BEING GREEN: Boston-based operator TNT Vacations -- to
date solely a Mexico and Caribbean specialist -- begins offering
Ireland product with the debut of two land-only, eight-night
escorted tours, as well as charter airfares, to the Emerald Isle
from June 30 through Sept. 3. Both the Old Country Charmer (at
$1,249 per person), which starts in Shannon, and the Old Country
Splendor ($1,239) from Dublin, take in Galway, Killarney, Kinvara,
the Rock of Cashel and more. Rates include hotel, transportation,
admissions, and breakfast and dinner daily. Non-stop charter air to
Shannon and Dublin from Boston via Ryan International Airways also
is available from $229 one-way. Agent pay is 15% on land until June
30, negotiable afterwards, and 10% on air. Call (888) GO-TNT-GO or
MORE, FOR LESS: Low-fare Irish airline Ryanair reported
20% growth in passenger figures in March, compared to the same
month in 2004. Ryanair carried 2,565,706 people this March,
compared to 2,137,187 the year before. Load factors also rose for
the month, to 80%, up from 78% the year before, and Internet
accounted of 98% of all sales, up from 97%. Ryanair has 17 hubs and
180 routes that cover 91 destinations across 16 European countries.
For more information, visit www.ryanair.com.
THE NORTH: On April 27, Ulster tourism players will gather
at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast to honor winners in the 12
categories of this years annual Northern Ireland Tourism Awards.
Category sponsors include Belfast International Airport; Tourism
Ireland; Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau; Tourism Training
Trust; and VisitBritain. Contestants, drawn from across Northern
Ireland, include five entrants from Belfast, four from County
Antrim; two each from Counties Armagh and Derry; six from County
Down; one from County Fermanagh, and two more from County Tyrone,
including the Ulster American Folk Park and the Bluegrass Music
Festival, both in Omagh. For more, visit www.nitb.com.
I? Brendan Worldwide Vacations put air-inclusive trips to
Ireland on sale this May, when tickets are issued by April 15. The
May 21 departure of the seven-night At Home with the Irish is
priced from $1,593 per person, double occupancy, and the
seven-night Glimpse of Ireland, departing May 7, 14 and 21, starts
at $1,603. The nine-night Ireland at Leisure, leaving May 5 and 12,
starts at $2,210, while the nine-night Deluxe Ireland -- May 13 --
is priced from $4,110. Call (800) 421-8446 or visit www.brendanvacations.com.