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AWARDS SPECIAL THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY PICKS ITS WINNERS MEGA MERGER THE OPTIONS Royal’s new ship project

Orlando action

Travel writer awards

e d a r T ER P PA

IRELAND'S PREMIER SOURCE OF TRAVEL INFORMATION Free

Mountains High MARCH 2013

Winners in the chase for the shoulder season spend

VOLUME 16 NUMBER 3

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THE KNOWLEDGE Travel Extra Advertising & Subscriptions 6 Sandyford Office Park Dublin 18 (+3531) 2913708 Fax (+3531) 2957417 Editorial Office Clownings Straffan Co Kildare Managing Editor: Gerry O’Hare 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.

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CONTENTS

3-5 News Canaries on song 4 Hotels: Harvey’s harvest

8 ITAA Awards: 14 page special 22 Afloat: Cruise and ferry 26-30 Flying: Airline and airport news 34 Travel Writer Awards: 2013

35 Global Village Inside the travel industry 37 Window seat: Our columnists 38 Pictures: Out and about

The print gets smaller M

any people have a fixation on price as the determining factor when choosing insurance. But there is a substantial difference between policies in terms of coverage, the level of excesses and what cover is available only as an optional extra.

EXCESS limits on your insurance can vary widely according from one insurer to another. Some charge no excess at all, but others charge as much as €500 of a claim before you receive a penny from your insurance. With medical expenses the average excess is €85, with a range of zero to €600. For cancellation, the average excess is €80, with individual insurers charging anything from nothing to €300. For loss of deposit is the average is €40 and maximum €300; the equivalent figures are €80 (maximum €250) for lost baggage, €10 (maximum €120) for delayed baggage and €80 (maximum €420) for legal expenses. AGE Three quarters

of annual policies have a maximum age of 75 years or less, and 27pc have a maximum age of 65 or less. It is essential that any pre-existing medical conditions are declared to the relevant provider as failing to do so could invalidate the policy.” Cover might already be there from your bank as part of your current account. Although “packaged accounts” are much maligned, they can offer the elderly a cheap

Make sure that you didn’t miss the clause that cancels your policy way to get travel cover. Even where insurers did not have maximum age limits, premiums are often so high as to be unaffordable. One English policy has a maximum age of just 34, research company Defaqto found.

travelling independently even if one parent puts them on a plane and the other collects them when they get off. They insist that children are accompanied by a responsible adult for the whole journey.

travel is not covered by 25pc of annual policies and is an optional extra for 28pc of them. Cover is standard with 47pc of annual policies.

bills for medical treatment abroad can be huge, despite this, a fifth of skiers don’t bother with insurance at all, while only a third of those who do buy a policy check that it covers them for winter sports. Just 30pc of annual travel policies include winter sports cover as standard, while 63pc offer it as an optional extra and 7pc don’t include it at all. Check the terms carefully. Some exclude off-piste skiing altogether, others insist

BUSINESS

SEPARATION

A third of annual policies won’t provide cover for your children (or stepchildren) if they don’t live with you.

CHILDREN

travelling independently are not covered by half of all annual policies and other insurers are likely to regard children as

WINTER sports

that you have a guide, for example. Many policies restrict the amount of skiing you can do within the year.

LENGTH of holi-

day is important. Some policies allow you to be overseas for a maximum of 17 consecutive days, 45pc of annual policies limited trip coverage to 31 days abroad while others will cover you even if you are abroad every day of the year.

BREAKING the journey could invalidate your insurance, if you have a backpacker policy but need to come home for a few days, some insurers won’t cover you when you resume your travels. Coverage will automatically cease for 57pc of backpacker policies, regardless of

whether or not you intend to resume your travels abroad.

PETS If your return

from holiday is delayed, will your travel insurance cover the cost of an extended stay in kennels for your pets? Forty-six per cent of policies provide such cover, with limits typically varying from €50 to €750.

AIRLINE failure is covered by just 34pc of annual policies provide this cover as standard, while it is an optional extra for 4pc of annual policies; 62pc don’t provide cover at all. However, the elaborate bonding scheme does not cover most ticket-only air fares you buy direct from an airline.

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NEWS

www.travelextra.info

BUS ÉIREANN has introduced free

wi-fi at seven bus stations: Ballina, Busaras, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford.

FLORIDA’s law requiring motorists to have an International Driving Permit to rent a car in the state has been rescinded, but car hire companies are still confused over whether they can rent a car without one. The license is required in most countries outside the EU and the USA to rent a car. The AA still recommends that travellers get the permit and the form is downloadable from their website.

Reign of Spain

UNWTO announced at Fitur 2013 that Asia, Pacific and Americas were the most ‘open’ regions for travellers in terms of Visas. UNWTO figures show strong growth in tourism in some surprising destinations, up 8pc in central & eastern Europe tourism in 2012, up 10pc in the USA, up 6pc in England and up 5pc in Germany.

Canary Islands increase Irish market share Teide in Tenerife: big news in 2013 with extra charters

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hile the Spanish Tourist Board reported 1,199,017 Irish visitors to Spain in 2012, virtually unchanged from 2011, there has been a seismic shift in where Irish people are going within Spain, with the Canaries and Catalonia the big movers in terms of Irish visitor numbers. While Irish residents spent 13.5m bednights in Spain last year, almost all of them in the four main honey pot provinces. The Canaries attracted 405,201 visitors from Ireland, taking an astonishing 34.5pc share of visitor numbers and 39pc of bednights from the Irish market.

SPAINBOUND All of Spain Canarias Andalucia Catalonia Balearics Other

(35pc) (22pc) (15pc) (12pc) (16pc)

1,199,017 405,201 263,784 179,853 143,882 206,000

Visitor numbers to the Canary Island market are more than Italy or indeed the tourist numbers travelling to Greece and Turkey combined. Lanzarote is the favourite island, and received 176,965 Irish visits (more than Greece), Gran Canaria 83.402, Tenerife 77,332 and Fuerteventura 54,308. Spain is Ireland’s second best connected destination after England. In 2012 there were 9,350 flights between Ireland and Spain with an average load factor of 83.4pc (Lanzarote 90.62pc, Canaries 87.31pc, Andalucia 86.12pc). Capacity was down marginally from 1.75m to 1.74m seats. Spain received 57.89m international tourists in 2102, up 2.9pc on 2011, third biggest in history after 2007 (58.6m) and 2006 (58m). Spend from international tourists was 6pc up at €55.7bn. The number of Irish visitors was 38.4pc down from the peak of 1,659,000 in 2008.

The market share of the Canaries was up eight points from 31pc in 2012, followed by Catalonia with 19pc (up from 15pc), Andalusia with 18pc (down from 21pc) and the Balearics with 10pc (down form 15pc). Bed nights in Catalonia were up 19pc and to the Canaries were up 18pc on 2011. The Balearics, Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza saw a spectacular decline of 37pc and Andalucía was down 20pc.

BEDNIGHTS All of Spain Canarias Catalonia Andalucia Balearics Valencia Madrid Gallicia Pais Vasco Other

A BIG THANK YOU! For voting us Best European Sun Tour Operator for 2012

(39pc) (19pc) (18pc) (10pc) (6pc) (4pc) (1pc) (1pc) (2pc)

2,510,000 979,000 477,000 452,000 251,000 152,000 100,000 c25,000 c25,000 c50,000

IAPCO Delegates from 30 countries arrived in Dublin this month to attend the annual meeting of International Association of Professional Congress Organisers. BUNAWAN A village in the Philippines where the world’s largest sea water crocodile has died. CITIESCAPES Alan Lynch’s Citiescapes offer an unusual destination: North Korea, departing August 18. DUBAI has entered the battle to be the

biggest ferris wheel: 201-metre Dubai Eye will surpass the 165-metre Singapore Flyer. Dubai reported 41,237 Irish visitors, 191010 bed nights in 2012.

RUDE PLACENAMES Bath-

room browsers now have a map of the world’s rudest place names which was posted by Londoner Gary Gale.

BARBERSTOWN Castle launched Medieval Banquet in its Banqueting Hall on Saturday, Feb 23rd.

CYPRUS The long awaited Zening Resort opens on the Akamas Peninsula in Cyprus in May.

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HOTELS

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CIE INTERNATIONAL have named Harveys Point in Donegal as the best hotel accommodation and other accommodation winners were: Benners Tralee (3 star), Kilronan Castle Ballyfarnon (4 star), Dromoland Castle (5 star), Kathy Brosnan, Applecroft House Killarney (B&B), Conrad Hilton Dublin (Hotel Service ) and Cabra Castle Kingscourt (hotel dinner) as 62 winners nationwide won awards based on the feedback of CIE Tours 22,000 customers.

SHERATON to open 30 hotels in 2013, predominantly in the Asia-Pacific region.

HILTON Worldwide to convert the Metropolitan Hotel Toronto into its Doubletree brand. GIBSON hotel new CEO Adrian

McLaughlin who has joined the hotel after serving as CEO of the Merchant in Belfast for seven years, said that revenues were up 25pc to €10m in 2012.

SHEEN FALLS has been purchased

by Palladian Hotels & Resorts for €5m.

RYANAIRhotels.com attracted a record 5.5m monthly visitors in January.

CENTARA has launched a loyalty card, Centara The 1 Card.

STARWOOD and Delta Sky Miles Preferred Guest have introduce Crossover Rewards scheme of reciprocal miles & starpoints. from Mar 1 CHOICE Hotels International opened 308 hotels in 2012

SURVEY A travel survey for Four Points by Sheraton business shows the hotel bar is No 1 activity during free time, ahead of gym, spa & shopping FINANCE BILL The new finance

bill has proposed extension of the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme to encourage investment in tourism accommodation

GUILBAUDS The DailyMeal.com has listed Patrick Guilbaud 68th among its 100 best hotel restaurants in world. The number one was Joël Robuchon Restaurant at MGM Grand Las Vegas. ADARE Manor has become the the first ever Irish property to win a World Travel Award It was awarded World’s Leading Boutique Golf Resort.

SOFITEL will be opening two new properties in Dubai in 2013. Sofitel The Palm with 361 rooms and 182 serviced residences, and 31-storey, 350-room Sofitel Downtown hotel FERMANAGH Lusty Beg Island

owner Michael Cadden has opened a new 35bedroom Fermanagh Hotel on site of the former Fort Lodge Hotel

DAILY MEAL Five Irish restaurants

in the Daily meal’s top 100 list for Europe, Chapter One 25th, Guilbaud 48th, Fishy Fishy, Kinsale 82nd, Ballymaloe 83rd and Aniar, Galway 88th Osteria Francescana in Modena Italy was selected as the best restaurant in Europe.

Harvey’s Point in Donegal: Top place in Tripadvisor and CIE international customer satisfaction lists

Harvey’s harvest Two Donegal hotels in top 5 of Tripadvisor list

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arvey's Point Hotel was named 'No 1 Hotel in Ireland' in Tripadvisor’s annual Traveller's Choice awards, and No 11 in Europe. The same parish in Donegal had two hotels in the top five (Harvey’s Point and Lough Eske). It was a good month for Harvey’s Point, which also won the CIE International award (see left). The Tripadvisor Traveller's Choice top 25 hotels in Ireland for 2012 threw up a lot of familiar names but a few surprises as well: As part of the same process, Tripadvisor announced their 2013 world champions. Top Hotel in the World: was the Four Seasons Hualalai Hawaii, Best Bargain Hotel the Sea-

Coast Inn, Hyannis, Massachussets, the Best Hotel for Service was the £35 a night Lauriston Court Hotel, Llandudno, Wales. The Top Small

Hotel was Anastasis Apartments, Imerovigli, Greece, and the best B&B and Inn was Casa Portagioia, Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy.

TRIPADVISOR’S TOP 25 IRISH HOTELS 1 Harvey’s Point, 2 Hayfield Manor, 3 Killarney Park, 4 Lough Eske, 5 Glasson Country House, 6 Mount Juliet, 7 Inchydoney, 9 Merrion Hotel, 9 Wineport, Athlone, 10 RitzCarlton, Powerscourt, 11 Four Seasons Ballsbridge, 12 Castle Macroom, 13 Aghadoe Heights Killarney,

14 Ballygarry House Tralee, 15 Westport Plaza, 16 Ariel House, Ballsbridge, 17 Adare Manor, 18 Doonbeg Lodge, 19 Europe Hotel, Killarney, 20 Croke Park Hotel, 21 River Lee, 22 Ashford Castle, 23 Bayview. Ballycotton, 24 Kelly’s, Rosslare, 25 Twelve Hotel, Barna.

HOTELS: ‘TIME TO INVEST’AGAIN

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ewly launched iNua Hospitality will invest €20m in four-star hotels in Ireland in 2013, having launched with the mantra: it is time to start investing again in Irish hotels. Speaking at the launch of iNua Hospitality in Cork, Alan Ahearne the, NUIG economist and author of Time to Invest: Proposals to Restore Financial Sustainability to the

Irish Hotel Industry, said investment in the sector, coupled with debt restructuring, will return hotels to profitability. “With the hotel industry accounting for €1.3bn in tax revenues, many of these hotel assets are profitable once restructuring takes place and they are decoupled from their current debt levels,” iNua founder Noel Creedon says that for the first time in living mem-

ory hotels can be bought on a commercial basis providing attractive yields to investors.” “For well structured and well thought-out investment opportunities, investors are prepared to commit to more medium-term investment strategies.” iNua forecasts a 100pc return on capital over the seven-year lifetime of the project.

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www.travelextra.info

A cold comfort

Antartica tops list of Orlando theme park openings

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ntarctica: Empire of the Penguin in SeaWorld Orlando will be the highlight of the theme park openings in Florida in 2013. The new attraction will surround visitors with all the sights, sounds and encounters found in this faraway frozen place. Its first-of-its-kind family ride offers a glimpse of life on the ice through the eyes of a penguin. Walt Disney World Resort has opened a new Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom Park, “a magical place where mermaids sing, beauties tell stories, beasts roar and elephants fly.” It features two new themed areas, the Enchanted Forest based on Disney films The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast and Storybook Circus, classic American circus is inspired by the Disney animated feature Dumbo.

NEWS DUBLIN & ENNIS Dublin City

Creative Quarter and Ennis town centre both won Purple Flags for excellence in management of a town centre area between the hours of 5pm and 5am.

CROATIA Tourism reports a 43pc increase in bookings for 2013 in anticipation of EU admittance on 1 July and in reaction to sales tax cuts of 15pc. VISIT FLORIDA has acquired the travel trade event, Florida Huddle.

SKISET has launched platinum service, a service facility that offers pre-prepared equipment in 30 resorts including Courcheval 1850, Val D’Isere, Verbier, Zermatt and St Anton. THE AA says that 20,000 internet users from US downloaded directions for a journey in Ireland, 68pc up on Jan 2012.

Shark encounter at Seaworld, the penguins are coming The recently retired space shuttle Atlantis will be making the Kennedy Space Center its permanent home in 2013. I-Drive Live is the $100m project

based on the former Mercado property, This e new destination will feature the Orlando Eye, as well as a Madame Tussaud’s wax museum and a Sea Life aquarium.

Faster, easier rentals from the name you can trust. Contact our dedicated Travel Trade team on 053 915 2500 or email Paul Manning at pmanning@hertz.ie or Shauna Mullery at smullery@hertz.ie

MAMA’s second annual gathering of Britain’s travel trade will take place at Wembley Stadium on 18-19 March. WTM World Travel Market has renamed

WTM Meridian Club to WTM Buyers’ Club.

TOURISM AUSTRALIA: re-

ported 6.1 m international arrivals and annual growth of 4.6pc in 2012.

hertz.ie

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ITIA AWARDS 2013

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The winners of the 2013 Irish Travel Industry Awards gather for a group photograph in the Round Room of the Mansion House reparations for the 2014 Irish Travel Industry Awards commenced even before the participants, guests, recipients, sponsors, and hangers-on had started ot make their recovery from the 2013 awards. It was a long and eventful night, starting with Dawson Street from the One Stop Touring Shop reception in Cafe La Seine (and the colourful costumed characters who guided the guests across the road) all the way to the big finish in

The Mansion of Many Awards

Industry celebrates the Oscars of Irish travel

the Pink Elephant night club, to which attendees had free admission. The survivors agreed it was an auspicious and ef-

ficient event, which passed off like many historic events had before, in the splendid location of the Oak Room of the

Safe passage across Dawson St from the ISTS pre-awards reception

Mansion House. In all 485 people were seated on the night. The ITAA has been looking at other venues, including the Conference Centre, but are fond of the city centre location. Pat Dawson CEO says “we are not in the numbers game” and despite pressure to expand, and expanding it to 700 or 800 would alter the nature of the evening. “The Mansion House is a unique venue. In particular, our foreign guests really loved it. The range and convenience of hotels nearby is a big help. While it is a terrific venue in its own right, the Convention Centre is not as charming as the Mansion

house.” Dawson says that nine of the sponsors have signed up again for next year and there are enquiries about sponsorship opportunities. “I was delighted with the quality of our sponsors and I want to say thank you to all our great sponsors.” Celebrity guest Katie Taylor was a popular speaker and each sponsor had an individualised photograph with her. Craig Doyle presented the awards with his usual brevity, wit and style and completed the ceremony under the scheduled time (despite a late start), helped by short and fo-

cussed speeches by ITAA president Clare Dunne and the other dignitaries. When he mispronounced the Escorted Tours award as “escort tours” award someone from the audience shouted “same thing.” A special presentation was made to Con Horgan for his services to the industry. Michael Doorley, in a citation, referred to him as “our man” and detailed the favours he had done for the travel industry down the years The keynote travel trade awards were judged by a panel of experts from the trade. The prestigious travel agent of the year award was won by O’Hanrahan’s Travel in Monaghan, rather than a big city agency. Etihad won the long haul airline of the year award and United won the new “airline to USA” category. The tour operator of the year award was won by Falcon holidays while Spain won tourist board of the year.

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We couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you! Winner of Best Long Haul Airline at the Irish Travel Industry Awards 2013. We’d like to thank our partners in Ireland for voting us Best Long Haul Airline. We’re always proud to win awards. But we’re prouder still to fly the world’s best product and service to and from Ireland. Here’s to 2013 and another year working together. O;KLTPmQCG 9K=K;TR:PLTRKmTO ]?TPO ^:AAC?;` B( !<# !#*"

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Approver:

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TVL PROFESSIONAL CLARE O’DWYER SHANDON TVL

ITIA AWARDS 2013

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lare O’ Dwyer has been with the Shandon Travel Group for the past 12 years and manages their student and independent travel shop SAYIT Travel. Originally from Clonmel Clare spent a year in Australia in 2000. Upon her return she started her career with Shandon Travel working in their Business Travel department. Over the years she has worked in various roles within the company and has managed SAYIT Travel for the past four years. Clare has a passion for the industry and has travelled extensively. Among her favourite destinations are

Clare O’Dwyer of Shandon Travel accepts the best travel professional award from Vincent Harrison of the DAA

Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Kenya, Antigua and New York.

BEST SUPPLIER REPRESENTATIVE: LEE OSBORNE BOOKABED

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ee Osborne was a popular winner of the Best Supplier Representative award, and the Bookabed firm he represents also won an award. Lee has spent 12 years within the Irish travel trade, five years of which as agency sales manager before joining Bookabed in June 2011 as their business development manager. "It was an exciting move for me having worked in the tour operating section of the trade for such a long time".   "Obviously being a B2B company, the travel agent is paramount to us, and what we recognise as a company is we need them more than they need us".   "How I/we try to portray this to the

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agents is through offering the best service we can possibly give".   "The role of the travel agent is key to the survival of the industry, they are the ones in the firing line the whole time, all we can do as suppliers is try to give them the best tools in order to sell".

HOTEL GROUP IRELAND : JURYS

aving diversified into the ten upmarket Doyle Collection hotels in five cities and the 32 Jurys Inns in Ireland, England and the Czech republic, the group that grew from Dublin’s original Jury’s Hotel bears little resemblance to what it used to be. It continues to win awards from the Irish trade, in recognition of the group’s consistent delivery to travel trade customers.

Alan Buckley and Jimmy Kealy of Jurys accept the Best Irish Hotel Chain award

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YOUNG TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL CAITRIONA CLARKE TRAVELBROKER

oung Travel Professional winCaitríona ner Clarke of Travelbroker says she went to the awards happy to be nominated but with no expectations. “When they called out my name I was genuinely in shock, I could hardly stand up,” she says. She has loved her years in the travel trade and finds that in the internet age people are always looking for hands on experience. She went to St Mary’s in Baldoyle and went on work experience to Budget Travel while on a PLC in Kilbarrack in Greendale. They took her on immediately and after the closure of Budget she went to Travelbroker. “It is completely different” she says, “we get more involved with out clients.” She holds no fears for the industry she has chosen. “I think travel agents have responded to change by sitting down

Caitriona Clarke of Travelbroker accepts the Best Young Travel Professional award from Vincent Harrison of the DAA

thinking how they can change. It is very fluid and they have adapted well.”

BEST TOURIST BD & SUN DEST : SPAIN

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Kathryn McDonnell, Gonzalo Ceballos and Sara Rivero of the Spanish Tourist Board accept the award for best tourist board from Pat Dawson and Jean Maxwell of the ITAA.

pain has been Ireland’s leading sun destination with a consistent performance of attracting around 1.2m visitors (see page 3) since the industry first moved from pilgrimages to more exciting holiday escapades in the 1950s. Yet Spain did not have a tourist office in Dublin until 2007. The industry was seen as having an ability to run itself. Since then all has changed. Things have moved on and tourism has become so central to their presence in Dublin that Spanish ambassador to ireland Javier Garrigues was on hand to accept this prestigious award on behalf of his country. Spain’s frequent trade events in Dublin, often in conjunction with their regions, the fam trips guided by the effervescent Kathryn McDonnell, the hosting of the ITAA and ITOF conferences, the efficient and instant-response press representation of Sara Rivero and

the stewarded guidance of Jose Manuel de Juan for 2007-11 and, since 2011, Gonzalo Ceballos have helped bring new tourists to the country and disperse them into regions that they previously would not have considered. More importantly they have won the confidence of the industry to take an award that the industry voters might have considered sending to a less familiar location.

Spanish Ambassador to ireland Javier Garrigues accepts the award for best tourism region from sponsor Dave Walsh of Etihad

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Thank you Ireland! PortAventura would like to thank Ireland’s travel agencies and industry professionals that chose PortAventura as one of the 10 Best Worldwide Theme Parks in the 2013 Irish Travel Industry Awards. This nomination is for us a huge recognition by those who are experts in this profession, and therefore the best judges of tourist product quality. Ireland has always been an important market for PortAventura and this nomination is the proof of good work heading in the right direction. Over the last 18 years PortAventura Resort and Salou have been top destinations for the Irish tourists. It has been possible thanks to the great work carried out by the travel agents dealing face-to-face with clients. As always, the best ambassadors for our product are the travel agents. PortAventura has continued to grow over the years, evolving little-by-little to become what it is today: a European Resort Destination really focused on families. Now, we have what we call a 3 generations product: for children, as well as for adults and seniors. Every year the resort grows with new attractions like SésamoAventura (2011) –an area for families with small childrenor Shambhala (2012), Europe’s highest roller coaster. Shows are also very important for us, and in fact we are the biggest stage in Spain with 15 different shows every day. Year after year we showcase new performances, like “Music Generation” (2012), a music show with 30 dancers and singers on stage. You’ve chosen PortAventura as one of the best theme parks in the world and we are proud of it. We hope we won’t disappoint Ireland with our new projects for 2013: the star for this season will be our Water Park, Costa Caribe Aquatic Park, extended to include brand new swimming pools, new children’s attractions and also the highest water slide in Europe (31 metres). We will work hard to stay in the prestigious ranking of the Irish tourist industry. Finally we want to thank the constant support and collaboration of the Spanish Tourist Board, the Catalan Tourist Board and also in particular Salou local council for their efforts to promote PortAventura in Ireland. Thanks for your support!

Further information available at www.portaventura.com /

Shows in PortAventura Park

+34 977 77 90 90 Follow us at

Brand new Costa Caribe Aquatic Park

All-inclusive at PortAventura Hotels**** 18:37

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ITIA AWARDS 2013

TRAVELAGENT OF THE YEAR: O’HANRAHAN TRAVEL MONAGHAN

Stella Grant, head office manager and Mark Clifford of O’Hanrahan Travel accept the best travel agency award from Simon Daly of British Airways.

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here was surprise and delight that one of the most prestigious awards of the night for Travel Agency of the Year went to a small provincial agency. O'Hanrahan Travel is the oldest IATA licensed travel agent in Ireland. Established in 1925 by the late Tim O'Hanrahan.

The business was passed on to his son Seamus O'Hanrahan, who remained its' popular and well respected owner for many years until his late son Peter took over in the late seventies. In May 1993 Mark Clifford joined the company having previously worked in Eugene Magee

Travel, Dublin and Centre Travel Limited in Dundalk. Since 1993 the agency continues to be one of the fastest growing travel agencies in Ireland. In 1998 O'Hanrahan Travel opened a second office in Carrickmacross, to serve the public of south Co Monaghan and beyond.

The agency was a founding members of the Irish Travel Agents Association, www.itaa.ie. While remaining an independent travel agent O'Hanrahan Travel has been at the forefront of the establishment of Travel Centres. In 2012 O’Hanrahan Travel launched an Agri & Special Interest tour programme which is

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proving extremely popular with the farming community and active retirement groups countrywide. In 2013 they have trips planned to many of the Agricultural Shows throughout the UK & Europe and the World Ploughing Championships in Canada. They have a history of success, having won the

prestigious Aer Lingus Top Ten Agent Award an unprecedented seven times, the coveted Irish Ferries Ulster travel agent of the year award in 2002, the TEAMS Irish Travel Agency of the year award in 2004 and five Agent Of The Year Awards at the Travel Centres Annual Conference in November 2012.

BEST ESCORTED TOUR OPERATOR: INSIGHT

Paul Melinis, Jessica Byrne, Carole Carmody, Sharon Jordan and Shannon O'Dowd of One Stop Touring Shop

t has been an exciting two years since Sharon Jordan opened the One Stop Touring Shop office in Dublin, marketing the Insight Vacations, Uniworld River Cruise, Contiki and Boutique Destinations products. They have also taken over Irish representation for the Red Carnation hotel group in Ireland. Insight has experienced 58pc growth this year and they are expanding their USA and Canada programme. Uniworld have just launched Italy and will be the only cruise line out of Ireland to offer Venice and Po River. Contiki is focussing on Australia and also festivals. Boutique Destinations are marketing high-end bucket-list destinations in South America and other exotic places. They also took time off to open new offices in a beautiful listed building in Merrion Square. Sharon and her team, which includes Carole Carmody and Shannon O’Dowd have created a badly needed sense of excitement in the industry, bringing choco-

late, cupcakes and small gifts into busy agencies on key dates. It was largely as a direct result of this two products which were regarded as peripheral to the trade won two awards on the night, escorted tour company Insight Vacations and Uniworld, which beat high sea competitors off as the best specialist cruise company. Paul Melinis, who head hunted Sharon to lead the Irish team came to Dublin to enjoy the festivities and ended up on the podium with the team. For good measure, 1STS sponsored the preawards reception in the Cafe Enseine. “It is a complex message to get across to the consumer, and we could not have succeeded like we did without the support of the trade,” Sharon says. “We are growing, investing and are here to stay.”

BEST SPECIALIST CRUISE COMPANY UNIWORLD

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BEST CAR HIRE HOLIDAY AUTOS

or the second year the car hire award went to Holiday Autos, the world's largest and leading leisure car hire broker. Launched in 1987 they claim to have revolutionised the car rental industry the first broker to offer fully-inclusive pre-paid car hire. The company says it only works with the most renowned global suppliers and the best local operators worldwide, ensuring the highest level of service. Alamo, Avis and Hertz are among the top suppliers. They say they are always looking at ways of enhancing the product and service offering to partners through site enhancements, new tools and increased functionality, searching the world for the best car hire companies and the best prices so that the customer does not have to. They offer fully-inclusive pre-paid

Suzanne Sheldon of Holiday Autos receives the car hire award from the sponsor Pat Dawson of the ITAA

car hire with no hidden extras. Over the past 18 months they have launched van hire, chauffeur-driven car hire and implemented what they say is the industry's best route planner to the site. Holiday autos have won awards in Ireland, England, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark.

MARCH 2013 PAGE 11

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ITIA AWARDS 2013 BEST THEME PK: UNIVERSAL ORLANDO

n award is a good way to get an exciting year off to a start, and it si going to be an exciting year for Universal Orlando. The newby will include Transformers: The Ride – 3D opening this summer bringing the intergalactic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons to Universal Studios Florida. Not that the home of the Simpsons, Superman and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter needs newbies. Universal Orlando consists of two theme parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure), a night-time entertainment complex (CityWalk) with the Blue Man Group, and three Loews Hotels (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort.

Thanks for making us No. 1 HOL

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Universal Orlando® Resort wishes to thank everyone who voted us the winner of ‘Best Worldwide Theme Park’ at the 2013 Irish Travel Industry Awards.

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Liz Introno from Universal accepts the best theme park award from Dave Walsh of Etihad.

®

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We are delighted to receive this award and we thank you for your continued support! This year promises to be another great year at Universal Orlando Resort with TRANSFORMERS™: The Ride–3D opening this summer and our new hotel Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort going on sale. Universal Orlando® Resort – Where Your Holiday Becomes An Adventure Hard Rock Hotel ® Hard Rock Cafe International (USA), Inc. TRANSFORMERS and its logo and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2013 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. © 2013 DreamWorks L.L.C. and Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2013 Universal Studios. © 2013 Universal Orlando. All rights reserved.

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MARCH 2013 PAGE 12

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BEST CRUISE COMPANY ROYAL CARIBBEAN

ITIA AWARDS 2013

o y a l Caribbean continue to dominate the Irish cruise market in every sense, collecting awards and taking market share. They have now started to use the tagline “Ireland’s favourite cruise line” and it is not idle boast. According to Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain, the Irish have the highest onboard spend and the highest satisfaction rating of any country. Irish guests really ‘get involved’ in onboard activities and enjoy facilities such as Broadway-style theatre shows. About 40,000 of the 70,000 cruises sold off the island are Royal Caribbean cruises. The Irish office dates to 1999 and has maintained double digit growth through much of its existence, including a record 34pc in 2008, the year we entered recession. The solid performance is down to the support provided by Lorraine Quinn and her team, a priceless asset to agents at a time when they spend valuable time navigating their way through automated

F

telephone mechanisms when they need to sort out a problem for their clients. Lorraine says that cruising “continues to be a great value proposition compared to land alternatives.” Royal Caribbean’s cruise activity in Europe in summer 2013 is concentrated in six ports:

AMSTERDAM where the 1,950 passenger Celebrity Constellation will be based. Serenade of the Seas moves from Barcelona in winter to take over the Dubai programme from Brilliance. BARCELONA where two

RCCL ships, the 2,974-passenger Liberty of the Seas and the 2501-passenger Serenade of the Seas will be based from April to October, as well as the 2,850 passenger Celebrity Equinox.

Charlene McMonagle, Brendan Mallon, Charlotte Brenner, Carol Anne and Helen Caron of Falcon Holidays

BEST TOUR OPERATOR EUROPE SUN: FALCON

alcon holidays will celebrate their 25th anniversary in October, having been founded by Christine Donnelly, Gabrielle Malone, Freddy O’Neill and Bill Smith, as an offshoot of Falcon’s English operation. Having purchased JWT, and passed to the First Choice group it is now owned by TUI Thomson. The brand has become known as the family friendly tour operator, with kids clubs and summer soccer camps pleasing more than a generation of pre-teens and teenagers. While Thomson has several other products on the Irish market, most notable a Thomson brand aimed at singles and young couples, Falcon is the

product with the name recognition. They launched the 2013 programme highlighting with a high profile TV campaign featuring the Sensatori product in Sharm El Sheikh. This summer they operate a new charter service to Tenerife and the Gran Santa Ponsa Pirates Village, which is not available on any other bed banks, is proving popular with the Irish.

Jennifer Callister accepts the award for best cruise line on behalf of Royal Caribbean from the sponsor Trish O'Leary of Amadeus

The 2,886 passenger Celebrity Silhouette will sail an open jaw programme from Barcelona and Venice. Aer Lingus Barcelona flights have been timed to connect with the big ship sailings.

COPENHAGEN and STOCKHOLM: Where the 2,435 passenger Vision of the Seas will have a programme ex Stockholm and Copenhagen.

HARWICH where the 2501passenger Brilliance of the Seas and 1,950 passenger Celebrity Infinity will be based. Royal Caribbean have a flights deal with Aer Lingus Regional to Southend.

E

ROME where two RCCL ships, the 3114-passenger Navigator of the Seas and 2,076 passenger Legend of the Seas will be based as well as the newly launched 3,000 passenger Celebrity Reflection.

SOUTHAMPTON where

two RCCL ships, the 3,114-passenger Adventure of the Seas and 4,370-passenger Independence of the Seas will be based as well as the 2,852 passenger Celebrity Eclipse. Royal Caribbean have a flights deal with Flybe to Southampton.

Linda Dougal, Sharon Tracey, Karen Maloney, Alan Glover, Catherine Carr, Liza Hammond (holding award), Fiona Lawless, Louise Wheatley, Marzena Henschel, Dave Walsh of Etihad and Sinead Reilly of Travelport

BEST AIRLINE LONG HAUL: ETIHAD

tihad’s dram a t i c growth out of Dublin since their launch in May 2007 has been one of the success stories of recent years. They bucked the market trend by successfully increasing services from seven to 10 flights a week between Dublin and Abu Dhabi, opening a Line Maintenance Facility at Dublin Airport, and filling those flights despite the arrival of Emirates Dubai service. They were the first airline to move to T2 and opened the first lounge in the new facility.This July they are providing a 34pc capacity increase on Dublin-Abu Dhabi when a 412 seat (28384) B777-300ER serves EY42’s six morning flights, while the 262 seat (22-

240) A330-200 remain on EY48’s evening flights. Etihad initially exploited the market developed by the short-lived Gulf Air Bahrain service and has now flown 1m people out of Dublin. They want to develop a double daily service, although they will probably have collected a few more awards before then. When the award was announced country manager Dave Walsh invited all his hard working team on to the stage to accept the trophy.

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Spanish Tourism Board, 1 Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2 n T. 01 635 02 00 n F. 01 635 02 05 dublin@tourspain.es n Spain.info n Facebook.com/spaininireland

Thank you for your support! The Spanish Tourism Office thanks the Irish travel trade for their continuous support. We are honoured and very grateful to all of those who voted for Spain as Best Summer Sun Destination

Best European City Destination [Barcelona] Best Winter Sun Destination [Lanzarote]

& Best Tourist Board with an Irish Office.

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MARCH 2013 PAGE 14

BEST TOUR OPERATOR SKI: TOPFLIGHT

ITIA AWARDS 2013

onsistent w i n t e r s p o r t s champion in every awards ceremony in every manifestation for 20 years, Topflight is owned and run by Tony Collins, as MD and majority shareholder, together with Carmel O'Reilly, director and shareholder. Topflight was set up in 1990 and has 50 employees, is based in Dublin and also has a team of resort staff of 40 over the sun and ski markets. Topflight is the biggest ski tour operator in Ireland with the leading market share. Topflight is the leading tour operator to Italy for the past few years and is running its biggest programme ever to Italy in 2013 with new Verona charters. Topflight's contribution and the contribution in particular of Tony Collins was recognised two years ago when Tony Collins was made a "Cavaliere" by the Italian government for his services to tourism from Ireland to Italy. As the rest of Topflight's summer sun business expands, Topflight has been nominated for many awards for Best

Graham Hennessy accepts the best ski tour operator award on behalf of Topflight.

Summer Sun Operator, and best Specialist Operator over the last five years. Topflight has also been nominated for its support to the Irish Travel Trade from a training and support perspective over the years. Topflight enjoys excellent relationships with all the Tourist Board markets in which it operates and joint programmes allow Topflight and the respective tourist boards to promote these destinations from Ireland.

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BEST AIRLINE TO N AMERICA: UNITED

Yvonne Muldoon accepts the awards from category sponsor Sinead Morrissey of Travelport

very day is now a Dulles day in Ireland thanks to United repositioning their third daily departure from Dublin to Newark and bringing it to Washington DC instead. The service commenced in May and was profitable after the first month. It operates on a 757-200 with 16 flat bed business class seats and 45 economy plus seats on the 169-seater aircraft.

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UA127 is the latest innovation for the group which also operate direct flights from Dublin, Belfast and Shannon to Newark a total of five flights daily. United will inaugurate a Shannon to Chicago service on June 7.

BEST TECH PROVIDER & BEST SALES SUPPORT TEAM: AMADEUS

Pat Dawson of ITAA, Olwen McKinney, Trish O'Leary, Siobhan Bosket and Volker Lorenz of Amadeus Ireland

or the third year in a row, Amadeus won two Irish Travel Industry Awards for Best Technology Provider 2012 and Best Sales Support Team 2012. Founded just twenty years ago, Amadeus is represented in over 200 markets worldwide. It use the tagline “your technology partner” to emphasise the approach that the company has towards clients. It recently maintained its top sector ranking as one of the leading companies in Europe for investment in Research & Development. Its innovative Amadeus Featured Results will be the big technology story for 2013, it revolutionises the way that flight options are presented to travellers Amadeus established its first office in Dublin in 2000. The Amadeus Ireland team currently has 10 employees, led by general manager Volker Lorenz. A local sales and account management team (based in Dublin, Cork and Belfast), local product management ad-

vice, and a local customer support team are the differentiators that helped win the award. Its market share is currently over 60pc and it is an active sponsor of a range of activities for the Irish trade, including its popular golf day which was held last year in Mount Wolseley. According to the company its aim is to “create mutually beneficial relationships that focus on gaining an understanding of where Amadeus can help its customers to maximise their success.” Volker Lorenz says “our customers see the value in choosing a travel technology partner that continues to invest in the future of the industry.”

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Gerry Traino of Hotel Beacon, Tom Travers of Hotel Beacon, John Donohue of NYC & Company, Reginald Charlot of NYC & Company, Mary Farrell of Top of the Rock Observatory, Denise Coyle of Kirby-Liberty Helicopters and Ann Murtagh of Fitzpatrick Hotels

BEST CITY WORLDWIDE: NEW YORK

he energy of the omni present John Donohue and his team at aereps in promoting New York was rewarded with the best city worldwide award. New York hotel prices have strayed back up from historical lows of 2009 but competitive air fares and a series of innovations by the city tourism body kept the enthusiasm of Irish visitors from flagging through 2011. Where only 75,000 people visited

from Ireland in 2003, nowadays nearly 300,000 continue to visit. Innovative promotions like restaurant week, 25pc off room rates in January and February, promotions with airlines and credit card companies have kept the profile of the city up.

MARCH 2013 PAGE 15

ITIA AWARDS 2013

BEST FULL SERVICE AIRLINE TO EUROPE: AER LINGUS

n 2011 the CEO of Christophe Mueller came to the ITAA conference in malaga and signalled a change of direction by the airline. charter “The model,” he told travel agents, “is not broke.” The policies of his predecessor, who had tried to turn Aer Lingus away from the trade and started to chase Ryanair as a low fares, point to point service. He said he would move away from a model which tried to stimulate the market with zero fares and offered city pairs twice or three times towards a service the business traveller can use. A319s were brought into the fleet and the lower John Keogh of Aer Lingus accepts volume routes were franchised out to the award from Sinead Morrissey of Travelport Aer Lingus Regional. He declared that the future was segmentation, with the lower cost base that Tour competition with Ryanair had produced. operators and travel agents have been By ignoring the trade, Mueller says, using Aer Lingus scheduled services on “Aer Lingus was leaving money on the routes, Topflight has chartered Aer Lingus flights and the awards from the trade table.” Since then the airscape has change. have come back.

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MARCH 2013 PAGE 16

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BEST WINTERSUN DESTINATION: LANZAROTE

ITIA AWARDS 2013

ncreased air lift has meant that there is no sign that the 176,965 Irish going to Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favourite Canary Island each year will stop any time soon, leaving it ahead not just of its sister islands Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura but of entire countries, getting more visitors on its own than Greece. People go because of the guaranteed winter sunshine, absence of jetlag, the choice of charter and scheduled services available less than four hours of flighttime away and because it is around four degrees warmer than southern Spain. The reinvestment in product and good value restaurants make it a long established favourite with the Irish. Off-peak season is the summer, which also suits the Irish market. Lanzarote is the most easterly and most exotic if the chain. Holiday-makers gravitate towards Puerto del Carmen, Matagorda, Playa Blanca and Los Pocillos but there is a great deal to explore beyond and a smoking volcano to climb.

Lara Velasco of the Lanzarote Tourist Board and Gonzalo Ceballos of the Spanish TB accept the winter sun destination award from sponsor Dave Walsh of Etihad

O

BEST FERRY COMPANY: IRISH FERRIES

ver the past three years ago the Irish travel trade have been getting a sharp reminder that ferry services are central to their operations when fire and ice, ash and weather, came to disrupt holiday plans. The award to Irish Ferries is welcome recognition for a neglected sector. Over the last number of years, we have invested over â&#x201A;Ź450m in new fleet and port facilities. They now have the most modern fleet in Europe including Ulysses, the Largest Car Ferry on the Irish Sea, the Dublin Swift which continues year-round on the Dublin -Holyhead route, the Isle of Inishmore on the Pembroke- Rosslare route and the luxurious Oscar Wilde on the Rosslare routes to Cherbourg and Roscoff. Free wi-fi was among the innovations of 2012. Ferries are the secret weapon of the travel trade, offering (without baggage restrictions) multiple travel options on the Oscar Wilde from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Roscoff, the Dublin Swift

Thank You Much of the landscape is volcanic and looks a lot like the moon. While all the Canary Islands have their extinct volcanoes, Lanzarote is dominated by them.

Dermot Merrigan accepts the best ferry operator award from sponsor Yvonne Muldoon of United

from Dublin to Holyhead, the Ulysses from Dublin to Holyhead and the Isle of Inishmore from Rosslare to Pembroke. The trade is still an important part of their business. Irish Ferries pay commission of 5pc on ferry bookings and 10pc on holiday bookings and we have a dedicated online booking facility for agents. Declan Merrigan says Irish Ferries will continue to work with the trade and build our trade business.

Thank you for your support!

Thanks to all of you who once again voted Lanzarote Best Winter Sun Destination. We will continue reinvesting in product development, quality infrastructures and sustainability to keep offering you and your customers a complete destination for 2013 and beyond.

H891

Jameos del Agua, Lanzarote centres of art and tourism

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Three out of three ain’t bad.

H891

Thank you to everyone who voted us Best Ferry Company at both the Annual Travel Industry and Irish Travel Trade News awards. This is the third year running that we’ve managed to win these prestigious awards, and we’re honoured to be recognised as Ireland’s best. We could not have done it without you. So, once again, thanks.

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MARCH 2013 PAGE 18

BESTACCOMMODATION PROVIDER: BOOKABED

ITIA AWARDS 2013

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ookaBed launched in mid 2005 as a trade only accommodation supplier. It is entirely Irish owned and operated. It has grown and prospered since then under Karl Tyrrell and his team, led by Lee Osborne. Karl describes their progress as the result of “getting on with our jobs of trying to sell hotels at great rates and provide a great service to the trade.”

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Lee Osborne and Karl Tyrrell of Bookabed accepting the best accommodation provider award from sponsor Lorraine Quinn of RCCL

HOTEL GROUP WORLDWIDE: MARRIOTT

he Marriott Brand continued its success story when it picked up the world hotel group award. The signature Marriott brand chalked up its 500th hotel in 2012 included new lodging co-brand AC Hotels by Marriott. The overall group has 3,700 properties in 74 countries and added a

orldwide Luxury W

BEST SPECIALIST TOUR OPERATOR & TOUR OP LONG HAUL: CLASSIC RESORTS

17th brand in 2013, the Autograph Collection, a new brand comprised of luxury, independent, hotels in major cities.

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Paul Manning of sponsors Hertz with John Spollen, Fiona Dobbyn and John Cassidy of Cassidy Travel/Classic Resorts

he best long haul tour operator category was won by Classic Resorts having shared the op award last year. Classic Resorts was founded in 1990 as a division of Cassidy Travel, which had been founded in 1985. The division was built out of Mauritius, a honeymoon destination that was largely built up by Classic Resorts virtually single handedly. They also featured Seychelles, South Africa, Maldives and Cuba in their early years

and has developed into over 70 destinations through the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. The big growth in recent years has been the Spanish Caribbean, Mexico and Dominican Republic and the biggest demand in the current climate has been for all inclusive product. John Spollen of Classic Resorts says that the award was a tribute to the Classic Resorts team who have worked hard down the years, built up an extensive knowledge of the support and offer a terrific backup.

BEST CORPORATE AGENCY FCm TRAVEL SOLUTIONS

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Holidays

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bean • In ia • Carib abia • As oons Africa • Ar • Honeym Weddings

Indian Oc ean

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Second Edi tion

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Asia - Ca ribbean

Cm was cited by the awards independent industry panel for its client retention of 97pc, exceptional sales, and a leadership team. Valerie Metcalfe says “The first thought that came to mind when I’m faced with an opportunity to be proud of FCm, as I was when we received the award, is our people. “We’re very lucky to have a great crew and we work to create a good working environment and give them the best tools to do their job well. We’ve always believed that the best service will come from happy, motivated staff so teamwork is key to our success.” “I believe it’s about high expectations of ourselves, creating an environment

Valerie Metcalfe receives her award from category sponsor Simon Daly of British Airways.

that enables us to meet those expectations, building on our successes and never becoming complacent.”

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MARCH 2013 PAGE 19

BEST LUXURY CRUISE COMPANY:

ilversea Cruises operates six luxury, all-suite cruise ships that have changed standards at the top end of the cruise business. Innovations for 2013 include the recruitment of Jason Atherton, award-winning Michelin star chef who owns restaurants in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai, to cook for guests on Silversea cruise ship Silver Shadow later this year. The Monaco based company was founded and is still owned by the Lefebvre Family of Rome. They started business in April 1994, with one ship, Silver Cloud, followed in January 1995 by Silver Wind., Since then they have bucked the trend, showing that there is still room for a caring, niche operator in a mass-market business with bigger and bigger ships. Silver Shadow (2000) Silver Exlorer (2009), Silver Whisper (2001). Silver Spirit (2009) followed. An industry innovation was their Personalised Voyages option, allowing

Jonathan Knight accepts the award from Yvonne Muldoon of United

guests to choose their own embarkation and disembarkation port. Guests can board days before or days after a cruise begins, but they must sail a minimum of five nights. The onboard time is charged on a daily rate that varies depending on the ports visited and the category of suite accommodation.

ITIA AWARDS 2013

I

Rowan Devereux Joint MD, Maeve Slamon Product Manager, Jason Whelan Travel Manager and Ciaran Mulligan Joint MD of Blue Insurances accept the award for best insurance product

BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE: BLUE INSURANCES

n October 2003 Ciarán Mulligan and Devereux Rowan went into business in the embryonic online insurance sector. They cannot have imagined what success lay before them. . With low cost airlines having a dramatic impact on travel agent sales both Ciarán and Rowan decided to launch a low cost competitive travel insurance website directly to the public first as AnnualMultitrip.com then as Multitrip.com. After bringing the product to the direct UK aggregator sites such as Moneysupermarket.com, gocompare.com, comparethemarket.com etc to drive an

Thank you for voting Silversea Best Ultra Luxury Cruise Company

increase in the business they launched a suite of Niche Insurance products such as Wedding Insurance, Car Hire Excess Insurance, Motor Breakdown Assistance, Pet Insurance and Gadget Insurance. They are exploring the Indian Market and South African markets.

Silversea’s all-inclusive lifestyle • Small intimate ships • Spacious ultra-luxury suites – Over 85% with private veranda • Butler service on all ships, all suites • Complimentary beverages throughout the ship including champagne, wines and spirits • In-room bar and refrigerator stocked with your preferred beverage selections • Gratuities included • Open-seating in the Restaurant – no assigned time, no assigned table • In suite dining and 24-hour room service

BEST ULTRA LUXURY CRUISE COMPANY

• Gourmet cuisine inspired by Relais and Châteaux • Alternative dining options – multiple venues • Complimentary transportation into town (most ports) • Sophisticated entertainment from live music to production shows • Enrichment lecturers, acclaimed chefs and destination consultants

Flights now available from Dublin on selected cruises

Expedition Cruising, now including Galapagos Islands

For sales support please contact Jon Knight, Sales Manager – email jonk@silversea.com or call +44 (0)7788 916160. To book please call Silversea on 01 611 0560 or visit www.silversea.com

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MARCH 2013 PAGE 22

AFLOAT MSC Cruises will base MSC Lirica in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for winter 2013-14 after one season wintering in Sharm. This will mean easier access from Ireland to both home ports with Emirates and Etihad. Lirica departs Genoa on a 19 day/18 night relocation cruise and offer eight-day seven-night cruises between November 23 and March 29 2014. ROYAL CARIBBEAN‘s deal with STX France in Saint-Nazaire to add a third Oasis class ship to its fleet will deliver a ship that costs less per berth basis than the two previous ships and to be more energy efficient. The ship will be delivered in middle to late 2016. The 5,400 Oasis class ships are the largest cruise ships in the world.

NORWEGIAN Breakaway will become the joint third largest ship on the seas with its sister Epic when it launches in April. The ship will have a total of 1,024 staterooms and 238 suites, designed by Priestmangoode and Tillberg Design. Norwegian Breakaway will be homeported at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal in Manhattan, making sevenday cruises to Bermuda (May-Sept) and to the Bahamas and Florida (October-April). Norwegian Cruise Line will launch Project Breakaway Plus in 2015 to reclaim third place after the two Oasis class ships. HAPAG LLOYD say their new Eu-

rope 2 will be the great luxury offering of 2013. A large 139,500 ton ship, the all-suite, all-balcony ship carries a maximum of only 516 passengers and will be based in Hamburg. It is family friendly, and its short itineraries are aimed at time-poor professionals. All cruises will be conducted in German and English.

LE SOLEAL which carries up to 264 passengers, is a new "soft expedition" ship from Compagnie du Ponent (Bridgepoint Group) marrying a sleek silhouette and chic French decor with an ice-strengthened hull to sail Arctic and Antarctic waters. The ship will be launched in Venice on 1 July and will be more like a megayacht in size and is noted for the attention to the interior design. It will specialise in visiting places large ships can't reach. ROYAL CARIBBEAN has ex-

panded its partnership with Dreamworks Animation. By mid-year, six of the company's ships will have entertainment featuring pandas, ogres, lions, dragons, Shrek, Fiona, and other Dreamworks characters.

DISNEY Magic returns to the Mediterranean next summer

IRISH FERRIES is supporting The Gathering with 100 free coach spaces on Britain to Ireland services.

LIFEBOATS Andrew Linington of Seafarers Trade Union Nautilus International pointed out that more people are being killed on lifeboat drill than being saved by lifeboats, An accident killed five crew members on board Thomson Majesty in Santa Cruz, La Palma this month.. A 2001 investigation showed 15pc of deaths involved lifeboat drills, with 12 deaths over 10 years and 87 injuries.

Quantum class will surpass Freedom Class (pictured above) by 13,000 tons but with fewer passengers

New class ahoy

Royal’s Quantum and Anthem will launch new class

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oyal Caribbean has named its two new 4,100-passenger Quantum Class ships Quantum of the Seas (autumn 2014), and Anthem of the Seas (spring 2015). Although destined at 167,000 to be the second largest cruise ships in the world compared with 154,407 tons for Freedom Class and 225,282 tons for the two gargantuan Oasis class ships, the Quantum class will carry less passengers (4,100) than the 4,370 passenger Freedom class (of which Independence of the Seas, is a frequent visitor to Cobh) and well below the 5,400-passengers carried on the

Oasis class at full double occupancy. Royal Caribbean says the first piece of steel for the first of its two Project Sunshine vessels was cut this month at a shipyard in Germany. Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein says in a statement: “After three years of design and advance planning, this is the first step of the construction of the ship, and I look forward to seeing it all come together in the coming months. The new ship will be such a leap forward in terms of vessel design and guest experiences that we thought the name Quantum of the Seas was perfectly appropriate." “While the Oasis class ships have

been a notable success, commanding premium pricing, the line needs a mix of different size ships to allow for flexibility in itinerary planning. Royal Caribbean currently operates 22 vessels spread among six classes that range in size from about 69,000 tons to 225,282 tons. Apart from tonnage and passenger numbers, which suggest it will be similar to the Freedom Class in size but not in design, the line otherwise has released few details about the ships. The ships are being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

PREZIOSA TO LAUNCH IN GENOA

M

SC Preziosa the 3,959 passenger Fantasia-class cruise ship owned and operated by MSC Cruises is to be launched in Genoa on March 23 in an elaborate christening ceremony. The ship is an enhanced version of her sisters, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia and identical to MSC Divina. Offerings include ■ a revised rear-lounge, casino and disco, ■ a new infinity pool for adults only, ■ An upgraded MSC Aurea Spa, the 1,700square metre wellness area with sea views and a

décor of natural stones, wood and rich mosaics, Balinese massage, saunas, Turkish bath, ■ Aurea Spa Suites for Yacht Club members and are part of the Yacht Club complex. MSC Preziosa also features various improvements in order to keep guests entertained. These include the new "4D" cinema along with a Formula 1 simulator. The ship was originally to be built for the Libyan state-owned company General National Maritime Transport Corporation, and named Phoenicia. Hannibal Gaddafi had a 120-ton

shark aquarium integrated into the design.The maiden voyage will, sail from St Nazaire to Genoa. Between March and October, MSC Preziosa operates on Mediterranean cruises from Genoa. Preziosa will operate from Santos in Brazil in winter 2013-14.

AGENTS are invited to a competition in which registered MSC Cruises travel agents can win a cruise on board Preziosa. The competition will close on March 16, one week before the christening ceremony. By selling MSC cruises, agents

collect promotional codes. The more cruises sold, the more they play. By entering a code online, a virtual tour of an MSC Fantasia class ship will open. Agents search the ship for three hidden gemstones using their knowledge of the ship and her facilities. All of those who find a correct combination of three gemstones will enter into a prize draw. Ten winners chosen at random will receive a seven-night voucher for two to sail on board Preziosa. Register at www.msccontest.com.

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MARCH 2013 PAGE 23

AFLOAT

Stena seek craft Stena line needs more capacity on central corridor

DISCOVER

GREAT DEALS Britain by Car • Free Wi-Fi • Free movies • No baggage limits

The spa on Stena Superfast ith the Stena Stena Adventurer is not HSS now down large enough to operate the to one sailing a Central corridor on its own. day, Stena is looking for Stena Nordica, with 375 more capacity and more cars, 405 passengers, 222 luxurious craft to use on the berths and 1,949 lane metres has been assisting it. central corridor. The ferry market is unStena would like to put ships on the Dublin-Holy- dergoing recession at the head corridor to compare moment and several Baltic with the Superfast VII and companies have been offersister ship Superfast VIII ing nearly new ships for which have operated be- sale. Both the 30,285 ton Sutween Belfast and Cairnperfast VII and Superfast ryan since March 2011. At 43,532 tons, 500 cars VIII are chartered from Esand 900 passengers, the tonian ferry company

W

ROYAL CARIBBEAN is expanding its onboard drinks programme to include two new packages Classic drinks Package for USD$45 per guest, per day, or the Premium drinks Package for $55 per guest. Both include service charge. The Classic features beer, house wines by the glass, as well as all non-alcoholic cocktails, fountain soda and juices. The all-inclusive Premium package features all as included in the Classic Package, as well as frozen drinks and all cocktails including premium brands. These allow guests to pay one price at the beginning of their cruise holiday for a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Complementing the new drink packages are a variety of speciality dining packages, which allow guests to pre-book the cruise line’s signature restaurants at value rates. Drinks packages are available for purchase on all seven-night or longer sailings and must be purchased on the first day. For more see www.royalcaribbean.ie.

single, car + driver

Hotel Breaks

Tallink, having been built in 2001 by HowaldtswerkeDeutsche Werft in Kiel, Germany for Attica Group's subsidiary Superfast Ferries. The offerings, unusual for a ferry company, include a spa. They have capacity for 661 cars, 626 passengers and have 1920 lane metres. Stena Europe which operates on Rosslare-Fishguard has capacity for 1,400 passengers, 452 berths, 456 cars and 1,120 lane metres.

SILVERSEA are now able to offer flights from Dublin using Emirates on sailings to the Far East and Australasia. Silversea offer a range of exciting itineraries throughout 2013 and 2014 from gateways including Auckland, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo which are available as a fly cruise option from Dublin.

€89 from

• Includes return ferry from travel by car * • Kids travel & stay for free per adult per night • Great hotels in Wales, Chester, Liverpool and more.

€65

Europe by Landbridge • Firstly hop across to Britain • Then choose between 15 onward routes to Europe 600 return • Save up to €600

from

€115 single, car + driver

Sail from Dublin Port, Dun Laoghaire or Rosslare and discover your perfect getaway with Stena Line.

stenaline.ie call 01 204 77 77

Britain by car fare applies to single Economy online fares valid on selected routes and sailings when booked a minimum 42 days in advance. Dun Laoghaire - Holyhead route is seasonal and operates from 22 March - 10 September 2013. €15 service fee applies to non-web car bookings. *Hotel breaks price is per adult per night based on 2 adults sharing, minimum 2 night stay for midweek travel from Dublin Port - Holyhead & Rosslare - Fishguard. Weekend supplements apply. Up to 2 children sharing adults room stay and travel free but pay hotel direct for any meals taken. Landbridge to Europe single fare applies to car + driver for travel on selected Irish Sea routes and sailings to Britain and onwards with DFDS from Dover - Calais. For fare validities and savings see our website for full details.

Page 024-025 19/02/2013 20:08 Page 1

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lowcostbeds sign up Travelsavers Lowcostbeds signed up Travelsavers as one of its preferred trading partners in Ireland and the UK. The agreement will see lowcostbeds providing Travelsavers members with a range of attractive commercials aimed at giving them a significant competitive advantage in their relative markets.

araffi Jack M ds and e t. tb n s e o f lowc agreem alshe o ign the Clem W ravelsavers s of T

Travelsavers Vice President Jack Maraffi said: “We are delighted to have added lowcostbeds as one of the growth of our members’ dynamic package business in Ireland. I am absolutely confident that this co-operation will provide Irish Travelsavers agents with a distinct commercial advantage in their local market place.” Irish Managing Director of lowcostbeds, Clem Walshe, said: “We have been reviewing our consortia position for some time in Ireland with a view to ensuring any agreement we entered into was going to deliver on increasing sales and profitability for both lowcost and the agency members.”

Mary King , General Manager, Ireland, an Travelsav ers d Grainne Caffrey, Sales Man ager, lowc ostbeds.

“The clear and transparent system that Travelsavers offer their members made them an attractive partner for us to do business with and we are really looking forward to ensuring that every agent in the Travelsavers group reaps the same commercial rewards that many of our key Irish trade supporters have enjoyed over the last two years.”

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TURKISH Airlines have started operations to Yaounde and Douala in Cameroon adding a 96th country to its network and bring the number of cities served to 216. Turkish Airlines now flies to 33 destinations in Africa alone. Turkish added a sixth destination in Iran, Kermanshah. AER ARANN is to discontinue its Southend crew base and operate the first flight on the Dublin-Southend route out of Dublin instead of Southend. NEW ERA, the agency advising the

Government on the sale of various assets, has tendered for an adviser in relation to the State’s 25pc shareholding in Aer Lingus.

FLYBE recommenced Birmingham to Waterford two weeks earlier than initially planned. Flights started on Friday 22 February, operated on Sunday 24 February then operate on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday until Monday 11 March when it reverts to four weekly Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun until 26 October. SOUTHWEST Airlines is to charge

new travel fees next year in a plan to increase revenue by USD$1.1 bn. It will raise fees on third bags and overweight baggage, increase fees for flights on AirTran, the carrier it bought last year, and roll out new fees tied to the sale of open and premium boarding positions at airport gates. The company is going to implement a no-show fee for restricted tickets that are not cancelled by passengers prior to departure.

FINNAIR has announced plans to start

flying to Xi´an in summer 2013 with three frequencies per week with A330-300, operating June 14 to Oct 26. This will be first direct connection between Xi´an and Europe.

AIRBUS say production rates for the A320, A330 and A380 will remain the same this year, A320 production rate will stay at 42.

EMIRATES has ensured a daily service between Dublin and Adelaide thanks to an extra three flights a week Abu Dhabi-Adelaide. SAS has re-registered all its A330 fleet in

Norway.

UNITED has confirmed a third daily

service from London Heathrow to Houston from March 31.

WARSAW Modlin runway opening date has been moved back to Apr 30. JETBLUE Airways has introduced mo-

bile boarding passes with a refreshed app.

AIR ASIA X has launched child free

zones.

ASIANA Airlines stewardesses have won their battle against a ban on trousers.

AIR EUROPA has a new route from Gatwick to Montevideo, via Madrid from June. LOT has applied for PLN400m (US$127m) as a first tranche of state aid.

ETIHAD has increased flights to Lahore from 7 to 11 a week.

A new airline Flybe Ireland is central to the Ryanair takeover plans for Aer Lingus

Endgame begins

Ryanair’s court appeal was always going to decide

S

ix months after they launched their third takeover bid for Aer Lingus, the real action is about to begin for Ryanair. Ryanair announced the appeal in advance of the EU decision on March 6th, after a briefing in Brussels. “It appears clear from this morning’s meeting, that no matter what remedies Ryanair offered, we were not going to get a fair hearing and were going to be prohibited regardless of competition rules.” “Given Ryanair’s remedies package addresses every issue raised in the

EU’s Statement of Objections, any decision to prohibit would be manifestly unfair and in contravention of EU competition rules.” “Ryanair has no alternative but to appeal any prohibition decision and we expect to get a fair hearing at the European Courts, as we haven’t received one from Commissioner Almunia and his case team.” “This decision is clearly a political one to meet the narrow, vested interests of the Irish Government and is not based on competition law.” The statement gave an indication of

the thinking behind the Ryanair package of remedies, which included a three-year commitment to a new airline, Flybe Ireland. It cited the fact that the EU Commission recently approved IAG’s acquisition of BMI at London-Heathrow on the basis of three year commitments. The decision to divest the Gatwick rather than the Heathrow routes caught people unawares. Even after it had been announced the Chambers of Commerce protest against the takeover pointed out Heathrow was important for connectivity to Ireland.

JIM FRENCH STRAINS TO MAKE FLYBE IRELAND FLY

F

lybe Ireland will offer increased frequencies on a number of routes to establish itself as a viable alternative to Ryanair. As revealed in last month’s Travel Extra, a routes and cash transfer to Flybe is at the heart of Ryanair’s takeover bid for Aer Lingus. The new airline would be guaranteed a €20m profit in the first year and use the Aer Lingus brand for three years. Flybe CEO Jim French says Flybe will service the

43 handover routes with a mix of smaller capacity jet aircraft it has on order with Brazilian manufacturer Embraer, and the existing Airbus aircraft currently used by Aer Lingus. Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has offered lossmaking Flybe €100m in cash, as well as €50m from forward ticket sales. In a round of interview with Irish media, Flybe CEO Jim French stressed his airline recognised trade unions and that a substantial percentage of its em-

ployees had been with the airline for a decade or more. Its pension scheme is in surplus, so staff at Aer Lingus had nothing to fear from Flybe. He said Flybe’s average fare is €80 and €95 when ancillary fees are included and that Flybe’s costs were lower than Aer Lingus although higher than Jim French Ryanair. within the network for the Flybe will be allowed to first three years..” terminate between 5-10 per Flybe Ireland would cent of routes a year with- have its own distinct manout penalty, but it will have agement team. to retain the same capacity

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Nightmare-liner

Norwegian and Thomson make contingency plans

N

orwegian has leased replacement long-haul aircraft after being warned by Boeing that there could be a delay in the delivery of its first two 787 Dreamliners in April and June. Boeing has told the airline that its June delivery might also be affected. Thomson, the parent of Falcon Holidays is also panning to use alternative aircraft, including aircraft the new orders were supposed to replace. It was planning to put the 787 into service on flights to Mexico and Florida from May 1. Delivery of its first craft, originally scheduled for the end of February, had been moved and it had not been given a new delivery date. British Airways has ordered 24 787s, the first of which is due for delivery in May. Virgin Atlantic is to take delivery of the first of its 16 Dreamliners starting in summer 2014. In the meantime Jeff Smisek has cancelled the gung-ho Dreamliner video they used to show on United flights immediately before the safety briefing. United continued to fly the planes when two Japanese airlines grounded their larger Dreamliner

A

most stylish cabin crew uniforms: Aeroflot, AF, Alitalia, BA, Easyjet, Finnair, Flybe, Lufthansa, Ryanair and Turkish.

IAA say traffic growth levels over the past

five months, particularly at Dublin Airport, are promising. The Irish Aviation Authority says Irish air traffic figures returned to modest growth in 2012 with 497,859 flights in Irish controlled airspace, up 0.31pc on 2011. There were 196,566 commercial terminal traffic movements for Dublin, Shannon and Cork in 2012, up 0.3pc. n Dublin saw 156,582 flights, up 1.4pc. n Shannon saw 18,200 flights, down 5.58pc. n Cork saw 21,784 flights, down 1.8pc. There were 301,293 en route movements in 2011 (flights that pass through Irish airspace but do not land), up 0.3pc on 2011. Flights served by the North Atlantic Communications Centre in 2012 totalled 400,480, down 0.76pc on 2011.

IATA expects airlines to return a profit of

$8.4bn in 2013, marginally better than the $7.5bn forecast in October. Industry net posttax margin, however, will remain weak at 1.0pc in 2012 and 1.3pc in 2013.

Inside the Dreamliner fleets and Smisek predicted customers would flock back to the Dreamliner. It pulled the six jets it has from service once the FAA announced the grounding. Despite the recent lithium-ion battery problems, Boeing’s 787 production line is producing five planes a

DUBLIN Passenger throughput was 1.2m month, and the company plans to raise rate to 10 a month this year. Boeing says Dreamliner customers are standing by the manufacturer. Airbus has abandoned plans to use lithium-ion batteries on its new A350 airliner because of the uncertainty.

AIR CANADA GO THREE CLASS

ir Canada say their new B777300ER will feature a new three-class layout, with a revamped business class, premium economy and 10 across in economy. The B777-300ER will

SKYSCANNER’s list of the top 10

accommodate 458 passengers, 36 seats in business, 24 in premium economy and 398 in economy, with a new business class layout relacing its existing herringbone configuration, and the carrier will also introduce a premium

economy cabin. Economy will use denser 3-4-3 seating instead of today’s 3-3-3 layout while premium economy will be eight across 2-4-2. Air Canada has extended its seasonal Irish service in 2013.

CANADA

Dublin to Canada nonstop all summer long. Visit aircanada.com or contact Air Canada Reservations on 00353 1 679 3958 or your IATA travel agent.

in January, up 2pc on January 2012. UK traffic was down 3pc at 460,000. Continental Europe routes were up 3pc to j557,000. North American routes were up 12pc to 90,000.

AER ARANN web-site has been re-

modelled as an Aer Lingus Regional web-site.

SAS morning services are to be operated by its Finnish subsidiary Blue1 from Apr 1 using B717 aircraft.

MANX2 The report into the February

2011 Manx 2 crash in Cork will not be published until April.

QANTAS won the best overall wine cellar and three other awards in the Cellar of the Sky awards.

BOEING has increased the production

rate of its 737 Next Generation family to 38 aircraft a month. Air Canada’s B777

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BATAVIA Air, Indonesian budget carrier has been declared bankrupt by the country’s Commercial Court.

BRUSSELS Airlines will operate direct flights between Brussels Airport and Washington Dulles, 5 per week A330-200 from June 1. RYANAIR’s share of Italian market up from 4pc to 24pc since January 2008 and Alitalia down from 58pc to 51pc. IBERWORLD Charter airline Iberworld Orbest has suspended operations.

RYANAIR will move their HQ from Dublin Airport to the Airside Business Park in Swords in the autumn.

CORK Last Call a new pub has opened at Cork Airport with large beer pipe installation above the bar, large pendant lamps & feature keg-wall.

Andrew McFarlane and Christophe Mueller

Lingus record

RYANAIR said it was going to increase its €261 compensation levy to €2.50 following the EU court ruling in the Denise McDonagh

AER ARANN sharehold proportions after the pre-Christmas structural changes now amount to: Stobart 42pc, Invesco 42pc, Cenkos Securities 10pc, Pádraig Ó Céidigh 5pc. HEATHROW has told airlines that the average cost per passenger will rise to £22 from April 2014. CITYJET have replaced their Pau serv-

ice with a weekly flight between Dublin and Brest Bretagne to start June 29, departing Saturdays AF 5266 at 13:05.

RYANAIR routes from Knock to Paris Beauvais and Frankfurt Hahn which operated from March last year will not be renewed for 2013.

AER LINGUS Christoph Mueller has acquired shares valued at €652,000 in the airline under the carrier's long-term incentive programme. RYANAIR has announced additional

flights from Shannon to Malaga and Palma. case.

MAASTRICHT Airlines is to launch in March 2013 in competition to Ryanair. Ryanair responded by offerings a €22 Maastricht promotion on the day the start-up was announced.

AIR FRANCE has reduced the number of bidders for Cityjet from ten to two.

KLM became the first flag carrier since Aer Lingus to introduce a check-in baggage charge, €15 online or €30 at the airport. WESTON Brian Conneely and Associ-

ates purchased Weston aerodrome from NAMA for €3.5m.

ETIHAD’s 34pc capacity increase on Dublin-Abu Dhabi starts July 2 when a 412 seat (28-384) B777-300ER serves EY42’s six morning flights, while the 262 seat (22-240) A330-200 remain on EY48’s evening flights

Highest number of passengers ever flown by airline

A

er Lingus annual results indicated that fares are up 4pc on last year to €68.67 in shorthaul and up 9.6pc in long-haul to €289.12. Short-haul average yield was €94.11, up 4pc, long-haul average yield €350.82 up 9.6pc. Network average yield was €120.15, up 7pc. The results reflected a big increase in transfer traffic, S-HAUL 23pc of long-haul passengers, up from FARES 2009 €56.96 18.5pc in 2011. It helped the air2010 €62.63 2011 €66.09 line carry a record 2012 €68.67 10.8m passengers in 2012, when its fran-

chise agreement with Aer Arann and its Washington-Madrid code share with United Airlines are included in the figures. Aer Lingus cure airline carried 9.563m passengers, Business class remains about 22pc of long-haul passenger revenue. CEO Christophe Mueller said that the operating profit can accommodate all investments in years to come and well as continuing dividends. The airline has plans to L-HAUL purchase nine FARES A350Neo com2009 €187.29 mencing in 2015. 2010 €238.58 The figures 2011 €247.99 show:: 2012 €289.12 n profit of €69.1m

(up 40.7pc since 2011), a 5pc operating margin, although operating profit after exceptional items was down 51pc to €42.6m, Profit before tax was €40.6m, down 52pc and profit after tax €34.1m down 52pc n yield per passenger up 7pc to €120.15, n ancillary revenue up 4pc to €176,466 (retail of €18.28 per passenger), n market share out N-WORK of Ireland up 2pc FARES to 43pc Defending the 2009 €70.58 takeover bid by 2010 €78.62 Ryanair cost the air- 2011 €82.31 2012 €88.70 line €10m.

LUFTHANSA TO KEEP HUB MODEL

S

great product hort-haul on long haul. flights are Short haul still central to has develthe Lufthansa busioped differness model, the Ireently in the land and UK last few manager Christian Christian Schindler years. We Schindler said on a needed to change our fleet recent visit to Dublin. The trade is important to to accommodate that Lufthansa, on both short change. We have done that in the past two years. The and long haul bookings. “We are the largest hub 50 seaters are gone and the airline in Europe with 737s soon will be.” “On the point to point Frankfurt and Munich we can connect with anything routes, our smallest aircraft in the future the A319. in the world. With the demands and ex“When you are bringing business class customers to pectations being changed long haul connections, you by customers it makes cannot stack them up on much more sense. “On routes that do not short haul and have only a

touch Frankfurt and Munich, expectations are different. Germanwings will be the only platform in the future, where before we had up to six platforms. “Germanwings will remain much more a classic carrier than low cost carriers you see today. We do not charge for check-in baggage. With certain fares you get food and drink on Germanwings, while on Lufthansa all that is included. We are consolidating into two aircraft family, the A320 family and the CRJ90 operated by Eurowings. “On the passenger side we see a big move to book-

ing online and smartphone. Every second passenger now books online. Lufthansa have introduced a new business class ion long haul, which Christian Schindler says will heighten the airline’s appeal to Irish passengers. “You can have interaction which most of our passengers and we know what we prefer, privacy is optional. Meal selection is important. With onboard wireless, people will use some sort of connectivity to access their own database and what they like. We are in the forefront of that.”

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Aviation with Gerry O’Hare VIRGIN’s new A330s could be flying your customers to Barbados this summer with new Upper Class Suites, brand new seats and our new Vera Touch entertainment system. Their new onboard bar is the longest in the sky. SRI LANKAN fares to Sri Lanka and the Maldives have an Aer Lingus feed over Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt.

VIRGIN have announced a strategic alliance with Delta Airlines as a result of Delta purchasing a 49pc stake in Virgin.

BRITISH AIRWAYS have intro-

duced the facility to enable customers to watch their in-flight entertainment screens during take-offs and landings, up to an hour more sampling inflight entertainment as part of a £5bn investment programme which includes new aircraft, refurbished cabins and better lounges.

IBERIA unions plan 15 days of strikes from March 4 to 8, and March 18 to 22.

BOEING has increased the production

rate of its 737 Next Generation family to 38 aircraft a month.

BRITISH Airways will open a new route

to Chengdu in Western China from Heathrow airport, 3w B777-200ER flight from Sept. Sean Brogan, interim CEO of Aer Arann

Arann ambition

A

Airline to double passenger numbers by 2015

er Arann has announced widely publicised plans to ”join Europe's top tier” of regional airlines by 2015. In his first statement since a December restructuring of the company, Sean Brogan, Interim Chief Executive of Aer Arann has outlined a four-point plan to grow its customer base and route network. The airline will be taking delivery of eight new ATR 72-600s at €16m each, replacing the older existing fleet of ATR72-200s and ATR42s. The first new aircraft will com-

mence service this May, with the remaining aircraft expected for delivery over the next 11 months. The new fleet will be fully operational in time for the Summer 2014 programme. In addition to the new aircraft, Aer Arann said they will be increasing frequencies on Dublin-Birmingham, Dublin-Manchester, Dublin Edinburgh and Dublin Glasgow routes and signed a 10-year agreement with Aer Lingus to continue to operate its regional services on a franchise basis. Aer Lingus has also taken a 33pc investment in a new leasing vehicle that will acquire the eight new ATR

aircraft for Aer Arann. This will involve an initial equity investment of $14.2m, rising to a maximum $17.7m. Ryanair’s takeover bid for Aer Lingus has serious implications for Aer Arann which could see Flybe take over its feeder services to Dublin. The Stobart Group is also advancing plans to add routes at London Southend airport. Sean Brogan said: "Just over two years ago, we stared closure in the face. Now, we have the fundamentals in place to join Europe's top tier of regional airlines.

AER LINGUS T/A OFFERS FINE DINING

A

er Lingus has launched premium three course meal choices, Sky Dine, available to pre-order up to 90 days in advance of travel for trans-Atlantic customers in economy class. This follows the successful launch of the Sky Deli Pre-Order Meal Service on

flights to Britain and Europe. The first meals were delivered on board on February 14. Head Chef, James Keaveney has created a number of three course meals of €17.50 complemented by a choice of wine. n Steak House consists of fillet of beef, sautéed pota-

toes with onion, spinach, mushrooms, topped with tomato tartar and served with peppercorn sauce, with chocolate mousse or cheesecake by Lily O’Brien for dessert. n Cod with Salsa Verde, served with baby potatoes and steamed fresh vegetables with a seasonal fruit

salad for dessert. n Chicken stuffed with black pudding, wrapped in bacon, served with colcannon mash potato and steamed root vegetables, with chocolate mousse or cheesecake by Lily O’Brien for dessert. Meals can be pre-ordered on www.aerlingus.com

KINGFISHER Airlines bank lenders

could begin calling in 85bn rupees of loans, declaring Vijay Mallya had been “given enough time to repay.”

CAPA’s annual European airline staff pro-

ductivity comparisons shows the four the 4 airlines with the high operating profit per employee were Ryanair €81,000, easyJet €49,000, Norwegian €22,000 and Aer Lingus €19,400 dropping to €8,000 for Lufthansa.

BRITISH AIRWAYS new service to Seoul began December 2, 2012 using a four-class Boeing 777, with First class, Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy) cabins, 6w departing London Heathrow at 13.00 every day except Weds, and arrives back into Heathrow at 14.00, which allows convenient connections to and from Dublin, Cork and Shannon. Return fares from Ireland start at €461 excluding taxes.

CORK Airport has announced a €2.4m investment to upgrade its baggage security screening system to latest EU standards.

VIRGIN Atlantic is returning to Vancou-

ver on the back of a successful first season, operating flights direct to Vancouver five times a week over the summer period.

BELFAST City Airport has won the

Gold Star from Centre for Competitiveness.

QANTAS Frequent Flyer points and Emirates Skywards Miles can now be earned on both Emirates and Qantas flights.

IAA Irish air traffic control-attributable delays were extremely low in 2012 just 00.01pc of flights affected.

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AER LINGUS said it was s "disap-

pointed" no solution had been found to plug the deficit in spite of long-running talks with staff representatives. The deficit in the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme pension scheme, operated jointly by Aer Lingus with the Dublin Airport Authority, the Shannon Airport Authority and SR Technics, had a deficit of €779m at the end of 2012. If the scheme had been wound up at the end of 2012, current employees and deferred members would have received only about 5pc of their expected benefits. Christophe Mueller said '”I wish that this problem had been resolved much earlier.”

LUFTHANSA will move 52 aircraft to its low-cost subsidiary GermanWings for the planned transfer of its decentralised European network next year. The equipment transfer will cover 29 Airbus A319s and A320s from Lufthansa's mainline fleet and 23 Bombardier CRJ 900 regional jets operated by Lufthansa's regional subsidiary Eurowings. DAA car parking services say that a ‘geographic market promotion’ aimed at customers of other airports – increased bookings by 70pc and revenues by more than 100pc for a spend of €20,000.

MALAYSIANAirlines has increased its baggage allowance to 30k standard baggage allowance (increase of 10kg), business class up to 40k SAS reported an operating break-even

(+23m SEK (€2.6m) for the year ended 31 October. Restructuring and other non-recurring costs brought the pre-tax result to a loss of 1.2bn SEK (€140m).

ERAA: The European Regional Airlines Association says that the implementation of Single European Sky is once again in jeopardy.

JORDAN charter operator Petra Airlines is to switch to scheduled services and become the Middle East nation’s first low-cost carrier. BA British Airways summer schedules indi-

cate reductions in frequency of both HeathrowDublin and -Belfast City routes. Five daily round trips are currently showing for both.

TAP Portugal’s long-awaited sale of airline has been postponed. The airline. which is weighed down by an estimated €1.2 bn of debt, still plans to beat its asset disposal target. The TAP sale formed part of a privatisation plan required by Portugal's €78 bn bailout.

KENYA Airways and RwandAir are mov-

ing towards a strategic partnership. Kenya Airways currently offers 4 flights per day between Kigali and Nairobi with a wide network available to the rest of the world. RwandAir is flying to Nairobi 3 times daily and serves Mombasa from its base in Kigali.

AIR EUROPA pilots have rejected a 15pc pay cut agreed upon by pilots union SEPLA.

WIZZAIR made a pre-tax profit of about

€43m in the year to end March 2012 on sales of €766m.

The new airline will carry American’s livery and be headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth

Mega merger

I

No change until autumn as US and AMR unite

t will be autumn before ANY effects of the mega-merger between American and US Airways will be noticed. The airlines have told the trade to continue to book, track and manage flights through usual channels, as clients’ flight reservations will be unaffected. American’s new Dublin-JFK route will start as planned on June 12. The US Airways office in Ireland run by Caitríona Toner will function as before and American’s sales will be handled by Simon Daly and his team in BA. “As we work toward completing the transaction, it remains business as usual at US Airways and American Airlines nothing will immediately change. Customers can continue to earn Dividend Miles . Until the merger is complete, each company will maintain its current

A

loyalty programs (US Airways – Dividend Miles and American Airlines – AAdvantage). Existing miles will continue to be honoured, and there will be no impact to clients’ US Airways MasterCard or US Airways Visa Signature. The airlines say their combined network will provide a more attractive offering to customers. That has set the tone for what will be on offer from the merged airline, where their consolidated product, particularly across the East Coast and Central regions of the US, will allow them to limit the supply of seats, boost profits and offer the big route networks that appeal to high-paying business travellers. Even before the deal was finalised, America’s Antitrust Institute pointed out that ticket prices within the USA rose by 20pc after Delta-Northwest merged and 30pc after the United-

Continental merger. The impact on fares, if any, will be felt most on the east coast, the Southwest, and South America, and less so on trans-Atlantic routes. The airline is marginally larger than United and Delta, the current and former holders of the ‘world’s largest airline’ moniker. It will have will have 94,000 employees, 950 planes, 6,500 daily flights, eight major hubs, and revenue of around $bn. With the new American Airlines, agents will be able to book clients on more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries. Mergers are more complicated the bigger they are. United Airlines’ CEO, Jeff Smisek has talked about the clash of cultures when United merged with Continental in 2010. and said a month before this merger that 2012 was “the toughest year of our merger integration.”

THE AIRLINE THAT JACK BUILT

lthough it is four generations since his ancestors left Antrim, the man who brokered the megamerger deal is proud of his Irish heritage. Chicago lawyer Jack

Butler is proud of his Irish heritage, and was a recipient of Celtic Medal of Honour from the Irish Chamber of Commerce in

America. Some will remember

him speaking at the Annual Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Conference at NUI Maynooth in 2011. His Irish connection is remarkably strong after such a time. Great-grandfather, John Butler, was born in Co Antrim on Christmas Day 1825. Grandfather,

James Millard Butler, was born on July 1, 1874 in Davis, Illinois, spent his early business career in Chicago and later moved to Detroit where Jack’s father and Jack were both born. Jack moved back to Chicago in 1989 and raised his four children.

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POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE

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t has been an exciting month for Lowcostbeds. Irish MD Clem Walshe launched their US product, based in Scottsdale and hundreds of agents have already signed up. At home they signed up Travelsavers as one of their preferred trading partners in Ireland and the UK. Clem Walshe said, "We wanted to ensure any agreement we entered into was going to deliver on sales and profitabil-

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oliday World Dublin 2013 attendance was up 16pc over the three days. The final day figures were up 20pc, following increases of 12pc on Friday and 11pc on Saturday. Bookings were also reportedly a success, with a couple of big coups by exhibitors on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. Dancerite entertainment group put five show for the visitors, and in be-

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ive new Local Brand Ambassadors have been recruited by Tullamore DEW to promote the whiskey in the US market. The ambassadors will promote the first ever ‘Irish Kings of Comedy Tour’ taking place in Chicago, Kansas City, San Francisco and Boston, a campaign designed by Tullamore DEW, and will be relocated to cities across the US, prior to an intensive St Patrick’s Day market-

ity for both lowcost and the agency members. The clear and transparent system that Travelsavers offer their members made them an attractive partner for us to do business with. We look forward to ensuring every agent in the Travelsavers group reaps the same commercial rewards that Irish trade supporters have enjoyed over the last two years." Picture shows Mary King of Travelsavers and Grainne Caffrey of Lowcost.

tween the girls managed to scale the dizzy heights on the east coast adventure mountain, drenched themselves in the chocolate fountain, imagined what it would be like to be a 'first class act' at the Emirates stand, tried out the Harley Davidson and the open top sports car for size and got great photos with many of the exhibitor. The Eoghan Corry Travel Advice clinics had their best ever year with advice and some new revelations.

ing campaign. The recruits will be part of the Irish True campaign which has been helping Tullamore DEW’s position as the world’s second largest selling Irish whiskey with sales growth of 15pc per annum in recent years. Picture shows the brand ambassadors, Jane Maher, Kevin Pigott, Grace Conway, Maurice Power, Katie Loane and John Quinn.

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ohn Donohue of NYC and Company and Pat Reede of United Airlines led an Irish Product Manager FAM to New York City to showcase three lesser known areas of the city, The group toured Long Island City, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan on their brief and intensive visit, staying at the new Wyndham Garden, Long Island City in the Borough of Queens; one subway stop from Lexington Avenue and

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er Arann/Aer Lingus Regional will support Newstalk Sport’s coverage and broadcast of Premier League, Heineken Cup, RaboDirect Pro 12 and other live sporting events. Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, will now become Newstalk Sport’s Official Flight partner for events the news station is covering. Branding for the first time in this type of sponsor-

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ourism Ireland continued to expand the number of landmarks that are lit in green for St Patrick’s Day. Newcomers for 2013 include the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las (glas) Vegas (with the support, John Donohue points out, of Las Vegas CVB) the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, HMS Belfast in London, City Hall in Houston, the Citadel in Jordan, the Tower of Hercules

took in the Broadway show Nice work if you can get it starring Matthew Broderick. They returned just missing a snow storm which hit six hours after they left. Pictured here are Polly Bond of Tour America; Martin Penrose of Topflight Worldwide; Mary Downes of Cassidy Travel; Pat Reede of United Airlines; Renee Lambe of World Travel Centre; John Donohue, NYC and Co and Dee Burdock of American Holidays.

ship will be as Aer Lingus Regional. The Aer Arann website has also branded as Aer Lingus regional. It follows previous high profile Aer Arann sporting sponsorships such as the Connacht rugby team. Picture shows former Irish international rugby star Reggie Corrigan with Simon Fagan, right, of Aer Arann and Newstalk’s Ger Gilroy.

in Galicia, the new EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam, the International School in Bonn and Bayern Munich’s stadium. The idea of lighting up landmarks and iconic buildings in green originated with four sites in 2010 and has grown steadily since then. Minister Leo Varadkar and Niall Gibbons are pictured with images of two of the buildings to go green, the leaning tower of Pisa and the Burj el Arab.

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POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE

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rish Tour Operators will sell 300,000 seats into the Irish market in 2013, ITOF president John Devereux told a media briefing hosted by Gonzalo Ceballos of the Spanish Tourist Board. Five CEOs and a CFO of the six biggest tour operators attended the briefing. Their news: Falcon and Thomas Cook both resume Tenerife, Sunway launch Corfu and operate Agadir through summer. Topflight are entering

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ast president and Abbey Travel founder Con Horgan was recognised by the Irish Travel Agents Association at their annual awards in the Mansion House. Con served as president of the ITAA in the tempestuous years 1986 to 1988.. ITAA Treasurer Michael Doorley paid tribute to Con’s many achievements in the industry in a humourous speech, mentioning the fact that it would be a

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ufthansa reported a 15pc increase in bookings from Ireland in 2012 and are reorganising their Irish operations in anticipation of further growth. On a visit to Dublin to meet the Irish media Christian Schindler said that a large number of Irish people are now heading east to go west, particularly to sample the new business class product which is being rolled out as the fleet

Madeira and expanding Italy. America will see a 20pc capacity increase; Crystal reported a strong start to ski and Al Fresco. Picture shows John Kinane of Thomas Cook, Philip Airey of Sunway, ITOF President John Devereux of American Holidays, Gonzalo Ceballos of the Spanish Tourist Board, who hosted the evening, Flan Clune CEO of ITOF, Kevin Nolan of Topflight, Ray Scully of Crystal and Helen Caron of Falcon.

brave man would take on someone who had his own golf course. In reply Con said: “It is the bond with the customers and the service we give them that guarantees our future survival. I am asking you to give your support to the Association so they can continue to fight on our behalf.” Con is pictured with Michael Doorley, who made the tributary speech and Clare Dunne, President of the ITAA.

comes in for refurbishment. This is in addition to the traditional east connecting routes. Lufthansa’s Frankfurt connections have improved in the past 12 months. Helen Fyfe, the Irish country manager will be taking over Swiss sales in Ireland. Picture shows Christian Schindler, Lufthansa general manager Ireland & UK with Irish country manager Helen Fyfe.

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he Dublin Visit USA committee launched their 2013 campaign at Holiday World in Dublin and hosted media at a workshop on the Friday morning. The committee has been expanding from 32 members in 2012 to 75 so far in 2013. Visit USA members present at the show included Massachusetts, New York, Las Vegas, United, Hertz, Celtic Horizons, American Holidays, and Tour

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rice tag of the month was €3m, the cost of Tourism Ireland’s new website including the €500,000 purchase price for the domain name ireland.com from the Irish Times. Since Ireland.com launched on January 3rd page views were up 35pc and web activity up 15pc compared with the old site. They said that 54pc of those visiting the site came to plan and book accommodation.

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he larger than life director of the Dublin office of Portuguese Tourist Bard, Jose Ramos will be departing Ireland this summer after five eventful years. He worked steadfastly to present a different aspect of Portugal to the Irish trade and media, tapping the golf, over50s market for the Lisbon Coast and Oporto, and promoting the lesser known regions such as Alentejo.

America. Stands that proved most popular included Florida, California & New York and there was new interest in Montana, Deep South and Oklahoma. Picture shows committee members Finola Cunningham, Ciara Foley, Ciara Corcoran, Beverleigh Fly, Patricia Perdue, John Hennessey Niland, Charge d'Affaires US Embassy, Clodagh Oxley and Maureen Ledwith, Director Holiday World.

The number of links on the opening page has been reduced from 70 down to 17. One tweak had reduced the bounce rate by half. “All through the site we have a commercial next action,” Brian Harte said. “There has been a huge emphasis on simplifying people’s experiences.” Picture shows CEO Niall Gibbons, digital expert Brian Harte, Sarah Fitzpatrick and Mark Henry, all Tourism Ireland, at the launch.

Jose came to Ireland from a stint looking after the trade-oriented German and Dutch market. Picture shows Jose at his historic alma mater university, Coimbra, taken on one of many enjoyable press trips he hosted. Portugal’s Tourist Board in Ireland has had a long line of distinguished directors, including Carlos Moura whom he succeeded.

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POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE

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itur 2013 in Madrid was themed on 'know-how & export' (consulting, strategic planning, tech development, e-commerce). The fair brought together 8.979 exhibitors from 167 countries and regions, 200.000 visitors. The fair saw the birth of a tasty new association founded for wine-Based tourism accommodation providers. There was lots of action on the Irish

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rian Stack of CIÉ Tours International said that inbound bookings from the USA were 40pc ahead of last year when he came to Dublin for the tour group’s awards. Last September’s Notre Dame-Navy match in Dublin brought 50 groups and generated $3m in revenue. The group has a $70m turnover and agreed a euro rate in August for 12 months to hedge against currency fluctuations.

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flash choir of gospel singers greeted a young German woman as she arrived to reunite with her boyfriend for Valentine's Day. The 24-year-old Julia Schafer and her French boyfriend, Romain Vigo Benia , known to their friends as Romeo and Juliet, were selected from hundreds of entrants to a 'Reunite in Ireland for Valentine's Day' competition run by The Gathering.

stand as a group of exhibitors built on strong growth out of the Spanish markets, due to the huge amount of connectivity between Ireland and Spain. Picture shows Billy Condon and Barbara Wood of Tourism Ireland; Justin Harman, Irish Ambassador to Spain, Bernadette O’Carroll of Irish Welcome Tours and Fallon Clifford of Killarney Hotels on the Tourism Ireland stand.

Cliffs of Moher won the visitor experience, Ronan McNamara in Derry won best walking tour, Brendan Ferris’s Sheep Dog Trial in Caitins on the Ring of Kerry won the best tour feature, Killeen House in Kerry the dinner feature and the Merry Ploughboy in Rockbrook the Dinner Entertainment award. Harveys Point in Donegal won best hotel accommodation and Applecroft House Killarney the best B&B.

Romain planned to serenade her with the opening line of the U2 song, 'All I Want Is You' in the Arrivals Lounge, before being joined by the Dublin Gospel choir. "I couldn't believe it. I came out of the door and I saw Romain holding a bunch of flowers. At the beginning I was overwhelmed but it was so great," said a delighted Julia.

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haron Jordan’s One Stop Touring Shop joined with Catherine Reilly of Brendan Vacations in launching a fourth product added to the growing 1STS portfolio. Boutique Journeys offers exotic group travel to plush destinations such as Easter Island and South America. “For the discerning Irish traveller” Catherine said at the launch, “we will bring people to the most amazing places in the world,

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ith the closure of the Cyprus Tourist board office in January after 11 years, Maria Slye has started her own business, The Tourist Office. Maria, pictured above with Cyprus Ambassador Michalis Stavrinos, describes her venture as an outsourcing company for tourist boards, regional tourist boards and tourist enterprises that want to build their presence in Ireland

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our America has launched a new Disney-themed holiday brand, Magic Holidays. Stephanie Frame of Tour America says they have seen a huge increase in demand for holidays to Disney in the States over the last number of years and has decided to designate a qualified team to sell Magic Holidays. Disney Experts at Magic Holidays will focus on all the Disney products in-

places not easy to get to, places not on the mass market itineraries.” In Europe Boutique Journeys have hooked up with the slow food organisation, “taking time to enjoy food, to know where it comes, to support the local artisans who produce it and go to the place it is sourced.” Catherine has sampled much of the high-end product. The brochures are out and the product is already on sale through agencies.

through PR, marketing, and personal contact with the trade. It also serves as a mini information office, to those who may need a presence. Her clients are long-haul destinations, European city break destinations, as well as the eastern Mediterranean. “Closing the office was inevitable, as financial pressures on the country grew, and flights from Ireland to Cyprus decreased.”

cluding Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World Orlando, Disneyland California and Disney Cruise. “As a team we have been really lucky to have sampled all of the Disney products and can give advice on everything from flights, hotels and cut-price attraction tickets. Families love to pre-book their dining plans to help budget for spending on holidays.”

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TRAVEL WRITER AWARDS 2012-13

Spanish article writer of the year winner Mal Rogers of the Irish Post receives his award from Gonzalo Ceballos of category sponsor Spanish TB, Coro Miguel and Benet Presas

Long haul travel writer of the year winner Philip Nolan of the Mail on Sunday receives his award from Cathy Cashe of category sponsor Sunway

Short break Travel Writer of the Year winner Pól Ó Conghaile receives his award from John Spollen of category sponsor Cassidy Travel

Travel Writer of the Year Susan Morrell of the Sunday Business Post receives her award from Alex Incortuaja of category sponsor Maltese Tourist Board with event sponsor Gonzalo Ceballos of the Spanish Tourist Board

Sue Morrell travel writer of the year

B New media travel writer of the year winner Tom Sweeney receives his award from Paul Hackett of category sponsor Clickandgo

Sun holiday writer of the year winner Mark Evans Evening Herald receives his award from Helen Caron of category sponsor Falcon

Northern Ireland travel writer of the year winner Ed Leahy of rte.ie receives his award from Fiona Cunningham of category sponsor NITB

Home market Travel Writer of the Year winner Deirdre Mullins of rte.ie receives her award from Helen Brady of category sponsor Fáilte Ireland

oston born features writer Sue Morrell of the Sunday Business Post was presented with the Travel Extra Journalist of the Year Award to coincide with the annual Holiday World Show, which took place at the RDS Dublin in January. The award winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of senior Irish journalists, chaired by Seamus Martin. The winners were: Ski and snow: Tony McCullagh of Northside News (article on Andorra) Category sponsor: Topflight Young Journalist: Peter Horgan (articles on Disney, Milan & Lake Como) Category sponsor: Thomas Cook Travel Book: Muriel Bolger (for Dublin City of Literature) Category

sponsor: Lowcostholidays New media: Tom Sweeney Category sponsor: Clickandgo, Broadcasting Michael Ryan and Mary Fanning of RTÉ Nationwide (programme on Belfast), Category sponsor: Istop Travel shop Home market Deirdre Mullins of rte.ie – (article on Greenway), Category sponsor: Fáilte Ireland Northern Ireland: Ed Leahy of rte.ie (article on Belfast) Category sponsor: Northern Ireland Tourist Board Spain: Mal Rogers of the Irish Post (article on Paradores) Category sponsor: Spanish Tourist Board Short break: Pól Ó Conghaile freelance for Irish Examiner (article on Vilnius), Category sponsor:

Ski writer of the year Tony McCullagh of Northside News receives his award from Kevin Nolan of category sponsor Topflight

Travel Broadcast of the year winners Michael Ryan RTÉ Nationwide and Mary Fanning receive their award from Sharon Jordan of category sponsor Istop Travel shop

Cassidy Travel Sun holiday: Mark Evans Evening Herald (article on Med cruise Splendour of the Seas), Category sponsor: Falcon Holidays Long haul: Philip Nolan of the Mail on Sunday (article on Melbourne) - Category sponsor: Sunway Travel Extra Overall Travel Writer of the Year: Susan Morrell of the Sunday Business Post Category sponsor: Maltese Tourist Board Previous winners were: 2002 Cleo Murphy, 2003-4 Pól Ó Conghaile, 2005 Kathryn Thomas, 2006 Muriel Bolger, 2007 Philip Nolan, 2008 Pól Ó Conghaile, 2009 Mark Evans and 2010 Philip Nolan 2011 Isabel Conway.

Young Travel Writer of the Year winner Peter Horgan receives his award from John Kinane of category sponsor Thomas Cook

Travel Book of the year writer Muriel Bolger receives her award from Clem Walshe of category sponsor Lowcostholidays

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Inside the Travel Business

GLOBAL VILLAGE TRAVEL COUNSELLORS

launched a worldwide sales incentive across the seven countries in which it operates, Ireland, Britain, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Canada and Dubai, with over 1,200 Travel Counsellors participating to win an exclusive trip to Cyprus. Two of Ireland’s Travel Counsellors Mandy Walsh and Donna Olohan were worldwide team captains.

TRAVEL CENTRES new desk-

top manual is described by CEO Dominic Burke as a cross between a reference manual and internal trade directory. Dominick Burke says the first edition “looks like it’s going to top out at around 110 pages. Next year’s edition is already looking like it will grow to somewhere between 140-160 pages, a substantial tome, when you consider its A4 format.”

Francisco Tarifa Vice President Granada Tourist Board and Antonio Martin of Andalucia Tourism speaking at the Travel Extra travel writer awards where the conference venue for 2013 was announced

Granada bound

Iconic Spanish city to stage ITAA conference Oct 10-13

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he Irish Travel Agents Association annual conference will be hosted by the city of Granada, October 10-13. The venue was announced was made at the Travel Extra Travel Writer of the Year Awards in Thomas Prior House Ballsbridge on January 25. It is being held five weeks earlier than last year, the second time that the conference has not been staged in November. It means that the conference will be hosted by Spain for the fourth time, having been staged in the Costa del Sol in 1996 and Malaga in 2010, and Seville in 2011. Speaking at the event Francisco Tarifa Vice President Granada Tourist Board said that Granada

had a lot to offer the Irish tourist and he hoped the opportunity to stage the conference would tempt more Irish holiday makers to look further than the beaches of Andalusia. Antonio Martin of Andalusia Tourism, who has been a great supporter of the Irish trade, welcomed the decision by the ITAA council to hold the conference.

Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA says that there are plans for an inspection trip to Granada to finalise details with Antonio Martin and Gonzalo Ceballos. He says he would like airlines and tour operators to come down and a good selection of suppliers to attend the conference. There are plans to organise post-fam educationals

ITAA CONFERENCE VENUES

1975 Burlington 1976 Killarney 1977 Killarney 1978 Wexford 1979 Tralee 1980 Ennis 1981 Limerick 1982 Limerick 1983 Limerick 1984 Waterford 1985 Cork 1986 Wexford 1987 Limerick

1988 Killarney 1989 Killarney 1990 Killarney 1991 Limerick 1992 Limerick 1993 Galway 1994 Killarney 1995 Killarney 1996 CostadelSol 1997 Ennis 1998 Killarney 1999 Algarve 2000 Tralee

2001 Galway 2002 Newcastle 2003 Killarney 2004 Citywest 2005 Citywest 2006 Santry 2007 Not held 2008 MSCPoesia 2009 Portlaoise 2010 Malaga 2011 Seville 2012 Istanbul 2013 Granada

for counter staff, bringing as many counter staff to Granada for the gala dinner on Saturday night and staying for a couple of days. He hopes to have all the details of conference activities ready for a launch by the end of March. As for 2014, the plans are already under way and a long haul destination in the east is being discussed. ITAA CEO Pat Dawson said he would like to move to a situation where the conference venue was established more than a year in advance. It would be ideal to have the venue of the conference “put to bed from a planning point of view.” The conference returns to Spain after its adventure in Istanbul last November. Transportation difficulties meant it had to be moved from Belek.

TRAVELPORT LAUNCH FARE TOOL

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ravelport have launched a new fare management tool Net Fare Manager. They say that this new tool automates many complex time consuming manual processes and “will enable them to enhance the

way they manage, mark-up and control the onward distribution of private fares filed by the airlines. Net Fare Manager reduces key strokes related to fare management by up to 80% with its intuitive webbased interface. From a single screen, new and

updated negotiated fares are displayed for effortless update and redistribution to any travel agency location, worldwide. Michael Wake, Product Director for Travelport: “Net Fare Manager is a clear example of Travelport developing tools that help

our travel agency customers do their jobs more efficiently. We are once again able to offer our customers products that will keep them ahead of the competition and offer exceptional customer service.”

TRAVEL CENTRES webcast season started with a broadcast by Hurtigruten’s Danny Giles who had returned from an action-packed trip to Antarctica. Other suppliers also lined up to conduct online training in the first phase of the current series include MSC, 1STS, Wings Abroad, Cruising Excursions, Attraction World, Silversea, Interhome, Royal Caribbean, Sunway, World Travel Centre, Amadeus and Qantas. TIGS outings for the year are:

n April 17 Druids Glen sponsor Etihad Airways Tee times 1130-1330 Golf & dinner €50 n May 24 Mount Juliet – sponsor Amadeus Tee times 1140 -1320 Golf and dinner €65 Golf dinner and overnight shared accommodation €145 n June 20 Presidents prize Hermitage sponsor Emirates Tee 1100–1300 Golf & dinner €40 n September 12 – Captains prize Carton House (O’Meara course) – sponsor Travelport Tee times 1030-1300 Golf & dinner €50 n October 17 The Castle – sponsor Travel Extra Tee times 1030 -1230 Golf & dinner €40

SABRE has called IATA’s New Distribution Capability “an agreement among airlines to withhold content by not publicly filing it."

TRAVEL COUNSELLORS

first recruits of 2013 were Sinead Daly from Meath and Yvonne Larkin from Tramore. Yvonne Larkin previously worked in Waterford for Terry Flynn Travel and was also an overseas representative for First Choice in Europe and Mexico. Sinead Daly previously worked as a shop manager with Falcon Holidays.

AMADEUS renewed agreements with

Atlas Travel and USIT. Amadeus Ireland signed or renewed agreements with 15 other local and international travel companies in 2012.

TRAVEL CENTRES has recruited its 69th agency Cill Dara Travel.

EXPEDIA Travel Agencies Affiliate Programme has appointed ATTS as business development partner in Ireland.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN has ap-

pointed Colin Rillie account manager for the six counties of Northern Ireland.

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GLOBAL VILLAGE

Inside the Travel Business

TRAVEL COUNSELLORS

report that 18 agents in Ireland had their best ever sales month in January, including Mary Foyle who has been with the company since its launch in Ireland. General manager Cathy Burke comments: “We are delighted to have seen such a fantastic start to the year for our Counsellors. It is a testament on how hard they work and that with the right attitude, skills and support, it is possible to grow your business in what we all realise is a tough market.”

BRAND USA have announced an inaugural Brand USA Megafam which will bring 100 agents from Ireland & UK to experience multiple destinations across the USA. Brand USA has also launched 60 and 30 second TV adverts in England to run until March 4. ETIHAD

prize winners have been announced: £400 voucher; Sharon Caldwell Selective Travel Management, €500 voucher; Emily Harris – USIT, 2 Tickets for All Ireland Hurling Final Monica O’ Callaghan – Heffernans Travel Cork, Family Pass for Etihad Skycaption line; Ciara Lynch World Travel Centre & Linda Byrne – Killiney Travel. The next Etihad Airways promotion is a trip for two to Abu Dhabi. By booking tickets to Abu Dhabi in February and March you could be in with a chance to win Coral Economy flights, 3-night stays in deluxe hotels and activities. http://eyoffers.com/index.php.

President Clare II

SKAL International Ireland National AGM takes place in Galway on Friday 8 March. GTI will be offering travel agents 10pc com-

mission for bookings on their escorted tours.

WTC in conjunction with Qantas are offer-

ing the chance to win an iPad, to agents who book a ticket during the month.

MSC Cruises has appointed Ludovica Cipolla as an Inside Sales Assistant.

LOWCOST beds has joined the Irish Travel Agents Association.

ISTS team Sharon Jordan, Carole Carmody and Shannon O’Dowd spent St Valentine’s Day visiting travel agents with gifts of chocolates and muffins.

THAILAND Tourism Authority is hosting a lunch and workshop in Dublin on March 10. Chir Lee and Joanne Cooke will be bringing 30 local hoteliers and ground handlers to Dublin for the presentation and Q&A session. Irish visits to Thailand were 59,894 in 2012, a 1.61pc increase from 58,945 in 2011. TRAVEL COUNSELLORS

experienced its best ever sales day for its own in-house dynamic packaging system Phenix, which gives its travel counsellors the ability to set their own commission, increase earning potential and tailor make itineraries.

CLUB TRAVEL’s reunion is planned for Friday April 19 at 6.30 pm in the Russell Court Hotel, Harcourt Street in Dublin, Staff who worked with the company are welcome. Organisers are Olwen McKinney and Tara Stewart Fitzgibbon.

ITAA’s first female president re-elected unopposed

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TAA President Clare Dunne of Travelbroker will be re-elected unopposed for the second successive year at the AGM of the Irish Travel Agents Association in Moran’s Red Cow conference centre on March 13. Martin Skelly of Navan Travel has been nominated unopposed as new

treasurer. Regional meetings are currently taking place to chose nominees to fill the nine-member board, of which the president can nominate two members. Before the AGM the travel agents will atttend a seminar on compliance with VAT, a highly confusing subject which is being interpretedin different ways by accounts teams throughout

the country. “This is a grey area which requires clarity and a lot of agents have no idea where they stand,” Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA says. Dermot O’Brien and associates have been asked to draw up a report and to make a submission to the Revenue Commissioners.

LOWCOST GOES FOR THE 100,000 MARK

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lem Walshe’s Lowcost Holidays estimates that it will carry 100,000 Irish clients in 2013, up from 29,000 in its first year and 80,000 in its second year. The company is to enter the charter market for the first time in 2013

with a series of charters from Dublin to Palma from May to the end of July. The charter will operate on Saturday offering 144 seats a week, 900 in all. The group offers a consumer product and also a bed bank for the trade. Clem Walshe says that the move made sense

after large scale growth in the Irish market since the operation launched in December 2010. Seats will be sold to both trade and consumer and flights will convey customers to some of the Low Cost beds product that is unique to the Irish market.

Clem Walshe

ITAA PROTESTS ‘DOUBLE BOND’

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he Irish Travel Agents Association has written to Ministers Noonan, Bruton and Varadkar about the credit card situation. They will be pointing out that the credit

card is bonded under the 1982 legislation and that the practice of credit card companies are holding on to cash and asking for unrealistic bonds is discrimination against the industry. “We have to clear up the

double bonding issue,” Pat Dawson says. “This is threatening businesses as agents are being told by credit card companies that payments are withheld. “We need to get clarity on that. Either the credit

card companies do that, or CAR will remove the credit card aspect of turnover from the bond. Agents report that 38pc of their turnover nowadays is in credit card transactions

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WINDOW SEAT

High Life skier in Morzine

Busman’s holiday: Alan Moynihan

Every month we ask a leading travel professional to write about their personal holiday experience. This month: Alan Moynihan. CEO, Highlife Ski & Snowboard

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ne of the best things about having parents who were primary school teachers was the long summer holidays. When schools closed on June 30 every year, we would race home to load up the car with everything it could carry and drive to Rosslare where we would take the ferry to spend July camping in the south of France. We never had a particular agenda or destination in mind and I think that sense of adventure has remained with me when I consider my own holidays each year. As a young adult, I tended to look for places that were off

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the beaten track and have been lucky enough to travel extensively in Asia, Australia, Americas (North & South) and of course I squeeze in as many European city breaks as I can. Of everything I have experienced, a real highlight for me was my time in Bolivia - stunning mountain scenery, an unparalleled variety of jungle life and a truly hospitable indigenous people ... it’s inspiring!! Things are a little different now that I have two young daughters in my life as I tend to be a bit more organised and conscious of logistics. However, I continue to look for holidays that hold a bit of adventure and a certain lack of agenda. We will of course be heading to the French Alps for a week in one of our ski chalets and to get some summer sun, we are going to fly to Valencia for a bit of city life before driving up to the Costa del Azahar ... the idea of an ‘Orange Blossom Coast’ was too much to resist!

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

he statement that came with the news of the megamerger between US Airways and American made a very contentious claim. Studies have shown, it said (that phrase alone should be enough to arouse suspicion), that airline mergers over the past ten years have not driven up airfares, and there is no concrete evidence suggesting that overall rates would rise.

Whatever happens within America, where fares are likely to rise, they could be right when it comes to trans-Atlantic routes, the fares on offer from our competing airlines have been very low in recent years. It is not so long since we had €99 one way fares to the USA, the rates promised by Michael O’Leary without having to have the trans Atlantic sector Ryanairified. The five routes operated by the new American Airlines, even after

they are integrated with US Airways in the autumn, are not going to creep up in price. In a sense that has already happened. Aer Lingus fares are pushing skywards, and historically they have set the benchmark for everyone else. Prices could be 20pc higher this year. Dublin-JFK operated by American might yet be one of the cheapest on offer. Getting to America is becoming more expensive. But don’t blame the mega-merger.

IN YOUR NEXT TRAVEL EXTRA: Available to Travel Agents or online Mar 19 2013

MED CRUISE EDITION Is the cruise ship rush to Europe now at an end? PRICES & TRENDS

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MEETING PLACE

vel Department and Brendan Breen of Tra ard the Spanish Tourist Bo Kathryn McDonnell of use Ho on nsi the Ma at the ITAA awards in

Paul Melinis of One Sto p Touring Shop and Joh n Cassidy of Cassidy Tra vel

blin Cormac O’Connell of Du gus Lin r Ae of tt bo Ab ie ler Va

Airport Authority and

Niamh Waters of Travel media, Maeve Slamon of Blue Insurances and Ro wan Devereux of Blue Insurances

an or Ireland & UK, Germ Klaus Lohmann, Direct ns itio hib Ex ess of Busin TB, Maureen Ledwith les Manager GNTO Sa n, lso Wi es arl and Ch

ITAA President Clare Du nne and Rebecca Dunne of Travelbroker

Out and about with the Travel Trade

Dave Walsh, Ireland Manager of Etihad and Joost den Hartog Regional General Manager Eu- Simon Daly and Graham Aldren of British Airways rope of Etihad

Susan Kiernan of Ask Susan and Joanne Burgess of Premair

Yvonne Lennox of World Travel Centre, Jimmy Lennox of World Travel Centre and Paul Fitzpatrick of Trailfinders

Pat Dawson CEO ITAA, Gonzalo Ceballos of the Spanish TB, Clare Dunne President ITAA, Antonio Martin Andalusia TB and Francisco Tarifa Vice President Granada TB

Gonzalo Ceballos of the Spanish Tourist Board and Con Horgan of Abbey Travel

Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise Ó Muirí and Clare Dunne, President ITAA with Ben Greene and Sandra Gough Arrow Tours at Holiday World

of Travel, Audrey Headon Martin Skelly of Navan van Na of d Miriam Skelly World Travel Centre an Travel

Eithne Cosgrove, Hotel Westport, Minister Le o Varadkar and Declan Heneghan from Hotel Westport at the CIE aw ards

Neill lgorm Resort, Mary O Beth Swindlehurst Ga ern rth No the at tel Ho da and Ann Donaghy Rama ow liday World Sh Ireland Stand at the Ho

Declan Mescall forme rly of Irish Ferries, Sam Wilson formerly of Ste na Line and Peter O’H anlon of Travelfinders.

vel ra Foley, Platinum Tra Austin Carroll and Cia use Ho on nsi Ma the at the ITAA awards in

Page 038 pics r 19/02/2013 20:18 Page 2

MARCH 2013 PAGE 39

MEETING PLACE

. Sharon Jordan of 1STS Shannon O’Dowd and re ird De , vel Tra an gh Majella Green of O'Calla TS d Jessica Byrne of 1S an ay nw Su of ny ee Sw

Liz Herssens formerly of Budget Travel, Jill Ru ssell of Topflight, Andre a Hunter of Aer Lingus and Ciaran Mulligan of Blu e Insurances

of the Tunisian Tourist Wahida Jaiet, Director s ttikh, Head of Promotion Board and Moncef Ba

Paul Melinis and Sharo n Jordan of One Stop Touring Shop

with Rhona McCann of Brian Hughes of United rporate Agent award. FCm who won the Co

Michael Byrne of Stena , Gayle Molloy of Visit England and Mervyn Mc Neely, of Stena

Out and about with the Travel Trade

Tryphavana Cross Las Vegas CVA, Vince Alberta Vice President of Public Affairs LVCVA and North ITAA President Clare Dunne, Jean Ma xwell, Katie Taylor and Pat Da Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck. wson CEO of the ITAA

Ivana Rosa Gran Canaria Tourism, Kerstin Pace Weston Dublin and Sharon Plunkett of Plunkett PR at the Travel Writer of the Year awards

Mary McKenna of Tour America and John Spollen of Cassidy Travel

Joanne Madden of Travelport pictured with Katie Taylor

Limbrick of Azamara Jennifer Callister, Sonia les, ine Quinn Head of Sa club cruises and Lorra l na atio ern Int an be rib Ireland from Royal Ca

Robbie Smart of Cassi dy Travel, Olwen McKin ney of Amadeus and Cia ran Coakley of American Holidayss TUI

Cook and Cormac John Kinane of Thomas port Authority O’Connell of Dublin Air

Carol Anne O’Neill of Falcon Holidays and Sean Janice Scott of Virgin Atlantic with Noel McAuliffe Healy of Lee Travel. of Travelfocus

Aileen Eglington of AE Consulting, Graham Hennessy of Topflight and Tony Collins of Topflight

dy Brokers, Maureen Le Louise Owen of Holida ala, Ay pita Lu d an ns itio with of Business Exhib o Tourism Board Deputy Director, Mexic

page 040 19/02/2013 20:19 Page 1

Day 2 -Derr y~ Lo

Da

rry e d on d n

t’s Cause Gian wa 2 y y

#northernireland

elfast y1-B a D

1hr 20mins 1hr 10mins

City of Culture

Causeway Coast

Derry~Londonderry is in the midst of an epic year-long culture fest. Come for the Royal Ballet, the Turner Prize, Phil Coulter and Friends, The Return of Colmcille pageant, Walled City Tattoo and light festival Lumiere. Plus, the stunning 400 year-old city walls, cafe culture and fantastic restaurants. There’s so much to pack in, why not relax in a restaurant and check into a city centre hotel – you deserve it!

Start the day with a famous Ulster Fry and then head off to the North Coast. Up here you’ll enter a land of myths and legends. Explore the new Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and uncover the history of this UNESCO world heritage site. Walk on the stones and gaze out at the astonishing panorama. Go see Dunluce Castle, tour the beloved Old Bushmills Distillery or – if you’re feeling brave – cross Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Then, hit the road and head down to Derry-Londonderry.

Begin in the big city with a trip to St George’s Market. It’s an award-winning feast of food, crafts, food, antiques and live music – plus, the coffee and breakfast baps are unbeatable. Then visit the unmissable Titanic Belfast to marvel at the nine interactive galleries and see Titanic’s wreck on the icy Atlantic floor. If you’ve time, squeeze in a trip to Titanic’s Dock and Pumphouse where the ship was fitted.

48 hours in extraordinary NI Fancyagetawaywithbigvarietyand littleprices?Youdon’thavefartogo.Filltwo days withTitanicBelfast,aCityofCulture,the Giant’sCauseway,markets,entertainmentand deliciousfood.Plus,withhoteldealsfromonly£49 perroom,youcanaffordtoexperiencemoreforless.

Titanic town

Later, check into a city centre hotel and take your pick from performances at the MAC, the Lyric Theatre or the Grand Opera House. Don’t forget a little nightcap...

Short

Br

from eaks

£49 * per ro

om

Northern Ireland. Squeeze more into your short break. *Pricebasedontwopeoplesharing.

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01/02/2013 16:07


Travel Extra March 2013