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    Industry Opinion

    WEBINAR: Who will run hotels in 25 years – humans or robots?

    833 442 Daniel Fountain

    Who will run hotels in 25 years: humans or robots?

    This is one of the thought-provoking questions that will be addressed in an upcoming free webinar by Revinate, IDeaS, SiteMinder: ‘A.I. meets Human Hospitality’, scheduled for December 5th at 4:00pm GMT.

    The session will explore the key findings of an industry panel held during this year’s World Travel Market show in London, in which we looked ahead 25 years and explored how the guest experience will change due to the technological advances that we are currently seeing.

    The webinar will also tackle questions such as ‘how does the future of human hospitality look like?’, ‘what are the possibilities of robotisation in hotels?’, ‘what should we expect from hotel technology in the far future?’ and ‘will human hospitality be enough to stop robots from taking over?’.

    To offer insights on this hot topics, the webinar will feature Monica Or, founder of Star Quality Hospitality Consultancy. With over 25 years of hospitality experience, Monica is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and has been hair for the Institute of Hospitality London, serving on their committee for five years.

    As an accomplished speaker and author, she has spoken at international hotel conferences including The Independent Hotel Show in London and COTELCO in Colombia.

    She has also been featured in The Caterer, Boutique Hotelier and Hospitality Magazine and writes monthly articles for Hotel Industry Magazine as their industry expert.

    Monica is an Amazon best-selling author for her two books ‘Star Quality Hospitality – The Key to a Successful Hospitality Business’ and ‘Star Quality Experience – The Hotelier’s Guide to Creating Memorable Guest Journeys’.

    Register for this free webinar here.

    Mitre Linen - Bathroom accesories

    Mitre Linen: How to transform a hotel bathroom in 7 steps

    960 640 Daniel Fountain

    Hotel and B&B guests wants to be able to relax and rejuvenate in a beautiful bathroom setting. So how can you make sure your bathrooms make a big statement and add to a guest’s experience of their stay?

    Chris Tame, Mitre Linen’s National Sales Manager, says: “Even when they are regularly renovated, hotel bathrooms tend to be heavily used by guests which makes them easy to look tired.”

    Here he gives his tips to refresh a bathroom in a cost effective way to ensure the rooms are not out of action for any length of time…

    1. Update your bathroom blinds
    Windows are a focal point in any room which makes it important to regularly update and refresh your bathroom blinds. With heavy use, they can easily become splashed with shower gel, toothpaste and even make-up over time. Updating your bathroom blinds gives you the chance to tie the look of the room in with your chosen colour scheme. Or, if you want to make a statement, bright blinds can bring a pop of colour to a bathroom. Using lighter coloured fabric shades in your bathroom blinds will allow more sunlight to filter into the room while still maintaining privacy.

    2. Refresh your bathroom towels
    Super soft white towels that smell clean and fresh are high on the list of what B&B guests want. We also know that half of guests think an establishment is better if it provides branded towels and 60% prefer a large bath sheet to a large towel. Providing wonderfully heavyweight towels is an attention to detail that can help to create a truly tranquil experience for guests. Indulge your guests with luxuriously soft 600gsm pure cotton for a crisp clean look for your bathroom or try microcotton Turkish towels which have the ability to absorb water almost instantaneously.

    Mitre Linen - Bathroom accesoriesIf you want to co-ordinate your towels with your colour scheme, consider 100% coloured towels which come in shades ranging from navy and chocolate to blue and mint. Alternatively, the towel border can be colour matched with the hotel’s desired Pantone. For a more bespoke experience, why not embroider your logo on towels.

    3. Upgrade essential extras
    Consider the little touches which can make a difference to a bathroom. As well as providing useful storage solutions such as simple glass jars and bottles, update your bathroom bins, tissue holders and hair dryers. Creating a neat and uncluttered room will help to make the space aesthetically pleasing for your guests.

    4. Renew your shower curtains
    Shower curtains are heavily used and it is important to update and renew them before they start to look tired. Go for 100% polyester and consider whether to choose from an innovative hookless shower curtain with a detachable backing which you can easily remove to wash and simply re-attach with poppers, or a plain hook shower curtain.

    Mitre Linen - Bathroom accesories5. Re-grout your tiles
    Refresh your bathroom tiles by re-grouting them. This is a cost effective way to revitalise your bathroom and make it look like new again. It also helps to prevent any water leaks from occurring.

    6. Add an element of luxury with bathrobes and slippers
    Exceed your guest’s expectations and bring a touch of luxury to your bathrooms with a sumptuous, fluffy bathrobe and an indulgent pair of slippers for your guests to sink their feet into. A wonderfully soft bathrobe and slippers – embroidered with your company logo – can make guests feel special. Bathrobes come in a variety of fabric options from waffle weave and polyester to 100% cotton and heavyweight velour. You can even offer your guests bathrobes for the whole family with a range of smaller sizes now available for children.

    7. Ensure bathroom safety
    Ensure safety while bathing with a non-slip rubber bath mat. Practical and good value, these mats are slip-resistant and are anti-fungal treated.

    For more helpful tips and advice, call our friendly team on 01685 353 454.
    www.mitrelinen.com
    Sales@mitrelinen.com

    Larry Mogelonsky - Renovation tips

    Guest Blog: Larry Mogelonsky – Dirty Dozen Of Hotel Renovation

    960 526 Guest Blog

    Larry Mogelonsky, Principal at Hotel Mogel Consulting and Chairman at LMA Communications shares his thoughts on a general guideline of twelve tips for a smooth renovation…

    With the kids gone, it was time to follow the footsteps of many other boomers and downsize to a condominium. What started as a mere paint job, however, morphed into a $150-per-square-foot renovation of the entire apartment comprising appliances, lighting, flooring, soft goods, mirrors, kitchen and plumbing fixtures. What we ended up having on our hands was a genuine case of ‘scope creep’ – something not uncommon in any property refurbishment.

    Hotel renovations are a necessary dread of our industry in order to keep apace with the constantly giving décor trends, star rating requirements and technological advancements. They are also stressful and frustrating. Having gone through dozens of this large-scale projects over the past four decades, I was able to navigate the treacherous waters of my own apartment’s scope creep by following a general guideline of these twelve tips.

    1. Define your objectives. Be as specific as possible, and make sure that these are written and approved by your ownership group. My mistake this time around was that my vision was very different than that of my spouse which resulted in serious cost overruns and time delays.

    2. Timetables are split in thirds. Whatever you are proposing, figure one third of your time will be spent planning, another third in the actual work and the final third in quality control. Do not underestimate any one of these segments.

    3. Budgets never last for more than the time they were created. There are more ways for costs to overrun than you can count. I thought our planning was generous but we ended up about 25% over budget, and that includes several areas of great cost savings. It’s natural to use a renovation to augment deep cleaning, upholstery renewal, upgraded security systems, LED conversions and any other new technologies. It all adds up!

    Larry Mogelonsky - Renovation tips

    4. What’s behind the walls? Our condo is only 15 years old, so there were no crazy surprises like what you would find in a century building. Nevertheless, we discovered significant shortfalls in wiring, plumbing and HVAC that all needed to be corrected before we could begin. Of course, these resulted in more cost increases and time delays, but the lesson here is to thoroughly inspect the state of affairs ‘under the hood’ before finalizing the scope and budget.

    5. Hire a great general contractor. Simply put, you have a hotel to run, not a construction site. Don’t even think of doing both simultaneously. You need someone who will manage the project on your behalf. The GC became my single point of contact for the project, helping streamline communication and saving me time. He collected all my notes and disseminated them to the multitude of tradesmen onsite. He also fed back issues and prevented potential solutions.

    6. Let everyone know your deadline. In a residential move, this is straightforward; the closing date of your home’s sale dictates the project’s drop-dead completion date. While this gave us six months of overlap, the GC understood the final month was set aside for moving. With no secrets, the work was accomplished in the set timeframe. As a senior manager, you put decide what the maximum tolerable length of agony is that your property can endure before irreparable damage is done to its occupancy and reputation.

    7. You cannot walk away. In order to keep everything on track, I visited the jobsite at least twice a week, in addition to a weekly GC meeting. Apart from the obvious status reports, there were always new items and unexpected issues. The devil is in the details, and you won’t discover those details unless you are periodically on the ground with the troops. To note one example, we did not specify the location of the thermostat. Without any direction, the HVAC folks placed it in what they thought was the optimal position, which did not take into consideration the high headboard which would have covered it. Good thing I was there to catch this before it was too late.

    Larry Mogelonsky - Renovation tips
    8. Document all change orders. We kept a running tally sheet of over-change that we requested. While this did not lead to any real cost savings, at least we understood the detailed reasons for the overages. This approach will come in very handy when ownership needs to understand your budget predicament or to reconcile excesses.

    9. Create a positive work environment. I’m fussy about coffee. So too is my Italian, Portuguese, Lebanese and Turkish workforce. I knew that if I did not provide great coffee, one junior team member would be tasked on a continual Starbucks run. A hundred-dollar Nespresso machine plus lots of capsules turned out to be a wise investment. (As additional learning, the decaf capsules were never touched.)

    10. What ifs are expensive. Want to move a door, reposition a switch or add a dimmer? Most GCs will never say no. Just about anything can be built or modified; it is merely a matter of time and materials. So, be careful as to what you ask for, as your whimsical idea may be converted into reality but at a price too hefty to properly bear.

    11. Take lots of before photos. Try to image the best angles and where you stood so that you can replicate them exactly with the new look. The before-and-after comparisons may help you explain your cost overruns to your owners.

    12. Say thank you to your team. I didn’t hire painters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers or HVAC specialists. I hired craftsmen who take great pride in their work. It’s probably a small job to them, but clearly very important to me. Such professionals will feel similar pride in their work done to refurbish your hotel. No matter what the project is or the size of your property, it costs nothing to say thank you in person or by email, and it will always be appreciated.

    (Article by Larry Mogelonsky, originally published in eHotelier on Wednesday, March 22, 2017)

    After completing his MBA, Larry began his marketing career with Procter & Gamble, moving to a top-10 ad agency and serving as the managing director to the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts account. Founding LMA in 1991, he has increased its hospitality presence with a global roster of hotel and tourism clients, winning 88 Adrian Awards and TravelClick’s Worldwide e-Marketer of the Year

    Paris 'hot spot' for hotel investment

    Paris revealed as number one ‘hot spot’ for hotel investment in Europe

    960 477 Daniel Fountain

    Paris has reached the top of Colliers International’s inaugural Hotel Investment Attractiveness Index, an analysis of the investment climate of 20 European cities, despite predictions that investors and tourists would lose faith in the city due to political uncertainty and the perceived threat following various national security breaches.

    Paris’ lead ranking is due to its high demand growth, strong hotel performance, high investment returns and market depth from 2012-2016.

    Dirk Bakker, Head of EMEA Hotels, Colliers International

    Dirk Bakker, Head of EMEA Hotels, Colliers International

    Dirk Bakker, Head of EMEA Hotels, Colliers International said: “Investors are regularly requiring the latest information on cities where they will receive high returns, which in a politically and economically uncertain world, is often difficult to predict. Our index provides us with something more than anecdotal evidence through which to advise our clients.

    “According to our latest data, Paris scored highly in terms of valuation exit yields and hotel investment volume between 2007 and 2016. Paris also saw over 15 million international tourists visit the city in 2015 and witnessed average hotel occupancy levels of over 77 per cent from 2012-2016.”

    The Colliers index uses twelve metric components, weighted to give each of the 20 locations a score of up to 400, including population; GDP per capital; total workforce; commuting workforce; tourist arrivals; room occupancy; Average Daily Rate (ADR); Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR); Land site prices; Building costs; Valuation exit yields and investment volumes. These scores were then consolidated into a single figure and ranked to show which markets are hot in terms of overall demand, their recent operating performance and how this ties into the attractiveness of each market with regards to the acquisition of existing hotels and for the development of new ones.

    Here are some of the highlights:
    • London and Barcelona came out as the second and third most interesting cities to invest in, closely followed by Amsterdam and Berlin.
    • The story for the top two cities, London and Paris, is very similar, but Paris pips London to the top by virtue of having slightly lower development costs. Low development costs is one of the areas in which Barcelona excels, increasing the overall attractiveness of the city ahead of Amsterdam sitting in fourth place. In all other areas, these two cities have very similar performance ratings.
    • At the other end of the scale, although the development cost component scores very highly for Bucharest, this is not enough to compensate for low demand appetite and the lack of a hotel investment market, so it has been ranked the lowest.
    • Istanbul has been ranked relatively low at number 17, despite the size of the market, helping drive a good overall demand score and low development costs. However, the operational performance lags behind due to low occupancy rates, leading to lower returns on investment. The current political and economic climate is not particularly conducive to a robust investment market.
    • Zürich is the most interesting city to watch out for in the future, as its operational performance has been excellent in the last few years, suggesting an under-supply of quality hotel stock. Hotel investment interest is high, and if demand for the city continues to increase, it may become one of the most popular cities for new development and investment, despite the high development costs.
    • Manchester and Dublin also perform highly, where hotel performance exceeds demand. The case for an increase in business demand growth in both cities looks very strong in the coming years, which should increase their attractiveness to developers and investors alike.

    Damian Harrington, Director Head of EMEA Research at Colliers International adds: “With the Hotel Investment Attractiveness Index, we were able to create a unique analysis of a very dynamic market. By combining the twelve variables, we can generate far more of an insight into the current hotel industry and even predict what could lie ahead.”

    Guest Blog: ‘Building a great hotel from inside out’

    900 375 Guest Blog

    http://nhghotels.com/images/made/images/uploads/general/WW3_-_small_166_210_s_c1.jpgWayne West, COO of Newport Hospitality shares his views on creating a ‘great’ hotel…

    Fortune has shined brightly on my career in hospitality as I’ve had the pleasure of working for several excellent management companies as well as some truly great owners. Direct mentorship from these industry leaders has each in their own way made me a better hotelier and a better person overall. My current benefactor, Newport Hospitality Group, enjoys the strong leadership of our company president, Mike Pleninger, who recognized a critical trait of successful hotels over 25 years ago.

    The one common characteristic of ‘great’ hotels is that guests reward them by spending significantly more than average and returning frequently. Distinctive from other ‘good’ hotels in the comp set, these ‘great’ hotels become guests’ hotel of choice, often regardless of price, condition and brand.

    Years ago, a bunch of us at Newport Hospitality Group wanted to specifically document the attributes of a purportedly great hotel. Over several months, a few seasoned general managers and senior leadership team members worked closely to develop a strategic list of those attributes. Next, we wanted to make sure the list was quantifiable with metrics that could be brought to life tactically with every team member at every hotel.

    The following is a list of these key and wholly distilled attributes which happen to be internal actions you can start at any time. Keep in mind that too much of one and too little or none of another may result in short-term success, but will not stand the test of time. It is all in managing the balance of the following four attributes that are the heart of great hotels.

    Associate engagement
    When I think of associate engagement, words like ‘passion’ and ‘commitment’ come to mind. On an individual level, engagement is the illusive force that motivates you, as a hotelier, to be more productive and to provide higher levels of service to our guests and value for our company.

    But what does engagement actually look like for a manager reviewing the performance of his or her staff? In my experience, it presents itself in associates with a genuine zeal and eagerness to assist guests while showing loyalty and dedication to the hotel and its brand. Curiosity is also a bona fide marker of a team member who is ready for mentorship and heightened responsibilities. With this in mind, engaged associates are a fantastic core benefit, and they will surely make the competition sit up and take notice.

    Guest loyalty
    Engaged associates ultimately make for loyal guests. Happy, motivated associates look forward to coming to work, and not just doing their job but going above and beyond. They realise that a satisfied guest is simply a guest looking for the next best place, whereas a loyal guest is our goal and the reason for our success. We cannot have one without the other.

    These engaged associates will naturally build rapport, form relationships and cater to the specific needs of every guest – the personal touch – so that the onsite experience transforms into something remarkable. If we look at our guest scores, whether it is in TripAdvisor, Medallia or SALT, and they are above the brand, we can be assured that we have an engaged and happy workforce in place. In this sense, a hotel’s guest scores are a direct reflection of the staff serving them.

    Community involvement and social responsibility
    A reputation for honesty, transparency and fair play is critical to building long-term value for our associates and owners. We must recognize that consistently outstanding performance in the communities in which we operate is based not only on our financial results but also on our conduct beyond the bottom line. Developing and protecting your reputation as an engaged and responsible corporate partner is a priority that will distinguish your company as one that is genuinely committed to enhancing the communities in which we conduct business.

    As a need arises in your community, your desire is thus to be the first business someone looks for assistance. It is a well-known fact that organizations that encourage community involvement distinguish themselves from their competitors and reap the benefits. From happier associates to guest loyalty and additional sales opportunities, the benefits are many. All associates, especially among the millennials who will soon dominate the labor force and who want to make the world a better place, will want to work in a place that inspires them.

    Financial performance
    While hospitality is essentially a ‘people business’, it is still a business. We are here to provide growth and financial security for our associates, provide excellent service and facilities to our guests, and give back to our communities. Above all, we must provide strong financial results for our owners who have deployed their own capital and entrusted the management team with their business.

    This attribute of a great hotel cannot exist in a vacuum, though. Without the previous three characteristics, a positive financial performance and the makings of a great hotel are not possible. The leadership at Newport Hospitality Group, myself included, is responsible to each location and every employee to grow these four principals within all hotels that we operate. Every decision we make begins with considering all four and finding the right balance to help every property be successful.

    Wayne West III is the Chief Operating Officer of Newport Hospitality Group,  guiding the company’s portfolio to ensure each hotel performs at its full potential. Over his 35 years in the industry, Wayne has operated, supervised and owned assets in IHG, Marriott and Hilton systems as well as non-branded properties. He has been a part of the Owners Council with Marriott and served as a Committee Member with IHG on their Food and Beverage Committee, Operations Committee and Standards Committee. Wayne attended East Carolina University and has been named a certified hotel administrator by the American Hotel & lodging Association.

    Seminar Programme - Independent Hotel Show

    Independent Hotel Show Day One: Seminar programme

    960 726 Daniel Fountain

    Featuring talks from hoteliers, journalists and industry leaders, the 30 seminars at Independent Hotel Show aim to guide independent hoteliers to improving their business, find out about new trends and initiatives, and learn first-hand from some of the biggest names in the business.

    Tailored to the needs of the independent and boutique hotelier, all the sessions cover a range of topics and advice to help build and grow a successful hotel business, from marketing and sales support, business, investment and growth insight, design and technology trends, to staff and service best practice.

    Day One’s programme includes:
    • Melvin Gold will talk about 2017 trends, developments and industry headlines at the Zeitgeist Talk
    ‘Show me the Money’: Alex Clarke from the George in Rye; Nicholas Dickinson from Congham Hall; and principal and founder of Hetherley Capital Partners Charles Scudamore will share experience on securing finance and next-generation financing models
    ‘Thoroughly Modern Marketing’ will examine the latest marketing buzzwords ‘ethics’, ‘purpose’ and ‘personality’, with Penny Brewer, director of marketing for South Place Hotel; Olivia Johnson, group public relations manager at Claridges, the Connaught and the Berkeley; and Hannah Béraud, director of Hannah Béraud Digital Communications
    ‘Staring at the Stars’ confronts the ongoing topic of whether the current star rating system should be consigned to the past. Alistair Sandall of the AA; Robert Nadler of Nadler Hotels; PJ Kenny, general manager of the Hoxton Holborn; and hotels editor of The Caterer Janet Harmer discuss
    ‘The Future Guest’ takes a look at the evolving needs and priorities of tomorrow’s consumer, hosted by Dr Antonia Ward, global head of advisory at Stylus

    independenthotelshow.co.uk

    JW Marriott Monterrey

    Guest Blog – MMGY MD Kerry Cannon: End of branded hotels?

    700 454 Guest Blog

    While the newest generation of travelers – the oft written about ‘millennials’ – may not yet have the discretionary spending muscle of Gen Xers and Boomers, they are having a decidedly pronounced impact on the evolution of the branded hotel space. Unique experiences, lifestyle, design, and authenticity rule the day now. Does that sound the death knell of the branded hotel?

    Vaunted brand names like Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, and Hyatt have given way to Andaz, Aloft, Curio, Canopy, and Moxy. Despite sounding oxymoronic, the terms “consistent,” “dependable,” and “predictable” (read: cookie-cutter) at one time were unique selling propositions. Now those descriptors have become toxic. Driven by the evolving demands of a younger, hipper, better educated and tech savvy consumer, terms like chic, unique, customised, curated, and personalized are what differentiate the hospitality product these days. Across the full spectrum of the hospitality sector – design, brand marketing, packaging, and promotion – if you want to get the attention of today’s traveler, you have to answer their question: “What have you got for ME?”

    Hospitality companies are being challenged to offer unique, experiential, local, and authentic while maintaining the efficiencies their shareholders expect. The enforced uniformity of the major hotel companies was part of a larger business strategy that worked well for previous generations of travelers. Consumers liked uniformity and reliability, and so did the hotel companies’ bottom lines. Predictable amenities, features, furnishings, and layouts were appealing to both the guest and the hotel company CFO. Now, however, there is real pressure to carve out a distinct and authentic brand promise, while maintaining the efficiencies and economies of scale. And is that not an inherent conflict…the ‘commoditisation’ of unique?

    As the shape of the bell curve changes, with the lifestyle/boutique properties moving from the fringe to the mainstream, are they in danger of becoming the mass-market hotel of the future? And will the Millennialsbegin to eschew the very movement they were responsible for driving in the first place? Ask brands like American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Gap that are reeling from the Millennials’ desire to express themselves as their own brand, rather than serve as ambassadors for someone else’s.

    Whether the traveler wants to stay independent, seek the remarkably uncommon, or enjoy an unforgettable stay, hotels now more than ever need to figure out how to realistically serve this very demanding segment. Can smaller lifestyle brands keep up with the standards and scalability of the large brands? We’re at an inflection point where established norms of hospitality marketing and operations are on a collision course with Millennials’ preferences, behaviors, and attitudes.

    Kerry brings proven leadership, client relationship management, and business development skills to MMGY’s Orlando office. He is an experienced marketer, entrepreneur, and innovator with deep travel industry connections and over 20 years of success connecting buyers and sellers in the travel arena. MMGY Global, the leading integrated travel and hospitality marketing firm in the USA.

    Marriott-Starwood merger

    Opinion: Spanner in the works for Marriott-Starwood deal?

    698 400 Daniel Fountain

    Is there about to be a spanner thrown into the works for the Marriott-Starwood merger? Recent reports – albeit very liberally-sourced ones – seemed to suggest that Marriott was feeling a sense of ‘remorse’ about the deal and was looking for a way out to back out.

    While the source cited is allegedly ‘close to the deal’, the veracity of their claims and their anonymity remains very much in question.

    So, could there be a kernel of truth in the claim? Possibly. The fact Marriott beat out Anbang has led to a ‘transaction review’ from the Chinese which is delaying the closure of the deal. While frustrating, the review is unlikely to stop the deal closing. But as with all merger deals, the longer the closure takes, the more the negative voices grow louder. Seeds of doubt about how good a deal has been agreed will begin to grow in the minds of Marriott executives.

    Secondly – and it’s been a talking point since the deal was first announced – the uncertainty in combining the two groups’ reward programmes is proving more of an obstacle than first hoped. Granted, this will be the key in ensuring Marriott have got the best deal for the $12 billion spent. But there’s no reason to suggest such difficulties will lead to a breakdown of the deal.

    And, in truth, small hurdles that sour the deal in the short term and could be used by twitchy Marriott executives as justification for pulling out of the deal are unlikely to derail this ‘megamerger’ in the long term – executives on both sides should rest easy that anonymous sources will have to do a lot more to do so.

    Guest Blog: ‘Suppliers must act as experts within their sectors’

    1000 603 Guest Blog

    I never cease to be amazed by the vast breadth of knowledge interior designers need in order to cope with all the different strands that need bringing together to create a successful interior design scheme.

    They need to realise a harmonised interior which is above all a desirable destination, uses a refined colour palette, incorporates good proportions, is high on attention to detail and quality, has great style and is entirely practical in terms of the use for which the space is intended. The aim is always to give guests a great experience and ensure they look forward to returning.

    But that is just the basics. Beyond that the interior designer has to have all the technical knowledge that goes in to the choice process when selecting individual components which go in to the room. Does the upholstery fabric meet relevant flammability regulations? Will the curtains fade through UV exposure? Will the wallpaper pattern repeat match the wall space available? Is the durability of the carpet suitable for contract use? Is all the electrical equipment suitably certified?

    Chelsom - Esprit Cove Lounge

    These and many other pieces of expert knowledge need to be at the designer’s fingertips to ensure they design a successful project.

    That is where added value can come from the product supply chain who should undoubtedly be experts from within their own fields. At Chelsom, there was a time when our mantra of ‘give the client what they want’ meant exactly that, even if we felt the product designed and selected might not give the long term function or desired effect that was expected. Today we are proud that designers appreciate our expert knowledge and do ask us for advice with lighting issues.

    Sometimes saying no is a real positive rather than a negative response because we are anticipating lighting problems which may not be immediately apparent.

    Chelsom

    For example, an aesthetic design may show a small diameter base on a table lamp to which we will say no as our software confirms it will not pass safety regulations for stability. We will advise that we cannot fit the requested dimmer switch because it is not compatible with the hotel’s existing dimming system. Sorry but we don’t recommend the touch switch you have requested because hotel guests will constantly be phoning the concierge to ask how to switch the lights on.

    No you cannot have a one-piece ceiling plate on that chandelier because it needs access panels for maintenance and ventilation for the electronics inside. Rather than the crystals hanging on chains in your lobby visual, we would use delicate fixed rods to prevent the glass work swinging when open doors create a gust of wind.

    Of course it is essential that if a manufacturer says something isn’t feasible, they have to propose an acceptable alternative based on their own expert knowledge. The interior designer therefore should always consider that he or she is consistently supported by a massive team of experts who can be trusted to give advice and opinions on the suitability of standard product or custom designs from within their own particular specialised area. Those manufacturers may not understand the whole story but they can certainly give added value in their own field.

    For further information or to request a catalogue please contact 01253 831400 or email sales@chelsom.co.uk.

    BHA calls for 'Seaside Tsar'

    Opinion: BHA calls for ‘Seaside Tsar’ to revive UK coastal towns

    959 554 Daniel Fountain

    A Seaside Tsar should be appointed to help Britain’s forgotten seaside towns fight back from decades of decay according to new research which paints a grim picture of the problems facing many coastal communities.

    The report, commissioned by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), says that people living in seaside towns are more likely to be poorly educated, unemployed, unemployable, lacking in ambition, claiming benefits and living in multiple occupation housing.

    BHA - Seaside Tsar

    A separate survey, conducted by the owners of Butlin’s and the BHA, found that more than half of the British public have not visited the British seaside in the past three years, and 65% believe that the British seaside is run down and in need of investment. Nine out of the 10 most deprived neighbourhoods in England are seaside communities, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation.

    The collapse of shipbuilding and fishing, the decline of the traditional annual holiday by the seaside, growing drug use, and cutbacks in budgets affecting maintenance of public places, street cleaning, tourism promotion and the providing of education have all contributed to the situation, says the report. Creating Coastal Powerhouses says that businesses in seaside towns are more likely to fail – especially if they provide accommodation – and calls on the Government to create Coastal Enterprise Zones to encourage businesses to move to and invest in the coast.

    BHA - Seaside Tsar

    The hospitality and tourism industry employs 4.5m people or 14% of the UK workforce. The association, which represents more than 40,000 businesses in the sector, cites the successful regeneration of Folkestone in Kent and along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and east Devon as examples of how the British seaside can recover

    It has produced a seven point action plan to breathe new life into seaside towns which calls on the Government to:

    1. Appoint a Seaside Tsar to coordinate a coherent response across all departments and spending – very much like Lord Heseltine’s work in Liverpool in the 1980s.
    2. Establish Coastal Action Groups, to develop a co-ordinated response and investment strategy to target the specific social and economic challenges that seaside towns face.
    3. Create a progressive tax environment, including a reduction in Tourism VAT, to encourage coastal businesses to invest in themselves.
    4. Create Coastal Enterprise Zones to incentivise investment and encourage businesses to move to the coast and create jobs.
    5. Invest in critical infrastructure and improve broadband, rail and road connections, and protect against the threat of rising sea levels.
    6. Improve education and training provision for young people and adults to ensure that they have the skills for a variety of sectors.
    7. Support Local Authorities to tackle social issues and housing problems which reduce their attraction as visitor destination

    Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the BHA said: “The British public want to enjoy the British Seaside, and those living in coastal communities want a thriving economy. We look forward to working with a Seaside Tsar to unlock the potential of the UK’s 6,000 kilometre coastline.

    BHA - Seaside Tsar

    “Our members, who invest in and operate hospitality and tourism businesses recognise the problems facing many coastal communities but we also know there are fantastic opportunities to boost these places and help revive the Great British Seaside holiday.

    “250 million visits are already made to the UK’s coast each year, generating £17 billion to the economy. But we know there is a lot more to do – and that can only happen with a concerted effort by a committed government and the private sector. Together we can turn the tide and bring a smile back to the seaside.”

    bha.org.uk