My Dream Destinations

My Dream Destinations

ITTN’s Neil Steedman asked six tour operators participating in the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s recent workshop in Dublin to reveal their favourite destinations visited, their dream destinations yet to be visited, and what they would like to have been doing now if they were not in the travel industry. Rob Smart

Rob Smart, Cassidy Golf

“In 2005 I was fortunate enough to take a trip backpacking around the world and Argentina stood out for me as one of the most amazing countries I visited. From the breathtaking Iguacu Waterfalls, the lake districts of Bariloche, the city of Buenos Aires and the home of Malbec wine Mendoza, the country has something for everyone. South Africa is on my list of destinations that I would like to get to soon – although this year I think I’ll be heading towards the Maldives for the first time. If I was not in the travel industry I would like to be running a bar in somewhere warm – maybe Sydney!”

Cathy Burke

Cathy Burke, Travel Counsellors

“My best destination is Australia, I would love to visit Canada – and if not in travel I would like to have been a private detective!”

Brendan Barry

Brendan Barry, Discover Travel

“My favourite country ever visited is Ethiopia and I would love to see Burma soon. If I was not in travel I would have liked to have been an archaeologist.”

Martin Penrose

Martin Penrose, Topflight

“My favourite destination has to be South Africa. Since my first visit in 1987 I have been hooked and have been lucky enough to have visited this amazing country on numerous occasions. There’s nothing like staying in the private game reserves of the Kruger National Park – it’s a combination of 5-star relaxation followed by a great adrenaline rush when thrashing through the bush in your 4×4 Landrover! I always follow this with a visit to one of the most beautiful cities in the world – Cape Town (I wish I was there right now!). I have always wanted to visit Uganda or Rwanda in order to see the mountain gorillas. I almost made it there a few years ago, but had to cancel, so it’s on my radar now. When I was at college in Glasgow, part of my studies included Law, so some involvement in the legal profession could have been possible, but to be honest it would be a pro-golfer playing the European Tour – but looking at the state of my game, perhaps in another lifetime!”

Jackie Herssens

Jackie Herssens, Travelmood

“Barbados is one of my favourite places to visit. I love the laid back atmosphere. You just have to take a visit to Crane Beach on the east coast of the island, it is considered one of the top 10 beaches in the world! At night head to Harbour Lights on the south coast – this is one of the top beachfront clubs on the island, with live music and has a different theme every night. If you are looking for a romantic meal head to the Cliff Restaurant at St James, with fabulous views and the food is amazing, really worth the visit! I definitely want to get to Maui Island in Hawaii someday soon! For my alternative career I would definitely have to own my own boutique and spend my time travelling to different countries to buy clothes – I am not sure I would make much money though!”

Azzedine Benchenna

Azzedine Benchenna, Manasik Tours

“My best destination visited is Malaysia and I would love to visit Australia. My alternative career would be as a professional soccer referee – I am already studying to be one.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at

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