Institute of Hotel Security Management Chair, Darren Carter Checking in to 2024
Despite the multiple serious global issues being somewhat remote from us here in the UK, they are never really far away at all, more so for our vast community of hotels. World events have a direct impact on travellers and, inevitably, their state of wellbeing when they do arrive, some of those having been displaced from their homes by choice or force.
Within the world of hospitality, we must recognise and adapt to a rapidly changing set of risks multiple times a day, just simply to keep everyone happy, safe, and comfortable.
As I write this morning, we are expecting another significant protest in central London organised by pro-Palestinian groups. This has understandably been an ever-present feature in recent weeks; however, today being Armistice Day, it has inevitably caught the ear of several Nationalist groups now planning counter protests. It will likely be another busy day!
There has been much to be thankful for over the past year, it’s been a healthy trading space for hotels again. The commercial pain of the pandemic still being felt emerging into last year was quickly healed. With record revenues, this year has yet again delivered. Have you tried to book a ‘cheap London break’ this past year? Not an easy feat.
Corporate travel into the UK has progressively picked up throughout ’23, notably North American businesses easing travel restrictions for their teams. Of course, this conjures up additional and very different risks for us to play with, an example being event planning for a company’s entire C suite executive team outside their natural environment.
The King spoke to us this past week and told us Martyn’s Law will feature in our lives. The hotel security world, like much of the industry, has embraced the need for the Protect Duty, our work on continuous improvement will continue. At Edwardian Hotels we have worked with the Home Office team this year to create an addition to the UK Protect app; we’re looking forward to that being launched sometime soon.
Technology will continue to move at speed, data being the currency, building increasing layers of AI into our surveillance, detection, and response systems. Seamless end-to-end booking, arrival and check-in with door keys delivered to your mobile, this all exists now of course, and will become more and more the norm.
Resourcing and recruitment will continue to challenge us. My hope is that we will continue to make vast moves to a more inclusive and diverse security industry. This is vitally important; it would help ease the pressure and, of course, attract talented, capable people, strengthening and future proofing our industry.