LIMERICK may have been his home up until the age of 17, but it was on foreign shores that Greg Wixted found the key to entrepreneurial success.
And its the Atlantic Ocean that’s providing the backdrop for his latest business venture, a chain of scuba diving resorts that arose from a bet after a night out.
Greg joined with his French business partner, David Clivet, to establish Blue Explorers Resorts which will open next May on the island of Gran Canaria.
“Our resort will be first Blue Explorers’ flagship specialist diving and adventure destination in an adventure tourism sector that is worth more than €6 billion in Europe alone,” he explained.
“We wanted to combine our passion for diving and adventure sport with our love of marine life, and our belief that adventure holidays should offer a great alternative to the traditional beach holiday, with the focus on service in and out of the water.”
“Ireland is a key market for the resort business with more than 500,000 visitors a year coming to the Canary Islands. In fact, 15 per cent of our bookings have come from Ireland since we launched our marketing campaign.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming our first guests this May and to our second venture in Tenerife next year. Our plan is to open one a year for the next five to ten years!
“My vision would be to open one in Kilkee, where I spent my summers as a child and the diving off the west coast is some of the best in Europe,” he said.
The first resort is located on the south-west coast of Gran Canaria and the entire workforce will be made up of divers – from the chefs to resort managers.
“We are investing around €500,000 into the resort and looking to raise a further €3 million to keep rolling out the concept across the Canary Islands, Europe and further afield,” the Limerick man explained.
Greg Wixted launched his first restaurant business at the age of 23, selling it on within three years before going on to work in the marketing and advertising industry.
In 2009, he established his own creative agency with offices in Europe and the Middle East before becoming involved in the recruitment industry.
He was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Federation of Small Business in 2016.
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