Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement November 16 2014: Shannon Duty Free goes back to where it all began



Workshop session during the Travel Centres Conference in the Killashee Hotel, Naas.

Workshop session during the Travel Centres Conference in the Killashee Hotel, Naas.

The headlines this week:             

*Travel Centres revelry in Nás na Ríogh

*Shannon relaunches Duty Free in airport where it was invented

*Belfast gets a flight to Cuba

*Positivity is the key to Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2015

Travel Extra TV

video-of-week-nov-16Our video of the week will not go down well with our acrophobic readers. It shows the treacherous Kishtwar Kailash road in the Indian Himalaya. The giddy travellers remain upbeat as their vehicle inches its way on the narrow road, competing with loose rocks and a waterfall (“I can’t close the window!”). Although the video was uploaded over a year ago, it racked up over 1m views this week earning a place on The English Guardian’s weekly viral video chart. Watch here.

  • Two Norwegian fishermen fishing in Troms got very up close and personal with a group of humpback whales. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland uploaded a video showcasing the International Appalachian TrailWatch here.
  • Sinead Reilly showed Travelport’s rich content and branding promo video at Travel Centres Conference in Killashee, Naas. Watch here.
  • Etihad uploaded a preview of its Alitalia joint livery for Expo Milano 2015. Watch here.
  • Emirates uploaded its first A380 completing a 3-C Check. Watch here.
  • Video shows passengers on board a test run of Japan’s maglev train, which reaches speeds of 500km/h. Watch here.
  • The US Embassy Dublin uploaded footage of Kevin O’Malley’s visit to UL Irish World Music Academy this week. Watch here.
  • Hotel guest Vince Stravix captured footage of the housekeeper sifting through his personal belongings as she cleans his room. The cleaner is seen opening his luggage, trying to log on to his laptop and tablet and looking at a package he received. Since it was uploaded, the video has received over 9m views. Watch here.
  • Basic level Spanish lesson (level A1) at Tia Tula Language School in Salamanca.:The school teaches Spanish to advanced and expert level. Teacher is Ana Saenz, second from left. The participants from left are Johanne Van der Wees from Rotterdam, Yunxi (Isis ) Xu from Shanghai, and Xiangyi Chen from Beijing. (Travel Extra editor Eoghan “Cuatro dias, cuatro canciones” Corry was the other participant). Watch here.
  • Cinematic footage captured by a drone flying over Mexico City International AirportWatch here.


sinead-reillyTravel Centres gathered 196 registered delegates. Sinéad O’Reilly (pictured) gave a presentation about the changes to GDS over the past 12 months: the Travelport GDS channel now offers an astonishing 38 ancillary types (how many are actually booked?). The target was 100 low cost carriers in 2014 and there are now 89 low cost carriers signed up. Brian Malarkey of AO International suggested an individualised sharon-flemingquote system that would help Travel Centres member agencies. Sharon Fleming from Thompson Travel (pictured with Dominic Burke of Travel Centres) gave one of the best presentations delegates have ever heard of the challenges facing the modern agent, a warts and all briefing to her colleagues. Quote of the conference was from Federica Galeotti, of Bedsonline, talking about widgets and mobile technology: “I grew up with a  black and white televison, not because I am that old, but because the Italians like antiques.” Sunway won the sunway-travel-centresSupplier of the Year award at the Travel Centres awards ceremony. Picture shows Dominic Burke of Travel Centres, Jeanette Taylot, Deirdre Sweeny and Mary Denton of Sunway and Bernie Burke of Travel Centres. Agency awards went to 1stoptravel, Best4 travel, Douglas Travel, Liberty Travel, Newbridge Travel, O’Hanrahan Travel, Padraig Keogh travel, Platinum Travel, Roscrea travel, The Travel broker, Torc Travel and Way2go travel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

rose hynesShannon Duty Free partnered with Heinemann as it relaunched with a new brand. The airport reminded guests that there is the FIRST Duty Free in the world, established 70 years ago, with a retro air hostess, a retro tannoy announcer, retro press men and even Marilyn Monroe to greet guests at a lively re-launch on Monday night. Irish companies offered food, cheese and local products and there were a few glasses of champagne for passing passengers. Rose Hynesthe chairman of Shannon Airport (pictured), said they will be using the Duty Free to showcase and promote local and regional products.

tia tula groupThe scholastic capital of Spain, Salamanca,hosted the fifth Spanish language tourism event ECELE. Thirty-nine teachers from 17 countries attended. The event involved 24 schools of Spanish language, 12 of them from Castilla y León. Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry took the time to visit the Colegio de los Irlandeses, central to Irish educational history until the beginning of the 19th century. Picture shows students from Tia Tula Spanish language school in Salamanca on a trip to the Santa Clara convent in Salamanca: Sascha van der Mark, Johanna Van der Wees, Tessa Snels, Cecilie Bugge, Isis Kemna and Samantha Vaux with Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra in the front row.

kenny JacobsKenny Jacobs told the Festival of Marketingat London’s Tobacco Dock that Ryanair’s focus on customer experience while retaining the focus on price, choice and cost has driven growth, and was already delivering one year into a three year plan. The airline will be as big as BA globally by number of passengers each year. “I don’t want to be compared to any other airline brand – we want to be the Aldi or IKEA of the air. Pick something and do it better than everyone else.”

eoghan-the-insidersThe Insiders episode on the launch of (watch here) gained a rating of 25pc share with an audience of 343,000. Participants included Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry.

Thomas Cook Airlines will operate flights from Belfast to Las Vegas from November 13, 2015, to Fuerteventura from November 4, 2015, and to Varadero, Cuba from January 29, 2016.

25 years after the fall of the Wall: Eist anseo le Eoghan Corry ag caint ar Berlin.

The December/January issue of Travel Extra is off to the printers. This issue is packed with some fantastic features from around the globe – in fact, it’s safe to say we’ve covered just about every continent in good measure.

irish-tourism-industry-awardsPicture shows Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Eamonn McKeon, CEO of ITIC Minister of State for Tourism, Michael Ring, and Alex Connolly, Director of Communications, Fáilte Ireland, at the launch of the Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2015 in Dublin Castle. Minister Ring launched the awards. He thanked the trade for “the love of the job that they do” and for “their commitment to the country”. He also had a message for the national broadcaster: “RTÉ – it’s doom and gloom with them all the time. Well it’s not ‘doom and gloom’. There’s a lot of positivity out there, and if they went out and saw some of the positivity, and if michael-ring-industry-awardsthey came into my county or if they came into your counties and if they came into this trade itself they would see all the positivity that’s happening.” (Listen here to Michael Ring’s speech – noise courtesy of this week’s torrential rain). The inaugural awards ceremony will be presented at a gala dinner on April 24. Eleven awards are up for grabs in three categories: International Initiatives – Best International Marketing Initiative, Best International Access Initiative; Tourism Innovations – Best Leisure Tourism Innovation, Best Business Tourism Innovation, Best Environmental Tourism Innovation, Best Local Authority Tourism Innovation; Tourism Experiences – Best Festival/Event Experience, Best Adventure Experience, Best Food Experience, Best Cultural Experience, Best Urban Experience; Theme Award – Best Design in Tourism. Entry is open to tourism businesses, visitor attractions, organisations and events in the domestic market or overseas market. Entry is permitted to more than one category. You can only nominate your business online. Closing date is January 31. The award is not open to businesses in the north because they already have their industry awards and are “ahead in the industry awards”, Paul Carty said. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

Margaret, Paul, DaraghPicture shows Skal President Margaret Cronin, Paul Carty Director Guinness Storehouse & Daragh O’Neill, GM Stillorgan Park Hotel at the Skal lunch, Guinness Storehouse.

Classic Resorts launched their new 2014/15 Worldwide brochure. Fiona Dobbyn reported a big increase in Honeymoon bookings for 2015. Back to spending a little more, and to favourites like Seychelles, Thailand, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, as well as Caribbean including Dominican Republic.

Trailinders launched their new Indian Ocean Brochure.

Travel Professionals Skillnet is offering a two-part class on using Excel. The first class takes place Dec 8, 9am-5pm, at New Horizons, Dublin. The second class takes place Dec 18, 9am-5pm, in the same venue. Cost: €110. Book here. Skillnet is also offering a 12-week FETAC Level 5 course on Digital Marketing, from Dec 2-Mar 3, 6.30pm-9.30pm. Cost: €850 members, €1,050 non-members. Book here.

Lowcostbeds is to offer terrific value to the following Iberostar Hotels: Mexico 4* Iberostar Cozumel from €51pppn Al basis, Jamaica 4* Iberostar Rose Hall Beach from €76pppn AI basis, Brazil 5* Iberostar Bahia from €74pppn AI basis.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Picture shows Charlie DeLorme of Utah’s Canyon Country, Joyce Kelly of the St George & Zion Tourism Office, Fionola Cunningham of the US Embassy and Bill Scoffield of Bryce Canyon Country at Utah sales mission luncheon at 25 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin. The event showcased the state’s impressive national parks and red rock where visitors can enjoy a host of hikes, cycle trails and climbs. The shopping is good in Salt Lake City and Springdale is the nearest place to Zion National Park. Located two hours from Las Vegas, Utah, particularly St George, is popular with golfers in the winter.

Travel Professionals Skillnet is offering a two-part class on using Excel. The first class takes place Dec 8, 9am-5pm, at New Horizons, Dublin. The second class takes place Dec 18, 9am-5pm, in the same venue. Cost: €110. Book here. Skillnet is also offering a 12-week FETAC Level 5 course on Digital Marketing, from Dec 2-Mar 3, 6.30pm-9.30pm. Cost: €850 members, €1,050 non-members. Book here.

Enterprise car hire is expanding into Scandinavia with Greyfell Nordic. Irish business travellers and tourists travelling to Norway and Sweden can now avail of Enterprise’s car rental services and offers.

The winners of the Hertz Travelport €50 weekly vouchers for October were Christine O’Sullivan of CTM, Joanne Culleton of Tully’s, Sally O’Brien of Carlson Wagonlit, Catherine  Monaghan of FCM and Aoife Jordan of Travel Leaders.

Mukesh Sharma of World Travel Centre attended the APG World Connect conference in Monte Carlo as the guest of APG Global.

SITA has signed a five-year agreement with OBS to provide network services in countries and territories worldwide.

Applications opened for the B2B Travel Event will be held on March 30 and 31, 2015 in Thessaloniki, Greece.

WYSE WorkVolunteer Abroad and the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) have opened registration for WETM-IAC 2015 in Lisbon next March.

Finnish-based provider of taxi and airport booking solutions, Cabforce launched their global product through the Travelport Marketplace e-commerce platform at the 2014 PhoCusWright conference. Travelport and TravelClick expanded their partnership.

The Amadeus Group appointed Diane Bouzebiba to Director of Distribution Strategic Initiative.

A poll of Association of National Tourism Offices & Representatives and Skal members showed a strong preference for the WTM in London to be reduced to a three-day event. Visitor numbers increased b 4pc this year.

The Tourism Concern Annual Meeting was postponed until February 7, 2015.

The 2014 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Survey reports that 81pc of passengers carry a smartphone with them with they travel.

Explore reported over a 150pc increase in overall Egypt bookings, year on year. Explore launched their new Cycling Self-Guided collection.

fiona-bolgerSunway PR Fiona Bolger (pictured) closed her consultancy business this week to become CEO of Spinal Injuries Ireland. Fiona spent 17 years working as PR Consultant to Sunway Holidays and other clients in the tourism and sports industries. Fiona released a statement this week: “Since 1998 when I did my first press trip to Sicily I have met many great friends in travel media and I have valued your support and friendship during this time…Tanya, Philip, Jim and all the team in Sunway have been fantastic colleagues. We have been through new destinations, product launches, ash clouds, strikes and recession together… although I am gone I will still be a huge supporter of Sunway in the background. PR will now be handled in house at Sunway and an announcement will be made shortly about this position.”

Deal Watch


  • Loyaltybuild’s “Building Relationships, Growing Business” Conference at the Powerscourt Resort and SpaMore than 200 hoteliers attended the Building Relationships, Growing Business future of tourism conference organised by Loyaltybuild at Powerscourt Resort & Spa. Picture shows Anne Pilkington, Senior Product Director of Loyaltybuild, Richard Hadfield, Managing Director, Loyaltybuild and William Sparkes, Loyalty Programmes manager with Axa Insurance Ireland being served afternoon tea by event MC Anton Savage at the conference.
  • Chinese hospitality group Jin Jiang is to buy Louvre Hotels Group from Starwood Capital in a deal worth at least $1.5bn. The purchase will be finalised in Q1 2015.
  • Hotel prices in Dublin are up 13pc, Belfast 12pc and Donegal up 35pc year n year according to the Trivago Hotel Price index for November. Rosslare is Ireland’s cheapest hotel location with an average price of €67. There is a difference of €18 a night between Kilkenny (€95) and Waterford (€77).
  • Camden Court Hotel was awarded four star status.
  • The Slieve Russel Hotel in Cavan cut its losses from €9.2m to €544,000 last year.
  • Business Hotel bed provider HRS revealed its most popular hotels in ten key business locations around Europe, as rated by its corporate travellers: H10 Art Gallery Barcelona, Regent Berlin, International design Hotel Lisbon, South Palace London, Sheraton Sheremeteyevo Hotel Moscow, Citadines Suites Louvre in Paris, Grand Hotel de Gianicoli Rome, Nordic Light Stockholm, Guesthouse Vienna and Sheraton Zurich.
  • The Lanesborough hotel in London will reopen in spring under Oetker Collection The hotel has been closed since 2013 for a renovation.
  • Stayful launched TweetStay a Twitter-based hotel booking services. Customers make a request by tweeting using the hashtag #tweestay and say where they want to stay and when. TweetStay matches guests with hotels via the microblogging site, provided they are staying within 30 days.


Picture by Julian Walker via Flickr

Picture by Julian Walker via Flickr

Eurostar unveiled the first of its seven new 320km/h e320 train built by Siemens. The train is capable of carrying 900 passengers across the English Channel. It will go into service at the end of 2015.

Once again, our acrophobic readers will not be amused:  A new glass-bottom walkway at Tower Bridge, London, gives visitors a panoramic view of the city on the West Walkway, 42 meters above the Thames. A second glass floor is to open on the East Walkway on December 1.

Wi-Fi goes sky high: Singapore Airlines passenger Jeremy Gutsche was shocked to receive a bill of $1,171.46 (€935 approx) for using its in-flight Wi-Fi.

What Tourism Queensland calls “Australia’s greatest sex show” is likely to happen this week, when the coral spawns in a mass party on the reef, with many colonies and species of coral polyps simultaneously releasing egg and sperm bundles for external fertilisation.

Rio de Janeiro opened its first nudist beach at Abrico following a campaign by activists.

Under a new agreement, Tourism Australia and Etihad Airways are to quadruple their spendin the 2014/15 season.

Visitscotland launched their Year of Food and Drink 2015 campaign, VisitScotland Exp 2015, to be held at the AECC, Aberdeen on April 22 and 23.

A new book, Thailand: Deadly Destination, claims that Thailand is one of the most dangerous tourist destinations in the world. Author John Stapleton writes: “Thailand has a dying king and serious succession problems, weak democratic institutions, an economy slipping into recession, faces issues of corruption across many of its key services and is host to international crime syndicates, awash with despised foreigners and drifting perilously towards civil war.”

Business Report magazine estimated there are 60m recreational golfers worldwide.

Twenty-four space tourists have asked Virgin Galactic for a refund since the October 31 crash.

A record number of Irish travel writers were short listed for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation awards. The winners were…Best travel trade feature: Jo Cooke, Twins with a Twist, Travel Weekly Best piece of photojournalism: Kate Martin, The Look for Old Jamaica, BA Highlife. Best blog feature: Zoë Dawes, Discover the Natural Treasures of St Kitts Rainforest, The Quirky Traveller. Best Broadcast, TV or Radio feature: Greg McKenzie, The Rise in Reggae Tour Tourism in Jamaica, broadcast on BBC Travel Show. Best regional newspaper feature: Lisa Haynes, Getting Away, Whispering Antigua’s Secrets, The Leader (Chester). Best national newspaper feature: Ian Thomson, Haiti Returns to the Tourist Map, The Daily Telegraph. Best online feature: Cathy Winston, Saint Lucia: The Sweet Life, The Independent Online. Best consumer feature: Peter Ellegard, Animal Magic, Great Golf Magazine.

After all the hype, the domain failed to get the holding price when it went up for auction at WTM in London. Breathe Luxury, the company that planned to auction off the domain, hoped to get up to £20m for the name – instead, the highest bid was £4.7m, below the £5m starting price.

Morocco confirmed it will not host the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 soccer tournament due to the Ebola virus. Equatorial Guinea will host the event instead.

SeaWorld is still feeling the impact of the infamous Blackfish documentary: attendance fell by 500,000 in Q3 and income fell 28pc.

series of virtual tours will showcase Upstate New York. Ninety-three virtual tours will offer 360-degree views of State parks, campgrounds, trails, golf courses, beaches and tourist attractions. The tours include information and multiple scenes for each attraction, including Long Island, Niagara Falls and the Adirondacks.

The five-star family friendly Grand Palladium White Island Resort & Spa in Ibiza is to open in spring 2015. Guests of the White Island resort will be able to share the facilities of the nearby Grand Palladium Palace Ibiza Resort & Spa. The two hotels will create the largest resort in Ibiza.

The Institute of Travel and MeetingsASTASignature Travel Network and Ensemble Travel Group urged Marriott International hotel chain to rethink its customer offer which givers Marriott Rewards cardholders free Wi-Fi if they book direct.

The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank in April and killed over 300 people escaped the death sentence. Lee Joon-soo was given a 36-year prison sentence instead.

The Brazilian Tourism Board will turn 250 Instagram photos tagged #visitbrazil into paintings.

French authorities conducted a two-day search for a wild cat spotted roaming through towns on the east coast.

Hollywood actor Michael Douglas – who is part owner of the Ariel Sands hotel project – has been offered a role as tourism ambassador for Bermuda.

Food & Wine

  • Westport’s Knockranny House will host its annual Game Weekend on Nov 21-22. Chef Seamus Commons will be shooting, trapping and catching some of the menu. The highlight of the weekend is the seven-course game menu is La Fougère restaurant with wine pairings chose by Nick Faujours. Packages range from €69 for a game cooking demo, wine tasting and dinner to €199pp for two-nights’ accommodation and cooking and wine demos and gala dinner.
  • A Taste of Mexico takes place in Dublin on Nov 18-23. There will be a competition to find the best enchilada in Dublin, tequila and mescal tastings, cookery workshops, music and fashion events. See for more.
  • Jean-Luc Lefrançois was appointed Head Chef of two of Oetker Collection’s hotels, L’Apogée Courcheval and Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa.
  • Paul Stradner, Head Chef of Brenners Park-Restaurant, was awarded his second Michelin star.
  • Qantas claims its new menu is the “best in-flight economy dining experience offered by any international carrier” – a bold statement considering the reputation airline food has. Main courses will be double the current portion size and twice the number of options will be available, including destination-specific meals (eg. smoky barbecue option for flights to the USA).


KLM is offering visitors to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport the chance to overnight on board a converted aircraft through Airbnb. The accommodation is only available for three nights. It sleeps four guests in two bedrooms and guests have access to the cockpit. Among the amenities listed are: eight small bathrooms, a library, Wi-Fi, coffee-making facilities, a games console and a home cinema system (Snakes on a Plane among the titles available). House rules: no flying, don’t use the emergency slide and no marshmallow roasting with the jet engines. The stay cannot be bought – those interested must explain in no more than 100 words why they would like to go.

  • Travelport announced a multi-year, full content agreement with Malaysia-based carrier Malindo Air.
  • Irish-based aircraft financier Fly Leasing plans to spend around €480m in a business expansion next year. The company earned a Q3 net income of $15.4m, up 30pc.
  • Belfast International Airport is suing Aer Lingus alleged breach of contract following the airline’s move to Belfast City Airport. The £20m lawsuit will be heart next year.
  • Ryanair partnered with data and marketing specialist
  • Dublin-based lessor SMBC Aviation Capitol placed an order for 80 Boeing aircraft in a deal worth $6.8bn.
  • Aer Lingus is reducing operations between Alicante and Dublin.
  • Flybe signed a codeshare agreement with Aer Lingus.
  • Ryanair announced 44 new routes in October.
  • American Airlines dropped plans to increase seats on the largest jets flown by its regional carriers.
  • Sri Lankan Airlines flew its first fully-connected aircraft.
  • Emirates Group announced 12pc increase in H1 revenues.
  • Malindo Air signed an agreement to distribute through Travelport for the first time.
  • KLM bid a final farewell to the MD-11.
  • NYCFC 1Etihad announced a sponsorship with New York City FC. Picture shows Claudio Reyna, NYCFC Sporting Director; Tim Pernetti, NYCFC Chief Business Officer; David Villa; and James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways.
  • British Airways aims to have only four B767s in its long haul fleet by the end of 2015. All the long haul 767s will be retired by 2016.
  • Shannon’s ‘summer season’ reported a 28pc increase on last year. Stobart Air is reviewing operations at Shannon.
  • Ryanair announced a New Base (No. 71) At Bratislava.
  • It was reported in Connecticut that the Airport Authority is wooing Aer Lingus to launch flights from Bradley to Dublin.
  • Reuben May the man behind Ryanair’s digital marketing transformation wrote a guest article for Irish Tech News.
  • Shannon Airport recorded a 28pc increase in passenger numbers for October. European services were up 63pc, transatlantic up 15pc and Britain up 6pc.
  • Total flights in Irish airspace were up7pc in October, compared to last year. Average of 1,551 daily flights during the month. The busiest day was October 17 with 1,729 flights. Dublin up 8.1pc with an average of 503 daily commercial movements; Shannon up 29.8pc with average of 66; Cork down 2.9pc with an average of 54.
  • An Air Canada Express passenger received minor injuries after a propeller broke loose and cut through the cabin.
  • Singer Dolores O’Riordan was arrested on Monday after an Aer Lingus flight attendant was reportedly attacked on a flight from New York to Shannon.


  • irish-ferriesPicture shows a group of Irish travel agents before departing on an Irish Ferries fam visit to Haven’s Hafan Y Mor holiday park in North Wales.
  • Hugh Bruton of Brittany Ferries said there had been an increase in the numbers of French people coming to Ireland.  “The numbers have been rising steadily over the last three years, with the numbers of French visitors travelling to Ireland with us in 2014 up 7pc on 2013.”
  • Quark Expeditions extended their Antarctica 2015-16 early booking offers.
  • Dover Seaways cross channel was evacuated after it hit a harbour wall at Dover. Four passengers were injured.
  • Jamaica received 12,000 additional cruise passengers – a 10pc increase in traffic – from Jan-Sep 2014, in part due to ship diversions from storms in other Caribbean islands.
  • Mary Mckenna at jamie Oliver restaurant_6045 copy“You can’t think quantum without thinking leap and that’s what this ship is,” said Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean as Quantum of the Seas was welcomed to the fleet and officially named at an extravaganza at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey. Picture shows Mary McKenna at the Jamie Oliver restaurant on board Quantum.
  • The cast of The Love Boat, which was primarily filmed aboard the original Pacific Princess from 1977 to 1987, christened Regal Princess in Port Everglades.


pashal_donohueDublin is seen as “dusty and dull, with little of interest to see or do” according to a new report, Destination Dublin – A Collective Strategy for Tourism Growth to 2020, commissioned by Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Tourism. The capital is “seen as one-dimensional or offering less variety and excitement than is actually the case” and is “often seen as part of a generic, blended image of Ireland”. The report says if Dublin does not reinvent itself as a city destination it could slip behind competitors like Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Copenhagen. Read the full report here. In reaction, Minister Paschal Donohue (pictured) is to establish a new body, called the Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance, to increase tourism to the capital. An Bord Bia chairman Michael Carey will head the new body, which comes under Fáilte Ireland.

WILLKOMMEN IN IRELAND FOR GERMAN TRAVEL PROFESSIONALSA group of German travel professionals visited Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus. The group scored the highest in Tourism Ireland’s 2014 e-learning programme and were rewarded with the visit to Ireland. The group’s itinerary included the Boyrn Valley, Newgrange, the Hill of Tara and a walking tour of Dublin.

Mike Horn of the What’s Cookin’ Today radio show on CRN in the US asked Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons and Minister Paschal Donohue if there were any plans “for Ireland deciding to leave the UK”. Niall Gibbons politely responded: “That’s an interesting question. Ireland is a destination in itself. What we’re encouraging people to do is to jump into Ireland. It’s very much a standalone destination.” The interview was conducted in September, but the blooper re-emerged after IDA’s Martin Shanahan was asked a similarly ridiculous question during a CNBC interview.

IRELAND ‘MEETS’ LONDON’S WEST ENDThirty six members of the tourism trade attended Tourism Ireland’s B2B workshop in London. Forty six reps from British conference, events and meetings organisers were at the event. Picture shows David Boyce, Tourism Ireland; Toni Griggs, George P Johnson; Cathy Joyce, Citywest Hotel, Dublin; Joanne Taylor, Northern Ireland Tourist Board; and Paula Stephens, The Merchant Hotel, Belfast.

???????????????????????????????????Indian travel writer Avril-Ann Braganza (pictured) visited the north this week as a guest of Tourism Ireland and NITB. Representing Daily News and Analysis she visited the Causeway Coastal Route, Giant’s Causeway and the Crumlin Road Gaol.

  • SuperValu launched travel insurance from 15c a day.
  • Tourism Ireland invited delegates to register for the 2015 Marketing Plans Launch in December.
  • Ireland was awarded the prestigious Colombo 2000 prize (Premio Colombo 2000) for tourism in Italy.
  • The New York Times uploaded a 36 hours in Dublin video (click here) highlighting the city’
  • The 100 AOIFE delegates gathered for the All-Island gathering of festival and event organisers in the Carlton Shearwater hotel in Ballinasloe.
  • WINTERVAL Market1Winterval Festival, Waterford, opens on Friday, November 21, continuing until December 23. The city’s squares and pedestrian streets will be lined with 60 decorated log cabins where food, crafts and wooden toys will be on sale.Thirty-two events will take place over the festival.
  • Paschal Donohoe officially announced New Year’s Festival Dublin, a three-day citywide new year’s festival filled with arts, culture and live entertainment was launched recently. Read on to find out more
  • The 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards have opened their nominations for 2015 and are calling for entries. It is free to enter.
  • 120 of the world’s top international associations arrived in Dublin this week to attend the Union of International Associations Round Table Event.
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