Name: Joanne Walsh
Business Name: Lough Erne Resort
Business Location: Enniskillen
How long have you been in business? The resort is now opened 13 years
How many staff do you employ? 180 employees
What would you say are your strengths? Positivity and multitasking
What would you say are your weaknesses? I’m a bit of a control freak and a perfectionist!
How had Covid-19 affected your business both negatively/positively? Obviously being closed for four months presented a major business challenge. But, on the positive side, the creation of our comprehensive Guest Care & Wellbeing promise has allowed us to have a safe and promising reopening of the resort. The current staycation focus has been very good for us too. We have had the privilege of safely welcoming visitors from across Ireland since we have reopened, many of whom have enjoyed our beautiful 600-acre location for the first time and complementary outdoor activities such as paddle-boarding and lakeside yoga.
What makes your business unique? It’s our location and stunning setting within 600 acres of wide-open space and stunning natural beauty. Being a five-star luxury resort that prides itself on its place in the countryside, we are able to offer an indulgent escape for guests looking to get out of the busy cities. There really isn’t anywhere like this in Ireland.
Who has been the greatest influence on your life? (Aside from friends & family). Tony Walker, GM of the Slieve Russell Hotel, gave me a job 15 years ago and gave me a chance to carve out my career in this wonderful industry.
What are your plans for the future? Imminently – to get through a busy and safe 2021! Beyond that to continually improve and better our guests’ experiences.
What would your advice be for anyone starting out in your industry? Work hard, show commitment and you can progress.
How do you like to relax? On my downtime I like to enjoy good food and wine.
What would you do if you won the lottery? Make some charitable donations and travel.
We might be limited in our travel at the moment but where is your favourite holiday destination? Visiting my daughter in Dubai is my favourite location for a foreign holiday however my next holiday will be focused on a staycation here in Ireland to help support other hospitality businesses.
What do you miss most about Fermanagh when you are away? The friendliness of the people.
If you could swap lives with someone who would you choose and why? Victoria Beckham – for her wardrobe!
And finally take the chance to give a shout out to another local business who you think is doing great things: Erne Water Taxi – this is such a great business right on our doorstep – Barry showcases the very best of the Fermanagh Lakelands and makes his tours so interesting. It is truly unique for our guests to be able to see Fermanagh’s captivating islands and history by water. We at the resort are delighted to partner with Barry on a range of packages and are advocates of supporting local.