Fed up with the temperamental Irish weather, sun-seekers nationwide have been making last-minute travel plans with holiday bookings skyrocketing in recent weeks.
Sunway, one of Ireland’s largest tour operators, said it is experiencing a high volume of bookings at the moment, despite the fact prices are higher now, in peak travel season.
“Obviously the weather we’re having at the moment is helping us. People want to get out and get a bit of sun so last-minute sales are pretty hard to get at the moment,” said Mary Denton, general manager of Sunway.
“The next couple of weekends are very heavily booked but there are still great deals to be got for September.”
Jeanette Taylor, agency sales manager with Sunway, said the company is even seeing a lot of advance bookings for next year.
“A lot of people are being left disappointed this summer due to lack of availability. That’s why it’s so important that people book early – it’s better value for money. We’re seeing a big surge in 2016 bookings already, possibly because of the bad weather. People are so fed up with it that they’re grabbing up seats like they’re gold dust. They just want to get out of the country and get some sun.”
The company said their routes to Lanzarote and Turkey are among the most popular, while their route to Lapland in December is also in big demand.
While they have suspended all flights to Tunisia in the wake of the recent terror attacks, Sunway said it will look at reintroducing these flights next year. “We decided to suspend our programme to Tunisia. The country is going to suffer quite badly as the country relies so heavily on tourism. It’s going to take a while for it to come back around,” said Ms Denton. “It will be looked at for next year but it won’t be resumed this year. It will be 2016 before it will resume.
“It will just take a lot of Irish people to welcome it back and a lot of work will be done to get it back off the ground.” Meanwhile, a Cork Airport spokesperson said more than 40,000 people travelled through its doors last weekend.
Dublin Airport said more than 300,000 people travelled through the airport on the August Bank Holiday weekend, rounding off the busiest month it has ever had.More than two and a half million passengers passed through the airport in July - the highest number of people in one month in its 75-year history. Managing director Vincent Harrison said it was an “historic moment” and said they expect August to be very busy also.
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