Queen's Award Winner Focus: 80 Days Ltd

Thu 9 May 2019
Posted by: Sam Pileggi

80 Days Team

Founder Mark Forrester achieved a long-held ambition when his company 80 DAYS was recently awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

“It’s a target I set myself a long time ago and we have all been working towards it for several years now. A Queen’s Award is not something that just arrives. It takes the work and dedication of the whole team to achieve.

“It is both incredibly satisfying and emotional to have reached this goal and it reflects well on everyone who works for 80 DAYS. A Queen’s Award reflects very favourably upon the company and is recognised around the world.”

Edinburgh-based 80 DAYS, a creative and digital agency specialising in working with up market Hotels, has offices in London, Dubai and, most recently, Marbella. Almost 60% of its business comes from overseas and export sales have grown for each of the last six years.

Mr Forrester said that the company had focused on growth coming from recommendation. “We are not a business that offers our customers the earth but doesn’t deliver much,” he noted. “We are incredibly careful not to talk ourselves up too much and rely on our reputation for delivery against each client’s specific objectives. Our export performance is a tribute to the strong and stable team we have been able to create. For example we have native speakers in eight languages including Arabic, not bad for a relatively small team of 48. We need to be as expert in the language of our overseas customers as we are in English.”

80 DAYS specialises in the “Holy Grail” of hotel marketing which is to reduce the number of bookings which come from on-line sites such as Expedia.

“These sites take as much as 20% of the booking fee which obviously hits profitability. We take the time to learn about every one of our clients so that we can build their on-line presence to deliver exactly the right message to exactly the right audience. That means designing websites that not only work smoothly but also reflect the qualities of each hotel. The digital marketing campaigns have to be more like a sniper’s rifle shot than a gamekeeper’s shot gun. Every direct booking we achieve brings more profits to our customer.”

The Queen’s Award can be displayed for up to five years and, being from Her Majesty, is regarded as one of the most exclusive and prestigious awards for a UK company to win. It will be presented by the Lord Lieutenant of the County and members of the 80 DAYS team will be invited to Buckingham Palace for an Award Winners Reception in June.


Applications for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2020 are now open and close on 10 September 2019. They are free to enter, and it is a self-nominating process. Winners in the International Trade category receive a year's FREE membership to the IOE&IT.

For more information and to apply, visit: www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise.