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‘I wouldn’t sell a holiday for July yet’ – Gail Travel optimistic travel industry will flourish in time

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An Ennis based travel agent has revealed that 70% of their customers have delayed their planned holidays to next year.

Gail Travel Agency has been doing business in the town of Ennis since October of 1985. The family run business is located on O’ Connell street and provides quality affordable holidays and travel packages that cater for individuals, groups or families.

Most importantly, Gail Travel offers a personal feel, represented by a face behind the counter or an ear at the end of any enquiry. Siobhan Flynn has been in the business set up by her grandfather Gerard Hartnett for twenty years now, with her mother Rita looking to pass the torch through retirement in the coming months.

Covid-19 has undoubtedly hit the travel industry the hardest and Siobhan admits that Gail Travel has really felt the brunt of this unforeseeable burden. Liaising with customers behind closed doors has been the top priority of the business in recent weeks, as 70 per cent of customers looking to postpone their holidays until next year and a further 30 per cent receiving a full refund.

Contact has been slow with major airlines in pushing through mandatory refunds under the Regulation EC 261/2004 which legally entitles passengers to the right of a refund in the event that their journey is cancelled.

Siobhan remarks the eager, enthusiastic and highly experienced staff members on board that accentuate that personal feel to booking your holidays at Gail Travel. This is something you don’t get with an online service, Siobhan affirms. The company trialled an online booking system a few years ago but felt that the missing human element was too much of a step backward, in Siobhan’s opinion.

The team is currently comprised of Siobhan, her mother Rita as well as Marie, Simone and Noelle. All on board are keen to return to working ways on Monday June 29th, despite a presupposition that business will inevitably be softened in the coming months.

Community is a key component to Gail Travel’s mode of business and Siobhan remains optimistic that one of the hardest hit industries throughout the pandemic will flourish once again, “At the moment, I wouldn’t sell anyone a holiday for July yet. It’s important to follow government advice. Your health is your wealth. Things will pick up again next year. We will have to live with Coronavirus for quite some time. Once people are secure and settled, there will be an uptake in business again. People love to travel. It’s in our blood. I’d like to thank the community for their support and stay safe and travel will resume again once it is safe to do so.”

An avid reader from a young age, Cian’s love of the archives has been shared by Clare Echo readers who enjoy his Reeling in The Years section. Charles Dickens, Terry Pratchett and Michael Crichton were his favourites writers in his younger years while he was always a fan of studying the opinion columns in The Irish Independent. A past pupil of Lissycasey National School and St Flannan’s College, he is currently completing his final year studies at the University of Limerick in New Media and English. From September, he will be commencing a Masters Degree in Journalism at UL.

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