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HEADLINES – AVIATION – AFLOAT – DEALWATCH – FOOD & WINE – HOTELS – INTERNATIONAL – IRELAND – STRANGE WORLD – TRAVEL TRADE

Enda Corneille speaking at the Emirates event for the travel trade in The Residence, Dublin, November 30 2017

 

Things to know about travel this week

  • Emirates wants to grow Dublin service, A380 on the way?
  • Battle for Air Berlin’s 23pc share of German market hots up
  • Ryanair apply for nine based aircraft at Berlin Tegel
  • Irish agents join MSC Seaside as she prepares for guests
  • Hayes & Jarvis plan 3,000 seats out of Ireland
  • Amadeus celebrates 30 years
  • Valetta lines up capital of culture
  • Regrowing coral on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Uniworld outline plans for revicruises for under 41s
  • New CEO for the Titanic Centre Belfast

Travel Extra TV.

Coral is growing on the Great Barrier Reef after first being grown in tanks, say researchers eith with the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville. Watch here.

  • The 10-year-old schoolgirl who was reunited with her toy puppy she’d lost in an aiport after a worldwide appeal. Watch here.
  • Emirates is inviting you to watch the first flight and enjoy a cabin tour of the new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft “featuring fully-enclosed First Class private suites inspired by Mercedes-Benz”. Watch here.
  • Meanwhile, both Emirates and Etihad are celebrating the 46th UAE National Day here and here.
  • Qantas is showing off their lounge at Heathrow Airport. Judge for yourself here.
  • UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb D Rifai criticised the rise of all inclusive resorts in poorer countries. Watch here.

 

Behind the Headlines

The Battle for Air Berlin’s 23pc market share in Germany is under way as Ryanair applied for nine based aircraft at Tegel airport in Berlin in addition to the nine Ryanair aircraft based at Berlin Schonefeld. Ryanair says it believes that ‘the validity of Easyjet’s so-called slot purchase is questionable and looks forward to confirmation from the relevant authorities that Berlin will be open to competition for the benefit of consumers and visitors alike.’

Ireland’s tourism to Spain, released by INE, Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica this week, is up 13.9pc to 1,868,996 for the first ten months of 2017, despite the October figure falling -3.9pc to 180,041. Ireland is the fourth fastest growing inbound market after USA (33.9pc), Switzerland (23.1pc) and Scandinavia (15.2pc). Unless the slowdown in November and December is dramatic, Irish figures to Spain will pass 2m. They are currently heading for 2.03m. Picture shows Laura Córdoba, Borja Bedoya, Inma Bernabeu, Sara Rivero and Teresa Gancedo in the new Spanish tourist board office on Dame St, Dublin.

Travel Trade

Travel Centres 2018 conference, their 14th, will take place at Fota Island Resort on November 9th & 10th. Registration will open early next year.

John Devereux of Travelopia  and Leslie Rollo of Hayes & Jarvis say that they expect 3,000 seats to be booked on Hayes & Jarvis portfolio in the first year of operations in Ireland. Watch here speeches by John Devereux and Leslie Rollo. Picture shows Aisling Gavin and John Devereux of Hayes and Jarvis Irish operation. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Corporation hosted 40 members of travel trade at the Residence in Dublin (watch here). Developments in 2018 include expansion of Luxury Gold, their premium Insight product and a new young people’s rivercruise (up to age 41), U By Uniworld, an idea which came out of the 2016 ITAA conference on board Uniworld, watch here presentation by Eilish Wall,  watch here speech by Paul Melinis of Travel Corporation, watch here hilarious reply by Pat Dawson of the ITAA. Picture shows Carol Hurley, Paul Melinis, Sharon Jordan (on maternity leave), Marissa Beck, Charlie McCarthy and Eilish Wall of The Travel Corporation. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Michelle MacBeth was been appointed as Long haul specialist with Peter McMinn’s Travel Solutions.

Emirates hosted travel agents in Galway and 34 agents at an event in Dublin this week. Speaking at the events Enda Corneille (watch here) said Emirates wil be going for growth from Dublin despite increased compettion on the Gulf routes, but declined to say whether it would mean larger aircraft (the A380) or inceaed frequency. Picture shows Emirates team who hosted 34 agents at a travel trade event in Residence, Dublin: Filippo Rocchi, Anita Thomas, Sarah Jane Wilson, Olwyn McGlynn and Enda Corneille. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook

American airlines hosted 25 travel trade at a function in the Shelbourne Hotel Dublin. The airline. American recently enhanced their technology to help ensure that seat availability is identical across carriers, to the last available seat. The airline will offer a three class service on its services from Dublin to Philadelphia (year round) and seasonal to Charlotte, the Dreamliner returns on Dublin-Chicago and they also offer JFK next year. They are extending their Shannon-Philadelphia season. Photograph shows Caitríona Toner and Fiona Noonan of American airlines. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Catherine Tabone of Valetta 2018 and Peter Vella of Malta Tourism hosted travel media in Dublin to outline the programme of 400 cultural events when Valette becomes European capital of culture next year (watch presentation here), and watch here interview with Catherine Tabone in Dublin. Picture shows Catherine Tabone of Valetta 2018 and Peter Vella of Malta Tourism.

Rebecca Kelly hosted travel trade guests on board the new flagship for MSC Cruises, MSC Seaside as she came into service in Trieste, preparing to welcome the first guests and cross the Atlantic for her new home in Miami. MSC Seaside is the Company’s 14th addition to the MSC Cruises fleet and the second MSC Cruises ship to come into service in 2017. Picture shows Paul Hackett of Clickandgo. Caroline O’Toole of Fahy Travel, Rebecca Kelly of MSC Cruises, Antonio Paradiso MD Ireland and Britain of MSC cruises, Carol Anne O’Neill of Worldchoice Ireland, Mary McKenna of Tour America and Dominic Burke of Travel Centres at the MSC Seaside preview event in Trieste, November 30 2017.

Denise Harman hosted corporate clients and media at their annual thanksgiving event in the new Carlson Wagonlit Travel offices in Fitzwilliam Place. Picture shows Donal Ward and Denise Harman of CWT with Christian Schmelter of Tifco Hotel Group. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Scouting the venue for the 2018 Irish Travel Agents Association conference has begun, with Des Abbott in Philadelphia this week accompanied by Greg Evans.

Amadeus celebrated 30 years in Ireland at an event in Uno Pico, Dublin hosted by Rob Colledge. Picture shows Stephen Brennan, Trish O’Leary, Rob Colledge and Olwen McKinney of Amadeus at the Amadeus 30th anniversary event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Topflight have finalised the participants who fly to Mayrhofen on December 12 for a ski experience hosted by Shauna Kelly, Angela McClean and Maurice Shiels, Karen Armstrong of One World Travel, Margaret Giblin of Fahy Travel, Sarah Jane Jones of Cassidys Ilac, Zivile (Jill) Mikalauskiene of Navan Travel, Leanne Mulcahy of Limerick Travel, Katherina Murray of Dawson Travel, Marike Nolan of Douglas Travel, Thomas O’Donoghue of Strand Travel, Jaime Reynolds of Garda Holiday Club and Eleanor Rice of Traveller Secrets

The Association of Womens Travel Executives Irish branch hosted 42 at their December event at Oliver Dunne’s Cleaver East. AWTE Membership is steadily growing (68) even though they have not actively recruited at all yet. They are planning events next year on land and sea with a mixture of professional development sessions, guest speakers and networking events with a few new experiences. Picture shows Catherine Grennell Whyte of ATTS and Clare Dunne of The Travel Broker at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Ciara Foley of Platinum Travel and Dee Burdock of American Hoidays were the Irish representatives at the sixth Travel South international showcase in Charleston withtwelve state tourism offices, 100  International tour operators from 20 countries and 160 Southern travel suppliers. Picture shows the Irish and British at the event. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

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Irish travel software firm Datalex said its online travel agent platform will be completed by end of  year to go live early in 2018. The group says it remains on target to achieve 15-20pc earnings growth this year, and will begin generating platform revenue in 2018.

Brendan Barry of Discover Travel hosted travel trade in Vietnam. Picture shows Claire Byrne of Roscrea Travel, Clodagh Connolly of Corrib Travel, Fiona Coghlan of Travel Focus, Collette Desmond of Manning Travel, Siobhan Geraghty of Cavan Travel, Katrina McMullan of Navan Travel, Veronica Culleton of Hilary Murphy Travel, Linda Jones of Travel Boutique, Anita Thomas of Emirates, Brendan Barry of Discover Travel and John Curneen of Sol Travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Qatar Airways hosted travel trade in Doha to publicise facilites on board the Dreamliner on the daily service from Dublin, and the attractions of the country. The group visited the high end hotels, inland sea and desert dune bashing and what else is on offer for those who avail of the free 48 hour stopover: the Museum of Islamic Art watch here, Katara Village (watch here), a dhow trip (watch here), Souq Waqif Doha (watch here), dune bashing at Khor Al Adaid (watch here Shangri La Doha (watch here), Four Seasons Hotel Doha (watch here), Nobu Restaurant Doha (watch here), Argan Restaurant Doha (watch here). Watch here interview with Valentina Bambuchova of Argana Restaurant Doha. Watch here interview with Jenna (Ji Sun) Li of the Shangri La, See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Picture shows Anne O’Sullivan of Travel Focus, Ben Greene of Arrow Tours and Liz McGonagle of Padraic Keogh Travel at the  Travel Focus training day in Dundalk, attended by 31 agents, which included a presentation on  South Africa.  Travel Focus will be running another training session in Kilkenny on Tuesday, December 5 in Hotel Kilkenny. Contact Audrey Headon for more details. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook

 

Video coverage of the recent Worldchoice conference in Galway includes Clodagh Connolly winning Worldchoice Ireland travel consultant of the year (watch here), Jivile ‘Jill’ Mikalauskiene winning Worldchoice Ireland newcomer of the year (watch here), Carol Anne O’Neill (watch here), the awards Dinner (watch here), the suppliers’ marketplace (watch here), the agents (watch here), Declan Power (watch here), Jennifer Callister (watch here), and Worldchoice Ireland review of the year 2017 (watch here).  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Do Something Different, ThemeParkBeds.com and Disney, with Aer Lingus, hosted agents on a group visit to Disney, including Disney Dreams cruise ship docked in Port Canaveral, Disney Springs shopping, International Food and Wine festival and dessert party at Epcot with the Illuminations Reflections of Earth, a character breakfast in the Grand Floridian, and Disney’s newest attraction, Avatar Flight of Passage. Leanne Mulcahy from Limerick Travel won the Toy Story Mania challenge with David Scollard from Tropical Sky coming in a close second. Audrey Breen was fastest person on the Storm Slides. Picture shows Janis Coulter of Cassidy Travel, Leanne Mulcahy Of Limerick Travel, David Scollard of Tropical Sky, Graham Hennesy of DSD, Elaine McManus of Budget Travel, Audrey Breen of Arrow Tours and Karl Moen of Disney in Magic Kingdom. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Martina Coogan of United Airlines hosted Limerick based travel agents at a dinner in Shannon.

Cassidy Travel is seeking experienced travel consultants with previous travel experience who wouldlike  to work in the safety of an established travel company to book a variety of holidays, cruises, city breaks and long haul supplied by a wide range of airlines and tour operators. Salary is ‘ultimately dependent on experience but is competitive.’  Base salary with a wide ranging benefits package including commission, incentives, travel discounts and fam trips.  Cassidy Travel is happy to offer further progression either through their nine travel shops or in their specialised divisions in the Dublin area. Please apply by email attaching CV or drop in to see one of our Managers in the nine stores

Martin Skelly visited Central Portugal in the aftermath of the ITAA conference (watch here)

Strange world

Cleaner toilets are a number one priority for Chinese President Xi Jinping. He launched the “toilet revolution” in 2015, initially aimed at building better bathrooms at tourist sites – and now he wants that extended to the toilets of local people (see here for more on why).

  • LA now has a Museum of Failure – dedicated to innovations or products that never took off on the market. They are soliciting suggestions for evening events: “How about a failed gourmet tasting menu at a fancy restaurant? A tasting of failed brews from regional microbreweries? Or a world-reknowned classical pianist giving a concert of failed music?… We welcome any further suggestions. The crazier the better.” Another branch of the museum is already open in Helsingborg, Sweden.
  • China unveiled plans for the world’s first dedicated virtual reality theme park. Oriental Sci-Fi Valley will feature VR rollercoasters, VR movies and VR flat rides spread across 13 pavilions.
  • It is not such a good Christmas for reindeer,  with freight trains killing more than 100 on Norway’s tracks in three days, herders said.
  • Police in India arrested a man whose smelly socks caused a dispute between him and fellow passengers on a bus.

International

At least 40 clubbers were injured in Tenerife when a dancefloor collapsed, plunging locals and tourists seven metres into a basement in The Butterfly Disco Pub in Adeje.

  • The Berlin Christmas market targeted by a deadly truck attack opened this year with heightened police presence and concrete barriers hidden behind Christmas trees. A truck hijacker slammed it into a crowd of shoppers at the Breitscheidplatz market last year, killing 12 and injuring more than 70.
  • Tokyo Disney Resort is said to be considering spending €2.2bn to expand its car parks.
  • The Cairns Post reports that a 24 year old English tourist had a lucky escape after a crocodile attack at Cape Tribulation beach in Queensland.

Food & Beverage

Dublin’s Ely Wine Bar and restaurant, off Merrion Row, was sold to a private investor for a figure close to the property’s guide price of €1.8m.

Former intercounty hurler Mike Houlihan bought The 41 Bar in Kilmallock, Co Limerick. The retired Limerick player also owns a bar on the town’s Sarsfield Street.

Hotels

Profits at the Michael-Holland controlled Ampleforth, which owns Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Hotel as well as the Bailey bar and Irish Welcome Tours, increased 18pc to over €4m in 2016.

Galway hotelier Eoin Burke (53) died in a car crash in the county. Mr Burke is a former player and chairman of Clonbur GAA club, and his family own Peacockes Hotel in Maam Cross in Connemara.

Aviation

Automated passport gates became operational at Dublin Airport from 8am on Thursday, five each in T1 and T2, to increase to ten in the coming weeks, providing automated passport and security checks “by using advanced facial recognition technology and integration with national and international watch lists,”

You would not know it from their website, but Powdair, the virtual airline headquartered in Ireland with a proposed base at Sion, Switzerland, said “our key financial backer walked away from the Powdair journey for personal reasons” and is now seeking crowd financing.  It has cancelled two week’ flights and bookings but is taking money for flights from December 18.  It says l£3m is required by the end of the week. There is no indication yet that it has a license.

American Airlines Christmas computer leave glitch which left a scheduling hole will not be as dramatic as claimed, Travel Extra‘s Eoghan Corry spoke about the issue on RTE Morning Ireland (watch here). American issues a statement claiming: Out of the 200,000 flights American will operate in December, only a few hundred are currently unassigned to pilots. That number of open flights continues to decrease thanks to our pilots who are stepping up to the plate and picking up trips to ensure customers are taken care of.

Photo: Eamon Ward.

It is probably not what you want your guest of honour to say, but IAG boss Willie Walsh told Shannon Chamber of Commerce that Aer Lingus is not looking to transatlantic expansion at Shannon Airport. He said even Dublin has not the supply of people to make transatlantic flights economical. He’s pictured at Dromoland Castle Hotel with Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes, Sean Flannery, general manager GECAS and executive vice president, technical and engine leasing for GECAS and Julie Dickerson, president, Shannon Chamber. Full report here.

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Aer Lingus had €966.23m in cash at the end of last year, according to accounts lodged with the Companies Registration Office. The accounts note it has to hold certain deposits to meet lease obligations. Aer Lingus leased 31 of the 51 craft that made up its fleet last year and owed a total of €296m on various leases running for periods of one to five years.

  • Flybe is commencing flights Belfast International to Doncaster/Sheffield 4w on June 15th using the E175.
  • Darwin (Adria Switzerland) (ex EY-regional) has been grounded by FOCA
  • European Commission Air Safety added Avior Airlines from Venezuela to the black list, while two others – Mustique Airways from St Vincent and the Grenadines and Urga from Ukraine were removed.
  • Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have formed a partnership to develop flight demonstrators with which to evaluate hybrid-electric propulsion for commercial aircraft.
  • Singapore Airlines low fare carrier Scoot is to introduce a B777 Singapore-Berlin 4w service in autumn 2018  second half of next year
  • Atlantic Air Adventures Shannon say their aviation museum is not sustainable unless they can attract more visitors as a tourist attraction in its own right. Website.
  • Airbus appointed Eric Schulz, 54, EVP, Chief of Sales, Marketing & Contracts for the company’s Commercial Aircraft business. Airbus’s controversial technical officer Paul Eremenko resigned a year and a half in the job.
  • Research commissioned by the FAA says a mid-air drone collision is more dangerous than a bird strike.
  • Norwegian Air International is still considering whether it will begin flying from Cork to New York following the launch of services to Providence Rhode Island earlier this year. Bjorn Kjos, chief executive of airline parent group, Norwegian Air Shuttle, suggested earlier this year that Cork’s runway may be too short for journeys to New York.
  • Malaysia’s Deputy Finance Minister said Ryanair’s new incoming chief operating officer, Peter Bellew, must repay four months’ salary to Malaysian Airlines. The politician claimed the resignation was given without sufficient notice.
  • A Turkish Airlines flight from Nairobi to Istanbul was diverted after the detection of a wi-fi network called ‘bomb on board’ that alarmed the passengers, the airline said. The flight made an emergency landing at the Khartoum airport in Sudan, before the all-clear was announced.
  • Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said Tuesday was the busiest ever day for bookings, with 5m visits to the Ryanair.com website
  • British Airways introduced Mandarin-speaking customer service representatives at Heathrow Terminal 5. Rosters will coincide with the departure or arrival of customers on its 10w flights to Shanghai and the 7w flights to Beijing.
  • EasyJet admitted that its male employees earn over 50pc more than their female colleagues on average. The budget carrier said the gap was largely because most of its higher-paid pilots are men.
  • Air Nostrum Spain set up a new ACMI operator, Hibernian Airlines (Ireland), in effort to provide an initial 10 aircraft on wet lease to larger carriers.
  • Airbus, Siemens and Rolls-Royce are teaming up to develop a hybrid passenger plane, based on the BAe 146, that uses an electric turbofan along with three conventional jet engines to reduce fuel usage and carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Mumbai‘s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport hosted 969 take-offs and landings over 24 hours, the most ever for a single-runway airport.
  • Nearly 80pc of people believe overweight passengers should be placed in a separate seating area with bigger seats on a flight – and 91pc said they should pay more for those seats, according to research by comparison site Jetcost
  • Aer Lingus vacancies include a Technical Manager for the AerClub Department and EASA CAT A or B1/ B2 engineers at the Dublin Maintenance Base.

Afloat

MSC Cruises took delivery of its newest ship, 4,134-passenger MSC Seaside at the Fincantieri yard in Monfalcone, outside Trieste, at an event attended by the Irish travel trade. It also signed a contract to officially order two more vessels from the shipyard, in a new class, Seaside EVO.

  • Pierfranceso Vago, chairman of MSC Cruises, said the ships would be “an evolution of the Seaside platform”, and would be longer than the Seaside Class, housing 2,280 cabins. The vessels are due to launch in 2021 and 2023.
  • MSC Preziosa will be based in Southampton in 2019, replacing the older, smaller MSC Magnifica. Preziosa will split its time between Southampton in the spring and autumn, and Kiel during the summer. MSC’s MD for Ireland and Britain Antonio Paradiso said he had “long wanted to have a big ship” operating out of England.
  • A new five-year contract will guarantee daily morning and evening sea ferry services by Aran Ferries Teo between Ros a’ Mhíl and each of the three Aran islands. Bus services between Ros a’ Mhíl and Galway city are included in the contract.
  • Diamond Princess, sailing on a 22-night cruise from Japan to Australia, cancelled its visit to Bali due to the eruption of Mount Agung.
  • Carnival Cruise Line’s third Vista-class ship will be called Carnival Panorama. Scheduled to launch in the autumn of 2019, the ship is under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard. No homeport or itinerary details are yet available.

Ireland

Judith Owens is the new CEO of the Titanic Centre, Ireland’s ninth most popular visitor attraction with 622,000 visitors in 2016.

Dublin was listed as one of the top 21 places on earth to visit next year in the ‘2018 Best of the World’ list by National Geographic Traveller magazine. Dublin was selected in 10th place as one of the 21 ‘must-see’ destinations to visit in the year ahead. Under why go now?, it said that tourists will “feel at home in ‘Europe’s largest village’.” Full report here.

  • Tourism Ireland launches the marketing plan for 2018 at events in Dublin and Belfast this week.
  • Cork’s Fota Wildlife Park recorded a surplus of over €730,000 in 2016 after visitor numbers rose 7pc to 465,281.
  • A €10m revamp to Cork city’s Kent railway station opened, providing passenger access to the quays for the first time.
  • The Friends of the Derry Walls have claimed the historic structure is being ignored in tourism promotions, and added that new street lights and traffic control poles were sited “inappropriately” close to the wall, spoiling views.
  • County Sligo Golf Club, better known as Rosses Point, suffered thousands of euro of damage after a car drove on to the course during daylight.
  • Activist Eamonn McCann’s rail lobby group Into the West launched a campaign to get Derry’s historic Waterside station brought back into use as a working terminus.
  • Children under five now go free on public transport in Ireland, as part of the fare changes announced earlier this year by the National Transport Authority.
  •  Winner at the 11th Ireland Press Awards organised in Amsterdam by Tourism Ireland was Felix Wilbrink for his article about the ‘Culinary Treasure Trove’ of Ireland in De Telegraaf, 35  journalists iattended this year’s awards. 

At the GeoparkLIFE: Tourism for Conservation conference in Ennistymon presentations offered  a model for balancing tourism development and heritage conservation in tourism destinations, Tina O’Dwyer (watch here) of Burren tourism outlined the achievements of the Geopark and partnerships that had been set up with community and business interests, archaeologist Gabriel Cooney talked about the policy issues confronting the inbound tourism industry (watch here), Zena Hoctor talked about conservation of the Burren sites (watch here), Brian McCarthy of Clare Co Council talked about planning issues (watch here) and Carol Gleeson listed the lessons from the experience which is coming to a conclusion (watch here). Is eco tourism sustainable? Watch here a panel discussion with Gabriel Cooney of UCD & Ecomas, Michelle O’Dea of the OPW, Brian McCarthy of Clare County Council, Paddy Mattews of Fáilte Ireland, Nuala Mulqueeney of Ailwee caves and Niall Hughes chair of Doolin tourism,  and watch here a panel discussion with Tina O’Dwyer, Tourism Enterprises Co-ordinator, Geopark LIFE, Professor Gabriel Cooney, UCD, Funding Partner, Geopark LIFE and Zena Hoctor, Sites and Monuments Co-ordinator, Geopark LIFE  at the GeoparkLIFE: Tourism for Conservation Conference, Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, November 23 2017, sessions moderated by Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

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At Let’s Talk Tourism in Killarney Eoghan Corry discussed the problems facing the inbound Irish tourism industry (watch here), Fiona Monaghan talked about the seasonality issue along the Wild Atlantic Way (watch here), Margaret Cahill talked about her vision for the conference (watch here), Adrian Cummins talked about the training deficit in the hospitality industry (watch here), Paul Carty spoke about the journey undertaken by the Guinness Storehouse over the past twenty years (watch here), Paul O’Toole of Sloas talked about the labour market and hospitality (watch here) and Tom Haughey discussed how much the tourism industry needed Dublin airport (watch here). See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Deal Watch

ITAA offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights all inclusive at the IFA Interclub Atlantic, from €478pp with Travel Broker, depart January 11. http://itaa.ie/2017/11/29/gran-canaria-over-50s/ Dublin to the Algarve, 7 nights half board, with free water/wine with evening meals, at the 4* Hotel do Cerro in Albufeira, from €349pp with clickandgo.com, depart February. http://itaa.ie/2017/11/28/over-55-4-algarve-in-february-from-e349pp/ Dublin to Spain, 7 nights half board with wine and water, 4* Best Sabinal Hotel, Costa del Almeria, from €449pps with Travelfox, depart April, May & October 2018. http://itaa.ie/2017/11/29/over-55s

Sunway offers: Trafalgar Tour ‘Wonders of St Petersburg & Moscow’ escorted tour,from €1869pp includes €172pp saving, flight ex Dublin, 1 x 20kg bag pp, 7 nights twin share 4* / 5* hotels, meals and tours as per itinerary. Tour must be paid by 28/02/18 to save 10pc, depart May 7. AmaWaterways 5* Christmas Markets River Cruise on the Danube, from Nuremburg to Budapest, includes flight ex Dublin, 1 x 15kg bag pp, port transfers, Category D outside stateroom with fixed window on twin share basis for 7 nights, full board basis with unlimited wine/beers at meals & daily complimentary excursions. Not included gratuities, pre /post nights and port charges of €135pp, from €1519pp, depart December 11. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Club Med, Kamarina, adults from €989pp and kids from €669pp, depart June 9. Dublin to Asia for Cambodia Experience, 9 days Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok, includes flights, 8 nights on twin-share basis, meals and tours as per itinerary, from €1569, depart March 6. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights half board 4* Vik san Antonio Hotel, from €1089pp, depart December 23. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights half board 5*+ Princesa Yaiza Hotel , from €1199pp, depart December 23. Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 nights self-catering 2*+ Villa Florida Apartments , from €599, depart December 23. Western Mediterranean Fly Cruise, 7 nights premium all inclusive onboard Norwegian Epic, from €1290, depart October 14. India & Oman Fly Cruise, 13 nights onboard Celebrity Constellation, from €1299pp, depart March 10. Classic Italian Fly Cruise, 7 nights onboard MSC Fantasia, from €919pp, depart October 10. Arctic Highlights Voyage, 5 nights onboard MS Nordkapp (3-night voyage and 2 in hotel). From €1151pp, depart February 23. Dublin to Barcelona Cruise, 16 nights onboard Silver Muse, Vista Suite, all inclusive, from €5352pp, depart May 7. Dubai, Vietnam Cruise & Hong Kong 15-night trip, 4 Nights Dubai, 4 Night Vietnam Cruise onboard Ovation of the Seas & 4 Night Hong Kong Stay, from €1550, depart April 26. www.sunway.ie

TUI offers: Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantic, San Agustin, from €849pps, depart December 21. Dublin to Lanzarote, 14 nights self-catering 4* Los Zocos Club Resort, Costa Teguise, from €1,229pps, depart December 31. Cork to Tenerife, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Catalonia Las Vegas, Las Caletillas, from €1,239pps, depart December 22. Cork to Tenerife, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Catalonia Las Vegas, Las Caletillas, from €1,239pps, depart December 21. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta del Rey, Las Caletillas, from €439pps, depart January 19. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantic, San Agustin, from €569pps, depart January 25. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights all inclusive 3* El Trebol, Costa Teguise, from €579pps, depart February 4. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering 2* Lanzarote Paradise Club, Costa Teguise, from €379pps, depart February 25. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta del Rey, Las Caletillas, from €459pps, depart February 2. Dublin to Majorca, Marella Dream – Mediterranean Medley , Decks 4/5 Inside Cabin, 7 nights full board from €1,129pps, depart February 28. www.tuiholidays.ie, call 1850 45 35 45 or visit a TUI Store /travel agent.

Topflight offers: Dublin to Austria, 7 nights B&B 3* Gasthaus Bichler, Soll, was €679 now €435pps, depart January 6. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Sonnalp, Hinterglemm, was €1790 now €1409pps, depart December 30. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights B&B 3* Pension Hochwimmer, Zell am See, was €879 now €693pps, depart December 30. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights B&B 3* Landhaus Roscher, Mayrhofen, was €1049 now €779pps, depart December 30. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Elisabethpark, Bad Gastein, was €1429 now €1209pps, depart December 30. Dublin to Austria, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Bechlwirt, Kirchberg, was €899 now €779pps, depart January 13. Dublin to Italy, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Teola, Livigno was €829 now €699pps, depart January 6. Dublin to Italy, 7 nights self-catering 3* Casa Antonietta/Pozzi, Livigno, was €582 now €469pps (Based on 5 share), depart January 13. Dublin to Andorra, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Sant Gothard, Arinsal, was €679 now €649pps, depart January 7. Dublin to France, 7 nights self-catering 4* Le Hameau de Pierre Blanche, Chamonix Valley, was €569 now €519pps (Based on 6 share), depart January 6. Dublin to France, 7 nights 4* Chalet Fleur de Neige, Catered Chalet, Plan Peisey, Les Arcs, was €1039 now €909, depart January 13. Call 01 240 1700, visit www.topflight.ie or contact your local travel agent.

What we learned.

The problem of horses getting chest infections en route to the Melbourne Cup was solved by removing the top bar of the feeding stall on the transporter aircraft, so they could lower their heads. Thank you Emirates.

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