small hotels can be just as practicable
HAVING just read the feature "A Wealth of Experience" (14 April), I was distressed to read, with reference to student placements, "It will never be practicable to do the same thing in a small, independent hotel".
I run a 30-bedroom independently owned Country House hotel in the Highlands of Scotland, where we successfully run student placement training programmes.
The training covers all aspects of hotel life. We plan our training programmes for mutual benefit and ensure that both the student and ourselves get out of the training what we put into it. I believe we offer a good basis for their future work within the industry, and offer a good and effective training environment.
I hope your article does not deter students from applying to small establishments for training, as we can offer just as much, if not more, than a large organisation.
CATHRYN AMORGeneral Manager,Craigellachie Hotel ofSpeyside,Craigellachie,Banffshire.
together in the depression
Graham Adams (Letters, 14 April) is not alone in finding trade going downhill. Having strenuously edged ahead of inflation over the past three years, 1993 saw gains wiped out in an extremely poor last half. With local employment prospects extremely bleak, I find it impossible to be as sanguine as our political leaders.
They boast of low inflation but the reality of this is many people working for much lower wages, and small businesses battling to avoid closure by even more savage discounting.
I shudder to think of the effect the latest tax increases and mortgage payments will have.
JOHN WANDLEThe Ponderosa Country Club,Hatfield,Doncaster,South Yorkshire
FAIRY TALES NEVER COME TRUE
HOW disillusioned can one get? What new disappointments are there awaiting us hoteliers? After the recession, what next?
I am writing about the terrible home truths revealed by Bob Gledhill in his article "Make the most of your monsters" (Plain Speaking, 14 April).
I was just getting over the realisation that there was no Father Christmas after 25 years of planning, preparing, presenting and plodding through hotel Christmas programmes, when I suddenly find out from Bob that, contrary to all the marketing, there is no Loch Ness monster.
Horror upon horror, he advises that King Arthur was a myth and finally that Robin Hood was only a small local squire and not the outlaw hero we all recognise.
Please, Bob, no more surprises.
THE BEAST OF EXMOORc/o The Tiverton Hotel,Tiverton,Devon.
SIZZLE AMPS TO SAVE BILLS
I REFER to Mr Newman's problem and your reply (Letters, 14 April) regarding his failure to meet the requirements for being able to buy cheaper electricity from licensed suppliers.
Assuming he has an adequate supply, he should run enough electricity during one single half-hour period this month to establish an average maximum demand during the past three months of more than 100kW. This should cost no more than a fiver, probably much less, and may result in very substantial future savings.
While it may not be to the financial advantage of his regional electricity company, it is morally reprehensible that any business allows a good customer to pay over the odds. The electricity company should be asked to provide an employee to oversee or even organise Mr Newman's attempt to comply with the requirements. It is not surprising that the company has abused its monopoly in not having done so already.
MIKE SMITHFawdon,Newcastle upon Tyne.
Salmon farms threaten jobs
THERE were a number of editing mistakes which lead to factual errors in my letter published last week (21 April).
First, the title, "Hotels Lose out to Trout Farms" is inaccurate, since it is salmon farms that are threatening the livelihood of hotels such as Loch Maree. We rely on attracting tourists interested in trout fishing, as the letter goes on to explain.
Second, the sea trout does not spawn in salt water, as stated in the edited version of my letter, but migrates to salt water where it packs on weight before returning to fresh water to spawn. It is because of the proliferation of salmon farms that the species is now declining, which is why jobs in affected hotels are in danger.
The salmon farming industry employs about 1,000 people - a tiny fraction of those employed in the hotel industry. At Loch Maree alone we have had to shed ten staff over the past two years, and many similar hotels have done likewise.
P BOYCE-KENYONLoch Maree Hotel,Achnasheen,Wester Ross.