Small Business Q&A: Georgina Campbell, hospitality guru

Kehlan Kirwan talks with hospitality guru Georgina Campbell about her new courses for hospitality owners and the state of the hospitality industry.

Small Business Q&A: Georgina Campbell, hospitality guru

You don’t usually produce educating platforms, so why now?

Well it goes back to last year’s awards that we ran. In the run-up to our awards night I commented on the falling standards within the hospitality industry.

It was because of that we decided to take some action and create these courses to give our insights on what people can do within the industry to improve. So we set up a business development programme and the main feedback we had was that it was hard for business owners to attend a six-day course.

We decided to shorten it down to facilitate them. When we do the Georgina Campbell Guide we don’t reveal the negative things we see in hotels. So we want to give our view from a consumer view, rather an owner view, which is a different approach I think.

Are standards still dropping in the hospitality industry?

I think so, yes. I think there is a danger that we are overselling ourselves. During the recession when you would have expected the industry to up its game in terms of customer service, the majority of people did. But there is still a minority which is letting the side down. But if you look at the plus side of things, you’ll see that more people within the industry are working in collaboration with others in the industry.

The Wild Atlantic Way has shown that businesses can complement each other and refer customers to each other by telling people about the next town over, or another great place to stay 100km up the coast.

So what about the industry going into 2015? How do you see it?

Well there is great deal more confidence. The industry has found its feet again and is beginning to go in the right direction. There is a feeling that more bookings are coming in and the weather has helped too.

The confidence is seeping through, but we need to ensure that standards don’t drop. Nevertheless if people are lackadaisical in the running of their business on a day-to-day basis it will be damaging to their business. But 2015 is looking brighter than 2014 and it will be another year of positive news for the industry.

One worry I would have also is the growing trend of negative online reviews which are published before talking with a business about the problem. That is something we need to keep an eye on.

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