Crazy as it may sound, others’ misfortunes can be your fortune. This is very true in recommending a travel destination. Europe is struggling with the value of the euro and keeping the union together. Local economies feel the pinch from domestic spending, so when a foreign visitor enters financially challenged destinations, bargains prevail. This, combined with the dollar at its strongest in years, provides a tremendous opportunity for your clients.
The biggest hurdle will be the price of an airline seat. I am seeing averages this summer of close to $1,000 per ticket, but the good news here is that the price of oil has dropped and you will see airlines’ price going down as well. Believe me President Barack Obama will do all he can to keep fuel prices down during his run to stay in office. When fuel prices are low, Americans are happy and that bodes well for his chances to be reelected. So, this fall should be the perfect time to recommend Europe.
I recently returned from Ireland where the Celtic tiger (the Irish economy) has retreated and bargains await. I found great value all over Ireland and many pricing specials to draw in locals as well as tourists. And the best part is that your clients won’t find angry locals who could make their stay unpleasant. The Irish have been through a lot and have a society that tends to be happy either way. Irish society focuses around family, friends and conversation, and generally is not flashy to miss expensive toys. A few Mercedes-Benzes are being traded in for tractors, and the Irish youth are headed back to the family farm to make a living. The saying I kept hearing was, “Not a bother; life goes on.”
While in Galway, I stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Galway. I had the opportunity to have a cup of Irish tea with Micheal Stapleton, the property’s general manager (pictured above with me). And what a conversation it was, not unlike most Irish conversations. Micheal is a perfectionist with a tremendous creative side to him. The hotel is very unassuming from the outside. Once inside, the Irish hospitality is presented to perfection.
The hotel overlooks Galway Bay, and the contemporary feel blends well with its Galway City location. This hotel offers a variety of activities to take in before or after you explore the local area. The spa is one of the best in Ireland and has a unique Salt Spa. This is actually a salt cave designed to therapeutically cleanse and restore through the inhalation of continually cleaned salt air. On the dining side, a new restaurant called Raw-Sushi in the Sky is another unique experience. Situated on one of the hotel’s upper floors with a view of the bay, it specializes in fresh local fish and serves a nice pint of Guinness as well.
The Irish are waiting for your clients with a million welcomes and great value to make us all smile.