What do you get if you combine one Lake District hotel, 18,000 scones and a staggering one million Japanese people? According to the team from Lindeth Howe - who have just flown back to the UK after one of the world’s largest business events – it’s a recipe for success.
The hotel has been rubbing shoulders with globally renowned brands including Buckingham Palace, Barbour and the East India Tea Company at the Hankyu British Fair, which has been taking place in the Japanese cities of Fukuoka and Osaka.
One member of staff, Lorna Snowden, found herself the unexpected star of the show as her picture was used to promote the event on a 20 metre high video screen and the front cover of brochures given out to the one million plus visitors over the three week event. She even featured on an advertising billboard in the centre of Tokyo.
Meanwhile, the team’s freshly made cream teams attracted massive queues, with a record-breaking18,000 freshly baked scones providing an authentic Lake District taste for people visiting the hotel’s specially created ‘tea room’.
Lindeth Howe was one of only 25 British firms invited to take part in the annual Hankyu British Fair, which gives Japanese people the chance to sample British culture and lifestyle. For the hotel, it was an opportunity to strengthen the Lake District’s reputation as a holiday destination and encourage international bookings for 2019 and beyond.
Digital co-ordinator, Lorna Snowden, says, “It was amazing to be part of this unique experience and on a practical level, to create some face-to-face conversations with potential visitors. The Lake District has huge resonance with Japanese people and the hotel’s Beatrix Potter links are really important to them. One woman had actually travelled several hours from Tokyo to be there, although the most surreal moment was when I was asked to sign someone’s handbag after they’d seen my face as part of the event’s publicity!”
Lindeth Howe’s mini tearoom came under the watchful eye of Head Chef Chris Davies. He says, “We felt a real sense of responsibility to represent not just the hotel, but also the wider Lake District and the North of England. The recreation of the hotel’s interior with the same décor and colour scheme was particularly impressive and helped give this vital overseas market a real-life insight into what the Lakes has to offer. Japan provides a substantial chunk of our overseas business and the fair was a fantastic way to keep up that momentum and build relationships for the future.”