Speaking to the great and the good of the industry regarding BHA chief executive Bob Cotton's departure, one phrase recurred: "He will be a hard act to follow."
Whoever took on a job that will undoubtedly bring many challenges in the coming years was going to be faced with a tough task.
So the appointment of a successor with extensive experience in travel and tourism coming in with a new angle on the industry must be welcomed. Currently chief operations officer at the World Travel and Tourism Council, where she has spent 10 years, Ufi Ibrahim will bring extensive experience in policymaking with governments and industry across the world.
Her understanding of international tourism and skill in negotiation with a variety of governments is sure to serve her well as she attempts to raise the profile of hospitality above the clamour of competing sectors.
As Institute of Hospitality chief executive Phillipe Rossiter says in our examination of the challenges facing Ibrahim, most operators have already trimmed any fat from their businesses so there is now little to cut. Any more burdens on business will be difficult to absorb.
The only certainly is that trading will continue to be tough as the economy struggles, but if Ibrahim builds on Bob Cotton's work to ensure the government takes tourism seriously, we can be confident of a bright future.
a chef at a contract caterer has been named a Roux Scholar.Kenneth Culhane, a sous chef from BaxterStorey, won the coveted title following an intense cook off. He follows Daniel Cox, who won the title in 2008.
His triumph is testament to the willingness to excel across the industry. A point that was not lost on the judges - particularly Michel Roux, who enthuses: "In the future I'd like to see chefs from hospitals and even army catering."
James Stagg, Content Editor, Caterer and Hotelkeeper