James Chilton is the founder of Rethink Tourism, his business change the way we are thinking about tourism in the 21st century.
“I’m originally a town planner but have worked variously as an urban planner, recreation planner in New Zealand, dive school manager and adventure travel consultant. I was working for a large planning practice in Dublin until 2009 when they went from 70 staff to 12 over the space of 6 months. I now work for myself as a tourism and recreation planner. I mainly work on desination strategies, feasibility studies and policy development. I also provide planning and policy advice to Failte Ireland. I set up the Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism a couple of years ago (www.icrt.ie) and have run two international responsible tourism conferences in Dublin. I also set up the Irish Responsible Tourism Awards this year and received over 450 nominations from every county in Ireland.
What is the best thing about working in Fumbally?
Meeting new people and having a city centre base.
What advice you would give someone who wanted to start up on their own?
Persevere and don’t give up! You have to keep at it and keep plugging away at creating contacts – go and talk to people, take them for a coffee and don’t sell yourself short. If you start of with a low price for a customer then its hard to increase that later.
What was the hardest part about setting up on your own?
Trying to find work and juggling small kids and work. Also initially a lack of somewhere to work until I started in Fumbally in 2011.
What was the biggest thing you learned so far?
Have confidence in yourself! Plus there will also be another job around the corner – you have to trust in the work pipeline!
What is your favourite part of the job?
Travelling around the country – my work has taken me to pretty much every county in Ireland. Sometimes I can’t believe I get paid for doing what I do in the places I do it.
What do you do to treat yourself?
Pints with mates. Or sometimes just taking the day off for a cycle in the mountains – there are perks to being your own boss!
Interview by Julie Graindorge