Video Q&A “Reasons for optimism: A look ahead at 2021”
March 4, 2021 | Community, News, Openings, Our Team, Signings
Watch our Q&A with Nicholas Northam!
What do you think will happen to the hospitality sector in 2021? Let us know.
With 2021 well underway, Nicholas Northam – Executive Vice President – International at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, takes a look at the year ahead and explains why it’s time for the hard-hit hospitality sector to start preparing for its long-awaited resurgence.
There can be no denying the impact the pandemic has had on our industry. The last year has been truly unprecedented and the effects on society and the hospitality industry will, without doubt, be long-lasting.
Across our portfolio, like all other hotel operators worldwide, we of course have had to adapt to the turbulent market conditions and the significant drop in demand caused by the pandemic.
All of our operational procedures have been overhauled to ensure guests feel safe during their time at our hotels, and we continue to work closely with our owners to identify ways our properties can be of service, be it through key worker accommodation or by catering for other key sectors that are still able to travel and work away from home.
However, with 2021 we are optimistic about the year ahead. With the UK government’s roadmap out of lockdown underway and the fast-paced roll-out of vaccinations across the globe, we are confident the hospitality industry will be able to get to its feet again, with a resurgence in both business and leisure travel.
At Interstate, we ended 2020 in a strong position, with 31 properties from Jupiter Hotels’ UK portfolio moving into our management.
And, just recently, we announced our planned openings for the year ahead, with six Intestate-operated properties set to open across both the UK and Europe, including some truly unique properties and hotels in key visitor locations, with a real mix of brand offerings.
After such a challenging year, we are looking forward to opening these properties, which include the infamous Bodmin Jail in Cornwall and new Holiday Inn Express properties in both Brussels and Almere, continuing our growth as a business both in the UK and across Europe, too.
Alongside these developments, we have also started work on a campaign to reinvigorate the hospitality workforce.
Coronavirus, coupled with the impact of Brexit, has left a major skills gap in the hospitality industry and when – rather than if – demand returns, we need to be prepared to manage that resurgence well.
Guest expectations will be higher than ever before, having been deprived of the leisure and business travel experience for so long, and although it is hard to visualise a time when occupancy rates soar and guest rooms are full, it is coming.
Our campaign, launched early February, aims to spark interest again in hospitality careers, highlighting the opportunities and the wealth of potential the industry holds for professional development, to attract people back into our industry.
We need to make sure we are prepared for an uplift in demand and, at Interstate, that’s a key focus for us now, developing commercial strategies to capitalise on increased domestic travel, understanding the needs of our corporate clients and working with our owners to ensure their properties and teams are ready and waiting to welcome back guests with open arms.