Travel Weekly's Ireland E-Letter: Sept. 18

E-MERALD ISLE: The Shamrock Club keeps "reeling" them in: As of early September, Tourism Ireland's online destination-specialist-certification program graduated 2,000 Ireland experts and enrolled 8,000 participants. "It's a milestone for the Shamrock Club, which has nearly quadrupled its membership in six months' time," said program manager John Daly. Agents who haven't enrolled can check out the Shamrock Club Web site at www.shamrockclub.net/register, which offers access to five online education and certification modules and other interactive features. For more information, call Daly at (212) 418-0835.

GREAT SCOT: Irish upscale hotel chain Jurys Doyle Hotels expands its pan-Celtic operations with the opening of the Jurys Inn Glasgow, its second property in Scotland's largest city. The 321-guestroom property, located in the city center, boasts a restaurant, pub, coffee bar, 10 meetings rooms and parking. Jurys Doyle's other holdings in Celtic regions include two more hotels in Scotland; one in Cardiff, Wales; and 14 in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The chain also operates nine hotels in England and four in the U.S. Rates for Jurys Inn Glasgow are commissionable to agents at 8% and are available with GDS access code JD. For more information, visit www.jurysdoyle.com or call (800) 441-0521.

ISLAND BREAK: Clients headed to the Galway region on independent itineraries might be interested in a day trip or overnighter to the picturesque and historic Irish-speaking Aran Islands, via local ferry company Island Ferries. The four-ferry firm offers year-round service on 180- to 294-passenger boats from the fishing port of Rossaveal, Co. Galway--about 22 miles west of Galway city--to tiny Inis Mor, Inis Meain and Inis Oirr, two to three times a day. Roundtrip fares at press time were approximately $21.25 for adults, $17 for seniors and students, and $11 for children. Once ashore, clients have a choice of minibus, cart-and-pony or bicycle tours; pubs, ancient Celtic monuments and scenic vistas are in good supply. For more, visit www.aranislandferries.com, which offers online ticket reservations.

FAM-TASTIC RATE: Lynott Tours is offering a six-night fam trip departing Nov. 13 from Boston, Chicago or New York to Dublin via Aer Lingus. The plan is priced at $599 per person, double; companions are eligible. The cost covers roundtrip air, accommodations, motorcoach transportation, some meals, sightseeing, baggage handling, service charges and taxes. The trip takes in stops in Bunratty, Dublin, Killarney, Kinsale and Waterford. Four agents per agency are permitted on the fam; payment must be made by agency check. To book, call (800) 221-2472; fax: (561) 248-3496; or e-mail: l[email protected].

FORE YOUR EYES ONLY: Destination Golf, New York, put together a "Reader's Cup" package to Ireland's top courses in partnership with Pub Links Golfer Magazine. The six-night deal--available with air from New York or Boston [other gateways cost extra] or as land-only--is priced from $1,475 to $1,995 per person; the single supplement is $275. Rates include luxury hotel accommodations, full Irish breakfast each morning; seven days with personal driver/guide; luxury motorcoach transport; five rounds of golf with greens fees and guaranteed tee times; a practice round on arrival; and a private whiskey tasting. The golf courses include Dooks Golf Course, Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, and the Waterville, Ballybunion and Tralee golf clubs. Agent pay is 10%. For more, e-mail [email protected], call (800) 441-9329 or visit www.destinations-golf.com.

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