HomeFeaturesEpisode 12: ITTN Talks To... Ciara Foley, Managing Director of Platinum Travel

Episode 12: ITTN Talks To… Ciara Foley, Managing Director of Platinum Travel

In our latest instalment of ITTN Talks, we caught up with Ciara Foley, Managing Director of Platinum Travel and Chairperson of AWTE Ireland!

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?

The year has got off to a great start thankfully. The first few months were very busy with clients ready to book from early January. We had a bit of a lull in April, but May has really picked up and some lovely bookings coming in. We have lots of our repeat clients back booking again which is always a positive sign, and plenty clients who are exploring some exciting destinations.

What has been your biggest surprise this year?

We have booked some really interesting destinations such as South Korea and The Galapagos. Our Japan bookings are also up as well as Canada. These were not in our main projections for the year, so its lovely to see the interest grow in these destinations. The US continues to remain strong for us particularly for our niche tailor-made fly drives to the lesser-known States and regions such as Arkansas, Montana, Wyoming and Oregon

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

I think getting staff and managing the workload delegation has been very challenging. It is a great complaint that we are busy, but it has been tricky to get new people into the industry. We are delighted to have a strong team here now in Platinum and hoping to build on that. Running a small company, it is all hands on deck!

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

There is no one real trend that is standing out for us, other than clients are looking further afield all the time. We are booking a broad range of holidays and no two days in the office are the same.  We are booking luxury ocean and river cruises, tailormade holidays to Vietnam & Cambodia, fly drive holidays to New Zealand, RV (Motorhome) holidays in the US and a lot of luxury European, Caribbean and Indian Ocean destinations. There is no one holiday type that is standing out more than others.  The world is as popular as ever!

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

We are seeing both. We are getting some enquiries for 2025 for groups and cruises, but more so bookings within the next 3-4 months. It seems that many people have not booked their Summer Holidays yet and keen to have something secured. 

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

I love going to destinations that are authentic and not too commercial. I love to be able to switch off from the crowds, meet the locals, and learn about of history of the destination along the way. I am not a massive sun lover (down to my very fair skin and tendency to burn!), but I do love being able to wander to an old town on a balmy evening and sit and watch the world go by. I love learning about new places and culture and of course trying all the lovely food!

What is your dream holiday, and why?

One where I don’t have to check emails or look at laptop for 2 weeks! It has been such a long time since I was able to this, so I dream of the day I can switch off from the world in a Wi-Fi free zone! Regarding destinations, I would love to explore Asia, I have specialised in the US for so long, its time to go East for a change.

Where is 2024 taking you?

I have already had a couple of lovely work trips so far this year including New England and California. I also spent a lovely few days in Alicante with my book club group which was great fun!  I am going on a River Cruise the end of June from Bucharest to Budapest which I am really looking forward too. I love River Cruising, it is such a lovely way to explore the cities of Europe, as well other worldwide rivers. I am heading to Octoberfest in Munich with my childhood friends to celebrate a few birthdays! Later in the year, I will be back to the US to Georgia and The Capital Region for more work and the ITAA Conference in Almeria.

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!

Must Read