New Executive Vice President – International ready to lead growth in 2022
February 15, 2022 | Community, News, Openings, Our Team, Signings
As the hospitality and travel sectors show strong signs of recovery after a tumultuous couple of years, Interstate’s new Executive Vice President – International, David Anderson, explains how the company can continue growing in 2022 and beyond.
I joined Interstate in November and I’m proud to be joining at such an exciting time for the company.
Despite the well-documented challenges in the industry as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Interstate has continued to grow and established itself as an industry leader across multiple territories.
We enter 2022 with more certainty and in a stronger position than we did in 2021. There are ambitious plans to develop the business while continuing to provide exceptional service to owners and guests for which we are renowned.
I have spent 25 years in leadership roles for different hotel groups, managing companies with portfolios across all operator models.
I am fortunate to have gained extensive industry experience in luxury resorts and midscale hotel portfolios throughout Europe and the UK, as well as the Indian Ocean, in both branded and independent properties.
Before returning to the UK last year, I was CEO of Sun Ltd (Hotels & Resorts) Mauritius. Prior to that, I have held roles including managing director of Dolce Hotels, regional vice president for Wyndham Hotel Group and vice president for the Louvre Hotel Group in Paris.
A people business
Hospitality is such an attractive and rewarding sector. I’ve always been passionate about people, who are the centre of this industry, both in terms of staff teams and ensuring guests receive the best possible service.
It’s true that, due to a variety of reasons, recruitment is one of the biggest challenges our industry faces. But it was people who first inspired me to get into hospitality and it’s the same today. There are plenty of great people out there, we just have to be resourceful and creative in how we find them.
Investing in our staff so they can develop their careers within Interstate is really important to me, as is making sure we recognise and reward their effort and achievement by celebrating successes across the team.
I believe in building a strong culture of collaboration – two-way communication is key to ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction.
Strong signs for growth
We are seeing clear indications people around the world are ready to travel again for business and leisure with trusted providers.
Consumer confidence is improving, the occupancy rebound in markets where restrictions are lifted has been strong and there is expected to be a quicker bounce back from the Omicron wave.
This puts us in a strong position for our plan to grow Interstate’s portfolio across Europe in the next five years.
We have vast resources, global scale and an experienced team across all disciplines of hospitality. We also have the ability to innovate quickly, something that has served the company well in the past and will continue to be essential as we harness technology to support our expansion.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the hard work and dedication of the team saw Interstate record impressive growth last year. Our agility and willingness to quickly adapt in a changing world has meant all Interstate Hotels have operated fully, either open or for exclusive use business, since May.
We also integrated all 31 of Jupiter’s UK properties into our portfolio in 2021, as well as opening a new Hampton by Hilton property in Canterbury. Our pan-European portfolio is now larger than ever, with plenty more hotels in the pipeline.
It’s clear the pandemic has put everything into question and allowed us to look at doing things differently – which is an opportunity in itself. We all have a responsibility to focus on the financials as well as the non-financial aspects of our business, streamlining processes and procedures, optimising technology to drive performance, as well as creating outstanding guest experiences.
These will be key focuses for us as we continue to grow in the year ahead and beyond.