Travel Weeklys Ireland E-letter: Oct. 14, 2004

ULSTER AIR: Continental Airlines will launch first-ever non-stop service between the U.S. and Northern Ireland with new daily service to start May 26 between the carriers New York/Newark hub and Belfast. Northern Ireland enterprise minister Barry Gardiner called the new flights a boost for our tourism industry. Overseas travelers are visiting the once-troubled British province in increased numbers of late, with 78,000 U.S. visitors in 2003. Next winter, the airline said it plans to operate four flights a week, again reverting to daily service in spring 2006.

ULSTERS UP: The new nonstops from the Big Apple should cheer Ulsters tourism sector. According to the Northern Ireland Tourist Boards latest tourism barometer, the ease of access to cheap flights is seen as the most important factor in driving new overseas arrivals, mentioned by 9% of respondents to the poll. The quarterly survey of 459 Northern Ireland tourism businesses also found that 93% reported the same or more business from the U.S. from July to September, compared the same three months in 2003. For full details, visit www.nitb.com/article.aspx?ID=641.

F-AERWELL: Aer Rianta is no more. The all-Ireland airport authority -- which used to manage Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports -- was renamed the Dublin Airport Authority this month. In accordance with Irelands decentralizing State Airports Act 2004, local airport authorities also were established for Shannon and Cork; those organizations might fully separate from Dublin Airport Authority by next May. All of the former Aer Riantas telephone numbers and other contact details -- including its www.aerrianta.ie Web site -- at press time were operating as usual.

 

FORE DADS & SONS: Jerry Quinlans Celtic Golf, of Cape May, N.J., is adding an extra day, an extra golf course and an extra round on the greens to next years annual Father and Son Tournament in southwest Ireland. Set for May 1 to 6, 2005, this deluxe hosted golf tour will include five nights accommodation -- up from four -- at the 5-star Killarney Park Hotel; full Irish breakfast daily, plus two dinners; luxury motorcoach transport during the tour; and rounds at the Old Head, Ballybunion, Tralee, and new addition Waterville, links. The air-inclusive rate is $1,999 for golfers and $1,399 for non-golfers, based on double occupancy in a twin room, with a $450 single supplement. Jerry Quinlans Celtic Golf offers net rates and/or negotiated agent commissions. Entry forms and more trip details can be found online at www.jqcelticgolf.com. Or, call (800) 535-6148 or (609) 465-0600.

AUTO-MAGIC: Sceptre Tours is offering free upgrades on rentals of standard and automatic cars in Ireland booked by Nov. 30 for travel through Feb. 28. In addition, clients get 60% off Sceptres Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) rate, enjoying a reduced rate of $9.99 per day with the savings. Call agent-only operator Sceptre Tours, which offers retailers net rates on packages, at (800) 221-0924 or visit www.sceptretours.com.

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