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The Bristol Hoteliers Association has named Raphael Herzog as its new permanent Chair, a role he has been fulfilling in an acting capacity since July 2019.

Raphael, who has been General Manager of the De Vere Tortworth Court, in South Gloucestershire, for nearly two years, has more than 25 years’ experience in the hotel industry, the last 18 of which have been in the UK.

He said: “My main focus is to help raise the profile of the industry and work hard with all the General Managers of hotels within the BHA. We want to work with organisations like City of Bristol College and Springboard to showcase the industry to youngsters, to encourage them to consider a career in hospitality.

“I also want to provide a strong voice in the city, to ensure that hoteliers are heard on relevant matters, as we make a significant contribution to the city’s economy.”

He said there are plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the future of the hospitality industry in Bristol. There is, of course, still lots of uncertainty about what will happen when Brexit takes place at the end of the month, but this can be beneficial to the hospitality sector, with many people in this country choosing staycations as well as lots of European people choosing to visit the UK.

“A lot of work is being done by organisations like Destination Bristol to promote the city as a key leisure and business venue. With the ongoing development at Ashton Gate, and the potential of the YTL Arena at Filton, following on from the opening of The Wave surfing centre just outside Bristol a few months ago, there’s every reason to be optimistic about the future.

“A key focus is to be able to attract people to this amazing industry, which could end up taking them all over the world, but which is also key to the success of every hotel in the city – having the right people in the right roles, providing the best possible service to guests.

“There are so many potential career paths in this industry; you could start as a receptionist or waiter and then move into sales, HR, accounts, maintenance, marketing – there are so many opportunities to expand your skills and to experience new things.”

Last month it was reported that soaring salaries in the city could make careers in the hospitality industry more attractive, following a salary survey among many of the city’s top hotels.

One of his first tasks as BHA Chair will be to attend the organisation’s third annual Night of the Stars extravaganza, which takes place on February 6, and will see awards presented to businesses and individuals which have made a significant contribution to the hospitality business in Bristol over the past year.

The Bristol Hoteliers Association represents 40 major hotels in the city, with around 4,000 rooms. Hotels put £200 million into the local economy.

Mike Davies
Author: Mike Davies