Your weekly hotel news digest from hotel-industry.co.uk.
London Hoteliers will not put up prices despite having rooms returned by LOCOG
Despite the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympics Games (LOCOG) handing back up to 120,000 unneeded rooms back to hotels, the capitals hoteliers have said they will not look to hike up the prices for this sought after accommodation. Robert Flinter, general manger of the four-star Apex City of London hotel and chairman of the E1 association of 20 four and five-star hotels in east London believes that leisure and corporate customers are not looking to book free rooms in London during July and August because of widespread rumours of inflated prices during and around the Olympics. He said, “It would be foolish of us to do so for what would be a short-term gain that could damage long-term relationships. It is vital that London & Partners gets the message out there that London will be affordable during the summer.”
Hilton Worldwide to recruit 50 new chef apprentices in 2012
Fifty lucky young chefs will be offered the chance to join the Hilton Worldwide Chef Apprenticeship Academy this summer, as the company looks to give young people the chance to realise their potential. The programme, which was originally launched in 2010, has already trained around 60 apprentices. Those selected this year, will enjoy a 12-month apprenticeship, combining on-the-job training from some of Hilton’s leading chefs, with hotel-based master classes or college-based courses. Vice-president of human resources Europe for Hilton Worldwide, Ben Bengougam said, “The Chef Apprenticeship Academy is aimed at nurturing and developing a new generation of chefs, with each apprentice having the prospect of a full-time commis-chef role on completion of the programme.”
BHA pleads with Government to allow them to benefit from EIS
The Government is being urged by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) to allow hotels to benefit from the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) following the chancellor failing to include them in its plans in his autumn statement. The scheme has been introduced to help smaller companies to raise finances through offering a range of tax relief’s to investors who purchase new shares in those businesses. Originally, hotels qualified for the scheme, but in 1998, they were excluded by the Labour Government. Restaurants and pubs however, are still able to benefit from EIS, which would provide a great boost to the hotel industry.
The Dorchester Hotels appoints Hotel Manager
London’s Dorchester Hotel has appointed John Scanlon to the newly created position of hotel manager and he is due to take up his new role on the 1st March 2012. Mr Scanlon, who is currently the director of revenue for Dorchester Collection, the hotels parent company, has held positions worked at the Lanesborough, Sheraton Skyline, Heathrow Airport and Trusthouse Forte Hotels throughout England. He said he was very excited about returning to an on-property role at the Dorchester Hotel, especially during such a historic year when the world’s eyes will be on London during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic and Paralympics Games.
York Hoteliers opposed to the introduction of a tourist tax levy
Hoteliers in the historic city of York are set to fight the introduction of a proposed tourist tax, which could have ‘detrimental implications’ for the city’s businesses and economies. The proposal by the York Fairness Commission, which is a non-political body set up to consider local priorities following council budget cuts, includes a levy of £1 per head per night contribution on all visitors to York. This is now being considered by York City Council as a way to:
- Raise a significant amount of money each year to help alleviate the pressures of being a world-class tourist destination
- To invest in maintaining the sustainable growth of the sector and to relieve pressure on other areas of the council’s budget, where funds are used to support tourism activity”
However, chairperson of the York Hoteliers Association said, “Every hotel in York pays substantial amounts in business rates and an additional tax for tourists, which is not applied in cities we compete with, such as Edinburgh, Chester and Bath, would be a terrible mistake.”