VAX + PAX=CASH: US Airways Vacations is paying 17%
commission on Distinctive Vacations to Dublin, Ireland, booked at
www.vaxvacationaccess.com until March 10. Also, your
clients earn 10,000 bonus frequent flyer Dividend Miles for
Distinctive Vacation packages booked by March 31 for travel through
Dec. 31. US Airways restarts its seasonal service--launched last
year-- from Philadelphia to Dublin and Shannon on May 8.
Distinctive Vacations to Dublin include roundtrip transatlantic
travel in US Airways' Envoy Class [and First Class on U.S.
connecting flights]; superior hotel accommodations, at the Hilton
Dublin, Jurys Ballsbridge or The Burlington; hotel taxes and
service charges; and daily breakfast. Optional "Ireland Your Way"
add-ons in Dublin include hop-on/hop-off bus tours [$13 per person]
and tours of Dublin Bay and Dublin Castle [$24] and County Wicklow
[$34. For more information, visit www.usairwaysvacations.com.
PRIDE & JOYCE: Irish tourism minister John
O'Donoghue kicked off the ReJoyce Dublin 2004 Festival at an event
Monday at the Guinness Storehouse in the Irish capital. The
festival--usually a one-day affair in Dublin each June 16 to
celebrate the fictional adventures of the Leopold Bloom character
from James Joyce's literary masterpiece "Ulysses"-- this year is a
five-month-long arts and events blowout, officially running April
to August. However, many events are already under way. Highlights
include a mass Bloomsday breakfast June 13, with food, drink and
entertainment for about 10,000 on Dublin's O'Connell Street, and an
exhibition running June 14 to July 31, 2005, at the National
Library of Ireland on James Joyce and "Ulysses." For more
information, see www.rejoycedublin2004.com, which features an events
ON THE UP AND UP: Record-breaking numbers of
overseas visitors will arrive on Irish shores in 2004, said tourism
officials at a recent briefing in Dublin, with visits from North
America poised to grow 6.6%. "It is an ambitious target, but
achievable," said Paul O'Toole, chief executive of Tourism Ireland,
the overseas marketing joint venture of Failte Ireland and the
Northern Ireland Tourist Board. "Forecasts for 2003 show ...
Ireland will have gained significant market share." Failte Ireland
reported tourism growth of 4% in overseas arrivals and 5% in
revenue for 2003. Failte Ireland said 94% of visitors last year
indicated they were very satisfied with the visit; to repeat the
feat in 2003, the organization said it will continue to focus on
three key strengths--landscape, lifestyle and security. As for
Dublin, Frank Magee, chief executive of Dublin Tourism, said the
Irish capital will see a "reduction in [accommodation] prices" this
year because of a projected increase in hotel rooms of 15% coupled,
with a 5% jump in arrivals.
NO FLY ZONE: Ryanair protested a Feb. 3
European Commission decision that found cost-breaks the airline
received at Belgium's Brussels South Charleroi Airport--a publicly
financed, secondary facility farther from the capital than the main
airport at Zaventem--were illegal state aid that must be repaid.
The Irish low-fare carrier said the ruling would lead to higher
fares and poorer service at small public airports across Europe,
which have to compete with larger, better funded privately run
airports such as Zaventem. Ryanair serves 21 destinations in Europe
from Dublin, five from Shannon, two from Kerry and one each from
Cork, Knock and Derry. Across Europe, the carrier flies 127 routes
to 84 destinations in 16 countries. For more, visit www.ryanair.com.