The Caterer

Savoy shows UK is open for business

07 October 2010 by
Savoy shows UK is open for business

This week, one of hospitality's truly iconic addresses, the Savoy, opens its doors for business after a three-year, £220m facelift (page 20). As they prepare to emerge from such a lengthy period of closure, general manager Kiaran MacDonald and his management team can hardly have welcomed the US government's decision, last week, to issue a Europe-wide terror alert. Typically, American visitors account for an estimated 40-45% of all Savoy guests.

Judging by the flurry of bookings received at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport earlier this week, they needn't worry. The resort received nearly 400 phone bookings for golf and hotel reservations during Monday's closing ceremony alone.

Meanwhile, a representative of central London hoteliers described bookings as "steadfast", despite the heightened alert - a blessing, when you consider that 13% of the 1.8 million visitors to the capital last year were from the States.

Once notoriously nervous travellers, Americans have developed a greater resilience through sad experience. Terrorists can strike anywhere and at any time, as New Yorkers learned to their terrible cost on 9/11.

As our capable and experienced security services focus on guaranteeing our national security, operators can best ensure the future of inbound tourism by continuing to evolve, improve and innovate - which leads us back to the Savoy.

By delivering outstanding projects such as Blythswood Square, Lime Wood, Rockcliffe Hall, the Savoy, Coworth Park and the Four Seasons Park Lane, UK operators are sending a clear signal to global travellers that the UK is open for business and willing to invest time and money into delighting its customers.

From Caterer and Hotelkeeper and the wider hospitality industry, congratulations to Kiaran MacDonald and his team for bringing the lustre back to the Savoy.

Mark Lewis, Editor, Caterer and Hotelkeeper

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