HomeFeaturesEpisode 11: ITTN Talks To… Sandra Corkin, Managing Director of Oasis Travel

Episode 11: ITTN Talks To… Sandra Corkin, Managing Director of Oasis Travel

In our latest instalment of ITTN Talks, we caught up with Sandra Corkin, Managing Director of Oasis Travel!

In this ongoing series, ITTN speaks to members of the travel trade and gives them a platform to talk about industry trends, to celebrate successes and discuss challenges their business has faced, offering unrivalled insights into the goings on of Irish travel agents.

How has 2024 been for your business so far?

We have had a really encouraging start to 2024. Our sales so far are level with last year which is excellent as last year was our best since the company opened 40 years ago.  It is also a relief that because we had so many forward sales, we were concerned that many of our clients had already booked for 2024. Thankfully, this is not the case!

What has been your biggest surprise this year?

We have been delighted with the amount of high value bookings and luxury holidays. This is proof that when clients have a bigger budget, they want to place it into the hands of a travel expert.

What has been the biggest challenge to your business this year?

The on-going challenge of staff training and development. We have grown our team by 20% since covid and many staff members are new to the industry. This has required an on-going training strategy. Also, the increase in costs in all areas of the business means that we must ensure that our profit margin remains sufficient on all transactions.

Do you have any predictions or are you seeing patterns or emerging trends or destinations for 2024?

We have seen continued increase in cruise sales, particularly river cruises. There seems to be a trend in clients wanting to explore multi-centre rather than stick to a single centre holiday. Cruising provides excellent value for money and a safe environment which is very appealing to our clients.

Are you seeing longer lead times or last-minute requests?

During the last few weeks most of our demand has been for travel in 2024. We are getting bookings for Christmas and New Year breaks, but a lot of people are wanting to travel over the next few months. I think that the relentless wet weather has encouraged people to look for sunshine this year.

On a more personal note, what motivates your travel? New cultures/ sun worship/ exotic cuisine/ places of historical importance/ pure relaxation?

Finding new places to excite our customers motivates me. It is important to experience destinations with an open mind as we now receive so many unusual requests. The ability to make recommendations based on personal experience gives an agent a huge advantage.

What is your dream holiday, and why?

I love to visit new places and enjoy a mixture of experiences. A well-being holiday is high on my list, and I have been very fortunate to stay in a few of the top retreats in Europe. To take a break and come back refreshed and rejuvenated is currently number one on my list.

Where is 2024 taking you?

My next two trips are to Alaska and Sri Lanka. Our Alaska trip is a cruise as when you have been in the industry as long as I have there is an expectation that you have cruised to Alaska, and this is my first time! I have chosen Sri Lanka for a summer break as a few of our team have travelled there and given it rave reviews. It will be lovely to sample the range of experiences that Sri Lanka has to offer – I want to see everything from the well-being retreats to the elephant sanctuaries and tea plantations, so we plan to visit five different properties in two weeks.

Carrie Day
Carrie Day
Carrie started her career in the travel industry in 2014 and has worked in various roles such as Travel Consultant in Canada & Ireland, Business Development Manager and later Industry Sales Manager EMEA at an international tour company. She is also a trustee for the ITAA Benevolent Fund since 2021 and proud member of the AWTE Ireland. Conversations around sustainable travel are welcomed and encouraged!

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