Hotel group Thistle has strengthened its sales team in Aberdeen with three new appointments and the launch of a dedicated hub for bedroom and meeting and events reservations.
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The move comes as hotels across the city prepare for the knock-on impact of falling oil prices, which is expected to result in reduced bookings within an exceptionally buoyant sector where demand regularly outstrips supply.
The new reservations hub for Aberdeen Airport, Aberdeen Altens and Caledonian by Thistle hotels is headed up by Julia Leitch, who takes on the newly created role of sales office manager.
She is joined by a team of six sales staff, who will work alongside Helen McLoughlin, director of sales for Aberdeen, whose team also has two further new appointments. Neale Farman takes on the newly created post of digital marketing officer, while Lisa McLeod is cluster sales manager.
Julia says, “This could be considered quite a bold move for Thistle when businesses across the city are facing up to the reality of a downturn in the energy sector and what that could mean for their own operations.
“Thistle has had a presence in Aberdeen for decades and this is by no means the first slump in the oil industry that we have seen. Experience tells us that many hotels will look towards sales staff in making efficiencies, but we believe there is no better time to strengthen the department responsible for generating new business.
“When the outlook for the oil and gas sector starts to improve – and there is no question that the oil price will start to rise again – we will be in the best possible place to react and respond to increased demand.”
The reservations hub will be based at Thistle Aberdeen Altens and will result in improved service levels for customers by providing a local overview of the three hotels. Staff manning the hub will be able to provide the most up to date information about availability in all three venues for bedrooms as well as for meetings, conferences and other events.
It will also provide further benefits through longer opening hours each weekday and for the first time a local reservations team for Aberdeen will be available at weekends.
The new reservations hub follows on from the completion of a £6.9m investment programme by Thistle in its three Aberdeen hotels. All three venues have been extensively refurbished, with Altens now offering new apartment-style rooms to cater specifically to long-stay guests working in the city’s oil industry.
Thistle has three hotels in Aberdeen – The Caledonian, Aberdeen Airport and Aberdeen Altens. There are 446 bedrooms across the three venues, and each has conferencing and banqueting facilities. Aberdeen Altens also has an on-site leisure club and spa. Further information is available at www.thistle.com