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SPONSORED: How Arvoia is changing the hospitality industry




Technology is revolutionising a lot of different industries, making it easier than ever for businesses to reach their target market and give consumers a better experience.

One Killarney-based tech company, Arvoia, is looking to change the hospitality industry. Arvoia was founded in 2014 and aims to use artificial intelligence (AI) to give hoteliers the best chance of increasing customers as well as engagement and revenue.

Rather than just listing room rates by price, the AI-powered platform develops an understanding of each guest's demands in real-time. It then uses this to adjust the hotel's booking engine and website appropriately to prioritise the most relevant rooms, hotel amenities, and content for each potential guest.

This booking engine is already driving greater direct bookings at hotels such as in the UK and Ireland. In one example, the Dalata Hotel Group in Ireland has experienced a steady increase in its average booking value per guest as well as the conversion rate for potential guests over the first three months of deployment.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence, in its most basic form, is a field that combines computer science with large datasets to solve problems. While the term may conjure up images of sentient robots from science fiction, the reality is that AI is increasingly being used in our lives.

AI is also used to describe a number of sub-fields, such as machine learning and deep learning. Artificial Intelligence algorithms are used in these areas to develop expert systems that make predictions based on input data.

In this sense, AI can be incredibly useful for businesses, as predicting the behaviour of potential customers is invaluable. This is what companies such as Arvoia aim to do, giving hotels more information about potential guests and working out what their needs are. This then provides a personalised booking experience. The company is expanding across Europe and also aims to offer its AI platform to US hotels in 2022.

What's next for Arvoia?

Arvoia collects more than two billion data points across a range of different industries. This includes the hospitality sector as well as travel and mobility. The end result is an AI tool that can be applied to a lot of different businesses. For now, the focus is on hospitality, especially after it recently appointed John Burns to its board of advisors.

As a veteran of the hospitality business, John has worked for multinational hotel brands such as Hyatt and Ramada. In addition, he has plenty of experience working for technology companies such as THISCO (now Pegasus Solutions) and INTRICO over 40 years of his career. He was recognised as one of the 10 hospitality gurus influencing the travel industry by Lodging Magazine and is a member of the HFTP's International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame.

The platform is unique from other hotel booking platforms such as in that it gives hotels independent access to the tools. This means that hotels themselves can make the most of the AI, rather than losing out on revenue to a third-party service.

The AI platform, according to Mike Webster, CEO of Arvoia, is "the world's most advanced AI solution for hoteliers," citing the service's spread throughout European properties. "It has resulted in increased direct customers, revenue, and guest happiness without requiring the hotel to invest in new technology," he explained.

While the hotel industry is the main focus of Arvoia right now, the Killarney-based company could yet move to other sectors too. Restaurants, travel agencies, and airlines could all benefit from AI-powered tools. As the demand for this technology increases, the future looks bright for Arvoia.

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Minister passes the buck on major road upgrade

By Sean Moriarty Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Eamon Ryan has passed the buck after being challenged on why the Killarney to Farranfore road has been further delayed. Transport […]




By Sean Moriarty

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Eamon Ryan has passed the buck after being challenged on why the Killarney to Farranfore road has been further delayed.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have been putting off the revelation of the preferred route corridor for the badly needed road for months.

Elected councillors at the January meeting of the Killarney Municipal District expressed their anger after TII failed to honour a pre-Christmas promise.

In November last year the roads authority said it would put the preferred corridor on public display by the start of December.

So far, nothing has been published.

This prompted local TD Michael Healy-Rae to bring the issue to the Dáil where he asked Minister Ryan to make a statement on the delay.

However, the Minister passed the buck, saying the matter was for the TII, the very agency that has not honoured its late 2022 promise.

“As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned,” said Ryan.

“This is also subject to the Public Spending Code and the necessary statutory approvals. In this context, TII is best placed to advise you on the status of this project. Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.”

Next Friday (February 10), will mark 10 working days from the date of the statement was made.


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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Contraceptive Services in Ireland

Birth control or contraception is the use of medicines, devices, or surgery to prevent pregnancy. You can get contraception from most pharmacies in Ireland. Most contraception will need a prescription […]




Birth control or contraception is the use of medicines, devices, or surgery to prevent pregnancy.

You can get contraception from most pharmacies in Ireland. Most contraception will need a prescription from a GP but you do not need a prescription for emergency contraception or condoms.

You can get prescriptions for contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as advice about contraception from GPs, voluntary organisations and private family planning clinics. Voluntary and private family planning clinics usually have charges but may waive them or have lower fees in certain cases.

In Budget 2023 it was announced that the age range for free contraception will be extended to include women aged 16 and aged 26 to 30, from 1 September 2023. This change requires legislation.

Is contraception free in Ireland?

You can get free contraception if you are:

A woman or person with a uterus
Aged 17 to 26
Living in Ireland

What contraception costs are free for people aged 17 to 26?

Any GP appointments about your contraception options
Contraception prescriptions from your doctor (at participating pharmacies)
Emergency contraception (the morning-after-pill)
Fitting, removal and check-ups of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs)
Other types of contraception such as contraceptive injections, implants, IUS and IUDs (coils), the contraceptive patch and contraceptive ring
Prescriptions for combined oral contraception (the daily pill)

How do I get free contraception if I am aged 17 to 26?

You do not need a medical card.
You need to book an appointment with a GP or doctor to discuss your contraception. This appointment will be free. The GP and pharmacy will ask for your:

PPS number
Date of birth

Your GP will use this information to let the pharmacy know not to charge you for your free contraception prescription. You can also collect your free contraception from some family planning clinics.

Is contraception covered by my medical card?

If you have a medical card, you get free contraceptive drugs, devices and free GP services including contraceptive advice. This also includes emergency contraception. You will have to pay a prescription charge for items you get from pharmacies under the medical card scheme.

What is the situation, if I do not have a medical card?

If you do not have a medical card, and you are not eligible for the free contraception scheme (above), you will have to pay for contraception and contraceptive services. You may be able to reduce the cost of your contraception through the Drug Payment Scheme. For example, the cost of long-acting reversible contraceptives such as the IUS (hormonal coil) or IUD (copper coil). You may also be able to claim tax relief on medical expenses.

Can I get free condoms in Ireland?

Condoms are not free under the medical card or free contraception scheme.

You can get free condoms from:
Sexual health or GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinics
Some sexual health NGOs
Many third level colleges

Where can I get emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is a back-up contraception. You can use emergency contraception up to five days after having unprotected sex, but it is more effective the sooner you take it after unprotected sex.
You can get emergency contraception tablets (sometimes called the morning-after pill) over the counter in most pharmacies without having to go to a doctor for a prescription.

You can get free emergency contraception if:

You have a medical card, or
You are a woman or person with a uterus, aged 17 to 26 and living in Ireland

You can read more about contraception services on the HSE website:

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on or log on to for further information.

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