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.

In Cyberspace, no one can hear you say %£&@!

Online is increasingly becoming a modern-day equivalent of the ‘Wild West’ where practically anything goes. We’ve all heard stories about the ‘Dark Web’ and even the ‘Deep Web’ but the ordinary web is also no stranger to criminal behaviour and sorry tales of compromised passwords, stolen funds and hijacked ID’s. Worryingly, one of the areas in which such cyber-crime is regularly poking its head into is in the travel arena. (more…)

All roads don’t lead south

We have a habit in Ireland of only looking south or east when we consider holiday destinations. It’s partly because we associate such destinations in Mediterranean Europe with guaranteed sunshine. It’s also partly due to conditioning and assumptions — false assumptions as it turns out. We assume that it is only southern European destinations such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and, to a lesser extent France, that hold the monopoly on good weather and whilst

Discovery begins at home

I work in the travel industry, so part of my job description is to persuade people to leave Ireland and enjoy many of the delights that the world has to offer. I’ve been doing this in various manifestations (travel agent, tour operator, GSA, consortium founder etc.) for almost 45 years and I love my job! So forgive me this week if I break with tradition and talk a little bit about what can be found

Car Rental — one of the most underused resources when travelling abroad

According to a survey conducted by the AA in Ireland a couple of years ago, around a third of all Irish people who travel abroad hire a car. In my experience, I think that it is actually a lot less than that and I don’t know why? A few reasons do occur to me and these range from travel agents themselves being remiss in not offering or suggesting it in the first place, together with

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:

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!).