Vilnius, which is titled one of the most magical Christmas cities in Europe, introduced a 5-week winter holiday programme, as impressive and full of miracles and surprises as always. So what magic can residents and guests of the city expect this year in the Christmas capital?
The shimmering Bay of Ha Long, Vietnam with its magnificent limestone formations will form the backdrop of the 38th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in January 2019. Ha Long city, the capital of the surrounding Quang Ninh province, is all set to welcome some 1,500 international delegates during the week-long event. This includes ministerial officials to the events formal meetings, as well as exhibitors from across ASEAN region. The event will also attract hosted buyers & media from around the world, as well as travel industry professionals to the TRAVEX trade show.
Official ministerial meetings will primarily be held at the FLC Ha Long Bay Resort while the 3-day TRAVEX travel trade exhibition from 16 to 18 January 2019 will take place at the Quang Ninh Exhibition of Planning and Expo Center (QNEPEC).
The 21,000 sqm state-of-the-art venue modelled after a local pearl-making mollusk, has been the selected venue of choice for significant cultural, social, and economic forums in the city and can now add the ATF name to its list.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Viet Nam, H.E. Nguyen Ngoc Thien, said “The people of Quang Ninh province are ready to welcome delegates and guests. We are honoured to host ATF and we invite all visitors to experience the natural beauty and warmth of our people. We are ready to embrace all ASEAN states to drive connectivity and sustainable tourism to Viet Nam and the region as one.”
In anticipation of ATF 2019, the city has undergone extensive developments to enhance connectivity to Ha Long city. A new highway connecting capital Hanoi with the province will cut transport time down to 1.5 hours from 4 hours.
For more information on the event visit: Visit atfvietnam2019.com
Silvija Travel Tips www.silvijatraveltips.com
Explore Vibrant Vietnam with TDactive Holidays, specialists in small group adventure holidays. Vietnam has so much to offer, from stunning white sandy beaches and bustling cities to spectacular countryside filled with rice fields and sleepy villages.
On this holiday-of-a-lifetime, you will embark on a cultural discovery tour of Vietnam from North to South as part of a small group.
Experience Hanoi’s Old Quarter by cyclo ride (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi that appeared in Vietnam during the French colonial period), spend a night on a traditional junk boat in the emerald waters of Halong Bay, cycle through the Vietnamese countryside in search of pagodas, explore the underground network system of the Cu Chi Tunnels, discover the charming coastal town of Hoi An, visit vibrant floating markets, explore the Mekong Delta’s warren of canals and immerse yourself in local the culture of Ho Chi Minh City.
This holiday combines culture, history, colour and independent discovery set against the most beautiful of scenic backdrops.
Prices start from €2,049pp for 15 nights, including return flights from Dublin, internal flights in Vietnam, 12 nights’ B&B hotel accommodation, overnight cruise in Halong Bay, 11 lunches & one evening meal, excursions, expert local guide and all taxes & charges, departing from February 2019.
For more information or to book, click here www.tdactiveholidays.ie/Explore-Vietnam
Source: O’Brien PR
Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney has been shortlisted in the Condé Nast top 3 hotels for ‘Best Dining Experience UK & Ireland’. Condé Nast is widely regarded as the ultimate globetrotting bible for even the most discerning traveller and features luxury hotels, restaurants and destinations from all corners of the world. The leading lifestyle travel magazine will hold its ‘Annual Awards for Excellence Dinner’ at the glitzy May Fair Hotel in London on Monday, 5th of November 2018 when the overall winner will be announced. Cahernane House Hotel, General Manager, Emer Corridan will attend the black-tie awards ceremony to represent the property.
Cork native, Eric Kavanagh is the Executive Chef at Cahernane House and leads a talented team in the kitchen at the distinguished Herbert Restaurant in the hotel. Before starting at Cahernane House Hotel in 2017 Eric worked at Longueville House in Mallow, Marlfield House in Gorey and Sheen Falls in Kenmare. He also spent some time abroad in Canada and New Zealand where he was inspired by the many international chefs he worked with.
The Herbert Restaurant has two AA Rosettes and serves fabulous seasonal dishes prepared with flair and style by a hand that understands great technique with minimal fuss. The stunning, 40-bedroom Cahernane House Hotel is set on 6.4 acres at the edge of the Killarney National Park and lakes. This stunning manor house is steeped in history and was originally built in 1877 but has since been restored to all of its original grandeur by the PREM Group in 2016 after the hospitality giant bought the property. In the past 18 months over €6.5 million has been spent on the property which has seen each of the manor rooms being completely renovated and restored. The renovation programme also included the complete renovation of the 26 guest rooms in the hotel’s Garden Wing and the complete refurbishment of the original Cellar Bar.
The Autumn Escape Break (From €94.50 per person sharing) includes one night’s accommodation with breakfast and dinner in the fine dining, critically acclaimed 2 AA Rosette Herbert Restaurant (you can also enjoy a complimentary glass of prosecco when you book on www.cahernane.com). This lovely package also includes a complimentary art and history tour which runs each evening from 6.00pm.
For more information on Cahernane House Hotel or to make a booking see www.cahernane.com or call +353 (064) 663 1895
Source: O’Brien PR
Irish Tourism is on the move. Inspired by a 16% increase in visitors in 2017, representatives from 13 partner firms hosted an evening for Halifax-based travel agents in the Great Hall of the Dalhousie University Club. The Great Hall was a fitting setting since its two-and-a-half-story-high vaulted ceiling and minstrel’s gallery has an old-world, medieval castle-like feel.
The message was Ireland is what you imagine and much more. And its growth in tourism shows how on-point it is for the prime travel motivators for all demographics.
Sandra Moffatt, director of marketing promoted the high access to the country, the volume of ready-to-sell packages and ability to customize itineraries, authentic experiences, and the wide range of local experts to enhance any experience, the food and hospitality. She also noted that Ireland isn’t a summer-, winter- or three-season destination. It’s a year-round destination. One of the presenting partners, Siobhan Byrne Learat, from Adams & Butler, told the group, “In Ireland we don’t have summer and winter clothes. We have clothes. We wear them year round.”
Moffatt also mentioned Conde Nast Traveler listed Ireland as number three in their top 10 countries to visit.
Among its attributes is golf. Ireland is home to a third of the world’s links courses. That’s an interesting selling point since Canadians have the highest golf participation rates in the world.
In July the Royal Portrush Course is hosting the 148th Open. For non-players, The Open is such a famous tournament it doesn’t need a fuller name. On the edge of the Portrush course is the ruined Dunluce Castle which has a funny story – funny in the context of Irish humour – about a storm that sent the castle’s kitchen, cooks and pots crashing into the sea.
For those with Downton Abbey-addicted clients, Ireland has 600 stately homes and castles. Many of these homes and castles accept guests. Some make their owners available for a special event or experience. Among the possibilities are having a glass of wine with the Honourable Desmond Guinness, tea with the Earl of Rosse at Birr Castle (as Lord Snowdon’s brother he is the Queen’s former brother-in-law) or sharing a whisky with the Jameson Family (of the distillery fame).
For the more adventurous there are unique experiences from cycling, climbing, traversing the Garrick-a-Rede swinging rope bridge and exploring the 40,000+ natural stone columns of the Giant’s Causeway. For man-made creations, the burial mount at New Grange predates the pyramids by 5,000 years.
The 2,500-km-long Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest touring route. Its success has spurred the development of the 314-km-long Causeway Coastal Route, which is rated one of the world’s best touring routes, and The Gobbins guided adventure cliff walk.
For city experiences, Titanic Belfast maintains strong interest and has been rated the world’s leading attraction. Dublin is promoting five-day St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and Waterford, which is best known for the crystal produced here, is central to Ireland’s Viking triangle. Waterford has more national monuments in a three-block area than are found in all the rest of Ireland. It also has a 42-km cycling route.
Armagh is the country’s ecclesiastical capital. With two St. Patrick’s cathedrals – one Church of Ireland (Protestant), one Roman Catholic – it is a popular destination for faith-based groups and individuals who follow a pilgrim route. St. Patrick was actually dean of the Protestant cathedral (which at the time was a Catholic church).
Amargh, which is where Gulliver’s Travels was written, is also a foodie city, a genealogical centre and home to many traditional Irish sports. Among those sports is Hurling, which is played here year round. Hurley-on-ice, which was played in Windsor, Nova Scotia in 1800, is considered the roots for hockey, so has that extra Canadian interest.
Screen tourism, driven by The Games of Thrones and Star Wars’ The Last Jedi, is drawing visitors on a type of cultural pilgrimage to locations where these productions have been filmed.
Some of the intense new travel experiences are the knitting tours. They’ve got the sheep and history and are drawing knitters from around the world who come to learn, experiment and pursue their passion.
Moffat’s colleague said they support agents and sellers with high commissions, value for money for visitors, authentic experiences, local experts, easy customization of packages and itineraries, a history of hospitality, and a real year-round destination. In addition to newsletters, e-zines, promotional literature, market advice, fam trips, workshops, trade shows, Irish Tourism will provide content for sellers’ social media accounts, as well as material targeted to client interest.
Another message was variation of price points. Ireland can provide luxurious five-star experiences in castle resorts, but for the price-sensitive also provide family-friendly-priced experiences.
The evening began with a reception-trade show, speed-dating-type-rotating table presentations, dinner and Irish music. Amongst themselves, the 70 Halifax-based agents considered it one of the better organized evenings they are invited to.
Participating Irish and Canada-based partners were B&B Ireland, The Griffin Group (small, Irish-owned hotel group), Visit Armagh, Waterford Treasures, Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site, Galway 2020 (when they are the European Capital of Culture), Adams & Butler, Moloney & Kelly, The Irish Tourism Group, Royal Irish Tours, Globus Family of Brands, CIE Tours and Collette Vacations.
The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a cooperative, regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as one tourist destination where Asian hospitality and cultural diversity are at its best.
Each year, the hosting of ATF is rotated among the 10 member states: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
2019 marks the 38th Anniversary of ATF and Viet Nam will be the host country. Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site is all set to welcome TRAVEX delegates from around the world.
ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019 www.atfvietnam2019.com
Countdown to Christmas is on with Visit Santa!
With just over 100 days to go now is the time to get booking that trip of a lifetime to see Mr Claus himself in the magical world of Lapland!
A trip to Lapland is a dream for any family – both kids and adults! To give a wishlist to Santa in person is one memory they will never forget!
VisitSanta have released some amazing deals for this Christmas, ranging from one day trips to four day adventures.
Most popular are the three day trips which start from €1,119pp and give families plenty of time to do all the fun activities on offer. Those on a budget or who are tight on time can choose a one or two day trip from only €640pp. All packages includes flights, accommodation, thermal clothing and are jam-packed with exciting activities and, of course, some face time with the man himself!
VisitSanta are also giving you the chance to win this magical experience for you and your family, with Canterbury Travel! Just click here to enter and you could win a trip for two adults and two children to Lapland where you can explore Santa’s village, go snowmobiling, take a sleigh ride, and meet Santa Claus himself.
Now is the perfect time to start planning and take advantage of these early offers! So book now and avail of fantastic value on these Lapland adventures for you and your little loved ones!
Enchanting Lapland 1 Day Trip
Take this mesmerizing day trip to the mystical resort of Enontekio where igloos, ice sculptures and of course Santa await from only €680 per adult and €640 per child.
Price includes: Return flights incl. taxes, transfers, thermal snow suits and boots, a visit to Snow Igloo, private meeting with Santa and his elves including gift, snowmobile, husky, tobogganing and sleigh rides, lunch, souvenir CD and licences.
Travel: 16th December 2018
For a full itinerary click here!
Santa’s Sleepover – 2 Day Trip
A sensational sleepover in Santa’s hometown where you will be taken on whirlwind adventures by his reindeer and elves, and you’ll even get to meet the magical Mr. Santa Claus himself from only €1,097 per adult and €819 per child.
Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin or Cork, meeting with Santa, free gift for children aged 2-12 years, snowmobile, husky and reindeer sleigh rides, snow and ice fun activities, gingerbread decorating, a trip to Santa’s post office and village, thermal clothing for the duration of your trip and meals.
Travel: Between 7th and 21st December 2018
For a full itinerary click here!
Sleighbell Spectacular – 3 Day Trip
An activity-filled break to the snowy plains of Lapland, with everything from husky and reindeer sleigh rides to lessons at Elf School and a meeting with a very merry Father Christmas from only €1,309 per adult and €1,119 per child.
Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, thermal snow suits, 3 nights full-board accommodation, private meeting with Santa and his elves with gift, snowmobile, husky and reindeer sleigh rides, tobogganing, all meals including a Festive Gala dinner and show, souvenir CD and licences.
Travel: 3rd – 21st December 2018
For a full itinerary click here!
Lapland Lullaby – 4 Day Trip
An exhilarating 3 night trip to transport you to a world of magic, this package includes every festive activity you could hope for and more from only €1,575 per adult and €1,475 per child.
Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, thermal snow suits, 3 nights full-board accommodation, private meeting with Santa and his elves with gift, snowmobile, 90 minute husky and reindeer experiences, tobogganing, all meals including a Festive Gala dinner and show, journey to the magical post office, €25 gift allowance, souvenir CD and licences.
Travel: 3rd – 21st December 2018
All offers subject to change and availability. For more information or to book visit VisitSanta.ie or call the experts on 01-6111048.
Tickets Now on Sale for “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood. Including Exclusive R.I.P. Tour Featuring VIP Guide, VIP Trolley Access, Gourmet Buffet Dinner and Unlimited Universal Express Privileges. “Halloween Horror Nights” Begins on Friday 14th September 2018 and Continues on Select Nights through Saturday 30th November 2018.
Universal City, CA, August 7, 2018 – Tickets are now on sale for “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood, Southern California’s most extreme and intensely immersive Halloween event. This year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” dates are: September 14-15, 20-22, 27-30, October 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28, 31, and November 1-3, 2018.
Tickets can be purchased at Hollywood.HalloweenHorrorNights.com Advance purchase is recommended as event nights will sell out, including the exclusive R.I.P. Tour, the After 2pm Day/Night Combo Ticket with optional Universal Express™ add-on, choice of Frequent Fear Passes and must-have Universal Express pass. Following are the various tickets options:
- All-new R.I.P. Tour Groups of up to 12 can scare in style with all-new R.I.P.. – Tour featuring exclusive experiences with a VIP guide, trolley transportation, valet parking, a gourmet buffet dinner and drinks plus unlimited Universal Express privileges to mazes and attractions.
- After 2 p.m. Day/Night Combo Experience the park’s popular daytime attractions, including. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™,” “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” DreamWorks Theatre Featuring “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest” and “Fast and Furious—Supercharged” on the world-famous Studio Tour by day and remain for the terror that awaits at “Halloween Horror Nights.”
- Multi-Night Passes Choose from an array of Multi-Night Passes. Visit
Hollywood.HalloweenHorrorNights.com for more details on these pass options:
Frequent Fear Pass – Visit up to 21 select nights.
Ultimate Fear Pass – Allows guests to scare every single night of the event.
2 Nights of Fear Pass – Allows guests to scare for two select nights.
Universal Express™ The in-demand Universal Express pass enables guests to enjoy one-time express access to mazes, attractions, Terror Tram experience and new Jabbawockeez hip hop performance.
“Halloween Horror Nights” brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror inspired by TV and film’s most compelling horror properties.
Following is a partial list of this year’s wicked line-up, with more maze news to be announced soon: “Stranger Things,” based on Netflix’s critically-acclaimed television series
- “The First Purge,” based on Universal Picture’s blockbuster thriller
- “Trick ‘r Treat,” based on the Halloween cult classic directed by Michael Dougherty
- “The Walking Dead,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s permanent attraction inspired by AMC’s record-breaking television series
- The Jabbawockeez award-winning hip hop dance crew returns by popular demand with an all-new, high-energy performance created exclusively for “Halloween Horror Nights”
- Terror Tram featuring the return of serial killer clown, Hollywood Harry
In addition to this year’s maze line-up, Hollywood Harry, the notorious serial killer clown that terrorized Universal’s famed backlot, returns as the host of this year’s Terror Tram. In anthological fashion, “Terror Tram: Hollywood Harry’s Dreadtime Storiez” will take unwitting guests on a frightening journey through five demented tales, featuring vicious dog-faced men, inbred cannibals, creepy clowns, sadistic scarecrows and a terrifying torture factory where nightmares come to life.
Unique to Universal Studios Hollywood, the Terror Tram enables “Halloween Horror Nights” guests to walk along an area of the famed movie and television studio, where such sets as the Psycho House and the Bates Motel from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller and Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, are located.
For exciting updates and exclusive “Halloween Horror Nights” content, visitHollywood.HalloweenHorrorNights.com, like Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood on Facebook; follow@HorrorNights #UniversalHHN on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat; and watch the terror come to life onHalloween Horror Nights YouTube.
IT&CMA 2018 will debut the region’s first-ever Asian MICE Cruise Conference on 18 September as part of the show’s 3-day business, education and networking programme.
Confirmed key opinion leaders taking the stage include:
Dream Cruises’ President and Crystal Cruises Asia’s Managing Director, Thatcher Brown
Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Managing Director Angie Stephen
Worldwide Cruise Associates’ Co-founder and President, Steve Bloss
Genting Cruise Lines’ Senior Vice President – International Sales, Michael Goh
Silversea Cruises’ Vice President, Corporate & Incentive sales, Freddy Muller
Princess Cruises’ Southeast Asia Director, Farriek Tawfik.
Karen Yue, Editor of TTGmice and Group Editor of TTG Travel Trade Publishing said, “The cruise industry is booming and MICE is undoubtedly the next big thing for the sector. Market leaders are already capitalising on the potential, while many are still coming into the game. TTGmice is proud to put forth this first and only platform of its kind in the region – an open conversation with the world’s leading cruise executives.”
Kicking off IT&CMA’s education highlights on its first day, the half-day event will run from 0830 to 1430 hrs at the Bangkok Convention Centre, CentralWorld. The event will feature a CEO Cruise panel discussion and an experts’ exchange on making the case for MICE cruises, among other sessions. There will be networking opportunities at a hosted breakfast, coffee break and luncheon.
Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media said, “As a pioneer in the MICE industry, TTG is always at the pulse of key developments impacting the profession. Cruise offers a huge playing field for its many stakeholders, where its potential rests on the immense collaboration between the private and public sector across verticals and geographies to ensure that the right policies, infrastructure, facilities, producs and services are in place.”
Organisers expect 400 regional MICE stakeholders relevant to the cruise sector to attend, with at least half of attendees comprising of buyers covering corporate incentive, meetings and events, incentive trips, luxury travel, associations and academics. Hotels, resorts, airlines, destination management companies, government representatives from national tourism organisations, convention visitor bureaus and ports, and media professionals will form the remaining audience profile.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) 2017 Asia Cruise Trends, cruise capacity across all metrics (number of ships, voyages, operating days and passengers) has increased significantly since 2013 with greater uptrend expected in the foreseeable future. Asia remains at the heart of this growth with passengers from this region quadrupling over 5 years. Last year, passenger capacity was estimated at 4.24 million.
While leisure cruise demand has seen a revival, the concept of cruises as an appealing and viable option for business events is still relatively new. Shared panelist Tawfik of Princess Cruises, “Today, there is low awareness among organisers and companies that MICE events can be organised easily and held successfully onboard cruise ships. As a possible budget-saving, all-inclusive alternative to hosting a meeting at a luxury resort, cruises also offer plenty of interaction and teambuilding opportunities, as well as a unique experience to give delegates that “wow” factor, such as waking up in a new country every day while only needing to pack and unpack once. The advantages of a MICE event at sea are endless.”
Bloss of Worldwide Cruise Associates echoes the perspective that greater exposure is needed for MICE cruises, he said, “As a collective, we strive to foster understanding of what a modern cruise ship is, and make purchasers aware of how to buy cruises while embracing cruises’ different terms and requirements. Today, there are over 55 cruise lines, some 400 ships plus 100 new ships in the pipeline. It is possible to have an unbiased all-in-one cruise shopping experience with options that extend globally.” In addition to being part of the inaugural conference’s panel, the organisation is also exhibiting under IT&CMA’s cruise cluster.
IT&CMA 2018 will be held from 18 – 20 September 2018 at the Bangkok Convention Centre, CentralWorld. It is co-located with the CTW Asia-Pacific – The Leading Corporate Travel Management Conference for the Asia-Pacific.
For more information, log on to www.itcma.com www.corporatetravelworld.com
At the invitation of TravelMedia.ie I attend the annual USA Summer Soirée 2018 event at The Shelbourne Dublin. Readers of my articles, Silvija Travel Tips online posts and my Twitter tweets will know I have a special place in my heart for the USA. Following a drinks reception the 200 members of the travel trade and media took there places in the ballroom for a fabulous dinner and interesting speeches.
The Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Reece Smyth, opened the event, speaking about the close links Ireland has with the USA. Claire Doherty, Visit USA Committee Ireland spoke about the organisation’s role to promote the USA as a tourist & business destination. Melanie Latham from VisitUSA showcased all America has to offer with a video promo called “America’s Musical Journey,” the film follows singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc as he explores the vast U.S. musical landscape.
Vincent Harrison from Dublin Airport spoke about developments at the airport and to the delight of all those present introduced a Brass Band with balloons and Dublin Airport Fast Track passes for everyone in attendance. Dave Cole from Universal Orlando Resort highlighted the new attractions and hotel accommodation at the resort. Kevin A. Dillon A.A.E from Bradley International Airport thanked Aer Lingus for their support with flights to Bradley and went on to outline what the airport has to offer for visitors to the USA.
Greg Evans from Discover Philadelphia spoke about the city and the flight connections with Ireland. He was excited to announce the ITTA conference 2018 will take place in Philadelphia, USA, at the end of November. Bill Byrne from Aer Lingus gave an entertaining presentation on the airline’s routes to the USA and connectivity to Europe. Congratulations to Dee Burdock who won the prize draw and flights with Aer Lingus. Once again thank you to TravelMedia.ie brilliant event.