In this week’s Inside Scoop, we chat to Doug Greenwood, Director of Business Development at Think, who tells us that Think’s commitment to LOCOG has been a blessing to them through the Olympic Games, and describes SilverDoor as their “right arm”. That’s always nice to hear!
How much do you think the industry has changed over the course of the year?
I would say that the Olympic Games have really influenced it. We have benefited enormously from the Olympics thanks to our commitments to LOCOG (The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) which have been an absolute blessing this year. From our point of view we are looking at the types of customers that are coming into the UK and staying in hotels, and trying to get a share of their business.
Have you noticed any trends this year that will carry on after the Olympics?
I think the Games will leave a legacy and people will view London with a really optimistic eye. However, I would offer a word of caution as to what the impact will be. I think there is an element of uncertainty with problems regarding the euro and there are also still some issues with many banks – it will be interesting to see how that works out.
Do you think that there is now a better understanding of the serviced apartment industry?
I think the markets that are really aware of it are the North American market, as they really understand the concept and benefits of serviced apartments, as well as Australia and New Zealand, specifically in the leisure sector. I think it’s only now that the UK and Europe are beginning to wake up to the idea and see the benefits, particularly for businesses, and the enormous savings that can be made.
After the Olympics, how is the business looking?
Immediately after the Games it is going to be quiet, but I do think there is going to be a pent-up demand in the UK. I think we’ve done a great job in discouraging people from coming to London because of issues with transport and the high costs involved, but now there is a lot of availability. But if we think about it we are in a good position – we are encouraging as much business post-games as we can get.
What is the corporate/leisure mix?
We are probably seventy per cent corporate and thirty per cent leisure and have quite a healthy international distribution.
We have noticed that you have some great offers on your website such as ‘book now, stay later’ and ‘stay longer, save more’ and a theatre tickets package.
We try to encourage longer stays and we like to offer other activities. We like to try to provide online shopping, access to local gyms, theatre ticket booking and other diverse benefits. We have teamed up with local restaurants and bars to create offers for our clients so there is always something extra for them when they stay with us.
What does SilverDoor do for your business?
SilverDoor are our right arm, our left arm; you do a lot for us and we have a brilliant relationship with the team and have done for several years. You provide us with a rock from the point of view of our business positioning and the professional way that it is delivered. We are very much in debt to SilverDoor.
And now for the quick fire round…
Shirt and tie or jeans and T-shirt: Jeans and T-shirt
Twitter or Facebook: Twitter
Football or rugby: Rugby
Blondes or brunettes: Blondes
Tea or coffee: Tea
Look out for next week’s Inside Scoop with Ben Harper from Go Native, where he talks about the new properties they have in the pipe line, and admits to being scared of both Cheryl Cole and Beyoncé. Not the answer we expected to hear!