Hilary Finlay Bio
I have over 30 years experience in the Irish hospitality and tourism industry. I held the position of Managing Director of the Ireland’s Blue Book, before I took early retirement to further my studies. Suffice to say that my degree in Art History has, hopefully, enhanced my knowledge of art and heritage. Working for Ireland’s Blue Book gave me the pleasure of marketing and selling a wonderful collection of Irish Country House Hotels and Restaurants. These properties represent the best of mainly ‘owner managed’ boutique hotels and stunning guesthouses to stay in Ireland. They are known as the best of the best. They also show how historic hotels can represent a living and breathing built heritage.
Over the years I developed strong links and relationships for Ireland’s Blue Book Association both in Ireland and overseas. I served in the positions of Secretary General, Vice President and President of the Historic Hotels of Europe (HHE). The HHE achieved significant success in positioning itself as the most important representative body for heritage hospitality in Europe; as a result it is now the largest umbrella federation in Europe for historic hotels.
Because of my position I was able to represent the HHE at various international forums, including the INTO (International National Trusts Organization) which is a global international organization for the protection of built heritage. I also participated at various international tourism forums in the European Union.
At Food & Wine magazine’s Annual Awards I was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 where I joined other more illustrious people who have contributed much to the Irish food and tourism sector, such as Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House.