successful restructuring, fleet renewal, new routes, new staff and an extension of our partnership with Aer Lingus is enabling us to grow passenger numbers, and set ambitious targets for 2014. We have come a long way in a short time, which is testament to the hard work of the full team of over 350 staff.”

Singapore flight to Jakarta from March 30 (B777-300ER daily), just as Garuda joins SkyTeam. There will be scissors (cross)-connections at Singapore with KLM’s AmsterdamSingapore-Bali flights.

LUFTHANSA has signalled that it plans to react vigorously to the easyJet base in Hamburg and respond. AEGEAN/OLYMPIC The Euro-

pean Commission has cleared, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean Airlines, both Greek air carriers. The Commission's in-depth investigation has shown that Olympic Air would be forced to exit the market in the near future due to financial difficulties if not acquired by Aegean.


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RYANAIR is advertising for a Director

– Sales & Marketing who “will take responsibility for all our Sales & Marketing activity, including communications and will become the main spokesperson for Ryanair in all markets. He/she will be responsible for devising and implementing all sales, promotions, advertising, brand development and communication strategy in order to promote Ryanair’s safety, customer service and low fare messages” ans a Director – Commercial who “will take responsibility for all our new route development, airport negotiations, scheduling, load factor, traffic growth and yield management” It is speculated that the Director – Sales and Marketing is to spearhead efforts to create a new, softer image for Ryanair.

EASYJET raised its profit expectation for the year ending September 30 from guidance of between £450m and £480m to £470m to £480m. It said revenue per seat at constant currency for the six months to 30 September 2013 is expected to grow by around 6pc thanks in part to strong demand in July and August. FINNAIR are to open a Premium Lounge at Helsinki Airport, available to Finnair Plus Platinum and Gold members and their guests, and frequent flyer cardholders with equivalent status at a Oneworld airline.

RYANAIR announced its first two Polish routes from Warsaw Modlin to Gdansk and Wroclaw. Ryanair returnsed to Warsaw Modlin Airport aat the begignning of the month , following completion of runway repair works and a new commercial agreement with the airport. BA plans to suspend London Gatwick-Tunis service indefinitely from 25 October.

RYANAIR's Shannon to Gatwick service is being cut back to 5 flights from 7 from midJan 2014 with Tuesday and Thursday flights to go. SINGAPORE Airlines business classonly non-stop flights to LA and New York will cease on October 20 and November 23.

JETBLUE is to launch a fully flat business class seat on routes from New York to LA and San Francisco next year, including four private suites with closing doors.

EASYJET announced an agreement with Sabre to enhance its booking process which will see Sabre-connected agents able to select and pay for specific seats at the same time as they make a flight booking for their customers,

GLASGOW Prestwick Airport is to be nationalised by the Scottish Government.

BA is to launch a new daily service from Gatwick to Malta in March, re-entering a Ryanair-dominated market it exited five years ago.

FASTJET the African airline backed by easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, warned that it would have to raise more money to keep flying as it dived to a first-half loss of $41.9m

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

Cushion comfort Eoghan Corry samples new seats on Air France

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Eoghan Corry samples the new seat at the launch in Paris

ir France unveiled their new economy and premium economy long haul product to international media in Paris. At a time when most airlines are focussing on first and business class this was a welcome move by the airline. Its first major change to Economy and Premium Economy seating in 10 years will bring electrical sockets, USB ports and improved in-flight entertainment. Features of the seat include an extra inch in seat pitch for economy passengers, to be fitted on 32 aircraft by end 2015, new lighter seats, new trays and individual seatback IFE screens will be larger and higher definition than the current offering. The lighter seats will bring savings 28 tonnes of fuel per flight. The investment of €500 million in new products will help Air France to chase the standards set by Etihad and Emirates. Close to 10,000 seats will be installed on 44 long-haul aircraft between June 2014 and July 2016. A new business class seat will be due in January and a full cabin revamp in April 2015. Air France CEO Alexandre de Juniac told Travel Extra: "Others have raised the bar but we will catch up.” Air France has worked on the seat cushion and seat back and is using new foam. Wide, soft headrests, which can be adjusted in height and width, adapt to all passengers. The armrests are fully retractable and blend with the chair back, facilitating seat access and promoting rest, especially for parents

traveling with children. The personal tray table has been enlarged, making it possible to eat or work more comfortably. When the tray table is closed, a cup holder provides a useful feature during the trip. Above the latest-genera-

Travel Extra that Air France is committed to maintaining its strong support for the Travel Trade amid its restructuring and cost-cutting. Air France also promised "a new attitude of crew," and reminded the 200 invited media from around the

tion individual screen there is a useful headphones holder. In addition to these developments, a large seat pocket with two additional storage spaces enables all passengers to store books and magazines in a practical way. To recharge personal electronic devices such as laptops and tablets, electric sockets are available: two sockets are now installed in each row of three seats in addition to the USB port which enables customers to easily recharge their mobile phones. Bruno Matheu, Chief Officer – Long Haul Passenger Activity of Air France responded to a question from

world that they are only airline to serve complimentary champagne in economy class long haul. Cushions in an original design will complement the cabin’s colour scheme and add a contemporary touch. These cushions are randomly placed on all the seats and are conducive to relaxation and well-being. A fleece blanket, headphones, refreshing towelette and eye-mask. The facility to print your own luggage tag at home is being tested on two domestic lines and will be extended to all domestic flights during October


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ITAA conference 2013

GLOBAL VILLAGE

ITAA members briefing the delegates on aspects of the Association’s work, John Galligan, Clare Dunne, Valerie Metcalfe, Angela Walsh, Martin Skelly and Pat Dawson

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Cadiz or Jerez?

ITAA Conference heads back to Andalucia next year

he Irish Travel Agents Association conference hosted in Granada by Gonzalo Ceballos of the Spanish Tourist Board and Antonio Martin of Andalucian Tourist Board was on eo fhte most successful in history and is likely to be followed by a return to Andalucia next yeat. Cadiz and Jeres are being speculated as potential venues for the next ITAA conference. A panel discussion on NDC was the high point of the conference, chaired by John Galligan who observed that “since they started selling hotels and car hire, Ryanair are turning into the biggest travel agent in the country.” At a press conferences Andalucian Tourism Minister Rafael Rodriguez said the regional government was prepared to work with airlines and tour operators to help them develop profitable routes, such as the recent BA route from London to Granada. He said while they had had contacts with Ryanair the “Ryanair philosophy is not consistent with ours.”

NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 33

NDC was debated by a panel of Yanki

Hoyles IATA Head NDC Programme FDS Transformation, Fergal Kelly Travelport VP for Product Portfolio, Alexandre Jorre Amadeus Senior Manager Commercial Marketing, Helena O’Connell Aer Lingus Country manager Ireland and Scotland. Chair of the panel John Galligan said the debate was designed to raise more questions than answers and had succeeded in doing that. He saw the GDS fees as a threat as well as the ability of the airlines to sell ancillaries, therefore becoming competitors to the agents.

ITOF Martin Skelly reported on the meeting between ITOF and ITAA in Palma, and said that the two bodies had a lot in common and that agents remained a major part of the distribution system and most of the operators rely on agents as their only distribution outlet. “We seemingly have a huge contribution to make to the operators. The two organisations are joined at the hip and it would be appropriate to make joint submissions on many topics.” AER LINGUS are to offer an ITAA

exclusive promotion for their winter sun destinations with a longer lead-in time and longer selling period, 20pc discount in Faro and Malaga, and 10pc discount on the Canary Island, with the travel period November and March. The fares are designed to be packaged and are not to be sold on their own in competition with Aer Lingus website.

ECTA Valerie Metcalfe reported on the re-

Antonio Martin speaking at the Gala dinner in Carmen de Los Martiresduring the ITAA Annual Conference in Granada, An extremely detailed VAT session ham Carroll of Digitalounge) and reby Dermot O’Brien and Gabrielle tail units (Alf Dunbar of youarethedDillon highlighted the lack of any ifference). legal framework for the current VAT President of the ITAA, Clare regulations on the travel trade. Dunne, said at the Conference that A new booklet is being prepared overseas tourism collaboration was for the Association on the subject by essential in creating employment in Dermot O’Brien, who warned that Ireland. the current Revenue guidelines had She said the Irish travel industry is no legal weight and were just “the worth €150m per annum to the Irish Revenue commissioners’ view of the economy in terms of value added spend when people are planning their world.” There were lively presentations on holidays. There are over 4,500 peowhat agents should do to get more ple directly employed in the industry business from their websites (Gra- in Ireland,”

form on the package holiday directive at European level. It was here that contact with NDC was first made.

BONDING Angela Walsh reported that

CAR are willing to engage with agents snd supported them on the issue fo credit card bodning. She said the ITAA had a meeting with one of the merchant providers, which indicated they had “absolutely no concept of the different layers of bonding that exist, we were compared with a retail furniture business.” She said CAR realise that the existing bonding system cannot continue.

CLICKS Graham Carroll of Digi-

talounge talked about the management of websites, and remarked that he was surprised so many agents did not have the capacity to change their own websites.

BRICKS Alf Dunbar of youarethedifference talked about use of the sales envirrnment.

IATA have invited Clare Dunne to speak at QUOTES OF THE CONFERENCE the IATA symposium at the end of November. for Irish travellers and nights spent tacts have been made with Ryanair, STICKER Clare Dunne said that the JOHN GALLIGAN abroad at 25pc, That makes Spain but Ryanair’s philosophy is not con-

Since they started selling car hire and hotels, Ryanair have become the biggest travel agent in the country.

CLARE DUNNE Cus-

tomers are demanding new products, seats, legroom, upgrades. The airline seat now is only the start of it.

GONZALO CEBALLOS Trips abroad are at 21pc of the total

the biggest destination for Irish.

GRAHAM CARROLL

People are planning their holidays online are spending 12 to 18 hours trying to do it.

RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ

(Andalusia Minister of Tourism and Commerce) We want to help airlines make a route profitable. Con-

sistent with ours.

ITAA sticker brings credibility and should be displayed on websites and on windows.

CLARE DUNNE You and your team are the most important aspect of your business.

ECTA stage their second bi-ennial meeting in Dublin on October 27-28.

DERMOT O’BRIEN

The existing Revenue regulations on VAT for travel agents have no basis in law, they are just the Revenue’s view of the world.

FINANCE Martin Skelly the Treasurer reported on the finances of the ITAA. “We can control our costs. It is a bit of a problem controllng our income but we have budgeted to make a profit during the year.”


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GLOBAL VILLAGE

WORLDCHOICE have appointed

Flexible Car Hire as preferred Car hire broker to replace Holiday Autos. Worldchoice have also signed an agreement with self catering and villa specialist, Interhome.

Inside the Travel Business

SUNWAY and the Los Angeles based

chairman of AMA Waterways Jimmy Murphy entertained agents in Cork at a river cruise breakfast (Jimmy began his travel career with Leslie Harris Travel in Harcourt Street). Sunway launched a 144-page brochure in association with Ama Waterways earlier in the year, featuring luxury river cruises in Europe, Russia, Africa, Cambodia and Vietnam.

EMIRATES staged an event for Club

Travel staff

RORY McDYER Travel in Clontarf are back in the office they had to vacate after a fire in July.

LOWCOSTbeds.com launched a travel agent ‘Save for Christmas’ promotion, agents making an accommodation booking with a transfer between October 11th and November 30th will receive a €5 One4All voucher before Christmas. SUNWAY appointed Barbara McKenna

as Agency Sales Representative.

AEREPS Americas Roadshows in

Dublin & Belfast brought together suppliers such as Aer Lingus, Atlantic City CVA, Belfast International Airport, Blue Insurances, BookaBed, Fitzpatrick Hotels NYC, Hotel Metro, NYC & Company, The Palazzo Hotel Resort & Casino Las Vegas, Philadelphia CVA, Simon Shopping Destinations, The Venetian Las Vegas and United Airlines.

THOMAS COOKsaid winter trading had started more slowly across most markets due to warm weather across Europe. TUI increased the profit outlook it gave only seven weeks ago due to strong demand in Britain and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden for summer holiday. TRAVEL COUNSELLORS Ireland now has 52 Travel Counsellors.

SPAIN reported record tourism figures in

August, 8.3m foreign tourists in all with English, French and German holidaymakers leading the charge. Irish visits was up 3.1pc to 148,700 according to the Frontur monthly report on foreigners movement at Spanish frontiers, "quite remarkable considering the fantastic weather here" according to Gonzalo Ceballos, director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Dublin. The cumulative figures for 2013 (January-August) reflect a total 925,790 Irish tourists visiting Spain, 8.3pc up on the same period in 2012. In the period January-September inclusive, there have been 1,099,635 passengers of every nationality on direct flights from Ireland to Spanish airports, up 6.22pc. Air capacity was up 5.9pc.

1STS The four week Facebook promotion

by One Stop Travel Shop yielded its final prizewinners in Liberty Travel in Letterkenny.

Big international companies such as TUI may no longer need a separate license to trade in Ireland

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EU license shock

CAR says existing system will remain for time being

he Commission of Aviation Regulation has defended the licensing system which has come under threat from EU legislation . CAR pointed out that the current round of licensing will be unaffected by the proposals which require Ireland to open barriers of entry allowing tour operators who are licensed abroad to operate in Ireland without

having to obtain an Irish license. Ireland’s labyrinthine bonding system currently requires travel agents to lodge 4pc of their turnover and tour operators 10pc of their turnover before being allowed to trade. The European Commission requested that Ireland respect the principle of free movement of services as regards travel agents and tour operators (Article 56 TFEU, Article 16 Services Directive, Article 3 e-commerce Di-

DON SHEARER NEW CEO OF WORLDCHOICE

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on Shearer has been appointed as new CEO of Worldchoice Ireland. He will take up the position on October 14th and will be working from a new office based in Malahide Travel at the Dublin Airport Business Park. The Worldchoice

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board decided that the CEO position should be based full time in Dublin ruling out Garry Zancanaro, who is based in East Galway, and has worked part time for Worldchoice. Garry says: “these are exciting times for Worldchoice and I’m very sorry to be leaving

and that I won’t be involved long term. However, Don is vastly experienced and I’ve no doubt he will do an excellent job, and will be making contact with you in due course.” Garry will continue to be point of contact until December.

rective). ITAA CEO Pat Dawson has proposed a single tax on every ticket sold to replace the current system. Former ITAA President and Travelbiz editor Gerry Benson pointed out that travel may be the only industry where suppliers have the bear the full cost of protection for consumers and proposed bonding be abolished altogether.

Don Shearer

SUNWAY BRING AMA TO PROVINCES

unway and the Los Angeles based chairman of AMA Waterways Jimmy Murphy

entertained agents in Cork at a river cruise breakfast. Jimmy began his travel career with Leslie Harris

Travel in Harcourt Street. Sunway launched a 144page brochure in association with Ama Waterways

earlier in the year, featuring luxury river cruises in Europe, Russia, Africa, Cambodia and Vietnam.


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Inside the Travel Business

NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 35

GLOBAL VILLAGE

TOUR AMERICA’s Annual Sale Day had 38 exhibitors at The Red Cow Moran Hotel on today Sunday October 6th, 10am 6pm, including Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, Royal Caribbean and NCL Prizes include a holiday for two to Orlando. TRAVEL DEPARTMENT

plans to launch an undiscovered Italy series of tours as part of their 2014 itinerary.

JEAN MAXWELL of the ITAA

presented the Travel Fun Day committee with a cheque for €1,100 sponsorship raised through weekly training sponsors during the 5k fun run training.

John Devereux speaking at the ITOF Press conference in Palma

ITOF sees clouds

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Tour Operators report a tough year due to sunshine

ohn Devereux of American Holidays was re-elected president of the Irish Tour Operators Federation. He said the year had been a tough one for Ireland’s tour operators, mitigated by strong early sales but that the late business was not there. Charter capacity was up but load factor was down. The upside was that

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there have been strong early sales for summer 2014, up[10-25pc on the same period last year. The Federation and Irish Travel Agents Association are no closer as a result of last month’s meeting in Palma, but common ground was marked out and there was an official acknowledgement from the tour op-

erators that the travel trade was “still key to their business.” The talks between the ITAA and Aer Lingus which followed were reported as “highly successful” with the highest level of cooperation between the airline and the trade since the heyday of commission and charter services.

TRAVEL CENTRES NAAS WEEKEND

ravel Centres host their 9th annual conference and supplier workshop at the impressive Killashee House Hotel just outside Naas on November 8th & 9th. The consortium has already attracted record numbers of both suppliers and agents with final numbers expected to go as high as

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200, once those who have yet to register, finally do so. Ireland’s largest agency grouping has a great lineup of speakers yet again and this year’s conference has a health theme with a new pulse logo and presentation from both business and medical experts on how agency owners and managers can conduct health

checks on both their businesses and themselves in order to achieve the correct work-life balance. Speakers include Mark Rowe, Niall Strickland and Alan Richardson, manager for licensing and administration at the Commission for Aviation regulation, who will deliver a presentation based on a detailed analysis of travel agent

data, accumulated over the course of the past number of years and which it is expected will provide agency owners present with many revealing insights into how their respective businesses compare against average industry metrics. The entertainment programme will culminate in a concert by the RPJ band.

THOMAS COOK REBRAND

homas Cook launched its new logo and new sunny heart brand. The 'Don't just book it Thomas Cook it' tagline has been ditched in England. The group saysL The

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essence of the new brand captures who Thomas Cook is, and what it promises – a high tech, high touch experience across all customer touch points with an omni-channel approach. Exactly 140 years ago

in the September of 1874 Thomas Cook ran their first Dublin package holiday from Dublin, a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in Paray-le Monial.

BLUE INSURANCES TO EXPAND

lue Insurances plans a series of new launches in the coming months. The most important

being their entry into the home and motor insurance markets in the new year, gadget insurance ii the USA, multitrip.in holiday insurance in India and a

price comparison site, comparequotes.ie & co.uk. Founder Ciaran Mulligan says that there has been a big take up on his white label sites from agents and

he urges other agents to consider using them. The various Blue Insurances sites will be responsive from the end of this year.

MIRIAM O’Callaghan was confirmed as

MC for the Irish Travel Industry Awards 2014.

EMIRATES, Blue Insurance and

FM104 gave out one of the best prizes of the year: VIP tickets to a Bruno Mars concert at the O2, staying the night at the luxurious Gibson Hotel in Dublin, business class flights with Emirates to ‘Dubai, a 4 night stay at the seven star Jumeirah Burj Al Arab Beach Hotel and 5,000 Dirham to spend, business class tickets to Sydney for 3 nights, staying in a 5 star hotel with AUD$2000 to spend, 51 contestants made it to the final which was won by Taleen Avaklan, seen here accepting the prize from Ruth Bracken.

AGENTS can win a night out grey-

hound racing with their branch on DoSomethingDifferent.com by booking €200 worth of Do Something Different ticket sales.

BOOKABED are offering online

flight, hotel and transfer dynamic packaging to long haul destinations like Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, UAE and the USA. IT flight prices can be reserved with a €300 deposit per person and normal payment policy for the hotel element of the booking. karl@bookabed.ie

GLOBE Hotels will launch a new white

label website for travel agents, the holiday section of dealrush.ie

AMERICAN Holidays launched their 2014 Florida brochure.

TRAVELPORT launched a new video to get agents started on Travelport Rooms and More.

SURF HOLIDAYS Nicky Kelly of Surf holidays finished a trip to Morocco and the surf town of Taghazout and will start offering it as one of our new destinations from mid October

USITrecorded pre-tax profit of €32,778 on

turnover of €6.2m in the year to the end of October, 2012. The group employs 84 people

GLOBETROT FRAUD A former Thomson Travel trainee was jailed for 16 months for conning £70,000 out of Thomson and another travel agent in a 'jetset' fraud.

ETIHAD hosted 200 guests at the replay of the All Ireland hurling final and 190 other tickets were distributed to grateful travel contacts.


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NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 36

MEETING PLACE

Irish Travel Agents As Pat Dawson CEO of the at es sal of linis, director sociation and Paul Me at Amadeus golf day op Sh g rin Tou One Stop

Maeve Slalom and Cia ran Muligan of Blue Ins urances at the Blue Insura nces tenth birthday pa rty in Guinness Storehou se,

Maloney and Theresa Andrew Hughes, Karen ction in Croke Park for Lambe at the Etihad fun l replay fina g the All Ireland hurlin

Gordon Penney of Cu ba Travel/Gohop, Donn a Henry of Club Travel an d Paul Sexton of Travel agent,ie at the Amadeu s golf event

tic Demello of Virgin Atlan Terry Smith and Alison d Re ’s ran Mo in y e da at the Tour America sal w, Co

Minty Woolgar of Glasgo w City Marketing Bureau, Glasgow comedy festiva l director Sarah Watson, comedian Gary Little and Laura Vass of Glasgow attractions who hosted Iris h travel writers

Out and about with the Travel Trade

Travelbroker team Louise Dunne, Trudi O’Brien, Clare Dunne, Karen Ray, Zita Forde, and Volker Ciara Corcoran of Cletic Horizo ns and Ciara Lorenz of Amadeus at the ITAA Annual Confer- Foley fo Platinum Travel chair of Visit USA Dubin at the Tour America sal ence in Granada e day in the Red Cow

Karl Moen of Disney and Liz Wright of Tour America at the Tour America pre-sale dinner in Dublin,

rke sabroad and Bernie Bu John Scanlon of Wing a ad an Gr in bra am Alh of Travel Centres in the

Annabel cove dosometh Jim Tobin of FCM, Robbie Smart of Travelport ingdifferent and Thom as Mc Nally of Bedsonline at and Jim McGonigle of Clondalkin Travel pictured the ITAA Annual Conference in Granada at the TIGS captains day at Carton

Olwen McKinney fo Amadeus, Jack Maraffi of Travelsavers and Fionnuala Carter of the ITAA at the ITAA Annual Conference

s John Donohue of aerep Tryphavana Cross and d Re ’s ran Mo in y da e at the Tour America sal Cow

Martin Skelly of Navan Travel, Rebecca Kelly of MSC, Dave Conlon and Joanne Madden of Travelport, at the ITAA Annual Conference Volker Lorenz of Amade us, John Cassidy of Joh n Cassidy Travel and Joh n Devereux of American Holidays, President of ITOF at the Amadeus golf eve nt

Claire Walter of Seaworld and Ivan Beacom of Aer LIngus at the Tour America pre-sale dinner

MSC TS, Rebecca Kelly of Carole Carmody of 1S A ITA the at TS 1S of n da Cruises and Sharon Jor Granada Annual Conference in


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NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 37

MEETING PLACE

ronica Aherne of Tour Mary McKenna and Ve erica pre-sale dinner in America at the Tour Am Dublin

Clem Walshe of Lowc ost Beds, John Spolle n of John Cassidy Travel an d Peter O’Hanlon of Tra velfinders at the Amadeu s golf event

Jones from Lee Travel Sean Healy and Mary th the Blue Insurances ten with Jason Whelan at se ou reh ess Sto birthday party in Guinn

Dermot Merrigan of Iris h Ferries and John Kinane of Thomas Cook at the TIGS captains da y at Carton

Out and about with the Travel Trade

Lorraine Quinn and Jo Martin Penrose of Ifonly.net, Volker Lorenz of McCauley of Celebrity Cru ises at the Tour Ameri Amadeus and Anne Marie Dalton of Turkish Airca sale day in Moran’s lines pictured at the TIGS captains day at Carton Red Cow,

Maria Murphy of Corporate Travel Management, David Conlan from Travelport, Jim Tobin from Fcm and Angela Walsh at the ITAA Annual Conference in Granada, Oct 11-12 2013

Siobhan Bosket of Am Pat Reede of United Airlines and Polly Bond of adeus, Miriam Skelly of Tour America at the Tour America pre-sale dinner Navan Travel, and Volker Lorenz of Am adeus at the Amadeus golf eve in Dublin nt at the Heritage,

Steve James and Noelle Murray of Brittany Ferries and John Gallaigan of JGT at the ITAA Annual Conference in Granada,

of Wolrdchoice team at the ITAA Conference in el and Rebecca Kelly Granada, Oct 11-12 2013, Joe Tully, Garry ZanDavid O'Grady of e-Trav the adeus golf event at carano, Michael Doorley and Don Shearer MSC Cruises at the Am Laois Heritage, Killenard, Co

John Donohue of Aerre York & Co etc), Beatriceps (Las Vegas CVA, New and Simon Gregory fro Cosgrove from Etihad Etihad function in Cro m Tourism Ireland at the hurling final replay ke Park for the All Ireland

ve Moore of Blue InsurCiaran Mulligan and Da rty nces tenth birthday pa ances at the Blue Insura se in Guinness Storehou

Marie Paul Arnold of Joe O'Reilly group and Huda Said of Tourism Ireland at Top Reisa tourism fair in Paris.

nell Travel, Cormac O'Con Pearse Keller of Keller the at of Etihad airways of DAA and Dave Walsh nt Amadeus golf eve

Des Abbott and Oliver McCann pictured at the TIGS captains day at Carton

igh and Dave Walsh of Micheál Ó Muirchearta ction in Croke Park for Etihad at the Etihad fun final replay, the All Ireland hurling


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NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 38

MEETING PLACE

Air rtina Coogan of Delta/ Vicky Pascual and Ma ’s ran Mo in y erica sale da France at the Tour Am Red Cow,

Philip and Tanya Airey of Sunway and Dave Walsh of Etihad Airwa ys at the Amadeus go lf event at the Heritage, Killenard

tels, Rebecca Kelly of Jeff Collins of Globe Ho l Collins of Globe hotels MSC Cruises and Darry nt eve at the Amadeus golf

Patricia Purdue and De nnis Byrne of Visit Ma ssachussetts at the Tour America pre-sale dinne r in Dublin

and Gregg, Brian Hughes Massimo Larini, Aoife Airited Airlines at the Un Pat Reede from United d lan Ire in rate 15 years lines function to celeb

Emer Farrell and Steph en McKenna of GoHo p pictured at the TIGS cap tains day at Carton

Out and about with the Travel Trade

John Devereux of American Holidays President Helen Caron of Falcon Ho lidays and Don of the ITOF, Jose Marcial Rodriguez, Director of Shearer of Worldchoice en route to the ITAA An the Govern de les Illes Balears, Gonzalo Cebal- nual Conference in Gran ada,

Carole Carmody of 1STS, Siobhan Dinneen of Lee Travel, Sean O'Kelly of Sabre at the ITAA Annual Conference in Granada

John McKibben at the Rowan Devereux and ess birthday party in Guinn th Blue Insurances ten Storehouse

Pat Dawson, Dermot O’Brien, Clare Dunne and Gabrielle Dillon before the VAT session at the ITAA Annual Conference in Granada,

Lorna O'Brien of Tour America Cork and Eddie O'Neill at the Tour Am erica pre-sale dinner in Dublin

John Power and Con Horgan Abbey Travel pictured at the TIGS captains day at Carton bed, Gordon Penney of Lee Osborne of Booka eill vel and Carol Anne O’N Cuba Travel/Atlas Tra nt eve lf go s eu ad Am the of Falcon Holidays at

At the Emirates Club Travel evening: Back row: Jane Masterson of Emirates, Donna Henry of Club, Anita Thomas of Emirates, Front row: Joe Finglas of Club and Margaret Shannon

Emma Hallahan from Carlson Wagonlit Travel with Aoife Gregg and Brian Hughes from Un ited at the United Airlines fun ction to celebrate 15

Cormac O’Connell of DAA presents Tom Ruth of Halifax Airport with a rare 21-year old Teeling whiskey to celebrate the Gathering at Routes 2013 in Las Vegas

of 4 and Ciaran Muligan Owen Harney of FM10 th ten Blue Insurances Blue Insurances at the Storehouse ess inn Gu in birthday party


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Travel Extra November 2013