Early spring 2022 bookings on the rise

ITAA Quarterly Survey Results show there is a steady increase in spring bookings for 2022

The Irish Travel Agents Association’s (ITAA) latest quarterly members survey reveals that over 10% of travel agents experienced an increase in bookings in the second quarter of 2022 (April-June) compared to the same period in 2019. During Q2 2022, 55% of travel agents surveyed cited an increase in turnover and more than one in five saw the level of bookings rise. This is despite the challenges facing holiday makers relating to airport delays, passport renewals and other issues among airlines.

Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA, commented, “The results of our survey show the public’s need to book through a travel agent, especially during the pandemic. The amount of bookings during this second quarter are comparable to three years ago and we look forward to higher numbers in the next quarter. All travel agents and tour operators in Ireland are required to have a bonding system, which offers protection to holidaymakers if a travel firm collapses. Those who book holidays with bonded ITAA travel agents are offered this protection.”

Dawson continued, “It has been a difficult feat for the travel industry trying to come back from the pandemic. We know that the stress of wanting to travel can be overwhelming, so that’s why the personal touch of an expert travel agent can help create the ideal customer experience. Our travel agents can provide in-depth knowledge of the industry with an understanding of the client’s wants.”

The results of the latest ITAA survey also revealed that over 80% of agents surveyed ranked European destinations Spain, Portugal and Italy as most popular with a preference for sun/beach holidays. Other popular holiday experiences included sports and adventure holidays, honeymoons and couples holidays, city breaks, and sightseeing and culture holidays.

Agents noticed that travelling in the summer increased by 10% as the summer months approached. Compared to 2019, the number of bookings has increased by about 10%, as well. Recurring favourites for the Irish market, Spain, the USA and Portugal were voted the top destinations for the second quarter of 2022. Now that borders are beginning to open up for the first time in two years, long-haul flights to New Zealand and Thailand are also more popular than ever.

About 70% of customers of ITAA are returning customers and the numbers are still growing. With Covid-19 becoming less prevalent in daily travel, the demand for travel is increasing.