Corrs Corner

Editor Frank Corr gives his views on the hospitality and tourism industries, shares anecdotes and gossip and welcomes your contributions.

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Hospital Jinks

'You have enough galllstones to start a riot', the doc told me after my 'procedure' last week.

It was fun, of a sort. My fourth encounter with these little cholestral missiles in two years. They block something, I get a pain, fever and jaundice. I go to A and E. They get rid of the pain and do lots of scans. I go home, come back a week later and they take the stones out. But nobody seeems to know what is causing me to be in the quarry business. Theories to fcorr100@gmail please.

Hospital can be depressing, sobering, boring and occasionally fun. Watching the catering staff serve meals is the best. They are on a tight schedule so they tear into the ward, plonk the plate on the tray and are gone again beafore you can blink. One day I failed to notice for 30 minutes that my lunch had arrived- it was hidden neatly behind a curtain.

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Michael D and Me

I have had just two encounters with our new President-elect. The first was in 1971 when he took exception to a piece I had written in 'Business and Finance' magazine. Happily the little dispute was resolved amicably.

Ever since I have been a fan of the poet, politician and humanitarian who seemed to fight for causes such as womens' rights and civil liberties that were not particularly popular at the time. He was also an exceptional Minister for the Arts, probably the best we have ever had.

So, about a year ago, when I got talking to  him at a South Africa Day reception, I asked him if he would be a candidate for the Presidency. He gave me a cautious answer, saying that he had yet to make up his mind.

'Go for it, Michael D', I said. 'You are the only man for the job' - or words to that effect.

And to-day I am very glad I did. He will be an excellent President of whom we hcan be justly proud.

Provided we can understand what he is talking about, of course.

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World Travel Awards

I am a bit wary of the World Travel Awards which have many categories, European, Asian and other sections and a host of national awards. They appear to be a bit too commercial for my liking. Nevertheless I was surprised to discover that Ireland failed to win one single award in the 2011 European Competition. The best we could manage was a few Irish awards with Adare Manor, the K Club, the Ritz Carlton and the Dylan hotel all featuring. Turkey on the other hand mopped up a bucketfull of awards including one for the Best Tourism Authority. Maybe it would be worthwhile making a more determined  effort to win some of these awards in 2012. Many of the nominated hotels and resorts run on-line campaigns to garner votes and with a concerted effort Ireland could well feature on the next list. We could take advice ferom our good friends at the Cliffs of Moher. (See 'Corr's Corner')

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Late Stats Hit Industry

Visitor arrival statistics are a vital tool for hoteliers and other tourism operators in the planning of their businesses. For ages we got monthly statistics from the CSO which were reasonably current and of great value. Now we only get quarterly returns which are published well after the quarter ends. For instance the Q2 figures up to the end of June appeared only towards the end of August and we are unlikely to see Q3 stats before mid November. The CSO cites lack of funds for the depletion of this service and this is probably true. However there is nothing to prvent prevent the industry (say a combination of Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and ITIC) paying the CSO to resume the monhly service.The motor trade does this- so why not tourism.


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Services Rendered

A woman is presented with a €500 bill for an overnight stay in a five star hotel.

'That's very expensive', she tells the manager.

Manager'But Madam, we have a wonderful gourmet restaurant'

Guest: 'I arrrived late and already had dinner'

M: 'But you could have dined there. We also have a world class Leisure Centre'

G: 'I have to leave early to-day and cannot avail of it'

M: 'But you could have. And have you visited our Conference Centre ?'

G: 'No- I am on a leisure visit'

M; 'But you could have'

Eventually the woman takes the bill and hands it back to the Manager with €50.

Manager: 'Madam- where is the other €450 ?'

Guest: 'That is the fee for sleeping with me last night'

Mgr: 'But Madam, I did no such thing'.

Guest: 'Well I was here. I was available and you could have'.

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