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HOTELS.COM: The booking site's latest hotlist shows that Kilkenny (rarely a cheap option for trips) saw a huge jump in search request in Ireland and the UK.

Compared to last year, there was a 290pc jump in searches by Irish travellers for Kilkenny, while Killarney (again, pricey) was in second place on the UK hotlist with an increase of 230pc, with interest in the UK also in Waterford and Athlone.

"This month's hotlist shows the success of the Gathering initiative and the recent focus by Tourism Ireland on its GB – Path to Growth Strategy," reckoned Kate Hopcraft of Hotels.com.

TROPICAL SKY: Save up to €160 on winter getaways to Thailand with the long hault travel company.

You can save that amount per person at the four star Peace Resort in Koh Samui, with a new price of €1,269 per person for departures between now until December 23, when booked by December 15. .

The price is based on two adults sharing a superior bungalow on a bed and breakfast basis with return scheduled flights from Dublin and transfers. A 14-night stay is also available for €1,479.

Visit www.tropicalsky.ie or call 01 6649999.

CLICK AND GO: Fancy a winter holiday for just under €200? Try a week in Albufeira on the Algarve...

Stay at the three-star Vilanova Villas & Apartments, this month from €209pp; December from €199pp; and January to March fr.om €219pp.

If you'd prefer Spain, a week in Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol at the Doramara Apartments is €259 this month; a tenner cheaper in January; and €258 from January to March.

If you want a better chance of heat, a week ni the Costa Teguise in Lanzarote is €335 next month, while it's €385 in Gran Canaria.

See www.clickandgo.com or call 01 6371699.

CLUB TRAVEL: Given last weekend's lousy performance, you might be put off rugby right now. But if you're a diehard, Club Travel has just announced that it has been appointed Ireland's official travel agent for next year's World Cup in England.

Packages will go on sale in early 2014 with guaranteed match tickets. Fans can register for details now on www.clubtravel.ie.