Tomorrows Visitors Podcast Episode 1 John Fitzgerald, Ballyhoura Failte
After years of deliberation, I am launching my own podcast www.tomorrowsvisitors.com.
A special word of thanks to my colleague and friend Cathal McDonnell of McDonnell Art for helping me. Also to my friend Wayne Denner for his encouragement and support.
What is it about?
In this podcast series I will talking about tourism in Ireland – north and south. What are the emerging visitor trends, emerging technologies, new visitor experiences?
Who are the Connectors?
I will be talking to Tour Guides, food and drink producers, operators and providers. I will be finding out what tomorrows visitors are looking for. And sharing practical tips for businesses.
In Episode 1 I am in conversation with John Fitzgerald,
Chair of Ballyhoura Failte and proprietor of The Kennedy Rooms in Bruff, Co Limerick.
In April 2020, John was a Guest Speaker at the Cross Border Tourism Conference hosted by Dundalk Chamber of Commerce.
From Engineer to Tourism Proprietor
John is a qualified Engineer and was employed by two large US companies. This allowed him to travel the world and shaped his outlook on life and business. In this interview, we chat about many aspects of life and tourism,
We start with asking why visitors come to the Ballyhoura Region? which John refers to as part of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
Where is tourism in Ireland heading?
John provides us with a fascinating insight into where he thinks tourism in Ireland is going. He claims we need to put “service back in to tourism“. The challenge is to understand and address the “need to travel v the fear of travel”
Change is happening, so how can tourism providers respond?
The Kennedy Rooms
5 years ago, John took over the former FCJ Convent in Bruff, now the Kennedy Rooms. He has adapted the building to a major event space and film set.
The Kennedy Rooms is now home to the NunsRoom, Ireland’s first non-alcoholic bar!
John shares his views on film tourism. He explains why there is a need to be quirky – this will attract domestic and overseas visitors.
John is committed to sustainable tourism and attracting visitors to the Ballyhoura Region. He acknowledges that #Staycations will be the focus for the region in the next 24 months.
Close to the turf!
We chat about John’s passion for horses.
He is a former Amateur Jockey and a Licensed Racehorse Trainer of flat and national hunt horses. He runs Little Orchard Stud and is a frequent visitor to Limerick Racecourse.
I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation
– John is a great Ambassador for Ballyhoura and the wider region
I am hoping to pack my bike and head down to see John in the early 2021.
One of the many takeaways from this podcast –
“You have to be different – make service exceptional“