Anyone lucky enough to get a place at the recent Master Innholders' General Managers' Conference might by now be in a state of worry about the future. This is because several of the expert contributors had warnings for the UK hotel industry which, if not heeded, could lead to our certain demise.
The warnings included facing up to rapid economic expansion in Asia, adapting to changing patterns of consumer behaviour and the explosion in the use of social media, not only for promoting your business to customers but also for customers to tell the world and his wife whether it's any good!
I have been attending this conference for a few years and have noticed that much more of the content is now related to marketing than in the past. It is pretty much taken for granted that the attendees (largely successful operators in the luxury category) have already mastered the art of hospitality, hence the concentration on maintaining a competitive edge by other means. And because the whole event is run by hoteliers for hoteliers the programme can't be hijacked by outside commercial interests. This, I think, is the secret of the success of this extraordinary annual event. Long may it continue.