Travel Extra sunday supplement November 18

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Rachel performs Irish dancing during the Munster Vales conference at Caher Castle, November 15 2018

Things to know about travel this week

  • Fáilte Ireland braces for Brexit
  • United Airlines to bring in a super-sized Dreamliner to Dublin
  • Shannon Airport worried over post-Brexit connectivity to EU
  • Close encounter near Ireland? UFO debate goes viral
  • Ryanair launches Knock-Cologne route
  • AerClub names its millionth customer

Video Watch.

Comedians take to the sky with British Airways to celebrate the Children in Need charity. Watch here.

The British aren’t the only ones who don’t understand their neighbours – with KLM discovering that 46pc of next-door Germans have never heard of their airlines. Watch here.

Qantas shows off the latest Dreamliner in its fleet. Watch here.

BA has comedians – but Qatar has a Philharmonic orchestra onboard. Watch here.

Indiana Jones had to deal with Nazis and treasure hunters in the ancient city of Petra – modern tourists have another adversary; major flooding and freak weather in its canyons. Watch here.

A safari that got a bit too realistic – with a tigress chasing tourists in India. Watch here.

Tourism Ireland tours the entire Wild Atlantic Way in a series of new videos. For a glimpse of the lesser-visited northern headlands, watch here.

 

Behind the Headlines

 

Everyone was putting a brave face on about the rise in VAT to 13.5pc as Fáilte Ireland looked back on the year, and ahead to 2019. Tourism Minister Shane Ross insisted his Department fought to keep the 9pc rate – and Failte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said the rise is a challenge that will be faced. He said the organisation is tipping visitor numbers to the Republic hit 9.6m this year (watch here) but is preparing to face the full brunt of Brexit in 2019 (watch here).  He also spoke to Travel Extra (watch here), giving an overview of the current state of play – and why he believes Dublin needs a major new hotel.

At the ‘Sustaining Success’ day-long launch event in Croke Park, more than 300 delegates from Irish tourism learned of the initiatives in place for operators. Niall O’Callaghan, Shannon Heritage, Ruth Vaughan, the Savoy Hotel, Limerick, Patricia Liddy, Limerick County Council, Gillian and Peter Costello, Emerald VIP Services, are pictured with Margaret Jenkins, Fáilte Ireland, at the event. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

Teresa Gancedo Nieto, director of the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin, got her dancing shoes on as her office welcomed a pipe band and representatives from Cantrabria to Dublin, in association with Ryanair, now flying year-round to Santander. The Managing Director of the Cantabria Tourism Board, Eva Bartolomé, told the trade and media that although it occupies just 1pc of Spain’s land mass, it’s a region of mountains, two Camino trails and ancient cave art. It’s also the birthplace of Spanish tourism, with the country’s royal family kicking off the boom by taking their hoidays in Santander. Teresa Gancedo Nieto is pictured with travalue.ie’s Martin Skelly, who won a trip to the region. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

The strength of the transatlantic trade to and from Ireland was shown by United Airlines’ decision to deploy a new 787-10 – the largest Dreamliner variant – on the Dublin-Newark route from next summer.

United, under Ireland Manager Martina Coogan, pictured with Leisure Sales Manager Aoife Gregg, will be featuring the full Polaris business class, plus new seatback entertainment, on the new aircraft. Full story here.

Despite a night of rain that turned Dublin’s streets into a water-filled mini-Venice, Croatia Tours attracted a large crowd of trade and media to a 2019 brochure night – with the lure of Croatian wine. Croatia Tours’ Sharon Wall said there’s lots of flexibility for holidaymakers, with the option of flying in via its dedicated service to Split, and out of Zagreb with Croatia Airlines, creating longer or shorter trip durations. City breaks to the capital are also on offer, along with exclusive, small-sized cruise trips. She’s pictured with Sharon Wall of Croatia Tours pictured with the Croatian Ambassador to Ireland, Ivan Masina at the launch and wine-tasting event on Eden Quay. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

A busy week for trade fams, with Wendy Wu’s John Booty flying a trade group via Dubai with Emirates to Beijing. They’ve already taken in the key sites of the Chinese capital, visiting the likes of the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China itself, where the group were pictured this week.

Tryphavana Cross, meanwhile, is hosting a group who’ve flown out to Las Vegas with British Airways, flying out from Dublin via London Heathrow in the airline’s Club World class.

They’re pictured after touching down at the Grand Canyon on a Maverick helicopters flight from the city on the fam trip, organised by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Aer Lingus named the winners of its trip or treat agent-booking competition. Josie Carrigy of Arrow Tours won the trip prize – two seats to anywhere on the airline’s European Network. On the treats side, Aer Lingus deckchairs were won by Lisa Warren, Killiney Travel; Darren Yeates, Midland Travel; and Yvonne Larkin from Strand Travel.

PATA hosted agents at an event in Dublin during the week. Holiday World Sales Director Maureen Ledwith is pictured attending the Pacific Asia Travel Association Roadshow at The Loft in 4 Dame Lane.

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Niall McDonnell’s Classic Collection has released its Italy 2019 brochure. Find it online here. It’s also launched a competition to win a place on the VIP fam trip to Lisbon on March 31, to celebrate the launch of the TAP service from Dublin to the Portuguese capital.

Each month from November to March 2019 one agent will be selected to join the trip, which will feature five-star hotel accommodation from the Classic Collection. Agents who make a Classic Collection Holidays booking will be automatically entered into the monthly draw.

 

Strange world

Donald Trump‘s accuser, adult movie star Stormy Daniels, isn’t a fan of Aer Lingus either. ‘Where the f–k is my luggage!?’ she demanded after a transatlantic trip last week.

Even an offer of free outward flights by Tourism Australia couldn’t attract enough US visitors to the Northern Territory. Now the campaign, tying in with the Crocodile Dundee movie reboot,  offering US tourists free flights to the Northern Territory, will be extended to fill all the allocated seats.

“We saw a bright line and then it disappeared…” the words of a BA pilot to Shannon ATC, sparking UFO headlines around the world. Listen here to the full audio from Dublin Aviation.

A pilot sacked for being scared of flying has won an unfair dismissal claim.

International

The first major snow storms of the winter forced the cancellation of dozens of US flights, with 600 delays, according to Flight Aware’s Misery Map.

The Statue of Liberty’s original torch – replaced in the 1980s – has been moved from the base of the statue to its new home in a museum to open next year.

The Louvre, Paris

The Mayor of Paris wants to pedestrianise the centre of the capital, which includes landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral.

A British tourist died after being bitten by a cat with rabies in Morocco, and  didn’t receive the vaccine until it was too late to save him.

St Mark’s Basilica in Venice needs urgent funding to save its marble and mosaic floor after flood water caused decades worth of damage in a day.

Two new crossings – the first in eight years – have been opened between the Turkish and Greek sides of Cyprus – the first in eight years.

Food & Beverage

Brian O’Driscoll and old foe Tana Umaga were reunited over a pint in Dublin ahead of the clash between Ireland and the All Blacks. Photo ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

Nando’s is looking to launch more restaurants in Ireland as pre-tax profits rose by 44.5pc to €4m.

Irish bar JJ Murphy’s in Wellington is the go-to destination this weekend for New Zealand’s first Ginger Gathering.

The Italian Institute of Culture launched the Third Annual Celebration of Italian Cuisine in the World, in association with the Italian National Tourist Board, Dunnes Stores Simply Better Collection and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Dublin. Italian Ambassador Paolo Serpi and wife María Gabriela Echeverría Serpi are pictured at the event. Photo: Conor Healy / Picture It Photography. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Hotels

The opening of the George Best Hotel in Belfast – which was expected in December – has been postponed till 2019.

Dublin’s Ormond Hotel‘s new owner want to use its  name as a brand for a new hotel chain, with hotels planned in Kuala Lumpur in 2019 and Melbourne in 2020.

Dalata is to develop a four-star Maldron hotel (artist’s impression shown), with 140 bedrooms, four meeting rooms, a bar and restaurant. It will also build 69 homes and a basement car park on the Tara Towers site in Dublin. McAleer and Rushe have been appointed contractors and the overall estimated development cost is €51m.

The Clarence Hotel, co-owned by Bono and The Edge, is among dozens of Dublin businesses objecting to a planned injecting centre for drug addicts.

Aviation

Ryanair, IAG and EasyJet have reportedly asked the EU for a one-year moratorium on ownership rules that otherwise will force them to buy back shares held by British investors after Brexit.

Shannon Airport is raising the issue of post-Brexit connectivity to Europe with the Government, fearing disruption to its only major hub, Heathrow.

Singapore Airlines has been named airline of the year by Airlineratings.com

Stansted Airport has been given the go-ahead by the local council to raise the limit on passenger numbers from 35m to 43m.

Eimear Ryan, Ryanair Sales and Marketing executive for Britain and Ireland; eight millionth passenger Irene Davey from, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, and Donal Healy, Knock Airport Head of Marketing and Route Development.

Ryanair announced 2w flights from Knock to Cologne, and celebrated carrying 8m passengers out west. Eimear Ryan, Ryanair Sales and Marketing executive for Britain and Ireland is pictured with eight millionth passenger Irene Davey from, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, and Donal Healy, Knock Airport Head of Marketing and Route Development.

The DAA has completed improvements to the Departures level at Dublin Airport.

Emirates reported a drop of 86pc to $62m in profits for the first half of the 2018-2019 financial year. The airline blamed higher fuel costs and currency fluctuations. The airline carried 30.1m passengers, up 3pc on the same period last year.

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Europe’s biggest regional airline, Flybe, is seeking a buyer as it struggles with weak demand and high oil prices.

Dublin woman is named as the millionth AerClub member.

LOT Polish Airlines has apologised after passengers waiting to take a delayed flight from Beijing to Warsaw were asked by staff for a whiparound to help settle a repair bill for the aircraft.

A court in Istanbul convicted six people and sentenced them to life in prison for involvement in an attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport that killed 45 people in 2016.

Afloat

Construction has begun in Turku on Carnival Cruise Line‘s newest ship, which will be the largest in the fleet with 6,600 passenger capacity, and which launches in 2020.

The FBI and police in Aruba are investigating the death of an American woman who fell to her death from a balcony on a Princess Cruises ship.

Plans for a cruise ship terminal in south-east London have been withdrawn by developers.

The Lough Swilly Ferry service connecting Rathmullan and Buncrana carried 26,000 foot passengers and over 6,000 vehicles to date this year.

Stena Line cabin assistant Sarah Scowcroft was invited on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy in Guinea, after she and a team of colleagues on the Stena Superfast X (which operates on the Dublin to Holyhead route) raised £7,414.96 by organising a 34-mile charity walk around the Scottish Lakes – a figure that was then doubled by Stena Line Chairman Dan Sten Olsson.

Ireland

Irish Landmark has confirmed the completion of conservation works at two new properties – Parade House and Garrison House, located within the 17th century Elizabeth Fort in Cork City.

Local tourism operators in WIcklow Town have voiced concerns over plans to convert the Grand Hotel into a direct provision centre.

Tour bus firm Paddywagon’s pre-tax profits increased by 6pc to €1.2m last year.

Impending Brexit was the key spur for New Zealand to open its first embassy in Ireland. Bruce Simpson (Ngati Raukawa) performs a traditional ritual at the opening of the offices in Dublin. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook.

Dromoland Castle Golf Club was named ‘Ireland’s Best Golf Hotel 2018’ at the fifth annual World Golf Awards, held in La Manga Club, Spain.

Deal Watch

Insight Vacations offers: Enchanting Canyonlands escorted tour, includes flights, transfers, included excursions, 6 buffet breakfasts and 4 dinners with wine, and 7 nights’ accommodation in central locations, was €3,029pps now from €2,809 per person sharing. Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking. Book and pay in full by 28 February 2019, depart April 19, 2019. www.insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

St Petersburg

ITAA offers: Ireland to Russia for 8-day Christmas markets trip to St Petersburg and Moscow, from €1430pp, depart December 30 with Dawson Travel on http://itaa.ie/2018/11/07/christmas-markets-in-russia/

Dublin to Amsterdam, 3 nights 4* Manor Hotel for the city’s Lights Festival, one-hour highlights canal cruise, from €350pp, depart December 4 with Travalue.ie on http://itaa.ie/2018/11/06/lights-festival-in-amsterdam/

Dublin to Croatia for Hideout Festival of music, 7 nights with choices of apartments from studio, superior or premium, from €840pps, depart July 2019 with Grenham Travel on http://itaa.ie/2018/11/06/why-not-check-out-the-hideout-festival-01-05-july-2019-in-croatia/

Sunway offers: Best of Eastern Canada end Toronto escorted tour, includes flights ex Dublin, 20kg baggage per person, taxes, 8 nights twin share in  4 & 5* Hotels, complimentary schedule airport transfer,  some meals and tours as per itinerary. Price includes early payment discount of €189pp. Subject to availability and change, from €2259pp, depart May 10. Dublin to Europe for 5* River Cruise ‘Romantic Danube’, includes flight ex Dublin, return port transfers, 7 nights twin sharing outside stateroom with fixed window, unlimited wine/beers at meals, sip and sail daily cocktail hour & daily complimentary excursions. Not included gratuities and port charges of €150pp. Subject to availability and change,from €2309pp, depart April 12. Dublin to France, 7 nights all inclusive 3TArc Extreme, includes flights ex Dublin, 20kg bag per person, resort transfer, standard room on an all -inclusive basis for 5  nights. Ski tuition/ guiding and lift pass included, terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability and change, from €925pp, depart December 20.

Dublin to Cuba for Cuba Libre adventure Tour, includes flight ex Dublin, 1 x 20kg baggage per person, 7 night’s accommodation on twin share basis, some meals and tours as per itinerary. Reduction of €50pp is included in the price, tour must be booked by 30th November.  Subject to availability and change, from €1469pp, depart May 13. Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 nights self catering 3* Oasis Dunas  Apartments, from €399pp, depart November  24. Dublin to Fuerteventura, 7 nights self catering 2*+ Villa Florida Apartments, from €349pp, depart November 24. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self catering 2* Monte Verde Apartments, from €349pp, depart November 24. Dublin to Lapland, 4 nights half board 4* Saaga Hotel, 2 adults + 1 Child from  €3485, depart December 11. Dublin to Phuket, 7 nights B&B from €835pp, depart June 17, 2019. Dublin to Athens for Montenegro and Sicily Fly Cruise 7 nights on Emerald Princess with transfers, from €986pp, depart August 3, 2019. Dublin to Norway direct no-fly Cruise, 8 nights onboard Celebrity Reflection, from €1209pp, depart May 26. Dublin to Barcelona for Western Med cruise onboard Norwegian Epic, premium all inclusive included, from €1490pp, depart September 22, 2019. Dublin to Barcelona for 7-night Spain and Italy Fly Cruise onboard Oasis of the Seas, from €1069pp, depart May 19, 2019. Dublin to Barcelona, 7 nights with balcony cabin onboard MSC Meraviglia, from €885pp, depart December 13. www.sunway.ie

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Topflight Black Friday offers: Ends Monday, November 26. Dublin to Brides Les Bain, France, 7 nights self catering 3* Résidence Cybele, 4 Share from €349pps was €516, depart January 19. Dublin to Zell Am See, Austria, 7 nights self catering 3* Apartments Kristall, 4 Share from €399pps was €621, depart January 12. Dublin to Arc 1800, Les Arcs, 7 nights self catering 4* Résidence Le Belmont, 5 Share from €649pps was €749, depart December 22. Dublin to Plagne Centre, France, 7 nights catered chalet 3* Chalet Lily, 2 Share from €999pps was €1171, depart January 19. Dublin to Soll, Austria, 7 nights half board 3* Ferienhotel Fuchs, 2 Share from €799pps was €929, depart February 9. Dublin to Livigno, Italy, 7 nights self catering 3* Casa Antonietta, 4 Share from €449pps was €549, depart January 12. Dublin to Pinzolo, Italy, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Olympic Palace, 2 Share from €799pps was €929, depart March 2. Dublin to Arinsal and Pal, Andorra, 7 nights self catering 3* The Lodge Apartments, 4 Share from €499pps was €583, depart February 3. Dublin to Bad Hofgastein, Austria, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Norica, 2 Share from €999pps was €1159, depart January 19. Dublin to Soldeu and El Tarter, Andorra, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Himàlaia Soldeu, 2 Share, from €699pps was €828, depart January 20. Dublin to Chamonix Valley, France, 7 nights self catering 4* Le Hameau de Pierre Blanche, 4 Share, from €499pps was €658, depart January 26. Dublin to Mayrohofen Valley, Austria, 7 nights half board 4* Fun and Spa Hotel Strass, 2 Share, from €1019pps was €1179, depart January 12. www.topflight.ie / www.topflight.co.uk, call 01 240 1700 /  028 9752 1168 or visit your local travel agent

Barcelona

Tour America offers: Dublin to Barcelona, 7-night Mediterranean cruise onboard Emerald Princess, transfers and return flight from Rome from €699pp, based on 2 adults + 2 children sharing an interior stateroom, depart July 20, 2019. Dublin to Athens for 7-night Mediterranean and Adriatic cruise onboard Emerald Princess, from €975pp, based on 2 adults sharing an interior stateroom, depart August 3, 2019. Dublin to Los Angeles for LA and Mexican Riviera, Includes return flights, 2 nights Los Angeles and 7-night cruise onboard Ruby Princess, from €1499pps (includes $150 onboard credit), based on  2 adults sharing an interior stateroom, depart March 28, 2019. Dublin to Rome for 7-night Mediterranean fly/cruise with transfers onboard MSC Divina, from €899pp, based on 2 adults + 2 children sharing an interior cabin with a free upgrade to balcony, depart June 2, 2019. Dublin to Abu Dhabi for Dubai and Emirates fly/cruise, includes return flights to Abu Dhabi, transfers to/from cruise port, 7 nights onboard MSC Splendida, from €1319pp, based on 2 adults sharing a balcony stateroom, free all inclusive drinks package, depart February 3, 2019. Dublin to New York, 3 nights Westgate New York, from €649pp, depart February 22, 2019. Dublin to Orlando, direct flights, 7 nights Rosen Inn at Pointe, from €659pp, based on 2 Adults and 2 Children sharing, depart January 12. www.touramerica.ie

TUI offers: Black Friday deals run until November 26, with savings of an additional €50 per booking on short and mid-haul package holidays departing between November 19 and October 31, 2019; an extra €100 off per booking on holidays to Mexico departing between June 3, 2019, and July 15, 2019. Terms and conditions, including minimum spends, apply. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self catering 3* Cay Beach, Maspalomas, from €699pps, depart December 20. Dublin to Gran Canaria,7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA InterClub Atlantic, San Agustin, from €839pps, depart December 20. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Suneoclub El Trebol, Costa Tequise, from €879pps, depart December 23. Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self catering 2* Lanzarote Paradies Club, Costa Tequise, from €329pps, depart January 27. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 7 nights self catering 3* Monte Feliz, Bahia Feliz, from €329pps, depart January 17. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self catering 2* Las Piramides Resort, Playa De Las Americas, from €359pps, depart January 25. Dublin to Cancun, 14 nights all inclusive 4* RIU Lupita, Playacar, from €1,619pps, depart June 17. www.tuiholidays.ie Call 1850 45 35 45 or visit a TUI Store /travel agent.

Uniworld offers: Venice and The Gems of Northern Italy river cruise, was €2,939pps now €2,159 per person sharing including flights, all meals, unlimited beverages on board,  included excursions and 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the impressive River Countess. Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking. Price includes 10pc Early Payment Discount. Book and pay in full by 31 October 2018, depart April 14, 2019. www.uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803

 

 

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