Crowds queued for the public opening of this weekend’s Holiday World at the RDS Dublin, but the Friday trade morning seemed quieter than usual and the €7.00 car parking charge was an eye opener, reports Neil Steedman.
WestJet and Destination St John’s
Eileen Penrose, APG Ireland, was promoting this year’s earlier start-up date of 30th April for WestJet’s daily service to St John’s, Newfoundland, and onward connections to 35 Canadian destinations, including stop-overs in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver.
Leeds-based Lyndsey Thomas, Director of Travel Trade – UK & Ireland, was keen to tell agents ‘How To Sell Destination St John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador’. Lyndsey will be visiting Ireland regularly to conduct training sessions and meet product managers and can be contacted at 0044 756 848 8474 or [email protected].
Staying with Canada, Bláithín O’Donnell and Bernadette Goldsmith were encouraging everyone to explore the country’s spectacular scenery with Air Canada’s three-class A330-300 Dublin-Toronto service.
They are also looking forward to the launch this summer of the new Dublin-Montreal and Shannon-Toronto services using the latest B737 Max 8 aircraft with a two-class configuration of Premium Economy and Economy Class.
Judas Priest, Earth Wind & Fire and Lady Gaga are just three of the vast array of entertainment on offer this year in Las Vegas, represented here by Tryphavana Cross.
Judas Priest will be one of many acts performing at Live Nation’s second Las Rageous Music Festival on 20th-21st April at the Las Vegas Events Center; Earth, Wind & Fire have announced their debut residency in Las Vegas on 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 11th and 12th May at the Venetian Theatre; and Lady Gaga has announced a two-year special engagement at the Park Theater commencing in December.
Emma Arnott and Kannika Mac, Tourism Authority of Thailand, reported an increased inbound demand for bespoke experienced-based tours driven by Thai cuisine, tuk-tuks, ethical tourism and FIT deluxe itineraries, with increased emphasis on destinations in central and northern Thailand, such as Chiang Mai, where self-drive tuk-tuk tours are now available.
Onur Gul, Turkish Airlines, was, as ever, in great form – and why wouldn’t he be, having received a Best Business Class Airline to Europe award the evening before? It can be hard to keep up with all the new destinations that Turkish Airlines keeps adding, but it’s now over 300 in 120 countries, and Onur is looking forward to the airline’s hub moving to Istanbul’s Third Airport later this year.
Much closer to home, Dermot Merrigan, David O’Connor and Marie McCarthy, Irish Ferries, were counting down the days to the inaugural sailing in July on the Dublin-Cherbourg route of the new €150 million W.B. Yeats, which will be the largest and most luxurious cruise ferry ever to sail on the Irish Sea. From mid-September, the W.B. Yeats will transfer to the Dublin-Holyhead route.
Amanda Middler and Connie Georgiou, Silversea, were promoting their new culinary and wine ‘Enriched Voyages’ for 2018 and 2019, as well as the new expedition itineraries offered onboard the recently completely refurbished Silver Cloud. On 11th January the all-suite Silver Whisper sailed from Los Angeles on a 121-day voyage around the world. Encompassing Pacific island paradises, ancient and modern wonders of Asia and the marvels of Arabia, the epic voyage will conclude in May in the eternal city of Rome.
Last, but certainly by no means least, the Spanish Tourist Office team were busy promoting the message that ‘Spain is Part of You’ on Holiday World’s largest stand. In 2017 the Spanish Tourist Office reached the milestone of two million Irish visitors to Spain – so what’s the next one, 2.5 million?