Voices of Hospitality

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Voices of Hospitality

Voices of Hospitality

Andy Barnsdale is the General Manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel & Spa, with over 33 years in the industry. He started his career in hospitality 25 years ago with Haven Holidays and over the next 11 years, he worked at six different holiday parks at general manager level before he moved onto hotels – namely Nidd Hall for six years.

HGEM reached out to Andy to gain his perspective on the unique opportunities and challenges that 2021 will bring for the hospitality industry.

What do you think 2021 is going to be like for hospitality?

It looked as though 2021 would be a slow start due to the pandemic and current lock down restrictions, but with the progress of the vaccination roll-out, there is hope that we can regain some momentum from the summer onwards. Now we have the Road Map in place, love it or hate it, this is what we have to work with and we will make it work.

What are the opportunities? What kind of foundation can companies start laying now, ready for when the country starts opening up again, to maximise the opportunities?

It is a good time for companies to take stock of their assets and team dynamics so when they are able to open up again they have the right people and resources in place to deliver outstanding service and give guest that well-deserved break away.

What are the key innovations you see happening this year?

The Covid safety precautions put in place for many organisations has seen an investment in contactless and self-check-in operations, I believe this will continue moving forward as it gives good confidence for travellers and is becoming the "norm". Hence the investment into our dining pods and outside spaces - these are not just for a safety conscious world customer they are also additional areas we can use to further delight our guests and transform their experiences in to ones to remember.

How important do you think digital transformation is for hospitality and what have you implemented or are planning to implement in the near future?

There are so many innovations in place and businesses have been busy picking through the ones that fit their brand the right way. What is most important is that these innovations and new technologies enhance the guest experience, help us to create memories that last and bring a smile to our guests and team. It’s a people thing and that’s the industry we are in.

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