Go on the piste at more destinations

THE Irish skiing business continues to grow and Topflight has moved to take advantage of a huge surge in interest.

The leading ski tour operator predicts a 10% increase in numbers. To reflect the level of interest, the company has added capacity to Andorra and Austria from Dublin and Cork and has also introduced new resorts in Austria, France and Italy.

Topflight has introduced a new flight from Cork to Toulouse to service Andorra, as well as increasing capacity to Innsbruck for the Austrian Tirol resorts.

Family and group fares are available and company MD Tony Collins is convinced it will be a bumper year.

THE Mediteranea Festival on Malta's sister island Gozo, in the heart of the Mediterranean, is an event not to be missed if any cultural and artistic buffs are in the vicinity between November 22 and 29.

The programme of events will include: Verdi's grand opera Un Ballo in aschera, a piano concert by internationally acclaimed pianist Young-Choon Park at the Basilica, a symphonic band concert by La Stella Philharmonic, a Maltese ethnic music concert by Etnika, an open-air traditional Gozitan dinner with folk show and fireworks, and Verdi's Missa de Requiem and Te Deum to end the week.

Gozo itself boasts a 7,000-year history evident today through its Ggantija temples, the oldest free standing temples in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site. As part of the festival there will be a tour and on-site interpretation of these pre-historic temples.

The Mediterranea basic package can be booked through Belleair Travel in Dublin and costs 230. This includes entrance to the Mediterranea festival for five days of events. Visitors can also pre-pay for entrance to a chosen number of events. These offers are open to Belleair customers only.

TOUR America, whose 148 page 2003 brochure is shortly due to be launched, is organising a North American Consumer show in the Red Cow Inn on Dublin’s Naas Road on Sunday, October 13.

This show is the first time that so many exhibitors representing all parts of the United States, Canada and cruising holidays will be gathered in the one venue, providing detailed information on destinations and early booking incentives to the public.

There will be more than 40 exhibitors attending, including Walt Disney World, Florida, St. Petersburg & Clearwater, Florida Keys & Key West, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Sundance Helicopters, California, Illinois, South Carolina, North Carolina, Capitol Region, Visit USA, Philadelphia, Bermuda Tourism, New Orleans, Tennessee, Mississippi, Canadian Tourism Board.

In addition, some of the world's top cruise liners will be attending, including Royal Caribbean, Orient Lines, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, P&O Cruises along with airlines like Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, KLM and Air Canada.

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