Travel agents’ group offers online deals in ‘battle’ for trade

Travel agents are now pitching some of their best deals on the website of umbrella group, the ITAA, after admitting it needed to push for more business in the holiday market.

The Irish Travel Agents’ Association is showcasing some of the deals on offer from its 104 members around the country, including a three-night stay in Berlin for €213 and a 10-night holiday in Hawaii for €1,766.

The deals are displayed under the new offers section of the website, and the association’s chief executive Pat Dawson said it would act as a “one-stop shop” for holidaymakers.

“We have to battle for business,” he said.

“We are far more proactive now in pushing our members’ products.”

He said no travel agency had folded in the past two and a half years, following a number of closures due to the impact of the recession in 2009 and 2010.

Instead, he said business had picked up and that the latest initiative was a further attempt to boost the profile of ITAA members around the country, who operate 161 shops and turn over some €987m annually.

“It is to get more brand recognition,” he said.

“We want people to know that when they book with any member of our organisation they are protected and covered.

“We are seeing a growth in our business and people have opened up new shops in the last six months,” he added.

Up to 80 different deals are now being featured on the website, and Mr Dawson said it was too early to rate the level of pick-up from customers.

He stressed that package holiday prices were all inclusive, and he guaranteed no “hidden extras” for customers parting with their money.

The offers are split between city breaks, cruises, family getaways, long haul, luxury holidays, sport breaks and sun holidays.

One deal offers flights and eight nights in Rio De Janeiro for €760, while another has trips to Cancun and Las Vegas for €1,095, while a family option is a family of four, three-star break in Disneyland Paris in October for €888.



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