Miranda Martin truly believes that smaller, luxury and boutique hotels are VITAL to the hospitality industry… And that’s why she does her bit to help them survive against the large, corporate hotel chains. From sustainability in the ‘Conscious Bedroom’ to Trip Advisor in the ‘Dark age of Digital’… Miranda helps teach the smaller hoteliers all about the best ways to keep up to speed in the modern hospitality world… So that the independent hotel industry can continue to thrive.
00:00:00 Marks Introduction
00:02:55 Meeting Miranda – setting the scene in Manchester Square, in a boxy little office!
00:03:52 What’s Miranda’s thoughts on what’s happening in the independent hospitality sector?
- 00:04:18 “In the last ten years, the hotel industry has just boomed in the UK… We’ve seen significant growth since we launched the show in 2012, specifically in London. The size of the industry has grown by 41%.”
00:05:38 Big brands using the word ‘boutique’ – does this pose as an opportunity or a threat?
- 00:06:43 “Personally, I feel like it can’t be recreated on that kind of scale. I think that once you get over sort of, 10 properties or something like that, you lose control over that charm and that character.”
00:07:48 The impact of online booking platforms on hotels – how is it looking now?
- 00:08:46 “When the OTA’s came onto the scene, it was difficult because it meant that independents suddenly found it very difficult to compete in what wasn’t a level playing field anymore.”
00:10:10 What is the aim of the Independent Hotel Show?
- 00:11:21 “What we can do as a show is bring together experts and hoteliers who’ve had great success in driving bookings, and we always have sessions on that at the show.”
00:13:46 “Turning TripAdvisor from foe, to friend”
- 00:17:10 “What you do get in hospitality is truly passionate, ‘people’ people.”
- 00:18:13 “Hospitality and tourism is one of the biggest economic drivers this country has to offer and we should be doing more to encourage people into it… But I do think that the establishments individually have a responsibility to create a better brand of recruitment as well.”
00:19:02 Is the hospitality industry working harder to try and make working within the sector more positive?
- 00:20:48 “In those smaller propositions, there’s often more flexibility and more open dialogue about what people want… Kind of curating the culture to retain staff to make people happy.”
00:22:34 Back to the aim of the Independent Hotel Show – creating an environment for independent businesses to share their story
- 00:24:12 “The internet is extremely helpful for all sorts of things, but it’s also a minefield! I find it hard enough to choose a restaurant to go to or whatever it might be – when I have ten options on a page, I’d much prefer a personal recommendation or to hear a story about something. That human connection creates amazing opportunities.”
00:25:04 Curating partners that share Miranda’s ethos & becoming a trusted source
00:27:44 What is the ‘Conscious Bedroom’? Sustainability in a simple & non-expensive way
- 00:28:26 “It’s really come into the consumer world in a massive way – environmental consciousness, responsibility… And now that has happened, the industry needs to listen.”
00:31:04 ‘The Dark Art of Digital’ – what’s this? Helping independent hotels increase their knowledge of digital platforms
- 00:31:40 “The independent hotel industry is one of the slower industries to kind of catch on in terms of data and technology.”
00:35:01 Specific examples of winners & short-listers up who have caught Miranda’s eye
- 00:36:35 “Robin definitely changed the way we looked at luxury with The Pig group because they are gorgeous hotels.”
00:37:04 Independent business can pull off unique themes & amazing ethos more than corporate hotel industry can’t
- 00:38:04 “When it’s a big corporation, sure they may have ideas around what they want to try and create… but it’s more contrived and they have different agendas. Certainly from the smaller groups it comes from the passion of the people.”
00:38:22 Are Hoteliers often on their second or third career by the time they get involved?
00:40:16 Where to go to find out more about the Independent Hotel Show – dates, times, tickets
00:41:06 Is there anything the government should be doing for the hotelier sector?
- 00:39:25 “The industry is really getting together to promote how important hospitality is for the UK economy and it feels like we’re at the beginning of a journey. The government are listening now.”
00:41:43 The campaign to put less VAT on Hotels
00:42:32 Marks final thoughts and sign off
If you’d like to learn a bit more about Miranda, the Independent Hotel Show or the boutique hotel industry in general… Check out their website and social media channels below, or listen to the full episode here.