ITB Berlin 2010Berlin, Germany — 10-14 March 2010
Welcome to our new member – Carlingford Adventure Centre
Carlingford Adventure Centre is the top activity centre in Ireland, providing outdoor pursuits for kids and adults. During the summer, it also offers English language programmes for students from around the world. We talk to Adrian McGreevey about expanding in the face of a recession and the company’s future plans.
Tell us your story. How did Carlingford Adventure Centre get started?
CAC was started by Tom and Mary McArdle in 1990. They saw a gap in the market and believed that adventure sports were going to get increasingly popular, so they started out with a windsurfing school and have grown the business from there.
What makes you different from your competitors?
We have the best facilities in the country and reinvest in our facilities every year. We are also located in one of the most beautiful areas of Ireland, just 1 hour from Dublin!
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
During the recession in 2008 we nearly had to close our doors due to a downturn in the economy and losing business. However, a bold plan to expand the business and buy a new adventure site (forest and quarry) gained the backing of our bank, and we in fact managed to increase turnover when other businesses were closing.
Impressive! What can we expect to see from Carlingford Adventure Centre going forward?
More focus on international business and our English language school, along with even bigger and better adventure activities! Also a development of our online presence www.carlingfordadventure.com and www.skypark.ie.
What trends have you noticed appearing, in relation to your business?
Visitors are coming from further afield and are more diverse in their interests: some are looking for adventure and some for education mixed with adventure.
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young people involved with Carlingford Adventure Centre?
Our staff are highly trained and experienced. All new staff members must go through a rigorous training schedule before they are in contact with any customers. All our facilities and equipment meet the highest safety levels available.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
We met WYSE Travel Confederation at ITB Berlin and were impressed by the Confederation, the diversity of the member base and the events that they hold.
Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event?
Not yet, but we’re hoping to attend WYSTC in Lisbon!
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing currently?
BREXIT! With so much uncertainty for such a long period, it is really discouraging people from travelling and booking trips too far in advance. It has affected our customer base, as we receive a lot of visitors from the UK, as well as our staff from the UK. However, we are also seeing some new opportunities opening up from around Europe, as people look for alternatives from the UK.
Carlingford Adventure Centre, based in Ireland, provides over 40 adventure activities for kids and adults, as well as food and accommodation. Customers include schools, youth groups, families, adults and corporates. Based around the beautiful village of Carlingford, activities include water activities in Carlingford Lough, forest activities on Slieve Foy mountain and aerial activities in Skypark.
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