This September, The Grace Hotel is celebrating both eight years of leadership under General Manager Philip Pratley and his 40 year career in hospitality and hotel management. Philip’s leadership has guided The Grace Hotel through many past national tourism crises and downturns, whilst also ensuring the Hotel’s guests have memorable experiences of Sydney and that the neo-gothic hotel building continues to be a historic and iconic landmark.
From the young age of 8 years old, Philip had an inclination he wanted to work in the hospitality industry, and in 1972 he was accepted as a Trainee Manager at the Wentworth Hotel where he learnt the fundamentals of how to run a hotel. Philip quickly moved into the Wentworth Hotel’s Food & Beverage department, increasing his knowledge and experience in hotel management. Philip then spent the next 13 years working at casino hotels at Burswood Perth and at The Star, as well as a seven year period at Sheraton Hotels and the Old Settlers Hotel Corporation. During his younger years, Philip was fortunate enough to stay at the Okura Hotel in Tokyo. This experience in guest services had a profound impact on his career, leading him into a long and successfully career in the industry.
Philip Pratley, General Manager, The Grace Hotel, said, “Running the Grace Hotel over the past 8 years has been both challenging and rewarding. My days are filled with people and revenue. If I can make a difference with the hotel staff and together we continue to generate revenue, then ultimately my two most important stakeholders are happy – My employees and the hotel owners. If your employees are happy then you generally have happy guests. With revenue growth, we can continue to improve facilities, making it more attractive and enjoyable for our guests. The two are intimately linked and are both sides of the one coin.”
While the tourism and hospitality industry has faced notable challenges this past decade, Mr Pratley is, however, optimistic when reflecting these challenges; “Today, so much is made up of occupancy and market share but at the end of the day its revenue and profit which really matter. There is constant frustration regarding Sydney room rate levels, which are well below Brisbane and Perth. Sydney room rates have been incrementing very slowly over recent years and the competition created by online hotel-bargain search engines has intensified. It is up to us as hotel managers to find ways of increasing revenues in both high and low demand seasons. This is what I and my staff channel our energy towards,” he said.
During Pratley’s 40 year tenure in the hospitality industry, he has experienced his fair share of highs, lows and challenges. “The simultaneous closing of the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre for three years at the end of the year and the construction of the Barangaroo precinct will certainly bring some challenges to the sector, however it is needed, and in the medium term, I believe Sydney will unveil a worldclass facility making it more attractive at a national and international level.”
“For many, visiting Sydney is a memory of a lifetime experience. I want to ensure that my staff continuously contribute to maintaining this world renowned experience. We want to make The Grace part of a vital part of their Sydney memory, and provide guests an experience which makes them want to return again and again.”
“I have been very fortunate in selecting hospitality as the career I wished to pursue as an 18 year old fresh out of school. To think 40 years later I would still be enjoying every minute in the same industry is something I would never have envisaged,” he said.
Friday, 7 September 2012
The Grace Hotel General Manager Celebrates 40 years of hospitality business
Source = The Grace Hotel
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