This evening Liam Lonergan, founder of Ireland’s largest travel company, will celebrate 40 years of Club Travel with his team and Irish travel industry friends and colleagues at the Harbourmaster IFSC.
Club Travel has spanned the era of the Boeing 747, which was launched in 1970 and carried 362 passengers – twice as many as its predecessor, the B707.
“The 747 saw lower prices for the masses and Club Travel helped to market these prices, first as a bucket shop, then as a consolidator, then as a diversified company involved in most aspects of travel, including corporate, retail, ethnic student and online.
“In 1980 we started on the long road of technology and programming – without which we could do little now. This has been the greatest asset to controlling the business. In the early days, programming was like a ‘black art’ of which few had even minimal knowledge. Tom Glynn was one of those who embraced it – and it has made a tremendous difference to the running of the business. Colman Burke and Tom Burke have carried the flag in recent years.
“I have been lucky to have many employees, past and present, who complemented my skills and who put up with my demands. Without those people I would not have gone very far. I would like to thank all my employees for your commitment.
“I still enjoy the business challenges and love the opportunities it gives me. I am lucky to have my business as my hobby.”
– Liam Lonergan