Two’s company, three’s a crowd. There’s some truth to that cliché but not when it comes to Jean Muller, business partner David Richardson and her husband Tony.
The three are best mates. Jean and David have worked together for more than 30 years and owned the Best Western Balmoral Motor Inn in Hobart for the past quarter century.
Tony, since retiring from teaching, helps behind the scenes when needed and has been married to Jean for 42 years.
The three get along famously – even travelling together occasionally.
“David’s easy to work with and goes with the flow,” says Jean.
“I do the staff relationships and he takes care of the business and technology side of things – it works well.
“We are all great friends.”
Tasmanian tourism is in a sweet spot and Jean’s certainly seen a lot of changes in recent years.
But none bigger than the impact the Museum of Old and New Art (which is just down the road and around the corner from the BW Balmoral) has had on the southern city’s tourism industry.
“Tasmania is still very much a ‘clean and green’ destination but MONA’s brought a cultural element that has seen tourism go ahead in leaps and bounds, especially during winter with the Dark Mofo festival.”
Jean says many Tasmania tourism businesses used to close during winter but are now viable year-round concerns due to the increase in tourism, especially from international markets such as China.
“While there are always challenges, things are good,” says Jean.
“In my opinion Tasmania is becoming more of an international destination. We have more of the Chinese tours coming in than ever before. Travel to Tasmania has become so much easier with the internet.”
In terms of the property, Jean says she and David focus on customer service and continually updating facilities to ensure they meet or exceed rapidly evolving consumer expectations.
Their hard work has resulted in an impressive 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor. But there’s always something to be done and that’s what keep Jean motivated.