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Travel Professionals Paint Bleak But Defiant Picture

Travel Professionals Paint Bleak But Defiant Picture

Three of Ireland’s most experienced travel industry professionals joined joined Bobby Kerr on his weekly ‘Down to Business’ show on Newstalk to talk about the impact of the pandemic on travel. Paul Hackett of Click & Go, Tanya Airey of Sunway and Martin Skelly of Navan Travel spoke frankly about the unprecedented challenges confronted by the industry.

Tanya Airey

Paul Hackett of Click & Go

When asked how bad things had gotten, Paul Hackett said, “they couldn’t be any worse. The entire sector has been down 90-95% since March…It’s beyond challenging.”

Bobby Kerr asked about the prospects of recovery, which Martin Skelly feels will “probably be mid-summer before we see a significant number of people travelling….we need a lot of consumer confidence. We want to see a rollout of pre-departure testing and the vaccination…we’re going to have to offer our customers flexibility, so we’ve been working behind the scenes for a number of months…so we can run a programme successfully.”

Martin Skelly

For Tanya, the green shoots of recovery are slight, but there: “we’re getting a trickle of sun holidays, and I’m talking a trickle. But Lapland is really really popular; I think people have the confidence because they’re not flying until December. People want something very special to look forward to especially after the horrible year we’ve all had.”

Listen to the whole interview here.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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