S2 Ep3 Wivenhoe House Hotel - Oliver Brown, General Manager

Tourism Business Chat

28-04-2021 • 53 mins

Chris chats to Oliver Brown, General Manager at Wivenhoe House Hotel, about all things hospitality and lockdown; his experience on the board of Visit Essex; and his work with the University of Essex’s Edge Hotel School and Hospitality Action.

Oliver has worked his way up through the sector, including spells working in America, at The Ritz, and The Dorchester, where he serviced the likes of Sylvester Stallone, the cast of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Goldie Hawn, amongst others. His wealth of experience perfectly positions him to comment on the last year, and what the sector needs to do to recover, including the continuing training of the future workforce through The Edge School, who offer hands-on training and education through Wivenhoe House.

Oliver chats openly and honestly about the practical impact that lockdown has had on the hotel, its team, and the hospitality sector in general; a sector he believes was previously ignored by the Government in its contribution to the economy. He is confident this will now change, moving forwards, and that the ‘middle child syndrome’ of the sector will be a thing of the past.

Oliver is passionate about the work the hotel does for Hospitality Action, a charity for those who work in the industry and fall into hard times through alcoholism, other addictions and mental health issues, still an ongoing battle for many workers in the sector. He and Chris chat about the importance of the fund now, in a time where many staff will have lost their jobs, are working on reduced salaries, or are struggling to return to work after nearly a year on furlough.

Oliver also discusses the legacy of UK based holidays after the surge in popularity, with travel abroad still restricted, and a predicted hesitance in travellers, moving forwards, and in particular, the impact this has had on Essex, now a favourite of Londoners discovering it for the first time, unable to visit their usual holiday destinations.

They also discuss the change in expected customer budgets, business spend and customer behaviour, and how Oliver predicts a massive BOOM in Christmas 2021 parties, vaccine permitting!

You can find out more about The Edge Hotel School and its training here.

You can learn about the work of Hospitality Action here.
Visit Wivenhoe House here.

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