Tim O’Hara, Head Concierge, QT Museum Wellington, Member Les Clefs d’Or New Zealand.

“For most of us in this business which we call ‘hospo’, the first signs that the long cold nights of winter are passing and spring is on the way is on our daily commute to work, where you notice each day the morning gets slightly lighter. This means in no time at all summer will creep up on us, and we have to make sure we are ready to hit the ground running as the high season hits.

For us concierges, preparation is the key to making sure we have what we need to set us up and get us through the busy summer months. With a higher number of visitors, the dynamics of the city change to those of autumn and winter.  We need to make sure our teams are well manned each day and that we are up to speed with the major events happening over the season and keeping in constant contact with all our main tour operators and suppliers to make sure we have a good stock of brochures at our desks and have the knowledge of all tour excursions. This is why each year before the summer season steps up a gear we hold our ‘Meet the Region’ tradeshow, which gives all concierges and front of house staff a chance to come along to our event and meet all the company reps and get first-hand knowledge of what’s available and help build up their network of contacts.

Knowing how our cities work throughout the year is also key to being a good concierge. Dealing with guest requests on the day and for future arrivals, we need to be aware of the happenings of when they are staying. A restaurant may be easy to get into one month, but the next month we should know that securing that table may just be a little harder and that bookings are now essential when the city is busy with tourists. Add the many cruise ships arriving and departing daily throughout the season into the mix and on some days the city feels like its bursting at the seams, adds to the challenge of making sure our guests get the best out of their stay with us. Also having that local knowledge helps with those little requests like knowing where you can get the best fish and chips and what beach to sit and eat them and get a feel for that true kiwi summer tradition.

In the middle of all this summertime fun, we have school summer holidays and the festive season thrown into the mix. This is another little challenge for us to be on top of our game. We need to know which restaurant is offering what over Christmas and New Year’s, who is open and closed over this period and what tours we can offer our guests on Christmas Day when most places are closed.

As always, we relish the challenge ahead and look forward to assisting our guests in any way we can. We are “Your Key to Everything”

Let’s just hope Mother Nature plays her part and brings those long days of sunshine for us all to enjoy.”

Tim O’Hara

Head Concierge, QT Museum Wellington

Member Les Clefs d’Or New Zealand