Be Our Guest - 21 June 2018 - Village Hotel

The theme for this event is the remarkable regional growth of the hospitality, leisure and food sectors. Once again we had an excellent range of speakers who provided a new perspective containing some exciting proposals and a few insights. We also benefited from the chairing skills of Dr Jane Davidson (UWTSD) kept things on track as ever. 

Adam Smith, General manager at Village Hotel (Swansea) took us through the range of challenges and potential opportunities facing the hospitality sector. The corporate market is facing tough times but occupancy always benefits from the regional events calendar. Relegation of the Swans had not affected booking enquiries. Greater investment in tourism and attractions and especially career development were essential elements.

Cllr Rob Stewart, leader of Swansea Council shared an update on plans for the new arena. His list of projects intended to boost visitor numbers included the Skyline cable car, the Penderyn Whisky project and an exciting events programme. In his view, making Swansea a destination was the key to economic growth.  He left the audience in no doubt that there was a collective drive to make a significant difference to regional prosperity.

Robyn Lee, of Refining Dining, spoke about the marketing and delivery of a bespoke dining enterprise spread over five new venues in the city. The aim was to create an experience that transformed perceptions of Swansea's night-life and created new employment into the bargain. Ongoing product and place development was a key part of the business and supported its planned growth.

Shakira Obaid recounted the evolution of the Oldwalls Collection which had seen the absorption of the former FairyHill restaurant and hotel into a niche full-service weddings venture. Significant investment had gone into exploiting the natural beauty of the Gower with locations that were visually stunning. The success of that idea could be measured by the substantial number of advance bookings.

In closing, Dr Jane Davidson outlined the work of UWTSD School of Tourism and Hospitality who are proud to deliver a range of exciting programmes and help students learn, work and develop in the company of experts. The key message was one of collaboration and recognition that fostering indigenous talent was a vital component in moving the region forward.  

There are no slides available from this session.