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Seymour completes £5m investment

Business | Published:

SEYMOUR Hotels in Jersey has just completed a £5 million investment programme in time for the 2018 summer season, which it says sends a clear signal of increasing confidence in Jersey’s tourism industry.

Group maintenance manager David Donoghue and managing director David Seymour

The announcement comes as figures for air passengers in July show a further increase, jumping around 5,000 compared to this time last year. Figures for sea visitors aren’t yet available, but these are expected to have dropped again.

The Seymour hotel group is responsible for 10% of the Island’s bed stock and includes the Merton Hotel and Suites, the Pomme d’Or Hotel and the Greenhills Country House Hotel.

Managing director David Seymour said: ‘The self-catering units are particularly busy with leisure visitors, principally over the high summer periods.’

The investment programme included £2.3 million in a move from steam to low-temperature hot-water systems across the Merton Hotel, providing significant environmental and economic savings. There has also been substantial IT infrastructure changes, including a new reservations, guest-billing and EPOS system and a cutting-edge maintenance system that enables jobs to be logged and tracked via mobile devices.

In addition, there have been various improvements made to the Merton Aquadome and Gym, plus an all-weather floodlit multi-sport ball court. Mr Seymour said that the tourism trade had modified over the years, with more long-weekend break visitors.

‘In more recent years it’s become more pronounced,’ he said, ‘especially with the advent of low-cost carriers which make it easier for people to get away for a short break and we’ve had to adapt to those changing market conditions.

‘In the old days we were looking at tour operators bringing in seven-night charters, but now you probably have to double the numbers of people to have the same level of occupancy.’

Despite this, Mr Seymour says that they still have confidence in the traditional family and leisure visitors. ‘The principal amount of investment has been into the Merton, so I think that gives direction to our confidence levels.

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‘Over the years we’ve spent large sums of money on customer-facing aspects of our business and we’ve still got to spend a lot more money behind the scenes, and that’s the sort of thing people don’t usually see.

‘So much of it has gone through local businesses as well. This not only reflects our commitment to tourism, but also tourism’s importance to local suppliers’

Seymour Hotels has been a part of Jersey’s tourism industry for almost 100 years, with five generations of the Seymour family working in the business.

Gwyn Garfield-Bennett

By Gwyn Garfield-Bennett
Business Editor

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