Hotel Owner Hotel Owner July 2017 digital - Page 3

EDITOR’S LETTER Keep calm and carry on CONTRIBUTORS JAMES CARSON It’s a cliché, sure, but the iconic British phrase James is the founded IT consultancy company, Support Tree, 15 years ago. He studied Business Information Management at Leeds Metropolitan University working at SBC Warburg, Arthur Andersen and Delta Textiles, until leaving in 2002. ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’ has felt apt recently, what with terrorist attacks, political turmoil, the fire at London’s Grenfell Tower housing estate, and general global chaos. And it would seem the hospitality industry has done just that. This month we reported that there has been next to no impact on occupancy in central London hotels, the number of DEBORAH HEATHER Deborah is the director of Quality in Tourism - the accommodation assessment scheme for VisitEngland. Deborah manages a team of more than 40 accommodation assessors, who each grade some 300 properties a year inbound tourists and the amount of money they are spending are at record highs, and the hotel development pipeline shows Britain at the top of the table for the whole of Europe. What turmoil? That said, not all is rosy. Events in recent weeks also brought to light some of the hazards in owning large properties, namely the hideous tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire in London. The disaster has prompted a review of around 600 high rise buildings around the country by local authorities worried about the use of similar PETER HANCOCK Peter has been the chief executive of Pride of Britain Hotels - a collection of never more than 50 luxury and independent properties - since 2000. He previously managed hotels and restaurants in Sussex and Hampshire, having started out as a waiter cladding systems to that which is thought to have contributed to the rapid spread of fire at Grenfell. Dozens have already filed ‘combustibility’ tests. Naturally, the media and public spotlight is on what government can control or is already responsible for, but the private sector has some soul-searching to do, too. Premier Inn in particular has publicly expressed concern about what cladding systems may have been used on buildings in its sprawling portfolio of properties. The slings and arrows are to be expected with governments of all hues, but ANGIE PETKOVIC the PR catastrophe that a similar such fire would constitute for a Angie started as our resident marketing advice columnist and has now built a substantial following for her straight-talking answers to the common questions about executing a professional marketing strategy chain of hotels? Well, I would wager it could sink a brand without a trace. What’s ironic about the fire in Grenfell is that the cladding system was intended to improve the energy consumption and heat retention of the building – an exercise in improving sustainability. The whys and wherefores about regulatory requirements and whether they were met are yet to be unravelled. This issue, we have our Sustainability Hotshots feature which ON THE COVER MILESTONES: 50th Anniversary for Neil Kirby. Page 41 | JULY 2017 £5.95 is concerned with how to be a better hotelier for the environment. Perhaps ask more questions than normal though, if you’re planning new insulation. WWW.HOTELOWNER.CO.UK H O U S E K E E P I N G | R E N O VAT I O N | F O O D & B E V E R A G E | S P A | P R O P E R T Y | E D U C AT I O N hotelowner for the independent hotelier who means business ISSN 2049-7709 HotelOwner 50 YEARS IN THE TRADE I hope you enjoy the issue. Neil Kirby, owner of the Langham in Eastbourne, shares his take on the hotel trade over his half-century in the business DIVORCE HOTEL SUSTAINABILITY HOTSHOTS Want to do the legals over the course of a single weekend? @HotelOwnerMag With best practice, case studies and a range of hot products and services Michael Northcott CYBER- SECURITY Hotels are as much a target as any other business FRONT OF HOUSE Exploring the background on Jamaica Inn p34 DATA Record inbound tourism and spending p16 OTA STRIFE Are booking engines beating you on SEO? p50 Editor, Hotel Owner July 2017 3