Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement September 28 2014: Airlines Blow Hot Air in the Windy City




Filip Filipov of Skyscanner speaking at the WYSTC World Youth and Tourism conference in Dublin

The headlines this week:

*A Big Win for Dublin Airport

*Amadeus Tees Up in Killarney

*WYSTC 2014 Ends With Tabletop Dancing

*Maryborough named AA Hotel of the Year

*J1ers connect at RDS


Travel Extra TV

waltz-screenshotOur video of the week shows dancers Amelia Rudolph and Roel Seeber perform a Bandaloop dance on the side of Oakland City Hall in California as part of the Art + Soul Festival. Bandaloop is a type of aerial dance that combines specific move sets with city landmarks in the USA. Watch here.

  • YouTube footage of the KLM lost and found dog at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport gained lots of traction this week, reaching over 6.6m views since it was uploaded on Tuesday. Of course Sherlock the Beagle is not a real employee of KLM – it was all a hoax, or a symbol of “the active way in which the [lost and found]team will search for owners and unite them with their lost possessions” in KLM’s words. That doesn’t diminish the cute factor though. Not in the slightest. Watch here.
  • Learn how to pack the very bare essentials (underwear, t-shirt, socks and optional toothbrush) for an overnight stay in about 20 seconds. Watch here.
  • How do you stop people from crossing the road at the red man? Get them moving. A dancing traffic light in Lisbon distracted pedestrians long enough to wait for the green light. Watch here.
  • Storm chaser Alex Schueth captured a timelapse of Asperatus clouds rolling through the sky like ocean waves in Lincoln, Nebraska. The cloud type is so rare that it didn’t have an official classification until 2009. Watch here.
  • Discover Ireland uploaded a video of Location, Location, Location presenter Phil Spencer exploring literary Dublin. Phil visits Trinity Library, the Little Museum of Dublin, the Winding Stairs and the Literary Pub Crawl. Watch here.
  • Fáilte Ireland uploaded the first of its Google Month videos, presented by John Puts of Google and Stephen Dudley of Fáilte Ireland. Four more broadcasts are scheduled. Watch here.
  • RTÉ uploaded a video showcasing Culture NightWatch here.
  • National Geographic uploaded a video of woodsman Thorn tracking a squirrel and making a bow and arrow from materials in a forest. Watch here.
  • As part of its Surprise Stopover campaignIcelandair uploaded a video showing how they treated American passenger Kat to a surprise 48-hour stopover adventure when she was en route to London. Watch here.
  • Here is a timelapse video of Etihad’s new livery designWatch here.
  • Airbus uploaded a video of the A320neo’s first flight. Watch here.


dublin-airport-chicagoawardThere was a big win for Dublin Airport at the World Routes conference in Chicago. Picture shows Daragh Hanratty, Lorraine Costello, John Hurley, Cormac O’Connell, Vincent Harrison, Jon Woolf and Stephen O’Reilly accepting the World Routes Award in the 20m-50m passenger category. The conference hosted 3,000 delegates, 300 airlines, 800 airports and 200 tourism authorities. Conference delegates had a lot of jetstream to cope with: delegates were told that aviation supports 58m jobs and 50,000 routes and it is a $7 trillion dollar industry. If it was a country it would be 21st in the world by GDP. John Byerley of IATA said: “There’s a very strong anti-aviation sentiment in the European population.” Thomas Windmuller  of IATA asked: “Do governments view aviation as a cash cow to be milked or a goose that lays golden eggs needing nurturing?” He said the MH370 and MH17 tragedies were both unprecedented stories and they both caused a media frenzy because of this. He said the critical issues facing aviation were: 1 Infrastructure challenges, 2 Airline profitability, 3 Safety/security, 4 Taxation, and 5 Oil price stability.

tim clarkeDespite the conference conviviality, there was no escaping the war in the air that has been developing between US/Europe and Middle Eastern carriers. Etihad’s Kevin Knight criticised resurgence of protectionist sentiment among US & European airlines. Tim Clarke of Emirates (pictured) added: “Don’t worry about us. Get on with the job. Focus on what you’re doing.” United’s Jim Compton said Middle East carriers “benefit from positive rather than detrimental national aviation policies”. On the fuel question Kevin Knight said “We pay for fuel at market rates just like everyone else.”

david-chapmanThe World Youth and Student conference in Dublin brought together 650 delegates from 120 countries.  CEO David Chapman (pictured) told the travel media (listen here) that youth travellers spend longer in a destination and spend more in a destination than business travellers. Filip Filipov of Skyscanner talked about the future of travel, with driverless cars transporting passengers to the airport to be checked in by a hologram. Dubbed the greatest living adventurer, Ranulph Fiennes spoke about his greatest achievements, including becoming the first person to visit both the North and South Poles by surface means and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

DSCF2116The Global Youth Travel Awards took place in Mansion House on Friday. Over 500 industry professionals attended. The winners: Outstanding Volunteer Award – African Impact; Green Accommodation Initiative – Twentytú; Social Responsibility – Goabroad Typhoon Haiyan; App Yap – Touchnote; Best Airline for Youth – Emirates (British Airways in second place, Quantas in third); Best Youth Destination – USA (Australia in second place, Italy in third); Best Youth Accommodation – Hoax Liverpool; Best Travel Provider – STA Travel (Smaller Earth in second place, Shamrock Adventures in third); Best Work Experience Video – Diego Fuenzlina; Best B2B Technology – Illusions Online; Innovation in Marketing – YHA England and Wales; Extraordinary Experience – Project Abroad and Cillian McGorman. After the ceremony there was a spectacular Irish dancing performance on the table tops (pictured) – unsuspecting attendees had to clutch for their iPhones before they were trampled on.

Air France’s Bruno Delile said he wants shorter turnaround times and has asked Airbus to look at aircraft disembarkation by row. Wizz Air’s Michael Powell said he wants a new narrow body and, more importantly, a new manufacturer to break the Boeing/Airbus duopoly. LOT Polish CEO Sebastian Mikosz said “I can make you a list for a half hour of contradictions in regulations.”John Kasarda said it will be a political not an economic decision on Heathrow vs Gatwick for the second runway. Etihad’s Kevin Knight said “Alitalia, despite all of the challenges, still has a very strong brand in Italy & Europe. He said India was “one of the biggest if not the biggest” market and one of the most difficult places for business.

tony-collins-simon-dalyTony Collins of Topflight (pictured with Simon Daly)  reported an increase of 28pc on forward bookings across the group (listen here) when he launched the 2014-15 ski brochure at the Topflight top floor offices in Jervis House and introduced new staff members Simon Daly, John Condon (who designed the brochure) and new group marketing director Sean Nolan. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

J1 event colleen dubeAs the J1 visa comes under threat from America’s Republican Party, the American embassy in Dublin organised a J1 connect event at the RDS. Picture shows Colleen Dube, director of the Fulbright Programme in Dublin and first generation Clare woman, one of the key speakers at an event organised by the USA embassy to highlight the social and economic impact of the 53 year history of the J1 Visa at the RDS, Sept 25 2014. Colleen spoke about the opportunities for post graduate studies for Irish students in American colleges. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

maryboroughMaryborough Hotel in Douglas, Co Cork won the AA Hotel of the Year for the first time.  Guest Accommodation winner was Cullinan’s, Doolin, Co Clare; the Courtesy and Care Award went to Star Park House Hotel, Eyre Square, Galway; and the Bean An Tí award to Kathy Mullen, Ardmore House B&B, Clifden. For the past 15 years a new hotel has won this award each year, the most coveted and well-distributed in the industry. Cork has won Hotel of the Year twice as have Clare, Dublin and Mayo while Kerry has three titles and Donegal, Kildare and Wexford have one each.

amadeus 3Amadeus hosted 14 teams of golfers for their annual golf outing for the trade at Con Horgan’s Castlerosse Hotel in Killarney. Two newcomers to the podium won the overall prizes, Miriam Skelly of Navan Travel and Paul Dawson of Dawson Travel in Cork. Picture shows Trish O’Leary, Volker Lorenz and Olwen McKinney of Amadeus. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

michael-a330Michael Kelly’s picture shows the first US Airways A330 to receive the American livery in Dublin. It operated the Philadelphia-Dublin flight (US722) on Sept 22 and is seen here departing Dublin for the return journey. It was delivered after painting from Amarillo to Philadelphia on Sept 18. First revenue service was to London Heathrow on Sept 19 followed by Venice on Sept 20.

Travel Trade

Michael O'Leary conducts a press conference Aug 21 2014As first reported by Travel ExtraAmadeus is to offer Ryanair content. Michael O’Leary, self-described as the man who said “Over my dead body will we go back on GDSs”, said this week: “I have to apologise for yet another thing I’ve gotten wrong in Ryanair over the last 10 years.” Low cost carriers selling tickets through Amadeus generate an average revenue per pax that’s typically 20pc-60pc higher than on their website. The image of Ryanair kissing and making up with travel agents can be overstated; according to some reports only 2,500 bookings have been made with GDAS’s since Ryanair first shared their inventory in March.

Travel trade Romania team#1Fifteen volunteers from the Northern Ireland Travel Trade travelled to Oradea, Romania this week to build a home for young people with the charity, Habitat for Humanity. The group raised £30,000 for the initiative, covering the cost of the trip and a donation to the charity. The volunteers built a home in five days with the help of onsite professionals. The group: Jonathan and Isobel Adair, NI Travel News; Peter McMinn, Travel Solutions; Colin Laffin, Laffin Travel; Jill Russell, Topflight; Linda Henderson, Thomas Cook; Sharon Fleming, Thompson Travel International; Charlie Brown, Travelport; Tracie Duffy, Crumlin Travel; Paul McGuinness, Arrow Travel; Aaron Fletcher, Oasis Travel; Lynsey Lamont, NI Travel News; Elizabeth McVeigh, Century Travel; Trevor Ardies, Rosetta Travel; Joanne Hawthorne, Selective Travel Management; Diane Whyte from Habitat for Humanity.

Malaysia Airlines extended its End of Summer Giveaway agents’ incentive until Sept 30. The airline will issue shopping vouchers for every booking made for travel before May 31, £20 vouchers for ever return first or business class ticket sold and a £10 voucher for every return economy class ticket sold. Agents will receive a 50pc bonus when they book economy return tickets from now until Sept 30 for travel this November. To enter, register at

CityJet at Leinster v Cardiff game copyPicture shows travel agents hosted by Cityjetat Leinster v Cardiff for the opening of the new sponsor’s bar in the RDS: Sharon O’Dinoghu and David Mooney of Club Travel HRG, Carole Smith of CityJet, Trish Luff of CWT and Jim Tobin of FCM. CityJet are sponsors of the Leinster Rugby team.

  • A new deal with Travelport will give BCD Travel agents access to Travelport Smartpoint.
  • Picture by AJ Guel via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

    Picture by AJ Guel via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

    Innstant Travel added major USA sports events including NFL, NBA, NHL and Formula 1 to its selection of online tickets. Booking is a two-step process and you receive an e-ticket on completion of the confirmed booking.

  • A reminder that Emirates will host three recruitment drives around Ireland: Dublin, October 25 at Hilton Dublin Charlemont Place, Dublin 2, by invitation only; Limerick, October 30 at Limerick Strand Hotel, Ennis Rd, Limerick City, open day; and Galway, November 24, venue TBC, open day.
  • Travelport raised $480m from its IPO.
  • Tui is to shut its office at Westwood Business Park in Coventry, England by December 2015. 600 jobs are at risk.
  • This month’s free prep walk with Camino Ways starts today at 9:30am in Ticknock. Click here for more info.
  • tom_darcyTravel Extra is sorry to hear of the news of past Skål president Tom D’Arcy’s death. Our sympathy to family, friends and colleagues in the industry.


  • ITAA offers this week: 9 days on Silversea Cruises’ Silver Cloud, Funchal to Fort Lauderdale, depart Nov 22, from €2,050pp; 7 nights on Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas, Greek Isles and Turkey, departing Venice June 6 2015, from €1,599pp incl. return flights Dublin-Venice, meals, drinks and entertainment; 13 days on River Queen from Grenham Travel, Amsterdam to Basel, departing Oct 31, from €2,899pp.
  • Falcon is offering 7 nights all inclusive Dublin to Sharm El Sheikh from €594pp, depart Jan 9 2015.
  • Thomson is offering 7 nights half board Dublin to Lanzarote from €639pp, depart Dec 14.
  • Two night Shaolin Experience at Monart Destination & Spa from €299pps mid-week and €319pps weekend.
  • Stormont Hotel in Belfast is offering mini break stays throughout October and November from £65 for a single room or £85 for a double room incl. afternoon tea and breakfast.
  • Funway’s family holiday offers: 7 nights in Orlando at the Rosen Inn International from £639pp incl. return flights with United Airlines from Heathrow; 7 nights exploring Orlando by C25 Motorhome from £635pp incl. return flights with United Airlines from Heathrow and 500 miles and insurance; and 7 nights in Barbados at the Barbados Beach Club all inclusive from £1,225pp incl. return flights with Thomas Cook from Manchester.
  • Sunway’s October packages incl. flights, transfers, accommodation, 20kg baggage allowance, all taxes and resort rep services: Tunisia from €299pp, depart Oct 3, 10 and 17;  Turkey from €399pp, depart Oct 11 and 18; Morocco from €299pp, depart Oct 4 and 11; Lanzarote from €499pp, depart Oct 11 and 18; Gran Canaria from €439pp, depart Oct 11 and 18; and Fuerteventura from €439pp, depart Oct 11 and 18. Book at
  • The Dylan Hotel in Dublin is offering a seasonal harvest package for guests staying from now until Nov 30. Package includes overnight stay, Badyvine cocktails on arrival, breakfast and valet parking. Prices from €219. Contact
  • Cruisescapes launched three short December cruises on board the Fred Olsen Boudicca: 1 night taster cruise departing Dublin on Dec 16; 2 night cruise experience departing Dublin on Dec 11; 3 night short cruise departing Dublin on Dec 13. For more, call Cruisescapes on 01-2941000.
  • Falcon Holidays’ all inclusive Spashworld Resort offer: 7 nights Dublin to Kos, Atlantica Club Porto Bello, Helona Resort, from €1,901 for two adults and one child or from €2,430 for two adults and two children, depart May 23 2015.
  • Malaysia Airlines is offering flights from Heathrow to Malaysia from £489. Book before October 22 and travel on select dates in November.
  • Celtic Horizons Tours is offering a two-night luxury coach and ferry package to Motorcycle Live (Nov 28-30) in NEC Birmingham from €199pps. Call 01 629 2000 to book.
  • Discover Travel is offering 10 nights at Centara Kata Resort, Phuket from €1,014pp and 10 nights at Deevana Patong Resort, Phuket from €1,134pp.
  • Globe Hotel’s late availability offer for the Sandos San Blas Resort in San Miguel: 7 nights all inclusive deluxe twin room from €505pp, travel Nov 4.


tim-fennAccording to the latest hotel barometer from the Irish Hotels Federation, 87pc of hotels and guesthouses in Ireland have increased their business this year. 73pc of hoteliers have hired additional staff, which 83pc plan to begin refurbishment projects over next 12 months. IHF Chief Executive Tim Fenn (pictured) noted that recent tourism gains are not spread evenly across the country, particularly in rural areas. Another concern is overhanging debt in the sector, which is estimated at €5.3bn. The survey found that 43pc of hoteliers are concerned about the viability of their business over the next 12 months, down from 63pc in 2013.

  • Master Zheng pictured at MonartTwo Shaolin masters from Henan province in China, Master Zheng and Master Shixuan, returned to Enniscorthy for a three-month residence at Monart Destination Spa. The two masters will be offering intermediate Kung Fu classes and Warrior Massage treatments from now until December 14.
  • NAMA sold the Malton Hotel in Killarney to hotelier Joe Scally.
  • Demand for hotels in Jamaica on Expedia and rose by almost 20pc in the first half of 2014.
  • The Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is threatening to fine guests $50 if they store personal items in the minibar.


Mercat ToursHalloween events in ScotlandThe Scottish Paranormal Festival, Stirling, Oct 30 – Nov 2, tickets from £5; Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, Oct 24 – Nov 2; Close Fest, The Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh, Oct 31 – Nov 9; pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin soup at The Royal Yacht Britannia, Leith, Edinburgh, Oct 31; Halloween candle-making for kids, Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Argyll & Bute, Oct 19 12pm-5pm, £5 per child; Helen McDoughall Deanston Tour, Deanston Distillery, Stirling, Oct 30 – Nov 2, 11am and 3pm, book on (01786) 843010, tickets £12pp; Haunted Halloween tour, Mercat Tours, Edinburgh, Oct 30 – Nov 1 from 9.30pm; Haunted Highways Tour, Mostly Ghostly, Dumfries & Galloway, Nov 1, 7pm, tickets £19.50

  • Tourism New Zealand and STA Travel announced a new adventure product, the 5X1NZ, which allows thrill seekers to skydive, snowboard, mountain bike, bungee jump and jet boat trip in one day. Watch skydiver Chuck Berry complete all five sports: Watch here.
  • US Commerce Department and Ohio Aerospace Institute will host a webinar on aerospace markets and opportunities in Europe on Oct 30 at 10am EDT (3pm Irish time).
  • came under fire on Monday after it referred to the death of a man at Chicago O’Hare airport’s car park in an email promotion. The company suggested that the man died in the car park due to the stress of travelling. The email was headed “Can on-airport parking kill?” and said “Don’t be late and end up in a crate.” The website later apologised after taking a battering on social media.
  • The Thailand government will consider eliminating tax levied on golf courses and spas.
  • Lonely Planet listed eight things you should never pack.
  • Tahiti Tourisme and Turquoise Holidays launched a new Islands of Tahiti brochure.
  • Speaking at the ABTA convention in Slovenia, VisitEngland said it has generated £517.9m additional tourism spend and created 9,620 jobs in the sector through its ongoing three-year Growing Tourism Locally project.
  • Two tourists in Maine discovered a ball python in the boot of their rental car.
  • A huge Bible museum plans to open in Washington DC in 2016. It will feature eight floors with over 400,000 sq feet of exhibit space and will include 44,000 biblical artefacts. The project was created by Steve Green, president of craft store chain Hobby Lobby. Green presented a temporary Bible exhibition in Israel last year. Construction is hoped to be begin next month.
  • London Underground plans to introduce a 24-hour service to coincide with the Rugby World Cup in September 2015.

Food & Wine

  • Gavin McDonagh’s Brioche restaurant in Ranelagh is offering a five-course set menu on Oct 2 for €45. The menu, which includes a Wild Atlantic Way plate, features cured and smoked mackerel, oyster, herring, Liscannor crab, Shanagarry smoked salmon and samphire, Thornhill duck, John Stone beef, sheep’s milk panna cotta and raspberry sorbet. Book at or call 01-497 9163.
  • The Tea Garden at Tankardstown House near Slane is offering a full afternoon tea for €30 for two (additional €10 for sparkling wine). Open 12pm-5pm Fridays-Sundays.


Michael O'Leary conducts a press conference Aug 21 2014There was lots of praise for Michael O’Leary, proud signee of a new five year contract, at Ryanair’s AGM, which was held at its new Dublin offices in Swords on Thursday. The meeting saw the airline officially raise its full year traffic forecast from 86m to 87m customers and its full year net profit guidance towards the upper end of its (previously guided) €620m to €650m range.

Spatial Composite Solutions will design 14 cabin crew training devices for Etihad’s fleet of A380 and B787 Dreamliners and will build door and cabin trainers for the airline’s fleet of A320s, A330s and B777s. These devices will be installed at Etihad’s Innovation Training Academy in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad is offering double Guest Miles across all cabins for tickets booked before Oct 6 for travel before Dec 15. The airline is also offering double tier miles for bookings made in First and Business Class. All Etihad Guest members who fly during this campaign will be entered into a draw to win 100,000 Etihad Guest Miles.

Aireon announced that it will offer a space-based air traffic surveillance system to track flights in emergency situations as a free service to the aviation industry. The system, Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response, will allow rescue agencies worldwide to request the location and last flight track of aircraft flying in airspace without surveillance.

It was difficult, but the Air France Dublin office managed to get all their passengers to their destinations during the pilots’ strike, making creative use of the KLM connections.

  • Richard Branson said that Virgin staff will be able to take as much holiday as they want in a bid to boost morale, creativity and productivity.
  • Livery 3Etihad unveiled a new livery design which will be introduced across its fleet. The new livery was premiered as the airline’s first A380 rolled-out of the paint hangar at the Airbus Finkenwerder facility in Hamburg, Germany. Etihad took its first A380 delivery Thursday and its first 787 delivery on Saturday.
  • British Airways is to cancel services to Sri Lanka, and Maldives is becoming a winter only route.
  • The Airbus A320neo’s first flight took place in Toulouse.
  • The Irish Times claimed the government is in talks to set up direct flight between Shannon and Rhode Island.
  • Indonesia ratified open skies, Philippines is expected to follow suit soon.
  • Turkish Airline‘s CEO, Temil Kotil, told ISTAT that state run airlines can’t be successful. “State aid is like a poison… it’s better to be natural. Any airline can make a profit.”
  • Air France said the pilots’ strike generated a loss of €20m per day, EBITDA guidance will be updated.
  • Michael O’Leary described the Air France strike as a “wonderful bonus” for low-cost carriers.
  • From now until October 12, any customer who books Short Term Car Parking at Dublin Airport will receive a voucher for a free Butlers tea/coffee from their delicious range, redeemable in Butlers Chocolate Café in T1 or T2.
  • The airport food firm that served up a tasty return.
  • Virgin Atlantic is to bring Wi-Fi to transatlantic flights. Virgin Australia introduced new business class seats for Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s.
  • Aercap announced a proposed private offering of $800 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes
  • Travelport signed a new 10-year agreement with Carlson WagonlitTravel to give access to its travel content inventory.
  • United Airlines plans to cut capacity on winter schedules by 6.3pc.
  • Etihad will add services to Baku, Tbilisi and Dar es Salaam in late 2015.
  • Flybe announced it will use airRM’s Revenue Management System software.
  • Lufthansa confirmed it is still in talks with Turkish Airlines over plans to develop a low-cost long haul airline. Lufthansa said it wants to roll out the new service in autumn 2015 using three A330-300s in Munich, Dusseldorf or Cologne.
  • American Airlines plans to operate nonstop flights from Dallas to Beijing starting next summer.
  • Pegasus Airlines announced a GDS and Sponsored Flights agreement with Travelport.
  • Irish Independent reported that Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad is considering further opportunities in Ireland, including taking advantage of US pre-clearance at Dublin Airport.
  • EasyJet will hold a second Fearless Flyer course in Belfast on October 11-12. Aviophobia sufferers will be mentored by motivational speaker Lawrence Leyton and a senior easyJet pilot over the two days. Places are still available for £189pp.
  • Finnair and Finnish railway operator VR are offering combined air and rail tickets between Saint Petersburg and international destinations via Helsinki. Combined tickets will be available from Finnair from Oct 1.
  • US Airways and its affiliate Piedmont Airlines are being sued by an American couple for allowing their 14-year-old daughter fly with a man who has since been charged with kidnapping.
  • CityJet introduced the Sonic Phase 5 Self Bag Tag system at London City Airport, reducing check-in time to an estimated 50 seconds.
  • Finnair operated its A330 flight from Helsinki to New York on Sept 23 using biofuel that is partly manufactured from recycled cooking oil. The flight coincided with the UN Climate Summit which took place in NY on the same day.
  • Air Food One in Cologne and Dusseldorf is offering takeaway meals based on Lufthansa’s in-flight menu.


cruisescapesCruisescapes launched three short cruises on board the Fred Olsen 4 star Boudicca, a one night “Taster” cruise departing Dublin on 16 December, a two Night “Cruise Experience” departing Dublin on December 11 and a three night “Short Cruise” departing Dublin on December 13.

seamus colemanSeamus Coleman’s Birmingham based are to extend their operation to his native Ireland. Seamus (pictured) was involved with Sunworld (1991-93), Airtour, where he b became MD of Airtours Holidays (1993-2001) and TV Travel Shop (2003-4). He has been the MD of since 2004.


TOURISM MINISTER PASCHAL DONOHOE TRAVELS TO BOSTON TO PROMOTE IRTourism Ireland and a delegation of 14 tourism companies hosted two Jump into Ireland trade and media events in Chicago and BostonPaschal Donohue joined the group in Boston. Tourism Ireland is also sponsoring the travel showcase at this weekend’s iFest in Boston, a new Irish festival and showcase of contemporary Irish culture, entertainment and innovation. It will feature performances of Riverdance performers and music by the likes of Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains. Picture shows Paschal Donohoe and Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons with the delegation at the Jump into Ireland event in Boston.

Fáilte Ireland and Google have partnered together to present a series of online events presented from Google Dublin that demonstrate how Irish tourism businesses can grow business using their online presence. These ‘Hangout’ broadcasts will be uploaded to FailteIrelandTV YouTube channel and are free of charge. The Hangouts will take place at 10am every Monday until October 20.

Tourism Ireland’s #LoveDublin and #PictureBelfast social media competitions are hoped to target potential visitors from England this autumn.

IRELAND WELCOMES INFLUENTIAL FRENCH GROUPTourism Ireland and Irish Horizons hosted French business tourism agency Boulevard de la Stim and some of its business clients on a fact-finding mission to Ireland this week. The group’s visit included a golf lesson at the K Club, a tour of Glendalough, visits to the Guiness Storehouse and Trinity College and an evening at Shelbourne Park. Boulevard de la Stim has brought 600 corporate clients to Ireland so far this year, with a further 450 due to arrive before the end of the year. Picture shows the group at the K Club with Caroline Phelan of Tourism Ireland, the K Club’s golf tutor Michael Dixon and Christophe de Patoul of Irish Horizons.

Dublin Cityscape Luxury Sightseeing Tours was officially launched this week. The city’s first public luxury sightseeing coach tour will see eight buses serve 28 stops.Tickets are priced at €25pp for three days travel and from €50 for family tickets (two children under 16 travel free with every adult). The perks: Full climate control air-conditioning, leather seating, free Wi-Fi, onboard refreshments, and free entry to Irish Greyhound Racing events.

SHOWCASING IRELAND FOR BUSINESS TRAVELLERS IN MANCHESTERTourism Ireland was joined by 28 Irish business tourism organisations in Manchester for a Showcase Ireland business tourism promotion. The event was attended by 40 influential business tourism buyers from England and provided a B2B workshop and networking opportunities. Picture shows Kayleigh Baker, Calder Conferences; Christian Schmelter, Dromoland Castle; and Joyce McElroy, Tourism Ireland, at the event.

Imagine 1The programme for this year’s Imagine Arts Festival in Waterford City was announced on Thursday. Highlights include:  Music from Tim Eriksen, The Lost Brothers, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), The Black Dyke Band, Dylan Tighe, Mick Flannery and the John Dywer Trad Weekend; appearances by Michael Harding, John MacKenna, Michael Smith, Colm Keegan and Mark Graham; visual art by Gerald Scarfe, Paul Bolger, Kate Gauding and a Patrick Morrison Retrospective Exhibition; and the premier of Mark Power’s documentary, Ballybricken, on Oct 19. Imagine Arts Festival takes place Oct 16-26.

Bord Gais Energy Theatre was sold to John and Bernie Gallagher of Jurys Doyle for €28m.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said the Irish and British governments will agree formally a joint Irish-British visa scheme next week.

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