“Ireland and Scotland are all we do”: Brendan Vacations launches in Canada – Travelweek

TORONTO — At long last, Brendan Vacations has arrived in the Canadian market.
Specializing in Ireland and Scotland, the popular TTC Tour Brands company – with more than 50 years of expertise – has been working on establishing a presence here since 2017. Of course, two of those years were COVID-19 years.
But if the pandemic taught the industry anything, it’s perseverance, and Brendan Vacations got a strong round of applause at its much-anticipated Canadian launch, held at Archeo in Toronto’s Distillery District.
The reception was hosted by Melissa DaSilva, President of TTC Tour Brands, North America and Catherine Reilly, Managing Director, Brendan Vacations.
“Brendan Vacations is all about taking care of you personally,” said Reilly. “We know you’re very supportive of Brendan’s sister companies [at TTC Tour Brands]. Now we need your support for Brendan.”
She added: “Ireland and Scotland are all we do.”
The vast majority of bookings for the Ireland & Scotland specialist come through travel advisors – as many as 98%.
Several of Brendan Vacations’ local travel partners based in Ireland and Scotland were also on hand for the launch, including EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum.
David Cleary, EPIC’s head of sales, offered an interesting look at what EPIC can do for Brendan Vacations travellers.
Taking a few details about the Irish-born grandfather of one of the travel advisors in attendance at last night’s launch, Cleary provided fascinating details about the travel advisor’s family tree, going back to her grandfather’s birth in Ireland, his siblings, his parents and more.
EPIC offers this genealogy service to all, with 30-, 60- or 90-minute consultation options. For an upgraded package, clients can reach out to EPIC three months in advance of their trip and the EPIC team will get to work on tracking down all sorts of personalized genealogical findings, for an extensive presentation once the client arrives in Ireland.
“History remembers the victors. Genealogy remembers them all,” says Cleary. “We want to tell the story of Ireland’s history through genealogy. And when Brendan Vacations clients sit down with EPIC’s genealogists, it makes the experience very real for people.”
Cleary added that tracing one’s roots is as popular as ever, even more so, but that the legwork involved can be more than people realize. “We have a lot in common with you,” he told travel agents last night. “People can plan their own vacations too. But it can be a lot of work, and that’s where you come in. We do the same with genealogy. We’ll do the work and we’ll make it personal.”
More information about EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum can be found here.
Millions of Canadians have Irish and/or Scottish ancestry, and that makes Brendan Vacations’ travel product compelling for many travellers. On the other hand, there are plenty of Canadians who have no background with either country and who still love the destinations. “People seem to feel a connection regardless,” Reilly told Travelweek.
She said Brendan Vacations will be hosting fam trips – one travel advisor at last night’s event won a spot on an upcoming fam – and it also has e-learning opportunities through the TTC Agent Academy portal.
Here’s a look at trip styles with Brendan Vacations, including guided, locally hosted rail and more …
include each activity. Activities range from walking tours to whiskey tastings, sustainable travel experiences, active adventures and more. Notable activities include: Galway Walking Tour; Guinness Storehouse Tasting; Edinburgh Military Tattoo Day Tour; Game of Thrones Tour; and Blarney Castle.
Like TTC Tour Brands sister companies including Trafalgar, Insight and more, Brendan Vacations also offers MAKE TRAVEL MATTER Experiences. Through TTC’s TreadRight Foundation, Brendan offers responsible travel experiences on 90% of their itineraries.
For more information about Brendan Vacations click here.
Kathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations.
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