Royal Irish Tours (RIT) recently hosted a group of travel advisors from The Travel Agent Next Door (TTAND) on a familiarization trip to the Emerald Isle. Seventeen advisors from TTAND enjoyed an 8-day, 7-night trip, including stays in Belfast, Donegal, Galway and Dublin.
Jonathan Sargeant, Sales Manager at RIT said it was the first fam from North America to Ireland since the pandemic began. Hosted the week before St. Patrick’s Day, it was clear from day one that the tourism industry had been “impatiently waiting” for the return of Canadian advisors & guests from abroad.
Said Sargeant: “Everywhere we went, we really did get the ‘Cead Mile Failte’ (the 100,000 welcomes) that Ireland is known for. Everyone was so friendly and just delighted to see people back visiting from overseas. For us, it was so nice to be able to host this trip and show the TTAND advisors a little piece of that famous Irish hospitality.”
The Travel Agent Next Door was also delighted their advisors got the opportunity to experience this trip. Attending fam trips, visiting new destinations and sharing experiences with clients is so important as our industry continues to recover. If travel professionals are out there travelling, it gives their clients the confidence to do so too.
Topher Campbell, Training Coordinator at The Travel Agent Next Door, said that; “This trip gave our partner travel agents the opportunity to experience the hospitality that Ireland is famous for. From the moment we arrived in Dublin, our partners were able to see first-hand that Ireland is open, and excited to welcome Canadians. Royal Irish Tours is a fantastic partner for our partner travel agents. Travel agents will have peace of mind knowing that their clients will have a wonderful experience.”
And Topher added: “This was our first FAM in over two years. It was amazing to get to see the world again. We all felt comfortable travelling.”
Ireland was a bucket list trip for many of the TTAND advisors on the trip, and it didn’t disappoint:
“RIT treated us to experiences I’ve spent a lifetime dreaming about, and Ireland was everything I had hoped it would be,” said Mandy Armstrong from The Travel Agent Next Door in Brockville, Ontario. “From the fascinating history, beautiful landscapes, interesting cities, friendly people, delicious food and quality accommodations, everything was perfectly planned to give us the best experience possible. I’m excited to help my clients have the same experience!”
“Going to Ireland with RIT Vacations gave me a better awareness of the rich culture, the beautiful people, and the warm hospitality that Ireland has to offer”, said Judith Coates, Co-Founder of the Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors (ACITA). “I now have a clear understanding of why RIT is the best choice for my clients when they are planning a trip to Ireland!”
With the lifting of all restrictions on travel to Ireland, and the removal of pre-departure testing for Canadians returning to Canada, RIT is cautiously optimistic for the touring season ahead, which will begin on May 2, 2022. Despite the lifting of all travel restrictions to Ireland & the UK, double vaccination will remain mandatory for guests joining RIT coach & sightseeing tours in 2022.