Travel Weekly's Ireland E-Letter May 29, 2003

CHEAP EATS: Dublin's tourism board has published a value-oriented dining guide to the Irish capital. Compiled to address complaints that dining in Dublin has become an expensive proposition, the 44-page "Where To Eat 2003--Dublin's Best Value Eating Out Guide" features more than 100 restaurants that offer a two-course lunch or dinner--with service charge--for less than 10 euros [about $12] and less than 15, 20, 25 and 30 euros. The free guide can be downloaded or viewed at www.visitdublin.com/eatingout, or is available as a brochure from Tourism Ireland in New York, participating bars and restaurants in Dublin, or any of Dublin Tourism's six city information/reservations centers. For a free print copy, contact Tourism Ireland's agent hotline at (800) 669-9967.

GOLF GALORE: Sceptre Ireland hopes for a hole in one this autumn with its six-night Legends Golf Package to some of Ireland's most famous golf courses, priced from $999. The golf vacation includes roundtrip air from New York, Boston or Baltimore (add $100 for Chicago and $200 for Los Angeles/San Francisco departures); six nights at town & country B&Bs; seven rounds of golf at Lahnich, Ballybunion, Killarney and Dooks; weekly car rental; sales tax and VAT; and services of Sceptre's offices and Ireland experts. Prices are based on two or four people traveling from Oct. 16 to Dec. 14, with double occupancy accommodations and midweek travel; other departure dates are available and are priced accordingly. Departure taxes are not included and start from $72 per person. Agent commission is 10%. To book, call (800) 221-0924 or visit Sceptre Ireland www.sceptreireland.com.

CONNECTIONS: U.K. air carrier bmi resumes nonstop flights six times weekly between Washington Dulles and Manchester, England, on June 1, with connecting service to Dublin and Belfast via other carriers. Continuing passengers to the Republic can catch Ryanair or Aer Lingus connections to Dublin, while passengers headed to Belfast Int'l--bmi's Northern Ireland hub--can try out the carrier's new discount bmibaby operation. bmi also flies daily from Chicago to Manchester. Transatlantic routes are served by 224-seat Airbus A330 aircraft with three classes of service: business, new economy and economy. bmi stopped paying travel agent commissions in February. Visit www.flybmi.com or call (800) 788-0555.

ONLINE EIRE: Check out Tourism Ireland's newly completed Shamrock Club destination specialist Web site at www.shamrockclub.net/register. Once you've joined, you can log onto the recently upgraded 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) 418-0835.

CELTIC COMMISSIONS: Celtic Tours released its Fall 2003-Spring 2004 brochure, featuring departures this October through next April at air-inclusive prices starting at $499 from New York (Kennedy), Boston and Baltimore. [Chicago and Los Angeles departures are also available.] Large-group commissions are available to agents when booking Celtic Tours programs: 20 to 24 paying passengers earn 12% on air and land; 25 to 29 pay 14% for air and land; and 30 to 48, pay 15%. Travel agents also receive one free place, sharing, for 20 paying passengers and 2 free places, sharing, for 30 paying passengers. For more information, contact Celtic Tours at (800) 833-4373 or www.celtictours.com.

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