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April 2022

Entrepreneur in Residence at Sheffield Hallam

As part of Ashleigh’s role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, at Sheffield Hallam University, she was invited as a guest speaker at their Hospitality & Tourism Symposium to speak on insights and opportunities for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in a post-Covid-19 world.

The main discussion points included:

Travel Revival


  • Global transactions & hotel website conversion are higher than before the pandemic began, now at 82%, up from 78% in 2020. (Hotel Benchmark Jan-Feb 2022)

  • 81% percent of travellers surveyed plan to take a leisure trip in the next 6 months. (Expedia Q4 2021 Travel Recovery trends report)

Talent Tussle


  • The hospitality industry has over 1M vacancies - the biggest increase of any sector compared to pre-pandemic levels.

  • There is a perfect storm for the decline of available talent .

  • Attracting and retaining talent is a key focus for businesses. They will need to ensure they’re aligning their  company values with candidates' own, developing hospitality at the grass-roots level and showcasing the diversity of roles and career progression


Expectations - both from Guests and Employees


  • Flexible bookings - free cancelations

  • Work from Hotel packages

  • Direct bookings drive

  • Hybrid meetings


  • Flexible working arrangements

  • Increased requirement for enhanced skills from external specialists as an addition to in-house teams


Acceleration of Digital Experiences


  • Moving existing analog processes to digital

  • Digital innovations driving customer experiences, revenues and ROI

  • Mobile-first approach

  • Continued prevalence of social media platforms for engagement

  • Email marketing - is still an effective tool to reach guests 

  • The Metaverse - a new frontier for the hospitality & travel industry

Sustainability - The Redefined Traveller and the Rise of Conscientious Travel


  • Caring more about sustainability and community efforts – travellers are looking to remain loyal to brands that align with their values.

  • "Tourists, alongside investors, will hold companies to account over their progress”. (Skift)

  • Travel less. Travel better.

  • The quest for authentic experiences that give back

  • Committing to a Net Zero future - Firm commitments, actions and communications from businesses


Huge thanks to the University who delivered this event,  plus the fellow guest speakers. As always, it was fantastic to meet the leaders of tomorrow and we wish all the students well with their future endeavours.

Ashleigh is also part of Sheffield Hallam University Business School’s Employee Advisory Board, which offers the opportunity for industry and university leaders to come together and share feedback on course content and proposed new university courses. 

For more information or to discuss how we can support your business in a flexible way, contact us via our contact form, email or call +44 (0)7907 058206. 

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