|Wednesday, 19 September 2012|
|FIVE MINUTES WITH ROYAL IRISH TOURS|
Founded in 2001, Royal Irish Tours provides travellers with authentic tour itineraries to Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The tour operator bills itself as the Ireland specialist and prides itself on its direct ties to the country, its deep connection with its tours and a profound knowledge of The Emerald Isles’ culture and history.
|Of Royal Irish Tours: Tanya Johnson, sales manager & Ian Duffy, president
Royal Irish Tours offers escorted coach tours, self drive tours, self catering tours, city stays, rail tours and more. TRAVELHotNews.com recently stopped by Royal Irish Tours’ Richmond Hill offices to chat with company president Ian Duffy and sales manager Tanya Johnson in order to discover a little bit more about the company’s history, its itineraries and what it has planned next.
TRAVELHotNews.com: Royal Irish Tours has evolved in its 11-year history to expand beyond offering just Irish tours. How did that evolution come about?
Ian Duffy: We started out with Ireland originally. That was the plan. In about 2005-2006 we felt we needed to add more of a product range, so we introduced Scotland. Slowly but surely we’re doing a little bit more into the likes of England and Wales, sort of the British Isles. Our main focus would certainly be Ireland at number one, followed by Scotland at number two, and then England number three. We’re kind of the opposite of everyone else who does England first and then the other countries afterwards.
Tanya Johnson: We’re trying to source out more unique products in England and Wales versus the mainstream.
THN: What makes Royal Irish Tours unique?
ID: We like to think we’re a little bit different in that we really know Ireland. You speak to someone at some of these other tour operator offices and they may not even know where Dublin is, or where Belfast is in relation to Dublin; things like that. We don’t propose to know much about Cancun or other destinations like that, but we pride ourselves on really knowing our specific product. We get the feedback from the agents we deal with. They are comfortable dealing with us and confident that we know what we’re doing.
TJ: I think who we are working with on the other side of the ocean is a factor as well. We’re not shopping through a big bargain house that’s selling a lot of tourism over there. We have very close relationships with everyone that we work with in our company. We have personal relationships with them. They come to visit us and we go to visit them. We make sure they are the right fit for us. And I think it shows in the end product.
We like people to go and see Ireland because we believe it is a special place, not just another product to sell.
THN: What is Royal Irish Tours working on at the moment?
ID: We’re currently working on our new brochure. We’ve typically launched our brochures in late December or early January, but this year we are hoping to come out with it in October. We’re keying in on a much earlier start because there is business to be had there. There’s quite a lot of business in October, November, December. We didn’t really miss out on it. We’ve always got business in those months without trying. Now we said: “Let’s try on it.” We’re going to really go at it full blast with a very early launch. We’re going to be very aggressive. We’re putting out specials in October, November and December. We’ve never done that before. We’ve never even advertised in those months, so now we’re going to start advertising in those months. We’re going to try and fill 30 to 40 per cent [in those months]. That’s our target.
TJ: Yeah. You’re definitely going to see our presence in the fall this year. We’re doing a show out west with Tourism Ireland in Vancouver in October. There are a couple of things that we are doing.
ID: We’re also doing shows with VisitBritain. We’ll do an advertising campaign and press releases. And we’ve tossed around the idea of doing some kind of road shows ourselves. Something across Canada in November, December or January. We’ve talked to some people about sharing that as well. So we’ll see.
THN: And what about new product?
TJ: For 2013 we have talked about throwing in a few newer or different products. While nothing is set in stone, that is certainly something for the trade to keep their eyes open for as they get our brochure and they think it’s all the same. It won’t be. We’re going to have a few little new surprises in there.
There may be a twist on something we’ve done in the past, so don’t discard it as the same thing, as you might be pleasantly surprised.
Glen Murphy • 2013-06-10
|Good day. When will you have your 2014 schedule available?
B McInnes • 2013-05-27
|Just ret'd from first Irish tour of entire country with Royal Irish Tours and Joe as guide. Absolutely wonderful ! Interested in outer Hebrides.....what can you suggest ? |
Brian • 2013-03-08
|what is the website address for Royal Irish Tours?|
Cathy Henry • 2013-03-03
|My husband and I have always wanted to visit Ireland and now that we recently retired we are looking at the royal shamrock tour. Never been tour bus travellers so we have a few hesitations, however the trip appears amazing. Prices vary and we have seen great savings including air fare for the months of April and May as well as September 30 th of 2013 ... Understanding the climate of rain, are the sale prices due to cold weather conditions? We are looking forward to travelling with you and prefer shoulder seasons ... |
Diane Mondor • 2013-02-18
|Interested in a combined Scotland, Northern Ireland coach tour, I was directed to you by a travel agent at Trip Central. Unfortunately, your web site ... and all your information ... is not accessable through my computer. Could you please send me a more user friendly brochure through email. I am interested in the 15 day combined tour and would like to learn more about it ... what is and isn't included etc. Thank you!|
Roland • 2013-02-12
|We are group of ten,(5couples) and would like to do the UK in 2014. Ireland, Scotland,England and Wales. We would like to drive. We are from NewBrunswick.What do you suggest?|
marion rickert • 2013-01-08
|i have been several times and ireland is the most fab holiday i have ever been as i am half irish|