In an exclusive interview for Blue Horizons, we chatted to Claire Irvin, Head of Travel at the Daily Telegraph. Claire has been leading the Telegraph’s travel team for three years and together her team provides fantastic holiday inspiration, advice, reviews, news analysis and commentary on every aspect of travel.
Thank you for joining us Claire; what’s new with the Telegraph’s Travel section?
I am very lucky to have a fantastic team of journalists and we’re now working a 24-hour news desk, with everyone currently working remotely. These are different times for us all, but we’re really proud of how we’re able to support our readers, and the wider travel industry, in providing relevant, timely information.
What feedback are you receiving from your readers regarding their future travel plans?
The appetite for our readers to travel again has not diminished – in fact, the contact we receive is incredible. It became clear very quickly that people are keen to know when they can start cruising again – the demand is still very much there, and rightly so.
What advice would you offer to readers – why is now a good time to book?
Cruising is such a big part of our reader’s travel calendars. For those committed cruisers, they are continuing to book ahead with gusto. They have confidence in the industry, the agents, the cruise lines and ships and they know that guidelines and steps will be in place to ensure cruising continues to be a very safe way to see the world.
What holidays do you believe will see an increase in popularity?
I am sure that aspirational cruises will be snapped up by people looking to get back out and see the world. I think when the guidelines have been provided by government, confidence will return very quickly. My own parents who are now over 70 have been asking me when they can get back to cruising! They want to go to Rome and are desperate to travel again. Of course, they are just one example, but I’m confident that our readers are continuing to plan ahead into 2021 and 2022 – and make up for lost time!
Finally, what note of support do you have for ROL Cruise and its customers?
Firstly, I’m aware that ROL Cruise is aiming to raise £100,000 for the NHS Combined Charities campaign in support of the NHS. Power to you all! To give so generously to the NHS is fantastic – and at a time that hasn’t been easy – is commendable. I know the team works hard to support its customers, and that is demonstrated by the fact that you’re continuing to make cruise dreams a reality for your loyal customers.