This week’s Inside Scoop is with Ian Daniels from City Marque. He tells us about the ratio of leisure to corporate bookings and the importance of internet to the business traveller.
The team had a great night at the opening of your new property, Oxford House, how are things going with it?
It’s been a runaway success; since opening at the beginning of August we’re now at around 95% occupancy until the end of October. There has been incredible customer feedback which has very much helped to solidify our relationship with SilverDoor.
When we first started working with you, you mainly catered for leisure bookings. What’s your ratio of leisure to corporate now?
Two to three years ago, before we started working with SilverDoor we were taking about 100% leisure bookings; we’re now up to about 70% leisure combined with 30% corporate travel. When I’m dealing with business bookings, a large proportion is supplied by agencies and within that SilverDoor is leading the way. We are looking to increase corporate bookings by up to 50% in the next couple of months and we’ve specifically employed a corporate sales manager to facilitate this.
Why did you decide to focus on more corporate bookings?
It’s always been the aim of the company; we want to ensure that we have more repeat business and better relationships with the group. With regards to corporate bookings we very much see it as a balance to leisure; you should never have all of your eggs in one basket. Also with the corporate side we hope for greater loyalty, greater familiarity with the product and increased longer stays which means less hassle operationally.
We are finding that our clients are increasingly interested in knowing about the internet speeds and packages that come with their bookings. Have you found this? Why do you think this is?
Out of all of the emergencies that occur in a property, lack of internet or slow internet speed is probably top of the list. We have dedicated high-speed broadband in each apartment that averages about 10-20 megabyte download speeds. It’s something that is very important to our customers and something we are very in tune with. We don’t advertise the speed of our internet as naturally that would leave us open to claims of false advertising because of the varying performance of internet connectivity. It ultimately has to be free because people live on the internet and we have a lot of overseas clients so roaming isn’t an option for them; as soon as they hit a Wi-Fi hotspot or enter the apartment they want to see what’s going on and do so easily.
Football or Rugby? Football
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Aston Martin or Ferrari? Aston Martin
Bar or Club? Bar
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Read our article for more information about serviced apartments and the benefits they offer over hotels.