TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement August 16 2015: Super Tuesday looms for IAG



WestJet ad August 16

The Perseids meteor shower, visible on Wednesday

The Perseids meteor shower, visible on Wednesday

The headlines this week:

  • IAG-Aer Lingus takeover complete this Tuesday
  • Irish passport holders can access India by e-visa
  • Travel Trade fun day takes place today
  • Big plans for Rose of Tralee festival
  • Pat Dawson to be honoured in Spain

Travel Extra TV

Video of the week August 16Our video of the week is Air New Zealand’s Men In Black safety video. Watch here. Last year’s Safety in Paradise (watch here) was criticised by feminists for using underwear models. It follows a tradition of innovative New Zealand safety videos, including 2013’s outdoor version featuring the Down-born TV adventurer Edward “Bear” Grylls, the Hobbit-themed safety video of 2012 and their famous naked (body-painted) “nothing to hide” safety video back in 2009.

  • See WestJet flight attendant Michael McAdam’s entertaining safety demonstrationWatch here.
  • Talk about a cliffhanger: Passersby in Istanbul save a tourist’s rental car from plunging into the Bosphorus Strait by sitting on the bonnet. Watch here.
  • See Spencer Seabrooke set the world record for the longest free solo slackline — 300 metres in the air, no harness. Watch here.
  • See Movietone’s vintage footage of Concorde training in ShannonWatch here.
  • Inside Ryanair’s graduate programmeWatch here.
  • Tourism Ireland’s promo for Bram Stoker Festival, October 23-26. Watch here.
  • Multan is Qatar Airways’ seventh destination in Pakistan. Watch here.


willie walsh_9312Tuesday will see the completion of the IAG-Aer Lingus takeover, we are still waiting for the Ryanair acceptance of the IAG bid. Willie Walsh said he intends to update investors in November on IAG’s detailed plans for Aer Lingus.

Another embassy queue we will not miss. From yesterday, India Independence day, Irish passport holders can access India by e-visa. Our thanks to India’s ambassador Mrs Radhika Lal Lokesh in getting this measure implemented. Ireland, Belgium, Britain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden are among 36 countries added to the e-Visa facility, making a total of 113 countries. Seven more airports are being added to the list of airports where tourists can land to avail of this facility.

fun dayThe Travel Trade fun day takes place today in Wanderers Rugby club 11am-4pm. Committee chair Sharon Jordan says that entrance is FREE this year, and that includes a BBQ. So far we have raised over €50,000 for some amazing charities. But we are not finished yet and at the moment the most important thing we need is that you and your family and friends to come along on the day and support this event.

Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra and 2014 Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh at the Rose Ball in Tralee, August 14 2015

DAA and Cityjet are among the sponsors of the Rose of Tralee festival this week. The festival parade was watched by 28,000 people last night, before which visiting journalists were briefed on big plans for the festival. A permanent dome could be in place as early as 2018. All 70 centres will send Roses to the 2016 event and while numbers will be whittled down to the media-friendly 32 on Sunday, all the Roses will be able to participate in the parade. Maritna McDermott of Cityjet was there to help get formalities under away, as were judging panel members Stephen McNally, president of the IHF and Paul O’Kane of the DAA. Travel Extra toddled off to the Rose of Tralee Festival this weekend to participate in a fascinating Rose ball and chick if any of the 32 contestants really have “the truth in her eyes ever dawning” or was it all an elaborate 1845 Ríocht ruse. And if she does have the truth in her eyes, how can we tell? The Rose of Travel festival is not how much it has evolved, but how it has stayed so close to its roots. The contest too has been transformed by Maria Walsh (pictured with Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry), a pioneer, the first gay Rose and a woman who mentored female empowerment for times in the course of her speech to the Rose Ball on Friday. What an act to follow. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

ryanairReturning to the departure gate to revisit last week’s story about Ryanair’s 10m passenger in a single month, Aeroflot reached 10m passengers in one month in July 1970 and put in many more 10m months before the collapse of the Soviet Union, reaching 100m passengers a year in 1976. That puts Ryanair back to number seven in joining the 10m club, but it is still a great achievement and likely that they will be turning in 13m in a month homepagewithin four years.

Irish Airbnb hosts will be hit with unexpected tax bills when the company announced that it is cooperating with the Revenue Commissioners in a clampdown on income tax payments dating back to May 2014. Revenue stated that homeowners letting out rooms on the website on a short-term basis are not eligible for the rent-a-room tax scheme.

Travel Trade

*** NO REPRODUTION FEE **** Pat Dawson, CEO, ITAA.ITAA CEO Pat Dawson will be awarded the Media of the Order or Civil Merit later this year at a ceremony hosted by the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland, José María Rodríguez-Coso. The order recognises “the civic virtue of officers in the service of the Nation, as well as extraordinary service by Spanish and foreign citizens for the benefit of Spain”.

Dubai Tourism hosted a trade lunch in Ely Wine Bar, Dublin. Ian Scott reported 28,000 Irish visitors in H1 2015, up 15pc YOY in May and up 13pc Ian Scott of Dubai Tourism Board and Enda Corneille of EmiratesYOY in June. As always, there is a host of new attractions and hotels opening in Dubai, including the Palazzo Versace hotel, which will open on October 15. Picture shows Ian Scott with Enda Corneille of Emirates. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

  • Travel Professionals Skillnet training: Free cybersecurity information day, 14 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, August 18 9am-2pm, book here.
  • Fly Away Travel in Mayo are in search of a travel consultant.
  • Ciara Mooney of Freedom Travel has opened her new booth in the Tesco shopping centre in Naas, the second largest Tesco on the island.
  • Lowcostbeds launched their #giveusatry Twitter campaign for yesterday’s Ireland v Scotland rugby friendly. One third of lowcostholidays web traffic comes through mobile — 34,000 people have downloaded their mobile booking app.
  • Patrick Kennedy new Paddy Power CEOCarTrawler appointed Patrick Kennedy (pictured), deputy governor of BoI and former Paddy Power chief, as non-executive chairman.
  • McComb’s Coach Travel appointed Duffy Rafferty Communications to hands its PR activity in the north.
  • Sabre was attacked by hackers.


Aiden Murphy smallCrowe Horwath’s latest Irish Hotel Survey showed average room occupancy in Irish hotels is up to 67.8pc from 65.9pc in 2013 (Dublin 77.2pc), pre-tax profit per room up to €9,201 from €7,347, average room up to €82.29 from €77.49 in 2013 (Dublin €97.25). Crowe Horwath’s Aiden Murphy (pictured) said: “For the first time in 2014 the profits for Dublin hotels are slightly ahead of pre-recession levels, where profits in hotels in the rest of Ireland are about 70pc of pre-recession levels.”

Trivago price indexAccording to Trivago’s August Hotel Price Index, prices in Dublin are up 28pc YOY to €168, pushing the capital into ninth place in the top ten most expensive cities in Europe. Overall prices in Ireland are up 10pc YOY to an average €127. Generally, prices remained steady compared to the July index. Dingle experiences the biggest jump, up 4.2pc MOM to €123. Kinsale, Cork and Kenmare were the only destinations that see a decrease in prices. No change MOM in Dublin and Athlone.

Trivago’s European Index shows that the average price is €137, no change MOM. Monaco is the most expensive destination with an average price of €476. Edinburgh has average price of €295, reflecting this month’s Fringe Festival, and Geneva has an average price of €290. London prices are up 7.3pc YOY to an average €241. Paris is up 1.4pc YOY to €151. Berlin up 3.9pc YOY to €94. Rome up 3.9pc YOY to €120. Madrid up 7pc YOY to €84. The lowest prices can be found in Warsaw (av. €61), Sofia (av. €62), Bucharest (av. €68) and Seville (av. €73). See the full European index.

Ashford Castle was voted best hotel at the Best of the Best Awards, Virtuoso Travel Week, Las Vegas.

Primary Times awardHotel Westport won its fifth Primary TimesStar Award for family holidays. Other winners included Kelly’s, Rosslare, Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone and Lyrath Resort, Kilkenny.

After two years on the market Castle Oliverin Ardpatrick — the hotel where Kim Kardashian and Kanye West spent part of their Irish honeymoon — was sold for €3m.

  • The Lanesborough hotel reopened after an 18-month renovation
  • InterContinental, having recently denied reports that it might buy Starwood, is being reported to be tragetting Fairmont, instead.
  • America’s RevPAR has surpassed peaks in 2000 and 2007, according to Smith Travel ResearchLife is suite, according to the Economist at least, which argues that an unanticipated shortage of rooms in America has supercharged the industry. Occupancy rates sank to a low point in 2009. They are now expected to reach a record high this year.
  • Didier le Calvez of the Bristol Hotel in Paris denounced Airbnb “as a menace that enjoys an unfair advantage.” Airbnb reportedly offers between 380 and 400 Paris properties at over €500 a night and 40 at over €1,000. Paris now has more Airbnb inventory than any other city in the world.
  • Travel agents want Marriott to dump its latest advertising campaign which encourages customers to book directly on ASTA CEO Zane Kerby said the ad campaign, which tells consumers that, “they can only find the best rates on, is not only disparaging to travel agents, but also misleading to the traveling public.
  • hilton digital keyHilton Worldwide launched the Digital Key feature on the HHonors loyalty programme app.
  • The Guest House resort hotel at Graceland, Tennessee will officially open October 27 2016.
  • Hilton Worldwide will open a Conrad hotel in San Luis Potosi in mid-2016.
  • A report by STR Inc found that the US domestic hotel market hit 5m rooms in June.
  • Motel One opened a property in Amsterdam.
  • Ibis-Style-Crewe-roomAccor opened an Ibis Styles boutique hotel in Crewe.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts will open four hotels under the Aloft brand in Dubai, slated for 2018.


yuanBig development this week on a subject that makes holiday makers unhappy in certain countries, the controlled currency: China decided to float the yuan on Tuesday. As with Brazil, controls are not entirely gone but it is a big one in international travel and a strong dollar may be giving others the courage to do so. Will Cuba be next? The 35 countries with partial or full currency controls are Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Cameroun, China, Cuba, Egypt, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, India, Iran, Sri Lanka, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan[, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Russia, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Torrox resort, Costa del Sol set up a beach patrol to fine tourists €30 if they reserve a spot on the beach with their towels. 

airport securityThe US government compiles its notorious no-fly lists based an airline passenger’s friendships, travels and financial transactions, according to documents filed in a Portland court. American Civil Liberties Union is asking US agents for reasons why tens of thousands of names have been placed on the no fly list without explanation. Last month a federal judge ruled that the US government offers no adequate method for people to challenge the decision to put them on the list, highlighting the difficulty of removing names from America’s list of suspected political and religious dissidents banned from flying.

new orleansTen years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the city’s tourism has not only rebounded – it’s practically been reinvented. New Orleans, the largest city in the state, had just 3.7 million visitors in 2006, the first full year after Katrina. Last year, there were 9.5 million visitors.

Jerusalem hosts an Open House Festival on October 22-24.

Sam SmithMadame Tussauds San Francisco unveiled a wax figure of pop star Sam Smith.

Seattle’s Space Needle launched PanoCam. Panoramic images are taken from the tower and posted to the Needle’s website and to kiosks on the Observation Deck.

Barbados won the bid to host the 2017 OK Class World yachting event. 

Another Vegas landmark is to go, the 60-year-old Riviera casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

Canadian politician Stephen Harper said a re-elected Conservative government would ban Canadian citizens from travelling to a range of undesirable countries.

Some of the large flat pieces of debris washed up on beaches in the Maldives which were believed to belong to missing flight MH370 are now revealed to have come from a capsized barge.

Visit Florida fulham fcVisit Florida signed a sponsorship deal with Fulham FC.

Hertz reported a 5pc decline in quarterly revenue, hurt by lower rental volume in the States and a strong dollar.

Universal Studios Hollywood will open a 3D horror-comedy maze, This is the End 3D, based on the 2013 film staring James Franco and Seth Rogen. The attraction will open Halloween Horror Nights, starting September 18.

BBC Symphony Orchestra will mark Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ 150th birthday with a performance at the Sibelius Festival, Finland, August 31 to September 6.

Jet2Holidays apologised after staff at a hotel in Turkey dressed as gunmen as part of a poolside stunt.

Kyoto guideKyoto launched an traveller etiquette manual for visitor’s to the city. Here’s some advice: Don’t grab maiko by their kimono sleeve when you want to take a picture. Watch out for taxi doors — the are automatic. Take your shoes off before stepping on a tatami mat. Cycling drunk could result in a ¥1m fine or five years imprisonment. Don’t park your bicycle outside a designated parking zone, otherwise you could face a ¥2,300 fine.

Food & Wine

tea coffee festivalThe 2015 Dublin Coffee & Tea Festival returns to the RDS Industries Hall, September 11-13. Last year’s inaugural event attracted 5,700 people. See

To mark their 25th anniversary, the Cavaliere family of  Ristorante Rinuccini in Kilkenny launched their own olive oil sourced from Lazio.


Passengers at Dublin Airport copyDublin airport passenger numbers for Julywere up 17pc and overll figures for the first sveen months of the year up 15pc. Trans-Atlantic is up 26pc, England up 16pc and Europe up 14pc.

Ryanair is to add daily Stansted-Sofia in May 2016 and will close its Lappeenranta-Milan route in October 2015. As a result, the airline will not operate any services to Finland during winter 2015/16. 

Dublin airport shortlistedDublin Airport was shortlisted for the World Routes Marketing Award 2015 in the 20-50m pax category.

Production of the B767 will be increased from 1.5 to 2 per month later this year.

Emirates has recruited Jennifer Aniston for an advertising campaign.

Avolon delivered a B737-800 to Lion Air.

Emirates_Boeing_777-200LR_A6-EWD_IADEmirates will launch B777—200LR flights from Dubai to Panama on February 1 2016 — flying time is a whopper 17 hours 35 minutes, making it the longest commercial flight in the world

British Airways says it is trying to ‘reunite people with their bags as soon as possible’ following baggage system failures at Heathrow on Saturday.

Michael O'Leary conducts a press conference Aug 21 2014Michael O’Leary held up the possibility of feeding someone else’s long haul network: “What we see over the next five, 10 years is that we become a feeder for other long-haul airlines.” He said slow-cost carriers could feed up to 50 percent of passengers to long-haul carriers flying from Europe within five to 10 years but connecting passengers would be a “reasonably small part” of Ryanair’s business.

EasyJet’s winter schedule sees it increasing the number of seats for sale on Gatwick, London Luton and Stansted by more than 125,000, bringing the total number of seats to over 500,000 up to the end of February, 2016. In addition, easyJet will add seat capacity to Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester, bringing the total to 160,000 seats

Singapore Airlines launched their premium economy product on the Changi-Sydney route.

Etihad loungeEtihad Airways reopened its first and business class lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport T1.

Iberia helped raise €350,000 for UNICEF through customer donations on a platform developed by Amadeus.

United Airlines’ updated mobile app includes interactive indoor maps for Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark Liberty, San Francisco and Washington Dulles airports.

airberlin airtrampAirberlin launched their #airtramp campaign, inviting adventurers to hitchhike to the skies. All that was required was free time, a backpack and a sign with their desired destination.

Uzbekistan Airways will start weighing passengers with their hand luggage at check-in. It is not clear whether they intend to charge a “fat tax” for larger passengers.


Celebrity_SI_landing_960x312Celebrity Silhouette is in Dublin this weekend, having stopped in Cork during the week. The cruise line hosted trade events on board in both cities.

Crystal Cruises president Edie Rodriguez has announced that the company’s first two river cruise ships will be 70-suite yacht-style vessels, to be launched in Europe in March 2017 and be available for booking starting on Dec 1.

The World yachtThe World owner suite cruise ship visited Dublin on Monday for her third visit in five years.

CLIA president Thomas P Ostebo stepped down after five weeks for personal reasons.

William Shatner will captain Star Trek: The Cruise on a six-day voyage fom Florida to the Bahamas in January 2017. Shatner will be joined by other Star Trek stars including Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis and Robert Picardo. Tickets range from $975 to $7,500.

Siversea grand expeditionsSilversea Cruises announced that Artis Alexendre Renoir and chefs Erik Arnecke and Fabio Pisani will host a cultural  enrichment programme on Silver Spirit’s 7-day sailing from Rome to Barcelona, departing November 2.

Silversea launched five all inclusive Grand Expeditions cruises on Silver Galapagos and Silver Explorer, ranging from 18 to 34 days. Starting from the Galapágos Islands, she will sail to a land connection and explore the coast of Central America, South America or Antartica depending on the package.

Deal Watch

Irish Ferries deal watchIrish Ferries is offering 3 nights at Cala Gran and Marton Mere or Presthaven Sands, Greenacres from €728 for six people in a two bedroom caravan including return car ferry travel for Friday arrivals up to August 21. See or call 0818 300 400.

Sunway offers: 7 nights B&B4* Sea Pearl Hotel Kusadasi from €399pp, depart Shannon August 29, 14 nights from €499pp. 7 nights self catering Los Pueblos Apartments, Lanzarote from €689pp, depart Shannon October 24. 7 nights self catering 3* Hyde Park Lane Apartments, Lanzarote from €699pp, depart Shannon October 24. 7 nights self catering 4* Sands Beach Resort, Lanzarote from €804pp, depart Shannon October 24. 7 nights B&B 4* Los Fariones Hotel, Lanzarote from €959pp, depart Shannon October 24. 7 nights B&B 5* Volcan Lanzarote Hotel from €1,039pp, depart Shannon October 24. 15 days Delhi to Kathmandu tour from €1,669pp/€1,959 solo traveller, depart November 6. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Club Med, Kamarina, Sicily from €1,098pp, depart September 16. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Sea Garden Beach Resort from €739pp, depart September 27. See

Sunway Celebrity Cruises offers: 10 nights Eastern Med Cruise on Celebrity Reflection from €1,299pp, depart Oct 2. 9 nights Italy and France Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette from €1,470pp, depart Sept 24. 14 nights Israel and Med Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette from €1,399pp, depart Oct 3. 12 nights Italy, Greece and Turkey Cruise on Celebrity Equinox from €1,620pp, depart Oct 15.

Click and Go offers: 3 nights 3* Domas Berlin Ku’Damm Hotel from €239pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in September. 2 nights 5* La Griffe Roma M Gallery Collection Hotel, Rome from €299pp incl. flights, taxes and charges, travel in August. 7 nights 3* Villa Linda Hotel, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €519pp incl. return flights, transfers, half day excursion, taxes and charges, travel in October. 4 nights 3* Double Tree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside from €769pp incl. return flights, taxes and charges, travel in November. See or call 01 539 7777.

Falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive Lanzasur Splash, Lanzarote from €1,889 for two adults and one child or from €2,589 for two adults and two children, depart May 26 2016. 7 nights all inclusive Suntopia Pegasos, Titreyengol, Antalya from €2,079 for two adults and one child or from €2,889 for two adults and two children, depart May 28 2016. 7 nights B&B Alexia, Rhodes from €589pp, depart August 26. 7 nights half board Aeleos Beach, Lambi, Kos from €639pp, depart September 5. 7 nights all inclusive Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Tenerife from €669pp, depart September 4. See or call 1850 45 35 45.

Thomson Deal WatchThomson offers: 14 nights half board Coronas Playa, Lanzarote from €759pp, depart Cork September 2. 7 nights full board 3* Thomson Spirit Black Sea Explorer cruise from €899pps incl. visits to Turkey, Greece, Ukraine and Bulgaria, depart September 7. 7 nights half board Alkion, Sidari, Corfu from €489pp, depart September 18. 7 nights all inclusive Tropicana Jasmine Club, Sharm el Sheikh from €659pp, depart January 8 2016. 7 nights self catering Colon Il, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €619pp, depart January 9 2016. See or call 1850 45 35 45.

Cassidy Travel is offering packages to Las Vegas to coincide with Conor McGregor’s fight against Jose Aldo on December 12: 3 nights Luxor Hotel and Casino from €689pps, depart December 10. 5 nights MGM Grand Hotel from €805pps, depart December 10. 7 nights Luxor Hotel & Casino from €769pps, depart December 8. Deposits from €150pps. Prices include flights ex Dublin. Fight tickets not included. See or call 0818 332 500.

Uniworld is offering a 5* all inclusive cruise on the Danube on board River Beatrice from €1,544pps incl. flights and visits to Passau, Linz, Durnstein, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, depart November 1.

Contiki Holidays is offering a 6-day tour Yucatan Highlights tour from €2,100pp incl. return flights and visits to Mexico City, Merida, Chichen Itza, Cancun and Playa del Carmen, depart September 26.

Insight Vacations is offering a 9-day tour of Spain and Portugal from €1,849pp incl. return flights, taxes and visits to Madrid, Granada, Seville, Lisbon and Salamanca, depart August 29.

Tour America offers, prices include return flights: 7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €629pp, depart September 16. 5 nights Circus Circus Hotel, Las Vegas from €769pp, depart October 15. 3 nights Roosevelt Hotel, New York from €899pp, depart October 22. 7-night cruise on board Norwegian Jade incl. visits to Greek Isles, Turkey and Croatia from €1,139pp, depart October 10. 10-night all inclusive Mediterranean cruise on board MSC Orchestra from €849pp incl. 1 night in Barcelona, depart November 12. See

Riviera Travel escorted tours, prices include flights ex Dublin, taxes and 20kg checked bag pp: 3 nights B&B Paris from €479pp, depart September 18. 3 nights B&B Bruges from €489pp, depart September 13. 4 nights B&B Berlin, Dresden, Meissen and Colditz from €679pp, depart October 2. 7 nights half board Lake Garda, Venice and Verona from €899pp, depart September 28/ €799, depart October 12. 6 nights B&B Madrid, Salamanca and Toledo from €919pp, depart September 3. 4 nights B&B Iceland from €1,039pp, depart September 20. 7 nights half board Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn from €,139pp, depart October 13. See

ITAA offers of the week: 7 nights B&B 5* Banyan Tree Resort, Phuket from €1,899pp incl. return flights ex Dublin or Cork and private transfers, travel April to June 2016. 3 nights B&B 3* Reykjavik Lights Hotel, Iceland from €578pps incl. return flights and return airport transfers, depart October 8. 5 nights half board Le Royal Meridien, Dubai from €1,419pp incl. return flights, private transfers and airport taxes, travel in September.

Lowcostbeds offers, 7 nights bases on 2 sharing: 3* Vilanova Resort, Albuferia from €18pppn self catering, stay in September. 5* Aqua Hotels Riverside, Portimao from €32pppn B&B, stay in September. 3* Monica Isabel Beach Club, Albuferia from €43pppn all inclusive, stay in September. 4* Baia Cristal Beach & Spa resort, Carvoerio from €49pppn all inclusive, stay in October. See

Lowcostholidays offers: 7 nights self catering 3* Rio Apartments, Algarve from €259pp, depart October 12. 7 nights self catering 3* Blue Sea Costa Teguise Gardens, Lanzarote from €379pp, depart October 12. 7 nights B&B 3* Royale Hummingbird Cliff Resort, Jamaica from €886pp, depart October 10. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Tropical Princess, Dominican Republic from €1,200pp, depart October 10. 5 nights B&B 5* Hilton Capitol Grand Hotel, Abu Dhabi from €699pp, depart October 10. 5 nights 3* Seton Hotel, New York from €998pp, depart October 10. Prices include flights ex Dublin and taxes. More offers here. See or call 01 485 3835.

Tourism NI deal watchTourism NI offers of the week: 1 night B&B Ten Square Hotel, Belfast from £125 per room incl. rose petals on bed, rose petal and bubble bath, house wine, strawberries and chocolate truffles and breakfast in bed, available until Dec 31, call 028 9024 1001. 1 night B&B Glenavon House Hotel, Cooktown from £77.50pps incl. dinner, access to leisure facilities and one round of golf, available until Sept 31, call 028 8676 4949. 1 night B&B Hunter’s Lodge Killinchy, Newtownards from £90pps incl. 2-hour spa treatment, access to spa facilities and complimentary refreshments, available until Dec 31, call 028 9754 2703.


Fota Wildlife Park opened a €4.3m Asian Sanctuary. The new facility will see the park expand its breeding programme for endangered species including Sumatran tigers and Indian rhinos — good news for the park’s newest resident, Jamil (pictured)

cliffs OF MOHER from belowVisitors to the Cliffs of Moher were up 15pc so far this year. 

Once again, Kerry topped’s domestic holiday survey. The top ten: 1 Kerry, 2 Galway, 3 Cork, 4 Wexford, 5 Clare, 6 Donegal, 7 Mayo, 8 Dublin, 9 Wicklow, 10 Kilkenny/Waterford.

EUROPEAN JOURNALISTS ‘PULL IN’ AT THE 2015 ULSTER GRAND PRIXA group of writers from motorsports magazines in France, Germany and Italy visited the Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week as guests of Tourism Ireland. The group visited the races at Dundrod, took a black taxi tour of Belfast, visited the Titanic Belfast and SS nomadic and visited Phillip McCallen’s business in Lisburn. Picture shows Marco Marini of Motociclismo,Thilo Kozik of Motorrad, and Bertrand Gold of Moto Revue with Aubrey Irwin of Tourism Ireland and Phillip McCallen.

Dublin TrazeeDublin was named favourite worldwide city at the awards in Orlando.

Forty buildings will participate in Cork Heritage Open Day this Saturday, August 22, including  Fitzgerald House, Cork Chamber, The Elysian and Carpenter’s Hall. See

Gobbins Cliff PathThe Gobbins coastal walk in Islandmagee will reopen on Wednesday, August 19. See the promo video.

A group of journalists attended the Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI. The group played 18 holes on the Faldo Course at Lough LEADING GOLF JOURNALISTS ENJOY FERMANAGH AND MOREErne Resort, Galgorm Castle and Darren Clark’es home course, Dungannon Golf Club. Picture shows tour guide Lowell Courtney, Andrew Phelan of Lough Erne Resort, Torsten Pampof, Andy Waple,of Sheffield Star, Frits Christensen of Golfavisen, Dan Rose of Bournemouth Echo, Jim McCann of, Miguel Angel Barbero Gonzalez of Viajar ABC, and Lynn McCool of Lough Erne Resort.

Seamus Heaney‘s famous line to “walk on air against your better judgement” was inscribed as an epitaph on his gravestone in Bellaghy.

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