Louise Goalen, the new chair of the HBAA, outlined the association’s strategy to keep ‘Moving Forward’ in 2017 despite the challenges of Brexit.
Goalen was addressing an AGM audience of 200 and Kick-Off meeting at the Hilton London Bankside.
With new HBAA Venues chair Louisa Watson, Goalen said the ‘Moving Forward’ strategy for the second year of the association’s five-year plan would include updating the HBAA Code of Practice, developing its International Forum, research projects, white papers, surveys and expanding its training activities. Specific focus, she said, would be given to engaging with member agencies of all sizes and to making the most of technology.
The association will also be celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Each HBAA committee chairman briefly summarised their committee’s objectives for the year before Goalen thanked the outgoing chair, Leigh Cowlishaw, for guiding the association through its ‘Back to Basics’ year, adding: “I am delighted to have been appointed chair to carry on the baton. Along with the whole of the Executive Committee we are relishing the year ahead and delivering on our objectives.”
Anthony Hilton, financial editor of London’s Evening Standard newspaper presented his economic forecasts for the year ahead, predicting an overall positive year for the British economy.
However, reflecting on the impact of Brexit, restrictions on the movement of labour and possible skills quotas, he expressed a major concern about future staff shortages in the UK hotel and hospitality sector in which, according to Louise Goalen, up to 70% of current staff are not British. He advised; “You need to start preparing for the future now.”
The Annual Dinner attended by 375 members and sponsors, raised £19,500 for the Beyond Food organisation.