Golden Ireland is delighted to announce a new series of Ask The Manager interviews over the next few months. First off it’s our very own Manager and Founder of Golden Ireland, Geraldine McGlynn.

 

 

Q.1 Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, e.g. where you’re from, how long have worked at Golden Ireland?
I’m from Killarney, Co. Kerry and tourism was always a huge part of my family with my late father working in Muckross House for almost thirty years. My sisters and I all had summer jobs in Killarney and loved meeting people from all over the world. I studied History and Irish in UCD, followed by postgraduate studies in Public Relations and Project Management in DIT and the Institute of Project Management. I worked for Dublin Tourism for over 10 years in the Company’s Marketing Department and as Operations Manager of Malahide Castle. In 2009, I set up Golden Ireland which was based in Dublin at that time. In 2017, I relocated my family and my business back to my hometown of Killarney which was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I am married to Noel, and we have three children Norah, Conn and Alannah, aged fourteen, twelve and eight.

If there is such a thing as a typical day in Golden Ireland, can you describe it?

One of the best things about this job is the huge variety it offers. A typical day is always based around offering the best possible service for our guests. In the past few months, the company moved from being an advertising portal for hotels to becoming a bookable website similar to booking.com for seniors. Hotels no longer pay an annual subscription to be part of the website so we are now completely dependent on guest bookings which is exciting and nerve-racking in equal measure!
Every day we work hard to ensure that the offers on our website are up to date, of excellent value and relevant to our valued customers. We work closely with over 100 hotels all across Ireland to make this happen. A typical day also sees us handling group enquiries and bookings for Active Retirement and other groups such as walking, bridge and other special interest groups and societies. A favourite part of my day is talking to customers directly on the phone as it really helps me to understand exactly what the customer wants and to do my best to assist in every way possible. It’s also great to hear from holidaymakers who have booked through Golden Ireland and to chat about their experiences and recommendations – in tourism, there is nothing better than word of mouth!
What’s the best thing about your job? And the worst?
The best thing about my job is the people around me and great partnerships! The team has worked incredibly hard to make our new business succeed and the hotels we work with are second to none. Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland have also offered fantastic support. With our technology partners, Avvio in Limerick we have worked for the best part of a year in delivering our new bookable website. We are a small team and are very proud of the part we play in helping tourism in Ireland. We endeavour to fill hotel rooms during quieter times and to encourage longer stays which helps the environment. Many older people also like to travel on public transport and it’s great to see the benefits of free travel and the environmental advantage of leaving the car at home. There are so many positives all round.

The worst part I hope is now behind us – undoubtedly for me the pandemic was the biggest challenge in my career to date.

Are older people now getting back to normal in terms of going on holidays again?

It’s slowly getting back to normal. Some can’t wait to make up for lost time, and have had several holidays since restrictions have been lifted but others are more cautious. It’s been quite a while since many people have stayed in a hotel and may be anxious about cleanliness, mask wearing and social distancing. We would advise to go at your own pace – maybe try a quieter destination midweek and not too far from home. Always look out for the Fáilte Ireland Covid 19 Safety Charter in hotels and other tourism destinations and wearing a mask definitely offers some peace of mind.

It’s nice to see Active Retirement groups planning ahead which is a sure sign that life is getting back to a bit of normality again.

Q.5. Do you think the pandemic has changed hospitality in certain ways, ability to pivot, resilience, improved systems in place etc?

Absolutely! It’s been really challenging but I think the tourism industry in Ireland has displayed incredible resilience. Government restrictions which sometimes changed at the last minute showed the tremendous adaptability of hotels and other tourism providers. There are still many challenges out there in terms of staff recruitment and retention and I think we need to be patient with each other for some time as we slowly re-emerge from the pandemic.

Q.6 Finally, do you have any advice for Getting the Best Hotel Offers Out There?

We notice that hotel rates have increased across the board but there is still terrific value out there for midweek and outside of school holiday times. If you’re on your own and like most people don’t appreciate the single supplement, it does pay to pick up the phone and ask for a discount. If you know where you want to go and when, just get in touch with us either by phone or email and we can get the best rate possible for you. T: (064) 6630267. E: info@goldenireland.ie

We’ve also introduced a new Loyalty Reward Programme – if you make five bookings within two years, you receive a €50 Golden Ireland Gift Voucher. It all helps!

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Thank You Geraldine!

 

Best of luck to Golden Ireland!

 

www.goldenireland.ie

 

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