Unchartered Territory – Angela Vickers, CEO Apex Hotels

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Angela Vickers

We’re always planned for new openings at Apex, never closures so like everything else these days it’s all unchartered territory.

Priorities have been getting our head around furlough and other business reliefs as well as keeping in touch with our staff and customers. We are grateful for the reliefs that have become available, particularly for the Job Retention Scheme which clearly enabled us to keep staff on the payroll. However, as we go through the phases of survival we are now asking questions around how long will the scheme continue and what happens when we re-open our doors and the world won’t be the same as we left it. That is our major concern currently, shifting from 90% occupancy levels to 30%, if we are lucky.

Recovery won’t be overnight and predictions are that it will take at least 18 months to get back to sustainable levels.

Lack of clarity on lockdown exit strategy, extension of financial support and easing of travel restrictions makes it extremely difficult to scenario plan for the future. That said, there is comfort in the fact that we are all in this together, other travel and tourism industries are experiencing similar pain and ultimately the situation has to improve at some point. So more positively looking forward we need to find the resilience to start over again and look for innovative new ways of operating and diversifying revenue streams to make the industry great again.

We are fortunate to be in a position to press the reset button in a country which offers the perfect setting for recuperation, adventure, sightseeing, culture and culinary pleasure. We need to harness the opportunity to embrace the staycationer and then, when the time is right, welcome back international visitors. This is without doubt, a transitionary period of convalesce where we need to nurse our businesses back to full health and in doing so re-invent sustainable and more flexible operating models that can more adeptly adjust to modern-day crisis-prone scenarios.”

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Hotel Scotland is a new publication (2017) from the publishers of DRAM – Scotland’s leading on-trade magazine. Hotel Scotland is a newsy magazine which covers all aspects of the industry in Scotland. From who’s who, to industry issues and refurbishments.
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