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02/2020

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Village Hotel Club, Virgin Atlantic Airways, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and Lime Venue Portfolio were all winners at the Smarter Working Wellbeing Awards, the first wellbeing awards in the travel and MICE industries.

Winners were announced at the awards ceremony, sponsored by Vibe, on 6 February at the Mercure Hotel, Nottingham:

Village Hotel Club won Most Improved Wellbeing Offering – Accommodation

Lime Venue Portfolio won Most Improved Wellbeing Offering - Venue

Virgin Atlantic Airways won Most Improved Wellbeing Offering – Air Transportation

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) won Most Improved Wellbeing Offering – Rail and Ground Transportation

The Smarter Working Wellbeing Awards were open for all suppliers to recognise and celebrate supplier excellence in delivering significant improvements to traveller wellbeing across the accommodation, venue, air transportation, rail and ground transportation sectors.

Entries were all scored independently by a judging panel comprising some of the most knowledgeable in the wellbeing and business travel and MICE industries: Scott Davies (CEO of the ITM), Laura Capell-Abra (Stress Matters founder), Amon Cohen (Business Travel Writer), Holly Bemrose (Travel Manager for RWE) and Samantha van Leeuwen (Head of Hotels & Venues for PwC).

“We are thrilled with the entries and the response from suppliers at the inaugural awards. We can maximise our unique intermediary role of a travel management company, to encourage more mindful initiatives so the traveller and delegate experience is enhanced.  We were delighted to have such a knowledgeable judging panel on-board and we hope next year’s awards will be even bigger and better next year,” Matthew Holman, Head of Traveller Wellbeing for Capita Travel and Events.

Entry for the 2021 awards will open to all industry suppliers in the Autumn.

Dear TIER member,

Please find the latest situation update below and VisitBritain’s updated reactive statement attached, in light of the updated advice from Public Health England (see bullet point 5).

Situation update correct as at 15.00 7 February 2020

  • As of 7 February, a total of 620 UK tests have concluded, of which 617 were confirmed negative and 3 positive.
  • Globally as of 7 February there are 31,479 cases of which 31,161 are in China.
  • The fatalities to date are 638 (636 of these are within China, 1 in the Philippines and 1 in Hong Kong).
  • China has introduced port-of-exit screening so people already exhibiting symptoms are not allowed to leave the country.
  • Based on the scientific advice of SAGE the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
  • These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review
  • Subject to agreement from the airlines, enhanced monitoring is being extended following the update in the FCO advice to cover direct flights from Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, or Thailand.
  • Posters and leaflets have been sent by PHE electronically to all 28 UK international airports, all UK Eurostar terminals and Dover and key ferry ports. The posters in the process of being translated into multiple languages following the updated advice for additional countries by the FCO.
  • One UK national on the Princess Cruise ship off the coast of Japan has reported to have been tested positive for 2019-nCoV.
  • The UK’s Travel Advice for China was updated overnight to clarify the operations of the British consulates across China: CG Shanghai and Guangzhou will continue to provide essential travel documentary services to British nationals wishing to leave China, but no other consular assistance at this time. 

The FCO has updated their advice for inbound travellers to the UK:

Travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province

If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately: Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area
  • In Scotland phone your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. If you are in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885.

Travellers from other parts of China and other specified areas

Advice for travellers who have returned to the UK from or who are visiting from the following areas:

  • China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are minor.

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country
  • In Scotland phone your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. If you are in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885.

What this means in practice
We are asking people to take simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like they would with other flu viruses. This means remaining at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms) and not going to work, school or public areas. Where possible, you should avoid having visitors to your home, but it’s ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food.

Transport
You should not use public transport or taxis until 14 days after your return from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms).

Getting food and medicine

We recommend that you stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms), and avoid public places. Where possible, contact a friend, family member or delivery services to carry out errands on your behalf.

Taking children to school

We recommend that you stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms), and avoid public places. Where possible, contact a friend or family member to take your children to school.

Why the advice has changed
This is an evolving situation and the advice has changed based on emerging information from China about the number of cases and spread of the infection from person to person.

This is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection.

Links:

7 February VisitBritain Reactive Lines

CLIA Coronavirus FAQs 7 Feb 2020

CLIA Statement on Coronavirus_Embargoed

James Parkhouse, CEO of Capita Travel and Events, is the latest member to join the Business Travel Association (BTA) Executive Board, one of the leading governing bodies that represents the corporate travel community.

Joining 14 voluntary experts and leaders from across the business travel industry, the BTA’S Executive Board helps define the strategic direction for the industry by setting goals and objectives, overseeing programs and activities, and actively managing risks.

James has led Capita Travel and Events as CEO since 2008 and has overseen the strategy of creating a new type of intermediary organisation that combines industry specialists in business travel, accommodation, venue find, meetings and event management, along with unique propositions. Subsequently, he has led the growth of the company from a single site with 100 people to one of the largest travel and events providers in the UK with five sites and over 700 people.

“As one of the leading trade bodies of the business travel industry, it is a real honour to join the Executive Board of the BTA. I love being part of the sector; after 12 years leading Capita Travel and Events, I hope to contribute to the next phase of the BTA’s development – especially with my interest into the role meetings play in travel, the increasing focus on wellbeing, data-driven insight and balancing the needs for the right technological solutions. I’m looking forward to providing my perspective, helping steer the direction of the industry and having a platform to discuss the important topics that we are currently facing,” James commented.

James will be applying his expertise to his new role on the Executive Board, attending their numerous conferences and events throughout the year. His first panel discussion took place at the Business Travel Association’s Winter Conference 2020 on 30 January, where he spoke about A Different View on Crime and how cyber security could affect travelers over the next decade.

“We are taking cyber risk seriously; we have recently appointed a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Sam Hart, to the Executive Team to keep this at the forefront of what we do. Our risk and assurance function ensures we're tracking risks, and this team also run internal auditing to make sure the controls we've put in place are effective. These are not naturally TMC-related activities, but we've responded to the changing risk landscape to give our customers the assurance they need,” James added.

Clive Wratten, Chief Executive of the BTA, said: Clive Wratten commented: “I am thrilled to be welcoming James to the Executive Board of the BTA. As CEO of the BTA, I am excited that such a knowledgeable industry professional as James will sit at the Board alongside his fellow successful board members. James brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge, and above all extensive expertise in both private and public sector organisations in a wide number of business sectors. Along the years, he has demonstrated empathetic and empowering leadership and built strong track record of delivery in business strategy. I look forward to working with him and the other new appointees on everything that lies ahead for the BTA.”

This appointment comes after Capita Travel and Events changed its organisational structure with a new Executive and Senior Leadership team, comprising new roles such as a Chief Customer Officer, Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Finance Officer and Director of Customer Experience with some of the most experienced industry professionals, to deliver the best customer experience. Along with the continual investment in market-leading products and services, this cements their strategy and sets them up for a successful year ahead.

 

Hotel management group Almarose Hotels & Resorts has formally pledged its commitment to support those who have served or are currently serving within the Armed Forces. 

Backed by the government, the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) relies on the people, communities, and businesses of the UK to actively support it in order to make a difference. 

The official pledge recently signed, means Almarose promise to ensure that those who have served are treated fairly and that workplace challenges are recognised with care. It solidifies their responsibility to work with the Armed Forces to help those who are leaving the service, those still serving and their families into various roles within their many hotel sites across the country.  

Many of Almarose’s hotels across the UK are located close to a number of military bases therefore this new pledge will mean a direct, positive impact on these communities. Those that have been in the forces gain a variety of skills and experience whilst serving but due to being on the move every few years, they can often struggle with career progression. Almarose recognise the value and adaptability of these skills alongside the strong work ethic that such communities can bring to the company.  

On Wednesday 22nd January at Belton Woods Hotel, Bobby Davis, Almarose Chief People Officer signed the covenant along with other members of the senior mangament team. Also in attendance were employees from Almarose’s 20 hotels who have served or are still serving in the forces. 

Bobby Davis said:This pledge will ensure that our current and former armed forces personnel are able to access full support from us as an organisation. As one of the first hotel groups to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, Almarose are proud to be leading the way within the UK hospitality industry as well as creating a culture where all employees are given the opportunity to thrive.” 

Davis joined the business in 2019 with an aim to drive forward a culture that shapes an environment where people can thrive. Signing this AFC is the start of many planned partnerships that engage local communities bring positivity and empowerment to Almarose teams.

 

  • As of 5 February there have been two confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, a total of 468 UK tests have concluded, of which 466 were confirmed negative and 2 positive.
  • Globally as of 5 February there are 24,553 cases of which 24,324 are in China, there are less than 200 outside of China in 27 countries
  • The fatalities to date are 492 (490 of these are within China, 1 in the Philippines and 1 in Hong Kong).
  • Public Health England (PHE) has distributed 100,000 leaflets to airlines and airports. The information is available in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
  • Airlines are being asked to call ahead with any issues around symptomatic passengers and PHE teams are on standby to deploy and meet these airlines accordingly.
  • The UK Government has announced £20m core funding to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) on 2 February to support research into vaccines.
  • The Diamond Princess cruise ship is currently in quarantine outside Yokohama, Japan after a previous passenger fell ill with coronavirus, 10 people on the ship have tested positive for the coronavirus. Princess Cruises has cancelled the next two Diamond Princess cruises 4 and 12 February.

Outbound travel advice from FCO

  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated their travel advice on the 4 February, advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. They further advised British nationals in China to leave, if they are able to do so.

VisitBritain and DCMS attended a cross-Government meeting organised by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (who look after the UK Government’s crisis response). Representatives from the Department for Transport, Department for Education, Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Department of Health and Social Care also joined the meeting (apologies from Home Office and FCO). The aim of this meeting was to look at concerns/potential impact on Chinese visitors to Britain, following BA and Virgin suspended direct flights between Britain and China. Key out-takes were:

  • Both BA and Virgin are operating a flexible policy and there are clear rules around care for passengers in the UK meaning that they are allowing cancellations, re-routings, postponements.
  • There have been no reports via TIER and TIER members or across Government of visitors being stranded currently.
  • Chinese visitors with health concerns need to follow the same route as the British public, so contact NHS 111. In Northern Ireland, visitors should call the Corona Virus Helpline: 0300 200 7885. They are looking to provide translators on these services. Advice of how medical support will be funded to follow
  • DFE are looking at arrangements for school children at boarding and at independent schools who are unable to get home on a case by case basis. The expectation is that provision would be made for them to stay on at boarding school and that those at independent schools have sponsor families who would support
  • MHCLG is looking at how we ensure the Chinese in Britain are not subject to prejudice as a result. VB and DCMS to link up with them given we have similar concerns re: visitors
  • We flagged the following as needing consideration/actions
    • Specific advice for tourism businesses on welcoming visitors and dealing with fears from other visitors/guests (mentioning examples raised at TIER re: language schools, hotels, attractions, etc.)
    • Potential insolvency of operators reliant on Chinese visitors
    • Rules for other airlines re: passenger care should they decide to pull routes
    • Overall, to consider visitors as well as the British public as part of overall planning and messaging

 

Wyboston Lakes Resort has won two coveted accolades at the prestigious Venues of Excellence (VoE) Awards.

The Bedfordshire-based hotel, conference and training resort picked up trophies for ‘Ambassador of the Year’ and ‘Referral Champion’.

‘Ambassador of the Year 2019’ was awarded to Wyboston Lakes Resort business development manager Samantha Martin for her outstanding contribution to the resort.

‘Referral Champion 2019’ recognised Wyboston Lakes Resort for most business referred.

Louisa Watson, Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort, said: “We are extremely delighted with two fantastic wins at the Venues of Excellence awards. It is testimony to the expertise and dedication of our whole team and especially Samantha who has provided and exceptional level of service.”

The ceremony took place at Imago Venues, Loughborough, as part of VoE’s annual conference 2020.

VoE is the UK’s largest sales and marketing consortium of specialist conference, meeting and training venues. The organisation awards membership accreditation to independent venues that meet and maintain a range of stringent high-quality standards across areas including facilities and customer service through to technology and environmental impact.

https://www.wybostonlakes.co.uk 

https://www.venuesofexcellence.co.uk/annual-conference-2020

 

CCT Venues are pleased to announce that they reopened the doors to their Smithfield venue on Monday 20th January 2020.

After being hired out exclusively by one client for the past five years, CCT Venues-Smithfield is now back on the market, having undergone an extensive refurbishment project over the Christmas period.

Situated above the historic, Grade II listed Smithfield Market in Farringdon, London, the venue is comprised of 13 meeting rooms across one floor, holding up to 190 delegates and features a stylish open plan lounge and restaurant.

The space has been completely transformed and themed around London’s Markets. Their meeting rooms are named after famous markets such as Camden Lock, Billingsgate and Covent Garden, with vibrant artwork depicting market scenes throughout the venue. The food offering has also been themed around London’s food markets and their menus that have been created by our award winning chefs, have been inspired by and revolves around the produce that is traded in these world famous markets. They believe strongly in ethical eating and like to be able to track every element of a dish, from farm to fork. Therefore, they source all of their ingredients from suppliers who meet the highest standards in sustainability and animal welfare.

Each meeting room is fitted out with new, state of the art audio visual equipment, as well as new stylish furniture, made with 100% recycled materials to reflect their commitment to sustainability.

Their ‘Camden Lock’ room has been specifically designed for those more informal events. The room is decked out with trendy soft furnishings, a stocked mini fridge, sweet dispensers and a meeting table that doubles up as a ping-pong table, in case you fancy a game to blow off some steam after your meeting!

CCT Venues' aim was to create a space that fosters creativity and reflects the move away from the traditional ‘office feel’ meeting room.

Quote from Caroline Bull, CEO:

“CCT Venues-Smithfield was our first venue, opening in April 2005. The location has always been quirky and a refreshing change from Corporate London. Being based above a vibrant working market is interesting and as the market traders work through the small hours of the morning and pack up as we as we start work, we enjoy the atmosphere but no disturbance. It is exciting to be bringing this characterful space back to the open market after five years of loyal service to one client. 

The whole of the CCT Venues team are excited about the refurbishment and relaunch, knowing that it will be a popular addition for our clients. The creation of the Camden Lock room and relaxing open plan restaurant and lounge areas are a nod to the changing tastes of today’s bookers – good service is expected but spaces also need to have the ability to stimulate and relax delegates, and we are confident that the new look venue will meet this brief.”

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