Guests will have more of an interest in visiting low density, green and spacious areas.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sean Moriarty . Sean is Chief Executive of Quinta do Lago resort, situated in the heart of the Algarve. Quinta do Lago has something for everyone. Nestled within the privacy and security of the Ria Formosa nature reserve, this unique Mediterranean resort allows you to live an active outdoor lifestyle all year round. Quinta offers real estate plots between deserted dunes, sheltered pines or sandy beaches, which are all surrounded by three award winning golf courses.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Myprofessional background started in retail in Ireland where I grew up. When I was offered the position to become CEO of Quinta do Lago, it came with the opportunity to move here permanently and build on the resort’s amazing offering. My main role was to change the demographic of the business for a new target audience.
I also have a huge appreciation for the lifestyle here in Portugal and in the Algarve in particular, I can understand Portuguese well and hold a conversation quite happily although I am not as comfortable writing. I can also speak Mandarin.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
At our resort, we pride ourselves in offering simplified luxury, Quinta do Lago is one of the most exclusive resorts in Europe, situated in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. Nestled within the privacy and security of the Ria Formosa nature reserve, this unique Mediterranean resort allows families, friends and individuals to live an active outdoor lifestyle all year round. Quinta offers real estate plots between deserted dunes, sheltered pines or sandy beaches, which are all surrounded by our three award-winning golf courses. In addition to an incredible array of activities available at The Campus, a new, unique, state of the art multi-sports complex in the heart of Quinta do Lago — offering professional-level training and coaching to all.
Our team behind the scenes is dedicated to making us the best we can be and they all share a common desire to improve and learn — which is how our resort keeps developing and growing.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? Can you share a story about that?
Train your mind every day to learn something completely different from your line of work or business. Each morning, I read something utterly random for 15 minutes to kickstart my day. For example, I recently read a piece about how pasta was made in the very beginning — these sort of things help me concentrate, think creatively and you do find details that are interesting for your business too. I would also recommend participating in a sort of physical activity and to wake up early!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
It’s really difficult to choose just one person here. My foundation was my upbringing, my parents always taught me to never be afraid but enjoy new challenges, I take that with me in everything I do both professionally and personally.
Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to the travel and hospitality industries?
We are currently preparing our ‘We Are Back’ campaign, which has a greater focus on customer service than ever before. We have developed task forces to get people involved in shaping our company for the future. These task forces give everyone in the company, right from junior levels, the chance to share their ideas and then put them into action. Our employees act like entrepreneurs, they have got real skin in the game and are extremely involved in keeping our company current. When our guests return, they will instantly feel this pride, passion and excitement about our new offerings, our new packages and programmes.
On top of this, we are also preparing to launch a new and innovative loyalty programme, we are developing a new app and revamping the guest services element of our business.
Which “pain point” are you trying to address by introducing this innovation?
Quinta do Lago is more than just a resort, it is a lifestyle. We want to reinforce what is part of our DNA, what makes us unique — we offer a holiday experience that guests have not had before.
Currently, people are exploring new things such as online yoga, meditation or virtual personal training and I think this is going to give people a more open-minded view about what they want their future holidays to look like. Guests are going to want to learn new things, experience a bit of adventure and will really appreciate what a family holiday together means. Quinta do Lago is creating new packages to offer just that.
We are also developing a brand-new surprise package where guests answer three questions and we then plan their whole holiday — this will ensure guests really get the most out of a holiday with us and an experience holiday which cannot be replicated elsewhere.
Our latest investment, The Campus, is a state-of-the-art sports facility which offers beginners’ clinics, private professional coaching and sunshine all year round. Sports education is extremely important for us and we’ve invested in high-end personal trainers that have competed at the top level themselves — ranging from body toning, international golf tournaments, triathlons or Iron Mans. For example, one of our top physio therapists was a world gymnastics champion and we are extremely lucky to have people like her as part of our family.
How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo?
We are not part of the status quo. Quinta do Lago is situated in the Ria Formosa wildlife sanctuary but it is also a sanctuary for our guests. We are on a journey of complete improvement and investment right now, during Covid-19, at a time when the world itself is experiencing disruption and also taking a pause.
Can you share 5 examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers like to travel?
- A bigger focus on experiences — in particular, surprise experiences for guests
- A rise in the growth of boutique hotels
- There will be more emphasis in research outside of TripAdvisor, for example, safety stamps, cleanliness and luxury
- Booking policies and refunds will be much more important to consumers
- Guests will have more of an interest in visiting low density, green and spacious areas.
You are a “travel insider”. How would you describe your “perfect vacation experience”?
My perfect vacation experience is staying somewhere safe, close to nature, away from crowded spaces, family-friendly, gourmet focused and somewhere which provides a new environment — exactly what you can find in Quinta do Lago.
Can you share with our readers how have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Quinta do Lago is a big community and we help and invest in real life, needed situations. For example, at the start of Covid-19 our residents created a movement called ‘Flattening the Curve’ where we raised over 500,000EUR which was all donated to the Algarve Biomedical Centre (ABC), the consortium which is leading many of the region’s initiatives to contain the pandemic. We have also just launched a new sustainability initiative across the whole resort and are proud to be one of the very few places in Europe which has stuck to its master plan and remained a low rise, low-density region — surrounded by the 2,000 acre Ria Formosa Natural Park.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would encourage positive mindfulness, solution focus and the importance of staying mentally fit — which I would make part of the educational programme of every school across the globe.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Readers can follow me in LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sean-moriarty-6a749133/?originalSubdomain=pt
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!