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Campaign Business Media Brand of the Year 2020
Travel Media Awards Trade Publication of the Year 2020 - Print & Online

Better days ahead

It is not all gloom and doom, though. While things feel pretty miserable at the moment, the fact is that vaccines are already being distributed. During the pandemic, Irish household savings have ballooned to record levels, with over €72,000 for every adult in the country on deposit in Irish financial institutions. All this time, we have been hearing from our clients that they just can’t wait to get out there travelling again and are dreaming of the sun on their backs already. We know that when the green light flashes, there will be a stampede. More than we can handle.

 

Like everyone in travel in Ireland, we lost a lot of money in 2020, but we ended the year still in a very strong financial situation. “How can we lose so much and still feel like we had a good year?” I asked my fellow director at our AGM. But that’s the new reality, isn’t it? I was very pleased to have a very strong balance sheet, even after such an awful year. But we had to let some long-standing and sorely missed people go too. We have preserved all the infrastructure necessary for future growth. Our Iata licence, Our Clia and ITAA memberships, our front and back office systems, our government licence etc. However, we know that we won’t be able to cope with the demand when it explodes later in the year, and I have to plan how to handle that now.

 

As I am due to retire in the next few years, I will be looking to partner up with someone who can scale up the operation and eventually take it over. We have the space and the gizmos; we just need someone with a vision to bring it to the next level and to gear it up to handle the inevitable tsunami of demand that is only about six months away. We would be an ideal vehicle for a UK or American company who want a toe-hold in Ireland and/or the EU, and I have been keeping the company ready for just such an event.

 

Being one of the “elder lemons” of the Irish travel trade, I know how to get things done in Ireland and I have a few years left in me to assist any newcomers. I love the rapidly developing expedition side of the business and I would like to concentrate on setting those up, marketing and selling them and, of course, personally escorting them! I still love the business. I still have fire in my belly. I still have a few years left in me and a lifetime’s experience and contacts. I intend to enjoy what time is left to me and see a bit more of the world. I am really lucky to have visited all seven continents and stayed in some of the most exquisite hotels in the world. But there is so much more to see and so little time to see it in!

TTG - Travel Trade Gazette
For Smarter, Better, Fairer Travel
TTG Media Limited.
Place of registration: England and Wales.
Company number 08723341.
Registered address: 6th Floor, 2 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU