HomeFeaturesEpisode 15: ITTN Talks To… Maria Dilworth, MD of Blackpool Travel, Cork

Episode 15: ITTN Talks To… Maria Dilworth, MD of Blackpool Travel, Cork

n our latest instalment of ITTN Talks, we caught up with Maria Dilworth, Managing Director of Blackpool Travel, Cork, and trustee of the ITAA Benevolent Fund.

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?  
I’m delighted to say that sales for 2024 have been very strong at Blackpool Travel! 

What has been your biggest surprise this year?  
The biggest surprise has been the large number of long-haul and cruise bookings that have been made for 2024 and 2025. These bookings are better value for money than short-haul currently due to air fares.

What has been the biggest challenge to your business this year?  
The prices of hotels and apartments have risen substantially, and they do not always reflect the standard of accommodation on offer for these prices.

Do you have any predictions or are you seeing patterns or emerging trends or destinations for 2024?
Greece and Italy from Cork are the emerging destinations, and there is far better value for money in Lido de Jeselo and Rhodes.

Are you seeing longer lead times or last-minute requests? 
Definitely long lead times at the moment as we are working on 2025 enquiries and bookings at present.

On a more personal note, what motivates your travel? New cultures/ sun worship/ exotic cuisine/ places of historical importance/ pure relaxation? 
Time out and pure relaxation is what I look forward to when travelling.

What is your dream holiday, and why? 
I am intending to travel to Spain, Greece, and New York this year.  I love New York, as when I go there, I stay with friends which make the experience so much more enjoyable. Auckland New Zealand is my next big place to visit as I have family there.

Where is 2024 taking you? 
To continue to supply our clientele with an excellent service and to take care of my fantastic team.

Taking Part In ITTN Talks

The ITTN Talks series is open to travel agents, agency managers, managing directors, product and operations manangers. If you would like to take part in the ITTN Talks series, please email [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!

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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