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Written by Jane Pendlebury

Over the summer, we have a goal to achieve! Perhaps you can help? We would like to strengthen and grow the HOSPA membership. We know our members value being part of HOSPA. We are hoping that even more hospitality professionals will join us to reap the rewards of our unrivalled network of finance, technology, revenue management and marketing experts. 

My regular readers are already very aware of the benefits that HOSPA’s professional development courses, our members meetings and special rates for our annual conference and exhibition, HOSPACE, deliver. We are proud of who we are and what we stand for. If you too are proud of HOSPA please spread the word and encourage your colleagues to sign up. A membership form can be found on page 23. We have a special agreement for companies who want five or more members within their organisation, so please call us on 0203 418 8196 to find out more.

Since last month, I have been lucky enough to attend the Institute of Hospitality Annual Dinner, HFTP’s HITEC (and all the associated suppliers parties(!)), the Hospitality and Tourism Summit from the BHA, and The Cateys. I am more convinced than ever that we all offer an invaluable business resource for hoteliers, venue promoters, restaurateurs, and caterers to name but a few. We must all work together to enhance the reputation and promote hospitality both at home and abroad.

The main event in HOSPA’s summer calendar is always the Quiz Night, with ‘BroDOforte’ taking the 2016 winners’ trophy home. More on that on page 14. Judging by the messages we received afterwards everyone had a good time and it was a successful evening. Thank you to all those of you who contributed to such a fantastic atmosphere and also the HOSPA events team, Sarah Dovey for being quiz master and Justyn Herbert for taking charge of the scoring.

Of course, I cannot ignore the fact that Britain has voted to leave the European Union. I was travelling back from HITEC with some HOSPA members on the day of the referendum. As we left the airport in the US the early results were filtering through. The wiser amongst us were beginning to believe that the Brexit campaign might be successful. I, however, remained convinced that Britain would Remain. Our plane landed on Friday morning to the news that not only had we voted to leave the EU but that our Prime Minister had already resigned. Once we got over the initial surprise, my fellow travellers and I immediately hoped our hotel bills for the previous week had been processed prior to the weakening of the Great British Pound!

Hospitality relies quite heavily on the EU. As the 4th largest employer in the country, the hospitality industry provides 4.5 million jobs. Yet 60% of those positions in London are filled by foreign workers.

Less than 72 hours after the EU announcement, the BHA Hospitality and Tourism Summit took place. Brexit was top of the agenda and remained the focus for the day. Ufi Ibrahim (CEO of the BHA) stated that the result “represented a profound moment for the future of our industry. Hospitality and tourism benefits from a flourishing economy and any level of uncertainty will have an impact”. William Hague who is always such an engaging and entertaining speaker encouraged us all to “look at the positives” as there is “no going back”. 

The hospitality industry always suffers in periods of uncertainty and whilst the past couple of weeks have shown us how quickly things can change in politics, no-one is blind to the fact that our industry is facing a rocky time ahead. There are benefits on which we need to maximise. A weaker pound is better for inbound tourism and that coupled with UK residents being more likely to holiday at home some hotels and attractions will certainly see some increased profits.

And just to make sure I sign off on a lighthearted comment, I would like to thank Fourteen IP for some great hospitality during HITEC and Guestline for a fabulous day out at Henley - although I’m not sure how much of the rowing we actually watched!


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