Things to know about travel this week
- Remember these dimensions 35x20x20cm
- Bad Dallas day for JFK
- Shannon and Cork count down to China day of destiny
- Ireland named fourth best in world for experiences
- Light at end of tunnel in Ryanair Irish pilots’ dispute?
- Ryanair launches Cork-Luton route and Air Malta deal
- Hong Kong writer rips into ‘expensive’ and crowded Dublin
- Ryanair changes the baggage rules again
A British woman was rescued by the Croatian Coast Guard after she said she spent close to 10 hours treading water overnight in the Adriatic after falling off the Norwegian Star, CNN reported.
- With Pope Francis on these shores, Tourism Ireland’s latest video turns to the country’s religious heritage and showcases monastic settlements and the Book of Kells. Watch here.
- Did you know China’s Valentine’s Day fell in August? For its version, Qixi Festival, a lovestruck passenger proposed to his girlfriend onboard an Emirates flight. Watch here.
- Watch here as tourists in Alaska get a close encounter with a whale – and get splashed in the process in this video via Storyful.
- A plane carrying rapper Post Malone had to make an emergency landing at Stewart International Airport in New York after blowing two tyres during takeoff at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, ABC News reported.
- United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz tells Bloomberg watch here that the passenger-dragging incident was a dark moment for the airline.
- A Russian passenger aircraft with hundreds of tourists on board makes an emergency landing in Russia after one of its engines burst into flames, ABC News reports watch here
Behind the Headlines
A new Ryanair mystery. Why are they charging €6 for priority boarding, which will allow you to bring a 10kg bag into the cabin, or two euro more, €8 for those who want to save money on priority boarding and want to bring a 10kg bag which must now be put in the hold? The largest bag allowed in the go hold for those who want too ave the €6 is 35x20x20cm. Their second baggage policy change in twelve months comes into play on November 1. Kenny Jacobs explained all and told Travel Extra there will be no more changes on baggage policy. Listen here.
As the 9pc VAT debate rumbles on, Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation, argued in the Irish Independent that “Ireland’s tourism VAT rate is finally in line with the rest of Europe – 16 of 19 Eurozone countries have tourism VAT rates of 10pc or less.”
With less than a year till opening, Center Parcs revealed more details about its Longford Forest Resort. Outdoor activities will include adventure golf, segways, falconry, stand-up paddle-boarding, raft-building and kayak hire. Indoor activities include climbing wall, chocolate chef’s academy, table tennis, bowling and badminton. The Irish centre will also feature the trademark Off-Road Explorers, where young children can drive miniature off-roaders on a special track. Senan Higgins (5), Lily Harnett (4), and Maisie and Bonnie Conway (6 and 5), all from Ballymahon, Longford, drive Off-Road Explorers. Photo: Kieran Harnett
How should agents deal with customers when it comes to putting together a dynamic package? Check out the knowledge section in the September 2018 print edition of Travel Extra which will be arriving at agencies in the coming days. We look at the changes in the accommodation sector, with Travelcube and Bedsonline subsumed into Hotelbeds and the Getabed brand being retired and replaced by Stuba. Tech companies Expedia, Travelport and Amadeus update us on their fast changing content strategies. We report from Australia on the growth of luxury travel from Ireland and a new strategy to entice Irish backpackers to stay longer and apply for a second year visa that is “beyond fruit picking.” We examine Dublin Port’s new bigger but not deeper long term plans, the logistics of American’s new Dallas route and the dramatic changes at Dublin airport this summer which have helped speed up those queues at US pre-clearance. Travel Extra‘s team of award winning travel writers and photographers are already trotting the globe preparing the October 2018 issue which will set out what to expect from the ski and snow season 2018-9. See the print issue here
The ITAA says it is relieved that there has been a breakthrough in the Ryanair talks. CEO Pat Dawson, said that “we look forward to other Ryanair bases, outside of Ireland, also working towards lasting, good industrial relationships with the airline, to reduce strike action and disharmony to consumers”. He added that since the dispute was announced, “thousands of holidaymakers have faced uncertainty with travel plans and often incurred additional costs during the peak tourism season”.
Travelport has been selected as part of a consortium to deliver a major marketing campaign to lure more Chinese tourists to Europe in 2018 and 2019.
There’s nothing like meeting your hero – but who was more thrilled, singer/actress Samantha Mumba or Onur Gull? The Turkish Airlines executive is pictured bumping into the Irish star at Dublin Airport. He said that Samantha’s a fan of the airline, at which Onur is celebrating his sixth anniversary this week.
Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission is taking Trivago to court, alleging the hotel booking comparison site made misleading hotel price representations in ads. It claims that websites give the impression they are designed to benefit consumers but listings are based “on which supplier pays them the most money”.
That favoured haunt of the trade, Residence – with its ever-popular Beacon Lodge for travel functions, has reopened its doors, but it’s all change with Press-Up entertainment opening its successor, The Grayson, during the week, after a massive revamp of the premises. The new incarnation on 41 St Stephen’s Green has entertainment across four levels, with bars, casual dining, corporate events spaces and a more formal restaurant on the upper floors. Unlike its predecessor, The Grayson won’t be a private members’ club and will also attract regular guests.
Thomas Cook said it was evacuating all 301 of its customers from a hotel in Egypt’s popular Red Sea resort of Hurghada as a precautionary measure after two of its holidaymakers died in circumstances it said were still unclear, Reuters reported.
Australia’s new Prime Minister Scott Morrison – a very conservative Christian – had a colourful past in the travel trade. In 2006, while Tourism Australia‘s inaugural Managing Director, he caused a storm with an ad featuring bikini-clad model Lara Bingle. Walking on a beach, she uttered the line, “So where the bloody hell are you?”, getting the ad banned in Britain.
Darina Slattery’s Unique Japan Tours is seeking staff, asking those who have any three of six qualifications to apply: spent at least three months or more living, studying or working in Japan, bachelors degree in marketing, business, sales or IT, minimum one year online & traditional marketing work experience, minimum three years travel industry sales experience, associations with Ireland, England, Scotland, or Wales rugby clubs and intermediate or higher Japanese language skills. The successful applicant wil get two months training at the Dublin office from October 2018. CV to here.
- Zurich is hosting a two-day city-wide festival that showcases 18 international artists who are performing naked in the street, at times interacting with the public.
- The Finns do love their saunas, and local inventor Janne Kapylehto has sailed his self-made floating sauna across the Gulf of Finland, travelling from Helsinki to Tallinn in 16 hours, Reuters reported.
- The German government has not planned for alien landings, it told a Green party politician in response to a parliamentary question.
- A man was given 130 days in jail for drunken behaviour, including harassing a bison in Yellowstone National Park.
- A flash flood in Calabria, Italy, killed at least 11 hikers as they walked in a deep mountain gorge.
- Multiple strong earthquakes which hit the Lombok and Sumbawa regions of Indonesia killed at least a dozen people, as the quakes caused landslides on the active volcano of Rinjani.
- Italy’s Mount Etna has exploded back into life, Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology reported. Chunks of flaming lava have been shot up as high as 500 feet from the Sicily volcano.
- North Korea has frozen all tourist visa applications for travel for the next two weeks due to an unspecified ‘state decision’. The move is being linked to celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country.
- An alligator killed a woman out walking her dog on the US resort island of Hilton Head in South Carolina.
- Twenty-two people were accidentally poisoned, and later treated for nausea or respiratory problems, from toxic fumes from chemicals used to clean a pool at Disneyland Paris‘ New York Hotel.
- Police in Rome are hunting two “English speakers” filmed skinny dipping in a fountain at a monument dedicated to fallen soldiers and commemorating the unification and liberation of Italy the Guardian reported.
- The anti-tourism Arran group let off flares and held banners saying tourism kills Mallorca during a protest in the waters of El Arenal beach.
- First volcanos, now storms – Hawaii is being battered by Hurricane Lane, a powerful Category 3 storm, causing torrential downpours and flooding on Big Island.
Food & Beverage
Aine Mangan of Into Kildare said the Inaugural Taste of Kildare Festival in the K Club had surpassed expectations. They had 28 suppliers gala lunch in the Legacy suite and 59 at the open area with stalls and demonstrations in the Walled Gardens. Attendance was 300 guests in Legacy, 2,500 scanned adults and 500 children into Walled Gardens. Musical performances were headlined by Paddy Casey. Picture shows Alison Johnson of Kildare Village and Michael Davern GM of the K Club, Taste. Watch video here. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
A special ‘Taste the Emerald Isle’ pop-up is showcasing Irish food and drink in the upmarket Selfridges Foodhall on London’s Oxford Street, during August and September. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Estelle Alley, Bord Bia; celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna; and Bruce Langlands, Selfridges, are pictured at the launch in London. Photo: Gareth Davies.
- The number of pubs in Ireland has dropped from 8,617 in 2005 to 7,140 last year – a decline of 17.1pc, a Drinks Industry Group of Ireland report claimed.
- Cask in Co Cork has been named 2018 Bar of the Year. Other winners included Gin Library at Galgorm Resort & Spa in Antrim (Gin Bar of the Year), The Shelbourne Bar in Cork (Whiskey Bar of the Year) while Traford Murphy of Cork’s Ballymaloe House was named Cocktail Bartender of the Year. Full list of winners here.
- Wine is now second only to beer (27pc market share against 44pc for beer) and the wine industry employs over 1,100 people directly and supporting thousands of other jobs, according to the Irish Wine Association’s annual ‘Wine Market Report’.
- Grow it Yourself founder Michael Kelly launches GIY Food Matters 2018, featuring food-tastings and workshops, taking place during Waterford’s Harvest Festival from September 7 to 9. More information on www.giy.ie Photo: Patrick Browne.
- Guinness has launched a new on-draught milkshake that is being served exclusively at the Guinness Storehouse. The alcohol-free milkshake, infused with nitro coffee and blended vanilla ice-cream, is available until September 30.
The average cost of a hotel room outside Dublin rose by more than 8pc in July compared with the same month in 2017, new figures from hotel market data company STR show. Occupancy of rooms outside Dublin was down 1.8pc to 85.2pc in July, and the average daily room rate rose 8.1pc to €130.87.
- Smiles Dental founder Emmet O’Neill has been given the green light by Dublin City Council to develop a six-storey hotel on Dublin’s Donnybrook Road, it is reported.
- Hostelworld Chief Executive Gary Morrison said it has seen “softness” in bookings due to the unusually hot weather in Europe this summer.
- What’s being billed as the world’s first beer hotel will open on Monday, August 27. The Doghouse at BrewDog USA’s Ohio location offers guests a night’s stay inside the brewery where they can watch the brewers at work from rooms overlooking the production facility.
- The owner of the Four Points by Sheraton in Zhonge, Taiwan, aims to end its association with Marriott International to retaliate against international firms following the ‘One China’ demands by Beijing which views the island as part of the mainland.
- Hotelbeds Group’s Ancillary Bank launched a concierge service for travel intermediaries.
- InterContinental Dublin, which has partnered with Lexus Ireland and received a brand-new 182 Lexus hybrid for use at the hotel.
Ryanair hopes its long-considered tie-up with Aer Lingus re connecting bookings will be in place by the March 19 end of Ryanair’s current financial year.
With just weeks to go before this year’s World Routes conference in China, Shannon and Cork airports put their case for winning a global marketing prize at the event. Full story here.
Ryanair customers will now be able to book Air Malta flights on ryanair.com in a new flight partnership between the two airlines. Ciaran Brannigan, Ryanair, Paul Sies, Air Malta; David O’Brien, Ryanair; Hon Dr Kondrad Mizzi Minister for Tourism, Malta; and Dr Charles Mangion, Air Malta, are pictured at the announcement on the island. Full story here.
The Qantas Group reported a record Underlying Profit Before Tax of $1.6bn for the 2018 financial year. “Our investment in free Wi-Fi and cabin improvements are delivering a better experience for customers as well as higher earnings for Qantas and Jetstar. The overall value for the travelling public remains extremely strong, with domestic sale fares almost 40pc lower in real terms than they were 15 years ago,” said CEO Alan Joyce.
- Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, announced a 10pc increase in passengers on the Dublin-Kerry (12pc) and Dublin-Donegal (8pc) Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes in the past six months since the PSO renewal.
- Gatwick Airport staff were forced on Monday to use markers and whiteboards to display flight information following an IT failure which was later blamed on a faulty cable.
- Ryanair has announced a new Cork route to London Luton, with a 6w service, as part of Ryanair’s Winter 18 schedule, which also features five other new routes, and two new planes, at Luton. Luton Airport CEO Nick Barton and David O’Brien, Chief Commercial Officer, Ryanair, are pictured at the announcement. Full story here.
- The new Dublin-Dallas route is just part of a new focus by American Airlines on Europe, and scaling down on Asian routes. Citing high fuel costs and the tough competition, it is to suspend flights from Chicago O’Hare to Shanghai and cut frequencies to Tokyo Narita.
- Pre-tax profits at Gate Gourmet – whose main business is food production and in-flight catering facilities at Dublin Airport – rose 57pc to €1.384m last year.
- Ryanair apologised after a number of passengers complained that compensation cheques had bounced. It said “a very small number of cheques” processed in July had been issued without a signature due to an “administrative error”.
- Irish lessor FLY Leasing reported net quarterly income of $24.3m. CEO Colm Barrington said the company “is reporting a very strong second quarter based on a substantial increase in operating lease rental revenue and a combination of end of lease income and gains resulting from our aircraft trading”.
Princess Cruises announced its fifth Royal-Class ship will be named Enchanted Princess.
- Sixty-eight cruise ships called to Cork and seven called Bantry in 2017, bringing over 142,000 passengers and crew to the region, the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port Company reported. This year, 96 ships will visit the Port of Cork, a 30pc increase on 2017 calls.
Eight Stena Line ferries operating on the Irish Sea have received the Jones F. Devlin Award from the Chamber of Shipping of America, acknowledging “outstanding achievement’, exemplifying ‘devotion to duty and to the principles of maritime safety, which is worthy of the highest commendation.” The awarded ferries are: Stena Adventurer on the Dublin to Holyhead route; Stena Horizon on the Rosslare to Cherbourg route; Stena Superfast VIII, Belfast to Cairnryan; Stena Precision, Stena Mersey, Stena Lagan and Stena Forerunner, Belfast-Liverpool; and Stena Performer, Belfast to Heysham. Fourth engineer Patrick Moszczynski, receptionist Diane Roberts, Senior Master Captain Steve Millar, steward Emma Robinson and ordinary seaman Mateusz Rosinski are pictured with an award on Stena Lagan. Photo: ©Press Eye/Darren Kidd
- Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship – yet unnamed – will boast the largest passenger capacity in the world (6,600 maximum), and will homeport at Port Canaveral in Florida.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the guest of honour at the keel-laying ceremony for Crystal Endeavor, Crystal’s first purpose-build expedition yacht, at MV Werften’s Stralsund shipyard in Germany.
- P&O Cruises is to scrap automatic gratuities on passengers from next May, adding that fares will not rise and staff will still be paid the same.
- A family from Hesse will christen AIDAnova.
In an article on ‘The good, bad and ugly sides to Dublin for tourists’ travel journalist Tim Pile, writing for Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post offers a less than flattering view of Dublin – friendly locals, yes, but it is crowded, expensive and, bizarrely, some superstitious locals are afraid of crossing the Ha’Penny Bridge?? Full report here.
- Howth got an honourable mention as Ireland was named the fourth best destination in the world – and best in Europe – for ‘travel experiences’ by travel website TripAdvisor. Full story here.
- Tourism Ireland promoted inbound tourism at the 38th annual Milwaukee Irish Fest – the largest celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the United States – which attracts over 150,000 visitors during its four-day run. Brian O’Brien, Consul General of Ireland to Chicago and the Midwest USA; Ruth Moran, Tourism Ireland; Minister Pat Breen; Billy Condon and Paul McDonagh, both Tourism Ireland, are pictured at the event. Photo: Tina Smothers.
- It was never central in the first place, and Belfast Central train station is about to change its name. The first Lanyon Place signs have appeared as part of a major refurbishment and name-change of the station.
- Images of Dublin were beamed in to the homes of around 1.16 million people across Australia when an episode of a popular TV show, The Garden Gurus, aired on Channel Nine. Presenter Trevor Cochrane travelled here earlier this summer, to film at Bord Bia’s annual Bloom festival, as a guest of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. To view a trailer for the episode, click here.
- Businesses in the food and drink sectors are most likely to have a Brexit plan in place (11pc), followed by tourism (9pc) and transport (7pc). The figures were contained in the AIB Brexit Sentiment Index for the second quarter of 2018 which revealed that 58pc of SMEs in the Republic believe Brexit will have a negative impact on future business.
This week’s Waterford Walls International Street Art Festival features 50 national and international artists who are creating an open air gallery of large scale murals across the city and runs until August 27.
Local children Charley (7) and Toby (5) Fitzgerald along with Ned the dog skip into the festival weekend enjoying the work of British artist Samer. For more information visit www.waterfordwalls.ie. Photo: Julien Behal Photography
Tara Deery and Fiona Stout are pictured at the launch of Dublin Festival of History, taking place from September 24-October 7. The festival will feature over 140 events across the city. Pulitzer prize-winning author Anne Applebaum, former Monty Python stalwart, writer and presenter Michael Palin, and best-selling author Helen Rappaport have been announced as the headline speakers. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan
Insight Vacations offers: Wonders of Turkey 11-day escorted tour, from €1,839 per person sharing, including flights, transfers and 10 nights’ accommodation in central locations. Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking, depart October 4.http://www.insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.
ITAA offers: Dublin to Budapest for new wine and cheese festival and Christmas markets, 4 nights 4* hotel from €277pp (5* Sofitel Hotel from €399pp), depart November 26 with Grenham Travel: http://itaa.ie/2018/08/22/budapest-hungary-3 Dublin to Munich for Oktoberfest, 4 nights accommodation, 1 breakfast, 1 picnic lunch, 1 regional dinner, 1 supper, transfers, flights can be added on request, from €695pp, with Dawson Travel on http://itaa.ie/2018/08/21/Oktoberfest Dublin to Valenica for 2019 Las Fallas Festival, 3 nights in 4* Valencia Centre Hotel, from €560pp, depart March 2019 with Travalue.ie/Navan Travel: http://itaa.ie/2018/08/21/Valencia
Sunway offers: Dublin to Canada for Wonders of the Canadian Rockies’ escorted tour, includes flight ex Dublin, taxes, 9 nights twin share in 3 & 4* Hotels, some meals and tours as per itinerary. Subject to availability and change, from €2529pps, depart April 22, 2019. Dublin to France, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Club Med Ski, Les Arc Extreme, includes flight ex Dublin, 20kg bag per person, resort transfer, club room on an all -inclusive basis for 7 nights, lift pass and ski/snowboard tuition. Price includes 15% early booking reduction. Subject to availability and change, from €1295pps, depart December 16. Dublin to China for China Express Adventure 8-day tour, includes flight ex Dublin, 1 x 20kg baggage pp, 7 night’s accommodation on twin share basis, some meals and tours as per itinerary. Price includes tour reduction of €165pp, tour must be booked by 31st August. Subject to availability and change, from €1745pps, depart October 28. Dublin to Kusadasi, 7 nights B&B 3* Esat Hotel , from €299pps, depart October 20. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apartments , from €349pp, depart September 1. Dublin to Menorca, 7 nights self catering 3* Roc Lago Apartments , from €369pp, depart September 1. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self catering 2*+ Puertocarmen Apartments, from €399pp, depart September 1. Dublin to Florida for Miami Stay & Cuba Fly Cruise, 3 nights in Miami, 6-night cruise on Empress of the Seas, from €1249pp, depart November 30. Dublin to Florida for Miami Stay, Bahamas & Dominican Republic Fly Cruise, one night pre and post-cruise Miami stay, 7-night cruise on Royal Princess, from €1310pp, depart November 16. www.sunway.ie
U by Uniworld offer: A Merry Little Christmas river cruise, 5 days visiting Hungary, Slovakia and Austria, from €1,289 per person sharing, including flights, 8 meals, excursions, local celebrity DJ party and 4 nights in a studio stateroom on board the stylish The A.
Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking, depart December 16. www.uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.
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