The new general manager at London's InterContinental Park Lane has urged hoteliers not to panic over the recession.
Colombian-born Alvaro Rey, who arrived in London a month ago from his position at the Intercontinental in Sydney, said that he had been through tough times in the past and that IHG had chosen him to steer its flagship hotel in London through the tough times ahead.
"I was general manager of the InterContinental São Paulo hotel in Brazil in 2001 when the Argentine Peso crashed so I know what it's like to run a hotel in these times.
"I would advise hoteliers not to be scared to analyse and to do things differently- be creative. Get everyone in your team involved to generate ideas, have meetings with your staff on a daily basis, and find out the needs of everyone in your hotel."
He also advised hoteliers to encourage their staff to bring ideas to meetings.
"My receptionist in Sydney thought of an idea to serve cocktails in the bedroom in a theatrical way. Those cocktails became famous around Sydney and were a huge success."
Rey also spoke of the rates at the InterContinental, saying that although volumes of bookings had fallen slightly, rates were similar to last year.
"It's not going to be an easy year, but it is achievable," he added.
By Gemma Sharkey
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