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UWTSD hosts its Annual Young Hoteliers and Hospitality Conference 2021

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Institute of Management and Health has recently hosted its third annual Young Hoteliers and Hospitality Conference at the Swansea Stadium.

The event was hosted by the University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SoHaTM) and attracted 230 students from schools and colleges from across South Wales.

John Howells, Academic Director (SoHaTM) said: “We use this annual conference to inspire people for a career in hospitality and tourism, and to provide an understanding of the possibilities within both industries.” The conference was also an opportunity to showcase what’s on offer within the University, and how these courses have benefited students.

The conference key messages were of opportunity, and inspiration within the hospitality and tourism industries, particularly post covid. As the industry has seen many people leaving and having to change careers during lockdown, there are now many opportunities for faster career growth, especially for skilled graduates.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Rhys Andrews, General Manager of the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill in Swansea, who spoke about exciting developments in the Marco Pierre White Group and the link that they will have to the new International Gastronomy Degree starting in April 2022 at UWTSD. Rhys shared the fantastic career, including the attainment of 3 Michelin stars (the first chef within the UK to do so) of Marco Pierre White, and spoke of Marco’s enthusiasm for the profession and eagerness to encourage more to join the industry of Hospitality, the new programme being an ideal opportunity for them to do so.

Former graduates of the International Hotel Management Degree Daniel Payne, Front Office Manager of the prestigious Retreats Group based in Pembrokeshire, spoke about the luxury hotels of Tŵr Y Felin, the Priory and Roch Castle in Pembrokeshire. He told the conference about the amazing guest experience which the hotels have to offer. Whilst Laurence Blake and Ffion Cumberpatch outlined their careers after graduating and Lisa Marie Basler and Monika Isufi Smarul, two current MBA International Hotel Management students outlined their journeys prior to studying for their degrees and their experience as continuing post-graduate UWTSD students.

Dr Jayne Griffith-Parry, Programme Manager for International Hotel Management BA (Hons) and MBA at UWTSD spoke about a bright future for professionals within the tourism and hospitality industry. She said,

“It really was inspiring to meet with Further Education students from across Wales, and share with them our fantastic degree achievements, also being able to launch our new programme for April 2022 International Gastronomy BA (Hons) which takes inspiration from Marco Pierre White and placement within his brand of restaurants; providing positive outcomes for our students… the future is indeed bright for the Hospitality Industry supported by the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at UWTSD.”

Jacqui Jones (UWTSD) spoke about Redefining Luxury using the Little Nell Hotel Resort in Colorado as an example of how a hotel and resort can cater for the whims of the rich and famous.

Ryan Peters (UWTSD) with his ‘Hospitality First’ presentation talked about putting the guest at the forefront of hospitality thinking. As a former regional manager for Premier Inn, Ryan talked about his experiences and his rise within the Whitbread company and of his love of the industry.

Emily Williams, (UWTSD) previously Cluster HR manager of Swansea and Cardiff Marriott Hotels, gave an overview of her career in the hotel industry outlining the many opportunities joining an international hotel company had offered her. She told a story which emphasised the exciting possibilities now available for travel and enhancement within the hotel sector today and concentrated upon advice for students getting their first job in hospitality and developing themselves as a brand.

John Howells concluded the conference by looking forward to the 4th Young Hoteliers and Hospitality Conference in 2022. He adds:

“I think that the conference was all about inspiring young people. Hospitality is in recovery now, but there is massive potential for young people to gain a rewarding career in an amazing industry.”

Wendy Dearing, Dean of the Institute of Management and Health added,

“It was a great pleasure to be invited and attend the Young Hoteliers Conference, the students attending really participated in the day and were very engaging. The feedback the team has received has been very encouraging such as, “you must be very proud of your students who presented, this has given our students the opportunity to understand what careers in this industry could look like. Well done to all who supported the day.”

As this annual event once again proves its popularity within the South Wales region, further conferences are being planned for the Spring term in London, Birmingham, and Newcastle.