herald

Sunday 31 August 2014

Bookings treble at hotel that hosted G8

US President Barack Obama walks with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Lough Erne golf resort. Photo: Suzanne Plunkett

THE hotel that played host to world leaders at the G8 summit in Fermanagh has recorded a three-fold increase in bookings.

The Lough Erne resort was UK prime minister David Cameron's destination of choice when he invited some of the most influential leaders from around the world to the North.

Fergal Purcell, manager at the Lough Erne Resort said that the high-powered visit has already had a positive impact on booking levels.

"We track everything here from the website bookings to the number of viewings," he said.

"We noticed that they have trebled. The level of inquiries has also increased as soon as the event was announced in November."

The number of corporate bookings has also increased since leading politicians from the UK, the US, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan spent last week there.

Mr Purcell, who is originally from Co Clare, said that the British prime minister made tactical decisions when it came to allocating bedrooms to each leader.

There was some concern about who would receive the best suite, but David Cameron had another plan.

"We have 25 lodges and they are all beautifully appointed," Mr Purcell said. "The prime minister allocated two lodges to every single leader. So every single leader stayed in the exact same accommodation. They have three bedrooms, and a lounge-dining area.

"He made sure from the outset so that when everyone arrived, they realised they were on the exact same footing, no one had a preferential views or anything," he added.

And although there was little relaxation time, some squeezed in some early morning training. "The prime minister went swimming in the lough and President Obama went to the gym," Mr Purcell told Marian Finucane on RTE 1.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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