Leading lights from all areas of the hospitality industry gathered for the launch of new advice and support business network, Hospitality Experts.
A collection of familiar faces from the world of hospitality including hotel group Chief Executives, marketing and strategic experts and consultants with decades of experience across the industry met at the event hosted at the fantastic Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire.
The event marked the beginning of Hospitality Experts, a new venture being led by the owners of the hotel marketing agency, Journey, which will see a consortium of professionals sharing their advice and decades of experience with others in the industry.
Their aim is to help hoteliers, managers and their teams to benefit from the expert’s advice in a bid to give back and support the industry they themselves have enjoyed working in.
The exclusive panel of select experts, which are part of the group through interest alone and have not been paid to contribute, are headed up by key ambassadors, including Harry Murray MBE, Chairman of Lucknam Park, Peter Hancock FIH MI, CEO of Pride of Britain Hotels, Danny Pecorelli, MD of Exclusive Hotels and Venues and Robin Sheppard, Chairman of The Bespoke Hotel Group.
Harry Murray MBE spoke at the launch and congratulated two of the men behind Hospitality Experts, Simon Bullingham and Julian Vaughan, on the initiative. He said he was delighted to be an Ambassador to support the Hospitality Experts during what was a challenging and changing time in the industry.
“I am very lucky to have chosen the best industry in the world to work in, I have managed hotels across 5 decades and still have the same passion for hospitality" he said.
“I am sure you will all agree the hospitality industry in this country has never been more challenging or more exciting than it is today. We are very fortunate that hospitality and tourism is growing throughout the world. I think the UK is in a prime position to take full advantage of this growth & this initiative will help develop the most important asset of the hospitality business our people.
“I look around this room and I see the experts that have come on board and really it is the cream of the industry. There are going to be some very lucky people out there who will be able to use and share your expertise.
“I will watch with great interest and when I am called upon and asked for any advice I will be only too pleased to help.”
Harry Murray’s thoughts echoed the feeling of his fellow experts and there was a feeling of excitement at the event.
Mark Fagan, a former general manager of Stoke Park who now runs Mark Fagan Consultancy providing expert advice to hotels, spas, golf and country clubs, sporting venues, and restaurants, was one of the experts who recapped his own long and impressive history in the industry before looking forward to what he could bring to the consortium of experts.
He said: “Hospitality Experts is a really exciting concept and an exciting opportunity for us to engage with one another.
“Working in hotels and the field of hospitality provides us with many life tools and opportunities, we have got so many different skill sets amongst us. Of these, I think the most important thing is the team. It is the team who deliver things. As hospitality experts we are a team and for me that’s very important.”
The event was branded a huge success, not only in part to the team at Stoke Park, Britain’s leading Country Club, Spa and Hotel, which is led by Chief Executive Chester King.
He also spoke about his “diverse and fantastic working life” before adding: “I am excited to be involved in Hospitality Experts and I think the good thing is we all have very different niches. It’s all about working for the client and developing them.”
One of the men behind Hospitality Experts, Julian Vaughan, from Journey and the Creative Network, said he was pleased to see the experts already sharing their experience and looked forward to being able to help more people.
“We decided to create this brand as a platform for industry professionals to share their own stories and ideas,” said Julian. “There are people from all areas of hospitality, from front of house to marketing, but they are all well respected true experts in their own fields.
“We all have so much of offer as individuals, but as a group we can bring so much more to the table. Everyone who is part of Hospitality Experts is passionate about hospitality and our aim is to take the industry in the right direction.”