My inspiration: Melita Williams
Bespoke Belfast's founder tells us why she set up her luxury travel company
Bespoke Belfast is a travel and leisure consultancy specialising in business tourism, exclusive corporate experiences and short breaks.
My inspiration initially came from moving to Northern Ireland three years ago and being immediately impressed with this fabulous city and country. I saw a unique opportunity to develop a tourism product that was not being offered - a tailored luxury short break.
Being Welsh and not growing up in Northern Ireland meant that I was able to look at the province with 'fresh eyes' and view it from a business perspective rather than looking at it as just somewhere where I live. My research involved walking the Mournes, surfing off Portrush, spending time in the city centre shopping and enjoying the excellent restaurants and quirky bars. I quickly came to realise that I loved all Northern Ireland had to offer and I was sure that tourists would also feel the same way.
At the beginning, Bespoke Belfast was solely focused on luxury short breaks, but over the last 18 months, due to client demand, I have diversified into business tourism and corporate hospitality services for both tourists and local clients. I now work with a range of different partners in all sorts of venues. The local tourism and hospitality industry is so closely connected that it makes sense for businesses to work together and, as the advert says - 2012 is our time, our place.
I have found the people of Northern Ireland so welcoming and supportive, especially during the times I thought I was mad moving countries and professions, but I guess that it is this hospitality that is at the core of my business and explains why tourists want to come here again and again.