Welcome to Travel Times Tryphavana can you tell us about your different roles in the travel industry here in Ireland? Hi Ed, it is a great pleasure to chat with you today. I am currently Sales & Marketing and PR Account Director for NYC & Company and The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in Ireland. I am the Irish representative for both destinations in the Irish market and have worked for them since 2008. I really enjoy what I do and am delighted to be a part of such a vibrant and invigorating industry. When I am not at work I enjoy spending time with my daughter and husband, also going to the gym and playing basketball.
What first attracted you to the travel business?
I have always had a strong desire for travel. My father travelled the world and encouraged me to do the same. My Dad always talked about his travels and my first stop was to Singapore to follow in his footsteps. I later went on to live in Australia for two years. It was a natural progression to enter the industry and make a career out of doing something I already enjoyed doing.
Did you always want to work in travel?
I always loved to travel and really enjoyed experiencing new destinations. I studied special needs teaching and interior design at college, but travel has been something that always seemed to follow me: inescapable, inevitable, my calling for sure. I started in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and Exhibitions) industry and moved into tourist boards and really found my passion. I love what I do as there are so many different elements from one day to the next. Each day is different, you could be filming one day, the next working with the media and a day later working at trade events.
You represent NYC and Las Vegas here in Ireland. Why did you choose these two destinations? For me, they are two of the best destinations in the world and I feel blessed and humbled each day I represent them. They are two of my favourite destinations, constantly changing and evolving. This year New York hosted World Pride and next year Las Vegas will host IPW in 2020. Both destinations have so much to offer.
What are your top five tips for people travelling to NYC and Las Vegas? (5 for each) . There is so much to do and see in each city it is hard to pick just five but here goes
A great way to save on some of New York City’s most iconic attractions is to get a CityPASS, New York Explorer Pass, New York Pass and build your own pass by Smart Destinations. Each offer a different experience, but all give substantial savings.
Travel to New York during restaurant week, taste amazing food at great value and Off Broadway week to see some amazing shows at two for one ticket prices.
The subways are great for travelling around the city and NYC Ferry provides an affordable way to travel between waterfront communities.
Take the free Staten Island Ferry to see New York and enjoy some amazing shopping at Empire Outlets which opened April 2019.
Visit all five boroughs. Each of them has much to offer, tells a different story and offers a new experience for frequent and new travellers to the city.
Take a trip to The Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam by air, bus or drive. It truly is an amazing experience, helicopter tours take in the West Rim. On this side of the canyon you will see naturally carved rock formations like Eagle Point and experience The Skywalk Bridge, a glass walkway between the Canyon walls. If you have more time take a bus to South Rim or drive for about four hours by car to the National Park.
Go see a show. Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. Immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of Las Vegas any day of the week. See a resident show or visit some of the city’s hottest nightclubs.
Enjoy the food scene with Uncorked. Las Vegas has amazing restaurants as well as great food tours on the Strip and Downtown. Food tours are a great way to try different restaurants as you can have three different courses in each of three restaurants.
Try a little adventure. There’s so much on offer in Las Vegas from zip lines, to Speed Vegas, rollercoaster rides, adventure balloons to magic mountain and the most amazing pool parties. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation has over a dozen hiking trails and several climbing paths to explore. You can also go zip lining with Flightlinez near Boulder City or visit the Hoover Dam.
Check out the Museums at Downtown Las Vegas and the Mob and Neon museums are a must see. Get in touch with your artsy side checking out the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. The exhibition space has featured some of the world’s most compelling exhibitions, including Picasso: Creatures and Creativity, Faberge Revealed, Painting Women: Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Warhol Out West.
What do you think are the new and emerging trends in travel?
Wellness travel: the global wellness industry continues to boom at lightning speed. Adventure travel: more people are seeking adventure while travelling and adventure travellers aren’t speeding through their vacations, but really immersing themselves in a destination. Solo Travel: Its becoming ever more sociable.
Name someone in Ireland’s travel industry that you admire?
It would be unfair to name just one as there are so many amazing individuals in the industry at every level. I have been lucky enough to meet many talented people with great integrity, vision, enthusiasm and attention to detail.
What is the best thing about your job?
The experiences it allows you to have. Working with so many talented people with great passion for the industry. Meeting amazing people on a daily basis , showcasing two wonderful destinations
And the worst thing?
I love what I do, the hours are long and I travel a lot, which means I am away from my family. It really is a 24-hour a day job.
What has been your most surprising travel experience in the past year?
I am constantly surprised at both destinations. New York boroughs are truly amazing with so many hidden gems. Brooklyn is a great place to visit I always love a walk on Coney Island and through Prospect Park. it’s a real joy to enjoy the tastes on Arthur Ave in the Bronx. The city is always changing and I have so much love for the iconic sites. Outside Las Vegas I still get goose bumps every time I visit the Grand Canyon. I loved zip lining through Bootleg Canyon with its amazing views. The culinary scene in Las Vegas is also amazing, there is so much on offer there: Lip Smacking Foodie Tours for example. The shows always surprise me with new wonderful talent coming through every month, it’s hard to pick a favourite.
What do you consider to be the top three essentials that makes a good hotel? Cleanliness and a comfortable bed are absolutely essential (plush pillows, good bed linen and an oversized bathrobe don’t go amiss either). Good customer service with friendly staff to greet you. Simple tasty food and a good internet connection
What do you never travel without?
My phone and laptop.