Ideas, suggestions and recommendations that can help you choose from a more limited palette of options that we know — both from professional and personal experience.

A long overdue reunion with an old acquaintance

Back in 1988, I undertook the first of two trips to Jamaica to scout out properties for a large incentive group that had confirmed a booking with me when I was managing a tour operating company in Dublin. The company in question was Chieftain Tours and at the time, it was the only operator of charters to Toronto in Canada where it partnered with a large Canadian tour operator called Sunquest Vacations. I had pitched

Dubrovnik – the real King’s Landing

  The former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Tip O’Neill famously opined some years ago that ‘All politics is local’ and how right he was! You could equally argue that when it comes to the relative popularity of new air services, you should never underestimate the allure of ‘local’. The ‘local’ in this instance that I am referring to is the new direct service between Cork and Dubrovnik that will start later

How competition benefits the consumer in more ways than you think!

When we think of competition, particularly in the consumer sense of the word, there is an unconscious assumption that we’re talking about price. Stiff competition certainly has a habit of regulating pricing and tends to ensure that no one player in the marketplace loses the run of themselves and starts raising their prices. Competition also benefits consumers in many other ways — some tangible and some not so tangible. In the case of the former,

Going to Florida this year? You’ve got to do the Bahamas too.

I’ve been to the Caribbean quite a few times over the years, visiting dream destinations like Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, St Thomas, Sint Maartin, Jamaica and even Bermuda although strictly speaking Bermuda isn’t the Caribbean and I’ve loved it every single time. There’s a laid-back atmosphere on every island, the natives are friendly, and they all speak English. Add to that those amazing tropical beaches, swaying palms, calypso music, daiquiris and Pina Coladas so what’s

Where do travel agents go on their holidays?

We are currently in the process of putting the finishing touches to our new consumer magazine which is about to be published in dozens of different editions so that many of our affiliated member agents can customize their copies for the benefit of their customers. One of the features that we’ve included as part of that customization process is that we’ve asked each travel agency owner to reveal some things about themselves that we felt

‘The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten’

So said some guy called  Benjamin Franklin, a long time ago. This time of year tends to be one of the busiest times for travel agents (It’s their equivalent of Christmas) when the thoughts of a lot of people turn to their annual holiday in the sun or just travel in general. Booking activity peaks and generally speaking, travel agents are put to the pin of their collar in trying to handle the increased levels

Nippon — Land of the Rising Sun

‘Nippon’ is the word that the Japanese use to describe their own country and the Kanji characters that represent the written form literally translate as ‘sun origin’. Even their national flag continues with this theme, representing, as it does, a red circle against a white background — or as one wit once described it: a Venn diagram indicating what percentage of Japan is actually Japanese, as the country has always famously been homogeneous and indeed

Ask an Expert

In this always on, 24/7 world of ours where everyone is connected and has access to the seemingly limitless resource of all information online, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that we are all experts because of that information. The reality though is that there is a big difference between information and knowledge. There is an old analogy that explains the difference between information and knowledge and explains that difference thus:

How cynicism created a new travel publication

In Oscar Wilde’s famous play, ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’, the character Lord Darlington utters the immortal words ‘A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing’. No truer words were ever said as sometimes it feels as if everyone is a cynic with an unhealthy fixation on price without ever considering the more important issue of value. Indeed, it is one of the great disadvantages of the Internet in

Premium economy anyone?

On a recent flight to the States, my flight was delayed by almost six hours because of bad weather. There were strong cross winds at Dublin airport which were blowing above the safety threshold of the aircraft in question and we couldn’t use another runway because the aircraft size and load needed a longer runway to take off. Flight delays are an unfortunate inconvenience of air travel and are usually beyond the control of all

Philadelphia here I come!

Truth be told, I was there last week but who could resist such a headline! It was my first time in ‘Philly’, which is even more surprising, given that I have been to the States at least 40 times over the years and the city is the 6th largest in the US. I was attending the annual conference of the ITAA (Irish Travel Agents Association) — their first to be held outside Europe in their

The best fun you can have standing up!

2018 will go down as one of the best Irish summers ever — certainly the best one that I can recall in almost 60 years. Eight weeks of almost unbroken sunshine, warm temperatures and blue skies created feelings of ambivalence in travel people such as myself because the selfish hedonist in me wanted it to last for ever whereas my pragmatic side new that it wasn’t good for business — after all, our job is

The art of getting a quote that is both competitive in price and relevant to your needs starts with gathering all the right information about what you want to do (or think you want to do!).