Travel Extra Editor-in-Chief Kevin Flanagan attended the Irish Travel Trade Show in Dublin yesterday and got chatting to Pat Dawson, CEO of the Irish Travel Agents Association
It was an emotional occasion yesterday in Dublin, seeing Pat Dawson take his final bow. The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) CEO recently announced his retirement from the association at the end of April 2023. I asked Pat what was his proudest time steering the ITAA.
“Undoubtedly, seeing the Awards in the Mansion House – which was my baby from the start. To see people who work so hard every day get their just rewards, made me so proud at the end of that first show.”
And it still does – as he is proud of all the other shows – trade and otherwise – that he has overseen. But he has other proud moments as well to cherish, “How we managed to keep things afloat during lockdown was a big thing for me. And we got help from the Government so travel agents could survive. And now things are thriving again, so that is a massive relief!”
Maureen Ledwith joined us and reflected on Pat’s time in charge of the ITAA, “He was always immensely encouraging and positive. If you come to Pat with a suggestion he will always say “great, let’s go with that!” and that is a very positive approach which becomes contagious. He also has great charm and we will miss that.”
I asked Pat what he will miss the most and he had an immediate answer, “The people I meet and work with everyday!”
And as for the future? “I have grandchildren that I can now devote time to. And I can also give my son a hand when he needs it.”
I left Pat being congratulated all round as he stood in the foyer of the Irish Travel Trade Show in Dublin’s Gresham Hotel and he deserves every plaudit.Good luck Pat on your retirement from all at travelextra.ie – may you enjoy every minute!
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