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How to stem the sector’s drop-out rate

PETER DUCKER is chief executive officer of Institute of Hospitality

Brighton’s iconic hotel opens spa

The Grand in Brighton, UK has completed a £5m (US$7.6m, €5.8m) make- over, which includes a new spa facility offering guests a tranquil retreat. A session at the new Spa


o plagiarise The Monkees, I’m a believer. I believe that the hospitality, leisure and tour- ism industry offers great career

opportunities, rewards talent and recogn- ises commitment. Yet it is still perceived by many as a job rather than a career. Tis per- ception contributes to the lack of visibility that we receive from Government, despite our massive contribution to the economy and our robustness during the recession. Te brain drain of talented people drop-

ping out into other sectors has been an issue for too long. If we do not take steps to address the problem and its causes we face the risk of a major skills shortage as the gen- eral economy recovers. Here are two anecdotes that speak vol-

umes: I was at dinner with a senior executive responsible for the ‘graduate fast-track’ of a global hotel company. At the time my daugh- ter was keen to study hotel management. He advised her to take a business degree: “We can add the hospitality bits later.” She went to Aston University Business School and has found a very satisfying career outside our industry. I think his advice was wrong. I was speaking with the head of one of

our leading schools of hospitality manage- ment, and raised the problem of attrition. His view was that their sole responsibility is to educate; what happens aſterwards is not their problem. While I can understand how he has that view, I believe that all stakehold- ers in the industry - including vocational educators - have a role to play in reducing attrition and retaining talent. We need to attract enthusiastic and intel-

ligent entrants, educate them well, plan their development, nurture them, motivate them, and support them with career-long learning. Educators, employers, trade associations and individual managers and supervisors all have a role and responsibility, and of course, the Institute of Hospitality as the professional body is central to it all. The future lies in a united and coor-

dinated approach which the Institute of Hospitality is uniquely placed to lead, or as the Monkees would have it: ‘a little bit me, a little bit you.’ Tis is why I’m a believer.


will begin in the thermal suite with saunas, steamrooms and experience showers; fol- lowed by a treatment in one of the nine treatment rooms. Treatment programmes include a detoxifying crystal steamroom and aromatherapy sauna, followed by a light bite in Te Spa Café. Terapies to soothe and invigorate the mind

and body will be on offer such as Brighton Rock and deep tissue massages, with products supplied by bespoke skincare brand ESPA. Genevieve Ainsworth, who previously

worked with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, has been appointed to oversee and manage the

Te facility aims to provide a traquil retreat for the body and mind

Spa. Genevieve said: “I am very excited about the opening of the new Spa at such an iconic hotel and look forward to offering outstanding customer service combined with heavenly face and body treatments within a luxurious and friendly environment. Tis will be ‘the Spa’ to visit.” Details:

Hotel company sees significant growth in 2013 Tis included the company focusing on staff

Hotel and Facilities Management, a subsidiary of fitness and leisure management company, Leisure Connection, has revealed its half- year financial results, which show substantial growth aſter the company made significant investments to improve quality service.

training, new equipment being installed on site and energy saving solutions being intro- duced to certain clubs. Since October 2012, Direct Debit run up has increased by 20 per cent. Details:

Morgans Hotel Group looks to sell company

Te Morgans Hotel Group is looking to sell the company following a takeover attempt by the largest shareholders - OTK Associates. OTK attempted to seize

control of the hotel group, which operates the Sanderson and St Martins Lane hotels in London, after accusing Morgans of wasting resources and not capitalising on its potential. Te Hotel Group said that five major hospi- tality companies had shown interest in the US-based out- fit, which operates a number of lifestyle brands such as the Mondrian, Delano and Hudson, as well as sev- eral independent properties. In addition to its current holdings in London, Morgans is currently developing an

Read Leisure Opportunities online:

Morgans Hotel Group operates the Sanderson hotel in central London

additional two properties - the Mondarin on South Bank, to open next year and the Hudson, on Great Scotland Yard in St James’ which opens in 2015. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2013

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