How an Irish travel company gives back


They say the charity starts at home, but for some Irish travel companies it has also gone global during the pandemic.

We are all aware of the impact of Covid-19 on global tourism; an estimated 100 million tourism jobs have been lost worldwide as a result. And as we all yearn to travel again, this week I spoke to an Irish travel agency that works to ensure tourism communities in developing countries can support themselves during the tourist turmoil – and will be there to help. us when we leave.

Based in Donnybrook in the D4, Earth’s Edge is an Irish adventure company specializing in high altitude expeditions to countries like Peru, Nepal and Tanzania. When their founder James McManus saw the impact the pandemic was going to have on his own business as well as on partners overseas, he became creative and lively.

“I guess we knew that even though our own business could withstand a few months of crisis, we were concerned about the livelihoods of the local people we work with overseas because we knew the impact on them was going to be. immediate, “he told me. this week. “Unlike Ireland, there is no social assistance available to citizens like Peru and those working in tourism saw their incomes drop to zero as borders were sealed. So it was incumbent on us to provide as much support as possible. “

Lakpa Sherpa, James McManus and George McManus in Nepal

To maintain a source of revenue, the company offered its customers a carrot conditional clause that if they made a deposit on a future Earth’s Edge expedition, the profits would be donated to overseas projects (in addition, they would get one of the company’s branded jackets, to boot). “It was a win-win,” says James. “People really reacted. You can imagine how clients build a great relationship by traveling with our guides and porters for up to two weeks, especially returning clients.

As a result, the response has been overwhelming, with the company raising just under € 10,000 in silos for various overseas projects.

Peru was the first country to benefit from Earth’s Edge support. $ 5,000 (€ 4,222) was sent to their team of guides and porters during their treks to Machu Picchu. With many of these workers already owning small farms, the money was invested in conservation agriculture techniques to generate better returns on their farms. And already green shoots are appearing with the first successful harvests of corn and potatoes, and their income is reinvested in other projects.

Elsewhere, the company provided $ 2,000 (€ 1,690) to Nepal to fund a goat farm started by three Sherpas who guide their hikers while $ 4,000 (€ 3,378) was used for a small loan program for set up businesses ranging from clothing stores to farms in Tanzania. . All of this creates a lasting way to protect the communities that might welcome us on our next trip on the to-do list. And for James, interest in travel is already snowballing this winter. “I actually think 2021 will be the best year ever.”

Expedition 2021

Tempted by all this talk about expeditions? Earth’s Edge already offers a number of adventures for 2021, from a 12-day climbing tour of Kilimanjaro to a 16-day hiking adventure centered around Machu Picchu in Peru. Expeditions, which include flights, accommodation, meals, guides – and a doctor as standard – start from € 3,899 and if you make a deposit before December 31, you’ll also receive a free Earth’s Edge jacket.

Imperial Christmas

    Imperial hotel.  Photo: Miki Barlok
Imperial hotel. Photo: Miki Barlok

Are you looking for a place to rest your tired shopping legs? The Imperial Hotel on Cork City’s South Mall has a special December shopping deal that allows guests to make the most of their visit. Guests can check in from noon and leave the next day until 4:00 p.m., plus a € 20 credit per room can be used at one of the hotel’s posh dining options – perhaps a festive cocktail at Thyme? From 115 € per night and per room.

Suite openings

Isn’t it great to hear news of a launch right now? December 2nd marks the opening of the magnificent new Duck Pond Suites at Marlfield House in County Wexford. The elegant suites overlooking the pond and lush woodland settings feature large open-plan interiors, with patio doors leading out to a private terrace. Interiors are characterized by bold prints of flora and fauna with room themes ranging from fox to hare. Bed and breakfast and dinner prices start from € 249 pps.

Black flyday

Aer Lingus Black Flyday
Aer Lingus Black Flyday

Aer Lingus pricing may be as good as it has been for some time, but a few “Black Flyday” deals have been made for the week there. If you’re tempted to book a European getaway for 2021, the airline is offering € 20 on round-trip flights and 50% off checked baggage to European destinations. If you’re feeling a little flashier, business fares to the US for 2021 have been reduced to € 599 each way. Maybe something to deliberate over the weekend? You have until Monday evening to reserve!

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