Smiles Year-Round


In this week’s issue of Canadian Travel Press, executive editor, Bob Mowat reports that the Canadian travel trade is going to be hearing a lot more about Ireland in 2014 and beyond as the destination finds itself with a wealth of air access and a host of opportunities that will allow it to take its tourism activities in the Canadian market to the next level.

A host of new air services — both year-round and seasonal — are coming on stream in 2014, including the arrival of Aer Lingus after an absence of 35 years. The Irish carrier launched year-round service between Toronto and Dublin last week (April 14).

So not surprisingly, when CTP sat down with Jeff Wright, director of sales for Aer Lingus and Alison Metcalfe, head of North America for Tourism Ireland, for a wide-ranging conversation about what Canadian agents can expect from both the destination and the airline in the next little while, both of them were all smiles.

“When Aer Lingus goes into a market, we take a lot of time to look at a market to see what its potential is, so we came in here looking for this to be a successful market for us,” Wright said, before pointing out that with the increase in trade between the two countries, the carrier saw this as an “opportune time” to move into the Canadian market to offer year-round service using B-757 equipment that will feature 12 business class seats and 165 economy seats.

“We’re a full-service carrier. We’re an interesting carrier in that we are a low cost carrier for the customer, but we give full service. So you’re getting the best of both worlds. We’re able to keep our costs low to keep the prices low and still give the customers what they want,” Wright observed, adding that Aer Lingus will target both Canadian leisure and business class travellers.

For her part, Metcalfe observed: “We’re obviously delighted. It gives us the opportunity to really grow business. I mean for any destination marketing organization, particularly when you’re promoting an island, direct, convenient, year-round access can’t be overstated as critical. Plus it’s a great opportunity to position Ireland as a year-round destination in the same way that we have done successfully in other markets, particularly the US market.”

To read the full story in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press, click here.