The Irish Travel Agents Association appoints Clare Dunne as its new CEO

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) today announced that it has appointed former ITAA President Clare Dunne as its new CEO. Dunne’s appointment follows the retirement of Pat Dawson. She will assume the role at the start of July.


Paul Hackett, President of the ITAA, said “A leader in the Irish travel industry with over 40 years’ experience building a successful business, long lasting professional relationships and personal networks, Clare Dunne is a passionate advocate of excellent service, lifelong learning and leadership.“


“I know all of us at the ITAA are delighted to have Clare at the forefront of all matters pertaining to the Irish travel industry, representing travel agents and associates with her decades of experience and dedication to quality in all matters.”


He continued, “Clare was an essential member of the ITAA Public Affairs committee who linked in with the Department of Transport and CAR to secure business supports for the travel trade throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting in the leading of the industry at a critical juncture. The ITAA could not be in more capable hands.”


Dunne is a seasoned travel professional who has a passion for travel. Having begun her career as a Reservations Agent with Aer Lingus, she commenced her agency experience with International Travel Bureau, proceeded to managing Griffin Travel in Dublin’s Dawson Street and then opened her own travel agency, The Travel Broker, in 1994.


Over the years Dunne responded to market conditions and pivoted her business to survive the many challenges which have affected the travel industry. She has developed The Travel Broker into a widely respected, award-winning company with a diverse portfolio of loyal leisure and business clients. She acted as the ITAA’s first female president from 2012 to 2014.


Speaking of her appointment to the role, Dunne said “I could not be more thrilled and honoured to accept this appointment from the Board of the ITAA. Serving this industry and giving it my all is in my DNA. The significance of being named the organisation’s first female CEO is not lost on me; I look forward to building on the great work of my colleagues to grow our industry at home and abroad.


She concluded, “As The Travel Broker moves on to a new chapter I will look back on my many years there very fondly and I look forward to the exciting challenges and opportunities afforded to me in this new position.”


Dunne is passionate about education, leadership and empowerment. She takes a keen interest in assisting others to develop both their personal and business potential. She co-founded the Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE) in 2017 and served as Chair from then until she handed over to a new committee in March 2023. Previously she served as National President of Network, Organisation for Women in Business, the Professions & the Arts having also spent a year as President of their Dublin branch. She is a member of the North Dublin Business Network and recently concluded her term as chair of Clontarf Business Association.

About the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA):

The ITAA represents Ireland’s travel Industry, bringing together over 100 travel agent members and 70 affiliate partners. ITAA members cover over 140 outlets in different towns and cities throughout the Republic of Ireland. All travel agent members are financially guaranteed to trade in the Republic of Ireland. In 2019, the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) licensed €1.4 billion worth of travel with Irish travel agents.