South Bank BID would like to issue a warm welcome to Imran Tauqir, the new General Manager of The lastminute.com London Eye. Imran joined The lastminute.com London Eye as General Manager in early 2022, and has over 15 years’ experience in the hospitality, technology and retail sectors having previously held roles at BT, Whitbread Premier Inn, Tesco and Phones 4U.
To celebrate his arrival, the BID caught up with Imran to understand what the priorities are for the Eye moving forward, recovery from the pandemic, including the role of the business community and the Let’s Do London campaign, and why South Bank continues to be resilient, even in trying times.
What are your immediate priorities as General Manager?
As we emerge from the pandemic, my core focus is to lead the business through our continued recovery and maintain our position as one of the world’s most iconic visitor attractions.
Central to our recovery strategy is stimulating the return of our international visitors. Working closely with our London partners, including the South Bank BID team and our fellow businesses within South Bank, is critical to me. Through collaboration we will achieve international recovery most efficiently and drive the revival of our overall hospitality and entertainment industry.
As ever our customers are our priority. Here at the London Eye we call it being ‘guest obsessed’. We’re continually looking for ways to keep improving the experience we provide our customers, whether that be putting on surprise activities for children during the school holidays or ensuring our attraction is accessible to all.
Recruitment also places a crucial role. Our people are the lifeblood of our organisation and are what set us apart in giving our customers a magical experience. I’m focused on making sure we have the right people in place to allow us to continue providing an industry-leading guest offering.
How are the London Eye and Merlin’s other attractions on South Bank recovering from the pandemic, and how have the Let’s Do London campaigns helped?
Like all leisure businesses in London we have been impacted by the lack of international tourists over the past two years. We have been thrilled by the increase in domestic guests visiting us as part of staycations throughout the pandemic and we are seeing a strong uptick in international visitors, especially from the US and Europe, which is really positive. But we need to keep working to inspire global audiences to visit us in London which is why initiatives such as the Mayor of London’s Let’s Do London campaign are so important and Merlin Entertainments is delighted to be supporting that campaign.
London is a hugely vibrant city and history shows that after any downturn visitors do come back.
South Bank has shown itself to be economically resilient throughout all stages of the pandemic. As a business leader, why do you think this is?
South Bank is an iconic and vibrant part of the capital, recognised around the world. It has an established reputation in offering a diverse and world class range of hospitality, retail and entertainment experiences. I believe it’s the strength of this reputation, and the quality of the offering, that has stood us in such good stead throughout the downturn. Consumers have trust in the businesses here and confidence that they will have a safe and memorable visit here.
In the face of the challenges presented by the pandemic South Bank has also remained agile in responding to the evolving situation and working together to navigate through. As a destination we are stronger together so working with our fellow businesses in South Bank is a priority for me.
Moreover, we are seeing that people who have been impacted over the past two years want – more than ever before – to connect with their loved ones and enjoy magical days out. And I believe there is no better place to be guaranteed that than in South Bank, so we’re looking positively forward to a strong and bright summer ahead.
To learn more about what’s on at The lastminute.com London Eye, please see here.