Friday 28 October 2016

US travel company launches first LGBT holiday package to Ireland

Published 30/06/2015 | 10:31

The ten-day holiday in Ireland has been specially tailored towards same-sex couples
The ten-day holiday in Ireland has been specially tailored towards same-sex couples
Valentia Island on The Ring of Kerry

An American travel organisation has launched the first gay holiday package to Ireland, targeting the LGBT community in the US.

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Brendan Vacations, with offices in Dublin and California, has launched the ‘Romantic Ireland’ package - marketing it to same-sex couples hoping to visit the country following Ireland’s vote on marriage equality last month.

“It’s a new step for us,” said Paul Wiseman, president of Trafalgar and Brendan Vacations, who was speaking to Travel Weekly.

“It’s a substantial change in the way that we are going to create and market [to the LGBT community]. We’ve done all kinds of different custom departures over the years. But this isn’t a one-off. This is now a much broader program that all agents would be able to get access to.”

The ten-day holiday in Ireland has been specially tailored towards same-sex couples, and the company has paired with hotels and suppliers who have been vocal about their support for the LGBT community.

Those who book the package will spend two nights in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel and follow on to Waterford, Killarney, Limerick, and Ashford Castle in Mayo.

The package is priced at €5,100 ($5,750) per person, but this includes slick chauffeur-driven transportation with Wi-Fi from one luxury hotel to the next.

Dan Mullane, owner of the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge in Co. Limerick told Travel Weekly: “We are so proud the Irish people voted yes for marriage equality, making us the first country in the world to do so.

“Nobody blinks an eyelid here. Everyone is equal at the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge, where they’ll be greeted by the warm, friendly welcome that Ireland is known for,” he said.

Luxury stops on the LGBT holiday include the Malton Hotel in Killarney and the Cliff House Hotel in Killarney.

Trips to the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, Glendalough and Blarney Castle are also included in the tour.

Meanwhile, it is hoped that the recent ‘Yes’ vote in Ireland’s Referendum on same-sex marriage will draw more LGBT couples to our shores.

Tourism Ireland last month unveiled its new campaign ‘Ireland says I do’, which focuses on Ireland’s “dreamily romantic locations to tie the knot” and honeymoon in Ireland.

The campaign is being targeted at members of the LGBT community in nine overseas markets including Britain, the United States, Canada, the Nordic region, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Germany.

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