The Celtic Manor Resort has announced a record year for leisure visitor numbers as it prepares for an even bigger upturn in 2010 when it hosts Wales’ first Ryder Cup.
The five-star resort in South Wales bucked the trend of economic recession by selling 20,000 more room nights to leisure visitors in 2009 than it did in 2008. It also saw revenues increase significantly across its golf, spa and restaurant outlets.
The massive upturn resulted from a combination of Celtic Manor’s increased international profile because of the Ryder Cup and a new leisure strategy to compensate for the global downturn in corporate and conference business.
Rounds on its flagship Twenty Ten Course by visiting golfers were almost doubled on the year before and 81 per cent of all the available visitor tee times were booked out.
Other comparisons from 2008 saw:
- An additional 22,000 rounds played on the three championship golf courses
- Golf visitor green fee income up by 58 per cent
- A 45 per cent increase in overseas visitors
- Overall room occupancy up by 8 per cent, despite the downturn in conference business
- Bar and restaurant revenue up by 26 per cent to record levels
- Spa revenue up by 18 per cent
Golf and leisure bookings already look strong again for 2010 and corporate and individual memberships for the Twenty Ten Club have grown as people join to receive Ryder Cup season tickets, a membership benefit which expires in March.
Celtic Manor vice-president of operations Ian Edwards said: “Things did not look great at the start of last year as we steeled ourselves for the inevitable shortfall in corporate business as the recession took hold.
“Having been voted the UK’s Top Conference Hotel in three of the last four years, this has always been a very important market to us. But the grim forecasts galvanized us to focus more of our energies on the leisure market and improving our appeal to families.
“The strategy has included offering a number of different packages to attract a range of markets including groups of golfers and families. This has brought our overall room occupancy up to record levels, while the golf courses, bars and restaurants have never been busier.”
As well as golf, leisure facilities at Celtic Manor have always included luxury spa, kids’ club and crèche, tennis courts and mountain biking and walking trails, not to mention the choice of five different restaurants to offer something for the whole family. A new family games room and the appointment of a guest activities manager increased the leisure offering still further in 2009, when special offers included three nights for the price of two during the school holidays.
Plans for 2010 include the improvement of bedrooms and many public areas in the Resort Hotel in readiness for The Ryder Cup. Flat screen TVs will be installed in every bedroom and the Olive Tree restaurant and Rooftop Garden barbecue terrace will both be expanded.
“We expect to welcome even more visitors in 2010 as the Ryder Cup draws ever closer,” added Mr. Edwards.
“This is a very exciting time for the resort and it’s great to be going into this landmark year with the momentum of so much success in 2009 behind us.”
The Celtic Manor Resort www.celtic-manor.com