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The Aghadoe Heights is ‘China Ready’

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The renowned five-star Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa in Killarney is the first hotel in Kerry to achieve China Ready accreditation, awarded by the Chinese Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI). This guarantees a very special Kerry welcome to our Chinese visitors and guests.

With the introduction of 1,700 airline seats per week, flying directly to Dublin from Beijing and Hong Kong, Irish hotels need to be prepared for a large increase in leisure business from this region.

“Understanding our Chinese guests cultural needs is absolutely pivotal to their overall experience of Ireland,” said General Manger, Niall Coffey.

Colleagues at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa completed specialist training modules that covered areas such as Chinese tourist profiles, communication and language, sales and marketing, product and service needs as well as information on the background of Chinese tourists coming to Ireland. A written test forms part of the individual certification process, which allows the team to enhance their products and services to ensure that they meet the specific needs of the Chinese guest in all areas of hospitality.

Dr Tony Lenehan, Executive Director of COTRI in Ireland, attended a small gathering to celebrate this achievement and to personally award each team member with their certificate. Alongside him were IHF Kerry Branch Chairperson, Niamh O’Shea and Marie Healy from Fáilte Ireland.

During the presentation, General Manager Niall Coffey thanked his team for their continued efforts to develop the hotel’s standards and offering. “The team at the Aghadoe have worked so hard to achieve this special accreditation. We are proud to become the first hotel in Kerry to be ready to provide a special Irish Welcome to our Chinese guests.

“This also coincides perfectly with the EU-China Year of Tourism 2018 initiative, for which we are delighted to offer our support. Recent data released by Fáilte Ireland has shown us how important the Chinese tourism market has become and the potential for growth is significant.”

COTRI is the world's leading Independent Research Institute for training, quality assessment, research and consulting on the Chinese outbound tourism market. The Chinese Tourist Welcome accreditation is the international certified travel service standard and platform recognised by the European Travel Commission and endorsed by the World Tourism and Travel Council.

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Top tips for exfoliating your skin

One of the most important steps when we are looking after our skin, face and body is exfoliation. There are many different types of exfoliators so finding the right one […]

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One of the most important steps when we are looking after our skin, face and body is exfoliation.

There are many different types of exfoliators so finding the right one is important. We don’t want to cause any unnecessary damage, especially to the face.

We must help to exfoliate the dead cells to reveal new glowing skin. As dead cells have a negative effect on the skin, it clogs pores, creates dark spots and rough skin texture, more pronounced wrinkles as well as dullness and dryness. Also, the build up of dead cells can inhibit the effectiveness of skin care products as serums and creams can’t reach the basal (lower) layer which is the active level of the skin. This layer is responsible for the growth of collagen and elastin. These molecules/cells rise up to the outer layer giving your skin plumpness. Think of them like grapes when they are youthful and hydrated. Unfortunately as we age, and if we don’t look after our skin, environmental factors such as the sun, wind, and diet can cause the collagen and elastin cells to look more like raisins. Therefore, it’s super important to exfoliate those dead cells away.

The different types you can choose from might depend on your likes or dislikes and if your skin is normal or combination. If you have dry, thin skin you must be careful to choose a suitable exfoliating product, something without grains, as they can sometimes be a little harsh. If they are dissolving grains they maybe suitable.

A great tip when exfoliating the body is to put on exfoliating mitts every time you shower. Always apply a little body lotion after every shower or bath also.

Any questions call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Budget 2023 has been announced, so what’s in it for you?

At lunchtime today (Tuesday) Budget 2023 was announced which includes an €11 billion package in what’s been described as a ‘Cost of Living Budget’. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and […]

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At lunchtime today (Tuesday) Budget 2023 was announced which includes an €11 billion package in what’s been described as a ‘Cost of Living Budget’.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath announced a series of measures which they say will be “focused on helping individuals, families and businesses to deal with rising prices”.

It included a further €300 million in public service support measures funded from the Contingency Reserve Fund.

“We were emerging from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now face a further economic challenge,” Minister Donoghue said.

“The government understands, and I understand, the worries which small business owners, farmers, pensioners, those who work really hard to get by, will feel. This is why the government will help, and by helping our country will overcome this challenge.”

THE BUDGET AT A GLANCE

Personal Tax Credit, Employee Credit and Earned Income Credit set to increase by €75

Standard rate band for Income Tax is to increase by €3,200 to €40,000

Increase in the second USC rate band (2 percent rate) from €21,295 to €22,920 in line with the 80 cent per hour increase in the national minimum wage recently agreed by this government

€200 electricity credits for homes over the next three billing cycles – November, January and March – (€600 in total)

Petrol/Diesel: The reduction on excise duty on fuel previously announced earlier this year to ease the cost of petrol and diesel has been further extended until February 28, 2023. Motorists will continue to pay 21 cent per litre in respect of petrol, 16 cent per litre in respect of diesel and 5.4 cent per litre in respect of Marked Gas Oil.

A €1.2 billion package of supports for businesses hit by soaring energy costs

New Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) has been set up to assist businesses with their energy costs. A monthly cap of €10,000 per trade will apply and an overall cap will apply on the total amount which a business can claim.

Excise on pack of 20 cigarettes to increase by 50 cent

Lump sum payment of €400 for Fuel Allowance recipients will be paid before Christmas

Extra lump sum for the elderly, carers, and disabled as social welfare rates go up €12

VAT: 9 percent VAT rate which is currently in place to support the tourism and hospitality sectors to remain in place until February 28, 2023

Double Child Benefit payment for all eligible parents on November 1

Christmas bonus to be paid in December, with a separate double payment in November

New rent tax credit worth €500 for 2023. This can also be claimed for 2022. This applies to those who do not get any other housing supports. Approximately 400,000 persons are expected to benefit.

Rural Ireland will get a €390 million investment for development

Newspaper: VAT on newspapers to be reduced from 9 percent to zero from January 1, 2023.

1,000 new Garda and 430 Garda staff will be provided

20% fare reduction on public transport will be extended to the end of 2023

Social Welfare

Weekly social welfare rates will be increased by €12 for working age recipients

€12 increase in weekly payments for pensioners

Working Family Payment threshold will increase by €40

€2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child

An increase in eligibility for Fuel Allowance

€500 lump sum for families availing of the Working Family Payment, a €500 lump sum for carers, a €500 cost of disability payment and a €20 increase in the domiciliary care allowance for sick children

Health

All inpatient hospital charges will be abolished, GP visit cards will be provided to those on or below the median income (340,000 additional people)

There will be a €2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child.

Drug Payment Scheme threshold will remain at the lower rate of €80 in 2023

Funding will be provided for IVF treatments

Free contraception will be available for all women aged between 16 and 30

Childcare and education

Free School Book Scheme for primary school pupils from autumn 2023

Over 660 additional mainstream teachers, over 1,190 SNAs and 680 special education teachers will be provided

The National Childcare Scheme hourly subsidy is to increase from 50c to €1.40

A €500 increase in post-graduate contribution grant for eligible families

Over 4,800 additional places on craft and consortia-led apprenticeships and 4,000 places on craft apprenticeship programmes will be supported

Housing

Funding will be made available to support 8,800 new HAP tenancies and 800 RAS tenancies

9,100 new-build social homes, 5,500 new affordable homes for sale and rent and 6,500 new social homes will be supported

Funding to deliver 37,000 home energy upgrades

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