Travel Weekly's Ireland E-letter: Nov. 4, 2004

CASH BACK BONUS: Sceptre Tours, of Lynbrook, N.Y., is offering agents $25 Sceptre vouchers on all bookings; the vouchers can be used as cash or as credit towards subsequent bookings.  The promotion is valid on all bookings for 2005 that are booked by Dec. 31, with a total minimum purchase of $750. For more, call Sceptre Tours -- which offers retailers net rates on packages -- at (800) 221-0924, or visit www.sceptretours.com or www.sceptreagent.com.

A GOOD FAM: Celebrity Tours is looking for a few good agents to enjoy a "super fam" trip to Ireland this fall, to run Dec. 2 to 9. The fam -- at $650 per person, land only -- is limited to 20 "top" retailers, including 12 golfers and eight non-golfers. The itinerary includes tours of Listowel, the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry, Kenmare, Killarney, and Dublin (Dail, Jameson's Distillery, National Museum, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse); 18 holes of golf at Ballybunion and Portmarnock; and six nights' accommodation. Also on tap: hotel and guesthouse inspections; genealogy, history and sporting seminars for niche and specialty travel sales; and Irish traditional music and dance sessions. For agent and companion confirmation, contact Celebrity Tours by phone at (914) 457-4319 or by fax at (646) 349-1651.

UP WITH ULSTER: The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) said early indications show a 5% increase in visitor numbers in the first six months of 2004. The figures show the six Northern Irish counties are keeping pace with the Republic, where arrivals jumped 5.4% in the same period. In 2003, a record 1,950,000 visitors arrived in Northern Ireland, generating almost $500 million in revenue. For more, visit www.nitb.com.

RUNWAY COSTS: Dublin Airport will seek planning permission for a major new runway before the end of the year. The proposed, 10,200-foot-long, 200-foot-wide runway -- to replace a shorter existing airstrip -- will be required by 2010 to handle passenger and traffic growth. The project will cost an estimated $166 million. For more, visit www.aerrianta.ie.

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