HomeFeaturesEpisode 14: ITTN Talks To… Karen Monaghan, Managing Director of KT Travel

Episode 14: ITTN Talks To… Karen Monaghan, Managing Director of KT Travel

In our latest instalment of ITTN Talks, we caught up with Karen Monaghan, Managing Director of KT Travel, Dundalk.

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?
It has been an extremely successful year for KT Travel. This year so far has been our busiest year since we opened 19 years ago. We are halfway through the year and here is hoping that we will continue at the same rate for the second half of the year.

What has been your biggest surprise this year?
We are delighted to see online customers coming back to the Travel Agent. We have seen a huge increase in previous online bookers coming to us. This is due to the service, support and personal touch provided, that you do not get online. We have heard some horror stories from customers after booking online who have had holidays ruined due to no support or unable to get through to online companies who either don’t reply or they are speaking to a robot!

What has been the biggest challenge to your business this year?
The talks of a possible Aer Lingus strike is the most current challenge that we may have to take on. This could potentially cause huge disruption to summer travel. The only thing that is keeping us sane is that when you book with an Irish Travel Agent licenced and bonded through the IAA, that our clients are protected through the Package Travel Directive. We are confident that our clients’ money is protected whatever the outcome of the strike.

Do you have any predictions or are you seeing patterns or emerging trends or destinations for 2024?
Cruise holidays have really taken off with a bang. Everyone wants to cruise. In the last few years, all the cruise companies have been getting bigger and better and taking out new cruise ships which is great for our customers. Where it would have been traditionally an old person’s holiday, it is now suitable for everyone; families, couples, old and young. The only downside for 2024 is that the availability is not great, but we are getting a huge number of enquiries for 2025 cruise.

Are you seeing longer lead times or last-minute requests?
We recently did an online poll where we asked if people have had their 2024 holiday booked yet. The crazy result showed that 67% of people have not yet booked. We are seeing a huge demand for last minute holidays which is fantastic, and we are as busy as we were in January with enquiries (and also the weather is the same as it was in January!!!)

On a more personal note, what motivates your travel? New cultures/ sun worship/ exotic cuisine/ places of historical importance/ pure relaxation?
My aim is to travel to somewhere different every year. I love all types of holidays. I love sightseeing, relaxing, eating and seeing different cultures. I can’t say I have a type of holiday as I like to try everything.

What is your dream holiday, and why?
My dream holiday was to visit the Maldives and I got to do it last year. Now I would love to try a river cruise as I have not been on one yet. I love the idea of having all excursions/ food and entertainment included and the idea of sailing right into the towns and cities.

Where is 2024 taking you?
I am off to, Croatia – Split & Hvar, Greece – Zakynthos, Turkey and we are doing an MSC cruise from Dubai in December. I am also open to jumping on a plane to other places should the opportunity arise!! 

Would you like to take part in the ITTN Talks series? If so, please email [email protected]

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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