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Buck Hill, Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota


Things to know about travel this week

  • Stephen Kavanagh says Aer Lingus plan two more trans-Atlantic routes
  • TUI appoints new Head of Ireland as Belinda Vazquez gets promoted in Britain
  • American close to filing for Aer Lingus alliance
  • Tourism sector’s 9pc VAT rate comes under fire 
  • ITAA hoping for late surge in bookings after sunshine dents sales
  • How NOT to move a bison of the road
  • Ryanair hits 13m passengers in one month

Video watch.

Holiday maker Lindsey Jones caught this video of a wannabe matador taunting a bison in Yellowstone National Park, Montana. Watch here.

Footage of Dublin and surroundings taken in full 360 degrees from the wing of a vintage Aer Lingus DC-3  has proved popular – watch here the full footage.

  • Passengers onboard Aeroméxico Flight 2431, which crashed shortly after take-off in Mexico’s northern state of Durango, tell CBS of their experience in a crash which miraculously claimed no lives.
  • And one passenger on the Aeroméxico flight even recorded the actual crash from their seat – and the video was released to news channels including NBC watch here.
  • Emirates celebrates 10 years of using Airbus A380s in its fleet watch here.
  • The UAE is home to many of the world’s key theme parks. Watch here as Etihad crew visit Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi.
  • Tourism Ireland takes us on a road trip from the south of the country to the border region along Ireland’s Ancient East watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Ryanair claimed IALPA is not in control of the negotiations and published a from Evan Cullen to DAA last June warning it about one or two day strikes during the months of July and August before the Ryanair strike ballot had taken place. Fórsa says Ryanair has changed wording on some of the nine points it claimed were agreed. Listen here to Bernard Harbor and Kenny Jaobs on Today with Miriam O’Callaghan. Listen here to Eoghan Corry RTE Drivetime warning we could sleepwalk back to the 1970s with this dispute. Feach anseo ar Eoghan Corry Nuacht RTE. Éist anseo le Eoghan Corry, eagarthóir Travel Extra ar Adhmhaidin ar Raidio na Gaeltachta.

A call to examine the 9pc VAT rate for the hospitality sector coming from Department of Finance economist Mojdeh Khandanian was contradicted by the IHF who claimed she had not considered the proportion of hotel guests that came from outside Ireland. Listen here to Patricia King v Tim Fenn on Morning Ireland. Full story here.

One of the arguments for raising the VAT rate – that Dublin hotels are creaming in the profits, while the rest of the country lags behind – does notappear to hold water any longer. The latest report into the market, by accountants Crowe, shows that room rates in the capital have stabilised, despite a small number of additional bedrooms being added to the market last year. Junior Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin also warned, to coincide with the report launch, that Irish hotels must offer value for money. Aiden Murphy, Partner at Crowe, and Mairea Doyle-Balfe, Director of Hotel and Tourism Leisure at Crowe, are pictured at the survey launch. Full story here.

Our lead picture this week shows Buck Hill in North Dakote watch here video of driving Roosevelt National Park and watch herevideo of Medora region in North Dakota

Travel Trade

Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA reported a significant fall-off in Irish holidaymakers booking sunshine getaways during the summer as the good weather continues. Full story here.

Belinda Vasquez, Head of Tui Ireland

  • Simon Eaton is succeeding Belinda Vazquez, who’s been promoted to Retail Director as Head of Ireland at TUI. Full story here.
  • Thailand roadshow returns to Dublin on  February 27th, and Galway February 28th .
  • Almost three-quarters of people avoid posting stories about their upcoming holidays on social media in case they get burgled while they are away, AA Ireland said after a survey of 5,000 members of the public.
  • The Travel Corporation has been busy promoting the lively U by Uniworld river brand, with lunch launches for travel agents and media. See more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook. And find out more about the brand’s two ships – A and B – from the Travel Corporation’s Brian Hynes here. Watch video of Brian Hynes here,
  • Turkish Airlines and North Cyprus tourism promoted the island to agents in both Cork (see more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook) and Dublin (see more pictures here or connect to the album on Facebook). And watch here as Joanna Marsh of Wave Media Partners explains what North Cyprus has to offer the trade and holidaymakers from Ireland.
  • Chris Clingan was appointed as Sports Travel Manager with Travel Solutions
  • EL AL joined Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding bringing the total of signed-up airlines to 260

Strange World

  • Kenya’s Tourism and Wildlife Minister Najib Balala apologised after telling critics to “go to hell” after they blamed him for the deaths of 10 endangered black rhinos which had been transferred to a new wildlife park.
  • Paris Orly airport was closed temporarily after a punch-up between two rival French rap stars which led to a mass brawl.
  • The southern peak of Sweden‘s Kebnekaise mountain is no longer the country’s highest peak after rising temperatures melted its top 14 feet of ice.


Whither Zimbabwe tourism after the elections? Watch here interview with Karikoga Kaseke CEO of Zimbabwe Tourism as he tells Travel Extra that his country has been asleep for 18 years in tourism terms.

  • A four-year-old girl from Co Kildare drowned in a villa swimming pool near Marbella Golden Mile area.
  • Spain and Portugal reached its hottest temperatures on record, with Seròs (Segrià) in Catalonia reaching a regional record of 39.8 degrees. Abrantes, a town 150 kilometres northeast of Lisbon hit 45.2 degrees,
  • A route to the summit of Mount Rinjani on the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok was cleared when landslides that trapped 700 people caused by an earthquake that killed 12 people.
  • China is to get the world’s largest indoor Nickolodeon theme park, to be based at Chongqing’s Mall of China.
  • Staff at the Eiffel Tower threatened to strike over rule changes for visitors which are creating “monstrous” waits at the landmark.
  • 12 tourists were injured near Machu Picchu in Peru after a collision between two passenger trains run by competing local operators, Peru Rail and Inca Rail..
  • A form of ‘red tide’, caused by toxic algae covered stretches of beaches along 100 miles of Florida’s gulf coast from Sarasota to Collier, Florida.
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Food & Beverage

Nicola Crowley and Dvir Nusery (Mezze), Cian Hawes (Pure Food Company), Grainne Walsh (Metal Man Brewing), Timmy Ryan (Anchor Spirits) and Eric Theze (La Boheme Restaurant) launching the 10th Waterford Harvest Festival. The food festival takes place in the city from September 7-9. Photo: Patrick Browne.

Rachel Allen will be the star attraction for Taste of Kildare 2018 in the Walled Garden at the K Club, Straffan between 12.30pm and 6.00pm on Sunday August 19.

  • The company that runs Dublin’s Michelin-starred Chapter One restaurant saw accumulated profits rise to €490,571 last year.
  • American audiences are being told that Dublin’s food culture has caught up with its drinking reputation, CNN reports.
  • British-based pub chain Mitchells & Butlers, in which JP McManus and John Magnier own a 23pc-plus stake, said the World Cup and hot weather helped its drinks sales.
  • Keith Fagan, Country Manager of Molson Coors Ireland and new chair of the Irish Brewers Association, succeeding Maggie Timoney, CEO of Heineken Ireland who was promoted to head up Heineken in USA, said Irish beer exports were worth €273m last year.



Jim Murphy‘s PREM Group’s Premier Suites properties in Britain joined the HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts portfolio, and will be represented on the GDS under the HO chain code.

  • Hotelier Michael Holland earned €10.47m from the sale of his Irish Welcome Tours business in July 2017.
  • Irish forecourt retailer Applegreen bought a €361.8m majority holding in London based Welcome Break, which also operates 22 Days Inn and seven Ramada hotels.
  • Belfast’s historic Nambarrie Tea building was sold to a mystery hotelier for £2.55m, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
  • Some hotels in the Balearic Islands have had to cut August prices due to increased competition from Turkey and North African resorts. Spain’s hotel prices rose on average by 21.4pc over the 2013-2017 period, according to official statistics reported by Reuters.


Aer Lingus operating profit for 2018 first half was up 96pc to €104m and passenger revenue was up 8pc to €867m. Twelve-month return on invested capital was 27.8pc for Aer Lingus. Growth reflects the impact of new routes to Philadelphia and Seattle. CEO Stephen Kavanagh revealed plans to fly to two new cities as Aer Lingus aims to be a global player across the Atlantic and called (again) for Dublin Airport to match his ambition with more spending on infrastructure. . Full story here.

Dublin Airport has teamed up with The Little Museum of Dublin to create the ‘Wings of Ireland: A People’s History of Irish Aviation’ exhibition, which pays tribute to Ireland’s pioneering aviators. Jessy Faulkner and Suzanna Decan are pictured at the opening in the St Stephen’s Green museum.

  • Norwegian said that “Due to continued expansion”, it has launched a recruitment drive in Ireland for pilots who hold a Boeing 737 operational certificate. The airline is recruiting 40 pilots, both captains and First Officers, which will almost double the current number of flight crew operating from its Dublin base. For more details, check here.
  • Ryanair reported passenger numbers in July of 13.1m as growth slowed dramatically to 4pc from 11pc in July 2017. Load factor was unchanged at 97pc, rolling twelve months to the end of July was 133.5m.
  • Aer Lingus passenger traffic in July 2018 was up 9.5pc with load factor unchanged at 88.4pc.
  • American Airlines expects to obtain US regulatory approval for its Joint Venture with Aer Lingus in 2019 Q1.
  • Singapore Airlines are reported to be in discussion with Dublin Airport, possibly to replicate their A350 service to Manchester. The issue of runway length is crucial to Singapore’s decision, as it was in Joe Hogan’s time.
  • The anticipated Pobeda 4w Moscow to Dublin service is, as reported last week, a regulatory filing rather than a definite intention to operate.
  • Ryanair’s suggestion that Kieran Mulvey, the former head of the Workplace Relations Commission should act as a mediator in its dispute with the 95 pilots who are members of IALPA was accepted by IALPA. With 12 strikes looming and difficulties looming with its dealings with 15 unions in eight countries, Ryanair share price has dropped 15pc  in two weeks.
  • Ryanair began equipping all of its fleet with the Runway Awareness and Advisory electronic detection system that provides aircraft crews with information relating to the aircraft’s position relative to the airport’s runway.
  • Cork Institute of Technology launched a Bachelor of Arts in International Business with Aviation Studies aimed at those who have been trained as pilots.
  • Luxair will operate its Luxembourg-Dublin flight by B737NG instead of Bombardier Q400 for winter 2018/2019.
  • Aer Lingus is planning a new lounge for Boston
  • Knock Ireland West Airport improvements underway for the past 18 months include €4.5m in new passenger facilities, terminal upgrades and infrastructural works with a West/North West Visitors’ Centre still to come.
  • Waterford Regional Airport applied to widen the existing 1,433m long runway from 30m to 45m and add an additional 470mx 45m extension at its northern end in addition to the existing permission for a 45m wide x 350m long extension to the south bringing the proposed runway to 2,253mx45m.
  • Turkish Airlines is adding Bali to its route network. It starts 3w out of Istanbul from July 17, 2019, going daily from August 8, 2019.
  • Cork Airport is expecting 44,000 passengers this Bank Holiday Weekend (full story here), while Dublin Airport  was braced for a record 422,000 passengers – up 4pc on last year.
  • Alaska Airlines has apologised to a gay couple after one of them was asked to give up his premium economy seat and move to economy to let a straight couple sit together.
  • America’s Federal Aviation Administration is to award $770.8m in airport infrastructure grants for airports across the US.
  • Norwegian applied for approval to operate UK-Brazil.
  • Families of Jimmy Coen and Ralph Langan, founders, along with Colie Hernon of Aer Arann, are annoyed at the widespread perception that potential presidential candidate Pádraig Ó Céidigh was the brains behind the company. The controversial Ó Céidigh, who has threatened to end services to the islands this winter, bought the airline 34 years after it was established but is regularly referred to in the media as its “founder”.
  • Mark Simpson of Goodbody Stockbrokers said: “wages are only a small part of Ryanair’s cost advantage as Ryanair’s total non-fuel costs per passenger were €27 in the first quarter of which wages were €6.51 or 24pc compared to non-fuel costs per passenger of €111 at Eurowings, €93 at Lufthansa, €84 at Norwegian, €51 at easyJet and €40 at Wizz.”
  • Aer Lingus is seeking Guest Service Agents
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Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council secured planning permission to transform the former ferry passenger terminal on St Michael’s Pier into a digital technology hub.

  • A cruise ship employee with Hapag Lloyd Cruises’ MS Bremen shot a polar bear dead after it injured a guard colleague in Noway’s Arctic region.
  • Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge has successfully completed its first sea trials.
  • Carnival Cruise Line plans a $200m makeover of Carnival Triumph, which will be renamed Carnival Sunrise.
  • Princess Cruises has collaborated with sleep expert Dr Michael Breus to develop the “Princess luxury bed”, more than 45,000 of which are being rolled out to all 22,000 staterooms across its 17-strong fleet.
  • Silversea Cruises will overhaul its fleet under ‘Project Invictus’, following the line’s official entry into the Royal Caribbean Cruises family.



Picture shows Liam O’Rourke, CIÉ; Suzy Byrne, Irish Rail, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross; Elaine Howley, Dublin Bus; and Kevin Kelly, National, Transport Authority, are pictured at the announcement of the appointment of five disabled people to board of directors of different transport bodies. The five people to be appointed, with some pending Cabinet approval, are: Diarmuid Corry to the board of Bus Éireann, Liam O’Rourke to CIÉ, Kevin Kelly to the National Transport Authority, Suzy Byrne to the board of Irish Rail and Elaine Howley to the board of Dublin Bus. The candidates all came through the Public Appointments Service.

Órla Lannin manager of Cork’s English Market brought together traders past and present to celebrate its 230 years in business. “We really wanted to celebrate all the traders who have dedicated years of their lives and put in a huge amount of hard work into making the market what it is today,

Charles Stanley-Smith of An Taisce warned about the “continuous rise” in the number of people visiting Skellig Michael, the 6th century monastic island off the Co Kerry coast made famous by the latest Star Wars movies, the association’s  told The Irish Times.

The Department said that the appointments deliver on Minister Ross’s pledge to ensure that each public transport board includes at least one director with direct personal experience of disability.

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation has called for an annual allocation for Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland of €164m, up €50m on  this year, in its Budget submission.

Shannon Heritage opened a shop at the Cliffs of Moher specialising in local artisan products that are inspired by the cliffs and surrounding areas in Co Clare including handcrafted stained glass wooden plaques made by Siobhan Fawl from Spancill Hill, Co Clare. Alannah McMahon, aged just 16 years, from Liscannor Co Clare, hand paints scenes of the Cliffs of Moher. Picture shows Oliver and Sophia Gill from Derry take a look around the store as Niall O’Callaghan, Manging Director Shannon Heritage, Caroline Kelleher, Director Public Affairs Shannon Group and Senator Martin Conway look on at the official opening. Photo: Eamon Ward

Picture shows Zarife Zgheib, Hia magazine; Juman Alataki, Tourism Ireland; Sarah Rasheed, Haya magazine; and Nada Kabbani, Elle (Arabia) magazine, at Ross Castle in Killarney, three Arabic travel writers hosted by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland hosted to boost  Middle East vision numbers beyond 71,000.

A popular Qatari travel and lifestyle blogger is visiting Ireland this week – as a guest of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Qatar Airways and InterContinental Dublin. Abdulaziz Al Ajail will be sharing details of his travels here with his more than 80,000 followers on Instagram and on his YouTube channel. 

Galway Chamber is calling for the development of a high-speed rail network between the city and Dublin. In a pre-Budget subsmission, it also said that “airports outside of Dublin… have a critical role to play in supporting inbound tourism industry, a key driver of regional economies”. The Chamber is also seeking Government support for tourist- related projects including the proposed development of Medieval Galway, a covered food/craft market, and the creation of a city centre event complex.

Dublin Zoo announced the birth of a male scimitar-horned oryx, a species classified as extinct in the wild. Born on Wednesday, July 25th, the healthy new calf weighs approx. 25kg and brings the herd at Dublin Zoo to a total of seven.

  • EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is looking for stories from new communities who have made their home in Ireland. As part of a special Europe-wide project and National Heritage Week 2018, the interactive museum in Dublin’s Docklands is inviting the public to come along on the weekend of 18th and 19th August to share their stories of migration through objects.
  • Given the recent lack of rain around the country, Fáilte Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation have teamed up for an initiative to promote best practice in water conservation and the reduction of water wastage in the tourism and hospitality sector with the publication of a Water Management Good Practice Guide.
  • Hook Lighthouse will host free guided tours and events for National Heritage Week
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Deal Watch

Insight Vacations offers: Highlights of Spain escorted tour, from €2,449 per person sharing, including flights, transfers,  and 8 nights’ accommodation in central locations. Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking, depart September 27. or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: Shannon to Krakow, 3 nights in the 3* Hotel Wyspianki, private transfers, from €310pp, depart September 15 with Grogan Travel Worldchoice here. Cork to Salou, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel California Garden, 3 full day 3 park passes to PortAventura World, Ferrari Land and Caribe water park, from €2244 per family (2+1), depart August 23 with Dawson Travel

Sunway offers: Dublin to Canada for essence of Canada escorted tour, includes flight ex Dublin, taxes, 7  nights twin share in 3 & 4* Hotels and tours as per itinerary.  Subject to availability and change, from €1755pp, depart September 22. Dublin to Europe for ‘Melodies of the Danube’ river cruise, includes flight ex Dublin, return port transfers, 7 nights twin sharing Cat D outside stateroom with fixed window, full board basis with unlimited wine/beers at meals, sip and sail daily complimentary hour & daily complimentary excursions. Not included gratuities and port charges of €135pp. Subject to availability and change, from €2539pp, depart August 31. Dublin to France, 7 nights all inclusive 3* Club Med Aime La Plagne, adults from €1365pp, children from €1119pp, depart February 4.Dublin to Asia, 8-day ‘Golden Triangle Tour’, includes flight ex Dublin, 1 x 20kg baggage pp, 7 nights’ accommodation on shared basis, some meals and tours as per itinerary. Price includes reduction of €102pp, tour must be booked by 31/9/18.  Subject to availability and change, from €1189pp, depart October 12. Dublin to Kusadasi, 7 nights B&B 4* Golden Day Wings Hotel, from €599pp, depart August 11.Dublin to Salou, 7 nights half board 3* California Garden Hotel, from €599pp, depart August 11.Dublin to Florida, 5 nights pre-cruise stay in Orlando plus 4 night Cuba cruise, from €1399pp, depart May 1. Dublin to Barcelona for 7-night premium all-inclusive cruise onboard Norwegian Epic, from €1395pp, depart September 22. Dublin to Abu Dhabi for 14-night Arabian Sea and India cruise onboard Celebrity Constellation, from €1579pp, depart March 4.

Topflight offers: Dublin to Desenzano, Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B 4* Villa Rosa Hotel, from €949pps was €1162, depart September 29. Dublin to Taormina, Sicily, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Ariston, from €799pps was €1002, depart October 6. Dublin to Riva, Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Savoy Palace, from €999pps was €1163, depart September 22. Dublin to Rimini, 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Milton, from €999pps was €1238, depart August 24. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4* plus Hotel Bristol, from €1069pps was €1279, depart October 14. Dublin to Sorrento 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Conca Park, from €999pps was €1249, depart September 2. Dublin to Riva, Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Garda, from €1149pps was €1330, depart September 1. Dublin to Viareggio, Tuscany, 7 nights B&B 4* Palace Hotel, from €899pps was €1064, depart August 24. Dublin to Italy for Sicily and Rome Experience, flights, 3 nights B&B for the price of 1 at the 4* Hotel Villa Glori in Rome, internal flight from Rome to Catania, 7 nights B&B at 5* Hotel Diamond in Giardini Naxos, Sicily, rep service in Sicily, from €1289pp, depart October 3. Dublin to Italy for Italian Lakes and St Moritz escorted tour, from €999pp, was €1129, depart September 26. Dublin to Italy for Lake Garda, Venice and  Verona escorted tour, 7 nights full board at 4* Park Hotel Casimiro in San Felice del Benaco, full day boat and coach tour of Lake Garda, full day excursion to Venice including a city tour, full day excursion to Verona including a city tour, from €1106pp, depart September 29. /, call Topflight on 01 240 1700/028 9752 1168 or visit your local travel agent.

U by Uniworld offers: A Merry Little Christmas 5-night river cruise, from €1,219 per person sharing, including flights, 8 meals, 5 included excursions, local celebrity DJ party and onboard Spirit of Christmas mixology class and 4 nights in a studio stateroom on board the stylish The A. Flight cost must be paid at the time of booking, depart December or call 01 775 3803.




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