Brendan Vacations, a leading Irish American travel company catering primarily to the North American market, is set to begin offering a specialized vacation package for LGBT honeymooners.
This comes on the heels of Ireland’s historic public referendum for marriage equality in May.
Almost immediately after the “Yes” victory was confirmed, Tourism Ireland released a video, “Ireland says I do,” promoting the country as a top gay wedding and honeymoon destination.
Brendan Vacations, a 46-year-old travel company with offices in Ireland and the US, is now the first major tour operator to offer a travel package tailor-made for LGBT vacationers. As of June 30, the itinerary was available for booking.
The 10-day Romantic Ireland option, which starts at $5,750 per person, kicks off with two nights in Dublin at the luxurious Merrion Hotel, followed by a one night stay at the Cliff House Hotel in County Waterford, two nights at Killarney, Co. Kerry’s Malton Hotel, one night at the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge in Co. Limerick and two nights at the historic Ashford Castle in Co. Mayo and the final overnight back at the Merrion in Dublin.
Sights and attractions will include Dublin, Glendalough, Blarney Castle, the Ring of Kerry, Torc Waterfall, the Cliffs of Moher and Strokestown Park House. Optional activities include a cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way, Irish coffee at the Foynes Flying Boat Museum and a cheese-sampling on a working farm. Vacationers will travel in style and comfort, in a luxury, private, chauffeur-driven vehicle with free WiFi.
“It’s a substantial change in the way that we are going to create and market [to the LGBT community],” Paul Wiseman, President of Brendan and Trafalgar Vacations told Travel Weekly.
“We’ve done all kinds of different custom departures over the years. But this isn’t a one-off. This is now a much broader program that all agents would be able to get access to.”
“The bottom line is Ireland is a big bucket-list destination for people, it’s a big volume destination and [the LGBT market] is a big market,” he added.
According to Travel Weekly, the global LGBT travel market is valued at $202 billion annually.
Ireland’s same sex marriage legislation is on target to be finalized by the end of July and will likely go into effect in the autumn. Once this happens, the LGBT tourism market stands to grow even further, with Ireland as a potential destination wedding location.