Surge in people buying sun holdiays

Surge in people buying sun holidays

Irish Examiner Thursday, January 23, 2014

Travel agents are reporting a spike in bookings of between 10% to 15% as holidaymakers seek out the sun next summer.

By Conall Ó Fátharta

Irish Examiner Reporter

With January traditionally one of the most popular months for booking holidays, Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) chief executive Pat Dawson said demand was high again this year, following on from a bumper year last year.

“The difference this year compared to last year is that people are actually laying down money and booking rather than just enquiring. There isn’t a panic on, but the demand is certainly very high. We are probably up on bookings by about 15% on last year, even though footfall is about the same.”

“I suppose it’s a sign that there is more disposable income out there and a little more of a positive outlook of where the economy is at,” he said.

Mr Dawson said this demand was reflected in the fact that many of the charter flights out of Cork airport in June to traditionally popular destinations, like Spain, Portugal and the Canaries, were sold out.

He pointed out that demand for the Holiday World Show, taking place in the RDS in Dublin from Thursday to Saturday, was at an all-time high.

However, the ITAA chief executive said there was a need for more destinations from Cork Airport so it could compete with Shannon and Dublin airports.

“There hasn’t been any significant new routes from Cork in a while so we would hope to see some movement there into the future. We know it’s not easy, but we would be encouraging them to look to new destinations,” he said.

Editor of Travel Extra magazine Eoghan Corry said bookings were up by about 12% on last year and there was a bit more “excitement” in the travel industry as a result of new routes.

“There are 32 new air routes going to all sorts of new places, so there is a bit of excitement again. Flights to Canada have gone from a daily flight to 27 a week. There are a ton of extra capacity to North America. We are going to have 22 flights a day from Ireland to the US, which is an amazing jump. Cruise holidays are continuing to grow, so there is a lot of excitement in the industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ryanair has announced that its fares are now available on Google Flight Search. Using the search engine, customers can quickly find and compare flights to and from any of Ryanair’s 186 airports in Europe and North Africa, view prices in their local currency, and book these fares directly with Ryanair.

It also allows users to explore possible destinations and view live ticket prices, browse and filter flights by price, airline, flight duration or date selector, and view a simple list of the most relevant flights, which are listed in order of price.

Author Information

Travel Agent: ITAA