Contributed by Larking Gowen
1/03/2021 - Larking Gowen
MHA Larking Gowen, chartered accountants and business advisors, is pleased to announce the launch of their new podcast series, Tourism Business Chat, where tourism specialist, Chris Scargill, interviews successful business owners and leaders from the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
Each week, Chris’s special guests share the challenges their business and the sector overall are facing; what they have learnt from the last year; and how they plan to structure their business in the face of lockdown challenges, and beyond.
The tourism, leisure and hospitality industry is a key sector in the East Anglia economy, and has faced huge disruption during the COVID-19 lockdown. Being in business can be a lonely place, and this open discussion will hopefully help those in the sector plan for growth, as the region aims to rightfully hold its place as a key destination for visitors in the UK.
In the first episode, Chris Scargill talks to Andrew Hird, General Manager at Woodland Holiday Park, and Chairman of Visit North Norfolk Coast & Countryside. They discuss how it’s important now, more than ever, to have cohesion with local DMOs; how this is essential for promotion; and how businesses must work with the residents in their community.
Andrew also highlights how a potential downturn in the high street could mean that the skills of those workers can transfer into the tourism sector and help such a vibrant and crucial part of the economy. Andrew believes that recruitment is key, moving forwards, and emphasises that “meaningful careers with good pay are available if you work hard.”
Future guest, Philip Turner, from Chestnut, echoes this, with the hope that one of the positives that will come from lockdown closures will be a change in how people view careers in the sector; “There will never be a greater opportunity for us to find people who will look at the hospitality sector through different eyes.”
Chris hopes that these conversations will inject some much needed optimism into the sector. In light of the recent government update regarding the roadmap out of lockdown, he believes that the reflection of these leaders is invaluable to others.
Chris said: “One of the underlying themes of each of the conversations I have had, has been a passion for the sector. These inspirational business leaders have a love for what they do, and not only do they want to get back to normal, they want to remind people that their capacity to trade successfully is not only important to the economy of the area, but also to the wellbeing of their staff, their customers and our communities.”
These conversations are a unique insight into the thoughts and processes of some of our region’s key sector leaders, running hugely successful and renowned businesses. Their insights are invaluable for anyone thinking of getting into the sector, or for those already leading their own business, looking to the light at the end of the COVID tunnel.
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