Andrew Shaw, Marketing Director for Sunborn, says, "When we launched the yacht hotel at The Meetings Show UK at London Olympia we got some very encouraging feedback. Everyone, without exception, was excited about the idea of a floating five star hotel and you could see it was going to attract a lot of interest. Now we are seeing that interest translated into a very high level of enquiries, a level that caught us somewhat by surprise – not least because we haven’t even announced which global brand will be operating Sunborn, an announcement we’ll be making over the coming weeks.”
Gibraltar has perhaps been slightly overlooked as a MICE destination due to a lack of large stylish venues, a gap that Sunborn Gibraltar will fill. For the first time Gibraltar will be able to host up to 500 people in the same luxurious space within the hotel’s double height 430m² Grand Ballroom. Meanwhile the highly adaptable conference suite can accommodate large and small meetings and the spacious top-deck restaurant is a magical venue. Towards the aft of the yacht, the relaxed sundeck bar and lounge is perfect for a cocktail party, product launch or corporate presentation.
Andrew continues, “In providing this space, Sunborn Gibraltar will help to increase the Rock’s standing as an important conference, events and banqueting destination. It’ll also have a knock-on effect for other hotels in the area. We’ve had conference enquiries where the organiser is looking for as many as 300 rooms. With only 189 rooms available on the yacht hotel, and most delegates requiring single occupancy, we’ll need to work with other local hoteliers to solve this welcome capacity issue.”
Beyond the confines of Sunborn Gibraltar there are plenty of other interesting venues on the Rock. Subterranean St Michael’s Cave with its auditorium stage, sub-tropical Alameda Botanical Gardens and the spectacular top-of-the-Rock Mons Calpe Suite are all very special settings. Add in a Mediterranean climate, direct flights from the UK into Gibraltar’s recently opened 90 million pound airport terminal and all the language and currency advantages afforded by Gibraltar’s status as a British overseas territory – and it is a compelling MICE proposition.
Cath Couzens, Director of Perception Sales & Marketing, a Company representing Sunborn Gibraltar to the MICE market, explains, “Since commencing UK sales activity in July, Perception has received a huge level of interest in Sunborn Gibraltar. We have taken in excess of five million pounds worth of enquiries in the first five weeks and the concept of a yacht hotel has really attracted the attention of the market. Perception has a busy schedule of sales activity planned for the forthcoming weeks including buyer forums, a direct mail campaign, sales calls and EIBTM, the Global Meetings and Events Expo, in Barcelona.”
According to Mintel, the UK MICE market is worth 20 billion pounds per year, the second biggest MICE market in Europe after Germany. A 2013 Meeting Professionals International study found that UK agencies staged on average 167 events in 2012, and received 11 billion pounds from hosting meetings in the UK and 1.4 billion pounds from hosting meetings outside the UK. Sunborn Gibraltar expects to generate a large percentage of its income from this substantial industry.
Of course it isn’t just the international market that has Sunborn Gibraltar in its sights for corporate entertainment;
Micky Swindale, Managing Director of KPMG Gibraltar, agrees, “We regularly organise events for our clients ranging from small seminars to major international conferences. Whilst these events have always been well supported by the local hospitality sector, the reality of a small jurisdiction is that you eventually run out of new or different options. Sunborn Gibraltar, as something entirely unique to the area, will therefore be a welcome addition to the Rock, and will be particularly suited to meeting the high expectations of visiting businesspeople such as the many international eGaming professionals we bring to Gibraltar every year. A stylish maritime venue will be a perfect complement to the jurisdiction’
Leaving business to one side, Sunborn Gibraltar is also being targeted as a venue for birthdays, retirements, Bar Mitzvahs and weddings. Regarding the latter, up to 1,000 weddings take place in Gibraltar each year, 80% of them between non-residents, and Sunborn Gibraltar is shaping up to be the ideal setting for a reception. Andrew finishes, “people already want to rent out the entire hotel for their wedding, bedrooms and function rooms included, without even knowing the prices – or indeed the operator.”
About Sunborn Gibraltar - Ready to welcome guests in the latter stages of 2013, Sunborn Gibraltar is the latest 120 million pound addition to the revolutionary floating hotel fleet. Standing proudly in Ocean Village Marina, set against a backdrop of the iconic 1,400ft ‘Rock’, Sunborn Gibraltar counts 189 guest rooms, 90% of them with outdoor space, and all with full-height glazing to capture the Mediterranean views.
142 metres long and a height of seven storeys, Sunborn Gibraltar exudes five star elegance in its rooms, Spa and fitness centre, cocktail lounges, fine dining restaurants and grandiose ballroom – the ultimate setting for a lavish celebration. Conferences and events are equally well catered for in flexible meeting space for up to 540 delegates.
Sunborn Gibraltar is an essential addition to the territory’s hospitality offering and meets a growing demand for luxury hotel and convention facilities in a flourishing economic environment. Visit Sunborn Gibraltar’s dedicated website www.sunborngibraltar.com
for further press information or photography please contact Sarah Drane
on email@example.com or call 00 34 607 564 726