THIS week’s High Flyer is Brian Tracey, general manager at the Maldron Hotel Belfast International Airport
What was your first job?
Banqueting waiter in the old Conway Hotel in Dunmurry.
What qualifications do you have?
I was educated to O-level and then I went straight into the hospitality industry at the age of 16-years-old.
What do you attribute your success to?
Positivity along with a drive to provide the best possible service as well as a strong, dedicated and reliable team.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I like to think I am an engaging and generous person who is considerate of other people.
Who do you look up to in business?
My mentor within the Dalata Group Conal O’Neill. Conal’s support and business acumen has been invaluable both for my own development and for the development of the Maldron brand.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
Support and encourage them in their role and give the team the confidence to bring forward new ideas to promote and develop our business as well as themselves. It’s also very important to celebrate staff success. Recently our team won City Budget Hotel of the Year at the Northern Ireland Hospitality Awards. The awards acknowledge the achievements of local professionals and establishments. Winners are chosen by members of the general public and are a true reflection of the commitment, quality and excellent standards of customer service within the Northern Irish hospitality industry.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
Abolish Air Passenger Duty to give the Northern Ireland tourism industry the same opportunity to compete with our colleagues in the south and reduce VAT.
What website or app could you not do without?
Trust You. This is the software we use to monitor and evaluate feedback from all our online platforms.
What was the last book you read?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick.
What car do you drive?
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
My ultimate ambition would be to sail across the Atlantic. I am already certified with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) for inshore sailing and would love to set sail in the wake of the great explorers.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Cooking. I absolutely love finding new recipes. I ask our chefs for hints and tips and tricks of the trade. I really enjoy entertaining. There is nothing like good food, good wine and great company.