Travel To Ireland Is Picking Up
Thursday, April 7, 2022 | Categories: Ireland Travel Planning;
In early March, we received an email from a client who previously booked but had to cancel due to COVID and they were looking to reschedule their trip for the summer of 2022. A few days later we received some requests for chauffeur tours in Ireland and even more requests for self-drive vacations. With Ireland dropping their COVID entry requirements, it seems like Ireland is back on track for tourism recovery and we were not ready in the slightest.
When COVID first began, demand dropped to zero and all existing reservations were cancelled which means travel agencies have no income -- if you cancel, we don't get paid a commission on those items booked. After six months of no demand, we went into shut-down mode which meant we cancelled all services, including 800 numbers, fax lines, itinerary software and billing systems, effectively going into hibernation mode in hopes of weathering this pandemic.
Now that business is starting to pick up, we're finding that we forget exactly how streamlined we were in quoting, booking, billing and sending out documents so we thank those who have been patient while we get things back up and running. We're refining our processes and systems to keep them lean, which means lower pricing, while offering the same service our clients have been accustomed to.
Ireland Pricing Updates
Our initial price quotes seemed to be on par with what we remembered, slightly increased for 2 years cost-of-living and we thought Ireland was going to make a quick and steady comeback.
Airfare has always trended high for Ireland, due to popularity however many flights have not come back yet which means lower number of seats while demand is increasing... leading to higher prices. In fact, American wants to bring back their PHL to SNN flight however Boeing is behind on their 787 Dreamliner delivery so they can't offer this service this year, just another supply-line issue that trickles down. Expect airfares to remain high due to jet fuel, high demand and fewer seats.
Our chauffeur prices increased a bit more due to the cost of petrol/gas though the increase wasn't too bad.
The cost of car rentals were trending higher from the beginning, likely due to the same issues we have here in the States; rental agencies dumped their fleets during COVID when there was no demand and are now struggling to replenish their fleet as demand increases. We're seeing rental costs skyrocket $100-$300, depending on the type of car and this is across the board. We even checked on our booked rental to see if the rates went down -- and they kept going up! Last-minute rate is $4,572 for a one-week rental in April!
The best advice we can give is book now - demand is also driving costs up!
While we usually see demand high for Ireland, we don't always see rates increase with that demand; car rentals, chauffeurs and accommodation rates remain the same for the season. That has gone out the window as companies try to recoup their losses over the past two years due to COVID.
Our chauffeurs are booking out as far as October 2022 which was shocking as we tried to find drivers matched to the requests we were receiving. If you're looking for a chauffeur, it's best to plan now and book as soon as possible.
The same recommendation applies to airfare - you're going to see the plane fill up and the rates increase therefore you should plan your trip as soon as you know dates and book that airfare as soon as possible.
Accommodations are plentiful and if you stay outside of major cities, towns and villages, we can find something for any budget so this would be the last part to reserve. Thankfully, many accommodations have a very flexible cancellation policy therefore we can book a property and change it should something better pop up at a later date.