Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement May 18 2014: Kenya’s Dilemma & Riddle of the 5:3 Roster


Headlines this week

  • Tourists evacuated from Mombasa
  • Tourism Australia changes the game
  • Aer Lingus faces another strike threat
  • How to load aircraft more quickly

Travel Extra cover june 1-300

The June 2014 edition of Travel Extra will be delivered to agencies in the coming days. Next month’s issue (read online) concentrates on the burgeoning river cruise sector and investigates why it has enjoyed such phenomenal growth out of the Irish market. With more than 30 new ships launching this year, the growth is set to continue.We look at the options in the car hire market and the importance of agent training in securing increased sales in a sector where it genuinely makes sense for the consumer to book through the trade before they go. There is an extensive USA section in advance of the summer 2014 season with its record number of flights from the Irish market with special destination reviews of San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas, Oklahoma and Portland and a look at the US shopping market, Highlights include a sneak preview of Terminal 2 in Heathrow, the new Etihad onboard product, Stena’s new French sailings, and the falling cost of holiday product in more than one third of European beach resorts, while Dr Ida Milne reports on remembrance tours to the battlefields of Flanders.

Aer Lingus strike threats come quarterly nowadays. The latest was issued by IMPACT on behalf of cabin crew members seeking a 5-3 roster. Aer Lingus is planning to increase capacity on Thursday May 29th and Saturday May 31st. Aer Lingus Regional flights and flights to and from Belfast City will operate normally. Customers whose flight is not operating can move their flight to another day between May 20th and June 9th free of charge or get a refund. Hoteliers were among the ones who criticised the plans. The union argues that a 6-1 roster is possible under the working arrangements, largely designed to facilitate the San Francisco route resumed on April 2. The airline argues that 5-3 roster common with European airlines (such as Ryanair) does not work on the long-haul services and would generate 32.5 additional days off per year with a cost of €7,000 per cabin crew member. The union argues the rosters create 60 hour weeks and endless days of work with no time off. A 60 hour week would see crew run up against the 900 hour limits in a few months when the reality is very few crew members reach the limit in a full year. Listen here to Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry speaking on Raidio na Gaeltachta on the prospective Aer Lingus strike.297453_num824828

Australian Tourism Exchange will look back on 2014 as a turning point in the event’s history, the year that the sub-continent’s tourism fair returned to its roots and went to a smaller town, Cairns, for the first time. As it to reinforce the change, Tourism Queensland personnel had concept tee-shirts printed with the location and dates of previous ATE’s. It meant a cap of two delegates per boot as the 1,400 delegates were shoe-horned into a smaller space and Queensland, Tasmania and NT were accommodated in an overspill marquee. It was estimated sellers saved $1m in booth construction costs as booths became subtler. In the absence of a large food hall, food was served at 18 stations and turned out to be the best on the travel convention circuit (a contrast to IPW in particular). Fiona Lawless Eoghan Corry_0423 copyAfter-hours saw some spectacular parties, Fiona Lawless, formerly of Etihad Dublin and now based in Queensland (pictured with Travel Extra’s Eoghan Corry), was among the guests at the opening party where Craig Squire of Red Ochre organised the catering while the vessels of Cairns’ 15 different Barrier Reef cruise companies sailed by. A spectacular light tube arrangement covered the closing party offered a fusion of different foods and fine wines under the ambit of Restaurant Australia with an inspiring video (watch here).See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.296974_num824374

On the Tuesday night indigenous celebrity chef Mark Oliveserved up indigenous bush tucker, mud crab splashed on lapels, before NSW hosted a pulsing marina party washed down with Semillon. After the show delegates embarked on 40 odd published famils (as well as 14 individual itineraries) and eight media famils. On the Sunday, 50 media were hosted on seven different cruises on the inner and outer reef (see pictures here of Travel Extra’s dive, or connect with the album on Facebook). Travel Extra’s verdict? If there is ever a better ATE, we want to be there. The success of Cairns raises the possibility of ATE coming to Hobart, Darwin and even Ularu/Ayers Rock. The show rolls into Melbourne next June 21-24. In the meantime, many of the ATE buyers and media moved on yesterday to Auckland for Trenz, about which more anon. 295667_num823117 copy

New Tourism Australia CEO John O’Sullivan (pictured with Andrew Robb and ATE Jann Sturkey Queensland Minister of Tourism, he is of Scottish ancestry, the O was an addition to make the name sound more Irish) said he expected the slight (0.4pc) decline in Irish visitors last year to turn into a big increase with the introduction of double daily services to the Middle East from Dublin to both Abu Dhabi (July 15) and Dubai (Sept 1).at the Australian Tourism Exchange in Cairns May 11-15 2014

Ireland is Australia’s 19th most important inbound market. Denise Von Wald of the London office of Tourism Australia said that Irish visitors to Australia stay longer and spend more per head than any other major market. Each of the states has exciting new product to offer, with Perth in particular seeing a long-awaited boost to the hotel pipeline. See more coverage of ATE in the next print edition of Travel shot copy

Picture shows tour operators and travel writers pictured while on a post ATE-famil to South Molle Island in the Whitsundays, Queensland, Back row Graham Howe South African travel writer, David Molloy of Explore Whitsundays, Christian Boergen of Touristik Aktuell in Frankfurt, Clare McEwan of Air Safaris International in Toronto, Massimo Evangelista of Travel R-Evolution in Milan, John Godfrey of Explore Whitsundays, Melanie Edith Hario of STA Travel.Middle row: Bernd Roesner from Dusseldorf, Markus Walter from Dresden, Florence Ichkhan of Asia Voyages Seti in Paris, Christa Monshausean of Australiaplus, Betina Elisabeth Busch of TUI Deutschland, Peter Arp of Australia-Pacific in Hamburg, Tash Petrolati of Tourism Whitsundays.Front row: Maya Koblasa from Hanover, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra in Ireland, Stacey Rampersath from Durban, Annette Kegel of Tourism Queensland.

Most of the news coverage from the event was generated by the answer to a question from Travel Extra at the news conference, the surprise revelation by Federal Tourism Minister Andrew Robb that Tourism Australia would be spared swingeing cuts in Joe “Slasher” Hockey’s budget (listen here), read coverage in Australian media here or see full video coverage here. Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia announced in Cairns that they will expand their marketing partnership to target additional inbound tourism to Australia.Caribbean party 001

The most eccentric travel event of the year is also the most alluring. Travel Extra’s Anne Cadwallader found the post-Fitcuba mass famil an endurance test: 350km bus journeys, six hotels visited, noisy civic receptions, speeches, dolphin shows, and a 45km causeway across swamps, and late at every stop where Daiquiris, Mojitos, Cuba Libres and Pina Coladas are served. But she is smitten. As you tour the country you see campesinos labouring in the sugar cane fields or bringing their produce to market on horse-drawn carriages. There is even rice growing in paddy fields along the roadsides. Pigs and chickens wander through village streets. Adorable little girls grin up at you from under their mothers’ skirts. Old men on donkeys smoke cigars; young men in their green army uniforms cut a dash in the cities. There are humming birds, water buffalo, circling vultures soaring on thermals, majestic royal palms. Then there is Cuba’s unique selling point: its recent history. No doubt about it, as Belfast has demonstrated, modern travellers are drawn towards being eye-witnesses to history and the giant billboards carrying Fidel and Che’s slogans about revolution have an allure which is difficult to explain. Where else in the world will you get a five-star hotel with a revolutionary book kiosk selling Che’s “Motorcycle Diaries” and Fidel Castro military caps as you wander to breakfast in the morning? See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook. FITCuba 2015 will take place in Jardines del Rey. piedmont group shot

Travel Extra‘s Conor McMahon travelled to the Langhe-Roero region in Piedmont, northern Italy. The area is home to the famous Alba white truffle, Borolo wines and Nutella. Picture shows: Conor McMahon of Travel Extra; Valere Tjolle of Travel Mole; Jessica Baldwin of The Arbuturian, Rebecca Zanker, Raj Gill, Jo Sayer of The Sun; Stephen Thorpe, Clara Iannarelli, Robin Swados of, Nicole Gallagher of Press Association, Rosa Minano and Enrique Menossi of Muud Magazine. See more pictures here or you can connect with the album on Facebook.michaela clara gtm 2014 001 copy

Germany Travel Market in Bremen and Bremerhaven hosted 500 buyers and 130 media. GNTB’s CEO Petra Hedorfer had to cancel her presentation for health reasons and Michaela Klare from GNTB NL stood in, stressing the value on offer from German cities, with hotel prices running 7pc below the EU average below those in other western destinations and Germany’s most expensive city coming in at €125, just under half the cost of a room in Paris. Berlin was one of Europe’s cheapest capitals at €88. The GNTB theme for 2014 is the 25th anniversary of reunification followed by scenic routes of Germany (2015), heart of nature (2016) and the Martin Luther anniversary in 2017. GNTB is predicting growth of between 1pc and 3pc in 2014. Jörg Sipli, BEX-Bayern Express talked about the new trend towards long distance coach lines. Bremerhaven’s famous restored u-boat, “Wilhelm Bauer”, which never left port, was among the attractions which featured in the after hours social activities. The event moves to Erfurt and Weimar on April 26-28 next year.indaba global media face off

South Africa Tourism’s media and trade guests regrouped in Johannesburg after their post-Indaba famil trips, including the American mega-fam, traditionally the most disorderly of the lot. Indaba attracted 9,754 delegates to Durban International Convention Centre and its related social events including the traditional beach party and an open air Zulu cultural evening overlooking the Valley of a Thousand Hills. The thorny question of the vetting of game lodges was tackled at the event with the launch of a new star rating scheme. Richard Quest, moderated a question and answer session where panelists economist Mike Schussler, Thebe Ikalafeng chair of Brand Africa, Helena Egan of Tripadvisor and Thulani Nzima CEO of South Africa Tourism (pictured) responded to questions from 250 local and international journalists. Western Cape won the award for best stand. While Indaba was cheered by the 150 bloggers (“Indaba beach party is rocking”) hosted at the #MeetSouthAfrica event in Durban the big question is whether the event has been damaged by the WTM Africa event in Cape Town the previous week. Declan Mescall covered the event for Gerry Benson’s popular agent’s ebulletin Travelbiz.

Travel Trade

Tour America’s annual consumer event is scheduled for Moran’s Red Cow on Sunday October 5th. Harbourmaster group copy

Picture shows Martina Coogan, Federica Vasico, Teresa Murphy, Siobhan Scanlon, Jaqueline McMahon and Deirdre Sheridan at the Air France Delta KLM summer event for the trade in the Harbourmaster in Dublin. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.skal group


Picture shows Jimmy Dixon, Brendan Enright, Jim Deegan of Railtours, Aidan Doyle, David Franks CEO of Irish Rail) and Chris Kane at the Dublin Skal club event hosted by Charlie Sheils in the MarkerHotel. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.Marie Grenham (Grenham Travel), Gillian Murphy (Cassidy Travel Dundrum), Zina Meehan (Sunway Blackrock), Lorraine Kenny (Ask Susan) and Michele Anderson (Sunway) copy
Picture shows Marie Grenham of Grenham Travel, Gillian Murphy of Cassidy Travel Dundrum, Zina Meehan of Sunway Blackrock, Lorraine Kenny of Ask Susan and Michele Anderson of Sunway on the Sunway Club Med famil to Kamarina Sicily. See more pictures hereor connect with the album on Facebook.

table quiz trioPicture shows Greg Armstrong of Resort Marketing, Colin Pegler and Fiona Dobbyn from Classic Resorts at the Resort Marketing pub quiz in Dtwo in Dublin on behalf of Occidental Hotels & ResortsElite Island Resorts and the Sun Group. Operators from Tour America, American Holidays, Classic Resorts and Topflight participated in four rounds of questions with accommodation prizes at the end of each round.aer lingus portugal fam trip copy
Picture shows travel agents hosted by Aer Lingus on a famil to the Tivoli Marina Hotel in Vilamoura: Drew Stewart of Classic Collection, Sandy Carson of Clubworld, Amanda Johnston of Carefree Travel, Tory Thomson of Clubworld, Vicky Sinclair of McNeills, Carly Stoneman of Knock Travel, Laura Elliott of Greers Travel, Angela Taylor of Oasis Travel, Liz McVeigh of Century Travel, Heather Fielding of Gallagher Travel, Andrea Hunter of Aer Lingus, Nicola Ferris of Oasis Travel and Joao Ferreira of Classic Collection.

  • TUI reported first half results above expectations and said online bookings are increasingly driving sales as it posted better than expected first half results. It is confident on its full-year profit target. TUI is looking to increase Egypt capacity again.Rosanna Leary Travel Corportation copy
  • Rosanna Leary (pictured) has joined The Travel Corporationfrom Google as Sales and Marketing Executive based at their office in Dublin. She previously worked in sales and marketing roles in Spain and South America.
  • Thomas Cook narrowed its first-half loss as cost savings come through.


  • Dublin Corporation rejected plans for the replacement of the Ormond Hotel on the north Liffey quays in Dublin with a 170-bedroom six-storey hotel, along with a new pub saying the plan was “monolithic” and “unsympathetic” to the surrounding area.
  • surveyed the price of a club sandwich, with Geneva offering the world’s costliest club sandwiches at nearly €24 on average, for the classic two-tiered snacks
  • Soccer fans hoping to watch the Champion League final in Lisbon are being asked to fork out up to €7,500 for a hotel room.Shane Doyle - Group IT Manager copy
  • Shane Doyle (pictured), Group IT Manager of Jurys Inn said the roll out of free Wi-Fi to guests at its 31 hotels across Ireland, Britain and Prague will help business travellers.
  • Hotels in Rio are reinforcing their security arrangements after an outbreak of violence.
  • A £38-a-night hotel in Llandudnowas named second best in Britain for customer service.
  • Norah Casey and Blathnad Ni Chofaigh launched The K Club Classic Icon Competition in association with Irish Tatler and Irish Tatler Man Magazines.
  • Hilton opened its first Dubai Doubletree with 359 rooms.
  • A newspaper offered a somewhat starry-eyed look at the Tranquility Base hotel room in Ontario, Canada.
  • It was speculated that Shard Shangri-La guests can glimpse into others’ rooms as glass panels protruding from skyscraper act as mirrors at night.


  • The Department of Foreign Affairs updated its advice on travel to Kenya following bomb blasts in the capital, Nairobi, advising against all but essential travel to the Eastleigh area of Nairobi and low-income areas of Nairobi, including all township or slum areas, where crime levels are high. TUI cancelled future bookings until at least October and tourists were evacuated from beach resorts around Mombasa.
  • The September 11 Memorial Museum opened in New York.
  • Travellers were urged to avoid contact with camels in the Middle East and to contact their doctor if they exhibit symptoms. US airports posted MERS virus warnings.
  • Universal Orlando launched a video (watch here)with details of Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts area which opens this summer.
  • Club Medopened its first seaside resort in the ‘Chinese Maldives’ and said it expected China to be its second-largest market by 2015.
  • French court deferred hearing about illegal ski guiding until July to allow more time for legal preparation.
  • multi-purpose band claimed to provide air passengers with privacy and help them sleep.
  • La Plagne was listed as the most popular ski resort in an annual report on the ski industry.
  • The number of tourists visiting Egypt fell by a third last month, compared with the same period last year, as political turmoil keeps visitors away.
  • Conchita Wurst’s win in the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night gave Vienna’s gay scene a tourism boost.
  • The Washington Monument reopened allowing sightseers to return to the summit after nearly three years of challenging earthquake repairs
  • Travellers warned of a rise in violent bag snatching and muggings in Laos, a country known for its sleepy atmosphere.
  • IKEA, the Swedish furniture retailer said it is to turn its first store into a museum. It inspired one of the most hilarious travel lists of the week as the London Telegraph listed theworld’s most boring museums including the 6,700 teapots at Teapot Island, Maidstone, Kent, the 1,000 gnomes in the Gnome Reserve, Devon, Musée du Papier Peint in Rixheim, France, Chez Galip Hair Museum in Avanos, Turkey, the soap Museum in Lebanon, the Cork Museum in Palafrugell, Spain, Dutch Tile Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands, Museum Cemento Rezola, San Sebastian, Spain, Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Tenneessee, Colman’s Mustard Museum in Norwich, Optical Association Museum in London Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota, Lawnmower Museum in Merseyside, Dog Collar Museum in Leeds Castle, Kent, Pencil Museum in Keswick, Lock Museum in Willenhall, West Midlands, Quilt Museum in York, Bakelite Museum in Williton, Somerset and the jute museum in Dundee. Travel Extra could nominate at least 20 more such as the rock museum in Bloemfontein (although the barbed wire museum in Oklahoma is not without its charms). The Principality of Thomond did not make the London Telegraph list of ten interesting micro nations: Conch Republic, Freetown Christiania, Grand Duchy of Flandrensis, Kingdom of Lovely, Kingdom of Redonda, Principality of Hutt River, Principality of Outer Baldonia, Principality of Sealand, Republic of Molossia, and the Republic of Užupis.
  • A walking book won the Thwaites Wainwright writing prize.


  • Cityjet launched their Dublin-Cambridge service double daily and daily at weekends (watch here).Kevins copy 2
  • Dublin’s south inner city hurling club, St Kevin’s won the Etihad Airways Raise The Bar award, a year’s sponsorship package awarded by Etihad annually to a club who showed a crucial role both on the pitch and in their community.
  • Ryanair got a second BBB+ debt rating and launched a new partnership with Lavazza Coffee. Anna Aero’s analysis of this summer’s schedules suggested Ryanair is dropping more this summer than it is adding with the total down 84, from 1,396 last August to 1,312 this August.
  • Ryanair announced a new route from Bremen to Madrid. Davy’s Ryanair Q4 results preview said it was all about the summer and cash generation. Kenny Jacobs of Ryanair said the airline is unable to attract the tech talent it needs. Ryanair announced more flights from Budapest and fewer destinations and announced two new routes from Eindhoven.
  • Star Allianceunveiled new round-the-world business class fares.
  • Commercial air traffic at Irish airports increased by 10pc in April.
  • Unions are to ballot for industrial action at City of Derry Airport.
  • A fire alert caused flight chaos in Chicago O’Hare airport.
  • Leo Varadkar announced the first draft of the Irish Aviation Policy Paper and warned that any deal to end the pensions dispute at Aer Lingus and the DAA could be blocked by shareholders.
  • Kenny Jacobs of Ryanair claimed that Cork Airport was not attractive enough to add more routes. Ryanair’s routes fromCork this summer will be Gdańsk, Lanzarote-Arrecife, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Vilnius and Wrocław. Ryanair pledged to review the Cork-Dublin route (don’t hold your breath)
  • Satellite operator Inmarsat offered to roll out a free airline tracking service across all commercial passenger aircraft after the MH370 disappearance.
  • Shannon Airport is seeking a third-party supplier for its travel retail operation.
  • Etihad’s Air Berlin said “fundamental change” was needed.
  • Academics R John Milne and Alexander R Kelly said queues to board aircraft could be cut significantly if airline passengers were allocated seats based on how much carry-on luggage they have. Dr Milne said assigning passengers with the most bags to window seats, preferably spread out from the front to the back of the plane, and allowing them to board first.
  • Air Canada will launch a service between Toronto and Rio de Janeiro three times weekly from December.
  • British Airways share price rose after Moody’s upgraded its rating. BA is to add six weekly flights to Vienna and fly an extra weekly service to Stockholm and Athens from October 26.
  • A statistic of interest to those bemoaning the loss of the Dublin-Funchal Windavia service, LCC’s now have 25pc of traffic at Madeira. Charter is 20pc down from 27pc in 2004.
  • Emirates said it was interested in buying the Lufthansa catering business.
  • EasyJetreported a 6.3pc increase in first half revenue and said it was attracting more passengers from struggling legacy carriers. Easyjet saw a 44pc jump in business travellers and carried 12m business passengers in the year to March 31, compared to 8.4m two years ago. EasyJet Chief executive Carolyn McCall stressed the popularity of allocated seating as airline’s revenues rise and half-year losses narrow.
  • CityJet flight turned back after part of a wing fell off’.
  • Qantas pilots were offered redundancies as part of airline’s $2b cost reduction programme for the first time in 40 years.
  • Emirates is to use the A380 Dubai to Mumbai from the summer in product upgrade.
  • Better late than never, Singapore Airlines is to introduce Premium Economy from mid-2015 giving travellers a fourth cabin option.
  • Finnair’s Premium Lounge to feature a sauna when the Helsinki airport facility opens in July.
  • Belgianairlines decided to take Ryanair to court.
  • Air Canadaannounced losses of $341 million in the first quarter.
  • Carry-on bag fees was described in the Economist as the final Frontier.
  • ‘In the airline industry, if you are complacent, you’re dead’
  • Malaysian airis to focus on costs and winning customers after MH370. Capacity growth is to be adjusted, followed by restructuring.
  • The EU Commission was accused of inconsistency over new airport aid rules. Europe’s regional airports facing “tough trading conditions.”
  • Heathrow proposed a car congestion charge. Dubai Airport chief criticised Boris Johnson over opposition to the London Heathrow runway . Heathrow and Gatwick unveiled updated runway plans, Heathrow at £17bn and Gatwick at £7.8bn.
  • Stormont Minister Arlene Foster spoke to a senior executive of B/E Aerospace
  • The London Telegraph looked at jet-setting global leaders and how they travel.
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle announced plans for a long-haul hubat Barcelona and ordered another three B787-9s, bringing its fleet to five 787-8 Dreamliner jets, another three 787-8s on order and nine 787-9s on order. Norwegian faced a potential strike over plans to split up the crew union which could prompt damaging dispute ahead of US flight launch.
  • Qantas is to retime its London-Melbourne service to give an evening arrival and better connections to Europe via a Dubai stopover.
  • Qatar Airways confirmed it would move to Hamad International on May 27.
  • Ryanair are to lease three 738s from FlyDubai starting today.
  • Senator Fergal Quinn said he would like the Air Corps historic aircraft to be moved to Shannon as part of a public museum rather than being locked away from the public at Baldonnel Airport.
  • Ghana is to start a new national airline and has named 2advise as transaction advisor.
  • Shares in the Easyjet group fell after growth slowed, says Questor.
  • Virgin Galactic’s space tourists are preparing for space travel with the help of a converted Boeing and its zero gravity flights. Richard Branson discussed Virgin Galactic and plans for hotels in space.
  • Watch here the discussion on making aviation growth sustainable at Global Aerospace Summit 2014Watch here the discussion on globalisation and liberalization. Watch here the discussion on Aviation Business models.
  • The Irish Voice gave an explanation on ESTA travel approval for the US. Nick Trendexplained the 100ml airport liquids rule.
  • CityJet is to ensure full EU-ETS compliance with automated reporting software from Aviaso.
  • Singapore Airlines is to introduce premium economy
  • The London Indie speculated why you need to turn off devices before a plane takes off or lands and asked why does it cost more to book an aisle seats on a BA flight. BA signed up for a US Airways codeshare deal.
  • Turkish and JetBlue launched a codeshare from New York JFK and Boston Logan airports.
  • United is to fly San Francisco to Tokyo Haneda using a Boeing 777. United offered IFE streaming for iPhones and iPads.
  • Watch here more from ATM 2014 on the Etihad Airways A380 and Boeing 787 product launch.
  • Boeing released details of 777x wing-tip control options and said it expects the number of companies leasing aircraft to airlines to grow. It was speculated that the end is approaching for Boeing’s iconic 747 (one of Travel Extra’s favourite craft is the 747-8 as used by Lufthansa).
  • Forbes commented on how Delta Air Lines mapped a path to success and followed it.
  • Airbus reported orders for April are dominated by the AA shift and said revenue was up 5pc despite flat orders. Airbus expects to sell some of its A350 test fleet. Simon Calder pondered why the biggest plane in the world isn’t right for the busiest route. The London Telegraph asked what do the numbers mean for the company?
  • Bata lodged a complaint against Ryanair personnel.
  • The Irish Independent: after belt-tightening it’s all about spreading wings again.


Royal Caribbean Travel Department copyPicture shows Dublin based Travel Department and potential cruise customers joined Royal Caribbean International onboard Brilliance of the Seas in Cobh (Cork) yesterday for a ship tour and lunch with Jennifer Callister, Major Account Manager, Ireland, Royal Caribbean International.


Ireland in with a Sporting ChancePicture shows Keith Wood of W2 Consulting; Tara Kerry of Fáilte Ireland, Sean McDonnell of Pentathlon Ireland, Martin Dawe of UIPM International Modern Pentathlon and Lawrence Dallaglio of Dallaglio Foundationat the Gala Dinner in King Johns Castle following the European Sports Tourism Summit in Limerick.

  • Donald Trump arrived in Shannon (watch here) and laid out plans for development at Doonbeg (watch here): Doonbeg, which employs 250 people in high season is the 16th golf club in the Trump Portfolio and the first Trump Hotel Collection property in Ireland.  Donald Trump opined: “There is a tremendous amount of brain power in Ireland and we like that.” Read the interview with Donald trump in the Clare People here.
  • Tourism will be the focus of a new Belfast-Boston sister city agreement.
  • Mark Graham author ‘A Year of Festivals in Ireland will host the literary breakfast at the Immrama Festival of Travel Writingin Lismore on Sunday, June 15.

lego brick titanic copyLego artist Joe Perez recreated the Titanic Belfast building from Lego bricks.

  • Tourism Irelandreleased its May situation and outlook analysis.
  • Thousands of foreign language students will not be reimbursed with fees following the failure of two English language colleges, Eden and Irish Business School.
  • The Irish Times announced its longlist of twenty places to go wild in Ireland.
  • Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival 2014 takes place Saturday week, May 24, at the Ballycastle Seafront and Marina area, with a talent competition open to all ages with cash prizes collectively worth £600.

Video of the week

Watch here Ireland’s military special operations forces (Irish ARW) storming a passenger ferry. Check out the experiment by a French film team who tried to test out who would play Good Samaritan when a man collapsed in a city street. The results were predictablebut depressing.

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