48 Hours in Northern Ireland: an unforgettable incentive experience

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Day One: 07:35 – The Enterprise Train to Northern Ireland I’m sitting in first class on the Enterprise Train that travels several times daily between Dublin and Belfast. I’ve just enjoyed a wonderful cooked breakfast served to me piping hot in my plush seat. My laptop is open as… Read more »

Business Tourism on Ireland’s Ancient East

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Seismic change in Ireland’s Tourism Product and Promotion During the thirty years of my involvement with incoming tourism there has been a seismic shift in Ireland’s tourism product and the way it’s promoted. In the 80s I conducted 7 and 10 day tours of the country with sophisticated Italians who… Read more »

Bratislava – Surprisingly Close, Exceptionally Smart

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Following a couple of decades bringing meetings, incentives and events to destinations, @SuperGreyBeard and I are now working with these destinations, helping them identify and communicate what makes them different. To do this successfully we have to try to become insiders, immersing ourselves in the destination, getting behind the scenes, talking to a… Read more »

10 must-do activities in Vancouver

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua I’ve had Vancouver on my mind for years now, like Hoagy Carmichael with Georgia or James Taylor with Carolina. It’s been lodged there in the deep recesses as the home or adopted home of so many  meetings industry friends – Claire Smith, Tahira Endean, Emily Edwards, Brenda Anderson, Isobel Mahon. It had… Read more »

Vancouver: is there a better city for Business Events?

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua It’s hard to describe Vancouver without referencing San Francisco: two cities with   paradisiacal natural surroundings, on the water, both with iconic bridges, both heavily Asian, both redolent of supreme west coast cool. Vancouver’s connections to that stunningly rich natural hinterland – the islands, woodlands, mountains – are more immediate,… Read more »

Stories – what makes a destination truly unique

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Telling Stories In many languages the words for history and story are the same. Telling stories is intrinsically connected with the past, with relating how people, events and circumstances from times gone by have fashioned, forged and formed our present realities. When it comes to selecting a destination to visit we’re… Read more »

The sunny side of the Alps and 6 more things to love about Slovenia

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua One week later and I’m still buzzing from a week in Slovenia. @Supergreybeard and I visited the country for two reasons: firstly, to attend the board meetings of the Foundation of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and secondly, to participate at Conventa, a MICE trade show for South… Read more »

Bratislava – accessibility | innovation | execution

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Love at first sight? With Bratislava, you don’t fall in love at first sight. She’s not that kind of city. She’s a pretty city in many ways but she doesn’t use her beauty to beguile you. She’s not coquettish in the slightest and she never flirts with you at all. Bratislava… Read more »