by Isabel Conway –
Its official! We Irish (per head of population) are the world’s most adventurous travellers. Roaming the globe has been in our DNA since famine days when millions were forced to leave or die, most of them seeking a new life in America while others took their chances in Australia, be it forced (on convict ships) or later free as new pioneers.
According to CSO figures, over 8 million Irish residents took trips abroad in 2018.
The spin off to Irish airports has been phenomenal. Dublin Airport, offering US entry clearance which has been an enormous attraction, for the UK, mainland Europe and Asian travellers saw 30 million passengers pass through in 2018!
According to Irish Travel Agents Association President John Spollen (MD of leading travel company Cassidy Travel) these numbers look like increasing this year.
While visiting the Thailand Tourist Board Stand at Holiday World, Ireland’s largest consumer travel show it was obvious that faraway trips are significantly on the increase.
One of the travel experts on hand said” UK visitors to Thailand are into beaches and sun worshipping, but the Irish want to go up North and see everything – from remote areas to iconic wildlife; there’s a big difference in their demands and expectations compared with the usual British market. They often look on a trip to Asia and Thailand as a trip of a lifetime and want to have special experiences”.
With great fares and enormous choices for airlines and accommodation, the world is ever smaller and easier in terms of travel from airports around Ireland. Another plus is the increased spending power of Irish travellers since the recession lifted.
A new service between Dublin and the southern Chinese city of Shenzen will open up the huge continent to ever more visitors and allow their eager to travel hordes to come our way..The Dreamliner service starts on February 25 operating on Mondays and Fridays.
Japan saw lots of enquiries from rugby fans keen to visit during the forthcoming World cup and its tourist board has put together a dedicated brochure just to inform visitors about venues, but more about that in a future newsletter.
If you’re wondering about the latest travel trends:
Here according to Travel Extra, Ireland’s top consumer holiday show which attracted 1,000 exhibitors and more than 50,000 visitors are the top five.
- Cruises : The explosion of cruise options, in all price ranges and to a mind boggling list of places is set to continue, and being able to jump aboard some of them in Dublin or Cobh, Co Cork is a big incentive.
- Booking with a travel agent is back in fashion!. ITAA travel agents say that many more badly stung holidaymakers who were stranded in on-line arrangements, due to a variety of problems are seeking the assurance of bonded back up.
- Luxury Holidays: the 5 star getaways are back. So, its official we are richer, though some of us aren’t feeling it in our pockets yet.
- Adventure. Big winners at the Irish Travel Industry Awards (the travel agents Oscars) two leading tour operators G-Adventures and Wendy Wu are leaders in escorted adventure travel to a stunning array of world wide destinations. Adventure holidays are tops with those looking for ‘experience’ themed travels and singles of all ages continue to embrace them.
- Skiing died a death during the Irish financial crash but the comeback is now ever present and leading tour operator leaders Topflight, Ski Direct and Crystal are coping with a bigger than anticipated demand, especially for families along with school groups.