Center Parcs: A sneak peek inside Ireland's enchanted forest
The countdown is on to the opening of Ireland's biggest ever tourism project - Center Parcs Longford Forest.
The countdown is on to the opening of Ireland's biggest ever tourism project - Center Parcs Longford Forest.
Over two million of us travel to Spain each year for our holidays - with a sizeable chunk heading to the traditional favourites on the Costa Del Sol.
More people felt confident in their financial readiness for retirement, as gains in the markers in 2019 resonate with investors. The main Irish stock index ended last week at a six-month high,...
Think business class and the mind turns to Middle Eastern or Asian carriers with premium bedding, gargantuan airport lounges and haute cuisine in the cabin.
TRAVELLING abroad - a huge perk that makes you the envy of your desk-bound colleagues?
Oh to be a tech multi-millionaire. Or even a highly-paid tech exec. While travelling in business class is a huge leap from economy and enjoyed by the luckier corporate traveller, there's a step - well, giant leap - even above the pampered posse who turn left.
Late last year this column reported on the key differences between men and women on their travels for work. One of the key points was that while females hate dining alone, it's not as big a deal for men.
In the race to attract post-Brexit workers and business, Dublin doesn't fare too badly in the latest survey of the world's most expensive cities.
Qatar Airways will be going double daily from Dublin to its Doha hub on selected days this year, boosting onward connection options for Irish business travellers.
Running a taxi firm in Bangladesh, practising martial arts with the Kung Fu nuns of Nepal, helping the homeless of Burma along with local punk band members — life is never dull if you’re Hector Ó hEochagáin travelling abroad.
The trend of combining leisure time with a business trip abroad has been on the rise for the last number of years, and the latest data shows that it's not slowing down.
Dublin Airport last week appointed a Spanish-Irish consortium to build its new 3.1km-runway but the long-awaited project - although massive in Irish terms - pales in comparison to what's happening...
Most executives are well briefed nowadays on data security, but heading out on the road is a different matter.
Airline food is one of those things that travellers - rightly or wrongly - love to moan about. But it's one of the areas where airlines have been using science as well as taste-testing to develop...
In the current climate of companies having to work hard to attract - and retain - talent, they'd do well to keep them happy when they're on the road.
Despite the Brexodus of jobs from the City in London, the uncertainty across the water is proving to be an opportunity for one Dublin-headquartered company catering to the accommodation needs of corporate travellers.
The El Chepe train trundles along, old-school big windows and bendy walks between carriages, clickety clacking above canyons, snaking rivers and isolated farmsteads straight out of The Little House on the Prairie.
So how will 2019 and beyond shape up for the corporate traveller? The recent launch of the Skift Megatrends report offered a few insights, a few humdrum, but some pointing to where the sector - and business people on the road - are going.
With the global meetings, incentives, conferences and events (Mice) industry predicted to be worth just shy of €1,100bn by 2023, Ireland has her eye on a slice of that lucrative pie.
Some of the top brass from American Airlines were in town as the US carrier counted down to the launch of its new daily Dublin-Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) service running from June 6 till the end of September.
Whether it's robots or phones that guide you to your gate, biometric tech that cuts down on security and boarding paperwork, or speedier security lane procedures, this column has covered what the near future holds in our ever-busier airports.
Half a century ago, biometric technology was a fantasy of a sci-fi future, coming to our screens in 1968 in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
There's a never-ending stream of reports and commentary about women's experience in the workplace - but what about on the road?
While leisure trips dominate the headlines and adverts, corporate is the real hidden earner - with inbound business travellers to Ireland worth "three times as much as leisure tourists", according to Failte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly.
As the Brexit clock counts down to what's shaping up to be an annus horribilis in 2019, all sides are finally shaping up their stitched-together plans for the days and months after March.
'Chicago, that's my home town,' Frank Sinatra crooned in one of his best-known American ballads. You can see why the New Jersey native felt at home here.
Airports tend to be the worst choke points for business travellers, but technology is evolving fast to speed up the journey.
Can't afford business class, but not too keen on getting down to business abroad after a taxing long-haul flight in row z of economy?
Given recent miserable storms, it’s not too early to start thinking about next year’s summer holiday. In fact, it’s a really good time, with the brochures due out in the coming weeks, and better deals and room and flight choices available for early bookers.
With nominal GDP of around €570bn, if Chicago were a country it would rank just behind Switzerland and a fair bit beyond Argentina.
With Aer Lingus announcing two new routes to North America last week, it seems that carriers just can't get enough of the transatlantic market.
Ireland's biggest hotel group, Dalata, has ambitions to expand its business model into Europe.
Corporate passengers travelling from Istanbul to Ireland last week could have been forgiven for doing a double-take in the business cabin.
It's a case of you win some you lose some for the business traveller. American Airlines is to fly direct from Dublin to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport from next summer. But behind the big announcement was the lesser-publicised fact that the carrier is dropping its summer Dublin-to-JFK route after this year.
Being green doesn't come cheap - and few of us could stump up €91,000 upwards for a Tesla Model S, or €10,000 more (and up) for a sportier Tesla Model X.
Millions of tourists from around the world flock to Ireland's big attractions - Dublin (of course), the dramatic scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way, and Ireland's Ancient East, with historic attractions like Medieval Kilkenny and Newgrange.
This column is a big advocate of travel without the red tape - and a few smart moves on Ireland's part are already opening more doors in newer markets.
Is Dublin Airport looking to get yet another route to Asia? Singapore Airlines has met authorities here to look at operating a direct route from Dublin to Singapore, albeit not in the near future, informed sources told this column.
It's a sign of a healthy global economy, but companies can expect to pay more for their travels in the new year.
Ryanair strike fears, air traffic controller stoppages, another British Airways IT failure - yup, it's a miserable summer in the skies at times.
Long lines due to processing times at foreign airports and other border entry points are the big bugbear of any well-travelled executive.
With geopolitical threats, natural disasters and the danger of terrorism, tracking employees and notifying them in the event of danger is big business.
The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) has been named Europe's leading meetings and conference centre for the second year running.
United Airlines is joining the growing band of airlines that will be offering a premium economy class across the Atlantic from Ireland. Depending on the airline, the class offers advantages for the corporate traveller - typically extra legroom, priority boarding and better in-flight catering. What's more, while some companies will baulk at the price of a business fare, premium economy is often allowed in travel policies.
Many of us grumble about crossing the city to go shopping - yet low-cost airline Norwegian believes some of us will fly Stateside to bag a bargain or two at New York's massive Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.
The old model of the business-focused hotel dominating the lodging sector is changing as the job-for-life model heads for the scrap heap along with pension plans and nine-to-five days.
With recent CSO figures again underlining Dublin Airport's dominance - accounting for 87pc of the total passenger numbers in Ireland - it might appear that there's only one game in town for business travellers.
With business travel, your main concerns as an employee or company revolve around getting there, staying there and getting around. But failing to understand local red tape could land you as an individual with a barring order from a country or your company with a hefty tax bill.
Enda Corneille, head of Emirates airlines in Ireland, has said that plans to increase the number of flights from two a day to three are on hold due to issues with Dublin Airport.
For a man who's facing even stiffer competition in the coming fortnight, Enda Corneille is looking remarkably relaxed.
Travelling for work can be a bit of a drag - unless you're Tom Connery that is. For most of us, coming home from a work trip normally involves a wait for the bags, a queue at passport control and dragging your cases to the airport taxi rank.
For an island nation on the edge of Europe, we're far from isolated - and that's good news for Irish business travellers. Hardly a week goes by without a new route launch at Dublin Airport.
The modern business traveller isn't happy to be told where to go, when to go and where to stay, without any input themselves.
Regular readers will know that your columnist is no fan of visas for foreign travel. Background checks, sure. Rigorous security, ditto.
Without Steve Wozniak I wouldn't be writing this column on a MacBook Pro, watching YouTube on my iPad or Facetiming friends on an iPhone.
It goes without saying that the earlier you book your business traveller's hotel room, then the better the rate. Right? Not necessarily, data research by a travel company SAP Concur has found.
We've all seen the movies like Contagion - where a mankind-ending virus spreads like wildfire from continent to continent on our planes and through our cities.
The landscape of cranes alone shows the health of Dublin's economy, but the downside is that the city has also a victim of its own success, with corporate-stay supply thin on the ground.
Hats off to the Sunday Independent's Dearbhail McDonald, who had the unenviable task of moderating a debate last week on the future of transport and tourism in Ireland.
Booking a pricey business class ticket - whether by an individual or a firm's travel management company - doesn't have to mean passing up on value.
Could service-starved Waterford Airport have not one but two airlines flying from the southeast into Britain? Don't pack your bags just yet, because while it could be a runner, it's still, well, up in the air.
If you're wondering what the future holds for how your company travel is managed, and what your personal experience will be like, a new tech survey throws up some interesting insights.
The traditional corporate-stay model - with companies and executives opting for business-oriented hotels - has been disrupted in recent years through a combination of Airbnb and aparthotels.
Back in the old days, choosing a transatlantic fare was simple. If you were lucky enough to work for a company with big wallets, you went business. If you were a startup, or had a tight spending policy in your organisation, it was the back of the bus for you.
This summer should see moves in the progress of in-flight connectivity with the latest push to connect passengers over Europe.
One of Ireland's biggest connectors to the globe is looking to increase, or even double, its frequencies from Dublin, reflecting the rebound in the Irish economy with more connectivity options for the business community here.
New business opportunities are set to open up to the Gulf region - already the second-most important long-haul market after North America out of Ireland - following a key decision by the Irish authorities.
Belfast is keen to attract a Dublin-style boost from Brexit, but the city has had a similar problem to the capital up to now - a lack of hotel offerings, particularly on peak dates and around key events.
Readers of this column might recall a report on how to enter some major cities in China - among them Beijing and Shanghai - for business without the need for a visa.
Airports are a necessary evil - but good lounges can take the stress out of a long layover. Looking back over 2017, the best offered an oasis of calm, an area for working (all have complimentary dedicated wifi) and at times food of such quality that you could skip the in-flight catering. Here's a look at the pros and cons of a selection from 40,00-plus miles of travelling last year.
Despite new competition in the market from the highly-rated Qatar Airways, as well as existing rivalry from another award-winning airline in Etihad, Emirates is reporting rising load factors and a buoyant 2017 on its Dublin to Dubai route.
Low-frills and lower-priced Economy or lots of frills and much steeper fares in Business Class? American Airlines (AA) believes there's a third way, and is targeting corporate travellers with its Premium Economy offering from Dublin to the US next year.
Lufthansa is following the likes of United's Polaris Class and Air France KLM with the introduction of direct aisle-access seats in its new-look business cabin.
It's been featured before in this column, but the coming year could be the one when business-meets-leisure takes off.
Even with Brexit bringing down British numbers, Dublin-London remains Europe's most travelled route, with around five million passengers a year.
A few years ago your columnist had a bill of $800 from an upscale hotel in Midtown Manhattan - for an overnight stay in a standard room. Luckily, the booking wasn't for the top-floor penthouse, with rack rates of $32,000 and up a night.
Even before the arrival of direct flights to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, there's plenty of stiff competition between Ireland and booming China, with Emirates, Etihad and Qatar through the Middle East, Turkish via Istanbul and Finnair boasting shorter flights over Siberia's icy wastes.
The old adage that travel is about the journey, not the destination, isn't the case with the corporate traveller. A new report has found that the biggest problem with business travel is just that - the travelling bit.
Business is booming between the Brexit job-chasing cities of Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam. Air France-KLM's new head of the UK and Ireland, Benedicte Duval, revealed that the airline's Dublin routes have outperformed those in the UK so far this year.
Incidents in Las Vegas, London, Marseille and Barcelona in the recent weeks alone show that the world can be a dangerous place, and in destinations where such events are least expected.
One of the interesting - and unreported - subplots from the recent Ryanair horror show is the cold war between Michael O'Leary's carrier and Norwegian, Europe's third-biggest low-cost operation.
The French do things differently, and national carrier Air France has a few surprises up its well-tailored sleeves for some business travellers.
The percentage of women business travellers is growing - and hotels and travel management companies could be missing a trick by ignoring their needs.
Innovation is often born out of desperation - and Dutch airline KLM is a case in point. It's to the fore in digital innovation, but its social media presence wasn't born out of years of careful planning - it came to life through a violent act of nature.
What's the biggest turn-off about Ireland as a place in which to work and live? Property prices? Patchy public transport? High taxation? None of the above: think weather. For anyone trying to tempt City workers here, or interested in leaving Ireland to work abroad, the latest Expat Insider survey by InterNations is interesting reading.
Ryanair and the Dublin Airport Authority - a bit like McGregor versus Mayweather, with a few slapdowns over the years that would make UFC slugger Conor wince.
What's more gruelling - a 12-hour round trip from Dublin to New York, with just two nights in Manhattan, or an overnight in Italy, with under five hours' total flying time?
If you ever needed evidence that Dublin Airport is the fifth-busiest European gateway to North America, you'd need look no further than the American check-in areas of an otherwise quiet Sunday morning Terminal 2.
Just as big business was slowly beginning to get to grips with the binary-coded brains of the millennials, along comes another spanner in the works - Generation Z.
While €69 one-way fares from Ireland to the US have understandably dominated the headlines in recent months, there's a bigger picture behind the much-publicised launch of Norwegian's routes from Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Shannon to the US.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work in aviation, but it certainly helps. Late last month one was launched into space from French Guiana - and so what, you might ask? Well, the Ariane 5's payload was the European Aviation Network's (EAN) satellite, which promised to revolutionise on board wifi, and make Europe a global leader in onboard connectivity.
Ireland is well known as a major centre for aircraft leasing and corporate aviation, but it's also quietly making its mark on the ground too. In the US alone, the business travel market last year was worth as much as its car industry - a staggering 3pc of GDP.
So what does the corporate traveller want in order to make life on the road that bit easier? Priority boarding or airport lounge access might seem the obvious choices - but the answer is actually better technology.
One is the high-profile, soundbite-savvy chief executive of a hugely-profitable airline, who never takes prisoners when he feels the need to take a pop at a rival. The other is Michael O'Leary.
I'm of the view that you should always take public polling with a pinch of salt. Whether it's Ireland getting shafted year after year in the bloated Eurovision, or the consistently angry holidaymaker taking to TripAdvisor to argue about hotel towels, there's a grain of truth in there somewhere, but it's a case of don't take the votes and gripes as Gospel.
Despite all the talk about Brexit reducing passenger numbers between Britain and Ireland, connectivity from here to England is actually on the increase.
We may soon look back fondly on the days of the trundling onboard duty-free trolley and even Ryanair's scratch card sales if the new trend of passenger engagement takes off. Airlines are embracing digital - and guess who's their revenue stream? You, of course.
Even in the sometimes turbulent world of aviation, the week's events in the Gulf came as a shock to passengers - and airlines too. The diplomatic row between tiny Qatar and some neighbouring nations, most notably Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will have a knock-on effect for passengers worldwide, given the region's importance as a key hub of West-East air traffic.
A direct air link between Ireland and China is looking like a case of when, not if. As reported in this column some months back, and firmed up in the Sunday Independent recently, growing airline Hainan looks the most likely choice.
Ryanair press conferences never fail to deliver - and having CEO Michael O'Leary announcing results is akin to getting a raucous Twitter mob to deliver a church sermon.
The last few days saw a victory for common sense, following widespread reports from respected aviation industry commentators that Donald Trump's administration would extend the airline laptop ban to European airports.
Airbnb, that disruptive new kid on the hospitality block, is dying to come in from the margins, however lucrative, and join the mainstream.
it's not getting easy getting hold of Tom Stuker - and for good reason. Arguably the world's top executive traveller, he's working his way towards 20 million miles in the air - with the same airline.
The former sick man of Europe, Spain's Iberia, has become something of the star performer - outshadowing even sister airline Aer Lingus - in Willie Walsh's International Airlines Group (IAG).
The blurring of business and leisure - dubbed bleisure - has seen a rise in corporate travellers staying on for an extra day or two in a destination city and enjoying it as a tourist when their work there is done.
In this digital age, the future of travel will feature a more human-focused approach, with technology as a tool, not an end in itself. That's the view of Greg Oates, an editor at Skift, the online travel intelligence company that's all about predicting megatrends in the leisure and business sectors.
US President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall on the US-Mexico border and his administration's recent bans on travel from some Muslim-majority countries have suffered their biggest broadside from a heavy-hitter on the world stage.
Trump travel ban Mark I caused a worldwide storm, not least in the Muslim-majority nations most affected. The revised ban passed by largely unnoticed, while the new laptop regulations haven't stirred quite the same passions.
Sometimes innovation is born out of necessity, or a brainchild. At other times, it's born out of adversity. Recent atrocities in European cities and airports have a terrible cost: most importantly in human lives, but also in financial terms to individual business travellers and companies heading to, or operating in, those areas affected.
President Trump's revised and watered-down travel ban hasn't caused the online furore of its predecessor, but it's still a massive issue for global business travellers.
Technology and big data dominated proceedings as more than 7,000 suppliers and buyers thronged London's Olympia for the Business Travel Show, Europe's biggest event of its kind. And with the global business travel spend tipped to hit €1.5 trillion by 2020, travel management companies - particularly the tech-savvy - are desperate to take a slice of the pie.
The on-off-on saga of Norwegian Air International's bid to fly from Cork to the United States has been surrounded by more secrecy than the third secret of Fatima.
With all the focus on Donald Trump, it's easy to forget an arguably more important trend in the transatlantic market - the rise of low-cost operators.
Three years ago, Ryanair had a change of heart that put St Paul's conversion in the shade. In a push to put more, happier bums on seats, it launched its Always Getting Better campaign - cheap flights with a focus on the customer, offering second bags onboard and assigned seats to do away with stampedes up the airplane stairs.