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Hilton Manchester Deansgate to celebrate the reopening of hospitality venues across Manchester with dramatic light display

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Following months of restrictions for the hospitality sector, Hilton Manchester Deansgate, the luxury hotel housed in Beetham Tower, is set to feature a light display to salute the much-anticipated reopening of hospitality on Monday 17 May 2021.

The initiative, entitled Light Up MCR, will see the Hilton create a giant numerical 10-1 countdown each night across 22 floors of the hotel’s building facade. Using its floor-to-ceiling windows and bedroom lights, the countdown will go live 7 May from 21:00.

The light display will culminate in the floors lighting up to reveal the shape of a heart, highlighting the community spirit that has kept the Manchester hotel industry afloat throughout the pandemic.

Once hospitality is able to ‘fully’ reopen on 17 May, Light Up MCR will open their first night exclusively for members of the MHA in the Hilton’s Cloud 23 bar for industry workers and supporters.

The countdown is in collaboration with the Manchester Hoteliers Association (MHA), a non-profit organisation of the key hotels within the city centre and the Greater Manchester area, and will serve as a show of solidarity for those in the industry in the city region.

Adrian Ellis, chair of the MHA, said “Light Up MCR is a brilliant opportunity for all who are connected to the hospitality industry to celebrate the reopening of our beloved sector. Over the past 12 months we’ve faced huge challenges, as tight restrictions in our region have resulted in an extended period in which hospitality has been closed.

“Facing such difficulties would have been insurmountable had it not been for the enduring community spirit which carried the sector through.”

He added “The culture of support and kindness in the Manchester hospitality sector has been unrivalled, so to have an occasion, like Light Up MCR, where all of the industry can celebrate its return is really heartwarming. We hope lots of people will turn out and show support.”

Adam Reckert, general manager of the Hilton Manchester Deansgate said that he was “delighted to be able to support the MHA in a way that can help unify Manchester’s hospitality industry”.

Hospitality workers will be able to enjoy complimentary and discounted drinks in Hilton’s champagne and cocktail bar, Cloud23, on the night. Tickets can be secured by contacting the relevant General Manager who will confirm the booker is connected to the MHA.

Manchester Hoteliers’ Association backs industry Charter

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A dedicated Hoteliers’ Charter containing industry benchmarks that operators can sign up to has launched in the UK.

The charter consists of ten key commitments including: developing skills, creating a work-life balance, supporting industry charities, a commitment to the modern slavery act and a commitment to sustainability.

The charter will also address service charges – one of the industry’s hot topics during the past two years.

The initiative launches across the UK this month and already has hundreds of hotels signed-up and onboard.

Hotels across the country will be employing the ten key commitments within their teams and venues as the industry unites to create change.

The Lowry Hotel is leading the pledge in Manchester along with the Manchester Hoteliers Association.

Adrian Ellis, GM of The Lowry Hotel and Chair of the MHA said: “We are really pleased to be supporting this initiative. Our industry was sent into turmoil this past year and it’s exciting to be championing something so positive that will only improve our standards.

“The aim of the charter is to help attract new staff and build our reputation as an industry by agreeing to some foundation practices in terms of training and conditions we will offer as an employer.

“We will be championing this scheme across Manchester and encourage as many others as possible within the industry to do so – we have an opportunity to effect real change.”

The MHA has a 50-strong membership made up of general managers of hotels throughout the region. Its key objectives are to be a strong voice for the hotel community and continually improve the offering for visitors spending time in the city.

During the lockdown period the MHA spearheaded a campaign that encouraged hoteliers across the city to donate toiletries and leftover soft drinks from the mini bars to provide care packages for NHS staff and vulnerable members of the community.

Pioneering Manchester hotel mentoring scheme launches for fourth year

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Mentees will learn how to operate hospitality venues within the context of COVID-19

MHA mentorship scheme

The Manchester Hoteliers Association (MHA) in partnership with the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) will pair 12 students with bosses of some of the city’s biggest hotels to begin a mentorship programme.

Talented final year BA (Hons) Hospitality Business Management students will embark on the scheme to learn a range of direct general manager skills including forecasting, payroll, overview costs, RevPAR and online digital marketing – all whilst working on the job.

Hospitality students completing the course over the past four years hailed it as a pioneering scheme that allows them valuable insights into life as a general manager at some of Manchester’s most high-profile hotels.

MHA chair Adrian Ellis and Chris Mitchell, principal lecturer at MMU, are behind the initiative which they say has been designed to attract students to careers in the hotel industry – but more importantly, to retain talent.

Adrian, who has been a mentor in his day-to-day role as The Lowry Hotel’s general manager, said: “This is an important initiative and one that has been significant for our industry over the past four years. We have a collection of proactive and engaged mentors that guide their mentees through a real-time view of operations at a hotel.

“There is really no better experience for students looking to carve out a career in the hospitality industry. Given the current situation across the world and the impact COVID-19 is having on the industry, I am really pleased we are still able to go ahead with this programme and investment into the next generation of hospitality talent.”

Principal lecturer at MMU Chris Mitchell described keeping graduates in the hospitality sector as ‘vital’.

“Our continued investment in training and development of our students is key; the real time experiences they gain is invaluable.

“We are so thankful to all the hospitality venues that open their doors and welcome our students. The scheme is in its fourth year and we are proud to be a partner. We have some amazing hotels in Manchester which offer unrivalled opportunities for career development.

“The programme changes each year in response to the industry. This year has been a different one to say the least, and it is something that our students will explore. Our aim is to develop the best possible graduates we can and retain that talent in the industry.”

The mentor programme runs from October 2020 – May 2021. Hotels agreed to take part across Manchester include The Lowry Hotel, Melia Hotel, Clayton Hotel, Hilton Airport, Dakota Hotel, Hyatt Manchester, Ibis Styles, LCC HI, City Suites, Hilton Deansgate, Gotham Hotel, NOVOTEL Manchester, Kimpton Hotel, Edwardian Manchester and Brooklyn Hotel.

Have a night on us campaign

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Working in partnership with the Manchester Hoteliers association, Marketing Manchester will launch it’s “Have a night on us” campaign. Aimed at UK short break takers the campaign offers bookers a free night to extend their stay, to give them more time to experience the destinations, hospitality, shopping, health and wellbeing and cultural experiences.

The hotels will be bookable via which will use the TXGB platform.

The campaign will initially run for 5th October throughout November subject to availability of offer.

Manchester Hoteliers’ Association (MHA) throws its support behind recently launched Manchester Talent Hub

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Manchester Hotelier’s Association (MHA) has partnered with Marketing Manchester and GC Employment on the launch of the new Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub.

The recently launched resource, which is available to individuals working in the tourism and hospitality industries provides support to those who’s employment has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Services include helping with sourcing new job opportunities in businesses that are still recruiting, assisting with CV preparation and work skills, and training opportunities for staff to gain other skills that might help their future careers.

Following a successful launch period, the talent hub, which is currently working with over 6 operators has received great feedback on the support it provides to assist with new job opportunities, training and advice on employment.

Chair of MHA, Adrian Ellis said: “We have been delighted to work with Marketing Manchester and GC Employment on the Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub and it’s been great to see how this has supported many people who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Support for staff who are not able to return to their previous positions in the hospitality sector will be crucial over the coming few months as we look to recover from one of the most challenging times in recent history and we are really glad we can assist The Growth Company with this initiative.”

MHA has provided practical support for the project as well as working closely with Marketing Manchester and GC Employment to ensure the hospitality and tourism sector are aware of the new support measures in place.

Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester said: “At the start of 2020, the visitor economy was worth over £9 billion per annum and supported over 101,000 jobs. The impact of Covid-19 on jobs in tourism, hospitality and leisure has undoubtedly been devastating with many livelihoods affected. As we rebuild our visitor economy it is essential that we support, and guide effected individuals through this difficult period and the Tourism & Hospitality Talent Hub has been set up to do exactly that.”

Mark Hughes, CEO of The Growth Company, said: “We understand the challenges the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure industries are facing. As we start to return to the ‘new normal’, we want to ensure that businesses have the right support to help both them and their employees as they navigate significant changes to the sector. Whether this be through skills development, talent management, or re-shaping, this new resource will be essential for helping to future proof the sector.”

Adrian added: “Despite there being slow signs of recovery and optimism amongst the cities leaders it is crucially important we continue to support those most in need. I am looking forward to continuing to work with Marketing Manchester and GC Employment providing practical support from hotels across the region.”

The MHA has a 50-strong membership made up of general managers of hotels throughout the region. Its key objectives are being a strong voice for the hotel community, and continually improving the offering for visitors spending time in the city.

Manchester Hoteliers’ Association chair on city hotels reopening post-COVID

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Hotels across Manchester have started to reopen their doors to the public following an extended period of closure when all Hotels closed their doors in late March 2020.

27.02.15 Image © Phil Tragen

Adrian Ellis, General Manager of The Lowry Hotel, has been talking to GMs and operators throughout the turbulent time in his capacity as chair of the Manchester Hoteliers’ Association (MHA) – and is optimistic about the future of the sector.

“It has been brilliant to reopen our doors after a tough couple of months. As an industry and a city, we have experienced a real sense of togetherness through the pandemic and have felt reciprocal support from venues across the board,” said Adrian.

Adrian has been advising and talking to teams across the industry on their COVID-secure initiatives, and is confident that Hotels across the city are implementing appropriate Covid measures which will allow hotels to reopen safely.

“The general picture of reopening has been a positive one. At The Lowry Hotel , our weekends have been trading well and it has been brilliant to once again welcome some of our regular customers back to the hotel.”

Adrian continued: “Weekdays are less busy given that the city itself isn’t yet back operating at full capacity. The introduction of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme will, thankfully, positively impact this, and we are already starting to see its effects on midweek figures.”

Furthermore, regional hoteliers note that investment in the industry has not slowed as a result of the pandemic. One city centre hotel, INNSIDE by Mélia, used the lockdown period to design and roll out a full refurbishment at its onsite bar and restaurant.

Gary Fortune, General Manager at INNSIDE, said: “Reopening has been challenging – but it’s so rewarding to see guests returning and our team members back enjoying what they do best.

The new leisure concept, ‘Hideout Lounge and Grill’ will offer locals and visitors alike a completely new dining experience following a refresh of the hotel’s current F&B offering.

“After having a refurb during the lockdown period, we are excited to see guests back and using our spaces.

“We opened with better-than-anticipated occupancy, at around 50%. The most noticeable impact for us has been the reduction in weekday corporate trade. We hope to see a rise in this from September as Manchester prepares to return to work with real gusto” Gary added.

City centre hotel Stock Exchange will reopen its doors to customers this month. Stock was among one of the first hotels in the UK to close its door to the public and offer its rooms to NHS key workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Stewart Davies, chief operating officer of GG Hospitality operators of the hotel said: ““This has given us valuable insight to how to do things even more safely than we used to before the virus outbreak. New measures including increasing the frequency of sanitising all public areas and facilities, PPE, increased signage, and contactless check-in have all been considered as part of our reopening strategy.

“We are really looking forward to reopening our doors and being part of Manchester’s comeback.”

The MHA has a 50-strong membership made up of general managers of hotels throughout the region. Its key objectives are being a strong voice for the hotel community, and continually improving the offering for visitors spending time in the city.

The association spearheaded a campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic encouraging hotels across Manchester to provide care packages to the NHS. The initiative saw NHS frontline staff and vulnerable members of the community receive leftover produce from hotels throughout the region, including food and soft drinks.

Manchester Hoteliers’ Association chair reacts to the Chancellor’s measures of industry support

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Chair of Manchester Hoteliers’ Association (MHA) Adrian Ellis has welcomed the announcement from the government surrounding the rescue packages for leisure and hospitality venues.

Adrian, who has been in the post for over 5 years, stated that ‘it was positive to see the government putting leisure and hospitality venues at the forefront of kick starting the economy.’

He said: “We believe the Chancellors announcement last week was hugely positive for our industry and we welcome the measures announced to support hospitality businesses across the country.

“Hoteliers across the region have had a successful reopening period with many reporting stronger figures over the last few weekend periods there has however been a drop in sales mid-week due to the lack of business travel, events, banqueting and low consumer confidence.

Adrian hailed the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme as ‘crucial in driving people to hotel restaurants and bars providing that vital boost needed across the sector during an incredibly challenging mid-week period.’

He said: The measures announced are hugely welcome including the cut on VAT rates to 5%. This has been warmly received by hoteliers across the regional and it will go some way in enabling people to regrow their businesses and stimulating demand in the first few month’s post lockdown.”

The Chancellor also announced a raft of measures last week including the £1000 saving per employee for businesses that retain furloughed staff post January 2021 which Adrian noted was a ‘huge step in the right direction’ as it enabled operators to review the scales of the measures taken in the short to medium term.

‘’We hope that measures such as these will help kickstart our industry and that 2021 will be the year that the industry starts to see a more comprehensive recovery.”

Adrian who has also served as chair of Hoteliers’ Associations in major European and Asian cities added: “Although we are incredibly optimistic about the future of the leisure and hospitality industry we welcome the Chancellor putting the industry at the forefront of the recovery plans outlined

The MHA has a 50-strong membership made up of general managers of hotels throughout the region. Its key objectives are being a strong voice for the hotel community, and continually improving the offering for visitors spending time in the city.

They spearheaded a campaign during COVID-19 pandemic encouraging hotels across Manchester to provide care packages to the NHS. The initiative saw NHS frontline staff and vulnerable members of the community receive leftover produce from hotels throughout the region, including food and soft drinks.

Leading hospitality figures raise £3,000 for Hospitality Action

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Manchester Hotelier’s Association (MHA) and members of the Hospitality Action Northern Board have raised circa £3,000 for Hospitality Action taking part in the charity’s 20,000-mile challenge.

MHA members and hospitality personnel from across the region have taken part in a physical challenge cycling, running, and walking a combined total of almost 200 miles.

Adrian Ellis, Chair of MHA, who ran almost 27 miles said: “We have worked with Hospitality Action for several years now and we were excited to get involved in this challenging 20,000-mile initiative.

“The work the charity has been doing to support our industry and the people in it who are very much in need has been admirable and we are delighted we were able to help.”

Gaynor Black, Owner of GB Hospitality said: “Hospitality Action’s philosophy is centred around support and this has never been more relevant than now. It is one of the many initiatives the Northern Board has participated in, to help our hospitality family at this crucial time.”

Charity Hospitality Action has supported hundreds of people in need in the North West during the COVID-19 crisis and the challenge smashed it’s initial £50,000 target raising over £80,000.

MHA have worked with Hospitality Action since 2011 raising over £140,000.

Adrian Ellis General Manager of The Lowry Hotel, Gaynor Black, Owner of GB Hospitality, Christine Henney, HR Manager at Titanic Hotel, Stephen Rycroft, General Manager of Best Western -Manchester Airport Hotel, Caroline Wright, Managing Director of Taste Hospitality and Dawn Weatherley, Hospitality Action Co-ordinator all took part.

Coronavirus Update for MHA

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At this uncertain time Manchester hotels are very much open for business. Employees within the industry are are trained to operate safely and hygienically and are following every health and safety procedure to ensure that the highest possible hygiene standards are maintained.

The MHA would collectively like to thank you for your continued support of Manchester and its hotel industry.

Students join onto pioneering hotel mentoring scheme for third year running

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Final year hospitality students from Manchester Metropolitan University, have been welcomed onto the 2019 hotel mentorship scheme. The programme provides the students with an invaluable insight into the running of Manchester’s most influential hotels, in a bid to help plug the skills gap in the sector.

The partnership between Manchester Hoteliers’ Association (MHA) and Manchester Metropolitan University, is now in its third year and the programme has proved to be highly successful.

Thirteen general managers, from some of Manchester’s most high-profile hotels, have been paired up with final year hospitality students to share their extensive knowledge of the industry. The students were introduced to their mentor at the recent launch event held on October 22 at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The scheme will see talented final year BA (Hons) Hospitality Business Management students shadow General Managers and gain a unique insight into the hospitality and hotel industry.

Diane Connelly, the programme leader for Hospitality and Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University said: “The mentor scheme is a great asset to our final year students who have been accepted onto the programme.

“We have a whole host of amazing hotels in the city and the general managers of these fantastic institutions, will provide students with support, guidance and information, that may encourage them to pursue a career in the industry.

“By giving students the chance to shadow a general manager, it will help them develop and recognise the skills and knowledge required to successfully manage a hotel. As a final year, students’ will be able to translate what they learn in classroom into the practical world of work.”

Adrian Ellis, MHA Chairman and Chris Mitchell, Principal Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, are also behind the initiative which they say has been designed to attract students to careers in the hotel industry – but more importantly to retain talent.

Adrian Ellis, who is also the general manager of the Lowry Hotel, said: “This is the third year of our hugely successful programme and we have no doubt that the partnerships formed with the general managers, will provide inspiration and guidance for this year’s students in the final year of their hospitality course.”

“I have found in recent years, that after their final year, many students will end up leaving the industry which is a great shame.”

“The reason I believe the programme is crucial, is to inspire the younger students coming through their final year to stay in the industry and to see the wealth of opportunities it has to offer.”

“Last year two students on the scheme, Daniel Kristof and Rebecca McHugh, were accepted on Graduate Schemes with the Dalata Hotel Group and Red Carnation Hotels and we hope more students will follow in their footsteps this year.”

The past two years of the scheme have helped guide students to pursue a career in the hotel industry.

Final year hospitality student Nik Kirian has been paired with general manager, Annie Brown, of the Macdonald Hotel in Piccadilly.

He said, “Manchester is a city which is rapidly growing, and the hospitality industry is flourishing.

“The fact that there are over sixty to seventy hotels now, made it clear to me that this was the perfect fit and a great city to study in.”

When asked about his future hotel ambitions he said, “I hope that I will eventually progress my career within the hotel sector and one day perhaps become a hotel general manager too, as this is where my passion lies.”


Mentors and mentees

Jane O’Mahony and Winny Da Costa (Princess Street Hotel)

Mario Osvenjak and Tyler Elsom (Hotel Gotham)

Annie Brown and Nik Kirian (Macdonald Manchester Hotel and Spa)

Richard Pearson and Michelle Kupaza (AC Hotel by Marriott Manchester Salford Quays)

Mathieu Batut and Marios Michael (Hotel Novotel Manchester)

Kumar Mishra and Maimouna Seck (‘The Edwardian Manchester’ A Raddisson Collection Hotel)

Matthew Brierley and Katie Flynn (Whitworth Locke Manchester)

Michael Sheldon and Holly Mayo (Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport)

Assumpta McDonald and Elliot Rose (Staybridge Suites, Manchester- Oxford Road)

Adam Reckert and Chloe Rust (Hilton Deansgate)

Claire Moule and Anastasia Barnes (Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel)

Matt Townley and Alexandros Petrof (Dakota Deluxe Manchester)

Adrian Ellis and Alexandros Mallidis (The Lowry Hotel Manchester)

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