This week we chat to Donal McGing and Brian O’Neill from Your Home from Home, who came all the way from Dublin for a catch up and tell us that they’re planning on 2013 becoming their biggest year to date.
With 2012 coming to a close, can you tell us how the year has been for you?
Brian: 2012 has been a good year for us. We’ve seen a steady growth in occupancy rates throughout the year, but in reality we’ve seen about 3 years of steady growth, which has been great. Dublin, being Ireland’s capital, has been the first city to recover after the financial difficulties we’ve been facing for the past few years and in its nature is a very busy city where something’s happening every week.
Where there any peak periods?
Donal: Yes, definitely. A huge peak was the big American football championships – London had the Olympics and we had this. Around 35,000 Americans came to the city and were big spenders, which is always great. But I think Dublin has a constant stream of activities, from concerts, festivals and shows to all the American software companies opening offices, so there is always something to do.
What is your leisure/corporate mix?
Donal: It’s about 80/20 on the side of corporate. We do a lot of theatre business for casts and production companies and for the last couple of years they’ve proven to be our biggest clients, booking the longest periods and largest number of rooms.
What are your expectations for 2013?
Brian: We are looking forward to a hugely busy 2013 coupled with massive growth [Engi: Haha… Of course, who isn’t]. But in all seriousness, I don’t know if you are aware, but next year Ireland has a massive campaign called ‘Gathering 2013’ where all the Irish diaspora from around the world are being invited home including the second and third generations. They are invited at their own expense of course, but it is planned to be a large reunion, where people of Irish descent come back and get to know their roots. There are a lot of festivals and events running nationwide to support this year-long event. This is the first ever large-scale outreach to encourage the diaspora to come home and pay a visit. It’s running the whole year.
Have you started receiving bookings for ‘Gathering 2013’?
Donal: Yes absolutely, we already have a few lined up for next year. It’s a great marketing campaign putting Ireland in the spotlight for a while.
Now for our favourite question, who is your favourite SilverDoorian besides Alice?
Donal: I have to say Alex and Toby because they are the two I speak to the most.
Finally, what does SilverDoor do for your business?
Brian: I would say, SilverDoor provides a good partnership for the future primarily.
Donal: We recognised it as a good brand primarily. We are pleased with the relationship that we’ve built over the past few years, and we know the quality of the clients you bring forward so we work hard to make sure that your clients’ needs are met from our end to continue this successful partnership.
Now for the quick fire round:
Winter or summer: Brian: summer. Donal: winter
X Factor or I’m a Celebrity: Brian: Masterchef! Donal: I’m a celebrity.
James Bond or Jason Bourne: Brian: Bond. Donal: It’s a hard one. [Engi: You can have both!] OK, both but not the new Bourne.
Blondes or brunettes: Brian: Brunettes. Donal: Brunettes.
Boobs or bums: Both men: Wow – do we have to choose? Brian: Bums. Donal: Boobs.
Next week, we chat to Catch22, SilverDoor’s nominated charity for the coming year, to find out more about their work and, equally importantly, their favourite reality TV show.