The unrelenting, unparalleled, unmitigated power of live events

by Padraic Gilligan, VP Industry Relations, MCI I recently attended the Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band “Wrecking Ball” tour  and was left with 2 over-riding impressions. Firstly, music is a powerful, indispensable source of healing, salvation and redemption (themes, incidentally, that recur like middle eights in Bruce’s oeuvre). Secondly,  as MCI’s CEO, Sebastien… Read more »

Destination Marketing: If I were the Mayor of Santorini …

by Padraic Gilligan, Vice President, Industry Relations, MCI Recently I spent a wonderful week under azur blue skies and long lingering sunsets on the Greek island of Santorini. When my mind wasn’t captured by the vicissitudes of the intriguing life of John James Todd, protagonist of The New Confessions by William Boyd, it was captured… Read more »

Hard Lessons in Unintended Consequences – the GSA Western Regions Conference

by Padraic Gilligan, VP, Industry Relations MCI and VP Ovation Global DMC Merton’s Law An infestation of mink was playing havoc with the eco-system of a rural area so, to encourage a proactive community response, the local authorities instituted a bounty of $5 for each mink turned in at the local sheriff’s office. The scheme… Read more »

Care in the Air. Customer service at Delta Airlines?

I’m seething with rage at Delta Airlines. When I needed an airline to be “human” and to understood a painful personal situation I was treated appallingly with extreme disrespect. When I then spent considerable time documenting this experience for the airline I was told that complaints had been “out-sourced” to another airline and then I… Read more »

Want to build your destination brand? Hire somebody to write you a great song!

Galveston, Wichita, Phoenix are not what you might consider tier 1 destinations. Yet for a while they were probably the three US cities that I thought most about. If you’re a fan of great American songwriters you’ll know why – Jimmy Webb wrote three perfect songs with these cities in their titles and then Glen… Read more »

How do you market a destination? Lessons from Memphis

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Tourism-Review.Com recently ran a piece by David Whitley ( entitled “A Destination Marketing Dilemma: How do you sell a city like Sheffield?” It’s a well written, mildly strident rant about what he calls the “cack-handed, hope-over-reality marketing” that many destination organisations are guilty of. He insists that destination marketing… Read more »

It’s all about the culture, Stupid! Further lessons from last week’s Social Media gaffes

by Padraic Gilligan, Vice President, Industry Relations, MCI My first round of golf for 2012 was somewhat marred yesterday by last week’s social media stories. I knew there was a connection between the McDonald’s, Trip Advisor and culture/strategy stories but I couldn’t figure it out. So I stood up on the tee box, gazed confidently… Read more »

Focus on fake reviews V Focus on what REALLY matters: More on Trip Advisor

Having posted on the extraordinary inclusion of 3 Irish hotels on the Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Top 25 Hotels in the World I was obviously intrigued by Conor Pope’s story which appeared on the front page of Monday’s Irish Times (30 January). Apparently Pope had sight of internal correspondence authored by Jean O’Connell, Director of… Read more »