MACDONALD Hotels administrator Sarah Archer has received a long service award in recognition of the dedication and commitment she has shown to the company over the last 15 years.

Ms Archer currently works at the Macdonald White Hart Hotel in St John's Street, Salisbury.

After presenting her with her award, chief executive of Macdonald Hotels Donald Macdonald said: "Quality people are essential to the success in our industry.

"We have been fortunate in recruiting and retaining committed employees, who really make a difference and ensure that our customers enjoy their stay."

o Macdonald Hotels the UK's eighth largest hotel and leisure group has revealed that it is not alone in having to focus more on the leisure and tourism market in the wake of the adverse affect September 11 had on the business conference market.

The group's pre-tax profit in the six months to April 30 fell nine per cent to £6.2 million, despite a one per cent increase in sales to £67.2 million.

Economic uncertainty created by the war in Iraq and the threat of terrorism resulted in a four per cent drop in the conference trade.

The drive for more leisure and tourism business was mainly aimed at the UK market. Mr Macdonald said this had been a difficult time for hotels.