The post-Covid ‘now or never’ philosophy whets the thirst for unmissable adventure holidays
Irish people are eager to finally tick the holidays off the to-do list after two years of the global pandemic – as outdoor adventure shops report a surge in sales in January.
Families are among the most common group of customers looking to stock up on adventurous outings and vacations.
The demand for sports and activity equipment represents a pre-pandemic period, according to industry leaders.
Owner of sports and activity store Great Outdoors in Dublin, Derek Moody said people are getting on board to book more adventurous trips such as ski trips and Camino tours.
“In our business, people taking on expeditions or challenges like Kilimanjaro as New Year’s resolutions are pretty normal, but families in particular have been one of the differences this year,” he said.
“Families seem to be walking out, looking for guides or advice on inbound walks around Dublin, Leinster and Ireland.
“The most requested item was the kids’ backpack holders.”
Mr Moody said there was “no doubt” that demand for adventure sports and holidays had increased. “People actually engage in booking travel, people have booked travel.
“We can’t believe it, the ski gear absolutely flies. Never, ever, would we have thought that we were looking for our suppliers to replenish our stocks.
In the west, the store manager for Call of the Wild in Co Sligo said the shoes were in demand for hikes such as the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain.
“People are coming in and planning trips that they haven’t been able to take in two years,” Steve Wood said.
“They’re training for Camino walks and highland hikes, things they’ve wanted to do for a while and now they’re at the stage where they’re like, now or never.
“We’ve had a few of those clients this month.”
He added: “I really feel there is a bit more enthusiasm from customers.
“They haven’t been able to do these activities for the past two years and now they’re hoping this year will be the year to do them and they’ll still book and hope for the best,” he said. .
Trespass Galway had its busiest month for ski equipment sales in eight years in business.
“Throughout January we stayed busy, even though Christmas was over,” said Jackie Curran.
“There are a lot of people going skiing. We’re very busy skiing, but also walking and hiking,” she said.
“A lot of people told me they were going skiing because they couldn’t go anywhere else.
“So far they haven’t really been able to travel anywhere else, so they’re trying to go on a ski holiday just to take a break.
“We’ve been in business for seven or eight years, and this year, without a doubt, is definitely the busiest year ever for skiing.”
Ms Curran said the Galway store had taken a chance this year by ordering track-suitable stock and as a result the store was able to meet the high demand.
“I think a lot of outdoor stores this year didn’t bring ski gear because they weren’t sure if it would go ahead or not, while our bosses took a chance and we got away with it. let’s go out just fine. ,” she said.
“It’s definitely the thing to do now, it’s even becoming more popular than sun holidays.”
She continued; “We would also be very busy with the Camino walks.
“Some people come in and have never hiked before. So they are looking for information on walking shoes, what to buy and what they need.”
Ms Curran added: “People are becoming more active and thinking about their health more than before.”