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Consequences of leaving the EU for the UK hospitality industry

Evidence based HR, the cyber threat, and the ever-evolving dynamics of OTAs – key topics to be examined at HOSPACE2017 Conference and Exhibition on 2 November

Sally Beck, General Manager of the HOSPACE2017 venue, Royal Lancaster London, to be interviewed by Hotel Analyst Editorial Editor and Co-owner Andrew Sangster  

Brexit will once again take centre stage at HOSPACE2017 – the annual conference and exhibition of HOSPA, the UK’s leading organization for hospitality professionals involved in Financial Management, Revenue Management, Marketing and IT – on 2 November at the Royal Lancaster London.

Updating delegates and discussing the issues and implications for the UK hospitality industry will be John Guthrie, Employment Policy Advisor at the British Hospitality Association (BHA), and last year’s acclaimed HOSPACE2016 Brexit panelists: Martine Ainsworth-Wells, Head of Destination Engagement, ETOA (European Tour Operators Association); Jeremy Robinson, Partner, Watson Farley Williams; and Mark Essex, Director, Public Policy, KPMG.

They will once again be imparting their wisdom on the vitally important subject: ‘The consequences of leaving the EU for the Hospitality industry’. Providing the probing questions will be panel chairman Robert Barnard, Partner at BDO, responsible for BDO’s hotel/hospitality consultancy.

“We are delighted to welcome back the excellent Brexit panel, who proved so popular with our delegates at HOSPACE2016,” said HOSPA Chief Executive Jane Pendlebury. “This year, we are especially pleased that John Guthrie will be providing a special introduction to the Brexit discussion. As an industry, we owe a great debt to the BHA for its excellent work in looking after our interests and lobbying the Government on our behalf.”

For his part, Guthrie stated: “The BHA has spearheaded the industry’s efforts to persuade the Government that a ‘cliff-edge’ scenario – where ‘freedom of movement’ ends and no successor system put in its place – would be catastrophic for Britain’s hospitality industry.

“The BHA commissioned KPMG to research this issue and their conclusion was that, in such a scenario, the industry would need to recruit around an additional 60,000 employees. At a time of very low unemployment and a declining number of new entrants to the labour market, this is unrealistic. We have been campaigning for a post-Brexit immigration system that continues to allow for the recruitment of service workers, while building in a gradual year-by-year increase in the recruitment of UK workers as we promote the sector as a career of choice.”

The value of evidence based HR will come under scrutiny at the first panel discussion of HOSPACE2017. The session is entitled: ‘Evidence based HR, friend or foe? What came first, people or data?’. Expert panelists – Dr. Judie Gannon, Senior Lecturer (Human Resource Management), Department of Business and Management, Oxford Brookes University;  Ann Whelan,  Vice President Human Resources – Europe, Jumeirah; Emma Jayne, Director, Human Resources, The Savoy, London; and Laura Wigley, Global Talent & Learning Director, The Dorchester Collection – will attempt to show delegates how industry operators need to be smart around ‘people data’, and how it can be used effectively to address HR challenges. Asking the questions will be panel moderator Stephen Bevan, Head of HR Research Development at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), and Honorary Professor at the University of Lancaster Management School.  

The last panel session of the morning will be given over to ‘Do you know who is watching you? – the cyber threat.’ Discussing this crucially important issue will be David Nicolson, Vice President Finance – Europe, Jumeirah Group, who is the newly elected Chairman of the HOSPA Finance Committee; Michael Heyward, Managing Director of Heyward Hospitality Solutions, who is also Chairman of the HOSPA Revenue Management Committee; and David Derbyshire, Director IT Service Delivery, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Field Technology Services, Hilton Worldwide, who is the newly elected Chairman of the HOSPA IT Committee. Posing the questions will be renowned IT expert and panel moderator Ted Horner, Managing Director of E Horner and Associates technology practice, specializing in the hospitality industry.

‘The ever-evolving dynamics of Online Travel Agents (OTAs)’ will be the title of the final panel session of the one-day HOSPACE2017 Conference and Exhibition. Under the skillful control of moderator Ally Northfield – Director of Revenue by Design, the distinguished panelists will be: Steve Lowy, Chairman of the Hotel Marketing Association and creator of the Umi Hotels brand and Umi Digital; Tracy Murray, Senior Associate at Hamilton Hotel Partners; and Carol Dodds, Vice President of Commercial for the UK, Interstate Europe Hotels & Resorts.

Another HOSPACE2017 afternoon highlight will be Hotel Analyst Editorial Director and Co-owner Andrew Sangster interviewing Sally Beck, General Manager of Royal Lancaster London – HOSPACE2017’s new venue. Sally has been at the hotel’s helm since 2012 and is responsible for the operation of one of the largest banqueting establishments in Europe. She has been overseeing the final stages of the Royal Lancaster’s £80 million renovation, completed in time for the hotel’s 50th anniversary and HOSPACE2017. To complement this landmark in the hotel’s history, the mid-20thcentury icon has reinstated its original name of ‘Royal Lancaster London’.

As in previous years, HOSPACE2017 will offer a wide range of highly relevant 'HOSPACE Workshops and Technical Updates' for delegates to choose from. Also, HOSPACE's ever popular exhibition of hospitality technology will provide delegates with a 'one-stop shop' to view and interact with the latest and 'best in class' technologies, suitable for all sizes of operation and types of ownership.

The event's grand finale Gala Awards Dinner will see former rugby union England number eight and Harlequins captain Nick Easter, who will also be guest speaker, assist HOSPACE2017 Master of Ceremonies and raconteur Peter Hancock, Chief Executive, Pride of Britain Hotels, in presenting the prestigious annual HOSPA ‘Inspirational Leaders in Hospitality Awards 2017’ for Finance, Revenue Management, and IT. 

To book for HOSPACE2017 and the Gala Awards Dinner: Email:; or Telephone: Charlotte Pratt, HOSPA Membership and Events Manager, on 020 3418 8196. For regularly updated information on HOSPACE2017, visit:


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