Incentive Travel (ITCM) is reporting an online initiative by ConferenceLeeds that allows the conference organizer to make a personal tour of the various conference venues in the centre of Leeds.

ConferenceLeeds is the conferencing and events bureau for the city of Leeds. Launching ‘Virtual Leeds’ is their response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Virtual Leads’ is a digital tour of the major conference venues in the city allowing the conference organizer to view the meeting and events facilities in 26 of the city’s leading venues both residential and non-residential.

Claire Heap, Head of ConferenceLeeds, commented: “We’re absolutely delighted to have launched Virtual Leeds on our new website. Amidst the global pandemic, the UK’s conference and events industry has been quick to adapt to a more digital approach, and the launch of Virtual Leeds is a true reflection of this. By offering an enhanced digital service, we are able to continue supporting conference organisers and connect with the wider conference industry as a whole. In showcasing the very best that Leeds has to offer, we hope to continue to build upon Leeds as a conferencing destination, but it is able to return stronger and more resilient than ever before.”


Plans have just been approved to develop the Grade-II listed Chapel Spa, a day spa in Cheltenham, into a 12-bedroom hotel.

The Chapel Spa building dates from 1816. It is located in North Place just outside Cheltenham town centre.

Plans would see the construction of around 12 bedrooms across two floors of the spa. The spa facilities would remain including the pool. The current gym facility would be converted into four treatment rooms.

Development work has not yet started on the building but a completion by June 2021 is anticipated.

Plans have been submitted to turn Nottingham’s Guildhall building into a luxury 162-bedroom hotel.

Plans for the four-star hotel also include a rooftop fine dining restaurant, a spa plus conference and events facilities. The existing courtrooms in the building will be converted into bar and restaurant facilities and will retain the original listed features.

The Guildhall was originally built in 1887 and has hosted a magistrates’ court, police station and fire station.

If plans are approved it is anticipated that work on the site could commence later this year.

The hospitality industry may be facing an uncertain future currently but there are optimistic developments on the horizon. One of these is a new 230-bedroom hotel planned in the centre of Birmingham.

The new hotel would be located in a new 35-storey tower in Broad Street – a short walk from the centre of Birmingham. The development would be called The Square and the hotel would share space in the development with a private apartment development.

The Square has been designed by Corstorphine & Wright Architects for Taylor Grange Developments. A planning application to build The Square has been lodged with Birmingham City Council.

Bespoke Hotels group is planning to open its second Hotel Brooklyn this summer in Leicester. The first Hotel Brooklyn opened in central Manchester earlier this year.

Hotel Brooklyn Leicester will be located alongside Welford Road Stadium – home of Leicester Tigers rugby team.

Hotel Brooklyn Leicester will have 191 bedrooms including a number of skyline suites. It will feature a striking central atrium stretching over five floors. It will also feature Lair restaurant and bar and a Runyon's diner in the hotel atrium. The hotel promises extensive conferencing and events facilities both inside the hotel and in the Welford Road stadium. Hotel Brooklyn Leicester will offer direct access into the stadium.

Hotel Brooklyn Leicester is expected to open in 2022.

HBAA, The Hotel Booking Agents Association, is promoting its ‘Safe, Clean and Legal’ Accreditation as a recognised industry standard of hygiene and cleanliness for venues and hotels, including Covid-19 protocols. The accreditation is awarded to hotels and venues that meet or exceed minimum set standards across a wide range of factors, including compliance with hygiene and food safety regulations which has become paramount following the Covid-19 outbreak.

All properties submit their standards and are then audited to ensure that they maintain the rigorous levels of cleanliness and safety, providing greater reassurance to customers.

The aim is to drive customer confidence among delegates, guests, agencies, staff and employers.

Park Regis Hotel, here in Birmingham, is one of the city’s biggest hotels and it is aiming to become ‘Covid ready’. It has already signing up to a new accreditation standard. Park Regis Hotel is aiming to kickstart the events, meetings and accommodation industries following the coronavirus pandemic.

Juliet Price, Consultant Executive Director of HBAA commented; “HBAA identified the urgent need to have such a uniformed and united standard across our sector. We are spearheading this standard enabling customers to feel assured that the accommodation and venues they’re using are compliant with the latest government guidance and agreed protocols. Working with such an accreditation from a recognised authority like QT drives confidence from its rigorous application and inspection process. It is an important initiative which we can all get behind.”

“Whilst we continue to see more hotel chains and venues present their own cleaning standards, which we welcome, we do need to drive consistency on a level playing field.”

“HBAA continues to collaborate with industry associations, shoulder to shoulder and is requesting that this accreditation is communicated amongst their membership and features prominently in RFPs and part of hotel and venue selection criteria.”

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