Naomi and John Sheehy are the powerhouses behind Ireland Luxury Travel, a specialized travel company who offer their clients bespoke trips of a lifetime.
Ireland Luxury Travel, based on the south coast of Cork, is booming but it's their personal journey to this point rather than their expert travel tips that IrishCentral will be exploring today.
Naomi’s a former lawyer and John who still works as a farmer part-time now work with clients from all over the world designing a travel experience in Ireland that’s full of “off the beaten path” sightseeing. Ireland Luxury Travel specialist advisors hand-pick the accommodation, activities, and transportation, under one package, taking the work out of planning and creating one-off vacations for their clients.
Explaining how this intriguing travel company down in Skibbereen, County Cork, came to be Naomi spoke to IrishCentral.
Although Naomi’s own career began in the realm of the law, she explained that it was her own family’s passion for Irish heritage and tourism that saw her career shift towards tourism.
“My family restored a Norman castle in the village of Baltimore, Cork Cork, and opened it as a visitor center, so I have always been closely associated with the Irish tourism industry.
“I travel a lot, and always wanted to incorporate my skills as a lawyer with my love of tourism. Working with high expectations and jam-packed travel itineraries is what I love. I guess I am a natural organizer and I thrive on the challenge of offering the perfect unique trip for each of my clients.”
John, Naomi’s husband is a third-generation and continues to work the farm, where their family now live. It seems his farming wiles made him the perfect fit to be involved in the travel industry and tours game
“He is a shrewd and natural businessman, which you have to be to run a traditional farm in Ireland these days,” explained Naomi. “He deals with all the necessaries in running a business such as tax, accounts and bill paying. He keeps the whole machine going
He does have his own unique way though; I describe it as working on foot. His morning can consist of helping a cow calf followed by a call to a top five-star hotel accounting manager to settle a group’s room bill, to chasing down the company that offers the fasted internet speed. Internet connectivity is what makes it possible to run a business like this in a rural place like Skibbereen in the south coast of Ireland.”
How Ireland Luxury Travel came to be is very much down to where Naomi and John felt they wanted to create their new life together. They knew they wanted to start their own business, to work for themselves and support their family but there was other things they were also certain of.
“Moving to the city was not an option, so we brought the cities to us. We have clients from all over the world and manage their travel needs with the help of our team, from our office in Skibbereen during the day and our home office in the evenings. This flexible working environment works well,” explained Naomi.
As anyone who starts their own business knows there are always challenges. For Naomi and John, it was the teething period of the first year which Naomi called “testing”, but she added, “we managed and had some great clients that helped us develop our service and grow into the company we are now.”
The joy for Naomi behind Ireland Luxury Travel is the creativity behind and successes of creating a once in a life-time experience for their clients.
“Each travel proposal we design is based on what we imagine our new potential client to wish for. The challenge is to add experiences into the trip that are unforgettable, and this is a very personal thing,” she explained.
“We know we got it right when the client says, “that was amazing” or “we never did anything like that before and we loved it!” That is our victory. I print the client’s email and pin it to the board for the team to see. It is their victory also.”
As the demand for their bespoke vacation tours rises Naomi divulged that while they’ve plans to expand, they plan to work hard to ensure they do not lose that specialized personal attention to detail they’ve become known for.
She added “We have a team of four working now and see this rise to eight or ten. We specialize in the personal attention we offer to each client so we don’t plan to jeopardize that. Our mission is to show the best of Ireland through sustainable tourism and genuine local knowledge.”