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Post-Covid ‘now or never’ philosophy sharpens thirst for bucket-list adventure holidays

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'We can’t believe it, ski gear is absolutely flying,’ says Derek Moody from sports and activity store Great Outdoors on South Great George's Street in Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath

'We can’t believe it, ski gear is absolutely flying,’ says Derek Moody from sports and activity store Great Outdoors on South Great George's Street in Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath

'We can’t believe it, ski gear is absolutely flying,’ says Derek Moody from sports and activity store Great Outdoors on South Great George's Street in Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath

The people of Ireland are eager to finally tick off bucket-list holidays after two years of a global pandemic – as outdoor adventure stores report soaring January sales.

Families are among the most common group of customer looking to stock up for adventurous days out and holidays.

The demand for sports and activity equipment represents pre-pandemic times, according to industry leaders.

Owner of Great Outdoors sports and activity store in Dublin, Derek Moody said people are committing to booking more adventurous trips such as ski trips and Camino tours.

“In our business, people taking on expeditions or challenges like Kilimanjaro as new year’s resolutions is pretty normal, but families in particular have been one of the differences this year,” he said.

“Families seem to be getting out walking, looking for guidebooks or advice on entry walks around Dublin, Leinster and Ireland.

“The big demand item was backpack carriers for children.”

Mr Moody said there is “no question” that the demand for adventure sports and holidays has increased. “People are actually committing to booking trips, people have booked trips.

“We can’t believe it, ski gear is absolutely flying. We never, ever would have thought that we would be looking for our suppliers to replenish stock.”

In the west, store manager of Call of the Wild in Co Sligo said footwear is in demand for bucket-list hikes like the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in Spain.

“People are coming in and planning trips they haven’t been able to do for the last two years,” Steve Wood said.

“They’re training for Camino walks and highland walks, things that they’ve wanted to do for a while and now they’ve got to the stage where they’re like, it’s now or never.

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"We’ve had a good few of those customers this month.”

He added: “I definitely get that feeling that there’s a bit more excitement from customers.

"They haven’t been able to do these activities for the last two years and now they’re hoping this year is going to be the year to do it and they’re going to book anyway and hope for the best,” he said.

Trespass Galway has experienced its busiest month for ski gear sales in eight years of business.

“Throughout January we stayed busy, even though the Christmas was over,” Jackie Curran said.

"There are lots of people going skiing. We’re very busy with ski stuff, but also with walking and hiking as well,” she said.

“A lot of people said to me they’re going skiing because they can’t get anywhere else.

"Up to now they haven’t really been able to travel anywhere else, so they’re trying to get away on a ski holiday just to have a break.

“We’re in business seven or eight years, and this year, without a shadow of a doubt, is definitely our busiest ever for skiing.”

Ms Curran said the Galway store took a chance this year by ordering stock fit for the slopes and as a result, the shop was able to meet the high demand.

“I think a lot of the outdoor shops this year didn’t bring in ski gear because they didn’t know if it would be going ahead or not, whereas our bosses took a chance on it and we’re doing really well from it,” she said.

“It’s really the thing to do now, it’s even becoming more popular than sun holidays.”

She continued; “We would be very busy with Camino walks as well.

“Some people come in and they have never been hiking before, so they would be looking for information on walking shoes, what to buy and what they need.”

Ms Curran added: “People are getting more active and they’re thinking of their health more than they used to.”


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