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SME focus: Everything you need to know about trading on tourism

For our third month of in-depth coverage of Irish SMEs, we focused on the opportunities in the tourism sector.

Image: Christchurch via Shutterstock

EVERY MONTH, TheJournal.ie focuses on a different sector or aspect of life for small and medium enterprises.

SMEs provide around 77% of the jobs in the Irish economy, and the issues they face are crucial to employment and economic growth.

For our third month, we’ve been looking at the opportunities and challenges posed by the tourism and services sector.

#The Big Idea this month focused on one of the strongest brands in Irish tourism who took the sector “by the scruff of the neck” to go from upstart to market dominance. Find out more about how Paddywagon Tours founder Cathal O’Connell took a broom to the bus tour circuit here.

The big idea was to change the face of bus operation in Ireland from being the local fella in the village with a bus, to being a branded system of tourism in Ireland, where young people could come.

Source: PaddywagonTV/YouTube

#How to Guide – Just a few years ago, travel agents looked surplus to requirements for many as online booking options expanded for consumers – we spoke to one Irish agency that has innovated and specialised to win customer loyalty.

#What I Learned – Setting up a hotel in one of the most remote regions in Ireland in the middle of the worst recession in living memory – good idea, yeah? Well, yes, says this man who learned that the only way to make your hospitality business work is to map your business plan in detail before sinking the cash – and have confidence in your idea.

9280732634_5a3ca5d194_z There's Clare island on the horizon. Yup, a remote place to do business. Source: Roberto Strauss via Flickr/CreativeCommons

#Business Poll – More Irish people are opting to stay home on holidays but does that translate into a real win for the domestic market over abroad? We crunched some stats and also asked readers’ sentiment on holidaying home versus abroad when cold, hard cash comes into play:

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#SME Book Club – Tourism is an incredible growth sector – but how can you make your sustainable for the future? We looked at Overbooked’s insights here.

#Business Chart of the Month – While domestic tourism spend is up in the capital, how are other regions faring? We focused on the traditionally popular sunny SouthEast and plotted the much harder mountain the sector has to climb there:

[image alt="http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2014/07/domestictourismspend.png" src="http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2014/07/domestictourismspend.png" width="630" height="367" credit-url="" credit-source="" credit-via="" credit-via-url="" class="alignnone" /end]

 SME focus: Everything you need to know about starting a business>

For all the breaking news, features and analysis vital for the sector, keep up to date with TheJournal.ie’s dedicated SME channel>

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