By @SimonCocking. Interview with Suzanne Burns A seasoned wildlife guide and zoologist who spent the last decade in NZ & Canada. Creating magical tours in Ireland. Contributing writer @GreenGlobalTrvl

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

I run a little guiding company called ‘MOPTOG’ which stands for ‘My Own Private Tour Guide’. The idea is to run customisable trips around Ireland. Taking small groups and individuals off the beaten track to
experience nature and scenery at it’s best.

Bbay orca spy hopping

How are you different?

I am a Zoologist by profession and worked as a wildlife guide in NZ and Canada. I have an intimate understanding of the environment and am able to not only showcase the beauty of Ireland but also to give people a real understanding of its history, culture, plants and animals. I will run future trips in other countries too. Having lived and worked as a guide in NZ and Canada, I can show people first hand the
wildlife gems that I discovered when I lived in both countries. I bring an element of fun and mischief into the trips.

Why will the company do well?

Having worked for years in this area, I understand what works for people when they are looking for tours and what makes an unforgettable experience for them. The first 6 months of my return to Ireland was guiding research to ascertain the needs of tourists who come here. I have already built up a solid client base through this ‘testing period’.

Where are you based?

I am based out of Cork city but am able to work with people in other parts of Ireland or the world if and when required.

When was the company launched?

The company was launched in February 2016.

Baby orca breaching

What have been your biggest wins to date?

Being asked to give a talk at the Cork Harbour Festival as well as the Cape Clear Bioblitz based on the work of my company. Securing a corporate client for company tours for its staff.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

Multinational employees that have moved to Ireland, who are keen to discover the country but who are lacking in knowledge and transport. Companies who want to do group outings and tours. People visiting
Ireland on business trips. Small tourist groups e.g. families, groups of friends,lone travelers.

Tell us about your team?

I am the company guide and I organise and run the trips for MOPTOG. I have business, website and design associates who assist me with promotion and marketing. Eric Thiebaut-George, Karen Cafferkey and Cian Hogan help me respectively with these facets of my business.

What are you long term plans for your product / company?

My longterm plans are to make the company grow at a steady pace and potentially hire more staff if required. I also intend to run trips from Oct-March to New Zealand for people to experience the Southern
Hemisphere summer and the phenomenal beauty of the country. I lived there for 10 years and have excellent knowledge of the country and strong links with tour operators there. For people who are interested in whales particularly I will bring people to Canada and Baja, Mexico for future whale watching and related tours. I have worked with whales as a guide, researcher, writer and photographer.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

My favourite gadgets would be GPS location devices in cameras for pinpointing whales for research. Go pro cameras for filming life on the move, Twitter and Instagram for giving people bite size tasters of
your business.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

I would like to use drones in the future to help me seek out new coastal spots and track sea life. It would also be a useful gadget for filming good content for MOPTOG.

Where can people find more about you?

You can find us on:
Facebook: MOPTOG
Instagram: MOPTOG
Twitter: MOPTOGtours

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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