A real innovator - Gillian Bowler dies

FOR people of a certain age, Gillian Bowler’s sunglasses, invariably perched on her head, were as recognisable a prop as Churchill’s huge cigar or TV chef Rick Stein’s indulged but lamented dog, Chalky.
A real innovator - Gillian Bowler dies

But Bowler wore those glasses, a fixture for many years, not because she was vain, but because she was a wonderful, innovative marketeer. The message was subliminal but still obvious — buy a holiday through my agency and you’ll need a pair too. And how the suggestion worked. That was just one of the ideas she introduced to the Irish travel market that helped to build a very successful business. For many years, her January sale was more a news event that slick marketeering.

She was a founder of Budget Travel in 1975 when foreign travel was still novel. The world wide web was a glint in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye, so the mystery of how to get from Adrigole to Albufeira needed an expert like Bowler. She was an innovator, an inspiring example, and one of the first women in Ireland to succeed in what really was a man’s world.

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