Travel News Headlines December 20 2015

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The first packages for Euro 2016 were released by David Slattery’s Euro 2016: €1989pps for three matches. The FAI will receive an allocation of 13,000 for Ireland’s first game against Sweden at the Stade de France, just 6,000 at the Stade de Bordeaux and 7,000 for the final fixture against Italy in Lille. Abbey Travel and Thomson Sport will have official ticket allocations from the FAi of ireland and Irish FA but other tour operators are planning excursions, including day trips, with most interest in Ireland’s opening match against Sweden.

Chalet company Skibeat hosted Travel Extra at La DailleLa Daille. Acquired by Topflight two years ago, Skibeat has a sizeable and loyal English clientele and employs two hosts per chalet – unlike competitor companies – an array of excellent cuisine, and the animated conversation each evening after dinner that characterises the chalet experience. Skibeat follows the Topflight training programme for its resort reps, and sees a higher satisfaction level as a result.

esfVal D’Isere has just seen the first stage of a game-changing development. Beginners can now take lessons up-mountain for the first time, atop the Solaise Express, where the famous button lift has been replaced by three magic carpets: Pim, Pam and Pum. The Solaise Express will be replaced next year in the next base of a €16m upgrade. Evolution 2000 have taken up the English speaking market with enthusiasm. ESF, which employs 368 of the 600 ski instructors in the resort, has also taken to winning back the English speaking market: They now have a programme of 68 fluent English speaking instructors and guides. “We were complacent about the English speakers, perhaps because we were so big,” Benjamin Dubois says. “Now we are determined to break down the prejudice against ESF.” See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

group val thorens meal

Definitely NOT a fam trip, a group of Irish agents skied Val Thorens this week. Picture shows the group at dinner in Tango Hotel, a property exclusive to Crystal Holidays. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

alpsSki conditions are under pressure across the Alps. A sprinkling of snow on Wednesday morning helped, but a warm westerly flow of Atlantic air that shows no sign of abating means that the excellent start to the season has been trimmed away to the sound of running water. All the skiing is on piste on softening snow and guided off-piste excursions have come to a halt, although a few fresh tracks could be found on Thursday in western Austria andeastern Switzerland at altitude. The Dolomiti Superski area in Italy is almost snowless.Scandinavia has seen some decent wintry weather. Bulgarian resorts opened yesterday. It has been an epic week for snowfall in California, Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Washington, where a metre of snow fell, but the east coast of USA and Canada are having the worst start to the season in recorded history.

Tourism Ireland End of Year Review-5Tourism Ireland held their annual review this week, marking the end of a year that saw 7.9m visitors come to Ireland, an 11pc YOY increase. Tourism Ireland reported growth in all markets and highlighted a 10pc growth in the British market. The first phase of Tourism Ireland’s marketing campaign for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was rolled out in 14 markets: Britain, USA, Canada, German, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Nordic region, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and the GCC. Activity includes: a separate page on ireland.com; social media campaigns; and a major PR push. Fáilte Ireland’s domestic ad for the Wild Atlantic Way will be shown before Star Wars screenings in Ireland (watch here). Picture shows Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe and Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons.

las vegas stripLas Vegas Strip beat the Guinness Storehouse to the title of the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards in Morocco. Etihad Airways won the airline award and Changi Singapore the airport award. There was recent controversey about the awards when ICC Berlin, which closed on March 9, 2014 and is to be converted into a centre for Syrian refugees to Germany was named “Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre?

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