Travel Weekly's Ireland E-letter: August 11, 2005

OUT AT JURYS INN: Jurys Inns, the budget arm of Jurys Doyle Hotel Group, is offering nightly rates from 89 euros, or about $110, per room at its three Dublin properties throughout August. Jurys Inn bedrooms can accommodate two adults and two children sharing, or three adults. The chains city center properties are located at Christchurch, Custom House and Parnell Street. For more, see www.jurysinns.com.

BELFAST BLOWOUT: Making lemonade out of lemons after they lost their bid to be the 2008 European City of Culture (a title held this year by Cork), Belfast officials launched Celebrate Belfast, a 15-month program of cultural celebrations to run from this October through December 2006. The highlight of the $6.2 million program which will feature some 300 cultural and sporting events, activities and festivals will be the centenary of Belfast City Hall. More information can be found at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/belfast2006.

 

TRIPPING: Tourism Ireland will run its annual travel agent familiarization trip to Ireland from Oct. 10 to 14. As many as 100 retail agents will be escorted on the trip, which will be co-hosted by American Airlines and other trade partners. Invitees will be selected from among Shamrock Club members, agents recently visited as part of Tourism Irelands sales blitz, and nominees proposed by regional colleagues. The group will visit both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. The trip will highlight several categories of accommodations as well as various visitor attractions.

 

THE IRA EFFECT: The U.S. and Irish trade hailed the Irish Republican Armys surprise July 28 announcement that would disarm with many predicting positive effects on tourism. Chris Accomando, president of Sceptre Tours (www.sceptretours.com) said he sees a huge amount of interest in Northern Ireland and will add two northern itineraries to his tour roster for 2006. Jim McGuigan, CEO of Tourism Ireland (www.tourismireland.com) in New York, said the statement was formal confirmation of the fact that the norths been at peace for years. And Gerry Lennon, CEO of the Belfast Visitors and Convention Bureau (www.gotobelfast.com), said the IRA move would help boost the confidence of visitors and contribute to an increase in tourist arrivals.

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