HomeFeaturesEpisode 16: ITTN Talks To… Alan Lynch, MD of Travel Escapes &...

Episode 16: ITTN Talks To… Alan Lynch, MD of Travel Escapes & Cruise Escapes

In our latest instalment of ITTN Talks, we caught up with Alan Lynch, Managing Director of Travel Escapes and Cruise Escapes, Dublin.

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.

Alan Lynch (left)

How has 2024 been for your business so far?
Surprisingly, we had a slower start than what the rest of the trade were reporting, but that was short lived, and we are now way ahead on 2023.

What has been your biggest surprise this year?
I could name a few but top of the charts has got to be the number of unusual cruise itineraries and cruise lines we are getting asked for. This is a good sign for the industry as this goes to show that the Irish cruise market is maturing and in turn growing which is good news for the trade.

What has been the biggest challenge to your business this year?
That’s easy, writing the answers to this. From a business perspective, the current Aer Lingus strike stands out the most. Like all travel agents, we are facing turmoil and customer disappointment caused by the strike. It’s also causing hesitation in forward bookings, presenting a significant challenge. Our staff, like those at other agencies, are working tirelessly to reassure clients and keep them informed. Kudos to everyone working on the front lines.

Do you have any predictions or are you seeing patterns or emerging trends or destinations for 2024?
Great question, I have tried this a few times before and failed miserably. But I can tell you are pushing me, so I’d say long haul is on its way back for 2025. The pandemic created a sense of “I don’t want to travel too far” but, in general, that’s now in the past.

Are you seeing longer lead times or last-minute requests?
Yes, for sure, we’ve often commented in the office on how these people have their diaries so organised, but we are happy to help them get it more organised and there’s lots of 2025 being booked. Again, another great sign for the industry

On a more personal note, what motivates your travel? New cultures/ sun worship/ exotic cuisine/ places of historical importance/ pure relaxation?
All the above, but in general anything that has activity involved, skiing, climbing, hiking and a few other things I haven’t tried.

What is your dream holiday, and why?
I haven’t had time to dream lately, but I’d like to go back to Mauritius, ask me again tomorrow and I could say Argentina. So, I suppose anytime out of the office having fun with good friends and family.

Where is 2024 taking you?
I’ve been quite busy so far this year and outside of where I’ve travelled before, Nepal was new to me. It’s a fascinating country and not at all what I was expecting. Looking ahead Spain for a week or two. And a good few work trips with a few hopping on and off both river and ocean cruises.

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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