After a two-year pandemic break, Holiday World made a very welcome return to Belfast last weekend, brimming with an unrivalled choice of dazzling travel options at home and abroad.
Visitors flocked to the three-day show at the Titanic Exhibition Centre where they were tempted with fresh horizons as well as opportunities to rediscover favourite destinations.
The return of Holiday World Belfast reflects the international upturn in travel and tourism as the sector’s post-pandemic recovery gathers pace and consumers rediscover their taste for travel.
Visitors over the three days show were able to chat with international tourist boards, destinations, airlines, ferry companies, hotels and B&Bs, visitor attractions, travel agencies and a vast range of service providers from all over the world.
Pitching up alongside was the Caravan & Motorhome Show, featuring the latest, most tempting models and declaring open season on just about every sort of holiday in the Great Outdoors, with fresh takes on increasingly popular home-holidays including camping, glamping and caravanning.
As the effects of the pandemic recede, and confidence returns, consumers are once again keen to travel, but they are cautious about who they will trust with their precious holiday plans. In today’s cost-conscious environment savvy travellers are also looking for ways to make their holiday pound go further. Those key factors make Holiday World Belfast more relevant than ever before.
Show Director Maureen Ledwith says, “Travel professionals are predicting a huge surge in demand as we shake off lockdown lethargy and plan fresh getaways, from short breaks and annual family vacations to more ambitious trips to reunite with family and friends around the world. It seems we’re all eager to pack up and go and, as a result, we’re hungry for the latest info and inspiration direct from the experts. At Holiday World you get the chance to do your travel research face-to-face, chatting with sector professionals in a lively, fun-filled environment that’s all about getting into holiday mood. Everything is right there under one roof and, with so much competition on hand and so many special show-only offers on the go, bargain-hungry visitors know they can secure really keen prices and added value offers.”
Exhibitor and leading independent travel agent Sandra Corkin from Northern Ireland’s high profile Oasis Travel group agrees. She says, “Having gone without holidays or reduced their travelling over the past few years, consumers are less willing to compromise. They have waited a long time and now, as people return to travel, they are looking for holidays that really raise the bar: perfect planning is very much the order of the day! The sector has responded to that demand with an incredible variety of holiday styles as well as destinations and it is no exaggeration to say that there really is something for everyone, from budget breaks to life-changing travel experiences in some of the furthest-flung corners of the world.
“Holidays are not only a memory-making highpoint to the year, they also represent a sizable financial investment so consumers are – quite reasonably – looking for value coupled with professional expertise and reassurance. They want to know that their holiday investment is made with a business which will look after their interests whatever the circumstances and wherever in the world they may travel. Holiday World Belfast provides a fantastic forum in which to forge those connections.”