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isabel conway

Where the Irish want to travel this year

by Isabel Conway –

Early new year…it’s when the blanket of gloom envelopes many of us, after the tinsel is cleared away with partying shrouded in guilt throughout dry January.

Now that’s all done and dusted we’ve perked up again, resolutions are re-juggled, like our resolve to cut down on the booze and pep up our fitness routine, be it biking or hiking, now that the days are stretching out.

Oh yes, and the resolve to save up for that trip of a lifetime.

It’s decision time also… we’re thinking holidays now and there is no better catalyst than that annual shop window to destinations far and wide, plus a sprinkling of Eoghan Corry’s clinics to answer our travel questions and a tell us where the action is going to be.

Holiday World, the annual three day travel event in Belfast and Dublin is the country’s consumer shop window to what’s out there and more than 1,000 travel professionals showed their wares.

Nearly 40,000 people visited this year’s Holiday World Show in Dublin, up 25 per cent in the last three years. Cruises, city breaks and USA and Canada big road trips, especially those themed for music, food and the great outdoors, were the big talking points among visitors to Holiday World. Travel Times will be bringing you lots more destination reports on the US in the coming months, plus city breaks and a Cruise special….watch this space!.

Enquiries about home holidays also peaked during the show.

Charlotte Brenner who heads up marketing for giant international tour operator TUI in Ireland reports that Mexico, with direct flights from Dublin on a TUI Dreamliner, this summer ticks a lot of boxes.

Coastal romantic resorts are obvious honeymoon destinations while Mexico’s fascinating ancient history, culture and food, plus the growth of adventure and experience travel is growing in appeal.

The hunger for activity travel was also reflected in the increasing demand for walking, lakes and mountains trips to Italy and elsewhere in Europe, she says.

Faraway travel is also in our sights, especially Japan (though Ireland’s poor performance in the opening Six Nations may have put a slight damper on some plans to jet off to the land of the Rising Sun to support our men in Green)for the World Cup in autumn from enquiries during Holiday World.

Award winning Wendy Wu Tours reported their best ever Holiday World show with a lot of interest in Brazil and Chile.

Travel Times will have destination reviews on both of these fascinating south American countries soon.

Travel Department’s Sara Zimmerman reported that enquiries at Holiday World for China and Vietnam were well up on previous years, with a big increase also in small group adventure holidays, including Albania and Patagonia.

Veteran travel expert Sharon Jordan of Uniworld said “we saw an incredible surge in the public interest for river cruising and solo travelling (you read it in Travel Times already!). River cruising is at the top of many travellers ‘must try’ lists. The Rhine and Danube rivers routes are the top choices.

New to river cruising is Uniworld’s younger sister-brand U by Uniworld, offering a new take on river cruising for a new generation of travelers. Travel Times believes this is the way to go and imaginative on board and exciting and varied shore entertainment will easily capture the millennial market.

According to Royal Caribbean’s Jennifer Callister their ocean cruise market(they have it all, huge ships and great destinations, plus a lot of inbuilt extras) will continue to go from strength to strength in 2019.

Their sailings from Barcelona and the Caribbean itineraries that call into their own exclusive private island in the Bahamas struck a chord with the Holiday World audience. But that’s the thing about cruises…those who’ve never been are anxious to experience what it’s all about, die hard repeat cruisers just keep coming back for more, while those who can’t imagine sailing into the sunset with a couple of thousand neighbours in tow will move on to find their own Nirvana.

Caribbean lady at the market

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