The latest Irish Travel Agents Association quarterly survey results demonstrate continued growth in the Irish travel industry. Some 73% of Irish travel agents surveyed said that bookings for the second quarter of 2017 (April – June) have increased when compared to the same period in 2016, with a quarter of all agents surveyed experiencing an increase of more than 10-15%.
Spain was once again named as Ireland’s most popular holiday destination for summer 2017, followed by Portugal and the USA, with many travel agents referencing the growing trend of holidaying in countries that are seen as ‘safe’.
Cormac Meehan, ITAA President said: “Recent terrorist incidents have not deterred Irish people from travelling, but our customers are sticking to the popular destinations of Spain and Portugal, which are seen as safe and secure options following unrest in other parts of Europe and in North Africa. Spain has been Ireland’s number one destination for many years and this is down to its excellent tourist facilities, year-round sunshine and fantastic cultural attractions.”
The survey also asked travel agents to name the emerging travel trends of 2017 and the top response was that Irish holidaymakers are booking earlier this year. Cormac added: “Many of the travel agents surveyed revealed that customers are booking much earlier, particularly for those booking cruises. Cruises are also growing increasingly popular with our European counterparts so we are advising Irish travellers to start thinking about their 2018 holiday options now to get a good value package in this competitive market.”
The survey also revealed that more than 70% of ITAA travel agent customers are repeat customers, due to the personalised service provided by travel agents. Families and the over 50s market are the largest demographics booking with travel agents, each making up one-third of all customers.