Officially opening the two-day Hotel & Catering Show 2013 (H&CS), Deirdre Wells OBE, Head of Tourism for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), set the agenda for the revamped hospitality event in a keynote which addressed ways in which the government is helping tackle economic recovery through tourism investment in the South of England.
“Economic growth will be achieved through hard work and DCMS is working equally hard to nurture that growth. With 80% of UK tourism coming from the domestic market, it’s really important that we all work together [tourism attractions, hotel owners and the government] to create a positive image of the UK, educating consumers about what is on their doorstep and reminding them of what is great about holidaying in Britain.
“In Visit Britain’s Brands Nations Index, during the London 2012 Olympic Games period Britain’s ‘welcome’ rose from twelfth position to ninth, which is a reflection of improved perceptions of customer service amongst our international audience and of perceptions of Britain as an overseas tourist destination.
“Over four years, VisitBritain’s international campaign, including GREAT, will invest more than £130 million in inbound tourism to the UK. Another GREAT Britain marketing campaign for the domestic market will launch this autumn and we are investing £2 million in this follow up campaign, in order to build on the success of the 20.12 per cent ‘Holiday at Home’ campaign,” said Ms Wells. “Early forecasts show that our investment in the GREAT campaign to date is projected to help generate around a quarter of a billion pounds for the British economy over the next two years.”
Running throughout today (5th) and tomorrow (6th), H&CS 2013 has undergone an exciting re-launch with new features, culinary attractions and must-attend professional seminars led by the industry’s biggest names, to ensure it serves as the ultimate, trade-only regional event for chefs and proprietors in the hospitality sector in the South of England.
As you read this, Anthony Pender, Director of the successful and popular Yummy Pub Company, is being interviewed live on stage, 12.00-12.45pm, to share his tips on starting your own business, be it a restaurant, a café, a pub or a hotel. From writing the initial business plan and accessing funds, to finding the right venue and planning your marketing to achieve success, ‘New horizons in hospitality: Steps to starting your own hospitality business’ was designed to give show visitors the ins and outs on how to turn those dreams into reality.
Later this afternoon Steve Lowy, chief executive, Umi Hotel & Umi Design, will ask ‘What does your website REALLY say to your customer?’ in a workshop session packed full of tips on motivating and engaging with customers online to enhance their experience and increase sales.
The first ever The Staff Canteen LIVE– a collaboration between H&CS and digital platform www.TheStaffCanteen.com – also got underway today with four of the UK’s top chefs, Tom Kerridge, Paul Ainsworth, Chris Stains and Russell Brown, showcasing their remarkable skills, innovative techniques and use of unusual ingredients in a succession of live cookery demonstrations.
Over at Chef’s Kitchen, contract catering giant Sodexo are busy prepping their dishes in a competition to serve the best 60-cover lunch dining experience for an audience of VIPs. Visitors will watch the magic unfold as they see Sodexo’s chefs prepare and create their greatest works of art in an open plan kitchen. A chef commentator will offer explanations of the techniques and methods being used whist viewers sample amuse bouche tasters. Compass will go head to head with the results of today’s judging in their own VIP lunch service tomorrow from 10am.