The Irish Tour Operators Federation chose Palma de Majorca as the venue for its annual general meeting this year – and President John Devereux from SHGI was re-elected for the coming year. In a media briefing he stated that it had been a tough year with a downturn in July/August bookings; however, this had been somewhat mitigated by early bookings.
Spain is still the number one destination from Ireland, with Majorca doing particularly well. In fact the numbers opting for hotel stays is up 8.7% for the period from January to August, said Gonzalo Ceballos, Director of Turspana in Ireland.
A delegation from the ITAA headed by President Clare Dunne also travelled to Palma to meet with the ITOF board. Following the meeting it was agreed that the two organisations would work together on issues that were common to both organisations. These would include the high level of bonding, currently at 10% for tour operators and 4% for travel agents, by making representations to the Commission for Aviation Regulation.
Other areas for future discussions could include changes in legislation and training within the industry. Clare Dunne said that they welcomed this opportunity to sit down and address matters of mutual interest, as the interests of the members of both organisations were important.
In response to recent media speculation about a merger of the two bodies, the President of ITOF stated clearly that this was not on the agenda.
No visit to Palma would be complete without some golf – and Con Horgan of Abbey Travel was the overall winner here.
Turespana’s Gonzalo Ceballos organised the programme and the excellent ground arrangements, while John Keogh from Aer Lingus sponsored the flights. Aer Lingus flies three times rising to four flights a week to Palma from Dublin, twice weekly from Cork, and from Belfast City Airport twice per week, all during the summer season.