FRIENDLIER SKIES: Irish airports operator Aer
Rianta said that passenger traffic at its three major airports grew
by more than 4% in 2002, to 19.3 million. To accommodate further
growth, Aer Rianta will build a new terminal, pier, apron, stands
and other facilities, along with a major bus and rail transit
station, for Dublin Airport, where annual passenger numbers--now at
15 million--are projected to surpass 20 million within six years.
Meanwhile, Cork's airport, which handled 6% more passengers--or 1.9
million--passengers last year, also will get a new terminal,
parking garage and fire station, roadways and updated utility
services. At Shannon Airport, however, traffic slipped by 2%, to
2.35 million passengers, in 2002, according to Aer Rianta.
TOP O' THE LINE: CIE Tours' 11-night, Irish
Supreme tour--priced from $2,308 from New York (Kennedy), Boston
and Baltimore--offers a coastal circuit around the Republic of
Ireland, with accommodation in five-star castles and deluxe hotels.
Clients check in at world-class hotels such as the Ashford and
Dromoland castles, Killarney Park Hotel, Tinakilly House in County
Wicklow and the Berkeley Court Hotel in Dublin. The tour, which
begins and ends in Shannon, takes in castles, manors and gardens
from the Ring of Kerry and Galway to Waterford and Dublin. In
addition to airfare and accommodations, rates include daily
breakfast; nine dinners, including a six-course meal at Malahide
Castle; a horse-drawn carriage and boat ride in the Gap of Dunloe;
a cruise on Killary Harbor with seafood lunch; sightseeing with a
guide; and other perks and gifts. Departures operate weekly on
Thursday and some Saturdays, through Nov. 8; CIE pays agents a
minimum of 10% on land and air. For more, contact CIE Tours at
(800) CIE-TOUR or www.cietours.com.
TOURISM IRELAND'S recent "Shamrock Trail"
promotional sales blitz was a resounding success, attracting 1,200
travel agents to six trade shows in major U.S. markets, according
to Catherine Gale, national marketing manager at the organization's
New York office. The promotion, from June 16 to 20, aimed to boost
bookings from top-producing travel agent members of Tourism
Ireland's Shamrock Club destination specialist program in the
Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, southern California and
Washington/Baltimore/Philadelphia areas. The "Shamrock Trail" also
included sales calls at more than 1,000 travel agencies in the
targeted markets. The high agent turnout represented approximately
40% of the qualified Shamrock Club specialists in those markets.
Eighty-three Irish and U.S.-based supplier representatives from 23
Ireland and 16 U.S. companies--including tour operators, hoteliers
and airlines--also took part. The Shamrock Club program, first
launched five years ago, now counts 7,500 members.
ONLINE E-DUCATION: Speaking of the Shamrock
Club, check out the destination specialist Web site at www.shamrockclub.net/register. Once you've joined, you
can log onto the site for access to five online education and
certification modules and other interactive features. For more
information, contact Tourism Ireland's John Daly at (212)