The US, Spain and Portugal were the most popular holiday destinations for Irish holidaymakers in 2017, the latest Irish Travel Agents Association quarterly survey found. The results of the survey were announced at the RDS, in advance of the opening of Holiday World Show Dublin tomorrow.
The US is set to continue in popularity, given early booking trends, and was also voted one of the top three destinations for 2018, after long-time favourites Spain and Portugal.
Cormac Meehan, President of the ITAA, said: “The resurgence of US destinations at the top of the poll has been greatly assisted by the extensive transatlantic routes on offer from Ireland. Almost 30m passengers passed through Dublin Airport last year and there are now over 3m transatlantic seats from Ireland on sale. We are very fortunate that we are so well connected to the US with direct routes on offer from Aer Lingus, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Norwegian Airlines and American Airlines.”
He said that Aer Lingus will be at the Holiday World Show showcasing its new routes to Seattle and Philadelphia”, while this year’s Visit USA Pavilion “will be the largest in the show’s 29 year history, with over 40 destinations on offer”.
Four out of 10 travel agents said that the biggest issue faced by their customers last year was cancelled flights. Meanwhile, three-quarters of agents said turnover rose in 2017.
Looking at 2018, 85pc of travel agents surveyed said that they were optimistic for an increase in turnover on 2017, with 5pc anticipating an increase of more than 20pc.
The Holiday World Show takes place at RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin for three days 26-28 January, 2018. For further information, see www.holidayworldshow.com