Hospitality & Tourism
Published: March 3, 2022 | Updated: March 4, 2022
Phew, what a year but we’re here and what a lot we’ve achieved, hospitality chair tells agm
The challenges of a roller coaster year were highlighted at the annual meeting of BH Area Hospitality Association (BAHA).
Tim Seward, Chair, said the combination of a lack of hospitality workers, summer staycation and a boom in bookings had led to a year like no other.
Many hotels had gone from zero occupancy to 100 per cent in a matter of days after the lifting of the lockdown, he said.
Addressing hoteliers, patrons and partners at Bournemouth’s Orchid Hotel, Tim said: “We all had to raise our game, whether that be increased wages, staff retention rewards or training.
“All of us did everything we could.
“After an amazing summer for many years in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole we all survived and managed to get through one of the busiest and toughest seasons in years.
“We then had a further challenge with the winter and the threat of the omicron variant.
“This saw a mixture of people cancelling, once again, including Christmas parties and for actual Christmas itself.
“But again we survived and we are here today.
“Although we have had many challenges as hoteliers, BAHA throughout 2021/2022 has led the way in what I understand has been the biggest journey the association has seen for a number of years.”
Tim outlined some of the highlights of the last year, many resulting from the securing of Covid funding from BCP Council, including:
- Appointing Rachael Pitman as BAHA Liaison Officer to connect and work with hotels, guest houses and B&Bs across the conurbation.
- Providing face to face training to hotel staff ranging from first aid and pool lifeguard to customer service skills and fire marshal.
- Taking on Paul Collins as official photographer and giving hotels the opportunity to refresh their hotel photo images for websites, social media and tourism sites.
- Working with Yellow Buses to create a double-decker highlighting the career opportunities in hospitality for young people.
- Purchasing ten defibrilliators for distribution across the area.
Future initiatives include:
- Working with the Coastal BID to mount the biggest marketing promotion the area has seen this Spring promoting hospitality, tourism and BCP being a location to visit.
- A research project identifying where guests come from, the purpose of their visit and what they are looking for.
- Attracting young people from places such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan to come and work in the area on a two year visa to help fill the gap for staff and encouraging and supporting young people to look at a career in hospitality.
Tim thanked all those who had worked closely with BAHA including BCP Council, Bournemouth Town Centre BID, Coastal BID and Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce (BCTC).
He also thanked Nigel Reeve, who has stepped down, for his service to BAHA over the years.
BAHA’s officers for 2022/23 remain the same for a third year:
- Chair Tim Seward: Holiday Inn Bournemouth
- Vice Chair: Rosie Radwell, Marsham Court Hotel
- Vice Chair: Jason Davies, Hampton by Hilton
- Past Chair: David Bailey, Hospitality professional
- Treasurer: Zoe Westwood
The committee is:
- Jacqueline Entwistle, Real Recruitment solutions
- Sandra Graham, Trethowans Solicitors
- Tim Lloyd, Captains Club Christchurch
- Des Simmons. Bournecoast
- Paul Clarke, Carlton & East Cliff Court hotel
- Theo Iakimov, Hotel Miramar
- Andrew Slaney, East Cliff Cottage
- Mike Harrison, Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel