The Irish Travel Trade Show took place in Cork and Dublin this week after two years away. Travel Extra Editor Kevin Flanagan talks about his experience at both highly successful evenings
I was lucky enough to be at the sixth official Irish Travel Trade Show at The Imperial Hotel, Cork, and Gresham Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Organised on behalf of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA), it was a fantastic event, crammed with exhibitors from around the world. And an unrivalled opportunity to connect face-to-face with some of the world’s best-known and most exciting brands.
The ITAA represents Ireland’s travel industry, bringing together over 100 travel agent members and 70 affiliate partners throughout the Republic of Ireland. Most importantly, lTAA travel agent members are financially guaranteed to trade in the Republic of Ireland.
The Irish Travel Trade Shows are organised on behalf of the ITAA, by Business Exhibitions. The shows are the most important trade event in the Irish Travel Trade calendar, as they are specifically designed to benefit travel agents including owner-managers and counter staff. And it was the first time the Irish Travel Trade Show was brought to Cork, which was a rousing success!
At the Dublin show, I met with show organisers Edmund Hourican and Maureen Ledwith, while at the Cork show, I had a great chat with Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA. Pat has spent the last two years fighting hard for the travel industry and the public it serves. And his fight – on radio, TV and in digital and traditional print – has borne fruit, in the shape of a €10 million support package from the government.
“That help meant that travel agents could survive what was a very challenging period,” said Pat. And not only that, membership of the ITAA has grown.
“I think during the pandemic,” Pat continued, “people understood that, when it comes to things like getting a refund from airlines, they needed help. They cannot do it on their own.” And licensed travel agents provide that expert help.
Pat is happy with the way the Irish travel industry is turning things around again – in no small part due to his efforts, and those of the ITAA. Certainly, all of us here at Travel Extra applaud that effort that is helping the Irish travelling public see the world once again.
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