QHotels and the Rugby World Cup: A retrospective

What an extraordinary tournament. Across nearly 50 matches and almost 300 tries, in the end, the battle was between Australia and New Zealand for the final on Saturday - and we all know how that one went. Well done to the All Blacks!

You might not know that, here at QHotels, we're massive rugby fans, so it's fair to say that we were very excited to host the Tonga, Japan and Argentina teams this tournament. Along with having the teams stay with us, we've been lucky enough to serve the Fiji team Sunday lunch - and that's not something you can say every day!

We were keen to get a little more insight into the world of Rugby World Cup hosting, so we had a chat with Keith Turnbull - the general manager at our Cheltenham Chase Hotel

Hello Keith! What have you made of the Rugby World Cup? Who were you supporting?

"It's been superb. The thing about this sport is that people support rugby, and not just a team. They are happy to applaud the team that plays the best and that lends itself to having an amazing tournament.

"Here in Gloucestershire, the Kingsholme Stadium has been full, with a great atmosphere, and that has spread to the hotel and the whole area.

"I was completely torn on who to support. As a Scot, I should have some allegiances but it's hard having met so many of the teams. When Tonga met Argentina, that was a tough match to watch!"

How has the Rugby World Cup benefited trade at the Cheltenham Chase? Presumably you have seen a surge in customers - that suggests the Rugby World Cup has been great for your business - is that the case?

"The Rugby World Cup has benefited the area in lots of different ways, and I'm sure has boosted all kinds of businesses across the area. Hotels across the region have seen an increase in room rates of nearly 15% in September, which has clearly been driven by visitors from across the UK and overseas.

"I would expect to see this in most areas where matches were hosted, and we're not the only QHotels hotel to have teams staying, so we're seeing the impact across the group."

Finally, what was the atmosphere like in the run-up to, and during, the Rugby World Cup?

"The atmosphere has been unbelievable in Cheltenham! When Tonga had their capping ceremony at Cheltenham Town Hall - where the players are presented with their international caps - the streets were packed and the public gave them a great reception.

"The players stayed around for hours afterwards, signing autographs. They even entertained the crowds with some spontaneous singing, which I believe is a big thing in Tongan culture."

Congratulations again to the New Zealand team - we'll see you (in some capacity!) in Japan, 2019!

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