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November 5th 2015 | HOSPA reveals HOSPACE 2015 Hospitality Leaders Panellists

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Date Issued:  4 November 2015  

Top hotel leaders revealed for HOSPACE 2015 ‘Leaders Panel’ to discuss the current state of the UK hotel industry and its most pressing issues

HOSPACE 2015 – HOSPA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition for Hospitality Finance, Revenue Management, IT and Commerce Professionals on 26 November at Sofitel London Heathrow, Terminal 5 – is the largest and most prestigious annual gathering of like-minded hospitality practitioners in the UK

HOSPA is delighted to reveal the distinguished line-up of senior hotel industry leaders, who will be participating in the Association’s highly acclaimed HOSPACE 2015 ‘Leaders Panel’ on 26 November. Traditionally one of the highlights of the Annual Conference and Exhibition, the ‘Leaders Panel’ provides an invaluable insight into the current state of the UK hotel industry and its most pressing issues.

The HOSPACE 2015 ‘Leaders Panel’ will comprise: Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of Red Carnation Hotels; Andy Townsend, Chief Executive, Legacy Hotels & Resorts – the hotel management company he set up in 2005; Mark Hird, Managing Director of North East-based Tavistock Hospitality – comprising hotels, self-branded restaurants, a brewery and a distillery with an award-winning gin; Les Asplen, Managing Director of Best Western Hotels GB; and Peter Cashman, Chief Executive of Focus Hotels Management – a leading independent hospitality management company in the UK, with associated companies in Ireland and Germany. Once again by popular demand, Peter Hancock – Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels – will be bringing his legendary wit and charm to skilfully chair this year’s ‘HOSPACE Leaders Panel’ discussion. 


Commenting on this year’s ‘HOSPACE Leaders Panel’, HOSPA Chief Executive Carl Weldon said:  “We are delighted that HOSPACE 2015 delegates will be able to benefit from the vast experience, wisdom, knowledge and of this year’s highly respected line-up of panellists – all leaders in their fields – for this, our traditionally popular annual ‘Leaders Panel’ session. It’s also a great pleasure to welcome back Peter Hancock as Chairman. This will be his third HOSPACE – testament to the rave reviews he always receives!”

Peter Hancock will be tapping the expertise of the panellists about everything from: the power of brands and their impact on the industry; the importance of investment in technology for back-of-house operations and meeting customer expectations, whilst also understanding their buying behaviour; and creating an OTA strategy to drive guest bookings through hotel proprietary websites and creating effective loyalty schemes, to how the industry will deal with the April 2016 introduction  of the £7.20p per hour National Living Wage for over-25s; the growth and influence of social media and the rapidly increasing competition to UK hotels from the likes of Airbnb and serviced apartments; and the need to attract new growth markets – such as the emerging middle-classes from India and China. 

The ‘Leaders Panel’ is the second of two sessions that will set the scene for the HOSPACE 2015  Annual Conference and Exhibition – the most prestigious gathering of like-minded hospitality practitioners in the UK – to be held at the Sofitel London Heathrow, Terminal 5. The first is the traditional ‘HOSPACE Industry Overview’ with the latest hotel data – again presented by STR Global and PwC – with a presentation by Coffer Peach on sales trends for the UK eating and drinking-out market.

Commenting on the ‘HOSPACE Industry Overview’, Carl Weldon said: “As the UK hotel industry continues to benefit from the improved economic climate, the ‘HOSPACE 2015 Industry Overview’ is likely to reveal that the pace of growth this year has been variable in London, whereas it has been dynamic in the provinces, driving a bumper year in the investment market. Indeed, PwC recently forecasted more growth for 2016, but at a slower pace. With more than 38,000 rooms currently in the UK’s active pipeline, with opening dates stretching from this year to 2017, it will be interesting to hear our speakers’ views about their viability in the current economic climate.”