Tuesday 12 December 2017

Flying High: This is Ireland's top travel agent, according to you...

Reader Travel Awards 2017

Machu Picchu. Photo: Deposit
Machu Picchu. Photo: Deposit
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

From the high street to online, who do you think is the best travel agent or tour operator in Ireland?

Winner: Trailfinders

Trailfinders placed head and shoulders above the rest in a category that proved travel agents and tour operators continue to be deeply valued by our readers.

You cited “helpful, professional staff who really know their stuff”. Trailfinders’ “exceptional service and attention to detail” meant “you feel in safe hands from start to finish” — something particularly important with bespoke trips and bigger spends.

“They’ve done it all and you can feel their jealousy when you book the big trip!” one reader gushed. “Trailfinders should win this hands down. Big operator but you feel that very personal service,” said another.

“Always helpful and courteous.” You “cannot fault their knowledge and advice”. Trailfinders are “fantastic for long-haul and exotic destinations.”

Ireland’s big tour operators were well-represented in your votes, but a huge number of local agents got the nod too. In a world where holidays can be just a click away, it seems human warmth, experience and expertise are more important than ever.

Details: 01 677-7888; trailfinders.ie

Going Local

Fahy Choice Worldwide staff members receiving their award for Travel Agency of the Year 2016. Left to Right are Tara Magee, British Airways; Maura Fahy, Caroline O’Toole and Clodagh Connolly of Fahy Travel; Martin Skelly, President ITAA.

Our readers are quick to book straightforward flights, hotels and packages online, but when it comes to bigger spends or special trips like honeymoons, you realise the value in expertise.

DIY and online bookings are brilliant for certain trips, but you also told us that there’s a time and a place for travel agents and tour operators. Personal service, peace of mind and 24/7 support offered by many still matter in 2017.

But a huge number of local agents got multiple votes in this category, including Limerick Travel, Fahy Travel in Galway, Manning Travel in Kilkenny, Lee Travel in Cork, Mackin Travel in Wexford and Strand Travel in Waterford.

YOU SAY: “Fahy Travel in Galway got a brilliant deal for my husband and myself in Fuerteventura, last August. I had trawled the internet to no avail, but Michelle in Fahy Travel found a terrific deal for us. The hotel was spotless and our apartment was huge. Definitely going back.”

YOU SAY: “We have used Lee Travel in Midleton for many years for ourselves and a choir group of approximately 40 people. We have never had one problem... At this stage, they know our likes and dislikes, and we feel totally at ease when Mary in the office is dealing with bookings, meaning that we have an absolutely stress-free holiday.”

See itaa.ie for more.

More from our Reader Travel Awards 2017:

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